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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Noba D.'s LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 -- Next 20 >> ]
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
12:16 pm
On the road again
Only had to mooch just under a grand to do it. Still driving a piece of junk, but I'm mobile, for what it's worth. It's situations like this that really illustrate how a very large section of our society is centered around the automobile. In view of that the returning rise in gas prices is concerning. Societies facing hardship tend to slough off those members of society percieved to be less valuable. Being a member of that set I'm in a bit of a rush to transfer to the part of the tail that won't get left behind.

One thing I will miss about walking about the neighborhood is seeing areas in a different light. Along rte. 28 are some grassy, undeveloped areas. They are full of wildflowers and insects and birds. Saw one with some fascinating plumage. Tried to look up what it was but the closest I could find in the field guide is nowhere near native to this area. Will try to check the VA guide some time. Someone seems to have it out right now.

I've been trying to be better about hydrating. My 11 mile run on Sunday was murder. You know that pasty feeling you get in your mouth if you start to get dehydrated? It's not a good idea to start a long run in heat and humidity with that feeling. Was totally ragged by the half-way point. I would have drunk toilet water if I had to by the time I dragged myself back home. Thankfully, I didn't have to. Did a pretty good pace in the rain yesterday. Felt like I was going to set a new record, but not quite.

Whoops, times up gotta run.

Current Mood: hungry
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
5:16 pm
So the car died last night.
At least it happened close to home and I was able to park it. I'm thinking it's the fuel pump or fuel filter but no way to be sure at the moment. There's a Mobil station just up the street that does repairs, hopefully I can borrow enough money from dad to get it running again. Out here in Centreville I am totally screwed w.out a car. Particularly as I was planning on getting rid of a lot of stuff in storage and putting those items of mine of actual value in there.

I have just enough money in the account to reinstate my license and nothing more. Electricity, insurance, cable, Shortie's insulin, cat food, it's all too much. At least the pantry is well stocked right now. Was hoping to hold it together until my rent was up in August, but now I don't know. Really just worried about finding a home for Shorty now.

A month ago I was planning on going in to NVCC and checking with them about the possibility of going back to school. I can be such a hopelessly stupid optimist sometimes.

Still doing the running for as long as I can. Have a 10 mile run when I get home this afternoon (2.85 miles to the library, about 1 hour in this heat).

Current Mood: crushed
Friday, May 29th, 2009
5:46 pm
May be an oddly truncated posting
My time has been extended but may be closed at any time w. only two minutes' warning (And I have only 12 minutes anyhow).

The weather has been teasing me. The showers I adore pour hardest when I'm indoors and then the sun comes out to torment me when I'm running errands or just plain running (despite this made one of my best times today).

Stopped by the Manpower Springfield office today just to update their paperwork. I really hate job hunting. All that work w. no guarantee that anything has been accomplished. Feels very non-productive. I caught a glimpse of the paperwork I had submitted previously when I first joined. Included the pay estimates from the Patent Office and all my subsequent jobs. In the midst of our delirious economic bubble I was already on a long, slow downhill slide. Positive attitude is very important in overcoming adversity, but it's hard to do in the face of such overwhelming evidence.

Stopped by Mt. Vernon on my way back. Got a few papers from my former coworker, nothing essential. But the new front desk clerk's husband happens to do landscaping up in my area and may be calling me about some work soon. Unless I hear something Monday I'll be checking out Laborfinders on Tuesday. Contrary to my impression from the ad, it's a day labor site. Not the direction I want to go, but any port in a storm.

Ok, more chat later. Gotta go.

Current Mood: rushed
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
7:32 pm
F... scroll wheels
I go to allow comments to non-LJ members and somehow cut off comments altogether. Must have accidentally scrolled to another option when moving down to hit save. I really hate LJ's new format. Makes mistakes like that so much easier. Hopefully fixed now. Maybe I can file a complaint under the ADA. ;)

Utterly exhausted myself going to the Sterling Sportrock over the weekend. If they had been open yesterday I might have seriously hurt myself. Either climbed 720 or 840 feet (18-21 full routes) on Saturday. On the last set I wasn't thinking clearly and lost track of whether I had done 4 or 7. Low blood sugar perhaps. Still, a new record in one day for me (previous was just over 600 feet). My bouldering was a tad lackluster the next day of course, but that was to be expected. Don't know whether it was exhaustion or the heat and humidity, but I made miserable time on my long run Sunday night. Just over 7&1/2 miles at a 14:26 pace. Ah well. The important thing is to keep at it.

