Friday, October 31, 2003

Will on social frats: "I can't dance and don't drink, so I'm kind of 0 for 2 on that score."

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Is it just me, or is there a LOT of bravado out there? Seems to me we're so busy trying to convince ourselves and other people that we're not drowning that we forget to swim.
Had a cool time last night trading/listening to music with Joe, Mike, and Tyler. I ended up playing "My Old School:"

I remember the thirty-five sweet goodbyes
When you put me on the Wolverine back to Annandale
It was still September when your daddy was quite surprised
To find you with the working girls in the county jail
I was smoking with the boys upstairs when I heard about the whole affair
I said, "Oh no, William and Mary won't do,
Well I did not think the girl could be so cruel
And I'm never going back to my old school"

I'll never tire of the reaction of people who are sitting there--ho hum, another song--and then they hear the refrain and they BAM! sit up in their seat.
"Did he say WILLIAM AND MARY?"
Yep. That's why you don't go to UVa or Tech, people. Not just 'cuz a grad of W & M founded UVa, and not because they're both inferior schools--apologies to any Hoos or Hokies out there (but not really). No, not because of that, but because there's a Steely Dan song about them. Doesn't that just kind of settle the issue?

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I think that Williamsburg is one of the few places where it's almost November and we've switched to Daylight Savings Time, the days are getting shorter--and you can walk around in short sleeves noticing that the leaves on the trees STILL haven't turned yet.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Ack. Just read my post from this morning. Somewhat extreme, no? I guess I should wait to blog from now on until after I gain some emotional distance from whatever it is that's bugging me.
I'm beginning to see why so many adventurers and warriors work alone. Yeah, it's nice and it's cool to be in a "fellowship" or a "brotherhood" of fellow fighters--but then you get the ones who want to second-guess everything you do, and you get the know-it-alls who say stuff like, "Shouldn't you be carrying a BROADsword and not merely a longsword?" or "Actually, most longbows are made of yew, I believe." That's when the rest of the group gets together for one final action as a whole--namely, stringing up the bastard--and disbands for better or for worse. And who can blame them?

Monday, October 27, 2003

I think I'm developing a taste for spicy foods. This box of popcorn and other stuff Harry and Jane sent me (at least, I think it was Harry and Jane--I haven't determined it conclusively yet. At any rate, thanks so much and I will write you very soon!) had these bags of jalepeno popcorn and chipotle pretzels, and they are really tasty. Which is cool, because I've never really had the taste buds for it until now--and I didn't realize what I was missing until now. Of course, now I'm going to order something really hot the next time I go to a Chinese or Mexican restaurant and bite off more than I can chew (or drown in milk).
Okay, fixed the damn spyware stuff. Now, if I could make these pop-ups stop crashing my computer I'd be fine. If it isn't one damn thing with the ubernet, it's another...

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Okay, I'm PISSED. Somebody put hyperlinks from my blog to Spam URL's. If you go back into my archives, it uses the words "degree" and "wrinkle" as links to college degree and doctor's RX websites, respectively. I hope whoever responsible for this is proud of themselves. Congratulations, meatheads--you've parasitized a college student's blog. The irony of mature businessmen feeding off of an 18-year-old is killing me, I assure you...
Yeah, so I haven't been posting recently because I would be in danger of falling victim to the demon Self-Pity. Not that self-pity is a bad thing, but I always tend to go back for seconds...and thirds...and doing so in public is, strangely enough, not always considered to be in the best of taste. Anyways, if it's time for the Obligatory Bland Weather Comment, the weather here has been unseasonably warm. I asked Katie about it last night when we went to the Phi Mu Alpha dance (where she scared a few people and floored quite a few more) and she said that it is usually colder by now. Which is good because I was worried about being out in just a jacket. I need a trenchcoat to go with my suit...and a dark gray fedora. The darkest fedora I have isn't close enough in color to be acceptable (accatable, as Knocko and Catherine would say).
Oh yes, fun story...Katie and I went down to the golf course last night and wandered over to the pond where I used to feed the ducks when I came here during annual council. After we spotted a great blue heron by the water's edge and I had gushed and Katie had remained fairly underwhelmed, we went down to say hi to the ducks. Then I remembered that there was some sort of hostess' station in the open-air part of the restaurant nearby. So I went over to the building and went into the open-air part (hey, it wasn't locked--come on, if they really wanted that silverware they'd keep the al fresco part chained off at least) and stole four packages of crackers from the top drawer of the station. It wasn't a lot but we managed to feed the ducks. At least we have one thing in common, even if it's feeding ducks late at night. Some things don't make sense anymore but somehow, things like that redefine the word "sense" and "understand."

