May 29, 2010

Hatred and the Physics SAT-II


It's almost enough to make me hate physics.

You know, the whole studying for the SAT-II thing. I'm so behind; I need to get through the whole book in the next five days, because I've forgotten far, far too much. I realize that this will mean a difference of about fifty points in my score, so it's a lot of work for a minimal payoff, but I want those points, so I'm making the effort.

Speaking of physics...*obsessively checks snapgrades.* Oh, look, it's been over a week and Mubbles still has not graded our tests. Oh, how woeful I am, how much I wish to know the truth. I know it will change nothing, but I've never really been a huge fan of suspense.

Some good kinds of suspense: looking forward to RSI, looking forward to being done with my SAT-IIs, looking forward to knowing physics, looking forward to the World Science Festival next weekend. You know, nice, fun things.

I washed three cars today. Granted, it was with Dad's help, and I ended up being the hose-offer, as I was a rather pathetically slow scrubber. At some point during this, I was reminded of a prom event, which, of course, I had never really gotten around to sharing.

I rode to prom in Cormac's car, along with Cammie and Nia. We were driving along, rocking out to the Beatles, when, much to our surprise, we saw a small tree in the middle of the road. The car in front of us swerved massively into the other side of the road and then continued.

"Gosh," we said to ourselves. "That sure does look mighty dangerous."

"We could go move it."

"We should go move it."

"Let's."

"One, two, three, GO!" said Cormac, of course, and the four of us, in rather impressive synchrony, leapt from the minivan. This is particularly impressive when one considers the facts that a) the minivan has rather sticky sliding doors and b) half of our party was wearing high heels. Regardless, leapt we did, and, in quick, effective motions, we cleared the tree to the side of the road and reloaded the car before driving off to the dance.

We spent the remainder of the ride discussing how awesome the aforementioned event was.

May 26, 2010

Omegle Can Be Entertaining

Particularly when you spend the entire conversation discussing potential alien invasions and zombie attacks.

Now, I need to do another free-write for English, but, well, zombies are far more fun. I shall pull up the list of potential topics as I talk.


Fiction from a limited narrator's point of view. I could do that, probably, but what to write about?

Childhood Make-Believe, Acting.

I like that topic.

May 25, 2010

The Good and the Bad

I had to leave the taping early today to come home, which was bad, as I missed the later games. However, as a result, I took the subway by myself for the first time, which went well, and the train by myself as well.

I got to the station a couple of minutes early, boarded the train, and began walking towards the back in search of a window seat. Oddly, I ran into Charlotte, who was going home from her job shadow day. We talked briefly, then I left because I "needed to do work." (Let the record show that I do this every time I get on the train, and yet the work never gets done). I stepped out of the train, walked down a few more cabs, then stepped back on and moved forwards through the doors, ignoring the platform. About two cabs in, I saw an empty seat. I moved towards it and sat moments before a man coming from the other direction could. I say that the seat was mine, as I definitely spotted it first, so this was fair. However, he didn't put up a fight, so this crucial detail is irrelevant.

I put my bag on the set next to me and focused upon looking intimidating, trying to retain my seat. The first couple of people who walked by sat elsewhere. The next asked, perfectly politely, if the seat was free. I said yes and moved my bag; he stowed his and sat down. I had my earbuds in, so I wasn't particularly worried about needing to communicate.

However, my seat companion turned out to be rather talkative. Before leaving Manhattan, I had given up on my ipod and pulled out my copy of The Elegant Universe, as it is easier to drift in and out of conversation while reading than while listening to music. I ended up, naturally, not reading the book.

Talking to stranger-boy, whose name was not revealed until right before he left, was quite comforting. It's nice to know that I can talk to someone I've never met without any of the difficulties I've come to associate with talking with people I've never met. For this association, I blame Mario, as he somehow managed to convince me that I was incapable of normal conversations using his wily ways (in other words, his inability to carry a conversation).

Regardless, stranger-boy was quite nice to talk to. We will ignore the fact that I generally enjoy talking to cute boys (which he was/is) in this analysis. We managed to cover sea animals, jellyfish, Michael Jackson, the ethics of sneaking free passage on the train, his college, college in general, some topics in science, the relative enjoyability of stay at home jobs, and issues with cell phones.

