And yet another sign of my physical attractiveness.

One of the trainers at the gym told me, “Dude, you need some color. Look how white your legs are.” I told him it was to blind my enemies.

I spent 12 hours at work today, trying to finish the stuff I said I’d finish. I’m not exactly happy about spending hour after hour in the lab with the guy behind me trying to cough up his lung, but I said it would be done on Thursday and I’m getting close. Thank goodness.

Due to the length of my involvement at work, I did little else. However, I can comment on the frontier culture of Portland, where you can wear your jeans to the fancy restaurants and also find most of your neighbors at the strip club. OK, so not all your neighbors, but a lot of the ones I know. Well, maybe not my neighbors because they’re not from around here in the first place, and they’re all rich and snooty nowadays. But, for the most part, people who are like neighbors but aren’t my neighbors, like my friends.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure what my dad would have to say about it, but my mom doesn’t care.

I think I blame my friend Megan, who used to enjoy going to strip clubs in the past. I figured if she enjoyed it, I didn’t have to feel guilty about enjoying it myself. I am full of guilt to begin with, but why not feel guilty about other things, like how you can’t have a minimum wage job and try to do too much, like trying to pay rent and eat in the same month with Portland housing prices the way they are. Depending on the crowd, I bet the dancers at the strip clubs make a bit more than minimum wage.

I have to find other things to think about. I am unlikely to go anytime soon, but that’s because I can’t stand the smoke and I also should lay off the drinking. Both seem to impair my ability to sleep, and I get too little to begin with.

And yet another sign of my genius.

Besides telling a guy who is supposed to be my project lead that he should know what I’m doing and shouldn’t be asking me to describe the project, I had another sign that I should be doing something more agreeable to my personality. I was told that we needed an odd number of samples because we needed to find the median value.

What I should have done:

Said, “Sir! Yes sir!” and generated an odd numbered set of samples.

What I did:

I asked a, “Bioinformatics Associate at OHSU,” who is also an, “Adjunct Statistics Instructor at PSU,” if I could just take the middle two values of an even-numbered set and averaged those if I didn’t have an odd-numbered set. (His answer was something like, “Well, duh.”)

I asked, “Why?” a few too many times before someone gave me an answer, but it turns out that Megacorp’s legal department doesn’t trust us with calculators, so we have to have an odd-numbered set and just pick the middle value.

I was late to the gym today and got lots of grief about it. (I was at work later than I wanted to be, and I’ll be at work even later tomorrow.) When I was there, I asked Timmy the Architect if he liked his job and he said he did. I figured if an architect didn’t like his job, then all was lost. He thinks I would fit in somewhere that’s more laid-back and social than Megacorp. I think people get the wrong opinion of me at the gym. I’m trying to be a curmudgeon here.

Oh, I suppose I told Timmy and his trainer Dana that I wouldn’t be exacting my revenge on anybody at Megacorp because I’m too pretty for prison. You see, I’m a very serious person when I’m at the gym. (An example is how I call one of the martial-arts-like exercise classes Mooooortaaaal Kooombaaaat! Hee hee, I just cheered myself up by looking for Mortal Kombat on youtube.)

Tweedledum and Tweedledumber.

Late today I was told by one of my project leads (there are two) that I have a Thursday deadline. I asked what I needed to finish by the deadline and he told me to ask the other project lead. So I sent out some email. After receiving no reply, I found the other project lead at his desk and asked what the deadline was for. He also had no idea, but he told me that he’d just attended a meeting (with the other project lead) and yes, I did have a deadline. Fortunately for me, before I started sharpening a machete and started muttering to myself, I talked to the project manager and she told me that I needed some repeated data so the legal department would allow us to publish the data. Finally, a clear answer. Now I know what I need to do for Thursday.

In any case, that was the end to my frustrating day and the promise of some long days again. Looks like someone recycled the comics page, too, before I read it. Someone has a case of the Mondays.

When we last left this story.

OK, so nothing much has happened, and yet I can make a list of it all. I watched a Korean monster movie with friends, and it was oddly different. Entertainingly oddly different, though. You almost always saw it coming. I saw it with a bunch of comic book artists and I got over my fanboy tendencies to enjoy the movie. I also got my hair cut, which is not a big deal, took a nap, and went on a, “voluntary team building exercise,” which is code for, “went to the titty bars with a bunch of guys from work.”

