Friday, September 21, 2018

the other side

friday 14th:

just after 2am, giving up on ganache after hours of struggle then discovering that something i'd done had sorted out ganache-cli

the doors earworms, starting the day later than planned (mr smear continuing to be uncharacteristically uncooperative after waking up at 4am and needing an emergency shower around 5 or 6)

dropping him off at school seemingly alright, heading through to the gym where their printer was out of order (?!) so walking in the rain trying to find a signal for an interesting chat about volunteer mentoring

gd taking longer than planned, skipping the pharmacy to pick up a passed-out mr smear (who'd been uncharacteristically grouchy and clingy), grab all our belongings and rush to the airport fifteen minutes late...

... a good valet experience, checking in but needing a lock, gd desperately hungry and by the time we'd delivered the luggage and taken a few bites we realized that boarding should have been closed O_o

tossing good food, literally running through the airport with hand luggage and a needy mr smear on my shoulder, getting through security without a food issue (could've kept those veggie burgers) and running across to the gate at the other end... to find a good, long queue going nowhere

boarding easily, a long two hours needing to nap but attending to mr smear's complaints about the seatbelt and trying to keep him occupied

last baggage, a long walk to the car rental agency, a generally easy pickup then a nightmare navigation fail; eventually - with miracles and wonders - arriving at the northcliff pharmacy five minutes before closing after driving through the heart of johannesburg (which was quite the experience)

quick shopping, arriving at my brother's home which he's transformed into a beautiful mansion since i lived with him, a big, enjoyable family dinner that i caused havoc with by forgetting to let gd know that she needed to make something

a power outage up the road making my joke about my brother not having internet a lot less funny

mr smear throwing a long tantrum with lots of fake cries, all the way (eventually) to bed, a couple of hours (re)calibrating

saturday 15th:

then finally going to bed just after midnight, cottonmouth from the local dry air

strangely comfortable beds (moving around hurt, but at rest felt amazing), a slow start to the morning taking mr smear into the garden in beautiful weather

my very real concern about mr smear and television

gd beginning to understand how absurdly terrifying being in johannesburg is

quickly shopping for stuff gd had left in cape town, mr smear throwing a tantrum at cresta mall and after half an hour of fake crying and screaming realizing that he was getting nothing out of it

a long and scary drive to kyalami, finally parking and realizing that it was a proper hike to the convention centre - gd couldn't handle that, so we "made a plan" by bribing a crew leader for a disabled pass but didn't have enough to bribe the next guy - no access for us without crutches or a wheelchair and after all that turning around and driving right back to my brother's

a bath and a nap, shopping tantrum management at northcliff corner, hido's home and fun with dobermans (some good, some not so much),  home for a trial before bedtime, an hour or two calming down then an early bedtime for us

sunday 16th:

up early on a beautiful morning, enjoying quite a lot of it, beginning to re-read the warlock in spite of himself outside or on the couch between roughhousing sessions

leaving a half hour later than planned, which was already an hour later than i'd planned, saying goodbye to my brother while mr smear screamed (it became funny once we realized he was prefixing each whine with a particular scream), but overriding him with music to which he relatively quickly passed out, (it really does soothe the savage beast)

instructing waze to take us to the airport without toll roads and being taken on a wild ride through johannesburg's back streets and eventually passing the airport turnoff and realizing we were being directed somewhere else; trying to adjust course and being sent to some obscure cargo drop-off two kilometres away, eventually (angry and stressed) finding the airport itself and struggling to get to the car rental returns, mr smear making the handover and walk really unpleasant but eventually calming down

easy checkin and security, a few minutes for a coffee stop then boarding relief, a mostly pleasant flight but a massive tantrum that lasted the entire landing left a bad taste in everyone's mouths (apparently quite a few people thought i was abusing mr smear because i'd slap his hand every time he hit me)

no trolleys available in an international airport, steers veggie burgers for dinner, picking up the car and being unable to manage the clutch after a weekend with an i10 grande, home, shower, french nursery rhymes, thank goodness for granny (brushing teeth the hard way)

starting tsotsi but stopping because it was too much for gd, a couple of episodes of paradise pd before passing out

monday 17th:

waking up with a bit of a stiff neck, starting the day with sesame street, getting mr smear to school a bit earlier than usual (three batmen!)

