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Jun. 28th, 2009


Love and Haight

As many of you probably know, my dad is undergoing brain surgery to treat Parkinson’s Disease, in a process known as deep brain stimulation (DBS), in which the surgeon sticks a couple electrodes in one’s brain so it functions properly. Since San Francisco is home to some of the most reliable surgeons in the world, here we are. I’ll have more to say on that after tomorrow, when the surgery (which starts at the leisurely time of 6 am) is over. But for now, I think I’ll discourse on the awesomeness of the city.

First off, I’d like to register my approval of the architecture; there are some very nice Victorian and mission-style buildings, well, all over the place. The whole layout of the city with the rolling hills and all is pretty nice too.

I never thought I’d see such a liberal haven, either. Not long after we arrived yesterday, the taxi driver whose cab we took from the airport informed us that the gay pride parade was happening that day, as we drove through Haight-Asbury, where what must have been the entire Hindu pantheon gazed down on us from the shop windows amid a jubilee of pipes and tie-dye. Our hotel is conveniently located on the outskirts, roughly equidistant between the bong shop and the hospital where Dad is going for surgery.

Once we got there, Dad and I, tired but restless, immediately set out to sightsee before all the craziness and pre-ops (which were to account for the better part of today) went down. Mom and grandmother Freida declined and instead opted to nap in the hotel lobby until our rooms were ready. So Dad and I set off down Haight St., which is almost completely dead at this point (it’s about 9:30 am), marveling at the intricate displays on the shopfronts. Our destination is the Cartoon Art Museum, some five miles away, according to the car directions from our phones.

Roughly halfway, we’re met with crowds and barricades; it turns out this is the terminus for the fabled San Francisco Gay Parade, which is the largest parade. Ever. Okay, maybe not, but it’s huge. Really really huge. It went for miles along Market St., which meant that Dad and I get to see pretty much the entire thing at an accelerated pace as we make our way towards 3rd Street. There was the requisite heading of people in gay cop uniforms, rainbows etc. There was a Christian gays float, a Jewish gays float (perhaps not surprisingly, this was the largest one we saw; more of a train than a float) and a Muslim gays float (equally unsurprisingly, the smallest we saw). The spectators were almost more intriguing than the parade; a profusion of half-dressed, flamboyant queers in a display unlike any I’ve seen or even heard of, well, just about anywhere. We ended up eating lunch at a little storefront café with a middle aged lesbian couple, one of whom was a professional astrologer who told me with much conviction that my generation would clean up the big mess that’s apparently imminent by the time I’m old enough to tidy up afterward. I can hardly wait.

Not long afterward, we made it to the museum, which was pretty cool to begin with, though I’m sure I would have been more impressed had our visit not been preceded by a rather spectacular opening act, and by that time we were pretty jetlagged anyway. Good stuff, though. I’ll hope to have more up as events progress.

Apr. 28th, 2009


Tales of the Rusty Renegade...

At the beginning of spring, I was able to acquire a bike, a metallic red Raleigh, from one of my senior friends, a Russian ex-pat whom I’ll call Boris. It’s nice to be able to say, get across campus in about two minutes, make a run to the grocery store without investing an entire day, or (wonder of wonders) actually get to class on time. As with most campus cruisers, though, it’s not in what one would call the best of shape. But it gets me from A to B, and I was willing to overlook the faulty derailleur and the somewhat unpredictable braking system (the mechanics of which I’ll explain in due course.) And it’s great having it at my beck and call. But for one thing.

This bike is trying to kill me.

Oscar, you might say, that’s ridiculous. A bicycle is an inanimate object. It has no free will, not agency of any sort. You might say that. But you would be wrong. This is a bona fide, world-class, Calvin and Hobbes-type, homicidal maniac of a bike. Over the course of about a week, the bike (which I’ve christened Malacoda the Rusty Renegade, after a minor demon in the Inferno who tries to trick Dante into a lake of burning pitch) has made no less than three, count ‘em three, attempts on my life. As it turns out, they are all related to the stupid freaking brakes, which are least reliable when they’re most needed.

At this point, I should mention that the brakes really don’t work properly at all; the rear brake is completely defunct, and the front only works because the cable catches on the housing when you pump it. Most of the time. Sometimes it doesn’t, and the cable slips in (where it’s technically supposed to be) and then the braking power is essentially nil. At any rate, it’s like Malacoda knows exactly what’s coming, and disengages the brakes at the precise moment that doing so is likely to cause the most carnage. I’d say it’s an accident waiting to happen, except accidents (in the plural) have already happened. It’s more of a catastrophe waiting to happen; right now, I feel like a fugitive from Murphy’s Law as it is1.

