domingo, noviembre 30, 2003

There had to be something good about it

I'm sick. I have a sinus infection that also turned into an ear infection, and now I'm taking four different pills at various intervals. I just got in trouble because my whole family decided to flounce the rules and come up to my room, which is fucking HOT. Just before getting here, I had a massive nosebleed in the van. I've worn my stupid toboggan (or beanie or whatever the fuck have you) all day to keep me from feeling like I've had an ear infection.

I was coughing when I got home, and since no one has the sense to wash the sheets on the bed I sleep in that have been on there undisturbed for a month now, I coughed my head off more, which made my dad think some things I'm not going to ask him about.

I forgot my toiletries kit, forgetting along with it my retainers (I found the bottom one, finally). So now I've gone at least five nights with no top retainer, and two weeks or more without a bottom retainer. I still hope they fit in my mouth.

I had decided to get started on some studying for finals which are next week, but I don't think I'm up for it now. I'll get started tomorrow.

Until then, hope I feel better.

posted at 14:55 ||

miércoles, noviembre 26, 2003

SALVATION

I think that maybe -- just maybe -- the fuck-up wave has levelled out. What proof have I of this?

Well, yesterday I was allowed to re-take the test I took last Monday without a calculator. I'm getting my chemistry professor a card. And candy. And a filet mingon. And a Porsche.

Also, I realised that I wasn't doing the right page for my calculus homework, that instead of doing page 377 problems 6-20, I was doing page 337 problems 6-20, and I was wondering why the hell he assigned so much work to be due the very next day. Meh.

On Monday I got my schedule straightened out: I'm now enrolled in three three credit-hour courses (for a total of nine credit-hours if you didn't catch that) and also my program was completed for my programming class, and also I think I did fairly well on a test. No better than I have been doing, but no worse at least.

I don't even want to talk about the weekend.

And now I'm home, a little sick, but grateful to be sleeping in my own warm bed. (And except for the fact that I forgot my retainers back in Richmond, I haven't fucked up yet. But we won't mention that.) Now all that remains is to meet with various friends and eat obscene amounts of food.

Let the good times roll.

posted at 11:00 ||

martes, noviembre 25, 2003

Salvage is possible

In the last half hour I've run around so much I'm sweating. I booked it from work to have a meeting with my chem lab professor, who told me to come to a test she's giving at two o'clock. Which means that if I can persuade Dad to push back the departure time by about an hour and a half, I can take this test and hopefully end up with a decent average.

And also:

MAD PROPS TO TARA, WHO NOT ONLY GAVE ME BATTERIES FOR MY CALCULATOR, BUT ALSO POSTAGE STAMPS SO I CAN MAIL MY PHONE BILL AND HOPEFULLY WON'T BE DELINQUENT.

If that doesn't make any sense to you, then bugger off.

Now I must scramble and get some calculus done.

posted at 12:21 ||

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

I'm just glad today is here.

posted at 08:38 ||

lunes, noviembre 24, 2003

Fuck.

That is all.

posted at 16:32 ||

Cole's first D

Due to some royal fuck ups, I now have a D in my Chemistry lab. But it's the only D.

I hope.

The only class I'm really worried about other than that right now is Chemistry (not lab). I made a 62 on the last test. Boo. But the final will cover that. I've figured that if I make at least an 85 on the final, I'll have a 97 average for the semester in that class. And hopefully, if they average the lab grades and the lecture grades together, that's still a B. But I don't think they do that. I may just have to take Chem lab over again.

I'm doing alright in Programming. I just lack a two things and then prettying it up for the project due tonight. I'm doing pretty well in Spanish (please GOD, the one thing I'm good at), and I believe I'm doing pretty well in Calculus. I really need to get it together with Calculus, though.

Anyhow, I'm gonna go get my schedule straightened out.

posted at 09:23 ||

viernes, noviembre 21, 2003

A resolution

Due to the 63 I made on the last chemistry test, I have resolved to start reading in my chemistry book. I'm going to start this weekend with chapter five and read through chapter seven. Then, sometime during the week, read through chapter eight. And actually do the problems assigned.

