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May 2006

IE 7 Beta 2

May 31, 2006   

Netscape, then IE, then a brief flirtation with Opera, then Firefox, and possibly back to IE? Could it be? I don’t know.

I got sick of the Firefox memory leak problems and am trying IE out of desperation. It’s hard enough to run msdev; compiling and debugging is a nightmare when Firefox is sitting on near 200MB of memory. Do you guys see this? What do you do? I often have to use my task manager to kill the process and open it up again, which just effectively resets the bomb timer, but I couldn’t figure out what else to do. I tried killing all my plugins and extension to no avail.

So far, IE 7 beta 2 seems to load pages in a snappy manner, have better tabbing, and I don’t know what else. There is a buttload of new features though. All I want is for the memory footprint to stay relatively static. I’ve got my fingers crossed.


May 30, 2006   

I had yet another conversation this weekend that dealt with having passion for something, where I told the other person that I wasn’t particularly passionate about any one specific thing, which was clearly off-putting to the other person.

It’s weird how we are all driven by the idea that each one of us needs to have that one driving — excuse the repetition — passion that we live by, so much so that when someone asserts that they don’t have one, we need to assure them they can look forward to finding something in the future or just plain old feel weirded out by it.

I suppose if I do a lot of soul-searching, I do have things I’m intensely passionate about; they are simply not things that other people generally put the tag of passion on.

I’m passionate about living a life without regrets. This doesn’t mean that I don’t in fact have any regrets. It’s just that I think self-reflection and learning through mistakes is important, but there is no point in kicking yourself just to kick yourself. And if you think you are going to kick yourself about it, then do something different. I don’t want to look back on my life when I’m on my deathbed and be filled with more “what ifs” than happy memories.

I’m passionate about protecting my family & loved ones. I want them to be well-cared for and be able to self-actualize.

I’m passionate about enjoying the everyday and not letting good things go undetected on my radar just because I’m in a holding pattern waiting for something bigger. For the love of God, just enjoy the warm breeze across your cheek, the hug of a loved one, the job that keeps great food on the table, a good hair day, whatever it is that you think is too cheesy or beneath you or too fleeting to value. It’s not senseless optimism and it’s not pretending bad things don’t exist; it’s acknowledging and valuing the honest-to-goodness great things in your life along with the bad, instead of artificially focussing on the bad only. I’m guilty of selectively focussing on bad things too, but in general, I try not to let those things rule my life.

As a corollary to the above things, I am passionate about talking things out with my friends and family with the hope that they too will live a life with no regrets and filled with everyday joys. I think I kind of suck at this, actually, but hope to be better.

I think when I say I’m not passionate about any one thing, I mean that I’m not interested in developing skill X to a professional/lucrative/peer-acknowledged level. I’m not interested in being a great writer. I’m not interested in being a great painter. I’m not interested in being a great teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. Well, it’s not to say I’m not interested in these things; I’m simply not so passionate about them that I’m willing to make them the single focal driving force of my life. Saying my passion is keeping my priorities in order sounds like it’s a judgment on others and their priorities, so that’s not the right way to put it. It’s more that my priorities are more focussed on love & relationships, and people (including me) are not generally used to thinking of this sort of thing as a driving passion.

I suppose also that I’m passionate about “making the world a better place”, but I understand a lot of my personal limitations. I admire other people who go out and do things that I don’t (or haven’t done in a long time), whether it is helping the homeless, volunteering at an orphanage, working for a political movement, etc., but I don’t necessarily think that my best skills lie in those arenas. I do hope to be more involved in these things somehow though. I also hope that when I am older, I can somehow be involved in helping younger people shape their lives & goals, but for now, being involved in my loved ones’ lives is what I’m passionate about.

ETA: I think a good summarization of my passions is to say I am like the Godfather. *tries & succeeds in not quoting obvious line* 😉


May 30, 2006   

People have been talking about the high school exit exam for months, so nothing I say here is new. Its implementation here has been exceedingly frustrating.

