BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
The week begins
Monday. Thanksgiving week. Sort of lazy. It's not too bad not having a full-time job. I get to sleep IN. Very, very nice. Lounge lazily about until lunch, then head to work to give them a taste of my crazy efficiency. Then maybe some kung fu.
Yep, today I got some nice kung fu training, finished my latest form. Learning it, anyway. It's a rather long form. Most starting forms in the American schools of martial arts have a number of moves in the teens. 16 or so. Not too complicated. Our first form has over 80 moves. And it's not just "punch, block, turn this way, punch block, turn this way, do it again, and again, and again". We actually have complicated moves. And hand positions more than just the fist. Anyway, the form I just finished learning is in the neighborhood of 300 moves. It's moderately difficult. True Hung Gar stuff. (Google that, if you're curious about it.) This is the stuff classic Jet Li and Bruce Lee movies are made of.
I've been listening to a lot of Monte lately, too. My latest craze is the song "Tug of War". You should check it out. And the other obsession I've had is replaying Zelda. The Ocarina of Time. Except not exactly. I'm playing the re-release, with the legendary Master Quest. One of the best games ever made. Seriously. 'Nuff said.
My random link! This is something a friend of mine sent me, I thought I'd share. A nice Thanksgiving message.
Crazy week, indeed. It's been very very busy. I've been busy getting back to work, for one, and applying for more jobs, which is almost a full-time job in itself. So I don't get to sit in front of the computer all day, and updating my blog is outside of a regular cycle, now - forgive me, dear readers.
So the test wasn't too bad. Just wish I'd had a little bit more time. Didn't completely bomb out on any questions, and nailed most of them just fine. I did watch the new DVD that night with a bunch of people - it's excellent. Although long enough to make it a marathon-style movie. With intermission and all. We're talking the neighborhood of 4 hours. Although the sound and visuals are all excellent. And the extended scenes do add a lot of character development, which I think added a lot to the movie.
Thursday was pot luck day at Newman. I took cherry pie. Sadly, I don't think anyone had it. Just because someone there made a "prettier" pie. Pssh. The cool thing is a friend of mine is in from out of town. By "friend of mine" I mean a guy named Brian, who went to undergrad the same four years as me. And by "out of town" I mean Nicaragua. He's been teaching kids music for the last three years or so. Incredible musician, great guy.
Ah, and Friday. Did some work. Saw another friend from out of town. Not so far out of town. A guy named Bret, who gets the credit with propelling me on my way to guitar greatness. His was the first guitar I ever played. A Fender Jazzmaster, if I remember correctly. But the moment of the evening was the Monte Montgomery concert. The guy's incredible. Absolutely amazing. The show started with people sitting around (The Voodoo Room), just a club atmosphere. There's a twenty by fifteen open area in front of the stage, where this couple started dancing to the music and the opening gig. They were pretty freaky. He tossed her around quite a bit in a style I've never seen, simulating all sorts of naughty acts while they did it. We were glad when they stopped before Monte started. So he comes on stage, people start getting up and standing in front of the stage area. At first I was really annoyed, and then me and the two people with me said, "Screw it," and got up, too. So I got a spot on the right, watching him from about ten feet away. Like I said - incredible. The crowd eventually pushed all up, so it was a standing crowd. He amazed everyone - you could feel the excitement. Listening to him break away from a song, solo with skills nobody I've seen before has, then move back into the song after a four minute solo or so - the crowd went crazy. The cheering was insane. I think Monte loved it. It really was a great crowd. I think my hearing might have been permanently damaged, but it was the best concert I've ever seen.
And then yesterday I went to my second wedding. To play music. Which, by the way, was the same way I got invited to the first wedding. Since I tend to play for FREE for friends, and apparently, some people think I'm okay at music. It was me and Brian, and we did the music for the mass. We did a pretty good job, I think - we got a lot of complements. Just the two of us, switching around on melody and harmony, depending on the song. I was really nervous for the first song (which was acapella), but after that, it was all fine. Really smooth, traditional Catholic wedding. It was pretty good stuff.
AH. And I think that's most of it. And now, my random link. Something rather cool, and useful, if you live in Tulsa. Want food? Don't want to go out driving? Tired of having the vast choices between pizza and Chinese? Try this out.
