Yesterday being Valentine's Day, I collected Gemma from her new job (well, I actually collected her a kilometre from her new job, as she was walking on the side of the road in the rain. I was concerned, but she was enjoying it, so that set a nice carefree mood for the evening..) and brought her home. We quickly changed and went out to find a restaurant in Manuka that had a spare table. Found one at Kopi Tiam, a funky and colourful Malaysian-Chinese 60-seater. Great meal:

Obviously, being in a relationship, I don't mind Valentine's Day. We never make a big deal out of it with spangly hearts and kilograms of candy, but we do try to make some fun out of it. It's not so bad as the other fake vacations through the year.



Okay, so I had a whole bunch of diagnostic tests and pathology done on my old sack o' bones a couple of weeks back. Almost everything in good working order, I'm happy to say. But what I have is a stack of paid invoices from the lab, almost $700 worth (!). In Australia we have universal healthcare with a federal government system called Medicare (introduced by the great Gough Whitlam in 1977.

Many Australians also choose to pay though the nose for private health insurance, to cover faster hospital surgery, private rooms, and alternative medicine. My partner and I are in this group, paying some $300/month for the privileges and top-level cover. We're told by our glorious Tory government that we're doing the right thing, and relieving the stress on the public system.

So off I trundled to the government Medicare office in the CBD this morning, to claim my rebate (varies, usually in the 70% area).

Medicare: "We're sorry, Sir, but you're not eligible for rebates on any of these tests, except the least expensive one"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Medicare repeats the statement
Me: "Why?"
Medicare: "Because you had them all done on the same day." Fait accompli.
Me: "So you're telling me that if I had one test done each day, necessitating almost a week off work rather than a single day, you'd pay up?"
Medicare: "Yes."

This frickin' country is governed by idiots. The sicker a patient is, the less rebate they get for their state-mandated taxation levy to Medicare. Conversely, more time off work, resulting in a less productive workplace and economy, is rewarded.

I walked out with $87.40, with thoughts of revenge on the conservative Minister for Health and Community Services.



Oh, Lometa's writeup below is beautiful, although it seems the Ching! rightfully belongs to Scott. %-) Good for you Lo', I'm really very happy for you.
Today is Valentine's day... the one day "items" get to shove their happiness in the face's of "singles" this is my poem for the day:

Some roses are red

Some violets are blue

Some people think only of themselves, this is true

Some roses are black

Some violets are dead

There are so many people who are messed up in the head

Some roses are long

Some violets are small

Some people don't care about anything at all

You think you are beautiful

You’re probably vain

You like to kill things

You're probably insane

Everyone is different; this is what I was taught

You think you are normal

You're probably not!

    Deb,
      I was watching a show about Valentine's Day after I came home from work and they were talking to couples about their first dates. This made me think about our first date and the other firsts in our lives. The first time I saw you at Bob's Big Boy and was immediately attracted and interested in you. The first time we worked together. Our first date. The first time we kissed. The first time I spent the night at you apartment. The first time we made love. Our first home together. I thought about how you looked so beautiful on our wedding day and how lucky I felt that you were marrying me. I thought about our first time at Disneyland. I thought about how our lives changed when the kids were born. Those are a lot of good firsts. Now here we are after 21 years of marriage and we haven't spoken to each other in 8 days because of some stupid fight we had. Although I am sure there will be arguments and angry moments in our lives, I will not ignore you for days at a time to prove I'm right. You have always encouraged me to better myself even though I may not have shown you total support when you were working to better yourself. I know your getting yourself in the best shape of your life was something you did for yourself but you also did it for me. I know I don't tell you "I love you" anywhere near as much as I should and I promise you will hear it much more. I will treat you with the honor and respect you deserve as the mother of my children and as my beautiful wife. You are and always will be the love of my life and I will cherish you for the many, many years we will still have together.

