Friday, September 28, 2007

The Rain Is Gone

Despite not having a particularly regular schedule, I've managed to fit a fair amount of exercise into my schedule here at college (not as much as when I was on a team in high school, but certainly more than this summer when I was unbelievably lazy). I've even flirted with thoughts of a "comeback" to road races and maybe even the track team in '09. At this rate though, that'll never happen because things keep coming up to prevent me from taking my training seriously.

The first is a classic: not enough time. Between classes, homework, trying to have a life, and the meager extracurriculars I've found, it's very hard to justify spending a lot of time on working out instead of hanging out. This is basically the problem I had last year. Wanting to be happy (that is to say superficially happy, the kind where you spend times with friends, laugh, etc) and running well are mutually exclusive (at least for me). Who would spend hours every day running, lifting, and suffering when they could be having fun?

Early this semester, which is to say during and right after orientation, my exercise featured yoga more than running because it was supposed to be geared towards rock climbing. At the time I was getting used to the idea of my running career being over (that feeling has since left) and was turning my attentions to outdoorsmanship, which I figured was more sustainable later in life (if I ever get old, which I don't plan on doing, I want to be one of those really tough guys who can still climb and backpack and shit). Frustration at my lack of climbing skill or conditioning, plus no stimulus from the outing club has moved climbing to the back burner.

After a week or two of good running, we get here. At this moment, I ought to be running but I really don't want to. This is partly due to the fact that today is simply a lazy day. More importantly though, I've fallen into the trap of fun sports. I've joined the cricket club (worth a post sometime in the future) and an IM soccer team. For those of you who don't know, intramural (or IM) sports are for people who aren't good at sports, like yours truly. But I take stuff, especially sports, seriously all the time. Plus, the team if my hall, which I'm feverishly loyal to. The end result; I practice for IM soccer almost everyday, as long as I can find someone to kick balls at my head. See, I'm goalkeeping for my team, something that I was very good at in 1st grade or so. Now, not so much. Anyways, even though I get pretty beat up in the process, soccer is way more fun than running (and accordingly way less helpful for my fitness), so I keep trying to justify not running with playing soccer. By the time soccer season is over, winter will be fast approaching and with it limited running opportunities and broomball (count on that taking tons of my time and energy).

You've now reached the end of this post. What you probably realize is that it lacks a point, a conclusion, or even a series of lyrics slipped in. I hope it at least has been pleasantly diverting, and left you hungrily anticipating future posts about goalkeeping, cricket, and broomball. Failing at that, at least your appreciation for decent prose has been increased.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Apparently, Prostitution Hasn't Been The Same Since '76

I like to think that, beneath my mean and cynical exterior, I'm a fairly nice person. do I always use these stupid lead-in lines? Fuck that.

Ahem. I went to give blood today. My (mild?) desire to help other people always manages to overcome my hypochondria* when it comes to blood drives (imagine a hypochondriac walking around knowing full well that they're missing a pint of blood...not pretty). Plus, I feel obligated to donate given that my blood type is O-neg. More than that, I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real (saving lives). Some people get lucky that way and don't have to worry about donating because no one else can except their blood (here I'm thinking of Vulcans living on Earth and Mike Shinoda**). Anyways, I was pretty excited about pretending to be a hero and getting an excuse to lie around all day. And on a totally random note, I just turned down free caramel apples that were in the same building, which I now regret very badly...maybe I can get one before my next class...

Right. So I wait around for a while, read all sorts of stuff about HIV and how I might get nerve or artery damage (!?!), then finally walk into the donation room and sit down with a nurse. Within ten seconds I walking back out because I'm sick today, and apparently sick people (even one with just little colds) shouldn't give blood. I guess that makes me one step closer to being Mike...

I'm glad no one I knew was around, 'cuz it's pretty sketchy to get obviously rejected from a blood drive. I know there's all sorts of legitimate, honest reasons like travel, gay sex (not kidding), or (duh) having a cold. But who assumes any of those? You see someone get turned down by the Red Cross and of course the first thing in your mind is "unprotected sex", not 'oh, I bet he spend a summer in Mexico building houses for orphans with AIDS.

*the reason it's so easy is that my hypochondria doesn't set in until after I make an appointment, at which point I can tell myself "there's no turning back now"

**his blood type in Krylon Technicolor, Type A

P.S.- I know I said I was going to post daily, and then failed after the very first post. I don;t know how I got this way, but I promise that I'm breaking the habit tonight

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

They Don't Call Them "Daughter Salutations"

So I've been 'trollin' round the blogosphere lately, via The Rising Blogger and realized there really is a breed of ligitimate bloggers with ligitimate readerships. Hm, but self deprecation can wait. More importantly (well, maybe not, but that's an easy segway) I saw how many people post every day (or very nearly). I want to become one of those people (obviously sans the large number of subscribers) because I figure if you can find something in your life to blog about every day, then either you lead a really interesting life (which would fit well with my 'carpe diem' ambitions) or you have the kind of thoughtful outlook that lets you write intelligently (and hopefully interestingly) about fairly inane things. So here goes; day one (strictly speaking, this happened yesterday and I started writing it last night, so today is really day two).

