Returning and Clearing the Dust

After two years since I last regularly updated this blog, I am back! I stepped over some cobwebs on the way, give me a second to turn on the fans and open the windows…

All right, let me get my grand plan posted up here on this wall.

I am envisioning a revitalized blog in this space, with a new beautiful theme. The blog would have useful, relevant content such as “web app development stories.” I would like to continue using this site as a place for creative and thoughtful posts, as time and my unpredictable mind permit. Luckily hopefully my writing style and music preferences have improved somewhat, depending on your genre of preference (sorry Carly Rae!)

Even when this area is sparsely visited, I have found that posting my goals online helps me feel accountable to an audience, as invisible as it may be while I’m just starting up the generator and getting some light back on here. So I’ll take a moment and list some of the projects that I am working on, which may be the subjects of future posts:

  • Recapping setup and database design challenges for websites I made in Django and Ruby on Rails
  • Designing their front-ends (semantic HTML, responsive CSS)
  • Creating games in Android and finishing games in HTML5 and Unity
  • Reading the 10 books on Computer Game theory that I got from the MIT Press loading dock sale last weekend
  • Learning to drive (!!!)
  • Doing NANOWRIMO (yes, I am procrastinating at the moment)

That’s a good preview of what’s to come. To the west coast: Happy Halloween!

Lastly, let me tune the radio… hmm, this is only picking up foreign frequencies for some reason, I’ll have to fix that >.>

Crush Crush (again)

What is there to dislike? There’s his voice, which many argue is the most beautiful thing about him. But… but… look at those EYES! Are they like solid black? And that hair! Maybe I’ve been obsessed with Andy Samberg recently – not to say that guy looks like him otherwise – but that HAIR! And his FACE! And his SONGS! The guy I imagine in stories – I’m not completely sure what he looks like, but he does the same thing in each one – cheers the other characters up. And maybe sings ‘You Raise Me Up’ to them. In another music video I just made in my head. Yup yup. Well since I can’t play videos from my head here you’ll have to be satisfied by this oh-not-inspiring-at-all video of Josh Groban. While all the girls jump on Twilight actors and Johnny Depp I’ll be over here.

May I point out 2:44, 3:16 on… for your viewing pleasure?

And of course I can’t just mention this modern classic singer/crush without showing more videos…

In the one below you get a LOT of footage of Josh Groban, which makes me even happier…

This type of music is just what I needed. Just submitted an important assignment and am now ready to recharge and tackle more important assignments today. Thank you, Josh!

One more song, which is him singing my current favorite of his live… and flooring me with that performance even more than I already was, if possible…

But one more thing… why are all of my crushes so TALL? Well, I’ve gone from 6’5” to 6’3” to 5’11”… maybe eventually I’ll get them down to where they can see me without needing to kneel, or without me on a chair. Ahhh the joys of five feet flatdom. On the upside, they can’t sneak into buildings through air vents and all. Wait. I’m not saying I have…

How to Major in Comparative Media Studies

The environmental engineering students I asked long ago said that the term I’m in (junior fall) is supposed to be the easiest out of the curriculum, and the next term (junior spring) is supposed to be the hardest. Given that I’m a week behind (which means 6 term paper or lab or pset-type assignments give or take) in schoolwork and have been stuck on just one of those working as productively as I have ever been before and after that Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, I’m thinking of just saying to hell with it and trying out what I’m thinking of doing anyway after college: film, video game design – comparative media studies. Honestly I can’t handle another term like this. I know my term is harder than the typical junior fall term (adding two CI classes including Ecology I that made sophomore fall ‘the hardest’ according to those environmental engineering alums and a course 12 class without knowing matlab well enough which is just masochism), but I am not doing this again. Nope. No way. Two science classes (or maybe 2.5) and THAT. IS. IT.

Luckily even if I don’t minor in energy (which has technical requirements up the gazoo) I can still double major in Comparative Media Studies (CMS)! Provided that I take 10 CMS classes and finish my major. Here’s the schedule I’m thinking of, and my excitement about each…

Junior Spring
Environmental Chem and Bio (…)
Environmental Health Engineering (..)
Environmental ChemBioHealth Lab (…….)
Spanish IV (=DD)
The Film Experience (=DDDDDDDD CMS Rec)
Writing for Videogames (=DDDDDDDDDDD CMS Rec that may or may not fit in…)

Summer: MISTI Chile???

