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I also have a birthday, I am 26.

10:10 BST

3 hours sleep after a long day yesterday was not a good idea; I will be having a series of visitors today. They will, of course, arrive at times specifically designed to prevent me napping between them. This means that by the time my Mother arrives at maybe 6pm, I will be cranky and evil and unappreciative of any presents I will receive. Although, in fact, I am typing this on one birthday present: A Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro (It is curvy with extra blue buttons and a really good feel to it).

I must take this opportunity to thank you* for the birthday presents. You've made this the best birthday ever, and I mean that. I also loved the flowers, they smelt lovely and made me giggle and grin like a young child at Christmas.

* - No, not you, I meant Katyana

The British weather has also given me a present; The sky outside is a clear unblemished blue and the garden looks like someone has sieved icing sugar over the lawn. Looking outside just now has improved my mood no end, somehow the bright sun and cold autumn's day is saying "Go Ahead and relax today, nothing is really going to go wrong".

14:15 BST

Oops, Mother arrived at 12:30 bringing:

Then, after just a couple of minutes, Andy from work turned up and had a cup of tea with us. (I am off work recuperating from an operation, dear reader) Andy had lots of work gossip to impart and some good news: Two people who I used to work with are in town tonight and I have been invited out with them! yay!

So, an all round good birthday and it's only half past 2!

18:20 BST

Mark got me a beanie tux penguin, the clangers was on TV and I am about to go out for a curry. Yea, truly this is the best birthday ever!

Well, its thursday. Here at Cornell thursdays can be a bad thing. Tuesdays and Thursdays are prelim days. Prelims are basically midterms, except you usually have 2 or three of them in a class. I can't wait. I have a prelim tonight, and i haven't started studying yet. Oh well, maybe i'll study later, gotta node!

Lets see, i've got lab for my chem 215 class today. That is usually interesting. Sure, its three hours and everything, but the TA's that run it are pretty cool. If only i could stop breaking things... oh well.

Tonight is movie night at RPCC. Anyone in the vicinity of Cornell's north campus can come out to watch Pulp Fiction. I plan on watching this movie after my prelim, if i'm still breathing.
Today our family dog, a Siberian Husky named Tumbleweed, died in the back yard. He was just laying down, kind of stretched out. I think his death must have been peaceful.

Bought Laughter, by some Frenchman named Henri Bergson. It's an book-length essay on the meaning of the comic. Interesting stuff. He postulates that laughter cannot be seperated from intelligence, and that emotion is the enemy of humor. I couldn't afford it, really, but I bought it anyway, because it was one of those things I thought I needed.

I had a workshop today for my Creative Writing class, which made me feel good that people were actually liking/understanding my work. My fiction is generally funny, at least I like to think so.

One of my classes was cancelled today, so that means when I come back on next monday, it will be over a week since I've attended that class. I don't feel bad. I'm this close to burn out.

I have to finish a take home mid-term tonight, sux.

I didn't do a Day Log yesterday because I don't know exactly what happened. I hung out with the other woman in my life, and it was intense, just the emotions between us, and I haven't felt this connected to anyone in a long time. I know I love them both now, and I'm so lonely down here. If I hadn't continuted my schooling, I would be with my girlfriend. But I did. :-(

I registered for my Spring 2001 courses, I have my last two English courses. I also just finished playing about 2 hours of Unreal Tournament. It felt good to simply sit back for a little bit. I also watched The Daily Show and Battlebots. It's a gay friend of mine's birthday, he's 17. I couldn't get him anything. Though I don't feel as bad as I did for my girlfriend's birthday, for which I felt horrible, and I think I should get her something just because.

Right now, I'm drinking alchohol for the first time over a year. Whiskey and Coke. It's not bad, but not good, either. I wonder how people can drink this stuff regularly, I mean Coke is just so nasty.

That was a joke.

I "forgot to eat" today. That's OK, I remembered later, then I ate too much. Ugh.

Y/T

Woke up terribly late, again, (2:30 P.M.) Called Andreea and told her about the wierd Dream I had. She laughed at it and told me about the box of "our" stuff I sent her and how much it means to her...

I didn't get to add it to my log last night, but I decided to go ahead with the tattoo. I went for the simple 'Haqq' letter, you can see it at http://www.secretchiefs3.com/artwork.html, it's the one at the top. The symbol means truth, but I also like it because of its grace and balance. Certainly things I want to reestablish in my life.

