Tag Archives: On Life and Love

Wa-pow, biatch!

I’d like to preface this by saying that Markov chains are awesomely cool entities.

I’ll also say that I found the opportunity to program them to be fascinating and fun.

I’ll even toss in a (*Grin*) for the grade the testing script gave me. Not perfect, but we’re definitely entering “time sink” area, and I can’t afford that this week.

Now I’m going to bitch about how many miniscule details fucked that shit up every step of the way.

Holy shit I have lost too much sleep for a project that was supposed to be review. And since I bombed the first 40% of the project, the best I can get will be about a 75%, methinks, despite my recovery. I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with the ideas I needed to learn to complete this, but holy hell…

First, though: Math.random() sucks.

Spaces at the end of lines when justifying text are no-no’s. Insert un-zestily odd looping conditions to fix. (This one haunted me on my run (!!!) and subsequent campus walk last night.)

Unevenly distributed spaces are a no-no. Java’s Math.random() sucked ass for generating unweighted values in every attempt I made to use it. Discussion is brewing in the forums as to whether we should be able to evenly distribute the spaces (the test script checks for this) or if we have to randomly distribute the spaces (the specs say to do this). It does not seem possible to have both. I have done the former, for now.

Somewhere along the way I lost my ability to comment a book’s worth of notes into code; maybe because the program isn’t very large in terms of objects being manipulated and I can keep it all in my head. Bad practice, nonetheless. Bad Lissa. That’s all that’s left to do, barring a change in the above tidbit.

Have I mentioned that Math.random() sucks? Is my clock (used a seed) sitting perfectly still?

Hours, hours spent tweaking loop conditions and the order of statements and doing old-school outputting of variables to debug…

Another nice thing, however: since I’m going to be working on my next project over break, at least it’s an interesting one. We’re duplicating and extending the functionality of the UNIX cal command.

Or maybe I’m just a dork…

Experiment, experiment, study–oh, wait. No glassware.

That was actually Wednesday, Thursday, and today. So I’m cleaning glassware all day so I can do a study to refine our methods. I want to come in tomorrow to do the study so I can have an entire day with the lab all to myself and not have to fight over elbow space, but policy states I need a babysitter, and I don’t have one.

I got new running shoes today (not particularly cute, but they are very comfy), and I’m fighting my desire to run a week’s worth before Sunday, because that would just do no good. I simply have much excess energy I need to burn off before Sunday afternoon. I have coffee (or tea, in my case) with the Cool CS Guy, and I just don’t know him well enough to burst into the types of conversation I’ve been having lately. He might have a heart-attack, right there in the coffee place. And I’d feel guilty about that.

I have been having a lot of fun this week. Part of it is all this excess energy I have, which is showing itself through increased sociability, hyperactivity, gutter-talk, boredom, and the tossing of sexual innuendos back and forth with Luke (Always a bad sign, no matter how harmless. Always). Jenn and I are talking a lot again. We did a “Mexican night” last night, in which we strapped a young Latino male to our dining room table and had our way with him repeatedly–

Right. Wrong Mexican night. My bad.

Rather than that bit of fun, we made quesadillas, cajun rice, and guacamole, and had chips and salsa and all sorts of fixings. We ate entirely too much and ran out of silverware for dessert (eating cheesecake with just a knife is a risky thing…) and talked about politics and sex and weight and sex and running and sex and men and sex.

Did I mention how very glad I am that my new running shoes came in today? Jenn is walking around with a permanently shocked look on her face and I’m keeping out of arm’s reach of most members of the male gender this week. For their sake.

Oh, the Agony

Last night, I joined some girls on my floor and a women’s fraternity on a outing to a place called Pumpkin Works. Pumpkin Works is a plaze with various mazes (and other things like hayrides, methinks). Their star attraction is a 6-acre maze, cut from a corn field, in differnet shapes each year. So you go at night, with some buddies and a flashnight, and try to make your way through the maze. Similarly, there’s a maze in which you weave your way through extremely claustrophobia-inducing walkways of hay with low ceilings, interspersed with short bits of crawling and the like. They have other stuff, too, but those are the only two I got to see.

