It's 2012 and I didn't even do a "year-round-up" post. How sad.
I had a weird thought about international phones over break, though. Specifically regarding what I would do if I ever travelled internationally. I know that O2 is a big proponent overseas and if I ever went to London or Bristol or something--dreams of mine--would I have to switch to someone like them to keep my iPhone working? The thought occurred to me as I travelled to Phoenix to visit my friend Russ and the constant on/off of my phone when on the plane has me going on and on in my head about why you have to turn you phone off... but that's neither here nor there.
And now the school year has started and my life is back on track to being "insanely all over the place," which I don't mind too much. It keeps me busy, keeps me driven, and keeps me on a schedule. Of course, the added stress of 12 credits (three 300-level courses and a grad course), 18-20 hours of work for the OSL, GVTV, and Comic Book Club is there, but it all means that I'm doing something. All of the time.
One cool thing, I can say, is that this semester I don't hate any of my classes. Truly. I have a real interest in each class, which means I probably should kick some serious habits of putting off my homework all of the time because I actually do want to learn something.
Now onto something more... life altering: I graduate in December of this year. As in: I'll be done with my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, which means I'll be getting a real job (or something that will pay for my life outside of student loans). Talk about something that is, obviously, scary and utterly exciting. Hell, in the last month, I've had two job offers on the phone, a friend of mine asking me about an internship/future job, and have gotten business cards from a handful of people who are generally interested in talking about jobs once I graduate. It's ridiculously overwhelming.
The reason for my anxiety being that despite knowing everything I already know, I have no choice but to expect that college is where my learning will end and that I will definitely need to learn more before I graduate. It's incredibly intimidating. Despite that, I am taking two courses this semester that will most definitely broaden my horizons on C, Ruby, and Lisp--something I consider a step in the right direction.
sigh It's only the first week of the semester, and there's already "a lot" on my plate. So, I've decided (just now) that I will, in the words of 1939 Britain (and Rupert Grint, I guess), "Keep Calm And Carry On."
My name is Mike Rapin. I'm twenty-two years old, living in Allendale, Michigan. I attend Grand Valley State University and am in the (final) process of gaining a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Information Technology.
I currently work part-time for GVSU's Office of Student Life as their Student Technology Manager and am a freelance web developer. I am also the Web Design intern for West Michigan's PBS/NPR affiliate, WGVU. For free/cheap, I assist my friends and/or anyone who comes to me with computer issues.
I am the president of the Comic Book Club of Grand Valley and the New Media Director of GVSU's student-run television station, GVTV. Both are elected positions I have held for over two school semesters.
I run and co-own a website, DestroyTheCyb.org!, that posts reviews of comic books, movies, and music. As co-owner, I have been in charge of editing, advertisement, designing, and maintaining the site and it's content as well as hiring and keeping in contact with writers. As a site, we have been featured as small press at the San Diego Comic Convention.
I have written two television shows for GVTV, Jeff & Mike Write A Comic Book and mat42dr, as well as a handful of sketches for the GVTV sketch-show Randomish!. I have directed a sketch on Randomish! ("Joe is sad"), starred in four episodes of Jeff & Mike, and have directed seven episode of mat42dr--with plans to direct nine of the eleven (possibly twelve) episodes that remain.
I read comics like a fiend. Marvel and Image, for the most part--any X-Men, Invincible, Walking Dead.
I am an strong user of social media websites, particularly Twitter (@mikerapin), Tumblr (tumblr.mikerapin), foursquare, instagram, reddit, and facebook (mikerapin). I am most easily reached on Twitter.
I am a Mac user, and I currently run 10.7.1 Lion on my black Macbook (circa 2008). As a web developer, I use Coda and the OS X Terminal for any and all programming. Image editing is normally done by me in Adobe Photoshop CS5.5. I manage the music I have through iTunes, with Bowtie as an assistant. I use Dropbox on a daily basis, and the official Twitter application as well. I check my e-mail through Sparrow and launch application with Alfred. For writing (zine/non-scripts), I use the Mac OS X application TextEdit (in plain-text mode), and Celtx for scripts.
