My Stupid Mouth

"I just want to be liked, I just want to be funny. Looks like the joke's on me..."

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Location: Iowa, United States

Saturday, March 19

Official Launch of

Head on over to and check out my new website!

This one will no longer be updated.

Thursday, March 17

End O' the Week Link Bonanza

iPods and Poker: A good article from CardPlayer magazine about randomness in poker and the need for the human mind to create patters when in fact they don't exist.

DMB's new single: AOL First Listen provides Dave Matthews Band's new single, "American Baby." It's funky, and I am still trying to decide if I like it or not.

How to never miss a TV episode: with BitTorrent and RSS. You can actually have any TV show you want delivered directly to your hard drive in great resolution without any commercials.

NCAA Tournament Schedule: Just what it says.

Pedro's house is for sale: $105,000 for the house Pedro lived in in Napoleon Dynamite. You just know some idiot die-hard fan is going to buy it.

The LG VX8100
: The cell phone of my dreams. Literally... I have dreams about this bad boy.

St. Patrick's Day: The History Channel gives us some history (obviously) of St. Patricks day, and you can even watch a video clip about it.

Kiss me, I'm Irish.

Tuesday, March 15

March Madness

I need to update more often. So much has happened between now and the last post that I am guaranteed to not remember it all. I am constantly thinking, "oh, I should blog that" but then I don't. It kind of reminds me of Shawn and the way he always finds something better to do than shower, i.e. sleep. I support that.

Well, folks, "March Madness" is here. I'm pretty sure that this is my favorite time of year. Except for summer. And fall. But it's close. If I could, I would watch every single basketball game between now and April 4th (the national championship). Alot of the first and second round games are during spring break... how convenient! I set up a free competetive bracket on CBS Sportsline, and if you'd like to be a part of it, just email me. I have been struggling with my final bracket decisions, but I think this is what it's going to look like. Edit: My bracket can be found here (you don't have to sign up to view this one). I have Illinois, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Syracuse in the final four, and North Carolina winning it all. I had a different bracket earlier, but Shawn talked some sense into me at our neighborhood McDonald's. Thanks, buddy.

I am sad to say that last weekend my cat Mo was put to sleep. She got a urinary tract infection and the surgery was too expensive. She was such an awesome cat, and she will really be missed by myself and the rest of my family.

In news that doesn't suck, last weekend Monk & Neagle came to Luther and performed at Marty's. I heard about them sometime last semester, and actually performed their song "Stars Would Fall (I'm Crazy)" at an open mic night at Marty's. How cool that they came and did the same song on the same stage! The show was amazing, even though Trent Monk's voice was a little strained because of a cold he had. They guys had this to say about the show on their webpage, "We just played at Luther College in Decorah, IA and it was awesome. Everyone there packed into Marty's and we had a blast." Pretty generic, but cool to get mentioned nonetheless. I took a picture with the guys after the show, too.

Jake & Monk & Neagle

I applied for a youth ministry internship at my home church in West Des Moines. I believe they give two internships out. I applied the summer after my freshman year also, but Brandon (the director) said that I was too young. I think it would be such a fun and rewarding experience. Please keep it in your prayers.

This last weekend, the night after the Monk & Neagle concert, Undeclared traveled to Stoughton, Wisconsin to perform at the SHS auditorium. We did almost our entire set, a whopping thirteen songs, for a fairly good-sized audience. The song that undoubtedly rocked the hardest was "Florida", in which Mike Lang sings the solo and I do vocal percussion, as usual. I'm not even sure if I am supposed to do this, but you can download the performance of "Florida" by clicking here. We perform a few more shows and have a couple of new songs to learn for the Third Annual Fest Fest, which is tentatively scheduled for May 1st.

My good friend Andrew Stone recently purchased his own domain name and set up a sweet website for really cheap (less than $10 for a year), and his antics have inspired me to do the same. I might mess around with over spring break, we'll see. So be on the lookout for a new and improved blog/photoblog/personal webpage from me sometime in the hopefully-near-future.

Friday, February 25

Twenty-First & Four of a Kind

Forgive me for the extreme lack of updates. Much has been gone on in my life in the last month. Much. First of all, I promised a while ago that I would put up pictures of the trip to Greece & Turkey. Those pictures, as well as others, are online in my photoblog. I didn't take the time to name them all, so if you have a question as to what all those piles of rocks are, you'll have to ask me.

