#57 - Too Long Makes for Too Long

Motto: Better late than never!



     I have sat down to write this column on no fewer than four occasions now. This is my fourth and final attempt to write something before I give up and throw my computer out a window. My first and third attempts were cut short by a BSoD (that’s Blue Screen of Death, for those of you who aren’t up on your nerd-cronyms). Luckily, blogger does SAVE automatically (thank you, Google); but, by the time I sat down to write again, what I had written the time before was no longer valid. Example: “I’m in Oklahoma” “Melissa is going to be leaving” “I’m in St. Louis”. All of those things are no longer true. My second attempt to write this entry was cut short by a complete and utter lack of focus.

     I’m focused now. So I apologize to my many many avid fans that I didn’t update for so long. I had a very abnormal schedule for a while there. Things are back to normal now, though; and I have a lot to write about. No more will I have these super dooper long posts with super dooper long periods in between. It’s a win-win, somehow.

So, what’s new in my life? Here’s an outline that will answer just that:
  • My second week in Oklahoma City was not nearly as fun as my first one. The newness of the city wore off. I just wanted to go back to my own apartment each night. I took a cool picture, though.


Also, the best photosphere I've ever taken.
Photosphere next to the botanical gardens in OKC
                                 
  • Melissa left for Thailand. She’s there for half a year to finish up her studies and graduate with both her degrees from KU. She has wireless at her place. She has a new Nexus phone and tablet. She and I have been in consistent contact since she left.
    • We have done Google Hangouts. We have done Google Messenger. We have done Google Talk. In the big, long list of things that Google has done for me in my life, I am going to have to add “relationship sanity maintenance”.
    • There’s more about Melissa coming up.
  • Melissa and I had our official three-year anniversary. She was in Thailand, though. Celebrations were done remotely.
    • After the outline, I’ll talk some more about this.
  • I went to St. Louis for more work training. I saw the arch. Didn’t really do much more than that in the way of “touristy crap”, because I was only there for a day.
  • It’s worth mentioning the radio show “This American Life” right here. I listen to podcasts of the long history of that show during my long driving trips. In the past 3 weeks I’ve driven for probably 12 to 15 hours, at least; so I’ve gotten to hear a TON of shows. I’ll do a brief plug for it in a sub-bullet.
    • This American Life is a NPR show that takes a topic or a theme and gives a variety of different stories based around that theme. It covers anything and everything. It’s almost always entertaining and thought-provoking. It’s a much better time-passer than music when it comes to long car trips. I highly suggest it. If you have an hour of house chores or some other mindless task to do, you should listen to this show about Testosterone. NOTE: There are some adult themes in this, although nothing particularly vulgar... I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who can't watch an R-rated movie alone.
  • I rewrote my New Year’s resolutions and officially started them. See my first Top 5.
  • I gave my PlayStation 3 to my father for his retirement. Then he decided he wasn’t retiring just yet. What a jerk.
    • I got a new PlayStation 3. It’s smaller, lighter, and runs a tiny bit quieter. Doesn’t take up as much room on my desk and it came with 4 of the 7 games I want to play while Melissa is away in Thailand. For more on that, see my second Top 5.
  • I rearranged my place entirely. The 5 hour process all started when I went to put my new PlayStation in and thought “I am going to make these cables neater”. That lead to a complete room re-arrangement. That’s just how I work. Here’s after:


It seems like 50% of my photos are now panoramas or photospheres
The after. Basically just switched the placement of the desk and sofa and added the bookshelf.
  • I have spent the past three nights doing things with friends. Tomorrow looks to be similar.
    • Specifically: Watched the KU vs. KSU game (KU won). Went to a bar-trivia night for the first time (we got 3rd out of 9 teams). Went to a sneak preview for the movie “Side Effects”. Tomorrow I’m watching Zero Dark Thirty. All of these things are with different groups of friends. Actually, I’m basically every single one of my best friends (save one) in a single, four-day span. I now have reoccurring plans to see many of them on a weekly basis.



Anyway, that’s all of the cut-and-dry “this is what happened” events since my last update. Now onto what I’ve been thinking about, and what I want to actually write about.

