Sunday, May 21, 2017

sometimes i just want to cry

or scream, or sleep, or work, or something, but i just don't know where to begin. i'm tired. i'm really, really tired and that's in spite of getting good work done last night and going to bed relatively early and mr smear sleeping twelve hours without a feed and giving us actual rest for once. gd and i spent the morning managing mr smear and running around trying to get ourselves ready for airplane's wedding, but once we were finally on our way gd experienced a panic attack so bad that we turned around and zoomed (my mom was driving) to the hospital where it took four (four!) ativans, a couple of doses of an anti-nausea, intravenous painkillers and breathing into a bag before she could finally slow down enough to be stoned and sleepy the rest of the day. once we put her to bed, mr smear woke up, and my mom and i took him to visit my great-aunt (who'd fallen and opened her head a few days ago) and cousin for a while; by the time we got back the grocery store was closed and we picked up HOT hot fusion and tried feeding mr smear dinner before saying goodnight.

putting him to bed the first time wasn't too hard, but when he recently got up it became an hour or so of torture - i'm not certain he has any idea why he wouldn't sleep. and every moment carrying him became tougher and tougher.

i should be in bed, but i needed to write this, and post the rest of my notes for the last weeks and then maybe - hopefully - pass out.

tuesday 9th:

sleeping good hours and dreaming intensely when i'm on my back but either the quality of sleep is poorer or i've come down with something

dropping off mr smear and crashing on returning home, reading more rebirth with my last-chance coffee (what a brilliant book, what a shame they haven't made the rest), picking up mr smear and shopping: buying a knead bread while waiting for the manager to replace the empty sanitary wipes and becoming immediately addicted (the three of us polished off the loaf by the time we hit the checkout), getting home with a passed-out child and lots of bags, lying down immediately and getting about an hour before returning to standard parent high-alert

chilly evening walk and playground time before stopping by my mom's for a quick tea, then dinner and bedtime and oh my american gods is incredibly well done and i can't believe how much i've forgotten

early to bed,

wednesday 10th:

up early for a few hours of work before climbing into bed for one last hour, dropping off mr smear and doing a quick baby city run, a fast coffee and my first private session with the therapist; pulling over on ocean view drive for a moment on the way home to stare at the sea and signal hill and just breathe in the cool sunshine air

a little command & conquer, picking up mr smear and battling the awful collective nursery school poop smell to change him

"i don't know what they were playing at at preschool today but we've just picked up adolph glitter and he is ADORABLE" - said after wiping a particular glitter pattern from under mr smear's nose

an exhausting afternoon

mom's visit before her long weekend and a short night

thursday 11th:

a difficult night for gd and me, finally getting up when i received a message from SxS that the boss's wife passed away

gd giving me a (really nice) haircut before picking up mr smear
a later nap giving me a little space to work
a short but sweet aquarium visit in an unpleasant wind
mr smear's delicious blended leftovers dinner, his hesitation to try it followed by the funny relief of his "oh no! i wasted all that time" tucking in once he did
mr smear's long goodnight, followed by the end of american gods episode two
what a strange pleasure looking at myself in the mirror after finally getting a haircut
struggling with node-mssql's documentation, then my laptop so going to bed while it updated

friday 12th:

a sleepless night and dealing with a 3am wet bed followed by an hour and a half of wet eyes and cries; i sat down to get some work done (omg, emulating azure storage is easier than getting node to connect to mssql), eventually climbing into bed for an hour which soon turned into half an hour and ended with a nightmare in which i lost mr smear at a crazy festival and then misjudged a drop and fell to my death

pokemon xy and eating mr smear's breakfast; dropping off mr smear and working hard (figuring out that microsoft's azure-storage documentation is either incomplete or incorrect (grateful that it's open source and i could read the code myself)
picking up mr smear: working to get him to return a toy, and his singing "the gift-giver's lament" after realizing that his mother's day gift for gd wasn't coming back to him

how i disengaged that day:
"<idiotjerkface> it's angry ideological vegans like you who put ordinary people off going plant-based, you're incapable of rational debate and have no concept of how many meat-eaters you turn away. me? i care more about my health and the animals and the environment than i do about being accepted into your circle. i can acknowledge that we're omnivores whilst simultaneously advocating an animal-free lifestyle because being an omnivore doesn't invalidate any of the principles of being vegan. you can thump your gorilla chest and yell into the ether, in my opinion you're as much a part of the problem as an uninformed carnist. have a great life, enjoy demonstrating your power and virility by kicking honest vegans out of your little echo chamber."
this came after explaining that after being sent down a rabbit hole i've learned that the terms carnivore, omnivore and herbivore are fluid and meaningless in a debate over what we're supposed to define ourselves as.

