February 2008

Lazy Post

After class on both Tuesday and Wednesday, I went to Tulane baseball games versus Southeastern Louisiana and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette respectively. It was exceptionally cold on Tuesday and a comedy of errors led the game into extra innings. Tulane managed to pull out a win 4-3 after 12 innings but we left after the 11th. Tulane dominated ULL on Wednesday 10-1. It wasn’t windy that day so the cold was much more tolerable. Over the last two nights I finished watching Gone with the Wind and saw Heat.Dad and I arrived at the office after 11 this afternoon. Dad drove me to campus at about 4:30 because he had to stop by the ticket office. As I was walking to the LBC I ran into Patrick who was apparently wandering aimlessly. He was at the LBC with me for a little while before venturing off.This evening’s small group communications class was the third and hopefully final week of first group discussions. I did mine third this evening. My topic was increasing attendance at Tulane football games. Generally my turn went pretty well although apparently I still say “um” a lot when addressing a group. That was a recurring problem in my last speech class but I improved in it.After class I walked to Willow lab to wait for a little while before ballroom this evening. This evening’s session was the second week of waltz. I was able to pick up on the steps pretty well tonight, at least until Tammy rearranged us into a circle and I totally forgot what I was supposed to do.Afterward, I stuck around for intermediate east coast swing lessons which started tonight at 10. Including myself there were about 12 people remaining. Swing was the dance style I started with when I first joined ballroom, so the basic steps were familiar to me. It was a lot of fun although I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. It would be nice if I could keep up at this level but I would quickly become an annoyance.After the second session I walked with Andrey to Mayer dorm. A number of people were already there. Eventually a group of us left to go to Verz Cruz on Maple. In our group were myself, Andrey, Patrick, Jason, Veronica and Shona. When we got there we found the place was closed. Judging by the signage on the door they don’t have late hours anymore. We walked across the street to the new Bruno’s but didn’t stay long because there were no free tables. We went to the old Bruno’s instead which had some room. The lot of us were there until we left at about 1:30. I walked back with Jason and Shona to her dorm because I had to pick up my jacked and book bag. With my belongings in hand I ended up at the Rat for a while to get something to eat to go with the beverages I had earlier. Sometimes before three I left and got a cab home.

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First Mid-Term

I more or less had the day off. Dad left at about 11 to retrieve Jeff from the Greyhound station. We went to the office not long after he arrived back arrived. We were at the office for about an hour before Dad dropped me at the shuttle. I wanted some time to study for the test this evening. After I got off the bus I walked over to the ticket office in the Wilson center. I called there this morning to inquire about the tripod ring I left clamped to an armrest in Turchin Stadium yesterday. I spoke with ‘Brent,’ who was kind enough to go find it. On the way to pick it up I bumped into Patrick and he walked with me for a while.Having retrieved my drastically overpriced camera accessory, we walked back to the LBC. I got a smoothie and sat with my laptop for a while to try and study for the test this evening. I re(read) some of the past reading assignments and read some more about the National Register of Historic Places. It all felt pretty futile as I was doing it.I walked to Hebert a good half hour before class. The test this evening consisted of 10 short answer identifications and a choice of two of five essay topics. Although I was worried about bombing this test, I walked away feeling fine. If the professor is satisfied with my essays, which I thought were decent, I should get a good grade.I called Dad after class and he told me to wait in LBC for him to pick me up. At the time I didn’t know he was stopping at the hospital to visit Grandma before picking me up. I waited for a little over an hour before he arrived. Later that evening I watched some of Gone with the Wind. I’ve been watching the movie in small parts over the last week or so.

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I stayed home from the baseball game on Saturday to get some things done at home. I intended to clean my room, do some laundry, clean out the inside of my desktop computer and do some reading for school, but ultimately I only got my computer clean and watched The Dish.On Sunday, Dad and I went to the third and final game of the Illinois-Chicago game. They won 4-3 on Saturday. The weather could not have been better. Temperatures were pleasantly mild and it was largely sunny. Our seats today were in section 209, not as low as I might like but it’s a fine vantage point. The stadium was only about half full so I was able to move down later and shoot some passable pictures. UIC scored first with two runs in the top of the second. Tulane answered with three runs in the bottom of the third to take the lead. Tulane scored five more runs in the bottom of the fifth including a 2 RBI home run by Jared Dyer. Freshman pitcher Robby Broach from Rummel High School pitched five decent innings in his first appearance at Tulane. The final score was 9-2. After the game they let kids ‘run the bases’ on the field and the team signed autographs in the dugout. Dad and I got home sometime around five. Mom made smothered chicken for dinner. Later that evening, I sorted though the pictures I took and uploaded a good handful of them.

