We see you're using Internet Explorer, which is not compatible with this site. We strongly suggest downloading Firefox. We think you'll like it better:
· Firefox blocks pop-up windows.
· It's more secure against viruses and spyware.
· It keeps Microsoft from controlling the future of the internet.
· It's better for web designers and developers.
· Features like tabbed browsing make reading webpages easier.
A gray day, it actually started to sprinkle today.
It occurs to me that while the age of computers does in theory create a paperless office, there are times when you absolutely must have a physical copy of the document to look at. Like when places you want to apply at take submissions electronically but refuse to open up attachments. Cutting and pasting ASCII text resumes is an option, but ASCII text resumes offend my sense of aesthetics. In plain speak, cutting and pasting ASCII text it's ugly, it screws up the format, and you have no idea what it looks like on the other person's computer. If I'm getting my resume looked at by potentially the people who will hire me, I don't want them to think that I don't know the proper places for carriage returns when the resume ends up looking something like this:
UC Berkeley HD&CCS/Information Systems, Berkeley, CA
Programmer/Analyst II 1997
Program and debug code for the McDonnel Douglas Series 18 mainframe computer. Troubleshoot and document end-user problems with the Series 18. Systems Administration of IBM AIX RS/6000 as well as other Linux servers/ Administration of Sybase System 10 SQL Server. Program web applications using Perl.
Designed and created a program to tabulate results from annual housing surveys and generate web pages for university officials to view.
Anyways, you get the point... it looks bad, and it's definitely not something I want passed around like that.
So, succumbing to the need to kill trees and further populate the landfill with empty print cartridges, I went to go look at printers. Having a Mac creates an interesting challenge, since apparently 80% of all high-quality printers under $100 exclusively work with Windows only. Anyways, after looking at the various ink and bubble jet printers, I decided that what I really want is laser printer.
One of the interesting things about technology is that there is a product to fill every price niche. For instance, 10 years ago, we had dot matrix printers filling the $50-$200 range, ink jet printers were in the $125 - $300 price range, and $600+ was laser printer range. Now we have ink jets filling the lower price range niche, photo printers filling the mid-range, and laser printers are still the top end. True, the features of printer that you get today is much more than compared to that of 10 years ago, but if it was a printer with average quality you could purchase for $150 10 years ago, you still get a printer with average quality for $150 today.
I went to the career transition center to get the resume printed, but I had a problem on the PCs because the security settings were such that I couldn't browse my ftp site to download my resume and cover letter onto the PC.
Luckily, they had an iMac there, (which few corporate people know how to secure) so I used the iMac to grab my resume and cover letter and printed them. That iMac saved my job application materials.
God, that almost sounds like an Apple Commericial.
Today, it's a classic Bay Area gloomily gray day. Although there's a bit of blue peeking out of the dark and dingy clouds, it's days like this that remind me most of Cat. Although we shared many days together in the warm sun, I first met her on a day like today. Even though it's only been a month that she's been away, it's been a really long month.
As I work on my resume, I'm trying to recollect all the achievements and accomplishments that I did during the last 6 years, and it's pretty darn hard. I know at my next job, I'll keep better records of the things I do. The days of Blizzard fade quickly, and it seems like a lifetime ago I was there.
My tickets to Canada arrived today! A week from now, I'll be touring Vancouver, with Cat as my guide. I'm so excited. I can't wait!
Here's a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry, be happy.
In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy.
Don't worry, be happy now.
Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy.
Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy.
Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry, be happy.
The landlord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry, be happy.
(Look at me -- I'm happy. Don't worry, be happy.
Here I give you my phone number. When you worry, call me,
I make you happy. Don't worry, be happy.)
Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got no gal to make you smile
Don't worry, be happy.
'Cause when you worry your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
Don't worry, be happy.
(Don't worry, don't worry, don't do it.
Be happy. Put a smile on your face.
Don't bring everybody down.
Don't worry. It will soon pass, whatever it is.
Don't worry, be happy.
I'm not worried, I'm happy...)
People who meet me these days are incredibly surprised when I tell them that I've just been laid off, and I see it in a really positive light. Does it suck, not to have a job? For a workaholic like me, you bet it sucks, but I find myself just awash with the possibilities that are available to me now. I read something interesting the other day: that people in general make decisions tend to choose the decision that is the least negative. Think about that for a moment -- the least negative. They didn't choose it because it was the most positive, but the least negative. Okay, I know what you're thinking -- how can something not be the most positive if it's the least negative? It depends on how you view the world. Do you make decisions based on what that choice "gives" or on what you "lose" with that choice? I guess for me, it comes down to framing the choices not in "what do you have to lose?" but rather "what do you have to gain?"
