Monday, August 01, 2005 :: 12:49 AM

New Blog

I have a new blog address, which I think I'll be moving all this content over to eventually. Check out my most recent entry/entries there ( or

Friday, May 20, 2005 :: 5:14 AM

I'm Baaaack

Well, I'm back for the summer. More specifically, I'm back living at my parents' house in Saint Louis Park, MN, and I'm back working full time at alwaysBEthere. I can think of two notable changes since last summer, though: I'm not going out with Amanda any more (see the brief explanation here), and I'm taking a summer class. I'll elaborate on those later.


I moved back this past Saturday, which actually took considerably longer than I anticipated ... but I'm glad that I made a trip of stuff home Friday night. After moving my stuff out and getting back to campus, Brad (my roommate) and I had about 20 minutes to de-loft my bed, try to put the screen back in the window, and clean the entire room (including vacuuming, washing the bathroom, walls, desks, etc.). We didn't quite finish in the allotted 20 minutes, but our RA was flexible with our check-out, so we finished about 30 (more) minutes later, and I think we did a fairly good job (with a few exceptions). We weren't able to actually get the screen back in the window how it's supposed to go (believe me, it's quite difficult ... imagine the scene from Apollo 13 when they need to make the square filter fit in the circular hole ... that's how I felt). We ended up taking pretty much the same approach that they did in the movie: duct tape. Yes. We duct taped our screen into the window opening. And, on the subject of duct tape, Brad couldn't get the duct tape residue off the door from something he had put up, but I'll just make him pay, if we get charged for something that stupid (it is his fault).

Eh, anyway, after moving my stuff out, and cleaning the room, and helping Brad move a few things, I was ready to head home ... though not having a car, I was in the same position as last year, of biking home. While biking from campus to my parents' house is not entirely undesirable (I've done it on several occasions ... only around 13 miles ~ 45 minutes), I didn't even have my bike on campus, and it had been raining off and on all day. Anyway, my bike was at Adrianne's new house in downtown Minneapolis, so I headed to the bus stop. Conveniently enough, it started pouring rain about a minute after I headed out, but I love the rain, so that wasn't particularly bad, either. After bussing downtown, and walking to Adrianne's house, I caught her just as she was making a trip from the U-Haul to the house, and consequently ended up getting to A. meet her parents, and B. help move all her stuff from the U-Haul to the house, then from the dorm the U-Haul, and then again from the U-Haul to the house. It was tasty. Oh, and then I didn't even end up biking home--her parents dropped me and my bike off at my house on their way down to Ikea. I promptly collapsed on my basement couch and proceeded to watch TV for about four hours :-).

Jumping back to the past semester...

So, basically I haven't written anything on here for a semester. (Sorry. I know you're all devastated.) I'm quite confident this was my most difficult semester yet. Between one particularly crappy computer science course (Csci2031 - Introduction to Numerical Computing), two crappy computer science professors (<thick russian accent>Eugene Schragowitz</accent> was one, a senile eastern European man who hasn't taught the course since about 1970, and was actually an electrical engineering guy, not computer science, and Victoria Interrante, a quiet middle-aged lady who can't teach this stuff in a classroom, but admittedly made the class markedly easier than it was rumored to have been in past semesters), and the crappiest theater TA in all history (ah, Barrett, what a crazy bastard), it was ... bad. Wednesdays became my night of no sleep, due to ~8-hour-long csci2031 assignments (the class was really math, just listed as csci) followed by weekly papers in my introductory theater course. Mind you, none of the other sections had these papers ... only Barrett (my section's TA) felt inclined to assign two papers per week, versus roughly one every four weeks for other sections. Despite my complaints about him, though, I did end up pulling my only A this semester in his class (it was a lot of work, though).

I started my other csci course (csci2021) off with >100%, so I was particularly stoked for that class, but kinda bombed the last coding lab, written assignment, and final, so only ended up with a B. I also feel kind of guilty, because the last stuff in the class is some of the stuff that's probably most applicable to my future potential career (and is the content I learned the least well).