Now, all of this would have been fun and fine and dandy (and the corn maze was) if I hadn’t fallen while running earlier that day. Now, if that doesn’t sound silly, I don’t know what does. I tripped over my own damn shoelaces (I went and bought shorter ones today) and went sprawling, banging up both knees, an elbow, and a palm. Big, ugly bruises and a little blood, but no apparent serious damage to the knees, as I was able to walk the remaining third of a mile back home with naught but a slight limp. If I had managed to redo damage to my right knee, I probably would have just sat there in the road and cried and not gotten up. And thank goodness no one else came along the road while I was getting myself up off the asphalt and assessing damage. Talk about embarrassing.

So back to the mazes. The claustrophobia maze involved itty-bitty bits of crawling to move between passages. Now, when my knees don’t want to bend to let me sit down, or, once sitting, straighten to let me get up and walk, crawling any distance is simply out of the question. And when scabs haven’t even formed on the elbow and palm abrasions, sliding around in hay isn’t a good idea either. I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I just wanted to get off campus a little. I felt pretty bad about having to back all the way out of that maze after already forcing myself through one crawling experience that left me in tears–everyone did that annoying “I’ll go back with you” and “No, you aren’t ruining my fun by asking for one of our three flashlights to go back” bit. (They meant well, though.) I’m such a sissy when it comes to pain. Or a CSSE (hold your mouse over the acronym to see what it stands for). But how sthoopid is the explanation, “I fell while I was running today”?? Geez.

So tonight I’m enjoying having the entire building to myself while everyone, even the most socially recluse, are out hitting the Halloween parties. I’m just playing loud music and reading The Bell Curve for my Rhetoric of Science class. Grr. I haven’t read much yet, but my instinctive, defensive reaction to a theory that essentially says that, along with kinky hair, dark skin, and wide hips, you get less intelligence with being black is to wonder why, of all the possible interpretations of low test scores for blacks that are possible, they chose that one. A girl in my class actually said to me, “Well, you know, if it’s true, you can feel cool about being that much higher on the relative scale of intelligence than we are.”

What?!?!

There are no words for my response to this. How fucking petty does she think I am? It’s not from my cutthroat tendencies in my desire to succeed–I haven’t shown any of those, and I doubt I will (It hasn’t been necessary… Yet. Muah-ha-ha). I jest. Even I have standards. But how fucking petty is she?! And… and… who the fuck would even think, “Oh, I’m glad my race is less smart than other races, because that means I’m just that much smarter for getting where I am”??? Augh! And does she put merit into such an idea, or is she simply more open-minded than I am right now? If anyone had asked me what my IQ is, I probably would have just left the class, plain and simple. Well, I might have tried to get in a parting shot, but I also would have left and enjoyed the break before my next class.

I hate to go into a book so close-minded already, but I don’t think I can get over my instinctual reaction to that idea. I’ll still read the book, of course, and write the essay. The idea of American (or Western society, I suppose, although they focus on America) being divided by intelligence, rather than money (or rather, divided by money as a result of intelligence) or race (again indirectly) is a new one to me, although it makes sense in terms of the jobs that pay the most money (or rather, the intelligence we associate with such jobs). Herrnstein and Murray use some sneaky rhetorical techniques to get their points across, though.

One slightly funny aspect of this is my prof trying to explain to the class the controversy that sprang up around this book. I am one of the most out-spoken people in the class (yes, one of those three or four who dominate discussions), and the whole time he’s talking, my prof is sort of glancing at me out of the corner of his eye, as though waiting on me to make a face or an outburst or something. I limited myself to making faces, clearly visible from the front row, although I opened my mouth once or twice only to shut it when nothing coherent would come out.

[Edited for clarity]

[Listening to “Inside” [Jon B. / Pleasures U Like]]

More than an Eternity…

That’s how long it feels like it’s been. I self-banned myself form my computer this past week, due to my exams. Damn those exams. The only good things about them were that I got an A (94) on my English IB-style essay (my highest essay grade this year in that class) and that my Computer Science exam was even easier than I thought it would be. All in all, the week was simply boring and draining.

I did come back to the land of technology today to find things a little changed. Okay, greatly changed. I got an e-mail from my old buddy Ayana (despite my avoidance of her for a while (did we ever actually argue? I’m not sure.), she’s a great chica (pronounced with a Spanish accent), and I’ve enjoyed reading about her in Micah and Sonny’s blogs and her own blog. Another major change is that Sonny is reading (or has read) my blog at some point this week. Now that I have a visitor or two, I feel kinda exposed, but not enough to take my blog down. It’s an interesting feeling. I don’t expose myself often.

