Thursday, November 13, 2008

On my Election Experience

I have not written anything since July and partially that has been because I have been busy with school. It has been a bit gauche to have my blog lead with a story about how I dislike "Newman's Own" products, but few people read this anyway.

Here are some pictures from my election experience. I apologize for the cell phone quality pictures, but I did not want to take my camera with me because that would tempt fate to presume I would be happy with the outcome and want to take pictures.

These are people on the corner of U Street and 14th Street, NW. There were street drummers at this intersection and people started dancing. The people in the center of the picture are standing on top of a bus stop shelter.

People expressed their happiness in many different ways. Some people cried, others made music while people danced, and others shouted for joy. The whole night (yes literally all night) car horns honked wherever I went.

Below are group of people running in the street at the intersection's of V Street and 14th Street.

They are carrying a large American flag.

They police blocked off the street shortly after this because there were so many pedestrians running in the street.

This is some guy wearing a banana costume. I guess he is supposed to be a banana for Obama. It must have seemed funny to him at the time.

The general feeling of the night was as though a spontaneous street carnival broke out on the streets of D.C.

Here is my picture of the empty newspapers stands the next morning. It did not matter what paper you were looking for, it was sold out. The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal were all sold out. Everyone wanted a souvenir election newspaper. Consequently I was not able to buy one.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Few Resolutions

I Resolve the following:

To stop buying "Newman's Own" anything. I'm disappointed when I do. I regret buying Newman's products. "Newman's Own Ranch Dressing" tastes like runny mayonnaise. "Newman's Own All Natural Chunky Salsa" is ostensibly hot, but is sugary and tastes like spicy ketchup.

To figure out what to do about all the ants that are overrunning my apartment. I now live in an English basement here in DC and there are always ants crawling about. I eat a sandwich in the evening and by morning ants are crawling all over the bread crumbs. The ants are continually trolling along the ceramic tile floor. Perhaps I should be thankful that I don't have the giant cockroaches that are hanging around outside. But I'm sick of the ants and I don't want to kill them, but I'm not sure what else to do.

To come up with a T.O.E. A recent article in The New Yorker profiled Garrett Lisi who is working on a T.O.E.—shorthand for a theory of everything. It is the holy grail of physics. My T.O.E. may be lacking the math that bridges the chasm between quantum physics and general relativity, but it will explain truth and beauty, the electoral college, and the reason that Paris Hilton is famous.

To write more. I haven't been doing much personal writing these days. I haven't done any journaling since last August. Partially this is because I was busy with school and if I start again I have so much I need to write. I should just write because it's the right thing to do, but I can't. In the meantime I'm going to try and blog more.

To take more pictures with my camera. I would like this here blog to have pictures, so it is more than just words and text. My cell phone has a camera, but it takes cell phone quality pictures. Last Saturday I was walking around DC's Chinatown when I saw the magician David Blaine doing a magic trick on the street corner. I took a picture with my phone, but the quality underwhelms me. Yesterday Laura and I went to the national zoo. I'd love to have a nice picture of the giant pandas, the sloth bear, or the red pandas, but I didn't even bother to whip out my phone. It wouldn't have been worth the trouble. I also could be taking pictures of the national mall, which I have been to many a time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Chocolate Milk Song has added music files of the songs & cheers the band commonly at Ute football games. Laura has been laughing at me this evening because the music makes me nostalgic for Ute football, and I have been smiley tonight. (I miss going to the football games with you dad.) Just forty-two days to kickoff against Michigan at the Big House!

For years I tried to figure out the words to "Metallica" a/k/a "The Chocolate Milk Song," but I could not figure it out. All I knew was that at the end the band pointed at the visitors' section of the stadium and shouts, "Your mother will pay!" The rest was a complete mystery.

Now that I know what the band calls it, finding the words was an easy search of the internets away! Next time you're at the old Utah football game with me, join me in this cheer:

I wish I had some chocolate milk.
My cheerios don't taste the same.
I wish I had some chocolate milk.
Too bad that milkman never came

I can't go to the store.
I'll just wait till mom buys more.
I just have Wheat-Thins and beer.
If I get sick then the toilet's near.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meet Hot Christians Online Now!

It comes as no surprise to me that advertisers use software that searches personal profiles for information to better target their ads. I'm male and I'm protestant. But honestly, who thought it would be a good idea to create an ad with scantily-clad, buxom women and declare that these "Christian" women want to meet and/or talk to me?

The ad in question takes you here where there are decidedly less-buxom, "Christian Spicey or Sweet" models pictured. You can "search and view thousands of Christian singles free" there.

If only there were an actual building that Christians could go to in order to meet one another . . .

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Humidity, Part II

It has been the little annoyances that have made living in humidity the most difficult. My towel never really dries. I got caught in a wicked rainstorm and my shoes were still a bit damp a week later - despite leaving them in the open to dry. There are always tiny little red-brown fruit flies in my bathroom. The condensation that accumulates at the base of a glass of water is still there a day later. And my not so stainless steel knife now has rust spots on it.

