Wow.

I haven't written a writeup in a long time. Not because I don't want to, but because I just haven't felt the need to. I've been really busy at work and most of my free time that I have I've spent playing Black & White.

B&W is a very addictive game. It is also a very frustrating game. It is also a very important game. It takes the next step in gaming AI. You have to train your animal avatar to perform tasks and miracles for your people. If you are a lousy trainer, this game can be painfully tough. Even if you are a good trainer, sometimes the damn animal just won't play along. Sigh.

Now that I've finally come back to E2 and written something, maybe it'll help break the hold this game has on me. Maybe.

Maybe not...

It disturbs me on how my mind has deteriorated beyond belief. To almost lose control, to undergo such a change scares me. Logic has always dictated what happens in my life and still is to this point in time. But for few moments today, animal instinct overtook what I thought would be an inpenetrable barrier that I have put up against such an event. I apologized, but the damage has been done. Nothing serious has happened, and my intentions were good, but nothing can ever bring back those moments, and somehow, I'm glad and disappointed. Glad that I don't have to relive those moments, but disappointed that it happened. My hands are covered with the color of guilt, and I can't wash it off.

I turn off my floor lamp. The glare from the computer screen fades to black. I blink, trying to adjust to the sudden darkness that enveloped the room. Silence is my companion once again, like it is any other night. I click on the start menu and play winamp. DDR music, Lenny Kravitz and other slow music play in the background. It soothes my mind, and makes me remember back to days that I was happy and content. Days when I was younger, more brash, more innocent, more wild. I long for those days, but again, they were trying times and my teenage years are about to pass. This music reminds me of girlfriends of the past, of how we used to have theme songs. Now I try not to walk around the neighborhood remembering of where we were together, how we were together, and times of the glorious past. I bow my head in shame for thinking about such futile times, but still, a smile comes into my face, as I loved them then as I do now.

With Son By Four playing in the background, I slowly contemplate the events of the recent day. I was supposed to be in UBC writing my Electrical Engineering final, but I knew that I was doomed to fail the course, with or without the final, so I decided to grab some sleep. A lady friend came over, and we spent the afternoon together. It was a joyous time, as I thoroughly enjoyed her company, and I wish that she enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed hers. I brought her home, and once again, I was home, this time alone.

I step out into my third floor balcony. Its a beautiful day from the inside, but terrible outside. Clear skies but drizzling rain. The heavens are a nice shade of light blue, but the blistering winds make my arm hair stand up. But I was determined not to let nature beat me like it has been for the longest time. I stand there, defying the cold, while staring at the cherry blossom tree across the street. The pink leaves are slowly turning color, yet they still retain their beautiful color. I started thinking about what happened today and begain to believe that even beautiful things have to stop sometime. Depression has hit me again, and this time, I need my Ativan.

I step back inside, and cook some rice. Today was a day of contemplation, and even the faucet gave me some sort of inspiration. The flowing of the water seemed to have captured my interest and never let go. I stood there for a moment, how it would be to be like water, always flowing, to follow the natural rhythm of life. Yet, the natural rhythm of the world may not be the best for me. It may lead to disaster or may lead to paradise. I'm not a gambling man so I proceed carefully through everything. After cooking the rice, I slowly stagger onto my couch. With my blanket over me, I take a nap, only to realize that when I woke up, its nighttime and the moon is out in full swing.

I take a walk out, with MrFurious, depositing my income tax refund check, playing some DDR and grabbing some food at the nearby grocery store. We crack dirty jokes, but nothing serious today.

I come back home, and for a while, watch some Law and Order. Love that show. Police show and courtroom drama all in one. Then again, I'm here once again.

With my yearbooks scattered, I'm tempted to flip through them and see what people have written for me. I have seen them before, but like my socks, are lost beyond my comprehension. I remember back to the first love of my life, about how she took my breath away, and still does. I think about how much I miss her and how whatever I do, I won't wake up one day, with her in my arms, telling me that she loves me. I think about the other ladies, about how much fun and happiness I had with them. Then realize that I am alone while they are happier without me. Its hard sometimes, being a person with low self esteem, to believe that they were happier with me. I guess not. Slowly, I glare at the distant corner of my room, and sit quietly. I let the darkness seep into my pores. It is my friend, my enemy and my world. I fear it no longer. I look but do not see

I listen but do not hear

I am one

I am at peace

- Exerpt from my friend

Two months ago I couldn't have been any happier. It is amazing what a young child can do for you. I am happily married, have a 9 month old baby boy, own a house, own 2 vehicles, and have a loving, supportive family. Then last month I lost my job. Instantly, I was in danger of losing my house and 1 of my vehicles. Also was the fear of not being able to provide for the child. I know that will never happen but for some reason this fear sticks in my mind. Currently, another company has hired me temporarily for a project, but now it's wrapping up. I still don't have health insurance. It does show me that I can still be happy even though things don't go so well. Even on bad days I go home and my son can do almost anything and make me smile and laugh. For his sake I need to start looking at jobs where I have to relocate. This place is great but it isn't any good to me if there aren't any jobs here. I've been spoiled making my salary and I don't know if I could survive going back down to college wages. I kind of know how my father felt when we were going through some rough times when I was little. Pride takes over at first, but eventually you might have to swallow your pride to get through. This growing up thing is great if a little tough. :)

This morning I got spanked by Microsoft for having a Linux sticker on the lid of my ThinkPad, at a briefing they put on for us.

