Archive for the 'Reading' Category

2 years 3 months 20 days ago

(Time courtesy of Wolfram|Alpha)

Taken on Feb. 8th, 2007

Taken on Feb. 8th, 2007

Since I started this blog. I was a sophomore in college. So much has changed since then.

I last blogged 4 months 3 days ago. Since I last blogged I graduated from college; I worked on Beauty and the Beast and had the biggest house (sold out!) in 10 years; I went on a cruise for the first time. I had a lot of average days, some great, some terrible. I’ve stressed out a lot less.

The summer has started for me, which means I spend most of my days at work for 8 hours a day in front of a computer. Strangely enough, this gives me a lot more free time than I had during school between classes, friends, theater, work, and relaxation. This is the time when I start to seek people out online, I start to blog again, I start following twitter and friendfeed like a fiend. I start other random projects that may or not pan out. I watch more TV. I read.

Taken on Jan. 15th, 2009

Taken on Jan. 15th, 2009

My goal for the end of the summer is to learn how to memorize a shuffled deck of cards. Useful? No. Cool? Hell yes. I’d also like to catch up on my reading, my TV, and say goodbye to NYC.

I can’t believe I never mentioned it on here but I’m going to be moving to Seattle to work for Microsoft. I’m excited and scared at the same time. I don’t know anyone over there.

Now that I’m sitting here I find that I have so many things that I could write about, but I don’t really feel like doing it. I think I’ll go back to reading The Host.

Taken today May 28th, 2009

Taken today May 28th, 2009

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January Failure

Did I make only one post so far? That’s atrocious. I went to California, does that make it okay? No, I didn’t think so either. It was a blast. I love skiing, it was warm in the bay area, and Napa was pretty sweet. Check out the Del Dotto Caves if you get a chance. The tour was awesome (and full of tasty wine!).

So I didn’t make my resolution this month. I read a lot though, and did some traveling. I’m back at school taking classes now and getting ready for Beauty and the Beast. Auditions are next week and we had a minor crisis with directors. It’s taken care of now, but it was a stressful couple days.

I’m going to keep reading books. I’ve been checking out LibraryThing, Shelfari, and Goodreads to try to figure out which one I want to use. This involves actually joining each one, adding books, checking out the community, etc. This might take a little while, and it isn’t my main priority.

First day of a new year

What did I do today? Well last night around 2am I finished Marked. I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about the book. I decided to read it because I really enjoyed Twilight. Twilight had it’s issues, sure, but it was a story that I could really get behind. It was paced well, it had a good cast of characters (maybe a little Mary Sue, but even so), and I didn’t have a lot of reasons to complain about the writing.

Marked covers all of maybe 5 days in 300 pages. It was terribly slow getting started and all I wanted was for it to start going somewhere. You know how as you get closer to the last pages of a book, you start wondering how it’s going to wrap up everything in time (I felt that way about The Diamond Age)? Well as I neared the end of the book I started wondering if it was going to go anywhere by the end. The climax was hardly worthy of a novel and all I wanted was to see the story go somewhere. So there’s a sequel, in fact there is a whole series of books that follow this one. I don’t know that I want to go out and buy them because I was so disappointed by this one, and yet I want to see where the series is going. Decisions, decisions…

I slept in and downloaded a bunch of movie trailers.

  • I think 9 looks pretty cool.
  • Dragonball might not be as bad as I initially thought (and Emmy Rossum is in it)
  • Fast & Furious must be better than the last two movies because the entire original cast is back.
  • Fired Up looks legitimately funny.
  • I watched Gran Torino and it was amazing. See it if you can!
  • He’s Just Not That Into You looks like a great adaptation of the self-help book for women. I want to get it and read it actually.
  • Inkheart might be good. Dunno.
  • I missed Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and I wish I had had a chance to see it when it was in theaters. When does it hit DVD?
  • I watched a bunch of others, but I really don’t have much to say about them. [shrug].

I’m going to try to finish Let the Right One In tonight so I can watch the movie tomorrow. It’s okay, not what I was hoping for but an interesting read nonetheless. I seem to be on a vampire stint recently. That’s another thing I disliked about Marked: vampire is spelled vampyre. I’m know it’s a legit way to spell it, but it distracted me from the text every time I saw the word.

This is about nothing at all

This is a meandering post about nothing in particular. I’m supposed to be writing 5 papers. I’ve kinda written an outline for the first one, but I just don’t seem to care enough to get it written. I don’t want to hand in something atrocious, which would be very easy to do, but I also can’t afford not to hand in anything at all. It’s a horrible conundrum.

I learned a new word last night: valediction. I found it while looking up the meaning of “yours truly.” See, in Snow Crash one of the main character’s names is YT, short for yours truly. It’s cute, but I wanted to know if it made sense by the formal definition, or if it was only acceptable in common usage. Not that it makes much difference, I just wanted to know.

New paradox of fun: “Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation,” yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation.

I know this blog is mostly noise and not a lot of signal, but I just don’t think I have anything interesting to say. I know it isn’t true, but that hasn’t made me write anything of substance yet. I just ordered parts for a new computer on Friday. My old computer doesn’t seem to want to start, so it either means the motherboard has gone bad, or the power supply has gone bad. My options were to buy a new power supply and see if that fixed the issue, or to buy all new computer parts. I’d rather buy another motherboard, but this computer is 3 years old and they don’t make this board anymore. I suppose it’s also worth noting that 2 of the PCI slots don’t function correctly on this board, another reason to get rid of it.

