Adulting (and rambling)

No matter how long it’s been true, it still feels weird to me when I do something that requires me to be an adult.
(Getting a credit card? Uh… don’t I need a parent to co-sign? Booking plane tickets? Who gave me permission to fly? Buying a house? What are you even…)

But in the last few weeks, I’ve done some things that felt adult-y, but felt right, and so I guess yay stuff making some more sense now?

We bought matching furniture for our living room. After getting the coffee table we liked at Target (23.5% off), we decided it was reasonable enough quality and a good enough price, and a good enough match with the house, that I bought an endtable and console table from the same set, and also a lamp that matched. With the couch and armchair being the same set as each other, and an old lamp that is the same color as the rug, the living room actually matches, for the first time ever in a place I’ve lived in and had control over. And it feels pretty nice. This excites me far more than it should.
(Bonus: The furniture also matches the dining room chairs and table in color and style.)

(Of course, adult-ing only extends so far, so the couch features my Sonic and Shadow pillows, and a plush peep named Bub.)

The portraits I talked about last post were finished, and printed on canvas, and they came out pretty nice. After trying to figure out how we could nail in to hang them without perforating crucial things in that wall (like a “novelty ventilated wall pipe”), I decided to just go to Target and buy some of those Command hooks. Turned out to be a good idea, and they look pretty good. (Just need to pull out the old nails still in the wall above them.)

Also, on Easter, we hosted Easter brunch, as like a proper meal with things for 7 people. That’s the largest group I’ve ever cooked for and set place settings for and stuff, I think. (Previous record was 4?) It was also relatively unplanned: we wanted to have ham on Easter, and the smallest ones you could buy were like 7 pounds, so we figured we’d need people to help eat it. I think it also went off rather well?

Other totally random things that are on or have been on my mind recently, in no real order, in bullets that may be incoherent rambling:

  • The house we almost bought, that sold for ~$300k, is back on the market as of today. For $399k. $100,000 in less than a year is pretty good money. Also, based on the Zillow listing and photos, they did exactly nothing to the house in the time they lived there.
  • Looking back at the photos of it, I’m actually rather glad now we didn’t get it? I think it’s been idolized in my mind as this “ideal” house (the one that got away?) that we have fond memories of. But actually I think the house we did get is better in almost every way (forced air heating and cooling, nicer kitchen, nicer rooms, bigger yard, better location). Makes me feel really happy we found this one and got it.
  • I stumbled across this reddit thread and particularly this post recently, and it’s making me feel really weird about things. (Watching the “Born Rich” documentary doesn’t help either.) It’s still rather unfathomable to me that anyone has that kind of money, and that people in general are okay with them having that kind of money. I mean, it doesn’t make logical sense to me that any single person’s contributions to the world, no matter how significant they may be, are worth a billion dollars. (And that’s only for the “I earned my money” argument… never mind inherited money.)
  • Also private large planes are disgusting and should not be a thing anyone can or would ever want to buy. Even ignoring the insane cost to buy, outfit, and operate such a plane… how many other people would that money and those resources (particularly the jet fuel?) be used for instead? Small private planes are already terrible enough. :\
  • I keep being reminded of how incredibly fortunate I am in life, in so many different ways. Particularly (following above), money is one of the things that has never *ever* been a problem in my entire life, and there are so many people I know where that is definitely not the case. I was sent (full-ride by the parents) to a top university where I didn’t have to concentrate on anything but schoolwork. I work a job I love in a field I am good at with coworkers that are amazing and for a company that seems dedicated to its employees and their success, and on top of that I make enough to live comfortably. The fact that I can drop the money for 4 color canvas prints for the game room wall, on a whim, after basically no thought, just because I thought it would look nice is a testament to that. So while some people may have stupid amounts of money and eat dinner with the president, I live comfortably and happily and never feel like I truly want for anything, which I suppose already makes me one of the wealthiest men in the world.
  • Why is sick time not a standard thing in jobs, or failing that (and job allowing) work-from-home-when-sick policies? It seems like the productivity loss from an employee coming in and getting others sick would be far higher than just having them stay home and not work at all, or work from home instead. It occurred to me last week, as I signed in for 5 minutes in the morning to post a “Not working today; sick” update, that there are many people that can’t do the same thing, and that really confuses and frustrates me. (Heck, even the fact that I didn’t have to ask for the day off, because I knew I had implicit permission and would be told to go rest if I actually tried to work anyway, is a thing many people don’t have or get, and is such a simple thing that it seems so many companies forget.)
  • It’s so bizarre to me that society has put such differing dollar amounts on skilled work. Artists usually make shit, and drawing well is a skill many people will never have nor can ever learn. Teachers make shit compared to the amount of work they do, and teaching kids is both incredibly difficult and incredibly important. Writers make very little, and assembling words together in ways that flow and just seem right is a skill that is both rare, and also immediately recognizable when you read it as something amazing. Heck, if you’re a skilled call-center agent who knows how to diffuse customer tempers and provide real service (and even just deal with people in the first place)… that’s also a heck of a skill, and you probably literally make minimum wage. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here typing words (I guess if you consider thingsLikeThis() to be words) and symbols into a computer screen and somehow that is worth money. The person that maintains the computer that lets me continue typing words in doesn’t make that much, but that’s skill too, in an area I have very little knowledge or ability in. I don’t know.
  • KoL has been interesting, in the monetary aspect, lately. It seems they’ve completely embraced the idea of premium content and putting insane amounts of power into paid things, which from the standpoint of a F2P game, really really bothers me. At the same time, given their declining revenue numbers, I can’t exactly blame them? (If you had only one revenue stream, and your continued employment relied on you making things people *want* to or *have* to buy, of course you would do it.) So the side of me that understands businessy things is fighting with the side of me that abhors things that feel like they’re forcing money out of me. I do greatly miss the old KoL days, when the paid things felt less important and the free things felt much more equitable, but I guess I still enjoy KoL enough that I’m willing to press on for now. On the plus side, there’s a couple recent things where they’ve done a standout job: the Witchess set, which unlocks awesome puzzles (and also, tangentially for me, powerful game items), and the LT&T Telegraph Office, which unlocks a lot of fun writing and interesting boss battles. While I still wish more stuff was available for free (free puzzles… who wouldn’t love that?), developer time is (non-trivial amounts of) money, so it only makes sense. But blargh?