Monday, April 13, 11:08 am

I’ve just got out of physics class, and am in a moderate hurry to get from the Fairchild Physical Sciences Center to the Thayer Engineering School, clear across campus and then some. The geometry of the Fairchild patio is such that there are three access points: one up a short, wide flight of maybe ten steps; one unmaintained flight cutting between a concrete façade and a hedge; and a road coming in from the other direction. The bike rack happens to be at the top of the steps, and the most direct route from there to Thayer is down those steps. So – dumb idea in retrospect – I ride the bike down the steps, where lots of people are coming and going to their next classes.

It should be no surprise to anybody, least of all me, that I ate it. After the first two or three steps, I pump the brakes (or, I guess, the brake) to check my speed a little and – no negative delta v for me. Somehow I managed to stay more or less on my feet and uninjured except for a little cut on my foot, also without hitting anyone nearby either. I assume they wisely dove for cover. At any rate, nothing was seriously damaged except my dignity. But Malacoda had other plans in store.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:00 pm or so

After drawing class, I got on the bike to go get lunch as per usual, rather inconvenient drawing toolbox under one arm. This requires me to cross a couple streets, one immediately in front of the Hop, where the class is. I’m riding with one hand (because, O Best Beloved, I still have the rather inconvenient drawing toolbox under my right arm) and, as such, have somewhat compromised stability. The path I negotiate requires me to ride up a curb, and, not having much confidence in my ability to make it up to the sidewalk for some reason (have you forgotten the rather inconvenient drawing toolbox?), I pump the brake … and promptly launch over the handlebars, spreading across Wheelock Street what little dignity I have left after the previous day's fall, as well as a jubilee of art supplies scattered as the rather inconvenient drawing toolbox caroms off the asphalt and bursts open.

This one hurt a little; pavement isn’t exactly the most forgiving place to fall, and I scraped up my palms a bit. But, as before, I survived, though admittedly humiliated.

Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:25 am or so

Not too much to tell; I head down towards the Hop across the Green. The southeast corner is lower than the rest of the Green, so I’m picking up speed as I move towards the intersection, at which juncture the only car running in Hanover on a Saturday morning is turning, and – oh no, not again – this is bad – oh thank God, they saw me – they're off the road, that was nice of them - sorry about that… yeah. Not good, but could have been much worse, I suppose.

Since then I haven’t had any problems, but I think Malacoda’s biding its time, so I'll be watching my back.

1Thanks to Bill Mauldin for inspiring this phrase.

Apr. 1st, 2009


Open Letter to the Rogues' Gallery

So as I was cleaning up that large pile of laundry by the door, I had a sudden realization that has prompted me to rethink my generous view of human nature - after extensive searching and sifting through said pile, I determined the following items to be missing:

- One (1) Teva sandal, left foot
- One (1) Quiksilver flip-flop sandal, also left foot

The disappearance of the aforementioned items, the fact that they belong to corresponding feet, and the presence of three unexpected visitors who had both motive and opportunity leads me to the conclusion that I need cast nobody under suspicion but you. As a sometime prankster myself, I can appreciate the bait and switch, and I'm impressed that you got away with it, especially after dropping that monster hint about Constantine's shoes. It was well done, especially considering you managed to carry it off under my nose.

That said, I'd caution you not to start things that you can't stop. The social fabric is a delicate tapestry, which, if ripped, can disintegrate entirely with very little provocation. In other words, what you did to Constantine was roughly the Pearl Harbor of prank wars, and I might just be tempted to play the U.K. to his U.S. I'd watch out if I were you; it's spring term and you guys have pretty adequately demonstrated what happens when we have free time on our hands.

On a final note,

When can I have my stuff back?


Feb. 25th, 2009

oscar skiing

Portrait of the Blogger, as a Damn College Kid

Ah, youth.

(Picture courtesy of Justin Samuels.)

Jan. 22nd, 2009


The Oracle in the Toilet

So we’re in the locker room, getting changed before afternoon ski practice. There aren’t very many of us at the moment, due to race dynamics; some people are going to the Bates Carnival in Rumford, ME; others are doing the White Mountain Classic in Jackson, NH, in which latter group I belong. The pre-practice rituals are all being observed: the frantic losing and finding of ski gear; the jocular ragging of the upperclassmen on the freshmen; the quick bathroom runs made in the hope that one can purge before the bus leaves.

