Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fury

The other day, someone in one of my classes compared me to Bruce Banner: he anticipated the notion that I would have whiteboards in my place (I do, because they're awesome), I'm always angry, and I've done some studying of physics in my time.

It's not an incorrect comparison. But it does bother me.

Last night I got hammered. Happened somewhat by accident... I got more hammered than I'd intended. Of what I remember, I was having a good time. An okay time, at the very least. But then, apparently, at some point, I started freaking out and yelling a lot and just generally being an angry person.

I don't know why I get so goddamn angry. I don't know why I'm angry all the time. I have a lot of things to be angry about, sure... but at this point, I also have a lot of things to not be angry about. So why the hell am I so angry all the time?

It's getting... no, it is out of hand. It needs to stop. I just have no idea how to stop it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mortal

It's been awhile. So much for my plan of doing five or so posts a month, eh?

Life has been busy. Well... perhaps not "life," but I'll get to that in a moment. Lots of irons in the fire, sure enough, but not a whole lot coming to fruition.

Middle of last month or so, I decided to get back into gaming. Resubbed to both Eve and FF XIV. Haven't played much Eve - still no reason to - but I went into XIV with gusto. Dived right back into it, and that... kind of consumed my time, quite a bit.

It's not to say I didn't have fun. I did, for most of it. But then the other day, I was playing, and was kind of getting bored... just a slump, I told myself.

Then I was driving to class on Tuesday, and - nearly back to back - "Cat's in the Cradle" played, followed by "Dust in the Wind." I then kind of had one of those revelatory moments, and was like, "oh right, I'm mortal. I should probably do shit."

Haven't logged into either game since.

Classes are going okay. I figured out in the last couple weeks that if I wear headphones and listen to my post-rock track on Pandora on super-low volume, it does wonders for my focus - if I actually try to pay attention. Otherwise it completely destroys my ability to passively listen (ie, when I'm paying solitaire instead of paying attention). So it's a work in progress, but when it works, it works, and it's awesome.

Today I finally acknowledged the inevitable and, in the spirit of acknowledging my mortality, put together my academic plan for my graduate degree. I now know exactly where I want to go, the degree I am going for, and the classes I will be taking - and in what order. I'll be able to finish in literally a year, which is fantastic.

Chances are good that I'll be starting that up within a year of graduating in the spring. I have momentum, now; the storm can rage all it wants, but I am finally sailing under my own power, despite it. I'm not interested in resting on my laurels; there's shit to be done, and I won't be able to accomplish it by basking in my achievements. Even if I manage to graduate on time, this time around, an undergrad in computer science and philosophy is just... insufficient for my goals. I need more.

I may always need more, but that's another story.

I've also begun contemplating looking for a job, specifically in Seattle. Amazon is apparently hiring, and that sounds like as good a venue as any. I just need something solid that can give me a decent monetary base to work with, and provide me with funding while I pursue my graduate degree. Once I have that in hand, I can begin working towards figuring out how to get to Bloomington and get the joint doctorate in cognitive science and informatics with a complex systems emphasis.

The road is clear. The path is set. I have but to walk it.

177 days remain.

A still more glorious dawn awaits.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Swan

Been awhile.

Classes are going... acceptably. Not awesome, but not terrible.

Financial aid shenanigans are afoot once more. In the midst of appeals. Fun times.

Had an extensive interview down in Neenah the other day. This place apparently simultaneously wants me to work for them really bad, and also doesn't want me to work for them at all: during the interview, I got an email saying I didn't get a job with them (not the one I was interviewing for, I think). So it's all been... kind of chaotic.

Journey playtests have been chaotic, but mildly informative. We will do some white-room testing this Friday, hopefully, and then move on to the actual story bullshit next time.

Just a whole lot of chaos, these days. Less feeling like floating, though, and more like freefall... the end of this place is nearing, and I think my life is sensing that. This is like... the boss rush of my life, right here. Which is kind of a stupid comparison, but I'll take it.

Only 222 days remain. That is... I mean, obviously the number keeps getting smaller, but still. It gets smaller faster, these days, it seems; the passage of time has gotten a little strange for me, as of late. I attribute it to being older.

Anyway. I have an exam shortly... should probably prepare for that, or something.

222 days remain.

A still more glorious dawn awaits.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Slow

Nine days. Lots has happened.

I've had three interviews. They all seemed to go pretty well, I think... two were at one place, for a comp sci internship. I've never really felt like I knew enough to even be considered for such a job, so that was - admittedly - a bit of a confidence boost.

