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Christmas Night Funtime [26 Dec 2007|03:18pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

So, I haven't updated in a few weeks, and there could be some humdrum mention of what's been happening. In the end, however, they all would pale in the acme of boredom compared to last night's events here at home.

Anyways, about half a hour after I went to bed last night around 3:00am, J.J., my parents' new Bichon, went ballistic with barking. This isn't a rarity, since the slightest noise outside wakes him up, but this time he went running downstairs and kept at it longer than he normally does. So, with my mum roused from sleep, she went down to get a drink of water, and halfway down the stairs she heard a very loud banging start out by the back door. Turning the outdoor and hall lights on, she came over to see someone braced up against the side fence with his back, leaning over and kicking at the back door as hard as he could, trying to break it open. She shouted, "who the fuck are you!", which he either didn't hear, or more likely, didn't care. She shouted for help upstairs, which prompted my dad to call the police and my brother, who was still awake, to grab his shotgun and come down. And while my mum yelling at the guy didn't deter him, my brother cocking and pointing a 12-gauge through the glass at his face sure did; the guy took off as fast as you can imagine someone being able to run in a foot of snow.

Since we live a block away from the town police station, with my dad on the phone before my brother went downstairs, the guy managed to get only a block and a half down the street before he ran right into a cop car out looking for him. They arrested him and brought him back over for my mum to ID, which she did, and followed that up by announcing the immediate charges would be criminal trespass of a residence. Now, while that's a felony in Colorado and Texas, it's only a misdemeanor in New York. Ergo, after debating it a bit around breakfast time, my mum and I went down to the courthouse to file the paperwork to upgrade it to attempted burglary based on the photographs we took of the damaged door, the footprints in the snow, et alia. To that end, there are clear footprints in the snow from our back door to our neighbors, and on to their neighbors, and anon... this guy was just looking for what he thought was the easiest one to break into, no doubt. And lucky for him, the one he decided to try was probably the only one with a couple shotguns waiting for him. Lucky!

So, you may ask where I was in all this. As y'all know for sure, I'm something of a heavy sleeper... it wasn't until the cops were here looking at the door and talking in the kitchen that I woke up, and I didn't even bother to go down to see what was going on as I assumed it was just John and some of his friends coming home late. Go me and my preparedness for home invasion, eh? Thank God that Amanda is a lighter sleeper than I am, or it would bode somewhat badly for us defending ourselves, eh? :-)

And that's the memorable Christmas story for this year. Good enough to make it worthy of stories and song if you ask me, eh? Valete!

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Talk about letting stuff back up for a while... [25 Nov 2007|07:36pm]
[ mood | happy ]

Yeah, haven't posted in nearly a quarter of a year. Thank you, LJ, for letting me know that it's been 12 weeks in some attempt to guilt me into whoring my life out on the Tubes again. But it worked, and it's time to account for myself!

Well, I might as well begin with the thing that I wanted to record in the first place: yesterday, Amanda and I got engaged! Woo! Considering it was out anniversary season (either November 18th or 27th, we can't decide which), I figured it was about time to set things in order. So, we went out to get lunch at the sushi place on Pearl Street, Hapa, where we had our first date, and after filling up on unagi and salmon, bam! There isn't much more too it than that; romantic, mayhap, but straightforward is how to do it :-)

Obviously, I'm quite excited/happy about that, as are my parents, her parents, and Amanda herself. In terms of when it's all going to happen now, it's a toss-up between May or much longer after that... considering weddings are a metric fuckton of work, May is pushing it a touch, but the definite May news is Amanda being commissioned, and once that happens, it'll probably be at least a year after that before she has enough shore leave to set something down afterwards. We're holding out some hope that May will work, but the next month will tell more for sure. In the meantime, many shall be soon contacted... ye shalt into the service of us be drafted!

So nothing really much tops that, but if I've been sucked back into updating, I'm getting my money's worth.

~ My Mum. She's sick again, this time with uterine cancer. She had surgery on the 15th to take her uterus out, and the post-op prognosis is very positive. There's no evidence of any metathesis or other complications, although once she's recovered she'll probably need either chemo, or more likely, radiation again to be safe. And while I'd be remiss not to record this for my future benefit, I don't much feel like talking about it a great deal. So, 'tis what it is.

~ School. It's been, well, schooly. But in contrast to the hellishly busy time of the spring, it's been a cakewalk. The big news on the school front is that I'm leaving CU come the end of this year. I've been weary of Boulder since day one, but the nail in the coffin was the fact that out of the five philologists in the department, four are going to be going on sabbatical or leaving the country for at least a year each. And when you've got to have someone around all the time to advise for a PhD, that pretty much would screw me no matter what. As much as I'd love to blow all that cash for five years, somehow I think going to a program where people are present will, you know, be a bit better. My big favorite so far is UT, as that'll put me back in Texas for several years, but the standard backups are all present as well. Followups shall ensue as news comes in.

~ Consumer Whore-sim. About a month ago, I bought an iPod Touch after I had molested an iPhone at the Apple Store and fell in love with it, then heard about how you could get basically the same thing in iPod form without a two-year contract for a phone. And let me tell you, it is the damnedly awesomest little gadget I've ever touched. Wi-Fi means internet everywhere, widescreen movies, music, calendar, contact book, alarm clock, pictures... amazing. Sexfully amazing, at that. And after having experienced the awesomeness of it, I've come to realize that come January and getting paid again, I'm going to break down and get an iPhone anyways, because it's all that much cooler. Damn me. At least Amanda'll get a fun new hand-me-down toy :-)

~ Traveling. For the first part of Thanksgiving break, Amanda and I drove all the way out to Las Vegas to visit her family. It would've been great to have spent the whole break out there, but the Navy needed her back by Friday to work security at the game, and a winter storm in the mountains meant we had to leave at 5:30am on Tuesday to drive back. But while we were out there, it was a good four days of Bueller, Bueller, and more Bueller! So if you want to look at how fucking awesome Bueller is (as well as how gorgeous southern Utah is), click here! And you might not want to mistake that for an option!

And that covers a medium entry for the time being. Woo again! Vale!

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Τὸ νέον ἔτος με καταλαμβάνει [29 Aug 2007|11:09pm]
[ mood | content ]

Well, a combination of sloth and being busy has kept me from updating recently in what can only be described as my standard excuse for checking LJ every day and writing nothing. So, what hath in the recent past happened...

