Thursday, April 24, 2008


So I've been sick for the last week or so -- a sinus infection thing that is as stubborn as its host. It usually happens once a year, so fortunately I've got the 2008 bug out of the way, though things still sound really tinny as I continue to recover. But today was the first day where I felt really, really good. Like, in a long while.

Last night I was all ambitious, thinking I would wake up fresh as a daisy at 7:30, get a workout at the gym, shower, and then head to work. I scored a 50 on that test, waking up at 8:45, showering and then hightailing it to work (Thursday is my early day). The weather has been beautiful the last few days and being able to walk to work with little to no trouble is certainly a perk. When I get to work, there is a note from Tom that Chris will be coming in to practice and wanted a pattern if possible. Since last night's PBA was still on the lanes, the hour I had scheduled for oiling now only required half that time -- bonus!

As Bowling I trickled in, Shaq asked if it was possible to prebowl after class. I told him yes, pleased with the knowledge that I would get to prebowl with someone else. You see, I hate prebowling. Besides not being a full recreation of the league experience, if I am by myself I end up rushing and generally do not bowl well. Having some to pace with helps me immensely. Plus, Shaq is a good egg so even if I don't bowl well I'll still have a good time.

Class finally ended and I gave Shaq the score sheet for prebowling. Practice went fine, with a number of errant shots made by both of us. When we finally started, we bowled TV style. This is where you bowl two frames in a row and then wait for your opponent to bowl two frames. This way each bowler gets to step back for a bit and there will be someone at the score table - two very important aspects of the game. Anyway, I was standing on board 19 and targeted 2nd arrow. I did not deviate from this position the entire session. I bowled a 236 the first game. I felt completely locked in and, despite a horrible loss of focus in the third frame of game two causing a gutterball, I regained my focus and bowled another 236. Consistent.

At this point, Shaq mentioned the possibility of me getting a triplicate. I have yet to accomplish that feat, and I agreed that 236 would be a great score to do it with. "Would that be a 7?" he asked. Realizing that he was about to do the arithmetic, I quickly said that we can figure out the math later, knowing full well that it would be a 708. I got the first strike and the second strike in my first turn. On the third frame, I sent the ball a little too far left. But the Black Widow Bite, my Platonic love, swung into the pins and managed to knock them all down. The next few shots were solid and I soon found myself with 8 strikes in a row.

I glimpsed at the clock to see that it was about five past one. "Good," I thought to myself, "Murray Ridge isn't here yet, so they probably won't be showing up at all." As soon as I finish the thought, they walk through the door. Murray Ridge is a service center for the Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled. Every Thursday they come in to bowl and it is a really cool program. However, they do require bumpers, the wheelchair ramps, and aren't necessarily aware of the concept of lane courtesy. 99% of the time this is a non-issue. Today was that magical 1%. They were using lanes 5 and 6 and we were prebowling on 3 and 4. My ninth frame was on lane 3 and not an issue (strike). During the first shot of my tenth frame, Alan was waiting for me so he could pull up the bumpers. Strike. As I waited for my ball to return for shot 11, the Murray Ridge staff used that as an opportunity to pull a wheelchair up onto the approach and help the client get into playing position. I was able to shoot once they settled (strike). As I stepped up onto the approach for my final shot, I could hear Anne tell one of the bowlers "Ok, go ahead." I stepped down immediately as one of the clients grabbed his ball for a practice shot. In fairness, Anne had no idea that I had the first 11 strikes and that this was kind of a big deal. That didn't stop me from putting the ball down and saying "oh my gawwwwwwwd," whining as my "worst case scenario" unfolded before my eyes. I fanned my hand as the bowler on 5 completed his frame, thinking not about the shot so much as I thought "okay, you are locked in and it is ALL gravy at this point." I had my 7, that was what I wanted.

I get up on the approach. Shaq, Alan, Tom, Chris and one of his PBA friends are all there. I make my approach and it felt like almost all the other approaches I made during the series. The ball came off my hand the same way it had been, going over my target. As soon as I release I lock my eyes on the ball, my hand drawn to my mouth as if I am trying to remember the last item I wanted to add to my grocery list. It was a solid pocket hit - much more solid than the last time I was in this situation. Unlike last time: ALL the pins went down.

Once I calmed down and Shaq finished his game, we had Alan double check the scoring. Oddly, both games one and two had a 10-pin error, resulting in scores of 226 for both. That triplicate would have been less impressive, resulting in a 678 series. My final series: 752.

I just wish I could have been at the beginning of league tonight to see how everyone reacted to seeing the scores -- not in a braggy way, but rather to see what sort of response people would have seeing that one of their rivals bowled out of their mind. Unfortunately, it sounds like my team struggled and the only game we won was the third one. I haven't done the official tally, but I'm secretly hoping that we lose the third game just so I can razz them about "Hey, I did everything I possibly could, what more do you want?"

And I didn't have to use my AK. Today was a good day.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


So I haven't been updating much recently, as you might have noticed. It is not because stuff hasn't been happening -- quite the contrary. It has been a hectic month and I ended up crashing last week as a result of go go GOING without rest. Fortunately, everything that is happening intertwines nicely so this post should border on coherent.

