I've been dealing with some personal stuff over the last few months, which explains my reasons for doing and not doing a bunch of things like diary entries and looking for work. Unfortunately, I find myself at a point not much different from where I was 2 1/2 to 3 years ago, in a low energy state just doing what needs to be done to tread water in life. Stuck in a monotonous routine on good days or feeling completely lazy on bad ones.
Perhaps it's just a passing feeling, rolling in and out with the weather we've had today, but it's never very easy to know for certain.
I suppose I tend to wait for things to happen too often, mostly because I don't want to impose on other people. When I do try to do things, they always happen at the wrong time, like wanting to travel when there's enough ice and snow out to keep you from even venturing past the front steps.
Oh well, I've just got to get a job and get into a new routine, I guess.
Heh.. Um... 'kay..
You are Gambit!
You are a fierce fighter and a good friend to have. Your preference for solitude and your attractiveness make you very intriguing to those you meet. Unfortunately, close relationships are few and far between for you because you often have trouble opening up to others.
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I had some fairly vivid dreams last night. Not as vivid as they get sometimes, but definitely clearer and more memorable than they've been for a while. They tend to be more engaging when I've actually had an interesting day, so visiting Sarah and my boss probably had something to do with it. However, the dreams seemed completely unrelated to anything I've really ever done.
I was in some sort of symmetrically-shaped hotel, so several times I found myself wandering down the wrong hall and entering what I thought was my room but really wasn't. Strangely integral to the whole thing was one of the Hilton Sisters, who led me around the place a bit. The odd thing is that I know absolutely nothing about them beyond what I learned in the ads for their E! True Hollywood Story (which is, nothing).
There was other stuff that I can almost remember, but my dreams almost always have the quality that the more I try to remember, the quicker the memory goes away.
I need a girlfriend.
Yeah, I know, that's been a recurring theme in my life for (/me counts the years)
HOLY FUCK!! I'M HOW OLD?
I need a girlfriend.
Scratch that, I need like 5 of them—I need to catch up
They need to be hot.
And have boobies.
boobies are good
(Yeah, it's late.)
The clock ticks away, oblivious to my weary state.
The wind carries the scent of the short grass down into my room.
I lie in bed, staring into the darkness.
In that dark, when I can almost see her shadow, my hand reaches out to search.
My mind expects my hand to find wisps of hair and soft skin.
But nothing is there.
My hand seeks sideways and upward, cautiously hunting.
It is not meant to be.
My hand falls back to my side, defeated.
A fan's cool breeze is all that it found.
The wind carries in a new sound as headlights pierce the darkness.
I remember where I am, that I'm alone.
Why must nights like this go on forever?
Have I somehow wronged the world to end up confined in this open space?
Lying in bed, I try to curl up and hide from the world, hoping to make it all fade away.
For a moment, I regain control.
Yet, my open window still lets the wind trickle down my wall.
A twisted hair on my neck gets caught in an eddy and springs upward, begging it's neighbors to do the same.
The world won't go away that easily.
I try to reconcile with the world and let bygones be bygones as I recall the good fortunes that have been bestowed upon me.
I repeat my promise to try to live the best way I can, to use my knowledge and understanding, to try to make things better for myself—for everyone.
But still, the world feels it must hide the answers to my true questions from me.
The sound of her voice. The shape of her face. A mere letter of her name.
They will remain mysteries for one more night, so I wait.
The clock ticks, and I am awake.
So, I've been kind of sliding downhill this week, especially the last few days. Every so often, I get reminded of the things I want but can't have. I must be that some curse was laid on me while before I even got into high school.
This is why I don't watch MTV.
Well, that, and the music usually sucks when they actually play it.
Good music can help me feel better, but sometimes it's impossible to find something new, or it tricks you and reminds you of a feeling you'd rather forget. Plus, a song just loses it's flavor after your mind has chewed on it so many times..
My mom and dad are coming up today so that we can have a birthday dinner with my brother. They'll be back up tomorrow, taking him home. It'll be good to see them. It usually makes me feel a little better when they come up. But, there's still that nagging feeling they can't do anything about.
Ah well, maybe I'll go out dancing this weekend. I remember I really needed somewhere to go to let stuff out the first time I went. There's good music, but that place can also (obviously) remind me of things I don't like. At least it lets me burn off some energy.
Yeah, I was feeling pretty empty today. I tried to take a nap while my clothes were drying, and sort of succeeded. I finally felt better when I got up and looked in my mailbox to find a response to this:
> Anyway, I just added onto the mount-by-label support that mount has. > You've been able to mount filesystems by their volume labels for a > while, but only well-thought-out filesystems like ext2/3, reiserfs, etc. > (though mount-by-label support in the current version seems a bit > wonky). Nobody bothered with vfat support until now. you are an uber-geek. :) bravo! Carl. -- Systems Administrator Real-Time Enterprises www.real-time.com
I'm a pretty good troubleshooter. I can track down all sorts of problems. But when I'm having problems, there are no keywords to punch into Google. There is no config file to fix up.
I just have to keep breathing, get up in the morning, and do what I need to do to get through the day.
Went and had the oil changed in my car. It ended up being a lot because it was recommended that I get the automatic transmission fluid replaced along with a radiator flush. So, I ended up paying like twice of what I thought the high end might be.
Of course, I went there on the weekend, so prices might have been higher.
Anyway, they recommended that I get some service done to the spark plugs too, but I guess that'll have to wait until next time. I didn't want that bill to get any larger...
Anyway, the car seemed a bit funny when I started it up—the idle was very low. Then again, it had been running just seconds before, and it seemed fairly happy on the way back to my apartment. I'm still a bit nervous about traveling any significant distance in it, though.
Well, now I'm off to try and find a place that will give me a haircut on a Saturday. I find myself echoing some of the sentiments that Erin implied, though I haven't gotten militant about it yet—I'd need to have some level of style first. Still, I highly prefer to have women do my hair. Whoever it is should communicate with me (meaning they speak English and not Engrish) and demonstrate that they have an idea of where they want to go.
But hell, it's hair. It grows back. (except there are some spots where I think my hairline is starting to recede.. nnngaaah!)
I'm halfway considering that it would be nice to sue our old landlord for some sort of emotinal damages. I knew when we were forced out of the old place that I was only beginning to get over some things that had been holding me back for a while, and I needed to be living in a place with friends. Moving out exacerbated some problems, but it separated me from some other troubles, so I don't know if I'm better off or not.
Of course, it's nice that I have my own fridge now, so I can buy stuff without considering whether it'll fit into the freezer or not. I can have juice and my 2% milk in the carton. My bathroom is surprisingly clean, though I can only blame myself when I forget to flush (my toilet does seem to have some backwash problem, unfortunately). The trash doesn't fill up every day, and I actually have enough space to spread out my stuff.
But, I have about the thinnest social network I've ever seen in anyone. Well, whatever its' state, I've got to start actually using it.
I sent off a note to Erik, seeing what he's up to these days. I suppose he doesn't get much of a chance to check his e-mail now, though.. I'm going to be heading home tomorrow after I pick up a birthday gift for my dad, so maybe I'll give Erik a call when I get back. I also sent a note to a friend of mine back home, but I don't know if she'll be around or not. She was thinking of moving to St. Louis, if I remember right, so it's hard to say if I'll be hanging out with anyone in the next few days..
So, I went home. I took a detour to Roseville so I could pick up North by Northwest on DVD for my Dad. I got Robin Williams: Live on Broadway for myself, though maybe I just should have rented it. It's good, and any of my friends can borrow it, but I probably couldn't watch the whole thing with other people around.. When I watch it again myself, I'll probably have to fast-forward through some bits.
I've always liked what I've been able to see of Robin Williams, so I guess I expected a bit more of the uncensored version of him. There's a lot of good stuff, but running around saying “Fuck off!” every 30 seconds doesn't really rise above the rest. I'm kind of disappointed..
I was remembering that I had high praise for him back in high school. When my graduating class wrote up profiles of ourselves, we were asked to name people we most admire, and I picked him because he could “bring a smile to anyone's face.” I still think that's true, but it might not be all smiles that he brings.
There were moments when I was watching the video and thinking of the kick in the pants I got when, weeks before graduation, my profile somehow randomly got printed right next to the profile of the girl I'd had a crush on all those years. Seeing her face next to mine—sporting huge ugly eyeglasses and dorky grin—did not sit well with me. But hell, she probably threw up when she saw it.
Oh well, I suppse I still managed better in high school than this poor kid.
Been having some curious thoughts about a girl. Not the one I had been thinking about, but one of the many girls I know who smokes, drinks, etc.
How do I know so many girls that do so many things that I don't?
So, I wonder if I'd have a life if the Internet had never come along? Would I have found the means to socialize with the outside world? I don't know.
I suppose I'm just living vicariously at the moment, though I guess that's what I did a lot back in high school before the Internet got big. I'd sit in class and listen to people tell stories. I just never had my own stories to tell for one reason or another.
People just seem to assume that I don't want to be around people since I never share much. But, I'm sure a lot of it's my fault. Maybe I'm just interpreting the whole situation in the wrong way.
I'll blame my slow wit.
Actually, the Internet lets me cover up my slow wit a bit. That's probably why I like it. Sometimes I feel like writing a big important e-mail to someone, but that gets troublesome on occasion. I get too many expectations and whatever.
A journal is better in a lot of ways. It lets me mete out my frustration in smaller doses.
But, the Internet doesn't solve everything. Due to some of my frustrations in life, I actually tried some online dating , but there are just too many people out there who end up being like, “I'm a busy Ph.D. student—too busy planning to take over the world to date anyone.”
I see that and I think, “well, I'm just a boring guy trying to work his way up to leading a semi-normal life.”
But, I suppose I had to try it just so that I could see how things go at a place like that. I just get tired of waiting for things to happen sometimes, so I have to try something different. Too bad so many of the places that offer to help are probably just moneymaking or e-mail harvesting scams..
Something's a bit weird about me today. I think I haven't been eating right. Oh well, at least I got out of the apartment—I went to Snyders, made some copies of my cable bills (to submit with my rent), and bought some filing folders so I can organize my bills.
I only get a few bills each month, but they're already stressing me out. I guess things get a little confusing since my rent and cable are pre-paid, but electricity and cell phone are post-paid.
Still, I'm starting to feel the bills, so hopefully I'll finally be motivated for finding work on Monday. It's the start of a new month, a way to get going fresh..
The weather is kind of keeping me inside at the moment, though I think I'm going to have to do something later. I'm just off-kilter right now and need something to put me in balance. Maybe someone will want to go see Finding Nemo with me, though maybe that should wait until Sunday or Monday.
Haha.. I was just whistling along to a song a bit, and then I realized my lips were pretty weak. I guess it's because I haven't been playing any flute.
I did happen to catch my reflection in the mirror a while ago. I thought that I was a pretty handsome dude and it shouldn't be so hard for me to get a girlfriend. I guess it's good I thought that, since I don't always.. Ah well, there's always tomorrow (GZ! ;-)
Hmm. I'll have to make sure I go out for a walk or something and get my blood pumping a bit.. I felt a bit winded last weekend, but it was really crowded and seemed hotter than usual too.
Now, I should try to get some sleep for once.
Well, I'm not exactly surrounded by girls these days, but at least things have improved since last year around this time. Er, sorta. I was living in a frat house, and a number of girls lived there. However, I never really socialized as I was going to be moving out in a few months anyway. I was working and taking classes while everyone seemed to be in transition (moving in or out) or otherwise preoccupied.
So, I hung out with, let's see.. 0 girls on a regular basis, and bumped into one or two others on occasion.
