31 December 2008

Magic Mushrooms

I had a rather pleasant lunch today with Sarah of Sarah, etc. fame. I'm always glad to meet new people. Admittedly it's hard to say I 'met a new person' when I've been reading her blog for the better part of a year now. It's nice to meet someone for the first time and not have to wonder whether they're half a butt-puppet, though. I was really just wondering if she had a bitchin' mohawk or some intimidating face tats.

Now back to playing Super Metroid. I hope you all have a pleasant New Years Eve. See you next year.

29 December 2008

It's in a book

Well it's been pretty nice being back in Birmingham for the last week or so. I hope everyone had a good holiday. Sorry my last post was so, well, pissy. I managed to hold on to that cold for a few days longer and then I came to discover that somehow I'd pinched a nerve in my neck which left me with a rather nasty headache that lasted nigh on a week. That'll make anyone a little testy, methinks. That's all taken care of now, though.

I brought my laptop back to Birmingham with me but it's been giving me fits due to some power issues that it's having so I've not even plugged the damn thing in once since I came back. I'm currently on my father's laptop. He's pacing around the kitchen no doubt wondering when I'll be off his portal-to-the-world. Perhaps I should hurry, eh?

I have had the opportunity to read a lot since I've been here which is extraordinarily nice. It's been so long since I've been able to spend days reading. I was able to finish the second Dark Tower book by Stephen King. It was really beginning to irk me how long it was taking to finish. Mostly from lack of interest, I think. I'll likely continue reading the series but it won't be before I finish a few books that've been on my list now for a while. Since I finished that book I've started reading Matter by Iaian M. Banks. It's a science fiction novel that is relentlessley broad in it's scope. I don't honestly recall what made me want to read it. I added it to my Amazon wish list some months ago. It's good, though. Worth a read, for sure. It definitely follows this model:

Not to say that the book isn't good, but it seriously could do with some major appendices. Apparently Banks has written many books about this universe and I think that someday I'd like to read more of them. First to finish this one, though. Back to reading... Yay!

23 December 2008

Give me something to break

Yes, I just referenced a Limp Bizkit song. Eat me. I'm in an incredibly foul mood today. Why the hell did I have to go and get sick right before Christmas? That really pisses me off. Now I'm all tired and pissy at work. I'm only going to be here for another 30 minutes or so but then I have to go do some Christmas shopping which will undoubtedly make me want to strangle people even more than I currently do. Seriously, every little thing is putting me on edge today. I realize it's absurd and even that is pissing me off. I'm like a vicious cycle of anger right now. And since I'm driving back to Birmingham today for the holiday I get to deal with traffic on I-65... fuck. We'll all be lucky if I get through the day without killing someone or intentionally driving my car into a tree. To make things worse I've been bugging my mother for weeks now to send me a Christmas list and she never did and now she's not answering her phone so maybe she'll just be getting a giant bag of rage for Christmas. God damnit. Someone shoot me now.

22 December 2008

Cat Scratch Fever

Or, more appropriately, completely random ill-timed fever/sickness. Ugh. On Friday night I went out in downtown Huntsville to see some friends' band play. Debauchery ensued. Cut to me crawling into bed at ~5:30 in the morning (I think). Before you get all curious I can tell you I was not doing cocaine off of a Playmate's ass. Promise. Sorry. Anyway so I woke up about 6 hours later, kicked my friends out of the apartment, and proceeded to lounge around the apartment playing video games and generally being a couch potato for the rest of the day. Strangely enough I felt fine. I decided I would go to some friends' house and keep it pretty low key that evening. Low and behold about the time I got over there I started feeling a little feverish. Not stopped up, not groggy, just feverish. So I went home pretty early, watched some episodes of 30 Rock and slept. For 11 hours. I can't remember the last time I slept that long. Not only that but I was having fever dreams, too.

Now I honestly have mixed feelings about fever dreams. Yes, it is possible to have mixed feelings about something like fever dreams. I do it all the time. Watch me. I don't like fever dreams because they typically require, uh, fevers. Fevers is no good. I do like fever dreams because they are always hella realistic and incredibly fucked up. And, for the most part, I always remember them for a long time. For instance I still remember a fever dream I had in, like, January of this year where I was being chased through the workings of a giant clock a la The Great Mouse Detective. Except with fire and brimstone for some reason. I don't remember who was chasing me but I do remember on several occasions realizing that it was just a dream. Not quite like lucid dreaming, mind you, but somehow different. Well I had some fever dreams Sunday morning that literally defied memory, no matter how hard I tried. That's my schpeel about fever dreams.