Film study was a pretty neutral course, as far as my expectations went. Per my general expectation for classes (and more so non-IT courses), I didn't read the textbook, and pretty easily BSed the ~four papers and tests for an A- in the class. Some of the films we had to watch were annoying and painful (ex: Birth of a Nation), but at least my future film viewing isn't scarred by my new knowledge, as they insisted it would be (don't worry: I knew from the start that I would resist).

Spring Break / Breakup

Also, not related to classes, but still sticking with the sub-heading theme of the past semester, is spring break. While stereotypically a time for insane trips to some ocean beach, excessive drinking and partying, I was perfectly content to stay on campus. Amanda (my girlfriend at the time) was just finishing up a week out west skiing when the beginning of spring break swung around (yes, she'd skipped the week before spring break to go skiing), and was planning on stopping back on campus for a couple days, and then we were going to head to her house for the last half of break. She left a day early, which essentially meant that I couldn't go with her.

While I didn't say anything at the time (or to anyone since then), I kind of viewed that as the fatal mistake that was a make or break point in the relationship (for a couple reasons). First, I think we'd been growing apart somewhat before then ... and had just finished not having seen each other for a week, and it felt kind of like she was saying "eh, I don't really feel like spending time with you." Secondly, by then staying on campus for the rest of the week, I spent pretty much every day (well, "day" in the loose sense ... 7 PM - 7 AM or so was my day) with Adrianne. It's not like I decided during spring break, "Oh, hey, I'm gonna get with Adrianne," but it would be a stupid lie to claim that I didn't get closer to her during that time. I think the week solidified what I really already knew ... that Amanda and I weren't the same as we used to be ... we didn't hang out as much, didn't have much fun together, hardly talked, etc.

I won't claim that I handled myself as well as I would've liked during the week after spring break. The first time I saw Amanda after she got back from break was late Saturday night; I'd been at a party with Adrianne and a bunch of that friend group, with whom I'd also been spending more time, and randomly had been wearing shorts without pockets, so consequently wasn't carrying my cell phone. (In hindsight, this would've looked pretty horrible from Amanda's perspective ... she couldn't reach me by phone, after calling half a dozen times, and then ran into me partying with another (intoxicated) chick. That part was just a crappy coincidence, though.) Anyway, back to my not handling myself well... It just sounds like I'm making excuses (in my head, that's how this sounds, anyway), but I feel that I've always been pretty bad/uncomfortable/awkward at mixing different parts of my life ... knowing how to act when two generally independent parties are present. So, I pretty much said "Hey" to her, and then continued to devote my attention to the group I was with. She later came back and tried to hang out with us (she didn't know any of the other people) ... she didn't say anything to me ... I didn't say anything to her ... it was ... awkward.

The rest of the week didn't go much better, despite my conscious decision to try to forget about everything else, and give us another chance to improve (note that I silently decided this, rather than talking to Amanda about it ... gj David). Sunday evening I finally decided that it wasn't a good choice to string the relationship out any further, so I talked to Amanda, told her how I felt about what'd been happening in our relationship, and said that I didn't think our relationship was going to work out any more. I'm too professional/calculating with my speech, so it probably came out about the same as it sounds when management tells someone they're being "let go" instead of fired, my wording was that &the relationship isn't going to work out any more" instead of breaking up/dumping. She actually ended up keeping me there while she read a few more pages from some book before responding, which was (again) ... awkward ... then I left after a while. I felt like crap, and crawled into bed (clothed) and fell asleep for a couple hours, woke up, and posted the news on here ... and started talking to Adrianne.


