I Want You To Vote For Me

Well, really, I just want my loyal readers to vote on which photo of me I should use for personal ads and/or thefacebook.com.

Click here!

Wow, people sure like to take pictures of me drinking.

You can also go here and vote for older pictures of me that generally do not feature me drinking.

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Is This the College Life?


Maroon and gold were aflame in the East River Flats on Friday. I stayed on the clock late to shoot the homecoming pep rally stuff for SAO and ended up having a pretty good time. Since I’m on the ins with the staff I was able to sit next to the judges of the cheer competition, which meant that I had a front row seat for the whole deal. Sorority girls and cheerleaders danced and did high kicks mere inches in front of my face.

I love marching bands, by the way, but they should cut loose with more stinky funk — as in: any stinky funk. Make use of your tubas and percussion. Better yet, make use of your whole band to get some booty motion in order. Spread the stink on the crowd!

Uh, yeah. I got paid (my hourly student employee wage) to take pictures of the cheer competitions and the bonfire. That’s the life!

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Pray For Rain

Art 1101W runs until 10pm on Wednesday. That’s four hours of trying to stay awake in a dark room while a smooth-voiced professor talks quietly about art. Like most of my classes, it’s a fight for consciousness. Nothing against the class, but I could have the art book in the bathroom for a week and get all the way through it. Actually, that’s not a bad idea.

During the seventh inning stretch of the class it started pouring. If you live here in Mineapolis you probably heard or saw the impressive thunderstorm that stopped by to knock down trees and power lines. As class ended I called home to inquire about a ride, but the rain seemed to stop, so I threw caution to the wind and jumped on my bike. Riding at night on wet streets lends a special feeling to the commute. Spray from my front tire leapt into the beam of my headlight as a continuous fountain.

Unfortunately another deluge hit just after I crossed Broadway. I slipped into shelter at the EZ Stop. Stan picked me up from there, but the rain seemed to let up as soon as I got my bike into the back of the station wagon. The drive up Johnson was eerie. Traffic was absent and the shops slept in silent blankets of darkness. Our headlights seemed to disappear and buildings slid away into fuzzy blackness as we swept by. One of the branches of one of the elm trees bearing an orange “X” on our street was blocking the entire width of Ulysses. At least the power was on by the time I got home.

My beer at the Nomad was a little disappointing. The bartender carded me with a serious look in his eye, but my Beamish was pulled hurriedly. Only a handful of patrons stood amidst the bar stools. No music was cued up, or the music was too quiet. I couldn’t quite get settled, so I drank up and headed to the deli to pick up my gyro. I got a shocked look when I responded that yes, indeed, I did want all the hot sauce that was offered, but it was worth it because that gyro was spectacular. My bike and I shared some of the cucumber sauce. It’s a good thing that it rained, because I didn’t quite get all of the sauce wiped off of the bike before parking it.

Tonight Zach and I went to Stub and Herbs. He had a beer and and I had an Summit Oatmeal Stout and the flavorless pasta special. We managed to talk for a bit about the Whittier project. I think that I am going to have to bust out some prototype code for restaurant location management and mapping to get the ball rolling. Imagine Google Local but more specialized: neighborhood (and/or city) specific, with hand-tagged data, and with a focus on restaurants and bars.

Before I get to work on another web project I have to work on homework and some sort of Gallery stuff. At work I will be making a new site that blends text posts with image, video, and sound management. I think. Maybe.

P.S.: I wrote this entire post in class, and I have answered so many of the teacher’s questions that he called me a kiss up, despite the fact that I have been mostly ignoring the teacher for two hours. Did he not notice the laptop on which I have been furiously typing?

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I told you

You see, once classes started, I have had less time to write for you, and the homework has barely even started.

Today it took me 16 minutes to bike to work, which is an average speed of 14.65mph. Hooray! A coworker asked if I had biked to work through the rain. When I get home Noah declares *you’re wet.* In any case, that’s about half the time that it took me to drive to the day lots and then walk to work, about five or ten minutes longer than it takes to get dropped off, and about six hours less than riding the bus. Actually I think that the bus ride is between twenty and thirty minutes. Never mind.

Okay, I did finally get my ITlabs wireless set up (again) (I think), so there is a stronger chance that I will have access while in the EE/CSci building.

Tonight: Beamish at the Nomad followed by a gyro, then glorious, spectacular, wondrous Art 1001W. We have been split into three groups in that class, and I have apparently been placed in the “misfits and non-art-majors” group. I wonder what fresh horrors await for me today — perhaps another lecture on the difference between hard and soft lines. Oh yeah, when I get home I ride the Lost train for another x hours, where x > (any sane person should spend watching a show from ABC — well, besides Monk). Then, sleep.

Aren’t you glad that you asked?

Shoot! Paul! Are you sick? Are you up for something on the west bank before our evening classes? We don’t have to go to the Nomad.

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Lost

I try to avoid the big budget mainstream television, but I can’t resist the gravitational force that is Lost. Lisa bought the season one box set today, so we all will be watching it tonight. Also, some math homework.

Oh yeah, if you have trouble leaving a comment, please send me an email or something. I’m trying to beat down the deluge of comment spam storming in from everywhere.

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In case I forget

Saturday I stepped on the scale and it came up 198! Have you heard of the hacker’s diet? I’ll let you google for it, but it’s what my beer and pizza diet is based upon. The important thing to note is that one’s consumption and expulsion of water is directly connected to those five pound fluctuations in one’s weight, so dehydration can temporarily pull your weight way down. Nonetheless, this is the lowest that I have dipped in probably six or seven years, and I don’t mean morally.

