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June 2006 Archives

June 3, 2006

Hot Number One

· Vodka and Orangina are a great mix, but I don't think I'm going to do it anymore. The Orangina masks the vodka too much and then I get sleepy. I think I'm done with vodka for now. I want to be productive.

· I went to Northwestern in Evanston yesterday for work. I love the town so much. It's like there's this Ann Arbor right next to Chicago. It all made me feel like I should have gone to a bigger school in a cooler town. Then I felt guilty for thinking that. But we went to look at new language lab software being developed that we might use at GVSU. It all blew my fucking mind.

One of the guys working on it is this awesome Mac programmer and I barely understood the conversations he was having with the more tech-savvy Chris who came along. It inspired the fuck out of me. It made me want to take computer programming classes and everything. I'm actually going to do this. I say it every couple months, but I think it is vital for job security and just necessary knowledge for being even moderately interested in computers. That is all.

· I ate green curry at this Thai place in Evanston and it was really hot. But I think it's weird that I don't sweat when I eat spicy food. My mouth just goes numb and I have to blow my nose.

I ordered the Hot Number One, because no one wants to eat hot number two.

· I don't like men's feet. So I don't expect you to either. But there is something weird with my toes. I don't know much about toe flexibility or how muscles are connected, etc. But it doesn't seem to me that we aren't all that dextrous in the feet. I can't move my toes independently like I can move my fingers. The real thing of it is this:

On my left foot when I bend my big toe town a little, my 'index toe' moves with it as if they're one entity. I can move the four little toes down together and keep the big one up, and vice versa. I know I should think, "Hey, I can't move the little toes all that independently, so why does it matter with the big toe?" Because I can't do it on my right foot! When I try to move that toe, all the others go with it, very awkwardly. There is no big toe/index toe connection. But the index toe kind of just falls on my big toe like it's really tired and wants to lay down.



Evidence!

June 7, 2006

It's not hard to go the distance when you finally get involved face to face

We went to the mothafucking Grill last night for the first and last time. They aren't normally open on Tuesdays but since it was the day of the beast they had a theme night with girls dressed as angels and devils...that no one showed up to. I'm sure TwoEagles Marcus will have lame pictures up soon. While in the bathroom this guy finishing up said to me, "See this? Y'ever been with an angel?" as he motioned toward the feather in his cap.
"No, but I've had my share of demons."
"Oh man, don't even talk to me about that. I once fucked a dragon." He was really excited about all this.
"Yeah, once in the 60s I was tripping on acid and this girl just turned into a dragon. I mean, it was in the dark, but she turned into this dragon. And she didn't even know she was turning into a fucking dragon!" He left the bathroom and gave me a respectful fist pound.

I downloaded a really good bootleg of the Daft Punk show from Coachella. You should plug it, play it, burn it, rip it, drag and drop it, zip- unzip it. There are three files. Download them all: chunk 1, chunk 2, chunk 3.

June 13, 2006

A zombie

I don't remember falling asleep last night, but it must have been before 10pm. When I woke up at 5:30 I had cold sweats and thought I felt cramps all over. I drank some water and my throat felt disgusting. I like to assume it had something to do with not brushing my teeth the night before and leaving the day's leftover food to rot and grow disgusting bacteria to make me sick. I slept for another 2 hours.

When I woke up again for real I felt like I had a fever, but soldiered on. After the hot shower I went to my bike and felt so sore and weak. Like I had the flu this time of year. I barely missed the bus, but was able to catch it on its trip around to the other stop. I feared that I'd throw up like I did last summer. But I hadn't been drinking the night before. I just hadn't slept between Saturday-Sunday and my body was giving me a big 'F U'. I curled up on my chair and put my arms in my shirt like elementary school kids do when they're cold. I looked ridiculous. Thankfully GVSU's buffet, Fresh Food Company, nursed me back to health temporarily.

Now: I'm shaking cold and feel my head burning up, but I'm not as out of it as before. I just want to sleep. My throat doesn't feel as disgusting. I'm hoping I'm just in need of sleep and vitamins. What do I have?

