Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2004.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

August 2004

Posted 2 September 2004

Wow, so here it is, September 1st, 2004. This summer is beginning to wind down. It's been a long and interesting August. Why all the talking about months? Well I've decided that I'm going to provide monthly updates about what's been going on with me. It's really difficult to email everyone I'd like to keep up with. Further, since where I'm living right now doesn't have phone lines, it would be good if my family had some way of finding out how I'm doing! But I'm going to continue providing monthly updates, so I don't have to send chatty Christmas letters filled with witticisms about the past year's changes.

The beginning of August, I was surrounded with people. I was living the Foster-Walker Complex. I had several people from my floor in sophomore year's Elder living on my floor in summer's Plex. I even had a person from Edmond, Oklahoma living just a little down the hall from me! I ate every lunch and dinner with my posse, and hung out with them all the time. August was a month of going into town and eating out more often than I had during the entire past two years at Northwestern (4 times)!

The summer session ended August 20th, and on the 21st I moved into a frat. Not just any frat, apparently. No, there must be jockying among the frats to establish who has the rattiest and most run-down frat, and among them all this frat surely stands as king. I moved in, fearing I would develop lice within the week from a couch or my bed. However, I reasoned that mange would take care of the problem shortly thereafter.

I've thankfully not come down with any serious diseases. However, since there's no phone line, I can't call my parents to tell them I'm doing OK. So TV keeps me company when I'm not working. In the past 5 days I've watched a number of shows, primarily movies. Off the top of my head the list includes Drumline, Shanghai Knights, The Rock, Blue Crush, The Ring, A Man Apart, Demolition Man, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Jackal, The Mothman Prophecies, and the MTV Video Music Awards.

Since the frat has no air-conditioning, windows and sometimes doors are kept open at all times. This of course allows all sorts of nightlife to enter the frat. Most of the bugs end up dead in the bathroom sinks and littered across the bathroom counter. Others I've befriended with my foot or heavy objects. It probably wouldn't be so bad if the frat just wasn't so dirty. Some guys watched a football game, for instance, and left several open beer bottles and pizza boxes on the lounge floor for several days before I threw the junk away. I didn't touch the actual pizza on the floor, though...I think the squirrel that was wandering around during Shanghai Knights might have taken it.

There were two spiders, however, that were almost like my little friends. The first I would see every night when I got back from work. It had a very large web in a window (not the one that was shattered), and when I would play the piano its web would vibrate and it would wander around attacking the air in front of it, trying to figure out where the vibrations were coming from. The second spider I saw every morning. It had taken a very lucrative position in the corner of the stairwell, near an open window with no screen, and so each morning he got bigger and bigger. One morning it was gone. I can only assume it did what all spiders do at the end of their lives: asexually dissolve into thousands of other littler spiders.

The campus is very quiet and lonely now. I'm very much looking forward to when my friends arrive on campus and I won't be alone. Work at the Health Service is going well, though, and I'm glad to have work and sleep to escape to from this frat. The last two weeks of August my boss was on vacation, and of course that's when the support requests piled up.

Weariness is setting in again, so I'm going to sleep now. I'll see you all next month, when I talk about how great it is to have people on campus again, and how desperately I needed a haircut when I was writing August's entry. Until next time, adieu.