As we’re engaging in the aforementioned activities, from the vicinity of the toilets comes “Hey guys, look at this!” and there, sitting in the bowl among other detritus, is a perfect, unbroken ellipse of poo. It’s miraculous. There’s no sign that it had exited in any other structure than the one lying quite still in front of us; this disgusting donut, this toroidal turd, and absolutely no plausible reason anyone can think of for how it, or really any topologically equivalent shape, possibly could have come to pass. It’s not a mystery even a proctologist would want to probe. But man, we should at least have that thing framed, or something.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading too many Greco-Roman classics, but I’m inclined to think this is some sort of omen, considering all other explanations seem to break down, as this improbable annulus refused to. It’s just about one of the least pleasant ways of diving the future I can think of – even reading entrails seems preferable – and I would bet that whatever it signifies is equally undesirable. I mean, a loop of feces would have to mean – what? A recurring cycle of crappy events? Or does it skew more towards the banal and just signify bizarre bowel movements?

Either way, I’m just glad it’s not mine.  

Jan. 19th, 2009

oscar neutral

The Bigshot Composer Comes to Town

As people start returning to the college lifestyle, things quietly slide back to normal, the routine of class and homework and extracurriculars and so forth. Among the things this entails is the return of the cultural events; last week, for example, they showed a vintage porno1 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts as part of this winter’s “Sinema” theme. Anyway, plastered all over campus for the past week have been posters advertising “An Evening of Films and Discussion with Philip Glass.” Sure, why not, he’s a person of some eminence, this could be interesting. I was the only person I knew within my immediate range of communication who shared this sentiment, though. So it’s off to the Hop, solo. Whatever.

7pm, Jan. 15, Spaulding Auditorium

Standing in the line at the box office. One of the things that informed my decision to come to this tonight instead of dutifully reading the Aeneid or describing basins of attraction of autonomous systems and getting to bed at a reasonable hour was the fact that the whole shebang is only $5 for students (that’s pretty much the standard price tag for any event here) and I figure these four years are pretty much the only chances I have to see something like this for cheap. As it turned out, some random guy had an extra ticket, so I didn’t even have to pay. Score.

The first thing I notice is the dearth of college students; most of the audience looks like locals, professors and other assorted college faculty. Not exactly surprising, though I do feel somewhat smug for making the most of the opportunity. I do actually see a guy I know, Aryeh, who I guess must be the only other undergrad on campus who’s heard of P. Glass.

So the MC-type person, an enthusiastic lady with frizzy hair comes out and introduces the films, for which Glass composed the scores. They are apparently “amazing” and “fabulous,” which descriptions she reiterates more times than I would have thought possible during the three-minute introduction. But it’s over quickly (and mercifully) and the films roll.

The first is “Evidence,” a seven or eight minute montage of children watching television, set to Glass’s hypnotic, repetitive score. The kids all have more or less the same vacant, transfixed stare, with their mouths half-open, primed and ready to drool. It’s more creepy than I can adequately describe; the kids look completely uninhabited, their faces completely devoid of any expression whatsoever. Nor does the irony of the audience watching the children on the screen escape me, and it’s almost like looking into a mirror. The music really sets the mood, because it’s obviously supposed to represent what’s going on in the movie-world, yet it describes what’s going on in the theater equally well; the audience is just as fixated as the children, locked in complete surrender. Then it’s over and we’re left to contemplate whatever just went on.

The second film is “Anima Mundi,” a half-hour of diverse nature footage taken from naturalists’ archives and Frankensteined together in another montage. It’s the music that really ties it together, but it’s cool just to look at what our world encompasses. There’s a giant tortoise, a primordial golem that looks as if it had been sculpted instead of born, with eyes of bitumen and lapis lazuli; a bug-eyed tarsier clings to a tree trunk with an overcaffeinated stare; an underwater volcano spews forth fire, steam, and rock in a spectacular release of energy. It’s worth watching, and it certainly is a good motivator for environmentalism.

After the films are over, the frizzy-haired MC comes out, dragging a coffee table, a couple chairs and bottles of water, and finally the man himself. I note the arrangement of furniture with an inward groan, justified when the MC launches into her questions, half of which seem geared towards buttering him up. To the list of words that I’m never going to be able to hear without remembering that night, add “stunning” and “fantastic.” Ugh. It’s clear during the first few minutes that it’s not a discussion so much as an interview; Glass is discoursing well, it seems, but when the topic veers from the list of queries she obviously has in mind, she seems wrong-footed and abruptly steers the “discussion” back to its original tack. Fortunately, as the evening progresses, the talk becomes more organic and becomes more of an actual discussion. Glass clearly knows what he’s doing, and he made some interesting points which currently elude me, though I am left with an impression of a man who deserves to be where he is. It was definitely worth attending.      

