Surreally Seducted: Damn You Salvador Dalí!

One monkey promoting the ceaseless propagation of useless crap on the internets since a long time ago.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Someday, I'm gonna stay

A million points of light, and in them we found each other. Two blind souls swimming in the brilliant seas, our iridescent souls shimmering, attracting us like two flies to the same flame. Cautious at first, we threw ourselves in, unsure of what we saw. Was it a facade, or were the exposed bricks and mortars of our lives there for all to see? If it were a facade, it is gone now. I see your foundations and your truths. I drink of them. I live for them. I live for myself too, for everyone, but it is for you that I save my greatest imaginations (and cleverest machinations). A slight of hand was what you showed me; like the fiction of so many tales you presented your magic not for the show but for the beauty contained within. You taught me this, and with every page the words grow sweeter, more endearing, burning the soul with the brand of knowledge.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Spiders dangling on a thread above the flame of hell.

I was thinking about the whole moral values argument the other day. It's funny that the south and midwest have coopted the term as their own. Let us not forget that it was Connecticut that tried to ban contraceptives of any kind (how Catholic of them!). This was overturned by the Supreme Court based on the right to privacy. Let us also not forget that the Northeast was where the Puritans landed; a group, as Eurotrip and Robin Williams say, so uptight that the English kicked them out. Yet these "values" were tempered over time; there are few John Edwards ("Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God") left in the northeast anymore. Instead, the American Evangelicals (read: Fundamentalists) have taken what they believe as the word of God, and would like nothing more than for everyone to accept that as the truth. Good luck to them, and I hope they fail.

Feels like home

I drove through Connecticut today on the way to see tweedlegirl. I realized why I feel like the Northeast is my home. I've traveled quite a bit throughout the country. In terms of beauty of the land, I think the Northeast is way up there. Yes, the Southwest and the West Coast are beautiful, but there is something about the beauty of New England and the NY/NJ area that draws me in. I can't quantify it. I'm not a city boy, but I'm not a farm boy either. I grew up there. No matter what the move to the South had to offer, there wasn't the history of the northeast. Sure, there are plantations, but that hasn't had to weather harsh winters, and none of it is in ruins. I think there is something in the history of the land that pulls me in, and that's why the northeast and the southwest pull me in. The ruined mining towns and the ruined revolutionary war towns, I think that's why these places feel like home.

Tweedlegirl is sitting here looking very pretty in her pink hat. She's so beautiful, and I'm so lucky.

Friday, January 28, 2005

If you've never stared off into the distance then your life is a shame

Congrats to Tweedlemommy for passing a test today that will let her do what she loves next year.

On comedy central way back in the day, they had a segment of the day called Short Attention Span Theater. That, gentle reader, is the story of my life.

There are two things I am going to try to work on.

#1: If people ask me why I am working so late, or if I want to have dinner, I will not answer with a sarcastic response. Not becoming of me, and I don't even find it funny anymore. A simple thank you, or an explanation that I am enjoying working hard will suffice.

#2: Cut down on swear words. Unnecessary swear words. And get rid of phrases like "screwed the pooch." Not very business like. Need to go with something more like, "They fucked up." Shit. There I go again. "They messed up." That's good. Must remember that.

Bonus.

#3: Practice focusing. It is quite alright to multitask. It is another thing to lose the ability to focus. No matter how mundane the task is. Focus focus focus. The rewards will be huge if I am successful at this. I can't even finish a single blog posting without losing focus. Will not lose focus for the rest of this post. Even if I conciously think about it, I will not lose focus.

I was thinking about how I have already been at work for 2 months. It doesn't seem that long. But I feel like I am becoming more efficient at it, and starting to be able to think for myself about what needs to get done. This autonomy is great, as it makes it possible for me to do things that aren't assigned or passed down to me, which is great when others are not able to do so. As a note to everyone, I feel like right now stuff is supposed to be passed down to me, but I think that the more questions I ask, the more things I learn how to think up on my own. It's been a good week, and next week will be good too. I just want to do as well as I can. And I will. It all comes down to focusing, being polite, and working as hard as I can, as efficiently as I can.

td

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Auschwitz

Today, 60 years ago, Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviets*. Today, nations around the world celebrated the liberation, and decried the anti-semitism on the rise in Europe.