    Scott


Jesus said: .....love one another.
-John 13:34

Devotion

I had a bad photo shop encounter last night at Europhoto. I went in to pick up my 8 rolls of minxed 35mm film, aps and slide film and well there were a few problems... The 2 rolls of 35mm each had gunky blue splotches on all the prints! It was on the negatives too, runing a great series of shots of Blues harmonica legend James Cotton, that I shot from the fromt row in Milan a few months back, as well as some shots of Beck I had also shot at a concert in Milan. Well I was a little peeved and became more so when the store wouldn't take credit for having fucked up my film and instead shirked the blame and suggested the film was out of date, and/or had been attacked by x-rays when I brought it over from the US. I told them they had just lost a customer and I wasn't paying for the runined film. Then when I got the rest of it home and was looking at the slides I realized they miscut 6 prime slides I shot last month in London of MMW, so that each frame has 2/3 of one image and 1/3 of another... Now I was really pissed, because this proves their lab fucked up my shit. Miscutting slides is not due to x-rays or out-of-date film (which I know these rolls wern't... I've been shooting photos for 13 years or so and I've never bought out of date film in order to save a buck). Customer service just doensn't exist here in Italy. So now I need to find a new photo shop so I can have prints made from some slides for my upcoming show at Cafe des Artes in March. For which I made a flyer for that I'm very happy with. Had a great conversation with Kristi last night... she has her Italian exam today. We talked about open relationships and how she met a boy at the Ani Difranco concert last week and was afraid to tell me because I might get mad or jealous or something. I found a great new DAE app, called FastRip... had no problem extractig audio without jitter errors that I had previously had trouble with using ... oh I forget the other apps name...Cdex! that's the ticket! Also reinstalled Winamp and now it too is running smoothly... Today is another sunny mild morning here in Torino. Tonight I'm going to a sppech by Leonardo Chiariglione stopping in at the Cafeteria Vecchia Torino to show them their finished web-page and at Cafe des Artes to drop off a stack of flyers on them. Hopefully Khalil will have his phone on and we can get together as well.

14:07

Oookay...

I overslept again, it's only good thing that I don't have anything special today.

Last night... Well, I played Metal Gear Solid and I almost destroyed the Metal Gear. =) Gee, I suck...

I wonder why the soundtrack won't include all pieces of music? I'd love to hear the Zanzibar background music...

Well well, time to face the challenges of the day.

16:19

Reading e-mail - newest issue of Crypto-Gram came.

In it, Bruce Schneier tells that MailMarshal, some sort of e-mail virus scanner and censorware package, said that Crypto-Gram had been blocked, because the mail contained "inappropriate language".

(He had used the word "blow", and a couple of thousand words later, the word "job".)

Ah, censorware, how we love thee. =)

18:37

...I've totally lost my inspiration. And no one really seems to care of me. =(

"Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?"

22:56

depression

00:18

One thought-puzzle for you: Since you aren't able to see the rep of a writeup before you vote, how can you tell if your vote was recorded correctly?

I have been noding with Mozilla for some time, and I've always wondered if form submission works correctly in it...

Quantum voting?


Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: MNG Cloanto Personal Paint Boing electronic warfare MicroEmacs KoalaPaint ... and some bordering near twilight, to be mentioned tomorrow ...

Updated: Raven

I was finally dozing off to sleep last night, after being tortured for hours and hours - literally all day - with the pain and anguish I have been feeling over the loss of my love, my honeyman, my sweet oral eater -

yes, I know I broke up with him, I dumped him!!! So what the fuck does that have to do with anything?
Anyway - a knock came on my bedroom door. "Wake up!" More knocks. "Wake up!" More knocks. I was very grumpy at being disturbed, so got up and opened the door.

My son, Brad, had a beautiful long stemmed pink rose for me and a very mushy card. I read the card - it was something about putting my dreams on hold for his; something about his memories of my laughter; and something more about my being an inspiration for him. I gave him the biggest hug I could. I couldn't say anything about the card - my words just froze in my throat. I read it 3 more times today. Did he pick it cause it was the only one left? Or does he mean any of it at all?

Anyway - it really made my day. I've been feeling so lost and lonely for my love, even though this is the right thing to do, yada yada yada, who really gives a flying fuck, anyway? it just helped a lot.
I'm calling a truce. I know you hate me, and honestly, I'm not so fond of you at the moment either-- but shouldn't we handle this like grown ups?

You can accept it or not accept it, either way, I don't care.

But for god's sakes, I'm dating one of your good friends. Do you really expect me to say, "I'm sorry, I can't date you/I'm sorry, I can date you, but we can't hang out in public places together, because he doesn't like me"? I'm not going to do that. I have a life too; maybe it overlaps yours a little too much, but then, maybe you'll just have to get used to that. I'll do what I can to leave you well enough alone, but I hope that you can at least be civil to me in public. And please, stop telling all of your friends what a bad person I am; they can make their own judgements about me, why don't you let them? If I'm really that horrible, you have nothing to lose anyway; they'll see that for themselves and cut off contact.

