metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Finished grading the 256ers' tests... a pretty solid bunch, them. I think this is the last time I'll TA the course, though... it's pretty heavy for the pay, and I think I've accumulated lots of experience over the past sittings of it and 490.

Spent some downtime with [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit, she thought it might be best if I studied instead of helping out with singing her mass today. I feel a little bad, but I know she's right. She's got enough singers who know what they're doing to pull it off. Still, I feel so cared for that she set me free on that. Part of me really wanted to help and participate, but there'll be other, less potentially damaging times to sing and help out.

Studying is coming along — did the sample final for differential geometry, I think I can manage it but there are still a couple of rough spots to push through, mostly a nasty pair of proofs on moving frames around a sphere.

Measure theory is still terrifying. But hopefully I'll have a better grasp on the really weird stuff we have to know by the end of today.

Got a long, intense e-mail from F. yestarday and foolishly read it. I think she has good intentions, but that was hard. Called her to tell her I couldn't deal with the e-mails. She sounded kind of understanding. I don't have time to sort out the ethics of this one, just to know that the intensity is toxic. I need to lie down after e-mail like that.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
This started off as a somewhat ranty response to someone trying to tell me that their god was the source of all good things... but I think it's central enough that it shouldn't just be cast off into the ether for one person to reject. It's probably glaringly obvious and been thought of many time before, but here it is.

I find grace among real people in the present, who are gracious not due to their role in the cosmology, prophesy or some covenant made with people long dead or cobbled together into a historical gestalt, but due to effort, inclination and rising above the call of duty. Same goes for love — maybe the love I feel from people and feel for people is not perfect and world-shaping, but it's beyond what people's natures and obligations require, and beyond what I can stick into a little rational-self-interest box, and beyond describing sometimes, so it's special. There are people out there like that, theists, atheists and undecideds, more than any theology of a fallen world would care to admit. Perfect? No. Permanent? Probably not — some of them quite transient, some of them enduring within the bounds of what people can manage. Patient with my boneheadedness, neglect and foibles? Well, not infinitely, but again, often more than I deserve. It may not be infinite bounty out here in atheist-land, but unless you compare it to the infinity attributed to a god of the gaps and asymptotes, it's good and real and sits firmly in my sense of the real rather than the theoretical or faith-based.

Sometimes I can think I feel God — some part of my Nazarene experience was spent interpreting the world that way — but there's a better, more beautiful and simpler/more-complex/more-subtle explanation out there. One time when I was still going to the Church of the Nazarene and in its thrall, I told my mom about all the stuff I felt God was doing for me. She responded by reminding me that I had a part in that (which is all well and good to be humble about, I guess) and that other people — mere, soft, squishy mortals — did too (chalking them up to just being little pawns of some puppet-master god is just plain ungrateful if you believe in free will). What does that leave? The contributions of animals and inanimate objects? Well, I don't know about you, but it's been certain people and the occasional sentient critter that have been supportive and loving over my 24.5 years... these are the influences I can be thankful for because they had a choice, and they had limited strength and time and perspective, and they were still more gracious and loving than some basic sense of civility or mere pleasure in being friends of family might require. I brushed my mom's words off at the time somehow, but they've stayed with me since.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
but I just swapped loaned stuff with F... she'd included stuff down to scraps of paper and halves of photos in her green garbage bag.

I feel pretty excised but I'm glad that's no longer a loose end. No more drama... ?
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
radiator's clanking
downstairs must be fixing stuff
but why at all hours?


Persistent gaps in peace and quiet aside, life is bewildering but good — I like to think I'm learning some things and I'm definitely enjoying the process. There is so much to be thankful to quite a few people for. You know who you are!



Now if only I could get to sleep.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I think I’m all flamed out for the moment. Done being a spaz I think. Chatted with my sister earlier, then caught up with a couple of walking companions:

Swung on kiddie webbing
with [livejournal.com profile] emjayne and her sweetie.
Fun -- black socks next time!


There may be pictures.

Those two took time out of their seeing-movie schedule and wandered around with me and showed me a novel use for jogging pants. Ah, happy end to a stressful day.

(On the stress front: meeting-class-class-meeting-translation-empty apartment-nobody’s-home-arrrrgh-stir-crazy...)

Still a little swirling but feeling good.

Now, must review trig in x + iy.

mmmm...

Erk out.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I have a tad of a cold which is giving me a voice vaguely reminiscent of the Voice on the Current on Radio One in the morning. If I stick my fingers in my mouth I can approximate Marlon Brando’s Godfather character.

