The following is archived posted dated from 2002. It was the first year of "Who Is the Man With the Name that Rhymes?", created back when I was still attending Purdue.

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What I've learned from being on this planet for 25 years:

If you take a common adjective+noun and reverse them and stick a "of" in between the words you'll it make sound 10 times as important. I noticed this while on the Maryland trip with Steve,Claire, James, and Colin. I saw a life preserver on the bay in Baltimore and it said "Life Ring." Had they called it "Ring of Life" it would have been in a museums somewhere...

Funny/Cool Words to Say:

Requiem, Retribution, Panties, Pancake, Zamboni, Monkey, BLAT!, Bizzo!, Butt-sex, Contingency, Corrupt, Torrent, Transcension

The Quotes (from prior blogs):

"Screw that, they should settle it over a game of crossfire..."

I said to Newt when he mentioned that Emily and Nate were having problems with their relationship, he thought it was pretty damn funny. Funny thing is I don't remember most the really funny things I say. With that said I though it needed to be the quote that themed up this blog. It worked for a while but it reminded on times past that I should really let go and move on. This new quote I also told Newt one day when He, Sam, and I went to Utopia Dinner. I was breaking off the tabs on the jelly packages to make them harder to open. Newt asked me why I was doing that I told him

"...The whole world is broke and only I can fix jelly at a time."

It has determination to it. I've decided that if I don't like the world I'm living in, then I've got to change it. For better or worse, I can't do it all at once. All I can keep doing is just try to make it better one jelly at a time hoping to make it toward the point where it's fixed.

Distinctive Physical Markings

I dunno if anyone's noticed, but I have. My left, your right, eyebrow as big part of it missing on the end. I'm not sure, but I think it was from when I shaved my eyebrows back in my sophomore year of high school. I think they didn't grow back right or something. I dunno why I did, I guess I just wanted to see what it looked like it was pretty funny looking. The strange thing was most people didn't recognize it until I need something very noticeable to point them out. Man I looked funny, I wish I had a picture of it.

The Pope Raisin:

Usually I throw out stuff that has no immediate value to me as I don't like to feel cluttered up with junk in my life but I sometimes do keep things for other than their utilitarian purposes. Take the random shit you'll find sitting next to my desk for example. Among the random figurines and stuff animals you'll find this prized item of mine: The Pope Raisin. Named so because it was signed by the pope. And not just by any random pope, but Pope John Paul II(the sequel that's an equal). Most people laugh when I'm tell them this (especially Peter Clark who I thought I was going to die after laughing for over 30 minutes about it) but its true I even have the certificate of authenticity.


It's always fun to open up a Internet conversation with this little bit of text. It could mean two different things depending on what you're thinking. It can be a set of eyes denoting that I see you, or a set of boobs. Coincidentally, they just happen to be my favorite parts of the opposite sex though I can't really tell which one of the two are better...

The Genesis of the SBB website:

If you didn't know it by now, I'm the webmaster of It's been said that one must experience great tragedy to achieve greatness. This is just as true for the creation of the website. Way back during the summer of '00 we had a plan to create the website but no one had went about doing it. Well thanks to my laziness, I ended up not attending school that semester. That combined with some other factors I don't want to go into lead me into quite the depression that semester. During those few months I tried to forget about what made feel so terrible and focused my energy on the creation of the website. In the end things turned out for the best and much joy was to be had.

I Didn't Piss on the Truck!:

While I'm mentioning the incident that happened at the last Riverhouse party. I should take the time to defend myself. First of all despite what Officer "Asshole" Ueding says I was pissing right next to the truck. That is parallel with it. When he approached me, I was facing away from him. I couldn't see him. If I was facing any other way I would of been able to see him and you can bet your ass that I wouldn't have let him slam my ass on the truck to cuff me. But he did, because I wasn't able to see him. In fact I didn't realize it was a cop until he was trying to cuff me. The second thing that was bullshit with that report was him saying that I "was verbally abusive." I remember saying only few things to the guy. I asked him what he was doing when he was cuffing me, I asked him what was he arresting me for when he put me in the car, then I asked him what had he been up to tonight on the way to the station. I guess wanting to know things constitutes being "verbally abusive." Whatever. I wouldn't feel bad at all if this guy got shot. He can go to hell for all that I'm concerned.

[12/31/2002 5:36:41 AM | Shawn Conn]
this is it. The last post of the year 2002. Unfortunately it's not going to be all that exciting. First out, I guess I should apologize to Kim for canceling the party. I never had that much vested interest in it so I guess that's how it goes. Everyone that mentioned the parties talked about how there should be one big one that everyone meet at so I thought it would be best to do that.

I've try to get in a better mood over these two days because I don't want the end the year as badily as I did the last one. I've tried to get myself in a better mood for the end of the year and it's worked a little but I'm still not feeling as good as I should be feeling. At least I won't be sitting at home lonely come the begin of 2003; That's some sort of redeeming feeling but the feeling is fleeting. I know once all the partying has been done this New Year's Eve, I'm going to head home feeling the same sort dullness I always feel. When I say 'dullness' I mean the state of mind where I just kind of zone out because I feel unhappy. It's a rare state of apathy I get in. All of my senses just feel like they are when I'm dreaming: kind of there but not really considered at all.

Looking back at myself, it seems silly to act this way. But I can't help it. All I can do is try, never do. I have no luck with the opposite sex. The only thing that makes it worse is when I'm everyone else who seems to at least find someone every now and again. When I think about that, all I feel is that there's something wrong with me. In the last few days, I been thinking about the type of chicks that I'm attracted to. The only one's that I ever find attractive are the type that seem to never click with my personality. That's about the best I can think of. I don't know what else can it be. I think most other people in my situation, given the opportunties I've had, would have some sort of success but it's just me that's fucked it up. There's definately something wrong with me. I don't know what it is but it must be something.

I feel ill. I'm going move into this last day of 2002 trying to hope for something good but feeling it's going to end the same way. I know the best thing to do is to forget it, move on something else, and enjoy tommorow to it's fullest but this is an issue that my mind won't let go of. Thinking about it, there's very little I would want. Or at least I could think of. If I could sleep with a girl and make her really happy, or just rather have really fun sex, I think that would make my day. But that's not very likely to happen it seems. I guess it's just me; I just have the wrong selection of girls I would like to be with. I'm not a very exciting, happy, self-confident, sexy, or whatever the fuck I would have to be.

I'm really torn up inside about the whole issue. This has been my third post about the issue. But like I said, my mind doesn't want to let go. I feel lonely. I want some sex/love/attention/whatever but I can't find it. At least not with the type of people I really find attractive. So there's my problem. If I just go after those who I know I can get, is it even worth it? Even if I pursued them just because I could, it would be a empty victory. On the other hand, if I try to go after those I really want to share something(whatever it maybe) with I just get hurt. I'm fucked either way.

Well, I don't have much more I can write. I think it's time for me to lay down as I try not to cry as I lull myself off to sleep...


[12/29/2002 3:39:06 AM | Shawn Conn]
So I don't think I'm going to throw the said party in the last post. Like I mentioned, there will be other parties going on. People has told me that I shouldn't throw it or consolidate the parties or whatever. I really don't have a vested interested in the party so it doesn't matter to me. I don't know if I'm still going to do anything for New Year's. The mood I've been in lately hasn't been the most festive of moods. I was kind of feeling better the other day but things just kind of got crappy today.

I slept on all the stuff I talked last time. I was thinking about Freud's 3 states of consciousness or whatever it's called; You know the Id, Ego, and SuperEgo. For those not familar with those terms they represent the sides of consciousnesss that represent what your impluses make you, what your self reflection and perception makes you, and the result of having those two other sides results in the final side. I was thinking that somehow that I've tried to make my 2 different sides try to agree with one another. Like I've been trying to justify wanting sex(impulses kicking in) by thinking that I really enjoy who a person is( my self reflection wanting to think that sex with a person you like for other than just their body is great). And I've been trying to enjoy who the person is because I want sex with them. So what does all this speculating mean? Not much of anything because looking at what I just wrote, I think it no better job than what I wrote the previous night.

There's something wrong in my head and I don't know what it is. There's a pain in my brain, that I can't explain. I think probably the worst thing I ever do about this issue is I make such a big deal about it every time it hits me. Like there's always a painful history of failures that keep getting brought up in my mind. Betting on me staying happy for long is always a losing bet.

Hmm...I'm broke again. I'll back with some more tokens later...


[12/27/2002 3:47:41 AM | Shawn Conn]
So what's new? I guess a couple of things on my mind to spit out before I go to sleep here in a bit...

Party Hard!

Before I dive to any other topics, I would like to get to the important topics first:

1. There will be something going on at Casa de Conn come New Year's Eve 2002
2. It will be in Kim's Honor
3. Whatever happens is dependant on how people will want to come( there seems to be a good number of people already informed about this) and what they bring to and want to do at this place.

That's all I'm going to promise. I'm not going to promise the phat's party come this century or that you will have a blast and then some. At least, I'm going to be there chilling with some alcoholic beverages of my choice in my hand as I rock out to the end of 2002.

There might be other New Year's Festivities going on at the same time but as a wise man once said: "I don't give a fuck holmes." I honstly don't have any energy whatsoever to make any sort of attempt to do anything else this New Year's Eve. Last year, I remember trying a lot do get a big New Year's party to go down and if I recall correctly it went bust real quickly. I remember that I ended up with a couple of options last year for last year's New Year's parties and that none of them end up appealing to me. I ended up staying at my place playing FF X that year for New Year's Eve.

So as it stands, I'm trying to crush any expectations I have for New Year's since the past 2 years have ended up very dissappointing. That haven't been horrible but they've been bad enough to depress me. Like usual, it's been only my fault since New Year's parties for me usually end up with me going home lonely and feeling like shit. The goal this year is not to let that same thing happen again.

Dreams, thoughts, self-loathing...

Last night went well for a long while but it ended up turning ugly near the end. I ended up drinking a while before we headed over to Melissa and Katie's place. It was fun for a while but near the end I just lost any energy to be lively at all. When all was said and done for the night, Alex, Emily and I went back to my house then to our respective sleeping areas. Before I went to sleep, I had a big conversation with Alex about women and stuff.

At the time, I knew I shouldn't end the day with this sort of conversation because I knew it wouldn't end up with any sort of resolve or me feeling any better than I did at that moment.Yet against my better judgement, I still went on. Alex asked why I was so down about this topic and I tried to explain to what it exactly was that I am looking for.

I'll try to write down my thought processes the best I can.

Did I want a relationship? no. Did I want sex? maybe. Of course that isn't much of answer to work with if you're tying to help solve out your problems. I tried to explain that if it was just sex that I wanted than there wouldn't be much problem at all. So I guess what I wanted was meaningful sex. Certainly, if you're in a relationship sex is suppose to be meaningful. But like I said, that's not what I want. In the end, I just ended up confused about whatever I wanted.

Aside from that, there's was a whole other issue of finding someone. That's never been easy for me and still isn't. Those people I do feel something, I can never do anything about. Like I tried to explain it but I just found that I couldn't. I came to the conclusion that I just don't know how to express any affection at all. Maybe I do. I mean I have plenty times before but I just can't express to those people I really feel something about. I think I fuck up the whole flirting thing too. I mean, I never seem to spark any girl's interest in me at all no matter what different things I try. Everythings a big blur to me. I can't ever figure out what girls want or any of that shit. I thing sometimes I have a clue but then something will happen that just totally throws me and I'll be all confused again. I wish it was simpler.

Thinking about all of this just made me thing that maybe it was just best if pursued sex as the only goal. At this point though, I'm in quite a confused state about sex, love or anything. All I want is for my feelings about others to be validated in someway and if something can happen between me another person that's great. But it never works out that way, I just end up confused, hurt, and lost about my feelings( I'm sure all of this crap that write now doesn't make much of any sense). In the end, I just feel like a failure and that there's just something plain wrong with me. It shouldn't be this difficult and I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

This is the junk I ended up sleeping on. It didn't go over well at all. A number of thoughts came to my mind but like always none of this stuff helps. I just thought how nice it would be to have someone in bed with me to have a fun romp of sex then fall asleep forgetting about all of this. Instead what happened was my thought kept going on through my dreams. The dreams were a mish mash of me thinking about all kinds of girls I'd been crazy over and various non sensical events that just tied them all together. I'd shade in the details for you but, that's about how hazy they were. I remember almost nothing. One of the few things I do remember is me getting very sick at the end of all this and throwing up some weird liquids that were very bright red, yellow and blue. It was damn weird.

I kept waking up and falling asleep. It was the kind of pattern that I haven't felt in awhile. It would be where I woke up and I knew I could get up and start the day but I just felt so down that I would go back to sleep. When I did wake up, I didn't really feel much better. Most the day, I felt pretty shitty. All this junk is old new. This junk wasn't any news. It's just gets to the point where all I do is zone out and try not to think how shitty I felt. It never does help though. Anything I ever want with a girl just isn't going to happen. I really wish I could kill off any voice that I have in me that says otherwise. No one will feel the same way I feel about them. Those that feel something special about me, I never feel anything about them. It sucks all around.

Maybe I just needed to get laid...

But right now I'm out of answers and hope.


[12/25/2002 8:15:29 PM | Shawn Conn]
Hi everybody! Tis been a while since last I posted. I've been out and about with many things during my Christmas break and so blogging has been much of concern to me. What have I been up to since I last posted? Um well lets see.


Hanging out with friends is one of the big things. It's been a little different this year though. It seems like every year my closest friends get pulled a little further away from as they all have other things that take up so much time in their lives( mostly jobs and significant others):

Ted was like that for a while as Hellywood Video seemed to suck any sort of fun that was in life. He finally, after all the talking about it these few months, quit this weekend and I think it has showed. For once in his life, he showed up early to the traditional Christmas at Steak n' Shake this year. Later on in the day he showed up at my house which was rather a unexpected pleasant surprise.

Sarah I saw not too long at Sam's party. She been busy with school and work lately. I don't think it's so much that she's always busy as it is that I don't have a way to contact her. It was nice seeing her again too. She's always fun to talk to. On the same note, it was nice to see Sam too. I don't know if it's that he's always with Sandra or if he just doesn't like to drive around to find people or what but we never get to see him at home.

Will for a while during the break as been somewhat of a ghost as the night shift at Meijer's made him very scarce sometimes. But Will being the mover and shaker he is always found sometime to fit in some fun times with his good friends during this break.

James I've gotten to see once this break which is a surprise as he's pretty much fell off the map. He's got a real jobby job thing going on and I think when he isn't at work he spends alot of time with Sarah. Since a year or so ago the James Hess I knew has since left. It's a pity I don't see him much any more. On the similar note, I don't see Sarah or Emiy much at all. Not that it's really surprising though. They were never ones to be out and about alot. I've always had to call them to go do anything with them, I don't think they've called me once in my life.

Aaron and Craig were here for a bit. Not that I miss their company since I know I'll see them lots at Purdue, but it would be nice to have them around. Aaron's left for Oklahoma and then Boston so I don't know if he's going to be in town for a while. Craig, is keeping busy at work as well extended trips to Cincinatti.

Lenny, Mason, the Hill Street Gang, as well all the other stoners, I haven't gotten to see much. I've stopped by there a couple of times when I happened to be around Louisville but no one's been there. I've also missed them when I tried to give them a ring too. Bad timing I guess. I ended up seeing Mason and Lenny last night. Len came over the other night since he was at his parents house. He was sleeping over there since his whole family was going to a Christmas party thing in Indy.

I've still yet to see Sherri, Mandy, and all the rest of the gang since I got back too. I talked to Mandy over AIM one night. She mentioned how her and Ray been getting into Tekken( 3 to be exact) and that how we should have a Tekken night sometime. I told her I'd be all for it. I just got to get a hold of them sometime. Now that I think about Sherri, I haven't seen Michelle that much either. The last time I saw her was when Newt and I visited her and Emily at IU. Which reminds me that I haven't seen Emily much this break either since she has all kinds of family trips that's she been up to.

I've seen alot of Newt, Alex, Shannon, and Claire. Mostly because we're part of the group that still has yet to get really committed and official jobs. You know, like the type of stuff that are like careers. The type of job that change you. I imagine a couple years from now that alot of us will have those types of jobs. Well most of us anyway. I can't really see Claire doing anything for the rest of her life. Anything in the sense of a career, she is quite the free spirit. While she doesn't do anything in the sense that she produces a good or service to contribute to the GNP, she does have many adventures and does her best to try to find new and interesting people out there.


My family events have always been about the same: perfunctory and a bit dry and boring. Not to come off mean spirited or anything, but it's not like I have much in common with my family. Still, I've tried to enjoy the stuff with my family a bit more these past few years as I don't see them nearly as much as I use to.

We usually have three big Christmas events: One party at with my mom's side of the family at my grandma's house, Another small little get together with my dad's side of the family at my other grandma's house, and a big Christmas Dinner at our house.

The party at with my mom's family was a little depressing this year. First all, only about half the people who normally show up came to the thing. And secondly, grandma was not feeling well at all so she didn't say or do much of anything. Really the whole annually party here at my grandma's house had been going downhill since my grandpa died 2 years ago. He was always a big part of the party. Every since then, grandma hasn't been the same. Recently, she's had small strokes and her health has seemed to be failing her. She's beginning to show some symptoms of Alhzeimer's disease(sp) so she's constanly asking the same question over again. It's really sad to see someone go out this way. It doesn't help either that many of my uncles, aunts, cousins, didn't even show up this year.

The worst is when it comes to what's going to happen whenever my grandma dies. Everyone is so damn concerned about what part of the will includes them. Right after my grandpa died some my uncles/aunts kept asking grandma about things he used to own and if she was going to sell them. I imagine much the same will happen when grandma dies. What a buncha fucking vultures.

Luckily, things were better at my other grandma's so I didn't end Christmas Eve in a bad mood.

Overall, I enjoyed being with my family. I guess since I don't see them much anymore I've come to appreciate them a bit more. I think come a few years from now, I'm might not see them much more.


Other than all that stuff, all the other time I spent was playing video games. I got my arcade stick in the mail a few weeks ago and it's been great. EWGF's have never been easier on Tekken. The JF moves are a bit harder but that's just because the timing is different on a controller.

Besides Tekken, I've jumped into Suikoden 3. It's just as good as the first I think(I never did finish 2). A big part of the game revolves around being different people in the same story line. The story is broken up into chapters and when you finish one chapter as a person you can choose to play a different chapter as someone else or the next chapter as the same person. It has some nice things to the game that make it refreshing from the standard console RPG. Such as a limited inventory so that there's a bit of strategy and planning involved with what items you have. Furthermore, they've kept the leveling up system from previous Suikodens intact so leveling up isn't a chore. The amount of experience you get for fighting things is dependant on your level so if you're really low you'll level up really quickly until you reach about the level the creature's you're fighting are at. Thus, not much time is spent fighting redundant hordes of monsters. Also, the encounter rate as dropped much further than in previous Suikodens. The focus seems to be more on strategy rather than the fighting engine which is good since the combat in RPGs only consists of selecting things from menus.

It seems as if I'm still sharp as ever in Goldeneye as it turns out as well. The other weekend Aaron and Craig came over and Aaron brought his 64. After showing them off the big fuckoff aracade stick and playing some games of Tekken(which I won of course) we decided to get Goldeneye a spin. It had been awhile since I played, two years at least I think, but after a round to warm up on the controls I was kicking ass in no time.

Round 1: Rockets in the Temple

Everyone always likes to use Rockets non stop in this game, but as I've learned from experience you don't have many and everyone misses alot since they rockets are pretty slow. My game plan is pretty much grab a rocket launcher and my trusty KF7 Soviet(not forgetting good ol' body armor) and go at it. The plan is usually fire a rocket then switch to the KF7. If the rocket doesn't get the kill then I go in and rip them apart with the KF7. I found alot of times people like to keep lauching rockets at me all in vain though because most of the time they miss in wide open areas(closed arenas being a different story). That then leaves me with open game to rip them apart with my KF7 which took almost no time. Although we did play on 0 health which take a while; I prefer the health on -2 to -4 myself. Aaron got me a couple times with a rocket launcher but it didn't take me long to get to 10 points

Round 2: The Man with the Golden Gun in the temple

This has always been a person favorite of mine as I always love one shot kills. No mercy was given to Aaron and Craig this round. I was able to out manuever their shots easily( a sign that someone has been playing too much with auto-aim on) and go in for the kill. Once again it didn't take long to get 10 since I had the golden gun for a good amount of time( I think I died once).

Round 3: Licensed to Kill in the temple

Craig or Aaron made the mistake of choosing weapons that had automatics on it. Cleanup on aisle 7. I might of died once I think.

And so it went on like that through the night. Aaron did win one round(proximity mines in the bunker) because I didn't go on offense at all. I just love mining and spawn mining the entire area :)

At some point they both decided that I was too good and to make the game 2 on 1. This time it was moonrakers. I'll give them credit, they killed me both 4 times. But that's because I had forgotten where the BA(body armor) and 'rakers were at. Once I did, it didn't take like to even of the score. Go me.

We played some other stages but I think Aaron only got to kill me twice and Craig got me once. At the end the score was only 2 to 10 though because Craig has killed Aaron once when they were chasing me. Sucks to be them I guess.

Well enough boasting for one day....

Now that Christmas is over, I turn to the next big thing: New Year's Eve. I've mentioned before I would like to hold a party this year. I haven't done anything about it yet, but talks are underway and I'll know by the end of the week. If that goes belly up, well I think Andy has oked people to have new year's at his place. That will probably be more suitable a place for a large group of people getting all silly and drunk. But I don't know if I'm going to feel like that's the mood and locale I want to be in when everything goes down for the big 2003.

See ya, when I see ya...


[12/16/2002 1:48:45 AM | Shawn Conn]
It's been a relaxing few days back at so far. Without the stress of classes, my mind is much more clear and focused as of late. I haven't been engaging it much though, just the same old kind of stuff. Friends, video games, stuff around the house; those have been the regulars. Not much too new or exciting but let me see what I can round up what's been going on.

Hardcore Gamin'

I've been stowing some money away for awhile now but with some of the money I got from selling back my books I was finally able to purchase my long awaited X-Arcade Joystick Unit. What's so damn special about this that it costs $150? Well it's made out of high quality parts. To be exact the same type of parts that most arcade cabinents have. Not only that it's a set of two on one base so you two can play. Along with that it's also capable to be opened up so that the buttons or joystick can be tweaked if you feel that the controls aren't too your liking. And finally, it's got a lifetime warranty on it. Pretty damn sweet if you ask me.

I ordered it two days ago and I expect it to get here some time during next week. I don't know if I'll use it very hardcore until I finish all my other games. Buying this stick was my reentrance back into my Tekken routine. Ever since I picked up Persona 2, game after game has showed up in my face to challenge me. I've been knocking them back like Russians take shots of Vodka(or some other dumb drinking metaphor) and I'm almost ready to get back into the Tekken world.

Once you've been playing a game that requires alot of dexterity and dead-on timing, you realize that most video games are easy. I've went on time and time before about predictability being your greatest enemy in Tekken. Well in most other video games, your opponents(most often AI controlled) live by it. It doesn't take long to figure it out and once you do their fate is sealed.

I think I've noticed most where my Tekken skills payed off was in Contra and Devil May Cry. In Contra pretty much the key to victory is, to quoth the G.I. Joe P.A. segments, knowing is half the battle which means just learning whatever pattern the game throws at you. The other half is doing what you need to do, while there are different ways to take out the enemy most the time there's some optimal strategy to do that. After playing so much Tekken, looking for patterns in the enemy attack has become second nature. Likewise, figuring out when a window of attack opens up in Tekken is also another skill that helped me get through the game.

With this in my mindset, I was able to finish the game within about a few days of playing it solid. Probably the toughest thing about the game is doing it perfect(which you have to do in order to get the elite S-Rank). Also, in Devil May Cry I realized about the same thing when it came to fighting bosses. Not that I didn't already know this before playing Tekken, I just gained a greater clarity about what I was doing. With this in mind, I was able to finish the Hard mode of Devil May Cry that had eluded me previously.

Fleeta Conn: 31337 h8x0r

So my mom is a phone hacker as it turns out. Or I guess the proper term would be phreaker(as it applies to phone, not computer networks). Anyway, I come back to my old home away from home: the room I use to call my room that has since changed into a shell of something it never was to begin with. I just finished unpacking my computer, PS2, clothes and all of that so I decide to fire up my PC and see if there was anyone online that was in town.

For a while I was having problems just getting my modem connected. My computer kept giving a no dial tone message. So hooked up my phone to the modem and sure enough no dial tone. I'm not going to go through all the details but I spent a while to try to test to see what was wrong. Finally, I just followed the wire that came from the small box with the phone jack along the wall up until I noticed it be severed at the top of the ceiling. I though that pretty funny so I asked my parents about it. What follow was all of us looking at it trying to figure out how it happened(since no one really goes in my room much at all). Even more funnier was that fack that there should have been some other phone line that used to be connected to it, which was no where to be found around here.

Well we never did find that other wire but somehow my mom remembers this other phone line jack. It had yet to be fitted into the wall so it was a small metal box with a phone jack on it and a wire that ran to the phone box outside. I'm not sure of the exact details but she had some how hooked up this jack into the phone box on the outside of the house and ran it in through the back wall of the house. This was about 2 years or so ago back when we had a 2nd phone line. I think the intention was to have that jack be installed into the other room adjacent from mine. So she pulls this thing out and run the wire up through the ceiling so that it drops down in my room(My ceiling is still kind of not finished for those wondering). That way I can take a phone line and hook it up to my modem.

So to sum up these past few big paragraphs, after a lot of headache I finally got a phone connection in my room and I start to dial up my ISP. Well I go upstairs while this is going on to grab a drink of water whilst this happens. On my way up I notice my mom's on the phone. I mention this to her. I went back down stairs to figure out what was going on. Like I thought, I'm online now. Somehow we got another phone line. After my mom get's off the phone we started to test this phone line out by me calling her and me doing the same. Sure enough we have another phone line, a working one at that. Funny thing was the # that shows up on our caller ID is some guy we've never heard of. I thought it was just a fuck up at the phone company and some how our disconnect line might have not been disconnected and our number was just showing up as some number that was since delisted. But that wasn't the truth; we decided to look the name up in the phone book and we found out this guy(and the number that was this line) was in the phonebook and his address was only a couple of houses down from ours.

Still thinking that this was probably just a disconnect number(since my mom mentioned that new people moved into that house not too long ago), I just went about my business not thinking anymore of it. That was until the next day the phone rang. I picked up and said "hello," on the other line I could hear two people having a conversation. Well it was just one person asking if someone was there and then hanging up. So apparently this line is actually their line and I've been using it all this time. I told my mom about it and she's been using it to spy on their conversations. Newt's actually called it (as I called him eariler with this line) and has gotten some guy tell him that there's no Shawn that lives at that house.

I don't know what to think about this at all. My mom and I both mentioned we should call the phone company or something. But we're both really lazy and don't care much either way. Besides, how else am I going to get a internet connection in my room(I'll give you one guess on how I'm posting this entry right now). I'm sure something will work out in the end. It almost always does anwyay....


[12/13/2002 10:09:39 AM | Shawn Conn]
I've done a little organizing to my blog. If you noticed the sidebar, you'll notice all the archive entries are gone. I removed the stupid auto archive feature since blogspot has been retarded for awhile and the archive feature didn't work at all. Actually, I think it's the amount of text that it took up for each page and it trying to upload it to my FTP server since everything seems to work fine now. As you can see, I've went about consoldating all my previous posts of this year in one big file. How many posts could I make in about a year? Well it was around 120 something. How much text was I able to generate in a year? I didn't run a word count but the file is about 800KB which is pretty damn big for text. Needless to say, if you want to look at the page it might take a bit of time depending on your connection.

I was inspired to do some working on my blog and webpages yesterday for no reason in particular. I think it was just because I was listening to music on my computer and I felt inspired to do something productive; it's a feeling I haven't felt much lately with the classes I've been taking at school. By tommorow though, it will be over for awhile. I can relax for a bit and think about what my plan of action will be next.

In other topics, I recently checked out this site. I don't know if it told me much, but it was interesting I suppose. The only problem I have with taking these types of personal ranking quizes is that the multiple choice answers always seem obvious to which way they're leaning so I usually see the result coming.

Politically, my views are pretty well centered I'd like to think. At one point I thought I was heavy right and another point heavy left in my life, eventually things kind of came to equilibrium and I kind of solidfied my views and came to an understanding at most issues. It was also at this point in my life I stopped caring about our political system. I was very interested in politics but once I realized how dumb political parties were and how money was more influential than most issues I found myself turned off by all politics.

Once I finished the quiz, like I thought, the results were pretty much what I though they would be:
1 notch to the right: This seems about right as compared to all my friends my views are less left than theirs seems to be.
4 notches down to libertarian: This comes to no surprise as me as well considering how important I consider freedom and how much I think a large bureaucratic government is worthless for providing what it's citizens.

Well I think it's about time I get ready to take my last final then leave for home. By the time you read this I'll probably be back in J-ville. See you guys later. Tah


[12/10/2002 1:11:13 PM | Shawn Conn]
No sense is perfect sense

I'm going to make it a note never to take a nap right after taking an exam. I was up pretty late Sunday night. It was around 3 a.m. if I remember correctly. Well I forgot that the time of the OS exam was at 10 a.m. so I got about 4 hours of sleep before I woke up to study for the exam. The exam wasn't too bad except for the final boss(recently Sam and I had a came to the idea that the last and hardest problem on the test should be called the 'final boss') that involved writing out a big function that was in our 7th project. I don't have a problem with writing code that much in exam, but I think writing out so much off the top of our heads is a bit silly.

Anyway when I went back home I went back to sleep about 3-4 hours where I dreamt of coding except the code kept constanly moving down this spiraling helix that surrounded me as I laid on back floating. It reminded me something out of Contra(which I have recently be playing alot of and just finished the final boss in that). After that I remember going to this tree house and thinking how much it reminded me of the Matrix which was funny because I don't see how treehouses having anything at all to do with the Matrix. This treehouse was huge, big enough to circle around the biggest of redwoods. It's entire shape consisted a square made of 4 long halls that surrounded the base of the tree. Some where in this place I encountered Will,Evan, and Alex who looked like they were dressed like Backstreet Boys on what looked to be a DDR(Dance Dance Revolution) dance floor. From what looked like, their dance moves were powering a device to run this movie that consisted of the infamous dirty dom having sex with cartoon character(a number of which appeared to be dead).

With my mind throughly baffled, I went into the nearby adjacent movie theater(I never did figure out the logistics of how they got it into a treehouse). On screen was a one of those mob dramas like Casino, Goodfellas, and so on except the characters were Kubrick, Speilburg, and E.T. at some point I stopped paying attention to the movie because I noticed down the aisle way Steven Speilburg was walking around greeting and chatting it up with other people. As he came my way I noticed in the seat before me he was talking to Emily(Summerfield) and he told her that he had something for to work on or something along those lines. She left the theater and Spielburg kept greeting other people. Once he got to my row he introduced himself except when I went to go shake his hand I noticed he was talking to the guy next to me. He totally dissed me and he told the guy right next to me that he had to talk to him about something. He got up and they both left the theater. As they walked out I remember that said "Fuck you Spielburg!" Shortly after that my dream faded out my realm of memory.

I'm not sure why I had this dream, but I do recall what have been in my mind that had caused all this. Some how I linked the final > Contra where I linked to Contra > an event a few weeks ago at Lenny's (on I think Monday night) where treehouse,Matrix, and Spielburg all had came up in conversations with Emily and Lenny that night. That's the best I could make sense at what just happened.

I've got more to say but I've been thinking lately I should space the content out of my posts since they tend to run on for a page or two at a time. I'll see you when I'll see ya...


[12/8/2002 2:25:29 AM | Shawn Conn]
It's been a slow posting month. I don't know why for sure, I guess I haven't really thought about much. Most my mind has been occupied by school stuff and video games. Way too much video games I think. Sam mentioned awhile back how he thinks that he's become a videogame junkie; I've probably been a bad influence on him with all the damn games I got. I really like games but when I notice that alot of my time is getting eat up I start to get a little uneasy and stuff. Luckily, I'm almost done with alot of my games so I won't have it interfering anymore. Also, the games that I'm playing right now(Contra and Devil May Cry) aren't the type that eats of hours and hours like RPGs do(I still have Suikoden III to play which I'm saving for the break).

At times I think that maybe I should try to cut back on my gaming(thinking that its deterimental, but then I think what I would be doing if I didn't have the game. Odds are I would likely be at my computer working on something or reading about something. When I think about that, I don't feel so bad. After all video gaming is my attempt at Zen. Life is hella complex. Video games on the other hand are simple to figure out. Life's alot better when it's not hella complex so I neatly swapped the two alot so that I simplify everything....

So back to non video game topics....
So tonight was the christmas party at Abrams/Aarons/Nates/Craigs apartment. It was fun for the most part; it was a nice laid back party. I didn't say or do much as I felt pretty out of it. It might of been the eggnog/brandi or apple cider/rum combo that did it. Hard alcohol just gives me a big headache, I don't think I'm going to lay off it for a while. I noticed at one point that I think Christmas music is really depressing. I'm not sure why. It doesn't really sound depressing and I don't think I've had depressing experience with Christmas and it's related music. I don't know how my brain linked the mood of being depressing and Christmas but some how it did.

It's funny how things become related in your brain. This was a topic that I was reminded of not too long ago in my databases class. For a change, we were discussing a interesting topic: Neural Networks. We talked about how you could develop algorithms that kind of functioned like the brain. You would have a series of inputs to a system and depending on the degree and what the input was it the algorithm would determine if it would fire to the next "neuron" in the network (in a similar way our brain creates synapses between our neurons). It was interesting to think how these things could be done with a computer. Unforunately, it was for stuff that was rather boring and mundane (i.e. finding patterns in databases, like determing whether a customer was going to action X or not).

Ironically, I think my best grade is going to be in my databases class which is pretty funny because I hate it so. Go figure. Life is pretty silly like that....


[12/2/2002 12:14:01 AM | Shawn Conn]
I live...again!

Time to start blogging again. I would say that I'm out of practice but it doesn't take much brain/will power to create some drivel that makes up a blog. Last time I left you, I was heading back to my home away from home away from home (I guess there's no way to express the infinite recursion that I'm thinking about so that's my atempt). It was much fun for the most part, the part that wasn't was only because it was filled with more tedium and less friends. I didn't get to see all the people I wanted to because I wasn't able to get a hold of them when I called. Either bad timing on my part or I didn't have everyone's numbers with me. Here's what happened...

Friday: Got back but I was able to get a hold of almost no one. I hung out with Will for a few hours. We decided to go to the big D where we ran into Steph and Craig we went to a coffee shop on Bardstown Road after which followed dinner at Rufad's with Coire, Claire, Shannon, Liz, Steph, Craig, Will and I. After that I went to Lenny and Mason's place to hang out for a bit til I got tired and went home. (1)

Saturday: Got the last package in GTA: Vice City giving me the ultra 1337 100% completed then I started Kingdom Hearts. Will gave me a ring We hung out for a bit and went to see "Forever Plaid" at Jeff High. I liked it much considering I usually dislike school plays. It certainly had it's moments. After the play, I was dropped off at home and then I went to Len's Kegger birthday party; much fun ensued. (2)

Sunday: ...rather tired from drinking and smoking. Stayed in for the most part and played Kingdom Hearts.

Monday: Lotta gaming, hung out with Len a long time at Jerry's, went back to his place to play Contra, Emily and Michelle showed up, Michelle left and the rest of us smoked alot of weed, I slept well.

Tuesday: Alot more gaming ensued, alot of people got back in town, went to Restaurant with Craig, Newt, Will, Evan, Claire, Shannon, Aaron, Brian, Steph, Coire, We went to Newt's afterward and played alot of loaded questions. (3)

Wednesday: I just sat around played Kingdom Hearts alot.

Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner with the family was pretty much what it always was. Later on in the day Steve called and I went over there; There ended up being a ton of people showing up, We went to RiverFree to see "The Ring" then went back to Steve's for the quite the uneventful 80's dance party at Steve's. (4)

Friday: Played some Kingdom Hearts, did a handful of errands for my parents, picked up Emily and went to Coire's Thanksgiving party, went to Craig's for poker even though I mostly just drank and talked to people. (5)

Saturday: Finished up Kingdom Hearts, Emily and Kim came over for a bit, tried to go to Victoria's party but ended up not going because I wasn't able to find it exactly, ended up spending alot of the night in the hot tub then going to bed. (6)

Sunday: The return to my other home: West Lafayette.

That was the outline of my weekend. The details are quite mundane and not worth the effort to go over them but I do have a few highlights I would like to note...

1: I ended up hanging out with Claire and Shannon for a long while that night. We talked about alot of things. One big thing that stuck out in my mind was a number of hypothetical questions I asked Claire just to have something to talk about. She liked them alot. She mentioned that I should write them down. With that still in mind, I'll do it the next time I post something.

2: Lots of good people I met over at Len's that night. Among the regulars over there(Hill Street Gang, Len, Mason, Nate) I also saw alot of people I hadn't seen in a while and didn't expect to see over there, many that I hadn't seen in forever( Jody Barnes, Billy McNichol(sp), Byron Gary, Scuzz, Riggle) .

3: Later on in the night a big discussion opened up about Newt's future about being here at Purdue. As it stands, Newt's accepted to IU and all that's stopping him from going is finding someone to pick up the rent here. While I rather still live with him, I do understand his situation; He's in the same position I was in 2 years ago as he's at a college where the focus of learning isn't geared toward his major( Me: Liberal Arts school with a science major, Him: Science/Engineering School with a Liberal Arts major).

As it stands, it doesn't look like living here is going to be as fun as it was. Jamie, in most likelihood, is going to be gone with work and Katie most of the time which is a pity since I really wanted to hang out with him more since I don't know him as well as Newt and Sam. Sam, who's a pretty good guy to live with, is probably going to occupied with Sandra who's coming to Purdue next semester. So as it stands, there will be nobody to hang out with at my place. That's one big reason I was hoping Sarah would pickup Newt's lease since she hasn't decide on what exactly to do next semester. More than likely, she isn't though for a number of reasons. One big one seems to be Sandra seems to be opposed to the idea of Sam living with another girl(as some other personal feelings against Sarah). And while I bet there are some other reasons than that for Sarah not coming here, I'm betting the big reason is because she doesn't want to end up having to deal with the friction between Sam and Sandra that would be caused with her living here. This has pissed me since Sandra is making decisions about our roommates when she has no right to be involved at all and it also means thats theres a big chance I'll be living with 2 people that are always occupied by their girlfriends and another person who won't exist or might be a jackoff(if Newt finds a random person to pickup his lease who's the same calibur of Jeff( Sam, Alex, and Jamie's summer roommate)). Most any of the likely scenarios is looking like major suckage for me.

4: "The Ring" was a pretty good horror movie for the most part but there were some things I didn't like about it: The begining was too much likely a campy slasher flick, the ending was dumb and didn't make much sense, there were parts that were really goofy that seemed more a appropriate in Nightmare on Elm Street than a authentic horror movie, and there were alot of explanations in the movie that were either somewhat contradictory or rather silly and not needed. Other than that, it was a fine piece of cinema

5: That night I think that I've reached a plateau of drinking experience. It seems like I've learned almost exactly how much it takes me to get drunk, how fast I can get drunk, how quickly I can burn off alcohol, when to stop before I reach hangover territory, as well as many other things. Unfortunately, it hasn't really helped my luck with the opposite sex though. I think I learned somewhat later that night after the party that I was going about pursuing what I want in someone else totally wrong. I'll leave the details at just that since I don't feel like talking about it.

*Emily and Kim are bonkers together, I don't understand them at all. I think they're in their own world when they're together

*Kingdom Hearts is pretty good game. While the story isn't much to talk about, it's more or less of an excuse to parade every Disney character in existence through a game, the gameplay is a good solid mix of action and RPG elements together. By looking at credits, it looks like Disney Interactive's hand in the game was minimal at best which is good since they probably don't know jack about good games. SquareSoft(who recently merged with another big Japanese RPG maker Enix) on the other hand has shown they still have quite the talent to make great games. I reccomend the game to anyone that hasn't ever played a console RPG and wants to start playing others( kids probably love the hell out of this game too but I wouldn't really know anything about that).

*I might inadvertently started a New Year's Eve party at my place since I mentioned a party in Kim's honor that I would throw. It was a pity that I didn't get to have anyone over during the break( I even intentionally cleaned up the hot tub for the express purpose of having others over) so this might make up for it assuming that my parents would allow it which probably won't happen.

That's about all I have for this time. Check back later when I'll be hotter than ever...


