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Subject:a different competition
Time:09:35 pm
Evening run along Evelyn, Sunnyvale/Mountain View area. I stop at a light, because, y'know, Law-Abiding Citizen. There's a couple on big, comfortable cruiser bicycles.

He says to her, "oh, see if you can catch that guy!"

I grin. My inner engine revs. There is absolutely nothing better than outrunning a cyclist.

I glance over. They're looking at their phones.

Oh.

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/5132.html
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Subject:take care! (taking care of myself)
Time:10:10 pm
Some things that help me feel a lot better:

- Playing Rock Band, both on my own and with Lindsey! Leveling up at drumming. I used to do a lot of this, but we fell off for some reason...

- I'd better git gud at drumming, because I seem to have gotten volunteered to play drums for the not-church band...

We've been going to Sunday Assembly, this thing that's basically church, but secular. Not, like, explicitly atheist, but pretty much church-for-atheists. Not sure if you knew this about me, but I used to really enjoy church; I *like* getting together with people to sing songs and hear an interesting talk. It's just that I figured out I didn't believe in god, y'know? But I used to be really involved with church, back when I believed; some of my best high school memories were running sound and occasionally drumming or playing horns for the band at rock 'n' roll church. Mom was in the band; they were *great*. Like legitimately really great music.

Anyway, we've been going to this Not Church for a year or so, and the music has been gradually improving with the Not Church rock 'n' roll band. But the current drummer is moving out of the country, and nobody else stepped up, so Lindsey seems to have volunteered me...

- We've been doing some yoga. This is *really* good for me, and it's good to have a thing we can do together. And I'm easing back into running.

I've been a little bit hurt; my tendons haven't been in great shape. I've been slightly injured off and on for a while now. Gotta run gently and gradually ramp up, so it's sustainable.

... so this is all things that I've done, at one time or another, but haven't been doing recently.

Important to remind myself: these are things that are good for me. Invest in doing them.

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/5049.html
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Time:12:41 am
Maaaan. Everything seems dumb and hopeless recently.

I need to get some *wins* somewhere. I need to take better care of myself. I feel lonely a lot, and like I'm not making progress on anything useful.

It's not totally obvious what I've got to *contribute*, either.

...

I did have a really nice visit with my dad recently, over the 4th weekend. We cycled from the house to Google and looked around and ate lunch. We visited with his siblings, who were visiting to see our relatives who live up in wine country. (their uncle and aunt; he's my grandmother's little brother) ... it was nice to see the family.

...

I need to feel like I'm making progress. I feel like I'm kind of spinning my wheels, and I get freaked out about living and working here, often.

The Bay Area makes me freak the hell out. I feel terrible about it, but I often can't make myself go up to the city. SF is really stressful, getting to SF is really stressful, *being* in SF is really stressful, being invited to things and then laming out is really stressful. It's dumb as hell and I hate this about myself. I should just person up and fuckin' go to the city. (nb: I am more than happy to go to the city if it's to see your artistic performance or whatever, or for your party, if you're important to me.)

... I wish I didn't have to live here. The whole situation seems immoral; there's no water here, there are eight zillion people who want to live here, traffic is ludicrous, the public transit is mediocre. At least in the South Bay it's not like I took somebody's rent-controlled apartment, and I can usually ride my bike to get around.

Also Martin has, just today, gotten on a plane to Spain. Lauryn will leave soon too :-\

... I miss everybody.

... I started reading SuperBetter recently; I should get back into that. I think it was pretty helpful.

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/4859.html
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Time:12:02 am
I haven't been super emotionally healthy, recently, but I'm working on it.

I had a pretty bad bout of feeling *awful* last week, especially while Lindsey was out of town. Everything felt hopeless, I felt like I couldn't get anything done that I cared about. I felt dumb and annoying, and I was furious that anybody was anywhere near me, or saying words, or making other sounds. Something like misophonia, to the extent that that's a thing. And I was embarrassed about like my entire existence.

:-(

Part of it was that I was really frustrated about work, felt like I wasn't making any progress or learning things fast enough, frustrated about my PhD, frustrated about not running much recently (my connective tissue's been acting up a bit recently, so I haven't been running)...

I need to take better care of myself. These are all fixable things; I could stretch better and do more strength training. I need to spend more time on my PhD so it doesn't seem so intractable and eventually gets done. I could find somewhere more quiet to work in the office. You only get one you.