He also told an extremely delightful story that was, overall, a comedy of errors, to the point where, if he hadn't provided quite so many supporting details, I would have believed it untrue. The gist of it is that stranger-boy had, uncharacteristically, decided to be generous to a hobo who claimed he needed money for gas. However, he didn't have any money with him, so he brought the hobo back to his dorm, told him to wait outside, and went in to get twenty bucks. Then, for reasons that were later unrecountable, he elected to go check his mail. However, he was carrying a bag of juggling supplies, including a considerable number of juggling knives, so put the bag down to go downstairs. When he was halfway through the mail, he realized that the dorm had a policy against unattended bags, so he went upstairs to attend to his bag. He got there just as the security officer was going to open the bag, but, in his haste to stop him, he dropped his other bag, which he was holding. This bag, unfortunately, held a bottle of wine which he, at age 20, shouldn't have had in the first place. Said bottle shattered upon contact with the ground. He managed to get out of discussing the wine by giving the security officer assurance that he would clean it. He responded that "he just needed to pay the man on the street," which he immediately realized sounded sketchy.

Anyways, funny story. At least I got something out of missing the last competition round.

May 24, 2010

Child's Concept of Heaven and Hell


I left the shades open at night so I could see the stars. I would lie on my bed, pretending to sleep, with my head pushed all the way into the corner so that I could see up, over, all the way to the stars. I watched them, and I felt them move, and I felt them breath. The stars were my people, and if I just tried hard enough I could walk among them.

I sat in the dark, my knees curled up against my chest, watching the sky. The planets together made stars, the stars together made galaxies, the galaxies together made the universe. Could there, then, be other universes, that spun with our own and sent out their own tendrils of existence? Could a universe, not a planet, not an individual, but an seemingly infinite spread of stars, be the plaything of a deity? If there could be infinite stars, why not infinite universes, spawned from the droplets of a universe cloud that sent out tiny, heavy particle that begat another big bang.

When I died, I would have my own universe. We all would have our own universe, our own world, where all understanding is known and the entirety can play out before our eyes. Where we can see the souls of the stars as easily as the people, feel the voice in the vacuum as well as in sound. When a tree falls in the woods of our carefully crafted universe, we can hear it.

The universe I live in, as I watched over my world, looked rather a lot like my grandmother's apartment in Florida. I suppose that is what happens, when one's heaven is the stuff of dreams.

There were nights when I could do little but ponder the future. It would be nice to be omniscient, but even in death, would it be possible? And how could I reconcile the simultaneous truth of all religions with their numerous contradictions? I would read by day, texts of what could be, words that I didn't know piled into sentences with structures beyond my grasp. I wanted a pattern, a similarity, a simple this is what is and was and will be that seemed constantly inescapable. A heaven of angels seemed no more realistic than my universe of gods, waiting for the final day of reckoning seemed rather less likely than the lot of us walking, gray and soulless, through a refugee's world before flying towards the sun and dissolving to Dust.

I thought too much for a child. I thought so much that I knew that I thought too much, and elected to leave the issue of where we went up to the individual.

I would go to a heaven of my own, and use my time to visit the heaven of all I knew. My grandmother could sit with Jesus in the clouds, Aunt Joan could settle herself fully into the memory of each individual and meddle, my dog could trail me loyally while plucking milkbones from midair, we could have houses for the homeless, and the entire world would get what they needed, what they expected.

But the expectations began to push against each other. What heaven do you give the criminal, what haven is allowed to a wicked man? Does the remarried widower live with two wives? I suppose that, with infinite days, each wife has infinite time, but there are just as many restless nights, alone. And then, if we are given what we expect, is the atheist truly allowed to desist?

I did not know. I did not like that I did not know. I eventually discovered, however, that I would be much better off, overall, if I was willing to wait.

May 23, 2010

Why I Don't Trust Prep Books

In my efforts to be an awesome test-taker, I have been taking practice tests. The spanish ones have been going decently, high 700s. The English I thought was manageable--I took the first practice in the back of the book a couple weeks ago and got low 700s, so I figured, like Spanish, I'd jump about 50 points after the first one.

So, after discovering that the McGraw-Hill book had a diagnostic exam in the front that I'd originally missed, so I took that.

I got a 590.

I'm still rather confused. My theory is that they put in a hard diagnostic test so that you read the rest of the book, look at your scores at the ones in the end and say "gosh, look how I've improved." If that is the case, it's very manipulative of the book. If it's not, and I'm suddenly experiencing an outpouring of stupidity, well, I'm going to have some severe end-of-year issues.

I'll have to take another test from the back for comparison. I am really not looking forward to this.

May 21, 2010

Much Delayed

Unlike Gretchie, it's only been five days since I posted (way better than seven), so it's not that bad. What has changed, let me think...

Eh, I'm a wee bit too sleepy to think. Silly movie nights, wearing me out.

I suppose I'll just give an overview of my afternoon.

Kathrya and I spent half an hour in the courtyard waiting for Cormac to show (he didn't), with Cammie keeping us company for a portion of that time. I texted Genie twice, telling her to meet me there.

She did not.

