In Google I Trust Not

Because I’m constantly online, or feels at that way, I often find interesting articles. Especially on the humor site cracked.com. Some of their posts are funnier than others (:0), but I wanted to respond to this one, because it reminded me of another article I read and wanted to respond to ages ago (sorry, no link).

5 Reasons You Should Be Scared of Google

First of all, most of this is: “well, duh?”

It’s like the article I read, where a commentator of Google’s collecting everyone’s wireless info while mapping exclaimed that he could no longer trust Google implicitly.

Why would you in the first place? I mean, really. It’s like they say, there’s nothing private on the internet. That’s kind of the point.

And if our government uses Google products? Well, that’s just *headdesk*, because that is seriously ridiculous. For one, there’s no privacy on the internet, thing, and that would seem a little important to me, especially federal agencies.

As for their “Don’t be evil” slogan, the author of the cracked article implies that people accepted that as a business practice instead of the obvious “we’re a corporation devoted to making money, but we hope to not be as evil as most corporations are while doing so.” Seems reasonable to me.

I still like Google. I still use Chrome. (I search using GoodSearch because I can support my local library). I won’t use the ex-Google shopping anymore, because it’s gone the money-driven route, or so it was last I heard.

No, I don’t trust Google. I tolerate them. I use many of their products. Mostly, I tolerate the internet: my access comes from corporations and that’s the way it is.

What, do you want to leave it to the government? There’s a yikes. As long as Google is making money through their “Don’t Be Evil” slogan, they have popular support, which makes them money. With that kind of commitment, they’re still one of the best bets online.

 

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My Parents are Trekkies

Which for many years guaranteed I wasn’t.

And when I say “Trekkies” I mean mostly that  my dad can watch the same episodes over and over and over and over and over and over and over again without difficulty, and gives my mom a Star Trek calendar every Christmas, and my mom watched the series, and therefore I knew all the character names, the general ‘universe’ of the series, and the theme song from the very first note. This also helped ensure my indifference.

After the new movie came out, however. Well, lets just say I’ve never had an objection to expanded universes.

When I find something I like, I never really want to give it up, which lead me to fan fiction, which in an indirect way made me a perfect fan for fan fiction. Much like Star Trek, fan fiction is one of those things that is unbearably geeky in popular culture. But I’m not really that fan either. I haven’t a clue what those “star dates” are supposed to be, know little to nothing about the later series, couldn’t care less about when the uniforms changed, and inconsistencies abounded–you know, like all the time. Nor do I know the difference between a trekkie and a trekker, which is apparently important.

That’s my personal theory as to why Star Trek spawned the era of fan fic, by the way. Because it has so many inconsistencies within its own universe, but such great characters you keep watching. Of course, this reason just occurred to me after I started this post, so forgive me some inconsistency of my own. It came to mind, though, because I recently read an claim that Trek evolved fan fiction because it had character potential that would not have been acceptable in the time period: specifically, Kirk and Spock slash. Slash when characters on a show are given a non-canonical relationship. Canon, in this context, means the accepted ‘truth’ of this universe, in this case the TV shows and movies. The ‘pairing’ of Kirk and Spock actually gave name to the term slash because warnings for it apparently followed a progression of Kirk/Spock, to K/S, to /, which of course is “slash”. Or so I’ve heard.

The explanations of which has completely derailed my point.

So. Kirk and Spock. Well, I don’t see it. Then again I rarely do. However, it also bothers me because claiming people did see it and were simple drawn to make it fact almost sounds like an argument that they were simply oh so progressive. That’s problematic to me because so many people who write slash are women, and it really isn’t a way of standing up for gay rights. If anything, it could be called exploitive. It’s a well-established phenomenon though, and it’s on the internet and can’t be stopped.

I think the sheer randomness of the so-called canon though might be what really got it going. Obviously people enjoy writing things like slash or what have you, but when there are so many holes in the storyline, it makes you question what might fit to fill them. Some people really like relationships.

My favorite part of Star Trek though, is that it never seemed to take itself as seriously as the fans–and for that matter, the creators–did. Take, for instance, the episode of “Spock’s Brain”. It’s practically canon crack!fic! Spock’s brain is stolen by beautiful, brainless females who need a new one to run their world. Hilariousness!  And so many of the lines are so over the top–if you watch the original series, the only one I’m referring to–that I can’t imagine the actors didn’t realize it when delivering them. Now, I can’t say anything  about what happened after the fame…because in current Trek fandom, the only thing you can’t say about them is that they don’t take themselves seriously.

