December 26, 2003

Four Guys, A Car, and A Run for the Borders

Some things can be shared, and others should always remain private. Borders‘ bathrooms are public, so is this story…

It was Late Spring 2001, BJ, Jeff, and I converged on the Gilligan household to meet up with Dan and head out on a search for an apartment big enough to hold the four of us. As usual, we were running a little behind, but still had plenty of time to make our rounds.

After talking about nothing for who-knows-how-long, we gathered our essentials and set out on our journey, all of us prepared – or so we thought.

Not more than five miles down the road from Dan’s house, we were approaching the local Borders? store. What follows is probably an inaccurate, yet sufficiently descriptive account of the ensuing conversation:

Dan (to the driver, presumably me): Can we stop by Borders? real quick?
Me: What for?
BJ: Yeah, what do you need to stop at Borders? for?
Jeff (No doubt waiting for his opportunity to interject well-timed, yet subtly hilarious wit at any moment): Silence
Dan: Can we just stop?
Me: We’re kind of on a tight schedule
Dan: I have to take a crap, ok!
BJ: DAN! We JUST left your house!
Me: Yeah, Dan, why didn’t you just go to the bathroom at your house?
Dan: I didn’t have to go then?
BJ: In the time between now and when we left your house, you have a bad enough urge that we have to stop at Borders??
Jeff: And why Borders??
Dan: Shut up. I can’t help it. And Borders? has nice bathrooms.
Me: Yeah, but you don’t even get to take the magazines in with you.
Dan: You guys suck.

Yes, Dan, we most certainly do.

Dan didn’t end up living with us that year, but thanks to that fateful day we’ve been blessed with that story. And now, every time we step into a Borders? we think of Dan and his bowels. Thanks, Dan.]]>

December 23, 2003

The First Weekiversary

At this time a week ago, I was sitting alongside my compadres-in-dorkdom, Eric and BJ, and we were eagerly anticipating the start of “the event of the century” as our fearless leader of the “Fellowship of the Trilogy” called it. Though we were still 2 hours away from start time, the blood was flowing, our eyes were wide, and thoughts of “what are we doing here?” were running rampant in our minds. As we looked around us, normalcy was very often not the first word that came to mind to describe what we saw, though there were exceptions. One of us remarked that there were more females than we thought there might be, many of them without a dorkus companion on their arm. (Not that we were looking). There were hobbits, elves, and rangers among us. We were haunted by the presence of a screeching Ringwraith. We laughed at the over-sized toilet paper roll Dark Tower, complete with the Eye of Sauron.

We even had Peter Jackson.

Good or bad, these were the people (and things) we chose to spend the next 14 hours of our life with. These were good people.

By the time the first movie was about to begin, we all remembered why we were there. Since October, we had all been imagining this moment and it had finally arrived. Gone were the doubts of staying awake, we had to stay awake. Gone was the worry of hunger, we would find food. The hour was upon us. It was time to begin our journey with the Fellowship of the Ring. No, it was time to begin our journey with the Fellowship of the Trilogy.

At the end of the day (well really it was the beginning of the next day), we hadn’t made new friends. Though we had spent the last 12 hours in a dark room with 200 people, it was all about the movies. Sure, the multitude bonded over the commercials we had seen before all three movies (“It’s ‘delux’ son. It isn’t that hard!”). We even struck up a brief conversation with the ladies next to us about the rank odor of the room. But through it all, our eyes remained fixed on one goal, seeing this amazing story come to its natural end.

December 16, 2003

Back When Love Was Cool

I’m about to leave for my duty as line place holder, but I wanted to enlist your help with something. This morning, Bob and Madison were playing some of their favorite 80’s (and some pre-80’s) love songs. Songs like “I Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon, “My Love” by Lionel Richie, and the immortal Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” among others. So I figued while I was gone for the day it would be cool if you guys could share your favorite 80’s love songs. Just about every song I heard this morning I loved, so it’d be hard for me to pick, but I’m sure you’re up for the task. And feel free to leave a story or something about why you love the song so much. I don’t expect much, but just give me something.

Alright, I’m off …

A Tomorrow To Remember

I’ve been warned that my excitement might be misconstrued as gloating, so I’ll try to keep this brief, but tomorrow BJ, Eric and I will be attending a 12 hour marathon viewing of all three LOTR movies (The special edition DVD versions of the first two and the newly released final film). Our understanding of how it will work is this: the marathon begins at 1 p.m. with the first movie, then about a one hour break, then the next movie, another break, and the third movie will supposedly start around 10 p.m. I haven’t done the math, so you may find that it doesn’t work out, but that’s just the culmination of various things we heard while standing in line for tickets and from what we read on the website.

For our part, Eric and I mapped out our proposed sleep-training regimens this weekend. Unfortunately, I have been unable to follow mine due to my body’s current sleep-schedule and various other distractions. All three of us, for different reasons, are obliged to waking up long before the scheduled start time – BJ for work, Eric for an exam, and me for waiting in line to hopefully ensure decent enough seats. Therefore, sleeping until start time is completely ruled out. So, here we have a delicate balancing of total sleep time with getting our bodies situated with an approrpriate schedule that has us up at the latest (for me) at 8:30 a.m. and then able to sustain cognitive coherence for approximately 18 hours. I’ll be taking duct tape with me just in case.