So the end of March was Spring Break and I was facing the indecision about following through and going to Syracuse, remember? Anyway, I took on a project the remainder of Spring Break where I would try to talk with the President's office to see if maybe they could apply some top-down pressure. This required me to research the College's Strategic Plan, all of my timesheets since 2005, and dusting off my George Bailey crystal ball to predict what would happen if my position were left unfilled next year. Think of it as an immersion language course where the dialect is influenced by cost-benefit analysis.

I didn't get to schedule my meeting until after my trip to Syracuse. The drive there was a bit torturous, as I was really tired before the 6 hour trek and there's nothing all that stimulating on the New York Thruway. The weather was chilly and drizzly, something that could be considered a bad sign of things to come. But after checking out the facility, listening about the details of the TRF program, and seeing just how excited the current students still were 9 months into the program totally sold me. More importantly, I finally understood that I was beyond qualified for the program and couldn't imagine not participating.

Of course, a 6 hour drive there means a 6 hour drive back, giving me a lot of time to think things through. Yes, the program is exactly what I want to do. However, what I have been doing for the last 3 years would be completely erased with no one there to keep things going. Another major concern occurred to me as I put another $30 into the gas tank: I'm not in a position to move. Specifically, the brakes needing repair, car insurance coming due, visiting a potential grad school, and a slew of other unavoidable expenses and a dwindling savings account means that I could move to Syracuse but not do anything that cost money -- including eat or acquire toiletries.

So I have a applied for a deferment of my admission and my request has been granted. What this means:

  • I will be going to Syracuse in July of 2009.

  • I will be in Oberlin in the meantime, working on saving money.

  • In the event that my job doesn't become a real job (we'll call that "status quo"), I can use the next year to prepare the staff and the facility for transition. 14 months is way easier to work with than 10 weeks.

  • The best part is I think this solution works for everyone, especially me. When I sent my defer request, I did not feel any twinges of regret or despair. And who knows, maybe some more positive change will come out of waiting one more year.

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    Monday, April 21, 2008


    Back in high school, there were a number of pairings within my group of acquaintances that non-paired individuals often referred to as "Supercouples". The term, not always used positively, was reserved for those couples who could not be referred to by their individual parts: it was never Lamis or Ryan, it was "LamisAndRyan", "ErinAndCory", etc. Fortunately this was before portmanteau became the way to refer to couples, so the word "Rymis" never came out of anyone's misguided mouth. Come to think about it, none of those Supercouples are in existence today, though their individual components are all doing their own thing and have turned out fine.

    There has been only one time at Oberlin that I have encountered the "Supercouple" phenomenon. It was my senior year and the weekend of that God forsaken bowling tournament in Pittsburgh. I was one of the drivers and the new guy on the team and his girlfriend were two of my passengers. I didn't really know either of them that well, but he was from the Pittsburgh area so if we got lost, he would be a good person to have in the car. Well, sort of. We got lost almost instantly, and he didn't know that area of the city at all. As we passed the final street we were supposed to turn on, I decided to turn on the next street to try to catch the intersection. Of course, Pittsburgh is not constructed that way, so when I turn I am faced with a 45 degree incline. This was back when I had my Lumina, so as the car struggled up the hill, the girlfriend mentions "I think I smell gas fumes." We were already about 45 minutes late, so this concern was added to the bottom of an already lengthy list.

    Add in all the shenanigans after the tournament involving dinner, I don't think I made the most positive first impression. But as we got back on the expressway to Ohio, the two of them decided to sing a couple of songs from Avenue Q, a capella, apropos of nothing. I wasn't really in the mood, but I did make a note of just how, precious?, the whole thing was. It was one of those lucid moments where you fully understand just how compatible two people can be. I seem to recall joking with Meister later about how those two must have been married for years.


    Well, they weren't officially married until this past Saturday. Congratulations Meghan and Brian!

    And thanks for not letting a poor first impression on my part complicate things :)

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    Monday, April 14, 2008


    I was hanging out with Sir Cucumber on Saturday and while eating dinner and watching Mr. Show he pulled up his data from Google Analytics. Basically, this site keeps track of webtraffic to and from any website that you specify, so long as the site has the special html/java code written in. This is how Ben, I mean Cucumber, found out that one of his weekly haiku entries on his gaming blog was linked by G4 (a video gaming news network) earlier in the day. Pretty nifty. As he checked again, the same entry was linked by Kotaku, a video game news blog that many gaming nerds flock to regularly (myself included).

    You haven't seen "Geeking Out" until a gamer has his blog linked by another blog -- all demonstrated in line graph form.

    Anyway, I decided to set up analysis for my blogs and the College Lanes site just as a curiosity. My second blog (which I haven't told anyone about yet -- be on the lookout) has yet to get any traffic, but RGD is actually getting some traffic. 5 unique hits. That's 4 people who are not me! Also, the reports tell you how people get to your site. One of the hits was from someone on Resigned Gamer. My favorite info point is what sort of web searches bring people to you.

    Google the phrase "old songs kids still listen to" and see what site is at the top of the list. Awesome.

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