Thursday, March 28, 2002
Oh yeah, my new record for Speed Solitaire is 82 seconds. These are the rules:
- Use regular Windows Solitaire (also known as 'Klondike')
- Draw one card at a time
- Standard scoring
And of course, it's a timed game (as the title implies). The game is over when you have freed all the face-down cards from the six columns (there are seven piles, but only six of them have hidden cards) I know you play solitaire, just try to play it this way; it's the only way I ever play. Anywhere under 100 seconds is a legit score.
2:04 AM . . .
Green Eggs and Hamlet:
By an unidentified author, taken from the site BluishOrange.com
Would you kill him in his bed?
Thrust a dagger through his head?
I would not, could not, kill the King.
I could not do that evil thing.
I would not wed this girl, you see.
Now get her to a nunnery.
1:53 AM . . .
My One Sentence Story:
I didn't wimp out on a pact that Matt and I made to jump off a bridge the night before our high school graduation; now, I live to tell how I took a thirty-five foot plunge into three feet of water with no scratches and one seriously sore coccyx.
1:07 AM . . .
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
There was a guy in my high school named Zach, who I always thought was cool. He was one of those aloof kind of guys with crazy thoughts and expressions that were always very odd, and a lot of people just flat out didn't understand his humor. If you actually reflected on any of them for a sec, you could see the wit and intelligence behind what he had said. You knew that some day, one of those ridiculous ideas he had was going to be blowin' up like off the hook, yo. Zach ended up going to the University of Chicago to study film.
Zach hung out with this kid. "Scott" was decidedly uncool and had no redeeming qualities I could see (with my limited visibility of him) that would ever make any moderately-attractive female swoon in order to elevate him from his current status of 'complete nerd.' It is here where I have to note that I have seen the Ricki Lake "You thought I was a complete fucking loser in high school, but look at me NOW!" episodes, and he could have changed for the better at any given time over the past six years, but I wouldn't put it past him if he didn't.
Scott was one of the 'playpeople' in our school. The members of the drama club were officially called the playmakers, but 'playpeople' was the derrogatory term that outsiders used for these people, like 'jock' is used to refer to someone on a sports team, as if the people using the term were trying not to be too mean, but that they definitely meant to offend. Scott wasn't just a playperson, but he was the set painter/audio-visual nerd playperson, who never got the lead and never had more than a couple lines in a play. I don't know much else about Scott, but the dude was a wierdo.
As I said before, Zach and Scott hung out. Scott wore an old green trenchcoat and a big, ugly hat. The getup made him look like he was trying to track down a deadbeat dad or a cheating wife rather than attend class. The guys were always in the computer room doing stuff. I assumed they were checking e-mail or surfing the net, much the same as what I expected any high schooler to be doing. I happened walk by them as I went to get a printout, and I quickly glanced at a computer screen that one of them was working on (I can't remeber whose screen it was) and thought I saw my name near the top of a word document they appeared to be collaborating on. On the way back, the screen no longer had the document up, and they were now looking at a web-page. The whole thing was very inconspicuous and I never thought anything of it, but looking back, I am pretty sure it was my name.
Move ahead to the summer of 1998 where Zach and I are hanging out at some random kid's house where some random party is taking place on some random night in Yarmouth. Zach and I are on the porch outside on a temperate summer night shooting the bull about things that have happened to us since the last time we've seen each other, and we are eventually talking about our high school days, as high school acquaintances who have little to talk about often might.
"Me and Scott; we had a hitlist, and you were on it," he said.
"Where was I ranked?" I said, as of course, it's just a little high-school boy's misguided fantastic delusion that in his craziest dreams, he'd get to tell everyone exactly what he thought of them.
"Number 2," he said. I inquired about why I wasn't number one and he had a good answer which I cannot recall. I didn't follow up on the "Why?" part of this discussion as I figured that dredging up the reasons that made me second place were best left under the sediment that time had covered them with. I don't remember where the conversation went from there, but we kept talking, finished our cigarette or our beer on the porch and went inside to mingle.
I never really put my hitlist status and high school violence together until I read something about it today.
6:22 AM . . .
Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Sidenote: Zach wasn't the most popular guy in school, and you know why because you know the kind of person that I am talking about. You either accept his weirdness and think he's cool because he's interesting, or you don't understand why he's so weird and think he's uncool. Well, about halfway through senior year, Mehgan, widely regarded as one of the most attractive girls in our school (and deservedly so) started to take a liking to Zach for whatever reason, and as if Tinkerbell alit on his shoulder and sprinkled some popularity dust on his head, he was all that. And I mean, not just a couple people thought this; it was like someone sent a memo out to the entire student body of Yarmouth High School, 'Re: Zach is now cool.'
10:09 PM . . .