First and foremost, I find nothing objectionable about having a national standard for educational requirements. I do, however, find many things objectionable about the exit exam.

Requiring an exit exam makes at least one primary assumption that I do not feel the exam itself can address: the grades given out by the teachers are not trustworthy. If it was believed that teachers all across the U.S. were giving out 100% trustworthy grades (where a “trustworthy” grade given to a student always directly correlates on an absolute scale to his/her level of proficiency) to the students, then all passing students should get a diploma, no question.

If it is believed that the grades given to the students are not trustworthy, this belief implies at least one of a couple of other possible beliefs: either A) the teacher believes the student deserves the grade he/she got but is wrong or the B) teacher is knowingly giving the studen a grade that he/she does not deserve.

Let’s take scenario A. In scenario A, the teacher is grading to the best of his/her abilities and believes him/herself to be judging the students’ progresses fairly, but is in fact not. An “A” grade assigned by this teacher might in reality be a “B” as normalized against the other teachers in the school/district/state/country. Similarly, a “D” may in reality be an “F”.

In this case, it is because the teacher does not understand the standards that the students should meet. If this is happening, you have the problem that everyone involved — teacher, students, and parents — all believe that the student is doing well [enough] and by all means should pass and get a diploma, albeit just barely in the case of the D->F student. Even the A->B student suffers in the real world and/or college because the level of learning they believe they had achieved may not stand up to that of their A-graded peers.

It seems that the “better” (in quotes because it does not take into account budgetary considerations or possible objections from involved individuals and is simply my subjective judgment) solution would be to put the teachers through a process of education where they are made aware of the national standards and given continual access to tools to gauge their students’ progress as compared to the nation and/or absolute set of standards. I met a wife of Seppo’s ex-coworker[‘s uncle’s roommate’s boyfriend’s dogwalker’s mom’s poker partner’s dentist] over the weekend that is working with a non-profit organization that provides grants to teachers, schools, and other organizations in order to provide continuing professional development for teachers, improving their access to education & professional tools so that their students will get more out of their learning experience.

My housemate’s girlfriend, a teacher, also told me about a set of funded classes that Apple (I think?) was providing in order to educate teachers on how to effectively use computers to help teach. I think this is fantastic. But I want to see this come out of the federal education budget.

I think it’s disgusting that your zip code can have such a drastic effect on your education, that property tax is a large component of what your teachers will be paid. This can only lead to greater and greater stratification of the socioeconomic classes — if you are poor, you most likely live in a poor neighborhood with low property taxes, leading to your school district being starved for funds, leading to low wages for teachers, leading to brain-drain into higher paying districts, leading to your children being left of crappily paid teachers who need to dig into their own empty pockets to try to supplement the meager educational materials that the district can pay for, as well as less access to enrichment programs, leading to lower educational opportunity for your students, leading to lower paying jobs for those students, leading back full circle to those former students living in a poor neighborhood.

Of course, it’s not that simple and there are a great number of people who break through those circumstances, which is awesome. But just because those people are awesome, it doesn’t mean it’s ok for everyone else who gets shafted by the circumstances of their birth, and that it’s ok to pretend the shafting is not occurring.

Where the heck was I? Oh yes, teachers & grading…

Let’s now take scenario B, where the teacher knows the student doesn’t deserve a certain grade but gives it out anyway. What are the probably circumstances under which this could happen? The ones I can think of are: 1) student is a well-behaved “nice” student and is already behind by a grade or two and tries to work hard, but still does not meet the standards, 2) the teacher will face disciplinary action or possible lay-off if X out of Y students do not pass in any given year (or number of years), 3) the teacher is facing pressure from parents and/or administration regarding the specific student, 4) the student has shown vast improvement in learning in the time she/he has been with the teacher.

There must be tons of other common cases, but these are ones that immediately come to mind.