Major test time
Yeah, I've got a big test Wednesday morning. Been studying. I did have some cool stuff happen today, although I don't really have time to detail it. It's time for bed, to rest properly. Although I'll still leave you with a random link. Something nice came out today. I highly recommend checking it out.
Late night addition
One more random link for the late night (up working on a presentation for school). Got this from a friend, and it frightened me. I thought I'd pass this lovely Thanksgiving thought to everyone else.
I missed my last update for a pretty good reason. Friday - I was at school taking my first class of the day (11 AM class), got back and saw two missed calls on my cell. From my boss. So I call him back, he says he needs to talk to me, which doesn't really sound promising to me. Sure enough, I get back, and I'm waiting to talk to him, and my other boss (my supervisor's boss, my actual manager) walks by and says he needs to talk to me. So I'm thinking this definitely isn't good. And it isn't. Looks like I've been victim to another company downsizing. So I'm on the prowl for a new job.
Being the badass I am, I'm starting a new job tomorrow at 9 AM. Not permanent, mind you - but it's employment. Short sub-contract to fix an issue somebody else left behind. Decent pay, so it'll cover a few more bills. That, and free lunch, and an interview with another company. So it's not too shabby! We'll see how it turns out.
Link of the day: found this in a Rolling Stone article. About a 17-year-old with some special powers. He's got a book, as well as a pretty slick site. Check it out.
Another long week
Looks like this week is gearing up to be pretty rough, as well. It's mostly preparation for next week, which is going to be pain condensed into half a week. Two tests, a group presentation, and then some. So yeah. That, and work today is INSANE. Trying to fix a problem. Going to make my other project work postponed, which I really don't like.
My thesis work is becoming quite interesting. I need to put together a small bit of information for my thesis advisor, which will be interesting. There's a lot of math involved - it's quite outside the bounds of what most people think of when they think of math. Lots of stuff about prime numbers and Fermat's theorems. Good stuff. I'll have to find out more before I can really get started on my code.
Anyway, like I said, busy at work. Just waiting to hear back from someone, so I'll have to cut it short. Random link? If you wondered about Matrix: Revolutions and how it all fit together, this might help. I'd go there ONLY if you've seen the movie, though. Not only will it spoil it for you, but it won't make any sense if you haven't seen the movie.
My ads are smart
Look, they've changed! Yes, to include classical guitar stuff. I wonder why. Maybe I didn't talk enough about SPARRING and KUNG FU. Anyway, don't miss out on my Monday blog which was a bit delayed, posted below.
The sister update. Last night she went back to campus, and earlier today she got her hair chopped. My mom finally gave up on trying to sort the ball of density that was held on the back of her head, which is sad, since she spent (honestly) over 12 hours working on it. So now she's shorn. Well, shorter hair, at least. I didn't recognize her immediately during lunch at Newman, which surprised me. But the staples are very visible, which is a little strange. I think the worst is over, and now she's just resting until she's back to normal. So I think that'll be it for my daily updates, since not much will change in the near future.
Yeah - Karaoke Revolution. I went ahead and got it. Accursed software made me lose sleep. I was up past 3, singing like a fool. It's way too addictive. I really meant to go to bed EARLY, too. They have some decent songs on there, not too bad. A little of everything. I managed to snag two other people into the fray - multiplayer up to 8 people. I'm going to have to test that capability in the future sometime.
School is getting somehow more and more time consuming. That, and stressful. I have a group project with four people. I'm supposed to be the group leader, according to our assignment. Two of the people of my group have broken away for some reason, and refuse the idea that I'm supposed to be the leader, since nobody informed them that the groups have leaders. So we've exchanged some e-mails, one of which has amused a number of people. I'll be respectful and NOT publish it on my blog (although I am very tempted), but a few people who did read it (as they were in the room as the other partner in my group who has not broken free from the original plan) had very choice words about the author of said e-mail. We'll have to meet with the prof about it, and he seems to be very understanding, which is cool. His name's Dr. Papa, and he actually just had a baby boy on Thursday. So congrats to Papa! Very cute kid, especially for a newborn. Full head of hair.
Ah, and I restrung the 12-string on the weekend. Which was very satisfying. Takes forfreakinever, but it sounds so nice when it's done. Which leads me to my guitar-related random link. Anyone trying to learn can benefit from something like this.
