This is a daylog in two parts.

I was feeling a bit restless last night, so I went to my noder closet and dug through last week's drycleaning. I pulled my TDS uniform out of the plastic baggie, draped the tunic over my shoulders and sat by the keyboard. There was work to do.

Not content to randomly wander through the nodegel correcting errors hither and to (like some kind of E2 Grammar Nazi Littlest Hobo), I've taken to using Google's "Advanced Search" option to spellcheck large swathes of the database at a time. It's a bit disturbing, as nearly every possible misspelling pops up somewhere in the nodegel: trully - 4 instances, poeple - 2 instances, beleive - 30 instances, thier - 134 instances, corect - 2 instances... The most disconcerting thing about the whole process is the knowledge that Google has only a fraction of E2's nodes indexed at any given time, meaning that more of these errors lurk beyond my sight.

Last night's victim was "wich," which popped up in about 60 writeups. Most of the corrections were blabbed to their authors, but some required the help of an editor. I dropped off a request at Broken Nodes and went to bed. As this request had a bit of... er, heft to it, compounded with the fact that many of the editors are preoccupied with the new Copyright Compliance policy (gee, someone should write a daylog entry about that!), I expected it to take several days to weed out all of the errors. Then it dawned on me: If the request isn't nuked before 7 p.m. CDT (0000 server time), then...

You have 1 C! and 30 votes left today.

Cracka's got tha C-bomb, bi-otch!
So I did the only thing that a Ritalin-deprived kid tethered to the monkey bars would do when given a Hershey bar... I cooled Ralph.

In his editor log for the month, Jurph advocates a personal policy of Zero Population Growth. This doesn't mean that he's going to limit himself to a solitary child, just that he's only going to compose (at maximum) a number of new writeups equal to the number of subpar ones he deletes in the course of his regular editorial duty.

I find this plan curious, as some editors are urging their brethren to node more, while others (like Jurph and Ouroboros) are placing a moratorium on their own noding activities. Both strategies have the same goal: to increase the ratio of quality writeups to "below the bar" ones. It's just that one method seeks to achieve the goal through addition, while the other though deletion.

"But why mention this, Gord?" Well, it's just that E2 has been in a state of ZPG for at least a year:

Everything2 Statistics as of 2002-08-31 03:48:10 (from the earliest Everything Daily Report in my possession):
Writeups total: 480,102

From the Statistics Nodelet, 2003-08-21:
Writeups: 466,939

Granted, 2.7 per cent isn't a drastic figure, especially when calculated over the course of a year. Most of the writeups that were nuked were at best regrettable, and they won't be missed. (And of the 13k writeups that have vanished, almost a quarter of those were the autonoded Magic: The Gathering writeups, which died a rapid and silent death last December.) And despite the best efforts of the Copyright Salvage Team, many of the lyrics and poetry nodes will be disappearing sooner rather than later. At this rate, E2's negative growth may continue for several months.

So Jurph (and Ouroboros, too), please keep writing. Pretend that E2's the Roman Catholic Church and the Bubonic Plague is ravaging Christendom. We need your babies!

I study Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and kempo karate at a dojo in Germantown, Maryland. This evening we had Royce Gracie in to give belts and instruct us. Royce Gracie is probably the most famous sport fighter in the world today.

We went through many techniques; he would teach us a move, then the counter to it, then the counter to the counter. His manner of teaching was more than I'd experienced before. His ability to explain what he was doing as he was doing it made executing the moves seem simple. As we were working, he would circulate and show us the moves individually, allowing us to wrestle with him.

After two hours of practicing in this manner, we were made to spar. Several students were selected for belt testing (white, blue, purple, brown, black), and sparred with Royce Gracie. It was very exciting to watch.

After sparring, several students were given their new belts, and we took photos. I managed to have someone snap a (bad) picture of me with Royce Gracie, and asked him to sign my gi. I left feeling amazed that I wasn't at all tired for the three hour workout, but in fact felt better than when I'd left for it.

