Ahh the pleasures of late night shopping.

I needed groceries. I had just finished work installing a 1500VA Uninterruptable Power Supply for the main switch and router.

It was 2am.

My first choice was to go to Coles - the large food retailer in New South Wales, Australia. I love this time of the night - quiet, cool, gentle breeze. I stroll in to the normally manic Bondi Junction Coles and observe one thing - NOTHING. Nothing at all. No people shopping. No screaming toddlers. No suicidal maniacs steering shopping trolleys in to my ankle. Just the occasional staff member unpacking stuff on to shelves.

I took my time. At 1am, I know that Coles gets its next load of fresh fruit and vegetables. I had the pick of the lot. All totally fresh. I mean, not "Oooh its crisp". I mean "GOD DAMN THATS CRISP!!!"

I was unhurried. I did all my grocery shopping in under 10 minutes. I walked right up to a checkout chick, who was surprisingly alert for that early hour, and was greeted in an extremely friendly manner. She was actually GLAD to serve me!

All up a most satisfying experience.

On a different spin, I found out that my boss is considering leaving her job in a few months. August or so. You heard it here first. She is cool, and will be a great loss. She has also confided a lot of stuff, secret stuff, to me. But it has made my life easier and I appreciate all that she has done for me.

And I don't know what it is, maybe my honest face, but I had the event manager come up to me to ask advice on changing careers. He wants to move in to an I.T.-based project manager role. He wanted to know what courses he can take to further his education and knowledge to increase his chances at getting a job. Quite hard considering he isn't a technical person.

Pasta for dinner. Legs and back again at gym.

Life is good.

simonc loves his sleep

As regular viewers would gather, I had a challenging weekend, which flowed (in a brutally elegant way) into Monday. The backup and recovery from hell (FROM THE CREATORS OF SURVIVOR AND SURVIVOR 2!) that began at 7:30am Saturday didn't end at pre-dawn Monday morning. Oh no.

After a 48-hour stretch, I retired to my hotel room at 7:30am yesterday (Monday) and opened a beer. Ahhhh. Spent a very relaxng 45 minutes on E2 and then more-or-less passed out. At 9:30, woken from the sleep of the dead by my irriatingly shrill Motorola phone, I was summoned back to The Flaming Pit Of Hell as some network disks were not visible. Ack!

Man I dragged my arse over there. I operate really poorly on inadequate sleep. And 7.5 hours over three days-and-nights is my definition of inadequate, 'specially when added to heapin' helpin's of stress, grief, terror, boredom, and everyone's favourite, paranoia. Fixed the mount point thing (funny, one of the netatalk conf files (AppleDouble.default) had just lost a line). Then, "while you're here, Simon, could you just do (fill-in-the-tedious-but-crushingly-urgent task)"

THIS is the part of sysadmining I hate. The computers are cool, friendly, soothing. The users and their addle-headed practises and their inability to appreciate what sysadmins go through to keep their ships afloat are quite another thing. My current job description has kind-of "executive sysadmining" in it, but with my kick-arse full-time sysadmin on vacation in Thailand, I'm the bunny.

Gotta change my job description. MUST LEAVE THIS JOB.

Anyways, I finally escaped with my suitcase and my two laptops (uhg! they're heavy) at 8pm and caught the last flight home at 9:25pm. Gemma and Molly collected me at 10:15pm, and I slept.

Tuesday morning, 8am. RING! RING! RING! RING!


Okay, now some good stuff.

Gemma loves me. Molly adores me. I love them both very much. E2 is full of really interesting people whose company I enjoy immensely. I have lots of nice computers. I have a a perfect coffee cup. I have good prospects. I have broadband at home. I've seen the world. I have respect from many people I admire. I don't suffer from migraine. It's not so bad...

It's my birthday.

A time to pause and reflect on my life.

I remember last year at this time, I was anxious about finishing college. I was also very worried about my wife. She was having terrible pain in her neck and down her arm, and nothing the doctor suggested seemed to help. It was a very trying time for me. I was working very hard to finish school and doing the housework because my wife could not lift anything with a sore neck. When she needed support, I had to dig as deep as I could just to find the strength to keep her going. I was running on empty, but I always found the strength to keep going.

Now it is a year later, and life is so good. We finally found a doctor who could diagnose what was wrong with my wife and he referred us to the proper specialist. She had a crushed disk in her neck that needed to come out. We managed to schedule the surgery just two weeks before my college graduation. She made it through sugery without any problems. One of the happiest moments of my life was walking onto the stage at graduation and seeing her sitting in the audience. She was still wearing a neckbrace, but looked as lovely as ever. She was so radiant and was smiling from ear to ear. It is a moment I will treasure forever.

