Hmmm, being in Australia with it's way different timezone always makes it difficult to work out which daylog I should post in ...

Anyway, today is pretty cool - got a call from Triple J (this is the national youth-orientated radio station run by the ABC). Basically, they saw the article that appeared in The Age newspaper about the work that I, and team of students, did in replacing external consultants at my residential College. So in I walked for my pre-recorded interview where we talked for about half an hour about the IT facilities of the College, how we replaced the consultants, how we encourage students to participate etc. The whole time I spoke too fast, stumbled over my words, um'ed and aah'ed - sigh.

I certainly hope they can do some creative editing so that I don't sound so nervous! While I knew my material, I felt it was worse than a job interview - especially as the thought that anything I said (in particular mixing up the words) would be heard on national radio kept running through my head. With thoughts like that, there was no way I could sound calm and collected!!!

Anyway, if you're in Australia, tune into Triple J between from 9am onwards on Wednesday 28th to hear the interview if you're interested.

Added at 16:52: Well the interview sounded okay when it was broadcast. With a bit of editing, I sounded quite good in fact - except that I used the word 'Hey' more than was necessary :-)

futility in a minor
----- Original Message -----
To: m******@***.edu
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2001 2:10 PM
Subject: Flexibility?

Greetings Dr. ******,

My name is ***********. I was a student of *********'s at ********* High School from 1995-1997 and I'm writing this in hopes that you remember me; besides having judged my percussion ensemble on a few occasions, I also received a private lesson from you my junior year in high school on Elliot Carter's "March".

The reason I am writing concerns *** and its music degree program. I enrolled at the ******* and studied composition there as well as privately with ********* in ******** in 1997-1998. It was at that time I had to leave ******** as I started to be afflicted with several muscular and joint problems: carpal tunnel, cubitle tunnel, arthritis, tendonitis, and severe nerve damage. I tried to find flexibility within ********** but I was told that if I could no longer perform as a percussionist, unless I could sing at a college level then I would no longer be able to study there.

I have (over the last few years) spoken to several different universities and conservatories in the US and from almost all of them I have received the same answer: In order to attain a Bachelor's degree from the school of music you must meet the playing requirements, and those requirements are always extensive and severe. I agree that at the university level playing requirements should be rather tough, but in my position I'm desperate to find someone who will deal with me, at least a little.

I want to get a bachelor's degree in composition so that I can go on to grad school and get master's degrees in composition and conducting. My goal is to be a successful composer and if I am to take the university route, the path I have in mind seems the best way to facilitate a good grounding of education. I've been educating myself in theory, counterpoint, forms and music history for the last year or so, adding to the knowledge I had already attained in preparation for a possible return to music school. In six months I'll be ready to hand over a portfolio containing an academic four-part fugue, a sonata, a string quartet and a piece for large orchestra to any music school willing to help me get to a bachelor's degree.

As the head of the percussion department, I wanted to bring this to you and inquire as to what may be done about my situation at ***, or rather, what can I do to facilitate progress towards a degree in composition. I was once a decent percussionist but my medical situation has prevented me from advancing or even retaining that level of performance. I'm more than willing to take on more academic or composition work; I'm willing to take percussion lessons again but until my recent completion of physical therapy last year I was unable to perform even regular daily tasks, let alone play. I haven't played in a few years and while I'm confident it wouldn't take me long to get back to a certain degree of proficiency, I know I would most likely never be able to perform at the regularly expected level of proficiency of a percussion concentrate. The amount of time spent practicing for collegiate-level juries and lessons may prove too great and perhaps too damaging.

I will understand if the university is not flexible in this area but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.

******** ********

----- Original Message -----
From: "******** * ******" <******@***.edu>
To: "'**************
Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2001 2:31 PM
Subject: admissions

Greetings *******.