Especially the sequel series. Much as I love Data and Picard, the Next Generation is so studious dramatic, half the episode I’m cringing in sympathy for the over-acting. IS SERIOUS BUSINESS people!

Star Trek 2009 was fun for the lens flare and explosions, and I don’t think meant to be taken entirely seriously either. And the score is awesome. I just watched it again a few hours ago, and it really doesn’t translate as well to the small screen, but that music just grabs your spinal cord and shakes you, yelling “it’s exciting dammit!” Also, considering they blew up Vulcan, it’s positively warm and fuzzy at the end. It’s almost as good as The Voyage Home and saving the whales and sending Chekov to look for nuclear veapons in the eighties. How I love that movie.

Popularly, Star Trek seems to be the absolute height of geekiness. Like there’s nothing to recover from: you either love it all or you don’t. Which in some ways makes it very hard to be a casual fan. Especially a casual fan who likes the eighties book series and The Animated Series (hey, they had non-humanoid aliens!). But don’t try to get the original series on DVD because even though it only ran three seasons they’re even higher priced than some current series, which makes no sense to me. So I can’t have them. Other than, you know, watching them free online, where they are hosted by the owners, with really irritating commercials. So I’ll just keep up my whine of “it’s not fair!” and enjoy my (gen) fan fic.

Fursplode

I talk about the Twilight series (saga :P) far too often for not having read any of the books–well, other than the first few chapters of the first–or having watched the movies–although now I’ve seen the first and the most recent. But I don’t really discuss the books or movies, I make fun of them…or rather, I enjoy reading about others’ reactions and critiques of the books (when it’s funny, it’s called a spork). And then I like to share those indigent and intelligent readers/watchers’ conclusions with my friends and family–who either agree with me (hey, two younger brothers who are the opposite of the ideal audience, which is helpful) or really, really don’t care (unless I’m telling my mom about some of the awful things that Meyer says, or awkward ideas in the text, like imprinting, after which I get a “wait, what?” and it’s funny).

But because my family has been volunteering at the local nonprofit theater for years and years, we get free movie tickets. The most recent movie, Eclipse, finally arrived here, so I thought I’d go see it, as it’s supposed to be the best of the movies. But I didn’t have any friends in town that weekend, at least not any I could get in touch with in time. Fortunately however, my youngest brother had just returned from working at camp, and he agreed to let me drag him to the movie, on the mutual terms that as soon as we thought of something amusing/irritating we could make fun of it at once. Also, I was not to tell other brother.

Pshaw.

So, after getting distracted by my five other open tabs, where was I? Oh, yes. I very much enjoyed the movie, actually. Although I was a little disturbed that, though there weren’t very many people there, there were several pretty young kids. Which with some of the scenes in the movie made me uncomfortable. But hey, kids these days.

About the movie itself: the first thing I distinctly remember thinking was that Frost’s “Fire and Ice” did not deserve to be in this movie. Also, sparkles! I love those little rainbows. (What happened to them in that last scene?) Why would you hang out in a meadow like that? The whole time I was thinking of the stickers, and the bugs. I’m an indoor personality, I admit.

I already can’t think of any coherent way of putting this together, but I do remember specific instances, like when the werewolves came out (when they were still guys) and all I could think about was Spoony’s review of New Moon, the movie, and the homo-erotic undertones of their interactions. Again, haven’t seen that movie myself. But he makes a good case for it, especially when you consider Jacob really isn’t the ‘chosen one’. Except for the daughter. Anyway, while I’m not going to choose sides in that “Team So-and-So” thing, other than enjoying the Burger King commercials, I like the werewolves in the movie. They’re giant and cuddly! like great big stuffed animals! although I imagine the hip surgeries would get expensive and hard to explain (did you see the way they were walking?).

My brother and I decided that Bella and Edward were boring and irritating, but if the story had been about the other Cullen vampires, it would have been awesome. Like Jasper, the one with crazy eyes and Shakespearean hair, although his backstory didn’t make any sense. (Also, I’ve spent so much time of sites making fun of it that I know all the characters. It’s very sad.) And my brother couldn’t stand Charlie’s uniform, and spazzed every time he came on screen with it on.

