Saturday May 31st, 2003:
There's not much to talk about lately. Well that's not totally true. It's just a matter of what I feel like talking about. I don't know what it is but I just can't get myself to talk about anything. I mean, I feel like conversing or writing about something but I don't feel like I have any inspiration to. It might be that I'm feeling this great ugre to not be happy. Or rather that I don't find anything to be excited or happy about right now. That's been the case for a couple of days now.
Something important should be said here but it isn't. I feel my creative energy being sapped away from me right now as I speak. I talked in my last post about how amazing and unique that people have imagination that lets them create up stuff that has never existed. The only thing more amazing than that is the ability to take that imagination and will it into reality. Right now I feel like my energy that takes imagination and forces it into reality is dissolving very quickly.
Some how that's related to me not knowing what to talk about or what to do. I just sit here and wait for something to spark me back up where I can focus my creative energy again...
Sunday May 25th, 2003:
My posts have become sparse lately. The reason is twofold. One: I've been busy with many things. Two: I haven't had much to say as of late. Has there not been much on my mind? No. There's alot on my mind but it's not really worth writing down for the most part. Loneliness has been on my mind alot lately but no one fucking cares about that so I'll get on to another subject.
I saw The Matrix Reloaded twice now and I have to say I don't understand what people disliked about it. It wasn't as good as the first Matrix but it's near impossible to recreate the magic of the original. The action was cool, stylish, and at times a bit over the top(i.e. Neo fighting hundreds of Smiths). The philosophical parts were as deep(as far as action movies go) as the first Matrix; Replacing the question of "is what we perceive real?" with "does free will exist?" And finally the dance/rave/sex scene wasn't that long. It was at most 2 minutes long and was there to establish:
1. Some of the culture of Zion
2. Set up a theme of what it means to be alive
3. Show Neo and Trinity getting it on.
Number 3 wasn't really necessary but they decided to get the "love story" part in the Matrix so it makes sense considering that. Personally, I would have (not that I hated it, I was just indifferent) liked it had the sex scene would have had bullet time shots, but that's just me. I might of not hated that scene because I thought the music that played during that sequence was kind of cool. In any and all cases, The Matrix Reloaded was worth seeing.
After I saw The Matrix Reloaded with Alex for the first time we had a big discussion about, more or less, free will. This led inevitably into a discussion about AI and thinking machines. My thought on that matter has always been that thinking machines are definitely possible. We can, and have to some degree, create machines that have logic similar to our problem solving logic capabilities that are built into our head.
One might say that means that the machine can think but when I hear "think" I figure people are talking about in the same way that people "think." In that sense, machines are far off from us. One problem I think is just trying to gauge if a computer is sentient. There's been the Turning test that's been out there since sometime in the 60-70's but I don't think that's a good test; Given what we know about people, a program can be made to give responses that are very human-like but that doesn't mean the machine thinks at all. All that means is the program is very good at mocking a persons natural reaction to something..
I think if I was to come up with a gauge, which is not so much a gauge but a ultimate goal to pursue( as is/was in the case of the Turning Test), it would some sort of creativity scale. By that I mean is the machine able to take in data(raw numbers, text, etc.), abstract that into information( what the data represents), analyze it given past knowledge, and is able to return some previously unknown inference, idea, or concept.
It's not so much the creativity part that I'm getting at but the imagination part. Our imagination is something unique to our thought processes; the ability to dream up ideas, people, things, etc. that never existed before can only be found in people. I'm not sure what totally makes up an imagination but I know it's an ability we have because we have past knowledge/experience, the ability to think of abstract things that don't exist, logical thinking abilities, and the power to pursue knowledge(or previous thoughts by others) on our own. All these abilities together seem to be some of the elements needed for imagination.
Machines can do the logical thinking and have the capacity for remembering(much better than people can) previous knowledge/experience but they lack in the power to pursue knowledge and in the ability to think of abstract things that don't exist. I'm not sure what would give machines that ability but I'll throw out one idea for the hell of it: I'm going to say that it is because the lacking of senses in computers.
Aristotle talked about 3 parts of the human soul: The nutritive, appetitive, and the logical. The nutritive part of the soul is just the part that makes us grow, live, and die(plants only have this part of the soul). The appetitive part of the soul is the part that gives us hunger. Not hunger just in the sense that we need food but in the sense we have all kinds of senses that give us many desires which we pursue in order to appease our senses(this part of the soul can be found in animals too). The logical part of the soul is the part that gives us unique logical reasoning and thinking found only in man.
In computer terms, the nutritive part the soul would be the hardware and the logical part would be the software. I don't know if software fits the mold exactly but it's not that important in my example. What is important is the appetitive part of the soul and the fact there doesn't exist something comparable within a computer or machine.
Our senses are what give us drive as animals. As people, we also have a logical part to us that give us additional drives(for example the drive to create order, laws, follow certain morals) which are a result of reasoning that certain actions are "right." But people are animals that fact cannot be ignored. That's what makes us human. We have this higher order thoughts, concepts, ideas that all make up what we call thinking but they only came about through along process of evolving and building civilization: the separation of us from the animal kingdom.
Throughout this process humans realized that thinking made life easier for them. Our thinking became a tool that we could use so that we could enjoy our lives better. By that I mean we could appease our desires easier. It helps us create tools for growing food, killing animals, moving things place to place, creating habitats that made us comfortable. It also helped us enjoy our leisure time when we didn't have to think about our desires. Thinking, for humanity in its early stages, was a means to an end. Without this drive, humanity would have never been able to develop the human brain as it stand today.
Coming back to the computer/machine we see that the computer has no drive, no motivations, no desires. It lacks that appetitive part the soul that gave humanity it drive to develop itself into thinking, conscious creature. That is the problem of creating a thinking machine. It needs to have some sort of drive(and I'm not talking about disk type) to it.
At some point in my conversation with Alex I made the conclusion that as elaborate as our computers get they will never have the same thinking capacities we will have because their hardware is fundamentally different from ours. He hypothesized about making robots with software that governed it actions and had the built in desire to mate which consisted of 2 robots going to some human made facility to create a new robot whose software routines were created by some combination mix of the 2 robots. He then said that if we placed these robots on an island( Survivor style) and let natural selection do its job that a thinking robot would result somewhere down the line. I retorted that the only that could result is a robot that was damn good at not getting killed. Since there was only desire was to survive and mate it be silly to thought to come as a result of that. That and the fact that the robots would still be hardwired from the 1st generation to the next since the mating process was totally done by us.
I did concede the point that if we were able somehow create some sort of nanomachine robots that could self reproduce, and could rewire their hardware( in the same way our genetic code has modified itself through out the process of evolution) then the result could end up being machines that think like us. The only problem is at that point we're really talking an actually biological organism( or artificial organism depending on how you want to label biological), not a machine.
But then again it depends on how you want to label machine. I mean we're all machines in the sense we have all these body parts that have specific physical functions, that when all put together have some higher order purpose or use. I guess it might depend on what level does it stop. Biological orgranism start at the cellular or near atomic level where machines start at the simple part level(transistors, capacitors, gears, shafts, etc.).\
Either way I'm done with this topic for quite sometime. I leave to you to figure it out.
Monday May 19th, 2003:
I've been much out of touch lately. I've been busy these past few days; I've been settling back in home here, I've been busy with alot of friends( as opposed to getting busy with my friends which might or might not be more depending on the friend), and I've been finishing up Xenosaga.
My Quick Little Review of Xenosaga
Xenosaga is console RPG made by NAMCO. It's a prequel to the great Square RPG Xenogears, which is one the greatest conole RPGs in my opinion. Alot of the same people that had their hand in the creation of Xenogears is helping with the Xenosaga. It's the first in a series that will span 6 episodes. Where Xenogears will fit into this timeline has yet to be shown.
To sum up Xenosaga, it's like a movie that's trying to be an RPG. Much of the story is played out through movies that occur numerous times through out the game. The story is pretty good but it might throw some people off due to it's large number of characters, stroies, and plots that are contained within. It also makes many references to the Bible, Shakeaspeare, various mythologies, Jungian Psychology, scientific/technological terms, and other sorts of things. To give you an idea how much is contained in the story, there's a in-game reference manual to all the such refrences along with characters, places,and events that occur in the story. This is one mammoth story.
The game, while entertaining, seems to only exist for purpose the story. The combat system is similar to the one found in Xenogears but a bit more customizable. Unfortunately one aspect of it was a bit lacking. In Xenogears a big side part of the combat system were these giant anime-like mechs called gears. In Xenosaga, they have a somewhat similar machines called AGWS( pronounced "eggs") whose acronym I'll save for the story to describe. But unlike in Xenogears, these machines might as well not have been in game. They provided no significant more defense than being outside of your AGWS (despite being the size of a armored truck). And on top of that they were signicantly slower than being outside of the AGWS. The result being that it was pretty much worthless to jump in one. The only reason it looked like they put it in the game is because they existed in the storyline( except they looked alot more effective in the movies).
With that said, I still enjoyed the gameplay for what it was. Besides, the story enticed me more than the game did anyway. There were a couple people that I've listened to that didn't like the story. Their biggest problems with the story that I've gotten from them is the lack of character development and "dense storyline."
The lack of character development I'd have to agree with. While some thought the characters were boring, I found them pretty interesting. One of them is a rather beautiful typical looking anime chick named KOS-MOS. The interesting twist being about her is that she is just a machine, or more specifically a weapon(some what along the lines of a Terminator one could say). With that in mind, she comes off as a rather emotional detached character but sometimes intriguing in the sense that we're not ever sure where drives her to do some of the things she does in the story.
They don't change much as characters or people through out the game but I wonder if that was a result of who, or rather what they are. The majority of the main characters in the game are not human; most are different types of artifical humans that are common place in the Xenosaga world. The story seems to have a constant reoccuring of question what exactly should be called life. Or more specifically, is an machine, that has all the capacities of a person, alive? In this sense maybe a machine can't grow and change like a person can. Either way, I left my mind open to this and disregarded this as a negative aspect of the story.
The other complaint about the story could be called a "dense storyline." I don't know if there's already a terminolgy out there for this but it describes a story whose various storylines and scenes seem to bend around and point back to another point of the storyline. I call it dense because I imagine a cloud or sphere that represents the universe of the story with such great density that it's "gravity" pulls any storylines(represents conviently as lines) going through it back in on itself. As more and more storylines, plots, or whatever are introduced the great these lines get tangled in upon themselves. The result is a story line that seems a bit vague and makes the observer have to remember alot of previous parts of the story in order to untangle the whole storyline. For examples see the stories in: Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Memento.
Alot of people I find these type of story telling interesting; They create a interesting puzzle of events that leaves the person to put together to figure out. If well done, I find them to be great. But it can a matter of personal opinion. Some people would rather have simple exposition, conflict introduction, and resolution as opposed to rather convoluded stuff like this.
But aside from those bad parts about the game and story. I still found Xenosaga quite fun. Even if you haven't played Xenogears, I still recommend the Xenosaga(there is very little that actually corresponds to the two games).
Wednesday May 14th, 2003:
Coming This Summer...or summer after next...or "when it's finished..."
Unfortunately, due to my layout I had to resize the image to fit within the content window. If you want to see the image in full effect you can get the bigger one here. If you notice, the two images I have say small and medium. Now if you're asking, "how big is the large then?" The answer to that would be about 3.36MB which is the reason I don't have it posted on my site.
This is my first time I've done some photoshopping to an existing image before. I don't claim myself to good as the folks @ something awful but I think it turned pretty good for the most part. It didn't turn out exactly how I hoped just because the fact that I'm no master photoshop artist and thus drawing a caricature of Ben Paine would be out of the question for me.
I was also going to add other stuff to the image that made it more movie-poster-like but I figured that the image was simple and to the point as it is; There was no reason to clutter it up with other stuff. I also wasn't sure what I was going to put at the top after the GCBC2 title. At first I had the title at the side of Ben and the top saying, "One good cop, one bad sequel. Nothing to lose" but it looked too stupid and it detracted away from the image. I kept the "Nothing to lose" part of the image just because it was less work and it some how fit with the making of GCBC2.
Why is that? Well if you didn't know anything about the making of the first GCBC, I could sum it up as the "Waterworld" or "Titanic" of Gohmann Studios. I guess it would be somewhere in between the two since the movie wasn't really huge but wasn't a horrible flop with audiences. Either way, it took along time to make the first GCBC( and don't ask why it isn't called GCBCAR) because Ted a billion different funny scenes he wanted to do but no budget, no script, and no plot. It was suppose to have a plot, which consisted of Newt and his henchman Will dubbing laugh tracks into people's lives, but I guess Ted never got to shooting it's development. It's such a pity Ted didn't do anything with that plot because I think it would have been pretty damn funny.
The result of this type of filmmaking let the crew with 3+ hours of scenes that had very little continuity with one another. Post-production for GCBC was a nightmare for Gohmann studios. 3+ hours isn't mad for a commerical movie but for a Gohmann film, it would probably be equivalent to taking 12-24 hours of footage(that had no consistency) and condensing it down to a 2 hour movie.
Not only that there was constant conflict between Ted, Ben, and Grahman on the result of the movie. Ben and Grahman had a much more serious and proffesional attidute about how they wanted the thing done while Ted had a more of a "I don't give a fuck as long as it's funny" attitude. This combined with all the other factors made it seem like GCBC was soon to become another "Take it Easy 2," a disaster for Gohmann films.
I constantly reminded Ted of this fact and I told him that he had to finish up and release GCBC no matter what. If he didn't release GCBC it could destroy all his credibility as a director. Ted would also constantly tell me and everyone else that it was so bad and that it shouldn't be released. I knew that we shot some really funny scenes and that if Ted was able to put it all together it would be solid. I knew it wouldn't have any sort of maintainable story to it but that's not what mattered. Plot was rarely ever a part of Gohmann films. Why should it be now? He persisted with his claims that GCBC was horrible though. I think I finally ended up telling him that you can't polish shit into diamonds. If it was horrible than so be it. But for the parts that I was there for the shooting, I thought it was pretty funny. It couldn't of been that bad. At this point, even if it was bad, Ted should just stop trying to reedit it and just release the best that he had.
Finally after a little over a year in the making(most of which was spent editing), GCBC was finally showed to a select few of us at Steve's place. Between 50 minutes an a hour long, it was hilliarous. Plot it did not have but that what made that much more funnier. The end result of editing made it seem like some bad cop movie had merges with some surreal art film and some other low budget movie. To this day, I'll stand by GCBC as a good Gohmann movie. I've seen it about 5 or 6 times with people and I haven't been to a showing where there wasn't people laughing every few minutes.
It might be pretentious to say, but I believe I learned something from GCBC. That is comedic movies really shouldn't be about structure unless there's something inheritantly funny about it's structure. The only structure that should be provided to comedic movies is a bare, wire-frame of a plot or structure that leads the movie and its characters to funny scenes. Otherwise the movie just it caught up its dumb structure which won't be funny at all.
Just look at Old School for examples of this. There's so many dumb little things in the movie that are just there because they're part of the formula and there's nothing really funny about them. We know that the only reason the woman with her kid are introduced is because at some point she is going to have to hook up with the main protagonist, who I'm not going to even try to remember. We know that the guys are going to get in trouble with hard-ass dean since they basically took "Animal House" and modernized it for this movie. We know that they're going to have to do something to crazy to get them out of trouble with the dean. But instead of actually do something original, different or just silly the makes just play out the movie like everyone has seen before. I think if you broke it up, the majority of the movie is laying down plot structure that just isn't funny.
