September So Far

Outside, it smells like a sewer. The constant misting rain is like living inside of a sweaty man’s jock strap. Tomorrow I would like to go shopping, but I fear the football crowd will make that difficult. Hopefully the crowds won’t be too bad before the game, which the Internet tells me starts at 6.

I know everyone wants to know just what it is I intend to buy, so I will elucidate. I need dry-erase markers because someone took the hideous red one from my door. I will likely buy two sets of the red, green, black, and blue variety. Then I shall draw a giant dong on my door to show that it is off limits. I also need aloe vera gel, shampoo and vitamins.

I have lined up a craft project: making a T-shirt based on a Sealab 2021 episode. I need to procure navy blue fabric paint for this, which I shall seek out at Wal-mart. When I finish, I will wear it. Usually I’d take a picture and share it on here, but I probably wouldn’t actually do that. Also, I have no camera.

Anyway, let’s talk about me. I have 4 classes this semester: Japanese, Math, Computer Science, and Philosophy. I realized I hate all of them 2 weeks ago. I’m thrilled.

Japanese is exactly like the last two semesters, which also annoyed me. Somehow it didn’t register in my mind until this fall that 6 hours of class is actually more than 5. So now I have invested even more time in that subject, which I’ve finally realized is just too time-consuming. My lazy ass will probably stick to 12 hours for each of the next 3 semesters. The moral is, I’m done with Japanese after this semester. The Internet tells me that is acceptable for the ASC foreign language requirement.

Math is actually not too horrible, except it’s proof-based and I hate mathematics. Somehow I will have to goad myself into taking 3 more classes in the subject before I move on. I don’t think I’ll add the CS major, although I will still pursue it. I’m thinking about doing CS research next summer. I need to look into that before it happens. If I do, I would likely move into an apartment here in Lincoln, which I think would be a nice change from the twin hellholes I’ve inhabited the past two years.

CS is crap. I cannot believe that CS 310 is even considered a junior-level class. I have never wasted more time in a prerequisite. It is literally required for every 400-level class, and there is no reason that anyone needs it. CS 156 covers the vast majority of the material, and the instructor makes me yearn for the monotone voice of Reichenbach. Instead, I have a high falsetto voice. The subject matter is basically the heart of computer science: algorithm design. The problem is that I’ve already taken like 15 hours of CS here. If I hadn’t picked most of this up by now, I probably don’t deserve the programming skills the good lord bestowed on me.

Philosophy is a special kind of Hell. Here is the general pattern for the class: 1. read material for class, 2. show up for class, 3. have shitty group discussion, 4. do weekly shitty assignment. Huzzah. Basically, we talk about fairly simple philosophical issues which most people overcomplicate in the group discussions. They never address the heart of the issue, instead talking about some random irrelevancy. I hate group work so much. Anyway, the weekly assignments are about Plato’s “Crito,” which I hated the first time. Subsequent readings and 3 tiresome assignments haven’t changed that. I have 5 more of these assignments to do. So far they have been outline-type things, which I can never do correctly. I don’t think in outlines. Fuck you, establishment.

My career is skyrocketing. First, I’m working 2 jobs at the Daily Nebraskan. Second, I’m grading for Math 314: Matrix Theory. The DN seems decent so far. I write one column a week and no one reads it. It’s sort of like writing graffiti on the bathroom walls at home: no matter how eloquent you are, only your mom is going to see it.

As for the copy editing, I have mixed feelings. While I don’t mind the work (I love the sensation of smug superiority), I really don’t like the hours. Basically a night at the copy desk wipes out my entire evening. I work from 6-11 (at least. ugh.), which means I have to do homework there. Furthermore, on the off chance that something cool happens (highly hypothetical here), I can’t go. On the other hand, I can do reading there, which is nice. Also, copy editors write headlines. Never criticize writers for heads because they don’t write them. Please remember that for the future. Basically, I have to find 5 creative words to describe a huge, pointless article. It’s often hard to find a decent verb for the headline because nothing happens in the story. This is insider information I’m sharing with you.