a broken spindle dryer, replacing the mixer, fighting with telkom for my money back (winning), eventually napping for fifteen minutes before finally getting an hour of work done on my third coffee

picking up mr smear and getting him home for a positive afternoon with the new nanny, not being able to get much work done then being sent shopping

the new pharmacist assistant 's incompetence

my phone crashing while dialling for the second time, not waiting for sailor, him arriving with delicious vegan pizza in time to read there was an old lady who swallowed a fly to mr smear before bed, an easy bedtime

a long discussion that got pretty heavy for a while (epigenetics fact vs fake news), coffee and gd's chocolate and passing out on the couch

tuesday 18th:

up at 5am, forty minutes of desktop clearing (including some exciting humble bundle purchases)

fiddling with geth for a couple of hours until mr smear woke up, getting him started with nursery rhymes and cereal then dropping out for a really comfortable hour's sleep

dropping him off on time and heading to the gym, a good workout while learning about the carnivore diet, properly relaxing in the jacuzzi (suspended) and feeling really good afterwards

south africa taking a step towards legalization

working well, picking up mr smear and taking him home, not getting any work done (including a surprise trip to sea point to pick up baby wipes and kimchi), yom kippur pre-fast dinner and a long chat about the hypocrisy of jews not wearing leather on yom kippur but beginning and ending their fasts with animal products

leaving mr smear with a sick gd and going to kol nidre alone, an inspiring service even if for some negative reasons, getting pulled over by a cop for no apparent reason, coming home after mr smear went to bed

reading funny tweets from crap dates then going to bed early

wednesday 19th:

up early, managing mr smear, taking him to the temple for a not-particularly-spiritual morning, picking up a box from my mom's, coming home drained and putting mr smear to bed and stuffing myself and crashing

seeing an announcement in the news from SxS

up coffee chocolate shower temple (letting mr smear run free)

breaking the fast at my sister's, mr smear falling asleep to psytrance ("space robot music" ) on the cold (10°C) drive home

a pause for coffee and finishing crap dates

thursday 20th:

getting to bed at 3am after managing tasks and checking out the streets of rage port

sleeping in a little, getting up groggy and paying the local grocer a visit before taking mr smear to school (still getting excited because the indians are selling fudge, still being disappointed because it's not chickpea fudge)

a good workout in spite of oversized shoes (too late now, but i have since learned to only trust japanese sizing), an awkward chat with my cousin at the gym, good work, getting mr smear home, eating some of gd's pizza, driving to the waterfront for a long deliberation before buying gd a new phone (so that I could take hers), home to take mr smear to the company gardens, the sudanese refugee, squirrels and ducks, mr smear assuring the cat that he'd teach him not to be afraid of ghosts and showing off his "pretty bike", dinnertime and playtime, granny visit, quick-ish shower and toothbrush before pre-bedtime tantrum-time

an evening spent configuring and switching phones

friday 21st:

and finally pausing around 1am, waking up periodically but not properly until 7am to continue configuring (and post this from my phone)

Friday, September 14, 2018

routinely routineless

friday 7th:

suspecting the green tea of having made me feel ill, queasy and faint, lying down for a bit then waking up with mr smear to spongebob shorts (because postman pat is a real loser, and his town enables animal abuse)

more tantrums getting ready for school, a mostly fine drop-off, an official weigh-in (apparently my bmi is high, but my waistline proves it's not unhealthy), grocery shopping (insulting the store supervisor trying to pick up an item that i later discovered was from somewhere else), a traffic jam home, unfair elevator policy (we can only transport things in one of them, but we can't choose which elevator arrives), trying to fit the postbox lock (the measurements were all wrong), discovering that i'd bought the wrong colour remote (if the colour matters, ****ing TELL people!)

working until pickup time, another soiled pair of pants, mr smear happily roughhousing with bigger kids, bringing him home with tool's lateralus, mom's storeroom and the locksmith freebie, shopping taking too long and then being stuck in front of a smelly, loaded man who insisted on having a conversation with the back of my head, traffic back home, gd's apple butter, taking mr smear to the temple (with a 30 minute tantrum preamble), a good start, mostly positive until towards the end when i had to take him outside to finish screaming, successfully tricking me so that he could drink his wine before kiddush, a five minute conversation on the way home that freaked me out until i realized he was quoting a scene from something, arriving home in need of a stiff drink (vanilla infused rum ftw), slow cooked dinner, granny getting mr smear into bed, an unpleasantly long evening

saturday 8th:

a long night, sciatica having become a feature, mr smear's breakfast burgers (fry's asian spiced), eventually heading out to kirstenbosch for a really nice (and natural) playdate, dnd introductions and mr smear falling into a pond (also scaring the crap outta me on a bridge by almost falling far onto sharp rocks)

a pleasant walk back to the car, a painless drive home, a surprising lack of naps, more spongebob then taking mr smear to the company gardens with his bike; good riding, duck swarming, a man cursing someone out (apparently for being mean to birds), the copper man beneath a big tree, squirrels versus rats (the squirrels won)

