One down

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. Classes have been drawing to a close, and finals week has been thrust upon me like a heaping scoop of aunt Mabel's potato salad at a family reunion.*

Ugh. The first final that I had to take was for Income Tax. I actually didn’t mind the class at all, but the final sucked. Generally I go through a bit of a ritual when taking finals. I take some deep breaths, and then I read through the exam twice. On my first read-through for this test, I actually seriously wondered if I had been given an exam for the wrong class. Everything on the page just looked completely different than anything I’d studied.

After another read-through I kind of figured it out (at least to the point that I had an answer to most of the questions) but still suffered through two brutal hours of torturing my brain to give up the information that I hoped was secreted away there, somewhere in the deep caves of memory. Alas, sometimes it doesn’t matter how much digging I do…there’s just nothing to remember. Hopefully I didn’t bomb the thing too badly. It was yucky.

Lately I’ve been entertaining myself by playing some Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Yeah, I’m kickin’ it old school. The only trouble is that everything on my PS2 looks like utter crap on my TV, because my TV rules and my PS2 is old. For a partial solution, I need to go pick up a component cable for the thing. That will help. I’m using composite right now, because…well because it didn’t matter before. It matters now, therefore the view will be at least slightly better after I spurge and spend 15 measly bucks on a cable.

I’ve got over a week until my next final. This means that I’m basically free every night this week, which is more than just a little bit awesome. It’s a whole heaping load of awesome. My next final is a take-home exam. As a rule I hate take-home exams, because they’re always harder and take WAY more time than an in-class exam. However, after last night’s pile of stress, I’m eager for a change of test type. After that, I’ve got to wait until May 10th for my last test, but then I’ll be DONE FOR THE SUMMER. Sweet, blessed freedom, I can’t wait to taste thee.

I can’t believe how fast it’s gone, but I’ll only have one year left after this one comes to a close. Three down, one to go, and they keep going more and more quickly. I imagine next year will fly by like a rocket, but right now all I want to think about is summer.

Speaking of summer, could we please get some nice weather up in here? This cold and snow is getting fraking ridiculous. We had more snow this past weekend. Seriously, it's the end of April! Enough already! GRR.

*I do not have an aunt Mabel, and if I did I'm sure that she would make excellent potato salad.

Pogues, Papers, Printers, and Plumbing

Talk on the Jabberboard this morning inspired me to listen to “Red Roses For Me” by the Pogues. Nothing like Irish music to get you fired up in the morning. It was a good time.

Yesterday I took the day off to work on a couple of papers that are due tonight for one of my Employment Law classes. The assignment was given to us with little to no direction, and my papers (we had to write one for each side, Plaintiff and Defendant) are both very short and sweet. I think they’ll work, though.

Yesterday morning, while I was trying to work on said papers, I realized that I was having catastrophic problems with my printer at home. The catastrophe in this equation was that it wasn’t printing anything. It never ceases to amaze me how some piece of technology will always work like a charm, right up to the point where you actually need it to work. That’s when it craps out on you. Well, long story short, it turned out that I just needed to install new drivers on both of the computers in question. This brings me to another point of confusion, and perhaps one of my more techy friends can enlighten me:

These drivers “make the printer go”. WHY in the world would the ones that I got when I purchased the printer suddenly STOP working? How stupid is that? Really stupid. Do they just somehow magically expire? Whoops! I guess this doesn’t work any more! Ha ha, no more printing for you!!! That just doesn’t make sense to me at all. Perhaps I’m analogizing it incorrectly with other things in life, but to me this seems like, for example, if my car were to suddenly switch from running on gas to running on urine, with me having done nothing whatsoever to cause the switch. Just one day, voila! Urine makes it go. Gas makes it do nothing at all. The car decided this for itself.

Heh heh, I can’t wait to see the comment field on this one. That’s fine by me, I love comments. ;)

Finals time is suddenly upon me. It’s a bit stressful, but not nearly as stressful as usual. I have plenty of time between finals this year, and really I’m not scared about any of them…yet. We’ll see.

