Monday, December 28, 2009

Cake and Grief Counselling Will be Availible...

Sick. I hate the phenomenon and it happens seldom enough that I have difficulty coping with the inactivity and mandatory stupidity. There are some things that help me cope. Oddly enough, books do not help me very much when I am actually sick. I can read, but retention and comprehension are minimal. I read the prologue to some interesting non-fiction last night, but my head hurt by the time I had finished an introduction to the commonalities between Epaminondas, Sherman, and Patton, and I went distinctly foggy.

In dire straits like these television is actually of some small use to me. But greater still, video games.

My stupidity is enough to render my strategy games a challenge, but not impossible. The best games for these deathbed moments are FPS and action type games, one in particular standing out. Portal. I find myself chuckling at the promises of cake and other "enhanced truths" told to you by your little guide. It has to be the most innovative game I've ever played. Amusing.

Catching Fire. This one was, I thought, more predictable than the first, but immensely satisfying none the less. The writing is just as good and the story advances. Toward what it advances, I know not.

My mother touched on something that separates this book from the majority of dystopia and makes it seem plausible, realistic, and not nearly so hopeless. When you think about the norm, the rebel is usually an intellectual, someone whose ideas and characteristics neatly mirror those of the author. A sort of conceited and inaccurate view of human nature and behavior. The lone intelligent hero stands against the machine, the people are sheep plodding along, too stupid to know they are slaves.

In Catching Fire the people, the hoi polloi, are the ones who are fighting back against the oppressive system. And so it is throughout history. Reform and revolution tend to come from the masses, not the brilliant, daring, attractive, genius type who sounds rather like the author.

I guess my complaint and malcontent with Dystopia are caused by the assumption that the working poor would always be sheep, easily enslaved and lead to the slaughter. Even if death was the only alternative, I have a feeling that a large portion of humanity would choose death in an attempt for freedom over a long life in bonds. Who knows though; I could be very wrong.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Where Was I?

4:30 PM Posted by Patrick , , , 3 comments
I think that reading is the thing I miss most about pre-college life. I really notice it now that I'm back to my several book a week regimen. And I really don't think that I gained more from that English class than I do from my normal 14 weeks of reading and writing.

At least a couple of my classes this semester will be using real books for our materials.

While one could certainly argue that some of my reading is much more substantial, it is not necessarily the substantial reading that gives the greatest benefit. I think that I gain a lot more as a writer from good books which capture my interests and emotions than great literature which bores me. *coughbrontecough*

The Hunger Games was well written and absolutely gripping. One of those books that made me laugh and cry and caused my dry tongue to cleave to the roof of my mouth in some of the more intense portions. Her varied tempo with the sentence structure is excellent and she manages to make it feel like natural human thought, even when the sentences were short and came in rapid bursts. I, who may never create natural thought or dialog in text, was awed. The doubt-- believable, palpable, and invasive--was a driving force which made the act of relinquishing the book in favour of food impossible.

One of the harsh and striking points of this book is the hungry eyes of the Capitol looking on as children kill children. When Rue dies (how the tears doth flow) and Katniss--who is looking on the face of the boy who killed Rue; the boy now peaceful in death--realizes it is the Capitol who is the enemy, you share the hatred; the burning anger at the atrocities that are commonplace. There is an enemy in the background that cannot even be fought. The tributes are left to kill each other as the real enemy remains totally unassailable and aloof; watching and enjoying their pain. But the fact that there is a foe that can be defeated is what keeps it from being utterly depressing...like all the rest of dystopia.

I normally despise dystopia, but I loved this book to the last page. I cannot wait to read the sequel...which is waiting for me just over there.

However, as I have not yet started it, I should feast on prime rib while I can; that way I can make it through the book without any hunger pangs.

Ache

12:06 AM Posted by Patrick No comments
Finished Hunger Games a few minutes ago. Will blog more about it later.

Aside from being very well written, it was also an emotional reaming.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2:08 PM Posted by Patrick , , No comments
One might think that having oodles of extra time would be conducive to increased blog traffic. One would be quite mistaken. During school my blog is more valuable as a repository for any thoughts which won't stop flitting around my brain. When I am home and totally relaxed I do not need such a device quite so much.

I think today I found the greatest factor. These last few days have been tremendously lazy; consumed by books, movies, and shopping. Today, however, I stayed home and cleaned like a little maniac. Suddenly, after the last sweet phrase of my third album, I felt the burning need to write something. It can then be assumed that I write more when I am busy. Activity provides food for my brain, which makes sense because I think better when moving.

You are free to assume that, if I have not blogged for a few days, I am acting the part of the lazy little layabout.

Moving on...

I went back and read Oliver Twist. Horridly depressing, as I expected. The facetious irony was good for the first 50 pages, after that it lost any of the cleverness which it thereto possessed. Dickens persistent insincerity and and constant sarcasm lose their novelty and become annoying quickly. This phenomenon is worse in Twist than in the others I have read.

I was disappointed that Fagin was hanged. Evil though he may have been, he at least possessed something of a human side. His was not the wanton brutality of Bill Sykes. Fagin was a schemer, not a brute or an assassin and the deadliest weapon he wielded was the police and his knowledge of the guilt of others. Should Fagin have spent the rest of his life in prison? Certainly. In the end he was an old man, a fence, a thief, and general fiend, none of which is generally punishable by death. Oh well.

Sykes had it coming.

Now I'm reading The Hunger Games. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

First Semester Grades.

2:02 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I didn't think that I had garnered any -A or any such thing. But confirmation is always nice. Three A's and a couple +A's.

Now I can really rest.

Will post about Christmas with the Harris family when I feel like writing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cinch.

11:41 AM Posted by Patrick 7 comments
English was a cinch. Nowhere near as difficult as I thought...and I really did think it would be easy.

German is my last final, and it is not a question of whether I do well, but whether my score is as high as the other boy wonder in the class, J.D. He consistently scores a little higher than I do, and since most of my errors are carelessness, not ignorance, I think I might do it this time!

*Rapid shift of thought and Topic*

I must be careful about using this facebook thing again. I realize that it is winter and that outside is not exactly the place to be. But I need to be sure I don't cut into my constructive time with that brain eating cancer of a social networking site.

Alright. Time to go find people.

The Cats

8:31 AM Posted by Patrick , , No comments
Every morning I face the same challenge; a veritable dance of death. When I stumble my way down the hall--rather in the manner of a stunned moose--toward the shower, I do so with the constant company of danger. As I go down the hall I wonder exactly how my end will come? Will my end come from a sideways tumble down the stairs? Perhaps a sudden heart attack? Maybe it will just cut off my legs and maul me?

No matter where they were three minutes before, there is almost always a cat sprinting to position itself beneath my raised foot.

I say: there is danger in the morning. As surely as there are cats; there is danger.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Who Was It?

You cannot understand the present unless you understand the past. The present is only the momentary continuation of the past and is part and parcel with the same.

So why is it that when American history is discussed, be it in schools or books, that we seem to skip from the freeing of the slaves right to the beginning of the first World War?

One would almost think that slavery ended with the end of the civil war. It did not. It might have ended in name, but it was not over in reality.

The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were obeyed in the south only because the union troops, underneath the command of the brutal but efficient Sherman, ensured it with force. The black populace voted for the republicans; the party of the abolition.

Republican power during this short span was greater than it ever was and will ever be again. And the black populace enjoyed greater civil rights than they would until the mid twentieth century.

1866 saw the formation of the KKK; the, evil, white trash, scrub bastard, paramilitary wing of the democrat party. When Grant ran for office the first time, he won by a wide margin, but not as wide as he expected. The reason was poor black voter turnout in the south. To be precise, in at least 11 counties in Alabama, Grant did not receive a single vote. In fact, oddly enough, the normally enthusiastically political black populace had not cast a single vote, even though they made up 45% of the population of those counties.

The truth was that grant received almost no black votes in the south, except near 100% black turnout in places where the federal army was strong. The abuse of blacks and republicans by white democrats had begun...I don't think it is probably totally over either.

