So here I am, the night (ok, early morning) before my final exam for computer science here at college, and I'm stoned off my ass. My strange events started last night, when I went over to my friend's dorm to smoke some pot and watch a movie. We ended up watching the Wedding Singer, and were getting a little cuddly. I have no clue if it was just due to the pot, or perhaps there is some small chance that there is something there. After getting back from her dorm at 4:00 am, I proceeded to toke up once more, and then passed out. After sleeping away most of the day, I got up, ate, studied a bit, ate some more, smoked up once again, and then chilled out for a while. WinAmp's screensaver is really trippy when you're stoned.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should get some sleep, or just stay up all night and pray for the best tomorrow. Well, time for a smoke break.


So the big gothic event of the season is over.

All kinds of lovely people were in attendance, including a number of my friends. Rebbie claims that any Seattle Saturday is on a par with a Chicago Saturnalia. So let's see those flash bastards get a plane ticket out here then. We make do with what we have.

Got scammed by a cabbie on the way home. That irritates me more than anything else for the evening. I was already tipping him $5 for a $5 cab ride, but no, he had to be an asshole about it. The vicissitudes of earthly life...

A friend of mine who recently moved to Chicago had been bored earlier this week, and had found a bit of back-and-forth from alt.gothic that we had shared, several years before we had ever met each other. Given that I'm currently on the prowl for the lady in question, it's a lovely bit of irony that the alt.gothic discussion is concerning dating, and how people often don't do it properly. Fuck irony.

Well, I did it. I figured out how to covert a Quicktime file to MPEG using Linux1, but that's not what this is about. This is about my 'new' fridge.

This story begins in my lounge room. As usual, I'm sitting at the computer, not really doing anything. As usual, I ran out of cigarettes. So, /me wanders down to the shop.

Around the corner from me is a house that always has heaps of hard rubbish sitting out on it's nature strip. There's a stove, some wooden boxes, all sorts of junk. Today there is also a fridge. So I go to have a look. It's pretty grotty, with a fair amount of mold on the inside. But hey, I can clean that off, it seems in good condition. I dismiss the thought of taking it2, and continue to the shop.

On the way back, I see it again. I consider again. Free fridge. Do I want it? Yes. I don't know why, probably just because it's free. So I begin devising a plan to get it back to my house (it is 10:30 pm on a Sunday night). I get home and call my dad, to see what his take on the idea is. Predictably enough, he's all for it. So I set out, my old skateboard under my arm.

Arriving at the fridge, I maneuver it onto the skateboard and wheel it home. I got some very strange looks from passing cars. Getting it into my house is the hassle. I have a very narrow gate, opening onto a very narrow path, leading up to a very narrow door3. After about 5 minutes, I have it in my hallway. I hear a knock on the door. Oh crap, I think. Must be the guy who owns the fridge. You'd think he could have caught up with me before I got it inside. I reluctantly open the door.

But no! It's just dad, showing up to help me with the fridge4. Together we carry it into my lounge room, plug it in, and give each other big pats on the back when we hear the motor kick into life.

So, that's how I got the fridge. Thank you for your time.

1 Shameless nodevertising.
2 I do already have a fridge (admittedly a loaner).
3 Which reveals a very narrow corridor.
4 Once again, you'd think he could have caught up with me before I got home.

Since my November 30, 2001, my life has pretty much changed completely.

I've broken up with my girlfriend of four years and seven months. The reasons are varied and many. There have always been too many problems with our relationship, and they finally got the best of us. I ended the relationship, but we're remaining friends. It has been really painful anyways to think of my life without her.

Time heals all wounds, and talking with her on and off for the past few weeks has helped me get over the end of the relationship. This friendship is really what our relationship should have been from the start, rather than what we've had over the past years that hasn't worked.

I recently got a really nice raise at work, and I finally got a pay cheque with my new raise on it.. my, that makes me happy. *smile*

And I have a nifty fiber-optic christmas tree that has nifty little lights. It's my friend. It told me yesterday that I was better off, and then it cooked me dinner.

A week or so ago, I gave a handful of money to a man who approached me on the street. He was shivering, wearing a nice backpack and some fairly expensive clothing that was obviously not designed for cold weather, and told a story about how he was a long-distance student at a local university, and had lost his wallet.

He looked like he was about to break down and cry, right in front of me. I don't think I've ever seen anyone who looked so humiliated, so embarrassed to be doing something, ever. He was from a small town, he said, and he had no way of getting back there, as his train pass was stolen.

I gave him the money, if only because I've had my own wallet stolen while travelling, and I know how hellish it can be to get back to where you live, or do anything. I couldn't imagine how hard it would've been for me if it was winter, and I didn't have a place to stay.

He asked for my telephone number, with promises that he would give me a call, and pay me back.


I don't often give money to people on the streets. Perhaps Toronto has made me kind of jaded to anyone who begs, I don't know... I gave money because it seemed like it could be a very real, very shitty situation that this person was in, and I felt that maybe a bit of kindness might pay off, somehow.

