December 2004

Ocean's Twelve

I was at home today without anything to do. There were some interesting circumstances surrounding my efforts to acquire a laptop. My Dad, brothers and I went to see Ocean's 12 this evening while my mom was out with a friend. I am rather fond of the first one, a remake in itself. This movie was entertaining, but not nearly as sharp as it's predecessor. It does come across as pretty obvious milking by hollywood.

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Long Work Day

I believe this was Dad's last day of jury duty. This being such a day, Dad and I left much earlier than usual so he could be at the court house on time at 8:30. I had some reports to do and got them done over the course of the day. Mom picked me up around five. Later in the evening I started watching The Manchurian Candidate from 1962. I was only able to stay awake for about an hour into it, after which I went to bed.

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Trip to Natchitoches

I had to get up early this morning to accompany Dad on a little car trip to Natchitoches to pick up Jeff from school for the Christmas break. I think we left around eight. The trip up there was over five hours. About hour or so into the trip up we passed the Tanger Outlet Center, a rather sizable strip mall with a collection of outlet stores. We stopped and went to the Gap store for a little while. I ended up buying some shirts and a pair of jeans. There were other stores to visit but we kinda had a schedule to keep. We got back on the road for the rest of the trip. We arrived somewhere around noon. After stopping at a gas station, we made our way to Jeff’s school to pick up him and his stuff. We were at his dorm for a few minutes while he got his stuff together. After getting things in the trunk we left and stopped at a nearby McDonalds for lunch. We got food to go and ate on the road home. I had my usual. On the way home we stopped twice for a few minutes. We got home sometime after seven. We had leftover red beans for dinner. I watched Man on Fire in the late evening.

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Fixing Stuff

I didn’t go to work today, maybe just because Dad wanted me to dry the floor in the bathroom that got soaked last night due to a broken toilet. I passed the steam cleaner over the floor a couple of times over the course of the morning, picking up a scary amount of water. I later replaced the flush mechanism thingy, which solved a couple of problems. Later in the evening I replaced the foam rings on the woofer speakers. They had rotted and broke apart. I spent a few hours cleaning out the old foam and glue and then replaced it with the ones Dad had ordered from eBay. Having finished that, I used the computer for a little while before bed.

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Before leaving the house this morning, I prepared seasoning for red beans and started dinner. Dad wanted a patient spreadsheet updated at work so he could calculate bill reductions. As a result, most of my workday was spent in front of a laptop and a bunch of file boxes. Nothing of circumstance happened in the evening unless you count the toilet overflowing.

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The family went shopping this afternoon. We went to the mall and Wal-Mart. While at the mall we stopped in sevral stores as most mall-goers do. Mom and dad bought stuff for people and I bought a Dilbert day-to-day calendar for next year and these gel things you put in your shoes. I think I talked to Khadijah on the phone for a while late in the evening.

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Cleaning the Floors

We did a lot of housekeeping this afternoon. We cleaned the floors in the living areas with the steam cleaner, which involved moving alot of furniture around and waiting for the floors to dry. Andrew and Mom put the Christmas tree up this evening. I fixed one of the La-Z-Boy recliners that broke again in a diffrent place. Late in the evening I watched It Happened One Night, which was surprisingly amusing.

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I'm pretty sure I went to work today. I think thsi was the day the outer shell parts for my MP3 player came in the mail. A simple sugury has been of great improvement. I can't recall any other details about this day at the moment.

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Another Early Day

I had to get up early again this morning to be at the office before 8:30 this morning so dad could make jury duty today. I actually had work to do today though, with several reports to do over the course of the day. I 'paced myself' rather well so I had things to do througout the work day. mom picked me up at about 5:30. Dad cooked dinner this evening and we ate shortly after I got home. I watched The Graduate this evening and was on the computer for a short while before bed.

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The End of the Beginning

Today marked the end of my first semester in college. But before I could get to that, Dad and I had a little chore this morning. I had to get up early again so we could bring Doc to the federal court building on Poydras St. It was a bit of a hassle getting the 600 pound man up to the fifth floor but it wasn’t so bad. Having dropped him off I got my stuff and left to walk to the New Orleans Center for my final exam in English class. On my Dad’s suggestion, I stopped to get some new shoes before class since I had over an hour to spare. I stopped in a Foot Locker on Canal St. and got some black K-Swiss shoes, much like the worn out pair I had before. With new shoes on my feet I walked to the mall. I got to school about a half hour before class started, giving me some time to waste on eBay. When class started, Professor Greene gave us an Op-Ed by Bill O’Reilly to write a reader response to. It took me a bit over an hour to type an essay in the Mac lab. Having finished that, I met Ann for lunch at 1:45, a bit late. I got some pizza and breadsticks. After lunch I caught the shuttle uptown and wen to the lab in Gibson Hall. After about an hour listening to Limbaugh and browsing around I started writing a story for a late journalism assignment. I thought the story I wrote was pretty weak but I suppose it’s better than an F. I walked to Norman Mayer after printing it out. The exam started promptly after class convened. There were a few questions I was uncertain on but overall I was pleased. We finished by about 6:30. Melanie and I walked to the library where I was to meet my dad. Melanie needed a ride so I offered on Dad’s behalf. We sat infront of the library for about a half hour until Dad arrived and got us all home. On the way we stopped at KFC to get some dinner for ourselves as nothing was prepared at the house. Later in the evening I watched The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, a most enjoyable western. Before going to bed I spoke with Kali on the phone for almost two hours.