I do remember you from *******. I am very sorry to hear about your health issues. I have conferred with both the chairman and the head of our composition program here and unfortunately don't have very good news to share with you. As the other universities have communicated, we here at ***** also feel that playing an instrument to a certain degree of proficiency is an important part of the path to becoming a well rounded musician and eventually a composer. The severity of your injury makes it sound as though reaching that degree of proficiency would not be possible. If anything changes in the status of your health situation please re-contact us and I will try to help in any way I can. Until then, I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Dr. ******** ******

So, it seems the "guess who's coming to dinner" moment will arrive sometime around March if not sooner.

I talked with sis. Her boyfriend will be visiting from London in March. She hasn't told our parents about him yet. About the fact that he's black. We don't know how they're going to take it. He's also 10 years older and has a kid from a previous marriage.

In Armenian communities, like many small tight-nit ethnic communties, there is pressure to marry within the group. This pressure comes mostly from the older generation who are very concerned with the loss of culture, among many things. As everyone knows, this doesn't always work out. Many do marry an odar (definitions: stranger, foreigner, non-Armenian). It's not an uncommon event. But this could be different. And it will definitely be talk of the community when it gets out.

The two are very much in love. There is no other way to describe it. No other description or words are necessary.

And it's a beautiful thing.

And people will give crap about it.

And there will be many who will accept it.

So come next month a lot of things will be tested.

I'm expecting the best.


Update: it turns out it wasn't a marriage. just a relationship that went wrong for him.
to do my mailman yells at me. i check the box about once a month. i pay all my bills online -- they're mostly static payments for rent, car (only one more payment!!), insurance, student loan, etc. only a few are different each month. so the mailbox tends to get full really quickly. last summer, he told me to put a note in the box, specifying first class mail and periodicals only. being the lazy girl i am, i never did. a few times he's been at the mailbox as i come home from work. i make up lame excuses -- i travel a lot for work, yadda yadda. he's finally just stopped putting the crap mail in. he still yells at me when he sees me though.

i finally came home today to find cozmo still in his cage. the rigged crate lock worked. i like my dog again.
Got a gift at work. A silver box, on which was written "EVERY JOB IS A SELF-PORTRAIT OF THE PERSON WHO DID IT. AUTOGRAPH YOUR WORK WITH EXCELLENCE". Inside are a pen which says "INTEGRITY" and a pencil which says "CHARACTER". A fairly mindless corporate gift, but a nice gesture.
I went to my first nightclub last weekend. It was an interesting expierence, to say the least. The occasion was to celebrate my wife's best friend's birthday, and as such we had a full evening out.
It started off with dinner at a nice cajun restruant. We then traveled to a bar called the Pheonix, which has an excelent jazz pianist who plays on Saturday nights. After several hours there, I drove the party ( Yes, I was the designated driver. ) to a club called the Cabaret. It was interesting. You see, the cabaret is a 'family' establishment. I didn't have any problems in going, and would go again, and frankly I have to admit that many gay men dance a whole lot better than I do, that's for damn sure. I had one hell of a fun time, even being the only sober person in the entire place.
I spent most of the day looking forward to something I ended up not enjoying, only to fall asleep at Aaron’s house until just moments ago.

School dragged by, slow as ever. AP Art was slightly interesting, I suppose, seeing as how we were allowed to work almost completely uninterrupted. That is, after Mrs. Propst gave her usual half-hour lecture on nothing and everything. Each day these lectures are different, but every day they are meaningless and a waste of valuable studio time. For example, while I was painting, she decided to sit down behind me and carry on a monolog about the corruptness of society in concern to its attentiveness to physical beauty. I’m sure this one-sided conversation was rooted in the subject of my semester concentration, which happens to involve some personal crap, and yet I found myself slightly irritated at the disturbance in my work.

AP Stats was almost unbearable. Although I find null and alternative hypotheses beyond thrilling, I could not keep my eyes open long enough to follow through the process of finding the probability of a Type II Error. We got our quizzes back today as well, which I scored 100% on. That grade just doesn’t have the same thrill it used to posses; I remember when I used to get good grades and feel proud. Now I just feel like I could have done better.

