Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: January, 2002

Three of the last forty hours have been spent asleep. This means I’m dangerously on the hallucinating side. I’ve been seeing things for the last couple of hours and being in lab at the same time doesn’t help matters much. I saw a dark shadow walking around playing the bagpipes, but that wasn’t my imagination since everyone else saw and heard it too.

So I’m confused. Why do people think California is Scotland? Or Little Scotland? Does California have a large Scottish community?

I opened my door and found a bunch of Asian guys dressed in identical suits and identical hair cuts. They were holding brochures and meandering around. I had no idea what they were doing, but at least they weren’t trying to shove religious propaganda into my hands.

Cool link for today: The Secret History. It’s hilarious. A Byzantine historian completely trashes the emperor Justinian and his wife. I especially like this one: “Proving That Justinian and Theodora Were Actually Fiends in Human Form”.

We had a friend take a digital picture of the beaver that we had been torturing lately. Yeah, I know it’ll be more appropriate for finals but anyway…

Biochemistry crap

The night is a metaphor for the unconscious. The air retains a hint of crispness like a northern fall. In the darkness, people are shadowy figures that ignore my passage. Running water is a slithering monster underfoot. Doors are locked and I must wait outside in the stillness.

Some historical references:
Ptolemy’s Geography
The Byzantium Studies Page
Medieval Science
The Astrolabe

We did some water photos today, most of them with the beaver dangling above the body of water in question. I also took some more random pictures and battled the blades of death in front of Millikan Library. Maybe if we’re lucky, I might be able to scan the pictures in this weekend.

Hmm. I wonder if I can get to somebody in Timbuktu in Six Degrees of E-mail.

We got strange looks from passersby as we took pictures this afternoon. Well, we were throwing a stuffed toy off the roof of a building (among other various things). There were several times when we nearly got squished by elevator doors and moving library bookshelves. Security didn’t throw us out, but they were making fun of us. And we’re still not done. The things we do for “art”…

Tonight is the last night that the King of Spoons will be president. Or was. Near the end of dinner he was ousted by a horde of disgruntled off-campus sophomores wearing bright yellow t-shirts bearing the word “LOID” printed in front. They hosed the King of Spoons with super-soakers and the leader of the rebel faction read out a proclaimation for separation that sounded a lot like the Declaration of Independence.

Afterwards, I was off to interview one of the authors of Crippling Depression, Tim, for a class assignment. I got rather typical Techer answers until his roommate accused him of being sensitive and his friends dropped by to say that he had an unhealthy obsession with Disney characters. Then he went off on a tangent on his favorite movies and television shows. Since I rarely watched either of those, I was perplexed on how to end the one-sided conversation until he quite effectively just petered out. The interview wasn’t a total loss though, he did hand me a pile of papers with detailed commentary on his comic strip.

What is your medieval vocational personality? I am a benevolent ruler.

We were zooming down the 110 when we saw a car with a lighted sign stuck outside the driver side window. We passed it. The sign said “Sushi Takeout”.

Last night (or really early this morning if you want to get technical) I found out that we may be able to take out an entire senior page since some other guy volunteered to contribute photos. This other guy happens to be on my roommate’s fencing team and is obsessed with wearing all black. Sometimes I think he’s stalking my roommate but she doesn’t think it’s too unusual. Maybe they’re having this weird side relationship they’re not telling me about. At any rate, I find myself slightly disturbed.

Am I insane? Apparently I’m not.

Another Insanity Test According to this one I’m about 24.43% insane.

And the Cthulhu Coffee Insanity Test They say I’m schizotypal.

I saw a squirrel the size of a cat sitting in a tree on my way to rehearsal.

I’m exasperated that the editors of the Big T only gave us one week to submit our senior pages. Didn’t they consider giving us more time? I worked as a historian last year, and from what I recall, the seniors had at least a month, if not more, to work on their pictures–and the yearbook got out on time. Maybe the editors this year are trying to overcompensate. Maybe they’re trying to give themselves more leeway. Either way, I hope they don’t have a hard drive failure and get half of the yearbook wiped out like two years ago.

So last night, my roommate and I were trying to come up with ideas for our section. Finally, we made a list of things that would cause death. We’re going to take pictures of ourselves “killing” the Caltech mascot. Why? Because we decided that the best idea would be to vent our bitterness from the preceeding four years.** This morning at the bottom of the list (which we had written outside our room on a whiteboard) someone had added “death by broken heart”. Forgive me for sounding callous, but I’m not sympathizing with anyone who’s distraught that their love life is in shambles–they should have known better before coming to Tech.

We’ll just see how the photos turn out.

**This, of course, should be taken as our opinion and a metaphor (of undergraduate life at Tech). We are not deranged psychos in need of psychiatric help. No people, animals, or inanimate objects will be harmed during the course of our project.

The cleaning people are lazy. It’s nearly 10 AM and they still haven’t even started on the over-filled trash cans. Then again, some people accumulate dangerous amounts of garbage in just three days.

Some interesting links:
On the Implausibility of the Death Star’s Trash Compactor
The Surrealist Compliment Generator: You are as dazzling as a pregnant cow attired in electrical sockets.

This is the second year that MLK Day is declared an institute holiday.

You would think that with such a diverse community on campus that a day commemorating civil rights and equalities would have been honored earlier. But no, scientists probably don’t think much about social holidays. It’s just lumped with the all encompassing category of liberal arts. And liberal arts here, to be honest, is dead.

Actually, I’m jealous. People get a day off–a longer holiday, a three day weekend. On the other hand, I’m working today. It would take an act of God for me to even have a two day weekend. So you may ask why I’m not working now since this happens to be an entry. It’s lunch break, that’s why.

Some MLK Day links:
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