For those who are out of the loop, it is my regret to say that Hannah and I have broken up after nearly three years together. It was a difficult thing to go through, but I think we will both be better off. If Hannah or any of her family or friends are reading this, know that I love you all dearly, and you will always be in my heart.

In news that doesn't suck, my 21st birthday was this past Tuesday the 22nd. My mom gave me my presents the weekend before because I was home with Shawn for a show choir competition. She got me Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson's Super System, which is lovingly refered to in the poker world as the bible of poker. It's huge. She also got me a shirt and jacket, a sweet green Cubs hat, and... an electric guitar. I was actually quite shocked to see the guitar, and it's awesome to have it and just to be able to crank it up - releases stress really well. Grandma & Grandpa came through in the clutch and mailed me a card with $50. I also ordered some ridiculously cool poker chips which happened to get here on my birthday. Tonight will be the first night that they get used in a game. Anyway, on Tuesday night, Shawn and I went to Americana Bar & Grill, and after that we went downtown to Corner Bar. For the record, I didn't get wasted, but I did have my first legal drink(s). It was tight to see everyone and have a ton of people say "happy birthday". I think it was actually the best birthday I have had in a while. Now that I am 21, the only thing that I can't do legally is rent a car. I also can't get senior discounts at restaurants. Oh well.

Shawn and I started working out yesterday. I ran for a little over a mile on the treadmill, and then I did pushups, the bench press, and bicep curls. Our plan is to go every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday after choir, and then one time during the weekend. Hopefully by the end of the semester I'll be in really good shape. We'll see. I just remembered that Shawn, Joe and I went to Shawn's place in Onalaska the other weekend for a night. It was great fun... sort of a pre-birthday celebration I guess.

onalaska trip.jpg

I have been on quite a rush in online poker lately. In about two weeks, I have made over $500. Last night I played one of the most crazy hands yet. I will post the summary of the hand below, but keep these things in mind. The max you can buy in at this table is $100, so I was already up $36. My online poker handle is "mtpocket". If you ask me why I made such an unorthodox call, all I can tell you is that it was mostly gut instict and a little of watching him play a few hands. Without any further adieu, here is the hand:

Game #365751793: Texas Hold'em No Limit ($0.50/$1) - 2005/02/24 - 22:19:46 (EST)
Table "Pink" Seat 6 is the button.
Seat 1: mtpocket ($136 in chips)
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to mtpocket [Jc Jd]
hsiulanf: folds
Benafflek: calls $1
mtpocket: raises to $5
Limey: calls $5
H-Town: folds
Goodcause: folds
kopit: calls $4.50
Baited: calls $4
Benafflek: calls $4
----- FLOP ----- [4h Jh Th]
kopit: checks
Baited: checks
Benafflek: checks
mtpocket: bets $14
Limey: raises to $28
kopit: folds
Baited: folds
Benafflek: folds
mtpocket: raises to $42
Limey: raises to $103.25 and is all-in
mtpocket: calls $61.25
----- TURN ----- [4h Jh Th][Kc]
----- RIVER ----- [4h Jh Th Kc][Js]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Limey: shows [Kd Kh] (A Full House, Kings full of Jacks)
mtpocket: shows [Jc Jd] (Four of a kind, Jacks)
mtpocket collected $228.50 from Main pot

We'll end this post on a good note.

Monday, January 31

Back to School (Almost)

Although I have been home for nearly a week now, I haven't posted because I wanted to wait until I got back to school, where I have the highly-coveted LAN connection instead of this incredibly lame 56k modem setup at home. Ironically though, I am posting from home. I will post the best pictures from the trip and wrap up stories at school. Hopefully, I will post all of the pictures in the photoblog (see left panel), but that could be a lengthy task.

While you're waiting, why don't you check out this Napoleon Dynamite soundboard? I was talking to someone the other day who suggested that they will "probably make a sequel" because Napoleon is so wildly popular. I keep wondering if a sequel would just ruin the whole thing or if it would actually be as good as the first. For now I am hoping they don't make one, but if they do, I'd see it.

Have you heard yet about the Cubs 'possibly' trading Sammy Sosa to the Orioles (I say 'possibly' because it just has to be approved by the baseball commissioner, Bud Selig)? I say good riddance. Sammy is a man who is out of his prime - on the slippery downhill slope that so many professional athletes refuse to get off or even acknowledge.