Friday, October 24, 2003

Me: Why do we bother with women again?
Will T.: We bother with them because they bother US.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Okay, so Phi Mu Alpha played this flag football game against another team on some sort of intramural system which I don't quite understand. They had the psychological advantage over me from the get-go because the players were 1) grad students from VIMS who 2) seemed to be on some sort of covert for-combat-use-only drug like the one in the Spider-Man movie. They communicated mainly by screaming and smashing into other in a painful-looking manner. (The after-game handslapping alone gave me several fractures.)
Here is a summary of football for people, like me, who remain happily ignorant of the sport: There are two phases, defense and offense. After four downs in which one team (the one on offense) tries to score, the ball goes to the other team. In between these two periods there is a time out to pull bodies and body parts off the field and to round up the deserters, i.e., the inexperienced new players stupid enough to actually watch the action.
I'm thinking about making a short film based on my experiences. Suggestions for titles are welcome: too bad the "Thin Red Line" is already taken.
*BWEEETT* kickoff *BWEEEETT* UNH! SMASH! CRUNCH! *BWEEET* "DEFENSE!" HUSTLE HUSTLE SMASH BATTER PUSH OOOF! *BWEETTT* "OFFENSE!" HUSTLE HUSTLE BREAK TEAR RIP SMASH SHATTER *machine gun fire* cry of "MEDIC!" *video footage of: the Elves and Orcs rushing towards each other on the slope of Mount Doom, atomic tests in the desert, bombs dropping from the bay of a B-17, the launching of the Space Shuttle...all with Beethoven's "Ninth" playing in the background*
Cut to: the haggard figure of a broken college student stumbling off the field. He looks up into the face of a referee.
Referee: Kid, this is a football. Take it.
*kid reaches for ball hesitantly, then shies back into a cowering position, dry heaving*
Camera pans down to reveal ref's cloven hooves and pointed tail. Fade to black.
Dave: Dude, I hate myself.
JP: Dude! Why don't you, like, join the club?
Will's AIM Away Message of the morning:
"The Tower is up and moving and the rough beast is slouching towards Bethlehem to be born."
Will: You know what would be fun? Contact volleyball.
Liz: Ick--no? I don't want to have to play contact volleyball. Why couldn't we just--
Will: It wouldn't be Conscription contact volleyball or anything. Only people who wanted to play contact would play it.
Christine: Countries wouldn't have to go to war...they could just play conscription contact volleyball.
Liz: Winner takes the oil.
Will: You're looking at it all wrong. LOSER takes France.
Liz: Hey! I like France! France rocks my world.
Will: France rocks my olfactory senses.
What color mana (MTG) are you? by Gryffilion
Your mana color isRed
You will be famous forPiloting the Weatherlight to Tijuana
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Hey's my probably won't make sense to anyone who isn't acquainted with Magic: The Gathering, but Andrew wanted me to put it up and I'm very easily commanded after midnight. Don't get any ideas, man...I'm not going to do your evil bidding as soon as the little hand and big hand are pointing straight up.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Which Dr. Seuss character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Cool. Better than being Yertle...
Walking back from Calculus class, I lapsed into another one of my deeply philosophical moods. It seems to me that the main difference between high school and college rests, not in the environment or academic change, but in the shift of focus. At my high school (though since we were so small I probably have a skewed viewpoint), there was always a sense of a safety net. A friend once told me that it was very hard to fail in high school; he had done it and it took at least as much work as getting A's. This was very true at Fuqua--the teachers kept an eye on everyone and if someone started falling below the expected mark, there was instant feedback. Plus, your classes are set out for you and everything down to when and where you eat is scheduled and formatted. In college, if you don't show up to class or don't turn in an assignment or forget to eat or go to bed at 3:00 AM, there's no one there to take you to task or nag you for it.
You have to do that YOURSELF.
In the end, the only one that really cares what you do is YOU. Freshman year, you're just more grist for the mill. In the eyes of the universe, or at least the university, you do not matter.
And yet...
And yet, if you don't matter, why the emphasis on the individual? Look at all the independent research that upperclassmen do. Consider all the custom-tailored classes that fit maybe 10 people out of the entire population. If no one person matters more than another, why the modern concept of man being in charge of his own destiny?
As far as I can tell, the seeming paradox here exists only to help us, at best, and force us, at worst, to realize what we want--need--to do, and in so knowing DO. The hurly-burly of our first year will hopefully be the catalyst to a gradual awakening which takes place over the course of our education--which as we all know is a subjective thing.
Perhaps a line from the song "Ripple" sums it up. (What would a blog of mine be without a quote?)

You who choose to lead must follow
And if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand, then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way, I would take you home.

Destiny and choice are intertwined in this irrational and inescapable contradiction. It seems now that what we all waiting for with the advent of college was not freedom or adventure or alcohol--but awakening. The awakening of whatever it is inside us that whispers, "Now you understand. Do what you desire most--that which you were meant to achieve."
Afterlife as an Angel by childdoll
Your Name
Astrological Sign
Angel TypeArchangel
Wing ColorBlack with silver tips
Heavenly WeaponFlaming sword
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Two words: SUH-WEET!