There's a few other points I wanted to make but again I feeling like I'm about to write 3 more pages of stuff that feel like alot of ranting. So instead I'll leave you with this small declarative paragraph.
Listening to critics about comedies is totally worthless in my opinion. People have varying comedic tastes. Almost all critics seem to have some sort of high moral worth gauge when it comes to comedies. That is, if it isn't some satire with some dumb social commentary the movie will be crap(examples: Pootie Tang, UHF, Half-Baked). In general the only way to really gauge wether a comedy is good or not is wether it made someone laugh, or more importantly wether it made you laugh.
Wednesday May 7th, 2003:
I don't have much to say here since I've rather busy with some other work but I just wanted to mention that I had to delist "Veins On Johnson" on my media section since I had to stop hosting the file. Craig needed more webspace for his picture cache so I picked up another movie on my webspace which meant I had to drop VOJ.
Monday May 5th, 2003:
I've had a few topics that I've been meaning to write about but I my time seems like it keeps on getting wasted. If not by work, or by school, it's video games. Not that I think it's a personal waste but it is a waste in the sense that I'm not being productive. But as I've always said I don't have to be a human doing just a human being.
"If things are out of your price range it just means you don't have enough friends" -Steve Knight
Like many things and people I've quoted, I'm not sure that it's exact but the point is a valid one nonetheless. Though I don't really do much LiveJournal reading(or LJ in the hip crowd), but I happened to be reading Newt's the other day. He was talking about how he had changed over the past couple of years. I, likewise, have done a bit of changing myself. I don't know how much this year but I do know something that I've learned and have changed about myself. I've realized that I now put much more stock in who I know rather than what I know.
Not that I don't think being knowledged is not important anymore. It's just that after all that's happened over this month I realized that it's your friends and family who will stick with you until very end, no matter what. Compared with all the friendship, camaraderie , comfort, and other things that friends and family provide I can't imagine why anyone would consider anything else important. Material possessions, jobs, status, knowledge and so many other things seems so transient compared to it. I guess in a way, friendship can be the same way and certain family can become perfunctory sometimes too. Somehow though I believe that more people you know and friends you have the better you, the more you will grow, learn, and enjoy life as a person.
I've got so much more to come but yet have many things to do...
Thursday May 1st, 2003:
Greetings, it's been alittle while since I'd last posted up something let me recap:
I didn't get an extension for one of my projects in Networks thanks to this jackoff-retard who thought a friend dying wasn't a valid reason for an extension (keep in mind this guy doesn't even grade it. All he had to do is tell a TA to not grade one project until a few days later).
I'm hard core Sim Citying lately. I should also mention one of the things I said about the game previously too. Apparently, I found out a way to adjust the funding for buildings so they aren't as expension on the upkeep as I thought( but still way off when it comes to monthly cost vs. intial cost of some civic buildings as well as other things). Also another thing I've noticed about the world of Sim City 4 is every thing publicly operated. At least when it comes to health-care, and various utility services(power, water, etc.). It would be nice if there was an option in the game to switch from public to private or regulated services that way you could adjust city funding that much more. Regardless though, it's a very good entry in the Sim City series.
My birthday was last week. It was pretty much suck since I just stayed home for the whole weekend( due to this take home final I had to finish). We are however going to be throwing a joint-birthday party(for pretty much any Tauruses) this Saturday at good ol' 527 North Grant Steet Apt #6. It might even been bigger than we thought( due to word of mouth through various people). Of course, if that happens it's bound to stay within reasonable size due to the fact that there probably won't be that much alcohol for everyone and the ratio will be more horrible than usually due to the fact that most of our friends are guys.
That's pretty much what has been going on. In other business. I have this video tribute Ted made for Claire. I'm been meaning to digitize it but there's been other stuff on my list of things to do so I'll get to it this weekend or next week. The same goes for the story I was writing about Claire. I should have plenty o' time after finals.
That reminds me. Those awaiting for my most triumphant return to J-ville will have to put that on hold until Friday the 16th. I signed up to work an additional week at work. I'm not sure what I got myself into though. Working from 7-4pm Monday-Friday might be killer, especially for DCARTing.
Anyway, I want to talk about other stuff...
I found one the best verbal defensive mechanisms out the other day. That is whenever some say something to you, take their intent(or make up one if you don't know it) put it in a question form, then compliment it. That's a bit vague so let me demonstrate through an example:
Mitaphane (10:20:55 PM): ouch, 0% Xelarok (10:30:50 PM): ?
Mitaphane (10:31:26 PM): on the quiz, you got a 0%
Xelarok (10:32:10 PM): oh erin's
Mitaphane (10:32:25 PM): Erin?
Mitaphane (10:32:38 PM): who's Erin?
Xelarok (10:36:28 PM): then what are u talking about
Mitaphane (10:36:37 PM): I was refering to Melissa, but that's cool too! you're like a double-0 agent.
Xelarok (10:36:49 PM): oh yeah
Xelarok (10:36:52 PM): it was melissa's quiz
Xelarok (10:36:59 PM): well what do u expect i dont ever talk to her
Mitaphane (10:37:24 PM): trying to justify your failure, that's cool!
Xelarok (10:38:09 PM): trying to make me feel bad?
Xelarok (10:38:12 PM): you should know better
Mitaphane (10:38:44 PM): trying act like you're all badass and you can't be hurt by anything, that's awesome!
Xelarok (10:41:41 PM): putting words into other's mouths as if you are all knowing... some kind of diety, that's righteous
Mitaphane (10:42:25 PM): trying to retort back with my style of insults, bitchin'!
Xelarok (10:44:54 PM): i'm going to resort to violence soon
Mitaphane (10:46:36 PM): can't resolve differences over words because you don't want to think? Think that hurting others will show that you're better than them, huh? Groovy!
Xelarok (10:47:08 PM): the shortest path to peace is a strait line...
Xelarok (10:47:20 PM): if no one lives to oppose me i will be peaceful
Xelarok (10:47:39 PM): i'm not gonna kill you, but i definately think i'm going to punch you if you keep this up
Mitaphane (10:48:13 PM): haahaha
Mitaphane (10:48:52 PM): trying to spout off some Zen philosphy that you read out of a cook book to sound deep, I envy you.:-)
Xelarok (10:49:17 PM): i didn't read it
Xelarok (10:49:34 PM): i made it up, it's in my paper for phil 240
Xelarok (10:49:45 PM): and how war is neccessary
Mitaphane (10:54:59 PM): who's some cool people to talk to?
Xelarok (10:58:29 PM): not you
Xelarok (10:58:39 PM): why don't u talk to melissa
Mitaphane (10:59:35 PM): where's the love, damn
Xelarok (11:01:09 PM): u used it all up when you attacked me
Mitaphane (11:02:02 PM): I didn't attack you, I was having fun
Mitaphane (11:08:18 PM): bah
In less than 8 minutes, I started to piss off Alex this way. I think you too will find the results amazing.
Monday April 28th, 2003:
Well played WalMart...well played...
So if any of you has every owned as PlayStation, PS2, or any other CD/DVD-ROM based console, you should know that the disc drive is usually the only thing that craps out in the console. I've own a couple of PSOnes that did that as well as PS2's. Sony also charges a ridiculous amount for repair on their consoles not enough to justify the cost of the disc drive unit(which would be one of the cheapest components on the console).
Not wanting to be dicked over by Sony, I took advantage of WalMart's generous exchange policy. That is they replace most("defective") items without even a receipt. So lately my PS2 has been dying a slow death and I wanted to replace it before it stopped working. Thus, I went to WalMart yesterday to get a new PS2 for this "defective" one that I "got on my birthday." But something was amiss. The clerk dude was reading off serial numbers to some guy on the telephone. Something was foul in the land of white trash...It was the guy telling me, "Sir this Playstation was made in 2000, past it's warranty. We can't give you an exchange on this Playstaion."
It seems the folks at Sony must be conspiring with WalMart to prevent a flood of junk PS2s coming back to them. They won this round but I'm not defeated yet. I've got many more tricks where that came from. I WILL WIN.
Many will entry, few will win. Shawn Conn will return in Who is the Man With the Name that Rhymes.
Wednesday April 23rd, 2003:
Finally this is all over. The emotional rollercoaster that's been going on since Thursday evening is finally behind me and I can move on with life. I don't know exactly what I want to say with my words. I said before on the boxing page that words couldn't describe what Claire is so I'm not going to do that.
I guess, if anything, what I have to say is what I got out of all of this. I remembered what Claire has shown me about my life. I'm thankful for all the great friends I have. These past few days I've felt closer to them than I ever did before. Also, I got to meet alot of people that I hadn't seen in a long while. Finally, my perspective on death has been reconfirmed by what I witnessed over this past week.
My perspective on death is like it's just like teeth falling out, getting your driver's license, or something else that everyone has to go through in life. It's one of those things that happens to all of us sooner or later in life. But just because a death signifies the end of some one's life, it's no reason for us to make it that important. Just like with any part of life, we should take it for what it is and make the best of the situation. Sure being sad is inevitable but it doesn't mean you can't have fun with what results of death.
That's what I learned at Claire's memorial. I had a great time(despite all the tears) and I appreciated all the people I got to see and talk to that day. It made me feel great to be alive and have all the friends I do. I felt a good closure to this whole thing.
I also realized that going through what I did today that the whole funeral process is horrible way to remember a person. Actually, I'm somewhat conflicted. When I say funeral, I guess I mean the whole process of having someone recite something from the bible, hanging out in a funeral home parlor, and the inevitable burying of the coffin. All of this stuff is so sad and morbid. The end of a person should be celebrated; Not because it's happy that their life is over, but because that person's acheivements meant something to all those people around.
In a way, I wanted to see Claire buryied but I probably say that because I wished that we has some place that we could "visit" her and I wanted to "confront" her death. As the memorial went on I realized that it was best this way. "Confrontation" just meant I had to face the fact and let the wounds heal themselves. I also realized that "visiting" her meant I just wanted some way to go to a place to remember her. But I could do that anytime and anywhere; All I had to do is remember some stories about her or just look at a couple of pictures. In a way, it's symbolic of Claire; she was never settled down in one place for that long. While should she be stuck in a grave for entirity? She lives on in all of us.
That's about all I have to say about the whole issue. I'm glad I was able to share my peace with others at the memorial and enjoy my time with everyone there. I think it was Steve, who said to someone when he found that she died that ", it's like she is just taken another big trip and she is temporarily unable to be contacted." She's still very much alive in my opinion. We might not be able to get a hold of her but we'll always have our stories about her.
Monday April 21st, 2003:
It's been a long weekend. If you didn't know by now, one my closest friends, Claire Dufton, died. I don't plan I doing a long post about her until this is all over with by Tuesday. There's going to be a memorial service for Claire on 1:00 PM @
Anyone is welcome to come to share stories about Claire. It's also not going to be too formal so feel free to dress casual. I think Claire's mom is wanting to emphasize not so much on the death of Claire but rather the life of Claire which I totally agree with. Finally, before I get off here I posted the story that WAVE 3 did on Claire is posted in the media section for downloading. I hope to see you all there Tuesday.
Wednesday April 16th, 2003:
Not that I have anything relevant to say
I'm fighting off this illness that was given to me by Newt who got it through Abrams who got it through Aaron. It sucks. Not only did it break my streak of not being sick( almost a year and half), it also shows up when being sick is the least of things I need. I've got many things I should be concerned with: what I'm doing for the summer, what I'm going to do next year, and plans after that, as well as classes, and other minor things.
My immediate plans right now are finding a job for the summer,and getting classes for summer. Financially, I would not only like to pay off a couple of things but I would also like to get a bitchin' laptop this summer. Going further than that, I plan on finishing up my foreign language credits to finish up my major. After that I don't know. I have one of two plans: either get some sort of career job for a couple of years and save money or just move away from here. I imagine I could probably do both at the same time now that I think about it. That's my long term plans anyway. I definitely want to move away from here. I keep getting this feeling like I'm stagnating here.
The major problem I think is that I don't like being me anymore. But what does that mean? I've said that a couple of times before. The crux of the matter being that I don't like the way I act to situations. I feel like I'm just mindlessly going about my life heading nowhere fast. Aside from that I just don't feel happy or well. It's like I have so much more potential but it's not being used at all. I don't know what it is about me but I feel my natural state is unhappiness. Maybe I'm on the quest for happiness. But what does that say? Not much. Everyone has that quest, more or less. Maybe it's that I feel that my life is heading down this path. I see what's coming down this path and I don't want to go there. I don't want my life to turn out anyway like my parents' lives. I sometimes worry that my life will become something where I get stuck in a horrible routine for the rest of my life.
That reminds me of something a very good friend of mine said to me while back. I don't have the exact quote so I'll just paraphrase; An adult is a state of mind not a certain age. Adults are people who have been set in their ways and won't change. They are people that are no longer carved and shaped by the events, people, and the world they live in. Once some becomes an total adult they cease to be relevant to the world they live in.
Certainly that's not totally true, I mean to some extend being an 'adult' also incorporates some sort of maturity and wisdom. Those are both admirable traits, but certainly there's also something to be said about being "set in your ways." It seems to be a path that at some point adults seem to go down. I don't know if it comes with being older or if it just comes with getting set in a routine. Either way there's something about it that rubs me as wrong. It makes me feel sad when I see my grandparents not longer do anything anymore. It make me sad that my parents spent their day going to work, then home,then to TV,and finally off to sleep. It makes me sad when my friends that I hang out with find some other person to cling to and all they do is just be with one another constantly and never do much else outside of that. This is the stuff I'm talking about bothering me. Certainly things don't have to be this way do it? Life is much so more infinite than what we make of it.
I don't know if there's much more than that I want to say. I'm feeling a big delimma here about where I'm going in my life and all of that. I'm looking for some kind of drastic solution to this problem. Why drastic? because it much more fun to live life on the edge. What edge to push it to is still up for grabs. So this leads back to where I started...still feels about the same. Damn it. *sigh* I'm going to get some rest.
Sunday April 13th, 2003:
Here I am back from the weekend. It was a whole lot of fun. I say that now but I feel a bit ill. It was a long weekend of partying. The problem with really partying hard sometimes is that it leaves you with not much energy and feeling really bummed out near the end. I hate feeling that way. I guess there's two ways to solve it: Drink until I pass out or some how keep myself in a better demeanor. One is just stupid and would just make things worse later, the other is something that I'm still working on.
The problem is it seems like in order to keep myself entertained and happy, it seems like I have to keep burning energy which I keep doing until I feel like I run out. I don't know why I feel that. Is unhappiness my natural state? That doesn't make sense. It seems like that's what apathy is. I guess apathy is just about as bad, you know?
Friday and Saturday were both great fun until the end. At which point things abruptly ended and I just got tired and lonely. At that point things start to get a bit hazy and confusing. Not that being totally drunk isn't the same thing but it's kind ofdifferent. It's a feeling where not much seems real and my demeanor goes to hell. It especially sucks when you have to sober up and drive home because it take longer than normal especially if you feel like crud. That's how those nights ended. I ended up flooring it to get back home because I don't feel like being on the road at all. It's weird heading down Utica Pike at 100 MPH at night. Everything is just flying by you and all of it doens't matter. It's just a whole lot of streaks.