I’m not much of a gossip generally, and I don’t really want to be one here, but there is something I simple must share for those who attended Harding (Micah, Ayana…). There is a very nasty (and I do mean nasty) rumor that M.K. and the Titty-Mongeror (check my spelling on that) are dating. I about had a seizure when I heard (for multiple reasons, unfortunately, although that’s a later discussion). I would rather clean up vomit on the floor of a clothing store than think of those two together. 🙂 Just for a little perspective.

This week, I’ve gone back to a CD I haven’t listened to in about two months, a CD of Syrian music (yes, the Middle-Eastern country) given to me by my physics teacher. I don’t speak Arabic at all, and have no idea what they are saying, but the music is kind of pop-ish, although the instruments are different. Lots of violin (which I love), acoustic Spanish-sounding geetar, and another instrument I can’t identify (some sort of woodwind-type instrument). My physics teacher tells me these are the kind of music middle-age people would listen to, like mellow jazz here (which I also love), but the music is very… “jaunty” isn’t the right word, but it’s the first that comes to mind (everyone should read Choke by Chuck Palahniuk). Most are obviously love songs (more in the style of Pink’s first CD than any slow R&B music). There are no songs on this CD I dislike. I am currently listening to two songs on repeat, and have been, 9 hours a day, for the past 7 days. I’m that type. Since I abstained from my computer this week, I fell even harder on my other addiction of music. I wonder if there is a Musiker’s Anonymous group. “Hi, my name is Melissa, and I’m an addict”?? It’s kinda sad. The only reason I hate work is that I can’t have music while I’m there. Songs play in my head all the time, including these Syrian songs that I can sing the words to. For how many other people is this a problem? Our music becomes harder, faster, more intense, more obscene, louder, more explicit about everything from sex to political protests, and it’s still not enough to satiate us. In Lullaby by Palahniuk (which I never got to finish), Palahniuk was dissecting Americans’ addiction to noise, how people listen to the TV louder than ever, or simply always have it on, or how people blast music just driving down the street, or simply always have the radio/CD player on. This struck a chord with me. I haven’t watched TV in about two months, but I am always listening to music. I like to think silence doesn’t bother me, and silence from talk never does, but silence from music does. I was reading this book around the time I went to stay the night over at my friend Eddie’s house (in order to watch movies, thank you very much), and found a similar trend with television in his house. He plays the TV loud (something which always bothers me anyway, whether my family does it or my friends) and somewhere in his house, a TV is on. In my own house, my father will be working at his desk and will have the TV on, although he isn’t watching it. For background noise, to help him think, he says. And when he settles down to watch movies at night with my mother, they play the TV so loud, I have to put on headphones with music to go to sleep. Friends whose cars I ride in always have music playing, and in the case of my buddy Michael, loud to the point where conversation is hardly possible for someone (such as myself) who tunes out voices automatically to hear music. And he still tries to have a conversation, and everyone is saying “huh?” every 5 secs. While I think that it’s also rude to play music that loud and try to have a conversation, that’s beside the point. Palahniuk knows of what he speaks, too well.

In case you haven’t been able to tell, I’m in need of a major catharsis right now, before I go in to work, so this is going to get longer.

