Posts Tagged feelings


Ever get a moment where you have kind of been deep in the trenches ignoring a big thing about to happen, and then all of a sudden something clicks, and you have a realization about how CLOSE upcoming events are?

Yeah, that happened to me yesterday. I was at a work conference helping out /observing folk, stress-fully checking lists of work things to do before I leave Friday and in my head I heard this voice, “Wait, Friday? That means we’ll be on a boat in only a few days!”


I felt a lot less stressed after my brain made that little connection, and it was easier to get things done in a sane, less stressed manner. I mean, after all, I’m going to be drinking the drinks, gaming the games, and friending it up on a cruise in only a few days.


(p.s. I should have posted this last night but again my blog was misbehaving and omgomgomg)

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I joined Bill and Andrew (along with new friend Kris) on a trip to Comedy Underground this evening for open mic night. Open mic is pretty hit or miss on the funny, but some of the stuff is truly hilarious. On a previous outing, I went with Bill and Jess and couldn’t stop laughing on some comedians. (I’d love to give example, but my memory for stand-up is pretty short. Most were hilarious sex jokes, let’s be honest.)

I’ve found the funniest stuff to be the suprising-in-how-honest/obscene stuff. There’s something really enjoyable about having an idea about where the comedian is going, realizing a split second beforehand how incredibly crazy it would be for them to go there, and then they just go for it. The best is when they do and they just don’t stop, keeping on the gag for the next full minute or so. (This one girl started her 3 minute set with “this is my impression of a woman who can’t stop silently farting” and made faces until she said “this is a 3 minute joke, people.” I could not stop laughing!)

Anyway, long story short, I am likely to organize an outing to comedy because laughing with friends sounds like the best.

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How I Love/Hate Web Development

So I often enjoy exercising my programming and design skills in doing little web projects, especially ones that I can share with other folk. I made Breeze (a Magic draft simulator), a very prototypey version of Evil Geniuses (a board game my friend Nate and I designed for Todd and Tory), and various login/forum-style systems. What I have found is that I both love and hate doing this, and today I kind of analyzed why, in the course of putting finishing touches on Faceboat.

I divide web programming into three phases in my mind – initial design, substructure programming, feature programming. The first phase is really fun: imagining a sweet website in my head never really goes wrong, and it’s easy! The third phase is also fun: the beauty of the web is it’s super rapid to see your changes, and as I add features, I can see and interact with them immediately in a wonderful way. But the second phase – BLECH. I hate hate hate programming a database and the object model that lies on top of it, and in the end, that makes me kind of a lazy/bad programmer.

However, today, I did the first phase of Faceboat design and then remembered I had already completed the second phase, two years ago, and the code/data is all still sitting on my web server. Huzzah! So I got to do just the fun parts, and it was awesome. All web development should be like this!

(Honestly, maybe there’s some universal “here’s all of the substructure you need and it automatically works” system I have just never found, but in my experience, the tweakiness involved in doing phase 2 work is so aggravating!)

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Technically Frustrated

(Now back on my blog, due to problems fixing themselves!)

I ran into quite a few annoying issues with technology today. This always feels like a lame complaint, because technology does so much to improve my life, that it’s like 99% awesome and 1% sometimes-shitty… and then I complain loudly about it. I feel so entitled.

But so and anyway, I *do* feel entitled, to working websites and programs! I can understand it when I do something wrong or I’m working with untested tech, but today I was reading a manual on how to make iPhone apps, and then when I attempted to follow instructions, I ran into terrible interfaces on installers that made me want to punch people (through the internet). The same occurred later this evening, when I tried to use my WordPress site to post a blog and it just failed to load pages. Curse you, technology!

I am awed by the power of the tools we use today (in the form of available technology) but it also bothers me how few folk understand those tools sufficiently to fix them – including myself, most of the time.

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A Lost Max

I’ve told this story to a few friends already, but I figured I’d write it down for posterity and further sharing. A few weeks before the break, I got up in the morning before work and performed my normal morning routine: I let my beagle Max out into the (fenced) back yard and took a shower before making myself coffee. When I finished with the shower, I dressed and went through the house and couldn’t see Max. He’s probably still in the backyard, I thought.

Then I noticed the door to the backyard had blown shut from the wind. Then I noticed – upon opening it and going into the backyard – that the fence gate had the opposite problem, and was standing open.

