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Archive for June, 2002

things

Friday, June 28th, 2002

So I haven’t updated in a week or so because I am in NoVa now, house sitting for the Mische’s while they trek around Czech and other parts of Eastern Europe (Brats! I wanted to go!) Convenient for me as I get a place to stay rent free for a few weeks while I try to get a job and deal with paper work at Mason

  1. Home…
  2. First of all I have to say that staying at the Mische’s feels like home. The US had not felt quite rite since I got back. Very dull and depressing. I thought it would be a little strange being in the Mische’s house again — for what should be obvious reasons to anyone reading this, but I felt completely at home very quickly. Even thought I am board here a lot as there is nothing to do but wait for the phone to ring (more on that soon) most days, there is just a feeling of home that was not in C’ville at my parents house.

  3. Headaches part the first — Mason.
  4. My first headache was when I went back to Mason to get my Graduation paper work in order. I went to the Computer Science Office and talked with the people there who have to fill out my grad application and they said they could not do it because none of the classes I took at city show up on my transcript; Well Duh! I told them that the registrars office will not put them on till the official transcript from Syracuse gets here and that that will not happen for a while because the British exams have to go to an outside examiners board which they won’t do till early July. They said that I would have to wait till all that was done. So I informed them that the grad application needed to be in by June 28, and I had paper work saying what classes I had taken and would receive grades for. That was not good enough and it did not matter because they had no Transfer of Credit Request form on file and I would have to get the signature of all the teachers who would have taught the equivalent course at Mason and that it would take more than a week to get that. Bottom line: I could not file for graduation! So I went over to the Global Studies office and they said the people in the CS department where idiots (in more elegant terms of course) and that I had already filled out the required paper work and they would file it for the transfer of credits. They also said they would call the registrars office and make sure that I would be allowed to file a grad app as soon as the grades came in from Syracuse. So the end result is I have to go back to Mason when my grades come in and file the grad app. Lovely!

  5. Headache part the second — Job.
  6. Don’t have one, that’s the start of this headache. Can’t seam to get interviews, that’s another part of this headache. Only good lead I have I don’t really want, that’s a big part of this headache. I may have to take a job I really don’t want if I don’t get some more interview here soon. Or maybe I will just stay unemployed a while longer, which I don’t really like the idea of, but I may turn down the one job I have been interviewed for because I really don’t want it. I need a job! Anyone reading this need a qualified graduate programmer? (Especially if you live/work in Europe!)

  7. A little rant…
  8. Last thing I wanted to write about is the “crisis of confidence” in the markets that is the big story right now. An outgrowth of the Enron/Anderson/Tyco/Martha Stuart/WorldCom situation(s) I think it is going to hurt the American economy for years to come in the world view, and weaken the dollar. But we will see what it does, we need to know why it happened. I think there will be a ton of speculating on why, but most of that speculation will come in the form of interviews with “experts” on tv. I think that all these experts will overlook the cause — that it was a crisis born of greed but made passable by the “experts” themselves through the 24 hour financial network TV channels. To flip through the tv today in the US is like attending a investors conference: CNNfn, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomburg, even Headline news has the 24 hour stock ticker on the screen. When there is no news they have to make up news, a new type of yellow journalism. Where as ten years ago only people who worked the stock market for a living — people who knew what they where doing, had any in depth knowledge of the day to day workings of the markets, today everyone with a TV knows what a PE ratio is. Now the company do not just have to justify their numbers to the market but to the general public. The 24 hour finance channels have given opportunity to the greedy and the ruthless through their fast paced superficial, image driven culture. If all the market news channels picked one company and decided one a story together they could crush any company, no matter how big, or what the company said. Because people blindly follow the guys on TV. Now the guys on TV are discussing what is needed to fix the crisis of confidence, I say we need to turn them off, shut them down for a while along with the news stories on the Internet (not the investments sites, just the yellow journalism stories that go with them) and let the markets do their jobs for a while. Let the people who know what they’re doing do it without the 24 hours scrutiny of the journalist who need a story.

    I don’t know if that really made sense but the bottom line is we, in America have turned court cases into a spectator sport and now we have turned the markets into one two. And just as there are player and teams who will do anything to win (take drugs, hire people who are morally corrupt) there are companies who will use every trick in the book to look good, they will bend a rule till it breaks and then bend another till it breaks. Because the pressure is on, and the only thing that matters in the end is the bottom line.

a trip to nova in four parts

Monday, June 17th, 2002

Well, my first trip back to NoVa was quite interesting in a “Can I get out of this Soap Opera now?” way.