I need to go finish laundry/packing before I leave for school in a few hours.

Sunday, January 23

Istanbul, Turkey

Sadly, I believe this will be my last post from the trip.We are now in Istanbul, taking the last few days of the trip slowly. We visited out last sites today, and tonight and tomorrow we have to write a final paper. Mine is about the passage in Acts about Paul in Athens. We visited the Blue Mosque yesterday, and today we saw Aya Sofia, the National Archaeological Museum of Turkey and Topkapi Palace. All were incredible.

Interestingly, yesterday afternoon we saw Dave Chapelle as we were walking back to our hotel. When we noticed that it was him, he got upset and yelled something about how he came here to 'escape us people.' A couple of people in our group snuck pictures, but I did not. I thought it was a huge coincidince to see him here.

I don't have much more to say except that although it has been great studying this part of the world, it will be very good to get home.

Thursday, January 20

Selçuk, Turkey

Hello again, this time from Selçuk, Turkey. The last three days have been somewhat paradoxical in that they have been extremely interesting - some of the coolest days on the trip - yet for all three I have been ill. I am not sure if it was something that I ate or drank or what, but it has not been fun. I woke up on Tuesday feeling nauseous to the point that I had to lie down in my hotel room during our morning class and miss the first part of the site that day. I tried to sleep in the bus to no avail, and I finally threw up. I say finally because whatever I threw up is what was making me feel so bad. I was able to go swimming at Hieropolis springs in the afternoon, but felt crappy again that night. The last two days I have had diarrhea, but I am finally beginning to feel better... please knock on some wood if it is nearby.

Last night a few classmates and I, after eating dinner, met a man who was selling carpets and he told us that his wife was from California and invited us in to his shop. We ended up chatting for nearly 3 hours with him and his wife. Apparently she met him when she was traveling five years ago and the rest of the story wrote itself, so she moved here and now they live a humble life selling carpets, among other things. We had many cups of apple tea (which is huge in Turkey) which they offered to us out of hospitality. It was a really great experience.

(The guy next to me in the Internet Cafe just let out a huge fart and nobody even reacted or said anything. My initial reaction was to laugh, but I decided I didn't want to take the chance to offend anyone by doing so. Perhaps I should offer the room my own personal fart as a tribute to my comfortability with this foreign culture. Perhaps not.)

We spent today at Ephesus, which is where Paul writes the letter of Ephesians to, and is also mentioned in Acts. The theatre there is the biggest one we have seen - in its time it would have seated over 24,000 people. We sat at the very top of it while one of our classmates read Acts 19 in a normal speaking voice and we could hear it perfectly, as if it were microphoned. Unreal. It rained today, which was a bummer, but it didn't take much away from the grandeur of the city. My photos will do the talking when I get back.

Tomorrow we visit the Ephesus museum and the Church of Saint John, and then on Saturday we fly to Istanbul which is where we stay for the remainder of the trip. It will be very bittersweet to leave this part of the world.

Can you hear me now? Good.

Sunday, January 16

Bergama, Turkey

First, forgive me if this post looks strange... the keyboard here is quite weırd. Second, it may be short because İ don't have much time. I wıll probably post again ın Selçuk.

After Kalambaka and Meteora, we went to Thessaloniki (thess-uh-lo-NEE-kee) for two days and nights. It was awesome there. I wish I had more time to write about it. Two days ago we stayed in Alexandroupolis, Greece in the nicest hotel so far - and better yet, it was right on the ocean. I just wish we could have stayed there for more than one night.

After crossıng a straight which I can' remember the name of, we are now in Bergama, the ancient site of Pergamon. The weather is considerably colder here, and by consıderably colder I mean absolutely freezıng.

Tuesday, January 11

Kalambaka, Greece

I'm sitting at SurfCity Internet Café in Kalambaka, Greece, near Meteora. We just had lunch at a fast food place (I had yet another gyro, which I love) and we spent all morning at three different monasteries in Meteora. I am almost going into overload because of all of the amazing sites that we get to see day after day. The three monasteries that we visited were St. Stephens, Holy Trinity, and Varlaam. All of the monasteries were built in the twelve or thirteen hundreds, and all of them sit on top of these huge rocks - of which I don't know the technical name. We got to actually go inside them and see the monks that live and work there. The inside of the chapels were gorgeous, but they wouldn't allow any photographs. The view from the top was breathtaking. I took this one picture of me on top of a rock with the mountains in the background that is amazing! I am getting really sad that I am unable to upload pictures, but that's okay.

