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Annus Busillis

boyds bear - Me
2008 is just about finished for me.

This year...what can I say about this year? I feel like it was a crazy year, but was it any crazier than past years? I feel like that's true from my vantage point now, but maybe my opinion will change in later years. So, the year in a single, rambling paragraph:

The year began with a continuing healing process for the events of the previous year (my pinky and the car accident). As the year went on, there were events, movies, parties, and visits to bars. There were conventions attended and run. There was an International Conference, which occupied many brain cycles for the first half of the year. I watched a bittersweet Cornell hockey postseason, a hopeful Cornell hockey beginning of the following regular season, a too short (for me, at least) Cornell lacrosse season, and a burgeoning Ithaca SufferJets roller derby team. I took over USS Accord, but as yet, have failed to effect any real shakeups. (I'm more hopeful for 2009 in that regard.) The money came and the money went. Hope won out over fear when it mattered the most. And then there were the women. Oh, those women, who shuffle me all across the emotional spectrum. And that part never ends; I somewhat expect 2009 to be worse in that area.

And the adventure continues.

Orbis non sufficit.

What I Resist Persists

boyds bear - Me
Some quick hits on what's going on right now:

  • My computer is still down. I physically have possession of the computer, presumably with a new, fixed hard drive, but I'm waiting on receiving the recovery disk from the manufacturer. Stupid slow UPS Ground.

  • The Cornell men's ice hockey team had a somewhat strong showing the last two days as the Big Red managed to pull off a four-point weekend against Hahvahd (sucks) and Dartmouth, winning 2-1 and 3-1, respectively. Despite the scores, the wins were actually fairly convincing based on how all three teams played. Cornell's record (both conference and overall) is now 4-0-2, good for a tie for second place in the ECAC (and being in sole possession of second place by win percentage). Granted, this is only six games, but there are a lot of good notes about these games. Cornell is 3-0-1 against the top five teams in the conference. Additionally, Cornell goalie Ben Scrivens currently has a 0.81 goals against average and a .971 save percentage, both good for best in the country. Admittedly, some of this can be attributed to Cornell's usually excellent defense (which is also first in the counrty in both scoring defense and penalty kill at the moment). Nevertheless, Scrivens continues Cornell's fine tradition with his superior goaltending. (Now, if Scrivens could solve his "wandering goalie" problem--which accounted for Hahvahd's lone goal of the game--I would elevate that rating from "superior" to "outstanding".) Scrivens and the rest of the team will have a real challenge this coming weekend, though, when they travel to North Dakota to play the Fighting Sioux for a pair of nonconference games.

  • I am, yet I'm not, looking forward to Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to the time off from work, but I'm not looking forward to the hassle of traveling. It's not that far, but still, it's far enough to be something of a bother.

  • Due to the aforementioned computer downtime, I'm way behind on my TV watching. This is starting to bother me. On the bright side, though, I'm doing better with catching up on my comics reading.

  • Earlier today, I was at Uncle Joe's, a sports bar here in Ithaca. I went there mainly to hang out with a friend to watch the Bills game, but I also ended up running into two other groups of people I knew. One group I knew from work (including my company's president), and the other group I knew as friends of a friend. Both of these groups were watching the Jets game, and were part of the somewhat obnoxious-sounding Jets fans present. I can't blame them too much, though, since their team was winning and they had plenty of support present. Fortunately, the Bills also won, so really, everyone present was happy.

Carrier Lost

boyds bear - Me
My NaBloPoMo efforts for this year have gone into the crapper. The whole thing was initially lost around Election Day and the excitement contained therein. The days since then, though, have also been busy, mostly with work but also with a few (relatively uneventful) social excursions around the same time. I thought maybe I could cheat and write some entries after the fact, but an unfortunate development this weekend has made that option untenable. Maybe I'll do the blogging-every-day-for-a-month thing another month, not in November of a given year. Maybe I'll get everyone else around me to do the same. I'll call it WillBloPoMo, because everything is all about me, of course.

So, to catch up a bit, all at once:
  • Election Day went well, in my not-terribly-humble opinion. I have heard it said that November 4, 2008 was "the day hope won out over fear". That's certainly a matter of opinion, but it's one that I share. I think it's great how, at his first press conference, President-Elect Obama addressed the dog for his daughters "issue" (I love how people care about this!) by saying he'd prefer to get a dog from the shelter because the dogs from the shelter are mostly "mutts like me". As a "mutt" myself, that's something I can relate to. Ethnic and racial identity is something I've always struggled with in my life. It'd be easy to say that this sort of thing shouldn't matter in this age, and I've even said those words myself, but they really do matter. At the very least, I've been fortunate that my own racial mix--Asian and Caucasian--is one that doesn't really elicit much in terms of prejudice, at least in the United States. Nevertheless, it's something that is ever-present in my life. And I admit, I'm somewhat pleased to see that this is also in the consciousness of our president-to-be.


