A new beginning; same old place

Orientation is just around corner. That's pretty literal. It's 3:15am now and it begins at 9am, practically now, and the university is physically around the corner from where I live now. As of today the summer is really over. This whole past week has been the beginning of the end, though.

I've been setting up for orientation with ABTech. I've been excited for the usual traditions: Tech, move-in, BBQs on the porch, meeting freshmen, playfair, etc. I worry that the reason I'm still stuck here doing the same old thing is because I don't know how to let go. I've always hated change and loved doing the same things I've loved before. But things do change. As much as I enjoy every tradition, every traditional thing I do also hurts. I have to consider every time that it might be the last. Also, every time might not be just as good as before.

Even though I was gone, I've still spent all my contiguous summers in Pittsburgh, but maybe this really is the last. I'm too old to care about the freshmen even if I do still want to participate in orientation to help them out and give them a good start like I had. I was looking forward to the beginning of this year, but now I'm not so sure.

Some of my close friends returned to Pittsburgh today. I've learned to get along without them: the year in Boston and this summer. Seeing them now, though, makes me realize that doing it with them, my friends, my brothers, was one of the things I loved about move-in. This year they won't be there, most have left town and the ones that are here have moved on past doing it.

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Keywords:Orientation | Nostalgia | Friends | Depression
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I'm sure you've all been waiting anxiously for a new entry. It's been a really busy time since I moved, and I just haven't had the time. I'm all moved in. The house is pretty nice. Not enough people have come by to see me here, but I don't spend much time at home anyway. I spend a lot of time at AEPi just because it is on my way home and my friends are there to get food or play video games or talk.

I've been working really hard. I may have mentioned it before, but basically my goal this summer is to top every expectation Randy could have for me so that he'll have no choice but to hire me for the year. That's pretty hard to do since Randy's expectations of people aren't based on thinking they are people with human limitations but tools to accomplish what he wants done right now. I suppose having people work for you like me, who you don't have to manage too much, is a good thing, but it can cause you to underestimate the difficultly and effort involved and thus underappreciate the good deal you have.

As part of the DARPA project I'm working on, I'm running an experiment. This is an extremely difficult experiment to run. I have to make the code changes, find the subjects, run the subject, crunch the numbers, and if they are bad decided how to fix it. Running the subject alone take me 1 1/2 to 2 hours and requires a process with about a billion steps. This week is the CVE (context validation experiment) where our collaborators from Honeywell are visiting. Basically that means that I was up running subjects until 1am, I worked (mostly running subjects) continuously today from 9 to 9, and I'll probably do the same thing tomorrow.

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Keywords:Stage3 | ETC | Busyness | Nostalgia
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A Beautiful Day

The date says Friday, being just after midnight the night following a wasted Thursday. The day I refer to was Wednesday. The weather outside was so nice. Warm and sunny. I went out to lunch with a friend from AEPi who works in Cambridge but I rarely see. Hirsch and I walked across the bridge into Boston to a sub shop on Charles Street. It was the perfect day for it. It was nice to walk around and get into the city instead of wasting away the whole day in the Media Lab, without even looking up until dark.

Hirsch wasn't the only friend I met on this find day. That evening I went to see Emily, who I hadn't seen since I visted the Media Lab last March. I scootered all the way over to her place on Beacon Hill. The other two people there were also from Sharon. Although one was Emily's roomate, Kermit, who I already knew, They were all the same 3 years younger than me. When we went out to eat we picked up one more person, Laurel, one of Emily's best friends from Elementary school. Such a chance occurance is exciting, particularly for Emily. However, the shock for me, several hours later, was that despite the age difference and her moving out of Sharon before we could have ever been in school together, I knew who she was. I realized that I had been friends with her older brother, long long ago. These are the types of things I usually forget about, but become nostalgic when I remember. In this case it was at least slightly amusing.

After a while hanging out, I headed home. Scootering down the hill, across the bridge, and all the way home was so relaxing.

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Keywords:Friends | Nostalgia | Sharon | Spring
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Looking Back, Too Far Back

The other day I was thinking about the past. I have to admit, I was taking stock of my failures with girls, from the first time I can remember having an interest in the opposite sex as such until now. I have a good memory and tend to remember a lot of small details that go unnoticed by other. I have a tendancy to make the least significant things into important memories. When it comes to people though, I also have a tendency to forget to remember. I don't actually forget but I move on, perhaps too quickly. This is all too clear in the fact that while I know much about and have met several of my college friends' high school friends, I don't think I've mentioned to them (or stayed in touch with) more than one of mine.