Sunday, October 19, 2003

The World Is MINE! by Demonac
You will conquer:the Entire World, including Atlantis.
Your title will be:Master
You will succeed by:Brute military force (Flying Monkeys).
Your Enforcers will be:Smart-mouthed Robots (from MST3K).
Your first act as ruler:Have France wiped from the face of the Earth.
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Will: Self-destructive tendencies won't cure sleep deprivation, you know.
Liz: That's what YOU think.
I know this isn't going to be QOTD anywhere else, so I'm putting it up here:

[after a discussion of The Princess Bride]
caitlinem0828: As you wish.
Gryffilion: As I wish? Ha...I wish.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Allow me to quote a passage from an article concerning the dubious W & M STP program that supposedly caters exclusively to minorities:
"In the weeks to come a panel will be held on campus to discuss the STP. According to Faithful, this is a good sign. 'If William and Mary is generating this much controversy, they're doing something right,' she said."
So controversy imbues sanctity now? Only for Democrats, I bet. Seriously, though, I hope she's been quoted incorrectly or out of context or SOMETHING. This statement displays a disturbing lack of forethought.

But Clark Caught in Ice Chunk Gaffe

by Andy Borowitz (

The Ward Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in the Arctic, has fractured and is “rapidly moving away” from President George W. Bush, Democrats said today.

“The Ward Ice Shelf is doing exactly what the American people are doing: rejecting the failed policies of this administration,” Presidential candidate and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean told a crowd of enthusiastic supporters in Davenport, Iowa today.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA), campaigning in New Hampshire, echoed Mr. Dean’s words somewhat, saying, “The Ward Ice Shelf does not want another four years of George Bush and Dick Cheney,” but then added, “Howard Dean sucks, too.”

While most Democrats were quick to capitalize on the massive ice shelf’s meltdown, Retired General Wesley Clark found himself caught in yet another gaffe, struggling to explain conflicting statements he made about the Ward Ice Shelf.

After General Clark told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was “vehemently opposed” to the fracturing of the enormous ice chunk, Mr. Blitzer referenced a statement made by General Clark last March in which the former NATO commander said, “I don’t give a tinker’s damn whether the Ward Ice Shelf breaks up or not, and anyone who does must be smoking weed or something.”

With General Clark’s poll numbers taking a hit from his latest gaffe, the Ward Ice Shelf has emerged as the leading Democratic contender, beating President Bush by seven percentage points in the latest poll.
Okay, since nobody's emailed me about Caf food or answered the not-as-dorky question, I guess we'll go back to the usual format of me waxing prosaic about random stuff. Maybe I can get grumpy old Andrew to teach me how to use the comments format system.
At any's a blessing to have a coffee maker in my room. Cripes, I feel flamin' human again. Stone the crows, I ain't felt this awake in donkey's year, fair diggum I ain't! Probably ought to go get breakfast, though...I only have a little while until we meet. Thank God for late Saturday classes--I couldn't handle another rise-up-at-7-be-in-trouble-by-noon escapade.
Here's another Andrew-Will conversation. Took place late at night, bien sur.

Andrew: [part of a continuing discussion] Women fall under my charms.
Will: Or into a state of catatonia.
Andrew: That's part of the charm.
Will: Not talking is part of the charm?
Andrew: When I don't talk it's charming.
Will: Now you might have something.

Friday, October 17, 2003

My inner child is sixteen years old today

My inner child is sixteen years old!

Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
adults might just accept that, I know
something's gotta change. And it's gonna
change, just as soon as I become an adult and
get some power of my own.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

HA HA! I'm six years older than Andrew!

Okay, usually I don't find drunks funny--but this one was too good to pass up.
Will, Adam, Kay, and I are sitting in Adam and Will's room playing cards. Dave walks in, stewed to the gills.
Will: Hey, man, you want some vodka? (NOTE: Will, Adam, Kay, and I had not been drinking; Will had the vodka solely for the purpose of perpetuating inebriation so he could take pictures and generally humiliate people.)
Dave: No thanks...I don't need any more. I'm feeling a little rough around the edges.
Adam: But this'll settle your stomach.
Dave: Okay. (takes vodka, walks out)
General laughter. Ten seconds later, Dave walks back in.
Dave: Dude, this stuff tastes like shit. (walks out)

?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Now THIS is what I'm talking about...maybe there's something to these quiz things after all.
I took the animal test on Caitlin's blog too (where does she get all this stuff?) and got a pretty good result:

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Speaking of which, don't you just loathe me for bringing it all back to Chem? (It all does. Face it. You know in your heart that everything in life can be traced back to chem. I mean, if God started the world with a sphere of water, then it all really DOES go back to :
H2 (g) + O2 (g) --> 2 H2O (l)
I still need answers about Caf food, people! Why does everyone hate it so? Yes, I know, it's loaded with sodium...but it just gives it a salty goodness! Although my dinner tonight did taste like it had been stir fried in the Dead Sea. To put it another way: I went back and got pizza because it didn't make me as thirsty. But that was just tonight. For the most part, their stuff is good...and you can get home fries for breakfast! And good coffee! (Fine, OKAY coffee...but then again, I've never had a truly BAD cup.) Donuts! More potatoes! Red meat! Chicken! More potatoes! Pasta! And my personal favorite, the ice cream machine which is right next to all those brownies and cookies and cupcakes. I mean, sure, our selection is limited, but it's usually a pretty good spread.
Then again, I've become innured. I can tell good food when I taste it but when it comes to bad food I'm pretty clueless. I think it's kind of like the PH scale...I can never truly hit 0. Though I can come close.
I had something funny, but now it's gone. Perhaps it will come back. Today was actually very uneventful. Not too much interesting going on, and we aren't blowing anything up in Chemistry right now. Which is a damn shame. Why do they think I want the degree? For the betterment of mankind? Yeah. Right. I want to set things on fire! NOW!
Speaking of evil, I realized today, while watching Andrew shoot people on "007: Goldeneye" that I am rooming with an evil, naricissistic megalomaniac with no soul and a death wish. I also can't stop him from talking to me while I'm on the phone.
Continuation of the conversation on James' blog *actual transcript*:

Andrew: Hey Will, guess who really killed JFK?
Me: *tiredly* ...You did, right?
Andrew: Damn skippy.
Me: Why do I bother?

Oh yes, and last night's to put this...dorky. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to answer it. I KNOW the answer and I wouldn't send it in if you paid me. Anyways! Here's a better one: What is the reason for the current configuration of the QWERTY keyboard? Hint: Dvorak. Google it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Silly emails. WM address is, and my other one is The second one may be changing soon, as it approaching its limit as far as messages go, and I can't bear to throw any out. I think I may have to soon, though, because I can't think of another online name. Oh well.
Hey, people, I realized what this blog is missing! I can't be like James and have all the charcters of a saga in an alternate universe living and speaking within my head, so I want ideas! Fresh ideas! New ideas! Ideas for what to set on fire! For instance: Does formica burn well? And if so, to what creative uses can it be thus put? Also: What is the best flammable substance to use when learning to breathe fire?
Anyway, we need some reader (or lack thereof) participation here. So let me throw out the topic for however long I feel like making this the topic: your college caf. Why is everyone bent on demonizing college food? Is it merely that my taste buds are innured to bad food, which would be odd, since I was fed obscenely well at home? Or has food gotten better? Weigh in and prepare to have your words posted on the nationally syndicated blog of Gryffilion the Warrior and Jack-of-all-Trades.
Also, a trivia question, for those of you who have no interest in college caf food. Why is it that most pyramidial structures have an approximately 25-30 degree angle of elevation? Assume that the blocks used to build the pyramid are built to conform to the standards of the Golden Mean (1.618:1, if my memory serves me correctly). In case that didn't give you the answer, I can tell you that it has nothing to do with astronomy or religion.
I suppose I could always start a comments thing but Andrew had problems with it once, and anyways, I'd have to ask him for help. (He always gets annoyed when he has to help us mere mortals with our technical problems, so I usually let my comp screw up and then forward the problem to my more cordial sister-in-law.)
Well, I see Andrew now has a semi-formal column that partially focuses on Katie and me. At least I don't censor him! *AHEM COUGH COUGH HMMM* Yes, well, I'm going to be assumed guilty until proven innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt. At least I got some laughs out of it. I told everyone on the Tower and 1st Floor to be glad she was busy writing a paper--people who get a full dosage of Katie tend to end up in either a 1) mental institution or 2) bureaucratic high-level job.
Those of you who haven't seen it, read James' Blog. ( And yes, I know, a lot of it probably won't make sense, but Andrew now has a "James for Dummies or at least Non-Geeks" up on the blog itself. My only observation is, that if it looks like a Lord of the Rings reference but seems to be really badly spelled--make an estimated guess based on approximate letter location. Example: "Midas Turth" is really "Minas Tirith." You get the idea. Just assume that if you don't understand a joke, like I sometimes don't, that it is a reference to D & D, Magic: The Gathering (either the cards or the series), or Final Fantasy 7 (FF7), the last of which I believe is the inspiration for James' character.
At any rate, he has some good lines and some remarkably good insights into mine and Andrew's life here together at W & M. (To see what I mean, scroll down until you see "Meanwhile at William and Mary." It should be on one of the more recent posts.)
Tip Of The Day: Do NOT watch the randomized visual video patterns on Windows Media Player while listening to The Grateful Dead or you'll end up like me, freaking out that psychadelia might be heriditary. I felt like such a stoner--sitting in the dark in front of a bunch of bright, floating shapes saying "Dude! Wow! That's!" Then I talked to Andy from Idaho, and it turns out he did the same thing (and no, he wasn't tripping either...except possibly, like me, on rogue chemicals in the brain). So maybe some things don't change over the generations, except that now WE don't need lysergic acid to catalyze the reactions in OUR minds.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Okay, I have to say that my Chem Lab discussion course is pretty boring. It's not really the fault of the professor--although he does remind somewhat of the accountant from Monty Python's "Career Guidance Counselor" sketch. He's just...sort of dull, I guess. For instance, he talked about how if you left the clamp on a rubber tube that supposed to drain oxygen out of a flask that that would be "leaving a gas to expand within a closed system, which would lead to a rapid pressurizaton followed by a rapid depressurization." No no no--forget this pressurization thing. It would lead to a BAM! as the test tube goes shooting off to eviscerate the person next to you as it explodes, and a BANG! as the rubber tube blows open wider than Jimmy Carter's smile and shoots water and gaseous oxygen all over the lab. I mean, it's chemistry. We're blowing things up. It's time to stop talking in stilted jargon and get down to what's REALLY going on. For instance, the "thermite reaction" (puh-leeze!) should be renamed the "Spit and Fizzle." You get the idea. We need to make chem accessible to the general public...pyrotechnics for everybody!
Oh yes, and read James Lileks today. If you've never read him, today is a good day to start, and if you like him, today is one of his better pieces. Scroll down a bit on the Bleat past his family stories and his take on a Minnesota autumn until you get to the thing about Colleen Rowley. It's a fantastic piece chock full of Lileks-type curmudgeonly humor! *sound of gleeful jumping up and down--oh boy oh boy curmudgeony! hee hee hee*
And anyways, his blog is way cooler than mine. All those pictures and stuff he can put up. Man...ALMOST makes me want to learn how to use this dang-fool internet.
Okay, NOW I'm a formal pledge to Phi Mu Alpha. Or, a probationary member, I should say. They don't use the word pledge in legal documents anymore, and "goat rides" are strictly forbidden during the Rush period. If anyone can tell me what a goat ride is, I'll buy them a Coke--none of the brothers can tell me what it is either.
It was fun last night; we got our pledge pins and talked about meetings and dances and everything. It's so great--like I said, we're all geeks at one level or another. This is NOT your typical frat...I think not being a social frat has a lot to do with it. Anyways, one of the brothers lost his pin (not his pledge pin, his actual member's pin) and it turns out he's done this a lot. Luckily, I happened to have spotted it on my way into the building where we were having the meeting. So after everything was finished, I found it for him and he turns to the others and says,
"This guy's in!"
It's nice to have somebody indebted to you from the first day. This could be quite a bit of fun if I play my cards (and my music) right.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Andrew told me about his review of "Bourne Identity," so here's MY condensed version:
-jaw punch
-more deceit
-blood, gore, guts, and veins in Matt Damon's teeth
-more confusion
-vulgarity, yelling, and fighting which leads to heavy petting
-more explosions
-a lesson on how to maim with common household objects
-car chase
-gunfight during car chase
-necking during gunfight which takes place during car chase
-riding a corpse's back down the center of a stairwell
-pithy, witty, comment (oops, wait, that's Bond)

