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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Music lovers, attend!



I was doing an image search for the previous post, and I found this. I don't know how it's connected to the search, but it was really funny anyway.

Credit where credit is due. I pulled it from the following website.

http://www.ibiblio.org/Dave/ar00234.htm

Another "guy" dream

This is another post that is not for the faint of heart. Towards the end is when it gets pretty bad, but if you have an active imagination, and you know who the characters are, it may seem very real. Now that you've been warned proceed at your own risk.

Last night and the night before, I had very weird dreams. I can't remember what it was the night before last, but last night was a continuation of a horror dream. Oddly enough, I remember the first one as though I just had it. But it seems more like a movie than a dream. Old Freddy was in it. No, not Freddo. Freddy. Krueger. Old-looking man, shriveled to a crisp, claws that only Wolverine could top -- that guy. No, not the innocent, bearded wonder of Pius Hall. Yes, the dream killer.

Just FYI, if this actually is a movie, then it's movie that I fell asleep in front of and dreamed it while it was happening. But I can't figure out where I would have fallen asleep in front of a movie like this. Maybe you can tell me. But in order to know, you would have to know the dream, wouldn't you?

Anyway, to get this started, I should tell you the first dream, as best as I remember it. A family was in desperate shape. They came to Christendom, asking for students to come and help them. Naturally, me being Mr. Nice Guy (right...), I offered my help, and a few other students came as well.

None of the people had any idea how to decorate a house appropriately for Christmas. We find this out after we've gotten to their house. Desperate shape? Please! But not willing to laugh openly at this family, who apparently believed that this was indeed a dreadful situation, I looked at their house, and got an idea of what needed to be done.

It was an average size, two-story house. The house was already decorated, but poorly, and rather unfestively. There were a few lights on it, and ribbon decorations. I then actually noticed that the lights were all clear, and the ribbon was all black. I have no sense of style, but even I know that solid black ribbons and clear lights don't make for a very festive house. I looked at my fellow volunteers, and we just kind of rolled our eyes. If Niki G. (formerly Niki K.) were here, she could have transformed the place like she did with the gym for Christmas formal my senior year. But she wasn't here, and I was one of the decorators. The house would be a bit more festive than what it was currently, but I couldn't promise much...

We go inside and these people inform us that this project must be finished by nightfall. It absolutely had to be finished then. They didn't explain why, but they acted as though it was a matter of life and death.

The other volunteers and I put together a list of everything that these people needed, and told them to go to the store and pick the stuff up. They took off as fast as they could go, and the volunteers and I got to work stripping the house of all of it's "decorations".

It turns out that the black ribbon was everywhere. It took us hours to unwrap and undecorate the various things. Even though hours passed, the family never showed back up. The sun was setting, and the end of the day was quickly approaching.

It turned out that it was a matter of life and death. Freddy showed up and began freaking us out. Oddly enough, it wasn't in a dream world. After running and screaming for a while, we all caught on to the fact that Freddy was outside his territory and could only scare us, but not kill us.

Now that you get the idea of the first dream, on to the next.

It was a year later. This same family showed up at Christendom again, and made the same request. I knew exactly what was coming up, and I decided to go along anyway. Several students also volunteered their services. There was a much larger group of people going this time. I can only remember one student, Nick O.

For some reason, I'm convinced that sometime on the trip between Christendom and the family's same house, I warned my comrades about the impending doom, and told them the truth about Freddy's limited power.

Once again, the house looked the same as before. Once again, we gave the family the same list of things to buy. I told them to make darn sure they came back, or I would exact the fate that they tried to inflict upon us last time upon them this time. I got in their face about this. The other student's were surprised by my agitation at the family, but I think they understood. The family promised to come back, and sped off.

This time, I wasn't going to waste any time in stripping the house. Instead of carefully unwrapping stuff, I had brought my knife with me this time. I started upstairs in the attic. What came as a mixed surprise to me were the number of bodies just lying there dead. Considering it was Freddy, it didn't surprise me, but considering that he was outside his turf, it did. I didn't understand how that could work, but then I got the hint that things had changed. I knew that I would probably have to at least fight if not kill him.

I placed the bodies elsewhere, to prepare them for appropriate burial. When they had all been cleared out, I went to the window. I noticed that the curtain rod had been wrapped in black ribbon. I looked closely, and it was actually two rods bound together by this black ribbon. The fastest way to get them apart, obviously, was to cut the ribbon. As I looked out the window, I pulled out the knife. Two people who I didn't know approached the house. The knife sliced into the ribbon, between the rods. Freddy zipped on the scene out of nowhere like the Flash, and ran them both through with his claws. My jaw dropped open, as he took off again, leaving them lying on the ground, looking similar to the bodies that I had removed. I looked at what I was doing, and pulled the knife out slightly from the cut I had made. It was coated with blood. But not normal human blood. It was bright red, like strawberry syrup, but clear. But it definitely smelled like blood.

I was a little freaked out by these happenings, but I wasn't going to show any fear at all. I knew that's what he wanted. I hurried to finish stripping the room, and then went downstairs.

No one downstairs gave me any indication that they had seen what had happened, or any bodies. Relieved, I went to work on the garage.

Nick O. was working on the garage already. I suggested that we just whip through it, fixing what was possible to do so quickly, and setting aside what was not. Above all, we had to fix the garage door, because that was a security hazard for the family. The garage door did not close. There was about a foot-and-a-half space underneath it. Anything could sneak in from there and endanger the family.

We looked around and found that the door had jumped the track, or else had been forced off it. I got underneath it and pushed up on it, hopefully to help with the weight of the door on its rails. Nick tried to put it back on, but it was not going anywhere. We got into a brief conversation, in which we asked where the family was. I replied that I wasn't sure, but that they needed to hurry up. We both looked at the ground underneath the garage door, and we saw a vehicle's shadow just sitting there. It had caught my eye as I was under the door, but I had dismissed it as I had *ahem* weightier matters to attend to.

{drum roll, cymbal crash} Thank you!!! {crickets chirp} *cough, cough* OK, that was really bad. I know. I know.
"SHUT UP, SMITHA!"
Ok.
"ON WITH IT!"
All right.

We rolled underneath the garage door. It was the family's Jeep Grand Cherokee. Had they gone and come back already? Nick and I looked at each other, and knew that they had not even left. Inside, the entire family was frozen in a very odd rigor mortis. The father had been slashed through the heart, and the mother, in an attempt to get away from her window, had moved closer to the father, but she was also frozen in death with a hole through her head. This one looked more like an odd bullet or a futuristic laser gun than the work of Freddy. The front windshield had a single hole through it. If you looked straight through the hole, you saw through the hole in the mother's head, and through the hole through their teenager's head, and out the driver's side, back seat window. They moment they were frozen in forever was the moment they opened their mouth to scream. That's why no one in the house heard this.

At this moment, I knew I was dreaming.

{pause}

Has this ever happened to you, when you realize you're dreaming, and you can simply take control?

{continue}

I asked myself, should I keep dreaming and confront Freddy, or should I wake up? There would be one result by my confronting Freddy: I would win. I already knew that. It was my dream, and I was in control. Instead of the confrontation that I wanted deep down inside, I woke up anyway.

Darn all the luck. I wanted an adrenaline rush, too...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Brief contemplation

Dad and I went to Holy Hour tonight. These silent hour-long retreats from the cares of the world are just what the doctor ordered. I highly recommend Holy Hours to anyone who needs a break. You don't know what you're missing if you choose not to go. It is so peaceful and serene. An hour seems like such a long time when you first begin, but as you get nearer to the end, you wonder where it all went.

All things considered, a Holy Hour is the best spent hour you can ever have. What better way than to spend an hour in prayer, contemplating the Lord? Seriously, you can bring anything you want to before the Lord in a Holy Hour. Are the kids driving you crazy? He'll teach you patience. Are co-workers cheesing you off? He'll teach you kindness and mildness. Is there a fellow student that is annoying, and all you want to do is tell him or her, "Get out of here, ya friggin' loser!"? He'll teach you charity. All you have to do is ask, and He will give it to you. But you must ask. If you don't ask, you'll never receive.

Ask, Seek, and Knock. One single Holy Hour can bring the beginning of so much grace. Never underestimate the power of God. No problem is too big, or too small, for Him. Our Lord loves each of us as His very Own, but no one wants to visit Him and tell Him that they love Him, too. As Christians, we must do so, if we wish to live up to the name.

In an age where "love" is viewed as a sissy thing, or worse, something temporary to be thrown away when it is not convenient, remember that God loves you. He loves you more than you could ever love Him. What He asks for in return is so very simple: love and obedience. Is it really that hard?

Love: what do you do for someone you love? If I could define love, I'd be a much better person. Unfortunately, not even the dictionary definition comes to mind. If I can't even define it like that, how am I expected to know what love is, really? I'm expected to, because I use the word, and I am a receiver of this thing. How do I know I'm a recipient? I exist.

Obedience: doing what is requested of you. This has so many complexities that it's impossible to cover them all. But when you put love with obedience, you get a love that gives without asking, a love that is self-sacrificing, a love that anticipates what the beloved needs and desires, and, without thinking twice, just does it.

This is horribly disjointed, but my brain has reached a hard stop in this train of thought, and I can't get it to keep going...

On our way back from Holy Hour, Dad and I stopped at Denny's and had a meal. I would have said that we had dinner, but we actually had breakfast. I love those restaurants that serve breakfast around the clock. Breakfast is such a great meal. Dad had pancakes with strawberry syrup, and I had a eggs, sausage, hash browns and pancakes with maple syrup. So yummy...

There wasn't actually a contest, but guess who won in the speed-eating race? ;)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Suit shopping

Have you ever gone suit shopping? It takes a lot of time, let me tell you. Dad and I went to the Men's Wearhouse today, where he was fitted up with a new suit. They are very nice, high-quality suits, but it was expensive! Wow! And people wonder why I only have one suit...

