Random Musings

October 2002

Tuesday, 01 October, 2002:  Ever wonder why the tenth month is October? Shouldn't a month that begins with "octo" be the eighth month?

With that little bit of levity out of the way, I'll get down to the journal. It's good to be back. Especially after the past four days. Saturday through this evening has been quite enough activity. Aside from the usual course work, I was part of a group that generated a profit-maximisation equation and recommendation report for one of my other classes. That ate up my weekend, and Monday's free time. Today was just normal busy-ness, but Tuesday has been one of my busy days this year. The best thing about today was finally shaving after four days (when I'm busy, shaving usually gets put on the back burner). It was also nice to get my laundry done. I'm mildly upset that the dryers weren't working, but I managed to find places to hang everything to dry in my dorm room.

I can't wait to get home again. Lots of friends will be back too and, as I've mentioned a number of times, I'll get to spend time with Shanna. It's so amazing just to spend time with her. Nothing else seems to matter, all is right with the world when we're together. This weekend comes at the perfect time, I need the R&R. Not too much else on my mind tonight. Maybe tomorrow I'll have something deeper to talk about, but tonight, this is it.

Thursday, 03 October, 2002:  Ahhh, tomorrow I go home for the weekend. I can't think of anything that I've ever looked forward to more.

The weather has been nice this week. It rained today, I love it when it rains. The city seems to be much less affected by weather than the country does, and I really miss that, but the rain brings it all back. I particularly love the way that I can feel the rain in the air for the hours before it actually rains. Something about the atmosphere that is charged and full of energy. I really draw off of this, and I always feel best on such days here in the city.

Had a good talk with Paige tonight. We touched on a lot of different subjects. She's wondering about grad school, trying to decide if she wants to take a year off in between undergrad and grad school. We talked a bit about how the ZIP disk I use to store this site on died. I had to re-create my backup copy by visiting the site on the web and saving each page and image individually. Worse things have happened. Paige and I also discussed my relationship with Shanna a bit and Paige helped me see things a bit more clearly. I'm quite sure that this will lead to some very interesting developments between Shanna and me this weekend.

Sunday, 06 October, 2002:  ARRGH!

"Man, there's really something wrong with you.
One day you're gonna' self-destruct.
You're up, you're down, I can't work you out
You get a good thing goin' then you blow yourself out." - The Kinks

I really wish the above didn't hit so close to home for me. Somehow my life always ends up as, "if it ain't broke, break it". :-\

Monday, 07 October, 2002:  Wanderlust. I want to be on the road. I don't want to be home, I don't want to be at school, and I don't want to be anywhere in between. I want to call the highway home. I would have thought that I would want to be home, but the road is calling. The highway. My good old carefree friend. The highway and the back roads are always there to help me sort things out. No matter what's going on, I can count on the open road to bring me safe on through.

Something has been bothering me today though. I don't know why, but something feels vaguely wrong. The best I can think of right now is that whenever I picture myself in the future, I see a bachelor. I've always seen myself as a bachelor, but I thought that would change with my relationship with Shanna. When I look ahead, I still see what I've always seen. What I feel with Shanna is no less strong, and I don't think that I could ask for a better relationship. And yet, there's not even a suggestion that my vision of the future is changing.

Tuesday, 08 October, 2002:  Well, if nothing else, I'm feeling a wee bit less "off" than I did yesterday. Still, the wandering gene is manifesting itself. That part isn't going away. I need a long trip. A month or so to just be out on the road. No goals, no demands. Just me, the car, and the road. I've decided that once school calms down I'm going to reread Don Quixote. I never did get all the way through it, and I get the feeling that it would be a good book to read right about now.

October is going to be one very hectic month. There are a lot of things that are coming due in the last week of October, and as is my usual habit, I've paid little to no attention to them since they aren't immediately threatening. I'm awful with that sort of thing. I put everything off, and then I somehow manage to do insanely well, but I burn myself out in the process. Ah well. At least by the end of October I'm pretty much done with the big stuff and I'll have more time to sit down and read. Always good.

Thursday, 10 October, 2002:  This is insanity. Why do I want to be on the road instead of at home? I should want to be home, not alone on the road. Regardless though, I do want to be on the road again. I'm feeling the old desire to wander the country. I'm wondering what it would be like to be a trucker. I've always thought that would be a good job given my "lone wolf" personality type. There's something about being on the road that really appeals to me, I like being in motion. To travel is better than to arrive. 2003 will be the Summer for trips in the 914, it's running well right now, I think that everything is sorted out for the time being.

It's really feeling like Autumn this week. The air has had the right feel to it, crisp and clear. There was a light rain today which meant that the city people were avoiding being out of doors. I enjoy it when it's like that. It's really funny to me to see how affected the city people are by a light drizzle, they don't enjoy the rain as I do. I definitely need the country, but days like today in the city are good temporary relief from the normal city-ish junk.

Friday, 11 October, 2002:  I'm writing here to avoid having to start writing my Managing in Complex Environments paper. I really dislike that course. It's nothing but busy-work. Meaningless tripe. There ought to be some option for either testing out of the class or to take an honors section. Not just that, but the main part of the class is a group project, and I've discovered that most people who transfer into the business school later in their college careers are people who have washed down from other disciplines. Yay. Oh well.

