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The dogwoods are beautiful outside.
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This week has been very musical, which I'm glad of. I went to see Lucy Kaplansky on Wednesday with E. It was very good, if a little lacking on the high notes this time around. She's apparently working on a new album, so she was trying out a lot of new stuff, especially covers, it seems. The most amusing was Lyle Lovett's "God Will".

Last night, I saw New Riders of the Purple Sage at this somewhat odd venue. They were pretty good, though they didn't play "Glendale Train", which was unfortunate. The bass was jacked up entirely too high, so you couldn't hear any of the words they were singing, but the instrumentals were quite good. I'm told, though, that they've lost some of their touch in the absence of a few original members and associates.

All in all, an interesting week.
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Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] gisho, a meme.

What do you wear at all times?

I always have my glasses on except when asleep. More often than not, I'm wearing hiking socks if it's cold enough for shoes.

What do you always carry on your person?

Read more... )

Also, I have had "Gaudete" stuck in my head for the longest time.

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December and January seem to be the times for introspective entries. I'm not very good at them; I try to avoid them, actually. So, instead, we have, for your further enlightenment a letter which, I think, aptly sums up our society. That's not to say that I advocate any particular movement for social justice or anything, but just that we (or, at least, I) often take a short-sighted approach to things.

To the Aged and Beloved, Mr. John Higginson, 1682: There be now at sea a ship called Welcome, which has on board 100 or more of the heretics and malignants called Quakers, with W. Penn, who is the chief scamp, at the head of them. The General Court has accordingly given sacred orders to Master Malachi Huscott, of the brig Porpoise, to waylay the said Welcome slyly as near the Cape of Cod as may be, and make captive the said Penn and his ungodly crew, so that the Lord may be glorified and not mocked on the soil of this new country witht he heathen worship of these people. Much spoil can be made of selling the whole lot to Barbados, where slaves fetch good prices in rum and sugar, and we shall not only do the Lord great good by punishing the wicked, but we shall make great good for His Minister and people. Yours in the bowels of Christ, Cotton Mather

in The Oxford Book of Letters, Frank Kermode and Anita Kermode, eds.

I'm fairly amused.

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I was recently inspired by [livejournal.com profile] gisho's game [See entry here.] to figure out exactly how far down Google's ranking on the term "internet" anything having to do with the actual Internet itself was. Impressively, the Internet Society made #7.

In browing their site, I found this. Wow, this really bugs me. Someone needs to figure these sovereignty issues out. Seriously. Thoughts?
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My econ problem set just took ten minutes. Either the thing was ridiculously easy, or I'm just not getting something about Nash equilibria. I suspect the latter.
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Now, this was the first day of classes, and we didn't go very far. So this proof we were assigned is probably supposed ot be fairly short. Why is mine some sort of bastardized combination of vaguely remembered high school geometry and vector addition and exactly a page long? I think maybe I should've reviewed more.
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To clarify quickly, I'm not going to take five classes. We have a two week "shopping period" here, so I can look at the classes and decide. The fact that I don't have to make the decision now doesn't prevent me from angsting about it, however. Also, it's amazing how much better things look at 10 at night rather than five in the morning.
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I would seem to have arrived in Providence.
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Lester Lipkind died last night. The man was an institution around here, and it's really a very sad thing to see him go. Funeral's going to be at 11:30 this morning.
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The raspberries are almost ripe. They're a little more tart than usual. Also, this year, they're domestic raspberry bushes, so picking the berries no longer actually draws blood. It's great.

In which I rant about politics. )

In which I discuss what I want to be when I grow up. )
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Well, today was the last day of classes. As of this afternoon at approxinately 2:48, I am a free man, to whatever extent finishing one's high school classes makes one a free man. I'd've thought that this would be a wonderfully liberating experience, the weight of the world would fall from my shoulders, and I would be ecstatic beyond all reason. Sadly, this is not so. Finishing school actually means more work for me, since now we have to actually get our gear in order and move. I get the feeling that I was just getting the hang of this high school thing, and then, just as I manage to finally figure out what's going on, it's over. It's really somewhat disappointing to be leaving. It's not disappointing to be leaving but rather to be leaving right when it looked like maybe things could get better. We'll see how it all works out, no? I'll be in the City tomorrow to go watch TMBG. That should be fun.


Apr. 28th, 2005 02:32 am
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So... Here's the thing. I'll be going to Brown next year. God willing and the crick don't rise. It really came down to three: Amherst, Brown, and Swarthmore. And, well, I'm sure they'd all've been very nice. But, well, there it is. I'm not feeling too ecstatic about it or anything, and, quite frankly, there's really no joy whatsoever in deciding. It's just... something that got done.
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It's been a while since I've posted here. So, hopefully, this should give you some idea of what I've been up to. At the same time, I will post some inane quiz results and ramble extensively since I'm far more tired than the current time of 2am would suggest. And, as usual, that icon should not be crying.

