baphijmm: (Science!)
( Sep. 10th, 2011 03:09 pm)
Hey, it's working again! No idea what happened before.

I ended up just visiting Alamogordo for a short while; I discovered a small mall there, but there really wasn't much of anything therein. I was pondering going up to the Space History Hall of Fame, but I wasn't sure I'd have the time for that - I really wanted to make it out to Sunspot as well.

The Sacramento Mountains, especially as you approach Sacramento Peak itself, are amazingly Alpine. The area is nothing like the rest of the state. It was additionally a great drive, both because the road was well-designed and kept, and because I plugged in a CD with Rhapsody of Fire, Manowar, Kamelot, and other such music on it. It was a lot of fun to rock out while traversing the winding mountain roads.

Sunspot itself was pretty neat. The town is pretty much a bunch of mobile homes centered around the Solar Observatory itself. It being a Saturday, no one was using any of the scopes; still, it was quite neat to see them. There was also an amazing view from the top of the ridge overlooking the entire Tularosa basin; I could see the far side of White Sands and beyond.

On my way back, I encountered a family of deer; I am used to seeing deer all the time - there are many in the small nursery abutting my parents' neighborhood - but I'm used to seeing white-tailed deer exclusively; these guys were definitely not that variety. It was pretty neat.

My "shift" this evening begins in about two hours; not sure what we'll be doing, but I'm already looking forward to it.
baphijmm: (All ur base)
( Feb. 16th, 2011 02:15 pm)
This song is totally the sort of thing I used to write in high school. I wish I still had the capability to do that sort of thing.

Dad will be here this evening. I am preparing.

Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

(For the record, it's really hard for me to think of anything that isn't overtly sexual, and I'm not putting any of those on here. Thing is, most things from which I derive enjoyment, I feel no guilt about.)

1. Pretty much any Eastern dragon. >_>

2. Looking good, dressing up, that sort of thing.

3. Playing video games. This wouldn't be such a "guilty" pleasure were it not for the absolute shit writing that goes into them any more, largely in an attempt to keep the cap-wearing-bastard "gamer" crowd.

4. Practicing science without a license. UH-OH


6. Eating most anything more expensive than ramen. Not because "OMG Calories", but because "OMG I so can't afford this, thanks taxpayers". This applied before I was unemployed, too.

7. As silly as it sounds, singing. I love to sing, and I'm told I'm pretty good at it - I mean, I kinda have to be to have been in two musicals as a named, principal role, and to have been invited to audition for the longest-running musical revue show in the country - but I'm always nervous / embarrassed to sing in front of others.
baphijmm: (Mikage)
( Feb. 15th, 2011 07:41 am)
Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

1. A car I can actually fucking drive.

2. As I said in a previous entry, a place to call my own. Of course, since we're doing the whole "worldly material desires" thing, I'm going to go ahead and say a large plot of land with my own research facility on it.

3. Am I allowed to say "another life entirely"? Because I totally want one of those.

4. A universal passport and visa.

5. A degree maybe? So people will stop scoffing at my credentials when I'm sometimes *more* qualified than they are.

6. I'm really having difficulty thinking of much else besides pretty much anything that would allow me to live with minimal human interaction.

7. Yeah, I got nothing.
baphijmm: (Science!)
( Feb. 14th, 2011 11:01 pm)
Today was kinda interesting. Just my luck, my hypersomnia's been flaring up again, so I've been having difficulty staying awake. This has made it difficult to accomplish much of anything, least of all the parts of my plans I could otherwise accomplish immediately.

Some might recall that about two weeks ago I sent a query off to an agent regarding my book; her webpage stated that an automated email would be sent within the week, whenever she got around to opening it. Having not received said email after said two weeks, I presumed it lost to the great labyrinth of the internet. As a result, this afternoon I sent another query to another agent. Wouldn't you know it, not one hour later I get said automated email from the first. :P Ah well; maybe I'll get lucky and one of them will be interested at all. I hear it's notoriously difficult to get accepted by an agent as a new writer.

There is a possibility that my departure might be postponed a few days at least; as shitty as circumstances are to lead to such a thing, I kinda hope it does come to pass. I'm not nearly mentally ready to return to Cincinnati, least of all in this manner. As I keep saying, I really don't want to have to deal with that right now.
baphijmm: (jammin')
( Feb. 14th, 2011 09:24 am)
Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

1. Homework.

2. Housework.

3. Paperwork.

4. Basic health concerns.

5. Practice.

6. Finish projects.

7. Eat.
baphijmm: (bring it)
( Feb. 13th, 2011 10:50 am)
I think I'm going to spend the majority of the next few days sloshed. I really don't want to have to be conscious right now. Thank fuck for the internet, or I'd have no hope at all right now. \o/

Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

1. Being ignored, but especially being ignored because of something I have / do not have. Easily number one on the list.

2. People trying to force their ideology and morality on others, through law especially. Even more so when they bitch at others for doing the exact same thing.

3. People insisting that a "side" must be chosen as though every debate ever is a two-sided issue.

4. Working through a problem on a computer for some reason. I'm thorough and will work until a problem is solved, which is why I'm so good at it I suppose; however, I will be absolutely inconsolable during.

5. Waiting. I recognize its necessity, and often it doesn't make me angry at all; however, extended periods of time waiting on something that could have been taken care of in an afternoon or something, especially when it pertains directly to my livelihood, makes me kinda livid.

6. Pain. Pain seriously pisses me off. (You can imagine how I feel now that I'm in pretty much constant pain thanks to my leg.)

7. Generally being awake tends to piss me off, honestly.
baphijmm: (bring it)
( Feb. 12th, 2011 10:14 am)
I've been awake for three hours; how is it still so early? D:

Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

1. A job. :P

2. A place of my own. Certainly a house on my own land would be nice, but honestly I'd settle for an apartment.

3. The ability to just sit down and work on something. I guess it's weird, but I have a hard time focusing on any one thing for too long. For example, if I try to work on a project exclusively for more than a few days, I just completely lose interest.