A few weeks ago, a furor arose in the blogosphere about the "anti-semetic" comments of a blogger, who if I recall correctly, went by the name of VoxDay. And, if I recall correctly, there was a comment about how Stalin killed 25 million of his own people and nobody cared. The holocaust killed 12 million or so, of which 6 million were Jewish, and more than 1.2 million were children. I have spoken with Tweedlegirl about these statistics, and have come to some... not conclusions, but some ideas, on why we find the holocaust so horrific (and it is), and tend to forget the slaughters of Stalin**.

1 (and the popular idea). "the enemy of your enemy is your friend." Stalin was against the facists, so Stalin was our friend and we HAD to ignore anything he did in his lands to beat Hitler.

2 (and this is more my idea, I think). Stalin was indiscriminate about who he killed. For the majority of the killings, it was not systematic, and he killed whomever he even perceived to be in his path. Stalin was paranoid, and would kill just about anyone. This number includes a HUGE number (disproportionately large, I think) of Ukranians. Of course, Ukraine was the buffer for USSR against the Germans, and were killed both during the German occupation and after the Germans retreated. For an excellent treatment of this story, I cannot recommend more highly Stalingrad: The Fateful Seige by Antony Beevor. Although probably not the most in depth treatment of the topic, it certainly shows at least part of Stalin's mania in perhaps the most dramatic of settings inside the USSR at that time.

The twelve million were chosen and systematically killed in a killing machine that involved the whole of the German industrial workforce. The Germans at the concentration camps played god with more than 12 million people, deciding who would live and who would die, splitting up families, and destroying a majority of the European Jewish populace.

On this historic day, we cannot forget the holocaust, the 12 million who lost their lives during the holocaust, the millions who lost their loved ones, those who were directly affected. And while we remember, with great thanks, the Russians who liberated some of the concentration camps, we should also remember those who were affected by Stalin's purges, as numerous as they were.

*Russians and Soviets will be used interchangeably, despite the fact that they are two distinct groups. I know this.

**To clarify, I am not saying that Stalin's murders were ok. Or that the loss of life was any less horrifying. I am merely trying to explain, perhaps, why the 25 million residents of the USSR (not all Soviets) are not thought of as often as the victims of the holocaust. I do think the systematic destruction of a minority does tend towards a more tragic scene. But it is no less of a tragedy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Don't want to be an American Idiot (or Larry Summers)

Apparently, Europeans and Americans eat bananas differently...

In other news...

Cool sign I saw yesterday on a bar chalkboard.
No dirty bums bombs allowed.

Tweedlebrother and I had dinner together last night. Walking back, tB (who goes to H is for Honors), changed the subject to Larry Summers. He and I said the following (paraphrased for exaggeration!):
"Larry Summers' said what everyone was thinking. That lady professor who felt physically ill? Probably morning sickness. Look, she knew what was going to be discussed there. He asked a question. Whether it was rhetorical or not, maybe it needs to be discussed. This isn't something that can just be ignored."
The real problem that people had with LS was that he is president of H is for Honors, and their tenure rate for female profs is astonishingly low. But I think that's across all concentrations, and not just science. So that's bad. He shouldn't have said... well, no that's wrong. What he said was ok, but I don't know if he should have been the one to say it.

But then...
If he had said white people are genetically better at writing than other races, would that have as big an outcry? What if he said black people are genetically inclined to be better athletes? What if he said something that perpetuated some other stereotype? What if what he said sparks some research into it, and it gets proved or disproved? What if there is a connection, and they find it? How will everyone react?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

On-demand confusion

IBM has an advertising campaign that talks all about On-Demand Business. I get confused. Who is this campaign aimed at? The researchers who are trying to crunch data? I bet most researchers have data centers that will determine who does what when. Is it aimed at the CIO? Does the CIO not know that IBM can help run their business? It's obviously not aimed at the consumer, because IBM doesn't really have any consumer PC business anymore. So WTF mate? How effective is this?