1I did not go, though I have some friends who did. It was apparently every bit as atrocious as one would expect.

Jan. 7th, 2009


The New England Weather Report

As I progress through my first New England winter, it’s hard not to notice the stark contrast between it and that of Alaska. The first thing I notice is that the sun actually rises here, unlike back home where it just peeks out front behind the mountains, rolls around the southern horizon, and goes back down five hours after sunrise proper, more like four after we actually see it, in Anchorage at least. But here in Hanover, it’s got some serious loft for an appreciable part of the day. It feels exactly like spring, which impression I would imagine a lot of people would give a considerable amount to have at the onset of winter.

Of course, that’s when the sun is visible. The cloud cover descended at some point during the night, bringing with it a somewhat insidious dampness and some unidentifiable form of precipitation somewhere between snow and ice and hail that turns every road on campus to slush, at that ambiguous temperature which can’t quite decide which side of the freezing point it wants to be on.

And here the fun begins.

Everybody tracks the amorphous substance into all the buildings – there’s not a lot you can do about that, since the outnumbered mats get saturated pretty quickly – creating a very obvious spoor that shows where the major indoor thoroughfares lie. Naturally, the entrances see the most action (in various forms, as I’ll explain further) and there the water accumulates the fastest. As I mentioned, the mats aren’t really meant to trap this much water, so there’s a lot of sliding about near the doors on the unmatted portions of the floor as people coming and going find themselves unexpectedly frictionless, flailing about their centers of gravity; I’ve seen some spectacular falls today, and some spectacular recoveries, mostly of the long, drawn out kind where the outcome is uncertain until the very end. I think it’s fairly safe to say that nearly everyone in the immediate area has taken some sort of a weather-related spill at some point today, myself included.

Mine, however, was on skis. Another way in which winter here thus far resembles spring in Alaska is the skiing; the trails are fast but covered with only a smattering of snow. Today, the trails were covered with the same sort of weird slush, which solidified as the temperature dropped, somewhat to my consternation. The trails haven’t been groomed, so the inch or so of semi-solid slush sort of forms channels around your skis. On the downhills, as long as it’s straight, the snow will rocket you along, no problem; it’s just that your direction-changing abilities are somewhat compromised, and if you’re not careful on the tight turns you will go down. Hard. The slush is also at that magical consistency where it can make you bleed, too, so it’s a good idea to wear long sleeves (which I realize is advice most people heed anyway.) Or not go skiing on days like this, if you want to avoid falling in the first place. Either one.

The final thing I’d like to note is that the meteorology here is actually somewhat reliable. Get with it, Anchorage.    

Jan. 6th, 2009


Second Day of Class, 12:15 pm

I am currently at the Courtyard Café in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, waiting for my friend Tatiana to show up for lunch, having just finished the first of my new classes, Art History of Egypt and the Ancient Near East. Someone at the adjacent table apparently does not know who Che Guevara is, to the surprise of her friends (“You haven’t even seen the Motorcycle Diaries?”) At the risk of sounding like an Ivy League snob, I think this is the sort of thing that probably happens more often at Dartmouth than other places, namely the incredulity rather than the ignorance. This makes me happy.

Speaking of things peculiar to Dartmouth, for some reason today the campus was not exactly littered with bananas just lying on the pavement, but there was certainly a higher incidence of said street bananas than the norm (which is zero). I can’t decide whether this is just an instance of carelessness on part of the resident bananaphages, or if there’s a more sinister plot by some sadistic prankster to bust the heads of innocent pedestrians. As if the ice wasn’t already slippery enough.

Anyway, the immediate prospects for term look to be either interesting but hard, or hard but interesting, depending on my mood (the swings of which, I expect, will roughly coincide with the due dates of papers and/or tests). I’m inclined to think that balancing all this is going to be somewhat more difficult with the racing season ahead, but I imagine things will shake out. They better, or else I’m screwed.