They tried to hook me up, too. I was really tempted by a dark suit with light pinstripes on it. I'm a sucker for black and white, though. Dark with light is good, but black with white -- excellent. :)

Was there any point to this post? Nope. Just to say that suit shopping is fun, but expensive and time-consuming. However, I very highly recommend the Men's Wearhouse for suits. I've purchased a lot of stuff from K&G. Their stuff is nice and inexpensive, but it pales in comparison to the Men's Wearhouse when it comes to quality. I found this out the hard way, when after about three months of wear, a brand new pair of slacks from K&G wore out and split in a rather embarrassing place. I discovered this in the middle of a sales pitch. Or rather, I should say that an older gentleman waved me over and told me under his breath that the seat of my pants did not exist anymore...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Another wierd dream

I've had this partially recurring dream a couple of times now. It's such an adrenaline rush that I have to share it with you. If you can't tell, I had the dream again last night. The dream wasn't the same as last time. I can tell you that for sure, because if it was, I'd remember a lot more about it.

What was the same were the conditions, the location and the characters.

What was different was what happened.

Here's the dream, as much as I remember.

I was living in this massive house, along the lines of a mansion. The occupants in the house were the rest of the basement boys from my junior year, and my senior year. And guess what? I was still the RA.

Oh, and yes, I did have the greatest floor ever during those years. Trust me. Don't believe me? Ask them. ;)

Anyway, back to the dream. So there were about 30 of us living in this one house. This was the official basement dorm, and we were still on campus. Somehow. I don't know how. Don't bother asking me to explain it. Let's just say that the campus had quite the different layout in my dream.

Now as I said, this was a large, mansion-like house/dorm. It was simply glorious. I would spend my free time drawing a full replica of this house as best as I remember it just to post it here, but there are two problems: #1, I can't draw, so that's out, and even if I could, #2, free time? I still have that? This blog takes up too much of it already!!! Well, I guess that's ok. It kinda lets out my creative side.

Although I don't know if this is the better (best?) side of me...

Enough tangenting. Back to it.

As I said, the "basement" was magnificent. If you have seen Yours, Mine and Ours, take the house that they all live in, chop off the lighthouse tower, and add a story. This was about the size of the house. I don't remember the profile of the lighthouse, but I don't remember it being too deep. This mansion in my dream was very deep, but not as deep as it was wide. The building was whitewashed stone on the outside, lined with huge marble Corinthian columns (I think -- I looked at architectural columns online, and I think they were Corinthian), gold trim, ivory decorations -- the place wasn't just a mansion. The place was almost a palace.

Yeah, hook me up. :)

I may have even had a silver sports car... ;) Ok, no I didn't, but a silver sports car would have fit in quite nicely there...

Well, this palace was surrounded by huge gardens and forests which were just there. I don't know how, they just were. And if you zoomed out even more, you found that this place was on an island.

Some of you are probably asking, "How is this still the basement of Ben's, and how is this still part of Christendom?" You should know by now that most of my dreams are kind of way out there. My imagination is just running wild at this point. Just let go of reality and nod your head in appreciation of weirdness. :) Even if you don't really appreciate it.

Now if it's on an island, how do you get to it? Well, you could fly. There is a helipad there, of course. Or you could drive. Most people chose this option, as this presented the best challenge. You'll find out why...

Well, the girls decided to come over. I don't know which girls, I just know it was a pack of them. When I say "come over", at this point, I really mean "raid the dorm". I can't blame them. Catherine's, Campion, Margaret's, Theresa's and Augustine's (which is now a guy's dorm -- take that, you crazy womenfolk!!!) don't even hold a candle in comparison. No, a candle is too nice of a comparison. As it stands in reality, those dorms don't hold a candle to Ben's. In comparison to this, I should have said, they don't hold up a match to this dorm. :)

All of a sudden, I somehow sense that a great number of you are very upset by this wording. Just as a reminder, I don't go to school there anymore. Even if you were to raid St. Ben's, it wouldn't affect me. :)

Unless whenever you raid, you put down in big letters, "In loving memory of the great Smitha." Then it would affect me. ;)

But raiding St. Ben's is a can of worms that you don't want to open, right, ladies?

Anyway, the guys all saw that the place was being raided, and we all took off to the girls side. We figured that the best way to deal with this was to strike back immediately. But we all know that the Basement Boys are awesome raiders, so without any planning at all, all the guys hopped into the vehicles that were parked in the underground garages and took off down the road.

As I said, there are two ways off the island, driving or flying. You could boat across, but no one had boat, and besides that would take a while. There are two roads off the island: a quick way and a safe way.

Ken F., Paul P., Peter K., the Bobfather, Bryan S., Alex K., etc. -- like I said, all the guys with vehicles hopped in them and took off. Guys like John J., Michael C., dove into whatever vehicle they could. Both of my cars were in use. I was at the helm of the Acura. I tossed the keys for the Nissan at someone else, and they caught them. All the cars were full of raid-happy guys.

Now, just for clarification, raids are strictly against the rules at Christendom. In real life, I would never have been in the leader of a raid. In fact, I don't think I've never been a participant in a raid while in a position of authority -- another good mark for a clean record. :)

In real life, have I known about raids? Oh yes. What have I done to stop them?
Me: "Guys, you know that raids are against the college's rules, right?"
Them: "Yep."
Me: "You all know that I'll bust you if I catch you?"
Them: "Oh, yeah."
Me: "Good."
That's all that's necessary. :)

This is not how it was in my dream. Picture, if you will, over thirty guys walking out of their rooms and seeing a raid in progress. All eyes turn to me. My subconscious took over. I wasn't about to stop them. They knew that, and within seconds, we were well on our way to returning the favor.

I roared out of the garage, flames shooting out of the back of the fully-modified Acura. Bryan, in his redneck truck, and Alex, in his awesome old-school van with antlers, tore out of their respective garages, Dukes of Hazzard style, with Paul in hot pursuit in his own truck, pipe clenched in his teeth, and his shotgun at the ready. The Bobfather zipped along in his Beemer, tailed closely by Peter's overstuffed car (a Corolla, I think?). Anyway, the rest of the cars all zipped out, as I said, full of raid-happy guys, laughing in eager glee with what they were about to pull off on the girls' dorms. There were many roads around the island, all connecting to each other in a massive web, all connecting to the two ways off the island.

I decided to take the fast way. Some guys were right behind me, others took the safe way.

The safe way was a tunnel leading under the bay back to the mainland.

The fast way was a bridge over the water, but not any normal bridge.

{pause}

Have you heard of the term suspension of disbelief? I hope for your sake, you've already applied this principle. You'll really need it now.

{continue}

Along the lines of a video game, this bridge had a speed limit, but the speed limit was a minimum required-to-make-it speed. This was about 100 mph.

A little bit of physics applies. This is a high-enough bridge to not worry about high water, but not so high that a battleship can pass through. With this in mind, the engineer behind it designed a passage for the extra-large ships that would be passing through, and here's how it worked.

This road was a straight shot out over the bay waters, until about the middle. Just before the middle it zigged hard left, and then zagged even harder right. Then it went zigged back hard left so that the bridge was parallel to the road before the zig-zags, which makes anyone wonder why the zig-zags were there. And then, along the lines of Mr. Freeze at Six Flags over Texas, this road was a straight shot out, until it suddenly went vertical. Straight up. This is why driving 100 MPH was necessary, and faster was recommended. Physics lost all effect as the cars sped up from 100 MPH around the sharp bends, and continued to accelerate well into the vertical roadway. (The Gorillaz 19-2000 music video suddenly pops into my mind as an example.) Well, I already had the car in overdrive, the pedal to the metal, and I was accelerating from about 110 MPH. I hit the curves at 110, got out of them at over 125, and got up to 135 by the time I hit the vertical ramp. Part of physics was in effect, because while my tires were still on the road, I had the potential to accelerate -- it's just that gravity didn't work while my car's tires were on the vertical ramp. When I left the ramp at about 150 MPH, physics and gravity suddenly kicked in.

At this point, the engineer was a pure genius, because how I get out of this seeming predicament was not normal. Not that I'm implying that this predicament was by any means normal... In reality, a car going up a road like that would topple over backwards. Not this time. I shot straight up, and the vehicle began to decelerate, but still go straight up. One wonders what the point is -- I'll simply land on the same road I just took off from. Nope. Like I said the engineer behind this road was a genius. He knew that once my car reached a certain altitude, the winds would take care of the rest. And that's exactly what happened. The winds blew in the exact direction I needed to go. It pushed the nose of my car down and moved my entire car forwards, towards the road on the other side of this ramp. I took the car out of gear and took my foot off the accelerator. Time to save a bit of gas. ;)

By now, all upward motion had stopped and gravity had ahold of me, with all it's terrifying reality. I saw that I was heading exactly towards the road (car landing strip?), and I was very glad, because deep water lay everywhere else. The landing strip was also a bridge, not much wider than the road I had just been on. As I approached the ground, the sunglasses went on, the clutch went down, the car went into gear, and a second before I hit the ground, I popped the clutch and floored it. I hit the ground hard, for all it's worth, but the Acura took it very well, which is good, because less than a hundred feet in front of me was another sharp right, which led directly onto the mainland.

At his point, I had so much adrenaline going through my bloodstream that I woke up feeling like a million bucks. And very thirsty... I got up, got a drink, and tried my hardest to pick up where I had left off, but the furthest I got in it was that after I entered the mainland, I was driving through the forest on the mainland, only to be told by the real Ken F. that it was time to get up for work.

What a way to start the day...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Party!

My company had a Christmas party today. I won't go into too much detail about the entire event -- let's just say, I don't think your company is this much fun. ;) I'm sorry, that was very mean of me.

My company gave each employee a $50 gift to spend on whatever we want, but there were rules.