Well, perhaps the most important news is that my Latin teacher got put on indefinite paid leave until she comes back, if and when she does. Thus, I was assigned to help out the other, junior Latin teacher until a replacement could be found. The replacement is a sub who's never taught Latin before, though she knows it well. However, she learned it on the Continent, so her pronunciation's funny, from my perspective. However, she did grow up in Constantsa where they made sure everyone knew all about who used to live there, and she studied Latin in Italy when she was in university. So she knows her stuff; she just doesn't know how to teach it. And my AP quasi-class has been rolling along, though not at a very great pace. Ms. Smith says we don't need to take the exam come May, but still... It's pretty slow, if only because there's no teacher since the sub isn't assigned to teach it or even tell John and me what we should be doing. At the same time, the Latin Society is in abeyance until I can figure out what we're going to do. Again, no one's been assigned as adviser ad interim, so we can't raise or dispense funds or meet in a classroom. Technically, we're not supposed to meet at all, but we sometimes do in the cafeteria. Plans continue for the induction with the other language societies, and I still fully intend that this year's speech be the first delivered entirely in Latin (with a provided English translation like all the other societies do with their languages of choice).

In other news, I've acquired the use of an automobile. It's a lovely 1995 "cashmere-colored" Honda Accord. It's great. Admittedly, it's got a dent or two. Also, its gas gauge broke, and it's got 193,800 miles on it. Still, it gets decent mileage, and it certainly goes down the street in a very serious way. It's great.

In still other news, in discussion with a family acquaintance, I discovered that he thinks that the war in Iraq is criminal. This is an interesting revelation because he's the past commander of the local American Legion, and he sent his son off to the Marines a couple years ago while still a minor. I mean, the guy's got a bumper sticker on his van that reads "I'll forgive Jane Fonda when the Jews forgive Hitler." He's also very much against the war in Iraq. Same with one of the most staunchly conservative families I know. They're all anti-war except the one not-quite-a-Democrat among them.

Finally, I hope to get myself a summer volunteer position with the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society as a tower tour guide/cashier. Aerobic exercise, Fire Island, and something to keep me out of trouble. I hope it pans out. Of course, this doesn't change the other plans laid for the summer which include reading, cleaning out my stuff, hiking in Maine, and sailing. Oh... If this all gets done, summer will be oh so cool. Unfortunately, it probably won't pan out. And there's still the whole college thing to worry about. I am both dreading and anxious for April.

I recently returned from a trip to Portland, OR. There, I visited my uncle, Reed College, and others (not necessarily listed here in the order of the importance of these tasks). The rather bizarre thing is that the Admissions Office at Reed decided to send my to a class with [livejournal.com profile] messiah_complex in it. It was quite bizarre. After the official visit, I met [livejournal.com profile] jennekirby, and we managed to somewhat fill each other in on the last three years or so. After that, I went to the Portland Zoo, which I highly recommend and which is immensely superior to the one in Central Park and possibly on a par with the one in the Bronx (even if smaller). Finally, before getting up at 5:30 for the flight back home, My mother, uncle, aunt, and myself all went to Jake's Famous Crawfish Restaurant where we learned that ordering a bottle of wine and more courses than one can shake a stick at makes one ill and costs more than AAA says a regular dinner will. Nonetheless, the trip was quite good, all of it. One last thing, I also met a bunch of folks from Portland State University who are trying to build a rocket to carry a webcam into space. Apparently, it involves active guidance, and this active guidance involves a student holding a shoulder-mounted antenna which looks oddly like a wired tennis ball launcher. So I spent a half hour chatting with these folks, and it was impressive.

As for my thoughts on Reed, itself, I think my opinions are best expressed by the Student Union. There, they had a sort of oddly constructed altar to couches and lifeguards (or something like that). Very cool. Especially the gaudy decoration. I liked, also, the used book nook where one could purchase books simply by telling the coffee shop around the corner what one had bought and paying for it. However, even though it was uninhabited when I looked around it, I still teared up from all the smoke. As some of you know, I'm usually not bothered by smoke at all. It was kind of disconcerting. Similarly lacking in appeal were the strewn half-drunk beer bottles everywhere. Firstly, can't they pick up after themselves? Secondly, if they go to the trouble to get alcohol while underage, can't they not waste it? Similarly, there was a definite surplus of recent graffiti. At least it wasn't gang-affiliated, but still. Most was entirely without wit and entirely too permanent. Sidewalk chalk on the walls adds character, especially if witty. "You all suck!" in Sharpie is lacking in class.

We'll see what happens, won't we? I need to go to bed.

And now for the promised quizzes. )
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Edit [a few minutes later, but more important, so it's going on top]: I did, in fact, manage to send in my college apps on time. Maybe, come April, one or two will let me in.

A Meme )
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Question: It is acceptable to go to a college solely for the purpose of acquiring a Down-east Maine accent. Affirm or negate citing relevant examples and extrapolating to general cases. Partial credit will be given for incomplete answers.
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Well, I sort of forgot to update over the Christmas break, so here we go. I spent the break at home, mostly, though, of course, I went to my grandparents' for Christmas. That was fine, though my grandmother's probably got sciatica, which is pretty bad. That, and my grandfather's stroke earlier this year make it rather likely that I'll be seeing less of them for a while since neither of them can drive very well any more (not that my grandmother ever could, but that's another story.)

