Shmuel's Soapbox: Now available in bite-sized Weblog McNuggets!

Friday, December 14, 2001

8:18 AM:

It's 8:00 AM. I'm in the computer lab at school, where I've been since around 2:00 AM. It is reassuring to find that I'm still capable of the occasional all-nighter after all. It hasn't been quite as productive as I'd have liked -- I've only written about five pages -- but, on the other hand, that's five pages I didn't have when the night began, and I did some reading along the way also. The Get-Out-of-My-Apartment gambit seems to have paid off.

The current game plan is to finish the Theory midterm (about a page to go), and ideally write one more overdue (one-to-two-page) article summary before finding my professor. At which point I plan to (very regretfully) ask if I can get an Incomplete in the course, on the condition that I finish everything before next semester starts. (That last bit isn't a bargaining chip; it's the only way I'll consider this. I'll have quite enough to worry about next semester, without this course hanging over my head.) Then, if I can, it's off to the library to find stuff for Early Modern Drama and Linguistics, which need to get finished by Monday and Wednesday, respectively. (That a check of the library catalog shows that somebody else already took out most of the books I'd have wanted for the former -- only one somebody, I'm pretty sure, as they're all due back on the same day -- doesn't help me any. Good thing I'm not trying to write a good final paper for that class.)

One nice bit about the college computer lab is that it has these fancy-shmancy Pentium 4 computers with DVD drives. For the first time, I've taken advantage of that last bit, having Charlie's Angels running in the background most recently. As I've practically memorized the film, it's not very distracting, but provides a some useful background noise (through my headphones) to type to.

(I own six DVDs, despite not having a DVD player yet, but that's probably fodder for another entry. This one's the only one so far to duplicate a film I already owned on VHS.)

Aside: the computer lab's almost deserted at 8:00 AM. Who knew?


Thursday, December 13, 2001

2:27 PM:

Yesterday turned out not to be too bad, on the whole. I survived my classes, and managed to get through a presentation on my final Linguistics project. And I did get a two-day extension on that, so I'll have until Wednesday. Whether that'll be enough time remains to be seen. Whether I'll get enough of the Theory stuff done by tomorrow also remains to be seen. And whether my makeshift menorah will burn down the house remains to be seen, although it's been pretty good about not doing so so far.


2:19 PM:

This is the one post I made to Beth's forum yesterday:

I am wearing: Bright red jeans. A red T-shirt (the same shade of red -- it seemed a shame to waste a perfectly good dye bath just because the jeans were done), newly emblazoned with the words LIFE SUCKS in black marker. And a red baseball cap with the Grinch on it. It is to be hoped that the color scheme will cause people to run away screaming. I am so not in a good mood.


Tuesday, December 11, 2001

11:03 PM:

Oh, shreck.

(Umm, that's a mild Yiddish obscenity. Not to be confused with "Shrek," the Dreamworks character. Just as long as we're clear about that. We now return to the meltdown in progress.)

My schedule for the next couple of weeks was very tight, but clear, I thought. I had my Theory take-home exam due on Friday. My Early Modern Drama paper due the following Monday. My Linguistic paper (doubling as my Homeroom paper) due the following Thursday. Throw in a lot of previously missed work in Theory and a bit for the other classes, and the basic gameplan was to spend this week working on the Theory stuff, Saturday night and Sunday working on the Early Modern Drama stuff, and Monday afternoon through Thursday morning woking on Linguistics. That last bit especially worried me, as I wasn't at all certain that three days would cut it, but it seemed at least barely plausible.

So I was speaking to a classmate earlier tonight, and it seems that the Linguistics syllabus had a typo. The final paper is due on Monday.

So I'll be speaking to the Linguistics professor tomorrow and begging for an extension. If I get it, it's back to the expected level of chaos. If I don't, I'm sunk. It's pretty much that simple.

Oh, and also: aaaaaaAAAA A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A R R R R R R R R G G G G H H H H ! ! ! ! ! ! !


1:42 AM:

(Warning: the following is nothing but Star Trek stuff.)

First, I should state up front that this entry was sparked by entires written by Columbine and Mary Anne close to a month ago, to which I'll be returning at the end of this entry.

So. Here's my ranking of starship captains, from best to worst:

  • Picard
  • Janeway
  • Kirk
  • Archer
The first two are a close call, and I'm still tempted to give Janeway the edge. I admire Janeway precisely because of the way she rises to the challenges of a mission she never signed up for. The other three knew more or less what they were getting into, seeking out new life and yadda yadda yadda; Janeway went out for a short mission and wound up stranded on the other side of the galaxy. She does so well at first in this unenviable situation that she's the only one of the bunch who'd inspire the sort of loyalty in me that Mary Anne ascribes to Kirk. (And go read what she has to say about that, 'cause she makes the case much better than I'm doing here.)