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/4397.html
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Subject:some contrasts
Time:10:26 pm
Today, my sister had her second child, Fiona Renee! She came a little bit early, just a couple of weeks. Apparently mother and daughter are doing well. I've got a great picture of her first daughter, Penelope, looking at Fiona. Socute :3

Meanwhile, I was up in Sacramento, playing some video games at a comic convention. Hrm.

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/4217.html
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Subject:really beautiful day
Time:12:31 am
Some days, maaaaan.

Some days, it's Take Your Children To Work Day, and they need *somebody* to be the big green Android mascot and dance around and play with the kids and do silly things for photo ops. THIS JOB. THIS JOB MAKES USE OF BASICALLY EVERYTHING I'VE EVER LEARNED TO DO; HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.

Some days, you're working on software that meaningfully impacts millions of people's lives, and you're doing a thing that involves writing a bunch of code but it might make things dramatically better (and at the very least it's causing a nice refactoring).

Some days, at the end of the work day you get to hang out with a bunch of people from your company who *love* playing fighting games, and you strike up super-interesting conversations with a guy who helped develop Skullgirls and knows about a zillion different fairly esoteric games, and shares your love for the weird back-catalog of gaming and wants to help bring less-common games to the meetup. And you find out that the new guy at the meetup this week is also a Tekken enthusiast, and you play a long mirror-match set. (his name is Mo and he's got a pretty mean Jun!)

Tomorrow: off to Seattle to visit with Lisa and JD, then fight at Northwest Majors! \m/

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/4071.html
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Time:01:23 am
http://www.textsandpleasure.com/2015/09/when-tenured-professors-and.html

Gig economy for everything, including-especially teaching at universities! It always works out well.

True story: when I was at IU, there was no course for CS undergraduates to study natural language processing. At all. Because they really care about the students.

They let me teach one, and paid me a miniscule bit more for the zillion extra hours of work, and provided basically no oversight or guidance.

Great excerpt from the essay:
"""... we need to highlight a crucial distinction that comments like Bogost’s either neglect or willfully obscure: there is a fundamental difference between the expression of frustrated professional aspirations and the criticism of an exploitative system of labour. Yes, Quit Lit might contain a lot of the former; but it emerges predominantly from the latter. The two are without doubt intertwined in complex ways, but the problem with responses like Bogost’s is that they treat Quit Lit solely as the whining of wannabe intellectuals who simply can’t hack it in the elite world of tenured academia. In doing so, they absolve tenured professors from having to confront the systemic exploitation of part-time labour from which these professors benefit on a daily basis.

... In other words, he is caught up in a system where he has a direct incentive to graduate more PhDs—not so they can become tenured professors, but precisely so they can become poorly paid part-timers."""

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/3732.html
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Time:10:24 pm
I carry around a lot of worries and anger and anxieties and insecurities. For some reason, driving up to San Francisco seems to set off a lot of them. I need to get over it. It's dumb and embarrassing.

Also I should figure out how to enjoy this cool concert I'm at now.

Also I have a failure mode where I can't get into a performance I'm at and I totally check out. It's not good and doesn't help the people I came with have fun. I've walked out of a few movies and just waited in the lobby for my friends.

I have trouble relaxing and enjoying art when I feel like the time could be better spent some other way. I just often don't spend my time very well when left to my own devices.

And whose fault is that, really?

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/3453.html
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Subject:ye can't get ye flask -- software edition
Time:11:47 pm
Often, "clever" "abstractions" just make it harder to figure out what software is doing. Maybe I'm really dumb, but I find myself digging into a piece of code to repurpose it slightly all the time, and before I can actually Do A Thing, I have to understand your bespoke DSL for configuring configurations and handling any conceivable use case in Full Generality. Except the use case of "I just want to call these three functions".

If you were wondering, I want to throw you, bodily, through a wall. You are not actually clever.

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/3326.html
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Subject:not quite a 30-day challenge
Time:10:02 pm
OK, let's try this: for the rest of the month, first thing in the morning, I'm going to do a little bit of strength training. Enough for an "Arnold", if you recall "Arnold's 1% challenge" from back when ever'body was on Fitocracy.

Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

Cross-posted from [personal profile] alexr_rwx

Original post here: http://alexr-rwx.dreamwidth.org/2984.html
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[icon] Alex R.
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