So all of this to say that I am sick, I don't know what I have, and I hate the idea of being sick around Christmas. I am at work right now and I honestly just want to go home and curl up on my incredibly comfortable sofa and watch my incredibly comfortable television. I have to get Christmas shopping done though because that's what I was planning on doing yesterday. That obviously went right down the crapper what with my fever-induced laziness which is a much more potent form of my regular laziness.

19 December 2008

School's out forever

This is going to be a long post so I’ll apologize in advance but this has been a long time coming. I initially started writing it two days ago when I put up my last entry. I started but I had to stop. You will understand why shortly. First, the big news: I GOT MY MASTER’S DEGREE. I repeat: I GOT MY MASTER’S DEGREE. Once more, for effect: I. GOT. MY. MASTER’S. DEGREE. Let’s pause until that sinks in.

… … …

Finished. Done. Three years in the making. Three. Years. It shouldn’t have taken that long. In the process of getting my masters degree I unearthed some character flaws that I still have not been able to fully sort out. There were times during this whole ordeal when I questioned whether or not I had the ability to see it through. That is honestly something I never in my wildest dreams would have considered before I started it. I simply knew that I had what it took to do it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever understand why this was so difficult to me. Not just difficult, embarrassing. Really! When I first started this blog it was in large part because I wanted a place to vent my frustrations (mostly at myself) about my inability to complete my master’s degree. Then it honestly became something that I was too self-conscious about. I felt that it reflected very poorly upon me and exposed flaws that I didn’t want people to know about. I felt like part of me regressed to the way I was when I started college and I wouldn’t let anyone within arm’s length (emotionally) because I didn’t want people to see any of my vulnerabilities. I was just a typical snarling punk kid wearing a leather jacket and t-shirts with expletives. I really didn’t like that person and I made a conscious decision to change who I was. This was, to me at least, a partial regression to Apollo v 0.9- a rawer, less amicable version of the current user-friendly* you see before you. I’m still working on the EULA. No GUI puns, please.

Most of my friends probably didn’t know I was still working on it unless they explicitly asked about it even though it was constantly on my mind. My Dad took to asking me about it a lot which meant I took to snapping at my Dad a lot because it was a sensitive subject and it was NONE OF HIS GOD DAMNED BUSINE- sorry, sorry, still haven’t flushed it all out yet I guess.

Truthfully I don’t think it has completely sunk in yet. The reason that I stopped writing this post the other day was because although all of the work had been turned in and it was completely out of my hands and almost entirely assured, I didn’t want to jinx it by jumping the gun. The graduation ceremony was earlier today down in Auburn and I wasn’t there to walk across the stage and receive my diploma. When I first started graduate school I told myself that I’d walk across that stage every damn time I got a degree because I had earned it. I think that part of the reason I wasn’t there today is because I’m still not sure I actually earned the degree. Don’t get me wrong I did a lot of work and definitely put in my time but part of me feels like I cut some corners in places, whether it’s true or not, and I don’t like that feeling one bit. Hopefully it will fade with time. I’ve gotten really good at telling the story in a way that takes the majority of the blame for the amount of time it took off of my shoulders. It might even be true. I just don’t know if I believe it. I do believe that the things I’ve been through the last three years have completely changed my life plans. I never planned on 1- Living in Huntsville 2- Being done with school at 25 or 3- Driving fancy cars to all the bars and hanging out with the biggest stars. Okay that last one still might not be true. What is true is that I started college with the intention of going straight through until I finished my doctorate and that obviously is not how things worked out.

There is a lot more that I could say about this but I think I’ll stop there. I feel like all of this crap is taking away from what should be a rather auspicious occasion and I don’t want it to. Since I found out that it was official I’ve been having alternating fits of joy and crippling self-doubt. It’s like I just lost my virginity all over again.

Anyway, this is probably what you've been waiting for. Who am I not to deliver the goods?

* Some of you may be laughing at this. I will smite you.

17 December 2008

Comic hilarity

I posit that Questionable Content is the best web comic. Ever. Exhibit A:

It's like it was written for me. Life updates coming soon. Hopefully tomorrow. Maybe later today.

