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I guess it's only fitting that this is my first node. I'm sitting here at my computer at 3:42 in the morning. I woke up at around 11 AM yesterday with the intention of starting on my homework. I still haven't started. I have to leave for school in exactly two hours. What am I to do? Just work, I suppose.

Yesterday was the birthday of that girl I liked. It's over now. I don't like her anymore. We kissed, we had fun. She's with her ex and I'm with mine. Things are how they should be.

I guess there's not much to say anymore. I'm thinking of giving my half-completed work tomorrow to a friend to turn in to the teacher for me, and then skipping for the day. I don't know where I'd go, or what I'd do. Maybe I'd take along that girl that likes me. I'd probably sleep the whole time, wherever we went.

After reading through some stuff I realized there's another car I want to get. A 2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS. It's NA so I figure there's lots of modding room on it. I just like its appearance. I guess the AWD legacy draws me in too.

I guess maybe now that I've done something I'll actually work on my essays now. I need to find out the beliefs and ideas of Dante Alighieri. I keep wanting to sort out those Pokemon cards I got from a friend on Friday.

I've never pulled an all-nighter on a school night before. I wonder how I'll be tomorrow. I still have two packets I'm planning to do in school, since I have to turn it in last period. If I can find someone to copy off of then I'll be fine but if not then I need to stay awake a lot to get the answers. I hope I don't pass out in class. I'm planning on sleeping on the bus, but I don't want to slip into too deep of a sleep. I need to budget my time. If I sleep on the bus, I have to sleep light enough that I'm still semi-conscious and can get up when the bus ride is over. I then have an hour before school starts, but that time could be spent working on things like the two packets. I just don't know what to do.

I guess I need to just print out the info for one of the packets so I can do it in lunch and Biology. I'll get the answers for the other one from my friend's book in Biology or from someone who has the answers.

Maybe today will be good. Maybe today will be bad. I know one thing, though. Today is April 14, 2008, and I'm going to experience it.

Why d'you gotta act like you know when you don't know
It's okay if you don't know everything

-- Ben Folds, Bastard*

Part of my job on this latest project I'm working on is to help develop a unified structure for our code -- e.g. a template which we can conform to in such a way that a good portion of our code can be portable and reusable without too much effort. So I have been developing this framework, which can be difficult because it can be quite tedious and time-consuming. (On the other hand, it can also make the day pass quickly.)

In any case, I was downstairs yesterday, and got into a discussion with one of my coworkers. He is a very smart individual, albeit somewhat outspoken at times. He has been in the embedded systems business for thirty years, so he definitely knows what he's talking about, although sometimes this experience makes him a little opinionated. He showed me how I could be making the framework still more generic (by using function pointers and essentially creating an object-oriented structure in C).

My first reaction was to get defensive and angry. I had already put a good amount of time and effort into the project, and I didn't exactly want to go back and redo everything I had already started. But I also knew that he was right: his method was far more flexible, even if the resulting syntax was a bit messier to deal with. So I conceded the point, and tried to turn it into an opportunity to learn and expand my horizons, instead of getting defensive about my abilities and what I had done.

You see, for the longest time I viewed any advice or questions about my work as a challenge to my intelligence. In high school, I was still programming in QuickBASIC and got to know another programming nerd there. He asked me if I'd look over some of his source code, and I said I'd be happy to. The next day, he comes in with printed sheets of x86 assembly code. I was dumbfounded, and I jumped to the conclusion that he was trying to embarrass me by pointing out this stuff I didn't know. I could have used the opportunity to tell him I hadn't programmed in assembly and to ask for help learning how, but instead I retreated back into my own little world of self-pity. My fragile ego couldn't bear the idea of anybody being better at the thing that I did. That was my thing, dammit.

Over the years, that fear of not knowing things really affected my personality. For a while, I became an unimaginable liar -- if anybody asked me a question and I didn't know the answer, my reaction was to come up with a plausible-sounding answer out of the blue, and defend it as though it were the unvarnished truth. Once I realized I was doing that, I made a conscious effort to stop it, but even now I still find myself having to stop, back up, and admit ignorance in the matter (usually adding a "hmm, I'll have to look that up now" somewhere into the mix). Doing so is remarkably difficult, particularly if the topic of conversation is something I am well-versed in.

There's always somebody better than you. The key is to turn that realization into an opportunity for improvement, instead of an excuse to give up.

* I know quoting lyrics is very emo high schooler of me, but that song seriously reminds me of myself every time I hear it.

Having a birthday these days is just like having Christmas. You remember when you were little and got lots of cool gifts like the light up fire engine and action figures and a metric ton of chocolate. You get excited but on that special day you do not get cool gifts like a light up fire engine or action figures or a metric ton of chocolate; you get a single gift card. But that’s not really the worst part. The worst part is that you don’t even believe in the concept behind the gift giving. No Santa Claus, no God, and you’re certainly not down with that whole aging bit. .

