atolnon: (Default)
( May. 4th, 2013 09:01 am)
I have mere minutes as I wait to shower but here's an update, I suppose.

I finished Cat's Cradle, and I'm not really that enthusiastic about it, to be quite honest with you. It seemed a little smug and shallow to me, where most of the book reads as something of a shaggy dog story. None of the characters actually did anything, and I know that's part of the theme, but I don't think it was particularly great. The technique was sound enough, and Vonnegut is clever enough with words and ideas, so it was easy enough to finish, though. One of those times where I actually feel like the book is less than the sum of its parts.

Still slogging through the programming manual - I haven't really had enough time to sit down and work at coding, so the reading and interaction with it is probably going to stretch past the wedding date. I picked up the paperback version of Wraith : the Oblivion which, after all this time, I realize has a very decent (if physically difficult to read) introduction. The book club is on to Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, which I've read before, but liked quite a bit at the time. I'm also currently about halfway through What if the Earth Had Two Moons - a pop-science astronomy book about the physical formation of earth-like planets in space under different construction scenarios. 

The house is an incredible mess. We've pulled many books and DVDs off the shelves, along with a CRT television, so that they sit on the floor awaiting their pickup. I had a chair break right out from under me, and it's quietly awaiting demolition on our living room floor, to mine and Katie's consternation. Yesterday, being particularly busy, we did not have time to deal with events quite like we would have wished. Wedding-related stress from my in-laws is driving both Katie and I to heavier drinking, but my suit recently came in and things are coming together very nicely. If I have time, perhaps on Monday I will take some pictures. I occasionally promise things like this, regardless of intent to follow through.  
atolnon: (Default)
( Apr. 23rd, 2013 09:07 pm)

Books read so far this week are a little odd. I finished "The Man Who Invented Hitler", an odd book Katie had bought some time ago about the therapist who might have, sorta, kind of caused the mental leap from timid-but-weird Hitler to flip-out-and-murder Hitler. I don't know that I agree with the premise, but there was a lot of interesting historical what-have-you in it. I read a cookbook called "Korean Cooking for Everyone", which I've often flipped through and learned a good way to press tofu before frying. It was worth it if only for that.

I joined a book club started by a friend of Katie's, and the first book is "Cat's Cradle" by Vonnegut. I haven't read it yet, but I'm about 50 pages in and I've found it to be intriguing. Since it's for a discussion group, I'm taking notes and hopefully I'll be finished by Wednesday. I'm also reading "Starting Out With C++", which was not the book I was using for my own studies in high school or college (my mother stole my programming book, but to what end I will never understand), so I figured there was little use in reading it without learning to code again. I went out and downloaded a free compiler that Katie's used in the past, but that'll probably take some time to properly work through.

Next month is Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore". The library in Belleville didn't have "Cat's Cradle", so Katie just bought it for the Kindle app, which I don't enjoy as much but, well, I don't have time to waste waiting for the library to get it in before the end of the month and it was only 3 bucks this way. I own "Kafka", already, which is something like cheating but, well, I didn't vote for it so those are the rules of the club. Majority wins.

Michel Pollen just released a new book called "Cooked" and, I swear to god, the only reason I asked the library to order it for me is because it bases its chapters off of the classical western elements in terms of its discussion on food preparation and it gave me an idea for Dragon Blooded cooking Charms. I've liked Pollen's other stuff, though, so I'm excited to read it on general terms.

Work is normal, the convention is over, my tire is fixed, my suit is in, Katie's suit is being hand-tailored and I'm totally gonna get shown up in terms of awesome suit quality (I'm excited to see what comes in!), but mine is still fairly nice. Our food raising charity, Can Town St Louis raised over 300 dollars in cash from our auction and over 250 in the value for canned goods, so this month ended up being about 600 in cash and value to the Collinsville area food pantry. We're practically ecstatic - I think this is a new record, and I'm amazingly proud of not just Katie, but everyone who donated and helped with the events.

I'm going to be selling or giving away a fair amount of my own book collection - both role-playing and otherwise. I'll post a list when I know what I'm getting rid of. It's not that I don't like it, but we're desperately trying to cut back on our possessions in order to tidy up our material lives, here. Books and media are my greatest weakness, and I'm trying to set a good example and get better about possessions and collecting, myself. It's good stuff, though, most of it. You might want some.

We're very busy; that's not everything, just a snap-shot. Money is very tight, but we're feeling pretty good in between bits of financial-based anxiety. Cheers!

I had received some concerned sounding comments on the last post. Don't worry! I had been feeling a little down, but that itself was apropos of nothing going on in my life. Rather, I had been ruminating a little before I was ready to head to bed about the effects of aging and wisdom. I've felt that as I've gotten older, it's certainly not age that has given me my maturity. I feel much like I did when I was 16, except more stuff has happened to me. Maybe, as I continue to grow older, my associations with youth will dim in my memory, and all I will recall sharply is the present - a me, if you will, that is better defined by the things that I've actually managed to learn then the loves and wrenches of childhood. However, nothing we know now can be told to the us of yesterday, and neither can we easily help others.

As we joke around the gaming table, 'We're all dying, all the time!'

