Stuff from December, 2004

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on December, 2004.

King Tut will Tour the US in 2005

King Tut will Tour the US in 2005 - “The exhibition will include Tutankhamen’s diamond crown, his gold coffin and other objects from his tomb …”

Art History, Biology, George Winston

Research for art history demands the exclusive use of book resources. Having found one I thought might help, I stopped by the circulation desk on my way out of the library to check it out. The librarian was not the usual old woman, but a guy in his late twenties, with large dinner-plate type earrings. “Ah, Limoges - that’s some very interesting stuff.” Slightly thrown off by a circulation desk employee making conversation, I managed to reply, “Yeah, I have this paper on an object from there.” His knowledge on the subject was explained when he replied that he was an art history graduate student; he asked who my professor was. “Oh … ummm …” I hedged, tossed about by the unpredictable waters of unexpected conversation - I couldn’t remember her name. With no other option, I was forced to admit that I couldn’t recall the name of my art history prof, after having been in her class for almost a full semester: “I’m pretty tired, I honestly can’t remember.” As I was leaving, he recommended I get some coffee and then start on the book. On my way out the doors, the name magically popped into my head - Cynthia Becker. Her name is Cynthia Becker!


1 comment left

Concert Tickets Sprouting Legs, The Incredibles, Triptychs

Turns out my coat pocket is rather mischievous and fooled me into thinking that the Christmas concert tickets I placed in it were in my pocket. In reality, they were between the pocket and liner, and fell through my jacket somewhere. I frantically searched for them in the minutes before the concert, but forgot to check the bulletin board in the hallway, where someone had kindly placed them so I could find them. What lack of luck. I would imagine, as in years past, that the Christmas concert was incredible, complete with the bell choir that so many people enjoy. There are these big silver bells, with spring-loaded rubber mallets inside each one, and they are played by handlers in white gloves. The more advanced players handle three or four bells at once, deftly muting each one at the appropriate times, sometimes running through all the bells in a couple of measures, switching from tone to tone with amazing precision. Also, they performed “Riu Riu Chiu” last year, and I do not think they repeated that amazing song this year. I’m just trying to convince myself that I did not miss much.


Mechanical Pong

Mechanical Pong - This video tells how a Pong game was made from mechanical parts and controlled by telephone relays. Really cool.

Roads Gone Wild

Roads Gone Wild - “Monderman tucks his hands behind his back and begins to walk into the square - backward - straight into traffic, without being able to see oncoming vehicles.” (via kottke.org)

Follow The Truth

Follow The Truth - We were looking up phrases to get past the impossible riddle, and stumbled upon this song. So random, so catchy!

I Get Street Cred for Using that Phrase

Unfortunately for Matt, I have been constantly using the term “street cred” while talking to him. Thus, in the hopes that he is reading and in my continuing desire to annoy him, I will use the phrase once more. Today in the gym, my ab workout receieved street creds. (Notice the plural for variety, Matt!) This was a good thing, because sometimes it’s sort of an uncomfortable exercise to do. Anyhow.


7 comments left

Nerd Affective Something Disorder

Nerd Affective Something Disorder - Funny read. “However, if your friend is anxiously rubbing their forehead and/or climbing out of their skin when you move that icon 12 PIXELS TO THE RIGHT, there’s NADD in the house.”

New iPod?

New iPod? - About 60% the size of the iPod mini, confirmed rumors say this new flash iPod will be out in January. Price? Estimated at 99 dollars - this could be Apple genius.

Haz Mah Bee Bees

Thanks in part to everyone’s well-wishes on my last round of tests, things went quite well. For your thoughts and encouragement, I thank you all. Unfortunately, this week is rather full as I use my super student powers to slay the last of my evil class work. Yes, armed with a graphite pencil and rubber eraser, I will decapitate bubble tests, disembowel essays, and shred physics problems. Nothing will stand in between me and my victory on Friday afternoon. No problem will stump, no answer will be second-guessed, and no food will be uneaten. Yes, this is the week of epic struggle, unending anguish, and great reward. Our voices will echo from the tops of the tallest tower, “freedom is ours, FREEDOM IS OURS!” And we will run, as one, from the campus, bearing gifts for our eagerly waiting families.