the smell of gd's chilli when hungry, the chiropractor, eventually taking mr smear out in the cold wind and turning right back around

a kind-of traditional non-dinner and shannara

saturday 13th:

an awful night, waking up at 5am to an interesting email from SxS and completing phase one of the task i've been struggling with; starting mr smear's day with pokemon xy before driving out to join airplane and co for the start of his bachelor's weekend
returning home excited to have spent good time with old friends and wired-tired, preparing to go back out and amazed to watch mr smear actually eat a whole apple instead of his usual tasting and spitting
back to canal walk for a few hours of shopping and a break for vegan pizza which mr smear insisted on eating upside down (like pringles, flavour side to tongue)

returning home with my cranial nerves pinching again, an hour or two manipulating my neck until shower and bedtime, when it eased a little; mr smear had been snuffly and sneezy since the previous night but it became progressively worse

shannara, leftovers, bed

sunday 14th:

dream before mr smear's stuffy nose: SxS singing modern talking - you're my heart you're my soul karaoke at a reunion gathering pre-midburn and i had to do hyper-sexualized backing vocals

a full night's sleep, although not high quality, and waking up to crash bandicoot and pancakes for mother's day; the second day of weaning, and mr smear still not feeling great so napping early and long which we took advantage of, then a brief lunch before getting ready to drive out to my sister's for a mother's day sit-down

a fun evening, busy and enjoyable. "kevin" is racist and not justified by more racism, weaponized "organic tortillas" and heavy dog drool

returning late with mr smear wide awake, shower and bed and falling asleep myself, getting up just after 11pm to deal with an asthma attack and then his shivering while wearing thermal pyjamas

monday 15th:

the fun early hours with an overheated child singing himself to sleep

dreaming cleaning a bullet hole through my toes with tissue, transferring tau credits, and then a bunch of interesting things i've forgotten

pokemon xy and mr smear investigating my breakfast (how strange that he would choose brown syrup over peanut butter :P), managing him and his nose until the cleaning lady arrived and then spending most of the following four hours getting some work done

a short nap, a little inspiration (world wars), a little shannara (gods, the character writing is infuriating), and then working on and off until my mom came over for a visit

a shower and bedtime that lasted hours and involved a lot of hoarse crying

a deserved and much-needed cider and chocolate in lieu of actual dinner, test-driving simcity 3000 (it was a good deal), and a little work while my nose became stuffy

tuesday 16th:

an easier night, but mr smear still struggling in the morning so another day home; eventually getting out to town and turning right around because he was falling asleep but then the drive home woke him up :(

gd making a great lunch while mr smear and i polished off rice cakes and humus za'atar and i chatted with another enthusiastic headhunter who doesn't know when to quit

long nap time, work time, and a productive text message meeting with an airborne SxS

an aquarium visit turned food court dinner and grocery shopping experience (gd and i both arriving at the waterfront feeling bloated), back home to shower and bedtime and a disturbing but good thai movie P (i passed out halfway, gd said the ending sucked) and going to bed early with a sinus headache

wednesday 17th:

waking up 4am with the same sinus headache and a still-stuffy mr smear

dreaming invisible demons and after parties, running through a strange house and into the kitchen of people i was trying to avoid, shouting at strangers for staring at me when trying to purchase an stm month pass at a new station, one stranger recognizing me from facebook and trading numbers, lots of montreal jews and quite a few israelis

still stuffy (both of us) but ready for school, a day grinding with iis rules and regex, a chiropractor visit and a walk around the mojo market, grabbing a delicious seed loaf and picking up mr smear and spending the early afternoon alternating between work and entertaining him; he went down late for a big nap, solid work hours before we woke him and taking him for a sunset walk

