I finally have internet access at home. First, the scheduled activation of my DSL was a week after the scheduled activation of my phone line, but then it wasn't even hooked up right, so I've only been able to use the internet when at home from my balcony, bumming off my apartment complex' wireless. As a result, I have barely been online at all. This has been... kind of weird.
Now I'm setting up my computers (and the upstairs room in my apartment, which has been basically useless other than for storage up to this point). This comes at an interesting time, since there was a hard drive failure on the computer where my mail is hosted yesterday (fortunately, it looks like little or no data was lost—Ratha's and my automated backups appear to have mostly saved our asses once again).
Last weekend I visited Austin. I was glad to see Ratha, but our relations were a little tense. We did finally end up talking about it, which I felt cleared things up a bit. I bought practically a whole wardrobe of business casual clothing there. I thought I hated business casual, and I still question polo shirts (I only got one of those), but honestly, I kind of like the clothing I bought. I'm a little perturbed by this, actually, because I complained so vociferously about business casual that I feel sort of like a hypocrite liking it, even though I suppose it could be more accurately ascribed to lack of experience and excessive quickness in judging.
It was also nice to see Ratha's family (the kids played for a long time on top of the pool cover, which was holding enough water to practically function as a pool itself), and I got to go to at least two vegetarian restaurants (I know there were three we were considering, but for some reason I think we only went to two. Have I mentioned my memory has been kind of shot lately?)
Work is interesting. So far I have not only felt no resistance to the long hours, but have stayed at the office even longer than required, watching people work or play games or whatever. Despite the time we're expected to spend in the office (or possibly because of it), the environment is pretty relaxed. The people there are friendly, and it's interesting to see the dynamics at play (I've already managed to stumble on a pretty severe piece of office politics, which I find amusing). I'm starting to feel a certain sense of mastery over work, though I hope my future projects involve more web programming and less Access.
Actually, an increasing feeling of mastery is a pretty good description of my attitude trajectory over the last couple of weeks. Sure, it takes a long time to do anything, but it gets done. Sure, my apartment is still kind of a mess, and I feel powerless to completely fix this by myself, but Ratha will come up in a couple of weekends, and she can probably help. Sure, I know hardly anyone in this city, yet, but it seems like that might just take care of itself when I want it to. So far, I've actually found it kind of refreshing to spend this much time alone, and haven't really been lonely at all.
This past weekend I did nothing but read (Sandman, Early Ayn Rand) and play Xenosaga. And work for a couple of hours on Jason's stuff, and help Ratha with the server recovery, and go shooting for the first time in Texas (I can get my CHL (concealed handgun license) as soon as I get my driver's license; the legislature recently relaxed the 6-month residency requirement) and various chores that aren't worth mentioning. And spoke on the phone with Ratha and my mom and my sister for an hour or two a piece. Other than shooting, I don't think I left the apartment. I probably don't want all my weekends to be quite this relaxing. :-)
Also, I've walked to work the past three work days. It's not a bad walk at all, about 20 minutes, and it was especially fortunate that I did so today, because there was a bad accident (tanker overturned) on one of the major roads this afternoon. We programmers are on the 19th floor, the highest floor of the building (the rest of the company is on the 16th) and can see for miles. Today, for miles, there were cars lined up, barely moving.