31 July 2008

Speaking of songs...

This is a video from an episode of VH1's Decades Rock Live which is a show I apparently can't afford to miss because this is 2 years old and I've lived without it for too long. Fiona Apple is covering Elvis Costello's "I Want You" with EC himself playing guitar. Even if you don't like Fiona Apple this is worth watching because I've never seen someone look so angry while performing a song. You can tell she meant every word he wrote.

28 July 2008


Now that I've got a song stuck in your head I'll update you to the beat of David Bowie. It's been almost a week since I've posted and honestly I want to start updating more. I would say this last week has been busy, because it very well should have been. That would be dishonest of me, though. I haven't done much. I need to do much. Now there is a whole bunch of other shit for me to be worrying about along with my schoolwork so... fuck.

I start my job in Huntsville in exactly one week. As in next Monday. August the Fourth Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eight. People keep asking me if I'm excited and I tell them, "I'm excited about having money." THAT is not something I would have imagined myself saying in an ideal situation. Of course this whole Workaday World Nine to Five Nonsense is completely (sort of?) new to me so it's hard for me to be an accurate judge of my reaction.

All that being said the exciting news is that I went to Huntsville today and signed a lease on a sweet apartment. It's a lot bigger than I need and a little more than I wanted to pay but still affordable and pretty much the only option on such short notice. I probably should've gone last week and looked but I don't think it would've made much difference. SO if any of my Faithful Readers are ever in Huntsville (well, starting Friday) and would like to stop by and say hello feel free to let me know your schedule and you can shower me with praise in person.

Yeah, I just wrote all that about having people read my blog when I'm only positive that one delightful person has ever stopped by. Eat me.

22 July 2008


I just went and took my pre-employment drug screening test. I hope they'll still hire me after they discover the high concentrations of amazing in my system.

20 July 2008

Congratulations may or may not be in order

So I passed my master's presentation. Lots of people have been congratulating me for it but for some reason it doesn't seem necessary to me. I kind of just feel like I was going through the motions and that was just one more thing I had to get out of the way before I can graduate in August. Aside from passing that, though, I also met with my major professor and discussed the classwork and project that I'm supposed to be doing. He is under the impression that this whole rocket science thing is a cinch and it's not crazy to give me more work to do in the next TWO AND A HALF WEEKS than I already have. And what's even crazier is he knows that I've gotten pretty much nothing done so far. And he thinks that it's perfectly within reason for me to complete an entire course's worth of work plus this Complex Project AND come back to Auburn before the end of the month to take a final... in the next two weeks. Now obviously I feel that I brought some of this on myself but the coursework thing is just plain crazy and out of left field. I'm going to try to work something out with him about it.

On a completely different note my father is going out of town for a few days so I'll have the house to myself for the better part of this week. Obviously staying with my dad has its advantages (no rent) but being in Auburn I got used to living by myself. So it's nice that I'll be flying solo again, even if it's just for a few days. Plus I get to throw a wicked pool party. You're totally invited.

17 July 2008


I've been absent for a few days, I know. It's a result of of a few things- a few things that will be keeping this blog entry short and probably earning me much gratitude from my legion of readers. I say gratitude because everyone will want to play The Continuum. It's a free MMO (shudder) that's all turn-based strategy. The learning curve isn't too steep, either. It's just been up for a week or two so there aren't a lot of people on yet, which I like. I typically hate MMOs (like WoW...) and this one is ranked, for what that's worth, but I really enjoy it and it's succesfully compelled me to spend money on it. Yes it's free but you can opt to purchase stuff, which of course I did because I'm a salesman's dreamdate (saleswoman?).

I've also been slowly but surely getting school work done. Enough so that I am going to Auburn tomorrow morning to give a presentation for my masters. Wish me luck. That is if you can find the time what with playing The Continuum now being your sole/soul activity.

14 July 2008

Reading list

I just finished reading The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. It was my first foray into any of his books and I came away impressed. I've been informed by respectable sources that my next Stephenson read should be Snow Crash. After doing some reading and discovering that it's supposed to occur in the same universe as The Diamond Age it's moved way up on my list. I've already started reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King so it'll have to wait until I finish that. The Gunslinger is the first in a seven part series that King has referred to as his 'magnum opus' so I imagine it's gonna be pretty good. I've only read one other Stephen King book (I've never been a fan of horror- film or literature) and that was years ago but I remember enjoying it. Before The Diamond Age I read The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkein. I enjoyed the book but one thing that I've found about reading any Tolkein that isn't The Hobbit or the LOTR series is that I always find myself subconsiously wishing that the stories were, well, The Hobbit or the LOTR series. I've tried to read The Silmarillion but honestly it felt too much like I was reading the Bible or something equally as boring and fictional. OH I SAID IT.