I should get to work. I'd rather just sit here. Or better yet go to sleep. I think that's a better plan of action for what I'm feeling now. Let's see where that can take me from here...
Thursday April 10th, 2003:
This is my last post before I go back home for the weekend. It's going to be awesome; There's going to be a whole lot of parties and fun. For those who don't know, this weekend is Thunder Over Louisville which starts off the Kentucky Derby Festival around here. It's one the few things I'm actually proud about living around the Louisville area. It's one of the few times that I see our community very bustling and alive.And by that I mean really alive, not just cars driving around the street and a few people walking into building.
I don't really have much else of any significant importance to talk about. It's mostly just a series of deep/probing/transient thoughts.
Why is it that the loudness of speakers called volume?
So the loudness of sounds is related to amplitude of the sound waves caused by the vibration of the molecules. How is that "volume" in the abstract sense that volume is something that fills up space. Is this volume how much space is being filled up with sound when it's amplified?
I was briefly thinking about the war...
in Iraq and I thought how weak dictatorships are for totalitarian governments. Since it's all ruled by one person, that government ends at the life of the person. I guess in the grand scheme of that dictator, it doesn't really matter but I was thinking of better ways to implement it. I guess the way they do it in communist China is good; A group that represents the goverment that's all geared toward a certain purpose. There's hierarchy so even if you take out the head a new one grows back from the tail. The problem is that everyone in the whole body has their own goals/purposes so for one vision it still fails even then. The result is everytime a new head grows onto the body of government it's morphed into something else. I was thinking that problem the best way to do a dictatorship is to some how "copy" that dictator into some permanent form. The problem there is even dictators change so even then it's hard to remain in control of everything. Anyway, I've rambled too much on this topic.
Eating and sex are the same...
to me in the sense that both are really fun unless you start thinking about what it is. That goes for almost any biological process I think. It might just be me but I think it's all a big trick by our senses. We only think all these things are good because our senses tell us they are. Abstract that all away, and we're left with something that's not so attractive anymore. (Example: Excess eating leads being overweight, sick, or other health problems. Sex leading to STDs or pregnancy).
Confidence is 50%, if not more, of performance.
The other half is just learning what you need to know. I pondered this whilst I was playing Shinobi the other day. I realized that if I was focused, not wondering about what might happen but rather what I'm currently doing that I wouldn't start to fuck up. Once you've learned all you need to know to conquer what you need to do, you don't even need to think about that any more: It's just pure reflexes at that point. You just got to keep a little layer of consciousness dedicated to what's happening at that instant and keep your eyes peeled for any problems that might occur down the road. In essence, it's alot like the tagline of Daredevil: The Man with out Fear. With no fear, comes no uncertainity (since all fear derives from uncertainity), with no uncertainity comes pure confidence and assurance of every action. Certainly things fuck up, but those are flukes. I believe the majority of mistakes/failures result from people uncertainity of what's going to happen (either that or ignorance but that's not knowing what to do about a certain tasks which is a different thing altogether)
The body is an amazing thing...
if not disgusting(see above) just because all of the things it can do and how all it's little parts which combined together makes this one living organism. With my mind still on sex, I was thinking about how awesome my penis is. It's certainly a weird little creature by itself. One thing that baffles me is how much it varies in size. The body just kinds of has a natural way of regulating what it should be. Like when it's really cold, or some other situation where all the blood flow of my body needs to be anywhere but in my crotch, it will shrink around to an inch or and inch and half. When the situation is normal and blood flow is regular it goes back to regular 2 to 3 and half inches. When my body feels like sex is near it perks up to like 4 and half inches. And when it's currently engaged in sex or masturbation it dedicates all it can to get the penis upto 5 to 6 inches. It's always amazed me that whenever I'm caught up in the endorphin rush of sex that even if I'm ill in any sort of way it's easily ignored. I guess the body puts priority of reproduction over it's own health.
I think it'd be pretty cool to be a chick for a bit. Just to see how every thing else works on the opposite end. I've always been fascinated by (.)(.), it be pretty awesome to have a couple to play with. Beside that, it'd be pretty cool just because you'd know what you could get away with as someone of the opposite sex. Especially with opposite sex( or opposite opposite sex depending on how you look at it) because once you know the rules governed by both sides of the game you've pretty much mastered the game. I'm pretty sure everyone has thought about being the opposite sex once. Or maybe not. I dunno. I always assume people know what I'm talking about and know what I know because the only world I know is mine. I try to abstract my thinking so not to be so specifically geared toward some type of thinking but it's hard sometimes. I always try to think from different sides of a situation but even then it sometimes fails me...
Saturday April 5th, 2003:
There isn't much energy in me this weekend. I have 2 projects and a exam next but I don't feel all that motivated to work on either of them. I'm tired of all this work and school. That's probably why I spent most of my Friday and Saturday playing Shinobi and Sim City 4. Life's too short to worry yourself all that much about work, school and all that other stuff I just want to enjoy my time here.
I'm not sure exactly what topic I want transition to right here. I had 3 different topics in mind: A little self-introspection piece, a little about what's going around in the apartment, and what my job at Delphi consists of. Since I don't really feel like any of these topics are that relevant or important to anything whatsoever, I'm going to roll a dice to see which one I'm going to write about. If it's 1 or 6, I write about Delphi. If it's 2 or 5, I write about what's going down at the apartment. If it's 3 or 4, I write about me. So lets see...hmm 1. Delphi it is then.
So there's this company Delphi that makes all kinds of automotive parts for all the big car manufacturers. To say that I work for them might imply that I actually do something important. I don't really work for them though. The people I work for is Alliance Group Technologies who hire me for Delphi to work at their Delco labs at Purdue Research Park. A quick glance at Alliance...'s website will show you that they practically do nothing. This is evidenced by the fact that there's only one guy, Jon, that actual works directly for them at the Delco lab. And as far as I can tell Jon is paid to make out the schedule and hire new people because most the time he isn't even in the office. From what I hear, we actually make $15.00/hour working through Delphi but $5.00/hour of that goes to Jon for hiring us.
Anyway, I was talking about my job. Jon isn't my supervisor though, he's just the "Human Relations" (what a worthless title) guy. My actual supervisors are 2 Dave's and a Brian. They are the functional arms of Delphi here in the Delco labs, everyone else is just like me, a student who's given work to do.
Some of the guys there actually write testing scripts for some of Delphi's automotive parts. These scripts (written in C++ code) are ran on automotive controllers that are things like the DriveTrain, Anti-Lock Braking System, and all those other mini-computers that are built into modern cars. Other guys, usually the ones that haven't been there that long, get to do the real fun stuff: DCART.
DCART is what my job is. If I remember correctly, DCART stands for Desk Check Automated Report Tool. What it is would be an Excel spreadsheet of files we inspect. The DCART contains many C++ code file modules that we're suppose to check for certain rules. We go through all the files each time for each rule. Sometimes it isn't so bad, it mostly depends on the rule and which DCART we're doing.
The rules are labeled as a question on the spreadsheet and we're suppose to answer PASS, FAIL, or N/A depending on the rule and if it applies. Usually by looking at the question (and with my knowledge of C/C++ programming), it's pretty easy to figure out what the question means and what to check for. But some are tricky and context-sensitive. We have some documentation on what the rules mean but it's shoddy at best; Some the documentation have no further details on rules and others help no at all. For example, Take a rule about wether variables are declared with the correct type/size. This is what the documentation will say:
temp = 34;
...//some other code
this rule fails because variable temp can be from 0 to 230 (a char type can only be between -127 and 128"
That's it, one example, and the example is worthless anyway because it talks as if you already knew what the value of temp is supposed to be. In actuality there are way too many functions, parameter, variables and such to inspect the code throughly enough to where you knew what all of code did. I think about half of these rules require you to fully know what's going on in order to full examine wether the rule passes or not.
The other half is one of two types: the automated rules or the easy brain dead rules. The automated rules is just running a script on all the code files and looking at the output. It's basically a copy-and-paste session with the output of the program. The easy rules are really dumb questions about the code that are usually just stylistic or things no programmer would do if he wanted to program to work. I'm not going into that much detail because I figure that most people that reads this don't know C++ code, but I'll throw in a comparable example. Imagine if you had to go through that 800KB text of my previous blogging making sure when I refered to numerous people that I always included myself last and used the personal pronoun 'I' instead of 'me.' Or if you had to go through the whole blog and check to see if Ididn'twriteanysentenceswithnospaces. That's about the equavelent of my job in C++ code.
It isn't that bad but it's still pretty mundane. For some reason lately I've been able to make the time go by quickly. I must have super concentrated my zoning out powers or something. I noticed this the other day when Dan and Meredith were talking and I started to work on the DCART. They asked me 2 or 3 times if I wanted to go on break with them before I even noticed; My mind was already going into zone out mode.
Luckily I probably only have a month left of this. Unfortunately pretty much all of this money is going to rent or bills so it doesn't matter much at all. Most the days are that bad, but Friday can get a little rough sometimes since it's getting close to the weekend and I want to get out of there. Luckily it's a laid back atmosphere so you can take a break, talk to the co-workers, or whatever without any hassle. We also get paid lunch breaks, I think. I hear that we're suppose to get a 15 minute break every 3 hours. I think that we're suppose to clock out too but I don't even bother with that shit. I think they just pay you the rounded amount of hours your suppose to work anyways. Nothing really seems to matter at all in this place. As long as the DCART gets done, I don't think the supers don't give a shit. I certainly don't.
Every now and again it's funny to think that our jobs are actually revelant or something. When Dan and I were talking about this I mentioned how I was just now looking at the C code for some module in the car that selects the notification tone for unfasten seat belts. We were talking about how cool it would be to say to people "man, I seen the code for this stuff, I know how it works!" one day when I get into one of these cars . Dan then tells me about this one function he found in one of the C modules one day; It a function with no arguments and no body (meaning it did nothing when the function was called). It was called WaitToDie(). Thinking about work and it's mediocrity, it was quite funny to think about a function called wait to die. That's what it seems like sometimes. Just doing a bunch of dumb shit that you don't care about, just waiting for it to be over so that you can pursue your goal which ultimately, for any one, is just to die.
I like to think that I'm not doing that. At least I try not to. I try to enjoy my time as much as possible anyways. Okay, I'm at another transition point here. Another roll of the die is going to decide if I continue on with something else or if I just save it for another time. If it's the first 3 I continue, the last 3 I quit....Hmm...6. Time to wrap it up. I'll save the drama for your mama and hit you back next time on the flip side...word.
Thursday April 3rd, 2003:
For the most part, my classes have bordered-lined between boring and interesting this year. Linear Algebra II, dispite hating the first one, has been kind of easy and interesting somewhat. It's not so much that matrices are interesting (they're not at all) but rather it's abstract applications of them in geometry, differential equations, and other topics that make them at least worth thinking about. Also, Networks and Intro to A.I. have been quite interesting (Numerical Methods is another story altogether).
As I'm about (or close) to finish up here at college, I've been finally been able (for the most part) to tie all the different classes and subjects I've learned in school and link them to each other. It's always good when you can link what you've learned to other stuff you've learned. Not only does it help you get a better insight on things, but it also helps you remember them alot better.
I don't have many topics to talk about lately, I don't know why. Maybe it's because a lack of new experiences in my life. Well maybe I have a couple of new topics, here's a one:
"It might come in handy if you , the master of unlocking, take it with you"
The first one to name where that quote came from and in what context gets a cookie. Anyway, Sunday night we watched Resident Evil because of Sam's wanting to see it for a long time. I had mixed feelings about the movie before seeing it. After seeing it I thought it was better than what I was expecting. I still make my statement that there still isn't a good movie based of from a game.
Why's that? Well to be correct Resident Evil, the movie, is more like a movie inspired by the game than anything else; It makes no attempt to recreate the characters, events, or things that existed in the game. Sure it has somethings that were kind of in the game but for the most part the only thing they share in common is a few names, and maybe one or two events. Not that this is bad; For what it is Resident Evil is a somewhat fun, little action movie with a handleful of cool effects, great looking sets, and a nice score. All of those combined made the experience worth it.
Is it a really good movie, that's debatable. Certainly, there's alot of dumb stuff in there too. Dumb characters that spit off the same dumb old clichéd lines in action movies. Also the movie throws in a handful of been-played-to-death-horror-scenes where the character thinks that they heard something and while they quietly investigate it they're abprutly interrupted by a false alarm. Resident Evil, despite what the title implies, is not a horror movie. If it is, it fails quite easily on every level, especially with the zombies.
Bottomline: Zombies are not scary they're hilliarious if anything. The same goes for werewolves, vampires, and other such creatures. Fear is a result of the unknown and not being able to make rational conclusions about something. All these creatures have been seen so many times in books, movies, and TV that they've become a joke of something they used to be. You can't be scared of something you know all about already.
The personal rant about zombies aside, another reason I probably didn't like the movie as much as I'd like to was the name. If this movie would have been named anything else I would of had much less expectations about what it should or could have been. The title Resident Evil seemed to me in the end just to a way to cash in on a well known title. But aside from the those two rants, it was a enjoyable movie.
Tuesday April 1st, 2003:
I've recently been playing the new Sim City which is now in it's 4th iteration. For the most parts, the jump from Sim City 3000 to Sim City 4 has been most pleasing(not to mention the dropping of the x 1000 the iteration of the sequel) alot more so than Sim City 2000 to Sim City 3000. The graphics are much better done(obviously). The landscapes are better done allowing you create more realistic 3D terrain and providing you a whole region to build many different cities in. And overall the feel of it seems much different than previous Sim Cities. It's a feel like Sim City mergred with The SIMs especially since you can import your SIMs from the game to live within your city (they act like little advisors of what they think of your city).
The only 2 beefs I have with the game are worth mentioning because they're damn annoying. One is the auto-roads feature built into the zoning tool. I can't get explain how much it annoys me when I'm trying to lay down a certain sized grid for residential housing and the game wants to place roads on the terrain. I tried to patch the game, which in it's latest version you can hold some button to turn it off, but it didn't work (presumably because I have a modified version of the executable that turns off CD-checking).
The other annoying thing about Sim City is the amount of budgeting. Almost every city structure now has a certain amount of upkeep cost to it which equates to a monthly fee that you have to pay in the budget. For the most part in previous Sim Cities, budgeting hasn't been that big of an issue but in this one it's quite easy to find yourself in a red budget. I like it's approach to realism but some of the costs involved in seem ludicrous. For example, zoning areas, why should it cost the city anything to zone areas for industrial, commerical, or residential development, if anything the people should have pay you for the land(which they sort of do through taxes). Another big example I don't like is the schools and hospitals. Hospitals, should be funded privately in many ways. The costs for a large sized hospital will cost you about 1000 simoleans/month(the currency in the SIM world). In order to get that much money you'll have to have about a city the size of 20,000. That could be somewhat expect from a large hospital but a high school costs around 700 which means you'll probably need 15,000 people just to afford that. Keep in mind that there are many other costs that you'll have by the time you have 15K people so realistically. You'll probably need somewhere around 25-30K people to afford a high school. A friggin, high school! That's just rediculous considering how relates to the cost of the structures it self(a high school costs around 1000 and hospital around 1500). If our high school, and hospitals had a monthly maintance/staff/etc cost between 2/3 to 3/4 the cost of the damn building I'd imagine they be out of cash pretty damn fast. It should be the other way around: The structure requires alot of money to invest and the operating costs should be significantly lower.
