Category Archives: miscellany

You’re never alone

It’s pretty messed up when your boss basically tells you that you are working too much and tells you to go take some time off. In fact, he doesn’t even consider it “vacation.” He’s just sending you on a really long break.

It’s also pretty messed up when you go to the dentist and he tells you:

  1. There’s nothing wrong with your tooth. You just need to stop grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw. Relax.
  2. Get some sleep. Your geographic tongue is out of control.

Everyone pretty much knows that work seriously took over my life the past few months and not in a “I’m really excited about my job and I’ve got lots of projects I want to work on” kind of way. And of course even after I’ve finally come to admit that I am seriously burnt out, looking at my calendar, I can hardly find time to take two days off before Thanksgiving, which will be a whole other stress-fest unto itself. And even if I did take a four-day weekend, I can hardly think of anything that I’d like to do or anywhere I’d want to go (that wasn’t completely expensive and far away). At this point, I’m pretty much looking at sleeping like 16 hours a day, watching TV and sitting around in my underwear. While a good plan, the problem with it is that it means I’m at home with a high-speed Internet connection and my computers. Which means I’ll probably end up checking work email which means I’ll end up thinking about work which means I’ll end up doing work at some point during my prescribed time away from work.

You would think the solution to this would be to leave my house and to leave my computer behind. Oh, but I’ll have my Blackberry wherever I’ll go. Doh. I guess that was the whole point of getting that right? Have email with me wherever I go? And yes, you’re probably saying “Well, leave the Blackberry at home.” Ah, but my obsessive-compulsive need to always have a phone with me and always be reachable in some way will never let me do that.

I think I just need to let go.

The Yay Area

Today was a “me” day. After a lovely breakfast of Egg Beaters and toast, I drove up to Montara Beach, enjoying the windy roads and scenic drive as I neared one of the more isolated beaches near Half Moon Bay (the main Half Moon Bay beach is more popular). I got to sit there for a while, reading Snow Crash and enjoying the perfect weather– sunny with a light breeze, warm but not warm enough to sit there sweating and uncomfortable. After a little while, I decided to make my way back down to the Peninsula, stopping for a tall iced mocha at the local Starbucks, paid for courtesy of the gift card Stanford Federal Credit Union sent me after they screwed up my automatic car loan withdrawal. And I drove back down 92, again enjoying the winding roads with the excellent handling on my Lexus and looking forward to cooking up some dinner and having a good bottle of wine. The only thing that would have been better would have been having the foresight to have enough cash on me to buy some cherries from one of the produce stands along the side of the road. Alas, something for next time.

I realize that I really do like living in the Bay Area. It’s got great weather (sunny and clear without being too humid or hot), great beaches just a short drive away and city life in all different flavors with San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. It’s a great place to be when you’re in your twenties and looking to just live your life.
Continue reading The Yay Area

Rollercoaster

While I love to read, I often find reading a new book challenging. Starting a new book is like getting on a rollercoaster. You want to take a ride because you’ve heard a lot of about it or it’s the new thing at your favorite amusement park, but first, you have to wait in line. When you do get up to the front, you have to get into your seat, buckle up, and wait for the attendants to make sure everybody is safe and secure before sending you on your way. When you’ve finally started moving, you start that slow ascent, sometimes the wood creaking underneath you as you hear that click, click, click up the incline. And then suddenly, you’re moving. You’re flying down the descent, you’re upside down and sideways. Some parts you like more than others–you feel like you could ride them all day– and other parts you plain just don’t like.

For me, getting started with a new book is a lot like that. I usually enjoy most books I decide to read, but it takes a little while– I have to get into the groove of the author’s writing style, I need to learn the characters, the world in which the book takes place. Sometimes it’s a little uncomfortable and sometimes I’m a little impatient. Sometimes, I’m so impatient that I end up forever trying to read a book only to find myself stuck trying to get past those first few chapters. And I don’t even think it’s the fault of the writer– it’s just my own version of ADD perhaps. That’s why I often find myself opting to start books on planes because I have nothing else to do except focus on reading. And suddenly, like taking off on that rollercoaster, I’m completely immersed in the world I’m reading about– picturing the characters live and in color in my mind’s eye, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel. And when it’s a really good book, I don’t want to come up. I want to live in that world forever, explore it until I feel like I’ve completely internalized it and have lived the story myself. When the story’s over and I finally come up, I’m almost exhausted. I feel like I’ve lived a thousand lifetimes through that story and have, of course, been changed by the experience.
Continue reading Rollercoaster

Simple Host rocks my world

I finally found a hosting service that meets all of my needs– Simple Host. Lots of disk space, lots of bandwidth, lets you run your own CGI scripts (therefore, the blog is now hosted where it should be) and great email management features. All for a reasonable price.

It seems too good to be true. We’ll find out if it is.

Not everyone sees the beauty of the blog

So, my blog fascination has been going on for a while– especially since I have been reading this one. It’s by someone I knew in college and I find him totally entertaining! His longer rants are even more entertaining. My blog fascination only grew when I researched blog software and was very enamored by Movable Type.

I only finally sacked up and started my own blog though when I was talking about it with my boss and he suggested we use a blog to track how students use wireless in the dorms that are participating in our new wireless project. So, we installed Movable Type on our server and tried it out. Very cool piece of free software that is pretty easy to setup and configure.

So, since we were at it, we decided it would be a cool service to offer to our student employees for their dorm Web sites and personal sites as well. Blogs have been a pretty popular thing on the Web for a while and thought it would be a cool service to offer to our students. They wouldn’t have to worry about setting up the Perl app themselves– they could just take advantage of the work we did! Sure, there are sites on the Web that also offer blog services, like Blogger, but from my experience, they don’t always work the way you want them to and it’s nice to have software running on your own server. We even one-upped the larger IT organization by setting it up and offering it to our students first.

Of course, when I presented it at one of the student meetings, most of them did even know what a blog was! And when I explained what it was and how people use it on their personal Web sites and how it could possibly be used in a dorm setting, they were not impressed. They just said, “But why would somebody want to do that?”

Of course, why would somebody want to watch a bunch of people they don’t know doing nothing through a Web cam? Who knows, but it happens. A lot.

So, not everyone sees the beauty of the blog, but hey, I find it entertaining. And if you’re reading this, so must you. At least a little bit.