May 2004 Archives

Yes, I'm still absolutely loving school.
I feel totally in place again; settled for once.

However, school with its deadlines and pressure is much different than the real world, of course, and it's slowly coming back to me how hard the Fall semester just might be.

College, (like the real world) exposes me for the lazy procrastinator that I am.

Random Hearts is one gigantic bore.

I can't believe they even dared use the word 'thriller' on the jewel case describing this movie.

Yawn.

Shrek 2 was absolutely hilarious - I highly recommend you see it when you're feeling in the mood for some great comedy.

Passed my Information Systems and Computer Applications CLEP test today, so that means now that I've obtained full credit for A106 - Introduction to Computing.

We had a quiz tonight in W203 - Creative Writing, in which we were supposed to talk about the aspects of "Voice" as it applies to pieces of work.

However, I screwed up on the concept of '2nd person' (can you believe it?), saying it was including other people in the writing, such as 'we went down to the river', when in fact I should've recalled that it's when you direct the work to the reader, such as 'You really wouldn't believe what happened to me'.

Sigh.

I also completely neglected to mention persona, though had I remembered to mention it, I would've defined it correctly indeed.

I need to study better for this class - seems as though I've been focusing on the down-and-dirty writing, without paying enough attention to the tried-and-true concepts writers follow.

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20040524 Netscape/7.2 (ax)
Build Identifier: Mozilla / 1.7

No, I don't have a Netscape 7.2 build, but it is coming out soon this summer.

Best Boy is one of those documentaries that come along and add a new perspective to your life, or at the very least, mine.

I think for me the defining point in the film was when he (for a reason that escapes me now) wasn't able to go outside and meet with his new friends and be independent. It really showed in his speech and his frantic pacing around the house. He was super agitated, as though he couldn't contain himself.

I do wish, though, that the documentary would've shown us his lifestyle /after/ both parents had passed away, as after all this was a film documenting his independence, and we got to see very little of that.

Still, a film worth watching to remind yourself of other people's problems and victories, and put yours and mine into proper perspective.

Having to write from the perspective of an inanimate object is sometimes fun, sometimes not.

It was somewhere in-between, with the following:

Stephen Donner
W203 Creative Writing
Summer I 2004
Page 75


Trashcan

I had a hard time sleeping last night. Paper waste is par for the course when you�re me, but what I had thrown in me last night I wasn�t expecting at all. Banana peels, yogurt cups, and Taco Bell wrappers saturated with lard and pasty refried beans? Gag. I don�t want to remain this putrid until it�s time for the weekly dumping, where I can expect a fresh grocery store bag as the inner lining. Since my frame is metal, there�s a fair amount of breathing I could be doing were it not for these plastic grocery bags covering nearly � of my body. When the morning arrives that I�m to be emptied, I get excited, because for a few hours after they�ve removed the plastic bag off of me, they often forget to put another one on, and I feel so free! Sometimes though, I feel a dull pain as I�m hit with errant crumpled up balls of paper, which more often than not bounce off my rim and land on the floor. That�s usually the only time I see my owner�s hands on the floor, as he picks them up and hurls them at me again. He usually moves closer, though, or adjusts his angle. I guess he has pride, in that he really doesn�t want to miss from the same place twice. There are a few times that I do see his hands scrounging inside my shell frantically, when it appears he�s lost something in me, and he removes large portions of my refuse so he can find what he�s looking for. It�s amazing what he throws away. He�ll write single words or sets of numbers separated by dashes, or enclosed in parentheses on a Post It Note only to toss it in once its usefulness has been outlived. What a waste! Probably a good 12 more lines could be written on those little yellow squares, yet he feels he needs a fresh one for each set of ideas. Maybe he�s not unusual � I�m not sure, never having any previous owners � but it seems as though too much waste goes in to me. Well, at least I�m not bored anymore, as I was for the first 2 months of my life existing all by myself on some store shelf in a Staples not too far from his house. I remember that car trip as he brought me home, when he stuck me down beneath the passenger seat, and put a whole bunch of other items he�d bought that day into a bag and placed it in me. I wasn�t sure what he was going to end up using me for; storage or waste? Now I know, and at least my purpose is clear. I wouldn�t mind meeting the other trashcans in the house, since I�ve seen them only for a brief moment while he was carrying me in. The kitchen trashcan sure reeked, so I bet he�s got way more stories than I could ever dream of, but I wouldn�t want to put up with his schedule and volume. I prefer my quiet existence.

You have to be a pretty big fan of Diane Lane (as I am) to enjoy much, if anything, about Under the Tuscan Sun.

