A Long Time with no Update // Story of my life for the past 6 months

Hello blog my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.

Job and Apartment Changes

I haven’t actually updated this blog since March, back when I reported that my site was compromised with various PHP shells. A lot of things have changed then, and while I have kept up with various people over Twitter and Facebook and in person, I haven’t really taken the time or the effort to record my goings on here. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but they can generally be summed up as follows:

  1. Laziness.
  2. Fear – yes, fear. I’ve been feeling a lot of things for months now that I didn’t want people to know.
  3. Respect for other people’s privacy.

But a great, great deal has changed in six months, so much so that I finally let some folks go, and I’m going to talk about a few of the things I’ve been afraid to discuss here in public.

I guess I’ll discuss first various big life changes I’ve gone through over the last six months. I now live alone. One of my roommates and I had serious disagreements in the second half of last year that badly damaged our trust in one another. It was very traumatic for both of us. We’d previously been very close friends, and after our disagreements and arguments it just wasn’t quite the same. We mutually agreed that I needed to live on my own, and I resigned from the shared lease we were on and got my own apartment further in Austin.

Since then, we’ve stopped speaking. We’re no longer friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Skype, or elsewhere, and honestly I’m ok with this. I’ve decided to let him go. I have various reasons for deciding that, but it’s simply that neither he nor I have expended any serious effort to stay in touch and after what we went through I don’t think that it will do either of us any good to try. Even now, I’m a little afraid that he will eventually find his way here and read this, but you know what, that’s ok. Mayhaps that will be a little closure for him, as writing this is for me in a way. Mayhaps he will feel betrayed and upset that I didn’t actually come to tell him this myself. I’ll understand that, but to be honest I want to move on with my life and enter this new chapter that I’m suddenly finding myself in.

Speaking of, I may or may not have mentioned this in one of my other blog posts. I have a new job! Well, not really new; I’ve been working at IPsoft for a year this September, but basically, I don’t work at HostGator anymore and I’ve transitioned over to “grown up” system administration at a much bigger company that is right in the center of the action in the IT industry.

I am a Linux Platform Engineer, doing what I have grown to love doing. Administering systems, fixing problems, being technical, and generally being amazing. It has been everything that I had hoped for in a change from web hosting to something bigger and more important, and it has been a huge boon to my personal and professional development. I have a boss who coaches and looks out for me, and I have a product and a service that I can believe in and provide service for. I can’t really ask for much more than that.

Changes, and Why it Terrifies Me…

Alas, the changes started one year ago are still ongoing. It wasn’t just switching jobs and then apartments. It’s been a coming of age experience.. yeah, another one (college, Korea, Austin, HostGator… those all used to be my coming of age experiences). It’s been an explosion of knowledge, exposure, trust, freedom, integrity, and responsibility. Put simply, I’ve entered a whole new world.

And it all terribly frightens me. This is a world I never really knew existed, and it’s starting to make sense to me. Politics, leadership, decision making, projects… people… I’m only just beginning to see it, and it’s both fascinating and terrific. It’s like… all this time I have been living in a layer below, which is in itself shocking. College, Korea, Jiffy Lube, HostGator. Despite all those experiences, it feels as though I have only just now broken through this layer below into a layer above, and doing so I begin to understand what people go through in adulthood and why they start believing what they believe. I struggle to try and keep who I am.

I am doing extremely well. So far, I’ve been very successful and I’ve been very happy with how I have acquitted myself. And I have received the respect and admiration of almost everyone I work with. And in this, I start to feel a certain sense of destiny… or doom. I feel very proud of myself, but also have a feeling of trepidation for what’s coming, like something big is in my future and I don’t know what it is. I just have to learn everything I can now so that I can deal with it when it comes.

A lot of this is probably frustratingly vague. That’s intentional. Satisfy yourself with this basic summary:

I feel my very character being tested very strongly at the moment. It frightens me, and I pray that I will pass that test.

Bernie Sanders, 2016, Optimism, and the Future of American Politics

It’s interesting that I’m feeling that doom on myself and, at the same time, we’re dealing with the very beginnings of the 2016 Presidential primaries. And my, what a circus it’s been – mostly on the Republican side. Donald Trump scares me. I’ll talk about him some other time though.

Bernie Sanders is what I really wanna talk about, at least for a little bit.

You should know that I studied political science in college, transitioned from Republican to Democrat in my last year of college, voted for Obama in 2008, and then promptly moved off to South Korea in 2009 after graduating. From that point, I was depressed on the state of American politics and governance and have been ever since. South Korea, by all standards I could apply to it, was a far better country and governed itself far more effectively than we – our American exceptional selves – seemed capable of imagining.

Korea had inexpensive and very good medicine, affordable food, a culture that worshiped a good education, the best rail system I’ve ever ridden and a world class infrastructure, yadda yadda. At this point, my experience catches up with my knowledge and current world view.

Continuing, I lived in Korea from 2009 to 2011. I moved back to Texas that year. I was as depressed over the state of American governance and politics as ever. I knew what I believed in and what I felt was right for the country, but there was no point talking about it or debating it. It would come to naught. The Idiot Right would shout it down and the “Mindless Middle” (as some say) would follow along cuz it sounded better. I didn’t belong here. My stake would eventually be planted elsewhere, so why care about what was happening in my own country?

And then 2015 shows up. Despite losing all of Congress in 2014 in a swell tide of conservatism and dissatisfaction with government, suddenly the American Left sees victory after victory. The ACA wins it’s second judicial challenge in the Supreme Court, and gay marriage is legalized everywhere by a court ruling just a few days later. The country celebrates! A few start complaining, and they are widely condemned by everyone.