[11/20/2002 2:41:06 AM | Shawn Conn]
Sorry about the last post, I had alot of shit come down that day. It was mostly my own fault for having alot of expectations of stuff. I know better than that; you just end up dissappointed with expectations. I just have this issue with feeling lonely. I can't stand it at all but there's nothing I every do about it. I think there's just something wrong with me somehow. I can't ever find someone to fall in love with and even if I think I do find someone it usually ends up in disaster. It's either I really like them and they don't care about me or the other way around. It sucks either way: The first one there's nothing I can ever do to show them how I feel about them and I just feel like a failure, The second I'm just apathetic and I can't make myself come to like them even if I try.

It tears me up alot when I think about it. I don't like to think about it much, but every now and then it really hurts, especially when everyone else seems to have it easier. Oh well....

This will be my last post for a good week or so as this Friday I'll be back in Jeff. Those people who want to get ahold of me back home and contact me via the usually methods.

My posts lately have been sparse as I've had alot going on in my life right now. Video games and school stuff being the good majority of it. I've been playing through GTA: Vice City and if you're familar with it you'll know that it eats up MUCH time(and that still doesn't describe how much time it can take). But I've pretty much finished about a week ago. Unfortunately I didn't get 100% completed as there still is a hidden package that eludes me. I don't want to take up any more time talking about an already over-hyped game but here's my run down:

-The put in the bail out of moving vehicles feature I so hoped for in the last GTA
-The missions are more complex than the previous GTA
-About everything (content wise) has tripled from GTA
-The old school 80's music rocks

-A good number of annoying bugs( weapons sometimes don't fire, clipping issues)
-The Radio stations seem to lack the variety that GTA3 with only 4-5 different music genre
-Getting "busted" by the cops has reached a new level annoyance than it every was in the previous GTA
-The audio in the movies seems to be soo lower than it is in the game. It's really easy to miss all the dialogue since it's near immpossible to hear sometimes.

Bottom Line:
If you never played a GTA game, this is one to try. If you played GTA3 and loved it, you'll love GTA: Vice City even more.

Another Random Thought
If videogaming was a sport, which it isn't as sport in my mind implies athletic competition that involves your entire body(in the same sense I don't consider golf a sport either)) but if it was Aaron would be a good coach. It's not that he's super good(though he is pretty good) but rather he always has good insight at what's going on by just watching a game. I've noticed this as he watched me play Vice City( which was alot by the way).

Well, I should get to sleep as I've got class and lots of work before this week is over( 2 projects, 1 Quiz and 1 Test). I'll see you guys back at home or whenever I post next...

[11/15/2002 4:07:36 AM | Shawn Conn]
I probably wouldn't be doing a post this late but there's much in my mind. Well I guess not much but I feel like shit and I can't get to sleep so here I am writing at so early in the morning. I feel like shit because my heart is trying to hang on to something that I've wanted to let go of a long time ago. I don't understand people, how can someone still feel like they love someone when they know that they don't give a shit about them? Some of worst times I've had is when I can't understand my emotions like this. Like why is it I only feel love towards people that are either out of reach or don't care about me. It's really tough when you don't know how to show someone you care about them or even worse yet, you try and fail anyway.

I feel like a failure alot in that sense. I don't know what to do about it. I'm one part mad and one part depressed and lonely. I've came to the realization awhile back that no girls have shown up in my life in along time. Of course I'm not talking about them just showing up; I don't expect that to happen. But what I am talking about is finding someone I'm really interested in. Or at least someone that sparks some interest. That hasn't happen at all in year or so. I don't know why but the vast majority I meet I don't care about and those ones that I do I never see again when I finally realize that I'm interested in them.

I hate feeling this way because there's nothing I can do about it. I can't make people love me, I can't make myself those who care about me. Am I the problem or are they? These are the questions I ask myself alot when I lie there crying when I can't figure anything out. It never solves anything though. It's the same pointless cycle I go through. If I can't show some I much I care for them, why even bother at all? I just give up alot of times. It's really dishearting though. I just feel alot of emptiness and I just want to give up on everything. It's like someone trying to hug to make you feel better when it doesn't help at all. You just stand there while someone holds thinking that you can't feel anything but how shitty you feel.

I end up feeling that way alot toward that issue. I think it's something wrong with me. Not having love in you life really hurts alot. I don't feel like anything at all and I don't feel like I have a justification for being here. Add that to the fact that I know that I'm the only one causing those problems and it puts me in depression. Often times I think that people don't love each other when they say they do; they just love the things that the person does for them. That's my justification for trying to blow off this issue. It only works for so long though, not enough to make me feel better. *sigh* Someone should drop a piano, that way I would at least go out with style.

I think that's all I've got to say. Hopefully, I'll be back in cheery times.


[11/10/2002 12:19:49 AM | Shawn Conn]
Shawn Conn: good until I stop making sense since 1980

It's certainly been awhile since I last posted. Why I have I been gone so much? Against my better judgement(class wise anyway), I've got a ton of new games lately. 5 to be exact: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Devil May Cry, Contra: Shattered Soldier, Suikoden III, and Kingdom Hearts. Needless to say, all my free time is taken up playing video games. Even some my work time has been eaten up by video games. Too much for my own good. Luckily, it hasn't gotten to any sort of problem state but I do spend more time and effort in playing games than my class work. Not that I'm lazy though. Once I tell myself to get started on something and start to work at it, I'm a very dilligant(sp) worker. The problem is I always one to focus on one thing at a time. I like my life simple and to the point. I don't like jumbling a ton of things all at the same time during the day. I want to find one thing to do, do it well, get it out of the way, and move on to the next thing.

It feels like I've been slacking more on my classes than any other time and I think that's because of all the disappointing, boring, classes I have. I just don't have any initiative at all to learn stuff I'm not motivated toward. It's kind of sad but I'm not feeling sorry. I'm enjoying what I'm doing. At least right now anyway. When you're caught up with what you're doing in present it's hard to think much about the future. Actually I was thinking about what am I going to do with my life a couple years down the road not too long ago. I'm not certain about anything. Thinking about it just brought up the same worries I always have with things. I stopped thinking about all of this soon afterward as I realized that just thinking about stuff I don't know about or can't see ahead is just pointless. It just caused uneeded stress. Life causes uneeded stress too I guess, maybe that's the fun of it.

I made it a note to not try to sound profound when I'm writing because I think it comes off as stupid. I'm not really so sure myself because it's hard to tell when you read your own writing. Your perspective always different in some way from everyone else's.

On a unrelated topic, the weather sucks here. It feels like it doesn't know whether it wants to be hot or cold. Right now my window stays open through the night whilst I sleep since it never gets cold enough to matter in our place. I wouldn't mind it all if it wasn't for the fact that seemed a lot colder a week or so ago. Either it should be really cold or not. That's the way it should be.

Not that I really give a fuck though. I haven't really gave a fuck about anything in awhile. Maybe that's why I've been so content with things. Well, I guess there are some things that I feel that I'm lacking that I really would like but I think I've stopped caring about it. I don't ever feel like bitching about my concerns in my life because it just feels dumb. No one gives a shit about my problems so it would be silly to waste my time going on about them. Funny I should say I don't like talking about my concerns in something that its express purpose is that. Hmm...I suppose lately that it hasn't been much the case since I haven't had much to say lately but the point still holds somehow. Well I think so anyway...

My way of talking always has alot of uncertainity in it's tone: sometimes implied, sometimes directly. I've noticed that in my conversations with people that it makes them think much differently than if I say it with a direct tone. I only use a direct, certain, and confident tone every so often. I'm not so certain why but I think it's because I don't really try nor care to influence people's thinking in a way I see fit. I believe alot of times people are going to think whatever they want to so arguing is pointless. I'll do it when I think it's going to be fun( because I do think it's fun) but most any other time I just avoid it.

Avoiding it like trying to avoid a clever way to start a new topic. It's nice to have structure sometime but every now and then I realize alot of things have no definite shape, pattern, structure, or whatever to them so I just try to blank my mind out. It's hard to try to come up with universal laws or theorems about your life. I've tried to do it alot. I usually find out that there's always exceptions and shit. "Everything you know is wrong." That isn't one of them but if it was, it would be damn hard to apply because I'm sure it would come with alot of rules that would contradict other rules and in the end not make any sense altogether. That is what I feel like I'm doing now. Usually when I start typing, talking, communicating, etc, I feel like whomever is hearing me will never get anything what I'm talking about. I don't get myself half the time; I sure don't expect other too.


[11/2/2002 2:54:02 PM | Shawn Conn]
So what's today about? I guess not much of anything. Same old stuff really. I've been doing more partying and goofing off than I have been doing work for my classes lately. That's to be expected though because my classes are boring and much of a joke. I had the easiest lab yesterday. It took all of 20 minutes I think and it consist of some dude passing around the already filled out worksheet for the lab which he probably got from a friend who had already taken this class. I guess that's cheating and might have some ethical qualms about it if....

1> It was for a class that was related to my major
2> The lab wasn't a dumb assignment about Half-Life( Radioactive Decay...not the kickass video game) that I've done before in high school.

It probably wouldn't have taken that long to do it myself. The half life part was just easy calculation and the rest of the stuff could be found in our lab manual. Cheating is cheating however, but the way I look at it is, most people get the same grade in the lab assignment(almost always a 20/20 unless you did something really dumb) and that it doesn't hurt anyone else. I guess I'm not learning the material but considering how I have no desire or need to, I don't see the point.

Moving on to Other Topics...

I got stoned for Halloween. Katie, Sam and I were watching Exorcist when Craig came in asked us if we wanted to smoke. Katie and I accepted, but Sam declined as Sandra doesn't want him smoking pot. It was pretty good stuff. It was the same stuff Craig had bought a week ago when everybody came up here. On my list of drugs of choice I definately think that pot is number one. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. When we got back, Sam was near the end of the movie. Katie and I ,being in the stoned state of mind, were all kinds of giggly and stuff. I guess we ran Sam off since he left not too long afterwards. I don't blame him since it sucks being around people who are in a different state of mind than you are, but it was his choice not to smoke. Katie and I were on the couch for a while being all kinds of flirty and stuff. Pot always make me horny and stuff. It's such a great drug. what else is new? I guess not much. Most of my life has been consumed lately with class stuff and Persona 2. Classes are boring like usual. I'm making by though, I'll probably get some B's and C's it could probably be all B's and one A but my heart is just not in school anymore. Actually, I don't know where my heart has been lately. Mostly it's been aimless wandering. I'm trying to finish up Persona 2 soon as I'm about to get a shitload of games: GTA: Vice City, Devil May Cry, Contra: Shattered Solider, Suikoden 3, and Kingdom Hearts. I probably wouldn't have gotten Kingdom Hearts but Sam really wanted and offered to pay for half the cost so I figured a game for $25 was worth it(plus one of the games is free with the buy-two-get-one free deal). With all these games, I won't be able to keep up my Tekken skills. I haven't been playing much and I don't see it happening much for awhile. It's pretty pathetic; I was playing Alex earlier in the day and I had almost nothing against. My mind is a very focused thing, when it's wrapped around something it works very damn well. Unfortunately, it also means it sucks alot of other stuff when it's focused on just one thing. It's a pity, but I''ll pick it back up sooner or later. Probably later in the year when I get that nice joystick that I was hoping to get.

I feel stagnated(I hope that's word) right now. Not much is changing and it feels like my brain is on autopilot. That's when I'm just living,talking, breathing, and thinking without much purpose or reason. I'm just kind of doing whatever comes natural. Blindly going down whatever path is the most easiest. It's a easy trap to fall into and I don't want to stay in it long at all.

Well I think I should leave it at that. Anything else will just turn into pointless self-pity drivel. Maybe I'll return in a better state of mind soon....


[10/28/2002 12:11:45 AM | Shawn Conn]
I've just been a bad cliche lately. Or at least that's what I feel like sometimes when I'm talking to people. Alot times lately, it just doesn't feel like I'm talking as much as I'm reacting to what people say(The difference being that you think about what you're hearing and then respond when you're talking). Or maybe it's just that I just don't have anything clever or new to say. That happens alot for me. Most the time I just don't end up saying anything, but if I want to talk to people(as the case as been lately) it's pretty sucky. There's nothing worse than trying to force conversation or at least feeling like you're trying to force conversation.

So there were alot of people up here this weekend: Sandra, Ricky,Jon, Jimmy(Jon's Brother), and Sarah. Chad was also to come but I think some prior engagements got in the way of that. Since there were so many people here, naturally I didn't get almost any work done. I guess it wasn't too bad though because I had all kinds of fun. It just sucks with all kinds of distractions going on. Most of the time yesterday was spent hanging around doing some drinking, eating, playing alot of Puzzle Fighter, and smoking a little pot. I didn't really get high( a pity since it had been so long) but there was still much fun.

There's been alot of Super Puzzle Fighter II going on lately ever since Abrams brought it up that I had it. He and Landis played all the time a while back and had been looking for it for a while. I guess it was hard to find because I think it's out of print. I'm not sure on that fact, but I do know hearing alot about it and looking up prices on Ebay that were around $70. Last time I checked though it was around the $30 range so I figured there wasn't a problem anymore. Anyway, I hadn't played in a while and my skills are still top notch. I don't know if they were ever that good but they seem good enough to beat everyone around here. It's funny though because alot of time I'm not really making that much effort into the game but yet I can still come out on top. I guess it's the natural video game intuition I have.

I'm not trying to sound conceded but I think it's coming off that way. But I guess when everyone tells you that you have an ability in a certain area, you can't help but think it. I've been trying not to think it though just for the fact that it leads to expectations and it can also lead to overconfidence. Confidence is a good feeling but it's easy to get intoxicated by it. And like with other things, it's best to know where the mean lies between overconfidence and underconfidence. That way you'll reach your peak of performace between failure from not being sure that you can do it and failure because you try to act over the top.

When we playing Puzzle Fighter eariler in the day Aaron asked me why I bothered getting good at video games. He asked this because he said that I can never play with anyone because I'm better than all my friends(and thus they don't want to play with me). Though I didn't give an entire reply, I said that video games were my state of Zen. I've learned a while back that being good at something doesn't make you content, enjoying what you're doing does. Winning and being good at something can definately make you happy, but only to a certain extent.

You have to lose to win, otherwise you lose if you win all the time.

Or put in non abstract quasi-Zen sounding words: You learn can learn something from your defeat, if there is no defeat then you've reached your peak in learning and there nothing you can do to improve yourself anymore. It's the struggles in life that makes it fun, if you were able to reach that state where you could always win then life would be pretty boring. At least I think so. I can't imagine what else could there be.

IM chatting is like conversations, but stupid

I was talking to Kim the other day. I was responding to her reply that I was an ass which was based on some conversation that I had with Emily that I don't remember since I closed the window a couple times and all I got was a reply with Emily quoting Kim saying that I was an ass (can you say run on sentence?). Anyway, we had a little chat about it. She said something to the effect of "you at least act like an ass on AIM." I do say alot more vulgar things on AIM that I do in person. I'm not exactly sure why that is but my reasoning was "IM chatting is like conversations, but stupid." There are thousands more things going on in my mind when I'm talking on the computer (rather in person) and usually my mind is bored. Come to think of it, there are alot of actual conversations I have like that but there many more things involved in real conversation that can eat up my attention (their gestures, the enviroment, my actions, their body, my body, etc.).

Anyway, I just say what's ever pops into my mind and I put no real involvement or commitment behind what I say. Not to say I don't have serious IM conversations, it's just that I don't like to have them often just because I feel like it's something better done in person. The reason I do this is just because I don't feel that IMing someone is on the same degree of conversation. You can't talk to multiple people at once in the same group way, you don't take 4-5 seconds to reply, you usually don't think as much as you do in IMing (reading vs. hearing). Those are my biggest reasons for thinking that. In general, I just think IMing are hindered conversations. Not that they aren't fun, it's just they don't seem to have much effort and thought in them. I don't know if that made much sense but that's what I think. To degree, I guess blogs are the same way. I just try to keep mine above all the horrible drivel that I've seen before.

After thinking about that whole conversation about why IMing is dumb. I wondered about people's opinions of you online and in person as well. I know for a while I felt that I couldn't stand the thought of people disliking me. As I've gone on through my life I've cared less about opinions of others. Or at least in the sense that it effects my actions. People that are assholes to others is a neccessary evil I think. While being friendly and nice is good and fine, it makes things boring. I realized that without people that are inconsider of others in their actions the world would be a very boring place. With out opposing views and interest there's no conflict, resolve, or story to begin with.

Speaking of stories, I should end this here as I got to get on with my mine. Time halts for no one and thus I keep on going....later on.

[10/26/2002 2:56:34 PM | Shawn Conn]
I've lost the motivation to much of anything lately. I don't know why I'm so wore out but I am. I just want classes to be over with. Even though I am learning new stuff, all my classes feel like it's just the same old "memorize all the material then spit it out on the exam" process. Luckily, there's only 7 weeks left. I know this isn't the time to start slacking off but it's hard when none of your classes are anything interesting.

Aside from classes, I've lost motivation in all my other stuff I like to do. The only thing I do feel like doing is either talking with people or playing some video games, both of which I've done alot lately. I need to get out of this rut and get back to my class studies, projects, spare time writing, update the SBB site(the archived movies are going to be taken offline pretty soon and I've got to move them back to all the Purdue accounts, among other little side stuff I want to get done.

Speaking of stuff to get done, I'm probably going to change the service I use for this blog soon. If you didn't know, Blogger had recently been hacked into. It's pretty silly to think someone would waste their time trying to break into Blogger to steal people's account name's and passwords but someone did. I probably wouldn't care that much since my blogger account isn't much of anything, but I use my blog through my Purdue FTP account so that means someone that has access to my blogger account, could access my Purdue account. That's a BIG no no. Besides that, Blogger's service has been going down hill for awhile. The only thing I really needed blogger's service for is the convience of archiving. If you've noticed lately, that hasn't even been working. Alot of the features in blogger seem to be broken. I guess you get what you pay for. I imagine it probably works fine if you get the pay service but I'll be damned if I'm paying a monthly fee for that. I can always do it's not that much work.

Other than being lazy, I'm pretty lethargic too. Physically speaking that is. That's probably because all the drinking I did last night. It was a costume party. I didn't put much time into mine. I just grabbed my lab coat, gun, and that straw cowboy hat that I got from Nader a few months ago. The party was alright. I've come to realize that parties that have a huge number of people with loud music in a room aren't fun. The atmosphere is fun but trying to interact with people isn't. That's probably because I'm not the type to cause much attention to myself. Dancing can be fun when I'm in the mood but often it seems like there's no room at all to dance in.

Alot of the time at the party I would just go outside and talk to people out there since it's about the only place you could do it. It was fun for awhile but the conversations were the same old boring shit. Maybe I was just being too boring that night. I drank more in hopes that either I would start to find the conversations more interesting or that I would start to converse with just about any topic. Sadly, neither really happened. At some point, I met up with Nate, Abrams, and the rest of the gang who I went with. Nate mentioned how he was bored. It was then, now that I thought about it, I was too. I decided I should just go home and get some sleep. Thus I did.

Hmm...that's about all I think I have. I don't really have any interesting topics in mind. My brain is still kind of laggy today...Hopefully my next attempt will be much more interesting. 'Til next time...

[10/22/2002 10:16:12 PM | Shawn Conn]
I'd Rather Be Drinkin'...

I have got alot to do this week and on short term notice at that. I've got part of a project due tommorow(that I've only partial done). I've got a 3 page paper due Thursday that I just found out about tonight(that should be too bad since I can crank out pages of BS in writing in no in point...). I've got to reallocate all the SBB movies that were hosted off Purdue's server's and put them back on them(that means I need to find 3-5 people who's webspace I can use).I've got an exam to study for pretty soon. Finally I have some matter about next year's classes to deal with.

On that note, I met up with my advisor today. It took a while because her previous appointment was taking forever. I was in no big hurry so I just played around in the waiting room they now have where her secretary's office use to be. Here's what my classes are:

ECE472 - Artifical Intelligence
CS422 - Computer Networks
CS342 - Numeric Analysis
MA353 - Linear Algebra II

Good news is it didn't take so long, bad news is that I probably won't graduate by the end of the year. Of course this didn't really come to me as a surprise. I was pretty sure it was going to happen because my advisor has always been vague about how many credits I have and how many I don't have. But I'm not too worried about the whole ordeal. But this is going to be my last year here at Purdue. Once this year's over though, I'll probably have to find out someway to finish up the rest of my credits. My parents have already payed for 4 years of my college and I wouldn't expect them to pay anymore. Hell, I didn't expect them to pay for any of it. They have given me way much more than they should have.

I'm not too dissappointed with this setback; As my college life is coming to a close pretty soon I've began to see that my life has quickly headed down a path that might not be too content with. I've said before that the only reason I went in CS is because of games. As my college career went on, the more and more I've realized that this wasn't going to happen. Not because it's unrealistic but because I was going to accomplish it with just getting a CS major. The only thing somewhat related to games in my CS courses was a class about interactive 3D graphics, and I didn't even get to take that class because of shitty time conflicts.

Oh well, it's in the past and I'm not going to waste my time regretting it. I will have my degree soon enough, it's just matter of details. As soon as I work out all the details it will be done...

I once kept a diary, but after so often I figured out there's only so many ways to write 'I made some shoes today'....

I added some more blogs...keep on rockin' Go for Broke! al......blah

I'm kind of getting disjointed my thoughts here, let me think. Oh yeah here's something I wanted people to see. The article is only mildly interesting but the last quote at the bottom I think is worth mentioning. This guy as alot more insight about what's going on in our country than most people do that are in it right now. Patriotism is about loving your country and doing what's best for your country and your fellow citizens. Patriotism is not blowing up someone else's country under the guise of some sort of righteous about who's "evil" and who's not.

So much little time to do anything....
There's so much I want/need to get done but I can never focus. I've been playing alot of Persona 2 lately. I've been wanting to play it for a while, but I've just now started to get to it. So far, it's almost as good as the first but the translated dialogue wasn't as good as the first one was.

There are alot of games coming out. There are alot of games out now that I want to play. But alas I have no money. It's too bad though.

Right now I'm considering what I'm going to do after this year. I need to focus, get a job, make some cash to pay for whatever classes I'll need to do left. Once that's done, then what? Will it be career time? I would like to have a nice job like that at some point. With a Math/CS degree it shouldn't be too hard to get one either. Question is do I want to keep doing that. I think the answer is probably no. I'm thinking that I want to move away from here soon, just for the sake of being away. I want to take every thing I own ,box it up and store it away.

I quit Tae Kwon Do a bit back. Not because I wanted to but rather because of a money and time thing. I could have gotten the money from my parents but I don't think I would have felt right about it since they've already payed for so much. That was only a part of it. The biggest part was because I don't think I would have gotten as much time in it as I thought was going to happen. I felt like I was only doing things half way. Martial Arts just isn't about some fancy moves. It's about certain type of philosphy and certain way of life. As much as I wanted to be a part of it, I felt like I would only be doing it half time as I always have classes and my home life determining my habits.

I think it would be really awesome if I could give a year of what I was doing to focus on nothing but life as a martial artist. It probably wouldn't mean much money wise and in practicality I don't think it's possible but there's something to be said about focusing your life to only one goal. Maybe someday I can do that, but I dont' think it's going to happen at this time.

I guess I do have one focus right now though...and I think that's sleep...sleep well all....


[10/20/2002 11:41:47 PM | Shawn Conn]
Everynow and again it's interesting to browse through the web trackers I have on this site and the SBB site.

For the SBB site, it's interesting to see if there are any people out there who have posted links on their site about us. From the webtracker, there are about 180 something referers. I say around 75% of those are search engine and email links. About 10% is links that aren't really linked to us but get compiled in because it was last site the person was looking at. There are alot of random boxing sites in their so I guess that means there's a number of people who are really into boxing have us bookmarked. The other 15% I say are links that are websites that actually refer to us. Most of these sites are the kind of places that have a huge collection of weird random websites which I guess SBB fits nicely into since it's less about boxing and more about just a bunch of people getting together to act like their boxing (and drink of course). If you look at the referer % though, you'll notice the vast majority come from the URL "http://www.stevesbackyardboxing/" I'm not sure if this means that the majority of people get to our site by word alone or if the browser just didn't report the previous page viewed.

The other stats are also interesting to look at. Like looking at what domain names the last 20 vistors come from and what's the daily number of hits. SBB gets a wide variety of users from all over the globe. It use to be the majority of people came from .edu addresses(which were mostly our friends we told about the site), but I think that has since change from (unknown) or .com addresses. SBB gets about average 75-100 people a day. If you look at the site I think the average comes out to 75. It's on the low side because for about the first year of tracking the traffic was pretty low as it hadn't showed up in search engines yet. Occasionally it will get it's peaks(like when some big sites refer to us and we get 1000's of hits) but for the most part I think it's leveled off. I don't think it's possible to get any more traffic/day with out create alot more content. I guess I could always do more reviews of the fights but I only feel like doing one of those every so often. It's pretty tough to come up with something funny or clever to say. Especially when there are alot of boring fights. For the most part I think people just come there to the site to look at the movies and goof at us or whatever. I doubt there's going to be much in SBB's future. Speaking of which I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with the site when I graduate(i.e. my "free" webspace goes bye bye).

The webtracker for this blog is also kind of interesting, but for a little different reason. Most of the referer links are nothing since they are most either(other people's blogs) or just search engine links. The Search engine referer is interesting just for the sake of pure randomness. It's always funny to look at who typed what to get this blog. That covers a huge area since there's tons of differenent topics that I'm always talking about. The biggest by far though is "Corporal Dan." That's usually what the majority of random people that get to this site are searching for when they arrive. I'm glad I'm able to help in some way to keep those movies alive, because they're pretty damn funny.

The other info in the webtracker isn't really much to talk about though. I guess the hits/day is kind of interesting, but it's expected you're not going to get much traffic from a blog unless your famous or something like that I guess. Looking at the last 20 domain names, it's usually easy to tell who's looking at the site. For example...

19 Oct, Sat, 00:38:04 MSIE 5 Windows 98
19 Oct, Sat, 06:24:08 MSIE 6 Windows 2000
19 Oct, Sat, 12:43:15 MSIE 4 Macintosh
19 Oct, Sat, 14:12:31 MSIE 6 Windows 98
19 Oct, Sat, 15:26:56 MSIE 6 Windows XP
19 Oct, Sat, 20:41:16 Netscape 4 Windows 95
20 Oct, Sun, 00:14:07 Netscape 6 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 01:15:13 MSIE 5 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 01:16:49 MSIE 5 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 01:54:52 MSIE 5 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 02:27:14 MSIE 6 Windows XP
20 Oct, Sun, 06:43:22 MSIE 6 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 08:27:18 MSIE 5 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 11:45:17 MSIE 5 Windows 2000
20 Oct, Sun, 11:49:37 MSIE 5 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 14:53:13 MSIE 5 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 15:41:31 MSIE 5 Windows 98
20 Oct, Sun, 15:51:40 MSIE 5 Macintosh
20 Oct, Sun, 18:27:11 MSIE 6 Windows XP
20 Oct, Sun, 20:21:05 MSIE 5 Windows 98

From the get go, I'm guessing alot of the * domains are from people searching for stuff. I'm sure Will's probably clumped in their since I think he looks at the page as he's mentioned it a couple of times. For that matter I assume that "" and "" are also from search engines as I don't know anyone from Alaska or Japan. There's a good number of *, I'm going to guess a number of those are either the Mabes or Nate since they both have cable modems through Insight and they both have blogs that link to me. There's alot of * which I'm going to guess is either Emily, Kim, or maybe Melissa since they're the only people I know that still live in the dorms at IU(as their on the local network from the "dhcp" prefix and not dialup as a "ppp" prefix would probably say). And what's left...oh "" I'm going to guess that's Ted as he's the only guy I know with a Mac. Hmm...."" since that's the company that provides Cochran T1 lines for their apartments I'm guess that's either Newt or Alex as I know everyone else doesn't run MSIE 5 and Win2K.

There's all kinds of shit you can find out using a computer. Just ask Newt who not too long ago found all kinds of information about the guy who's still sharing his entire hard drive on the network.

...time for a new topic....

what should it be....

hmm....I'll go into narritive mode.

The Wonderful World of Shawn
So I'm sitting here in my room, again. It's 10pm, I should go to sleep or something. Actually just anything that's not sitting here at the damn computer. I've been on it for the most part since 1-2 pm finishing up my databases project. It was done for the most part. I'm not sure I got the last feature working in it but at this point I really didn't care. I hate the class and I hate debugging scripts for PL/SQL since there is no debugger at all or even a syntax checker. I'm a horrible a programmer, I keep reminding myself why I became a CS major in the first place. It certainly wasn't for databases, I know that much.

I looked at the calendar today, I think we have about 7 weeks left in this semester. That's usually how I can tell if I've been content with this weekend. If I'm noticing how long until the semester is over, I'm usually not enjoying it as much as I could have. It hasn't been bad, but it could have been better. I wanted to go home this weekend to meet a few people but that didn't happen. Not a big deal but I was still kind of disappointed...I guess it happens. There was a big kegger going Saturday, I didn't go because I forgot about it while I was playing Tekken. When I did remember about it, I was already pretty tired so I just sat down and started a game of Persona 2. I didn't do much Friday either, I think we went to Katie's to watch the Moth Man Prohiecies. It was well done horror movie. The cinematography was great and after having that big rant about horror movies not too long ago, I can't definately say this had stuff that horror movies should have in it. I wasn't really scared by it( there were a number of silly things in it) but I could have been if in the right state of mind.

I don't know what to do right now, I'm thinking I should just go to sleep soon. I'm not feeling all that great after wasting so much time on this annoying project.

I don't know why I haven't been content more lately. I want to say it's because I have no else in my life but I'm not going to let myself fall on such a cheap excuse. I feel crappy every time I think about the subject. I know that I'm too picky, I know that if I didn't have any standards or cared at all, I could find someone. But if I didn't really care about them in the first place, what would be the point. I keep trying to kill the voice in my head that keeps saying that but it won't go away. I know that's always a roadblock I find in my path to happiness, but there's nothing I can ever do about it. Life sucks like that sometimes. I never can find the motivation to pick me up out this state of mind. It's hard to when you're focusing on such narrow things that you can't remedy right away.

I think part of the problem is that whenever I'm not feeling lonely I don't care at all but when I do care there's nothing to be done. I think maybe I need to find a happy medium somewhere where I'm looking always to fix this problem. Is that what I mean? I don't know, but I do know there are a number of times in my life where I had I cared about what was going on at the time I could have saved myself a lot of heartache later on. *sigh* I think I'll just leave at that and see if my mind will provide me something happier to think about whilst I sleep...


[10/17/2002 1:03:17 PM | Shawn Conn]
How long does it to explain the concepts of topographical maps, Laditude, Longitude, other types of maps as well as their related coordinate systems? For my Geology it took almost 2 HOURS. We got there at 8:30 and the TA was lecturing for about 10:15 before he handed out the labs(on topographical maps of course) which took around 15 minutes to do. It was so bad. I sat there and zoned out for the whole time. I mean, it doesn't take that long to explain the concept of topographical maps. I think everyone by the time their collge has figured out how to read a map. All that's left is explaining the difference between regular maps and normal ones which is pretty self explanatory. I guess there were parts that we sort of funny though, like when the TA would ask brain-dead questions and no would answer because they were too tired and didn't care. I thought to myself how funny it would be if the rest of the class was just Zombies and they replied with "Brrraaaainnns..." and started heading toward the TA to eat his brains.

Now that I think about it though, that wasn't the class being funny. It was me. Of course you have to find zombies pretty funny to begin with. I find anything related to horror movie related creatures( zombies, werefolves, etc.) all to be pretty silly. Not really because they're silly but just because there's no horror to it all. In fact, most horror movies don't have any horror in them at all. It's a dumb name for all those genres with some creepy creature killing a bunch of people and only the protagonist can stop it(which BTW I think was half the episodes of the X-Files). What they should be called is "Lame action movie, with and even lamer villian."

I think I've mentioned this before in a rant about how Silent Hill owns Resident Evil( even though if they keep up the rate of sequels they're going to get to Resident Evil status in no time), but for the most part it's pretty tough to make people feel horror nowadays. I guess you can still do it with alot of gore but I think alot of people( I know I am) are pretty apathetic to everything but the goriest of sights. I guess the problem is how to make someone feel fear. I think the bottom line is the only true fear people have is of the unknown. If they don't know what it is they're dealing with, they're so way to rationalize what is going to happen next. The anticipation of what might happen activates what we call fear. Once you start making movies, books, games, etc based on the same formulamatic plots and mechanisms, it doesn't take too long for some to figure out the rest of the picture. The rest is not scary or fearful but bland in predicable. The problem is that's not unlike a game of Tekken, you always have to keep your self unpredicable and stay one step ahead of what your opponent is thinking. Of course the opponent not being an actual opponent but your viewer, reader, game player,etc.

A little food for thought there...speaking of which.

My eating habits have turned into what they were when I first went off to college at IU. That is very little and only when I started notice I'm hungry, which isn't often in a day. I've noticed my stomach capacity is also a little less than what it use to be as well. I guess now that I usually have to fix whatever I eat and we run out of food fast, I eat alot less. I don't really put much interest in eat. In other words, I eat to live instead of living to eat. When I do eat though, I like to eat things that are tasty. So I guess in that sense, I don't have good eatings habits but I think they're pretty decent myself. Hmm...speaking of which, I'm hungry...braaaaiiinnnss....


[10/16/2002 3:23:04 AM | Shawn Conn]
The Speed of Thought

I've have done alot of blogin' lately. It's probably because my mind feels like it's going twice as fast as my body is. I always hate that feeling. The worse is when I'm trying to play video games with cold hands. My hands are nearly as responsive as I want them to be. It's horrible. I feel that way now but it's because of different reasons. Mostly it's because of all the stuff going on in my life that I can slow down and handle one at a time. I hate having a life that's horribly complex and busy. Not that I don't like having something to do, I just want it to be simple so that I don't have to stress about too many things going on in my life.

Fuck Disney

So I keep hearing all this talk about how Kingdom Hearts is such a great game. For those who didn't know, Kingdom Hearts is a Disney/Square Soft(Makers of Final Fantasy, as well as billion other great RPGs)join venture game. It's a RPG that takes place in a world filled with famous Disney characters as well as some Square Soft characters. I don't know how I feel about this game though. Personally, I have a grudge against Disney. A while back Disney, along with a number of other media companys, were successful in lobbying a Copyright Extension Act. The only reason Disney did this was to make sure that Mickey Mouse stayed out of Public Domain as Steamboat Willie was a soon to enter the public domain.

I'm pretty apathetic toward alot of issues but this one just makes me mad because media companies have taken a somewhat useful concept and have bastardized it. When copyright was first introduced, it was made back in the day when author's could get ripped off when any person with a printing press and a copy of a book could start making copies and selling them. Copyright gave a author's a limited monopoly on their creative works so that they owned them temporarily that way their was inspiration to create new works. Even though I am for the most part against the "ownership" of ideas, I understand this and I think it's quite fair that some that works hard to create something should have a chance to profit from it. The problem is that media companies have kept lobbying congress and extending out the copyright length where it's pretty much indefinite now. It's now I think something like 75 years, and that's after the death of the author and who's to say that media companies(when the time comes that alot of their copyright materials is about to hit public domain) won't extend that?

Why is this bad? Here are just a few of my reasons.

A. We loose valuable parts of history: Because a company can sit on it's intellectual property that means no one can make the attempt to copy and distribute those older works that have long since been profitable. Companies have no insentive to republish the work since it's no longer profitable but they still hold on to the right because it's Intellectual Property to them. What that means: "We're going to sit on the idea. We're not going to produce it because it wouldn't be profitable to produce in mass and if anyone tries to produce it we're just going to sue them because we own it." As time goes on those older works that might otherwise be kept alive by people's passion about it are killed off by the threat of lawsuits.

B. Varying media have varying lifespans: 75 years might not be that bad for movies considering the cost involved. Books, TV, music might be a little much. And for new media like programs and video games it's just rediculious. Near no one plays(buys) games that are 20 years old or uses software that old. There are exceptions but considering the medium is much more volatile. Most discs(CDs,floppies, whatever) won't last half as long as a book will. The point is, like with point A, we're losing alot of things that could be kept alive by people but can't because companies would rather sit on their IP than make any attempt to distribute a work that's old and not profitable. I think a flat rate of length of copyright is just silly and not applicable to the less concrete, short lasting, media that's coming out today.

C. Copyright has now started to do the opposite of what it was intended to do: The idea of copyright was to promote the fluorishment of arts and sciences by giving people temporary ownership of ideas. With a copyright length of over 75 years, that does far from that. If a media corporation and just buy a huge catalog of music, movies, games, shows, etc. and just make money off royalites when it's used, republished, or whatever, where's the promotion of the fluorishment of arts and sciences. There is none because they become stagnent. Why risk money in creating new ventures when you can recycle the same old stuff and make profit? I think the biggest evidence of this the strict genrelization(I wonder if that's a wonder) of media that's out there. Why is it TV shows are broken up into the same News,Sitcoms,Dramas,whatever genres...I could go on with more examples but you get the idea. I'm not saying genres wouldn't exist if there was a much more limited copyright, but I definately think corporations would be spurred more to create new and different stuff, enough so that things would be so genrelized(ha, another word like that).

... I could go on but it's already has been said and done before....

Getting that dumb little rant about copyright out of the way,I"m getting back to what started this in the first place. I find something a little hypocritical about Disney. They do so much to extend it's copyrights and attack those who have created works similar to theirs but if it weren't for things like public domain alot of their movies would have no plot since most their movies are just based some sort of fairy tale/legend/fable/etc.

Wrapping Up
My last post was kind of down on myself. I don't know why so much. I wasn't really feeling depressed. I just have alot of stuff I feel that I should fix about myself I guess. It's hard sometimes. I'm always trying to validate my feelings. Like I need to know why I feeling something and I want others to confirm what I'm feeling is right. But life isn't like that in alot of areas. That's probably why I was saying the things I was and feeling the way I did.

It also of could have been all the stuff that I had ate right before bed as well. I think I'll make it a note not to eat much before I fall asleep. I didn't eat 'til late. I probably should have went to bed like I was considering but Sam mentioned that he was hungry and I was as well. So ate we did. When I went to sleep last night my dreams were pretty indicative of my feelings. Or at least I thought. I don't remember much( like usual) but the stuff that I do remember was:

Wandering a unknown field/countryside feels alot like a game. Nothing really appears definite there. It all seems to be randomly generated with out any reason at all. I remember at one point I did reach this hill and just sat there for a longest time. Alex showed up with some girl. He kept talking about how they just came from his place. I figured he had just banged her and was trying to get rid of her by dumping her off on me. At a point I thought why didn't they play Tekken 5 to past the time. I don't know why they would but it did cause me to think about Tekken 5. If my visions are anything to behold, Tekken 5 is alot like Tekken 4 except with HUGE FUCKING ROBOTS. Everyone has walking mechs in this new century of fighting and they pull off all their same moves except their in HUGE FUCKING ROBOTS.

As I stopped thinking about Tekken 5 I realized we were swimming. Me, Alex, the chick. We it wasn't so much us swimming as it was Alex and the chick on a raft and me looking out a window. The window, now that I think about it, looked alot like the window to Alex's old room at his dad's house. While I'm thinking about it, I think I just had my clothes on as did Alex and the chick I think was in her underwear. They floated by me and he asked me if I wanted to bang her. "Sounds fun," I said. She said something to the effect "I'm horny." I asked her how about it then. She pulled up right next to me and looked me into the face. She told me that she had heard what I did in High School and she didn't think so. I was baffled at what that statement meant. It was too long afterward, I woke.

I wish I understood myself alot better. Maybe I shouldn't try to understand myself. Maybe I don't make any sense at all. Those last few paragraphs sure as hell didn't make any sense. Maybe I should leave on that note...Maybe I will. Yeah, I will.....


[10/15/2002 1:38:07 AM | Shawn Conn]
Man, that last post was horrible. I shouldn't post when I'm half alseep/drunk/whatever. Half assed is what it is. I'm almost done with my Databases project and I've got an OS lab pretty soon. I got a 97 on my Databases exam so I think I shouldn't have too much to worry about in the class. I've been pretty busy with school stuff as of late. I haven't been able to get much Tekken in at all. I played Sam and Abrams not too long ago, I won all the matches but that's not really saying much of anything. I want to really find people who are better than me so I can learn from them. The closest person to my skill level is Alex. We're about even. On a long enough playtime though, I usually edge him out. It really depends on who's more in step that day and who's been playing more lately. I don't care much for getting stuff for Christmas, but if my family wants to get me something I'll probably suggest this arcade stick. It's made of parts that are used in arcade cabinets so it should be perfect to work with. The other joystick I got is alright but it's kind of shoddy in some areas. It never feels right compared to playing in the arcade so hopefully this will be a good replacement.

