Saturday, February 28, 2004

malediction, vitiate, temerity, quixotic, mawkish, assuage, saturnine, jejune, ineluctable*

I've won 2 free song downloads from pepsi's current promotional contest, which purports the odds to be 1 in 3. My current win ratio is 2 out of 4 (50%) -- not bad at all considering I have (or imagine I have) a malediction of being unlucky. Perhaps this curse has finally been vitiated. The sample size is still a bit small, however, to make a definite conclusion. I'll report on my progress in future blogs.

Speaking of progress, I went to a Kaplan-sponsored verbal GRE workshop last Friday and I took a practice exam this morning. If I described the workshops as being a slap in the face, the practice exam was a hard kick in the gut. I even had the temerity to expect to do well today without having really prepared for it. I therefore find that relying on "stock knowledge" for such a test is quixotic. Anyway, my scores were as follows:

Quantitative: 13 correct, 6 incorrect, 9 omitted. My scaled score is 430 out of 800, the national mean being 591. My percentile rank is 21%

Verbal: 19 correct, 11 incorrect. My scaled score is 520 out of 800, the national mean being 470. My percentile rank is 63%

The results were a shock, since I expected to do better in the math than in the verbal section. I ran out of time during the math section and failed to answer 9 questions, prompting the need to improve on speed. The bane of the verbal section is the vocabulary. No surprise there. The techniques revealed by the Kaplan instructors when you don't know a word will prove to be invaluable in this regard.

For the rest of the day, I bought some tasty nachos for lunch from the Mexican/burrito place near home. I finished watching Alias Season 1 Disc 5 and 6, as well as Season Two Disc 1. I can't reiterate enough: this is a great show. I've avoided it in the past in part because it was created by the same guy who made that mawkish Felicity show. Now, I think that it is one of the best things of TV -- even better than Angel. I am now a true convert and will diligently follow this show. While watching the Alias DVDs, I did an hour on my elliptical exerciser (finally got it fixed today) followed by another hour of dumbbell workouts. After a long shower and light dinner (tomato soup, baby carrots, cottage cheese) I feel better, even invigorated, and certainly assuaged of the saturnine mood I was in when I left the test center.

After posting this blog I plan to play and maybe even finish Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast which, though jejune, I find to be an ineluctable source of stress relief. There's nothing like slicing through a stormtrooper with your lightsaber...well, except maybe hacking an orc to death with Narsil.

*Today's secret words-of-the-day have been brought to you by the Kaplan Practice Test.

now playing: Stereolab - Margerine Eclipse

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