Monthly Archives: October 2008

Book delivery!

I wasn’t expecting the package to arrive so soon, but it did: I just brought in a box containing nine new books — well, actually, eight books and one booklet. I’ve unboxed the books, and I was just reading the latest mile-long Steve Yegge text, when this bit jumped at me:

if you’re a programmer and you haven’t yet read Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (usually known as “GEB”), then I envy you: you’re in for a real treat. Get yourself a copy and settle in for one of the most interesting, maddening, awe-inspiring and just plain fun books ever written. The Pulitzer Prize it won doesn’t nearly do it justice. It’s one of the greatest and most unique works of imagination of all time.

Lucky me. One of the eight full-sized books is none other than the aforementioned GEB. :)

And then some

My mood picked up considerably on Wednesday, when our lecture was shorter than usual, which meant I had time to sit and have lunch with a couple of my fellow students. It’s amazing how much 45 minutes of idle chitchat with people I barely know can have that effect. But I’m glad it does. I’m also glad that I’ve managed to avoid isolating myself.

The appointment with el doctor was a refreshing change. He doesn’t want to do the evisceration — instead, he’d rather spend time looking for alternate ways to make the pain go away before we do something that drastic. Interestingly enough, none of those options were on the table with my previous doc.

I’m getting a mentee tomorrow — that is, a new employee is joining my project and I’ll be his mentor. (Interestingly, I thought “mentee” couldn’t possibly be a real word, and so does Firefox’s spell checker. But lo and behold, if you trust Wiktionary, it actually is.) In practice that means I’ll make sure he gets all the info he needs to work in the project, like how to report hours worked, where to get access to different systems and so on. Nice to be getting a teammate. :)

Samuli keeps amazing me by writing thought-provoking blog entries that I read way too infrequently. I’ve known him for over nine years now, and the way he’s grown into the person he is today is nothing short of stunning. I really miss having him around. I need to pay him a visit one of these weekends.

LinAlg exam is on next Wednesday. I’m thinking today I’ll try to go through all the exercises we’ve had and make sure I understand the solutions. I’m pretty sure I’ll pass the exam, but I’d like for it to not be a close call.

We interrupt this transmission to bring you the latest news

LinAlg course exam is quickly approaching. I’ve already decided I’m going to go with LinAlg II and Discrete Math next period, and see if I can just exam my way out of English. I feel like I have a relatively good grip on matrices, a rudimentary idea of what vector spaces are and some tools to deal with them, but I’m still sorely lacking the exposure to math in general I’d need to be able to see solutions to the problems I’m being dealt. Still, I guess the fact that I’m not entirely lost is something I can be proud of.

Work is getting interesting. I’m getting a new cow-orker on my project, been doing some preparations to reduce the amount of confusion and ramp-up in advance by trying to ensure he’ll have a place to sit in and access to all the systems he’ll need to work with. Not doing as well as I’d like in the Flex department, but I manage.

What free time I have left is mostly spent watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the missus — she’s pretty much hooked now, and I’m glad we’ve got something we can do together that doesn’t take a whole lot of preparing. If it did, it might not get done at all.

I feel stuck in a weird place in my head where I don’t really know who to identify with. It’s easiest at work, since those are the people I spend most of my waking hours with, and luckily I’ve been seated with a bunch of people with whom I share, if nothing else, then at least a sense of humor. Ideologically speaking, it feels like we’re worlds apart.

At the university, it’s not as clear-cut. I have basically one person I talk to on a regular basis, and two semi-regular. Seeing pictures from the freshman events is a bit strange — I wish I could have been there, but I still think I wouldn’t quite fit in. It’s just not possible to jell with people with whom one spends so little time.

Then there’s all the other people I call friends. This schedule basically rules them out entirely, not that I’d see them very much anyway.

I know it’s just a question of reaching out to people and keeping the bonds working, but it feels like it would take more effort than I can put in.

On Thursday I have an appointment with an eye surgeon. Am going to talk to him about the evisceration. The thought still gives me the chills, but chronic pain really isn’t something I want either.