Archive for September, 2005

I’m a crazy boy, there’s no doubt about it

While some might call other members of my family crazy, today I showed that I, too, belong in the looney bin.

Kate was running a bit late, so I was driving her to work. At a stop light, Kate noticed a kid in the back seat of the car in front of us litter–he just threw some trash right out the window. The adults in the front seat seemed distracted and didn’t notice. Now, maybe they wouldn’t care, but this is Berkeley, so we’ve got a decent chance that they do. So, after a few blocks, when we were again stopped at a red light, I jumped out of the driver’s seat and ran up to their car. I told the driver, a woman, that her child had thrown something out of the car. I then scampered back to reach our car, and just barely made it before the light changed. From where Kate and I sat, we could see the woman scold her child, and then she waved out the window to me, seemingly thanking me. I waved back.

So, I am not only crazy enough to yell “Use your turn signal!” through the open windows of cars; I also abandon my car to tattle on littering children to their mothers.

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Another annoying company

Am I a slacker? I don’t like to think so, but I’ve realized that I have midterms coming up in one week, and I don’t yet have my textbooks. I would just go to the library and use theirs, but they’re largely checked out. So, last week (on the 20th), I ordered them from Amazon.

Well, they haven’t even shipped. Now, I understand that I may be spoiled by (who would have gotten them to me by the end of last week), but it’s been a fucking week. I can’t wait much longer, so I’m going to go by the campus store. It turns out it’s not much more expensive (as long as I end up with used copies, anyway), and I can get them today. So, I cancelled my order and sent feedback to Amazon explaining why. I hope it makes them annoy fewer people in the future.


Fire alarm

There is a file alarm quietly going off. Quietly from where I sit, anyway. It’s in the adjacent apartment building, which is huge, and it seems to be a centralized alarm system, so it’s going off in all the corridors. At first I was worried, and wondered if I should call it in to the fire deparment. However, I realized that any of the myriad residents would probably have done that first. In any case, we’re so close to the fire department that the firefighters can probably hear the alarm going off as clearly as I can.

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Damn schoolwork

I took a Psychology quiz last week. It didn’t just cover the stuff they said it’d cover; it also covered stuff the professor had said in class. That sounds reasonable, except that it wasn’t stuff he’d emphasized in class; and a lot of stuff gets said in class. In particular, we had to label the motor and (somato)sensory cortex regions–parts that seem to map directly to motion and sensations in your body. But they’re right next to each other and look the same, and I had no reason to care which was forward of the other one. So, I missed that, and frankly, I’m pissed. There’s no reason for them to test us on stupid trivia, and why should I feel bad about not knowing it? Ah, the stupid parts of school.

note: I posted this the next day, since I didn’t have an internet connection in class. I decided not to post-date it, though.

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A tale of extreme incompetence

I’m still sorting out this tuxedo rental thing because it’s such a goddamn hassle.

First, the California people lost all my and Sam’s registration information.

Then, the St. Louis people lost it.

Then, the St. Louis people got part of it, but not the price.

I finally got them the price.

Then, when James’s store called in to St. Louis, they couldn’t quote the right price anyway.

Then, St. Louis lost Jeff’s tuxedo information, which they had confirmed having only several days earlier!

Then, St. Louis lost my tuxedo information. That was the primary point of this whole exercise!

And something tells me that this isn’t the end of it. This is truly a tale of gross incompetence. This would have been easier if I had sewn the tuxedos myself.

After Hours Formalwear is a terrible, terrible, horrible company.

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Kate seems to worry that since I don’t write about her in my journal all that often, I don’t think about her. What she fails to realize is that the main reason I post is for her benefit, anyway. She likes it when I post, so I tend to say things that I would tell her. That doesn’t usually include things about her because, well, she already knows them.

But since she would enjoy it, here’s a bit about Kate.

Kate clearly has some sort of secret plan for my birthday. For a while she bugged me, trying unsuccessfully to get me to propose a birthday present. But then, instead of inquiring with increasing urgency what I would want, she’s been strangely silent on the topic. It’s almost as though she’s made her decision already. What’s strange about that is that I really don’t know what I want or need. I mean, I want a new computer, but I don’t want it for any good reason, and it would cost well more than I’d want her to spend on my birthday. So she must have some sort of insight into me that I lack. I don’t know what she’s thought of, but I suspect it’s going to be inventive and enjoyable.

This brings me to the awkward subject of gift size escalation. Kate and I have been slowly buying bigger and bigger gifts for each other. On the one hand, that’s justifiable; we’re earning more than we ever did before. But the amount going into our own private spending money hasn’t increased proportionally, so I don’t know how Kate can afford it. It’s not really either of our faults; we’re just unwilling to back down. I mean, Kate bought me a dang iPod, so I bought her one. (It’s really a more useful gift for her than for me.) Of course, I’m not so blameless here; I bought her a fancy video card before that, but then she got me an even more expensive gift. So, Kate, you hear this? Back down! Get me something much less costly than an iPod, or we’ll bankrupt ourselves with gifts!

I think it’s a good sign that Kate and I still have things to talk about. I mean, I’m sure we’ll have run out of most ordinary topics by the time our 50th anniversary rolls around, but we’re still entertaining each other. We’ll often talk after going to bed, before falling asleep. Last night, I said something that made Kate laugh really hard. I don’t think she’s laughed that hard for more than a month, and it was so infectious that I had to laugh, too. I no longer remember what made her laugh, but it was a lot of fun.


A suit! My kingdom for a suit!

I’ve been having trouble with After Hours Formalwear, which is providing tuxedos for my groomsmen. It has the advantage of being nationwide, so that I and my groomsmen can get fitted in California, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Missouri, and Washington D.C. and still pick up our suits in St. Louis. Unfortunately, After Hours has bungled everything, and I would not recommend them in the least.

First, their California store lost our registration. I had to physically go in and show them my receipts. Then, when they faxed the information to St. Louis, the St. Louis store lost it again. Yesterday, I called both and made sure that it would be faxed.

So today, I called in to make sure everything was set up. And lo and behold, they actually had my information! Of course, the catch was that the St. Louis people couldn’t verify my price, so my groomsmen would be paying $10-$20 more than they should be. They claimed the fax they received had no information on the pricing. So, I called the California store, which will be straightening that out, or so the manager claims. In any case, I’ll have to call back later today to make sure things went as planned.

In conclusion, let me tell you to never ever use After Hours Formalwear. They have terrible service, and if I hadn’t committed already, I’d avoid them like the plague.

(Can you believe they’re doing this all with paper? Instead of keeping a central database that might actually be, say, convenient, they fax and call information from store to store. I guess that’s the only way to lose customers’ information multiple times.)

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Prelim time

15 minutes to prelim time (it’s at 5pm, not 4pm). I hope this goes well.

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Prelim won’t be so bad

It turns out that the prelim might not be so bad after all. I don’t feel that confident, and I have a list of things to look over a second/third/tenth time. But my mock prelim today wasn’t all bad; the people testing and observing certainly thought I knew my stuff. Someone afterward even said that I did really well. That makes me feel good, and I certainly have high hopes for passing this thing the first time. I keep telling myself that though I’m not that good, especially compared to all the smart people around me, I’m competent. I’m not stupid, and that makes all the difference.

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