I’m about to use the word farcical.

I just took a shower, and I have to make an observation. The entire room smelled like balls. It literally smelled like someone rubbed his balls on everything in the room. Well, everything at ball level or lower.

Other than that, today was mostly okay. I watched my rented movie (Blade Runner, which sucked), which finishes up my current stack of 4. I know there are a lot of Blade Runner fans out there, but I was bored with the pace and the way it dealt with the themes of the story. I think my problem with movies is that I’ve seen good movies on a ton of topics now, so it’s really hard for me to be impressed with something that covers the same topic.

For instance, Blade Runner’s environment and theme about dealing with death are handled much better in Dark City. Actually, so is the theme about being human. I guess what I’m saying is that you should watch Dark City instead of Blade Runner. It has Jennifer Connolly, but no boobies. I guess if you want like a half of scene of boobs, you should get Blade Runner.

Anyway, work is still really dull. We’re still waiting on yet another setback in the software, which has been almost our entire time so far. We’ve started work on our report (sort of), but we don’t have a result and we’ve gone over what we know so many times it won’t be a big effort when we end up writing it.

The big thing today was working on our poster for the undergraduate research symposium on the 31st. It is a total waste of time. I’m not saying that poster fairs are a waste, and we’re working hard at getting good images for our poster, but the biggest pain is how seriously they take it. You have to go to 2 sessions, each 2 hours long, on how to design a poster. The first one was completely farcical, and the second one is a big “peer evaluation” session. The major problem with that is they never mentioned we needed rough drafts until this morning. Sure, they technically mentioned it at the first meeting, but no one was listening.

So we got a bunch of images from our various software programs, and slapped that bitch together. Now we’re working on getting the right amount of text on there, which is a fairly small amount. Also, you can read our abstract online: http://www.ncsu.edu/ugrs/summer/2008/reumabs.htm#Davis

We have to have our draft finished and printed in triplicate by 3 pm tomorrow. We’re “really worried” about getting this “serious matter” resolved.

My big disappointment this week was that “The World Ends With You,” an RPG about Shinigami in modern-day Japan, was total shit. The story was really compelling, and the design of the game seemed good, but the battle system is a fucking nightmare. All of the “pins,” or modes of attack, involve scraping, tapping, or slapping the touch screen like mad and work maybe 1/4 of the time. It’s so much fun! Anyway, I got to the first boss and couldn’t take it anymore. All of the strategy comes from preparing for battle, but when you get there you just have to cross your fingers and pretend that something’s going to work.

Batman: Gotham Knight is really good. It’s pretty much good (short) episodes of BTAS with anime directors. Hearing the “original” voice of Batman was a nice change, and it did a good job of working in the new Chris Nolan universe. Only one segment was kind of strange, “Field Test.” I’ve never seen Batman look like more of a bishounen. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but I sort of expected to see him put on some lipstick before heading out of the batmobile. It was made up for by the fact that his batman costume looks just like Femto. I’m very excited for the movie, but I can’t see it until Friday because of my “important” job.

Pretty much the only other thing that’s happened (besides a ton of movies, both rented and theatrical) is a bit of personal drama. It’s sort of interesting because I haven’t dealt with drama in such a long time. I also need to write my two abortion articles.

I watched Trigun for the first time. It was much better than I thought it would be, but very different. It had a good ending (well, not perfect), fairly deep characters that weren’t just cliches, a continuous plot that didn’t get boring, and no unnecessary filler. The two female characters were really interesting, in stark contrast to Fuu from Samurai Champloo, who is the lamest girl in anime in years.

That’s about it. I leave here in something like 15 days, and I’m excited to get back to Lincoln in the fall. I’m wondering if I should try and get a math department job even though I’ll be working at the DN. I’ll probably be okay because most of my classes shouldn’t have hidden bonus work. Plus, who doesn’t like to be totally busy?

Living in NC

I have prepared an itemized list of the many facets of living here for the summer. Having spent 3 weeks here as of today, I feel like I can speak with some authority about the experience. Results may very as time goes on.

My Job: I’m not very impressed so far. I have next to nothing to do, due to software issues or only having one thing to work on for the group of three people. When this happens, my input is generally extraneous or unhelpful. We gave our first presentation Friday, but I got nervous and forgot to mention a lot of material. There were only 8 or so people in the room, which doesn’t bode well if I have to present this material at a) UNL or b) a conference next year. Part of the problem is that I speak best when I have complete command of the material, and I’m still not clear on everything with this project. Anyway, I don’t think it mattered too much.

I’ve busied myself at work by visiting “Project Euler,” which is a bunch of math problems you can solve by writing programs. This has proven a good way to practice programming with MATLAB, and review Java when that’s more convenient. I think the work will pick up a bit this week, but we’re already fairly far ahead of the game.

My Future Job: I will be an editor and opinion columnist next year at the Daily Nebraskan. I wouldn’t think much about it, except email correspondence from the editor-in-chief began this week. I also got a “welcome” email from the opinion editor. These messages are kind of nice, as they make me feel like less of a lameass for checking my school email every two hours, because I’ll actually get something from time to time.

I also have an assignment: writing two articles about abortion from the pro-choice and anti-choice viewpoints. I have to find good arguments for each side. The real problem is that it’s an argument with a dead end. Namely, there’s no reason for abortion to be illegal that isn’t based in morality. From a pragmatic point of view, legalized abortion is simply safer. There’s no real argument against it, but it’s also a little like flipping the table in a chess game (“I’ve got your argument right here!”). I’ll try to restrict my piece to the ethical dilemma. Anyway, more to follow.

