It’s Finally Starting To Sink In: I’m Most Likely Leaving

As I brace for my finals and suddenly find myself with lots of free time, I'm realizing more and more that, in all likelyhood, this will be my last semester at UE. If I don't pass Discrete Combinatorics, which is a possibility, I'm not sure if I'll have to take another class here or if they'll be able to find me an online course. I really hope it's the latter.

I used to joke that "home" was anywhere I had all my posessions and a good Internet connection. I've been reasonably adaptable to different living conditions, sure enough, but experiences like those at LCB and UE have made me appreciate the saying, "home is where the heart is" all the more. Evansville has been my home, for the past four years, and leaving it will be bittersweet. Of course, there's the home within UE I found, which would be TKE. So many nights spent at the house, observing everyone being crazy or joining in with them, watching movies (and making fun of them)... all the service events, just everything. I about had another anxiety attack on Monday when Ashley expressed her sadness that I'd be leaving.

Now I've come to the point where I have to give shout-outs to everyone significant to me in my college life. Please bare with me, and if I end up not tagging you in the version of this post that appears on Facebook, don't take it personally.

First, I have to mention Zack. Without you, old friend, I never would've been introduced to the second family that is TKE. I know things have been rough for you these past couple years, but you're tough and can get your life straightened out.

Morgan, AKA the second uber-troll... you and I are actually similar in a number of ways, and you've been a hell of a person to spend the last four years with even if you do come off as a dick at times. Beeker, you're crazy and an idiot sometimes, but your heart's in the right place and you have a lot of dedication to Teke. Just please, please focus on your studies more and make sure you go to class.

Jake, hang in there. It's okay to come out of your shell a bit more, and you don't need to avoid the world by locking yourself in your room all the time. I must also thank you for introducing me to MST3k , which has helped me keep my sanity relatively intact.

Justin, you damn crazy balista-toating Prussian. I'll miss our discussions about German beer, cigars, mechanics of ancient siege weapons, and the inability of the establishment to keep up with the free market's demands for more lasagna. Also, "don't you cry no more!"

Alex, you were one of the people I always felt like I could open up to, especially during those late-night cigar-smoking sessions on the porch. You're also one of the few that keeps up with Shonan Jump regularly, and helps me clarify things if the various anime wikis confuse me. Congratulations on you and Haily, by the way. You're a cute couple.

Jordan, you always impressed me with your quiet, down-to-earth personality and your intelligence. I trust you and Matlak to take up the mantal of "the computer people" when I'm gone. I wish I could've seen you before the end of the semester, but at least I got to see Ashley... who I also hadn't realized how much I missed until she came back.

Wheels, you and I are similar in many ways, and that's probably why I've been able to talk to you about so much (not to mention we both have dry whit and an interesting sense of humor). I hope you don't end up being kept awake until 6 in the morning again listening to someone else's problems, but it was nice of you all the same to put up with it. I wish you'd been around more, but I understand why that was impossible.

Of course, how could I forget to give a shout-out to my little? I hope you matured a bit in England, and regret that we didn't get to spend as much time together as I would've liked. I hope you don't feel I was remiss in my duties as your big. On the other hand, you introduced me to lots of interesting and strange music, and I got to learn a little more about Macs. Then, of course, there's the other Kris, our newest initiate... I'll be leaving pretty much after just meeting you. You're a hard worker, though, and I feel confident leaving the fraternity in your hands and those of the "next generation."

Now, I come to the women in my college life... and I'd be a fool not to start with Kayla. I said most of what I needed to say to you a few weeks ago, except for 2 things.

  1. Thanks to you, I now have a thing for whitty, charming, and curvacious music majors (there sure are a lot of them, aren't there?).
  2. Please, please try not to end up with some jackass that breaks your heart (I know, easier said than done). While I'd love any excuse to come back to UE after this semester, having a "friendly chat" with an ex of yours isn't high on my priority list.

