Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Life (Not Aquatic) Update

Hey all, so while I like to sometimes post about just about anything, I also as you have likely noticed, like to use this space for personal stuff. So here's a quick catch up on things going on for me, for those that care to read about ;)

For starters at work, while I'm no closer to enjoying what I do, I am appreciated for it it seems. Come early March, I'll have a pay raise for an extra $15,000, which will bring me up to $60,000 annual salary. Yes this is the most money I've ever made and is for now the reason I'm sticking with this job. Also, since the job works for me for now (in the sense that while I don't enjoy it, I am good at it), I've already mentioned that I only plan to leave for a better reason such as a job that would definitely pique my interest. I'm not in a rush like I was before.

This also likely means I'll renew my lease here, finally not having to move a year later. It'll be a breath of fresh air sticking in one place for a bit. I don't know how long that will last, but I see no reason to move. It's convenient, price isn't too bad and it's rather big for a one bedroom apartment. Community is also simple, usually quiet, and very safe. College age kids are pretty rare, which is both good and bad.

Hey speaking of social stuff, I've joined the Or Hadash, which is a Jewish young professionals association. This means Jewish people from the surrounding Orlando area from ages 21 to 40 get together for all kinds of social events. I went to my first one on Thursday, so yes I was actually out of the house for once on Valentine's Day, just not on a date. This was a Happy Hour at Urban Flats, a neat little place (even though I don't drink) where 20-30 people showed up (this is apparently only half of what normally shows up due to the holiday). Basically it lasted for 3 hours and I got there before anyone else did, which felt very awkward. There were several times where I thought I might run out the door and get out of there. If you don't know, I do in fact have a form of social anxiety, which of course wouldn't really manifest itself around those I'm comfortable or familiar with. Things were awkward at first, but eventually I got to meeting some cool people and some pretty cute girls. It went so well at the end that 8 of us went out to dinner afterwards. I got a chance to chat it up with a pair of Asian Jewish sisters (how neat is that right?), one of which worked at Disney (sweet!), so we talked up a storm about that. Another girl I talked to for much of the dinner was completely awesome and sadly taken; her boyfriend wasn't in town or something but I could easily see why she had one, one of the nicest people I've ever met.

I did also go to a dinner and Shabbat last night but I left before the service because things just weren't going well. Almost no one from the group showed up, those that did were boring and anti-social, the food was bad, and it was basically a really tiny temple which just had a lot of much older people who all knew each other. Maybe I'm not really looking for that kind of religious experience right now, just social stuff. I want to meet people my age, make some great friends, and if I'm incredibly lucky, meet a great Jewish girl and start a relationship. One can only hope. I'm saddened enough that I'll be reaching 25 and never had a girlfriend before, I certainly plan to change this. Oh and Ultimate Frisbee is tomorrow, weee!

What else, what else... Alright not to brag or anything, but I've made several commitments in my life, including the above social outreaching, to overall improve myself. I'm sure most of you know I had joined a gym months ago and started personal training. Now I find myself at the gym every free night that I have, this is sometimes 6 times a week depending on what I have going on. Thanks to this, I've no shame admitting that I'm finally losing weight at a good pace. Since I started a change to my diet well over a year ago and added more exercise, I've dropped over 20 pounds in that time. I won't say what my weight is unless you're really curious to know. Suffice to say I have a long way to go before I'm satisfied with the results, but I'm very happy that I'm making this commitment. I'm also doing my best to change my attitude towards both life and people in general, trying to become a "nicer" person. Not a doormat mind you, but I feel I could be far better rounded in the way I interact and express myself.

It is, as sappily as I can put it, some of the first steps on my road back to a state of happiness. It is one I don't plan to deter myself from. Clearly I've been doing a lot of thinking and reevaluating of my life in the past few months. Finally I'm taking some action to ensure some of these things. Hell, I even started up the story that Sean suggested to me. I don't know when I'll get that done, but it is a short story so it's something I feel is far more manageable than trying to put together an entire novel.

Well I guess that's about it for now. Thanks for reading this far if you did, I enjoyed writing it. Have a kickass day, my friends.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Just Messin' With Ya, Bro

Did you ever feel like you were going along with your day, things are going just fine, pretty well in fact, but someone attempts to ruin it by "messin' with ya"? Here's what I'm talking about. At work, I'm with a bunch of guys who range from boring to cool to just plain annoying. The amount of people worth talking to there is smaller than I would hope. I notice though that those that speak up sometimes have a tendency to say something not just rude but sometimes offensive. Of course it depends on the context. I've got at least one guy at work that we go back and forth with the same daily in-jokes about me being Jewish and him being Indian. He jokes about Hitler and stuff, and I joke about, well less effectively him being a tech support guy (which he actually isn't, just quality assurance, yes that's much better than being tech support, no dealing with customers, just us developers). Maybe we're just on the same wavelength of humor because we've each got an understanding that while we're sort of jabbing back and forth, it's completely not meant to be offensive at all. Could be that the way it's said, it's clearly just said to be funny but not at each other's expense. There's laughing immediately on both sides so there must be something to that. Basically we're both well aware that we aren't really making fun of each other's culture.

But then I encounter some other people, including one guy who works right next to me. He's the type that just offhandedly will make fun of someone and then quickly back it off. Something like "Well, if the code doesn't work I'm sure Bob broke it. Oh hey Bob, didn't see you there." And in this context, of course he knew Bob was there the whole time. It's joking for sure, but it's every single day and endless. That's of course a very mild version of what I'm talking about. On a near daily basis, it seems someone there always has to make a remark that either slightly or strongly makes fun of me or others. I'll admit, I can be kind of sensitive to this stuff, and I know I shouldn't be. I know if I say something like that, I want it to be clear that there's no way I mean true offense if possible. But some of these guys just throw it out there and move on. Hell I was made fun of for using "big words" as it were, apparently having a vocabulary is taboo in engineering, go figure.

I'm not trying to blow this out of proportion though, I'm well aware that this is VERY small stuff. Over time it can get to you, but I often ignore it and just do my best to brush it off. I don't often retaliate unless I know we're clearly in sync that we're both just making jokes, but not directly at someone's offense (hopefully what I'm trying to say is clear, I can't think of any other good examples). What I'm wondering is, why do people feel the need to do this? Breaking up the monotony of the day with humor is expected, but why is the most common desire to do it at someone else's expense? I even went grocery shopping today and had the bagger make fun of the fact that I was buying lean cuisine or low fat things. Apparently he thought the idea of trying to eat right or lose weight is either funny, stupid, or something I'm not aware of. Sure the kid was either in high school or he was of younger college age, someone I could actually see making fun of me if we were in high school together.

Oh that's another thing. I'm trying not to make this too personal but it's hard not to. In grade school I often felt like a target for these kinds of things. Sure I was nerdy and did well, so I get that dumb kids wouldn't like that and acted accordingly. But this kind of thing has always seemingly been around me. Are there just that many dumb fools running around or is it something about me? If so I'd sure like to know. Ah maybe I'm being paranoid. It's just something I've observed lately and I thought I'd point it out. Obviously I'm not going to let it bother me that much, I've got more important things to do.

This is just one of those life observations that makes you think (and sometimes worry about the human race). Maybe this is odd coming from me, but if people were nicer to each other (and that goes for me, too), maybe society as a whole would improve. Can't we all just get along?