Monday, January 31, 2005

Qatar Here I Come!

(Excerpts of emails to me)

As you may well know the Carnegie Mellon campus in Doha, Qatar is scheduled for the grand opening during our spring break. There appears to be an opportunity for two CS students to travel to Qatar to participate in the festivities.
The tentative plan is for a group of students to travel from Pittsburgh on March 6th to Doha and return to Pittsburgh on Mar 11. While in Qatar students will be participating in seminars, panel discussions and classroom activities with the Carnegie Mellon-Qatar students.

So glad I didn't have anything else planned.

I'm very excited too.

Welcome to February


Saturday, January 29, 2005


"I'm not here to be forgiven, I'm here to forgive you." - Paraphrased, from Garden State

Early mornings

I love early mornings... I love standing on the sidewalk, seeing the quiet houses, hearing the silence. I also enjoy driving without traffic; it's very smooth and peaceful.

I drove Helen to the airport this morning. She had hoped to catch a 6:10 flight by taking the 5am 28X. I knew she couldn't, and I really like the drive to the airport, so I volunteered to drive her.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

IBM Interview

"Based on the interview, I'm going to recommend that you move to the second round interviews." - Interviewer



Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Right as Rain

Today, I felt better than I have in a long time, walking back from campus to Club Wilkins.

A lot of people don't understand why I like techno/trance. They say it's repetitive, that it's hard to get into, etc. It may be repetitive, but an old track is like an old glove, you know where it fits, you rise and fall through its crescendos, and certain 10 second long sections are pure seratonin.

Part of the reason I'm feeling so good is the ability for my mind to slip into music while thinking. Blue Man Group's tracks "Mandelgroove" and "PVC IV" on Audio hooked me today while walking home, and I got thinking. I am at peace. I have no regrets.

The Diamond Age has been spectacular so far. I haven't felt this much for a set of characters in a long time. I haven't felt this connected to an idea in a novel for a long time. Maybe it's all the introspection that is helping me see who I want to be and who I am.

At peace,


Monday, January 24, 2005

Another interview...

"Thank you for submitting your resume to Citadel Investment Group. I am happy to let you know that you have been preselected to interview with us on Wednesday, February 2nd."

Sweet. Chicago?


(Excerpt from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
(point of starts with Hackworth)

   How could he inculcate her with the nobleman's emotional stance--the pluck to take risks with her life, to found a company, perhaps found several of them even after the first efforts had failed? He had read the biographies of several notable peers and found few common threads between them.
   Finkle-McGraw couldn't prevent his granddaughter Elizabeth's parents from sending her to the very schools for which he had lost all respect; he had no right to interfere. It was his role as a grandparent to indulge and give gifts. But why not give her a gift that would supply the ingredient missing in those schools?
   It sounds ingenious, Hackworth had said, startled by Finkle-McGraw's offhanded naughtiness. But what is that ingredient?
   I don't exactly know, Finkle-McGraw had said, but as a starting-point, I would like you to go home and ponder the meaning of the word subversive.

<Matt speaking>
I've been thinking about this a lot over the past year or so. What makes some take risks and some be fearful? How much risk one is willing to take shapes so much of a personality.

Mark (Stehlik) spoke on this during his "Last Lecture." He talked about how schools aren't teaching students how to fail. This means that people take fewer risks, and actually accomplish less.

I talked to my mom about this over break, about risk aversion and risk taking. She said that somehow she raised her kids to take risks.

Parents want their kids to never hurt, to never feel pain, but that means they're overprotected, unable to fully mature and be full people.

I can't express what I mean perfectly right now, but I'd like to expound on this more at some point.


Sunday, January 23, 2005

SpongeBob Squarepants accused of promoting homosexuality

I kid you not... SpongeBob Squarepants accused of promoting homosexuality.

Oh yeah, um, the Patriots won. I root for the Steelers when they're not playing the Patriots! So please don't lynch me. (Made a nickel off Dan. Yep, $0.05)

Peace, I'm really enjoying The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (author of Snow Crash (awesome book), Cryptonomicon (also excellent), and Zodiac (very fun)).


Man lesson for day

Never buy (ice melting) salt in 20 pound bags. It doesn't do anything. Never buy in quantities less than 100 lbs.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


We got about 8 inches of snow today in Pittsburgh, and I went to Seven Springs to play in the snow.

Quote of the day on the cell from Frankie "Hey Roach... are you stuck in a snowbank? Because someone just saw a car back there that looked like yours..."

The driving sucked. After college, I'll get the posi-trak fixed on the bird. Until then, I'll have to deal with bald tires, basically open differential, torquey engine, rear wheel drive etc. But I love that car. And driving it in the snow has made me a better driver. I swear.

