Saturday, May 04, 2013


A black Jetta pulled up outside my house and I jumped in without a moment's hesitation. Hopping in a near stranger's car didn't even crack the top ten list of crazy things I had done in the past month.

In December I had been living in downtown Phoenix in a condo I'd owned for six years, working at a job that I'd held for nine. Life in my thirties had become more or less stable and all together predictable when, in a the span of a couple of weeks, I traded in my hand for a new one. By early January I was living in Seattle, 1250 miles from most of my friends and all of my family. I spent my days working for a new company and my nights struggling to find furniture for my near empty apartment. Save a few key items, most of my possessions had been sold or given away.

When Samantha, a friend of a friend offered to show me around town, I jumped at the chance. As I hopped in to the passenger seat I took a moment to gather myself. I hadn't really taken the time to think through what was going on tonight. Was it a date? Was it just some girl throwing the new nerdy kid a bone and hanging out with him once? Was she just doing a solid for Mandi, our mutual friend and then I'd never hear from her again? It was best that I didn't over analyze. The more analyzation that takes place, the more likely I am to say something disastrously stupid(See: This entire blog).

While eye contact has never been a staple of the nerd repertoire, I took a moment to greet her and do my best not to look like a complete shut in. Her pictures hadn't done justice. Samantha was super cute. Her face showed her expression like a teleprompter, and right then that teleprompter read, "I'm a little nervous, this is slightly awkward". After a quick hello, she shifted in to first and we were off. Her eyes stayed fixed straight ahead as she drove, and the new lack of eye contact made me slightly self conscious. I double checked my zipper and made a mental note to check my breath next time I found myself alone.

As of May 5th, we will have been dating for exactly one year. In 365 days, Samantha has:
  • Made the somewhat gloomy and constantly overcast city of Seattle one of the happiest times of my life.
  • Surprised me in new and exciting ways, every day.
  • Made me seem social and somewhat personable at times, despite my best efforts.
  • Listened to all of my terrible stories.  Most of them more than once.  The ratio of times that she's heard my, "And that's how I met Shaquille O'Neal" to the number of times that I've heard her, "And that's how my band ended up opening for Weezer" is ridiculously lopsided in the wrong direction.
  • Regularly sat and played a video game with me that she had no real interest in playing, just to spend some time with me.
  • Convinced me to buy a dog.
  • Listened as I explained some ridiculously nerdy concept(Programming, Star Wars, Video Games, etc)
  • Had this entire blog bound as a book.
  • Made me a better person.

A lot of people ask me why I stopped writing in this blog.  There are a lot of reasons I guess, but I think the easiest thing to say is that I just don't have time to write life anymore.  I'm too busy living it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh You Crazy Google(A Puzzle)

A couple of years ago my sister asked me what phone to get next. She was locked in to Verizon, and had been using Windows Mobile. Microsoft had mostly given up at that point, so I suggested she get the new Droid everyone was talking about. I sat down to help her set up her email and things, and was so taken by the phone that later that day I went and bought one myself.

Two years have passed, and while I find myself rather anxious for the upcoming "Galaxy Nexus", my sister is in dire need of a new phone. Her Droid recently gave out on her. So, when Google's twitter announced they were giving away 10 through a contest, I decided to jump in and try to win her a new phone.

Many of the competitions were out of my realm of expertise, but when contest 8, a puzzle showed up, I jumped on it and spent more of a Saturday than I'm willing to admit completing it. I wasn't the first one to finish, but I'm happy to say that I did finish it all on my own.

The original puzzle is laid out here:

The instructions were:
Submit Challenge 8 response as: "#ICS & @googlenexus let you [answer]"

And a hint was later given:
Lots of responses so far to Challenge 8! Hint: Apply message from path to the Androids. Use 6 independent passes through the grid

Hit the comments button for the solution

Saturday, November 05, 2011

There's a Time and Place to Flirt

A few weeks ago I got really sick in the middle of the day. I was working at home, and suddenly had the worst headache of my life. I laid on the ground in pain, and for a few minutes I thought I might actually be dying.

They say people see their life flash before their eyes when they are about to die, but all I could think about was how Arrested Development was finally coming back on the air and I wasn't going to be around to see it. I was pissed.

When the pain finally died down I drove myself to the ER where I was subjected to various tests.