gd's pizza the third, fun pre-shower shenanigans until heads got bumped, shower / bath / fake fear of the foam crab, negotiating toothbrushing, a lovely bedtime (in particular reading him life is but a dream for the first time in a while)

elon musk on joe rogan inspiring us to watch ready player one

sunday 9th:

going to bed at 2am after an hour and a half exploring jwt and oauth

another night of intriguing dreams, another morning with sciatica aforethought, a friend's newborn daughter's brita and khoi pond play, raspberry frozen coconut yoghurt, home, nap, sailor, gardens with the bike, a particularly stinky homeless man, broken ladders, smokers in the kid's spots

adventure time, second lunch and snacks, arriving at the temple with mr smear passed out, sciatica crush and an entire service including an honour with him on my shoulder

a fun dinner at my sister's, mr smear dominating the dogs with confusion

home around 11pm, a quick story bedtime

monday 10th:

getting to bed at 3am after almost three hours of putting together an online poetry slam channel that might have worked if youtube hadn't disabled comment mentions (what?!?!)

a late wakeup, mr smear crawling into the bed to cuddle then going around to the other side to discover that gd had gone to see a doctor (to receive positive news)

ipad games, humus and challah and tea, gd building lego with him, around noon taking him outside (stopping to drop off the right-coloured remote for programming) into a lovely day and paying the aquarium a visit

arriving in the parking lot with him telling me not to yell at him (i haven't in a while) and that i'm the worst dad ever - which stings regardless of whether or not he knows what he's saying

aquarium sand pit fun and a puppet show, wolfing down a laffa before playing outside before grabbing coffee (giving him the old phone to play with), having to explain to another child's mother that letting their kid jungle gym with ice cream isn't cool

back home, no naps, finally sitting down to manage medical bills and GAP insurance while spongebob played out behind me, showering and prepping for dinner, struggling out of the parking lot trap i'd helped set (and my mother calling while i was being instructed by three different people), taking our little chinese dragon to our cousins and arriving with him passed out

an adult friday night dinner with lots of good food and conversation, unintentionally waking mr smear on the way out, getting him into pajamas and whispering him to sleep

ready player one, enjoying it immensely the second time even if some of its flaws showed more

tuesday 11th:

not clear if mr smear's complaints and cries were in his sleep or not, trying to help and getting told to "stop talking, daddy"

1.20am bedtime

another full viewing of spongebob over oatees while letting gd sleep in, then going back to bed for a bit before beginning a morning full of chores. taking mr smear to play and picnic in the park with his best friend, gd joining us for a while, returning home around 4pm for mr smear's first tantrum in two days

a shopping run by myself (three times queuing at the pharmacy), coffee with my mom then returning home to make a salad (which i basically ate by myself), taste gd's home-made chocolate (amazing), shower mr smear and get him into bed (which involved bad behaviour that i managed from his side but didn't manage from gd's)

intense communication failure

diving into work and slowly but surely getting things done

wednesday 12th:

going strong (or, "doing stuff"), until 2.30am

begrudgingly up early-ish and getting mr smear to school precisely at our regular late o'clock, "i can't play with my friends, we're not wearing the same boots"

first gym visit since july, taking it easy but with similar output to before, finishing up feeling pretty good

(was that our abusive cousin i bumped into?)

a few hours of mostly work, finally getting into the meat of crypto

stopping by cp&b to order a mixer for the bathtub, picking up a very happy mr smear, solid psytrance kid!, home for a bit, a tantrum going out because we turned off the tv (that's not good, we've warned him that if that becomes a thing there won't be any more telly), getting to the museum and enthusiastically rearranging the furniture rather than viewing exhibits, feeding squirrels ("one for me, one for the squirrel")

getting the locksmith to reopen for me, buying vegan cold cuts and not buying a whole bunch of things that were out of stock (are our tastes too mainstream?)