Bella is horrible to the poor guy, but we both thought he was cool. And, at least in the books, everyone got mad when Jacob kissed (almost typed killed) Bella ‘against her will’, which is bad, as are all the stalker-ish things he says (you know, the same things Edward says). In the movie, though, it does show Bella as very much leading him on (or that’s how I saw it) and though I don’t want to stray into blame the victim territory, because she does push him away. Yay!

Of course then she breaks her hand on his face trying to punch him–which first of all was unnecessary, I mean, she pushed him off, she should have just left–and really, she breaks her hand? I think should ought to go to the hospital to find out if she has a bone condition, or maybe cancer. That’s a really worrying symptom. But it’s supposed to be LOLclumsy, so I had no trouble with everyone else making fun of her.

Except Ed of course, but heh. And, aside from that whole “I’d rather see you dead than undead” line, where I twitched a lot, I liked Jacob. He was just really really confused after what apparently happened in New Moon. And again, I appreciated any screen-time not devoted to Bella/Ed.

Then the tent scene, which was fun to watch with a boy scout, because apparently that’s a cold weather tent and it shouldn’t be much lower inside than 40F degrees, and he said she was in a 0-degree sleeping bag (or at least a 25 as he’s just informed me). So they were well-prepared. And Bella was just faking. Sporfle. Then they have the whole argument in which Ed reveals their engagement and Jake loses it, so Bella gets him to kiss her, and how awful was that? I felt so bad for him, although he does keep falling for it.

Then we get to the battle, which I liked, because it made me think of vampire movie!football and “GAP AD FORMATION”. They certainly didn’t seem to be accomplishing much other than knocking them over repeatedly until the wolves got there. And I don’t get how Jake got injured, because the vampires move too fast to make sense.

But poor pretty captured vampire. The one the ogre vampire killed because…? Well, I have no idea. But I guess the Cullens as a whole don’t care for anyone but Bella. (Which was admittedly demonstrated when they watched the national news and all the havoc being wrecked, knowing the problem early on and moving on with less than a shrug of the shoulders.) And when they agree to save the pretty little vampire, but just give her up to the red-eyed Sith–oh wait, Volturi, because what’s-her-name asked them to. Dakota Fanning. If it had been about her and the Riley gang, it would have been a cooler movie.

Well, in addition to everything else that would have made it a cooler movie, if a less funny one.

New LanguAge

I was reading the school paper, and perused a commentary on how students on campus use language in this age of information. As an English major, I approve.

The author, as I recall, blamed the breakdown of intelligent communication on the text messaging language as it creeps into the spoken.  Many people do. I’m not sure I don’t. In fact, I was surprised at myself when I first read the article, because at first I found myself rolling my eyes. I don’t appreciate the careless use of language. Using text speak in actual speech is always ridiculous–unless used satirically. Or maybe even just used humorously. But I must admit, sometimes I have at least thought “WTF” when watching/hearing something so utterly stupid that I can’t spare the mental time to think the whole phrase–and, hey, it’s not really cursing. And there are plenty of words invented by the internet* that I genuinely  appreciate. Sheeple. Kerfluffle. Angsting.

Perhaps it’s careless to use new words, when a careful enough revision of my own writing or thoughts might be able get the same feeling across using ‘traditional’ English. But then again, as the Facebook “Flair” button says “English: A language that lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages, and rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary,”** which I’m quite sure is stolen from someone who does not get nearly enough credit…but when you say something that awesome on the internet you tend to lose your fame for it very quickly.  Anyway, when English doesn’t have the perfect one, it tends to fill the vacuum with something new or borrowed (and sometimes blue, I’m sure). Thus I justify my internet speak.

So when I first read the article, I thought: well, really, why not use text speak in casual conversation? I’d greatly appreciate if you do so out of my hearing, but if your group understands the language, you may as well. So long as your formal communications–to someone outside of your social circle, or in written communications other than texts or possibly tweets. And if you have any acquaintances (or especially coworkers/bosses) as Facebook friends, don’t use text speak in status updates.  Nonetheless, I do feel  it has a place.

Then again, pretty much as soon as I found myself making the argument above, I realized–the problem is people don’t seem to be able to distinguish when it might be appropriate and when it definitely isn’t.