The funny part is that it never occured to them that I actually had Linux installed on the ThinkPad...

Having trouble sleeping again. I've been sleeping so light that every little noise in the house wakes me up. Then I can't get right back to sleep, I just doze for a while. What a drag. Yesterday work was so incredibly busy after 9 that I looked at the clock at one point and it was 4:00. I love that - too busy doing stuff to notice angst, pain, suffering that I usually feel.

But, M. called and called, because I deliberately ignored his e-mails. I saw him twice over the weekend, I didn't really want to touch base or communicate with him yesterday. He ended up calling my home, my cell, and finally my job which he never does, cause it's long distance. He "just wanted to make sure I was okay." What bullshit. I hate that kind of checking up, I feel like a kid being checked on by my mother or something. I feel stalked.

I know the level of irritation I feel is a lot higher than it should be. Again, everything pisses me off. Especially M. Yes, I love you - now go away.

A few days ago, in the mail.
March 30, 2001

Dear Nathan,

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the University of Pennsylvania for the term beginning in September, 2001. I am sending this letter in advance of your complete admission packet since often larger air mail pieces do not travel as quickly. More detailed information concerning your matriculation at Penn will be mailed in a larger packet on April 4th. It is my strong hope, along with the International Admissions Staff, that you will accept our offer of admission and join us here at Penn in September.


Today, in the fax machine:
April 4, 2001

Dear Nathan,

It gives me great pleasure to advise you that you have been awarded a Trustee Scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania. This Scholarship has been awarded to you because of your excellent history of personal accomplishment and academic achievement, and your promise of continued intellectual growth.

Like all of Penn's undergraduate grants and scholarships, the amount of the Trustee Scholarship is related to financial need. However, as a Trustee Scholar, your award was increased so you will not need a student loan to meet your financial need. Bear in mind that you may still choose to apply for a Federal Stafford Loan to replace your Federal Work-Study award or part of your expected family or student contribution.

Your Trustee Scholarship will be renewed for three more years, assuming you continue to have financial need and are in good academic standing. The amount of the Scholarship will be based on the annual redetermination of your need, but you will continue to receive an award that meets your determined need without a student loan.

I encourage you to read the enclosed information about financial assistance and paying for a Penn education. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Student Financial Services.

And congratulations on your admission to Penn's Class of 2005.

Sincerely yours,

James S. Riepe
Chairman, Board of Trustees


Well, I guess that settles it. I'm off to Penn. I am happy. Ironically, I got this in the mail the same day (although I got it on the 'net earlier):
March 16, 2001

Dear Nathan:

The Admissions Committee has completed its review of our applications, and I am sorry to tell you that we are unable to offer you admission to MIT.

Please understand that this is in no way a judgement of you as a student or as a person since our decision hasa more to do with the applicant pool than anything else. This year we had over 10,000 candidates for just 1,600 offers of admission from which will come our 1,000 freshmen. Our applicant pool is more self-selected than most with a very high percentage of top students, virtually all of whom have distinction in demanding academic programs as well as outstanding achievement in their lives outside of the classroom. Despite what you might think, the admissions process is not an exact science. We evaluate each applicant's materials carefully and select those we judge to be best matched for our community. Remember that most of our applicants, who like you are among the best in the world, are not admitted because we simply do not have enough space in our entering class. Since all of our decisions are made at one time and all available spaces have been committed, all decisions are final.

I am very sorry to bring you such disappointing news when you have worked so hard. You are a terrific student, and I do wish you the very best as you continue your education.

Sincerely,

Marilee ----
Dean of Admissions


Wow, thanks Marilee! I feel so special now!
A footnote--I also got a straight flush after playing 200 games on a video poker program I wrote, probably the first straight flush I've ever got in any poker-based game in my life. How symbolic.
It's nearing the end of the semester, and I can't wait until it's over! I woke up this morning and said to myself, "I can do this. When I get back from class today, I finish the physics lab report, study for the exam tonight, and do laundry. I go to the exam tonight, come back and go to bed. I wake up in the morning and do my programming assignment for 4 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon (hopefully it will be done at this point), go to class in between, meet with my team to work on the LEGO robot, and then relax with my boyfriend tomorrow night because Friday will be all taken care of."

