Monday, July 21, 2014

Time tics a little slower

Hey there!

It's been eight days now, but it feels like a month. I don't think it is only because I had so much fun with friends in this time, there must be more to it. Probably a large part is simply because I miss something that occupied a large part in my life before. However, I must say that I have really changed. Somehow I took up my "I don't care, let's just have fun at whatever cost" attitude. I'm a bit more outgoing, I'm pursuing things I didn't do before, careless even if you wish. I look at people in a different light and I'm discovering sides of me that I haven't seen in a long time, if ever.

Maybe I will turn around my life? Maybe add some people from work to the select group I consider friends? Do some stuff which I haven't done in a long time? Grow a beard? Okay the last one is fairly unlikely... I've been trying for 5 days now and the success is very mediocre. But I've even been considering to buy a car. I'd really care for a fast car at the moment, but they are either very expensive regarding the buying, or they are VERY thirsty cars x) But even considering the second problem, a Mazda RX-8 does look very sexy :o A rotary engine always fascinated me to be honest! Maybe a bit of petrol runs through my veins after all ;)

Ah well... my short attention span is still kicking it, so I shouldn't do anything which has a big impact on life, or my bank account right now. First I should return to a normal way of living and then decide on things. Let's see ;D

See you around everyone! Also, still one of my favorites:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Insert a new coin to continue...

Hey there!

Since my last post I have been... well, pretty okay actually. I have spent time with some more people and killed a lot of time. Somehow coping is going better than expected! A friend of mine recommended me True Detective. Even though I have a hard time focusing on a single thing right now, I really sucked up the show. It is a very different type of show, but it is really brilliant at that, including a strong set of soundtracks! I think I will re-watch it when I can focus on it a little better and give it the full appreciation it deserves!

Friday evening I was pretty tired as I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. So when I got home I slept for some hours, waking up fit and thus enabling me to stay up the night until the birds woke up on Saturday morning again. I went to bed at 6:30 as I figured I would really need some sleep. I slept half of the day and went over to my parents place. In fact it was my birthday yesterday :o A quarter of a century... time passes. I still remember starting this blog back in 2010 ^^; I didn't really celebrate my birthday though. Because,... well you know, circumstances.

Today I then met up with another friend of mine and we went hiking. I guess we overestimated our hiking skills a little, but it was very fun. Afterwards we went to the loving hut in Maastricht. I was a bit anxious about this, because I didn't really know what to expect and when it comes to food he is fairly picky considering he is a cook himself. Luckily he also liked the food and it wasn't too expensive :)

I went home, chilled a bit with my parents and came back to my place. Here I checked out some cars. Driving to the wedding was a lot of fun actually! But my moms car doesn't really go faster than 150km/h and I really would have liked a bit more tbh. So now I am considering buying a car. I would have the money, but the problem is I have no clue about cars xD... But I think I just have to refrain from wasting several thousands on a car that I don't really need right now.

So I ended up blogging to pass some more time, but also because I ran across the following video in my youtube favorites again. It is about a pretty cool open source art project. In fact it is a commercial for absolute vodka, which I don't care about, but the final result is really cool! Check it out, including the making of.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Coping with things... and looking ahead

Hi everyone,

I guess it is time to clarify my last post. Last Sunday my girlfriend and me broke up. There was no big fight, no shattered cutlery, just a long talk, a lot of tears and a break up. We talked through our relationship and realized we might not fit together in the best way. Further details I will not discuss on here. Since then I have been trying to cope with the whole situation. The days seem longer than usual, but talking to people about the situation has helped me a lot! In fact I want to look ahead and try and grasp the opportunity to be happy. But it isn't easy when you are living in the apartment you shared for more than half a year... So many memories can really cause some serious pain. But they are happy memories, which I don't want to loose or blemish either!

I think the hardest part for me is the re-adjustment. When I get, home nobody is there to welcome me, nobody is there to shop, cook or do the dishes with me. I lost my soul mate, the one person I could discuss everything with. We obviously have our differences, but I really miss her in my life! But I guess that I have to look ahead. For both of our sakes I will try not to cling to the relationship too much, as it would only hurt us more than necessary. I need to move on and cherish the fond memories, but I have to keep on making new memories as well.

