Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More signs that I have a life

This post is probably completely unnecessary, but for some reason I feel obliged to mention that once again your "usually scheduled entry" was delayed by my social life.

For tonight was Poker Night at my house.

By the numbers:

7 PM start
6 bottles of pop consumed
5 dollar buy-in
4 bottles of water drank
3 bags of chips opened
2 pizzas devoured
1 winner - AKA, me.

Because I rock that hard.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Having a life

So I was definitely planning on write an entry tonight, but instead I'm going out with a friend to a baseball game.

Sorry, but I do actually have a life outside of the Internet. Crazy, I know.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer flavor

So today was the Summer Solstice. "Sun stop," for all you Latinists out there (me). Apparently, if you happened to be standing outside at (local) noon, your shadow would have been the longest possible. Ever.

However, I did not see my longest shadow ever, because at local noon for South Bend I was shut up in my lab, either cutting bone or slacking off. There's a lot of slacking off in my lab. It's kind of the culture.

Also, I definitely meant to watch sunset this year, but I didn't. Instead I was in my room, wasting still more time on my laptop. Which inevitably calls to mind one of my favorite scenes from The Great Gatsby, when the ineffable Daisy Buchanan utters these ageless words: "Do you always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it?"

Yes, Daisy, I do.

I love my laptop, by the way. I'll probably post an entry dedicated to him soon. His name is TIM. And in case you're wondering, no, I did not name him after the beaver who seems to share his name. I named him TIM long before I found out Tim Beaver existed. Ergo, in a relativistic sense of things, my laptop was named TIM before the beaver was named Tim. So there. ;)

You may also be thinking it's weird/geeky/nerdy/insert-adjective-here to name your computers, but really it's not. Computers have always needed names, for networking purposes and such. So my personal thought is, why not give them actual names? Especially when said name actually means something to the owner.

Other random stuff going on, today was my parents' 32nd anniversary. Today was also Harry Potter's birthday, and probably should have been the day Book 7 came out, but I guess someone decided that delaying it a month would be a better plan, commercially speaking. As if the book wouldn't break all the records anyway.

Bitter much? Yes, just a little.

(EDIT: It has come to my attention that Harry was not born on the solstice, but rather on July 31, also known as Lammas, which used to be the solstice but no longer is, thanks to the precession of the equinoxes. And in case you're wondering why in the universe I know about the procession of the equinoxes, I used to be an astronomy nerd. Science Olympiad forever, baby.)

Other random comments: okay, I actually do read Jess' blog, I was just being sarcastic in the other comments, as I am wont to do. I pretty much stalk the MIT blogs, actually. It's kind of a bad habit.

More exciting news: I got my FPOP decision yesterday. Quick explanation - FPOP is MIT-speak for Freshman Pre-Orientation Program - they're basically wicked cool explorations of one particular academic or social area. Anyway, I got my first choice, Discover Mechanical Engineering! Because making robots is sexy and we all know it. I even went so far as to create the Facebook group for the DME'ers - which I named "Robots Are Hot." Clearly I am a geek, but I'm having hella fun with it, as my California friends would say.

By the way, I am utterly surprised I actually have readers. Thanks for all your comments and such guys, I don't take it for granted...you make this actually seem meaningful.

Oh, one more thing, which is kind of embarrassing but I'll tell you anyway because you may find it funny. For some reason my internal clock has been completely off today, probably because it's summer and all the days sort of run together, like all the different flavors of ice cream in a big cone. Instead of getting Monday flavor, and Tuesday flavor, and Wednesday flavor, and so on, all I get is summer flavor...one big, sticky, undifferentiated scoop of day.

So the net result of all this was that, this afternoon I thought it was Monday, and tonight I thought it was Friday. Which basically means that I am probably going to hate getting up for work tomorrow because it'll seem like Saturday.

When did summer vacation get so hard?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The things I would like to tell people
(but usually don't)

Introductions, someone once said, are tricky things.

