Friday, November 30, 2007

Old Patterns

There's a habit I have which I've been noticing more recently. It's all based around the various grand debates I have with myself. In each of these in which I've reached some kind of conclusion I find that there is a phrase that's iconic of the piece of wisdom that I've gained from it, and I tend to repeat these phrases to myself whenever that wisdom gains salience.

The mantra that's been on my lips far too often recently is "Old Patterns." Ever since my return to academia I've noticed myself falling back into many of the same holes I fell into when I first arrived here, I've fallen into the same old patterns that have been plaguing my entire life. Exodus was beneficial, that's beyond denial, but it wasn't the magic cure I was hoping for.

Ahh, Irony. We meet again. Hoping for some deus ex machina change is the perfect example of melancholy familiarity expressed by "Old Patterns."

I've already started fighting these things, it's time to begin fighting the rest of them.

There's three four key data points to look at. The four quarters I've spent at UW. I'll skip the details of the evaluation with you but the message is clear, I did dramatically better Fall 05 then at any other time. This raises an obvious question.


The answer I would give if you'd asked me this earlier would have been "Because those were easier classes." That is, to a certain extent, true, but it's also to a much larger extent Bullshit. I did better in those classes because I went to them and actually listened. Because I felt like I was learning something, because they interested me. It would be arrogant of me to think that I have one iconic flaw, because nobody is above having more then one flaw, but one of my most crippling flaws is my reliance on my own interest. Things that interest me, and more so things that fascinate me (fascinate/fascinating is another iconic mantra I've found myself using) are things that I always excel at. I just barely read the books in my English class first quarter, but I got a 4.0 because the ideas expressed in those books fascinate me. The concept of short term time is still deeply intriguing, and it hasn't really mattered in over a year. Why am I only performing as a mediocre student in my science and math classes? Because I don't feel motivated by them. I'm not really learning anything, and if I take them for another quarter I'll be making the same stupid mistake I made my first year. This is costing far too much to keep doing this. There's a key thing I have to not only admit but embrace.

I am not, as a person, a real scientist. I'm much more of a science enthusiast, or a conceptual scientist. What I want from the field of science doesn't exist.

So what then? What is it that I'm really after.

It's important to understand before we go any further that at a point the question of what do I want to be and who am I before the same thing. Eventually you have to accept the core of your self, do not take this to mean that I've abandoned the idea of self improvement, it simply means that aspirations for the self become inherently tied to ones vision of ones highest form of self. The avatar of ones potential. I've found it helpful throughout my life to bring this expression down to a single word, both to purify it's expression, and to stop it from being burdened by the trapping of language. In my case the word that I think best expresses the self that I seek to be is "Visionary." There are numerous reasons for this, but I'd have to go into a discussion of what the iconic self really is, how I was once again beaten to the punch by ancient philosophers who chose to call it by their own made up term (Dharma) etc. etc.

So, keeping in mind the idea that in picking my path I'm not thinking of myself as a blank canvas onto which I could paint a new identity, rather I'm like Michelangelo who sought to bring the statue out of the stone. This is true both because I'm trying to bring out inner potential and because I am a large blunt object.

With that in mind lets look at self for a minute. When is he at his best? When he's motivated. What motivates him? As far as I can tell there are three key things that motivate me. Impulse, Interest and Conscience. The first one is a wash, impulse is innately beyond mastery. Don't reject it, but don't be stupid enough to think you can tame it. This leaves two in the realm of things that count. What interests self? All kinds of things. Philosophy, people, and a number of things that can be summarized as escapism being the foremost among them. Self likes to analyze things, does it automatically, and in my opinion has gotten fairly good at it. How does conscience motivate self? In short, healer and protector. Conscience motivates him to help and to defend, in many ways this is what he draws the most satisfaction from, but opportunities to express it are few outside of his escapist fantasies.