Lunch consisted of a very demented bagel and several starburst candies. I found my brother in the hallway on my way to the lunch line (I was too cold to walk to my car and drive to Taco Bell). He told me to hold out my hand. I did. He filled it with a small pile of large while pills looking similar to asprin. He said to take care of them for him. I just put them in my pocket and hoped he wouldn’t notice when I flushed them at the first opportunity.

I spent most of the half hour sitting in the hall down by my locker in the science wing studying for our AP Psych test coming up fifth hour. I read over the volumes of notes and various other informational material until I felt full of knowledge to a higher degree. Bobby came and found me around five minutes before the bell rang. We sat in the hall and spoke of the memorable times back in the day in FST with Mrs. Bruns. Those were certainly miserable moments to last a lifetime.

The test went well. The essay was simple enough, asking for a description of Piaget’s Theory about cognitive development. We had had this drilled into our heads for a week, so it wasn’t very challenging. I think I got maybe two questions out of a million wrong. I feel like I do no work in this class, and yet I have the highest average out of all 115 students taking it. Studying consists of most the lunch hour before the test spent rereading notes. My homework is done during class right before we hand it in. I spend most the class gossiping with Big Norm, another buddy from the FST days. Whatever works, I guess.

I talked to my seventh hour teacher before the bell rang and explained that I needed to leave an hour and fifteen minutes before class actually ended. Being the reliable student I am, she didn’t even ask what for. I sat through announcements and the read aloud time, and then I was off to do what I had been looking forward to do all day.

I got over to Aaron’s house at about 1:30. We left for Tim’s about an hour later or so, which was a deviation from the original plan of spending a quiet afternoon together. Aaron had promised Tim he’d come over, but never thought of the fact that he has no car on this side of the state. So I drove all the way out to New Holland and then out past the highway when we caught up with the boys. I had never been to Tim’s house before, and I don’t think I’ll go again.

It was a mess. There were not only cats everywhere, but there was also a large, unclean, dreadlocked dog named Muffy in the basement who could not be touched because of her pains.She was a scary, buckis sight to see. I hate seeing animals in pain and uncared for, and that’s definitely what she was. I offered to give her a bath on the spot, even though I’ve never met he before. Tim said no, she couldn’t be touched without falling over.

One of the cats spent the entire time we were there with its bum in the air, meowing incessantly for someone or something to do her. I found it disgusting yet hilarious. We locked her in the other room, but we could still hear the piercing wails of a cat in heat.

Aaron and Tim played around with their musical things. I was left to sit amongst a group of strangers who had no interest in making me feel welcome. I sat in a living room filled with clothes, video games, a three foot tall hookah on the coffee table, and several overflowing ash trays. I was all alone except for two guys I’ve never seen before. When some questionable activity started, I decided to take off and leave Aaron to fend for himself. As I was walking out the door, a bunch of other people were walking in. I was glad to leave the madness behind, even if I had been looking forward to spending time with Aaron all day.

I went back to his house over on Lakewood and fell asleep until ten o’clock. I guess this must have been a sign that I need to sleep at night more often. Perhaps I will.

My car is filthy again. I just had it washed on Saturday in a fit of vanity. Granted, it was only the $4 express wash that left lots of dishwasher spots, but hell, it was still clean. Now it’s streaked with dirt. Keeping my car clean is an impossible task, I think. Things that don’t help include the fact that it’s white, the oak tree in the yard, and the bird that uses my driver’s side mirror as a perch. But at least it wasn’t like that idiot I saw on the way to work who wrote (in shoe polish? Grease pencil?) "For Sale" in big letters on his windshield. I can’t stand dirt obscuring my view, how the hell do you drive with your own phone number staring you in the face?

A dull day at work. Rehersal for Lysistrata afterwards. I got involved with this last week when we did a reading in class for kicks, and I got recruited for a role in the presentation for this week’s Classics Forum, or whatever they’re calling it. I must confess that I volunteered to read in class in hopes of precisely this happening. So now I’m the constable or the commissioner or the magistrate or however you want to translate that.

