memnus: Zombie on fire, screenshot from Half-Life 2 (I HAZ A FEVR)
We've been through so much together, and helped each other through a lot of hard times. You never forget your first, of course, and it's easy to become attached. But you always knew it couldn't last, and times change, and eventually you do have to move on. And really, she's going on fourteen years old.

For those of you with your minds in the gutter: I'm talking about my car.

As I said, going on fourteen years old, and over 180,000 miles. The air conditioner died sometime in the fall, and why would I fix it? It was cold out! But now it's not, and it would cost nearly a thousand dollars to fix, and I have to drive across the desert and start commuting to work and stuff. And I don't have to deal with hills and snow together. So I'm looking at new cars, and trying to get into my head that I will never again drive that Subaru. The car I learned to drive on, the car I crashed two or three times, the car that carried me across the continental divide countless times. There are a lot of memories in that car, but there's also a lot of dents and rust.

In any case, I'm looking at replacements. There's the possibility of buying my parents' Forester, but that's a mountain car, and probably overkill; then my parents would just need a new ski car to replace it with. My father pointed the 05 Scion xB, but I simply can't get over the fact that I'd be driving a toaster. So I'm heading off to test drive a Honda Fit. If nothing else, I can stil get it in blue with a manual transmission, and stay as true to my automotive roots as possible.

Oh, and school. I graduated and stuff. I've mastered Science and I'm still alive!

memnus: Pink cat face jumping out of a toaster, animated (Toast! Animated! (S*P))
I think one of the most disorienting things about the U, after Mudd, is coming into a computer lab at 9 in the morning and having it pretty much full. After all this time, it still weirds me out.

It's getting really warm, for February. I'm trying not to get too used to it, because I know there's going to be a massive turnaround in a week or two. It's not over until June, and I need to remember this.

memnus: Stepmania "hold" arrows and the phrase "HOLD ME". (Hold me.)
It's the last week of school before fall break. Somehow, I don't have any major homework - just a meeting after HCI today to hammer through the latest assignment in that class - but I feel antsy to Do Something. I want to go climbing, I think. Or I want to throw some rope, tie something up. Or I want to take down the new riser I've had my eyes on and start setting it up (nothing like being told a week before a tournament that your hardware needs replacing). Something, anything but sitting around school all day.

Office hours are going to be crazy busy today. Not only do people have their first threads assignment (with STL thrown in for the hell of it) due tomorrow, but they also have a midterm on Thursday to add to the panic! I might also have a midterm of my own coming up; I honestly don't know. Would be good to be warned about it.

I'll be in the LA area next weekend. Anyone going to be bored?

memnus: Green-eyed person hiding under covers (Hiding in bed (QoW))
Remember when I said that the worst was over as far as grad school is concerned? Yeah, well, so much for that. They decided to offer interesting classes after all, and I'm head TA for a bitch of a class. Never mind I'm feeling weirder and weirder about life in general, and can't quite pin down why.

Maybe I can blame it on the sudden shock of having the campus crawling with people again. I think I liked summer better.

Dirty scheduling details ) The kick-in-the-pants-fuck-you part is that drop day is next Wednesday. I have to make a decision, and I have to make it soon.

Expect more spammage from me over the next few days while I pound through this mess.

memnus: Ray tracing of three bars passing through a sphere (graphics)
Received today:
Dear Brian,

I'd like to extend a personal invitation to you for the School of Computing Graduation Party, which will be held Friday, May 2nd at 1pm following graduation. You'll be receiving an award, which will be presented at about 2pm, so please don't miss this chance to celebrate your accomplishments. I look forward to congratulating you in person on Friday.

Thanks for giving me more than, you know, a day's warning. In related news, I finished the semester on Tuesday, and I'm now in Claremont, just chilling. The week promises much shooting (if I get the keys from Coach Town, and get off my ass to go out) and much hanging out with awesome people (yay senior dead week).

Results from regionals are out - I did in fact take second in the FITA, with the best 70m and 50m scores in the division. My new goal is to clean up my act at 90m - if I can manage that, and stay on top of my game, I'll be a serious competitor at USIACs - looking at a chance of placing, not just showing up. (Speaking of, if anyone in Claremont has a washer or two (yes, the round metal kind) that I can have, I'd appreciate it.)