And then, Bernie Sanders came forward to run for President, the one candidate who represented anything close to the kind of policies that I would dare dream for – some of the sensible social policies that I see out of Germany or Korea or Scandinavia, or at least the willingness to debate them and call it what it is instead of Crying Wolf (that is, SOCIALISM!!! or COMMUNISM!!!). And, to my complete astonishment, he starts drawing incredibly huge crowds and getting lots of attention! I felt emboldened, happy, optimistic, like the country wasn’t doomed to a perpetual state of deadlock and dysfunction. If thousands and thousands of folks would turn out to see a self-proclaimed socialist speaking optimistic things about a US where economic justice was a thing, where the state supported it’s students and poor folks, where we could again lead the world into a scary future instead of existing as a static, chaotic mishmash of opposing, state applied policies, then… maybe… just maybe, this country was a thing I could put my stake into. Maybe I could give a shit again.

Now, that’s by no means a complete statement on all of the things that Bernie promotes. I realize that his path to the Presidency is an incredible long shot. Fivethirtyeight.com puts his odds at about 15% right now compared to Hillary Clinton’s 85%, mostly because he’s not drawing any minority support in the Democratic party. That’s all fine. I support him anyway, and here are my reasons:

  1. You should always vote your conscience in the primary. That vote, at least, is not quite so meaningless as the general election. 😛
  2. Bernie is doing something for the American Left that I think Barry Goldwater did for the American Right back in the 1960s. Back then, the Left was ascendant. The FDR coalition had held for 30 years. And many conservatives who worked for his campaign and voted for him were immensely influenced by his candidacy, message, and methods. This butterfly wing flap didn’t really develop into a hurricane until Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, but that’s where it really got started if history has anything to say about it.Point is, I taste something very similar happening with Sanders now. That significant portion of young people who are emboldened by his campaign to be left and proud are going to become a passionate force in American politics 20 years from now; mark my words. And it will be good, at least only if we can start talking about some of the sensible solutions the Left offers to our country instead of flinching in fear of the long dead Communism bogieman.

The same can also be said for Trump – who is currently leading a Know-Nothing Party revival – and the 20% of Republican voters that he is beating up into a froth. I weep for the state of our national politics if this sort of discourse that we’re going to have to have about immigration, and I know that this portion of the Right are also going to be a huge force in American politics for years to come.

Family, Death, Friends

My grandfather on my mother’s side died on August 17th. I attended his funeral up in Dallas yesterday. It was a very impressive event and I learned a few things about him that I’d not known before. Big Jim, as we called him, was in the Air Force and served in the Korean war, for instance.

The military presented him with a three gun salute and played taps for him, and the Dallas PD (for which he worked for 27 years, I think) were also present to give their respects. As for Big Jim himself, he was cremated and laid with us in an urn, to which we all faced. It struck me that the man I’d loved as my dear grandfather was now confined to such a small container.

After the ceremony, we went to have lunch with local family, and after that I went to visit my grandmother, Big Jim’s widow, Nana. I was profoundly affected during that visit, such was her state and how different it was from what I remember. It was very hard. 🙁

I was very, very glad that I got a chance to see her and give my love to her, though. I was touched at how happy our visit made her and how she was still able to express her love. I’m going to remember that forever…

Written while listening to


Wherein Jesse Rambles about Stuff that Doesn’t Really Matter

Hello again my long lost blog! How are you?

This is one of those rambling blogs that’s going to be something of a stream of consciousness. Normally, when I’m having a stream of consciousness moment, I run off to my twitter where I spooge all of my thoughts across short microblog tweets. That can be satisfying, kind of? Eh, not really. I’ve concluded that twitter is a horribad platform on which to methodically ramble on about stuff that isn’t important.

So what am I going to talk about in this particular blog post? What to ramble about? Well, to be honest, I’ve had this interesting situation on my mind. A few weeks or so ago, I started making a new friend on the twitter space. We interacted with some regularity and it was pretty good! I actually do enjoy some friendly and occasional casual interaction (I consider twitter to be casual enough). Sometimes? I guess? It depends on the person, as I’ve been reminded over the past few days.

Anywho, friend and I would interact a bit, and a about a week said friend added me to skype. Ok. I have no problem with that. I don’t really have some sort of off-limits rule with my skype list, and if someone wants to be on it I’ll generally add them and give it a shot. That is, if they want to talk to me more regularly, I’ll see how it goes and see if it develops well. If it doesn’t go well, I can always just remove them, right?

So the first conversation goes well! We talk about what we were doing in that moment and talked about jobs and beer and stuff. Harmless stuff, pretty much. Second conversation got off to an awkward start though, and that kinda set the tone of the rest of the conversations to me.

“Awkward in what way, Jesse?”

I’ll be honest, and I’ll say that it’s probably not entirely justified how I judged this, but it was basically a case of the fellow noticing me online, and saying that I ought to have said something. I made a joke, mentioning that I had only gotten off work a little while ago and asking for forgiveness if I didn’t turn to skype first thing. I was actually in the middle of getting settled in at a local cafe to do some drawing, so really and truly I wasn’t about to get on skype and start chatting with folks. Apparently my joke was out of place, though? Cuz friend sorta panics a bit and thinks I’m being horribly defensive, which caught me off guard.

And here’s the weird part. I tell him to relax. He then says that he was about to tell me to do the same thing, and that I was being very defensive. Umm… ok? And then the conversation goes well for the rest of the night and all is well until I head home.

