2006.11.27 – 2006.12.10: Frantic/fortuitious fortnight

What a great two weeks it has been! I haven’t been blogging much, but
that’s because there’s been so much to blog about. ;)

I moved heaven, earth, and final exams to get to the
Global Network of Technology Evangelists
conference held in California on December 4, paying for the trip out
of my savings. It was well worth it! I got to meet all sorts of
interesting people. Now I just have to make sure I keep in touch with
them. =)

It was great walking around San Francisco, too. I stopped by
Ghirardelli Square to pick up some absolutely wicked drinking hot
chocolate, and spent the rest of the afternoon at the Exploratorium.
I’m really such a geek. I can’t go to a city without visiting its
science museum… <laugh> That was fun. The tech get-together I
went to in the evening was cool, too. I really like the idea behind
Like.com, and I was amused to hear how some
fifty engineers and PhDs had to learn the difference between wedge
heels and kitten heels!

I’d forgotten how stressful flying could be, what with all of the
security stuff. I’m glad that Simon Rowland
took me to the airport and Wayne Young picked
me up on the way back. Company really makes such a difference; the
commute would’ve been soul-sucking in this gray weather!

Schoolwork’s winding to a close, too. I’ve passed my
second-to-the-last requirement and will work on my last one over the
next two weeks.

With all of these things, though, the IBM lab’s a little nervous about
my research progress. I’ve been working on things; I just haven’t been
talking about it enough, I guess! (Strange, huh?) I’ve uploaded a more
detailed copy of my schedule to the intranet and sent links to my
manager and developer sponsor, who can use the schedule to keep track
of my deliverables and milestones. Proper project planning and all of
that. I hope that reassures them enough to extend our funding so that
I can continue until August, my projected completion date.

I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships, too. I don’t know
if it was because I was so stressed out about the end of the year, but
I had come so close to breaking up with Simon a number of times over
the past few weeks. We’re both learning a lot in the process, and have
so far decided to keep going. I’m learning to think even more
positively. =) Strangely enough, I suspect that the long-distance
relationship we’ll have over the next six weeks might actually be
easier. =)

That explains my earlier sad note about some things for which Google has no answer. I’m still learning a lot about life and relationships, and neither Wikipedia nor Wikihow can really give me insights. I’m profoundly grateful for all of the friends who have expressed their concern and support, though, and who have helped me come to a better understanding.

I dropped by The Gorey, the new house being shared Quinn, Leigh, and
Jed, who are among my closest, closest, closest friends in Toronto.
Their place is awesome! I’m so envious… I’ve drafted my 2006
Christmas letter / annual report, and will figure out how to get it
printed and sent out. Jed told me that I couldn’t cheat and send just
one copy to their house. <laugh>

Oh, and I found the salmon flakes my mom’s been asking me to get for
my dad! =) I checked all the supermarkets in Chinatown.

So, plans for next week:

Work: Aside from classes on Tuesday, next week pretty much belongs to
IBM. I need to give a presentation on mashups as part of Hack Day
University on Monday. I have a meeting with a potential user group on
Friday, and will hack madly on my prototype in order to get it into
somewhat presentable state by then. Life is good. I’ll probably be up
at IBM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Social: The Toastmasters Christmas party is on Tuesday. On Thursday,
I’m having coffee with a motivational speaker who’s a friend of a
friend. On Friday, I might catch up with one of my friends over dinner
in the Danforth. On Saturday, Simon gets back from Florida. On Sunday,
I might have a little going-away party. How and where, I still have no
idea. Graduate House isn’t easy to entertain in because I have to
fetch guests myself, through several keyed doors. Note to self: next
year, find an apartment or house that will let me just buzz people
in…

Maybe I can borrow someone’s place for a going-away party. Or maybe I
should just declare visiting hours at the Linux Caffe, or something
like that… ;) I’ll bring my computer so that I can plan dinner or
coffee with people for next year. Yeah, that sounds more like it.
Linux Caffe closes at 5 on Sundays, but maybe I can ask David nicely.

Life is good.

Random Emacs symbol: test-completion – Function: Return non-nil if STRING is a valid completion.

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