  • Work continues to be busy. The hours aren't so bad, actually, but I definitely have a solid and steady (and, at times, breakneck) pace. As such, I have little time to catch my breath during the day. I also can't attend to as many of the non-time-critical-but-they-have-to-get-done-sometime tasks during the normal workweek, which resulted in me having to go into work for three hours earlier today. It's really not that bad; it could be a lot worse than it is. Still, I definitely feel my stress level at work rising.


  • I haven't been sleeping that well lately. This is partly due to work, but also partly due to my own social activities.


  • I'm waaaaaaaaaay behind on my comics reading. I tried to assemble all my assorted and spread out piles of unread comics collections today. It's frakkin' huge. This clearly needs to be addressed soon.


  • The aforementioned "unfortunate development this weekend" happened Saturday evening, in the midst of the monthly USS Accord meeting. Essentially, my computer--the behemoth laptop--ceased functioning. I wasn't able to boot to Windows. I probably could/should have consulted with any of my technologically-oriented friends about the problem, but I didn't want to bother any of them with this. Instead, I went to Best Buy today to get it looked at. It appears that the hard drive has died, unfortunately wiping out roughly seven years of data with little in terms of what has been backed up elsewhere. This is somewhat sad, but for the most part, I wasn't using a lot of that data anyway. This will be more of a problem if I ever feel a need to look up something from my past, and I'll unfortunately be unable to do so. In the short term, though, I expect to be offline (when not at work) for at least a few days. (I'm currently posting this from a Cornell computer lab.) Best Buy will be getting a good chunk of money from me. This is all Chuck's fault for making me trust the Nerd Herd Geek Squad!


  • I am caught between wanting to do 'more' and needing a break from everything. This dichotomy--and many other dichotomies, really--define my life at the moment.


November Surprise

boyds bear - Me
Today, after I had left work but before I got all the way home, I realized that I had left my cell phone at work. I turned around and returned to my workplace to retrieve the phone. While there, a courier arrived, having brought a huge shipment sent by the Big Name Client for the Huge Project. Of course, as far as I know, we were never told that this shipment was arriving today at that hour. Few people were even around to receive the shipment; the courier was lucky that she encountered me and another co-worker as he was leaving. The moral of the story is this: communication matters.

I'm pleased that I will get to cast my vote in the election tomorrow. I am hopeful that the results of the election will be fair, clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, and quickly available, so that we can avoid a mess like that of eight years ago. I plan to cast my vote early in the morning, since I'm just a dork like that. To get myself in the mood, I even watched a little bit of The West Wing earlier tonight.

We Can Be Heroes

boyds bear - Me
Yesterday, I did very little. And it was awesome. I read some comics and watched some downloaded TV. I also uploaded Halloween pictures to Facebook, which were taken both last week and on Friday. That inspired me to start trying to go through my pictures from all of 2008 and upload them to Flickr. I'm terribly behind in doing that, save for IC2008 pictures. I managed to get up to March or thereabouts, but obviously, I still have a long way to go.

Today, acappellasinger, Tim, and I, plus Melanie, Gary, and Laura (who I didn't really know), ventured northward to Syracuse to attend Syracuse Heroes Expo. It was actually the second day of the show. I thought about going up there yesterday, but at some point decided that I needed a day to myself at home much more than I needed to spend time and money in Syracuse. Ultimately, I think it was for the best; my group only spent about two hours at the show, but that was really good enough for me. I know Alan could have spent all day (or both days) going through the back issue boxes, but there were few enough vendors with stuff I was remotely interested in that I was able to move through them swiftly. I found some trade paperbacks and even a few back issues that I needed wanted, but I didn't spend nearly as much as I did at either last year's Syracuse Heroes Expo or New York Comic Con earlier this year. We collectively left after a mere two hours. Alan, Tim, and I split off from the others who ventured back towards Cortland and Ithaca while we stuck around in Syracuse. Originally, we were going to hit up one or two of the comic book stores up there, but instead, we ended up having lunch at PJ's Pub and Grill. I had a tasty club sandwich, and I think Tim and Alan enjoyed their respective burgers. We also checked out the Sound Garden, where of course Alan had a great time. I actually bought something as well, a used copy of Weezer's Pinkerton album, the one Weezer album I never managed to own before today. I was also confused by finding two different versions (one domestic, one Argentinian) of the same Best of David Bowie CD I wanted, though each contained somewhat different track listings, yet each had certain tracks I wanted. I ended up buying neither since I couldn't decide.