Do you know what this leads me back to? It's been on the list all along. It's always on the list, and it's always written off for some dumb reason. The reason I gave last time was that I didn't want to go for a doctorate. This was, of course, before I ended up setting my course on a biochemistry doctorate. I really don't have any more excuses, and to be honest I'm mildly ashamed of myself for ruling it out so often. I should have remembered that the character who keeps showing up in the background is always the one who becomes significant during endgame.

I'm fascinated by the constructions of the mind. More so then anything else. Once again I find myself evaluating my life and wanting to bludgeon my past self for saying things like "my interest in philosophy is going to have to be a hobby." What the hell past me? The thing that you've been doing all your life just a hobby? It's not entirelly his fault though. He just didn't see that pursuing this interest didn't have to mean getting a philosophy degree. We still agree those are useless. He also didn't have the breakthrough represented in the phrase "constructions of the mind." That fascination is actually also why I'm good at programming. It's just your mind building a vast machine out of systems of information. Programming would actually be a good choice, but it's only halfway on the mark.

I have to help people. It's a compulsion, and I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually kills me, but it's something I simply can not deny. I considered medicine for a long time because of this, but there are several problems with being a doctor. First of all it consumes your life. I have far too many other interests to be a full time physician. Secondly it requires you become emotionally distant from the people you're helping. I don't want to do that, and I'm not sure I could. There are other careers that involve helping people though, and I've been play amateur at one of them for a long time now.

I'm changing my intended major to Psychology. I switched around the classes that I'm registered for yesterday, and I think that little story summarizes the whole situation perfectly.

The classes I was signed up for before were Chem 152, Math 125, and COMP 111. I really didn't want another quarter of chem, but I put it down as something I had to do. I was in a state of absolute dread over math, but once again, it's required. My English composition class actually looked fairly interesting. I liked the sound of that class and thought it would provide me a bit of refuge from the other two. The other two classes were my major. I went through the list of classes I was going to have to take to get a biochem degree, and for almost every one I found myself thinking that I didn't really care, but it was required.

That won't work. I can see that now, I really should've seen that a long time ago, but science always looks like a great field until I'm actually doing science. I know I'll do a lot better in my newly chosen classes because they're classes that I'm really interested in. They're classes that I would have gladly taken as electives if they weren't relevant to my major. It's true that by choosing this field I'm committing myself to graduate school, but that's okay. I was planning on doing that anyway.

I know, this was something I was supposed to have worked out during Project Exodus, but that simply didn't happen. Exodus taught me a lot, I think I'm a better person for having done it, but it completely failed as far as it's stated primary objective goes. I think that may have been predestined though. Thinking about this problem abstractly from outside of the academic environment was a mistake. It's easy to tell yourself you can get through certain classes until you're in those classes, and I completely forgot to factor in the kind of grades one gets while slogging through classes they don't enjoy.

That actually reminds me of something. In paragraph 5 I said that I did a lot better in my fall 05 classes then in the rest. That's true with one key exception. PSYCH 101. It's the only decent grade I got those last two quarters.

My grades are actually a great indicator, my grades and my mindset. I can feel a lot of low level background depression holding me back, and it's pretty much exactly how I felt when I was dragging myself to class back in 06. I think I actually could force myself through all of the prerequisite classes for a biochem major, but by the time I'd dragged myself that far I wouldn't have the GPA to get in.

I ran out of artistic spark for this post long ago, it was actually primarily composed two days ago, so I can't give it a good conclusion. That's only partially because of my lack of inspiration though, a great deal of that stems from this subjects lack of a conclusion. This is a transition, this is me fighting my sense of predestination towards science long after I claimed to have beaten it. It may also just be me giving a grand rant and trying to find new direction in my life when the root problem is laziness or depression, or some combination thereof. The key thing is that this isn't me lying and avoiding the subject so that I can continue on being lazy and depressed. I dodged a lot of responsibility by being an escapist and not talking about key things. I can't do that any more. I have to accept my problems, and my shortcomings, and the difficulties inherent to my situation which I've brought upon myself, and the I have to fight them, because I'm sick of falling into old patterns.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Epic Fail

