Saturday, June 24, 2006

Entering the 21st Century

Today I got what was supposed to be my graduation gift: a Canon 30D digital SLR. Admittedly I haven't used it much, but my god. The thing takes beautifully crisp photos. It replaces my previous camera, a quite capable Canon EOS Rebel Ti.

I like film. It has served me well these past 5 years. But the thought of instant feedback to see what works and what doesn't gives me hope that I'll be able to more quickly improve as a photographer. The thought of being able to instantly change between low-light and high-quality film appeals to me, as I often times find myself without the correct film in my camera for the situation. Plus taking pictures is free; I can take as many as I want without worrying about wasting film and spending money developing bad photos. The only thing I need to worry about is filling up the 4GB CompactFlash card I bought to go with the camera. As it holds approximately 500 photos, I don't think that'll be a problem.

Honestly, film didn't stand a chance.


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On Graduating (Or the Process By Which I Became A Graduate of Computer Science)

Now that I've finally gotten around to posting this...

As most of you know, I participated in commencement and have reason to believe I have graduated. I use such vague language because neither I or the school definitively know whether or not I have graduated, only that I participated in commencement. I won't get my degree for another six to eight weeks (if I get it at all).

I suppose it's fitting that my last weekend here be a distilled version of the last 4 years of college. We have the random drunks, the party at Tim's, Guitar Hero, Lucas and Shelly, an Applebees run, and a drunk friend who decided to come in the apartment unannounced. In fact, the only thing missing this weekend was a drunk me (though I did drink some). But aside from that minor inconsistancy, Friday night provided a solid baseline for those unfamiliar with the past four years.

I arrived in SLO at about 3:00 if memory serves me right. I promptly got ahold of Tim, who on Monday expressed interest in doing stuff with me one last time. Tim was playing video games with Ross, so it was agreed that Jerry and I would go over there after I signed up with SDG&E. We played Smash Bros for a bit, then met Ilona at Applebees.

After Applebees, we all headed back to Tim's, where it was determined that the only copies of Guitar Hero were at my place. We were just about to head back to my place when I got a call from Lucas, who needed a place to crash for the weekend. I offered my bedroom, and we all went over there to get Guitar Hero and meet Lucas and Shelly. They arrived, and we all headed back to Tim's to play Guitar Hero.

I told Lucas before we started playing that I would emasculate him in front of his wife and take her from him. I succeeded at the former by kicking his ass at Guitar Hero, though I doubt I was successful at the latter.

At about 10:30, I desired beer. So Jerry, Lucas, Shelly, and I went to Campus Bottle to satiate my desire. We passed several groups of drunks along the way (one must pass several frats to get to Campus Bottle from Tim's). I purchased a bottle of beer, others got other things, and we started to head back.

We got out the door and watched one of the most random things I'd ever seen take place. An older gentleman was lighting a cigarrette when a guy and his girlfriend drove up next to him, halfway in the road. The guy in the truck started yelling at Cigarrette Smoking Man, telling him to Get in the fucking car. He repeated this several times while Cigarrette Smoking Man politely declined the offer for a free ride. Finally, the truck peeled out and traveled 20 feet, then slammed on the brakes for the stop sign, then peeled out again. We pondered about what we had just witnessed, then realized there was no higher meaning to it and continued back to Tim's.

We left Tim's at 11:45 and went back to my place, where the four of us played Password. We had been playing maybe a half hour when a very drunk Kristy came barging through the door. I had talked to her earlier that day and told her I was graduating, so she decided to now take the time to tell me that she was going to miss me. She took one of Catherine's wine coolers, explaining that it was OK because they share boobs. She also expressed interest in a whipped cream fight, an interest I prevented her from pursuing by explaining that the apartment was messy enough already. She left and I noticed that suddenly Lucas and Shelly were ahead of Jerry and I at Password. Strange, considering we were ahead before Kristy came in. Lucas and Shelly swear they won legitimately, but I suspect foul play ;)

Shortly after, the three of us decided to go to bed, as we had a bit of an early morning. With Lucas and Shelly's air mattress on the floor, there was very little room to walk around. It's a good thing I didn't need to wake up in the middle of the night, as I'm pretty sure it would have been impossible for me to get up without crushing Shelly's head.