Senior Fall
Thermodynamics and Kinetics (at least a useful science class… that I need for the following one?)
Global Change Science (=D…)
Making Public Policy (=DDDDD)
Intro to CMS (=DDDD CMS Rec)
A Media and Methods Class (Performing? =DDD CMS Rec)
Media in Cultural Context (CMS!)
Junot Diaz’s Writing Class if he’s teaching that term (=DDDDDDD)

Senior Spring
Ecology II
Capstone Class
6 more CMS Classes

… You know what, maybe that isn’t so possible after all.

Well, you never know. All I know is I’ll just keep working as long as it takes and as teachers give me to learn the most from these assignments that I can, figuring out how to get them done myself – that’s why I’m taking the classes that I’m taking now, anyway – somehow pass most and hopefully all of them, and find some way to have a better semester next term. I could already work full time at a company – and did last summer – with my mad and normal-speed but MIT-sloth-slow data analysis and problem solving skills. Yup yup.

Going out to refuel, though no food is better than what my sister makes for Thanksgiving, or the oatmeal my mom makes me at home =) Visiting family is such a great way to return things to perspective!

Before I go… with my high speed MIT internet I can now post some video video videos =DDDDDD Lonely Island always makes my day.

“Hakuna Matata!” *bang bang bang*


Break Break Bawk Bawk

No, while I have several assignments due and in progress, I’m not stuck at MIT for thanksgiving. Right now I’m on… a TRAIN! A TRAIN train. Back to NYC. This is why I need to graduate from MIT. So I can make enough to ride trains. all. the time. They’re fast, comfy, no creeps – or at least less creeps – no annoying sitting on the floor for at least half an hour in the crowded station with the bus running late, no sulky bus station food that isn’t rabbit friendly (especially in DC Greyhound stations and below)… Don’t remind me of my two 15 hour bus rides between Boston and Birmingham for last year’s habitat for humanity spring break. I paid my dues, all right? Sitting next to creeps that talked about how they beat their kids and picked up girls and oh would I friend them on facebook.

We really need to get those train subsidies going so everyone can start doing it. Who’d believe that a train from Boston to NYC could be no less expensive than a flight? How about carbon emissions? Where does that factor in, huh? Not that I’m learning about exactly what high carbon emissions mean in all of my classes or anything. (Note to self – take classes learning about how to research and propose policies like subsidies, not just 4 at first 5 STRAIGHT SCIENCE ones… what ever made that sound like a good idea?)

In the spirit of the break I present to you some of my favorite SNL shorts. Or I will, once I get off this train and back home, since this train wireless is not allowing me to go onto sites with ‘streamed media’. OR the iTunes store. Now this kind of blocking would have been helpful at MIT… but it’s the start of BREAAAAAAAAK! =( And I’d just been trying to decide on Enter Shikari songs to buy! (Got ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’ earlier – and ALREADY have a plot and music video idea roughly storyboarded out for it… this is what I do with my oh so valuable brain cells, no kidding)

Well in lieu of Andy Samberg for now I’ll give you this slower song which was already open on Safari – take that Acela wireless! Booo YAH!!!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sometimes I imagine…

Sitting on a bench, with a ball of white fluff on my lap and licking my fingers, already sticky from the sorbet I had eaten earlier, with a book just turned over on my right and a writing notebook just behind it. Quite a few of my friends, my New Yorker friends, some of them from my elementary school Churchill, are at the park, grinning and laughing and talking about the new show that just came out or that crazy movie, or what’s going on downtown, with ice cream that we’d splurged on but eccentric clothes that scream to the passerby around us, ‘West Village. People right in that creative niche of New York. May or may not be starving artists.’ And we laugh and talk about plans. Three of us want to do that 5K fundraiser next weekend, so we use our phones to sign up right there so we don’t forget. One of my friends might be living in Vermont, and I’ve roped another friend to come see her with me over a rare long weekend, at the end of the month. We talk about hiking and skiing a bit, and I tell them about the winter vacation I’ve planned as a large backpacking and backcountry skiing trip. They share their own adventures and plans, and when we all have to leave for the night we wave and I head to a cafe overlooking the park, one of those with vegan goodies, biscotti, and tea, and go back to my writing, or my book if I was just at a cliffhanger.

At work the area is nice, the buildings are clean, and people nod and say hi as I walk to my desk. I have a lot of control as a project leader and it excites me whenever we complete something, or get praised by our clients. The reports we do periodically record the economic and environmental impacts of our work. The work could be environmental consulting, new product design, documentary making, or video game design – but in any case the atmosphere is inspired yet not cutthroat, and long nights come during a busy week leading up to a final project but aren’t a regular thing.