So what is it? Yes or no? I'm publicly holding out the white flag in hopes that we can save ourselves a little more drama than is necessary. We're both adults... can we at least act like it?
This is my first Day log, so please bear with me. I have two little things to say:

First, I'm a newbie and having a bit of trouble dealing with what seems to me to be a contradiction in the two principle currents running through E2 in the form of its noders. I am, so far I guess, what you would call a factual noder. I am a scientist. I like mathematics. I like facts. This does not mean that I don't like art or literature, but my first love is of things scientific. So, when I found E2, a repository for everything, I thought I was in heaven. It's an eclectic collection of facts, thoughts, feelings and creativity.

Now, knowing more about the factual, I decided to dive in with both hands blazing, and contribute by adding definitions and descriptions of things which are missing from E2. And, in very short order, I got soft-linked to the fact spamming node. Now, perhaps I shouldn't take this personally, my first thought was: "If you don't want Everything2 to contain everything, then why pretend that that is it's raison d'être? I have since come to the realization/thought that what is in fact going on is that certain noders like the facts, while others like creativity, and there's a constant tension between them. Am I wrong?

I should, before going on to the second thing I have to say, also state that I think if you're going to soft-link (read: accuse) someone's node to the cut and paste node, you should bloody well be sure that it is a cut and paste job. I wrote a node which go treated in this way, which wouldn't bother me if it hadn't been for the fact that I wrote every word myself, and half of the information contained therein is from memory. So, if we're calling writing what I know a cut-and-paste job, I suggest the editors give me the ability to downvote myself.

Second, I had the first chance in months to spend some quiet time with my fiancée. We have a one year old son who is sick presently, and as all parents know, it has been really hard to find any time for ourselves. This problem has been compounded by the fact that my SO has recently begun a new job, and is working 60-70 hour weeks.

The reason I share this with you is I just wanted to say that I am one man who is immensely happy for St. Valentine's Day. In our cynical world, it is very fashionable to bitch and moan about how the 14th is horrible, a nefarious plot by horticulturists to impoverish my gender, a gyno-centric holiday and perhaps solely responsible for perpetuating the myth that men have the romantic intelligence and sensitivity of a slime mold. However, I can honestly say that without the excuse of St. Valentine's Day, we probably could have gone another week without really looking deeply into one another's eyes and saying, quietly, softly, sincerely: "I love you."

I am hurt,

You don't see it. Because I hide it. I don't tell you my feelings because you belittle them. I am the candle you are the cold.

I am burning with the desire to love you, yet the cold is not warmed. My wick burns down and the flame turns to a flicker. My wax is like my blood that flows away and hardens.

You blow cold against me, sometimes so hard I want fall over and go out. At times you blow a damp breeze, are those your tears? Are you hurting too. Tell me. Are you hurt. Why won't you open up to me.

I am hurt.

You found another to open up to. You share with the other what you don't share with me.

Should I feel this hurt?

Should I feel envy?

Should I feel resentment?

Should I feel jealous?

I don't know what I should feel, other than my love for you.

I hang on caring like a spiders web. I am useful for a purpose, but can be taken out with a swipe of your hand.

Do you feel jealous?

Do you feel resentment?

Do you feel envey?

Are you hurt?

I don't know please tell me.

The other is gone. Taken from you like a the image on your computer screen. You turn it off and it is gone. Did you really see it?

Did you touch it?

Did you feel it?

The image is still burned in the phosphorous screen, but it fades slowly. Like your memory of the other.

You do not want to let go, You were not done opening yet. Are you hurt? Why won't you open up to me?

I am hurt.

Today I would like to ponder the phenomenon of liking people who do not like you back.

Why does this always happen? Is it Fate's cruel way of keeping me and everyone else this happens to single and miserable?

I liked Him for nine months. I probably even loved him, I would have done anything for him. I don't think he ever fully felt the same way about me, even though we dated for a while. I would have given my right arm to have him for as long as I wanted. Very obviously, life doesn't work like this. I never got him back, only now do I realize that I don't want him.

After him I dated many guys. All of them found me attractive and liked me, but I could not feel the same way. Maybe it's because they actually liked me? It would have been too easy and perfect to like them back. One of them, Jamie, keeps calling me and asked me to be his Valentine. I had to resist urges to tell him to finally fuck off and hang up the phone and change my number. Another, Mike, is really nice so I didn't know how to break my lack of feelings to him. I took the easy way out and wrote him an e-mail, which I wouldn't recommend doing. He took the news well but I still regret not having the guts to actually talk to him about it.

