For my daily writing, today I decided to write a love poem to my dear Girl Friend, Whitney. This is for you sweat pea.

The Rose of Grace
The grace and beauty of love true or not.
Wants of comfort in a glowing hot fire.
A place of harmony inside the heart.
In joyous laughs of fairy tales that inspire.
Never sick or laid down you are my might.
A honey dew not as sweet as you true.
Looking through everything just in spite.
You help my life so I am never blue.
Hold me dear and close and I will not crush.
The redness of a rose just as my love.
Touch my lips carefully and I will blush.
I would give all up and to fly above.
Now must I leave and only you know why.
Stay here waiting and never will you cry.

Ok, so I have yet another problem today.

Yesterday I wrote a daylog because I was a little upset about something and I just felt like getting it out of my system. Little did I know the drama it was going to cause.

Some user that I know read it and apparently decided to enquire about it with other users that I know, even though he doesn't know them.

First of all, how rude is that to butt in to business that isn't yours, especially when dealing with an online community!! Secondly, it is so not cool to question people's actions when one doesn't know the specific circumstances of a problem or issue.

So I feel violated in a weird way because one person took something that I said and blew it up into this big thing for no reason whatsoever! And to clear things up little bit, that daylog was about someone that has nothing to do with e2 in anyway!! SO STOP HARASSING OTHER NODERS ON MY BEHALF! Mind you own business because I have enough to deal with, as does my friend you msg'd, never mind having to deal with this shit!

Random Childhood Memories

Ross was my best friend because he never wanted to play house. Ross was my worst enemy because he could pee standing up. At three years old, I knew that there were great injustices at work here. I remember playing with Legos and Mmatchbox cars with him. And I remember crying my eyes out when one of his friends colored a moustache on the face of “Big Barbie”, my favorite doll. “Big Barbie” wasn’t a Barbie doll at all. She was somewhere between a Cabbage Patch Kid and a Kid Sister, both quite the rage at the time. But, though I thought Barbie dolls were stupid, but I was tired of being laughed at by my girl friends, whose favorite thing to do was to see if Barbie looked better in pink or in shimmery purple. So I named my doll “Big Barbie”. I rarely played with her, I mostly left her around for decoration. And aesthetically, she was ruined.

A year later I punched the same kid in the stomach when he said me and Ross were in love. The dirtiest four letter world known to a four year old. Thankfully, because Ross made fun of him for getting hurt by a girl, word never got out that I hit him, and I didn’t get in trouble.

My mom was pregnant with my brother to be, and it was decided that we would leave the city, and move to the suburbs. So Mom and Dad and Katie and I left our Wrigleyville apartment and settled down next to a giant field in Wilmette. I would miss Ross terribly.

My street didn’t have nearly as many kids. The only girl my age was Evelyn, whose name, because of her mother’s Chinese accent, I thought was “Avalee”.

I went over to Avalee’s house, and we played grocery. She had the coolest grocery set. She thought I was weird because I bought cauliflower and chocolate at the same time. She told me this. “You’re weird” she said. Yeah, but at least my name isn’t Avalee, I thought.

The fact that Avalee thought I was weird really hurt my feelings. She was really my only friend around here, so her opinion mattered. I set out to make her think that I was normal.

When I told my mom I was going to Avalee’s house, my mother told me to stop making fun of her mother’s accent. I didn’t think I was, but nonetheless, I found out Avalee’s real name. To this day I do not know if she thought me weird because of my strange purchases or the fact that I severely butchered her name. Nonetheless, we did not have a real friendship until high school.

To defeat my loneliness, Mom had Ross and his little brother, Todd, come up to our house to visit. It was good to see Ross, and we had our minds set on tormenting our younger siblings. But Katie and Todd soon went to sleep, and Ross and I were stuck playing Ghostbusters and Doctor.

Ross insisted that he was the doctor. I was very very sick, and I needed medicine. I told him I knew where the medicine was and proceeded to down about 25 Tylenols. We were very excited that I was cured, that we had to tell our Moms. The next thing I remember was vomiting into a bowl at the hospital.

