Monday, February 13, 2012

You Get What You Pay For

It was my birthday last Friday. Yay, me! I turned 25. I met my goal of being out of my parents' place by the time I turned a quarter century old. I don't think of it as a major accomplishment as much as preventing myself from sucking balls. But, hey, every day I prevent that is a win, so go me!

I turned this celebration into a weekend affair. Friday, on my actual birthday, my parents took me out for some real Italian food. It was delicious. Except for the appetizer. We had ordered fried cheese sticks, but they apparently didn't have any at that time. Instead, our waitress suggested something Italian, which she described a lot of cheese wrapped in something Italian. I don't speak Italian. Not even as much as I really should for as many times as I've been to an Italian restaurant. I should at least know the Italian names of food by now. I do not. I should have asked. As it turned out, it was cheese wrapped in ham. Now, I don't remember if I've mentioned this on the blog before, and I don't think I have, but I don't eat pork. It's not a religious thing, or a moral thing. It's more of a health thing. Plus, most forms of pork, I simply don't like, anyway. So, not only do I not eat pork, but ham happens to be one of the nastiest (to me) forms of pork. I hate ham. I do wonder why our waitress even suggested the dish, as it had nothing in common with what we had originally ordered at all, except in the amount of cheese it had in it. Which, BTW, didn't make it better because, even after unwrapping it, the cheese by itself still tasted like ham. I don't blame the waitress, though. I really should have asked what it was. Still, the rest of the meal was amazing. Fettucini alfredo was the main course, my favorite pasta/sauce mixture. The restaurant serves a loaf of bread with every meal, and makes a olive oil and pepper dip for it. Simply divine. And the meal was topped of with some fancy coffee. I can't remember what was all in them. I think one had Irish cream (real, alcoholic Irish cream), and they might have both had Kahlua. They were very good. . . . Erm, no, I didn't drink both of them. I had one and my Dad had the other. For those who would recognize the place, it was Romano's Macaroni Grill.

Saturday was spent with one of my best friends. Not LawGambit, unfortunately, but another friend who I hadn't hung out with in far too long. We went to one of the few five star restaurants we have in this area. I had been craving steak for about a week, so it seemed like a good idea. We got some steak, a filet mignon for her and a NY strip for me, both of which came with a potato, and we ordered some fried mushrooms as an appetizer as well. It was delicious. It was my first NY strip, and, in all honesty, as far as steak goes, it wasn't my favorite. I'd have liked the filet mignon much better. That being said, it was still steak, and it was still yum. Also, some of the best mushrooms I've had in a very long time, if not ever. The place itself it very nice as well. I love that place, both inside and out. I do believe it would be my favorite restaurant, were price no issue. Unfortunately, it is, and $108 for two people is a steep price to pay. I'd pay it again, especially considering the sheer volume of food you get (we couldn't eat it all), just not anytime soon. If you're ever in Oklahoma and slightly Northeast of Tulsa (and you have lots of money you're not particularly attached to), check out Molly's Landing. Their tea is fantastic, as well, if you care about such things. I do. I love tea, in all its forms. Good tea is important to me. And they have it. Aside from that, we played a new board game she had gotten recently. I forgot what it was called, but it involved building towns and roads, and getting points from completing them based on how many minions you had in/on them when they finished. There was a variant of it that used a dragon and a fairy. I love dragons and fae, so I was all over that. We played twice, and she beat me both times, and both times by almost exactly 50 points. I can't wait to play again. ^_^ The last thing we did that evening was went to see the movie Chronicle. We liked it. I am a little distressed by the number of movies coming out recently that present themselves as being filmed by the characters in the film. As a whole, I don't think this is something that should be done a lot. However, Chronicle cheats from time to time, and it makes it a better movie for doing so. It's a really decent story, and the special effects are better then you might expect from such a movie. The characters are a little stereotypical, but they are likable, and they react to what's going on really well. I do believe that it's an accurate portrayal of what would happen if three high-schoolers suddenly got telekinesis. It's a good movie, and worth checking out.