I was supposed to have worked on my resume today, but I got caught up in errands, and before I knew it, the day had passed. I don't ever want another day like this again, where I've been going from errand to errand...
I've found with most things in life, you've got to jump in with both feet -- putting one foot at a time into the water usually causes one to jump straight out until conditions are such that the water is absolutely perfect. And when in life are conditions absolutely perfect? Just about never. So I set out today on my new goal -- to write a book. It's probably not the easiest thing to do, but I think it's the one that will satisfy me.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could.
To where it bent in the undergrowth,
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-- Robert Frost
Making decisions is never easy, but there's always a difficult road, and a easy road. I've always found that in the end, the difficult ones are the ones that I look back on and say, "Yes, it was a hard decision to make then, but I'm glad I made that choice", whereas the easy ones were "I took the easy road, and paid for it later." I've also found that heart also has a big influence on the outcome -- for instance, I will always regret that I didn't follow my heart and major in anthropology or english, and instead took the easy road of finding a major in which I had accomplished a majority of the work. It was easy, but I cheated myself out of something more important than the degree -- personal satisfaction.
This is where I stand, at a crossroads. Where do I go? Shall I follow my heart or my mind? Take the easy road or the hard one?
Alias Surprises Coming Next Season. Spoiler warning. They don't reveal anything major, but the list of cast members does give away some info.
Joss Whedon at San Diego Comic Con. I'm not a big Joss Whedon fan, but I know lots of people who are avid fans of his work.
Neil Gaiman at San Diego Comic Con. I'm actually much more of a Gaiman fan. Sure, like Whedon, he's written comic book series and scripts to televison shows and movies, but the thing that makes him infinite times cooler than Whedon is that he keeps a wickedly good blog on his website. Yes, he does a fair amount of selling himself via the web, but there are some really great gems in the links that he posts, as well.
All of these are equally enticing for different reasons. These are my options available to me:
Stay in the Bay Area (not likely)
Pros: It's a beautiful place to live. I've got a lot of friends here. Change is scary.
Cons: It's an expensive place to live, especially without a job. Too many high tech workers still hanging around looking for jobs.
Live at home with my parents in L.A.
Pros: Friends and Family live here. Cost-effective, Rent free living.
Cons: Being back home, in my parents' house will I be able to focus on finding a job?
Live in San Diego with my sister
Pros: Helps my sister out.
Cons: The weather in SD gets pretty warm.
Get a map, throw darts and pick that place to live.
Pros: I could end up somewhere where I'm really happy.
Cons: Leaving it up to chance like that could be really bad.
Pros: Being close to the woman I love.
Cons: Lots of unknowns and uncertainty.
I continued the DBM workshop today. The topic today was networking -- building and using contacts to generate job leads. For me, I just walked away from today's class with one useful tidbit: Vistaprint, a company which does custom printing, will print free personal business cards (you have to pay shipping, but it's really cheap). Pretty useful if you're hunting for a job.
They are right about one thing though... Going abroad, if you want to survive, you need the language. For me, after entering a country and staying there for any number of days, everything about the language comes back to me. I always wanted to be like Indiana Jones, capable of speaking dozens of languages. No matter what, I'm going to make my kids learn Chinese. It's something that I've been wanting to do for a while too. I guess I can add that to the number of other options I have during my hiatus.
Where did the day go? It didn't seem that long ago that I woke up, but the day is passed. I did manage to get some work done today, so it wasn't a total waste.
I made some Pad Thai for dinner tonight.
I watched part of the Maltese Falcon while I ate. The thing I notice about all these old movies is that the amount of action is inversely proportional to the amount of dialogue in the film. Maybe that's still true today, but a lot of those old films rely on the characters "telling" us what's going on, instead of letting the "show" the actions. It's quite interesting, but I guess people had better imaginations back then.
Watching people leave from an airport is always a sad experience to me. I'm not sure why that is, but it's always the way I feel. The morning just flew by today, after I dropped my sister and her friend off at the airport.
San Francisco is one of the cities that has the feel of familiarity about it, even when you just enter it. It's partially because it's been featured in film and television so much that it's somewhat recognizable.
