Almost there...

Friday, June 27, 2003

The Pride Parade is this weekend. It's going to be one hell of a party this year. Wish I could go. But I've gotta go to Suzi and Sandi's house for a barbecue instead. Her comment today cracked me up. Kevin mentioned Scalia's comment about opening the door to the "homosexual agenda". Suzi said, "My gay agenda usually involves doing laundry, putting gas in the car,
watering the lawn. I don't know why people get so worked up about it." I love my Suzi. She rocks.

In other news, there's the natural antibody to HIV and new brain research has an amazing amount of potential.

Oh, that's not good...

Your Ultimate Purity Score Is...
CategoryYour Score Average
When I think about you - or anyone - I touch myself
It takes a couple of drinks
Sex Drive 36.8%
I got needs, baby, you gotta unnastan'!
Knows the other body type like a map
Gayness 16.1%
Makes Dr. Frank-n-Furter look tame
Fucking Sick71.7%
Dipped into depravity
You are 41.69% pure
Average Score: 72%

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Okay, okay, I know. Feast or Famine. So deal.

The one thing that's kept me sane during the last few long long weeks of web development (the originator tutorial is now done too!), was listening to the station I created on Launchcast. Over time, I've probably wasted hours and hours rating songs and artists and albums, but the net result is that my station keeps me entertained for hours and hours and hours. If you want to know what kind of music I like, you can listen to it too. Right now it seems to be under the impression that I really love My Fair Lady, but other than that, it's quite a nifty little mix.

I just had the strangest experience. I had a lovely lunch with Daniel, a chap I became acquainted with at Fezziwigs last season. He was the dancer I could always count on to save me this year. Each year, there seems to be one patron who shows up regularly and is a good dancer and who willingly dances with me. Daniel was that person this year, bless him. He's here on campus this week doing waltz week.

Anyway, we were walking back out of the Beckman Bistro, and I noticed that one of the tree planters was smoking. Turns out, it was actually smoldering. No real flames per se, but it had gone from a cigarette butt to actually igniting the surrounding leaves and mulch. I tried crushing it out with a wad of paper that was in the planter, but it was too hot for that. So I ran back downstairs, grabbed a water bottle, refilled it in the bathroom, and ran back upstairs. I carefully poured the water first in the center of the smoldering mass, then as that sizzled out, widened my circle until everything was wet and a lot cooler. I still smell like smoke.

I'm glad I noticed. But wow is that seriously odd. Perhaps the karma fairy wanted to give me a freebie. Who knows.

Addendum: On my way to my next meeting, there was a woman looking really lost in the field. I asked her if she was, and she pointed at the map and said, "Is this Panama street?" She was far more lost than she though. 90 degrees and about 1000 feet off course. So I pointed her back in the right direction. Now I'm really wondering if the karma fairy was out there throwing things in my path today. If so, I'm hoping I passed the test and got a couple of chits in the bank. I could use some good fortune in the next month or so.

Well, it has to happen sooner or later. It may as well be now.

Yes. I refused a collect call from love.

I was in college, living in a studio apartment in Berkeley near the corner of Ashby and Sacramento. It was a nifty place above an old market, behind a heavy locked door that led out to the ghetto. I had a lot of good times in that place.

One bright sunny morning, the phone rang. I stumbled out of bed, books tumbling to the floor from some late night studying. I answered the phone and was greeted by an recorded voice saying, "This is the AT&T operator. Will you accept a collect call from (pause) Love (Pause). Press 1 for yes. Press 2 for no. Press 3 to repeat this message.

I pressed 3. The message repeated. I strained my ears trying to make out someone's name that I knew, or a recognizable voice. Again I was prompted. I pressed 3 again, but this time I was taken to a live operator. A rather surreal conversation ensued. She asked if I had a question. I said, "Who is calling?" She played the recording again. I said, "Did he say "Love"?" She said she would check. She cut over to the caller, and then came back. Yes, it was a collect call from Love. I said, "Love? Like L-O-V-E love?" She said yes. I said, "I don't know anyone named Love." She said, "Would you like to accept the charges?" I ran through my monthly budget in my head, and thought better of it, remembering urban legends of incredibly expensive calls from offshore islands and such. I thought of who could possibly be calling. I thought of the stalker-boy I had in high school. And I said, "Um, no, I don't think so." She said okay and hung up. I crawled back into bed, tossed and turned for a few minutes, and then got up, my mind still wondering who was really calling.