When Kathrya and I left, Genie's bag was in the bed of the truck, but I assumed that she'd put it there before catching the bus, so as to not have to carry the damned thing up the hill. We laughed at the bag and left. Unfortunately, the drive took at least twenty minutes. There was a huge traffic jam on a rather huge road- for some reason, some idiot had required a fire truck.

As I was rounding the corner to the hill, I switched radio stations and discovered that Mr. Brightside was playing on the radio, which made my day about a bazillion times better. Then I got home, found out Genie was waiting for me to drive her home, turned around (with Kathrya right in front of me) and left for school, but my mother dearest had forgotten to close the trunk of the car, so she got ahead of me, and then this blasted schoolbus pulled in front of me...

Moral of the story: if you don't check in with your sister, you will spend an hour in the car.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for that lifelong lesson.

May 16, 2010

Electonic-Related Disasters


My bedroom appears to have eaten my sister's camera's download wire. She came in looking for it, so I started to dig around, looking from suspicious suspects.

I found three black wires with one tiny end and one USB--I think they're called firewires--despite the fact that I don't have a camera that those wires could have come with. She tried all three; none fit.

So, we have three mysterious black wires, and a camera that can't download pictures.

In the words of Shelby, "greeeeaaaaat."

Another unfortunate electronic adventure: my cell phone has been completely nonfunctional for about a month, due to the fact that my charger vanished mysteriously from the floor next to my bed (and no, it's not under the bed). After three weeks of "it'll turn up eventually"s, I caved and ordered a new charger on Amazon. Actually, I ordered two new chargers, since my model of phone is so old that there are literally bazillions of charges lying around, unused, unplugged, powerless and ignored.

My new charger came on Thursday, so I plugged in and, on Friday, when I went shopping with Kathrya, I was fully plugged in. I checked the time obsessively, worried about it accidentally falling out of my pocket, and was pleased to discover that I had missed neither calls nor texts. While in one store, as I ignored the salesteen who had poked fun at me for tripping over a table and waited while Kathrya tried on pants, I sent Nia a "Happy Birthday" text and Rube a "is text message persuasion going to get you to come build sand castles tomorrow?"

I felt both sociable and accomplished, almost as accomplished as I felt after successfully flipped a fedora up my arm before putting it on (salesboy's response: "niiiiice." Weird-ass skaters...). Then Rube called and I completely ineffectively dropped the hat while attempting to juggle two bags, my phone, my wallet, my jacket, and my keys, trying to get outside of the store to somewhere where I could actually hear.

Unfortunately, it was actually louder outside, so I ended up leaning against a wall near the front of the store, curled around the phone as Rube said in a voice that was far too tired, "I can't hear you, we'll talk later."

That was the phone call with the highest effort to talk time ratio in the history of humanity.

Regardless, I used my phone, didn't worry about my parents being able to reach me, and generally had a grand old time. To continue my phone-using habits, I brought it to Castles in the Sand the next day, which was not a smart move. Somebody--I have no idea who, although it may have been me--spilled water all over the bag, and, despite the fact that there were three phones in said bag, only mine short circuited.

It has been sitting in my kitchen for over twenty four hours, innards removed, searching for sunlight, but thus far, no luck. My only hope is that merely the batteries are dead, and that I can utilize a replacement battery to access the contacts and whatnot. However, you may rest assured that I will not create a facebook group dedicated to my phone, because, really, that is just poor form.

May 14, 2010

I'm Skipping some SHP

because, in the scheme of things, prom is more important.

We will ignore the fact that prom has already begun to fade into a distant memory, and, instead, pretend that is was today. Or, yesterday, or whenever you would like to pretend that it was.

I was going to transcribe either Archie and Rube awkwardly meeting or my feminism and gender-equal education discussion or debate-esque conversation with Archie on the train ride home, but it is now vague enough in my mind that I doubt I could properly explain his opinions and statements without some really huge misrepresentations, so I shalt not doeth so.

Anyways, I got home, and my dear, darling mother set me to cleaning. By that, I mean that I put a few dishes away, took one look at the mess that was my room, freaked out that Genie was putting things away without telling me where she was putting them, convinced myself that it was so messy at this point that it really didn't matter, took a shower while Genie finished my room, and then sat, completely patiently, on the stool that goes with my keyboard, a stool which I am loath to call a piano bench because it is, really, rather small, although quite comfortable.

But I digress. Genie spent a considerable quantity of time blow drying my hair, as well as running up and down the stairs to our mother's room to obtain a wide variety of blow drying implements and sprays. I had no idea how much tech it took to get my hair to look "just like it normally does, but better." I am very glad that I don't do this blow-drying beeswax on a regular basis, because, again, so time consuming!