4. The ability to hold a normal sleep schedule, or at least to not have to sleep ten to eighteen hours a day to be rested.

5. Artistic talent. Seriously, a lot of the stories I have locked up in my head would be much better-told in the form of comics or at least illustrations.

6. The ability to have anything I say be taken seriously without the need for a fucking degree. Appeal to authority much?

7. My old ability to access my own memories. Drives me nuts that I can't remember things nearly as well as I used to before the assault.
baphijmm: (past)
( Feb. 11th, 2011 07:03 am)
So it would appear that my paternal unit will be in Socorro the 16th, and the pair of us will be leaving the 18th to return to Cincinnati the 21st. Let it be known that, regardless of circumstance, my leaving of Socorro at this point will not be accompanied with any sort of promise to return; to the contrary, I would say that it is a pretty good bet to say that I will not be returning for most any reason outside of collecting my things. I am done with this town, and I am done with New Mexico Tech unless the school makes a complete 180 and fires half its administration (I could even name names if necessary). In fact, it's a pretty safe bet that I will not be returning to this state for much of anything short of, again, my belongings. This is my burning of that bridge. If I had a little more time to prepare, that "burning" might be a little more permanent. And literal.

Did I mention I really, really hate this state? Perhaps with every fiber of my being? I suppose I shouldn't really be burning bridges just yet; my paperwork checked out and they might interview me for that position in Albuquerque. Still, HATE.

I was doing a little thinking this past evening regarding my need to rely on others. I've made it no secret that I absolutely abhor this fact, but I suppose I should elaborate considering my inner dialogue. For example, if the things I'd had lined up in January in California were to have instead been lined up this week, I would have been able to make every single one of them. I may not have gotten a job even then, but the chances would have been astronomically better, and all because I would not have had to rely on anyone else. I could have been picking myself up off the floor to which New Mexico threw me, dusting myself off, and restarting my life under my own power. I would have made the interview, the audition for Beach Blanket Babylon in which I was invited to participate, and the biotech job fair I was also invited to attend. Conversely, had Walmart gotten my W-2 to me in a more timely manner, such could have been possible back then, but again that would have been me relying on someone else.

Speaking of Walmart, I got news that the head manager is leaving, being relocated to another store. This means that, were I so inclined, I could actually go back and re-apply for my job (which, by the way, they have not filled, because the old manager was a gigantic ass who was more interested in getting a bonus than actually running his fucking store), informing them that I was wrongfully terminated because of my medical issue. Of course, I have no intention of returning to that horrible place. Read that, Walmart? Suck my dick, you aren't getting me back for anything.

So, in order to fulfill my desire to not have to rely on others for anything ever again, I have a complete comprehensive plan. This will go into effect regardless of what happens over the next few weeks, because seriously I can't rely on anyone for anything ever again. I can share some of this plan, but other parts of it I require to remain absolutely inside my head. I will say that part of it involves making fursuits, something I'd hoped to be doing by this point anyway; another does involve getting off my ass and writing more.

I end this entry with the beginning of a meme I'm stealing from [ profile] tonberrygrrl.

Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

1. I joined the Boy Scouts when I was nine after having been a Cub Scout for four years; within a year I had progressed three ranks and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, one of the youngest people to do this (as really there was kind of an age limit due to the times necessary to earn those ranks after the age limit to enter Boy Scouts in the first place). By age twelve I had completed my Eagle Project, and sat on the two remaining merit badges I needed for several years before I officially earned Eagle. I know the BSA isn't that great an organization as a whole anymore, what with the Mormons running the thing, but I'm still proud of myself for these things. :P

2. I began writing the first book I published in high school, compiling little bits and pieces for the story from games I used to play by myself as a kid. That's right - Journey to Fire's Keep has been in production for most of my life. I think the first little game I began playing with the universe actually took place when I was six, involving the ruins in River City.

3. My first programming language was LOGO when I was, again, six; this in and of itself isn't terribly impressive. When I was still in grade school, one of the final projects we had for my computer class involved writing a tessellation. I finished mine, a series of squares and equilateral triangles, within a day. The next student to finish took two weeks.

4. My first second language was American Sign Language. As a student in middle school, five years after my last lesson in the language, I filled in for a student aid who was sick and provided an admittedly rather broken lecture translation to the one deaf student in our art class. Today, I could probably do the same with the same level of accuracy with Russian or Japanese, and could provide a near-perfect lecture translation in German.

5. I like to go above and beyond on assigned projects if it's anything in which I hold interest. In CS111, my Java linked list assignment - after only having just learned about linked lists by basically teaching myself what they were, because I only attended that class maybe three times outside of tests and lab - could really have been considered a basic database with a large amount of functionality. (Yes, I am aware that technically a linked list is a database, but I'm talking the more traditional definition.) In Orbital Mechanics, when told to plan trajectories for a mission to Saturn and back, I gave full orbital schematics and schedules, including actual exact dates (and times in UTC, if I recall), and furthermore had the probe circle Titan before circling Saturn and returning.

6. In seventh grade, my first place in an otherwise high school-level competition got the school's Science Olympiad team to state. That same year, I used my understanding of time and the sun's position in an orienteering competition when we'd forgotten a compass - and succeeded. In high school, the one other year in which I participated in the Olympiad, I placed in three events in regional and two in state, all in events in which I was the only entrant from our school.

