Saturday, October 28

I Am a Rock

Today is Saturday. Here in Madison, it's the Saturday before Halloween, which means people from across the country come to throw a big party on State Street. A really really big party. So big, it's on the front pages of Fox and CNN (granted it's the AP so it's the same story, verbatim). So big that for the last four years, it's climaxed on a Sunday morning at 2 am with pepper spray by the po po.

They city, by the way, is going to fence in a public street and charge admission in an attempt to keep the crowd small and under control.

I'm perched in the penthouse on top of the new Smith Hall on Park Avenue, I mean street. I'm two blocks west, 4 blocks south, and six floors up from the western terminus of the festivities. Yesterday, there was higher than normal traffic and very loud people were walking towards State Street until after midnight and things were still by about 1 am.

Wisconsin beat Illinois today after being down at half. I'm reluctant to let this out to the world, since this is a blog, yet no one ever really reads it, except for a few people (thanks for reading, if you're one of them) that I've overcome being born and spending the first 3 years of my life in Illinois. Man, that's an ugly state. Having grown up 5 miles north of the border, from first hand experience I can say that you can tell when you've crossed over. Chicago isn't too bad, but the rest of the state can't decide what it wants to be.

Anyway, after a home football game, for about an hour, starting about 15 minutes after the game ends, Park Street gets more backed up than the Des Plaines River, 'water on pavement' indeed!, and gobs of people cross it heading east. So that happened like normal, but larger than normal groups of people have been heading north all day. There's also a hockey game one block east of here, too.

Today hasn't been too exciting. I have a single room so, I've, how to say, been alone all day long. It made me think of the Simon and Garfunkel song. I've been rather idle all day. I kind of knew it would happen when I signed up for a single room last year.

Though, it's not completely bad. From Friday afternoon to Saturday night is really the only time of the week when I don't have to do anything so there's plenty of time for reflection. Who am I kidding? By associating with the GOP I've destined myself to a life of solitary money counting in my study. I've never really had to much of what people call "social skills". In fact, in school, I was always better friends with the teachers than with anyone my own age. I attribute that to the fact that neither I nor the teachers were never much into "power rangers". Ugg, how I hated that show. It's still around, in fact.

I don't think I'm such a weirdo. In Walden, Henry David Thoreau writes


Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other. We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old musty cheese that we are. We have had to agree on a certain set of rules, called etiquette and politeness, to make this frequent meeting tolerable and that we need not come to open war. We meet at the post-office, and at the sociable, and about the fireside every night; we live thick and are in each other's way, and stumble over one another, and I think that we thus lose some respect for one another...The value of a man is not in his skin, that we should touch him.

I had to look up the entire quote instead of paraphrasing. I like Henry and philosophy. He also wrote, among other things, about how life is too fast and complicated, and about how we're too materialistic. One of the more interesting things would be how he published Walden in 1854.

How many times have you met someone you knew and this ensued: Hi. How's it going? Fine, and you? Good. ... ... So did you hear about ___ ? Yeah, isn't it crazy? ... ... Well, I'm going to be late. See you later. Bye. I hate when that happens.

Without a cell phone I live a simple life. I'm all of about 10 people here at the UW without one. For people my age, what seems to be the main point of a phone? Scheduling musty cheese exchanges. Henry stresses quality over quantity.

Another quote I like is by Ben Franklin who said "Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none."

I started writing this post after arriving back from dinner at the cafeteria. There's a lot of musty cheese in there. People have the most empty conversations. I can tell, because I eat alone so I hear other people. Probably the most empty one was one girl to another: "Oh my God, how do you get your hair like that?" The other then went on to explain how.

Since it's Halloween, for the last few days people have been 'dressing up'. In other words, the freshmen are even more annoying than usual. Some people actually try, the best one I've seen was a black guy with a wig in a suit and those funky sideburns dressed up as Jules from 'Pulp Fiction'. It was pretty good. Tonight, I was in line behind half a dozen goth punk emo pirates. Putting on black clothing and pirate bandannas doesn't count as anything. Then when I sat down, some guy a few tables away had a porn-star handlebar mustache.

Then I came back and wrote this. I don't know what to do. I refuse to study on a Saturday. I've done all I feel like doing for the paper this weekend. I've found a new hobby in making filler pictures for the Beacon. I also get to work on my Adobe skills. I've got a good handle on Photoshop and InDesign, so now I'm working on Illustrator. I've developed a new title style, but it's a secret, for the paper. Hopefully, the next time we change looks, they'll consider it. I'm now working on choosing a new font scheme. Futura for the headlines would go along well with the title, I think, if you want a hint. I like it because both look sharp, modern, new, and strong. I haven't really decided on the body text, it ought to remain serif, though. I've found that I really enjoy doing design and layout. That with Adobe are valuable skills for an engineer.

Another ambulance just went south on Park. People are probably getting plastered all around the city tonight.

I expect the Halloween to be a flop this year. I can't imagine people paying to go on a street. People just want to get pepper sprayed by the cops. The young liberals just need to practice their solidarity against reason. This is getting long; I ought to wrap it up. SNL comes on at 10:35, but it's really crappy this year. And I'm not procrastinating so I can't think up any fake news now.

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