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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
September 2009
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For the monarch

I didnt post yesterday because I keep thinking, omg, how much whining can I do in a week? Apparently the answer is a lot. I’ve been hanging on twitter and spamming blogs because y’all, today was fucking fantasticly sucky. After Monday and yesterday (which, it was just yesterday, but I spent the ENTIRE day working on something that was FANTASTICALLY SIMPLE BUT I AM AN IDIOT). So that was fun. Today, the homework is due. The homework that I created and am going to grade. I have no finished the solution for the second homework I am supposed to create. So I went in (despite feeling ragged) because I knew there were going to be a ton of questions. There were. I think we got a new question at least once every 15 minutes. Mostly the professor answered them. I also had a kid scoot in to ask me a question right before 4 (which is the end of the time period I told students they could stop by).

All of this would have been fine. I would have worked on my solution and hopefully gotten most of it done and it would have been fine. Wasn’t to be. Because the second of the two homeworks is going to be assigned tonight since all the kiddies are turning in the first one tonight. But I get an email from the prof saying that my third question doesn’t work. There’s only three questions. I kind of stressed myself out of my mind this weekend and Monday putting together these questions and figuring out what these kids were supposed to do. She raises a… possibly not valid question, but I’ve got to answer it. I got to tell her why and I honestly am not sure. I have no CLUE. I twittered “I AM NOT SMART ENOUGH FOR THIS SHIT PEOPLE.” Because I DON’T KNOW. (I’m about to blubber all the tech shit. Ignore the rest of this paragraph.) I don’t know whether the CPI number for the CISC instruction version of this code is valid or even if the tools that we’ve made available will pick up on the difference between the CISC and the RISC implementations. The tools suck, that’s one part. The other part is that even if the ISA differentiates between CISC and RISC, the actual hardware implementation takes those pretty CISC instructions and breaks them down anyways. But I don’t have anything that will give me actual numbers for anything. For execution time, for CPI. Nothing. So whatever. I came up with a way to ask the students! And then I realized that was horrific and I tried to take it back but the professor liked it! *sighs* I’ve been feeling teary since then. And sad. I feel so stupid. Stupid stupid.

I’m tired. I’m cranky. I’m hormonal. I feel so dumb. I feel hideous. I want this week to be over. I want to stop being so self centered. I want to stop being so whiny.

But my friends are going to have a baby!!! I am so excited. Her middle name is going to be Korean for butterfly. They aren’t sure how to spell it yet (Nabee, Nabi, or Nabie). She isn’t even born, but I won’t put her full name on a public blog. If you want to give your vote, email me and I’ll give you the full name.

while we were laughing and smoking and drinking

Today started off rough and got worse. Got up, took Bear to work, went to the post office and home to get my shit and ran back to school to meet a new guy because his installs on his personal laptop aren’t working. Walked in to find out that he just left for “class” despite telling me that his class didn’t start for 40 minutes after I showed up. I swallowed that down, because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have gone in today. I ended up answering a lot of questions about an assignment I created for a class that two students I’m in the lab with are taking, so I’m telling myself it was worth it.

I then started working on the next assignment I’m giving (thankfully I’m only giving two). The last one, creating the assignment went pretty well and was fun except for figuring out exactly what to ask. This one, just figuring out what the assignment should cover or how it should cover it was hell. The tools I have available BLOW in terms of documentation. One is so bad I think the creators and collectors for the different tools don’t even understand the concept. I spent hours just figuring out which stupid Pin tools do what. I’m still not sure whether one metric I want is available or if I’d have to create my own tool (not doing that). Some of these tools give numbers and I’m like…. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN SIGNIFY? And gprof failed me. The program we want the students to work on it too short for it to get actual timing for each of the functions and if I make them use a longer version it defeats the point of using this program. So I’ve spent an increasing amount of time glaring and huffing and growling at my computer screen while I work my way through what feels like three billion different tools that are all undocumented and some without any kind of readable LABELS trying to piece together enough information to ask the students for any kind of analysis of the assembly they are supposed to deconstruct.

In the middle of all this my mom tells me that IE doesn’t work for her anymore. I spend a lot of time fighting with her to get logmein set up on her computer (omg, how did my mother forget how to figure out the USERNAME for her account on her laptop???? how did she not already KNOW IT???????????). Eventually I log in and start poking around with IE and realize that the pages that have the most trouble use java, but I can’t click any links and I can’t click buttons and I was losing my mind. Finally I was like, I don’t know. I asked Bear to check it out and he said, you can’t install anything either. So I tried, and it’s fucked. I thank Bear for spend half an hour during his workday messing with my mom’s computer and I call her back. I tell her, do you see this isn’t working? It’s worse than you thought. And she says (I have it on my phone, she actually said this) “The cat did it.” My response: “That is not acceptable mother.” It was at least worth a shocked giggle I guess. My brother got about a million IMs during this going, “where is our mother’s brain?” and “I’m going to kill her.” His response was to make sure I didn’t make a mess. I really do thank God for giving me my brother. Bear and he are my boys.

So yeah. I’ve now racked up more than 24 hours playing with assembly instructions and really frustrating tools for this assignment alone and I haven’t written a solution yet. In addition to my mother acting brainless and like a 5th grader, I had a new labmate stand me up. I can’t tell if I’d be more frustrated if I’d found out he never showed than knowing he showed, he just decided not to stick around. But I really really want to do something that WORKS right now. I just don’t know what. I’m worried if I try to read, the story will be bad or silly or not make enough sense for me right now and I’ll just combust from the accumulated frustration.