I spent some time outside, by the pool, taking in the first cool breezes of the fall... This is the only time of the year that this city is beautiful. Around five I'm finished with my Faust entry and decide to go work out, managing to do 3 reps of 10 at 170 on the bench. My arms are killing me though. On the way back I pick up some food, but pause before getting in my car to drive home.
Something was off about the sunset, it was beautiful in a terribly surreal way. The dark blue of the oncoming night was mingling with the orange-red of the setting sun, and there was a hue of green in the middle. It ought to be said that the Mobile sky is orange from the pollution, giving the moon a tint.

Tomorrow will be Friday, I've got four days to finish my layout assignment. Again, I'm stuck working with someone who expects me to do things I don't work this. The page I'm doing will eventually interact with some ASP, "So you can make the words green when they come in the box, right?" - "I'm sorry, sir, but that's completely server dependent. If you tell the guys who do your code, it shouldn't be a problem for them to do it." - "Oh," he says, in the same tone of voice you would expect from a girl being told that you can't get it up. "Oh. Well that's alright." Unknowing Bastard. Good thing it's only a contract job.

My friend blushes as she describes how her father proudly recounted to their whole family how the handful of nuts (a dozen or so, no more) he'd brought home and was eating had been painstakingly recovered from the paws of squirrels he had stalked and chased down.

And as to precisely why he was stealing nutmeat from hungry rodents as the cold season approached as opposed to, say, picking nuts himself? Well, he laughingly justified to his fuming wife, surely the squirrels would know which nuts were the good ones.

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...

a lot of misdirected hostility in the universe this morning, or at least i'd hope it's misdirected or someone hates me with a fiery passion. i went to bed around midnight some time, possibly 12:30am. not unusual. however, it is now 5am, and i've been up since about.. 2:30/3am. feverish again, why oh why. i suppose i shall just sit here and stare at things until i pass out or something.

want arms to cuddle up in so badly..

well, i'm happy despite this inherently evil illness that i wish i could shake already. i'm a little out of it though, i'm afraid. i asked my mom to pick up some cold medicine but she always tends to find reasons not to, says they don't work, etc., etc.. so she'll probably come back with nothing. oh well. i will just keep taking my tylenol and staring off into space.. possibly catch a few z's sitting here in this chair. (update: she got dristan. may cause excitability or drowsiness. oh woe.)

the sun is out.. it's beautiful. i wish i had more of a head about me so that i could fully appreciate it. i can't remember if i even had any good dreams last night. so little sleep i don't see how i possibly could have..

i am not looking foward to the missing in the slightest. time is just creeping by so achingly slowly as of late, i wish it would stop that already. i am holding but it's so hard..

a leetle smooch for you.. right,
well, you know where.

7:00 a.m. It's early, I can't stop yawning.
The sunrise was beautiful this morning. A pink sky almost blanketed by gray cumulus clouds. The sun hidden but its rays sneaking past, highlighting the edges of the clouds in a bright yellow.
Even with this lovely scene, I am frustrated. So much to do, some many deadlines. I can't seem to get anything accomplished. Here comes another yawn. Maybe I'll get some sleep during the Thanksgiving holiday.
9:30 a.m. I just accepted a tutoring job helping a deaf man in my advanced GIS class. I've done this for free for him before but now he's found a way for the university to pay me. It's great to be paid and the extra work will help me in my own learning. This is a good thing.
5:30 p.m. Went in to sign my papers so I could tutor and was turned down. I am unable to work more than twenty hours a week at the university even though it'd be beneficial to both Danny and me. The poor guy. GIS is hard enough to learn without a handicap.
Received a mixtape today from spacklequeen. And other goodies. I am listening to it now instead of preparing for my radio show. It's wonderful to have new music. Thank you!

15:17

Well, didn't had a that great morning.

I had an interesting dream, and remembered a lot of it when I woke up. Then I fell asleep again. And forgot the dream, of course. Hmph.

Well well.

Last night I set up my web camera Coolly (it now actually displays me from a better position - connected via VCR). I had severe "Am I really that fat and odd?" feelings, until I realized that xawtv grabs have incorrect aspect ratio... =)

And I updated the YiffCam™ software so that it grabs the image as pnm, then adds the stuff to the image, and blasts it to the user as JPEG. This way, the image quality ***SOARS***.

Or, at least, in theory. Gd library messes up (technically speaking, dithers) the image palette... I've got to use ImageMagick instead for all this crap.

Also, the only format Gd library and bttvgrab can understand is JPEG... so I need to use ImageMagick anyway in the middle to convert the image to PNG in the middle and load it with newFromPngData() (or whatever it's called).

19:25

Again, some blackout of the Net. Meanwhile, I hacked the YiffCam™ to work with ImageMagick. Or, at least mosly. PerlMagick module doesn't have much documentation, and the SilkScreen font wasn't here yet.

