Of Late, in the Life of Jason

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a comprehensive update. Here are a few highlights, in no particular order:

  1. I finally traded up on cell phones. My two-year-old Blackberry Curve 8330 had been limping along for months; the screen was cracked, the space bar barely functioned and the device randomly froze for up to two minutes at a time. So I now own a Samsung Epic. This top-of-the-line Android phone, on Sprint, is phenomenal. It simultaneously runs a 60-feed RSS reader, TweetDeck with several different accounts, multiple email accounts, weather widgets, and the whole shebang — and it hasn’t even stuttered once. Fast, responsive, sleek. Even the camera rocks; the on-board camera fires up instantly, takes immediate photos, and renders them at a lovely 5 MP. I’m seriously in love with this phone.
  2. Life at the hospital has been fun. We incorporated more people into my team, and we lost one. Matt was let go for budget reasons, but we gained Pat, Ronda and Keron. This means that our department now consists of me and five others. We are making great progress on bringing together a group of analysts who had been “lone rangers” into a solid, well-performing team.
  3. My copy editing for Demand Media Studios proceeds apace. I’ve had two formal reviews now. I was mildly smacked for letting a couple of AP errors slip by (so I subscribed to the AP Stylebook Online, an invaluable resource) but I got very high marks for “gate keeping” — that is, exercising good judgment about what to pass and what to reject, and what sorts of content edits to ask of the writers.
  4. I had the great privilege of having a lovely salmon dinner with my friends Emilie and Jon a few weeks ago. They make wonderful hosts and their company warms even the most shriveled of souls.
  5. Tony and My Favorite are now engaged. The wedding is planned for late April at Lake Las Vegas. I am uber-excited.
  6. Well and truly enjoyed watching the election returns last Tuesday. More on that later.
  7. Just passed the two-year point with Pumpkin. Wow.
  8. Upgraded my netbook to Ubuntu 10.10. I am quite pleased with this version, although I am skeptical about Canonical’s decision to go with Unity in 11.04.
  9. Speaking of technology, IE9 beta, 64-bit, is Microsoft’s best browser yet, bar none. With IE9, Windows 7, Kinect, Windows Phone 7, Office 2010, and Office365, Microsoft is on a roll. I hope it continues, and I hope MS pays attention to Ray Ozzie’s farewell memo. As much as I like my new Android phone, I’d rather put my faith in Microsoft than in Google or Apple.
  10. Today’s sociology lesson: Listen to Eminem. Pay attention to the lyrics. There’s some real power there.
  11. The penultimate volume of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series was just released. I picked it up yesterday and am excited to tear into it. Brandon Samuelson has done a great job of wrapping up the series after Jordan’s death, and I’m glad this franchise will have a definitive closing.  I had been introduced to the series by my friend Aaron, during my freshman year at WMU. I regret that I haven’t seen Aaron since then; I fear I destroyed that friendship. I wonder if he has kept up with series.
  12. Saw RED yesterday — the CIA-action flick starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Karl Urban. I especially appreciated the cameo by Ernest Borgnine. This was a light-hearted, fun action movie. I enjoyed it more than I expected based on the reviews. Mirren makes me smile.
  13. Weight has been stable but not moving. This is because of (poor) diet and (lack of ) exercise. I keep saying I should get to the gym, and return to a healthier diet, but the mental block persists. Probably time to dive into the depths of my psyche to find an explanation.
  14. Helped my friend Ken move last weekend. He now has an upper-level apartment in Heritage Hill.
  15. Finished reading “On Evil” by Terry Eagleton. Wholly unsatisfying. The abbreviated review from Publisher’s Weekly is probably better and more charitable than I could offer: “An engaging if ultimately unsatisfactory argument in favor of the reality of evil by one of Britain’s most distinguished Marxist literary critics. Analyzing some of Western literature’s major pronouncements on evil from Thomas Aquinas to William Golding, Eagleton (Reason, Faith and Revolution) pieces together what he sees as the defining features of evil in a rather unsystematic way, before grounding his own vision of evil in Freud’s notion of the death drive, describing evildoers as suffering from an unbearable sense of non-being which must be taken out on the other. Despite its undeniably enjoyable verve and wit, the book’s claims are undermined by a rather arbitrary use of source material as well as a belated and inadequate articulation of its major theoretical claim. Muddy talk about different levels of evil and an undeveloped but evidently important distinction between wickedness and evil suggest that the author’s notions on the topic would be better served by a larger, more sustained work. Nonetheless, as an attempt to take seriously the reality of extreme wrongdoing without recourse to either religiously grounded certitudes or a total sociological determinism, it offers a promising alternative.”
  16. I ran a few errands yesterday. A lot of people are out shopping — all of the stores and malls were packed to an extent I haven’t seen since last Christmas.
  17. If you’re a young, balding male — shaving your head is ok, provided you have a sharp blade. No one needs to see a scalp inflamed by razor burn.
  18. I’ve been enjoying some adult beverages with Alaric and Sondra at their condo a few times these last few months. I bring Scotch, they bring gin or some exotic liqueur. Yummy.
  19. Speaking of Scotch, two thumbs up for Johnnie Walker Swing.
  20. I don’t see the point of funny hats with dangly strings by the ears.

OK, all for now.

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1 comment

  1. I dont even know where to say wow, or anything. Your dad has told me how intelligent you are and after reading your update I have to come to the realization that I just am not smart and shouldnt hold my masters in business. hahahaha. Hey Ed and I always do a big Thanksgiving dinner for any friends and family that want to pop in. We would love if you were able to maybe put us on your agenda for that day. Keep in touch.

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