So if you haven't figured it out by now, this mysterious woman of whom I've spoken so much has managed to really captivate me over the past months. Although I met her first semester, through a mutual friend, and she actually stayed at my house for a week during winter break (which did make it into my Blog, if you've kept up), we talked and hung out considerably more second semester (particularly, as I mentioned above, during spring break). She's really amazing in more ways than I could say, but I'll try anyways. When I first met her, she came off as being a fairly quiet person, but had the most beautiful smile and fun laugh. I tried to make an effort to get her to open up a bit more with fairly limited success, but at least she kept hanging around (though, I'll never quite be sure if that was for the company or for the big-screen Alias :-)). After I got to know her better, she really opened up, and turned out to be tremendously energetic and talkative. On several occasions we stayed up all night talking about who knows what nonsense, but it was fun. I discovered fairly quickly that Adrianne's nearly as indecisive as I am, but she pushes me to improve that little by little, which is probably good. When we were at school, at least, we could both generally decide on playing pool late at night easily enough, though. Despite her claims of being horrible, and my rocking, she manages to win enough times to leave me unconvinced. I fear that I'm rambling without focus, though, so I'll stop that for a while.

Anyway, after hanging out and talking with increasing frequency, it was apparent one night, while we were playing pool (of course), that something was on her mind. After some prodding, she told me that she needed to make a decision by midnight, which was troubling her. She didn't volunteer any more information about it, so I figured it wasn't really my place to pry. After she missed her deadline, I suggested that I could try to help her make her decision, which actually turned out to be more than one decision. After some vague discussion, I felt that the situation might have something to do with me, though her unclear description of the quandary and discussion of a second individual confused me considerably (along with the fact that she had some decision to make about me...huh?). By that point, I knew that I had feelings for her, but <gasp>> I doubted myself. (Well, I was unsure how she felt about me, which wasn't helped by the fact that she presumably had to make some decision regarding me. "What kind of big decision does she have to make? Is she deciding whether or not she likes me? Wtf's up with the second part of the decision? Is she picking between me and someone else? How bizarre..." These were the types of things that went through my head, while she was "deciding.") She finally decided (around 2 AM, I believe, although she wouldn't announce the decision), and eventually suggested that we go drop the pool equipment off in my room, which we did.

After a brief elevator fiasco (yes, I'm calling it a fiasco), we dropped the stuff off in my room, and were interrupted by my roommate yelling something from his room. She seemed frazzled by his presence, so I suggested we go elsewhere to talk, which ended up being the men's bathroom down the hall. She dropped a couple hints in the bathroom, but nothing came from that, other than some people throwing things at the window (from outside), prompting us to relocate yet again. I suggested her room (a single), to which she seemed agreeable. After we talked about nothing for a few minutes, I decided to just kiss her, but apparently revealed my musing state through my expression, prompting her question "what're you thinking about?" After pausing, I decided to simply tell the truth about what I was thinking, and she smiled, and we had our first kiss, in the early morning of April 10th (which I've unofficially decided to use as an 'anniversary' date).

Anyway, school's out, but that's ok, because she's living in a house near downtown Minneapolis for the year. Last summer pretty much sucked a lot, but I think there's a good chance that Adrianne being here will help make this summer considerably better :-).

This coming summer...

Unfortunately, I can't just sit around in my boxers all summer (like I have been doing for the past week). I'm starting my fifth summer at alwaysBEthere (holy crap) as an IT generalist. I can never really predict what I'll be working on there, but there's a moderate chance it's setting up various random servers. Most unfortunately, I'm apparently supposed to go back to the absolutely horrible method of time and project reporting, essentially translating to my documenting every single block of time throughout the workday, all of which must be associated with specific email-assigned projects, and must then be approved by the respective project managers at the end of each day, and approved by my boss every two weeks. I also turned down a considerably easier, less stressful, equally or better paying job because an unemployed friend guilted me into letting him have it (though he's markedly less qualified for the position than I am) :'(. I feel like such a tool.

In addition to working, I'm also taking a summer class at the university (computer science ... csci4011) three days a week, during the middle of the workday. To compound matters, I don't have a car, which means I bus/bike to/from the class and work. Le sigh.

Lastly, I put in the request for time off for the Alaskan cruise I also was guilted into doing (with my family). I have to take off a week and a half from work and class to sit on a boat without internet, friends, girlfriend, and with my family. On top of that, I really want to make my fourth annual trip to Wisconsin to visit my friend and business partner there, and attend some of Summerfest, but that will be yet another ~5 days off work (and a week of class). Needless to say, in a summer of about three months, two and a half weeks is a considerable chunk of time to take off. Ugh.