That kinda set the tone for the rest of the short time that we were friends. We had a few more good conversations, but I started to feel like I was being pressured into conversations. It didn’t really help that I’d been having a few really tiring, icky days (blame me for staying up too late). But in any case, I spent some time feeling like he was freaking out over little things, and as I came to learn, he spent time thinking that I was freaking out and being defensive. This didn’t really make sense to me in the context I was talking to him in. It actually got really uncomfortable after a bit, and so one night I took some time to confront him on it.

I tried to be really nice and honest, but the conversation went very poorly and escalated very quickly. Needless to say, it felt like a nasty argument. Points exchanged were that I felt like he expected too much from me too quickly and that he was a bit overbearing in trying to converse. His points were that he was just trying to be friendly and that I was being inappropriately defensive in response.

But honestly, looking over the conversation, there was some silly stuff in there. Him accusing me of not being interested in anything that he was doing. Him judging me to be a “popufur,” as they’re called, due to my attitude regarding my skype list? It was one of the weirdest things I’d ever seen someone call me. And I said some silly stuff too, like why did I have to talk to him in particular if I was in any particular mood to chat with folks? I guess point is, we both rubbed each other the completely wrong way.

After talking for a little more than an hour, I got tired and frustrated and we called it off for the night. I spent a lot of time after that being pretty upset and actually kinda angry about the whole thing, and considering that I’d only been talking with this guy over skype for a week, I made an executive decision to just cut it off. My logic went something like this:

“If we’re already miscommunicating with one another this badly after only talking for a week over skype, then we don’t need to be friends.”

And so I stopped following him on twitter and removed him from my skype. He followed up the next day with a comment as to how he was unsurprised that I was cutting and running, and so I followed up with a final comment on how I felt it wasn’t worth the effort to sort something out with someone I was miscommunicating with, someone who was judging me so sweepingly after having only known me for a week. I said that he didn’t do anything wrong, and that he was just being him by trying to be friendly, but that we couldn’t be friends if we were unable to communicate properly after such a short time of knowing each other. And then I let him have a last word in case he needed to call me something mean to gain some sense of closure over the whole thing.

And his final follow up was just resignation, that he’d tried but that I didn’t give him a chance and wasn’t interested in giving him a chance, so what was the point? It came across sincerely sad, and that’s how it ended.


In all honesty, I’m not very happy with how that turned out. Contrary to what he thought, I figured him to be a very nice fellow and I was looking forward to getting to know him better! But the way that I look at it, he just became… off putting. When I have a conversation with folks, often times I just kinda drop out of the conversation. My friends do it to me, I do it to them. It’s an understanding of internet etiquette among the people I keep for company that internet conversations can and do drop off. And then they can be picked up hours later, depending on the ebb and flow of inspiration. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not really a good thing either, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’d be conversing with this fellow, and then I’d drop off cuz my mind is elsewhere, or I’m reading something, or I’m doing something, and so that was that. But I get the sense now that this was not something he really expected, nor was that the way that he managed his conversations. I guess his was a more traditional way of communicating that didn’t really fit in with mine. So the conversation would drop off, and eventually he would come along with a comment such as “o-o” or “Um.. ok.” Dragging me uncomfortably back to the conversation while I was doing something else, I guess.

And all I wanted him to do was relax. And all he wanted me to do was relax. We both got the impression from one another that we were hyperventilating at each other across the interwebs. But I’ve already talked a lot about that.


I guess the thing that has really been sticking in my mind about this guy is how he felt I wasn’t interested in what he was doing, that I wasn’t expressing interest despite all his attempts to express interest in me and what I was doing, and also his attempts to be friendly in general that I was apparently rejecting for no reason.

See, this sounds very familiar to a feeling that I feel often enough to be disturbed by it. I’ll meet someone, and I’ll develop a “friend crush” on them. Don’t know what a friend crush is? It’s when you meet someone, develop a strong affinity for them rather quickly, and then you want to be friends really badly.

I’ve had friend crushes and real crushes on a fair few number of people. Even folks on twitter! And those folks probably already know, even if I haven’t told them. Some of the more astute ones have had to confront me about it, actually, particularly when I start leveling bitterness at them. What sort of bitterness? That bitterness that my attempts at friendship aren’t being returned with the same level of passion and feeling that they’re being given. Sound familiar?

Man, that’s a topic for a whole ‘nother blog, to be honest. But needless to say that I’ve had friend crushes on a lot of people that didn’t turn out, and that I ended up being really bitter and upset about it afterwards for a very long time. And although I was aware of it, I stewed in my bitterness. My internal monologues complained about how unfair it was that such a neat fellow like me could be rejected for friendship by such neat fellows as them, and I glared in jealousy at their friendly interactions with their circle of friends that I apparently wasn’t privileged to be a part of.

And, here I am, facing the same sort of situation, only this time I’m on the other end. This time, I’m the “villain.” I’m the one doing the rejecting, and I’m the one basically not giving a neat fellow a chance to be my friend, despite his best efforts. In all the hindsight, in all the readings of our conversations, this bit of bitterness does appear to play a role.

So, what’s the point of all this rambling? I guess the point is that we all go through this cycle with loads and loads of people in our lives. We meet neat people who don’t want to be friends with us quite as much as we want to be friends with them. We all deal with folks who aren’t quite as into the friendship as we are, who aren’t following up on our energy and who aren’t returning our excitement.

At the same time that I am resenting Person A for ignoring my attempts to be a good friend, Person A is complaining about this same behavior from Person B, and meanwhile Person C is resenting me for neglecting their attempts at friendliness. And in the end, all seem to completely ignore their own complicity in treating in the exact same way that they do not want to be treated.

No one likes being ignored by someone they like. This is a fact. Everyone will ignore someone who likes them in their life for one reason or another. This is also a fact. People off put one another, some folks fall out. Some folks move on to other scenes and leave old scenes behind. We all do this, and we all do it equally on all sides of the spectrum. We ignore, and we off put. We neglect, and we resent.

