The Domain of Steven Pinnacle of Paperless Perfection

19Jul/055

Avoiding Paradox

I'm not sure where I would be right now if I didn't have my internship. I don't have any interest in medicine, and my family is full of doctors or nurses, I don't need to intern to help my resume or supply me with methamphetamine. I haven't stepped into a library of my own accord for at least three years, and until they start stocking porn (no, Yoli, Ah! My Goddess doesn't count) (Love Hina would), I have no intention of doing so. I don't like being in the sun, much less being in the sun picking up trash, I'm not intimidating enough to watch over middle school kids, and I refuse to wear a cup when watching over elementary school kids.

So it's a good thing I did happen upon the internship, and was invited back for a second year. The office is air-conditioned (sometimes too much so), there's rarely manual labor involved, I get Internet access, and sometimes I get to tour the city on a site visit. The only things that would make this job better are either illegal or involve cleaning up a mess afterward. Some are both.

Things are pretty much the same this time around in terms of what I'm doing. I don't have immediate access to the cool acoustical software I used last year, and I haven't gone on any site visits yet, but I've got all summer. And to make the days go by easier, there are two interns around my age right next to me: a female going to college, and a male going into his senior year. They both got the internship through some organization that gives out internships to a select number of applicants. They work Monday to Thursday for six hours, take a leadership/ethics/sex class on Friday, and get paid. I work an extra hour+.25 longer, and have to work instead of taking a sex class, but I get paid more 😀 .

Not that I really use the money. I replaced my dead shell of a MP3 player with a new one, and while it's fine, it doesn't give me the "omfg i love this mp3 player soooo much, i'm going to carry it around in plain sight, fall asleep, and get it stolennnnn!" feeling. I'm still trying to resist the temptation of the iPod, but I may just upgrade next year. We'll see what new things come out by then.

And I got a new computer! Though to say that I got it wouldn't be totally correct...more like my father almost randomly brought home a new computer. An awfully good one, too...in fact even scarily good. But if it lets me play Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines with load times less than my previous computer's two minutes each (and being forced to go through three of them every quest), and then I'm nothing but happy.

Indeed, I've been happening across a lot of things lately, as I've also been winning raffles. I've only won one before, which was a decent computer from my prep school. But it seems that while I've an uncanny ability to have things fall my way (scholarship->internship combo, to say the least), so does my girlfriend. And when combined...it's like we're past five dots. So, before I'm shunted into a Realm...

The hopes and dreams of countless Stuy Robotics team members who spent ten, twenty, even thirty dollars during their team party's raffle for an iPod Mini...those hopes and dreams were ruined when the mini was won. It was won for three dollars, but most importantly it was won by someone not even on the Robotics team. Me. If you need a pure, real, hands-shaking-for-a-minute-afterward rush, you need look no further than crushing the hopes and dreams of an entire Stuy Robotics team. Like when I won the computer, the drawing was slow and nerve-breaking. Hopes and dreams were crushed handfuls at a time, as they called out the individual digits one by one. Brilliantly devious. The hopes and dreams were highest towards the end, so I savored the moment and devoured them as quickly as I could while receiving my prize. I was irked by not winning the tool set or emergency water in a pink fanny pack, but the mini was my consolation prize, and I received heckling as a complimentary (and obligatory) gift.

Team member: "You'd better watch your back."
Me: "You'd better not watch your back."
Team member: "...why not?"
Me: "Cause when I'm fucking you up the ass, it's best to just close your eyes and shut everything out."

Yea. No more heckling after that. I just shared the news with my girlfriend (who had left early but put also bid on the mini), and then gave her the mini as an early birthday present not long after. That's gonna be a tough bar for me to beat.

But I came close. While checking blogs, my girlfriend found out that Cold Stone ice cream was giving away a year's worth of ice cream as part of a new flavor promotion. We were going out anyway, so she convinced me to stop by and try our luck. The raffle drawing was slow and meticulous, but like the slow and meticulous drawings in the past, it had the same result. I won, though my girlfriend was actually the first to realize it. I got a boolet of certificates for free ice cream, twice a month for a year. Seeing a serving of their ice cream probably has more fat than I have on my entire body...I could definitely use it. I split the book with her, because if she didn't enter the raffle too, who knows who would have been picked? And, you know, I'm nice. *protectors of modesty bust into the room, guns blazing*

In others news, there's a lot of road trip mileage going on nowadays. I had to drop off my brother at baby CTY this Sunday, which was more boring than anything else. We got there obscenely early like we always do, and we always end up having massive downtime before the opening ceremony. I didn't exactly have nostalgia, because I barely remember anything about baby CTY...I was more tired than anything else. I slept straight through the majority of the 4 and 5 hour rides to and from Chestertown, Maryland.