Now that I've calmly stated the facts: OMG OMG@!*(#!! THAT WAS SOOOO COOL!!@#@

A Newbie Discovers Daylogs and Coincidentally Also Has a Crisis and Revelation All at Once

Too summarize, for the ADHD and Catch-22 krew: less A. T. Chapman, chaplain, and more Yossarian, please.

There is nothing on my walls in my bedroom. There wasn't anything there in my last apartment either, and my parents were in charge of the wall decorations when I was in high school. I guess I want to walk into my bedroom someday and see paintings, or posters, or something. But what if they are the wrong things? What if some people walk into my bedroom and make judgments about me based on what I have my walls? I don't want to make a mistake. I don't like what I put on my walls when I was living in the dorm, so now I figure I'm incapable of interior decoration. That is why the process of choosing things to put on my walls is paralyzing. They will probably stay blank until I get over it, but I'm not ready for that yet. Maybe once I save up some money.

It's the same with everything else. (I am sorry. Yes, I am now going to reveal the moral of that parable as though I am saying something profound. Yes, I am incapable of action without self-analysis. Yes, I am in a self-deprecating mood.) I guess I figured it all out. Like some sort of indie-rock Colonel Cathcart or more paranoid Edward Norton in Fight Club I constantly class my actions in terms of feathers in my cap or black eyes. Is this poster/shirt/CD/class/major/religion/life direction/haircut/choice/flavor of bubblegum going to define me as a person in a way that is inconsistent with the concept of myself that I have carved out as acceptable, and that mostly from my parents' definition of the word? With the next phrase I speak/IM/email/post to the internet, could negative consequences arise? Do I deserve them to arise? Should I just not bother?

Obviously I'm exaggerating. I have said and done dumb things before. I have said what could have been dumb things but turned out well. I just don't make it a habit to guide my actions based on what I know I want. I don't make it a habit to ignore negative response from other people and only focus on what is constructive. I don't make it a habit to do what I know is the right thing to do, regardless of the consequences. I should do these things.

I am a physics major. I have a senior project. It is the bane of my existence. It is the worms eating into my brain. It is the chasm in my self esteem. These are all names I use for my evil, oppressive, and deadly senior project.

It is only a year's worth of 3 credits per semester. That isn't so bad. Then again, 3 credits at my school is thought to be 9 hours a week of work. That's 32 weeks of 9 hours a week, or 8 weeks of 36 hours per week.

When I think of my senior project, I want to crawl into my bed and sleep all day. I want to get into the habit of sucking my thumb in a fetal position. I want to run away to Canada and open a used book store.

Trust me: it was very cool. I liked it a lot at first, and I definitely liked explaining it to people. I worked very hard on it last summer, in 2002, when I was getting paid and it was not yet my senior project. Unfortunately, when the school year started and the senior project started, I stopped. I don't know why. While limping out of school backwards, chanting my mantra of "D is for Diploma," I neglected to work on my project. After it was clear that I hadn't done anything for a semester, I was going to work twice as hard second semester. After a few fits and starts, I quit working. Then I was going to do 200 hours in the lab in the last 8 weeks of the semester and call it even. Again, I soon quit. I received an I grade for the work, and I was going to finish it over the summer. Keep in mind: all of the rest of my degree requirements have been completed.

It didn't get done.

Why didn't it get done? I can't fully answer that. Am I lazy? I don't think so. I've worked very hard for many things in my little life. Am I stupid? Perhaps. I just kept feeling that I shouldn't try to work anymore because I had already failed to work for a few weeks, and I had missed my chance to do well. I didn't want to ask for help. I didn't want to admit that I couldn't do it. All I had to do at pretty much any time during the past 15 months would have been to walk in, admit that I am having a very hard time, get the help I needed from anyone I could get it from to get my lazy ass into the laboratory, and get to work.

A few days ago I was told by my advisor that he was giving me a failing grade. Today I got an e-mail from the professor who is in charge of my major saying that rather than giving me the F, he will give me the chance to get a new project, get a new advisor, and start fresh, since this project is hardly done anyway. I have 10 weeks to complete it. That is plenty of time.