My rants about Sim City aside, there's not really much new to go on about.
Life, school, and work are pretty drab. The creeping feeling of stagnancy in my life has me thinking about drastic ways to change it. What those are I'm not going into detail about right now. Right now, I'm just going to focus on getting my classes done and finishing up this summer. I don't like who I am or what I'm doing right now. I'm feeling a very destructive desire toward my life right now. I'm not sure of what I want now but I don't want it to be this.
Other than that, I've don't got much else to say. 'Til next time....
Sunday March 30th, 2003:
So when something has value, what exactly does that mean? There's alot of ways that value can be gauged by person. Like value meaning that it costs alot or it's rare. I think that would mean one in the same though if you're to believe the laws of Economics(Scarcity, limited resources, supply and demand, etc.). I don't think that gets to what "value" is all about though since there are other stuff that's valued even though you can't apply the laws of Economics to it. I don't know what to think about what "value" really means to others. Especially when you hear people use the terms "want" and "need" interchangably. I guess it's all up to that person to decide if something is valuable or not.
I don't know what is valuable to me. I could say my friends, family, some key possessions, and all that stuff but I don't know if I'm thinking it's all that important right now. I don't feel important, I don't feel like anything I do is important. Sometimes I don't even know what I'm doing for that fact. Which be "doing" I mean if I have any intent purpose or effect from my actions.
For me there is a 3 realms: one of what's happening, one of what I want to happen, and one of what could happen. And then there's just times when my mind just wanders out of things related to this world altogether. When I try to make things go my way it never really seems to happen. Most the time it's just me negotiating with the world and what I want to happen. The result is usually some sort of middle ground.
I don't know what I want or feel about alot of things anymore. Alot of apathy for the most part. I have no desire to do anything about what I want(because I'm not sure what that is) and I don't feel like finding it.
There were some parties I was at a couple days ago. Or rather parties happened around me if you want to say that. Some stuff happened, people talked, drinked, and whole ton of things happened that I won't go into details because it's not worth typing all that much about. Near the end of it I just felt worn out and tired by everything. It could have been the amount that I drank or it could have been the fact that I didn't have much hydration in me at the time but it's been a reoccuring theme at this point in my life.
So what do I want to say about this? I dunno, maybe the thing to say is that I should stop thinking so much and just have fun with things. I should but I haven't been amused by much as of late. Actually, I should take that back. I have been amused a good number of things and here and there. It's just that right now I don't feel like things are that good right now and maybe I'm just remember alot of bad things.
The brain is funny like that. The way our network of neurons in our head tends to run in one direction and continues to get caught up in that path that's been forged out. Maybe that's just me though, I dunno. Said 'The way our...' but I guess I can't only clearly speak for myself. Yeah, I'm going to stick with that. If this is confusing, than don't take this with much relevancy. The way things have been going lately for me has just been a hazy of discontent. Not that I'm upset, mad, sad or any of that stuff. I just don't like what's going on. It feels like all this stuff is going on around me which could be potentially very fun for me but somehow it's shadowed by something else: The hazy of discontent I mentioned a few sentences ago.
Okay, I'm done with that. Things are getting a bit vague for me so I want to move on to something else. Since I don't know what exactly to talk about I'm just going to leave it as a stopping point...one with a lot of ellipses..........................................................
Wednesday March 26th, 2003:
I haven't feel well lately. I'm bummed out about school and my life in general. I just don't feel like I am where I want to me. The thought came to me when I was walking home yesterday that I really don't feel like staying around here any more. 'Here' being a relative term; I'm not sure if I mean this school, city, state, country, state of mind, or whatever else I could mean. I'm not satisfied with the who/what/wheres of Shawn. I think I need to rebuild my life over or something to make a change.
I did alot of sleeping this past few days. I'm guessing it's the result of not being happy as I seem to be alot more happy in my dreams. When I think about it, I don't have any sort of concept of "self" in my dreams. Not any that I can remember anyways. It always seems to be entirely focused on what is happening around in world and never about my reflection upon who I think I am. If that's the case of me being uphappy right now I would be glad to sacrifice my concept of self. It's not really helping me do anything.
The only thing that my concept of "self" is saying right now is that I'm unhappy, I'm discontent with my contribution to the world and others, other people don't like to talk to me, and that I'm lonely. This menagerie of belittlement is just hurting me and keeping me down. My concept of "self" I think is broken and needs to go take a hike. I just don't feel like feeling anything right now.
That aside, I haven't mentioned yet so I should mention it now. I plan on being home during the weekend of the 11th of April, the reasons for this being multi-tiered. One, being for pleasure of not being here at school. Two, being for utility as I need to get a few things back from home. Three, being for business which is finding some place to work over the summer and to schedule classes at I.U.S.
Among all these fabulous things that plan on getting done over the weekend, this is also the weekend that Thunder Over Louisville will take place. With all these celebrations, I plan on having or going to a party/ies during this time. The details have yet to be filled in, but I do plan on there being alot of people and fun. Wether I have to provide the location or not is dependant on what happens. Hopefully, many people will show up. We'll see how that pans out...
Hello readers. I decided to throw another post up due to my lack of energy in all my other concerns. It seems that spring break has worn me out for all the other important things I should be doing. I could be doing some homework. I could be playing some video games. I could be doing alot of things. I don't feel like doing any of those though so here I am writing more stuff.
My mind right now is just flying through some random thoughts. I'm just wondering what to pull out of it to spit it down into text. I do have one passing thought that remember a while back when I was trying to sleep last night.
I was thinking about movies and how they correlate to real life. Or rather I say for the most part they don't correlate to real life. I mean, a movie is a device to set up some story that is more often than not dramatized so the viewer is present with something that's exciting to watch. I guess people dramatize events for other reasons beside that. Whatever the reason, it tends to distort from the reality of the events in the movie.It's fine for fictional movie and TV shows. Even if your story is based on true events, it might be good just to portray how a certain character feels about the events going on. But if you're trying to portray reality, dramatization is something you don't want to do.
I've noticed all these stupid News channels on cable TV have done that for their coverage of our blowing the fuck up out of Iraq. It pisses me off hearing the dumb dramatic music on these channels during their station IDs, commercials about their coverage, and their return from commercial breaks. War isn't something to be dramatized in any shape or fashion. It leads to righteousness, zealotry, and all those other emotions. Actual war doesn't have dramatic scores being played in the background by some symphony while the protagonists fight their uphill battle. Actual war is just a cacophony of gunfire, explosions, screaming, and the other horrible sounds of people trying to kill one another in attempt to accomplish some goal. There's nothing pretty or dramatic about it. Dramatizing it only distorts people's perspectives on it. Regardless whether war is portray in a good or bad light, for news it's just wrong to dramatize it either way.
War isn't good in any sense but sometimes it's a neccessary thing. I don't like this war. I don't like how the president has handled it. But I realize it's something that would have had to been done sooner or later. We should have throw Saddam's ass out of power at the end of the first war. We didn't and now we're paying for by having it ran by a president that's much less competent than his dad is. Anyhow, this is the only time your going to hear me talk about the war because I think the whole thing is stupid. I just point this out because it's related to my whole rant about dramatization being bad for giving people a grasp on the reality of events in real life.
No Chance to Survive, Make Your Time.
Another thing I was thinking about that was related to movies was their structure. Not all movies, but alot of them fall into a typical 3 Act structure. Act I is the introduction of the characters, world, and all the base elements of movie. Act II is the addition of some sort of conflict, event, or drama that occurs to shake up the character's world. Finally, Act III is the characters' resolution of events that occured Act II. I leave to you to apply the structure to any movie and see how it compares since this isn't really what I wanted to talk about exactly.
This only gets mentioned because I think it kind of correlates to life. At least I kind of think it does in my life. If my life was a movie it probably consist of 3 acts with each one having it's own 3 act structure to it:
The Life and Times of Shawn Conn
- Act I: Birth to High School Graduadtion
- Act II: High School Graduadtion to ???(Retirement maybe?)
- Act III: ??? to Death
That seems to have a nice structure to it. The First Act introduces me to world and all the things around it. This first Act it self having it's own 3 act structure
- Act I-I: Birth to the end of Elementary School
- Act I-II: End of Elementary School to End of Middle School
- Act I-III: End of Middle School to High School Graduadtion
I only list these acts in this order because it's convenient the way school is structed. Any how the first act was where I was introduced to life, this world I live in, and the rules for this world. The second act probably occurs some where around the beginning of adolescent where after you learn all about this world your faced with the transition from kid to adult. The third act represents the end of this conflict of growing up and finally becoming an adult. Other people's results may vary but the focal age of 18, becoming a legal adult, graduation from high school, and the introduction to the "real world" all seem to occur around the same area which represent the entirity of the first act as a whole.
- Act II-I: College to Graduation
- Act II-II: Working life
- Act II-III: Retirement
At this point II-II my Act model breaks down because I just haven't lived it yet. I can throw guesses; the most obvious one being College>Carreer>End of Carreer. But I can't say anything for certain because I don't intend my life to exactly be like that. I can see an outline like that but who knows? Life is filled with alot of chaos. This structure might not fit it at all.
I do think it somehow applies to life in general(i.e. not just mine) in the sense that everyone has a first Act where they're born, they mature into adults, and they decide now what to do in the "real world." The second and third acts seem more vague at this point. Maybe it's because I haven't done it or maybe it's because there isn't a certain structure. Somehow a second act would have the person's introduction into the "real world," the conflict with dealing with the events of this world, and the enevitable conclusion of it. As for the third act, that's for a much later time for me to ponder about.
For me, I'm at II-I. I've been braught into this "real world" and I've decided to delay it with my entrance into college. Over the course of college I've learned the finer points of what the "real world" is like. I guess some point next year(or what I'm facing right now) I'm going to have some shake up where there's going to be some challenge introduced. I guess, if anything, that is what am I going to do with my life. Right now, that's something I just don't have an answer for.
That's pretty much all I have to say about that. Maybe someday I'll fill out the rest of what the other acts are like. Right now though, I'm just concerned with living my life one day at a time and being happy with myself, others, and my life.
Sunday March 23rd, 2003:
So here I'm back from the break. I could tell you all the different stories and events of what happened but I'm not because I don't really feel like repeating my life over again. I will run down a summarized list:
The journey to and from the East Coast:
- Long, boring, and uneventful for the most part.
- Distance driven was over 2000 miles in over 28 hours.
- Newt got pulled over for speeding...again
- Much fun old historic buildings to look at.
- Checked out the M.I.T. and Harvard campuses in Cambridge
- We stayed at Ali's apartment which is fairly close to Boston University
- We saw Dreamcatcher( and the Animatrix short that ran with it) and I enjoyed it despite the horrible reviews that it's gotten
- We went through a ridiculous amount of security just to see the U.S.S Constitution
- Saw Bubble Boy, which was surprisingly good, as well as Death to Smoochy.
- Got there via a Chinatown bus that runs to the Boston Chinatown to the NYC Chinatown
- Our hotel was in Times Square Marriot on the 36th floor right next to the MTV networks building.
- We saw an Upright Citizens Brigade show. It was enjoyable.
- We saw pretty much all the sites in lower Manhattan: Ground Zero, Battery Park, Federal Hall, Wall Street, etc.
- Went through a crazy amount of security at the U.N. building. for a whole lot nothing (the tour was $10 that I wasn't willing to pay).
- I took a picture for this German tourist at the U.N. who when I asked "are you ready?" claimed that "I'm everytime ready."
- The subways were much faster and better than Boston's T Sub/Rail system.
- On our way to Boston on the first day we stayed in New Rochelle at Jaime's huge house. Upon meeting his grandma, who's hard of hearing, she thought our names were Nuke (Newt), John (Shawn), and Ed (Aaron)
The only thing I guess I didn't like about the trip was probably the lack of new people that I met( or didn't in this case) and we always seemed to be rushed to do anything. I don't think there were much that could have been done about the rushing thing since we only had so much time to do a huge number of things. That and traveling around the city by foot and subway just took alot of time. Not seeing people was definitely my fault. I should have made more of an effort but it always seemed like there was some other place that we were trying to get to so it wasn't on my mind.
Also, whenever we got done for the day we just headed back to our apartment/hotel. A good chunk of time back at those places was spent watching TV. More so than I cared to watch. That might of been to wander about the city looking for people and stuff to do, but I ended up falling asleep. I guess doing that wouldn't have been good seeing how I didn't know my way around that well, but I some how felt disappointed when I thought about all the possibilities of meeting different people in a city the size of Boston or New York.
Anyway, enough about the events of the trips, I can tell other people about it if they want to ask me.
Oh yeah, speaking of the trip reminds me. If you IM me and you don't get any auto-reply, the message was forwarded to my cell phone. I got a billion IMs over the break because I forgot to turn off that feature.
Beside the trip I've got a few other things to talk about. I think I'll save it for another time though. I'm tired and I've really got more important things to do right now.
Saturday March 15th, 2003:
Well I'm off to leave for the Boston trip. Unfortunately, it means I won't get to see any of you great J-ville homies. I'll be back within a week or less I think. If anyone wants to get a hold of me they can just call or IM me. Til next time...
Friday March 14th, 2003:
Well here's the last day before Spring Break. If all goes well I should be leaving for Boston tommorow. At least I hope. I'm hoping that I'll make good enough money come this first paycheck to afford the trip but I'm not sure how much it will be. I'm not excited about it has I feel like I should be. So far, this has just felt like a normal week to me. Usually about this time I'm getting excited just to go back home. Here I am going to leave for boston in about a day and I don't feel excited at all.
It's probably a combination of work, school, and loneliness bumming me out. I'd like to cheer myself up but thinking about doing that is usually self-defeating. I've mentioned in the past that I think that there's something mentally wrong with me. I said that I was going to try to do something about that last time I mentioned it. I still have yet to do that. I keep mentioning to myself but it seems that I've go so many various things popping up in my life that I don't ever get to give it my full intention. It sucks.
Or rather I should just say that I suck. I know what I need to do, I should do it. That's the problem with saying things you should do. They give you force, urgency, and a purpose but other than that they do nothing. Words rarely change a situation at all. Case in point. After these clump of words here have been read will anything be different? Most likely not. Sure I've given the reader something to ponder, analyze, and reflect upon but will I change anything they do, feel, or any of that? No. There is no motivation or commanding force here. If I said something like "do a 180 spin then run into the wall." Would you do it? No. Reading is a passive medium. You just sit there, take in the words, and see what your head conjures up along the way. Once it's done it's likely that almost no one, especially after reading something as mundane as a page of my thoughts, will be caused to do something different than their normal routine. All I'm doing now is filling up a little more of the empty void that is the Internet.
Speaking of which the Internet, for a lot of people, is the new TV in the same sense that tons of time can be wasted a pointless and stupid things. Fortunately, for those morally-opposed to TV (which I can be borderline sometimes) a computer by it's nature is an interactive medium. Thus making the user having to do something on his part to make something happen. As a side note, one of the reason I love video games so much is that it's a fully-interactive( for most games anyways) medium. Thus requiring the user to fully participate, think, and actually do stuff. Of course, I should use these words cautiously since there alot of games out there these days where the level of thinking is minimal ( Diablo II being a big one). But regardless, they are interactive and requre the user to do something.
