Overdue update

[Note 2/24/04: Zhubin starts off a discussion on Bush’s support of a Constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and the future of the libertarian-conservative alliance in the comment section.]

OK, I’ve been getting some complaints about the lack of updates. Sorry about that, but it’s been an exceptionally busy week. Sleep has been at a minimum and work at a maximum, a situation only exacerbated by the onset of Aerobie-friendly weather.

Several weeks into classes things are still going well, though I’m having to devote much more time to them than I’d expected. French has been by far the most difficult. The last time I took French was my sophomore year, so my class is full of freshmen who are much better at it than I am. I’m catching up, however. In doing my last assignment I learned that the French word for porcupine is porc-ťpic — literally, spiked pig. Interesting.

My most enjoyable course has been Philosophy and Literature. Maybe that’s because all we’ve done is read things our professor likes and talk about them. He has good taste, though. This class has turned me on to a writer I’d never heard of till now named Peter Taylor. Most of his stories are set in the South, especially Nashville and Memphis, and they are saturated with both ambiguity and keen observation. I’ve never read anything quite like them before, and I enjoy them very much.

I plan on updating more soon. In the meantime, read about the adventures of Cato’s Tom Palmer on the ground in Baghdad. He goes armed with 500 copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and recounts events on his recently improved weblog.

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Live from J-J’s Market and Cafe

After a 12+ hour drive from Houston to Nashville, most people would want a good meal and a soft bed. Me, I just wanted an Internet connection. Unfortunately, an inactive Ethernet port is just one complication that has prevented me from updating these past few days. Now Iím back at Vanderbilt, mostly settled in, and ready to recommence the weblogging.

On the upside, my new dorm room is located close enough the lobby that I can tap into the wi-fi network. At this moment Iím enjoying my first coffee shop wi-fi experience at Nashvilleís J-Jís Market and Cafť. I love having this capability.

Iím getting a lot of double takes when people see me on campus: casual hellos followed by excited surprise when it clicks that I havenít been around for a long time. Iím not keeping count of how many people thought Iíd graduated.

My response to being back at Vanderbilt is mixed. Yesterday I went out to the Lawn with Dr Pepper Man and Taco Boy for our first Aerobie tossing, which was great despite the fact that the astonishing flying ring broke and cut my arm. Less exciting are the flocks of VandyGirls.* Even off campus theyíre easy to spot and when I see them I canít help but cringe and wonder what Iím doing at this school. All in all, though, itís good to be back and I think this will be a fun (final) semester.

*The girl pictured is Claire Suddath, who is definitley not a VandyGirl but was sporting enough to play one for this Torch back page article.

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First Slant of the year

The first issue of The Slant under new EiC Meredith Gray is online and in print. My contribution is Dining Director Frank Gladu’s welcome letter to incoming freshmen. I have to admit I hate picking on the guy so much (this is my third piece that satirizes him and Vandy Dining). He seems like a really nice guy. But, as the visible head of the dining monopoly that inflicts itself on all freshmen, all Pub-goers, and anyone on campus who just wants a fresh slice of pizza, he’s the guy to be targeted.

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Vanderbilt Alumni Website

I got an e-mail today from Jon Weindruch, who graduated from Vandy in ’98 and is now in the MBA program at Owen. He has started a new website for Vanderbilt alumni at www.vumba.org. It’s open to all alumni and, says Jon, “the goal is to help facilitate strong relationships among Vanderbilt alumni and assist alumni in their professional endeavors.”

The site is not affiliated with the university, which could have its benefits. If you’re interested, visit the site here.

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