In other news, I now have a wonderfully working sink. The guy that fixed it took well over two hours to get the thing back together and clog free. Wow – that makes me feel a lot better about my own lack of ability in the plumbing arena. Furthermore, he charged very little for the job, and is just an all around awesome handy man. I won’t advertise on my blog, but if ever any of you need something done that requires handyness that you yourself don’t possess, I’d be happy to give you this guy’s number.

Plumbing woes

Yesterday was simply gorgeous weather, and today is more of the same. The big difference between yesterday and today, though, is that today I’m stuck at work. Alas for Mondays.

Yesterday was weird. Kerry had to work, and that always increases the weird factor, just because she’s not around. What really made it a pretty lame day was the plumbing disaster that we experienced. Going into yesterday I thought that plumbing was just the connection of a series of tubes, and really wasn’t that big a deal. Now I understand the necessity of plumbers.

It all started with a clog in my bathroom sink. The little teeny sink-sized plunger was no match for this clog, so I brought out the big guns: The snake. I shoved it into the pipe and tried to fight this clog. In doing so, I somehow shoved the whole drain pipe off of the sink. Smelly, disgusting water was suddenly covering my bathroom floor. Not cool.

After finally procuring a wrench that was able to properly disassemble the rigging beneath my sink, I found myself with a severe backache and pieces of pipe that I was completely unable to put back together. OK, that’s not entirely true. I knew exactly how they went together; there was just simply no existing way to put it back onto the sink. I don’t know if it had been soldered before or something, but there were no threads, nuts, or any other means of fusing the pipe to the drain. All of my wrenching efforts were in vain. The plumber was called this morning. As a plus, I now have an awesome monkey wrench. Even if I never have to use it again, the board game “Clue” has taught me that a nice monkey wrench is a viable murder weapon, and one can never have too many of those. I digress.

Before the whole plumbing fiasco on Sunday, there was a Saturday that I have as of yet failed to mention. Most of the day was pretty uneventful, but that evening Ryan, Lundo, Amy, and Brian came over to eat a whole crapload of chicken wings and play some Settlers of Catan. Much fun was had, much beer was had, and life was good.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it already, but when I have a whole bunch of people over to hang out, and beer is involved, I never have a good morning the next day. Not because I’m hung over or anything; I worry because I think that I said something stupid that would make my friends think less of me. More than the beer, the simple fact of being a social host sometimes causes me to just…verbally vomit. Some sort of subconscious thing within me (insecurity, mayhap?) causes me to just constantly try and fill any silence. When you add any amount of alcohol to the mix, I talk louder, faster, and much, much more. My apologies to everyone that came over – I hope I wasn’t too annoying.

Fortune Cookies!

Free food rules. This holds true in almost every context. If someone were to give me a big ol’ steaming plate of free mushrooms, I would probably disagree. That hasn’t happened so far, though. Today, we got some free Chinese food at work. It was delicious, and its deliciousness was enhanced by its lack of cost on my part. The food itself is really beside the point, though. What matters to me today is the fortune cookies.

I had three fortune cookies. I’m superstitious about my fortune cookies, which I acknowledge as really stupid an immature. Bear with me. I believe that if you don’t eat the cookie in its entirety before reading the fortune, then the fortune won’t come true. So, I ate each cookie diligently before reading the words of wisdom printed on the paper inside. This only becomes funny for the third cookie, so you’ll just have to wait a bit, biting your tongue in suspense, until I get to that part of the story.

I ate the first cookie, which was actually dipped in chocolate for added…um…fortune. Tasty. After munching and crunching, I read the fortune: “You are competent and careful”. My first reaction was to laugh, because really, I’m neither. OK, there are some things that I guess I’m competent at. Other things, not so much. Careful? Now that’s just silly. If it’s winter and I go into a store, my coat will be responsible for knocking 50% of said store’s merchandise to the floor. I suppose that there are things that I’m careful about. I’m exceedingly cautious to the point of being obnoxious when it comes to my daughter. After giving it thought, I’ve decided that that first fortune applies to my skills as a father. Competent? I hope so. Careful? Annoyingly so. Onward!