I’ve had a little more time to review the math I’ll be doing, and my initial reaction is more or less confirmed by what I’ve seen in class and looked at in the book. One of the comfortable illusions that is perpetuated by calculus and classical physics is that the world, despite its large-scale complexity, is fundamentally simple and elegant. Diff. Eq. kind of shatters that; the world, it seems, is just as complex as it looks, maybe even more so. The entire course seems at first blush to be the mathematics of approximation; good old mathematical analysis is only one of the methods used to solve the equations1, and even then, the differential equation itself is likely to be a “simplified” model of a more complex phenomenon, like population growth or radioactive decay. And the analysis there is… whoof. All the good stuff: complicated algebra, infinite series, and – dear God – matrices, the only topic in math thus far to make me break down2 (though I may have teared up a little the first time I saw Stokes’s Theorem). There’s an emphasis on numerical solutions, which basically means nasty brute-force computation (it’s so nice to have computers to do this for us), and my personal favorite: guess and check, which is definitely not the sort of thing you would expect to do in a math class. Oh yeah, and I have to write some sort of a research paper at some point. It’s a good thing I like math and science.

I believe I mentioned in my last post that humanities looked about the same as last term without actually specifying what last term’s load was: basically a bunch of readings and short reactions punctuated with the occasional essay or test. Most of the classes are discussion sections, but there are often lectures given by a number of professors shanghaied from other departments3, and once in a great while, from other colleges. This term’s is a guy from Cornell who translated our copies of the Aeneid and Phaedra. Should be interesting, even if I have to miss a race for it.

Art history looks like it should be a pretty good class. The (possibly Israeli) professor seems like she knows what she’s doing, the material looks interesting, and if it’s all memorizing, (at the risk of hubris) I should be more or less okay. The class, by which I mean the students, is also interesting in itself for a couple reasons that I am sure will both get old very quickly: one is the female-to-male ratio, which I guess to be about 2:1; the other is the upperclassman-to-freshman ratio, which is more like 20:1, the one being yours truly. Should be interesting to see how this shakes out.

So yeah, that’s about all I got for now. I’ll do my best to be a more regular poster, but if you feel inclined to blame me for laziness, just bear in mind the above litany. Sayonara till then, or whenever.

1 Most of the equations resemble what I imagine would be the logical outcome of the Roman alphabet and a couple Eastern buddies going out binge-drinking and then spending the rest of the evening vomiting up their contents into the textbook, and most of the graphs look like a messy three-year-old with an attention deficit was given a new blue crayon and told to draw a kitty on the axes.

2No joke. I think I was in third grade, trying to multiply the stupid things, couldn’t get a single one right and was so fed up and frustrated that I had a small tantrum. Why they make us do matrix multiplication in third grade when you don’t see them again until college, if at all, is beyond me.

3There really isn’t a Humanities Dept. proper at Dartmouth, so far as I can tell, just a triumvirate of profs who apparently volunteer to run the show every term.

Jan. 4th, 2009

oscar skiing

The Return of the Not-So-Prodigal

Well, I’m back, by which I mean back at school. It was a grueling 31-hour trip, every bit as exhausting as I have come to expect from my experiences with air travel, a journey through four major American cities, culminating in an eight-hour stint in the Logan Airport in Boston as I waited for the bus to arrive, trying to sleep in the ugly black pleather chairs that squat in welded rows in the No-Man’s Land between the baggage claim and airport security, while a much larger group of people than I would have expected for 3 am milled about anxiously and loudly by the Am. Airlines ticket counter. From what my sleep-deprived mind (I think I’ve been asleep for maybe five of the past fifty hours, two and a half on the Anchorage-Seattle plane, roughly one on the floor of Gate B1 of the Sea-Tac Airport, the rest curled up on those abominable chairs and sundry pieces of luggage) could fathom, it sounded as if O.A.S. was holding an impromptu midnight convention; at various points during what I shall euphemistically describe as fitful sleep, I heard various North American and Hispanic dialects, as well as some sort of French-English patois that sounds as if it wandered out of somewhere in the Caribbean.

Fortunately for me, the denouement of the arc of my little travel story was somewhat more pleasant, thanks to the fine people who operate Dartmouth Coach. They do right by their customers: comfortable seats (I ending up having two to myself), snacks, and a movie, which in this case turned out to be “Encounters at the End of the World,” a Werner Herzog film I had actually intended to see and then missed when it came to the college theater. It turned out to be fairly interesting, in the rambling, nonlinear Herzogian way it was narrated; basically it was a documentary about stuff in Antarctica, spliced with Herzog trying to make sense of the world in a larger context. Apparently one of three volcanoes in the world that has an open, permanent lava lake is in Antarctica (the others being in Congo and Ethiopia), fittingly named Mt. Erebus. Evidently it’s a volcanologist’s paradise, a very literal meeting of fire and ice. The movie ended with a nice little quote from the philosopher Alan Watts expressing how wonderful it is that the universe can comprehend the scope of its magnificence through us, humans, or something to that effect. It’s very validating, at any rate.

