Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Cold Feels Like















I had a good Christmas here at home with my family. It was rather different, since instead of spending Christmas Eve with my extended family as I usually do, I was in Virginia with my Dad working at a mall. An old business partner of my Dad had decided that he wanted to try selling the glass jewelry SOUL that he and my Dad based  a business on several years ago. They had spent the month trying to sell it at a Kiosk in the Lynchburg mall since before Thanksgiving, and my Dad and I just went down to help pack up and bring things back.  That day we worked at the kiosk a bit and it was interesting. While I made hundreds of them at our workshop back in the day and worked with the original artist who created them, I had never tried selling them before. It was kind of difficult really... I have so many bad memories associated with it because of stuff that happened back then that I have honestly developed a dislike for it, so it was weird trying to pitch it to people. At any rate, we didn't get back until 2AM Christmas morning.

While I wasn't able to do the traditional party thing, I did end up seeing my Grandparents and my Uncle Bruce, which was nice. It also turned into a very white Christmas. There was just a bit of snow on the ground in the morning, mostly left over from a week or so before. By lunch time though, it had started snowing again, and by that night we had several inches.

It has stayed very cold all day today, and I went out in the field to check on the gas well drilling site. I don't think I've felt cold like that in at least a year. Whatever the temperature was, the wind sweeping over the huge field that the site is on always plunges the chill below zero:














Below is a picture of the kiosk in Lynchburg:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Was in Virginia the last two days where I was helping some old friends pack up their kiosk at a mall in Lynchburg... Didn't get back until 2am Christmas morning. I kind of had this song in my head... enjoy!



Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Guide to Speeding In the Eastern US

After making this trip several times by myself and countless times with family and friends under a variety of circumstances and vehicles ranging from sports cars to moving vans, I've decided to post my impressions about it. They may perhaps be of service to someone, and at least entertaining to others.

New York: danger - too many squad cars (which is probably why their taxes are so high).

Pennsylvania: Freedom!!!

Maryland: moderately safe.

West VA: moderately safe.

Virginia: danger - speed traps, unmarked cars, motion cameras, (although I'm pretty sure the "Aircraft" that they constantly threaten will enforce the speed limit don't really exist).

Tennessee: Freedom!!!

Georgia: You might as well just shoot yourself now and get it over with.

Florida: moderately safe. Enough squad cars, but the general traffic tends to move 15 to 20 over the speed limit, so just stick with the herd. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Endlessly Repeating Final

It was a rather intense week of finals. The two that I had on Tuesday went about as expected, that is to say that my psychology final went really well, and my Spanish final went quite badly. What I didn't expect was today. Both my finals were with Palmer, which means that theoretically, they should have been easy, and indeed, what I actually had to do was easy: just answer an essay question and then give a brief presentation on the findings of my semester research paper to the class and answer any questions they might have. The problem is, there were thirty other people who all had to do this, and in both classes, we ended up going over the two hours allotted for the finals.

Of course, none of this was helped by the fact that I stayed up late last night celebrating the end of the semester with some friends off campus, and that my first final this morning was at 8:00AM. By the time I was done with the first one, I was feeling completely drained, and by the time I was done with the second one, at 3:30, I was feeling so bad that I thought I might be coming down with the flu or something. Fortunately, I started to feel better soon afterwords, when I realized that this not-so-fun semester was finally over.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening packing, and now have everything moved into my car so I should be able to get an early start on the 750 odd miles between me and home.

So yeah... I'm done.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Semester's Last Weekend

Now is that odd time of the semester when some classes are done, others are about to have their biggest assignments come due, and everyone is generally in a state of discombobulation. You can start to feel the relief of the semester being over, but you still have some of the hardest tests right in front of you. Three of my classes, as of last week, are finished completely. For those that aren't, I have four finals next week. Only one of them is going to be at all difficult, and two of them will be mostly just discussion. Unfortunately the said discussion is going be on the topic of what we wrote in our semester papers, and the professor who teaches both of those classes didn't tell us anything about the papers until last week. They're both short though, so it really isn't that unreasonable. It was just a bit of a surprise when I got the email.

Yesterday was rather interesting. That morning I was walking around with no real destination when two of my friends, Katy and Bryce, pulled up next to me and started gesturing for me to come over. It turns out they just got engaged, which is great. After that I went and watched Scrooge, which the school drama department was performing. I spent most of the evening (aside from when I was watching Taliban on CNN, which is very good, and you should try to catch the second half this evening if you read this in time) hanging out with the freshman on my hall and watching first Elf, and then Christmas Story. They are really a cool good group of guys, and I've felt bad that I haven't spent more time getting to know them. It's just been a bad semester I guess, but anyhow, most of us at least will be here next semester too, so hopefully I'll do better.

This morning it was snowing quite a bit, and although it doesn't really stick on the ground here, it at least added a nice effect. I decided to wake up and go to church, even though I had stayed up till after two last night playing Halo Reach with some guys over on Long 4th. I road with Drew, my RA/Suitemate to Westminster Presbyterian, which is generally where I go while in Tennessee. It was kind of a Christmas praise/devotional service, and while most of it was nice, it seemed like it took about three times longer than it usually does. Maybe it was just that I stayed up late though.

At the sad rate that I have been posting recently, this may well be my last entry from Tennessee for now, unless something particularly interesting happens of course. I can't really express how much I'm looking forward to getting home... less than a week now.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Masquerade

 I was fooling around with a project in Final Cut Pro this afternoon and I did this almost by accident. It looks  kind of cool,  so I thought I'd share it. The original video is from a church in Austria:













 Last night I went to my first banquet here at Bryan, it was fun, although I still don't really understand the point of them too much more than I did before. The theme was a masquerade ball, so I brought my Carnevale mask from Venice, which was cool. I wasn't sure if I'd ever have a need to use it again. Afterward my group went to Panera in Hixson, which was fun, except for getting there, which was a little rough, because several of the girls who planned the whole thing wanted to keep where we were going a surprise, which considering that two of the drivers including me were those from whom it was supposed to be kept, made for an interesting situation. We made it though, and after we got back we all watched White Christmas in Mercer, which was good... I had been hoping I'd get a chance to see it this Christmas but wasn't sure I'd get a chance with the semester lasting as long as it does.   

I'm very, very ready for the semester to be over (ok, I have felt like that since about the second day, but that's beside the point). Last week I just kept telling myself that I'm almost done, but now last week is over and I still have more than another week to go....