Wal-Mart. Ah dreaded Wal-Mart. "Because of Wal-Mart, our son Johnny has a future." Liusten, that's great if managing a Wal-Mart is all that you aspire to. But in this nation, is managing a Wal-Mart really what you want to aspire to? Well, I guess that's what the America for Idiots world (Bobo's World) is all about.

Nike's pro apparel. WHHHHHAAAAAAAAT? A venus fly trap is a warrior? Personally I got dizzy. I understand that you want people to buy your dri-fit/lycra underwear. But I'm not gonna buy it if it sheathes my head in a box of barbed-wire. Or if it makes my head a venus fly trap. Dumb.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Live blogging the Blizzard...

3:30 PM: still have less than an inch from last weeks snow storm. Have had a few flurries so far. Watching golf from san diego. Looks glorious. ABC played the instrumental part of Blink 182's "I Miss You" as it was going into commercial. One of the more depressing songs/riffs of late. Not really sure why they used it. Guess because it sounds cool and classic.

4:15 PM: More than flurries, less than snow. I'd call this light snow. Golf has been postponed (fog), so I'm watching I love the 90s. My car has no snow accumulated on top of it. Still waiting.

5:00 PM: Still light snow. Slight covering of my car. I Love 97 is over. Found a Clint Eastwood movie on Spike. He's getting dragged through a river by horses. Horses are awesome looking animals.

6:20 PM: Still light snow, but definitely coming down a bit harder. Or there's more of it coming down. Something. I love 98 is on. Still watching a bit of Hang 'Em High. But been drawing mostly. Pretty sure my car won't get towed because of the snow.

7:08 PM Saturday: Dude, this blizzard shit is lame. It's still just SNOWING. It's not even all that windy outside. And it's not even snowing too hard. But I'm glad that I don't have to drive to or from work tomorrow. I Love 99 us on. This show series is pretty funny. But I don't think it would be so hard to be funny on it. All you have to do is be cynical about something. I also finished my first drawing. I think it's ok. Still have to work a bit on transparency and no circular/cylindrical surfaces. It will be interesting to see if this translates over to computer stuff at all.

I wonder what would happen if Kenyans started riding bikes. As much as they've dominated endurance running, I wonder if they would dominate endurance biking (like the Tour de France) as well. I don't know how they would fare in the mountains though.

8:20 PM Saturday: Yeah. It's coming down hard right now. There's a lot of snow. They plowed the street. It's already covered again. There was an avalanche off the roof of the church across the street. It's already covered again. Some asshole parked really close to the back of my car. The tracks? Already covered. Watching Law and Order now. Might work out in a little bit.

10:10 PM Saturday: It's coming down really hard. Really really hard. Windy too. I'm not going outside. Forget it. I've got all I need here at home. Except for tweedlegirl. Found out I bought milk yesterday that expires tomorrow. Stupid stupid me. I need to remember to check stuff like that. I do for everything else, but yesterday was the first time I had bought milk since moving up here. I'll use it tomorrow, but then I'm chucking it. My favorite things from movies like Entrapment is that they assume that the audience is full of idiots. That's a big problem with America. Anything mass produced assumes that people are idiots. Except for computers. They assume everyone is acting at a certain level with everyone else's best interests in mind. Rather foolish, but then, how do we reconcile the fact that computers aren't idiot proof with the fact that mainstream life is idiot designed?

12:12 AM Sunday: Still snowing. Boooring. I mean, all it does is snow and blow. Jeez. And then they plow the streets, and it just gets more snow covered. It's going to make for an interesting commute to work on monday. Not the ride itself, as I'm sure that will be hunky dory. The digging of the car out. That won't be too fun. Apparently Tweedlegirl thinks I would be in bed already. Sucka!
Watching Severs v. Ecks. I think the premise of the movie is that someone had a whole shitload of special effects budget left over after their last movie, and decided to build a plot line around blowing a lot of Canada up. I love it when cars driving head on into something launch over them. I understand why it is done, but again, designed for idiots.