The one advantage is that I rarely have to water my plant.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Humidity Is Coming, the Humidity Is Coming

Everyone says how awful D.C. summers are, (maybe I'm tempting fate here) but not so much. It's been humid all right, but not hot. We've had one bad weekend so far where it was 95 degrees and very humid, but other than that it's been very rainy and temperate. It has been raining off and on for several weeks now, including today.

Not at all what I expect from summer. We've had two tornado watches so far - which is supposedly a step below a tornado warning - but have yet to top 100 degrees.

Not that I would have gone that many places anyway. Laura sprained her ankle last week and has been holed up inside. And the city is crawling with European tourists (a byproduct of the weak dollar versus the euro.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Woo hoo!

The Salt Lake Tribune isn't exactly clear what and along what route a train is going to go to Salt Lake International - it implies that TRAX is going to the airport, but the headlines says commuter rail is going there. (There is a difference.)

I'm excited, and this is a sign that Ralph Becker is doing good work. I do not know much about him because I moved before the last mayoral election. I cannot wait to ride the new FrontRunner commuter line to Ogden. Be in Salt Lake in August.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Month of Changes

Right now I am without a computer. My laptop crashed just before my last final on May 12. I turned off my laptop and took it with me to take my final. Then it would not turn back on. Or more accurately it would turn on and start to boot, but then an error message appeared saying that Windows failed to launch. I talked to the proctor of the exam and she got a technician to come and look at my computer. He couldn't fix it either. I got to handwrite that exam. Fun!

That's especially bad news considering I was the only person to handwrite the exam, and the exam is on a curve. I do not hold out much hope of doing well in that class. I have not yet had a chance to have someone look at my computer. Right now I'm using the school computers to write this blog, check my email, and work on the competition to be on the Law Journal. Not having a computer has prevented me from playing many games so it isn't all bad.

Finals are a horror story unto themselves. I didn't used to stress too much about taking tests. Partially that is because I am a good test taker. But in law school 100% of my grade is determined by one exam for each class. I am surrounded by some very smart people, and once again, it's all on a curve. Nothing like a three hour test to determine whether it will be $200k well spent.

So after finals, I had four days to find a new place to live and move out of the student dorm. That didn't exactly give me a lot of time to celebrate. My new place is about 3/4 of a mile north of campus so I'm pleased. It's also in a better neighborhood than the campus. But it would have been nice to have a few days to recuperate.

As I alluded to earlier, I've been working on the "Write On" competition to be on the law journals. They released the packet the day I was moving. It's due next Tuesday night. (Happy birthday to me!) So I still have not had a chance to take a break and recuperate.

Then on Wednesday, I start my summer job. I'm hopeful, and at the very worst it will only be for twelve weeks. I'll for sure have my weekends free, which I have not been able to say during school. Also, it will be nice to only have to have one thing on my plate.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Word of the Day: Homophily

I was introduced to a new word today, and fellow logophiles might enjoy it: homophily. It is a word for the idea that people group themselves with likeminded people, or "birds of a feather flock together. I heard about it on On the Media which is my favorite radio program. Listen to it here:

I really like this word because for a while now I have been puzzling over the success of Fox News. No one I know really takes Fox News seriously, and in my circle of friends, it is a bit of a joke. And I cannot figure who these people are who are watching Fox News. Don't they know how obviously biased it is? But of course I chose my friends, and my classmates chose the same school as me. The Fox News watchers chose their friends and their jobs too. These days most everyone spends some amount of time on the internet, but once again, we all chose where we go, what we read, and what we listen to.

Ethan Zuckerman's blog about homophily is where On the Media got the idea in the first place. He has some good ideas about how to seek out new ideas.

Apparently, sociologist have been studying homophily for sometime. I thought it was a neologism, but apparently the word has been around since the fifties. (I suppose, depending on your perspective, that words coined in the fifties are neologisms.) The word did not catch on much then, but because it is possible to choose to only get news that confirms one's own world view, the word is making a comeback.

Read the New York Times article written back in December 2006, which points out other ways that homophily works: Amazon recommends books based on what people have already read and people like their dates more when they have a lot in common.

I never really believed opposites attract . . .

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Hazing Is Not Over

This is a particularly long weekend for me. Today is the "faculty retreat" and I have no idea what that entails except that I get another day off from school. A lot of people went home, wherever that may be, to enjoy Presidents Day weekend. The dorms have been mostly empty. However, that's okay with me because I've been tired over the last few weeks. This term I have 17 credit hours compared with 13 last semester.

Before the semester started a third year student said, to a group of us first years, "Now that your first semester is over the hazing is done. The hazing is over." I don't think so. Last week I had a 3200 word paper due. We didn't have any papers that long last semester.

I never felt so continually behind last semester. Plus I'm supposed to be finding a summer job during my free time. (No positive replies yet on that front, but I'm still looking.) Fortunately there are more breaks within the semester. We will have a week for spring break. Then a few weeks later comes Good Friday and being a good Jesuit university, we get that off too.

I hope to see everyone this summer. I miss you all.