Any idiot can drive fast in a straight line

Friday, March 21, 2003

Current Reading: The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan. I've just barely started reading and I'm already hooked. She describes the plight of the 1950s/1960s housewife so spot on and with such clarity, it borders on prescience.

A quagmire of concrete, brick and sod, that is all a suburban home seems to me now. I need to live in a big city, at least until I have kids.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Jamie, Alissa and I just tried Potbelly for the first time. Not bad! The sandwiches are tasty and hot and cheap ($3.79). Alissa tried the ice cream and that got a thumbs up, Jamie and I tried the cookies and they got a thumbs up. Big thumbs down on their fountain pop though. The cup was probably only 12 ounces yet it cost $1.39! For $1.39, you get a 32 ounce cup at Jimmy John's. I guess they have to make up costs somewhere.

Newest albums added to my collection:

Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime
The Hives - Barely Legal
Sahara Hotnights - Jennie Bomb
Sarah Slean - Night Bugs
Eminem - The Eminem Show
Alkaline Trio - Goddamnit
Apples In Stereo - Velocity Of Sound
Descendents - Everything Sucks
Built To Spill - Ultimate Alternative Wavers
Aerogramme - Sleep And Release
At The Drive-In - Vaya
Belle And Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister

This has been a crazy week. The craziest part is trying to organize one of my interviews. When they initially contacted me a couple of weeks ago, they asked for 8 possible interview dates. I gave them 8 and then realized a few days later that one of those dates was the same as my AI final! Murphy's Law in full effect, they chose that day. I emailed my contact back immediately and asked if it could be rescheduled to any of the other days. The best she could do was to push it back a day, to April 25th. I have finals on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th and then commencement is on the 26th. Bad timing, eh? So, here is a rough estimation of my schedule for those three days:

April 24th

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Final
Between 3 PM and 6 PM: Fly out of DTW
Between 6 PM and 9 PM: Arrive
Afterward: Crash at hotel

April 25th

6 AM: Wake up, get ready, find office
8:30 AM: Interview, interview, interview
Between 9 PM and Midnight: Fly out

April 26th

Between 5 AM and 8 AM: Arrive at DTW
9:15 AM: Commencement

I can't believe I am taking the redeye from an interview to catch commencement.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The Gulf War Two Drinking Game.

Current Music: "Bombs Over Baghdad" by Outkast

I've fallen in love with two older games lately: Gran Turismo 3 and chess. Yeah, chess is just a wee bit older.

Basically, Joe tossed GT3 into the PS2 earlier this week for the first time since we've owned it. He has only played the rally races (since he hates all of the races on pavement). Matt and him scrapped for awhile and I tossed my hat into the ring. I was under the impression that to correctly navigate a turn you had to be turning the whole time. In rally, this couldn't be farther from the truth. You turn well before the actual bend in the road and then power slide through almost every one. I got smoked in those first few races. After they had left, I gave the course a few more runs. I just barely beat the course on "Easy" mode *then* I figured out turning. Each run saw my times improving after each iteration. Eventually, I was beating the CPU car by 10 seconds in "Hard" mode. That is when I got hooked.

GT3 is an extremely deep game. Even the simplistic "Arcade" mode has 30+ tracks and too many cars for me to count. The simulation mode has a depth I haven't quite fathomed yet. You start off with a meager amount of money and no cars. My first car had a whopping 116 HP to start, which was pretty depressing since Zig had a car that was pushing 1048 HP. You can customize your car, earn driving licenses (that allow you to enter the more difficult races), and obviously race. I've just started, but I'm sure I am going to be hooked.

On to chess. For some reason, Zig decided that all of his programming buddies should have a contest. He will write a basic GUI that allows people to plug-in two chess engines and have them go at it. I doubt I will participate (since writing a chess engine would take hundreds of hours, at least), but that got chess on our minds. After dinner (a Tuesday night tradition with the guys), Chris and I ran to the chess store at Briarwood and picked up a chess clock. We went back to my apartment and played four games: Chris versus Matt, Matt versus Joe, Joe versus myself and then Joe versus Chris. None of the games ended with a checkmate since we were playing with the clock. The first game gave 15 minutes per person then we pulled that down to 10 minutes per game when Joe was playing. I just didn't pay attention to the clock and I ran out of time with the game probably only half way through. Speed chess just isn't my thing, but I at least didn't lose in less than 20 minutes total.

Hopefully I stick with both of these games.

Monday, March 17, 2003

I *knew* I was using that word incorrectly. Whenever I feel like I am giving up and letting someone else have their way, I might say something about "subjugating my will" to them. In all reality, I have been meaning to say abdicate! I could say something like "I'm just allowing you to subjugate my will", but that doesn't have the same ring to it. Say it with me: "abdicate my will", "abdicate my will" and "abdicate my will".

Google supports wild card searching! Type in something like "give me * or I'll kill you" and Google will find all results that start with "give me ", end with " or I'll kill you" and have a single word in the '*' location. Sweet.

Jamie, Joe and I hung out yesterday. We just absolutely had to enjoy the weather! The diag wasn't the most verdant place (the snow washes away yet everything is so dirty) but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We grabbed Jimmy John's on the way then sat by the flagpole. We mainly talked about the night before and how we wished it turned out just a little bit less dramatic. As always, we also discussed the future. I finally realized that Joe is going to be moving out of state no matter what happens. We didn't know each other too well until this year, but I feel we've gotten close. I'll miss him.

Jamie and I discussed how cool it would be if we both do end up staying in the Ann Arbor area. I now have an official job offer from a company around here, so it just might happen. Of course I am still going to have my fly-out interviews. We shall see.

My camera got some more use; check out the pictures from the day here.

Over the years, a few people I have known personally have started weblogs. Those are always the best because you know most of the basic information about their life anyway. The weblog is just another glimpse into their psyche. Well, just recently, Eric started his own weblog. Another one of my good friends started one as well, but that is NOT for public consumption.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Last night, Joe and I had planned a little gathering. It was going to start with pizza, then drinking/euchre/video games and then finally going to see the midnight showing of Batman at the State Theater. Well, the plans quickly changed. We started off playing spades, chowing down snacks and drinking beer. Eventually more people showed up so we got pizza, played some GT3 and broke out the hard liquor. When it was time to leave for the movie, we voted and decided it would be more fun to stick around.

This is when the night started to break down. Somebody started getting pretty upset when we played Never Have I Ever, then another got upset because of sexual comments and then finally someone got violently ill. There is still a huge mixing bowl filled with puke and a blanket covered in puke in our bathroom. Other than that, it was great! See the pictures here.

Just the other day, an ex-girlfriend told me that she got married early last year. Just tonight, I heard that a friend from work last summer just got engaged. I'm a little freaked out.