Get ready for the nice shiny stream of consciousness, spelling errors and typing mistakes and all, because I'm typing with my eyes closed again, and I'm can't find the backspace key like that. So, Here we go. Ok, So it's been just about forever since I'm written anything, but I guess that's ok. Sometimes the inspiration just doesn't come, and it's not something that comes naturally. Fun to do sometimes though,, and strange though it may be, I actually communicate much better with the written word than with my voice. See, I have kind of deep voice, and I'll be inspired and make a witty comment, but the person I'm talking to will inevitably say "What?" and that sucks, because it's never as much fun or as relevant the second time. But oh well. Maybe I should just learn to speak louder, but that's not the only problem. There's also this tendency to get excited and trip over my words, or if I'm' being careful, I speak very slowly, and bore people. Then when I get excited, I talk very fast and jump from topic to topic and people are like wtf are you saying.

It's important to always close your html tags. I'm not sure why I just wrote that.

So, people may be wondering, but probably not, why I've been writing about failure in spacecraft and related systems. Well, I'm an engineering student. Failure is near and dear to my heart (I've done it a few times), at least in terms of making things work correctly and having to proper processes in place to make sure the design process itself doesn't fail, but also so that the end product doesn't fail (much). You can never have a perfect design. Engineering is an art of compromise. Your employer will never say "here is an infinite supply of cash and time. Do what you will." You can't be a perfectionist and an engineer; they are mutually exclusive, though we all try to be perfect of course. I actually once knew a person who claimed to be perfect (this was in high school). He was a very religious person; he might have believed himself to be full of virtue and general goodness. Anyway, I'm interested in how things fail because failures revel not only flaws in a single product, but flaws in a process that led to that product's design and production. Of course the law of diminishing returns comes into play; you can only design so far, at some point the amount of energy you put into solving a possible problem will be so great that the problem is better left unsolved. So I might be nitpicking a bit when I examine the NEAR burn anomaly, which has never been fully explained, but ultimately the incident could have been avoided by more rigorous procedure. Organization. Yeah.

Ok, I got a bit off track there. But then again there isn't really supposed to be a track to stream of consciousness. It just goes and goes and goes. This has been edited for content. That just popped into my head; I don't know where it came from.

The semicolon is my favorite piece of punctuation. I love it even more than the humble period. Not the period that girls have, which I liken more to an exclamation mark, but I guess it makes sense if you think of it in terms of signal processing, in that it occurs on a fairly regular interval; thus it is periodic. So I wonder if when a girl is late if the whole cycle is phase shifted... after giving birth, does the cycle return in phase as it was before pregnancy occurred? Or is it out of phase by some degree? Hmmm, a study must be commissioned! Perhaps there is something to be learned by studying the phase shift of such periodic cycles.

Anyway, yes, the semicolon. I loves it. It is a wonderful invention; it pause is greater than the humble comma, its effect greater! It separates a sentence into distinct parts more effectively than a comma, but it joins sentences that would be lonely without the companion joined to it by the loving and tender semicolon. There's nothing worse than a lonely sentence, left to float in a formless void of thought, alone and haunted by it lost love. But salvation is in the semi-colon, for in it we have Cupid to our lovers, those that were lost soles are now joined in harmony.

Our hero Cupid can make for bad matches; the author must be careful when exercising his or her god like power over the prose, for a slip of the finger leader unmatched lovers to their doom.

Ok, I'm done with the whole semicolon thing. I swear. It's just a phase I'm going through. I hope it's not periodic. My laptop is making my legs sweat. Damn hot laptop.

I can't believe you've read this far. I mean who actually reads drivel like this. God. Well, he probably doesn't care to read it either.

