jackofallgeeks: (Dark)
So, I came over here looking for one of my Vash Icons (somehow, Google wasn't able to find me a good picture) and ended up looking around a bit... It's actually a bit depressing. Like going back to my old stomping grounds and finding that my old hangout is closed down, all my friends moved away, and they paved over the park. It looks like only a few of you are left that still use LiveJournal, and even fewer that've kept their atrophied connection with my journal. That's mostly my fault; except for a Blip flood sometime last year, I haven't updated this since June of 2009, and it was sparse even before that.

Life moves on, and while I'm here I guess I might fill you in on it. Meghan and I were married the last time I posted; now we have a little girl, Maire Shannon, who's turning 6 months next week. She's teething and gurgling and generally is a very easy-to-handle baby. She doesn't fuss a lot (unless something is very wrong) and she deals well with "strangers" (you know, like her aunts or grand parents). I'm still working as a Computer Consultant, but with a recent switch in management in my office I'm looking to find a new position. I'll probably still stay with the company (I'm not sure I'd find a better deal at the moment anyways), but moving to a different office might be a good idea... We're getting our house refinanced, too, though the bank is currently taking it's time on "internal "processes." We'll see how that goes.

I've been running a regular, weekly D&D game with Meghan and some of our buddies. We just started a quick Shadowrun game (with someone else GMing) for a little break. It's nice, though I think my interpretation of the setting would be a little different (more tech-heavy, I think). Meg and I have re-activated our WoW accounts, though my usual complaints about the game (friends all on different servers, and too high level, so never anyone to play with) still hold. I also play a lot of StarCraft 2 (I loved the original), though lately I've been playing custom variations a lot more than the actual game itself.

And that's life in a nutshell. I'd say that I tend to say more on Facebook and Twitter, but lately that hasn't been true, either; in a weird way, I've been unplugged a lot more lately. With getting married, having a child, and seeing a subgroup of my friends more regularly in person, I guess I just haven't needed the Internet for socializing as much. And I think that's really kind of sad in a way.
jackofallgeeks: (Nevermore)
For those of you just joining us, and maybe a refresher for those who have come before (myself included...):

I met Suzannah in the fall of 2003; I was out at Christendom College in northern Virginia waiting for my brother, who was a new freshman there. She mistook me for my brother and, feeling it was her duty to welcome the new students, introduced herself. We established that I wasn't my brother, and got to talking for a bit and struck up the beginnings of a friendship. Unsurprisingly, I was enamoured with her from the start. I went out to see her a few more time, we went on some evening walks around her campus, and I asked her to a dance at my school in DC. We both thought it was a rather miserable dance (horrid music), but at one point she took me aside and taught me how to waltz, and then invited me to the dancing club they had at her school. I went there when I could (for a while it wasn't possible because of my class schedule), partly to see her and partly to dance. It was also lots of fun meeting the other people out there. Over the summer, I saw her out in Front Royal (where she'd stayed on campus to work) and later in Maryland after she had a riding accident and had to go home.

At some point I told her I was interested in her, and she said thanks but with school and everything she wasn't interested in pursuing a relationship. I told myself that was alright, and we continued to see each other; in retrospect I don't think I was really OK with that, and that not-being-OK led to problems. In the fall of 2004 I started to see less of her, through a combination of her being busy and sick, and began to feel slighted. Eventually I imagine she was actively avoiding me, but there's no proof. (This is the time I met Meghan, and in part this is why Meghan and I had a rocky relationship, at least in the beginning.) I got to be anxious and awkward when I did see Suzannah, which didn't help anything.

I graduated in the Spring of 2005 (three years ago today; more than turned 25, buying a house, or my sister having her 5th kid, being 3 years out of college makes me feel old). I saw her once or twice over the summer. Just before I was to move to California -- leaving all my friends and family behind -- she ended our relationship. By email. She acknowledged that it probably seemed sudden to me (which it did), but she said that she didn't know what our relationship was and that whatever it was it made her uncomfortable. So if I would be kind enough to not contact her again, she would appreciate it. (Her words were a little different, but not by much.)

