Well. What can I say but that dinner was interesting. Flattering, I suppose. And not creepy at all the way that Joe can be sometimes. That was nice. Definitely odd, however. I suppose I can't claim that I didn't have my suspicions going into it, and if Joel hadn't been drunk, perhaps things would have been said to me anyway. But who knows? It's settled now, and I can sit back and have the glow of the compliment paid and not feel like he's going to hassle me or whatnot about it.
What an absofuckinglutely terrible shitty day. In chronological order: I got up. I felt sick. I got annoyed. I felt sick some more. I only finished half of my Japanese and got razzed by my teacher for it. I got bored and depressed during Chemistry. I forgot to go to Philosophy because I was busy and felt guilty for it. I learned that they killed Layne. I had to be on the phone with HP. I got cold. I had to be on the phone with HP again, and learned that they have no record of us owning the MGH printers. I broke Smoke and indirectly broke Fire, guiltily made Darrick wait for me for 45 minutes while I learned that our system for contacting the network admins is woefully incomplete, twerked my back out by stressing about having fucked up two servers, learned that I'd really upset Jim by not taking the time to read an email earlier, and guiltily ran away from Patrick when he finally showed up at MGH and made him fix everything without being there to lend moral support. Smoke was still slightly screwed up when I got back, and the entire thing was my fault in the start, I didn't want to go to work and it ended up sucking and my feet hurt like hell and the really really nice email I got from Brandon was the only thing that prevented me from crawling into the server room and crying myself to sleep there. Fucking A.
Ah, how ironic. I, who never once during high school attended a single sporting event for my school, spent a sizable portion of my evening watching a high school football game. I laughed at the cheerleaders, but I'll admit it - I had fun. The game was amusing to watch, but mostly it was worth it as... I don't know, an experience. An experience that I missed out on, and I suspect my big-city high school's games in Memorial Stadium were rather a different thing anyway. I got to meet one of Jim's old teachers (and had several others pointed out to me), and an old high school friend of his; my initial prejudiced disgust and haughtiness at the... high school football gameishness of it all gave way to smiling unabashedly at Bristow (was that his name? I couldn't tell, but I'll not forget the mustache), and I don't think I could have possibly have felt other than at home around Doug (I adored him - I wish I'd had the pleasure of having someone like him as a friend when I was in high school). I'm glad that I never went to Roosevelt's games. It was a facet of high school life that I'm very glad that I missed out on. On the other hand, I'm glad that I went to this one. That Ian's sister was crowned Homecoming Queen and Winlock won the game was a complete sideline.... but cool nonetheless (heh).
Someone I know was on TV tonight. That's so cool (heh).
My back hurts terribly and so does my head and I'm cranky. That about sums up all that I'm interested in conveying about my life tonight. Sometimes, that's all that needs to be said.
Going through a meg or two of text didn't initially seem to be that fun of a thing. I even felt while I was doing it that it was stupid... surely some little script could have been run to strip out lines with unimportant crap on them. But I did it anyway, and felt good and not a little bit proud about it... at least my bullheadedness got it done in 20 minutes, where as Patrick would have waited a few days to write that little script. Of course, if I could figure out how to write that little script, or how to parse my log files, or how to change twu's counter to be what I want it to be, then I'd be happy. But for those few minutes, I was just a little glad to see that I was helping in getting things done.
Geez, offer free food to college students, and offers of help fly from every direction. Of course, that doesn't make up for the fact that my tuition problem is not cleared up yet. I know objectively that it will be fixed, but that doesn't help me stop worrying.
