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The Morning Fog May Chill The Air

I don't care.

After almost a week in exotic places such as Leesburg, VA, and Edina, MN... I started to think, these places are nice... clean. Upscale and cheaper. Maybe I should consider other places.

But being back in my foggy little city....

<3.

Never thought I'd be so happy to see fog!

Enough With The Sick

TL;DR: I've been pretty dang sick since Wednesday and I've had QUITE ENOUGH OF IT.

I've got people to see, and things to do! I can't just be huddled up in a ball in my chair or on the couch!

There's this constant pressure to GO DO BE. But my body is like... uggh, hook up the XBOX? WAY TOO MUCH WORK. Walk two blocks to get food? What am I, superman? Look up that anime Ross recommended? Wooorkkkk. Actually doing work? Woorrrkkk.

But like I'm kind of hungry. And Megan is coming over later. And I have so many plans for tomorrow.

Maybe the tl;dr: should really be "I'm incapable of relaxing". I can't say "Well, I'm sick, everything hurts, I'll just sit here and watch some TV." Too boring! Too slow! Though I did reach a point the other day when I was just too tired to sit on the computer any more. I'm doing better than that, *I GUESS*.

I'm going to try to take a bath, see if that helps.

This has been, for the record, a super bad cold. Fever's been nothing to write home about, but achiness, disturbed sleep, coughing, and so much swollen lymph nodes. Also lasting for many days. NOT COOL BRO.

Sober Reflection

So having woken up in a much better state than I was in when I went to bed, I have some much more constructive thoughts on last night's rant. Principally:

I need to learn to be alone.

If you look back a few months ago, I wrote:

Anyway, this whole pattern has me just a little worried that I'm sort of hiding from something - that there's something wrong with my mind that makes me feel like I need to fill every minute with company and/or alcohol.

I think being unwillingly alone has (rather emphatically!) proved that.

As I sit here, there are a ton of things I want to do, if only I had someone to do them with.

It's pretty clear, now, what I need to do - which is to build an actual life.

Previously, I measured my life (in that sense) mostly in how "together" it was. Did I work out every day? Was I putting away the boxes and other signs of impermanence? Did I get to work on time?

But these things are not a life.

There's so much community out there I can connect with.

There's so much more I could be doing. I could be learning. I could be taking classes. I could be building steam engines with the KSW folks. I could be actually mastering my craft - or angling towards an MBA. I could learn to dance, or cook. (The former being much more likely). I could actually have a blog.

And that's what I need to be doing. It might take a few tries, like it did at UVA. I might meet a few groups, like I did at noisebridge, who were nice but...

And who cares, really, if there are girls there?

What I need more than another floozy is good friends. Guys who I can get some beers with and play video games with. Board game buddies, fellow coders.

I need stuff to do, outside of work, that anchors my persona.

I finally have the things I need to make that happen. I have, of course, a job, money, and some free time. But more importantly, I have the confidence that I can make things happen, even it takes weeks, or months. I have banished most of the demons of sleep and so on.

It's true that if "I have a sort of nice apartment. I have some money, but not that much. I have some friends, but not that many. I can get the occasional drunken mess of a date. I have a decent job."

I'm not going to be happy. If I woke up tomorrow in a penthouse apartment, making twice what I make, with an attractive woman - I'd be happy, maybe, for a week or two.

But I wouldn't have a community. It'll take some searching, but I will find it. It might be a bowling league, a ski group, climbing partners. It might be the builders. It might even be a group that helps trans people.

I have real, actual interests that I want to pursue, and it's time to stop waiting for life to drag me into them. Time to stop hoping one of my current friends or acquaintances wants to go to them. Time to stop hoping that I'll meet the girl through OkCupid that will take me there.

I Made It!

I have an apartment - I live in San Francsico! Yay.

Today has become an officially weird day, on account of a mixup with my medication - that is, I'm 99% sure I didn't take it. Furthermore, the companion I'd chosen to accompany me to shop for the bare necessities has been struck down by a hangover.

Speaking of, I'm disappointed how we have so many terms for getting drunk "blitzed", "intoxicated", "hammered", "smashed", "blotto", "wasted", etc, and how many do we have for a hangover? I can't think of any, other than the terms used when trying to pretend you're not hungover and you just have "a stomach bug".