June 17, 2006

Reagan coin

(I'll do no research before this...)

There's this commercial for a Reagan dime. It's a collector's coin. It's not a coin that is valid currency in the US and it's not one that is valid in Liberia or wherever special collector's coins aimed at Americans come from. It's just a coin that looks like one that already exists but with a different president. I know the US releases special coins that are worth a lot AND could be used as real currency (even though it'd be worth less), but I've never seen anything like this. Someone actually told me about this the other day I believe. They made it sound like, "Did you hear there's a movement to put Reagan on the dime?" And this must be it. People love Reagan so much they want him on a coin already...and to replace F.D.R.. It's just fucking crazy to me. So this silver coin is a consolation prize I guess.

June 19, 2006

Shh, it's a secret

If I'm home alone, I will do nothing but sleep. Nothing. I proved this twice, yesterday. It makes me worry that if I were the last person on earth I'd just nap all the time (and potentially miss where civilization went to, die in my sleep from vampires/zombies, miss out on all the cool stuff you could do if no one else were around).

Andheri East, here I come!

I noticed a charge on my checking account today.

Jet Airways is an Indian airline. Andheri East is a suburb of Mumbai. They're traveling within India either to or from Mumbai. And I can't do anything about it until it's officially posted to my bank and not just pending. Maybe I've trusted internet commerce too much.

June 23, 2006

Thieves! Australian beer! California! Circumlocution!

1. I got my money back from the thief. You see, he tried to buy so much that the plane ticket and purchases from myancestry.com overdrew my account and remained pending until the people he bought from decided to refuse the sales. You can't fuck with me! I'm terrible with money and don't have enough in my account for you!

2. I came across an article on wikipedia about this beer war in the state of Victoria, Australia. I don't know much about beer politics elsewhere, so I looked up what it's like in the U.S.. Prohibition and World War II ruined brewing and beer innovation, allowing the Budmilloors monopoly of boring American beer to flourish. Only recently have independent and regional breweries been successful. Still, American beer is pretty American. There are no boundaries. (for the most part)

Australia is much different. Each state has very significant differences in popularity by brand. Look!

In 1999 a gentleman's agreement to stay out of each other's states between the two big breweries Lion Nathan (representing New South Wales, home of Sydney) and Carlton United Breweries (CUB) (home of Melbourne, and Blake, the Aussie who stayed with me and whom I stayed with way back when) was broken and Lion Nathan invaded Melbourne and the rest of Victoria. CUB's flagship beer is Victoria Bitter (VB), which accounts for 1/3 of all Australian packaged beer sales. Lion Nathan re-tooled Toohey's Draught to make it taste more like VB and renamed it Toohey's New.

New South Wales and Victoria are the most populated states in the country, so it only made sense for each brewery to make a presence on each other's turf. Victoria Bitter just started selling more in New South Wales. But Toohey's did the real invading. They converted 32 of the country's 52 race tracks (a big deal there) to drop CUB and start selling Toohey's exclusively. They also bought the naming rights to the Melbourne Cup, Australia's biggest horse race (quite a slap in the face to VB and Melbourne), until 2009. They also purchased 62 hotels in Melbourne solely to get them to start serving their beer. People in Victoria got angry that their pubs had changed brands and Nathan Lion had been forced to sell a lot of the hotels they originally bought.

(I love this part) They bought venues around universities to attract the younger crowd and started the "Beer Monster's Club". Students paid $10 to become a "Citizen of the Keg" and would then pass out free Toohey's at parties. This program was dropped because of issue with Liquor Licensing (not necessarily giving alcohol to minors). I equate this with a guy at a party who's passing out Red Bull to everybody and trying really hard to get them to all to keep buying Red Bull. But imagine the Red Bull is beer and then imagine American colleges' problems with free beer. Fucking fiasco.

Now, I'm a bit biased here. Blake's from Victoria. The first beer I ever got drunk off of was Victoria Bitter while staying with him on my trip there. This fight to me seems like a mix of Coke vs. Pepsi and Red Sox vs. Yankees. It's more than just beverage, it's loyalty to territory and buying local. I can't really analyze it properly. But from the point of view of an idiot like myself, it's all so very intriguing.

