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45 minutes
Sunday. 11.13.11 12:35 pm
For the fraternity retreat this weekend, we went to one guy's house about an hour away. The place was HUGE! His family is very well off.

There was a tanning bed in the basement! Seriously.

I figured, you know, I've never even seen a tanning bed before, and now this guy's got one in his basement? I've got to try it. So I hopped in for a few (read, five) minutes. Yes they're terrible for you. But you know what? Five minutes of my ENTIRE LIFE in a tanning bed will not have any effect. It isn't like every second of exposure to harmful rays adds up over your entire lifetime. Your cells have natural functions to repair enzyme damage. Granted, this isn't a perfect process, but it does manage to keep us from developing tumors every time we go out in daylight. So I'm not worried.

Unfortunately, when I mentioned it on facebook (I think the idea of me in a tanning bed is hilarious) I got lectured by a few people...like my roommate. He gave me some statistic about people using tanning beds before the age of 21 developing cancer.

Right. So apparently Roomy is unaware that my father, my father's mother, my mother's father, and (I think) one of my great grandfathers have all died of various kinds of cancer (not of the skin, though). Which leaves me with a possibly high chance of developing those myself. Honestly, I'm more worried about getting cancer UNDER my skin than in it. So his little statistic not only bothers me because it doesn't apply to me (cough five minutes cough) but because it implies that I don't know shit about tanning beds, because he has no idea what my actual risk factors are, and because I'm sitting there trying to express that I do, in fact, know what my various risk factors are without being like "YO MAN I'VE WATCHED MEMBERS OF MI FAMILIA DIE A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH I KNOW MORE ABOUT CANCER THAN YOU DO SHITHEAD" and he just won't...take the hint.

"People who use tanning beds before the age of 21 are 50% more likely to get skin cancer.

Keep that in mind."

"[roommate], I know perfectly well what my risks of getting various forms of cancer are, thanks."

"Yeah, that's because I just told you what they were, Steve."

"No it's because I make it my business to know my lineage."

"What a boring response."

"You may think so."

"Indeed. That would be why I said it."

wtf

I don't like telling people about my dad, mostly because there isn't really an appropriate time to mention that in most conversations, and partly because I don't like forcing people to feel bad. And I ESPECIALLY don't like using it as a guilt trip. That's just awful, and when people do stuff like that it's just completely low-down and dirty. So this is an awkward situation for me because I'm trying to say "dude you need to stop" without just outright saying it. Plus he's sort of being a dick in general.

"People who go outside before the age of 21 are also much more likely to get skin cancer. I guess you're the safest person here."
I suppose I am also being a dick.

EDIT:
Also, on Saturday, I decided to try out the zipline in this dude's back yard. So after a few minutes of trying to climb the base tree, which was apparently not intended for climbing, I managed to get high enough to sit on the seat instead of hanging off the bottom like everyone else was doing. Then one of the guys grabbed the bottom and gave me a running start...right at a tree. There was a pillow tied to it, but I wasn't wearing my glasses and the seat was rotating and I was barefoot, so the idea of bracing with my feet was pretty daunting...but not as much as just crashing into it. Still, as hard as I tried, I was unable to position myself for the impact...and just before the collision, the zipline caught on a stop in the wire and whiplashed me to a stop. I was so close to banging my rear on the trunk that everyone watching thought that I had actually crashed into it.

After jumping off the seat and collapsing on the ground, I realized my chest was hurting from the compression and whiplash. And now today, Sunday, I feel like I did a full upper body workout. Arms, back, abs, shoulders...everything is sore. Pretty crazy to experience.

DOUBLE EDIT:
I was only clarifying the zipline thing in my comments because I feel like it wasn't very well explained here in my post. The joke Zanzibar made (which I appreciate) made me more sure that I was being too vague. So that's why I corrected myself through comments. Sorry for the misunderstanding, ladies.

I take being funny very seriously. And I take being serious very...funnily?

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Searchlights
Friday. 11.11.11 12:58 am
I've dreamed about people a lot lately. Usually I don't recall dreaming at all, or I have some epic novel of a dream that seems to last for days, so it's weird for them to be about real people. Hanging out with someone I miss, stuff like that...I've also had several dreams where people who I know to be dead are somehow...not so. During the dream I either take their presence for granted, or refer back to some strange prior event that explains things.

My dad's eyes were the wrong color. And he was too short.

But at least he had hair.

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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.

EDIT:
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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