Otherwise, I've spent a little time beating myself up about school. I've obviously been dragging my feet getting things done, and part of me had sat down trying to see if I could explain how a laid back lifestyle of running rpg games and not worrying about paying rent and groceries in the same month, while having enough money to go out every now and again might seem tempting against the possibility of stressful academics in an iffy financial situation.

Oh, there it is. I think I just did.

Obviously, I plan on going back since it's, I don't know, what I actually want to do with my life and I'm almost 27 now, living in what appears to be a box in a field working mediocre tech support on contract. When I looked that up, it was almost the definition of 'temporary' along with high school relationships and Tamogachis. Except right now, when it comes right down to it, the most important things in my life are literally what I'm running on Tuesdays and building a fucking pagoda out of a wall in Minecraft, which might be the stupidest way to spend my time, ever. I guess I just don't fucking care, because it just means I've got time to read, and play some games, and I'm not worried all the time, and my nerves literally come from the fact that I feel like I should always, always be running.

Lately, I'm reading Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which started off as kind of a downer, but I'd heard it highly recommended. The Jenna, I believe, said something similar at the checkout desk. In any case, I've been doing other stuff obviously, but I'm only about halfway through. Reading it before bed, something slightly good happened to the protagonist which caused my stomach to clench, almost in preparation of the inevitable kick I know will be delivered. It was that visceral. Obviously excellent writing. 

I had someone else propose that I read Journey to the End of the Night  by Celine. It was presented in a tone that brook no argument by someone I met in strange circumstances, which I will discuss here when the time is appropriate. Just know that it is a mildly amusing story with a potentially interesting consequence.
atolnon: (Default)
( Nov. 25th, 2009 11:33 pm)
Yuh. Made it through to the break. Thursday and Friday off, Friday's unpaid.

When I did finally make it home, I wasn't in much condition to do anything. Hung out for a little while and played some casual Magic before heading back to the apartment to dick around on my computer.

Created a separate space elsewhere to blag about FFXI, which is primarily used just to note what quests I'm working on and what I need to do in-game. So that's probably not going to clog this journal much at any point in the near future.

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving, so I'm heading over to Braintai's earlier on in the day/afternoon then, if I'm not feeling totally wiped, may be heading over to Chris' for an event. It sounds like fun, and normally I'd pass, but I said I'd try quite a while ago so I'll make an effort and probably have an ok time. That is, if I can avoid drinking too much and passing out. Yep. I am filing it under 'things to avoid' right now.

I chatted with Viski last night about games to play and she suggested Shin Megami Tensei : Nocturne. Persona 4 is also high on my list. I wasn't able to guess just from hearing it why she'd select SMT : Nocturne when she had trouble with the grind in Persona 3, but the way she stated it, she felt so familiar with the type of story P3 was trying to produce that it didn't resonate with her enough to deal with the repetitive mechanical aspect. She was never a fan of the dating sim system, either. Looking at the game, I can see how this would happen. I'm basically building a list now.

If you have games or books to suggest, knock yourself out. Of course, if I pick your suggestion, you have to read about it off and on for a while.
... well, my phone. I don't wear or carry a watch anymore, so it's funny when I go somewhere with no signal and can't find out what time it is. Anyhow. I've got a little while before my first upcoming night shift, and I'm not super keen on it. I got used to going to bed kinda early and getting up kinda early, so the shift is radical. I get a shabby-looking blue shirt and slacks, a name tag, and 12 an hour. ^_^;

Really, I'm a little nervous. My training was really sparse, and consisted of going two rounds (about 4 miles), and a brief description of other duties which consist of 1: not doing anything, 2: helping residents in an emergency, 3: looking at a pager and turning it off or, alternately, answering it, and 4: dropping off newspapers and letting the bread delivery guys in.

I assume my duties will be covered more in-depth this evening.

Besides that, the rough part is going to be staying up. The hours aren't just late, they're weird. Some shifts are from 11 Pm to 7:30 Am, and some are from 5 Pm to 2 Am. One of those is easier than the other to stay awake, and the other, basically nothing happens. I take comfort in that in the event I do an awful job, I still come out financially ahead. I want to do well, but the guy on duty basically told me that if I've got questions, I just ask someone on the staff, and if I'm needed, I'll probably just be called instead of beeped. So, I hope. I don't know if I'm doing this for just this week or for two weeks. I don't really care which. Both have their upsides, but the position has already made my life more difficult, so I await being paid eagerly.

Much like I await the news of my fate in general. Oh, waiting. You do me no favors!

I got Only Revolutions in. It's Mark Z. Danielewski's road novel, and I'll probably be reading it on my shift. Nothing like brain-warping fiction to accompany you on your caffeine-fueled night swing-shift through the semi-lit halls of an up-scale old-folks home in the coniferous hills of the great North West. ^_^
Man alive! It's actually pretty busy tonight, with one hospital call after another. I'm not really sure what's going around out there this Thursday, but if it's not sickness, these calls indicate injury. Remember- if it happens to be zombie bites and plague, aim for the brain and run, don't fight - don't risk a bite! 

On a totally different side note, my wrists have been acting really oddly lately. They don't hurt, but they're prone to popping and feel really stiff.  I'm wondering if there's something about the keyboard angle and desk/chair height that's doing something to them.


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