(1) This thing we purchased could be something that we want, but do not need and would not otherwise buy.
(2) Oh yeah, and we had to spend all $50.
(3) We could not go buy The Washington Times and pocket the rest of the money to pay bills with.
(4) We were to go to the adjacent mall to do all of our shopping.
(5) We also had a little under an hour to do it in.

Another thing about this: we had to display our gifts to ourselves before the rest of the company. The viewers would then judge which person had the best gift. Now that these elements had been placed before the employees, we were told to go and have fun. :)

Do you know how hard that is? No, you really don't. I thought the same thing that practically every single one of you is thinking now: "$50? Easy! Everything I want but do not need and would not otherwise buy is at least that much!" The rest of you are thinking, "I don't want or need anything. How am I going to do this?" Most of you reading this know who I'm referring to. :)

David and I looked around the mall, wondering what to get, what to get. At first, I was going to be like my good friend Paul P., and get a nice pipe. The trouble with that is that I don't smoke. It would be strictly decorative. A nice touch for any faux-gentleman, no doubt! But then I would be tempted to toke it up on special occasions, like Christmas, Easter, All Saints, the Assumption, the Annunciation, etc. This would be bad, because the number of special occasions would continue to increase until it became every Sunday. As much as I like Drs. Marshner and Lloyd, I don't want their teeth. :) So I kept looking.

I walked around for a bit, and my eye caught a Radio Shack. TOYS!!! David looked at me like I was crazy (he's right!), and we went into the store. The first thing I thought of was to get one of those dinosaur toys that Radio Shack has made so famous. But then I saw that they had so much fun stuff there that the dinosaur option was one of many! I saw R/C planes, R/C helicopters, R/C boats, R/C cars, R/C trucks, R/C etc. You get the picture. I'm sure you do. The sales associate helping me pointed out a Red Camaro. I started drooling, of course, but it was over my limit. The car was on sale for $50, the necessary batteries were about $30. Thus, I ended up buying a Jeep, the necessary batteries, and spending about $50.50. BEAT THAT WORLD!!!

I took it back to the Christmas party. I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured there would be one or two toys, but the rest would be CD's, or funny posters, or -- you know, whatever. Instead, I found that I had been bested, hands down, no contest, etc. Curt, a new guy, bought the Apple iPillow!!! Darnitall!!! That's ok, I can accept defeat well. I'll just talk smack about him here. ;) Just kidding, Curt.

For the record, Curt is the man. He carried the floor with 16 votes. The second highest had three? I think? Maybe four. I doubt the hands ever reached five. SIXTEEN. You da man, Curt.

Throughout the rest of the party, my mind kept drifting back to that Camaro. My passions were getting the better of me. But I was above them. I would not succumb to my base desire ... the desire to own a new sleek R/C car, the likes of which I had never owned. 800 ft/sec, working lights, over 25" long, working shocks. Nope. Wasn't going to happen. Not this time. I was in control... until the end of the party. You know what it was? Andrew's red mug. The red mug made me dream of zooming the Camaro around, being a kid again. So I did it. I went out and bought the Camaro. I couldn't stop myself. The guys at Radio Shack were no doubt surprised to see me come back, especially considering that I was in a three-piece suit, but I think the sales associate knew that I would be back. He could probably tell by how much I had drooled that I would be back.

No, I didn't ACTUALLY drool...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

GOING HOME! (the redo version)

Let's try this again. I'm going home on the 21st of December through the 3rd of January. For the record, I would not have missed the flight. I would have been on time. But my avid readers would be confused as to why I was home two days early... ;)

GOING HOME!

I guess I should tell you all this:

I'm going home to Texas from December 23 to January 3. Expect new stuff, including, hopefully, pictures from home!

[does happy dance] I'm goin' home!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A wonderful joke!

I heard this joke from MikeE, a very good friend of mine. With his permission, I posted it here. I edited it slightly from its original version, just so I could actually post it. You'll be able to tell where I edited it.

This good friend can be found at The Perpetual Bachelor. He cracks me up. And, ladies, he's unattached!!!

+ + +

A squad of Marines were driving up the highway between Basra and Baghdad. They came upon an Iraqi soldier badly injured and unconscious. Nearby, on the opposite side of the road, was an American Marine in a similar, but less serious state. The Marine was conscious and alert.

As first aid was given to both men, the Marine was asked what had happened. The Marine reported; "I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway. Coming south was a heavily armed Iraqi soldier."

"What happened then?" the corpsman asked.

"I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein was a miserable person, and he yelled back: 'Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton are miserable people'.

"We were standing there shaking hands when a truck hit us."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's been a while...

...hasn't it?

Did you miss me? You did, didn't you? Didn't you?! You can say it. Don't worry. I won't tell anyone...

Well, I'm back, but unfortunately, I've been kept so busy that this post will have to be brief -- or at least I will try to be brief...

To sum up, here's what's happened to me. First and foremost, as some of you are well aware, my laptop takes about 15 minutes to boot normally. Well, this time has been increasing up to about 30 minutes. It's high time to reformat my little trooper and start all over again. In this interest, since I cannot find any of my copies of Windows anywhere (which absolutely boggles my mind -- not a hard thing to do -- ask anyone), I have decided that my baby will use Linux. Which distro? I don't know. For this, I have called upon the local Linux expert, the great, the guru, the Josh. Some of you know him as Agent K.

Ok, fine. I know him as Agent K. You have to ask him if he will allow you to call him that.

...Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever called him that. Although, I'm sensing another reason to get the evil eye from Agent K if I ever call him that, and we all know that my goal in life is simple: bug people. That's it. ANYwho, I'm rambling. Let's get back to it.

I downloaded Gentoo, on the basis that it had a cool looking logo, and it came highly recommended by many of its users. Plus, it was also free. Free is a major plus to me here. Then, after a night of downloading this 700 MB file, I consulted the great Agent K and found out the Gentoo is a more advanced Linux. The more friendly distro to use is Debian or Slackware, but he recommended Debian. OK, no problems. Debian it is.

...Or so I thought. My DVD-ROM on my laptop is bad. This is old news to me, old news to some of you, and news to the rest of you. Needless to say, with a dying optical drive, installing an operating system would be difficult, to say the least...

Josh found the online install files, and we loaded them up on my computer. Wonderful news: my network card doesn't work with Debian. Major points. NOT! I can't download the files!

Oh, BTW, I should probably insert in here that my OS (Windows XP Professional) is currently hosed. It gives me a stop error and reboots while the OS is loading. To all of you fans of mine who do not know what this means, essentially, while the Windows XP screen is loading with that little bar that runs across the bottom of the screen to let you know your computer is actually running, it gets a blue screen of death, and reboots. This is a bit of a vicious circle as you may imagine. It reboots, loads XP, crashes, reboots, loads XP, crashes -- you get the picture? I'm sure you do.

"You're rambling again!"

Sorry.

My dreams of having a Linux-based computer seem to be getting further away. I need to purchase and optical drive (I need to anyway, not just for this OS install). Besides, the one distro that's stuck in my mind as one I really want to try is Xandross. It looks so cool, and it works with the programs I want to use!

Anyway, so as it stands, my personal computer is out of commission. This makes blogging difficult. And it's hard to justify blogging at work, except on lunch, and you know how I can get going...

As for this past weekend, it was pretty full.

I went to a play with Sarah, A Christmas Carol as put on by a group of actors in Little Washington. It was really good! I loved Scrooge. He was played by an old man, about 93, I believe? He was awesome! The fact was that he couldn't remember his lines, so he had a script with him on stage. But his acting was so awesome that it entirely made up for it. Where others up there were lacking in expressiveness, he made it up for them and then some! I hope that if I ever get to be that old, that I am as adventurous as he was, i.e., being able to do stuff along the lines of taking on the leading role in a play. If I'm confined to a bed or a wheelchair, I'll be one cranky old man. But I'm determined to not let that happen to me...

No, I don't mean to tempt Providence...

On Saturday, John and I did some chanting in the Chapel at Christendom, something that just the two of us hadn't done in a while. It's great to have bigger group there, but at times it's nice to just have two or three. Maybe it's just me, but John and I seem to blend very well. We have a similar range, and as much as it may be contested, I like the sound of his voice much better than mine. His voice is much richer, whereas I have a decently large range for a bass. He can sing lower than I can, but I can sing higher.

Speaking of singing lower, we started one chant way too low. I can't remember what it was. I'll probably know it as soon as I hit "Publish Post", but it was way too low. The Holy Rood was cleaning the chapel while we were chanting. It looked like Lizzie was about to break out laughing whenever we hit those low notes. If I had warmed up to them, they would have been within my comfortable range, but since I had not, they sounded like I was scraping rock bottom. It's kind of a good thing that Lizzie didn't break out laughing, because that would have set the guffaws in motion in the loft where we were. Goodness knows we had a good laugh about it when the chant was over...

Later, I went Christmas shopping with Dane and Sarah. I bought a lot of stuff, including six pounds of yumminess. I won't say what it is, because one of the readers of this blog will then find out prematurely what she is getting for Christmas (MOM!), and I couldn't spoil that for her, now could I? ;)

That evening was the Campion Christmas party, so I went to that for an hour or so. I stopped by Kelly's room to let her listen to a CD: Vienna Boys Choir Goes Pop. I heard it for the first time that day, and one of the first people I thought about who would enjoy this was her, so I had to let her hear it. Anyone who is interested, talk to Kelly. Assuming she's not swamped, I'm sure she'll play a couple tracks for you.

After that, in the same evening, the tux was donned with a red cummerbund, red bow-tie, a derby with a red feather, and a black cape with red lining. (Notice a theme here?) There was a Christmas tree decorating celebration at Christine/Sarah/Carissa's, and I was not going to be outdone. I wasn't. :) I spent a good portion of the time joking around with everyone (as is usual), and finally called it a night about midnight. They were discussing turning on a movie. It was a bit late for that, so I bid them farewell and left. On the way back, I stopped by Martin's for wrapping paper, and got back to Dane's about 12:30.

