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As you may recall, I took an  IQ test a few years ago. While talking to my mother about random things, I mentioned this as an aside.

Secret Mom: “Oh, yeah, I know. That’s in line with how you’ve always scored. Maybe a bit too low, even.”

Me: “…say what?”

Secret Mom: “As a kid, you always had the best test results in the family.”

I do remember we were made to take IQ tests as kids about every year or so. When my buddies and I were old enough to develop an actual free will, we went to the school’s counselor and asked to see our results. We were told those had not been kept.

Me: “Not to retroactively criticize your parenting, but why didn’t you ever mention this, or, I don’t know, send me to a decent school, or encouraged me to do something useful or challenging?”

Secret Mom: “We decided it would be bad for you if you suspected you might be smarter than others.”

Me: “Brilliant plan.”

Even though I didn’t realize it at the time – lack of comparisons – I went to a really bad high school. And I did extremely poorly. Not because I couldn’t handle the subjects, or because I didn’t enjoy learning – but because I realized that it wasn’t academic performance that got you good grades, it was being obedient, in the center of attention, and – especially in the case of girls – being cute.

I had one fellow (female) student who improved her grades from straight F’s to B- by arguing and showing some leg. There were persistent rumors of teachers sleeping with students (and I have no doubt that at least certain cases were true). Essentially, I believe that Young Secretgeek just gave up on school as being pointless.

Not that it matters now, but it makes me wonder how much different – for better or perhaps worse – my life might have been had my parents sent me to a different school, shown an interest in my performance, encouraged me to challenge myself. I’ve often thought that I would’ve loved to study physics, knowing what I know now. Might a teacher that showed a passion for natural sciences have made a difference?

All I remember of my physics teacher is that he threw items at unruly students.

My chemistry teacher knocked up his intern and my biology teacher recorded a documentary over a porn movie, part of which she thus accidentally showed in class. (This was in the day and age when we used magnetic tape to store audio-visual media.)

I guess I mainly wish my parents had helped build more self-confidence in myself and my abilities. Though I assume they had their own problems and demons that prevented it – without going too much into detail.

It’s also interesting how we take things for granted simply because we know no different. When I was a kid, and for a long time after, I had always assumed that I hated my school because all kids hate their school. It wasn’t until later, when talking to others, that I realized that my high school had an actual city-wide reputation for being shit. For decades I thought my parents did an okay job raising us – now, the more I think back, the more I think they were actually pretty crappy parents.

In the end, none of that can be helped now. I am who I am, and I can’t change the past. Though I firmly believe that understanding the how and why never hurts. (Maybe unless you are the type who overthinks everything, or if you start using the past as an excuse.)

And yes – this is the kind of stuff I think about on a random Sunday. Probably says something about me, too.

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Overall Progress report:

  • Punched four new holes in my belt since spring.
  • Started wearing shirts that last fit me six or seven years ago
  • Now wearing “regular fit” pants instead of ones with “stretch” waist

And don’t ask me why I kept those old shirts for so long.

I don’t weigh myself, so I am not sure how much I actually lost. The four belt-holes are about four inches total, I would say.

As you know I am not doing a diet – I am essentially changing my habits. This takes a lot of time and is far, far more difficult than it may sound. My goal is not to have to force myself to eat less, but simply to eat whatever I want – while wanting to eat a more normal amount. Seems I am finally in a place where that’s working out.

 

My unexpected New Year’s date got cancelled again (big surprise), but the girl asked to meet me on January 1st. I almost told her to go to hell but then I decided it’d be nice to start 2018 with a date.

Met her for dinner, decided she was boring and fat, and left as soon as I could reasonably excuse myself. (And I apologize for being harsh, but really, she was obese. And, much worse, as dull as one of our two hour team meetings.)

Speaking of dating and fat people: As you guys may remember, I, too, am trying to lose weight. But I am doing it in a slow fashion, trying to re-train myself to eat better rather than chasing a diet fat or forcing myself into a gym.

Well, I signed up for Tinder again on a whim (and, likely, a desire for mental self-harm) and lo and behold, I am actually getting matches. Of non-bot female users who then actually talk to me for a little. So I guess I am actually losing weight.