My sister and her friend went to go find the house that you see in the beginning of the old TV show "Full House" on Friday. They went all around the city to find it. They did find it eventually.
I don't watch Hitchcock films, but I'm told that a great many of them are in the San Francisco area. Here's a list of locations in Vertigo. I've been to Fort Point (where I took Cat on our first date), driven up to Muir Woods, and seen the flower stand outside Gump's (though it's not Gump's anymore)
I just want to scream. Not a high-pitched one or a girlie type scream like the ones you always hear on roller coasters, but just a long, drawn out agonizing scream. The kind that starts off strong, and then gradually fades to a whisper like the fury of a river reduced to a drop of water. I could. It wouldn't take much to open my mouth and scream. And yet, I can't. In a way, it'd be like admiting defeat to my frustrations.
I'm frustrated at the heat, which seems to have no end. I think the heat makes me short-tempered and impatient at times, and perhaps makes me harder than I need to be on myself.
I'm frustrated at myself, facing a world of options, but without a clear choice on what decisions to make. I know many who have walked down established paths, and many who have made their own way, but which way is the one for me?
I'm frustrated with the lack of time remaining here. I'm starting to think now, that perhaps the best thing to do is to not move out until the end of August. That gives me a lot more leeway in getting rid of stuff as well as sending stuff back home. The move back home still scares the bejeezus out of me. You see, there's two things that can happen. One possibility is that I'll be so eager to get out of there that I'll apply myself and get moving. The other possibility is that I'll drag my feet and wind up doing errands and waste the day away. It also gives me a chance to search for a job. I probably shouldn't let the money of rent bother me too much, just as long as I keep in mind that there is a plan.
I'm frustrated with all the stuff I have. We really do have a consumer mentality with it comes to living. When I came here 10 years ago, everything I brought with me fit inside a single suitcase. At the end of that year, I needed a car to take it all with me. Now, here I am, with probably about 10 carloads and a truck worth of stuff. My goal in these next coming weeks is to pare it down to something more manageable.
Lastly, I'm frustrated with my life here becoming a routine excercise in wasting time. The fire to do something hasn't really been within me this past week (yes it's only been a week since I started the endless weekend) but now I'm ready.
My youngest sister is up at Berkeley right now visiting her friends. They called me up to be their tour guide to the Berkeley Campus. It's the first time I've been there since Cat left, and it felt odd to be there without her, but at the same time I could still feel her presence there in certain places.
Most Americans clean their plate no matter how full. Most people I know clean their plates. I've never felt comfortable eating American size portions of stuff. If there's too much I just leave it or take it home.
My phone has been ringing all day. First I got a phone call from Cat (which totally made my day), and then I got a call from DBM which is this career transitioning company, and then I got a call from a recruiter.
I gave my resume to the recruiter. I've been in the video game business long enough to know that recruiters are to the video game industry what agents are to the publishing industry. Publishers and companies hate working with them, but in order to secure good talent, you need to use them. Agents and recruiters don't do anything special for you except get your resume (or novel) out there and on the desks of the people who decide. You can do the job hunt yourself, or you could use people who make it their work to do the work, while you just enjoy the fruits of their labor. What's it cost you? Zero. Zilch. Nada. But, in exchange for finding someone to fill that vacant position, they usually get some percentage of your salary from the company as a commission (Most recruiters I know get about 20% of the negotiated salary). That makes it a little harder to companies to hire you but if you're good, the companies will gladly fork over that commission.
On hot days like this, I love to have sushi -- it's one of the few cold foods that I really enjoy. Unfortunately, I've committed myself to finishing off all the perishables in the refridgerator before I start eatting out again. My perishables are a pretty interesting mix of stuff consisting of mostly condiments and frozen desserts. In any case, the goal is to finish that before the end of July... the first week of August at absolute latest.
The estimator for moving came this morning. The stuff in my apartment? Roughly about 4000 lbs (1800kg). About half of that weight is in books. Pretty amazing. I wonder if I can possibly save some money by mailing those books at the book rate instead of moving them.
As my sister says, I make a really horrible lazy bum. One of the things you learn in writing is that action doesn't just happen on its own to the hero. The hero has to take action into his own hands and make things happen. So it is with life... if you stand still and wait for things to happen on their own, you'll be waiting a long time. So no matter what I'm going to make the best of the time I've got in this transition period -- either I'll go to school or find another job or something useful.