SUPER BUSY weekend over
It was a SUPER BUSY weekend, indeed. Lots of kung fu, since we had an open house on Saturday. Actually had four people sign up, which was good! Even though only one of them was purely from the open house. Got to put on some demos. Although a few of the students were sparring lightly beforehand... I sparred the senior student, and we were just playing around, when he brought his arm up (to block then strike, I believe). I tried ducking and moving forward, and his arm hit the bridge of my nose. Hard. I thought I was fine, just made my eyes water, then I felt the gushing. My nose started pouring blood like a faucet. It was lovely. So I got the bleeding to stop, put ice on it, all that. No serious injury, but it meant I had to step back a bit from the demos, to be cautious about restarting the bleeding. It's been fine since, just sore, and a little darker than normal.
My sister: she's back at home now, resting nicely. Still has a minor limp, can't feel everything in one of her legs, broken clavicle (collarbone) and twenty-something staples in the back of her head. And a neck brace. Aside from that, she's fine - her attitude is pretty much back to normal, she's not quite as groggy as she was in the hospital. Didn't get to visit her yesterday, but I'm going to try today after class.
Well, it looks like I forgot to post my blog entry. Doh. The date and time you see is when it SHOULD have been put up, but it actually took a little bit longer.
The weekend is HERE... almost
It's been a long week, yes. The weekend will be refreshing, even though I'm SUPER BUSY this weekend. Hopefully have some time to relax.
Lots of stuff today. Start with the sister update. Still in the hospital, although last night she looked almost back to normal. She looked a lot better than I've seen her yet. Still has the big hair issue, as well as a neck brace. She may go home today, or it might be a couple of days. There's no definite on that yet. As far as how it happened - my dad talked to the Highway Patrol, and they gave him what they think is the most likely explanation. This happened on 51, also, not the freeway. Somehow my sister lost control of the car, crossed the line and did a head-on into another vehicle. After that, bounced off of two other vehicles and the railing. One of the vehicles was a Cox truck, another one was also a large truck/van, and the third may have been a smaller vehicle. No serious injuries, which is good. So now it looks like just a matter of time until she goes home and gets back to normal. Although she won't be driving for at least six months, for medical reasons. Last minute update: just found out she'll be going home tomorrow. So that's the update.
Other stuff - went and saw LAGQ last night. In one word - WOW. They were absolutely incredible. Four virtuosos (virtuosi?) playing together with great understood communication and pure talent was amazing to see. They did a variety of stuff, everything from Bach to Corea. One of the things that made an impression on me was their use of the guitar as a percussive instrument, fairly often done in their songs. And the variety of percussive sounds they produced was impressive in itself. One of the members of the quartet was using a seven-string classical, which I've never seen. It was cool, though, allowed him a lower range of sound than normal. They received two standing ovations, one before and one after the encore. Speaking of which - their encore was a song they called "Pachelbel's Loose Canon", which began in a way everyone recognized (quite nicely by the way), but then went off on a series of mad tangents into other musical styles, while keeping the core of the song intact. This included a nightclub-style jazz section and a banjo breakdown section. Very, very entertaining to watch and hear. They also did a song based on something they saw in Singapore, which was very percussive. They got sounds out of their guitars I've never heard a guitar produce before, by adding small pieces of metal and other things to the strings, and also by playing it in a very different way. I think it amazed everyone. I happened to run into my first guitar teacher there (taught me when I was 15). His name's Jim Bates - incredible musician. I may end up taking from him again, after graduating. To flesh out my skill set on the guitar.
So that was awesome. Other stuff - things coming up. One, a big one, is another major movie. You might have heard of it, from a series called Lord of the Rings. Anyway, before the big finale is released, the extended version of the second movie is to be released. From what I've heard, this is going to be an amazing DVD set, as good as the first movie extended version was. Yes, I already pre-ordered it. A while ago. Looking forward to both that and the release of the new movie.
And something else worthwhile coming up, that I just found out about - a PS2 game, called Karaoke Revolution. Made by a company called Harmonix. I was very happy with their previous release (a little game called Frequency), so I have faith that this game will be in the same ballpark of enjoyment. They have a variety of music in their song list for the game, so there will be some choice in what can be sung. And yes, you do sing. If you purchase the bundle, it comes with a headset microphone that plugs into the PS2. You sing along with your song of choice, and you're ranked based on pitch and tempo. In addition to that, the level you perform at affects how your character acts and how the crowd around you reacts. The better you do, the more pumped the crowd gets. I really like the idea of this game because it's something that can actually improve a skill (aside from button pushing) outside of gaming. That, and it is multiplayer, which you know is just too cool.