And I'll be taking seven hour rides this Friday and Saturday. I'm going to the RIT Careers & College program, where I can learn about a variety of careers, but with a strong emphasis on vocational goals and engineering. I'm using this as a major chance to find out more about the computer science field, because everyone my mother has talked to says that it's crap. Low pay, not enough jobs, long hours...ditto for architecture, my secondary option for a major. But at least the trip will be fun, because it's overnight and my girlfriend is coming with me. No pun intended.

All in all...it's been good. Hot, though that's not always a bad thing. And it's nice to be able to eat Quiznos every day for lunch again and be paid to read Telgard, even despite its data loss.

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16Jun/054

THE POWER IS YOURS!

American Studies Teacher: "So, why did people act so recklessly in the 20s?"
Me: "Well, they had the attitude of 'Fuck everything'."
AST: *stunned* Umm, wow, okay...
--Later
AST, to English Teacher: "You know, Steven cursed in class today."
ET: "He what?"
AST: "He said the f-word."
ET: "STEVEN DROPPED THE F-BOMB?!"

--During an APCS presentation
Me: "So that's how the program looks. Now, onto the main class for the progra-"
*warning bell rings, class is almost over*
*anxious to leave, someone starts a slow clap to signal the end of the presentation*
Me: *dead serious* "Hey, shut the FUCK up."
*silence*
*class starts clapping and cheering*
*teacher is trying to restrain nearly uncontrollable laughter/shock*

I'm a pottymouth.

Health final yesterday went pretty well. Had about 20 minutes leftover, so I jotted down a plea for a good grade, drew a smiley face out of smiley faces, and transcribed the Captain Planet. World health is health too.

Spanish regents tomorrow, US History regents Tuesday, Physics regents Wednesday. Tuesday after that is my last day, then I've got a day free before I start to work again.

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31May/050

Who WOULDN’T want to turn into a reet?

Counterintuitive as it may seem, it's worst when they talk to you about it. Proponents for communication have strong arguments, but their examples have underlying requirements. For example, the problem has to be addressed directly. There can't be any beating around the bush. For thought springboarding, sure, you can be as indirect as you want; I'm doing it right now. It's when fielding ideas in a playful manner is considered directly addressing the issue that fans get shitted on.

It had happened a while ago, too. I answered it in my usual fashion, making a reference to movie cliches, but the issue was pressed. I then switched into semi-philosophical mode, trying to bring the conversation to some semblance of a resolution, because there was really no answer to the question. I failed my purpose as a springboard, and because I didn't think too hard about the weight that was put on it, I barely even recognized it as a cry for help. You could even say I trivialized it.

And whether out of disappointment about my ignorance or by natural progression, the issue escalated. If I knew it was a serious issue, I would have treated it like a serious issue. But unlike when the roles were reversed, I didn't get a chance to. I wasn't affected by the issue, but I wish that the issue would have been clearly laid on the table along with concerns and requests. And I wish that an answer would have been asked for, instead of constructed based off of irrelevant comments.

And so here it is again. It's scary, because this time, I am involved. It's scaring me on levels that had previously been safe zones, and as a person who thrives on stability, if I lose too many safe zones, I stop being able to function.

Perhaps that's the problem right there. But how could I fix it? Would I simply be ignorant of things? Train my mind so that I simply don't think of as many possibilities, and analyze things so shallowly that I need to see pictures to understand things?

No. I'll confront it. For once, I'll confront it.

That or lose all my worries and resolve once I get some sleep, like normal.

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22May/055

Always tryin ta keep the brotha down…

I managed to convert my usual procrastination tendencies (a response to my workload) into posting energy.

The SATs went fine. They gave us an awfully bullshit writing topic, one that bordered on philosophical. It seemed to go along with the trend that started with the first SAT writing topic, but not with most of our practice tests. I was able to flow with it, though, and relate it to an anecdote as well as a literary text. So what if I used the text in a completely different manner than it was written for? SAT prep had already trained me to be cold, callous, and without morals. That's how I went from getting 2/6 to 6/6 on my essays: by stretching truths. It worked on my practice test when I said that Britain devised the Zimmerman telegram to draw the US into WWII (no real proof, so half true), and hopefully it'll work when the examiners read that Aldous Huxley's Brave New World described a society where each person had been trained from birth to fill a certain role in that society, and was completely content (true, but he used it to criticize society, not support it). Tentative scores come out tomorrow.

