Fever Dream
(22 April - 1 May 2002)

1 May 2002
-Eric guest-stars on Kate's blog to deny his & Emily Messner's involvement in the Smash Scandal.  Notable is his lack of attempt to deny JAMES Messner's involvement, in addition to a pretty thin defense of Kate.  He writes that he would've noticed Kate writing this, but (no offense intended here) Kate has been known to comment on Eric's obliviousness.  Also, that aside, it's not much evidence that Kate wasn't involved, especially given how similar her humor is to Eric's when Eric admits that it's uncanny how Eric-y the Smash is.  In short, I'm not buying.  On a different note, though, best wishes to Kate recovering from her concussion.
-Speaking of Erics, Niver lives!
-Also dealing with outside stuff on the 'net, I took Amy's mental health test & came up most notably with a "Very High" in "paranoid".  It's a shame Manic-Depressive isn't up there, because that would've been "Extreme" if they had such a category.  Again, I don't want psychiatric types anywhere near me.

30 April 2002
-Check out what Kate & Eric Benson have been up to with their free time.  (Note:  While I do not "know" for a "fact" that Kate & Eric are responsible for this work, I know it to the degree that I know we landed men on the moon, that John F. Kennedy was assassinated, or any other article of history we take for granted in our daily lives.  It has not been directly CONFIRMED by me personally, but the only alternate theory that has viability is that Kate & Eric were framed, which begs the question of why they are not attributed as the authors.  The voice of the authorship invokes their mannerisms, their APDA political views & biases, their favorite themes & phrases, & their knowledge base of APDA.)  I do find the piece funny at times, but where there are factual inaccuracies (Emily wasn't top speaker at 'Deis, for one of many possible examples), I think it's telling about the flaws with the assumptions of the piece.  APDA is not purely corrupt, though it has many individual incidents & problems.  I also take offense to all the 'Deis-bashing, of course, especially when so many worse teams get off scot-free.  I'll concur with Sarah Jospeh's analysis on the NYU team blog comments that "It really is rather mean."
-I read this tragic article off a link from Yuhan's page, & it's making me think a good deal about mental health & suicide & all that cheery stuff that so much of my mental energy goes into.  Obviously some of the failings of the mental health world are manifest in the girl's suicide.  But the issue is so mired & complex, & made more so by the impact of our godforsaken legal system.  More interestingly, though, are 2 key issues, that hold their special relevance for me.  First, the article & most of the legal players seem to sorely underestimate the role that romantic relations clearly played in this girl's life, as they play in the life of all those who are self-destructive in any capacity.  Second, & most interestingly from my vantage, though she didn't die till 4 days later, she began the suicide on 10 April 2000.  The 10th of April has continually been one of the most unstable & self-destructive days in my own experience, as I reference throughout this page.  I know what you'll say about there being countless suicides & horrendous acts on every day of the year, but I still find significance, not coincidence, in the ways that planetary mental strife can congregate on specific intervals of the cycle of time.
-Go Lisha!  She found the Daily Princetonian article that claims I'm a Yalie.  Thanks to her support on how horrendous this would be.
-Apparently everyone now is convinced that I'm wrong 3 entries above & Pat Nichols is responsible.  IF this is the case, I resort to my framing theory, since he's clearly trying to sound like Kate & Eric.  But I honestly don't believe it till I hear Pat own up directly, & even then I probably don't believe it, knowing Pat would love to take responsibility for anything that stirs up a ruckus.  The "2-down bracket" comment is my biggest point in favor of it still being Kate & Eric, since I don't think much of anyone knew about that specific reference outside of our team or them.  See also this quote from Kate, where no context is given:  "Alright, Eric won't let me write what I want to write since he's sitting over my shoulder. :) Just to know that its coming :)"
-I normally don't do this just to delay paper-writing, but somehow this seems much more compelling than Kashmir right now.  Bleh.  Kashmir's much more open-&-shut than the rest of the world.
-Here's some more updates for today, in case you're reading this far.  Drew pointed out to me that the Messners could be as involved as Kate & Eric in the Smash Scandal.  I must concur.  I'm not sure if they're all still living together or not, but I admit collaboration in some form of those 4 is the answer.
-The science building computer lab has always been open till midnight!  Who knew?  Now I have another place to direct people when we close up Goldfarb's lab, if only for half an hour.

29 April 2002
-Approaching betterness.  Now I have much work to do.
-In a bizarre anecdote I'll share, I just disccovered that to fix a mouse on most Windows-based computers, one needs the mouse to function.  The "troubleshooting" division of the help section is only accessible, past a certain point, with a mouse pointer.  Neat.
-One late paper (my first ever in academic history) down, one to go.
-Accepting differences & moving on is necessary to friendship.  Lamenting them, past a certain point, is wasted time.

