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My Life's Journey


Pretentiousness Jun. 1st, 2007 @ 10:43 pm
I bought an album by a band called Sigur Rós. They play crazy weird music with lots of vocals that aren't English.

The album is called (). "Wait, what?", I hear you say. "()", I respond, though non-verbally. I'm not sure how to pronounce this particular album title. "Empty set of parentheses"? "Open-paren close-paren"? "Parenthesis Parenthesis"? I believe that, just as their songs are unintelligible for their lack of language, so too is this title. "Lack of language" is a bit of a harsh statement - the truth is, the lyrics are in a language; however, this language was invented by the band for purposes of singing the album.

The names of the tracks are phenomenal. Nowhere on the entire physical medium - disc, case, booklet - is there is a single letter other than the band's name, which is written in a cursive hand roughly reminiscent of a skateboard company logo. Thus the names must be discovered by checking the CDDB, which lists not just one, not two, but three different CDs named () by Sigur Rós. This presents a problem. Is track seven, for example, called "Untitled 7", "Dauðalagið", or "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong"? I'm inclined to think it's the second, if only because that seems most realistic given the rest of the Sigur Rós Experience: say the following aloud: "I just listened to "Dauðalagið", which is a song by Sigur Rós on their album ()". Keep in mind during your reading that even the band's name is pronounced differently than you'd be inclined to say it, and not because of the accent on the o either. Wikipedia has a recording of a native Icelandic speaker saying it if that's your thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigur_R%C3%B3s).

The Experience doesn't end there; not nearly. The case that the CD comes in isn't the standard matte black with clear cover, nor is it clear all through with an attractive background behind the CD; rather, the case is translucent, and not only translucent but translucent with blurred silver outlines of wintry trees, so that the light softly diffuses through in transcendent patterns. And this jewel case has its own case, a slipcover also of translucent design and with two large parentheses-shaped holes cut in the front and, clashing with the entire Experience yet somehow oddly affirming it at the same time, a small icon of a boy in the classic zombie pose on the back, arms forward and eyes glazed.

The disc itself is white. On the white background are rough outlines of white parentheses, as if from a stamp that was not properly inked. No matter; these parentheses are invisible anyway unless the light comes from the correct angle because they're white on white. That they can be seen at all is only thanks to the fact that the base ink is matte whereas the parentheses are glossy.

The booklet quite possibly takes the cake with respect to the aforementioned experience. Twelve pages long (three sheets stapled and folded), it is made of a pseudo-paper that feels a bit plasticky but is nicely textured - and, so as to fit with the theme, translucent. The cover features a stylized black-and-white picture of what could perhaps be grasses at the edge of a lake. The inside is made up of silver ink tracing the outlines of what are presumably more scenes of zen-like flora. Interestingly enough, in the same vein as the disc's white-on-white printing, the pages are greyish while the ink is silverish, so the best way to see the images is to put light behind the pages - the ink is a bit less translucent than the paper itself so the image becomes apparent. The booklet's only text is the band's name in small font on the bottom of the back cover.

Maybe someday I'll actually write about the music. But I'd say this CD has been worth it already.
I'm listening to: Sigur Rós - () - Samskeyti

Circuits May. 27th, 2007 @ 06:12 pm
I so totally passed circuits!!
ENGR2420 01 Intro Microelectronic Circuits 4.00 B-

That is all.

Thanks to David, for helping me get through that class.

Entry Apr. 23rd, 2007 @ 12:11 am
Just thought I'd post cause I haven't in a while.
Or whatever.
Comment if you want.

Oh actually I should copy and paste this thing that Nikki did into here otherwise she'll probably get mad or something. If she even reads this.
Sure, why not...
Comment and I'll:

1 - Tell you why I friended you.
2 - Associate you with something - fandom, a song, a colour, a photo, a sexual position, etc.
3 - Tell you something I like about you.
4 - Tell you a memory I have of you.
5 - Associate you with a character/pairing. - What does that even mean?
6 - Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7 - Tell you my favorite user pic of yours.
8 - In return, you must post this in your LJ. - Actually, whatever. Post whatever you want.

Dvorak vs. QWERTY Mar. 25th, 2007 @ 02:54 pm
Knowing two keyboard layouts is kinda cool. The best part, though, is that if I'm switching back and forth, I can type a sentence and then not know which layout the keyboard is in right now. It's sort of... odd.