The second cookie wasn’t as tasty. It was just a plain old fortune cookie, sans chocolate. Nonetheless I ate it with gusto, in preparation for my glorious fortune. I picked up the slip of paper and read, “As the wallet grows, so do the needs.” Mmmhmm. Thank you very much, delicious cookie, for so aptly paraphrasing Puff Daddy. Also, both of the cookies that I had eaten so far contained proverbs rather than fortunes. I wanted a fortune cookie, not a proverb cookie. I decided to try my hand at a third cookie, in a similar fashion to the way that parents of two boys always try a third time for that elusive girl. I wanted a fortune, and nothing was going to stop me.

I unwrapped the third cookie from its plastic packaging and watched, to my horror, as it slipped from my grasp and plummeted to the floor. The golden, crisp cookie shell shattered, revealing the paper that had been snugly nestled within. I did what any self-respecting superstitious fortune cookie eater would do in this situation: I glanced over my shoulder to make sure no one was watching, dusted off the pieces, and quickly ate them before reading the fortune. Hey, it’s important.

To my delight, it was indeed a fortune: “A business trip will bring you excellent results.” Uh huh. Hey, you stupid cookie! I don’t ever go on business trips! What the holy heck? My only interpretations for this fortune are that either it applies to the semi-distant future and lawyering, or it means that someone else’s business trip. After all, it just says “A business trip”, not “Your business trip”. So maybe some executive from some awesome music company will be on a business trip and happen to hear me jamming out with one of my bands in a basement somewhere, and will burst through the door and send us all on to become rich beyond our wildest dreams. Sweet.

A matter of weeks

OK, school is done within a matter of weeks. Not a lot of weeks, either. Like two of them. In fact, one of my classes will be done a week from today. That fills me with happiness about the summer, and stress about finals.

For those that don't know, the stress of school sometimes manifests itself physically. This is most noticeable around finals time. (See way old blog post about my MRI) I get dizzy spells and a general "oh good sweet jeebus I'm going to die" feeling. Not cool. But see, now I've pinpointed what causes it. Still, like clockwork, the dizzy spells have come back just in time for finals.

The really nice (hah) thing about it is that as the stress ramps up, the dizzy spells go away. This means that during finals themselves, I don't have any such unpleasantness going on. So that's cool. I also think that it's a bit milder since I now know what causes it. It used to be that just thinking about being dizzy made me dizzier. OK, enough about that.

I'm looking forward to doing some golfing in a couple weeks. As terrible at the sport as I am, I still enjoy it immensely. Along with the golf season comes the meat-grilling-and-drinking-beer-on-the-patio season, which is equally awesome for different reasons. The thing I'm honestly looking forward to most, though, is the chance to spend some time with my little family again. I miss my girls in the evening, and I get the feeling that they miss me, too. I can't wait for some time off.

After that I start my last year of law school. Holy crap, that went fast. I imagine next year will go even faster.

Weekend Recap

OK, I know you’re all thinking that my prior proclamation about Winter being dead was wrong, but actually it was correct. See, this last bout of snow was actually the winter-season equivalent of a zombie. It was undead winter, a dead season rising from the grave to rampage across much of the country. Actually, I feel really sorry for the suckaz up north of us. We didn’t get hit all that hard, by comparison. However, the forecast for this week is 60s and sunny, so we should finally be able to kick this snow crap outta here for a good long time.
I haven’t brewed any beer in a while, and I’m thinkin’ it’s about time to do so. I’m going to stop by Midwest this weekend and pick something up. I have something tasty and new just in time for summer. Now I just need to think of what to brew. Mmm. Beer.

Our weekend was pretty uneventful, but fun. I had class on Saturday, so my Friday night wasn’t anything special…just studying some Criminal Law. (Aside: Criminal law cases often make me laugh, because of how freaking stupid people are. They also often make me really sad…because of how freaking stupid people are.) Saturday night some friends came over and we watched Superbad. That movie cracked me up. Watch it, if you haven’t already.