This evening, my neck and shoulders got uncomfortable while studying on the fourth floor of the Engineering Library. Isolated on that floor's loft, I decided to lie down on the floor and stretch; as I did, I found myself staring back at myself from one of the myriad of small skylights I discovered to be set in the roof. I smiled, waved at myself and watched my wrists twirl about. And I thought about how I wasn't doing any more chemistry studying, since my brain had appeared to have decided to turn off. The floor was silent save for the rustling of someone's papers, a long way off, and the particular architecture of the loft made me feel as if I was floating. And I thought about Toad the Wet Sprocket, and how I wished I'd been able to find that other CD of theirs, but that I was happy with having bought Dulcinea. I sprawled on the floor and squinted into the light fixtures and the skylights, alternately concentrating on my reflection and getting blinded. And I thought about how Jacob at the Roma had thought that I was a graduate student, and how to strike up a conversation with him to correct the misconception. I put my hands behind my head and kicked my legs up into the air, laughing at the image dimly seen against a dark sky so many feet above me. And I thought about how being in that particular place at that particular time and in that particular mood made me feel a lot more like a college student than I've felt in a while.
(sniffle) I want computer speakers so bad. A wireless keyboard too, but mostly speakers.
I am well-pleased with myself. I mentally handled a money crisis well (by agreeing not to think about it until Monday morning, since I can't fix it until then anyway), I helped rebuild a server, I learned that cinnamon in a mocha tastes surprisingly good, I got some shopping done (shampoo, yay!) I tracked down some CDs I'd wanted (even though buying all of them meant that I just singlehandedly spent more money than I made today rebuilding Fire, but oh well), I made myself dinner and it wasn't out of a box, and I think I may remember at a later time that the proper way to go about solving for an unknown compound from NMR data is usually to determine whether there is nitrogen present or not, then find the number of carbons and correct the mass and m+1 percentage, then look to see if there's any abnormal m+2 contribution and begin ruling out elements and multiplying nitrogens and oxygens, and finally start analyzing based on the corrected values. Whoo! Oh, and I folded laundry, too. I SO RULE!
Go figure. Just when I wind down my flurry of whacking away on my webpage, just when I notice that I'm feeling stiff from that uncomfortable position that my knee was in, just when I realize that it's 4 am and I'm tired, I remember that load of laundry that needed to be put into the dryer. Whee. I suppose I can... clean my room or something. I need something productive to do at work (like convert more of my pages to use css - heh) and a game to play here. Like Alpha Centauri or Civ2, but not the Linux version of Civ - Call to Power, because it sucks big hairy balls. (I wouldn't have guessed that a game could come out with a worse user interface than its predecessors, but they succeeded. A less intuitive game to try to play I never have run across. Argh.) But tonight I did get stuff updated that had been begging for it, and three loads of laundry done, and I suppose I'll have a cleaner room in a bit. Who needs games when one compulsively cannot simply sit and do nothing, or even go to bed? Though I don't know what would be sadder - a college student going to bed at 11 pm on a Friday night, or a college student staying up until 4 am whacking HTML and doing laundry. What a life have I when Jim's not in town... whoooooooo.
AUGH! And then at 4:45 it turns out it needs another dry anyway because I stupidly had some towels mixed in! AUGH! I'm going to bed. If someone steals my laundry before I wake up, so be it. AUGH!
I thought about nothing deep today. Well, I did, but I don't feel like expounding upon it. So I will mention only this : it's amazing what some time spent completely goofing off (and eating, can't forget the eating) can do for one's mental state.