Friday, October 10, 2003

"To those who stood with the dictator and who continue to question the intentions of the American and British governments in undertaking this liberation, we invite you to come and visit the mass graves where half a million of our citizens lie, come and visit the dried up marshes, come and visit Halabja where chemicals were dropped on civilians, come and examine the lists of the disappeared whose right to live was taken away from them by Saddam Hussein. And we the Iraqi people will ask you why you chose to remain silent.

We are here today to declare that a new Iraq is born. An Iraq where dignity, justice and human rights are assured for all citizens. An Iraq at peace with its people, its neighbours and the world. An Iraq that stands ready to regain its rightful place in the international community of free and proud nations."

--Ahmad Chalabi

Figured it was time for me to weigh in on the whole "Arnold" hoopla. Everyone ELSE is, after all--some of these news services are worse than C-SPAN. The weird thing is, NO ONE is happy about the election--some people think it's funny, outrageous, a scandal, a travesty, etc, etc.
However, some, like me, are merely curious about the guy. Much as I hate to disagree with the guys at, I have to say that most conservatives seem to be getting rather worked up over this. "He's not the right KIND of conservative! What about Proposition 54 and the "right-wing crazies thing?" And that the remark about only religious fanatics opposing stem cell research!"
Well, la dee da. He's barely given his acceptance speech and everyone's a critic. Come on, people! Cut the man some slack! First of all, let's consider the place: California, the State of Mayhem. Maybe his remarks are due to the fact that he's been drinking the Los Angeles Crazy Water ("Now only $199.99 per bottle at your local Pretentious (TM) Grocery!") a bit too long and has taken on some of their fascinating but vapid ideology. Or maybe he's cannier than we give him credit for and doesn't want to say what he's REALLY gonna do once he gets the key to the executive washroom in the Governor's Mansion. After all, if he gave even a slightly right of center or even moderate viewpoint at same rally in Hollywood, how far do you think he'd get? Even if he is Schwarzenegger, Mr. Brawny Charm, Herr Lovable Hun, his fellow actors aren't exactly going to be tickled pinko over one their red-headed conservative step-brethren taking office.
Or it could be that he's going to do exactly what he says and believes everything he's stated, word for word. If so, fine--what seems to count here is that he's doing what Gray Davis wouldn't--couldn't--and cutting those egregious taxes. George Will complains that when Bush campaigns on the Left Coast in 2004 that he wont be facing a population "seething with "resentment of spending cuts and attempted tax increases advocated by a hugely unpopular Democratic governor." Riiiight. Does that mean that every Californian should have to suffer for Davis' sins? Of course not. Maybe Arnold will prove to be so popular that he whips them into a pro-Republican furor. I wouldn't count on it, but for those of you supply-siders out there: Remember what the last Republican governor of California who also happened to be an actor did.
All I'm saying is that Ah-nold could be doing things for a multitude of reasons, and that for once a whole hell of a lot of people have been displaying remarkably little patience to sit back, grab a soda and some popcorn and watch the show. After all--he's the Terminator! Now he's governor! Why isn't that COOL enough for some people?
They're getting to be as bad as those stupid previews. SHTAHT THE MOOOOVIIIEE!
Okay, people, today's Migraine Post is coming your way. Aspirin dependent? Hate hearing stuff that just might burst a few key blood vessels in the gray matter? Well, read no further. Everyone else meet me three spaces down.