Mass was at 10AM on campus. There were two soprani, three alti, four tenors and six basses. A bit unbalanced? Yep. We compensated as necessary -- Lizzie sang with the soprani on one four-part motet, the rest were three-parts, and the schola sang the bulk of Mass. I took brunch quickly and rushed back to wrap gifts. I am horrible at this as anyone can tell you, but I'm sure it's the thought that counts.

I delivered presents to Christine/Sarah/Carissa's house and then left for Old St. Mary's, after picking up the leftover pounds of yumminess from the girls which I had brought over the night before.

It was the Second Sunday of the month, so at Old St. Mary's, there was the usual Solemn High Mass, celebrated by Father Pope. I sang with the schola there (a group of basses who sings everything at my range -- it's awesome!), and with the choir. There were (I think) three basses (four with me), four tenors, six alti, and eight soprani (???). It was a much better balance. I could actually sing like the subwoofer powerhouse I used to be! No offense to the normal choir, but it's hard to really sing when on normal days the basses outnumber the other sections.

...Subwoofer powerhouse? What the heck am I smoking?!

After Mass, Dr. Poterack took the choir to dinner at Amphora's (sp?), and I behaved myself, for the most part. I got a kick out of showing off the pictures of AJ, Anya, and Hannah to my fellow choir members. The girls who saw them all seemed to like them. The guys who saw them all had the standard reaction: "Yeah. Cute. What's going on in this picture?" I would know. I'm a guy. I do this to every other kid in the world. ;)

And that sums up the weekend. I was in bed by 10PM. It was great! And I've been busy ever since...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Upon further thought...

The fact that my car has been hit is apparent. The question of how or with what still remains a mystery. Here's a current list of theories:

1. When I first walked out, it looked like someone had hit my car with another car. There was a pretty bad dent in there. This one is highly unlikely, because the size of the dent and the location of the dent do not flow with the possibility that it got hit by another car, or even a bigger truck. The dent is too high for any regular car to hit it, plus a car or a truck's bumper would not fit in the spot that it is in without causing some surrounding damage.

2. Upon second thought, people were mad that I brought my car back to the apartments. They probably beat it with a baseball bat. This theory is feasible, because the dent size and location fit the baseball bat idea, as long as it's a midget swinging the bat. Put a three-foot tall human there with a baseball bat, and yeah, he could swing it like a regular person would and hit my car about two feet about the ground, inflicting a blow parallel to the ground.

Who would swing the bat?
2a. The loser(s) who stole my stereo.
2b. Punk kids with nothing better to do.
2c. The tow truck guy (because he jolly well may carry a bat for protection) who swing though the parking lot every morning, checking for cars that are not supposed to be there.

3. Upon tossing around the idea with Ken, we thought that maybe it was a towtruck. Those things usually have pretty solid bumpers, and they almost always have a grate or some sort of pusher on the front of the truck. These are usually made out of a piece of metal about the size of a bat wide, and considering it's attached to the front bumper of the truck, that would also place it sufficiently high about the ground.

4. Eric suggested a hockey stick. Could very well be. It's positioned correctly, and those are used to hit a puck pretty hard -- they could easily inflict damage to my car.

5. Misthrown baseball. Perfect shot.

6. Ken getting jealous of my stereo and taking it out on my car.

7. Demons.

8. Me sleepwalking.

9. Me sleep-driving.

10. Me existing.

Those are the running theories. So far, #3 seems to be the winner. I'm still working on collecting evidence. Basically, this means that I need to ask the apartments if any vehicle got towed that night, and if so, where.

Monday, December 05, 2005

This is getting ridiculous...

Guess what?

I took my Sentra back home after it got fixed up, and guess what happened to it?

Sometime in the middle of the night someone hit it. Now it's possible that someone has an unusually small bumper that sits higher other bumpers, but it looks more like a baseball bat. The area of the impact looks about that size.

Either someone does not want my car there anymore, or someone was an immature little brat and "claimed a space" in the open parking lot, and I just happened to be in "his space". I guess it could also be just a bunch of punk kids with a baseball bat who decided to get feisty and randomly hit my car, or it could be a targeted thing. I don't know. Either way, the car is marked. I don't want to be Mr. Paranoid, but you never know...

It wasn't beaten to death with a bat. It was just in one spot. There had been a dent there before, but now it's a LOT bigger.

Either way, I'm finding it harder to stay at those apartments. There's nothing wrong with the apartments themselves. It's just that someone or something does not like my car.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Guess what I saw?

I was browsing around the internet, and I stumbled across this.

I feel like such a bully all of a sudden... ;)

Just in case, you can't click on the title of this post and get to the destination, I've included the link here:

http://www.storiesofarda.com/reviewsbystory.asp?SID=1750&CID=13685

Nothing important

Michael C. and I took both of my cars in to Winchester yesterday and got the oil changed. It was about 6:00PM when we left, and Michael had missed dinner, so I took him to Chili's. I had a good time talking to Michael. I haven't had a one-on-one conversation with him in a while.

The things that can be said in a one-on-one conversation seem a lot more meaningful than things that are said in a group setting. Group conversations are good, don't get me wrong -- I just find it very hard to actually engage in meaningful conversation. In a two-person conversation, I do not feel the need to try to be funny. In a more-than-two-person conversation, I do feel that need, and it is a horrible thing to feel like it needs to be done. If the group is talking about something not too terribly amusing, like philosophy or history, I always throw in stupid comments or one-liners that are funny at first thought, but incredibly stupid after the words have been said.

My other problem in this matter is that my pride makes it next to impossible to learn from mistakes. OK, I know it's not actually next to impossible -- it's just very difficult. Why is that? Because I've filled my head with so much nonsense about "I'm the greatest" or "I'm so cool" or "I never make mistakes."

{giggles}

It sounds like I'm listening to motivator tape that says, "Tell yourself that you're cool. Tell yourself that you're the greatest at what you do." Well, I confess, I don't. (I had you, didn't I?) I just say that to get a laugh out of a group, because it's so obviously not the case. The downside to telling it to a group is you actually begin to think that.

Come to think of it, that's probably why there are so many jerks in the world -- they're all telling themselves that they are not jerks and that they are good as gold...

Anyway... Sorry about that tangent.

I watched Yours, Mine, and Ours yesterday, a movie about an admiral in the military with eight kids and a fashion design artist with ten. In both cases, their spouses passed away. (That's already a bonus -- neither of them were divorced, so they actually can get married.) They were sweethearts in school, but they went their separate ways, until they met up again, and got married. The courtship, engagement, and marriage went by really quickly, and so now this couple has eighteen children.

Eighteen kids, plus the parents. Twenty family members. Isn't that awesome? Seriously. There are five in my immediate family. That's 1/4 the size of that family. No one would ever be bored. Ever. Video games would go out the window. Exercise would not be a problem. Quick thinking and expert judgment would be practically ingrained into you.

But, no, the modern world views the "normal" family as two parents, and (if they are lucky) two kids. Usually one kid. It's weird seeing a family with four. Five, you must be out of your mind. Six? What are you, a rabbit?

Eighteen.

This movie showed the power of large families. I saw this movie, and I loved it. It showed no religious viewpoints, at least none that I picked up on.

But, if you look at it right, it was a slam against extremists in either the conservative or the liberal party. Here's how I saw it, and this is stretching.

The admiral is the father (obviously), whose name is Frank Beardsley. This family reminded me of the Sound of Music. It was actually very refreshing seeing a father in control of his kids. (Once again, another score for people who have no control over their kids, let them run absolutely wild, show them no discipline, buy them everything they want, and then, when the kid is bad, say, "I don't know where he got it from."

The fashion design artist, whose name is Helen, is, on the other hand, a pretty good example of the other end of the spectrum. Her house is a mess, they have about five pets, and her kids all do their own thing. Nothing too terribly wrong with that, because she does keep a certain amount of control over them. However, her motto is, "Home is for free expression, the outside is for good impression." Sounds a bit quirky to me, but OK. It works for her. The entire family is involved with the arts at some point, so everything works.

Imagine mixing military discipline with the arts. There is restricted freedom of arts. On the other hand, the discipline no longer goes unquestioned. The happy medium is shown in the movie.

The only thing I saw with the movie that could potentially bug me is that it conveys the message, "Why can't we all just get along?" On certain levels it would bug me. I don't think that it was trying to convey the meaning across the board. If it did, there would be problems.

Today, I went to Mass at Christendom. Nothing special. We did some singing around the brunch table, led by Lizzie, Michael and Draper, and joined soon after by many others.

I'm watching the Sound of Music tonight with Sarah and Carissa, possibly a few more people -- I'm not sure.

Aside from that, I think I'm looking forward to starting work again on Monday. Why? I'll save that for another time...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Saturday...

Well, it's not even 3PM and I've already had a rather interesting day...

I e-mailed Leslie last week, because I remembered that she had asked me to get in touch with her about the Madrigal Singers -- three months ago. Anyway, today was a concert in Front Royal at the gazebo at noon, and practice before this was at 10:30AM...

I meant to get up at 5:45AM, because Our Lord was exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, and I had hope to get in an hour. I was pretty tired last night, to the point that if I had gone, I would have gone and fallen asleep in the peace and quiet of the Church, and would probably have single-handedly broken the silence. Anyone who has ever seen me drift off to sleep when I'm not trying to (like sitting in class, or sitting at work, or kneeling/sitting/praying/reading/not-sleeping) knows what happens.