I... don't think I reacted well. At first I was crushed, and replied with a defeated, "if that's what you want." Then I got angry and defiant, and wrote that it wasn't fair the way she was treating me like this. Finally I conceded, wished her well, and said I'd abide by her request. That email from her, ending our relationship, was the last I'd heard from her.

I actually have quite a bit to thank her for, in an odd way: if not for her, I probably wouldn't have met Laurel (My Only Friend in Monterey), and that would have been devastating -- I wouldn't have made it out there at all if not for Laurel.

So, no she's not an ex, but yeah we were kind of dating. That dating/not dating thing is, I think, most of what contributed to my awkwardness and her discomfort. I could blame a lot of things for causing that disconnect, but it doesn't matter much. She hurt me, a lot, but at worst she can be accused of handling poorly a situation she didn't understand. She may have mistreated me, but not out of malice and I think I'm as much to blame as she is.

Why do I want to get back in touch with her now? That's not something I've given much thought to, actually. It's been three years, I'm not who I was then and my situation isn't the same as it was. Maybe too much damage was done in our break-up, and maybe she won't have any interest in getting back in touch with me. But I don't see the harm in giving it a shot. (In part because I don't trust myself to anticipate the consequences of if we DID get back in touch.)

I think a lot of my friends have a negative opinion of her because of the pain I went through after the fact: friends don't like seeing friends get hurt. But aside from the fact that she ended our relationship the way she did, she didn't do anything wrong.

Bad Idea

May. 14th, 2008 11:45 am
jackofallgeeks: (pl4y with 3vil)
I need someone (everyone?) to remind me why trying to get back in touch with
Suzannah would be a Bad Idea (tm).
jackofallgeeks: (Nevermore)
So, I'm twenty-four years old. I've earned both a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree. I've been living on my own more-or-less for the last 6 years. I own my own car, manage my own finances, and I'm in the middle of buying a house. I don't consider myself "an adult" yet (a discussion for another time), but I also certainly don't consider myself a child.

I was at my parents' house this weekend. At some point before I got there, my parents had had a disagreement of sorts, and at some time after I arrived they had an honest fight. Now, this doesn't really surprise me, in one sense. In fact, it's perfectly reasonable that any two people will at times have misunderstandings and arguments, that feelings can be hurt and tempers can raise. I've seen it first-, second-, and third-hand for years.

When I heard mom and dad fighting, though... I didn't know how to deal with it. I felt like a scared little boy. I went up to the guest room, closed the door, and tried to read but I simply couldn't concentrate. I wanted nothing more than to curl up and cry.

It passed, mom and dad came to an understanding and before dinner everything was back to normal. I was struck by how deeply it had affected me, though. Even then it felt like how I imagine a small mid-west town feels after a tornado strikes, and house later I still wasn't quite back to my equilibrium. The very foundations of my world had been shaken. And like I said, I'm not some child; I'm a grown man who understands that his parents are real people. And even at that I was cut to the quick.

I think, maybe, I've never really experienced my parents fighting. If they fought when I was younger (which I'm sure they must have, to some extent), they either kept it to themselves, behind closed doors, or I simply succeeded in completely forgetting the incidents. Judging by how I was affected by it at my age and with my experience, it's no wonder that little children can be so traumatized by what, to their parents, is "only a little fight."
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
I am going to miss it here.
I'm going to miss Laurel and Tom and Jonathan and Chris and Bruce.
I'm going to miss Brent and Haven and the Game Habitat and the weather.
I'm going to miss my housemates, who I really like even if I never get to hang out with them.
There's a lot that I'm going to miss when I get out of here.

But the thought of being able to go home is so great that it makes me want to cry.
jackofallgeeks: (Tears)
I want to cry. I want to go home. I feel so lost and alone out here.

There's Steve and Marcin, they're good buddies. And Valerie is very cool, though our relationship is pretty much just professional; it's her job to make sure I'm on track and get all my stuff done, but she's a nice lady and we talk casually a lot. And there are the guys at the game shop, Nick and Brent and Haven and Bruce. And my housemates are really cool, but I'm still more afraid of them than anything else -- y'know, 'cause I want them to like me and I'm scared that they won't, and that makes me awkward and clumsy and I'd sooner avoid them than make a fool of myself.