(humorous aside: this is when Grant established the National Rifle Association for the purpose of shooting those Klan S.o.Bs and to protect republican and black voters)

When Hayes claimed a narrow victory in 1877, the republicans agreed to compromise. The gutless weasels were compromising more than they knew.

The compromise of 1877 pulled the federal military out of the south. The 13,000 confederate landholders pardoned by Johnson went right back to their land and started using every trick they knew to re-enslave the now free blacks. Jim crow laws, exorbitant taxes if you tried to do anything but sharecrop a white person's land or clean a white person's house. They functionally re-instated slavery.

And are we surprised, after seeing black republicans elected to office during federal occupation, that we saw no more black legislators or officials from the south after the army left? That once the protection stopped the KKK and poor whites, with the direction of rich whites and democrat bosses(a senator included), started terrorizing the black citizens and republicans. Republicans got a choice, leave or die. Blacks got a choice, dance or die.

1877 destroyed the republican party in the south and doomed republicans in general to a slow slide into mediocrity, and they deserved it. Their spineless self interest condemned the blacks of the south to a slow, torturous, humiliating, gratuitous descent into abused second-class citizen status, which condition they were held in until just 40 years ago.

What is sickening is that the democrats made the black population love them. Despite the fact that the men who loosed dogs on civil rights protesters were good southern democrats. Despite the fact that there is an ex Kleagle of the Klan sitting in the senate with a D by his name. I will save my rant about our current brand of benign racism for a later date.

I know when the shift came and it was not democrats who brought it about. The change in perception was brought about by another force who found a ready home with both republicans and democrats. This force, however, found that the democrats made an infinitely more loyal and obeisant host. But this is another history lesson.

Republicans were the party of abolition, of freedom. They may just be democrat light now, but there was a time when they had potential.

Know the past. The democrats take power wherever and however they can. Republicans are gutless and faithless, willing to sell their principles--perhaps their very souls--for the democrat's political scraps. The republicans sold out the black populace 132 years ago, and, in typical fashion, the democrats bought.

Some Short Time.

3:28 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Girding my loins for tonight's final, I feel no stress. This is history; it comes so naturally and makes perfect sense. None of it is purposeless. It is a million threads which wind together to create a breathtaking tapestry of humanity. No thread hangs alone and none is without its purpose and meaning in the tapestry. This final is going to be fun.

It is the same way for my other finals that lie ahead. German will be difficult; a puzzle. But it will be an enjoyable puzzle.

English will be English, which is to say, second nature and totally comfortable.

My only tedious final is already behind me.

Now my greatest source of anxiety is those late library books that I need to return tonight. I hope I don't get one of the surly librarians.

Now, I must finish up with this and go practice disarming smiles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

When Did University Cease to Be?

12:04 AM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
I have always wondered when university transferred its mission from education for educations sake to career orientation and training. When did their focus morph from creating thinkers and refining minds into creating employees and glorified merchants?

I think I found part of the answer earlier. After WWII we passed a GI bill that allowed American veterans to go to college free of charge. The rates of student graduation plummeted into the low 40% area and it never made it back to the previous rates in the 80-90% range. We are now hovering just below 60%, which is about 10% lower than our rate in the 70s.

The GI bill permanently changed the nature of the American university system. The young veterans of WWII were not there to study human nature or the course and formation of history. They were there because they thought it was the way to get ahead in life, and the system, led by the enticement of doubled and tripled budgets, changed to accommodate them.

Only about 25% of the WWII GIs ever graduated. That is the number who completed college with free tuition. They didn't even have to pay and the number was still that depressingly low.

But do you thing that the GIs were a lesser sampling of intelligence than the schools found 20-30 years later? Guess again. After receiving that kind of boost to their holdings and empires, their precious research budgets, the kings of the realms of academia were not about to let that money go. They expanded the purpose of the university to include job training for the less academically inclined. Admissions standards were lowered, programs were developed to provide classes to teach professions and careers that were previously handled by apprenticeship.

We do not get that pre-GI bill education. Even the great universities no longer require that you read the classics in the original languages, or even learn the classical languages.

Some might answer to that, indeed, some have responded to my pursuit of ancient languages "How are those useful? What can you do with them?" Which is an illustration of my point. Everything has to have utility now. Young people rarely learn anything for the love of knowledge. For the love of thought. It has become a gateway to material success. People ask first what you are majoring in; then they ask what you are going to do with that.

I am going to pursue reason; I will try.

Ack! I just spent over two hours reading and trying to find a factoid that I now absolutely must know! The thing that bugs me is that the sources who could actually help me are all asleep.

In sight of my obsession, I think that the last phrase that jumped out at me sums things nicely.

"No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness."

Though I do not think that genius is probably a prerequisite for said madness...

:-P

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Whims Like Caffeine

7:07 PM Posted by Patrick , , No comments
There I was, gloomy, tired, and downcast, no inspiration daring enough to venture into the presence of my melancholy. My research paper just wasn't coming along. I needed to find certain statistics, not flattering to the current administrators of the university system. I did not lose faith, the fact that the opposition had published no statistics in favour of their position on the issue heartened me. But the total lack of evidence from the opposition did not necessarily mean that my needs would be fulfilled; the haughty poobahs of the arcane tower do not publish their research if it does not agree with that which they hoped to find.

But...

Even arcane poobahs slip up.

I caught a series of inconsistencies and hypocrisies that lend me all the munitions I require. I can finish my piece much stronger than I hoped to this morning.

Funny enough...

This revelation, this majestic Whim of Wit which shattered my uncertainty and gloom, struck me after hours of fruitless toil. Why did it wait so long? The answer is all to easy. I was gloomy and tired and utterly unappealing to any kind of whim; in a fog too deep for inspiration to find me. The whim came to me almost exactly five minutes after I finished consuming the first cup of a fresh pot of coffee. Coincidence, I think not.

The hard part is done and I just need to finish restructuring tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And in that Day Did He Mooch to His Hearts Content

9:58 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
There are multitudinous bonuses to having a brilliant and gorgeous older Sister.

The bonus we are concerned with in this entry is food. Namely, the worldly lawyers throw feasts and I get invited for no other reason than the Shewoof's goodness and generosity toward lesser beings, like me. So, this night, I joined in the revelry of her office Christmas party at Chops.

I feasted.

I will sleep soundly with the remembered taste of lamb chop and creme brulee tickling the tip of my tongue.

Tonight, I am the Moocher King.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mirror

9:02 AM Posted by Patrick , , 3 comments
I woke up this morning to a morbid reality of taupe and white. The soft pall of white announces this land as dead and covers over all the grass that would try to say different. The flowers wither and everything takes on a stillness. The world is in mourning.

But even as we pass into winter, we do so in the knowledge that spring is coming. Light and color will return to the world. The white pall will be cast aside and the grass and flowers with burst forth more splendid than when last we saw them. Song will return to the air and our mourning will at last be over.

Winter has come. It is not a happy thought.

However.

Be of good cheer.

Spring is coming.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rest and Dead-Week

1:25 PM Posted by Patrick , No comments
I almost feel guilty when I hear about the daunting mountain of homework that Win is laboring under. Almost.

Self study for the final is not exactly difficult. Two or three hours of my time, at my leisure and good pleasure, seems easier than the hour and fifteen minutes spent in the company of the professor. Here I have endless supplies of coffee. I may stretch and walk around when I please. I can even listen to my music while I am working. It is an easy schedule and I find myself unwinding very nicely from all accumulated stress that I collected during my research process.

However, not being in the presence of the professor does make it difficult to drag feedback out of them. I am still waiting for a certain professor's feedback, in light of which I was supposed to begin my revision on a certain paper. While there is oodles of time before I really need this info, it is usually my preference to get all this nonsense out of the war early. I dislike last minute jobs.

Having finished Rutherfurd's New York, I am pleased with it as an effort overall. Though, I couldn't help but notice, Rutherfurd dragged this piece into the present and, in the process, was unable to keep his own political views separate. I think it a pity. Rutherfurd usually keeps everything so objective and adding political tones takes away from the grand scale feel which his books carry, and which this book carried until he got closer to modern times. Part of the mark of a good historian is the ability to veil opinion and present subject matter objectively, with the only opinion that matters belonging to the parties involved. The material in this book must have come to close; it shows in the way it colors his language and characters. I am afraid that his mask cracked on this one. Let us hope he sticks to history next time.