I might be going home this weekend for the first time in a while. I say might because I'm not sure of the logistics. The big reason I want to go back is because Steve's coming to town. I haven't seen him in forever as well. The only thing is all the people going down there are going to some other party saturday near Cincinatti. I would like to see Steve and other people but I don't really know if I want to go to this party. I'm sure that it would be fun, but I don't really want to spend that much time on the road just for a party. I dunno, I'll see my upcoming options and see if anything works out.

I was wondering today what other people thought of me as a person. For a while I think my self confidence has been pretty high. I've certainly haven't been stuck in self pity or anything like that. Sometimes I think that it's all lies though. What I mean is that I just lie to myself to keep my confidence high. I've never really seen why anyone would be interested in me has a person, a friend, a significant other, fuck buddy, or anything else that's coming to my mind right now.

The weather's really starting to get nice and cold. I like the cold, I figured out one the reasons the other day. It's a much more versatile state for me. When I'm cold I feel alive and feel like doing stuff( I guess it's my body's way of keeping itself warm). Also when you're cold, it's alot easier to go from cold to warm than vice versa. I love the smell of cold air. I don't know what it is exactly I'm smell but I always smell a certain thing when I walk into cold air.

Come to think about it, my personality is pretty cold at that. At least when it comes to dealing with other people sometimes. I don't try to do it intentionally, it just kind of happens. I'm not overly friendly with out reason as well as I'm not very touchy, feely, or flirty for that matter. I don't know why, maybe it's the same way I deal with love. I think some where in my mind, if I don't do something important I don't deserve love, respect or anything from someone. I was thinking about hard it's been for me to find someone. I've had plenty of chances but all of those had been people mostly attracted to me. Somehow, I think that I've got to do something to earn someone's love. If they just like me already, there's no challenge and it's not valid. I've noticed this toward the affection I show toward my family as well. For the most part, I don't understand how my family can unconditonally love me. I haven't done anything at all except been a burden. I feel somehow like this love is perfunctory and not real. I don't know why I feel this, but I know for some reason I do.

I don't like to think about this stuff often because it sometime saddens me. I think just thinking about it is probably what makes me depressed alot of times. I notice that alot of times I'll look at people, things, or anything in general that can be considered happy and just sometimes feel a little down because I dont' feel that way or I feel like I'm missing something. I don't know if I'm missing anything right now, but I feel it sometimes really badly.

I don't think I've mentioned this before but a whole number of girls that have showed in my life that I've gone crazy for or felt like it would be nice to be with have had their names end in a long e sound. Shelly,Cindy,Amy, Emily, Stacey are just a couple off my mind. I could think of a few more if I tried but I don't feel up to the challenge. I wonder if that's any of my doing. Is it just that I like the names or just a weird coincidence. Who knows? I don't understand myself. The funny thing is even when I find someone I really like I don't do much about it. Maybe it's because I don't really think about it much until I'm by myself and I start to think about how nice it would be if I had someone else with me.

*sigh* I wish I understood myself more....Funny that I'm writing this in "Who is..." Half the time, I don't know who I am myself. Internally, I'm a mess and I don't think I'll ever figure myself out. Well that's enough self-introspection for one night. I'm going to move on to some other plains well.


[10/13/2002 2:42:02 AM | Shawn Conn]
Don't let anyone tell you different. Just because you had some alcohol in you it doesn't mean you reaction time has been compromised. There's definately more to than that. From my experience, it's definately more of a curve. You reaction time and hand-eye coordination in general increases to a point after you've drank so much. But once you've reached that peak, it's all down hill from there. The trick is to know where your peak is at. I'm not certain where mine is exactly at but I have a rough idea. I definately know I was past it when I came home tonight. Knowing where your peak is at is knowing where your mind and body are both operating at the same speed. I could definately tell by playing some Tekken 4 that my mind was much faster than my body at that point. Needless to say, I didn't play Tekken 4 much longer than that.

I woke up today and all I did was my project. It's pretty boring and not worth mentioning at all. I hate databases. It's sooo boring. It's the Economics field of CS. I can't imagine anyone who would be excited by them except maybe zombie who want delicious brrraaaainnns or maybe robots.

I went to Hot or last night. I don't know what spurred that, I guess I must have been bored and looking for something to past the time. I noticed that most the time you can guess the rating of each of the girls. Alot of the time I ranked them 2 points or so below what I thought they ranked just because I didn't like looking at stereotypically hot people. Hmm, I thought I had more a point to make here but I've seem to have lost track of much thinking today.

Here's something that's cool. In Chrono Trigger, the game has about 50 some odd different characters. Each with a different manner/accent of speaking. To show this, in the game they had algorithm go through the text and translate it to whatever dialect the person was speaking. For example is it was a german accent all the "the" would be changed to "ze." It was quite a clever use of dialects in a video game if I say so.

I don't know why lately but Zombies have been a funny topic for today. Not just any zombies, like Rob or White, but the brain-eating kind. There's just something so goddamn funny about undead people who eat brains. Maybe I've gone too long without a break. Who knows. Anyway, regardlesss I told Newt that he should watch out for zombies in his speech class when he give his speech because you never know when zombies might show up to attack him.

I've recently started pulling a Newt and wasting alot of time on AIM. Just IMing people with alot of silly dumb things. I've been pretty giddy. School is getting to me. I need to wake up and chill out. I'll get back to some thing more coherent to say in a bit.....


[10/10/2002 10:59:41 PM | Shawn Conn]
A wise man one said "I don't give a fuck holmes." That can't ring with anymore more truth and clarity that it does now. It defines a state, mood, or rather a state of being that expresses contentness with life. Maybe not contentness(because I'm not sure that's even a word) but maybe more along the lines of...a certain kind of apathy. Not the pansy ass depressive, whiny, I don't care about life, I want to die apathy but more along the lines of I'll take what the dice rolls me and me and whatever happens happens kind of apathy. I don't know if there are two adjectives that immediately decribe those different states of apathy, but there should be some if they don't exist. One is definately alot better than the other...I'll leave you to choose your prefered state but I know I have mine.

You know a test is easy when you have more than enough time to think about something else while you're doing the test. That's how my databases class was. It's amazing how much little content was in that exam. The majority of the time was spent drawing out dumb diagrams, tables, and writing out code. It hurt my hand. I dont' like my hand hurting. It was most displeasant.

I was getting to some kind of point but I lost somewhere down the line....anyway, to sum up databases suck.

It's seems like no one fucking updates there their blog in forever. Newt and Nugget, I think maybe Nate...all N's eh....have done some lately. I think Ted has too but they're

too short










I should email ted and tell him he's no longer in highschol so he doesn't have to make his work longer than it seems. Not that I mean blogging is work, but it's well I dunno.

I like reading all the criticisizm I hear about blogs because it's funny and true. Truth is blogs are nothing different than stupid personal homepages of the past, or present I suppose. It feels like it's all old school now since I've been use to having the Internet for a while. I remember when it was all new and cool and it was so exciting to chat with people online, get email, and go to webpages. Now most the email gotten is people asking redundant question about boxing ("Dude when's the next Boxing?" ----*sigh* Dude, read the webpage!), crap email, or maybe stuff related to school, rarely anything good. IMing is fun every now and then, but he seems like the most time everyone's fucking away with their stupid, stupid, away messages. I spend more god damn time reading them then talking to people. And all the websites out there are's about the same but video gaming news seems kind of shitty. Maybe I dont' go to the right sites. I dunno, whatever.

On the blogside, blogsphere, blogscope, or whatever dumb thing you want to think of. It's been kind of ...mmm...I dunno. It's been a little sour. Maybe because I'm not hearing enough different topics. One thing I'm sure as hell sick of reading about is people talking about wanting another person in their lives. "Losers whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen." ...Oh where did that come from...I just remembered that quote from the Rock. I saw again about half a year ago. It was alot more cheesy than I remembered it. It was a fun movie, and very cheesy. Anyway, the point is people should stop fucking whining about it and do something about it. That's what I've tried to do lately. Well at least I've stopped talking about what I need to do because I know what I need to do. Doing it is well I dunno. Anyway, I've fairly happy and those times when I'm not that happy I bounce back pretty quickly.

My dreams as of late have been pretty fun. There have been quite a few fun sex dreams and some silly off the wall dreams. The other night I dreamt about Craig, Newt, and I getting to ride the space shuttle. I'm not sure how exactly happened but Craig said he got the "hookup" from his parents or something. Once we got to space, all we did was smoke weed. I also remember Newt get disappearing and reappearing. Everytime he showed up again, he would have a different video game console that he found. It was some weird stuff....

Hmm...I seem to recall having more to talk about, but I've lost my train of thought. I suppose it could be the wine I'm drinking or maybe I just want to do something else now. So now is the time to go. 'til next time. Be well


[10/9/2002 2:00:56 PM | Shawn Conn]
In case you forgot, it's still a new century of fighting and it still will be for another 98 years
I meant to mention a while back the Tekken 4 Official Ranking Page that's out there on Namco's site. When you beat the time attack, survival, training, or force modes, you can get a password that lets you compare your scores with other people's. Currently, last I checked, I'm still in the top 10 King Time Attack players. I felt pretty good about that. Not that it means much since only real Tekken skill can be gauged against another human player but it's still pretty cool. It's a pity there are a number of scores on there that are obviously hacked. The #1 Jin ranking for Time Attack is around 50 seconds which is bullshit. There are 8 rounds with at least 2 battles 50/16 is a little more than 3 seconds a round. There's no way 140 damage( or whatever it's set to on VS CPU) can be dealt by Jin that quickly. His most damaging attack is his 100 damage unblockable attack and that takes about a second or two to pull off. Unless that guy some how got counterhit unblockable attacks every round as soon as the match started(which I find hard to believe) there is no way in hell he beat it in 50 seconds.

This weekend was really shitty for me. All I did was work on a stupid project that still didn't get done. Combine that with the fact no one was here during the weekend because it was a 4 day weekend and things just got really depressing. Things a little worse later on Monday and Tuesday. I was pretty down and felt horrible. I'm not going to spend that much time analyzing it here though because:

I've made it a point not to post crappy depressive entries anymore,
The trigger that caused me to feel worse was silly and dumb,

I've gotten really sick of analyzing my feelings because it usually always relates to the same stuff. Usually it's something related to loneliness more or less. I've already mentioned everything that I have thought about the issue and there's not much more to say about it. The problem comes where I have to do something about it.

Anywho, after being very down for a quite a while I started to think about trying to make others happy and looking to others to make me happy. I don't do a very good job at the first one, or at least when I make a conscious attempt at. Usually when I try to make someone else happy, I fail and think too much about why it didn't work or something. On a similar note, when I try to look to others to make me happy it usually fails too. Or at least it does when I think too much, which I see is a reoccuring problem here.

The problem comes in when you try to think about too many things at once. The big picture of things overwhelms you and you fly out of focus on the details. It's the details of life that make it important. I've always related memory and your current scope of thinking kind of like this: Imagine a sphere with you inside of it. Close to the center of that sphere is everything that's currently on your mind and that your focused on. As you get farther out, less relevant, but still remembered topics are flying around your sphere of thought. People's sphere size tend to be about as big as their memory allows them to be. The larger, better the memory, the larger the sphere is for ideas to remain in it before it reaches the bounds and moves out of your sphere of thought. There's always a traffic of thoughts coming in and out, how close they stay to you is dependant on how you consciously think about it. Sometimes things move into your sphere of thought that you wish them not to be there but you have no choice in the matter. They're there and you have to deal with them. People will still be selective though, pushing the stuff the stuff they don't want to think about away from the center and pulling stuff they do want to think about in toward the center.

When you think about this model and conversation dynamics, things get kind of interesting. People exchanging information back and worth sends thing into each person sphere. It's interesting to see what people do with this new thought. Will they pull it in closer or throw it out? Usually if they pull it in somewhat closer they look at it close toward the center and modify it and send it back. If they don't like the topic, don't care, or not even thinking about it, it usually just get pushed out pretty soon and they just fire back at a person something that they have near the center of their sphere of thought. It's some times hard to tell whats going on though just by looking at a conversation. People like to deceive others sometimes in that they act like listening or attentive when actually there just looking at something else in their sphere thought while that persons topic just goes right through their sphere.

People are tricky like that sometimes...I don't understand them.

My sphere of thought is too big though. I have too much in my mind alot of times. I really think the smaller your sphere the more happy you are. There are times when it can cause you problems when you have to do critical thinking. But outside of that and just thinking about your comforts a person, it helps alot more just to have a very small sphere. I like how drugs can alter your sphere. Pot decreases my sphere pretty small. Alcohol does too, usually alot more than pot but with pot it makes everything nice and fluffy.

I wish I had some pot with me...*sigh* Anyway, its time for class


[10/6/2002 8:24:29 PM | Shawn Conn]

I wish I had more things to talk about but lately my life is been pretty uninteresting, doing projects, homework and Tekken. That's about it. I just recently went through my desk and cleaned out some old things I didn't want anymore. Most of them were alot of notepads. I usually have a couple because for some reason or another my family thinks I need them because they're always getting me some. I dunno. I use them alot to write down various things. I went through them before I threw most of them out today. Alot of pages were notes on stuff about videogames, psuedo code for projects, things to implement for the website, pages to be updated, phone numbers, stats, outlines for paper that I've done long ago, and all kinds of other things.

Keep Reading If You Enjoy Tekken Topic
That's about all I have for non Tekken related topics...

Speaking of Tekken, here's a little bit of knowledge for ya. Tekken means fist in Japanese, or to be more literal its "Hand-Fist" as "Te" is hand and "Ken" is fist. It's kind of cool as the word "Ken" is more like a more abstract thing then what fist means in English. It's abstracted to where fist is some thing that's clenched together.

Yesterday my Tekken 4 data got corrupted. I assume it happened because some turned off the PS2 as it was saving(which is what causes the corruption). This also happened a few times in the Tekken Tag save files. Namco tried to eliminate this problem by having a prompt pop up when it saves so that you not to turn it off. But alas it doesn't prevent some from being careless. It's not too big of a deal, it was kind of annoying to have to beat again 19 times to unlock everyone but I was able to get back everything pretty quick. I even beat my previous high scores, something that happened the last time I lost my Tekken Tag data.

There's only one thing that baffles me about Namco save files. How the hell does TTT save data take 400+KB and a Tekken 4 save data only take around a 1/10 of that especially when Tekken 4 saves so much more data(not only unlocked characters but also 20 high score tables for 4 game modes as well as character usage).

My Tekken 4 skillz are pretty decent now I'd like to think. I'm familar with most everyone's moves, The CPU is a joke most of the time, I can pull some decent juggles with Heihachi and Lee, I've gotten most Lee's JF moves down, and I think I'm pretty good at guarding attacks. I notice alot of times I block moves without even thinking about it; they just kind of happen as a reaction. The best defense is good offense, especially since Tekken 4 matches can be over pretty quickly. I've noticed everyone else has taken to my terminology and language when playing the game. I'm not one of those people that have a certain way of talking that people like to emulate( like Craaaaig Draaaaaw out voooowels) but when it comes to playing video games around me it's a different story. I guess it's because that I'm alot more vocal when I'm gaming than in other stuff.

The weather has finally gotten better, I think the hot sticky summer days is pretty much over now. It's been rainy and pretty cool lately. I like fall weather as it's a prelude to winter which I usually enjoy the most. When I think of some my best memories, I think they seem to always happen in a wintery enviroment. I don't know why, just something about the weather makes me feel good.

Since I lately haven't been posting any MP3's I've decided to offer 2. One is the Opening Theme to Tekken 2(which is the best on my scale), and King's stage. These are from Tekken 2's soundtrack. After talking and consulting with alot of people in various forums I think the general consensus(combined with my own) that the ranking of Tekken soundtracks are as followed:

Tekken 2
Tekken Tag
Tekken 3
Tekken 4

Actually, I shouldn't put Tekken's sountrack where it is right now but I don't remember it that much where it was at. But I think that most people agree that Tag and 3 have enough great songs that put it past Tekken's. Tekken 2 has been the top listed on the majority of people's lists I've seen. After thinking about this, I think I would have to agree. If not for the great number of great songs, but for it's diversity in songs that fit the fighting enviroment and character that fights there. And yet for all those different styles, many still have that certain something about them that make you want to fight.

The change from Tekken 2 to Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag were also pretty good. I like Tekken Tag's alot, it has just about as much variety as 2 with as one person said a certain cinematicness to it. 3 is pretty good, but there are a number of tracks on there that feel too repetitive. From everyone I talked to Tekken 4 has the worst soundtrack in the series. For the most it's because either:

a> The music is really mellow and not something you want to fight to.
b> Just a bunch of a ambient tones with very little rhythm or anything.

There are some good songs on the Tekken 4 soundtrack but alot of them are mediocre to crap. I do like the music that plays during the Hon-Maru stage as well as the Statue stage music but it should be noted the music that plays during the Statue stage is the arcade mixes from the Tekken 2 soundtrack. I remember Namco making a big deal about the story and cinematicness of Tekken 4 when it came out(saying that they hired a screenwriter and such). But for all that talk the story seems a bit thin as well as the music and the movies too boot. Not that I'm dissing the movies because I really like them, but if you take a notice at the quality of the opening movie compared with the endings you'll see what I mean. They could have done alot in the time from arcade > home console, it just looks like they did some slacking to me.

I still think the game rules, but that's just some constructive critcism I'm throwing Namco's way.


[10/4/2002 3:57:39 AM | Shawn Conn]
31337 h8x0r
So I did some hacking the other day. That is I was playing around on our local network here at the apartment; I was browsing every computer on the domain, seeing if anyone had anycool stuff shared. I didn't find any cool stuff, but I did find someone however that was sharing the entire contents of his hard drive. I found some dude who was doing the same thing before last year at Hawkins. I played around and found some interesting stuff in his outlook express folder as well as other places: Passwords, Emails, ICQ conversation, etc. I didn't do anything with it but it was cool that I know that I can.

Anyway, I was playing around and I grabbed a file to copy it but I accidently released the button and moved it to another directory. It was then I realized I had FULL permission to do whatever I wanted on his hard drive. I'm not a mean person at heart so all I did was go to the directory for the Windows Desktop and put a little message on there saying that he should change his desktop permission. It was kind of like putting a note on his virtual desk. I went back later on in the night to see if the guy had did anything to change it. I did notice the message was no longer there. Aaron was on at the time and I figured being the computer savvy person that he is, he would like to hear about this. I told him about it and he immediately when searching for the guy on the domain. He found the guy and starting putting "presents" on his desktop and virtually every other directory he could think of. They were a copy of some clip from G4, the video game channel that everyone upstairs is always watching.

Anyway, I didn't do much else. I looked around a bit, tried to figure out what dumbass version of Windows let this guy share his whole hard drive. As far as I could tell it was either Win2K/XP from all the different user folders, but I wasn't sure. I figured Microsoft had at least fixed some security holes that they've had with previous versions of Windows but who knows. It could have just been something dumb the guy did. Last I checked though, his computer wasn't still on the network so maybe he fixed it...

My Tekken Is Still Strong
My study skillz have been better though. I'm still doing all my work and stuff, but it's so boring and I really don't care at all. Well, I guess the OS class isn't that bad it's some interesting stuff, but everything else is pretty dull.

I meant to do some more work on my project, but I got distracted by Sam playing Tekken. I jumped in and played him for a while, then Newt played after Sam and Newt were tired of losing to me, Jaime jumped in for a bit, Craig stopped by for a beer and played a couple of rounds, Newt got back and played Sam until about 1. It was a good 3 hours I think of Tekken.

As far as working on my skillz, I've pretty much got most of everyone's moves solid. Steve's fun, he doesn't have much range compared to people's kicks but he has alot of counter stun moves and if you're close in with him he can annihilate you pretty quickly. Jin is fucking deadly, it's no wonder he ranked as the top tier character. All his moves kick so much ass. Craig is fun too, the Vale Tudo stance and tackle add a little more to the Tekken strategy. I know alot of people can see why I play Tekken so much and wonder how it can still be exciting.

It's all about how you look at the game I guess. Just looking at it as a fighting game, and everything that every other fighting game is, it's not exciting at all. It's just people moving around attacking each other alot. It's when you're start learning how the game controls, how to move, what the person is doing, and basically the strategy behind it, that's when things get interesting. If you approach it from that angle, it's a very indepth game. Still I know alot of people won't understand, but I enjoy the game lots and I love telling other people about it as well as meeting other people who are into it.

After playing it for awhile I still only have two big problems with the game: The AI and music. The AI sucks, and always has sucked, it's much more fun to fight people than the computer anytime. The latest build of the AI in T4 is some what smarter than it was in TTT which is kind of good but it's always annoying in some areas. Probably the biggest is how the difficultly is so obviously rubber banded. You lose 2 matches, the AI will fall for all kinds of stuff. You win 2 matches and the AI will annihilate you with it's psyic poking abilities. It's so stupid, I know it's there to expand gameplay time but all it's does is annoy me. The difficultly should be explicitly set by the user, maybe for other games it works but fighting games are games of skill. People have varying levels and if they set it to medium, that want to play on that level damn it! Maybe I'm not use to the computer strategy but it's damn annoying to fucking annihilate the computer 2 rounds then they poke everything I do. It feels less like I'm fighting and more like I'm playing against an algorithm that's calculating which move will beat me to the punch.

The other annoying this is the music. It's pretty mediocre. There are one or two songs that are cool. Some are ok. And alot are down right crappy. I think the worst is the Laboratory stage. Not only is the music non-existance(a bunch of abient noise), the reverb level in the stage is at annoying levels. I'm all for reverb making it sound cool; the underground and parking garage are good at it. But the Laboratory stage is dog shit, with next worst in line being the beach( the stage is cool, the music is booty).

The game is alot more faster too than previous Tekkens. Since they've done away with backflips for some character(which I miss alot) and back jump, pulling away from your opponent doesn't happen very fast. Thus it's you two very close alot of times. I kind of miss long epic battles in Tekken. It would be nice if the enviroments were bigger or multileveled more or something. Most of the whole strategy of using the enviroment means backing your opponent in close and pumeling them as they get wall stunned. It would be nice to run about and find higher places to fight or something. I dunno, maybe I'm just talking out my ass. Part of thing is it doesn't seem like you're fighting in area because you're always locked into facing your opponent which good because other wise it would be much more tough to hit people. It would be nice though to have a button so that you could "free move" around the area. That way if you didn't like were you were at you could just run to some where else you wanted to fight. Then again it would encourage alot of running and thus not fighting.

Either way, it's still a damn fun game.

That's all I got though. For now I need to rest so I can wake up tommorow to do more work and hope for some more Tekken later on. Ciao!


[9/29/2002 8:39:56 PM | Shawn Conn]
Bloggin' Away

So I'm back to do some quick bloggin' while I wait for my program so I can do my databases project. I should have done it eariler, but the case being is that I've been way too lazy for my own good. When I think about it, there are probably 2 reasons why: Tekken and living in the apartment. Back when I lived with Alex, we would do some stuff together but eventually we would have nothing more to say and went to whatever was needed to be done. Now that I live with like 3 other people plus all the other people I know in this apartment complex, distractions just keep on coming.

Not that I'm too worried about it, my grades might suffer a little but I'm not to worried about GPA anymore. I just hope I graduate by the end of the next semester, which I'm not really sure that I am. I guess we'll have to see.

The other reason is Tekken of course. I've been playing in pretty steadily; there are alot of new things to learn in it. I've already have an idea of what I'm going to do to work on my Tekken skillz.

1. Familarize myself with all the new moves: Alot of people think that winning fighting games is about knowing all the moves. It isn't though, it's knowing when and how to use the moves and not abusing certain moves too much. You have to keep cycling around the stuff you use otherwise you get predictible. Once you're predictible, you're not much harder than fighting the CPU. Once I'm familar with all new moves for the characters I'll have a wider variety of stuff in my aresenal.

2. Learn the new characters: I guess this is pretty similar to 1 and I'm a 1/3 way there already since I've gotten Jin's almost all of Jin's moves down solid.

3 Work on Juggles: The juggling system is different in T4. The physics aren't as exaggerated as much and now with the full 3D enviroments, not many juggles from previous Tekkens work anymore. Not that it's a problem because there still are some deadly juggles as well as some infinite hit ones as well. Anyway, seeing how juggles are insured hits it's vital to learn them. Alot of mastering juggles is timing and enough repetition where you've become familar enough with what you're doing that you can do it with out even thinking. I figure once I get all the moves down, learning juggles should be easier.

4. Work on Timing, Fighting Techniques, and Defense: The last step in building up my game is to my expert timing down which means mastering all the just frame moves. I'm already ok with a couple just frame moves but like with juggles it's just something you got to burn into your head to be good at it. After that, I'm going to work on trying to build on my game plan that does revolve around a few moves. I noticed today that my game was pretty mediocre against Alex. Not that I lost that much(I had a 9 or 10 win streak at some point :) but I was sloppy and I kept doing dumb shit that made him get alot of moves off on me.Finally, I'm going to work on make sure to defend better. I was pretty solid at in Tekken Tag, but the Tekken 4 is a different beast to learn. I'm ok at it but I could be better. I probably would get better if I started to play the CPU on Ultra Hard but I want to get all those other things down before I start to do that.

Anyway, that's the game plan...

Just another thing I've picked up...
Hmm...what else is there. Oh yeah, on the note of being lazy I've been to a couple of parties lately. Most of which have been at our place. Sam as of late, has really enjoying the joy of getting drunk. He' s funny to be around when he's drunk. He acts like such an asshole sometimes and then just apologize immediately afterward. He's not that big of an ass as he think he is, but he is more obnoxious than when he's sober.

Of course there's not really anything wrong with being an asshole. As I told Sam, the thing about people that are assholes is that while not everybody likes them the people that do like them that much more than someone that's nice to everyone. You can't please everyone, at most if you try to please everyone you'll just be mediocre to them. It's a desicion; either you can be just ok friends with everyone or you can have really good friends and really good enemies. I think alot of times; it's better to vary between the two extremes than to be always stuck in the middle. When you're always in the middle you're boring, drab, and stagnant.

Thinking about this, I've been recently having this issue on my mind. There's this chick that has the hots for me, or so she acts. I don't really think I care either way. She kind of attractive, but I find it hard to get attracted to just about anyone so that just could be me. I saw her not too long ago, she's always flirty around me it seems, but again that's not saying much because I've seen her do it alot. I talked to Alex about it he says I should go for it and get laid(which very well could happen). There are a number of issues why I shouldn't do this. I tell you about them but I don't really think that I want to go into detail. Regardless of that, I think it all just a mindset thing. Maybe if I should just pursue her to see what happens. Not that I care either way. I just think it's that devil on my shoulder telling me what to do, in the form of Alex. I guess we'll have to see what happens...

Well, that's it for now...for now I got to get to my projects. 'Til later


[9/26/2002 11:00:18 PM | Shawn Conn]

Mitaphane(3:50:52 PM): what's the theme for today?
MsSb513(3:51:13 PM): no bra monday!!!
Mitaphane(3:51:32 PM): whee!
Mitaphane(3:51:42 PM): ...but it's tuesday?
MsSb513 (3:51:48 PM): shit
MsSb513 signed off at 3:52:49 PM.

Tekken Tuesday Wednesday

So yesterday began a whole new century of fighting; Tekken 4 was released. It was supposed to be released on Tuesday but for some reason or another Babbage's didn't get their shipment in until early in the morning. It was fine by me, I had alot of work to do anyway. Unfortunately, I still wasn't done come Wednesday when I finally got Tekken 4. I chalk it up to the numerous distractions I had throughout the week, not the least of which was that mini party that we had on monday.

As usually with most games I get, the first thing I do is set all the options. Surprisingly, the first thing that happens when you start the game without a save file is that it asks you what difficulty to set it to. Of course I set it to ultra hard. After playing a couple rounds against Paul I realized that I should probably set it down because the length of time it takes to play(because the AI is hyper defensive) would be awhile. The next step down, Very Hard, like in Tekken Tag is challenge only some of the time.

I played it for about an hour or so. I ended up missing a class so I just stayed home. Some other people here(Sam, Newt, Abrams) wanted to play so I gave the controls over to them while I finished up my project. They unlocked a handful of characters for me. I ended up playing it a good deal later on through the day after I got the project done. I unlocked all the characters, did some practice, and played alittle of each mode.

Here's my official review the game which is better than most I've seen out there...There's two way I could talk about this game, as a normal game or as another installment in the Tekken series. I'll try to do a little of both.

As a Game

Simply put, Tekken in an arcade fighting game. Two people, one on one in the ring. Tekken , very closely competing with Soul Caliber, is the most popular fighting series as of today. As it compares to other series, Tekken has always been a pretty low learning curve game. Meaning that it doesn't take much time to pick up the controls and start fighting. The controls and special moves have always been pretty simple to execute.

I've heard Tekken been claimed as a button masher game over and over before and to some degree it's true. But I think people claim this because it's easy to jump into the game and starting performing moves. I look at this as a strength, not a weakness though, just because it means people of varying skill level can still enjoy the game.

Looking more in depth at the button mashing that does occur in Tekken, some of the moves require string of button presses, alot of moves a varying size windows(length of time for the next button to be pressed). I don't want to go too much in details but there are alot of moves that can be made sure they execute by mashing the first series of buttons(while waiting for a certain moment in the animation) followed by mashing the next buttons in the series. Because of this, alot of time there's a delay between certain move executions and actual performance on the move on screen. This as been true for the Tekken series since the beginning. Thus in that sense the game could be called a button mashing game.

But for every move that you can mash your way through, there are moves that are only possible through expert timing. Juggles, just frame moves, counters, chickens, and delayed moves are just an example of these.

Without being to indepth, here's my brief lowdown of the series and what they provided:

Tekken: The first of the series. The game sets up a control scheme that the rest will most have and that is pretty standard for fighting games(forward walks forward, up jumps, back blocks and walks back, down/back crouches and blocks, down crouches, and so on...). The attack buttons are a convention that's pretty simple. 4 attack buttons each corresponds to appendage (left,right punch, left,right kick with the left and right attacks being pressed at the same time being some sort of throw). Because of this convention, it's fairly easily to tell how to pull off the move with just seeing someone perform it(i.e. if a character does some sort of forward kicking action with his right foot it's forward+right kick to perform the move). For all purposes, Tekken is a 2D fighter in the same vein of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat(which were still big when Tekken came out). while Tekken has 3D graphics, movement is restricted upon a 2D plane that goes on for enternity. Even if the move around when a throw is peformed or something, they would always line back up. Also, like the 2D fighters of the time jumping is exaggerated greatly and is still a strategy to start an advance on your opponent.

Tekken 2: The second Tekken is more of the same with the continuation of the story. Gamewise, other than new characters and new moves, it's still pretty much the same game.

Tekken 3: The third Tekken adds the element of sidestepping(which is done by tapping up or down for a brief second) which allows the characters to step out of their fighting plane to avoid attacks. Also, jumping forward is toned down alot. You can still jump forward but only a few attacks can be started with a jump forward(which are mostly juggles). Also chickening(counter-counter moves) was added to prevent people that performed counters(moves excuted at the contact of an opponents attack that ends up hurting them) on every move that you did. Chickening is countering a countermove that's can't be countered. It's pretty hard to perform but it's the end all attack if someone keeps countering your moves.

Tekken Tag Tournament: Tag is Tekken 3 with better graphics, a Tag Feature, and almost the entire cast of characters from all Tekkens. The physics and game engine performs pretty much the game with the except of tagging where the character runs off the screen and other character runs back in.

Now with Tekken 4 jumping has been turned down even more. Jumping extremely high straight up and back to avoid attacks has been eliminated. Jumping forward has stayed from Tag and 3; you can jump forward and throw an attack or hop over your opponent. Also side stepping has been further bolstered so that just touching or holding up or down will sidestep. This has been done to add further movement around the enviroment, which now consists of enviroment with walls, people, etc. as opposed to the infinite plane. To crouch, you now have to press down and back. Also added to the varying classes of moves, is a small set of moves called just-frame moves. That is moves that can only be excuted by pressing the button at the first frame in the animation that is availible. While there has been moves that require percising timing before in Tekken( like the Electric Wind God Fist), none have had a one frame windows of opportunity. Since Tekken 4 runs at 60 frames per seconds this means you have 1/60 of a second( 16 and 2/3 milliseconds) to press the button. Needless to say, it takes quite the mastery at the game to perform these types of moves.

As a Game in the Tekken Series

Tekken 4 stacks of pretty well with previous console version of Tekkens. Like usual, there's a number of features and game modes that are added to the basic arcade game:

Story Mode: You choose the character and their story is told. At the end of the game you get a movie of what happens. While this is about much story as the fighting games get, the execution is done pretty well. In fact, better than previous in the series. The story is pretty much what the Tekken series has always been(some silly, some cool, some corny) so there's much to say there. Maybe someday there will be fighting game with an epic story, like and RPG with an awesome fighting engine but this is about as far as it goes these days.

Arcade: Same as the Arcade T4, choose a character fight 8 rounds to the end. Not much new.

Time Attack: Same as T4 Arcade but you are timed to see how long you take. Thus, you're competing against your opponent and the clock. Not much new.

Team Battle: Same as prior in the series, choose 8 characters or less and use one of them until they are eliminated. The person who loses all their characters is the loser. Not much new.

Survivor: Same as prior in the series. Choose a character, keep fighting characters until you die, go for the highest score. Not much new.

Training: While listed as another mode in the main menu, this should just be a sub menu of Practice(as it was in Tekken Tag). Basically you perform a series of moves given to you in the fastest amount of time. The only thing new is the list of moves is larger and they save your best times.

Training: Same as prior in the series. Choose an arena to practice in with a fighter and a training dummy of your choice. This as been improved upon more. Aside from the standard freestyle and VS-CPU modes, there is a defensive mode where you can have the CPU dummy excute at random intervals moves you choose. Thus if you keep falling for certain moves you can practice them until you know how to defend against them. The command list(move list) that's built into the game as been beefed up as well. Not only can you see demos of the moves like before, but now you can see sample combos, and save personal combos. Unfortunately, the nomenclature of the moves is still somewhat inaccurate and not nearly as precise as those found on sites like TekkenZaibatsu. Other than that it still shines comparted to Tekken Tag's practice mode.

Tekken Force: Some what similar to Tekken 3's mini game with the same name(rhymes!),it's a final fight type game where you take on hoards and hoards of bad guys. Just as fun as it was with Tekken3 though the controls get frustrating sometimes.

Theater: Watch movies, listen to music, and watch replays of saved fights. I'm really glad they added the replay feature which is alot more useful than Tekken Tag's pointless screen capture mode.

Overall, this is a pretty solid Tekken release. It isn't perfect; There are still some bugs, unfair game play moves, and the music is pretty disappointing compared with other Tekken's. But aside from those issues. It's as fun as any Tekken game. The physics and gameplay are slightly different from Tekken 3/Tekken Tag but it only took me about a day to get use to the changes. Juggling and those just-frame moves is probably the only area I haven't totally learned yet, but those are skill based issues not gameplay ones.

Even if you haven't played the Tekken series before, Tekken 4 is a solid and fun fighting game to try out. I reccomend it anyone that enjoys fighting games.


[9/21/2002 8:14:33 PM | Shawn Conn]
I'm not really certain what it is I want to do right now at this instant. Lately I've written down a list of things I would like to get done. That way when I'm just sitting around doing nothing and feel bored I have something to focus on. Sarah Rogers a while back to me she wrote a list of things she like to accomplish in the next 5 years a long time ago and she had done most things on the list. That was my inspiration for doing that. I've done it before, but I've never stuck to it. Lately though, I've tried to keep to what I write down. It's nothing big but just small personal goals that are on my mind at the time.

So yeah...nothing has been going to today. It's pretty much been a lazy Saturday. Some shopping, some Tekken, a little drinking. I'll probably go out drinking later on tonight.

Going over the Past
So I've been looking at my writing over the past few years and alot really depressing and dumb. Not really much interesting stuff, just alot of daily events and my random thought about them every now and then. Alot of them are filled depressing rants here and there. Every now and again I'll hit a interesting event that happened that I forgot about. My commentary about the riverhouse parties are always good. Not that it's really good writing, it's just that it brings up alot of memories that I had since forgotten. I think some the best things I wrote down is about when I first met some people. It's interesting to see my intial opinions of them and how they've since changed.

Unfortunately, I don't list many of my friends though. I think Alex gets mentioned near the beginning because I met him about the same I started writing. I refer to him as "this really goofy guy that likes FF games who waits at the same bus stop". I go on to mention a little bit about how my mom mentions we're are somewhat related since his dad used to be married to my dad's cousin. I mention Emily as this "flirty chick that I mistook for Emily Mabe when Len and I got to riverhouse party." And I mention Steve as "this cool guy that we hung out with at Denny's after meeting him a couple days prior at someone's house." It's funny how you can think so little of people at the time when they'll turn out to influence your life alot more later on. I only wish I had written alot more about the people that met. I mention alot of things about the events in my life but not enough about the people. After all I think that's what makes life worth living I think.

If there's anything I would really like to do use my computer science major and knowledge for (besides videogames of course), I think that modeling social dynamics would be awesome. It seems like in games(which are one of the only few things out there that push computing to it's limit) have really pretty graphics, accurate physics, sometimes decent AI, but I don't think there many games at all that model social dynamics at all. If you've every played the SIMs it does it some way but it doesn't really get much in depth but for what it is it does model human emotions, desires, and reactions to other people pretty well.

Social dynamics is pretty interesting to me because it's so interesting to see how people are all connected to one another and how events can change that. I always imagined a simple model of this as multi-tier ring. For example at the center of the ring is you. The next adjacent ring contrains all the people you're really close with. With each ring you build on the exterior, that represents a list of people who are about at the same level of closeness to it. Long-time friends, family, lovers, etc would be at the center of the ring while acquaintances would be a few rings away from you. Everyone in this huge circle at the same time also has their own rings modeling their relations to others as well. Thus the closer a person comes toward you in the center, the closer all those other people that guy knows well comes toward you. I don't how well it accurately models relationships but that's how I think of it.

It makes me think of how I make friends which is usually making them through other people. I rarely met new friends just by myself( maybe 1 or 2 a year at most), but I make alot through just people I already know. I'm not sure if I do this intentional or not but it just turns out that way.

It makes me wonder about how small event in my life could have changed a whole lot later on. For example:
If I hadn't went to school that one day school was canceled for two hours, would I have met Alex why waiting for the bus to get there? I don't know how many people I've met through him.

If I didn't hear that "Emily" was at the Riverhouse party I wouldn't have went out side to her that Len was here, thinking that she was Emily Mabe. If that didn't happen, would they have started hanging out together and thus would I have ended up knowing her? If it didn't, I probably wouldn't know one my best friends, Will, right now.

If I hadn't went to Denny's that night with Alex, would I have met Steve? If I didn't know Steve, would I have gone to his apartment and participated in SBB? Would the website exist?

But enough with the what if's...

The Fear of Death
I was thinking the other day about a conversation I had with Newt a while back. It was about how alot of people are a part of religon because they're afraid what happens when you die. I'm not saying that's why all people become a part of organized religion, but I really think that is the basis for the beginning of a lot religons or at least that's why people become a part of them. Who the hell would care about religon in the first place if we could live forever.

I think I have pretty much lost my fear of death. Not that I don't care for living, but I'm not too worried about dying. It seems to me it's such a small part of your life, it's not worth thinking all that much about it. I think for alot of people, they make death worse because they're always fearful of it. Once you except the fact that you're going to die though it doesn't seem that bad. I was thinking about how my is always yelling at my dad when they pick me up from college. She's always scared at him because she thinks he's driving too fast and that something bad was going to happen. All that stress she's putting herself through is because she's afraid we might crash and die. A crash take about less than a couple of seconds. The odds are if you're every in a fatal car accident you're probably won't even see it coming and if you do, it will be only a second or two down the road.

Now here's the question, is it worth all that time spent anticipating death when in will make up a minute at most of your time? I say this like there isn't a long painful way to die, but I think people that think that's how they're going to die is silly. Movies, books, etc, always make death sooo dramatic but in actuality a person's real death is very anticlimatic and probably very little pain is involved.

In short, it doesn't it really matter. People who spend they're day afraid they're going die are silly. If all you do is worry about being dead, it doesn't really matter; you might as well be dead if that's all you do.

Hmm...well I don' t think I have much more than that. See ya around.


[9/20/2002 11:21:39 PM | Shawn Conn]
Databases has worn me out. Well it feels like it anyways. I went to the class today to turn in an assignment and felt like the class went on...and on....and on......and so on. It was probably because I was just really tired from the night before. I didn't get much sleep as I woke up early, watched Sam play a little Metal Gear Soid, and then I studied for my Vector Calculus exam which was easy as hell I might add.