I'll use class as an example (since I just graduated not too long ago, these memories are still "fresh"): my eyes glaze over, and begin to close, my head starts doing a little dance, I take a deep breath, and I suddenly realize what's happening. I wake up, re-adjust my position, and really try look interested. I then try to grab a sentence that the professor has said, and really think about it. Most of the time, with my luck, after drifting that far, I grab a sentence as insignificant as, "Think about it." (Although there's nothing wrong or even insignificant with that sentence itself, it's hard to actually do so when the object is unknown.) This facade of being awake lasts for -- if I'm lucky -- about a minute, after which the same thing happens again, but a lot faster and a lot harder. I can catch it if I'm lucky, but usually I miss it. If I catch it, I'll wake myself up again, a lot more forcibly, but, as the saying goes, third time's the charm. Anyway, usually when I start going, my breathing gets a bit ... loud. It rarely goes up to the level of snoring (I hope!), but it's still noticeable.

Imagine doing this little routine in the middle of a silent church, with a number of other adorers in there, adorers who are not doing this. It's quite embarrassing, but whether I kneel, sit, or stand, I will fall asleep.

With this thought in mind, I did not go to adoration last night (I didn't sign up for it, so there was no obligation on my part), but I wanted to go this morning and then attend 7AM Mass.

I work up at 7:20AM. Figures... I set my alarm, but forgot to enable it.

I wandered around campus trying to amuse myself. It's hard to do at 7:30AM while the campus is asleep, except for those commendable people who are up early for Shield of Roses. I would have gone into the church for a while and prayed, but it was being cleaned, and I did not want to get in the way.

I found the '04-'05 yearbook in the Commons. I read that for an hour-and-a-half. It's a good yearbook. REALLY good. I commend Andy, Maria, and those who helped make it possible. And in spite of what the back says, I didn't do anything for it...

Choir practice lasted from 9:30-10:30AM. Madrigal practice lasted from 10:30-11:30AM. Concert at noon. I sucked it up at the concert. I was really bad. It's really bad, because I've sung these pieces three years running -- I should know them better. But I made some huge mistakes, which I think the rest of the section covered me on.

When I got back to campus, I walked into the Commons in my normal victory strut, was greeted with a very friendly and warm hello by a number of people: Bree, Eric, Colin O, Jenne, Claire, Sean, Nick and Andy (in no particular order). Here's where it gets interesting: Claire and Jenne asked me out. They said it would be fun to take me out. (Obviously no strings attached!) Of course, I accepted, because these two girls are fun, in a crazy kind of way. They're really cool. :) And besides, having fun with cool people without me spending money? {thinks hard} Ok. Twist my arm...

I stopped by Kevin's for a few minutes. They've got some fun toys over there -- sweet Aerosoft (sp?) guns, multiple computers, etc. What can you say? Those guys are awesome. Colin M showed me the DVD cover for the movie that his group wrote, directed, and produced. The movie is called Discretion. I still have not seen this movie, but everyone who has seen it and told me anything about it has had extremely high ratings. It stars the main Christendom actors. Why? Because the people at Christendom could probably give modern actors a run for their money, that's why.

I realized that both the Nissan and the Acura need their oil changed. I'm going to run and do that now.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"I will lay the smackdown..."

I finally finished one of my harvest jobs!! I've been working on that company for the better part of a month. Wanna see the last stroke of the glorious battle?



My regards to Squaresoft for making the Final Fantasy games. Without them, I would have had to find a worse picture. This one was easy to edit, and every bit as fun as the Final Fantasy games, especially FFV, from where this image comes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I completely forgot!!!

I meant to write a quick blurb to give my highest congratulations to Arial L., Dr. Keats, the actors, and everyone involved for an amazing performance of T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party, shown at Christendom on November 16-20, 2005. It was very good, very well done, and very moving. I loved every minute of it! Keep doing what you do, and I'll keep coming back for more!!!

"Cheese, Grommit!!"

My job had a cheese tasting day today, hosted by my awesome boss's sister who is a specialist in wines and cheeses. It was a really interesting event. We were given three kinds of wine: Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I started off with the Zinfandel, and after #4, I finished it off, and had a glass of Chardonnay, which lasted me through the other two. I went through the list again, with a bit of Cabernet, and then went back to Chardonnay. The event lasted about two hours, during which socializing occured.

These forms are what Elizabeth gave us to tell us about the cheeses. The italics are what I wrote on the forms.

Cheese #1 -- Sophia
Milk: Goat, pasteurized
Origin: Indiana, USA
Producer: Judy Schad
Description: Similar to chevers found in the Loire Valley, this cheese is marbled with ash, shaped and dried slightly before being placed in a cave to form a wrinkly white rind.
Tasting notes: Dense, wonderfully textured, creamy, light moist paste with a slightly tangy taste.
Pairings: Crisp dry Loire valley Sauvignon Blanc, such as Sancerre.
Your notes: Very smooth cheese. I really enjoyed it with the Zinfandel. And plain. It's good all around.

Cheese #2 -- Coulommiers
Milk: Cow, pasteurized
Origin: Ile de France, FRANCE
Producer: Ferme Jehen de Brie
Description: Brie's little brother (or grandfather) but smaller and thicker. Ripened for 4 weeks with a white penicillin mold.
Tasting notes: Buttery, creamy, mild with a mouth-coating texture.
Pairings: Particularly suited to dry acidic whites or champagne/
Your notes: This one was an awesome one. I'm not a big brie fan, but this was really good. It is good with Zinfandel, but is overpowered by it.

Cheese #3 -- Ossau Iraty
Milk: Sheep, unpasteurized
Origin: Pyrenees, FRANCE
Producer: Herve Mons, affineur
Description: This cheese has been made with the same recipe for hundred of years in the mountain villages of the Basque Country. Made from the milk of the Manech and the Basc-Bernaiser sheep. Best in Fall - Winter as the cheese is produced from the spring milk, making it more floral. It is aged from 3 - 5 months and each wheel is hand turned every three weeks.
Tasting notes: Delicious melt-in-the-mouth texture with lingering hints of hazelnut and lanolin.
Pairings: Wine-friendly cheese particularly good with Chardonnay and Zinfandel.
Your notes: This one was my favorite so far. The hints of flavor add a lot to it for me.

Cheese #4 -- Adrahan
Milk: Cow, unpasteurized
Origin: County Cork, IRELAND
Producer: Mary Burns
Description: Modern, farmhouse, vegetarian, washed-rind cheese. The ridged, brine-washed rind is encrusted with brown, ochre, gray and yellow molds.
Tasting notes: "Smells like a drunken sailor on shore leave". Firm, slightly chalky interior with a distinctive, earthy aroma. Complex flavors with a zesty acidity underscoring the buttery, savory, meaty character.
Pairings: Excellent with Pinot Noir, Rhone Valley blends or California Zinfandel (always great with a pint of stout).
Your notes: I've never eaten a gym sock before. I don't know if I ever will again. Yes, I ate the rind, which I now know you shouldn't do, but I'm terrified to try it again without it... But I did, and without the rind, it is much better...
...although I still don't like it...


Cheese #5 -- Roomano (not a misspelling)
Milk: Cow, pasteurized
Origin: Southern Holland
Description: Similar to aged Gouda and considered the Parmigiano-Reggiano of the Netherlands. Aged for as long as 6 years to produce a deep orange, crunchy, crystalline texture.
Tasting notes: Strong and spicy with sweet, fruity flavor with strong hints of caramel and butterscotch.
Pairings: Bordeaux blends (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), California Zinfandel.
Your notes: This one beats out #3, Ossau Iraty. I love Parmesan, and this was Parmesan +2.

Cheese #6 -- Cashel Blue
Milk: Cow, pasteurized
Origin: Tipperary, IRELAND
Producer: Grubb Family
Description: Made with the same recipe ad Roquefort but using cow's milk rather than sheep, giving it a smoother milder creamier, less salty flavor.
Tasting notes: Moist, creamy, semi-soft. Mellow tasting for a blue with a deep sweetness cut by the tangy saltiness of the blue veins.
Pairings: Madeira, tawny port, or Hungarian Takaji
Your notes: I thought this one was strong. It was good, but still strong. I had Chardonnay with it, and it was a good complement. I enjoyed the kick.

So, yeah, there you go. There's my news for the day. Don't you wish you were me?

Monday, November 28, 2005

The weekend (again)

This weekend was pretty slow. On Saturday, I got to Front Royal and sung at Christina L's wedding along with Christine, Lizzie, and Ryan, a polyphonic quartet. After that, I went to confession, then drove to Winchester in hopes of watching a movie that I've been wanting to see for a while, Doom. It wasn't playing, so I drove around for a bit, and then headed back. That evening, there was a party at Guardian Angel Academy, so I went there and hung out for a while. It was fun. I had bought the stuff to make mudslides (an alcoholic beverage, not an activity), so I did that. We went through a lot of the mix, a lot of the ice cream, and a lot of the alcohol. One thing that I noticed is that there were two kinds of people there in this good crowd of people: those used to alcohol and those not used to it. Those used to it told me that the drinks were good, but strong. Those not used to it said that they were good, but needed more alcohol. I thought that I fell into the first category, but when I gave a drink that I thought was really weak to Lizzie and a similar to Michael, I realized that I did not fall into this category, because they took one drink, and their faces told me before their voices did that it was too strong. They finished them up anyway, without complaining too much. ;)

My recipe is much more of an eyeballing thing than a science. Fill a blender with vanilla ice cream. Spread chocolate syrup (or caramel syrup, or both, depending upon what your taste is) all over it. Pour Bailey's Irish Cream, Vodka, and Kahlua in to your taste. Not the standard recipe, but it works quite well. :)

On Sunday, I was going to go to Holy Transfiguration with Ryan, his girl, and Lizzie, but Ryan cancelled because of homework. Michael C. and Sylvia S. were going to join us out there, and we'd make a day/a few hours/whatever of it. Lizzie and I went to Old St. Mary's, and Michael was supposed to get out there after Mass on campus. He couldn't make it, also because of homework. After Mass, Lizzie and I met up with Christine and Bill. We made small plans for later in the day, and then we went back to Front Royal.