I'm getting side tracked into video games, the Internet, and other stuff again. I was talking about words just being passive and not really commanding you to do anything. With all that stuff said about words, they are good at conveying thoughts and inspiring actions but they rarely do create any imperative to do something. Maybe. It seems like they're should be some sort of way of showing people ,rather than passively, that there's some sort of challenge or problem to address and that some interaction in solving it needs to be done. I guess what I'm formulating is some sort of puzzle that's presented to a reader( or shall I say interactor) that needs to be solved. By creating some sort of interactive thing, they would be able to see actively, rather than passively, that there's some problem that needs to be solved. Thus a person who's engaged in this is challenged to do something about it and is actively motivated to do something.
This reminds me of alot what Chris Carter mentioned in his book "Understanding Interactivity." He talks about how "video games are wasted medium." He gives an example of what he means asking you to imagine going to world whose entire literary collection were only in form of comic books. Given our vast knowledge of what can be done with written words we would be able to show people all kinds of ways at expressing new ideas and thoughts. Video games are these comic books, which while fun, entertaining, and sometimes thought-provoking it's far from what could be done. There's so much different things that could be done with interactive entertainment but companies like EA know it's more profitable to crank out the xth iteration of The SIMs expansion pack. This is one the core reason why video gaming is one my passions; I want to try to make new and different interactive things. I want to create games that tries to challenge the player on different interactive levels. (*)
So why have I gotten to this point?
I said all this in the first place because I was talking about actively doing something about changing my life. I have to some degree in this past month but I still don't think I'm where I want to be. So what is my problems:
1. The presumption that there's something wrong me.
2. I'm bummed out because of school, work, and lonliness (more emphasis on the lonliness)
3. I'm talking about what actively needs to challenge me that isn't words. (Side Note: it's some what ironic that I need something all active to challenge me about pursuing to work in my greatest passion in life.)
So given what I learned above, I probably won't do anything about this. I mean I have an active challenge that occurs in my life everyday but either I don't know what to do or I don't care enough to do something about it. (**)
I try though. I try to make my life have it's little goals and such. I try to treat life like a game that I'm trying to play to win these small goals (in the inevitable pursuit of the greatest good that is pure happiness). So why are things going wrong? Maybe I'm not motivated enough to change serious problems with me because I don't know exactly what's wrong. I mean I can say, "I feel bummed out because I'm lonely", or "I don't know what to do after school" or any other kind of vague type of question. The problem with the problem is that there really isn't a solution that's immediate. And whenever I think of such problems that get me down I don't know what to do or even close because:
1. If I'm engaged in the problem then I'm in no position to do anything about it.
2. If I'm not worrying about the problem or stopped worry about the problem. I'm no longer engaged in it but it's still there.
It's all a temporal thing. I mean there's two different states of me one who's depressed and bummed out about certain things, and another who's just going along is way with out any concerns. If there was only some way to integrate this two states together maybe I convince each side to do his own part. But as it is this two-sided crap sucks. I keep shifting between light and dark ( which kind of reminds me of the game Silent Hill). It sucks while I the dark side but there's nothing I can do with out seeing the light on the other side.
Thus I'm stuck again and don't know what to do...hmm...I don't know.
* I've mentioned this before in prior blog about this quote
** This coming from a formulation that I learned from Alex.
Thursday March 13th, 2003:
With all that's going on with school, work, and all my side adventures my amount of free time to enjoy video games or other time wasting things( such as posting right here) is going out the window. This is evidenced by the lack of sleep I've been getting lately. And it's certainly evident in the dreams I had:
I was a contract killer who as side job did forgery. It ended up being more forgery than killing as it turned out. But sometimes you've got to be careful as forgery can be a dangerous job. Thus, I'm always armed at any time. It sucks though when you're main place work( i.e. secret hideout) is in a apartment that has 10 stories and the elevator never works. As for recreation nothing beats some bare-knuckle fighting in your free time. It's fun and it's not as bad as you think it would be especially since you're perception goes into bullet-time alot which is as fun as it looks. Everything is as you expect it to be (all kinds of floating around really slow n' stuff) with the exception the constant pressure you feel all of your body. I guess this is to be expected though because gravity and time are related. Thus more gravity there is, the slower time is.
But, I'm getting sidetracked from my original story and events in my life. Sometimes when I got back to my apartment(i.e. secret hideout) I'd find myself with a couple of my friends. Pretty funny when you realize that this is suppose to be a hideout. Other than that, I found it weird that sometimes the right side of my brain didn't work sometimes...or was that the left? I can't remember because I think that part of the brain that knew the answer wasn't working. What it meant for me was half my body didn't want to work and alot of times I couldn't figure out anything. It was alot like when you're leg falls asleep except that you're leg is half your body. That's pretty messed up but not as messed up when your dog (who mysteriously sounds alot like Katie) starts dictating to you which pictures you take are it likes and which it doesn't like. But I guess things like that are to be expected in a world where your refridgerator is a giant can of orange soda and IMing Kim or Emily results in a giant force field being generated in front of your computer so that it's immpossible to use it.
Anyway, that's just a taste of things that go on in mind while I'm sleeping.
If you didn't catch the notation, it stands for the action contained within '*'. As such, it would be the state of being unhappy. I've been thinking about what has been causing this in my life as it was one the reason I left my prior blogs. One my formulation lately has that it as resulted in comparing myself to others. That has been my formulation since the only time I can thing when I unhappy in my life is when I feel like I'm lacking something. Stress doesn't bother me, in only bothers me when in context of other things I feel like I'm missing that I need. Whether that be free time, just a little fun, partying, hanging out with friends, or having fun with a chick; it doesn't matter what I missing, if I feel like it's something that needs to be there any other pressures that are going on in my life start to become troubling and result in stress.
It seems to me that the whole conversation dynamic (in my mind) is taking in what people said and throwing some sort of response back toward the other person. The problem of comparing myself with other seems to occur when I'm given something to me that I don't know what to return back. That's usually the result of someone giving me somethign I don't know what to say about because I don't have any/little knowledge of it. Thus, the comparison to me and the other person begins. Some how, I figure if the person is having fun with what ever they're talking about and I don't know what to say about it that I must be missing out on something.
I think that's somewhat the way it goes. I'm not exactly sure yet. The easiest thing to do would be NOT to compare myself to that person and just kind of throw some other response back. Sadly, that's not how my mind works. Probably the worst(and sometimes one of the greatest) things about m mind is it's hyper-sensitivity (used for a lack of a beter word). That is my senses in my most critical of times because very alert and much more sensitive than they were. It's this hyper-sensitivity that seems to ,while making me incredible happy many times, make me really unhappy when I'm faced with something I don't know how to deal with. When I have my mind set on something that I'm really unhappy with I look at it hyper-crictically which tends to make things worse.
To round off this disscussion and bring it to a close, I don't really know what or how to change this about myself. It seems to be a common stumbling point that occurs over in and over in my life. I've given to myself, two different choices I think. Either ignore it and work around it, or destroy it for good. The first option is pretty tough to. The second is more appealing but talk is cheap you know. Actions get stuff done. The only problem is figuring out what actually encompasses the destroying part which I don't know.
Alas, if I was able to generate such non-sensical yet working solutions like I do in my dreams these problems would be over. Of course the caveat is, I would be living in a dream world. Now for one last section.
I haven't been up to many different videogames lately unfortunately. It's too bad because I still got Shinobi on my shelf and Xenosaga: Episode I was release a few weeks back. Not to mention the PC releases of C&C: Generals (the last Westwood C&C game) and Sim City 4 which I still haven't gotten to play.
I still keep up on my Tekken game however. I'm as sharp as I ever was, if not beter. I think I've almost reached near the level proficency with the arcade stick as I was with the PS2 controller. I've been working on my stragies, combos, and just frame timings which definately are the hardest of all those. I won't go over why since I've already covered it before (1/60 frame is around 17 ms) but I ca definately say that changing over to the stick was the best thing to do for easy execution of just frame moves.
The biggest reason why being that you can definately "feel" out the move timing alot more than you can with a controller. Since operating a joystick and the 1,2,3,4 layout requires a bit more body movement than with a standard PS2 Dual Shock Pad when you learn the exact timing of a move it's not just your fingers that learn the timing, it's your whole body. And once your body gets the exact rhythm of the movement pulling off the move over and over is second nature.
I got to say that just framing timing is probably one the best features that Namco added to Tekken 4 just because of that special feeling you get when you pulled off one the JF moves without even having to think about it. It gives you a good guage of how your reaction time is increasing to the game.
I think that's about all that needs to be said for now....Now I'm off to greater pastures.
Saturday March 8th, 2003:
A couple things have been on my mind lately. The 19 hours of the week I spend at work is pretty mundane so I have time to thing about these things. I've been thinking of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Of course there has been no definite plan but I know at some point I would like to a career-type job. This would probably involve something related to my major, Computer Science. I don't intend doing that for my whole life though. I've came to the conclusion that whatever I do I only want to do it for a couple of years. I just want to save up a good amount of money then just have an adventure.
Why an adventure? Well, I've realized that my life doesn't live Computer Science. It never will be, it never has. The only reason I jumped into Computer Science was because it was the closest major to one my greatest passions: video gaming. As I finish off my last semester here at Purdue I realize that I'm not going to do anything close to that with the track I'm headed down. In fact, if I keep going in the direction I'm headed. I'm going to windup where I get a job that becomes who I am. I don't want to be that.
Of course this hasn't been anything brand spanking new; I've determined this for some time now. I only reiterate this again because a recent conversations I had with one my friends, and co-workers for Delphi at Purdue Research Park ,Dan Garcia. We were talking about how we realize that alot of our peers our nerds and that we've been labeled the same by association. It's like you go into a field because of interest about it or something and you stick with it. Suddenly, it's a few years later and you look around the classes you're in and you've seen what you've become.
This experience recently happened to me when I've heard some of the dumb jokes made in class. Craig has for awhile noted about how every proffesor in the country has always had the standard funny-because-it's-beer joke that I self-dubbed. That is, I can almost guarntee you that if a proffessor can work beer, alcohol, getting drunk, or anything related into his lecture he'll get a guarnteed laugh. This despite the fact the jokes are stupid and generally not funny. I guess the only reason it's funny because all college kids drink, and that's HILLARIOUS!....Whatever.
Anyway, not only the Computer Science department has that to work on, they also have another standard joke: Microsoft. Just in the same way, if any CS proffesor finds a way to put Microsoft into a lecture I almost guarntee a laugh will be made. It was this recent realization I made that made me think about who I'd become. Computers had their interest to me for awhile but that interest is gone almost for the most part. I mean I still enjoy my classes everynow and again but I just don't have the same enthusiasm I had about it before. And I've certainly realized that I don't want to do it for the rest of my life.
I don't know what to do with my life in that young-adult-searching-for-my-true-calling-in-life kind of way. I don't really care anymore. My time is short and I'm just doing whatever to get by and enjoy it. The bottomline is I don't know what I'm doing a few years from now and I won't care until I'm there. I'm just glad I was able to stick with what I intended to do. Get a Computer Science degree. Of course there was that finding-yourself, learning-new-things, and all that other crap everyone talks about when going to college but that would have happened even if I hadn't gone to college. What you get out of your life is determined by you.
On another note, I think my perspective about fucking up in life has changed. It was sometime during a conversation I had with Emily that I realized that when people use the word "mistake" in refering to past events in their life they could also say "a choice that I regretted." Obviously, if a person didn't think a prior action was wrong they wouldn't claim it has a mistake. I mean, how could they regret doing something that wasn't wrong to them.
Given this, I think we make very few mistakes in our lives. Alot fewer than we probably do. Why? A mistake implies that you had 2 or more options presented to you and you chose the wrong one. But when people talk about some of the "mistakes" in their life it's never as simple as that. Sometimes stuff happens and you don't ever get a conscious choice to make about where your actions will lead you. Either because you were ignorant, tired, lazy, or couldn't thing of another option. Sometimes stuff will happen regardless of what you do.
I look at the whole situation as like chess (or similar type of game) playing algorithm that we've covered in our Intro to AI course. All chess playing programs can't play the game out to the optimal situation(where it always wins given a certain board) because the game-tree (a structure that represent all possible board-configurators that are connected by one move by each player) is so large that a computer isn't fast enough to traverse down all the different branches of possible moves to reason what the outcome will be. As such, all chess playing programs only look to see so many moves into the future. From there, they look at all the different possible outcomes after that many moves and rank each one based on some evaluator program. Which ever branch gets the highest rank is the move the program takes.
Likewise for us, there are way too many possible out comes for us to see what could happen as a result of our action. In fact we have it alot worse than that program since it can easily look 3-4 moves into the future with out being bogged down much. We're lucky to know 1 move into the future since there are so many different possible outcomes (near infinite I would say) after one action we make there's no way we could imagine them all. Only the most certain of actions we can tell what their impact will exactly do which and even then we're not gaurnteed that it will happen exactly how we think.
I guess I'm bordering on a topic of do we have free will. That is should we call something a "mistake" if we really didn't have a choice due to the fact we didn't know about all the different possible outcomes? I'm not really sure where I want to go with this topic though. I guess just the main thing I'm thinking about is that we really shouldn't call alot of our past actions "mistakes" because the person we are now isn't who we were. It's only the concept of self that makes us think that we're one in the same and that the action of who you were was the action you took as who you are now. And since you know now that it ended up in a situation you regretted, you label it as a mistake since the person you are now wouldn't have done it the same way. The only time you can really say that you made a mistake is that you knew exactly what the outcome was going to be and that you did it knowing the full consequences.
Thus a life without any regret is one that's very few of mistakes. And given that we're always wanting the game of our life optimally, but can't, we really shouldn't label alot of regretted actions as "mistakes".
Thursday March 6th, 2003:
I Live Again!!!
Like I said, I have returned once again to the world. This time minus the web template that I used from Blogger and plus a new template that I created myself. For the most part, I like how it all turned out. It took me probably 5 hours of total getting everything laid out like I wanted. The majority of time was spent just trying to get what I exactly the theme of the page to look like.
I tinkered around alot with different fonts, pictures, colors, and stuff but I found that most of the stuff I came up with was too loud, flashy, or something else. I was able to stick to a format once I found this font in Dreamweaver. The font is "monospace" which looks just like a type font from old-school typewriter. This combined with the manilla-yellow I had recently found gave me the theme that I was looking for. It reminiscent of writing school papers back in the day before we had a computer. In that sense it's kind of a font that has more meaning to it in my opinion. When writters wrote, they had to hand type the first, second, third draft up themselves. It was time consuming so the words that were written were important. Not like today's world of ubiquitous computing where anyone with a $400 computer, printer, and fat stack of blank paper and copy, paste, and crank out more pages than all the writers of 19th and early 20th century combined.
Keep in mind, at this point I'm talking out my ass. As I don't have much experience with the writing world back then. I'm just gathering from the little things I did know about the past and presuming that writing was much tougher back then.
Getting back to the theme, that's what I used this font; I wanted to give an importantance to the words that I'm writing down here today. I want to write and create words, thoughts and ideas that aren't just the typical feedback and reactions from some fleeting thought or a quick impulse.
I guess part of my inspiration for the new theme of "Who Is the Man With the Name that Rhymes?" was built off the excellent movie, "Adaptation" I saw a few weeks past. I'm not going to waste to many words why it's excellent(I'm sure more than enough has already been written). I'm just going to say it's from the same director and writer of "Being John Malkovich" and shares the same cleverness, quirkiness, and humor that "Being..." did.