Everyone else dear to me is so far away. And some of them I haven't talked to in so long. And I hate the three hour difference, because by the time I get around to even thinking of calling someone it's getting late on the East Coast. So I don't call. And I'm just tired. And scared. And homesick. I miss my mom. -laughs at himself- I'm such a dork.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
Dr. [Adviser], [Co-Adviser],

There were a number of things not brought up at our meeting, partly because you both had another meeting to go to, and partly because I was completely blind-sided by much of what was said and had to collect my thoughts.

I do not believe that I can complete the tasks you are asking of me. This has nothing to do with being unwilling to do the work; if the list of "To Do" items that Dr. [Adviser] had sent to me on Wednesday were accurate I would agree that it wasn't that much additional work on top of what I was already doing and it could have been managed with effort. In light of the options I was presented with at the end of our meeting, I don't believe that list was accurate and what's more I don't have the skills necessary to accomplish what you're asking. Specifically, I can not program extensively in C. It was not a requisite for entering the program, it has not been required for any of my classes throughout my time here at NPS, and until this morning there was no mention of writing code in C. I can write scripts, I can code in Java with fair ability, and I understand C enough to make sense of what someone else has already written, but I can not write up my own extensive applications, certainly not with complex system calls.

You presented two options. The first, and the one I imagine you prefer, is for me to write up compiled code to run inside of the XTS machine. You say that there would be a learning curve as far as writing code for the machine, but note that I would only have to produce code for the FA component and our DBPS. Alternatively, I could stick with the 'original scope' and write compiled code on Linux to mimic the XTS functions of the SSS, Apache, TRSS, plus the FA and the DBPS. I think the amount of work is unfairly stacked against keeping the "original scope". I also reiterate that in none of our discussions was compiled code brought up. We spoke about scripts and databases and architectures. I have presented you with two schedules now, neither of which included "write and test compiled code" and no comments were made until now. In fact when I presented my most recent schedule, solely concerned with finishing the written thesis, Dr. [Adviser] simply said she would hold me to it. It wasn't until a day after, when I asked for assistance on the presentation of Chapter 3, that any additional work was brought up. You present it as an option between keeping the project we began with or moving the scope into the 'more practical' XTS code, but neither of the options you give represent what I've understood our project to be for the last seven months.

Just as I am not averse to doing work, I also haven't been shirking my duties. I have been working consistently for the last seven months on what I've understood the project to be, an architectural analysis. It wasn't until this past month that it was presented to me as specifically intended to deal with MYSEA, and it wasn't until this week that coding of any sort beyond scripting was discussed. If I've misunderstood the point of this project it's because I haven't been given clear guidance and defined goals to work with. If I had, if writing compiled code to run on MYSEA had been presented as the actual goal of this project, either I would have picked a project more in line with my own abilities or I would have taken time in the last seven months to learn what I would need to complete the code. I reiterate, I can not write extensive C applications.

I have approximately one month before graduation. I do not have time between now and then to learn the C that would be required to write code on the XTS machine, nor to mimic the MYSEA structure in Linux. Even if I were to try and complete this project in Java, the language I do know, I don't believe one month is enough to translate the functionality of MYSEA modules that were the topic of two or more other complete theses from C into Java. These requirements are all news to me and I can not accomplish them, not because I'm unwilling to put forth effort but because I lack the necessary time and skill.

I have effectively completed my Master's Program here at NPS; all that remains is this thesis and the couple of relatively-simple courses I'm taking now. Not graduating is not an option for me, as you're both aware of the consequences that would inflict upon me. There must be some middle ground we can come to whereby I complete my thesis and graduate on time and you get some amount of useful result from the work I've done, but I can not do what you're asking of me.

-Andrew
jackofallgeeks: (Tears)
I just cried from the build up of anger, frustration, and fear. I can't do what they're asking of me; I'm not capable of it. They want me to write extensive programs in C, I don't know C well enough to write the code they're asking for, and I only have one month before I'm supposed to graduate. C was not a requisite for the program, and I didn't need it for any of my classes. I have effectively completed the program, this thesis is all that remains.