I'm tired of being a lazy ass bum, and I've no one to blame but myself. The only two classes I consider myself not fucked up in are Spanish and Programming, and that's because I seem to get consistent grades in them.

I refuse to fail a course.

Dammit.

posted at 14:16 ||

jueves, noviembre 20, 2003

Finally, a break

Today hasn't been too awfully bad. I can only hope this is where the fuck-up wave levels out.

I'm gonna go practice, then off to a chemistry test. I'd better take my calculator in case I take longer than anticipated.

posted at 17:08 ||

martes, noviembre 18, 2003

I can only hope this is where it ends

I've fucked up yet again. I overslept for work, which is the second day I've not shown up when I said I was going to be there, and now it's too late to go in and be any useful, and my boss is all mad at me, and I'm going to get a talking-to from her boss, and I better not fuck up again or I'll lose that job, and I'll have a damn hard time getting another this late in the semester.

I'm going to go bathe, then work some more on my calculus.

posted at 10:08 ||

lunes, noviembre 17, 2003

Bleh

This is turning out to be the worst day ever. The only good thing that's happened so far has been that I finally did find my override slip, folded over and stuck between the pages of my spanish book.

Other than that, there was that chemistry test sans calclator, completely freaking out because I forgot about the take-home test in calculus I was supposed to do this weekend, not bathing, not going to the gym, and not doing my spanish homework.

And yes, I know this is most likely a result of all the drinking and none of the doing stuff I did this weekend, but now I know better. I'll just get it all done before I go drinking.

Gar.

posted at 14:12 ||

This will not be a good day

I stayed up all night so at seven o'clock I could just put in the call numbers to the classes I want and have so dilligently scoured through course reports to find, only to find out that every other fucking freshman on campus did the exact same thing.

And not only am I not currently scheduling my classes, I have the not-so-sneaking suspicion that I just bombed that chemistry test I just took without a calculator. I'll be highly pleased if I get above an eighty.

And to top it all off, I lost my override slip to get into Music Theory!

This had better end up a good day.

posted at 09:06 ||

domingo, noviembre 16, 2003

No title can do my feelings justice.

This is why I love my daddy:


11/15/3

Dear Cole:

Right now you are on your own, making your own way in the world. Think back to Harrisonburg. Remember the size of the minority percentagewise you were in when the guy asked about sharing bathrooms with someone? In terms of how much your fate rests in your own hands, I'd say that you are in a similar-sized minority among all the people you know at VCU. Because those kids with the cool toys and gadgets, who are going to share houses as soon as they're no longer required to live in the dorm, are getting major money from their parents. You are supporting yourself with wages that you earn and with financial aid awarded you on your own merits.

When I was your age I believed that just about everyone I knew had a life much the same as mine. Same kind of parents, same kind of house, same kind of social life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Time and experience have shown me that everyone's family is different from everyone else's.

I am not wealthy enough to write personal checks to cover tuition and fees. You don't draw income from an annuity or trust fund. This has largely to do with a series of bad career choices I made, beginning with pissing away my opportunity to get a college education.

But part of the reason has to do with never really having much in the way of material things. From an early age I learned to live without them. Oh sure, as a kid I was jealous of the new toys and gadgets other kids had. I got used to not having them. I never mustered burning ambition to go out and get them. I'm a total failure as an american because I'm not compelled trade in precious time on this earth for money at a crappy, soul-destroying job so I can rush out and buy lots of stuff I don't really need so my neighbors won't think I'm a failure as an american. Fuck the neighbors and the SUV they rode in on. I had a Suburban in 1988 before they were cool.

Many, many of the rich inherit their wealth. They spend their entire lives benefiting from some ancestor's hard work and access to attorneys. They expect the world and are not disappointed. They live elegantly effortlessly. Guys like me and you and our ancestors in line all the way back to the beginning have had to furnish our own lives with our own hands. I may not have ever amounted to anything but I've made my own way in the world and I take a little pride in that.