Kerry worked on Sunday, so I was home with my spitfire of a little girl for most of the day. We had fun. After her nap, we piled in the car and went to Kerry’s work, because there was a puppet show going on. (I know that most of you know this already, but Kerry works at a nature center. She occasionally puts on puppet shows about nature, and they’re very well done.) Gwen and I arrived, and she went crazy looking at all of the fun stuff. She always has a great time at the nature center, checking out the animals and stuff. We had a good time. When the puppet show started, she stood in my lap (yep, stood…she wanted the best possible view) and stared intently at the puppets as the show progressed. Kerry was the voice of several puppets, but a particular bunny puppet was very close to her actual voice. When it started talking, Gwen yelled, “MAMA!” It was funny. When the show ended, Gwen was the first to clap, and she yelled “YAY!!!” Very cute.

Another year winds to a close

Yesterday I registered for fall classes for next year. It was the least painful registration experience that I've had, as I was able to get into everything I wanted almost without exception. That's pretty rad. I've hated registering for classes since my first day of freshman orientation in college. I have consistently been reamed by the system, whether for my last name's unfortunate placement in the alphabet, the popularity of all of the classes I have wanted, or some other reason. This time it was pretty painless.

Well, except for one little of the classes that I wanted to take dropped to only 2 credits during the section that I wanted to take it in. I needed to take it for 3 credits, so once again I'm stuck with a Saturday class. That's not nearly as bad these days, since I'm awake at 6:30 on Saturday morning no matter what anyway. Everything works out, and I ended up with no class on Monday and Friday night. That will be nice.

Have I mentioned nostalgia lately? I've been finding all of these old friends from my college years on Facebook. Any time that something like that happens, I get kind of sad. I'm always sad to have lost touch with people in the first place, but these days it makes me realize that I haven't been in college in almost a decade, which in turn means that all of these people that I considered good friends back in the day have had zero communication from me in nigh on ten years.

Of course then I realize that it cuts both ways. I'm not the only one that hasn't been talking. ;) Either way, I think that getting back in touch with people is awesome. It just makes me face my oldness. Or something.

The weather this week has been crappy, and that also contributes to my funk. That's funk like feeling bad, not funk like stinky or funk like George Clinton. Although, I like to bring all of the funk I can...a triple-funk situation involving me with a frown, smelling of farts and playing some tight "wookachicka" riffs would rule. Maybe I'll try and make that happen.

Along with this springiness and the whole mentality of the year drawing to a close comes the stark realization that I only have one year left of law school. After that my world goes into upheaval once again. Just when I started getting used to this craziness, I have to go and adapt to an entire re-working of life. Of course, I won't be going to school and working full-time anymore, which will make even an unusually long work week seem like a cakewalk.

One moment

Sometimes I marvel at the way I can go through an entire day in a foul mood, and one little moment can change the entire thing. My moment tonight happened during my drive home from school, but in order to properly share it, I have to go through all of the events of the day.

Work sucked. I know that I'm a member of the majority of the populous when I say that. Work always sucks, if it didn't, it wouldn't be work. OK, I totally acknowledge that that's a lie. Work doesn't always suck, sometimes it can even be fun. The overwhelming majority of the time, though, it's just work. Today sucked.

We're going through a large restructuring of the positions in my department. Perhaps my perspective is skewed because of the position that I'm in, but it seems from my point of view that this "restructure" is actually just an excuse for everyone in the entire department to dump a heaping helping of crap that they don't want to do onto the low man on the totem pole. Guess who that is? Oh, you got it. Good 'ol me. Seriously, you'd think that putting 5 years in at a place would get you a little higher up the corporate ladder. No such luck. Please, if anyone happens to be reading this and wants to give me a job, I'm at least a thousand times smarter than the average middle manager. Hire me. Ignore that whole "no management experience" thing. I have the ability to adapt and learn, as opposed to the typical managerial lack of sense. I also have the ability to go off on tangents.

After a long day of that crap at work, I went to class. With only three weeks left of the semester, I'm battling a severe lack of motivation in regard to my schoolin'. I sucked it up, though, and sat through the two hours.