Next I put on mismatched clothing and proceeded to rush madly about the house in a fruitless attempt to get everything ready. This included vacuuming. I love to spell vacuum. It is a fun word.

More to come.

May 12, 2010

It's going to be June by the time I get to prom

but who cares?

Onto the next page of SHP! In the left margin is scribbled, in Teaish, the lyrics to the chorus of Mr. Brightside, because it is still stuck in my head.

According to Newtonian physics, we would have a static universe, because everything would just staying in its prescribed gravitational orbits and nothing would change. By relativity, the universe should have been expanding and contracting, but the currently accepted belief was a static universe, so Einstein added a fudge factor, the cosmological constant, to make the shifting size go away.

However, Einstein (or Ein-schtein, as my teacher calls him) will have the last laugh. Please note the foreshadowing.

Tralala, moving along. Hubble telescope (20 year anniversary whoooo) results showed that distant objects have more red shift because they are moving away. Conveniently, I had learned this in physics three days prior to class, so I was able to twiddle my thumbs and fidget for an interval of time considerably longer than Planck's. Anyways, redshift means that objects are moving away, because their wavelength is increased. Apparently more distant objects are more red, or that is what I have in my notes, but one would think that it is actually ones that are moving away at a faster rate.

Then our teacher said, "Surprisingly, with some notable exceptions, all stellar objects were redshifted. This meant that-"

At least half the class put a hand up to ask about these exceptions, so he expanded. Some local galaxies, including that one that is on a crash course to slam into us a few billion years after the sun goes nuclear (that way of saying "blows up" works better when not talking about a natural nuclear generator), are moving towards us, and these are blue-shifted.

Then we have a couple of equations. I'm going to ignore those. Using the redshift data from Hubble, a graph can be generated demonstrating that the velocity with which objects are moving away is directly proportional to distance. However, it was graphed as a line on a logarithmic scale, so I think there was some sort of issue, but we can ignore that for the time being. So, Hubble shows that the universe is expanding from Earth, but Copernicus's Law is that it is never all about us (stop being so gosh-darned self-centered), so ALL points in the universe are moving away from each other.

Then I took a bathroom break, because I couldn't sit still and was being fidgety, so that is all for today.

May 11, 2010

Rube's Eyes Are Brown


I have that written down in Teaish on the upper right corner of my first page of notes. It had been bugging me for quite some time, but I know now that Rube's eyes are brown, a shade lighter than Archie's but darker than Mario's. It really is odd that I expected them to be blue, just as I always expected Mario's to be. I think it's residual from Sturken, as I really spent far too much sum total time looking at his eyes.

Stay tuned, those of you who ignore these sorts of science-y posts (I'm looking at you, Kathrya), for the story at the bottom.

And so, we have Cosmology, the Universe, and Particle Physics. Because, naturally, we can cover all three topics in a single class. In case you were wondering, there is a standard model of both cosmology and particle physics, because, when in doubt, scientists choose the most confusing name possible.

The universe is a pie chart. Quarks, leptons, and photons together are less than 5% of total stuff; the rest is dark energy and dark matter. Our universe is 13.7 billion years old. Now, personally, measuring the age of the universe in years strikes me as rather silly, when you consider the mutability of our orbit, but, alas, it is a commonly accepted unit of time despite its unwieldy nature.

Fun fact: if the universe were infinite, the sky would be white, because, anywhere you looked, somewhere, you would hit a star. Now, personally, I think that if light dims with distance, than this wouldn't be true, but it apparently is.

And now, the funny story.

Teacher: The universe is most likely curved, so if you go in a straight line, you can never reach its edge.

Rube: What if I go in a curved line?

Teacher: That's what I said- it makes you travel in a curved line.

Rube: but if I curve the opposite direction, wouldn't I technically be going straight? And, then, couldn't I get somewhere?

Teacher makes a thinking face and crosses his arms.

Other Student: His argument makes sense geometrically.

Rube: See?

Teacher: Ah. I'm not certain. How about you try it and report back to me next semester?

Other student: Wouldn't it make more sense for him to report back to you last semester?

The entire class laughs and Teacher returns to his lecture. "This is how you know we're geeky," Rube says to me after said teacher has resumed talking.

"Hmm?"

"If we weren't so geeky, we definitely wouldn't have laughed at that."

"It was funny. Wouldn't anybody laugh?"

"You're overestimating the world, I think."

May 10, 2010

Moving Along to Saturday

Most unfortunately, I was up bright and early Saturday morning. The alarm went off, I smashed at it, it stopped beeping, I got up, I stumbled about- I can go on, but I can assure you, it is both repetitive and predictable.

And besides- How Not To Write A Novel advises not to start stories with waking up.

