Synaptic Thought

Have keyboard, will ramble!

Before I get too deep into this, let me warn you that I am writing this post on my Blackberry, so I will blame it for any errors it may have!

I am in Savannah today, taking care of some business and generally wasting a day that I should more than likely be at work. I have a couple hours to waste, so I decided that I would stop by the mall. Those places are typically great areas to sink hours of your life into. However, I remembered an important thing about myself as I walked through the Barnes and Noble: I am a terrible shopper. Typically my most time wasting adventures into the mall have been with someone, and I now realize that companionship is the catalyst for wasting time at the mall.

Perusing stores by yourself makes you feel creepy, as if you are stalking the store. There is no one to comment on things with, to joke about terrible window displays, to sit on a bench with and discuss the philosophical implications of capitalism fueling our country. I’ve never actually done the last, however I am sure one day someone will do it with me. My basic point is that the mall is a terrible place to seek distraction. For all but one activity: people watching. continue reading…

Beef Stew

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Dear Campbell’s Co.,

As someone who enjoys soup, in it’s many different varieties, and being a fan of your microwaveable containers, I have come to a conclusion regarding your beef stew. Firstly, I eat your soup because, as stated earlier, I can microwave it at work and I don’t have to pay $8 at a local dining establishment for bread and water. Typically I get the same type of soup, because I know what I like and if I’m only paying $2 for lunch, I can’t really be all that picky. Lately, however, I have decided to branch out and try to be more adventurous in my soup selection. This leads me to the beef stew in question. continue reading…

Nerd Humor

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An image from xkcd.com

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Sometimes the most wonderful thing about working on a university campus is the summer. We have  a break between the end of the spring semester and the start of summer term A in which there is almost no one here. These are the times of the year that stand out in shocking contrast to when the students are here. Earlier today I walked to the Starbucks on campus and I saw two people the entire time. It is so quiet here on campus right now, you can hear the breeze blowing through the trees, conversations from people yards away stand out clearly, and there is a hushed feeling of an abandoned town.

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At some point in the past ten years it became completely acceptable, nay expected, to post everything about your life online. I can’t argue much with this concept since here I am, typing away on a post that will go on a website specifically dedicated to telling everyone my business. At some point this has to reach a level which will be unhealthy for everyone involved (The Internet, not my website, which you should visit). Already I experience a lot of what I deem to be unimportant information being thrown my way by my friends. Let me clarify, I enjoy knowing things about people, but once in a while it would be interesting to learn of these things in person.

Don’t get me wrong, I really think the Internet has gone a long way toward connecting people in ways that were not possible before. Because of those possibilities I know some people that I would never have had the chance of meeting. It just seems to me that the Internet makes things linger when they really shouldn’t. Thanks to Facebook you can find out when that person you broke up with however long ago has moved on, and not only that, you can see vivid, full color pictures of them together. Or you might find out way too much information about someone simply by reading the stuff they post on their status. I think the natural drifting apart of people, especially after they break up, is really hindered by sites like these. Most research shows that you can only have three or four very close friends, and the rest of the world falls into that “I kinda know them” category.

When the term “Facebook Official” came out and I heard it for the first time however many years ago I thought it was laughably cute. Now it really worries me. People build their lives around their connections to other people on the Internet. I don’t need a website to define my life for me, or my status, or any other aspect of who I am. Who you are should define the Internet experience for you, not define who you are on the Internet. Again, please don’t get me wrong and assume that I think any of these websites are evil, I just don’t agree with some of the applications of them I have seen over the last couple of years. Now I better stop talking and go check Facebook…err…what?

Stalk me more at Synaptic Thought.

It’s when the world is quiet that you want to make the most sound. In the early hours of the morning when all that can be heard is the hum of the world. The silence of the world continuing on when humanity sleeps. Always in the darkness and the noiseless void is the desire to have something, to hear something. It may be the breathing, slow and steady, of a loved one next to you. The rhythmic pulse of their heart beating against the blades of your fingers while they linger over their breast.

The silence could be broken by a softly spoken word. It cannot be too loud, as the silence is something that must be broken gently, with the reverence due a virgin on her wedding night. What that word might say, that is irrelevant. Honestly it is not the spoken language that matters. It is the act, the breath passing over the lips in hushed tones. The sighing voice, simple and loaded, complex and empty.