Then I turned into a pumpkin eighteen. I got the first two seasons of the West Wing, a sweater (but sadly not a cardigan), and the Usual Suspects. And a new set of tires for dad's car. That was fairly fun, especially since I also finished up most of the remaining college apps on my birthday, too. The next day, I celebrated my majority by closing a frozen custodial account --- oh boy. Now, all I have to do is register for the draft and the vote and I'll turn into a quasi-adult. Yuck.

I spent New Year's at [livejournal.com profile] best_ken_ever's house. (His choice of username, not mine) Fortunately, there was far less drama than over Thanksgiving, and I guess everyone got along. While there, we started putting some plans into motion, and I hope they come to fruition, but it'll be a few months yet. It was kind of odd listening to everyone (except me) talking about how wonderful their college or intended college was. Even the other highschoolers were waxing lyrical about the joys of [Insert School Name Here], and the one other person not in/admitted to a college was telling stories from her times at school, which sort of left me a little put out, but hopefully April 1 will roll around and I, too, will be able to bother people with my exuberence. On a lighter note, [livejournal.com profile] silvergirl42,[livejournal.com profile] theladyvampire, Nat, and I walked to Blockbuster to rent movies for the Group. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us get any without opening an account, so we ended up buying a few instead. It actually worked out to be not-too-much-more-expensive. Therefore, I am now the proud owner of Amelie and π on "pre-viewed" VHS. There was also some sort of Karaoke Karaoke Revolution (at least that's how I thought of it) bizarreness that was really pretty amusing. All in all, a fun weekend.

Also, I managed to send in the remaining apps that were due on January 1 on time. It's pretty amazing. Now, I've got two more schools to go, and I really should be working on their essays right now and/or finding a writing sample with which to impress them. Oh well. It'll get done. I hope. In other very quick news, it looks like next semester's math course will be linear algebra since John said it'd make more sense to take that before multivariable. This was confirmed by a brief poll of people on AIM which determined that the word "algebra" sounds better than the word "calculus".

Merry belated Christmas, everyone! The management promises amusing entries some time in the future.

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I wonder what it says about me as a person that this week's bathroom books are The Origins of Totalitarianism and Time Enough for Love. Nothing good probably.

In other news, I cannibalized a keyboard for the laptop, so my i, k, 8, and [comma] keys actually work again. No more character map. Yay!
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I've been fairly worried lately about several things. Firstly, did I ever mention in here how much I hate the college admissions rigmarole? Well, I do, as does everyone else involved. Secondly, why is there no numerical data on political imprisonment in various countries? Not even vague estimates.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I've become somewhat worried about the looming specter of theocracy around here. In my cozy left-leaning abode here in a blue state, we don't see people using religion or religious values to try to take over government. The Conservative candidate for Senate did, sort of. She ran on repealing the civil unions law and opposing abortion (and possibly birth control too? I forget.) At any rate, I think she got four percent of the vote. And a lot of that was upstate. So it's not a big deal around here. But, it seems, large swaths of the country actually care about this sort of thing. I mean, look at it. The Left Behind series are apparently the most popular books in the US. In addition, large segments of the Catholic vote were swayed by their religion to vote for Mr. Bush because of his pro-life stance. These, of course, are only two of the most noticeable aspects of the emerging theocracy. Much more troubling is the position I've seen so many of these people take which makes it so hard to defeat an incumbent party. It seems to go something like this:

"The President became president through the manifest will of God, for how could he be elected otherwise? Therefore, since he has been put over us here, we must support him, because he is the president. Further, it is immoral not to support him, especially since he announces that he shares my beliefs about the world. Therefore, I must vote Republican, especially since it is irrelevant to vote based on issues. Issues are irrelevant because politicians never do what they say they will anyway. Therefore, I ought to vote for the most godly person running." Or something like that. I'm not entirely sure how the reasoning goes, but it also sometimes makes reference to "wartime presidents." This is immaterial, though. What really matters is the perceived duty so many people think that, all things being equal, they have to support a sitting president because he is the sitting president. Further, this perceived duty seems, in my personal experience, to be strongly correlated with a person's view on the role of religion in the public life. This is dangerous. Any appeal to religion as a justification in public policy seems to be not only taking a cheapo way out but also rejecting the very principles of this country as a secular state, a state which is therefore more welcoming and also more effective, not being constrained by a provincial worldview which we have seen through experience to be often quite faulty.

Fourthly, why don't we capitalize words in the middle of sentences (like this) any more? It seems like a useful thing to be able to do. I also apologize for the link, but Project Gutenberg modernized the capitalization.

Finally, it's late. I'm tired. Maybe I'll go back and edit this around a bit later to improve coherency and actually figure out what I was trying to say in those rambling paragraphs.


Nov. 3rd, 2004 02:51 am
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I'm not sure what to make of tonight. I'll probably have thoughts on this later.

I also do not know what to make of this mood icon. My apologies to those who don't appreciate Badgers-on-a-Stick, but it's not my fault.


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