Okay, now that we've gotten rid of those cowards (I mean, come on, what's life without a little adventure and maybe a cerebral hemorrhage or two?), I can tell you all about this song called "Like Spinning Plates" by Radiohead. I actually heard it this summer at camp, when my friends Mary and Katherine sang it. It's mostly instrumental (very haunting and eerie-sounding), and there are only two lines:

While you make pretty speeches
I'm being cut to shreds
You feed me to the lions
A delicate balance

And this just feels like spinning plates
I'm living in cloud cuckoo land
And this just feels like spinning plates
Our boides floating down the muddy river

As Sarah put it, a bit too "interesting" for some. Well, that's okay...I can respect that. It was almost too interesting for me (but not quite!). Anyways, the cool thing I found out about it is that the music for the original "Like Spinning Plates" was actually that of a different song by Radiohead ("I Will") played backwards (which makes for a weird, scratchy sound). The sound poeple then dubbed in the lead singer's voice. Now here's where the salicylic acid comes in: he sang the song BACKWARDS to begin with on the tape, which was then reversed and put in over the recording of I Will, also backwards. So the original song was two backwards tracks, which would explain why the recording sounds like it was left out in the Sunken Gardens during Hurricane Isabel and then placed underneath the treads of a Sherman tank.
However, fortunately for my sanity, they now have live recordings of the song being played "correctly." Instead of a synth they have a beautiful and eerie piano part and a lead singer who sings forwards (wow! what a concept). Which is a good thing--although if I can get my mind around the whole forwards-backwards lyrics thing I might be able to get my mind around Calc too.
Here's another online convo. Chiquitachikadee is Katie Rettig, one of my friends here in Billysburg. (This is all in reference to me saying I had cholera, a misoverexaggeration of my "hives.")

chiquitachikadee: what is cholera?
Gryffilion: a plague
chiquitachikadee: well, I know, but what happens when you get it
Gryffilion: sores, i think
Gryffilion: running wounds
Gryffilion: chills and fever
Gryffilion: you know
Gryffilion: the usual stuff
chiquitachikadee: oh
chiquitachikadee: yucky
chiquitachikadee: what do you do about it?
chiquitachikadee: antibiotic or something?
Gryffilion: I think you pre-order a cemetery plot and contact Jack Kevorkian

I saw a great shirt today that said "UN? What's that?" Perhaps in a few more decades people really WILL be saying that, after that modern-day League of Notions is banished in disgrace to Hell or Mordor or France. After all, we can hope, can't we?
Oh yes, and I pledged to Phi Mu Alpha, the music frat here on campus. It's really cool--they're all geeks like me, and they play instruments too! It's so perfect. Most of them aren't vocalists (chamber music, etc., etc.) but they still sing pretty well. Anyways, should be a good time.
I read an interesting thing today on Fox that there's a million dollar allocation in a HUGE ($387 B) Congressional bill called "Shakespeare for Soldiers." Maybe they'll teach our boys some more colorful battle langauge (although I can envision something like "Lay on, bin-Waleed-bin-Abdul-al-Mohammed-bin...ah, the hell with it." *BLAM*). Next: "Milton for Marines." Can I get a "HOOYAH, SERGEANT!"