Had a call from my sister on Sunday. Evidently my being out of touch had caused people to worry. Susan seems to be going ok, though they cut back on her hours. My other sister has some sort of health issue. Serious numbness on one side of the body. The two guesses now are either a pinched nerve or multiple sclerosis. Got to talk w. the Munchkin as well. She was her usual laconic self.

Word of my unemployment evidently got back to my Dad and he gave me a call Monday, saving me the trouble of screwing up my courage to let him know myself. He's going to help out with the rent this month. Didn't ask him about next, though I plan on that being the last one. He actually got to witness some enthusiasm from the Munchkin when she joined in w. Susan talking about work at the vet. Something in her future? Hard to tell.

Trouble getting myself going this morning. Hard to tell yourself to move if you can't see the point. Ah well, tomorrow's another day. Couple fitness and diet entries to make still and a letter to write to Munchkin. Then by the store for mushrooms and cat food and off home for working out.

Current Mood: blah
Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
1:43 pm
I remember when libraries were places of quiet
The library institutes rules for behaviour in the library, but it is moot as they are not enforced. Given how short-handed they are now that's not surprising.

Back and shoulder are feeling a bit better today. Think the exercises focusing on stabilizers helped, as did the attention to my sleeping position.

In my "free" time I should be organizing, doing chores, studying math or catching up on my sleep. Instead I've been reading heavily. In the time since I was let go I finished Kushiel's Dart, Veil of a Thousand Tears and Destiny's Road. I mean to post some reviews sometime. I've also started Reaper's Gale, Red Mars and Ender's Shadow. Will likely finish Erickson tonight.

Went climbing for the first time in about a week last night. Did far better than expected. The traversing was not as tiring as I expected and I flashed 2 5.8s without any problem. Might go in today and see exert myself on a 5.9 or two (to take the lead climbing course you are expected to be able to send 5.9s easily and regularly).

Signed up for another hike tomorrow. Looks like it's in my expense range (contribute a few bucks for gas). Downside is that I was supposed to take a 5-6.5 mile run tomorrow as part of my training plan. I suspect I won't have it in me immediately afterward so should shift to Monday.

There's something about knowing I have a specific time limit that makes me particularly terse when posting at the library. Aren't you grateful?

Two day blackout coming unless I get my computer problem solved.

Current Mood: annoyed
Friday, May 22nd, 2009
3:59 pm
May be kicked off any minute so trying to be quick.
Well, at least to the degree that I feel that anymore.

Went on a hike on Monday in the Shenandoahs. Horrible indulgence I know. I'm weak. Up the White Oak Canyon and down Cedar Run. Strangely aggravated my lower back which has been killing me. At least it left my shoulder alone (left my pack in the car). Still it was a nice hike in good company felt like a last hurrah.

Job search so far unpromising. Time to fill out app in time alloted very annoying. Particularly frustrating are those that require manual input of all data.

Used apt. complex gym for first time ever last night. Focused primarily on rotator cuff strengthening. No barbell or lower body strength equipment. Settled for some dumbbell squats.

At night in bed my mind is filled with poetic prose to fill these pages. Or so it seems. I suspect it is actually like all the brilliance I thought was last when I was smoking pot with my friends. Then I started bringing a tape recorder to our sessions and discovered that what I thought was brilliance was anything but. It was the beginning of the end for me on that. I continued to use recreationally for several years afterward, but it lost it's luster when I figured out it was just that, recreational. When I finally accepted that it did long term harm, it was over. Still, I like to think that I'm not entirely fooling myself and that my writing talent hasn't been entirely lost over the years. We shall see, but not today.

Feeling bummed that I will not be going to the MD Open this weekend. One of the big ones and I tend to do well in it. But entrance fee and gas costs are prohibitive. Add in my license problems and the car being on its last leg and it's definitely out.

More to bitch and whine about but I should pace myself.

Oh, and at least one person out there may have discovered themselves unable to comment as they didn't have an LJ account. I've fixed that, should they care.

Off now for a run and maybe some climbing (skipped all this week). Check in again in the morning.

Current Mood: apathetic
Monday, May 4th, 2009
8:47 pm
Ouch, ouch, ouch
So I went for my long run yesterday. Feeling good about my progress I went 40 minutes out. Took me just over 43 to get back. Just over 12 minute miles. Weight reached a new low (at least for a few years). My baseline fitness measurements that morning weren't all that great, but not too bad either. Did my evening workout too. Good boy. Didn't feel too bad either. My short run this morning was record time. Just over 11 minute miles. Was feeling a bit sore, but manageable. By about noon my body realized it was being exploited and rebelled. Very stiff right now and not looking forward to this evenings workout. Really wish I had a bed right now. So I'm doing well as far as the exercise goes, but keeping up the momentum won't be easy now.