It coughs, it sputters, but it doesn't really have much to say, it sorta just glides over pretenses.

We've got some decent Dell OptiPlex GX240s at school, with very cool LCD flat panel monitors - swoon.

I'm waiting for Gateway to introduce their new lineup post E-Machines acquisition, due later this summer.

School feels alive to me -- and it's still just the summer session -- but the parking lot is full, as are the classrooms and computer labs. It's an exciting time, to be sure.

It's also a lot of fun to see what's changed in the nearly (gulp!) 8 years since I've attended.

They've built a brand-new Student Activities Center, upgraded all of the labs to Dells running Windows XP (with Labtec headphones jacked in), and Active Directory Service as our authentication/LDAP model running.

Also, we've got Cyrus IMAP accounts, but unfortunately the server runs 2.0.6, and the latest version is 2.2.4.

One doesn't have to enjoy all aspects of a class to enjoy the class - I have a harder time enjoying poetry than short stories, but in a creative writing class such as mine, your source material will come from all mediums and disciplines - print, film, spoken word, etc.

The key is staying 'mind active' as it were - absorbing and mutating ideas around until you feel an interesting expression of them is deserved.

Tomorrow I take in my 2001 Honda Civic 4-door LX for its 6th or so factory recall - this time a potentially faulty headlight switch which could 'overheat and may cause the low beams to fail without warning. Although the high beam position remains operational, an unexpected loss of low beams could result in a crash'.

Nice. I need to get my oil changed too, as well as install my cargo net in the trunk.

On top of this, the most pressing thing is that I go to the library and obtain a CLEP study guide for my upcoming (May 26th at 9am) Information Systems and Computer Applications Exam.

Took my Spanish placement test today, chuckling to myself the whole while through. Since it's a placement test, it naturally had words that I'm not expected to know after 2 years of Spanish in high school. What amused me was that I really didn't remember even 1/2 of what I _thought_ I should know, like how to change the verb tenses, or the various male/female endings.

I'll probably end up placing in the 100-level Spanish class, which is just fine with me. I'll take being slightly ahead over jumping into a level which I'm not capable of.

Tomorrow I take my placement test for Spanish - here's hoping I get put in an easy level, otherwise (regardless of the benefits of course credit for high school work) I'll have a difficult time.

Glad to see my many ex-coworkers doing well over at Good Technology.

"Good Technology adds over $45 Million in Funding
Crosslink Capital and BA Venture Partners join Good's strong investor base to fuel Good's growth"

Hark, is that Paul Hangas I see on the PDA's screen there? ;-)

Said to be a rip off of Psycho, William Castle's Homicidal was actually quite decent thriller material (and would've been more so had I not accidentally watched a feature about the movie available on the DVD Extras menu, since that spoiled the lead character for me).


Spun gave me one giant headache (plot aside).

There wasn't much of a script, but then again, do meth heads really have much of a life?

It was foul-mouthed, gross, cruel, and most of all pointless. (See above).

It felt absolute great to be walking inside the walls of higher education today - with a purpose this time and a new direction.

It's going to be tough, I know (especially with Math as that's my weakest subject), but along the way I aim to do as much as I can to better myself, and not to let myself get too frustrated and down.

To anyone who doubted my sincerity or motives for returning to school, I have this to say, politely, 'you were wrong, I love school'.

Of course there will be challenging times - maybe even periods in which I wished I was back slaving at AOL (though I sincerely doubt that), but with an end goal of finishing something which has been nagging at me /personally/ (not professionally, as I'd like to make that distinction rather clear), I'm on the right track.

After the obligatory class rules, syllabus, introductions, etc, we began W203 - Imaginative Writing with a simple task - for 10 minutes, write as much as you can about yourself (your life story, basically) on a standard college-ruled notebook page.

After reading this out loud, we had to underline and then tell the class:

Which part of our written life story:

* scares us
* makes us angry
* makes us surprised we wrote
* makes us laugh
* makes us sad

After this, we had to finish the thought:

'Writing is...'

To which I wrote "Writing is for me a way to capture, revise, and archive feelings, events and ideas.'

Our teacher wrote all of the responses up on the chalkboard, and then she asked us what that was. Me, being the idiot that I am, didn't realize that was indeed a poem.

I know that not all poems rhyme, but I guess I don't know the 'rules' as it were that make pieces of thought into a 'poem'.

I'll find out in this class, I'm sure.

There's a reason I never saw Haunted Mansion at the box office - it looked stupid.

So why I let it invade my Netflix queue and bubble to the top I'll never know.

Avoid it.