10:45 AM Sunday: Still snowing. Pretty hard. Have to start shoveling soon. Cause it's going to be pretty damn hard to shovel all of it. For small storms the neighbor usually does all of the work, but that would be unfair to do to him. I'm not sure this is worse than any of the storms that I saw at Princeton. Actually looking forward to shoveling the snow. Don't know if I'll be able to make it to work on Monday.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Just too damn funny...

Via Fark.com and whdh.com:

EARLIER WRITEUP FROM PETE:
Battlestations! MAJOR snow's on the way. Here's the tenative timetable:

Another frigid night tonight. Lows a few degrees either side of zero. Hazy sun tomorrow as light snow continues out on Cape Cod.

Those snowshowers on Cape Cod join hands with a developing band of snow offshore and sweep into Boston in the afternoon. Meantime, the meat of the storm moves up from the southwest late day. We're in a pickle! The game is on!

Steady light snow turns heavy and ugly by midnight as the lines between ocean-effect and the main-storm blur. Sideways snow with near-blizzard conditions by the wee hours on Cape Cod and the Islands. Boston will be near whiteouts at times...classic nor'easter style.

The snow will be like baby powder: light and fluffy, but also dense in wind-driven snow banks. Try and keep it off your buns though.

Problems include the possibility of splashover at high tide on Sunday morning (see above) and the near-blizzard conditions on the Islands (ferry service may be halted) Sat. night and Sunday AM. Cape Cod/Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket take it on the chin with this one.

Snow in Pittsburgh? Yeah tomorrow morning. Should be gone by game time with temps in the teens. Snow on the sidelines and maybe in the stands will give the Pittsburgh fans something to play with when the Pats are up by 30 in the fourth quarter.

FYI, I got dibbs on the english muffins in the bread isle - don't mess with me...I know Mr. Whipple.

GO PATS!
Pete

A Portrait of the Man as a Young Man

Go on. Be great. How do we measure greatness? Do we measure it by fame? By dollars earned? By acclimation after death? What is the tortured artist? Is it someone who is too deluded to believe he should not be an artist, and should instead join the real world? Not all artists were tortured. To go through proverty, perhaps, will help someones creative juices, but the real world may do just as much. And what is the real world? Is it my world? Is it yours? The real world is relative. For me, I am in it, and I don't mind. For others, the prospect of working a regular job is frightening. It frightens me too. I'm not sure what frightens me about it. Is it waking up every day? Is it coming home for 3 or 4 hours and then going to sleep, and that never seems like enough time for myself? No. I am afraid that whatever I do, it will end up not being great. And I don't know what that means. When I was young, I thought whatever I would touch would turn to gold. I was smart. I was somewhat athletic. And now, 16 or 14 or 10 years later, I am worried that too much time has lapsed and the greatness within me passed. Yet I still feel that with a lot of hard work I can regain what it was I had.

And then this week, the CEO of the company comes up to me, says, do you know this guy? I said yes, and he said, Good, you work for him now. And this, well, it's not a promotion, but it's a definite step upward. And if it doesn't lead to me moving upwards in the organization where I am now, it will in the future. It's a matter of asking questions, of learning as fast as I can, of... trying. Working really hard. Part of me feels like I am being groomed, but I highly doubt that. I am only 22, and there is much I don't know. But if I stick around and do thing correctly, I'll get good at thise broad field. And maybe that will put me on a path to greatness? Will it be my path? It isn't in the field I chose in college. It isn't my hobby. It's my job, and I like it. Is it my passion? I don't know. I haven't found a field of passion. I've found people to be passionate about, but I don't know if I've found a job I'm passionate about. But I do like it. So I'm going to stick with it. I like the people I'm working with, which is also a big time bonus. There will be a time, perhaps, when I want to do something else, but so long as I know I can do this and enjoy it, those other things will be hobbies on the side. I will find my greatness, but I'm not in a huge hurry.

I know it is a Friday night. I don't know too many people here. Plus, I'm not huge into the whole going out to bars thing. I'd rather sit around drinking with friends, or watching a movie, or talking. The whole bar thing isn't me. I don't want to have to try to fit into some mold of what I'm not.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

That's one crazy pope

I like Catholocism. As a religion. I like the structure of religion. I think Catholocism does a good job of structuring lives, and of helping people. But I cannot stand the Catholic churches wanton disregard for science. Listen, you can say that condoms don't stop the spread of AIDS. That's a lie. I understand that you don't want people to have premarital sex. But it happens. And to not educate people about that is just dumb.

