Man, I definitely should have been taking science classes all along. We haven't even started doing much of anything, and it's fun, because I'm learning stuff. And now I have an excuse to buy a lab coat from American Science and Surplus. Don't think the lab teacher will let me use my Girl Genius goggles though. It's okay, they don't fit over my glasses anyway. I guess I could get prescription lenses put in them, but I'm not sure I'm that dedicated a nerd.

And I've been jamming to music from Jonathan Coulton and Songs to Wear Pants To for the past hour.

And I decided a while ago I wanted to pursue Civil and Environmental Engineering, which is what I'm taking the classes for, so now I have something to work toward and stuff.

Plus an awesome girlfriend I totally love.

So yeah, I'm in a pretty good mood lately, and I'm re-embracing my nerdity, which is probably part of why. So, hey, almost completely good mood. I still find that a little remarkable. Heh.

Things

Jul. 31st, 2006 12:19 am
There are a lot of things I want to talk about. Ironically, I probably shouldn't be on the Internet while I'm trying to write about them, because it distracts me with a million shiny things. I have a lot to think on. I saw Fight Club for the first time over the weekend, I've been reading through a bunch of the 1632 books, and there's been a lot of stuff going on in the world, most of it bad. There's plenty I could and might rant about, so we'll see what I get to tonight. Assuming I can keep myself from just reading the next 1632 book I picked up today.
Next time when planning a trip, plan things out more in advance. Procrastination sucks, seriously.
The other night when LJ was down, I was driving home from my finals. Coming back from my finals on the highway, they have these light up signs that can be programmed to display different things, like HOV lanes, or alerts, like "Accident at Exit 52, left two lanes closed."

That second isn't an idle example. It was about three miles away, so I moved over to one of the right lanes and kept driving. As I was driving, I noticed a helicopter flying around, which isn't really that unusual. But something, probably the way it was flying, or maybe just the sign, made me think "That looks like a rescue chopper." Not that I could see markings, since it was dark.

But it was. Because when I was less than half a mile from the accident, traffic came to a complete stop. There were at least two fire engines, a bunch of cop cars, and at least one ambulance over on the left shoulder, and the police had stopped traffic so the rescue chopper could land. I was back in the mass of cars, so couldn't actually see anything going on. Which was part of how it was extremely weird. In ways I'm not I like. Here I was, less than half a mile from where at least one person was in desperate need of medical attention, and I was sitting there and...getting bored.

Obviously, there wasn't anything I could do, there were tons of emergency folks there already, people trained to know what to do and with equipment and that sort of thing. And (as far as I know) I didn't know anybody involved, so there wasn't any direct connection, but still. I was sitting there in the car and started to get bored because I was just sitting in the car. Which was really unnerving. I was one of those idiot bystanders you see in superhero comics, annoyed by the hair-raising rescue delaying their commute. But on the plus side, I wasn't as big an asshole as the idiots who decided to pull onto the shoulder to try and drive past to the exit. Seeing them get stuck made me happy, which probably makes me an even worse person.

But, the question is compassion. How far does it extend, even if in theory to everyone, is it really any good when you can't affect the outcome at all except by not getting in the way? What's a bystander supposed to do, while other people are doing all the things that matter?

Who, me?

Feb. 14th, 2006 01:12 pm
I've gone several days without the Internet. Not completely, and not because the net was down, but because I was busy and away from home. Nothing exciting, though. And now I should be working on a class presentation, even when I'd rather be doing many other things. So more later, maybe. Unless some of the people I know decide to do a "We're not doing anything else the day before Half Price Candy Day" get-together after class and work. Then you'll have to wait till Wednesday.

Carry on. And remember, if the police ask, it's not stalking, you're just starring in a romantic comedy.

On Posting

Dec. 8th, 2005 01:06 am
Lately, it seems like I have enough whatever in me for one LJ post a day, and half the time that's been going to [livejournal.com profile] snarkoleptics instead of here. Or I might just be lazy.

Things may or may not improve upon the end of both retail hell (read Christmas) and the end of the semester. But probably not. What do I know?
I don't look like me in the mirror. I don't sound like me on tape. At least not the me I think I am. Maybe it's just that I don't spend a lot of time looking at mirrors, or listening to myself on tape. Which I suppose would be pretty good places to start with the admonishment of know thyself, because nobody else can see how you see yourself inside, they just see how you look and act. That was one of the points I took away from Batman Begins. Even here, when all you can see of me is the text I put up from my brain, I know I don't look the same as things are from this end, there's a whole network of associations and assumptions and knowledge in my head that none of the rest of you possess, which probably makes me come off as a pretentious git a good bit of the time.