7. I am an accomplished actor, singer, and musician. :3
baphijmm: (Science!)
( Feb. 9th, 2011 05:40 am)
Woke up thanks to my cat, couldn't get back to sleep, so I felt pretty bleh all day. Not much I can say about that. I was going to go to the store in the evening to replenish foodstuffs, but there was a rather fierce windstorm that made me think twice about such things. I intend to do this today, whoop-dee-do. :P

Discovered something that made me feel a little better about the job applications I was bitching about in the previous entry. See, I'd applied to a few jobs at Procter and Gamble, actually listing my parents' address as my own (as it would be my own were I to return), several days before the applications in-question as something of a preemptive preparation for my return; I discovered their site actually allows applicants to see the status of their applications. Upon realizing that they hadn't gotten around to reading anything of mine, I also realized that a lot of these kinds of jobs, when I'd applied to them before, would take a while for anyone to get back with me regardless of their thoughts. They always wait a little while, often even advertising multiple times that they're trying to fill a position in the meantime, to get as many qualified applicants as they possibly can before they try to sort through them. So, yeah, it's entirely possible and even likely that they just haven't even read my applications yet. I'm getting spoiled by Craigslist. :P

Speaking of the job search, I found a few more this morning (as in, within the past few hours) for which I'd be a good match, and one that would even probably look at non-local applicants seriously. This one in particular I would absolutely *love* to get; it's not "cushy" at ALL, rather it would expect me to work my ass clean off, and furthermore it would be doing something I have experience with and absolutely love doing - R&D lab management. As usual, crossing fingers.
baphijmm: (Nerd)
( Feb. 8th, 2011 02:03 am)
So, yeah, phone interview. It almost didn't happen because the house phone didn't ring and the line to the answering machine (and, to my knowledge, the louder phone) had been unplugged for some reason. Thankfully, the individual from HR had the sense to email me before she left the office, whereupon I informed her of my cell phone number. Overall, I think it went quite well; at the very least, they sent me the next thing I need to do.

Thing is, I'll need a security clearance, which means they have to determine if I'd be eligible for one before they'll do any sort of actual, serious interview. This poses something of a problem, because my dad is going to be here next Thursday, the 17th, (probably) to pick me up and take me back to Cincinnati (definitely). In other words, this kinda has to be done ASAP. I have no doubt about my eligibility for a security clearance, but I do have my doubts as to whether or not I will even be here in time for the more serious interviews.

No word yet from anyone else. To be sure, they all most assuredly have HR departments, which will make sorting through applications take that much longer, but I kinda applied to some of those positions a week ago. I do understand the desire to distance oneself from... distant applicants, but seriously, at least give them a rejection email or something. Hell, even the government extends at least that much courtesy. :/ (Additionally, I know for a fact that they're still looking to fill the position, which begs the question: If you'd've interviewed me and hired me, someone who is definitely qualified for the position, back when I'd applied, I could have been working by now and even been there under my own freaking power; in that light, why the hell are you refusing to even look? O_o )

That having been said, I hear LANL is looking for a new lab director. I wonder... :3c
baphijmm: (Default)
( Feb. 5th, 2011 04:43 am)
Yes, I'm making a conscientious effort to post more. Does it show?

Recently I was officially introduced to Cave Story by [ profile] antonius_glock; I'd heard of it before and seen some of its related content, but had never really taken too much interest in it. Overall, it seems like a pretty fun game. It's definitely got me thinking creatively again, which is a good thing if I want to keep writing.

I have been granted the immense boon of a phone interview. The position is contractual I believe, PC repair within Albuquerque. It will be taking place Monday some time, so I really need to get my sleep schedule back in order shortly.

In other job search-related news, I've bitten the bullet and applied to a number of other locations, including, as I am most happy with, Apple. These are all jobs I genuinely believe I can do well, definitely getting a boost in confidence from that interview back in Mountain View; I'm just not sure they're going to look past the bit in the application that says I'm in New Mexico, even though I do state in my cover letters that I am "in the process of relocating" (not technically a lie, as I am actually packing things up to relocate and do actually have a complete plan for relocation to the South Bay area).

I meant to have had this thing printed out that needed to go out via FedEx ground by now, but entirely forgot. Now, everyone I know is going up to ABQ this weekend, and I'll need to figure out something else to do with it. I might be able to send it via post, maybe. Actually, yeah, probably. I'm just not sure how fast that will be, as it really should have been at its destination last week had I been on the ball and not pre-occupied with this job search. ^^;
baphijmm: (antisocial)
( Feb. 4th, 2011 05:10 am)
For those of you (all three of you who maybe still read this thing) unaware, New Mexico was hit by the recent massive winter storm that swept the country, leaving Socorro specifically under more than six inches of a light, powdery snow. Tuesday night was quite interesting; the reflective clouds above and reflective snow below left the entire atmosphere looking like the inside of a sodium lamp. It was cold, but not terribly so, the clouds doing a decent job of insulating the area.

Wednesday, it was brought to my attention that I owned a pair of skis; however, I was unable to find the boots, having forgotten where exactly I had placed them. Classes had been canceled at NMT, so most everyone I knew pretty much hung out for the day. It was announced early on that classes would also be canceled Thursday, so there was much rejoicing. Unfortunately, Altamirano apartments, the on-campus apartment housing for students, lost heat early that day as well, one of the first buildings in Socorro to do so. A few pipes here and there in town began to freeze and rupture. That night, it got down to roughly -10F, the cloud-cover completely gone by the time the sun set. We got ice depositing on the inside of our windows, I think probably 5mm at the thickest, because of how cold it was outside. This ice actually persisted throughout Thursday.