I start my W203 - Imaginative Writing course tonight at 6. I'm excited, but a tad nervous because this is a broad scope of writing - poetry, fiction, drama, etc.

I'm still looking forward to having something to work on constructively.

Ugh.

My Academic Advisor (who is an English professor) didn't tell me that you can test out of A106:

A106 - Introduction to Computing (3 cr.) (Was A200) (Test-out Option) Sample syllabus

Fundamentals of computer hardware and software; use of packaged programs in areas such as word processing, spreadsheets, database management, communications, graphics; the role and impact of computers in society. Course is designed for people with little of no computer experience. One class per week is spent in the microcomputer teaching laboratory. This course is not intended for computer science majors.

I /really/ don't think I need that class, unless there's more spreadsheet and database management than I'm expecting.

The 'course is designed for people with little of (sic) no computer experience' statement is what makes me think I don't need it.

Thankfully, I found this on my own:

http://www.iusb.edu/~asc/clep.shtml

IUSB does not currently administer the CLEP exam. However, you can take CLEP exams at any of the following local CLEP Test Centers and have your scores sent to IUSB:

So I called Ivy Tech locally, and after a long wait, was finally told to call someone on Monday to get the test scheduled. Yay!

Paying for a test to be administered to me is fine, since I can hopefully test out of this and move on to some real courses, although this class would've been a nice GPA booster, I don't have time for it.

The Vertical Ray of the Sun must be vertically challenged, because it sure came up short in my book.
Although I did enjoy the scenery and texture of the film in general, there wasn't much emotion to it - even for scenes which should've had more importance.

Testing spam traps.

stdonner@iusb.edu

This photo of Cameron Diaz isn't so hot...

When I came home from California, I checked my computer with my recently acquired Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition, and it found 3 or 4 different virii, so I quarantined and/or removed them (to whatever full extent was possible).

Unfortunately, I still have remnants of one of the virii, I just don't know which one.

It tried to connect to:

nemo2.roma1.infn.it:6667
cpe-66-74-48-199.dc.rr.com:6667

Note that those are IRC ports - the virus here is apparently attempting to connect to an IRC server using a backdoor and allow a user to attack remotely.

I've done all I can, but some process is still attempting to connect to those, so I've done:

127.0.0.1 nemo2.roma1.infn.it
127.0.0.1 cpe-66-74-48-199.dc.rr.com
127.0.0.1 net24-164-120-226.neo.rr.com

in my HOSTS file on Windows XP.

Now, it doesn't have anywhere to go:

C:\Documents and Settings\Stephen Donner>tracert nemo2.roma1.infn.it

Tracing route to nemo2.roma1.infn.it [127.0.0.1]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms localhost [127.0.0.1]

I'm now reading The Gallows Thief, and it's quite good so far.

Stuck on You was enjoyable - the script was slightly 'sweeter' than I was expecting from a Farrelly Brothers movie.

I'm all registered for both the 1st summer session and the fall.

This summer I'll be taking W203, which is Creative Writing

ENG W203 Creative Writing (3 cr.) Exploratory course in writing in which students may attempt effective expression in poetry, fiction, and drama. May be repeated once for credit. I, II, S.

Our book is 'Imaginative Writing - The Elements of Craft' by Janet Burroway.

Wonderland is a dark, depressingly true (unbiased towards who's presumably guilty) story of the Wonderland murders...

Val Kilmer was excellent.

I really enjoyed watching The Dish - it was pretty funny in places, and I liked the story (especially since it was almost entirely true).

Death to Smoochy is one of those movies that come along only once a lifetime, and you're all the more glad for it.

I rode in the ADEC Ride a Bike yesterday, which started at 10am and took me about 2 1/2 hours to complete. The ride was 20 miles long, and almost everybody that rode dropped off at the 9 mile route. We had good weather, which I was thankful for.

However, I had the 'closing truck' on my tail at all times, with its hazards on, and disc brakes squeaking as it strained to keep the slow pace of my bike.

Over this weekend I watched The Last Samurai, which is also the last movie I'll ever watch in which Tom Cruise tries to be a samurai. He's a prodigy, because he learns Japanese in 6 months flat.

;-)

I think the 'Body Worlds' exhibit idea is absolutely disgusting.

He's using /real/ cadavers in the exhibit - and that's what really grosses me out.

I saw it on the Ripley's Believe it or Not TV show, in case you were wondering (I just don't go searching for such morbid things).

Ug.

I found The Wicksboro Incident to be entirely bland.

Do yourself a favor - avoid The Girl Next Door at all costs. It was horribly base, and not even in an amusing way.

Elisha deserves better -- much better.

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