The next time I saw Ross I gave him the atomic wedgie from hell. Revenge is sweet.

So today is a pretty big day. I have a show tonite with People Like Us, at a pretty large, well-known venue, B-Complex in Portland, Oregon. We're both going to be doing live sound collage along with projected video collage, and it should be really great.

The only real problem is that there was some sort of communication breakdown somewhere, either between B-complex and the guy that set up the show, or between him and me, or just amongst the people at B-Complex. Whatever the case, all this time Vicki (PLU) and I understood that the door money was just going to be split down the middle between us and the venue, and that was that. We got there yesterday to check things out and the guy, though nice about it, was clearly annoyed that he was not kept very informed about the show, and the money deal was totally news to him. He wanted us to pay rent and staff costs! We haggled and eventually he gave in on the rent, but we still have to pay for the security people and sound man. Which means the split will be after that. This is still total crap, neither vicki nor I ever pay to play anywhere. We would have never agreed to the show if we knew that was the deal.

Basically that means we need at least 62 people to show up and pay, or we lose money. If it was San Francisco I'd say that would be no problem, but I'm not so sure about here in Portland, if there will be that big of an audience. Plus, it was my understanding that b-complex was going to help with promotion, but I haven't seen anything besides what we've done ourselves.

So, if you live in or near Portland and like experimental electronic music or experimental video, please come to the show! And introduce yourself to me, I want to meet more Portland noders! 8:30 pm, tonite!!

Is this some form of inverse nodevertising? Are you going to vote me down for it? Oh well.

I can't even believe this week, and it's only Wednesday.

Monday over lunch hour there was fighting with apartment company and being parked both into and out of the driveway by the same person, who doesn't even live at our house. Within one hour! After I specifically told him I was coming back in an hour! He left all his windows open, and I had a full watering can available with which to drench his dry cleaning in the back seat, but I restrained myself. The plants got good and watered, though.

Later there was grocery shopping and coming home totally exhausted at 10:30 to discover that the shelves over my desk had ripped themselves out of the wall and there was powdered glass Everywhere. That's three shelves completely full of double layered books, plus a shelf of glassware, falling on various lamps and computer and, well, everything in the room. So we did some rudimentary picking up the biggest pieces and stacking up books. Not anything like complete lab-grade decontamination. It made me too tired to even look at it, and I wasn't functioning that well in that first place.

So shower and bed (bed elsewhere, the bed being full of powdered glass just as much as anything else. Have you ever vacuummed your bed?) and the next day I called off work and took a fucking HOUSEWORK day. I can't even believe it yet. I spent all morning with the vacuuum, establishing an honest and trusting relationship. It was great. I ironed shirts for my break. That was great too. Great. Then I tried to go get new shelves. That didn't work too well, as there was either $30 complete crap or $60 almost complete crap available at the places I went, and anyway I got really frustrated and came home and sat on the decontaminated floor for a while. I was in the reconstruction phase by this time. Yeah, I had to move all my furniture out and get under everything. Behind the computer was fun. Inside my shoes was fun. Four loads of laundry was fun. So I had moved furniture back but had to sit and recover before I could bring myself to deal with all the wiring.

I did a good lot of sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall. This all came after after several days of running back and forth worrying about medical issues and family. Not My family, but still. Lots of worrying and soothing and phone calls and canceled plans. Lots of stress.

Then John came home from his last day of school and we went out and found shelves and sheets and dealt with things in a more clearheaded manner. Mexican food clears my head, I can say. Enchiladas and a $1.50 margarita and lots of good salsa. Driving clears my head.

I will not write now about what is happening, it is too much, too soon.


Alone in the house, reading, I looked out the window and saw brilliant sunlight, and a tropical downpour. I thought perhaps someone was filming across the street, and needed to fabricate rain, but as I stepped outside I realized that it wasn't some studio construct, that the sky was falling from clouds I couldn't see.

And in the moments it took to run back inside to get my cigarettes, and make it back out the door to walk somewhere, anywhere, it had stopped. Slick pavement and confused, drenched pedestrians were the only evidence it had happened at all.