So who do I look like, to me? Honestly? I'm not sure I know, weird as that sounds. It's one of the problems I have with writing, I'm really not very good at physical descriptions of people. Part of it may be the Internet's fault, where people aren't defined by their looks, but how they act, how they type, they're made up of words and behaviours and knowledge and interactions, not meat and goop. Who cares how somebody named XXAragornXX looks? Sometimes you have an icon to go by, but that's rarely a picture of them, it's a cartoon, or a quote, or a character they like, or whatever they've picked, it's not what they look like. So who cares?

See, from the inside, you don't have a face. Not like other people. It's not THERE. Not consciously, since you can never see it. It's one of the unspoken, unstudied assumptions of life. At least for some of us. Other people may spend hours in front of the mirror, tweaking their faces with makeup or practicing smiles and things, making it into a mask they understand, but I never have. Learning how it works and how to control their faces, rather than just flailing around, like other people. It occurs to me that the proceeding sentence may be complete bullshit, and probably is. Nevertheless.

The same with voice. Many people, especially singers, learn to study and control it. I never have, outside of the reflexive and instinctual ways that we've all evolved to. Talking's there to convey information. But it does that on many other levels than just the words that're spoken, so with speech, I'm far less literate than I am here, where all you see of me is the tapping of my fingers on plastic keys.

So what's my point? I'm not sure I have one. I know school's taught us all to format things like this, with one introductory paragraph, then three paragraphs of stuff, then a paragraph summing up, but I'm not sure I really have a point, or something I can point at here as something you're supposed to learn. Other than I'm a nerd, but you're all familiar with that anyway. I was just struck by the thought the other day, when walking past a mirror, that I didn't really look like me. Which was a really weird thought. I mean, I'm not even certain I'd recognize myself if I ran into myself somewhere. Well, I probably would, but it'd be one of those "Wait, I know them from somewhere..." things where it'd take several seconds for me to put my finger on it. I suspect there wouldn't be any "shock of recognition", much as books talk about it on people meeting their evil twins.

If there's anything to get from this, it's that "know thyself" means more than just sitting around on a pillow and thinking thoughts about the you you think you are. It means you have to get familiar with all parts of yourself, including the parts you normally can't see, or just ignore. Physical and mental. And I'm pretty sure, kung-fu movies aside, knowing yourself isn't something that can be accomplished very well in isolation on a mountain. Much of yourself is how you interact with other people, if you learn it in isolation, you miss big portions of what you are. Or even whole selves, there's people who act completely different depending on who they're around or what they're doing. Maybe there is no unified "self", just the total of all the different selves you act like, all tied together by successively sharing the same body. I don't know. I'm not sure there's any way to know something like that, and if trying to find out would be more than self-indulgent wankery.

Technorati Tags: Mindscribbles, Me, Life, The Universe, and Everything, Journal
The other day, I saw a man at the mall. In orange Buddhist monk robes and sandals. Sitting on one of the benches, on a cell phone. It just sorta gave me one of those "wait, what?" moments?

Dude.

Nov. 16th, 2005 12:07 am
I think my life has Cerebus Syndrome.
Saw protesters again today, this time maybe a dozen people holding posters saying either "Abortion Hurts Women" or "Abortion Kills Children". Standing by the side of the road, teenagers up to an older guy. Looked like a church group, or maybe a family.

Though with this, and the other guy I saw a couple weeks ago, it makes me wonder. What exactly does standing by the road with a sign do? It doesn't seem like it'd sway many people, but I'm not a good source to extrapolate anything from. Maybe it's like advertising, just repeat it over and over to get people used to hearing it?

--

In a mythic sense, New York IS America. Which is why supervillians, aliens, and natural disasters always target it.

--

I was wondering if the FBI still does "Public Enemy #1" things, but it turns out to have been subsumed by the "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives." And the term "Public enemy" isn't used any more, and wasn't ever really official. Now you know, thanks to Google and The FBI's FAQ.

--

I hate when people ask me what I think of the music we have on in-store play. There's very few CDs I can stand to listen to day after day after day without any variety, and they're not ones we've played. And since I'm a bad salesperson, I tell them the truth, that I can't really judge, since it's been playing constantly. Makes life simpler.

--

Tomorrow, for work, I'm going dressed as a low-budget ninja.
There is a quote on the wall in the music department, where I work nearly every day. It says "People whose sensibility is destroyed by music in trains, airports, lifts, cannot concentrate on a Beethoven quartet."