Let's rewind. Two days ago we visted several sites. The first was the Areopagus, a giant rock near the Acropolis where they would hold trials back in the (ancient) day. This is the rock where Paul stood and spoke the Gospel to the Athenians, which is very well documented in Acts 17:16-34. Read it if you get a chance. It was unreal to be reading it on the actual rock upon which it was spoke.

Next we visited the ancient Roman Agora. It was very interesting, and there was another cool temple, but it wasn't my favorite thing we have visited. We had lunch, and then we took an hour tram ride down to the beach. We didn't do anything the entire afternoon except sit on the beach and watch the sunset. The water felt like it was just above freezing, so all I could do was wade to my calves, but it was great nonetheless. I wanted to get the perfect picture, so while I was there I took 55 pictures, and I now have it down to like 25 or so from just the beach alone. It was so peacful, and it was the first time I have seen the actual ocean. I have been to NYC and seen the harbor, but I wouldn't count that as the ocean. This I would count. Too bad I couldn't have been spending it with people who are really close to me... I am thinking of all of you.

That night we had a Greek woman that my professor knows host us at a restaurant that she likes. She taught us traditional Greek dances which were fun to do, but they got old really fast and the woman that was teaching us was getting confused, so we were really confused too. It was fun though. The food was unbelievable. They brought us as appetizers cheese pie, tzaziki, and fried zucchini. I am glad that I have been trying alot of the food, because it is all really good. Mom, if you're reading this I hope you're proud. The main course was really good pork. I like Greek food.

We packed our bags and left Athens yesterday morning and traveled to the ancient city of Delphi. This is where the famous Oracle of the ancient world was located, and the whole city is built into the side of a mountain. I am running out of superlatives to descibe these wonderful sites. Wow. At the top of the city is a Roman stadium, where they used to hold the Pythian games every 4 years. All four guys on the trip and one of the girls raced in the stadium from one end to the other, just like the ancient athletes would have, and I won. It was great. Not so much afterwards, when I felt like I was going to throw up (it was just under 200 meters), but the feeling of victory was nice. We ate lunch in modern Delphi in a restaurant with an amazing view, and then we rode the bus all the way to Kalambaka, which is where I am now.

I hope all is well at home. I love you all.

Saturday, January 8

Athens, Greece - Day 4

The past couple of days have been really great. We are starting to get more familiar with the city and the people and some of the language, which make alot of things easier and more relaxed.

Yesterday we spent the day at ancient Corinth, where the Apostle Paul spent 18 months of his life and later wrote two letters, 1 and 2 Corinthians. The ruins in Corinth were alot more "hands-on," in that we could walk around and touch alot more stuff than we could at the Acropolis. There was a museum right by the site and it had some incredible stuff. I just got such a rush from walking down the same road that Paul did nearly 2000 years ago to bring the Good News to the Corinthians. The temple of Apollo was in ancient Corinth, one of the oldest standing forums. It was built in the 6th century BCE, and the backdrop was what is known as the Acrocorinth, a big mountain with a fortress on the top overlooking the city of Corinth and the sea. Again, I took lots of beautiful pictures that I regret I am unable to post. If you are really interested, you can Google a image search of Ancient Corinth. Here you can see the temple of Apollo with the Acrocorinth in the background. On the way back to Athens we stopped and ate at a Greek fast food restaurant called Goody's and then walked on the bridge over the Corinth canal. It was breathtaking. It took 9 seconds for my spit to hit the water.

Last night we ate at the cutest restaurant I have ever seen which was on the cutest street I have ever seen (and I have no problem saying they were cute... you would too if you had seen them). When you picture a romantic night on the town, you picture this road and this restaurant. We had a chicken meal with a name that I can't remember but it was delicious. We also all got served wine, which I tried and thought was gross, so I stuck to the water.