installing a cam lock in a postbox that was clearly installed by someone who was drunk on the job

my first time actually playing catch with my son, checking out guacamelee! and being quite impressed

a mostly good shower / bath and bedtime, getting him to sleep by reading the first chapter of roald dahl's matilda

catching up on last week tonight while eating dinner and chocolate, then deciding to crash around 10pm with the intention of getting up to work

thursday 13th:

a restless night, partially caused by resetting my alarm every couple of hours, but effectively sleeping until 7.20

finally resolving tuesday night's issues, arriving late to mr smear's new school's interview - a wild success, he already has friends there and he adored the campus - dropping him off with his class, returning home before remembering that i needed to pick up the bathtub mixer, driving to pick it up, returning to the school to drop off a second lunch, returning home and working solidly for a few hours, being approached to mentor junior devs by a good recruiting firm, picking up an irritable mr smear: he'd fallen, but he'd also skipped his nap, had a busy afternoon and was visibly fighting sleep

powerful psytrance knocking him out on the way home, putting him to bed and organizing my payslip (and gambling on crypto with some unexpected extra), a little more work then dinner and the spiderwick chronicles, which had great potential but was only mildly entertaining due to horrible writing. my mom arriving to say goodbye and helping me navigate the thoroughly abysmal websites for checking in to our flight, booking airport parking for our car and renting one for johannesburg (my brother said we should use uber, but we could get a car for the whole weekend for the price of one uber ride from his place to comiccon)

settling in to work again but being called to mr smear's room to feed him (we allow bananas and squishies in bed), read another chapter of matilda and then fall asleep trying to get him to sleep in spite of having just had half a cup of coffee)

friday 14th:

resuming work at midnight, spending more than an hour on trying to get node-gyp working (after having spent a good hour or two earlier), posting this at 1.15am and planning on being in bed by 1.30

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

on gender identity and transitioning

scrapper just posted a link to a very, very long article on the state of transitioning research. fortunately, he advised me to skip to the conclusion and it pretty much summarizes what i've come across of late.

from what i've read i've begun to believe that "educating" children about gender is not only unnecessary but confusing to them, and that both encouraging (more than just accepting how your kids feel) and discouraging (just accept how your kids feel) are both forms of abuse. if there's a serious body dysmorphia issue when they're older, then make sure they have the support (family and professional) that they need.

what we really need is to - as a society - stop caring about an individual's gender preferences and behaviours. seriously, who the **** cares if a boy or girl behaves like the opposite sex or what kids wear or any of that crap. constructing identity based on these kinds of things is precisely why we have such messed up identity politics in the first place.

build your identity on things that matter, like values and principles and tastes, and let's move the **** on! as gd says: it's time to step out of the anal phase.

Friday, September 07, 2018

sleep and dreams

it's one thing i've had the spongebob squarepants theme song stuck in my head for two days, and i'm now used to sciatica keeping me awake and tossing and turning, but i just got up from a really long, surreal nightmare of being hunted by an infinitely dense army of insects, from my first home to an office block in town where everyone was treated to a vision of table mountain surrounded by a dark storm of densely packed giant fish.

that's now the third night in a row that i've actually slept; i really, really need to be well again.

wednesday 5th:

getting up at 5.45am for housekeeping and work, crashing just before 7 and having a hard time getting up again

mr smear also struggling to wake up but sharing a great start to the day, dropping him off at school and returning to gd watching alan watts lectures and setting up my desk to be able to sit down

hummus lunch and a bit of the long earth, my third coffee helping as little as the first, the plumbers arriving before i left to pick up mr smear in a serious hurry to return so that gd could leave for her appointment - obviously he pooped as i arrived and once we were finally on our way home the streets were blocked by driving that was clearly the result of a dumbnado

mr smear playing puzzle games while we waited for the plumber to finish, being hit with a ridiculously high fee, trying to gather myself to take mr smear out in unpleasant weather and realizing later that i wasn't just exhausted but was unwell

going to the supermarket for a few items then coming home to a sponge out of water (is that the third time this week? i can keep going), dinner, an easy bedtime and then my own bedtime

thursday 6th:

sleeping almost through, although the lower backache made me toss and turn as usual

late morning, still not feeling great, long prep for a quick meeting with the architect, picking out a dev machine then picking up mr smear, hand-washing tantrum management, mom's storeroom run for a pilates ball, painter introduction, selling a chair back to the second hand furniture store (R100 return on our R500 rip-off), key-cutters, grocery store, home, dinner

mr smear didn't poop in the bath, but he'd pooped before and managed to remove his diaper and get in without letting on :/

there's a thing he does that i love and can't stand simultaneously: when i'm trying to put him down and he doesn't want me to, he throws his legs out to catch mine and makes it impossible to lower him. it's a strong move and my only way out is to spread my legs wide enough that he can't reach, but that's impossible in small spaces like the bathroom.

gd rescuing what could have been a rough bedtime (he wanted juice, he wasn't getting juice), watching a bit of disenchantment but passing out on the couch

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

like a hand caught in an elevator door

you never really appreciate the significance of "close door" buttons in elevators until your kid gets their hand caught in one. and as you push against the door for dear life with one hand and repeatedly, futilely hunt down and mash the "close door" button with the other you remember that they're designed only to close the door slightly faster when you've already picked a destination and you're selfishly shutting someone else out.

