I have been in a bit of a strange mood lately, and thus have not been able to do very much. While it is not unknown for me to go through changes in mood from time to time, several things about this one are suspect.
First, the timing. Normally, August is a month during which I feel hopeful. The summer is also over, and school will be starting soon. Full with hope for the new year, I usually await September with great anticipation.
Alas, this August, I do not really care. While I look forward to seeing my friends, acquaintances, and enemies once again, I am not filled with my normal naïve hopes that everything will somehow fall into place. This is not pessimism; I fully expect September to be a happy month for me, but I do not expect it to be pivotal.
Part of this relative certainty that September will be boring in relation to the past might be the amount of time I have spent in recent days poring over my private journals. In particular, I have paid large amounts of attention to my freshman year, a time of great turmoil for me. While it seems proper that in preparation for my last year at Harvard I am looking back upon my first, it occurs to me that freshman year has always had a particularly large shadow compared to the other years. Thinking about the major events of sophomore and junior years, I can think of only one where I can detect no trace of freshman year. If I wanted to be positive about the entire matter, I think I would describe my first year as "one of great growth."
Still, there are other influences on my current mental state. One of the ones I feel comfortable talking about is this very website. While an increasing number of people visit this site every month, it has always been a bit of money sink, with no concrete benefit.Until now, of course. I write one crummy post about AOL, and suddenly, people start clicking on the Adsense. I have earned more money in the last seven days than in the entire month of July. While I am tempted to "sell out" and stop talking about hard technical topics in favor of short expository pieces that "non-technical" users would eat up, I do have principles.
What I do not have, however, is time to write. I have a thesis prospectus due Wednesday, some MySQL work that should have been done back in late June, preparation for school, preparation for my job and the impending training camp, several electronic items I have been meaning to sell, a strange duplication bug in Gregarius that only seems to affect me, several Gregarius features I planned to work on several days ago, a web hosting company that has disappeared but is still taking my money, a Linksys mail-in rebate to fulfill, an non-existent student group to help organize, a hard enclosure that was replaced twice and has not arrived yet, several phishing emails to report each day, Bank of America customer support who cannot read, 1000 or so news items in my news queue, several unread emails, a number of snail mail letters to write, a birthday gift to make, a bedroom full of boxes to empty, at least two airplane tickets to buy, a passport application to fill, a driving exam to take, some laundry to do, and at least 20 friends I have not talked to in a year whom I should really catch up with. I am certain to have missed at least something important, because that is only what I can think of offhand. Do not expect any new entries until Thursday or so.
I would stay away from longer, except I want to write two more pieces on articles from last Friday's Crimson. There is also the Bank of America customer support story I mentioned earlier, and a piece that relates to a story that is two months old today, but nothing has been done yet about the problem, so it is still pertinent.
I was trying to decide on a piece of music that would be:
Hell, this sentence took me far too long to write. This is the third or fourth revision of this entry.
While I do not plan to go into more detail on this topic, suffice it to say that there were a preponderance of negative events during that time. Incidentally, the worst occurred during March, which has forever tainted my view of springtime in Cambridge.
That one event was actually quite boring in comparison to a similar event (yes, there is a reason that I am being quite so ... vague) that happened earlier in the year that had the distinct imprimatur of freshman year, showing that said influence is not necessarily malicious.
It has prompted a significant number of interesting discussions that certainly would not otherwise have happened. In addition, my ego has swelled considerably.
Boring stuff, like the latest celebrity gossip, salacious current events stories, essays about the genius that is Top 40 music, reviews of products I have not actually used but that are hot on the market right now, articles about the best asbestos lawyers, spyware removal applications that automatically install themselves when you visit this site, videos of people dying, softcore pornography, etc. Anything to increase revenue.
Actually, Dreamhost referrals look to be a far more lucrative revenue stream than Adsense for me, assuming that all of the people using my promotional code do not decide that they hate Dreamhost and want to leave.
My old laptop, a CRT monitor, and a printer.
If I do not report them, the websites they point to stay up, and peoples' identities get stolen. I feel an implicit public responsibility.