I get up at 6:30 AM, though I have an hour and a half left before I actually WAKE up. I undergo the daily morning routine of freshen up, wet and gel hair into spikes, brush my teeth, put on deoderant, put on "nice" clothes (though not necessarily in that order)and barely catch my bus to go to school. I'd hate to be a girl, espcecially during formal occasions. Spend four hours getting ready, wear a dress that cost a few hundred dollars, spend an hour just getting your hair perfect, all to have your date hit on some other chick. Makes me feel sorry for girls.

For the past week, my bus driver has been a no-show. Usually we have a substitute driver, who gets to the bus stop 20 minutes late and gets to school ten minutes late. Today, we double up on middle school bus. 'Tis very crowded. I sit across from the girl I sit next to in English, Cheryl Landry. I, being bored and about to freeze a finger off, consent to do a Rubik's Cube while timing myself (note: do NOT use a Rubik's Cube in the cold unless the cube is VERY smooth.) The best time I achieve today is 2:02; my best time is 1:12, achieved 10/25/01.

First period art has a substitute teacher, and amazingly enough, I manage to finish my scratch art project. Scratch art is where you have a scratch tool, a combination of an arrowhead and a razor blade, except the edge isn't sharp enough to slice skin. The edge is scraped on scratch art paper, which is white paper with a sheet of black plastic, about a quarter of a millimeter thick, melted on. The black is scraped off, revealing white. The idea is that it's opposite of conventional drawing, where you have white paper and add black, here you have black and "add" white.

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| | Is a rough approximation of the tool's shape.
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As the period winds up, I think about my liberator for the day: the Michael C. Ferguson Scholarship Award Ceremony. I, so the State Board of Education says, am an exceptionally gifted student. I placed well, they say, on the Delaware State Testing Program (DSTP, known affectionately enough as the Dipwad's Sex Test - no Prudes). Interestingly enough, I was one of the top 120 students or so in Delaware in the Writing category. Shocking, isn't it? The net result of all of this is that I have a thousand dollars waiting in my bank account, to be used within five years of my high school graduation, regardless of if I'm still a Delaware resident.

I trudge up the stairs and wriggle my way through the seething crowd to my locker. I finally get there, and put my stuff in the locker, barely managing to squeeze everything in. It's now 8:43. I shut the locker, and head down to the lobby, free of the 13 pound monstrosity known as a bookbag. Role is called, and after a few minutes of milling around, people get on bus. 'Tis now about 9:00 AM.

I head to the back of the bus with a three of my friends: Matt, Joey, and Rob. Rob has a laser pointer, which we put to good use, seeing how much the filty windows distort the beam over a distance, and how much the beam is naturally dispersed because it's crappy: only $3, so claims Robert. The seats are incredibly comfy; quite rare on a school bus. About four inches of soft foam padding, as opposed to one inch of rock-hard "foam" padding. The sun warms my body and my seat, whiel Joey talks about the Digimon game he made for his brother. It took him about six hours, one of which was spent looking for sound files. It is two-dimensional, reminiscent of Super Mario Brothers for Game Boy Color. Becoming drowsier by the second, Matt and I fall asleep, bored by Joey's ramblings.

I wake up in Dover, at the foot of the Legislative building. The last time I was here was in 8th grade, on a field trip. Not much has changed, except for the crowd of about 850 people, 450 students and 400 parents. I scramble off the bus, and a minute later, the last Brandywine call is announced. Whew. Just made it. Our bus group scurries up the steps of Delaware's Capitol building. We are also, luckily, in the very front rows, perfect for picture-taking. A WHYY T.V. cameraman films us for a half hour or so, while random camera flashes go off in the crowd of adults. Our governor(governess?), one eminent Ruth Ann Minner, made a few sappy comments, explained the history of the Michael C. Ferguson scholarships, and had everyone give us a round of applause.