Oh my God, I’m twenty-three.


Bits and Pieces.

Dipping the image

I went to a Buddhist festival yesterday as an assignment for my religion class. My involvement in the festivities could be best described as “tall gangly white guy gets water poured on him by many different people”. I was hit by water balloons, a hose, and had a bucket dumped over my head. I was told the water represents a kind of purification process, but mostly it seems an excuse to have a giant water fight involving monks and over a hundred other people. There’s something oddly satisfying about throwing a water balloon at a Buddhist monk. I tried it, but the monk caught the balloon and threw it back at me. Really. Honest.

Clean up crew…

On Saturday, I help clean up a park for a local volunteer group. The park was next to an elementary school in an area called the West Valley or West Side by those who want to turn Albuquerque into a sort of miniature Los Angeles (the upper class want the money the movies make, the lower class wants to be gang bangers). A short list of what I found: A large amount of glass from beer bottles both intact and in shards, some pottery sherds, coke-a-cola cans, a used condom, a math assignment, bottle caps, a dead cat (I didn’t pick it up), and a buried t-shirt. We also went door to door talking to people about our work, but since nobody was home I didn’t really have to talk to anybody.

In the land of the dollar bill…

Today I ran across the song “The Night Chicago Died” in Spanish. It’s goofy and I love it.

… Try not to piss the entire site off somehow…

Awww… Sounds like somebody is taking things too seriously. Here, sit down. Have a drink. It’s Hoegaarden , in case you didn’t know. Here’s a few sandwiches, light food to keep your blood pressure down. And I’ve arranged for entertainment. This is Bach’s Violin Sonata in G minor. As an added bonus, Cindy here is going to give you a lap dance to it. I’ll tell her not to spill your beer, because you take that kind of thing way too seriously and I wouldn’t want to make you angry or anything.

Novel…

Third draft is almost done, but I’ve had to rewrite the last forty pages or so. Ever notice when writing you can get caught up in your own little world and not realize that you are writing some really stupid things? Also, I’m becoming a bit despondent with my inability to spell “children” or “curious”. The children one is no biggie, but the curious one keeps me on Google for about fifteen minutes trying different spellings such as “curiosous” and “curius” trying to coax it into giving me the proper spelling.

Third Party Feedback…

Sometimes I think the feedback you receive in writing classes tells more about the critic than the piece. This can be extended to other things like film critics and restaurant reviews. Don’t trust Ebert on romance movies or SciFi. Don’t trust Lindys Corbert of the Albuquerque Journal on Italian.

That Awful Rule…

The never end a sentence with a preposition rule is complete malarkey. Most grammar rules are when they get in the way of an effective sentence.

Adventures in Sign

My sign teacher relates this story:

Once while translating for a business meeting my teacher kept getting odd looks from the deaf people on one side of the room. The meeting was to establish an annual event in London and every time she would sign London everybody would stare at her puzzled. Why? Because what she really was signing was…

“Next week we are taking a trip to lesbian to get the itinerary hammered out. Since it rains in lesbian a lot, you might want to take an umbrella. There will be some free time to sightsee in lesbian…” ect. She also taught me the word for “whore” because “shy’ when done improperly becomes “whore” or “slut” and who wants to say, “My girlfriend is a total whore,” when you mean “My girlfriend is totally shy.”?

Speaking of sing… er… sign… err, both! I’ve got an assignment to translate a song into sign and while I was thinking of “Don’t You Want Me” by the Human League, I’ve decided on “My Alligator Lives in the Cellar” which is probably not the actual name of the song, but it’s one I remember from childhood. I’ve picked it because it is both more challenging than the Human League song (which has very simple lyrics) and is more entertaining.

Trying to order cookies in sign:

Me: ?YOU HAVE COOKIE FOR ONE DOLLAR YOU?

She: YES WE DO. ?YOU LIKE LEMON OR CHOCOLATE CHIP YOU?

Me: ?WHAT? AGAIN, SLOW PLEASE.

She: Y-E-S WE DO. ?YOU LIKE L-E-M-O-N OR C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E C-H-I-P YOU?

Me: OKAY. SORRY. ?COULD YOU REPEAT THAT LAST BIT?

She: YOU KNOW LITTLE SIGN. ?YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING YOU?

Deaf people are not polite.