I was driving back, still feeling foul from my day, when I looked up into the clear spring sky and saw a sliver of a crescent moon. Right there was my moment. Seeing that moon instantly filled me with overwhelming love for my daughter, by way of a kind of funny train of thought. "Moon" was one of the very first words she learned -- one of the very first shapes she recognized. As I looked up at that moon, I pictured her, sitting next to me looking at a night sky this summer and pointing to the moon. It was surreal, like a glance into a more-than-just-possible future, and it was both touching and encouraging. I have a lot to look forward to.

It's moments like that that enable me to continue plugging away at school and make it to summer. Just thought I'd share. And just like that, it's time to do some homework.


I have no class today, and that's just a billion kinds of awesome. It's been a nice relaxing day so far, with a trip to a nature center in Bloomington and a target run. Now I'm bopping between playing WoW and reading more Confessor.

The more I read (as I knew would happen) the more I loathe this book. This is the way of every single Goodkind novel past about #5 in the series. Why can't he write a book that I just enjoy the whole way through? It escapes me. I always like them (enough to go on to the next book, at least) when I finish them -- the endings are much better than the rest of the crap written on the pages. I swear, I could abridge this one into a 20 page short story just by taking out the unnecessary crap. This makes me read the books incredibly slowly, as I have no motivation to continue with the story at all. So anyway, I'm only a little over 1/2 done.

This is my version of the thought pattern that Goodkind must have had when deciding what to write about:

"Hmm, I need to do something original. I know! I'll make Kahlan be separated from Richard! Crap, did that already. I know! I'll fill pages with dialogue about life being important! Crap, did that alread. I know! I'll have Nicci get raped some more! Oh crap. Did that already too. Short chapters with Rachel being chased? Aww crap, did that already too. Um...OH! I'll mention what a bunch of brutes the Imperial Order is! Crap. Did that already. Hmm...what to do, what to do?

"I know!!! I'll just throw all of that crap in there and make it a book about football."

Yep. That's what he did.



I stand corrected, with apologies to T-Rav, but it turns out that Corey is in fact the world champion RickRoller. He went so far as to send a midi file of "Never Gonna Give You Up" to my freaking cellphone. He had countless links on the j-board that were brilliantly disguised. I fell for almost every one.

So anyway, the goings on from April 1 were hilarious, but it's time to be done with them. Other than that, this week has been pretty uneventful overall. There's no class on Saturday this week, and that freaking rules. I'm excited to have a weekend that's an actual weekend. Kerry and I plan to continue our Star Wars marathon (which would probably progress a lot faster if we could watch more than 1 hour at a time, but such is the way of our schedules.

So my lovely daughter went to the doctor today, and it turns out she has a little bit of eczema. Poor thing. (Of course, Kerry and I don't help when we constantly say, "ECZEMA! EEEEEEEW!") So, she's itchy. She'll be right as rain in no time, though.

I'm less than thrilled about class tonight, but then I'm less than thrilled about class any night these days. I'm down to the last month of this year, which is pretty awesome. It's crunch time now, but it will all be over soon. Then I can dedicate myself to more important things, like golfing. Hee hee.

It was like 57 degrees outside today when I left work. That was a huge lift to the ol' soul, especially after the ridiculous snow blast that we had earlier this week. It's only going to get better, too. 60 degrees on the way for Saturday, and close to that tomorrow. That will be just about perfect...especially with the whole no class thing.

I hereby declare: WINTER IS DEAD! Rejoice!

An April Fool

OK so apparently on KQRS this morning there was a story about a massive part of a glacier that crumbled into the sea as a result of global warming. One of my coworkers came in this morning all up in arms because she had heard on the radio that because of this event, atmospheric conditions would be messed up and essentially there would be no summer this year.

I informed her that today is April 1st. She replied that, “they didn’t say it was an April Fool’s joke.” Sigh. She kept on believing the story, and is probably still not convinced that summer will ever arrive. Sad.

Yesterday the Jabberboard was introduced to the concept of “RickRolling”, or purposely misdirecting someone to a video of Rick Astley’s awful song. It’s so funny to me that it’s driven me near to tears a number of times. T-Rav has become an undisputed master.