The link today is something you should be aware of for the weekend. And speaking of weekends, have a good one!
Ah, another day. My event for the day is interesting. Not really bad, though. I got braces! Yes, really. I had them in high school for three years, but I didn't keep wearing the retainer, so my teeth are starting to move, bit by bit. I thought while I was single and moderately young I'd take care of it. But not just braces - Invisalign. It's quite cool. They're removable, almost invisible. I get a new set every two weeks, I'll probably have them for about a year or so. Yes, they're expensive. After I graduate it shouldn't be as much of a problem, though.
The sister update. She's gotten a lot better, more energy. They say she might go home as soon as tomorrow. Although the no broken bone thing might have been a little inaccurate - she may have cracked her collarbone. Well, her seatbelt did. I did get to see the pictures - it's pretty crazy. It really is amazing she made it out of there in one piece. She's able to sit easily and even stand and walk a bit, instead of just lying down. She's got a giant lump of hair all mashed kind of together, which my mom has been working on separating since two nights ago. And no, she's not willing to chop it. They're doing more tests today, so she won't be leaving yet, but hopefully tomorrow she might be able to go home and rest there for a bit.
I saw Revolutions last night at the IMAX. Great crowd, it was entertaining. I really thought it was fun. Since it is the last one and it can only unravel in one chosen way, it probably disappointed a few people. I thought one scene in particular lasted a little longer than necessary, but I'll let you decide that when you see it, so I won't say what it is. Some of the battle scenes were incredible, though. Some images that came up made me very impressed. I do just wish Seraph had gotten more fighting time - he's a bad mamma jamma. There's still a few things that are left to question, which to me is satisfying. There won't be a blatant sequel, although one is possible, if they really wanted to make one. It's good enough that I'll probably go see it one more time, in a non-IMAX theater.
Ah, and I get to go see LAGQ tonight! Thanks to my dad. It's a guitar quartet, and they're freakin' amazing. Tickets are GONE, since they were free they went fast. But somehow my dad scored two. So that will be quite cool. I'm looking forward to it.
Random link today: they've managed to make something so that you look even more insane when you're talking on the phone.
What's up Wednesday
Halfway through the week. I've had joyous events happen every day! And today, I'll openly admit - I managed to fall up the stairs. Honestly, I haven't tripped and fallen in over three years - my coordination is usually together. Although today my mind was somewhere else, apparently. Running up the stairs before class, yes, in public, I tripped and dropped my notebook and my Pepsi (which was, thankfully, sealed) while slamming into the stairs in front of me. Right next to this poor guy who had to witness it. I recovered gracefully (well, maybe not, but I did get up promptly) and went on to class. I bumped my elbow pretty nicely, so I thought to myself, "Let's see if I actually left a mark," and YES, there was blood everywhere. Made me wish I'd had a napkin. Or something. Afterwards I cleaned up and it's really not that bad, just enough to bleed. Semi-profusely.
Anyway, the updates on the sibling situation. (For those just tuning in, it starts on Monday, below.) Visited her last night, she's out of the ICU now, open to visitors. She's still hopped up on tons of drugs, and her eyes looked like they had to weigh two pounds each. Sort of freaky looking, I think, but I think it was from exhaustion and drugs, should be back to normal soon. Found out a little more about the accident - one of the vehicles was a Silverado, the others were all LARGE vehicles. I think she crossed the median somehow (still no word on how it actually started) and pretty much did a head-on with the Silverado. The Silverado itself was pretty trashed, which says something about the level of impact. My sister's car, according to my mom: the back was okay, the front was pretty far gone, especially the driver's side. They had to cut through the airbag, I believe. And her seat had been rotated (no, that's not supposed to be an option for comfort) so she was facing a bit more towards the door. I think the tire on that side was shoved into the car. Still haven't seen pictures, so I can't say for sure. As for everything else, she really seems okay - has a bruised tongue, somehow (entire left side of it, nice and purple), pretty pained shoulder (nice bruise from the seatbelt), and staples in the back of her head. She had an all-natural hair color change to the back of her head, to a deep red, although she got to take a shower as I was leaving, so that's probably cleared up now. That's all I've got for the moment, more updates when I find out more.