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Not much to do tonight. Except a Calc lab. But who in their right mind wants to do a Calc lab? NOBODY! So there isn't much to do tonight. QED.
Learning the chords for "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Adam McCool from next door is providing sporadic percussion from his computer game ("Kill, Kill, Kill, KILL, IV: More Blood, Gore, Guts, and Veins"):
"Oh the legend goes BAM from the BAM BAM BAM of the BAM that they BAM BAM BAM BAM" is the first line. Maybe we should rename it "Symphony in Nine Millimeters" by Glock. Seriously, though, it's interesting to read about the ship. Gordon Lightfoot wrote the song because the newspaper story he read about the sinking (it was only 27 years ago, which surprised me--you think of shipwrecks in the days of yore when they were oilskins and had lanterns and steam power and such. The 70's were a time of acid, revolution, pot, more acid, long hair, new age stuff, pot, and revolution--not a time of shipwrecks) spelled the name wrong. He was outraged on the crew's behalf and wrote the song to commemorate them. Pretty interesting, really. A musician with a sense of historic events is a neat thing to find.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Well, today was very good for a Monday. Calc is finally getting better--I'd trade Riemann sums for partial fractions anyday. Riemann sums bore the hell out of me but they're better than things which confuse the hell out of me. I think the Second Fundamental Theory of Calculus is that it is either mind-numbingly boring or mind-bogglingly confusing. Chem, of course, was cool, even though we're only talking about the Universal Gas Consant and pressure and volume and such. It's funny that even though this stuff is less stressful than usual, my hives are still buzzing (ha! ha! no) and making life difficult.
Andrew and I played an awesome game of Starcraft online tonight. For those of you who haven't heard of it, there are three races you can play:
1) The Terrans. Descendants of Earthlings who live in a distant galaxy called the Koprulu Sector governed by a Confederation of various mining companies. My favorite team, for obvious reasons. Advantages: movable buildings (and thus mobile bases), overall good ground units, and all around useful runabout machines called Space Construction Vehicles. Think of the MI in Starship Troopers except that they establish bases. Weaknesss: Unsound building structures (they tend to blow up when badly damaged. NOT a good thing.). I suppose there are other tactical disadvantages, but overall the Terrans are the most cost-effecient group.
2) The Zerg. Good if you're up to the challenge. Keeping it in the Starship Troopers analogy, the Zerg are the bugs. The Hive structure, overall insectoid appearance, etc. The usual "arachnid" type of alien that exists in our sci-fi mentality. However, since a Zerg base is necessarily located around a Hive, their entire infrastructure is dangerously centralized around their Hatchery (the "brains" of the Hive mind). Advantages: their heavy warriors (Hydralisks) are dangerous to air and ground units and can overwhelm anything in large enough groups. They also have a lot of long range attacks used by their Queens and Defilers, both of which are biological in nature and nasty to deal with. (Think alien infestation, plague, contagion, and so forth). They can also heal when they aren't in active combat. The other main disadvantage besides the Hive mind weakness is a lack of good air units.
3) The Protoss. A super intellgient rage whose name means "first born." Advantages: Their units are probably the best in the game. All of them have powerful weaponry and stronger armor than any other equivalent unit in the Terran or Zerg forces, and every building and creature is further protected by a plasma shield which recharges itself when not in use. For example, the Protoss Zealot and the Terran Marine (the grunts of both armies) have the following stats:
Marine: 40 hit points armor, 6 damage Gauss rifle [supercharged Vulcan cannon]
Zealot: 80 hit points armor, 80 hit points plasma shield, 16 damage psi blades [energy knives]
However, their superb and superior units come at a proportional cost. The Zealot costs 3 times as much as a Marine and can't attack air units. Andrew has mastered playing them, and I do pretty well as the Terrans. The main improvement this time was that I didn't die and actually pulled my own weight. Usually Andrew has to bail me out or work without me (last time I got destroyed). Anyways...a fun evening. Today, Starcraft, tomorrow, the solar system. Now all we have to do is master intergalactic travel.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Gryffilion [me]: katie's stressed out about a bunch of stuff
caitlinem0828 [Caitlin]: such as?
Gryffilion: field hocket, for instance
caitlinem0828: is that anything like field hockey?
caitlinem0828: ;)
caitlinem0828: lol
Gryffilion: yeah
Gryffilion: french version
Gryffilion: except the object is to lose

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Hee hee. This is great--it comes from James Lileks' Backfence column on the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

"Herewith my new and improved "American Pie" lyrics:

'I take my leave, you circular, pastry-based female representation of American culture.

I drove my vehicle to the berm, and discerned no anomolous water levels.

Several colorful rustics were present, ingesting spiritous beverages

The message of their songs indicated that they expected death within the next few hours . . . '

Sturdy, honest, sensible, dull.

It'll make a great Volvo ad."