As for other things, positive energy is abound. Our oldest son will graduate from college this year. Our daughter graduates from high school in two years. She's near the top of her class, and quite a looker, just like mom. Our youngest son is also doing good in school, and seems to get taller and smarter every day. I love my family.

My daughter asked me once if I wanted to be rich. I told her I was rich with my family. I would rather be loved than be rich. John, Paul, George, and Ringo said it best. All you need is love.

"Hey, don't get bummed out. It's better than chemo."

This is what my dermatolgist told me today as he was performing the 4th wide excision on my back. I've had five moles removed. One was melanoma and the rest have been dysplastic, which means "Uncancerous but having ambition to expand the empire." I've been laid up and in pain since early December, and it's starting to get on my nerves.

Today was when I learned that I have another three months of this to go through. Because all of the moles have had tendancy so far, more have to be removed than originally thought. And by removed I mean cut out. Biopsied. Excised. Ninja chopped. Argh.

Also, my first real girlfriend IM's me last night as I'm on my way to bed. She tells me she's marrying a guy she's been dating for 2 and a half months. It's a Church of Christ wedding, so there won't be any dancing, any music, or any booze.

I said "Why not just toss it in at the end of Sunday service and save everyone the cost of formal wear?"
She said, "But it's still a wedding! You don't have to have booze and music and dancing for it to be a wedding."
I said, "I'm not talking about the wedding, I'm talking about the reception."
"Oh, well we'll just stand around and talk and stuff. It'll be great!"
"Won't there be any food or punch I can spike or anything?"
"Uhm.... no. Not really."
"You know, ancient warring nations that performed sacrifical virgin killings had better weddings than this."

After that the conversation was pretty much downhill. The only other interesting thing I learned was that the exact carat weight of the engagement ring is 1.88.

Does it seem weird to anyone else that she knows the EXACT carat weight of the diamond, down to the hundredth?

It never would have worked between us.
Warning: Pointless, angry rant about windows 98 is coming up. Duck.


I am an RCC, a residential computer consultant at Oberlin College. This means that whenever some luser manages to break their computer, I have to go fix it. Or try to. Frequently this involves dealing with stupid people and stupider OSes, like Windows 98.

God, what a piece of shit. The people who made this worthless heap of donkey droppings must have been smoking large quantities of extremely potent crack to come up with something this crappy. I wish Bill Gates was in this room right now so I could whack him with a pimp stick and smack him around for inflicting the horrible boil on the ass of the Earth that is the Microshit Corporation. I currently have a box that was having trouble detecting a sound card, which had been working previsouly. So I put the card in a different slot. At which point Windows, in all it's infinite wisdom, decided to stop working. I put the card back in the original slot. I took the card out entirely. Nothing. It now occassionally manages to boot into safe mode. Safe mode. The way a shitty OS can become even more shitty. Safe mode. Where windows, once again demonstrating the kind of design genius that can only come from large quantities of extremely potent drugs, decides not to load any useful drivers, like say, your NIC, or your CD-ROM, but, somehow, decides to load such necessary things as ACTIVE DESKTOP. Yup, you don't really need that CD drive, but you have to be able to see your desktop as a fuckin web page. Christ, would I like to get my hands on the ass pirate who made that decision. So, anyhow, you don't have your damn CD-ROM, so you can't reload the pile of fetid bat dung that you call an OS. So, you might try using the ever useful mscdex utility to manually load the cd drivers. HAH. You think. Until you realize that mscdex has no documentation. NONE. It is not mentioned once in all the Windows help I could find. So of course now you want to look on the web for any help you can find, but FUCKING WINDOWS DIDN"T LOAD YOUR FUCKING NIC. So you don't have any net access. Amusingly enough though, in safe mode, it apparently is able to detect that sound card that it stopped detecting in the first place, and in fact claims it is installed and is working properly. Amusingly enough though, the card was removed and is sitting on the desk in front of you.




Fuck you, windows 98. I hate you.

So here goes Day 2 of my attempt to keep a regular online diary.

Is it sad that the most exciting thing about my day is that I made it to Level 2? In three days, no less. Is that a new record? I had a hard time deciding what to node for my 25th write-up. I ended up posting the lyrics to Here's My Check, Carnegie Tech, which is my favorite parodied Carnegie Mellon song. It's not as deep and profound as I would have liked, but I'm not feeling very deep and profound.

Other than that, my day was really weak. I went to class, did homework, went to more class. Band practice was fun. I went to the grocery store. I got some of those cool yogurts with the crunchy granola things in the package on top that you stir into the yogurt to give it texture. I'm very easily amused. I really should go to the computer cluster... But I called my grandparents in Israel. Yesterday was my grandfather's birthday. I think I'm a bad person because I was truly, honestly, bored listening to my grandparents describe how one of my cousins might have a cold, and why can't he put on a sweater when it's cold? Sigh.

