Archive for January, 2003

aural assault (and battery)

Sunday, January 19th, 2003 at about 1:26 pm

aural assault (and battery)

Go read Mark’s blog for some pictures of the concert (click the links). I’m especially fond of this one.

I would right about the concert, but Mark pretty much sums it up, so I’ll leave it at that. Also worth noting, though, were these guys who were there afterwards. We were talking to them (or listening to them talk) after the show. They were having a rather comical argument about assault and battery. They were cool, they seemed like nice guys.

CatGirlCool: those dudes after the concert were funny

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by tom

i’m on fire

Saturday, January 18th, 2003 at about 11:18 pm

i’m on fire

Inside Project got a huge influx of new members to the forums. We got about 150 new people from Tweakers AU. It’s a good deal of luck, I’m happy, but it means I’ve got to start spending more time on the forums to deal with it all. Shouldn’t be a problem, though.

We had a dinner party tonight, for about 16 people. It was nice, although I was a little tired. The kids went and watched a movie while the adults ate and talked. My parents are now cleaning up, and didn’t seem to want my help. That was nice of them.

Last night I went to the Solo Mono show. They played their set last, so we stayed until the very end. I didn’t get home unitl about 12:30. Even though I had been tired the whole night, I stayed up for a while after. Got to bed around 1:30, to wake up the next morning at 9. I should’ve slept more, but didn’t realize I could have. I went to the girls’ basketball game at St. Thomas More. We lost, but at least it was kinda close. I called my parents to get a ride home and they didn’t answer any phones… neither cell, and not the home phone. So I was going to be stuck there, way up in the middle of nowhere. But I caught a ride with Hannah to the library, where I could wait until my parents would answer something. They did, and came to pick me up. It actually worked out well, because I got to go to the library, which I’d been meaning to do for a few weeks. It would’ve sucked if Hannah couldn’t have given me a ride, though.

Last night when we were getting out of the car “Louie Louie” was playing. It’s been in my head ever since. I kinda wish I knew what version was playing, becuase I liked it better than the ones I’m downloading. Mark, if you know, tell me.

I can’t feel my feet. Actually, I can feel them, but they’re kinda numb. I’m aware of their presence, but they aren’t feeling like they normally do. Sorta… mildly tingly, and hot. I think I’d better stop sitting on them.

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by tom

whipper snapper

Thursday, January 16th, 2003 at about 9:34 pm

whipper snapper

Today I played volleyball for about an hour and a half over at IMPE. My dad plays with some of his students and Paul (another professor we know well). They invited me to play, so I gladly accepted. While it was fun, it didn’t go perfectly. My problem was, basically, I sucked. The others weren’t world-class athletes, but most of them were reasonably good at this. They’re all at least somewhat athletic. James played minor league baseball for a while. Adam played on the Illinois club team for volleyball, as did this other guy.

We started playing, and after I botched (horribly) the first couple of plays, the others on my team kindly reduced my importance in all further plays. For some reason I spent a good deal of my time at first composing something in my head that sounded like Dave Barry’s column on his experience swimming with a synchronized swim team. He described himself as a sea cow amid swans, I believe. That’s pretty much how I felt. But I got over it, and by the end was having a good deal of fun. I just wasn’t really doing anything terribly useful. It was actually best when some people had left, and there were only three on a team. I moved around a lot more, but for some reason I could function a little better.

One of the things this has taught me is to respect my age. I’m only 15, and despite the fact that I think I’m an adult (and I’m as tall as one), I’m not quite there yet. It’s strange, how that happened, but it’s what I come away from this with.

So that’s what I did tonight. I’m pretty soar. I think I’ll go take a shower, even though I’m not terribly sweaty/smelly. It’ll help me relax. But then I’d guess I’d better go do that soon, because I’ve got Bless Me, Ultima to read. TWO Dave Barry books have now been pre-empted for school.

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by tom

the chinese are tracking our every move

Monday, January 13th, 2003 at about 6:51 pm

the chinese are tracking our every move

600 hits. Don’t I feel special.

Today we started the new semester. I don’t like it. I switched Chem classes, same class but a different period. I don’t like my new class. With Mark and Henry in the back of the classroom and Sarah sitting next to me, at least it was entertaining. But now I get the sense it’ll just be boring. Which is a shame, because I like Chem. Oddly enough I hardly know any of the kids in my class. I’m the only freshman, now, and while I know a few of the sophomore girls who I sit near, the whole rest of the class is unknown to me. It’s odd.