Oh yeah, and eveyone on the dorm was really impressed by our formal dress and the fact that we were going to a dance. Another good side effect--people now assume that we have wild weekend lives. Well, probably not...I mean, there's Andrew and I, and then there's Danny and Kenji. We all go to W & M, we're smart, we know the difference. Still...nothing wrong with wrecking a few impressions of terminal geekdom.
Well, Andrew and I agree that a good time was had by all at the Ring Dance. Not that we're that great--we just like to do spastic stuff. It was awesome during the song "Shout" because the MC yelled "Gator!"--since Andrew and I had just seen "Animal House" we knew exactly what to do. (Although it is hard to go low in dress clothes--I can't imagine how Katie and Susan did it since they had problems merely sitting down.) First time in a while that I've had water--you can get dehydrated quickly out there.
The Japanese restaurant was really cool too. They cook your food at the table and have really dextrous cooks. Our chefs liked to throw stuff at us--Andrew and I both got pieces of zucchini hurled into our faces (I personally got nailed in the eye). They cooked rice and vegetables (I ate onions for once just because they were fried at my table and it seemed like such a shame not to eat something which I had seen blazing with fire moments before). Then there was shrimp and the entrees (Katie and I had kind of a communal situation with my chicken and her steak). I wanted to try the green tea but they didn't serve it. Oh well. Next time. RIGHT! I doubt I could afford a meal there. I don't think it's Trellis level, but then again, not much is.
Katie made fun of my dancing and I got mad, but she told me that getting made fun of is half the fun for her. So I just went out and tried to achieve a state of non-consciousness. Which would've worked except I step on other people's feet way too damn much to be un-self-aware.
At any rate, it was a "Woo-hoo!" sort of evening.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

So I go to my Chem Lab, figuring it's going to be a total bust. I don't have my calculator or my goggles (the latter of which I STILL haven't found--if it isn't one pair of eyewear it's another), and I've forgotten my drawer combination numbers. But, after all, the staff at the lab seemed fairly easy-going and forgiving of mistakes. The minute I step inside the door, one of the older TA's, probably some professor doing lab work in preperation for her doctorate, says, "Hey, weren't you late last time?"
First of all, am I THAT memorable? Second of all, I'd like to see her try to hike from James City Courthouse to Rogers Hall and get to her lab on time. (I had leg muscles that were sold balls of agony for days after that little fiasco.)
However, once I got past the initial scare of using hydrochloric acid, the lab went okay. I got nice results--98.8% actual yield on my first reaction, 99.2% actual yield on my second reaction--and managed not to hurt myself. Using 12 M (VERY highly concetrated) HCl on baking soda, though--wouldn't it make more sense to use an acid whose vapors wouldn't melt your lungs into a puddle of liquid tissue? I mean, perhaps HCl is easier to find, more effective, etc., etc., but we all know from childhood experiments that vinegar has the same effect and doesn't produce gases more reminiscent of a World War I battlefield than a freshman chemistry lab.
Perhaps there's a conspiracy to weed out the incompetents among us early. Consider this: you don't want the clumsy, stupid, or meglomanical ones to make it to a position of authority. Therefore, you give them dangerous and potentially lethal substances to work with. The ones who are sane and smart enough to use them correctly will emerge unscathed or, at the very least, ambulatory from the various labs they do. The others will emerge in body bags or a Ziploc bag, depending on their manner of demise. So maybe Chem is even more closely related to Bio then we thought previously. Darwinism, anyone?
On the way back from Econ, I heard a woman on a cell phone with someone. I only caught this segment of the conversation: "There are times I want to, you know, attack these bleeding heart liberals. But then I think, 'What right do I have?'"
Does she think that those bleeding heart liberals will ask themselves what right they have before attacking their "neocon" bugbears? Conscience doth make victims of all, alas...

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Oh yes, interesting conversation from the other day between Danny, Gabby (our RA, who happens to be younger than us--go figure) and me. Approximate transcript:

Me (to Danny): So how DO you get her [Gabby] to change your sheets, man?
Danny (laying out his clean clothes on the bed): Well, I just...
Gabby (to Danny): That reminds me, I can't do anything with your sheets until you take your clothes off.
[general hilarity ensues in which I nearly injure myself]
Gabby: I meant, off the bed.
Danny (to me): Freud was a great guy, you know that?
Well, the doctors tell me I have hives. Great. I think I'm allergic to my roommate...I need to get my hands on some Andrewhistamines.
We've been having fun defacing the Alcohol Awareness board up here. It used to have letters that read "Sotally Tober" which now read "Say 'Ya' To Beer." There are also a bunch of other profane, disgusting, chauvanistic and pretty hilarious stuff which I can't relate here because humor-impaired people have been known to read my blog. Anyways, it's sort of a guy thing, like the Three Stooges or pyromania. Not that there aren't girls who are pyromaniacs, but I think it's more of a testosterone induced thing than an across-the-board characteristic.
Speaking of pyromania (heh), there was a fire drill tonight--Chrissy apparently set a bag of popcorn on fire. Danny told her that that would go on her permanent record and that they'd kick her out of med school for it. She started sobbing and Sarah had to soothe her. I reminded her who was talking and that Danny probably couldn't get INTO med school in the first place. She kind of continued this high keening noise as Sarah led her back into Talliaferro, hopefully to give her some Valium. Poor Chrissy--petite 5'1' ladies from Minnesota who like figure skating, shopping, and chicken alarm clocks aren't made to handle the stress of lighting fires.