Really, that's about all I have to say at the moment. Looking forward to some serious destressing, and knowing the worst is over as far as grad school is concerned.

memnus: Cartoon kitten after being sprayed with water (Angry kitten (QoW))
It's really, really hard to get work done when there's no grading guide out for the latest CS2420 assignment, and the Bioengineering website (host of the wiki where I'm writing my image processing assignment) is down.

memnus: Green-eyed person hiding under covers (Hiding in bed (QoW))
I'm growing tired of this.

I'm tired of doing the same shit every day and every week. I'm tired of being left-brained. I'm tired of staring at papers for longer and longer as they start to mean less and less. I'm tired of starting things, getting distracted by crap I've already seen, and having to come back to them later... yes, this rant falls into that category. I'm tired of feeling like I'm hiding half myself from everyone I see. I'm tired of bouncing between things so fast that I can't focus on any of them. I'm tired of an utter inability to concentrate as well as I need to. I'm tired of being such an introvert that I can't even flirt properly. I'm tired of having to correct typos in every other sentence I write. I'm especially tired of the fact that, all things considered I've got very little I should complain about, but still want an easy way out. I'm tired of being too afraid of disappointing people to make any major changes. I'm tired of lying awake alone every night, no matter how exhausted I am, staring at the walls for an hour. I'm tired of having no chance to shoot in the sun.

It's spring and I'm restless. I want to go running, for gods' sakes, and you all know I'm NOT the running type.

memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
Dear University of Utah,

While I appreciate the snow day, I'd like to point out that I leave for the bus at 8:30 in the morning. I'm also not the only person that gets in this early; many come from much farther away than I do. By noon, the snow had stopped, and I can only assume the roads will get better as the day goes on. As such, closing at noon doesn't in fact protect anyone from the snow, it just makes us feel like we wasted a trip. Please close at 8 next time.

Dear Utah Transit Authority,

You people are crazy. While I admit surprise that the busses were running at all, when it gets too snowy to drive the last three blocks up to the hospital, I don't think the best thing to do is make people get out and walk those three blocks in the snow.

memnus: Dave Davenport and Lovelace with quotes from Alice In Wonderland (We're All Mad Here (Narbonic))
New Years plans went as expected, and now I'm back in Utah and back to taking classes. Classes themselves look to be better than last semester - TAing will be interesting at best though. We'll see. The homeworks will be due Thursday nights, though, and the prof wants me to have office hours from 6 pm to 9 pm when they're due. This isn't just a spanner in the works, it's a spanner in the spanner that was already there. I might be able to beg out of it, but it'd be difficult.

I find it a bit disturbing that when I said I prefer to have Thurdsay nights set aside for other things, the immediate response was a laugh and "Oh, just set the VCR." It bothers me that the obvious thing to set a weekday evening aside for is a television program... and what I really do want to set it aside for isn't something I can just mention in a prof's office. So I muttered something about archery practice, but that can be rescheduled.

Ugh. Now that Frances has been sent home, it's time to buckle down - I'm wondering if I can keep a decent sleep schedule this semester. I'm not optimistic, but since I have no classes mondays (heh heh heh) I'll be trying to get skiing once a week. It'll be another incentive.

memnus: Stepmania "hold" arrows and the phrase "HOLD ME". (Hold me.)
And this is a hell of a time for NVIDIA to ship the G80. Think a graphics upgrade now would last me another five years?

Especially if I start playing around more with Maya, in my free time? Tempting.

EDIT: Of course, if my Robotics final goes as poorly as the midterm just did, my GPA will be low enough to make that all a moot point anyway... or maybe that's just my imagination, thanks to years at Mudd followed by a sudden 3.5 GPA requirement for graduation.

memnus: Me with my head back and eyes closed (Laid back)
Well, it looks like I'm being placed in Riff for the entire weekend. This is much more than I could have hoped for just a couple months ago when I was joining a cast of strangers, but I'm certainly not complaining. Tonight's drink is rum and orange juice, with some extra sweetening thrown in for the hell of it. I was considering drinking straight rum for the night, but the only useful drink containers I have are Nalgenes, and carrying around six ounces of rum in more than a quart of bottle would just be silly.

Note to self: Get a flask.

I tried to do some work earlier, but spent an hour organizing code rather than writing it. Once I finally got down to writing anything, I had less than a screen of code before the Eng filesystem went down like a Pompeii prostitute. Four labs stopped working just as the football game was ending, so even going home was a pain in the ass.