At that point, I started to get a little ball of anxiety and went outside as quickly as I could and started scouring the neighborhood for him. I yelled a lot of “Max!” that morning. Still, he had been out for close to an hour at that point, and he wasn’t (apparently) nearby.

I ran into a nearby neighbor and her dog, both of whom Max adored, and she agreed to call for him on her walk. When she returned, she told me some neighbors to the south had seen a dog wandering around a while ago. I headed that direction, even drove around a bit with the window down calling, but still couldn’t find him.

At this point, I was freaking out a little. You see, he’s not chipped, and in a terrible fit of karmic retribution, I had neglected to immediately fix his name/address tag when it broke earlier that week. So he was an identity-less beagle wandering the neighborhood and god I hope he doesn’t get hurt

I called up 9-1-1, and they said to call Animal Control when they opened (around 9am, about 2 full hours after I let Max into the backyard). I did so, after frantically calling fellow dog-owning friends Paul and Alida, who successfully talked me off a now-cliff of anxiety. The Animal Control lady was very kind and said as soon as she heard anything, she’d call back. She also recommended sending a post to the West Seattle Blog, which she said has a really active community. (I had never used it before, but she’s right, it’s great.)

As I sat down and started writing my post, she called back and said a man in my neighborhood just reported a missing beagle! I quickly called him and he confirmed it was Max and told me to come over. My heart almost leapt out of my chest – I didn’t realize how tightly wound I was until release.

When I got to this guy Bill’s house, he greeted me and let me in – where he had his own beagle, Sophia! She seemed nice, and Max seemed quite pleased with himself for his adventure (and his second breakfast, which Bill had fed him). As I took Max back, Bill told me something funny enough that I laughed in spite of everything.

“Yeah, strangest thing. I have Sophia here, and the folks in the neighborhood know I have a beagle,” he said. “So when they found Max wandering around, they took him and put him in my yard. Then, when I got up in the morning, I let Sophia out into the yard, and when I went to get her, there were two beagles!” :)

I have since fixed Max’s tag and now we go out into the backyard together!

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Year in Review: Resolutions 2

This vacation has been nice and relaxing so far, but I don’t feel like I’m getting anything done, exactly.  Which is an odd feeling to have on a vacation, but still.   I have been trying to finish World of Goo, which I have hilariously owned for a while courtesy Sam, but got stuck and left it (not wanting to get overly frustrated by it), and may move on to other video games after that.  I have two games to design and a project to code – I just need to get myself back into a regular “work at home” schedule!

3. Exercise three times a week.

Unfortunately, exercise is one routine I never really got myself back into, and it shows.  I feel pretty out of shape, have for a while, and haven’t been able to consistently get myself to the gym or any sort of reasonable workout ethic.  Over the past year, I have re-started workouts in fits and starts, but never more than twice in a week and often with many weeks skipped.  I *do* have this new DDR workout program going – five days in a row now! – so that’s been helping, but still, mission unsuccessful.  Overall: minor failure.

4. Prepare food for myself at least seven times a week (counting breakfast).

Interestingly, both resolutions today are ones I have been doing much much better at over this holiday break!  I would say that over the course of the year, just like exercise, I have attempted to cook for myself in short runs, and done okay at it.  Especially over the latter half of the year, I have been failing at this goal, but within the last week I have already prepared myself a good 12 meals or so!  So this one is looking up, but I won’t exactly make up the shortfall by year end. :)  Again, getting into an automatic routine never happened with food prep at home.  Overall: another minor failure.

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#21: Fashionable

This is kind of an odd subject, but I feel like I could use more style in my life.  I understand the backwardness of trying to plan out a hip look, rather than let it flow more naturally from who I am.  I have never really had any “lessons” in how to dress or how to look good in any normal sense.  I am a pretty good mimic, so I can copy friends and how they look a little bit, but most everything else has just been my personal opinion about what looks good on me.  Fashion sense seems like it’s both about how other people perceive you, and how you perceive yourself.  I am not too worried about the self-perception thing; in fact, if anything, a change in my wardrobe or general style might be well suited to making me more comfortable with myself. (That construction was a little awkward… but you get the picture!)

One thing I considered was ties – I already wear collared shirts to work most of the time, and wearing a tie is an interesting in-between to suited up and my normal “work clothes.”  I do wonder whether being more formal than I already am (basically button-down shirt and jeans, nothing too fancy) will have a negative impact on people I hang out with.  Only one way to find out, I guess!  Other possibilities: wacky hat, more color coordination/variation (I have no real sense about this; I just like the color blue), a better overall plan for stuff to wear across multiple days (as opposed to “whatever is clean and handy and I feel like that day).