I'm trying to figure out what it means to be the only straight guy in my yoga class. I mean, I knew it was going to be a group largely attracted to men, but the reality is far more striking. Maybe that sounds a little homophobic. It's not that I mind being in a room full (not full, the vast majority of people in this class are girls) of gay guys, it just makes me wonder about where I fit into all this. (No, I'm not unsure of my sexuality). See, I am a little homophobic insofar as masculinity is really important to me. I don't care if people think I like men (or if you happen to like men), but being a flaming "queen" would disgust me. I personally don't see this as my disliking gay people, just emasculate men (and I stand by disliking a group of people based on their personality traits).

Anyways, more to point, I wonder if I've managed to find a middle ground between 'rooted, tough, East-coast athlete type' and 'metro, Starbucks sipping, California yuppie type'. I find Eastern religion and philosophy fascinating, so I really hope I can explore that without wearing a beret or knowing the distinction between mocha lattes and cappachino Dr. Pepper (23 flavors and no room for cappachino?).

What? I should just be myself? Fuck you. That attitude is a ridiculous oversimplification. Any serious interest comes with a culture, a whole ideology held by people with the same interest (though not necessarily related to the interest itself). So to say "just be yourself, like yoga and football at the same time" ignores the fact that serious interest in yoga (or Eastern religion as a whole) will inevitably expose me to the Starbucks/beret-wearing culture (no I don't think Buddhist monks drink Starbucks, Eastern philosophy in the West has its own culture). The yoga ideology will conflict with other various ideologies I've gotten myself it (running, Star Trek, etc) and reconciling all of them will require more thought and effort than simply, magically "being myself".

Ok, that was off-topic and kind of angry. The point is I brought my hands to "Namas-te" and realized "holy shit, I'm the only straight guy in this room". But I still went back to my dorm, talked sports, and drooled over racing flats. Did anyone realize there's berets in my closet?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Remarks In Closing

The number 1 fear: suffocation

The neurosis: hypochondria

The condition: exercise-induced asthma (imagined?)

(the reasons I flaked on my last set of lunges today)


For some reason I haven't found anything to blog about lately, so to fill space here I'm going to take a random picture and talk about it (I've become enamored with pictures on my blog and now I wish I had a camera with which to better document my life).

This is the beautiful scene in my right periphery (I'm watching football instead of doing work, in which case I'd be staring at this wall more directly). On the far left is a map of campus I put up during orientation. Within my first couple weeks here I got lost in basically every building I walked into, which was exceedingly embarrassing. Plus I naturally had no idea where any buildings were, hence the map. For some reason, my college is terrible about putting labels on any building making it even harder to find them. And they're old, so the dance/asian languages buildings still has "Geology" and "Life Sciences" engraved on it. The whole getting lost thing is not helped by our science building, which is literally built like a maze with no perceivable numbering system. Yes, that's where the psychology department is.

The thing next to the map is a random wooden-bowl-hangy-thing I bought in Tobago. I use it to hold the remote for my alarm clock. Yes, my alarm has a remote. Yes, that's as bad an idea as it sounds.

Obviously there's a Canadian flag there too. Lots of people hang flags of their native country in their dorm rooms. However, Canada is not my native country. I just put the flag up to show my lack of US nationalism. If anyone starts a political debate in the comments, I'll smack them.

Note the fire alarm. It is the loudest fire alarm ever. The ridiculous volume and strobe light flashes make fire drills feel like acid trips. I think anyone who burns popcorn will get lynched. See, we had a fire drill the other day and people were pissed about the excessive loudness of it. It's a wonder no one has actually set it off with popcorn yet, given that someone makes it almost every night (I know because the smell of food travels almost instantaneously through all four floors of my dorm).

Random anecdote: I went to this big dance party last night and got frisked by security on my way in. Ligit frisked! I mean, what the hell? Are people bringin' their 9's to college dances now? The more likely explanation is security is made up entirely of douchebags.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Heart Of Gold

Everyone knows that adventures are fun, and therefore make good blog posts. But how does one get into adventures? (other than hanging out with dwarves- I swear someone is whistling the Shire theme right now!). It's fairly simple, just set your mind on something fairly inane, like Talk Like A Pirate Day. One of my neighbors is pretty obsessed with pirates (why? we don't know) and is very excited about tomorrow. But, in typical girl-with-a-problem fashion, she has nothing to wear. Since I had next to no work tonight, I decided to find some appropriate pirate attire for her. Of course, I forgot about the Aucum/Murphy law of JV trying to do stuff: the simplest solution never works out. Hence the adventure.