Additionally, CS started. I think it’s just a waste of my time. I already know just about everything they’re going to teach me, and whatever I might learn I could just as easily learn on my own. They said they were adding in a section on FTP. Well yipee. I hate to sound conceited, but I am, and I already know this stuff. I’ve got an FTP server running from my computer off of my cable connection and a free DNS service. What’s more, I think a good deal of the other kids in the class know enough about this, too. It’s just a waste.

Dinner, I’ll post more later.

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by tom

if life were a fish, i’d be a mackerel

Sunday, January 12th, 2003 at about 4:41 pm

if life were a fish, i’d be a mackerel

Wow, yesterday was actually rather busy. Which was good, because I had fun going and doing things. Unfortunately, now that today all I can do is sit here and do homework, I’m sorta crashing. It’s like cocaine. Or maybe not, I’m pretty sure I failed that Health test. I didn’t have any regard for it, as it was on the same day as our Chem final. Chem got the bulk (in fact, it got all) of my attention.

I went to the eye doctor (I need slightly stronger glasses, but not much), went ice skating (didn’t fall once, proud of myself), went to Cordelia’s house (see previous post), had dinner, went to Mark’s house (watched Big Trouble. It was pretty damn funny). And that was my day.

Today I did some homework, all of which was a royal pain the ass. Now I guess I’ll go read a little of Bless Me, Ultima, even though I really don’t want to. I read the chapter summary, so now I guess I’ll work my way through it for understanding. Not sure how far I’ll get before I break down and go back to reading Dave Barry’s Tricky Business.

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by tom

mmm-mm good

Sunday, January 12th, 2003 at about 11:33 am

mmm-mm good

Bacon, anyone? No, Bacon for EVERYONE!

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by tom

how do you plead?

Saturday, January 11th, 2003 at about 11:07 pm

how do you plead?

The official punishment for me seems to be 4 weeks of no open campus, and a letter of apology. All in all not a bad deal, considering. And there’s the added bonus that I might even do some homework during my free period, instead of wasting away my days going out to lunch (and stealing shit) I can do something productive.

Well, Ryan did it. And I’m glad, too. Perhaps it isn’t fair to say this, as I haven’t given it adequate thought. After all, many of these people are murderers. However, it’s possible (even, perhaps, probable) that some among them are innocent. Surely it is worth it, letting these murders rot in prison, if we do not cause any more death of innocents. Now, of course, the system still isn’t perfect: many of those innocents (and I’m assuming here that there are innocent people on death row. It’s not something I can be certain of, of course, but it’s a possibility and must be treated as such) will spend the rest of their lives in prison along with the guilty. Ah, it is a complex issue. However, this is a step in the right direction. There is no perfection possible under these conditions, the risk is always there that either an innocent man will be killed or a guilty one given less than he deserves. So let us try to achieve the best system possible. It will require compromise, but compromise is something that humans are capable of.

I was going to write more about compromise, but I realized I was beginning to ramble. It’s so tempting, to move freely from one topic to the next. However, doing so dilutes the effectiveness and possibly the credibility of the piece as a whole. And in light of this, I’m going to leave it at that for tonight.

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by tom

qu� suerte

Wednesday, January 8th, 2003 at about 9:37 pm

qu� suerte

Luckily, the parents both took this very well. They didn’t even seem to want to punish me. They didn’t mention anything either way, though, so it’s possible they’ll discuss it and then come up with something. Somehow my dad knew about this, too. He spilled something while we were making dinner, and said, “Oh, whoops.” It was pretty foolish of him, but accidental. “Glad it was just you and me who saw that.” Then he waited a moment, and then, “Not like the police are here or anything.” And I just thought “Oh, shit.” But he was still amused, so I’ve been lucky. He thinks I’m an idiot, but I can live with that.

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by tom

my first ride in a cop car

Wednesday, January 8th, 2003 at about 5:26 pm

my first ride in a cop car

::Sigh::… not the best of days. It’s rather ironic, really. This morning I was wondering about what would happen if I were to get arrested. I didn’t think about why I might get picked up, just wondering what would happen in the aftermath. While I didn’t get arrested today, I came close enough to scare me away from wondering anymore.

Zuke and I went down to the Union to get some McDonald’s. It was actually some of the worst food I’ve gotten there, it was cold and rubbery, but that’s entirely besides the point (and what was I expecting from McDonald’s food?). On our way back we were walking up Matthews when we spotted this sign lieing on the sidewalk. It was still attached to the metal thing that at one point had held it up, but it wasn’t put up. Just lying on the sidewalk. Zuke and I have this thing with signs, for some reason, and we’ve been plotting to take one for a while. Again, never one that was really in use, but there are enough of them lying around that look broken to some degree. We had taken one laying right outside the school a couple months ago and put it under a bush. When it was still there three days later, we decided no one wanted it and took it. We put it in Kovacs’s office (why, I cannot say). More on what eventually happened to it later.