Case 1 is a pretty sad case, in my opinion, because the student is working hard which the teacher can clearly see, but the student simply does not achieve the standard that he/she should. The teacher wants to reward such hard work and desire to not “cause problems” and might even feel sorry for the student, who may have previously been held back a few times. Being held back again could potentially break the student’s will to work hard, which would be terrible. But passing the student on to the next level before he/she is ready can be to the student’s detriment, since he/she won’t be able to keep up with the next grade, no matter how hard she/he works. This is how we end up graduating functionally illiterate students.

What is the solution to this? I don’t know. What I know about are “learning disabled” classes and other classroom structures that allows you to be in the 7th grade, but take 5th grade level reading classes. LD classes are not necessarily the right answer for when a student is not actually learning disabled but simply struggling with learning. I am not sure where the exact line is drawn but it seems like there is a line. My grade school had a mix of both: an LD class set aside for specific students, and different level reading & math classes for students who were keeping up with their peers for all the other classes except for that specific class. The different levels for reading & math was great for me because I got to go to the higher grades, but how did the kids feel who had to leave the room to go to a lower level feel? Was it discouraging? Did it encourage them to act out because they didn’t want to be teased? My memory of the kids that had to go to the lower levels was that almost all of them got labelled as “bad” kids. :-/

I went to a much larger school than my grade school for my 8th year. They had a strategy where they put the kids in different levels into different classrooms — I believe there were something like 12 classes of 30-35 students in the 8th grade. I have mixed feelings about this because I think it was good that all students didn’t have to compete with each other and that the teachers could focus better than if they had to deal with the fastest student in the grade and the slowest student in the grade at the same time, but I think it was bad that the classrooms were numbered 8-1, 8-2, … , 8-12, where 8-1 was the class of the fastest learners and 8-12 was the slowest. I think that really sucked because the information was out there in such an obvious way.

Hmm, I’m totally off on a tangent again. Since this is overly long already, I think basically when a teacher is giving out “wrong” grades, IMHO it’s because of immense social and/or professional pressure. We should have a standardized approach to help teachers deal with these issues as they arise. And what is the right thing to do when a student is learning faster and better than before due to his/her dedication along with the teacher’s efforts, but the teacher ends up professionally disciplined because the bottom line was not good enough? Do vast improvements count for nothing? And parents have no business trying to strongarm teachers into giving out better grades. I think this pisses me off more than anything else.

The bottom line is that the test doesn’t solve any problems. The students who think they were passing (or even doing exceptionally well) may be completely be surprised to see that they don’t pass the exit exam, even though they had done all the work required of them and passed all the tests leading up to it. Because of problems created by low resources, lack of funding, low salaries, or even with the sad case of bad teachers, the student faces a shock at the end. The problem is systemic and lies in the many many years leading up to graduation, not the moment before graduation.

The teachers should be taught what the standards are and given ample resources to teach them. The students should be graded in a trustworthy manner. The exit exam could act as a guide to modify future teaching methods, but does nothing for the students or teachers currently caught in its net.

So You Think You Can Dance

May 25, 2006   

And it’s back.

People who made my jaw drop:

Musa Cooper, back from last year and even better than before. It seems as though he took their comments to heart and seriously studied up on learning choreography. His work is shit-hot.

Michael Kim, popper. Holy shit. Excuse all the profanity. He was amazing. When he was hitting it, I kept thinking my vision was blurring.

Travis Wall was amazing too. But I can’t be bothered to use such eloquent phrasing as “shit-hot” and “holy shit” on someone who doesn’t bboy or pop. Heh.

I’d have posted the other two I mentioned here, but I can’t seem to find their vids. I found Travis’ video, but not Musa’s.

For old times’ sake, here are my two favorites from last year:



Dastardly sayings

May 24, 2006   

Yesterday, the theme was, “The more you know, the more you realize how little you know,” as pointed out in the comments by A_B. And I agree with that 100%

Today, it’s, “If it’s not worth doing right, it’s not worth doing at all.” This one, I have to disagree with. Same with, “Don’t start anything you can’t finish,” which is pretty much the same thing. Screw that.