Ok, enough procrastination. As if I'm not going to be up half the night regardless...

Oh, and can I just say, that it makes me really happy that I followed the hardlink in my day log to granola, and the very first writeup about granola contains a hardlink to yogurt? Ok, I'm really going now. Really, I mean it..

Okay, I've been kicking around E2 for a couple of weeks now, adding new nodes every so often. I was up to 10 nodes (not an X-noder, since that seems to be set for 10,000 nodes, not 10), and I had 41XP. I'm not bragging, just setting up the facts. I decide to add another node about Pitcher Abuse Points (fantasy baseball analysis statistic). It's nothing that I expect people to really NEED to know, but it's a pretty interesting metric for evaluation purposes. When I finish the write-up, I add a bunch of soft links, admire my work and move on to other parts of the web.

Fine and dandy...or so I thought. I'm about to go to bed (it's after midnight (EST) here on the east coast) and decide to visit the E2 Node Tracker. It had been a day or so since I visited it, and I think it's a fantastic tool. I'm just curious to see if anyone had voted on any of my nodes (up or down, its all good to me...down means I have to work harder on the nodes I write...up means I've written something someone likes). I log in, and up comes the data.

One node created (PAP), one node getting a + (PAP) and one node getting a - (ironically, my last daily log entry). No problem there. But when I check my XP, it has plummeted to 32; a drop of _9_ points! I'm stunned. I thought it would be going up 1 point (for the new node). That (-9) marker beside my XP in the node tracker stands out like a sore thumb. But then I ask myself

"How did it drop so far without any negative votes?"

So if anyone knows how it happened, please tell me how. Feel free to /msg me the answer. Until then, I'll just have to assume it's just a karmic thing and keep on noding.

My mind is sludge...

Much thanks goes out to whoever gave me the evil death flu from San Fransisco. I can't breath, I can't move, I can't think, and medicine isn't doing a damn thing. Not to mention, I have the most intense, paralyzing craving for chocolate right now that I feel like I should be climbing my walls or something. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Oi, the hormones.

So he thinks I'm a bitch... well, at least he finally said it to my face, in a way of sorts. Although... making a nodeshell and softlinking my name to it is pretty fucking juvenile, if not cowardly; I would have expected better from him. Why not tell me in person? Huh? If I'm really that horrible, if I'm really such a huge bitch, and if I'm really that psychotic, why not tell me to fuck off six months ago? Why pretend to be my friend? Sometimes people make no fucking sense.

Accidently cut myself earlier... a nasty wound, and as I was washing the blood off, I watched it circle silently down the drain... and felt my own life going the same way as well. Now I'm bitter, depressed, nauseated, and sick as a dog...

Wonderful fucking day.
Some therapist I'm going to be...I can't even facilitate communication in my own relationship. We have trust issues. We have boundary issues. Ever since we participated in the leather show, Wayne has been expressing feelings of inadequacy related to his personality...he thinks I want someone more dominant, assertive. More extroverted. On a certain level I do, but I also value him as he is. The trouble comes when I try to reassure him of this...it falls flat. My words of comfort reach his eyes and ears as vapid platitudes.

The trust issues arose last week, after he noticed I still have amicable relationships with a couple of my exes. He began hovering near my monitor whenever one of them would instant message me. He opened my email program while I was taking a hot bath and subsequently began investigating the websites in my bookmark list. I felt as though I was dating a CIA agent. He left his computer connected to AOL while we went out Saturday night, and upon returning I jokingly moved the cursor to the mailbox and said, "Let's see what you're hiding. He all but tackled me to snatch the mouse away and disconnect before I could invade his privacy. That was when I chose to go home for the evening rather than argue.

My feelings were hurt, I couldn't think of anything to say, and we spent the next day apart and in terse silence. Earlier, I finally emailed him the lyrics to The Dangling Conversation by way of breaching the stillness. The reply was less than encouraging: "I don't think I even want to begin to interpret this song. You walked out...the ball is in your court." The ball is in my court, but I don't even know what game I'm supposed to be playing.

I hate sports.

Well here I am again.

Let's see... I had to abort a cd I was going to burn for Kristi because my DAE app was flakin out on me and it was givin me lots of jitter errors.