First was googling the local area for costume shops and anything involving pirates. There were two hits within free-transit range: a chain party store that closed too early and the "Gypsy's Heart Boutique". I called the gypsy place and got, well, a gypsy, who told me she had gone out of business. She couldnt get anything pirate related quick enough, but ws extremely friendly and called me back, telling me of a store where I could get something. Unfortunately, this place was well out of free transit ranger, and would've required me to beg my RC to drive me there. That plan was abandoned and things looked grim. Then, a breakthrough! I remembered this cool little store in the next town over and, against all hope called to see if they stocked any pirate clothes. But, alas, my hopes were dashed; all they had was eyepatches, certainly not enough for Talk Like A Pirate Day. Another twist: the people who work at this store are extremely cool and celebrate the niche holiday themselves, and so could direct me to pirate gear. My spirits buoyed, I borrowed someone's bike and risked my life in a harrowing ride down a busy street to the nearest Walmart (a sin, I know, but the only place I could turn). I wandered forever through the vast, obese expanses of Walmart before finaly coming to the pirate section. Much to my dismay, they had no legit pirate hats, so I had to settle for an eyepatch and bandana. Tieing my booty to the borrowed bike and switching on my light (yeah, I was riding down a busy road, with no helmet, in the dark...but it was worth it) and peddled back to my dorm.

The end result is quite hilarious (a lot of "what are you wearing?!"). Here's a picture of said neighbor, sporting new pirate gear.

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


As of tomorrow Epoch and I will have been together for a week. This may not seem like a lot to you, but for a fish that's half the size of your thumb it's a pretty big deal. If he can make it another few days, he'll get a bigger tank. We (myself and my hallmates who also got fish) have sadly had to adopt that kind of pessimistic language because 1) they're very small, 2) we don't really know how to take care of them, and 3) we got them in a mass free giveaway with no food. Our lack of hope is well founded, as oe of Epoch's compatriots died yesterday. Hopefully I can get a picture of the "tombstone" that was erected where he got flushed.

But life isn't all bad for little Epoch. Last weekend I made the trek to the mall and returned with supplies and advice for him. Most notably was te filter I got for him (my roommate keeps asking me if I regret buying a $16 filter for a free fish yet). Even it was the smallest they had, it's still grossly oversized for my little tank, not to mention grossly overpowered for Epoch (it nearly sucked him up when I first turned it on).

Because I know you're all dieing to see them, here are so more pictures of my new pet. Note the unnecessarily large water filter. (and I apologize for the picture quality, the only thing I have that takes pictures is my laptop, which doesn't lend itself to quality shots).

Hopefully my next expidition to the pet store will yield a suitably bloggable story...

The "Shut Up And Do Your Homework" Monster Is Looking At Me Again

Sorry about not posting in a while kids, but school has picked up a bit and I actually have work to do (oh, and friends). Japanese class has basicly turned my life into a nightmare of flash cards (Terra, if you still read this I totaly feek your pain). Speaking of nightmares, I had the weirdest dream last night. It involved playing one-on-one hockey against a track star, wearing what looked like a gumball machine on my head, and getting my car backed into by a boy with a really deep voice (he tore the hubcaps off, but I was chill about it 'cuz I was chill about everything in that dream). I think I get it now...spooky.

Anyways, I only had one class today so hopefully I'll find time to give you all an update on Epoch.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Ok, so there's porn of the internet. What else is on the internet? The 7th Notion (that's the only connection, I swear). We've* always talked about putting porn on the radio ("pornio", it'll be a big hit), so could we put the 'Notion on the radio? The reason I bring this up is because I'm kind of considering joining my College's** radio station. I find the idea of having my own radio show intrigueing, but I don't know what it'd be about. Then I got to thinking, could I convert this blog to a kind of radio show? Hm...

*By "we" I mean me, OSK, and Dr Koopon

**For stalker reasons, I don't want the actual name of my college, myself, etc here. So, those you who know me, please refrain from mentioning it in comments or on your won blogs that are linked here.

P.S.- Are all these asteriks annoying?

Good Thing We Live In MA

Everyone, I'd like you to meet someone (my Moldovan neighbor calls it my "life partner"): my new fish Epoch!

For reasons I'm still not quite sure of, my school was giving away free little fish yesterday. It was one of those things that must cost a lot but they don't advertise much (which is odd because there's signs for the most random shit everywhere). I happened to be in the campus center yesterday morning and saw all these people with fish tanks, so I headed back after Calculus and, lo and behold, free fish! Naturally, I got one because, well, I guess I do need a life partner. Unfortunately, they had no food, so poor Epoch has had to go hungry so far (allegedly there's some arriving later today). Thus far, there aren't any good stories about him* but count on him becoming a regular here on the 7th Notion.

