Hey, I'm just grateful the stomach virus is gone. But I was troubled over the fact of my death, and decided to see if I might possibly still be alive. I wanted to live again just for a minute, so I could post the last of my old E1 documents.

But I was still dead; despite the efforts of N-Wing and others to revive me, all that was accomplished was a greater understanding of how dead I was. There would be no more pingouinodes. I tried to create life: there is now a "pingverdi" and a "pingverdi2", but they'll soon be put to sleep, due to a missing password gene. There is a "pingverdi3" on E1, but he's trapped in that Other Dimension.

But I'm back now. It was awful, having to boot Windows and suffer The Flakiest Internet Connection in the World just to see if, maybe, I could get things to work there - which was silly, since the problem most likely was at the server end. So I aggravated myself for no good reason, and further aggravated myself by (in Linux) making emacs crash - I was distracted by the E2 thing while absent-mindedly saving some text with pasted umlauts'n'stuff, and caused one of my occasional crashes. Lost 70K of HTML, plus there was no backup file to simply recover the loss; luckily, it wasn't much different from another file, so I could reconstruct it from that.

On a more serious note, there actually is someone dead: Grover Washington, Jr., a saxophonist. He died while doing a TV show somewhere; I don't have all the info. Grover was a Kenny G figure of the 70s, a purveyor of schlocky watered-down pop-jazz as part of Creed Taylor's stable, I think; the term fuzak may have been coined for the music he made. Many jazz-phobic households had one or two of Grover's LPs in its collection. He was actually pretty cool (for a sellout), with a decent jazz pedigree before stardom, and in the 80s, he began trying to show it off; I remember seeing him somewhere, making a surprise guest appearance - was it with Sonny Rollins? I don't remember now, because, while it was nice to see him playing straightahead-ish jazz, his playing was still somewhere between "Lightweight" and "Artistic Statement" - nothing memorable. But his efforts were appreciated, sort of a sign of "Help! I'm a prisoner of commercial success!" or something.

Maybe this should go in a Grover node. Some other time.

Grocery shopping: Smilk, greeting cards, a cookie tray, a pot so I can make soup. Tonight I am headed to Ringoes, NJ to the "Grinch Gathering" (that's a Christmas party). I need to pick up some hard cider. While I'm at the liquor store, I intend to get a few gift bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream (for the tonight's hosts and for my sisters and their husbands). I'll be sleeping over in Ringoes, so I don't have to worry about DUI and so I don't have the same 2-hour drive each way to play an RPG tomorrow.

today was a long rehearsal of the bach chorale. fun. bill was happy. he said, "wow, some of you actually took your music home and practiced it!" lessons and carols is tomorrow. fun.

kat2003 and i communicated via aim for a bit. boring conversation. now that she's broken up with a friend of mine (with an eventual goal of going out with me... i'm happy about that), we have nothing interesting to talk about. perplexing.

now rain is over. we compute and soon we'll watch a movie. it'd be nice if kat2003 would come over for the movie. if not, i'll probably not see her until wednesday, when i'll go over to her house to "study biology" (we might actually study biology; i'm not sure of her intentions. i know we will be exchanging christmas gifts, which are rather too private to stick under some tree).

the best christmas gifts are always found at big lots (or odd lots, as the case may be), or at a thrift store.

-=:|(later)|:=- well, she couldn't see the movie. my sister and rain and i saw true stories, a talking heads movie. it was exceptionally strange. i loved it. it would have been better if kat2003 was with me...
that brings up another point. her parents don't trust her at all. while i was inviting her to the movie tonight, she mentioned that her father had said that, if i go to her house, we're not going upstairs. this is, i suppose, a social norm, but Some Parents actually present it that way. her father pretty much explicitly says "i don't trust you." that really sucks. traumatic.

Read "Clinging to the Wreckage", John Mortimer's volume of autobiography. The description of his life from birth to and including WW2 is the best. Scorched by an unhappy love affair, he says he considered going to live in the country and writing the definitive history of Lord Byron's schooldays. This made me curious about what happened during Byron's schooldays that they deserve their own book (unfortunately a biography of Percy Shelley, which was the only contemporary reference book I had at hand, didn't say).

Last week read Patrick Redmond's novel "The Wishing Game", about some horrible events in an English boarding-school for boys in the 1950s. Noticed that the boys spoke in the language of the 1970s/80s, though; but then it's apparently the dude's 1st novel. A few months ago I read Angela Lambert's novel about some horrible events in an English boarding-school for girls in the 1950s, and the idiom was correct, but the story was dreary.

Hope I get socks and handkerchieves for Christmas, so I don't have to buy 'em myself.

Had some visitors over at my apartment for the first time. Got really embarassed over my total and complete lack of furniture. Went out for a walk on the riverbank with a friend, and watched a movie (Election - over-the-top, but worth it). Notable only because it's the first time that friends have visited me, rather than vice-versa.

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