2:10 a.m. I find myself sitting bolt upright in bed. I have no idea why.
2:11 a.m. I have a pretty bad coughing fit. I begin to develop a theory as to why I'm sitting bolt upright.
2:45 a.m. Strange nonsensical dream, I don't remember anything about it.
3:30 a.m. Another weird pitched dream, something about the conduit, mass effect dream?
4:12 a.m. Suddenly way too cold.
5:30 a.m. Suddenly way too hot.
6:17 a.m. temperature normalized, can't sleep, so damn tired.
7:33 a.m. Tired....
9:14 a.m. I roll over and look at my alarm, my creepy power of being able to see it one minute before it goes off remains intact. Functionally 0 sleep. Too tired to really get up. I don't have class until 1:30, I can sleep till 10.

Somewhere between 9:30 and 10. Exauhstion passes threshold, built up disease based weariness breaks through, I finally get to sleep.

2:45. I wake up and begin typing this, aware that I've managed to sleep through my afternoon classes. I'm a bit more proud of this then I really should be.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turning things around

Time's up. This is the third time they've said pencils down, I have to stop.

It's interesting to listen to the gray noise that's created by a crowd of people all talking at once. You can tell a lot from it. Nothing precise, but you can sense the overarching emotion of the crowd, the age, and the gender balance pretty easily.

I am the silent black dot in a crowd of worried/angry group of young adults, about equal by gender. I stop to flick out my ipod, my mind processing a vast array of thoughts about curves. Mostly about those of the grading scheme, but more then a few about a visibly outraged, but still gorgeous girl a few meters ahead of me.

I really wish I could control these things.

Nobody finished. A few people were out before the bell rang, but easily 95% of the class was still writing when they forced us to stop. It's obvious that functionally no one else did well, all we can do now is wait and see where we stand amongst the wreckage.

The song on my iPod is something by frontalot. It's nerdcore, so it's amusing and somewhat light hearted, meaning that it's completely wrong for the moment. Clicks and lights later "Go Forth And Die" by dethklok begins playing and I'm on my way, a black spot amidst the shadows, heading home.

I'm not sure if it was the musics influence, or my mood, but my aura of malice is in full effect, nearly in rare form. In a twisted way I find that soothing. Some form of power is still in my grasp.

Tactical thoughts set in. I haven't eaten in a long time, I should go buy groceries.
I don't feel like cooking
I should call kyoto, or wingstop.
I don't feel like either of those.
We're slipping dangerously close to depression. I've learned that little incidents like this, with direct obvious external causes, will pass within a night and never really reach critical levels; so I head towards safeway with the intent of buying Soda then getting fast food once my car is available to me again.

Which is when I run into an old friend of mine from Lander. The stories of her declining health and mental well being had been a background concern of mine for a while. She's doing a lot better, she's gotten things in order, cleaned up a lot of her act, and is taking charge of things. She also has the same warm hearted affection and highly supportive nature that always shone through the miasma of depression and alcoholism that sometimes consumed her. That light that gave me hope for her shines brighter now then it has in a long while. Her affection, and in all honesty her intoxicating appearance, fill me with a kind of humble warmth. It's good to know that she's getting better, and that she hasn't forgotten me.

We part ways, both intent on renewing more reliable contact with the other, and I head deeper into the store, thinking about what it is I'm going to cook.

I meet up with a friend of mine from my D&D group. He actually took this chem class from this professor early on, and agrees that Chem 142 teaches you nothing, and that Daruwala is a nightmare. Another ten minutes of talk on all manner of things, a brief parting to finish our respective purchases, and since he lives across the street from me the rest of our discussion takes place on the move. I don't feel burdened, and I don't seem to have any problem adjusting to his natural pace, a measure faster then mine.

When I get back I'm still intent on going out, and on a whim I decide to prepare the purchased food tomorrow since I'm heading out already. "Assassin's Creed" came out recently, and I've been looking forward to it since PAX 06. Kevin drives, we swing by the Ave for food, and on another bit of whimsical impulse I order a few untested items from the menu. Both impulses turn out well.