I had breakfast with Sylvia, Michael, and Eric P., after which we watched Final Fantasy: Advent Children. It was a fun movie, at least for me. I think that everyone else there enjoyed it...

I picked up Lizzie at about 4:45 to go to Christine's, where we had dinner with her and Carissa, and then played cards. Jonathan D. called me, asking if I knew Lizzie's whereabouts, to which I responded that I did. He set up a sting operation and kidnapped her a couple minutes before we were supposed to leave for the concert. Christine and I drove out there, and found that the kidnappers had delivered her safely, and then we went inside and enjoyed the concert...

Well, the girls did, anyway. The concert was an organ recital by Jacinta W., an excellent organist and fellow graduate of the class of '05. I, however, find organ music very soothing, and I fell asleep rather unintentionally... Sorry, Jacinta...

On the way back, I receive a call from Ken, asking me to check on the internet for a few things. He was in Hagerstown, MD, his oil cap had fallen off, and oil was everywhere but in the engine. I went to a couple auto places in town. Advance Auto Parts was the only one open, and, as Divine Providence would have it, they stocked that particular oil cap. I bought it and a gallon of oil, just in case, and I went back to Christine's and waited.

When Ken showed up, he showed me how they had jury-rigged the car to last. They had taken an oil cap that was too small and filled it out with duct tape. When he got there, the tape felt like it was very close to melting, but it was solid and had not leaked anything. We replaced that with the new oil cap, and took off for home.

All that said, it was a rather slow weekend...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving

I went to Mike and Maggie's house for Thanksgiving, in a tradition that has been kept since my freshman year. This family knows how to cook, and since they have six kids, I guess that adding one more to the mix isn't too big of a deal...

I spent the night on Wednesday night, and then all day Thursday at their house. After dinner, Mrs. M. told me to take some of the food with me. Only too happy to oblige, I did so.

This family is one of the most fun families that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and spending time with. They are crazy in a good way. If you know Mike and Maggie well, you can imagine what they are all like together. :)

I left on Friday morning, about 6AM, and got to work about 06:30.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

$$$!

Guess how much that rear vent window is costing me? Almost $200...

And the car is still not legal to drive...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pictures of my Sentra...


Here's the proof of it... Like I said before, it could have been much worse, but it wasn't.

Oh, in these pictures, the gear is set back into park, because when I got to the car, I opened it up and looked around at all the things that had recently changed. Without thinking, I shifted the car back into park, and looked around at the damage, in most cases, picking up the broken parts and inspecting them.

Yeah, so aside from that...

It was a very good thing that I own a second car, just in case. With the window broken like that it's just an open invitation that says, "Please, STEAL ME!!!" I was able to leave it in quiet little Front Royal and take my other car to work. Fortunately, it fell into place in the Divine Plan that on that particular weekend, I would finish the work that needed to be done on the alternate car, so I could leave this one here, until I had time (and money) to dedicate to working on this one.

If I didn't say it before, God bless that itchy fingered crook. He or she needs it. Very badly. They should also be very glad that I didn't catch them in the act. Of course, so should I... I'd probably be in jail with my soul well on the way to Gehenna for the kind of thing I would have done to them.

There are a few things in this world you don't mess with. The first two need no explanation. If you actually do need further explanation, leave a comment, and I'll lay it out for you. Assuming you can figure out how to leave a comment. But if you can put one and one together to be able to figure out how to leave a comment, you ought to be smart enough to be able to figure out why you don't screw with any of the following things. First and foremost is a man's family. Second, but not of any less importance, a man's woman (girlfriend, fiancée, or betrothed -- if you bring in the U.N. distinctions in here, then you are a freaking moron who needs to be schooled ... and I will gladly volunteer to do it...). Third on the list, of lower priority than the human beings, but right up there, is a man's prized possessions, like his car, or his house, or his tools. And this messed with my car...

Friday, November 18, 2005

It finally happened...

If you are easily offended, you may want to avoid reading this post. I'm very cheesed off and venting in here.

If you are still reading, don't say I didn't warn you.

I've been tempting fate for too long. if you play with fire, you'll get burned. That's what happens when you put a $400 stereo into a 1996 Nissan Sentra...

$400 down the drain. All because some human being decided that what he wanted no one else could have. And I could not own what I decided to purchase with my own hard earned money. What I purchased with my money for myself.

Oh, but Anthony, you're very materialistic. You only care about yourself. Yes, I'm very self-oriented. I bought my car stereo for my personal use. It was used to keep me awake while driving, and to entertain passengers in my car. And now I can't.

Dumb nigger.

Allow me to cite two sources that allow me to use that word and not insult black people.

#1 -- Grab a dictionary off the shelf. Any dictionary. Look up the word. You'll see two definitions. One of them says something along the lines of derogatory word against black people. I am not using it like that. I am using it in the sense that follows. One of the definitions in the dictionary will be "stupid person".

#2 -- Listen to Chris Rock's Niggas vs Black People. Since the world believes that famous people are allowed to create distinctions, then I shall use his distinction here. When I say that word, I mean it in the sense that the person who stole my stereo is a stupid animal. He's not using his head. I take back what I wrote before. He's not a human being. He's a damn animal.

The freaking loser also tried to steal my car. If he didn't, I don't know what the hell he was doing to it. 1. My turn signal is broken. The stick moves, but there is no signal. 2. The ignition is just slightly out of whack, meaning that it does not go into the "locked" position. Which means the car beeps at me when it is off. 3. The shifter is just off center enough that it does not start in "park". It only starts after I shift gears a couple times between "park" and "neutral".

As best as I can figure, here's what happened:

The illegitimate person saw my car and said, "I wonder..." He looked inside, and saw the stereo. He practically peed on himself when he saw it, and then decided that he, and only he, was worthy of it. What's the best way to get in the car? He was probably too stupid to try the handle (it was locked anyway in anticipation of the visit of inbred punks like him), so he decided to break the back triangle window (the vent window) on the back seat, driver's side.

On a side note, I really wish that that glass was not meant to shatter. I wish that it was meant to splinter. Then I would have blood samples and could trace this brute who knows one parent and not the other. Plus, he would have cut his hand or arm wide open, making it rather difficult for him to steal anything. Which would have made me happy, in an very bad way...

I guess him breaking that window was nice and considerate of him, because he could have broken the main window. I appreciated that. But I guess it would have looked pretty bad for him to be driving away in my car with broken glass in it. So he wasn't a complete retard, in spite of what is said about the children of siblings...

Anyway, so he punched or elbowed or whatever through the vent window, reached inside, unlocked the back door, opened it, unlocked the front door, and opened that. He got into the car, and thought, "Gee, I want to steal this car. I've never owned a car as nice as this before. He won't miss it that much. It's not like it doesn't belong to me, because I'm a card carrying commie and believe that nothing can really be claimed as property." But, I'd like to give my Guardian Angel credit for stopping him from stealing my car. He couldn't get it started. He did cause quite a bit of damage on the inside, though. My turn signal is broken, as though he tried to hot-wire it, and he managed to screw up some wiring elsewhere. He then tried to stick a screwdriver (or some equally tough) object into the ignition and turn it. Now, thanks to his efforts, the ignition switch does not sit in the locked position anymore.

But that did not stop this prick, oh no. He would have something of mine. So, he grabbed the shifter, forced it back into second gear (the car is an automatic) without depressing the brake, so now the car's transmission shifter is just out of whack enough that park will actually prevent the car from moving forward, but the reverse lights come on and the car will not start in park. I have to shift it into neutral to get it to start. But if I just shift it normally, it will, more often than not, slip into drive, because, like I said, everything is just a little bit out of whack...

ANYWAY...

After realizing that he couldn't steal my car easily, because, God bless and keep him in his ignorance, he was just dumb enough to not be able to steal the car. But he could stick a screwdriver or a knife behind the panel surrounding my stereo. He did this, and popped it off. No, "popped" sounds too clean. "Ripped" is a much better word. "Snapped" will also work. Well, he tears off the panel, probably in a huge hurry, rips out my hazard lights switch and rear window defrost switch, as well as the protection for the A/C controls. This gives the bastard quick and easy access to my stereo which he gleefully breaks free from the housing, and then splits before he's seen. He at least kindly closed my door.

On Friday morning, I went running out to my car to go to work. It's a beautiful morning, the air is brisk, and it promises to be a great weekend. I go out to my car, which I hadn't driven in two days. At first, I don't notice anything, but as I whip my keys out, I see that there is a large hole in the vent window. The first thing I think of is that someone threw something and it hit my car. Of all the cars to hit, it hits mine. Oh well, no big deal, I can get it fixed...

But I looked in my car, and I didn't see a rock, or a baseball, or anything. I immediately knew that I was blessed to still own a vehicle, but what did they take? MY CD'S. Crud. Oh, wait, most of them are burned. I'll just burn more.

No, my CD's are still there. My sunglasses? Most of them I bought at 7-11. Once again, no big deal. But, no, I still saw most of them.

As my eyes drifted forward, I saw the warped shifter, and random wires hanging out of the dash. No. It can't be... But it was...

After recovering from the shock that I had been robbed for the second time in my life, and going through the usual, "Why me?", I figured I owed Someone thanks for the fact that I still had a car. And that's how Ken found me a minute later -- on my knees, saying a quick prayer for many things: #1, for my soul, because I knew that I was not mad now, but I would be pissed later; #2, in thanksgiving for the fact that I still had a car; and #3, for the thief, who, at the time I prayed did not incur sin from this theft, because it was done from necessity (trying to give the man the benefit of a doubt).