*I have no idea if Epoch's a dude or not, but I'm sticking with the male pronoun anyway

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Afternoon Snack

Apparently Congress passed the "College Cost Reduction and Access Act" on Friday by a huge margin. Basicly it gives more of the government's money to Colleges to make them more affordable. Oh, and I keep hearing about this debate on universal health care. And I'm presently living in a state that requires everyone to have health insurance (first step towards that universal health care I would say). Say what you want about our capitalist-minded government, but we're moving towards a welfare state. And guess what; piece by piece, everyone (well, maybe just liberals, but around here that's all that matters) will agree with it because morally we all believe in welfare states.

(This message brought to you by late-night political debates...and the government, who pays for your 7th Notion subscription).

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Little Of That Old Time BFTSOB

Ok, so it's getting late, I'm bored and can at this point get a maximum of seven hours of sleep tonight. I would turn in but my roomie has a paper to write that somehow got left until Sunday night. Whatever, it'll happen to all of us so I'm not going to be bitter, just bored. But I guess it's a positive statement about the state of tis blog that my BFTSOB posts are due to boredom, not inactivity. I will probably go back to reading Stephen Hawking soon, but I can only take so much of him at a time (given that it's complicated and occasionaly blows my mind enough to mke me stop). Before that, I'll give you a couple random tidbits:

There's apparently a Crazy John Brown University. This amuses me greatly. (Anyone who took US history with me knows why).

I've recently embraced my OCD side and starting keeping a host of to-do lists, daily planner stuff, etc. The most recent addition to my to-do list: disprove the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (probably more on this in a future post).

Question worth debating: would being fluent in Elvish improve or hurt my chances with girls?

Just when I thought I was really disapointed in my institution of higher education (aka drinking is dumb), I found out that no one on my hall knows who Bones McCoy is. I know it's geeky and they're young, but that shit is classic.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Let's Get High On 'Nerd'

Let's look at one the most basic precepts of the way we view the world."There is, and there is not". We all have a concept of nothingness; it's basicly the antithises of everything else. A cup can be or empty or full (sure, it can be half-full, but thats just a combination of the two, not a wholly different middle ground). A piece of paper can be empty, or written on. You either love them, or you don't. You get the idea; we found our worldview on the concept of a filled/void contrast.

But where does that concept come from? Like most (or all?) of our ideas, we derive it from experiences we have in the natraul world. And what experience would teach us about the difference between being full, and being empty? Air. In our daily lives, the atmosphere is the negative space to positive objects. Look across the room to the far wall. Don't you consider the space between you it empty (even though you know it's full of gas)? Sure, it's empty; you could throw a ball through that space and it would reach the wall. But you can't throw a ball into the next room because it would hit something "full" (the wall).

But that's wrong. That space isn't empty; it's full of atmospheric gases, and that ball didn't move through it unimpeded; it lost speed as it hit all those little particles. Even space isn't empty; it's full of cosmic rays and radiation.

So could everything we believe be wrong? Could our entire view of the world be flawed at its most fundemental level? Could our experiences with nature ultimately lead us to misunderstand it? Maybe there is a middle ground, something between full and empty. Empty-ish? Maybe that coffee mug isn't "half empty", its going through a weird transitional period during which it's full of a coffee/not coffee hybrid substance. Our idea of nothingness makes us see ourselves as isolated objects seperated by void, but what if we're all part of the same soupy continuum?

Think about it.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Numbers Game

I got a 2290 on my SATs the first time I took them. Sure, it was fun, but I don't really give a shit. I'm glad it got me into college, and I'm sure as hell glad I didn't have to take them twice. But whatever, standardized tests are largely a load of bullshit. It's the story of my life, though: getting the laurels of alleged intelligence constantly laid on me without being smart so much as 'good at getting grades'. But it's easy to feel pretty good about yourself, growing up as a 2290 kid. People love telling you all about how great and smart you are, and even with a healthy dose of self-hatred it eventually gets to you.

I must admit I gave in to the adoration nd got to believeing that I really was the shit. Then I arrived at the fabulous college I supposedly deserved to get into and I got a reality check of bitch slap proportions. Not only is everyone here really smart; capable of intelligently discussing any topic, dropping hard-core vocab and sparkling AP scores everywhere, but they all have tons of other stuff going for them. We have elite athletes, people who can speak four different languages, founded all sorts of clubs and organizations. I listened to my orientation trip comrades spend two hours of a busride simply listing the books they've read. One of them could also boast a strong musical background and brief career in competitive rock climbing. My only non-academic credit is a few seasons on varsity teams (not particularly good ones) and a captainship. Stuff ike that is footnote here. I just ate dinner with a kid who, for a school project on emersion journalism, traveled to Iraq on a whim (without telling his parents until he arrived there). He made national news for it.

Can anyone say "inferiority complex"? Actually, yes they four languages.