Even these things are fleeting beyond my ability to touch.

So last night, at the breakfast table in our kitchen, my wife and I got to talking about everything that's been bugging me. Literally everything, too--I'm sure it took at least two hours. The kids sat in the TV room and watched Shrek almost the whole time, which was fine with me. They're thankfully old enough to know when a conversation shouldn't be interrupted.

What I wanted, naturally, was for her to nod and smile and let everything that I said hit her like a brick and acquiece and promise to make many changes. What actually happened, naturally, was she responded to every single point I made with some sort of counter-argument while I fended off a weather-induced headache and tried to keep my voice level. It's nice that we're both sensible enough to do that, at least.

The high point, such as it was, was her immediate reassurance that no, she didn't dislike me anymore. It's quite easy to love someone without liking them, after all. I've been feeling rather like that for about a week now, which of course is why I asked. I don't think she concluded this herself, which is probably a good thing since like most wives, she can tell when I'm lying to her face.

As things were winding down, though, and we'd headed outside to our porch swing to continue talking, I made the tactical error of mentioning that I felt like the increased numbers of teenagers in the house was causing part of my stress--that I felt like I was being crowded out of my own home. She quickly took this to mean that I was waffling on my commitment to our efforts to have a child together via IVF. I didn't mean that at all, and hadn't even been thinking about it. And I said so, and tried to backpedal around it.

It might have been working, but right in the middle of it our youngest stuck her head outside and told my wife she had a phone call. A couple minutes later she came back out and informed me it had been DCFS, calling us and asking if we were interested in providing foster care for a baby. She declined without even telling me. It might have been what we'd been waiting for for months ever since we'd been licensed for foster care, but she didn't bother to ask for more. She declined, and we had no way of calling them back.

Damn, damn, damn.

I'm worried that a baby, either by IVF, foster, or adoption, is just going to add more stress to our household that our still-young family isn't prepared to handle. She's steadfast that it will actually help her enjoy her days more, because she won't be at home taking care of only other people's kids any longer. I honestly don't know if I believe that, but she certainly does--it's all she's been wanting since before she even met me.

If she'd asked me, if I hadn't said anything about not wanting the family to be getting any larger, and the foster baby had been someone we were prepared to take care of, I probably would have said "yes".

But I honestly don't know if it would have been the truth.

So here I am, still tired and still frustrated, and for the first time I can remember, I have absolutely no idea what it'll take to get me out of it. Right now I'd take any sign, any gesture at all, to demonstrate that she does still like me and not just love me.

At least she's consciously leaving my wooden knives out of the water now.

back -- forth

I love high school student council election week: it's the only time of the year that anyone can sit at the cool people's table.

I had a plan today - I was going to convert my router/webbox, in the living room for historical reasons (it was the only room with a telephone socket), into a multimedia entertainment center coordinator. The plan was to add a DVD drive, Hollywood+ card, and an extra soundcard. With this all in place, it would play CDs and DVDs, play shoutcasts off the jukebox server, play radio, finally give us a remote volume control for the old amiga monitor serving as a TV and perform dynamic range compression on the whole lot to put an end to loud adverts. (and maybe also make coffee, and wash the dishes...) For some reason, I forgot about the 80:20 rule... After spending ALL NIGHT wrestling this evil PC, I've learned a few things...

Impromptu case-mods are a bad idea. Mutilating the drive-bay so that it doesn't foul the dimm sockets is all well and good, but sooner or later you'll need to use the drive bay, and nothing sucks more than having to remove everything to panel-beat the case...

Cheap hardware is its own reward. The soundcard I paid ten quid for seems to be a 'hard-lockup-card' in disguise...

Double-check your wires. The reason I was getting no audio was because the audio out from the DVD card was plugged into the audio out from the sky box.

Old monitors don't do s-video.... This would have been a good thing to find out earlier...

And most importantly,
Don't upgrade the living room PC in the living room, or your wife will never speak to you again...

sleep guilt

My greatest regret is that I still have to sleep.

