20 Apr 2000 dwhite   » (Master)

This is a first diary entry so I'm sure I'll run into some silly bogon (like the paragraph tag thing people keep complaining about) but hopefully this will become a regular feature for me.

I want to write two sections to each entry I put in here. The first is what I did for Open Source today, no matter how small. My involvement level with OSS hasn't been as much as it should be recently (esp. since it's responsible for landing me jobs), so this is an attempt to kick me into action.

The second section will be more like a conventional diary, my chance to work personal things out. I'm not expecting any email from psychologists on this (and I better not get any, I don't want to have to go see one!) but I feel most expressive in writing and putting things to text helps me clear my mind.

Open Source Good Turn

My Open Source Good Turn for today was to learn everything possible about Keystone, from Stonekeep Consulting. We're using this at work to keep our operations to-do list in and I'm getting used to its ins and outs. Keystone is optimized for speed -- no fancy graphics here, just raw unpadded tables and tiny text. I'm working through some strange/missing features (anyone know how to keep child slips from showing up on the master listing but still allow them to show up under the parent's expanded listing?) but one of the committers hangs out in my usual irc haunt so I'll bug him sometime when he's in.

Stream of Keys
I'll inaugerate (ack, need ispell) this piece with some background on myself. I admit it, I'm a textbook geek. Spent most of my school time in my room hacking away instead of being social. That Slashot piece last year on autistic, reclusive geeks? Fits me pretty well (although I object to the autistic part). One of my long term goals has been to be more social, and I'm getting better at that. Thankfully I had friends that moved down to San Francisco with me so I had people I knew down here to work from instead of having to meet people (outside of work!) from scratch. Of course, many of the people they know have moved down as well .. let's just say that Eugene, OR has significantly contributed to the population of San Francisco, CA in the past year or so.

Looks like SF is a popular post-graduate destination for U of Oregon grads. Plenty of cars out there with U of Oregon stickers on them still. :-) I've been tempted to set up a group for SF-area UO alumnus but haven't gotten the gall up to do it and try to promote it.

(short break while I rewire with a longer ethernet cable. I should invest in some AirPort gear.)

Back to social interaction with other humans. It's tough catching up on 8 years of missing social adjustment. Being a whiz kid has its ups and downs. While you're popular because you know something that other people don't (making you economically advantageous), you take a hit because you're different and generally not as glamorous to be around. It's a strange paradox where there wasn't much help around, either in the form of hints or direct assistance, as to how to deal with it. Being of the put-your-head-down-and-work mentality I took the reclusive route. While that's paying off in terms of money and job, it's not getting me anywhere in terms of relationships. (BTW I haven't read Mr. Katz's Slashdot ramblings on this topic, so if this sounds familiar it's totally concidental.)

Trading 8 years of crucial formulative social time for crucial learning time was a gamble, to be sure. While my technical skills are finely tuned, my social skills are not, so even at this late stage I'm in learn mode. Oh well, have to figure it out eventually, first job out of college in a new city sounds like just as good a time as any to catch up on missing time. (Who would have thought that I'd be saying that at 23? Who would have thought I'd have a $80K+options job as first work out of school? :-)) Every so often I've been getting companionship pangs. I currently live alone in my apartment here in downtown SF and there are times when it'd be nice to have someone around to chat with, on whatever topic -- just having someone around would help fill the gap. (This is not an advertisement, so don't get any funny ideas.)

Oh yeah, some poon would be nice too. ;-)

A couple of months ago, I started finding that films about relationships were useful for exploring my own needs for companionship. My last film was High Fidelity with the ever-hard-luck-in-love (ack.. crib from s fbg.com!) John Cusack playing a guy who can't seem to figure out what he wants. Although he has better luck than me, his character goes through a similar kind of "self-awareness" period that resonates with me. ("More research is needed!")

I'll stop boring you all with a small confidence building piece (for me). Although it could run up against my 'involved relationships with coworkers is probably bad' rule, I've found someone at work that hails from Oregon and we kind of share some common ideas and interests. I know what you're thinking, "This is an easy play, go for it." Maybe I will. Dinner sounds like a good next step.

Now, before you all jump on the email buttons and diary-replies, just remember this is one person's mumbling, and I'm not expecting any replies or sympathy from the peanut gallery out there. :-)

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