Doesn’t everyone want to be a star sometime in their life? I was always too shy and stricken with stage fright to manage anything more than Freddy Flouride in Grade 5. But getting in front of a classroom quickly cured my stage fright years ago, and my theatrical teaching style and my Abbie Hoffman like prank runs for student government president make me think that I have a frustrated actor hiding inside of me. Or at least an attention starved inner child. I’m wondering if now is the time to let whatever it is out.

We have no costumes, no sets, no chorus, and the scene is on Friday. Oh, joy. But we did the best we could. It’s being performed by a small (it’s me and three of them in the play), independent student theater troupe, so no assistance from the theater department, which can be notoriously territorial.

It’s been a while since I’ve hung out with actors. There was a time when I fancied myself a playwright, but the less said about that the better. I was reminded and humbled about how much talent and effort can go into acting. I was amazed at how quickly and skillfully Greg, the troupe’s leader and the one playing Lysistrata, went over the script, cutting and reworking lines, creating the blocking, instructing the three of us.

I have some natural talent, I suppose. For one, a loud, projecting voice I developed in the classroom. And years of closely reading literary texts makes it easier for me to instinctively grasp how to deliver a line, changing inflections and inserting dramatic pauses. Beyond that, I suck. I can’t remember my lines or and I keep forgetting the blocking. I probably can’t act worth a damn.

I’m not nervous so much as concerned. I have people depending on me, not to mention the opportunity I might have here. I will not fuck this up. I will not fuck this up. I will not fuck this up…
This is the year I'm going to give up soda for Lent. It's going to be great, I'm super excited. I've already been through my withdrawal stage when I was prostrate with food poisoning last week. I couldn't even keep water down, much less a carbonated beverage. I've worked myself back up to Diet Coke though and as I type this I'm sipping a 20 ounce of it, the last soda I will have until Easter (except on Sundays, because if you're Catholic, Sundays don't count in Lent, or at least I've been told this).

Kimonade and I have a bet going. I'm giving up soda, she's giving up talking about how much she needs sex all the time. I know that she'll cave before I do, and when she does, she buys me dinner at Carlos O'Kelley's. I can't wait until tomorrow night. :)

Today I decided that I'm incredibly too obsessed with the book I'm reading right now.
This may not seem like a big deal, but to me, it's important, there are a great number of books on my "Books that Rule" list (this is a real list, in one of my journals), and I've officially decided to add The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (by Tom Wolfe) to the list that includes books like Catch-22, Vurt, Pollen, Automated Alice, The Catcher in the Rye, and many other books that rule.
Anyhow, this is the first time I've ever added a book to the list before I even finished the book, but I feel that it deserves it. Unless something terrible happens, like Ken Kesey (the main person in the book) wakes up and it all was a big dream, I'll keep it on there.

I'd suggest the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test to anyone... anyone, read it.
There is a blanket of fog hanging low over the San Fernando Valley tonight. It reminds me of the skies in London and San Francisco that I love so much. There's been a great deal of rain here lately, but I don't mind. I imagine Los Angeles needs to wash herself of many, many sins. Perhaps the rain will help her with that.

I got my grad check in the mail today. In a mere four months, I will become a college graduate. It sure would be nice to know what I'm supposed to do next. Although I'm coming to terms with the fact that life is such a whirlwind that never seems to slow down, I'm still not very happy with it. I know we are always struggling to control our lives more...but mine feels so unstable. It has for a good three years now.

And that doesn't bother me as much as it seems to just annoy me like a paper cut would. I'm beginning to think there's no point in even having long term plans for anything at all, because too many burps in the grand scheme of things always seem to find their way to me. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they suck. In the end, I simply find myself at a place in my life that I never expected to be at.

I'm sure the fates find me hysterical.

Ah well, I'm having a decent amount of fun, I'm just constantly wondering what on earth comes next...

