Thanks to everyone who answered my recent poll
. I thought the seed idea was friggin' brilliant, so maybe that's an indicator that it might be a good thing I haven't been on many dates... I still think it's worth trying, but maybe only with someone who I've known for a while before we go on a date. I can see how it would be kind of offputting if you've just met me.
Those uninterested in my day-to-day life can probably hit PgUp or PgDn now.
So... yeah. Winter holiday time. In typical Stone Family fashion, we haven't done any Christmas shopping. Which is fine for Harper and I, 'cause we're anti-consumer. We'll probably go media shopping as a family or something. We decided to get a ham, since it's less work than a turkey, and we only now got a few ornaments out of storage. Maybe we'll decorate our living midget tree ON Christmas. My mom and I might go to a Christmas Eve service, which we've done before. It's sort of an anthropological experience for me. I think a Catholic midnight mass might be cool -- does anyone reading this know what a Catholic Christmas service is like?
Some of you may be wondering what a Pagan is doing going to midnight mass and decorating a Christmas tree. It's largely to satisfy my mom's inner child -- left to my own devices, I'd probably do something weird on Christmas. Like go someplace that's usually crowded and be peaceful
I got my grades - A in Speech Recognition, A- in Programming Languages, B in Machine Learning. I think those are about what I earned in those classes, making this perhaps my worst semester yet. In large part because Machine Learning was so overwhelming that it impinged upon my ability to succeed in the other classes. The fact that I moved and went to Detroit a month into the semester didn't help either. I also haven't been as good an RA this semester as I would have liked for essentially the same reason.
Since class was out and I was done with finals, but had to stick around for a while, my sleep schedule got rather perverse. Between watching Donnie Darko at midnight, The Two Towers at midnight, grading Data Structures final projects at midnight, and downloading lots of music, I think my average bedtime for the week was around 4am. On Thursday, after a couple short awakenings to check folks out and answer the phone, I got out of bed at around 3pm. Whee!
As for The Two Towers, it was cinematically really cool. Excellent job on Gollum. The mis-en-scene sets the mood well. The animators did a great job with the Ents. Bookwise, I was a bit disappointed -- more so than for the first movie. Maybe that's because I had been reading the book on Tuesday so I was more familiar with details, but it felt like this movie was a little more liberally interpreted than the last one. Particularly Arwen. She isn't in this book, why the smeg is she one of the ten main characters in the movie? And Gimli was a little too on the comic-relief side. Though who would've thought that one of the biggest surprises in The Two Towers
would actually be in the movie? However, my biggest disappointment was that the theater slyviolet
and I were in didn't show the credits. The one across the hall showed the credits (so I caught the end of them), but anyone in the room could've been filming it and put it on the 'net because they didn't realize the movie was copyrighted. And was PETA on hand to ensure that no Ents were harmed in the making of this motion picture? I want fifty cents back from my ticket price. Grrr.
On Thursday night I hosted a White Elephant Gift Exchange with my staff. Two RAs from distant lands gave neat objects from their home countries; I gave a keychain collection, with a detachable keyring for master key access, a bottle opener, a carabeener, and a Rubix snake-like key chain toy (it even got sniped!); the last person to pick -- who I think is ethnic Farsi -- grabbed the package in the middle which was a T-shirt that says "I'm a natural blonde. Please speak slowly." I ended up with a package from our hall director, who used to be a HD at CSU
. It contained a shirt which said "Colorado State Residence Life Staff," three cans of Del Monte peas, and some scattered (but unused!) Q-tips. I think I'll use the peas in my family dinner program and I may use the shirt for ironic purposes somehow. We'll see.
While cruising Carracho
for mp3s I ran into my brother, who gave me several servers (unfortunately on DSL) to grab requests from. All told, I downloaded over 5 GB of mp3s in the last week of school, including Smashing Pumpkins singles, Captain Beefheart albums I didn't have, an awesome album by Natacha Atlas, Zaireka, the Flaming Lips' album designed to be played by four stereo systems simultaneously, and the three discs of the American Anthology of Folk Music cajun boxed set that my brother doesn't have. (Less than) 7 days of downloading activity produced more than two days of music. Ohhhhhhhhh yeah.
On Friday I was forced to remove all the paper from my hallway because a) it might be a fire hazard and b) they might want to paint the walls over break. Roooooight. 'cause bulletin boards and National geographic pictures on the walls are so much more of a fire hazard than construction paper nametags on doors and posters on people's walls. And since Eugene, the SuperRA I replaced, had all kinds of stuff all over the walls, some with industrial-strength metallic tape, I spent about 4 hours removing stuff from my walls that I'm just going to put up again in two weeks. RAGE!!! On the bright side, I'll be able to make sure I have plenty of bulletin board space, and I think I may do a program for the floor to decorate some walls with poetry, comics, etc.
On Saturday I helped set up and then enjoyed the 17th Annual Winter Solarbration
(a.k.a. Solstice Revels). This is yet another annual event which I may not attend again, which would be too bad. Fortunately, there are Christmas Revels
events around the country, but most of them are performer-audience relationships, rather than big parties with lots of country and contradancing. Because as much as I love the mummer's play and Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, it's even cooler when combined with dances in lines and square sets. Dances to music with harmony, melody, and rhythm! Just imagine it! And the best part was my wonderful dance partner, who spouts wonderful puns like "I'm a Green Witch for Mean Times." *squeeze*
Originally, a bunch of folks from my circle were going to come down to the Solarbration and then hang around in Denver all night before heading to Red Rocks to drum up the solstice sun. Nobody else showed up, so I went home with my folks and crashed. However, not to be deterred, I got up at a quarter past six and headed up the hill to the burn area to watch the sun rise. I should have gotten up at 5:30, since the clouds were already turning cool colors when I left the house and I got to the rock I was to sit on only five minutes before the sun cleared the horizon. But now I'm just a spring equinox away from hitting the cycle for sunrises. I proceeded to return home and nap for longer than I'd slept. I have loafed about pretty much straight since then.
I think I dislocated my precarious Cube ethernet setup again. Rather than resoldering yet again, I think I'll break down and buy a new card. If I can find the friggin' part number.