Things and words and stuff.

Moved

Chris, Rob, David, Lea, and Keith came by yesterday to help us move the rest of our stuff from the apartment to the house, and it went rather quickly and smoothly. The house is now filled with boxes and things. Hopefully this’ll be the last move we have to do for a very, very long time.



We’ve had several weekends (and, amusingly, only weekends) of unseasonably warm weather lately. It’s weird to be in a heavy coat all week, then see people out running in shorts and t-shirts on the weekends. At least that means it was reasonably nice yesterday for the move… not so cold that people froze, but not so warm that it was uncomfortable given all the physical activity.

Life has been pretty uneventful otherwise. Work goes well, house goes well, gaming and climbing continue as usual.

Yay life?

House’d!

It’s been a fun weekend, but the most important part is probably that we actually moved into the house and will now be living out of it (and, in my case, working out of it). :D Most of our stuff is still in the apartment waiting to be boxed up, but the important stuff (computers, some clothing, cooking things) are all over here now. I’m typing this from my new office at my new desk.

(Relatedly, my photo journal and photos site have both gotten updates, also from the house. Yay!)

I think it happened mostly by accident. On Thursday, I had some time, so I went to the Fios store in Bakery Square to sign up for service. Turned out they could send a technician the following morning, although why one was necessary was unclear… the house had Fios service less than 6 months ago, and the previous tenant had the router in the exact same room where we wanted it. But meh?

We’d inquired about service the previous Saturday, and as our house is wired with coax already (in pretty much every room that matters), we decided to get the 50/50 plan, since that was the highest Verizon would provision on coax, and we were less than eager to have new wiring work done to run cat5 in the necessary ways to get service in the office on the second floor.

So the technician comes out the following morning (within his time window, amazingly!) and I meet him here, and he starts evaluating how to drill holes and run cat5 from the basement to the office. Uh…?
So apparently Verizon no longer provisions new users on coax, even though the entire reason we’d selected Fios (over cable, and why we even considered it alongside DSL) was that it could run over coax already in the house, and a large part of our decision for the 50/50 plan (in addition to it being enough speed) was that we wouldn’t need new wiring done.

