The Domain of Steven Pinnacle of Paperless Perfection

25Dec/055

One day I’ll catch that Drd13/Clr5/Rog2 in the act…

I don't have normal dreams. I could've had a dream about Christmas, holiday spirit, or even the games (not to mention people) I've been obssessing over. Instead, I get some freakish conglomeration of...well...lots of things.

This dream isn't as clear as my last major one. I'm not sure how it started, but it involved me walking into Stuy through the second floor entrance and coming upon the senior bar. For those who don't know what it looks like, picture a square area around twenty-five feet on each side. I'm coming from the southwest corner, there is an up escalator at the north side, a hallway perpendicular to the north side at the northwest, ac opening to a larger hallway/locker area to the northeast, and an opening to offices to the southeast. But the most distinctive feature of the senior bar is the senior bar: a row of lockers arranged in a quarter-circle whose ends point towards the eastern and southern walls. People (usually seniors) sit on the bar, and it acts as a general hangout spot considering almost all students have to pass it to get into school.

But this time it wasn't a hangout spot; it was the location for some bizarre event. Bizarre Love Triangle bizarre. People were arranged in two lines leading from the escalator to the senior bar so that there was a walkway coming down from the escalator. People were coming down the escalator in pairs wearing very fancy, sexy clothes, strutting as the lines of people cheered them on. I didn't know what it was for, but I remember walking down the northwestern hallway in disgust.

That was when someone walked alongside me and asked why I hated them so much. I replied that no one there was really happy for anyone else, but that they just wanted to see people in hot clothes and be part of something lively. The other person seemed to take offense to this, and motioned over to a friend to walk beside us. I sensed the tension as they flanked me, and that's when things totally went to hell.

The first person pulls out a bow on me. Like, a freaking huge composite longbow at least 2/3 his size. No idea where he was hiding that thing. I stop for a moment, staring him down, before I burst into action, drawing out a knife and spinning around behind me to put his companion at knifepoint. I'm not sure why, but I kept thinking of it in Dungeons & Dragons rules terms: I had rolled a successful tumble check to move through an enemy space without provoking an attack of opportunity, then successfully initiated a grapple as well as another grapple to pin the person and ready an action to attack her. I also knew that he'd get a penalty for firing into melee, and that I'd get cover bonuses to my AC because of the human shield. To top off the craziness, this random bystander pulled out a sword and held it ready at the longbowman.

I then saw the encounter through his analytical perspective. He knew that his crazy bow skillz (probably had some crazy upgraded version of Point Blank Shot) would be enough to take down the swordsman, but I'd stab his friend in the heart. There things get stranger: he knew that I was a wizard, but that my current repertoire of spells was very limited. He considered the possibility of me chucking the dagger at him, but he knew it'd do only 1d4 damage, and was a last resort considering I'd lose my weapon without a guarantee of taking him down.

He finished his analysis, and decided that he'd rather taste some combat. He kills the swordsman with an arrow as I thrust the dagger through his companion. As he's firing a second arrow at me, I chuck the dagger at him while holding the body for cover. The dagger glances off him but distracts him enough for me to deflect the slightly off-target arrow with the body. I then whip out this relatively small glowing white bow named Hohenheim of Light. Man, talk about strange Full Metal Alchemist references to end a strange dream.

(Yes, I know that technically my grappling stunt would have taken at least two rounds, that I wouldn't have gotten a cover bonus, and that I really would have been MORE vulnerable considering I'd lose my dexterity bonus to AC when in the grapple. Not to mention that attacking someone 5 feet away with a bow would have provoked an attack of opportunity. But come on.)

Filed under: Friends, Life, Musings 5 Comments
18Dec/0511

I hope Salieri can absolve me

Everything I hear about MIT brims with coolness. Uberness, even. Running around in the middle of the night trying to avoid campus police, climbing on top of the dome, putting a car on top of the dome, creating ingenius works of technical brilliance, dressing up the school in homage to the video games of old...it's almost like the school is too crazy to be real. MIT seems like this mystical place where the best of the best go, and do things that are talked about forever.

