Posted: 2008-01-27 21:03:00
It's been over a month since I've updated. I've been bad, I know, but I've been really busy. Granted, not busy enough to actually justify never writing in here... but busy just the same.
I'm not gonna try and recap everything that's happened since my last post because...well, way too much. But I'll hit you with two key highlights going on right now.
1). This weekend, I went out to Savanna with my dad to visit my Grandma and Uncle Randy. The original intent of the trip was really just some good brother time for my dad and uncle, and my dad invited me along. We were going to split some wood and drink some beers; super manly shit. But unfortunately, the wood chopping fell through (a genuine disappointment). Don't worry, we still drank alot of beer.
In my 23 years, my Uncle Randy has been around for all of them, but I don't know if I have every really hung out with him before. I don't see my dad's side of the family much, since they live about 2.5 hours away, which in the grand scheme of things isn't very far, but it's far enough to require effort. And for the most part, I can be pretty selfish when it comes down to 'video games and drinking' VS 'go see family'.
This time, I opted to go with the family, and it was a great choice. I'm not sure if my dad is just getting cooler with age, or if he feels that he can open up more to me now that I too am an adult (in the strictest sense of the word, mind you). Either way, I feel much more connected with my dad than I used to. And the same goes for my uncle. It's always cool to really get to know your family. Not just at the family gatherings where you haven't seen anyone since last thanksgiving and you almost feel awkward.
My uncle's got this garage with a little 'man room' in the back. It has a few beat up chairs, a TV, a fridge, a heater, and a sound system that could probably kill a small mammal. Turns out my uncle really likes Rush, which is awesome, cos so do I. And after the three of us drinking well over 2 gallons of beer, we rocked out to Rush super hardcore. There was air guitar, and air drums, and even some squealing like Geddy Lee.
Moral of the story, today was a hung over day and I'm glad of it.
now, on to two.
2). I'm going to Europe at the end of March with Dave and Jeff. I am so fucking excited it's not even funny. We're flying over to Barcelona, hanging out there for 4 days or so, and then going up to Paris to hang with Dave's parents for a few more days. I've craved Europe since going a few years back, and I can't imagine two better people to go with.
Plus, it's an excuse to buy one of these and one of these. Bitchin'!
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Posted: 2007-12-26 19:26:00
Christmas is over, New Years is on its way, and I have some fun ahead and behind me.
I want to call it "Christmas Break" like back in school, but really it was just a long weekend. I was all too aware of this when I went back to work this morning...
This past weekend was a great one, topping the charts of recent weekends past. Oooo, I need some tea... back in 5 minutes.
Ok, I've got some nice Rooibos Tea now. So, Friday night I headed home after work. Traffic wasn't too bad, surprisingly, only taking me an hour and a half to get home. I hung out at my parents house for a while waiting for Katie to get back from...place. My sister was the only one home, and she left shortly after for work, so I just putted around playing with my iPhone (see how I slipped that in there?)
Then I went over to Katie's and hung out with her fam for a bit before Gina came over and we went out to see some guy she has a crush on playing at an Irish bar in Naperville. I got in a bit of a grumpy mood, but it cleared up around the time we got taco bell at 2:30 in the morning. That resulted in stink.
Saturday was pretty lazy for the first half of it, but Saturday night was a freakin blast. It started out with Dave, Chris, Josh, Matt, Schubchub and Katie coming over, where I finally gave Chris his birthday present (now an early Christmas present) the Green Man suit.
We hit up the hot tub, and then all went out to Sarah's holiday party to say our hellos. Then we headed out to the Onion Pub for a few beers, and Gina and Little Mills met up with us there. When they kicked us out at 1am, we went out to Sideouts and drank some beers and played some video game golf till 3 when they closed. Then it was off to Steak & Shake.
Katie was an amazing DD through all of this, enabling the fun and performing like a champ at 4am when the snow was coming horizontally!
Sunday was super lazy, hanging out with the fam, watching a few movies. Monday was more of the same, and then my mom's side of the family came over for Christmas Ever dinner. Good to see all of them as I don't see my family, let alone my extended family, that much these days.
Christmas was near perfect. Everyone had a smile on their face, and I loved everything I got and gave. Dinner was at my Aunt Bean's house, and it was all warm and snuggly and filled with family again.
It was a very satisfying drive back into the city last night, and I must say that it really felt like I was coming home when I saw that skyline.
Now I have just one more day of work before I get to go on a cruise with my mom, dad, katie, liss, and her boyfriend brian. Bahamas here I come!
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Posted: 2007-12-19 21:26:00
Less type-thinking this time, I promise.
I went out with my parents and sister tonight to see a play at the Apollo Theater. It was called The Sparrow, and it was one of the coolest performances I've seen. I'm not going to really try to describe it, or summarize it, because who wants that? Instead, I'll just link here and here. And I'll say that it really was a fresh and invigorating take on theater. If you have a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.
It's nearly Christmas, which is exciting. It'll be good to be home a few days and see the family. Hopefully I can get some friends together to hang out at my parent's place. Not for me, because I see most of them frequently, but for my mom, who has missed my friends. She's my mom... that's for sure.
We move to a new, twice as big office next month. I'm pretty pumped for that because it feels really good to grow with the company. I've only been there a few months, but I find myself really hoping that my stay there is perhaps longer than while I'm just in school. This is the first time in my short professional career that I've really enjoyed what I do and who I do it with, and I think that's pretty cool.
That's all for now. Peas Owt.
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Posted: 2007-12-13 22:22:00
There doesn't really seem to be a web developer degree. That's probably because HTML, CSS, XHTML, XML, etc really aren't full languages. They're markup languages and are easier to learn. The closest there is seems to be a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) degree, which is what Dave will be starting on.