I’ve been feeling massively antisocial the past few days, emerging about once a day -- Anime breakfast at some (Edmonton-derived) friends of [livejournal.com profile] tylerpistol on Saturday, geeks’ night in on Monday, Mac setup consulting gig today... been reading, cleaning, mucking about with the computer and sleeping the rest of the time. I think I needed it.

Before then, I went with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks, saw Shrek 2 at the Decarie Square Dollar Cinema and ate at Pushap, both near Namur and both enthusiastically recommended by [livejournal.com profile] tylerpistol -- and I can certify he has good taste in bargain cinema and fantastic Indian food on a budget. Puss in Boots and the Fairy Godmother were great in Shrek 2, and the special with three veggie dishes, rice and nan (for under five bucks, tax included) was worth writing home about at Pushap.

I’m looking forward to spending Labour Day weekend in Magog, I’m looking forward to seeing my folks tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to diving back into school as a guy after his second set of letters. I think I may go kinda monastic with Real, Complex and Abstract (courses, not adjectives for math, although they do well as either...) this fall.

Wondering what the fall will bring...

I’m some kinda serene mixed with wired. Made golden coin eggs for supper and loved them, had the last of the day’s coffee with them which seemed like a good idea at the time.

gettin' all domestic: recipe behind the cut )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Starting to get a feel for how my more-experienced-programmer partner in crime operates... hopefully he’ll document some more before the next subclass I try to implement... but it’s been fun fighting with a canonically-general tree structure and figuring out what classes play traffic cop for which rules upon which others. My brain hurts now... I think I’ll document or administer for a bit before I test this puppy. It’s bound to do something strange the first few times ‘round.

Turns out my client and LJ keep different counts of my entries, so this seems to be #127 :)

Still no luck on catching my far-flung friend, I may have to settle for a phone call but that sucks -- I’ll figure out some bus schedule itinerary that can pull this off, I hope... worst comes to worst, I’ll see him among throngs of people at a wedding this weekend (damn, it’s coming up fast!)

Met [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks’ sister and said sister’s boyfriend this weekend... I think we approve of each other -- she’s nice but very different from [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks... neat-freak to her relaxed, career-oriented to her personal-growth-oriented...

This promises to be a busy week coming up... much running around, many loose ends to tie up.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
The phone repair guy came this morning, so I now have a working phone line (it’s been working up to some part of the internal wiring up ‘til now, now it’s working all the way up!) I thought I had been had after agreeing to wire-care service from Bell, but it turns out it’s already paid for itself (probably for a couple of years now!) Got a lamp over the kitchen table hooked up and ready to go, too... it’s pretty basic, you turn it off by unplugging it, but it is pretty and cheap -- got it and a bunch of necessities at Ikea yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks... a public transit oddyssey, coming back we travelled with a bunch of tourists heading down to Champ de Mars, pronounced unabashedly in English... it’s festival season!

Tonight I’m going to wander over to the Jazz Fest and see the Funk Brothers with a bunch of Emerge-ers, then come home and sleep early -- I’m still a bit zonked for no specific reason.

London minus one week.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
...if a bit beat-up physically... bit my lip and it’s still sore, and have a bit of a headache... but yeah.

Lotsa meetings at work, propaganda to prepare and data structures to flog Flash into supporting. The mood in the office is good, but I’m not the only one wishing my lip would stop hurting. A funny-if-it’s-not-you incident got a co-worker last night, he was looking pretty groggy.

We were down to me and Jake for our regular night of geekiness, so we skipped the strategy game and went straight to coffee and chatting. Discussed a bunch of stuff from fundamentals to the latest news, an evening well spent.

Looking forward to DVD night tomorrow with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks (no more questions about when the first post is coming, OK?) ...she’s promising the Chinese equivalent of Amélie, I’m looking forward to it.

Celebrated Mother’s Day last weekend with as many mothers as we could gather together in Alexandria (4 in all) ... brought cute photos and little-kid-distracting abilities to the party, I wanted to bring more but disorganization and finances were working against me. Now that both might be a little more under control... well, any day could be Mother’s Day, right?

I’m feeling generally chipper, although I’m a bit worried the dissemination is going to take over my working life again and keep me from doing any research or programming. Such is the curse of being a generalist.

Speaking of generalist’s curses, it looks like a 3-year M.Sc... a qualifying year to catch me up with the heavy-duty mathies and two years of standard-issue thesis option. Meh... if I’m gonna do it, may as well do it right.

