Saturday, December 29, 2007

Being Friends With A Former Love Interest

Is it possible to be friends with a person that you have had a strong romantic interest in or a person that you had a relationship with? I've been forced to wonder about this a lot lately. I don't know if I can do it.

For me, there are so many mixed up emotions and blurred lines that shouldn't be crossed that it's a pretty difficult scenario. I want to remain friends, but I don't know if I can handle it and retain what's left of my sanity.

In my experience, I find that my expectations never quite seem to match up with her expectations. I mean, the obvious solution is that the boundaries of the friendship are determined by intersection of the sets of expectations (sadly, math terminology is the most clear to me in describing this). However, that means that neither person's expectations will ever be fulfilled.

This is a pretty painful prospect for two people who once shared something far more. The only real question is if it's more painful to not be friends or to be friends.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sarah McLachlan + John Lennon

This has been my favorite Christmas song since last Christmas when it was released: Sarah McLachlan - Happy Xmas

I'm a big fan of both Sarah McLachlan and The Beatles, so any time they're combined, I'm kind of a sucker for the result. Also, the similar context of the time when the song was written and the current time of war just makes the song so fitting.

Holiday Blues

The holiday season always gets me down a little bit. This time of year for me is mostly about family and my family still feels broken ever since my sister's death. I don't know if it's possible for anyone to ever recover from something like that, but I know I still haven't.

I'm a relatively boring person. Around the holidays, usually, my sister would be the more interesting person. She'd have ideas for christmasy stuff to do and that sort of thing. She was always kind of the complementary element to my personality, since I typically prefer not doing much at all for the holidays. In her absence, the holidays feel uninspired for me. I'd even go as far as to say they feel hollow. I can't not think about her around this time of year, and that of course drags down my spirits.

I have to keep reminding myself that she would want us to be happy, so if nothing else, we should be happy for her sake. It's hard, sometimes, though.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Media Player Boosts WOW Performance?

Quick side note to anybody out there who plays World of Warcraft: I haven't confirmed this myself, but this article suggests running Windows Media Player in the background boosts performance of World of Warcraft.

I honestly can't see those huge gains happening on my computer since my loading times aren't even 15 seconds to begin with, but hey, it just might work for you.

I Miss My (Roommate's) Kitty

My roommate went home to see her mom for Christmas. She took her cat with her so that I wouldn't have to take care of her cat for her while she was gone. Not to say that I don't miss my roommate, but I miss her cat a lot too.

Recently, her cat started sleeping on my lap while I was on the computer. I even have scratches on my legs from when she suddenly decided to jump off on several occasions to prove it. There's just something so nice about having a cat happily on my lap while I do whatever I'm doing. In general, the cat would just come around periodically to see what I was up to and cause some trouble when she wanted attention. Sure, she was sometimes a little bit of a nuisance (like when I'm trying to fold my laundry but she wants to bury herself in my warm clothes), but at the end of the day, I really like having a cat around the house.

I'm going to be even more sad when my roommate finishes her degree and moves back home. I really want to adopt a cat of my own at some point now. I think I've proven that my allergy to cats has diminished enough that I can handle it. =)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Leadership Skills

It's funny, playing arena in World of Warcraft has made me realize how rare it is that people are able to be good leaders. On my warlock's team, I'm the leader, so we have a reasonably good leader. Consequently that team has been fairly successful consistently.

On my priest's team, we continually have problems with coordination because I cannot lead the offense as a priest whose main job is kiting and defensive type stuff. Our main warrior is an awesome guy, but he's of the simple "tell me what to kill and I'll kill it" mindset. Our warlock is trying to step up into a leadership type role, but he honestly lacks the tactical knowledge to make the right calls and quickly. One of our two mages is also very quiet and not confident enough to call plays. Our other mage would be fairly capable to calling plays, but he's not always in the game and he is not the sort who volunteers to do it. When he does it, though, he does a fairly good job. We really need someone on the team to assume the role of leader of the offense.

Being a good leader is not easy. You need to have the confidence and knowledge to quickly call plays that will determine your team's fate. It's not easy to accept the responsibility that a lot of times when you lose, it's your fault for calling the wrong play. You have to have the patience to teach your team what you want them to do better when things go wrong. You have to also have the desire to win so you can inspire your team to keep pushing just a little farther than they thought they were capable of. You have to be able to adapt on the fly as situations arise but you have to still never lose sight of the overall strategy. You need to have the patience to manage the team members and the organization to track people's schedules.

Honestly, when we started my warlock's team, I didn't think we'd be capable of getting much more than an 1850 rating by the end of the season. However, we've come quite far since then, even finishing last week as the number 1 team on my server and 80th overall in the battlegroup.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I was recently curious about wasabi, that spicy green paste you get with sushi in Japanese restaurants in case you didn't know, so I snooped around a bit a stumbled into this article on wasabi. I had no idea that real wasabi was extraordinarily rare and expensive and that the vast majority of restaurants use a mixture of horseradish and green dye in its place. I mean horseradish and wasabi are closely related, but it was a tad disappointing to find out that I've probably never had real wasabi.

Real wasabi, apparently, only grows under very rare circumstances, namely they need to grow with clean, flowing water with a particular mineral balance. There are only a handful of places that naturally have the right conditions, but people grow wasabi with hydroponics now. I think I should make it a quest to find some place where I can try real wasabi. =)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Game Review Sites

Major game review sites are completely biased. I never really trust their reviews. Then recently, a GameSpot editor was fired after he gave a harsh review of a very big advertiser who paid GameSpot a lot of money.

Yeah, that move makes you look really good, GameSpot. Keep up the good work.

This is a neat site:

It tests your vocabulary and each time you get a question right it donates 20 grains of rice to end world hunger via the United Nations World Food Program. On top of that, it will adapt to your vocabulary level depending on how well you do. You can get up to level 50, but the FAQ says that it's pretty rare to even get above 48. So far, I'm having trouble pushing beyond level 45. =( Trying is fun, though, and I can help feed starving people in the world while I do. ;)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It Was Inevitable....

Some website offering to sell you a spot in Heaven.

It's funny because it points out a lot of the absurdity in religion. This guy's product is just as verifiable as any other way to get into Heaven.

Monday, December 3, 2007

2, The Ranting Gryphon

I have no idea who this guy is, but I stumbled across a couple of entertaining rant videos he made on Youtube.

Global Warming

He mixes a bit of being right with a bit of being funny, angry, and offensive. =)

Freedom Of Speech Needs To Be Protected

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is fighting a battle to protect freedom of speech in blogs.

Why is it that one of America's founding principles, freedom of speech, is under so much attack these days? Even the realm of anonymous blogs is under attack. Why should a blogger be forced to reveal his identity against his will? If there is no reason to expect a blog will incite others to commit crimes or otherwise cause anyone harm, why is there a problem?

Political Compass

I remember stumbling across a while back and finding it to be a very interesting site. They attempt to add one more axis to the usual "right" and left" labels that are used in politics. They achieve fairly interesting results. I recommend taking their test to figure out where your political leanings are just to get a good idea.

This is a graph of their results for the current crop of presidential candidates.