In other news, my work with the census ends tomorrow when I turn in my equipment. It was fun while it lasted.

Rain seems to be dying down. Hope it picks up again.

Current Mood: sore
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
4:10 am
25 Random Thngs Meme
I picked this meme up on Facebook. Since I'm not expecting much, if any response, thought I'd also see if it might get picked up here at all. I changed my things some as I know some people have already read my first post. Also adapted the instructions for LJ. I am breaking the tagging rules though. Everyone on my friends list who reads this may consider themselves tagged (yeah, I'm cheating).

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

)To do this, paste these instructions in the body of the post, type your 25 random things, then tag 25 people.)

25 Random Things About Me.Collapse )

Current Mood: gloomy
Monday, January 12th, 2009
1:17 pm
But at night I'm a junk food junky, good lord have pity on me.
I've got such a sugar buzz going right now. Last night it was chocolate chips and pb&js. Thank god for milk. As is my wont, I woke up late and didn't have time for breakfast. So it was coke, famous amos cookies, and bugles from the vending machine. If ever I get health coverage again I won't be surprised to find I've made a diabetic of myself.

Two weeks into the new year and not only have I not improved on my exercise regimen, I have completely flaked out. Only time I've broken a sweat is climbing the steps at work. Yeah it's 4 stories, but even if I do that the expected 2-3 times a day that's not much.

What is (oh cool, there's an autosave draft feature now) really killing me is not going into the climbing gym. My Katanas finally bit the dust. I tried climbing with an open toe, but it just isn't going to cut it. I found the left foot of my old 5:10s. I'm hoping the right didn't get thrown away. Going without climbing is so driving me batty that if I can't find that other shoe I may knuckle down and buy myself a pair I can't afford.

Still, managed to get some fun and varied climbing in before the end of the year. Used my Earthtrek passes I got from Adopt-a-Crag at the Rockville site. Got to meet some neat people (nothing that's going to continue, but that's par). I was making some real progress there for a bit.

My two holidays (unpaid) went by quietly. Stayed home and vegged. Was thinking I would study and exercise. People make me out to be a cynic, but really I'm a hopeless optimist. I guess I could pretend that reading up on various posts on talk origins is a form of studying (damn you facebook).

I had an interview last Friday for a clerical position with the Fairfax CSB. Basically the same stuff I'm doing now but with a living wage and benefits. Despite my tepid resume and getting the shakes during the interview I think I held up well enough that I have a chance. I'll know in about 3 weeks. Of course, even if I get the job I've got to get by the R.I.F.s taking place this year.

My immediate supervisor is doing well. His brain surgery was minimally invasive and went well. My coworker's cough is getting better. They still have to do more tests and scans on the mass in her lung. Further health tragedies popped up their ugly heads in compensation. An important member of a book group I used to attend died rather suddenly of ovarian cancer. I discovered that the guy who brought me into climbing had a bad accident in New York ("crushed by a car" were the exact words used). He's recovering, but slowly. Is presently a couch potato by doctors orders. So I can't complain. But I will anyway.

I continue to develop a taste for country music. I am applying Pandora in liberal ammounts as occupational therapy to counteract it, but with limited success. If I should get a pick up truck with a gun rack and start voting social conservative republican, you who care for me are instructed to put me out of my misery. Head shots please, just not in the face.

Seriously though, while it too has it's share of banality and cliche's, country music seems to be exhibiting the most originality and depth of all the genres available on non-HD, non-satellite radio here. I also find I agree with Ray Charles about the story telling. Country also more often addresses the issue of mortality and the continuation of life ("Should Have Seen it in Color", "Don't Blink"), and of course there's more hard luck to be found in a cursory search ("Almost Home", "I've Had My Moments"). I'm sure as I get away from regular broadcast radio that trend will diminish.

Ok, lunch is almost up. Back to the grind.

Current Mood: jittery
Thursday, November 27th, 2008
7:02 pm
Happy Thanksgiving
I've always liked Thanksgiving. Never cared for turkey or pumpkin. Cranberry I can take or leave. No interest in the puritans and their history. Even less interest in the parades and football. But as a kid I always loved having family over. And as I grew up and considered the matter I came to appreciate the basic idea behind it all, that of giving thanks for the important things that one has no matter how rough things may be, and of sharing it all. I really would like to see Thanksgiving in this form go international, dropping all the historical nonsense behind it. But I suppose people are attached to the story and other cultures all have some equivalent tradition. Still, it's nice to think about.

