bnewman: (explorer)
I haven't been keeping up with this journal much since my life derailed a year and a half ago, but things are going well and my life has been steadily getting back on track in most respects. Most exciting of all, I have a real job now. That's right, I have set aside my PhD program and accepted a position as a corporate peon.

Specifically, I am a software developer for athenahealth, a technology company in the health care sector which provides cloud-based software solutions to medical practices. I'm a member of the release engineering team, which means that, rather than working on the software that is the company's product, I work on internal tools and systems used to test the software and roll out new versions of it as they become ready.

I've been working for Athena (I do love saying that, but I'm not going to get into the current state of my made-up religion in this post ;-) since the beginning of October. I neglected to mention this at the time because I wasn't sure what to say and I wasn't sure if the job was really going to stick. I've occasionally had to pinch myself to make sure it's real. But just today I had my three-months-in performance review with my manager, and it went very well. So I guess this is for real. Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!
bnewman: (damselfly)
I have said more in locked posts, but for those who may have heard rumors through the grapevine and who follow my LJ but don't have access to those posts, here's a general update:

I have recently had a personal crisis of the mental health sort. I am in treatment (which seems to be going well) and at present feel almost entirely (a) safe and (b) like myself. In order to give both myself and [ profile] fiddledragon time/space to sort things out, I will be crashing elsewhere (presently with [ profile] carpenter) until things settle down.

All of my overlapping circles of friends have come together in an amazing way to support me and [ profile] fiddledragon, and everyone who has chipped in deserves the highest degree of gratitude. I am presently Okay, and plan (and hope, and (tentatively) expect) to remain so going forwards. I am also happy — I would like to remain so, but happy tends to be a more transient condition than Okay, so we'll see.

I think that's all I want to say on an open channel at this time. Thanks for all the support.
bnewman: (explorer)
I was trapped at Walgreens by an epic thunderstorm on my way to fill a prescription for a new medicine that should help with my mood swings. I spent most of the time talking with Persephone (by which I mean the goddess Herself, not any human acquaintance of that name). We stood at the entrance looking out at the continuous lightning. (She says: Whoa, Dad, what's going on?) There was torrential rain blowing horizontally for a bit, but no hail or (thank G!d(s)) severe vortical activity.

We're fine, the most cleaning up we're going to have to do after this storm is putting away some stuff that usually lives outside but was brought inside so it wouldn't blow away, and resetting the clocks on some appliances that don't need to know what time it is anyway. But this was a biggie — there are people out there, whether or not there is any personal connection to them from this corner of the Internet, who are not fine. My heart goes out to them.

On the phone later:
[ profile] scifantasy: I saw Thor
me: No, you saw "Thor: The Comic Book: The Movie". I saw Thor.

That was fucking awesome. Can we not do that again for a while, please?
bnewman: (Default)
So, I already mentioned that [ profile] fiddledragon and I are engaged. But the really awesome thing is that I was already having the best birthday ever (Wednesday, November 17th) before that. I have just turned 32, which is a very auspicious number in both Hebrew, where 32 = לב = heart, and binary, where 32 = 100000.

On this occasion, the world has been going out of its way to buffer overflow in private int self.soul.countBlessings(Context c) — whoops, that exception means that wonderful things have been happening to me faster than I can type. So, here's the executive summary:
  • I no longer seriously doubt that I will complete my PhD. Furthermore, I know more or less what my dissertation will be about.
  • I have been experiencing a profound spiritual awakening which feels like it's mostly going to stick this time.
  • My beloved and I are engaged.
More details will be forthcoming on all points, as well as on my (already mentioned) plans to actually produce my musical, as they become available and/or when I have time to write them down. Some of the spiritual stuff will be in locked posts, though. I haven't decided whether or not to create a separate filter for it.

Anyway, short short version: Life is really good right now, it looks like this is going to be my year, and I'll keep you posted on the details.