Lord of the Rings is cool .I have now read the first book a grand total of three times. I have not yet made it through the second book in its entirety once. Not once. I've just started it again though, so we shall see how it goes. I always get bogged down somewhere after the return of Gandalf. I can't remember where exactly, its been so long since I attempted to read it. But I really wanted to read the first book at least before the movie comes out, and it seems I am well ahead of schedual for the seconds. If I manage to get it done before Christmas of 2002. It might be a feat. A mighty, majestic feat, undertaken by only the most brave souls.... no, it's not like its Ayn Rand or something. I haven't read any of her stuff either, although I would like to, just so that I know how much I disagree with her.

Wow. Still going. Hmmm, this much doesn't come out very often. I'm more often given to one word utterances or simple grunts. *grunt grunt*. Food. Good. Yum. Sex. Sleep. It's hard to expressed more that the most base of your desires with simple words and grunts. My neighbors probably think there's a caveman living in this apartment by now. Although a caveman that dresses in snappy ThinkGeek shirts!

Christmas is coming! Not that I'm into it or anything, but it's sort of nice when it snows and all the family (what do you mean I'm not smart enough to be an engineer?) comes around and all that. Yeah. But before that, I have a birthday. I'll be 22 (ack!) on the 20th of July. Which is a bit off I guess. Still lots to do before then. But I don't think I'll be able to make my first million by the time I'm finished being 21. Oh well.

Sooo, anybody see any good movies lately?

Today I discovered that my local grocery store has rearranged its inventory. I can tell from the underwhelmed look on your face that you fail to grasp the significance of this portentious event. I shall endeavor to explain. Be patient with me; the trauma is still fresh.

I've been going to this particular grocery store for nigh upon two years now. I know, or rather knew, where everything is, or rather was. My grocery shopping trips were a model of efficiency, like freakin' surgical air strikes. Swoooosh! ka-boom! and I'm racing out the door, swinging my grocery bag about my head, howling, and cackling like a madman. Bwaahahaha! Who are all your base belong to now? With the advent of the modern miracle of U-Scan about a year ago, I never even have to speak to any of the store employees; I'm like one of those freakin' stealth bombers the government has, as seen on TV. They never saw me coming; they never saw me leave.

This shopping trip was like any other. I needed only a few things; it should be a quick trip. Or so I thought.

Picture, if you will, the scene. I am racing down the aisle at flank speed. Blindly, I stretch out my hand to the shelf where I knew, I knew without having to look, that the hot dog rolls would be waiting for me. I pull back my hand, and I find it holding, what? The hot dog rolls I crave? No, these are some sort of cookies or crackers or something. Imagine, imagine if you will, my anguish at my discovery. It was like some kind of sick, twisted joke, and I was the butt of it. I cried out in my torment, but there was nobody to hear. I wandered, lonely and afraid, in a supermarket I no longer understood, a supermarket gone mad.

It took me half an hour to find my precious hot dog rolls. Half an hour I will never see again. Half an hour closer to the day I must eventually die and moulder away beneath the earth.

Eventually, I trudged up to the U-Scan a broken, hollow shell of a man, and I reflected on how my life had changed this day. Oh, to be sure, I would get past this. Did not Nietzsche say, ``That which does not kill us makes us stronger?'' But shopping at the Harris Teter would never be the same. The bond of trust between us had been torn asunder, and I fear it is beyond any power to repair. I did not howl or cackle as I slunk out of the store this evening, and as I stir my store-brand deluxe maccaroni and cheese dinner, I weep silently for my lost innocence.

Today in the chatterbox I got a blank /msg, from a level 1 user. I checked out their homenode. I said hmmm this looks familar. Sure enough it was Jesi. The girl I have been dating. I am so happy that she has taken a liking to E2.Things have been working out with us a lot better than I ever dreamed when I wrote my first daylog about her.

My whole self image has really changed a lot in the past few weeks. Jesi is the main reason. I hope she gets a warm welcome here on E2. So far her first 2 nodes have been downvoted. But she is still new. I am sure she will do much better after she gets the hang of it. She is great like that.