Firstly, it was my birthday on the 15th, the very same day as last year! It's amazing how that always seems to work out. But while the past half-decade's or so worth of birthdays have been disappointing at best, this one was one to remember thanks to a very fun party thrown by Stephanie, Jessika, Jonathan, Brian, Amanda, and myself. Truly there are few things funner in life than a bunch of classics grad students (and Amanda!) drinking caucasians and singing country karaoke until the wee morning hours.

It was an especially uplifting time after we had said goodbye to Bueller two days prior... our apartment people laid down the law about us being unable to keep a dog in our place, so Amanda's parents came all the way out to Boulder from Las Vegas by car on only a day's notice to take the fell'er home with them. So while we don't have him around us for the most part for the next year or so, we didn't have to give him up; I mean, he's Bueller! I'd never have imagined any dog could fit my personality so well: a dog you need to drop on the floor bodily to get him to struggle awake at noon; a dog who enjoys being outside for reasonable amounts of time, does his business, runs around, then is incapacitated with laziness as soon as he comes through the door; a dog who was as intolerant of hippies as you could imagine a dog to be. Can't wait to see him as soon as we can!

The coming and going of another birthday is the herald of the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, and this one seems to be a good one as it shapes up. Beth's (Dr. Dusiberre's) beginning of the year party for the new grad students was last Friday, and with it came the revelation that the one or two new grads I had met over the summer were the very tip of the iceberg; there are easily as many new MAs coming in as there are all returning levels of grad students. They seem a great and friendly bunch, with no real complaints I can find about any of them save one or two petty things that will surely evaporate after a few happy hours. To that end, our first one is this coming Friday... much merriment and a recap of that will be forthcoming!

The classes for the semester are Roman Comedy (yet another spate of Plautus and Terence!) and the Gorgias of Plato with good ol' Schuy. Moreso than classes, the biggest aggravation of the oncoming fall was the beating I had to give the school, payroll, and my bank to see that I got paid, firstly reasonably-timed and then at all. I was supposed to have my money on the 17th, the Friday just after my birthday. By the following Wednesday, I was yelling in the Regent building about it only to find payroll had decided that I wasn't a student. By the next Saturday, my bank had the money but refused to release it "pending check clearance"... one of those things that doesn't bloody apply to government transfer of funds from a public university such as CU. By yesterday, I was yelling at my bank over the phone to have them FINALLY release it to my account that noon. And so now, a mere two weeks late, I'm finally whole in money and patience. Vraiment, c'est la vie.

So, here I am, back in the rut of the fall. Valete, omnes!

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Halt - Büllerzeit! [05 Aug 2007|11:05am]
[ mood | happy ]

( Check out our new dog, Bueller the Puggle! )

If you don't leave a comment saying how awesome and adorable he is, you aren't human!

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Τὴν ἀγαθὴν ὥραν ἣν ἔσχομεν [29 Jul 2007|01:23am]
[ mood | happy ]

Yesterday was one of those great summer days, I do say, right from the get-go. Amanda and I woke up late, ate a good breakfast, then went off to Lefthand Canyon to shoot before there was a threat of rain. It looked like there had been a flood sometime in the past 24 hours; all the debris from shooting had been washed away along with a huge chunk of the hillside, but it was dry and stable by the time we had gotten there, so there was no risk to us simply walking around (or apparently firing into the hillside as well). While we were there, just about all of us in the canyon eventually got together and traded our guns for a few magazines in one of those fine examples of "armed people are friendly people": I swapped my Garand and XD for an old Soviet Nagant from 1944, Amanda got to shoot (and absolutely fell in love with) a Mini-14 with a hi-cap and custom stock, and I wowed a father/son with the Thompson. Good times, good times.

Once we got back home, I cleaned up the pistols quickly before the real fun of the day: the first classics grad student happy hour so far this summer! Amanda, Jessika, Stephanie, Jonathan, and I met up at Half Fast for long island iced teas, hurricanes, great subs, and several pitchers of beer... Amanda, Stephanie, and (to a lesser extent) Jessika were pretty trashed by the time we were done at Half Fast, but that just meant we came back to our place and did karaoke for several more hours over margaritas. Of course, this meant all sorts of wonderful situations arose, such as Jonathan saying "if the spirit moves you, let me grove you!" whilst in our bedroom, Stephanie threating to maim me à la "Goodbye Earl" if Amanda is thrown out of the Navy for pregnancy, Jessika singing "Papa Don't Preach," as well as Jonathan getting to say he was in bed with three chicks (which is more than any Jew before him can claim!) Strangely enough, the hamster was quite the hit; it's a shame I didn't realize that hamsters were chick-magnets back before I met Amanda, although with this knowledge out in the public domain, it's probably going to be the standard pick-up line in the office now... "want to pet my hamster" is at least one of the less scary ways to do it, I suppose :-)

Today was anticlimactic after such a fun day preceding it, but still enjoyable. I set up our new weather station, complete with historic tracking/prediction and an outdoor sensor... truly the nerdery is strong in this apartment! More than today, it's good to look forward to the upcoming month: we decided to throw a bash at Stephanie's for my birthday on the 15th (it was more a convenience thing, since we were looking for a date to throw a party anyways, and two weeks give-or-take from now was a perfect time), complete with more karaoke and Guitar Revolution, as well as copious amounts of fine libations. On the 24th is Beth's beginning-of-semester party, so we've decided to all go in togas aside from any request to do so. I mean, if everyone just spontaneously does something like that in Syria, we'd be shamed not to do it in the home of a professor!

Tomorrow looks to be another snoozer of a day. Buying milk, eggs, and soap isn't exactly a thrill a minute. But, inane happenings have never stopped me from reporting them in exacting detail before, so it doesn't look like it will prevent me then. Vale!

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Γηράκσω δ'ἀϝεὶ νέα διδασκόμενος [22 Jul 2007|01:50pm]
[ mood | lethargic ]

A title isn't a title if it doesn't have a digamma in it, I always say.

I realized yesterday how much of the summer is gone already, but it still doesn't seem like it's in a terrible rush to be over. If anything, the summer is way too damned long... I got word about how much I'm getting paid for TAing this year as well as the pay schedule, and all I can say about it is that I'm not too eager about eating Ramen for the next month or so. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it but complain, and complaining doesn't strike me as all that interesting today.