Lecture Me This!
Now that I think about it, if any class should get the most boring award it's the Geology class I have. The proffesor doesn't sound interesting at all which doesn't really matter that much because the subject is incredible boring but still makes the class that much longer. The proffesor doesn't really say much more than what the outline transparency that he shows in class every lecture. The only reason I go to class is to copy that outline down for study purposes. Lately, I've stopped taking my headphones off when class starts because I can get the same amount of information reading and copying down the transparencies with out the tedium of that guy's lecturing. Now that I think about it, if I could just go to lectures and just be able to read what the proffessor is saying while listening to music it would probably make the whole going to class thing not as bad. Of course if I was going to do that, I might as well just not go to class and just get all the information from reading the material. That's Jamie pretty much does for a lot of his classes as far as I can tell and it works out pretty well. It's too bad I'm not that committed toward reading and learning otherwise I'd probably just do that. I thought about doing that for a while and I basically decided that going to lectures is a hit or miss type of thing.

If the proffessor is interesting, smart, or in general a good speaker, lectures can be great. Also if your the type of person who feels like they learn more from people than words, lectures can be great.

If the proffessor is boring, dumb(when I say dumb I don't me he lacks intelligent, I mean he's just dumb when it comes to conveying information), or a crappy speaker, lectures drag on forever. If you're the type of person that can learn more from books than from people, lectures are just a waste of time.

I still don't know what exactly to think about lectures. I think I do get alot from lectures, but I bet I could easily get alot from just reading. In the end though I would rather go to lecture for the sake of keeping myself from slacking in the class. Of course I could easily not slack if I just made myself read about the topic and tried the learn the material myself. That begs the question are people, who make all their effort to learn the material and do the work outside of class, slacking if they do this? And if no, should they be punished by proffessors who make attendance part of the grade?

I topic...

Being and Doing Well
The more and more I think about it, I'm really wanting to say my continuing happiness is a result of my attempts to stay somewhat fit which that has consisted of:

1. Not eating and drinking a bunch snacks or soda- Since I really can't afford it and I don't really care too much about soda due to the nasty feeling on my teeth I get whenever I drink sugary drinks. I think this has done alot to curve my calorie intact.

2. Eating maybe once or twice a day at most- This, ironically, is more out of laziness than anything else since anything I eat around here I have to fix myself. It's amazing how much we can eat just because it's there. I imagine if everyone had to always fix the food they ate there would be alot less overweight people.

3. Eating eariler before sleeping- I just did this because it makes since. Your body only uses energy it needs. If you eat a whole a lot before you sleep all you're going to do is save that energy in the form of fat.

4. Excercizing a little each day- Even if you don't consume excess amounts of calories you're body doesn't need that much energy just to do the lazy activities we do everyday. Not only does excercizing burns those calories you don't burn by doing things throughout the day, it also helps build up your muscles which do alot when you want to do fun physical activities and not be sore as hell the day after wards.

I'm not health nut and personally I could care less about my well being but whatever I'm doing has kept me happy for quite awhile. I don't know if this is total the reason but it's got to be somewhat related to it I think. Even when I do feel kind of down it lasts only for a couple of hours before I feel better. That never happened to me before with having to find something else to make me forget about how shitty I feel. Andt it sure the hell beats being depressed for days on end where the only thing you want to do is lie there and feel sorry for yourself.

Movin' On
On the subject of feeling better about stuff. I recently had a conversation with Katie that made me revisit why I was so depressed before about not having girl in my life. We were talking about how her relationship with Jamie was going and then she told me that I was pretty attractive and that I should have a girlfriend. When she asked me why I don't, I narrowed it down to 2 things that I think I've mentioned before in this blog:
a) Too picky
b) Not confident enough.

Then I went on discussing the whole catch 22 that I have that makes it so difficult for me to fall in love with someone. I'd go into details but I'm pretty sure I've discussed this before and I don't really care to repeat myself. Which really means I don't want to bring up bad memories of the past because I'm on a happy note. Besides there was another reason I brought up this event.

There's funny thing about rememebering the person you'd used to be. I've looked back on a lot of things in my life that I've done and found that I couldn't remember at all why I did the things I did or why I felt the things I felt. Likewise, I don't know why I was really bothered before by not having someone else in my life. I think of big part of it was me not being happy with myself and thus I thought if I had a girlfriend I would be happy.

As I was thinking about all of this...Katie asked me the question how can you make a guy truly happy. At the time, I tried to take it somewhat literally but it was more of rhetorical question. It made me think about my prior situations where I tried to find happiness through someone else. It led me to the same answer that I had before: The only person responsible for your own happiness is yourself. People can do alot of things to make you happy, but in the end there's only one person that will always know what you always want/need to make you happy: yourself.

Take this for example: I don't want to say everyone but I think alot girls think they make guys happy with sex. It's true that it does, but complete happiness consists of alot of things, way too many to mention because it really depends on the person and what they most desire at the moment. I think alot of girls fail to see these and think that they can keep a guy happy with just sex. I've known many of mine and sister's friends who have kept sleeping(and by that I mean sex...) with their boyfriend even though the relationship is pretty much over. In most of these situations it's been the guy who doesn't really care about the relationship anymore and it's been the girl who wants to keep it together. It seems to me the only reason this is happening is that they think(either consciously or unconsciously) that if they make the guy happy with sex he'll want to stay together. Now I know I generalized the situation way too much, they could after all just be fuck buddies, but I think you see the point of the example. A girl tries to fullfil a guys happiness in one way she knows how too, when instead there's something else out there that he's lacking to make him happy which he himself may not even be sure of what that is.

I found it about all this stuff I was thinking and talking to Katie about because basically she was asking stuff about relationships and happiness and here I was giving advice on something that I have no experience at all with. I'd like to think I'm a quick learner and a good listener though. And I've heard enough from other people to pretty much know alot about relationships; but there's always a difference between knowing and walking the path....

...bah I've kept this going for too long. I'll be back with more stuff later. 'til next time.


[9/17/2002 3:54:32 PM | Shawn Conn]
2,400 Seconds Before Class
Here's some quick blogging before I have to head out to class. It didn't take long for me to get better from how was feeling a couple of days ago. I chalk it up to feeling more healthy than I've ever been. I don't know why but you definately tend to stay less depressed over things when your body is doing better than your mind.

The other day I asked Will when he came up here if he was going to create a new punctuation mark, what would it be for? His reply was sarcasm. A very good one I think since sarcasm isn't as easy to pick up in writing as it is in speech. Newt's reply was there should be a punctuation for skeptical questions. I'm not really sure if I decide if there would be one I'd like to add yet. I think the more punctuation we had, the better we would be at using words to express ourselves. Plus, I'm a very symbolic thinker at that. That's probably why I like Japanese as a language. Too bad I suck at it.

Oh, I don't know if I have every mentioned this before but symbolic/pictogram languages tend to make you use the logical side of your brain more(I alway forget which side that it is). I remember reading that in this linguistics book I had. So in a way, I guess it does kind of say that Asians are better at math. Since the same portion of the brain is being used for math and language.

I've been pretty lazy when it comes to class lately. It seems like I've always been doing things 'til the last minute. I didn't do my Vector Calc homework 'til an hour before class. I totally forgot about the quiz that we had for databases yesterday. Fortunately for me I have mad database skillz and I think I did pretty well for forgetting to study. Go me!

I've been trying to keep a regular sleep schedule but it's been rather erratic. Sometimes I'll only sleep for 4-6 hours and other times I'll sleep for 10 hours. I think it's because I'm focusing all my energy into different areas.

I sleep for 10 hours today. I kept dreaming about sex or Tekken 4. I woke up frequently through that time each time I thought I was either having sex or that I was about to get up and play Tekken 4. Then about a few seconds later, I'd realize
a> There was no one in my bed but me.
b> Tekken 4 has yet to be released.
both were very dissappointing to say the least...

I'll return when there's more to say.


[9/15/2002 6:38:27 AM | Shawn Conn]
The last MP3 I posted was a one my favorites. It's from the PSX game WipeOut. I don't know why I like it that much. It might be the few bits that have the piano in it or it could just be the imagary I remember from playing the music on a certain track called Silverstream. It's either one of those things.

I really like the sound of the piano; it's a cool instrument. If I was going to learn an instrument, it would definitely be the piano. It's too bad I don't have the cash or time and effort to take up learning it. I'd really think I'd like it.

I've been burnt out lately. I think I'm starting to hit a down turn in my happiness. I've had the feeling lately like I'm not doing things well enough or not getting something done. That's a good discription I think. Like I don't feel like I'm doing my best in classes. I don't feel like I doing all the things I want to get done. I've compiled of list of things I would like to get done and while I've scratched off a few that I have done alot of thing still remain on the list only laugh and mock me. I guess the best thing to do is to keep at my pace and get things done eventually but I don't know if that's good enough.

My downturn I think happened near the beginning of this weekend. I was about to head out to Alex and Kevin's place because I was quitely lonely hanging around the apartment since everyone had disappeared somewhere. I was going to walk out then I figured I might want to do some drinking tonight. Lately, it's been a hassle for be to pick of some alcohol and start drinking. There just has been situations lately where I've felt like I'm just drinking to feel better or change my mood and I don't want to think that's what I'm doing so I turn down drinking. But tonight I forgot about thing nagging feeling and went to take 2 shots of Vodka before I left. I think I definitely give up hard alcohol for good unless it's some sort of mixed drink. It wasn't bad going down but sure the hell upset my body for a bit after that. But it did get the job done, it got me buzzing pretty quickly.

Anyway, I hung out with them for a while. There were a few parties going on tonight so I was just going to hang over here for awhile until later on then we were probably going to head out Kent's place for a party or some other places or something like that. We went out to Fulam to eat(which is a great Chinese restaurant I might) and then back. A little bit after that, I think Kevin went back to watching some movie. I sat in Alex's room for a bit, he was looking at some IM messages from some chicks or he was talking to some chicks or something like that. I sat there for a bit looking around because I was bored. And as I tend to do when I get bored, I start to think too much. I started feeling shitty because no chicks feel or anysort of thing about me and even if they do I don't know about it. Not only that, I was thinking about the reoccuring dream I had about 3 times before. I think I hinted at it before but didn't say anything about it. It's not much too it really it just always envolves a girl I end up crazy for and her getting stolen away by Alex. I probably wouldn't have thought anything about it but dreaming the same shit over and over in a short time tends to nag you. Actually it probably only nags you if you do alot of thinking and dreaming like I do.

It was endless cycle of pointless negative thinking. I'd been here before doing the same thing. It's times like these I just loathe myself because there's nothing I can do...

Moving on, this kept with me throughout the night. There was a lot of fun stuff that happened and I enjoyed myself for a while until I got back home and had nothing to do again. I sat in my room just playing this foam ball attached to this bungie cord that I got. It kind of got my mind of things but that's only because I had something to do before I would think about it again.

Katie, Jamie's girlfriend for those who don't know, walked by a little bit after that. She inquired about my AIM away message eariler, asking why I was lonely. Come to think of it, it wasn't like that...It was more like her saying she tried to IM about me getting beer for her but I was away saying I was lonely. At the time, it was a different kind of lonely than what I was feeling now butshe thought it was the one that was currently on my mind because she asked me about girlfriends, sex, etc.

I thought it kind of funny that my previous away message that once was refering to something else was now saying something that I felt now. You could either think as a message of precongnition with a twist of irony or how we can take the meaning of a word and strech it to many uses, which every one you think is the most clever/funny/interesting/whatever.

"umm, nope"
" you haven't had sex?"
"depends on what kind you're talking about."
"sexual intercourse?"

A bit of silence goes by...

"I'm sorry that was a bit rude"

I'm not really sure what Katie thought was rude about questioning me about sex, girlfriends or whatever. Maybe it was with the tone I said it(which I'm not sure how that went) or maybe she just thought it was rude to ask such personal questions. I didn't have a problem with it, questions are just a simple request for information. No harm in that.

How I feel about the subject is...well I'm not sure.

We went to talk about random other shit until she decided she was going to pee the go to bed.

I ended up spending the rest of the night thinking more about the same stuff since Katie brought it up again. I don't care for a girlfriend. I know that. Sex would be nice but there's not many people I would really consider it with. I guess when it comes down to it, it's only about the physical appearance of the person. But I think it's some what a balance between who the person is and what they look like before I really make any attempt to approach a chick.

*sigh*'s damn upsetting. I know who I am and what I capable of I just never reach to the limits that I can dream of. I set up my own disappoints before I can make an attempt to will(or for a more clever metaphor replace will with construct) them into reality. Reality for me sometimes is just a farce. Whatever my state of mind is it at the time determines my reality. If could see outside me I could get alot better picture at what's going on but as it is I get a half ass crippled perspective that's great for insightful thinking and videogames and not much else.


If I could switch my state of my to turn on or off my infatuation for a certain girls or just sex life would be so much easier. But saying something like that is like wishing I could get 1Ups so you wouldn't have to worry about dying. Fortunately enough I've got one of those problems out of the way but as for the other...?

Being stuck in my own self pity is dumb. I felt alot that way today. I didn't happy or sad just kind of there. I realized that I was starting to feel shitter just because something kept bothering me and my mind wouldn't let go of it. I think maybe I should start take some of medication. Something that will just kind make me stop running myself into ground like this when I start to feel down.

That asks the question:

A> Should I fix this by finding a girl/sex?
B> Should I fix this by counseling?
C> Should I fix this by drugs...tasty drugs?

Kind of like a choose your own adventure book huh? Man those things were weak. If/when I get the time to redesign this page I think I'm going to had stuff like this to have people choose what I do next. A long time ago I really stopped caring about alot of things and it has made me become very indecisive at times. I don't like that. Sometimes I get around that issue just by flipping a coin. This might be another interesting way.

So back to what is this all about. I wish I knew myself. I just want to be content and happy, I don't think there's much else I can ask for. I just make it so damn immpossible for myself. At times when I feel like this I just don't know where to turn to get help. I just feel this crushing weight of saddness. Bah. This is what I try to do in blogs but every now and then it happens. It pisses me off.

I've got so much better potential, but I wasting it sitting here being sad about stuff that I shouldn't be sad about but I am.

Ok, last paragraph because this is starting to get dumb.

I only have myself to blame for my problems. I am who I am: I'm not going to change that. If I could be happy with myself, maybe I could be happier around others I could find someone else to be happy(and by that I mean I'd like to bang them). But who I am is a little nutty when it comes to some issues. I am lost. I'll return sometime when I'm in a better state of mind. Let's see what it will take to do that...


[9/12/2002 6:59:54 PM | Shawn Conn]
Stuff, More Stuff, the Possibility of New Stuff, and the Forecast for a 50% Increase in Stuff

Damn I've been a bit busy lately. I wouldn't even have time to update this blog it seems if weren't for the dead time that I have to kill between classes. I've got about 40 minutes between the end of my Geology class and my OS class. Usually this time is spent with me in the computer labs hammering at the keyboard while listening to music. It'd be nice if I had laptop, I could nix out the going to the stupid computer labs part and I enjoy my music and writing somewhere that isn't these bland computer labs.

Anyway I was talking about...oh not having time.I spent most of the time Friday through Monday working on my Databases project. I don't know if it should have took me that long. It was a 2 week project and the resulting source code was about 1200+ lines so I guess that seems fairly decent. Luckily my OS lab isn't near that length. Aside from that lab, I've also got math homework and Tae Kwon Do at 8. Hopefully it will all get done before the day is over. On second thought, maybe I just feel busy because I want to get things done so quickly. I've finished and start my projects two weeks in advance of their deadline. I guess after taking compilers, I don't really like the due dates to creep up on me. But for every one thing I focus my attention on there is something else that I'm not doing. It's a constant struggle.

Tommorow my day will hopefully be free. I would like to work either on a new page design, the bus story,or the SBB website. We'll see how that goes...

My friend Steve told me once that if something is out of your price range then it means you don't have enough friends. I think that's a little something to live by right there.

Two weeks 'til Tekken 4
For those who care Tekken 4 will hit the PS2 in about two weeks from now. Not soon enough for me, but I guess even if I had it I wouldn't have much time to play it. It's too bad the cover for the American Version sucks compared to the one for the Japanese Version but not that it really matters. The game will still be the same fun Tekken I've been playing at the arcade. I'm hoping for some extra stuff beyond what's already in the Japanese Version(a few skin swaps for Christie and Xiaoyu, a few more arenas, and Tekken Force mode) but I'm doubtful lazy ass Namco actually spent those 6 months in localization doing nothing more than creating bad name translations for moves. I talked to Will recently about the release of T4 being this long and he hypothisized that the only reason for it was so that it wouldn't have to compete with the just-released Virtua Fighter 4 in the US.

Day 8,177
Nothing seems really lately. I've said that before and know I've mentioned a blog entry like that. I'd like to look it up but I wasn't able to find it. I imagine it a different reason this time though. Nothing seems real to me because I feel overwhelmingly content with my life right now. Even the stuff that usually bothers me doesn't really. I can't really think of many worries that are coming to mind. It seems to show it alot in my sleep. I sleep great now lately. And by great I don't mean for 12+ hours to get good rest. I can usually sleep for 8 or less hours and feel fine the next morning.

I'm not exactly sure why that is but I imagine a little of it is because I try to get a little excersize in each day before I sleep. I've found it usually puts me to sleep pretty quick. I don't know if that's contributing to being content so much but I think it has some sort of influence.

I've pulled off my MP3 collection link since it's horribly out of date. I don't have WinAMP 2.x anymore and they've dropped the generate HTML playlist feature from it. Getting new music has been pretty much dead for awhile since I've been on this shitty "T1" line. Even if you can connect to file sharing networks, the speeds are submodem. Add to that I can find any shit that one and my music collection hasn't changed much. I have been using FTPs a little bit more lately since those are the only places I can get decent speeds from. Most of those FTP servers are for game music though. Not that it's a bad thing but it does limit my choices. I've noticed videogame music now makes up for 75% of my music. It will probably be more than that once I hit 8000 MP3s when I'll go through and purge music I don't want anymore.

That reminds me to put up another MP3 of the week. Hopefully I can get it online. As I am writing this, our internet connection is down, and I'll probably update this stuff via modem. I've been using it more and more lately just because of this stupid connection. Last night I wanted to get some stuff off this server that's rarely not busy for me to log on it. It has some good albums I wanted but alas our connection had turned to shit. I went to the PUCC labs to see if I could access it from there but all the FTP programs they have on their machines suck so I forced to go back home. Luckily I was able to use GetRight to download the files via modem throughout the night whilst I slept and dreamt on about cool stuff. Purdue's Dial up service boots you from the service every hour. I assume to keep people from downloading a whole shit load of stuff day in and day out, luckily GetRight lets you automatically redial when you get disconnected :)

If it wasn't for the fact that it's so cool living with everyone here, I would hate living here. It seems we've nothing but problems with this place: Broken dishwashers, stupid internet connection, lame ass washer/dryers. It sucks, everything about it sucks.

Anyway, I'm tired of ranting about dumb stuff.

Here's the MP3. I'd provide some commentary but alas...I don't even know if I'll get it even uploaded.


[9/8/2002 4:56:37 AM | Shawn Conn]
Mo' Codin'
That's pretty much the theme of the weekend. I've been working a project for databases pretty regularly. It isn't suppose to be due until next Friday but I need to keep on top of things so I've been doing it now. Will and Jon came up to Purdue for the weekend. It's a pity I have to do all this work, but I got's to do what I got's to do. Nearing the end of Friday night I started to feel uneasy about things. I think it was when Jon inquired about why I was so depressed near the end of the summer. I didn't really want to go into the details. Actually, I didn't really want to think about it all. It kind of stayed on my mind for a few hours but luckily it went away...

Last night I had the same dream for the 3rd time in a row. Exact same, it's starting to freak me out. It hasn't been day after day, but it's still odd to dream it up over and over. I'd go through the dream but I don't think it's appropriate to discuss here...

Sex with plastic what a wonderful new paradigm. It seems so much time and effort is wasted thinking about sex. One side of me wants to say that's really depressing but on the other hand it is what makes us human.

My mind keeps drifting off here. Either I'm really tired or really burned out on writing code. I wouldn't be surprised by either. I hear supposedly when you're very tired it equivolent to being intoxicated. I'm wasted on lack of sleep it seems to be...ha!

But lets see if I have any coherent thoughts in my bag of ticks here....


...Nope, nothing really.

Ahh, I know. Brainstorming is finally kicking in here. I should use my knowledge of HTML and the plethora of other media editing software I have to upgrade "Who Is...?" Not only does the template have to go, but I need a new color scheme, and add some other cool ideas. I think I've got some inspiration here. Now if I can only channel it for the powers of good....

Off to Save the World
....In my dreams that is. Maybe I'll end up getting the girl this time too. I'll be back for more blogging action when I get some new changes, new ideas, or something good to talk about. "Til then, be well folks...


[9/5/2002 7:20:04 PM | Shawn Conn]
It sure would be nice if the laundry machines here didn't suck. I spent so much time last night doing my laundry and it wasn't even finished. I payed $2(I ran it through twice) for each load and they were still damn afterwards. Bullshit. Other than the fact that it's damn cool to live around so many great people, this place is a dump. There's always some damn problem with something...

Like the internet connection which is always lagged. It was so bad last night I had to go to the PUCC labs to finish my OS project before the due date last midnight. I got it done for the most part, but I know I probably would had it done alot sooner if my connection worked the previous night as well as that night.

Once again, apathy sets over me...

But unlike before it doesn't mean I'm not happy. I'm doing quite well. I've never been this content in quite a while. I think it has led to me slacking in areas though which mostly is school. I've got alot of things running through my mind and lots of stuff that I want to get done but I can't get it all done at once. Maybe that's why I'm content; there's plenty of things I've got to get done.

A little bit of advice I remembered that my good friend Alex told me. If there's an issue that keeps worrying you and you don't know what to do about it there's one of two perspective that you should have about it:

One, you can't do anything about the situation so what does it matter to worry about it.
Two, if you can do something about it and still haven't then you must not really car all that much about the issue since you sure as hell don't want to take the intiative to do it.

I remembed the first bit pretty well because it was something I told him about half a year ago when he was down for quite awhile about women or something similar to that( It's always nice to have your own advice back to you in some other form than trying to tell yourself it over and over). The second bit I hadn't really thought of before but it's quite true. There has been many times when I've had an issue confront me that I've known what I had to do to remedy the situation but I didn't because was either anxious over the result, afraid of what might happen, or something dumb like that. But if I really had cared that much I would have taken the intiative no matter what the cost. Insecurites about any issue shouldn't stop you from taking any action if you know it's right thing to do. I had for the longest time let myself propagate insecurites in about anything I should do because I kept thinking about negative consequences. It's self defeating bullshit; I would quit before I even started.

I don't give a fuck
That's what I should be saying to myself. Not that I mean being apathetic toward things, I just mean that I should seperate myself from the results of my actions. If something fails or succeeds, I shouldn't think that it was either because I was bad or I was good but rather because it just happened. Being too analytical is always a bad thing in that aspect. In try to figure why things didn't go your way, you can run the risk of putting blame on yourself. I would be alot more open toward doing alot more things if I didn't this at all.

So I've joined the Tae Kwon Do club at Purdue. It was pretty fun so far even though alot of it was excercise routines and stuff like that. Most of the stuff was no sweat since I been trying to exercize each day. Some of the streching was a bit painful but I found it just focused your mind away from it it goes away pretty quickly. The master talked about how the new people would probably be sore after the next day, I felt pretty good about how I wasn't the day afterwards. It must mean that I've been doing at least a somewhat decent job of keeping myself in shape.

I've noticed that sleeping is alot easier for me now that I've tried to keep myself in shape. Last night I woke up from about 3-4 hours of sleep and I felt fine. Enough so that I could have went to my 830 lab. I decide not to and take the Friday section which we're allowed to do since it would be more rest for me. When I woke around 1 I felt great and I was actually be able to pay attention in my ultra boring geology class.

I also enjoy sleeping in this room alot more than I did at home. Probably the only thing I don't like about it is how it's not cool in the mornings but its not too bad. I mounted my PC speakers along the wall for surround effect in games but it's also nice to listen to when you go to sleep. That reminds me of an article that I read on Slashdot not too long ago about brain wave patterns that can be produced to sound waves that have an effect to put you to sleep. It seems everyone has sound that they a prefrence to that puts them asleep.

That's about all I have for now. I do have an MP3 for you however. It's the opening music from A Clockwork Orange, one my favorite movies. I guess the biggest thing I like about it is the way they take what would be normal sounding symphonic/classical song and distort it to where it sounds like something that is only peverse fragment of what it use to be(they do this with other classical songs in the movie too as you know). If you seen the movie you know that they do this because of the affliction that happens to the main character Alex. Aside from that, I think the song also represents the main character in that he is a person who might be a rather upstanding moral citizen but he rather has chosen to be something destructive, and disharmonious to society.

A little something to think about there...

I wish I was drunk all the time or rather I wish I had the ability to become drunk at will. I like my shortsightedness and lack of worrries when I'm drunk. I don't want to be totally wasted but just drunk enough where I hit that peak of my abilities. Despite what experts say, your ability to be coordinated goes up when you start to drink, at least for people who are focused in what they are doing. Of course drinking too much will most certainly start to degrade your coordination. The trick is to fine that balance on the curve to find the peak of your performance.

Speaking of being drunk, I remember this time I was pretty depressed and drunk while driving home. I guess I wasn't really drunk now that I think of it but slightly buzzing. Anyway, I shouldn't have driven that night. Not because of the amount of alcohol but rather the way I was feeling emotional. I guess the two were probably tied together at the time, but I still imagine that I would have been just upset just not having the head buzz to help me forget about how I felt.

As I drove home thinking about how I felt I noticed that my senses were being distorted. I imagine it could happen anytime when any one your senses overburdened and you can't really focus your mind on your other senses. Mine was overwhelming pain. Would that be the sense of touch? When your really feeling depressed, your mind tend to make the rest of your body feel very sick. I think being depressed is the worst feeling I've ever felt, much more than just physical pain because being depressed causes both your mind and body to hurt.

As I drove home with my head and body feeling utterly horrible from being depressed I listened to the music and noticed how in the same way in clockwork orange it sounded different, distorted, bent, odd. It was 80's music, music that has recently become quite a favorite of mine when I was stuck listening to the radio. But instead of hearing the joyous sound of pop lyrics and synethsizers and rather heard something instead that was only a twisted, distorted, perverted fragment of what it was...It was something that while very painful at the time made me think how weird and cool all the different states of our mind can be.

At the time I wanted to transcend pain, music...all of it. My 5 senses had grabbed my consciousness and took it along for a ride it didn't want to go on. Now I somehow wish I could go through it again with a different perspective. Of course don't we all want to relive some part of our life again now with the insight that we have gained from the future. But alas, it's such an empty dream. It's not possible in reality and it stuck forever in that world "what if." Meanwhile that world of "what if" there's probably someone saying the same thing about your world...

Maybe you would even find your perfect "what if" world where everything would be as how you could ever wish and hope it to be. Only to find yourself in the middle of saying "I don't give a fuck..."


[9/4/2002 2:25:54 AM | Shawn Conn]
For those who have been waiting to see the 2002 SBB footage, the wait is over. By either tonight or tommorow I should have the footage online with the website updated. It took a bit longer than I expected to digitize but I'm rather pleased with the results of the latest DiVX codec. Unfortunately due the quality of my capture card and it's capturing abilities, I had to capture the video compressed instead of capturing it uncompressed. This made it a pain to edit but I got it and it's finished.

I haven't beem up to much lately. The big thing I've been doing is wasting alot time playing games instead of getting work done for class. I'm on top of it though, all my classes are pretty easy. With the exception Japanese which once again I've bailed on because I just can't handle the workload. I just don't know the language that well and once again I'm stuck at another impossible descision.

My workload has also picked up a little since I now have projects to get done in my CS classes. That really shouldn't be much trouble though since it's just simple programs in C and Java which I'm going to use both for the projects. I could just use C for both but one of the projects requires some file I/O and I'm much more familar with the Java libraries for that than with the C libraries.

I had a great dream last, unfortunately I all but forgotten by now. It was along the same lines of the previous dream I mentioned in my prior blog. Once again I was giving myself advice about the opposite sex. It's too bad that I don't have another self that I could talk to. I imagine I could gain alot insight about myself that way. If anything, it would be something reassuring of who I am. I still don't really know who I am.

I was thinking awhile ago about who I was a couple of years ago, just thinking about who and what I was about years prior. I like to think I haven't make any mistakes in the past or at least not regret the things I've done in the past but I know that's far from the truth. I have a few things I regret from years past that sometimes I think about when I think about this whole subject I'm talking about. That's why it would be so nice to have reassurance who I am. It would also probably help me recognize my own personal downfalls. I recently noticed something about people, when people have a fault, weakness, or something else they usually look for something else as the cause of it. Many times they end of demonizing it, calling it evil, or something like that. I've done it couple of times myself in the past.

I recently noticed that Newt did when he made his proclaimation that AIM is evil(i.e. he's too weak to know when to put it down to get other stuff done). I looked up evil in the dictionary and I noticed it's primarily listed as an adjective or noun.As a side note they claim that the adverb form of "evil" is archaic. I think that use of the word is wrong. Nothing in this world can be inherently evil and you can't find evil or buy a pound, foot, meter, cubic centermeter of it anywhere. The only thing I think that can be evil is actions. The things, people, and places in our world by themselves have no properties about them that make them morally corrupt. It only when people decide or make a choice that does something get tainted with that dark region we call evil. Even those most dispicable people in history like Hitler or Stalin weren't evil. They were probably nice people if you knew them, they just decided to make choices that were immensly horrible somewhere down the line. It's just silly to label things as evil because it doesn't address how the labeled thing is evil.

Speaking of which, it's about a week before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Man, do I hate hearing about the attacks and the war on terrorism over and over again. It's a good thing we don't get TV at our apartment. Don't get me wrong, I think they were horrible and something we should remember but for all the good(heoric stories, a better sense of unity for a country, realization that money isn't so important) that has come out of remembering those attacks there's a whole lot more crap that has come from it( patriotic zealotry, capitalization on people wanting to be patriotic, more pointless war in the middle east, more dumbass religous zealot terriorist). Maybe it would be different if I had lost someone in that attack, but I would like to think even by now I would be moving on with my life. Death is such a small part of life it's just silly to focus so much time and energy in thinking about acts that killed so many people. And I think I'll just leave it that before I keep on ranting.

Well time to move on to some other stuff. I'm outta here....


[8/30/2002 3:44:39 PM | Shawn Conn]
Note to self...
For those wanting to see the boxing footage from August 12th, it should be online with a week. I had ted send me a tape of the footage. I would have liked him to do with his better quality capture card but there would have been no way for him to compress to the format that I usually put it in because he's on that silly Mac platform.

I'm trying to bring back my MP3 of the week. Hopefully WinTek will stop sucking so I can transfer big files.

I need some goals. Lately my life has been nothing but go to class and do homework/projects when the time comes for it. I don't really care about much else of anything.

I should change the design of this page soon, it's getting boring to look at. I have all these tools for graphic editing and web editing; I should use them.

On that note, I should finish the 6th day of the bus trip. It's too bad its so time consuming. When I started to write it I figured it would only take me a week but I'm always getting distracted by stuff. I know all the stuff I'm going to write about but it's the details that take time. Once I get my mind set on all the stuff I'm going to write about, I have to visually walk myself throught it to let the memories flood in and fill in the details along the path of events. It can take a good number hours to try to remember all that I can.

My memory is kind of odd. When it comes to remembering stuff about people, it can be flaky to superb. I can remember conversation, personalites, physical attributes, all pretty well but when it comes to names I forget them fast unless I make an attempt to make some kind of neural connection with what I remember about them. When it comes to visual information I can pretty much remember any and everything. Sam and Newt were pretty impressed with my ability to remember the entire city layout of GTA3 including all the little areas where you do stuff.

Of course I just see this gift as curse as it becomes a hinderance to other events, the bigggest being that I become very self asborbed in whatever I'm doing. It's annoying when it comes to things that are outside of focusing various motor skills. But then again it does become awfully helpful when I try not to get too stressed about things. Video games are good way take advantage of this ability. I remember an article not too long ago related to this very topic.

"You never really know a woman until you've been inside her."

That's something I told myself literally last night in dream. I don't analyze much of my dreams but I'm going to guess that means something about wanting sex and me being too self concious. Ha! A regular Freud I am. All found here on this dumb blog entry.

That small fragment was all I remember about the dream. Thinking about looking at myself from the outside is a really bizzare concept for me. I mean, I have some sort of framework of what I look and sound like when I do stuff but I don't have the entire package. I always thought it would be awesome to have another me around just so I could get that idea of what I really am.

Knowing who I was on the outside would definately assure myself on who I am, what I like, and why am I doing things. As it is right now, I don't have a clue what I'm doing in this world. From my perspective of myself I'm a pretty boring person that isn't really exciting to be around at all. My mood tends to fall under the area of apathetic to melancholy and if I were to imagine all that focused into one thing I would really think I am a boring person.

Why are you even reading this is what I'm saying. Blogs are everyone's attempt to make themselves look interestin, important, or whatever they think they can achieve in a few paragraphs of HTML. Good or not good(I'm not sure) for me I seem alot more interesting in this paragraphs I have then when I'm conversing with others. And with that note I'm leaving before I make myself look more boring...


[8/28/2002 6:10:19 PM | Shawn Conn]
I've been for the past few days surprisingly happy. I don't know why but I have been pretty content with everything that has been going on. I'm going to guess that I'm happy because I'm enjoying everything that I am right now instead of wonder what could be better. I should make a note to myself to remember that in the future.

Quote for the Day:

"I mean most jokes have a funny punchline, Scientology just has John Trovolta."
-[email protected]

I actually enjoyed my classes yesterday. I didn't really go over anything I didn't know already; It was mostly all review. It was nice to review stuff I already knew from a different perspective than what I had from the first time I learned it. Our OS class was just covering some basics of C/C++ programming. When I last was doing this stuff I was back at IUS still not aware of alot of things in the computer world. I didn't gain any incredible insight this time around but it was interesting how much more I knew what was going now that I understand compilers, computer hardware, assembly code, data structures, and all that.

Speaking of going over stuff I had already seen and known. We watched Cemetary Man last night with Craig, Abrams, Nate, Aaron, Newt, Jamie, Katie, Sam, and myself. My perspective didn't change to much regarding the movie. I didn't remember the movie being nearly as funny as remember it being but that could have easily been the couple of pints of Guiness in me. What I did recall was why I still call it my favorite movie.

At this point I suggest you see the movie before reading this. Otherwise these words won't really say much of anything to you.

I probably should call it by it's original name Delamore,Delamorte which is alot more fitting than the generic Cemetary Man; it does the movie alot more justice than what it is. Giving it the title Cemetary Man easily makes you think of it as some cheesy horror movie. Granted, there's alot of the movie that has that aspect to it but that's only if take the movie in superficially. Delamore, Delamorte is a very poetic and philosphical sounding title which the movie does indeed have it's moments where it looks like it's trying to be that. Now that I think about it, I guess both titles are appropriate since they both describe two parts of the movie.

A title is very important regardless of what you are talking about: a person, a characteristic, a movie, a feature, a concept, a philosphy, or whatever. The title is the embodiment of whatever you're labeling. People's first impressions, as well as lasting impressions assuming they don't really analyze what they're talking about, are made by the title you assign something. Two years ago I wrote a paper about this topic indirectly about the title Feminism and it's related forms. In my gender roles class they defined Feminism as the move toward equality between the sexes. That's nothing near what I thought about when I thought of the word "Feminism." Pushing the stereotypical view of man-hating dykes out of mind to allocate new neuron space for my new schema of Feminism in this class, I thought to myself "Why the hell is it called Feminism?" What the hell is so Feminine about wanting equality between the sexes. Certainly it more made since back in the day when there was almost no equality between the sexes but the goal of equality by itself should have nothing to do with being masculine or feminine. I'm getting off point but hopefully you understand what the hell I'm talking about.

Coming back to the title of Cemetary Man/Delamore, Delamorte I'm still not sure which one is really more applicable. I don't want to talk about the movie too specifically as not to ruin it for people who have never seen it but it is a strange breed. It's incredible funny because how stupid it is but at other parts it sounds like it's try to make deep philosphical statement or hint at something deep with some sort of symbolism.

"I think it's just smarter than all of us."
That was Craig's statement about the movie. I've seen the movie a good number of times, if there is a big message in the whole thing it's certainly something about love and death. what that message is still a mystery to me. Either one or two things is going on with the movie: It's a really silly b-horror movie that attempts to make itself serious or it's a very deep movie that just has silly horror parts that accent the movie. Either way the serious parts and the silly parts are both great by themselves, when they're thrown together you're left saying "What the fuck?!"

Perhaps the best thing about the movie is you can't figure out the maker's intent which is a big guage of whether it being good or not. It is left up to you to figure out. Perhaps the movie's deep, serious parts was a joke just thrown in there for people who take movies a little more serious than the regular joe who watches a movie for mindless entertainment. Or perhaps the best thing about the movie is they wanted to make a very deep movie and they thought the cheesy horror backdrop and events would work out to make the message profound. Either wouldn't surprise me and either one would make me think the movie is that much more brilliant.

Of course the reason I love this movie isn't just that. I've seen alot of great movies but this is the one that if someone says "what's your favorite movie?" I can easily say this one with no hesitation. Why? A number of reason I guess. I like deep movies, but I don't like movies that take themselves way too seriously. This is a nice mix I think. Also, some of the dialogue, the way it plays out just doesn't make any sense all. Would I dare say, surreal? I really like surreal things and this movie has all kinds of stuff like that. Probably the last thing that makes me like it so much is just that its one those few movies I don't analyze too much but yet it has some more depth there. Alot of events that are suppose to mean something are there but I "just take it for what it is" as I usually tell people who ask me what's it about.

I guess that's all folks...'Til Next Time...


[8/25/2002 5:24:22 PM | Shawn Conn]
This weekend I didn't really get to do as much as I wanted to. Friday I thought was going to be pretty dull but I ended up going to the bars with Alex, Becky, Melissa, and... shit her other name has completely been fogged up. I shouldn't have drank as much as I did. I had a couple of long island ice teas. They were quite tasty and didn't take
long to get me drunk. I had some other stuff to drink after that but I've forgotten all of what it was...oh well.
We left the bar sometime after I got bored and started spinning myself around on a barstool. I fell off it after a couple of revolutions and the fuck heads asked me to leave. I'm still perplexed as why. I asked them what for and told them I was just goofing around but they weren't having that. They told me I had to leave. Damn, when I drink it feels like people take themselves too seriously. I hate that. I've tried not to become that type of person. I don't get pissed off that often but that's one thing that peeves me.

Anyway I went outside to wait for everyone else(we were all about ready to go before I started spinning myself around). Once Alex came out we started walking around looking around the streets of Lafayette. I forgot the exact reason why we did that but when you're drunk you don't really think about things too much. We heard some noise so we walked over to someone's back porch. There were two really fat old ladies on this bench, one of whom looked like they an air tank hooked up to them or something. There was also the Redneck bitch who did most the talking and some black dude. I don't rememeber much of the dialogue that went on but I do remember us asking us about some pot. Alex, trying to be the business person with all his pot connections, talked about some stuff that he could get for them. Their dialogue went on back and worth...I don't remember much of anything they said really. I just thought it was really funny that they were both acting like we were apart of some big drug deal or something. I laughed out loud a couple of times. I guess the bitch and her white trash posse didn't find it too funny what I was laughing about because I do remember her saying to Alex "your friend is your giggling alot." Anyway, at some point the deal must of gone sour or something because I remember she told Alex to get the fuck off the porch. Alex did and I was about to follow him. I was still laughing at this point and the bitch starts pushing me asking me "if I thought this was funny." I guess she thought we were fucking with her or something. I dunno. I don't like being pushed so pushed her right back and told I thought it was pretty funny. She didn't take too kindly to this I suppose because as I was walking off the porch to meet up with Alex who was already by sidewalk the black guy was in front me looking like he was some kind of football pose like he was going to tackle me or something. Alex was yelling at this point "come on Shawn, let's go." I ran by the guy and headed away from where we were.

I don't really think were going to do anything to us. The only person there that stood a chance in a fight was the black guy and if it was me and Alex we'd probably break his ass in two. I think they just wanted to scare us off or whatever. I was kinded pissed off just because they were trying to act like hardasses when they were just a bunch a dumb shits looking for pot. Alex asked me if I wanted to egg their house that night but I was apprehensive about it. We'd already seen 3 or 4 cop cars pass through the place and I didn't want to get caught or anything. I would however like to do something to them. We've got plenty time to do whatever though.