This year, I come across 3 girls fairly regularly, and two or three others on a less frequent basis.
Pretty sad numbers, but at least it's an improvement. It would still be nice to have a female friend who likes to hang out more often, or a girlfriend (of course). I suppose I'm halfway evaluating a few candidates, but I imagine some wouldn't mesh well with me. I'm not too concerned at the moment, as I'm content to just observe what goes on around me, which has been pretty entertaining.
Maybe I just need to start stalking the Aveda girls... Nah, they're all about to collapse under the weight of that makeup and hairspray anyway ;-)
Ugh. I did not sleep very well last night. Sleeping in 5-10 minute bursts is no fun. One of those mornings where you feel like you've woken up enough times for it to be 10:00 or 11:00, but it's still only 6 or so. Any of a number of things could be the source of that trouble..
Well, my Cat 6 cable experiment seems to have made things worse so far, though I haven't managed to swap the connecting cable yet. Yesterday, I'd picked up some DB9 connectors from Radio Shack, but I got male connectors instead of female ones. I guess I'll take another trip out today and get the right stuff. I should go buy some food too.
Oh, and I want to buy Radiohead, which is probably already sold out. Maybe I should go do that at Best Buy, so I can possibly pick up the third season of Deep Space Nine.
I've been reading more about network technologies and buses, learning little bits here and there. I guess InfiniBand isn't quite as fast as I thought, but it still sounds pretty cool. It's basically a cross between a computer bus and a network, so you can share your computer's bus with others. You could access the modem in another machine directly, for instance. This is most interesting for clustering applications..
HyperTransport is pretty wicked-fast, at least on the high end. In theory, I think it could do the same sort of things that InfiniBand does, but I think it's more being designed as an internal system bus rather than a combination internal/external one. At it's core, it uses serial links, though they can be ganged together to make faster connections.
Both the AMD Opteron and the IBM PowerPC 970 are designed to work with HyperTransport. I'm still not quite sure if Intel has some analog of it or not (probably, I just haven't figured out what it is yet).
I've written a few times about various types of Ethernet, but my memory isn't perfect, and some of the sources of information I have aren't complete. I think I may pick up the O'Reilly book Ethernet: The Difinitive Guide at some point.
One of the most interesting things I came across involves a merger of sorts between two long-standing rivals ATA (IDE) and SCSI. Serial ATA drives will be compatible with Serial Attached SCSI. You will be able to mix and match drives. Not exactly sure how you would tell the difference between them, though, or if it's even relevant.
One question I have is, will you be able to use Serial Attached SCSI drives in Serial ATA-based systems? Or does it just go the other way around? If things go both ways, I think the next few years will be an interesting exercise in marketing. How would the cost of one be justified against the other if they're compatible?
Had a strange feeling pass over me about 15 minutes ago. Something seems amiss, but I can't place it. Oh well, maybe I haven't been getting enough sleep.. I suppose I could stand a nap.
There were five or six vehicles pulled over to the side of the road this evening when I drove home. That's quite a few. And people seemed to be driving strangely too. Must be the heat.
My car seemed to act funny at a spot or two, but I think it may have been the wind more than anything.
I was getting a bit freaked out over the weekend, as I was worrying that I was destroying the transmission. When I went to get the oil changed two weeks ago, the guy said that I needed a new “transmission fluid pan gasket” and that there was evidence of a fluid leak. I thought I'd measured the fluid level a while before, and it seemed fine, but then again, I'd been measuring it completely wrong.
You cannot measure the transmission fluid level in my car when it is cold. Nor can you measure it when it is hot. The fluid must be warm. Gah.
Anyway, with the assistance of my dad and my brother, we ran the car for a few minutes, cycled through the different gear-select positions, and figured out that the transmission fluid was indeed properly topped off. I guess the procedure really wasn't too bad, but it just seemed to be more complicated than it should have been.
I had a strange experience at Chipotle today. After paying the cashier, I found a fortune from a fortune cookie in my hand. It said, “There's a chance of a romantic encounter soon.” It's one I got a year or two ago, but it just happened to fall out of my wallet.
So, is it a sign? Well, it definitely didn't point me toward the mexican cashier chick. I mean, I know I once mentioned to a person or two that I like Latin women, but I suppose that was just said in a flash of idiocy. I meant Salma Hayek/Jennifer Lopez Latin, not Juanita from down the street Latin—which is unattainable anyway, so I shouldn't even bother mentioning it.
OK, yeah, I'm evil.
Anyway, it would be nice if the fortune came true this time around. I mean, I'm only a few months from turning 25.
Dammit, I'm getting old.
Aaagh! My head hurts. Headache headache headache.
I must be sleep deprived. I'm going to bed.
Okay, who sent me a text message last night at 1:25AM asking if I was on a booty call? That makes no sense. On so many levels! Someone with 310 as the exchange number (nobody in my address book has that).
Heh. Two words: Trivial Pursuit.
You are DNA. You're a smart person, and you appear incredibly complex to people who don't know you. You're incomparably full of information, and most of it is useless.
I sent a note to Drive 105 telling them that 105.7 seemed to have a poor left-right balance when compared to 105.1 and other stations in the Cities. Seems to be fixed now, though I have no idea if I caused them to check or what…
I didn't go to any movies this weekend. Dunno why I failed to do that, though it was probably the snow. I'm not sure if we even got 2 inches—I can see a few tips of the blades of grass in front of my building.
I got myself a George Foreman grill sometime last week. I can cook ground beef without setting off the smoke alarm! Yay! I've also cooked some No Name Steaks on it. They're tiny, but pretty good. I've tended to cook some onions or peppers at the same time, which usually turns out alright.
Hmm. My car has needed an oil change for about a month. Good thing I haven't been driving! Hah!
Oh boy. That's an Alf-worthy knee-slapper… Anyway, hopefully I'll do that tomorrow, probably along with some laundry.
Oh, before I forget—I just loved being awakened at 2:45 this morning because of the Suburban plowing the driveway across the street. My lonesome self seems to be getting more and more paranoid, 'cuz each time I wake up because of new late-night noises I keep thinking, “Aw crap, the world's coming to an end.”
Arr! I'll be a quarter century old this Saturday. Arr!
Too much of my day was spent purchasing and then returning a humidifier. The main water reservoir leaked, so we had to take it back.
We all went out to see Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which was reasonably entertaining. Could have been better, but could have been a lot worse. I don't think it was marketed properly to the movie distributors, though—the only showings in Rochester are matinées. The movie is plenty good for adults, so it's pretty dumb to not run it at night.
For my birthday haul, I got a strange automatic cheese grater thing, a DVD of Office Space, a set of Season Two of Futurama (which I may already own, but I got the gift receipt for that), and a toolbox with some miscellaneous sockets and stuff in it—mostly intended for car repairs, I guess.
And money. Can't go wrong there.
Oh yes, be ready to play your favorite durge at 10:30 tonight—that's when I'll officially be 25. Yay.
I went to see Elf. I felt I could use a laugh. It was good and funny, but I really get sick of seeing the main characters falling in love in every single fucking movie I see. I'm 25 years old now, and I still haven't managed to have a plot like that run through my own life.
And, Oh! I just can't wait until Christmas. I'll get to drag my grandpa (well, step-grandpa because he married my widowed grandma 10 or 15 years ago) out of the nursing home again. Seeing his droopy face and helping him slouch along the walk in front of my grandma's house won't dampen my spirit at all! I do this out of pride, not because I have to. I'm not wishing, every moment I'm out there, that I have a beautiful, smiling girlfriend back home, waiting for me with a twinkle in her eye and ready to wash away my worries. Psh! Who needs that when you've got a cancerous old man wheezing as he falls over in his seat!
Yes! This will surely be the best Christmas ever!
I think today is the day for me to get a haircut. I should probably get it cut every 4-6 weeks, but procrastination usually takes hold and I double that on a regular basis. We'll see if I can get it cut in a way I like. The last time I went, the stylist said I should say, “Number 4 and blend it on the back and sides.”
Aagh! I played FreeCraft again, and now I see images of footmen, peasants, and farms whenever I blink. This may be one reason why I don't play video games all that often. When I forst got the original SimCity, I remember falling asleep to images of buildings with little flashing lightning bolts on top, indicating they didn't have any electricity.
My brain must be lacking interesting input these days (not surprising). Last night, I watched Celebrity Poker Showdown which had Nicole Sullivan (from Mad TV), Hank Azaria, and some other people I didn't know. Later, I had a dream of the voice of Hank Azaria—Not Hank Azaria himself, or any of the characters he plays, just a unembodied voice.
Of course, that's just another datapoint showing that my dreams just tend to be weird. Why they can't be about things that I want (like women), I'll never know. Why didn't my brain pick Nicole Sullivan? Why didn't it flash back to the clip I saw of Keri Russell in some random movie on KSTC? How about Jodie Foster on the night I saw Silence of the Lambs?.
Feeling pretty dehydrated today. I might be getting sick, but I think it might be that the cold weather is finally catching up with me. Usually, when the thermometer hits the freezing mark, I get a dry throat and cold for a few days. Strangely, that hasn't happened yet this winter season. Until now, at least. 5 below? Yeah, that should do it.
I suppose things must be different this year since I spend so much time in my apartment rather than shuffling to work or classes, and the moisture level must be higher in here than it would be at the U.
Anyway, this looks like a laundry day, if washing machine hasn't disintegrated since the last time I used it…
Uch.. Ruddy doze. I'b nod all thad sick, bud I hobe id doesn' ged worze.. Liddle feber, bud nod too bad. Mosdly jusd the doze. Thig I'll be good do go domorrow. Dow I need to fide sob fluids.
Haha. Fabous lasd words.
Favorite word of the day: rectenna
I'm bored. I've been bored all day. I watched some shows that my computer recorded, mostly Ned and Stacey—a show everyone forgot about when it was on, but seems to have stood up pretty well. People just didn't think Thomas Hayden Church could play a character with a brain, I guess. And hey, it's got Debra Messing. Can't go wrong there. I don't know how she manages to have so much hair on her head, but I like it. (Hmm. That might explain why I like Keri Russell too, though with straight hair she looks freakishly similar to a female friend of mine that I've known since preschool—my friend even had a penchant for sweaters :-p )
Too bad the show is on a damn women's channel. I mean, the guy on the show is a womanizing bastard (I mean that in the best way, of course ;-). At least my computer is pretty good at skipping commercials. As if I haven't seen enough ads for panty liners already in my life. Ugh. Go away! *click*
I should probably get out and do something tonight. I guess my sickness this week took a much larger toll than I thought it would. I've been pretty groggy the last few days. Hopefully I'll be feeling good tomorrow.
0.008 kilowatts. That's what Radio K's FM signal is. Correcting for decimal stupidity, it's 8 watts. 8! I can't even run a decent fluorescent light off that!
Hmm. I guess I should try to figure out how to stream Quicktime audio in Linux (and don't forget the fact that “Quicktime” is deceptively non-descriptive). I suppose it probably sounds better than Ogg Vorbis, but at least Vorbis is natively supported by Winamp as well as my favorite Linux player.
I wouldn't complain, but the commercial stations in town are killing me with the same stuff over and over and over and over and over again. Plus, the stations I hit most frequently (Drive 105, KS95, Cities 97, and 93X) have quite an overlap on their playlists, so I will hear the same song more often if I go channel-surfing than if I stay on one station (but then I have to deal with commercial breaks every two songs).
I need music, or a girlfriend. To support either habit, I need a job.
Ugh, the weekend goes by too fast, even when you don't do anything the rest of the week.