As much of a mess as I've made of it all, I'm grateful for having the opportunity to explore this life and for all you people who've made it such an interesting ride. I'm thankful for having found those activities which fill me with joy, late though it may have been. And I'm thankful for being one of those still with a roof over his head and food in his belly.

Hope you are all with the ones you love and appreciating what you've got.

Current Mood: thankful
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
1:23 pm
Get the cheese and crackers out
Over a year now since my last real update (web comic commentary doesn't count). A part of me tells me to just ditch and delete this journal, that I should stick with the short updates on Facebook (Max DeWolfe if you're interested). But this is oddly similar to the inner voice which is telling me to tidy up and get my affairs in order so that I can remove myself from the stage. As bad as things are, I'm not going there yet. In the end, I have no real rational reason for wanting to keep up the journal, I just want to and think I should. Perhaps I'm just being pig-headed.

A year's time and not much has actually happened. I'm still in a temp job that pays not nearly enough. They have been very happy with my work, enough so that my chronic tardiness has only gotten me a dressing down rather than fired. Recently I was informed I would be filling in for a clerk at another site. I was chosen because I already had gathered some of the skills with their system that they need. I'll be getting a crash course from the clerk there on further duties. I will, in effect, be doing the tasks of an admin III (I am presently doing the duties of an admin II). Great, new skills. Except that I am presently being paid as per a receptionist, and at the bottom of that range as well. So yeah, the resumes continue to go out.

I wouldn't mind quite so much if I were in the black, but I'm far from there. I continue to have to borrow money from Dad, and he's been hurting some thanks to the stock crash. I cannot continue like this. I can save a bit by emptying my storage unit soon, and I continue to shop for groceries based on the kilocalories per dollar system (goal, $200 per month or less for foodstuffs). But it's not enough, especially considering the additional expenses I now face.

I've got a new apartment out in Centreville (address to be given in a friends only post later). A 2 bedroom that I'm sharing. The neighborhood is great and I'm saving some in rent, but much of that is being eaten up in transportation. That problem is exacerbated by my cat situation.

I've found out that Shorty is diabetic. I have accumulated over $2500 of debt with Care Credit on him. The biggest expenses are past, but I'm still shelling out a great deal on insulin and he's still eating and drinking too much and going through more litter than normal. He also needs 2 shots a day. This means I can't ever just stay out after work. I have to drive home and give him his shot and drive back if I want to go anywhere. I've indulged myself some in driving back for yoga and climbing and go club, but even given the new lower gas prices I've got to cut this out.

Speaking of transportation, the car is on its last legs. I don't even have the funds to get it ready for safety inspection (needs new window and distributor housing). It's been making some noises and burning more oil than usual. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, because if the car goes I'm totally screwed. Public transit takes $5 dollars and 3 hours each way to my place of work.

So the hole keeps getting deeper, but I'm not buried yet. Just in case I've been taking note of the various homeless services available here. Going to look for sources on what it takes to live out of one's car soon.

Ok, done crying now. What am I up to when I'm not fretting about the future. Really just climbing and working. I still update my go games on the net, but haven't really been able to make time to go to the club or play live games. Need to manage my time better.

A lot of time has been taken up with practicing my typing at various sites as well. I've been making significant progress, but it has been slow. Unusually slow even given my age. I've also noticed abysmal performance in various brain games. I can blame some on my lack of sleep and the fact that I'm often working without a mouse on my laptop, but this doesn't nearly cover all of it, particularly given past performance. There is a history of senility and mental illness on my mother's side. I'm concerned that I may be losing it prematurely. But there's not much I can do about it now other than cross my fingers, keep pushing, and try to get some sleep.

Sleep's been a little rough lately. Have an air mattress with a slow leak. I think the sinking is bad for my back. Got a painful twinge in my neck/shoulder Thursday night while traversing. Got so bad overnight that I had to take the next day off. It's gotten better since, but I still have limited range of motion. One of the things I've got in storage is a firm couch I can sleep on. I'll try to get a coworker w. a truck to help me out with that soon.

I have Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving. I'd rather be working. I'll likely spend most of my time with my nose in a prob. and stat. book studying for actuarial exams. I was also thinking of cooking a goose. It's a big expense, but I can spread the cost through many meals, so possibly justifiable. I want the practice.

Need to do some laundry now. Plan to do some calisthenics w. ab work and go for a run as well. If I have time and energy I'll go to the gym afterwards.

Current Mood: sore
Sunday, May 11th, 2008
5:49 am
There can be a down side.