It really is exciting to finally be with a girl who is actually interested in something that I like too. Jesi I know you will read this, so good luck here. I will help you whenever you need help. I hope we can get together this weekend. Hopefully we can make some new daylog material.

Parental issues again.

Mom called me at work today to tell me she finally got in touch with the piano tuner. This is extremely good news since the piano hasn't been tuned in about three years and practically causes hemorrhaging of the ears when played. I teach lessons on this thing, mind you, so it makes things even more difficult. Anyway, she tells me of the exchange between her and the piano tuner.

Piano Tuner: So I haven't heard from you in quite a while.
Mom: Yeah, well, it's my daughter who plays. She got married and moved out, so no one was really playing. Her marriage failed so she's back home now.

Hello?! Why don't we see a problem here? She essentially disclosed one of the most personal events of my life to a perfect stranger and saw nothing wrong with it. She really thinks that she has the right to talk about it whenever and with whomever she chooses; the piano tuner, any random co-worker, the clerk working the checkout line at Meijer...whomever. The reasons for her behaving this way, I know, are threefold:

  1. She likes the sympathetic pat on the back reaction she gets whenever she mentions it.
  2. It's all part of her Jewish Mother Routine that she does about seventy-five percent of her waking hours.
  3. To her, the marriage, the divorce, and everything in between happened as much to her as it did to me.

So I calmly explained to her that I don't want her talking to people about that part of my life, that I'd like to just forget about it. She had the audacity to act put out that I requested she keep her trap shut about my personal life. She brightly responded, "Well, I'd like to forget about the three days of labor I went through when you were born, but I can't do that, can I?" (once again, the Jewish Mother Routine...) As if the two are even in the same ball park.

I have no idea what the solution is, but this must stop...

Why do they put me in the middle?

Today was supposed to be a good day for me. supposed to... Everything went to shit and more today. We go drop off my mother at work and she gets mad at my sister for not letting her finish her work. She cries and my father interprets what happened as my mom not wanting us with her. So he tries and turns us the children against her by saying I dont know why she doesnt want you guys there with her... Every fucking time they do it though, I get stuck in the middle. My mother calls and ask why my father called and said that my sisters were crying and I told her they weren't. My father had apparently told her that she had caused all of that. So I ignored em the rest of the day. We went to pick her up just me and my father at work and everything was fine. We went to pick up my guitar at my friends house and all hell broke loose. I went in to get it and when I came back out, my parents were screaming at one another. I was the one driving thank the stars. The whole ride home i had half a mind to run the van into a street sign or tree. Something that would kill me and get them to stop fighting. I dont know why I couldnt do it.

I've given up on my parents. My mom keeps saying she is going to leave my father yet, she never does. He promises that everything will be better and it all gets worse. I cant stand this much more. I'm ready to die. Someone take my life from me, get me away from all this hatred, all the pain, suffering.... just take me away

Well I'll join in on the daylog conversation.

I admit I have downvoted several daylogs, but only on the basis of that they were along the lines of this

Blah Blah Blah
I Rock, You Suck
Blah Blah Blah
There are only two things in my requirements for a daylog downvote, if it is short and it has no intelligent content whatsoever. And I think everyone will usually agree with that.

But other than that, I leave daylogs alone unless I feel that they deserve my upvote because of something I agree or believe in was in it.

And don't get me wrong, I have a couple daylogs in the negitive ranges, but I probably deserved it. And I don't complain one bit or go systematically downvoteother people's nodes because I'm pissed off.

I may not have been here as long and not know as much as some of you have, but please vote on the basis of the content or beliefs presented, not because you think it's cool to see everyone's node rep in the negitive.

I don't care what this node's rep is (even all my nodes) at when I next check it, because I put my beliefs out to the public and I'm ready for the crowd to boo or cheer for me. If they cheer, yay, more exp for me. If the boo, darn, they know how I feel and I'm not going to cram it down their throat by downvoting their stuff.
So whenever you see something (for example) bashing god or something along the line, don't vote on it because it does exactly that, vote on it because of the content and opinions presented in the writeup. Thats what Everything is about folks.