It's as if my professors said HAH!. You wish!

So, tomorrow night, I'll be probably be finishing the programming assignment after working on the robot and not seeing my boyfriend. Then Friday I have to get my CAD assignment done before lab so that I can work with my group on the CAD project (to model and do an animation). I will get to see my boyfriend tomorrow night - my study break for the weekend. My plans had to be changed because this morning, my programming teacher decides to tell us that our big comprehensive C test will be next Wednesday (gee, thanks for the warning...grr). And that's in addition to my chemistry test on Thursday, calculus test on Thursday morning (which was originally scheduled to be at the same time as the chemistry test), and my CAD exam on Friday. Oh yeah, it's going to be a *great* week. Peachy, just peachy.

Wow, I feel so good now, I got my first cool on E2. I dont know what to say... First I'd like to thank...

Well, anyway, I haven't done a daily log in quite a while because I haven't been pissed off enough to do one. So I'm at a loss of words today on what to write.

All I know is that right now is that my senior project is due in a week and I dont have anything done on it yet. So I'm probably gonna fail my english class... Darn. So I'm a slacker, whats new?

A seminar course that I took as a part of my physics studies has taught me probably more than any other course. The professor who led the course was quite smart, and known for asking tough questions. And I picked a pretty tough subject, quantum gravity. I wasn't very familiar with that subject, but I thought I had enough background to be able to learn it sufficiently well in three months. And I thought that I'd do a kind of overview about it.

Now, already when preparing the speech I started thinking about all the kinds of questions that the professor and other students could ask about this, and I noticed that I just didn't understand this as well as I thought, It was very good for me, I noticed that I studied the subject much more effectively than I would have if I would have been just browsing the book randomly. For three months, I spent quite a lot of time every now and then on my presentation, and I had a lot of fun preparing it. But when I finally gave the speech, I ended up talking two hours on something I had thought I could cover in half an hour, and the speech was still too sketchy and messy, although not a complete disaster.

So I learned that..You should never be too quick to assume that you understand something! When you can read an advanced physics / mathematics / whatever book once, and then immediately give a good speech about the subject to a smart audience, _then_ you can say you are a genius! The really advanced math / physics books often don't have any exercises, because the authors assume that you already know how to make exercises for yourself.

Well, my second seminar presentation, about quantum computers went better.. :)

well, more updates on frater shinma's condition...forgive this seemingly pointless occupation of disk space, but i am concerned, and i need to be doing something with my hands.

frater shinma is currently slowly recovering from a lumbar puncture that told us nothing we didn't already know; i.e., it was not viral spinal meningitis. he went to see a neurologist last night, but there's no real news yet, except that he's scheduled for an MRI about a month from now. possibility of a brain tumor, apparently. i'm trying not to think about it. that's my little brother we're talking about. yeah, i admit, there've been times i've wished my brothers would get brain tumors and drop off, but we were younger then, and more easily peeved. but, really, the point here is that i care. i've been working my ass off to make him comfortable, and to do what needs to be done in my life, but it just doesn't feel like enough...not enough time, not enough energy...pushing the limits of human endurance, but perhaps not pushing hard enough.

i'm afraid.

My recent hiatus was caused by the difficulty I had in getting registered for an internship this quarter. Sheesh. Bureaucracies are fun, huh?

I don't know how much noding I'll be getting done before summer, when I'll have *lots* of time for putting my thoughts and knowledge into the database.

I will be consumed by perl and php this quarter. Wee...

Can you contain my excitement? No! I think not!

More stuff that's been in my life lately, in no order:

  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Jhonen Vasquez and Invader Zim
  • Black & White
  • short girls
  • Everything Jake
  • Evilrooster and Sunpig are proud to announce the birth of their first child, the Easter Bunny *

    The egg was hatched at 10:11 at Simpson's Memorial Maternity Pavilion, Edinburgh, Scotland. The child weighed 3.84 kg (8lb 8oz), which is quite large for a baby rabbit. (Imagine how surprised the rooster was!)

    Mother (chicken), father (pig), and child (rabbit) are all doing fine, if a little tired. For those who are interested, photographs are available at http://www.sunpig.com/alex

    Noded by the pig on behalf of the rooster, who is currently not able to log on with her own claws and beak. She'll be back soon, though.


    * Yes, we know that stories of the Easter Bunny abound even before this date, but that's due to a freak accident with a time machine and a Cadbury's Creme Egg in 2016. It's a long story, and sunpig is too tired to explain it all right now.

    EasterBunny opens his tiny little eyes--just a fraction--and looks up at the big wide world.