  • Nasty peoples
  • My first mission when I got up there was to find Genesis and talk to my old boss. Well I knew Genesis had moved and I had directions so the finding part was not too hard. I talked to my old boss and the president of the company for a long time, bottom line of that; no job for me right now… Oh, well the search continues. Now for the first installment of the Soap Opera. Genesis moved right? Why? Well the place they where renting was too big and cost too much, but how does one get out of the lease? Well one has 70 black unmarked cars loaded with guys carrying big guns and guys in black suite (a la Men in Black!) surround the building one day at lunch and come crashing in. All this because the guy who owns the building, the guy you are paying rent to is sending said rent to “nasty people” who live in third world countries and do not like Britney Spears showing here belly button on tv (or anything else for that matter) and don’t particularly like the way American politicians think. Yes the guy who owned the building was really taken away for sending money to Al Quada and yes the SWAT team and Feds did really surround the building one-day at lunch.

  • NoVa night one – Fire!
  • So after listening to all this in a mixture of “Don’t believe it,” and “Damn wish I was there to see that!” I headed off to meet up with Stephen my benefactor of beds for a few nights. At this point because of the above drop jawing I was an hour late to meet him, so I had to dig deep into my cranium and retrieve the directions to his house, which I have been to once, two years ago. But no fear I got there. Nothing interesting happened at Stephens, but his mom was leaving for the weekend and delinquent brother was told he could not have people over for parties. Then Stephen and I left to go get dinner and see a movie. Dinner was conducted at Cosi’s — aka Xando’s but they changed the name — and was attended by Stephen, three of Stephens high school friends, and yours truly. And we even had Tiki Fire for dessert (if you don’t know, ask.) After dinner we saw Insomnia, which while not as good as the directors last work, Memento, was a very good movie. Ok, now here is where the soap opera makes its next appearance. When Stephen and I returned to his house we where greeted by two cop cars. So Stephen asked them what was the problem. Well apparently two of Stephens brothers friends got into a screaming match out behind the house and someone called the cops, who told the nine drunk underage rabble rousers that they could not leave or they would be arrested for underage drinking. They where all trashed! So Stephen and I left again, this time we went to get a midnight (more like 1 am) meal at Amphora’s Dinner.

  • Paperwork Schmaper work
  • So the real reason I had to go to NoVa is this graduation thing. Lots of paper work, needs lots of signatures. Well three signatures and here is the score:

  • Beggs: 0 Hamburger: 1
  • Beggs: 0 Haung: 1
  • Beggs: 0 Luiky-Roy: 1

Yes that’s right, none of the three people I need signatures from where in. Hamburger is my dean; he’s at some conference. Haung is my advisor; he does not come in to GMU in the summer (read no one knows where he is.) Luiky-Roy is my study abroad coordinator, who is in London (didn’t I just come back from there?) Anyway, I managed to get some stuff done but I have to go back next week. In Cartman’s voice: I hate paper work… And I got a parking ticket because I only paid for and hour and a half and it took me and hour and forty-five minutes! Ahhhhh!!!

  • NoVa night two – Ice!
  • Ok, so second night in NoVa; Stephen and I went and picked up a couple of his friends from High School, and then met up with a few people we know from Mason and two guys Stephen met somewhere and we all headed to Nation for Sting’s Cryogen Party. The last time I went to a Cryogen party at Nation was like 3 years ago, and it was awesome. They left the air conditioning in the main room off and at about 2:30 when to was close to 95 degrees in the room they shut all the lights in the room off, the stage opened and a row of blue spotlights back illuminated a bunch of drag queens who where dressed like the Ice Queen from Narnia — each time the lights strobed the queens appeared in a different pose, then the music quieted down and one of the queens said, “A breeze is coming.” Then all stage lights went out and the music stopped and the room was suddenly filled with a great hissing sound and the air became thick and cool… then the blue lights came back and the music slammed back to life with a massive trance beat. The room was filled with fog and it even began to snow and rain in the room as a laser show started through the clouds; Everyone was jumping up and down, hands in the air, the feeling was just amazing… indescribable.