This morning we went to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens for the entire morning. It was almost too much for me to take in. It had a ton of really interesting jewelry, pottery, sculptures, etc. I took several pictures there of my most favorite items... I am trying to save pictures. I think the memory card holds about 300 and I have 79 right now. I have deleted several... but at this pace I will be way over the mark. Oh well. We were going to go to the ancient agora of Greece today, but we got there too late, so we just ended up having the afternoon off, which most of us spent shopping. I bought a Greece national soccer team jersey which is pretty kick-butt.

Tomorrow we visit a couple of sites in the morning and then I think in the afternoon we are going to take a tram down to the beach. I hope those of you who are freezing in a foot of snow think about me chilling on a beach on the Mediterranean sea... it really should warm your heart. After dinner tonight some of us might take a tram to the top of one of the hills and enjoy the view of Athens at night and snap a few pictures.

I am in Greece.

Thursday, January 6

Athens, Greece

Greetings from Bits and Bytes, an internet café in the heart of Athens. It has been the most unbelievable few days already.

We got off the plane in Athens and went straight to our hotel. The Hotel Parthenon. Named so because about two blocks away stands the most impressive sight in all of Greece - the Acropolis (on which the Parthenon stands). Everything here looks so cool. I have said many times already that I feel like I am in a movie, or I feel like I am in a video game that takes place in Greece or some other European country. The hotel is nice - it's not the Hilton, but its not a Motel 8 either. This morning I woke up at about 6 because I couldn't sleep and did my homework for today which was to read an article and then journal about it. I had cracked open the balcony door so that the room would cool down, and while I was journaling, I felt compelled to write down was I was experiencing. It is short, but this is what I wrote: Church bells and singing birds greet the rising of the aged Athenian sun. The morning air is crisp. Cool.

The group got together after breakfast and headed up to the Acropolis, a few minutes' walk from the hotel. I didn't need a jacket, even though the air was cool, and it turned out to be the nicest day I have ever experienced in January. We walked past the Theatre of Dionysus up to the Propylaia. As soon as we got through the Propylaia, the Parthenon came into view. It is one of the coolest, most majestic things I have ever seen. We were also on one of the tallest of the four hills of Athens, and the view of the city was breathtaking. The city of Athens sprawled out in every directions until the mountains or the sea stopped it. I have seen many pictures of the Acropolis, most recently on the televised events of the Olympic games, but pictures cannot do it justice (although I took plenty). The place is UGE. No that is not a typo, it is "huge" without an "h" for emphasis - I'll explain later for those who don't understand. I really don't know how to describe how beautiful the whole thing was. It was just so cool to see all of the history and passion and artwork and everything.

We went back down and sat in the Theatre of Dionysus and talked about the article we read, which discussed the removal of some really cool and important stuff from the Parthenon. It just so happened that a Greek man was near us and he actually talked to us about his take on the whole thing. He had a real passion in his voice and it was so cool to hear him talk about his homeland and his people with such pride. We were then given the afternoon off - to do whatever we please. That is why I am writing this right now. I have been walking around the Plaka for about an hour and had to ask a few people in order to find this place, but I got here.

I am having a blast so far, and I am excited for what is to come. It has been great to get emails from people already and to be able to keep in contact with home. Unfortunately, I am unable to upload pictures right now but I have already taken a bunch of really good ones - thanks to the Mountain Man for letting me borrow his camera.

I will probably write again two or three times from this same café before we head to Meteora. Tomorrow we take a bus and visit Corinth for the whole day.

Ah, yes. I forgot to mention that I purchased The Da Vinci Code while in the Amsterdam airport. I wanted to buy it earlier but I didn't want to have the hardback copy because of the wear and tear this trip would inevitably bring. The lady that sold me Angels & Demons told me that the Code was not available in paperback. Oh but it is... just not in the US.

I will post again soon.

Wednesday, January 5

Amsterdam Schiphol, Holland

I am sitting in the International Airport of Amsterdam Holland. We have a 4 hour layover here and then another 3 1/2 hour flight on top of the already 10 or so hours we have spent flying from Minneapolis to Chicago and then from Chicago to here.

Today's interesting fact that I can't believe I didn't know: The Netherlands and Holland are one in the same. I literally walked into this airport and said "Why does everything say Holland? I thought we were in The Netherlands." My professor, Melanie (MJD, as it were) looked at me and smiled as if I were making my usual sarcastic joke. Oh, but I was not. I figured it out a few minutes later and kept my idiocy to myself. I am in Holland. I am in the Netherlands.