So if everyone does this, and if we’re all equally guilty of neglecting and resenting and bittering at everyone else at one point or another in our lives… well then what?

Here, I find some acceptance, and I define a new truth… I guess? I suppose that the truth to remember is that we all have folks that we don’t get along with, and we all have folks that we do get along with! It’s like that like-level concept I talked about some blog posts back. Sometimes, you like someone at level 10 and they will only like you back at level 5, and you just have to live and let live.

Except in this case it’s more like “Some folks don’t get on with you. Let it go. And you won’t get on with some others. Tell them directly when you know.”

I dunno. This is all rambling nonsense at this point, mostly therapeutic for me, but nonsense all the same. Writing is an excellent venting form for me, and having all this space to write in does me really good in the end. I appreciate it. Hopefully some of you guys will too.


You Didn’t have to Cut Me Off

Anyone here listen to this song before?

I’m sure most of you have. It’s a pretty famous song, and a really famous music video.

It’s on my mind tonight. My dear, dear friend and roommate Jay Cooper has had two people – that he considered close and dear friends – cut him off over the past 7 days. No warning, no real explanation, no settling of accounts or discussion of the matter. Just blink – nothing.

It’s not a pretty sight, what I’m seeing right now. It’s very sad, upsetting, stressful, and heartbreaking to see someone going through this. I imagine it like losing my dear, dear friend Chris (there are some vacation pictures of me and him together on this site), or losing Jay himself. If those people suddenly decided, out of the blue, that I was a horrible person, blocked me everywhere, refused to talk to me, and so on… well, I’d probably break down and be a huge mess for a very long time.

Not pretty.

So, to all of you out there. Don’t cut people off. Don’t stay quiet. If you have a problem with someone, talk to them about it and settle it like as a grown man does. If you need to part ways, do so as a man does, at least by telling them why you need to part. It’s a scary thing to do, but here’s what happens if you don’t…

1) You will destroy the other person. They will have to find out for themselves, or invent for themselves, why you suddenly disappeared from their lives. Anxiety, self-doubt, and depression will destroy them.

2) You will be creating a mess that other people have to deal with and clean up. It’s selfish to force other people to make up for your disappearance, when really the only people who should be involved are the two affected friends.

Don’t cut people off. You’re being selfish, and you’re avoiding your own responsibilities to the human beings in your life.

That’s all I have to say about that for now.

Jesse, why haven’t you posted to your blog yet?

Hello all! It’s been a while since I last updated this blog, eh? Well, it’s high time that I gave a little update regarding what I’ve been up to and how the server has been handling.

The last time I posted an update, it was about how I spilled water all over the server. Well, thankfully, since then there haven’t been any issues with the way things have been running, so that’s a blessing. In the intervening time, I’ve kept busy with work and with acquiring various things. Those who follow me on twitter and facebook probably have seen the various pictures of the things I’ve gotten, but I’ll go ahead and put them here too. 🙂


I got a sailboat! It’s not a very big boat, only about 11 feet long. More specifically, it’s a dinghy style Super Snark boat.

“Why did you get a sailboat Jesse?”

Several reasons, really. A friend of mine last summer invited me to go sailing with him on his much larger boat, which he kept out at Lake Travis before he gave it away. I took him up on it, and it was one of the more enjoyable and relaxing things I’d done in recent times. It also reminded me of the fun times I had in Boy Scouts, earning my sailing merit badge on Snark boats.

Sadly, being able to organize sailing trips with my friend was difficult, and it grew even more difficult after he gave the boat away to a coworker, so I settled on getting myself my own boat and just going to the lake whenever I damn well pleased! It just so happened that there was an outfit in downtown Austin that rented – and sold – various models of Snark boat. They were HostGator customers for their website as well, so it turned out to be a match made in heaven as far as being a customer is concerned. And so, I bought a brand, spanking new Super Snark sailboat for just a little more than $1,100.

SailBoat on the Wall!


Interesting storage solution, huh? I think it adds character to my apartment’s living room. 🙂 It makes for a good, short conversation piece, and it’s hella fun to sail around!



Now for some more technical type stuff. For those unfamiliar, most servers that serve websites these days are powered by a program called “Apache.” This is the program that takes files and data on the server’s hard drive and sends it to you when you enter a URL for a website. Apache has been around for a long time and it’s pretty much the standard bearer.

Lately at my job I’ve been hearing more and more about a new server program that is growing very popular. This program is called Nginx (pronounced Engine-X).

Why is it getting popular? Well, it has some features that Apache doesn’t, basically. What are these features?

1) It’s lightweight. It doesn’t consume many server resources, which generally means you can get better performance with large volumes of traffic.

2) Proxying. Nginx is capable of serving as a reverse proxy for another server. That means, it can act as a front end for something else. In my case, I switched my front end web server from Apache to Nginx, letting Nginx handle all the basic front end requests while Apache runs in the background.

Why is this good? Well, I’ll explain more below.

3) Caching. Nginx has a built in caching function, which is enormously handy! For those who don’t know, caching basically improves server performance. How? Normally, when a user requests a web page, the server has to do a lot of work to build the web page and then send it out over the internet. A cache is basically a pre-built, saved copy of the web page. The server does less work to build the page, and all it has to do is send the copy.

Apache is capable of building a server side cache of web pages and media, but it involves a great deal of hassle and it’s not very user friendly for an administrator to set up. Not so for nginx. Nginx actually makes the process of setting up server side caching fairly simple and straightforward.