The next day I had a bad hangover and didn't do much of anything. I sat around alot, played some games and tried to regain my strength. I did alot of thinking and dreaming over the past two days. It's funny, I think the change of atmosphere has changed my attitude lately. I mean all I did was I sat around and did nothing the whole day which I did alot at home. It usually would bore the hell out of me or depress me. I'm not sure why but I had fun laying in bed dreaming and thinking about assorted topics....

I sat in my room. It was about mid day outside. I was looking out my window. It's a nice view that I have. It's on the 2nd floor facing Grant Street. The street isn't that interesting to look at, but it's nice to enjoy the weather outside with the nice breeze the fans produce from sitting in the window. I sat down on the bed slinging my sawed-off flintlock alot. I realized at some point I should probably give it a name. I'm always playing with it, I should have a good name for it. I really wasn't in the mood to do anything; my stomach and head were killing me from the hangover so the best thing I could do was just sit here so the pain wasn't so bad.

I was looking around my room for a while. I don't know exactly why, I've seen all the stuff I have in here a thousand times before. Maybe it's just because I still haven't gotten over the fact that enjoy my room so much. It doesn't have all the stuff my basement room back home had but I kind of like it more. It's a little simpler, less busy but it's a nice quiet little place just to sit down in. The green carpet is nice on the eyes. I like it alot.

I like how you can move from thought to though so quickly thinking you to think about another thing, then another, and another until you have a huge chain of thought. That what I did while laid back and sat on my bed.

So I thought...
There was this conversation that recently Melissa Gorham a while back on AIM. It was about being the opposite sex. I told her I thought it would be cool to be the opposite sex, but probably for only a couple of days as the novelty of having (.)(.) and take advantage of everything I know as being a guy would probably get a old quick then you would have to deal with all those annoying issues like periods, pregnancy, and other silly hassles women have to deal with. She reassured me that (.)(.) are quite fun. Then she mentioned that she'd bet having a penis is fun too. Likewise, I assured that it's all kinds of fun, if not very distracting at least.

Thinking about switching to the opposite sex made me think about the Ranma anime series, as the main character is afflicted with a curse that does that to him. I remembered that I was on a "Fast T1" connection and that I could download some missing episodes. Then I remember that our connection sucks when you try to connect to KaZaa, meaning I wasn't going to get any episodes any time soon. "Fuck" I thought to myself.

As I sat there, I kind of nodded off. Since I was thinking about the opposite sex, (.)(.) and the like other stuff eariler I guess it wasn't a surprise that what I was dreaming about was trying to score with chicks. When I woke up, or at least realized I was dreaming and started to wake up, I began to think about being depressed, being lonely and all of that since it usually happens alot when it comes to thinking about girls. Usually when I wake and have a dream about girls or something, I usually end up depressed because I realized it was all fake. It wasn't like that this time. I asked myself why is it people get depressed over such issue. Or why would I? I thought maybe it was because conflict between what we want in our dreams and what we get in reality. To state in a sentence I guess it would be that sadness can over come someone when they fail to realize their dreams into their world.

I tried to tie this into a previous theory about being physically well related to being emotionally well. I came to psuedo conclusion that maybe if a person isn't doing well physically the less motivation they have when comes to do something they isn't being lazy. Which in turn what prevents them from realizing their dreams. The mind knows
exactly what it wants, the body just can't do it. Maybe that's one of things that was making me depressed previously. I'm not sure.

What I was sure of that I was with in my normal weight range as opposed to about a year or so ago when I wasn't. What I was also sure of was that I had a boner from when I was sleeping. I remember then a conversation a little a while Newt and Craig were having about why does that always happen when you're dreaming. Craig's theory was that our bodies are like computers and that it was just testing every part of our body when you wake up. I wasn't so sure about whether that was true but I started to think about that analogy myself. I went ahead and added to that analogy to say that our genetic code is similar to the binary code in software. The difference being that Genes are in base 4(you know Thymine-Adenine, Cytosine-Guanine). We've been studying the our binary code for a while but when don't have the source code. Like with compiled machine code, it's hard to fully understand what the binary code does with having the source code. So all those researchers who are investigating our genes will maybe one day know what every piece of code does in there.

that got me thinking about how cool it will be one day when we've perfected nanotechnology and totally mapped the human genome to where we will be able to engineer our bodies on the cellular level. If we survive long enough, that will probably be the next step in our evolution. Right now our cells and body is a machine but one that has a number of frailities that cause it to break down. If we augmented our cells with machines that wouldn't break down as easily as our cells do we could do all kinds of great things and weird things. I'm not sure, but I think at some point there you would no longer be able to call someone human who had a bunch of nanomachines in them. They would sort of be like a machine, but sort of not. They would look like a person but their body would be definately be something different.

Hmm...maybe I think too much though...

[8/23/2002 5:14:35 PM | Shawn Conn]
My sleep schedule has been all kinds of fucked up lately. I've been spending a good number of hours trying to finish my Japanese homework. I came to the recent realization that I shouldn't been spending this much time on homework considering that I have homework every day. I've got to do something about that soon.

I'm getting pretty good at gun slinging(swinging, twirling, or whatever the hell you call it). Lately when I'm bored around the apartment I'll found myself playing with the sawed-off flintlock I have. I've realized alot of times I can handle it pretty well with out even think about what I'm doing. I'm almost a natural at it.

I'm still trying to get the SBB movies from the Aug 12th even online. I'm not sure what to do yet but I'll get to it sometime.

Aaron gets the "I'm a cock" award. The bus trip story will be finished when I get to it. You don't pay me to see the story so you get more of it when I have the time.

I've been thinking also what I should be doing after I finish college. Get a job and money is on my list of priorities but I don't want to be stuck in some career path that will turn me into a drone that focuses it's life on going to a job 5 days a week. I want adventure, something new and exciting to focus myself into.

A while back one my favorite gaming magazines, Next Generation got axed by the horribly incompentant Imagine media. It really wasn't a shock though, it was on a down slide for quite a while. But the death of that magazine has left no where to really turn for news about the gaming industry. Sure there's plenty of magazines for gamers out there but the format of every magazine out there is geared toward the same adolecent crowd with the same old content: tips, codes, previews of new games, reviews, letters, plenty of pictures to keep those with sure attention spans happy, and more than (.)(.) and virtual (.)(.)'s to shake a stick at(and I'm not talking about a joystick).

Not that I don't enjoy all that stuff, it's just not worth paying for and not what keeps me interested in gaming.

Coming back to my point, I think I told someone once that videogame journalism would be something that I might like to do. I would certainly love to write for or even try to start a magazine similar to Next Generation: the same fun of gaming just with a twist of intellectuality.

Of course I don't really have much of a education background in writing, but I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at writing. Writing, like most subjects, is one those crafts where you can get good at by just looking at how it's done. I'm a pretty analytical person so I usual don't have trouble in seeing what it is that makes good writing different from bad writing. Of course I don't know the terms and definitions that the people who do have an educational background in writing know, but I don't think that matters. It's like the difference between being able to do something well and being able to do it well with the ability to describe how to do it. Functionally it doesn't matter between the two people that are doing it, but one can be more articulate about what he's doing. That's how I feel about the whole thing. It's certainly easier to write about games than it is to make them just because the tools are readily available to me and I've pretty much already learned how to use them. But again it might just be another hope I have and that I do nothing about.

I'm sitting here right now listening to my music and I came to the realization not to long ago that I don't really put much stock in lyrical content when comes to my judgement into a songs worth. It has, as always, that it sounds good to me. If the lyrics have deep meaning or some value to them that makes a song just that better but a song that has alot to it's lyrics but sounds boring is just isn't worth anything. Alot of times I think about people and what is it that drives them to like a certain genre over another. Like if it could be described in any terms. For example does a person that has a certain type of ears(based on their DNA), or certain way of thinking about sounds(determined by a whole number of factors) have a certain tendency about those feature that make them geared toward certain types of sounds(and ultimately genres).

Disregarding that, there's the social dynamic that influences your taste; Just being around people that listen to something can make you start listening to something. And then there's the repetition issue. For example, people who like a certain song just because they've heard it so many times they know the rythms and sounds of it. Do they like the song because they know how it plays out and thus sounds good because it's already formed a pattern in our heads. Those are just a few issues which come to my mind when I think of how is it you really judge whether music is good or not.

In the end, is it possible to take what another criticizes seriously when we hear something totally different from what that person criticizing heard. I'm not sure about any that I just said but maybe I just have different way of thinking about music as opposed to other people.

Moving on Moving out, that's what I'm about out.

I'm done here...


[8/21/2002 4:34:46 PM | Shawn Conn]
I shouldn't been wasting my time writing but I overslept today. Funny thing was I went to bed pretty early just because there was stuff I needed to get done. Now I'm stuck with a good number of homework. Maybe I should call it homeworks because it seems like every foreign proffessor here at Purdue can't grasp the concept of plural form of homework being homework. Aside from that, they're also horrible spellers. My OS proffessor wrote seats "sits." That was pretty funny. But anyway I'm getting side tracked...

Things have been fun and amusing around here. I wouldn't neccessarily say great but I'm enjoying myself I suppose. It's nice living at the apartment and there's always stuff to do here. I sleep alot more than I lately since living here and for some reason I seem to rememeber my dreams alot more than I have previously. They also always have people in it I know too.

I guess the only that really doesn't make me happy is the classes. I was walking from classes earlier and Aaron snuck up behind me and grabbed me. He said I turned around and I looked like I was going to hit him. Normally I wouldn't be in that state of mind but for some reason when I'm heading in and out of classes I get all uptight and stressed. When I'm not at home enjoying myself or out enjoying myself, I'm mostly in classes not enjoying myself. Classes are pretty much what I expected them to be:

Japanese 201:
Not so much difficult as it is busy work. Homework everyday, essays, quizzes, interviews, etc. Also we're suppose to be speaking nothing but Japanese in the course but reality is alot different in practice. Luckily, everyone seems to be about as forgetful as I am when it comes to Japanese. The class is some what fun, it would even be more fun if I didn't have to have a passing grade for the class. I also don't like having to go it everyday. I'm going for a D, I don't really care about much else, just passing for my major.

Vector Calculus:
It's going to be pretty boring from the looks of it. Homework everyday and a bunch of stuff I already know. The first week we're covering alot of boring stuff I've known about vectors since high school. From the looks of the ciriculum it won't be too much different from what we've already covered in Calc III. I guess it's going to be a pretty easy A.

Physical Geology:
One of the easiest lab sciences at Purdue. I imagine it's a favorite for filling out lab science credits. The labs are pretty easy and the tests are only 3, non-cumulative, 50 multiple choice, exams for the whole class. It might be interesting, it might not, either way it's going to be easy.

The Exciting World of Databases:
If you couldn't tell by the title, the world of databases is about as fun as the world of accounting: not at all. I can tell by the intro, the class is going to be a whole bunch of boredom. At least we don't have to go to the early help sessions. Maybe the projects will be fun but I'm skeptical.

Operating Systems:
This might be my only interesting class I have for the year. I don't know much at all about OSes and we're covering a whole lot of topics. The projects won't nearly be as intense as compilers; If you take the graduate level of this course you do have to make your own OS but that's nothing I have to worry about. The proffessor seems pretty smart too. The only problem is the way he talks is annoying. He has a hispanic accent which wouldn't be bad by itself but he has a good loud voice. Every few seconds while he's talking and he has to think, he says "eeeeyyy" very loudly. Unfortunately(or forunately I suppose), words can't really describe how bad it is. At some points where I begin to zone out his talking turns into mumbling accented every few seconds with "eeeyyyy." Yippie...

Looking at what I have left to take after this semester, it definately looks like I'll be done by end of next semester. All I have left is:

MA353- Linear Algebra II( with Applications!...and bordem!)
CS414- Numerical Methods
JPNS202- 4th semester Japanese
CS491- Senior Resource Seminar(a 1 Cr Hour lecture on what I suppose is what we're suppose to do with our degree)
2 Other upper level CS classes

Of course the the upper level classes I'll probably will get will suck. I might get computer networks which will be interesting and fun, but I certainly won't get to take the computer graphics course where we learn some OpenGL(OpenGL is a open set of APIs or computer code libraries that are used in rendering 3D graphics) that I wanted to take.

Then after that semester I should be done provided what my counsoler told me is right about getting credit for my lower division CS courses. If not, I'll be here for the summer to make up anything that I didn't get done.

And after that, then what? I'm not sure, I suppose at some point down the road this year I'll already have found a job or something to do with my new piece of paper that says I'm comptentant enough to graduate. Funny that when I mentioned to Ted eariler this summer that I'll be done this year he called it a "golden ticket." I however just think of it as piece of paper or some title that really doesn't mean much of anything(File that under #2466: The grass is always greener...).

I originally went into CS because it was one thing that was closest to my true passion, gaming, but as I knew when I jumped into CS that doesn't mean I'll neccessarily get to do anything even related to that. The more I think about it, it's not so much the technical aspect of games that fascinates me as much as the creative,or the artistic aspect of it. I certainly can and sort of do understand the technical aspects of making a game but not enough to make a game by myself without alot more learning. That takes initiative to do go out and do all that learning. One thing I learned about myself these past couple of years is that I'm not a person that does much to actively go out and look for more fun. Maybe I'm in the wrong state of mind but when I make an intiative to go out and try something I always put something on line and there's always a fear that I'll end up disappointed. I've been trying to get better at remedying that but it's always a stumbling point for me. And so life keeps going on in circles...[++++++____]

[8/18/2002 9:04:28 PM | Shawn Conn]
Looking for Motivation

Hmm, this is the first post since I've returned to Purdue. It's been fun so far. I enjoy the apartment alot. I just wish I could say I'm going to enjoy everything else. So far, I'm not sure about that. More on that later.

As far as the apartment is concerned, there are a handful of issues but only really one big one though: the fucking T1 connection is butt. The speeds were ok at first but have been going down hill fast. Right now, you're lucky if you connect to anything. As I write this, I still can get on AIM, the Web, Email or anything.

But at least it has given me a chance to do some more writing. Without all this flood of information coming in to distract me, I can focus on self betterment. Too bad that's not really going anywhere though. I did however start getting back to the bus trip story. I started writing tonight just because I wasn't feeling in the party mood tonight. I went out but I just wasn't feeling good about anything so I went back and did some writing to find myself. Unfortunately, myself said go fuck off.

I was talking to Melissa eariler. Some point down the line she asks what are my concerns. I listed something about women as the first entry. It didn't seem like a me thing to say. Or is it? I dunno. That reminds me of a conversation I had with Newt eariler about feeling self absorbed in who I think I am. I get myself caught up in who I think I am I look for things that "I" would do instead of looking things I want to do.

Another thing I said to Newt was that I feel very seperated from everything. Even when I'm a part of something I never feel like I'm all there. That probably doesn't make any sense so I guess I should elaborate. It's like I feel like I'm never one of a group. Like I feel like I'm an observer not a participant I suppose. Maybe I have some unresolved problems with being close to people or things.

Man, if I put half the excitement I had into video games I did in life I would be alot more interesting to talk to. I should make a point to do that but it never works out that way. Oh well...

I guess I have found a little motivation lately. Getting things working at the apartment does motivate me little. Aside from that, I do have a story to finish and a website to update. I shouldn't be so down. It's just frustrating sometimes. Next post I do I'll try to have something worthwhile to talk about. I've been thinking of something that would be good to put in a blog post. Now if I can find the time between classes...


[8/14/2002 3:04:26 AM | Shawn Conn]
So boxing was yesterday. It was fantastic. The past few days have been most excellent. I don't know if I'm out of the rut I was in a long time ago. Last night I was starting to feel really horrible. Part of it was the pounding headache from boxing, the other part was well...just other issues that I have. I don't really want to get into but it's nothing new.For a bit I thought I was feeling better(I decided I was probably feeling so bad because of the lack of food I had that day) but it got alot worse later. I didn't shake that off for a while. Later on that night, Alex came by to talk about life, love, etc. That kind of helped get my mind off things until I fell asleep.

Here it is the next day. I feel better now but I still feel like there's stuff to be done. Aside from getting my stuff ready, I've got to meet all the people I could possibly never see again. I'm not really sure that's for certain but this is my last year and I do think things will change come next year. I'm hoping to make things alright before I leave, Tie up all lose ends and what not. My work here is not done and I've got 2 days to fix it. We'll see what happens...


[8/9/2002 2:53:10 PM | Shawn Conn]
Day 8,143:

I'm back in a better condition since I last left. It only took about week and half to do at that, whatever that means. Of course that isn' really helping anything. I'm not really happy with myself and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. Alex and I went with Will and Evan to go do "shenanigans". It was fun time but when I say "...I went..." I mean I just followed them around. I didn't really have much to provide or say about what was going on. I shouldn't even went along, I'm a pretty boring person.

We went along with some people just out of Trinity High School. We all fit into Jon's car driving around looking for shenanigans to do. There was seven of us, Jon, Paul, Elly, Will, Evan, Alex and I. We ended up doing all most nothing but driving but it was fun. I could have done with Elly though. She was quite loud and annoying. All she said was stupid shit. It was damn funny to watch Jon and others to tell her to shut up or boss her around. I guess you could say that it was demeaning to her or whatever but she deserved it. Anyone that acts that annoying/stupid/womanly deserves in my opinion. My respect only dropped for her further( after the bitch stole the back seat) when Evan made her totally forget about being pissed at him, Will and others just by holding her and doing other sorts of flirty things. From what I gather I guess the reason she only acts so dumb is because it gets her attention. I guess it might be a different story if I thought she was attractive but I didn't so all she was to me was loud and annoying. That gets me to another topic....

Women are like men, but stupid...oh and they have boobs and vaginas instead of penises. Certainly not all women are like this but I can think a good number that if they were a guy the would have no guy friends because they complain about rather silly things, don't take the time to figure how to do thing(instead having someone else do it for them), and they emotions overtake rational actions. The point I'm getting to is that the only reason men hang out with women is because they want to bang them or just have something nice to look at. It pretty depressing when I think about that. I guess it one those facts of life thing that I should know and not think twice about but it seems that it doesn't have to be like that. I certainly think that there are women out there that don't act like that and that most of my friends that are women are like that but it seems that I end up being wrong at some point....

Turning back to self-introspection...

I'm lonely
I've been looking at myself lately thinking about being lonely and all that. I think for a while I've confused love and sex. If I really find someone totally sexy I mean not only do I find them physically attractive but I like their character too. But if I like their character then that must mean I like them too so I must somewhat be in love. There's probably a problem with that arguement somewhere which caused me frustration down the line. I don't feel like analyzing it right now but I leave to the reader to ponder or whatever.

I'm boring
Aside from that, another thing I don't like about me is that I become to absorbed in what I'm doing. I realize if I'm doing an activity they nothing else matters to me. If it's talking then I focus on thinking about topics, replies, tangents, stories, etc. If I'm listening then I focus on the story, details, characters, the person telling me, etc. Whatever it is, I don't like to half-ass it and I pay my full attention toward it. I find that it gets me caught up in things alot that get me stuck. Just noticing details of things around me and can get me caught up in that and I'll find my mind wandering.

I'm not fun to be around
That's probably why I never really say much around big groups. Not that I don't have much to say, it's just that I'll find myself intrigued by the dynamics of the conversation. I'll focus on that instead of reacting to whatever is going on in the group.

I don't know what to think about these things. They are what make but they are also what make me unhappy. Does that mean I'm just an unhappy person?

[8/4/2002 5:08:12 AM | Shawn Conn]
Back again...same shit,new month. Well here it is August, the summer's almost over. For me I think it's about done. Lately I haven't felt a good thing to focus on. I guess I'm not feeling bad as I was last time I posted but I'm certainly not feeling good. I was thinking about why I felt so bad last week. I think I came to the conclusion that for a long awhile I was proping myself up on alot of hope. What kind of hope? The kind of hope that says makes you keep truckin' in life despite the shit that might happen. The hope that makes you think that things will turn out right. The hope that says there is someone out there for you waiting somewhere. It's the hope that tells you what you're doing is right. Everyone's the hero of their own story and it's this hope that provides the motivation and inspiration for us to keep moving through the plot.

I recently read some previous stuff I written to some people. I noticed alot in my letters I always said I hope to find a girlfriend or something like that. I had this hope too for the summer again but I should of known it would have went bust. Hope can only carry you so far and I think a few days ago that crutch of hope that I was holding on shattern from beneath me, leaving my ass to hit some hard ass ground.

I got back up, I always get back up. But it feels different this time. I always tried to shrug off this depressing stuff and just look forward to better things but I don't know anymore. I don't feel like looking forward to shit. I don't want to plan on stuff to do, I don't feel an express need to do anything new, I don't feel like hanging out with anyone, I don'f feel like much of anything.

I guess if I had too look at myself I would say I show some kind of signs of depression: Sleepin' alot more, eatin' alot less. But I feel fine. Then again, I don't know if that's saying much. I look at myself, my demeanor, and it seems to me that alot of things don't excite me one way another. It would be hard to tell if I'm really depressed, bored, or just thinking on the exterior. I guess it's what you feel on the inside that matters. I'm not feeling much of anything really. Alot of desolation. I feel like I wound myself alot, building up hopes and dreams. But instead of winding down, I just wound to far and tore myself apart.

But enough of this metaphorical metaphysics crap. Bottom line is I set myself up for alot of hurt. And that's what I did. I would like to learn something from this but this happens alot and I just feel like I go around in circles. I don't know what to do to solve it. I've tried to talk to handful of people about it but all it ends up doing is make me angry so I don't know if that's going to help.

Last Paragraph: Pardon me if the post bores you but I guess if you read this far it doesn't really matter. I like to keep my blog fresh of new ideas, revelations, and other cool things I stumble upon but lately I've been stifled alot. I haven't touched my bus story in a while, among other things. I don't know why the feeling of loneliness gets me down so much but it does. Maybe it's some issue I picked up with my family, I'm not sure. Maybe it's just something that feels worse each day because I don't know what to do about it. Maybe it's that I confuse sex and love. Maybe it's my nagging uncerties I have about myself. I don't know what it is but it bothers me loads when I think about being lonely. I think everyone has their one big thing to their personality that brings them down. This is mine. I don't know how to deal with it, I've tried to deal with it but I think I'm giving up very quickly. I don't know what else more to say than that. Hopefully, I'll find something more to inspire me in these upcoming days to break this funk I'm in but I'm just not sure of that.

[7/31/2002 5:41:35 AM | Shawn Conn]
Things will get better before they will get worse. How's that phrase go? I think that's what it is. I'm not really sure as of right now. Lately I haven't been wanting to do much of anything. Apathy is high on the order of things lately. I got more bus stories but lately I haven't been feeling good enough to do any writing.

I don't really have many good stories but here go...

I've been playing alot of Go lately. After seeing the movie Pi I was inspired to get it and play the game. Unfortunately, it never came with the rule book so I for a while I hadn't been using it. But lately, I've learned the rules and have been teaching my friends how to play it. It's easy to learn, hard to master. I've enjoyed it much.

Since I'm not doing anything during the day, Tekken is a good time killer. Lately I've been adding more juggle combos to my arsenal as well as reading up on various FAQs about the game. I guess a big accomplishment lately is that I've learned how to pull off the Electric Wind God Fist(big name isn't it?) fairly consistently. For those not aware what EWGF is, here's the skinny. It's a standard Mishima Karate move in Tekken that Jin and Heihachi have. The move would look like this ( f, N, d, d/f+2) in Tekken lingo. The thing is that you can pull off the motion of the crouch dash( f,N,d,d/f) and any time after you hit d/f you can hit the right punch(2) to pull off a Wind God Fist. But in order to do a EWGF you have to press d/f and 2 at the exact same time in order to do. It's alot tougher than it sounds because you're only given 3 frames( 2 with Heihachi) to press buttons together which means you have a hit window of 1/30 of a second. If you pull the EWGF fast enough you can get in 3 consecutive hits with it but your timing has to be dead on. I can do it maybe once in a long while, but never consistantly and never in battle. If you see some that can pull of 3 EWGFs in row that's a mark of a true Tekken master.

Other than that my life is not much more than just a series of events trying to make me forget how shitty I felt lately. Remember a while back when I said I was trying to keep myself in shape to see if it had an effect on being depressed? Well, it doesn't help exactly. I still put alot of stress on body but I still feel as bad as I have any time before. Maybe worse, I don't know. Not that it has something to do with it, I just feel worse than I have previously. I feel about as worse as I did 2 years ago during the fall.

Today was probably of example of that. I didn't feel so great when I woke up. I played some Tekken to get my mind and body moving after I woke. I tried some excercise too. I ate supper than began to read some Tekken FAQs and practice some combos. I talked to Newt and Emily briefly on AIM to see if they were up for doing things. I told them both I would get a hold of them later on in day.

The day goes on, more of the same. The more I think about it, the less I feel like I'm going to end up doing stuff today. Will calls me as I'm playing Tekken. He asked at some point, "How ya doin?"
"I've been better."
"Have you been worse?"
That was a little inspiring to not feel so bad and get something into action.I told him that I would stop by in a bit. I first finished my game of Tekken. Even though I did want to make something of this day I still wasn't feeling that great. I called Emily and saw how that would change the situation. She was heading to Len's and I was going ask if she was up for stuff but the more I thought about the less I felt like there was stuff to do. I left the conversation at that and told her I would see her later.

When I got to Will's it was pretty slow. We sat there and showed each other some things in Tekken for a bit. Then Will tried to call some people to mobilize things. Alot of people were working so much did happen. He did however get a hold of Evan who suggest frisbee at Waterfront Park. At this point I was pretty apathetic about anything. The more I thought about it, the less I felt like going. Will really wanted to go there so I told him I would take him. He told me that Newt was going to be there so I figured I guess I would meet up with him and saw what would happen since I probably would be just sitting there being that I didn't have any energy or caring to play frisbee.

When we did get there, I could tell I wasn't feel good at all about anything. It was about then I decided I was probably going to go home after I met up with Newt. When will I arrived to the field, we ran into Emily. She was going to Len's but a funny thing happened on the way. I'd mentioned but it's not my story and I just don't feel like repeating it. So we sat there for a bit by the field as Will ran out to meet other people in the frisbee crowd. As I sat there, I was starting to feel sick. I dunno if I'm depressed but if I am it was having a negative effect on my health. Newt and later on Steve would eventually show up. At some point I think it was Steve mentioned that I didn't look so good. I hadn't said much the whole time I was there. I told him the problem. As conversation went on, my mind easily slipped away from it. I my head was really starting to hurt and my stomach felt ill. I knew things were getting worse before they were getting better and I just didn't feel to be here anymore. I made my leave for home.

I'm not sure what the difference between sobbing and crying is. I guess crying is tears with audible yelling. In that case, I was sobbing on the way back on home. I'm not sure why, I'm pretty sure it had to do with alot of things. Most notable being lonely. There are other things that figure in but that's usually the trigger. I drove home pretty slow as it was hard to see the road sometime when there are alot of tears in your eyes.

When I got home, I sat on my bed until I fell asleep sobbing. When I woke, I went online to check my email. At some point Kirsten IMed me. Even though I didn't really feel like talking to her, but it'd been awhile since I had saw her so I did anyway. Of course the topic came around to how I was doing and in retrospect I probably should have told her I was fine because the I knew the minute I told her why I was feeling bad I would just feel worse. I was right. I really appreciated her trying to cheer me up and make me feel better but there was probably nothing that she could have said that would have made me feel better about my situation. I never know what to do in these situations anymore. I want to feel better but talking about it never helps anymore. All I hear is the same bullshit I already know: "You're a great person!" "You'll find someone!" "Things will work out in the end!" All that makes me feel mad. I don't want to the upset the person who's trying to help but that's what I feel. Thus, I never feel like talking about the situation ever helps.

I wonder if I sound really pathetic now. With my mind spiralling toward anger and depression, it's hard to take a look at yourself. I know I should feel so bad about things. Mabye things will get better but right now I don't have any reason to think so. The longer things go on the more I think I should just give up on ever trying to find someone. It's just not going to happen to me. I think the sooner I realize this the better.

People that are attracted to me, I'm never attracted to. It takes me so long to really find some I'm attracted to. I'm too picky but if I didn't feel anything toward someone and pursued it anyway, I would not only be lying to them I would be lying to myself. I can't stand that.

Even when I find someone that I feel I really care about it never works out. There are numerous reason why. I could go into the details but I don't feel like it. The bottom line is I fuck things up because I'm too conscious about what I have to do and I'm afraid being rejected. Aside from that I'm beginning to realize that I'm just not a person that's attractive to the opposite sex. I'm not interesting, I don't have much to say, I'm not funny. Why the hell would someone be attractive to me? Yes, Shawn, I know your being hard on yourself. I know that yes I am everyone of those things that you say that you aren't. But that doesn't mean shit when your not those things to someone that you really feel like you like which is always the case for me.

After thinking about all this, I think maybe it's just pointless sex that I need. That option usually turns out a no though. I either fuck it up, don't want sex from who I might have a chance with, or something else. It's all getting so tiring to me. The more I think about this the worse I feel. I could see myself I would kill him just because I've hate what I've become.

I don't feel good about anything at all and it's such a stupid thing to be this way or one dumb thing but that's how I feel. I'm really hurt and I've about exhausted all that I feel like I can do. I just don't want to care about anything anymore. I'm sick of going around in circles. I hope I find something to fix but I don't think it's going to happen.

Sorry for such a depressing post. I just don't feel like much at all...

[7/27/2002 2:51:39 PM | Shawn Conn]
I haven't been sleeping all that well lately. Not the usually 8 hours. It's usually around like 6. Supposedly when your depressed you sleep more, I guess it depends on the situation. I didn't do anything last night. I sat around and watched TV and played video games trying to get in a better mood. I don't think I talked to anyone yesterday other than Emily who stopped by to let me borrow the Trainspotting soundtrack to rip and that wasn't much talk. I talked to some people over AIM too I suppose. It didn't really help get my mind off things though.

I've been noticing the last few days I've been dreaming that my dreams have become more vivid. Enough so that I tend to been remembering alot more than I used to it. I don't want to go through all of them because most the stuff that happened isn't really worth taking the effort to write them down. But yesterday the last bit of dream I had right before I woke up kind of threw me off. I was Len's apartment. Well from what I could tell it was his apartment. Places in dreams get distorted often and since you never remember the entirity of dreams the change of scenery could happen at any time. I remember passing by Len who was placing his hands on the walls trying to start climb up them. I thought, "what the fuck?" I passed Hafsa who was complaining about James not liking her nipples. This probably wouldn't had been so weird if it wasn't for the fact that half the things she was saying just showed up as word beside her head. Not only words but also random symbols. That was pretty odd. Then I walked by Emily whose face was either scarred or my vision was rather distorted. She was either smiling or looked happy. I noticed the red hair for a brief moment then I asked her something. It was then the features of her face kind of sunk inward to where there was no face left. That was damn creepy. Even stranger it seemed like it was an ability that she could do. Like blinking your eyes or something like that. I remember it happening again and it just scared the fuck out of me. I woke up soon afterward. Maybe that was nightmare. I'm not sure, but I didn't like that at all.

When I woke up I realized that I wasn't in Len's place but rather my room sleeping. I sat there I thought a while about the random bad shit that has happened to me when I head over there to Len's. The last time I was over there was pretty fun but before that it seems like just more and more shit happens to me that make me not want to head over there again. That got me thinking about last year. It seemed like every other day Len, Mason, or someone from that group would called my house to see what was going on. Now, I rarely ever hear from them. Not that this is some kind of revelation. I knew this would happen just because we live farther apart now. But it got me thinking about things. How things changed alot just by a move of location. I try to head out there every week or so just to see what's up and it feels like I'm welcome there but I dunno. Friendship is a two lane road and it only works if both sides make attempts to head down their path.

I consider all those people to be good friends of mine but thinking about this while you're sitting alone in your bed tends to upset you. When people call you it makes you feel like you are wanted. When you think about how quickly things changed. It makes you feel like you're no longer wanted. Or worse, you feel like the only reason people called you is because you were a place to be at not a person to be with. Added to that the feeling of loneliness about never getting a girlfriend and I wanted to just not be me anymore. I don't know if I can blame them, I'm not a very interesting, funny, or exciting person to be around. If I was me,(which I think I am) I wouldn't like me either. I'm probably just being paranoid, upset, depressed or something like that but there's got to be something to what I just said. I hope I'm wrong; nothing hurts worse than when you find out what people really think of you is nothing at all what you thought that they thought of you.

...later on.

[7/25/2002 12:38:17 AM | Shawn Conn]
Fadin' Out
I didn't sleep very well last night. Mostly because I kept having the same dream again and again. I don't know the details, the why's, where's and what's, but I do know that I was trying to show affection to someone that just hated me. I think that's one my biggest fears is loving someone and them not loving me back. There's nothing that makes me feel worse than that. You'd think I'd gotten used to it now but nope.

Today was kind of like my dream, not exactly, but enough not to make me feel anything good about it. I felt so sad today. I dwelled on how lonely I felt and how I have no one to blame but myself for it. I could go into the details, but I've already said it many times before. It just makes me feel worse when other people have no trouble finding someone and I have it so tough. Alot it does is make me hate myself and hate who I am. It's times like those where I don't like to see any mirrors because I just want to destroy what I see.

I try, I try, I try to make myself feel better and give myself confidence but it leads to nothing but disappointment. I haven't been able to find anyone this far, I might as well give up. I once thought what it would be like for all the people that I did have feelings who rejected me. If I was them, I guess I would have done the same thing. So I guess it's only fitting. I try, I try, I try...I'm sick of trying. I'm sick of trying to control things in my life. I think I'm going to let go of it all.

This will be my last entry for awhile. My last few posts lately have just been depressing me. I don't feel like I've had anything interesting to say lately so I'm going to quit for awhile. I'll come back when I feel better but that might be awhile.

[7/22/2002 4:01:18 AM | Shawn Conn]
I don't have much for cohesive thoughts and sentences today. It's more like random shit that's coming to my mind. So here it is...

173: New Survival record in Tekken Tag. I rule. My Tekken in Strong. Whatelse is New? Will mentioned that Book and Music Exchange my hold contests where people play some guys in Tekken 3 for a $1 to win $5 instore credit. That could be fun....

Max Payne is fun. I've been playing the PS2 version that Jessica let me borrow( I can't get the PC version to work in Win2K). I keep getting distracted by it...

I keep wanting to finish the bus story but so many distractions...I've written alot more...too tired to post it. I'll get to it soon....

I probably would have had it done by now but people came over when I was writing it: Brian, Newt, and Emily. Not much really went on. I felt like I should entertain them but I was a bore. Brian wanted to see me play Max Payne, I ended up boring Emily away and soon after Newt and Brian left too. I'm glad they came over, even if for bit, I was lonely...

Being lonely sucks. It's been so long since I was excited about someone of the opposite sex. I'm not even really talking about someone that I'd care to pursue a relationship. Just a chick to hang out and have fun with I guess. Maybe sex? I dunno, maybe it would make me feel better. Oh well, even if I had someone I was exciting about nothing ever happens. No matter how hard I try or want things to happen nothing every does. I'm never going to find someone. Damn girls....

Girls with bright and different color hair are awesome. Emily's hair is so cool looking, I can't get over it. I remember there was some chick I had a thing for back in high school. She had a really cool tint of hair. Her name was Amy mind is fading on me. I can't think of her last name anymore. *sigh*

It's offical, most people find my blog by searching Google for Corporal Dan. If you don't know who or what Corporal Dan is about I would definately download the movies on the side bar. Everyone should see it....

Speaking of everyone, Everyone and their mom went the SBB site on Wednesday and Thursday. Over 4000 people in 2 days. How'd that happen is anyone's guess. I'm not sure. Hopefully, if all goes well, boxing will happen on the 12th of August. I'm don't know if that's the date for sure but that's what I think Steve and I came too. I'll have to talk to Steve one more time to make sure it's offical then I'll post it on the SBB site.

I feel like I have so much energy and I want to do so much but I somethings keeping me back. I keep getting tore up all inside me. Sorry if I'm being so vague..I'm getting sleepy and I'm about ready to go to bed. Hopefully tommorow is going to be a better day...


[7/18/2002 4:02:13 PM | Shawn Conn]
Finding Inspiration
Man yesterday was pretty slow and boring. I didn't do anything at all almost. I did however take the time to start the 5th day of the bus trip(I stopped before I got into the big events of that day) and learn a bit more about Go. I got a Go board a long while ago. I saw it in the movie Pi and I was inspired to learn how to play. I forgot about it for a while until Steve mentioned board games the other day. I asked him if he wanted to play it. We played a good two games at his house Tuesday night. It was pretty fun so I took the time to learn more about the game last night. I looked at stragies, terms, history, and other such things and I felt like it was pretty good use of my time.

Better than just wasting away which I have felt alot lately...

Right now I'm looking for more inspiration. Something that will make me want to make enjoy the moment I'm in and crave the next moment even that much more. Love, beauty, knowledge, self-betterment, are just a couple things I'm looking at. There are many things running through my mind right now, it's just a matter of focusing one into the energy that will make me do something. Last night I was sitting around playing Wipeout Fusion some more. If you want a more detailed description of what it is think a futuristic bobsled race with flying vehicles and weapons while Techno music plays in the background. I know there are alot of people that find racing games boring but I'm not one of them. They are certainly boring to watch, but there's a difference between playing and watching.

As I was sitting there racing along the track I realized there's some sort of Zen medetation to it. At least for me anyway, I'm sure you could be really excited by the flashing action on the track but when I play I just mellow out and focus my self on what I'm doing and where I'm going. When I play I try to focus on what I'm doing in the game and push all my other throughts and worries out of my mind. The controls are simple enough where I don't have to think to much about them so I can fine tune my actions at every corner and obstacle. I guess what I'm thinking of is trying to perfect the indivual moves and turns at every place enough to where I perfect everything. I can't really describe what makes it so appealing but it is a nice escape from life. Combine that zen art of controlling your craft with pretty visuals and nice techno music going on and I'm in heaven. About the only other game I play where I get myseld to that state is Tetris which I would argue is probably the best video game every made.

Anywho, just a couple of thoughts I leave by the wayside. 'Til Next time...

[7/17/2002 5:05:57 AM | Shawn Conn]
Random Thoughts
Nugget gave me props on my blogs the other day. I thought I should just put a link to his site on my sidebar. I don't really know him at all but his props was good enough for me.

My mom has gone wacko as of late. It seems like she has become paranoid about people coming in the house doing random things to the damn house. She bitches to me all the time about locking the damn sliding door. It's starting to piss me off.

Big Thoughts

Sorry for those that I thought I was sucidial the last night before that previous posting. I came into my house last Saturday night semi drunk and semi depressed. I think I got into a conversation with Ted about ways that he would do himself in. I don't remember all the details but I think I gave him the impression that I was feeling like I was going to kill myself. I guess I felt like talking about the subject of suicide because in a way my body was dying... I was choking it to death with alcohol that night. I wanted to feel a bit better about things and I definitely drank more than I should have.

I don't think I would ever kill myself; it's seems like it would be too involving. There aren't many ways that I would like to kill myself, most of them being the really violent ways like shooting myself or something like that, and the ones that I wouldn't mind doing seem like they would take to much planning, enough so much that I probably would be that desparate anymore. I don't like to do things half-assed. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do right or not at all. That's my number one reason for not trying alot of things. Sucide for me would just be too much planning. It would never work out.

Morbid thoughts aside, I had a bit of revelation that night I was intoxicated. Most of the night seemed pretty foggy from what I remember but this what I do remember as little bulletin points in my head.

* We went to J-Boy for Peter's last night in J-ville for a while, although there was fun there I don't think I was having much fun. The biggest reason was people pointing out that I wasn't saying much. I say what I say when I have to. I don't like the feeling that I have to say something. I was feeling kind of down about being lonely and other things but I don't think I was that irritated about it. Peter did mention it and he was trying to cheer me up and I really thank him for the thought... But there's just something inside me that doesn't like people trying to cheer me up. It's silly but I think it's something I picked up at IU when I realized not everyone will always be there for you. Something happened that year that has made me determined and dead-set not to rely on others to cheer me up. The only person responsible for my happiness is myself. Anyway, that irked me more so I soon left afterwards to go home.

*When I got back I had some leftover beer in the fridge so I thought a few drinks would take my mind off things. I then started to play Tekken.

*After a few games of Tekken a couple of beers, I felt better. I decided to go to Len's. I was tired of solitary video games.. There was going to be people there maybe something would happen there.

*I got there and well I'm not sure when wrong. I had a few conversations. It was going good, it seemed like people were happy to see me and there was much to say and do. I think maybe things started to go a little bad when people decided to watch a movie. I went over the previous night to talk and chat with people only for the same thing to happen. There were a handful of people in the back but I really couldn't get a good seat out there and I could see shit. I felt like I was listening to a conversation instead of being in one.

