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The Usual Suspects

After no work, a Biomedical Research Integrity lecture, Networks, and a stint at Harborview to convert EEG data, I ended up at home and in need of an activity to put off actually using the EEG data for a useful purpose.

Enter Maria, who was also looking for something to do. She came over and after a nice chat we decided to hit up Scarecrow’s 2-for-1 Wednesday special. With the help of IMDB, we picked out the Usual Suspects and Fight Club, both of which we had never seen all the way through.

The movie for tonight was The Usual Suspects. It was fun, entertaining, and well-done, but not quite as completely good as I might have hoped. But then a 4/5 ain’t bad.

Cycling with Dennis

After work and a CREE lecture today, I was lounging around home, fixing my computer and hoping for something to do when Dennis called up with the idea of going on a bike ride. I was definitely game so at about 6:45 we headed out to the arboretum. We only had until 8:00, so the ride was short and sweet, but there are definitely some roads worth exploring in that direction. I will be going back.

We went about 12 or 13 miles in about an hour of riding.

Syriana Stairs

Wednesday, I woke up late, so I went to class and then work instead of the normal order. I left work around 8:30, watched some Law and Order with dinner while lifting weights, and then I went for a run — about 3.8 miles according to The “run “involved a little too much walking for my taste, but it also involved two sets of Montlake Stairs.

When I got back, Mario had just returned with some stuff from the lab, so I offered to take him down there to clear the rest of the stuff out of what has essentially been his primary living space, with the house here used only intermittently for showers, cooking, and laundry. He had the movie Syriana with him, so we ended up watching that starting about 1:00am. No wonder why I have trouble waking up. Anyway, the movie was pretty good at weaving together a lot of interesting threads into some powerful and dark messages. Too bad they didn’t show the explosion, though. 4/5.

Shopping list:
Sweat bands
Leatherman Micra

TIFF via Cleveland

Today I purchased my tickets to fly to Cleveland, Ohio, from whence Dan, Scott, and I will depart for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Scott already laid out the big bucks to purchase 40 tickets that the three of us will somehow split among ourselves. It has been a long time since I have been to Canada — a long time since I have even been out of the country (the last time was in the summer of 2003) — and I am looking forward to the excursion.


Today, I said goodbye to my sister, brother-in-law, and my two nieces. They are headed off to Israel on a grand work-adventure involving Boeing. May they fare well.

The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful

Written one month ago. Reread today. Posted unedited, except for this preface.

In the early AM of March 21st, 2007, in her car, we finally broke down and kissed, despite her having a boyfriend at the time. After that, it was somewhat of a whirlwind, with plenty of fun, but also constant ups and downs. Then I got sick, and the fun ended. All that was left was the ups and downs. And more downs than ups.

Instead of feeling inspired to be and do my best as I had at the beginning, I felt despised, like nothing I could do was good enough. I wanted to give her everything, but everything turned into a constant stream of missteps. I never understood how the fights started. Everything seemed so irrelevant, but then it was suddenly the most important thing ever. It was easy for me to get defensive; hard for me to take it; impossible for me to do the right thing. As suddenly as it started, it could end, but with each new incident the crack became a divide, and then it became a chasm.

At first I thought I simply didn’t remember things correctly, that something was wrong with me. But I started paying more attention, and it felt like I was being set up. I would be tired and take her home, which turned into me kicking her out. I would be reluctant to do something and it turned into me being mean. I started to wonder if it was all just a ploy, some sort of power struggle. I thought back to right before we first kissed: she had been crying, I felt bad. Those times were hard on her; hard on both of us. Probably not the best way to start a relationship built on trust. But I didn’t want a relationship based on games, so I kept trying. But I was drowning.

The little things that I would never consider became points of contention. Some of them turned into big things, or vanished as quickly as they came up, leaving me more than a little dazed and confused. Things that were meant to be playful somehow turned hurtful. So much energy was spent trying to figure out how to do it right, but I’m still not sure if I could have done anything differently, given who I am and what I knew at the time. I don’t agree with feeling bad about making honest mistakes. Live, learn, and move on a better person is what I try to do.

So, when things started to go badly, at first I thought I was growing. Learning about how to be a better person, how to treat her in a way that worked. But it didn’t get better. The cycle repeated, and sometimes it got really bad. I don’t respond well to abuse. I didn’t want to reward the behavior either. At that point, my reaction offered garnered as much attention as the original issue; an issue that I often still didn’t completely understand.

I often wondered what I could do to take it back to how it had been, when being with her energized me and made me want to be a better person, instead of leaving me confused and drained. I’m not sure if there was anything I could do. I think somehow she changed, or at least the dynamic between us has changed. I don’t feel like there’s anything else I can do.

And usually as this point in a relationship, I would call it quits. I would weigh the pros and cons and the cons would add up. I would take a long time to recover, but it wouldn’t be at all a bad time. I would strengthen many other relationships, work harder, get better grades, find comfort in my strengths. But this time its different. This time I don’t want to give up. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I think I fell in love with her.

Worst Day of My Life

But I’m doing alright, so don’t worry.