I finished Angels & Demons. AMAZING. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I loved it. I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to get to the end of the book so badly but I didn't want it to end. Anyway, I only have 3 minutes of internet time left. I am exhausted already. It's 7:20am here.

Almost to Athens.

Thursday, December 30

Greece & Turkey: Itinerary and Info

I figured I would put some information here so anyone who is interested can see what I am up to on any given day and whatnot. Some of this is just info that I have looked up that I think is interesting, such as the current exhange rate of the US Dollar to the Euro, which is currently 0.734 USD per Euro. You'll notice the steady decline in the value of the dollar over the last month. It is even worse if you go back three months.

The weather for Athens will be about 55-60 and sunny for the five days that I am there. Here is the current weather for Istanbul, and the current satellite for all of Europe.

I bought the book Angels & Demons by Dan Brown for reading on my trip, and started reading it last night. It's the "prequel" to The Da Vinci Code. I've never read the Code but what I have read of Angels & Demons so far is really good. I digress.

1/3 - Travel to Minneapolis
1/4 - Leave from Minneapolis, USA
1/5 - Arrive in Athens, Greece
1/6 - Athens, Greece
1/7 - Athens, Greece
1/8 - Athens, Greece
1/9 - Athens, Greece
1/10 - Meteora, Greece
1/11 - Meteora, Greece
1/12 - Thessaloniki, Greece
1/13 - Thessaloniki, Greece
1/14 - Alexandroupolis, Greece
1/15 - Bergama, Turkey
1/16 - Bergama, Turkey
1/17 - Pamukkale, Turkey
1/18 - Seljuk, Turkey (Hieropolis springs)
1/19 - Seljuk, Turkey (Didyma)
1/20 - Seljuk, Turkey
1/21 - Seljuk, Turkey
1/22 - Istanbul, Turkey (Aya Sofia)
1/23 - Istanbul, Turkey (Sultanahmet)
1/24 - Istanbul, Turkey (Topkapi Palace)
1/25 - Leave for Minneapolis, USA

I mentioned this before, but I am going to try my best to update this blog throughout the trip. I don't know if/when/how I will have access to the internet, but if/when I do, I will definately post. Please leave comments below where it says "(#) comments" so that I may keep up with you as well. All comments are forwarded directly to my email.

Monday, December 27

Post-Christmas Thoughts

Christmas is over. Finally. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it is really exhausting. For me it begins Christmas Eve and continues for 48 non-stop hours of both nuclear family and random 4th step-cousins. Christmas with my step-mom's side of the family could be filmed and aired as the Blue Collar Christmas Special. I mean, really, it's ridiculous. After last year's gifts of a spark plug and a coffee mug heater, my grandparents flew in out of left field got my little brother and I each a poker table. I got a bunch of cash for my trip - some of which I used along with gift cards to buy some new khakis and a couple of shirts. I got Hannah a book of poetry by Pablo Neruda, and I am going to get her the rest of her "Christmas gifts" while I am abroad. My mom also got me a TempurPedic® pillow which is simply glorious.

Although I did not have the best semester ever academically, I ended up doing better than I thought I would. I submitted a proposal for my own independant major - "Religious Education and the Arts" - and in order for someone to completer his or her major, he needs to get a C or better in all of the classes within the major. Two of the classes I was taking this semester were a part of my proposed major, and I was scared that I might not get a C or better in one of them, but by God's grace, I pulled off a C. I am hoping and praying that my extended absence from campus, spending time with loved ones and studying abroad will rejuvinate me and so I can come back and kick second semester right in the arse.

I am currently listening to a song called Someday by the British band Embrace. They are a phenomenal group who sound a bit like Coldplay. If you get a chance, listen to some of their stuff. Someday happens to be my favorite - a tough choice - on their album Out of Nothing.

Hannah is leaving for a Campus Crusade conference in the Twin Cities tomorrow, so I won't really have anything to do for the rest of the week except play Need for Speed: Underground 2, which I got from Santa.

