Monday, July 30, 2007

Lists and other juvenile things

Ok, I feel warm and tingly. Both literally and mentally. Emotionally I'm not quite there, but by the end of the week, I like to think I will be.

I have to say it's really nice reading the comments from my last post. I always hoped people read what I write, but there's no way to tell (that I know of). I've learned a handful of things from the comments I've received. They are as follows:
  • my hopes weren't false; people actually do read this
  • my brother-in-law has a weblog
  • I think my sister needs a weblog (Brady, I'm looking at you to get this going)
  • there are some pretty awesome people in Scandinavia
  • CAD has a great community in its forums
  • comments still make me warm and tingly, even if I do feel kind of sleazy by indirectly asking for them...
Those are my simple revelations from reading your comments.

Somewhere along the line, my word processing cursor disappeared. I don't think I ever realized how I took that blinking line for granted before. It's a lot harder to type without knowing exactly where I'm starting to write. I suppose I'll manage.

And so on.

After I wrote the last post's edit (the solemn realization that I could never marry Jenna Fischer), I realized that I
have a rather juvenile hope that I may one day meet one of these famous women and live happily ever after with them. To drive the point home, I now present my "Women from television shows whom I like to think that, if they're anything like the personas they play, we could go on a date and have a great time together" list
  • Jenna Fischer/Pam, from The Office: she's sweet, cute, patient and reasonable. That is, Pam is patient and reasonable. From the short bios I've read about Jenna Fischer, she's pretty awesome, and is definitely a sweetheart. Removed due to being married.

  • Gillian Anderson/Dana Scully, from The X-Files: I really don't think I should need to explain this one. She's a physics major, a medical doctor, works for the FBI,studies unexplained phenomena, and is a stunning redhead. She's got this elegant beauty to her; respectable, intelligent, yet alluring and attractive at he same time. One of those girls who can make a pant suit look sexy. She's just great...that is, if Dana Scully actually existed.

    In real life, Gillian Anderson is a blonde and is supposedly very upbeat and personable. I'd gladly have dinner with her; she sounds delightful. She's a bit older than I am, but frankly, I still think she's quite beautiful.

  • Scarlett Johansson: after seeing Lost in Translation, I don't see how it's possible to not think she's wonderful. Coincidentally, she's only about a month older than I am, so I think that adds to the possibility of us going out on a date at sometime. It kind of makes me feel like I haven't accomplished much, though, seeing as how she's an award winning actress and I'm a college student working at a bookstore. I still think we'd get along, though.

  • Lindsay Lohan (between 2003 and 2006): I don't really think I need to explain this one. If you were alive during those years, this one should be obvious (especially if you ever saw the movie Mean Girls). She seemed like a really sweet girl during those years. Recently, she's gotten a little too rich-girl-doing-whatever-she-wants-ish. I still like to think that she might be a cool girl like she used to be - down to Earth and friendly. She's actually a year and a half younger than I am, too.

  • Natalie Portman: particularly her role in Garden State. In the words of my roommate, "she's so adorable, you just want to take her home!" I don't think I could have put it better. In interviews she always seems really sweet and friendly, and again, she's only three years older than I am, so it's somewhat plausible...right?
And so on.

I think for now this list is alright. It's not complete; there are a lot more actresses I could add, but it'd just get long and lose it's flair.While I'm on the subject of lists, this is my "People who are as cool as Don Cheadle" list
  • Don Cheadle: Honestly, it's Don Cheadle. No one's as cool as he is. I'd like to think that I could maybe hang out with him one day, but then I just think, "man, it's Don Cheadle..." and realize that I could never hang out with him; it'd be too much awesome for me to handle and I'd probably have to see a psychiatrist shortly afterwards to help me recuperate.
And with that, I end my first blog of lists. I imagine more will follow in time, however before then, I also wish to write many different things. Currently I have ideas for blog posts regarding fashion (a real post about that this time as opposed to the random rant I let slip earlier) as well as several posts regarding literature and film. In the mean time, I hope this has entertained you in some small way.

[does the formatting of this post look odd to anyone else? or am I just paranoid? Yep, the formatting was off.]

[edit: yeah, the formatting is definitely off. Does anyone know enough html to provide any explanations for why it's no longer giving a 1.5 spacing (which is the default) and is not only doing a single spacing? Again, fixed. Turns out this is a known issue, and some simple template editing fixed this issue...well, to temporarily fix it. The spacing between paragraphs looks off now, but I think overall I can live with this.]