At any rate.

I had a bunch of observations I wanted to report. But most central of them was that yesterday I drove a car.

And I loved it.

Going even 30 MPH on a street you've only ever biked on feels like going warp 9. And it's so easy, you just press the pedal, and vroom vroom. Feelsgoodman. It was a Ford Focus Hatchback.

Also, ZipCar is sweet but so gosh darn expensive. I mean - I want to drive for 5 minutes, load up the car with a fuckton of stuff, and drive back. But if I reserve it for, say, only an hour, I'm going to be sweating it time wise.

Still, because I am a glutton for punishment, I am considering going and grabbing a ZipCar and making my way to Costco. If the lines and crowds weren't legendary on the weekend, I would be there, probably filling up a second cart worth of junk at this very moment. Or here, wondering where the fuck I'm going to store all this newly bought stuff.

I should, I guess, grab a pair of shoes and walk to stupid Trader Joe's. It's 14 minutes *walk*. I can get the super essentials there and the surrounding area, which, right now, is mostly trash bags (paper towels would be nice, too). I can check out the costco horde, because it's the same distance.

I wonder. I have cable, but no TV. Can I stream breaking bad? Does my cable package even include AMC? *contented sigh*... I don't even really care.

Because today's that day. I didn't take my medication.

Oh, enough. I'm going to make myself go out. Bye, LJ

Feeling Dramatic

For a long time, I've written under the friends-only label almost exclusively.

There were a lot of reasons for this, but mostly women and jobs. Way, WAY back when, there was a war between my mother and I that played out on these pages, where she was tipped off by somebody who read a post here. Way, WAY back when, SAIC hauled me into an office for various Slashdot postings and an LJ post that had a timestamp during work hours.

The last year has seen a tremendous shift towards publicity - glasnost, if you will. (I just love the term, even if there's no need to invoke Russian).

I wish that this, moving to San Francisco, was the crown jewel in a year of self improvement and so on. But I look back at the last year, and everything hung in the balance again and again. Life perched upon fleeting moments - it would be so very unfair to say that it was all my deep conviction and my personal strength.

But it would be unfair to discount them, either. The month or two before all this, I really was giving it my all. I worked on my little GitHub thing morning and night. I interviewed when I wasn't.

But to go back farther, that week I broke up with Chau. And the million small victories fought with my demons with regards to her since then. Of course, Ali was so huge in that. So many other people and so many little wars were fought since then.

But why I started this post - it's because in a way... I'm getting more in touch with the very old me again.

There's all these feelings swirling around, and they feel like... school, in a way. I feel like, like I'm transferring from a Madison or a Langley to a TJ. Where the people are like me, but everyone is smart. I'm not going to be the "Smart but lazy" one any more.

But it's so much more that contributes to these feelings. It's all these old things, things I've been reminded of. Visiting the DNA Lounge reminded me of when I read jwz's posts about, well, starting the damn thing. jwz who also introduced me to depeche mode. I kid you not, being at DNA Lounge - the real place, in the real San Francisco - was kind of messing with me. I sort of revered JWZ in those days.

Talking about headphones with my future host - remember how I used to care so much about Sennheisers? Talking about driving to Front Royal? It's all these pieces, these things flooding back. And I haven't even got to packing stuff up from then!

I remember who I was - not just before Chau, but before SAIC. Before UVA. At TJ. When I was just a geek trying to get his Slackware computer to run Love Hina DivXs just a little bit faster. When I was in my room reading k5 and everything2 and thinking I shouldn't be reading these things. Running Kevin's assembly tutorials, listening to .MODs he'd sent.

I feel bad it took me so long to get on this path. I feel like I'm behind. But it really is all different now; I have a confidence I never had then. Not in my abilities or my brains, but in who I am. I'll never be as socially awkward and self-conscious as I was.

But all this has stood on a knife edge for so long. The flame was so nearly snuffed. Chau both rescued me and ruined me in different ways. Of course, that's just how it happened, and now... now? I should only look forward. And I have been, but... it's so different.