...I should mention that it was a pretty good read until it got to the twentieth century. Politics don't enter until much later, but the characters in the twentieth century are sort of flat and weak, somewhat petty. I would have been better pleased if I just read the first two thirds...no I wouldn't, I would have been curious. I just wish now that I had stopped then. ;-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lamp Posts in the Rain

11:29 PM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
I do not know why it is that I so love the sight of them. There is something about the bleary, radiant, veiled quality of that light that I love.

Better even than the sight of them; walking on a dark rainy night with said orbs as the only illumination on the path and that tangy worm-smell in the air.

And also, the soft caress of rain, even if bitter cold, I have always found so soothing. It is like the drops, which roll off of my face, carry my worries and stress away with them. Even after the longest days, the rain always makes me feel light again.

With the darkness and the solitude and the steady, measured, and ceaseless patter of the rain, the smallest spark of imagination or breath of a whim leads to the most wondrous realms of thought.

It really is a pity that it is so late and I have class tomorrow; I should love a little walk in the rain.

Or better yet: a long walk.

Victory.

9:22 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Basketball, every single class, someone says we should face the IPFW women players. Everyone would then agree that this was crazy talk and that the individual needs be institutionalized. We would be destroyed.

Today, three intrepid teammates and I put that assertion to the test.

I had already been working out since eight, as had the other three, yet we were the only ones from the class who had the energy to play the girls. We were easily the strongest physical specimens. We would have to see how it went.

Playing to fifteen by ones and twos, we took them best two out of three in 2 sets. We went ahead and played the third, but they beat us at that one, partially because it was half-court and cut down on our speed advantage. Still, for not having played basketball in a long time, winning that match against legit college players felt good.

If only I could play as well during class as I did in those matches.

More suspicious free food today. The grilled cheese turned out to be edible. I did not risk the bisque...which really looked very frightening. Company and I ate our food to the mediocre musical stylings of a pair of bearded posers with prerecorded faux-instrumentals. While there I nabbed one of the free t-shirts that they were using to bribe us into voting for homecoming. After that I went to find a corner to hide in and study. Corner was found. Study commenced until idiots with popcorn also found corner. Made a glorious oblique to higher ground, on which high ground study recommenced until time for german.

Beyond silence has blown what little potential it had in my estimation. Poor editing, terrible screenwriting, and acting that was the equal of either, ruined any chance it had of being a decent film. The characters were detestible and the plot went nowhere fast. Not a film I would choose to view again.

MSL was more interesting than usual; this was largely due to the fact that the regular personage of a one Sgt. Seitz was replaced by Cpt. Brittenberg, for whom all attending, aside from my little civilian self, had the utmost fear and respect. A nice guy, told me to call him John...at which recommendation I thought Steve's eyes would come out of his head. Made for good people watching.

And now I have only minutes ago finished with the gastronomical wonders of salmon with goat cheese a bed of fresh greens, wild rice, and wonderfully crisp green beans, baked with a thin coating of olive oil. Beautiful.

Now I am about to go out and grab a brownie and some decaf. Life is good my friends. Life is very good.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trading Integrity for A Christmas Tree

12:19 PM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
The front page of the Journal Gazette Metro section sickened me. There were two stories at the top. One of the stories was about a pizza delivery man who was murdered, the thieves apparently killed him in order to take his pizzas. The second story was about a man who had a twelve foot blue spruce in his front yard; had is the operative word. Someone cut it down and stole it during the night.

What the hell is wrong with people.

Murder for pizza.

How can you look your children in the eyes as you decorate a tree that you stole from someone's front yard?

Sickening

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Redirection of Frustration Based on Recent Research and a Notice Which Reeked of Hypocrisy.

11:35 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
This evening I got on blackboard and received a notice and while I did not disagree with some of the content therein, it delivered the content in a rather pernicious manner and included ad hominem traits. This was posted by the same person who was talking about the evils of ad hominem argument when last I saw her.

These university people are just as arbitrary and reactionary as any of the undergrads they deal with.

While I was mentally eviscerating the duality in this situation a thought struck me. In a whirlwind of ADD perfection--a constant flood of totally disconnected and random thought made whole--details of my research were brought to the forefront of my mind and the realization of the arbitrariness of the system permeated my thoughts, conveniently connecting it all in a twisted web of fuzzy logic.

Thinking forward to some of the general ed requirements that I must complete, I feel a new sympathy for the poor saps who consider themselves stuck in my history class. The vast majority have no real interest in the subject, they are there for a check mark; they must have this check mark. Never mind if it is the same history that they had in highschool. Never mind that they will not retain any of it. Force them to do it. It is our way, and our way is best. Sure, the talking and texting in class may be a bit much, but I am coming to believe that such is the natural byproduct of administrational idiocy.

With this in mind, I think I could even forgive Susan and the monosylabic troll that sits next to her. 'Cause I'm just such a kind-hearted soul.

Head, Hip, and Hardcourt.

8:17 PM Posted by Patrick 4 comments
Days that begin in total darkness are always so very long.

The greatest evil that comes of working out and playing basketball at ungodly hours of the morning is that I have very recently imbibed large amounts of caffeine. Anyone who has tried this knows why it is not a good idea. The near impossibility of staying hydrated, coupled with the acidic substance in an empty belly, does not make for the most comfortable exercise. Don't get me wrong, this is not an excuse to slack. The old soccer rule still stands, I keep running until I am pulled off by coach or carried off by stretcher. But it certainly doesn't help matters, especially with the increasing violence and intensity of our morning matches.

Today we were outnumbered, out sized, and--to be truthful--had a definite talent disparity; this is what happens when both of your best shooters are AWOL. As the smallest, and gutsiest, member of our team it is my job to collect all the rebounds and elbows, which I do beautifully. I have come to the conclusion that I have an abnormally thick skull. While there has been other, more pedestrian moments that would lead me to believe it is so; it is my soccer and basketball experiences that make it certain. Even when I used to take soccer balls to the face I would just shake it off and keep going. In Basketball, a world where everyone is at least three inches taller than me, I often receive cracks on the head from hands, elbows, balled fists, black jacks, crowbars, etc. Today it was the flying tackle maneuver, delivered by a hideous little bulldog of a youth, which sent me plummeting to the jagged floor below, perfectly horizontal. Oddly enough, the crash that echoed round the gym did not even hurt on my end. I can't decide whether it is my stretching that does it? Maybe it's just the stock from which I am derived.

I saw G today. He will be back with us on Wednesday; then we will take everyone to task.

H'anyway.

Writing center was a fine little waste of time today. I go in, receive a bunch of head nodding and general approval from someone who does not understand "integral" or "espouse." I babbled politely over the little nothings of the world and IPFW, ate up the last fifteen minutes of my appointment time in decent company. A pleasant person, but certainly not a writer who should be teaching writing. She did not spot many of the problems that I had mentally outlined myself. At least she was a good conversationalist. Natalie and Craig were out in the main waiting area when I got out, that was very pleasant, especially since Craig had just brewed a new pot of coffee from his own stash. Some people radiate intelligence and humor; Craig and Natalie fit in this group.

Meanwhile, in front of the tech building...

They had turkey legs on campus today. What kind of turkeys those legs once belonged to, I know not. It is my belief, however, that the IPFW science department managed some sort of turkey-dinosaur hybrid. Needless to say it was, as most free lunches are, not without a catch. They did not want us to give blood, sign a petition, take a survey, or make a "pinwheel for peace." They did not even foist the usual safe sex tracts on us. It took me awhile to figure out their scheme, but I did. It was part of a massive project to remove carbon from the air. The collected carbon is usually difficult to dispose of, so this time they condesed it to turkey leg shapes and fed to a bunch of college students...who will eat anything if it is free.

At least the brief pause that I took to eat led to some decent company.

I think I did well in the German exam. The good part of having this exam done is that it, along with my research paper, represented the last major tasks before Finals. I now have to weeks to shore up knowledge I possess, which is a nice change from the constant induction of new material to my poor little grey cells.