Ugh. I just got a spam through my ICQ client. Interesting technique: it was sent to me as an “Authorization Denied” message. So, if you want to cut down your debts drastically, legally, and quickly, give them a call at 281-587-6082.
I did a search on that number just for kicks and ended up with some web pages in the Netherlands. They were in Dutch, so I couldn't really understand them, but one seemed to be discussing a diploma from a university. Both of the numbers started with 1- or 001-, which would seem to indicate a North American number (since 1 is our international calling code). But heck, I dunno. The area code is supposedly Houston, Texas.
The experience of coming across a dutch page reminded me that there are a lot of languages I wish I knew. I sort of know Norwegian (heritage reasons) and German (the only other option in high school was Spanish, which I didn't think was important at the time—oops), but I don't know them very well anymore. I should really get some reference books on that. Beyond that, the old languages used in Britain and Ireland are intriguing. Celtic and Welsh are pretty wacky, not to mention old/middle English.
If I'd had my choice in high school, I probably would have either done Norwegian or Russian (I'm so jealous that Sarah did that in high school), but my experiences in college have gotten me interested in Japanese and Chinese. Today, I'd be pretty interested to learn Arabic, but I don't know if I could ever learn to read backwards… Heh, I even admire the reasons for making Esperanto, though it's messed up in a lot of ways. Latin always sounds so pompous whenever I hear someone speak it, so there are reasons it could be fun—too bad the complex conjugations and declensions would make my head explode.
But if I ever learn another language, it will be Spanish—for purely utilitarian reasons. Like, I don't know, could I get my cheeseburger today?
I can't believe nobody posted a comment about my 1-976-HOT-NASA line in my previous entry. I mean, that's one of the funniest things to come out of my head in months. Well, I think so, anyway. Guess I'd never make it as a stand-up comic. (Like that's news…)
Hmm. I haven't thought about this for a while, since I haven't had the patience to sit through Inside the Actor's Studio recently, but I think that one of my “favorite words” would have to be “fudgesicle.” That would probably be my curse word. As for favorite word overall, I'm not so sure. There are a lot of weird words in English, and I keep finding more that sound a lot like pholaboly, philately, and phlebotomy. Craziness ;-)
My entry for APOC '04, if it's done in time. Not really the story I was going for, but it's what came out. A bit sappy, I suppose. There's a reason this story ends with the guy going to bed. G'night! I'm tired.
A thousand pardons if Livejournalers accidentally see the whole story here. Hopefully you'll need to click a link to view it.
The sound of falling rain filtered in through the open window. It was that tired sort of rain that barely drifts anywhere far from vertical, so there was no danger of the floor getting wet. Not that it mattered. He'd lived alone for twenty years, and the male tendency to not give a shit about more shit on the rug had taken hold with a vengeance. Plus, the fact that he'd managed through the end of the world made having a clean floor somewhat less important.
Well, it wasn't like the world had truly ended. Civilization turned out to be pretty resilient—if somewhat downsized. But, it was about as close to the end of the world as anyone ever hoped to get.
A dark night in August, the ground became a turbulent ocean, with buildings bobbing around as if they were tiny ships driving through a massive Nor'easter. They shuddered and collapsed as surface matter twisted and disintegrated, the sky becoming a coarse fluid of smoke and earth. Fires tore through huge swaths of every city on the planet as lives came to an end in hundreds of millions.
All in all, a really bad day.
Everyone who really knew what happened had died instantly. There were a few dweebs around the country who had an inkling, but they didn't know much. A few big universities had been waiting on big data dumps from Fermilab that night, but they never came. Some netops at the big telcos had watched Chicago bleed through their consoles, a front of destruction displayed in real-time as fiber snapped somewhere in Iowa.
He'd been one of those few, though one of the first to meet the front and go offline. The klaxon that always sounded on a major outage had barely finished its first tone when the room suddenly tilted. It was a strange sensation, watching Joan as she momentarily mastered the art of levitation. But, that only lasted a second before he found his head reassigned to the ceiling.
Oh, so that's where the orange screwdriver went.
Somehow, he'd gotten out. Adrenaline had kicked in after a few seconds and his brain didn't bother to put anything down in permanent storage. That night became a series of distant images to him, with one scene slowly swirling through color and shape into the next. Any time he'd try to hold on to one of the memories, they'd distort and slither away.
The next morning, it didn't seem to matter who was left—he just had to get somewhere else. The roads were buckled and broken, but it wasn't too long before he found a building that could still stand up to more than a stiff wind. The people he met were dirty and scared, but somehow they knew they'd get through it.
Miraculous stories evolved from moments of happenstance. He heard one woman say that she had been skydiving when everything happened, but he never quite found the ability to believe her. Another person had been wakeboarding at the time, only to wash up on shore a few miles from where he'd first been. Most people who survived liked that story a lot, since so many had found themselves in a completely different place once the ground stopped moving. Before long, the man and everyone else who lived through that night started calling themselves the “Surfers of Hell.”
Eventually the fires went out and the sky cleared. At night, he marveled at the rediscovered Milky Way. He'd seen it before, but so many Surfers had never known what was really out there. Sure, some scientist on TV would always get really excited every so often, but they never saw anything when they looked up. The end of the world did wonders for the popularity of astronomy, and made everyone understand what had driven their ancestors to see and do amazing things.
Well, admittedly, even he didn't know a whole lot about the sky, but Before, he'd always known where to look. In between scavenging, he'd study what he could find, and was able to help almost anyone else who asked. Before long, the other Surfers would bring all sorts of artifacts from the past to him, and he'd help anyone who needed to find an answer. Soon, the city found itself being rebuilt, and he became their Archivist.
So, they rebuilt as much as they could. It was a hard life, of course, but everyone was in it together. The rubble of Before held great treasures of technology and knowledge, and the Archivist spent his time saving what he could. Everyone went to him when they needed to figure out how to get something working again. A year after the disaster, the city repaid him by giving him a scavenged generator as well as a generous ration of fuel, although he always felt too modest to take very much.
Regardless, the man's eyes lit up with glee when he spent a few days trying to get a smashed up computer working again. It was actually his—he'd managed to dig it out of the rubble of his apartment. It had laid in the pile for months, so it was no surprise to him that it didn't just turn on. But, as soon as it was working again, he knew that it wasn't yet time to bring back the Information Age. Wounds were still fresh, and there was so much to learn about how to live. The coming years brought surprise and sorrow, good and bad, but the road was laid out for them. The New Renaissance grew quickly.
The man's fascination with technology brought him to get big parts of the city powered again, though a lack of a reliable fuel sources meant that it only ran part time. Nobody complained, though, and things were only getting better. Children started to play, and the Archivist found himself to be a valued resource by the school. He'd never been great at dealing with kids, but he always respected the role of a Teacher. Sometimes, he'd find himself in that role, but he always felt more comfortable acting at a distance.
On this night, he reflected on another of those days as a Teacher. Boy, those kids were smart—the folks at the school know what they're doing. He slowly meandered toward sleep and lazily listend to the rumbling and clacking of the rusty old generator in it's cage outside. It had never liked humidity, and the years had taken their toll. The rain meant that soon, it would sputter and die, making the lights dim again. The aincent batteries he hooked up a decade past wouldn't last long and his node on the New Internet would drop off the air in a few minutes, just like it did in every rainstorm. But, when the clouds cleared, he'd be able to see the sky again. If he managed to stay up that late, he'd imagine all of those great people who had looked up at those same stars and dared to wonder.
All in all, not a bad day.
I'm so happy for ars. I'm glad that es won the game. Es played ein chips well, and now the gold chip is ens.
Hmm. Blech. Not so hot, but maybe it sounds reasonable… I'm trying to think of good ways to make gender-neutral pronouns in English, instead of using they or whatever, which people don't like because it's plural rather than singular. This was all induced by seeing who won on Celebrity Poker Showdown, by the way.
Sie and hir are popular choices, but I dislike them with a vengeance. In addition to sounding too much like the English she and her, sie can be feminine in German. While it actually has several meanings in German–they, and you when capitalized Sie is for addressing adults–it also really does mean she. Hir I don't like because it can end up being pronounced exactly like her, plus it can be hard to distinguish in print (though that's probably just because I haven't seen it enough).
So many options that people have proposed are too indistinct for me. I kind of like the Spivak pronouns, but the words there and proposed elsewhere are hard to distinguish from he, she, him, her, his, and hers.
My idea for he and she (which I'm sure others have proposed, but I haven't bothered hunting too much to find out) is to basically flip the sounds of the pronouns around backwards. He and she become es, which also happens to be the gender-neutral he/she pronoun in German.
The next word I came up with that I liked at all was ars. I'm not sure where that came from, exactly. I think it was using the ‘r’ and ‘s’ from his and her, and then picking a different vowel to go in there to make it sound distinct. I eventually noticed that this could be confused with ours, so I moved it to replace him and her instead. I do like the fact that it sounds like ours, though, since it brings a sense of unity—but I wouldn't want the words to get confused when people are speaking.
I was thinking of trying to take some other pronouns from German, but they don't really fit too well in English, IMHO. However, I think using some translations of one might be appropriate for something, since that is a popular option for replacing the singular they. In German, one is ein. In Norwegian, it's en. At first, I thought I'd use en for something like his and her, but I just felt in needed an ‘s’ sound at the end and made ens. However, this became problematic when doing posessive things like his and hers, since there's already an ‘s’ there (not that it prevents us from using his in both places).
So, I tried doing en for his/her and ens for his/hers, but it just didn't seem to sound right to me. En was just too short of a sound, I thought. Therefore, I decided to try the German ein in place of en, but I kept ens because I have a prejudice for pronouns that are three letters or shorter, plus I'd like that Norwegian word in there ;-)
Still, I guess I'm open to options. I really like es and ars, though I haven't really decided on what to use for the other cases. Here's a summary of sorts, in no real order:
he/she him/her his/her his/hers es ars en(s) ens es ars ein(s) ens es ars ein(s) eins
This is no real surprise
I guess I'd think that I'm even more introverted than the test says (in a weird sense, as introverted as I am friendly, I suspect). Also, I would have expected the test to show me as significantly more open-minded, but I suppose it's still relatively accurate considering how long it takes for me to accept new ideas sometimes.
Anyway, I shouldn't overthink it…
Grr. Car Talk switched their online show to use Windows Media Player, which (surprise, surprise) doesn't exist for Linux. Just like I can't listen to a non-crappy version of Radio K because there is no QuickTime player for Linux either. I'd like to recommend Ogg Vorbis for such things, but I guess I haven't listened to very many Vorbis streams and I don't know how well it really stacks up—plus it's geared more for “live” content, since I don't think many Vorbis players allow seeking (ff/rew) in audio streams that aren't stored on a local hard drive.
Well, blah blah blah. I've got to do taxes and find a job and find a girlfriend and do laundry and get food and… (not necessarily in that order)
I tried to get myself back into a good sleep cycle last night, and failed miserably. I'll have to try again tonight and then maybe try to exercise in the morning to wake myself up. But then I'll probably get tired and go back to sleep…
I was sent a questionnaire for a potential job, which I have to work on today. I'll have to think about the questions a bit—it's been a while since I've actually done system admin stuff, so it's hard to remember good examples.
Well, in between my two night's sleeps last night (went to bed early, then couldn't sleep from about 1-4, then slept late), I wrote a note to an old friend of mine from pre- through high school. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have anything to talk about, which might explain why she hardly ever responds. However, I'd gotten a few newspaper clippings from my mom, and wrote about those.