My third job is for the math department here. I grade the weekly quizzes for two sections of Linear Algebra. It’s just like grading anything else, except it pays annoyingly little. I earned $8.50 hourly all last year, and now I just get $6. Plus I only work 4 hours a week at this job, which I think means I get less than one night’s pay at the copy desk for grading. I guess it takes less time, though.

Then again, I haven’t been paid jack shit from any of my various part-time jobs. Thanks, payroll departments throughout campus. Hopefully I’ll get a check before the end of September for the DN (they owe me a bit for August), because I have been buying stuff online. I really have more money than I think, but no one is giving it to me. What if the DN goes bankrupt? I’ll have nothing but the huge tub of Warheads candy I bought for 13 dollars. God help me.

Over the weekend, I have to write a third column, do homework for Math, possibly some Japanese, a ton of which is due Thursday (dammit), and go shopping for aloe. I also would like to see 2 movies: Burn After Reading and Righteous Kill. Whether or not I will have time remains to be seen. Plus I have the opinion section budget Sunday. I probably shouldn’t criticize that here.

I finally got around to reading some Batman graphic novels. The two based on Arkham Asylum (A Serious House on Serious Earth and Living Hell) are excellent. The former is well-drawn but weird as hell, while the latter is more typically drawn and plotted out. It still has a good story with interesting characters. I read the Killing Joke, which didn’t impress me at all. It might have been a big deal back in the day, but doesn’t strike a chord with my jaded brain.

I also read Flight 5, Daisy Kutter: the Last Train, and Nightmares & Fairytales 4. Flight 5 proves that comic artists can’t write anything worth reading. Basically each plot is just a “cool” image (either a literal image or just a “neat” plot idea) that doesn’t go anywhere. I have rarely seen more pictures saying less than in Flight 5. Nightmares & Fairytales has sucked since the third collection, when the author stopped doing good stories. I have to give Serena Valentino credit for starting a terrific series. I must also credit her with shitting all over it. Diarrhea.

Back to Flight 5, though. I think only 2 or so stories had real ideas in them. Argh. They were so well drawn, but ultimately proved to just waste time.

Back to Batman now. There was a rather heated debate at the lunch table about what the third movie might look like. I didn’t rage at the time, but I will now. They will not bring back Two-Face. They will not bring back Rachel Dawes. If comics ever want to be taken seriously, they need to drop the revolving door to the great beyond. I trust that Nolan will not stoop to faux resurrections until the fifth movie at least.

They will not replace the Joker. They will not use Catwoman unless they change it like mad. I predict they will either use the Riddler (but maybe not because the Joker’s plot was already so twisty and complex), the Penguin, or a decent Poison Ivy. Because she deserves it. Then again, I can’t write like Nolan or his brother, so I’ll leave it to the experts. (Go with the Riddler, boys. You know he’s awesome.)

I intend to go to the Magic: the Gathering prerelease events this month. It’s supposed to be a fun sealed-deck tournament. If I get decent cards, it’s possible I won’t get ass-raped. On the other hand, I know very little about building decent decks. So the rape is inevitable. At least it’s a new opportunity to meet more of my favorite kind of people: shrill nerds. God, I love their acne.

Last but not least, I have a D&D campaign planned for Gamercon III. It will be fun. I need to plot it out a bit more, but I think it could work well. I will incorporate scrapped ideas from my last campaign to make it more fun. I doubt people will play it, but at least I will have it written. Maybe I can sell it to homeless fantasy fans. Everyone deserves a break sometimes. But they have to pay.

I am on the cusp of a real dilemma. Even though I know how it all ends, I keep idly waiting for something good to happen. I can’t wait to gush regret. It could start any day now. You’ll see the results as I hemorrhage more trite paragraphs in the future. Except I probably won’t write about it.