Apr. 19th, 2009 07:48 pm
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Not much posted here recently - Facebook gets most of my attention these days. But there is a lot going on, I'm doing a lot more living than blogging about living.

Over the last couple of months I've been making a lot of friends in my neighborhood. Being able to hang out in cafes in the afternoons is extremely conducive to meeting people. I've always been a cafe person, and I love that I have four or five different places right on my street that I can just "be" in that aren't bars. So I've befriended nearly everyone who works behind the counter at all these places, and am now a regular everywhere, and get introductions or get involved in interesting conversations everywhere I go and even connect people with other cool people or talk about neat ideas. I love it.

I decided to try and get some of my new friends together for an underground dinner hosted at my place and catered by my friend Sara and her Lightbulb Oven. Sadly, most of them could not make it, but I will be seating 15 folks here for a five course dinner - including a reporter from some magazine, and a photographer. This inspired me to clean out and redecorate my apartment. My office is now located in the back of my apartment, and I've reorganized the kitchen a little bit; my landlord even got me a brand new stove! Ultimately I'd like to take down the afterthought of a closet and storage area here in the new office to make the room bigger, and then paint the walls blue to inspire creativity. I might get around to doing that by late Summer or so, maybe.

I am now "officially" dating someone long distance; those of you following on Facebook have no doubt seen pictures and references to Nari ([livejournal.com profile] narnarthinks). We went out for about a month before she moved back to Austin, Texas to live with her family and return to her company's HQ out there - a few weeks later she flew back to visit for a long weekend. She's coming back to visit me again from 5/10 to 5/17, and to say that I'm looking forward to that would be the understatement of the century. Long distance, as one would expect, is a good and bad thing; but, in this case, since we weren't able to spend much time together when we were short distance, I'd have to say it's much more bad than good.

I'm actually putting a lot of time into iPhone development now, and am learning the ins and outs of Xcode and associated tools. There's a roadblock I've been attempting to overcome, and debugging with the tools is helping me better understand what I'm doing wrong. I feel like I'm making progress though; at this point, since I'm going to WWDC 09 the first week of June, I really need to have some kind of application finished before I get there; I'm hoping to have two ready, but we'll see.

Lossy Data

Mar. 12th, 2009 05:40 pm
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I recently had a nasty external hard drive failure - normally this wouldn't be an issue, as I'm good about making backups, but for some ridiculously stupid reason I only had one copy of my entire iPhoto library stored on this drive. I decided to go for having the data recovered, and found myself willing to pony up the serious money it would take to do it. The recovery place notified me today that the drive is 90% cloneable, but that there is a problem right at the start of the drive that they haven't been able to fix in the last three weeks, and without that one critical sector the entire thing is corrupted and unreadable. They are going to try one more time, and I'll know by the end of next week if they have succeeded.

At this point it is seriously looking like I am losing most everything I have done in pictures over the last 6 or 7 years.

It turns out though that I was at least good about putting decent resolution versions of my favorite pictures online, mainly here on LJ. So I don't think there will be a total loss... but I do find myself grieving about forever losing the highest resolution files, all my videos, and all the photos that I never did anything with that I was saving for a later date.

I have bought a Flickr pro account, and everything I have will be synced to it. When I reload everything into iPhoto again, I will also be backing it up on CD and 2 redundant external drives (with one rotating off site every month or so).

It always takes a catastrophe to make you realize what you have to lose!


Feb. 20th, 2008 01:54 pm
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A quick summary of me (stealed from [livejournal.com profile] arachne8x):
33 going on 34.

Grew up in North Branford, CT but born in New Haven, CT.

Fluent in English, smattering of French, currently studying Homeric Greek.

Nearly 100% Italian - father is all Italian, mother is 75%, with some German and Irish.

Schooled publicly until college, then started studying Physics at WPI. Eventually switched to Computer Science.

Longest relationship was 4.5 years, ended in a broken engagement in 1999. Have since been alternately single and dating sporadically; current relationship is longest one since then (1 year!). [polyamorous]

Working as a consultant for Robert Half Technology, sourced to Plus One Holdings.