Anyway, I'm sure there's a tremendous amount that I've forgotten to include, and a tremendous amount that I have included, and shouldn't have, but I'm going to wrap this up regardless. It's currently 5:04 AM, Friday morning. I started this around 11:30 PM last night, after showering, and haven't gotten out of my towel yet. (No, that's not to say that I wrote for 5.5 hours straight, but I have been working on and off for quite a while.) I'm supposed to be up before noon tomorrow (er, today) to buy some shoes, and hopefully find something fun to do in the evening. I definitely have to go in to work on Monday, so I should wrap my lethargy up this weekend, and maybe even try to get on a slightly better sleep/waking schedule, since my work probably wants me in from 8 AM - 6 PM, not the other way around. Hopefully I'll have a little time this summer to drop a few updates in here, and hopefully they can get back to the somewhat humorous roots from which they originated.

I'll leave you with this closing exchange that sums up my feelings about the O.C. quite well, I thought:

<jidai> anyone get the OC season finale?
<p14nd4> thank god

Sunday, March 27, 2005 :: 10:31 PM


I broke up with Amanda...

Sunday, January 30, 2005 :: 6:45 AM

Long time no post


I know it has been quite some time since you've heard from me (in blog format, anyhow), and I've been trying to accomplish various things today. The blogging hour (around 3:45 AM) has rolled around, so it's prime time to do things other than sleep, clearly.

Now that my posts have grown increasingly infrequent, I have more difficulty trying to remember what things I might have done since my last post, so I'm sure you're going to miss a lot--what a shame. Rather than trying to approach this from some logical, ordered standpoint, I'm just going to jump in, and basically produce a several-paragraph long stream of literary vomit from my fingertips. Don't be tremendously shocked if you feel disoriented, uncomfortable, or dirty at any point.

I'm now about two weeks into second semester here at the U of MN. I have a new class schedule again. There are a few points of the schedule that are really killing me. I'm actually quite displeased with how early I have to get up on Tuesday and Thursday (around 10:15) for my Intro to Theater course. The class is additionally annoying me through the fact that my TA has already assigned four papers (two due last week, two this week), when my sources informed me that this was to be a very easy course to fulfill one of my few remaining LibEd (liberal arts education) requirements. Additionally, my nighttime schedule this semester is absolutely abysmal in regards to my TV schedule. On Tuesday, I miss Scrubs for German Folklore, and on Wednesday I miss Smallville, Lost, and Alias for my damn Intro to Film Study course. To make matters worse, I have to get up early Thursday, so staying up late to watch the downloaded copies I get results in about four hours of sleep Wednesday night. Bleh.

While I'm in bitch mode, I'll complain a bit about my Computer Science 2031 class. This is Yet Another&tm; math class disguised as a Computer Science course. So far we've gone over advanced taylor series expansions, proofs, and derivations, and other various annoyingly long summations. To make matters worse, the class assigns weekly homework :'(. I'm really starting to hate this university's CS curriculum. At least we're getting into a real language this semester (C) in the other CS class, though (sort of). Granted, Java in second semester of freshman year wasn't horrible, but this could actually be useful. I should really pay attention, or something. (Although, the professor seems to be approximately useless, and already announced that he doesn't particularly plan to cover much C in class. Hm.)

p14nd4 banner

I probably spent a solid 30-45 minutes tonight (around 2 AM, of course) making this ad banner for my site. It's now linked in about a 1/20 rotation on, so I'm sure the hits are just about to pour in :P.