I own an iPhone 4 running the iOS 5 beta 7. I update the twittersphere using Tweetbot, check into foursquare with the official foursquare app (occasionally EightBit or Forecast), post to Tumblr with the official Tumblr app, IM others with the imo.im app, chat Facebook friends with the official Messenger app, and post what I'm listening to using TweetMusic and/or soundtracking. I use CarTunes to listen to music when driving, manage files with Dropbox, edit scripts with Celtx, read books with iBooks, check my bills with Pageonce, stream music through 8tracks/DropTunes/Audiogalaxy, picture myself using Everyday, receive periodic notifications with Prowl and Boxcar, edit and take pictures with Camera+ and Instagram, take notes with PlainText, control my computer with HippoRemote LITE and MochaVNC, and manage my calendar with Week Cal. Occassionally, I play DropZap 2 and Words With Friends.
I can be contacted through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had a discussion today with some co-workers about how I work. I admitted that unless I am really excited about an idea or assignment, I don't want to do it. Supposedly it's a strength and a weakness in me. For some reason I see it as more of my own apathy towards non-thinking work. I could name five things I don't like to do and they're all monotonous tasks that require no thinking.
My own apathy comes from my need to think. I can't figure out if that's a flaw or not.
Three weeks into classes and I feel like I have done nothing but work: class, shooting, clubs, homework, planning, meeting... it's been crazy.
As of this past Sunday (the 12th) we finished shooting the first episode of my new TV show mat42dr. The episode is approximately 7 minutes long and will be premiered at GVTV's Premiere Night 2010 on Friday! I am utterly excited. Of course, I haven't watched it yet, but my super-awesome, super-powered editor, Rene Rodriguez, assures me it looks good. I don't expect it to be the best looking thing in the world--because for a first time director, I'm still learning--but I think it will get the opening of the story conveyed to the viewer. I know of two little continuity errors, pointed out by Rene, but he assures me it's not a big deal.
Also, there was GVSU's Campus Life Night last Tuesday, followed by the first GVTV meeting and the first Comic Book Club meeting. Both were loads of fun. I hope I didn't scare away the freshmen from the CBC meeting... we'll see on Thursday. Add in the Randomish! sketch I was in on Saturday (for six hours), the constant load of work I've had since school started, and trying to plan for different events with CBC and mat42dr... I've been busy. Which is awesome.
I told my roommate, Brian, about how I felt like I hadn't been at home in a week on Sunday. It was oddly true. I had only been home to sleep, otherwise, I was off shooting, playing D&D, working, doing homework, or working with GVTV for one thing or another. So Sunday had a nice, chilled out evening with ice cream and episodes of Bones.
Of course, starting today, I'm beginning to make plans for the next week and a half of shooting, rehearsing, and people gathering for mat42dr, on top of getting things together for the Comic Book Club's first event: Super Human Registration Day. I have a busy week again.
I think today I finally finished a full 24-minute script done and ready for production though. For a while, I was stuck writing 10 or so minute scripts and I was trying to add filler that wasn't too funny. Luckily my friends Jeff and Nick were there to help me get through those not-so-funny times (I mean, I'm trying to write a clever and funny comedy here!) and I think the pilot episode I have is pretty good.
Sadly, this has been pulling away from my comic book reviews on DestroyTheCyb.org! and that's never good! (It seriously isn't good how much I have been lacking lately) so I'm making it a goal for the next 3 weeks while I'm on winter break to write at least .75-1 review a day. That should be too hard, right?