Forever is a long fucking time.

I've had a couple of interesting conversations the past couple of days. One of them got me thinking, and then the O.C. (gasp) made me think even more.

Lots of times, it's hard to live without drama. I've remarked to `the girl' that if I wanted to be a really good writer or if I were to write really good songs, things with use probably could never be going as well as they are. Why? So many writers are really fucked up in the head or have relationships go really screwy on them. Adam Duritz comes to mind, Dave Matthews comes to mind, E.A. Poe, a bunch of others come to mind as well. Do I consider them geniuses? When it comes to songwriting? Sure. That's not to say good writers are always unhappy. Another way to do it is to take a shitload of drugs.

There was another conversation, but I think it is way too personal for the other person involved, so I'll have to think about how to generalize the story to be put up here. We'll see.

The other conversation dealt with guys and girls in general. I was speaking to the ex (we speak from time to time), and was questioning what she was going to do with her life now that school was over. Her maybe-boyfriend is moving out of the country for a little while, and she doesn't want to stay in a long-distance relationship. She's very into living how she thinks someone in their 20's is supposed to live: lots of freedom, lots of choice, not tied down to anyone or anything. She says she doesn't want to be the one who gives up everything for the guy, who makes the one the other the first priority first, because "too many girls do."

I think all of this living like you don't want to get hurt, like you don't want to go against the "norm" (who wants to be normal anyhow), is ridiculous. Look, if it's something you know you want, but are unwilling to take the risk because you might get hurt, well that's fine, but I think it's mighty cowardly.

Wow, this post sucks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

It's been fun, but...

So it's been a pretty hectic week in terms of technology news, but there were a few interesting occurances...

1. On Saturday, 5,000 Oracle/Peoplesoft employees were fired. On a Saturday. O/P didn't do it all personal-like either. Instead, they FedExed and UPSed pink slips. Assholes.

2. Techdirt.com said that a California senator was attempting to throw Ed Felten in jail. Ed Felten gets really worried, and then slams the idea on his blog (http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com).

3. Larry Summers of our favorite H is for everyone gets honors school, says women are genetically predisposed to not do well in the math and scientific fields. Maybe people named Larry Summers are genetically disposed to being assholes. He can apologize all he wants, but I don't think he'll be able to get away with it.

The Behemoth Lives!

So, my old P3 800 mhz machine (from 4.5 years ago) was acting up. Because I drive so far to see my girlfriend (hi you ;-D), I wanted to burn a cd before my last trip. The audio came out garbled: one second of music, a whacky sound, and then the sound again. This continues for the whole cd. I didn't really take the time to figure out what was going on then, but upon returning, I decided to buy a DVD burner, because, well, I'm going to build a new computer at some point, and I don't think that the difference in price between now and then will be all that huge. So I bought the new burner to see if the problem was with the burner. The first few burns it didn't work, so I switch to Windows and the burn came out fine. I changed linux kernels, and lo and behold, it worked. So the new computer gets put on hold for a while, I think.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Give you the stars above, sun on the brightest day

A thousand points of light passed my headlights, and each one reminded me of you. Unique individual beauty. Blindingly white. It was all I could do last night not to turn around, to drive back, to what feels more home to me than this foreign world in which I live. And all I think at times is how nice it will be when one day this alien landscape will include you.

Give you all of my love, just to hear you say...


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Three and a Half Minutes Felt Like a Lifetime

A cold hard face peered out over the traffic below hidden by the fog. Today was the worst. Boundaries were invisible, yet they remained all the same. A cold frozen sweat coursed down the face, as mangy locks of hair poked up all askew liked trees in forest. Cold tears ran down the cheeks of the aged, weathered face; wrinkles and creases marred the landscape of the features. In time the sweat would warm, the tears would dry up, but the face remained. Unable to cross the boundaries of love, the face remained motionless, unmoving save for tears and sweat and locks of hair.