So, here is the trick then. If you combine nginx’s proxy ability with its caching ability, you can save your Apache server some effort in building web pages and you can generally get better performance than you otherwise might. My configuration is probably a bad one, but it’s neat to set it up from scratch, see it work.


I have more things that I could continue to write, but I’ve run out of time for now. I’ll probably write another update soon!


Let’s Talk about Opportunity

So, I’m finding myself at a really interesting crossroads in my life right now. I’m going to try and keep this vague so that I don’t harm anyone’s particular sensibilities, but I know that some people who are close to me will be able to figure out what I’m talking about and will kinda get at what I’m about to say. But here goes! As I always say, people deserve to see me as I am and they deserve to learn just that extra little bit about me.

I put this really eloquently to my roommate, Jay Cooper, the other day. “When opportunity comes knocking, how do you know whether it is the right time or not? Is now the right time? Or is it time to wait?” I’ve known quite a few people in my life who… to be honest… just sat around waiting. They sat in a place they didn’t want to be for too long, waiting for the ‘right time.’ I’d talk to them, and they’d talk about how much they’re tired of the place they’re in and that they don’t want to be there, but when I encourage them to move on and see if they can get anything better, the time just ‘isn’t right.’ They don’t feel the call. They don’t see the open door. Or maybe they don’t want to go and open their own door… but that’s a different perspective.

Point is, my experience shows me that people languish when they wait for the right moment to seize opportunity. From the outside, you kinda end up wondering why they’re allowing themselves to stay stuck, and stuck is the way that you see it. I imagine that, on the inside looking out, it’s more like trying to see through a foggy lense, and the uncertainty just bites at you and you don’t know how to act, much less open your own doors or make your own destiny.

That’s how I’m kinda seeing it now. This whole journal is based around my profession. Let me lay some context, first.

My first job was working as a pizza delivery driver for Pizza Hut. My mom was the one who suggested it to me, and much as I dismissed it at first, I eventually took that on and I didn’t and don’t regret it. I grew up as a driver working that job. When you’re having to drive on a schedule, how and when and where you drive suddenly becomes a lot more important. But that is not a job you stay in and I was very much ready to move on the first moment it came. Opportunity (college) knocked and I moved on and didn’t look back.

My second (unique) job – as I consider it – was working at Jiffy Lube doing basic car maintenance. Much like pizza delivery, it’s low brow work and it doesn’t require educated skill, not really. But it was worthy for me. You’re working to keep people’s cars in shape, and that keeps them moving around. That keeps money moving around, which keeps the economy moving around. I dunno, but I found it really rewarding in its own way. Plus, I got my hands dirty and walked around a lot and kept in shape doing that kind of work. And I learned an awful lot about cars and learned a great respect for maintaining what you have. I’ve seen what badly maintained cars look like, and I’ve seen the people who drive them. It’s not entirely pretty (for the people, it’s mostly that you see them and you know that they are stuck with what they have and regret it). But again, that’s not a job that you stay in and I was ready to move on. When I did, I didn’t look back.

My third job was working for an ESL (English as a Second Language) school in Seoul, South Korea. Notice that’s South Korea. Not North Korea for you knuckle draggers. South Korea. That was also a very rewarding job, and it taught me a lot about myself and a lot about humans in general. It’s really weird when you see the humans when they’re small. They’re not really all that different than they are when they’re adults. The fights are over smaller things. That’s really the only difference when it comes down to it. We, as adults, fight with the same emotions that we fought with when we were little. And the fights are resolved much in the same way, with reason and mediation. Or they aren’t! You never quite know with those odd humans. And I learned about myself because I found out how I could have patience and see things for the long haul rather than for the short haul. When you teach people, you don’t think about where they’ll be tomorrow, you think about where they’ll be in a month, or even a year. Teaching is a slow thing, and you don’t and shouldn’t expect everything to change overnight. Again, ultimately, I found an ending point, and when I found it I moved on and didn’t look back.

But now, I find myself in my current profession. I love what I do. I love who I do it with. especially my boss. I love the product and I love what it is able to do for people. I love the role that I play in delivering and moderating that product for the people who use it, and it means a lot to me that I’m able to make a difference and have made a difference where it counts. The weird thing is that I’ve suddenly found opportunity knocking when I don’t feel done yet. In the past, I would feel done, and I would move on and not look back, right? Now, though, it’s like opportunity knocks early, and it knocks everywhere. Doors are open all over the place and it’s like the whole world asks “What are you waiting for? Why are you standing still? Move! Opportunity knocks!” But I’m not done! If I move on now, will I look back? Will I regret? And ohhh, how I’m stuck wondering if I will like the new place I find myself in if I did take that opportunity. Or that one. Or that other one. It’s definitely an odd place I find myself in.

I’m stuck. I’m stuck between “languishing in wait for the opportunity to your dreams is bad” and loyalty to the company that has given me more meaning  – and has done more to help me find my confidence – than any institution in my entire life. This is saying nothing about all of the awesome awesomeness that is the culture and the team and the people that I work with every day. That is a hard, hard loyalty to beat. And having to question that in lieu of the knocking opportunities grows more and more and more difficult by the day. And feeling that I would be betraying that very personal, emotional loyalty for what – quite honestly – feels like a material craving makes my heart ache and my stomach churn.

This is weird, right? I’m talking about a job! Jobs shouldn’t define you to this level and shouldn’t affect you like this! In this day and age, no one has loyalty anymore, and people jump at the job that offers the most pay/benefits. But I guess I don’t quite think that way, and it’s a hard thing to reconcile.

