I ended up with the 7-10 split as far as classes went. I passed CS 470, though I didn't quite get as well as I wished that I had. I failed ECE 480, the class that was giving me so much hell. However, I passed the lab section, ECE 481. The projects were what made that class so unbearable. Each project took over 250 hours to complete, and the lab reports were somewhere around 75 pages each on average. The lecture class should be cheesecake as long as there isn't any more lab meeting or testing or debugging or VHDL. To round out the semester, I bombed that Stats test. Easy class though, so it won't be too hard to make that up. The worst part about that is that I had to rearrange my schedule - I obviously can't take GES 257 until I pass 255. Also, since the same prof teaches both sections, I couldn't just exchange one with another. By taking 255, I had to cancel the class that was normally at that time, and so on and so on in an annoyingly long chain reaction.
The first day or two of vacation consisted of dropping off resume's. I tried to grab a part-time holiday help job at Radio Shack. I figgured that most places would have already hired their temps by this point in the year, but they had the "Seasonal Help Wanted" signs up so I decided to give it a whirl. A 5th year computer engineer's resume is surely gonna look impressive next to some 16-year-old kid's, so I thought I had a shot. Turns out that they already had all the help they needed, so there went that idea. Aside from that, I sent calls to Vocational Rehab and various doctors concerning my neck and spine damage, and rearranged my resume as described above. I have to have Cal III at eight in the fucking morning....good thing is that all the best teachers usually teach that class, but the bad news is that I usually sleep till noon. Aside from that, and the fact that my schedule has one or two hour-long gaps between classes, it looks okay. I suppose those gaps will be spent in the EE116 CS Lab, either working on homework, taking a quick catnap, or posting here on LJ. You'll prolly hear a lot more from me next semester. Hopefully, since ECE 481 is out of the way, I'll have more "normal" posts and fewer ones bitching and copmplaining about that one class from hell. ^_^
Vacation so far has been pure bliss. I've been able to lay around and relax - not having to wake up before the crack of noon is a very noticable difference from all the consecutive all-nighters I had to pull last semester. Also, I've had plenty of time to catch up on some light reading, movie watching, and most importantly, girlfriend cuddling. I read Dave Barry's "Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need" for some quick laughs, and though I'm not a huge Dave Barry fan, it's probably the best book of his I've read so far. Fairly short, so you can easily finish it while standing in the bookstore, but humorous nonetheless. Now I'm about to start on a book called "The Gilded Chain" by Dave Duncan. It was lent to my by Jason (tall Jason, for those of you that know the several Jason's that I hang out with) as filler to hold me till LoTR came out. I haven't had time to start it yet, but will likely dig into it after the holiday festivities are over with. Jason also got me a nice, hardbound copy of "the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", containing all six parts. Coolness. Since the other book is a loaner, it's first on the list, but I'll start on the Douglass Adams flavored funniness next semester between classes.
I brought most of my DVD collection down for the holidays. Out DVD player kinda went toasty, so this might be my only chance to gorge myself on movies till Spring Break (unless, of course, one of y'all bought me a PS2 for Christmas...hehe) I watched the uncut version of "Leon: the Professional" the other day - still a very cool movie. Very odd movie now that Natalie Portman is such a sex symbol these days. It's difficult to imagine the kid from that movie being the kabuki-faced princess saying that "I will not lead my people into war" or the girl with the nipplage from "Attack of the Clones". It's also depressing that she's younger than me. I'm still used to movie stars and most important folks being at least a year or two my senior. It wasn't until I was digging through the special DVD features that I realized that I'm up on her by a year and a half. Oh well. Aside from that, I'm planning on watching some "Iron Monkey" or "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" for my daily dose of Kung-Fu mania, or some good ol' Anime like "Galaxy Fraulein Yuna" or "Iria: Zeraim the Animation", or perhaps "Tenchi Universe", depending on my mood.
Most importantly, moongoddess8 and I have been nearly inseperable for most of the holiday. It has been heaven to be able to spend so much time together. Most of the time we've just been hanging around the house. That's cool, since when I usually come home for the weekend, we both rush off to go to a movie or some other date-worthy activity, it's really nice just to hang out like "real" couples get to. She's so damn amazing, too...every time I'd sit down to read the paper or watch TV, she'd sneak up behind me and start giving me a backrub or massage out my hands or something. Without me even asking, either. Yeah, she's a keeper, and I'm so lucky to have her. ::smiles:: Thanks for coming over to help bake our traditional holliday M&M cookies, baby! They were yummy!
I wasn't there opening night like I always am for the Star Wars movies, but I caught LoTR at the late-night show on Friday. (Had to wait till me and Laura could go see it together, since she's about as big into it as I am). I've been waiting for that movie for a year now, and it was worth every second of that wait. OMG, it was good. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it. If you have, go see it again. All I can say is.....wow. That movie just sucks you in, and you feel like you're a part of it. The battle scenes were incredible. Instead of just a few people in melee combat like the first movie, this one was epic. It defines epic. Tens of thousands of orcs charging the fortress. The sky was raining arrows by the hundred. Gimli was happily counting the orcs he fell with his axe. Legolas kicked supreme ass, just like everyone expected him to. It was amazing....I can't wait till next year, when the series draws to a close. As soon as I get the three movie super-deluxe expanded special edition box set that I'm sure they're going to release sometime after "Return of the King" hits shelves, I'm gonna watch the whole saga back-to-back, marathon style. It's going to rock. It's going to rock out so hard.