With Thursday came the announcement of a State of Emergency throughout New Mexico - because of power failures in Texas and this state's strange fascination with selling its few natural resources, natural gas reserves had been nearly drained. The city of Socorro was urging its citizens to keep their thermostats no higher than 60F and preferably lower, as many more buildings began to lose heat, causing even more ruptured pipes. New Mexico Tech opened Fidel Center, the Student Services Center (what other campuses might call a student union building, were there a student union and if the school were actually using it more towards that end as opposed to brand new office space), for the student body to sleep within, and actually began encouraging students to go home instead of staying on campus. Furthermore, the city announced that they would be providing housing to those who needed it through the night to stay warm. We are one of the lucky residences still with gas; as such, [ profile] rexar went and taped plastic sheeting over our windows to try and conserve as much heat as we can.

I did, however, find my ski boots, and went out cross-country skiing up and down our road. I am, coincidentally, sorely out of shape.

I've applied to several more jobs since my previous entry, all over the country. I kinda get the feeling that not a one will even so much as look at me - this is my typical experience, having not been able to get that little magical piece of paper despite my closeness to the degree and my experience in the workforce - but I'm holding out hope. I imagine right now a lot of these places aren't even looking at their inbox right now due to the winter storm after-effects, so really I'm waiting on them until next week.
baphijmm: (Nerd)
( Feb. 2nd, 2011 11:41 pm)
I don't think I've ever encountered anything so amusingly coincidental in my life.

So last night I couldn't really get to sleep because I was freaking out about having to move back to Cincinnati; this really kinda started with me looking for job openings in the Cincinnati area, as, though I will be housed and probably fed initially with little problem, I do still have mountains of debt following me around like a dog whose only human contact was when I looked at it funny. I found a few positions I might actually be happy with, and actually found one in particular that had been open for over a month - they kept reposting it - that I ended up applying to. Naturally I also looked through a few apartment listings; some were intriguing, but not terribly many.

It was at this point that I decided to make the big plunge - I sent a query to an agent regarding Journey to Fire's Keep. I had been debating who to send a query to for a while, but finally decided on one in northern California (in fact, I think I passed their office when I was in San Fran). After cleaning up my synopsis and an excerpt, I wrote out the technical details agents tend to like to see, then sent it off. Honestly I'm not sure if I'm optimistic, but I'm certainly hopeful.

From there, I was reminded that my dad had suggested during my stay with them over the holidays that I join LinkedIn; I didn't at first because my laptop's browser can't handle their site (good old Safari 1 and developers' refusal to support older versions of Mac OS X), and then when I got back to Socorro I was so distracted with the promises of San Francisco (all of which have now fallen through) to remember to do it. I made sure to fill in as much information as I could, quite interested in actually, you know, getting a job.

Now, let me provide a little background here. When I was interviewed in Mountain View, the biggest concern the company - especially their CEO - seemed to have was that I might be overqualified, such that, should the occasion arise, I'd leave them for a larger company. They weren't exactly discreet about this; multiple times, I was asked "Why us?", and the CEO even asked me quite specifically "If we weren't in this present economic resession, would you still be here interviewing with us?" Given their stated reason for not hiring me and how unfeasible it really is, I do believe their biggest concern was that I might use them as a foothold to get myself into their much larger neighbors (given their lines of questioning, I'm pretty sure they were mostly concerned about Google).

So imagine my amusement when, as I decide to give Mountain View one more chance and search LinkedIn for jobs in the area, I encounter a listing from Google for the exact same job they declined me. :P

Yes, I applied with the fury of an angry god. Probably for the first time ever on a Google application, I actually included a cover letter. No, I don't terribly expect anything to come of it, but I can hope. :3
baphijmm: (34)
( Feb. 2nd, 2011 04:05 am)
Well, that fell through about as expected. They got back in touch with me and stated they were pursuing candidates with more experience in large data centers, at least compared to me. I honestly don't think the size of the data center would make a difference, but, well, that's how it is. Maybe that's my problem. :P

I'm incredibly unhappy with this development, but honestly there's not much to be done about it. This is pretty much what happens most every time I have to rely on someone else for something, so I really ought to be used to it by now.

Most of the things I prioritized as mentioned in the previous post are going to be relocated to Cincinnati almost perfectly; of course, this adds a few more things to prioritize, but it shouldn't be too different aside from location.

As this does coincide with my inability to hope for something as long as a need for someone else is involved, I am also adding a few things to the priority table, specifically writing, sewing, scientific research, and, depending, voice acting. These are things I can do myself that might prove somewhat profitable in a larger city setting. I might also begin repairing PCs, if it will make me a little bit of money. Of course I'll be looking for a job as well; however, again, I cannot seem to rely on anyone else for anything, so I'm keeping my options open.

I am not giving up on the Bay in the slightest; however, at this moment as a result of this, it is entirely unfeasible. I suppose I will just have to bide my time until the rest of the populus I'll have to deal with decides the time is right.
baphijmm: (Default)
( Feb. 1st, 2011 04:50 am)
The longer I "wait" it seems, the more I do to prepare for what I hope will be a positive response. At this point it would seem that I have everything I'll need lined up almost perfectly, so long as, again, the call or email comes in that tells me I got the position. Furthermore, I've even got the next few months planned out, having worked out how I'm going to get things there, what all I'm going to prioritize once I do get there, etc. I know I'm getting my hopes up quite a bit, but with everything else falling into place so perfectly like this I'm really hoping the final piece will come through just as much as it seemed it might at the time of the interview.

In the meantime, I've been trying to keep myself relaxed with video games; I know that's not terribly responsible, but responsibility unfortunately costs more than I presently have. :P So yeah, I've been playing games for the Wii that I've owned but previously been unable to play because my system has been on the fritz for... shit, I guess it's been over a year now. (And people wonder why I take so long in my writing, when this sort of thing has been sitting for so long...) Anyway, [profile] antonius_glock has one hooked up to the TV now, so I've been playing these games that I've only just gotten the chance to play, saving the data on an SD card so I can transfer it later. Most notably, I've finally been getting around to playing Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. It's a fun game with a relatively predictable story I won't spoil; I'm a little disappointed with some of the direction this one took compared to the first Crystal Chronicles game, honestly. I mean, it's obvious they were trying to make it more like the other Final Fantasy games, which is great and I'm kinda glad they did that; however, other parts of it kinda... well, pissed me off. :P At least they have a decent explanation for everything I suppose, but still...