just too late for the sunset so we visited my mom instead, great russian tea and weekend wedding strategizing, back home for dinner (developing a practical method of disciplining when the food throwing begins - i make him pick it up himself), a milestone shower (soaping himself a little *and* he enjoyed sticking his head under the stream for once), a routine good night (but still stuffy), a little bit of shannara (why are we still watching?) and then diving into work

thursday 18th:

finally going to bed around 2.45am with a sense of accomplishment

first wakeup exhausted (left nostril blocked), second wakeup good (right nostril blocked, i think i'm seeing a pattern)

dropping off mr smear a half hour late, him rushing me crying to hold him while his classmates all stood around staring until the teacher carried him out to the sandpit

a quick coffee and command & conquer before the therapist arrived and i took off to sort out the car rental and rock out to tool and nin, stopping at a small beach on the way back (forgotten sunnies, so beautiful but painful), then score another project task before picking mr smear up again

the shock and sadness of chris cornell's death :(

no naps, but lunch over animal fail videos and work and repeatedly cleaning mr smear's nose for the next couple of hours before taking him to the doctor; he sang the whole way there and the whole way back, stopping only when we ran into dirk diggler's mother. a minute before that i developed what would quickly become a really nasty cough which is still plaguing me, and even with medication i'd spend a lot of the night feeling like i had a band tightening around my throat.

mom visiting, dinner and shower and not even finishing my tea before needing to drag myself off to bed

friday 19th:

a glorious 3.30am wakeup when neither myself nor mr smear could breathe properly.

mr smear spaced out listening to music on the couch, good work after dropping him off, picking up seed bread and losing my family with no phone

trying to get work done while mr smear refused to have anyone tend to him but me... and my being his horse, "up" and "ta" are all i was worth

mr smear starting to fall asleep just as we arrived at the park after an afternoon refusing to nap - i made sure he stayed awake and we enjoyed a fun couple of hours with a few moms from school, one kid wanting to play and one little hooligan walking over and punching me in the leg, one of the mothers turning out to be an old friend's sister, "you're doing it wrong" plastic bike riding, mr smear being hit in the head twice by the swings and seeming to learn his lesson (we'll see)

col'cacchio double fail: wrong address and the food arriving cold and a confused delivery man and one possibly not vegan pizza

watching split: the issues i had with it were minor, and the bottom line is that it's absolutely brilliant

from possibly not vegan pizza to probably not vegan pizza in a very short period of time

a productive meeting with my teammate followed by a bit of work and random

saturday 20th:

getting into bed around 1am, mr smear waking us up around 6.30am after a solid twelve hour sleep

the wrong music for gd and mr smear's improvement playing crash bandicoot and what i saw of arthur christmas was a really cool christmas movie.

so now i've posted and it's 2am and i've seen my cousin competing in master chef uk (and he's awesome) and i'm ready for bed. i think.

@#!$. i think we might have fleas again.

Friday, May 12, 2017

lasting impressions

holy... the driver from my primary school not only recognized me, but remembered my name (O_o)
and then listed another couple of names of kids who were a grade or two below me - so it turns out i'm associated with some right naughty buggers :P

Monday, May 08, 2017

just a monday

going to bed at 1am after a little command & conquer and elevator saga in addition to determining my next project steps

sleeping on my back again but uncomfortable after a few hours; dreaming of carrying a body in a brown skip and being kicked off a train because they didn't approve of my destination, somehow getting the skips on a flight and arriving in a stop-over city trying to find a place to bury it

up early but not functional, getting mr smear ready and dropping him off on time then meeting with the other class dad for a very interesting chat about our mutual tech interest; between the coffee and the enthusiasm i was fully wired by the time i got home, churning out a document and having a bath and a little relaxation before picking mr smear up

a long hour or two until mr smear fell asleep, myself desperately passing out on the couch before being woken to wake up mr smear and groggily drive gd to the chiropractor. mr smear was still half asleep, so a lot more manageable than usual. we came back home, got through another hour and then my mom came over and we took mr smear to prayers with us. a pleasant evening and a magnificent view of the sunset, then home to eat and prep mr smear for bed. that took a little while and i barely had time to make myself a cup of tea before being contacted by an enthusiastic recruiter.