The problem with Janeway is that, ultimately, she's not up to the challenge. She starts falling apart a bit towards the end, retreating into isolation for awhile, and by the final episode... well, without getting into details for those who haven't seen it, let's just say that the most charitable interpretation of the series finale that I can buy is that she's cracked completely.

Among the three remaining captains, Picard is easily the most competent of the bunch. Professional. Collected. And a drinker of Earl Grey tea, always a plus. (Actually, that's why I tried Earl Grey in the first place.) If I had to serve under one captain, it would be him, simply because I'm convinced he knows what he's doing.

Kirk... well, I'll grant that the Kirk / Spock / McCoy triumverate has a lot going for it, especially the Vulcan in the middle. Without Spock's tempering influence, though, I wouldn't want to be under Kirk's command. He's too impulsive, too ruled by his passions.

As for Archer... they've finally topped Kirk, so to speak. I find Archer to be insufferable. Arrogant, not terribly bright, completely unwilling to listen to reason, continually throwing caution to the winds in pursuit of his whims, and generally surviving through dumb luck and the good will of the writers. Unlike Columbine, I don't see any advantage to a captain who's having fun; I want one who can do his job well. Archer doesn't qualify, and if he doesn't screw up royally and then start learning from his mistakes soon, I'll be... well, even less happy with the show than I am now.

And as long as I'm bringing Columbine into this... aside from her opinion of Archer, I think she generally has the right idea about the captains, but is entirely wrong about the Vulcans. Mary Anne's already addressed the latter point quite well, obviating any need for me to do so; let me just add to the list of citations at the end of her entry "see also Romulans as Vulcans who rejected Surak's teachings." You really don't want Vulcans to indulge their emotions; fortunately, they know better than to let it happen.

(That I've always wanted to be a Vulcan is probably relevant here, but is an entirely different entry, one I'm not going to take on right now.)


Monday, December 10, 2001

11:20 PM:

Oh, and everybody else is doing it, so here's my Art Test result. I can't say I quite agree -- I'm not really organized nor regimented -- but here's what they claim:

If I were a work of art, I would be Piet Mondrian's Composition A.

I am rigidly organised and regimented, although my cold and unapproachable exterior hides a clever way of thinking and a rebellious and innovative nature. A lot of people don't understand me, but I can still affect them on an emotional level.

Which work of art would you be? The Art Test


11:15 PM:

Hmmph. Well, I'd written an entry about Chanukah, but it got trashed when I went to look for an outside link, and it's probably just as well. It wasn't a very upbeat entry.

On the other hand, I don't really think I'm up to writing a very upbeat entry right now. So instead I'm going to very belatedly fill out this past week's Friday Five, courtesy of Heather:

1. If you were to go to a movie this weekend, which one would you pick?
Harry Potter. But it's gonna have to wait until the semester ends.

2. What movie would you like to rent this weekend?
Movie rentals will also wait until the semester ends. Besides, I still haven't gotten used to having cable. There's too much to watch as it is.

3. What one TV show do you always try to watch?
Well, you guys know the answer to this. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But with it being in reruns the other week, I was able to watch Gilmore Girls instead, and, y'know, it's a real pity the two shows are up against each other, as I'm in love with Rory Gilmore. Although she really is way too good to be true...

4. If you (and your S.O.) were cool with it, what five celebrities (at the most) would it be 'ok' for you to have a fling with?
This is a tautological question. By definition, if you were cool with it, it would be okay, would it not?

Oh, wait; I think I understand now. I think she's presupposing the idea of having a list of celebrities with whom one would be allowed to have a fling, supposing one got the opportunity, with the question being which celebrities would be put on the list. Okay, got it. Hmm.

Y'know, I liked that question better when I misparsed it. Made it much easier to dodge. But I'm gonna dodge it anyway, so there.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?
The same way I spend every weekend, Pinky: catching up on my sleep. (Well, Friday night and Saturday, anyway. Saturday night and Sunday, I'll have a paper to write.)


Sunday, December 09, 2001

11:34 PM:

What was on the agenda for today:

  • Catch up on my reading for my Theory class.
  • Write the homework I've missed in my Theory class this semester, which has been virtually all of it.
  • Buy milk.
  • Update this journal.
What, of the above, I actually accomplished today:
  • Buy milk.
  • Update this journal.
Well, two out of four ain't too bad, right? ...umm, right?

On the bright side, after a week from Thursday, it's all over for this semester. On the downside, everything needs to be donw by a week from Thursday. It ain't enough time, and it can't come soon enough.


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