jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
It's been a long time since I gave LJ a general rundown of how my life is going, hasn't it?

I don't think I ever updated here about the UChicago thing. I let them fly me out and woo me, and the program seemed really excellent; I would definitely have done it if they'd given me full tuition and stipend, like the program I actually applied to would have. I'm not going to go into further debt, though, and it would have been expensive. But I did have a spectacularly productive conversation with the director of the program! This program shoos a whole lot of students off to Ph.D. programs, and so they see a whole lot of acceptances and rejections, which gives them data about things like GRE score cutoffs. This guy went through my application and told me what exactly I need to improve on and how. He also told me what the admissions committee liked, and which parts of the application they don't actually care about. It was immensely helpful. If I'd had all this information in senior year of college, I might have my doctorate by now.

So I'm retaking the GRE this fall, and adjusting a few other things on the application. I'm also pulling together a journal article on which I will be first author, which I'm hoping we can get submitted in time to put on my applications. I've been doing some soul-searching about what exactly I want to accomplish in my life and whether grad school is something I need for that, and I've concluded that I could potentially live a happy and fulfilling life without a doctorate but would really rather have one.

In less pleasant news, Pi and I broke up. Not because it wasn't working out--god, we worked so well together--but our long-term situations weren't ever going to align, and she needed to be able to start setting up the life she eventually wants. It's the first time I've ever broken up with someone when everything still felt right, when I still really desperately wanted to be in the relationship, and that was hard. It was really hard for a while. She came to my birthday party and picked up the variety cryptic Mike made me and quietly got the hang of it right off the bat while helping me color in posterboard for the giant Set deck, because understated brilliance in the midst of efficiency is just her, and my heart hurt a whole damn lot. But I'm okay now, mostly. It had to happen, and I guess I'm glad it happened now, because I was only ever going to get more attached to that girl the longer I was with her.

Mike and I are at six years now and still doing great. We took a road trip to California last month to see my grandpa, who's not doing so well. It was really good to see him; I got to know him pretty well the year I lived there as a teenager, and I miss his subtle humor and habitual kindness. He's hard-of-hearing, so it can be difficult to talk on the phone. We visited a few other people in the Bay Area I hadn't seen in forever, too, and that was awesome. I've always thought I wanted to end up living there if I could, and I do think I'd be very happy there, but... we came back after a week and Seattle felt like home. I have never loved a city like I love this city. Dr. K's been pestering me to apply to UW again, and even though they've rejected me twice, I'm considering it.

I've been skating two or three times a week since April, and can't see myself getting sick of it. Actually, I think I'm addicted--if I go more than three or four days without making it to the rink, I start feeling antsy and crappy. I'm looking into hockey gear, and I have two road trips to Vancouver planned for NHL games this upcoming season, assuming I can get tickets: one to see the Coyotes by myself in November, and one to see the Penguins with friends in February. Hockey will be the death of my bank account.

Besides the hockey, though, I've been doing okay at money management. The last few months I'm averaging over 40% of my income put toward savings and paying off my student loans, and I'm almost ready to start a personal investment account. The kind of fascination I have for finance right now is the same kind I usually experience with fandoms. It's interesting to examine because that kind of fixation almost always comes with a dollop of guilt for not doing more productive things instead, whereas stuff like obsessively calculating a plan for paying off different student loans on different schedules that overlap based on a combination of balance and interest rates is just about the most adult, responsible use of my time possible. So I'll get lost in this for an hour and resurface automatically going "oh man, what time is it, I should be..." and then realize that no, there's nothing I should be doing instead. It sort of makes me question the guilt I feel about watching movies or reading webcomics or whatever, because... you know, it's okay to do things that make me happy. And yet somehow that's instinctively difficult to accept.

I'm still watching kids for a living. It's not my ideal career, but it's still going fine. There's actually a lot of opportunity for applying psychological concepts and thinking about preference and decision-making in the process of wrangling little kids. They're both great kids, and the two-and-a-half-year-old has been turning into a super awesome little person lately--she has shitpiles of grit and she's getting pretty good at things like negotiating for things she wants and chasing down follow-through on promises.