One was about our old H.S. band director, who is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet, but has gotten a nickname of “The Grinch” because of certain warnings he gives while working (“Unless you want me to get grinchy…”) Another clipping was an ad for a Rochester bank that featured another old classmate. I did some hunting and found a few others. I think a few have gotten into teaching in my hometown and elsewhere, but there was at least one other bank employee and a friend who had gone into real-estate. Kind of weird, but he seems to be a fairly natural salesman…
Anyway, it'd be nice to get a note back, but we'll see what happens.
I decided to stop trying to go back to sleep at around 7 this morning, and then I even did a little exercising. Blech. I've been sitting around way too much lately.
Hmm. Time to find the appropriate tax forms today, methinks.
I think I'll have to travel somewhere next fall/winter…
Blech, I had to redo some ucky HTML with a perl script to get the thing below. Yeah, I'm late to the party on this one. Eek. I definitely need to find more girls to get to know. This thing is kind of lopsided…
I was a dork and wrote about history today. But, in the end, it was still cool. I learned a lot of stuff that is really neat. Heh. Have you ever gone on a streetcar? How 'bout a streetboat?
(Image taken from here)
I can't sleep. I've stayed up way too late for a few nights, mucking around on the Internet. I finally got my taxes sent in, though things still didn't go right. H&R Block's website never let me file anything at all, and TurboTax's site kept complaining that I couldn't re-e-file before I fixed errors on my Minnesota tax return (my Minnesota return filed perfectly—it was the federal return that had problems).
I tried TurboTax's technical help chat to try to fix my problem. I went through three different agents, and they all just magically disappeared on me. But, even before I got online with the first one, I'd pretty much decided to do things on paper. I started downloading form after form, while waiting for the agents to come online. No, I can't do 1040A, I have to start over on the 1040. Oh, I need to do both schedule C and schedule ES. What's this 2210 thing? Hmm. Well, I just filled out the form, and in the end, it told me that I don't need to fill it out. Thanks.
So, I got all the numbers down. They didn't quite jive with what H&R Block had calculated, but it was within about 1%. I printed out my completed forms (fill-in forms are pretty neat), and wrote out my check. I dropped it in the mail a good two and a half hours before the next scheduled pickup.
I got back to my apartment, sat down, and realized I forgot to sign the forms (since they were the neat fill-in and print-out forms). At about 2:45 this morning, I realized I'd forgotten to include a W-2.
Well, at least it's not the end of the world. The W-2 information was filed by the University, and I definitely did sign the check. They should be happy enough with that, since it about halves my checking account at the moment. I suppose I'll call the IRS hotline sometime, though. Plus, one of the fields on the fill-in form was my phone number, so I might end up having them call me…
It's just around times like these that I really wish I had a girlfriend to get my mind off things.
I came across a pretty big archive of Marilyn Monroe pictures the other day. I had been searching for something completely unrelated, and somehow it popped up. Anyway, I looked through some of the pictures, and I was pretty surprised by how her appearance changed over time. A lot of the images show her as being a little bit chubbier than what is usually shown on TV shows about what she did. Personally, I think I like many of them more than some of the photos she's more famous for, though maybe it's more a function of whether her eyes were wide open or not…
I took an online test a while back to try and determine what sort of women I'm attracted to, according to appearance. It gave some contradictory answers, but it did remind me that I'm extremely picky. I think it said I was mostly interested in women who make up about 3% of the population, and I'd be competing with 50% of the guys for them. They called it the “supermodel” category, which leads me to question the test a bit since I know that I like women who aren't fat, but I usually find stick-like supermodels to be unattractive as well.
I also didn't like the test, because there seemed to me that many types of women I find attractive weren't in the test at all, but it's hard to say.
*shrug* I'm just so destined to be by myself that it doesn't really matter for me to try and dissect the situation too much…
Blech, I'm sleepy. My sleep schedule is somewhat off since I ended up sleeping more with no Internet and restricted TV. Now I'm tired since I was in the next timezone, I guess. Oh well, I'll be back to what passes for normal in no time.
I think that at about 9:00 PM on the Friday before I left, I realized that I should probably try to call Erik and hang out with him more often. In theory, he's helping with teaching at the school right next to my apartment, so it wouldn't be hard to visit with him if he has an open schedule afterward… I suppose my desire to get to know some girls may have led me to distance myself from my male friends. I needed time to recover from being around guys all of the time in my CSci classes, I guess. Still, I'd want to spend time with some girls if the opportunity arose, but that's not going to happen if I never hang out with anybody…
I was guilted into going to church this morning in Rochester. It would have been nice to lounge around after driving all day yesterday, but no… I was worried that one of the pastors would mention Mel Gibson's movie, and one of them did. I was seconds away from getting up from my pew and leaving the sanctuary, but he managed to stop talking about it before that happened. It would have turned into a mess if I had left—my parents were on my left, and my brother and one of the church's pastors was on the right. Neither direction was a good option. Oh well, the guy didn't outright say, “you should go see this movie,” he just said something like “it sounds like this is an accurate portrayal of what [is believed to have] happened.” Still, I wish he'd actually see the movie before promoting it in any way.
But, I'm in Minneapolis now. Brought my brother up with me, since he'd visited home over the weekend. There was a little tension since we might have had to deal with bad weather, but things cleared up by the time we left (still wet on the road in some places, but not too bad).
Now I see that The Daily Show was all repeats this last week, so I didn't miss anything there. I'll have to go through the other shows my computer recorded and see if anything interesting showed up over the week (there appears to be a good Frontline episode).
Oh yeah—I'm glad Ralph Nader decided to run again. I wasn't sure if I wanted him there or not, but the Democratic nomination race is kicking out the candidates I like (er, the main candidate I liked, at least). By the way, the “Nader is a spoiler” argument doesn't carry any weight with me. In Florida in 2000, Gore and Bush were separated by 537 votes. The 10th-place finisher, James Harris of the Socialist Workers Party, had 558 votes, so that theoretically makes about eight people possibly responsible if you want to play the candidate blame game. In truth, the voting in Florida was just fubar in general (with tens of thousands of ballots considered “spoiled”), so you can't blame any of them.
I was going to call Dan or Erik or somebody to try to do something tonight, but it didn't happen. Time slipped away as I tried out a new skillet that I bought. Well, I guess it was actually labeled an omelette pan, but the difference from it and a skillet was only a slight curvature. The omelette pan was anodized aluminum, so I guess it'll basically never corrode (in theory). There's a non-stick surface, of course—I think it's something other than Teflon, but the label didn't mention what it was.
Anyway, I just needed something with a lid, since some of the skillet meal things available need to be lidded when cooked. I was pretty much forced into buying the Calphalon stuff at Target, since that was the only way I could get something with a cover. The nifty thing is that it's a glass lid, so I can what's going on without guessing. Now if only my oven had a window…
I walked by the Stone Arch Apartments yesterday. It's pretty much right at the end of the Stone Arch Bridge, which is kind of a crappy location, unless you only ever want to go downtown or St. Anthony. I suppose it's too expensive for students, but if someone were to live there and then have to go to the U everyday, that person would have to walk around the apartment to get around the big metalworking company behind it. I guess there's the service road in front that heads straight toward Dinkytown, but it's not a public road.
Tomorrow, I think it will be an early spring-cleaning of the apartment. I also have to remember to pay rent this weekend, though at least February goes to the 29th this year.
There were protests yesterday, but I didn't go. I might have gone if the busses were running, but it's been hard for me to see any clear message coming out of the American anti-war folks these days. I think the adage about managing programmers is also fairly apt when applied to liberal protesters, “It's like herding cats.”
On Friday, I had come across a couple of high-resolution images of Alicia Silverstone. I'm talking about really clear 1600x1200 images. Oh yeah. And the pictures hadn't been run through any heavy graphics filters, so there was actually a texture to the picture.
Anyway, it just got me thinking about how I can relax a lot after I see the face of a good-looking girl. And I don't mean, um, you know. I'm sure that just the simple act of seeing a nice face releases hormones or something—I can feel something happening. I'm pretty sure that this was once studied by researchers, but Google isn't helping me out at the moment. I remember some days at the U where I'd get on the Campus Connector and sit across from a good-looking girl, and I'd get the same feeling. Boy did I hate the days when I had to sit across the aisle from guys.
So, back in the near-present, I looked at the picture for a while, had it as my desktop background for a few hours (though it's such a waste to put a nice picture right behind my browser window), then decided to go looking for other comparable photos of other girls. I wasn't very successful—most of the pictures were scaled up to the desktop size or had the woman so airbrushed that she looked like a poorly-made wax sculpture.
Finally, I gave up and looked at a few digital photos I'd made of old high school senior pictures. Of course, I couldn't resist the picture of my high school crush. Wow. I can't believe that photo is over seven years old. Still, it's weird, the picture seems so alive. When I look at it, she winks at me, smiling and laughing. She giggles at me, at how silly I'm being for looking at this old image, how dumb I am for bothering to worry about her, about girls, about life. Of course, the faint movements I see in my mind have nothing to with what really happened back then.
We never knew each other. I think we'd only exchanged a dozen or so words before I made a few of those phone calls that high school kids with silly infatuations make. But back then, I just didn't know how relationships worked. Well, given my luck so far, I still don't know. Anyway, I can't even describe what it was like. I think you need to be a timid person who has had a deep crush like that to understand. I suppose I'm fortunate that I had strong forces in my mind that tried to always guide me to the right choices to make, but in hindsight, there are one or two things that I should not have done.
Well, then there's the part of me that says I should have let go a little more often. Maybe that would have changed things. But probably not. I was a geek with big glasses. A nerd who couldn't say anything about anything unless it was about science or computers. She wouldn't have wanted that. Still, she tried to be nice about the whole thing. I thought that there might be a way past the stereotypes, but it never worked.
I was in a few classes with her, but she slowly turned into a phantom over the last year of school—a person seen out of the corner of the eye or far down a crowded hallway. Sometimes that was enough. Usually it wasn't. I hoped and prayed that we could be next to each other one last time, but it didn't happen the way I'd planned. The town paper collected photos and information about the future plans of the soon-to-be graduates. I don't know how the order was selected for displaying the photos and descriptions, but our two faces were next to each other. It is a rare moment in life when you look at a printed page and come back with a mixed feeling of euphoria and terror. This was one of those times.
I don't know if the ugliness of my photo played into my version of events at all. That was probably only a minor part of my thought process at the time. I was certain she'd see the pictures and think I had something to do with putting them next to each other (I never did anything). A bigger worry for me was that she could have been picked on for it. “Hey Karrin, there's your boyfriend.” Shit. I'm sure it's something she could've just blown off without a second thought, but still, I'd hate it if that happened.
At the time the senior list was published, I had been trying to let go, trying to push out of my mind the fact that we would probably never see each other after graduation. This just threw my obsession back at me. As a result, I tried a few more times to talk, but it was stupid and pointless. Except, well, I think it was on the day of graduation: I'd scribbled some garbage in a note to her, and caught her at her locker in the morning. In that one instant, she smiled in a way that I will never forget. She seemed happy to see me, almost ecstatic, almost caring. Well, I don't know what her real feelings were at that moment. Regretfully, I only had the energy to shove the pathetic envelope at her and scurry away. She was probably just relieved that it was probably the last time she'd ever see me. In the end, we only crossed paths two or three more times. It's probably been six years now.
And so, this weekend at least, that old story is echoing again for me. I felt I could almost hear her speak to me, asking me to meet her. But of course, it was all in my head. I went out to eat, her face didn't show. I went out to dance, and she didn't cross my path. There was never anything real about those thoughts back then, so why should it be any different now?