In the end, the ‘opportunities’ that I’m talking about haven’t materialized and I’m not yet willing to take action on them. They’ve only been on my mind, and it’s good that they have been. My perspective on things is that you are made better by your struggles, and the more you think about a taxing thing, the better you are prepared to face it. But I honestly fear that possible day when I talk to my boss and tell him that I have made other plans to move on. And I honestly think that it would break my heart to do so.

And that is the effect that opportunity has on me at this point in my life.

Realizing the Worst through Another

I found this draft in my admin panel tonight. Since I haven’t updated this blog in a while, I figure I’ll post this for the world to see. I originally wrote this on January 27, 2014.


I’ve been suffering something of a quiet agony for the past week or two. It’s been a weird sort of resurgence in my depressive tendencies and it has a lot of sources. Some are immediate and work related, and others are more long term issues that I’ve been dealing with for a very long time.

I had a thought the other night, though. I’m always worried about my reputation, and about how others might see me, and what people really think but never tell me. I’m also very introspective and constantly thinking and re-thinking and overthinking all of my thoughts, actions, beliefs, reactions, etc, sometimes to the point of feeling ill. So, I tend to be well aware of my faults (as I see them), and I’m sensitive enough to have an idea on whether others pick up on them as well.

Lately, I’ve come face to face with a couple of situations where I have done someone harm and have either caused hurt, have been disliked, or have just been tolerated. This has set off something of a mini-firestorm in my head of reviewing and analyzing all of my social interactions to try and get a grasp on where I’m failing, what I could do better, or what I need to do to feel happy and satisfied again.

Now, before you say to me, “Jesse, stop worrying!” or “Jesse, you’re overthinking things,” I know. I already know all that, so it doesn’t bear repeating. I think a fair thing to say is that I’m writing this all down, just like last time, so that you can know who I am and what makes me tick better than you did before.

And now I come to the crux of this little update. I’m going to write what I think someone in the world might think when I come into the room. If my worst fears about myself were realized on what others think of me, this is what they would say…


That he’s arrogant! He’s so arrogant, and his ego barely fits in the room! You can just see it in the look on his face, that condescending face of his. Always looking down at people, scowling and glaring. It’s very difficult to get him to take interest in anything you want to talk about to, unless it has to so with him of course. Then you can’t really shut him up long enough to get a word in. I almost try to get the conversation going on something else as quickly as I can.

He really gives off this uncomfortable aura sometimes, of just kinda… I dunno. It’s like he doesn’t feel anything sometimes, or that he’s not there. Or that he won’t say or do what he feels and thinks, but I don’t know.

Sometimes you’ll try and be nice to him and make conversation with him. I have some friends who’ve tried it once or twice, and it’s virtually impossible to get him to engage! He’ll just throw some generic conversation at you before falling silent again. It’s the least engaging I’ve ever seen anyone.

Don’t get me started on how annoying he can be sometimes. Always asking questions and trying to butt into conversations or things we’re doing. He wasn’t a part of the conversation in the first place because he couldn’t be arsed to join in and engage, but then all of a sudden he’s right there wanting to chat? Nah.

I think probably the most frustrating thing I deal with him, is he’ll treat you like your scarcely worth his time for months on end, and then one day try to hit you up and be best buddies with you or something! You can never tell where you are with this guy, whether you’re a friend, someone he doesn’t care about, or what!

It’s just frustrating to deal with him sometimes. I’d be glad to have him as a friend really, he seems like a swell guy, but… Just.. All that is so off putting. I’d just sooner not deal with it.

Let’s Talk About Love Again…

I’m a bit conflicted about this post, mostly because I’m not sure what people will think about what I have to say. I’m sure that many of my friends will sympathize, and I’m sure that many more will probably have a better understanding of what makes me tick. I’m also fairly certain that a good number of people will think that this is pathetic and have no more a desire to be my friend than they did before. I guess my ultimate goal for this post is to educate, and if it helps me to feel closer to the people who matter then it will have success.

I guess I’ll start by saying that I’m really successful in a lot of the things that I do. I’m successful at work, with friends, at home, at school, and so forth. But I’m really really bad at being in relationships. Not friendships, per se, but serious committed relationships with potential partners that I’d want to get married to or something like that. I end up being one of those types who can do most any job and learn most any thing, and I make a swell friend, but I’ve turned out perpetually single and rather awkward.

I want to think that I don’t know why! I want to think that I’m just fine and that I’m somehow a victim of a prejudice or that I’m unlucky or something like that. Or that I just don’t know anyone or that no one really cares to get to know me for reasons that I don’t understand. But… if I’m honest with myself, that’s not entirely true. I can perceive some reasons why I’m single and awkward and remain single. Let me list what I think I understand:

1) I’m very shy, and don’t handle rejection well. In my normal work life, this means that I can take criticism a little harshly. I tend to over-adjust my behavior, act as my own worst critic, worry, fret, get worked up, and on and on. In relationships? It means that I never make a first move, or I feel so uncomfortable making any moves that I just don’t.

2) I hate annoying people. I don’t like feeling unwanted, so if I feel like I’m with someone who doesn’t want me around, then I escape. I don’t just leave, I escape that feeling, because it is so sooo uncomfortable. In friendships – or in trying to make friends – it often means that I don’t try, or if I do try I don’t try hard. Trying to chat with someone and they’re silent on the other end, or it seems like a chore for them to talk to me? I must be annoying them. Better go talk to someone else.

And of course there’s the whole “Oh, you don’t want to talk to me, well fuck you!” feeling, but the fear of being annoying is a very, very real phobia for me.