[the following has been blacked out because it contains spoilers relevant to Assassin's Creed. They're from the first 20 minutes of the game, so your call]
Starting the game up when we get back shows that the tiny bits of electrical glitching and strange o-chem symbols are still in abundance. For a game set during the crusades this seems odd, and Kevin and I have been wondering about that for a while now. I think I recognize one of those chemicals that flashed across the screen just before I started it up. Thymine? I'm fairly certain that was one of the D.N.A.s The into to the game is interesting, there are a few mentions of memories and ancestors in the surrounding noise, and a theory occurs to me. Genetic memory projection, allowing you to become anyone of your ancestors. It's revealed in a round about way, and I admit I only made the call minutes before the reveal, but nonetheless, I called it.

I head to sleep several hours and more then a few assassinated guards later in an excellent mood. The test is still a concern of mine, but all in all it was a great day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Animal Crossing

Midterm 2

I'm off, under the light of the setting sun at almost 3:30 in the afternoon to go take my second midterm. I know the chem, I just hope I get the math right, and I can't escape the feeling that I wasn't thinking of science, so much as I was thinking of 'Science!' when I picked this major.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Game

I just lost.

However, because you read that, you are now playing the game. The game is very simple. Every time you think about the game you lose, and are required to express that in some way, usually verbally. The game then restarts 30 secodns later, meaning that there's a 30 second window for everyone who heard that you lost in which they don't lose from being reminded of the game by your loss.

The goal of the game is to propagate the game. Nobody ever wins the game, and nobody ever leaves the game. It's much like hotel California, or Vegas, or any conversation about fight club.

I just lost again.

And now I'm out of innanity points, so I have to go be productive for the rest of today.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Things I like too much

#1. Drawn Together. I'm fairly certain their won't be a Season 4, which makes me sad. Drawn together is a show that starts off exactly on the line between funny and horrible, and then staggers drunkenly to the end of each generally inconclusive episode. In a good way. There's a great example here, but please think carefully before clicking that, it's blatantly racist.

For no reason I'm also linking this YTMND.

#2 Portal. I like this game more then anyone should. It was 6 hours long. I've played at least 20 hours of it. Puzzle games aren't supposed to have replay value. Also, I want a portal gun so much is sickens me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Aperture Science Enrichment Center

If your stuck try typing login. Other then that every phrase you need to know is is the game.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Artistic Temperament

Why deny the purity of night?

Friday, November 09, 2007


Too often I find that there are shows I want to see and that they end their tour without ever reaching Seattle. Nearly all of them hit Portland, which irritates me to no end, but so far nothing has hit Seattle.

A recent news post by Gabe(scroll down) got me thinking. How far is Portland? Really?

It's about 180 Miles. Damn do I love the information age. So there's two real answers to this.

1. I don't go to enough concerts/shows/etc.

2. Can I really afford to drive 6 hours and pay $50 on gas for a 1 hour, $10 show?

They're both really good points, and #2 will become a better point once I look into the ticket pricing of things that aren't 'Nerdcore' and hence cost more then a #7 with a large diet coke.

Always a large diet coke.

I'm not so much worried about the endurance driving as I am worried about the money. My desktop computer is finally and brutally out of commission, and while the magic of peripherals makes my laptop an excellent temporary replacement there are... certain things that I must have. HP makes some interesting offers, but it turns out that 1.2k is a bit outside my price range. It's technically not outside the amount I could spend, but unless I can put something under my pillow for the rent and groceries fairy it's really not a good move on my part.