So today I’m really tired. The trip to the bars was kind of odd and not as much fun as the places I usually go. The clientele was younger and the women looked more like Barbie dolls with fake tans, bleached hair, and surgical enhancements. (I wonder what sort of cool surgical attachment you could get to help you hang onto the pole?) On our way out there was a county sheriff just waiting for us to get into our cars. I got a ride, because I had both of the beers I’d allotted myself and we were headed to more places. I had Sprite for the rest of the night.

We went to a seedier establishment with real women (you could see the bruises from where they hit the pole, for example) but one of them grabbed my head to purr in my ear and I hit my arm on the bar. That’s not something that happens that often, and not something that I need to happen again, but I did like the place more than the others. We went to another suburban sort of place with lots of showy smoke and more Barbie dolls.

Being sober at 12:15AM in a strip club is not something I’ve experienced that often, and I don’t intend to experience it again. I just got up and walked the 2 1/2 miles back to my car, and drove home.

So only two beers and I was tired today, probably because I’ve spent the last two nights staying up late trying to get my computer to do something silly. I had a hard time washing two cars. I can never just wash my own car because my mother complains that I didn’t wash hers. I can now say that my mom’s Camry is a behemoth compared to my Civic. I also bought new toner and accordian folders so I can do my taxes, but I spent more time trying to get my computer to do my bidding instead of doing anything productive. I’m still not finished with that, either.

Public Enemy #1.

I was told today that the word on the street is that I’m difficult and hard to work with. This is probably bad for my continued success at Megacorp but, honestly, what did they expect? I have no idea where the complaints are coming from so I can’t rebut anything. I did send out an email that the equipment they gave me to make videos was making things look like crap. I heard the word, “crap,” was thought to be unprofessional. “Looks like hell,” and, “What a pile of shit you gave me to work with,” would probably not have gone over real well either.

Ah, well. I guess it doesn’t bother me that much. I’ll still keep going to work and doing my job. That’s why they pay me, right? I suppose they really want me to enjoy what I’m doing as well, but that’s not in my personality.

The worst part is that what bothered me more is one of the attractive women at the gym came in with this horrible looking dude with a big mop of hair and a headband, like John McEnroe from the early ’80s. Not that I’ve ever talked to the woman or anything, but really, John McEnroe-ish dudes?

I should just jump to step 4.

So what has been happening at work lately is:

  1. They tell me to do something,
  2. I tell them it’s stupid via email,
  3. I tell them it’s stupid in person, then
  4. I end up doing what they asked in the first place.

One of my problems is that I’m quite emphatic in my resistance to their demands. I really should learn to just jump to step 4. That’s the engineer in me. Especially the MIT engineer in me. I ended up staying late to finish up the thing I was complaining about this time. I’m not so clever.

The reasons I pay a personal trainer are myriad, but one of the reasons is that Dave the Trainer appears to know what he’s doing and I end up finding muscles in places that I thought were fine until I find out just how sore they can get. For example, he had me doing some really simple crunches while I held a cable up to my neck. There wasn’t much weight on the cable and I didn’t think much of the crunches UNTIL TODAY. I bet if I got enough sleep the soreness wouldn’t take a full day to show up.

Silly nerd.

I was talking to my friend Megan today and I made some joke about Lisa Loeb. Not sure why Lisa Loeb popped into my head, but apparently she went to Brown with a neighbor of mine. By neighbor, I mean someone I’ve known since I was in grade school. That was a long time ago. I’ve only been to Brown once, back when I was at MIT, and I remember walking around with my mouth open because some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen were there. I, on the other hand, went to a school populated by troll-like creatures.

I remember at one point people used to think I was smart. I should just have my MIT diploma tattooed on my chest to remind people of that fact.

Speaking of dumb things, I got my $280 video card today, replacing the 10-year-old thing I had in my new wonder-computer. I put the computer together to be a, “gaming machine,” and the only game I’ve played on it so far is, “Bedazzled 2.” (If you don’t know what that is, imagine Tetris but fewer moving pieces.) So now that I have the new video card, I can attest that, “Bedazzled 2,” looks really good on my computer. (It’s addicting, too.)

I should probably buy a game for my gaming computer.

Well, the resolutions people are thinning out at the gym. Thank goodness. And some of the attractive women I haven’t seen around are back. In fact, one particularly attractive woman who saw me fall off of a Swiss ball is now back, and so is Ryan the social worker who I chat with every time I see him. Yeah, so he’s not an attractive woman, but he is a nice guy.