I realized something about myself about a year ago, and that is that become easily saturated with people. I will be around someone (I like serially monogamous friendships) for a while, then I start to notice things about them that bug the hell out of me. And I find myself snappish and bitchy towards these unsuspecting people. Nothing about them changed, I just allowed myself to let their flaws (which I noticed from the beginning) annoy me. For instance, the guy that drives me to school is a very nice guy. He’s completely un-ambitious (his life goal is to go to UNCC and become a librarian), and is often labelled as gay (whether he is or not, I dunno, as I don’t know him that well). But he also tries to act with Michael’s assertiveness and outright arrogance at times. It’s a bad fit in such a guy. I know all this. I have known all this since he first offered to take me to school (“Hi, Melissa? Yeah, I’m coming by at 6:00 to pick you up for school, so be ready. … Uh, is that okay?”). Yet lately, his attitude and actions have made everything he says seem like a whiny, complaining little bitch. Once again, on one level I know things are no different, yet on another, it’s like, “Just shut the fuck up, you snivelling little fruity cowardly bastard….”. Yeah. But I do this with all my friends. With Michael, he called me everyday (make note that I said everyday) just to say hi. My parents thought it was odd, given that he is engaged, but I don’t automatically attribute that motive to males (for obvious reasons if you have ever seen me). But the thing is, he saw me everyday at school, and called me every night, usually a minumum of twice and up to ten times for help with schoolwork, his website, comp. sci. homework, computer problems of everyone he knows in the United States, or just to say good night. “Good night”?? WTF? I don’t even say good night to my parents! And while it’s very touching and everything, I found it rude and counterproductive to getting any work done in any subject or area, in fact. How can you read a good book if your phone is ringing off it’s goddamn hook eery fifteen minutes? Finally, over Thanksgiving break, I refused to answer my phone until the night before we went back to school. He didn’t understand that my vacations from school are vacations from school, friends, social life of any kind, everything. So I explained it to him. It was some day in December before he finally stopped calling me. I wrote in down on a calendar. It was the first day since August (maybe before) that Michael hadn’t called me. I wanted to cry in relief. But I digress. Around October, I became sick of Michael. I became sick of his arrogance in assuming that I was always available and wanted to talk and help him with his every little problem (although he always complained about how little time he had) and his rudeness in talking about my friends and former-friends-turned-mere-acquaintances to name a few reasons. He refused to search the Internet for help in building his website, refused to read the math book for help with his homework, etc. The climax occured at my birthday get-together in late October, in which several people, Dulin, Michael, Jenny, and a couple other people, were invited to my house for movies and McAlisters (and some computer oogling). My living room isn’t large, and has a couch (three cushions), a love-seat (two cushions) and a large not-a-recliner-but-it-looks-like-one chair. I had about 8 people over, not including myself. That’s not enough funiture, although there’s enough room for the extras to sit comfortably on the floor. Michael and Jenny took it upon themselves to stretch-out on the longer couch, reserving it for themselves. I still see red when I think about this. They walked into my fucking house, with their rude-ass PDA (public displays of affection), and lay down all over my couch, while three people sat on the floor. There are no words. Then, Michael took over my TV. I hate loud TV and love close-captioning so that I don’t have to turn it up loud, but since he’s deaf and hates closed-captioning, we all must accomodate ourselves to his desires, right? Remember this is my fucking house. And then I couldn’t get the remote back without causing a major scene, and looking like the complete bitch I am and wanted to be, because he wouldn’t just hand it over. I try to pass it off as a cultural difference, because when I go into someone’s house, I try to be as unobtrusive as possible and cause little disturbance, while Michael will go in and make himself quite at home. Different upbringings, you know? R. i. g. h. t. Fuck that. I sputtered in anger everytime he talked to me for while after that.

Whew. How did I get on that tangent? “Lower the blood pressure, now. It’s okay, now Lissa, it’s over…” I never learned to forgive or forget. I can shelve issues until I need then later, but I can’t forgive or forget. I would make a sucky Christian. Turn the other cheek, ha. More like open up a can…

Anyway, on the subject of saturation. I’ve noticed that I become saturated with anyone that hang around long enough, whether I know them well at all or not (for instance, I don’t know the guy that drives me to school well). It never fails. Even people like Eddie and Ayana, and especially people like Micah or Michael, who tend to be a little more… clingy. Yet it’s that clinginess that attracts me to them in many ways. Everyone wants to feel needed, and this is enhanced by the fact that I like to have only one good friend at a time, in a serially monogamous style, as I said before.

Subject change: the Military Ball. I was asked to go by Dulin, who must go, because he’s the Colonel, and thus the CO of the JROTC at Harding. He asked me two Thursdays ago. “Hey, Melissa. Will you go to the military ball with me on the eighth? I’m getting really desperate, and if I don’t find a date, I’ll be assigned to go with Sheniqua or Laqueequee. …. [my frowning, stunned silence] … See the thing is, I went with a whore and then with Shelly, so I was thinking I could go with someone, you know, cooler.” While that isn’t exactly a raving review (“I’m getting desparate”???), I went ahead and said yes. How does my decision fit into my existentialist views? In other words, how is this self-serving? I know, and Dulin knows, that he owes me now. Big. I loathe dressing up; I didn’t go to prom last year and am considering not going this year (a post for another day). I hate dresses, make-up, manicures, all that girly-stuff, and the military ball is a formal occasion, which means a prom dress. So when I found a dress, I gave him my official “yes” status and reminded him yet again of how much he owes me. I don’t when I’ll use my get-out-of-jail-free card, but I have it now.

I think I may be done catharsizing now (that’s not a word, I know). I’m off to read some blogs, and maybe, maybe figure out what this thing is between Micah and this Dustin guy… What ever happened to David, the guy from the New Year’s party?!