Sunday was spent at my new home, hanging out with the friends I now live with. Well, a sizable chunk was spent grocery shopping with one of them, but still. It was nice. I was made to sit down and watch Being Human. I've known of the series for quite awhile, even before the U.S. version came out. However, I have a really hard time, sometimes, of sitting down and watching a new show. Plus, what little I'd seen of the U.S. version (my Dad watches it, so I've seen bits and pieces) did seem too appealing. Very interesting idea, but too soon after Twilight to possibly be executed properly. I was wrong. It's good stuff. Really good stuff. I watched both versions that night, and the U.S. version is actually better. I was surprised (I'm not a snob who thinks all foreign shows are better, but usually the original version is the best). I will definitely be watching more of that show.

So, here I am, after an amazing weekend, totally broke (beyond, actually), but infinitely enriched. My parents got me a Yamaha 88-key keyboard for my birthday. I had been wanting one for years. Now it's time to learn some music. Enriched now, thanks to amazing friends and family. Enriched for life, thanks to Yamaha.

I am broke, but not poor, because I got what I paid for.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

And Darkness Falls, Until a New Dawn Rises

Does anyone else think zip ties look like someone trying to give themselves head? Or is that just me?

Wow. I totally didn't intend on going dark that long. Of course, it didn't help any that I thought I had posted since my Escapism post, and apparently I haven't. I have not been idle during this time, however! A lot of things have been happening. For one, I got a new job. And a new home. Well, the home isn't mine, actually. I moved in with some friends that lived nearby where I work, now. I hung in my retail hat to work on the electrical components of industrial band saws. <sarcasm>I know, right? Sounds like a dream job for someone like me.</sarcasm> Believe it or not, it's actually kind of fun. Plus, there will eventually be opportunities for me to get into a programming or tech position within the company. This company like people who move around within it, and I intend to do just that. While the concept of industrial band saws doesn't sound all that interesting, the work that goes into it is. I've always wanted to learn more about the hardware side of things, and now I'm getting to. The wiring I'm doing now is very much like physical programming. The only real issue I have with it at this point is that I don't know what it all does, or what it's for. It's like being handed a sheet of paper with lines of code on it, told approximately where they're supposed to go in the program, then told to type them into the computer as they appear on the paper, with maybe some minor changes depending on what is needed, but never understanding what the lines of code actually do. Hell of a way to write a program. However, that's basically what I'm doing. Just with wires instead of code. The kicker is, from what little I can tell, it's a fairly simple program. Well, at least each Method or Subroutine is fairly simple. It's just that it's all written in a language I don't understand, and that's so completely different from the languages I know that I can't translate. This job would be a hell of a lot more fun and fulfilling if I understood what it was I was doing, and how it would affect the end product. So, that's a goal of mine. Learn the secret language of wires and electrical circuits.

Going into so much new all at once has thrown me for a hell of a loop. New job, new home, new town, new everything. Also, this is the first time I haven't lived with my parents. I'm not truly out on my own, since I'm living with friends, but at the same time, I kind of am. I'm not living off of someone, now. I'm contributing as much as anyone else in the house (or I'm trying to. My housemates have trouble letting me pay for stuff). It feels pretty good, but I'm still settling. It doesn't quite feel like home, yet. On the other hand, my parents' place doesn't feel like home anymore, either. So, yeah. I'm still a little lost, and trying to figure things out, but it is all starting to come together. I'm finally getting my feet back underneath myself, and am starting to see clearly, again, where I am, and where I want to go from here. I still have a very long journey ahead of me, but I've made some significant progress in the last month. If I can just maintain it, and keep it from crashing around me until it stabilizes, I should be set.

I just had a thought. I wondered what my reaction to this post will be, years from now, if I ever look back on it. I imagine I'll laugh at myself for worrying about such silly things, and I'll probably be right in doing so. Right now, though, nothing is certain. I have some serious self-confidence issues, and cannot help but think about the possibility of catastrophic failure. I have come a long way in the past couple of years, though. Even my low self-esteem will admit that much. I don't know if I'm ready for this, but I am ready to try.

Here I go.