Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Snaw Doy

I didn't even know you could have a snow day at a university. Makes sense, I suppose. I've been holed up in my room reading about Anabasis for most of the day, and it's been– nice, I guess. I still have things to do, but not nearly as many as before the announcement. Midterms were cancelled, you see. I found out yesterday right before my math volunteering thing, but it didn't really sink in until dinnertime. School is cancelled because of a snow day.

So, that was some pretty wonderful news. Amazing, actually. Without it, I'd have had four back-to-back midterms every day of the week, and Friday I'm leaving for Mexico. With it, I now have two finished midterms (which is equivalent to no midterms at all) and all the time in the world to pack and do things. In theory. In practice, I did just spend multiple hours reading and doing nothing else. Whoops.

Anyways, I was planning on using this post to talk about how good a day yesterday was. Then I kinda spent too much time on the internet and bled yesterday into today a bit and now it's all blugh. But that's okay! Because! I did really well on the Math 231 midterm. Like, optimally well. And I mananaged to finagle a few jokes into my answers. And then Pat said nice words to me and I was happy. I'm incredibly susceptible to surprise validation.

Is that... it? I think that's all I had to say. I feel like yesterday I just assumed this would take longer to write. I guess it would have if I'd have made it into a story. Eh. This is good.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

On the Destruction of Worlds

The Blogger app was removed from the App Store and replaced with a $2.99 version(which currently has two stars), but that won’t stop me. I’ll just write this in my notes, then email it to myself, then copy-paste it into my blog, then reverse timestamp it so that it’s like nothing ever happened. Genius!

Dangit, I was hoping to start writing the main body before January 6th. Ah, well. At least I got the little intro thing in. Anyways, lately I’ve been thinking about destroying the universe. Like, in principle. See, my sister and I just finished playing a few games. OneShot yesterday (the 5th) and Doki Doki Literature Club a few days earlier. Also been reading Soonish and a lotta skippy-related things. All in all, lots of world ending to go around. For example, I just realized that although the text editor prints a regal Times New Roman font, on the actual blog it's written in some sans-serif thing. My beautiful Timesy world has been shattered.

What's most recently messed me up (besides the font thing) is of course OneShot. We named ourselves Neveah, which worked really well. I did all the voices except Niko's and Silver's, and honestly I think I might be getting good at it. We did the "true ending" or whatever. I don't want to spoil anything, but I also kinda do. Let's just say that I liked it. Wish we coulda played it once more though. We missed a few achievements, and we even did all the work of cultivating the thing only to–.... Well. No going back now. If you do get the game (which I recommend) then try playing it through a few times. Like, at least three. Definitely not two though. I can confirm that two is a silly number.

Doki Doki Literature Club was alright. We named ourselves Bruh, which honestly worked almost as well as Neveah did in OneShot. It wasn't nearly as scary as most people claim. There was exactly one point where we screamed, and it wasn't really from fear. It was kinda fun slowly figuring out what was going on, though. We also did crazy voices for everyone, which was fun. I voiced Sayori (an ever-excited little girl), Natsuki (an angry Russian/Japanese/American/French/Mexican girl/man), and Yuri (a charming southern belle), while Lucia voiced Bruh (self-explanatory) and Monica (a no-nonsense drill sergeant). The ending was not as good as OneShot's, although it went better.

What kinda sticks with me is how we reacted to the conclusion of the games. After Doki Doki Literature Club ended, we put Monica's file back, as I sent it off with an "everything is as it should be." (Then the game deleted itself from our Steam library, which was freaky.) After OneShot ended, we sat silently for a moment. Then we both started up and said some variations of "that was nice" and "well, that's done" and we walked away. It kinda struck me as callous somehow. Like the ending of The Truman Show.

Woah dang, I didn't even notice, but the two old movies I watched for the first time this break (The Truman Show and Total Recall) both kinda relate to these ideas. They both pose questions as to what is real and what is only seems-to-be real. OneShot and Doki Doki are full of dips into reality, some things being marked "part of the game" and some being marked "real." They're all done now, of course—Doki Doki was destroyed, The Truman Show ended, OneShot is out of reach, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is still alive so I guess Total Recall went okay actually. The point is, they're all in some sense gone, but also in another sense they were never there in the first place.

That's really the source of my– let's call it a conundrum. Can a fictional world end? Is it rational to care about the characters and try to make their lives better? Is it okay to sacrifice a world so that a friend is happy? Is it wrong to destroy something that isn't there? TL;DR: no (kinda), yes, yes (sometimes), and yes. These things are real, in my opinion. Real as you (my potential future reader). Real as Heaven (and sure as Hell). Real as Borges. Real in that the folks inside are real. Real in that they think they're real, or at least they think they think they're real, or at least I think they think they think they're real, so they must be.

