Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

Archive for September, 2006


9 problems. 5 hours. 3 men. 1 computer.

Finishing position: 3rd/38th.  Qualifying position: 2nd place. All-expenses paid weekend trip to Stockholm to compete in the regionals:  hells yes, bitches.

Also: 1 free t-shirt.


Fulfillment on crack

I’ve spent the past week or so cooped up in my room, juggling resume spamming, corporate research, scheduling phone interviews between time zones totalling 15 hours of time differences (with and without daylight savings time), writing thank you notes, completing assignments, skip- er, attending lectures, investigating 3D mesh animation, climbing walls, cooking, cleaning, and eating. I’ve been working or being otherwise ridiculously productive for between 10 and 18 hours each day. I finish assignments while waiting for emails to download, I write blog posts while the professor moves between slides, and I implement linked queues in C++ between mouthfuls of barely cooked pasta. I’m also thinking about getting a job.

I’m more productive right now than I’ve ever been before in my entire life, and it might actually kill me. There’s something satisfying about talking to californian representatives at 4am, waking up 5 hour later, and wondering how many physical limitations you’re going to ignore the next day.

Mr. Shim recently posted a little introspective piece, and I can see where he’s coming from.  I’m different, though, because my streak of productivity will be shortlived.


Cultural differences

In my experience, getting the chance to sing in a choir is compensation in and of itself. That being said, it certainly ups the singers’ moral when the local student audiences reward the choir’s performances with thunderous applause, screams for an encore, and free booze. Why isn’t singing this popular in Canada?

I have no problems with alcohol; only without” - A wise man


Posts will be sparse for a while

90 applications, 4 phone interviews to date. More posting when I’m employed or dead.

In the mean time, you may amuse yourself with the Team Ryuko videos.  I think they’re toronto based, which makes them more awesome


It hurts so interesting

I have a splitting headache.  I get headaches extremely infrequently, and I’ve never had one that I would identify as anything more than mild discomfort. If it didn’t feel like a tiny gnome was trying to excavate my upper left sinus, it would be really cool.

Some statistics: I’ve applied for internships with at least 48 companies so far.  I’ve been rejected by three, and I have a potential phone interview with one. A vast majority of the rest have probably rejected me already, and I’ll never know.  I’ve narrowed the 955 applicable job postings on waterloo’s employment site down to 49, most of which I’ll apply for, all of which I’ll have to apply for by my own means in the next 8 hours. I’ve been given two personal industry email addresses, and the inside scoop on several companies in at least 2 countries. I also have one part-time job lined up for about a month from now.

Trying to become gainfully employed builds character.


Pop quiz: what are these?

If you answered Swedish Berries, then you were wrong.  I have no idea of what they actually are, but it’s sure not Swedish Berries, that’s for sure.

I’m sorry, Adrian.





In Soviet Russia, You drive Car!

Swedish is officially one of the world’s stupidest languages. If you want to say I drink beer, you can use the phrase “Jag dricker öl”, or I drink beer.  You can also say “Öl dricker jag”, which also means I drink beer. If a giant mutant evil beer has shoved you into an oversized novelty straw and is slowly drinking you to death, shouting out “Beer drinks me!” in Swedish will just get you some funny looks, and perhaps a “congratulations” from a few young males. Normally this isn’t a big issue, but if you want to say with clarity that the red dog bit the black dog, you just can’t.  Susie misses Jack?  Nope.

And worst of all, the Soviet Russia joke is not just ruined, it can’t exist.  Worst country ever.


Truly Complimentary

Swedes are a very reserved people. They follow rules, and they’re very aware of what is and what isn’t socially acceptable. This is when I was very confused when the casually whistling Swedish guy grabbed my butt. He then looked at me, smiled, and said something in Swedish. When I responded in confused, broken english, he told me that I looked so bored. He was quite glad that he succeeded in making me look much less bored.

I’ve been groped before, but only at crowded parties where my new close acquaintance disappeared before I could spot them. Now I have irrefutable proof that I am in fact a nice piece of ass.


This Could Be Love

I can’t keep it from the world any longer. I’m just so completely smitten.  We go everywhere together, we’re practically joined at the hip.  I think this could be the start of a very beautiful relationship.

You may hear reports from bystanders that a strange man was running home, hugging a package that may or may not have contained a palm treo 650.  Those reports may not be based entirely in falsehood.

My palm apparently thinks I have jaundice.  Well, I think she’s fat. No, wait baby, I didn’t mean it, I was just trying to look cool in front of the guys.

6 bonus points to anyone who gets the band reference

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