So, while I was going back over distant memories, I remembered someone who I had virtually forgotten. It is not surprising that I wouldn't offen think about someone I only knew for one month 10 years ago, and not even that well. It was my second year at overnight camp, just after 6th grade. I don't know if I would even call it a crush, if so the most childish version of it. But at the time I was still too socially shy to even really become good friends or stay in touch with someone who I found interesting. Even if I wasn't over idealizing events of so long ago, so much can happen in that amount of time, and people can change quite a bit. It's not often that you rediscover someone that you haven't known for a long time and really get to see the effects of time. I was curious how the years had affected someone I had known.

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Keywords:Nostalgia | Girls
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Preamble )
I took a walk today, sort of by accident. I was talking to Jim in the stairwell. I hadn't done much today up to that point, and I wasn't wearing shoes yet. A couple people were going to go for a walk and they were waiting for Jim. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go along, because I had some things here I wanted to do. I decided to walk a little ways to finish what I was saying and then turn back. I didn't think a block on the sidewalks without shoes would be a problem. Well, we got across campus, and I was going to turn back but we headed into the park, and a grassy hill is great to be barefoot. After that we started off on an unpaved dirt road through the part. I should have turned back but it was far and it looked like nice scenery for a walk. When we finally came out (and I was very happy to be back on paved road), we ended up in Squirrel Hill. We went a pizza place, I snuck to the table before anyone noticed my feet, and had dinner (someone else went up to get it). Then we went to Rita's Ices, since you don't have to go inside. The girl there noticed and aparently she thought it was pretty cool. "That's awesome" is what I think she said. When she asked if this was together or seperate, I replied, "together, he's paying. I didn't bring a wallet either." For that I got a high five. She wanted me to stick around for her amusement. I felt bad because I wanted to entertain her, or at least talk to her. That's exactly the type of situation I should take advantage of but I'm very shy about my lack of footwear, especially when someone makes a big deal of it. I even feel uncomfortable the first day I wear sandals to class in the spring. Maybe I'll have to go back with shoes and be more sociable. It was quite an experience. After that we walked home, because I didn't have my ID for the bus. Someone had remarked that prehistoric man had to be able to catch game for food while barefoot. My feet definately aren't that tough. Somewhere in the evolution of computer programmers we've seem to have lost that ability. Evolution, some progress, I'd say.
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Keywords:Anecdotes | Girls | Product Plugs | Nostalgia
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Booth Addendum

There was so much in the last entry but so much happened and I left a few things out. The first story was when Ben came up to me and asked "What booth needs booth?" I didn't intend to give a nonsense answer (and that is probably what made it so funny) but the ridiculousness of the question caused me to answer, "That's good true." I don't want to put the next story in here but for those who know, lauan:wood::gold-plated:jewlery. The bush we had to be the burning bush in the booth was a real bush. I took it back and planted it in our yard. I think I did a good job. It looks good where it is, even though it isn't in a place that we've had a bush before. I hope it lives. I think it is nice that it blesses our house. Unlike people who did small things such as hieroglypic tiles or beanbag frogs, there wasn't anything for me to take away from the booth, but the fact that I was able to plant and leave something from the booth makes me feel good. It will hopefully be there for a few year and I'll be able to come back and say, "that's the burning bush." The last thing I forgot was a pointer to my carnival pics.


Booth really put me in the right mindset for passover. When we said, "Because of what God did for me when I was a slave in Egypt," I feel as if I really was. After all building a booth is hard labor and we were even building pyramids.

At one seder I went to, instead of cups of salt water, they had spray bottles of it. It seemed like a good idea until a little kid got hold of it and decided to give me a shower and no one thought they should stop him.

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Keywords:Booth | Anecdotes | Nostalgia | Judaism | Grad School
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To start off, skating didn't happen. :-( The rink was closed due to a technical problem with their new refrigeration system. That was kind of dissappointing, but hopefully they will open so and we will be able to reschedule. I hope everyone who was planning on coming this week will be able to come when we really go. It was really sounding like it was going to be a lot of fun, with all the people I got to go. It really surprised me how many friends I have, and how many of them are girls. I never realized that before, and it really drives home the point that I need to find myself a girlfriend. Obviously there can't be anything that wrong with me, because it isn't like I'm some total social outcast, but still I have been single all my life. Speaking of which, I saw this magazine article about nerds actually being mildly autistic in a friend's IM profile. Scary.

Speaking of IM profiles, and the real title of this entry, I wrote a little web application this week that allows you to include a link in your IM profile that will show a personalized message, in the profile, to different people on your buddy list. It also tracks who clicks the link. It was Sabrina's suggestion, but I can't believe I really did it. If you want to use it, it is designed to be not just for me so check it out. Yeah, that's what life has been like for me the past week. I have been working on these silly little projects instead of the work I have to do. Besides AIM Personal Away Messages, I did the website and bbGallery updates I mentioned last week, and I have 2 more things that I might end up doing soon.

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Keywords:Procrastination | Website Projects | Classes | Nostalgia
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Thought Repository » Nostalgia