Other one was for a night auditor job at a hotel nearby. Not nearly as glamorous, but... it's not food, which is a nice change of pace.

Unfortunately, I probably won't know about either one for awhile yet. The internship thing sounded... shaky, I guess? It's all remote, and they're a consulting firm, so I guess it's harder to get a job that way. Or something. They were kind of unclear. And the auditing job, well... they have a number of other candidates, and I might have been a bit late to the interview, which sure as hell didn't help my chances any.

Anyway.

I've sold ten copies of my thing, which you can find on the sidebar. Ten copies... ugh. Feels like so little. Haven't sold any in a couple days. Starting to get a little disheartened.

I have put almost no work into Journey, and we start up our playtest in a couple days. That's going to be... super fun.

My classes are kind of insane. I hate my philosophy class; specifically, I loathe the professor. He's the one guy I have gotten less than a B from in a philosophy course. He seems to have issue with me having opinions. I don't know. That was also like... six years ago, so maybe he's mellowed out some. I know his handwriting has improved, so at least that's something.

I'm also having issues adjusting my sleep schedule. I have class in seven hours, and I have to be on campus for... eight hours, with no opportunities for naps or anything like I did last semester. So... yeah.

I wonder if my phone is charged yet. Eh... 80%? I guess I'll take it. Need it to be good to go for an alarm, and the cord doesn't reach to the futon.

Oh yeah, and it's getting cold here again. Makes me want to watch Black Swan... I watched that my first week at the hovel, now a few years ago. Don't know if it was good times, but it was interesting times. Maybe now I'll always associate the smell of fall with that place. I know it's the first time that I moved that wasn't at the end of spring or start of summer... even moving into the dorms, that was the end of August, so it still smelled like summer outside.

I hate the winters here. I like snow, don't get me wrong, but... fucking cold. I hate the cold. At least this should be the last winter I spent in this miserable hellhole, assuming all goes well.

248 days remain.

A still more glorious dawn awaits.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Crumble

Oy. What a week.

Trying to get my phone reactivated in the event that I get a call-back regarding a job. That has been a super-fun experience. ...wait, I mean the other one. Super-shitty. That's the phrase.

Still wait-listed on a bunch of classes. Been scrambling to figure out exactly what the hell I need to take to ensure that I can graduate on time. Ha! Well, on time for me, anyway. I'm about five years too late to graduate "on time," but... life happens, I guess.

Finally started doing the self-publishing thing. Don't know if I've mentioned that on here before, but it was a crazy drunken thought I had a couple weeks ago, and it finally got off the ground. Put a link to it in the sidebar thingy where I put my work. Also stuck a link to my Minecraft mod, because... completeness, I guess.

...

First class of this semester starts in just over four hours. My sleep schedule got all kinds of fucked once summer hit, and while I adjusted it mildly to accommodate my only in-person class at TC over the summer, it pretty much went right back to nocturnal once that was done. I guess nearly a decade of almost entirely being nocturnal will do that to you.

Alcohol is still making me angry. Not entirely sure why. I mean... I'm an angry person, I guess. So it makes sense that when the inhibitions are removed, all that bullshit comes out. Probably doesn't help that not much is really going my way these days.

...has anything ever really gone my way?

Success has been rare. Every victory tainted by all the defeats that happened along the way. Even this self-publishing thing... it's cool that I finally got off my ass and started doing something even vaguely productive, but... fuck. I don't see it as a success. Sure, selling three copies in the first 24 hours, as a no-name guy just doing this by his damn self... I don't know if that's decent or not. I mean it beats not selling any. Just doesn't strike me as fantastic, though, you know? Like any putz could have done that.

Hmm.

Maybe my problem is that there is nothing that I have succeeded at that I was only able to do so because I am me. By that I mean that there's nothing I've done that someone else couldn't have done. I'm not sure if that makes sense... I've been up too long already as it is, today. But I can't go to sleep now, since classes are so very soon.

Damn my inability to take naps.

I'm still a goddamn mess, inside. Nearly 30, and still a fucking mess. What a pathetic excuse for an adult I am. Squandered time...

No sense getting all upset about it now. One foot in front of the other. Don't look back. Just gotta keep marching ever onward. My dawn will come soon enough...

257 days remain.

A still more glorious dawn awaits.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Disaster

When it rains, it pours.

Finally got my financial stuff at UWGB resolved, though a day late and a dollar short: nearly every class I need to get into is wait-listed. So that will be fun.

The jobhunt is... pathetic. I have a few jobs I'm rather interested in, but with the death of my phone earlier this week, I need to work fast to figure out how to get it back online before the call-backs begin.