Quick addendum for Shuttle porn. I never knew the Space Shuttle was a top.

12 December 2008

Skyrockets in flight

As much as I am happy that Barack Obama was elected, I am completely unsure of what impact it could have on my job. I'm not really worried, but I'm pretty sure that some overarching changes are going to be made to the space program. I'm really not worried that my current defense job will lose funding. I've heard that Obama intends to cut the defense budget but I'm totally behind that. Besides I don't think it'll happen anytime soon and it won't affect the project that I'm working on. Actually, I may not be working on this project for much longer anyway. I may end up getting the job that I was actually hired for believe it or not. This is what makes me worry a little because that job is working on the Constellation program. I'm not really sure how I feel about the Constellation program, honestly. Let me rephrase that. I can't help but think that the current direction of the space program is not the best option. That being said I hate to think of the alternative because, well, the alternative is nonexistant. So I would much rather the space program have a direction than no direction. For obvious reasons. Here's an article from the Orlando Sentinel that highlights the current conflict surrounding the Obama transition. The first lines:

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin is not cooperating with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, is obstructing its efforts to get information and has told its leader that she is "not qualified" to judge his rocket program, the Orlando Sentinel has learned.
I don't know what to think. Really. What do you think?

09 December 2008

XXXmas? Man that's cliche.

This is definitely going on my Xmas mix. Definitely.

John Legend is growing on me slowly. Stuff like this helps because I love toilet humor. A lot. I think what really put me over on him recently was his duo with Al Green, "Stay With Me", off of Al Green's most recent album Lay It Down. For the record that album is awesome and you should absolutely buy it right now.

I recently mentioned that I started a Mixtape Club when I was living in Birmingham. It was really awesome. What's even awesomer is that I've found a bunch of people here in Huntsville that want to start a Mixtape Club. It really is a lot of fun. I think that I'm equally excited about getting a group of people together once a month or so for the listening party. Admittedly though the task of actually getting this group together, ever, seems daunting. I think I'll be really happy if I can manage to get this going.

04 December 2008

As if musicals weren't gay enough

Prop 8: The Musical from the fine minds at Funny or Die starring John C. Reilly, Jack Black, Sarah Chalke, Neil Patrick Harris and some others whose names escape me right now.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

My input here may be coming late to the very well dressed party; however, the idea that two people who love each other can't get married is fucking ludicrous. End of story. And the Mormon Church can, as Louis C.K. might say, suck a bag of dicks.

03 December 2008

Comfort Eagle

This has got to be one of the coolest cakes ever made for a little girl's birthday.

In other news I've been trying to come up with the perfect Christmas mix CD for a week or so now and I think I'm getting pretty close. I'm one of those schmucks that actually enjoys Christmas music and starting the day after Thanksgiving it's pretty much all I listen to for a month. Much like my previous mixes I've set a few ground rules so as to ensure an awesome mix. The first is that I can't use any artist more than twice. The second is that I can't have any repeated songs. That makes it really difficult because I can only choose one version of a bunch of Christmas classics. I've got a [i]shitload[/i] of Christmas music at my disposal and I'm always acquiring more so I've got a lot to choose from. Anyone have any suggestions? Suggest songs, albums, or artists that are Christmas-tastic (Christmastic?). I'm also thinking that I may send a copy of this mix to a few people so if you're nice I'll be glad to ship you one.

I just realized that I've never mentioned my mix CDs on my blog before! How crazy. I love mix CDs. I think of them as an art and I really enjoy making them for people. For a while a group of my friends all got together once a month for Mix Tape Club which was pretty damn terrific. The concept is simple: you all decide on a theme for the mix and then everyone swaps. For example our first theme was Space and Rockets (my suggestion obvs). If I remember to later on I'll post the tracklist. I loved it. The only rules for each mix were that you could use no artist more than twice and that each mix had to be at least 45 minutes long. You also had to include a tracklist and decorate the CD (which was equally as fun sometimes). It can get pretty difficult to put together but if you've got the savvy and the friends it's an awesome excuse to get together and share music. I want to get another one started up here in Rocket City USA sometime soon.

And I'm totally serious about sending Christmas mixes to people, btw. Just email me an address to send it to and I'll try to get one to you!