Parkour is a physical art or sport the goal of which is to move as quickly and efficiently as possibly, overcoming obstacles in the way. It is often seen in the media as some pretty fancy urban acrobatics. It makes for great youtube videos which is how I was first interested in it. My recently renewed interest in running and general desire to get more in shape made me think it would be something fun to learn.

After reading more about it today, I thought that the philosophy is perfect for me. Anyone who has seen me running around everywhere should understand. And seriously, why go around when you can go over? I don't know if what it takes, the agility and strength, or the ability to develop it through hard work and practice, but I'm excited to try, more than I have been about any other excercise routine that was solely for the purpose of getting in shape. So I've found some locals who I think can help me.

I've had some frequently recurring dreams for a while now where I can fly. It's not like Superman or anything, mostly just 2-3 feet off the ground and only with intense concentration and training. I don't even remember the dreams in morning as dreams, but often I have memories of being able to do it that I know aren't real. It sort of feels like what it was like to hover in the vertical wind tunnel, which may have something to with the phantom memories. I imagine that the freedom of movement that is said to come with parkour to be the next best thing.
Keywords:Exercise | Athletics | Dreams
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Sex Education: A Dream

Last night I had a dream. It seemed so real at the time, as most dreams do. In the dream I promised a friend I'd write up my opinion in my blog, and although it wasn't real, it was an interesting situation I'd like to write about anyway.

The dream was about sex, somewhat of a taboo subject. As kids, when we are taught about sex, we're always taught it is how babies are made. The message is that sex is for married couples. Of course we know the truth is that lot of kids are having sex. Never "your kids", but you know it is out there. According to some statistics I looked up (I don't need to provide links because these things are easy to find), by age 17 over 50% of people have had sex, and by 19 it is roughly 80%. We may want there to be something special about sex, but the amount of recreational sex belies that in most cases. Now, instead of ignoring it, what if we embraced it? If you accept that it is fun and appealing and that kids are going to want to try it then maybe we could curtail many of the emotional and physical problems that result from it. In any case, that is a little of what the dream was about.

I was in High School, and probably 17 years old. Up to that point sex education policy was the same was we all know it. However, in the dream, my parents and teachers started taking a different approach. In this bizarre dream, they started encouraging sex. Rather than the wild orgies you might expect, there was actually no sex in the dream. I imagine that all the kids there still wanted it, but after years of thinking it was a secret, talked about through bird and bee metaphor, they were uncomfortable hearing adults talk about it freely and openly.

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Keywords:Dreams | Rants
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Dreams and Projects

The weirdest thing happened to me this morning. At work my project group, Animateering, wants to do a specific thing with the 3D engine we're using. I know what to do in the code but we can't figure out how to export the model from the modeling package correctly for it. I know that Jesse did this at Disney so I planned to ask him. This morning I had a dream that I was at work and that he told me how to do it. This wasn't the first time I had a dream that I solved a problem I've been having, but it was the first time that the solution still made sense when I woke up. It probably wasn't how they actually did it at Disney but I think it will probably work.

A little update on the things in the last entry. I ran all this week. I haven't missed one day (that I intended to run) since I've started! And I've been getting faster every day. I'm down to 30:10, only slightly slower than 7:30 pace. That's very good for after only 2 weeks. Juggling is going really well. I'm starting to juggle continuously now. I didn't go to Jeopardy because it was only for undergrads. :-(

The last project I want to mention is one my roommate is working on for the house. My roommate bought our house from the landlord. The carpets are fairly gross and he was thinking about replacing them. We discovered that there is hardwood floors below so we converted the dining room tonight. It still needs work, sanding and finishing, but it still looks better than before.
Keywords:Dreams | Animateering | Projects
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Anxiety Nightmares

Last night had to be the worse night of sleep I've ever gotten, that I can remember (in a puddle when camping might have been close). I blame it on the demos I had to give today and tomorrow. Normally when you say "my demo gave me nightmares," that means that you had an upsetting dream about the demo. Not so in this case. I told people that my research project is a nightmare for me when I'm awake. However, I think the anxiety of having to stand up and show a project that I think is crap for three hours on two consecutive days turned anything I dreamt into a nightmare that woke me up just in time to realize how bad it was. I can remember waking up many times this morning. That's pretty typical when I have somewhere to be that I'm worried about being late to, but each time I woke up some new disturbing image was in my brain.

What could haunt you so, Ben? ShadowPlay is the project I'm working on for research. It is an interface for non-programmers to build interactive characters that react to shadow. I don't know if I really believe that it has potential. Even if it does, it is certainly very far from that. Worst of all, I feel I should have more done that I do, but I don't even know what to do next.

Things actually ended up turning out ok, because when I finally did wake up and get into the lab, I had a realization and was able to add the one feature I had wanted to add for today but was unable to figure out how to before. All in all, the demos went pretty well. Maybe because the people today weren't sponsors they didn't care that my stuff was kind of cool, but not useful. A couple people really liked it and wanted my contact info. Even though I probably won't be around to care, it was nice to know someone was listening to what I was saying and actually cared.

Tomorrow more the same. After that I just have to finish my two projects (easier said than done) and then I'm free. So close I can feel it. I can't wait.
Keywords:Worries | Media Lab | Dreams
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My Roomate

I have wanted to say this for a couple days but wasn't writing an entry at the time. This isn't the most important thing, but I didn't want to start off with the title story. I'm getting really sick of my roommate. I didn't really have problems with him during the year. But now, I can't really stand him at all. I'm not sure quite what it is. Part of it is having a roommate over the summer, which is more my fault than his, but I still place my upsetness on him. More than that though is what he does, mainly to the room. I am moving out at the end of the summer. He has all these projects to improve the room. I did some things like that when I moved it. I don't even really have a problem with most of the project. Just the way he does them. It bothers me to have my room rearranged around me, but more importantly without even warning me. I might accept an argument that he needs to do this stuff and I should let him, but I would have at least like to be told.

He has a very stange logic system. He did tell me a while ago that he was planning to do these things. However, that and the fact that he doesn't think I'm paying rent makes him think it is ok to just do them without telling me or without concern for what I feel about it. Even he told me months ago the day he was going to do it, I should still get at least a day warning reminder. Of course I'm going to be charged rent. Why would I get to live here for free? No, I wasn't going to pay for the 3 weeks before my internship if I had got it, but of course when I'm here the whole summer.

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Keywords:Rants | Dreams
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Thought Repository » Dreams