There's more to life than this...

So, maybe I'm not cured.

It happened again, even though I'm trying to distance myself from it at least a little bit.

It's funny too, things seemed to be going so well about 3 weeks ago. What destabalized things? What got me thinking that she was trying to push me away? I might not ever know, because it's too late to contemplate that... Things changed so quickly.

Now . . . I'm getting closer and clsoer to being with another person. It's tough for me to feel, let alone know how I feel about that person. I know how I feel about her, but . . the other I'm not sure about. And I *need* to make a choice. All I know is what I don't want.

Bjork kicks ass. Great to listen too after a week-long nin kick... BTW, bj0rk 0wnz j00

So my life's not falling apart. Yet. Work's going ok, life in general isn't going that bad... I need sleep. I gotta pee. And my contacts are so dry I can barely blink... Later e2.

I tried to explain what a slacker was yesterday to one of my co-workers after she commented on how prompt I am with completing my assignments. I told her it wasn’t true that I am really a very lazy person, a slacker, and that I was just good at pretending I was a good worker. She didn’t seem to buy the idea, which makes me wonder about my job security.

I don’t want to lose my job, or more precisely, when my contract ends I want it to be renewed. For 3 reasons:

1.
I’m making a whopping $1600 a month plus free lunches and other benefits (such as free office supplies, free mail {even DHL overnight to the sates}, free etc.)

2.
I want to continue to remain in Europe until my girlfriend, Kristi, finishes university

3.
I want to continue to remain in Europe because of the wonderful vacation opportunities (It’s a lot easier to fly to Morroco or Budapest or London or see the beaches of Greece, Amalfi Coast or Sardegnia from where I live and work in Torino).

So I’ve had a little job aniety lately, mostly because I’m only being praised for my efforts. It seems much too easy, like … I don’t know but I’m thinking of how Luke Skywalker must have felt in ESB when Yoda suprizes the shit out of him. I’m just waiting for the suprize …

____________________________________________________

In addition it started snowing yesterday and hasn't stopped yet. This is only the 3rd snow duing my stay here in Torino and it's the largest one yet. I wned out this morning armed with my Konika motorwinder and some black and white, but after 3 frames the camera froze. I rewond the film and luckilly I was only a block from my place, so I went back upstairs and grabbed the Minolta with the 35-135 lense and headed back out with a roll of 100 ASA Kodachrome slide film. Shot off a few caps on the way to work...

______________________________________________________

When dentists get a taste of their own medicine

My boss and I took out each other's wisdom tooth after the patients left this evening.

My upper right third molar had been causing pain over the last few days - it was sore to open my mouth, and painful while eating. I've been eating ice cream to soothe it. His wisdom tooth was also playing up and he is a grown man of 42!

Gee… if I hurt you, you'll get your revenge afterwards.
I'm not stupid, why do you think I went first!

So, I numbed him up. He chose not to have topical anaesthesia. The palatal injection hurt. And it caused his left eye to tear (apparently, a parasympathetic response to getting LA). We were discussing the anatomy of the posterior superior alveolar maxillary nerve, and the greater and lesser palatine nerves. This wisdom tooth popped out after a bit of fiddling with the Couplands elevator - single rooted.

He used two different types of topical anaesthesia on me: 10% lignocaine cream and 20% benzocaine gel. The injections hurt a little, and there was one area of gingiva that did not go numb. I guess it was because it was very inflamed. Tooth came out with a crack - he broke a root tip. There were 3 roots on my wisdom tooth. Oh joy - nobody's going to go hunting for that little root tip.

It was great because we exchanged techniques and we experienced it from the patient's perspective. The best fun I've had in awhile.

I'm going to keep that tooth with me all the time so that I'll always be technically fully dentate! I can't bear to be partially edentulous.

I had a rough day at work, didn't get much done - but my pc was fscked up, and after an hour on the phone with Gateway, the previous hour spent moving files to the network and reformatting the pc, I guess it's no wonder. My Cd-writer still doesn't work. Ack. Now I get to move everything back over.