Randall Munroe had an interesting take on this. I’ve never really clicked with any individual like this. It’s always been one way. In the forums someone suggested that the proper response to a night like this might be to just move away so that the memory of that perfect night wouldn’t get spoiled. As ridiculous as it sounds, I don’t entirely disagree.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
7:14 pm
I used to love cars
I loved the speed, the power and the independence they represented/provided. I can still appreciate the beauty of a finely designed automobile, even more the physical capabilities of a well engineered sports car. But I primarily see them as machines now. Their value is purely in their utility (Of course, some of that utility can be visceral impact. There's nothing like leaning into a curve on a motorcycle.) At this very moment, I'm just hating my car. She just refuses to start in the wet when she's cooled down.

I had a feeling I was in trouble when I heard the rain outside my window this morning. I had some hope of being able to start as I got in rather late and there was some likely some residual heat in the block. Perhaps if I had gotten out of bed a few minutes earlier I could have made it (but we all know that wasn't going to happen). Then I missed the bus by just a minute and had to take a cab to my doctor's appt.. And because I still hadn't wasted enough time and money, I got the Huntington and Franconia/Springfield stations mixed up at first. Cab driver must have thought I was a neurotic nut case, and he'd be right.

The appt.. itself went rather smoothly, but not really well. Stitches are now out and the swelling is very much down, but I've still got double vision at the edges of eye travel (particularly the top). I'm supposed to go back in in 2 weeks to have it looked at again. If I still have double vision, the doctor's going to suggest surgery. This would cost $4k I ain't got. I'm in a bit of a quandary as to what to tell my dad. I am obsessively, compulsively honest. But I don't want him worrying about the matter. I know he's strapped for money too, so I'm definitely not going to let him pay for it. Maybe I'll just rely on a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

So I get back and almost get the car started. Being the hopeless optimist that I pretend not to be I decide to chance waiting for an hour while it defloods to give it another go. Even closer, but no cigar. So now I'm going to arrive late again. I catch the first bus with little wait and thank my lucky stars as a train pulls up just as I exit the train to get the bus to work, I realize I've flipped stations again. Now I'm at Franconia/Springfield when I need to be at Huntington. Of course, I miss the bus by just 1 minute again. My paranoid fear of premature senility has now been superseded by my paranoid fear of brain damage.

I had some hope that I'd be able to start my hooptie by the time I got home as long as it didn't rain, but rain it has. Forecast has it raining all night. So unlikely to get it started until tomorrow. Not something I can't work around, but big pain in the ass. And to top it off, I forgot my umbrella. Ah well, at least I've got a plastic bag for the books and time to read on the bus.

Really, my lifes not as bad as I make it out. Might go climbing tomorrow. Have nifty books to read. It just seems that the rough stuff happens to be sticking out when I find a chance to update.

Current Mood: annoyed
Thursday, August 16th, 2007
7:21 pm
So yeah, I live in a bad neighborhood
All sorts of things to update that I'm simply not going to get around to. The end of the Boston trip, including the ride back from hell (which seems not so hellish now), the 23rd Annual Go Congress, the trip to West VA to help out a friend, the impounding of my care. If you're really dying to know about any of this, ask me about it.

So I was walking home last Friday night (technically Saturday morning) from the King Street metro as I had missed the last bus coming back from go club. I wasn't paying enough attention to my surroundings and I was about 30 ft. from my door I got hit from behind before I even knew I was being approached. After some strong blows to my head I surrendered my wallet to my 3 attackers. They took the cash out, threw it back, and with a last kick that put my face into the pavement and broke my glasses they walked off.

The police were fairly quick to respond when I called 911. The gash over my left eye was losing a lot of blood and I got taken to emergency right away. There I got 7 stitches in my eyebrow, 12 in my lid and a ct scan which showed my orbital/occipital bone (I've heard both terms, need to check w. doctor/anatomy book) to be fractured. Got a voucher to get a cab back 4 hours later.

The swelling has been going down gradually. Had a follow-up w. a doctor on Tuesday. Things were looking much better, but I'm still a mess (expect at least one gross picture in the future). The bone is still out of place. The doctor and I are hoping that the bone will move back into place and my eye will function normally as the swelling goes down. Two days later that seems to be the case, but I won't know for sure until next Tuesday that surgery has been ruled out.

The swelling was down enough today that I felt comfortable with going in for an eye exam (never found the left lens, so I'm effectively a cyclops right now). The vision seemed fine except for the usual near-sightedness, but it became clear during the exam that there's more than that. I'm hoping that it's just some temporary junk in my eye that's going to clear up as I heal. In any case, I'm at least going to have to get a new exam and prescription for my left eye when the healing is done. Another bummer is that my myopia is extreme enought that my lenses have to be ordered and that it will be at least a weak until I get my new glasses.