And that’s my world for today. Most everyone and all of you are great. Hope y’all have a good one.

birthday past birthday future

Oh, lordy lordy, there are so many things going on. In a few days I will be 4 months pregnant, which is both a joy and a constant frustration. No one ever tells you about the bloody stuffed up noses, the acid reflux, the heart murmurs or a whole host of other minor irritations that all add up to restless nights and a complete loss of energy when you aren't even at waddling stages yet.

Aside from procreating, I've finished my classes and I've lost my job - not a real loss if you've ever heard me complain about my boss before. Soon I may be packing up my apartment and moving my family to Ohio and into a new house. We're hoping, anyway. I still can't walk around my building or the rest of Baltimore without worrying that someone is going to grab me and bonk me on the head again.

My role here on E2 has changed due to code advancement and, while I miss my old tasks a little, I am all for progress. I'm still adjusting to the moaning that goes on behind the scenes and trying my best to keep my mouth shut since more often than not I find myself disagreeing with the majority. It's easier to delete comments I find offensive and non-productive than to get swept up in someone else's childish vendettas. Especially when you have pregnancy hormones thinning your patience. Silly grumblings aside, I still enjoy E2 and I will continue to seek out some new way that can directly benefit new users.

So if you're a new user and you have a question or need a reader, I'm here to help.

And this, my friends, is how I am these days.

The road becomes a greasy ribbon at times like this - the static grey sky drizzling down a slick, clinging wet haze into the air and a light lube onto the road surface.

Hanging back from the car in front, every passing car filming my ride goggles with a fine spray kicked up from its tires, I try and keep enough of a distance so that a sudden stop doesn't result in me fighting and probably losing the battle to keep the bike upright in a panic stop. This pisses off the drivers behind me, intent on their meetings and their cell phone conversations, annoyed that I am not treating the HOV lane like a fast lane. They're in a hermetically sealed heated box, and the worst that can happen to them is that someone distorts their bumper and they need to sue someone to get a new paint job. I'm fighting to keep my right leg from going solid enough to make braking impossible, and feeling the heat drain from my fingertips.

Damp makes cold EAT into you, but the adrenaline tang of riding like this drives that away. The rain intensifies and soon I'm driving by the red glow of taillights ahead and the vague, dark shapes that represent cars. The road underneath me feels like glass someone's sprayed cooking oil on, thanks to the decision by the D.O.T. to use a slick concrete with fine grooves cut in random, could have possibly been straight lines. This lane is the best. The others are positively suicidal to try and drive when it gets greasy. So I'm here. And I'm pissing people off.

The guy alongside me, sipping on his convenience store coffee mug, sees the FXR blazing in a cloud of mist, me with my head down, wiping my goggles free every three seconds with my left thumb. He sees the guy behind me threatening to tailgate me.

I look alongside. Biggest threat is people changing lanes into the side of you, so I look. See a face, distorted by streaks of rain blown back by the wind. Working class guy. In a work truck, but he's a rider. He clocks, accurately, what's going on.

Slows down and swerves in behind me, cutting off the guy behind me. I hear the honking as Mr. Corner Office in his leather-seat Lexus has to slow down even more.

I clock my rearview mirror on the right, which affords me the best view. He's nodding to me, holding back, watching me. Blocking anyone from ramming me up the ass.

I give him the thumbs up. Then I go back to watching the line of cars on my right, the road ahead.

You know that fuzzy feeling,
when you just meet a girl,
shit is working between you two.

Now it's all gone,
the love has evaporated like the bong water.

Fucking global warming is taking all the Dihydrogen Monoxide away.
Fuck, to take a ride on that cycle would blow the hair right off your fucking head.
Did you know Dihydrogen Monoxide cycles are cause of 500 dead Americans every year.

Yeah I figure I can just make up quotes, form fake graphs
people will just figure I'm some kind of genius with a big, big penis
that knows his math.
I guess I have a bulging indulging submarine that.

Oh no, go ahead. You can have the greens.
Ya. No problem. No, thank you very much.

Now where was I...

Oh yeah, kangaroo jack is the biggest silverback gorilla of the most eastern-west, north section of Maryland, Maine.
And

he

has

a mean left hook.


If ya ever get in bar fight with that primate never call him a baboon or you'll come to understand real soon.

So, I was walking down the street one day,
this fucker walks up and asks for a fucking smoke,
I told him do I fucking look like I smoke?
He told me I looked like someone that would smoke.
Yeah I smoke but not that brown crap that you now has to have.
Too bad huh?

He crossed the street.
That was the real shocker!
I thought I was going to have to be rude with the,
"get your own bag loser" routine.
Well so, that's it.
That's that stinky smell-it-through-the-bag shit.

If you started something you cant quit, then support it.






This is a freeverse poem I wrote on the 10th of april 2006, I think it was about not giving up on old love for new love, or maybe some bullshit like that.

March 13, 2008 | April 30, 2008

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