First there was the blood work. Even in my weakened state, I couldn't help but notice the nurse taking my blood was exceptionally cute. She lead me to the next room where another ridiculously cute nurse started hooking me up to an IV.

"This might make you feel like you're peeing your pants. Well, it'll make you feel pretty warm downstairs anyhow." she said with a bit of a smile.

Reliving a particularly painful third grade memory wasn't exactly at the top of my to do list, but I figured I should just go along with it. By this time I was feeling a bit out of it, and the doctor finally came in.

"So, how are you feeling Mr... Bearden?"
"This wasn't exactly what I had planned when I woke up this morning." I was interrupted by someone screaming in pain down the hall, "but I guess it could be worse"

The doctor looked a shocking amount like Scarlett Johansson, and now I was starting to wonder if someone was screwing with me. A few hours later the tests had all come back negative, and Scarlett told me that she wanted to do a spinal tap. I was not enthused, but eventually gave in.

The nurse took me to a different room and I thought told me to take my top off and lay face down. I did as instructed and a few minutes later Scarlett came in to the room.

"What are you doing?"
"I thought the nurse told me to lay down"
"Uh... no. You'll be sitting up for this."

My face warmed in embarrassment to match my personal area.

As the doctor iodined up my back and searched for the spot to thrust a needle in to my spine she explained what I should expect.

"Well, you're young and skinny, so I don't expect any complications"

In my pumped-full-of-drugs-raging-headache'd brain I thought that this was the perfect time for a joke. In my mind I decided to say, "Look, you're a beautiful lady and I can see where this is going. I'm flattered. Really, I am. But don't you think we should fix me before we talk about this?"

What actually came out was a little closer to, "I... think.... you're just... being nice... because you're... about to stick me"

It also either came out so quiet that she didn't hear me, or she chose to ignore me. It's probably for the best.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nerd Word(s): I'm flattered

I'm flattered
- Response

1. A negative response to a statement that was clearly not intended as a compliment or come on

[ Origin: I don't actually remember when I started saying this ]

- usage
1. "You like the Phoenix Suns? I like them too!"
"Look... I can see where this is going. And I'm flattered. I really am. But you? Me? I think we can both agree that it just wouldn't work out baby. But I promise you there's someone out there for you"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

DJ Jazzy Jesse: Part 2

One of the first posts I ever wrote was about how I share my name with a DJ in Oregon, and occasionally get his emails. I hadn't gotten one in a long time, so when one from "Nicole" arrived, I decided to reply.

Hi Nicole!

First of all, congratulations on your wedding. What a truly magical time in your life, and I appreciate you sharing the schedule with me. I just broke up with my girlfriend, so I feel like you're rubbing it in a little. I'm going to let that slide because I know it's been a busy time for you, and keeping up with what's going on in my life probably hasn't been your number one concern. (Side note, are any of your bridesmaids in to short nerds? I'm just saying, you could do me a solid )

Secondly, I'm not sure how I feel about playing "Big Green Tractor". Be honest with yourself, is that really a wedding song? How would you feel about throwing out the whole mix and just going with Journey's greatest hits? I'm an expert in these kinds of things, and I guarantee that by the time "Faithfully" hits, there will be so many people crying that you could get Kleenex to sponsor this wedding. You'll think you were at an onion cutting convention. People will talk about it for years to come. Everyone loves Journey Nicole. Everyone.

Also, you won't have to waste time burning copies of those wedding CD's that everyone hands out these days, but nobody listens to. You can just hand them a copy from the store. Guests will appreciate that extra level of effort and class.

Third, what are you guys serving? I hope it's crab cakes. I love crab cakes.

In closing, I believe you've reached the wrong Jesse Bearden. I'm a software engineer from Phoenix, and the only DJing I do is DJ Hero on the Xbox. Not to brag, but I once got 300,000 points on "Intergalatic", so maybe you should have me do it. Do you really want some schmuck running your dollar dance who couldn't even break 200k? You ask that guy for his high scores. Anything under 250 is bush league and you deserve better. Remember, it's your day Nicole.

If you wouldn't mind, could you tell me which email you were trying to reach? I get emails about weddings somewhat regularly and I'd like to be able to forward them on the the right place.


P.S. I'm serious about those Bridesmaids. Anyone cute and in to nerds?

P.P.S All jokes aside, here's a link to that Journey album. If you don't already have a copy, let me know and I'll send you one as a wedding present.