I'm just tired. I'm raw, I have nothing left. And I have no one here to go to, no way to recharge myself. I'm lost.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
In response to requesting guidance on how I should present my next Chapter:

Andrew,

Why haven't you done thing things I didn't tell you to do? )

[My Adviser]


I Reply:

Because you didn't tell me to do them. )
I'll get back to you once I've gotten work accomplished on the items you've listed.

-Andrew


In Return:

Andrew,

Thanks for the response.

Here's a bit of useful advice, but you should be thanking me. )

[My Adviser]


To her I send:

[Ma'am],

I'll be a good student and back down. There's no point in fighting this. )

Thank you for your prompt response.
-Andrew


But to myself I think:

I don't back down without difficulty. And you're a bitch. )

Codemonkey not say it out loud; Codemonkey not crazy, just proud.
jackofallgeeks: (Tears)
So. Kira's been quiet for the last couple of months. I emailed her in March, and again in April, and one last time just a day or so ago. Today I got a response from her, but hardly the sort I was hoping to get (though, in part, exactly what I was expecting). She apologized and said that she hadn't been ignoring me on purpose, just that she was busy with life and work and hardly had time to keep up with her local friends, let alone "someone I haven't met." She said she didn't see "us" going anywhere, just wasn't feeling a connection, and didn't want to lead me on. So ends another relationship.

I can't say I'm not disappointed. I'm very disappointed. Partly because, yeah, she was a nice girl and, I don't know, I liked the potential I saw there, and I feel like (once again) I'm not really being given a fair trial, but... It's just that it's always like this, more or less. In the last few years I've met several girls who were really nice and things seemed to be going well, and then... not. And I'm just tired. I'm frustrated and discouraged and disappointed and... tired.

Being single's nice. For what it's worth I've been enjoying myself. But it's not what I want. And yeah, maybe part of my problem is that I just want to hard, but that doesn't change the fact that when I sit and think of what I want to do with my life, "raise a family" is at the top of the list. It always has been. I can't not want it.

I just wish it didn't always feel like I was being left behind.
jackofallgeeks: (Euphoria)
OK, so before I go on about how sad I'm feeling, I wanted to acknowledge that I do have it good and I'm aware of that. I have a bit of debt but I'm hardly in a rough spot, I'm getting paid to get a higher education, I have friends and family who accept me for who I am, and I live in Monterey California (which is worth something, at least).

That having been said, I am feeling sad and I can't get myself around that. I miss my friends and family, most of whom are hours if not timezones away, and even Laurel is too preoccupied with school and Brian these days to be there whenever I need her. (Never mind that on at least a couple occasions in just the last week I haven't been there when she needed me, so I really have no place to complain.) I miss my siblings and my cousins; I haven't seen the Mock girls in far too long, and I've only talked with Rachel here and there in the last few months. My brothers seem to never be online and even when they are I don't get IMs or emails from them. (Though Gene is good about txt'ing me.)

From the I-WISH-I-had-those-kind-of-problems department, I'm currently torn right now on getting a new laptop or not. Nick kindly pointed out a website where I can get a suitably-cheap, baseline laptop. And I can either get it now or wait another month or two. Waiting a month or two has the disadvantage of, you know, waiting, but if I get it now I'd have to put it on credit because I don't have *quite* that much spare change laying around. And while my Discover card can handle it without much trouble, it's the only one that can and it's the highest interest rate that I have. And I've been trying so hard lately to get my debt down -- I firmly believe I will always have debt, be it credit or loan or mortgage, but it'd be nice to at least feel on-top of it. Part of me wants to meh, I'm going to graduate in September and double my pay, a few hundred dollars in the meantime isn't going to kill me. But another part of me would be disappointed in myself if I did.

On the girlfront... I haven't heard from Kira since early March. I emailed her about two weeks ago, just saying Hi and what not. I refuse to conclude anything from her silence, but I can't help but be disappointed. I just... It doesn't help that I've been thinking about my place in the world, and how unlikely it is to find someone who... "will accept me" isn't right, I have plenty of friends who will accept me, but I feel like I'm just always two steps out of place wherever I go. I'm not a religious fanatic, and I don't want to be and I'm not looking for one, but it feels like I'm not Catholic enough to satisfy the Catholic girls, and too Catholic for the non-Catholic girls. I'm just always the wrong guy.