Leo, spiritual, anti-religious.

Very fond of cats.

Rapturous lover of preparing and eating food; most fond of pizza, wine, cheese, and chocolate.

Ambitions to get a tattoo (maybe a depiction of Quetzalcoatl).

LARPer and LARP GM/creator.

Comic book collector (approximately 5,000).

Gamer (board, card, video, miniature, role-playing, ANYTHING).

Writer (mainly poetry and short fiction).

Aspiring artist.


Feb. 28th, 2006 11:37 pm
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My first job out of college was working for an Internet startup called CToons Studios. I worked with an animator there by the name of Kevin Lane... on a whim I decided to google him, and look what I found!
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Eddie Murphy's "The Golden Child" was made

20 Years Ago

Jo mama

Feb. 12th, 2006 09:30 am
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Fun fact: I believe I got my first job by mentioning Johari's window in my interview.

Civic Duty!

Feb. 6th, 2006 07:59 pm
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Tomorrow I report for jury duty at Barnstable courthouse. Fun! Maybe I'll get a juicy domestic abuse trial or something.
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I had some great company this weekend. Treyvana and boy came to visit, and we had a merry time. I feel that I could have been a bit more entertaining, but I found myself doing a lot of house related things like laundry and keeping the place generally tidy. We spent a lot of the time petting the cat and doing TV related activities, though we did go out to dinner Saturday night.

I did a fair amount of excellent cooking though (if I may say so). I finally bought the waffle iron I wanted, and used my homemade baking mix to make a dozen tasty, crispy Belgians on Saturday. Today I fired up the oven and quick cooked a skirt steak on my cast iron pan - turned it into three huge, delicious steak and onion quesadillas.

I think that I'm going to end up running a bed and breakfast some day. There's nothing I love more than having company and cooking for them.

I wrapped up my weekend by going to see Brokeback Mountain with Becca. Yes, I cried. There's nothing to my mind more tragic than not taking the chance. If you can see the path to happiness, and you have the ability to take that path, don't stop yourself from going down it. Regret what you have done, not what you haven't.
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Samantha Morton
Thora Birch
Ione Skye
Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio
Christina Ricci, pre-eating disorder
Gwyneth Paltrow
Jennifer Connolly
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I think that people just like making their lives more complex than they need to be. Maybe the drama is more exciting or something. I guess if you're bored with life, you need to invent stuff to make it more interesting.

I can't imagine myself growing bored with so many experiences to encounter. I find myself studying things, trying to absorb every miniscule detail of my life. I'll stare at a bug, or watch the sky, or listen to a song and just be and take it all in.

I have enough to deal with in my life with my relationships with other people and with whatever vagaries fortune hands me each day. Why would I ever want to complicate things more with afterlife concerns or with completely internal drama...?

Pity party?

Nov. 4th, 2002 10:33 pm
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I found myself lacking in motivation today, the first day of officially being laid off.

I have this continual feeling of being in limbo with my life. I'm taking steps, and I am without a doubt moving forward in most things... but it seems like everything, every aspect of my person, is in transition. It is a very peculiar way to feel. I'm standing at the crossroads again, waiting to bury my old self beneath it and move on; but even though it seems like forces conspire to clear the path for me, there are still many things blocking my way.

I've been moving things into the new apartment, but it is slow going, and the landlord is taking his time clearing items out of the building. Specifically, he has to get all of the furniture out of the front bedroom, and I need to seriously clean the living room, dining room, and that front bedroom in order to live in that apartment. We're talking "cleansing with purifying flame" here. Or at least scrubbing all the walls, ceilings, and floors with bleach. I really want to be moved in before Thanksgiving, but I'm having doubts now on whether that will be possible.

Career-wise, things seem to be happening a little faster, but they are much more precarious. My consulting business is getting more customers, but we are still shy of being one hundred percent self-supporting (paying all the bills and every bit of our salaries). Running your own business means you're much less certain about your paychecks, and that uncertainty gives me pause sometimes. I think I've been getting a little rusty in my skillsets as well, so I'm feeling motivation to learn about new tools and technologies, but finding the time and funding to pursue that education is going to be tricky over the next year.