Friday, December 17

Jumps and Oceans

This was an interesting day. I had my last final - Sociology of the Family - in the morning, and then I came back to my room and lounged for several hours. It was glorious. Then Shawn, Joe, Mark and I all went to Bookends & Beans to celebrate the end of the semester. Once again, the Chai was ridiculicious. Because it was the last day of the semester all the RAs had to go through the residents' rooms and make sure that they checked out properly and that there were no empty beer cans or meth labs lying around. Luckily, it was a breeze. Last year, though, Nick and I found a couple of empty 20 oz. Pepsi bottles with pee in them. It was disgusting, confusing and akward... but funny now.

I said goodbye to Shawn and a few other RAs and then Joe and I put the first of the Indiana Jones trilogy in. After the movie we went to Ocean's 12. This is where it gets good. We walk out of theatre and get in my car. I put the keys in the ignition, turn the key and my car goes " ". Silence. Yep, I left the lights on. It must have been 7º outside and we were a mile from campus, which is where Joe's car - my jump - was. We walked, I froze. Then it took nearly a half hour for us to get the cables hooked up correctly because the geniuses at Buick decided one day that it would be funny if the battery was buried beneath a maze of steel and hozes. Good one, guys. Alas, the car started and we got some drinks at Kum & Go. Now we're watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with one more to go.

I'm going home tomorrow and can't wait. I think I am going to sleep for a few days and then get up for Christmas and then go back to sleep until I have to leave for Greece and Turkey. Mmmmm, turkey.

A picture of Joe and I from earlier this evening.

P.S. Disregard anything that you have heard. Ocean's 12 is awesome.

Wednesday, December 15

Speed 3: Athenian Antics

"A Greek public bus with about 27 people aboard was hijacked and shots were fired at police. Initial reports said that at least two people apparently armed with shotguns apparently took control of the bus just before dawn." Full story.

Hopefully it doesn't happen while I am over there. But hey, it was only "the fifth time a bus has been hijacked since 1999." Note to self: walk.

Tuesday, December 14

'Twas the Night Before Finals

‘Twas the night before finals, and all through the college, the students were praying for last minute knowledge. Most were quite sleepy, but none touched their beds, while visions of essays danced in their heads. Out in the taverns, a few were still drinking, and hoping that liquor would free up their thinking. In my own room, I had been pacing, and dreading exams I soon would be facing. My roommate was speechless, his nose in his books, and my comments to him drew unfriendly looks. I drained all the coffee, and brewed a new pot, no longer caring that my nerves were shot. I stared at my notes, but my thoughts were muddy, my eyes went a blur, I just couldn't study. "Some pizza might help," I said with a shiver, but each place I called refused to deliver. I'd nearly concluded that life was too cruel, with futures depending on grades had in school. When all of the sudden, our door opened wide, and Patron Saint Put-It-Off ambled inside. His spirit was careless, his manner was mellow, and all of the sudden he started to bellow, "On Cliff Notes, on Crib Notes, on Last Years Exams. On Wingit and Slingit, and Last Minute Crams." His message delivered, he vanished from sight, but we heard him laughing outside in the night. Your teachers have pegged you, so just do your best. Happy finals to all, and to all a good test.

Monday, December 13

Finals and Vanilla Chai

I am testing out a new look and location for the blog. At the bottom of the post, leave a comment and tell me what you think. The new setup has various bonuses. It is online based, so I can post from any computer any time I want. I was previously limited to only my personal computer at school. Now I will be able to post at home and - hopefully - while I am in Greece and Turkey during January. That way I can save many people from getting annoying emails. Let me know what you think.

Finals week. I just finished my first and easiest final: Greek. I have three finals left, all three of which require papers 7 pages or more in length and 2 of which have tests as well. I don't have any tests tomorrow, but two on Wednesday and one on Thursday. I could leave for home on Thursday night if I wanted (and would have to if I weren't an RA), but I am going to stay on campus until Friday afternoon and hang out with Joe. We currently have plans to go see Ocean's 12 and then come back and watch all three movies in the Indiana Jones trilogy. I also have to pack everything that I will need for all of break and January, so that could take a while. Knowing my luck I'll forget something important here at school (i.e. passport) and have to make an 8 hour drive to get it.

I just got back from Bookends & Beans, my new favorite place on the earth. I am currently sipping the best (prounounced "thee" for emphasis, even though the following word begins with a consonant) cup of vanilla chai I have ever had. Because it tastes identical to all of the chais I have ordered from there, one could argue that it is one of the best cups of vanilla chai I have ever had. I disagree. It's this one.

More later.