Tomorrow is my longest school day, though it should be nothing compared to Friday-Saturday-Sunday of last week. Perspective makes these days easier with every repetition. Much like an hour and a half in the car felt longer only five years ago. I think we develop an easy poise in the way we deal with the mundane...that, or we react like nutters. At least I seem to obtain more poise. Maybe I'm just delusional.

Yeah, my mind is now wandering. It is time to stop.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Research Project

9:06 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
After a solid month and a half of research, topic changes, and torturous perusal of melba toast grade ruminations on the state of education, written by people who take themselves, very, very, seriously, I completed my rough draft and am not so displeased with it as I thought I would be.

Now I have a German exam tomorrow, but that should be my last serious work before finals.

On the bookish front. I am reading the novel New York by Edward Rutherford and enjoying it greatly.

Now I am going to rest and get away from the computer. I'm afraid that I overused it again in the last couple days, largely because my crazy ADD head decided it needed to alter topic again. I'm going to have to work something out with the little brain gremlins and whims that are always up there making mischief, of one kind...and another.

If I had to guess, I think they would probably be assuaged by the rereading of Calvin and Hobbes. Just need to find time....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Excellent Experience

8:22 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Today started well. By well, I mean after 7:00. I spent this morning making one last pass over the homework I finished last night. All was well on that front. I spent what was left of the morning listening to my music too loud and messing with the Dogmeat. A most gratifying use of my time.

One negative thing. Pandora has instated a maximum on the number of hours you can listen for free. You can imagine my consternation when my music stopped playing and I found a message from the creators trying to shake me down. The issue is that there is nothing to shake out. I am going to have to find another method for augmenting my music supply.

H'anyway. German was excellent today, as always, and we ended by filling out our evaluations. Dr.Roberts is getting some excellent reviews. The group is really great. We have no whiners, and the few who have whiner potential are smart enough that they have nothing to whine about. Lee is, in my humble and correct opinion, an excellent teacher and makes the subject matter very clear. Our evaluations had places for commentary, which I made sparing use of. However, while I was evaluating a problem occured to me. I will deal with that problem later this post.

After German I went down to the bookstore to buy a new folder for my Comp class. As I was on the way over I bumped into G and talked to him for a while. I might introduce G later, he is one of the amusing characters that decorates my days on campus. Back to the day, I hurried to make it to comp on time only to sit and wait for the late teacher. No problem though, I had history reading to catch up on (this will be big later). This class was actually sort of fun. We were working with logical fallacy and how to avoid it. A whole class devoted to devising and shooting down logical fallacy felt more like games than class. Prof also told me after class that I my quiz points were high enough that all future points on the quizzes would count toward extra credit for me. On receiving that news I really did mean it when I wished her a Happy Thanksgiving.

This is where things got interesting. I finished my history reading, taking my time, being thorough. I then headed over to my history class and got there five minutes early. But no one was there. I was puzzled. Usually there are 5-10 people outside at least ten minutes before class. Maybe a Whim got them? I spent the next five minutes talking to Kathy, the tech lady, about where everyone could be. Professor Weiner walked in about two minutes later. He was as shocked as I was. In a class of twenty-two people, there was only one student to be found. Thank God it was the brilliant one. ;-p

The history class that followed was the best yet. It consisted of a fluid back-and-forth between Weiner and I. It was practically a private lesson. I got an hour and fifteen minutes of personal instruction. Not bad, trust me. It also showed just what classes might be like without the gimping limitations of people who don't study and don't care. We covered all the planned subject matter in record time, partially because I didn't feel the need to muzzle myself on the questions and was able to answer them outright, without any of the customary pregnant pauses to allow my classmates a chance to say something. I also had the pleasure of covering the subject matter in much greater depth and with more attention to theory and and possible ramifications; I even got to indulge in that most delicious delight of historians: speculation.

Now the issue. This class is not going to be kind to Weiner in their evaluations. This is largely because he is not an easy grader and most of them are not the types to work for the grade. Often times I will be one of two or three people who even speaks during class and perhaps the one of two who knows, or cares to know, the subject matter. So when I listen to the floozie behind me talking about how unfairly he grades her, I cannot help but think on the fact that she texts throughout the whole class, never reads any of the material, and has been asked to leave twice for actually talking on the phone during class. Most of my classmates whine about him. Most of them also neglect the work. I used the commentary section sparingly for Roberts. I think I am going to have to use some counter-class commentary in this evaluation. Weiner is good, better when he gets interaction. He is just working with a really lazy and history-retarded group. I already know how they will comment on Weiner and it will not be generous; they are not generous people, as sitting with them for 10-15 before class has tought me. Not that they would presume to go after me, the one person who tried tasted the swift and mighty lash of my ascerbic wit, but they usually spend that time nagging and griping and making fun of the staff. I am going to have to tear them to pieces in my own evaluation. Might not make any difference, but it will help assuage my own anger at their unjust complaints and constant slacking.

Now it is thanksgiving break and I can rest.

...I wonder how Moore's evaluation will play? I must reflect on this....

;-D

Monday, November 23, 2009

Necessarily Short

7:05 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
When I wake up after a few hours of restless sleep, I am not usually expecting a marvelous day. But for the lack of sleep and the 2 1/2 hours of continuous exercise, for the exhaustion, both physical and mental, which I am currently experiencing, I feel good. The Exhaustion is the kind that comes with accomplishment, and so, comes with a measure of satisfaction. My homework is all done until December first and I held a solid run for longer than I have managed in a couple years. I have one last long day left before thanksgiving and after that I am close to next semester, for which I have a more interesting schedule. And, and, and...no Comp. After this I am to be assumed English language competent. Yays.

I would put together something longer, but getting all my homework has involved some intensive computer work, which has definitely taken its toll on my eyes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And Now It Just Sucks...

10:02 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I have, as a good homeschooler, always been in on the secret that we learn and apply best those things which we enjoy.

Why should I be surprised that my five weeks of preparation on a topic which I did not care for has caused me to loath said topic? I need to be able to accomplish unpleasant tasks quickly. This minute baby step by baby step process that the Moore has put me through has turned this paper from an easy task which I could have realized in a week, to a month and a half torture show of academic coddling and over preparation. This last assignment which made me re-reread part of the textbook and a bunch of my sources, only to make me write another little three page assignment talking about the six to eight page paper. It translated to hours of re-reading for some 25 minutes of writing.

I am reminded of the Pointy-Haired Boss assigning progress reports every fifteen minutes until the engineers catch up on their work.

And I am now exceedingly cranky.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Islam

7:42 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I know some excellent Muslims. I hang out with a pair of them pretty regularly at school. Ahmed and Jasmina are perfectly normal. Jasmina is trying to talk me into political science and Ahmed has given up on talking me into Biology. There are good Muslims, maybe the vast majority of Muslims are good? I have been party to sample of the good ones and have never seen a bad one. But it is not the water in the northern regions of Africa that causes genocide. It is not the food which allows women no rights in the Middle East. It is not the trees which tell men to strap on bombs and kill the Jews. Orthodox Islam is corrosive. It eats away empathy and turns the noblest elements of the human will, self sacrifice, bravery, loyalty, and devotion, to a twisted cause. Do I wish there was no Islam? Yes, I wish that. But there is Islam, so we live with it and try to get along.

Should we profile Muslims. No. We are Americans and that is not how we roll. We deal with each person according to their actions. However, some white trash skinhead writes about killing black people, you watch him like a hawk. A Muslim talks about Jihad, watch him like a hawk. Muslims should practice their faith with the same freedom that I do as a Christian. However, there needs to be some good faith here. The second my pastor cracked and told me it was time to go get some Muslims and Jews, I would speak with him. If he maintained, I would frog-march him to an institution. Evil words are evil words regardless of the mouth they issue from. I would hope that my fellow citizens who listen to their imams would do me the same service.

There are some codes of conduct here. There is stigma around certain articles of regalia. Why the hell would you wear full white robes, like the ones martyrs wear, into in airport when you know the thoughts that accompany that regalia? The reality is that getup is exceedingly popular amongst those who choose to blow themselves up, so regular Muslims might be more concerned with courtesy than making a statement.