I can't help but reflect on the irony as I try and tune out the shitty in-store play music it's my responsibility to keep running. Even though I think the quote is full of it.

--

Things that piss me off about the Christmas Holiday Season, much as I enjoy Christmas:

1: Decorations up at the beginning of October. FUCKING OCTOBER.

2: "A Christmas Story". I hate this movie. It's not funny. At all. But it's a "Christmas classic." Sure. It's about a whole family being dicks to each other back in the 40s, in a setting and era that has very little in common with my anything I have to deal with. Every character in the movie is mean and none of them are likable, not even the narrating kid. Hate.

--

If most people think everybody else is having more sex than them, then there's some extreme over-estimation of the amount of getting it on going on. Admittedly, at least half of a group is going to be below average, on average, but a few sluts and porn stars can REALLY skew the results, even with large sample sizes.

--

Yay for biofeedback. I've noticed being hungry makes most of my emotions exaggerated. Well, the negative ones, anyway. Amazing how much better having food can make me feel. Or maybe most of my problems are but small ones, they're just so close they seem huge.

--

When did Sesame Street turn into The Elmo Show?
Playing D&D last night, the other mage in our party got hit by a specifically targeted version of the Silence spell. Which I then dubbed "Power Word: STFU."

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, gas prices? Now, I know the almost $4 prices right after Katrina were just price gouging (whatever happened to government investigations into that sort of thing?) but gas was down to $2.199 (repeating) today. Of course, US gas prices have always been below the actual cost, once you include all the environmental effects from burning gasoline. But the oil companies have been extremely successful at shifting those onto the public.

Why is it so bloody hard to get 8 people who're willing to pay $3 to play in a Magic tournament? Haven't had one in the past two weeks. Part of it I'm sure is the poor scheduling at the store, and how things have gone downhill since I quit, but still. I'd be tempted to so somewhere else, but anywhere else would require a lot more driving and screw with scheduling for D&D. At least I got to trade for stuff for my decks, now if only I had more chance to, y'know, play them. But trading in Magic gives a perfect example of economics, including supply and demand, different relative values, marginal values, and so on. Well, at least if you're nerdy enough to think about it that way, which I definitely am.

If there's one thing I'm sort of learning it's that I'm never a representative sample of anything except me. And not always even then.

Also, by being out of the house from Thursday till today, I spoiled my unbroken streak of posting something, no matter how random, to LJ every day. Ohnoes!
I bought a pair of video games today, the first I've bought in months, at least. And I only got these because they were $10 each at Target. I got Longest Journey and Starship Tycoon. And... That's all there really is to say there, I guess.

Though I've noticed my life is almost completely about entertainment, either for me or selling other people crappy CDs to entertain them, which really isn't very much point to a life at all, I think.
I almost feel sorry for the people who have to make covers for classical CDs. I mean, there's only so many ways you can photograph a guy cuddling a violin before it gets into the "really creepy" area.

--

Nothing ever manages to be quite as cool in real life as it is in my imagination. Probably because real life has other concerns besides just being cool. Like actually working.

---

Shorter me: Science is fucking amazing.

--

I find myself criticizing the grammar on some of the signs in the music department on occasion. I don't know if this is a sign that I'm an obsessive grammar Nazi, or just that boredom is driving me mad.

--

There's a version of the Biblical Apocrypha at work, subtitled "The Authorized Version of the Books That Are Not in the Bible."

Okay, I'll bite. Authorized by who?

--

Forgiveness really isn't free. If it's going to mean something, it has to be accompanied by change. If you keep saying "sorry" then going and doing it again, you don't get off scot-free.

--

I'm constantly tempted by shiny new electronic widgets. But I've come to wonder what I'd ever use them for. Also, I'm usually poor, so they're not THAT tempting. I could have two monitors hooked up to my computer, so I could watch TV and browse the net at the same time, make my time-wasting much more efficiently.

--

I'm worried about going back and watching the original Star Wars movies after the drek that the first three were. Because the worst part about them was how they took the most recognized and feared villian in the world, and made him into a whiny, stupid, unsympathetic brat. Will I be able to see Vader without the "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and emo-prettyboy bullshit, even in his most badass moments?

--

I know, you're not supposed to accuse your political opponents of being stark raving mad. And I'd stop doing it if they'd stop acting like it. For example: Our Oldest Enemy. It's a book, obviously. Can you guess who it's about? France. Yes, France. Um, yeah.

Right, so. With everything else going on, what's most important to write a book about? Why, bashing the French, of course! Dude. Seriously.