Anyway, Zuke picked up this sign and we started walking away with it. He said something like “They won’t care if we take this, right?” “Nah,” I said, because I really didn’t think anyone would. We had made it not 20 feet when U of I parking & maintenance people showed up. “Hey, what’re you doing with that sign?” We, of course, had no real answer. We told them we found it lying on the ground and figured no one wanted it. Well, they weren’t too happy. Unhappy enough to call the police.

So they radio for a policeman, and with 5 to 10 minutes one shows up. He wasn’t very happy either. He had us wait by the police car for a few minutes (after asking for my ID) and talked to the two U of I people. They could have said anything from “Give ‘em a scare, these goddamn kids have been stealing shit like crazy lately” (apparently there’s been a problem with vandalism and such) to “Do whatever you want with ‘em” or maybe something completely different. I have no idea. But the cop came back after talking to them and told us he was going to take us back to the school and talk to our principal. He said we weren’t under arrest, though (and made sure we understood that). We agreed, because at this point we were far from being in a position not to. While we were waiting Zuke was wondering out loud why the lights on top of the car were so small (they were different than normal police car lights). He asked the cop as we were getting into the car. I don’t think he really liked this, just said “Because they’re LEDs.” But at least Zuke didn’t ask a stupid question, which is more than I can say for me.

As we were riding the one block back to school (this all happened within sight of the building). He was telling us how taking anything lost or broken, no matter where the hell it is, is considered theft. I asked “What if it’s garbage?”. I don’t know what kind of idiot talks back to a policeman, but apparently I’m of that type. This didn’t make him very happy. “We could do a lot of ‘What Ifs’ with this. What if I put you in handcuffs and take you in?”. That shut me up really fast.

We got back to the school, and went in to the main office. It of course gets you a few looks to walk in behind a cop. I tihnk someone wanted to take a picture, but Kovacs of course didn’t allow that. She happened to be in the office, and so dealt with us when the cop asked for the principal. She was very nice about the whole thing. Zuke explained what had happened, and it was discussed a while with the cop there in the meeting room of the office. Dr. J walked in about halfway through, and he was very nice about it as well. I explained what had happened to him while Zuke gave the officer his name and address and such. The policeman gave me back my ID, and after seeing that this was being dealt with and that he had done everything he could do, left. Zuke and I talked some more to Kovacs and Dr. J about an appropriate reaction and such. Obviously there has to be some sort of punishment, but they seemed very open in terms of it. Kovacs said we had 24 hours to tell our parents before she called home, and we should think and discuss what appropriate consequences or other “proactive” measures might be. At this point it looks like we might write a letter, maybe community service, and I suggested revoking our open campus privileges (which I’d rather do than community service, but Zuke was mad at me for suggesting it).

Somehow most of the school knew about this within 15 minutes. A lot of people were rather supportive, which was nice. A surprising number also asked if we asked him to turn on the siren. I don’t think they quite grasped how freaked out we were.

After talking about it we decided we had better tell Kovacs about the sign we had hid in her office (which was still there, behind the file cabinet) a few months ago. She took it and said she’d dispose of it, which I was happy about.

So I’ve told my mom, and she took it very well. She thought it was funny. But then, she’s always been rather liberal. I’m more worried about my dad, who isn’t terribly strict by any stretch of the imagination, but is, as my mom said, “very straightlaced”. So we’ll see how things go.

In the meantime, I’d better get my homework done. I don’t have much, about which I am very happy, because otherwise this day would have been a lot worse.

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by tom

hoorah

Monday, January 6th, 2003 at about 9:19 pm

hoorah

Back from the first day of school. I’m not dead yet, so I guess it really couldn’t have been that bad. And, in truth, it wasn’t at all. It did take a little adjusting, but two hours of tv tonight was enough to ease out any of the wrinkles.

We’ve begun Bless Me, Ultima. I’m generally not into “ethnic” writing. Perhaps that doesn’t make sense, but I just think we have other cultures shoved down our throats too often. Now I sound like a raving nationalist. I would simply rather read something philosophical than cultural. For whatever reason, I don’t enjoy literature that is built nearly entirely upon explaining another ethnic group. Perhaps, of course, Bless Me, Ultima will not be like this at all. I get the sense it will be, though. We shall see.

Speaking of this, I’ve got to read a couple chapters of that tonight. I might decide to read this novel… “quickly.” By which I mean if I get bored I’ll sorta skim ahead and hope it gets interesting. I’m ruining my attention span, I fear.

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by tom