Happy Thanksgiving 2009

I am an ingrate most of the time. As much as I want to blame it on my culture, the truth is it’s just easier to be ungrateful than it is to find ways to be happy with your life.

But if I’m honest and forthcoming about my life, I should be shouting out how amazing my life is. If I come out of the bubble of being a sheltered American who is always lusting after MORE MORE MORE, I am beyond blessed.

I am grateful foremost for my family, my amazing family who love me beyond reason…who love me despite my inability to properly show them how much I love them back. I sometimes don’t know how they continue to be unconditional in their love for me but it’s something I strive to reciprocate.

This year I am particularly grateful for the ability to connect with people I have found to be my kindred. I realize most of these connections would not be possible without the medium of technology we have available today. Imagine that. How many people never found their intellectual soul mates back in the day? Now it’s far more possible to truly connect to people you would never have had the opportunity to otherwise.

Anyhow, I hate sappy posts. Happy Thanksgiving!


NoBS 4: You ever get that feeling that the people around you aren’t real? I mean they’re real as in they exist but their relationship to you is so intangible that you’re not sure what’s sincere or just fluff. I’ve been like this since high school I think.

People come and go and despite their uttering of friendship and even devotion, certain things just aren’t really that rooted under the surface. Most of the people I talk to don’t seem to mind this fleeting, surface friendship. They’re attitude is like “yeah.. cool, we hang out. if we don’t hang out, whatever”…

I never understand why I have this obsessive nature about friendships. I’m always looking to grow super deep roots and create blood bonds. I’d almost say it’s like I want to consume my closest friends which sounds a bit cannibalistic. lol. However the concept is actually pretty dead on in terms of absorbing someone into your own being. I guess that’s the part of me talking that never wants to let go…that wants a certain character or consciousness to never leave me.

I sometimes get real hopeful and optimistic about connecting with people. I call this my “crush” phase of a friendship. I’m so enamored by the person or find a quality in them that I really connect with… and I start thinking that we can establish something lasting. Unfortunately, most of my connections never make it past the “crush” stage. Inevitably, the person disappears or loses interest in the connection.

I’m not sure if my “friends” realize the effect they have on me..especially when they fade away. I’m pretty sensitive. Relationships that they may not have valued greatly leave grave indentions in my mind. And so many, many times, I find myself asking…what did I do wrong?

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NoBS 3: I crawled into bed last night around 6:30am. Besides being tired from working all night, I was above all, freezing my ass off. Even with three thick blankets over me, two shirts, and two pairs of socks, my body was racking from shivers.

I tucked my fingers between my rib and arms but they felt like dry sticks of ice. I was miserable. It took me like an hour to fall asleep because I was shivering so much. I think I might need to invest in one of those electric blankets or something. The sad thing is that it probably wasn’t that cold…maybe in the high 40s outside?

I get cold once the room temperature drops to 78 Fahrenheit. My brain shuts down, my body shuts down and all I can think about is getting warm. This is why I’m so glad I live in Texas. People hate the summer months here because it averages out in the 100s most of the summer with very little rain or wind chill. I <3 it. I want summer back again.

Right now my space heater is set to HI and I’m wearing an over-sized fleece jacket. All I have to say is that I’m glad it’s TV night tonight because my brain can’t function. I hate it when I go into these grey states of existence. I want to wake up.

Working From Home

Working From Home, originally uploaded by alachia.

When the gang gets home from work, they are always full of stories of what happened and who said what and what went down. They get to talk about their day.

I never get asked how my day was. They all assume it's the same story and technically it kind of is. I won't have office gossip nor will I have something to say about what went down at work. As long as I get my work done, there isn't much to talk about really. These are the times where it does suck working from home and being by yourself all day.

But during my "work day" I actually have quite unique experiences that you don't get form working at the office. I'm privy to small comforts like the way my dog snores at my feet or how my cat inspects my drawings. And while I have no RL connections on a daily basis, I'm definitely privy to a whole world online that you can't access at most offices.

I do miss having office mates though and being able to chat with people about things going on at work or the world around us. There is something about that connection of convenience that gives you a strong sense of belonging. In fact, the connections at work I formed are so unique that all the former employees of my last job are getting together this Friday for lunch as we have a secret facebook Alumni club. :)

None of them I would consider good friends or hell, even friends. But it's that social bond and common experience that defines our humanity. We can live without it easily. I have had no problem adjusting into the life of a recluse but sometimes I do long for standard mundane physical connections.

But on days like today, when I was warm and secure in my office with my QTPI sleeping next to me and the Dessy perched on the napping couch, I was quite content.

My First Meteor Shower

NoBS 2:

So I think I’m going to stay up tonight and see if I can’t catch some of the Leonid Meteor shower. I’m constantly fascinated with the sky and the universe. Out there beyond what we will ever see in our lifetimes is a question that will NEVER be answered for me. I used to go into infinite loops in my head about infinity and finite boundaries of existence.