Especially with the dreaded countdown to November 20th. And I'm not talking about the Chem test either (11 days....) I'm talking about ROCK BAND. As the visonary leader*, bassist, and vocalist of the (tentatively named) band "Not as Much as I Hate Adam" I'm going to be a bit strained economically. If the matter came down to spending $60 and getting any one of the linked to games I'd almost certainly go with Tabula Rasa, but I don't have a gaming PC in functioning condition, and when I look over the stats of my bricked Goliath I have to admit that I don't have a gaming PC. What I have is a three year old media box suffering from old age and a myriad of problems that are the result of mild cooling issues mixed with time.

So I come to the point again where a vast supply of potential revelry crashes against reality. I understand that what I view as being the profoundly disappointing nature of reality is what most people view as "Life" and that balancing these things is just part of being an adult, but what I think a lot of people have forgotten is that being an adult sucks. I'm still going to do it, in the end I have to, but I'll never stop exercising my right to complain about it. Because honestly the only way I can stop being disappointed is if I stop aspiring, and the only time I plan to stop aspiring is when I'm dead.

I'm also coming, once again, to the fact that it's all about balance. Balancing responsibility and fun. Balancing the budget, and to a lesser extent balancing my simulated bass guitar with my equally incompetent singing. I'd like to say that this experience is new or profound in some way, but it's just old and profound, which in many ways detracts from it's profundity.

Dear God profundity is actually a word? And I spelled it right on the first try? Epic.

Anyway I have to go study for the afore mentioned chemistry test. Ciao.

*I have dibs on being the visionary leader because I'm the one making the down payment.

Profound Thoughts

Circular saws make it very difficult to nap.

Trouble in the making

I've taken to a particular gesture following any particularly complex hand gesture/action. It started with Guitar hero but it's beginning to expand to other things. It's fairly simple, you simply whip your arm forward systematically tightening the muscles down the arm until you get to the hand which you snap into a fist.

I like the gesture, it's a good combination of Triumph and a sort of "The power in my hands" thing, but I'm concerned that one of these days I'm going to do it and here the acute snapping of all of the bones below my elbow.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I really should've blogged all this as it happened, but it's too late for that now.

-I was significantly sick for a few days, some combination of me going into denial and my disease going into recession afforded me ease during my Midterm, but I missed D&D. Not a huge loss, still noteworthy.

-I lost a point for using an int array accommodates for the variant scaler of month length. This wasn't because it was a bad idea; in fact I still think it was a damn clever trick. I lost a point because I forgot that we don't know about arrays yet. I think that's bull because we've discussed them in the form of Strings, and how they're arrays of characters, but apparently since we were never actually taught how to construct or manipulate one I'm at fault.

-I bought GH3, with controller, and a used copy of GH1, with controller, and we have proceeded to rock.

-I got my first choice for my band name on Guitar Hero 1. "Casual Sadism." It goes back to an episode of Evil Avatar Radio, back before that podcast went to suck.

-The name of my band "Not as much as I hate Adam" is too long. The story behind that joke is also too long, but trust me it's funny.

-The name of my band "Delusions of Candor" is also too long.

-My band, Pyschogasam, has a name that's only mildly awesome.

-I finally be "Through the Fire and The Flames" on Medium, it was ridiculous.

-That song is the only one to have gone from my regular rotation to a Guitar Hero game, rather then the other way around.

-"Slow Ride" by foghat causes me to hearken back to a childhood that I didn't actually have. It's a bizarre experience. I think some stoner's memories are leaking out of their drug addled mind.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Wii sports Update

I've found something far too entertaining in Wii sports, I'm considering buying a 4th wiimote so that I can play this way against another person.

All Wii tennis matches are doubles matches. Normally if you're playing along you just control both players on your team at once. Instead I've made a mii named "Sinister" which is designate as player 2, and entirely left handed. Then I set my normal mii, and Sinister to be on the same team against two NPCs, and dual wield. It's awesome, I recommend it to anyone with two wiimotes and the game.

28 26 31 29 28.


I really have to get my PC running again.

like now.

I don't know how I forgot about these things, but both Hellgate: London, and Tabula Rasa are out. Both of them.

My damn laptop couldn't run either one, it's time to take another crack at repairing the Goliath.