The next two teams were watching, waiting for us to finish already and get out of their way. Meanwhile, none of the other contestants had any idea. Or if they did, they sure weren't letting on. With confidence as unfounded as it was incomplete, I proffered “Malta?” And with that, the Gaza Strippers (a nod to the ethnic composition of our squad, replete with age-appropriate inappropriate humor) broke the tie and won a satisfying intramural Quiz Bowl victory.

Math homework no longer expands to fill all available time. In fact, a couple problems from now, I'll be a week ahead. Which is not to say that all available time isn't getting filled. It most definitely is. The variety, however, is much improved:

  • Monday nights I unwind from my ponderous class schedule with IM Quiz Bowl.
  • Wednesday nights (time permitting) are intercollegiate Quiz Bowl practices, unless it's the monthly NYCBUG meeting, which is a fun excuse to get off campus and talk dork shop. (The BUG also held an awesome conference last month, conveniently for me, on Columbia's campus.)
  • Last Wednesday, as a change of pace, I was one of 10 participants in the Culinary Society's Creole Cooking night. We prepared and feasted upon stewed okra, shrimp in remoulade, blackened sable fish, beignets, and chicory coffee. Wowsers.
  • Thursday nights are the regularly scheduled New York NetBSD drinking, except that for me that's been preempted by weekly meetings of the Philolexian Society, which at a minimum always entails some sort of wacky debate. (It has also included midnight cricket on the lawn, as well as late-night informal wacky debate.)
  • When there's a home football game, Saturdays I'm at Baker Field all afternoon doing color commentary for CTV Sports.
  • Sundays were briefly intramural flag football, though that ship has sailed.

For those of you playing fill-in-the-blanks at home, it's correct to conclude that I'm not playing capital-F Football this season. Next season? Maybe, but the odds are against it. The story's a little involved. I'll tell it under separate cover.

In an attempt to sate my lust for collisions with carriers of an oblong ball, I tried rugby, but was thwarted by a combination of its not being the game I revere, plus the practices kept intersecting with the need to spend the multiply aforementioned huge gobs of time on math. While time is no longer such a problem, it's late in the season for a newcomer to pick up the game, and I don't feel strongly enough about rugby to go for it anyway. I can always try again next fall, if I'm not playing some other sport by then.

Nor have I been attending Ultimate frisbee practices. Partly because they overlap with my Monday and Wednesday activities, partly because I'm no longer eligible to compete in officially sanctioned UPA college tournaments. If I didn't have other stuff going on at the same time, I might attend practices anyway, but I do, so I don't.

I haven't made time yet to acquaint myself with the gym or its strength-training facilities. In the meantime, I've been doing the simple in-house equipment-free workout I did in Europe. Not great, but it's something.

Another thing I'm not doing is the improvisational comedy troupe. Nonetheless, I tried out for it, my total lack of experience notwithstanding. There are techniques by which to apply innate silliness in an improvisational context. I didn't know the first thing about them, and it was still lots of fun. It'd be even more fun if I did have an idea or two; some friends with improv experience and know-how strongly intimated that I can be very good at this sort of thing and suggested ways to get better at it.

Since I'm not taking lessons this semester and can't declare a major until next year, practicing the piano is sort of extracurricular. I've been finding time for it fairly regularly of late. Mondays and Wednesdays I have a half hour between classes in the same piano-laden classroom, so I just stay there and practice. And there's a very nice grand in the student lounge, as long as I'm willing to wait arbitrarily long for whoever's playing arbitrarily cheesy music to stop. (Okay, occasionally someone plays something nice.) I played in Lerner today for upwards of an hour and a half; nothing unusual. The pieces I'm currently working on:

Also, just announced, I'm the newest member of pkgsrc-pmc, the pkgsrc Project Management Committee. (pkgsrcCon was the conference I attended this summer in Prague.) This means I'll help set the direction for the project, adjudicate (rare) technical disputes, and communicate publicity to various audiences. It's a volunteer position, as is my involvement with NetBSD on the whole. To be a member of the PMC is a very geeky honor, or perhaps a very honorable geekiness.

Somewhere in all this, I'm training to be a programmer for WKCR-FM, the campus radio station. I'll probably do a classical music show, when the time comes.

At this rate, when the time comes, I might be too busy to notice!