The fog wouldn't end, it never stopped. And for this very small moment in eternity, eternity seemed to last forever.

On this day not incredibly long ago

My mom was born. Happy birthday tweedlemommy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Piracy War is turning out to be like the Drug War

Ed Felten discusses a piece in Wired about piracy topsites. He says they aren't like any type of criminal organization. I disagree. I think it sounds a lot like drug running, minus the money.

The story paints this as a sort of organized-crime scene, akin to a drug cartel, in which a great many people conspire, via some kind of command-and-control network, to achieve the widest distribution of the product. If true, this would be good news for law enforcers -- if they chopped off the organization's head, "the P2P networks would run dry."


Here's my analogy:
You've got various cartels trying to get their product out there. Why? Money and respect. They give their product to a bunch of distributors. These people are probably looking to move up in the drug world (money and respect). They in turn give the drugs to couriers, who distribute it to the public, and why? Money and respect and the chance to move up. By moving up, of course, they probably won't enter into the head of the cartel. They don't have access. But they can make more money, and move more product by being more successful.

The thing is, you can't stop the drugs by cutting off the head of the cartel. Someone else will step in. Why? Because instead of respect, it is highly profitable to be the head. In the P2P (or P2D - Pirate to Distribution) world, there isn't all that much money. There's respect, and there's pride. You knock out one topsite, another one will pop up. There are very few criminal organizations that can be knocked out by taking out the head. Why? Because crime pays, and just like politics, there's always someone wanting to be the big cheese, and who will step in. Remember L.A. Confidential?


*Like Ed, I don't condone drug running or software piracy. It's bad. Don't do it.

Unfinished Beginnings

We had been living that way for so long that we didn't remember living any other way. As darkness closed in, it seemed that the walls did too. I was an incurable night owl; I often only took one or three hours of sleep before I had to wake up in the morning. She would sleep while I painted; in in her sleep, her laughter was incessant while she dreamt. I had positioned the easel so that while I painted, I could look at her. I never painted her. I never painted anyone else for that matter. I had problems painting faces. I had problems painting anything realistic. My work consisted of the dreams I was supposed to be having, of the nightmares that kept me awake. I didn't fancy myself a good artist, or a good painter. She had told me long ago that I should take up something to try to ease the pain of my nightmares. I had taken up drawing at first. Black and white were nowhere near vibrant enough to capture what I saw, so I took up painting instead.

This was nothing like Fight Club. I knew who I was. I know who I am. Painting was only an escape.

What had happened? I'm not really sure. It was a mix of anxiety, excess energy, and being scared of sleeping. There was too much to be done while the sun was up, and too many people around to not get distracted. At first I would go to work, come home and go to sleep until midnight, and then go about the rest of my business. She was accepting of this habit, especially while she was in school. When she started working, however, her hours got more regular, and this forced me to try to sleep regular hours. When the nightmares started, I just gave up altogether.

At first, I dreamed of death. These dreams were bad, but I was eventually able to sleep through them. They soon got worse. Dreams of failures, dreams of disasters, dreams of my life as someone else, dreams of things I might have done. These were dreams that I just couldn't shake. The sleeping stopped, but the dreams didn't. I would lie in bed next to her, waiting for the sun to come. Like a vampire, I was able to sleep during the day, but never for long enough, but after a while I got used to the want. I filled my nights with the things I wanted to during the day but couldn't. This, and this alone, kept me sane for the time.

Monday, January 10, 2005

I succomb to politics

Jesse says that Maryland is trying to pass tort reform including a 2% tax on healthcare (and when you are paying for your own health care Jesse, yes, it is something to worry about). I'd like to point Jesse here and ask him why we shouldn't regulate the insurance industry (because deregulated industries behave so well???). I'm sorry Jesse. I love Pandagon, but I can't agree with your stance here. Just because democrats, hospitals, and doctors agree with something, doesn't mean they are educated and thinking about all the possible solutions. Show me some evidence that tort reform alone will lower insurance premiums (the real problem here, but we're not supposed to think that), and I'll rethink my point. But when someone says that a side effect is solved that the whole problem will go away, I'm a little wary. Yeaaargh.