28 April 2002
-People!  Stop taking responsibility for everyone else's actions!  If everyone were responsible for themselves, that would be enough.  & the sooner everyone has to face up to themselves, the better.
-"Harold & Maude" continues to be an all-time favorite of mine.  Em's not quite on board yet.
-I'm not sure if everyone knows how in love I am.  I want everyone to know.
-The Debate Banquet/Party has come & gone, this year without softball, which is just as well considering I'm still ill.  Highlights included me breaking Zirkin's all-time record for speech length (allegedly... I still claim it was about half an hour, but apparently it was nearing 90 minutes), Spurling roasting Chetan in her introduction, Drew crying, Greg having something to say to EVERYone, including Josh Kresh, & me giving altogether too much detail about throwing my back out throwing up in Scotland.  There are so many stories that I hope live on in the debate vault of our team & I still have come nowhere close to terms with the fact that I'm done with debate & the 'Deis team.  Debate was always the only thing I really cared about in college (activity, that is... if you call friends a "thing", then I care about that even more), & now it's over a month prior to college being over.  Even though, if I get everything done on time, I'm done with college work in less than 2 weeks.  Wow.  I'm glad Nats gives me more than enough reason to come back & see this team next year, because it really means more than the rest of 'Deis to me.

27 April 2002
-Feeling a tiny bit better, so Em & I went to brunch with Sep in Cambridge.  Also saw John Williams briefly (not the composer).  'Twas fun, & we even ran into the entire MIT debate softball squad as we discussed the life & times of the Sepster.  Now it's time for sleeping again.
-I will also never ever get a directional sense in Harvard Square.  There's 3 main sections of the Square stemming from the center (Out of Town News) & I never fail to get all 3 mixed up.  I fear that had I gone to Harvard, I'd still only have the credits to be a sophomore since I'd still be looking for half my classes & wouldn't have eaten in weeks.

26 April 2002
-I actually agreed to go to the doctor, which should tell you all something about how sick I really am.  They were stunned that I had only been there once before & would be graduating in a month.  Apparently, 'Deisians like to head for the clinic ten times a year or something nutty.  Regardless, I don't have another ear infection, even though my ears feel much worse than they did last year in March or April when that infection hit.
-I have about enough energy to try to breathe between sleeping.

25 April 2002
-Even more sick.  But Em's here!

24 April 2002
-I am sooooo sick.  No me gusta.
-Let me be extremely clear about one thing.  I told the APDA body in my senior speech that one shouldn't worry about the experience level of judges.  This is far far different from worrying about the BIAS of judges.  I had one experience with one biased judge at Nats, & unfortunately he was the tie-breaker in my quarterfinals decision.  Never did I say in my senior speech that people should have to persuade people who are looking for any possible reason to pick up the other team.  I just don't like being misrepresented, especially by my friends.
-With tensions running as high on as many fronts as they are, I can only think something more global is going on.  Are people really all this angry for things they'd always be angry about?  I think something beyond us all is going on, that manifestations of this are present in many places, & it would serve people well to take a deep breath & lay low till things start to clear.  That's my plan for myself at the very least.

23 April 2002
-Not all Intro' entries are created equal.  I don't really know how to keep posting after I've posted what I have.  & the same logic is starting to apply a little to my life.  Things seem so rooted in the right perspective all of a sudden & that convinces me that a lot of things don't matter.  Getting engaged & ending my debate career on the same day is so momentous that I feel I've got nothing left that is worthy of action.  It's a weird feeling & I'm sure the inertia is mostly the fault of my migraine & oncoming illness.  The Van Round did little for my health.  So bleh.  But I am interminably happy, despite the minor bad physical feelings of life.
-Also, just to throw something out that a lot of folks are discussing after Nats Finals, I don't think audience members at debate tourneys owe their pounding to anyone.  The fact that most people are partisan for their own team during a round is a sign that no one should be expected to be tabula rasa in said setting.  Pound for arguments you agree with or ones that you like, but don't feel driven to be objective.  In all but one case, you're not judging, & in the one case where you are, it's such a small part of the result that it's okay to vote for other reasons.  As I've long maintained, getting everyone involved in & entertained by the final round is more important than perfect fairness in the Finals decision.  Maybe I'll post what my Finals case would've been in a while, since many seemed intrigued by it.  Not to knock the last couple Nats Finals cases, but I think pure political theory makes for a fairly dull round.  Most people aren't going to be persuaded or challenged by a round of that nature... most of us have our minds made up there more than in any other moral question.  & when many people (like myself) feel there are no good arguments for libertarianism, that's going to have some impact.
-I simply have to post this link as well, since it's being linked to from the 'Deis main page these days!

22 April 2002
-As everyone else is posting about (which is fine), Emily & I are now engaged, after the conclusion of my senior speech.  I've never had so many people seem so genuinely happy for me in my life.  & I'm happier than all of them put together.  It looks like next summer on the west coast (summer '03, not '02) will be the time of the event itself.  What a wonderful life this is turning out to be.
-By the way (& this really matters... or something) we finished 7th at Nats after a quarters drop with two good judges & one highly dubious.  There was nothing more we could've done in that round & Julian Sanchez ended up in both my first & last rounds ever, so that was quite a full-circle closure that meant a lot to me.
-Now, only exhaustion remains.  I think I'm getting sick too.

Introspection, My Worst Friend* (Current)
Ye Olde Archive (Past)
The Blue Pyramid (Source)

Tell me this is not the end...*

*-lyrics from an as-yet unreleased song, "The Same Old Frontiers", by SWClayton.