I remember, in high school, I read two ‘paragraphs,’ each written by a one person attending detention. Okay, so I couldn’t have been expecting much, but still, these would have been written in an academic context, not to mention that it was displayed on the whiteboard. Each, though, were equally terrible. You’d think they’d never learned how to write…which I suspect they did, as they had that ‘valley-girl’ handwriting, one even adorned with hearts.

And, despite the fact that I am now in my third senior semester at college, each of my professors, after the first essay assignment, still have to go over the most basic tenets of writing. For instance: spelling. When I first started college and heard this lecture, I was horrified. It was like, really people? this is college. The fact that it was a community college makes now difference. Now at least I’ve gotten used to it, though I am still saddened. While I’d like to think that people ought to be able to adjust their language based on the situation….apparently, no.

I don’t know how to solve this. I refuse to submit to writing text speak in my essays or talk to my mom that way–she doesn’t even use the computer, much less would have any idea what I’m talking about (although she is rather proficient at reading my mind when I’m particularly incoherent.)  You know what I think? I think that we should just disallow those people who can’t tell the difference to participate in any meaningful communication, because they aren’t capable of doing so anyway. First amendment be damned.

*Okay, so the internet itself didn’t actually develop the language, but it’s such a facilitator, it seems to make the spread rather faster and more creative. I likes it.

**Possibly James Nicholl, actually: “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”  Apparently he’s mostly an Internet personality, as opposed to being famous offline, which I find rather appropriate.

Confession

Another short one, on the wind up to finals.

So I like the computer game called “the Sims 2.” (I never know how many people actually know what that is, though it sells very well.) And this game has a very large online community.  A large, dedicated community that also happens to have lots of controversy. Over everything. All. The. Time.

Such controversies are various and sundry, and could not be possibly summarized. At least by me. As for a general overview of the categories of the controversies–at least the one’s I’m personally aware of–I will attempt. Along with outcomes and/or consensus. Again, only so far as I’m aware in my mostly former forum circles.

The official site’s download area is known as the Exchange. Generally unpopular, and according to the cynical, made up of 12 year olds. Because/also it is the first introduction to the Sims community, it is generally looked down on.  Common fault: uploaded by members using custom content created by others, unattributed.

Custom Content (CC): the stuff the community has created to change the game, either for better or worse, depending on who you ask. Major debate: legal or illegal.  Who owns it?  Consensus (mostly) is that the actual creation belongs to the creator, the packaging to EA. Therefore, paying for downloads should be illegal.  Other side argues that creation is creator’s and can be sold regardless. Also, EA does not generally interfere. And community is divided: Pro vs. Free.

Generally, many creators agree (when discussing Sims, make all statements as loose and non-binding as possible) that usually, CC used in other CC should be attributed to original creators. Some disagree, and some don’t care. When this does/does not happen, more controversy.  Related to above issues, some pay content is or is not allowed on certain sites.

Currently, the official forum, called the “BBS,” is head over heels over DRM protection (read: SecuRom or in slang, SucuRom, very much disliked), over-zealous moderators, and ah, ill-informed moderation, as well as many other things. Have often heard participants on that board referred to as “sheeples.”

I spent more time on that than I intended, far more. Only to realize that I don’t think it covered it at all. It’s missing lots. Also, may be inaccurate. But to continue. The Sims community is very large, but also very interconnected. Much of the previous controversies are personal for the top level of participants, as they considered each other online friends, at least until such disagreements erupted.

So anyway, the whole reason I started this post is because recently, I’ve really only been involved in one Sims forum.  It’s a lovely, small forum, very small, perhaps 12 active participants, including moderators. Part of the reason for their friendliness is the isolation from much of the overarching Sims community, and the fact that it relates to the outside world, with ideals other than “how you play the game.”

Being so involved in this forum disconnected me from many of the other communities I used to participate in.  I ventured out today, only to realize that one of the major CC sites had imploded. Violently, and ridiculously. And hilariously. In a horrified sort of way.

I went looking at the CC sites, and realized one major one had disappeared. So I went looking for it.  And, fortunately found Fandom Wank’s summary. Which is good, because the first explanation I stumbled across was in a forum thread over 230 pages long.  So I will link you to the summary. Which you should read, because it is funny. Wrong as that might be.

Attempt at background explanation:

This CC site is called, for short, InSim, and was primarily organized around one major mod or hack of the community. (If you don’t know what that is, google it, because I really don’t know how to explain it.) So anyway, around that hack were many other creations.  The founders of the site were at first active, and then not so much. All of a sudden the site is sold, apparently for several thousand dollars to someone who is not a “gamer.”