As I stand on steps of Legislative Hall like an idiot with the rest of my class, I'm forced to slap on a smile. After a few minutes of trying to find my parents, I finally locate them at the very back of the crowd. Turns out they got lost on the way over. Surprise!.

Standing next to the girl of my dreams. Her hair is slightly longer than shoulder length, a dirty blonde color slightly lighter than the color of chestnuts. She's wearing a lavender blouse, black skirt, goes down 3/4 the way to her knee. 'Tis long, by promiscuous high-school standards. Some of the girls wear things that would make BILL CLINTON blush. Or ogle, depending on how skilled the interns have been lately..

After all four hundred eighty six names are called, from nearly twenty schools, I meet with some of my middle- and high-school friends. While talking with friends afterwards. Eddie Wu says something very inappropriate. He says I'm too shy (hell yes I am!), and that I should ask her (Girl Of my Dreams) out. A School Friend mentions an after-school party. Eddie says, "Yeah. Go there...get drunk...screw her...bang her...bang her like a screen door!" I push him off the steps. He's pretty cool, most of the time, but he has a mind in the sewers. What a sick-minded bastard.

Ask G.O.D. (Girl Of my Dreams) if anyone asked her to the Homecoming dance: "No." I contemplate whether it's better to formally ask her to the dance, ask if she wants anyone to take her, or just dance with her tomorrow. I decide the third option is least painful, though it's undecided for whom it's least painful.

After pictures taken, food is served in the Armory. Delicious fruit, stale water, soggy sadwiches (dinner rolls w/ tuna fish/ham and cheese) and cookies are the meal of the day. My parents get itchy to go, so I manage to hook up a deal: They go now, I hitch a ride with G.O.D. back to old middle school. (50 minutes of glorious time in the car.I was a bit abashed when G.O.D.'s mom was talking about how G.O.D had to change into nice clothes in the car, and a truck driver saw her without a shirt on (only a little abashed))

Our old school, Springer, is a place holding many memories. We meet up with old teachers... nice to see them. Our French teacher had a baby, Rhiahnan. Babies are so cute.

I call dad over on a pay phone, where he picks the three of us (G.O.D., a mutual friend, Jenny Zhang, and myself) and whisks us to our (G.O.D.'s and my own) high school, where I fetch my stuff from my locker, and G.O.D. takes Jenny on a tour of the school. They also help get a few decorations in place for tomorrow night's dance.

Alas, time to take them home, but this reveals crucial information: Where G.O.D.'s house is located. Very important so no fumbling with addresses later...

I come home, and start to work on this writeup. Dinner is scrumptious, grilled steak with couscous and A-One Sauce. My mom loves using the gas grill, and while it's not as "authentic" as our old, conventional, charcoal grill, it makes MUCH more evenly cooked meals. And, it has a smoker rack and a rotisserie rack.

The Simpsons is Halloween Special III, with the Evil Krusty Doll, King Homer, and the Occult Library Zombies. I begin to watch Dark Angel, but I realize I've missed too many episodes (I don't watch very much T.V. : More TV = Less Computer/E2 time.)

Mom, Dad and I play two games of pool: Dad vs Mom, Mom vs Ben. Mom wins both times, mostly due to our bad luck and her good luck. I scratched on the break, giving her a three ball lead from the start, and she managed to unwittingly place my cue ball in very inconvienient locations.

We go to the aforementioned movie store to exchange tapes. We give back Best in Show and An Everlasting Piece, and get Pay it Forward and The Family Man. On the way there, I describe my day, and my mom find out that I like G.O.D., despite my protests that I'm an atheist. "Oh, you've got good taste..she's really pretty!" Well, yeah, but she's also pretty smart. Still, it's rather nifty to be told that you have good taste in girls. The same cannot be said of many high-school boys, sadly.

Well, this monstrosity of a writeup has taken me a full two (casual) days to write. It's now 12:30 East Coast time, so I should probably get to bed. Bye everyone