weird moment of the day: my son running past me holding on tightly to his nipples.

it didn't help the recruiter that i'm not looking for a job, but it's really hard to take someone seriously when they describe their company's product as "disruptive" when there's absolutely nothing disruptive about it. and i'm pretty sure it's not "real time" either :P
having said that, it does sound good for an office job and it's always nice to hear that some players in the industry are getting certain things right.

now for a little "me" time before work.

long short weekend

friday 5th:

breathing discomfort and not sleeping well

dreams: big playstation party but i didn't have my control, some with vr goggles and all in the same game, an old officer's course buddy in a porn mag with his wife in the background while he literally fucked himself, mad reckless truck driving while constructing something out of lego and then pulling a hot water bottle out of a cabinet for a bus/aeroplane overhead bin and finding it full of vomit

ted: governments don't understand cyber warfare and how to exploit democracy are must-sees

dropping mr smear off in the middle of the shabbat ceremony, coming home to sort and print tax return documents, drink a cup of coffee and head out again

the replacement rental breaking down just outside the school, running in to grab mr smear and returning to find an understandably angry homeowner whose garage i'd blocked; handing mr smear over to his wife while we moved the car out of the way and being invited in for tea and crayons to wait for the mechanic. really nice people, cool dog, amazing bronze sculptures, good chat

the mechanic, hoping that the third time's the charm, dropping mr smear at home then going to the post office to mail our tax returns; eventually coming home really hungry and tired, watching hell and back (absolute genius) while guzzling down gd's amazing west african peanut soup, then trying to nap with an uncomfortable mr smear on my chest

coffee and juggling work and mr smear while gd cooked, then preparing to go to my cousin's for dinner

finally leaving, getting up the hill and the engine cutting out, rolling backwards on a handbrake again; mom bailing us out, leaving the car for the breakdown guy and arriving at the house in need of that whiskey

an exhausting mr smear but a really fun evening

saturday 6th:

crazy nightmare getting a scroll of a story i had to read but needing to alienate myself and go into hiding; fighting impotently against unkillable assassins and well funded fighters and having to pretend to befriend the investigator hired to find me even as he closed in

up early and working well, pokemon: xy and pancakes, mom's best friend's visit

mom giving me a ride to pick up the new rental, then visiting my toronto cousin's wife and family in the afternoon and picking up a hand-held milk-frother from my aunt's mother; that's as much of the day as i can recall.

sunday 7th:

an awful night's non-sleep, lying in bed restless and uncomfortable and tired for most of the night

up early, a morning cross between pokemon: xy (pretty good) and introducing mr smear to crash bandicoot: warped (he enjoyed it, even though he hasn't figured out how to manipulate the left-hand controls)
meeting my mom and her cousin in the company gardens for breakfast, the reduced-to-vegan option wasn't bad and the kids (including one of mr smear's classmates) had plenty to play with. setting up a meeting with her dad, then not catching mr smear as he fell off something and hurt his head; rationally i know it wasn't my fault, but emotionally i feel terrible. he took a short nap when we got home, but woke up very soon and was rather irritable and whiny for the next few hours while gd and i were absolutely drained and in desperate need of some downtime.

mom coming over to take him downstairs to the grocery store - i went with - and then the two of us went to prayers for my toronto cousin's mother-in-law (stunning sunset view) before returning home to gd's dinner and prepping mr smear for bed.

working and virtual desk clearing while gd watched superman returns

Sunday, May 07, 2017

three little pigs

i'm of the opinion that the three little pigs is a parable for "you are what you eat".

the wolf eats the first and second little pigs, and is eaten by the third; so by the third little pig their roles are reversed, the wolf is the pig and the pig is the wolf, and the third pig has also effectively eaten both of his brothers, albeit second-hand and partially digested.

