are we there yet?

Not feeling good this past couple of days: I'm tired and facing unemployment again, I've fucked up my personal life pretty thoroughly, and I'm tired from sleeping on a bad bed in a hostel populated by drunken twentysomethings from Australia and the British Isles (not that this is unusual for hostels, but this is more than I'm used to, and last night I worked until 0000, went to bed at 0100, and was woken up at 0300 by an extremely drunk guy from Sacramento who came into the room and turned the light on and started singing). And I miss aikido and I miss my bed.

I'm also feeling somewhat whiny for complaining so much. Where's the line between being whiny and just saying what you're feeling? I have this concern about how other people think of me, that I think is at the heart of a lot of my problems. I wonder if I stopped caring so much about that, if that would make me a nicer person somehow.

I was talking to Ben on Saturday and noting how the decrease in my empathy and engagement with the rest of the world has been directly correlated with the process of growing up and becoming independent and trying to make a career and a life for myself, almost as if they're mutually incompatible. I don't think that they are, but spending energy on a career and a life is almost necessarily a self-involved sort of endeavor, and I think it naturally pulls you away from universal compassion if you don't pay attention (which I haven't). I don't really understand.

Again on the bright side, the gazetteer software is ready to go out tonight. This is the first time I've ever written software to be released to other people, and there's a nice feeling of real accomplishment to it, the more so because it's freely available.

I'm considering UC Berkeley grad school for Fall 2003. I'm sure it's a major hassle to apply, but for now it doesn't hurt to check it out. I even know what I'd like to do for a master's thesis, if it's big enough: in the Internet Movie Database there are these clusters of actors, who all worked on, say, "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the early 90s, and who are now grown a bit to the age of 20 or 21 where they are allowed to play 16-year olds in major productions, and they're starring in a variety of movies and television shows. To me, those clusters and others represent not only the explicit working relationships, but they infer personal relationships between actors and actors, producers and actors, or producers and producers. I want to find and enumerate those implied relationships (this finding of patterns and relationships in large data sets is called data mining or knowledge discovery, and it's been a long-standing interest of mine). Who knows. Maybe it could actually work.

Home soon.