Oh well. I heard some music, saw some things, waved at Terra, tried to talk to someone I thought I sort of knew, and went home. At least I didn't just mope around the apartment.
Ugh, what a sad little trip this entry has been. Oh well. I went to the car show today, so I'll probably put another entry in about that.
Ugh. I'm tired.
I got an e-mail about a job working for the St. Paul schools for about two months. Well, it's a menial test-paper-grading job for $10/hr. Hmm. Is this one of the side-effects of that “no child left behind” thing? Well, I guess I'll talk to them about it if I don't get any leads in the next 10 days or something. I guess that would work out to $3200 (er, minus taxes and crap), which I suppose is two or three months of life.
Rent is going up here to $625/mo. Yay. I'll probably say that I will stay on through the summer, but after that, I don't know what I'll do about my lease. Such a stupid thing, only allowing people to get out in the summer and still enforcing a two month notification. Bah. I can't think that far ahead, especially when I'm looking for work, etc.
Stupid job-hunting. I'm no good at it. I don't like competing, at least not when you're in a winner-take-all scenario. Don't I get partial credit?
So, I got up this morning, checked my friends page, and it looked like a lot of people were thinking heavily about their dreams last night. Well, relatively speaking. I had some weird stuff floating around last night too, though I guess it wasn't very memorable. Mostly, I can only recall thinking through some of the faces of girls I've liked in the past, though I know there was a lot of other totally unrelated dreaming going on at other points.
Anyway, it seems that I actually do have a “type” of woman that I really like, though apparently it's weird enough to confuse the heck out of me and out of things like this test. On one hand, the test tells me that I really like the idealized faces of movie stars, but then it also says that I don't buy into the “mainstream” image. So people who appeal to the mainstream are not the idealized figures in movies and on TV?
Another portion of the test said that I'm, well, read for yourself:
Very Open: You have a more open and accepting view of what makes a woman attractive than other men your age. In fact, you fall in the most open and non-traditional subgroup of men who have taken this test. Good for you! This doesn't necessarily mean that looks are less important to you than to other men. You simply have a unique set of criteria and keep your eyes out for special qualities that make a woman, who may seem ordinary to most, extraordinary to you.Sure, I'd generally agree with that. Sort of. I don't know. I mean, there seems to be a type of girl that I really go for, but that particular type seems to be really popular with other guys too. I think that if you take a step back, though, and look at the few notches below my absolute ideal, I see things differently than most other guys. Plus, strangely, I'm not exactly attracted to every girl I see—I find it to be a relatiely rare moment when I turn my head to get another look. It's all very weird.
Also, one portion of the results said that I'd be one to skip over cheerleaders, which is funny since my two biggest crushes were cheerleaders in high school. :-p
I keep breaking the test, dammit.
In other news, my efforts to be nice to Erin are failing dramatically.
Okay, so I finally found the avatar generator today. That's pretty awesome, though I guess if I were to pick on people, I'd say there weren't quite enough hairstyles or eyeglass types. But heck, it's free. BFD.
So I kinda went nuts making icons. My aforementioned difficulty with hair made it a challenge to find something that seemed appropriate for Dan, especially with his beard, but I finally came up with this:
Which seemed okay, I guess. No offense intended, Dan. But then, I thought that I'd have to do at least two more for him. He's mentioned his desire to obtain an appropriate aged scientist look when he's older. I suppose I mucked around a bit when I came up with a kooky image for him. Dan is also famed the world 'round for his sad face, and I did my best to emulate it given what was available. I suppose you could tweak these to be a bit better.
I tried doing Sarah, but I couldn't find hair that I liked. For one image, I ended up just giving her a hat (which doesn't really make sense, but it seemed good at the time), and then using a cop-out hairdo for another image. A while later, I came back and did another try with glasses.
And, what entry would be complete without some self-flagellation?
Like that title? Thank Jon Stewart, though I have no idea how The Daily Show can repeatedly use the word “douchebag” without getting in at least a little trouble. Makes me think of when they forgot to bleep “fuckers” a few weeks ago. I think that was on a Thursday—the next Monday, Stewart said something along the lines of, “We thought that [with all the Janet Jackson stuff] we'd get a call. But you know what? Nobody called!”
Always good to know the FCC is paying attention. Yeah, they basically give cable a free ride, in my opinion. On the other hand, I think the broadcast networks can get held back a bit too much from time to time. Well, except Fear Factor is on NBC. Sheesh, I don't know. I'm just generally displeased with television these days. Just give me PBS, TechTV, The History Channel, Comedy Central, and Cartoon Network, and I'll be happy. Okay, there are a few other shows I like. Say, Monk and Las Vegas.
Well, I just did my phone interview for that Medtronic position. I think it went well, though I imagine they'll have more qualified people anyway. I haven't used some of the software that they mentioned. But, those pieces are only moderately important, I think… Still, the position is only a month or so, though it's theoretically contract-to-hire (at least, that was the initial impression I was given).
Well, I have some errands to run today. I plan to finally buy an iron and ironing board, get a haircut, copy my cable bill so I can get that deduction when I pay rent, and maybe pay some other bills. Hmm. I should get one of those 12-pocket folders so I can save my pile of old bills somewhere.
I'm feeling orange today.
A day of waiting for me. I have an interview tomorrow, though I guess I was hoping to get a call today from one of the other places I've talked to. Now I have to see if I'll be able to get to sleep tonight and wake up at the right time tomorrow. With my luck, the power will go out at an inopportune time and kick off my alarm clock.
Over the weekend, I had the random thought of asking out an acquaintance I sort of know. I wanted to ask Dan her phone number since I don't know it, but the opportunity didn't seem to arise. Oh well, the chance of her being in town, uninvolved, and interested is around 1 in 1000. Still at least an order of magnitude better chance than anyone else I've come across so far…
She used to work on campus, but that may have changed. I guess I'll try wandering over to the U after tomorrow's interview.
Crap. I have to find out where the hell MCAD is…
Shock of shocks. I stepped on my scale today and saw 180 come up. That means I'm technically not overweight. Well, the whole concept of me being overweight seemed out of place anyway. A lot of me is too skinny, it's mostly just that I've got programmer's gut.
I should try to exercise more. I've sort of been doing stuff every two or three days lately, but I wish I had the energy to do more. Oh well, I suppose something is better than nothing.
I guess I haven't written anything for a while. I went home this weekend, so I could go to the dentist today. I was worried that they'd find something bad was happening to my rear molars on the bottom of my mouth. Every so often, I've had some pain back there. I guess it was nothing, though. The X-rays looked normal, and he said nothing looked out of the ordinary in the visual spectrum.
I'm a bit worried about my car. It's been vibrating quite a bit lately, though I'm not really sure if it's a problem or not. 1980s Cavaliers are known for putting out quite a bit of vibration. The problem might be that serpentine belt that Jiffy Lube never should have sold me. They didn't have the equipment to properly install and tension the belt. I figured I'd have a job by now and would have been able to take the car into a real service shop. I might just have to suck it up and go in sooner rather than later. There might also be some fluid deficiencies. The car is overdue for an oil change, so I may as well get that done.
I went to the bank and withdrew money for another month's worth of life in the Cities. I'd better deposit that tomorrow.
I did a walkabout today. Probably 16–20 miles. After today's TCLUG meeting, I went and got some lunch at Quiznos. I walked almost continuously from about 2:30 until about 8:00. I stopped in for a Blizzard at the DQ near Minnehaha Park and stopped in at a gas station later to get some beverages for the walk, but I mostly just walked.
The Grand Round goes all the way around Minneapolis. I probably only got about ¼ of the way around before I had to head back toward my apartment. It's a really long parkway. Anyway, the edge of my journey was Minnehaha Park, where I saw the falls and the creek. I guess I didn't think the falls were quite as high as they were, but I think we Minnesotans get a little too worked up about that place. I'm not sure it deserves so much attention, but the park has been around for ages. If memory serves, there is a statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha (his love interest in The Song of Hiawatha, IIRC) that was erected in 1911. I saw a WPA marking at one point in my journey along the Mississippi.
Well, I'm going to be sore for about a week. We'll see if I can manage to climb the stairs to get out of my apartment building tomorrow.
I was pretty amazed by the size of Minneapolis as I went along on my trek. Walking really gives you a strong sense of the size of things. There are so many people in this city. I saw all sorts of different people too; white, Hispanic, Somalian, Asian, etc. I can't say if any community along the path I took was well-integrated or not, but I couldn't really tell where one population ended and another began.
There were a few signs here and there on people's lawns. Most of them just said “Peace” or something else pretty simple. A few “Say no to Bush” signs. I don't think I saw more than one that was remotely pro-war, but maybe some of the “Peace” signs were meant to proclaim something like “My Peace while You're in Pieces.“ I have no way of knowing. I'd hate it if anybody felt that way.
Anyway, I'd encourage people who live in big places to do things like that every once in a while. It's easy to forget just how big our world is sometimes.
Still, it wasn't as fulfilling as it could have been. I was happy to be seeing new things, but really sad that I wasn't sharing it with anyone.
I should try out Meetup.com and see if I can get together with some people who are interested in something that I like. Of course, I'd like a girl out there somewhere to share my ideas, but I don't know if any of these things I'd try to go to would be helpful at all. Can't hurt to try, I guess.
Well, I'm extremely tired now. I'm going to go take a shower and get some sleep.
Oh. If you are dehydrated and then go drink two 20 oz. bottles of Mountain Dew, you will go into shock. After taking a shower last night, I tried to lay down and go to sleep around 9:00. Despite the fact that it was about 70° in my apartment, I was shivering even under a comforter (granted, the comforter has become a bit skimpy). I had to pull out a heavy blanket I generally only use in the winter, put my pillows under the sheets for warmth, raise my feet and lower my head in order to stop shaking. That was not so good. At least I knew what to do. The action of the caffeine finally slowed down about three hours later, but it still took until about 1:00 before I was able to get to sleep.
Hmm. I'm reading through the list of songs that Clear Channel banned after September 11th. It's pretty weird. Things like "Walk Like an Egyptian" by the Bangles and "Falling for the First Time" by the Barenaked Ladies were on it.
Today (er, Wednesday), I went to a funeral down in Rochester for the brother of a friend of mine from high school. I had met the older brother in passing a few times—he was a senior in my high school when I was in 7th grade, if I remember right (at the time, my high school was junior+senior, grades 7-12).
I left later than I had hoped, and I was worried I'd be late. However, traffic moved well all the way down, so I got there with plenty of time left over. The viewing was still going on at the time (yay, dead body… eep), so I had to wait for half an hour before stuff really started. My friend gave a pretty good eulogy, and I'm glad he was able to finish delivering it (he said at the start it would be difficult, and he might have to pass it off).
Well, I just started feeling really bad for not knowing that the guy had been sick for months. He had cancer—I don't know what type, but it must have been very aggressive. I hope my friend had been able to say everything he needed to say. I always forget the important things.
Unfortunately (in some ways), I was the only person from our grade in high school that showed up. Some of the older brother's friends were there, but I didn't even remember their names, unfortunately. I had hoped that I would be able to do a better job of displaying proper funerary behavior among my friends—a few years ago, another older sibling of a classmate died, and there were moments where I basically treated it like a reunion. Oh well, I guess some classmates and teachers had made it to a memorial reception last night.
I feel bad that I haven't been keeping up on my friends' e-mail addresses and that I haven't ever been very good at communicating with others. It just seems like more people would have made it there if I had just put a little effort into that stuff. But, I'm not exactly a social butterfly or whatever the right term is.