The other problem we face is food. Without disclosing too much information about each of our personal financial situations, I will tell you that the $30 ticket price was quite a hit. This makes each of us even less inclined than normal to spend our hard earned dough (well not in the case of BJ who has a cushy government job) on $10 nachos and 3 day old popcorn. The “organizers” told us they were going to try to get people to stay in the theatres during the breaks, but if they’re gonna do that, they better be shipping in a pizza per head or something crazy like that. Eric mentioned making sandwiches and buyin sodas to put in the car. I might just have to starve.

Well I’ve taken up a lot more space than I intended to, so let me offer you this as a reparation of sorts. Our task of obtaining tickets was very challenging, and the fact that we actually got tickets was complete luck. We were in line for probably just under 2 hours but were actually unsuccessful at getting tickets by this avenue. While we were in line, we heard they were selling tickets simultaneously online. Eric proceeded to call everyone he knew and ended up with his dad. His dad got through almost immediately, but tried buying 5 tickets. This quantity of tickets exceeded the spending limit at the online retailer (because of the $30 price) and so he had to go back through the system, which was a bit slower by this point. In the end, it turned out you could only buy 3 at a time online, and those 3 (tickets sold out before we could get through another round) were doled out according to a list of people based on a) the person who was actually responsible for us getting the tickets, b) the person(s) who actually waited in line for 2 hours, c) the person(s) who we absolutely knew for sure could make it. In this order, this gave us Eric, myself, and BJ.

So that’s it. It’s a little past 9 now, so I need to be getting myself prepared for a full night of slumber. “May the force be with you!”

Just kidding.

December 14, 2003

I Should Just Get Over It … But I Can’t

It’s raining in the Triangle tonight, and the temperature is hovering just above freezing at 33°F which means what is normally just “wet and rainy” weather becomes “it’s nasty out there, you be careful driving home”. It’s a nice sentiment, showing that you care enough about a complete stranger to send them on their way with such prudence, but it makes it really annoying to live in this place during our “frozen tundra” winters.

Don’t get me wrong, ice is no picnic to deal with, and can be especially dangerous (especially “black ice”, right Beth?), but honestly, it has snowed/iced for like each of the last 4 or 5 years here. When is it going to stop being a big deal? Will I ever be able to go to the grocery store the day before “the big winter storm of year X” to pick up a couple of snacks without having to wait in line behind people buying milk and Spam? At least it’s not during hurricane season when people rush to the grocery store to buy milk. What are you gonna do with the milk when Hurricane Fred knocks out all of your power? In the winter time it’s somewhat justifiable because you can just stick the milk on the porch and it’ll be all good.

But I digress. I love snow. And given I wouldn’t have to drive in it, I actually kinda think ice is really fun too. But I hate the local news reports, I hate the extra ten minutes added to conversation about it being “nasty” outside, definitely “worse than last year”. I just want to enjoy it, go out and make snow angels, and drink some hot chocolate.

I don’t think any of this makes any sense. But I’m tired of just “drafting”.

P.S. I’m writing Wendy’s to tell them to just save money on making cups by just putting a Jr. Frosty in one of the little ketchup cups. At least we could just squeeze it all into our mouths then. Or they could hand it to you on a spoon, cause if you’re like me, you’ve always liked the spoons at Wendy’s, especially when there was Frosty on it.

December 12, 2003

Put Your Best Foot In, Take Your Worst Foot Out … Do the Semester Hokie Pokie

Ask me what the ratio 136/140 means and rather than respond with some guess near 0.9714 I’ll tell you it’s the grade I received on a final in a class that I struggled to “find my own” in this semester. A class that I should have done well in because I took the undergrad version just a year and a half ago. A class that I just wasn’t being an obedient learner in.

Well, after staying up until 3 a.m. early this morning (it was a take home exam) drudging through the test’s most difficult problems, I was rewarded with a confidence booster that I can take with me through to next semester. It was the all important “something to carry with me over to next semester”, the “ending the semester on a good note”, the “thatta boy” that I’ve desperately been longing for. I won’t lie and tell you it was the most challenging test we had in the course, but I will pretend to ignore that fact. The semester has ended, and I am at peace.

December 9, 2003

Because It Just Isn't the Same

Even though my mom made up for taping over it by buying me the video one year for Christmas, nothing, not even an angry old man and his exam, will stop me from watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tonight on TV.

It’s sick, but I think it’s actually better with commercials.

Note: I did say video. I wonder what it would be like on DVD (hint,hint)!

December 5, 2003

A Conundrum in Ruins

To celebrate the supposed end to one of the projects I’ve been working on, I went cell phone shopping today (with no real intent of purchasing today, but hey, carpe diem). I’ve run into a real dilemma because I want to get this phone but they don’t appear to carry it anymore. Then my second choice would probably be this guy but apparently its SAR is 1.53 which is about as bad as you can get if you’re worried about such things.

Maybe I should just finish my other projects/tests.

December 3, 2003

Friendly Advice For Roy

Awaiting her return from the game, Reba found this on her computer screen:

john3381: im a little nervous for roy
john3381: 3 min left
john3381: im going to keep giving you updates of my opinion of the game since youre probably at it
john3381: im sure you’ll take them to heart
john3381: the pack did lose, but i think it put us in the right mind set
john3381: 1st item to work on: rebounding
john3381: raymond has a cramp…roy might want to bring some more water to the games
john3381: 1:45 left
john3381: i cant wait for tyou to read this…im having a lot of fun writing it

I think that says it all.

December 1, 2003