And what can I say about the other portions of my life? Food and shelter have been foremost, but they seem to be mostly taken care of, at least until the end of this year...

One of my closest friends announced his engagement to his girlfriend of two-ish years. I keep reminding myself that life is not a race, and I'm not competing with anyone, but it is hard to sweep the ever present biological and evolutionary instincts out of my head. And it's very hard to not want to have some kind of steady relationship after having been without one for the last two and a half years. I also want very badly to really accomplish something significant; I think that's why I've been working so hard with Big Blue on the business plan we've been formulating for the pc arcade, because we both know that idea could be a very big thing.

But the good news is that lionlady made me feel much better about life tonight when I stopped by for a visit. I'm honored to know such a kind person... she goes out of her way to help me with even the tiniest things, and I appreciate it greatly. And her cats make me very happy.

In other good news, I've gotten down to 284 pounds. That's 36 pounds lost since the end of June. That's a good thing... I'll be close to my starting college weight by the end of this year if I continue this trend. I'm starting to think that maybe I should even get as far down as 225, another sixty pounds less. I think that'll depend on how I look and feel when I hit 250, so I guess we'll see when I get there.
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If I had to pick two foodstuffs that I like most, they would have to be cheese and chocolate. I've always been a fan of cheese. In fact, my parents nicknamed me "cheese" when I was growing up because I couldn't get enough of the stuff. I'd eat half of one of those five pound blocks of cheese from the Price Club warehouse store in a week. But chocolate has always held a special place in my heart - the novelty of the shapes it could be molded into, the variety of styles and flavors that different chocolate makers offered. Easter and Halloween and Christmas were all made more special by chocolate eggs, chocolate bars, and chocolate elves.

The Lindt store at the Solomon Pond Mall had a particularly good salesman; I asked him if they still made the "Amazonie" dark chocolate bars that I once enjoyed, and he directed me to the "Ecuador" bar, the "70% cocoa" bar, and the "85% cocoa" bar. I bought two of each, as I am nearly out of cowgirl chocolates.

I had to sample them as soon as I walked out of the store; I was nearly warned off of buying the 85% bar by the salesman, who compared it to baker's chocolate. As I bit into the tantalizingly black square, I immediately sensed a tanginess not found in mere mortal chocolate. Truly this was a confection to be reckoned with. Following this up with tastes of the 70% and Ecuador bars was a very interesting exercise - once you've subjected your mouth to the raw power of the 85% cocoa, all other chocolates seem mild and smooth in comparison. I decided it was probably best to use the 85% bar in a cookie or baked recipe of some sort, unless one is looking for some kind of religious experience just shy of the one you'd get from smoking rolled up cocoa leaves.

I didn't get a chance to make my cheese pilgrimage to Vermont this year. In past recent years, I would vacation in Vermont in the Fall, and drive up this half-eroded winding dirt trail to a place called Sugarbush Farms. They make amazingly good cheese there, sharp cheddars and smoky jacks that are tasty as hell.

I'll definitely resolve to get my ass up there next year. By hook or by crook.
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Moved some stuff into the new apartment. Still have a lot of stuff to move. Heavy stuff.

Cleaned some of the apartment. Still have a lot of apartment to clean. Dirty apartment.

Saw Spirited Away again. Still have to see it again. Bizarre movie.

Heavy. Dirty. Bizarre.

Just like yer ma.

La Dee Da

Oct. 20th, 2002 01:06 am
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So, went to the Bijou on Friday night and saw Spirited Away, a great anime from the makers of Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. It was bizarre. Highly surreal and much cool. I'm going to go see it a whole bunch more times, especially now that I have my Bijou membership card and can see it again and again...

Saturday was mostly a bumming around day. I caught up on some TiVo, and started packing up a couple of things (RPG books mostly). I'm going to go room by room around the house and clear things out a little at a time - hopefully if all goes well tomorrow I'll start moving stuff into the new apartment during the next week. In the evening I went over to joe and chia's place (their townhouse is incredible) and played board and card games with a bunch of friends. Great time had by all.