Other things... I've gone to a couple Mariners games, and started learning and appreciating baseball, which has been fun. I've taken a couple of really cool geology field trip courses, and learned a lot about Washington's geological history. I recently finished a "Welcome to Night Vale"-related audio project I'm very pleased with, and am impatient to release. I've been vidding a bit; the one I'm most proud of is the Nathan Fillion one (NSFW). I'm working on some non-fandom writing projects, slowly but surely. I'm working PAX again in a couple weeks, at a booth I think will be a lot of fun. I made a local fannish mailing list and started hosting fannish dinner parties a little over a year ago--haven't had time to do one in a few months, but I love doing them and I've met a bunch of amazing people through that group.

Overall, life is going really well, and I'm grateful for that.
jedusor: (Default)
Earlier this month, I went to the National Puzzlers' League convention in Portland and saw a whole bunch of my favorite folks. I met a few new ones too, although not as many as usual. I think I've gotten to the point where there are enough NPLers that I really want to hang out and catch up with that I have very little time and energy to seek out new people. But there were a few! I don't remember having interacted with Ender before, and he was cool. And Joanna wasn't really a new person, but I hadn't met her in meatspace before. Also, Xemu's daughter Iboo kind of glommed on to me, and hugged me for approximately 10 minutes straight when she discovered it was my birthday.

Some pictures, mostly taken with my phone )

After the con, Ertch rode back up to Seattle with us and spent the evening hanging out before his flight home. He and Mike and I played a variant of Catch Phrase made up by me wherein every clue had to relate somehow to the NPL or a particular NPLer, which was great fun. Also, I performed a "Tim Tam Slam" as instructed with diagrams by Joanna, who had given me some vegan chocolate-covered cookies from Australia. A tasty end to a mostly-fabulous weekend.
jedusor: (riverdancing)
(playing Apples to Apples)

Henry: An iceberg is not a food item.
Me and Nancy, simultaneously: Maybe if you add (me: some, Nancy: a little) syrup...
jedusor: (Default)
There are ten e-mails visible in my inbox at this moment. Nine of them have the subject line "Re: Julia approaches, all rejoice." The tenth has the subject line "Re: wombat poop".

IJA 2009

Jul. 20th, 2009 10:40 pm
jedusor: (diabolo)
Hi! I'm back from North Carolina, and I bring with me evidence of one heck of a week. Do not click the cut if you're on dialup.

A whole lotta photos and a few short videos )



This one goes outside the cut, 'cause you all totally have 23 seconds to spare to watch me land a cool trick on my brand-new purple diabolo. In related news, I have a new default icon!
jedusor: (billy heart)
Emcee: And now, our first competitor in the devilstick competition, [dude #1]!
Dude #1: *does one of the best devilstick routines I've ever seen, with a lot of stick-spinning and full-body tricks*
Emcee: Thank you, [dude #1]! Our next competitor is [dude #2]!
*commotion offstage, culminating in a confused-looking guy shoved up on the stage with Dude #1's devilsticks*
Dude #2: I, uh... he wrote my name down. I don't have a routine ready.
Audience member: Do your best!
Dude #2: Um, okay. Music?
Sound chick: *puts on Dude #1's music again*
Dude #2: *does a completely improvised, technically poor but stylistically awesome parody of Dude #1's routine*
Audience: *standing ovation*

:D

Jan. 9th, 2009 12:43 am
jedusor: (riverdancing)
Today I went skydiving.
jedusor: (meme)
Penngrove, CA
Santa Clara, CA
San Francisco, CA
Dublin, CA
Somerville, MA
Cambridge, MA
Mountain View, CA
Kansas City, MO
Oakland, CA
Davis, CA
Moss Beach, CA
Englewood, CO
Sacramento, CA
Worcester, MA
Boston, MA
Syosset, NY

And I'll be sleeping in Placerville, CA tomorrow night, although I won't actually be sleeping until 2009.
jedusor: (children)
Today, I took my four-year-old brother to Crown Center. We met up with Kit and Jasmine and spent the day hanging out with them. A couple of amusing quotes from the kiddo:

At the Crayola Cafe:
Kit: I'm thinking about getting dessert.
Me: If you get something with sugar in it, Link will bug you to share.
Lincoln: No! Mom says I'm not supposed to eat sugar. I have to eat good food.