20:51

OK, now YiffCam™ uses only ImageMagick. Regrettably, font rendering doesn't work the way it's supposed to work... Damn!

And of course ImageMagick doesn't have GIMP's "Video" plugin capabilities...

21:44

OK, now I have the Microsoft core fonts working in Mozilla. A random observation: Scrolling through a LONG font list in Mozilla preferences dialog is, hm, pain...

...hey, now I, too, can see all of the k3wl h0me s1tez that use Comic Sans MS in full "glory"! =)

"Humor Without", indeed. =)


Other day logs o' mine...

Had to present a business plan today. But got shot down very badly. Urgh. Anyway, I read a nice article from Esther Dyson today, something about Regulation as basis for web portal business plan or thereabout.

I was looking for the article on Esther's site edventure.com but for some reason, I can't find it there. However, luckily I found a copy of that article on thestar.com.my an online version of our local tabloid newspaper.

Jeez, there are a lot of birthdays today. I guess that is inevidable with 20,000 users we are bound to have days where people have birthdays. Happy birthday to all involved.

Today is day 9975 since being born. No major event today, but I am still looking forward to hitting 5 digits. Now there's a big event. :) Today is also day 60 of wearing this neck collar as a result of my adventures... hopefully I only have one more month to go.

Today is judgement day. Well, not really, but it sounds cool. For the past two and a half weeks I have been doing discovery and requirements analysis with this company down in Sacramento. I'm an outside consultant, and they hired me because I have Java experience. A lot of Java experience actually. I've been paying with Java since it's initial adoption by Netscape in 1995/1996. Anyway, today we start evaluating a product to see if it fits the needs of the various groups in the company as laid out by our analysis. I'm not sure that the software will do it, but I'm gonna try to keep an open mind.

Today is also my last full day here in California. Tomorrow I leave for home shortly after lunch. I love coming home; without a doubt it's the best part of leaving... I might just have to node that thought actually...

Coming home from the spaghetti factory last night, there was a woman with a cat in a box on the skytrain. Cats aren't allowed on the skytrain, but no one was sneezing or complaining. The poor lady got the worst part of the deal - everyone was trying to talk to her cat, or touch it. A group of drunken teenage girls started a meowing chorus from the back seats. The cat, inspired, starts meowing back, and pokes his nose through the holes in the cardboard SPCA carry-box.

It's a JAMCRACKER! This woman is clearly on her way home, not from surrey, but from jessicapierce's castle in spain, where she has stolen a cloned jamcracker from jessica's secret labs!

But it's true what they say: jessicapierce's jamcracker is cuter than hers.

Today is sureal. I just wrote about a key for gods sake.. maybe #everything will help.

No, they're being generally sureal today also.

Maybe it's the weather
maybe it's the frogs running the government from far underground.

it doesnt matter, the sky is green and today is another night to walk under the pale glow of the pickle.

-doug

Happy Birthday to those who have Birthdays to you (notably slim and dizzy if no one else).

I sit here at the library computer lab once again. I've just finished my CISY (Computer Information Systems class. It is 9:48 AM. I have a French class at noon and I did not do the homework yesterday...ugh. Well I'm gonna do it now. In addition, I have a Biology quiz that I'm studying for now (I'm actually typing up some of the key terms here.

Guess what? She's here again, but she's sitting a bit farther this time:

The Computer Lab:

|  |   |  |   |  |   |  |
              her
|  |   |  |   |  |   |  |

|  |   |  |   |  |   |  |

|  |   |  |   |  |   |  |
        me
Hehe. I'm pathetic. BTW, I noticed how stalker was linked on my last daylog. I find that rather humourous. Anyways, the myst today is incredible. When I left home this morning, it felt like I was in some Fantasy book (possibly The Mists of Avalon, although I've never read the book, only seen the cover). It was nice, as if witches secluded in those giant clouds were brewing chaos.

Ah...she left. Bolted right out the door.

Time for me to go back to work...

I enter today in a student party. Lots of arty, Cambridge types being cool and sophisticated -- and very dull. If you've heard about one mind-broadening trip to a spiritually-rich, economically-poor country you've heard them all. By 2am I realise there are no women worth hanging around for here and headed off home.

What I had planned to do; what I should have done was to take an early night and read up on LDAP and JNDI for work where I would have to talk about what is was, how it worked, what use it was for us, etc.

Bollocks. Instead, I heaved my weary gene-vehicle out of bed at the evil hour of 8:30am just in time to receive a haranguing from my slightly obssessive landlady. Over my Shreddies, she explained that since I left the kitchen door unlocked, any potential thief that chose to ignore the illumination in the main room, smash their way through the locked side-gate and then the locked conservatory door was free to burgle the place without us being insured. Consequently, if it happened again I would be sent packing.