Many of kids you live in the dorm with right now are not representative of the type of people you are. In a way, by making freshmen stay in dorms together VCU encourages the same kind of fallacious worldview I picked up at military school. At military school I never quite realized who my schoolmates were. I was there with George Steinbrenner's kids and others born to less famous but equally-rich parents. Since we all wore the same clothes and were incarcerated together, I though we were all basically the same. It is true that on some basic level of humanity we are, as the Declaration of Independence insists, all created equal. But that basic level of humanity is irrelevant in the real world.

Rich people are usually very polite. Most of them will for short periods of time tolerate and even enjoy the company of the poor, especially if the poor are entertaining to them. Eventually, though, the poor are expected to realize that they can't possibly keep up and graciously take leave of the salons and parlors. If the poor don't catch on to the fact that rich people and poor people are as alike as housecats and howler monkeys, (they are both mammals and brother species in the great mammalian fraternity after all) the poor are frozen out. Once ostracized, some of the unbalanced poor subsequently stew in envy and self-pity for twenty years, ending up pictured beside the definition for "paunchy, stringy-haired loser" in your dictionary.

The next time you come home I want you to take a hard look at Gate City and compare life in Gate City with life in the dorm in Richmond. Because, unless you come into a fortune shortly, the choices you're looking at are living at home in Gate City or living in the dorm in Richmond. Compare and contrast and see how Johnson Hall looks from this end of the state.

Please believe me: your first semester at college is the least representative of subsequent semesters. You will be amazed at how many people you know do not return after Christmas. Your whole outlook on the place will have changed. You'll quit going to rooms and buildings you're used to going to and start going to different rooms and buildings. You'll hate new professors in subjects you formerly enjoyed and vice-versa. You'll quit seeing the same people on a predictable basis and start seeing new people on a predictable basis. When you're all new together, you're nicer to each other. Once you're all used to each other, people who formerly acted like they really like you will start ignoring, ostracizing or antagonizing you and you will find you like people you formerly ignored, ostracized or antagonized.

People still living in the dorm next year will be people like you. They will be the scholarship students, the people who eat and launder on work-study money, the ones who are doing what it takes to capitalize on their opportunity to someday become rich adults and spawn rich kids. Or to spend their lives doing something that gives them pleasure while permitting them to live in comfortable circumstances better than those in which they were raised. Success is relative. I would rather have sired an artist than an engineer. Everything from the hand of man decays (Ozymandias anyone?). Art is eternal.

Just for God's sake keep your eyes open, keep an open mind, and live within your known means. Think about it, you've already gotten a higher-education bump at your work-study job compared to Pal's. But think about this, too. On the economic scale you're closer to those homeless guys in Monroe Park than you are to some of your buddies there in the dorm. Up to this point in your life that's my bad. From here on, though, it's all up to you. Please keep putting one foot in front of the other, even if it looks like a baby step to you. Audition as many times as it takes, just please be honest with yourself about how much practice it takes to be at your best. We are all so proud of you and want you to be happy. You have always done everything you put your mind to. I have confidence in you.


Yore Pa,
T.O.M.

posted at 11:59 ||

Dads fix everything.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty depressed. I had a talk on the phone with my mother. There's no need to go into details. All you need to know is that it was about my switching majors, and essentially she told me this:

Dreams are nice, but reality sucks. You can't do it.


I know I probably took it out of context, because just then we were talking about the possibility of my moving into a house next year with some friends of mine, and about how desperately poor we are, and how I wouldn't be able to afford it; but, for some reason, that statement hit me hard.

I quickly hung up and had myself a good cry, adding to the what-am-I-going-to-do-now anxiety a tremendous feeling of lonliness. I really would have liked someone to be there to hold me and shush me and tell me it's alright and rub my back while I sob pitifully into their shoulder or something. But alas, no one was there, and that just made it all that worse.

Then I was back where I was this past summer, on the brink of just giving up, with thoughts running through my head like, "what's the point?" Not a very good spot to be.

And so I went drinking.