It could be the sound of a laugh. Not a loud, boisterous laugh, but the repressed giggle and feigned seriousness to ward off further giggle manifestations. A laugh that does not denote humor, but expresses happiness in such a manner that the hearer knows this person cannot help but laugh.

It matters not what the sound is, only that it is made. Only that the silence is interrupted, and for a brief moment it can no longer do its job.

This, and more, at Synaptic Thought.

The thing about Macs is that if you want to actually get any real work done, you shouldn’t use one. Now this isn’t me bashing a Mac because it can’t do anything. It actually has nothing to do with that at all. It’s me bashing a Mac because they have so many updates, to everything, all the time. In a given week I have to restart the Mac in my office about twice. More if I actually RUN any programs on the thing. Every time I have open Word for Mac on the thing I have had to install an update.

It’s not that updates are bad things, they are very good things. It’s that their design implementation for updates sucks. Tell me why do I need to close all of my applications and restart my computer because iTunes has an update? This piece of software must get an update every time the store adds a new item because it seems like it always needs one. And Safari is the same way!

I know what you are thinking: Why not just ignore the update and continue to work? Because there is this annoying little JUMPY icon in the bottom right of the dock that will continue to hop, skip, and prance it’s way into your attention every four seconds until you click the BLASTED THING. I find the update process to be completely annoying in most systems, so I won’t just harp on the Mac. Have a critical update for Windows XP? Be prepared to be bugged to shut down and restart every FIVE minutes. Windows 7 got rid of that feature, now your computer just restarts without asking you. Because of this I’ve scheduled my updates to run at about 3 in the morning, expect now I randomly wake up to several computers rebooting and making a start-up noise.

Computers are just not cooperating with me today. Oh, look, the update on the Mac is done so I can now go back to what I was doing before.

This, and more, at Synaptic Thought.

Randomocity

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Yesterday at work was such a beautifully busy day. I really like the days where I have a clear cut task that has to be accomplished and a tight deadline to work under. I develop so much focus when those factors are in play. I’m pretty sure that is why I did most of my papers in college at the last minute, because I work best like that. Sometimes having an open ended job can be a little discouraging. Finding work for oneself is difficult in that when I really don’t want to do something, I can almost get away with not doing it.

I think that is why I miss doing IT support work sometimes. There was always a current problem, something that needed to be fixed as soon as possible at that moment. It may be as simple as walking across to another building and kicking a computer a couple of times, but for that moment in time that was all that existed in my world. I’m sure if I were back in that realm of work I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I claim I do. It is pretty easy to develop a fantasy in which things are always greener on the other side of the fence.

Lately life has been so busy I haven’t really had time for much of anything. Between school and work, I get home pretty late and don’t really have the drive or energy to do anything. I’m sure this is just a phase I’m going through, and if there is any time in my life to dedicate to being focused on getting stuff done at work or in school it would be now. I keep wondering what next year will be like though, or five years from now, or ten. I hope I’m not in the same place, doing the same things. I’m determined to make my life a livable adventure.

Read more at Synaptic Thought.

After a very long couple of weeks working on the Banking Symposium, in which I learned more about banking ratios than I ever thought was possible, the COBA poll is right on the horizon.

One might ask what this poll is, and they would be astute and well lauded for doing so. Occasionally in the business of research we use real data instead of making stuff up in the back office. Now, I tend to prefer the made up data approach because it’s much more interesting. *As a side note, did you know that only 89% of people are breathing? It’s true, according to my research. The COBA poll is our bi-annual attempt to collect data for a couple of reports that we produce every year. It is conducted once in the fall semester, and once in the spring semester. The fall survey focus on spending for holidays, while the spring semester is a consumer confidence survey.

What this really means is a very long day for the folks around the office. We typically bring in about 30 students a night and have them man phones between the hours of 6 and 9. It’s actually very good experience for them because these are senior level marketing students who are getting to dip their fingers into the inky goodness of phone surveys. The month of March is just flying by with all the stuff we have had to do, and I’m pretty excited because normally I sit in my office and plot on how to take over the world. While that is fun, it’s pretty tedious as I have to figure out jobs for everyone in the world.

This year we are expanding the survey to be statewide! So, if you are living in the state of Georgia and get a phone call between the above hours from a Georgia Southern University student, you better answer or I’ll track you down and poke you with a staple.