What has Bill been doing?

- Reading Greek and Sanskrit... both have been lagging a bit for a few months and I'm going to need at least Greek for Schuy this fall.
- Going for walks after nightfall, when it finally cools off. Living without air conditioning is just masochistic, but there's not much you can do about it when you're broke. But that said, it's been unusually enjoyable to be out and about in Boulder; it's actually a pretty nice place when all the idiot hippies are asleep and/or too high to walk down the sidewalk.
- Looking for a Bulldog breeder somewhere reasonably closer to Boulder/Denver. I've decided it's about time to have a dog around the place again, and while I'll always have a special place in the ol' heart for Bichons, a Bulldog is much more akin to me: lazy, surly, flabby, and enjoys it when they wake up in the morning to find M&Ms stuck to their face... I mean, when that happens, it's going to be a good day no matter what.
- Trying to fandangle my way into getting the first two days of the second week of fall semester off, which would really mean simply missing a Schuy/Knox class each way before anything of importance would happen. That's because I'm going to be in Texas for Jose's wedding for that weekend no matter what, and with Amanda coming down with me for free, I'd like to show her about Houston/Austin/Waco if I can. So, if any of y'all will be there as well, let me know!
- Swimming to beat the heat. I figured out the pool here uses the same key as the laundry room, so I've been taking full advantage of that, despite the fact that I'm as pale and pasty as ever.

And thar, she be it. Vale!

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Worrysome [20 Jul 2007|06:58pm]
[ mood | worried ]

So, based on her mammogram on Wednesday, my mum might have a relapse of breast cancer. It's on the other side as her last bout, where the lymph nodes were left intact. She had a MRI of that breast six months ago and it was clean, so whatever this is, it's new. She's going back for a biopsy on Monday.

That's all I know for now... I'll write more as I find out.

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I wish I were cool enough to be a sellout archaeologist [15 Jul 2007|08:21pm]
[ mood | irritated ]

I wish I monopolized an entire country's archaeological administration for personal aggrandizement and used my underhanded manipulation of the heritage of mankind's history to get Discovery Channel specials, like my hero Zahi Hawass. I'm even working on a headline: "Caesar's ashes conclusively found. If you disagree with me or don't give me credit for all of your work, I'll have you thrown out of the country. And also kill your cat."

I'm so glad I'm a language jockey and don't have to put up with any more than your everyday academic BS.

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Τὰ μὲν διδακτὰ μανθάνω, τὰ δ'εὑρετὰ ζητῶ, τὰ δ'εὐκτὰ παρὰ Θεοῦ αἰτήσω [12 Jul 2007|11:44am]
[ mood | bored ]

Well, slow and boring times do abound here in Boulder. The weather's finally turned away from the constant 100F+ heat of last week, with the current 75F being a blessing when you don't have any AC in your apartment. So, realizing that if I just keep my policy of writing about interesting things happening, like I pretty much have since I moved away from Texas, I think I'll go back to writing mundania for a while and see how that goes.

Amanda went back to Vegas yesterday to spend a week or so with her family. They hadn't seen her since she had come back from the Gulf, so it was a long time coming. Of course, it's a hell of a time for her to be back around them... her sister's been making some, hmm, poor decisions as of late. Poor decisions in this case means deciding she's not going to go to college next year, and instead move out into an apartment of her own whose rent and utilities takes up $850 of the $704 she's making per month, with an unknown cosigner, and getting back in touch with a guy who's my age and whose greatest achievement to date is getting a GED and wandering from menial job to menial job. And all this comes after turning 18 just a couple of weeks ago... at least she's not wasting any time fucking up her life, eh? So, Amanda's been thrust into the midst of this, although it doesn't seem to have been as bad while she's been home thus far.

Here in my front, I've just been keeping busy by cleaning up around the apartment and keeping an eye on the new neighbors down the courtyard a bit. I don't think I wrote about it in my journal at the time since I was studying/writing hardcore for Comps and CAMWS, but over spring break this semester, I broke up a huge fistfight amongst two guys and a girl at shotgun-point... the girl was beating on the two guys, throwing them into the wall and bloodying them both about the face, and to their credit, the guys didn't fight back at all (although they should have at that point). Anyways, it was "suggested" to them by the management that they look for a new place to live when their lease expired, and so two new chicks have moved in down there in the past couple days. They look to be maybe 19; they're clearly students, but I had thought freshmen were required to live on campus for a year, so who knows. They seemed unnoteworthy enough until last night, when they and their boyfriends, I'm guessing, took to drinking and skateboarding all up and down the concrete walks at bloody midnight. I could care less about the drinking... if you're old enough to be living on your own, you can drink a beer, despite what the Nannystate says, but the skateboarding was just disruptive and rude, and all the more so when they started doing jumps or whatever you call them down the stairs near their place. They've been quiet so far today, but they don't strike me as the type to act courteously on a consistent basis... tempvs nobis monstrabit.

I went over to campus yesterday for the first time since the end of the spring to grab whatever paperwork had built up in my office and say Hi to Schuy. He was busy, so I only popped in for a few minutes, but he was glad to see me and was very, very happy in his Schuy way that I was taking two courses with him in the fall. And randomly enough, he said that he wanted to go shooting with me sometime when he wasn't so busy... nothing like grad students and old German professors bonding over a smoking Garrand barrel, eh?

And well, that's it for now. Valete!

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News o' the Last Month's Ending [06 Jul 2007|11:11am]
[ mood | calm ]

Well, I've been missing for a while. Long stories short: food poisoning from some month-old bad chicken resulting from a power outage, then my hard drive completely died and almost caused me to lose everything from the past six and a half years. Thankfully, I recovered all the important things (pictures from the undergrad years, CAMWS papers, grad school research), but there's still some missing stuff. Anyways, in the vasty un-updated-ness of the past few weeks, my brother and his girlfriend Annie had a hell of a scare...

About two weeks ago, when I was still in NY, the family and Amanda went down to New Paltz to have dinner with John at the new restaurant where he's working over the summer as a bartender. Two days after that (the day I headed back to CO), he called my mum at about 9pm when he came home from work and found his apartment door ajar and numerous small things stolen. Someone had taken his PSP, a handful of loose cash about the kitchen, and things like that... things worth some money, but not the big things like the TV, computer, or stereo. Obviously, he was pretty worked up that someone had broken in, but when Annie got home from babysitting, she especially was all the more freaked out when she noticed that something else that had been stolen were several pairs of her underwear.