Perhaps it's (counterintuitively) because I've heard such great things about it that I could never bring myself to even apply there. It's like I'm not sure if I'd be the person I envision MIT students to be. I don't know if I'm smart enough, resourceful enough, creative enough, motivated enough - heck, I don't even know if I'm weird enough! Stories tell of MIT students creating programs in their spare time that I've relied for years, yet even when prompted I couldn't create a program I'd use once a month. It may be that I can't do it, but I think it's more that I don't want to do it. I don't want to create something amazing, or to explore the intricacies of something we take for granted. That's not my bag of fun. Mine usually comes in annoyingly Starforce-protected form.

I suppose it's best summarized by my vocal explanation to my mother as to why I might be hesitant to apply to an extremely techy school like RPI, "I'm like 'Hey, compsci is pretty cool,' while people at RPI are like 'OMG COMPSCI RULEZZZZ!'" I don't think I could ever make the change that characterizes those students, and I'd be alienated. I'd be the kid that didn't do anything crazy; he just passed his classes, hung out with friends, and played lots of games.

Yet when I read it, I don't feel that there's anything wrong with that life. In fact it sounds great. I love friends, I love games, and I even love classes on occasion. I could live that life for four years in any other college and I wouldn't mind. I could live a 9 to 5 life for the rest of my life, with random socializing and games to mix it up, and I wouldn't mind. It's only when I see people doing so much more with their lives that I start to get envious. I'd love to be them, but I don't want to be them enough to do anything about it. Is it possible to be content yet left wanting? Can I really be content when I feel inferior?

This jealousy is going to drive me crazy one of these days.

16Dec/052

Out of context? Of course.

V. Au: But when I let the parent sleep, the child does work. However I need the parent to die. What is my problem?
-----
J. Lin: As long as a woman has a baby, she has no real reason to create literature.

I knew that the letter from Carnegie Mellon was way too thin to be an acceptance letter. Makes sense; what more do you need to reject someone than to flick the rapier and go into Prep C? It irks me that I have to write at least three more essays (probably more in the range of four to six). I'm lazy and it takes a while for me to actually start writing, so I may cut down my list of schools. I'm definitely applying to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and I've already applied to SUNY Binghamton. Possibly applying to Boston University. They're reach/safety schools. The real variability comes from the other schools, which happen to be brand name. I'm picking and choosing from Cornell, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins. Well, mainly just Columbia and Johns Hopkins, but Cornell is still in the running.

However, if I couldn't get into Carnegie Mellon Compsci, what chance do I have to get admitted to Ivy League schools? I'd still like to dream, which is why I'm applying to at least one, but I'd rather not waste my time on fruitless dreams (eh, tim?). So I figure I'll get the RPI/BU(?) essays done first, and then write as many dream essays and applications as time allows. Which will, in all likelihood, be only one.

I'm taking the rejection fine. I know things will turn out for the best. I just wish I didn't have to do more work 😛 .

Edit: Okay, did my research and finalized the list. I'm applying to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Boston University, SUNY Binghamton, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins. I'll only have to write a short essay for BU and write an optional (hah, yea right) essay for Johns Hopkins. We'll see what happens with those.

2Dec/057

Roly poly rhymes

Happy and sad,
Tired and awake,
I'm not sure how much more
of this cycle I can take.

I procrastinate. I sleep at 1 or 2 AM on a daily basis, waking up at 6:25 AM. I do very little homework, if at all, due in no small part to my tendency to get sidetracked as well as starting my homework as late as 11 PM despite coming home several hours earlier. I regularly feel remorse for my actions, though inaction would be the more appropriate term, and then five minutes later go back to procrastinating.

And yet I keep doing it because once the ten seconds of remorse runs its course, I'm perfectly content. Maybe even happy. There are plenty of things I love to do in the world, plenty of things that I have already done, and plenty of things that I have yet to do. I could step away right now and I'd be satisfied with the things I've done. Content with the memories made.

That contentment is perhaps what's keeping me from being more efficient. Most of the time I like how my life is going. Sure, I'm sleepy during particular classes, and will eventually get yelled at by a teacher for handing in a project late, but I'll do fine. I've done fine, I will do fine, and I'll be content with however "fine" is defined, so why change that?

I had thought that with my shifting from Xanga to Blogger to Deadjournal to Freewebs to Movable Type to WordPress that maybe I wasn't a traditional. I do like new techy things: new gadgets, new programs, new discoveries. Yet the more I think about it, while there may be instances where I like to shift around, I really prefer to settle into grooves. Be it in an online world or in school, I've had the most fun when it was something I could rely on.

I just hope that when the dust has cleared after I've left college, that something will be a someone.