For the last week now, I've been waiting, hoping he'd call, if only to say a word of thanks... I tell myself that perhaps he's not calling because he's so embarrassed at being reduced to begging on street corners, but somehow, I don't quite believe it.
On Friday night I went to the pub with three friends. After a few drinks closing time was upon us and feeling the pangs of hunger we ventured across to the Fried Chicked place over the road. Having ordered our sustinence and heartily set about it a strange looking guy sat down opposite me. He was obviously a tramp or a crazy guy and he proceeded to open a box of blue pills. He turned them out onto the table and started counting them out saying,
One chip, two chip, three chip, four
I was looking for something something* and I wanted some more
I was walking around and he called me a spastic
So I exchanged fried chicked for elastic.
Having finished this he turned to one of my friends and in a strong scottish drawl inquired,
"Do ye want some Valium, lad?"
To which the obvious response was thank you for the kind offer, but no. We had some chips left so we proferred these to him and he, again clearly grateful offered us yet more valium. This guy was clearly gifted in a way we could not understand so I obtained some paper and a pen and began to note down his musings. His next and final poetical offering was,
One chip, two chip, three chip, four
I was looking for Bin Laden in a cave so high
I was looking for Bin Laden and he started to cry
I was looking for Bid Laden and he gave me a slap.
I hear cries from admist the unbelievers that this verse does not scan properly yet I ask of you who are we to criticise what we cannot truly comprehend.

I travelled home truly enriched for this experience and ready to face another day.

The last month has been a very interesting one. Last weekend, my parents came and visited me. It was very nice, they came in on Thursday night and stayed at the Four-point Sheraton in Revere. We ate at some steak place (oh what was its name again?). It was judged by my dad to be the " place we ate at" (the other places were the Summer Shack in North Cambridge and some home-cooking place in Plymouth.

We went to the Navy Yard on Friday and then Plymouth & Cape Cod (all the way to Race Point) on Saturday....Fun!

Backing up a little in time, had Thanksgiving (oh those sweet potatoes were GREAT!) with a friend from work, and then a couple weeks later went on a pub crawl, my first.

I'm actually going to take a little Christmas vacation at the insistence of my boss's boss. My boss had another round of his emotionalism....he is being challenged to utilize everyone more wisely...and you-know-what rolls downhill.

Finally, our company is in a new place...the move went smoothly (which isn't surprising, considering its just a few blocks away from the old place).

Good god. I'm in the lab in Kings Buildings at 1 in the morning. In 24 hours I'll be in Tokyo. In 48, Melbourne. In 8 hours, I'm supposed to have done a 2000 word essay, 1 1/2 java assignments, A design for a peer-to-peer filesharing system (the same practical they hand out at MIT), and a report on 10 great things we've learned about planets using space probes. And I can't concentrate at all. Damn.

I suspect tomorrow will be quite a stressful day. I can't speak japanese (I got 7% last exam.), and yet I'm somehow expected to be able to check in to a hotel, order dinner, etc. damndamndamndamndamndamn. This is going to be the longest flight I've been on in my life, and I've got to do the same the next day. I think I'll just crawl under the desk and curl up into a ball.

So why all the stress? The Assignments are all my fault. I can't plan ahead, I can't work to a deadline, can't prioritise. I can procrastinate quite successfully, though. (This being a great example.). The flights, on the other hand? Some background:

This summer, my parents moved to Melbourne. BP is paying for all of it, including flying me and my sister there twice a year. Some administrative wrangling later, and they're aggreeing to fly me an my wife once, instead. So we're flying to Melbourne for christmas. After the time it's taken to get a new passport, visa, pin down a date, etc. the only flights left go via Tokyo... This is like flying to LA via Cape Town. On the plus side, in the eight hours I'm there, I get to buy tacky japanese stuff. I'm open to suggestions as to what.

In the meantime, however, I'm going to hide under the desk.
Nothing much happened in the morning. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with the files that I was trying to scp over to Sourceforge. I had misplaced a / in the file path.

Trevor came around in the afternoon, whilst I was scraping off some old paint in a back room in preparation for my summer project of repainting that-which-needs-to-be-repainted-due-to-winter-moisture-damage.

We had rooibos tea and a mince pie each on the lawn, and swapped music. He didn't like Godspeed you black emperor as much as I did. I loaned him Rain Tree Crow and Love's Secret Domain, and got Big Black and Recoil. I am now listening to the new Shpongle, and will play some Mogwai later, the back to Brian Eno's ambient works. Diverse enough? It gets better later.

Carlo has watched his new Simpsons season 1 DVD set for the first time, so I get to borrow it for a few days. In the evening I has Guy and Werner over & we watched four or five episodes. Burn's sidekick, Smithers, changes colour! In one episode he is brown, in the next, yellow.

After eleven we were tired and debated just giving up and going to bed, but I was spurred on by the fact that tomorrow, monday, being a public holiday, I could get up at noon if I wanted to. (In fact, typing this at 12:20, with the remains of breakfast still next to me). So Werner and I met again at The Jam in town, for the Drum and Bass party.

This was not chilled music. Slamming, hard, fast, skittering piledriver beats, that would have easily passed for Jungle has they been played in 1995. And I mean the real hard industrial jungle, not that Jazzified crap that that bastard Goldie turned it into. It was like a giant metal spider running over the tin roof of some vast factory.

I really enjoyed it. No complex melodies, but driving and textured sound. It has a facination like that of thrash metal - a complex texture of nearly white noise. For a while I closed my eyes and danced in a warm, dark, throbbing, exceptionally loud womb.

Werner decided to go home around 1:30, and I contemplated following him. Seconds later, the Dj changed the tune, and the new one started with even louder high-pitched buzzing noises. I felt something give inside my left ear. Enough. I left right then. The eardrum may be torn, it feels a bit wobbly today.

I have just finished Daniel Quin's book Ishmael. While it is quite readable, I rate it as consistently annoying. I rapidly got over the didactic device of the telepathic gorilla, but having read some of Danniel Dennet, Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins exceptional books on evolution and what it means to be human, this bunch of simplistic half-truths really doesn't cut it. that language is also anoyingly sexist for a supposedly 1960's-informed enlightened universalist. He just never stops writing stuff like "So mankind sets out to conquer his planet" Emphasis added. It may be minor, but it's more evidence that the whole thing is facile.

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