Two more days went by to that Saturday, with Annie and John up in the morning and sitting in the kitchen for breakfast around 7am. All of a sudden, as Annie was sitting at the table and looking out the kitchen window, she shouted, "Oh my God, there's someone at the window looking in at us!" My brother immediately jumped up, grabbed his rifle, and ran outside to confront this guy while Annie called the police. John held him there at gunpoint until the cops showed up and arrested him; when they searched the guy, who was in his late 30s-early 40s, they found leather gloves (in 90F+ weather), no ID, and a six-inch fish filleting knife under his shirt.

Somehow, it seems rather unlikely that someone would steal a handful of Annie's underwear and then a second guy would show up with gloves and a fucking knife via coincidence. And needless to say, while both of them are really freaked out, Annie is downright panicked by it all. They've been spending most of the past two weeks up in Albany with either my or her parents while they look for a new apartment; I think the landlord's letting them out of their lease early, or otherwise it expires at the end of the summer normally, since they haven't had a problem with breaking it. And likewise, while my brother put in for a handgun permit the day after he turned 21, now Annie has suddenly gone from being pretty scared of guns to wanting to have one of her own, so she got a copy of the police report about being "the target of a potentially violent sexual predator" to put in for her own handgun permit. They live in Ulster County, which almost always issues them to anyone who qualifies without any restrictions and good for a lifetime, but the police report just seals the deal, as it were.

So, there you go. Pretty damned disconcerting, eh? I don't know what there is to really take from it all other than they're all right, and hopefully they'll move to a safer part of town with an apartment which isn't on the ground floor. And I guess that's a worthy story to tell their kids someday.

Other than all that with John and Annie, Amanda had a hell of a time getting back here to Colorado after visiting up in Albany. She flies free on standby thanks to her dad, but with the 4th of July air traffic, she was stuck in Philadelphia for FOUR DAYS waiting for a flight out. If it weren't for a friend of hers going to Penn, she'd have been in the airport for that duration, and as it was she obviously wasn't too keen on being delayed that long anyways. But once she had finally gotten home, nothing much has happened of note beyond my writing excuses at the top of my entry... thank God I managed to recover most of my HD, because I'm sure y'all don't need to be told how much it would suck to lose all your pictures from undergrad days, all your research, and all the professional papers you'd ever given. 250gb external HD backup? Oh yeah, you bet your ass I have one now :-)

Valete, amici!

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Truly, Seth Green is a lord of men [18 Jun 2007|04:35pm]
[ mood | silly ]

( If you love Robot Chicken, this will make your day! )

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Tropp v. Dulles, anyone? [16 Jun 2007|10:43am]
[ mood | enraged ]

38-year-old woman convicted for sex with teenage boy

Cases like this are some common that they've become uninteresting for the majority in America nowadays (or I should say, they're reported by the media every time they occur, so their frequency is so overstatisticized as to make them seem exceedingly common). However, this one struck my attention immediately, and probably not for the simple fact that a woman was actually convicted for such a crime when many decry a double standard.

Instead, it is this:

Jeri Deanne Perez, 38, also was given lifetime probation at her sentencing Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

That's about as unconstitutional as something can get in the modern era when handed down by a simple local court, and it's handing the woman a get out of jail free card on appeal. Which she should get in light of such a heinous sentence, but thence my argument.

You see, probation has become the only way the American legal system can handle the volume of cases thrown against it as a result of insanely unnecessary "zero tolerance" policies and the insistence that the government has the power to regulate the non-violent behavior of citizens which have no detrimental effect against a fellow man. Now, I'm not here to get into a libertarian discussion on that front, but I mention it to state that probation is no longer seen as an aspect of punishment, but one of inconvenience and bureaucracy to alleviate the burden on the judiciary. And as it is not seen as punishment, it must be applied with increasing severity to "get the point across"; merely being beholden to another person is no longer the shameful burden it was fifty years ago, as most people have long since given up on the idea of freedom being the most important thing in the world.

As such, many (if not all) states have passed laws stating that individuals on probation are stripped of certain civil rights or held to a regulated code of behavior while they are probated. This has been held constitution as not violating the 5th amendment, because it is handed down by the judgment of a competent court as a conviction for a crime, and therefore is tantamount to being in prison and deprived of freedom for a period of time commensurate to the crime committed. Common restrictions while being on probation are no alcohol, no weapons possession, no contact with certain individuals, no presence in certain areas, no leaving the state without permission, and any crime or arrest results in an automatic penalty.

When these punishments are proportional to the crime, they fall within the purview of government; government, after all, exists to prevent persons from depriving others of their own rights (life, property, etc) and to meet out punishment to transgressors. Probation in that sense is permissible, and indeed preferable in my eyes to the money wasted on locking a non-violent person in a small room for several years.

However, this is blatantly too far. The semantics of consensual underage sex aside, a sex crime is nearly as horrifying a crime as one can commit, and merits extremely severe punishment. Historically, its punishment was death, although in recent times that has subsided to life imprisonment for rapists as only murder has been punished with death since the end of the federal moratorium in 1976. Yet, while death may end the existence of a criminal, it does not dehumanize them. The death penalty is handed out after excessive appeals and then in a manner as human as possible to alleviate suffering; we do not torture the condemned, draw and quarter them, or conduct executions in public to subject them to ridicule before their death. Such are a violation of the 8th amendment against cruel and unusual punishments, which is to say excessive... even those we deem to merit death are human and retain their human dignities.

The core tenet of American government, society, and indeed our way of life is that every person has innate, inborn, natural rights which are not granted and which cannot be taken away. They may be suspended for a period of time, but they cannot be stripped. My title refers to the final word on this subject as addressed by the Supreme Court: unless for an act of convicted treason, the actual taking up of arms violently against the government, or the willful swearing of allegiance to a foreign power to renounce ties to America, a person cannot lose their citizenship without their consent. To quote the chief justice, "denationalization as a punishment is barred by the Eighth Amendment, as cruel and excessive; this is the total destruction of the individual's status in organized society. To not have the civil rights and freedoms inborn in every person is to reduce that individual to the status of an animal, equivalent to chattel slavery in dehumanization."

