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Rough week, tough crowd
Friday. 11.4.11 7:52 pm
whoo whoo whoo

I'm thinking of coding two or three alternate layouts for this site and having them shuffle randomly. Would that be weird? Each one would have a different theme and they would be stand-alone layouts, but I sort of like the idea of having the site change between them. Sort of like the color/squareface preset but more awesome. I really enjoyed making the current layout.

School is getting sort of ridiculous! Not much to really get into on this front, haha.

I've run into some issues with the Toshiba Thrive that I bought...namely, the SD card that I bought to go with it is creating all sorts of fun little errors on my computer. What bothers me is that it's not outright broken, but it complains enough to bother me and make me want to return it. I've spent several days trying to pin down the root of the cause, but the error message I'm getting is apparently really old and occurs for many different reasons; I'm stuck wading through forum questions about networking issues (the majority, but not applicable to my case) by Windows XP and Vista users (we're talking posts from 2001...which still haven't been resolved). It's certainly an adventure. But it may not be completely the card's fault! I realized during my quest that my computer can no longer run System Restore, which is news to me. Dunno when that happened but it's sort of bad news because I use it pretty heavily sometimes. Boo.

Also, a piece of metal that was supposed to accent the headphone jack on the actual tablet apparently caught on something and is now sticking out, but I can't get a good angle to just pull it out completely becaue it's still wedged halfway into the crack where it came from. So I'm feeling some returns are in order. Really bad timing since I also have to be registering for classes, researching a research opportunity, and trying to get a foot in the door with the DoD.

...yeah, I'm not gonna get that scholarship. But HEY! I'll feel worse if I don't try.

In other news, I got a haircut. Cool, right?

I'd like to record here for posterity that this week I seem to be pretty popular with the ladies, albeit only with ladies who don't know me very well. My roommate hates me because I spent 40 minutes talking to a young woman in a completely spontaneous scenario, and I didn't even want to. Meanwhile, he said if he didn't talk to a new girl this week he'd swill a cup of vodka (which he apparently really doesn't want to do) and somehow I don't think he's lived up to that goal. Haha!

He also hates me for various other reasons, but most of them boil down to him being a sourpuss.

Anyway, I've also been getting weird signals from various people that I rub shoulders with in school or online, and I've been thinking about GirlFromHome and that situation again lately, so overall I'm just sort of weirded out right now. I think I should lay low. Probably smart.

Let's be honest, that's what I'm gonna do anyway.

Whoa look what I just found:

Now to go do something productive.

The more I read about this SMART program, the more it sounds like I'm signing my life away...I'd have to intern at a given lab every summer, and when I graduate I'd have to work there for however many years the scholarship was in effect. I suppose that's fair, considering they're gonna be paying unlimited tuition and limited book funds (more than I'd likely need anyway), and paying for my work on top of that. But I'm also not allowed to accept other major scholarships...or get an outside job unless it pertains to getting my degree. Basically they're saying I'd have to put my life towards doing awesome at school, and then a bit more towards working for a DoD laboratory.

...that kind of sounds awesome.

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A Dramatic Turn of Events
Sunday. 10.23.11 7:14 pm
So, unbeknownst to me at the time of my last posting, Dream Theater played less than 2 miles from my dorm last Wednesday.

When I found out (Tuesday morning, just over 30 hours before the event), I bought that ticket SO FAST. This is one of those bands that I've always wanted to see, but didn't have much real hope to that end because they're always super busy touring all over the world. The fact that I didn't realize they were coming to ATL until that late is simply sad.

I got a shirt. :D

I should also mention that I bought a Toshiba Thrive, a 10 inch tablet running Android. I am very happy so far with the purchase.

Hmmm. That's it for now, I reckon.

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To strive for an ideal:
Wednesday. 10.12.11 5:35 pm

More heartfelt than most romantic songs these days.