And then we headed back to Ithaca.

A Tale of Two Municipalities

boyds bear - Me
It's NaBloPoMo time once again, for those of us who can't actually write an average of ~1700 words a day for a month straight. (Or maybe we can, but can't do it in a coherent narrative fashion such that it would constitute a novel.) I tried to do the NaBloPoMo thing last year, but it was somewhat derailed by my car accident last Thanksgiving weekend, near the end of the month. I guess I'll try again this month/year; with any luck, the month will be interesting enough to be worthy of a blog posting every day, yet free of catastrophe.

Yesterday was Halloween. Some folks at work dressed up in costume. The best costume was perhaps Mike C. as a giant whoopie cushion. In the evening, a few of us from work went out to the costume party at the Dryden Hotel. My costume was one of the guys from the Dick in a Box digital short. Since I clearly look just like Justin Timberlake, it was a natural fit! The costume, of course, was inappropriate for work, so I only wore it in the evening. The costume was mainly composed of my suit jacket and pants (I only own one suit, but I paid enough for it, so dammit, I'm going to use it!), a dress shirt (but no tie), a junk jewelry gold chain, sunglasses (or rather my sunglasses attachment to my eyeglasses), and the box. It was merely a gift box with a removable lid that attached to a belt. And while I did follow step one ("Cut a hole in the box"), I thought I'd get arrested (much like in the video!) if I followed step two and put my junk in that box. Instead, I decided to be a bit more punny, and put a picture of Dick Cheney in the box. Most people seemed very amused by the concept once step three's opening of the box was followed. (Credit to my partner-in-crime Jill for giving me the idea to use Cheney; originally, I was going to use Richard Nixon.)

The night out at the Hotel was fun. Jill had a simple witch costume. Lisa and Brian went all out with their Devil costumes, though. Lisa looked more like the Devil's mistress, but Brian's Devil was complete with a mask with horns, red makeup on his face and arms, long black wig, and glued-on black fingernails. (The last part proved problematic when he had to use the men's room, unfortunately.) At some point, we were joined by former summer intern Dennis, who wore no costume, but it was great to see him nonetheless. My costume was a hit at the bar; one dude instantly recognized it when I walked in. Others saw it and laughed as my time there went on.

Somewhat regretfully, I had to leave the Hotel to drive to Ithaca's Collegetown to join people at Pixel Lounge. There, I met up with such cohorts as Rachel, pkdan, and mhaithaca. The Ithaca SufferJets were having a little party ("Night of the Living Derby"). Strangely, there weren't a whole lot of SufferJets present, which kinda sucked. Still, it was fun. Dick in a Box went over well in Collegetown. The exception was one bitch who shouted at me, "Dick in a Box? That's so last year!" Well, fuck you very much! (Even if you're kinda right.)

I was highly entertained by the costumes pulled off by the Cornell students in Collegetown last night. Some of my favorites were the Tetris blocks, a set of Crayola crayons, a beer pong table, Cyclops and Marvel Girl of the X-Men, and not one but two distinct groups of Smurfs. Perhaps the most popular costumes of the evening, however, were Joe the Plumber for the guys and Sarah Palin for the girls. (Unsurprisingly, Cornell students are up on current events. Also unsurprisingly, they're fairly left-leaning as a whole.) There were actually quite a few Palins out there. The best, though, was probably the Palin family trio, which had Sarah, husband Todd, and pregnant teen daughter Bristol, plus dolls representing young Trig and Bristol's as-yet unborn child.

Though I hated to leave my co-workers in Dryden, and I have a huge disdain for navigating through Collegetown on a crowded Friday night (costumes or no), I was happy for having trekked to Collegetown.

I was dead tired around 12:30, so I decided to head home.

Infinite Diversity?

boyds bear - Me
While reading someone else's LiveJournal posting and the comments therein (which some of you may or may not have read as well), I asked myself a question which I want to get all of your input on:

Are people who consider themselves to be open-minded and tolerant obligated to tolerate close-minded and intolerant people?

I think I have an answer, but I'd like to see what you guys think.

