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Wake the kids and shave the cat, ladies and gentlemen, for your humble servant, ClockworkGrue, has been accepted into the Masters of Entertainment Technology grad program at Carnegie Mellon University!

I had made plans to travel out to Pittsburgh some time ago, but then learned that admissions decisions would be made shortly before I got there. On the positive side, there would also be an open house to attend during the weekend I was in the area.

By the time I got on the plane, I still didn't know whether I was accepted or not. I had received an email saying that "due to the high number of applicants, it would take a few extra days to make admissions decisions." Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

After arriving in Pittsburgh, dropping off my bags, and meeting up with a friend, I set out to find the Entertainment Technology Center, determined to learn my fate. When I got there, I didn't want to disturb anyone who might be working on something important, so I stood in the hallway until somebody asked me what I was doing. Eventually I got a short tour of the ETC and was eventually told that I was, in fact, accepted.

Understandably, I was walking on cloud nine for the rest of the day. Even though this will saddle me with large icky debts (unless some wealthy noder feels like paying part of my tuition), this is the sort of opportunity that will change the course of my life, and it's not every day that this sort of thing happens to you in a way that is so apparent.

I'm also interested to see how the work levels of my next 2 years of intensive study of computers and art will measure up to the 6 months I spent learning Japanese in Japan. I hear approximately 8-10 hours per day, seven days a week. We'll see how I hold up against that.

Finally, this will no doubt give me some wonderful noding opportunities, and I look forward to providing a lot of new nodes about two very popular subjects here on E2, technology and entertainment.

In its rush to have a computer in every classroom, my school has several far-too-modern computer labs. They're all Pentium III 900s, all connected to a Novell network, through a shared T1 with the rest of the district.The entire purpose of the lab is twofold: Microsoft Office, and Macromedia webpage design tools. During lunch, the computer lab is left open for anyone who may want to come in and finish their project, or such.

All those wasted CPU cycles - the district had ordered too much power. We, the hardcore gamers of the school, decided to put those unused CPU cycles to use.

It all started in November, 2001. Word had spread that a couple of people were playing Starcraft, and I joined them in the computer lab during lunch. Fifteen minutes were wasted as everybody insisted on playing across Battle.net instead of using the much faster IPX network. The teacher didn't care, or even know that we were playing this game during lunch. Starcraft eventually got boring because of the lack of rushing rules, so I brought in my copy of Unreal Tournament and installed it on one of the machines

People thought it was cool, and soon enough the virus had engulfed the entire computer lab; every machine had Unreal Tournament on it. A certain noder constantly won every game, and much fun was had blowing each other up with the Redeemer on Facing Worlds. We played in silence since none of the computers had speakers attached to them. The computer lab was brilliant in its design, every monitor was facing away from the teacher's desk.

Then, somebody got annoyed by us playing games in the computer lab and the administrapo were informed about our shenanigans. The administrapo ordered us to demonstrate Unreal Tournament, and they just about hit the roof when they discovered it was a first person shooter. We were all given strict warnings, but nobody got punished. The lab was still open, but Unreal Tournament was uninstalled from most of the machines, and a a program like FoolProof was installed

The computers all ran Windows 98; its formidable defenses were quickly cut through and Unreal Tournament was installed again. We were playing a new game against the teacher - whack a mole. She restricted access to Explorer.exe, we used WINFILE.EXE and installed it to obscure directories like C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\W32KRL\UTNMT. She disabled right-clicking, we simply went to FOLDER OPTIONS to launch UT. Brilliant schemes were devised, each being more complicated than the last.

For the first time today, at lunch, I came in only to discover that the computer lab was locked. I found out later that apparently, the teacher just got sick of the entire ordeal and installed the most restrictive Windows shell ever - NetClass.

It was fun while it lasted, and those CPU cycles were put to good use - at least for a little while. My suggestion to any ostracized geek: install Unreal Tournament and kick their asses. I became a lot more popular after that.