we're extremely grateful that yesterday evening didn't result in a maiming. also, i kinda feel like the event was a metaphor for this past month.

sunday 19th:

watching bits of penny arcade's strip search while getting setup on a second project

monday 20th:

a midnight struggle with mr smear's nappy rash

going to wake up mr smear, and for the first time since we moved starting his day positively

my favourite: emergency shopping before i've had coffee, making me late to drop mr smear off at school. not being healthy enough to return to the gym, returning home and having to deal with medical aid and apartment issues instead of working

getting some work done, at least, before wolfing down a couple of pancakes and picking up mr smear, trying to pick up museum passes on the way home

fifteen minutes to get into a handover meeting with my previous employer, in the middle of the call receiving a text informing me that i'd need to hand over their dev machine soon and forcing me to spend the next couple of hours backing up and wiping my data

moving boxes with my mom, showering mr smear (positive), putting him to bed (a long, sad time), crashing for a half hour

tuesday 21st:

waking up at 3.30am and working (a lot of pc setup) until 4.30am, with a hectic sinus situation and lying down feeling awful... but jumping up to scribble poetry

late morning, gd man down, school - game - home - dentist, unpacking (failing to find my id but locating a bunch of other important stuff), handing over my work machine to SxS's cousin, a good first work meeting

picking up mr smear, a museum visit (still no passes?!), feeding birds and squirrels, making the bronze man sad (why u no entertain??), a long call from a canadian debt collection agency with a decent-seeming guy who said he'd set up a conference call with bell representatives... a long call in the middle of town with mr smear in my easily-tiring arms...

nap time and strip search, a little work then grocery shopping then a struggle to wash mr smear's hands then helping my mom with her storeroom and taking a bunch more things and coming home to shower mr smear (good shower, but his rash is awful and cleaning him was demanding), reading-ish time (he read c is for cthulhu while i tried not to fall asleep), then suddenly realizing it was 10pm already

strip search and dinner, chocolate and marshmallows, lots more nothing than intended

wednesday 22nd:

intending to sleep five hours but getting a surprise hyper 3-4am episode that was apparently caused by a fear of bears

waking up with the landline installation guys and sinusitis, waking mr smear with psytrance ("space robot music" for my little space pirate)

another day full of mucus

physically going to the periodontist to cancel gd's treatment because their phones were out, chores and work and finishing a one minute poem for the upcoming slam

giving the wardrobe motion sensor lights another chance with new batteries (good idea!)

picking up mr smear who hadn't napped, home for an afternoon filled with a mixture of fun, work and sadness - in a number of ways he seems to have regressed and it's hard for me to reconcile my notion of him being awesome and clever with frustrating behaviour that i find utterly confounding (like not wanting to change his diaper when he's got an awful rash, drinking from a cup by dipping his hand in and sucking it, wasting a table full of good food)

my first work "success" (determining that an issue isn't an issue after hours of fiddling with firefox attempting to reproduce)

selling a fridge and a washing machine, learning about Q

making my salad again for the first time in years and really enjoying it

showering mr smear, a struggle to brush his teeth, a pleasant reading and an early night, having time to eat and watch random shit and do a little web-presence housekeeping before going to bed before 9pm

thursday 23rd:

up at midnight and paranoid about mr smear's potty training and being paid on time

up at 1am for an hour or two dealing with mr smear's fever

snoozing an hour and getting out of bed at 5.15 to work, being quite productive for the next couple of hours, mr smear waking up still sick but pleasantly communicating, catching a bedbug, invoice surprise, sudden power outage

coffee for wifi, invoicing same value in usd as my previous employer, overflowing cups

doctor parasaurolophus pride, stunted growth big breakfast sandwich and spitting half the spinach pharmacy tower building (with pill boxes)

getting mr smear to nap, spending his nap time on the phone to bell canada (see my previous post)

a LOT of desk clearing (does it ever end?)