I'm scared. I am worried that I will fail. But I talked to both professors today. They are supportive of me, and my old advisor says he wants very much to do anything he can to help me succeed.

It is good to feel that people are on your side.

I have several choices. Many seem intriguing. Fuel cell research, can an MRI detect the mechanism of consciousness in the human brain, Monte Carlo techniques for determining the optimal arrangement and efficiency of a certain type of particle detectors for a certain situation: these are my options.

But I’m really just hoping that I can somehow, in some way, manage to get the bastard done with and graduate from college. I know this doesn’t make me a failure in life, it just seems like it does. Hell, if I earn it, I could still get an A. I could still go to law school. I could still be a happy, successful, human being.

Every time I think of my senior project, I don’t feel like one.

Today my first WU got killed.

I guess I'm just like everyone else. I was indignant. I didn't understand. All of my other gems, particularly since I started noding again after a 2.5 year absence, had done well enough, I felt, for a level 1 amateur like myself. Why wasn't this one brilliant too?

Then the pattern that has been killing my ambition since forever struck. I realized that I had screwed up, and I didn't want to have anything to do with this stupid website anymore. I had worked hard on that little bastard, but made stupid mistakes and errors in judgment, and now it was dead. And wasn't that like anything else I ever set out to accomplish?

It wasn't about the silly WU anymore. What had I managed to accomplish in my little life? How can I manage to transition most efficiently from the wallowing in your own self pity stage to the learning a lesson and moving on stage of the evening?

I am too apologetic.

So I refuse to be apologetic anymore (and by "refuse" I mean "might try a little," but progress is progress). I'm sure I'm offending plenty of noders' delicate sensibilities right now. That does not bother me. I adore the concept of this website and I think I understand more of the point of its operation today: you folks intend on enjoying this corner of the internet for quite a while, and you don't want that enjoyment infringed upon. So: ignore votes and exp and reputation and C! and popularity. I trust that if I am acting in a patently uncouth manner, I will be duly notified, and I'll quit. If I am doing something that people think is worthwhile, I'll find that out too, and I might decide to do more of it. But for the most part, I'm just going to enjoy everything2 and the incredibly cool ideas behind its inception and operation by using my good judgment about what I would want if I were a successful user here, without worrying about bumps along the way. With patience, I just might be a successful user here someday.

There's a moral about life, too. I'll leave that up to the incredibly bored reader. Hopefully I managed to learn it. Maybe I'll try to graduate from college now.

Like woo fucking hoo. GCSE results be in, and me be happy.

After spending months worrying about the bastards, it actually all turned out pretty swell. I picked up A's in Geography, French, English (Speaking and Listening), RE, and Drama, and then A*'s in English (Reading and Writing), German, Maths, History, and a Science double award. And then the GNVQ in ICT which I've been taking extra curricular (biiiig mistake, a heap of boring work) landed me a Distinction . And to think I was worrying about it...

I have to say that while most of the results were what I expected, a few were a lot better. Drama I definitely didn't expect an A in, and ditto for English and French. I guess my examiner had a sense of humour (my English exam where I had to describe the room I was in consisted of me going off on a 3 page sarcastic rant about how much doing exams in the gym suck, and how we should do them in the hall. I guess they saw the funny side... well, that, or they took pity. And the French, well, I was convinced I had royally fucked up both reading and listening tests. Obviously not.

So now all I need to do is get my A Levels, get a masters degree, and my PhD, and then start my company and make millions. Possibly. It's the first step on the ladder, anyway....

Today I received my GCSE results.

At 10:51 AM I arrived at school. At 11:35 AM I was allowed to enter the building where we could collect our results from. With me were, amongst others, Digital Goblin and Umeshu. It was chaos inside. Eventually I got the envelope with my results in it and took a look. I’m pretty happy with my results.

Anyway, true to my word, my results are:

I did better than I had expected in History (I got a C in the mocks) and Graphics (the teacher told us that we would all fail).