It’s an idea that I’ve always let rule my actions, and if not my actions, my judgment of those actions. And it’s been debilitating. I’ll look at a project and be filled with horror and stress at how long it’ll take to get perfect. I’ll look at the bathroom and know in my head exactly how long it’ll take, exactly how much work it’ll take to get it up to the level of shininess I think is acceptable, and think to myself that I don’t have that kind of time right now (which is always).

It seems so fricking obvious, but realizing that a hefty portion of my procrastination had to do with my inability to consider a half-done job as being ok progress has been really freeing.

Looking back at the last few years, this is so obvious that I want to poke myself in the head. Not that I know what that would accomplish. Anyway, it’s one of those things people constantly say, and you think to yourself, “Yeah, duh,” and roll your eyes that some moron thought they needed to put it into small words so that your small mind can understand it.

But seriously? I let it rule so much of me. I think I finally really get it, as it applies to me.

When was I most able to enjoy writing? When I shed the restrictions I had put upon myself, when I stopped micromanaging every word and phrase that came out of my mouth, when the month of working on NaNoWriMo flew by in a haze of triumph.

When was I able to lose weight? When I decided that I didn’t need to have lofty goals and be perfect and stick to such strict rules. It took so damn long before any noticeable change, but it’s been working and I’m still on my way.

When was I able to learn to exercise? When I decided not to put “real” exercise (i.e. working out in a “natural” way, not at the gym) on a pedestal and value the convenience that the gym offers. Well, I’m still learning.

The last week, I’ve been doing tiny little cleaning exercises — not enough that other people can tell, I’m sure, but enough that I can see how easy it would be to incorporate the small actions into my everyday life as a subconscious habit. No, the bathroom is not nearly as spotless as I think it needs to be in order to be considered clean. No, the kitchen is not reorganized yet. But I’ve been scrubbing sinks and tubs and toilets in the last few days in a matter of minutes per task. When I have something I’m waiting for, like food to heat up in the microwave, I whip out the vaccum and run it over the rug in the livingroom. No, I didn’t get the entire room, and no, I didn’t get the entire house. But the rug is almost dogfur-free, and it took me almost no time. I’ll get the other parts of the room when I’m waiting for something else. And something else after that.

Feeling like I don’t have to stick to my mother’s top-to-bottom routines has left me feeling quite free. Feeling like I can straighten half a table at a time has made me feel like it’s not a problem, it’s progress.

I can’t wait to figure out what other things I can apply this knowledge to.

Knowing yourself

May 23, 2006   

I feel like I know myself pretty well. But the other day, I stopped to think about what I know about myself (and the world) now, versus what I thought I knew about myself (and the world) ten years ago.

I thought I knew it all! I already thought I knew myself pretty well back then. I honestly thought I could assess myself, my motivations, and my actions pretty well. But when I think about how much more I know now, I realize I was a buffoon. And certainly, my 20 year old self thought my 10 year old self didn’t know crap, but I was already a know-it-all by then.

And most undoubtedly, I will think of my almost-thirty self as a buffoon of supposed-self-awareness when I am forty. 😀

And I’m ok with that. As long as I realize that I have a long way to go, and that I do not in fact know it all, I think I’m doing ok.

A part of the problem of maintaining a web presence is that I can find crap I wrote 10 years ago:

in 7th grade, i was what they called in the earlier sixties a hair-hopper. go rent “hairspray” if you don’t know what i mean. anyway, i had big hair, and i was much into being popular. hahahahahah. will i be laughing at the way i am now, in about 10 years? nah, it’ll happen much sooner than that. [snip] since i am now 20, i can act as if it’s been ages since i was a teen. it’s some sort of a law written in some sort of a guide book for ahem, adults.

OMG, I read some of the stuff on that page and want to run away screaming in horror, but hey, a part of self-awareness is looking back at who I was and… uh… shaking my head at myself and running screaming into the night examining the multiple ways in which I have changed.