This was in Dvorak, though.

Thanks Paul Mar. 13th, 2007 @ 11:45 am
I had a chat with Paul last night about something completely different than what I thought the chat was going to be about.
But I guess it worked. For the first time this semester, I am in possession of enduring, non-conditional happiness. It's quite nice to have it back.
I'm feeling: happyHappy, actually.
Other entries
» LiveJournal Time
I talked to a lady from The MathWorks at the internship fair last week, and she told me to e-mail this one dude and CC her about the position we talked about. I e-mailed her a week after the fair (Wednesday) and haven't heard back.

Oh wait. I checked my Skype messages and a week ago I got a call from the dude I e-mailed (I e-mailed him Wednesday, remember, which is five days after Saturday). Fuck. He probably thinks I'm a total dipshit because I didn't return his call and e-mailed him and crap and who the fuck knows.
EDIT!!:!::!:!:!::: He actually called on the 8th, not the third. For some reason the skype date showed up as 2007/8/3, which makes sense to no one, let me tell you. I just saw the three at the end and felt sad.

Well, maybe it'll work out still.

For those interested, the message said, in part, "I wanted to follow up on the career fair from last week. ... Susan Murdock, among others, was there, and I think had a very specific interest in you for her internship opportunity."

I wonder what she thinks now. Ouch.

Well, at least today was pretty fun. Went with the SIBBs to Wellesley for some ice cream. Stephen Westwood was there too. I enjoyed myself.
» Design Build
I'm not going to design build tomorrow (today). I'm just too tired. I'm already up like two hours later than I'd hoped to be.
It kinda sucks, because design build is pretty much the most exciting thing at Olin. But I guess sometimes things just don't work out. Too bad. Hopefully I'll get enough sleep to stop being sick, though.
» Nervous?
When I get really nervous about something, I get sort of nauseous and generally feel like crap.

I have that feeling right now, but I don't know why. I turned in my paper, classes are OK, we've already done the play a couple times so I know it works, etc. But something's going on. Who knows?
» Free time!?!
I have... free time? It's weird. Tech week's over and I just finished my 12-page essay for MatSci and Stuff, and now I have nothing to do...

Oh wait, I have AI reading. Never mind. I'm going to see if I can't find me some food first, though.

Enjoy yourselves!
» L'ordinateur
I installed a cracked version of Acrobat 7 because I needed to make PDFs for class and the Acrobat installer (every student gets a copy of acrobat) isn't on the network like most installers are.

It still opened PDFs, but after about 10 seconds of being usable complained that it was broken and shut itself down, telling me to uninstall. I uninstalled, then installed Adobe Reader 8, because if I can't even read PDFs then I'm pretty much just fucked right there. Adobe Reader installer said something very odd: it needed to "reverse the uninstall operation" or some crap like that. Well, I needed to open PDFs real bad at this point so I just hit OK. Now I have Adobe Reader 8 and a broken copy of Acrobat 7 that won't even open anymore and just complains about how I need to locate the MSI to uninstall it all the time. Uh... ok.

Then my display driver broke. No fanfare or anything. It just didn't work anymore. Naturally I tried to reinstall. Neither the Dell installer or the ATI installer works. They both complain about something or other. The standard Windows driver installer doesn't work either, complaining about threads ending and stupid crap like that. So now my CPU is used to refresh the screen, making everything painfully slow. And I can't open things that need graphics or anything. And somehow through all of this, my computer can't stand by or hibernate anymore (is that connected to the display driver? Who knows?)

When the system logs were checked with regards to the display, it turned out that my hard drive is reporting bad blocks everywhere, so I need a new one.

Computer == fucked.

I wish I had a Mac...
» Fortune Cookie
I went into W303 today and Yifan, Christina, and Bryce were eating Chinese. They had extra fortune cookies so I asked for one. It said to me:

"LEARN CHINESE - August: Ba-yue"

I asked Yifan and Chujiao (who had entered the room with me) and they confirmed that the fortune cookie's Chinese was indeed good.
The actual fortune was on the reverse, and it said:

"Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power."