And I have just slightly more than zero enthusiasm for my thesis. My only motivation for doing it at all is because it's a graduation requirement, and that's almost not enough. I can't seem to make myself get into my research. I have 5 months to write this paper and I can't get the energy up to do it.

I want to go home.

Anyways. Just feeling a little dissatisfied.
jackofallgeeks: (Bashful)
Ok, so, quick run-down of last night, since whatever it is I posted last night is probably not very informative.

I was upstairs drinking tea and... )

Well, for those who are curious, Darya is my newest house mate. She just got here from San Fransisco, she works for the UN or something and her new job is actually on NPS's campus. I was the first one to meet her because she was moving into the house while everyone else was at work, and it wasn't until the following day or so when she was actually around when they were. She broke up with her boyfriend just this week because he said he couldn't drive two hours to come see her anytime in the next three months, but he sounds like a general ass anyways. And, that's really about it.
jackofallgeeks: (Bashful)
My personality. )

Pretty accurate, though I'm not sure I'm the persuader they make me out to be.
I'd link you guys, but it requires membership to a dating site to take it.
jackofallgeeks: (Gendo)
Sometimes I don't really like me.

I'm very confident in myself. I believe myself to be friendly, intelligent, responsible, moderately-handome, passably-clever, and an all-around nice guy. But I can also be an elitist; believing myself to be on a level above the 'common man,' I can make snap judgments about people based on where I percieve them to lie -- usually intellectually or socially. I don't like to associate myself with people I can't respect or admire in some way, and every now and again I find myself feeling rather... disdainful of those I feel are below my level.

It's a horrible thing to say, and an even worse thing to feel.

There's a girl here in my program who has come off as my inferior intellectually and socially; she can't grasp concepts and she's awkward in many social situations -- and in neither case does she seem particularly aware of her deficiency, a high crime in my book of elitism. I'm alright with people as they are so long as they recognize it in themselves.

So there's this girl, and she's in a course with me this quarter, and we're supposed to form two- or three-person groups for the labs. And instead of offering to help her out and guide her through some of the tougher concepts, I've found myself actively avoiding her and looking for anyone else to group with, perferably someone I feel can pull their own weight.

I'm in a group with her now, with one other guy who's only auditting the class. But I can't shake this feeling of superiority and disdain, and it makes me feel like such a heel.
jackofallgeeks: (Saddened)
I'm sad.
The Internet's been quiet today -- our router was down most of the day and even when I finally got it up, there was no email and only a couple of LJ posts.
Ended up thinking about Kira tonight. And Ben. I miss him. I'm upset I never really got to know him.
I'm sad.
jackofallgeeks: (Moof)
Part of me is resigned to the fact that I am never going to play in a table-top RPG game, in no little part due to the fact that I will never find compatible players.

The rest of me is generally frustrated right now, having worked 18+ apparently fruitless hours on this Vulnerabilities final, so I'm all-together in a bad mood right now.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
So here's a wonderful little thing I just learned: the administration has been lying to us from day one. And, in all likelihood, they're still lying to us about any number of things.

See, they've been telling us this whole time that the program gives us six quarters worth of money, which they dole out on a monthly basis. We've been making plans for schedules and internships and being pressured on thesis to get done in six quarters -- and it turns out that, in fact, the program grants us enough money for eight quarters. That's another six months of money, somewhere on the order of $12,000 per student.

I found this out because my buddy Marcin is seriously afraid of failing a course that won't be offered again until after he's supposed to graduate, and I figured big deal, they can't make him stay longer, right? Well, he says that it turns out they can because of this extra wad of cash they have left over, presumably which they pocket whenever we graduate 'on time.' This explains all that bullshit they fed us about "making allowances" if things with your thesis don't go right, or you can't find a job right off from graduation.

I can't express how angry this makes me. Despite the fact that I *really* want to graduate in September and move on with my life, part of me wants to drag my feet out of spite just to deny them pocketing another $12,000.

And part of me is now afraid of messing up and unintentionally staying the full term.
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
So I've been back here in Monterey for three months now. And things have been alright. Finances are annoying. It doesn't help that we're paid every two weeks; we don't have a set time durring the month when we get paid. Sometimes I'll get paid on the 1st and 14th, or on the 14th and 28th, or just about any combination in between. It probably doesn't fluctuate quite that much, but it's significant, and I've found my paycheck to be several days late relative to my bills several times, and at least a couple times it's been as much as a week late. This period is one of those times: I'm effectively broke until next Friday.

