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Zach v. IPE, round 2

I succeeded in turning in my application to study in Vienna next quarter, so barring any unusual circumstances you should prepare to see much less of me in the near future. Shucks, I know. I finished the application this afternoon in the basement of Sieg II, and as I was walking it to Schmitz, I jumped up and walked on the lip of Drumheller Fountain for a while. I had a rather frightening moment where I imagined myself being startled by a swooping bird or a member of Death Cab and dropping all the paperwork into the much-drained fountain, and rather than leave things to chance I jumped right back onto the sidewalk proper. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have been able to get duplicate letters of recommendation in time if I’d soaked the originals.

Sieg II is starting to feel more like home to me, simply because of the long, long hours I’ve been spending there of late. Saturday Ethan and I locked ourselves in the basement lab for nine hours while implementing a user-level thread package for our OS class. As unpleasant as being trapped in a windowless enclosure for nine hours with only candy bars and soda to sustain your life-force is, I kind of enjoyed it; it felt familiar, and there’s always comfort in the familiar. But then again, familiarity breeds contempt, so I’m going to try to keep days like that to a minimum, this quarter and beyond.

Two things on the internet have seized my attention in the last several days. The first is this comic, which is as much of an authority on indie as anyone (myself included). Indie boys are growing beards? This is news to me, and I’m glad: for once, I’m ahead of the curve. A razor hasn’t touched my face since early August, and as you can see in this picture, for example, I am a sexy beast as a result. Usually I keep it trimmed to simulate around 4 days’ growth, but lately Nathan and I have been having a beard-growing contest; just now I conceded and trimmed mine up. I lose the contest, but 1) Nathan had like a three-week head start anyway, and 2) my beard was getting patently unreasonable, all scratchy and itchy at all the wrong times, it would get caked with chocolate frosting in places that I could not lick away, etc.

Thing number two is orkut.com, which is a social networking site in the spirit of friendster. I didn’t go in for friendster or any of its clones, because those things usually end up being a big waste of time. This probably will too, but I signed up anyhow. Why did I jump on the bandwagon now after shunting so many imitators? A few reasons. First, it’s an invitation only site, and Ethan invited me; this appealed to my broad elitist streak. Second, it’s an affiliate of Google, and any friend of Google is a friend of mine. Third, their whole site is in blues and grays, just like another site you might know and love; I loved the aesthetics immediately. I joined last night when I should have been researching a paper, and so far it’s claimed around three hours of my life. I expect this number to rise as my network of connections and communities expand. If you want in and don’t have any other friends, let me know and we’ll work something out. I accept cash, cash money, and pencil shavings.

Posted in Musings.


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