I reported this theft to the apartments. They loaned me the digital camera, and Ken took pictures while I was on the phone with the police. At the invitation of the apartments, I moved my car into a reserved space for the day. I emptied my car of its contents into Ken's car, we went to work, and when we came back, we retransferred everything back to my car, and I went to Front Royal...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

An amazing series of dreams

Well, for me they were amazing. You'll probably be bored to tears by them... ;)

#1
I was driving my new car to the Lilly's house. Now, to everyone who knows the Lillies, everyone knows that you don't have to drive along a steep rugged mountain path lining the coast of a huge body of water to get there. But, in fact, that's what I was doing, and I'm almost certain that my destination has not been misrepresented. Anyway...

Now, the new car is a two-door hatchback, with a manual transmission. The transmission makes it a lot more fun than an automatic, but it's a smaller car than my Sentra, which, also, needless to say, can be a problem for more than two people. Fortunately, it was me and one other person, although I can't remember who.

Anyway, I was on my way along this wide open highway (I'll get there, don't worry) in front of a long line of cars. For some reason, they are all tailgating me, flashing their lights, in an attempt to tell me to hurry up. Well, I'm already doing about 10-15 over the speed limit on this wide-open highway in a wide-open country. They could have passed me but they didn't. Well, A few short miles zip by, and I suddenly find myself decelerating, much to the dismay of everyone behind me, because up ahead...

...the road suddenly becomes a one-lane, one-way-at-a-time road, that is twisted, going sharply uphill, and along a very jagged mountainside. (See?) Now, I said that I decelerated. That's true. I took my foot off the gas, and shifted the car into neutral, so that I would slow down at a much more gradual rate. Everyone else braked hard and started approaching this turn with a lot more caution than I. I zipped along the winding path (car still in neutral) until it really started ascending, at which point, gravity slowed the forward motion of my car. I saw a speed limit sign: it read 2 1/2 MPH. That's right, 2.5, 5/2, 10/4, take it how you will, two-and-one-half miles per hour. Well, I was easily speeding, but gravity was helping slow me down.

And then something blew out the window. I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was something like my hat. (For the sake of continuing the dream, I will say it was my hat.) By now, the car had lost all forward momentum, and had even begun drifting backwards. Well, I let it drift for a little bit, then applied the brakes, stopping right next to where the hat was. Unfortunately, it wasn't right there on the road, it was out a little ways. There was no room to actually get out of my car, but I could open the door and lean wa-a-a-a-ay out ... over the sharp drop ... and sharp rocks ... and deep body of water way below extending as far as the eye can see...

Well, I just barely got my hat in my left hand (my right hand was holding onto the door as an anchor for myself in this endeavor) when I woke up...

It was 3AM, I had been asleep since 10PM, and I needed a drink of water...

When I went back to bed, this is when the better dream occurred:

#2 (I think anyone who reads this one will get the idea of where this dream came from...)

It started out really weird. I was in a dark place, carrying this huge thing on a pole. I didn't know what I was doing or where I was going, but I knew that I absolutely could not put down this pole. I didn't even know what was on top of it, but it was heavy. There was some reason for me to be going fast -- it was like there was something or someone chasing me.

Anyway, I duck in and out of tunnels, stumble in the darkness and recover, all the time seeing this extremely faint light in front of me, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. In spite of however many turns I took, it was always the right one, or if it was wrong, I somehow always got back to the path.

I finally arrived at the light. I set down the pole upright and exhausted. I leaned the top-heavy pole against the wall in a corner. I took a breather, and that's when I noticed what looked like a ticket booth off to the side. I wondered if this is where I was taking this heavy object.

I walked over to the booth, and asked the person manning it, "Excuse me, is this the place where I'm supposed to be delivering this ... pole?" The person turned and looked at me. A few lights went on in the booth, and I could see it was a woman. She looked at me with some confusion, and asked me, "Delivering?" I told her that I didn't know what the pole was for, but that I was delivering it. If it was for me, why was I so worried about getting it to a destination in time?

The lady smiled at me, and told me to step outside. Something in me told me not to, that I wouldn't like what was out there, and that I would rather stay in the darkness-- after all it was bright out there. But her voice told me that everything was all right, and that I had nothing to fear. I turned in the direction of the light. She called me back. She said, "Don't forget that." And when she said those words, more light from outside shone inside, and I looked at what she was pointing at. The pole that I was carrying had a beautiful crucifix on top.

(Pause -- ok, you all know what a processional cross looks like. Picture that. Ok -- resume.)

The pole was a dark wood material, and the cross was much wider than the pole. The pole was about eight feet tall, maybe two inches diameter. The cross was about five inches wide and two inches thick. The cross was about two feet tall, and a foot wide. The wood was lighter in color than the rest of the pole. The corpus was silver. There were decorations on it, but I can't remember what they were.

Ashamed of my previous thoughts about "the pole", I hoisted the cross on high and proceeded to exit the cave. I was proud to be marching under such a standard.

And then I saw it -- one of the most magnificent sights that any Catholic would ever hope to see on the day of his judgment. I saw a magnificently huge army standing in perfect formation, all bearing their own standards, their own crucifixes.

Freeze -- picture the default Windows XP background: the green, rolling hills underneath a blue sky. Very peaceful. Now, picture that, but lusher, greener, bigger hills, valleys, mountains, stretching as far as the eye can see. More natural than anything you could ever see on a computer. The grass is soft and a couple inches tall. Flowers are shooting up everywhere. The sky is bluer than you've ever seen it. "Oh, no," you say, "I've seen the sky so blue, and the grass so green that..." Blah, blah, blah. Trust me -- you've never seen a sky like this before. Play.

All my family, relatives, friends, and neighbors there. (Not that I'm going to account for all of you reading this.) As well, there is an army (army is an understatement) of legions (still an understatement) of people all waiting to march. I walk out proudly bearing my cross, and I see that everyone has their own, perfectly unique to them. One I saw up ahead, but I couldn't place who the owner was, had a pole six feet tall, with what looked like a 4'x2' crucifix mounted on it. Now, that was bulky, but simply magificent. There were some crucifixes that were gold, some of silver, some of wood. There were tiny crucifixes mounted on top of extremely tall poles, etc. As I approached this body of people, I saw an opening next to Josh K. and in front of Ken F. The position would have put me between Ida F. and Josh. I took up the empty slot and Ida suddenly left and ran forward. I assume that she was commanding this particular regiment.

I woke up shortly after this. It was Ken asking me if I wanted to get up then...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Draper's birthday

I forgot something, but since that last one was long enough...

To fulfill a request, I will write about my contribution to Draper's birthday party. On Saturday, Andy C. and I wrestled for the entertainment of Draper W., whose birthday was on Saturday. His party was Saturday night in the crypt.

Andy reminded me there that I still owed him a wrestling match, because he wouldn't audition for the schola unless I beat him. Well, having been in the schola for three-and-a-half years of my Christendom career, I knew that his older brother, Tom, was a very good asset, and Andy seemed like a good asset himself, so it was worth it to wrestle him. Besides, I beat Tom easily enough...

For the record, Andy is bigger than Tom. He's much more solid and much more physical. Tom beat me in Indian wrestling fairly often, being quite flexible. But this was a real wrestling match. When I wrestled Tom, I basically picked him, turned him over, and put him on his shoulders. There wasn't much her could do. He compared me to wrestling a refrigerator. The first time I wrestled Andy, my asthma kicked in, and I had to stop. This time, however, my asthma was fine...

Well, Andy and I gave Draper his birthday present, a group hug. I don't know if it was necessarily a desired present, but he got it anyway. :)

...And, just to rub it in, I have him a couple more group hugs. Was that evil of me? Probably...

We discussed the option of wrestling inside (we were in the chapel crypt -- not only was it beneath the chapel, so that was bad form, but the ground underneath us was concrete covered by carpet) or wrestling outside on the grass. We decided that the weather outside was nice enough, so we went outside. I kind of hoped to go outside and not have too many people follow us, because I really didn't care to have all these people know just how out of shape I really am. So, Andy and I go outside...

...and the rest of the room troops out behind us, led by (I think) a freshman, Andrew T, followed closely by Draper. Andy C. suggested that we do the gladiatorial salute. I didn't know it, but I told him that I'd follow along. It was in Latin, so I just pretended to understand what was said. After he got done with the line, "Morituri te salutamus!" ("We who are about to die, salute you!"), I shouted, in typical fashion, a line that didn't follow, and barely made sense in the context: "Heil, Hitler!" It was dumb, I know...

Anyway, Andy and I shook hands and squared off. If I remember correctly, we both tried to intimidate the other, but it wasn't working. Somehow or another, we started grappling, and I twisted and threw Andy. He wasn't to be bested, so he yanked at my leg, but I didn't go down. Similar to Tom, I managed to get his legs up in the air and his shoulders pinned. It didn't work, because Andy kept moving. I threw down his legs, and he got up quickly, and we started squaring off again. He grappled more, pushed each other around, etc. I was trying to tire him out to make an easy pin. It worked for a while, but Andy was not easily tired out.

The match continued with a lot more grappling, a few more throws, and Andy jumping on my back and imitating Gollum. When I heard Andy do Gollum that well, I had to stop moving and just laugh. But when I regain myself, I adjusted my position, and threw Andy off my back. After that, I pounced on him, to try to pin him. Everyone knows that I can't pin, so it failed again. He was getting tired, and so was I. We eventually slowed down to a couple holds.

I starting trying to get him to give up. I tried first to wrap my arms around his chest and just make it difficult for him to breathe. Didn't work. Well, eventually, I got him down, and then I clamped on to his back towards his left side and wouldn't let go. He was on the ground trying to get me off, and a few people suggested that he just roll over on top of me, because then I would be pinned. The way I was holding him though made it difficult, although definitely not impossible though. I had my legs wrapped around his stomach area and my arms wrapped around his shoulders/neck, in a proper headlock. At least I think that's how I got him. That's how I meant to get him...