12 July 2008

Well that's settled

So, regarding my previous impossibly long post, a new development: I've been offered a job in Huntsville. I suppose I should be really excited or really scared or really, well, anything but I'm feeling kind of indifferent about it. No, that's not totally true. I am happy about it. I have been feeling for a while now that I really need a change and this, I believe, is definitely a step in the right direction. I've actually had this offer on the table now for about a month but it was contingent on certain things falling in to place for the company I applied with. Those things haven't necessarily fallen into place like they were supposed to (at least not yet) but accommodations are being made for my benefit. Is that vague enough for you? Huh?

Regarding my problem with motivation and schoolwork, I have yet to find a solution. Down to the wire does not begin to describe how close I am cutting this. There is no wire anymore. I'm cutting it down to the wire's great grand-wire who flew kites with Ben Franklin. I really want to sit here and write at length about this issue but I can't bring myself to do it because I feel like that will simply be compounding the problem. Sitting here blogging about how I can't get any work done when I should be doing work is just plain silly, isn't it? Or maybe it is more productive than reading CoKane's blog and wishing I were just a wee bit more clever. At least with the former I'm addressing the problem in some way. But you don't swab the decks of a sinking ship, so they say. Now where'd I put my mop?

10 July 2008

False Positive

I feel slightly more hopeful about my project today than I did yesterday. That isn't saying much, though. Maybe all hope isn't lost. Of course this still hinges on me being able to get some fucking work done in the next few days. That's the real test, here.

08 July 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different

This article made me want to say, "Only in Alabama" but that's just too damn cliche. Plus it conjures up some pretty funny mental images.

A Wrench (an impossibly long post)

I've been thinking a lot these past few days about my impending move. You see, I'm supposed to be moving to Huntsville to begin my career. Ever since I moved back to Birmingham from Auburn it has literally been my only true goal. That may be a large part of why it's been so hard to motivate myself to any other end (namely finishing my masters degree). That may be part of it, but there may be other factors involved that I have yet to weasel out. Regardless, I've been hell bent on moving to Huntsville to take part in that great rat race that is aerospace engineering. It's the only logical thing to do, right? I mean I spent 4 years at Auburn earning my bachelors degree and it's been 3 hard-fought years now of me trying to earn my masters degree- and all in aerospace engineering. Hell, it's the only reasonable thing to do. When friends would suggest to me, as they often did, that I should just get a job here and live happily I would simply laugh it off like it wasn't even an option. It doesn't make sense. Not only does it not make sense, it never even seemed to be in the realm of possibility.

However, in the last week or so there has been this idea creeping up the back of my mind that up until today I was eager to ignore. I could just stay here. I could just take a job in Birmingham. Of course there is no aerospace work in the city, so if I were to take a job it would be outside of my expertise but does that really mean anything at this point?

When I was still on my initial scholastic course- that being to get my bachelors, masters, and PhD without any breaks- I told everyone (including myself) that I was getting my PhD so that I would have a much larger array of cities to choose from when I went into the field. Basically the idea was that I would get my PhD in aerospace and then I could teach at any university in the U.S. that had an aerospace curriculum. With only a bachelors or a masters on my resume I was doomed to work in one of a very few select locales that had aerospace jobs. Those locales being (in my mind, at least): Hunstville, Houston, Southern California, Cape Canaveral, and the research triangle. Admittedly those aren't bad options, but the idea of limiting myself to such a small number of locations seemed stifling to me. I needed to have options, damnit, and hundreds of them. Of course I never really intended to move out of the south so there was already that limitation in place but that was beside the point.

At this point my original motive for getting my PhD, which I will discuss at another time, is long gone. Obviously my secondary motive (location) has been lost as well. It wasn't until probably a year ago that I began flirting with the idea of not getting my PhD right after my masters. You have no idea how taboo that concept was to me when it first moved down the backroads so gentle on my mind. I was actually considering throwing out what had been, at least somewhat, a lifelong dream of mine. Well not really throwing out, you see, but certainly putting on hold. Could I really just not get my PhD right after my masters? Is that even possible. The idea was, dare I say, liberating. After that point it was pretty much set. I made a half-assed attempt to get into a respected PhD program in my field and pretty much threw my towel in after that. Of course I got rejected by the program but by that point it was a foregone conclusion that I wasn't getting my damn PhD.