    EasterBunny opens his tiny little eyes--just a fraction--and sees a mother and a father grinning down at him, smiling at each other, enveloping him in a warm bubble of family love. (And in a hospital towel.)

    EasterBunny closes his tiny little eyes--sleepy, sleepy--knowing that it's all good.

    I escaped the all-mighty EDB four times today! It took five attempts to swallow me! Though I was pursued, I couldnt' be caught!

    EDB has swallowed Alias Alias is good food!
    EDB has swallowed mother mother is good food!
    EDB has swallowed Jonez Jonez is good food!
    EDB has swallowed Alias Mother Jonez EDB needed that!

    But it was to no avail. Finally, though:

    EDB has swallowed Alias Mother Jonez Mmmm...

    And thus I was done for. Still, to take five tries is pretty damned impressive.

    Update:

    To the individual who borged me--no hard feelings. But it's one hell of a laugh, my dodging it four times.

    Last night I had a long talk with Ann about Sara. I felt a lot better and got the encouragement to write to Sara and tell her how she made me feel on sunday. I wrote about a dozen full paragraphs. I'm pretty much over her now, but I'd still like to see her as a friend. I've actually learned a lot about her in the time that I've been thinking and I've decided that she's just a bit too insensitive and/or unaware of what she's doing that I don't think I could ever endure a relationship with her. I told her that in the letter, and warned her to watch her actions or she will do it to someone else. I've never been critical of someone before like that, and it feels good and bad at the same time.

    I'm feeling good. I look forward to a response from her tonight. She already wrote me to tell me she got my letter and would respond to it soon because she has to go take care of some school business. Her tone was positive and she remakred that she still wants to be a part of my life, but only as a friend.

    We'll see how her response goes tonight.


    She wrote me to tell me she wasn't feeling well and she will get back to me tomorrow. I told her to take her time, becuase I want her complete and honest response.

    The other day I was riding my bike around downtown and i saw a gas grill explode.
    I was on the opposite side of the street (Murdock, for anyone familiar with downtown {Asheville, NC|Asheville, North Carolina]), and some guy was in his lawn lighting his gas grill (the kind with a little propane tank underneath). As I approach the guy tossed a match into the grill, and a huge flame leaps from the grill. I mean, really fucking huge!.
    The flame was well above the roof of most of the one story houses on the block, and easily licked the top branches of surrounding trees.
    The guy yelled something, and I stopped pedaling, and put a foot down to watch the fireworks.
    The flame died down after it's initial burst, but it was still pretty damn big, and as it shrunk the grill fell over sideways (luckily not pointing towards the road or any houses), so the fire was kind of going into the ground.
    I started pedaling away when I saw the guy running from his house with a fire extinguisher.

    Not a whole lot happens in my life lately, other than being shot down (more or less) by Bethany, my first real "crush" since my last girlfriend

    (I say "crush" for lack of a better term, I'd say that I'm attracted to her, but I'm hoping this will go away, so I can stop feeling rejected sometime soon.)

    Yhea, so I've been riding my bike alot lately, and I named my radio show on Free Radio Asheville.
    Drumroll please....

    The Psychward Soundtrack Radio Show

    Written in 11 AM Artificial Intelligence. Original formatting preserved, save conversion from uppercase to lowercase. Aligned with bottom-left corner, text blocks are about 2 1/2" wide and run about 1 3/4 columns. I took no actual notes on today's notepage.

    << | <- | ->

    {snip}
    mind disconnected less
    productive
    mind in a tank
    on a shelf electrodes
    wires pulsing wtf afaik
    im still sane but isnt that
    always how it is youre
    always the last to know
    write so slow think so
    fast
    hard disconnected
    long words grey day
    yes grey damn american
    bastard
    gray color name
    whats wrong with grey 3
    they had to make a diff.
    spelling sweat from
    walking not tears
    drip onto page zone
                of inhibition cant
                write where it is wet
                students not smart
                go look for better
                prolog if the
    yucky solaris version dissatis-
    fies you grrr yeah so   {shift}
    teresa never came on mon
    not only that she never
    emailed me her paper so
    shes forcing me to procras-
    tinate
    who am i kidding id
    have procrastinated anyway
    still id have more
    control over the
    procrastination
    {snip}
    *SIGH*   {shift}
    emote show emotion
    nose blow kleenex
    brand name lost due
    to common use like
    xerox exp power
    coefficient power
    saving together in
    electric matrimony
    does from poetry
    made by line breaks
    word order is all
    your base are belong
    to us base base base
    disgusting putrid
    flesh rotting steak
    dinner on china
    nazi plate pot pot
    confessions of a
    new york city girl
    traffic good movie
    running pot tired
    kettle black and
    white
    play god is
    dead or alive
    youre coming with me

    goddamit teresa
    didnt even come to
    class today.

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