3) I am a horny, dirty minded guy. And I’m frustrated because I have no sex life at the moment. Can’t really say that I’ve had a fulfilling experience with any long term partner either. Quite the opposite, actually. This might turn some people off, sound silly, or just plain be Too-Much-Information, but this is a really big deal for me. Like, agonizing. And I don’t want anyone to see this. I don’t want anyone to know that this is such a big deal, so I suppress it and try my hardest not to show anyone that I’m quite willing or quite available. I don’t want anyone to look at me like I’m some sort of pervert, or that sexual satisfaction is one of the most important things that I’m looking for (to me anyway).

You might start seeing a pattern of hiding appearing. Yeah, I’m kinda seeing it too.

4) I reject anyone who seems interested in me. And this is depressing too! I do have some people who are interested in being a partner, and they’re also quite available and quite single. And I reject them because I don’t like them, or I don’t feel comfortable with their attitude, or I’m just not comfortable with the idea of being with them. And – what tends to happen – a few months later when I’m feeling particularly frustrated (see 3) I nearly always regret it.

Now, I could come back and say that I’m just very very selective with who I’d want to be with, and there are people out there that I would like to try and be with. I can think of a few. But it turns out that I generally don’t get interested attention from the people that I’ve already selected, and I’m not brave enough to approach them and express any interest myself (See the previous 3 points).

5) Anyone that I’m really able to connect with on some level is already in a relationship or otherwise unavailable. This one kinda carries good and depressing. I know that I can make a relationship work and I know that I can, in fact, connect with someone very personally and intimately. But nearly always, they’re in a relationship already or married. This has probably been the case at least a half dozen times, and it’s depressing all on its own. It kinda turns into a case of only falling in love with something that you can’t have.


When I look at all of this, I wanna ask myself — others can do it, but why can’t I? Honestly, I kinda know the answer. I’m extremely selective, very shy, awkward, not-forward with my desires, and afraid. And, I think, most people don’t see that because I put my respectful self forward. Can’t offend anyone because I’m frustrated. Don’t want to annoy anyone or act like a shallow slutty guy, or ruin my image of the mature, level-headed, likable, unique and eccentric young man.

I get the sense that most people don’t know that I’m even looking to be in a relationship or that it is such an enormous strain and anguish in my life. My worst fear is growing old, to be 60 or so, and to not have had the joy of being in love with a partner that I could spend the rest of my life with, or to give grandkids to my parents. I’ll just be some old, cold, dried out soul who never knew what it was like to feel that way about someone, and I’ll have to live with that and all the times that I’ve been told:

“Do you have anyone in your life?”

“I don’t believe that,” when I say I’ve not been with anyone in almost 2 years.

“You’re so young and handsome and you don’t have a girlfriend?” some strangers from when I was 16.

“You like cuddling too much to not get in a relationship and get married,” also when I was young (it’s true).

“Did you get any Korean girlfriends?” various people when I talk about living there (the answer is no, not even close).


Time now to wrap this up. I’ve recently found that many people are… actually interested in what I have to say. People read my blog posts and comment on how full of insight they are, and I start to get the sense that I really have been hiding from everyone, and that when I start showing people what I think and how I feel about things their perception of me grows a little and it’s like they wanted that all along. So if you’re reading this, I honestly just want you to know me better and know one of the things that makes me tick (with an awkward rattle). I’m here. I’m just scared.


Let’s Talk About Love

Touchy subject, love is! A lot of young people, and old people, haven’t quite figured out what love is all about, or what it’s supposed to mean about a relationship between two human beings. I’d like to think that I’ve got it figured out to a certain degree, but I’m probably pretty far off the mark. Nah… that may not be true either, since the meaning of love changes depending on who you talk to and depending on their experiences and the people that they know.

I guess it really comes down to this. Love doesn’t really have a single definition or a secret. It’s something that depends on who you are and who you know. I hope that this makes sense, cuz it’s kinda fuzzy in my head at the moment. Who you are defines how much you want others to give to you, or how much you expect others to love you. I mean, it really plays a big part in what you expect from others in order to feel loved, if that makes sense. And who you know plays a big role too, because if you know people who have the same type of expectations as you do then you’re quite likely to find the love that you have always wanted. Meanwhile, if you know people who have different ideas and expectations on what love means, then you’re likely to feel confused and lost in the grand scheme of things.

Dear God, that doesn’t seem to make much sense does it? Maybe it will. I would hope so. I could sum it up exactly the way that I introduced it; it really depends on who you are and who you know.

I can say for sure that I feel extremely blessed to be who I am right now. I have very close friends that I love very much and feel no qualms in saying that. They might be married or in relationships, but I don’t have to feel any sort of shame or hide my feelings when I say that I love these people. I’ll put their names below:





Might seem a bit braggart, and you’d probably feel right to feel that way. For me, though, I’ve gone through a large part of my life up to this point not knowing what it felt like to be loved by people outside my family, and it really makes a big difference in my life to have met random people I love and who love me back. I mean, a really big difference. 

So, I guess this is the part where I talk about what love means to me? That’s a tough task, actually! Like, I know who the people are that I love, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you why I love them the way that I do or why they earned my love like they did. But what comes to mind, now that I think about it, aren’t parts of their personalities, but rather the things that they were willing and happy to do for me.

Like, ok, let’s take Darren. He was a source of happiness when I was living in a foreign country and was horribly depressed. And I got to visit him once and had awesome cuddly time with him, and we did a lot of things together, just him and me, and had deep dish pizza and watched movies and shared things and it was all kinds of awesome. It’s just so cool that I have someone that I can share things with and they laugh and get it and want more of that.

And then we can take Jen, who drew me a picture when I was sad, and tells me that she misses me, and is happy when I’m around and listens to the things to say. And I never feel impatient at her or upset or anything like that. Which is weird because I don’t see myself as giving most people the privilege of my patience like I do with her. It’s like no one wanted to give her any patience and I see it as my mission to give her just a little bit of understanding and patience and time.