I should note at this point that this is entirely online. I have no idea about the reality of the real-world issues/people that may be indicated.

This man says that he likes that there are so many active people on this forum. And that it’s not profitable or efficient. To fix this, he wants another server, and people to subscribe to this site, a mandatory subscription for the “sister” adult site. Not going there.

But anyway. People are mad. Very, very, very mad. As the Fandom Wank says: “one of the most epic wanks ever to befall the Sims 2 community.”

That is all. Read the actual Wank here.

Note Piscado, if you’re not easily offended

Note 2: I should read more Fandom Wank. Extreme fans offended=fun.

The Literature Conspiracy

I don’t know exactly what this post will be about.  I just read the title of Will Thomas’s “The Hellfire Conspiracy” incorrectly, and I like the sound of it.  Maybe I should write about Terry Pratchett.  There can never be enough discussion about Discworld as far as I’m concerned.

In 2004/2005 a book called Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature was published.  I would dearly love to read it.  Unforunately the only edition I found for sale was on Amazon for about $350 dollars.  He’s that awesome.  Or people are just that opportunistic.

Actually, I start lots of drafts far more than I have posts (as if I have all that many), and so since I started this one, I’ve changed my mind.

I’ve been really lethargic and out-of-sorts lately, kinda depressed, and it’s making it very hard to get things done.  I’ve always had the bad habit of procrastinating on homework, particularly papers, mostly because I usually can write papers fairly well in a rather short amount of time.  The more you get away with something, the harder it is to stop.  Can’t do much about that now, actually. So I’m going to write about NaNo.

National Novel Writing Month (more completely NaNoWriMo) which is in November and means that you’re supposed to write 50,000 words in one month, specifically November.  Turns out that November just came at a really bad time this year. For me. At least I distinctly remember October, but the beginning of November started way too early and I missed it. I think it was the the forth (?) or something before I remember that I was supposed to start this whole fifty thousand word thing.

The only thing discovered is that I simply don’t write fiction well. Or at least quickly. Summary is okay, the summary of a story, but all the rest of the parts of fiction–dialogue, description, etc., I just write really, really slowly.  That same day, when I started the only fiction I could think of–fanfiction, because NCIS wasn’t on because of the election–and got about 645 words. About. Not like I counted. Word did it for me, and that is kind of the point. Well because of that I counted the other writing I did that day…only the stuff I did on the computer.

Found out I can’t write fiction, but I can write a whole lot about myself and my opinions really quickly. And usually at the times when I really don’t have much to say.  So that day, or the next maybe, I wrote almost a thousand words in an email to my aunt, and then a note on facebook got…I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure more than I got on that “story.”

I think the problem is that I’m simply not much of a storyteller.  Either of my brothers, now, they were born telling stories. I just prefer to read them, and occasionally watch them.  I can tell, usually, when I’ve read a good story, and whether it was told well–entirely separate issues. So I know well enough the aspects of writing…in fact I own far too many how-to-write books (maybe I should sell them?). The only reason I got them though was because, really, I like to read them.  I’m not very good at following advice. At least in from books, I don’t know if I get much advice in real life. If I do, I think we can safely assume I don’t follow it.

Anyway. So I like the title of the post, but I really have nothing to say.  Very sad that I can’t live up to the title.

I can say I went to the library to pick up a copy of a novel for class. I own it, but the only problem is that it’s part of a collection, and that book is a nice copy, but heavy, and I’d like to keep it nice too. Anyway, I got it at the school library first–picked up two others too, even though I was in there for about fifteen minutes or so–wait, that’s pretty good for me. I didn’t like that copy (at the school) because it’s old, from maybe 1948. And it’s hardback and looking like it will fall apart.  Risky for taking to class. I got a bit luckier at the county library (and I can’t believe there’s only one in this town, I used to have access to three in the same town) and they had a far newer, paperback, lighter copy. Much easier to read too, without the old-fashioned typography. I was in that library for about fifteen minutes too, and that time I picked up five others.  None of these extra books are really all that likely to be read either, I suppose.

I miss reading.  The kind of reading I did as a kid. Used to be I was never caught without a book. Now I have the books I’m reading for class, but I don’t actually carry all that many others.  For an English major, and such a lover of books, that’s a very sad state of affairs.