I keep getting side tracked with all the stuff I want to write about this new form of the "Who Is..." because there has been alot of things to write about since I last left the whole blogging arena. One of the big things I wanted to mention is that I don't want this site to become a blog,livejournal, or whatever the hell you want to call them. I'll talk about why a bit below but for now I'll stick more to the purpose of this site.
One of them was to integrate all the pages I had about me, about various links I had, about people I know, about various other media, and my page of my own personal thoughts/revelations/etc. into one site. This is the result which I'm pretty well pleased with. The site is far from done. If you check out alot of the other places of the site you'll see that it isn't totally complete. I'm going to be busy in these next couple of weeks so I don't know how much I'm going to be able to get done. I just wanted to lay down the frame work and build from there.
I'm going to end here in a bit because right now I have more pressing matters to attend to. I just wanted to leave on what I don't want to do with this site.
If you recall when I left my prior blog it was because of the mediocrity I felt. I didn't like the past few entries I was writing and I felt all I was doing was muddling around in my own self-pity. Once I left the whole blogging thing I realized alot of people I knew started talking to me again. Not to say they ignored me before, but it was rather that alot people seemed to not have the need to talk to me because they could just read anything that was going in my life or any of my other thoughts at the time. Aside from that, when I talked to someone about something big that happened to me I didn't get the reply of "Oh yeah, I read that in your blog," which started to get annoying to me after awhile.
I'm not going to going to bash blogs/livejournals because what I'm doing right now isn't too much different from what I'm doing now except that I've merged it with the personal homepages of yesteryear that everyone had for a bit until they got thrown away for blogs (which I imagine will get thrown away once something new comes along). A long time back, Brian asked me about something that happened to Newt. I refered him to his blogs and replied with:
"Someday.. .. ..we'll all record everything we think in our live journals. . ..And instead of talking, we'll just tell people the date and line to look under."
I didn't really think about it at the time but I think it's a good way to sum up the whole experience. It does seperate you a bit from the actual person you're reading about. It was soon after I pondered this thought that I decided that I wouldn't do blogging or any writing in general as a outlet for my personal rants, complaints, etc. ever again.
Mostly I just want to avoid self-loathing or any kind of writing that's indicative of atmosphere where alot of brooding on certain events or feelings happen. I want to try to keep the writing as fresh as possible and explore alot of intersting subjects and new events as possible without getting bogged down in mediocrity that most blogs/livejournals become when people just go on about the events in their day and other such rants without putting much thought behind it.
Now let's get the party started...
[1/20/2003 9:22:53 PM | Shawn Conn]
Self improvement is Masturbation
I've been really tired of most the nonsense I write lately so I've decided to write a little bit about something else.
My workload has started to step up now. The first few projects for classes has been assigned so I have something to do now besides play video games. That's good, I've had my fill with all the games that I've been playing over these past few months. The only game I really play at all is good ol' Tekken. My skill is back on par with what it was before I started playing all those games so everything's all good. I'm hoping to play Splinter Cell at some point. I've been wanting to play it for awhile but I was too distracted with other games.
Today I've taken a bit of my time to learn more of emacs. For those not familar with it, it's a powerful text editor for many different OSes( but mostly know for it use on UNIX and other derivativies of it). We have to use it for our AI class. I would describe all the details of it what it can do but you'd probably not appreciate unless you were somewhat into programming.
Fleeta Conn: Drug Lord
So I finished up the last bit of pot my mom gave to me during the break. I mentioned it before in my last post and if I remember correctly my quote was "that's a whole other altogether," a story that I'll tell you now. It really wasn't much of a story now that I'm getting to it. A couple of weeks ago back at home she was telling me about this one time she had gotten a call from our neighbors. It turned out that were people going in and out of our house while no one was there. So my parents went back home after calling the police. When they got there it turned out that she saw that it was Wes and his friends.
Right before they were going to enter the house the police officer showed up. They told them that it was just my sister's (at the time) boyfriend and that there was nothing to worry about. But since it's required by a officer to investigate the claim regardlesss he entered with my parents. They went into the house. While the cop checked out the downstairs rooms, my mom went to the upstairs rooms.When she walked into my sister bedroom she found that there was bags upon bags of pot on my sisters bed along with my sister's friends. She outside the room, closed the door, and began checking the other rooms. When the police officer came to the foot of the stairs, he asked her if she wanted him to go up there and check it out. She replied no.While he protested claiming that "you don't know if they might be hiding in the closet"
she retorted with "I know my own house."
And thus he left, steering clear of all the troubles that could have happened.
Once he left, my mom went upstairs and told Wed to get that stuff out of her house along with the pot plants he had be growing. She told him that if she found anymore, she would flush it down the toilet. Flash forward to a couple of weeks. While cleaning up the house she find a bag with a couple of nugs left in it. Instead of tossing it, she asked if I would like it instead. I graciouslly, if not a bit apethetically, accept. At the time she told me the story like it happened a couple months if not a year ago. I don't know much about weed, but I figured that if had been that long the stuff probably wasn't good anymore. I took the pot figuring that might get a little high off it but not much.
So it turned out I was wrong. The stuff was pretty good and we got a fuck ton of hits off it. It didn't last as long as I wanted but I'm rather happy with the results.
Smoke weed everyday...
Sometimes its nice to turn out some the harsh lights that left on the world. Like those damn phosporous bulbs that produce a constant humming noise, once it's turned off the stigma of it is gone; leaving you with a clarity of mind that lets you know what the problem is. Smoking this pot has been one of the better things that has happened to me lately.
On the note of smoking pot, I wanted to mentioned the latest anti-drug ads I saw not too long ago and how much shit they are full of. In this one a scene is two kids smoking pot in what we can presume to be one their dad's office room or something. One of the kids find a gun and says "woah cool...wonder if it's loaded" in a dazed, stoned voice as he "accidently" pulls the trigger while it happens to be aimed at the other kid. The screen then flashes and fades to black then displays the message "It's harmless" or something to that effect. The idea is that it's a retort to those people that say pot is harmless( since it's nearly immpossible to die from smoking pot) and should be legal.
Of course there's a big logical flaws in this example. There are many but I'm going to list one since I don't feel like talking about this forever. One logical flaw is that pot and doing dangerous activities is co-related. It's true that people do dumb things while under the influence of drugs( pot being no exception). But such a reckless activity as holding a gun, unknowning that it's loaded, at a friend is something that's chalked up more to stupidity rather than drugs. People have free will regardless of what influence they're under; if they want to do something they'll do it regardless. They don't do stupid things with out considering the consqeuence or not thinking about them. Anyone smoking pot knows that just heightens the senses do a degree that was more excited than before(probably due to increased levels of dopamine or something like that). And while people have adverse reactions to pot sometimes that might cause them to freak out. I'm willing to bet anybody who's senses are heighted from smoke pot will still have enough sense in their head to tell them don't point a gun a person unless they want to shoot at the target. If they don't well I say that it was their stupidity or ignorance that caused the problem. True the pot might had triggered the event but if someone was that stupid/ignorant it was bound to happen. (As a side rhetorical question, you think that if pot was legal those kids would be hiding in some place where a parent might be hiding a gun?) If not pot, it would have been something else.
Of course, the people that made this commerical because they never have tried pot. They only know it's bad because that's what they've told and they believe. Like the people who told them before, they tell lies and stories that demonize pot(or group them together with other drugs that happen to alot more dangerous than pot) without any knowledge on what it's about. I don't have any respect for people who knock something before they even tried it or know what it's about.
Ethically and by itself, there is nothing wrong with pot. The reason while it's illegal goes back to some rather shady lobbying(a.k.a. law buying) from Dow Chemical when they tried to get hemp made illegal so that their paper making proccess could succeed that of hemp paper. It was never because of it's lethality because there is none, especially if you compare it to alcohol or any other kinds of legal pharmecuticals which can kill. Doing drugs is a personal choice and I think they should not be forced to choose one way or another.
I could go on with my stand against the legality of pot but I leave the rest of the rhetorical for some else to finish...
You want to know who the Man With then Name that Rhymes is?
Before I rest, I'd like to leave on my last revelation of the night. This one is a follow up from the previous post where I though that there was something wrong me with. I clarify, there is something wrong with me. It took a couple of times reminiscing and some logical thinking but this is what my result was.
Thinking back through my past, there's definately been a pecularity with me. For a long while I was quite the social happy-go lucky kid. I was very hyper and full of energy. I was the class clown, I was the guy who did anything for a laugh. I loved the attention it gave me. I didn't find out until way later that I was Ritalin because they thought I was on ADD being that I was hyper. Knowing who I am now, it seems very unlikely that I would become who I am. My mom took me off that stuff soon though, her words was that I was a zombie-like when I went on that stuff. I was always zoned out and never kind of there. A feeling that I would get used to later on life.
My home-life was more of the same. It was a pretty regular life. I do remebmer one fucked up thing. My dad used to hit my mom. I don't remember any specific details or stories but I do remember it happening. My dad has always had a streak of violence in him from what I remember. It would show up in me later on too.
At some point I stopped becoming the happy-go lucky kid. It was about around the time I changed schools. I didn't seem interested at all in people's attention or friendship. I just clammed up most my emotions and seemed apathetic to the world. While I was smart, I cared not for school in anyway at all. Now that I think about it, it was probably hard to enjoy without friends. I had a few friends, but I was never the type to really join the party so to say.
This continued on through middle school. Thinking about it now, my troubles were so stupid. It was the time when kids grow up, start forming their groups, start liking the opposite sex. It was none of that for me. I was more distant. I cared not for school work(unless I found it somewhat interesting or easy) or anyone else. Middle school is also the time when those assholes from broken homes start picking on others to make them feel better about themselves. I was a common target, it was quite easy being someone that seemed shy and timid. In a post-columbine I would be an immediate target kid. Of course kids aren't that bright and they keep pushing others til they pop. I wouldn't fight many times but when I went off, I went off. Kicking, stomping, biting, stabbing I did to one or two kids that pushed me to the edge.
I was sent into therapy or something like that for awhile. My memories of it are quite vague. All I remember is a bunch of people asking me questions I didn't care about. I often was more engaged in whatever else I was doing and I usually made up the closest or easiest made up answer I could think of. At some point around here I learned to bottle up the violent streak that people were able to ignite in me.
I know I make my life sound horrible and thinking about it, it probably was much less bad than this. But for me, this the majority of what I remember so it must of had some effect on me. I'd always had some friends but not that many. Usually they were just binded by 1 common interest or that they were near me. They came and went pretty quickly.
Going into high school my demeanor was much more of the same. I didn't care about anything, I just wanted to be out there. I remember the friends I had in high school for the first two year I would never see again after that. Partially because that's the time where you're put in different groups due to your abilities and partially because the friends I know where just a convience and not really that good of friends. I remember this one guy I knew since 8th grade. I saw in one day in Jeff High, I said what's up and all that he was hanging out with this other guy named Sean. They seemed to want nothing to do with me and just walked off in front me. At the time I was really hurt by that.
I often passed the day just by zoning out. I didn't care about making friends, being social, or being a part of anything. By zoning out I just didn't have to deal with any of that. The only I would come back alive is when I came home, played some games, and maybe hung out with the few people I knew.
Things got much better my last two years. The point at which my life really changed was when I met Alex Brandenburg. I met him one day during winter break at the bus stop. I, being the quite non social self, didn't say much. But after like 20 minutes of waiting, he started asking me stuff. I don't know who mentioned it but we started talking about Final Fantasy. That talk lasted for a quite awhile. Eventually, we'd find out school was canceled. I asked him if he wanted to come back home and play Twisted Metal 2(a game that we would have mastered by the end of a few years).
As I got to know him I found not only we had alot of similar interest, but a similar background. I even found out( that day I met him in fact) that I was some what related to him. The difference between us was at some point where I totally hid myself from the world he embraced it. In those last 2 years, I would meet lots of people, many of whom I would still be friends with today. Because of him, I was able to respark the social ability I had since killed in myself. Following those last 2 years of high school, I had since found a purpose in life. I had dreams and admirations. Computers, video games, and for awhile politics. While not putting all my effort into it, I actually made attempts at good grades in classes.
After high school and the start of college had solidified who I was. I had friends,a renewed social life,goals, and a purpose for living. While I started liking girls, and crushing on them since the 7th grade, I never really did anything about it. I just wasn't the type. I was too creepy. Things weren't much better after that. While everything was going great in my life. I would find that this would be my one issue that kept holding me back time after time.
Through most of my life, I found my experience with women very unsuccessful. It was one crush or infatiation after another. Strangely enough, while I had a thing for one girl I'd usually meet another girl, who I would slowly gain more interest in as I realized that the previous girl didn't like me at all. Being social it seems was one of those things like a muscle; After a long period of non-use it just atrophies and becomes very weak. While I was getting better at being more social, my ability to get other girls was still quite weak as well.
By the end of my first year of college things were going pretty well. I had decided that I was going to IU for CS. I wanted to get away from my parents finally. I had lots of plans for the future. Summer 1999 went pretty damn well. Lots of friends and lots of fun. 1999 brought many crazy times. The only thing that brought me down was this minor infatuation I had with Shelley Yoder. I can't remember what it was that I ever saw in her. Maybe it was because everytime I saw her she seemed so happy. Maybe I was looking for happiness in the same kind of way. I just don't know. It's not like I did anything about it, my feelings for her just kind of lingered and I did nothing.
From this point forward, I've been looking at stuff that I previously written in the past for insight( which consists of a 1MB text file).
Ever since 1998 I had been writing down some of my thoughts here and there about things. Looking through 1998->Summer '99, I definately changed alot as a person. My started entries seemed very apathetic and angry. As they go on, they definately lighten up. I still had alot of my denseness when it came to people though. My self-respect was so low I never thought people like me. I have a couple entries where I talk about girls flirting with me but I did nothing about it. Funny thing is I don't remember half the events I talked about. For all the times, I wrote about how a girl like shelley I could have done something about it. I was a damn idiot.
Coming out of '99, I would meet Emily Summerfield this girl who I started talking to after I went to her party with Len. I don't remember how or the why, It seems revelant(especially looking through my previous writing) because: it would be the next chick that just kind of showed up in my life, and it set forth a series of events in my life that changed me alot.
Once '99 was over I headed to IU. It was some of the best and worst times of my life. The best was all the fun partying, easy and fun classes(looking back, I never saw how I got a 4.0 on 4-day work weeks), and being away from my parents. The worst set in over time. That was a feeling of loneliness. While there was always people to be with, they were never the type of people that I really wanted to hang out with. The people in my dorm area were all friends of convience and nothing really else. While I had fun, I never really enjoyed them as much as I did my friends back home.
I found drinking was the way to be really happy for me. I would get a silly and stop caring about being lonely. I also found it alot easier to get chicks too when I was nice and liquored up. It fun times for what it was. It was the only time I drink so much I wouldn't remember what happened. One my biggest memories was passing out at a party sometime and then waking up sleeping on a log next to the train tracks. It was pretty messed up, yet fun.
After that first sememester at IU, I found that things back at home seemed so weird and different. It seemed that alot had changed in almost no time at all. That was about the time I started smoking pot if I recall because I remember when I got back Len was starting to hang out with Nate, Mason, and a bunch of the other hippies.
As my year at IU came close to a close, I still had those feelings of loneliness. No girl, no true friends will do that to ya I guess. For a while I had been talking to people in the IU CS department about how Purdue was a better Science/Engineering college than IU(primarily a liberal arts college). I figured that if I transferred to Purdue not only would I get a better CS program, I could at least hang out with some of my friends back at home so I at least wouldn't feel alone. By the end of the year I would start to apply to Purdue.