Friday, May 05, 2017

plans vs life

tuesday 2nd:

working really hard with fiddly stuff and finally getting everything working again (after rewriting almost every single call in the system); powerful relief and an immediate need to crawl into bed

sleeping on my back (usually impossible) and experiencing the kinds of visions i imagine cgi movie animators would use as inspiration

up before our alarms and happily back to school, reading comics and working and handling bureaucracy and picking up mr smear, who was so excited to visit strangers that he made getting home a mission; lunchtime and my sister's letter and gym

learning about my watch's lock function after losing another half an hour of good bag work, then twenty minutes fast walking, climbing and occasionally running until my body remembered that it didn't *have* to feel completely useless

home for gd's enchilada-ish monster and a little surf's up before heading out for a big grocery run; we think we left around 4pm, so coming home three hours later in the dark? it certainly felt like forever.

israeli moments to celebrate independence day: wearing my doof shirt, mr smear demolishing a bag of bamba and refusing to share, and two israelis entering a queue before finishing their shopping and holding everyone up

mr smear sneakily waiting for me to have my hands full then viciously elbowing, scratching, clawing and poking me in the eyes; chasing that with piercing screams that really hurt my ears and a dramatic bedtime, i needed a drink and chocolate more than dinner; the daredevil movie sucked and my mood wasn't improved by painful rls

wednesday 3rd:

getting some sleep but waking up at 3am tired and under mosquito attack, working until 6

dream: stuffing a used tissue into a rat carcass' chest cavity, suddenly it coughed and lay there breathing peacefully

up for mr smear but only vaguely; lying down on the couch with friendship is magic distracting mr smear until gd pulled me up into sitting position with the smell of crêpes under a syrup blanket

the school drop off and taking gd to see the chiropractor; reading while i waited but with heavy eyelids, a short walk around the block then twenty minutes rest before coffeeing up and standing in the parking lot sun waiting for the therapist. not a pleasant session, but productive, followed by another very brief lie-down before picking mr smear up from school

no naps, a few timeouts and generally just keeping myself from passing out until he did; grabbing more coffee and sitting down to work but being inundated with bills instead... then all too soon he was back up and all over the place. he's awesome and adorable and too cool for school but my gods he's persistent and fierce and he relentlessly tests everything. we're as proud as we are drained :P

surviving the afternoon, eventually getting him into bed and settling down to sort out canadian taxes. still a chore and a half, but not nearly as bad as i was worried about.

netflix seems to have its ratings inversed, apparently. backing out of unfunny standup into to hell and back, which is very good balance of fun and funny

rls treatment,

thursday 4th:

sleeping until 6-ish and working hard to learn that my entity framework optimization wouldn't work (you can't one-to-many with an enum)

work and taxes and command & conquer and a quiet moment lying down staring at the ceiling before picking up mr smear

my boy makes me proud, it's really cool hearing such good things about him from teachers and other parents

quick big lunch and rushing to get to my toronto cousin's mother-in-law's funeral; i was a bit nervous about waze taking me a route i wasn't familiar with but i arrived in good time and i'd been able to enjoy music simultaneously. things were uneventful until it came time to shovel dirt on the coffin, i went up to take a turn and suddenly found myself shovelling alone. that was awkward, i put the spade down and took a step back then felt more awkward so i threw a few more heaps on, all the while feeling like i'd missed the cue to stop helping. i put it down again, embarrassed, but by the time i'd gotten clear of the closest crowd everyone else was back in to finishing the job.

a minute's drive from the cemetery and i pushed the clutch in only to hear it snap and feel my foot go straight through a space that shouldn't be accessible. i pulled over immediately, not realizing that i was on a particularly dangerous blind corner until someone was kind enough to shout at me as they went past, so i rolled the car slowly downhill using the handbrake until i was fairly clear and called the breakdown number.

i'd have to wait a while, in the blazing sun in the middle of nowhere, and i amused myself while standing guard under what scant shade i could find. eventually the mechanic arrived, he was very chilled and had the part that was needed - although he tells me he's never seen the plastic clip of a clutch cable break before. watching him work on it made me realize how important it is to get a basic understanding of how cars work; that should be a part of the theory exam, in my opinion, i've been driving for almost two decades and i've no idea how the clutch pedal works the actual clutch.