After multiple emails... yeah, I know I'm being just the stereotypical first child. Sigh. I've been the first child for a long time, I know pretty well how it feels to simply resent the younger one for being babied. In my opinion, while my current discontentment is weighted heavily with first-childishness, that is not the only thing at work here. What is at work is my need to have my life recognized by my parents. Blah, I lie. "To have my life recognized by my father," I should say. Mom may rarely put me before Bryce, but with her, I think the issue is much more one of that type that lies between first children and the babies. She babies Bryce, I resent it a little, the story ends. With Dad, however, things are different. Life with Dad is a constant battle for attention regardless of external factors like little brothers. Bryce just happens to be Dad's best pawn in our bloody game; either his best way to hurt me or my favorite way to get upset... it doesn't really matter which way it should be taken, and most likely it's a combination of both, anyway. I sometimes wonder if it's all in my head, really. It could be just a facet of my intense self-loathing, that I project upon my father so as to have a physical figure to carry out my psychological battles with. That's how Dad usually defends himself, saying that I'm blind to his affection and praise of me. Do I really just hear him say good things about me and then choose to forget them so that I may continue a masochistic self-hatred? Could my negativity control the reality that I perceive that strongly? It's such a terrifying thought. Almost as terrifying as the thought that by taking drugs, I could possibly just stop feeling this way. (shudder) The idea of foreign substances coursing through my bloodstream and latching onto particular receptors in my brain, affecting my modes of thought and feeling, is so terrible an idea... so very wrong, for a physical substance to have that much of an effect. Eric once brought up the example of eating to me... that is ingesting some substance in order to, in a long term sense, preserve my life, but in a short term sense, to affect how I feel. Quite often I will find myself crabby or depressed, and eating certain things helps. So I seem to be contradictory. I suppose for me the distinction lies in that if I'm eating a food, generally speaking it's interacting with my body in a somewhat natural way. Ingesting a highly concentrated and refined chemical, designed by humanity, is a completely different thing to me. Perhaps differences also lie in the fact that the way I feel my mood affected by food is a very minor one. The idea that medication could rip away from me one of the most central parts of myself makes me sweat in fear. I am me, an abstract object, that I consistently believe has something inherent above and beyond my physical form. Abstract objects shouldn't be able to be changed or destroyed by a physical substance.
Considering that that stopped making sense some time ago, I think I'll cut it off here.
I'm so fucking tired of this bullshit from my parents. "This is our daughter, Jennifer, and our son, Bryce. Bryce is working at such and such a place and doing these things that are so interesting and great and these other things about him are really neat and..." all while I sit there for an hour and a half twiddling my thumbs while my dad prattles on about how wonderful Bryce is. I'm tired of them fucking praising him every chance they get. What do I have to do to get them to brag about me? Get consistent speeding tickets, drop out of school, be a slob, and have a real fucking loser for a significant other? It's not fair. I do everything right. I get good grades, I'm motivated about school and work, I chose a good job where people respect me and treat me well and listen to my opinion, I got in two minor accidents five years ago, have gotten pulled over ONCE for expired tabs, manage my money and my time well, and KNOW A FUCKING LOT MORE ABOUT COMPUTERS THAN HE DOES. I was so offended when Dad asked me if I was "learning to do some of the things that Bryce is; putting together computers and such." What the fuck. Any time I try to explain anything computer-related to Dad, he fights me tooth and nail, but someone shows Bryce how to hook up a hard-drive and all of a sudden he's a computer fucking genius?? It makes me want to slap him. I'm never good enough, I'm always childish, I never know what's right. Bryce is always the fucking "wonder kid." He's a screw-up, that's what he is. I love him dearly but I'm willing to admit that. But no, who do my parents brag about all the time... Dad apologized later, after I got so upset. He told me he brags about me plenty. What he can't seem to understand is that if when I'm around, all I hear is "Bryce is this great thing and that great thing and this other great thing," how can I possibly feel anything other than "they let him get away with everything and praise him... I do everything right and well and they ignore me"? It's so not fair it makes me want to puke. I feel like the only time he tells me that I've done good is when I complain that he doesn't compliment me... and then, for all I know, he's just doing it to shut me up. It's not fair.
I really intensely do not want to go to school tomorrow. I do not want to have to memorize a Japanese skit by tomorrow morning, I do not want to sit through a lecture of Sasaki's, I don't want to wait in line to pay my tuition, I don't particularly want to sit through a philosophy lecture where that weird dude with the tweed coat and the briefcase and the overly stereotypically gay manner will argue with the professor in such a way that I won't have any idea what either one of them are talking about. And I don't really want to get picked up right after school and have to make a flight to Colorado, even if I will get to see Grandma and Grandpa. Sigh.
Who needs a daily newspaper? All I need is a bunch of webcomics, the majority of which have some sort of daily rant and occasionally an mp3 for download. I've probably found more comics online that I enjoy than in the daily Times at home. There's something important in there, but I don't want to think about it. I just want to crawl into bed and sleep another 11 hours or so tonight. Bleh.
Nana died at approximately 11 pm Pacific Time tonight. I hope she doesn't hurt anymore. I'm going to bed.
