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I am so dead

| research, sad

My mind's just blanking out. There's no way I'm going to finish a
credible draft of this paper within the next 20 minutes. I've been
thinking about it all day, but… this just isn't what I had done my
initial reading for, and the lack of background is really biting me.

My technology diffusion visualizations were born out of an afternoon
of play, a direction I took during a random walk. For some reason,
Mark liked it. Now I find myself scrambling madly to learn about
innovation diffusion theory. (Hooray, Everett Rogers!)

My reading notes are all about bookmarking and its personal and social
benefits. Maybe I can still work that in somewhere, but bookmarking
isn't the main focus of the paper, and I need to fill in a lot more
back story.

Should I have skipped all the afterparties and focused on this? My
sense is that in the long run, that networking will be of much use.
(Although perhaps I could've skipped mush…) Now if only it didn't
take me so long to get back on track.

If Mark was looking over my shoulder, he'd probably tell me to stop
blogging and concentrate on writing my paper instead. Unless I manage
to unblock my mind, though, it's going to be pretty hard for me to
make sense of the papers and write a coherent submission.

My problem is that I've been giving him all of these half-papers:
teams, personal benefits for social bookmarking, etc. – but we keep
changing my topic after I pass them. I'm sure all of these paper
fragments lying around the place will be useful someday, but it's
incredibly frustrating having to keep branching out.

I feel like such a research failure…


| sad

I hate forks.

In other news, it's too sunny for it to be this gray a day.

Hot chocolate day

| sad

Dominique and Clair both asked if I was okay. I was, you know. The
Skype party last Saturday was a fantastic way to start my day, and my
friends here could tell you how I was floating. But I guess it wasn't

… and I find myself hating this in-between life.

I don't hate Canada. Despite the weather, Canada has been nothing but
nice to me. It's starting to be sunny again, too, which is good.

I hate being away from home. I hate being away from the people I love.
And I really, really, really hate how technology gets in the way those
few times we do get to talk. Between jokes about confessionals and
people trying to fool me with their voices, I just don't get the sense
tht I'm talking to my friends, y'know?

I want to be able to waste time with my friends, chatting about random
things. I want to be there for their hot chocolate moments. I want to
be able to give my mom a hug without her asking for it. I want to be
in their lives, not just on the periphery.

Happiness is the feeling that you are doing the right thing in the
right place at the right time. Sometimes I am almost happy. When I'm
working on documentation, when I'm cooking for friends, when I'm
reading, I can almost feel that I'm here for a reason.

Sometimes, like now, I am the opposite of happy. Then I go and have
hot chocolate, and I wear my happy socks, but it isn't the same. Even
if I do something nice for a friend, it's not enough to shake off that
feeling of being… mis-placed.

I can't do this if people at home have doubts. I feel guilty for not
writing as often as I should. E-mail is too distant for me, too
deliberate. Everything reminds me of the distance, even Skype. I've
loved aking up to chat with my parents and Dominique, but it is even
harder to wake up and not find them there. I don't really want to talk
about anything, I just want to hear, “I love you.”

Damn my potential. Damn my destiny. I hate living between worlds…

Happy socks

| sad

I woke up terribly lonely today, so I wore happy socks. That gave me
an idea for another Toastmaster speech to be entitled “Secret
Happiness.” =)

My happiest secret is a star. Not a lot of people know where it is and
what it means to me, but it's one of my secret happinesses.

Post-conference blues

Posted: - Modified: | conference, friends, life, sad

Suddenly blindsided by post-conference blues. The dangerous thing
about finally having time to breathe is that it’s also enough time to

Now I remember.

Left the workshop room to find an empty corridor. Talked a bit with
other people from the lab. It was nowhere near laughter and
conversation over coffee, late-night conference parties, enjoying time
with my closest friends…


That’s it. This is loneliness and homesickness.

Tech conferences were always the best times for me to meet with
friends. They’ve always been reunions for me, from the programming
competitions in high school to the last open-source get-together I
went to right before I left for Canada. We’d chat long into the night
about all the crazy stuff that was going on.

Sometimes conferences were the only times I’d get to see
Dominique. And I miss him. I miss him
terribly. I miss going to conferences with him. He helped me prep,
stopped me from panicking, made it easy for me to talk to other

Conferences are some of my fondest memories. Today’s conference was
nice, but… Cold. Strange. Empty.

I guess it’s like that for everything else. I’m still trying to find
friends, still figuring out how to relate to people.

I miss being totally present, the way you can be only among friends
who know you as more than a collection of interests, who care about
you as _you_, who know the million things you hate about yourself and
love you anyway.

It doesn’t make sense to feel lonely, but I feel it anyway.

Hooray for technology, though. People who say computers are impersonal
have never been on the receiving end of some heavy-duty ASCII
comforting. People who don’t see the point in cellphones have never
instantly touched base with other people without having to worry about
where they were. (What’s up with charging for incoming calls, anyway?
SHEESH.) And oh, I really hope that Skype upgrade gets everything
working again. I hadn’t realized just _how_ much I needed to talk to

(And yes, this is a personal bit of information and most of you are
probably wondering why the heck I’m posting this, but this is what’s
happening in my life and it affects me far more than the other things
I post.)

Thanks to Clair, Charo, Dominique, Mom, Dad, Diane, Mario, and everyone
else who was there in spirit although perhaps not online.