The college trip (over a month ago) was great. It introduced me to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and SUNY Binghamton, both of which I'm very interested in, and I had a very fun time with friends, even if they do barge in your room and try to undo the chain lock with the Do Not Disturb sign. There was wild Family Guy, Monty Python, and phone sex goodness, with a bit of Chobits mixed in there too. Combine it with very cool pitch-blackness on the ride back, and it pretty much tempers the fact that the rules about bus switching were very strict.

Happy birthday, dear.

There's a bit more randomness to show you, with a little porn thrown in there. ( x x x x x x )

It's oddly amusing to discover through the AIM virus that you're on your girlfriend's ex's buddy list.

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14Apr/054

Post-mortem report

Writing that last post was scary and thrilling. In some ways, I blew things out of proportion. I had felt angry at the time, but once the immediate situation passed, so did that emotion. So why was it so prevalent just a single post ago?

Cause I wanted it to be. Before that, I had never really expressed anger. Writing it was addictive, almost euphoric. There was an elation that I felt inside me as my fingers became cold and tingly that made me want to keep writing. To have the words and feelings rush together and flourish, to expand and develop hate and malice...it was foreign to me. When the situation was over I had felt no spite, no anger, I just wanted the situation to be over and done with. And not too long ago there I was, feeding it to see what it'd do.

So there you have it. That's what you get. Drink up while you can, because it might be the only opportunity you have. Chances are, I'll have buried the hatchet with my inner self by tomorrow morning. The only problem is that though the hatchet is buried, I can only put so much dirt on it myself. To keep it from being used again, I need someone else's help. I need the help of the person who used it with me, to bury it so deep that it'll never again see the light of day.

My fingers are cool. Not nervous cold, just cool. It's a nice feeling. So this is what it takes to bring me out of my school-imposed posting hiatus.

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14Apr/052

Oldest elf, with the baker’s hat, please step forward.

I tend to scrap these kinds of posts, because I like being liked. If it were possible, I'd want to be liked by everybody. I'd be perfectly happy and content if I was an upstanding member of a small community, with a good reputation and role to fulfill, with both acquaintances and friendships. And posts like this aren't made by people like that.

But she had it coming. For this post, and this one post only, I'm going to be pompous. I'm going to be arrogant. I'm going to be snobby. I'm going to act like I had the world on my side, because that's how I felt. I felt that what I observed about her actions was true no matter how you looked at it. I was offended continuously, day after day, and she didn't pick up on the hints I gave. I repeated what was feeling again and again, this time bluntly, and she didn't acknowledge it. She trivialized it.

She made it seem like it's not her fault. That it's one of her inherent qualities, a quality that I should accept. A recurring insult that I should accept, because it's inherent. That she can't change, because it's inherent. That she shouldn't change, because it's inherent. She's sorry, but for nothing, because it's not a problem. It's a perfectly rational action: when you can't answer someone, you act like they didn't say anything at all. The proper course of action is to board another conversation as soon as possible.

I'm not sure what irked me the most. I was upset that it happened again and again, day after day, in groups as small as three. But when the pile started shaking and moving my vocal cords, I stabilized it, before the band could get up to episode seven. I had let it go once with them already, and another time with her friend, and was currently making a hat trick. I had semi-calmly told her what was wrong, but it didn't register in her mind that it was a problem, so she acted like nothing had happened, that she didn't hear me say what I was pissed about. So she asked. And I embraced that elf and told her what I was pissed about. I told her again and again, trying to drive that one fucking point into her head until her stubbornness would submit.

I later realized that it might have been a battle I should have forfeited. On the separate train back I was thinking of apologies I could make. "I'm sorry that I talked about an issue that was bothering me." "I'm sorry for being so open." "I'm sorry that your mind couldn't accept the fact that you hurt someone." "I'm sorry that apologizing is beyond you." "I'm sorry I didn't give up and accept a lighthearted response to an issue that I found dead serious."

And I realized that I shouldn't apologize. She was the one that was being an ass. She was the one that refused to acknowledge that the issue existed, that my feelings existed, that I existed. So fuck her.