3 comments left

The TVR Sagaris

The TVR Sagaris - The most amazing car I have seen in a long time. Budget Ferrari killer.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Now, we certainly own this videotape, and have watched it numerous times, but there is something about watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on network TV, with commercials. It makes you feel connected to everyone else watching, the same way watching the Superbowl, listening to the radio, or going to a movie does. Below is the email I sent to my sister, informing her of this upcoming annual show of greatness.


Saturday, What A Day

Going to the Union Gospel Mission was a good thing. For once I had the chance to volunteer without counting it for hours for any clubs or organization. I never really feel like it is volunteering if I am doing it to fulfill hours. We helped pack bags (great duffels donated by Land’s End) with personal care items for the mission’s annual Christmas outreach. I did, for the record, get my hand slammed into a car door. However, it did not even bleed, and it still plays piano fine, so things are well. Later on, it will probably go something like this: “Remember when we went to the Union Gospel Mission?” “Oh yeah, you got your hand slammed into a door.” laughter


6 comments left


You will notice that comments are disabled on this post, which is no accident. I write the following not as a request for sympathy (you will also see that this is buried beneath a couple of other posts), but due to the realization that writing about this, getting it out onto a medium, will relieve some of the stress that it has been causing in my mind. Two people I love very much are in trouble. First, my grandfather has cancer. He is the last grandparent I have left. The operation that is coming up will be the second time he has ever been in a hospital (the other time was for some minor elbow surgery). Unfortunately, the surgeon said that this is the oldest person he will ever attempt this surgery on. This type of colon cancer is aggressive, and the surgery chosen frequently ends with the person not ever having control of their bladder again. My aunt types medical transcripts, and has typed this type of surgery before; she said these usually end “not very well.” He has a 50% chance of living. Yesterday, the 24th, Christmas Eve Day, was his birthday, and the celebration was bittersweet … we may be missing him this time next year.


George Winston Concert

How long have I been waiting to attend this concert? George Winston at Orchestra Hall. No mics, no CD scratches, no speakers between us and the music … simply a wooden soundboard vibrating and filling a holiday concert hall. Years. Mykala and I went the Monday before Christmas, parked in the cold parking garage and proceeded to the elevator to get to the skyway. There was a small group waiting, and one member of it hit the down button. The doors opened, but the group simply stared. I advanced a bit, looked in the empty elevator doors, and hesitated, not wanting to violate the laws of common courtesy. Then, with a lazy “ding” the doors slid shut again. I scratched my head and turned around to a Mykala who was beside herself laughing. It must have been an odd sight, to see the door open, and me peer in, only to become confused as the doors shut again. Eventually, though, we made it into the concert hall and took our seats in the 24th row.


Closer / I, Robot / Spanglish

The movie Closer gave me the shivers. To see that high level of human cruelty against the backdrop of an unyielding, dark, bitter look at the human condition is enough to make anyone wish to live the life of a hermit. Four people spoke throughout the movie, involved in the most convoluted and damaging “love square” that you can possibly imagine. The sex talk was explicit, the revenge complex, and at the end, the lives ruined. Worst of all, the viewer sees no motivation for these characters’ actions, giving us the impression that anyone can snap and become that heartless. Apparently, this is adopted from the stage version of a play by the same name; The New Yorker declared that the “acid was diluted” in the move to cinema; I shudder to think how intensely disturbing the stage version was. It isn’t that I always want the movies I watch to end with sunshine and butterflies, it’s just that I want the movies that provoke thought or disturb preconceptions to have a point - Closer simply disturbed at continually more deep levels, and then left us. If only we had had a couple of moments of the couples enjoying themselves together … some bits of true laughter, things would have been tolerable. But, there is no note of hope, and no twist to get us thinking, just the assertion that the human capacity for simply being mean is limitless.