*The events after that are gone I think. I do remember me just further and further getting into a funk about stuff, with no one to talk to I went outside for a bit. I ended up running into Nate at the doorstep of the apartment and I remember talking to him for a bit about being lonely and stuff. I felt so bad I was just sitting there sobbing for a while. I remember Jimmy, Megan, and Cassie showed up. I felt so shitty at that point I think I just kind of passed out. I do remember at some point Cassie kept handing me a pipe to smoke. I probably shouldn't have but I just smoked because it was pretty much perfunctory at Len's. I kept sobbing not really aware where I was for a while. Then I rose my head up. I noticed that Nate, Megan, Cassie, and Jimmy were gone. I sat there staring at the street. I notice that my pupils were opening and closing on their on volition from the alcohol; Things would get brighter then darker as I started on at the street. I knew this before but I hadn't really not been aware of so much as I was now. It was probably due to the fact that I had been smoking and sobering up from all the crying I was doing prior. Since I felt that they had left me, I didn't really feel any desire to go back inside of Len's. I just got into my car and took off home.

When I got back home, I was determined not to be depressed. I jumped into the pool and swam around for a bit. I was diving as I deep and as long as I could. I would let the rush of clhorine water into my nose try to excite my senses to make me feel alive, instead of this deadness I felt inside. It was then I was thinking about the pain of trying to breath in water and opening your eyes underwater. You have pain for a reason; your body is trying to alert you of the danger it feels. Likewise, I was trying to reason what, if anything, my body my doing to itself as I was being here depressed. Maybe my reason for depression was not so much my lack of what I had(girlfriend, job, etc.) but lack of what I was doing. I felt like people just being the lazy creatures that we become had gotten it all wrong. We do our activities throughout the day trying to find our next big fix, some activity or thing we do to get our enphorine rush until it gets old then we look for something else. I thought maybe my body was trying to tell my mind that it needed to be used, challenged somehow. I then jumped out of pool and just started running for a while. I ran around my neighborhood for a while. My lungs and legs started to hurt after awhile but I didn't care. I had already came to accept pain earlier while swimming underwater with my eyes open; this was no difference. When I got back I was pretty tired and went to sleep soon.

I woke up the next day, kind of depressed but not really. My body was sore but I realized that it was just because it hadn't been used much at all. I felt better about things. I felt like maybe I should try to be more physically active just to see if it really did help with me being depressed. I felt like for a while my body was out of equilibrium with it natural state. The human body should be stressed, used, worn, and broke in, not just sitting there languishing as the mind looks for next sensual pleasure to appease it. It seems that we focus alot on the mind to make us happy but we often forget out mind is tethered to our body. If the body isn't happy, the mind won't be either. One day we will evolve to the point where the body is seperate from the mind but as it is right now I think maybe the key to happiness is not just keeping your mind appeased but keeping your body appeassed as well. If this is true or not, well that's your desicion to decide but I'm think I'm going to start give it more credit than I had prior. We'll see what happens.

Aside from that I wanted to get on a big topic of drinking. It's pretty late now though, I think I'll save it for tommorow. I want to try to wake up somewhat early. I also want to get started on talking about the 5th day of the bus trip. But more later folks. Tah...


[7/14/2002 12:26:31 PM | Shawn Conn]
Running on E
I don't know if I'm going to finish the bus story. I'm just too tired and down right now to even think about it. I'm one to really never compromise my beliefs or fall down when I believe something, but I don't know anymore. I was playing Black and White the other day. One of the big points of the game is impressing people so that they believe in you. If you choose to take the "good" route you end up having to so many damn nice things for people before you can get them to believe in you. I found it much easier if you do evil things it's alot easier to get them to believe in you. Going back to real life, I found just as annoying and tedious to get people to like doing nice things for them. People will notice you alot more if do all kinds of shit to them. For quite a while I've been nice to every I meet. I think maybe I should do the opposite and get everyone to hate me. All people have certain alignments or things about their personalities that either work for or against other people feeling positive toward them. I think whatever I have about me just works against me getting people to like me. I think when people see me they don't feel anything nice about me at all. Maybe it's just the way I'm thinking about this whole situation but that's what I feel.

I don't know what to think about my friends anymore. I was in Jerry's last night and I just didn't feel like I was apart of things anymore. I felt as if I had nothing to provide anymore. I left there to go home and drink and play Tekken. After that lost it's fun, I decide that I would go to Len's to see more people. I kind of felt welcome, then again I didn't feel like anyone cared. I drank more. A little too much. It tends to help sometimes. I guess that's a bad thing but if it helps feeling so shitty I can't really see it as bad. It's only coming back down that it gets so bad. I've given up on alot of things but never on people. I've always tried to believe in the good nature of people but I just don't feel like it's going to pull me through this time. I think that's just another thing I should give up on. Sorry to sound so hopeless and negative but that's all I'm feeling right now. I'd like to think things will get better but I don't really have that hope anymore. I don't feel depressed but I do feel just really empty. I was crying last night but even that doesn't feel the same anymore. I know that I'm crying and I'd imagine it doesn't feel good but it just feels like I'm so numb that it really doesn't matter anyway.

I think this is the last paragraph. I've had all that I'm going to say. All the words in the world won't change my situation and won't make me feel better. The best thing to do is just leave it at that and try to feel better about things even though I don't feel like it. That's all I got...

[7/13/2002 4:52:34 AM | Shawn Conn]
I'll try to get to the 5th day of the trip soon, today just isn't my day.

I didn't do much today, I sat around alot and played some Wipeout Fusion. Newt called me around 9:00 pm, he was talking about all the fun he had playing Tekken 4 with Steve Fox. He was with Byron, Claire, and Peter. He invited me to join them to see On the Road to Peredition or something like that(the name the title escapes me). I showed up there and saw, it wasn't much to talk about it. It was ok, nothing worth mentioning. Afterwards we went to restaurant. It was sometime around then that I felt uneasy. I don't what exactly caused but I felt out of place. Even though I was with my friends I felt lonely. I had this feeling inside me saying that something was wrong. I was thinking to myself for along while, "why are people friends with me? I have nothing to offer them." Compound that with feeling like I was never going to find some to love and I couldn't stand being there anymore.

I drove home. I started playing Tekken for a bit to take my mind off things. I drank some beer that was left in the fridge. I still felt shitty despite the fact my Tekken game was still sharp as ever. I was still lonely and feeling crappy, I figure I should go to Len's as there would be people there. So I did. It wasn't long though before some people came back with a movie they rented, "The Royal Tenebaums." As much as I heard about the movie and wanted to see, I didn't have the patience to sit through it. After sitting through about 10 minutes of it I just looked around at people. I again got the feeling of loneliness and isolation looking at them; I couldn't stand being around here anymore. I talked to Nate for a couple of minutes at the back then left.

When I got back home I didn't really feel much better. I decided to go swimming and then go hot tubbing. I swam around for a bit and still didn't really help me feel better. I sat there for a while thinking about how depressed I was. I was wondering if I could drown myself. I don't really dive much underwater, I just don't like the feeling of it. The burning chlorine water getting into my mouth and nose just can't stand it. So I would try to keep diving and diving to see how much I could choke myself. My rational side, being there for a reason, wouldn't let me do that much before I pulled myself out gasping for air. I still kept doing it though. I was sick of myself feeling shitty. I've felt like this many time before and never gets me anywhere. This time I was going to do something about it or die trying. I don't know if I accomplished anything but I did feel like I don't really have much of a problem diving and swimming underwater anymore. As I kept doing that, I think I had some sort of revelation. For a while there have been a number of things I didn't want to do alot of times I think I was either afraid or something inside me was telling me that I should do that. I've been thinking that there alot of things out there that I should been trying but didn't because I'm listening to something in my head that says it's wrong. I'm beginning to think that whatever was saying that is wrong and that it's keeping me from whatever I'm hoping and dreaming to do.

For a long while, I would just wake up and stay in bed because I felt like there was nothing to accomplish. Maybe that's just another one of those problems. Maybe my instincts are wrong. I'm thinking that I should do what I feel like doing instead of think what I should be doing. I've been hurting for a while and I don't know why. I'm hoping that I'm going to wake tommorow and start feeling like I should change my life.

[7/10/2002 11:54:52 PM | Shawn Conn]
It's been a while since I've last posted. I've been kind of busy with other things so I really haven't been all that concerned with blogging and whatnot. First off, I've finally finished the 4th day of the bus trip for those interested. Now you ask what has Shawn gotten himself into? Lately it has been a whole lot of video games. Recently a friend of my mom's needed help with setting up his computer. He needed numerous things done to it. He's one of those people who has more money than time so it's not surprising that he gave me $70 to do the whole thing(he gave me $100 to get him Office 2000 and install it for him). With that money I filled up my tank and bought myself Wipeout Fusion. If you've never heard of it, it's this fun racing series that was intially started on the Playstation as a launch title.

Other that Wipeout Fusion, I finished Black and White awhile ago. It's a fun game but it's a bit too long to play through again I think. I also played through Onimusha(I borrowed it from Will since he wanted to borrow FF 10) it was a quick, fun game. It was a nice precusor to the awesome Devil May Cry. It's nice to see Capcom doing more with the Resident Evil-style game engines other than just rehashing more Resident Evil titles. With all this video gaming I've been doing it's a wonder that I haven't lost my mind then I remember that's probably just about as likely to happen as turning a Japanese girl into nymphomaniac with a Big Mac, but then again who knows?

I've also been playing Co-Op Halo with Newt which is hella fun. We did that the other night right before Ted brought over the finished version of Good Cop, Bad Cop. Yes you read right. Ted finally finished his epic cop drama(originally as long as 3 hours but trimmed down to less than an hour). Was it good? Well...I guess no. It had no continuity whatsoever and just was confusing at parts. Was it funny? Yes. There was many funny scenes as well as number of cool shots. I guess I shouldn't really call it bad because you can only judge a movie based on what it's suppose to accomplish. I don't think Ted was ever trying to make something that was going to be coherent. He just wanted a reason to film a bunch of silly scene with Ben and Graham as cops poking fun at the dumb cliches you find in all cop buddy films. In that sense he did a good job. I had a good laugh at a bunch of the stuff in the movie(Steve nearly died with laughter at some of the scenes). I enjoyed the hour I spent watching Good Cop, Bad Cop. And even though I think there could be numerous things that Ted could do to it to make it a better movie I think that's about all I ask of someone who spent so long editing and filming Good Cop, Bad Cop. Congrats to you Ted Gohmann for the good laughs.

[7/5/2002 4:54:10 AM | Shawn Conn]
Well here's a seperate link to the bus trip. I'm almost done with the 4th day. I probably would have finished it but my head has been pounding right now. I thought I was getting better since last I was feeling pretty down but I guess not. I was writing to get myself in a better mood but I it's not working. I need something else to pick me up.

I don't know why I feel so shitty exactly. I know it's a handleful of things that I really don't feel like diving into right now. I'm going to go to sleep soon so I can try to shake it off or atleast lie to myself so I can try to make myself feel better. I've been trying to do that alot lately but it's not really helping. Well, I think I'll just leave it at that. The main news was that I wanted to do an update about the bus trip. I'll get back to you guys later....


[6/29/2002 3:10:03 AM | Shawn Conn]
I didn't think that when I started the recap of the trip that it would span so long. I've decided to change where I'm going to recap it at.I was pushing 130KB which is pretty large just for text. In fact I don't think blogger was sending my updates since I was staring on day 4 and it didn't have it all listed when I went to my blog site. So what I'm going is just make a seperate page that has the whole story, that way the blog won't be bogged down.

For those wondering, my life hasn't been anything meaningful in the past few days. I did go to Purdue briefly but the details of that trip are quite inconsequential. Lately, I've been down. Not so much depressed but I don't feel like I have anything meaningful to wake up to. I think the only point of my day it seems is to find something that will make me forget what I'm suppose to be doing now and not remember it until tommorow. I didn't do anything Friday and I thing that feeling has hit me hard. You know there is something wrong when your crying and your not exactly sure why you're doing.

Not wanting to stay in that mood, I went to our hot tub and pool. I did make me feel somewhat better. While I was sitting there drifting in the pool, I've realized that learned how to swim now. If you didn't know it, I hadn't been able to swim(seems kind of funny since we have a pool). I guess I do now. It's not that good, but I am able to swim across the entire pool so I guess that's some sort of thing to feel better about. But to say I do feel better about things would be lie. I don't feel that good about things and I honestly don't know what to do about it. It's moments like these when I feel like giving up on my life. Not because I'm depressed and I don't know what to do but because I'm sick of feeling the same way. I'm not going to fix anything just by sitting here and sputtering out useless sentences into the void. I have to do something. I'm saying to myself (and everyone else) that I'm not depressed and things are fine, but when you spend a good 10-12 hours of your life asleep maybe you should rethink that statement.

But enough of this I want to move on...

[6/9/2002 3:58:47 AM | Shawn Conn]
The Bus Trip 2002(June 9th-18th)

I rolled into my house around 5 a.m. today. As I walked through my house I found that nothing had changed since I had left. It even still had that weird smell that I've gotten accustomed to smelling when I walk into the house after not being there in a while. In a way I was expecting that something would be different as I went through the house. But as I reached my room I found the only thing that had changed in that house since I left it that 10 days prior was me. In those previous 10 days I was on an epic adventure with some my closest friends. That might sound a little exaggerated but that's what it was for me and I'm pretty sure the same goes for everyone else on the trip. The amount of stuff I experienced is sure going to be alot to cover in a blog but I'm going to try cover it all in the next few days.

Keep in mind that I'm trying to recall all the stuff that has happened in the previous 10 days which would be impossible under normal circumstances but with each day on the trip being so distinct and vivid in my mind I should be able to pull it off here without too much inaccuracy. So with out further introduction...

Day I: (the route)

I woke that day around 9:05 am. I had set my alarm clock for 9:30 but I guess I was so excited about the trip I woke up early. I had only gotten about 6 hours of sleep that night since I was at Steve's until around 2. I thought about getting up and getting ready but I was pretty much done. I had all my stuff piled at my door last night so I didn't have to fuck with it. So I just sat in my bed.

It was around 9:30 that Will gave me a ring, his dad was picking me up since I didn't want to leave my car outside of Steve's house for a week and half. He asked if I was ready, did I need anything, and other similar questions. I told him I was ready and that I would be waiting outside my house. After talking to Will, I went upstairs to grab me some food. My mom was already cooking bacon so I had a few sandwiches before I started to put all my stuff on the front porch to wait for Will.

I hadn't told my parents where I was going yet so they were a bit curious why I was moving all that stuff on the porch. I had intentionally did this because I knew if my mom or dad got word of it they would offer to get a ton of stuff and asked me a ton of questions on anything I needed. Not that I don't appreciate it, I just didn't most of the stuff they would offer and I didn't want them to go out of the way to get it. I guess it was unavoidable now to hide it from them so I told them the skinny. Like I figured, they asked if I needed stuff and offered to get this and that for me. I thanked them for the offer but I told them everything we needed we had pretty much got. They did however give me $50 since I still haven't received my check in the mail that was going to be partial spending money for the trip. I thanked them for that and told them I would seem them in about a week and half then I headed out the door to wait for Will.

It wasn't long before Will and his dad pulled up. I loaded my stuff in the SUV and we went to Steve's. When we got there, I was surprised that we were the only ones around. Steve, the last guy I figured to be late, wasn't to be seen. He wasn't at his house last night either so I figured that he might went to a party or something and crashed there. I would find out in a bit that he went to go pick up Craig. As Will and I showed his dad the bus, one by one people would eventually show up.

Steve was right about setting the early leave time so we would get on the road early. It was at least 12 before everyone showed up and had their stuff loaded onto the bus. The 10 day trip would have 10 people on it. Of that group there were:
5 meat eaters, 3 vegetarians, and 2 vegans
6 non-smokers, 3 smokers, and 1 causual smoker
8 guys, 2 girls
5 frequent drinkers, 4 casual drinkers, 1 non-drinker
and the list goes on of different categories we placed ourselves into.

There would be alot of times during the trip that we would be divided into groups(some times intentionally) by these categories. Not that it would be because we were against each other. I think all of us respect the decisions made each other and that we understand that we each do our own thing for our own reason. That is just one of the reasons why I think I enjoy my group of friends as much as I do. Even if we aren't the same in many different areas, we still enjoy each others company because what they provide to us. I would think about this alot when I would think about the people that I called my friends.

Brian Young, Steve Knight, Craig Lee, Jon Chapman, Michelle Lossner, Coire Reilly, Jessica Merrit, Will Davis, Josh Newton, and I were the 10 people who were about to venture out on this journey. Originally, it was going to be 9 but the night before Jessica was able to get the money that she would need for the trip. I was a bit undecided whether it would be good for her to come on the trip. Not that I don't like her but rather she's Coire's girlfriend. I just don't like the idea of couples on trip. It messes things up the group for many reasons. Jon said sometime during the trip, "If there is another trip, it should be all or no couples." I agree with that because of two reasons. First off, Having people that are defined as a couple automatically separates their status from the rest of the group which works toward breaking up the whole unity of the group. Secondly, couples do end up fighting at some point, which means taking sides for everyone else and that only lead to contempt for the other side. Of course, I am making it sound alot worse than it really is. On this trip it wouldn't be much an issue for a while but it was eventually an issue like I thought it would be. It wasn't very sever but I don't like people being mad at each other for silly things and I think any future road trips would benefit from not having couples.

Once everybody was there, we all armed ourselves each with our weapon of choice and had a few group pictures taken before we headed out on the road. It took so long to gather everyone up for the picture from what I remember. I remember Emily, who was only there to see us off and take the group picture, had to tell everyone numerous times before we actually assembled. It would be defining characteristic of the group. It would take so long after saying we should do something then actually doing it. Knowing that, it wasn't a surprise that wasn't until about 1 pm that we actually were on the road. Even when we finally did hit the road it was another hour before we would be on our way. We stopped by Meijer's to pick up our last bit of supplies that we needed then we pooled all our money for the collective bus fund. We would have a total of $725($75 from everyone but me who only had $50) for gas/toll/room costs that we would encounter on the trip.

Finally after all that preparation we got onto the highway around 2 pm.

Everyone's spirits were high on the first hour or so of the trip. Both the sights and the sounds of the trip were great. Alot of people were on the edge of their seats as they were noticing the sites around Louisville while we were leaving it. I remember I was quite entertained just by the bus moving, as I hadn't been in it while it moved around before. It was just weird to see all this stuff we put on the bus move along the highway at 55 MPH. As this was going on, people were jamming to the tunes from Steve's Bus Mix CD, which was quite rousing from what I remember. Everyone was singing along for a handful of the first songs.

As the Mix CD reached it's end and got to the more mellow tracks people started to find other things to do. Once you hit the big stretches of highway, the scenery gets boring quick and with mellow music things can get pretty slow fast. There would be big chunks of the trip that would be like this. We would find lots of things to do to past the time. Alot of it depended on where you sat on the bus.

This is where I kind of go off on a side note

First let me layout the bus space for you. The very front of the bus looks just like a school bus. Past the first row of seats though, you'll find couches on the left and right sides. Past the couches, on the right side there are two bus seats facing one another on each side of the wheel well with a table between that can fold into a bed. Past that, there are two more bus seats. On the left past the left couch, you'll find the subwoofer attached to the bus, the stereo attached to a cabinet table used for storage, followed by a storage rack, then a empty space that was used for numerous things.

The drivers seat was exactly what it should be but it was also the most boring from what I hear. Not only did you not get as much breeze as you would from being in back, it was also incredibly loud and shaky from the big ass engine in front. If you were the driver(i.e. Steve and Craig), things could get mundane fast.

Right next to driver, was the area past the line that you're told not to cross when riding on the bus. The area with the step and the space to the right of the driver wasn't used often but every now and then it was used to sit on the steps and look out or just get a close look at what was ahead. It was sometimes also used for helping the driver see where he's at on the road.

Behind that area, was the first two seats on point. Surprisingly, these seats were used alot more than I thought they would. They would be used alot when you were curious to see what was coming up down the road or if you were wanting to talk to Steve or Craig while driving (you had to struggle to talk to them due to the noise though). They were probably used the most often when we were in a new town looking at the new sites.

Past that were the couches which really wasn't used as much for conversing as I thought it would. As you travel down the road at 55MPH with all the windows open to keep it cool things tend to get loud. Plus with a booming stereo, conversation was pretty much kept to a minimum on the couches. It was mostly used for two things, sleeping and reading. I preferred the right couch over left for sleeping though just because it was so much more comfy. I think almost everyone brought something to read, and if they didn't have something to read they were at least reading someone's else stuff at some point.

The table area was for those people that were busy doing stuff but still wanting to get a nice view of the outside. Stuff like eating, playing games, reading also, listening to music on a portable CD player were the most frequent activities on those seats. The table held up surprisingly well. It had Velcro put on the corners to hold drink holders and ash trays. All but one of strips held up quite well. It was quite a success. Right next to the table was also the cabinet table which was used alot times by people around to get food, snacks, and what have you. Alot of the food we ate on the trip was mostly snack stuff that was either brought by people or bought at the many stops we made at gas stations. The really good big meals were about only once every other day it seemed like. Whatever it was, it was too little. I got burnt out on all those stupid snack foods really quickly.

Finally, the back seats and the empty space area was used for people that wanted to be off on their own reading, sleeping, or listening to music. It also had many other uses. For Jon, it was his pissing area. He was tired of waiting for gas stops so a handful of times he would just piss in empty PowerAde bottles. Also, a handful of people used it as a changing area though not really in the way that was intended. The original idea was we would put hooks around the back left corner so that we could hang up sheets so that could put them up when someone needed to change. Nice theory, but in practice it was too rough of a ride to put them up at any time. And when the bus was stopped there were always more than enough places around where you could change. Maybe if it had been shower curtains like the original plan called for it would have been used more but as it was it was too much of a hassle. Another use of the back that alot of people did was getting the attention of other drivers on the highway. We would put up all kinds of different signs on the window trying to get the attention of drivers who would pass us(which was pretty much everyone since we trucked along at 55MPH). "Honky if you like loud noises," "Honk if you can read," "My other bus is a Porsche," "I love you," "I hate everyone on this bus," "Honk if you're not wearing pants" were just a couple of signs you would see us flashing at other people driving down the highway.

Getting back to the trip, after about an hour we were pretty much doing one of the various things I mentioned above. The actual tedium of highway driving had set in and we were looking for new things to entertain us. After a while, we had to make a bus stop just to make sure we had enough gas. We originally though that the gas mileage was going to be sub-10 MPG but it was more around 10 MPG. Luckily, the figure of $75 per person for gas that was thrown out by Craig was pretty conservative.

Once we got back on the road, I think another hour passed by before anything exciting actually happened. It was about a few minutes outside of Lexington when the bus started shaking wildly as Steve was saying "oh shit!" He pulled off the side of the road as we all wondered what the hell was going on. Alot of us went out the front to survey the damage: The front left tire had blown out. The tires Steve and Craig had gotten were snow tires so it was known they probably would last that long, but they had blown out alot sooner than they should have. Since there wasn't a spare on us and even if there was it we wouldn't of have the equipment to put on it, we were pretty much stuck there.

As Craig and others used their phones to get a hold of people, we just sat around looking at the passerbys. We were by alot of grassy green hills. Right next to both the sides of the highway were rocky cliffs. There were some houses in the distance but other than that it was mostly grassy hills and trees. It was damn hot inside the bus and eventually we all ended up outside just to get out of the stuffy bus. Even though we hit a snag, it didn't seem like the blowout effect the morale of the group. I can't say for everyone else, but I thought it was kind of exciting. Sure it sucked, but I looked at it as part of the adventure. Nothing ever goes according to plan. Planning is always good thing and good planning can lead to great things but I think it's how you handle the fuck ups in life that really determines how great you can make things to be. I think we all handled most of our situations whether good or bad that way.

Eventually Craig was able to get a hold of AAA. After arguing for a long time with them about him being a member(there's a small little story there but nothing worth talking that much about) he was finally able to get them to call a wrecker to come out and tow us. As we waited, we would find numerous things to pass the time. Steve, Michelle, and Newt would travel the hills right above the cliff next to us. Jon would climb the jagged rock wall that was by the hills. Coire made a couple of sandwiches and place them in a basket and tie them to a string that Steve was holding on the top of the hill. Steve would then pull them up to eat them. A handful of people would climb up on the bus just to sit on the top. Brian would kill some time by shooting off his slingshot on top of the bus at bottles he placed next to the cliffs. As we were sitting there doing our own things, numerous people would drive by and honk at us. I never really did see the point of it, I couldn't tell if it was for support or if they were just doing to make fun at us. Either way, it got annoying quickly.

When the wrecker finally came, a big guy with a huge beard came out to look at the bus. Steve and Craig, the guys that knew pretty much everything about the bus, would talk to him as the rest of us sat and watched. As it would turn out, he would have to get a bigger wrecker to carry the bus which meant...more waiting. While we sat more to wait for the other wrecker, we started throwing rocks at the wall. Even though it really wasn't exciting I, as others I would expect, was entertained by it. Throughout the trip it would seem like that even the simplest of things would be entertaining. I don't know if it was that we were that bored or that it was the whole trip was a big adventure every minute that we were on it. Either way fun was had.

After about 2-3 hours after we blew out, the other wrecker finally came. One of the big issues is how would we get to the town. Since there were 10 of us, riding in the wrecker was a moot point. Talking to the tow guy, he told us that we would have to ride in the bus even though it was illegal. It took a while for them to load the bus on to the wrecker. When they finally jacked it up, we all piled on to it. It felt a little weird to be on the bus with the front up. I remember one of the things that the guy told us was to hold onto everything in the bus. The funny thing was that we really didn't have to do that at all. Steve, Craig, and the rest setup the bus layout so well nothing really slid around at when the bus was jacked up and moving. The tow was about 10-20 minutes. It felt weird with the bus at that angle and felt like it was going to topple. Luckily, it didn't and we soon found ourselves in Berea, Kentucky: our home for a day.

Surveying the town, it didn't look like much of anything. Next to the shop was a junkyard that had all kinds of rundown vehicles in it. Some of them didn't look like total trash and a few looked like they were trying to be sold at one point. Across the road was a gas station, truck shop, and a water company building. while a few people were talking to the tow people, a few of us(Coire, Jessica, Brian and I) would cross over the street and head down the road to the gas station as we looked something to do the rest of the day. As we got to the gas station, we got to a T-intersection that was pretty close to the off ramp. Most people would head into shops and stuff looking at the standard stuff you find at most gas stations and truck stops. Looking to right of the intersection, there were more gas stations and a flea market. On the left, were a couple of Inns and further down across the overpass for the highway was a big commercial strip. I think it was at that point that the town didn't seem as small as it did when we first got there.

Coire, Jessica, and Brian would head off down the street to right once they got done buying stuff. To me, if there was interesting it would be on left by the commercial strip and Inns so I headed back to see what other people were doing. As I got about halfway back to the shop, I saw that everyone else was heading my way. I headed toward them to ask them the status of getting our tires repaired.

We got a pretty shitty time to get a blowout. Being Sunday, most places were closed that day. The tires for the bus were for split rims which meant that they weren't readily available. The tow place would have to place a order to the warehouse and since it was Sunday they would get there until sometime around 1030 the next day. The tow people said it was ok that we sleep in the bus that was now parked outside this tow center/mechanic shop. We were now officially going to crash here for the night.

As we got back to the T-intersection, Coire, Jessica, and Brian were nowhere to be seen. I told the rest of the group were they headed so we headed down that way to look for them. We figured they might be at the flea market so we went there. I guess it didn't occur to us that it was probably closed because we kept walking until we got to the doors despite the fact there was absolutely no one around the building. When we got to the building, Coire, Jessica, and Brian showed from across the street. They were at the diner and gas station further down the road checking out what else was in the town. Since it was pretty much not anything we headed back to the T-intersection.

When we got there, we were trying to decide what we should do for the night. Sometime around then, Will and Jon noticed the indoor pool sign at the Fairfield Inn that was right next to us. Since, Jon used to work for the company he figured that he could talk to the guy working at the desk and see if it was possible to use the pool at some point when the manager was around. So he and Will headed off to the Inn while we sat around and just discussed. I argued that if there was anything in this town to do it would obviously be over on the left side past the overpass. It was around that point that Brian mention that there was a college in Berea that was known for it's liberal arts studies. Apparently it was this very liberal college that would let you work off your tuition by doing community service. We figured that it might have something to do there. With those things said, we head off toward the overpass to see what could find.

As we headed in that direction, we went toward the Fairfield Inn that Will and Jon still hadn't returned from. When we got there we saw that they were chatting it with the guy at the front desk. According to the guy, the manger wouldn't be by the place later on at night and that if we asked the dude working the 3rd shift we would probably be able to use the pool and hot tub. It was nice and cool inside the Inn and as such everyone was hanging around for a bit. Jon and Will kept talking to the guy as the rest of walked around to see the place. Across from the clerk's desk was a nice little room with tables, chairs, a drink dispenser, a TV, and more. Since I was thirsty I went over by it to get something to drink as I sat down in front of the TV.

As soon as someone started flipping through the channels, Craig started to argue that we shouldn't be watching TV. In our group it seems like there are a few people that are anti-technology. I don't think this categorizes Steve, Craig, and Brian but they are a definitely anti-TV/Video Games a lot of times. One of the big things about this trip was that we weren't going to have a TV, VCR, or DVD player. Steve and Craig, kept saying that it would be silly to have just because if we were going to watch TV we could have stayed at home. I totally agree on that point, but it seems a lot of times they really make out TV and video games to be evil. My stance on the whole subject is neutrality; they can be good or evil depending if they are abused or not. But by themselves, a television or video game isn't evil.

I probably would have agreed with Craig on the whole not watching TV thing but I was tired and hot and plus the Simpson’s were coming on. It's one of the few shows that are on that actually makes TV worth watching. Unfortunately we only got to watch about half of it. The desk clerk told us that the manager was coming in a few minutes so we got up and headed toward the overpass to see what was on the other side of Berea. Jon told the guy before we left to tell the next shift guy about us so that he might let us go swimming. We all headed over the overpass except for Jon who would go back to the bus as he was worn out. He had been sleeping on and off that day due to the fact that he got almost no sleep yesterday.

It was pretty much your standard commercial strip. Gas stations, fast food places, Wal Marts, were around the area. We ventured around for a bit. We goofed around and just looked at the various sights and sounds. It got old pretty soon though. It was then we remembered that we were looking for that college. We went to a Little Caesar’s pizza store to see if they knew where it was at. That was pretty much the only thing I remember about that area just because I thought it so weird that the Little Caesar’s chain still existed. I hadn't seen in a good 10 years. I joked that they must of not realized that the chain had long since died being that they are from the obscure Berea, Kentucky.

As it turns out, the people there did know where the college was at. "Oh you mean Berea College?" the dude there asked when we asked about a college around here. "It's right up that road." Things were going pretty great despite all the setbacks. The plans now was to head to the college and see if we could find some stuff to do before we could go swimming later on that night.

As were walking up the road I, if not all of us, realized that "just up the road" is a relative term. It seemed like we were walking for quite a while. It wasn't very far by car, but when you're walking it's pretty damn far. As we were heading down the road, I bet that we heard 4 or 5 cars blasting Eminem's new CD which we played all the way through at least 4 or 5 times. Every time we would get tired of walking we would ask a passerby if Berea College was up this road. "Just keep heading that way," everyone told us. It seemed like it was taking so long.

It was pretty anti-climatic when we finally did get there. The buildings that made up the campus were renovated houses and school buildings. I do remember there being a huge hill behind a few of the buildings, but the buildings themselves weren't really much to talk about. As we kept heading further into the campus I noticed that our crew was getting lighter. Will, Craig, and Newt had disappeared. They had stopped a while back and had started talking to these girls. Bree and Sequita I think their names were (I'm willing to bet that I butcher the spelling). When we had came over to them, Will and others were asking Bree and Sequita all kinds of questions. They were pretty nice from what I remember. They were students attending the summer session. Sequita was a pre law major and Bree was a education major. Everybody else started asking them questions about what was there to do around the campus. As it turned out, it's pretty much dead during the summer so there wasn't much to be said about that. I forget how the topic came up, but someone mentioned computers that in turn Bree and Sequite mentioned the computer lab. I think it was Will and Craig that wanted to check their email or something so they took us to the computer labs and let them use the computers lodged in under their names. As for the rest of us, a handful of people just sat outside around the campus while another group just kind of wandered around the building with the computer labs. I think we were there about an hour until someone mentioned that we should probably head back for some food then maybe go swimming afterwards.

The walk back didn't seem as long as it was going forward. Along the way I remember there were conversations about books and Eminem as yet another car that was playing his new CD passed us. When we got back we just woke up Jon who was sitting in the bus sleeping and just started to snacking on what we had in the bus to eat. I think I made myself a sandwich. After that I started reading The Punisher comic book that Steve brought on the trip. I had already read a little bit into it and I was enjoying it at a lot so I decided to finish it while everyone else was around the bus cooking their food and talking.

At some point where I hit the Russian chapter in The Punisher I remember Craig, Will, and Newt showed up with a car full of girls. They had gone to Wal-Mart and while they were in the checkout line they told Will to ask them for a ride. Never failing to disappoint, he asked them and they said they would drive them back to the bus. From what I heard, they were from Georgia. I didn't really know that much more about them because honestly I didn't really care. I remember when someone said that Will had shown up with a couple of girls my first reaction was to go outside and see them. Right after I thought that I was thinking about whether it was really worth the effort. I was busy reading but I also wanted to make a good first impression. It was then I thought it was silly that I wanted to get up to impress them. I shouldn't have to feel to like I need to impress anyone. Furthermore, the only reason I wanted to do is because they were girls.

I went back to reading The Punisher but all the while I was thinking about my conflict of interests. Certainly meeting girls is fun, but I don’t know there's always something in my mind that makes me want to be honest and true with myself. I certainly don't care about these girls at all and why should I act that way. On the other hand, I don't want to act cold toward a person just because I don't know them. I quickly tired of thinking about my moral dilemma since it seems like it is always reoccurring. Maybe it was one those necessary evil things that needed to do. I didn't know nor cared anymore so I went back to reading and forgot about it.

The hours passed and eventually I finished reading The Punisher. Enjoying it immensely, I went to look for other things to do. Will and Jon were about to head out to Fairfield to see if they could go swimming so I got changed and went with them. I was starting to get tired and I wanted to go swimming for a bit before I went to sleep. We waited outside for a bit as someone just pulled up to get a room. As we waited, Will and Jon talked about Harry Potter. Not really caring about the subject, I just stared off into the void as I tend to do when I don't really have much to add to a conversation.

Sometimes blanking out is just good because I can easily loose track of time that way. It seemed like not too long but I bet we were out there for at least 20 minutes before we actually went inside. Once inside we talked the guy. After the standard conversational chit chat, we managed to talk him into letting us use the pool. When he asked how many of us there were and we said 10 I didn't think he was going to let us. But he was quite nice about it and said we could use it as long as we were quiet.

I hopped in pretty quickly, I jumped in the hot tub, then the pool, and back in the hot tub for a while. By the time I was in the hot tub for the 2nd time, everyone else start filtering in. The hot tub was pretty much packed. When another person wanted to get in, I decided it best I leave as I was starting to get quite sleepy. I told everyone bye and headed back to the bus. The only problem was that when I got back to the bus the whole damn thing was locked. But they should have known better than that. No locks can hold the man with the name that rhymes. They had inadvertently left a way for me to get in. The over the wheel well next to the table was left slightly open. Open enough for me to climb on top of the bus and open the window by putting my fingers on the inside to release the hatches that held the window up. With the window now open, I climbed down and got on top of the tire and pulled myself in through the window.

After that I was so tired I just crashed on the couch. I think it was about an hour I napped until everyone else came back from swimming. It was about bedtime for everyone. The process of getting everything ready for bed took probably about 30 minutes or so. We got better at it, but it took a while for everyone to decide where to sleep and move their stuff. I think the first night I got stuck with a crappy spot to sleepy. It was first come, first serve for the part when it came to choosing where to sleep. I didn't call a spot until there weren’t many spots left. Will, Michelle, and Jon called hammocks, Steve and Craig called the ends of the couches, Coire and Jessica called the table bed, Brian took the floor, and Newt took the front. I got the middle of the couch. It wasn't bad, but it really wasn't that good. The worse part was that the couches were uneven so it was hard to lay your body across the two couches even with something to hold you up in the middle.

As everyone got into position and sat into their spots to sleep. I think was one of the few people that took forever to get to sleep. For a while I sat there thinking about how much fun that day was. The first day of the trip was such a great experience with many more to come. As I kept sitting there though I felt a slow uneasiness come over me. I think it was probably because I either wasn't tired or I didn't like my sleeping position. Craig mentioned early on that sleeping on the bus would be like sleeping over at a friends house when you were little. It's a little unfamiliar at first but you get use to it. But I don't think it was that. I kept worrying that there was something wrong with me. I seems like when I get the most happiest I tend to get the most depressed too and I was hoping that wasn't happening. As I dwelled on this though, the feeling started to go away. I don't know if it was my tiredness coming back or something else but it soon faded away and feel asleep.

Day II: (the route)

"Hey! What are you doin'!?..."

"Where you goin'!?"
"We're not going anywhere right now," Coire replied.

That the first thing I heard as I was waking up for the first time in the bus. Some 10 year-old kid with augly-ass mohawk was climbing on wheel well of the bus and a nearby camper asking these dumb, inane questions. Most of the people woke up about the same time and if they weren't awake they were when Craig started to do his impressions of the kid.

"Hey! Do you have any feet!?" Craig said in a scratchy high-pitched voice.

Everyone had a good laugh at his impersonation, which provoked Craig on to make such insightful remarks as:
"Do you have hair?!" "I have a toothbrush!" and so on. Unfortunately, words can't really convey how funny he sounds when he starts doing that voice. I think that was the first official running joke of the road trip. We all would end up at some point during trip imitating that kid and exaggerating his annoyingness to far beyond what he ever was. That joke was such a good way to start the morning.

As everyone woke up, I had to sit there and try to fully wake up. I'm usually not a very coherent or in a good mood when I just wake up so it was really nice to wake up with people that had alot more energy than I do when they wake up. As everyone got and try to get their day going, it was Jon who really got the attention of everyone with his back. He must of slept on the hammock with out any type of cover as his back had huge impressions on it where he was laying on the back of the hammock.

I got out of the bus and I had to walk around. It was about 9 or 9:30. The tires would get there soon and we could finally get back on the road again. After putting on some new clothes, I looked around and it looked like alot of people were fixing some sort of breakfast. The Fairfield that we swam at also had free continental breakfast. It's been a long time tradition of Will and Evan's to go to the Ramada back home to get free continental breakfast with out even staying there. So it really wasn't a surprise when Will said that he wanted to go. Steve and I both wanted to go. We agreed that we should keep the crowd low since 10 people just walking in looking for breakfast would definitely look suspicious. We asked who wanted to come along but surprisingly it was only Coire and us that spoke up about going. Coire was skeptical whether it would even be possible so it didn't want to even bother going with us. So that just left the 3 of us.

Will was taking his time to get ready, so Steve and I headed off toward the Inn and Will said he would meet us there. When we got there, the lady was just about to close off the pantry area that had the breakfast stuff. We both asked her if we could get some food before she closed it off. She started ask us what we wanted but when she heard all the stuff we wanted she decided it be alot easier for us to get it. Thus we were allowed full access to all the food. Milk, Orange and Apple Juice, all kinds of cereals, waffles, bagels, fruits was all the stuff that was there. Steve and I ate quite well as we watched cartoons. Will staggered soon afterwards and we all enjoyed quite an awesome breakfast.

When we got back from breakfast, it must of been about 10. Everyone was either sitting down and reading or fixing food still. For a while I would just play Tetris on my TI-86 Graphing Calculator. It killed a lot of time. When I was bored of that, I went outside to talk to other people. Will was sitting on the hood of the bus so I join him. He was playing around with one of the many little PT Cruisers(which will appropriately named PT Loser) that came with Fuji Film disposable cameras everyone bought for the trip. The scale of the toy car was horribly off and I was joking about it to Will. If you could have expanded the car to actual size the steering wheel would have been huge(about the size of the wheels) and only reached to your knee caps. Craig chimed in that there must be only one all-purpose wheel that can double as replacement for your wheel, steering wheel, and CD for the stereo. It would have been a simply amazing vehicle. In fact, everything in the car would have been huge in that car. Will and I had a fun time imagining the size of the car and acting like we were handing huge drinks, CDs,and letters to each other while trying to steer the monstrous thing down the road. Looking at us, we must of looked idiots as we acted out like we were in this huge car laughing out so much. Steve came up and asked what the hell we were doing and we told him all about it as we showed him the PT Cruiser. He laughed at it then started to play with the PT Cruiser as we sat there and laughed thinking about it.