All along people have been expressing shock and support. It's interesting to see the different take different people have on the matter according to their own priorities and viewpoint. I love the expressions of concern and support, but it is getting to be a little tiresome. I'm also dissappointed in the focus on the assailants getting caught and justice being served. Not that they don't deserve it or that the world wouldn't be a better place if they do. I'm just not going to let whether or not they get away have any importance to me. The best revenge is a life well lived (who said that?) and that's my intent. Sure, I'm a victim. But there's no point on dwelling on the matter. I've got a life to live and don't have time for this eye-for-an-eye bullshit.

To put it in perspective, a couple days ago I discovered someone I knew from BNDC days was struggling w. breast cancer. I've got no room to complain.

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, July 26th, 2007
4:49 pm
Massachusets continued

You're Mrs. Dalloway!

by Virginia Woolf

Your life seems utterly bland and normal to the casual observer, but
inside you are churning with a million tensions and worries. The company you surround
yourself with may be shallow, but their effects upon your reality are tremendously deep.
To stay above water, you must try to act like nothing's wrong, but you know that the
truth is catching up with you. You're not crazy, you're just a little unwell. But no
doctor can help you now.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Didn't like this despite the eery accuracy of it so I tried again and got this:

You're Mother Night!

by Kurt Vonnegut

Nobody knows what to believe about you, and you know least of all. You
spent most of your time convinced that the ends justify the means, but your means were,
well, downright mean! And the end is nigh. Meanwhile all you want is to travel back in
time, if not to change, then to just delight in the way it used to be. You are who you
pretend to be. Oh yes, you're the great pretender.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Better. It's not "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", "American Gods" or "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" but it will do.

Oh yeah, and I might as well update while I'm hereCollapse )

Current Mood: lethargic
Friday, July 20th, 2007
10:57 am
Bostonians seem like normal people...
But then they get behind the wheel and it's like an automotive Twilight Zone, where normal reality gets twisted. I used to wonder what had happened to people in Massachussets to make them like this. After having some short time driving the streets of Boston I now have an idea.

I had had 3 options for last weekend. Bicamp 2007, the Bi Bare Beach bash, or a couple go tournaments on an insane schedule. Well, I've got friends up in Boston who weren't doing Bicamp so crazy seemed like the best choice.

Saturday was the Congress Tune-Up in Arlington. Fun time despite the small turn-out and the fact that I went 2-2. Still having trouble using all my time. But I still got a decent mental workout. I was supposed to go to an event at a local Buddhist shrine that evening, but I was exhausted. I made an attempt later in the night, but got lost and aborted the mission.

After a 1 hour attempt at napping I headed up to Boston for the first time in my life (my sentient life anyhoo). As is my wont, I got out the door 30 minutes late and so added 5-10 mph to my usual pace. I made an 8 hour, 15 minute trip in 7 hours, 4 minutes. I did find myself wishing, however, that I had left much earlier so that I could take some time off to inspect and climb some of the cut-throughs as I got near Boston. Both climbing and my time in evolution/creation debates has sparked a greater interest in geology on my part recently. It would have helped me keep my eyes open too if I had had time to get out and stretch my legs some.

I'm used to these things being held in University buildings, not the dingy basements of government services buildings. The start up was disorganized even for a go tournament. I took a moment to go look for a bathroom and discovered the next thing that's different up here. Stuff that is free down here isn't always so elsewhere. I expect that w. museums and zoos, but public bathrooms? Grrrr. Call me a leftist liberal pinko if you want. But damn-it! there are some things that you shouldn't have to pay for.

I went 2-2 again, but felt less bad about it as I was functioning on no sleep whatsoever. Still played too fast, but my games were fairly ok. During lunch I got to touch base w. Robert Ferguson, who I hadn't seen in a while, and try out Tibetan food for the first time.

So I got my go fix and had a fun time, now it was vacation time. with bitty and bubblebabble. More about that time and the hellish drive home later.

Current Mood: guilty
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
6:11 pm
Am I alive?
It is the norm after a long hiatus to make an assertion in the positive. I shall leave it to you to make your own judgement in that regard.

It is hard to know what to say at this point. Everythings changed and yet nothing is different. Much of what may be of worth has slipped my mind and yet the there is such a plethora of interesting (by my view) anectdotes, ideas and factoids that I would have been hard pressed to keep up even were I updating regularly. So I shall swim into the glittery swarm and savage it and you shall see what you have to stomach.