joining my mother on a mission to get her a new pc and set it up, finding the right model in spite of the assistant, and my mom bailing on the setup and dinner to have drinks

musing on my eldest niece's awful choice in husbands (she's finally discovered that she's his beard and now that she's initiating a divorce he's suddenly showing more of an interest in their newborn son)

mr smear eating well again, a generally good shower experience but frustration again over wasted water due to a stupidly designed mixer (any mixer with separate hot / cold taps is barely helpful)

easily getting mr smear to sleep, either because he finds my poetry voice soothing or really boring

a few episodes of strip search before work, gd giving up because the audio quality is so bad

friday 24th:

wow, my chest just getting worse, working until 2am

nightmare hours of a feverish restless three year old

a very long day, a little bit of work amidst unpleasantness before last minute prep for the pest control people then squirrel feeding and watching parkour and bees and a walk to plant (with some asshole street cleaner upsetting all of us by touching mr smear's arm with zero consent), a pleasant chat with plant's new owner, good food, forgetting to pick up mr smear's jacket and arriving at the waterfront to discover i hadn't put the stroller in the trunk, sand eating at the school and grid lock to the waterfront and desperation coffee and slowly getting tp the temple and managing most of the service with relatively little coughing and mr smear on my lap singing along (or shushing the other kids), but also ripping challah before the prayer was said

stressed home arrival with the apartment still stripped for the pest control guys and mr smear passing out in my mom's arms, otherwise a nice evening, reconnecting with an old CLAWs friend (mr q)

difficulty breathing - bronchitis?

saturday 25th:

a few hours of sleep and then a very long early morning filled with crying and coughing; a mixture of relief and sadness learning that humans aren't the only species so badly designed that post-nasal drip is a thing

painful wakeup but combo meds seeming to help, a lot of focus on the slam, managing to register on time
the slam today was interesting and there were some amazing pieces, but i think i'm over the generally neoliberal virtue-signalling spaces these events tend to produce and i'm once again inspired to put together some kind of online slam experience (whatever that may look like). regarding my personal performance, i could've done better and should've done better; the dozens of excuses i may have don't change the fact that i didn't deliver what i wanted to and i'm going to have to take my time to present what i wrote in a more palatable manner.
hiring the new nanny, configuring my mom's new computer, a relatively easy time getting mr smear showered and ready for bed - getting him to sleep by encouraging him to listen to the windsong

getting a relatively early night

sunday 26th:

waking up around 4am angry with the museum management, but spending the next two hours sorting out my mother's computer instead of doing something about it

trying to find a new tactic to deal with mr "i want to be wet and smelly", gd putting out her back over a juice spill (apparently i'm a "nanny boy")

taking mr smear out around lunchtime and arriving at the waterfront with him completely out, sitting down for a coffee and coming up with a youtube strategy for a digital poetry slam

the hunt for a "jumping kangaroo", zenn the looper, returning the stroller to the car, a red frozen coconut yoghurt (raspberry seeds), watching shark feeding and penguin petting at the aquarium, a quiet ride home and putting him in bed with his coat and cap on

mom's pc might have been fine but transferring her outlook accounts was a few-hour long nightmare, everyone seeming to get sick again after seeming to be getting better

a really nice shower / bedtime, falling asleep on the couch after an episode of disenchanted and half a bag of soft, delicious marshmallows only to wake up groggy and with sore iliotibial bands

starting work around 11pm

monday 27th:

and completing my task (mostly) around 1.45am

waking up at alarm time to discover that my teammate had merged my pull request at 3am (yay!)

another night struggling to sleep with sore legs and lower back pain which has become more or less "normal" and chronic

becoming upset after discovering that telkom has been stealing money from me since april, then learning that they'd taken a whole lot of money out of my account after i'd already paid them (see previous post)

rage, rage, rage, picking up museum membership cards after receiving a pitiful excuse, more bureaucracy and feeling utterly wiped out

some successful tantrum strategy, a little work while managing a scam, joining a two hour queue at the pharmacy, a coffee with my mom at her coffee shop, quick shopping

a pleasant surprise in my email inbox on my way out, quickly moving my first ETH paycheque into rands, rushing off to pick up some more of our stuff from my mom's apartment and admire the new floors

my salad (flax fail), poor mr smear freezing cold before and after the shower, an easy bedtime, eating and watching disenchanted then passing out

tuesday 28th:

mr smear's hours of awful coughing combined with the pain of blocked sinuses to get me out of bed and working at 2.30am

finishing up around 5am, then up around 9 again for another long and uncomfortable day with the sinuses and coughing and sore back

getting my first new company paycheque into my account!