It was about that time that one the mechanics came up to tell us that the tires were here and they were ready to put them on. We all got away from the bus and let them do their work. Steve, Craig, and Jessica were pretty much the only ones that talked to them that much since they were the ones that knew the most about cars, the bus, auto mechanics, and the like. Not only did the mechanics put the new tires on but they also fixed something called the U-joint near the rear axle. It was about 12 or 1 when the work was done. I think the total cost was around $350. Steve paid it out of his bus fund that he reserved for breakdowns such as these. The mechanics gave us the tires which we loaded up on the bus to return them from where Steve bought them and then Steve and Craig went inside to pay the money.

Once that was done, we were officially back on the trip. We hit the highway heading south around 1 p.m where tedium took back over again. I don't remember much of anything heading toward Tennessee from Kentucky other than just loong stretches of highway. When we finally hit Tennessee things started to pick up. The part of the highway that we were on was very tall and mountainous. At some points, we would reach a clearing in the forest on the side of the road you could see miles down: a huge valley with nothing but forests.

Not too long after we got into Tennessee (maybe an hour or so) we ended having to make a gas/rest stop. It was at one those Pilot rest stop chains that is kind of a super gas station complete with restaurant, arcades, store, showers, rooms, etc. We where there for quite a bit. I think that was the point at which we were officially in the south. You could tell just by looking at some of the merchandise: a majority of country music in the CD racks, big ass cowboy hats for sell, and all kinds of silly license plates. There were a handful of plates with the rebel flag, some about Jesus/God/etc., and quite a funny one that said "My president is Charlton Hesston." That was the pick of the litter right there...

I bet a good portion of everyone's money went toward snack food. It seemed like every time we were at a gas station a lot us would come out of the story with some kind of snack. This time was no different. After everyone I all the shit they wanted and Steve had refueled the bus, we were back on the road.

Getting back on the road was a bit of a chore though, for some reason the on ramp wasn't near the off ramp so we ended going a long way through this forest road to get to the on-ramp. It was the most treacherous part of the bus drive. The road was only big enough for one car to pass through. it was surrounded by forests, made all kinds of twists and turns, and it was going down hill a lot. Good for us, Steve was getting quite good at handling the bus. It would be a bumpy ride but the only victims were the random clutter that would fall to the ground during some heavy bumps. When I wasn't trying to put that stuff back where it belonged, I was treated to a nice view of the forest that would only be interrupted occasionally by the random bridge, creek, small factory, house, or some other little remnant of civilization around these parts.

Getting back to the main road and the highway, more tedium was served up. I talk like it was boring; it wasn't that bad. It definitely was the down time of the trip however. Those big long stretches where there was nothing but bland open highway to look at could definitely get to you. I napped on and off when I didn't have something I wanted to do. Somewhere around this point, I picked up the other comic book Steve brought: The Dark Knight Returns. Newt had just finished and I was dying to do something. It was pretty good. The series takes place later on in Bruce Wayne's life some 30 years after he retired as being Batman. The little introduction provide a nice little story about what this series did to the whole Batman character. It was kind of the shift where Batman changed from the cheesy TV show to the Tim Burton movies. I would recommend it to anyone that would might be interested in it.

The book was rather lengthy and it kept my attention for quite a while. I was still crossing as we hit the Georgia border. The Mountain Goats' "Going to Georgia" was playing on the stereo, purposely put on by the crowd to highlight the marker we were at in the trip. It was kind of exciting to hear everyone sing along as we it the border but I was at the last chapter in The Dark Knight Returns and my attention was held to that.

Another hour or two into more highway driving we had to make another gas stop. The fuel gauge on the bus didn't work right so the only way we could tell if we needed gas was checking the odometer and remembering what it was at previously at the rest stop. The bus could hold some where around 30 gallons and would get roughly on 10 MPG. When Craig came up with the figure of how much we all should put into the community fund, he was using a gas mileage that was sub-10MPG and added a certain percentage of that for other unexpected costs. So it really wasn't a surprise when we still had lots of money left when we were in Georgia refueling. This was our 3rd refuel I think and we still had around $680-$650.

This is the second time I've mentioned being at a gas station and it may sound mundane to keep telling about gas station stops but, much like everything on this trip, it was a big process. After being on the road so long, everyone would be up and ready to get off the bus as soon as Steve pulled into the gas station. Even if they were asleep, most people would wake up as soon as we got off the highway and slowed down. Everyone was so accustomed to napping on the bus with the loud noise as soon as we stopped the silence woke them up. It sounds weird but it happened almost every time. Anyway, after people would get off one person was usually getting the gas money out of our keeping place. We decided it was best not to leaving one person or just laying around for some to take so we had it hid in a compartment in the bus in a bag with a lock that banks use to carry a good portion of cash. Meanwhile, Steve or Craig would be refueling and checking the engine for low oil or some problem like that. Occasionally someone would clean the windshield that would accurate many splattered bugs. Everyone else would either be shopping or in the restroom.

When we were done with refueling, there was a big question what were we going to do for the night. The decision wasn't really decided at that point, since we were about a hour or two away from Atlanta (a.k.a. the hot ATL!) or Stony Mountain Park we decided to keep going since that place was around where we going to stay. Later on, the question be asked again and after some discussion it would come to two options: Stony Mountain (which was a little ways past ATL), or stay some where outside Atlanta. Craig would end up trying to call Stony Mountain Park to make reservations but they would tell us they had a 2-day minimum stay. Since we weren't planning to stay in the area that long we decided to go to a closer park that was outside of Atlanta. The place we ended up going to was Acworth, GA. I don't know the details but this hadn't been the first time Steve was here. From what I heard, Steve and Claire broke down near here when they went to Georgia for Hafsa's graduation. I don't know if this planned or just happened to be a coincidence, but it's where we would crash for the night. Before we went to the park, we would make a short stop to get supplies at another superstore (grocery/retail store) whose name escapes me. By the time we would get to the park it was around 11 p.m. the people there were nice enough to let us in despite the fact that we were past closing hours and probably exceeding the maximum person limit.

The camp was nice forest road that circled this nice lake. We couldn't really appreciate the beauty of it the dark but I didn't think it mattered at that point. A lof of were hungry or tired. After we setup camp and started a fire, Coire had started fixing a nice meal of curry and rice. He and Jessica did the majority of cooking: 4 or 5 meals I believe. As they cooked, the rest of us would enjoy the outdoors. Some did it by a little exploring of the close by lake, some by sitting around the fire, some by drinking and having a good conversation with others. I don't remember saying all that much myself. I was pretty hungry and a bit tired and I was more content on enjoying the fire. Much of the conversations have since felt out of the grasp of my mind but I do remember Brian and Steve having a big conversation. It was about faith and morality in a general sense. I don't want to bog you don't with the details so I'll just get to the point why I mentioned it. At some point Steve made the point that somewhere down the line faith is just something have to believe in and that it couldn't be backed up with logic. Brian, who has probably taken many a philosophy class just about that subject, wanted to discuss and argue some point with Steve. Steve, who was audibly irritated at this point, reiterated in a booming voice that he felt like Brian was challenging is faith and that he didn't want to discuss it any more. He then sort of stormed off away from Brian. This was the first time on the trip that it felt like someone was irritated. It wasn't as big as I made it sound but I thought it best to try to change the subject so things wouldn't fester.

"...I don't like my faith being challenged..."
"I challenge a game of thumb wrestling!" I replied to Steve.

After a stunning victory for me, things seemed to go over well. Dinner was ready soon after wards and every one was happy.

I was probably one the first people done. I soon headed toward the bus setting up my place to sleep. I called the front two seats of the bus. Michelle and Will called the table bed. As I was unrolling the hammocks to setup, Craig called a hammock as well as Steve and Newt. Jon and Brian would sleep on the top the bus while Coire and Jessica would take the couches. It took a while for everyone to get settled, but I definitely think we had beat our previous time in Berea the night before.

Day III: (the route)

Everyday that people started to awake it didn't seem like it would take too long before everyone else would awake too. It seemed at most an hour between the last person and the first person waking up. It seemed like everyone would have something to complain or rant about the way they slept the night prior. I don't remember the exact order they were said in but I do remember some of the stories people had to say about sleeping there in the park: Steve had become the master of flipping out of bed, going to take a piss, and getting back in bed without remembering it. Newt became quite alerted during the night as he heard a person making a noise outside with out being able to see what was going on and getting no replies to his "hello?" Coire had figured out that trying to piss out of the bus by moving your crotch up to the window was about impossible and painful. Craig became the ultra fast sleeper as it took him all of 5 minutes to get to sleep after setting up his hammock and getting in it. And finally, I realized the front seat is total shit for sleeping on. I fell down at least two times into the uncomfortable bottom part.

As everyone was getting up each one us would take turns heading to the shower/bathroom to take a well needed shower and get ready for another day. As I waited for the next few people to head back, I sat on the park table that was already looking at the awesome view of the lake as I had some breakfast bars to eat. I think Brian and Jon were there as well as Steve. We were looking at the lake noticing this metal thing sticking out of it. I don’t' know how to describe exactly, it was kind of looked like a handle to me. I remember when Steve or Brian asked what the hell it was I replied "It's a stopper for the lake." Brian looked at me and said, "It took me a second to realize that you were joking." I was able to fool the master of dead serious sarcasm Brian Young, my work was done for the day. We all had a good laugh about visualizing someone pulling the stopper on the lake to drain. Soon after that Will noted that Newt had gotten back from a shower and he and I headed up to use the showers.

One by one we would all get cleaned up. I think we would hit the road again around 11am or noon, I didn't have much track of time on the trip but it always pretty early when we woke up. We would say our fell ware to the park attendants and hit the road again.

We kept trucking through Atlanta when we got past it on the highway. It might be a nice city, but I don't know. I didn't see much that resembled a city with the exception of one huge ass intersection at the off ramps. Other than that, all I remember is the pretty shiny office building and a Budweiser factory. We kept on the road for a good few hours until we got to Flat Rock Park I think its name was.

It was a very nice park. There were numerous rocks and hilly around the area. As you came into the park, on the left were these smooth rocks on a slope that had water running down them. One of the big attractions of this park was the natural slides that these are. The heat of the rocks combined with the water running down it makes it quite slippery so you can slide down the parts that have water running down them. When we parked the bus, which was the first thing that we all went to. The water level was pretty low (lower than usual according to Steve) so I wasn't going to slide down them since it looked like it would bust your ass when you got to the bottom. Coire and Steve both confirmed my suspicions as they both went sliding and hurt their asses on the way down. Despite the minor pain, they kept having fun with the slides and they kept doing it for a while. I got bored of watching them so I adventured around the park. I came across this pretty cool swing. It looked like a regular bench swing but it had a foot rest step that was on a hinge at both ends so when you pushed your foot against it began to swing with the need for you to shift your weight around. I was content with that for a while.

As I was sitting there swinging, either Jon or Michelle got my attention to the side of the creek that was pretty low. They were looking at the all the baby frogs that were around. I didn't really notice it at first until I started to walk through the grass. With each step you could see a good number of little baby frogs jump out of your way. Jon was walking around trying to pick some of them up while Michelle was holding one. She asked me to take a picture of it in her hand. While I was doing that Jon wanted to feed some of the baby frogs to the fish just down the creek. Michelle with her quite voice, "No, don't do that they're cute." But I think Jon was going to have to have a little more incentive to stop than that. Jon and I went to the bridge just down stream. Below you could see a fairly big school of fish. He dropped the first frog in. As soon as it hit the water, you could see practically all of them rush toward the splash to eat it. It was pretty damn impressive the fish were hella hungry. He would keep it up. At some point he ran out and tried spitting in the water. The fish darted toward that too and began to devour his spit. It was crazy.

We sat there for a while just chilling there looking at the fish and talking about whatever. We posed for a picture at one point when Steve came by. I think it was him that noticed that the bridge might be a good spot for a group picture so he rounded up everyone else still down stream and we had this guy take our picture. After that, we walked a little ways downstream discussing what should we do next. It was about 4-5pm and it would probably take another 5 or 6 hours of driving to meet our destination in Savannah. There was much discussion about how it seemed like we were doing nothing but driving and how it we be pretty boring. As we went around giving opinions the consensus was that we were all having fun and that this was only a minor stop. Since it was just that, no one really had a problem with more road driving throughout the rest of the day. If we got to Savannah by night, we could rest there and then have the whole day to do stuff there. That became the plan and we all headed back onto the bus to travel to Savannah.

The way out seemed more interesting than the way in. The path to get out was filled with all kinds of cooling looking lodges, bike trails, a nice lake, and some campsites. We soon hit the road again. At this point I'm not sure exactly where we were. I think we were somewhere around Columbus, GA. We definitely weren't on the interstate though. We were taking these small two lane state roads. I was getting tired at this point so I began napping. I don't know how far into the trip we made a brief stop to this peach store by the side of the road. A few people bought a bag or two of peaches. The people there offered more for free but I think most people had more than enough. I certainly didn't really care that much for them.

Back on the road, it seemed like we were in the middle of nothing but farmlands. The sides of the roads had nothing but fields, farmhouses, farming equipment, or people working in fields. At some point we did pass a Prison. Not some small police jail, holding station or something like that but a huge ass prison that was complete with guard towers, big ass doors, and huge metal barbed wire fences. I think we would end up passing two prisons going through Georgia; that one and the Macon county Prison.

A few more hours later there was a little murmur from the people up front (Steve and the navigation crew) that they didn't know where we were. At this time we currently were running through the town of Americus. We had just came up to this gas station that was selling diesel for 99 cents so now was a good time to stop. As people went to buy their regular junk at gas stations, a lot of people discover that they were selling bandanas and bought them. I had discovered about that time about then we were heading south down this state road away from the interstate. I don't know how we exactly we diverged from our path but that was soon to be changed. The point where we were at we could take the adjacent state road we were next to and head east until we ran into the interstate going to Georgia.

Once everyone had gotten their stuff, equipped their bandanas, and refueled we hit the road again. Once again, it was nothing but farmlands and old towns for quite a while. We were on the road for a quite a while again. By the time the next fuel stop was made we stopped at this gas station in Milan. When we stopped, there were a small number people with a cop car outside the gas station. There was some sort of an accident or something there. Not really caring all that much about that I sat in the bus for a while. I went in at some point to see what were people doing. It was buying snacks and using the restroom of course. I don't know why I went in, I guess I was just tired of sitting in the bus so much. But I was sick of snacks so I just went back to the bus. When I got back, a handful of people were petting these stray dogs that seem to flock around this little town. A few people, most notably Michelle who gave the dogs the little meat that was on the bus. Jon and I had fun in joking about her giving away all our food. At some point Newt came on the bus carrying two Watermelons. Apparently there were some people talking to us about the stray dogs who had given us the watermelons. I don't know the exact reason why but Newt said they told him "just remember people from My-land(their pronunciation of Milan) are nice." I guess it worked, that's all I really remember about that small town.

We kept heading down the same road and eventually we would wind up on the interstate. I was sleeping on and off when we finally hit it. When I woke up again we were about an hour outside of Savannah. As we were heading into the city trying to decide the various options where we have to stay. That's when Brian had mentioned the South Carolina state welcome center just north of Savannah. That's where we would end up crashing for the night.

When we got there it was around 11 p.m. I was somewhat awake, but only a little just enough because I was hungry from not eating anything through the day. Coire was going to once again cook some food for the night. Everyone had brought a couple of cooking materials to the outside tables to get read to fix and eat a meal. As the preparations were being made, I was playing hacky with Jon for a bit as well as some other things to kill the time. By the time I did that and went the bathroom the meal was ready. Once again I had to give props to Coire for some good spaghetti.

After dinner, I cleaned up and got ready for bed. It was kind of odd brushing my teeth in a public bathroom but I was getting use to it. When I got back into the bus I decide that I was going to sleep in a hammock and I was getting every thing ready to sleep. I think it was around when this was happening that I began to notice that everyone was seeming to get more giddy day by day. As I was fixing my hammock Steve, Newt and I were discussing something about being in a comic book with your special ability being that you had flammable blood. We discussed all kinds of things that you could do with this stupid ability. One thing among them being that if you were able to puke blood you could put a pilot light next to your mouth so that you could have flaming projectile vomit. We all laughed at that thought for quite a while.

Once I got my hammock ready it would be long before I fell asleep. Those hammocks were damn comfy with a cover and pillow in them. I went to sleep thinking about all the fun stuff we would do tomorrow in Savannah.

Day IV: (the route)

I woke up several times that night while sleeping. We were at a rest area and there were numerous campers parked next to us. All of them seemed to have their damn portable generators running through the night. And if that wasn't bad enough it was getting pretty damn hot outside. I was sweating alot as I was up in my hammock as the sun started to rise. Eventually, I couldn't take it. I had to get out of my hammock and take a piss. As I came out of the rest rooms after taking a piss, I saw a pretty funny sight: Will sleeping on the top of the bus in a camping chair. I laughed thinking about all the people who drove by during the morning thinking what the hell is that guy doing. Jon chose an equally bizarre spot to sleep as well: underneath the bus. I can't imagine how those two managed to sleep comfortable that way longer than I could in a hammock.

As I was waking up, I would sit out by the benches outside of the visitor center. Steve woke up not too long after I did. He met me outside by the benches and we had a little conversation about how we slept and some other mundane stuff. I mentioned that I wanted to see what was in the visitor's center and Steve replied that he did to so we both went in there. It was nice and cool in the building. There really wasn't much there, a lot brochure stands about South Carolina, a receptionist desk, and a couple of chairs that's all. We looked at some of the brochures but there was nothing of interest since we were going to Savannah not South Carolina. Steve left pretty soon after we got in there, as he wasn't too fond of the AC. I stay in there a bit longer as I was sick of being all sweaty.

When I got back out to the bus people were already starting to get up. I got myself a breakfast snack and grabbed my MP3 player. I brought only 2 other things than clothes to past the time with my MP3/CD player and my graphing calculator to play games with. They did a good job of passing the slow times on the trip. I listed to my music on the benches outside as I waited for everyone else to get ready and going. It was probably around 12 when we were already to leave.

The way back to Savannah was much more pretty now that there was sunlight to see everything. We passed 2 nice scenic bridges to get back into the town. Once we were in town, we weren't exactly sure where to go. I think it was Michelle or Steve that said that if there was something cool to see or do it would be in the downtown area so that's where we went.

On our way to the area we passed through a lot of residential neighborhoods. I first I might have tended to describe them as ghetto but it really wasn't ghetto at all. There were some run down buildings but no more so than Jeff. Maybe part of the reason I thought that was the really high number of black people but I'm not sure about that either. A good portion of Georgia's population is black and so that really didn't surprise me, plus I don't really consider myself to judge things like that solely on race. I'm digressing so I'll get back to getting to the downtown area (I'll come back to that other topic later),

The funny thing was one minute we were passing by all kinds of black faces and within a block we passing almost all white faces. If I remember correctly it was sometime after or before we passed the police station. I remember it distinctly because we passed a car parked there with two horrible racists bumper stickers. One with "If I knew it was going to be that much trouble I would have picked my damn cotton." And another said, "I have a dream…" with a picture of the confederate flag flying over the White House.

The downtown area was fairly nice. While we were working our way through the area in the big bus we passed this food court/ shopping block type area and we decided that it would be a nice place to walk around Savannah. We parked in this empty lot where some construction was going on about a block from the place. It took forever for all of us to get down to that place. We staggered a bit there because at some point Steve or Craig decided that it wouldn't be good to leave the bus parked there (there wasn't any clear indication whether it would be ok to park there) and so they took the bus else where downtown by the City Hall, hospital or some sort of civic building.

While they were parking the bus, the rest of us were traveling in and out of the restaurants and little shops. They had a nice art gallery with many stores attached to it. We spend some time in there and whilst we decided where to eat. I wasn't that hungry myself, but they had all kinds of neat little restaurants that looked interesting to eat in. When we all met up we should eat somewhere. We moved about here and there looking for some place appealing eventually Coire, Brian, Jessica, Newt and Steve would went into this coffee house that looking appealing to them. I didn't care too much for it so I walked out where Craig and Will were. Michelle also followed us. Jon had already wandered off in his search of hot sauce for his dad. It was as direct as that, but we did eventually end up eating in two different places. It wasn't until we had finished eating that we realized that we inadvertently split into the group of meat and non-meat eaters. It certainly wasn't intentional, it just kind of happened.

After eating we finally did consolidate into one entire group and decided to go down toward the river that ran through Savannah. I don't think there was any particular reason to go. I just wanted to see some sight but I guess a few other people were looking for shops. I do know that Jon was looking for a place that sold good hot sauce and Will was looking a place to buy some brass knuckles which were suppose to be his weapon for the trip. Coire and Brian I also believe were looking for a place that sold beer. Savannah was one of the few cities in the U.S. where it's legal to walk the streets with an open alcoholic product. I, like I think everyone else I think, was just looking for cool things.

I guess we would go to the right place for shopping. Most the places down by the river were little specialty shops that were obviously catering to tourists. Other than the shops, the streets looked pretty cool. The roads were cobbled stones and the buildings kind of looked old. I don't remember much about the shops we would pass. I didn't really have much money left and that was for food. If I wanted to buy stuff I could have stayed home. One thing I do remember is something that happened while we were passing a hat shop. We were walking by and Craig looked in at some guy trying out a hat and says, "Man that guy looks ridiculous!" loud enough for him obviously to hear as we kept walking down the street. It was pretty funny but Will found it really damn hilarious he kept laughing and laughing for a good block down on the street. Eventually he had to stop because he hurt so much from laughing. We stopped in front of an ice cream store of all places. Being that it was hot and that we had been walking for a few blocks, we stopped inside to get some ice cream and rest.

As we all sat near a set of steps, we all discussed what should we do. It was somewhere in that conversation Craig noticed right next to us was a toy store. Not like a Toys 'R Us but more like a novelty toy store. Craig mentioned about how all of those types of stores usually end up disappoint him. I guess his ranting intrigued a good number of us what could be in there that could be disappointing because a good number of us kind of filtered into the store with the exception of Will, Newt and Jon who were still on their elusive Brass Knuckle and Hot Sauce hunt.

The toy store wasn't that disappointing but it wasn't like it didn't have much that I hadn't already seen. Board games, little gadgets, and other miscellaneous things were what I found in the store. There was a CD rack full of compilation and educational CDs. I did also find a Frank Sinatra CD in there that was kind of weird but I didn't really think about it too much about. As I was looking at the CD rack I noticed Coire and Steve were looking at the TV in the store. It was playing this promotional video for this toy that was basically a hand version of hacky sack. While they were looking at professional handsackers and talking about it(or whatever the thing was called) the store manager would chime in about how cool it was or something. As I went browsing through the store I noticed the guy would do all kinds of stuff for attention. Butting into people's conversations (mostly ours), playing with a woopie cushion and then exclaiming, "It was me", and other some dumb things. I couldn't tell if the guy was really desperate for attention or just trying to sell his stuff. I guess when you work at a toy store you got to enjoy the products you sell.

Speaking of people working at a toy store, the other two employees didn't seem to give a shit about their job at the store. They were around about most of our age so someone figured to strike up a conversation with one of them and ask about things to do around Savannah. One of the first things was mentioned was this downtown area and getting beer (since apparently a lot of the bars around the area were kind of lax on carding). It was somewhere around there that the manager guy chimed in with "Drinking is always fun!" or something like that. I couldn't really tell whether he was being sarcastic or not nor did I really care. After talking to the chick and dude that worked here, we found out not much would be going on here since it was summer and most of the college people would be gone. As we headed out the door, the younger guy that worked there followed us out, as it was his break or something. We kept talking to him about this town and what goes on around here. I do remember we asked him about this being a film town since Steve did mention that there was a lot of movies that got shot in Savannah. He told us that the local college was trying to make this town into another Hollywood but not really many movies get made here.

With that disappointing statement, the conversation eventually got moved to various topics until he mentioned that he should get back to work. With no real leads to what to do in Savannah, we decided to head back to the bus to meet up with everyone else so we could decide where to go next. It took awhile to get there and when we did get there we would still have to wait a while for Newt, Jon and Will. It was pretty hot in Savannah and I would stand by the building as we waited as it was next to shade from the sun, unlike the bus.

When Will, Jon, and Newt got back we had already determined the next place to go was going to be the Atlantic Ocean to enjoy a few hours on the beach before they would close for the day. Jon would have his hot sauce by then but Will was still on the Brass Knucks hunt. Will was told that the most likely place to find it was going to be the local pawnshop. Since the street it was on was only a block or two away, we all headed there instead of wasting time trying to get the bus over there. As we went by the hospital, I noticed that pretty much everyone waiting at the bus stop there was black. Again it would be strange because just a few streets down on the waterfront area there was almost no black people there.

When we go to the pawn shop Will finally found his much wanted knucks Jon also would buy a pair since they were so tempting at only $17 a piece. Everyone else would rummage through the various CDs, movies, and other products. There wasn't really anything interesting there. It would just be another place that would be eat up our time as we looked at dumb stuff that we could buy. Thankfully we didn't spend much longer there. When we got done with that we headed back to the bus and we started to drive to a beach just a little outside of Savannah.

It took awhile to get out there. I'd say at least 30 minutes or so, probably a little bit longer because we stopped to pick up some beer. When we got to the beach, there was a $3 charge to get into the place because it was a park. But we didn't have to pay it the lady just waved us through and didn't think anything. I don't know if it was because of the bus or just the way we treated others but numerous ways along the trip we would encounter people that were really nice to u for no particular reason. Earlier in the trip I think Will had a discussion about this. One of the biggest things I remember talking about was treating people on job like people instead of just machines. It's amazing how much happier you can make a person working just by treating them that way. I think that was just one the reason we would be treated so nice during the trip. I think Steve was the one that said being a good person to other people transcends almost any other way that you could let them know where your moral standing is. As the trip carried on I would believe this more and more.

Once at the beach it was time for some fun, at least for most everyone else anyway. Less than 20 minutes after parking there, everyone was ready to go swimming on the beach. I was the only one that didn't feel like doing some swimming. I wasn't feeling like doing much physically so I would just sit by everyone's towels and just enjoy the nice sun and cool breeze while everyone else jumped into the ocean. I would sit there for at least an hour it seemed like.

I was just about to nod of to sleep when I noticed that Steve and Michelle were approaching. They didn't look so good; they both had blood all over them. They were swimming out pretty far to left where there were numerous rocks and the tide had kept dragging them closer and closer to the rocks. Eventually, the tide would be pushing them against the rocks as they were trying to escape. They got cut up against what I presume was the sharp corners of some of those rocks. They were ok, but the some of the cuts looked pretty bad. I think it was the way the red blood color contrasted with their skin in the light of the sun.

Anyhow, we finally got to use some of the gauss bandages that the first aid kid on the bus was full of. Once they bandaged some of their wounds Michelle wanted to go back to the bus to wash out her feet, which were cut pretty bad, and change since she wasn't going to do much swimming anymore. The cuts on her feet were so bad she had a hard time walking so Craig, Steve, Will and I all took turns carrying her back to the bus.

After that incident, everyone else headed back to the beach to enjoy the hour or so left before the beach would close. Michelle came back with a sandals hobbling along as she joined me on the towels to just sit around. As everyone else was doing their own thing on the beach I just talked to Michelle while I watched the tide come closer and closer toward everyone's stuff. Newt would eventually join us too.

We had to move everyone's stuff back at least twice before they showed up. At the time I was having fun taking the empty beer cans in the cooler and filling them up with water that was in cooler and pour it on the sand to see the impressions it made. When everyone finally did show up I think the next plan of action we agreed upon was that we should head to a nice restaurant to eat. Will, Jon and I really wanted to go for some seafood but I think that probably would have seriously limited the non-meaters choice for food because for some reason we didn't end up going to a seafood restaurant. We keep heading toward Savannah looking for a place on the road to eat. We pass numerous places before we hit another commercial strip were we found this nice Mexican restaurant.

By now I was pretty much out of money so I wasn't going to get anything. Luckily for me there were more than enough free tortilla chips. We would go through at least 4 or 5 baskets of the before the meals got there. Remember how I told you it seemed like we were getting more and more giddy during the trip? It was especially obvious here, as almost everything that we talked about seemed funny. I remember it was especially funny watch will order his drink. He asked for a glass of wine, which he been craving for the whole trip, and the guy asked for his I.D. He replied no and just told him that he had to try. I think that was also the point on the trip that the buttsex joke was finally being made by everyone. If you didn't know, I had mentioned a while back that it would be so much funnier if that stupid duck for those AFLAC commercials said "buttsex" instead of AFLAC. The thought of it alone was enough to make me burst into laughter. It had gotten to the point where everyone had heard about it so that if you usually tried to imitate the duck saying "buttsex" the immediate reply was everyone else doing the same impression in chorus. It sounds much more dumb typing it that it does than actually just hearing it.

We were there eating dinner for quite a while; I think it was at least an hour. When we got back there was some talk about how dirty the bus had gotten; There were people's things strewn about the bus and sand all over the place. Jon was the first to suggest that we should probably clean the bus before we head out on the road for the night on our way to Florida. The plan was that we would spend the night on the road that way we would have the whole day to do stuff there that way we would be able to arrive in New Orleans for the 6th day just in time for the weekend. Now was a good time as any to clean out the bus.

We would head down the road just a bit to a gas station. Once again it seemed like we were in a pretty ghetto place. I saw this mostly because the place had a protected, walled-off, register area that seemed to be there to prevent hold ups. Aside from that the rest rooms were around the back and locked, the only way to get in them was to use a key that was lost according to the attendant inside the walled off area. Also on the outside front steps were two spangers who seemed to be singing when we first pulled up to get fuel. At times I would forget that we were in the deep south because when I think of big urban ghettos I think eastern or western huge cities not the south. Of course every time I talked to someone around here I would quickly be reminded where I was.

After fueling, Steve pulled off to the side so we could all gather our stuff up and take it out to clean the bus. After we done that we saw that there was a vacuum there. It was funny to watch Steve head up to it, grab it to use only to find out that it had been broken a long time ago. It was just another one those ghetto things about this place. Once all the shit was carried out, everyone began bundling up their own stuff. We swept out most of the sand and began to throw out the things that we wouldn't need. It was determined at some point that we had to ditch one of the watermelons. We couldn't keep them in the coolers as we needed room for beer(which me and Newt found damn funny). Newt ended up taking the Watermelon to one of the spangers and giving it to him. Less than 5 minutes later the spanger would sell it to a passerby for money. With everything organized, we put all our stuff on the bus and headed out to Florida. Everyone kind grabbed their own spot to lie down at. Coire and Jessica had already folded down the table bed and everyone else was getting pretty relaxed lying on the couch. There would be one or two people on point just to keep Steve/Craig awake during the trip. I sat on the left couch next to the amp and the stereo as I soon faded out due to the monotony of highway driving.

The only time I remember waking up during that trip was to during a stop for the changing of the driver somewhere around the Florida border. This was the first time Craig would drive the bus. Will, who had been sleeping next to me during the time, woke up and took point so that he could keep an eye on him. As for the rest of us who weren't already asleep at the gas station, we quickly fell asleep as we hit the road again

Day V: (the route)

When I woke up that next day it was damn hot and muggy in the bus. It wouldn't have been so bad but the bus was stopped. I didn't really think much of it as I was tired so I just went back to sleep.

When I woke again some time later I noticed that we were still not moving I could hear Will or somebody explain to someone that something happened to the bus. I was too tired to care so I just went back to sleep again.

When I woke up after that, I finally couldn't take the heat anymore so I had to get up. Craig and Will were outside messing around with the engine. Steve and Michelle were asleep; Jon was looking like he was getting ready to leave somewhere. We were on the side of Interstate 10 not too far away from an on ramp. The heat was making me tired but it was too annoying to sleep so I just sat in front of one the fans that were blowing while Jon told me what happened.

Early during the day the gas pedal had broke. I guess there's some sort of spring mechanism in it that keeps the pedal from going up because the pedal would no longer go back up. Being a big problem that we couldn't stop the pedal, Craig pulled over on the side of the highway. Luckily we had stopped near a town so Coire, Jessica, Newt, and Brian had gone to a nearby gas station for assistance. I sat there for a while just trying to cool down. They had called Craig and told him that mechanic had the spring we would need to fix the gas pedal so they would only need to get the bus there. It was around then that Craig I think it was rigged the pedal to work with a bungee cord in place. We started rolling for about a mile until that broke off and we rolled to a stop again. It was obvious that we weren't going to get the gas station this way without a lot of time and effort. Craig called them back and asked the mechanic if he could come out here to do it.

It was around then Jon mentioned getting breakfast in the dinner at the gas station. Realizing that I was probably going to be here for a while, I figured I might as well go walking to the dinner since it would probably be cooler in there. Unfortunately we had to walk and extra mile that the others didn't. It wasn't too bad; the heat sucked but at least I had Jon to talk to. We talked about random shit going on in our lives and stuff like that. Once we got there we passed by Newt who was waiting to take a shower at the gas station. We told him the latest news and events then we went into the dinner section.

I didn't have any money so I wasn't going to get anything. I was quite tired too so I didn't really feel like eating. I just kind of lied there in the booth as Jon ordered his food. Newt was the next one to join us. He and Jon talked about comic books and other things I was slowly zoning out. I would sip my water every now and then but other than that I wouldn't say or do much. Coire and Jessica would arrive a little after Newt and Jon got their food. Coire and Jessica were talking about Jessica giving her number out to some random guy that was trying to pick her up. She claimed that he was never going to call her anyway and she couldn't just say no. After Newt heard that he stretched that argument to other situations. "So if he wanted to have sex with you, you couldn't say no either? I mean after all that trouble he went to ask you?" He said. Coire, Jon, and Newt had a fun time joking about her argument for a while.

Eventually Michelle and Steve would also make their way into the dinner. When Steve got there I knew that the bus must be fixed by now and that we would soon be on our way again. He too was hungry and also ordered food. It was about this time that I had to get up and walk around. I just wasn't feeling the need for conversation right now but I wanted to try to stay up. I walked around the store for a bit while I wait for the rest of them to finish dinner. I was there for a while as some people were finishing eating and others were buying things before we left.

I walked all the way around to the back of the gas station to get to the bus. It was still hot as ever and it was making me tired again. I wait for a while for people to one by one get on the bus. When I asked about the status of the bus and charges, Steve told me that the mechanic only charged him a roadside service fee included with that was a box of those springs that kept the accelerator from falling to the floor. When everyone was finally on the bus he wheeled around to the pump to fill up before we take off. After what seemed like forever, he filled the tank up and went inside to pay. It seemed like forever before he came out. When he did he was wearing his signature brown bandana and Will's razzle-dazzle glasses. Finally, we got on to the road. It must have been around 1 p.m. when we were on the road again. I was glad to get back on the road to feel some breeze again.

As we traveled west on I10, it wasn't long for me as well as others to fall asleep. The side of the highway was very drab looking; there were road and trees for miles upon miles. The only think that really got my attention was that there were emergency phones alongside the highway every few miles. I had never interstate that had those before.

I don't remember much that was going on as we headed east. I was fading fast riding up at point right behind Steve. I do remember at some point Jessica sat beside me and started to tell me about the markers on the road. One of things the Florida State Police like to do to catch people speeding is use a helicopter to time the distance it takes for people to travel from one marker to the next. Since they know the distance between markers, they use that time it takes a car to travel that distance to see if they are speeding or not. I thought that was interesting as well annoying and stupid. Speeding on the Interstate doesn't seem like it shouldn't be a crime to me.

Anyway, I soon nodded off after that. I kept waking up at random intervals. Every now and then I figured I should stay up just to make sure Steve was doing fine. I think pretty much everyone else was either sleeping or lying down. We would have random bits of conversation every now and then but it was hard to keep one going with that engine so damn loud. At one point he asked me if I wanted something to do to keep me awake. I said sure. He asked if I could try to get some sticker goo off the window I was next to. Craig had put a sticker on the window for some reason or another and now that adhesive crap was all over the window. I tried rubbing it off but that was pretty infective. I then threw some water on it and start rubbing it with a cap to some water bottle or something. It came right off. "Mission Accomplished!" I thought to myself. "Badda Bing, Badda Boom. It's done Steve." I told him. I fell asleep again about 5 minutes after doing that.

Later on Steve had to get my attention again for navigation purposes. He needed to know the state road that we would exit onto to get to the Niceville. The plan was that we would go there first to check out the parks there and if they weren't to our liking we would go further down to the coast and check what we could find there. State road 285 I believe it was that we took to go Niceville.

We took an earlier exit to get there but when we got off the highway there wasn't a single gas station that had diesel despite the signs on the highway that claimed there was gas stations that sold diesel at this exit. Most of the places also had sign that noted there was no place for Semis or big vehicles. Steve brought up the idea that maybe truckers started to boycott the stop on their CB radios due to the lack of places to fuel and some sort of bias against large trucks. It was a funny thought. But anyway, with out a place to fuel we said screw this stop and headed toward 285 going toward Niceville

By the time we got to the exit, pretty much everyone was awake from all the napping that was going on in the bus. It was about 2 p.m. probably when we got to the exit. The first order of business was fueling. Where we happened to stop there were some guys in a big van who were fueling right next to us. There was a name on van too something like "Midnight City Jiggalos." They happened to be a band that was going to New Orleans to play in some bar on Bourbon Street. They gave us one of their CDs. When I got back in the bus after getting a snack, it was playing on the bus. As Coire got on the bus he immediately noticed the music and said, "what is this crap?" Fortunately or unfortunately (however you wish the situation would have played out), they didn't hear him make his comment about their music. The general consensus on the bus was the music was pretty mediocre. I wasn't really impressed by it either. Jon I think did like as he asked everyone else if it was ok to have the CD; there were no complaints with that request.

Luckily the trip from the gas station to Niceville was short. It took maybe 20 minutes at most to get there. Once there, we headed toward the park to see what it was like. It was pretty butt to me. Not that there was something wrong with it, it just didn't have a beach. It was mostly just forest area with a path running through it. It was ok but I wanted to be on a beach again as I'm sure everyone else did. With the park being bust, the decision was made that we would keep heading further south to the coastline and find what we could find there.

The trip there might have been a route full of nice scenery but I wouldn't know. I think it was around that time Will and I started playing a game that was mentioned in The Punisher which we both read earlier on the trip. One of us would list a movie name and then the next person would have to name a movie that started with last letter of the previous movie and so on. Will and I played for a good while, Newt and Jessica both jumped in at some point. Whenever I got stuck I would just make a name for a movie. I would use titles that sounded like they had to be movies. I did it once or twice. I do remember Newt called me out on one of them and started questioning me who does it star or who directed it. I argued with him for the hell of it even though I knew nothing about this supposed movie. I quit soon afterward just because I was sick of arguing and I was tired of trying to think of names. Of course every time he would list a movie I had to ask thousands of questions about it just to make sure I annoyed him.

Within an hour or so, I'm not sure how long. We found ourselves in Destin, FL. It was a very pretty beach town. If you needed an idea what most beach/resort/vacation cities looked like, Destin would be a good example. A lot of beautiful coastline with tons of strip malls, shopping places, and hotels. It was a bright sunny day when we got there. It felt like if you lived there it would always be that way. Anything less than that and it wouldn't seem appropriate at all for the place.

We headed down the strip looking for the state park that was on the beach. It didn't take too long to find it. We passed it the first time and we had to go into a hotel parking lot to turn around. It took quite a bit of maneuvering in a tiny space but we got out and headed back to it. We had to cross traffic to get into the park that took a lot longer than it probably normally would. Traffic was pretty heavy and we needed a big opening for a bus.

I think, like before in Savannah, we got a discount for admission into the park. Either that or the entrance fee is rather arbitrary; When we rolled up to the entrance the guy said, "uh… $8" like he just made up that figure. I'm pretty sure the entrance fee was more than $ 0.8 /person.

Anyway, once we got to the parking a lot to the beach everyone either changed in the bus or the nearby restrooms. Will and Newt would head to the WalMart across the highway, as Newt wanted some better swimming trunks. I went to the restroom to change and shave since it had been at least two or three days since I had last shaved. After that I joined everyone else who was already on the beach.

The beach was really beautiful. I can't imagine it getting much better than it did that day. The sand was near white. The sky was a clear blue. The ocean was a deep blue with a tint of green from the seaweed. The breeze was comforting. The waves weren't too big or small. The beach in Savannah was but this was, to use a Craig mannerism, soooo much better.

I had fun swimming in the ocean for a while. The waves were fun to swim against or just have them carry you along. It was kind of weird with the seaweed. Every time you'd move your arms you could feel them collect against your arms. This had been the first time I'd been swimming in the ocean for a while. I certainly wasn't used to how salty the ocean was. Every time I would try to go underwater I would just come back up spiting the water out of mouth.