To put someone on probation for a lifetime is to require them to ask permission every time they wish to leave the state, to say they cannot drink alcohol again, to say they can never touch a gun, to say whom they can and cannot associate with, to have them brought before a court and sentenced for being arrested or in violation of their "terms" without due process or a trial. It robs them of their human rights, the things that make them something higher than a dog. A dog can be put down for biting the mailman. A human cannot be made a dog for killing a million people.

And chances are, this will go unaddressed and without import for the average American, let alone the judges who will surely handle the appeal that follows every trial in the country nowadays. Fucking hell.


Postscipt - Let it be mentioned that this happened in Maricopa County, Arizona, the same place that tried to pass a law requiring that every person entering the county be searched for drugs or illegal weapons at the county line, until the state AG explained to them very slowly that there was something called a "warrant" and you need this "warrant" thing to search people, or something call the "constitution" gets angry. Fucking hell again.

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Ego Vos Provoco! [14 Jun 2007|06:18pm]
[ mood | intrigued ]

h3éuis iosméi uélh3nh2 ne h1éh1êst trins h1ék´uons h1éskepet, Hóinom g´e gwérum uóg´hom uég´hontM Hóinom kwe Mg´héh2m bhérontM Hóinom kwe g´hménM bhérontM - h3éuis nuH h1ék´uomus h1éuêkwet k´êrd h1moi h1éghnuto h1ék´uons h2ég´ontM h2nérM uidNtéi h1ék´uôs tuH h1éuêkwont k´léudhi ô h3éui k´êrd h1éghnuto Nsméi uidéntmus h2nê´r pótis h3uéiom RuLnéh2m sébhi ghwérmom uéstrom kwRnéuti nég´hi h3uéiom uélh3nh2 h1ésti tód kékluos h3éuis h3ég´rom h1ébhêuret

A penny to whomever who can translate this! Or get a jist of it! And no, it's not a preexisting text, so no code-switching for you!

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This is what happens when I'm bored at night.... [11 Jun 2007|12:13am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

Dawn of the freakin' dead!

*Updated with better blood

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Ridiculous [03 Jun 2007|12:38am]
[ mood | good ]

What's ridiculous? The fact that I've updated this thing only four times this year so far. Un-fucking-acceptable. I'm talking to myself at this point. After sticking to this for six years, I owe it to myself to keep an accurate record of what my life is for the future. So, time to somehow pour back over the late winter/spring/early summer in hindsight in a way that does it even a modicum of justice...

I think month-by-month is the only real way to try and get things back into order.


Amanda spent the first two weeks of March sick with a sinus infection, so I was chiefly worried about her as she finally had some time off after the Tulane meet for drill. In my own neck of the woods, I was busy most of the time with studying for Archaic Latin or Comps, although as hindsight would show I spent a touch more time studying for Archaic Latin than I should have with Comps looming a month away. Amanda and I had settled in to living together well by mid-March... I think I was getting used to living with someone again after being alone in my apartment for a year and a half, while she was getting used to living with someone she didn't hate and didn't have to skirmish for space/food/sleep/quiet/alone-time for the first time in a year. But it worked out perfectly. It was never any real issue in the first place, just something new and fun.

There was a warm snap in the middle of the month, with a week of 65F+ temperatures. We took it upon ourselves to spend some time outside, be it drinking coffee outside at Starbucks or heading up into the mountains to shoot. My fellow souls afraid of the real world (which is to say, Classics grad students) revived happy hour on Thursdays after Archaic Latin for the month up through Comps in April, but alas despite dragging Amanda into our angry and angsty world, it peetered out too soon yet again.

As the month wrapped up, spring break rolled around to find me lamenting my inability to go visit Texas and all the great people still there as I had to slug through finishing my CAMWS paper and cramming for Comps. Amanda went home to Vegas, which meant the caffeine-induced binge of Latin verse continued without any end from morning to night... but it 'tweren't enough, as it were.


The start of April found me pissed off to a very high degree, as I got my first non-A-grade on a test since beginning grad school... and it was in fucking Prose Comp of all things: a fucking B-. B fucking minus. Fucking. In all honesty, I just plain fucked up on it, and I more specifically fucked up on it because I had spent all my study time on CAMWS and Comps and not the elementary stuff for Prose Comp. But that's life... if you have enough time for everything, you're not actually doing everything.

So, the first week in April was my fuck-up of our only Prose Comp. midterm and my not-fuck-up of our second Archaic Latin midterm. The second week of April was CAMWS, which wend its way to Cincinnati this year. Continuing the tradition of someone tagging alone each year, this time around found my Dad driving out from Albany to spend the Thursday through Sunday with me. He came to my paper, but didn't much mull around the convention as much as my Mum did three years back. We went out to plenty of good dinners and talked when I wasn't seeing old friends like Dr. Vail, Dr. A, and the quickly-met new Baylor department faces. Alas, Dr. Froberg didn't make it out this year, but I hope to see him either over the summer or in the fall if I can make it down like I did last October. My paper went well; the best it's ever gone, if I say so. I think for the first time I impressed people not with the fact that I was young and giving a paper (and being rewarded for the effort) but rather than my paper accomplished something and genuinely impressed them at an intellectual, academic level. I had a good half-dozen people come up to me afterwards and talk about my Gothic spirants paper, and they kept coming up to talk about it for the rest of the weekend. Hell, some of their friends they told about it came up. Much ego stroking was had by Bill, much indeed.

But the story of the month was the weekend after CAMWS... Comps. If I had a brain back in the fall, I'd never have sent in an abstract for a CAMWS convention a week before I had to spend three hours proving that I had, in fact, learned everything about everything about Latin. And the fact that I spent the previous week stressing about giving a paper and then relaxing across the country ended up showing through. It was a raining, gray, dreary day when I took them, but by the time I was done and back home I felt decently good about them. We had our last happy hour right afterwards, with Jessika, Henry, Stephany, and me wiped after our tests, and Jonathan, Jason, and Amanda there for moral support. The next few days were decompression, and then that Thursday, I got the dual news: I didn't pass Comps, but the department wanted me around next year for my PhD anyways. I went into the chair's office angry, tired, and honestly confused. He proceeded to tell me that I had fucked up on my poetry (Virgil and Horace, to be specific), but that the work I had done on the rest of Comps along with my years of classwork and TAing had shown them all that I was clearly qualified to start work on my PhD in the fall. Which kept me confused, but at least a smidgen less worried. And just as fucking pissed off, considering the people I had on my grading committee weren't the people I had submitted... Knox was the only one on my list, with Schuy replaced by Jackie due to his being in Germany for the spring, and Noel (the chair) putting himself on the committee in the place of Dr. Gilbert being "too busy."