Cheers. My response was simple; I agreed, empathised, soothed -- a then e-mailed my friend to ask if he was till looking for a housemate. It's not just the locks (I have to unlock/lock 7 locks before I can cycle to work in the morning) but the switching stuff off at the plug (even kettles?) and general control-freakery. Sod it, I'm off.

The talk was a nightmare. My colleagues asked me questions I was ill-equipped to answer (as explained by previous events) and I bluffed and read my way through an hour plus one eternity before just running out of steam at which point I just gave up and started eating chocolate instead.

I am so tired.

I took my French grammar test today, all about direct and indirect pronouns and imperative forms and whatnot. Don’t know how well I did on that one. The prof always tries to trick us on most of them, and she usually succeeds. I hate it when teachers are dirty.

We now have that cable internet connection deal. Over the years I have gotten so accustomed to twiddling my thumbs for the several seconds (occasionally several minutes) it would take to load a page, so it’s weird to get immediate results after clicking on something. I don’t know what to do with myself; there’s no down time. I’m not sure if I can ever get used to this.

Got my A.P. Stats quiz back today -- completely bombed it. That’s what I get for procrastinating. Maybe I’m just lazy. Yeah, that’s most likely the problem. I used to have no problem getting straight A’s, but this year it’s a pain in the ass. And I refuse to lower my expectations. But I did ace my A.P. Psychology test, also handed back today. But it’s hard to be satisfied with one thing when you know you fucked up on another. It’s that whole all or none idea. I have more distorted thoughts than anyone else my age, I swear.

In psych class today, we actually did something other than take notes. We had to put a blindfold on and walk down to the gym with only the directions of our partner to guide us. Big Norm was my partner, as always. He was doing this dancing/sideways thing as he walked through the halls, embarrassing me to no end and having all the fun in the world while doing it. As long as you’re free. When it was my turn to wear the blindfold, he led me through the cafeteria, where I not only managed to stick my hands in some mashed potatoes and trip over several garbage cans, but someone threw stuff at me. If people were really that mean to blind people, what would our world come to?

And now I must get some work done.

Went for training at the museum on Tuesday, Japanese class yesterday. Didn't get to stay over in Berkeley/Oakland because Mom is sick. Got home at 11 p. m., didn't go to sleep till 2:something a. m. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Sometimes I just don't want to go to sleep. (Actually, that should be "usually, I don't want to." Sigh.)

I'd like to work the VIP reception tonight for the Forbidden City exhibit, but somehow I doubt we new hires are involved in. It's an interesting new environment.

My (re-)application to UC Berkeley is hanging over my head. I need to get it done soon, both to maximize my chances of getting in and so my intellectual and emotional energy are free for myself, my loved ones, and my ideas to make some spending money. Really, the Bay Area is a good place to live in if you're short of spending money in some ways, because there are so many free entertainments, but at the same time...all these restaurants, events, bookstores, etc. I don't plan to do a lot, but I would like to be able to buy a book occasionally, go out to dinner every other week or so, go to a movie once a month, and buy a used CD once in a while. My salary isn't going to cover that. In fact, since I found out my position doesn't include insurance (technically, I'm temporary), if I want to buy health insurance in addition to my other fixed expenses, I won't have anything left over.

I'm fine, really. I don't mean to poormouth. I'm just...stressed. However, happy birthday to the above (I seem to know an inordinate number of September and October babies), and hugs to Starrynight.
Turned out to be totally f%&cked-up day day today. Don't want to turn this into a GTKY node so, suffice to say - senior managers are a pack of cry babies, and their childish behavior in meetings makes me cringe. There - enough said.

After my harrowing experience I aluded to above, I left work at around 3 to go out to the cafe and chill out. I had stuff spinning around in my head that I decided wasn't worth pondering, so just switched off, and enjoyed a coffee.

Have you ever just sat back and observed? From time to time, in order to relax and forget the world, I put my mind in neutral and just watch. I try to see the world as others must see it. Things that are familiar and common to my life (because I own them, or see them every day, or mainly because I take them for granted) I see with new clarity. You imagine what these things must look like to others, and in them you can see their beauty, or minor flaws that you hadn't been aware of previously.

Take for example something as mundane as a glass of beer. Look closer (not too close or your nose will get wet). Look deep into the glass at the bubbles. What makes those bubbles keep appearing? Why is it that particular shade of gold or brown? Who made it? What are their lives like? Probably a bad example, but practice this, then turn this power on to other objects, then eventually on to people and observe them. Finally, when you are ready, turn it on yourself. Observe what you do, who you are. How happy are you?