Had a couple interesting jobs. Worked at a paint store and developed respect for the effort involved in mopping for hours on end and the weight of a 5 gallon can. Worked at a nursery that specialized in native plants and enjoyed working outdoors and learned that prickly pear cacti are native to Virginia.

I have suffered through a long period of unemployment. I didn't realize what stress I was under and how much my self esteem suffered until the pressure relented a little. Of course, like a nipple clamp or too-tight bindings released, some of the sharpest pain came after. Strange.

Now I'm working as a temp at the front desk of the Mental Health Center of Mount Vernon run by Fairfax County. In addition to mental illness we also deal with homelessness and addiction (though primarily of those who also suffer severe mental illness). So we get some interesting characters through the doors. I would have some interesting stories to tell already if the client's right to privacy didn't prohibit me.

My coworker is a trip. Just the quirky sort I get along w. best. Utterly professional and a big kid at heart. My boss I don't get at all. He seems reasonable, fair, and sane and he listens. This is completely at odds with all my experience prior to this.

The down sides are that I don't get paid enough (I have potential for a raise somewhere down the road, but still not enough to live at all comfortably on), and that I am required to work until 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This has particular significance that I will explain later in this post. At least I don't have to be at work on those days until 12:30pm. Gives me time for shopping and running errands.

I get the feeling I'll be here a while. The place started feeling homey and stable right from the start. Is it just wishful thinking on my part? My unconscious weighing out various factors, not all of which I may be aware? Perhaps it's the sort of clairvoyance I don't believe in, part of the strange connectedness my pattern recognition and my emotions keep pointing out to me yet which I remain stubbornly sceptical of. Regardless of the source, the veracity of the feeling will be borne out (or not) in time.

My strength in go has taken a sudden jump. I was stuck at 6kyu for the longest time and scrabbling to 5 kyu felt like it was going to tear out my figurative fingernails. But in the last few months I have done well enough in tournaments to get an official rating of 2 kyu and have been giving dan players some interesting games. This is of course unimpressive to many used to seeing kids going from beginner to shodan in less than a year, but considering my age and past progress I'm elated. I wish I knew when I was younger the joy of exploring a single field to this sort of depth.

Since January, I've taken up climbing. It's something I've long been interested in but done little to nothing about (common thread throughout my life). This January, someone arranged a group visit to one of the climbing gyms through meetin.org. This got me off my ass to go and do it. Despite my pitiful performance which made me aware of how soft I'd gotten, I was hooked. I joined the local climbing gym (had to do it on the family dime) and started taking classes and coming in regularly. Despite the fact that I'm still one of the softest regulars, I can't get enough of it. I've even taken advantage of the free yoga classes that membership brings. One of the downsides of my present job is that I have to go to work before the gym opens and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I can get in about an hour at most when I get off. I will be boring you to tears w. more on this in the future.

I've started working out more. Even running, which I hate. I haven't been consistent about it except for the climbing, but I'm definitely making progress. According to my scale, as of Sunday evening I hadn't made any progress at all (in either weight or body fat percentage) in the last six months. But I can tell in the mirror that this isn't so. Still, those numbers on the lcd bug me.

I've fallen in and out of love a couple of times in the last few months. Even went on a couple dates (not one of the ones I was smitten by) and had things go bad. I was feeling horribly sceptical a few weeks ago. Even took down my OKCupid profile in a bout of self pity.

In the last few days I've been feeling better. Some of it is the natural rhythm of moods, I am sure. But it does feel as if I'm making a sea change. Walking across the parking lot the other day I noticed I was moving w. something more akin to confidence and grace than my usual lumbering stride. I even threw in a bit of hip motion for fun (I've always had a nice ass, even in my worst shape).

When interacting w. women I'm attracted too I've been feeling more sure of myself. True, some of it is the backlash from my last rejection. I come to feel I will never make a romantic attachment and make a point of not thinking of such possibilities when I meet a woman and this seeming detachment will ironically make me more attractive (or at least less repulsive). I sometimes joked that what woman wanted most from me is not to be attracted to them. But lately it's been something more. I feel more centered and comfortable with myself. I carry myself w. actual confidence rather than the illusion of it that the disattachment that comes through resentment brings.

One piece of irony however, is the attention that my okcupid profile has been recieving lately. I took down all my "cleverness" and insight and my one photo and filled it with a few bitter and sarcastic comments. This and my whining on my OkCupid journal gained me more attention (albeit still scant) in the last 2 months than the regular one did in about a year (or has it been 2?). Seems the bitter, surly type has a better following than the sincere, dorky type. I'm almost tempted to oblige.