And for some positive news. Matrix opens today. Mixed reviews, quite a few negative, which has me worried. I'll be viewing it tonight at 10:30, so I'll give a personal (non-spoiler) opinion of it afterwards. After talking about anime yesterday combined with stress from a variety of places, I decided I'd be naughty and add to my collection. I went out and got Princess Mononoke, which I highly recommend. It is NOT a kids' movie, though, even though it was advertised as such. Sadly, the advertisements worked against it - parents realized too late (as they left early with highly upset kids) that it wasn't really a children's movie, and the group of people who would have liked it never saw it because they thought it was, yes, a children's movie. It is quite good, though - much better character development and plotline than the average "cartoon", not to mention the excellent soundtrack, and even has good English dubs for a change. Quite famous people doing the dubs, too. Some gorgeous scenes, as well. Give it a try, you might just like it.
And the random link. I think reality TV might finally be going a little too far.
Week of fun
What a lovely week. It's only day two! So much more to look forward to.
So yes, I'm sure you're aching to ask. "So how's your sister?" It's okay, everyone asks. Here's the news. Found out last night it was a total of four cars involved. Still don't know how it happened, for sure. Happened closer to Stillwater than here (which is why the airlift was necessary). She got x-rays last night, found out today that she somehow didn't break anything. Which, after seeing the car (I haven't yet, my parents did), is apparently a miracle. They did have to cut her out with the Jaws of Life (tm). I'll have to give an update after seeing the car. She is better, though - on a lot of drugs, which is probably keeping her content. She's being moved today out of ICU, which is a good sign. Quite a few people have expressed concern about her, which is good to know. Oh, and the Game Boy thing - she apparently thought she hallucinated that experience, because her brother loaning anyone a GAMING SYSTEM is unheard of. So that's kind of funny.
Probably no kung fu again tonight, sadly. Going to visit again, after work. I did get some exercise in last night, which is great for stress relief. And Revolutions comes out tomorrow! Will be seeing it on the IMAX. Should be good stuff. I do hope the Polish brothers don't let me down.
Have been reviving my 24 viewing. So good. Mmm. That, and the lead actress (who plays Kiefer Sutherland's daughter) gets bonus points. So hot. Mmmmm. It frightens me to wonder how old she actually is. Probably 12.
And I have two random things for you today. One of semi-controlled anger, the other about learning another language. Oh, that, and Ghost in the Shell 2 is coming out. The first movie is excellent. Not a children's cartoon, however. I pity the parents who think Ninja Scroll will be just a cool ninja movie for their 8-year-old. Americans have yet to properly learn about anime.
Okay, so I could have worded that a little differently. But this is a public area. I'm going to be nice.
What a way to start the week. I found out this morning that my sister had been in a car accident. She was on the freeway, something went wrong, the airbag went out, next thing she knew a lot of medical people were loading her onto a helicopter. It was a one-car accident, the cause is still being determined. I visited her around lunchtime (just now eating, I'm back at work). She seemed to be doing all right - she was conscious, a little rattled, understandably. But she was communicating fine, same with my mom, which shows plenty of comprehension. Especially considering my mom speaks to both her and I only in Spanish. I'll visit her later today. Right now she's in the ICU at St. John's, only family can visit, and then only during visitor's hours. She'll be there for at least a night, most likely. Then moved into a different area where she can receive other visitors. Which would be good.
Anyway, that shook up my day a bit - I would normally be in class right now, but I thought it'd be best to cancel it, re-order my day a bit. So that means no second class, no kung fu tonight. At least, not in class. Maybe practice on my own time. It'd be good for me, alleviate some tension. I know my sister can't alleviate tension quite the same way, so I left her my Game Boy Advance (a limited edition Platinum version, with a homemade Afterburner installation, although you can look other places for an easier way) and two games to pass the time.
So! Who knows what the evening may bring. We'll see. So much stress can make a man tough. Though some men are tougher than others.
Ha HA! Foolish blogger, trying to erase my entry yet AGAIN. But I know the powers of cut and paste! Yes, oh yes. So my entry is saved! Ah, clipboard, I lavish my affection upon thee.
as of 10/23/03