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Long Work Day

Today started considerably earlier than most. Dad needed me at the office this morning since he was away at jury duty. I wasn't left with any work so I suppose I was there merely to baby-sit. I typed Monday's lengthy entry and played several games of FreeCell with an impressive winning streak. Doc arrived at three to see patients. Dad arrived later in the afternoon. He did some work and we left the office around six. Mom made some white beans for dinner. Later in the evening I watched Rules of Engagement.

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Info. Sys. Exam and American String Quartet Concert

I got dropped off at the mall this morning with plenty of time to spare. I got my usual from Dunkin Donuts and went to the lab to browse eBay and wait for class to start. Unfortunately it never did because there was no English class today. A session appeared on the syllabus but I suppose the exam is Wednesday. With no class to worry about I wandered the mall for a short while. Tulane’s newly formed concert band was performing Christmas music in the mall and I got a few pictures. I left the mall around 12:15, thinking I might catch the hour’s shuttle uptown. I missed it but it hardly mattered with all the time on my hands. I walked to a hotel next to the Tidewater building and sat in the lobby for a while and tried to study for this evening’s test. I didn’t make much progress given the cryptic curriculum. After about 45 minutes I left to catch the shuttle. I got off in front of Rosen House and went the Frostop and got a burger and fries for lunch. After eating I walked to the library. I took a seat on the second floor and opened my info. systems book again. After about an hour I got tired of trying to memorize three chapters and closed the book and relaxed for a while and listened to some music. Having nearly drifted off to sleep I got up and walked to Gibson Hall and went to the lab in there for a couple hours. I went to the classroom a bit early so I could take a last look at my notes. Several people were already there. I didn’t have much luck with the exam, mostly because I had trouble remembering numbered lists of vague IT terms. The curve could give me a passing grade though, and I’ve done reasonably well on my other tests so I’m not worried. After class I walked to Dixon Hall to attend a concert. Richard Stoltzman and the American String Quartet performed this evening. I got there pretty early. The concert wasn’t to start until eight. Dad met me there and we went in when the doors opened at 7:30. I took a seat third row center. Melanie arrived about 10 minutes after we sat down. The concert started on time. The opening piece was Mozart’s Quartet in D Major, K. 575. The music was good and the musicians were incredibly talented. There were two violin players, a viola and a cello. This was my first chamber music concert. I was a bit confused at first as there was no applause between the movements. The music stopped only briefly, allowing the audience to cough and adjust their positions in their seats. I suppose I’m adjusted to the liberal applause that goes along with jazz performances where some applause follows each solo. The audience makes up for it at the end of each piece. Following Mozart was a piece by Shostakovich. The opening movement sounded like a train wreck, loud and violent. The piece calmed down as the movements passed. I must say Mozart was a far superior composer. Following Shostakovich was an intermission of about 15 minutes. This gave a chance for the performers to rest their arms and the audience to breathe, cough and move around. Following the break, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman joined the ensemble for a quintet for clarinet and strings by Brahms. I thought the clarinet was being drowned out in the first movement but the instrument later got a more prominent role. After the last piece and a few minutes of applause, the performers came back for an encore with the last movement of another Mozart piece. The concert concluded at about 10:20. I was surprised that it had lasted so long, although it didn’t feel like two hours, which I suppose is a credit to the performance, which I though was excellent. The American String Quartet is widely regarded as best in the country. After the show, Dad and I went to The Boot for a late dinner. We invited Melanie but she said she had to get to bed so we took her home. Dad and I both got a hamburger and fries, my second of the day. The Boot makes pretty good burgers. We watched the better part of the second half of the Seahawks and Cowboys game. It was a pretty good game with the Seahawks coming back from behind. The lead changed hands a few times in the last few minutes in the game and the Cowboys came out on top, winning by four points. After the game we left and went home. We got back at 11:30. I was tired and went right to bed, knowing I would have to get up early tomorrow.

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We dropped by grandma's house this morning to pick her up to go to church. Dad and Andrew went to the Saints game, a game I'm not sorry I missed. After church we went to lunch at McDonalds. Shortly after getting home they went shopping and I played Halo 2 for a while. Later in the evening I made spagheti and meatballs for dinner and watched part of a biography of Ben Franklin.

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Tulane vs. Louisville

I went to class for the last time on Saturday morning today. We took the 'final exam,' the second of I believe three tests. It was not particularly difficuly and I was finished at quarter to ten. Knowing it would not take long, Dad was willing to wait and give me a ride home. After being home for a few hours, Dad, Andrew and I went to see Tulane's last home game against Louisville. We weren't expectiing a win or even a good game against the #7 team in the country. We were not surprised either, with a final score of 55-7. Thanksfuly enough, we left early as my parent's had a Chirstmas party to attend. On the way home I was dropped off at Eisenhower so I could go vote. I was under the impression that I would be voting in the congressional election, but all that was on the ballot was a civil court position. Incidentally, the democrat candidate Charlie Melancon won by 517 votes. Andrew and I spent the evening at home. We had a pizza delivered and both played Halo 2 online for a while and later watched Big Fish. It was certainly an interesting and amusing movie to watch. I was on the computer later in the evening but I got to bed at a decent hour.

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