Fuck it all. So, I'm in line to take my Comps again in August, and start the PhD right afterwards and into the fall. On the plus side, the fact that Colorado made a good offer to keep me around after August meant that I could settle on it for certain, resign my lease through next summer, and get Amanda and me squared away for certain living together until she's commissioned next spring and sent out to "live the dream" for four years. Maybe six.

- MAY -

In a strange turn of events compared to every year since I graduated high school, the month before the end of the semester was my hellishly busy time of the semester. Jackie, who has so soundly fucked me on my Comps, was teaching both of my Latin courses; and with Jessika along with me in Archaic and Henry in Prose Comp., she cut us some slack and turned down the tone for us in papers and finals. I wrote a (surprisingly good) paper for Archaic, and somehow didn't need to write one for Prose Comp.; you can't write one for Prose Comp., but that usually won't stop a professor from finding a way. Finals in both classes were gimmes, and the course grades came out A's in both... Prose Comp. was a requisite for me feeling better about my fucking up the midterm, and Archaic Latin was a pleasant surprise after I had computed my having a B+ in it.

After finals were done with, Amanda and I took to the skies and flew out to Vegas to spend a week with her family. Her sister was emo, it was hot, and we didn't have any time to ourselves, but it was still great to be outside of a schoolish setting with her and just lounge together for days on end. Our fun was short-lived, however... once we were back in Colorado, it was only a couple days before she threw on her khakis and was off for a solid month aboard the USS Nimitz: destination, the Persian Gulf. More specifically: Denver to Chicago to London to Bahrain to the Nimitz off the coast of fucking Iran. And of course, the Navy forgot to pay for the tickets (and of course again, she found out about this at the Denver airport counter when they refused to give her a boarding pass until she coughed up the $1300 for the ticket), which meant it was now Denver to DC to Frankfurt to Bahrain, to the Nimitz off the coast of Dubai. Somehow, she managed to get there, and there she is to the moment I'm writing. With any luck, she'll be back in America sometime around the 19th-20th of June, but if the boat's busy "showing America's power" off the Iranian coast, who knows for sure when a helicopter'll be spared to ferry her back to Bahrain to come home. I'm worried terribly about her... it's something indescribable to watch someone you love go to the most dangerous part of the world. I pray she comes home safe as soon as she can, even though the logical part of me knows she will.

In the meantime, I spent a week or so alone in Boulder, sleeping in our brand-new bed alone and being bored out of my mind. The bed, incidentally, was a fun aside in early May... we had been sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor since January, after we broke the frame of the futon celebrating deciding to move in together. I wonder how we managed to do that... ;-) Anyways, we found a good price for a frame without a mattress 20 minutes away down in Broomfield, but even in its broken down state, there was no way we could get it back in either my car or the car of anyone else we knew. So, it was to U-Haul to rent a bigass truck (a technical term!) for all of a hour to schlepp the monster hither and anon, and then throw it together.

Anyways again! After the week or so in Boulder, I came on back to Albany to visit the parents, and the new four-month-old Bichon, J.J. It's hard being home without Gracie, but J.J.'s a fun puppy, and I like him. It's strange to be around a Bichon that's full of puppy energy... he weighs only seven pounds and he jumps into you hard enough when you're sitting on the ground to knock you over. Not to mention the fact that he chews everything that is or is not nailed down as he teethes, resulting in every door in the house closed all the time to keep him from electrocuting himself on computer cables or peeing on beds. Good times.


So, that's the past several months in a nutshell. It's been a good first half of 2007, I tell you what. Things haven't been all "good," per se; some of it's been downright crappy. But Amanda's made it all worth it. And I've nothing but hope for the next half of it.

Valete, omnes amici mei! Ego salveo si vos salvetis!

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DnD - Serious Business [03 Jun 2007|12:37am]
If you've ever played DnD, you get this immediately. I can't stop laughing.

Actual entry to follow shortly!

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Rogatvs svm! [07 Mar 2007|04:05pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Stolens from Tanyer!Collapse )

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Sloth, I Do Banish Thee! [17 Feb 2007|10:06pm]
[ mood | content ]

Jesus, Bill, way to not freakin' update for a long freakin' time. Time to rectify that situation...

So, plenty's happened since I last deigned to write something down here. First and foremost, obviously, the spring semester's started, resulting in a slight change to my original schedule as I had planned it out in the fall. I'm currently taking Latin Prose Composition, Archaic Latin, and German [1402] (Translated into Baylorspeak for everyone). I was supposed to take Survey of Greek in place of German, but when the music started, it became clear after a single week of classes that there was no humanly way to do those three courses, write a CAMWS paper, and find a way to get into a PhD program all at the same time; and considering that I'm taking Comps this semester in Latin, learning all of Greek literature in addition to all of Latin seemed slightly unnecessary. Ergo, the fat was trimmed. And since anything lower than 5000 classes don't count for credit anyways, it's the first class I've officially audited... and let me tell you, not being required to show up is a damn fine thing when everyone else in the class is cramming for a quiz or a test.

Prose Comp and Archaic, however, are monstrously busifying in their own ways. Last week, we read 240 PAGES of Latin. Yeah, you heard me. I bet you can't wrap your brain around that one either, eh? Not to mention the weekly quizzes and the secondary readings, which come up easily to another 50-100 pages per week (although this week we somehow managed to sneak by with only a single secondary article; it's like Mardi Gras for classicists). As it stands, those two courses are about what I did in three in the fall, and probably more than I'd end up liking for my Comps semester, but there's not a tremendous deal I can do about it. On the plus side, my Application to Candidacy is in, which means lessin' the nightmare of failing Comps, my hours are up and I'm all set to get the next two letters tacked on to the end of my name :-)

In other non-scholastic news, Amanda moved in with me this weekend. Now, that might have seemed a touch out-of-the-blue, which it was in terms of absolute timing, but it's something we were planning on anyways that worked out faster thanks to her asshole roommate: calling that one a psychotic douchebag is an insult to the psychotic douchebag community, it was so bad. So, after her roommate threw a goddamned drunken party on a Tuesday night, right before Amanda had a midterm, it really was just a matter of time if you ask me. But, I'm glad to have her here! If anything, the strangest thought in the whole process is the thought of actually having a mattress in my appartment... poor couch is beside itself with envy, I'm sure! And if nothing else, it was a fine excuse to get the place spick and span once again; my housewifery has been satiated for a good long while.