I used to be much harder, harsher, judgmental, self-righteous, and black & white about things. I’d so kick my ass if I met past-self on the streets. Except I wouldn’t want to be a bully. Hmm.

Now, I’m much more cognizant of subtleties of individual situations and the grays in life. I’m much more loving & forgiving of myself and the people around me. I’m much better at being a friend to someone, although I still need a lot of work ahead of me.

Overall, I’m quite happy with who I am and who I am learning to become.

When I’m 40, I’ll surely link back to some crap I wrote this year. 😀

Godfather Dopplegangers

May 22, 2006   

We watched Godfather last night. I had seen it before about 10 years ago and I recall it being incredible. Luckily, I had forgotten enough of it that it felt like watching it for the first time again. It was great.

The level of acting talent involved with the movie was incredible. However, sometimes it was distracting because I kept thinking of more contemporary/younger/random other actors & actresses that resembled the actors/actresses in the movie.

Disclaimer: These are not original comparisons and I know that people have made them countless times in the past (with one notable exception).

For example, seeing Al Pacino at that age reminded me of Andy Garcia. Of course, it’s really that Andy Garcia reminds me of Al Pacino, but you get the idea that I kept thinking of the wrong people as I was watching it. The woman who played Connie (the Corleon daughter whose wedding is taking place at the beginning of the movie) reminds me of Annabella Sciorra. The one that Seppo felt was insane was my thinking that Robert Duvall‘s character reminded me of a taller Peter MacNicol‘s John Cage. Heh. There were more, but they were less interesting. *cough*

Now that I have mentioned movies and dopplegangers in the same breath, I have virtually guaranteed that A_B will comment on this, possibly on the fact I’m comparing these great actors with lesser actors. *waits* 😀

For the record, there is no real comparison to be made, acting-skill-wise. These people were incredible.


May 19, 2006   

It’s strange how something won’t bother you at all, but something else really similar will. As far as language, I’ve noticed that misspellings, mispronunciations, and misconjugations don’t bother me, but using entirely wrong words and pronouncing things that aren’t there do bother me.

To be more specific, here are examples of things that don’t bother me at all:

  • Pronouncing “salmon” without a silent l, i.e. making the first syllable rhyme with “Al”.
  • Reversing the “i” and “e” in various words (with the exception of the word “weird” — this one bothers me everytime I see it as “wierd”)
  • Mistaking the verb root of “conversation” to be “conversate”
  • Ending a sentence with a preposition

These are big huge no-nos to a lot of people, and I do entirely believe [ETA: I totally typed this as “beleive” the first time. Hee!!] that people should work on fixing them, but the reason these kinds of mistakes don’t bother me on a personal level is that when people make these specific types of errors, it is clear that they are still trying to do the right thing by following the known rules. “Salmon” is definitely an example where the correct pronunciation is an exception to the rule in English. I don’t know many words where the “l” is dropped. So I feel like, ok, the person hasn’t learned the one-off rule for this word — that’s ok. They just need to learn it and the problem is fixed.

The “ei” versus “ie” has so many exceptions that it’s again a matter of learning the exceptions rather than someone being ignorant of the overall rule. There is that little rhyme but my undestanding is that there are exceptions even to the exceptions themselves.

As for “conversate”, let me first be clear in saying that no, just because people mistakenly use it often doesn’t mean that we should allow it into the accepted vernacular; I am not saying that at all. But I’m saying that it is not an indicator of stupidity and lack of learning, as people seem to often feel. My take on it is that it’s a lack of specific learning, not learning in general, and can easily be fixed because it in fact demonstrates that the person is capable of solid reasoning techniques. In this case, you have a word that is presented in its noun form. The person knows that it shares a common root with a verb. Take the example of “commiseration”. The verb is “commiserate” not “commiser”. Another example is “fascination”. The verb is “fascinate” not “fascine”. In a similar vein, the person clearly has applied the same reverse engineering method to the word “conversation” to come up with “conversate” rather than “converse”.