While nodesurfing mindlessly to waste time that doubtless shouldn't be wasted, I've been encountering here and there a few reminders of last summer: books I read then, things I did, feelings I had at the time. It's the end of winter now; the sky is clear today for a change and a cold sunlight is coming through my blinds, but it only makes my mind drift back more.

Last year I had a good summer. I remember the end of the school year (my final year of high school, and good riddance), when the winds were finally dying down and things were warming up. I could wear a t-shirt outside without clenching my gut. All I could think about was finding a grassy hill and staring up at the white cumulus clouds, my ears full of music.

That pretty much is all I did last summer. I liked going out during the day, I stayed up all night, I spent time outside. The world really seemed like a friendly, enjoyable place. It actually offered me inspiration.

It's not warm now. I don't feel comfortable. The grass here in Canada is still a dead brown, and the trees are grey skeleta of their lush summer selves. Even supposed evergreens seem to be just as dull and brown as the fallen leaves and withered flora surrounding them. I'm sure if I could pull back completely into my mind right now, the scenery would look much the same: grey, lifeless, pessimistic. There is little inspiration here, even though this is when I need it the most.

It's not the heat of summer that I miss. It's the sense of freedom, the idea that I'm doing everything for me. It's the colour that fills the world and spills over into my mind, even if just for a little while.

On the Fourth of July last year, the house across the street burned down. Quite sad actually—it was 110 years old, and, in my opinion, something kinda shady was going on. I suspect that they might have been dealing drugs, but I cannot be sure. In any case, the remains of the house have been marked for demolition.

As I described on January 6, 2002, my street is rather narrow. My house lacks a garage, so we have to park on the street. In four years living there, I have never had only a problem, due to a criminal doing a “smash and grab.” Didn’t get anything, but annoyed me.

Yesterday, however, the demolition crew arrived. I was at work. As I generally bus or bike to work, my car was at home. Somehow, they managed to break my rear window and driver’s side taillight. I walk up, and see a business card under by wiper, and trash bags arranged on the back, to protect the interior from rain.

My car.

My new car.

(OK, my new-to-me used car. It was in great shape).

I got this beautiful Volvo V70 just over a month ago. I had lusted after these cars for a while, initially thinking the “Cross Country” edition, but decided to go for a standard. I wanted to have some of the space of an SUV without having to own an SUV. It is also nice and plush.

And they smashed it.

I was very angry on the phone with the demolition company. I was very angry with the poor employee who happened by. I need to call and apologize.

The brick is in the shop now, and, with luck, I’ll have it back tomorrow. Still, I feel very angry. Why can’t I have something nice and not have people just being cavalier around it. Yes, the company said they would pay for the damage (I’m still working through my insurance company), however, why did it happen in the first place.

It is obvious when they started they put my car at risk, why didn’t they try to offer warning, or wait until they could get me to move it? Now, they have an expense to repair my car, plus an irate person. He may lose all the profit he will make from this job.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I feel bad about that.

melancholy \Mel"an*chol*y\, n.

1. Affected with or marked by depression of the spirits; gloom: "There is melancholy in the wind and sorrow in the grass." (Charles Kuralt)
2. Pensive meditation; serious thoughtfulness. "Hail, divinest Melancholy!" (Milton)

...

Come home soon, Jes. I love you.

Jesus, half a pack a day.

I'm hooked.

You know how it is. One when you hop into the car in the morning to wake you up.

One after the first cup of coffee. The two tastes blend together in your mouth.

One mid morning to keep you going until lunch.

One after lunch to help focus you for work.

One mid afternoon to keep you going until it's time to drive home.

One during the drive home.

One before dinner.

One after dinner.

One in bed. Even if it is dangerous.

Curse You Wrigley's! I'm addicted to Extra Sugarfree Classic Bubble Gum!

Help me!

Today I left Dublin Ireland for London England. the trip was uneventfull, only 1 hour in the air, but what with buses and trains at either end I was lugging bags around and and sitting on various forms of transport from 10am until 2:30pm.

London is warmer than Dublin but just as wet. It is more modern and more expensive than last time I was here, but this is not all bad. Within an hour of putting my bags down I now a have a mobile phone number, via a Virgin prepaid contract for my existing handset. Yay for modern technology and convenience marketing!