When the summer 2000 started it was so much fun. There was so many fun times with Steve having his apartment and all the people showed up. Also that would be the time I would have tons and tons of people over at my house to party many times during the summer. It was also the summer of backyard boxing. It was a great time for me.
I didn't go to school that following semester as I procrastinated too much to turn in all my info. That lead to beginning of bad series of events. The fall/winter of 2000 was one of my most depressing moments of my life. I had no school, no job,or no car. I was chronically lonely. Emily, Nate, Lenny and Mason came over alot during that time but that did little to cheer me up. Emily and Nate started going out around that time and they were always all over each other. It probably wouldn't bothered me at all were it not for the fact that I was wanting a girl in my life so much. In retrospect, I don't know why I got so upset. Maybe I was mad at being a failure and I didn't know how to deal with my anger. Anyway, that year would be the most depressing point of my life. It was so bad, I nearly ended up killing myself a couple of times. If it wasn't for me creating the SBB site, I'd probably would have.
Anyway I pulled out of it and started going to Purdue. Every since then I've still be wrestling with exactly who I am. I'm pretty sure who I am now. Almost. I still have issues with loneliness. But I shouldn't. I have many of friends and everything in my life is going great. So why am I still caught up on this issue?
With a look back through what I've been through, I'll restate that there must be something wrong with me. I just have been thinking back to the past history of my dad and how I've followed a certain violent streak he had. I don't show it much, but that's because I have since tried to not get mad. But I do. Maybe I've tried to replace that anger about not being able to control my life with something else: a whole lot of apathy and melancholy.
That's about the only sense I could make of it all. Try to reflect back through my previous years, I don't think everything has been right about all the choices I made. It's like I know the right answers but sometimes I don't do it. It's like a bit of anxiety or maybe anger. I'm not sure. There's just something about me that makes me act weird. All these past few years, I've tried to figure it out to no avail.
When I decided to get in shape this year that certainly helped. I don't stay depressed about things for nearly as long. It's certainly helped, but not solved the problem. I feel like I'm close to the answer, but not there. I've done alot of stupid things in the past and while I wish I hadn't done them I can't change that. If there is something I want to do it's to make sure I don't make any stupid mistakes again. I hope that this shit that I've been through lately has made me see that clearly. Clearly enough to know what I need to do. Hopefully it can be fixed...
that was a bit much...then again I didn't ask who was the man with the name that rhymes.
[1/19/2003 1:57:23 AM | Shawn Conn]
Things I've been meaning to write...
I'm thinking I've should take a break from writing for a while. Things have been really up and down. They don't make for good writing I think.
We had a party the last night. Things were fun for a long while and all of sudden it went really bad, real fast. When things go down hill fast, I try to clear my mind. Not to lose it, you know? I went out for a quick jog in the winter night; when the cold shearing wind is cutting through and you're feeling the burn in your body it's easier to forget about what else is troubling you.
When I got back I just wanted to sit in my room for a bit to try to clear my head. I put on the "chill light." It's the blue blub I had in my lamp in my former room back at Jeff. I had always put it on when I wanted to be in a more relaxing mood. It helped for a bit. Since I no longer had the big lamp the bulb was in I had to put it in my desk light. I sat next to my desk and tried to relax from the tension.
I lied my head on the desk for a bit just a bit. I wanted to temporarily avoid sight for a bit; It's amazing how much you can better focus on stuff with out your sight impairing you. Anyway, I was suddenly interrupted soon after that. Craig and Emily came into my room wanting to smoke the rest of the pot I had which I had accquired from my mom( that's a whole another story altogether). I didn't want to smoke it because: it be best to save it for another to get stoned again. And I, along with everyone else, was already pretty drunk so the whole experience would haven't of had the same effect.
They kept pestering me about it. craig offered to pay for at some point. At this point I didn't care anymore. They were upsetting me and I just didn't want to think about it. I grabbed the rest of the pot and just threw it down. After that, they were trying to convince me that I was drunk and I should go to bed. I didn't feel like I needed to crash, I wanted to relax. I don't remember all who came in but they told me the same thing. I just wanted to stay there. In retrospect, I might of said things that were harsher than what they should have been. I don't remember.
I told everyone to leave me alone, but I guess I should have said or done something differently at this point. My sinking happiness combined with the alcohol and pot just made things really worse from there on out. I just sat there in alot of pain now. I'm not sure exactly what from though. was I upset because I was alone, that I couldn't relax, or just because of who i am? I hit the floor. At this point overwhelming saddness hit me. Very much like the dream I had a few nights ago. I was near paralized with saddness and tears. I hadn't felt this bad in a couple of years.
I tried to stop, I mean you can only cry and feel sorry for yourself so much. At some point I realized that I was upset and crying not because I feeling bad anymore but because I couldn't stop now. I hurt and hurt and hurt. This is the type of feeling that makes people want to the kill themselves. It almost drove me to do it about 2 or so years ago. Luckily, I've since rised above that feeling.
It was after that I sat on my floor for a while. I don't remember much what happened after that. I was really upset and I couldn't really think straight. Actually, I couldn't think at all. My mind was just focused on the pain at this point. After a long while I finally went to sleep. I woke and feel asleep many times through out the night. I had another strange dream that night, if you really want to call it a dream. It was just the same events that happened 4-5 hours ago, slightly out of context and not really altogether but it still was the same thing. It was horrible, it's like reading some sort of bad thriller book again; You know what happens so the thrill is gone and you know it's going to end crappy. It sucked alot.
It was after that night I that I've started to considering again that there's something seriously wrong with me. And that I should end on that note...
[1/17/2003 1:43:35 AM | Shawn Conn]
So it looks like alot my classes are going to have alot of work. Spanish requires like a couple essays written and that's about all there is so it's not too bad. Linear Algebra has homework every week. Numerical Methods has MatLab projects every one or two weeks. Networks has projects every two or three weeks written in C. I think for one of the projects we're going to write a web server. And finally, my A.I. class has problems every week that we write in Scheme. I'd go into details about what Scheme is but if you're not into Math or C.S you'd could probably care less about a purely functional programming language. What we're going to do in the class is pretty cool though. The proffessor was showing us some of the projects we will do for the clas today: a AI that plays tic-tac-toe, that can solve cross word puzzles, and one that can answer simple questions about pieces on the chess board that's setup by the user. Overall, the outlook for the semester seems much better than last.
To bad I feel like I'm going to waste here. Strangely enough, I'm just wanting my classes to hurry up and start handing out work. I have nothing at home for me; I feel like I need something to occupy my time. I want to get a job. I'm going to have to need a way to make some cash to pay for the semesters after next so I can finally finish up college. It took me longer than what I should have but soon...soon I will be done. Then I'll have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. Then what? I dunno.
The future is uncertain. I have no clue what I'm going to do. It's been so long since I've thought about anything like that. When I think about it, I really haven't gone much anywhere in these past few years. I've changed as a person but I feel like I'm just not there yet....Where? I guess it's some place where I'm challenge and I have new goals to accomplish. These past few years haven't challenged me much at all. And the only goals I've had either failed or they were that big of goals to begin with.
I've been browsing the past lately, trying to look for changes in me as a person. I was reading all the old stuff I written years ago. Like 5 years ago. Like when I was still in high school. I was pretty messed up back then. I guess it's a good thing I dont' remember much of those days. Here's one the more brilliant things I wrote back then:
"this is the end my friend, but the end is my friend as long as I know my friends...or is it the ends"
Delightful. Actually this isn't the really messed up stuff, but I'll save you guys from that because my blog has been alot of drivel lately.
On a more lighter note, the weather here at Purdue as been excellent lately. We've gotten bunches of snow (finally). It's really fun to walk through on your way to class in the morning. It's so peaceful. There's nothing I enjoy better than lots of snow.
It must be really cold outside or hot in here because there's condesation on my window. Not just a little mist, it's lots of buds of water. It's crazy. Man, I must really be stuggling to talk about something. That last sentence was just stupid.
Anyway, getting back to the topic of self-reflection and being challenged in life. Things have become really stagnant lately. I can feel it alot. I don't think my conversation and interaction with people is fresh anymore. It's all the same old tired stuff. Not that everyone has to be creative all the time but I'm tired of feeling and doing the same things. As a side note, I've really gotten burnt out on the Denny's experience lately as well as watching movies. I guess I've gotten a little impatient with sitting down alot lately. Not that I don't enjoy a find conversation at a restaurant but it's most of the time nothing new that I haven't talked to death before. And as for movies, there hasn't been many that I really want to see lately. When I really want to see one I'm quite patient. Like when I wanted to watched Taxi Driver before we left back to school. But most the time, I just don't feel like it's worth my time. I prefer more active things that engage me for entertainment.
I'm hoping for something to turn around but it's one of those things that just happens or that I just gotta go out and do. I really don't know what that is though. I want to really enjoy someone, something, somehow but I don't think that's going to happen. It just isn't me...
I've recently thought that I feel like I'm alot more friendly than I really am. I try my best to be friendly toward others, but I don't think people see that in me. I feel like alot of people hate me for some reason. I don't know why, but I just feel that in my conversations with others. It's like no one ever wants to say anything to me. When they do say something to me, I feel like there's a bit of disgust .I don't like feeling that. It hurts. But I don't know if me it's me or them. Maybe I just need people....help!....
[1/14/2003 8:06:44 PM | Shawn Conn]
Next time I'll remember not to post such junk before I go to sleep. Last night I slept horrible. I guess the sleep wasn't so bad. The dreaming was however. I guess one could call it a nightmare. But I think nightmare implies something with an element of feat within it. There wasn't any fear from what I call. It was pretty painful though. So I guess that would just make it a bad dream. There seems to be alot of that lately.
Like most my dreams, they kind of start where my conscious mind left off. Like I mentioned the night before, the neurons in my head were bouncing around all kinds of different places: My previous post, some memories at IU, a dash of videogaming (Tekken, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and Suikoden 3), drinking alcohol, smoking pot, Alex, Craig, Sam and Newt's conversation about sex, and finally me thinking about love and sex. These were the elements that my mind rested on last night. The result was an amalgamation of all those thoughts that turned out twisted and fucked up events.Words can really distort things out of porportion though. Thinking about it, the events were really that bad. The worst part of it was the way that I reacted which is hard to put into words.
I'll do my best.
It started out has as a series of adventures, you know, like a RPG. I couldn't recall all the adventures we(that would be the aforementioned people) had. I do know at some point we were hired to slay some giant Pikachu looking thing. It might have been Pikachu now that I think about it, if it was he was a giant Pikachu. We do all sorts of jobs and all sorts of adventures then we would party afterward. For all the festive times their were, I remember it being very bleak alot. It was always raining and the sky was always grey. For some reason, I remember all the places we ventured to be very similar to the world Suikoden 3 except much more bleak, and lacking the bright colors. From the memories I have, the closest concrete example is that town in Saving Private Ryan where one of the guys gets gunned down by a sniper in the rain. The cinematography, colors, and general look was pretty much the same of the world we were in( minus all the World War II military hardware around).
Somewhere down the line our adventures took us into the jungle. For some reason when I think about it I'm reminded of Donkey Kong. I think it was of the tint that the jungle seemed to have. It was very reminiscent of the jungles found in Donkey Kong Country. The trees and foilage had a distinct palette of bright and dark greens as well as the ground had varying shades of brown. It was a very late dusk. It could of been my hazy memory, but from I'm trying to pull up it was dark but not dark enough so that nothing was seen. And on the far distant horizons and above the canopy there was definately dark shades of orange and red in the sky.
What were we doing there? War. Some how we became a group of mercenaries in this war. Or that's my conclusion since prior we were just out roaming the land. Often dreams can have a non sensical series of events so it might have been that we just became soliders. But sticking to my more sensical timeline, we were mercs in this war. Each of us (Sam, Newt, Alex, and Craig and I) were leaders of our own platoons. Or that's what I think because I remember each of us planning out some strategies and tactics. I remember looking at maps and diagrams and being reminded of the battle sequences in Suikoden 3. After we had decided our game plan each of us headed out.
Things started getting ugly after that. War is war afterall and from I remember there were alot casulties. I don't remember ever seeing Newt again in my dream. I figured that must have died. Most of my people were killed and at some point it just became me and that's it. Just me wandering the jungle. I don't know if the fighting had stopped or not. It was nothing but chaos. It was like there was no sides, structure, order, government, or civilization. There was nothing left in my life. My life only holds value in so far that people value who I am. With out people or much anything else, my life was worth nothing. Sustaining my life was something that I stopped caring about. I must have been thinking of Apocalypse Now or something at the time; that's what it felt like.
After being stranded and lonely for a while in the jungle I didn't care about people or anything. The rest of the world, if it existed, could have gone to hell. I wouldn't have cared. When you have nothing compared to everyone else envy, jealous, and hatred tends to start eroding your moral structure. I felt angry and I didn't know why. My anger at the situation must have turned in to these other emotions.
Eventually, I found other people. I dunno if it was civilization or what. Events started to become hazy because of what happened next. I found my old buddies (Sam, Alex, and Craig...Newt never showed up) they had since moved on with their life since we last left on the campaign. We had a party to celebrate but the fun was shorted lived. Sam, I never saw again after that. Alex and Craig showed up every now and again. When all was said and done, it was time to move on to something else in my life. I had found this girl, the details of how, where and why are a blank page in my memory book. Even what she looked like is an empty thought. I took quite the fancy for her but she wouldn't have any of me. That's not what she wanted.
Quite saddened by this, I went about ways to change this. Of course it didn't work, it's impossible to change people's feelings about you. Or atleast it felt that way. Depressed, defeated, and heartboken, I left to look for something better. I'd run into Craig and Alex later on in time in seperate incidents. They would be quite happy as I found as they found a girl to be with. Turns out it would be the same girl that I was so found of earlier. Well not the same girl but just looked the same way, very Cemetary Man-esque way to describe it better. Naturally, it upset me and I just didn't want to stick around. I left. I tried to get away but she just kept showing up. I don't know if it was just me or that she just kept appearing places. I couldn't get her out of my mind. I would eventually let the thought creep in that she might feel different now but that was far from the truth. I tried and tried and tried.
I ran into Alex and Craig again. Like before, they were still with the same girl. At this point I just collapsed and started to cry. I tried to get up but I was just paralized with overwhelming saddness. Man, did it suck. I was defeated. I couldn't take anymore of the pain it was painful. I wanted it to end all there.
Then it did.
That's when I woke up. I dunno if I had cried my self awake or that I had started to cry from saddness I felt in the dream. I was still a bit dazed at what just happened. I didn't feel good at all. I heard of crying yourself to sleep but awaking from crying is just messed up.
At least the day I got somewhat better as it went on. For most of it though, I just felt like....blah. I feel like there's something wrong with me. I don't know if I'm messed up in the head or what. I mean everyone else doesn't seem to have this much trouble finding someone else. Thinking about it certainly doesn't help it either. Everyone else it just seems like it happens to them. Hmm, that doesn't make much sense. Well I guess it's I don't understand my emotions? No, that's not it. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't really feel like thinking about it anymore. I'm so sick of people talking to me about their relationships or the booty the got or whatever. It makes me feel worse. It makes me feel worthless.
I should go to sleep soon; I feel ill.