Wanna know what was on it? Ok

Fall of Troy by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan
Genova Per Noi by Paolo Conte
Good Evening Mr. Waldheim by Lou Reed
Simple Twist of Fate by Concrete Blonde
Oh Sister by Bob Dylan
Roses Are Free by Phish
Visions of Johanna and So Many Roads by the Dead

aborted, abouted, aborted....
Instead I threw the I Ching on the question, "I say, Uninstall It?" because my Winamp was givin me problems... I recieved the following Hexagrams:
#52 -> #8 ... many moving lines

So that was that... i uninstalled Winamp.
Just read that they told Napster to shut down... old not 4 me here in Italy.

Payday is tomorrow, which menas i get to do laundry, go shopping, buy some hash, pay for the 8 rolls of film I had developed and pay Kristi 300,000 lire of the 1 million lire I owe her.

WEll today I've got some work to do...
the Annual report is due by the ned of the month and I'm only 1/3rd done
+ there are flyers to design for my upcoming photo show at the Cafe Des Artes here in Torino,
+ I need to finish the Cafeteria Vecchia Torino's web page,
+ I need to edit the sound down from the Ken Kesey interview and create a cohesive MP3 that corresponds to the edited text that i sold to Baoom.com,
+ uh, well that's it actually.

Mensa story: It wasn’t so much in her face as it was the way she carried herself, the proportions of her body, the way her breasts hung and the fullness of her lips. These are the things that caused me to think of Jane, when I saw the Italian girl in the mensa (cafeteria).

Jane… of all the women I’ve known in this lifetime it’s Jane I miss the most… well, sometimes. She was a good girl, ready to love me fully and without hesitation, willing to do damn near anything I asked of her all to win my approval, which of course turned me off. I like ‘em independent, not in need of my approval – that quality has to come from within – and over the months we lived together Jane’s neediness reminded me of my ex-wife’s neediness and so I had to end the affair.

Jane, I still miss her sometimes. She was a good girl, full of love and energy, ready to have a bit of fun at a moment’s notice. Sexy in an unassuming way, Jane was one of the more enticing of my lovers, she had something special which even now, 4 years after we broke up has me twisted up inside. She invited me via e-mail to her wedding last year. I wrote back to say that I was living in Europe and that I couldn’t make it and that it would weird me out just the same, being as I still regretted letting her go….

On another note… I’ve decided I really don’t like one of the two Italians I share my office with… he talks to himself and swears at his computer… he never smiles and has never invited me to have lunch with him. He’s not mean to me, but he’s not nice either… So I’ll dedicate this E2 fuck you to Mario Gallantinache petza di merda (what a piece of shit). It all started when he reminded me to never leave anything of value around the office… (I hate people who assume the worst), And if he ever leaves the office even to get a café or go to the bathroom he’ll lock his computer as if either me or our colleague would have any interest whatsoever in scooping out his shit… Whatever Mario… you just sit there and talk to yourself, because you have nothing social to say to anyone else in the office… but it doesn’t equal communication when you’re ranting and mumbling to yourself about how fucked up some things are…

Enough of that. Now for something completely different… I’m a bit slow today… I’m tired and I don’t know why… slept well, ate a good lunch, but something’s just off. To top it all off, the net crashed (a common occurrence here in Italy, happens more frequently than the government crashing which happens bout once a year.)

11:45

Hello hello.

I'm actually awake. Last night I did some unremarkable things, like added a graffiti support to YiffCam for "unedited public opinion" or something like that. Took old script and added that to a web page.

Today... Well, I'm just a bit hungry again. Apparently the noodles last night were a sort of temporary solution...

Today's other schedule? A course about UIs starts today.

"Programming environment" course is sort of interesting. To complete it, I must make an essay about something related; I think I'll make my about programming project management in UNIX (Make, GNU Autotools, RCS/CVS, and so on).

19:48

Done reading yesterday's Usenet articles. =(

Onward to today's articles. I hope.

21:31

Two segmentation faults from supposedly stable programs (MPEG video encoder and netstat?)

Suddently it feels like 1996 again...

OK, the mpeg encoder was built to fail, it included assembly-language routines for MMX optimizations (and we know what happens to people who use assembly... =)


Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: Autotools

Well, obviously I am doing something wrong. Like not thinking. Hasn't anyone else ever made a booty call to an ex? Am I the only one? Am I that fscked up about it? Therapy last night, and when I mentioned it, her eyes opened wide. No judgments (good old therapists) just - surprise. And I told a friend or two about it - one was quite non-judgmental, no big deal. Another was - apparently - very surprised and her e-mail seemed angry. So my friend wanted to know why I made the booty call. What was I thinking. How hypocritical. And what a mental mind fuck. For both of us.

...sigh... She's probably right. I want it all, and I want it my way. I don't know what to think, or how to think. I feel in a fog today, tired, not willing to think or figure out what I'm feeling. Poor little old me.