For the rest of the week I will try to keep myself busy! Obviously there is work, but I find it hard to focus for longer periods of time right now. In the evening I will meet up with friends, try to get some kind of regular cooking/dish washing/house hold combo going again and well... live my life! It will be a hard time. Saturday is my birthday, but I don't feel like partying. Back in the day I would always have a little family meet up at my parents, but right now I don't want to be scrutinized by some people, talking about why my girlfriend is not there...

While writing down my thoughts helps me a lot, it makes me think about everything. When we split up, we had our reasons, and to be honest I don't doubt the decision. However, thinking about these reasons makes me feel pretty bad, as I have myself to blame in many cases... This song, at least to me, represents my feelings pretty well, even though it might have been intended completely differently ^^;

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Upside down

I don't know where to start, what to say. Today something happened that I didn't expect at all. Well,... to be fair, I guess it has been looming for a while, but I never wanted to accept it, belief in it, or think that it might actually happen. I feel like someone ripped my beating heart from my chest and left a gaping hole. I guess I should cry, scream, fall apart. Someone I'm keeping it together though. Maybe I just haven't realized it, maybe I don't believe in it yet and maybe a tear actually rolled over my cheek just now... Everything is spinning, upside down, it will be a hard time. I wish things had gone differently.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I have had by far worse 120h! :D

Okay, ... where should I start? I guess I will just pick up where I left. After my last post I tried to get some sleep. I figured with my stop in Dubai, I had a fair chance of skipping the jet lag completely. You know a little jet lag in Dubai, a little in Hong Kong? Boy was I wrong. But the first night was pretty okayish. I slept until 7, I got up, showered and went for the overpriced breakfast. There wasn't a lot to eat, so I had some fruit, which all tasted kind of weird. At that point I realized though that there were two options for me. I could be grumpy about everything and sad about loosing a 50 euro presenter, or I could enjoy everything as much as possible and realize that I was spending a LOT more than 50 euro anyways and that I just should forget about it. I kind of choose the second option, which I never thought I consciously could do, but it really worked out. So far I have enjoyed my time here, even though the food and weather conditions are not always that easy ^^;

After getting ready, I asked for some directions to the conference center and in the end it was pretty easy to find. But good that I asked :x I figured it was in the opposite direction! Due to the heat I noticed the previous night, I figured that short trousers and a t-shirt would totally be sufficient. At the registration desk I felt slightly underdressed though xD. I didn't know anybody and everyone seemed to wear some nice shirt and shit :-/ Luckily known faces started popping up and also some people that had the same style as I did. I guess the other people didn't really care for the style, but they knew what was coming up later that day... More on that later. I got my bag with the schedule, a 16GB USB stick, because... why fucking not x) and some typical stuff you'd expect to find in such a conference bag.

The workshops were semi interesting. The real problem was that ICRA is a roboticist's conference and the link to vision is not always that obvious or interesting. But the worst part was, the whole freaking conference center was chilled to an approximate 10 degrees celsius :D... After the 3rd session I went home to get me some warmer clothes! I guess the shirt wearers knew this already. Wearing long trousers outside is reallllly hot though :( The typical 5-10 minute walk from the hotel to the conference were so extremely sweaty! On the way back to the conference I went big and withdrew some money at an ATM. I got 1000 HKD, which is approximately 95 euros, but it felt good running around with this pile of cash x) In fact later on I went to buy some food, which is so freaking cheap here :o 5 bananas for 70 HKD, 27 oreos for something like 32 HKD :o

The rest of Saturday was pretty okay. I met someone from the Strands project and he introduced me to all his lab buddies. After the workshops we went to their place and enjoyed a beer on their rooftop terrace. It wasn't super high, but in a nice part of the town and those guys are really nice. Later on we went to some hot pot restaurant at Times Square. You get a big pot with some boiling broth in the middle of the table and you can cook your own food in it. Needless to say, this was a meaty thing, but our pot was split in the middle, so me and the other "vegetarian" girl could eat something as well. Sadly we only had some Udon noodles and a lot of greens and mushrooms. The broth wasn't that tasty either, in fact I think it was just watter and ginger x) But it was okay at least I did get something vegetablish to eat. After seeing what they sell in the stores I feared I had to live of pringles, oreos and bananas for the rest of the week. Afterwards we took a taxi up the hill. Again... super cheap. You can drive for like half an hour paying something like 70 HKD x)  It was pretty late already, but still SUPER crowded! We were a little lost at first, but then found a nice look out place. The view of the city was breathtaking! I took a shit load of pictures, but as I don't have anything installed on my work laptop, I will have to wait until I am back in Aachen to edit some of them. Also not having a tripod didn't make it easier :x Then we took a taxi downhill again, and everyone went back to their hotels. I couldn't really sleep until 3:30 though, so the next morning wasn't so easy...