And really, it's not the job per se - I haven't even started it yet. I can't say how exactly my day to day will be, other than different. But I can say the people will be way different. The environment will be way different. It's real, it's different. I got the real change that has eldued me for so very, very long.

Ahh... enough rambling for tonight. Tomorrow, the great "stuff triage" begins. Don't worry, fair readers - however few there might be. You will get your shot at my stuff.

Here. Start with the furniture. Wait, is anyone vaguely near northern virginia even reading this...? I think not, but there's the link, anyway.

Moving to SF and the Perils Thereof

So, I got a job offer, which I intend to accept (though right now, it's only verbal). The job is in a great location in the Financial District. I've started to think about the mechanics of moving to SF. The relocation is, at best, symbolic. So money matters, and I don't intend to bring my car. This isn't one of those huge companies that puts you in corporate housing for a few months while you find a place to live - I'm on my own finding a place to live.

This process is an expensive nightmare. I've read a variety of unhelpful and often out of date advice (e.g., referring to rents perhaps half of what they are today, failing to acknowledge that Oakland or Daly City actually exist, etc).

An actual conversation I had with a local:
him: move to oakland
me: what part of oakland is the non-sketchy part?
him: the part outside of oakland

That's brilliant, isn't it? But this is typical. It seems, unlike the "neighborhoods define you" type advice would imply, you are practically going to be to trying to see how far you can stretch your dealbreakers.

Grumble grumble. Anybody need a roommate?

Sure I'll be making more, but taxes are so much higher that whatever advantage that grants will be wiped out. Sure, I won't have a car to maintain, in theory, anyway. But paying $3k/month is just tough. I think I might go for $2.5k, but it'll be an adjustment, for sure.

DC v SF

As promised. May add more later. :

Category

SF

DC

Winner
Weather It is normal to go outside in many seasons Doesn't usually get above 90 in the winter or snow in the summer SF
Sports Giants win at baseball. 49ers go to the superbowl caps are actually in DC....? SF
Subway Bart Metro DC(SF, y u no label trains?)
Jobs Tons of startups Tons of defense contractors SF (no contest)
Rent Astronomical Barely Stratospheric DC
Shopping Piedmont Boutique + infinity others ... Where the stores are? SF
People Full of beautiful weirdos Full of carbon copy lobbyist types SF
Disasters Overdue for apocalyptic earthquake Self inflicted government incompetence DC
Friends Christmas, Board Games, and Girls I Used To Date I met more people in a weekend than I usually would in a year SF
Recreation Actual Ocean. Actual Mountains Fake Snow and the other bay bridge SF
Actual Skyscrapers Yes No SF
Girls A few awesome ones 99% matches by the bucketload SF (Freaky Girls <3)
8 Months ago...
AlAndChuck: Hey Carnival, mind if we book 1000+ fans and drag queens on your ship for a drag cruise?
Carnival: Sure, whatevs

Yesterday...
Vicky Rey, Vice President - Guest Services (Carnival): Waitasec. We can't have a whole shipload of queers running around in dresses. There are normal people on this cruise. You know what? Drag is banned. You queers can watch your show in the THEATER ONLY. Please keep your gay to yourself. THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

LGBT Community: O RLY? Ban drag on a drag cruise. For serious.

Al Ferguson, (of Al And Chuck Travel): YA RLY. You know. Costumes. 9/11. Nobody would wear drag to a drag show, so why would you do it on the cruise. The Asian countries. Like such as.

LGBT Community: Oh no. Oh no you didn't

Today...

LGBT Community: A PLAGUE ON YOU BURN IN LEGAL HELL WE EAT YOUR BABIES YOU BASTARD BREEDERS

Gerry Cahill, President & CEO (Carnival) LOL JK GUYS. That Vicky! Such a kidder! Ban drag on a drag cruise. How silly! Of course we didn't really mean that. A big miscommunication! We're sorry about that! You can cancel if you still want to but drag is allowed! Please don't kill us.

MTGO

The short summary is this:


  • The Interface is simply terrible. It looks like something made in 1998.

  • The fundamental game (magic) is fun, and it's rather addictive for that

  • It's expensive, especially if you aren't good. I'm mediocre-to-good, I guess. It feels like gambling

  • It takes a long time to play a game and it's hard to find that time



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