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Greer Field at Turchin Stadium

After work this afternoon, Dad and I went down to the new Turchin Stadium for Tulane baseball team’s opening game. Mom met us where we parked, on the Claiborne Avenue neutral ground. After a little while we walked across the street to the Frostop for something to eat before the game. I wasn’t very hungry so I just got a milkshake and some onion rings.After “dinner,” we walked down to the stadium before its’ official opening. There was a crowd congregates around the marching band and flag team. There was a ribbon cutting at about 5:30 preceded by speeches by athletic director Rick Dickson, Tulane president Scott Cowen, board chairman Philip Greer, for whom the field is names and baseball head coach Rick Jones. I was right up front by the podium to shoot some pictures of those speaking. Afterward I managed to find Andrew and my parents so we could walk in.This was my first time in the new stadium, although I’ve seen it frequently from the outside for the last few years, and there was a webcam that you could track construction progress with. In short, it’s an awesome new stadium, much bigger than what was in its place. There is also a huge new video board adjacent to left field. New Orleans native Irma Thomas sung the national anthem which was followed by an impressive fireworks display.Our seats for the game were in the left field bleachers, adequate for watching the game but useless for taking pictures of the on-field action. Tulane handled the opposing team from the University of Illinois at Chicago without too much trouble. Shooter hunt opened the game with three strikeouts and in the bottom of the first scored three runs. Tulane pretty much coasted for the remainder of the game, scoring three more runs including a homer in the fifth. The final score was 6-0.Mom left the game early and Dad left in the seventh to make a trip to the office. After the game, Andrew and I walked to Felipe’s to wait to be retrieved.

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It was dark and raining profusely outside when finally woke up at about quarter to ten. Luckily Dad was in no hurry to drive in that weather. We finally left for the office at about 11:30. Over the course of the workday I worked on some dictation and got a number of reports I’ve done in previous days ready to mail out.Dad and I left the office at 5:15 to go to campus. We continued the group discussions in ‘small group communications’ class. They weren’t quite as entertaining as last week. I only participated in one tonight about campus parking.After class I walked with Ms. Ebel to her car and then over to the Willow lab for a few minutes. Following that I went to Reily for ballroom dancing this evening. This week was the first of four waltz lessons. There was a nice crowd this evening with several new faces. The basic step for waltz is essentially the box step which I regret was actually a bit of a challenge. After the lesson I caught a cab home in front of the LBC.

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Tulane vs. Memphis

Comparatively speaking, the office was quiet at the office for a Wednesday, at least as long as I was there. Dad later told me we had right new patients today. I got a ride down Canal to the shuttle at 3:30.This afternoon’s weather and climate class was largely about air pressure. The class also covered chapter seven but I left at the break to get to tonight’s Tulane basketball game early. Tulane played undefeated Memphis at Fogelman this evening at seven. Before the game there was a band playing outside and WOW caf had some food for sale. I got some of the mediocre jambalaya having skipped lunch today, except for a cannoli at two.Attendance at the game this evening was very impressive in both size and enthusiasm. Fogelman looked sold out. The atmosphere remained impressively positive in spite of what looked like a blowout on the court. Tulane has a perfectly respectable basketball team but they didn’t look so great against what is probably the best college team in the country. At the half, Tulane was down 27-46 and the final score was 71-97.After the game, I went down to the Boot by myself to get a drink and wait for Mom and Dad to come pick me up. They were already out for the evening; tonight is their 26th wedding anniversary. Later on I caught up on some TV watching before bed.

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Dad and I got to the office slightly early today. I think he had to leave the office not long after arriving so it was just me and Chander minding the store today. Like most Tuesdays the office was pretty quiet. Dad arrived at five to take me to campus for class this evening.Tonight’s lecture in pirate societies class was about the politics and economics of piracy. I had a headache and felt rather tired and was barely able to keep my eyes open. After the break I was able to wake myself up. We also sorted out who’s who for the pirate trials at the end of the semester.After class I took both the shuttle and a cab to get home. I watched Ocean’s 13 and went to bed soon after as I still had a headache.