AUGH! When did it get to be three in the morning??? I settle down to be melancholy with a Dr. Pepper, some chips and salsa, and a new webcomic to wade through, and this is how life repays me. And no laundry got done. Or homework. Sigh.
The more I look at Emacs, the prettier it becomes. Vim would too, I guess, but I admit to weakly liking the fact that when I get completely and utterly confused, "there's a menu there," to quote Jim. I don't know how to explain this, but I feel like I'm doing so much more when I write this on my own computer rather than pico-ing away. I have the vague tummy-feeling like when I pico something, it's because I'm trying to do something quick, inconvenient, even. But when I sit down with a local text-editor and compose my thoughts, I feel like... work is being done. Not that writing this is work, really, but... well, anyway.
I was thinking I would clarify my anti-brother's-girlfriend sentiment tonight, but I think I shall wait. I need time to chew on my anger, and Dad told me tonight that he'd at least explain to me why she's living at our house (while my brother isn't) sometime (hopefully sooner rather than later, before I get really pissed about it). So, why was I talking to Dad? I don't talk to my parents often enough to make it a normal event. It's a sad thing.
So, my great-grandmother is likely to die this week.
I remember Nana from when I was little. I remember her voice, her cooking, her wonderful house. I guess I can count myself lucky in that; even Bryce, the next-oldest of her small brood of great-grandchildren, has only the foggiest memory of her when she was still a wonderful, capable woman. Even I didn't know her when she was the person that my Aunts Cynthia and Nancy, Dad, and dear Grandpa Chuck and Grandmothers Marilyn and Gloria remember her as. I remember sunny kitchens and never-ending supplies of hard candies and taffy. I remember that funny old phone she had, and sitting in her lap in her living room, petting her silly little white poodle. I remember Uncle Bud showing me how to play pool in her basement, and running upstairs to hug her and tell her that Bryce was being mean. I remember the lavish spread of food that always met us when we came to her house, and how she'd joking pretend that we could see Grandpa Chuck's ranch from her dining room window, teasingly pointing out nothing to me as she brought in lunch. The rest of the memories, though, aren't nearly so wonderful. I remember when she had to be moved to a nursing home, and how Dad and I wandered through her house, helping to organize her belongings, right before it was sold. I remember the shaking in her left hand, the shaking that she couldn't control, and the waver that was more and more there in her voice. I remember the first time that we visited her in the nursing home and she thought Bryce and I were Dad and Cynthia. I remember how after another trip or two, she didn't even recognize Grandpa, though he's faithfully visited her every other day for years.
The adults, though, remember so much more than a few phrases, images, here and there. Their memories stretch so much further back, such that the sad ones of the last decade and a half are few compared to the myriad of family dinners at Nana's house, presided over by a strong family matriarch who unfailingly took care of anyone to come her way. I remember Dad telling me that the chair that's in my room at home now was once his to sit on every holiday at his grandmother's house; he remembers sitting in it, and all the smiles and dinners that went along with it. So much of what I hear about her is lost to me - it makes sense in the context of my few memories, but I can never fully understand it, understand how strongly they all love her. I love her, too, but it can't possibly be in the same way. My love is marred by the fear that a child has of aging, by the remembered terror of that shaking hand, so incongruously attached to my Nana, grabbing at me when she called me Cynthia, when I truly understood that she'd never know who I was again, that "Jennifer," and "Bobby's daughter," had completely ceased to exist in her mind. My love is marred by the childish avoidance that resulted, by the shameful memories of my waiting outside when Grandpa's gone to visit her when I've been in town the last several years. My love is marred by the knowledge that I haven't hugged her since I passed my first decade in life.
She deserved so much more, so much more than to be robbed of any ability to communicate with anyone for years beyond a few murmurs, so much more than to be reduced to someone whose daily activities are discussed in terms of her morphine intake. I hope that our memories can do her even a little portion of what she deserves, and that when the family gets together in Colorado next weekend, she'll feel a little bit of our love.