Anyway, so if you imagine those two holds tightening down, and then the holds separating from each other, essentially stretching his torso, you can imagine what he was in. He eventually gave up, and said that he would audition for schola. Score one for me.

I was so tired out after this match that I had to sit down for a couple minutes. During this time, Andy C. wrestled Andrew T. Another tough match for Andy C. But the man is indomitable...

His family spirit leaves nothing to be desired...

Weekend events

Well, this is a bit late, but hey, I've been late before. Who knows? This may be the last time! (Was that a penguin I just saw? In Virginia? Hmm... I doubt things have so changed...)

In case my little parenthetical wasn't obvious enough, no, this being late will probably not be the last time... :) Oh, it's good to be me, where no one expects much of me, because I'm always late.

Anyway, as to the events of the weekend:

On Friday, I got off work at about 21:30 (9:30 PM, to all of you normal people). Ken and I drove back, and I had planned to go straight to Front Royal, but I didn't. I stuck around in Herndon.

Saturday morning, I went to Front Royal, but there was no choir practice, so I spent a good part of my day looking for car parts.

In the evening, it was St. Cecilia's Night, and at brunch, Michael C. had asked me if I had wanted to sing O Virgin Pure, by St. Nectarios of Aegina, arranged in four part harmony, as sung by Syrian Catholics. We were going to sing it in a similar arrangement that we had sung it a couple months prior around a Sunday brunch table. I felt a bit weird doing this, since I was an alumnus, but I agreed to do it anyway. We practiced it a few times, tried switching around the positions, but we finally ended up with me on the cantor line, Lizzie on alto, Michael on tenor, and Paul E. on bass. After running through the piece a couple times, and messing up in a couple places, we figured out that, among other things, the song was, unfortunately, too long. We were supposed to have up to five minutes. After two verses, we were at about 3.5 minutes, and the whole thing was four verses long. We decided to cut out the second verse.

At second to the last performance, we were right between a rendition of La Bamba on two harps (which, FYI, was awesome). We got up there, and just started going. Everything went flawlessly, and the audience loved us. They loved us so much that we go a standing ovation, and people started lining up for autographs and smooches...

And then reality strikes. I messed up the words on a couple lines. My voice felt shaky, and I was nervous all throughout the first verse. By the second verse (which was actually the third verse, because we didn't sing the actual second verse), I was much calmer -- too calm in fact. I just sang the words as I knew them, and then all of a sudden, it hit that I was singing the wrong line. It seemed to me like the world ground to a stop for a split second, and all eyes were glued on me as I was messing up one of the most beautiful hymns to Our Lady. I am positive that the rest of the choir all looked at me like I had gone insane, each with the look of anger, thinking, "WHY did we let him in on this?!", and then proceeding to look at each other, with a feelings of disgust and disdain towards the worst cantor of all times, saying, "Anyone else would have been so much better than him!"

And time snapped forward again back to regular time. While my conscious mind was imagining all these horrible things, my subconscious mind had gotten my voice, mouth, and eyes back on the correct line, and we continued, as far as I could tell, without skipping a beat.

The audience liked it. It turned out better than I had originally thought.

On Sunday, Mass at 10AM was as usual, with choir and schola practice before. I planned to go to Old St. Mary's in D.C. for their Tridentine Solemn High Mass. So, at about 13:30 (1:30 PM), I stopped playing cards with Dane, Kyle, and two freshmen, and went to Blessed Margaret to see if Lizzie wanted to go. She did, but in the couple minutes that it took her to put her stuff away, ken came up and gave me his cell phone with Kelly on the other end. We talked for at least twenty minutes, and then I had to say goodbye and go.

The drive out to D.C. was entertaining, because Lizzie revealed to me that I had fallen for a running gag, and I had not even seen it. This is something I fancied myself too good to fall for, but there it was...

Anyway, I had joined the schola there at Old St. Mary's a couple months prior, and this was my first tome to be there. I think it went well. I messed up a few times, but, everyone else was able to cover for me. This is good, because for once I wasn't one of the louder voices. Lizzie confirmed this for me: she said that usually when I'm singing with a choir, you can tell I'm there because of a certain thing in my voice (I'm going to call it an annoying sound), but everyone else there was easily as loud as I was, and had better voices, so the annoying sound of my voice was quenched.

After this, I drove Christine, Bill, and Lizzie to Bill's house, where there was an after-Mass celebration, as usual on the second Sundays. There were a LOT of girls over there, and a number of them were married with kids, so the unmarried ones spent a lot of time with the married ones, talking girl stuff. Bill and I decided to not join in this line of conversation, and went outside and worked on his car. He had to change the spark plugs in it, so I did a little to help him out. His car purred like it was supposed to when we were done with it. By this point, Lizzie and Christine had found us, and had gone over to the trampoline. We went inside, washed up, and went back outside. I found Lizzie on the trampoline, Bill, Christine, and another gentlemen whose name I've forgotten next to it, talking. Lizzie gets finished shortly thereafter, and it's suddenly "my turn." Pretending to not be too enthralled, I hop on and bounce around for a couple minutes, feeling like a kid again. I get a call from the ground, "Boring! Do something fun!" So I attempted a flip.

Now, I was fully expecting to land on my head or my neck on the trampoline. So I jumped up high, tucked myself up very tightly to minimize the shock, and flipped. Unfortunately, I propelled myself forward, too. I went all the way over, which I've never done before, my hand hit the edge of the trampoline as I went off it, and my head hit the ground rather directly. But because I was tucked and holding the position as hard as I was, I felt the impact, but there was hardly any movement. I hopped right back up, more excited that I had actually flipped all the way over, and got back on, forgetting about the fact that in the process of going over, I went too far over, and had practically crushed my skull. The few spectators worried that I had a concussion (because I hit the ground and left a large dent), and they warned me in much louder tones and much more repeatedly that I should NOT try that again. Understanding this very simple logic, and keeping my guy pride in a kind of check, I sat on the trampoline for a minute just to make sure that I was ok, but then bounced around just for the heck of it (doing nothing fancy) for a couple minutes, then called it quits.

Besides, it was dinner time...

Dinner was awesome, as usual. Fletch cooked up chicken fajitas, and they were good! I was hungry, and I had plenty, and there was still more to go around. The day was also Jamie's birthday, so we all sang her happy birthday. She had a cake with candles, and a card. It was nice. :)

After that, Christine drove Lizzie home, and I drove back to the apartment. As I was driving, I got so tired that it was all I could do to stay awake. I made it back without any problems, but suddenly the walk from the car to the apartment (which is about a five minute thing), seemed like it would take forever. I took a catnap in my car (in the parking lot -- how lame is that?) I woke up about thirty minutes later, went back to the apartment, and went right to bed.

On that note... it's getting to be about that time...

Monday, November 14, 2005

A really wierd dream...

Last night, I had a really wierd dream. I can't tell you what it's about. But I will tell you that I was played for a fool. And I woke up feeling quite foolish...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Evil babies

Oh yeah, one last closing thought...

Do you know what's been running through my mind all day? When I was really young, there was this video that I enjoyed immensely. It was 50 of the greatest cartoons by Warner Brothers, Inc. These were a lot of the great classics: Bug, Daffy, Porky, etc. in classic form.

By no means is Porky my favorite character, but for some reason, there was one cartoon of his that, although I liked it, it was really wierd. The theme of it was that everyone had a specific responsibility in World War II. (I think it was used as a kind of recruiting cartoon, as well as an answer to every child's question: "Why did Daddy have to go away? Why is he fighting people he doesn't know? Why do these people want to kill him?" etc.) While some were out fighting, the rest had to fulfill their duties to our great country to support her troops -- unlike today's unpatriotic citizens who wouldn't defend America if every country in the world was against her, but would instead berate her with the rest of the world. Darn Commies and liberals.

Anyway. Porky was hired to be a babysitter, because the child's father was out fighting, and the mother was working in a local factory. (A sad fact, but anyway...) The mother gave him a book called, "Psychology of Children", or something like that, and told him to use it if junior starts misbehaving. She then left in a hurry before Porky had time to do little aside from stutter. Anyway, the plot thinkens. The child proves to be almost pure evil. The book isn't helping at all. Reverse psychology fails, punishment fails, everything the book recommends fails. In the end, the mother comes back, sees her house a complete mess and asks Porky if he had used the book. Porky, running for his life, screams that he had, but it didn't work. Stop right there. Imagine, for a second those kinds of sleepers that don't have individual feet but instead act like a pillowcase for the lower half, and imagine, also a large baby bonnet on top of a very mean-faced baby. Now imagine that, but running, Road-Runner style, fiendishly wielding a large, gleaming buther's cleaver. OK, allow the picture to resume. The mother tells Porky that he wasn't using it right. She then grabs the kid, plops him over her knee, and spanks him with the book, telling Porky that he wasn't using it right.

Now that that LONG introduction is out of the way, the scene that has been running through my mind all day is this: somehow or another, Porky finally manages to one-up the evil brat towards the end of the sketch. When he does so, the baby is somehow in his baby carriage, wearing a pot for a helmet, but the bonnet frill is standing up in front of the pot. Using cartoon physics, he pops upright in the carriage, and yells, "Of course, you know, this means war!" He pops a cigar into his mouth, lifts his right hand up giving the "V for Victory" or the peace sign, and growls through his cigar, which is clenched firmly in his teeth, "We will fight until Hitler and his evil Nazi gangsters suffer complete, abject and utter defeat." (It's close enough. I forget the exact words, but that's very close.) After that, he pulls a cleaver out of the carriage -- what it's doing in there, I have no idea -- and gives chase. It is that picture of the baby imitating Churchill and saying that line that has been running through my head all day.

Yeah, so...

Just thought you'd like to know more about who you're dealing with, and I'd like to ask one question of you, now that I have your attention:

Why are you still reading this?