Nyx was already awake, and she looked tired. Come to think of it, Nyx has looked tired for quite some time. I blame Saltine. It is all his fault.

By the time I got out of the house, I was running late, although I am still uncertain of how that always happens. I then discovered that my dad had been the last one to use the truck, and he has an absurdly odd manner of parking, so I of course got stuck, and I would have taken out another two or three bushes if Mom hadn't shown up and helped. By helped, I mean "sit in drivers seat and drive." I am totally competent.

I made it to the train station at a time that was, overall, very close to on time. This week, Helga and Archie were there, but Archie was sitting with his Dad, so I sat with Helga. The three of us went outside, Archie left his Dad to stand with us ("That's my Dad." "Cool." "He's working." "Okay.") and we made idle prom related chitchat. Helga was going with someone I hadn't heard of, Archie was, naturally, going with Renna, and I said "with friends," as I wasn't in the mood for more confused glances. I complained about the time crunch, Archie looked confused, and Helga said her parents were picking her up so that she could go get her hair done, or something to that effect.

The train arrived. We sat in some order that I no longer remember. Wait, no, I do. It's all coming back to me! We lucked out and got one of those five-seaters, so we all got a bit of leg room, which is always appreciated.

I took out an English multiple choice packet and tried to do it, but every time I got more than a sentence or two in, conversation would resume. Archie, it seems, is quite good at regulating small talk, and Helga, who can do nothing but stare into space on the train, is always a willing participant.

By the time we reached Harlem, it was raining a significant amount. Even just walking from the station to a cab, by shorts were speckled with droplets. This week, the driver was friendly, spoke a bit of Spanish, and made no racist remarks. It was, all and all, a relatively wonderful cab ride.

Upon arriving, I left to forage (i.e. buy a snack from Nussbaum and Wu). I waited in line, and they guy in front of me was speaking Spanish, so I was only half thinking in the right language. I ordered a cranberry muffin, the guy working there said "cranberry?" and I accidentally responded with "si," so he responded with "quiere cafe," at which point I figured I couldn't not order a coffee, so I said "un latte," but I didn't know how to say decaf in Spanish, so I ended up with a caffeinated beverage. "Para llegar?" "Si."

You have no idea how proud of myself I am for that exchange.

May 9, 2010

Kick-Ass was, unsurprisingly, completely kickass

And Kickass should definitely be a single word. Spellcheck, I have no idea what you're talking about.

I realize that I should talk about prom, since it was last night. However, I've been busy, and I have a backlog of posts, so Kickass is getting its time.

I drove to the theater with Nyx, in separate cars as always, because we are good children who don't break the law. The best part of this is that I found this song on my ipod, which, even better, might possibly have the best music video ever.

I successfully parked, navigating through one of those booth things with a guy who gave me a little green ticket that I promptly lost.

We rushed in, as Camel had been frantically texting Nyx that we were going to miss the movie, only to discover that he was standing next to the ticket counter, hadn't yet bought tickets, and, when we made it in (without being carded as potential under-seventeens), the previews hadn't even started, and there were all of six other people in the theater. Before the film started, three more showed up: Jack and Bob (two of Camel's computer club buddies who coincidentally ended up at the same movie) and Richard, who was of course joining the three of us.

My favorite portion of the movie was how authentically awkward the geeky teens were. They didn't just have bad hair or glasses, although that they did. They just acted so awkward, making ridiculous faces, stating ridiculous convictions without a hint of irony...it was amazing. Yes, there was a fair amount of gratuitous violence, but it was still great. If you want a compendium of reviews, Jezebel had a good summary here.

After the movie, Nyx and boys wanted ice cream, so we walked around the downtown area looking for a place to get some. We walked far and wide, searching, down dark streets and streets with many lights, past bakeries and consignment shops, macking couples and gleeful friends, and still, we could find no ice cream. We surrendered and walked back towards the theater and the parking, at which point we discovered that there was an ice cream place right there, that we had, naturally, completely missed the first time around.

On leaving, I was pulled over by a police car before leaving the parking lot because my headlights weren't on. Then I realized that I didn't know how to put my head lights on, so I spent a minute or so messing with various buttons until something clicked and there was light. Then I went to leave the lot, but I had lost my green ticket, so I had to pay again for parking, but I looked so lost and confused that the people working there took pity on me and just let me leave.

Then I drove home and went to bed. What a great story.

May 6, 2010

Uncoordination

I cannot play an instrument and sing at the same time. I can't even play shaker eggs and sing at the same time. I am completely and utterly incapable of multitasking.

Ah, well. I'll manage.