Oh yes, I also witnessed Metroid: Other M for the first time the other day. Lemme say: Son, I am disappoint. The folks watching as [profile] tonberrygrrl played had agreed to a drinking game, the only rule of which was that whenever Samus said "The Baby", they had to take a drink. It did not end well. Furthermore, the voice acting was atrocious, the writing almost more so (even discounting aforementioned faux-pas); I swear, the writing involved in "Sailor Moon and the Seven Balls" (don't look it up if you don't know it, for your own sake) was almost better than this crap. I just... wow. As much of a die-hard Metroid fan as I am, I was saddened by what I saw. :/
baphijmm: (That's me)
( Jan. 29th, 2011 01:34 am)
Here's the continuation from yesterday; it's written in the same format, so... yeah. :P

What does it say, that I just gave accurate dirs to a tourist?

As I left the museum, I decided to check out the other side of Pier 45 mostly out of curiosity. I'm glad I did - that's where I found the sea lions. I know they aren't exactly elusive creatures along the California coast, having seen them pretty much every time I'd been near that ocean, but it was still neat to see them again. They'd gathered around the side of the pier that was still used for fish processing and packing, which makes sense.

In addition to the wildlife, I also found the local sport fisherman's dock; the large assortment of sailboats moored there was certainly impressive, as was the overall structure of the place. I really can't describe it very well, mostly because I'm honestly not sure how it was built, aside from perhaps "very carefully."

It was at about this point, however, that I took note of the time; I'd spent a large amount of it inside the museum, and still had quite a lot I'd wanted to see of the city. Deciding to bid the Wharf farewell, I made my way up what I later learned was Leavenworth St towards my original destination, Lombard. Again, I was taken aback by the beauty of the buildings in the area; much of the architecture was stunning, and every block I traversed only led me further along in my astonishment.

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how I ended up on Leavenworth; I think what happened was that I'd spotted a map on Fisherman's Wharf, and knew I had to make my way towards that road at some point. Still, when I made it to the bottom of Lombard's curvy bit, it was amongst a tour group who had also decided to pay the street a visit. I climbed up the stairs to the north side of the road about halfway before deciding that was a good enough location, taking a few pictures before climbing back down.

I have to say, there was one building in particular on that street; it was well-hidden by a massive garden, but the building itself was amazing. I can't imagine living in a place like that; I mean, it's something I would love to be able to do in the future, but it is just so beyond my current means I honestly can't imagine even setting foot in such a place.

From there, I continued south on Leavenworth, taking a few pictures of choice locations wherein the steepness of Russian Hill made building difficult, so the area had been integrated quite well with nature. It really was quite a beautiful road, all things considered.

As I approached a crossroads, I saw in the distance another building I recalled I'd wanted to check out as well - the TransAmerica pyramid. Immediately upon seeing it, I decided that would be my next destination. I continued down Leavenworth until I came to a crossroad that seemed as though it might pass close by the building, Washington St.

Moving down this road, at the intersection of Washington and Taylor, a car pulled into the crossing from the south and turned right, stopping in the middle of the turn; the driver leaned out his window and motioned me over. "Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to Fisherman's Wharf from here?"

I smiled internally; not only had I been mistaken for a local by another tourist, but from this location I could actually provide what he'd asked for! Given his present position, I told him to follow Washington to the next intersection - easily visible from our location - and turn left, following the road - Mason St - all the way out to the Wharf. He thanked me and drove off, leaving me with quite the sense of accomplishment.

And I just accidentally right into the heart of Chinatown

The TransAmerica pyramid in sight, I continued down Washington St, little else on my mind. As I passed a playground populated entirely by Asian children however, I realized I had inadvertently wandered into Chinatown. Now, at first this wasn't exactly that big a deal; I'd accidentally wandered into part of Chinatown earlier while heading out, so I really didn't think anything of it. As I approached another intersection, I noticed the establishment on the corner was a toy store specializing in Japanese wares, more specifically Pokemon-related (though not entirely).

It was the intersection of Washington and Stockton, however, when I realized exactly how deep into Chinatown I had traveled. I suddenly found myself deep within a completely different culture, one that I found immensely fascinating. I tried not to look too much like a tourist, but I'm pretty sure that illusion was quite broken here as I stared vacantly at the buildings and establishments I found myself surrounded by. Vendors in the street sold various tasty-looking foodstuffs; tenants in apartments above strung clothes along the fire escape rails. The architecture was something to marvel at, as well; while not entirely different from other parts of San Francisco, there were a few buildings here and there that differed drastically, strangely not standing out very much at all among the others.

My original plan, as I had no money to spend pretty much anywhere, was to continue down Washington and just enjoy what I saw; however, when I encountered an alleyway, I just had to duck into it. Naturally, this probably would have been a bad idea had it been just a little later, but in the daylight it was pretty safe. I could hear quite a lot of clacking going on inside several of the rooms I passed, most of them boarded up with plywood; it took me a short bit to realize what was going on - I was passing Mahjong dens.

Truly, I could spend a staggering amount of time writing about everything I encountered in this part of town - I stepped inside a few shops, and even got to check out an art museum - but this would really be exhausting to both reader and author. I did wish to mention one thing in particular; on my way, I passed a park wherein I encountered a number of clusters of people playing a game I did not recognize, all shouting various suggestions to the two actual players in Chinese. Having now looked up the game, I know it now to be Xiangqi. It was actually quite fun to stand back and watch as the surrounding crowds participated in the game.