Well, anyway, I got my friend's address anyway, so I'll send him a note soon. I guess I'd stopped sending out lists of addresses partially because I was becoming too preachy when I sent stuff out. I've got a journal to vent in now, so I wouldn't feel compelled to add extra stuff like that. I know that my high school classmates don't all think the same way I do.
I'm baffled by the crap that American Movie Classics has been playing recently. I mean, Dudley Do-Right? Come on!
There seems to be an emerging relation between this AMC and that other AMC.
Had a job interview today at the U law school. It went okay, not great. Might have a second interview next week or so.
I went back to the library yesterday and read some more about the old streetcars that used to go through Minneapolis and other cities around here. I read through the book The Electric Railways of Minnesota, which turned out to be a much more technical book than I expected. Rosters of the different streetcars, where they came from, precise maps of the rails and streets of the era, construction of the railway. All sorts of stuff that would really excite some people, but I think most would get pretty bored by it.
There's a lot of really fascinating history to the old railway, but the human side of the story seems to be fading away in favor of business details (not really surprising though, since that book was compiled in large part by sifting through company records). Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.
Ugh. I'm tired and need a nap. I think I need to move this fall to someplace where there aren't school buses driving by every two minutes in the morning. I'm off the main drag here, but the noise carries across the park, everybody seems to keep their cars here during the day, and the noise from the school gets to be annoying sometimes.
I guess this is what you get for living in the city, but I know there are quiter places nearby. Still, a lot of people seem to think that the city absolutely must be noisy. There was an entry on LiveJournal's Twin Cities community about motorcycles, and I largely agreed with it. I hate loud motorcycles. There is no reason for a small two-wheeled vehicle to make more noise than the average semi. Still, everybody ganged up on the guy who complained. Sheesh. Motorcycles can be very quiet, and there are people out there who actually like to have quiet rides.
I'm just feeling really crappy right now. My joblessness is really getting to me, and I can't seem to find anything. I dunno… I mean, there are jobs out there, but the only entry-level technical jobs advertised are for help desks or call centers, hooking up cable TV, and data entry. I could probably manage the first two if I had to, though they would involve dealing with a lot of people who don't know how things work. The last would just be a boring clerk job, the equivalent of running a machine in a factory. I just couldn't do that without going crazy.
This past week, I've been feeling pretty awkward. While I was home, I tried calling friends, but I usually ended up talking to a machine. I know I stumble a lot when speaking, though I can sometimes recover if I'm talking to the right person. Answering machines kind of bother me since I'm not communicating with an actual person, but just hoping I get my words out in the right order on the first try.
I tried getting hold of a female friend of mine from high school, though I hadn't known if she had her own phone. I've tried calling her parents' place in the past, which gets to be pretty unnerving. It doesn't help that one time, I took a bit too long to leave a message and the machine beeped at me. I don't know if I was cut off or what, but I swore when it happened because I was in the middle of giving my phone number. Anyway, mostly I just got to be really scared of leaving weird-sounding messages.
I'm no good at chit-chat either, so it's hard for me to call up someone just to talk. I need to have a pretty strong pretense for calling, but I suppose that's true for a lot of guys. Still, I know my communication skills are pretty lackluster.
Anyway, so I'm just feeling alone, tired, and frustrated since I'm still not having luck on my job applications/interviews, and since I haven't really had a chance to talk to any girls that I truly know and appreciate since about the time I graduated, or even longer if certain variables are considered. I still haven't ever had a true girlfriend.
And now it seems that my curse of bad timing continues to extend into new realms. For this weekend, the only movie I have left from Netflix is
My life has been in doldrums for so long now that I tend to forget that I still only have a folding card table and a folding wooden chair in my kitchen. The times when I want to go and experience something new are usually tempered by the fact that I'd like to share the outing with someone close, but that just hasn't ever happened. My life would have been very different if I'd been able to have a girlfriend at some point.
It feels like one of my ribs spontaneously cracked. This happened Thursday when I was just sitting at my desk doing nothing in particular. I should go to a doctor about it. I just wish my life was in a happier place at the moment.
The presentation got off to a rocky start, but ended alright I guess. I can't be faulted for not knowing all that much about something I've just mucked with for a week.
I watched To Die For on DVD finally. I'm surprised how much of the movie I recognized from catching fragments on TV. It was pretty good, but I guess I just don't like Joaquin Phoenix at all. Looking at his face for too long makes me want to break things.
Now I'm tired and confusing my sentences. Sleep is probably a good idea. Too much of my brain has been used for too long this week.
The miracle of Älmhult, The Guardian:
Heh. Now I understand.
I did my weekend-ly train ride, but decided to keep going down to the MoA on the bus. After getting off there, I heard some people mutter about IKEA, so I figured I'd head over there after getting some lunch. They definitely have a lot of parking there, but walking or driving in or out of there sucks. Managing to avoid getting run over either inside or outside of the store seems to be an interesting challenge.
Still, like everyone notices, the prices are good, at least for furniture (but I've always thought that furniture has been massively overpriced anyway, so their prices seem about right to me). Anyway, it's kind of weird to have it right next to the MoA if you think about it. On one side of the street is a location entirely dedicated to being overpriced, and on the other you have the opposite philosophy.
I was mostly there researching options for a new computer desk and an actual kitchen table. I suppose I should keep chairs in mind later too. I don't have money to buy anything there yet, but hopefully I'll be able to do that in the coming weeks. I wasn't planning on getting anything, though there was a lightweight bit of stuffing for a comforter that I got since the one I have at home is waaayyy too heavy for use in the summer.
I think I found some good candidates for my kitchen and computer, though I'll have to bring some measurements along next time if I really want to figure things right.
Heh. I thought their 409 ft2 house model was neat, though ;-)
The simple things about being human still continue to amaze me every once in a while. The interconnectedness of thought is one of those things that is both a blessing adn a curse. I had a thought process something like this today:
Yeah, well, so that's still there, sort of. I figure she's moved on to a different movie by now, though. Maybe even something that isn't from View Askew!
Did I mention that the only girl who was in the office space we share with another company left a few weeks ago to go back to college? Yay for a job in the computer industry. However, the upside of that was that we got to expand our operation into the room she had used, so I'm significantly less cramped at work now.
Yesterday, I discovered that the power supply fan for our server was seized up. Other than a CPU fan, there was no airflow in that case. The power supply was an AT one rather than an ATX one, and I didn't want to mess with the stupid power switch on that. So, I went and got a new ATX case instead (which hopefully I'll be reimbursed for). Of course, the new case doesn't have any extra fans either, so the hard drives (which are the important bit) don't seem to get much airflow. Oh well, at least both sides of the case were off last night, so just the ambient air should be enough for now. We've got to get some case fans, though.
Microsoft's newest MSN ads made in Flash have caused my browser to go south too many times, so I've decided to disable Flash altogether for now. We'll see how long that lasts, although there tend to be very few sites where I actually need Flash (Unfortunately, those few sites tend to be some of the most interesting… Oh well)
Not a whole lot happening. Almost crashed into a guy who wasn't paying attention yesterday morning, and because the road was covered with that tar/gravel stuff, my tires did not squeal in protest like I would have hoped. Probably added 50% to my stopping distance too, though it's hard to say.
Then, it turned out that I didn't even need to go that way because I had forgotten the paycheck I was going to cash. Things like that happen to me way too often. I'll lay something out in order to bring it along, but then it just gets left at home. *sigh*
With my computer's hard drive failures, the foreshocks and aftershocks of the election, and my grandfather dying all in the last two weeks, I've been rather unsettled. Add to that the fact that I haven't been paid, and I'm a bit disgruntled.
At least I watched some comedy DVDs recently. Of course, one was a romantic comedy, so I have that resonating and making me feel lonely, which always happens when I watch those movies. Having someone around sure would have helped these last few weeks.
I think Rick's Market may be getting sloppy. Several minor things seem to have cropped up lately—though it might just be that time of year or something. Then again, the place will get torn down at some point this year (Lunds bought the place and is plannng a low-rise development there). Of course, it's also more expensive than Rainbow (or Target), so I should probably start actually driving somewhere to get groceries.
The recent dip in temperatures came at the same time as an illness for me. It might be a coincidence, though I suspect the drop in humidity did it. I get a few sicknesses like this each year, usually one when the temperature first dips to around freezing, then another when it gets to around zero. I coughed/sneezed up phlegm in new and disgusting ways last night (fortunately it's not painful or anything, just gross).
I should have bought more orange juice.
Well, according to whatever source my computer is using for temperature, we got above freezing. Now KARE-11 can stop counting the hours since it went below zero. Sheesh.
I've been getting back into a semi-regular cycle of watching movies from Netflix. I watched The Cooler a few days ago and thought it was pretty good. A bunch of great actors in it, and I guess I've never seen Alec Baldwin in a role like that.
Today I watched Wild Things. At least it had a plot ;-) Yeah, I was hesitant to see it for a long time. I distinctly remember seeing the poster plastered next to the door in Territorial Hall when I was a freshman. It would be hard to find another image that screamed S-E-X so loudly. Given its non-existence in my life, I'm sure I consciously avoided looking at the poster pretty often. What was the thing that finally tipped the balance and caused me to see it?
Yeah, okay, rumors of make-out sessions between Neve Campbell and Denise Richards also had something to do with it, but I'm pretty sure that little tidbit had slipped my mind by the time it was added to my queue. I suppose it's weird for my priorities to be arranged this way, but I imagine it's an agitation-mitigation technique since things like that remind me of what I don't have. Then again, it's tough to feel too strongly when everyone is homicidal.
I finally caught the Battlestar Galactica miniseries on Tuesday and Wednesday, then watched the series begin on Friday. It turns out that the Brits have got a leg up on us Americans for once—the series started airing on Sky One last October. Should I just fire up BitTorrent? Perhaps if I start missing episodes—it's kind of nice to draw it out a bit (though it probably conflicts with when Monk is on).
Computer work seems so distant right now. Of course, everything is a little fuzzy at the moment because of my flu-ishness. Well, it's all a matter of my synapses being happy. Good new music and cute perfumed girls are the best antidotes for that. Since element B has been absent for a long time, this kind of explains why I've been so interested in the new radio station that I hope will finally be broadcasting soon. But, they probably won't be the station I want them to be. I'll just have to wait a bit longer.
Who knew that "miniscule" is actually spelled "minuscule"? Probably only people who like to say "the calculus."
My website is still acting funny. We'll see if I ever fix it.
Whenever I play Tetris, I'm reminded of the girl I had a crush on in high school. This is because I used to play it with a friend, and he usually lost or cheated. If I was doing better than him, he'd do say things along the lines of "I heard she's going swimming today. Have you ever seen her in a swimsuit? Go ahead, visualize that."
And then I'd promtly start screwing up.
Despite the fact that it's less than 1/5th complete and that I still don't have a job, 2005 is turning into the Best Year Ever. Oh, let me count the ways:
Well, I should talk to these people at Cray about work. That would be quite the kicker.
Update: Oh yeah, I did get a free trip to California too, even though I had to drive halfway.
My long national nightmare is over, aside from a few mop-up operations in the South Pacific.
Okay, no, I didn't declare statehood, but over the last decade I've drawn myself through more emotions that at least a few city-states. Apparently it turns out that I've got a thing for artists, teachers, and healthcare professionals. No, I'm not referring to any nurse fetish, but thanks for the thought. My high school crush is working to help the disabled, and she's married with a kid. I'm mostly just glad she's safe—I worried about that sometimes. Now the film that has flipped through my mind so many times has an ending, which is good.