And I realized that if I had the chance, I'd apologize all the same.

Let's keep this one my one and only. Please.

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30Mar/055

Third time’s a charm

Going on the third and final College Trip this week. Leaving early Friday morning, coming back late Saturday night. During this shorter trip, we'll be visiting upstate colleges (SUNYs and Cornell stick out in my mind). Nothing grand, but it's not like I had a shot at going to those Ivies anyway. Regardless, it'll be a fun trip, hopefully with a variant of McGuire.

The main problem I see is the hotel accomodations. There are four people in the room, and two beds. The guys I've roomed with seem to have this natural instinct to set up a one-bed-one-person rule. I don't have any problem with sharing a bed, especially if it would otherwise mean me sleeping on the floor, but it's awfully awkward to ask someone, "Hey, would you mind if I slept with you?" Come on.

Last time it wasn't as bad. Three people over two days meant that while someone would get a bed both times, someone would sleep in a bed at least one out of the two nights. If this trip were two nights, it wouldn't be as bad, because everybody would sleep in a bed once, easy as that. But when there are two short straws to be distributed among four people, there's going to be some conflict. I assume we're going to whip out the TI-83s again to roll some dice and find out who's getting the bed, but I'll see if I can play on people's fear of my genitals to guarantee a bed for myself.

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30Mar/052

More self-imposed rule breaking? Blasphemy!

SarcasticSteven (1:05:13 PM): if you took the last three days and isolated them, you'd think i had a social life
SarcasticSteven (1:05:20 PM): it's blowing my mind

And by three days, I meant Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That shows you how long I've been meaning to post, but kept back because of the deadly duo of work and procrastination. It was a barrage of social activities during the three-day weekend that just passed, and it was obscenely fun. Obscenely tiring too, but it's not like I normally get the chance to do much, so I was happy. Thursday night was spent at Junior Comedy Night, where for a relatively nominal fee we would get two drinks and a two-hour show by a number of stand-up comedians. Friday afternoon was spent at her place, and Friday night was spent at a friend's party. Saturday night was spent at a friend's sweet sixteen in a restaurant/party place.

14Mar/054

Yes, just a misspelling…

So that's what it feels like to truly worry. To feel as if the whole world is full of dangers, of evil people lurking in the shadows. To put your complete trust in that person, leaving not a drop for anyone else. To want to let go, but find yourself gripping even tighter. To fear that the person may never come back the same. To dread just sitting there while the person could be in danger. And to be paralyzed when it comes to allaying those fears, because you don't want to seem possessive and controlling.

So that's what it's like to be in love.

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10Mar/052

“They know, and you should too, otherwise one day she’s going to bring it up and you’re going to be sleeping on the couch.”

Male bus drivers know everything. It's scary.

American Studies has always been a mixed bag. On one hand, the teachers give out homework by the buttload, and when you're being ass-fed for two terms, your large intestine and anus stretch to the point where a buttload is a lot. Projects are almost always late-night affairs, the tests are hard, and you're not guaranteed a great grade.

Yet there's plenty to balance, if not overcome, those failings. Class discussion, which is sometimes just a regurgitation of information, is always interesting and often spruced up with outside material. Projects, while tiring, are often fun to do because of their uniqueness. One project involved us assuming the roles of historical figures and creating skits with them, and another project involved us creating a children's book that was amusing yet informative with regards to the Lower or Upper East Side of Manhattan. We've gone on field trips, which is something I can't claim for any other class in my time at Stuyvesant. And the teachers are cool, if rather strict. They make jokes during class, and create a close-knit attitude in class that lets them pick on people when the time arises.

I had accidentally misspelled my name on a paper I wrote, so that I was Sven Li. I didn't realize it until the teacher walked up to me as I was waiting for gym and said, "Hello Sven!" I was confused, and looked around for a second to make sure there wasn't a Sven standing behind me, when she clarified, "Sven. That's how you spelled your name on your paper. It's nice to see that you're Swedish." I make a point to match whatever's thrown at me, so I responded, "Yes, I've decided to come out of the closet and fully embrace my Swedish heritage." It became a running joke that was repeatedly told to both American Studies classes, so that I was no longer Steven. I was Sven, Mr. Swedish.

Little things like that, absent from most other classes, is why I actually participate during American Studies classes. Because they're the first English and Social Studies classes to engage me in a long time, and possibly the only one to engage me at all in my time at Stuyvesant.

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