Monday, March 25, 2002
At lunch in a nearby restraunt, I jokingly asked one of my students if there was a Zagat Survey for Nanhai, China. Of course, there isn't, and I don't believe they're planning on there being one at all. She inquired as to what it was, and I went on to explain the survey (ie. ratings by quality of food, service, decor, and the total cost). She then asked,"You mean they don't have research about the worker's health?"
Too puzzled by this comment to utter anything but, "Huh?" I responded. I was then told that this was the most important rating of all! In a few sentences, she cleared it all up for me. I thanked her for the enlightenment and dashed off an e-mail to Zagat explaining why they should include this absolutely, positively necessary rating.
From: Blunt ; (Patrick@thedtrain.com)
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 13:38
I am writing to inform you of a glaring omission from your yearly publication. You need to add one more column to your ratings. This column should be named "worker health." It is imperative that the health of the workers in each restaurant that you eat in be top notch! If this isn't the case, you may get sick. For example:
Did you know that if a worker making your food has cancer, you will get it too? This is the same with AIDS. You must stay away from people with AIDS to make sure you don't get it, and you shouldn't touch or eat any food they any food they touch or you'll get the disease! Cancer, too! Yes, even if it's cooked! I am sure that there are many more communicable diseases that can be transported from worker to customer by way of cooked food, but these instances are surely enough reason to add this rating!
I don't know how you are going to do this, and it might take a little bit more research on your part, but it needs to happen as soon as possible! If I were you guys, I would pull the 2002 edition off the shelf, and quick!
No need to thank me, the millions of lives saved by my advice will be thanks enough.
The ball's in their court, I did my part.
6:12 PM . . .
Friday, March 22, 2002
Today, I would have really liked to know how to say, "That's a red card you fucking pussy" in Chinese.
I wrote about two paragraphs of text on why I wanted to know that, but after reading it, I found it quite tedious and decided that my altercations on the pitch would be best left to the imagination. The person who writes the best story or joke in the comments section gets a free gift sent from China.
9:16 PM . . .
Thursday, March 21, 2002
And they're on the COVER of our magazine. They actually send this publication to prospective male students. Attention RPI HR: Hire a new marketing department.
10:33 PM . . .
Tonight I was "set up" by my friend here in China. The night before, I said I would take them ("Tim" and his daughter, "Katie") out to dinner since I wanted to show my appreciation for his role in the purchasing of my motorbike. At 7:30, we arrive at the restaurant, enter: two twentysomething girls (Formerly Katie's teachers). Halfway through the dinner, Tim leans over to me and says "You should get her phone number and address. This is the second time we have been out together, and I think you should ask."
I don't know where to start on why I should not attempt to get this girl's number or address, so this list will have to do:
1. I don't recall ever having dinner with her prior to this occasion
2. She hasn't said a word to me (which might be the reason I don't remember any "prior occasion")
3. She hasn't said a word of English, and doesn't appear to speak much
4. I don't know her name since we have not been introduced
5. Tim has not indicated which one of them I am supposed to ask
6. When he does indicate which one it is, it's not the cute one
After repeatedly telling Tim that I will ask for her number "another time," Katie, after a whisper from Tim, approaches not-the-cute-one and requests the number for me, as if I asked.
You KNOW I have to share this with someone, so I drop by classroom 4A after I get back to the school. This class has the prettiest girls in it, which is why I stop in so often, I confess. I begin to tell them my story, and the topic somehow segues into dating in America and what it's like.
Previously, I had been warned about speaking on such topics, but I am not one to heed warnings, thusly, Patrick commenced throwing caution to the wind (and apparently, referring to himself in the third person). At the end of the month, I would still like to be employed here, so I decided to use vague terms and let them figure it out.
"Dating is all about expectations;" I said, "in America, you expect certain things to happen on a date." At precisely the end of that sentence, the class positively erupted, as they jumped to the conclusion that on the average first date in the states, we're rounding third by 11PM. I went on to explain it a little more accurately, and that degrees of intimacy (usually) accelerate in non-definable "stages." Below is my visual rendition of the intricacies of a relationship in America versus that of one spawned by any two young citizens of the People's Republic:
I think they got the picture.
Note: I have the number, but I'm not one to fill my nights with a string of little black arcs.
7:16 AM . . .
Unless, of course, you love those cute little "What 'Blank' Are You" tests.
6:24 AM . . .
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
All told, these DVDs cost me $37. Amazon didn't list the other ones that I bought: Scarface, two old bond flicks, and the entire remastered Star Wars collection (IV, V and VI). I'm sorry, I am a bit excited about this whole illegal DVD thing. You have to admit that buying 50 DVDs for $37 bucks would make any videophile become ecstatic.
5:06 AM . . .
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
PARIS (Reuters) - Paris has warned Washington it could review its cooperation with the Sept. 11 probe if the United States sought the death penalty against a French national charged with aiding the people behind the attacks (Moussaoui), French rights groups said Tuesday.