Thursday, July 26, 2007

People read this

I would like to extend a thanks to Krusty, Rachel, and my brother, because they've let me know they actually read this, and that makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. My sister left a message, too, but I dunno how much she's read past the first two posts. That made me feel kinda warm and tingly, but not to the same extent, because it was only one comment and it was early on.

I like feeling warm and tingly. Now, however, I don't really.

Right now I'm rather perturbed. I found out yesterday that, after going to Buffalo Wild Wings almost every Wednesday for six years, they've stopped carrying legs. It's not just that they don't do the $0.50 legs on Wednesdays, but that they've actually stopped carrying the #*$@ing legs! That was the reason I started going there in the first place, and the reason I kept going...I'm quite disturbed now as I need to find a new place to go and play trivia.

I feel kind of crummy about this, because this post feels way too juvenile and not nearly along the philosophical-metaphysical approach I've been trying to do. Then again, it's like noon, and being philosophical before noon is a little too Kantian for me. I don't believe in philosophy before dinner or perhaps, at earliest, over lunch with a friend.

[edit: I just found out Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office) is married. My world just became a little less shiny]

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Running and reading (not simultaneously)

My ipod shuffle hates me. I'm pretty sure it's jealous of the nano.

As I've previously said, I take my ipod shuffle with me when I go running. My usual routine is to run for two songs, then walk one, then run for two again and so on until I've run usually about 1.6 miles. Normally this takes about four songs and is a rather pleasant run. However, this method poses a certain problem when I hit one of those 12 minute techno remixes for the second song.

I'm gonna be sore tomorrow.

On the upside, these days I've got off have gotten me reading again. On Sunday I finished Wider than the Sky by Edelman (the neurology book I was reading), and I can honestly say that I understood maybe 10% of it. Regardless of what Oliver Sacks of the New York Review of Books says, it is not "highly readable," that is unless you happen to have an MD and PhD. There was more technical jargon in that book than in my quantum mechanics textbook. Not to say the jargon wasn't properly used or necessary, just that unless you were willing to t
ake the time to memorize what the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, the corpus callosum, and other parts of the neurological system of your brain are and exactly what they do, you probably won't understand much of the book.

However, finishing said book did give me good reason to head to B&N and pick up a new stack of reading material on Monday. Yesterday I cleaned through Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions and today I plan on starting (and subsequently finishing) Slaughterhouse Five. Afterwards I'm going to plow through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because it will be coming out on Friday night, and then I'm going to start on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susana Clarke or The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. By the end of next week I hope to have all the above read and a new stack begun.

I love reading.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Are you happy?

[I'll extrapolate on my own response to this later, for now, I'm simply posing the question to any who may read it. Please, answer with as much or as little detail as you feel you should.]

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Partial Freedom

And thus ends the tech support job. It was actually a less-painful procedure than I expected; my boss was nice about it and said I could take off when I turned in my time sheet.

I also spoke to my manager at the bookstore, and she said that she can give me full time hours, which is just awesome. This doesn't make up financially for quitting the tech support job, but it does help me live a bit more comfortably.

Things are looking up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not even a week

I think I'm quitting my tech support job today.

I've been thinking about it all day. All week, actually. It's been on my mind since I started there. I just can't stand the place. There's something about it, something about the place itself that just makes me unhappy.

The opposite is true for my job at the bookstore. That job I adore.

To give an idea of the difference in work environments, at the tech support job, when I was introducing myself and mentioned that I'm a physics major, three of the techs responded with "what are you doing here?" while at the bookstore when I said I was a physics major, three of my coworkers wanted to talk physics and discuss theories they'd read about in books.

See the difference? It might seem minor because it's just one event, but it r
eally is a huge deal. I can't discuss philosophy and science with my coworkers at the tech support job, but at the bookstore, I can. I can't grow and learn at the tech support job - it's a complete stalemate intellectually because the only knowledge anyone talks about is how to get the drive-thru (I HATE that spelling, but that's how they spell it) timer working. At the bookstore, I spent an hour today discussing the evolutionary biology of cognitive thought with a coworker, and on one of my breaks I was talking with a really cute girl about how it's horrendous that people are trying to simplify spelling in English (the "Society of Simple Spellers" or whatever they're called - the BBC did a report on them. These are the bastards that want to change women to "wimmen" and through to "thru," or, the worst, beautiful to "butiful"); then we discussed Nietzsche. I loved it.

It's amazing how these two jobs can be so radically different. It's like, I'm completely fulfilled at one while completely devoid of any stimulation at the other. The only joy I get at the tech support job is browsing all day; and though I do enjoy being well informed, there just seem to be so many better things I could be doing with my time - things like reading and learning.