Another great issue with Islam is that the brand that has state support behind it in so many countries is terribly violent and does not allow for peaceful coexistence. It is still a death penalty offense to bring a bible into Saudi Arabia. Iranian public schools still preach hatred against Christians and Jews. Don't get me started on the Sudan or Somalia. Islam has screwed up every country where it holds sway, and more often than not gives rise to an oligarchy of those who have the will to power.

Do I watch the man walking through the airport in full white robes? You betcha. Do I watch the man in full white robes that walks into the NAACP office? Klar! Neither are normal every day attire, and both have been put on for the special purpose of murder. I watch people with confederate flags on their trucks, why? Because what we wear makes a statement about our belief, and some things have been worn while men made some pretty evil statements.

Final Verdict. I think that Islam is no good. But I think that most people who live with it will never suffer some of its more serious psychological side effects.

A New Breakthrough in Breast-Cancer Prevention

2:37 PM Posted by Patrick 7 comments
*Warning: Bitter Satire Ahead*

In their eternal wisdom the federal Illuminati have discovered the secret to lower rates of fatality by breast cancer; we will now treat cancer by appeasement.

After holding long diplomatic talks with the cancers, a Federal panel became convinced that the breast cancer would leave us alone if only we would stop fighting it. "The vast majority of breast cancers are benign and the rest might be as well if we would only stop persecuting them, they would leave us alone" said one official. These words come on the heels of recent findings that attempts at breast cancer prevention were actually counter productive. The official continued on to say that breast cancer was actually a "cancer of peace" that has long been inflamed by US medical intervention.

The Panel found that current measures taken by the US medical professionals were "too expensive" and "came at the cost of too many innocent cancers that were not any danger to anyone; cancers that women would die with, not of." The federal panel found that the US stood to benefit from stepping down its cancer prevention and opting instead for a more humane approach. A member of the panel said in a recent interview that the US should "immediately withdraw from breast cancer prevention and then starting cutting back our bloated medical profession." Taking these measures, he said, would inevitably "elevate us back to leadership in the eyes of the world."

However, there are some idiot cranks and loons who are still in favour of breast cancer prevention. Said one money-grubbing quack "Regular screening is a big reason that deaths from breast cancer have been reduced so much in the last fifteen years." Even if his assertion that breast cancer, which we all know to be peaceful, kills people were true, there is no reason to believe that screening could prevent those deaths.

It should speak much to our readers that the only people who stand in favour of preventative measures are those who stand to gain from it, that is, doctors, women, men with wives, people who give a damn about other people, and anyone who has not yet received the White House political directive. That this kind of blind bigotry and partisanship should exist in the US makes me want to vomit and move to Canada.

If we are ever to prevent future clashes with breast-cancer, we must stop prevention and treatment immediately.

*A Word from the Author*

When I first saw the findings of the federal panel, I wanted to vomit. The fact that they want women to stop doing self checks as well shows us what they really want. When they make their bid to take over healthcare, they do not want to treat women's breast cancer. They want the breast cancer to be untreatable when they finally do catch it. This is the most sickening money saving device I have ever seen, and I would gladly be party to the beating of whoever decided this was a good idea. A cancer on everyone who had a hand in this filth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Imperfection and the Omnipresence and Inescapability of Human Sin

10:38 AM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
Every so often I divert my attention back to the French Revolution. It asks one of those questions that has never been answered to my satisfaction. As good Christians, we are supposed to uphold and obey government, but what happens when the government is a mere tool which the powerful use to abuse and take advantage of the weak? What happens when a government's justice is become rancid and corrupt, when there is no justice? What happens when there is no means for peaceable reformation? Should good men sit there and watch as their fellows are trampled?

I have heard the revolution is always a sin. Is it not also a sin to watch your neighbor defrauded of his life and property? And what if he is defrauded in the name of the law? What if government is rigged to allow some men to rape, defraud, and murder without tasting the consequences? Such was the case with the French. The peasants only had one answer for that oligarchy of worms.

Don't get me wrong. The murder of the French aristocrats was an abomination of the worst sort; it was savagery. This is the sad price of having noble ideals hijacked by a blood-lusted mob. I have to wonder if revolution is ever possible without this kind of display. Ours was much more civilized by far. However, it is hard to compare because our tyrants--who were not so bad--were a long voyage off, out of the reach of the bloody mob, necessarily meaning the mob was out of their reach as well. Bloodshed on the same level was impossible.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I might be wrong in how I perceive the situation, to me it has always seemed a part of the imperfection that we live in, but such cases leave us with two choices. We either rebel against the evil and try to reform things in a just manner. Or we watch and allow ourselves to be party to corruption and hope it doesn't turn its eyes on us. There is no third choice, closing your eyes is just another way of watching.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ausgezeichnet

6:15 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
This morning I could not sit still for bible study. I ended up wandering into James nearly empty class for the last five minutes of the lesson. James teaches bible study with the zeal of a caffeinated baptist minister. If today was any barometer, I imagine the chilluns are getting a much better Sunday-school education than any normally received by American crumb-crunchers. Next I will have to invade the She-woof's classroom. After all, who is making sure that the teaching is up to Corp standards?

Later, about the time that everyone starts going into church, I realized that I was abandoned and alone. In the course of seeing to the effective deployment of acolytes in our weekly campaign against the forces of darkness, I again missed out on any chance of joining the choir; that, coupled with my mother being ill, reduced me to the sad situation of having to sit by myself. Very sad... Aha! But that was not to be. For some of the magnanimous members of my church family had seen my wretched state and graciously joined me. Crisis averted.

Then, as I left church, I had the rest of a gorgeous sour creme cake foisted upon me. This particular cake is good enough that it tempts me every time I walk through the kitchen; my temptation to submission ratio is about 8:1. And if you had the pleasure of acquainting yourself with said delectable delight, only then would you realize how heroic that number is, especially for a starving artist like me.

Then we--the royal we--spent the rest of the day under the sun, enjoying many sunny pursuits such as, walking, homework on a blanket in back-yard, reading in the sun, and other things that allow for maximal contemplation and minimal physical effort.

After that came barbecued chicken.

And now I am smoking myself in front of a friendly hickory fire, toying with that, little, petite, infinitesimal, absurdly puny, morsel of homework which I have until Tuesday to complete.

My word for the day is ausgezeichnet.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More Frustration.

10:18 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Military Science and Leadership-101-class number two.

That is when we dealt, however briefly, with responsibilities in the military chain of command. As a general rule, a commander is directly accountable for every man under his authority. Abu Ghraib was the commander's fault. So also, when you send one of your men back home dead, that is your fault and responsibility as well. A commander should feel every single loss, because they are on him. It is not pretty, but it is something you accept if you choose to command.

Nine months, indecision, and shout-outs. Can anyone tell me what those three have in common? To me they are evidence that our Commander-in-Chief does not understand and comprehend the enormity of his office. Every life that the President of the United States spends is on him. His primary duty has nothing to do with our global image, climate change, health-care, or even diplomacy. Commander is not a title given because the founders thought it sounded cool; it is a charge that should go straight to the soul of the man who holds the office. He is responsible for every man wearing that uniform, and that is his first responsibility.

I am chagrined by the callous and unconcerned attitude which our President has taken. He has actually caused me to miss Bush. I am tired of seeing the President and his never-ending stream of interviews, when he has done nothing about the increasingly more violent and dangerous situation in Afghanistan. Let him first withdraw the troops, or commit sufficient troops to finish the job; then let him speak. I would of course prefer that we did not leave our mideast allies hanging out to dry and the very thought of such action is bitter to me, but it would be worse still to leave American soldiers hanging out to dry.

As I watch the President--right now-- speak about the exciting possibility of the health-care bill, I am wondering when he is going to fulfill his duty to our troops abroad and at home; A duty that does not stop with commanding, but understanding exactly what command really means.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blinded to That Which They Saw So Clearly

2:43 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
When I got into the Shewoof's car yesterday evening, I was greeted by the usually chipper and irreverent Roe Conn. However, his tone was not what I was used to. That is because he was talking about the shooting at Fort Hood. I was not shocked, later, when I found out that the shooters name was Nidal Malik Hassan; I had expected something along those lines. Mr. Conn apparently made roughly the same connection, which does not really surprise me. The connection isn't too hard when the shooter screamed "allahu akbar" as he shots his victims.