Now I have a new boyfriend, Josh, who I really like. I thought he liked me. He said I was beautiful and said that I make him happy. I thought I had actually found someone who I could have a relationship with. But then he got sick and stopped returning my phone calls. And we had a really shitty Valentine's day. I don't even know if he considers me a girlfriend, and he won't be back for four days. I'm thinking that if I had never allowed myself to be interested, he would be interested in me. I hate how that works, I'm miserable and alone. He better like me or I'm going to cry, again.

Valentine’s Day: More hassle than it’s worth? Discuss. I’m not going to get into the details.

Fuck.

...

My leg has been better, as of late. I can walk without a limp on occasion now, and it hasn’t been keeping me awake at nights. Perhaps if things continue down this path, I will be able to return to long walks, runs, dancing, and bouncing like a fool before I go absolutely crazy from being unable to move any faster than a retarded turtle.

Until then, however, I plod.

...

On MANiC!, the webpage I share with darling Jessica, I posted a quote from a book called “The Hacker Ethic”, by Pekka Himanen. The quote was about finding meaning within one’s life and activities, and how meaningful ‘leisure’ is, is relative to the amount of passion you put into other parts of your life.

Someone posted a comment asking “honestly Jyro, where did your spirit go?” – ‘Jyro’ being one of the old nicks I used back in the bbs/warez/artscene/hacker/whatever days. It really got to me.

I couldn’t tell you why, either. I don’t really think I’ve lost my ‘spirit’, most of the time... I worry about it, though. I worry it’ll happen, or that it has happened and I just haven’t noticed yet.

Maybe other people see something I don’t.

...

Nothing more to say.

Yet Another Day at Work. A few issues this morning. Nothing trememdous.

After a few weeks of playing Shenmue, I have decided to start learning Japanese. I've printed out charts of the Hiragana and Katakana alphabets, and have been able to start writing simple words like "Wasabi", "Tokyo", and "Shoyu". I bought myself a "Learn Japanese NOW!" CD, and I'm having it shipped soon. We'll see how good it is.

Bought two more games for my Dreamcast last night. "Mortal Kombat Gold" and "Resident Evil 3". I'm a Mortal Kombat fan (as noders from the Whiz-Bang can attest to), so I had to add this game to my collection. It's pretty neat, though I'd say the graphics in the pre-rendered scenes could have been a lot better. Maybe even some character motion capture would have helped.

Lunch Log: Sushi Buffet. California Rolls, Crunch Rolls, Fried Rice, Spicy Chicken, Beef & Vegetables, and Miso.

I did almost no work at work today. Some how I got away with it. I talked about work with coworkers, I sent some e mails related to work. I sat at my desk and drank about 3 diet cokes and had wild rice for lunch. And I did no work. By the time 4:30 rolled around I was so wired on caffeine, I couldn't sit still any longer and left.

Now I'm at home. Still buzzing from the caffeine. Listening to Aimee Mann. I like listening to her music because her vocal range is about the same as mine even though her voice is so much sweeter. Atleast I can hit the notes without straining.

I'm really lonely right now. I have a great relationship with my boyfriend. And my brother and sister-in-law live about a half hour on the TTC. But I really wish I had actual girlfriends in the city. I just left my university town and the people I spent 4 years with. I'm in the big city now. At an adult job. And I'm finding it tough not having girls to chat with.

There are a few young women at work with me. But they all speak cantonese. And I don't. So about 80% of the conversation goes right over my head. And so even though everyone is friendly there, I feel like I never really have an honest conversation. I have to censor alot of what I say. I don't giggle much. Which is exhausting in a way.

Anyways, a couple of my friends from highschool are supposed to be visiting me next monday. And I'm really excited about it. It will be neat for my boyfriend to get to know them. And he's invited a friend of his to come over so that will be cool.

So this node is about a day spent looking at possible java applets, reading slashdot, reading nodes, sending and receiving e mail, using chatterbox for the first time and a few people responding.(!!thankyou!!) Just basically drifting through time thinking about things willy nilly for over seven and a half hours and realising once its over that I should really SAY something - out loud, just as i see it. What a concept!

"Hey you in the elevator with the smelly dog, did you knit that doggy sweater yourself? How do his little doggy boots stay on?"

"Hey there lady ahead of me in the grocery line. Are you on some kind of crazy yellow food diet? Is that why you bought eggs, bananas, cheerios and butterscotch pudding cups?"

"Hey there guy! Cool jacket!"

etc....