So... that’s it for now... maybe the next entry’ll be a bit sooner. Off to generate some haikus from the new data now :)
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Realizing I’ve come back to some stuff from my early literature search with new eyes -- that I’ve come down a couple of notches on Gips’ list of shape grammar-related programs but that if I keep my nose to the grindstone I may be able to coax a working interpreter of some generality into existence and tackle some part of the subshape problem... if I can do that, it’ll be a good summer. If I can coax something which whittles down a complex pattern by a few discovered rules... it’ll be a good year compressed into a summer :)

The new team environment here is nice, I’m actually the only one in the office who was here last summer -- although in some cases, it’s because a co-worker got his own office. I’ve got more supervision, less felt pressure and feel generally saner than last year... and conference presentations to look forward to...

Home life is pretty good. The roomies are looking for people to fill my and Jinny’s rooms, they’re touring the place from time to time... I’m not sure if we have a roommate for my soon-to-be new place but I think we’ll open it up again soon if we don’t hear from the prospect we’ve been holding it for.

Had supper at the Brotherwoods’ place last night along with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks and a half-dozen other people from Emerge who I now know a bit better. It was a nice, long supper (about four hours of eating, drinking and chatting) with fantastic food (courtesy of Sue and Amélie) and wonderful company and ambience... even if I was about ready to drop from exhaustion (work + showing another Edmontonian around on Monday + miscellaneous activity), I had a good time. And a good sleep after.

whee!

May. 2nd, 2004 09:51 am
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
My grades are in, it’s official: I’m done undergrad, and my average marginally better than when I started: so I’m not losing my touch, I guess! The aforementioned stats test went really well... I must’ve aced it based on my final grade. The actual ceremony is in June, but for all intents and purposes, that’s that!

Had a great past few days: Thursday, [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks and I came to supper (chicken stew with dumplings, red wine brought by [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks, sherbet and almond squares for desert) with the parents, sister and miscellaneous critters in Ormstown. They like her and she likes them... yay! Kudos to her roommate, who was the lone outside voice telling her not to be afraid of my folks.

We came back on the somewhat-too-early bus Friday morning, had breakfast in NDG at Oxford’s (the downtown location is better, I think -- they charged us to switch coffee to tea and for jam for our toast -- kinda un-classy in my humble opinion), then I trundled off to Lachine by train (I love the AMT -- eleven pothole-free minutes on a spacious if somewhat drab train for a trip that takes 40 by bus) to do some computer-fixing, came back and got analyzed by the career counselor types at C&D (because a Master’s degree isn’t a life’s work and because I thought it might be fun to get MBTI-ed). After that, met up with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks who lent moral support and posed for the non-nekkid bits of an art project wherein I’d volunteered to strike a non-pose with a non-expression to help an artist play with the idea of individuality through clothes and skin.

To finish the day, went together to celebrate Sari getting older with Mexican food -- by this point I was somewhere between slap-happy and unconscious, but having fun.

Slept really well after that.

Yesterday, went up to Beaver Lake for a church picnic thing, talked, hiked, munched hamburgers and corn, supplied cookies (chocolate/white chocolate chip), avoided getting burnt to a crisp (thanks to the sunblock-generosity of Tanya), enjoyed the first scorching hot day of summer...

It’s been a good few days.

Now I’m editing a paper for Toronto, listening to the radio and being generally relaxed and happy. Meeting this afternoon, full-time work starts tomorrow... I should probably sort out library privileges for this summer, now that I’m not an undergrad and not yet a grad student...
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Test went really well... easier than expected, and I was over-prepared I think.

Walked over for picnic supper with Fiona (took “shortcut” through Westmount and down the big hill off Summit Circle again), had a nice bite to eat under a tree in the cemetery until a guy in a green van ushered us out. Eep. It was getting cold out there anyway...

Now there is just one more school-thing this semester (a paper of semi-defined due date) and a bunch of summer starting up.

Meeting tomorrow to discuss a draft that is coming along but will require a little more TLC in the morning to make it presentable.

Sleep now.

ahhh

Apr. 27th, 2004 11:41 am
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I think I’m as ready as I can be for the stats test... the calculation-intensive bits will be rough but I think it’ll go well. I still can’t believe it’s multiple choice. I’ll just have to stay hydrated, energetic and positive :)

The Frontier get-together was a little quiet, with mostly the organizational team showing up, which was to be expected for something thrown during exams. The upside was that I was able to cart off leftovers (sandwiches from that place on the corner of Mackay and de Maisonneuve -- very good ones, I might add) for a later get-together with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks, a Faunt, his girlfriend, Dave-the-musician, Melissa-who-WILL-study-communications and ... er, I can’t remember her name, but she’s off to New York to work for Goldman Sachs and doesn’t like Operations Research (her loss, I guess). Nathan, the Faunt, looked eerily familiar, but he’s from Edmonton... maybe he’s related to the dad of one of my elementary school pals... it was a nice break from studying, went home afterward to work on the Big Formula Sheet for my test this afternoon.