In about twelve hours I get to look at my prospective apartment and decide if I want to live there. A little after that, I get to see No Doubt and Garbage at the Centrum. Apparently an episode of Dawson's Creek is going to be filmed at the concert tomorrow. Maybe I'll catch a glimpse of Katie Holmes or something.
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lionlady got me in touch with her landlord - a wonderful nice guy - and it turned out that he has an apartment available! And get this... he's going to let me live on the entire second floor of a Worcester triple decker (a six room apartment, with three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living and dining room) by myself and he's going to charge me $400 a month.

400 dollars a month.

It has a two car garage. And a gas stove.

The only catch is that it hasn't been updated EVER. An elderly couple (brother and sister) in their 80s lived there until they both died recently. The same family owned and resided in the building since 1916. The landlord happens to know the entire history of the place because he's lived in the building next to it his whole life. The last time the house was painted was 1969, and everything inside the place is original and hasn't been fixed or updated in any way. Even the furniture and stuff that the elderly couple owned is still inside the aparment. He described it as akin to "stepping into a time capsule".

Essentially, the landlord is a Worcester native and he feels that the city is charging way too much for rents... and he feels somewhat guilty that I'll be moving in before he paints the walls or anything, so he's going to charge me $400 because I'm a friend of lionlady. I just can't freaking believe it.

I'm going to see the inside on Sunday.

I am completely, totally psyched.

lionlady is THE BOMB. I am so truly, truly grateful. I'm now feeling really, really excited about this new move. I can't wait!
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Journal update time! Lots and lots of good things happening.

I made a bunch of new friends and connected with another new-ish friend. I had such a busy weekend - had a night on the town on Friday, then spent the day doing house stuff on Saturday, then in the evening went out to have a fantastic gift certificate subsidized meal at the 111 Chop House (a wonderful gift from a wonderful friend). After that scrumptious dinner, I made my way to a comfort food pot luck gathering of friends and family and had a very amusing and silly time shooting nerf darts at people for several hours. Several of them made very funny noises! hee.

I should have stayed over though. I regret wussing out. Breakfast would have been a great way to start Sunday, especially if telkella were cooking! Alas, it was not in the cards for me... instead I had to manage a bit of a financial crisis for most of the day on Sunday. But I put my time to good use, filing away all my bills and records and finishing up some consulting work that had to be done.

It was a karma thing, I'm sure of it. So many good things happened all at once, something had to come along and balance it out a little. But the cool thing is that I am turning negative things into positive ones. I think I've almost figured that trick out now.

I found out today that I have really good credit. It's not utterly spectacular, but a couple of small steps like closing out an unused credit card account and paying down my balance a little will in fact make it utterly spectacular (in the category of 98% good risk in the eyes of lenders).

Oh, and also today I helped make fireworks a little bit safer by participating in a non-profit research study. Someone will watch me on videotape and use the data to make safer fireworks. Yay!

And I finally had a chance to get some good chinese food at lunch today. Golden treasure and sesame chicken! Woo hoo!

That is all.
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I've had a most amazing and stressful week. We finally made it to opening night for Return to the Forbidden Planet, and we actually managed to pull it off somehow. Seven weeks is not enough time to put a musical together, especially when the band has to learn twenty-five songs in two weeks! Tuesday night was really scary, and tensions were high - but then, somehow, on Wednesday night, everything started to come together. Thursday (opening night) was good, Friday night was better, and on Saturday night we actually got "TELL HER!" right (long story). I think Friday was our best night though... the audience energy was huge, people were laughing and clapping all night, and we only had a couple of empty seats.