If you ask a few engineering students at any university, you'll quickly find that sleep -- or lack thereof -- is always a hot topic of discussion. Many folks wave around their insomnia like banners, trumpeting how they have gone n hours of sleep. I'm not one of those people. I've only pulled a few all-nighters during my time here, and they didn't last long past 24 hours.

Maybe that's why this semester is shaping up to be a washout.

I say such things every semester, I know, so you'll have to bear with me. This time, things are still falling apart. I'm sleeping too much.

I'm writing this update from the depths of Wean Hall, Carnegie Mellon's large concrete building which houses the Department of Computer Science, among other things. I've spent way too much time here, living off of a diet that often consists of little more than M&Ms and Mountain Dew. Needless to say, this roughly 1000-calorie diet (which I call the "OS diet") doesn't provide very much energy or nutrition, so I simply don't have the physical resources to pull those crucial all-nighters. My very late-skewing schedule does not jibe with most on- and off-campus food vendors', so I have to fend for myself with unsuccessful results. Even if I could cook, I wouldn't want to.

The ongoing fun with the new roommate continues, as I still have to deal with the continuing presence of his girlfriend. Fortunately, she doesn't spend too much time around, although apparently she's the one who snores. It's not a big problem nowadays, with my skewed sleep schedule and less hostile attitude towards visitors in my suite. There are now three people out of five in my suite who regularly have visitors (for business and pleasure) so I'm used to it. Most come over to do "work," which in the business department apparently means bringing several laptops to run AIM and ICQ with the volume turned to the maximum level. Often times, I go to Wean or the library just to escape the cacophony of shouted Chinese, instant-messenger sounds, and incredibly poor singing along to Boyz II Men music. As luck would have it, two of those three folks are graduating; the third, my roommate, is not scheduled to be in my room next academic year.

Just keep tossing stuff onto the pile of Stuff I Don't Need. Spring Carnival, normally a very happy drinking sort of time, is coming up this weekend, but I sure won't be able to enjoy it. With the last OS project deadline less than two weeks away, and my partner and I feeling overstressed and uninspired to work on it, we're in a state known casually as "screwed."

class by class

15-412: Operating Systems Design & Implementation

What would happen if I were to fail a class that's worth 40 percent of my GPA this semester? If I keep things up, I might just find this out.

The midterm this semester was a disaster: the average grade was about 61%, and there is no curve as a rule in the class. In a very rare move, the professor offered a second chance. The catch was that the second grade, if a student chose to retake the midterm, would supersede the first for better or for worse. I took the test again and walked out of there thinking that I did better.

I did worse. Eight points worse. Fifteen points worse than failing.

Now I'm at a crossroads of sorts: with less than half of the course grades in because of inherent back-loading of the schedule, I now find myself in a hole that I must claw out of. On top of it all, I have plenty of other projects and exams to not fail, if I want to try and salvage my semester by any means possible.

Did I mention how the professor is trying to encourage students to work by striking them with a metal pole in the public computer clusters?

80-311: Computability and Incompleteness

This is the only one of my four classes that has a curve applied to its grades, and what a curve it is! I fudged my way through the most recent exam and only answered about 65% of the questions correctly. That was a B, after the dust settled. Now I face the unlikely prospect of maintaining an A average in a course where I do not understand a good one-third of the material being covered. Great.

82-372: Advanced Japanese II

Damn it, I'm behind again. Falling behind on homework in this course is definitely a losing proposition: even though the course only meets three times a week, the amount of homework assigned is simply staggering. Top it all off with a project that my partner and I have barely started, and it's a recipe for trouble. I also don't know the status of my study abroad plans; a decision from my one and only school is due next week.

82-374: Technical Japanese

Not a particularly hard course, but I have a project presentation next week which right now covers about zero knowledge. The key is to maintain at least some semblance of priority on the class, so I don't fall behind. The funny thing is that I'm actually running more on time than most students in the class, for the simple reason that I have substantial first-hand experience in working with this loosely-structured professor in the past. We'll see what happens.

Time to go to sleep, and feel guilty about it. Good night.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.