It’s official, Swine Flu has been confirmed at RPI. The mass paranoia and rumors are already spreading. I’ve read that Blitman Hall (probably just certain floors/wings) is being transformed into a quarantine zone, as Tiffany indicated she was forced out of her room to make way. Orian and I discussed the symptoms of what we’ve now determined are most likely colds. I’ve been sick since last Saturday, when I had an extremely dry/sore throat, runny nose, and tons of sneezing. The sore throat subsided earlier this week, as has the sneezing. The runny nose persists. I had a terrible sinus pressure yesterday; it hurt ridiculously when I tilted my head. Things seem better today, as my nose is now walking rather than running, and the head pain has subsided. If the Institute bought all students thermometers, I’d tell you my temperature, but evidently they don’t care.

What’s new since yesterday? Well, this afternoon I finished up some homework for the evening and played a bunch of DDR. I played 15 songs from Extreme, and 5 more from Extreme 2. I’m going to make sure to play more Extreme 2, as it has possibly the best setlist ever for a PS2 DDR game (topping even my favorite, Max 2). Harris stopped by, but we bored him so he left.

For dinner, I decided to prepare a meal I’m well used to at home. Atleast once a week, my family does Taco/Burrito/Tostada night. My dad prepares a variety of ingredients, typically consisting of Refried/Pinto Beans, a couple varieties of meat, mexican rice, ample cheese, lettuce, cucumber, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. With my limited resources, I was able to prepare a similar meal consisting of Black and Refried beans, cheese, sour cream, and salsa! Gorgeous presentation follows.

After dinner, it was time to see Up! on UPAC Cinema’s big screen. RA Corey Stalls had purcashed 15 tickets using his residence hall budget, so our group got in for free. DCC 308 was completely packed. I think every single seat was taken. I haven’t seen it that full since orientation last year. Unbelievable. Onto to the movie itself… I won’t say it was a bad movie; I’d recommend it to my mom for sure; but it could have been so much more. The first 30 minutes are solid gold. Pixar draws upon its Wall-E experience to create a plot where dialog is not important. The beginning introduces the adorably lovable main characters, utilizing comedy to aide in characterization. It seemed to me like it was going to end up being a deep story rich with important themes and lessons. But things devolved quickly into a slapstick comedy-fest lacking in any greater meaning. I found the rest of the movie to be completely unfulfilling. Obvious plot twist after obvious plot twist, coated in ridiculous comedy catered to crazed ADD kids. Some incidences and scenarios seemed to be straight out of a Family Guy script. These events really killed the flow. I guess I’m rather disappointed (seems to be a running theme lately) about what could have been compared to what was. Regardless, it was a couple well-spent hours.

After the movie, Kevin challenged me to another game of hall chess. Hall chess is normal chess on a grand scale! The hallway near the elevator expands out into sort of a small common area. Most of this area has a tiled linoleum floor with alternating dark/white tiles, perfect for playing chess. The dimensions of the area are 9 x 18, just enough for two games with a bit of buffer room (and an extra unused row). One of the most exciting elements about hall chess is the ability to draft your own team! My team is constructed out of emptied drinking containers, mainly Vitamin Water. Other teams consist of various containers, cans, and bottles. My bowling pins often make an appearance as bishops. I carried out my big box of pieces (enough for two complete sets), and exuberantly emptied in front of me from a height well above my head. The sound was thunderous as around 30 plastic bottles tumbled to the floor. However, I had forgotten that my normal bishops were ex-Shirley Temple bottles, which happen to be glass. One shattered. Glass went everywhere. Heads stuck out all the way down the hall, just like they do in the movies. The RD came out, wondering what the commotion was. She didn’t care though (thanks Alli!) and we cleaned up the mess pretty quickly.

I ended up losing the chess game to Kevin (as usual). I’m certainly not good at chess, but I understand the game pretty well, and I understand basic strategies. I have a very outside-the-box mentality when it comes to chess; I try to look for unpredictably good moves more than simply great moves. I generally stand my own and put up a fight, though. The loss marked my fourth in a row against Kevin, dropping me to 3-4 in our hall chess league.

Tomorrow (err, later today) contains an RPI TV production of the football game against Utica. The titles aren’t ready (situation normal), but I should have plenty of time before the game to figure something out. Orian found this cool picture of me at the Activities Fair holding a Z5U behind our video switcher:

That’s it for tonight, gotta get some rest for tomorrow!

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