At the ice rink, after he'd fallen over a few times:
Me: Link, are you okay?
Lincoln: I took some damage, but I'll survive.
jedusor: (riverdancing)
I went down to San Francisco yesterday after work. I'd had a smoothie on my break, and by the time I got off at the Civic Center, I really, really had to pee. Unfortunately, the Civic Center doesn't have a whole lot in the way of restrooms, so I ended up waiting outside one in the rain. A homeless guy hanging around told me that whoever was inside had been in there for a while, but I still waited ten minutes before the door opened, crossing my legs and half-listening to him ramble on about some Grateful Dead concert. Eventually, two guys emerged amid a waft of pot smoke. Seeing me and the homeless guy standing there, one of them offered me a condom.

There are no words.
jedusor: (puzzle police)
Puzzles )

The Hunt itself )

Shitty stuff that happened )

Awesome stuff that happened )

Thank you so much to everyone involved! In particular, Eric deserves recognition for his astonishing feat of event organization. Fuldu, Zebraboy, and Trip, thank you so much for pushing on through when there wasn't a leader, and for the innumerable sacrifices you've made for the team. Debby and Sofiya, thank you for handling the computer stuff. Hathor, thank you for taking charge of all the theatrics and scripts, and also for dealing with suspect e-mails on top of everything else you were doing. Ucaoimhu, thank you for your puzzle-constructing prolificacy, and for coming up with and developing the theme. Katatak, thank you for being our MIT person and getting funding and room reservations and all that together. Everyone on Palindrome, thank you for the various contributions you've made to making this Hunt happen, despite its apparent determination to make all our lives difficult. And thank you to all the solvers for staying optimistic and having a good time despite all the reasons you had to bitch.

By the way, did anyone get a decent picture of me in the cop outfit? I meant to have someone take one so I could update my Puzzle Police icon, but it slipped my mind.
jedusor: (puzzle police)
My own writeup will be posted soon. In the meantime, here are some others:

First of all, especially if you weren't happy with the Hunt, you should read our leader's writeup. It might put things in perspective a little. This Hunt nearly did not happen, and I for one am astounded that it went as well as it did.

Members of Palindrome: Trip, Jeffurry, Squonk, /dev/joe (part 1 and part 2), dalryaug, Tinhorn, Debby, Hathor.

Members of the winning team: Thomas, Jenn, Spelvin, Tablesaw.

Solvers from other teams: someone from GroovyTron, Tahnan and 530nm330hz and Sax from II&F, someone from (I think) Death From Above, Wes (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5).

Newspaper articles: The Tech and Wicked Local.

Pictures: A confession from Just For The Halibut, Ennirol's Flickr photoset of the Bombers, Kat's photoset (if you only look at one of those, make it the one of Trip at the wrap-up in his Subservient Chicken head), Tinhorn's photoset, Debby's photoset.

And 530nm330hz's crossword hat deserves a paragraph of its own. I didn't get to see it in person, much to my chagrin, but it's utterly awesome, and its owner should keep a close eye on it if it ever enters my presence.

I'll update this list as I find more links. [livejournal.com profile] mystery_hunt may also provide further Huntish posts to peruse.

Road trip!

Jul. 10th, 2007 04:37 pm
jedusor: (puzzle police)
I got my permit this morning. I guess all I needed was to admit that I'm having a problem with driving. I got every question right on the test, which helps with the confidence part.

Mom and I are driving to Michigan for the NPL con. We're leaving this evening and arriving sometime tomorrow. Judging from my experience at past cons, I'll check my e-mail a couple times, but won't be on the internet for any extended period of time until Monday or so. See some of you there!
jedusor: (ray smuckles)
Okay, here's the vacation slideshow.

Forty pictures with commentary. )
jedusor: (ray smuckles)
You know how ocean water is blue and sparkly in pictures and descriptions and stuff, but then you go to the beach and it's actually kind of greenish and more glaring than sparkly?

This shit sparkled. And it was blue.