PS: While doing my 'research' on this, I found this really good ad for Victoria's other big beer, Carlton Draught, that proclaims that it's "made from beer".

3. Upon further review, if/when I live in America for a prolonged period of time after teaching in France, etc. I'm going to live in California. Not L.A., but California. Yes.

4. I just took a practice ACTFL OPI, oral proficiency interview, with a French professor training to get into ACTFL. It was very humbling. I need so much practice. BUT! I found that I'm the king of circumlocution.

June 26, 2006

I failed my Kobayashi Maru exam

Pretend I've known all about soccer/football forever. I've always known how to play, have loved playing it, have loved watching it, have followed teams/statistics/players and am a real fan.

I watched the Australia vs. Italy match today on Univision. World Cup is so much better in Spanish. I don't really know what's said, but I feel what they're saying. And ABC has a delay. All these articles agree, though. Australia was screwed! I'll still bring my flag.

I don't care how many people I've told this to. Robots are awesome...

"The result is machines that evolve and develop by themselves without human intervention," explained Stefano Nolfi, coordinator of the ECAgents project, which has brought together researchers from disciplines as diverse as robotics, linguistics and biology.

"What has been achieved at Sony shows that the technology gives the robot the ability to develop its own language with which to describe its environment and interact with other AIBOs – it sees a ball and it can tell another one where the ball is, if it’s moving and what colour it is, and the other is capable of recognising it,” he said.

The most important aspect, however, is how it learns to communicate and interact.

Whereas we humans use the word ‘ball’ to refer to a ball, the AIBO dogs start from scratch to develop common agreement on a word to use to refer the ball.

They also develop the language structures to express, for instance, that the ball is rolling to the left.

The researchers achieved this through instilling their robots with a sense of ‘curiosity’.

June 30, 2006

Your ankles are killing me

· Everything turned out alright with the bank. I leave tonight and am planning to update from there. I have several activities planned out that mimic German language textbook chapters:

Getting a haircut
At the Supermarket
In a restaurant
At a Fußball match

I plan on learning as much vocabulary for each event and then plan to refuse to speak English during them. Any other suggestions?

· Eric was talking about synaesthesia the other night and after playing some math games on Brain Age for the DS I remembered that I've always felt certain things for certain math problems. Not like color with numbers. But that certain number combinations go well together and feel right when added/subtracted to/from each other. I first thought this was just, "Oh, because that's the right answer." But I get certain, indescribable feelings (that sounds so intense and magical...) when I do times tables with 4, 8 and 9, for instance. I don't know. I'm a weirdo.

· My brother is working at a fancy hotel as a server in Harbor Springs (near Mancelona!) all summer. My mother first described his living area (a big dorm with two people to a room) as like "Dirty Dancing". I haven't seen it, but assume that she's saying Lance will seduce some city girl who stays there with his dirty dances. She then said, "I can see it like Animal House. All these good-looking college students with nowhere to go, plenty of money and other good-looking college students." My dad made mention of how good looking the girls are there. The point is, I'm actually a little jealous that I never got a summer job like this. This will probably be good for him. His friends aren't bad, but he gets in a lot of trouble with them. He won't have his car (so he can't drink and drive...) and he'll be around some different people.

No, that's not my point, that's my rationalizing it all. When I get back from Germany, I'll be living at my parents' house for a few months. In that time my brother will be working. I'll be the only child again. They'll probably buy me groceries, drive me to/from work, let me use the car, let me have people over, etc. It'll be rent-free paradise (sort of). And instead of thinking, "That's a shame. Lance and I could have connected before I went to France for a while. Not just as brothers who don't get along, but as friend," or some bullshit, I thought, "Cool. now I don't have to worry about locking up my stuff fearing he'll pawn/damage it. Oh, and the bathroom won't be a big mess now. And mom and dad will spoil me!" So, I feel guilty. (This is actually part one of an ongoing series...)

But I'll forget it for now. See ya!

About June 2006

This page contains all entries posted to spacebase in June 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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