I managed to get the tech to escalate to his manager, who approved a new provisioning on coax for us. Less than 5 minutes after that call, we were up and running… less than 24 hours after I had signed up at the store. So that was fast service.

We’ve been spending weekends (Friday and Saturday nights) at the house, so we did that after climbing and food on Friday… but then wondered why we shouldn’t just spend the weekend moving essentials over and just start living over here instead. So we did that too, and spent the amazingly nice weather this weekend moving things over and generally making the house livable.

Tomorrow will be my first day of work from the house. I expect VPN will severely limit the benefit of getting Fios, although given the video call problems I often have, hopefully things will generally improve with the (much) higher speeds. (And, in a speed test, we actually got more than the advertised speeds — about 57 down and 65 (!) up.)

This post is a wall of text, so here’s a climbing Ian.

Happy birthing day to me…

…I am twenty three.
(No, actually, that’s a lie.)

The house exists and is a thing and has furniture and stuff inside of it. And on Saturday it had people (25 people, at one point) inside of it. It’s large enough that it never felt full during that time, even with simultaneous games happening in the living room (Nertz), dining room (Betrayal), basement (Agricola), and second-floor office (Bohnanza). We could have had another game going in the library too, probably. (Contrast that to our apartment where we hosted probably a dozen people last Carnival, and it felt so overfull that it was uncomfortable.)

(Not pictured: Dan, Yubin, Matt, Michael, Maja)

But I had a birthday party on Saturday, and a ton of people made it out, and it was awesome. Yubin made a post-birthday-song speech for me thanking everyone for coming out and put really nice words in my mouth. :) I’m super lucky and blessed to have so many friends and an awesome house to host them all in.

Anyway, house!






More photos are here.

I think the only pending thing at the house at this point is getting internet access and cleaning the bathroom (and getting a shower curtain for it). Otherwise it’s move-in ready… we actually spent the night there on both Friday and Saturday and it was fine other than having to come back to the apartment for showers.

Yay house. :D

House, work, Until Dawn, Powerball

It’s 5 AM and I can’t sleep for some reason, so here’s a general braindump of things from the last few days.

Our house is approaching usable and livable status! Keith needed a trip to Robinson last weekend, so we tagged along and used his car to buy 8 chairs and a TV stand at Ikea. Our living room couch and armchair also arrived, so we actually have furniture now, and it’s awesome. We spent the weekend building furniture and cleaning the place in preparation for my birthday party there this upcoming weekend, did our first load of laundry in the machines (which all work fine, albeit slowly and strangely since I guess they’re all fancy and have tons of modes and settings), and generally started bringing over things from the apartment.

Except that I got a call Sunday night from work that things were exploding. Apparently we managed to break API logins for many customers. It turned out to be a weird edge case that we hadn’t considered, and that had existed for years, but that was revealed now because we stopped doing fallback in a way we had previously. Lesson I guess is to always always always log when stuff is happening that you don’t expect to, and pull logs before deprecating code. (No matter how many times we do this I still get amazed at the weird things our customers sometimes do.)
That was an all-nighter mostly (with an hour or two of sleep between Sunday and Monday), so it was a rather unfortunate start to the week. At least the rest of the week has been quieter.

As previously reported, I acquired a PS4 for Rock Band and Guitar Hero recently. As part of the Black Friday deals, I also picked up a copy of Until Dawn, which plays out kind of like a visual novel but with more exploration and real-time reaction events. It’s actually ridiculously fun, even if my video gaming skills are super rusty from not having really gamed in like a decade. (Then again, I never did play actiony-type games anyway, preferring to stick to RPGs, so maybe I never had them in the first place.) Completed my first playthrough today and somehow managed to get everyone through without dying.

I still need to pick up a second guitar for Rock Band, but the $100 price tag is proving to be a psychological barrier. If I get that, the drum cymbals attachment, and a second mic (and mic stand), I’m going to be down nearly another $200, which seems like it would be better spent on several good board games, or a bunch of good DLC songs. Meh.

Also today, I bought a lottery ticket for the first time. The thrill of having a tiny shot at that ridiculous sum of $1.5 billion proved too alluring, but I was also hoping I’d at least win the cost of admission back by matching the powerball or a couple of numbers. But no such luck — between my manual pick and the QP ticket, I matched exactly zero of the final numbers. It’s just as well anyway… who needs nearly that kind of money?