UPDATE 1/11 1240: Jesse comments that I misread what he said. I concur now, despite being more tired now than I was when I wrote it. I got a little confused by the last paragraph, but I still think the bill (boo tort reform [and I can't believe I just said that]) would have failed miserably. Retracted parts in italics.

Friday, January 07, 2005

I'm suing the beer industry for $2.5M

Let's see... beer makes me vomit, dizzy, lightheaded, walk into doors, occasional pain and anguish. And I can't stop swallowing it because then I'd drown.


Seriously, $2.5M. How about instead of trying to make an assload of money, you become an activist against them. $2.5M is a ridiculous amount of money. If you get food poisoning, do you sue a restaurant for $2.5M? No. People like this asshole make me angry. He should just be thankful I'm not the Incredible Hulk, otherwise I'd make him an extra in my bad movie, and I'd stomp him.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"Virginia is for ...lovers..."

Really, what they do is to take the quote out of context and put it on a bumper sticker. The original quote was "Virginia is for heterosexual lovers assuming the missionary position only. Christianity preferred. Thomas Jefferson gets a free pass, bitches."

And to think the Puritans landed in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Gather round all you clowns

Work has been going better as of late, although I'm usually more tired when I get to work. But I've been working a lot harder (of my own volition). Doing a report for one boss and some research for one of my three bosses. Yes. I have three bosses. You would think this would cause problems, but so far it's been pretty good. All of my work is supposed to filter through one of them, but this usally consists of him asking me if I have anything pressing to do, and then him assigning me something pressing. The problem with one of my other bosses is that I don't know what the end goal of my work for him is, so I can't tailor my work to suit his needs, and I can't go off on my own. My dyslexia is acting up here, so I'm sorry for anything that ends up being backwards because I am too lazy to reread what I wrote. Plus, it's only a blog, and not a paper. Not like I reread those, but if I had to do it all again I would. This second boss seems like a nice guy, but I'm behind the curve on what his department is doing so it's a bit intimidating to talk to him, because, again, I'm not sure exactly where it's going. I've met the third boss once for fifteen minutes. He is a mountain of a man. Something about him didn't sit right with me, but I've been told by other coworkers that he's a good guy once you get to know him.

Oh yeah, I got corporate schwag today too.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Finding a Voice (or: Trying to Find My Youth Again)

When I was young, I was a habitual liar. I remember riding to a swim meet one time with a friend, and I was telling them how I was born in Alaska so the cold didn't bother me. I don't know where that creativity went. But I want to find it again. It's amazing how many times I wrote and rewrote the opening again and again. I read an article on the plane the other day about Pixar and how they make all their artists show everything immediately after they create anything so that they no longer have to make grown up quality things. So maybe I'll have to put a lot of poop up on this blog until something is good. Until I get some fiber in my brain, I just have this for you:

When I was young I was afraid of heights. Not so much heights as falling from heights. We went to Mesa Verde, and there's a 32 foot wooden ladder. I hyperventilated climbing the ladder, and I thought I would be the second person to die on the ladder (the first was a man who had a heart attack). I was afraid of being kidnapped. I ended up walking on the golf course so that I wouldn't have to walk on the road near my house, because it would be more difficult for them to kidnap me if I wasn't on the road. I was afraid that after reading Jurassic Park, dinosaurs would come out of my closet. I'm not really sure why. That one is just really fucked up. I'm sorry.

I love the cold.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Why I Wouldn't Run Away

Evan was ten. His dad worked all day, some nights, and most weekends. When he came home, he'd usually have a few drinks, and then pass out in front fo the tv. Then he got fired, and spent more time at home, getting his hands all over Evan's life: school, sports, friends, etc. When his dad got a new job, he still kept his nose in Evan's activities; so much so, that Evan easily mistook his father's interest in his life as not the love that it was, but rather as overbearing. Evan had enough, and threatened to run away. His dad did what any loving father would do. He told Evan to pack up his bags, and then drove him out an hour out on the highway. He dropped him off, told him to have a good life, and drove back home.