On top of that I recently lost one of my two jobs. Yeah, big deal, but not really a big deal. The facts are/were these:
- This job (aka CTS) was like... 4th on my list of priorities and they pretty much knew this by the end of this semester
- With School coming in at number 1, my job as a Web Developer at number 2, and comics/freelance work coming in at number 3 in a straight tie
- On my last shift, some bull shit that I has suspected about co-workers and supervisors talking shit behind my back about me was TRUE which makes me wonder why they didn't just fire me back in October when all of my ideas of "I'm probably getting fired" came into my mind and as I assume came to theirs as well
- Then again, I was being a super fuck-face via Twitter talking bad about one of my former-not-really-my-boss-bosses, which pretty much put them over the threshold to fire me--which my real boss came to tell me
- But in all seriousness, I wish I would have been "let go" or whatever back in October because I really fucking hated working at 6:30am and getting bitched at for oversleeping when all of my bosses and supervisors knew that morning shifts and I have never gotten along at all (given the problems I had last winter semester).
- Half of me votes conspiracy... but that's the impractical, cynical and outrageous half of me.
- When it all came down to it, I told them right-out I knew it was coming and left as a gentlemen and shook all of their hands. They told me if need be I could use them as a reference because overall, they really are all nice guys. And really, they told me I wasn't being "fired" but more of "not being invited back" which when I think about it means "we don't need any liabilities for this" which is understandable... I guess.
So I'm out one job, but it's really not so bad. Now I have more time to work for the web team and more time to do the things that were already higher on my list of priorities for next semester.
My only real gripes right now are that my show is funny. Man I don't want to have a sucky TV show... Hopefully once we get things recorded I'll find a way to get it online and you, the internet community, can judge me...
So that's what's up with me. What's up with you lately?
It's that time of the year again when the leaves start to change and all that other cliché stuff starts to happen, but what also occurs this time of year is my birthday.
I realized that come next Tuesday I'll be 20 years old. 2 decades. Yes, I know people always say "wow I'm old" but I don't feel old. Should I feel old? I know people in my age bracket who are stressed about being 19 or being 21 and I can't help but say, "You're only [insert age] and you're worrying about being old?" When the hell did being around 19-24 become an issue? I thought you were supposed to be happy that you were so young.
All I'm saying is that I'm glad to only be 20. It's kind of a cool feeling now. I mean, sure I am young compared to many of my friends (most of them are 20-21 by now), but now for the first time in my life I am able to just look at freshmen coming into college or seniors graduating and say "Yea, been there. It sucked and it's only going to get harder." It's a great feeling.
I guess I'm coming out of this whole "I own the world!" phase of being a teenager now and am seeing a bigger picture and blah blah blah. It's not like I'm going to join some cause or become part of a cult (do comic books count?) because I am still a liberal cynic at heart--so cynical I can't even get into movies sometimes--but it's like, I see the world as the world now and not so much as just whatever is in driving distance. I'm sure it's some part of "growing up" that anyone who is older than 20ish will come and say "Yea, been there. It sucked and it's only going to get harder," and I'm fine with that.
It's just a good-weird feeling I have now being so close to being 20.
To somewhat add to this whole "feeling" I am having, I was coming upstairs from my room after a nap today and had a mini-panic attack. I was thinking of how on bad days I work at a bare minimum just to get by and how in a worse-case scenario I would lose both of my jobs for some reason or another. Then sets in the "holy shit, I owe so much money in student loans" feeling. Then the, "holy fuck balls, I owe my parents my own weight in hundreds for raising me, how am I going to ever pay them back after paying for my student loans?" ... it's not fun. But as I said, this was a mini-panic attack, and those only come up randomly.
Now, when something like that mini-panic attack hits me, I later start to think of how I'll manage to pass all my classes and how I would have NO FUCKING CLUE of what to do if I didn't get through college and get a degree. Pile on top of my relationship and how I would have no idea where that would go if I couldn't find a job that paid well enough to pay back my loans and my parents and whatever debts I have. It turns into another mini-panic attack.
So, I guess what it comes down to is me being afraid of being a full-on adult. I mean, I know everyone gets scared of the unknown (some much more than others) at some point but I wonder sometimes if people have back up plans for their life. Like, for me, if I failed out of school I don't know what I'd do. I'd seriously be fucked beyond reason. Or if I lost one or both of my jobs, I don't know what I'd do. It scares me. I guess that is normal though, right? I mean, being a student my grades depend on me, so if I work hard I will/should do good in school. As for my jobs... it all depends. It's the working world. You may get fired for doing shotty work, or for being lazy or for doing your job incorrectly or for being disliked (though, your employer would never say that). Thank whatever for the kindness of people when it comes to that though.