I got a bunch of my hair cut off today.
Typically I sport some sort of mullet-looking mohawk thing with about 5 inches loose in the back. Usually black, it's been half blond lately ever since my attempt to turn it blue. Now it's a very conservative, nearly indescernable mohawk with about nothing in the back.

I've had long hair for about four or five years, or ever since I learned that my parents didn't like it. But I might be heading for a job interview soon and can't afford to mess it up in the name of nonconformity. The stylist guy even asked "Are you getting a job or something?". "Yes", I said, "and The Man doesn't like individualists".

It's still wierd since I go to straighten it and there's just nothing there. Oh well. I'm over it, and soon enough my long haired friends will be over it.

I also had one of those cool psychic moments again, during the drive home. These seem to happen once or twice a week. I was thinking trash about the local 80's radio station. A node title flashed through my mind: "How come I can't hear 'Straight Outta Compton' or other cool old rap on my Eighties station?". But I knew it'd be nuked so I flicked the 80's station on and they were playing "The Humpty Dance". Cool. It wasn't NWA, but good enough for me.

Let's get stoopid!

Yesterday I thought this week wasn't about to get any worse - suprisingly it did...

Having been friendly, polite, answering all questions fully and beating the technical exercise i was given into submission whilst answering various techie question coupled with being the only one there who actually knew how to use the product in question I thought it was in with a chance.

Wrong again sack... so very wrong.

Not only have I discovered that hard work, dedication and knowing what the hell you're talking about are by no means any indication that you're going to get the job it suddenly occured to me that I'd been given a me or the job ultamatum and had in fact walked out with neither. zip. absolutely fuck all.

God damn this is the worst week of my life thus far... and it's only wednesday. What are they going to throw my way next?

ok, before today's rhapsody begins, i suppose i'll toss in a comment: daylogs are exactly that, they are what happened to you in a day, or a week, or whatever. there is no place for downvotes in daylogs; if you don't like what's going on in someone else's life, just shut up and be goddamn glad it isn't you.

Rhapsody in Screwed :: Part XI i think...
06.13.01 :: 14:55

let me take this back to monday where it all began...jerrett wrote me something about being the maid of honour at his mother's wedding, so i had to ask how he looked in a dress. the answer came many hours later, and i'll get to that in a minute. monday was the usual: class, werk, home. then small_adorable called me and i talked him into coming over for dinner. dinner became talk, talk became dress-up, dress-up became more talk -- and then the phone rang. i tried to ignore it; i have an answering machine. but three minutes later, the phone rang again. shit. gotta get that. anyone who wants my attention that badly probably actually needs it. i was startled by the voice on the other end, and then i was really convinced that something was wrong. hrm. well, that means he's not home. he sounds really wound up -- strung tighter than a high e string. so i tell small_adorable to go home, and i get down to business. "look good in a dress?" i asked. though he admits to being sorely tempted, it turns out he did not, in fact, wear a bride's maid's dress. finally after half an hour of politely prying, i get it out of him. he wants to come see me. now. *sigh of relief* of course. i think that's a fantastic idea. an hour later, he's on my doorstep wearing what appears to be a cream coloured, three piece linen suit. hey, it got my eyebrow up. but there was so little i could say. i tried to make small talk, but i just sort of stuttered. i put my arms around him, to hold off the twitching fit i felt coming on. i was vibrating a bit, but being pressed against someone while holding your own wrists puts the convulsive jerking right out. i really dislike having nervous seizures. i get excited or jumpy and it starts in the neck; it's like six nervous twitches taken to an extreme that occasionally knock my feet out from under me. i hate when it starts in public. but he stared at me, amazed, and i stared back, just as astounded. "oh god," i said, "you're real." most of the rest of what happened after that is even less of your business than most of what makes it in here, so i'll skip to the relevant bits. at one point: i looked at the suit suspiciously. "i have to know," i said. he explained that he'd gotten into a fight with the roommate-girlfriend-whatever on their way out to a costume party of sorts, and he'd told her to go without him, and never bothered to change. i just looked startled. a bad scene, getting worse as the reintegration script loops itself through larger and larger self-referential errors... i keep waiting for the collapse: "hey, can i move into your closet?" i saw it before, in another context, some years ago. like the old adage: don't shit where you sleep. later, i told the story of the loudest adjective going. my brother standing on a street corner with me, talking about a girl: "!! hm. yeah. that's exactly it. AAAAAAGGGGHHH!!" i looked jerrett in the eye: "AAAAAAAGGGGHHH!!" i yelled. he just sort of smiled sickly. i looked pretty ill, myself. i was nauseous. i was dizzy. the world spun around and the bottom dropped out. it was just like that ride at the fair they used to call the gravitron. i said the word i swore i wouldn't say. i wouldn't even think it. i looked at him and made a gesture like slipping off a cliff. *thwap* ouch. luckily, he is still clinging tightly to the same cliff, peril sensitive sunglass implants firmly embedded. if we're lucky, he'll never slip. he went back up to santa fe in the morning, and i went to class. ouch.