However, DePaul does offer cirtification in all sort of web stuff through classes. It seems like you would take these like normal classes, but you'd be a non-degree-seeking student.
So basically, I finish out my masters in graphics (I'm sure it will get better as I learn more). I keep working at my job in web development, I read more books, I teach myself and learn from the other developers we bring in to do things. I get a job that makes me happy.
Good. ok, goodnight.
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Posted: 2007-12-13 21:57:00
Posted a blog, that's what. But after this, for a week or so at least, I can't say that anymore.
I'm gonna go with the highlights, as that seems like it would be more entertaining.
Last weekend was the Sandstorm Design holiday party. Katie came in for the weekend, which was awesome because (anytime I get to see her is awesome) everyone else I work with has a significant other that was attending as well. It's kind of nice being a part of a small company because the holiday party really just feels like a group of friends getting together.
We went to Café Ba Ba Reeba, a tapas place on Armitage and Halsted. We ordered a crap load of food and all of it was really good. Tapas is the perfect place for a party meal like that because it's just a very social thing. It really cemented how much I like my new job and the people I work with.
After dinner, Katie and I and a few of my coworkers (Amber and Holly) and Amber's Husband Mike and Holly's friend (her boyfriend is a bassist and was playing a show that night) Taylor(?) went out to a bar called The Store. Holly knew the bartender and she ended up bartending for a bit and well... yea. We'll just leave it at that. I definitely feel comfortable around my coworkers.
Hightlight #2 I got an iPhone this week (all praise the mighty Chris). It's freaking amazing. It really is an incredible piece of technology, and every time I use it I think ,"How did I not have this before?!"
Today on the brown line ride home from work, I started thinking about school. Classes start up in about 3 weeks, and that means I'm back to C++ coding for graphics crap. I'm really starting to double guess my choice of masters program. I figured, I like video games, computer graphics would allow me to work in a field I like, I already have a C++ background, so why not?
But I didn't enjoy my classes much last term. Well, I definitely liked one less than the other, and that one was the C++ class, the type of thing that this degree seems to be preparing me for.
I've also realized that I really enjoy web development. And now I'm thinking to myself, "Maybe I should have found a path that would allow me to do more web stuff. Learn more, get better." Is it too late? I'm only one term into it. But that's just more loans I'll have to take out, longer time in school... I don't know.
The whole reason I want my masters (I've gotten away from that whole 'highlights of the past week' thing and I'm just typing out my thoughts now)... any way, The whole reason I wanted to get my masters was because I felt my undergrad degree didn't provide me with enough to really succeed. It was a very good base; it gave me a great understanding of how programming languages work; and it really enabled me to pick up new programming languages quickly.
However, I wouldn't say it really made me a good programmer. And I think there are two things you need to be a good programmer: (1) to have sufficient knowledge of the language, (2) to genuinely enjoy programming.
Now, I realized a while back that I didn't really like programming, but I figured it was because I didn't like the programs I was building. Hence my move towards computer graphics. I also didn't like it because I wasn't great at it, and when you're not really good at programming, it just makes everything more difficult.
So back to school I went. But I'm still programming in the same language and it's basically the same type of thing. I guess my graphics stuff isn't software engineering like my job at Motorola was (which I hated), but it's still really low level programming.
My new job at Sandstorm though, that I really have been liking. I bought an HTML book and read it cover to cover. I don't think I ever read my programming books in college, and that's because I wasn't actually interested. I'm interested in this web stuff.
So now I'm stuck wondering if I need to reevaluate the direction of my life again. Weigh pros and cons, find out if there even is a direction I could go that would get me where I think I want to end up now. Maybe I'm just indecisive and should see how I feel after this next term. But maybe that's another term wasted.
Life is hard.
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Posted: 2007-12-01 18:33:00
My head kind of hurts, and I think it's because I've done near nothing but watch TV, play video games, and surf the web. It's probably not good for me. I had plans today, but the weather didn't want me to go anywhere. I did make it out of the apartment to go shopping downtown with Steve and Kels for a bit, but that's really it.
I'm about a week behind, but last weekend was really fun. It was thanksgiving, and spending some time with the family was fun. But the highlight was the actual weekend. Steve and Kels were both gone for the weekend, and Katie came in, so it was just the two of us, and for maybe the first time since moving down here, I feel like we really took advantage of being in the city.
We got into the city early Friday evening, probably around 6 or so and headed out to the Kristkindlemarket down in the loop. It was perfectly chilly out and everyone seemed content. Frosty breath leaped out our lungs as we devoured some tasty snausages and delicious potato pancakes. We then indulged a little in some hot spiced wine. It came in these cool little boot mugs that we got to keep. Very successful night.
Saturday we slept in all warm and snuggly and then headed downtown for a little shopping. Didn't find much, I got a nice sweater, which is good because it's getting pretty darn cold out here. I'm having trouble remembering what we did the rest of the day...so I'll skip ahead to that night. It was Chris and Josh's 21st b-day, and they had rented out the back room of a bar called Flounders. It was a little place up on Clybourn, but it was nice. $25 and all you could drink, and trust me, we got our money's worth.
Sunday was a very lazy day of being hung over. We went and saw Beowulf in 3D at the IMAX, which was freaking amazing. Monday at work, Amber asked how I got Katie to go along with me to that kind of movie. I told her that Katie just likes that kind of stuff, to which she replied, "Wow, you got the perfect girl." Yea, I did.
Now it's this weekend, and it's snowing/raining and pretty nasty out. My dad is coming in tomorrow and he and Steve and I are going to see Modest Mouse at the Congress theater, which should be a blast.
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