WTF do Republicans have against the French? Why are they so obsessed and threatened by them? It's just another of those things I don't get, I guess. Ohnoes. France.
Apparently, at Ruby Tuesday's, they do something a bit unusual.

Everywhere else I've gone, when they sell cheese sticks, they are basically chunks of mozzarella string cheese, chopped into lengths, then breaded and deep fried. Also, delicious.

However, at Ruby Tuesday's apparently, they make their cheese sticks out of cream cheese. Yeah, I have no idea why either. And no, they're not particularly good. Especially when you're expecting Mozzarella. A word to the wise.
Or not. After having a glass of hard cider at the Renfaire yesterday, it's reconfirmed my decisions to stay away from alcohol. Not that anything embarrassing or amusing happened, it's more a combination of mundane things. First, alcohol doesn't taste very good. I've tried several kinds of wine (including sake), beer, and hard cider. They all taste... pretty much the same to me. And not very good. And since I don't enjoy the effects of alcohol, or the aftereffects, even the mild versions from the little I've drunk. So, really, it's got nothing to offer me, so it's not exactly something hard for me to keep away from.

If only all of life's temptations were so un-tempting.
A series of random short things about today, to keep from posting 80 one sentence posts.

--

There was a guy on the sidewalk as I was driving in to work today. He was carrying a sign, and had several more propped up against telephone poles and things. A one man anti-war protest, on some random street corner out here. The sign he was carrying said "Do unto others..." on one side, and "Thou shalt not kill." on the other. Couple of the other signs said things like "War and Greed are un-Christian."

I dunno how much difference he made, or if anybody else ever stopped and helped him carry signs, but good on him. I'm not quite sure what I think on the war in Iraq right now, but that's mainly because it's been so incredibly fucked up I don't know if there's any good solutions at this point.

--

US Copyright law is largely bullshit right now. Why are movies and music and books like 50 years old still copyrighted? The publishers have long since made their money back on them. Most of the creators are dead, and the ones that aren't, honestly, I don't think it makes THAT much difference. Why should we let immortal corporations charge us rent for our culture? They're not contributing, in fact, they're stifling new creation. If there's any moral or economic reason why, I'd like to hear it. Aside from "The companies make lots of money and give lots of it to Congress and most people don't notice enough to pay attention to the issue."

I could go on about this for hours. And probably will later.

--

I have several pieces of surfer Buddha things I need to write up, but haven't gotten to. So I expect when I do, it'll ramble, and I'll probably miss half of what I was planning to say, as conversations veer off. Also, they involve a lightsaber, and why Luke Skywalker kicks ass.

--

I am sure my abilities at wiping down tables and flipping chairs from constantly helping the cafe people close will look excellent on my resume.

--

I wish I had a scanner. Then I could do a very badly drawn journal comic. Or I wish the cool mac app that Eric Burns is using for the Adventures of John Stark was for PC, not just Mac. Or I had a Mac. But me am poor, no wasting money on anything computer-ey right now. I have more interesting things to blow money on.
I have an Openoffice window open, sitting waiting for me to type something. It's lurking down on the taskbar, with IRC, Mozilla AND Firefox (both with tabs open), Furc, and this. Not to mention Trillian and Winamp in the systray. My attention span is shot all to heck, which is probably part of why I don't write much. I need to write first, THEN do other things.

Well, maybe not write first. But I need to prioritize. I am a nerd. I crave systems for things. I should make one for me, and then stick to it, to allow me to actually do things with any regularity. So I don't end up, as I did just now, completely forgetting the Really Cool Thing I was going to write. Though in some ways, it's inevitably Really Cooler when it's not done, for it is then potential for really coolness, without the flaws of actual craftsmanship. Sorta like airbrushed models.

Today

Sep. 19th, 2005 03:01 pm
Arr, mateys, I be spending most of me day trying to avoid actually doing anything. And by that I mean cleaning.

On the other hand, my room is much less dusty and full of cat hair now. Now I just have to pump the bilges.

So, for your edification, here's a meme about politics that tells nothing you couldn't already guess!

meme ahoy )
I watched the Best Sessions of Cowboy Bebop last night. They were really good and I may have to pick up the DVD some day when I have disposable income.

But two of the episodes in particular hit me. One, where this old mechanic guy is repairing and renovating a Space Shuttle to get it to fly again. The Columbia. It was written years ago, so there's no way they could have known. But still. When it rolled out of the hangar and I saw the name, I got a little choked up.

And the other wasn't so much the episode itself, but the song that they played. Which made me sad for reasons that shall remain private.

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