Back @ the hostel

As the sky was beginning to darken, I finally made it to my final chosen destination, the TransAmerica pyramid. The structure really is a sight to behold from the base; a marvel of concrete and steel, it's amazing to just look up and see it taper off in the distance. I walked around the south side of the structure, taking note of the way the supports of the lower levels were aligned as something of a curiosity. Coming around to the eastern side of the building, I encountered a small park; my feet and legs aching after an entire day of wandering around San Francisco, I dipped into the place and rested on a small bench, looking up at the sky through the branches of several comparatively-young redwood trees.

Having gotten some strength back, I knew I should be returning to the hostel with some speed; while San Francisco wasn't exactly a terribly dangerous city after dark, I knew from my brief time there that dark was when the panhandlers really came out of the woodwork. Being a man of precious little money, I didn't want to get stuck in that sort of scenario.

I knew that going back the way I'd come was asking for trouble; the hills involved would have killed my legs entirely. However, at that moment I knew I was about level with the hostel elevation-wise; as such, I decided to traverse the roads through the path of least resistance. This actually turned out to be quite a good idea, as this ended up being a relatively short path as well.

One particularly stunning site I encountered on this return path was at the corner of Stockton and Bush; it having at that point become quite dark, I was able to look out over the entrance to the Stockton Street tunnel, the street below absolutely aglow with all sorts of neon signs. It gave the road something of a trashy feel, but at the same time made it somewhat inviting for someone roaming the streets at the relatively early hour I had been.

It didn't really take me very long to return to the hostel from that point; while I was certainly tired upon my return, I was still quite energized by the day's activities, having a difficult time getting to sleep that night in anticipation of my flight back to New Mexico the next morning.

I wasn't particularly looking forward to returning, honestly; if I'd been given the option, I'd've gladly stayed in the area to wait on a decision from the company I'd interviewed for. Alas, this was not the case. As such, the next morning I awoke at roughly 9am, checked out and got down to the CalTrain station within the hour, and rode the train out to San Bruno. From there, I followed the very same path I'd walked just three days prior, around the small city and into the San Francisco International Airport. I was able to get my ticket with relative ease, and I was even rushed through security thanks to my handicap.

Being in the necessary terminal a good three hours before my flight was scheduled to take off, I set up my computer and chatted with folks in New Mexico on IRC while I waited. I informed everyone how the interview had gone, a little of my travels, and generally just tried to relax before the flight.

Thankfully, this time the flight itself was incredibly uneventful; the plane took off with no delay, and we landed in ABQ without any problems at all. I met up with my ride back, and we tooled around the city for a little bit before returning to Socorro.

In the past week, I've been preparing myself to move out. Most of this has admittedly been motivated by the intense hope that I get this job; however, should they decide not to hire me, I do need to be getting ready to relocate anyway, as the plan involves me moving back to Cincinnati. In spite of this, I've also been doing a lot of research on the Mountain View area, looking around various locations therein that I may decide to try to move into. I've found one apartment complex in particular that I think I could afford, is fine with cats for a rather small monthly charge, and is literally just down the street from the office. Naturally, crossing my fingers.

In addition to this, I've been blessed with just a slightly brighter glimmer of hope - my W-2 arrived. I do intend to file my taxes as soon as I can; if nothing else, the return would greatly assist my existing debts, and should everything pan out positively it would even more greatly assist my relocation by helping me with initial expenses, including a monthly bus pass and probably cat food.

Things are beginning to look way up; here's hoping I can continue moving heaven and earth for just a little longer and manage to turn my life around.
baphijmm: (Crazy)
( Jan. 28th, 2011 05:31 am)
Okay, I suppose it's about time I actually wrote up this summary of what all happened last Wednesday. I had something written up last Friday, but then the program I was using crashed before I'd gotten a chance to save anything. Here's hoping I can get the gist of what happened written down as nicely as I can.

My plan was to use various text messages I'd sent to my dad during the day as something like section headers; this is mostly so I can extend my experience as a writer, but also because they actually divided the day quite well. I hope it doesn't make things too terribly confusing.

Ocean in view! O! The joy!

The morning of Wednesday, January 19, I woke up pretty much as I'd expected to; the night before, still charged by the amazing interview and fun I'd had wandering Mountain View, I'd stayed up rather late, so I didn't wake up until around noon PST. This didn't conflict too much with my plans, as I really didn't have much formulated at the time, so I actually spent much of the following hour relaxing. As 1pm rolled around however, I recognized that I needed to get out if I wanted to actually do any exploring before the sun set.

I set off Northward from the hostel, pretty much planning at the time to follow Mason St up to Green, swing by the Club Fugazi - the venue of the musical revue show I'd been invited to audition for should I have been able to stay through to the weekend - just to see what it looked like, then make my way up to perhaps Lombard Street before returning.

Very shortly, I realized this was a horrible mistake. While the scenery and architecture I encountered were both phenomenal, being handicapped as I was, the incredible inclines of this road in particular were almost more than I could handle. Several times, I had to stop against a tree or pole just to rest before continuing. At the time, I contemplated taking a picture such that the road would appear level while all the houses were at the insane incline; however, I eventually decided not to do that.

Finally at the top of what I now know was Nob Hill, I stood, agape, at the corner of the original Fairmont Hotel. It was quite a sight to behold, to be sure, and was most obviously the sort of establishment I would never have the good graces to be capable of staying in for longer than an hour. Still, it was a lovely building amongst lovely buildings, and the sight alone was worth it.

As I began descending, I realized that this action was a very bad idea; almost as steep as it had been going up, the descent was every bit as strenuous on my legs. Still, I managed, and while it was about as steep, it wasn't nearly as long an incline, or at least so steep for so long. I managed to make it to Green St with little incident, quickly making my way over to the Club Fugazi to snap a photo.