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Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

This weekend was rather dull although Sunday was my Dad’s birthday. I figured I’d be going out one way or another on Saturday. Christy invited me to come with her and her friends as she was going out for her 23rd birthday. I never heard back from her day-of, however. There was also a swing dancing event that same night but once I figured I wouldn’t be doing Plan A I didn’t feel like bothering to get over the river.Dad brought the doctor into the Mid-City office this afternoon to see a couple patients around one. I got a couple reports done and Dad took me to campus not long after three as it wasn’t worth the trouble for me to go out to Metairie and then back in two hours. I went to the LBC for a while, got a smoothie and caught up on log entries. At about 4:30 I walked over to the Shona’s room in Mayer to pick up my book bag and camera, which I left at Andrey’s last Friday and drop off a camera battery. I was back at the LBC for a little while before class this evening.We had a guest speaker in history in everyday life class this evening. The class was also attended by a handful of UNO students in a “Public History” class. The speaker was UNO professor Dr. Michael Mizell-Nelson of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank. He spent most of his time describing the project in detail, which personal accounts, photos, videos and other objects of people’s personal experiences with hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Professor Lyon proceeded to engage the doctor in conversation after his presentation so class was dismissed after the downtown shuttle passed so I had to get a cab home.

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Andrey’s 21st

The ride home after work today was a bit arduous between the rain and the traffic. The road between the superdome and the arena was blocked off, which we usually use to get to the transit lane. The detour took us into the heart of some rush hour traffic which took a while to get through.Later that evening I got a cab to Andrey’s house to go to his 21st birthday party. Several of his friends and some of his immediate family were there. The evening was a pleasant amalgamation of good company, shish kabobs and vodka. Andrey did a fine job as master of ceremonies.Later in the evening, a handful of us went downtown to Club Ampersand. When we arrived at about 11 it wasn’t open yet. With about an hour to kill, we walked down Canal Street to Melange at the Ritz. Patrick managed to score us a table at right of the stage. We were there for about an hour. Half of us ordered the drinks and the rest of us just talked. Andrey eventually made a spectacle of himself and we left soon after.After leaving the Ritz we walked back to Ampersand on Tulane. This was the first time I’d ever been to the sort of club where you have to stand in a line to get in. Not long after we got there, Andrey was ‘tired’ and none of the present company particularly excelled at that sort of dancing. A couple of us got a drink and left not long after. The rest of our group didn’t have any trouble getting a cab but it took me a good while to find another one.

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First Discussion Groups

Dad had places to be so the quiet office was just occupied by Chander and myself today. I got some work done in the early afternoon but was later hampered by a headache. Since Dad never returned to Mid City, Chander gave me a ride to campus after we left for the day at five.The group discussion which I described in last Thursday’s post started today. There were six “eight minute” discussions, four of which I participated in. The subjects I was involved with were increasing access to online classes, increasing security for Tulane students, making textbooks available for less money and improving students’ ability to manage their time. Throughout all the discussions Ms. Ebel frequently stopped the discussion to provide insight or advice, which drew out 45 minutes of discussions out to the full 2.5 hours. After class was dismissed I walked to the Willow lab to wait around for a little while before ballroom this evening.Attendance was a bit light this evening but certainly better than last week. The session was mostly a review of past weeks. There was one new move which involved the man twisting around which I completely did not get.Later in the evening, Andrey, Patrick, David and myself ended up at Patrick’s house to more or less wait for Andrey’s 21st birthday to ‘officially’ begin. With the exception of Patrick who was trying to get some homework done, we played a couple card games and had a few vodka shots at midnight. Later in the evening we went to the rat to get something to eat to go along with the earlier beverages. I got a cab home not long after two.

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Mid Week

This past Saturday, I went with Dad to visit Grandma Janet at the hospital. She has been rather ill of late. We were there until about one o’clock. Afterward we went over to Tulane to see their basketball team play Houston at two. Overall the game was a sloppy effort on Tulane’s part. They lost 66-56. The following Sunday was pretty dull.Monday’s history in everyday life class was a bit dull and exceptionally long. The lecture was about historic preservation, a subject the professor has intimate knowledge. During class I spoke with Patrick online about getting dinner after class. Unfortunately we got a late start since class didn’t end until 8:30. After class I met Patrick at the LBC. We walked to Felipe’s and picked up Sona and Andrey along the way. We were there until ten, enjoying our Mexican food and talking about cars, politics and movies.It was dark and wet outside on Tuesday. During work I got a call informing me tonight’s class was cancelled because the professor had the flu. After work Dad and I stopped at Wal-Mart.Today was not especially interesting either. After work I went to campus for a test in my weather and climate class. There was just a test this afternoon that only took me 15 minutes. Later on I got a ride home from Mom who was leaving work not too long after I finished.