Man, color-coded things on a black background look pretty sweet. Emacs's color scheme is a lot easier on the eyes than Vim's, though. I'll have to play with them both and figure out which one I like using. I do like how easy it was to see the results of messing around with Emacs configurations... I think one of the most frustrating things in playing with the new system has been uncertainty as to whether whatever I am doing is actually working or not. But this does, and I even got to use some whacked out lisp thing called an anonymous function (I believe). I only barely understood it when Jim was trying to explain it to me the other day, and here I am, blindly using one... whoo hoo. On a closing note, I really really really hate Voni. Perhaps that's too strong of a statement, but suffice to say that I think she's a leech and I was ULTRA pissed that she had my car today. Grumble. New trenchcoat, though.
I don't know why I started musing on it... Perhaps because Girlfight was a really awesome movie, and presented me with a female lead who I could truly root for... one who I never sneered at internally. They do exist dakara... Then again, it may have been reading freaking Cosmo last night and getting slammed in the face with all these references to a woman's friends. Anyway, I wondered why I have pretty much no female friends. Even Jim couldn't come up with an answer when I asked him. It's not that I think they're better than me, or that I'm better than them, or that it's just not possible (I've had them in the past... even in what could be called normal fashions). It's just that they're so fundamentally different, though not necessarily in the same ways each time... Monica's a lot more like me than either one of us would probably like to admit, and just look at the contrasts there. Sheesh. Still makes me wonder, though. If I'll ever have one again, I mean.
Hallelujah! I can talk to the world again! YAAAAAAY! Oh, and vim is working and my windows are prettier, too, but that's not nearly as cool. I haven't looked at getting my old contact list to work yet, but people are slowly saying hi. YAAAAAAAAAY! Of course, it crashes any time I try to do anything like, oh, change my options, or authorize someone... but that's just the little things, dontcha know.
I can't decide if I should go to bed. I felt dreadful earlier, and went to bed at 7pm. Of course, I woke up 3 hours and one really upsetting dream about trying to repeatedly escape prison while getting shot at, and having to hide my ruler that I used to break out in someone's rice cooker... um... anyway, one dream later, I woke up. I was dreadfully thirsty, and got a nasty shock from a note claiming we hadn't paid our rent. Sigh. This was a day that I just shouldn't have woken up for. Crickets in my bag and upset stomachs and all. Bleh. At least we got the rent thing straightened out. Anyway, what I was going to say was that I didn't know if I wanted to go to bed or not. I did get a good nap earlier... perhaps I'll do my homework (and talk to someone! YAAAAAAAY!) and then think about it...
Damnit, you made me cry, after all. Miss ya.
A few things wanted to be written today, but I think I'll eschew them all in favor of a quote from the reading I was to do for Philosophy of Language tomorrow... from Bertram Russell's Descriptions and Incomplete Symbols:
"The occurrence of tense in verbs is an exceedingly annoying vulgarity due to our preoccupation with pratical affairs. It would be much more agreeable if they had no tense, as I believe is the case in Chinese, but I do not know Chinese. You ought to be able to say `Socrates exists in the past,' `Socrates exists in the present' or `Socrates exists in the future,' or simply `Socrates exists,' without any implication of tense, but language does not allow that, unfortunately. Nevertheless, I am going to use language in this tenseless way : when I say `The so-and-so exists,' I am not going to mean that it exists in the present or in the past or in the future, but simply that it exists, without implying anything involving tense."
I thought it was a funny paragraph. So I'm a dork.
DSL lives! My email no longer lags! Of course, I'm kinda curious why licq will start up but automatically tells me my password is wrong... but hey, I can figure that out another time. Right now, I'm reveling in the fact that I can type in pico and my words show up on the screen at approximately the same rate at which I type them, without a delay. WHOO FERKING HOO!
I'll try to remember to roll the page over tomorrow from work, I promise. It'd actually be easy enough to do now, though... There. It's a lot less of a pain in the ass now that I'm not going to each of the past months and changing their indexes seperately. So I was still in the Stone Age; sue me. Six String Samurai made me laugh, a lot. It was dreadfully cheesy, and not something I'd ever call a "good" movie, but I liked it nonetheless.