I can see clearly now...at least in the concrete, physical sense

Finally got contact lenses that seem to fit. Thanks to Dr. Donald Cohen of Professional Eye Care Center in Greenbelt - I highly recommend him, though his schedule is rather busy at the moment.

Imagine having your very own house for years, and then suddenly being sent back to share a kitchen and living room with twenty other people. Even if most of them do stay in their rooms (because their immune systems are weak), still, must be quite an adventure. Like a fraternity house, except full of fifty-year-olds who all happen to have cancer.

I'm slowly starting to understand the Struts framework, still without really knowing much about JSP or servlets to begin with.

Once again, confirmed that basic social protocols are beyond me. And that some people morph into a different version of themselves at the College Perk, and avoidance is the best strategy of dealing with that.

In small job satisfaction moments, yesterday I found out that my documenting all that wu-ftp stuff actually proved useful to other developers recently. Like, the documentation I wrote is helping them fix bugs faster! Yay!

glaciers, icebergs, weisburgs, bronsteins

Dinner with Maria, Silvia, and Matt today. At one point, they were comparing the glaciers from various places they'd been, like Alaska and Argentina. Glaciers, eh. Sounds cold and treacherously slippery. Also, talked to Maria's friend Dan on IM, quite by coincidence - one of those "heeey....aren't you that person...from that party...whose name I don't actually remember..." moments.

Yesterday I found out that my hands being white doesn't seem to be a sign of imminent death, and then I said hi to the nice lady that gave me a Pop Tart last week. Today I found out that I have no cavities. Yancy's dentist is awesome. If you live anywhere near Hyattsville, check him out - Arden Bronstein. He didn't try to sell me tooth whitener. And he said he would personally bitchslap Alan Wolcott on my behalf. (Wolcott is the dentist who told me, two years ago, that my hair looked like a rat's nest and my shoes weren't shiny enough.)

now, if everything else would magically start happening two hours earlier...

OK, so, trying to sync my shift up with a coworker who comes in at 6:50 means I get up around 6, or even 5:45...Assuming I get used to this, I think I'm going to like it - two more hours of sunlight per day. And I get to leave at 3:15ish. Hopefully I'll figure out some means of blocking out noise so I won't have to start being bitchy to my roommates around 9:30.

In unexpected social events, John Armstrong is here visiting Meesh.

party on

Two people who couldn't make it to Dave's graduation party came by for dinner today - Ariel and Chris. Yay! (Not Dave's brother Chris, and not Lenore's friend Chris, but Chris who worked at Raytheon.) I once again demonstrated that I can be completely toxic and oblivious to other people's feelings. It's good to be reminded of that sometimes, just in case I get deluded with myself and carried away towards thinking that I am approaching normalcy, goodness, or stability. Somehow, people managed to go on with the rest of the evening despite my horrible bitchiness. Go them!

Unrelatedly, perhaps I will finally do a Six Sigma project at work, now that Dave is encountering the exact same process issues that I didn't like, and has lots of good ideas for process improvement.

Now that I figured out how to crop jpegs into avatar-sized images, I am going to do the same with photos of myself, as well as more pictures of Demona. My parents kindly emailed me some appropriate photos.

Oh, and now that I did my taxes two days ago, a form shows up in the mail today saying it's "tax-related" and documents some kind of deduction I could have possibly taken.

DDR with EyeToy, and taxes

I tried Dance Dance Revolution Extreme with the EyeToy camera, both yesterday and today, and it seems to be a much more entertaining form of exercise than walking. Entertaining enough to stick with, for at least a week. And the EyeToy part makes me flap my arms like a crazy chicken, in addition to the regular DDR jumping around. Sometimes I get so confused with the hand-foot coordination that I don't go as fast as the music, but eventually I'll learn. Anyway, if I do half an hour of that a day, maybe eventually my hands will stop turning white.

Also, I did my taxes today. I did them in this weird newfangled way - over the phone. And I used my nifty understanding-my-checking-account powers to do direct transfer instead of writing a check.