Thursday, 17 October, 2002:  Mmmm. It's getting cold. I love this. A cold grey drizzle today that left the city-dwellers scampering for their umbrellas and lifted my spirits. I love the air this time of year. It goes right through me. Seems to touch my soul and infuse it with the energy of the season. Some see Autumn as a time of drab-ness and death and don't understand how it should have energy. They say that the energy is in Spring. But they forget that it is in Autumn when the earth gives up its harvest. The things which sustain us are offered up in Autumn. I plan to enjoy them while they are fresh.

Ugh. I had something else in mind to write, but it has escaped my mind. Such ethereal things ideas are. Ah, yes, now it comes to me. I talked with a friend from last year today via the magic of the internet. We haven't talked in a long time, and it was nice to hear from Laura again. (She was mentioned briefly in May 2002 if you care at all, though I don't know why you would.) Anyway, it's nice to pick up with old friends. I was just happy that I wasn't greeted with a "who the hell are you?". Always nice to know that my communication is still welcomed. I must hang out with her and her friends again, she's quite an interesting person. I'll not let the opportunity to pick up the beginning of the friendship pass me by.

Friday, 18 October, 2002:  Sitting in my last class today I had a sudden flashback to high school. Everything feels as though it was just yesterday, as though the memory is real and reality is the illusion. It's amazing to me how strong the memories still are, and how much of an effect they can still have on me. Memories of the old familiar places, and of old friends for whom I still care greatly. Memories, in fact, of a whole other life that I used to lead before everyone scattered across the country as we follow our own dreams and pursue our own destinies. The good old days may not have been always good, but the memories are. Tomorrow, however, is not as bad as it seems.

Wednesday, 23 October, 2002:  I'm sitting here in the dorm room at 20:30 tonight and the room is lit only by the reflected glare of the streetlights and the warm glow of my ThinkPad's LCD screen. I suppose that the initial reaction to a person sitting alone in a dark room is that the person has, at best, a rather tenuous grip on reality. Having ELO's mildly dark "Fire On High" playing in the background certainly wouldn't help matters any I guess. Oh well. Personally, I like the experience, it's relaxing. A way to shut out distractions.

I miss my Hi-fi back home. Still, it's not practical to bring it here since there's no place to put the turntable, let alone all those LP's, in this dorm room.

Today has been an interesting study in how variations in normal patterns can throw a person off. I was up entirely too late last night and so, for the first time in years, I took a nap in the middle of the day. Climbing out of bed at 14:30 is definitely an odd sensation, especially when a 16:00 class feels like an 09:00 class. The sensation of being refreshed after the two hour nap was short-lived though, and I'm thinking that I really burnt myself out in the past two weeks. I'll be very happy when the weekend gets here and I've only got the one paper to worry about.

The presentation I'm giving with a group this Friday should be entertaining, for those of us in the group at least. I rather doubt that there will be substantial interest among the other students in the class. To be honest, I'm anticipating more mild hostility than apathy even since my group seems to be made up of people who are, if I may be immodest, somewhat higher performing than the rest of the class. This is not to say that I think my group is made up of the four best students in the class, but I've got a feeling that we just might be the strongest group. While being the "Alpha" does tend to attract attention, the attention attracted is not always desirable.

My parents are coming to Pitt next weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing my family again. Thanksgiving's four weeks away and it's already on my mind. As much as I try, I just can't seem to escape my desire to not be here. It seems that I'm always longing for either home or the road when I'm here and I don't quite know why. I can't actually put my finger on a reason for feeling the way I do, but there are times when I look around me and this whole city just seems to be one big joke. On campus they held the homecoming voting today. The voting area was littered with papers and posters and candy wrappers and other trinkets. After everything was done it all looked like a garbage dump and all I could think of was how sadly pointless all that mess was. It was all so much better in High School when I knew everyone who was running and when reams of paper weren't sacrificed to the gods of vanity, when the blondes running for queen were actually blondes, and when I gave a shit.

I can still remember my father and mother telling me that "college will be the best time of [my] life". They were wrong. Oh, college has been far from without value, and there are connections I have made in college that I would not have made otherwise (Paige, Pavel, David), but all-in-all, High School will always be remembered as the halcyon time of my life. And yet, when I really consider it, only my Senior year was truly a calm and peaceful year. It's amazing how convenient selective memory can be. Maybe in two years' time I'll be looking back on college the way I look back at High School right now. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems.

Suddenly, I think I can see part of what is underlying the gap between my perception of High School and my perception of college. No, I don't think I see it, I know I do. Overall, I cannot deny that my life is more enjoyable in college. I've made great strides in overcoming pessimism and embracing optimism. I've become somewhat less of a hermit. I've learned things I could not have learned back in High School. At the same time, however, here at college I am terribly at odds with my environment. In High School, I was in synch with my environment. Here at college the city grates at me day after day. It's not a strong force, or even something that's uncomfortable at first but it doesn't stop, and the longer it goes on the more the weight presses down and the more I feel hemmed in by everything around me. The longer I'm here the more my separation from the average college student is emphasized and the more I long for my friends back home with whom I have more in common. I wonder how Matt is doing in Africa this quarter...

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Last Updated:  10 October, 2002

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