In terms of the immediate future, I'm coming up on the studying-my-ass-off period of Comps cramming... my universe implodes April 21st, in case anyone is curious! I'll try to remember to keep a tally of everything I've read as the time grows nearer, again in case anyone is curious, which I'm quite sure isn't the case. In the MORE immediate future, I'm putting down my mop and bucket tomorrow to sight in my AR-15, drink some coffee, and sleep the morning away... laters, all!


Edit - Amanda's parents/sister came to visit last weekend, and took some pictures of us up in the mountains shooting as well as a nice one of the two of us in front of the Fort Collins Cowboy, if you're curious!

( The trifecta of nonexistent curiosity is complete! )

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Capvt Anni De Novo Coepit [01 Jan 2007|10:12am]
[ mood | optimistic ]

Vale, MMVI; Salve, MMVII!

Since I've had the flu recently, my summation of the past year has had to wait until today after I ended up crashing last night at 8pm (although I did get woken up for the east and west coast festivities!). Ergo, the year of aught-six, as it were!

January - I rang in the start of the year back home with my family, as always. Not much happened the first half of the month kicking around in Albany; went back to Boulder on the 14th in a huge delayed mess of flight travel that ended with the lovely event of loosing my car in the DIA parking lot and wandering around for two hours, lugging my rifle case and bags over what probably was a few acres in a feet-blistering adventure. After I got back to town itself, things settled back down into their spring routine: started my spring classes of Tacitus, Roman Imperial History, and the pièce de résistance, Survey of Latin Literature. I killed some weekends shooting, killed some translating the whole corpus of Latin written prior to 75BC, and killed the rest not being able to move after exhausting myself.

February - I settled into the groove of work by the first. I wasn't teaching in the spring, so I had all my time to devote to classes and then appreciate the small bit of free time I had afterwards. The month took a decidedly more crappy turn on the 10th, when I slipped on some water in the bathroom in the morning, fell over onto the rim of the shower, and dislocated my shoulder / sprained my thumb (which hurt enough to originally think that I had broken it). After missing three days of school due to being too loopy on vicodin to get to campus, I learned to type left-handed on my laptop for a good month and a half while still getting through all the work that had to be done on a daily basis. The stress/work/painkillers had really drained the life out of me by the end of the month, although I felt a lot better the last day of February for Mardi Gras with the other grad students at what turned out to be the only happy hour of the spring.

March - Kinky Friedman announced his intention to run for governor of Texas on the first of the month, spurning me immediately to forget about registering in Colorado and get registered back home in the Lone Star to be able to vote for him. There was a beautiful heat wave the first two weeks of the month, getting up to 65F almost every day in what had otherwise been a cold and dreary (but not all that snowy) winter, which got me up off my duff and out to the mountains just about every weekend day to shoot; got my first NRA qualification patch on the 12th. Of course, everything pales to the 25th, when I finally went back to Texas for the first time since I had graduated! Being Spring Break, I spent the week with Zach, Landua, Tanya, and all the then-Morconoreans between Houston and Waco; I got to fight; I taught a few classes of Latin with Dr. Froberg and Dr. A; I drank a lake's worth of Common Grounds coffee; and I soaked up the awesomeness that permeates all of Texas from top to bottom.

April - April began in Texas... what more can you ask for? I got back to Boulder on the 3rd and once again was thrust into the purgatory of my spring semester; had my last Tacitus test before the final on the 5th, and resolved to not go to Imperial History anymore until the final itself (which I didn't... skipping a class, 5000 level mind you, for a month is just sexy, and all the more when you get an easy A out of it). On the 12th, I got word that Tim Mosher, who was on the varsity lacrosse team while I was on JV, had been killed in Iraq as a captain in charge of a helicopter unit just outside of Baghdad. The funeral was so big it closed the road from the church all the way down past my house... hit home literally, eh? At the end of the month, I got word that I was being assigned a section of Myth to teach in the fall, and was getting paid well to do it for a change... about bloody time! And on the 27th, my parents got to go to a Robert Earl Keen concert without me... bastardi! The month-spanning story was dating the other Amanda from when I got back from Texas to when I finished finals; uneventful by all stretches, but noteworthy as the first dating since breaking up with Katie. C'est la vie, ein?

May - Wished my parents a happy 26th anniversay on the first of the month, of course. The last month of any semester heralds the beginning of paper writing, which really wasn't all that bad in the spring, or at least so in comparison to the previous fall and then this fall; I wrote about Sallust for Survey and Hermanus the German for Tacitus, so they were topics I enjoyed. By the sixth they had been finished, and I was into the studying for my hellish Survey final, which I managed to eek out a B+ upon and get out a B in the class; Tacitus and History were both better, but it lowered my GPA a bit anyways. I watched the Derby and hit the exacta, giving me a bit more spending money for the coffee I desperately need to get through the end of any semester. By the 12th I was finished, and began the time-honored tradition of decompressing the woes of grad school into the indolence and sloth of summer, mostly by playing NS all the time and probably gaining five pounds from the iced mochas. I watched the Preakness, but didn't place, so I lost $20 or so; this was remedied by my parents being awesome and sending me wonderful Greek food from St. Sophia's Greek Festival, which is always the same weekend as the Preakness back in Albany. I got back home on the 26th, after almost running into a burning plane on the runway in Philadelphia; feel free to search the web for that story, because I assure you it scared the crap out of me way more than the AP might have captured.

June - June was entirely boring, in the way all my trips home are: free food, lots of sleep, and spending my days split between the coffee shop down at the four corners and finding something to do while my parents are at work. In fact, just about the only thing worth mentioning is on the 12th (which seems to be a very popular day for things to happen, it seems in hindsight), when my old lappy finally died. And by died, I mean caught the fuck on fire. Complete with acrid electrical smoke and burnt motherboard. I got my new one on the 20th, which is a laptop so awesome that I'd marry it if I were in Utah where crap like that is allowed. I got back to Boulder on the 29th, and proceeded to sloth it up.