Graduation was about as pompous as I expected, although I wasn't expecting people to throw beach balls and corn tortillas around. Of particular disgust were the people talking on cell phones while the keynote speaker talked about the severe hardships he had to overcome to get to where he was (he spoke of standing next to Indian officers playing tennis for four days in the hopes that they'd give him a ball). To the people talking during this speech I'd like to say: way to completely miss the point, assholes.

Reading the names of 700 graduates took about an hour and a half. I was one of the first people whose name was called, so I had an especially long wait. Finally it was over, and some mingling began. Kris and I had an especially awkward exchange with Dr. Dalbey (much like the 206 meetings were awkward), with much pausing and few words exchanged.

I remembered I and everyone else was hungry, so we headed back to the apartment so I could get changed, then we all headed over to McClintock's for dinner. Because I was graduating, it was decided that I should get the head pour, where the waiter/waitress stands on a chair and pours water while blindfolded into a glass placed on the customer's head. Either our waitress wasn't very good or didn't care, but I got drenched after that ordeal. I didn't mind (it happens), but damn. My shirt and head was soaked, though it felt good since it was a warm day.

Today was spent packing the rest of my stuff. Lucas and Shelly left, and we said our goodbyes. 'Course they plan on coming down to San Diego in a few weeks, so it's not like I'll never see them again. We finished packing around 4:00, said goodbye, ate lunch, then headed back to Hanford.

Part 2 of this 3-part series, On Moving, will be written and posted when I get around to it.


Anonymous Will said...

Congratulations on graduating, buddy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this...I could picture every minute of it. ;-)

6/25/2006 6:36 AM  

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Party of June, Part 2

Some of you may remember last year's end of the year celebration, affectionately called The Party of June in tribute to George Costanza'a Summer of George. This party is likely the drunkest I've ever been and ever will be. This year's party didn't compare, but I still ended up drinking too much.

I stayed up most of the night making a poster about covert channels through the Time to Live field in IP packet headers so didn't get much sleep. Plus I had to wake up early to finish the poster in the lab because I don't have a printer. As a result, I didn't get much sleep. So after I turned in my Senior Project and ate dinner, I came home with the intention of listening to music, reading The 9/11 Commission Report, and getting some sleep.

Just before I started reading, Jerry comes home with Smart Ben, Asian Ben, Richard, and Coke, telling me of plans to drink and watch movies. I agreed to go but was not going to drink much because I'm tired.

We started the evening by watching Waiting, a movie about waiters more depraved than I ever could be. I drank a bottle of champagne during this movie. I was feeling good, and all was well.

Then we started watching Just Friends. I have nothing against chick flicks, but I do have something against cheesy films, and this was a cheesy film. I drank a second bottle of champagne and lamented an answer I gave to drunk sluts a couple months ago who I'm pretty sure wanted to sleep with Jerry and I (Jerry and I were going to Cork 'n Bottle, two drunk girls asked what us two cuties were doing, and I said drinking heavily instead of you). The movie started getting quite cheesy and I was out of champagne, so I switched to gin. At that point, all was lost.

I don't remember the end of the movie, though I can guess what happens. After the movie, Jerry, Richard, and I went out to get donuts. I remember ordering and eating donuts, my last memories of the evening. Everything else was from what Jerry said happened.

After eating donuts, we went to Mustang Village's picnic area to burn our posters. At this point, I found a picnic table and passed out. Jerry and Richard kept poking me to make sure I was alive and forced me up when they had finished burning the posters. So I stood up, took two steps, and face planted into some gravel, getting a nice scrape on my face in the process. After my fall, I rolled under the picnic table. Jerry and Richard eventually got me out from under the table, and we walked home.

When we got home, I was apparently doing ok. I was able to walk to my room and threw my glasses. In the process of going to bed, I fell down twice. But I got to bed, and woke up this morning not remembering going to bed.


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