Last night, Nick introduced me to a group of his friends. After my name, he added “he’s the guy who made the Jif Gif”. I saw a couple of their eyes light up and them say “THAT’S where I know you from!”. I essentially got recognized by the Jif Gif. That image has been seen over 1.3 million times now, BTW.

“This American Life” told me a story about a group of physicists adapting The Drake Equation to see how many possible girlfriends there was in their city. The Drake Equation is, in short, an equation to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in the universe. The Wikipedia article of the Drake Equation mentioned that the TV show The Big Bang Theory did a joke about this exact same thing. Makes me wonder if the writers listened to that episode of TAL.

Melissa and I have been dating 3 years. She is excellent and I can say with honesty that these have been the best three years of my life. While there are plenty of other reasons why that is, she is definitely a huge part of that. She is beautiful, kind, smart, and nerdy in just the right ways. She’s supportive of my endeavors, and tolerant of my quirks. The same could be said about her family, by the way. They have been great, and I actually plan to go see them while Melissa is gone. Anyway, Melissa is fantastic and I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have her. The past 3 years have been awesome, and I hope to be able to say the same thing again in another 3 years.

Cuticle nippers are a Godsend.

I just bought a new (“new” meaning “refurbished”) laptop. Hopefully this will solve the BSoD issues. I know I said before that I was going to build a computer… but I bought this laptop, which is a step up from my computer in every way, for less than $500, shipped. I’ll get it Monday.

My only New Year’s Resolution this year is to live a more structured life. This leads to many, smaller goals (this is detailed next, in the Top 5) which I have officially started. In addition to this, I am still doing my Demetri List. I can already see a big spike productivity on the Demetri List. It’s going to be very interesting to see how increased structure in my life contributes to all of my daily goals. It’s like a self-psychological experiment, complete with data, the scientific method, and a great measurement tool all-in-one. Boom.

Sorry about this column. It wasn’t very “haha”-centric. Nor overly inspired. Enough.



Top 5: New Year’s Resolution-Inspired Changes 5. Sleep. Specifically, from 10:30 to 6 or from 11 to 6:30 during the weekdays. “Weekday” is Sunday evening through Friday evening. 4. Workout. MWF – Heavy, compound lifts. TuTh – Cardio and stretching. 3. Diet. Not the “lose weight” kind, just the “eat responsibly” kind. Smoothies after each workout, complete with random powdered supplements and fruit. At least 2 liters of water/day. Making myself breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and doing so with the intent to learn to make more, new, and different things and with my budget and health goals in mind. Having said that: 2. Budgeting. I have been “budgeting” for a while now; but it was more of an after-the-fact type budget. It was more of an audit of my already-engrained spending habits. Now, I have set up actual budgeting goals that I go to the store with. Speaking of the store, I picked out a store and started a membership with them. All in the name of structure and cost-savings. My budget allows me to tunnel away a healthy chunk of my income, AND allows for me to do things like buy a computer. After taxes and shipping I went 78 cents over budget on that, by the way. 1. I summarized all of my changes in four points. I guess I can use this one to say that the weekends are intentionally unstructured. Too much structure is just as bad as no structure at all (maybe).


Top 5: Things I want to do now that Melissa is out of the country (and I can use time like a man without a girlfriend would)
5. I have a list of 7 single-player videogames I want to play through. Four of these games came with my new PlayStation. I’m currently playing through Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. It’s good so far.
4. Learn to code on Android. Code a program for sending encrypted messages. I like coding for codes. So much code.
3. Clean out and update all my digital repositories. I am already proud of how my digital architecture is laid out, but I have definitely let some clutter into the system. I have duplicate contacts. Contacts with old data. Old documents that no longer serve a purpose. An inconsistent video storage system. Programs I never use. With my upcoming computer, I’m going to fix all that. It will take time.
2. Really ramp up my time spent with friends and family.
1. Nerd out. Constantly.

Quote:
“Oh yeah, act like you didn’t just see me, Amanda… Er… Wait, is that not Amanda?”
- Some guy I overheard at the store, it made me laugh -
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