But the interior monologue continues despite this revelation. I've almost always been quiet. There have been a few times in my life when I get on a roll and feel invincible. But right now I'm lucky if I can break out my conditioning on a night out with friends. I sure hope I can next week.

Today I was rejected for a house. I offered $157K, he countered with $162K, and I came back with $160K, figuring to split the difference.

He apparently doesn't want to negotiate beyond his $162K. (the listing price) Now I have to decide. Do I walk away from this house, disgusted at his lack of willingness to negotiate, or do I swallow my pride, and pay the $162K tomorrow?

Guess I ought to sleep on it.

Most of the work day today was spent on meta-work and such. We had two meetings today, both of which didn't really do anything for anybody. I wasn't feeling all that great today. I was doing ok until a co-worker mentioned Sara and then I got thinking about her again. I checked my email and I still had no reply for the gift I sent her yesterday. I guess I was being impatient. I kind of felt down about not hearing from her yet.

I got home and cleaned up my apartment some and then took a nap rather than going to the gym. Still no word from Sara. I was getting depressed. I hoped that I didn't freak her out by putting so much effort into the gift.

At around 10pm, I checked my mail and saw a message in my inbox from Sara. I paused. I read. My excitement grew. She was happy with the gift and said that nobody has ever paid her a bigger compliment. She wrote me a long letter telling me more exactly how she feels and things. It made my day. I'm very happy. I even got a bit of a lump in my throat after reading her message. I'm so glad that I made her feel good.

That's about it for today. I'll keep this short, as it's getting late and I'm probably going to have a good day tomorrow so I might as well be well rested.

(Reverend Powers, "My first wedding": a prelude)
A quick stop at Kinko's to get the ceremony script printed, then it's Route 3 West, to GSP South, to Cranford. At 6:30, I meet Charles and Jean Anne at their house (actually, her parents' house). Charles and I pack 30 bottles of mead (for the toast) into the trunk, and drive over to the KoC hall where the ceremony and reception are to be held. The rest of the wedding party arrives shortly thereafter. Apparently the sleazy doings of the bachelor party at the strip club bothered me more than it did Jean Anne; although, I recall my first fiance displayed the same acerbic wit for public consumption when I did something that displeased her. I hope the same contempt doesn't attend their private moments.

On the last New Hope outing, I first met Jean Anne's long-time friend Michelle. Blue eyes are normally a minus in my reckoning, but she wears them well. Now she is the maid of honor. I hesitate to read too much into her gaze when I look up and find her watching me.

Cris has loaned me her graduation gown, since I have no ministerial garb of my own. She and I are the same height - perfect fit. I won't match the medieval theme, but hey, I'm doing this as a freebie, after all! It's been a very long time since I've done any sort of public speaking, but I find I project well, and take appropriate pauses to breathe. There is a handfasting aspect, and we decide on the spot that the six cords shall be presented by the six bridesmaids and ushers, each in turn.

We laugh, we sing, we joke about the script. "Will you leave your dirty socks lying around?" "I may." "Is that your intent?" "Maybe... MAYBE..!" "Will you cause him pain?" "YES!" "Is that your intent?" ...a magic moment, they look into each other's eyes, and all levity is set aside... "No." The actual script makes up in beautifully honest sentiment, what it lacks in religiosity: no mention of Jesus or even God, yet deeply infused with passion and spirit. I pray I fulfill my role smoothly when we do it all again, "for real", on Saturday.

Mr 6-canals came by today. I know that in medicine they try not to refer to patients by their disease, but it is honestly the best descriptor when trying to tell a story. And besides it does not break patient confidentiality when talking amongst colleagues.

Back to Mr 6-canals. He had just been endowed with the status of a minor celebrity when the specialist endodontist found 6 root canals in his lower first molar tooth. Usually there are only 3 canals and occasionally 4 ^&#*#^%%$ canals. The endodontist wrote back to me that he had never heard of a case of 6 canals and was going to publish this case in the some Journal of Endodontics. Gee - as the referring dentist, I felt good!

The specialist took lots of photos and radiographs, and I'm sure several of his colleagues also popped in to "have a look" - just as several of my colleagues did. He returned to me to have the definitive coronal restoration placed on the tooth (after root canal treatment).

Though the patient did complain that he spent a lot of money on just this one tooth ($1900 was the specialist fee) and wasn't given a discount on the account of his special case. Oh well. I guess I would've done it for almost nothing if I really did find the 6 canals myself…

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