Also, I can't wait till I get back to my gaming group to discuss the movie. Just before we left, me and Whatley (one of the other Jason's I hang out with) were having another elf vs. dwarf debate. Whatley was going on and on about how cool Gimli was, and I was doing the same about Legolas. In the movie, though, it's obvious that Legolas was just infinitely cooler. Gimli would get his ass kicked, and Legolas would save his bacon with a few well placed arrows. Gimli would get into trouble again, and Aragorn would have to come pull his butt out of the fire. I won't go into specifics, just in case any of you are in a coma (that being the only valid reason for not seeing this movie yet), but it just seemed like the dwarf was just there for comic relief while Aragorn and Legolas lead the way. On the other hand, Gollum didn't turn out to be quite as goofy as I had imagined they'd make him. Despite being CG, he seemed like a real character. More importantly, he didn't turn into the kid-friend;y goofball, a'la Jar-Jar Binks. Yeah, I think he did steal the show a little bit, but all in all they handled everything quite well.
Perhaps most importantly, they drew this movie to somewhat of a conclusion. My only complain with "Fellowship" was that the break between the first two parts was kinda sudden. Aragorn turns to Legolas, says "Let's go kill some Orcs", and the screen fades to black. I know, it's supposed to continue straight on to the second movie, but the break itself was too sudden. In "Two Towers", however, they did a nice job of recapping the first movie in a flashback/dream sequence. That lets the audience remember where the previous movie left off, but was short enough not to digress too much, instead jumping straight into the action of the second film. Also, at the end, they kind of wrap things up with the characters talking about where they've been and how much further they have to go in such a way that the action slows down enough that it becomes an acceptable stopping point. Very nicely done, IMHO. However, as noted above, this one very small complaint will be moot once all three movies are released on video, and the only break will be the two minutes it takes to switch discs and wait through the FBI warnings. ^_^
That's about all I can think of so far. Been having a blast, but not doing all that much. Just finding/buying/making everyone's Christmas presents for the most part. I also saw that I had three or four new people list me on their Friends list...welcome, guys! ::waves at the new people:: Seeing that kind of makes me wonder, though, jsut why people read my journal. I don't think it's all that terribly interesting. Mostly, it's just a place for me to vent when I'm pissed. (No surprise why most of my D&D characters are Barbarians now, is it?) Me, moongoddess8 and thespacecow were talking about that a few nights ago. I found out that my second cousin and all around uber-cool person to hang out with, Pam, reads out journals. Well, RJ's at least, but with that being the case, it wouldn't surprise me if she stumbled across mine or Laura's on occasion. If you're reading this, Pam, we luv ya! If you need an LJ code to start your own journal, just lemme know and I'll hook you up with one.
After some discussion about some of the LJ-friends that we have, we all began wondering what the people out in LJ land aside from the ones that know us in "Real Life" (TM) think about us. RJ mentioned that one of his friends described my journal as (quote) "fuck shit computers goddamn fucking engineering shit fuck bitch whore Alabama football grumble bitch gripe programming fuck shit..............SAILOR MOON! WHOOO!!!........shit fuck college goddamn classes bastard programming shit" (end quote). Sounds pretty reasonable - I was joking around that with all the complaining I've been doing this semester, folks prolly think I'm a pessimistic cynic that hates the whole world and is on the verge of being suicidal. I just left out the occasional Anime-geek post. Heh. Oh well, hopefully next semester will be better. On the other hand, it cain't be too bad, or else folks wouldn't keep on adding me onto their Friend's page. =P
That takes us up to present, aside from tonight's trip to visit Uncle Pat. I think this is the first Christmas without Grandpaw Cantrell being there, but it may be the second. I kind of blur things like that together often. Anyway, it was still kinda sad. Grandpaw's rocking chair was still sitting there by Uncle Pat's. Also, we were talking about their dog, since he was sniffing around and visiting with us there in the living room. Since Grandpaw Cantrell was the one that raised him, Uncle Pat mentioned that the dog still goes into his room and sniffs around looking for him, like he's lost and is going to come home any day now. It's really sad. I do feel sorry for Uncle Pat - he's a cool guy, but you can tell he's lonesome now that his brother's gone. He still has his rocking chair there in the living room, and still has his Masonic plaque there by the TV, as well as the letter President Bush sent when he died. It always sucks worse around the holidays when it comes to missing folks, so I hope Uncle Pat is okay.
Well, that's about it. Time to go leave out some milk and cookies for the big guy, and hop in the bed before midnight, so that he'll leave me some cool stuffs under the tree. Have a Merry Christmas, y'all! Enjoy the holidays! ^_^