The downside was that several actors were robbed during the performance (including me). Someone made his or her way into the dressing rooms, took several wallets and a purse, and made off with cash and some tech gadgets. Some of that cash was ticket money for the show, sadly. The other wallets and purse were recovered just outside where the show was performed, but my wallet was not amongst them (strangely enough). The thing is, none of the rooms were ransacked. Pants and clothing were all folded back up and returned to their original positions if they were holding or covering items. Whomever committed the crime took his or her time, as if he or she knew that no one was going to be going back to the dressing rooms during the second act. Additionally, other tech stuff used in the show went missing...

I have no proof of who did this or why this happened - but it seems to me like it was purely done as a terrorist action. If it were punk kids, or random people, wouldn't they have rushed to commit the crime? Wouldn't the rooms be ransacked instead of returned to their original state? And why go through the wallets and purse right outside the building and drop them on the ground instead of running several blocks away and disposing of them in a trash pail (or in a trash pail fifty feet away)? I have my theories as to motive, but I won't post them publicly.

Losing my ID and debit cards successfully wrecked my weekend. I was planning on going to my Uncle Bernie's wedding on Sunday, but the stress of the show piled onto the stress of being robbed was too much for me. When I got back late night on Friday I cancelled all my credit and debit cards. All morning on Saturday I felt totally powerless... I had no cash, and no way to get cash. Without an ID, I couldn't go to the bank to get any money. I got a new temp license at the RMV in the afternoon, and went on with the show.

Not much else to say at this point. I'd say I was disappointed at witnessing firsthand the bad shit people do, but it's not like I didn't know people were capable of this kind of thing. But I'll tell you what, I'm not going to let myself become a victim again. Not ever.
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Last night Annika threw a send-off party for Harrison - next Wednesday he's going to be flying off to Fort Knox for nine or so weeks of army basic training as part of his National Guard requirements.

They've really done a great job fixing up their house. It's got a very lived in feel now, even though some bits still need to be cleaned up here and there. They don't have a stove, but their kitchen is practically together and they make do with a toaster oven and a couple of individual plug-in burners. And their kitties (Mia and Pia) are adorable. Nutty, but adorable.

The party actually ended up being two parties; the early part of the evening was a cookout and pot luck type dinner. A lot of folks brought yummy desserts: julz's infamous cookies, and Kim brought a great tart and some delectable pumpkin bread. The first party was all adult and wine-and-cheese... but after about 9pm, most folks left to go back East - and Harrison's sister Becca came out from Boston. This is when party number two started, because Becca's mission was to get Harrison wasted. Anni's friends are all totally party people, so we played a bunch of drinking games (organized by Becca - she's so awesome) and had an incredible time. I got pretty darn tipsy, almost enough to get the room spinning. Becca completely accomplished her mission, getting herself totally wasted in the process. A good time had by all. Woo!

Anni and I got to chat a little in the morning today... which was nice because I don't get to see her often enough to do that. She said I got the award for being "super mingler" by hanging out with all her friends from her previous job for most of the night. They're a really fun and open bunch though, so it was just a pretty natural thing to hang out and laugh with them. She and I also had a discussion about how "adult" some of our friends are getting, and how it's completely a mental thing - people just get comfortable in their routines and don't want to get wild and crazy any more.

I have to say, for myself... I hope I never get like that. I mean - barring physical reasons like having a bad stomach or otherwise not being able to handle getting a little crazy once in a while... why the hell shouldn't one enjoy life to the fullest? Why not throw it all to the wind once in a while, especially on a special occasion? In my mind, the minute you stop living is the minute you start dying.

When I thought about it, I wondered aloud if maybe the reason why I feel like that is because I find myself comfortable in chaos. I'd almost say that I need chaos in my life because I also feel like I need to be constantly making order out of it. I find myself compelled to finish puzzles and sort things; writing and coding are anal retentive activities for me. I fidget. I tinker. I can't help it!

I also find myself wishing Harrison the best of luck on this venture. I love him like a brother, and I feel quite a bit of trepidation about the whole thing. But I also know this is something he really needs to do. Please be good man. I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to you.
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I'm sorry if you haven't heard from me much lately... I've been so busy with a million different things that it's just insane. I can usually respond to emails quickly, and I sometimes manage to pop onto AIM late at night.

My palm is itchy today. Money?


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