July - And my now, how I did sloth it up. I attempted to get a job to fill the vast empty hours of unmitigated boredom, but by the 10th or so it had become clear that everyone else had had the same idea about a month earlier and it just sucked to be me, as it were. I took the opportunity to study my Sanskrit back up to speed along with more German, with the fine folks down at Starbucks probably getting sick to death of me in the process. There was a Beausoleil concert on the 18th which turned out to be plenty fun, even though it was pouring rain outside (and had been pouring for almost a week at that point... wet mess, July was), and every chance to sing Acadian French with a fiddle playing is about as good as it gets, eh? I set about to starting my CAMWS abstract for the year, which finally was finished sometime in September if memory serves, and which in turn tells you about how much desire I had to do work at this point in the year. I did some ranting on the nature of organized religion (a short paper, actually) for the benefit of Dave, and kicked around Boulder with a gun in my hand every chance I got, making up to Sharpshooter 1st Class with Rifles in the NRA.

August - Faced with the inevitable end of summer at this point, I made a quick trip back to Albany on the 6th so that I'd be able to actually make it to Saratoga during the season for the first time in half a decade. We had a great series of block-party style barbecues with the new neighbors that had moved in since I had left for school, which were made all the more awesome by the fact that when all was done with dinner, I could retreat into AIR CONDITIONING to sleep... there had been a streak of days at the end of July and start of August in Boulder that had easily gotten over 100F for more than two weeks, leaving me to melt on the floor of my apartment in underpants as I cursed myself over and over again for not having bought a window unit when I had the chance to get one on sale. I spent most of the weekdays up at Saratoga, not betting a whole great deal but loving to watch the races in person for a change, including a true-to-form Irish steeplechase that lasted a mind-boggling three and a half minutes, something ye other aficionados of horse racing are liable to appreciate. I got to spend my birthday at home with other people for the first time in four years, which sounds more depressing that it normal is, as at this point I've learnt to live with the poor timing of my birthday... I can always blame my parents for that one, eh? I was back on the 20th, and by the end of the month, I was thrust back into the suck of the semester grind.

September - Started dating Julia the last day of August, but that got squozed out into September where it belongs. It seemed like one of those things that could've gone well, considering she arguably liked to shoot machine guns more than I do, was more conservative than even I am, and was smart to boot; but then again, she is a woman, and women manage to lie their way through things with less resources than even MacGuyver could. The 29th: "I just don't want to date right now..."; the 31st: "I'm dating someone named Erik." Bugger. Anyways, September also meant getting to know the new crew of grad students for this year, which resulted in the reinstitution of happy hour as it was intended to be and the formation of our cadre of Jessika, Jonathan, Jason, Jason, and myself, united in our tired dejection and hatred for all things De Re Publica. In looking back, September actually was pretty shitty; aside from the above, Morconor also reconvened and voted to leave Drandmir and join Kalladen... bastardissimi. On the plus side, my squire was now Ruling Lady of Drandmir, which meant that she was firmly stuck in the old kingdom, and at least that much was right with the world. I also fixed plans firmly for heading back down to Texas in October!

October - Firmly sick of school again at this point, but happy to be gettin' paid gettin' paid to be doing it, at long last. I was writing a ten-page paper a week at this point courtesy of Ovidian Scholarship, but the middle of the month signaled the transition to discussion over writing, so my tired hand was given a marque of reprise finally. The middle of the month also marked my mum coming to Colorado for homecoming, which stretched into the week before the game and the weekend after: free food, free gas, and a triple overtime victory for Baylor that left me jumping up and down in the stands in a state of excitement I never, ever would have guessed football could trigger! The last week of the month was hell thanks to my presentation in Ovid about the Calydonian Boar Hunt... a week solid of staying in the office nigh to midnight each night and writing, which culminated in a stressed presentation for two hours that must have had me looking like a detoxing heroin addict. But it got done, and I had a solid A for 65% of my course grade, and a day after presenting, I was on a plane back to Texas, and loving every minute of what was basically a long weekend sunning myself in the glory of the homeland.

November - After a teasingly brief shot of paradise, I was back in the suck again. Most of the early month was dominated by getting through a Cicero exam for 50% of my DRP grade, with many a night spent with the cadre slugging through it. The 19th brought the totally-unexpected news of my brother, yes, my brother, going to Baylor... as I wrote at the time, in the long history of least probably stuff in the whole universe, that's pretty high up on the list. But, it's certainly a good one, and I welcomed him home to Texas with a new Beretta pistol in traditional fashion. After being hither and thither with homecoming and Texas, I didn't have the time, money, or energy to go home for Thanksgiving, and spent the break sleeping to regain some sanity, or in the library doing research for the biggest batch of papers I've ever written. However, the month is dominated by the 17th just before break, when I met Amanda! And after surely irritating her family with talking to her all the time over break, we had our first date on the 24th, and it's just been uphill from there :-)

December - Utterly consumed by paper writing and studying for the first week and a half, I woke up each day around 9am and went to bed around midnight in an orgy of getting 75 pages or so out of my head and down onto paper: Calydonian Boar Hunt for Ovid, the Ideal Republican Leader for Cicero, and Doricism in Theocritus for Hellenistic Poetry. After slugging through that and barely surviving, I spent all the time I could with my lovely Amanda, probably driving her a touch crazy in the process, but I ain't complaining :-) We had a good week and a half or so to ourselves before the "Blizzard of '06" hit, a storm which dumped 31" of the white stuff on town and resulted in my being stuck in either DIA or Philadelphia for 30 hours in the trek back home. But, I eventually got there, and settled down into the normal vasty nothingness of life in Albany. We had a nice quiet Christmas, got myself a great new digital camera, and caught the flu just in time for being feverish on New Years. But, I got to spend it semantically with Amanda (twice!) on the phone/webcam, so, the old year ended and the new one began in the best way I could have asked for :-)

And that's the year, in a nutshell; things worked out pretty good, didn't they? And I do declare, for perhaps the first time in at least a decade, I'm optimistic beyond all reckoning for the new one. Joyeuse année, optimvm capvt anni, and άληθὲς ἔτος, all my friends! Vale!

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Finis Annvalis Prima [31 Dec 2006|10:14am]
[ mood | grateful ]

I've got an actually written entry to summarize the year, but I liked this little ditty enough to get it squirreled away first...

Summary of the Year SurveyCollapse )

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