Either that, or my selfie skills have greatly improved.

Instead of turning tail and running, the girl and I talked things over. No interest at all from her side, she says. But she wants to stay friends. Haven’t heard that before…

Oh well. At least it’s settled.

In early July, I posted about the quality of life improvements that were caused by the loss of my last job. Of particular note, then, was that I had lost 5kg (11lbs) of weight, mostly due to no longer consuming sugary sodas.

I am very happy to report that I hit a new milestone today: I have now lost a total of 10.6 kg (23.4 lbs).

Yay.

The best part is, of course, that I don’t actually do anything for that. No exercise regime, no forced diet, nothing. Even went for pizza with a friend on Saturday. It will be interesting to see where my body finds a new balance. Will it be a good weight, or still be too high? Looking at what I eat, I am not really sure what I can do if I am still overweight once the natural weight loss stops, but let’s wait and see what actually happens before worrying about it.

This week I am on a ‘training course’, together with ten other individuals. Officially, it is a ‘communications training’. In fact, though, it is a thinly-veiled attempt at forcing us to conform to the wishes of our management. We’re only one day in and there have been several exercises along the lines of “name 3 positive things about your company” and “come up with 3 negative things about your company – Ok great now put a positive spin on each of them”.

I can see how some of it is useful when dealing with complaining customers, of course. But the emphasis truly seems to be on convincing us that the company is the hottest thing since buttered toast.

It doesn’t really work so far, but hey, two days to go.

Meanwhile, I have been in a lousy, lousy mood. Work has been bothering me a lot, yes, but my last real relationship – other than some going out with random ladies who disappear too quickly to even give them code names for this blog – was a year ago. And I am not getting younger.

I have some time off to the end of the year. I must really find some way out of this mess…

I wonder if I could crowdsource my problems.

 

I woke up early. So early that I was tired and almost dazed. It was in this state that I went to my PC, checked the time, and found that it was 4:40am. Acting purely on routine I checked my email on my Macbook and then picked up my iPhone, not quite aware that the same accounts were configured on both. It was well that I did this, however, as I had a text message waiting.

It was from the girl I went on a date with on Friday, and, judging by the timestamp, it must have been what had awoken me minutes before.

“Would you like to meet me on Wednesday?” it read.

Why, yes, I would. I replied something to that effect and went back to sleep.

Best of all: both messages were still there when I woke up again two hours later.

 

Gwen reports that the project for her university is progressing well. Yes, I still get the daily e-mails.

I was sick today. I think it was a sandwich I bought. Better today than Wednesday. That would be an absolute nightmare – having to cancel on Gwen. Oh dear, let’s not even think about that.

 

Bastian is one of our Windows system administrators who just managed to negotiate an 8k raise.

Yesterday, he decided to go sailing for two hours. Officially, he had to go to the doctor, and that’s what he told our boss.

He quickly returned. “Doctor wasn’t in,” he said. After the door closed and our boss was out of earshot, he explained the true reason: “No wind. I’ll try again in the afternoon.”

He left again at 2pm, citing a toothache, and did not return until 5:30pm – “I felt bad, so decided to show up again.”

He did miss a meeting with our boss in the meantime.

I’d rat him out for being an ass, except my employer and especially our team lead have been treating me like shit, so why bother?

At least he’s got chutzpah, you gotta give him that.

Today, I wanted to leave early. I felt like crap – to the point where three co-worker commented that I looked “unwell”. I asked my boss and he okayed that I should leave at 3pm. At 4pm I was still there, handling various urgent tasks because at 9am nobody had agreed to my suggestion for a workaround which would have taken all the urgency out of this one incident.

I was just starting to feel as if I had gotten a handle on things and might leave on time at 5pm, when the Linux engineering team lead, Gerry, called me.

“Secretgeek, I have told my engineers to keep you informed on that critical setup,” he said. “I’m leaving for the weekend now.”

It took me two seconds but then I yelled at him and slammed down the phone.

Gerry left for the weekend five minutes later, and I stayed until 6:30pm working with his engineers. I also took the time to write long and very angry complaint to my direct superior. Not that it will change anything.

Oh the real kicker? The problem we worked on was urgent because Gerry had not taken care of it for four months.

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