The knowledge helps me more clearly see the strands that connect the personalities of the different girls I've liked over the years. I was amazed when she said she was working with the disabled. There are remarkable parallels between her life and that of the other big crush I had, which I never expected. Then again, there might not be a whole lot of meaning to it.
I could wish that something had gone differently years ago, but I was so certain of fate back then that if anything actually did happen, I'd probably be a full-fledged believer in witches and wizards by now. Hey, at least I would have fit in with the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings crowds ;-) No, those thoughts have to do their ride off into the sunset.
Anyway, my mind is a syrupy mix of different thoughts today, and various things will be bubbling to the surface for a while. I'm going to be sleeping a lot, but I'll try to at least get out to a movie tonight, despite my budget.
I've never understood why daylight savings time comes in summer. I'm sure there's a logical explanation, but all I ever want is to have light appear in my bedroom at a consistent time of day. Uh, yeah, that's impossible. I really do want to get an alarm clock that can do that for me, though. They're not a common item, but there do exist devices that will simulate a sunrise. I was kind of wondering why I was able to wake up so early the last few days. It's been clear and sunny, which is a nice change.
A copy of Anything Else came in the mail today from Netflix, and I watched it this morning. I'm not feeling all that empathetic lately, so maybe I'll hate the film later, but my funnybone is still active and I thought it was very humorous. I suppose it's a relationship movie about a non-relationship, so it came at an opportune time. With this film, I could vaguely consider Jason Biggs to be a John Cusack of a slightly younger generation, but I wouldn't carry that idea too far. There was a happy ending, I think, but that part was much more true to life than your standard boy-meets-girl flick (er, aside from Woody Allen's character going wacko, but that's kind of separate).
I sent out some correspondence yesterday evening that will probably come back to haunt me, but it's still important. Then again, my mind keeps changing like crazy, so I may be feeling differently as responses float in. Well, it's a vaguely High Fidelity thing. It's not "what does it all mean?"—that's a stupid question—but it's not far enough away from that for me to be comfortable in my queries.
Our brains are remarkable pattern-finding devices. Too bad there isn't always anything there. In the summer between 9th and 10th grades, I watched the movie Toys as a rental. My brain latched onto one of the scenes where a security guard was at his console. I dreamt of a console that night, though instead of TV monitors, it had a weird clock on it. This clock had a strange way of operating, with labeled LEDs each indicating a time ten minutes apart.
The ones up through 11:00 were lit, and the one for 11:10 was blinking. That morning, I decided to return the video so I would be in my hometown's little business district by the time 11:10 rolled around. I think I was expecting the world to end or aliens to land or something bizarre like that (as if extraterrestrial tourists would pick a town of 2,500 people to be their first stopping point). Nope. But at 11:06, I saw that girl I liked.
Later that day, I wondered if there was some hidden meaning in the time of day when I saw her. You should never do that. I worked out the number of minutes in the day up until that point, and came up with the number 666. I'll avoid trying to apply that observation in any way. That was perhaps the first "premonition" I had, and it came complete with its own warning.
Still, that summer, I couldn't avoid numbers. Maybe I had been too taken in by my math courses over the years or something. It had been over a month since school let out for the summer, and I didn't expect to see her again until I returned to taking classes. Within a few weeks, I'd seen her twice more, and thought I saw another pattern: the time between each event was being cut in half. Well, not exactly in half. The first time, there was a space of 35 or 36 days. Then it was 18. Followed by 9.
As Heisenberg's famous principle states, I couldn't observe this without making an effect of my own. The spacing did eventually dwindle down to just one or two days apart, but by that point I had partial control over the situation. It was a pattern, but the idea that there could be any meaning to it was totally invalid. Of course, it didn't help that you can't subdivide beyond 9 without getting into trouble. 4.5 days? How can you measure that? Oh, I'm sure statisticians could find some tricks—definitely something that makes you doubt numbers and shows that they can lie ;-)
So, I had a few of those things happen over the years, which just made things worse. Not many float above the noise, though. I was wrong at least as often as I was right. I dreamt she changed her hair color one night. She did, and I even got the color right—red. (I think I told her about that one, which is just...bad.) I dreamt that her boyfriend was convicted in some trial and sentenced to serve 51 or 52 days (maybe 151 or 152—the memory has faded). Well, he was still around the next day.
Dreams didn't happen very often. I wanted them to, but that wasn't the way things worked. Subject matter left something to be desired as well: The most common theme involved catching a fleeting glimpse, then running around to find where she disappeared to.
Wow, it's amazing I can remember this. I suppose I'm writing it down so that I can finally allow myself to forget. Just another step in letting go. In an odd way, things continued up until the very end: I myself had forgotten about the entry that got her attention, but stumbled across it again last week, likely within a day of when she did. The night before I finally heard from her, I prayed to finally know what she thought or at least get a glimpse of who the mysterious person in my future will be. Of course, it doesn't count, since I had made the same request of some higher power countless times in the past. I now know one part. I just hope that finding my future won't take another decade.
This probably happens to everybody, but I sometimes get feelings that seem to be totally disconnected from what I'm going through at a particular moment. I'd been pretty down this morning, but around 1 or 1:30, I just started feeling great. Heh, it's probably just because I turned on the radio ;-)
Erin wrote me a very honest note about how I pissed her off. Eesh. Sorry. I figured everyone saw me as a nice guy, albeit quiet or aloof. Well, I've got some friendship-rebuilding to do, I guess. Apologies to everyone—I've been off in my own little world, which is why I never talk about anyone else—there simply hasn't been anyone else to talk about. With repeated job trouble, I also haven't had a whole lot of spare cash, which has not exactly made me happy.
Oh well, I just have to figure out more of the free/supercheap stuff to do. I brought Keen Eddie over to Dan's place again yesterday evening, and spent some time with him, Laura, and Sarah. I'm glad they all like the show, as I haven't felt that I've had much to offer people. If I've turned them on to a cool show, that's great. They've all enjoyed seeing the actors on the show too, since many have been in other things. And, obviously the episodes just rock. I know Sarah needed the laughs.
One of Dan's roommates had us watch the Super Mario Reloaded and Final Fantasy A+ Flash animations, which were both really funny. Unfortunately, their DSL line is dog slow and they took forever to load. I just checked them right now on my cable modem, and the Super Mario one only took about 20 seconds to load. It took a few minutes last night.
Hmm. He just told me that his friends don't have or particularly want cable TV. He suggested that basic plus cable modem might be the way to go, and I'd agree.
Anyway, back to the Flash things: It's good that Dan knew how to make them nearly-full-screen. That made 'em a lot easier to enjoy, especially on the big TV ;-)
Well, that's it, I think.
I still haven't figured out why Netflix makes a distinction between NR (not rated) and UR (unrated).
I may as well fall into being shallow for the time being and work to make girls of my past jealous of me and whoever I end up with. Of course, this is remarkably simple: 1) Get a job that actually lasts. 2) Exercise regularly. 3) Get some new eyeglasses (or do the eye surgery thing). 4) Get out of the apartment (ie, pray for the smoking ban to go into effect, and for #1).
The Eyes of Nye is bringing Bill Nye back to TV, but apparently not in the Twin Cities (yet). Of course, the site lists two stations in Minnesota as being in TC, but the ones listed are KAWB and KAWE, which serve Bemidji and Brainerd. Yeah, not quite in the same area (although multiple people have reported being able to receive 89.3 up to Brainerd, which is remarkable since the transmitter is actually on the southern end of the Cities).
I wish I had a house with a rooftop antenna. I wonder what I could pick up here that isn't from here. The Menomonee PBS station at least, I bet. I'm PBS-deficient at the moment (I grew up with at least five public stations on my TV dial ;-)
Urgh. My neck has been feeling weird and I've been moody with weird stuff happening in my head since Monday or so. I'm probably sick, since this morning's stop in the bathroom brought a small surprise. Hopefully it won't develop into anything. It's weird, though, as I've been feeling as if one of my friends is in pain or trouble. Stupid mass media and their psychic storylines. You make me think silly things.
Argh. I keep playing with fire. Exempli gratia: queueing up Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness this morning. That album is so heavily tied to high school it's not even funny—if I'd been living in the age of vinyl, I would have worn it out. Of course, this also means that is strongly tied to the infatuation I had back then. Well, it was inevitable that I'd listen to it again, since the Beck/Paza track "Bad Cartridge" reminded me of "Where Boys Fear to Tread", the first track on the second disc, which includes an audio sample of the rocket blast from the video game Doom. At least "Bad Cartridge" uses video game noises to make actual music, rather than just extra noise.
One day I'll pick up Gish and Siamese Dream. I've never really been big on buying a band's whole catalog, especially since I always considered myself to be lacking monetarily. Well, my spendthrift nature is probably the only reason why I'm where I am at the moment. My bank accounts have lasted much longer than they should have.
Anyway, I was recalling hearing the title track during the 1996 Summer Olympics. It was something having to do with swimming, if memory serves. Anyway, I was vacationing up north with my parents at my grantparents' lakeside "cabin" (actually a 3-level house) at the time. Well, NBC's sports coverage always has a flair for the melodramatic, so it's not surprising that they used the track.
Oddly, a few moments earlier I had been reminded of one of the three or so visits I'd made to my high school crush's house. She was watching gymnastics, so that's a memory from just a few days earlier or later. Weird. (Oh, and by the way, my visit was not as remarkable as it might seem, since she lived right next to one of my best friends at the time. How then did I never manage to actually get to know her, you ask? Crippling shyness is the only answer.)
She'd been a Smashing Pumpkins fan, having at least one article of clothing from the band (probably two or more, but my memory might be flaking out on me). I always wonder if I like the Pumpkins on their own merits or merely because she liked them.
I am an idiot.
A week or so back, I did one of those silly "you are plant type x" things where you find out what character you would be in Star Trek. Mine came up as Jean-Luc Picard.
Maybe. If so, I'm the blue-shirted Ensign Picard, not the red-shirted Captain. I wish I had opened my mouth when I was 17. Heh, no artificial heart required for me, but it has been broken ever since, I suppose. Yeah, if I had a time machine, I'd go back to junior year of high school. There were so many opportunities that year, but they just slipped by because of fear and shyness. I wish that I had at least been able to get shot down gracefully face-to-face rather than the way things actually happened.
Well, I suppose other opportunities with other people come along once in a while. I may get my red shirt after all. Still, I'm scared as hell whenever it happens, and it only comes around like once a year at best. I know I need to get out more, though.
In that vein, I'd been anticipating Adam's party. My brain showed how far behind it was lagging last night. I assumed some things because I had forgotten that things had changed. Well, I'm so far out of the loop it's not surprising. I hung out with Matt for much of the evening, but mostly floated around. I did (re-)meet a few people at least, but I expected to see many more familiar faces. This is noone's fault except my own, since I had overblown my expectations as usual.
Matt and I were disappointed with the boy/girl ratio (especially the boy/unattached-girl ratio). He has similar bad luck, I guess. Well, I suppose it's not really my crowd anyway, so I shouldn't worry.
Heh, at least the music was good aside from soundcheck issues. Someone must have banged the panel as they were moving around or something. Whatever. It's about as much fun as I usually have. Blech, sorry, that sounds really mean—it's just my usual bad luck also came along for the ride. Seriously, though, Happy Birthday(s) to Adam and Jen ;-)
Um, okay, so I don't have enough experience for this to be valid, but it's entertaining at least.
