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Last to the party

Friday, February 29, 2008
I'm going to take a moment to acknowledge that, in the 7 years (give or take) since I graduated from the University of Oregon, I'd largely forgotten the old Oregon Commentator. It has, however, recently come back into my "sphere of awareness" and I found that they (like me!) have a website and even a blog - founded, apparently, shortly after I left.

For those unaware, the Oregon Commentator is the "conservative" publication on the University of Oregon campus. Let this not turn you off, though, for just remember: they're conservative... for Eugene (which means, by and large, that they end up being fairly moderate.) Conservative, moderate, or liberal... the Commentator is awesome because it hilarious. They are the authors of the annual "Back to the Booze" issues wherein they, for the benefit of incoming freshmen, detail the price and proof rating of different types of alcohol and generally what the cheapest way to get drunk is. They may be "conservative", but that doesn't mean they're sober.

Alcoholism aside, the Oregon Commentator seems to feel its purpose is also to stand stand watch against the university administration, the Oregon Daily Emerald (the "official" campus newspaper), and general idiocy that happens when you get groups of people who happen to take themselves a little too seriously together. And on every one of those counts, they do a damn fine job.

In any event, this is one publication that I used to look forward to way back when I was an undergrad. They constant irreverence and yet bizarre sanity with which they treat every topic made me laugh and eased the pain of... whatever it was I did back then. Who knows?

Future Fortune?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Lord, I can only hope...

Fortune: Your hard work is about to pay off

Thanks a lot, Comcast

Thursday, February 21, 2008
I'm getting pretty irritated with Comcast. I "subscribe" to their high-speed internet services and, for the past three nights, my service has cut out quite unexpectedly so they can perform "service enhancements". I don't know what the hell they're doing, but my service would be dramatically enhanced if it worked - they tend to turn it off while I'm in the middle of doing things and I sometimes have to go into school to keep working.

I finally called and complained last night; I was really inconvenienced when it suddenly dropped right at midnight. I finally got to speak to someone who spoke enough English to understand my question, which was, "When will you be done 'upgrading' my service?' He, of course, couldn't answer but said, "Well, sometime after 9 AM tomorrow you should check on the 'Network Health' page on Comcast's site for future outages in the next two weeks.' Tragically, he couldn't look for me and I needed to wait for the nine-hour outage window to expire before theoretically being able to check. Well, I checked today and, after waiting 45 seconds for the page to load (glad my service was upgraded!) I find no notice of any upcoming outages - just a mostly-empty page (when it would even load.) Let it be known that if it goes out again, I'm going to be even more pissed off.

As a side note, this worries me were I ever to consider 'upgrading' to Comcast's highly profitable package of internet, TV, and phone service, because a complete nine-hour outage of all my services would be even more massively inconvenient... and heaven help the person who has an emergency during those hours and can't call 911. (That's one of the elegant qualities of the old POTS system, that's for sure.)

30:30

Saturday, February 16, 2008
It was my girlfriend's idea to run in the Eugene Couples Classic 5k today. It was the second 5k I've run (in my adult life, at least) and we had a blast doing it. Also notable was my time: 30 minutes, 30 seconds. Significantly better than my last recorded time of 33 minutes even (though I swear that's slightly inflated.)

Picture of us at the 2008 Eugene Couples Classic

The idea of the Couples Classic is fun; two people can register as a couple and they get placed in a bracket and scored by their combined times; in our bracket we were 12th out of 17. Not bad, especially considering that I'm not very fast. Our pace was awesome, though. Averaged out, we were doing about a 9:49 mile (just over 6 miles per hour, pretty good for me) but our first mile was something like 10:24 - each successive mile was faster than the previous one.

I enjoy running, though I'm obviously not great at it. It's good exercise, keeps me in decent shape, and allows me to cross distances in a hurry if I need to. (You never know when that'll come in handy!)

Care Package

Monday, February 11, 2008
I wanted to take a minute to publicly thank my church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, for the Valentine's Day care package they sent me. You see, one of the groups at my church has made it their annual mission to send little care packages to all the church's students that are away at college - at least, all the ones they can track down. As I'm currently a student, I find this gesture to be meaningful and heartwarming (as I did when I received them as an undergrad.)

The list of items in the package includes (but is not limited to):
  • Highlighters
  • Paper clips
  • Mint gum
  • A toothbrush and dental floss (actually a perennial favorite of mine!)
  • Pop-tarts
  • Tea bags
  • A couple inspirational messages
  • A beautiful Valentine's Day card
  • ... and more!
So let me say "Thank You!" publicly. Your efforts are truly appreciated.

The Elephant in the Room

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
So it was a very bad day in early January (a dark, rainy Sunday, if I recall) that my family sat down for dinner and my parents announced that they were, after just over 30 years of marriage, getting a divorce.

This came as quite a shock to me, and I left dinner pretty upset about it.

I've seen my parents a couple times since then. Going to "the house" feels strange; they still refer to each other as "mom" and "dad" when I'm around, and it's like nothing's really changed, yet I know that these two people - the two who raised me and shaped me into the person I am today - are going to be going their individual ways soon. They're still living together for the time being (until they can get independently established) and they're going to try to remain friends, but it doesn't seem to process in my mind that they're not always going to be home.

No more Thanksgiving dinners.

No more Christmas mornings.

No more birthday barbecues.

Perhaps my brain doesn't know how to process it. They've been together literally my entire life (plus nine months - I was a honeymoon baby!) and it's like waking up one morning and having my hands on the opposite arms: they still function, but it feels really different. It's going to be so hard thinking of them as "Mom of Mom" and "Dad of Dad" instead of as, for instance, "Mom of Mom & Dad".

I've spent a lot of time thinking about marriage and divorce since then. I've already experienced both, of course, so the process isn't new to me. I guess I just figured that after 30 years, why not stay together? What's to be gained by separating?

Looking back, I can see that they've had problems for a while. As I noted, I was a honeymoon baby. (Legend has it that it was on a beach in the Caribbean, but I digress.) But even before I came along, their dating and engagement periods were quite short. How long did they get to know each other and spend time together before it became "sacrifice time" in order to support a family? How many dreams did they each give up when I came along? Looking back, I can see that when my younger brother and I left the house, they didn't have a lot to fall back on. Few, if any, common interests, and I saw that manifest itself as frustration time and time again.

How do you live with someone you share only friends with?

I know that I don't know what the future will hold. I know that I hope they can part amicably, and be able to see each other socially. (If nothing else, my brother's wedding is coming up!) I hope that they can stay the same people that I've known and loved my whole life, and I hope that I'll be able to treat them the same.

Magical Blogger Mood Ring

Current Mood: Blue

It's been a while since my last mood ring! I'm just starting to get over two weeks of being sick and I'm tired from school and trying to job hunt - I think I'm just physically and mentally exhausted from pushing myself in different directions and trying to be upbeat all the time, despite feeling awful.

*sigh*.

I'm sure I'll feel better soon.

Candy from babies

Monday, February 04, 2008
A friend sent me one of the most awesome surveys I've ever seen:

25


Only 25? That depresses me. I'm okay if they hit me first, but at some point they are just kids, right?

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