May 5, 2010

A Happy End of Calculus Dance

Calculus B.C. is over, thank goodness. Unfortunately, I can't discuss the questions, as I signed an affidavit (I actually don't think that it is an affidavit, it's just that I'm rather fond of that word. Too bad I don't know what it means) that I wouldn't.

The nice part about calc is that I got to leave school early after the test was finished. Naturally, The Diner was the chosen destination. Nyx and I left school and headed out. I got out first, and, seeing a car approaching from the direction of the typically closed side entrance, elected to take the shorter exit route. Just as I was pulling in, a freckled arm emerged from the window of the small car and began to make an odd sort of wave.

The car drew level with me and Boris called out "Go back. It's closed!"

He then drove away. I made a twelve point turn (as Nyx described it "I was going to go that way, but Tea's truck was sideways.") and exited by the more accepted route, where the security guard was, per usual, not bothering to check anybody's school-leaving-identification.

Excited. Exited. Two words that are spelled far too much alike. Regardless, I got to the diner without missing the turn (which Sergio, reportedly, did). I waited stood outside of the diner with Boris until Nyx showed up, then spent the time getting a table trying to explain to the hostess how I didn't know how many people were in my party.

By the time we hit the tables, we were seven strong. Upon discovering that only six fit in the booth we had, four people went to the second table (Sergio was, I believe, following Gnatta, which he can't seem to bring himself to stop doing. Then again, I still do the same to Mario, so I can't talk). Tybalt stayed with Nyx and I despite an announcement that "there was nobody at this table."

Apparently Nyx and I aren't people. Thanks, Tybalt. Thanks a lot.

Anyways, Mario and Dino soon arrived, Dino's speech replete with complaints about Mario's driving, to which Mario's response was "at least I drive better than Irving." Honestly, the amount he talks about him, its no wonder we joke about their nocturnal activities.

Nyx and I spent at least some portion of the lunch laughing at the way Mario wriggled his hands about (look! I'm flexing my finger muscles!) while speaking. Tybalt also finally formulated the perfect Dino-directed response for "Where's Kathrya?" which is one of his favorite questions. "Where's Lauretta?" seems to be functioning quite well.

Continued Ruminations on Reunions

Yuma has his own energy startup. He runs it with full employee support, miraculously. He somehow managed to develop some astonishing social skills. At some point, he bought my battery concept, the one I'd held onto since high school, and incorporated it into his business plan. The money from that allows me to fund a reasonable lifestyle while still doing academic research. It allows him to be a billionaire, so everyone wins.

Gnatta runs a strip club where the primary attraction is Rachel (that suggestion was Ginny. The strip club was me, though) and the magically duplicating twins (two of Mario's clones). At one point, Sergio went to the strip club, and, seeing Rachel, elected to try to rescue her. He went back to talk to her and ran into Gnatta. The two get into a huge fight, claws out. Then, "Gnatta trips, falls over, and accidentally kisses Sergio, and they discover they've secretly loved each other all this time, and the fights were just denials, so they make up and come to the reunion holding hands, but, once there" (Ginny quote!), Scott declares his undying love for Sergio. Sergio struggles between the two, but then Scott snatches Sergio away, and the two run off into the moonlight and live happily ever after.

Julie is an astronaut, and she has just gotten back from the moon. She brings a moon rock to the reunion, and it has special properties, distorting electrical signals. When she comes near Dino, he short-circuits even more severely and collapses to the floor. Melissa, who has apparently been there the whole time, rushes over. "Oh, dear," she says. "This happens sometime. Ever since we extracted his circuit for multiplication purposes-"

We look at her blankly.

"For our children! They are small and lovely and will never grow up."

"Wait," said Cammie, who had wondered over, robo-baby in hand. "How old is this little fellow, then?"

"Well, 14. But you still look two, don't you honey." Melissa accepted the baby and pinched its cheeks. She then extracted a key from it, restarted Dino, and continued as if nothing at all had happened.

We move on, then, to Cammie, who has been working as an English teacher at our dear old Paperclip High School. She almost didn't come to the reunion, but decided, at the last minute, that since it was so close, she might as well. Anyways, she somehow (and no one is certain how) ended up marrying Lyle directly out of college. They had a couple of tight-pants-wearing children, and lived the perfect cookie cutter life. Then, one day, (again, completely inexplicably), Eccentrius decides to visit. Of course, being eccentric, he does this by showing up with a can of paint that changes colors in the sunlight, climbing over the perfect picket fence, and beginning to paint. Cammie, naturally, has no idea how to respond, but, after a good deal of running about, Lyle runs off with his secretary, who turns out to have chlamydia, and then Cammie and Eccentrius get together. They marry while hanging upside down by their legs from a tree. The minister sits upon a suspended tire. The newlyweds honeymoon in Swahili, where they visit Nyx and get some much-deserved sun.