Maybe it's just me, but I see a lot of things in life as if they are hanging by the brim. It could be my irrational fear of whatever, but from where I sit and from what I know, I don't see much security in a lot of things. I trust Google with my e-mail because I just do, but how do I know that some joe working at Google is having a bad day, does a bare minimum job and because of that someone can exploit some flaw in the GMail log-in system and get into my e-mail? I guess I don't, and it's my half-faith in humanity that reassures me that all is well. Yes I said half-faith... that's for another time though.
So ranting aside, my birthday is coming up and I'm pretty excited. I'll try to update and let whoever reads know how things went and how it feels to be 20.
--ending note, I hate how I defend myself before being attacked when I write sometime...
I don't know what it is, but since yesterday morning I have just felt damn stressed. Sure I know nothing of the pressures of being a non-student living in the "real world" but fucking hell I have been feeling stressed.
I could say that it all started when I ended up taking a shower on Tuesday night--where usually I take showers in the morning--and so on Wednesday my day was just whacked all out of shape from that. Or it could have been that I broke my Monday, Wednesday Thursday schedule of working for the web team on Wednesday morning going to the dentist and finding out I have a fucking cavity--I haven't had one since I was nine (god damned wisdom teeth fucking everything up for me). Or it could be the massive amount of homework I've had since Tuesday and my first exam in CS350--a class so boring not even an energy drink can keep me awake--along with my German vocab quiz which is going to be harder than solid steel.
I just feel fucking stressed.
But with that aside, DestroyTheCyb.org! is doing fantastic. Mark Millar just featured THREE of our reviews in his forums (Jake's War Heroes review, Nick's Fantastic Four review and my Marvel 1985 review) and that just kicks so much ass. I really couldn't be happier with that site, unless I had a few more writers... that'd be cool. haha
BUT, let's hope tomorrow doesn't fucking kill me. This exam is going to blow majorly because I couldn't give two shits about software models, use cases and fucking software requirements. BLEH.
I'll be back...
This weekend was pretty much 100% bad ass: I attended an Alkaline Trio concert, had the privilege of going to Wizard World Chicago and meeting Brian Michael Bendis (the whole reason for going to the ordeal) along with doing some other awesome stuff throughout the whole convention, and I saw Wall-E with Dallas.
Sweet right? Well, let me elaborate:
I worked my normal schedule until 5pm and met a friend of mine to head to Yesterdog. One hot dog was all I needed from that landmark place in Grand Rapids to be ready to go see The Alkaline Trio. Come 7pm, we were let in the doors of the show and stood around for about a half an hour just goofing around until The Fashion made their way to the stage. They were a psudo-pop-punk band with a strange techno feel that was neither good nor bad, but still a listen. They played a 35-minute set and took off leading straight into the band Bayside. They too had an iffy sound, something along the lines of pop-punk, but a tad slower. My friend Tori was very into them, yet they didn't really hit for me (like a lot of pop-punk bands usually do, if only for a moment). They finished their 45-minute set and after a very boring 35 minute wait, The Alkaline Trio made their way to the stage. Let me tell you, it was fucking incredible. Song after song of perfection and amazing Alkaline Trio-goodness ensued for a little over an hour. They played songs from their last two albums, Crimson, Good Mourning (more notably: "This Could Be Love", "Mercy Me", "Time To Waste" and "This Could Be Love"), a few new songs from their album and finished their encore with "Radio" from their album Maybe I'll Catch Fire. For any Alkaline Trio, such as myself, it was seriously amazing (especially "This Could Be Love." Boy do I love that song).
Despite being tired, I ended up staying up until 2:30am talking about comics with my buddy Jeff Lanning once I got back from the concert.