And they live on in my heart and in my head. Because that's where I keep them. A world destroyed and a world preserved are identical give or take a word. It's all the same to me, and the worlds i keep.

I'm reading Story Thieves by James Riley. I bought it today, right before going to an AR experience. (Fekkin hall, I just realized that the whole concept of AR also ties into these themes. Not to mention the game Super Hot. It's like the universe is trying to tell me something.) The book's not that good, but it's fun. It involves a girl who can jump into books, and a boy who she unwillingly brings along. One of the first things the boy asks, upon hiding from the aliens of War of the Worlds, is "For real? Martians?" After some deliberation, the girl responds with "It's real here, in the book." And, I mean, yeah. That fits.

Well, it's 11:54. I should publish this quickly if I want to get it in on the 6th. This might have all been a bit silly, I guess. I dunno. This kinda thing is important to me. Now, then, I need to get to sleep soon if I want any hope of waking up at a reasonable hour in Connecticut. Until next time!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

No More Lyrebirds (or some equally irrelevant title)

It's never over. Not in an absolute sense. Well, depending on what "over" means. Like, eventually there's not going to be any lack-of-entropy left to do things with. So things will be over in that sense. There will still be time-asymmetric phenomena, as I learned today watching this video, but like, those won't happen everywhere. It's kinda strange to think about, that time could be either a local or emergent phenomenon. It's like how the best definition of dimension I've seen makes it a local property of a specific point.

What I'm trying to get at is that I'm not done with finals yet, and even after I'm done with finals I'll have more to do. That's how life works. Not sure why I decided to start with that. Well, no going back now. It's not like I can erase what I've done and start over. That would be ridiculous.

I'm done with most of my classes now. The half-credit Patnam seminar ended quietly enough, with me sleeping through the first half of the Putnam. [I am informed that I am waking up in nine hours. That is false.] Then there was a quasi-party in which I played Werewolf and was the Private Investigator for four out of four games. Le sigh.

The half-credit Bio lab is also done. Biology of Terrestrial Arthropods, indeed. I am now super hyped and at the same time very intimidated by my impending quest to write about every family of every animal. There's a lot out there. But not an insurmountable lot. In other news, I worked for 18 hours straight and until 6:00 in the morning to finish the project for the bio lab. I've done the math, and I got at most a B. Welp. I did my best.

The full-credit freshman seminar (Cosmology in Literature) came to a nice exciting end. The last reading was "Tlön, Ukbar, Orbis Tertius" by Jorge Luis Borges, and it was a doozy. More than half of the class had not realized that the outer-text was just as false as the inner-text. It was incredibly entertaining to watch their brains explode. Then it was revealed that one of the folks mentioned in "Tlön..." was in real life the person who funded the library that became the foundation for Yale. So, in some ways, and to a lot of people, Yale is Tlön. That freaked us all out. I'm still not even sure if it's true. I proceeded to write my final essay about my second-favorite cosmogony: the reality-as-narrative themes in the work of Borges. It was good.

So yeah. Those are the endings that have happened so far. Been so busy these past weeks that I didn't even remember to call up my reps to not repeal net neutrality. Whoopsie daisies. This might be trouble. But hey, it's not over yet. I have breathing room now. I'll try my best. For now though I should get to sleep.

P.S.: One more thing. I've done it! Double triple digits!

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Week Elsewhere

New York was fun. Pleasant, at times. Monday we went to Times Square to get tickets and see the view from the 8th floor of the Marriott Hotel. We also ate the most wonderful churros.

Tuesday we went to the Museum and saw some stuff. It wasn't as cool as the first few times. The exhibit on the senses was okay. The butterflies were fun, although they reminded me of the upcoming quiz on leps for Bio of Terrestrial Arthropods. Then we had churros again. And... I think we watched Spiderman: Homecoming? Or maybe that was Monday. Or Wednesday.

Wednesday we watched Dear Evan Hanson. I didn't get as into it as I anticipated, but it was good. The lead was played by someone other than the original lead, who is apparently said to be better than him. I can confirm that the lead from the show was a better actor than the lead from the official soundtrack. Then we went back, eating some delicious waffles (I got a s'mores waffle).

Thursday was Thanksgiving! We watched Coco, which was a really good movie. I liked it a lot. Then we ate a big dinner, filled with mashed potatoes and bacon. I ate so much mashed potatoes, and so much bacon. We might have done other stuff, but if we did I've forgotten.