1 comment left

Christmas 2004

It makes sense to lump my life update into this post entitled “Christmas,” because my events as of late center around this. My most surprising present came from Mykala. On Tuesday the 21st, she declared that she could not wait to give me my present any longer, and that I should come up north to see what it was. Eager to know what this present was, but a little apprehensive (I guess I get nervous too easily), I wrapped her presents and headed up north. I was greeted with a bright pink Victoria’s Secret box, inside which I was told my present was hiding. Since women’s underwear did not seem like a gift I will ever receive, my brain raced through things that could fit in the box. I slowly parted the pink tissue paper, and then did a double-take in shock: looking back at me was the blue face of a Motorola V551 Videophone. Because I am on her plan, I can talk to Mykala as much as I want (which is quite a bit) from any place, anytime, anywhere. This is such a cool gift. I have been spending the last few days constantly fiddling and learning this phone, I almost have a custom song written to ring on calls (adapted from a piano song).


Christmas Day Dreams

This much can be said for break so far: my dreams are getting more interesting. Just this Christmas morning I dreamt I was the leader of an archeological team in the 1930s which was excavating an unopened tomb; we were attempting to remove all the precious objects before being killed by a rebel team. Let me tell you, you think the insides of an Egyptian tomb are creepy in pictures - try being pursued by villains through the columned rooms of the darkest, scariest, most randomly shifting burial ruins that your mind can come up with. Suffice to say, I really was quite awake this morning even though all our presents were opened the evening before.


2 comments left

Cows That Boogey On Her Lawn

Ummm, well on Christmas Day evening, my dorm room was flooded with a couple of inches of water. I really do not believe that it was a couple of inches, but that is how the report reads. A sprinkler head messed up, broke, and sprayed water all over. It is possible that the sprinkler froze, and when it thawed, burst, and started the flow of water. I do not recall if I left one or no radiators on, but I do know one of my windows leaks air pretty badly - the strong winds a bit over a week ago may have been enough to get the room below freezing in temperature, but I really do not know if that is what happened. That raises the question: why did the other sprinkler in the room not freeze? I heard about this when I was up in St. Cloud on Sunday, and drove back half-dazed, wondering how bad the damage would be.


2 comments left

Zeitgeist 2004

Zeitgeist 2004 - Google’s yearly summary of what was searched for - iPod’s number 1 ranking is not a big surprise.

Tsunami Damage

Tsunami Damage - Interesting presentation of damage throughout the world due to the recent massive tsunami.

Amazon Says 700,000 Shoppers in One Hour

Amazon Says 700,000 Shoppers in One Hour - Amazon averaged selling 32 things per second during one day of the holiday shopping season. It’s other peaks are equally astounding. (Yahoo! News)

Donate to Tsunami Cause Via Amazon.com

Donate to Tsunami Cause Via Amazon.com - Donate donate donate donate.

Moby - Natural Blues Perfecto Mix | Moby - Feeling So Real

So this is the last day of 2004. Incidentally, tomorrow I get to see if the code I wrote for showing how many days ago posts occur works across years … considering the amount of time I spent on that, I sure hope so. But honestly, the flip to 2005 is more exciting than that. It’s another run at the four seasons, school, and life. While any day can be a fresh start, it is always nice to think of a fresh year. At the very least, one slows down to think more deeply about the passage of time … what really has happened this past year, how fast did it really go, were we the people we see ourselves as, the people we want to be? I think about tonight and the high winds outside, how cozy I feel in my own room, safe from the gales and crosswinds of the unpredictable world. But it’s when I hear those winds, know how turbulent it is outside my haven, that I really value the four walls around me. I want to avoid taking anything, anybody for granted.