    This cryogen party was just not up to par… For one the room was not packed, now normally this would be a good thing, more room to dance and all, but for the cryogen party we need massive numbers of sweating bodies to cause the room to become unbearably humid so it will snow… So not enough bodies so not humid enough so no snow! The music was ok, not fantastic but it had some high points. Then there was the way they did the cryogen itself. Rather than use it all a once and create a massive show out of it, they used small amounts of it several times (the first time they used it, I got caught right under the spray, and could not breath, and ended up with ice crystals in my hair and a ice cream headache in the back of my head! Ouch! And no stage show this time. It was fun to go to Nation and while the cryogen was not up to what I have seen before it was a cool distraction from everyday clubbing. But the coolest thing at Nation was the guys selling records and cd’s at the front door — they work with Stroud at Mining Vinyl the people I used to help through raves in C’ville! I will have to look up Stroud and see if he is doing anything cool these days.

    Ok, well that’s the quick summary of my trip to NoVa last week, I came back here Saturday evening and did some other stuff… Dinner with the family and drove around with Stephen because he was visiting C’ville to see a friend on Sunday, but not I have a game to pass the time — I bought Black & White to pass the time… Got to go play now…

    depression

    Thursday, June 13th, 2002

    Well it’s been a week since I got back… I’ve been very lazy and not updated my journal. In fact I have been very lazy in general, and have done nothing all week. I think I am suffering from depression at being home, not only do I miss Cristina, and hate listening to my family bitch constantly, but I have that feeling of being uprooted again. My friends for the US are all in NoVa or somewhere else I cannot get — I have no car. And the people I have been hanging out with for the past year are all 4000 miles across the ocean. Oh well. I am going to NoVa today, to get some paper work done at Mason so maybe I will see someone. I will update my journal when I get back Saturday or Sunday. Final thing: Happy Birthday to Carolyn and Jennifer!

    bon voyage!

    Thursday, June 6th, 2002

    Well, as soon as I finish this posting I will turn off my laptop, back it in my bag and head downstairs to wait for the cab which will take me to Heathrow to catch my plane back to the US.

    And so my year abroad comes to an end… Bitter sweet — I want to see home and friends and get a job, but I would have liked to get that job in Europe and stay here for a few years, while I am still young.

    Much in my life has changed over the past 9 months; there has been pain, joy, disappointment and awe. I have a new canon of stories to tell but it remains to be seen if I will be telling them to the same people I told my C’ville stories to.

    I will see many of you soon, most for the first time since I left. Some of you will not be around for a while, and I will eagerly await your return, and some of you I will have to wait too long to see as I am leaving you now. But to all of you I say, thank you for being my friends and keeping in touch. I miss you all.

    \beggs

    queenie

    Tuesday, June 4th, 2002

    Ok, so I got up early this morning to go to the Tower of London — I figure that I should see it seeing as how I have been here for nine months and it’s just down the road. So the Tower is about a mile walk, and half way there I turned the corner and ran smack into a blocked off street. No way to the other side, both sides lined with barricades and police men walking up and down. Seems I was half way between St. Paul’s, where there was a church service commemorating the first 50 years of Queen E’s reign, and the City Guild Hall, where there was a state lunch afterwards. I asked the police if I could cross the street but they said I would have to walk back around (doubling my journey) or wait till the motorcade was passed. I decided to wait. An hour later the motorcade finally arrived, led by a brand new Rolls Royce with the Queen and Prince Philip in it. I managed to snap a few pictures — yea me, I hope they come out.

    I think it’s cool that I was here for the Queens 50th Jubilee celebration, though I did not go down to the actually party by the Palace the whole city has been one big party all weekend (we will ignore the fact that the Queen’s celebration is competing with the World Cup pub parties.) I did not expect to actually see the Queen while I was here in England, how often does one actually see her in person?

    Anyway, I did make it to the Tower later. Very cool, lots of history and bloody tails. “Off wit ‘is ‘ead!” Walking around the White Tower (the original “Tower” ordered built by William the Conqueror in 1078) and the Bloody Tower (where Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned for 13 years) is very cool, but the best part has to be the Crown Jewels. They have their own building and the collection is amazing. The two largest cut diamonds in the world, the largest being the Cullinan I at 530 carets! The sparkle of this diamond must been seen to be believed. She sheer number of diamonds in the Crown Jewels collection is staggering! I think they could spare me a few!