"we don't take no shit from a machine"

tuesday was hell. class was painful. granulated love poetry in an open wound. *gack* i sat around a bit with small_adorable, like i do every day, just trying to numb the pain. too bad they don't make lidocaine for the soul. i went to werk, still moping, and was confronted with something on which to take out my frustrations: the new printer had come in. i rolled up my sleeves, cranked up the 80's pop, and got down to business. i didn't leave the office until 19:00. unfortunately, i still can't get the machine to consistently talk to the printer, but i'm convinced it's a cable issue. got home, called niall. "yeah, sure," i said, "i'll come keep you company for a few hours in the morning." *bzzt* wrong. oh so wrong. i had forgotten that my mother went in for cancer surgery at 07:00 this morning. i just couldn't make it out there. i ran interference, i kept the distraction level high, i helped my mom take out her navel ring... i cooked dinner, cleaned the pan... talked sci-fi novels for a while. by the time i got home, i was shaking. exhaustion and nerves. when i get home, i'm calling my mom's house. i want to know she's ok. this was a "well, it may or may not be a hysterectomy, depending how far it's gone" surgery. this is my mom we're talking about. my mom, who just got another tattoo last year, listens to nine inch nails, and wears winnie the pooh t-shirts from the little girl's dept. my mom, who people mistake for my sister. i think i'll be sleeping a whole lot. just to numb the buzzing in my head. for god's sake, this is my mom. my mom is going in for a fairly large surgery. i have to make the noise stop.

Today is my last day in New York, so it's a fond farewell to all of those noders that I met one summers affternoon for Noders in New York: A day of Vegan and Vietnamese.

Leaving my PhD, an astronomer no longer. I don't know what the future holds. Tommorrow I fly to Dublin to rejoin and reinvent my life in Ireland.

I hope there will be climbing and really cool things, I might be working for MIT at the Media Lab Europe, I might be working for Oracle, I don't know. All I know is that I am no longer working for Columbia University.

well, goodbye, goodbye

It looks like this is about the last thing I can do today to procrastinate finishing my resume a little longer. I think I'm just scared to finish it. Once it's done, I won't be able to use the excuse, "I can't apply for jobs yet, my resume is not done." It's just that it's a bit scary -- up until now, jobs have just sort of found me. This will be the first time I have had to look, and probably not get exactly what I want. Or maybe I will ... guess I'll just have to try.