I try not to go too macro with my thoughts anymore. I find I have such a hard time focusing on the micro things that worrying about things beyond my comprehension of understanding is futile. Who cares if the universe is shrinking or expanding if I can’t even find time to do my laundry.

So I’ll go out and check the sky in an hour or so. It’s nearly 45 degrees Fahrenheit out there so I’m going to have to find a thick jacket and a warm hat. Luckily, I live out in the boonies now so there are few lights and the stars come in so clear that I often feel like I’m watching a HD video of they night time sky. It is beautiful. I just wish someone could point out the constellations to me. The only one I remember is Orion’s belt.

If I actually catch this meteor shower, it’ll be my first one…or at least the first one I can remember. So crazy imagining that many meteors bombarding the earth’s atmosphere. boom boom boom. Man, I need to go see 2012 this week.

Baggy Pants

NoBS 1:

Sometimes I just want people to shock me with being honest. I’d love to see the non perfected side of a person. I’m sure there are plenty of selfish and flawed people out there. I’m not saying that I don’t see that. I do. But even those people have a hard time just showing their baggy pants side.

Don’t brush your hair back, don’t sweep the strands back. Sometimes I just want to see someone in their raw state with simple little flaws and mundane boring streaks.

All around me, people are telling me they are honest but what they are really being is shocking or bold or an asshole. It’s all show and it’s incredibly hard to peel back layers when people present themselves in perfect little blurbs.

We were just talking about the state of presentation in Bindpoint the other day. We’re now a society of 15 second attention spans and our insatiable desire for instant gratification limits how we value content these days.

We don’t care if we get someone or understand something. All we care about is are we entertained? Am I still bored? If yes, then skip to the pictures or move onto the next video. Most of us can’t even finish a single article or a thirty second Youtube video because we get bored so fast. Is it the content? Or is it us? or both?

I’m guilty guilty guilty of not reading articles anymore. I just skip around to the bullet points and glaze over the pictures. I find most blogs uninteresting and the few that I keep bookmarked have nothing to do with the best tips or tricks or news on the latest gadget. The blogs I value the most are from people who will write a post on how they almost forgot to buy stamps at the store or how they noticed a weird tree formation on the way home. It’s not for show, it’s just for sharing and logging thoughts down.

After our reflections on this meta cultural shift, Jaminbee from Bindpoint came up with a proposal/experiment for us all to counter our growing need to only do things for entertainment and show. We’re to journal/blog three times out of the week with a few guidelines. We can’t edit our post (to avoid tweaking for “readers”), we can’t post pics (so that our content is free flowing thought rather than illustrated by bullets or pics), and we must post three times a week (so we are forced to start writing about every day things). This is to go on until the start of 2010. I’m going to do my best to keep it up with probably a few extra blogs where I can post pics. :)

So yaya! Now I have a great carass of bloggers to appreciate the non perfect acts of our lives with… Cheers to Jaminbee for this exciting new experiment. I think I’m mostly just excited to be collaborating with the group and hopefully getting to see their baggy pants side soon.

I Don’t Regret It

I tried so hard to fight taking a nap this afternoon but I couldn’t help myself. I actually crashed on two couches. I started downstairs but the sound of an axe on wood bothered me (Sahd is building a bench out of spare cedar logs in the backyard). I moved upstairs to my favorite couch and bam…. next thing I knew the sun was setting.

Now I’m totally wired and it’s 1:28am. We went to eat at Taint and Tivi’s house this evening. They cooked curry fish, fried eggs, sweet and sour chicken, and stir fry veggies. We topped it off with a slice from the 7lb chocolate cake they bought at Costco’s. OMG.

We went walking afterwards for about an hour and stopped at their neighborhood recreation center. While the rest of them went to tackle the weight machines and such, I danced around in the free dance studio. I figured I would have tired myself out by now but I’m still wide awake.

I think I’m still a bit stressed from dealing with WoW-related things. The game has proven to be quite stressful lately in dealing with people who refuse to commit to a static raid schedule. It seems that in-game as in real life, people want their cake and to eat it too. Then want the revolving door raid where they can breeze in and out whenever it’s most convenient for them while the rest of us suffer. We put in the time and want to push forward but are limited on lack of commitments from a few. I’m teetering on the notion of taking another extended break until after the holidays. This might give people a chance to bow out without feeling guilty.

When all around me, all I hear is people dismayed with having to play the game, it makes me crumble a little. I don’t want to play with people who don’t appreciate the experience. It makes you feel bad. I don’t want people blaming me for wasting years of their life on something they’d rather not be doing. I always feel like if you aren’t going to look back on this time and say, “I really did enjoy it despite all the ups and downs” then raiding isn’t probably for you.