In other words

So last night Bear put on a movie for us to watch together that he got. It was pretty amazing. It’s a film noir style film, but not black and white or old. I don’t want to say too much. It has Joseph Gordon-Levitt in it and I kept being struck by how much he looks like a really young Heath Ledger while I was watching it. I really really think everyone should see it. It’s called Brick and it’s written and directed by Rian Johnson. Which I think is a cool way to spell Rian. Maybe a little pretentious, but whatever. I’m even more excited to see Brothers Bloom now. So afterwards I’m ready to get up and get some work done and check my email and my normal evening routine. I know Bear is exhausted too, so I’m surprised when he says, “That’s not the only movie I got. Come look.” So I walk back to him and he sit with me just for a little bit. So he scoots over and I sit down and snuggle into him a bit. He says “Look I got Enchanted.” I was kind of confused, because Enchanted? Isn’t that that Disney movie that I think I’ve seen most of at least twice?

So I’m like “Bear, Bear? Why did you get Enchanted? We don’t have to watch this. I’ve seen it like twice I think.” He ignored me in Bear fashion and I was distracted by the TV anyways because Enchanted is RIDICULOUS in it’s powers to make me laugh like a hyena. So then Bear says “You laughed so hard when you watched it the last time.” I was like, are you WATCHING this? And then I practically climbed him in hysteria and embarrassment at the crap going on with the characters and he continues “I haven’t seen you laugh so hard at a movie in a really long time.”

So basically Bear got two movies, one of which he’d already seen and the other that he has no interest in seeing just because the first one he thought would wow me and the other because he knew it made me laugh like I rarely laugh. Here’s the kicker though. He watched every bit that I watched with me. I seriously don’t know what to do with him. My heart has been hurting since. I would move three thousand miles all over again to be with him. I would spend thousands of dollars all over again to talk to him. I would go through every bit of family crap all over again. I would marry him all over again. I probably will spend many many years crying and screaming and laughing because of him. I’m pretty good with that. As long as I still have him.

Two working arms and legs

I’m sucking at the blogging again. But I had family in town and then I went out of town and then I had Linda in town. Seriously, the last three weekends have been very busy and! at work I’ve been trying to do my research and I picked up 10 hours of TA work.

So I have all kinds of rambles in my head. I was going to say lately, but really? That would have been a big fat lie considering I ramble all the time in my head about all kinds of things. Lately it’s about what makes us happy. Not like that TED talk where the dude was talking about synthesizing happiness. Although maybe. I meant, like, in the moments where you aren’t working towards your big goals in life, where you aren’t worrying about money or family, what makes it possible for us to be happy? Definitely part of it is the way we process our lives. If your mind constantly sticks on the amount of calories in the food you ate or the money you spent or that thing so and so said to you, it’s going to be very hard to be happy. If you treat others badly, that takes its toll on you too. There’s a million tiny things that can clearly be signs of people just not being happy or content with their lives.

I’ve met happy people who aren’t depressed, but are in a bad relationship or are struggling with family or money problems. They are still happy people, despite whatever struggles they’ve invited into their lives or they’ve taken upon themselves.

I’ve met unhappy people who aren’t depressed, but have the best luck and refuse to see it. They manage to be accomplished at work and have good days just like the happy people, but you’d never know it from how they talk.

I’ve met happy and unhappy depressed people. It took me a while to realize that depression doesn’t account for everything. Because it doesn’t. Because if it did, then how on earth could you have two people who clearly have clinical depression problems, but one manages to still see how wow, today was a good day, I’m just having trouble feeling that goodness and people who had the same types of things happen to them, but only feel the fact that they missed their bus.

So lately I’ve been trying to see, what do the happy people, depressed or not, have in common. What do the unhappy people have in common. I think it’s about respect and love. If you love yourself and life and you have respect for your life and other’s lives, this leads to happiness. It makes it easier to be happy.

Lately (this time it is true) I’ve become increasingly aware just how important respect is. Respect for yourself, for the people around you, for the things we have and the things we kill in order to make space for ourselves. Love for yourself and people in general and especially your loved ones.

I think most of us forget to love and respect ourselves. I don’t mean the stupid modern don’t let your kids become your life and take time for yourself and be selfish shit that people tend to abuse lately. I mean, loving the way you process the world around you. Appreciating how it’s different from other people. Deciding that your hair, despite all the ways you hate it, is interesting to you. I don’t know, there’s a million ways, none of them overt or time consuming, to love yourself.

If you aren’t happy that your skin is warm just behind your knees and the fact that your ankles hurt when you sleep on your stomach, how can you find amazement in how your husband’s back is warmer than behind his knees and that one of his feet is more crooked than the other? If you don’t appreciate that you get sad at old movies because black and white makes things too stark and be amazed at that quirk of your personality, how can you find the fact that your husband pretends to like horror movies but never watches them adorable or that your mom cries at movie weddings but not real ones hilarious? It’s not just that we should know these things about ourselves, but that we should like them. We should realize that we will never be anyone else in this world and that makes our quirks some of the most precious things in our lives. Underneath every interaction and ever touch you give, beats the fact that you love. That you know how valuable your touch is to you and thus to the people you touch. That everything you give, even to those who don’t appreciate it, comes from love and respect.

I wanted to end this post there, but I think I have a more concise way of saying what I’m trying to say. We only have one point of view in life. If we can’t like that point of view, how can we ever like what we see with it?