Sunday and Monday were pretty similar days. For both of them it was hard to get up. The conference stuff was pretty interesting as their was at least one vision session going on all the time. During lunch brake it was hard to actually get something to eat, so I typically skipped lunch :-/ I met more and more nice people and in the evening they would try to convince me to come with them, but I knew I had to do quite a lot of work for my presentation so I went back to the hotel and after a few hours of procrastination (and Game of Thrones WTF moments) I finally finished it and practiced the shit out of it! I was very worried as I always took way too long :x On Monday night I really had a hard time sleeping, but the next day was my presentation so I tried to get a little more than 3 hours of sleep.

Tuesday was the big day. I was extra nervous as the evening before I had gotten a mail telling me I was nominated for an award and because of that I should attend to my presentation. At the time I was a bit like "WTF? shouldn't I attend anyways xD?", but I had no clue what this actually meant :)  So the day was split into two parts, one was me being nervous, the other was me being relaxed and with a little hope of getting an award ;) I couldn't really focus on anything before the presentation, then went it finally was my turn, I was nervous, without a wireless presenter and in a PACKED room. Many people came to the scene understanding session. I was so nervous that I pulled of my 19 minute 30 presentation in something like 16 minutes. This was way too fast as I had 17-18 minutes for the talk, so a lot of people could ask questions. Some of them were easy to answer, but one guy was really killing me. My slides showed that my stuff improved everything for like 2% and he pointed out that I should have done some cross validation or run the stuff several times to see the variance and then probably notice that the error margin is way bigger than 2% so that my whole method was worthless. He didn't say the last part, but his angry face and shaking head clearly told this to me. I was super insecure and didn't know what do to at that point. He even told me that I should have directly tried 3D semantic segmentation, instead of what I did right now as that was always kind of troublesome. Only afterwards did I really grasp the whole situation and I could have easily stfu'd him by telling that the two percent are not the point of the paper, but the whole speed up part was! I still don't know who the guy was, but read on and see why I can really say FUCK YOU in the end xD. I told my "feelings" regarding this guy to some other people and they reassured me to not worry and that you always get some kind of crappy guy who will ask stupid and evil things.

After the presentation I was deeply relaxed not caring about anything really anymore. That day the sessions weren't that awesome anymore and in the evening there was this big banquette. So I decided to head back and eat something as I skipped lunch again. I relaxed a little at the hotel and then went back. It was a HUGE thing, I guess there were like 150 big round tables, each with place for about 12 people. There was live music and all. After seeing the menu I asked one of the (thousand?) waiters if there was vegan food as well. So far the "food" was super ridiculous and the best you could get was vegetarian, although it seems that the people here don't distinguish between the two and vegetarian is vegan in most of the cases. Still I never ate something they prepared as it seemed a bit "fishy". The problem was that the waiter ran of, never to come back. This actually happened twice and other people reported the same thing as well. Then there was a big announcement and speech about ICRA and where next year's ICRA will be. In the end they said they opened another vegetarian table. That was the first time I noticed there was such a thing. So I went to check it out and discovered that there were two which were completely full though. Some more people started to appear that also didn't have vegetarian food yet and we joined to complain. It took them quite a bit to find someone responsible, but he said we could pretty much only drink wine, because and yes I quote "they ran out of vegetables".... Meanwhile I saw the third course of the dinner being handed out. It was a 7 course menu with lots of tiny shit. But what really pissed me of that the 20% of empty seats were still served EVERYTHING. Later on I heard that people started stacking up huge piles of unused food in the center of the tables as they just kept on bringing stuff. Such a freaking waste of food :-/ After the guy offered his sincere apologies several time and in the process saying something like "In China they don't take vegetarianism so seriously" I was pretty much done with the night. I told the other 4 I was going for dinner in a vegan place and that they were welcome to join me. All of them agreed and I said let's meet up at the entrance, after telling our friends we are leaving. In the end only one guy came as the rest apparently sticked around x) That guy then decided he would stay as well though, I wasn't sad about it as I wanted to have a little quiet time anyways and I think it didn't really "click" between us. So I left, heading to the loving hut. This is actually a huge vegan chain throughout the world which I have tried to avoid in my past vegan life. Shit was I wrong to do so x) They are all followers of some person trying to appeal to a cruelty free live. It felt a little like a sect, but when I arrived there, it was a nice place with nice people and especially very nice food. I had Udon noodles with some cream cake and some little tartes. All in all it cost me 100HKD, which again is super cheap for the amount of food I had! It was really nice, but I was super stuffed and tired after all the nervousness of the past few days. I walked around the city a little and then went back to the hotel. I kind of fell asleep very fast and slept like a baby, I guess it was the first night without real jet lag.

