Archive for August, 2007

Out tue, wed, …?

In Roanoke, VA for some __ohshitemergencylastminute testing / data gathering. You can guess how much I love this shit getting sprung on me at the last possible second, but away we go. Sounds like I’ll be getting a free pair of steel-toed boots out of this mess.

Stuck in the middle with you (Friendcest Diaries pt2)

“Let’s just mix them together indiscriminately and see which combinations do something interesting.” – my strategy for the old chemistry set I found in my grandma’s basement as a kid. (If there were dangerous combinations, they wouldn’t have put them in the same chemistry set, right? My grandpa talked me out of playing with the chemicals, redirecting my attention to the microscope, which provided many hours of lonely geeky fun.)

With only rare exception, I’ve had fairly good luck with Boston friendgroup entanglement. These combinations of friends and groups have been stable and cool and conflictless, even when iteratively kneaded and folded into a dozen-plus meta-posse. There’s seldom been need to sneak around between friend groups that didn’t get along with each other, or pick who’s sitting out of a particular gathering because some pair from the different groups can’t be around each other. This has made me lazy and complacent about the benefits of keeping friendgroups at least a little bit isolated, compartmentalized like a virus lab or Navy ship bulkheads. (The Titanic’s bulkheads were supposed to be this way, but, um, weren’t… resulting in Leonardo DiCraprio’s popularity among other things.) Anyway, mingling has now happened in a way that threatens to affect this track record.

I should probably stop being all indirect and just spill the situation, now that whatever was going to happen…has now happened, and everyone it would actually affect already knows about it. A longterm friend group and major component of most any posse formation, , consists of 4 housemates, three of whom I’ve known for about three years now. We’re all friends and like to hang out semi-frequently. Two of these have been dating each other for about as long, up until a couple days ago, at which point the girl broke up with the guy and started dating my housemate, who as you may know and guess, respectively, is a good friend and former college roommate, and has already been incorporated into the meta-posse. As you can guess, the new ex is (quite justifiably) upset by these developments, especially the part where any problems that existed between them, he just found out about for the first time a couple days ago, during the dumping process, which is to say, far too late to do anything about them (unfortunately, this seems kind of par for the course in these things). So, on my end things look pretty screwed up. Any posse combination including xbf and xgf is a no-go, as is any mixing of xbf and bf. And as the person responsible for importing this new suitor and causing them to meet, I’m probably not too popular over there right now either :( Besides that, all the various permutations of [friend||enemy]-of-thy-[friend||enemy] almost certainly apply as occurs in any friendcest situation. (You’re still friends with x after x did y to z?)

In the other, nonlocal friendcest situation mentioned, I was chatting online with my cuz and she mentioned K*… I figured I’d just get the elephant-in-the-room out of the way, i.e. let her know K* already told me they were seeing each other, then change the topic. Anyway, she’s like, “wha..?”…and had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently, “hanging out” (her side) became “fuck buddies” (his side) when run through the Typical Male Specimen exaggerotron–either that, or these two have some talking to do about what exactly they are, or (are, are not) becoming.

The Friendcest Diaries

You know the saying that when shit happens, it’s usually not content to happen in the absence of other shit? So um…yeah. Typically, my thought on friendcest is that it’s generally not a good idea for the inter-friend-group drama that it threatens to create, especially when it fails, and/or when two of the relators (e.g. current one and previous one) meet up awkwardly at one of the usual friend-group gatherings. But the other day I realized how deep the rabbit hole can go. (Cue *squick* factor.)

Apparently, one of my best friends from college met my cousin over 4th of july, and they’ve started dating. Err… I guess dating isn’t exactly the right term. The term the kids are using these days is “fuck buddies”. Eww. Guys tend to have this irrepressible urge to brag about their conquests, and this one in particular tends to spare no detail at no inopportune time (cue references to Snowball Stories while eating cafeteria clam chowder). Now there is one set of stories I don’t need to hear. Eww. Also, he’s 27 and she’s still in undergrad. Eww. So yeah, I guess she dumped her bf who’s currently off to college at Fah Away East for this purpose, and a few days ago went off to college herself in the land of Fah Away Midwest, and now things are weird between them. Go figure.

