The Late New Year’s Rant

My roommate and I moved to a new place at the end of January. Shortly thereafter he got engaged. We talked about getting a third roommate for the longest time, but most of the potential roommates couldn’t pass a basic credit check. I didn’t mind him getting married and her moving in. That’s like how “Shaun of The Dead” ended with the newlyweds in the house and the zombie roommate out in the shed. No problem, right?

After he got married six months later, I had to move into my own place.

I always had roommates since moving out from my parents’ place in 1993. Now that I’m living by myself for the first time in a studio apartment near San Jose City College, I’m surprised that I have enough worldly possessions to fill out the place to make it look like a home.

The only new furniture I bought was a 20-inch TV and a DVD player. After I set up my 25-gallon fish tank, I got a firemouth cichlid, a pictus catfish, half-dozen tiger barbs, and some hornwort plants. Three bookcases with all my books create a library in one corner of the room. I’m finally the master of my kitchen with all my appliances neatly organized, including a free microwave I got for signing a one-year lease. As one of my friends told me when I moved in, I would enjoy living by myself and I most certainly do.

A month later I started a help desk job at a Fortune 500 company in Mountain View. The similarities between being a lead video game tester (last job) and a help desk support specialist (current job) aren’t that great. I’m still troubleshooting for problems as they come in, talking to people, attending meetings, and trying to get things done as quickly possible. The only major difference is I’m working 40 hours a week and making the same amount of money when I worked 80 hours a week in the video game industry. I’m less stressed out about work these days as I’m no longer sacrificing my personal life at the altar of the video game gods anymore.

I had high expectations for the new year, and, so far, it’s been a mixed year.

I failed the Windows Server 2003 Environment (70-290) certification exam in January. I’m planning to take the Windows Server 2003 Network (70-291) certification exam in a few months. Microsoft is having a special promotion to retake the exam for free if you fail it the first time. I’ll retake the other one later on to complete the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certification.

I had originally planned to take four classes at SJCC in the spring semester, three in computer programming (assembly language, C# and database design) and statistics math. The entire computer department had low enrollments that all of my classes got cancelled. I’m trying to find out from the dean if he will let me graduate since I’m short of three classes. Statistics math is pretty cool and keeping me busy for this semester.