Sep. 26th, 2006 04:28 pm
memnus: Cartoon kitten after being sprayed with water (Angry kitten (QoW))
So, Pixar will be having a Q&A session and interviews at University of Utah.

Next Tuseday and Wednesday.

For the love of gods, why???

memnus: Dragon with pigtails and glasses, saying "No sense... in a way that blows your mind?" (That makes no sense! (O&M))
UT supreme court rules that U of U does not have authority to forbid firearms on campus. (link to PDF of court decision)

EDIT: The U's response.

The fact that this catches me completely by surprise shows just what kind of academic culture I've developed in. But still... wow.

memnus: Ray tracing of three bars passing through a sphere (graphics)
Few besides me will care )

In conclusion, pretty early, and my breaks will be offset from Mudd by about a week. Getting done really early, though.

memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
I've just submitted my University of Utah online enrollment form.



Mar. 14th, 2006 02:45 am
memnus: Red schwa in a yellow circle, quote "We know drama" (East: We Know Drama)
Image from AIM Mail )

AIM: Now with 13% less drama!

I suppose that while I'm making a glut of posts, you also get a grad school update. Brown and Columbia both came back no, but Columbia has helpfully forwarded my application to the M.S. program instead. No idea on when that decision comes back, and the website won't say anything helpful either. So current standing is 1/5 with 2.5 not reporting.

See? I edited that update into the previous post, rather than making a third in an hour.

memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
The theme for the day seemed to be "information overload". They got us up at 8 for breakfast, then two hours of rapid-fire research group talks from professors. From there it was a whirlwind tour of the department and the different labs (cubicle farms for grad students), then out for a short tour of campus (in the snow, yay). Then lunch - with the entire deparment, where we were expected to mingle and chat it up with professors, find who we'd want to work with and what we'd want to do - the kind of chatting I'm miserable at. Just as I'm getting serious stranger overdose, they haul us off to NCAR.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is a lab up the hill from Boulder with a bunch of supercomputers. They sat us down in their conference room and talked about what those supercomputers do, and showed off the giant 3d projection screen with huricane simulations. That visualization is one of the few things that might interest me there. Then they walked us through the machine room. One of the supercomputers looks like this: \\. And then, we came back for more mingling.

By then, I'd effectively shut down. Too many strangers, too much expectation of interacting with them. I poked around the internet a bit, then it was off to a professor (also dean)'s house (ridiculously expensive house) for (catered) dinner. The food was ok, but I was all but gone, and people noticed. Finally I escaped there, retrieved my car, and put Boulder to my back.

I'd changed my flight 24 hours earlier, to today. As such, I'm now back in Claremont, and comfortable, rather than having to go to a Flaming Dessert Party (aka beer party) with people I hopefully will never see again, letting them get drunk while I have to drive afterward.

memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
So, I'm now in Boulder, on the dime of a Ph. D. program that wants me FAR more than I want it. Tonight was the "dinner for students coming from out of town" part of the recruitment weekend ... at a fairly expensive mediterranean restaurant. There were eight (?) of us, four or five grad students, and a couple profs, so we got to hear a little about workload, TAing and RAing, and finding what you want to do, and a lot about how it is to live around here.

Tomorrow is research talks, tours, meeting with people we might be associated with, and a trip to some visualization thing attached to a supercomputer (I suspect this is where they want me working). That's the part where I have to ask people questions, and talk to people and learn things from them, and for the record, that's the part I'm truly terrible at.

One of the other recruits is a former Mudder, ITRed in '99 and then worked until the dot-com crash, then went back to school.

Only in Boulder (probably not only) do hotel gift shops sell wireless cards. This hotel is ridiculous, by the way; I feel very out-of-place anywhere that valet parking is mandatory.

memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)
Hi Brian,

The dates are 3/9-12. You have been admitted to the Ph.D. program with out aid. I will have to verify but my understanding is that the department will cover your travel expenses if you'd like to attend. My apologies for the late notification.

So, uh, goodbye first weekend of spring break, I guess... Don't do anything too fun without me?



Mar. 3rd, 2006 05:59 pm
memnus: Dragon with pigtails and glasses, saying "No sense... in a way that blows your mind?" (That makes no sense! (O&M))
A very short email.

Subject: CU Boulder

Hi Brian,

Has someone contacted you about our recruitment weekend?

(first name).

... Does that mean I need recruiting?



memnus: A stylized galaxy image, with the quote "Eternity lies ahead of us - and behind. Have you drunk your fill?" (Default)

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