Nov. 19th, 2010 12:52 pm
bnewman: (damselfly)
Some of you know this already, but it seemed like time to make the public announcement:

[ profile] fiddledragon and I are officially engaged!
bnewman: (damselfly)
I got that TA gig I'd been hoping for — I'll be assisting my advisor with a computer science course for this awesome program. I expect that it'll be challenging and amazing. I'd better have a look at that syllabus before Monday...

I've also been nominated for two Pegasus awards! This year's final ballot is amazing — as fond as I am of "Dragon for Sale", I'm a bit embarrassed to see it up there next to "Fire in the Sky" and "Ship of Stone".

There's amazing music, and amazing musicians, and dear friends, in every category. [ profile] batyatoon! [ profile] sassafrassmusic! [ profile] mrgoodwraith! Anyway, if you consider yourself part of the filk community, head on over to the Pegasus website and vote for the songs , songwriters, and performers you believe are the best in their categories.
bnewman: (Default)
I have trouble really keeping in touch online, partly because I prefer to communicate thoughtfully (in writing), and when I don't have time for a thoughtful post or comment, I put it on the "write later" pile and it stays there. Here's a quick list of nifty things going on in my life:

* I'm officially an outstanding teaching fellow — this is the first exciting thing that's happened to my resumé in a long time.

* For reasons related to the above, and just generally being a much better teaching assistant than a research assistant, I'm looking into teaching as a possible career. For other reasons, related to the patterns in which I manage my time and energy, I think full-time classroom teaching would be a monumentally unwise move for me. It'll take me a while to figure out what that all means in the long term. Meanwhile, I'm looking for private tutoring clients, and hey, this awesome program is looking for an instructor for a quantitative reasoning course...

* I'm working on a new draft of my tactical LARP combat system based loosely on the pterodactyl hunt (still, I see, going strong, and still using a lot of the equipment I designed — this makes me giddily happy). More about this system, including its new working title, coming soon.

* I'm planning an awesome music program for 5pi-con. More details when performers have been confirmed. You should come :-).
bnewman: (damselfly)
I haven't posted here in a long time. I'd like that to change (okay — it just changed, 'cause I just posted — I mean I'd like the trend to change!). A number of my LJ friends have taken on a practice of posting at least something very regularly, but I'm not going to do that because what I really need is to maintain my LJ/website/whatever as a creative outlet, and my creativity usually comes out in bigger chunks than that.

It's been an eventful winter so far, and looks likely to be an eventful year 2.5 years going forwards. To avoid a single long post that I never finish, here's a brief overview looking both back and forward:


• OVFF, a major filk convention in Ohio
• Christmas as [ profile] fiddledragon's parents' house
MagFest, a vide game/music con (and my first non-filk niche con)
• Arisia, the Dionysian pole of the Boston general SF con scene (Boskone, the Appolonian pole, is in a few weeks)

Things I've learned

• People appreciate receiving my pipe cleaner critters as gifts.
• People will give me money in exchange for pipe cleaner critters.
• Among my critter designs are a good selection which can be made quickly and reliably.
• I know what I want to do when I grow up need to get a real job.
• If I play the next 2.5 years right, I can come out much better qualified for all of the top 3-5 jobs on my list.
• An "idea for a novel" works better if it has characters and a plot, as well as a setting.

Creative output I'll post soon

• Pictures of a selection of my 3D art
• A synopsis of a novel I might actually write
• A dirt cheap laser beam-spreader
• Three different visual or map-based storytelling games
• A few new songs

Plus the details of the above-hinted-at 2.5-year plan, a possible website overhaul (eventually!), and more...?
bnewman: (damselfly)
After a brief visit, [ profile] fiddledragon is now home. She did not go home at the end of said visit — it simply stopped being a visit. The new lease with both of our names on it, for us to sign and return, arrived in the mail today. We are very happy and slightly nervous about living together.

