Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: October, 2002

This time, links first:
Scramble Bands. I hate football. During my stint in a marching band in high school, we marched in all sorts of weather which meant getting soaked and/or frozen. Besides, the games weren’t that interesting even when someone explained them to me. Now the scramble bands–that sounds interesting. If I have time, maybe I’ll brave one more football game to see one.
Vote for me. This will probably be the only time that I ask you, the readers, to do anything for me.

The Tuesday Too from February 19 since jf is off on a boat trip:

1. When are you spending time frivolously on the internet?

Right now? At the Nanowrimo forums. But usually I spend time reading Metafilter.

2. Would you describe yourself as an east coast or west coast personality type?

I am definitely not a west coaster. We’ll see in a few years to see if the east coast sticks or runs.

3. It makes me really nervous when I…?

…see that the alarm clock turned off by itself.

Think Nothing of It

My roommates are slowly getting accustomed to American culture. However some simple things still fascinate them, such as saying thank you, sorry, or you first. “Everyone here is so polite!”

Well, I’m not so sure about that. A lot of thanks and excuse mes are social niceties that have been ingrained, depending on your upbringing. I say them all the time and I really have to think about it if I’m trying to be aware of exactly what I’m saying. But when someone doesn’t say any of this, like “excuse me”, the absence of the words is acutely felt.

But odd cultural politeness goes both ways. One of my roommate’s friends came over and asked me if he could borrow some plates. I thought nothing of it. She tried apologizing for his rudeness.

A Hike

At the entrance to the trail is a silver observatory, windows with one shutter ripped off. A tiny animal sits a few yards away at the base of a pine tree. I take a step forward. A chipmunk, I finally realize. And with that, it scampers into the shadowed forest.

The path is spongy, littered with broken branches, pine cones, acorns. The green ivy is blotched black with an unknown blight. A nearby bush rustles and squeaks, startling me for a moment. Birds. The canopy covers the overhead sky like the blight. There is a small clearing, and on a rise of gray stone and purple flowers is a tower.

It is tall, thin, and off limits to the public. It looks like a prison with decayed windows and a light green dunce cap. I dare not touch it.

Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. “And those men who are inventors and interpreters between Nature and man, as compared with boasters and declaimers of the works of others, must be regarded and not otherwise esteemed than as the object in front of a mirror, when compared with its image seen in the mirror. For the first is something in itself, and the other nothingness–Folks little indebted to Nature, since it is only by chance that they wear the human form and without it I might class them with the herd of beasts.” –Leonardo da Vinci
Internet Medieval Sourcebook. I may have posted this link before, but I’ve got to say, it’s fascinating to read the thought processes that went on hundreds of years ago.

From a reliable source, I heard that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are visiting Vancouver (i.e. UBC) on Monday, October 7. So for those of you on the west coast, go rub elbows with royalty if you are so inclined.

(Of course, I don’t care a wit. Famous people are just like everyone else, except with bigger egos.)

To waste time:
LOTR: Two Towers Trailer. For people who haven’t read Two Towers, the trailer contains tons of spoilers. But other than that, wow. I’ll probably see it when I get back home in mid-December because then I’ll have the entire theater to myself. All the rednecks will be crammed into the next theater watching the sequel to The Santa Clause.
The Purrsonality Test. (via ShawnAllison) I am a British Shorthair.

A neat quote I found on the Nanowrimo forums:
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” – Albert Camus

A minute ago, I saw a flying kiwi. When I looked closer, it was actually an evil little mouse with red eyes. Did it escape one of the labs?

You can tell I haven’t slept for the past three days.

Six hours of seminars. My brain feels like jello. I got free sushi though, so all is good.

I live in an apartment building full of Mandarin-gibbering pyromaniacs. Just as I was sitting down to check my e-mail, the fire alarm went off and the firemen dropped by.

Exasperated, one of the firemen asked, “Who here speaks the best English?” The answer to his question? Me. But I couldn’t very well explain a problem that happened in somebody else’s apartment.

So what happened? Some guys were cooking and fiddling with the circuit breakers at the same time.

More about writing…

Write a novel in a month, specifically during November. Sign-ups for NaNoWriMo start today. Always wanted to write a novel? Sign-up. Need a challenge? Sign-up. Not sure about this whole novel writing business? Sign-up anyway.

To be honest, I didn’t get much motivation from my friends last year. They thought I was crazy. They were too busy doing other things. I’d say, if they used the time they spent watching movies and playing video games writing, they would have two novels and a half done by the time the month was over. I seriously doubt I’d get any encouragement this year. Probably less. But I won’t let that stop me.

Tuesday Too:

1. What would make you just give it all up, or if there isn’t anything that bad, how come?

Giving up only means that you haven’t tried enough. Tomorrow will always be better.

2. What in your life gives you the most satisfaction, or a sense of purpose? Can you explain why?

What gives me the most satisfaction is results, be it an experiment, a writing exercise, or simply not burning dinner.

3. What is it you don’t have, that you’ve absolutely got to have?

I am currently enamoured with blank notebooks. All of that white paper brings a smile to my face. So far I’ve kept my impulse to buy out the bookstore in check.