Although I've told myself that I should just treat this period as vacation time, I've been secretly looking at job postings on the internet and updating my resume. At some point I need to just sit down and relax. I need to read those books that feel they've been sitting on the side forever, and honestly I have the time, but not the mood.
I've been going to bed too early, and waking up even earlier. I need to break out of this cycle. Last night I fell asleep on my couch watching TV. I hate it when that happens.
Anyways, I'm not one to sit around and do nothing. While I certainly could just sit around and do nothing, that's not my style. I have to be working towards something. My place is going to be a mess temporarily as I sort through it all. My first priority is to get the place presentable enough to have guests over, since my sister will be visiting the Bay Area next weekend.
I just came home from an outing with my family and I have some news to tell you. Although things may seem chaotic at the moment, you might want to take this into consideration because this is probably something that you might want to add to your list of infinite possibilities -- something that you might look forward to and something that might make the future seem more certain.
I am glad that you are able to enjoy yourself today despite the sadness surrounding the occasion. I'll be off to watch Terminator 3 with my dad and sisters at the SilverCity Metropolis tomorrow afternoon.
My maternal grandmother gave me a large sweater to take with me to Calgary earlier tonight so that I may keep myself warm during those cold winter nights. She told me that my mother had knitted it 17 years ago while she was carrying my youngest sister. She had kept it wrapped up in one of her closets for more than a decade and has never once put it in the washing machine because she was afraid that she might ruin it. She also told me that she only washes the sweater by hand and she only allowed me to touch it after I had washed my hands with soap and water because she was afraid that I might dirty it. I was touched, of course, and I just thought how nice it would be to be warmed up by all the love that my mother must have put into that sweater.
Ah. I'm getting all sentimental again. =)
For those of you who know me, I tend to jump between my own blog and Mike's blog so you may find that I am quite erratic with my posts.
:: metamoon 7/13/2003 12:41:00 AM [+] ::
Saturday, July 12, 2003 ::
I spent today cleaning out my office. My apartment now looks like it did when I first moved in, with a huge number of boxes everywhere. I'm going to be spending some time going through the stuff. I'll probably end up selling some of it on eBay or sending it back home to LA. I don't want to throw it out, but there's just too much stuff, and not enough space.
My co-workers who were there this weekend took me out to see Pirates of the Carribean, which actually is a really good movie. It was entertaining enough to get my mind off the chaos that is my life. I wish I had a better idea of what the future has in store for me.
Well, it looks like I've used up my last quarter and I'm out of continues. It's Game Over at Blizzard. They laid me off today. It's a decent severence package, and I won't be hurting financially by any means, which not everyone can say.
I've never not had a job since I was in school. I'm definitely going to take a break from working for a bit. The last thing I want to do is start to work again right away. So, the endless weekend begins today.
Everyone asks me what the next step will be. To be absolutely honest, I don't know. There's a universe of possibilities.
Stories like this one, about the oldest known planet always manages to stir up my imagination. However, in a universe of billions and billions of stars... we only know of 121 planets outside our solar system... which, if anything, should make one realize just how limited humanity's scope is. Randal and Dante's conversation about the Flying Car fits into this whole viewpoint somehow...
I'm at a crossroads in my life right now. The Team changes were announced yesterday at work. The Operations changes will be announced today. I don't know whether or not I want to remain employed or not here. In some ways, this job has been holding me back from doing things, but on the positive side, it does keep me fed, clothed and sheltered. I don't know. We'll see.
It's Thursday already? Gah. Been a zombie too long...I keep thinking it's Tuesday.
I think after I moved from my own domain to blogspot, the quantity of my posts have gone up, but the quality has diminished. I'm used to thinking in bite sized entries rather than the full size entry...
You're An Intellectual!
You can always be found reading or on the computer. People always come to you when they need information. You don't really care about love at this point, your only goal is to improve your mind. After all, knowledge is power!
Because of the departure of our bosses, this company is undergoing restructuring. A new order of power is yet to be established, and everyone at work is walking around like complete zombies. They should just send us home until they decide who is where...
Ugh. Today's work sucks... grunt work organizing bug reports... I've sorted close to 1000 e-mails today... thank god I'll be going home in an hour. The axe that's been hanging over people's heads has yet to fall... the meeting delayed until tomorrow... why does life need to be held on hold like this?
Love is a beautiful and sacred thing, but it isn't the world. It shouldn't interfere with one's priorities and goals and it shouldn't consume a person to the point that if it didn't exist in one's life, one would not be able to live without it. I think that love is an integral part of one's life, but it shouldn't be the dominant entity in life. Whether love is present in a person's life or not, a person still needs to live and there are still the practical sides of life that one needs to address.
