Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

  • Upcoming Classes

    I just got back from registering for my next classes at AAU, and here they are.

    Winter Intercession
    January 11 to 29

    1. Art History Through the 19th Century – Monday through Friday, Online

    I’m taking a class during the intercession to get more credits out of the way, and it’s going to be tough because it’s compressing a 15-week class into 3 weeks. To put it another way, that’s a 1-week module of art history per day, so I’m going to hate my life for a while but it should be over pretty quickly. And since it’s online, I can still come home at least.

    Spring Semester
    February 1 to May 22

    1. General Psychology – Tuesday, 12:00-2:50 pm
    2. Digital Design 1 – Tuesday, 3:30-6:20 pm
    3. English Composition: Creative Persuasion – Wednesday, 12:00-2:50 pm
    4. Digital Photography – Thursday, 12:00-2:50 pm

    I’m at the point now where I’m starting to take electives, so I think my spring semester is going to be really enjoyable. I don’t think the workload will be super heavy like the semester I naively took Fundamentals of Graphic Design at the same time as Materials, Tools, and Comping Techniques. I might even join the swim team too.

  • Turn-ons

    They were just kidding, but I’ve been accused by my friends of being asexual more than once because I don’t talk about girls and hotties and stuff like they do, but that’s not the truth. I’m just embarrassed is all. Not uncommon. I’m not shy when it comes to other things, but I suck at talking about that stuff and get disgustingly bashful.

    From listening to my other friends, it seems like everybody is a little different with regards to what they’re attracted to, but I think my friends are more similar to each other than I am to them. I know what I like though, but I’m curious what others (guys and girls) think because, well, it’s an interesting topic, no?

    Personality

    I’m putting personality turn-ons first because they’re the biggest turn-ons for me. I don’t think that’s nearly as uncommon among men as some people think.

    Here are some of the traits that I notice:

    1. Playfulness! I want to be with somebody who knows how to be silly, fun, and carefree. Everybody should be able to let go when they’re around the people they love, especially their significant other.
    2. Intelligence! You choose how to hold yourself, so don’t talk, act, dress, or otherwise present yourself as stupid. Talk confidently when you know what you’re talking about, and ask interesting questions when you don’t.
    3. Not too chatty! Knowing how to talk and feeling the need to keep talking are two separate things. I’m socially comfortable, but I’m in my own head a lot. I’m best with people are like that too.
    4. Some edgy interests! It doesn’t have to be much, but if you like horror movies or heavy metal, then don’t hide it. I like that stuff, and I don’t think other people find me freaky. Sure it’s possible to go too far, but that just means you’re for somebody else who is also “that far.”
    5. Passionate! I care about stuff, and I feel like I can connect with people when I see them caring about stuff too. It’s good to be relaxed and down to earth most of the time, but it’s nice to see a little fire in the eyes every once in a while for a few things you really like even if they’re just little things you like a lot. I want to fall in love with the whole person, including the dark side. Again, it’s very easy to go too far with this one.

    Physical

    One of the things I realized that differentiated me from my friends was how we were physically attracted to girls and how that affected whether or not we decide to date a girl. Personality is important to all of us obviously, but they think that the guy has to immediately think the girl looks great or else the relationship will collapse. For me, instead of high physical attractiveness being a prerequisite, it’s more like high unattractiveness is a disqualifier. See the difference?

    So I’m still human, and looks do affect how attracted I am, though I feel a little primal and vain for admitting it.

    Here are some qualities that I notice.

    1. Friendly, comforting face. You probably already picked up on how I get nervous with girls. But every once in a while, I’ll encounter a girl who just has something about her expression that puts me at ease like we’ve already been friends for a long time.
    2. Sparkle in the eyes. Like a rascally, grinning kid about to pounce on an unsuspecting parent. Eyes are already nice in general which is why everybody always talks about them, but it’s that particular cunning, fierce glint that I really like, and not all eyes have it.
    3. Subtle but unique expressions. I’m pretty good at reading people and apparently I’m easy to read myself, but some people naturally express themselves through tiny but noticeable tweaks in the corners of their mouths or squinted eyes. Not overly dramatic expressions though. The pureness of the expression should be matched by how private it is for the two of us. I like that.
    4. Thin body. Heh, I feel even more primal and vain for admitting it, but yeah. Not unrealistically skinny or anorexic, but thin is nice. I like when girls look nimble. Maybe it’s connected to how I like when they can be playful.
    5. Sophisticated, but a little daring too. I’m an artist, but I don’t think people should feel like they need to make excuses for being able to appreciate aesthetics. When people dress interestingly, pleasingly, and appropriately at the same time, we should be able to enjoy it for all of the same reasons as being able to enjoy anything else that looks nice. Relaxed outfits like jeans and a sweater are nice too, and “adorable” is always way better (and less scary) than “hot.

    Post in the comments what you agree and disagree with, and if you think I missed something critical, say so.

  • What being a nice guy means.

    A couple of my friends were discussing nice guys recently. Katie, who opened the conversation by writing a note on Facebook, posted a link to this Ode to Nice Guys and flattered me and some other male friends of hers by tagging us with it. My other friend Kendra politely contrasted the opinion of the piece by posting a link to this half-serious rant about why nice guys are “bleah!”

    I’ve thought about this stuff by myself before, and I think that both Katie’s and Kendra’s papers have elements of truth as well as inaccuracy in them. And two goods rants deserve another.

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  • The shopper that bit back.

    It was a long, hard fight that started in October. I was alone, up against the formidable powers of both Apple and Adobe, but today, at long last, I prevailed.

    After hours of arguing and explaining my situation (in short, I paid for CS4 and they never sent it to me), Apple apologized and will be sending me a copy with two-day shipping. And I don’t have to pay for any of this since the whole point is that they owed it to me from October.

    I told my story to The Consumerist, and they liked it enough that they put it on their front page. You can read it here. Maybe I’ll inspire some other people!

    So it’s over. It’s finally over. Apple relented and did the right thing. Adobe, however, is still a bunch of jerks as far as I’m concerned. Shame on them.

    Oh, and special thanks to my roommate Ben for keeping me pepped and focused when I was starting to feel too exasperated to go on.

  • Effort management, part 1.

    I’m not a Getting Things Done goon or a Zen Habits zealot. Last semester though, I used my Google Calendar and iCal (they’re very easy to sync with Calaboration) to help keep track of my assignments. Before that, I’d gotten by just fine by making mental notes, except for some cheap agendas my middle school forcefed us. So, it was my first real baby step into the world of using tools and strategies to manage time and work, and it surprised me that I liked it.

    That’s not exactly what calendars were designed for though, and I don’t think I’d ever want to live according to a productivity dogma like some people choose to.

    That said, there are programs that are designed specifically to make time management easier. They’re like self-organizing to-do lists, and the most important thing about them is that they have to save you more effort than you would spend without them, or else there’s no point. They must be mindlessly simple, trivially fast to use, and they have to actually be helpful even for the most casual users.

    In short, they should enable people to be lazier without anybody else noticing. It’s as much about effort management as it is about time management if you ask me.

    Since I enjoy experimenting with new programs, I’ve decided to demo several such programs. Here’s what I’ll be looking at:

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