Evan's mom, non-existant in this story (and therefore Evan's life) until now, made Evan's dad a sandwich. After he finished, she then told him to go back and pick up Evan. Evan was right where he had been left. He was sitting on his bag, crying.

He never again threatened to run away.

This is... mild insomnia

I got off the phone and said good night an hour ago. I closed my eyes and lay there, my mind flipping through topics as though someone had sat on the remote control and couldn't figure out why the channels were flipping. So I got up and figured I would write (I was told I should) for the one person I know who reads this. As of right now, I'll get 5 and a half hours before I should wake up tomorrow morning. Less than that by the time I finish. I have some great ideas for questions to ask at work tomorrow, but I wonder if they are the kind of questions someone who has been there only 1 month should be asking. In an ideal company, anyone should be able to ask any reasonable question at any time, so we'll see how this goes.

I feel like I'm in that commercial where the insomniac goes "If I could just fall asleep now, I could get X hours of sleep," and they keep on saying that as the clock ticks by. It's like someone who isn't a drug addict being like "I want to get addicted because I prepaid the Betty Ford for next month" and then not getting addicted. It's not as though the motivation isn't there; I want to go to sleep so I can feel somewhat refreshed tomorrow. I can't remember the last time that I woke up and felt well rested. I would love to wake up and not fell like I wanted to go back to bed (unless, of course, there is the one good reason). I have a hard time getting excited (not about the good reason, sickos. I am 100% fully functional, no assembly required) and have a hard time showing that emotion (but, oddly enough, not a hard time showing anger or frustration or impatience), so I think that may be part of it.

If I fall asleep right now, I'll get 5 hours of sleep. Here's to hoping.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

On the way to the bar

I stopped into a bar on the way to another bar. It had the requisite "Bathrooms are for our customers only" sign. I conversed with the barmaid for a little, found out that the bar wasn't of much use to me, and went outside. Right outside the door a man was standing there peeing into the corner. Felt like I was back in college. Except this guy was a little too old for college. So I felt like it was reunions.

There was also a crazy man talking to himself. After being asked for money by 3 people within 50 feet of each other people, I didn't stick around to talk to him. I mean, I've heard Brother Stephen enough to never have to listen to another crazy person again. I've filled my crazy quota. But there was a police man there saying he was going to get this guy to a hospital. As I walked into the bar, I saw an ambulance near where the crazy guy was. I'm not sure if this city is any different from any other city, but there are a lot of really outgoing homeless people here.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Passions and addictions

I think I've discussed here my inability to discover my passions. I was lying in bed thinking about how nice it would be if I were able to really passionate about things. When I was smaller, I didn't like to cheer for people at athletic competitions. I don't know why. When I did cheer, I got this odd feeling where I couldn't stop smiling and feeling giddy. I didn't like that feeling; I think because it showed so much of how I was truly feeling. I wonder if that's why I have so much trouble discovering or maintaining my passions. I just want to be able to follow through on the things that I think I like.

On the other extreme, I am easily addicted to things. Not drugs. Not alcohol (I don't think), but games, and dumb little things, like programming and stuff. Not things that I am passionate about, but just stupid things. I don't know that reconciling my passions with addictions would be a good thing, but bringing the two closer together might be good.

Unfinished Beginnings

We had been living that way for so long that we didn't remember living any other way. As darkness closed in, it seemed that the walls did too. I was an incurable night owl; I often only took three or four hours of sleep before I had to wake up in the morning. She would sleep while I painted; in in her sleep, her laughter was incessant while she dreamt. I had positioned the easel so that while I painted, I could look at her. I never painted her. I never painted anyone else for that matter. I had problems painting faces. I had problems painting anything realistic. My work consisted of the dreams I was supposed to be having, of the nightmares that kept me awake. I didn't fancy myself a good artist, or a good painter. She had told me long ago that I should take up something to try to ease the pain of my nightmares. I had taken up drawing at first. Black and white were nowhere near vibrant enough to capture what I saw, so I took up painting instead.

This was nothing like Fight Club. I knew who I was. I know who I am. Painting was only an escape.


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More to come.