I shall post pictures, with commentary, when I return to Missouri. (I'm in New York right now, hanging out with the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] burythel1ght, and will be back home tomorrow.)
jedusor: (because i said so)
People keep asking me what I want for my birthday. Obviously you don't have to get me anything (especially as I'll be moving shortly and more stuff is not going to help the process), but if you really want to give me a gift, these are the things I want.

1. Something you made specifically for me, or something you saw and thought of me.
2. Something I'm going to need after I move out, but won't anticipate needing until I need it.
3. Tip a grocery store sacker the amount you would have spent on my present.

----------

I'm leaving at oh-god-no-o' clock tomorrow morning for Fort Lauderdale, and the cruise leaves Saturday afternoon. I won't have much internet access; I plan to check my e-mail at least twice on the trip, but I doubt I'll respond to comments and I definitely won't be reading my flist. (I probably won't post much either, but I promise I'll let you know if I run into Johnny Depp filming the next eight "Pirates of the Money-Hungry Disney CEOs" movies.)

See you all in July!
jedusor: (sad world)
We're up to the 1940s in my history class, and thinking about the subject of the Holocaust inspired me to get to the library yesterday and take out Anne Frank's diary, which I've somehow never read. I'm about two-thirds through it now, and it's creepy how much Anne's personality reminds me of my own. I wish I'd read this a long time ago. The parts about the holidays are especially poignant- they celebrated Christmas, while they were in hiding for being Jewish.

While I was at the library, I also located a copy of "Dr. Seuss Goes to War," a collection of political cartoons drawn by Theodor Geisel during WWII. Some of them are good, but the ones depicting Japanese people are scary. People keep saying that it's okay because everyone hated Japanese people back then, but it's not. I don't put up with people who hate Muslims because of 9/11; this is the same thing. And he was so adamant about equality between blacks and whites, too. It's like Japanese people weren't even people to him.

Mom is talking about a trip to St. Louis in May, after finals are over. I'd definitely like to go see the Holocaust Museum & Learning Center there.
jedusor: (billy heart)
Yesterday, we went to Golden Gate Park. That was the plan, anyway. I ended up spending so much time sifting through all the shiny shops on Haight Street that I had to head back to BART before we reached the park.

San Francisco again. )

I BARTed to see [livejournal.com profile] rebbyribs, and then we went to the Equinox puzzle party.

Luck o' the Iris. )

I got about five hours of sleep, then hopped on a plane home. I slept for most of the trip. I'm glad I'm not one of those people who can't sleep on planes.

The trip home. )

I'm now back in Kansas City, and going back to school and work tomorrow. This trip was utterly fabulous in pretty much every way. Thank you so much to everyone who took some time to hang out with me; it was really awesome to see you all!
jedusor: (don't dream it)
I had a wonderful day today with people I don't see nearly often enough. [livejournal.com profile] cfb4629 picked me up around 9:15 this morning and dropped me off just after 7pm.

Here's what happened between those times. )

I offered to watch the kids tonight so Jeffrey and Jeanette could go out on a date, something that doesn't seem to happen too often for them. The younger two are in bed now, and Clay is happily absorbing a science fiction book on the futon. It's very peaceful, and I'm in a good mood. Maybe I'll take a stab at my statistics homework.
jedusor: (slow day for penguins)
This first picture is for [livejournal.com profile] truntles.

Almost Kasabian. )

On Tuesday night, [livejournal.com profile] palecur and [livejournal.com profile] amywithani picked me up at the BART station and took me to Bombay Garden, where we met up with [livejournal.com profile] xthread, his friend O, [livejournal.com profile] vito_excalibur, and her boyfriend E (who, as far as I know, doesn't have an LJ) for dinner.

Dinner in Fremont. )

Remember I mentioned that I stubbed my toe when I was at the beach with [livejournal.com profile] juvernaz?

Here's what it looks like now. )

I hung out with [livejournal.com profile] shoutingboy last night, which was fun.

Only one picture from that excursion. )

Today, Jeffrey had a meeting in San Francisco, so Clay and I went in with him and made a day of it. Warning: contains a picture of this week's Onion AV Club crossword, partially completed. (Thought I should mention that, especially what with the Jeopardy! spoiler explosion happening on the NPL-folk mailing list right now.)

San Francisco. )

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