The problem with this specific example is that the word “converse” is quite a common word in both common speech and reading, so this usage could demonstrate either that they are not well-read or that people are always using the wrong conjugation in front of them. But I don’t think that makes a person stupid. We learn language by listening to our surroundings. It isn’t an indicator of innate capabilities.

Ending a sentence with a preposition (in non-technical or non-legal writing) doesn’t bother me because, sometimes, the sentences sound so unnatural in casual conversation when you follow the proper rules of grammar. I allow myself and others a lot of leeway in this rule (and others, like using “they” or “you” instead of “one” when discussing a single hypothetical person) just because casual conversations don’t need to sound so stiff and stilted.

I could make a general hypothesis at this point that I don’t mind mistakes that are made when I can expect reasonable, intelligent, and capable people to make them, depending on lack of exposure to the given word or phrase, but I’m not sure that’s defensible.

Take the specific things that DO bother me:

  • Using “deep-seeded” instead of “deep-seated”, e.g. “She has some deep-seated, unresolved issues from her last relationship.”
  • Using “balled” instead of “bawled”, e.g. “I bawled my eyes out when the two main characters finally got together in the end.”
  • Using “would of” instead of “would have”, e.g. “I would have bought that pony, but I couldn’t figure out how I’d take care of it.”
  • Using the “____ and I” construct to the total exclusion of “____ and me” even when proper grammar strictly calls for it, e.g. “Paul decided to join Amy and me for dinner.”

I can’t actually think of a specific example of when people add or drop syllables in words at the moment. For the other examples listed above, I can come up with plenty of scenarios why a reasonable, intelligent, and capable person might consistent make these mistakes, but I can’t get away from the fact that they still bother me.

On reflection, maybe I’m just an self-centered bastard and if I think it’s a mistake *I* can and have made, then it’s ok, but if it’s something that I don’t do, then I get bothered by it. How terrible.

Let me add for clarity that those mistakes listed above don’t make me think less of a person or make me question their intelligence; rather, it’s the mistakes themselves that bug me. I don’t tend to extend my annoyance at the error to the person who makes it.

Furthermore, I had to correct this entry a billion times for errors, and I’m sure it’s still riddled with them. Heh. When I read Eats, Shoots & Leaves, I found that I consistently made certain mistakes in grammar that I hadn’t known about until the moment I read about them. Heh.

I’m coming clean

May 18, 2006   

So, my “big” do-before-turning-30 is trying to be neater, using a system I found online. All your systems are belong to online. There is a “first 31 days” guideline for what to clean and when. This is what I intend to complete before my b-day.

The first task (or “habit to install”) for me is keeping the kitchen sink sparkling clean. The focus is on small tasks, so I keep doing this for a few days until it feels a part of my natural routine, and in the meantime, I’ll also add small 2-, 5-, and 15-minute cleaning/decluttering sprints. The idea is to do whatever you can in the time limit without going over, so that it never feels like too much, so that you never stare at the mound of stuff on the desk and wonder how you can get it all organized, because you are only thinking of the next two minutes. There are also specific guidelines for certain “decluttering exercises” such as finding 27 things in a room that you want to donate. It’s these concrete little things that will help me.

Here is a little background on me & the history of cleaning: My mom was a neat freak. She kept the home pristine and sparkling and had rules for everything, and I mean everything. I love her to pieces and thank God everyday that she was my mom, but I have to admit that one of the reasons that I grew up to be a slob is that I was totally exhausted mentally by the time I hit independence. We had regimented chores we had to do on a daily basis and on a weekly basis.

On a daily basis, we had to keep the house neat in general, wash the dishes, set the table, clean up the food, sort the mail, wipe down the kitchen sink & counter & stove & fridge, wipe down the bathroom sink & counter, rinse down the shower walls, pick up after all the hair we shed, walk the dog, feed the dog, make sure all the tables were clear of random stuff, help cook dinner, etc. They are all totally normal things a kid at home is supposed to do, but it was mostly that it was so… regimented. There was only one way to set the table, there was only one way to leave the shower curtains, and there was only one way to wash the dishes. I felt like I was always suffocated by walls of chores and rules.