Last weekend, [ profile] fiddledragon's father drove up from DC with a vanful of her stuff. Since my current previous roommate, while not here for the summer, has not actually moved out, said stuff is piled around the dining room, although it is now pretty well organized for the time being. There was IKEA, but we will not be assembling it until later.

My apartment now contains the following wonderful things which it did not contain before: [ profile] fiddledragon, a harp, a violin, a spinning wheel and distaff, various textile fibers, a bread machine, a hand blender, colorful socks, swooshy skirts, potted plants, a box of BPAL perfumes, more books, and much more tea.

We are particularly happy about food — we both like to cook, and we each like to eat what the other likes to cook. In the past few days, there have been Thai fish curry, cranberry cookie bars, a Southeast-Asian-style clam stew, portobello mushrooms with peaches and black pepper (a successful vegetarian adaptation of my signature beef dish), and homemade sushi. Nobody is going hungry in this apartment. If you're living in the Boston area, invite yourself over and we'll feed you.


Jan. 31st, 2006 08:15 pm
bnewman: (damselfly)
[ profile] fiddledragon's and my friendship is now officially a Relationship.

You can read her account here.

Even as our friendship was deepening, we had talked about postponing the question of whether we were Together until we were living in the same city, but then there was the day at the Museum of Science — can we call that a date now? — and the growing closer and pouring our hearts out to each other over AIM and finding the places where we each make the other whole, and... yeah.

In honor of this sweet, tender affection, the temporary inconvenience of the intervening 400 miles, and the saving grace of the telecommunications infrastructure, I'll be adding the best long-distance relationship song I know (thanks, [ profile] telynor!) to my concert at Boskone.

Oh, yeah, and I have a short concert set at Boskone.
bnewman: (Default)
Three times three times three.

Today I am 27 years old. This is the middle of a period of nothing birthdays — not nothing because the celebrations were not spectacular, but nothing because what does it mean to be that age, anyway? There's some temptation to measure myself against where a "normal" person would be, should be, at my age. Well, I'm not giving in to it — so there!

This evening it suddenly occurred to me to treat myself to Thai food, so I invited [ profile] tovaks to join me because we are friends and she happened to be on AIM at the time. Ultimately, she couldn't come because of a rehearsal, but — major props for this — she tracked down another mutual friend (this was before we ran late and she didn't have time to join us — the plan was that we would all go), so I had company after all.

I miss the one-email-fits-all simplicity of the SWIL [fun] list. Here, there's no single community of practically everyone I might want to invite over for dinner, so I'd have to track down individual contact information for everyone I know, and decide who that I know count as someone that I know, etc.

With the money that my relatives are probably going to send me, I am going to get myself a Rubik's Cube, even though I have never really gotten into cubing, because they are pretty and somehow it's right because I'm 33, and I just reread Metamagical Themas where Douglas Hofstadter gets very excited about cubing. I am also going to get myself a video game or two and attend a Havurah retreat and some science-fiction conventions.

When I am home over winter break, my parents are taking me to see Corteo, the new Cirque du Soleil show! This will be the fourth CdS show I see live.

Also, I am going to catch up on sleep — but apparently not tonight.
bnewman: (damselfly)
I guess it is fairly subtle...

The Story )

Why it's not a Big Deal )

Why it's a Big Deal )
bnewman: (damselfly)
[ profile] fiddledragon and I are ... )


Aug. 31st, 2005 05:24 pm
bnewman: (Default)
I assume most of the regular readers of this journal (how can you read regularly if I don't post regularly?) have figured out who I am, so the following information shouldn't be much of a surprise.

Okay, for those of you with whom I haven't been in touch recently, it may well come as a surprise.

I am presently single and living in Waltham, MA, a few blocks from Brandeis University, where I will be pursuing a masters degree in computer science starting... tomorrow ;-). I think I'm going to have a very good time.

More on my amazing summer when I get around to writing it up.
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