Forest came over for his standard Tuesday night dinner that evening. We had a tradition of X-Files (taped) and dinner on Tuesdays. Over dinner I mentioned the call. He said, "Wait... you refused a collect call from Love? Are you insane?" I realized I must be. Love came calling, but I wouldn't accept the charges. And I'll never know what might have been.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I hate to start back to writing again with a pet peeve, but driving on campus is just getting silly. They've added another stop sign between Quarry and Via Ortega. So, within a quarter of a mile, that makes five stop signs. Getting through there in the morning takes forever. Two of the stop signs aren't at intersections at all. They're at crosswalks, one of which goes to an empty building still under construction. And the three intersections all have crosswalks as well. Trying to get to work on the northwest side of campus in the morning, coming from the southeast is an exercise in patience at best, and more often an utterly maddening waste of time and fuel economy. At lunch time yesterday, we went a mile out of our way to avoid this gauntlet of stop signs and single lane traffic.

Add to this the 25 mph speed limit on Embarcadero Road. Palo Alto has installed LED signage that displays the speed limit in bright golden lights, and then alternates to your current speed. No one on Embarcadero drives 25. It's a four lane roadway that is the main thoroughfare from Highway 101 to Stanford University as identified by the signs preceding the offramp and at the exit. Palo Alto believes it's a quiet residential street. Palo Alto is delusional. Were this street in any other city, the speed limit would be posted at 35 or 40 miles an hour. But it's in Palo Alto. So, instead of providing some incentive to go the speed they desire (like timing the lights so that you are rewarded for travelling at 23-25 miles an hour) or actually reevaluating the street to recognize it as a main thoroughfare, they create more expensive signage to be threatening and make drivers feel like there might be increased enforcement. This typifies Palo Alto to me. It wants to be an exclusive gated community, but unfortunately has to let the riff-raff in to go to work at all those places providing the nice tax base. I hate Palo Alto. It's Palo Alto's fault that we don't (and won't ever) have BART going to San Jose down the peninsula, looping the bay, and making one unified public transit system. Palo Alto doesn't want it in their nieghborhood, let alone have to pay for it. Of course, they don't want the cars in their neighborhood either, as evidenced by their efforts to restrain and complicate traffic patterns whereever possible. But without Stanford and the other companies that have grown up around it, Palo Alto would be just another suburb. And Stanford and those other companies have a lot of people who have to go to work to continue to provide the revenue and innovation that makes Palo Alto more than just another suburb. Palo Alto needs to wise up and be part of the bay area community instead of believing itself to be an island. I'm afraid only Alameda gets that privlege.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

One week until the deadline. I've got my ducks in a row, now it's just a matter of whether or not they swim. Or, more accurately, whether or not the twin fates of luck and motivation hold out for another week. I've only had a couple of minor technical setbacks so far, and have successfully finished the Approver Tutorial at the minimum level. I need to write a quiz and figure out how to implement it, and do some tweeks, but it's basically done.

Meanwhile, I'm holding up pretty well, except that I keep forgetting things outside of work. I only hope I don't manage to forget that I have tickets to Wicked next Thursday.

For now, it's off to sleepy land.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

While here in the states, we're still trying to get marriage defined as a union between a man and a woman, I'm now less worried about it. Times are changing. America looks like a big fuddy duddy bully to the rest of the world, and our neighbors in Canada had their first legally recognized gay marriage yesterday. Congratulations Mike and Michael! Meanwhile, the walls are cracking here as well when a couple kisses on the Tony awards and it isn't perceived as wildly risky, or a career limiting move. Sure, some will perceive this as the end of civilization, but it's quite the contrary. If there's one thing everyone should be allowed to do, it's love each other. And any deranged religion that tells you otherwise is evil (and/or just trying to get you to breed so that they can make more money).

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

A few years ago, among the Disney geeks, it was noted that Disneyland had let it's payment for a no-fly zone over the park lapse. For a while, this led to some relatively un-Disney planes flying banners over the park and such. But, with September 11th, it looks like they got their privileged air space back at no cost to them. And isn't it a shame that anti-gay groups aren't able to fly banners over the park during Gay Days? It really would add a lot of humor value, I suspect. Imagine 130,000 homosexuals pointing and laughing in unison as the plane flies over. That would be a beautiful thing. Eh, probably better that they just have a nice day at the park.

Monday, June 09, 2003

More than a few folks have asked me about what I said about the Plough last week. For the record, it wasn't that I had a rotten time last Monday. On the contrary, it was mostly good. But it just didn't feel like home anymore. And the ratio of time and energy invested didn't seem to pay off in the enjoyment value received. And I never in a million years thought I would get to that point, but as I approach my ten year anniversary there, it seems more and more likely that my tolerance for the annoyances will not continue to exceed the joy of being there, and therefore, I will stop taking the trek on a regular basis. I could list of a litany of reasons why I've gotten to this point, and I have given a different set of reasons to just about everyone who has asked (with a few items showing up consistently in each version), but there's no good reason to go into that. They're the reasons for me, but I would not care to share them lest I shorten anyone else's length of enjoyment of the Plough on Mondays. It's still a special, sometimes magical place, and I feel a loss to not see it in my future. But for the first time ever (*well, not ever, but the first time since the first year I was dancing there), I think it's a real possibility. And that makes me terribly sad.