Oh by the way, if you missed Ted's most spectacular teaser here it is.
This where I stop...I've written way too much as it is.
[1/13/2003 11:58:57 PM | Shawn Conn]
Man I feel tired, I haven't slept pretty well since the night of the party. I'm not sure why but the last few days I'm getting at most 4 hours of sleep at a time. It made my first day of classes kind of shitty. I woke up like 2 hours before my 8:30 and I couldn't get back to sleep. The classes were pretty lackluster. Tommorow I'll have all the rest of my CS classes. They might be interesting, at least the Networking and the Artificial Intelligence class. Who knows though?
Everything is broken in the world. It's no different from when I said I was going to fix it when jelly at a time. Well, maybe not everything. It could be worse I suppose. Hmm, actually the world isn't broke, I am. Maybe it's my view the world. I dunno. It sucks when you when you want something to happen so much and you know it's not going to happen. It's very much like trying to get someone to like you; you just realize no matter how hard you try it won't happen. Oh well.
Some the worst things that can happen in your life is dissappointment. Especially when you set your expectations really high. That's happened to me alot lately. I dunno why I do this to myself. It's really sad. I got no one to blame but myself I guess. Sucky. I tell myself always that I've never had any regets in my life but that's never true. There's definately stuff, knowing what I know now, I would have done differently. I just keep saying to myself that I have no regrets because it's my way to excuse my stupidity or ignorance(to use a little less condensending term).
Man...I just don't have much words in me today. I sort of do but I can't really focus my thoughts all that well into words. When you're feeling like crud or just tired things just pop in and out of your mind. The thoughts don't last for long, it's just kind of interesting to see where your mind will take you sometimes. If you let your neurons fire off through your brain you'll be surprised what memories cause other memories. I can glance over at my desk and look at the figurine that came with my C&C: Tiberian Dawn. It reminds of the game and then it reminds me when I got the game. From there I just remember alot of events at Wright Quad at IU, which is when I got the game. The mind is a strange and fucked up thing sometimes.
[1/11/2003 6:27:50 AM | Shawn Conn]
One last post...
...I can before I disconnect my computer to prepare to go back to Purdue. It's been a good long break. If it wasn't for alot bad things coming my way, I think I would be much happier right now given that the break was pretty damn awesome. Things were pretty good this last week as I went around doing things instead staying at my house. Tis a big pity that the weekend starter on a bad note.
Not that anything is that bad, but I was hoping a little more would happen than what did.
Another thing that has put me in a rather sour mood is the big amount of people that won't be at the festivities come tommorow evening. One or two people not being able to make is fine but there's a good number that have mentioned their intentions to rather go back to school than be there. It's nothing personal but it hurts me not being able to see them. I hope by the time tommorow night comes I'll be in a better mood because I really don't feel like I'm in the party mood right now.
Alot of ideas right are firing off in my head but I'm not sure which ones I should address.
I got my license renewed today. I've been meaning to do since I got back to Jeff since by the time it expired I would be at Purdue. Since I don't know where the license branch is up there and since it's busier there than the one here I decided to take the time to go there. Also, I had been meaning to become an organ donor. I don't know why I wasn't before. My opinions on the hasn't changed since I got my license. I think the only reason I wasn't was that they didn't ask me when I first got my license(Will informed me today that you can't become a donor until your 18 for some reason). So anyway, I did that as well posed with the silliest smile that I could get away with from the picture person.
The rest of the day was ok. Not anything else of big importance happened. Near the end of the day I started to feel really out of it, like there started to be alot of distance between me and my friends. It was probably because I started feeling lonely again. Usually the feeling is one part melancholy(from the absence of well anything or anyone in my life) and another part anger(from me not getting over and there not being anything I can do about it). I can't help the way I feel. I try but it's alot like if you had think about breathing; It would be possible for a good while but if you had to do it all the time it would overwhelm you.
I feel overwhelmed alot. I don't go out and try to think about be lonely. It's more like the thought finds me. It has come and hit me in the face a few times this break: A good number of my friends talking about their respective girl/boyfriend, Shannon finally getting rid of her former boyfriend Wes, seeing and talking to Melissa a few weeks ago, Alex and Emily somewhat flirting in my basement awhile back, this big discussion I had with Alex after he fell in love with another Melissa, and just talking to pretty much everyone else about how things are going with finding others in their life. Each time these things have occured I can't help but think about what I'm doing in the same respect. Which in this case is nothing.
Well I guess, not nothing in the sense of what I'm doing. But my results have been almost nothing, at least when I have something to compare to another. I mean I try when I see an opportunity with someone I really feel something for another. The only thing that makes me feel bad about saying this is that I know there have been past opportunities where other have liked me that I blindly throw away. The only problem is I never want to follow through with something I know that I'm not interested in. So am I to lie to myself? Do I pursue someone with the guise that I feel something for them when I know that I don't? No. I can't do that. That's not me. Maybe I should look at the issue like it's just a game and that's the way it's played. It would probably result in something at least but I can't get myself to do it.
The only thing that hurts more is thinking of the irony: how someone can be so interested in me when I don't care at all while I'm doing the same thing for someone else. Funny enough, it seems the past few chicks that had things for in these past few years I've always found while obsessing over someone else. It's just a pointless cycle to no end. Just me getting hurt every damn turn of the cycle. Nothing but a whole lot of failure.
I feel like a big failure. It hurts alot. My failure comes from me continuing to dream about other females that would have no part of me. Either because I just fuck things up, or their just not interested. My failure comes from me trying to happy with others who don't want to be happy with me. I want to blame others but it's just me. There's something fucked up with me that isn't with others. What that is I'm still not sure I'm ever going to figure out.
I don't look for much. At least I don't think so. I dunno what it is exactly. When I really think about it. I just think the problem is thinking about it. Like I don't ever know to what end I'm ever pursuing anything. If it's a girlfriend, a friend, or just someone that will be a fun fuck. I'm confused on all 3 of those types of girls and what I should be doing toward either situation. I think I never think or do the right thing in any of those situations. I treat people the same regardless and I don't think I can do anything else. In any of those 3 different scenarios, I think all I'm looking for is some sort of acceptance.
A girlfriend to that accepts me as fun person to be around and someone that she is willing to spend a portion of her life with.
A friend that accepts me as person to enjoy good times and good people with.
A fuck buddy that accepts me as someone physical atttractive and worth sleeping with.
In the end I don't think I really care so much about what another girl could do for me. My life, without considering other women, is fully content. I am happy in every such way except one. What I do care about is what I feel like I could give to another girl: A fun night of sex, a fun time to be with, I dunno just something. I'm not sure what it is exactly. I just don't understand why it can't be anyone I feel this way about. As much as I try to look at the situation, it never helps. My reasoning never goes anywhere and I just end up feeling hurt. I'm definately thinking too much about this but I just don't know what to do to solve it.
That's all I got; There are no more words left in me to describe what I'm feeling. I just want it to stop.
[1/9/2003 3:23:09 PM | Shawn Conn]
For those not in the know, come this Saturday there will be a party at the Conn household. I can't guarentee that it will be much of a party but some sort of a party will be had. It will be the last big hoopla before the winter break finally ends and the drugery of school starts up again. I can't say that this was the best of winter breaks but it was most certainly fun for the most part. The only parts that weren't, I have my self to blame for.
The events of the past few days haven't been particularly noteworthy. Any stories I would have to tell aren't mine to tell. I do have the recent release from the Gohmann studios, it's a teaser for a movie that's hoped to be in production sometime soon. I won't tell you what it is, but negotiations are underway to get the actors to agree to do the movie. I'll have the teaser online sometime next week when I'm back at school. I was going to do this week but I'm afraid my connection here would time out if I tried it.
I had a conversation with Ted not too long ago after bowling at Eastern Lanes(now changed to the "Boulevard Fun Zone" which I suggested should be called the "Bowlevard Fun Zone"). I don't remember how the conversation started but we talking about physics, space travel, gravity, stars and other topics related to Astronomy. He seemed kind of disappointed when I brought up the fact that it's unlikely that humans will every travel through space(at least in the way we've seen in SciFi movies) because how void space is and far things are apart in the universe. "It's like looking at concert you know that you'll never get to go to," he told me. It's sad but true, unless we find someway to travel faster than light. Luckily our view of time is so small compared with the age of the universe, it's pretty much an irrelevant topic.
Let's see if there's anything else worth mentioning...um...I was thinking today about how amazing the human brain is. When I was sleeping last night, I was dreaming all kinds of weird things. And alot of them seemed to be responses I was having to the music that was playing on my computer. It's really weird how when you're in a dream state, you're kind of awake in the sense that your senses are picking up stuff and your brain is being used but you're kind of asleep in that you're not consciously aware of it and you're making no activity on your part. It's truely an amazing thing. I had a conversation before with Brian and Melissa a month or so ago that was about more or less do machines think. The conversation didn't make any new ground( since this conversation has pretty been thousands of times before) but one new was made to me: If machines could think( and in some way they do, just not on the level we do yet), a big difference between their thinking and ours is that in our thinking system we can voluntarily go forth and try to retrieve "input" for our thinking system(in the form of our 5 senses) while a computer(or machine if you prefer) will probably always be restricted in that sense. In other words, I believe someday we will be capable of producing a machine that is capable of thought processes like ours but I doubt they will be made so that it would be possible for them to retreive knowledge in the same way that we do. And even if we do have computers that are thinking machines, they will never be the exact same as our thinking systems just because it will built different than a human brain. It would kind of be like emulating a CPU; You can get down for the most part all the instructions, functions, etc so that it acts almost like the original CPU but their will always be idiosyncracies to the original that can't be emulated just because the two CPU aren't the same product.
Whew...that was alot to say in one paragraph. I think I'm done for now then. Laters.
[1/5/2003 3:42:02 AM | Shawn Conn]
Without Villians There are no Heroes
Things have been pretty mediocre lately. The past few days have been pretty dull and lifeless; it's something that's been reflected in my atmosphere and demeanor as of this past few days. Not that it could be called bad, but certainly it's neither good as well. It's just kind of there. If anything, I guess I should be out making a good time happen, but I haven't the will power for such things lately. I wouldn't mind to be social but on the same note I'm not going out of my way to do anything about it. I just don't feel like setting anything up to get disappointed.
That reminds me of what happened to the New Year's party this year: surprisingly enjoyable. Not that anything that great happened, but I was bummed out enough to where it was more fun than I was expecting. Highlight of the night included:
-Newt getting drunk for the first time
-Alex( and possibly Evan) duct taping Amy's room
-Me spilling half a can of beer all over my shirt trying to shotgun it(luckily I could reverse it and thus get rid of the stain on the front)
-Me walking around the party for a good amount of time with a box over my head
I never really get crazy drunk at parties anymore. I usually stay about or around my peak, sober up, then head home. That night was no different either. When I got back I was still not tired due to the fact that my sleep cycle as been slowly shifting to the night. I ended the night by falling asleep to playing Suikoden 3 which I played to forget about how lonely I felt at the time: the one prediction I made about New Year's Eve that held true.
The days that followed was mostly playing Suikoden 3 and finishing it. The exception being the one day I went out to eat at Tumbleweed with alot of my friends which didn't last that long since afterwards people were wanting to watch a movie at Newt's: something I didn't have energy to drive to nor sit through. My crazy sleep schedule combined with the lack of day light in these dreary winter months has gotten me feeling the day was over before it even started. As a side note, I don't really consider the winter months to be dreary but this year has been the exception with all the rain and darkness I've been seeing(literally and metaphorically speaking).
Suikoden 3 was a pretty solid RPG. I few notes about it to any one that was interested in playing it:
-The game does a better job of 'bringing in' all the 108 characters, a feature that marks the Suikoden series, as it offers to play the same storyline through multiple perspectives. It does a good job a make the characters alot more indivualize than the first two where alot characters showed up for a brief moment of the game and then sat in your castle never to be seen or heard from again.
-The battle system has been revamped so that a bit more strategy is involed(weapon, movement, magic casting speed, as well as character positions are all factors in combat as opposed to simple you-attack-they-attack system that was in the other Suikodens). Which works well with the leveling up system so that the game is more about strategy than just redundant leveling up.
-Storyline is a bit lacking as it doesn't have the same epic feel as the previous Suikoden's did due to the fact that war battles( another feature in the Suikoden series) are rather lacking. This is probably an effect of having to concentrate the game on different characters from different perspectives.
-The worst thing I can thing of about this game is that there's two really annoying features of the combat engines: The first is that when you have a party you have pair them off if you have more than 3. While it's kind of cool because you can pair up related characters for powerful attacks, it leads to annoying things where you can't control the actions of both characters because you issue only one command to the pair( i.e. when you tell a person to cast a magic spell, his partner will randomly attack an enemy which can be pretty disasterous if you cast a spell that has an area effect as the partner will jump right in the middle of it). The second is during the war combat sequence is that when you control a group of people you can only tell them to attack, defend, or retreat; the AI decides what actions to after that which can lead to your characters making dumb actions because they didn't attack the right unit.
It's nice to see that we're finally getting to see some more snow around here. Meaning it's alot colder here in this pit of the house I call my home away from home, away from home. My hands are pretty cold most of the time.
With my ending thoughts about Suikoden 3 leaving my mind, I'm thinking about morality, perspectives, and gaming. I'm not that knowledged about D&D. All I know comes from what I learned in the Baldur's Gate series. But one of the cool things about D&D ,or at least in terms of Baldur's Gate, is that it lets you play out morality in a game. One of the staple marks of building your character is that you just his alignment which is a general direction of which his moral compass is pointed. Genericly the different aligments come from two things: how your character views societal laws and how he views moral laws(/other people).
Chaotic, Neutral, Lawful are the descriptions representing total disregard, indifferent, and total regard, respectively, for societal laws
Evil, Neutral, Good are the descriptions representing total disregard, indifferent, and total regard, respectively, for other people
Of course this can't determine what a person will do, but it's just a way at telling a person's tendecies when it comes to morality and law.
Neutral Good is most often the way I see myself. I'm indifferent toward laws of society unless there's a moral reason that backs it and also try to treat others well when in comes to morality. There are alot of times where I can see myself being a true neutral though. I think that it stems from me believing the idea that evil is neccesary sometimes, either because it's for a greater good( in the psuedo-Utilitarian way that I believer) or that sometimes the rule of karma needs forced upon others. I know that sounds rather vague and perhaps vengful. But my thinking upon is that a person sets up their own moral laws to live by. If they act a certain way to others, they have no reason not expect the same treatment. With that stated, if someone does onto another knowing that he would not morally abide by it or that it hurt him then they have set themselves up for the same thing. In other words, you give shit, you get shit.
For example, I would never steal from any of my friends, and without some extreme examples, any person in general. But Alex, my good friend, has no qualms about doing this at all. As such, if I stole something from him I wouldn't feel nearly as bad as I would if I did from Newt, who I know holds about the same law about stealing in mind.
Alot of people think morality and it's laws should be absolute ,and it would be nice if it was, but I've long since realized that there's no absolute certainity to anything. You can argue about anything and everything when comes to morality for enternity. It won't get you anywhere. At the end of the day, I think almost all people do their best to do 'the right thing.' In the end, people will always have varrying opinions on whether an act is right or wrong. As such, things will have varrying degrees of clarity in whether it was right or wrong at best. But if you can look at both sides of the act, and given all that you know still feel right about the action you have taken then it's as good as right can be defined to be. That's how I see it.