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Jun. 18th, 2016


Posted by: Ryan

I'm in Pittsburg this weekend for Jeannette's wedding! I'm sitting at the Inuyasha table and I'm designated as Miroku:

If you've seen Inuyasha (and maybe know a little about how I'm perceived), you should get the joke. :P ...anyway, it's really great to see everyone again, especially during a time of celebration.

May. 9th, 2016

Job Market

Posted by: Ryan

Drew left his contact information on a sticky-note attached to my desk. It was his last day in the office, along with over 20 of my other coworkers. The company that recently acquired us announced layoffs early in the morning, while I was out of the office interviewing for a job in Santa Monica.

Several months ago, Drew sent us all photos of his trip to Japan, including his proposal to his girlfriend in a beautiful hanging garden. When he came back, he wasn't shy about bringing his new fiance around the office or inviting her to our after-work happy hours. She seemed nice enough. Any time we went to lunch, he would talk about his adventures trying to buy a decent house so that the two of them could settle down and start a family.

Two months ago, his fiance cheated on him with a coworker and their wedding was canceled.

Drew hadn't had much work due to the disorganization of the company acquisition, so he would occasionally come by our desks just to talk about his life. I heard about how he blocked his ex's number, only to have her call him from a different one. I heard about how he called and threatened to kill the "other man" over the phone. He said that he's giving up drinking altogether.

I've tried to do my best to give him some advice since I've been through something similar. Mostly basic things to help him get sleep and fill up the empty time. But somewhere in our conversation, he asked me something really sad. He asked me if I ever wished that my old relationship had worked out.

Noelani and I did get back together at first. We tried. And I did and said a lot of horrible things during that time. I was hurt and I was angry. And when Drew speaks, I can hear the pain in his voice. He's hurt and he's violently angry, like I was.

But unlike me, he isn't going to have his fiance to help him through it. Say what you will about Noelani, but I'm not angry anymore, mostly because of her. Drew's relationship is ending with a clean break, so he isn't going to lose nearly as many years off of his life as I did, but I just don't know how he's going to deal with all of the anger.

I've worked at my current company for over four years, but for the past couple weeks, I've been taking lots of job interviews. And to my own surprised, every interview I've done has gone well.

Other than that, I've been filling my time with work. I went to a weekend Javascript training workshop in Carlsbad and I've been working through lots of programming exercises. In the spare time I've had left, I've been recording videos for the Codex Kickstarter. On the other hand, I haven't gone out dancing or met Kiri for an open mic night in months.

But today, I finally signed an offer letter. I put in my two weeks notice.

Nov. 16th, 2015

Smartphones and Burns

Posted by: Ryan

I got my first smartphone a little more than a month ago. And to be honest, pretty much everything that I was worried would happen actually did happen.

So a little bit of background: I've been playing an early version of a card game, which has a level of complexity similar to Magic: the Gathering, and so there's quite a bit of debate among the playtesters about what factions are too strong and what changes are or aren't good for the game. So while I'm not active on any social networks (Facebook et al.), I've been part of an IRC channel and a Skype group where I can discuss the game with other playtesters.

Which means that for a little while, I became one of those people who kept always checking his phone, trying to keep up with the chatter. Some of it was constructive, but a lot of it was people arguing at each other, which meant that I was not only being distracted, but I was being distracted by negativity. (Very strong negativity in some cases.)

So I did the thing that I know how to do: I deleted things. I deleted Skype and IRC off of both my phone and off of my computer.


Monday night was the finals of the International Yomi League, a weekly tournament for a game that I've been playing off-and-on for several years now. I didn't watch it. I drove home, bought a bouquet of flowers, and celebrated my two-and-a-half year anniversary with my girlfriend.

We cooked a dinner together, which included cooking a large steak with oil and butter. I started by getting some oil in a cast-iron skillet as hot as I could, and then setting down the steak in the pan.

Except that I slipped a little and kind plopped the steak down in the pan, splashing some hot oil up onto my right hand. The oil stung, and after the stinging stopped, it still left behind some red, raised areas. But after the initial shock, the skin didn't hurt any more than it would have if I had simply gotten a bruise.

Getting burned by hot oil sounds like it would be pretty terrible, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected.

Sep. 28th, 2015

Happy Birthday, Kiri!

Posted by: Ryan

Hello again!

Happy birthday, Kiri! <3

Not much to say other than you're awesome, I miss you, if you have any free time I'd love to catch up, and I hope you had a wonderful birthday today. Later!

Mar. 2nd, 2015

Future Plans

Posted by: Ryan

She and I carried on our conversation as we walked back from lunch. "She" is Cyndi, a short, bleach-blonde dyed girl with an idealism that shows her age. And as we walked, she talked about moving up in her career, about saving up enough money to buy some land, and about moving away from the city. She talked about what kind of house she wants to build and what kind of crops she wants to grow. She talked about the simpler life that she wants to live.

"Maybe that's why you smile so much," I said to her. "I think happiness is made of future plans." Cyndi has a reason to wake up in the morning. She has something to look forward too. She can see her future so clearly. Why wouldn't she be happy?

"Well, I guess next time, you'll have to tell me what your plans are," she said. And something about that sentence made me a little sad.


I brought my mother some food, since I was driving over to meet her around lunchtime. She and I had a few things to talk about. Less than two weeks ago, the landlord told us that he and his wife are retiring. As part of their retirement, they're selling the house.