France? FRANCE? Do we even care about France? What have they done for us since 1783? OK, OK. You got me. Champagne, mayonnaise, and those wonderful French FRIES.
4:59 PM . . .
Yesterday, I broke my necklace. Today, I went online to replace it, and after a Yahoo! search for "hemp necklaces" I chanced upon this site for stoners. My favorite is the "Splif Stik." I especially like the SKINS4LIFE program, yo.
3:50 AM . . .
Sunday, March 17, 2002
DVDs I bought this weekend (and I don't just go and buy DVDs all the time):
A Beautiful Mind
O Brother, Where Art Thou
Lord Of The Rings
Blackmale (I read that it was a kind of cult flick, despite the B-movie title)
The Paofessional (sic)
American Pie 2
And I bought them for exactly $10.63. Want some?
5:29 PM . . .
Wednesday, March 13, 2002
What to do when someone gives you an out-of-the-blue "love you" for the first time as a pseudo-goodbye over IM:
Her: Whew! It is getting really late! I think I need to get to sleep before I start incoherently rambling about nothing
Me: Well, it's exactly noon here, so I have no excuse for my incoherent ramblings
Her: Heh. Well, I will talk to you soon!
Me: OK ___, I'll talk to you tomorrow!
Her: bye, Patrick!
Me: bye, ___
Her: love you
8:52 PM . . .
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
The first time I saw boobs was in National Geographic. I mean, you couldn't really call them boobs, they were just saggy, black, skin bags full of milk. You saw them and got a little rush of pre-teen adrenaline . . . but it was definitely not arousal. You were simply excited because you knew you weren't supposed to be seeing real BOOBS! Yeah, you know what I am talkin' about, don't deny it!
Even after a five year bid at Riker's Island, you probably can't imagine anyone possibly seeing these women sexually. These pictures are absolutely repulsive, and searching the darkest recesses of your mind for the most unattractive girl you've ever fantasized about (or slept with, Callan), you'll find that none of them come close to being bat around with the ugly stick as much as these beauties. If you've ever resorted to the old NG for your fix, you've got George's Glamour episode beat by a mile.
The second time I saw boobs was after Frank McCully and I found this plastic bag full of magazines. We found it near the half-finished (the construction was stopped after the owner's funds were frozen by the DEA) house which was erected in the vacant lot we used for BMX riding. The bag had everything: Playboy, Forum, Hustler. Whatever smut you can imagine was in this bag . . . and let me tell you, THOSE were some BOOBS.
5:10 AM . . .
Sunday, March 10, 2002
Haiku I wrote last week trying to stay awake through lectures in Bejing:
Listen to Chinaman
I play games inside my head
Save myself from sleep
Man drones on an on
Contracts and expert's visas
We need a smoke break
Look at Dave right there
He feels my thoughts exactly
What is this bullshit?
9:19 PM . . .
Thursday, March 07, 2002
Jules and Vincent, deep in conversation:
Jules: That's it, Man, I'm goin'. That's all there is to it, I'm fuckin' goin.
Vincent: You'll dig it the most . . . but you know what the funniest thing about Asia is?
Vincent: It's the little differences. A lotta the same shit we got here, they got there, but there . . .they're a little different.
Vincent: Well in China, you can buy a bottle of beer for about seven cents. And I don't mean in one of those little mini bottles you buy for your girlfriend. They sell you a twenty two ounce bottle of beer, like at the corner store. Only costs about a half a buck at a club. You know what they call taking a girl out to a club in Bejing?
Jules: They don't just call it a date?
Vincent: Naww, they got a 5,000 year old cultural belief system there, they wouldn't know what the fuck a date was.
Jules: So what'd they call it?
Jules: En-gaged . . . So what'd they call goin' to lunch?
Vincent: Goin to lunch is goin to lunch, but they call it "Chu zhi dao."
Jules: So what'd they call sex?
Vincent: I don't know, I didn't go to Thailand.
5:00 AM . . .
I teach English in a famously botanical city near the southernmost part of China. My school is called Nanhai Normal School; "Normal" signifying that it is a school for teachers, and that being said, my students are naturally about 95% female. This is a stark departure from Rensselaer, an engineering school in New York, where this ratio is nearly inverted; but they are my students and solicitation of their virginity would be conduct unbecoming a teacher. Taking such a flower from the beautiful gardens of Nanhai is tempting, but with my zen-like patience, I may be able to restrain myself.
4:56 AM . . .
Tuesday, March 05, 2002
Contents of a Caesar Salad at the Chicago Steak King in Nanhai, Guangdong Province, China:
Hard Boiled Egg
Warm Boiled Potato
Thousand Island Dressing
Talk about something being lost in translation . . .
3:52 AM . . .
Monday, March 04, 2002
Yesterday, at the Bejing airport, they were selling "SUPER Sheep Placenta." I don't know how super it is, but they still win the truth-in-advertising award in my book.
1:18 AM . . .