But the members of the American media are now going out of their way to keep Islamic extremism out of the picture. I was amused by how the New York times was explaining it. Just go to their website and search "Fort hood." Compassion Fatigue and Pre-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are the early diagnoses given by the American media. His shouts of "allahu akbar" obviously had nothing to do with it. The fact that he had been handing out Korans the day before the shooting could not have been related. That he had previously listed his nationality as Palastinian, despite the fact he is an American citizen, is not a valid clue. His comments on websites calling suicide bombers "noble" and saying that "Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor" are not indicators. This is clearly just a case of a man under too much internal pressure.

If a man wearing a sheet walked into an NAACP outpost on Martin Luther King's birthday and opened fire...do you think we would be talking about "Pre-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder"?

The adherence to the politically correct dogma to the exclusion of common sense is dangerous, stupid, and costs innocent lives. He raised a bunch of red flags on the way to this massacre, but nobody wanted to get sent for sensitivity training. They closed their eyes so they would not have to see it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bat Country

2:21 PM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
It's a gorgeous day out and my short-military short-hair feels most excellent in the breeze. I might miss the old stuff at some point, but not right now. Now I am enjoying that incredible, light, floaty, feeling that comes on the heels of losing half a pound of weight off my head.

Have you ever had a really annoying and catchy song stuck, really, really, stuck, in your head? I will assume the answer is yes and then I will tell you that for me, today, that song is Bat Country. I do not even get the pleasure of having the guitar solo stuck in my head. No, i have the odd and quirky and completely weird chorus bouncing around my cranium.

Also, German was canceled today, so I ordered a bunch of stuff from IUCAT...It's totally free. I will now make it my mission in life to make sure the people down at the IU library have something to do all the time. I started with about 10 books today, tomorrow, who knows. ;-p

And now I need to get ready for comp. Shouldn't be bad.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello Up There.

9:24 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I have recently begun playing basketball on Monday and Wednesday mornings before class, an activity for which they give me credit. Hooray for me. Basketball is a sport I have always enjoyed. However, there is an issue! My head would fit nicely beneath the armpits of several of the other gentlemen on the court. Easily. Not only do these players dwarf me, they also have lots of highschool basketball experience. I am going to need to develop some solutions to this problem...like kicking shins when the boss isn't looking. At least I like my team that I'm set with.

These pre-dawn wake-ups are threatening to steal what little is left of my sanity. I think they are conpiring with The Moore.

Today, this morning, I did something totally uncharacteristic. I went out of my way to avoid the people I know. I was tired , cranky, and in no mood to talk to anyone. I just wanted a massive cup of coffee -a massive caraf!- and a note saying my comp teacher recanted her intention to have us put our bibliographies together a month in advance of actually writing our research paper. At least I had a minor epiphany on that front and discovered that I had been approaching the issue the wrong way. It now makes more sense and fits with the other info I have. Strange though it may seem, my revelation began when I was reading the New York Times. Scary, yes-no?

I also spent this afternoon reminding myself why I so hate tennis shoe shopping. They are all garish, they take forever to break in, and they are too light and have none of the substance and balance of a leather shoe. I think I probably will never be happy with any pair of Tennis shoes. I really just want a pair of tastefully understated, hand-sewn leather, tennis shoes. Is that too much?

And now I'm bored with writing for now. I'll write something tomorrow, maybe.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Mellow Content Feeling

11:24 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
Tonight is Halloween. Tonight is one of those nights that almost everyone has a blog post about, a little slice of what they did, are doing, or intend to do. Oddly enough, I intend to use my Halloween post to talk about last night.

It began very nicely, with sizable portions of good, rich, Italian food, closely accompanied by a couple glasses of something deep and smooth. Happy and stuffed, I sat down to a movie with the Old Flesh-and-Blood. I had no idea what I was in for.

The movie was piercingly sad, with ongoing themes of depression and hopelessness that continued on as it progressed toward an impending suicide. You learn from the beginning that the main character is going to kill himself, but you do not learn why until later. I honestly loved this movie. It hurt. But the love, the pain, and the sacrifice that were at the core of everything were poignant and powerful like I have never seen in a movie before. I honestly have not cried like that in months.

After that I needed a walk. I was received by steady rain and driving wind--my preferred conditions--but after that movie, seeing the driving rain denude the trees was a rather melancholy sight. But I enjoyed that walk more than any in quite some time.

Morose settings, but for some reason I was left with a mellow content feeling.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Drink A Little Champagne, Champagne...

12:09 AM Posted by Patrick , , , 2 comments
Tonight we attended a most excellent Daughtry concert. It began with a trip across town to grab Emma, from which point we proceeded to the Coliseum. Walking through the parking lot I caught an odd and unpleasant perfume, my untrained nostrils did not recognize it for the marijuana that it was. Thank goodness I had family there to clear up that mystery. Once we made it into the Coliseum proper I had some proper time to observe--mentally eviscerate--the patrons, who were in their most horrid garb. Lot's of tight clothing.

Nothing terribly amusing presented itself for my pleasure until the advent of a fat, incredibly genial, and somewhat inebriated man who was, at least for a moment, to be my neighbor to the left. He immediately introduced himself, his group, and launched into conversation. After some ten minutes of conversation, and upon finding out that my last concert had been a rush concert, he was decided that I was infinitely better for his daughter than her current boyfriend. Apparently the boyfriend was one of those football players who "you can't trust". He then launched into his experience in the military. Our final topic, before he his group went off in quest of better seats, gave me a strong idea of exactly how he intended to spend the rest of his evening. Most diverting.

And I haven't even got to the music yet.

The opening act was Cavo. Like both of the warm-up acts, Cavo is Alternative rock. The lead singer(Looked like Nicholas from Project Runway) was seriously emo and kept bending over like he had either been punched in the gut, or else heaving and vomiting. The guitarist was anemic and unimpressive; his play only deserved notice on one of the songs, barely. The drummer was halfway decent, nothing terribly complicated, but he had a lot of energy. But none of them came close to matching the bassist. The bassist was about a foot shorter than any of the other band members, but he was incredibly muscular and was all over the place. Watching that man without sound would have been interesting. Then you hear the complex sound he is churning out. The man had a base solo and several other places where he was the only thing in the band that could be described as excellent. I had to chuckle when the lead singer curled into the fetal position at the end of the last song. "Drink a Little Chapagne, Champagne. Do a Little Cocaine, Cocaine..." Priceless. ;-p

Next came Theory of a Deadman. I'll try to keep my commentary shorter this time. Better than Cavo musically, but with nothing like the same amount of energy. Their drummer is capable of quite a bit, and he only got to cut loose once during the whole act. On top of that, the lead singer did not sound his best. Decent overall, but it could have been a lot better.

And then we get to Daughtry. Primo. Daughtry has a powerful voice and, as the edgy warm-up acts might have indicated, had all of the songs pumped up to hard rock status. Between the guitar solos, points where there were as many as four guitarists, the intricate and throbbing bass-work, and the excellent lightshow and pyrotechnics, it made for a most excellent show. All of the old songs from his previous album had their music updated to match the skill of his new, and superior, band.

And I am too tired to write anymore...which was the whole point of my writing this blog post. I can now sleep.

I am well pleased with my use of this evening.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Office of The President

Rehashing American history (again) has proved an interesting exercise. I catch a lot of the evil, sneakiness, and treachery, that I missed in previous examinations. I make connections and see political deals and the sacrifice of principle for personal gain or power. So many people--our local afternoon talk-show host included-- live under the delusion that there was a time when politics and politicians were civilized. When there was a dignified exchange of idea, not the personal attacks and nastiness of today. Would Burr-Hamilton count as a civilized exchange? Perhaps the Alien and Sedition Act? It only jailed all the dissenting journalists and newspaper men, what's wrong with that? Even Abraham Lincoln jailed dissenting congressmen when they spoke against the war.