We've been renting the same house for more than fifteen years, so my mother and I have plenty of logistics to work out. My girlfriend wants me to move in with her. My aunt is already asking if she can have my bed. Public storage units are expensive. Over the last decade, my whole city has gotten expensive.

As she and I talked, I went to go check my mail. Mom told me that there was a package that looked like it was from somewhere interesting, so she just mistakenly assumed it was from Kiri.

As it turns out, it was a Kickstarter package that had come from the United Kingdom. If you've never backed a Kickstarter before, the way it works is that you pre-order an item, and then if enough people want the item, then the item gets made and shipped out. (Note: This is an over-simplification.) However, since the item is usually made after its monetary goal is reached, Kickstarter orders tend to take a very long time to fulfill. My experience has probably been around five months to receive an item on the short end and around two years on the long end.

That was never much of a problem before, since I could just tell them to ship it to my house and I would get it eventually. But without a house, I wondered where I should get things shipped to. The two places that make the most sense are that I could either get things shipped to the office or I could get them shipped to my girlfriend's house.

Which is, in a way, asking how I feel about my future. Am I more likely to have a horrible break-up or am I more likely to lose my job?

My mother isn't particularly worried about where she should get her packages shipped to. She doesn't have a girlfriend to move in with. She just needs to find a place to live at all.

"What happens if I can't find a place?" she asked me. I let her know that if it came to that, we could clear out one of the rooms at my girlfriend's place and that we would make it work.

She turned her head away from me, and said quietly, "I told myself I wouldn't cry."

Jan. 23rd, 2015

Wayside School

Posted by: Ryan

As a child, I read all of the Wayside School series of books by Louis Sachar, who is probably most famous for having written the book-turned-movie Holes. I've neither read the book, nor seen the movie, so I only know his name from the Wayside School series. (Also, my quick Googling shows that the Wayside School series had some sort of animated film, though I've never seen that either.)

Anyway, I loved the Wayside School books for all of their silliness and weird logic, and because it came up semi-recently in conversation, I wanted to post some paragraphs from the first book that might remind you of me:

Nancy had big hands and big feet. He didn't like his name. He thought it was a girl's name.

None of the other children in Mrs. Jewls's class thought that Nancy's name was odd. They didn't think of it as a girl's name or as a boy's name. Nancy was just the name of the quiet kid with the big hands and big feet who sat over there in the corner next to John.

Nancy was very quiet and shy. He was ashamed of his name. He had only one friend, a girl who went to class on the twenty-third story of Wayside School.

They were friends for a good reason. He didn't know her name, and she didn't know his. They just called each other "Hey, you," or just plain "You."

Nancy was afraid to ask his friend what her name was because then he might have to tell her his name. He could never figure out why she never asked. But he was happy just to leave well enough alone.

— Louis Sachar, Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Dec. 25th, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Posted by: Ryan

Hello there! Yes, I know I haven't posted, but I'm still here and I'm still in the process of trying to write interesting stuff for you again. But until then, Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have an awesome holiday!

Nov. 25th, 2014

The Two Remaining Readers

Posted by: Ryan

Noelani called me. She probably wouldn't have heard from me all year if she didn't.

Every time she and I talk these days, our conversations last for a few hours. We started off catching up on each other's lives, and we eventually spun off into talking about the assorted nothings that normal people talk about. We talked about her new college acceptance and about the new Smash Bros. game that I'm not playing. And she mentioned that she goes to the dog park near my house sometimes.

She asked if she could see me again in person. It sounded like she could use a friend to talk to. I haven't seen Noelani in maybe two years.

Every time I spoke to someone else about Noelani, they seemed to think that she was making moves to get back together. But I know that all of them were wrong. I won't deny that her only reason for contacting me was because she wanted something from me, but it isn't a relationship/sex that she wanted.

I can't know for sure, but I think she wanted the same thing that I've wanted when I've been in her position. I've hurt people that I was once close to as well, and I've made some occasional efforts to contact those people again too. Though I don't think those efforts have gone well even once.

When it came down to it, I told Noelani that I wasn't ready to see her again. We still haven't seen each other.

I hope she finds someone that she can be close to to help her through. But if I'm being honest, I hope that that someone isn't me.


Kiri asked me to write her a letter. Well, I guess she asked everyone to write her a letter, but I felt like if anyone should write it, it should be me. She asked for the letter instead of a Christmas gift.

It sounds simple. Just write a letter. I used to write so much, didn't I?

It's been almost a year since then. I haven't written a real blog post since 2013, and I also haven't finished Kiri's letter. I thought I'd write the letter in time for Christmas, then I thought I'd write it in time for Valentine's Day, and I don't know what happened after that.

I don't think Kiri's heard anything from me all year. Actually, that's not right: I sent her a text message on her birthday.

I still remember being a college student on my cell phone, standing in the lobby of a USC dorm building, leaving Kiri a voicemail for her birthday. I remember having a more excited, silly voice than I normally have, and I remember telling her that her birth was something worth celebrating because her life had made things better.

Looking back, I don't know why I did that. I've never been any good at leaving voice messages. But in the text message that I sent Kiri this year, I told her that my life is a better life because she was born.

It was true then and it's still true.


This post isn't much. But it's words. Words. Words coming out of me and on to the screen. If I can write this, then maybe I have some hope of being able to write more.

Feb. 14th, 2014



Jan. 13th, 2014


Press on: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

— Calvin Coolidge

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