I am staying at Captain Trash's place until I can find something more permanent.

"You see, it's a problem of motivation, Bob."

I seem totally disinterested in my life right now. It's absurd, because I am so busy, and there's so much going on. I have college classes in the mornings, until around 1 PM, and then I head to my web design/programming job until 5 PM. I come home, fuck around doing whatever, do some homework and study, and it's time for bed.

I also didn't get accepted into RIT, which is the school I've been dreaming about for three years. My GPA is a pathetic 2.4, and I am just flat out lazy. Why?

I just don't understand. I can't bring myself to do anything related to school without dreading it horribly. I hate Calculus and Physics, and if I could invent a time machine, I'd go back and murder Issac Newton and his scholastic ilk. Of course, I'd probably need Physics to invent a time machine. Assholes.

As others have been telling me, it's all about change. I will be going to a state school this fall instead of RIT, so hopefully things will be shaken up a bit. I feel as though I'm thoroughly disinterested in what happens during my days on this earth, and if that's the case, I need to do something fast to change that, because life is way too short to live half-assed.

By the way, fellow noders, Sigur Ros rules!

I so desparately wanted to add my idea to the 10 Ways to irritate, annoy, and anger your cat node. I have one thing that annoys my cat somewhat, but a daylog is not the place to share it. It seems that everything I've added recently was qualified as either GTKY, or fodder for Klaproth. Might need to focus on what books I've read and node the reviews and the authors after researching their background and history. I know one book review and author writeup stuck around.

It appears that my business is picking up momentum. Made one sale today and expect to get another by the end of the week. I forsee a profitable April because of the work I've done in the past month. I know I can't conquer the world from within the walls of an office.

My girlfriend and another friend of mine thinks I'm a workaholic because I'm letting my youth slip away because of all the hours I'm putting towards my freedom. To me, that sounds like E-Quadrant thinking according to Robert Kiyosaki. What am I to say, other than that where I'm headed, there's great fortune and happiness, and where they're going, there's great misery because of debt.

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I've been expecting this moment to come. I started a concerted effort to lose weight about 5 weeks ago. I've lost 15 pounds, but I have a lot more to go. It's been very easy so far, a pretty steady two pounds per week (more right at the beginning).

It may not go on like that forever, but I had a realization about a week ago, which seems pretty darned obvious when I say it: two pounds a week would be 100 pounds in a year (which is more than the forty to fifty pounds I really needed to lose, and even more than the seventy to eighty that I want to). The experience is almost the very farthest thing from suffering, and I should be able to keep this up for as long as it takes.

But I knew the moment would come when I'd be at home crying over Nolan, and it's those times when the thoughts come into my head, like Fuck it! Crack open one or three of those boxes of Girl Scout cookies that you have on an upper shelf in one of the kitchen cabinets. I've done that plenty of times before; of course, every time, I know even while I'm eating the cookies or cake or chips that it's not going to help a bit. And I hate myself afterward, even while resigned to the fact that I'm going to do it again someday.

But at least so far, I've resisted and I think I'll get through the evening. God, I miss Nolan.


C-Dawg's Office Chessboard Cam
Current streak: 56 wins

I read in the Science Times that the Oracle at Delphi's prophecies were caused by huffing gas fumes. Also, that 15 girls in Saudi Arabia died in a fire because the religious police wouldn't let them out or the firefighters in because the girls weren't wearing their veils.

I got off the train at Grand Central at about 6:10 PM.

There was a PA announcement: "Due to police action, all New Haven Line trains are being held at Grand Central Terminal until further notice."

Okay, I thought. Probably some purse snatcher jumped on the train and hid and they've got to find him. Definitely nothing to worry about. Until fifteen seconds later, another announcement:

"All emergency engineers, please report to Track 25 immediately."

Wtf is that? I figured they were asking for volunteers to drive the terrorist death train full of napalm or Ebola virus out of town. I got out of there wit' a quickness.

Later, I read over somebody's shoulder that some guy killed himself jumping out of the train near Rye. Pretty sad.

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