Friday we went to the Met. Looked at art. I had fun. Impressionist paintings still get me every time. How do they DO that with the water? There was also a freaky deer covered with glass orbs. After eating at Shake Shack we had drinks at the Vue, taking a neat timelapse of the revolving city.

Saturday we drove back. Ate breakfast at the Cosme. Watched Summer Wars, which was fun.

Sunday was yesterday. We went to the "best aquarium in New England," which was nice. We ate dinner in Morse, and I discovered the ice cream section. Then we watched 9 and said goodbye.

Three weeks remaining. What else happened this week? I talked a lot of film review stuff with my mom. Theming and characters and such. I got to the 3-warp stage in Flow, and noped my way out. I'll get to it soon, probably. I also made this:

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Together again with my family

Yeah, we met up in New York. It's not home, but it's okay. Today we ate at Eataly and went to the MoMath. Well, actually just the MoMath gift shop, but it still counts. We watched all of Over The Garden Wall and all of Your Name. Very good. Quality series and film. I'm really tired though. And I want to go home. I've been trying to connect with friends again. It's not really working. I guess I need more sleep. Bye.

P.S. I started a OneSecondEveryDay thing today. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Day Before Yesterday, Tuesday the Seventh

Today it is tomorrow, at 1:10 AM. I have done all of my Math 230 P-set except for question 2B. I have also just read a Gasterpost. These two factors, and also checking my email, are what made it 1:12 AM. The past few days have been something. I think I've gone to bed after midnight starting Friday, and going on. Still no all-nighters, though, which I consider a success.

The day before yesterday, Tuesday the Seventh, I learned from Pat that the fibonaccish thing I did wasn't special. Which, I mean, I had already known, but like still it's nice to have confirmation. Also fun fact it's actually much nicer and more intuitive with matrices rather than generating functions. Also, moments from today/yesterday: E X T E N D   T H E   C U B E !  That is all.

Today, by which I mean yesterday, the 8th, I had 20 minutes of free time. I used it to watch a Yogscast video. I had four hours of bio lab and three hours of choir, along with working and studying. I feel very productive.

The day before yesterday, Tuesday the Seventh, I finished A Voyage To Arcturus. And I think I got it. Like, understood what had been happening the whole time. I feel accomplished. Hint: it's about two worlds and two beings, and the sensations of pleasure and pain. It's also about spirits and ghosts.

Today, by which I mean yesterday, the 8th, my earbuds broke. One of the speakers doesn't work anymore. It's actually the wire that's awry, but still. I noticed while pinning insects that my right ear had stopped hearing music, and quickly attributed that to the earbuds. The sound came on again intermittently as I worked. When I left (at 5:30), Stay Alive by José Gonzáles was playing. It was a fitting song for dying, I thought. I let the earbuds keep playing until the end of the song. At the fery last swell, "dawn is coming, open your eyes," the right speaker came back to life. For one last hurrah, it sang to the end of that line. When the song got quiet again, it dropped out. It will likely never play again. I kept the earbuds in my ears, playing nothing, as I walked back to my dorm. When I took them out, I felt it. Which is a strange thing to say, but it's true.

There are many things I have yet to do. One of them is sleep. Good night.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

f(2) spooky f(4) me, f strictly increasing

3 spooky TREE(4) me. That's the most increasing function I can think of. And I think it's the most increasing function anyone has ever thought of, ever. Okay, some procrastinating later and I found that it isn't the MOST increasing. These are. Fastest function that really means something, though.

Anyways, that diversion is over now. I'm here about Halloween. I went as Slash, lead guitarist for Guns 'n' Roses. Well, actually, I went as Slish, lead ukuleleist for Slingshots 'n' Peonies, but that's neither here nor there. Because it's in another universe. Anyways.

I spent like a few hours over the last month preparing a short routine, but I didn't get to use it. Also I completely forgot that we were meant to wear our costumes to choir yesterday. Also I didn't take any pictures. Such is life.

Still, as I was eating dinner, two people sitting across from me complemented me on my costume. One of them asked if my hair was my real hair or if it was a wig. I consider that a win. Almost worth it. Maybe worth it. Let's go with "worth it," for now.

Apparently I missed that at Yale, most festivities take place either during Halloweekend (the weekend before Halloween) or right now, at 11:00 on Halloween, in Woolsey Hall, for the Yale Symphony Orchestra Halloween Show. Whoops. I'll do better next time.

All in all, it was a very freshman Halloween.