Politics have never been civilized, they will never be civilized. The floor of the senate is the natural habitat of the power hungry and the corrupt, liars, thieves, cheats, gamblers, and feckless beggars in fine clothing. It is the realm of great men, certainly. But since when does a great man necessarily mean a good man? The power of great men that renders their good deeds so much more effective must also elevate their evils to the same proportion. I would argue that the majority of men whom history has named great are evil.

Therefore, why are any of us surprised at the singling out of private figures by the President of The United States? Is it not the same disgusting spectacle that humanity has always lived with?

We are surprised because it is incredibly rare for the President to lower the office to the point of making personal attacks on private citizens. In the past there were mass jailing and the jailing of political officers. But I do not think there has ever been a time when the President of these United States engaged in such petty work. To watch the President try to use his Office as a flyswatter against a single personality is a humiliating spectacle. The continual diatribe against Rush Limbaugh is sickening. The President needs to stop concentrating on defeating opposition, he already sits in the White House. He needs to stop acting like a candidate and start acting with the dignity the Office deserves. The Office of the President is above petty name calling, and our sitting President needs to realize that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Die Wochenende

9:13 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Presentation is now past, and it was definitely the best shown during that class and the only one that ran on time. In fact, ours was the only presentation that did not run twice as long as it should, and that was with our presentation covering more and having twice as many slides as the next. Also--yes I'm a braggart--those were some excellent slides in our presentation. We were the only duo who operated without a script and we were good.

I got to stay home this morning and early afternoon. I had to miss the first part of our movie in German two days ago and I didn't see the point of watching the second half of the movie, and since English will not meet for at least two weeks, I had the liberty of staying home until History at four-thirty. This is the first time in...well over a week that I got a morning at home, let alone a morning and an early afternoon both. That hasn't happened in a while. A very relaxing day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do You Really Want To Know What I Think...

9:11 AM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
When working on joint project, it is wise to check email more than once every three days, lest your partner beat you and leave you in the downstairs janitorial closet of the Classroom Medical Building. - Ancient Proverb

I do not like joint projects.

I also had all my hopes for an interesting content for the duration of my comp class shattered, annihilated. My poor hopes, already pitted and scored from agonizing boredom in a class where I was learning little, have been murdered by the mocking notice on which my choices for research topic were penned. More navel gazing and evaluation of my education experience at IPFW...I AM NOT AT COLLEGE TO TELL THEM HOW THEY ARE DOING.

*Harrumph-ahem*

You can imagine my distress when I received this directive. The High Command must be crazy. I stare out at the vast intellectual wasteland of self-obsession and gratification, and I can only shake my head. I was excited to get the topic choices for this paper, we would finally--I thought-- be getting into something serious. Maybe political philosophy. Perhaps a current events topic? Even historical events in Belarus. Anything. Anything but more of this.

On a happy note. German is, like, totally, like, awesome. That is the class I most look forward to.

Have to meet with my AWOL partner before class today, run through our presentation with him. I'll post later on how that goes.

Now I'm getting back to work.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Next

4:21 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I just finished over half of my remaining German homework in about two hours.

There is little else that I can effectively do right now.

And my limit on foreign language facts that I can cram into my head with one sitting is not far removed from the eight workbook pages I just finished.

I am taking a break. The Sims will help me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Amused

10:09 PM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
My mother's highschool classmates made for excellent people watching. In fact, they were almost as good for dissection as the two, pasty, mustachioed, pre-neolithic, and almost certainly un-bathed, baristas who ruined my espresso this morning. The little dears were walking around with their mouths hanging open and shoulders slouched terribly. I could only conclude that they never had mothers.

My mother's highscool comrades were of a more pleasant caste than the above mentioned paragons of the human race. But some of them clearly needed to quit bleaching their hair. The company was decent. The food was tasty. There was a dilapidated little playground and skate park in a grove of trees near the building where the rendezvous was held. And as I walked--you know that I was choreographing an emo music video--I was struck, figuratively (almost literally), by the slow rain of walnuts onto the black tire rubber that served as the ground beneath the dilapidated playground. Needless to say, It was a very short span of time before I was slinging walnut husks all over the place, practicing my very rusty baseball throw. There is something about the brooding solitude of manmade surroundings, long since fallen into decay, that gives rise to the child in me. Oh, the railraod tracks back behind everything definitely were a big part of the atmosphere too.

Then I came home and worked like a maniac. My profs gave me a lot of busywork this weekend.

Now I take time for pleasure.

Dancing

10:33 AM Posted by Patrick No comments
Yesterday was a very short day for me. I will let my clever readers guess why.

However, short does not mean bad. I worked on German, read my excruciatingly dull history and Comp text books, and got some laundry done.

The fun, most satisfying, part of yesterday came later. At approximately 6:20 we set off in quest of food, and then, of dance. We somehow managed to find both. I relearned some of the steps I had forgotten, finally had the music and step click for the East Coast Swing, learned some new moves for the foxtrot, and did not step on my partners foot Once. Imagine that I took my lessons four years ago when I was fifteen. Boy+fifteen+awkward= partner's poor red foot.

And today it is sunny!!! Bright and crisp, the sun warms the skin faster than the breeze can cool it, the wind invigorates, the coffee tastes better than ever, and everything smells so good!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Because I Was Wishing The Day Was Longer.

7:00 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
All week I've been wishing there were more hours in the day. Today, the steel gray clouds, le blegh headache, and chilly wind that carrys little flecks of icy sky spittle, all served as a neat little call to repentence. Why are days so long?

Oh yeah, I decided that I really hate Alexander Hamilton. I think he never met his full potential, thank God, as the petty dictator he might have been. Washinton is lauded-rightly so-for immediately shooting down any thought that he would be king. I think Hamilton would have taken it. Brilliant, great, effective, but those qualities are no guarantee of goodness.

Also. Between my tiring of the negative cash flow and the sudden total ebb in difficulty of class, perhaps total adjustment(?), employment is once again desirable.

And I am so, so, so tired of my comp classmates. However, I am warming toward my history classmates. This phenomenon might be effected by the surprising depth of the Histy tribe-depth found only on closer acquaintance- and the shallow nature of the Compy tribe, which I really might have guessed at earlier. Sehr Interessant.

I'm toast.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Begin and End

6:24 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
Ok.

I just finished dressing my soccer metaphor in such a way that it might be easily metabolized by a younger audience, and I am not allowed to prepare it for the young people I know. I need to aim at the average. It's like trying to hunt an animal I have never seen before. I do not know what it looks like, but I am supposed to shoot one. The result is me stumbling around in an intellectual forest, firing at random into the foliage. Eventually I managed to hit something. I like it less than the work I captured alive, but it should be age appropriate. We can't have the children handling anything with life left in it.

Thankfully, this should be the last piece on which I am required to rein in my vocabulary and sentence structure. After I hand this paper in, I am going to have to get medieval to make up for lost complexity.

Tomorrow I meet with my partner to begin work on my ROTC presentation. We have to put together a short report on Fort Leavenworth. Our presentation needs to have a handout and powerpoint presentation to go with it. The grade will be totally arbitrary, based entirely on Sgt. Seitz preference. This should be fun. At least we have an interesting topic to work with.

It really is a pity that fall break must end tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chess

6:29 PM Posted by Patrick 4 comments
I'm writing my short story from the point of view of the Black King that sits in the gigantic chess piece cabinet on the IPFW campus. The issue with my topic is the amount of work it takes to write such a piece. I can't just sit down and write this one. I need to sit, write, play some chess, get back to writing, and repeat. Laying out the conflict and devising a personality for a chess piece is harder than I thought it would be.

Don't get me wrong, fun, but harder than schoolwork.

Dinner beckons. A summons I dare not refuse.

Eleven and One Half

11:13 AM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
Yesterday was spent in the company of family at Mounds State Park. Aside from the obligatory trip to the emergency room, all went very nicely. Cooking over an open fire, slowly assuming the same aroma as said fire, and hiking in the woods definitely all count as good fun.

Today, however, I am back to drudgery. It's almost all writing that I have and the greatest task is not actually from one of my college professors. My short story requires something that I really need work on, Dialog.