Woke up slowly today, scanned and sent off photos of the upcoming apartment to a possible roommate from Halifax, plotted out a busy but promising-to-be-great week: research, supper back in Ormstown with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks, some computer-assisted introspection at C&D, a birthday bash for Segacs, some gooseflesh in the name of art, my last Tyndale reading session... it’s a massive jumble of excitement, goodness and fun.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
So it wasn’t three days... but it was one to savour.

Had a nice weekend with some studying, laundry and tinkering tossed in with hanging around, talking, cooking and seeing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with [livejournal.com profile] funny_socks (yeah, that’s right, she’s now officially one of us!)

Eternal Sunshine is a fantastic, engrossing movie, silly yet not fluff, which shows that Jim Carrey’s rubber face can be used for good as well as evil, and that Kate Winslet does have range! Beware evil escaped hobbits though... The AMC’s gentle but firm guy that kicked Fi and me off the stairs (when the minimum distance between two seats was about thirty feet) and got us replacement passes for a later show was nice, and the furniture designer who made folding armrests in there should win a prize.

Ipsos-Reid has decided I should try out a VoIP phone and let them know how it goes, it took a couple of days of phone tag with the tech support guys to get it up and running, but it works fine now that that’s done. Call quality is a little less good than regular phone lines, but it sounds like the promoters are trying to make it cheaper than a regular old line too... so we’ll see how it goes.

There are details, there are deep issues to deal with, but there is nothing to really dampen my mood. Ah...
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Had another worthwhile talk today with one of my profs about research, grad school, pressure and keeping the brain juices flowing... I feel ever better, I’ll be heading up the hill to eat, work and be merry soon...

I am a ridiculously lucky person.

There is still lots to do, but I will do it and things will be good.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Finishing up a take-home midterm in art history this morning, coming down firmly on the side of the semiotician who finds little bits of extra story in paintings and against the narratologist who throws up his hands and declares the verbal narrative to be lossily compressed in the visual.

My shoulder’s acting up again, it got into an uncomfortable twist yesterday afternoon and has been quite sore since. Ugh. I probably have reset those six weeks to two months of being nice to it.

Balancing out work, school and beloved is made a little easier by her similar need to balance... but it’s still so tricky -- I guess it gets easier with practice, and I’m fine with practice!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Had a potluck last night, filled the kitchen up just about brimming. Good food, nice people, not entirely a high-school reunion, but CVR people are so much more likely to turn up, creatures of habit that they are. Running a potluck when there’s one spot on the couch where I’d really like to be all night is a bit of a different experience... but I had fun and did get a little time to relax in addition to being the food and traffic maestro. Fiona and Anna were there and seem to get along well with everyone... and cooking ahead of time with them was lots of fun.

Before that, I had some good consult-and-catch-up time with one of the cooler professors in Communications (and that’s a strong compliment given the general quality level)... helped beat iPhoto backups into submission, did Carbon Copy on the hard drive, made Academy Awards winner picks (Go Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Carribbean, go Pearl Earring!)... all in all a good afternoon.

The night before was meetup night, wherein I was rather late, dinner and photography with Fiona and her friend Anna-from-Edmonton having taken a little longer than expected (but having been wonderfully fun)... but arriving, I had the chance to hang out with some old and new people... got faces associated with usernames, caught up, chatted, tried out the Amazing Plutonium Apple Muffin... a good time was had by me, and I think by all.

I was in a good mood at meetup parly due to a doctor’s appointment wherein I found out that my twice-dislocated shoulder was in good enough shape yet that 6 weeks of being extra-nice to it would probably suffice (as opposed to drugs, surgery or a goofy looking brace). Yay for flexibility!

Another reason which may have contributed to my good mood was a two-day visit home... barely won a game of Scrabble, snapped some photos of the family, set up the new used computer, ate some good food and saw my Dad’s going-away present from the nurses at the Royal Vic -- a dictionary, a “Waldo” bear (homemade) with red striped cap and sweater, plus glasses, a matching outfit for Dad, some milk cartons with “Have you seen this doctor” panels in the public service area... it was my first time back in over a month, it was a good thing. Saw _Hilary and Jackie_ on video too... difficult but good.

So, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon...

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