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Study Areas

Dad and I arrived at the office at 10:30 this afternoon. To be honest, I spent a lot more time trying to convince myself to get work done than actually working. Dad and I left the office just after five and he drove me to campus for class this evening.Tonight’s small group communications class was largely a demonstration of how our first group discussions would go. Starting next week, each student will lead a four person small group discussion which will seek to come up with solutions for whatever problem a student chooses to raise. There was an example problem tonight and I volunteered to be one of the participants. Unlike our upcoming discussions, the instructor frequently interjected with advice and pieces of information. The problem was “what kind of improvements can be made to the study options for UC students on Tulane’s campus.” I thought this was a non-issue myself as there are numerous places one can study in quiet on campus. When I said so I kind of stalled the discussion for about a half hour as Ms. Ebel went on to talk about how a group leader would deal with a person who did not even agree the problem exists, as if I was some sort of troublemaker. Just the same, the class was somewhat entertaining even though the topic presented was rubbish.Class ended late at 8:20 so there wasn’t a great deal of time between class and ballroom at nine. I walked across campus to the Willow computer lab and stayed there for a short while and typed yesterday’s log entry.Including myself, there were only 12 people at ballroom this evening, six guys and six girls. Aside from the introduction of one new move ten minutes before the end of the hour-long session, it was all review of the past few weeks, which I always need. At the end I was totally lost because I just couldn’t convince my boy to cross my legs and walk forward like the move required.Afterward, Andrey told me there was a chance he and some friends would be going out later. I didn’t have anything better to do so I walked down to the LBC, deposited my paycheck t the ATM and sat down upstairs with my laptop and typed these very words. At 10:50 Andrey called and said nothing would be going on this evening so I called a cab and went home.

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Krystle was heading back to Ruston today but she wasn’t ready to leave before Dad wanted to head to the office so he left without me and Krystle dropped me a work on her way home. I arrived at the office sometime around 11:30. Dad had the jumpdrive with him so I had trouble getting much work done this afternoon. Ultimately I ended up not being there that long anyway since I left to catch the 3:40 shuttle to campus.This afternoon’s weather and climate class covered chapter five which largely dealt with clouds. A good portion of time in the latter half of class was spent going over what would be on next week’s exam. The quickly instructor went through all the PowerPoint slides from the previous chapters which was rather tedious. At the end of class there was a qui on chapters three and four, which I had not studied much since I was doing other things this past long weekend. I’m not sure how well I did, which is unusual for me.Dad picked me up from campus a short while after class ended. That evening I watched TV and sorted though the Mardi Gras pictures I took. Before turning in for the night I got a few of them on the website.

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Super Fat Tuesday

When I got up this morning at quarter to ten I didn’t think we’d meet the goal of getting uptown in time to see Rex but we made it in plenty of time. Rather than take Krystle’s car, we got a ride from Dad who had somewhere to be this afternoon anyway. He dropped us a block away from St. Charles and Jackson. We walked across the street to Vizard’s and immediately saw Patrick. He invited us inside and we talked with him sporadically as he was working. Zulu was finishing up when we arrived. Later on, Patrick showed us a balcony above the restaurant and we watched some of Rex from there. Andrey and Veronica arrived not long after that. Eventually we went downstairs and watched the rest of the parade from the street.After Rex, I think, we walked down the street to meet a friend of Andrey who was set up with food and a canopy nearby. We sat with them for a while as the Elks parade started. Later in the afternoon we wandered back to Vizards, a funnel cake stand and then Krystle and I walked with Patrick, Andrey and Veronica to their car and parted ways.Since yesterday Krystle and I were planning on having dinner at the Cheesecake Bistro again but they didn’t open until five so we had about an hour to kill, which we did largely at a bar nearby as Elks continued to roll and eventually stalled for a good while. The last float had just passed at about five when the restaurant opened and we went to dinner. We were one of the first parties there but it filled up quickly. After much deliberation, I decided on the barbeque shrimp linguine and Krystle ordered the crawfish ravioli. Both dishes were excellent but I didn’t finish mine because I couldn’t leave without having some cheesecake so I saved some room. I didn’t have much though so Krystle and I just shared a piece of the chocolate praline.I heard from my Dad before dinner and he told me he was downtown watching the parades with his sister. He agreed to pick us up after dinner but it was a short while before he could reach us so we sat at the bar while we waited for him.Later that evening after we got home we watched the CNN coverage of the Super Tuesday primary results. Although a drawn out battle between the democrats is fine with me, I was very disappointed on the republican side seeing Mccain perform so well since he essentially another liberal that sticks it to his own party every chance he gets. The election is a ways off, but it’s not looking like there will anybody worth voting ‘for.’

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