Ok, I am waaaaaay off the track of my original topic and if you are still reading you are a saint and I am sorry. I'll get back to it. These last few days I've been thinking a lot about the simple fact that I may not get a job in Huntsville. The job market is shit right now and to be honest I just don't think I care enough to take a job that doesn't suit me. I could probably get a job designing missiles or some crap but I don't care for the work at all and I don't want to do it. Period. So having now considered the possibility of not getting a job in Huntsville I am forced to the obvious follow-up: what do I do? Do I try to get a job in my field in another city? Nope, I don't want to move too far from home. So what then? Well my only recourse at that point is to take a job outside of my field that's close to home. Well if I'm going to do that it may as well be in Birmingham, right? Could I really just get a job oustide of my field in Birmingham? It most certainly wouldn't pay as well as a job in my field. I think I'm okay with that, though... to a point. If I can get a job here making even in the ballpark of what I might make in Huntsville it seems to me to be a better option- that is if I am making concessions already, which I have been doing now for a long time. So I could just get a job here and stay really close to my family and friends and simply work outside of my field. Given I would make less money but salary isn't my primary motivation. Maybe it's possible. How liberating.... and scary.

07 July 2008


I'm sitting downstairs right now with a friend of mine. I'm on my laptop and I'm kind of drunk. I'm watching some Dane Cook stand-up and wondering why I'm not in bed already. The guy is funny and all but I think I'd rather be asleep than watch this. I ought to finish me beer first, though. My friend is reading the last volume of Y: The Last Man, which just came out the other day. It's an awesome comic. Everyone should read it. I believe they are making a movie/series out of it. That'll be great.

I haven't gotten any work done in the last two days, even though I should have been working non-stop. Congratulations, Apollo, you're an idiot. I finally gathered all of my materials and sources together to actually get some work done, so maybe that's a start. But then again I also installed a new game on computer that will assuredly distract me. Fuck. I really can't afford any distractions. I'm not even sure at this point if I still have what it takes to do this work. I have never questioned my intelligence- maybe that is an issue that I haven't considered yet- but I feel like on some level I am out of practice. I know that's a weird thing to say since I'm technically still in school and (as far as I've ever known) school is suppose to be 'practice' for the career world. I guess that part of my problem is that I haven't been in a real college class since May of last year. For the last year and more (at least until February) I've been working at a job and not taking classes. So I've really felt like I've been outside of the college world for (what seems like) an eternity now. It's hard for me to take myself back to that mindset. It's a big step.
I really hope I can make it so I don't feel like a piece of shit. $30K in the hole. A $30K poor piece of shit.

05 July 2008

Procrastination ain't the word

Seriously, I can't even call what I'm doing procrastinating. I should just call it 'fucking myself over'. It's like I can't bring myself to tackle this project. This project that I'm supposed to be giving a presentation on next Friday. This project that I haven't really worked on that much. This project that involves me learning an entirely new programming language and developing a mission model based on parameters I haven't studied in well over a year. What the hell is wrong with me? You'd think that I would just bite the bullet and not sleep for the next week to get this shit done, but given my track record it'd be hard to assume as such. I do this kind of crap all of the time and it makes me sick. I have no idea what makes me put important things off. It's bitten me in the ass before so you would think I would have learned my lesson. The fact that I'm sitting here talking about it would lead one to believe that I've come to terms with it and am well on my way to overcoming this hurdle. But, to be honest, I'm sitting here talking about it instead of working. Go figure. Okay, I'm gonna try and get something done now.

Cough Cough

Now I'm pretty sure I have a cold. Sweet.


04 July 2008

First go

I'm not sure if I should use this post to attempt to describe myself or just get right into the meat of why I created this blog. Ooh, better idea- I'll describe why I created this blog (I really don't feel like describing myself and don't really see a point). I've been thinking for a while about creating a blog. I like blogs, but it remains to be seen if I'll enjoy blogging. I used to have an online journal, but that now sits 6 feet under the e-soil. Hopefully this attempt won't follow suit. Like I said, I've been entertaining this idea for a while but only very recently have I decided that I had something that needed to be said. That does not necessarily mean that it needs to be heard, but it needs to be said. I have a lot of things that I feel need to be sorted out and I hope that I can accomplish this by writing it all down somewhere. Maybe it'll be easier to muddle through once it's all out in the open.

That's not to say that all I'll be doing on this blog is Bitching and Complaining about how screwed up I am. That wouldn't be fun for me to read much less anyone else. It's just that while I've entertained the idea of starting a blog for a while, I never thought it would be worth my time until I decided that it could potentially help me through some things. I like the idea of people reading this blog and commenting, but for right now I'm not really expecting an audience. I intend to use this blog for a long time and offer my Witty and Inspiring View Points on Life in General. I intend to post humurous anecdotes and funny things I find on the web. I intend to combine a lot of the elements from the blogs that I read into one place and put my spin on it. I intend not to end sentences in prepositions but damnit it's hard sometimes.

So it's the 4th of July and I'm sitting in my house in Birmingham, Alabama. I don't have a job, I don't have much money, and I sure as fuck wish I was in a better place right now. Maybe I can use this blog to help me figure out why I'm not.

I just now realized that I had no idea what a preposition was. Man I feel dumb. Thanks College!