While they are gone, Avon watches the kids. She manages to fit them in around her busy schedule at her private pediatrics practice. Her partner there is Lucas. Nobody expected him to go into medicine- to be honest, no one realized he was that good at school- but he hit college running, got into med school, and ended up, somehow, in pediatrics. When Avon wanted to start a private practice and started looking for doctors in the area, she found him, and the two established their own office. They worked together platonically for quite some time. After all, he was married to Cora Lee for quite some time, until he realized that she was just a bit mad. However, he neglected to tell Avon about the divorce for months, despite the constant flirting. Poor Avon was in agony, convinced she would hurt Cora Lee, certain she was being morally unsound. She finally caved when, while at Lucas's house (for a completely explicable, nonsexual reason), she saw the divorce papers sitting on his desk.

Anyways, I think that's enough of the future for the time being.

May 4, 2010

I have seen the future, and it is wonderful

I just asked Dino how many of his parents are coming to prom. I am fairly certain that implies that a) he is bringing his parents to prom, like this boy did his grandmother, and b) that he possibly has more than two parents. Then again, if we count his programmers as parents...


Today, Ginny went to school, but she was technically excused, so she elected to skip many of her classes. I stole her for her final pre-statistics-AP-test hour. After she ate her unidentifiable sandwich (I think it might have been egg), we went outside and sat on the grass.

Well, I sat on the grass and tried to drag her down with me. She was reluctant, as she "didn't know where the grass had been." However, by the time I was lying down, she had at least reached a low crouch.

We spent a while daydreaming about the time to come. First we tried to think of next year.

"We'll both be sitting here," I said, "in the sun, and it will be AP week, so we'll be stressed. Oh, wait, no, we'll already be into amazing schools. You'll be going- where do you want to go?"

"This would work better if we knew where we were going."

"This is true."

"What about the reunion. Do you think we'll go to the reunion?"

"Yes. How about the 75th. We'll both go."

"What'll we do there."

"Well, I'll spot you first, and your hair will be all gray. I'll try to flag you down but I'll have trouble, what with my cane and all, so I'll start yelling, Ginny, Ginny. Then you'll finally see me, and you step into the light and your hair is gray. My first response is to say 'gosh, Ginny, you don't even look Asian anymore.'

"You become very angry, call me racist, and start hitting me with your cane. I hit you back. Then we get into a wicked awesome cane fight.

"Dino comes over to break it up, and he says "guys, stop-p-p-p" and starts to shake, as his circuits have a tendency to get a bit rusty."

"Is Owen going to repair him?"

"No, Owen died off ages ago. That's why Dino is having problems- his self maintenance has issues."

"Ah."

"Anyways, Dino short circuits, so then we go back to fighting when Vicky comes trundling over, walker and all. She somehow manages to force us apart and says 'TEA! GINNY! OPMINN!'

"'What? Where? I thought she'd left.' I say.

"US History! Remember the battles! Remember the Mohicans and the women and portfolios! What a class. What. A. Class.' Vicky continues to babble, somewhat incoherently, about the wonders of US history."

Ginny laughed. "Who next?"

"Well, if Dino is there, Tybalt probably showed up."

"What about Bryant?"

"He's busy building robots and saving the world."

"Oh, of course."

"Anyways, Tybalt is there. He's working, doing something. Recently divorced- he tried to hard to have the perfect, cookie-cutter life, and it fell through. What's his job, though?"

"Something important. Presidential advisor? To Sonny, maybe, who beat out Lumiere in the race."

"Oh, naturally. Anyways, Kathrya is there as well. She and Tybalt broke up, ages ago, when she went off to college. Anyways, he's been finding life unfulfilling, and he showed up at the reunion in search of the one that got away. Kathrya, of course, has been fine without him, living it up and being awesome, as usual. She sees the cane parade by us, and comes rushing over."

"Rushing?"

"She exercised as a youth, she can still rush. Anyways, she gets rather excited to see us, and starts yelling about love and other lovely things, and then she sees Tybalt, and their eyes meet, and she immediately falls silent. And we get kind of confused, but then Tybalt comes over under the pretense of oiling Dino's joints, and, suddenly, we understand."

Ginny sighed. "What about Mario? How's he doing?"

"Mario...hmmm. He's a big businessman, somewhere, really rich. Anyways, he shows up, and we all start laughing about the whole peeing-in-a-cup beeswax. Then he tells us that we can't tell anyone, as it will ruin his reputation and destroy the stock of his company. So, we blackmail him and all get a million dollars."

"That's some fast monetary accumulation."

"That it is."

"He really ought to be thinking more about the consequences of his actions."