It’s weird coming back to a place that began as away. The break sort of clarified what it’s like to be away from home and yet at another place that’s home, the dual familiarity that makes both places decidedly real, more so than a place you only visit once. I’ve also realized how very different Alaska and New England are, just weather-wise; it feels and looks like spring here just because it’s about thirty degrees warmer and the sun is so much higher and there isn’t any snow on the trees. It’s definitely going to be nice not to be mired in twilight, watching the sun roll around the sky as it imparts only a distant light and no heat.

Since getting back, I’ve taken time to attend to (or neglect) the little things that need to get done. My room is more or less the same as left it, with the exception of the new trash bags in the garbage and recycling bins; the custodians, it seems, have been unconcerned with or failed to notice the broken rollerblind. I would like to say that I remembered to empty the fridge of its perishables – the ounce or so of milk, its viscosity now approximately that of poorly mixed paint, comes to mind – but I didn’t, with the predictable result. The rest of my room received about as much pre-departure attention as my fridge, and I have no particular inclination to change the state it’s in at present.

Nor will I in the near future, apparently, now that I’ve flipped through my textbooks, on which I dropped a significant fraction of my net worth over the past couple days. The humanities load looks about the same as last term’s, though more heavily weighted towards modern works, thank God. Art history has a couple small but chubby volumes on the Ancient Orient, and it’s anyone’s guess whether it’ll be more work than physics was. At least I won’t be up till midnight stressing over compound Atwood machines. And then there’s math. Oh, Differential Equations… a fat text full of the most complicated math I’ve ever seen, explained with none of that high-school clemency that permeated the calculus books. The prospect of learning this stuff on my own from the book and whatever notes I can crib from my comrades on those days I’m gone for skiing is not to relish.

On the subject of things not to relish, the days of smooth, reliable Internet connection I had for the past three weeks ended when I got on that plane to Seattle, I am reminded as the computer fails to connect to Dartmouth Secure’s notoriously spotty service and I am forced yet again to delay posting the blog. Meh.       

Jan. 2nd, 2009


Ted Stevens Int'l Airport, Gate C4

I am sitting in the terminal of the Anchorage Airport, waiting to board the plane that will return me to the college life to which I have become recently accustomed, and away from the home life to which I have been accustomed for eighteen years, two months and about two days, plus the three most immediate weeks of my life. It is one hour and fifteen minutes past midnight, and I am listening to Lady GaGa and Colby O’Donis on cookiemonster’s LimeWire Tunes on my shared iTunes network, as well as the apnea-laden snoring of my fellow passengers. I do not like traveling on airplanes, needless to say. There is snow on the tarmac, which tends to worry me for no especially good reason. The alarm on the mp3 player of the guy snoozing on the cluster of seats next to me goes off at regular five-minute intervals. 31 ostensible hours of travel to go before I am back at Dartmouth. It’s gonna be a long haul.

Been a long time since my last blog. I blame it both on a lack of time and of inspiration, though God knows there’s been plenty to write about in the past three months. All I really feel like saying on the subject for now is that college has been pretty much what I expected. Things have settled somewhat nicely, even in spite of the recent upheavals – I have come to realize that I haven’t spent more than three weeks in the same place since early, mid-November. I think it’s somewhat stressful. It’s nice to be going back, in a way, good to see the friends I’ve made, and get back to work.

AlarmGuy and SnoreWoman are getting on my nerves. Why does this guy have to have his alarm go off every five minutes? I’d rather sleep until I have to board the plane than have my nap broken up into discrete chunks by obnoxious butt-rock. That or just make snotty comments about the people around me because I’m tired and cranky and envy them their inexplicable ability to fall asleep anytime, anywhere.

As far as airport experiences go, though, things have gone comparatively smoothly. I haven’t been stuck in security and forced to do the 300-m Terminal Dash; on the contrary, the line through security was almost empty; there were more TSA officers than travelers, swarming around the gate like a bunch of bored, blue-uniformed bees. It looks like the flight is comparatively empty; maybe there’ll be an open seat next to me. The dream lives on.

They’re playing my song; it’s time to board the plane that will take me to Seattle for a ten-hour layover. Whoopee. I’ma get some sleep.   

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