(less boring items now)

The Shower: The shower is the nearest place where I can get nude and wear sandals. As such, I visit it quite frequently. I have already selected the particular shower I prefer, having used another one just twice. Every time I visit my shower of choice, there is a bug there. Not just any bug, but the same one. I’m sure of it. He sits around and only moves when the water splashes near him. Generally this move is to a drier place, but he still stays put. I have to wonder why he stays in the shower all the time. Is it where he lives or does he just like the scent of male BO?

Also of note is the septic stench that arises from the shower. It’s a little like sewage, and it comes in waves, so there is no constant smell but a whiff every once in while. It smells awful. Here are the potential sources of the odor in order of likelihood:

1. The Drain. There is a good chance that the warm shower water gets the drain smellier. I don’t know what the physics behind this involve, but it seems quite likely. It could be some kind of settling or warming effect, but either way it does not smell good.

2. The Nozzle. I’m slightly worried that it’s coming from the shower head. I doubt this is true, because the water doesn’t seem to have a smell, but it’s possible.

3. An Orifice. This is extremely unlikely, but since no one else has reported the smell it could be coming from me somehow. I’m really hoping I don’t randomly smell like sewage, though. There are no social prospects for the “sewage stench guy,” I assure you.

The Sun: The sun is a large radioactive ball of fusing gases. It is also the devil. I have realized that while throughout history the sun is often revered as a god or highly important object, it is actually an evil one. The sun does not care about you. It is trying as hard as it can to melt you with ultraviolet radiation, and the only thing that stops it is outer space. Space is the real hero.

The reason I mention this is that every day is full of sunshine. I hate it. My skin is constantly hot, which is really annoying. Also, I have learned that while I don’t sweat much from my armpits, the crevasse beneath my man boobs gets damned sweaty. This is kind of unpleasant when I’m wearing a light-colored shirt. Plus, sweat takes forever to evaporate. My back sweats, too.

It has rained twice here, both for periods of like 10 minutes. I did go outside the first time, but the second time I just sat around, like I always do. Anyway, this is the only place I know that is brighter and warmer when the sun is blocked by clouds. Clouds just piss it off more…

Nintendo DS: The DS came out in November 2004. Ever since then, I have been waiting to have the money to buy one. The aforementioned dull job has ponied up the cash to enable this. I’m thrilled. I promptly bought 6 games at Walmart and 3 at Gamestop. I intend to buy a few more on Amazon.com soon, to have them shipped here. Anyway, the 9 I have are: Brain Age 1 & 2, New Super Mario Bros., Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Elite Beat Agents, Professor Leyton, USA Today Crossword Challenge (I wanted Crosswords DS but there was a mix-up. It doesn’t really matter.), Drawn to Life, and The World Ends with You.

I’ve already beaten New Super Mario Bros, and I’m almost done with Zelda. I’ve also been doing the Brain Age games, although I’ll probably just play them once in a while after this week. In other words, 4 out of my 9 games are pretty much complete, and the crossword game is just for when I’m bored. I think my exhaustive supply will be worth the money. Plus, what am I getting paid for anyway?

Neon Genesis Evangelion: This show sucks majorly. I can’t believe it’s so popular. I was playing Zelda whilst watching it or else I would have died of boredom and annoyance. SUCKED. Lord, I hate mecha anime.

The Mall: This was fun. I took a trip to the mall Saturday to buy things. I spent a bunch on the DS games and some books by Kevin Smith and Vonnegut. I’d had them on my amazon wish list for a while, but I’ll probably read them while I’m here. I also have a bunch of “classics” I want to read, but those take me forever to get to. It’s heavy reading. Anyway, the bus is free for NC State students. I enjoyed the trip, although I ended up waiting for the bus for a long time. I blame the schedule online, which was clearly not right. Ah, well.

The mall is really nice, although I’m kind of lame and hate clothes. This meant that I only visited maybe 5 stores. It was nice to do something different. I might make this a weekly event if only because it’s free and gives me something to do. Maybe I should start buying some books or ordering them. Which reminds me, I ordered 2 from a nearby comic store that won’t show up for like 2 weeks. God, I hate brick-and-mortar stores. I thought, “hey, I’ll support this place,” but no luck. I also have some dedicated-deck card games I want, but no one to play them with so they’re low on the purchasing priority queue.

Other notes: The new episodes of Venture Bros. are terrific. All the plot details are kind of cool. They’re taking the series in a whole new direction, which is good.

I’m finally in the prime of my life (unless that happens at 23). This happened without much fanfare, which was good. My biggest celebratory action was the DS purchase. So worth it. I think it’s released all of my pent-up game-buying drives, because I’ve been unable to get all of the DS games for nearly 4 years. I was a junior in high school when it came out. It’s funny, because all of the games I want stopped being on shelves like 2 years ago. Here’s hoping I can get some bargains online.

Anyway. Not much else happens here. I hope everyone had a good father’s day. For the first time in like 25 years, my dad didn’t have one of his sons around. I feel kind of bad for him, but I honestly don’t think we would have done anything together if I had been there.

I thought for a long time if the sun would come out, it would make things better. I guess now I just want it to go away again. Life is strange sometimes.