I didn’t expect to do as badly as I did in ICT. I was expecting a C/B. And I think I could have done better in Art (my target grade was A*), but B is a fine grade.

After that, there was some hullabaloo about signing up for the sixth form, and filling out forms for no actual reason (they were not collected in when we had filled them out). Then I went home to tell the family. On the way I stopped to buy One Quiet Night, and when I got home I found that 3 more CDs had been delivered from - Nice!

August 20, 2003 was the day we finally got our keys. We packed up a suitcase that very night, and the litter boxes, and shoved it all (plus our cats), and headed to the new house. We wanted to "try it out." Oh, we also shoved the old sofa sleeper we found at Salvation Army for $75 into the poor SUV as well.

The first night was uneventful. I slept on the floor, because my wife didn't like how the sleeper mattress sagged when we both laid on it. It sagged when she laid on it by herself, but she had more room, I guess. Figures.

I didn't get very good sleep last night, because, well, it's hard to sleep on the floor to begin with, but it's impossible when you're this excited about something. I could barely keep the "holy shit! This is really my house!" thoughts out of my head long enough to fall asleep at all.

This morning, about an hour after we woke up, the title company called. They told us they'd made a mistake on the closing papers and had "forgotten" to include a $350 loan processing fee for the second mortgage on the escrow summary. In other words, we had to fork over another $350, or they'd stall the filing.

I immediately panicked but continued thinking rationally anyway (I don't really "panick" that much ... I just get pissed off and run through lots of ideas really really fast). I succeeded them into continuing the filing anyway, and instead hold the check they were going to mail to State Farm for our homeowner's insurance for the first year until we came up with the $350. With the immediate crisis averted, we immediately realized "uh, we don't have $350!"

Panick mode returned. This time, I called anybody I could think of. I called the realtor. He wasn't there, so I left a message, begging for help (not for money, just for help in understanding how they could even do this after closing). I called my parents, who've purchased homes before and might have suggestions. They suggested we call HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) to discuss the legality of what was happening. HUD redirected me to RESPA, who seems quite interested in the lender and title company pulling this stunt. We left a message there for an investigator to call us back.

We hadn't even had the keys for 18 hours yet and we were terrified some mystic, evil person would arrive and snatch the keys back from our hands. We joked with each other (with a scary amount of "ha-ha only serious" to it) that they'd get the keys back from us when they pried them from our cold, dead hands.

We were about to start digging around for a lawyer when the cellular phone rang. The woman at the title company who'd given us this nugget of joy to begin with said "I ran this buy another escrow officer just to make sure, and it looks okay. I made a terrible mistake, and I'm so sorry I called you guys about this. I wish I could make the whole conversation go away. You don't owe any more money." We asked for that in writing, drove straight to their office, and got a packet of goodies. First was the "escrow's closed, you owe nothing" letter, signed and dated. Next was a copy of the check she mailed to State Farm. Finally, there was a copy of a notarized document from the Clark County clerk acknowleding the recording of title.

Even though we'd gotten the keys yesterday, that little piece of paper from a cold, uncaring government office, tersely acknowledging the legal transfer of ownership of our house to our names, was the final bit of confirmation my brain needed. I've been jittery and excited and bouncing ever since that moment.

As we drove back to the apartment to pick up more stuff to move, the cell phone rang itself senseless. First, the realtor called back (not knowing the issue was resolved) and said "dude, do not pay that; tell those jerks to call me. It'll take an act of God for them to convince me you can possibly owe them any more money ... they can't just change the numbers after your closing." We told him they'd backed off, and he was pleased. He seemed slightly disappointed he wouldn't get to go fight for us, but we all agreed it was a Good Thing. Then RESPA called back, and was equally disappointed the title company backed off.

With the "excitement" of the day done with, we started moving all our crap into the house.

(I should point out now that our realtor was the only "good guy" in this whole mess, who seemed to be completely on our side, and looking out for us; the builders are pleasant, but annoyingly neutral, since we were using their preferred lender, they didn't want to get in the middle of it)

We went to bed, again, with me on the floor. Ugh

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