I’ve tried out many classes each week, including photography, guitar, acting, and singing, so now I walk around with a digital camera looking for interesting colors on the water or puppies and post them to my photoblog as often as I’d like. Sometimes I make digital illustrations for my story or just for fun. I’m lucky that I have a well-enough paying job, because my musically-inclined friends tell me whenever a concert is happening and we go. Not all of them are high profile ones, but I’ve been impressed by many of them. I’ve really gotten into the music scene in New York, and I’ve actually been fortunate enough to meet some of the performing artists. I’m always adding bands to my playlist. I make it a point to see a movie or a show once a week. Or shopping – I no longer need or really want to limit my shopping trips to four times a year, whenever I would freeze or burn if I didn’t make them, and some of my friends really love going.

My editor has been calling me, sending me edits and questions and working with me a lot, although it’s a bit slow because I’m not a writer full time. But her enthusiasm helps keep me going through this long editing process. There are so many deadlines, but if I make them all I might get my epic novel published by mid next year. I’m lucky that my job is mostly a 9 to 5 one that gives me some extra time to think and write.

I head back to the train to commute home. I either have a place in the city like Brooklyn or someplace like Westchester. Wherever I am, the neighborhood is warm and inviting and has its fair share of crazy progressives.

Besides almost every moment in and around the city, I love getting to travel. I’ve done the Peace Corps and had my eyes opened quite a bit more from that experience. I can also speak Spanish almost fluently after all of that time – almost. Afterwards I’ve visited many areas of southern Africa and even spent a week with an indigenous tribe there – and got to write all about it. I’ve got goals on my life list that I am just now planning out – taking months off eventually to hike the Appalachian trail, completing an ironman, writing a song.

That’s more than enough to keep me smiling as I walk down the street. My phone goes off. It’s a text from him saying he can make it to the cafe and movie tonight, and that the last concert was even better than last week’s. And should he buy the new fiction book that’s on sale that I’d reviewed. He’s at the store now.

I text him back ‘NOOOOOO’ and then ‘Well I won’t drag you out of there but…’ and then an ‘It’s YOUR money…’ and grin because I was walking to the same place. In ten minutes I round the corner to the bookstore, look inside, and see him near the front of the line. I can’t see what he’s buying but he’s at the register, so I go around. As he’s leaving I jump on him and yell ‘GOT YOU!’ in front of the whole store.

He’s still laughing when we get to the movie. I’ve got his hand in mine. We’re going to talk about our trip and our future a bit together tonight. It’s almost been two years. I squeeze and don’t let go.

That last part might all be in my imagination. Even more than my job is. But getting eight hours of sleep a night and making money to keep my dreams alive and loving my job would be more than enough to keep me smiling every day as I walk through the street.

I’m not in a great place at this very moment, but I will be. One day.

Song song songs!

Cause I feel like posting them! What what?

Maybe when I finish my two assignments tonight (one 22 pages and at least that many hours in the making, the other 9-10 pages that I have not quite started yet) and review tests and material I didn’t do so well on, I’ll write a substantive post.

And my story. It’s still playing out, up here in my head, and fast – I seem to like to plot the most when I’m working, strangely enough – but no words are going down until this shit gets done.

And exercise. Last run was last Saturday. What happened to exercising every day? Oh, that thing? That starts with an M and ends with a T?

And shopping. I need new pairs of pants and shoes. And fall clothes in general. And more food.

And sleeping sometime that’s not from 10 AM to 1 PM.

And going to class.

But before this shit somehow gets finished so I can somehow pass my classes like a zombie that thinks that there’s a difference between a “hard curriculum that will get you great skills and jobs” and an “impossible curriculum that requires that you cut out anything extraneous including exercise or pursuing your own clubs or interests and hope of more than five hours of sleep on a weeknight if you’re not even procrastinating, in a school where you’re not taken seriously as someone that ‘works hard’ if you’re not doing a UROP for 2 or 3 hours a day or a varsity sport or course 6 or 18,” I’m posting some MUSIC.

This song never fails to make my day. Or early morning as it is. Sounds very much like the average day in the life of…

I think this is my favorite AAR song.

And here is my huge celeb crush. Back when he had his LONG HAIR. Still think he looked best in Snakes on a Plane…

And who knew that rockers from the 2000’s could introduce you to classic songs on their blogs? I love this song and this video so much. Should really give more of these types of songs a listen… did not like Come Undone though (I did love Unchained Melody, but that’s a different kind of ‘old song’, isn’t it?)

And here is my crush again, covering that song, sadly with shorter hair =(

I would totally post Saturday here again from Fall Out Boy, but I’ve posted it before. Time to get to work!