On a weekly basis, we vaccumed all the rooms, scrubbed the tub & toilet, took out the trash, mowed the lawn/shovelled the driveway/swept up the leaves, dusted all the shelves in all the rooms, Windexed all the windows, waxed all wooden surfaces, washed/dried/folded the laundry, mopped the kitchen. As needed, we helped my dad pack up his van in the morning and put away all the tools in the evening.

On a less frequent basis, we washed all the curtains, wiped down all the fridge shelves, washed/dried/waxed the car, and whatever other seasonal things needed doing.

All this was on top of going to school, doing all my extracurricular activities, going to church, and maintaining my part-time job. I never felt like I was doing things up to par. The chores were frustrating because there was never a real sense of reward from doing them; they just needed to get done. It was just drudgery.

My room was my personal haven of “leave stuff wherever I want them”-ness. I had stacks of books on my desks and stacks of clothes on my bed. I knew exactly where everything was, and I always moved entire stacks at once, so I could keep mental tabs on them.

When I went off to college, there was simply no time for any personal care. If I wasn’t dodging my horrible roommate, I was studying or trying to catch some sleep or grabbing a quick bite between classes. Let’s not talk about the college years.

Anyway, there were a few problems with the way I was taught to be neat when I was younger:

  • It was too regimented. Any cracks in the regiment and it was all over.
  • It was completely unrewarding in everyway. In fact, it was punishing because it took time from the other things I loved to do.
  • It was based entirely on external motivators and never crossed over into being a positive priority for me.

Now that I am older, it IS a priority. A person can’t spend all their lives blaming their actions on their past. It’s time to take action. It’s a matter of solving the problem on a practical level.

I know myself, and the “just do it” approach will not cut it. I need to start small and build slowly. The housemates and I put together a chore checklist which has been helping us to be a lot more neat on a higher level. We need lots of work on the details but it’s clear that everyone wants a cleaner home. Yay for a cleaner, neater home!

Once, a person (honestly, I don’t remember who it was) I know said to me, “I’m sorry, but your house is a dump.” I was really, genuinely pissed off (you’d think I’d remember given how pissed off I was, but I don’t). The problem isn’t that I am in denial about our house generally being messy; it was and it is, and it can definitely be better. The problem was, why did this person tell me that? Because they thought I didn’t know and I needed to be enlightened? That is disrespectful to my intelligence & my vision. Or if they thought I knew it, that I need to shame me about it? It’d be like me going up to someone and telling them, “I’m sorry, but your car is ugly.” Or, “I’m sorry, but your jaw is ginormous.” No, you are not sorry. You are just being a jerk and assuming that your judgment of the situation has a higher priority than anything else. I wanted to put my fist through this person’s face. Since I know many of you have thought it, I thank you for having the respect & tact not to say it out loud.

Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent.

The point is, this change is not a response to other people’s need for me to have a cleaner house; this change is a response to a desire in myself to enact a positive change in my life. It’s a set of life habits that I’d like to acquire so that our home is neater and happier.

I feel like I am ready for this change now. I’ve been going through small steps of self-improvement in the last few years: exercise financial responsibility, eat better, exercise, and, now, be more organized. I hope to carry that into my mental life as well, clearing up the clutter and being more focussed.

Might have found it

May 17, 2006   

As I was contemplating turning thirty in just under two months, I wrote:

I thought to myself that I have about a month to decide on something I’d like to do before I turn thirty (which would give me just under another month to actually do it).

I think I may just have found the thing. I need to research the idea and find out what the best way to go about it is, but I think I have just the thing that will give me a sense of achievement and help me going forward.

It’s not like I need to be secretive, but I don’t want to link anything until I have a better idea of my methodology. If I stick with what I have now, I’m already on Day 1 of the plan. 🙂 Woo!