The morning-after-vacation pill

And back home am I. The actual trip (complete with thousands of pictures of rocks :P) will be documented soonish.

As previously mentioned during tonight’s game of telephone pictionary* at LE and crew’s house, I accomplished the following at work today:

I wrote one line of code.

And it was a #DEFINE. (Followed by a ; FIXME: WRITEME: make this actually do something in the code)

Surrounding this stunning achievement, I dequeued the vast mountain of emails, voice mails and Action Items that had piled up in my absence, put out some fires, grovelled through the notes for a meeting I wasn’t at, full of itty bitty little new specs from the new commercial partner we were meeting with, which would necessitate a pretty substantial redesign (and maintaining two separate versions thereafter) to answer some questions and prepare an accurate power-consumption estimate for this design that doesn’t exist yet (in preparation for a pop teleconference tomorrow morning), pinged several vendors whose lack of punctuality (or, lack of returning our calls) is causing stalls in various projects, and doing viewgraphs and an Excel sheet for tomorrow’s monthly project review (the project has only two engineers on it, and one of them is me, so in the days before Monthly Project Reviews, this would have been accomplished with a 2-line email). All right, I did get one piece of actual, non-throwaway work done – threw together a quick ‘n dirty test jig for load-testing a particular type of rechargeable battery at extremely low temperatures in the environment chamber.

Anyway, I was a little spent after today, ending up all quiet and preoccupied with nothing in particular (the noise of blotting mental silence following the destructive collision of too many ideas and too much state for the ol’ brain buffer to accommodate). Methinks there needs to be a morning-after pill for vacations, softening the blow that follows a long week of relaxation (aka putting things off).

* Picture that didn’t happen: Brilliantly backlit cloud, with a deep booming voice emanating forth:

(void *)u = new Universe(&heavens, &earth); //TODO: Fix lighting

On vacation

Someplace way southwest from today-ish until the 13th or so.

Berry nice

A posse was rounded up this weekend for sort of a double date – raspberry and blueberry picking at a farm away-up-north. Without even getting ourselves too lost, we succeeded getting there in a timely manner, and left with at least ten pints of berries, a jug of cider, wine and a greasy (as it soon became clear) bag of cider donuts, all of which were tasty. We made a detour to a small town candy shop and ice cream stand, and found some rocks by the ocean to play on. Afterward, posse + HAL assembled at JR’s to make dinner and dessert (have to put all these berries to good use somewhere!) and do some Wii’ing.

Yesterday, JR and M came over; we finished digging out mini-garden-patch #2, chucking all the crabgrass and rootballs thereof, spread some shit all over (ahem, I guess they prefer to call that stuff manure, because hey, who would ever pay money for a big bag of shit?), and planted the last of the sprouts. Some of them didn’t look so hot, but we’ll see what they do. Tried sushi at a place in Medford called Sei Bar, which was alright. My raw fish craving is now wide awake.

Saw Kr* again today, everything seems to be going well so far :) Aaah, normal relationship…There’s nothing “maintenance contract”y to deal with, which is refreshing, but it also means being thrown into the deep end of actually having to plan dates/events* and try to seem interesting, and all that normal boyfriend stuff I have very limited and outdated experience with. We spent tonight at her place quite literally laying around for a long stretch of time, but didn’t really talk much. I thoroughly enjoyed myself… but sooner or later she’s going to want more, and I have no idea how I’ll hack myself into providing it.

* never put an embedded developer in charge of planning things. If forced to do so one will generate a perfectly timed, massively parallelized plan – however, the slightest deviation from the plan will cause the whole thing to crash and burn in spectacular fashion.