Coming up the escalator from the Crystal City Metro station this morning, my ears were greeted with the sweet strains of a violin, being played quite well.

At the top of the escalator, there was a busker, violin case open in front of him. I grabbed a handful of change from my pocket (~$1), and tossed it in his case. Two nods exchanged, and I walked down the hall to my daily grind.

Smiling.


Also, Henry Rollins turned 40 today. Happy Birthday Hank!
I was sitting in my office trying to get something done and I got a message from a friend of mine. I always keep the damn messenger service running for just such an occasion but this one was a little more unusual…
This is the abridged version of the conversation:

Kevin: What are you doing?
Tandex: trying to fix my invoice html so that it will work on Netscape properly.
Kevin: oh… so you’re not busy, then?

I sighed for a second and looked at the mess I was making with my code. Having an IE captive intranet made a lot of things easy and my coding was a simple experiment anyway...

Tandex: ok, not really. What’s up?
Kevin: We perpetrated a monstrous prank last night.
Tandex: and?
Kevin: It was mucho amusing.
Kevin: It was this girl's birthday today.
Tandex: ok

I looked back at my code trying to figure out which one was more interesting…

Kevin: So last night we came in and filled her cubicle top to bottom with balloons.
Kevin: And then gift-wrapped her entire cubicle with bright yellow happy birthday wrapping paper.

I looked again at my code seeing it take a sudden, far more interesting leap... but I persisted with the conversation.

Tandex: oh... ok... are you still at rSP?
Kevin: Yeah, I start BFC next week.
Tandex: ok
Kevin: Why do you ask?
Tandex: just wondering
Kevin: What do you know about BFC anyways?
Tandex: well, they make great fried chicken...
Tandex: wait a minute…
Tandex: wrong 'FC'

I smiled at my smartass-ness

Kevin: So in other words, not a damn thing.
Tandex: ding!
Tandex: I know a girl who worked there… she seemed to enjoy the place
Kevin: So, is that girl the kind of person who would enjoy working in the same kind of places I do?
Kevin: OK...what was up with Embers yesterday?
Kevin: She looked at me like I was some sort of dead-freak-walking-zombie-puppie-killer.
Tandex: what do you mean? She seemed fine to me? What did she say?
Kevin: Dunno...just thought I caught a very unhappy vibe from her.
Tandex: she was pretty tired. She got to bed around 5
Tandex: that was probably it
Kevin: OK, so she was the walking dead zombie...I feel better.
Kevin: At any rate, I made a major ass of myself last night...even more so than usual.
Tandex: what did you do?
Kevin: There's this girl, Crystal, that we work with. She was there last night helping with the balloons.
Kevin: She was already here when I got here.
Kevin: So I show up and as it turns out she brought her (slightly) younger sister with her.
Kevin: And they're both laughing and giggling like made.
Kevin: Med I mean.
Kevin: MAD.
Kevin: Damn...anyways...
Kevin: They were acting all drunk and stuff.
Tandex: ok... and?
Kevin: So I asked them jokingly if they'd been hitting the bottle, and they said no.
Kevin: So we go on, and Crystal is acting much better.
Kevin: But her sister is still acting like she's lit off her ass.
Kevin: So the whole night long I'm making jokes about her being a drunk and all...good-naturedly of course.
Kevin: And then about 15 minutes before it's time for Crystal to leave....
Tandex: then...?

I've always hated it when people lead you into something with a phrase like: "guess what?" or "then...".
Just SPIT IT OUT!
I suppose I could be more forgiving because it was typed conversation... I guess I'm a jerk.

Kevin: ...she starts telling her sister what to do, in the way that a mother would tell her 10 year old child what to do.
Kevin: And then it all suddenly clicks into place...
Tandex: oh no
Kevin: Her sister has a developmental disability.
Tandex:

I was laughing too hard at him to type.

Kevin: She's 20-something and has the mental capacity of a 3rd grader.
Kevin: Talk about egg on my face...
Tandex: you are such a moron.
Kevin: I felt like an ass...
Kevin: Literally.
Kevin: I felt so bad...
Tandex: that is funny... that goes into the bin.... have to write this down.
Kevin: I didn't know for sure until they left and I asked Ferguson and he confirmed it.
Tandex: oh my god....
Tandex: Stimpy! you are an eeeeediot
Kevin: I felt so bad that I spent probably 15 minutes this morning apologizing to Crystal.
Tandex:

…More laughing at his expense

Kevin: I swear, I thought that she was drunk.
Kevin: She didn't sound stupid, she didn't slur, she didn't act inappropriately.
Kevin: She just acted really slappy.
Tandex: You are a fucking idiot

Another quiet day at work.