Also, fill out your census forms, I depend on that data for a job (in a round about way). Census information fuels nationwide demographics for the next TEN years so it’s very important. Plus, if you don’t mail that piece of paper back you are going from costing the country about 90 cents to process your census data to about $63. That’s taxpayer money you’re blowing there, and I’d much rather them spend it on ME! 😛

Oh, and read my stuff at Synaptic Thought.

He laid beside her, propping himself up on his elbow, simply watching her. She was drifting in and out of sleep, occasionally letting her eyes flutter open long enough to meet his. She would smile, and then her heavy lids would fall back down and her breathing would shallow. Her back was bare, and in the darkness of the bedroom he could just barely make out the slope of her body, her pale skin fighting back the darkness that fought to take her from his vision.

Reluctantly he reached out, careful not to disturb her sleep, and brushed his fingers down her back. Her skin responded, sprouting little bumps everywhere he touched. She gasped in her sleep, and he felt her press herself further down into the bed. He removed his hand, scared that he had bothered her sleep. His gaze returned to her face, and she was looking at him through half-closed eyes.

“Don’t stop,” she said, and let out a sigh of comfort as his fingers began to trace over her shoulder. While his fingers played along her soft skin, his thoughts strayed. He wondered what it was that made him want to touch her. What was the need that burned inside a person that made them reach out to someone else. He somehow knew that he could survive, physically, without touching her. However, emotionally, he felt like if he took his hands off of her for even an instant he would shrivel. It would be the end of himself and he would be broken.

She was here, though, and he could feel her. He felt the goosebumps rise to meet his grazing fingertips, they traced down her back, across her hips which were hidden under the sheet. The sheet itself seemed foreign, as if it were trying to keep her softness away from his touch. She shifted in her light sleep at his touch, rocking her hips slightly side to side and the sheet slid down a few inches. He could see the turn of her hip, the spot where her waist transitioned, creating that tempting hourglass of a figure. The sight was amazing to him, the outline of her figure glowing softly in the dim light from the window.

He placed his hand on the spot where her waist met her hip, that slight indention that seemed to be made for his hand. She let an approving sigh escape between her lips, the only spot of color visible on her body, the red and tempting fruit that begged to be tasted. He kissed her, there in the darkness, and knew that he was whole in this moment. Something about his thoughts gave him a bit of a flutter in his stomach. He knew he was whole for this moment, but somewhere he felt that the words “for this moment” were important. He wasn’t sure why he had appended them in his thoughts, but their meaning weighed on him.

He felt her stir, and looked down. She was looking up at him, radiant blue eyes that seemed to him to be the source of light in the room. She reached her fingers up to stroke his face. His hand met hers and he held it there, briefly, wanting that warm feeling to last an eternity. She smiled, that perfect shining smile in the darkness, which seemed to him to be getting darker, deeper. It was then that he knew. A moment of revelation, the shining single instant where clarity is granted and suddenly things can be understood.

“I don’t want you to go,” he whispered. He didn’t want to break the serenity of the moment but it had to be said. He squeezed her hand, as if the pressure would change things. He knew that things would not, could not, be changed. To him that was the reason for hope. Hope could bring about light in the dark, could make the impossible happen. Not often, but maybe this one time it could.

“I have to go, my heart. You know that, but we will be together soon,” she murmured. Her voice was fading and he saw she had laid her head back on the pillow. Her eyes were closed, and she was breathing a peaceful and restful melody. “I love you,” she whispered into the darkness. His voice was subdued, and all he could do was reach out and again stroke her back. His fingers brushed her skin, and he watched as she seemed to fade away. His hand looked much older now, wrinkles crossed his skin, and his fingers were a bit more bent, age taking their toll on them.

He waited in the dark, knowing that this might be the last dream he would have of her. He turned to lay on his back, and realized he felt so very tired. He had survived physically, and fought on through his life. Emotionally he was drained, and now he felt it demanding his rest. He closed his eyes, and pushed back against the pillow, making himself comfortable. Sleep was closing fast, but this sleep felt different. He knew he would rest very well soon, and more importantly, he would see her again and he would finally be complete after so many years of not being able to feel her skin. The last thing he saw was her face, smiling up at him.

This, and more, at Synaptic Thought.