Amber, I know you have a ridiculous number of things on your plate right now, especially considering your recent family tragedy. However, through it all you've been there for me and TKE, and in general you're a wonderful friend to have. I wish your computer and I were on better terms with each other, but I'm pretty sure it just hates everyone at this point. Either that or it's tired of college too. I'll miss you and all those wonderful moments where my mind breaks for just long enough for my face to take on some weird expression.

Kylie, I saw way too little of you after freshman year. Fortunately, you introduced me to Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series, for which I can't thank you enough. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to your party, but hopefully I'll see you at some point next week.

Jess Allen, you adorable soulless ginger, I'll miss you and your quiet but crazy antics, even though half the time I don't know you're around because you're so quiet. I wish nothing but the best for you and Mike.

Katie, I'm so sad I only got to know you this year. You've always been a sweetheart, even before you were elected as such. You never complained about helping me get anywhere, and you've always been a joy to be around. On top of all that, you're the most huggable person I know (and that's saying a lotyou were always there with a hug whenever I needed or wanted one.

Bethany, you're a strange one, that is to say stranger than the normal "strangeness" of people I tend to hang out with. However, you do share my love for MST3k, which is awesome. Unfortunately, we got to know each other under rather odd circumstances, but that's just how things go sometimes. RCB was a blast. And yes, I concede that Junior's not "boring."

Jessica Basham, I have to mention you because you were there for me through a lot of tough times, including my surgery last semester. After that, you... weren't, but I'm making this a positive post and won't go into that. Thank you for the good times, and it's a shame things had to end the way they did.

While I'm thanking people who were there for me through tough times, I have to mention my IRC friends, Mo, Jerry, Sharalynn, and Igor. Sometimes it's still hard to open up to them about things, but that mainly has to do with how blunt and honest they are. Having said that, their input is almost always welcome.

There are so many more people who've been here for me... Kate, my math tutor, Doni and Chris Streicher, Disco (love ya, Big!), Abby, Ashley Smith, Ashley Williamson, Duce, Schenk, Cameron, Wold, Audrey, Theo, everyone at Bosma (including Bill, Adam, Britney and Amelia)... I'm thankful to know each and every one of you.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my parents. Without them, I wouldn't be here (literally), and they've done their best to keep me "on the right track." Yes, Mom and Dad, I know I ignore you a lot, but I do listen to what you say, even if I don't act on it. You've always been understanding about driving to see me, or taking me places, or helping me with financial matters... even calling me once a week so I don't block your numbers from my phone. I can't express my appreciation for you enough.

I think that just about covers it... this took me almost 3 days to write, mainly due to the distractions of occasional studying and other things. My first final went well, so now it's time to make that big push towards getting a d or higher on my Discrete final. Thank you, UE, for being so good to me.

Still “In The Friend Zone” Even After a Crazy Weekend

If there's one woman who's left her mark on me throughout my college life, if there's one name that's been on my mind, in my heart, and usually on the tip of my tongue for the past 4 years, it's been Kayla Ryan. She was one of those women who caught my attention from the moment we met, although at first in a "she seems interesting" sort of way. She and I took the same summer classes before our freshman year, and ended up almost always studying together. Eventually, I asked her out, but she said no. Afterward, we had what you might call a short fling, and that's all I'll say about that except for the fact that I fell deeply in love with her in those few short months.

Fast forward to this past weekend. My parents came down to see her senior recital, as well as make sure I had everything I needed for the last few weeks of the semester. Her performance was nothing less than breathtaking, and we all congratulated her in the receiving line. My parents and I then went to Wal-Mart to do some end-of-semester shopping, then we had a sumptuous dinner at the Gerst Haus. The remainder of Saturday night was rather hectic and chaotic; suffice it to say I had a lot of fun, which isn't relevant to this particular story.

I eventually made it back to my room at around 3 in the morning, and at around 3:30 Kayla called and asked if she could come talk to me while she "chilled out." Of course, I enthusiastically said yes. After meeting her downstairs, we proceeded back up to my room and listened to parts of the recording I'd made of her recital. I also showed her a bit of how to use the voice recorder I have, since she recently got the same one from the state.