Oh yes, the phone. So apparently I'm nearly five hundred dollars in the hole on my phone. Which is interesting, since I wrote them a check for almost three hundred earlier this summer, and I know my phone bill is not that crazy. Especially when they gave me the all-clear after that initial check. There is some kind of crazy bullshit going on over there, but I don't have the financial power at the moment to resolve the issue, and I sort of need the phone, so I can't really tell them to go fuck themselves at the moment, since my number is on all my resumes.

Add to all this the fact that in a couple weeks I have to pay my fine from earlier this summer, which is another hair above two hundred... and I still haven't renewed my license... ugh.

Oh yes, and I have a powerful need to eat sometime this month.

...

In other news. Last week Wednesday I went out and got hammered, after staring at Journey shit all day. Turned out to be a pretty good call, as I had some solid ideas away from the desk.

As the night kept going, though, I had another idea. Plenty of folks write stuff for Pathfinder, selling them as pdf's for a few bucks. I thought to myself... self, you've done a lot of work in the d20 space. Written a lot of stuff. It probably would not be too difficult to convert all that crap and sell it.

So using what I learned this past summer (I know, right? My "business applications" courses were actually useful), I wrote up a thing, formatted it all nice, learned some shit about acrobat, and went to town. Wound up with a 13k-word document at around 24 pages, priced it at about two bucks (seems reasonable given the utter lack of art, it being my first self-published thing, and the market in general), and gave it a go. Right now it's waiting to be inspected for meeting minimal publishing standards, which... given some of the other stuff out there, I don't think I'll have any issues.

It's not a job, not really - not enough for my parents to consider it a job for purposes of helping me with school, at any rate. But it is something, and something I can stick on my resume, which is useful. I figure if I keep it up, I could probably write up one of these things every couple weeks. Total time spent on this one was probably in the vicinity of 40 hours, but it was my first time; anything after that, I'll at least know what I'm doing, and I have a template to work off of now, in terms of layout.

So yeah, so that's a thing.

Anyway... I'm tired, in a lot of ways, and I need to fix my sleep schedule.

261 days remain.

A still more glorious dawn awaits.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Frame

This month has been... hectic. Finally finished my summer semester, so that's out of the way. Good riddance, I say; it was nothing but busy-work, intended as a means to acquiring the financial foothold I needed to return to GB, nothing more. Glad to be done with it.

Not that I didn't learn anything - of course I did. I question the usefulness of the knowledge, but... more knowledge is never a bad thing. My lack of ability to leverage it does not negate the fact that knowledge is, ultimately, power.

And power is, more and more, becoming a worthy goal, in my mind. I know my goal - the ultimate goal, at the end of the line - but there is a lot of life between here and there. I am intelligent enough that I can devote myself to the work while, at the same time, living a life that can have more meaning that simply being the instrument of AI.

Ah, but patience is a virtue... at this point in my life, I have little power to enact change. That will shift soon enough, upon my graduation... but that time is not here, not now. Right now I need to continue to improve my understanding of myself, improve my body, mind, and soul, until I am in the right place, ready to strike upon whatever opportunities present themselves... or that I carve out of the rough.

...

In other news. Jim and I have had a falling out. He has become... more and more asinine over the past few months, and I have finally had my fill of it. We're done. Clean break. It is unfortunate, but I cannot have that kind of negative energy hanging about in my life. He is a broken individual, pessimistic and ultimately going nowhere; I have no room in my life for someone like that, weighing on my shoulders and doing naught but bringing me down.

Contemplating that decision was long and difficult. Finally making the decision, not so much. It is a switch in my mind, nothing more; I can turn my empathy on and off at a whim, easily enough. And thus I have done so.

You could make an argument that I'm not as skilled at that as I claim, and you might be right. Danielle... things were complex, in my mind. But when I made the decision, this past winter, to be done: well, there it is, then. Curtain falls. We're done here.

Work on Journey is progressing. Slowly, but progressing. I am now into material that has never been written before. So that's always a good sign. I remember reaching that point for Steamworks, all those years ago... very similar feeling, though without the pressure of a deadline. In many ways that makes it harder; I function better with solid deadlines. Pressure makes diamonds, after all.

Still working on finding a job. That is not as easy as writing... bitter work, but making progress. I am rapidly running out of time to procure employment.

Anyway. Should probably edit out the summer classes on the sidebar thing, then get to work on Journey stuff.

271 days remain.

A still more glorious dawn awaits.