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And I guess that I miss you

And I’m sorry if I dissed you

I was a bit down Friday, so after taking a late nap I went for a drive into the black pools of night collecting in the streets. It’s hard to say where I went, but it wasn’t like riding a bike. The road glides effortlessly beneath you in a car. The air rushes past but leaves you untouched. The trip kept my head above water.

So today I woke up from pleasant dreams to the sound of the phone. I missed the call, but the answering machine revealed the caller to have been Cake Woman with a business proposition: if I were to replace the serpentine belt on her car she would provide me with delicious Maibock. For those of you who don’t know, I don’t need to be bribed to help my friends, and I don’t keep track of “debt” of favors unless it seems like someone expects me to owe them something, so really, if you need something done and you need help you should just ask and not worry about bribing me with beer. I do appreciate gifts of beer, though, even if, like in this case, I bought the beer in the first place.

Since I hadn’t eaten anything but Cheetos and a fudgie brownie since noon the previous day, Cake Woman and I moseyed up to Ready Meats, the local butcher shop. It was almost five at that point, so the store was packed with last minute shoppers.

I gave your mom the five o’clock meat rush last night!

Cake Woman is pretty goddamn funny. We proceeded to make every possible meat, sausage, and bacon joke while inside the store and walked out with a brat and two apple sausages. The butcher called Cake Woman “kitten,” which had the same effect on her as when a waitress calls me “sugar,” “darlin’,” or “get the fuck out, shithead.” Our meat was cooked, the beer was consumed, and I changed Cake Woman’s belt in less time than it took to get my tools out of the car. I didn’t even need the tools. We watched cartoons for a few hours after that, and almost watched Closer before she revealed that she had to work at seven in the morning.

As Cake Woman made her graceful exit I remembered the Dallas Orbiter show that I was almost missing. Despite the scarcity of parking on the West Bank I still managed to park for free. Mark Edwards was cool, with the layered on-site sampling of his own beat boxing, guitar, and singing. I heard the Ryan Lee Music band thing compared to Dave Matthews, which was not entirely inappropriate, except that I didn’t want to gouge out my own eyes so much. Well, whenever their awful synths played those hell spawn preset pads, yes, but the rest of the time it was all right. The old dude with the huge beard who was riding a scamp and then dancing while leaning against the bar liked it just fine, and said so loudly.

I had Beamish Irish Stout and Lodahl bought me a shot of Patron. I also drank four pints of water and had a gyro from the shop next door. I think that the Nomad might be my Wednesday night West Bank dinner spot, what with the gyros and stout and all. The one thing that I wonder about (and this will roll through my head all night) is if that cute waitress brushed past me three times in close succession to get my attention, or if I am justing building sand castles in my imaginary beach. Lisa said that doesn’t happen by accident. Melody agreed (hooray for late night AIMing). I may go back for the Beamish and a gyro on Wednesday just to scope out the situation, especially since I can make it my pre-art class meal. Or, if I were really crazed I could show up for that Roshambo business.

Oh, what am I saying? Cute dreadlocked waitresses aren’t into dorky computer science sophomores. She probably just had schmutz on her boob that she wanted to wipe off on an unsuspecting patron.

It was the other bartender who played Modest Mouse, anyway. I think. Never mind! GOD! I’m going to bed. Also, I’m gonna start calling women “kitten.”

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Snaky

Cake Woman brought me her serpentine belt and some beer so I could change the former and drink the latter. Being productive makes me feel better about life, if you were worried.

Lisa and Stan were gone last night to a rehearsal for the wedding today. I think that they are at the reception now.

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Are You Okay?

The other day Melody asked me over AIM (yahoo? I dunno which instant messaging protocol, it doesn’t matter, I say AIM like Kleenex now) if I was okay. She said that I seemed down.

Okay, now, after the lot of you stop laughing because she had to ask if I was down, here’s the weird part: I wasn’t. I was busy working or looking on ebay for stuff that I don’t bid on because I don’t need it but isn’t it nice to know that I could buy a ceramic monkey statue if I wanted one and whew I just killed an hour without making my brain do any heavy lifting. So, what is important about someone asking me if I’m okay? I dunno, she’s one of the few people to have asked it right. When I am actually feeling like crap (which, believe it or not, happens) I always want someone to ask in the pointed, tenacious way that she did. Good luck trying to get that exact phrasing and attitude correct. The wrong approach will likely just annoy the shit out of me.

I’ve been happy with the whole school thing this semester. My classes are filling the usual pattern:

  • CSci 2021: super easy
  • CSci 4041: interesting
  • Math: I don’t really know what is going on and I’m having a hard time caring
  • Art: the biggest challenge is staying awake through four hours of soothing oration

I’ve even been enjoying the torment of exercise in bicycle form. My Surly is comfortable and fast. I can pick it up with one hand without even a grunt. It hurts like hell to ride up Johnson and my ass hurts when I get on the bike in the morning.

Goddamnit, I like my boss’s blog better than mine: The domain of Xopl. This should not come to a surprise to those persons who regularly visit my junk drawer of a web site. I could have gone for booze with him tonight, but I don’t want to worry about not being able to catch a bus back from the useful parts of Minneapolis at bar close.

I wonder if anyone is home. I need a drink. Maybe I should bike to Grumpys.

billa-billa-billa, pretty eyes.

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Unicode in PHP

Whenever there’s an encoding issue or a question about Unicode, people tend to knock on my door.

Sound familar? If you’ve been on #gallery with me at three in the morning, you’ve probably heard me cursing character set conversions. This guy has apparently done even more cursing than I.

(this link is for people as nerdy as me)

Proposal for Implementing Unicode in PHP - Acko.net - Steven Wittens

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