Skiied alone most of the time. Really not that bad.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Apply 2 days ago...

...and get this today (from IBM)
Hello -- Congratulations on being selected for a screening interview with Extreme Blue!


Thursday, January 20, 2005

My Monologue

(For Acting for Non Majors, from Tennesee Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore)

CHRIS standing above her: Unreality!--lostness? Have you ever seen how two little animals sleep together, a pair of kittens or puppies? All day they seem so secure in the house of their master, but at night, when they sleep, they don't seem sure of their owner's true care for them. Then they draw close together, they curl up against each other, and now and then, if you watch them, you notice they nudge each other a little with their heads or their paws, exchange little signals between them. The signals mean: we're not in danger...sleep: we're close, it's safe here. Their owner's house is never a sure protection, a reliable shelter. Everything going on in it is mysterious to them, and no matter how hard they try to please, how do they know if they please? They hear so many sounds, voices, and see so many things they can't comprehend! Oh, it's ever so much better than the petshop window, but what's become of their mother? We're all of us living in a house we're not used to... a house full of--voices, noises, objects, strange shadows, light that's even stranger--We can't understand. We bark and jump around and try to--be--pleasuringly playful in this big mysterious house but--in our hearts we're all very frightened of it. Don't you think so? Then it gets to be dark. We're left alone with each other. We have to creep close to each other and give those gentle little nudges before we can slip into--sleep and--rest for the next day's--playtime... and the next day's mysteries.

This summer

If I'm in again California this summer, I want to...
...Visit Latika in Washington
...Go to Las Vegas and gamble and see some shows
...Go to Yosemite
...Bike the Golden Gate again and maybe do an overnight in Marin
...Possibly go white water rafting or go to Tahoe again
...Visit the Apple HQ in Cupertino
...Visit Paramount's Great Adventure

Suggestions? Doug? Dennis?


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

There is no success

There is no large success without failure.



Monday, January 17, 2005

Spring break

I have no clue what to do for spring break.

I was talking about going somewhere with Krista but then we broke up. I think it's a little soon to talk about going together and getting separate beds.

I was talking to Stu last night about Crested Butte, but there's no room in Carla's parents' place.

My oldest sister talked about going to Tahoe, but I'm not sure I want to third wheel.

Latika mentioned that she and Anne are doing a whirlwind European tour, but again, I don't want to third wheel.

I don't really want to go home because it's my last spring break.

Suggestions? Comments?


Sunday, January 09, 2005

The drive back

The drive from Maine to Pittsburgh wasn't bad. Once my copilot, Mike Brotzman, was onboard in Freeport, I drove until somewhere slightly north of Harrisburg. We hit snow in Connecticut (no accumulation, but there was snow between lanes), then rain for a long time.

The most tiring driving was in Northeastern PA though. They got an ice storm that reminds me of New England's (and Canada's) ice storm of '98. The trees were coated with ice, and many were leaning over. There were branches and trees in the breakdown lane at times too. Each blade of grass could be discerned, because they all had a layer of ice around them. It was beautiful, but sad (today, according to the article I linked to, there are still 53000 homes without power). All of those people without power, all of those trees doomed to die. There was fog through all of this area too, and I couldn't see much ahead of me.

Finally, we hit Harrisburg/Carlisle and there was light! Not too much though. But enough to help us forget the poor weather that had plagued the previous hours.

Mike introduced me to the music of The Boards of Canada. And some other stuff.

Not counting picking Mike up, the trip took 11.5 hours. On par with our record.

I don't have classes tomorrow (my lab is cancelled) and I never have classes Friday.



Friday, January 07, 2005

Goodbye, microwave

After 22 years of service, our microwave finally died. It may not have had a digital display, or special reheat options, or have been able to cook microwave popcorn, but it will still be missed.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Getting close to the end of break

My mini vacation to New York was good, it was great to see Krista and her family. On Saturday we went to Robert Moses Beach (pics), tried to fly a kite, and watched Kris and her mom make a sand starfish. On Sunday we went into New York City and went to Rockefeller Center, saw the displays at Macy's and Lord & Taylor's, and went to FAO Schwarz. And then we did a whirlwind tour of the American Museum of Natural History.

Kacy then came up and visited me Monday evening and Tuesday; Tuesday we skiied at Sunday River. She now hurts. But she's better than last season - she tries pretty damn hard too :)

Danielle and Sebastian (my sister and her fiancee) came up on Tuesday evening and we went to The Suds Pub. After, we went to see The Wailers (as in Bob Marley & The Wailers). Good show - got hit on by a 40 year old drunk lady. That was uber odd.