I may be totally wrong. All this may not matter three, six, or twelve months from now. But I may be right. And that revelation is actually what I was originally intending to write about.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

God damn it. For every pissant victory, there's three actions by the overly homogenous congress and executive branch that just make me want to scream.

I used the ACLU action form and sent a fax on this one, adding this to their suggested text:
"A flag is a symbol of a nation. Flag burning is a symbolic protest of the
actions of that nation. It harms no one, but does serve to make a point in
a non-violent, non-agressive way. This is the foundation of free speech in
America - the ability to voice our opinion so long as the way we do it
doesn't physically hurt others. By banning flag burning, it symbolically
states that our nation no longer wants to hear the voice of its people."

Heaven knows it won't do a lick of good, but I seriously feel like we're sliding into Heinlein's vision of Coventry. Sure, there's good news here and there, but I'm scared to let myself be pleased with any of it, because it's just a distraction from the evils being perpetrated. I can't believe they really passed the "Partial Birth" abortion ban, and a no flag burning bill in the same week. Gah!

Wog. Marathon day at work yesterday. Phone calls and meetings and emails during business hours followed by another six hours of creating a presentation and developing the help pages for the Worklist Manager. Left here at 11:00. I expected to sleep in this morning, but Thomas stayed over last night and between he and Rick being up til 2 playing video games and then the two of them getting up at 8 and padding around the house, I was awake, so I headed on into work. The bad part of that is that I'm too tired to do it again tonight, and I really need to. So, I'll probably be here on Sunday. Such is the way of it. I finished the Authority Manager Tutorial on Monday (or at least as much as is going to get done before August). Now I have to do the Originator and Approver tutorials is half the time it took to do the Authority tutorial. Yes, that's twice as much in half the time. I'm screwed. And I really wish I was a machine instead of a biological entity. And I've already gained six pounds from being in front of my desk too much. I really hope I fit into my costume for the Ardenwood Celtic Festival on Saturday. And I have nothing to ready to wear for Gaskells. Oy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Wow. It's possible I may have finally overfilled my tolerance for Starry Plough bullshit. It no longer seems worthwhile to drive 2.5 hours on a weeknight to dance. They say that the crowd at the Plough turns over thoroughly every ten years. I thought for sure I could beat that statistic, but I don't think I will. I've been gone because of work for the last month or so, and my ability to tolerate the crap didn't improve. Usually I miss it so much that I'll tolerate anything to go back. But I think I'm done now. Weird. Maybe I'll feel different in the fall. For the near term, I'll be working really late for another 3 weeks. After that I may try again. But I think I should definitely wait it out until I want to deal with the place as it is.

Of course, I'm feeling really disconnected from my life and the things I used to enjoy in general right now. Maybe it's just a phase. Maybe I'll feel different next month. But right now, I think if someone offered me a dream job far away, I would actually consider it. Go figure.

One odd thing I've noticed. When my friends have kids, within a year, they move away or seriously consider it. Dirk and Tracey did. Bill and Cynthia are looking at Missouri right now. Elizabeth and Sean are looking at Colorado. Have kid, will leave. Why is that?

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Had a really great weekend with Dirk and Camryn. They arrived on Saturday and we spent the afternoon playing around the house. Camryn is still the best kid I've ever met. If I could order one just like her, I might consider having kids. Still, getting to borrow her periodically is probably better. It's amazing how kids can have so much fun with the simplest things. A green blanket tossed over Rick's head became the green monster. We all took turns being the green monster. Camryn would throw herself to the floor, and we'd throw the blanket over her, and she'd growl and roar. The only cure for a green monster is tickles.

We babysat while Dad went off to a wedding on Sunday evening. We went to the pool, which was still a tad chilly, especially for Camryn. She got as far as her ankles, and then told Rick he should swim and she'd watch. She loved watching him duck under the water and pop back out. With dire warnings about how tough tooth brushing would be and not to expect her to fall asleep, we got through it all with flying colors - clean kiddo, clean teeth, stories read, a quick call to mom for a song, another story, and then out before the end of it. She is such an amazing little angel. She's got eyes to make an anime character jealous. Gotta get up to Seattle soon.

Meanwhile, it's 3 more weeks of hibernation until I've got to have everything done. Don't expect to see me out and about much. Well, except Friday Night Waltz. And Gaskells. And Ardenwood. And SF Free Folk Fest. And, well, okay, during the week. Ahem.