HIStory

boyds bear - Me
Dear intarwebs,

Abraham Lincoln was never a U.S. Senator nor a governor. Stop calling him a "one-term Illinois U.S. Senator with no executive experience" as a way to defend Barack Obama's bid for the presidency. This is factually untrue. Prior to becoming president, he had previously been a one-term Congressman, and he once ran for U.S. Senate but lost. Also, a small sliver of you are also referring to Lincoln as an "inexperienced governor", presumably as a way to defend Sarah Palin's bid for the vice presidency. Again, this is factually untrue. He was never Governor of Illinois or any other state, and as far as I can tell, never even ran for governor in his life. No matter who one is backing in the presidential election, I think it's fairly important that one gets ~150 year-old history right.

Sincerely,
The Guy Who Paid Attention in History Class

The Daily Grind

boyds bear - Me
Do I want to participate in NaBloPoMo again? I don't know. I tried to do so last year, which was unfortunately ruined near the month's end by my car accident. For a few reasons, I kinda hope this November will be interesting (and not in the faux Chinese curse sort of way to justify daily blog posting. I think it just might be, between the election, Thanksgiving, Syracuse Heroes Expo, my professional life, developments in my personal life, and Cornell hockey season finally getting into full swing. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

In totally unrelated news, I've been listening to Ivy a lot lately. Are any of you familiar with their music?

Short Trips

boyds bear - Me
I haven't posted to LiveJournal in a while. I've been meaning to rectify that. But I feel that overall, there isn't a whole lot of big things going on in my life, at least nothing that I feel comfortable talking about publicly at the moment. So, in the meantime, here are a few brief bits:
  • This coming weekend is USS Accord's Watkins Glen Weekend. You should all come. All the cool kids will be there. Okay, that's actually a gross lie; I'm quite certain the nerd quotient will be pretty high.


  • I am saddened that roller derby season is over (at least in terms of home games in Ithaca), but I was pleased to see the Ithaca SufferJets win their last home game of the season 115 to 96 over the Hellions of Troy on Saturday. (How cool a team name is that, by the way?) Teri joined me at the bout. I somehow even managed to convince the president of my company to attend. He seemed to be having a great time, though I think his wife was a tad less enthused.


  • While roller derby ends, Cornell hockey is just beginning. WGW will mean that I will miss the home opener, an exhibition game against the U.S. Under-18 team. But since my home game attendance streak was blown by the car accident last November anyway, I'm not so concerned about missing a relatively meaningless exhibition game. In my opinion, it's all part of being in charge of Accord. WGW is simply more important.


  • Work continues. The Huge Project from the Big Name Client is pretty much a reality now; we're just playing the waiting game to see when things will commence in full. Most of the time, I'm actually not going to have much direct involvement in the Huge Project, except that I'll have to pick up the slack to allow others to work on the Huge Project.


  • I am so totally behind on my comics reading these days, it's not funny. I have big huge piles of unread things bought months ago I haven't gotten to yet. I need to reorganize my comics collections at some point not too long from now. I also need more bookshelves. Oh, hell, I need more room to put bookshelves. I also haven't updated LibraryThing in ages to reflect what I've managed to read. I think I need a vacation just to catch up on all of this.


  • The presidential election is crazy. Obama seems to be favored in just about everyone's numbers, but in this world, nothing is certain. The only thing crazier than American politics? STARFLEET politics drama bullshit Kindergarten antics.


  • The week before last, I had a funny time when I was basically on a laundry day. When it comes to laundry day, when out of the clothese they would usually wear, most people seem to end up dressing down. But, of course, I had to be different: I ended up dressing up. I actually got complimented by co-workers (female co-workers, no less!) on my green button-down shirt (the same shirt I wore to my job interview, coincidentally). I jokingly said that if I didn't do my laundry, I'd end up wearing a tuxedo the following day. Fortunately, this wasn't the case: I got the laundry done, and didn't actually have a tux to wear anyway.


  • I use Twitter quite a bit. Certainly more than I use LJ these days. I think Twitter serves my needs better at the moment...even if it feels like I'm becoming more ADHD with each passing day.


  • I love my family, but I'm not exactly looking forward to the holidays.


  • I have to clean up my apartment like crazy. I think I also need to rent a storage locker somewhere in the not terribly distant future. Anyone have any good places to recommend in the general Ithaca area?


  • I was thinking about being Peter Griffin from Family Guy for Halloween. Thoughts?


That's all for now.

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boyds bear - Me
willdevine
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