I’ll blame the internet.  Why not?

To Sleep…Seriously, No More

So, I don’t like to sleep.  Sometimes.  This varies: often I do like to sleep.  Particularly to sleep in. However, when I am stressed about the future I cannot help remembering that any particular person will spend about one-third of their life asleep.  A whole third.  That’s, like, a lot.

I apologize.

Anyway I don’t think there has been one day this week that I actually went to bed before midnight…and that does not include the time spent in actually falling asleep.  Then I have, or had, my alarm set for six-thirty in the morning.  Admittedly, I didn’t actually get up until only half-an-hour before class several days, but it still overall completely ruined my sleep schedule.  I’ve been drinking a lot of coffee.

I need my sleep. That’s all.  Of course now that I really do: i.e. school is in full swing and I need a job and I’m a procrastinator at the best of times, I’ve installed the StumbleUpon toolbar.  Will I ever sleep again?

Doubtful.

But I found one site there that does relate to this post (eventually).  It’s called LikeBetter (I think) and you just choose out of two pictures which one you prefer until the brain says it has something to say about you.  And then you tell it whether it was right or wrong. Generally it worked well for me…at least until it thought I was a guy.  I don’t know if I want to analyze that particular answer. Anyway, after one sequence of picture-choosing, the brain said I was a night person.  My brother’s first thought was, yeah that’s right. (He was visiting–or rather needed a place to sleep last night, so I got to see him. Yay!  And I’ll see him on Tues, twice, I think, and he’ll bring me Apartment Life.  Yay!)

Re-railing this post.  Yes, lately I’ve been a night-owl type.  This usually happens once school starts, and I actually have to do homework.  I can’t do all my online stuff, not to mention my games, writing, knitting and other free time stuff until I get back home.  And that’s especially hard now that I actually hang out with friends.  Seriously, this has been totally screwing with my academic life.  (Well not really, actually it’s really helpful when I’m writing an essay specifically and can brainstorm with a bunch of other people who have some idea of what I’m talking about.) But it does mean that I don’t have nearly as much time to screw around in. Though I do anyway.

And I stay up too late and don’t get up until pretty much just before I have to leave for class.

Why don’t I consider myself a true night person then?  Because I really like to get up early.  Preferably before, say, 6:30 am.  When I do manage to get up that early, I tend to accomplish much more.  There’s more daylight to work with, and while I have just as many hours when I stay up late, I don’t have the motivation.  I love the early morning light, and the way the sun slants through the window just after eight.  And I can appreciate that so much more when I’ve already had coffee and breakfast.

I can get kind of obsessive about not wasting time–though I continue to do so–especially when I’m stressed.  When I was really depressed my junior year in high school I didn’t want to sleep at all.  Seriously.  Mostly I just got stuck on the idea that as human beings we spend approximately a full third of our lives asleep.

What a waste of time, right?

This was before I’d come to the realization that sleep, is, in fact, the only the best, most useful part of the day.  So lets just say it probably didn’t help that I was depressed.  They (they being scientists, somewhere, apparently doing research, probably with federal grants) have found that the clinically depressed, are often also often chronically sleep-deprived.  And I have discovered since then that I need between eight and nine hours of sleep at night.  No matter what time of night, or what time my alarm goes off, if I go back to sleep, I will get back up almost exactly nine hours lately.  Or sometimes eight, if I did intend on getting up for something.  For example, when my brother came by he didn’t get here until after midnight, and we ended up talking until nearly two.  I woke up this morning enough to turn off the alarm and actually got up at almost exactly 10 am because I was going to help my youngest brother with his essay.

I know I’m an English major because I wanted to take the thesis (which was very good) from his one-and-a-half page draft and turn it into an eight page paper just for kicks.  He was very grateful that I didn’t try to make him do that.

P.S. You’re also supposed to sleep better in a dark room as well.  I’ve always preferred pitch black.  Unfortunately someone made the incredibly odd decision to install indoor office fluorescent strip lights on the walkway (where the only windows are).  They are rusting.  Then again,  the cover came loose on the light nearest the stairway, and it has killed lots of bugs.  It must be their supa-secret plan.  And so long as I don’t get electrocuted.  But at any rate, it means my room is darkest (currently) at about 6:30pm just before those lights come on.  Blackout curtains, maybe, if I ever think of them and can afford them at the same time.