I felt good on Wednesday morning, had some pringles, some oreos, a real Hong Kong breakfast x). I arrived late at the conference, like pretty much every day. I was a little sad though. I didn't get an e-mail saying that I should attend the award lunch, so I was sure I didn't win any award. But I just went there for some really cool sessions. I figured let's go to the award lunch anyways. I met some senior researchers there we all told me it was really awesome already for being nominated at all! Furthermore they got my hopes up, by telling me they wouldn't inform you in prior :o The "lunch" part was pretty crappy again btw.. so no real food for me once more x) I got a little booklet at the entrance, showing the list of nominated people for the different prices. I was in the best vision paper section with 3 others. Seeing the others I was pretty sure this other guy was going to win, but by now I also really wanted to win it. It took them pretty long to arrive to the vision award and then BAM, I freaking won the award WOHO! First paper, first conference and a directly an award. This was really nice :) I was super stoked, shaking, not knowing what to think and feel :D

After the award lunch I just went on with the other sessions, in fact I think some of them were the most interesting sessions of the whole conference! The award had given me a huge confidence boost, which actually made me ask questions for the first time in the conference x) Some of them were slightly boring though, so I just sat there, enjoying this nice feeling with some sweet music pounding in my ears :D After the sessions had finished the award dinner started, as with all other occasions where there was food at the conference, there was such a small amount of food and drinks that people kind of had to line up in long queues and hope there was some food left by the time they arrived at the food... :-/ I really don't get how they can be so badly organized. In fact the whole week they had large signs everywhere saying "First com first serve" :-/ Even for water and coffee ...

After the last session of that day, I talked to some guy from Bonn, who did very related research and who is a vegetarian. We decided to go back to loving hut again. I invited him as I did win a substantial amount of money a few hours ago x) We talked a little about research and about some possible joint work. We then headed back to the conference center meeting up with another guy. Later on we then split up again, and met up with some other people. It took us some while to get our final group for the evening together, but we saw quite a bit more of Hong Kong. I bought a round of beer in a little restaraunt (640ml for 28 HKD) and later on we went to this awesome rooftop bar :D There I bought another round (330ml for 90HKD xD) It was really nice though and I got pretty tipsy. I enjoyed my time at the rooftop bar a lot! Some of us, including me, called it a night and went back to our hotels. I talked to my parents and my girlfriend and then slept. Again... like a baby in fact this time without an alarm. I tend to dream very realistically here, so at some point I thought it was 7 and I could sleep a little more. In fact I woke up at around 11:30 in the morning x) Then they were showing lord of the rings part 3 in the television which I have been watching while blogging ;) I think this might in fact be the longest post in the history of this blog. But somehow I remembered quite a lot of details and decided to write them all down :p

I'm going to take a shower now, possibly eat something at loving hut again and then head out to the conference. Maybe I'll meet some nice people and we'll do some sight seeing tonight :) I think there are some plans to go to Kowloon market.  Apparently you can get 32GB usb sticks for 20 HKD :o The rest of the time I then will do some sightseeing. Although I have the idea that a lot of the people I met will want to go drinking every night, which is something I am not really fond of to be honest, but lets see :D I don't really know what I want to do the next few days, but I still have 3 full days left after today! Sadly it seems that the weather is getting a little worse :( Not in the "it's getting cooler" way, but in the "it's going to rain and get more humid" way...

Okay, I should shower and head out if I want to see ANY part of the workshop today xD See you around people :)