followed by learning that my bank won't give me credit unless i can find a way to get credit from somewhere else


fifteen minutes in the company gardens
mr smear to the doctor, not taking a precautionary prescription
when you're in a hurry and get a breakfast box instead of the sandwich you ordered
waiting with the cleaning lady's daughter while gd got jerked around by an unprofessional uber driver and mr smear decided he loved the spinach
dropping gd and mr smear at emergency to get a prescription (expensive), rushing to fill out existing prescriptions and arriving at the counter before realizing i should've waited to get the new one, returning to pick them up and my mom arriving to switch so i could go to the waterfront for the new prescription and do a grocery store run (rude asian tourists crowding me at checkout)

mr smear spitting out antibiotics (a very angry gd), super late shower and bedtime

wednesday 29th:

up around 4am to work and try to organize myself a bit better until wakeup time, mr smear sleeping soundly and begrudgingly letting him lie while watching true facts videos

dropping him off at school just before arriving at his next year's school interview which he should have been there for (really impressive)

taking gd to sea point and spending an hour at the mojo market with coffee, hummus and my thoughts, being inspired to write a framework for a racism poem

home, a little rest and a little work, picking up mr smear from a good day and taking him through to the dentist for a 3pm appointment which turned out to be a 3.30 (whoops)... there by the grace of a chalkboard and plastic teeth went we

an gratifyingly positive experience for all

home, eventually taking him and his bike out to the gardens for a bit (squirrels crowding us), then an early shower before saying goodnight and walking to rick's for drinks with hido and co (did his wife and i really talk about parenting for two whole hours?!)

home, a bit of you magnificent bastard, housekeeping (online purchases for the home), work

thursday 30th:

until cross-eyed at 00.30

sending the cleaning lady home because she came in sick (really? she couldn't call?)

dropping a clingy mr smear off very late

three hours of learning web3

picking up mr smear and witnessing a special moment:
mr smear: guys.
mr smear: guys.
mr smear: GUYS!

*everybody stops*

mr smear: are you building a house?

one of the other kids: yes

*mr smear slowly gives them a thumbs up*

mr smear: good job, guys.
the insult of finding solutions for ethernaut puzzles and realizing they didn't give enough information to make them more than just guessing games

playing local, feeling suddenly horrible, emergency big grocery run (a bar of zang helped), getting mr smear showered and into bed and leaving around 10pm to help my mom transport stuff

banking and elevator saga

friday 31st:

working until 2.15am and climbing into bed with sore legs and bum (a standing desk only isn't great)

gd feeling even sicker in the morning, paying salaries and getting mr smear ready and out (in his dragon onesie) much earlier than usual

driving straight through to my mom's to install a shelf (solid, it should've been done months ago not on move-out day), laughton's not selling posiflex screwdrivers, watching the movers damage things (and having to bribe them to move basic shit around)

stopping by cp&b on my way home, meeting our excellent handyman (who received lots of pain management advice in return), the relief from the wardrobe light not being broken

trying to work through fog, picking up mr smear, enjoying him following his new friend's example of peeing on a bush (confidence plus aiming) while his mother and i had a good chat about nutrition

some of a chai latte at my mom's coffee shop while we chased him up and down, rushing back to the move-out apartment to sell the fridge

the fridge taker was not only highly professional, but kind too - he helped us move the last items, and he also took the washing machine and oven off our hands so we're now definitely ready to find a dishwasher

mr smear generally being good, taking him to buy challah and stopping by the boxing gym for a minute, quickly shopping then returning home for kiddush, shower*, and a quickish bedtime during i was falling asleep more than him

an evening transferring, categorizing and prioritizing tasks and i'm pretty sure i'm almost done

still no money from my previous employer

saturday 1st september:

going to bed utterly bombed (unable to keep my eyes open) around 1.15am

me time until mr smear woke up, then preparing to go to the furniture store for a couple of hours, finally going but with lots of frustration

an unexpectedly very expensive trip (going for a dishwasher and leaving with a couch and bedside tables as well), figuring out how to lift my debit card limits only after giving up and paying via EFT - which ended up making the month more difficult than it needed to be

a difficult waterfront mission and being worn down by mr smear, finally getting home around 4.30 with him asleep; freaking out because gd had shared her ipad password with the cleaning lady (i think she's learned her lesson)

reconnecting virtually face-to-face with mr q after twenty years, not only really enjoying each others' company (and ending up with lots of "homework") but finding an accomplice in my shakespeare mission; sadly learning about his horrific mishap during the last few minutes of our hours together (he shattered his knees falling into his father's grave)

a juice run to the petrol station, a pleasant shower and mostly pleasant reading before bed, being so tired that i crawled straight into my own and then woke up a couple of hours later to a nightmare scene because he'd pooped a runny one and it had gone all over

finally getting him back to sleep, scribbling notes then trying to return to dreamland myself - building resentment for SxS's company over being underpaid for so long, then not being paid on time and having to pay bank penalties

sunday 2nd:

trying to start the day with santana (not appreciated), a very long morning with some good bits (like reading a few more pages of the long earth over coffee), eventually (after noon) taking mr smear to my mom's to help her reinstall her washing machine, being unfairly called out for how i handled a tantrum, taking mr smear to meet his brazilian friend at the park, then heading to primi piatti where the kids had a great time and so did we, reversing into a steel pillar just as my sinus headache and exhaustion returned with a vengeance, stopping by my mom's to try and fix the washing machine leak (which needed professionals)

bringing mr smear home with him falling asleep on my shoulder as we entered the apartment

howard the duck - impressively unfunny, if that's such a thing

housecleaning + going through photo albums, finally getting back to work around 11pm

risking waking mr smear by changing him while he was sleeping only to discover that his diaper wasn't as full as i thought

monday 3rd:

into bed around 1.45am, panicking a little about finances

a cyberpunk nightmare being chased by an agent in glass elevators, managing to pick up my partner's thrown hardware and hoping he got away

a good early morning, getting mr smear to school reasonably not late and back in time for my first dev meeting since joining the company - it was very nice getting enthusiastically positive feedback from our lead for a suggestion i'd sent earlier

it was also very nice getting buy-in from sailor for my telephony project

long brain-draining studying

museum samoosas and doritos

olive branch, stairs missions carrying fifteen kilos plus a lollipop, no men's baby changing stations part i

gardens centre, mr smear only wanting to play catch and throwing himself to the ground roughly (almost succeeding the second time), no men's baby changing stations part ii, almost getting his hand mangled in an elevator door (see above)

brilliant home-made pizza and spongebob squarepants, good shower / easy bedtime then going to bed myself

tuesday 4th:

a full night's sleep, a fairly pleasant morning, learning that mr smear's teacher had had to shower him after the previous day's accident and he'd been repeatedly saying sorry and thank you

the furniture delivery time not matching our expectations, a constructive chat with my accountants, great trance on the way to the hospital to provide a dna sample, meeting gd there and then going to the bank (visa application reappeal)

coming home to lunch and a little reading before going to pick up mr smear, home to receive the new furniture and escort the delivery guys to my mom's to drop off the couch we'd borrowed in the meanwhile

an afternoon working, making salad and gd making even better pizza and my mom coming over to join us for a bit

a fun shower and bedtime, although bedtime did drag a bit, some of avengers: infinity wars before gd crashed

finally getting my last paycheque from my previous employer, then posting this, then planning on getting some work done

Monday, August 27, 2018

if it's not bell, it's telkom


i have spent my morning furious, but i'm starting to find the humour in the absurdity. just after discovering that telkom had significantly overcharged me a while back and i hadn't picked it up (not the first time, i really do need to remember that they're a bunch of bandits) , i then received a message from FNB informing me that telkom had unexpectedly taken a whole lot of money out of my account - the exact same amount i'd paid them a week ago.

livid, i abandoned my morning responsibilities and went straight to the closest fnb branch where they informed me that although the money was stolen today, and i know about it, i can only report it tomorrow. WHAT - THE - ACTUAL - F***.
i was also distressed to learn that the reason telkom was able to take the money was because of a watch they'd put on my account (and forgotten to remove), which i don't recall agreeing to.

shocked, perhaps even angrier than before if such a thing was possible, i fumed for a bit before finally getting hold of telkom's billing department (i know, i'm impressed that i got through too!). after getting all my details and my payment reference for the previous week, the agent agreed that they had received the payment and took the money in error.

and could i please call back to open a dispute tomorrow, because that can't be done on the same day.





Thursday, August 23, 2018

bell bill bull

after months being hounded by collection agencies on behalf of bell for a clearly fictitious bill that i disputed (it was for a period i'd already disconnected my service and left the country), i finally got through to the right people (bell employees can't communicate by email or make phone calls out, apparently). after a breakdown of the final months and my payments, we finally established that bell bills are actually for the two months prior, meaning that a bill for march is actually the bill for january. it suddenly struck me that they'd been doing that since my first bill, which means that although i only signed up with bell in november 2012 my first bill in december was actually for the month of september. a time when i didn't receive any service from them.

it took the supervisor, who's clearly been working there for years, a few moments to process this information. i explained to him that as a human being, he had two choices: the first was to cancel the debt and call it a day, the second was to leave it as is and let me take all this information before a judge if and when we return to canada.

to his credit, he acknowledged the absurdity of the situation and cancelled the amount. this story has only cost me a few dollars in calling costs, but it's cost me a whole lot in hours that i don't have and in stress i have way too much of.

i knew all about hydro quebec doing crazy shit to steal customers' money, but this just blew my mind. and apparently videotron's similar.

wow, canada, you guys put up with a lot of shit.