I say effectively because I do have a significant amount of money in savings. My mom is quick to note that, at my age, dad had a wife, too kids, they were living in an apartment in San Diego and living paycheck-to-paycheck, without anything to speak of in savings. I'm single, no kids, living in a room in a house, with almost a month's pay in the bank. So I'm doing alright.

But I still don't like messing up my finances, and this month I really have. I've had to dig $700 into my savings this month because the money wasn't there when the bills came, and I can't quite recoup that and finish paying my bills even when my next paycheck comes. My first paycheck in April comes on the 7th, and if I watch myself I think I can right my accounts shortly thereafter, but I don't like it. It's frustrating. I can't stand feeling disappointed in myself.

My friend Laurel sat down with me this afternoon and we went over what I get paid, what I HAVE to pay out, and what I'm left with to do as I will. She used a preset Excel template and we covered all the bases; the 'money paid to myself' in lower than I'd like, but a few of the entertainment and luxury bits she put in are higher than I think I ever spend. I'm gonna go around with a notebook through April and keep track of where my money's going and adjust my budget respectively. I really think that, when I started in January with my very informal budget, I forgot significant bits; like, hundreds of dolors of bills I have to pay each month. Sloppiness on my part, but it would explain why my finances are broken right now. That it took three months to crop up just says how flexible my banking can be, I guess.

I hate finances.
jackofallgeeks: (Tears)
So, sometimes I think there's a lot more going on inside my head than I'm aware of. Scratch that; I always think there's a lot more going on inside my head than I'm aware of, but sometimes it strikes my particularly hard.

I'm feeling down again. And by 'again' I don't mean since the last time I mentioned it on here. I mean it's probably been a solid week now -- with a possible exception on the days when I had great breakthroughs in my work -- but a long stretch of time when I would just feel really heartbroken at night. Which isn't itself anything new, I get heartbroken at night, but it's just been more persistent lately. It's not really anything in particular. I just feel so sad. Lonely.

Being in Virginia was good for me. I got to see Leslie regularly for the first time in years, and while we don't always get along like proverbial peas, she's one of my dearest friends. I also got to see Louis again, and talk to Jesse who I think I like a lot more than shows. I'm always sorry she and I aren't better friends. Not to mention seeing my family nearly every week... It was good being back there.

Things aren't all bad here in California. I'm making more friends down at the card shop, which is cool, and I keep getting praised at school for, I donno, being smart or something. And that's nice. But... It's just different, I guess. I don't see Laurel much any more, not that I blame her. She's got a lot more going on in her life now, school and a boyfriend among other things. Fridays are the highlight of my week because that's when we have Drafts at the card shop -- but it's just (just) the playing Magic, it's seeing everyone. During the week, everything's kind of a blur, trudging from school to home and back again, pretty much keeping to my self. And at the end of the week, I'm just to exhausted, in every sense of the word, for much of anything.

I've been getting headaches, too. I think it's stress. There are a lot of things for me to stress out about. Not grades, really; I never stress about grades (consciously), and this quarter I'm doing so well there's no reason to worry subconsciously, either. I basically just have to complete my last three assignments and I'm assured a good grade. My thesis worries me. I have six months -- six months -- to research and write my thesis, and I don't even really know what it's supposed to be ON. Maybe I'm missing something, maybe it really is as simple as telling them what my thesis is on, but I don't know. (And yes, I know that's generally how it's done in most cases; mine is not most cases, and my thesis was pretty much given to me, it just feels like they haven't given me all of it...)

And then there are things I shouldn't even be thinking about at all because they're so... silly or stupid or out-in-the-future, or there's nothing I can do about them anyways, or... It's stupid.

Anyways. I'm way over-due for sleep. I was ready for bed at 7:00. That was four hours ago. I'm going to go put it off for another hour and then crawl in bed.

I just want to forget about the world for a while right now, and I'm having a very hard time doing that.

I don't like being alone when I'm sad.

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John Noble

August 2012

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