And I was sad yesterday, which makes it difficult to get things done; after all, who cares? I finally left work and drove to the health club - it's taken me weeks to go back there. I hate exercise but of course, when I drag myself there, feel so much better after. It was supposed to be a Pilates class but the sub taught Power Yoga. Awesome. I did things I didn't think I could do! Balancing on one foot for minutes, stretching and stretching. Very cool. I felt very happy after, the little endorphins were apparently running all over my body.

I had spent almost the entire hour before talking - well, listening - on my cell phone with V., my OA sponsee. She's so depressed, it's difficult sometimes to not shake her and say "wake the fuck up! You can change!" Anyway - I just listened. She was very glad I called, so that was good. But the really good thing about it was that I spent an hour caring about some one else, forgetting my problems. And that was really helpful.

Today is my Birthday. I am 26 years old today.

I sometime feel I screwed up my life. I had several scholarships to college that I refused; I was not mature enough to go to college. I joined the US Navy instead, got married, then promptly divorced, all before age 20.

Is lif better now? Now that I am 26?

What do I want from life? I am (relatively) happy. I don't really want anything more than what I have.

I am 26, and I have no goals.

Anyway.

I got the cologne I like best from my wife, as well as a black shirt and black pants. No parties. She and I will go out sans kids on Friday.

God is in the details:
The faintest glow on the very edge of a single wing
Of a butterfly 
Powdery
Sweet and golden with sunshine

Or
The most subtle shade of green as it is seen
From a certain window
On a certain meadow
In a certain light

The incandescence of sand grains
Perfect as they are infinite
When you find but a few at the bottom of the bath
A reminder, sharp and sweet
Of beaches rolled on and sweat
That glided down a dappled flank and pooled
In a tawny navel

And the clouds
Heavy uncaring cold
Laden 
Bearing heavy days
I let them caress the top of my head and remember
God is
In the details.

Wow, I got my diploma today in the mail. Upon recommendation of the University Senate and approval of the Board of Trustees, the President of the University of Kentucky conferred on me the degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Wow, crazy, man. I actually finished classes in August 2000. As usual, I put off doing the paperwork to actually graduate until the very last day. So after getting home I wasn't totally sure I'd really graduated. I later got assurance from my advisor that everything looked ok. But I wasn't 100% sure until today. I thought I had like a $5 library fee, at least. Anyways, regardless of the disillusionment of college, I was surprised at how much getting that piece of paper affected me. Wow, I'm really done with school. After, what? 17 years of education? Now, if I could only get a real job...

Pay Day!

I have a little extra money now. Yay!

Yesterday, I went to the Japanese grocery store, and I picked up the Japanese translation of a novelization based on the screenplay of Die Hard: With a Vengeance.

It looks like it uses Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. It won't be fun to try to read, but it's good practice.

I've also grown fond of the little microwaveable vegetable stew w/ rice meals that store sells. They're good.

Lunch Log: KFC Twister Combo with a Pepsi.

The funeral was yesterday. I missed it because of all this damn snow blocking the roads. I'm sorry, Phil, I really am.

I've been living in a sort of blur since Saturday afternoon. I can barely talk coherently, but I can still do maths that make most people's hair stand on end. Funny how your mind works in these situations.

Everybody's been great about it, especially Barry and David. Problem is, it's not me that's got trouble, it's the people who were closer to him. I just hope to hell they've got friends as good as mine.