I watched a movie on the telly last night. It was called something like "Tuesdays With Morrie" or words to that effect. One of the most thought provoking stories I've seen in a while. It is about an old man who is dying of some terrible disease, and he knows that he only has a short time to say goodbye to everyone. During this time he imparts his wisdom to a guy on birth, life, death, and living the bits in between. Some of the more pertinent thoughts I took from it were:

  • Tell everyone you love them
  • Forgive everyone immediately, every day
  • Ask yourself "Am I doing what I want to be doing?"
  • "Am I the person I want to be?"
  • "Am I who I want to be remembered as when I die?"
  • Basically treat each day as if it is your last, because if it is, there will be so many things left undone that you, or those you leave behind, will regret.
The movie reminded me a bit of that "song" called Sunscreen, where that guy babbles on with pearls of wisdom (originally written by some doctor).

I highly recommend you have a look at this movie, or read the book. It'll give you insights into your own life, and start you thinking as I have.

*Sigh*...Well, today hasn't been the greatest of days, to put it mildly.

The day started out pretty well, nothing out of the ordinary happened, till I went over to my friend's house to visit. We both decided we would go over to this other woman's house for coffee, and a chat. Finally, after the two of us arguing over whos car we're going to take, we decided to walk. Anyway, as we walk through her gates, a car pulls off, and this guy sticks his arm out of his window, and aims a gun at me. Ofcourse, as shock kicks in, I ran straight into the house, where I found my friend Jennie, and her daughter, and son all crying. I asked what happened, and she told me they had just had an armed robbery, only she kicked them out before they got a chance to hurt anybody.

Worst thing was, just down the road, we heard the gun going off, and apparently they shot some person walking by. THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ME!!!!!

Anyway, im thankful that they are all okay, and nobody was hurt. They stole her hand bag, but atleast that was all they got away with.

I hope tomorrow isn't quite so... ummm... nerve wrecking.

Portland:
Still alone, still surrounded somehow by friends. How long can this luck last? The town seems so accessable, better than i imagined, and my first host, sprung upon and early woke, is generous, knowledgable, funny and kin(d). I can feel a new phase starting and remember how much i changed in my Bard phase, how much in the post-Bard phase (hardened? opened? i can't tell you how, just how much..), and wonder what will emerge here.

I wonder if all the things i believe vehemently are immature, and if that invalidates them. Contantly - is this valid? is this worth professing? will i still want to defend this when i hear it slung back at me? How can i even begin to know how to answer my own questions, but i know it's important to belive something, and know that odds are, i'm wrong.

I gave to you, now you give to me
I'd like to know what you've learned

I'm inventing a life and hoping it's possible to live, worth living. I wonder if i'll ever feel native to anywhere. I feel most at home on E2 (when things are good) or with my best friends, but still i'm an immigrant, self-conscious, a newcomer to each.

Noplace to belong, but i think i can get along anywhere. I hope.

I'm thankful.

I can pick up moJoe. He's not so big.

Went to the Vancouver Art Gallery with Shaynetonio, there was an impressionist exhibit. Saw paintings by Degas, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, Renoir etc.

Fun thing to do at an art gallery: bring some tubes of paint in with you. Smear the paint all over your fingers and make sure the guards can see them while you leave.

Also, briefly watched Dark Angel being filmed.

Ate at White Spot. Banal banal banal
When I left school, I only expected to know two people on my uni course - Euan, who had been in a couple of my classes, and Geoff, from a year below me, whose main claim to fame was falling down a stairwell and splitting his head open at a drama production a couple of years previously.

But, one night at The Hive (the GUU's nightclub), I spotted a familiar face. Somewhat surprisingly, she was at matriculation too. When I saw her there, I asked what course she was on - and it was the same as me.

Who? Rhona, who I'd first met last June at this thing called the Engineering Education Scheme. (teams from schools get proper engineering problems from real engineering firms, have to find a solution, spend a week at a nearby uni to do so). The first thing we'd been to was at the University of Strathclyde, and it was basically an about-the-scheme thingy, with the added advantage of an afternoon off school. And then she was back, at the residential week we had at the same uni. And I saw her once more in Dundee, at the final presentation and awards day. But didn't quite expect to see her again.

Now, she's cute. Most likely the most attractive girl doing enginering. But I doubt I'll make a move. Why? Same reason Nick gave. I'll probably be seeing her every day for the next four years, at least. Much better to stay friends.

But even so, he said he might try and get together with her later tonight. I'm not sure if that's just the alcohol talking...

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