So I spent $650 on new parts. There’s a $40 mail in rebate, so I’ll get a little bit of money back, but I really didn’t want to spend this money. If anything I would have bought myself a kindle. Actually, maybe I should just ask my family to pitch in together and get me a kindle for my birthday. I’d like that.

It’s a sweet new computer, I don’t really feel like talking about the specs right now. Maybe I’ll take photos of putting it together and then write a post about how awesome it is. Yeah…

So I started using twitter again. I’m also more noise than signal there, but what can you do. I just like to put stuff up about what I’m up to. Like right now. I think I mentioned using Remember The Milk and pimping out my Google Calendar. It’s awesome. I feel organized and I like completing things. Whoo.

I’ve run out of steam at this point. I’m sure I’ll have something to write about later.

Reading, Theater, Management

It’s been nearly a month since I posted anything, and over a month since I posted anything that wasn’t private. I went to London and had a great time. I saw a ton of stuff and took photos of some of it. I can’t wait for my friends to come back to the states. Most of them are going to be on campus for the summer (like me) and I am very excited.

I got my butt kicked by school work when I came back, and then show week was going on, and then there was the show itself. I basically took a month-long break from the internet. I’ve been easing my way back into it, but I’ve been having a great time reading books. I’ve read some personal novels as well as books for class and I should definitely write about them.

While in London I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence. When I got back I dove into book 11 of The Wheel of Time: Knife of Dreams. After, I started in on other books on my shelf that I hadn’t read before like Snow Crash and Mona Lisa Overdrive. Now that I’ve finished those I’m starting Stranger in a Strange Land.

For class I read Hamlet, Prince of Denmark for the third or fourth time. Now we’re in the middle of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. I’ve been reading some poetry as well, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Wallace Stevens in particular. I don’t have any favorite poems, but a couple stanzas always stick out. From “Sunday Morning”:

VI

Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set pear upon those river-banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.

Or from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”:

V

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I especially like the epigraph:

S`io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocchè giammai di questo fondo
Non tornò vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

It comes from Dante’s Inferno (XXVII, 61-66). Allen Mandelbaum’s translation of the Inferno reads:

“If I thought my reply were meant for one
who ever could return into the world,
this flame would stir no more; and yet, since none—
if what I hear is true—ever returned
alive from this abyss, then without fear
of facing infamy, I answer you…”

Outside of all this reading, I’ve been doing the usual programming homework and keeping busy. I had this great conversation the other night about relationships, “jump offs”, racism, music, and art. He articulated what I seem to be looking for in a relationship so articulately that I have to write it here. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “You’re looking for a girl who is a locked box. You want to be the one to open it up and be privy to everything inside.” It’s very close to the truth. I don’t really want to spend any time analyzing what I think I’m looking for, since that will always be in flux, but I felt that I needed to record that for posterity.

In other news, I decided that I am going to finish my degree in English literature and write a thesis; I’m running for vice president of SDS and I’m working hard on my speech so I give myself an earnest shot; and I’m looking into taking on more managerial roles in projects and within SDS.

I think that last thing is important. I’ve been ASM (assistant stage manager) several times in the past, and each time has been a learning experience. Understanding your responsibilities and getting better at them is a rewarding experience. This last show I was props manager. This was my first time as a designer for a show and it presented its own set of challenges. I found that not only did I have to design, but I also had to communicate with an assistant and with other departments to make sure that everyone was on the same page.

This experience reminded me of attempting to manage my group project for databases. My job was to be organized and to have concrete goals in mind for where the project was heading. I was supposed to lay a framework and assign deadlines and mini-projects to members of the team. I failed to do that effectively and it reflected on the project as a whole.

One of the problems with being in power is the feeling that you need to exercise that power. This isn’t the case at all, but many people who are placed in this sort of position for the first time (or couple times) try to exercise their power and react poorly to others trying to usurp any of their power. This is detrimental to the entire process. The real job of a manager is to serve as a moderator between different parties and to give the project direction.

I’m just starting to see this now, and now that I’m starting to understand the purpose of a manager I feel that I can be a better manager in the future. Of course my focus is in technology, but having good managerial skills is a benefit no matter what environment you’re in.

This has been a long and far reaching post. I didn’t mean for it to be like this, but I think I said a lot of the things I needed to say. I know there’s probably another post rattling around in my head but I need to think about it some more before it ends up on here.

I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And oaths were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Last Night

After sleeping for much of yesterday I figured I’d stay up late and get something out of an otherwise wasted day. To pass the time I watched Happy Feet and signed up for twitter. I also tried to read some more of the Decameron but I couldn’t get into it.

A bunch of my friends went to go see Happy Feet when it came out in theaters. They went to the IMAX to see it, and always talked about how cute it was. It was around Thanksgiving and I had just started to date this girl. I wanted her to join us, but she was tired from her trip home so I decided not to go. In retrospect I probably should have acted differently, but there’s not much I can do to change that now.

So Happy Feet has been out for a while now, and I figured I’d find out what all the buzz was about. It was certainly a cute movie but not my favorite. I’m not sure that I would ever sit down to watch it again, but I could definitely put it on in the background.

After watching that, I checked my RSS feed reader and read a post about how it is possible to spoof who you are in Twitter as long as you know someone’s phone number. It really got me interested in Twitter, especially since I have been hearing so much about it lately. After I checked out Twittervision (amazing by the way) I went and signed up. You can follow everything I do here. Or sign up and be my friend, that would be cool too.

Today I plan on doing homework, listening to music, and probably watching a movie. I don’t know which movie it will be, but I’m sure I’ll mention it later.


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