Which is sort of a funny coincidence, because that kinda sums up my feelings right now. So I decided to post about it! Awesome. I have "The Luckiest" stuck in my head. I really like that song.

Oh, and Paul finally cleaned the half of our bathroom that he was supposed to, which he's been promising to do since October-ish.
» Pong.
I, the master of light and darkness, the one who controls the very essence of being, have hand-coded Pong.

Yes, you read that right.

The game that defined a generation - nay, that defined the entire future of our pitiful race - has been faithfully recreated. By me.

I don't have a fileserver so if you want it you're gonna have to AIM me at nikwittenstein.

rolandcrosby has kindly contributed space at http://rolocroz.com/nik/. He's a good man.

Go download and enjoy the bountiful fruits of my labors.
» Communication
I feel like I have lots of trouble communicating. I'm not really sure how to get better at it, especially considering the fact that supposedly I've been communicating all my life. You'd think I'd be pretty good at it after 19-odd years, but I don't really feel like I am.
» My outlook on life
I've switched from Outlook to Gmail.
Boy do I feel great. I've been looking forward to this for a long time.
» Dum de dah.
So for some reason I feel really crappy right now (aside from my sickness, I mean). But I don't really know why.
Nothing's really happened to make me feel crappy, and yet I do. It makes it hard to do something about it.

I'm definitely looking forward to going home, though. I've had enough of Olin for a little while.

I want to make movies again.
» DotN

» Over
I am really really done with this semester.
I find myself constantly unable to do work. I'm always distracted and it's just lame.
For example, right now I have a five-page paper due in about 14 hours. I have maybe two-ish. And yet here I am, writing on LiveJournal.
I've just lost the will to do homework. I don't know why, nor do I know how to retrieve the will. Or recreate it or somesuch.
Maybe I'll just go cry in a corner.
» Go Vote.

P.S. this is 100% serious.
» Prob/Stats
I'm way behind in Prob/Stats work, but I'm not technically in the class anyway (it's a half-semester class, so it's not like I've been in it for all these months or anything) because I'm just on the wait list or something (who knows). So I've decided that I'm just not gonna go to class anymore and not gonna do the work anymore. Great.

That's a ton of stress I just got rid of right there.
» Twilight Princess!?!?!
Now that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is over and done with, I don't know what to do with my life.
Maybe I'll do all that homework that I put off to play Wii.
» Wii!!!
So Zelda: Twilight Princess for Nintendo Wii is ridicufun.
That is all.
» Registration
So I got into every class I wanted to. Sweet. That doesn't happen a lot. (The stories I could tell...)
Here's the sched: (<- keep in mind that word rhymes with sledge)

Course Sec Title Hours Days Beg End Bldg Room
AHSE2110 01 The Stuff of History: Materials, 4.00 -------00:00a 00:00a ACAD 213
SCI1410 01 Materials Science and Solid 4.00 --TW---01:00p 04:50p ACAD 413
ENGR3599 01 Artificial Intelligence 4.00 -M--R--11:00a 12:30p ACAD 328
ENGR2420 01 Intro Microelectronic Circuits 4.00 --T--F-10:00a 10:50a ACAD 304
---W---09:00a 10:50a ACAD 304
ENGR2250 02 User Oriented Collaborative 4.00 -M--R--01:00p 03:50p ACAD 206

Hand-coded HTML tables FTW!

On a side note, who knows how to easily add borders to all the cells in a table using CSS (but without linking a stylesheet)? As in, for a LiveJournal entry or somesuch. I'd use the style tag but it needs to go in the head tag, not in the body. :(
» Gotta love those memes!
I wasn't gonna post this but the sentence turned out to be pretty sweet.

1. Grab the closest book to you.
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the sentence in your weblog along with these instructions.
5. Don't grab a 'cool' book, just the one closest to you.

"But my brusque captress poked at my hands with the barrel of her rifle so roughly my bruised fingers let the shell fall."
The next sentence is:
"She bent forward so that her necromantic hair brushed my face and picked up the shell with amazing ease."

It's from You've Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories that Held Them in Awe.

Contest: Describe what you think "Necromantic Hair" is. I'm curious as to how that adjective applies to hair.
» Poll
What should I be for Halloween?
» Something LiveJournal-worthy!
So I preordered me a Wii.

That is all.
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