I believe my mantra is fast becoming a quote Seth and Andrew are fond of:

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man. Dr. Johnson


But then I was awoken this morning by a phone call from my father, who said, "As long as I've known you, you've never failed at doing anything you set your mind to. I'm behind you one hundred percent." Which made me feel better. He said that twice.

He went on to explain that my mother has been crazy with worry about her job. Needless worry, I might add. Dad says she's worked herself into a frenzy, and when I talked to her yesterday, she was just crazy.

Dad kept saying Mom had the same kind of fervor he did for my success, but I highly doubt it. I mean, after a quote like the one above, how can she say something like "I support you"?

Sigh.

Anyway, on to better things. I'm going to bathe, practice, and get a start on my programming project while doing laundry. Most likely in that order, too.

posted at 11:20 ||

sábado, noviembre 15, 2003

I'm a little drunk right now, so bear with me

Okay, I'm a lot drunk.

But that doesn't matter right now.

What matters is that next semester, I may be a full-fledged music major.

This excites me to no end.

posted at 03:22 ||

jueves, noviembre 13, 2003

If I'm gonna be all hot and sweaty like this

I should at least be drunk, or having sex, or both.

posted at 00:26 ||

miércoles, noviembre 12, 2003

On my way

Today I took the music theory placement test.

I scored perfect.

Now I can take Music Theory I next semester.

Sweet!

posted at 17:06 ||

A little homesick

The only thing I miss about home isn't really a concrete person or thing.

The thing I miss most is NPR. I used to listen to it religiously. Every Monday I'd listen to Fresh Air as I drove to Has-Beens, From the Top on the way back. Wednesdays I'd listen to All Things Considered on my way to and from lessons, and Fresh Air again as I sat in the car waiting for Brother's lessons to finish. On Thursdays, I'd listen to Fresh Air again as I drove to Community Band, the tail end of Reel Music before Pipe Dreams as I came back. On Saturdays I'd be aurally assaulted by Click and Clack when Dad took Brother and me to the gym. Sundays I'd listen to E-Town on the way to orchestra rehearsal, and This American Life on the way back.

I loved Thsi American Life. If the show that day was one of particular interest, I'd take the long way home, and even extend the trip a little by driving a way down the highway far enough that to return on the back road would ensure that I got home right as the show was ending.

NPR and driving almost go hand in hand. For me they do, at least. I really miss driving around listening to NPR.

When I started working, I quit listening so much because I had a job, and I was scheduled to work on days I had band functions, or I picked up some new school function, or whatever. Then I relied on the printed and electronic media to provide me with the news I was accustomed to in such heavy doses.

Now, with neither a car with a radio nor the funds to support my news habit, I feel so terribly out of the loop.

posted at 08:58 ||

lunes, noviembre 10, 2003

Weekend Recap

This weekend, I went with my friends to Springfield, Virginia. We had a lot of things to get.
We got all but one.

Items procured:


  • Two hundred fifty dollars' worth of groceries
  • One hundred fifty dollars' worth of groceries
  • At least ten Xbox games
  • The movie Airplane
  • The movie The Breakfast Club
  • The Indiana Jones triolgy box set
  • A 27" Advent flat panel television


Total money spent by my friends and myself: $23.

Don't ask us how we did it. It's better that you not know.

posted at 09:07 ||

viernes, noviembre 07, 2003

Frustration to the max

I've spent two hours on this goddamn program due Monday, and the only thing I've accomplished is learning how to properly call the program.

I'm goin' on a killing spree.

posted at 10:58 ||

miércoles, noviembre 05, 2003

A serious idea for a really good story

I've had an idea. The story is about a guy who moves to a big city in Europe, like London or Madrid or something, but all he has are some clothes and the money he got when he sold all his stuff. He's starting completely fresh. The story recounts not only his life as it progresses from where the book starts, but also flashes back to certain key parts of his previous life.

I'm not sure what kind of point the story is going to convey yet, but all I know is that it has the makings of a very powerfully emotional story.

posted at 19:09 ||

sábado, noviembre 01, 2003

Panther

I've ordered Panther. It could be here anytime next week.

I can barely hide my excitement.

posted at 00:43 ||

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