Did some comparison shopping between firewalls for a customer of ours. It seems Microsoft has introduced an Enterprise-Class firewall package. "Microsoft Internet Security and Accelleration (ISA) Server." It doesn't look too bad, though I haven't used it myself. It's not cheap for home users, though.

Still haven't had a chance to talk to the Division Manager yet. He comes back "probably tomorrow", so I'll see what happens then.

Lunch Log: Tostidos with Home-Made Salsa.

I didn't feel like going to class today. I woke up and remembered my brother was sick, so i decided i would feel a little under the weather as well. so i've been moping around the house, eating chicken noodle soup, mumbling to myself about how sick I feel. People called me asking why i wasnt in class, i told them i was god awful sick. Cant even get out of bed! Im perfectly fine, noone is at home, i just felt like being sick, i wanted to play the role. i should have gone to class today, I haven't been to spanish in 3 weeks. i've had very little motivation to do anything since last weekend when my ex-girlfriend decided it would be fun to hook up with 4 or 5 of my good friends while attending the same social function. that made me really happy.
Aah, you have to love it when the shit hits the fan and you see it fly everywhere. you look at the shit and you start to wonder, and then it hits you, you didnt eat any corn, but theres corn in all the shit! So most of the shit thats hitting the fan probably isn't yours, but it gets on you anyway.

Shit hitting the fan does not descriminate, it is all encompassing.

So i did the only thing a man could do. First, i joined the ULC and fulfilled my lifelong dream of being a reverend. Then, i smoked some weed and watched cartoon network.

I wish i wasnt so sick.
Here's a little story from my past:

Aaron Munster.

Of course, his name is not really Aaron Munster. He was my roommate. Originally it was Myself, Fawn, and Debbie. Not a bad situation, because they were quite cute.

Anyway Debbie leaves so we advertise for a replacement and along comes Aaron.

Aaron is a big guy, probably 6'2, 240 lbs. He looks kind of like a huge Eddie Munster. He seems like a nice guy, and our apartment complex does a 'backgound check' which Aaron passes. He claims he's a Chef, trying to get into the California Culinary Academy and he's new in town. He's got a temporary job at a body shop, just to get him started, he says.

Ok, so things are cool for the first month, Aaron is a very good cook and he's cooked us wonderful dinners on several occasions. Then it comes time to pay the rent. Aaron pays his share by check. Aaron's check bounces. He seems genuinly apologetic and his boss writes a check on Aarons behalf(his boss is a nice guy).

Time passes and Aaron shows himself to be a bit of an artist as well, setting up an easel and creating oil paintings in his spare time. And then rent becomes due again, month 2.0 roles around and boom. Aaron bounces check number 2. It's about this time that we notice Aaron is getting a lot of mail from the bank. The letters look like insuficient funds notices. Fawn and I are worried. Fawn suggests that I should have a little chat with our friend Aaron. At this point she's scared of him, because he's been doing some big time hitting on her. He's locked in his room at this point, but I steel myself for the coming confrontation.

Me - Hey, Aaron. We need to talk about the rent.

Aaron - Ya, We need to talk about the fact that I'm not going to pay.

Me - What?!!

Aaron - I'm on the lease, and you can't do anything about it. And if you change the locks on me, I'll get the cops over here, because I'm legally entitled to be here.

Me - What!!??

This seems to be the extent of my vocabulary. I'm totally unprepared for this drastic personality change. Aaron has become a complete asshole. And his demeanor is actually quite threatening. Sort of thug-like.

After this rather one-sided exchange, I call the apartment complex, and explain the situation to them. A cold voice, the kind you might here as a recorded phone company message informs me,

"We need the rent to be paid in full and if it's not, we will evict all of you."

At this point I had some doubts about that 'security check' the complex ran on Mr. Munster.

Aaron has abandoned all pretext of being human. He's stopped going to work and he just sits in his room and broods. Local merchant's often call asking for Aaron and inquiring as to when Aaron plans to make good on his bounced checks. Fawn is terrified. Our squatting roomate remains in his room for about 1 week and then suddenly, as if by magic, he's gone. His car, and as much of his stuff as he could fit in it have mysteriously vanished. The wierd thing is, he left a lot of valuable things. The expensive easel and painting supplies. A La-Z-Boy recliner. His futon. Oh, and he left his car. About 2-3 days after he left, Fawn comes to me and says.

"Oh my god, Aaron is back. His car is parked down the street."

At this point, I should probably explain that Aaron was driving a cherry '74 porche. He told us a women gave it to him. And we believed him, though in retrospect, I'm not sure why this didn't raise any red flags.

Doh!