We'll miss ya, ya big ginger-haired freak.

when bellise left this morning, i heard her slam the door. it woke me up a little, so i remember. i think i heard her come back, and was in the process of drifting back off to sleep when she was slamming the door again. and she wouldn't stop! the whole damned house was shaking!

then i realized what was happening and that, though bellise is from california, it wasn't really her fault. (get it? fault?) i jumped out of bed and got into my doorway, watched sakimaro come out of her room, watched my computer shake around and hoped first for an avoidance of a system failure, second for an avoidance of fire. i don't think it lasted more than thirty seconds. but it was scary, and awesome. the house shook like it was on the greyhound going over the bad spots on i-5.

it stopped, and we all came into the living room. no one was too panicked, since we're all from places in the world where earthquakes are known to occur. we'd had our earthquake preparedness training in grade school, crawling under our desks when a certain bell sounded.

i think about my old grade school, how tiles would fall from the gym ceiling at random. for the first time, i'm glad they tore it down. i think about tacoma, and worry, because of all the old, tall buildings. we can hear the sirens, outside.

me and sakimaro go out to the car to listen to the radio (the power is out). it can't have been too serious, because they're playing music on most of the stations. as i flip through channels, we don't hear any emergency bulletins. we find news, and hear that it was a 6.5, the epicenter somewhere between yelm and tacoma. there are cracks in the streets of downtown olympia, and power and cell phones, as well as traffic signals, are out.

things settle down. bellise tries to call california, but, while the phones are still working, they're too busy for her to get through. she blames corporate america. my dad is able to call me from mount vernon, and he's ok. they even have power. i take a shower, eat some bread, and a little while later, the power is back on. we get through to school and find out that evergreen is closed for the day. bellise and sakimaro sit down to watch a movie, and i start up my baby, which - aside from the annoyance of scandisk - runs just fine.

sparky comes over and tells us about his experience, and that the epicenter was, specifically, 11 miles northeast of us and 30 miles down. schmoe calls and tells me about our (very distinguished) formal languages teacher running up the stairs of the lecture hall as shit fell off the ceiling.

i sit down to write this, before i forget.
earthquake today in the pacific northwest o' north america. it was apparently 7.0 and centred near Olympia. I like in vancouver, british columbia, and we felt it too. I was on the 27th floor of an office tower and my building was swaying quite a bit. I thought I was just having a relapse of my ear ache or the flu, but then I noticed that the papers on my desk were all shuffling around. wobble, wobble, wobble.

it was cool. I don't know that I want to spend a major earthquake in the top of an office tower, but I'm so all over minor earthquakes.

wobble wobble wobble.

it's ash wednesday. I never knew what ash wednesday was until this year. last night for shrove tuesday I had people over to eat apple pancakes. mmm. pancake eating is a good tradition. hats off to the english.

And, lo, the weekend hath come and gone once again... i know. it's wednesday, not monday, but oddly i feel like the week's only just begun. i was outlandishly sick on monday, and spent it playing video games and talking magic and politics with my brother, frater shinma (no relation to user shinma on e2), and captain mollie.

sadly, or perhaps not so sadly, last nite frater shinma had an accident which erased portions of his memory. i suppose he was overdue for a new perspective, but this seems like a hell of a way to have it happen. and so, i have been attempting to help him remember the little things. you know, "who is this kate person?" and "how do i usually dress?" it's rough, but he re-learns quickly. i'm just glad he remembered me...or at least that he remembered *someone* who could help.

take ye this...onion? prawn? bicycle cap?
now they were really stuck.
--Robyn Hitchcock; "Intro to Eyes"

4:51PM EST - Now that's just RUDE.

Today's the first day I'm actually DOING something on Spring Break. See, Spring Break (technically, Winter Break) began Monday here at Oakland U. This would pose no problems for me, were it not for a 5-page assignment due on Monday. This really isn't THAT bad of a problem, really... in all my other classes, nothing's due at least until Thursday, so I've only got one class to worry about. But, I digress.

Here I sit in the Kresge Library on OU's campus, looking up articles I can use for research material. Shamefully, our professor gave a rather sad requirement that only ONE of our sources can come from the internet (Which I plan on using technicalities to circumvent). This makes my topic, 'internet censorship', all that much harder to research for. This, incidentally, is the precise reason I failed RHT 160 LAST time, I chose a subject that wasn't 'mundane' and couldn't find proper research on it. But, again, I digress.

