Life and reflection

Life has another update. It’s now complete up through May 2008, so we’re less than a year from present day. Kinda scary. At some point I need to start tagging high school photos so I can work backward in life.

The events in the photos are becoming more and more familiar as I browse through them, picking out the one to choose for a particular day. It’s making me miss the college experience, especially after going through graduation photos again and realizing that it was likely the last time that all of my closest college friends were (or will be) be together in the same place, since not everyone returns for Carnival.
In some ways, that’s what college is really about… the classes are good, sure… but it’s really about the people you meet and the relationships you form. The majority of people I spend time with now are people I knew (no matter how casually) from college. I miss that sense of constantly being around people and being able to easily meet new people. I miss being able to walk up a couple flights of stairs and have spontaneous games, or being able to quickly assemble a group for food on an hour’s notice.
Meh.

Work has seemed largely stagnant lately. I’ve been working almost entirely on bug fixes and test automation, and I’m getting rather bored of it. Unfortunately, I also seem to be in a sort of mental rut where I haven’t been able to come up with interesting projects or initiatives for myself to take on to change this.
This will hopefully pass but, in the meantime, I can’t help but feel like I don’t accomplish anything of value in the time at my desk.
The last time I coded for fun was the framework for life.alanv.org. I haven’t touched the rewrite of the main alanv.org code for a year, and haven’t worked on CMU Adventures in about that time. This really should change, but I just haven’t been having any bouts of inspiration.
It’s not even that I dislike my job (I love my job, and love my coworkers, and enjoy going in every day), just more that I feel uninterested in my current tasks, and don’t have any particular ideas on how to change that or on what I could be doing instead.

I’m glad there’s at least one thing in my life that is going (mostly) the way I want it to. As we close in on 25 months this Saturday, I hope I never lose sight of the things that truly matter in life.

Life and foods

As promised, life has received another update that finishes off my college years. Ah memories.

I accomplished nothing today other than running, working on life, eating, and sleeping. I feel so lazy.

I’ve been making lazy pasta lately…
Buy ground meat on sale: lean ground beef or ground turkey. Get the large packs and you can save a lot of money. Mix it with spices to taste (I like various herbs and a generous helping of chili flakes) and make into meatballs (about an inch in diameter). Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or so. Immediately freeze.
Now, when you make pasta, just throw the meatballs in while the pasta boils. Put pasta sauce in a bowl (even if it’s cold from the fridge) and pour the hot pasta and meatballs over it. Let sit a bit to warm the sauce, then mix and eat.
It’s no more work than making pasta normally (less if you’re used to heating the pasta sauce beforehand), and I find that the meatballs make it much more interesting (and tasty) than plain pasta with sauce.
(This is what Ian used to do with sausage back in college.)

I also like making spinach pasta:
Sautee spinach, onion, and mushroom in a medium pot with olive oil until well cooked. Boil pasta (penne for this, probably) simultaneously. Add cooked pasta to vegetable mixture with some premade spaghetti sauce (Classico Carmelized Onion and Roasted Garlic works well with this). Stir, cook briefly to heat sauce, eat. It’s really simple and tasty.

Mmmm food.

Carnival Photos, Gay Marriage, and Games

It took me a week, but I finally got all my Carnival photos tagged and sorted (ugh the KGB meeting and Defector’s party were huge pains to tag), so they are now posted to photos2 for your viewing pleasure (all 8 galleries of photos). I’ve also posted a couple of new portrait galleries to portraits.




There’s apparently been a new ad “Gathering Storm” going around lately (and a Colbert parody that is awesome). What I find hilarious is that most of the arguments used in the ad were debunked before the ad even came out, back when prop 8 was the big thing.

Bleh. Religious right fail.

I spent most of today playing board games at Jeremy’s. We played Brass, which is a lot of fun and seems amazingly well designed. Then was a game of Agricola while Christine multitasked and played Power Grid on the Europe map at the same time (which features such interesting features as a city that gives discounts on trash and regions that disallow nuclear plants). Yay for deep, strategic games. <3 Agricola so much. Christine, of course, dominated both games (Agricola with an astonishing 60 points, Brass with a more reasonable 145 or so) and also won her game of Power Grid.

Life will likely get an update tomorrow.

Go Kart Racing

Today we went Go Kart Racing as a team reward for winning the peer technology award thing. It was a lot of fun. but more difficult than I expected. I ended up 10th out of 14 or something. Oh well.

Some photos from Carnival are posted on Facebook. I mostly just clicked through each of the folders and randomly dragged images into a folder, trying to only include photos with people I knew (with a couple exceptions, such as the Mobot photo). I’ll post more comprehensive galleries to photos 2 later, I just wanted to get something up there so I didn’t feel left out.

Apologies for the lack of photo posts lately. I’ll try to include some with my next entry.

Carnival Over

7 days, lots of people, and 10755 photos later, my time in Pittsburgh has come to a close. I had more time this year, and so got to do a lot more of the things that I wanted. However, I still can’t help but feel like I didn’t get enough time to spend with everyone. I suppose the only way to remedy that would be to live here full-time.

In any case, it was an awesome week, and many of my photos will show up on photos 2 or portraits at some point… likely not until later this week, since I will want tomorrow to sleep in and recover from the awesomeness.

So yeah, it was good seeing all of you again. My next trip to Pittsburgh will likely be next Carnival. I hope to see all of you then.