Then again, maybe this just isn’t worth worrying about?

21. I resolve to take a closer look at how I dress and my general “style,” possibly with consultation with friends, and spend at least a week doing something different with my overall look.

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#3: Good Eats

Getting fit is a many-layered process, and exercise is only one piece of the puzzle.  Another equally important piece is eating right, which I am definitely not doing in any thought-out way right now.  I really enjoy eating with friends while at work, obviously, but it’s something that I think would be better in moderation, not just to keep myself eating a little better than “eating out” all the time, but because it’ll cost me less and free up some time (and also make sure I don’t burn out on friend time!)

I’ll admit, I have wanted to steal Tom’s excellent “cut up fruit and eat it at work” plan for a while, but felt like I was just being a copycat.  Which is an absurd feeling, so I’m putting my foot down and planning to do the fruit thing myself!  In addition to that, I think I want to set aside a few days a week (2-3, maybe average 2.5 over many weeks) to bring my own lunch – I enjoy making myself lunch and I think I can arrange it so I’m eating a bit healthier that way, too.  Finally, I eat out a LOT and I think having a meal plan for home (including “out with friends” or “out myself” worked in) would do a great deal to make me happier (and I’ll cook more, which I also enjoy.)

Whew.  That’s a lot of strands to weave together.  Let’s go with:

#3. I resolve to plan no more than six meals “out” each week for a month, with a “these meals planned” calendar on my fridge at home.

I think the best implementation detail I can think of right now (and will therefore record for posterity!) is that I don’t want to be explicit about which days I am going to eat what, because my appetite can vary day-to-day.

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#2: Workout Ethic

I went in super early (well, I guess not super early – only 6am or so) and did an aerobic/treadmill workout at the gym at work.  Man, it was tough – taking time off from exercising is just terrible for my ability to get back into the swing of things, both psychologically and physically.  Still, I completed my run and felt pretty good about it.  I am unhappy with my current weight, or I guess more accurately the distribution of weight – I’ve got too much flab on my chin and chest, and I think I’d feel a huge amount better about myself if I toned that down a little.

So, how to form an exercise plan that works for me?  The way I got it to work at Caltech was to wake up early (because Robin and Fred pounded on my door).  The way I got it to work in Los Angeles when I was working at Pretty Good Games (in Manhattan Beach, about an hour away from home if I didn’t hit traffic) was to wake up early and drive to a gym near work.  And the way I generally find it working here in Seattle is to… wake up early to get to the gym at work.  Waking up early, because I have more “free energy” in the mornings (I think that makes me a morning person!) seems to be a good plan.  And making it fairly regular would also help.

#2. I resolve to get to work early enough (pre-7am) on two days a week for a full month so that I can get a short workout in before I start my workday.

That should still give me enough time to work on various things before I get distracted by folk in the Pit / meetings / playtests, and it won’t be ridiculous on either my body endurance or my sleep cycles to do this twice a week.

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#1: This One’s for the Ladies

Specifically, I am unhappy with my personal (relationship) life, so I need to resolve to take steps to “fix” that.  I understand that it’s not a problem to solve per se, but rather that I need to take positive steps toward improving my confidence, get myself busy so I stop overanalyzing everything, and get myself feeling better physically and socially.  All of these things I will resolve to do in the coming days, but first and foremost I think it’s worth talking about some direct action I can take to meet/get to know more women.

I use OkCupid (please don’t stalk me k thx), having been a member since like… 2003?  It’s quite a good dating website overall, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels (and also I am unsure whether I’ll be able to find someone right for me via this method, since I have not done so in our time together).  I’ve also, at the suggestion of friends, tried other sites / personals listings.  Bill made a great suggestion to me tonight which was, just try to talk to more people.  So in resolution form, it’s:

#1. I resolve to message one lady I am romantically interested each day for 30 days.

I don’t think I’ll start this right away (either right right now, or right after the New Year starts) because like I said, there are a lot of other personal improvement steps I feel I’ve been lazy progressing on that I can do first to build confidence, but I think this is a great step for me to get myself in the habit of starting conversations that might lead to something rather than sitting around (which will lead nowhere).

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