Lasers Will Shoot Out of a Wide Variety of Orifices

April 4th, 2006 by Potato

My defense date still hasn’t been finalized, and it’s killing me here. I’ve been making changes and corrections to my thesis like crazy here — sometimes going back and undoing changes the more I look at it. It’s a difficult process, as one person who reads it will suggest a change for a certain part, and the next person who reads it will think that part is great as it is and shouldn’t change. This is a particularly difficult process for the parts that are shall we say a little more “poetic” — the flowery wording confuses some, whereas others are grateful that it doesn’t read like a phone book for that one little part. There are also different grammatical interpretations for some parts. For example, in one place in my results, I start a sentence with “25…” and one of my supervisors keeps circling that through every revision saying I can’t start a sentence with an arabic numeral. But it would be a little awkward to change it up to start another way, and we also have a rule of thumb of not spelling out most numbers (particularly not above twelve). Of all the perversions to the “standard” rules of writing scientists willfully propagate, I would think the arabic numeral one would be right at the top. I think I could keep doing revisions eternally, but at some point I do have to hand it in. Since my date hasn’t been nailed down, there’s a chance it could be as early as April 25th — which means the thesis has to go in tomorrow.

I suppose it’s true when writers say that a story is never finished, merely abandoned.

I’m trying to put a brave face on the whole thing, saying things like “oh yeah, it’s all over tomorrow: I’m gonna be hot shit now. Lasers will shoot out of a wide variety of orifices!” But truthfully I’m terrified that there are major problems that I’ve missed (and I know of a bunch of minor ones that just aren’t going to be fixed for one reason or another). I don’t know whether I’d prefer to find out tomorrow that I have a later date so I can fix it up more, or to just have to give it in once and for all so I can stop worrying about it.

I hit the Costco here shortly after Potatomas, when I got a membership as a gift. Most of the candy I got disappeared within a few weeks, despite the big boxes. However, I still can’t even see the bottom of my box of Lotsa Fizz candy, so I think after I drop off my thesis tomorrow morning, I’ll head out to Costco and get more of that. Of course, that’s partly because each mediocre hard candy piece is secretly smuggling an explosive cargo of fizzy sugar waiting to terrorize my teeth and intestines alike, and the reason they’re still around is not due to great value, but rather to a very real fear of death in the case of overconsumption. So maybe I shouldn’t get any more…

Speaking of abusing your body, I heard of a “fun” new drinking game today. I don’t drink, but do have some appreciation for some of the drinking games out there. There are the geeky ones, such as when you (“you” being loosely applied in this case, and only applies to engineers) sit in a circle and go around counting up from person to person, but you must remember to not say any multiple of seven, clapping instead. Anyone who screws up the pattern has to take a drink. Or the cool TV-related ones, such as taking a sip every time Picard adjusts his uniform on ST:TNG, and taking a shot every time a commercial comes on promising us that next episode, yes the very next episode, they will finally kill Janeway off Voyager. On second thought, that’s pretty geeky, too. Anyhow, the point is that they can be kind of fun even when you’re sober and they can also teach you things, such as your seven times tables, or to watch TV closely, looking for subtle events. As I was saying, I heard of a new drinking game today: what you do is you eat a few handfuls of Captain Crunch cereal so that you cut up the roof of your mouth a bit lot, and then just go shot-for-shot until someone starts to tear up from the pain.

Baum had this to say when I pitched the idea to him “but why?” True, it’s not as educational as some of the other drinking games out there. It may not be as much fun, either. But man would it make for a great story later. I mean, if you’re gonna get smashed and do stupid things, you might as well go in with a plan for your nonsense, right? Most importantly, this would be hilarious for the sober person in the room to watch, and would conveniently provide plenty of Captain Crunch to go around for everyone.

One Response to “Lasers Will Shoot Out of a Wide Variety of Orifices”

  1. Wayfare Says:

    “…sit in a circle and go around counting up from person to person, but you must remember to not say any multiple of seven, clapping instead.”

    That’s how I learned my seven times table.