"There's a story in your eyes
I can see the hurt behind your smile
For every sign I recognize
Another one escapes me

Let me know what plagues your mind
Let me be the one to know you best
Be the one to hold you up
When you feel like you're sinking

Tell me once again
What's beneath the pain you're feeling
Don't abandon me
Or think you can't be saved

I walk beside you
Wherever you are
Whatever it takes
No matter how far

Through all that may come
And all that may go
I walk beside you
I walk beside you

Summon up your ghosts for me
Rest your tired thoughts upon my hand
Step inside the sacred place
When all your dreams seem broken

Resonate inside this temple
Let me be the one who understands
Be the one to carry you
When you can walk no further

Tell me once again
What's below the surface bleeding
If you've lost your way
I will take you in

I walk beside you
Wherever you are
Whatever it takes
No matter how far

Through all that may come
And all that may go
I walk beside you
I walk beside you

Oh when everything is wrong
Oh when hopelessness surrounds you
Oh the sun will rise again
The tide you swim against will carry you back home
So don't give up
Don't give in

I walk beside you
Wherever you are
Whatever it takes
No matter how far

Through all that may come
And all that may go
I walk beside you
I walk beside you"

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Saturday. 9.24.11 4:10 pm
Various decisions that have made themselves very difficult for me to...decide, in no particular order:

I came back from class recently after a long day, and realized that I had to poop. But I was also hungry. My urge to do each was so evenly distributed that for a moment I was sure that I would dump in my pants or faint from hunger if I didn't address one of the issues immediately. I froze, and the idea that time would run out, leaving me fainted on the floor AND soiled made me panic even more strongly.

Eventually it came to me that I could probably wait a few minutes to eat. But I remembered too late, as I sat and prepared myself to expel my waste, that pooping when hungry is never advisable because it makes you feel EVEN HUNGRIER.

Or maybe that's just me.

My second impossible decision was conceivably a bit more important. At the beginning of the week, I caught word that a recruiter was interested in me for the purpose of founding a new chapter of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity at my place of schooling. I ignored the voicemail, mostly because I had a similar phone experience recently that was definitely a crank call. But the man texted me, explained things a bit better, and asked when I wanted to meet to talk about it. By the time we met Thursday afternoon, I was intensely curious but still very wary of the idea.

For those of you who know me, you probably know that I don't really fit into the Greek scene very well. For those of you who don't, you also may have come to this conclusion. Who knows.

What interested me about what this guy said was that the main thing I was leery of, namely the stereotypical "frat" with the grotty parties and other undesirable qualities, was also something that he as a recruiter (and the national level as well) was trying to avoid. He was picking people who fit the older definition of "fraternity", especially those who'd avoided Greek life like me.

I also liked the part about being a "Founding Father." The group of us are the first, so we make the rules. We write the budget and charter, and make up our traditions. How often do you get the chance to say you started a fraternity at your school?

The issue was, I had to accept or deny my bid by Friday night...and preferably Friday morning. That gave me less than twelve hours to decide if I was going to go through with this or not. On the one hand, I'd never even planned to CONSIDER joining a fraternity. It seems extraneous to my preferred college experience, there's just no reason for it. On top of that, there is money to be paid, ridiculous formalities (which are never to my taste, anyway), and this peevish idea that you have to live for the brotherhood and it should be your number one priority.

On the other hand, there are the usual "give back to your community" and "develop a close network of friends" things to look forward to. I could honestly use a bit of responsibility...I've been lately thinking that I don't have enough going on with just schoolwork and the Physics club. I sort of like the idea of being a founder, and also the idea of being in a frat that isn't a "frat". And, of course, if something happens and I decide that things aren't turning out how I'd like them, I just walk away...provided I make that choice before my actual initiation in several weeks.

So I accepted. I'm officially a pledge for Alpha Sigma Phi. Not quite sure how I feel about it, yet. I think it's an issue with what I consider to be my identity; I've always been sort of a geek and now I'm a frat guy. Still feels weird to say out loud. Type out loud. Type explicitly. Yeah.

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