Now, here's where the real awkwardness begins. She asked me if she could sleep in my room. Seeing as there's only one usable bed, it'd have to be with me. I was simultaneously thrilled and horrified.

We ended up cuddling, with very strict boundaries. I opened up to her about a lot of things, partially because being that close to her caused me to have an anxiety attack. After said attack, I didn't put my CPAP mask back on, because I wanted to feel close to her and not like I was just hooked up to a machine. She told me a lot of things, like that she felt special knowing how I felt about her even though she didn't feel the same way. I explained why she caught my eye all those years ago, namely that she struck me as a "strong, wise, beautiful, confident woman." I think that surprised her; I know how it feels to sell yourself short and then be told by others that you are, in fact, exceptional to them.

The point of all this, I suppose, is that we're still "just friends." I feel like every time I accept this fact enough to forget about it (as much as I can anyway) something happens to make the pain of that fact come back and hit me full force. Oh, I accept it on some level, yet in my heart I wish, more than anything, that she'd given me a chance and that we could've been together.

Maybe I'm an idiot, maybe I'm a hopeless, romantic fool, or maybe I just need to let go of this image of a woman in my mind . It also wouldn't be a bad idea to evaluate my emotional problems and change my attitude accordingly so I don't end up a burnt out wreck at 30. As much as I'm eager to leave here, partly to once again run away from my problems, I know that this is a bad idea. I must, instead, learn from my mistakes and try to avoid making them.

As a final note, I would like to point out that, with the arguable exception of Whitney, none of the girls I ever fell in love with were used as Kayla "replacements." I believe it's possible to be in love with more than one person at a time (see also: polyamory ). Every girl I've been involved with holds a special place in my heart, even the ones that did me wrong (which is sadly most of them). However, I've mostly managed to move forward from those relationships. Kayla, meanwhile, has stuck with me all this time.

YouTube – Obama’s Budget

YouTube - Obama's Budget.
Oh look, Obama is dragging us down again in the name of... well, I don't know if even he knows that anymore. He's pretty much saying, "We've increased government spending, now we must decrease the defisit."

He also wants to work with congress to meet all his "defisit targets." If they aren't met, then we'll get a tax increase without voting for it. Hurrah for socialism!


I need to be out of college. It's gotten me at my whit's end. It's not even the work; technically, my load isn't all that heavy considering I'm a senior. Everything's just so tedious.

The class I really need to pass is Discrete Combinatorics (read: incredibly hard, advanced math). If I pass it, I'll only have one class to take over the summer, then I'll be "done" and can get my diploma in December. But until then, I just have to pull through these last few weeks, and make sure I go to class.

NVDA service and Internet Explorer Crashes

If you've been reading my twitter feed lately, you may have noticed me complaining about excessive IE crashes. Early this morning, I got the idea to find out which module was causing the crashes (based on some forum posts I came across on Google). I had no idea how to do it in Windows 7, but it turns out you just have to look in the Event Viewer (unfortunately, I can't find said crashes off the top of my head).

So, what was the component causing these crashes? Turns out it was VBufBackend_mshtml.dll. This is the NVDA virtual buffer helper for Internet Explorer. What this does is allow NVDA to read webpages in IE. There are also corresponding libraries to assist in the accessibility of Adobe Reader and Mozilla Firefox/Thunderbird.

Why does this particular dll cause crashes, and more importantly why is it even loading a dll into iexplore.exe when NVDA isn't running? Presumably, it's the work of the "Non-visual Desktop Access" service, which I had (foolishly) set to startup type "automatic." I went in and set it to manual, and haven't had any crashes today, yet. If the crashes continue, I'll update this post. If you're using Xmarks, this isn't the cause for your crashes if you're experiencing them.

Hello to All

Hello, and welcome to my new blog. I bought this domain because I needed emergency web space for some college projects, seeing as my server is down (and I'm trying to sell it). It's only costing me $9.95 a month, so I'll probably be keeping it around for the foreseeable future.