Dave's graduation party is about to start. Whee!

first time passing out, for real

OK, so not eating for 12 hours followed by getting 4 thingies of blood drawn caused me to completely black out. That has never happened before. It's an interesting experience - like being asleep, but feeling like you really shouldn't be asleep. Not good. Anyway, it seemed like they had to do a bunch of extra work because of this, and I felt really bad about causing them to do extra work. On the plus side, I got to see some nifty machines that I'd never seen before - one that you put your finger in, and it beeps and doesn't seem to do anything at all, and another one that looks like an octopus. Another advantage was that I got to try Pop Tarts, because those were the most appropriate food item in their vending machine, as determined by one of the medical professionals there (You'd think they'd have snacks ready for this kind of thing, but, no, they don't). Real Pop Tarts are much yummier than Amy's organic pseudo-pop-tarts. But then again, anything would probably have been yummy at that point.

i didn't fail the test. i just failed to get tested.

The socializing rampage continues, with phoning KD and Chris.

I showed up for some routine medical tests with a Starbucks cup in my hand, and then they told me that I wasn't supposed to have eaten for the last 12 hours. And even as they were telling me this, I was taking another sip of tea, and another, until the light bulb went on and I understood what they were talking about. It would have been nice if they told me all this _before_ I showed up and sat there for an hour waiting for my turn. Well, actually, I didn't just stay at the office and wait for an hour, but instead went and bought Dance Dance Revolution Extreme and Eye Toy (these games are an essential part of my plan to do more aerobic exercise), and then I returned to the office. And I'm going to return there again tomorrow morning, after not eating for 12 hours. This seems like a lot of trouble to go through just to confirm that my hands turning white is not a symptom of imminent death.

extreme socializing

Yesterday, I phoned some people I haven't talked to in a while - Slava, Ariel, and Leo. Hm, when I say their names all together like that, they sound like a cast of characters from some kind of cheesy Hercules/Xena spinoff. I also had some email communication with Cam, Dan, Scott, Svetlana, and Alex. In short, some kind of social interaction bender. It seems like a good way to de-stress after a midterm, and also it's a consequence of trying to assemble a list of people I know.

Unrelated note: songs that I want to practice more at on Karaoke Revolution 1 - "Celebration" and "Crawling In The Dark".

career fair and further buzzwords

Damn, UMD is running out of computer science majors. At least, it seemed that way at the Raytheon booth today. Hardly a dozen people were interested in doing software stuff. And it's only going to get worse - Meesh says that the incoming freshman class this year was 200, instead of last year's 300...I guess the offshoring thing has got everybody running scared. Anyway, would you like to work as a software engineer for Raytheon? Well then, we've got 3 or 4 full-time positions in Landover, MD. And we're getting desperate, especially since the UMD students are not only getting scarcer, but also less and less skilled.

I encountered a copy of O'Reilly's "Essential System Administration" by Aeleen Frisch today, and leafed through it briefly, but still can't decide whether to buy it. The "TCP/IP" book by Craig Hunt says that this is a prerequisite, but I don't know whether it's truly a prerequisite, or whether it's just one O'Reilly book trying to get you to buy another one.

After seeing a presentation by a manager at Amazon about their delightfully sensible software development process, I was inspired enough that I finally voiced my concerns about the architecture of a project at work. Unfortunately, I'm not yet competent nor experienced enough to be persuasive. Hasn't somebody already written a real-time peer-to-peer system that works, so I could just point at it and say "see, those clever people already figured all this out, let's do what they did"?

Finally, I am done with the midterm - the first time Meesh is proctoring me. I have a good feeling about this. Yay for Meesh.

Hm, this is sounding all buzzwordy. Hmm...what else...I tried wearing my old contact lenses today, the ones that expired two years ago, following the advice of an optometrist. Well, big surprise, my eyes got worse so the old lenses just aren't strong enough anymore. I'm out of dry frog food, and have resorted to frozen cubes, which the frogs seemed to like just as well. I have rediscovered sandwiches - the best thing since sliced bread. My karaoke skills have improved, or maybe easy mode got easier.

Ack, a classmate is messaging me. Back to geekness.

dave's graduation party

From: Svetlana Shargorodskaya
Location: Yancy's House
9022 49th Avenue,College Park,MD View Map
When: Saturday, March 12, 5:00pm
Phone: (301)474-9362

Yeah, that's right, Dave's graduated! Unless they somehow retroactively ungraduate him, which is entirely possible. Because they just retroactively graduated him.

Anyway, party starting at 5, for those who have little kids and/or a bedtime, going on until whatever hours of the morning. Feel free to invite more people and to bring whomever or whatever you want. Also, feel free to just bring yourself.

(Note: Lissa is no longer here, but she is within walking distance. Also, I will likely disappear around 10 or 11 PM, as my stagecoach will turn into a pumpkin.)