From there, I decided to follow Powell St down to Columbus St, which I'd planned to just follow to Lombard. While this is pretty much what happened, I stopped short of the infamous curvy part of the road, pondering at the intersection of Lombard and Taylor. Now, admittedly a large part of my halting here had to do with the climb; I was not looking forward to hiking up another massive hill like that just to get a closer look at a bunch of switchbacks. Additionally, I reasoned, I was this close to the ocean; what kind of a waste would it be if I didn't at least go out to see it? This argument won out, and instead of climbing Lombard, I turned right onto Taylor and walked leisurely out to Fisherman's Wharf. As I finally made it past the incredible array of tourist traps and arrived at the mouth of the bay, I sent the message to my dad, what I thought might be an obvious homage to the Lewis and Clark expidition. He didn't get it.

Coin-operated arcade museum, at it right now

Having basically hiked across the city of San Francisco and not really eaten much of anything, I decided this might be as good a place as any to grab some lunch. I stopped in a little 7-Eleven, grabbed some food, and wandered out onto the pier, taking a seat on a bench. I enjoyed my meager meal looking out over the Bay, watching a number of birds fighting over a large sampling of bread someone else had thrown out onto the ground. Having never really been to the area before - I'd traveled to San Jose in the past, but that was a very different location comparatively; additionally, I may have been there when I was traveling with my grandparents and aunt when I was ten, but I do not recall that specificity - I wasn't sure what all there was in the way of wildlife, nor did I know such fauna's patterns with regards to the seasons; as such, I tried to keep my eyes open for pretty much anything I could find.

After finishing my food, I wandered out onto Pier 45; it was relatively close, open to the public, and had a pair of interesting vessels docked to it. The first was the U.S.S. Palanito, a submarine that had been in US military service during WW2; at the time I was there, there was a crew clearing off some surface rust that had accumulated in one of the seams towards the front of the sub. Behind it was another whose name I have forgotten; it was a full-fledged battleship. In the distance was Alcatraz Island, a rather stunning sight practically by itself in the middle of so much water.

To the other side of the path I happened to be on were a number of buildings, obviously having at least at one time been fish packing facilities. The one closest to both me and the shore happened to have been re-appropriated as a museum, the Musee Mechanique. I decided to check the place out; at the very least, admission was free and it was something to do.

This was obviously the correct choice. The place turned out to be a museum for coin-operated arcade machines, some of their displayed units dating as far back as the turn of the century all the way up through modern video game systems. At the time, I felt this might be the high-point of my day. I wandered around, looking at the various apparatuses and watching as folks put coins in some, curious as to what they did. I was actually lucky enough to catch the curator of the museum fixing up one of their older machines, a music box that survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. All in all, it was a very fun experience and I'd love to go again when I have some actual money.

At this point, I'm going to stop; I'm incredibly tired and would like to get some sleep. I'll likely finish when I wake up.

I still haven't heard from that company, so I'm crossing my fingers they'll contact me later today at some point. I sent them a follow-up email yesterday, mostly to make sure they actually got the form they needed (Gmail has been dropping an astonishing number of emails from me lately) but also to thank them for actually taking the time to interview me in the first place. Hopefully, they just haven't gotten the results of the background check back yet. Honestly, at this point I'm pretty confident that they're going to offer me the job; however, the wait is beginning to wear at me, and I'm admittedly getting pretty nervous and anxious. ^^;
baphijmm: (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2011 02:57 am)
So it's late, I'm tired and in that location / position I was last night (this is the only decent place to sit within reach of an outlet on this floor), and while today was OMG FUCKING SUPER AMAZING SPECIAL COOL, I never finished my story last night about the past two days. As such, I am going to try to do that, and maybe while I'm at the airport tomorrow I'll post about today's outing.

SO! As I said, that morning went surprisingly well. Money was obtained, and the room was finally paid for in full. With very little time left, I made my way down to the CalTrain station to catch the southbound train, but encountered a slight problem upon my arrival: Only certain ticket kiosks sold day passes, and none of them accepted $10 bills. (This was a problem because the ticket I needed cost $13.) I asked the local establishments if they could break the bill, but none of them could without a purchase. Digging around in my pockets, I was able to scrounge up the change to buy a can of soda, quite luckily for me.

Ticket in-hand, I boarded the train and prepared for an hour-long ride to the San Antonio stop just outside Mountain View. The ride itself was pretty uneventful, except of course for the sights outside. I could write a book about how beautiful it all was, but I shall not. Sufficed to say, the region near the train tracks, at least south of San Fran proper, is kept quite clean. Additionally, I was surprised by all the companies I recognized on the way: While I cannot recall all of them, I do remember seeing VWR (A chemical distribution company) and Mondo Films. I assure you, it was quite stunning overall.

Upon arrival at my stop, I got off and crossed the tracks; while it was only 11:11am and my interview was not until 1pm, I wanted to at least make sure I could get to the area in time. The first thing I noticed about the path I had chosen was the astonishing number of "No Tresspassing" signs. While their placement made it obvious they referred to the buildings themselves, it was still unnerving. Upon closer inspection, I discovered why they were there: I had accidentally stumbled upon Hewlett-Packard's Mountain View offices. Amused, I continued my trek through an absolutely gorgeous suburban neighborhood, and finally out onto Rengstorff Avenue.

This road was about how I expected it, so there really weren't any surprises. The walk was long, but eventually I made it to the office wherein the interview was to take place, something like an hour before necessary. Knowing exactly how I wanted to spend that time, I first crossed Highway 101 and marched onto Google campus. Initially, my plan here only involved getting a picture of the place - yes, I was deliberately being a tourist - but then got a better idea. Being dressed as I was for the interview, I decided instread to take some video footage. See, I had opted to wear my SGI shirt; as such, the situation lent itself to some humor, at least in my mind.