The Kresge Library computers are set up in a way that Netscape Navigator (No, not Communicator... just Navigator) is roughly the ONLY thing you can get into. This is because all the catalog info is stored in web format, through a myriad of scripts and HTML files. But, opening up Netscape allows people to go anywhere on the web (HTML-wise), and they don't have problems with that. That's cool.

The tricky part is that I kinda wanna get on macaroni, my Linux server, from here. This poses a problem, since I've set up macaroni to allow ssh and NOT telnet. And like I said, you can pretty much ONLY get to Navigator from here. The start menu is disabled; clicking start pulls up the shutdown menu. Explorer and Run... are completely dead. You can't get anywhere from here.

Well... out of technicality, you CAN use any Save as... or Open... window to get to a castrated Explorer. This would be nice if anyone bothered to install PuTTY or any other ssh client on these boxen (Windoze does not come with such luxuries). I always keep a copy stocked in my home directory, but I'd need to FTP in to get it. No anonymous FTP allowed to macaroni. I'd need the fully qualified username/password combo in the URL to make it work, and without the ability to clear the nav bar and history from Netscape (They killed those, too), I'd rather NOT let my password be avaliable to anyone who uses this box.

So, I say, that's rather rude.

Caffiene
Today was a day loaded with caffiene. I got plenty of sleep but I still managed to down two cups of coffee. I was shaking all over the place, but I got a lot of work done and was a great source of amusement for my co-workers.

Happiness and Confusion

I got two messages from Sara today. I am really feeling that we're getting closer, at least as friends if nothing else. It's a somewhat odd situation because I'm still repecting her wishes to not push our friendship into a relationship, but she's really giving me a lot of attention lately. She sent me two emails today like the one I got yesterday. She just writes me to see how I'm doing and to wish me a great day. It really cheers me up, but I'm not sure what to think about all of it. I guess I'll just play it safe and wait to get to know her more and see what happens.

Work

I did well on my Japanese quiz this morning. We spent most of the class going over what's going to be on our mid-term on monday. It's going to be a bit more work than I thought. I've got lots of studying to do. Work went by fast today. I had to do a lot of manual data conversion, which was kind of tedious and boring, but I kept it interesting by staying loaded with caffiene even though I wasn't tired. I burned 960 calories on the treadmill at the gym tonight. I've gone there for the past three nights now, so I should be getting back on track to losing some more weight.
This was a day I had not been looking forward to. Today was my last day as a contractor at Microsoft. They had given me a months notice, saying that they were slashing budgets and that I had been there the longest. Whatever...

I had spent the day preparing my lab station for the next person who was going to take my job, I noticed that there was an increasing lateral movement to my chair and to the desk. I looked over at the coffee pot which was sloshing around and realized "Hey guys, we're having an earthquake"

There was a look of alarm on my two coworker's faces as they heard me say this and they shot out the door before the S-waves started rolling in. Even though I had only experienced enough earthquakes to count on one hand, my first instinct was to dive under the desk which I shared with 5 test machines. I clamped on to the lips that were underneath the desk with both hands and feet and sat there hanging and swinging for the duration of the rolling while all the computers in the room were doing a dance from side to side. Suprisingly none of them fell over. After the rolling stopped, I walked outside to where the rest of building 26 was congregated and waited for about 20 minutes chatting it up with the rest of my team while we waited for the alarms to stop and get the word that it was safe to go back in.

With everyones nerves rattled, our manager decided that we should all go down to the Mongolian Grill in downtown Bellevue, for lunch and for a small going away party for me. The same footage of Pioneer Square and the South Dome area was in a loop with the newscasters on King5 reporting on the epicenter while the magnitude kept changing from 5.0, 5.6, 5.9, 6.3, 6.5, 6.4, 6.6, and finally the USGS reported it was a 6.9 down in Lacey, about 50 miles south of Redmond.

The coincidence of this happening on the last day of my assignment was just a bit too eerie...

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