Got my car registration done today. DMV never sent me anything warning me that the time was coming up like they were supposed to, and I, of course, completely forgot that it was due in May. Jezzus freakin' whoa there, buddy ... $400?? Yessiree bub. $400 -- which is a whole lot of money when you don't have a job.

I won't stress about it too much, though. I'll just do something about it. I'll stop writing this node and force myself to work on my resume.

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Ahh, what a cheesy day. All in all, not too bad, but the end kinda blew. I should've known better than to drive my piece of shit car that seems to mysteriously stall out and not start for days in the rain... It began rather innocently, with a minor triumph. I recently finished writing a utility to compensate for that fact that people here can be completely oblivious fucking idiots. Four different departments within our company have a standalone computer running rinky-dink consumer fax software in order to function as "receiving fax machines." Receiving fax machines that cost over a grand, running on 833 MHZ PIII's with 128 megs of RAM. Yeah... Unfortunately they aren't too stable, even though they're running that oh-so-great pinnacle of stability, Windows 2000. When everything is working ok, a fax comes in every 2 minutes or so. But when, for whatever reason, the fax program shits itself, the morons will not call it in until they haven't received a fax for three to four hours...

Then they tell ME "We haven't gotten a fax in four hours!" My response is "It took you four hours to notice this?" So in order to compensate for these lazy fucks I wrote a little program in Visual BASIC to e-mail me whenever x amount of time has passed without a new fax. It works like a dream, except for one PC, which used to work until our genius net-admin swapped it out with an entirely different PC. He insisted that the problem (can't find MSMAPI32.OCX file for interfacing with the Exchange Server) was in my source code, when in fact it was a permissions problem. The triumph was finding the error message on Microsoft's website, sending him the FAQ with a short e-mail saying "YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!@#," and ba-da-bing, it's fixed in 2 minutes, when he's been dicking around for two days trying to figure it out. He's kind of a network fascist, giving extremely little access to those within his own MIS department... What a stupid, geeky (although the cynical Linux gods will say VISUAL BASIC? OCX? HOW DARE YOU PRESUME TO CLAIM TO PROGRAM!) thing to daylog about, I think I'll move on...

Noding at work can be so nice. I'm really privileged to have the ability, after having two other jobs where I was a rat in a cage with a PC that couldn't do anything. Blah. Now I can dink around, but I get paranoid and wonder if they read my shit somehow... But I'll come out and say it -- I'm getting drunk at work. Not on the clock, mind you. I skipped lunch so I could get out of here a half hour early and see the love of my life who just got back into town. But of course my piece of shit car stalls out in the middle of the freezing rain, luckily within a block or two of my job...grr. So after forcefully struggling to park it (with the assistance of two lovely (meaning nice, not extremely sexy or anything) ladies who just came out of nowhere, helped me, then disappeared without a word), I ran back to work in a fury, screaming "God fucking damnit" at the top of my lungs, and called home. I really like yelling, especially when everyone hears it through their car windows, and looks at me like some kind of insane freak for having the capacity to express my emotions. She isn't fucking there. Damnit. I call her parents' house. She was just there and left! Damnit! So all in all I skipped lunch so I could get home far later. She should've gotten home by now, but no freaking answer. GOD DAMNIT! So I run outside, completely infuriated (not at her, of course...the situation), pathetically wanting to exercise some sort of power that will get me home.

Then I realize there's a liquor store across the street. How pathetic I am. I'm not an alcoholic or anything, but I've just quit smoking cigarettes for the nth time, and have a tendency to blow every little thing out of proportion, especially when I've handicapped myself yet again with a ridiculously evil drug. So I go across the street and buy a $7.99 bottle of Skyy vodka...It's grain alcohol, not potato based, but it's as close as you can get to 100% ethanol and H2O...go back to my office...and here I am now, at about the equivalent of 4.5 beers. Ahh... I really think I have a valid excuse to be doing this. Like I said, I'm not on the clock, damnit. But I'm using valuable company resources to node this. Shucks.

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