Even more boring than you thought.

I never seem to reply to comments but I thought I’d clarify that my recent confusion and aphasia was not due to the influence of NyQuil, but just my shrinking brain. Perhaps it’s due to my lack of sleep, or the stress from work, but who’s to know? (And I should quit calling it aphasia before I get some medical people all excited about a misdiagnosis.) I wonder if watching Scrubs four times a day is reminding me that I never made it into medical school and is depressing me.

I heard on NPR that today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. It’s gloomy, the holiday bills have come in, and there’s something else I can’t remember. I got my year-end VISA bill and the most annoying thing is that some of the donations I made at the end of the year are dated this year. In fact Oregon Public Broadcasting is posted on the 19th of this month, and that’s the NEXT BILL. It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under. Kind of a candy-coated sub-yuppie jungle, but a jungle nonetheless.

Back to boringland.

I’m beginning to think my mind is going because I’m forgetting words as I’m speaking. No more eloquence when you’re stuttering trying to remember what you were talking about. For example, today I couldn’t think of, “Nyquil.” I remembered it was made by Vicks, I remembered the taste of it, and I remembered it was green, but I couldn’t think of the name of it. Sheesh. Drinking doesn’t make it any better, either. I mix up everyone’s names.

Ah, well. Maybe I should learn another language so I can be forgetful multilingually.

I’m too old to drink.

It was my buddy Il’s birthday today so last night three of us went out and hit a bunch of strip clubs. I must admit that some were better than others and there was even one that was quite frightening. I can’t remember the name of the scary place. I’ve never been brave enough to enter, and now I know why. I should have been speaking Spanish to go in there. I was frisked as I entered, and while Il and I were the only two Asian guys in a lot of the places, Andrew doubled the population of white guys in there. There was one white woman in the corner, and she looked scared. There were lots of tiny tables with women working them and it reminded me of an Asian bar where you get to buy expensive drinks for the women at the bar. I paid $5 for a glass of tonic water (it was supposed to have gin in it) and we got out of there quickly.

In case anyone is asking, I’d suggest Sassy’s. Punk rock girls and heavy metal music.

I took a nice long nap this afternoon to recover. Unfortunately that meant I didn’t find out that the doohickey I bought this morning at Harbor Freight was just plain broken. Tomorrow I have to return it and not miss the football games. We’ll see how it goes.

Grumpy grumpus.

I was in a piss-poor mood this morning and it only got worse when I found out that “my” test computers at Megacorp were altered while I was gone. It was the kind of day where I used a certain word quite often, in the sentences, “KISS MY …,” and, “SHOVE IT UP YOUR …”

Fortunately my mood got a bit better after I got in a meeting and let everyone know how I was feeling. Several people in charge agreed that I didn’t need to work around the clock this weekend and I only had to promise a bunch of stuff by Friday.

Even better, I made it to the gym. It’s quite crowded with the resolution people there. I had to walk away from one guy because I moved something he was about to use so I could get some space and he had a hissy fit. He’s a big guy who wears SAE t-shirts and I wanted to hit him with a dumbbell. (I think his SAE stands for the fraternity Sodomy And Ecstasy, and not the Society for Automotive Engineers.) Fortunately it clears out about 7PM, and I was in a much better mood after some light torture.

Yet another reason I hate snow days.

The snow is melting and the sledding hill is a muddy mess, but there’s still a lot of trash left.


This is the cardboard people left at the sledding hill. Meghann, you’re on my list. (Her name was on some of the boxes.) I gathered all the cardboard and put it in our recycling bin.


Here’s the random trash people left. The pink bag on the left is “Mini’s” pink “My Little Pony” backpack and has three dolls and a small dollhouse inside. I took it to my next door neighbor’s house on the off chance that it was his daughter’s. I left it there because it would be weird for me to have something like that.

I got several emails and phone calls from work today, asking me how long it would take me to finish the stupid crap I’ve been doing for weeks. They asked me how much longer it would take, and I gave them an actual estimate this time. I also told them, “There is ice on the roads in my neighborhood and you can ask me to risk my life to get these numbers out, but I’m likely to tell you something that is inappropriate for the workplace.” Of course they asked me to come in anyway. We’ll see how nasty it is tomorrow.