Anyway, to jump back a ways, I had my finals for first semester in December. Three out of my four finals were pretty easy, but Physics 2 for Sci/Eng was pretty killer. Despite that, I ended up doing alright: B+ in Physics 1302, Computer Science 2011, and Math 5248, and a B in Statistics 3021. I got pretty horribly raped on homework on the last three of these courses, and well on the tests (almost aced my two tests in Statistics), but they kinda balanced out. I moved back home for break on the Wednesday night before Christmas (we're forced to move out of the res halls for break), and ended up working until about 3 AM that night already, only to be back in the office by 8 AM the next morning. Christmas went fairly well though. We celebrated with my mother's extended family at her sister's house, which is a bit of a change from the past ~18 years when it has been held at my family's house. Regardless, it went well, and I think everyone had a good time. My immediate family exchanged gifts and had brunch at our house the next morning, followed by a relaxed, lethargy-filled day in pajamas. I think we had a dinner with my Father's extended family a day or two later, although he was too sick to attend, ironically (and unfortunately).

Then, Monday, my three weeks of personal hell began around 7 AM. When I was at school, I got up around 11:30 AM; now that I was on "break," I had to get up at 7, and then work ~10-14 hours every day, Monday through Friday. All told, I think I ended up working about 175 hours over break. I two partial salvations during the period: Adrianne (a friend from school) stayed at my house for a week (S-Sa), and Amanda (girlfriend) came to the cities for a weekend. It was really great to have Adrianne around for a week, because she actually gave me something enjoyable to do after work (foosball, ping pong, scrabble, alias, just hangin' out, etc.). To make herself just that much more fantastic, she ended up picking out/up three pairs of pants from Banana Republic and two button-down shirts from Gap for me, with her employee discount applied on top of sale prices, so I got it all for $80 (and I didn't even have to go shopping!). Unfortunately for Amanda's stay, she A. came with her parents, because she B. had a ski race Saturday and Sunday. We still had a good time, though.

In other good news, I ended up talking to Betsy (my ex-girlfriend from 12th grade and the following summer) rather extensively over break (probably more in one night than we had spoken in the preceding 14 months), and hung out with her (and other people--not alone, heh) one night. I wouldn't go so far to say that we're "chummy," but we've spoken since then, too, much more casually and easily than before. In one of these more recent conversations, though, I had the unfortunate distinction of being one of the early people she told that she broke up with her boyfriend she met first semester. While I am truly sad for her, that it happened, she seemed to be dealing with it fairly well, and I was bittersweetly surprised that she thought of me, to talk to about it.

I found out tonight that one of my Linux servers at work got semi-hacked by some worm/script going around. That was a pretty crappy realization, but I think I've got the situation taken care of, and no significant damage was done, that I can tell.

Brad (my roommate) broke his hand snowboarding about a week ago. He ended up going home to Rochester, MN to get a screw put in the bone to help it heal, and now takes Percocet. His main motivation for getting off it, though, is to resume habits of excessive drinking, which is ill advised in combination with the drug. Good for him...or something.

I think I have an "in" to the sweet residential apartment I'm hoping to get into for next year. A guy I know, who lives there now, is potentially ditching his current roommate, and is probably willing to request me as a roommate for next year. With the way that the U of MN does their housing sign-up, he'll get first round priority for his current room, or at worst second round priority for a different room in the same building, and then by requesting me as a roommate specifically, gives me some added priority when my third round for residents having lived on campus for more than one year comes around. I think it's only about $400 more, per semester, than my current room, and I think I'll cut my meal plan down a fair amount, which might save a little money.

Speaking of money, I have about $30 left to my name right now (sound familiar from my last post?), and I've overdrawn my checking (check card) account twice in the past week or so. Fortunately, though, I think I'll be getting a paycheck fairly soon, from the work I did over winter break. In addition to that, I hope to get all my W2 tax forms around the same time, so I can file my taxes as soon as possible. I think this will be my third year of filing my own taxes. Ever since my first year, I've been fairly excited to file taxes, because too much money gets withheld from my paychecks, which translates to a sizable tax refund (although, that's probably at least a month away from reaching me).

Anyhow, I should probably get to bed about now. I keep meaning to be productive, but I have tremendous difficulty actually doing so. Maybe tomorrow will be better (doubtful, though).

Good night.