Also, I am concerned about the format of book discussion. This concern came about as I was doing my English midterm. Part of the midterm was an essay form self examination and an examination of the way the class is going in general. In comparing large and small group discussion, it hit me that all insightful/useful commentary that I hear is from the small discussion. People are much more likely to venture a criticism or strong opinion when in a smaller group. Book discussion has ballooned and lost a bit of its edge. I'm going to have to see if I can find a way to counteract this.

And now I need to revise my Metaphor paper. The issue is that I am supposed to make my revisions based on the comments of my peers. My peers, while giving me two thumbs up across the board, were also totally contradictory of each other in the parts that were their favourites/least favourites. All I need to do -according to my peers- is simplify my vocabulary, but make sure it doesn't impair my descriptions, and make it shorter overall, but add more info about several aspects. I think I'll stick to using my prof's suggestions when revising.

At least I'm working on Eleven and One Half Hours Sleep.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Wardrobe

10:49 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I love the fall. Brisk temperatures, crisp smells, and dead spiders and wasps. Nature throwing one last opulent soiree before it slides into dormancy. Excellent sleeping weather too, you know.

I can now wear a shirt for hours on end without breaking into a sweat. Better still, I now get to bring out my comfortable and flattering fall wardrobe. Sweaters, turtlenecks, jackets, hmm, yes, fall is good.

Had school today as usual, except that my comp was canceled because my prof had a sick kiddo. Other than that little blip, I think it all went well today. Really need to get my butt into gear with my short story, but inspiration is yet to strike.

Now I just need to slap together a presentation on Fort Leavenworth. That'll be a cinch. An interactive presentation that includes handouts and powerpoint and amuses the wiseguy sergeant. Sgt. Seitz is pretty decent though.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

History Exams: Why They Kill Blog Production.

7:14 PM Posted by Patrick , , No comments
I feel much better now that I have my first history exam out of the way. I do not think that I will get better than a B on this exam, but I now know what I'm in for with successive tests and just what I'll need to do. There is a comfort that comes with getting that first experience out of the way. It is not as though I had no time for blogging, it was just the restlessness of an impending challenge that drove me from my blog. Now that I have faced the challenge, have it's measure, I feel that I can really master the next one.

German made more sense today than it has in a week. Suspect coffee and sleep levels may be involved. Will have team do research on this.

Composition...Professor Moore is required to teach grammar during at least one class per semester. It turns out that I am one of a couple people in her class who has used even a single semicolon in their work thus far. I received my first first journal grade that was not a 10/10. At the same time, she also said that my work was creative and unique. The issue was with the complexity of some of my constructs, looking back on my constructs, very true.

Also had good fortune of bumping into the cute witty girl, Stephi, who used to sit next to me in math class. Smile burst spontaneously into existence. Now if only I could manage to find Mike...

Theatre majors are a blast, as always. They are excellent to unwind with between classes. Must be sure to seek these out when I'm not feeling chipper.

All good fun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"No One Knows?....What Do You Think, Patrick?"

11:03 PM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
I know the last thing I really need is an ego massage, but I take immense satisfaction from the recent trends I've noticed in my History class and in my composition and German classes. My professors have this odd tendency of asking the class questions, not always simple questions. My classmates have been responding to the professors' troubling habits by adopting the approach of staring at the floor, or sometimes even their textbooks. There is now a little routine that has developed, my professors will ask their question and then, after 10-15 seconds of pregnant pause, turn and ask me directly. I admit, I revel in the opportunity to show off without sounding like an insufferable know-it-all. I get the satisfaction of answering all the questions without having to dance around with my hand in the air; this is because my previous intelligent answers now ensure that the questions come to me. I manage a reputation for being the smartest and I maintain universal popularity amongst my classmates. A public relations tour de force.

Yeah, I'm terrible.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This is Why I Would Prefer Objective Writing Assignments

10:44 AM Posted by Patrick No comments
In composition class my professor assigned a literacy narrative, a brief telling of an event, or series of events, that shaped the way we looked at and dealt with the English language. I wrote about the first book I ever read, Harry Potter. My verbiages in that draft contain greater eloquence than will ever issue forth from my lips. I was incredibly pleased with it because, though it has a few copy errors here and there, it is good and it is mine. I will admit, even in a rough draft I demand that segments of my phrasing be just so. Though the whole process was relatively short I was always careful to use the right word, or the right phrase, the wrong word simply would not do. I placed a considerable piece of myself into that piece, which is only fitting in a piece I write about me. But now there is an issue.

For the final draft I am supposed to do some pretty radical revision. It is not that my piece was not good, on the contrary, my peers and professor loved it. But the second half of this assignment is to rework it. As I sat down to begin I met with the realization of just how difficult that will be on so subjective a topic. I did not include any pointless information, nor clumsy phrases, nor poor words, weak and devoid of meaning, nor cliches, nor ambiguity, nor any stuffiness. My paper was entertaining, complete, and filled with phrases that very accurately portrayed my impressions, thoughts, and feelings. In short; in my eyes it was beautiful and I do not wish to dismantle it. I already used my best words, the words that I meant, the words the flowed naturally from my mind onto the page. My first draft was incredibly true to my feelings, I cannot see how my second draft can be nearly so. I am left with the awful task of dismembering my work, and why? Not because my work needs to be dismembered, but because everyone has to. If you're going to make me dismember my work at least give me an impersonal topic!


I'm afraid that I'm going to need to make it longer. In my narrative I am supposed to include the details I consider important, and there is nothing in that piece that I could remove without leaving it incomplete. What a pity.... My teacher was stressing the need for it to be at least three pages, and that more than half of my classmates had failed to meet that mark. I can't imagine churning out something adequate in less than five. Maybe I'll right another...on a whim. ;-p

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wit & Whim

2:00 PM Posted by Patrick , 1 comment
There was no difficulty naming my blog because the name is the force that inspired me to create the blog. The warm sun baking my skin, Dostoevsky forgotten for a moment, I allowed my mind to wander and it wasted no time ushering in my daydreams, which slowly wended their way into memory. As I sat up, licking my dry lips, it struck me just how fast Whims can run away with you and all the odd little places they have the power to take you. This is not a new revelation; I have long since come to terms with the knowledge that whims are the most powerful creatures in the world. But their strength and prowess astound me anew each time that I encounter them. It is as Jonathan and I documented some long time ago; Wit and Whim may often be complimentary forces, but Whim holds the mastery.

Whim is easily my favorite word and holds fountains of meaning for me. But how did Wit come into all this? Is this boy so arrogant that he should declare himself a Wit? Probably. But Wit does not enter this picture because of any illusions that I have about myself. A while back Jonathan and I created, as by the twisted machinations of a pair of our extraordinarily odd alter egos, a series of lectures on Wit & Whim. These, while being incredibly humorous and containing a multiplicity of inanities, also contained some decent insight that was particularly striking in the midst of the idiocy. Suffice to say that it is not lightly that I claim that Whim is the master, if you need further proof just look at the way we run our lives, the way we react, and why things go wrong. Even if we strive for the cause of Wit, Whim is always the master.

Wit & Whim, having established the dominance of Whim, went on to study the various Whims that we encounter in daily life. The comparative strength of good and evil Whims is a major point which we came back to time and again. After a time we discovered that it has less to do with the power of the whim, whims are as powerful as they need to be, and is more a function of how interested the whim is in the subject! We were left with the realization that those who are possessed of some Wit are rendered less interesting to evil Whims and more interesting to the better classes of whim. However, there is one breed of Whim which strikes indiscriminately amongst all individuals regardless of Wit, the Mischievous Whim. These Whims, though fewer in number than other Whims, often travel in packs, act decisively, and seldom settle for half measures.

And so was I seized. Here is my blog. The Whim departed, I am left to rest and contemplate what I have wrought. I am left to wonder. Why, as I lay content in the sun, blissfully ignoring all responsibility for an afternoon, did it decide I looked like fun? How, when I was tucked and hidden away from the eyes of the world, did it chance to find me? What, when I chose to serve no purpose did it choose to purpose for me? And was it there the whole time? I know not what kind of whim it was that seized me, but I like to think it was a Mischievous Whim.