I swam for a good while, maybe an hour or two. I left before everyone else was done, I remember that much. When I got out I joined Michelle sitting on towel with everyone else's stuff. She had been a bit crippled since her feet were all cut up the last time we were at the ocean. She wasn't going to do any swimming since it hurt her feet just to walk on them. I talked her for a bit then she asked me if she could bury me in the sand. That was pretty fun. As she kept putting sand on me, I kept moving my toes or some other extremity so that she would have to put even more sand on me. By the time Steve came out of the ocean to join us I was completely buried.

As they got into a conversation, I was tired of sand being all over me. I got myself up and out of the sand and headed to the restrooms to shower off. I was done with being in the water. I would just sit there with Michelle and Steve to chill and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beach. Steve and Michelle took off at some point and it was I sitting there for a while. Craig and Will would stop by for a moment so I could snap some pictures of them on beach but it was pretty much me sitting there relaxing for the most part. I would sit there until I dried off.

When I was done drying off I headed back to the bus. Before I got there I ran into one of the park keepers that Steve mentioned earlier. Like Steve mentioned, he was very yuppyish. I didn't get to talk to him for that long. He told me that he originally lived some where up north around Illinois I think. He joined the Navy at some point and when he got out he moved to the southern states. He talked about enjoying the hot weather 'n stuff. I talked to him about liking cold weather for a bit then he mentioned that he should get to something he was doing. I headed back to the bus.

When I got there, Steve and Michelle were hanging out by the back end of the bus enjoying some beer. That's where they had left when I was sitting on the beach. I grabbed my clothes and shoes and got dressed. I sat and talked with them for a while about how nice the beach was, plans for the rest of the day, and other things.

It was about that time Jessica joined us. She looked mad at something. She told us that Coire, Will, Brian, and Newt had left her while she was swimming in the ocean. That had happened a while ago from what I remember, as I was still sitting on the beach when I heard that they were going to head down toward the resorts to meet people. I guess Jessica hadn't heard and she was quite mad I guess about them not telling her. Steve said that he was sorry to hear that and we just kind of stood around in an awkward silence for a moment. I headed back to beach soon after that. I had finished the beer Steve offered earlier and I was to enjoy the beach for as long as I could.

Eventually the Coire and the others got back from visiting the resort beach area. Coire mentioned how great it would be to cook dinner on the beach. I agreed totally. He asked if I would get the stove, water, and other cooking stuff for him. As I headed back to the bus, I passed Will and Newt on the boardwalk showering off the sand. I sat there for a moment and talked to them as they washed their hair. I decided to shower my head just because there was still a lot of sand stuck in my hair. I then went to the bus and grabbed all the materials needed. I dropped them off by the towels on beach then I headed back to the bus where Steve, Michelle, Jessica, Will and Newt were. I got on top of the bus to enjoy the view of the beach from there. It was quite a nice view of the whole area. Will and Michelle joined me as we could see Coire start fixing dinner on the beach.

We weren't there for too long though. It was about 7 or 8 p.m., closing time for the park. The park ranger stopped by and told us we have to leave and that he would be waiting at the gate to close the place. We had to tell Coire and the others still on the beach that we had to pack up our stuff and leave. The food was half way done when we told Coire. Instead of wasting it though, we decided that it would be a much better idea to head over to the Wal-Mart parking lot and just finish the dinner out there.

Once over there, a number of us decided to get a few things at Wal-Mart before Coire finished with the Jambalaya that he was making. It was pretty fun there, not that Wal-Mart was much fun but the scenery was nice. What really made Destin a beach city was the good number of hot girls in hot clothing. I did go to Wal-Mart with the intention of getting something to drink for supper but I ended up just watching the girls walk by as I talked to Jon and Will by a shaved ice stand. Will was talking to the girl who was selling the shaved ice for quite a while. I would refer to her name but her name has since left my memory. The only thing I did remember about her was that she bent down a lot to get the ice and I looked at her cleavage every time she did it

Other than looking at hot girls we also had this conversation with the old lady who worked at Wal-Mart. It wasn't anything special worth recalling. I just remember talking to her about the very anti-camper/truck policy that everyone in Destin seemed to have. Since it was a 24-hour Wal-Mart, they would have a lot of people that liked to park there and wanted to sleep in their vehicles there. She told us of this one group of people who dumped their sewage from their camper in the nearby Hooters back parking lot. It was quite the delightful story.

After that I would be with everyone else waiting for Coire to get finished with the food. I went with Will and Newt to the nearby Domino's to get some Pizza. We could have waited there after he ordered but Will, being the person he was, special requested that they send a delivery guy out to the bus in the parking a lot when it was done. He didn't sound too keen on the idea but Will was able to convince him in a few words.

Once we got there the dinner was already done. There wasn't much left at all for me. The worst thing was that Coire didn't to get to eat any of it. I finished it off right before he went to grab some. I asked him a couple of times if he wanted the bit of what I had but he said no both times I asked him. The second time I asked he seemed a bit peeved as he walked off toward Wal-Mart. I felt bad about taking the last bit of food because he I thought that's what he was peeved about but I think it was something else.

That something else was Jessica as I found a bit later when he came back. While I was in the bus, I saw them for a while arguing to each other. At the time, I didn't really think much of it and didn't realize why they were arguing. Later on, I asked Steve, Will or someone else about why they were arguing. When they told me I replied with: "What?! That's silly", thinking that Jessica and Coire had already settled that earlier on the beach.

Soon after I said that Jessica walked onto the bus. After a slight moment of silence she said:
"What's so silly Shawn?"
Looking up from staring off into space I said, "That whole argument with Coire."
"I don't think you understand." She retorted.
"Yeah, I think I do. You think…"
"No, you don't," She told me as she walked off.

I do acknowledge the fact that I didn't know all the details of her story at the time. I later on heard from Coire that she apparently has some issues with being left alone by herself and that she was upset by him and everyone else leaving her. What I don't agree with is how she handled it. I thought she made way too much of a big deal about something that no one intentionally meant to do. That and she would make the old situation awkward for the rest of us for a portion of the trip as Coire and Jessica were now in the official "not speaking to each other" status.

Now that the whole bringing a couple along had officially brought some bad feelings into the trip, I wanted to get away from it. I headed toward the top the bus where Newt, Michele, and Jon were. We sat there for a while talking about various things. Most of it consisted of arguing with Michelle about how we treat women by objectifying them. I would go into the details but personally I think it's a pretty boring debate and not worth mentioning.

What is worth mentioning was all the while we were doing this Craig was asking people about who's silverware he found on the ground. As we were talking about the same boring stuff in the whole "objectifying women" debate, Craig periodically asked each once of us if we had left our silverware on the ground. I think he went around to everyone on the bus asking if they had lost their silverware. Finally, after talking to everyone he called up to Michelle. "Michelle, you've heard me asking whose silverware this has been for the past 5 minutes and you didn't say a damn thing knowing that it was yours." That got a good laugh out of me.

So we were out there in Wal-Mart for a while. It was only a matter of time before we left. The plan was to get onto the road at some point and drive to New Orleans through the night. Since highway driving is boring as hell, we were certainly not in any rush to head out. Around 10 p.m. this man approaches the bus and asks us who are we. Jon was the first to reply with our names and the replies with the same question. He replies with "Mike." My first impression to that question was that he was one of the residents of Destin who doesn't appreciate punk kids loitering in the parking lot. I think that's the impression Jon had too as he replied to Mike's second question: "What are you doing here?" with a tacked on "We talked to manager and he said he was ok for us to be here."

I took Mike's intentions to be more hostile than what they were, especially after asking about whether we were doing any drugs or had gotten to any trouble. But he was just curious about who we were and what we were up to. We got off the bus and talked to him for a bit. Steve even gave him the tour of the bus. Mike told us about how he used to live and drive around in some van, and used to be the Navy, as well as some other stories he had. After a good chat about stories, he got to what was on his mind. He told us about this little place that he has. A girl was going to rent out the place from him but she hadn't moved into it yet. It had A/C, showers, and a kitchen he mentioned. He said we were welcome to stay a night in it provided we didn't drink there, mess it up, or do something crazy.

It sounded nice to me but I wasn't sure if everyone else would want to because the whole reason we were driving that night was so that we would have a whole day to spend in New Orleans. I think everyone liked the idea, but it was Craig's exclamation about how great it would be after all the nights of uncomfortable sleep that made everyone really want to go. With us totally agreed to take Mike on the offer, we packed up the stuff into the bus and waited for Mike to get to his car after he got out of the Wal-Mart since he original came here to pick up some stuff.

When he got out we saw him get into his car and slowly followed with the bus. He went a little fast as got onto the highway. We were afraid that he might not be realizing that we were in a bus that could only go about 55-60 mph. Fortunately for us, we were able to keep up as he headed to his house in San Destin.

The drive to his house was a bit exciting. The highway we took had all kinds of shops, stores, and interesting bright, shiny and fun places to be at. We passed an amusement park of some sort at one point. It kind of looked like a pirate ship with all kinds of amusement park things to do there. The drive was a bit long too, at least 20 minutes. We passed through commercial strips, a bridge, and a few neighborhoods before we got to Mike's place. Once there, he gave a run down where we were. It was a nice little suburb on the edge of some swamps and next to an Air Force base where they conducted some sort of exercises. As we got up our things to take to the house he went inside his house to get some flashlights and his wife Caroline.

When he came out he introduced us to her and went through some procedures about getting to the house. He would inform us of the ditch and told us to use the flashlights to go through the forest next to his house to get to the place where he would be saying. He kept emphasizing that we do what he exactly said. I thought it a little strange myself. We kept thinking up all kinds of things Mike was planning to do us along the way to his house. We kept saying that because all of this sudden generosity was odd. I think that's what was running through my mind when he was telling us all the things we should be doing.

When we were all ready to go to the house, he turned on the flashlight and led us to the place. The house wasn't really far at from his house. I would say at most 30-50 ft. The path he lead us down wasn't really dangerous at all. He kept talking like there were some holes in the ground or something treacherous like that but it was nothing more than simple path beside his house. The house it self was a simple little house that was akin to a small apartment that had 1 bedroom, shower, living room and kitchen. He showed us around told us some things that we shouldn't touch and he said that was about all we needed to know.

Before he left we all posed for a group picture. As it turned out, he was a freelance professional photographer. When we asked for a picture, he went and got his nice digital camera to get a picture for himself. When that was done, he had some business cards that he handed out to us and asked for an address to get a hold of us to trade pictures or something like that. When he got the address, he said his farewell and left us to the place. We kept joking about anytime now was when the cyanide gas would come in a kill us all; It was all too strange that this guy offered so much to us in very little in return. It was then that Steve brought up that we really shouldn't joke or think like that. We expected people not to do anything unless it meant something beneficial to them but it shouldn't be like that. People should do good things for others just because of the act of being generous in itself. It all came back to that whole discussion we had earlier on that trip about how good people traverse any barriers that there might be between two people. That's something that I thought about for awhile as I took my shower and got ready for bed.

When I got of the shower, I was noticing that I was damn itchy. I couldn't stop scratching my stomach and back. I think I got sunburned slightly from those days on the beach. While I was getting ready for bed, Mike came back in and asked if anyone wanted their laundry done for tomorrow. Everyone took him up on his offer. Before he left though he mention that we should be careful if we walked out side as snakes were known to traverse the area behind the house. That was the reason he was so careful about us heading down the path with flashlights before. With that final note he left us to go to bed.

As I lay there on the one couch that was in the place I would watch everyone, one by one head to bed. I was going to give the couch to Steve (since he was driving tomorrow) as Jon suggested but he wouldn't have any of it. I guess it fit his personality though. Steve's the type of person that has natural leadership abilities but he doesn't like it where he has a status that everyone else doesn't have. Eventually, it was just I left sitting there. Craig asked if he could kill the lights and said go for it. I grabbed my MP3 player and listen to my music in the dark until I faded away.

Day VI: (the route)

Ahh… so where was I? Oh yea waking up without sweating throughout the night and being uncomfortable was bliss. It was around 10-11 when I woke. We went to bed sometime around 12am so we got a good amount of sleep. Everyone was already up by the time I got up. Some were getting ready; some were gathering their things. And some were getting their clothes that Mike and Caroline washed last night. A little bit after that someone cut up the other watermelon we got from Milan and that served as breakfast. It was quite tasty and juicy, it was a pity we gave the other one away.

A lot of time was spent waiting for everyone else to get ready. A good number of people didn't take a shower last night so everyone had to wait their turn. For the most of the trip we stayed fairly clean. I figured that during most of the trip we weren't going to be without shower but the longest that we would go with out a shower was 3 days. While other people were getting ready, eating, or taking a shower, the rest of us were being mild entertained by the electronic synthesizer keyboard that Newt had found. We all took turns playing with it at one point. It was all kinds of fun. It wasn't nearly as fun when Ted plays around with it as he likes to create themes and backdrops for the sound to take place it but it was still fun playing around with all those 100+ something sounds that you can use in the keyboard. Newt apparently had that type of keyboard in the past and kept playing the music sample that was built into it. We were all trying to figure out the song it was. It's impossible to exactly describe in words but it was the definitive elevator music song. Newt kept playing it every other time he got to play with the keyboard. Coire got frustrated because he really wanted to know what that song was from. He could remember it's tune but just not where it came from. All throughout that day I would hum the tune by him just to hear say "what is that song?!" as he tried to remember the name of the song.

The weather was pretty good coming out of the house. I say that probably because I had just spent the night in a well air-conditioned room. I bet it probably wouldn't have been so nice if I had spend a night outside and woke up all hot and sweaty like I did the night before. Regardless, the weather felt nice as we began loading up all our stuff back on to the bus. It was a good 10-20 minutes to load up all our things back on to the bus.

As that was happening Mike's daughter whose name, like a lot of people we encountered on the trip, I've since then forgot. She was obviously surprised why there was a bunch of people about her age coming out from around her parents' house to load stuff onto a school bus. I think Mike introduced her to Steve or perhaps it was Will, being Will, approached her and introduced himself. Either way, she was given a standard tour of the bus.

Later on, Steve, Craig and other were talking to Mike about directions when Jon brought it up that we need to leave soon if we were going to get to New Orleans by the end of the day. Jessica chimed about how she hadn't finished doing hair or something like that and went back to the house to do that imagine. Of course this didn't sit well with Jon or Will who were quite annoyed with her at this point. Of all the bad things that happened during the trip I think this was the worse. Sure the breakdowns were bad but it never cut into people's morale, general happiness, and certainly didn't divide people. This wasn't as bad as bad as I described but it still was kind of sucky.

The whole incident of Coire and Jessica fighting had varying impacts on different part of the group. Will and Jon would end up pissed a Jessica because the way she acted after the incident as well as other prior little things she did during the trip (for example always leaving her stuff lying around every where. I would be a little disappointed at Jessica acted like a silly stereotypical woman as she made the whole incident awkward over something little and silly. Steve said that he was sorry that she felt bad but that she only had herself to blame. Coire, of course, didn't talk to her for a while and he was just as pissed about it as she was. The difference was thought while Jessica spent a long while sulking about it, Coire just went to do other things. As for Newt, Michelle, Craig, and Brian, I never really heard their opinions about the whole incident but assumed for the most part they were like me, a little peeved at something, but mostly indifferent.

Other than that there was no real big drama between the group. Maybe a little in New Orleans but I'm rushing ahead of myself.

Mike was nice enough to give us all kinds of maps around the region of New Orleans. He told us that he knew a couple that sold flowers some where around the French Quarter and if we see them tell them hi from Mike and Caroline. At this point, we were just standing around in front of Mike's house as Steve and Craig got directions from Mike. After giving us the directions he talked a little bit more about his past; He told us a little story about being in the Navy and how very little training you get to become medical personal. A his side note about the military he mentioned there was a Air Force base around here where they do weapons testing, training exercises and the like.

He asked us if we were college students and what our majors we were and stuff like that, the typical conversational stuff. He must of figured we were a lot of science and engineering majors because the first people to reply, Craig, Steve, and I, said Electrical Engineering, thinking about Computer Science, and Computer Science one after another. He made some joke about us all going into industry after school to produce more things for the U.S. to use to blow stuff up.

We spent a good time outside talking to him. It was one those situations where you're know you're about to leave but the conversation keeps carrying on because you just have more stuff to say.

It carried on for a bit more after that. Mike noticed the look on Michelle faces and he was like "You guys should get use to the that look. It means 'I have plans and you're not cooperating with me.'" Michelle, being the quiet person that she is got quite embarrassed that everyone was now paying attention to her. Mike went on to comment on her beautiful face and tell us a couple of things about lightning in photography. He said with the right light you could really bring out the red in her cheeks. He walked over by her and motioned her into the light that was right next to the shadow of the tree she was standing in. Sure enough after moving her over into the sunlight, looking at her compared with the contrast of blue sky and the rest of the background really made her cheeks red.

We exchanged little bits of conversation back and worth until there was a big enough period of silence to say, "alright, lets go." We thanked him for all that he did and told him that we would try to get in contact with him or vice versa. He told us that he the reason he invited us to his house was that old saying that Jesus said about "do onto others…" and how he really believed in it. If not a bit corny, it was still nice thing leave on (and kept of theme of "We being good people" we had going through the trip).

Other than the careful navigating out of the small lane neighborhoods, it didn't take long to get back on the highway to get to New Orleans. This would be one of the longest period of driving there would be and like before it would definitely get tiring. One of the few exciting things that did happen on the road was that we encountered rain for the first time. It was kind of a cool thing to watch because before we headed into the rain we were going down this long stretch of road heading up a hill with rows of very green trees on each side. The trees probably wouldn't have seemed that green but contrasted to the very dark gray sky above they were as bright green as you could get.

Other than that not much else exciting for quite awhile, time could drag on and on if you didn't find something to do. I would listen to music, read, watch Brian, Craig, Will and whoever else write signs on pieces of paper and show them to the people riding behind us. I remember one time they tried to get write someone's cell phone down and get the drivers to call us. Stupid fun like that tends to pass the time. We didn't really stop much at all only for gas and once to get food midday.

I can't remember if it was Alabama or Mississippi that we were in. We stop at small local restaurant chain. I tell you the name but alas I forgot that too. There were only 3 stores in this local chain and their big item that makes their chain (like the Big Mac to McDonald's) was the "greater tater" that was a whole bunch shit stuff into a baked potato.

For most of us, that's where we decided to eat. I think Coire and Jessica were the only one's who didn't eat there because there was practically nothing vegan on the menu. While we ordered our food, they decided to go to a nearby Subway. When they got back, I think it was Coire that asked if it was ok for him to eat this here. The waitress said hold on and took his food and drink. We all joked how funny it would be she if returned and told him no and that she threw it away.

When she returned she had put the drink in a cup and the sandwich into one of those sandwich baskets that our food came in. Coire was like "umm…thanks" and went on with eating. The meal ws pretty good. I don't know if it was worth what I paid( like 5-6 for a small bag of chips and hoagie) but it was tasty. Once we got out, I noticed that the sign in front of the restaurant. It was one of signs for an outdoor shopping mall that had all the places of business on it. One of them has the Aflac sign. Since we still hadn't beaten the joke until there was nothing left of it carcass, Will got the idea of getting a notepad with "BUTTSEX" written in big letters and holding in front of the sign for a picture. While he waited for someone to get the camera, he held it up next to the road for passing cars to see. Coire, told Will that he should stop it just because he was afraid some Redneck would drive by it and stop just to beat some ass. I personally didn't think it was much of an issue since I doubt anyone could have read it from a car going that fast. Fortunately for us, no ass beating occurred and we got the picture of Will holding the Buttsex sign in front of the Aflac sign.

…a few moments later Will mentioned that he had the wrong page showing when he held up the sign. Bummer.

Back on the road, more tedium set in. Fortunately, since we got out of Florida the sights has been a little different. Much the highways were bridges over the shallow parts of the coast. It was quite fun to look at since I've never seen highways like these before. Running through Mobile, Alabama was fun as not only did it have these types of highways but also it had a tunnel running through the city. That was pretty much the extent of excitement on the way to New Orleans.

The closer we got to New Orleans the darker it got. By the time we got into to New Orleans it was late into dusk. We never really had a set plan for where we going to stay once we got there. We threw out the idea of state parks but they were either too far away or booked up. There was the idea of parking somewhere in the city but that meant the risk of getting towed. When we came into the city we took one of the first exits onto Read Blvd. The place was a big stretch of highway next to a shopping mall and all kinds of fast food restaurants further down the street was a hospital and a big park.

As we driving, we passed by a Days Inn. We decided to roll in and check out the rates to see what the rate would be. It didn't look like too bad a place it even had a pool and a diner right next to it. The first thing we did notice when we came into the parking a lot, which was pretty high I might add, was that there was a "We take no responsibility for vehicle theft" sign outside the place. Steve decided to kill the stereo while we talked about the plan so if we did stay here we wouldn't attract attention to the thumping system in the bus.

The plan was that we were going to check out the rates at this place. So far the bus fund had been doing quite well we had around $350 left because of the lack of costs and excellent mileage we were getting. Because of the conservative estimates before we now had some money to throw around. Steve asked if anyone would be in complaint with using the money to get a room. Everyone seemed to agree that we should get a room if it was affordable. I for one thought it was worth the money not to wake up all hot and sweaty every morning, plus showers would be superb.

Steve, Craig and I think Coire went in under the guise that it would just be them in the room. They asked for rates and it was around $50-60 /night. Not too bad and certainly within our price limits. As general policy, I think Days Inn only allows 4 people max per room. When they asked about if it would be ok to go over that limit by one (at the time we were assuming that we had to get 2 rooms) the clerk at the desk told us it was ok to have all kinds of people in there. We thought we were going to have to sneak in one by one but it turned out they were more than fine with it. In fact the lady gave us a handicap room so that it had more floor space and gave us extra towels and such.

A few minutes later Steve and others told us the news. He moved the bus to the back parking lot and we began to move our stuff from the bus into the room. The hotel was decent, it wasn't anything lavish but for $50/ night in New Orleans we weren't going to get a lot. The only that sucked about the room was that the sliding door to the balcony was rigged so that it was impossible to open. I guess they figured handicap people didn't want to see out the window anyway.

When I dropped off my stuff in the room, I noticed that the TV had been turned around. Asking about it, I found out that Craig had turned it around. As he and a few others were on the no-TV stance during the trip I guess it only made sense. It didn't really matter that much to do me as I wasn't planning on watching TV during the trip anyway.

Once everyone was done picking up their things. The plan was to hit the town. There wasn't much of an immediate plan but a good start was the French Quarter as stuff was bound to happening there on a Friday night. Some one had mentioned that there was a bus stop across the street from the hotel that drove through the French Quarter. It was pretty expensive though, $2.50. I guess it isn't that bad, but when you're running low on cash like I was $2.50 seemed like a lot.

Less than 30 minutes after we arrived at the hotel, we found ourselves waiting at the bus stop for next bus to the French Quarter. It took quite awhile for the bus to get there since we just missed the 10:30 stop; we probably would have been able to made if it wasn't for the fact that it was so hard to get everyone moving quickly. So as it was we spent a good portion of time sitting at the bus stop chatting with locals or ourselves waiting for the bus.

Unlike the bus we drove to get here, the transit bus was pretty fast. From where we were, the French Quarter was 5-10 minutes away. In no time we found ourselves in downtown New Orleans just outside the French Quarter.

I had forgot what street it was that our stop was on but we were right next to Police Station, which I imagine was pretty busy due to do all cops that are out in force around the area, and a gas station. It was pretty distinct when you hit the French Quarter as all the buildings are somewhat old and the road turns to a paved stone road as opposed to asphalt. My first impression of the area was that it was pretty dirty and run down. As there was shit (literally since the police used horses to patrol the area around Bourbon Street) and all kinds of other stuff in the streets and gutters. A lot of it was mostly various alcoholic containers. My impression was further enforced by the fact we walked into a SUV that looked like it just recently had it's window busted out and had been looted.

Bourbon Street was kind of exciting, I always like events where there are a ton of people up to their own things. It wasn't anything that seen before, a huge crowd traversing the street looking for parties or whatever fun they might want to find through the night, but it was still kind of exciting since I've never seen such a big strip of road with all kinds of bars, clubs, shops, etc with this many people.

At this point the group was playing follow the leader. I wasn't really sure but Jessica , Steve, and Coire seemed to know where we were going and I was curious to see where. I suppose everyone else was too. Our destination wasn't really that exciting though. At first I though they wanted to get into this bar which all of us walked into with out any questions. Then I realized that they were heading to the bathrooms. How exciting.

When a lot of people figured out that was where they were going everyone that didn't need to go to the restrooms just went outside to wait. I think it was Michelle, Brian, Will, Craig, Newt, Jon and I who stayed outside. I soon got bored with standing there and I want to see what else we could find along the street. Everyone else was pretty much in agreed with the exception of Brian and Michelle. Come to think of it, it wasn't so much of an issue of not agreeing but rather a one of not hearing. I don't think they heard us or noticed us leave. The place was pretty loud and you had to be pretty close to someone for them to hear you well.

It didn't take long for Will, Jon, Craig, Newt and I to get separated from the others. We walked down the street to check out the sites. Even though the street spans for a good while, the portion with all the stuff going on is only a few blocks. This took a longer time than what you'd think though. Every so many steps one of us would venture off to look at something and everyone else followed. We had to do this, as we couldn't really be separated from everyone else since we needed to know when to get back. That pretty much meant we had to stay near people that had cell phones so we could stay in contact and know the time. We would keep moving from place to place up and down Bourbon Street.

Strangely enough, we did a lot more walking then actually doing anything else. You'd figure that you do a lot more talking with all the people around but it's kind of the opposite with all the volume. A lot time people are more concerned about their destination than rather what they're doing it seems. That's what I thought as we made our way through the crowd to go to various places around the way.

We walked up and down Bourbon Street before we ended up back to the bar where everyone else went inside to piss. It was nice looking all the different places but I was tired of walking around for an hour or so. I think Jon and Will wanted to get something drink as well so when inside and went to the bar as we watched the band play across the room.

New Orleans is kind of lax on their alcohol laws; you can walk down the street with open containers legally. It's so surprise that it's pretty easy to purchase alcohol with out being 21 around Bourbon Street. There are tons of place to buy it, vendors in booths, stores, and bars are all around. Usually you don't get carded much when you go into bars. Jon, Craig, Will and the rest got carded a couple times but the place we ended back at didn't have anyone at the door. I imagine a lot of times the place is so crowded that they don't even care. The cops don't seem to care much about who is and who isn't drinking, they just seem to be there so bad shit doesn't happen. So the likelihood of someone getting in trouble for letting a minor purchase alcohol is almost non-existent. If everyone breaks the law, it can't really be considered a law, can it?

Anyway when the Bartender asked us for drinks I think it was more than obvious that most of us weren't 21, or at least he wasn't when ask one the most obvious "I'm not 21" question: "what do you think I should get?" I think it was a shot of whiskey or something that he asked for. Will got a beer as did Craig, Newt got a coke and I got nothing as I was pretty much broke. Personally, even if I had the money I wouldn't have gotten anything because it was so damn expensive. Jon's shot was something like $5 and Will, Craig, and Newt paid around $2-3 dollars for one beer/coke.
We were there for a bit. Jon spent some more money on a beer or something. He asked Craig a couple times on what he should tip her. I think it was $3-4 he suggested. "Damn bars are expensive", I thought even more so that we were in New Orleans.

The band probably played like 2 songs when it was up there then they quit took a break or whatever. I wouldn't know because we left soon afterward. I was tired of sitting around as was everyone else so we headed back to the street. The funny thing was we sat down because we were tired of walking. In actuality there really wasn't much to do on Bourbon Street except for drinking and talking to people, and talking is hard to do because it's so loud. I guess you have to be in a different mindset to enjoy everything that's going on. Or I should rather say you have to be drunk to enjoy everything which I was unfortunately wasn't. I got a beer earlier from one the vendors on the street. At a dollar (or maybe $2?) a cup, that isn't bad. Will got one as well. He didn't have for very long as he ran into some bitch that knocked it out of his hand. She didn't say sorry or anything, just kept on walking.

We walked up and down the street a couple of times looking for stuff to do. Jon wanted to go to a strip club but no else did due to either money or some other reason. At some point Jon wanted more liquor but didn't want to pay extremely high prices. There were other sorts of stores on streets coming off of Bourbon Street. One place was a small convenient store that was pretty much there just to sell really cheap alcohol. They had huge tubs in front of the open doorway that just had cold beer. Jon, not being 21, asked me to get the alcohol. I didn't really think about it at the time because I'm used to buying people alcohol for them, but he could have done it himself. They were pretty busy and carding people seemed the least of their worries. Plus it couldn't have hurt for him to just try.

Anyway, I bought the alcohol, a 1/5th of Coconut Malibu Rum. He let me take a swig of it for all my troubles (i.e. none) and it was pretty taste. As were walking away Will noticed that there was a penny arcade right next to us. He went inside and I followed. Newt, Craig, and the rest followed. Of course the first thing Will looked for was Tekken 4 machine, which he had found and started to play. As I watched him play, I realized that the amount on the coin slot said 25 cents. I was in awe. After used to playing Tekken 4 back at home for 50 cents playing Tekken 4 at half the cost was so awesome. I went straight to Newt and asked for a Quarter and played around against Will. The first thing Craig replied with when I asked him for a quarter was "godamn it." as
I guess he thought he was going to spend another hour or so here with us playing video games. I told him that it wasn't like we were going to be here for that long and that he didn't understand; "Tekken 4 for 25 cents!" you can't beat that. I only played one game but it was fun while it lasted and it was certainly worth 25 cents. We would have to remember this place if we came back.

Will and I only played Tekken 4 for about 5-10 minutes. When were done we walked over to where Jon was. He was playing Marvel Vs. Capcom with a group of black kids that lived around here while Newt and Craig were watching. It was pretty funny to hear everyone trash talk and comment on the moves. We told Craig and Newt that we had got our Tekken fill for the night and we were ready to go. We told Jon to me us at the door. Craig and Newt, I bet were tired of watching people play video games, and I wanted to go because the arcade was damn cold.

...stay tuned more to come. Many will enter, few will win.

Day VII:


Day IX: (the route)

Day X: (the route)


[6/9/2002 3:58:47 AM | Shawn Conn]
Headin' Out

This will be my last post for a while as I will in about 7 hours be heading out on the bus for a 10 day trip. I've spent alot of time during this week at Steve's helping get things ready and it's about done. Everything with the bus is pretty much done and it's just ready to be loaded and shipped out. I don't know what awaits me but it's sure going to be some fun. I thought I would have much to more say about the subject but I don't really have more to say buswise. I guess I could go through all the details about what we have done but I don't really feel like it's anything interesting.

Hmm so what does that leave to say...what's interesting to talk about?...I don't know...I'm looking too hard to try to say something important when I don't have anything important to say. Maybe I should just think of random thing and then talk about it. Let's see what the first thing comes to my mind...hmm nothing. At least nothing interesting that I could write a little bit about.

I was thinking I could write some stories but I don't have any right now....Ugh, I'm a quite the bore now. I think I should just leave it at that and say my fairwells.
See ya when I see ya...

[6/6/2002 5:46:44 AM | Shawn Conn]
For some reason, with each day that passes by things get better and better. It seems like every day has been really good. Not super fun or spectactular but they're full of good things that happened and fun times. As the bus trip draws nearer, things are really getting better and better. It's been a while since I've been on a good long road trip and I can't wait for Sunday to roll out.

Today was pretty simple yet functional and fun(whatever that means). I woke and played my morning game of Tekken to get my adreline running. After that I check the caller ID to see that Will and Steve called. I was going to call them back but there was some stuff I wanted to try in Tekken which took up another hour or so. As I was finishing up, Will gave me a ring and asked if I could take him to the Dentist for him. I told I would and I would stop by after I would stop by Alex's. I wanted to see if he was still around since he was planning to leave Wednesday. I talked to him for a bit and said my fairwells in case I didn't see him until the end of the summer then I headed to Will's. I picked him up and took to the dentist;that's when bad news struck. Will had to have to get his wisdom teeth removed. He thought it might interfere with the trip or at least make it a little painful.

More events would happen throughout the day. While they were great fun they were filled with nice surprises. One example was one of the chicks that Will brought over to show the bus. Sharon(or something close to that) was her name I believe. She was kind of attractive, but the thing about her was that she had quite the quaint New Zealand accent(being from New Zealand and all). It was such I nice voice(mostly because of the accent), I thought to myself at that point that that's the kind of girl I need to find. Just having a conversation with her would be great because it would be so cool to hear her talk. It might get to me after a while but it still would be fun I think.

Anyway, flashforward to a couple hours later. I would find myself in a bar on Bardstown Road. Well, I guess a more correct term would be pub since it was a restaurant too. Coire, Brian, Steve, Heather, Craig, and I all went. It was nice little place. I wouldn't mind going there just to drink if the price wasn't so high. I intially didn't want to get anything because mostly of money constraints( saving for the bus trip and what not) but Brian and Coire wanted to chip in. I've been such a cheap ass lately, so many of my friends have payed for so much for me. It's starting to get to me. If the pool gets opened on Saturday like I'm expecting it to I should invite a bunch of friends over. If not to just have fun just because I should find some way to pay them back for all the nice guestures. Anyhow, I ended up getting a glass of Guiness. It costed $4 but it was well worth worth it. It's not really good tasting the first time you try it but it definately grows on you. Everytime I have some, the better it seems to taste.

Not many big things happened after that, but it was good time and good friends. And really that's all you need to be happy.

When the night was over and I finally started heading home, my mind began to wander as it tends to do while I'm driving. I really wasn't thinking of much of anything other than just random thoughts. It was some where around then I started thinking about Coire asking the question of what species contains the most biomass on the planet. That sparked a thought into my mind...

E = mc²
Everyone and their mom know this is equation( Energy = mass x the speed of light squared), but it's not until you think about the implications of it can you really appreciate the genius that Einstein was for discovering it. Mass and engery are the same things in different forms that are only seperated by the constant of the speed of light squared. Mass can be changed in to energy and energy can be changed in mass. When I think of the term of biomass, I think how the implications to this formula can be applied to our bodies and it's amazing how complex we really are. Like when we eat food we are consuming mass that converted into energy. When we go hungry you can feel your body use it's spare mass as energy. This constant process of mass>energy>mass is everywhere and goes on everyday. I don't know why, but it's so weird to me to think about this process in terms of our bodies. We are amazing machines built from the building block of DNA,cells, and other such stuff. It's all mind boggling to me. This got me to my next thought...

What We Are, and Who We Are
I like to seperate those two things. When I say who some one is, I speak in terms of the abstract personality. Characteristics, mannersism, etc. is what I think of. When I say what someone is, I speak in terms what exactly they are physically. Sex, genes, DNA, cells, etc. is what I think of. What we are definately has an effect( maybe ending result I could say) on who we end up being. It's more true the younger we are. As we grow older our experiences and knowledge have more an effect on who we are but in the end our personality is still tethered to the physical body that we are. For example, I physically as a person have a deep voice because the way my vocal cords are built. The end result is I have a very low voice that's hard to hear. It ends up hindering people hearing exactly what I say. As a result, I think personality wise it works against me being more a sociable person than I want to become. Or at least a more recognizable person(which definately would have some effect on me). You could probably think of a ton of examples like this. In the end, what we are physically definately can have effect on who we are as person with a personality.

The question is when someone recognizes some trait like that about them, would they be able to change it. I don't know, it seems to me though that it would be a constant uphill battle that you could just lose envitable because you have to deal with something that you just not are. I've sometimes compared it to trying to think about having to breathe. If you had to do that to breathe, do you think that it would be possible to live. It probably would, but it definately make life difficult. I think in the end problems that people have with what they are eventually go away because the most just learn to live with it and just work around it.

That's my thoughts on it anyways. Take it for what it is. It's now time for rest...

[6/4/2002 6:18:53 AM | Shawn Conn]
The days are slowly going by, but atleast I've had fun while my life goes on. Today was one of those days that I was suprised by. I was expected nothing and I got alot. When I woke, I was pretty dazed. I figure I should call some people after I played I took a shower and played some Teken. That ended up taking a few hours. I was practicing combos in Tekken and time kinda passed me by. By the time I started calling people I couldn't get a hold of anyone. I did eventually get a hold of Will. He was up for some Tekken so we may a trek to the mall. I brought my Tekken 4 movelist compendium and we had fun practicing some moves. Their were some people at the machine but Will quickly scurried them off it as he mercilessly beat with Lee. I'm not the one who usually approaches the people playing when there are people playing on the machine. I usually like to see what my opponent is going to throw against me before I go against him. Will, who usually picks Lee when he first steps up, is one to just jump right in and give it all he's got. I guess it's appropriate that Will chooses Lee as Lee is one of the fastest characters in Tekken 4. It really fits Will's demeanor and style. Throughout that time we took turns playing through the game and against each other. Our games against each other were pretty close but near the end I would end up just squeaking by just by some fancing dodging or just dumb luck.

Later on in the day we would end up back at Will's house where I would call people and try to make some more plans. Unfortunately, I would get hold of many people. Evan stopped by and he, Will and I just sat around and talked about just random shit. It's pretty fun to hang out with those two. Hanging with them reminds of that part of me that just likes to do random silly things. They get way too crazy for me sometimes but it's good to hang out with people who aren't exact same as you. It lets you understand exactly who you are. I heard a while back that the people you hangout with are the people that you wish to be like. Hanging out with alot of different people lets you understand what you like to do and what you don'y like to do. It also helps you determine who it is you want to be and who you think you are. I've noticed this only in the past few years. For along time I didn't hang out with many different people and I was quite the loner. I'm beginning to understand why for along time( and in a way I still do) don't know who I am. I'm still not exactly sure who I am but I'm beginning to have an idea.

That gets me to what's been on my mind right now.

When you hangout with alot of different crowds you realize at some point people like to break off into groups. The defining criteria can vary alot (occupation, hobbies, interests, etc.), but there's always something that defines a group and holds it together. It could be as strict and rigid as the different groups you see in high school or it can be so subtle that you might not even notice it but I think it's just one of those things that makes us human. We like to be around something that we like alot and if a group provides it than we stay around it. I've also noticed that when you started hanging out with different groups they have their own rhetoric, beliefs, ideas, and opinions about others. Hearing other people talk about each other, one group saying another thing some of other group of people I started to become turned off and not want to hear anymore.

After hearing so many times from both sides of two groups talk about one another I began to realize something I learned way back in a class I took at IU: People see the world around them in they way they choose to design. They will look at things with whatever perspect or bias they have and find whatever that perspective tends to believe. Knowing this, I've realized something more important about the need for hanging out with different people: A person will only know the whole story once they hear both sides of it. I've labeled myself as so many different things in my life only to change my perspective because I hear something from a different perspective. In the end, I don't know if it's possible ever to understand totally why people do the things they do, and what makes them who they are but I do believe that being with many different crowds and people helps you understand the whole picture.

I know that was terribly vague but my mind is feeling very abstract right now. It's also a very tired mind. Which makes a good stopping point for thing mind as I've got much more things to do tommorrow. Be well all....

[6/2/2002 4:49:43 AM | Shawn Conn]
Day 8074: Same Shit, New Day

I wish I could say I've been up to new cool things but alas I've don't a whole lot of nothing. This weekend has been so mediocre. I've been so bored I've went about calculating how many days I've been alive. It's kind of weird to quantify my life in such a way. I guess I shouldn't really bitch about how bored I am. I have only myself to blame for that. I'll be glad when next week rolls around. It will be good to get out of here and go on a journey. I don't know what's going happen and I'm going to have much fun. It's something I can really say that I'm excited about.

Other than looking forward to that, I haven't really felt anything good about my life. Not that things have been bad, but they haven't been good either. I'm just in a state of constant mediocrity. What I need to do this week is not sit around on my ass but actually make an attempt to better myself and looking for things to do that. But how can I do that? Maybe I just need to take it one step at a time. Just work on something small. Whatever comes to my mind that troubles me I should just think of something or anything to do to change it and just try it. Whatever the hell that's suppose to mean.

So many words and yet I've stilll said nothing worthwhile at all. I shouldn't feel anything obligation to say something important in a blog( what the hell are blogs good for anyway). I feel that I should say something new and different every time I post. I don't like to run around in circles. I want to learn something about myself and change anything that I feel might not be helping me. In a way, writing in a blog has help me tried to change the dumb things I do about my writing style. It also has helped try to put some insight about my life. Reading over my past posts, I do entirely complain too much about the opposite sex but I have realized what it is I'm looking for in a woman now. I guess the only problem is now trying to find someone that will like me in same way. Not that it will happen anytime soon. Then again it's not like I really care that much anymore.

Not really much new to say at all this boring day. Either way, you try to enjoy yours. Peace