I hate hearing “I could have been hanging out with friends or family all this time” or “I will probably look back on this time and think I have wasted my life on this stupid game.” It really makes me sad. One, they are probably playing for the wrong reasons and two, they never got the potential of what this experience can be…

I know it might sound pathetic but I’m one of those people who looks back on my time in WoW and appreciate the memories as valid experiences. Even when I was soloing by myself or the bad times of dealing with crazy evil epeen freaks, I felt like those times reflect me doing something I wanted to. They are as valid to me as my memories of going hiking or dancing or having fights with friends. *shrug* I guess I have never had issues with validating my online experiences as “real ones.”

Hmmm. I wonder if I should have posted this under the WoWcast blog. Oh well. It’s here now and the “flip side” is always a little darker :)

I guess I’ll go research blogger templates now. I’m working on redoing the Warcast website. I hope I tire out soon. I’m a bit annoyed with thinking about this stuff.

NHS President- me?

I was thumbing through my old senior High School yearbook this evening. I was the Editor of the yearbook so I was kind of gleaming through it thinking of ways to creatively set up layouts and to see if I’ve improved any over the years. Sadly, the answer is not much. lol.

However, I noticed something shocking. I was the president of the National Honor Society! I totally don’t remember it really. After seeing the NHS page and a picture of me giving a speech, I sort of remembered talking during a meeting. I don’t have much recollection past that. You’d think I would considering it seems like a big deal but apparently it wasn’t.

That’s the funny thing isn’t it? That things you think are so important, especially those things society projects as important can end up meaning nothing in a few years… to the point where you don’t even remember it! I don’t even think the title served me at all in terms of college applications. The schools I applied to only cared what your SAT score was.

I’m guessing I won the title by default because I wasn’t very popular in High School. It was probably one of those volunteer to do it type things where everyone else was like “meh, I can’t be bothered to deal with this silly nonsense” and I probably stepped up thinking it would help me with my college apps.

I find similarities to this thinking in my world today. All the things I used to bend over backwards for thinking “this is of value” when in truth, it has very little value. Being in the field of Architecture, my earlier career was obsessing about getting our firm’s design exposed and not just garnering jobs from the exposure but trying to aim for the prestige of it. My boss was obsessed with becoming as famous as his boss was.

About 4 years later, a billion unpaid over time work hours later, I started to question my ideals about prestige, fame, and recognition. At the end of the day, after all the hard work had been done, if all you’re doing is trying to seem important to others, how much are you really investing in yourself? We were all climbing all over each other in hopes to feel important without really realizing our lives had dwindled into nothing.

I’m not trying to say that ambition is worthless and shallow. My issue wasn’t in wanting to be somebody great, it was wanting to be more than I was for someone other than me. I needed to feel like I was important so I pushed myself to meaningless statures in society. It wasn’t so I would feel great about myself, it was so I could feel like other people thought I was great. And in the end, it nearly drove me insane.

I quit my job at the point of breaking and went on a sabbatical for a year and after many months of self-reflecting, I finally figured out what did make me feel great and what types of things in my life were worth being ambitious about… And no title or social envy and admiration can help me accomplish it. Geeze, how did I get so off topic? Anyhow, what gives me that high now is in celebrating moments of genuine connections and flourishing creative outbursts. Heeeeeeeeyah!

The Shave

The Shave, originally uploaded by alachia.

A few days ago, Sahd and Taint made a deal to shave their heads. Sahd has been itching to shave all his hair off for some time. He's not one for vanity so he's not one to be bothered with stylish hair. He'd rather look weird than have to deal with combing his hair in the morning. It's a shame too because he looks quite dashing with longer hair.

Men are lucky for this reason...that they can belong to the awkward handsome category that eludes women. Not that some women don't look crazy sexy with short hair because I have seen several that are but it's not because they look awkward.

We set up shop in the garage after dinner since raid got canceled. Taint went first and it was definitely the most fun because he was indifferent to the situation and had the most hair. Sahd took a pair of scissors and went across his bangs near the scalp and made him look like he was wearing something from a Wigs-R-Us Reject pile. lol. At that point, there was no going back.

We shaved off Sahd's hair next and it was clear he was very happy about the situation. He was smiling non stop. We started out with a four guard which turned out looking quite nicely. It made him look younger. However, he was unsatisfied with the dramatic nature of the cut and demanded we go to a two guard! At that point, his hair cut took a quick turn for the worst! He remains oblivious to the aesthetic outcome of his hair though.....he just cares that it's convenient and cool (temperature-wise).

By the time they were both finished, there was a huge pile of hair all over the floor. It surprised me because you never think men have that much hair but it was an impressive pile. We tried to convince Flipmax to join the cult of shaved heads but he refused. Next time we shall tie him up and force him. The cult needs more members of course. :)

I had a momentary urge to shave my hair as well but I have a feeling no one would have let me. Plus, despite my great desire to cut my hair right now, I'm still growing it out to donate to locks for love. I have about four more inches to go depending on how short I plan to cut it.