I, uh, kinda had to guess on some questions. *sigh* It's probably off (well, it's a random free test on the Internet, what do you expect?), but it still gives some moderately interesting insights. I'm curious how someone can be both adventurous and shy, though I think that I've met such women in the past. Well, geez, I just don't know enough to make the test valid in any way. Bah, it's just for entertainment anyway.
Your dating personality profile:
Practical - You are a down-to-earth individual who is not impressed with material excess. You care about the stuff of like that really matters.
Romantic - You know exactly how to melt your date's heart. Romance comes naturally to you and is an important component of any relationship you have.
Sensual - You are not particularly shy when it comes to your sexuality. You know what you like and do not feel inhibited.
Your date match profile:
Practical - You are drawn to people who are sensible and smart. Flashy, materialistic people turn you off. You appreciate the simpler side of living.
Adventurous - You are looking for someone who is willing to try new things and experience life to its fullest. You need a companion who encourages you to take risks and do exciting things.
Shy - You are put off by people who are open books. You are drawn to someone who is a bit more mysterious. You want to draw her out of her shell and get to know what she is all about.
Get your Online Dating Profile - take the quiz!
Well, since the smoking ban is now in effect, I have to bother to get out at some point. I'm not sure if I'll muster the energy tonight. I'm debating Ground Zero, but I hardly have any appropriate attire ;-) Heh, well, somewhere else would be my top choice if I lived away from here, but GZ gets high honors for being just four blocks away.
Bleh. Somehow I lost the stubs and envelopes for my cable and electric bills. I paid my Time Warner bill online with their PayXpress thing, but then when I tried to do my Xcel bill, I accidentally typed in my SSN incorrectly (okay, why do you wait until I actually want to pay before asking for this?) and that apparently messed everything up. They said to print out something so I could then wait a week and a half to be verified. Bah. I called Xcel and paid my bill in three minutes.
People are dorks, while companies are über-dorks.
Well, I did some laundry, which is always good. I should mention that I've been exercising a bit for about three weeks now. Well, it has a slight effect, but progress isn't quite as rapid as I'd hope. Even two years ago when I tried, things seemed to go faster. I guess I'm getting older. My back is bothering me, though a bit less than it had been before the exercise. The springs in my bed have deformed now, and it isn't as firm as it used to be, I think.
Heh, I should get a new bed, I suppose, but that requires money. Plus, I'd want a queen-size, and that would probably require a larger bedroom, which requires moving. Actually, I'd get an extra-long queen-size, which is all sorts of trouble ;-)
I'm not even all that tall, but I don't know how people, oh, 6'3" and above manage to keep their feet/ankles from freezing. I suppose they don't ;-)
The grass continues to slowly turn green, which is good. I'm still exercising, but I don't think I'm expending enough energy to lose any weight. Well, I've probably gained a few pounds. About a week ago, I was 187, today 190. Yesterday I was 192, but I'd just eaten at Chipotle, and I think I was still wearing jeans. Ugh, I wish I knew how to cook something good and didn't mind taking the time to do it. Well, I suppose I could con myself into thinking that I've gained muscle mass, but I doubt that quite a bit. I've always varied a fair bit, though. One of these days, I'll get into logging such stuff and then make weekly averages or something.
On Saturday I went to Uptown to visit Cheapo. I ended up getting Ladies and Gentlemen, The Suburbs Have Left the Building by The Suburbs, but there's only a few tracks that 89.3 isn't playing ;-) That's the problem with album-oriented stations—sometimes you've already heard everything. Hopefully they're trying to restrain themselves on a lot of the music they play, though, so that people aren't disappointed when they get the CDs.
Anyway, I also chatted with Matt a bit, and went for a walk around Lake Calhoun. I should really run or bike or rollerblade. Unfortunately, running is just kinda painful, and I seem to not have the balance for rollerblading. I suppose that leaves my bike, which I haven't touched for two years. It's probably not in great shape, but I should at least dig up a pump so I can fill the tires and check it out.
Well, I'm going to wander to the downtown Target to get some batteries. Maybe I'll find a cheap pump too.
The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.
Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.
How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.
There's a birthday greeting I wish I could make today, but I can't. Well, maybe if I get a job offer, then I can at least have something positive to convey. That's not going to happen, though. Well, as for other jobs, I should get at least a few calls today, since I went through the Star Tribune 100, and applied for dozens of jobs at those companies. With my luck, I suppose I'll just end up getting one call out of my four hours of effort.
Groundhog Day was on AMC's "DVD_TV" last night, and I must say that I was hoping I'd wake up sometime in the past. Back at a point when I had a net worth of more than $2000, at least...
Well, when I was on my bike yesterday, I was lucky enough to have Matt see me ride by a picnic he was having. I did a little frisbee (er, mostly throwing, not so much the catching part), had some bratwurst, and choked on burning Nemo fumes. They had a boombox there that pulled in 89.3 without trouble, so the evening had a nice soundtrack. I suppose my boombox would actually work that well if it was outside rather than behind a few layers of walls.
I'm at the beginning of my fifth week of continuous exercise. I've been doing stuff every day (aside from two days, as I recall), and I plan to keep doing that as long as I can. Two years ago, things fell flat after six weeks. Hopefully my expectations are more reasonable this time around. Well, I've kind of had to admit that I'm fat, which is still just weird. It's impossible for me to maintain a good diet, mostly since I have no cooking skills, and little desire to sit in my kitchen for 45 minutes preparing something. I'm not sure which direction my weight is going, and whether that's good or bad.
Oh, and when people talk about muscle tone, I'm pretty sure they're really talking about fat tone. There are parts of me that are smoother than they used to be, but there's a fair amount of junk between the skin and the point where any muscle would first appear. It's nice to be a tad less grossed out about myself, but I still wish I could fast-forward 6 months and hopefully be somewhere better.
My self-image hasn't matched my outward appearance for a long time. I'm not sure if it ever did. Well, dropping some weight would be one of the biggest things to get the two back into alignment.
It'll rain sometime today. I need to actually do my taxes rather than just estimate them. But first, sit-ups...
Random interesting article that appeared in my web browser this morning: Was Lowry Bridge a span to crime?
I got $6.66 in change today at the grocery. As if I need any more negative omens these days.
I ended up watching two Rachel McAdams movies in a row. She's only been in, like, 5... What the hell?
No interested employers called today.
I played around with OKCupid again, and my match percentages are way higher now (tip: answer at least 100 questions). Of course, my top match just started dating someone like last week... Pfft, it's kind of a wonky algorithm anyway, IMHO. Weird to see just one person stick way out at the top of the pile, though.
My taxes are done. Probably wrong, but done. Total refund comes out to around $600. TurboTax made me pay, which they shouldn't have. I tried to go back in and at least not pay on my state return, but that just added two payments of $0.00 to the price. Sheesh.
I've been thinking a lot about the idea of soulmates lately. I guess I don't believe in it anymore. Yeah, it's a weird thing to believe in anyway, since it defies logic, and I try to be a logical person. I often fail at being logical, though, especially when it comes to interpersonal stuff... Logic can be depressing, since it can tell you things you don't want to hear.
Well, if soulmates do exist, I have to wonder if I've met mine or not. If I have, we're probably on diverging paths by now and won't be able to meet up in this lifetime. Maybe we'd become friends at 60 or something ;-) If I haven't met her, well, who knows. Nah, things don't work that way in real life. Every so often, you meet people who can be that close, even if there's no divine plan in place. Sometimes it works, sometimes you're too distracted to notice.
Heh. I know nothing about relationships, though. Movies and television just make people like me believe in strange things. Bleh. I simply want to fast forward my life to where I have a girlfriend. Well, then I'd probably live in fear of my soulmate suddenly appearing out of the blue at the worst possible moment. Yeah, more movies and TV for you there. I've got to stop thinking in that way, it's just fantasy...
I didn't get the job. Of course it was too good to be true. There are actually women there. Women at a software company? That's unpossible!
At least I got one of my tax refunds already. That makes it possible to last another two weeks.
Ugh. It's times like these where I just start feeling lonely, but there's nothing I can do about it. Getting a girlfriend would most likely involve going out and spending money (Hah! Not on the woman, silly, but on everything that goes around that).
I'm too honest, and with my persistent uneasiness due to my lack of employment and personal companionship, I have no chance of obtaining either. Well, better start preparing the speeches to ask the parents for cash. Still another month of cash left, though. I might start selling my DVDs too. DS9 alone could cover half my rent, I imagine.
I was watching the original Star Wars trilogy over the last few days, and I realized that my high school crush was cuter than Princess Leia (well, IMHO, anyway). Yeah, my standards have always been a tad high...
Eh. Just for amusement. The second question hurts my brain, though.
Five celebrities that I would tumble, if I was single or not, with no qualms at all.
What I learned from comics today:
A "diuretic" induces the body to expunge fluid, therefore causing urine to build up.
A "diarrhetic" has essentially the same effect, but with #2.
I haven't posted for a while. Not a whole lot to post about. I have a job interview at United Defense on Tuesday. I can't remember when I applied there. It's been a while, I guess.
Girls...well...no change there. I did get a note sort of responding to a query I put out a month and a half ago. She's too busy to actually respond as of yet. I always feel so lazy in comparison to the girls I interact with. They're always busy saving the world or something. I don't have that energy. Paradoxically, I don't think I'll ever have that energy unless I'm with someone. But that's never happened so I really have no idea. It'd be nice if it changed my life like that, but I should know by now that my fantasies are usually far removed from the way things work out in reality.
I've got to do a few more job applications today as part of an arrangement I have with my dad. Some money to help me out for the time being as long as I inform him of what I'm up to. This requires me to find some volunteer work to do as well, but I'm not sure what I want to do yet. Another week to figure that one out.
I sent out Mother's Day cards today, at least a day later than I had planned to do it. I guess I got distracted by writing short articles on the federally-recognized Native American tribes in Minnesota yesterday. There's not a huge amount of info on the 'net about it, so the articles are really preliminary at the moment and probably not entirely accurate.
I found out that a fairly nice image I uploaded there wasn't actually public domain like I thought it was. And I've made some other mistakes there lately. Mistakes are the worst sometimes, especially when I don't have anyone around to remind me that no real harm was done and that I do help improve things more than I mess up.
Now if I can just get the people who should be hiring me to figure that out. Er, that seems to be phrased weird. I'm just sick of not having a job and sick of not having anyone to lean on when I get those rejection notices.
And I'm sick of my browser crashing.
In the instant before I woke up, I resolved to swallow my pride, go over to Dave's, and ask him flat-out to arrange a chat between me and Karrin. In the instant after I woke up, I realized I was a decade too late.
I really needed that miracle to happen this year. I've been out of work for 2/3 of the time since I finished college. I'm low on money, low on energy, and just low. I got an e-mail from her two months ago and thought that maybe the miracle was finally happening, that everything had been a test of something.
It soon became a lot less miraculous.
Ugh, I probably shouldn't have written this. People hate seeing it. I never even knew her anyway, so it's stupid that I keep thinking about it.
LiveJournal's down and Wikipedia's up? That's unpossible.
Something else that's unpossible: my fortune cookies ever coming true. Latest example: "An old love will come back to you." I'd have to bend the rules of "love" anyway, and the big ones are spoken for. Reminds me of when I went to eat out with a bunch of people including Sarah. We had to go through "the talk" earlier that day or the day before, but it basically said that we'd get together in short order. Stupid fauxsian cuisine.
Doppelgängers suck. Especially when they remind you of people you can't forget anyway.
Hmm, the tip of my nose has been getting a little ticklish feeling for the last several days. A little odd.
The weather turned out nice today. I wasn't so sure where it'd end up since my car was completely covered in dew this morning (hence my previous comment about defoggers).