I called the cops at this point and told them the whole story. They said they would check out the car. About 15 minutes later a detective called us back wanting to know more about this guy. The detective came to our house and once inside proceeded to show us a folder of mug shots, from which we both picked out our wonderful roommate Aaron. The car was in fact, stolen. And Aaron was a car thief. Actually, my credit card was stolen too. And Aaron (his real first name by the way) had quite a record. It turns out he was also wanted for crimes in Los Angeles(where he boosted the car) and Hawaii(not sure what city there).

What a guy!
lambda68 is not a happy camper.

Having spent the end of last week and the beginning of this week trying to go out with someone who had no interest in me and, obviously, failing, I'm kinda down.

Small bright point, I ordered a Bad Religion shirt (the best band ever to grace the face of this Earth, I guarantee it) which is fairly cool and relatively inexpensive, considering it's being shipped overseas.

I need a girlfriend.

It's ridiculous, my girlfriend from awhile back was great, I was quite attached to her (right up 'till she dumped me) and she made me girlfriend dependent in no small way. And I don't have one. And I want one. And girls hate me. Don't ask.

Looks like a great week for lambda68, and you're gonna hear all about it, punk.

I get up, tired after nine hours of sleep, write down my dream, then snooze for a little while. I get up again, fiddle with Everything2 and the Half-life server I started running two days ago, and track the progress of the various packages currently winging their way toward me from various online retailers. After lunch, I'm ready to actually do some work, which really need to do, and I realize I never bought the book I need for class. I walk over to the campus bookstore, only to find that, in the midlle of the second quarter of my second year here at this small, selective liberal arts college, the last copy of Rousseau's Second Discourse has just been taken off the shelf by a girl I've known since fourth grade. On the way back from the bookstore I pass someone I met recently from another house, but can't think of anything more to say than "hi", to his "hi how are you how's it going", making me feel like a speechless idiot. Once back in the dorm I discover that the mail is before 4:30 for the first time in who knows how long, and I've only got the one package I was least looking forward to (correction: I am least looking forward to the package that contains The Marx-Engels Reader). Now it's time to start reading, so that I get something done before tonight.

finally, regret...

if tonight i were allowed to relive the day, starting over where yesterday left off with such high expectations, i would do more to strengthen your faith in me, reestablish forgotten connections, appreciate your presence...

somedays, in place of me there is only air, too complacent to move even leaves. but i promise i would change everything, be anything, to eliminate the acrid remains of this day and to further promote futures as bright as the present.

i can only wish for forgiveness, at the least, forgetfullness, if i must live with these current results.

tomorrow brings with it hope.. the hope that comes after the fiercest floods create ruins where monuments once stood. and if this is all i'm granted, i pray i'll not complain and forfeit rare moments with you for common times spent in lonely sorrow.

Valentine's Day bites my ass!

"Ain't nothin' workin', ain't nothin' right, there's a hole in me that I can't fill no matter how hard I try." Go to my interview....they only want servers.....did that for too mnay years, sorry. Decide to stop off and pick Griffin up to go have a beer and watch the sunset off the pier. Non stop talking about himself, he asks eventually if it's a cancerian trait to talk about ourselves a lot. I said I didn't know, I know I write a lot about myself, that's all I knew.

Why did I pick him up? Oh yeah, listening to him prattle on makes me forget there is so much shit going on.

Go to the Beach Bar to have some Bass. Eh, whatever.
"So, what did you get me for Valentine's?", he asks and I look at him like he has three heads.
"I didn't realize I was your Valentine"
"Well, Nad doesn't seem to be too interested....and you're my pal so......", You must be joking....

Ugh! I swallowed what little was left in my pint and walked out the window. Yes, the window. That's actually what the Beach Bar is notorious for, the ability to walk through their huge gaping windows. Stanky little dive. I had no comment for him as we hopped into Squirt and I dropped him unceremoniously off at his house. Sorry Thor, I don't have the patience to deal with him tonight.

You think you have panic attacks?

....This is not your beautiful house, I am not your beautiful wife..........

I heard your voice the other day.

From behind me a man spoke. I turned half expecting it to be you, but knowing it couldn't be. He was not you. sigh... I didn't want him to stop talking. He asked me if we had an infant seat for bathing a baby so she could sit upright in the tub. I knew we had no such thing. I knew it. I pretended we might just so I could keep him talking to me with your voice. He had your inflections too. If I didn't look at him, I could imagine it was you walking next to me. I didn't want him to leave but eventually it became apparent to him that we didn't have what he needed. I didn't want to let him go, but I could only watch him leave.

He had what I needed.

