March 21st, 2007


tech milestone; notes from opening night

Today is the first day I’ve brought a modern laptop to a class. (I once dragged my old 386 to Intro Computer Science to run Turbo C++ in MS-DOS to try out little code snippets while the prof. ran Visual C++ on Windows 2000.) I’m really impressed with the battery life, especially for a large-ish 15” notebook – there was almost 20% still remaining, after being on from 11:45 straight to 3:45 – three straight lectures! I guess I could get about four or five hours straight just typing in MS Word in these optimal conditions: not playing music, not running SETI@home (that eats the battery), and disabling the wireless radio (generally, it’s distracting to have web access during lectures anyway). I’m really glad I sprung for the better battery.

My only problem is that, especially in my very small Chaucer class, I’m wondering if my constant typing annoys people. I will break a social rule and ask – on a day that I don’t bring the notebook. =)

In Intro Psychology it’s okay, because dozens of people have notebooks and the venue is a cavernous lecture theatre.

Actually, I have a few problems with Intro Psych. I love the material, but I kind of dislike the class, because everybody hates me. Gah, it’s like Computer Science all over again! Every time I answer a question or basically do anything, I hear snide whispers. What gives?

On Monday the professor was saying something like, “You’re happy! You’re astonished! You’re amazed; as if you got 100 on the exam! Actually, I think one person did that.”

That was me.

I didn’t do as well on the first exam; I only got a 98/100.

I wisely stayed silent.

We opened last night, and it was OK. Our closing song was a rousing, upbeat rendition of “Hey, Ho, the Wind and Rain.” In fact we were so enthusiastic that we came up with four simultaneous and different ways to sing the first line of the last verse, and equally different timing on the final notes. We sounded like this:

A loneat whime ago the world began
with thhey, ho, the wiand the ndrain
But that's all one, our pldone is lay
And we'll strive to pleayou se, evday ryday!

Still, our audience seemed happy. Some of our scenes were really smoking. Overall, it was a successful first show. Tonight should be even better. I’m going to see if I can pick times to be a convincingly, deeply frustrated Malvolio. I want to harness things like missing my bus two days in a row because the rat b*****d came early, walking all the way back home from my bus stop last night because my mother didn’t feel well, but then being asked to move the van that would have saved me the exhaustion on top of exhaustion (when you’re at school for 10-14 hours at a go, an after-midnight 25-minute walk home is not as pleasurable as it ought to be). I’m hoping against hope that Simon, the lighting guy who lives in Sackville, drove down here tonight – getting a drive from Mom lately has been like pulling teeth. I miss the car. I really miss the car. Last semester was an entirely different lifestyle. If I went back in time to January, I think I would have taken the (obscene amount of) money I spent on this notebook and put it on a car. The problem with the car, though, is that it’s a continuing money pit. The notebook requires comparatively little upkeep and maintenance, and it can generate its own creative wealth.

That paragraph got lost and forgot its destination. I’ll leave you with two unrelated (yes, actually unrelated) things:

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2. Our little blonde-haired friend has recently filed a civil suit against one of our actors. In fact, she specifically timed the suit to coincide with our opening night (and, sadly, her “You guys hate me!” is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy), and our actor showed up at court in his costume! They set a date for the meat of the proceedings. We know that she set this time deliberately, as the time of day in question is normally reserved for traffic court, unless someone specifically asks for it. And there was the usual drama of her not wanting to be in the courtroom with him and all kinds of other nonsense. OK, end of story. Or so we think.

For the play, I needed to fill up some prop wine bottles with water. So I’m at the water fountain by the security desk filling these bottles. Suddenly I hear someone at the security desk speaking on the phone, “… May [trial date]th, [charge], he’s in the play…”

… and I turn and discover this same girl, with her back towards me. I made haste to fill up the bottles and escape without being noticed. I may have succeeded.

The problem with all this is that on one hand she says she’s afraid of this guy, and on the other she proactively comes to where he is to attempt to make trouble. On one hand she cries of his supposed unspeakable offences, and on the other she says it would be awful if he moved on. On one hand she’s broke, and on the other she borrows money to buy puppies – and reportedly asking, “I wonder what [the guy] would think of these?”, and to top it off she also borrowed money for something else (but it’s so sensational that I dare not say what outside of absolute proof). So what gives? Nothing she does makes any logical sense. Except to her. She must have her own internal checks and balances. Her task will be to make them fit with those of the outside world. I wish her well in this, and look forward to seeing her well adjusted in her later years.