Love is important, but we all need to wake up from our dreams from time to time to deal with the pressing issues and needs of real life.
Article about college game players. Personally, I think the students are all in denial... Because in pursuing the gamer life, they managed to cut off their non-gamer relations, so of course their social life suffers as a result.
This has been quite possibly the longest weekend of my life. I don't know if it's just because I've been missing Cat, or if it's the built up anticipation about the crisis at work, or if it's been because I've effectively been on "weekend time" since Tuesday... but I've been able to get more than my fair share of sleeping and reading during this extremely long weekend. Harry Potter is still unread... for some reason I just can't seem to get into it... my mind seems to keep wandering to other things.
You have an entrancing kiss~ the kind that leaves your partner bedazzled and maybe even feeling he/she is dreaming. Quite effective; the kiss that never lessens and always blows your partner away like the first time.
This is Orange Cat. (Unimaginative, I know). On Cat's last day at Berkeley, we bought each other stuffed animals to keep with us. Orange Cat is pretty cute, isn't she? I would call her Little Cat, but Little Cat is already taken by someone...
I went to a friend's 4th of July BBQ today. There was enough food to feed a small military unit... needless to say I will be working out the rest of this weekend. I wish Cat was here. I didn't watch too many fireworks, but Chad, my friend's friend brought like 10 boxes of sparklers to light... so for about 10 minutes, we could all behave like 8 year olds running around with sparklers in our hands... not that my parents ever let us light sparklers... I'm sure my old neighborhood in Cerritos is probably still a storm of piccolo petes (and it will be that way for at least a month)... I never understood why people liked piccolo petes... they weren't that impressive, and were just annoying.
A while ago, I took the quiz that told me I'd be sentenced to the 8th circle of Hell. Since then, I've been wondering why I've been condemned to such a deep and dark section of Hell... Well the answer lies below:
You have been involved in a shameful online RPG, and your soul will never be clean. You've soiled the memory of a dead author and neglected yourself and other human beings for months at a time; there is no way to make up for this. The Lord has turned His eyes from you forever!
I just came back from dinner with Cat's parents and escorting them back towards Sacramento. Even though she's only been gone from me an hour (if that), I'm super sad and depressed. In a deep blue funk. I miss her, greatly, already. I'm sure we'll talk, both online and over the phone, but still... I miss her.
I spent the entire day off with Cat. I waited outside her classroom and tried to read Harry Potter (managed to get 2 pages down) then went out to lunch with her class. I helped pack up her dorm room and wait for her parents. It'll be a few days before she's back in Vancouver.
Alright. I shall fully concentrate on my homework now. I must write write write away! =)
Okay. That was lame. Back to work. Back to work. Hmm. I wonder where he'll be taking me tonight...
I have a final writing assignment (100 characters), a quiz to study for (3 chapters), a dialogue to write and they are all due tomorrow. It is not difficult. Rather, it is just ridiculously long and tedious.
Don't worry. I will have everything done by 6 pm. I tend to finish things off very quickly when I am not subject to distractions.
Oh. Before I forget! Have a happy, yet belated Canada Day!
Yes. I have two more days before I return to Vancouver. I am certainly going to miss you and I do hope that you will be able to come up for a visit in August.
Remember to put a bandage over your wound after you disinfect it!
Ah. It's late. More to come tomorrow.
:: metamoon 7/02/2003 01:17:00 AM [+] ::
Tuesday, July 01, 2003 ::
The evil cell phone strikes again. While driving to work today, my cell phone fell out of my cup holder, and under my passenger side seat. As soon as I got work, I started fishing around for it and managed to get my hand stuck under there. I've got two fairly visible scrape marks from coaxing the phone out from uner there. Cell phones are evil, evil things.
The mood at work was strange today, as the entire upper management team resigned. Here's the story from Reuters. So, change is coming to the offices of Blizzard North. I'm not sure how this affects me just yet, but I'm hopeful of the future. It's not going to be the same. Because of the nervous stress energy, we started yet another draft tournament for Magic.
I took Cat out to dinner tonight at King Yen's in Berkeley. For once, we ordered the right amount of food -- lately we've been ordering a bit too much, and I've had to take home the leftovers to rot in the refrigerator.
Your time in California might be ending soon Cat, but I'll be up to visit you in Canada soon, I hope.