I laughed. "What about Gretchen?"

"I bet she's at a university."

"But which?"

"She's at MIT, and you're at Harvard."

"That's realistic. But sure. How is she doing?"

"Did she marry Phil?"

"Maybe she has a really cute baby. But with who? Mario?"

"If he isn't Asian, the kid won't be."

"Well, if the baby is half..."

"Not enough. Besides, Phil is way better."

"Yeah, but she'd never marry him."

"But-"

"Okay, fine. Two weeks ago, Phil came to perform a violin thing at Harvard, and I brought Gretchen to see him, because we're still all buddy-buddy and whatnot. Anyways, she and Phil fall madly in love and start an illicit affair. Also, now Gretchie is pregnant, and she and Phil are avoiding each other so as not to arouse suspicion."

"What about Nyx."

"She's living in Swahili, speaking Swahilian, and saving the world, one starving child at a time. She's doing great, though. That's kind of boring. No plot arc."

"Darn."

At that point, the bell rang, and we went up to my physics class. However, we resumed our discussion in the evening hours. A summary of that will come....tomorrow.

May 3, 2010

Petty People

Dino is mad at me because I didn't offer to step down before New Englands.

I am mad at me because I didn't believe that Dino was a good enough person to let me keep my New Englands spot. I am also mad at Dino because he is refusing to speak to me.

Dino has now decided that he wants to go to prom with Lauretta (Vicky's buddy from U.S. last year, I believe). I have no idea if he has yet asked her. However, due to the fact that Dino is lacking in friends (I'm mad at him. I'm going to be mean) he can't get a prom group. So, he wants to join the one meeting at my house. However, he unfortunately can't bring himself to ask to join, so he had Tybalt ask me.

I told Tybalt that he could join if Dino would talk to me. Then I felt bad, because I would still like to be friends with Dino, and the only way we're getting out of this is if I don't get mad at him. So, I said that I wasn't going to be petty, so he could join regardless, although if Dino manages to get through it without speaking to me, I will be rather impressed with his dedication.

I will, however, still be angry. I mean, honestly, even Livny will smile back at me, and I can't remember the last time I talked to him.

So, Dino, please stop being a jerk. It is times like this when I am reminded why I didn't trust you in the first place.

May 2, 2010

Well, Ginny covered ride there

here, so I figured I'd take care of the next bit.

Despite the tardiness of three of the eight paperclips, we still arrived at the high school early, and, due to the absurdly tight arrival schedule, waited for about five minutes outside of the parking lot before getting dropped off.

As we drove over, a pair of decidedly math-geek looking boys were playing frisbee on the tennis courts. Mario and Irving derided their skill. While I can accept that Mario is probably decent as frisbee, since he does seem to be relatively athletic, as far as math team people go, I highly doubt that Irving could have done much better.

Regardless, we walked into the school to a separate area from Mr. Booth, so we had to take a few minutes to make extra certain that everybody was equipped with a TI-84 for the team round (which was completely useless, as I don't think I even touched mine) and hear a last minute "down with Treeburg" reminder before we filed off to the cafeteria.

I went to the bathroom soon after arriving, bringing Ginny along with me. This detail is not relevant at this point in the story, but it is foreshadowing. Note the foreshadowing.

Moving along. The four present members of the dream team sat on one side of out little section of bleachers, and we sat on the other. Our group, consisting of Ginny, Micro, Argon and I, discussed the relative visible nerdiness of the various students. For instance, the girl who was clad entirely in purple, including a too-tight-weirdly-cut-oddly-long purple dress, leggings of the same shade and purple sneakers: nerdy. Blonde guy in cargos with a long blonde ponytail: nerdy. Short guy doing handstands without tucking his shirt: very nerdy. Tall, otherwise reasonable looking guy wearing a t-shirt that said "I failed the Turing test": nerdy. Team of guys wearing sunglasses like Nia's normal ones and carrying a boombox: trying too hard to not be nerdy, but failing when they turned on the boombox at a not ear-shattering volume.

There was then a supremely horrific degree of disorganization of us trying to find our rooms, but we did eventually do so. I met a girl from my cousin's hometown who looked extremely not nerdy, but I have a feeling that this is more because she is black, and my image of a nerd is either asian or white or occasionally indian, than anything else. Midway through the first round, when "TWO MINUTES" was called (I realize that that is technically not midway. Forgive me), I jumped and said "oh my god," then mentally congratulated myself for not swearing, although I'm fairly certain that I did manage to get a big fat 0 on that round, unfortunately. Honestly, I would feel so much more secure with myself if I'd just gotten that one three-point negative sign....

Ah, well, c'est la vie. I need to get back to calculus. Ginny, if you want to continue this, please do.