I still don't want to let you go. It's been almost three months since you left. I search for the impossible. I see hints of you often. I hear you. I feel your thoughts running around my head. You left your mark on me and I will never be the same. Somehow, I know the change is for the better. I still think your timing sucked. I know, I know... it wasn't your fault. It's never your fault! You are not to blame. I wanted more time.

Since when has Death worn a watch?

Overwhelmed. That's the easiest way to describe how I currently feel about work. Another project was announced today, and of course, it falls under my product umbrella. Combine that with two onogoing prototype projects. Add a dash of involvement with a very large finicky financial customer and you've got a very stressed Aron.

Work led to my graduate class, for which I was once again under-prepared and over-tired. The good thing was that the professor was also under-prepared and over-tired. As a result, he was totally chatty -- talking most of the night, rather than letting us participate more. See it as a professor's stay-awake routine. Well, combined with a constant source of caffeine

To top it off, for the second week in a row, the demo he was going to show in class didn't work properly. So, after 30 minutes of hacking around, he gave up. Last week, we left a half-hour early.

The day ended on a good note, though. Barbara and I celebrated Valentine's Day a day early. There were cashmere and picnic baskets giftings, and talk of tulips delivered to work. And we snuggled. Yay.

Nothing special at work today to report. After work, TC, CR, and I went to see Hannibal. It had some very disturbing scenes, but it was not as grusome as I thought it would be. Somehow, Event Horizon still holds that award. I'm not usually into those kind of movies anyway, I was just being social.

I wasn't sure if anyone was going to show up for pool tonight or not. I asked CR, and he said he wasn't going. I didn't want a repeat of last week. I built up the courage to call Sara and ask her if she was going. She said she had a paper to finish, so she would not be going. I wasn't going to go if both CR and Sara were not going, so I decided to join CR and TC for the movie.


I just spent over three hours putting together a valentine's day gift for Sara. Here's what I did.

  • Several days ago, I burned the song "Thank You" by Dido to an 80-minute CD-R, directly from a wav file that I ripped from the No Angel CD I purchased for this very purpose. I put only that one song on the 80 minute CD by itself.
  • I labeled the CD-R, just "Thank You." with my first name signed below.
  • I got some slim jewel cases from Best Buy. I found a red one in the pack with no scratches on it, and used it for storing the CD-R.
  • I found some nice looking paper from an envelope I got in the mail and used it for a gift label. I wrote her name very neatly in english and, just for fun, in katakana (it looks nice).
  • I composed a short letter to Sara in a text editor, then meticulously wrote it out on unruled typing paper in non-cursive handwriting. I spent at least two hours doing this, as I wanted the print to be very neat. It's probably my best handwriting ever.
  • Then I cut a piece of gift wrap to fit in the front of the CD case, facing out. I cut my note to fit exactly inside the same window facing in. I taped both pieces of paper to the inside of the CD case to hold them in place.
  • I wrapped the CD case, which is actually kind of hard to do neatly with the really thin jewel cases. I arranged it so that the front of the wrapped gift (the side with no tape) had a centered portion of the gift wrap pattern centered on the top.
  • I affixed the two name labels, lining them up ceneted on the top.

If this doesn't get me points for effort, then I don't know what will. I just hope she notices it :)

Well, it's getting late, and I have japanese class tomorrow morning. I hope I can find some way to get this gift to Sara. CR said he might see her and would be able to give it to her if he does.

I feel good.

February 13 2001

I hate bad days... I started off today full of good intentions. I was going to go to uni early and do some study in the library and the computer lab. Then I was going to meet Kate and Mark for lunch. Then I had a hospital appointment at 3pm for a scan.

At least, that was what was supposed to happen...

In reality: I overslept, and didn't wake up until about 10.30. I then got ready to leave and was literally about to walk out the front door when I had a nosebleed and had to change. Not good. So no getting in early or meeting people for lunch. Then I find that my hospital appointment was cancelled because the doctor was sick or something. So that didn't happen either, and has been rebooked for 3 weeks time. Plus the one lecture I had was boring and I cannot stand the lecturer as he is a complete patronising git.

Oh, and to cap it all off, I am sick to death of most of the people in the student society that I am running. It seems like there are the "nice domesticated geeky normal types" at one side, and the queeny clubkid posse on the other, and it's just not working. There are too many people who want to be in charge and it seems to be wearing me down. I think I'm going to resign and stick to doing things with the people I like and get on with. Should make me feel better and less stressed...

Sorry for whinging but I just needed a rant :-)


February 14 2001

After writing this last night, it disappeared. I think it was nuked for whatever reason, I guess I should have created it as a day-log to begin with. I got it back, and it seems to have survived its trip to node heaven :-)

Just FYI, had a better day today, but still want to resign from the society... Enough complaining already :-)

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