Upon crossing back over, I noticed I was rather hungry; however, living on food stamps as I was/am, I needed to find a grocery or a Walgreens or something. I searched around the few city blocks I could in the time I had, but nothing could be found. I returned to the office hungry but nervous enough to cancel that out.

The entire office had stepped out for lunch, however, so I got to wait in front for them to get back. There was also the issue that some brand new road construction had been blocking the driveway, meaning they had all been forced to park next door. Still, they arrived on short order and the interview began.

I will not go too far into the details of the interview, as such would be unnecessary and probably rude; however, I will say that it went spectacularly. Everyone who interviewed me - including the CEO - was quite impressed by my answers. I could not answer everything, admittedly, but everything I did answer, which was most everything, was answered quite well. Their network guy was especially impressed by my knowledge of practices involving the wiring and maintenance of dedicated internet servers.

At the end, the CEO informed me that he felt I'd be a good match; however, before I could be hired, I'd need to sign a release form so they could perform a background check. The fact that he gave me this is, I think, a very good sign. At the very least, they think I might be worth the time, effort, and money to have a background check performed. That having been said of course, a place to stay is needed much more urgently. I do have something of a lead, but that most certainly does not mean I'm out of the water.

Anyway, from there I decided to go south; I recalled from earlier Google searches of the area that there was a Walgreens about a mile from there, and could technically be considered on the way back. Additionally, it happened to be across the street from an apartment complex I had been looking at, and on the way to another; this gave me the perfect opportunity to check out both. I grabbed some food and inspected the apartments, or rather more specifically checked out the neighborhood in which they were. I was quite impressed by both; depending, I might just take up residence in one of them in the near future.

I finally decided that, after this little bit of exploration, I was too worn out to continue. I returned to the CalTrain station and waited a few minutes for the next northbound train to arrive. As much as I'd originally wanted to go out and explore at other stops, my feet were begging me to return to the hostel and change my shoes out to the other pair that didn't suck to wear. :P This is exactly what I did. This is also about when I started that previous post, so I guess I'm caught up!

I'm very tired and the pain is getting pretty unbearable again, so I guess I'll be turning in. I have to be checked out by 10am, so I think I'll wake up at 9, get to the station by the 11am train, and hang out at SFO for a few hours behind security. There are potential plans for me getting to Socorro from ABQ, but they are not quite finalized; hopefully they will be by tomorrow. ^^;
baphijmm: (Default)
( Jan. 19th, 2011 03:32 am)
Okay! I feel so much better today, so I'm going to try to write a decent entry now. :3

So, yeah, yesterday's flight had that hitch I mentioned. I did greatly enjoy the Fresno airport, in spite of the smells of delicious expensive food. Part of me at the time wished I had stayed there a little longer, but really it was for the best.

Before we landed, about half an hour before we were supposed to originally land in San Fran, the pilot woke me up by telling the attendant to prepare the coach for landing. I looked out the window and was amazed at how desolate the landscape was. Certainly there were mountains in the distance, but below the ground looked almost barren. I later realized why - it was probably Nevada.

As we passed over those mountains, the scenery changed drastically. Everything was covered with snow, and again the horizon had changed; at first, I thought the new flatness was the ocean, but as we got closer it became obvious that was not the case. The texture I could make out was not changing, or at least not as rapidly as it should were it water. It didn't take too long for me to figure it out - it was fog. The entire valley of the Sierra Nevadas had been covered in fog. It really was a thing of beauty, even if it did mean we couldn't land at our destination right away. It really sucked for a lot of people who had their connections delayed or, in a few cases, canceled.

Got to the Caltrain station in San Bruno - about a mile walk from the closest AirTrain stop - just in time to watch the train leave the platform. Even so, I relished the opportunity to rest for the hour before the next train came, breathing in the air and looking around at the scenery. It really was quite lovely, especially for being in the vacinity of a casino. The mountains over the peninsula and to the north were stunning, similar in size and distance to Sandia, but more plentiful and much greener. Actually, pretty much everything here is greener, but that's beside the point.

I'm exhausted and sore from siting where I am; I'm in the middle of a hallway because this is where power is and also so I do not wake the other person in my room. I'm getting to that.

So after a short ride and another long walk, I arrived at the hostel around 6pm or so; I really don't recall exactly when. Anyway, a decent kerfuffle happened, wherein I was informed that I had to pay the balance for my stay in cash on the spot, unless I had a credit card myself. As my dad was the one who was going to pay, this was a serious problem. It just so happened, however, that the money I had on-hand to use public transportation was just enough to cover the first night. As such, I paid for the first night out-of-pocket, hoping to be able to make it down to a Western Union as soon as possible in the morning.

This is where I made my short-of-temper post last night. I was broke, exhausted, and had actually been moved to a second room by that point. As much as I like the architecture of this hostel, I have to say I'm not terribly impressed by its management. I mean, the manager tried to fix the problem, but there was only so much he could do; in the end, the payment issue was because another employee had told us a credit card payment over the phone was okay, when it really wasn't.

This morning went off a lot better. Found a Western Union that had just opened, got the money transfer dad had to send me, then paid for the rest of my stay.

Okay, I really can't stand where I am right now, so I'm going to stop here. I'll pick it up tomorrow after I've had some sleep and probably food.
baphijmm: (Default)
( Jan. 17th, 2011 10:00 pm)
Okay, I finally made it to San Francisco. I am absolutely exhausted and rather upset at so many things that have tried to ruin this so far, but everything is still (hopefully) go for tomorrow. It's kinda hinging on one thing happening, which doesn't make me too confident.

I'd have a big long post, but I am just too tired to care. Write one yourself. -_-


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