Today should be interesting. In 8 hours I'm going to go into work and tell my boss I can't stay there. He'll be pissed. The desk is somewhat short handed and they're counting on me to be there; but, at the same time, the bookstore needs me, too.
I haven't even gone into the scheduling issues. That's a whole other entry by itself. Although with any luck, I won't have to make it, because it won't be an issue.

Sadly, this will hurt my finances by a decent amount. That is a large portion of income that I was planning on paying off bills with, but I can survive - I'll have to adjust my fashion styles for the time being. It won't be a glamorous life, but I'll be happy. I've realized that's really what I want in life - I want to be happy. Money helps being happy, that's definitely true (statistically, rich people are happier than poor), but if the job I work makes me unhappy, they need to pay me more than they are in order to keep me; they won't do that and I don't want them to.

(You'll note I've been using the term "unhappy" to describe how I feel at this job. I've found that that is really the only adjective that can actually present my overall mindset at the job. It's not disappointment, it's not sadness nor discontent - it is literally a lack of happiness.)

With any luck, by this time tomorrow, I'll be a much happier man.

[oh, and I have insomnia right now]

Monday, July 9, 2007

Eight days a week

I've been working about 15 hours a day recently. It's not easy, but it is nice to be busy. Being without work for nigh-on two years (by "without work" I mean without legitimate work - I hardly consider working 3-5 hours a week at MSUM tutoring physics a legitimate job, regardless of how glamorous my resume may make it appear) I had gotten used to sleeping whenever, eating whenever, and charging every payment to credit cards later to be paid by cash incurred from medical studies.

Well, now things a are a bit different. I haven't started getting paychecks from SEI yet, but B&N pays weekly, which is nice, because it's already helped my bank account slightly; although the initial paychecks are going to things like going out to dinner, getting a haircut, and buying me a snazzy new pair of pants (and perhaps a new pair of business-casual shoes, to match said pants).

I like fashion - I like looking good. I once cared little for how I dressed, wearing most often a band t-shirt or over-sized baggy shirts, torn up/baggy jeans and the same pair of shoes year round. I didn't care; if a girl was gonna like me, she was gonna like me for me, not for how I dressed. At the same time, I always wondered why I didn't have a girlfriend and all that "preppy" guys (the term I used for anyone who had any sense of fashion in high school) did - I just figured it was
due to girls being immature and only looking superficially. Though I believe that was partially the case, it definitely wasn't the majority of it.

How you dress is how you advertise yourself; a good fashion sense is good advertisement.

I don't mean to downplay relationships at all, but think of it like a business. You have a product you wish to "sell", namely, yourself (no, I don't mean prostitution - it's a metaphor). Your "buyers" (those of the opposite sex... or perhaps the same sex if you swing that way) initially only see your advertisement - how you dress and present yourself upon first impressions. If you dress without a fashion sense or, as most people like to say, with your "own sense of fashion" that doesn't agree with what is currently fashionable, you'll notice something: people won't be buying what your selling because you're not advertising it properly. If you see a beaten-up, torn sign with faded colors that's little more than a piece of paper from a color printer tacked onto a stick in the ground telling you to buy Adidas, and next to it there's a brand new, very well kept, neat looking sign with nice color telling you to buy Nikes - which one are you more inclined to buy?

It's advertising. Fashion is advertising yourself.

Admittedly I don't always achieve this, however when I try, I like to think I can pull off a fashionable look with a part of the same finesse and flair as Brad Pitt or Matt Damon in the Ocean's movies.

My new pants work nicely with this new found hobby. I hope to match a new sportscoat to it soon.

That was more of a rant than I intended. I actually intended my fashion rant to be an entire entry itself, and it most likely will be at some point in the near future. At this time, I will just say that following and knowing fashion doesn't make you a tool or a slave like I once thought; it just means you've got enough common sense to realize how the world works, and that there's nothing wrong with looking good.

[I just read this again; it's not quite as cohesive as I would have liked, but hey, they can't all be winners]

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I have stuff to write about...

I have stuff to write about, but for the first time in I don't know how long, I literally have no time to write it.

I was at work today from 9-5 at one job, then from 6-11:30 at another job - tomorrow I'm doing the exact same thing, only starting at 8:30 in the morning. Though my full time job pretty much sucks, my part time job is the greatest job I've ever had. Thankfully, it actually relaxes me and I enjoy it, so it's not like I go from one hell to another; I'm just busy constantly.

Hopefully soon I will be able to fill you in on the details of the past couple days. Until then, I sleep.

[I did a google image search for "busy" and "work" and found that photo. I liked it.]