And I could probably wax poetic about all of my friends and go on and on about how I love them for whatever reason I do. But at this point, I’m not sure that I can really bring this to a point that would be all encompassing and revealing, so I’ll draw this to a close. Love, for me, is not tied to marriage or some sort of relationship. Love is recognizing someone who matches me in some sort of way, like a puzzle piece that makes my life more complete. Recognizing that someone is having a positive influence in my life and that my life would be less than what it is if they didn’t exist. And when I finally learned how to recognize that and take my closest friends from that group, I wasn’t depressed any more, and I learned how to be happy again.

Let’s Talk About Anxiety | Animal Collective Day!

Today is a double topic blog post. First, I wanna talk about something that causes me grief quite often. See, I’m a horrible worry wort. I have this tendency to overthink a thing, get hung up on it, let all of my emotional comfort hinge upon it, and let my day be ruined by it. I think that it’s something I’ve picked up from my mother.

Anyway, I should clarify that in the past couple of years or so, I haven’t had to worry about so many things like I have in years past. Life has been great! I’ve been comfortable in my job with prospects for advancement, I have wonderful friends who love me unquestionably, I have no financial worries.. I could go on.

But, still, every now and then a Thing will crop up that threatens that peace of mind. It’s usually something that I can’t really do anything about, but presents itself as an uncomfortable itch on my peace of mind. It’s like a mosquito bite that gets itchier the longer it’s there. And you can’t reach it. And it gets infected because things keep bumping into it. And you don’t have enough money to go to the store to get the anti-itch cream until next paycheck in a week or so. And your friend who would be willing to help you soothe the itch is on vacation until a week after that.

You can probably see where I’m coming from with this, cuz I’m sure that you’ve felt this sort of worry before. It’s anxiety. The worry about something over which you have no control. All you want is to be able to do something about the Thing, but all you really can do is wait for things to work themselves out. I hate this feeling! It’s such an uncertain thing! You can’t account for the random things that could resolve this Thing in the worst way imaginable. You also can’t really predict whether the Thing will resolve itself in a good way after all. It’s a horrible thing to feel. Anticipation, worry, anxiety, and only yourself to rely on in the end.

It’s a good thing that anxiety is almost always a temporary feeling. I usually comfort myself with the Thing by realizing that the uncertain, unstable situation will eventually have to come to a rest one way or another. And whether Thing falls one way or another, things will work out in the end. How else can life proceed, but to work out somehow?


So, now with that relatively gloomy topic behind me, let’s talk about something infinitely more upbeat! I’ve been struggling to find music to listen to lately. I usually haven’t been one to give new music a chance, and that is still the case today sadly. :/ However, I have been able to look back to the music that I picked up (and forgot about) from college to find some respite. I have a couple of very good friends that were eclectic music lovers and helped to shape the sort of music that I like listening to, and they introduced me to a lot of really awesome things.

The other day, I happened to remember “Animal Collective.” Some of my closer friends might recognize the irony of liking a group called “Animal Collective.” Those of you who don’t, eh, you’ll probably figure it out someday.

This group is kinda weird, but melodic! I don’t know if everyone will find their music good, but I certainly do. Check it out!


Sung Tongs

Merriweather Post Pavilion


RAM Upgrades, Promotions, and Vacations

I’m sorry for having not posted in a while. Developments haven’t exactly been fast paced for the past few days, but they’ve been there! This is going to be a fairly straightforward posting.

Yesterday, I went to the store to buy some new RAM for the server. Previously, it had two sticks of 512MB RAM in place, giving the server about 1GB of physical memory to play with. I’ve decided that isn’t enough for what the server is doing, and even though I haven’t even been taxing the machine with the applications that I’m currently running (the stream, this site, and the IRC server), I wanted to ensure that the system would always have more than it needed to run continuously. So, now instead of 1GB of RAM, the system has 2GB! I also made the swap partition smaller, shrinking it from 8GB (which the 32 bit OS can’t use anyway) to 3GB, which is less wasteful. So, more physical (fast) memory and less swap (slower, and wasteful if too large) memory. Works for me! And the system has been churning along quite well since then without any issues that I’ve seen, so I’ve been very happy.

Now, aside from server developments, all of my work and all of the projects that I have initiated with this system have seen some dividends at work. I’ve been aiming to move over from my current position to something a lot more technical, and on Wednesday it was confirmed that I would be moving over to a Security role. 😀 This was actually very exciting for me! It’s going from a spot where I’ve been for a very long time now to something completely new. More than that, its an acknowledgement of skill, a chance to learn more, and a huge professional opportunity.

Even though I’m excited, on some level I’m really apprehensive. I’m apprehensive because I’m going from a department where I know everyone and can work casually to one where I don’t know anyone at all. And the general atmosphere, while supportive, seems a bit grumpy. It’s a little unsettling; that and not knowing much of the policy and workflow around what I’m to be doing for the next few months. But that is the way of things, isn’t it? Being thrust into a new place and having to learn things? I’ve learned several times from experience that no matter how out of place you might feel now, within a few months you will feel at home with your new environment. You have to be adaptable, have a good attitude, apply yourself, and be willing to take a little bit of friendly heat from your new coworkers to make it. 🙂

And aside from that, I have other things to look forward to. I’ve finally confirmed some long needed vacation time for this November! My best friend of all time (from the UK) is going to be coming to visit me, and we’re going to be having all sorts of adventures all around the state of Texas! So far, we have an idea of what we’re going to be doing, but it’s still largely unplanned and unscheduled (the events that is, not the time off). And the best part of all of that is that all of this time off is paid. I love working for my company. ^_^