Okay, so no one actually said that. I said that. But it's true, isn't it? So often in this world, you only get one chance to make yourself stand out. First impressions really do matter, and I don't want to screw this up. It's like introducing myself to a room full of strangers - only worse, because this is actually an entire Internet full of strangers.

So where to start? At the risk of being unoriginal, let me start by saying my name's Paul Baranay. I was born in South Bend, Indiana - I'm pretty sure that if anyone knows about it, they know it because of Notre Dame (as in Notre Dame football). I technically now live in Michigan, which annoys me to no end, especially since my house is right on the state line. And besides, it's more fun to say I'm from South Bend.

I'm 18 and just graduated from high school - glory hallelujah for that. Next year I'll be going to MIT, which I personally regard as the best school in the world. (Of course, I'm biased.) I plan on majoring in biomedical engineering, but apparently most people change their minds once they get to college, so don't hold me to that. This summer I'm working at good old Notre Dame, doing research with cow bones...but that's a story for another day. (It's also a good line on a resume.)

So, that's the boring stuff. It's lucky I'm not in high school anymore, otherwise I'd feel obliged to talk about all the stuff I did there. In retrospect, I did too much in high school anyway. But, hey, it didn't kill me and I still have a decent social life, so I guess it's all good.

As I said, though, that's the boring stuff, the easy stuff - the things that don't really tell you much about me, about what makes me different from anyone else, because everyone says those sorts of things.

The things I would like to tell people, but usually don't, are these:

I am basically the dumbest smart person you will ever meet. I am an undercover geek, an occasional athlete, a social butterfly, an unforgivable bibliophile. I am a nerd in prep's clothing, a scholar and a gentleman, a walking dictionary. I am optimistic and ironic, cynical and sarcastic.

I am lazy and I am an over-achiever. I used to be too involved for my own good and still think I've been cured.

I count by squares when I am nervous. I am working on memorizing pi and I actually think math jokes are funny.

I want to learn Italian and insist that Latin is a useful language to know. I am basically in love with Rome.

I am a poker player and a computer addict, a Facebook stalker and a fledging blogger. I am making a list of movies I need to see before I go to college. I buy too many books and not enough music.

I believe dark chocolate is God's gift to man. I pretend I don't like going to the mall. I love Oakley sunglasses, North Face fleece, and leather jackets.

I will always be a fan of the Notre Dame football team, no matter how much I claim to hate their performance during any given season. I have mostly gotten over my hatred for USC, but I will always despise Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. I recently converted to the Red Sox but I'd still cheer for the Colts over the Patriots.

I admire Dr. Gregory House as much as I despise the entire cast of Grey's Anatomy. I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I swear that Snape is not evil and Dumbledore is not dead. I dream of riding motorcycles and curing cancer. I think everyone could benefit from a little more dry humor.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I've never liked giving introductions. I'd like to think there's more to me than just a sentence or two, dashed off for quick reference and easy recall. I'd like to think that people are deeper and more complex than they may seem at first glance, that initial impressions aren't always accurate. And, most of all, I'd like to believe that we are genuinely interested in each other, that we actually want to know more about each other than "Hi, my name's X and I'm from Y and next year I'm going to Z."

If you agree with me - then you're in the right place.

Welcome to Emergent.

This blog is not just about me and my life - it is also about you. Without you, this blog would have no reason to exist. I'm writing this, not because I believe I have anything special to say, but because I know have nothing special to say. Most of what I write about is simply going to be my life, my everyday adventures and misadventures, the small sorrows and the tiny joys that make up human existence. But my life is not your life; your life is not mine. We both have things to learn from each other, and I think that is the true joy and power of blogging.

If this is all getting too heavy and philosophical - I'm kind of beginning to bore myself - I apologize. Hopefully you are still awake and haven't yet clicked your back button.

Please, stay a while. It can only get better from here.