Ok, I've goofed off too long and it's time to get back to work. In short, I'm back. And I make no promise of staying or catching up w. you folks or filling in more on past happenings. *wave*

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, February 14th, 2007
5:38 pm
Test post
I am doing 43 things.
Thursday, May 11th, 2006
9:33 am
The End is Nigh
I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in three days. Monday night I was shaking not from cold or an adrenalin rush, but from fear. I've never been so scared and despairing in my life. I fear for myself, my family, my friends and for the world itself.

Just about a week ago I saw a lecture by David Goodstein titled "The End of the Age of Oil". It basically covered the same material as his book "Out of Gas". I am ashamed to say that I had seen much of the data he puts forth before. I had just never put it together. Like so many others I had assumed we had many decades left and that market forces would take care of things. This evening was an eye opener. I was a fool. Not only are we very near the peak of oil production (as demand constantly increases), but it is reasonable to think we are already there.

I chewed over the information for a few days as I read the copy of his book I bought that night, but the urgency of the matter didn't really strike me until Monday night as I ran across this site. I normally scoff at such dire scenarios. But that is because they are based on foolish assumptions out of touch with the way the world really works. This is not. The facts and conclusions all bear out.

It's not a matter of just losing the cars and the extravagant lifestyle and the disposable economy. Our world and our economy is fed on oil. Not only do we rely on it to run the combines and harvesters and tractors, we also rely on it to run the trucks and trains to carry goods to and from the farms. If the United States were to magically transform into the pre-oil society we had over a century ago, we likely couldn't feed our present population. And that transformation would be far from magical anyway. Our society is set up for the cheap and easy energy we are used to.

As prices rise, our politicians are talking about raising fuel economy standards. This is akin to putting out a forest fire by spitting on it. We need to start building nuclear power plants (I know, I know, but it's an ugly necessity) and putting out solar arrays on a large scale. We need to heavily fund research into electric vehicles and biomass conversion and fuel cells (hydrogen will not be an energy source, but an energy storage vehicle). Market forces will not react quickly enough to make this happen. We need to light a fire under our heads of state to get the ball rolling on this.

Please, if nothing else, contact your representatives (even that dimwit in the White House) and wake them up to the crisis. Spread word among others on your list, post the links above. This is an issue of survival and we need to get started NOW.

Current Mood: scared
Saturday, April 8th, 2006
5:05 am
I'm alive! (like you care)
Every day is supposed to be a fresh start. Almost every night I tell myself it's going to be different this time. Usually it's not until the next day is at least partly done that I realize I have to move my expectations back. Realizing that much of my problem in getting started is not having things ready when I get up and having no specific plan of attack. So this time I plan to have as much taken care of as possible the night before, thus creating mental inertia to carry me forward. So, after go club (great though humiliating lesson from Yuan Zhou and fun game w. Marion (4stones, I won)) and stopping off at the Steak & Egg (cute dark haired woman w. hunting cap and pirate button) I prepare for my exciting day at the <a href="http://www.us-japan.org/dc/events/matsuriindex.html">Sakura Matsuri</a>:
1) Get Ford Maddox Ford's "The Good Soldier" for Sunday's book club (also get a copy of Hornby's "How to be Good").
2)Get cash out of ATM for bus.
3) Break twenty by getting coffee at Dunkin' Donuts.
4) Gas up car. (Plan to take bus, but just in case).
So after I get home by 2:30 am and pee I just have to:
5) Make a record of  Yuan Zhou's comments that I can remember.
6) Put phone on charger.
7) Get bus and rail itenerary from Metro trip planner.
8) Put contact numbers into my cell.
9) Copy down times and locations of events at the street fair I want to catch.
10) Set out the clothes I'm going to wear .
11) Figure out which bike shop has the right hours for me to stop by and get a new helmet, lock and pump.
13)Empty cat box and take out trash (usually I do this when I get up).

So number 5 of course takes at least 2 hours (I got distracted looking up joseki in Master Go) and since I'm not going to be short enough on sleep I kill an hour watching "Doctor Who"(What, you don't have any guilty pleasures?) . Then I realize I've got to do laundry. I've got nothing clean  and decent left at all. DAMN, damn, damn damndamndamn... I may  be able to get most everything done I have planned and still arrive on time, but not  12. In terms of exhaustion, the 1-3 hours of sleep  I'm missing may not make much of a difference, but for me sleep is also the day's punctuation. Staying up all night is like a run-on sentence, poor form even to my slack standards.

"So Max, if you're so pressed on time, why are you wasting so much of it on updating your journal?"

A- Ohshit!gottago!....

Current Mood: groggy
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