my mind wandered a little, and ended up in my initial polygraph test back in 2009. there's so much wrong with what happened in that little room, inside my head and out, and i guess i've still got a lot of work to do in dealing with that but what i find really interesting right now is that i've managed to fill my life with so much that even when i'm in "self care" mode i don't really give myself time to process anything. don't get me wrong, i process a lot of things, like, all the time. but the backlog is immense and there're some important items on my mental to-do list that i've long abandoned... i really need to learn to "meditate", or in my terms just be bored. not reading, not playing, not exercising, not sleeping. i'm not sure i know how to do that, i certain don't have the emotional motivation even if the intellectual is there.


the clutch felt strange after it was fixed but not bad, so i cautiously made my way home. mr smear was sleeping, i rested a little and ate a lot and then he woke up and we got ready to go to prayers. trusting waze, we drove over kloof nek and got stuck behind a slow driver who single-handedly generated traffic on a road that was otherwise clear. eventually we turned into bellevue street, a particularly steep road, and about halfway down the new clip snapped too. here i'll commend gd for keeping her cool, i pulled into the first "safe" spot i could find but effectively trapped the car there, and so after calling the breakdown number again there was nothing to do but go for a bit of a walk and then sit down somewhere and wait.

the walk: the weather was really nice and the moon loomed big over a beautiful sunset sky. the whole way up and down mr smear sang loudly and confidently, "twinkle, twinkle" but with all the wrong syllables, and it was really funny.

sitting down: an italian restaurant with nothing plant-based and no guinness, so gd enjoyed my hunter's and ordered some fries and just as they arrived so did the mechanic; and just as i started moving our belongings between the vehicles the restaurant started filling up and bellevue street was inundated with bad drivers. so the handover was a little stressed but eventually we were done and we came home to feed mr smear and put him to bed. i made some calls to the canadian tax authorities*, completed our tax returns and i'll be printing and sending them in the morning. until this very minute i thought i was filing on time but i realize now that we were supposed to send them on monday. damn.

* revenu quebec: "for english, press 9" so that we can continue to speak to you only in french because %#$@ you.

my reward to myself for completing the forms was to play a level of command & conquer; i completed it, not very efficiently, and then alt-tabbed out to turn on the sound so i could get the next mission statement; alt-tab freezes the game, so i'll have to play that level again sometime. oh, well.

anyway, i really felt the need to post but now i really need to do a little work before getting some rest.

Monday, May 01, 2017

the chocolate tastes funny

wednesday 26th:

working until 2.30am, going to bed excited about my solution to the double problem of preserving identity integrity across multiple databases and doing so exclusively using entity framework code first

a tender neck and difficulty carrying mr smear in the night, intense dreams, a drawn-out breakfast showdown (which he now wins by default) after which he finally agreed to eat once out of the high chair

dropping mr smear off at school (too cute with his backpack and lunchbox), home to work, picking him up again, all of us enjoying his first intense lightning and thunderstorm, his first "toda"; what the health is INCREDIBLE, watch it!

realizing that i screwed up and only partially charged my new phone battery the day before, then doing some research and realizing that it's actually better to charge in short bursts and to avoid letting the battery get hot for long periods of time.

an afternoon of software surgery, mr smear generally whiny, taking him to the aquarium but turning around because he passed out just before we arrived; back to work, then a cup of coffee and a fair amount of water to combat a headache before trying the aquarium again...

a rough start but he warmed to the jellyfish exhibit (and was thrilled when i showed him my jellyfish watch face so he could match them to the live ones), walking through the usual great stuff and then becoming agitated by all the reminders that the aquarium's sponsor in "conservation" is one of south africa's most destructive fisheries...

a walk through to the food court and finding vegan "gourmet" samoosas that were okay... they attracted some particularly aggressive seagulls who chased us inside

a nice ride back home before showering and prepping for bed, which involved me being screamed at and clawed at and generally abused (both he and my wife find my reactions hysterical), then a long, whiny goodnight (i will win - eventually)

thursday 27th:

eight hours sleep

dream angry, losing most of my coffee which had milk in it then fighting in a theatre and mr smear losing an eye and a woman crumpling my credit card

michael jackson's this is it is appropriately found on the netflix kids channel, mom coming over to give me space to do our canadian tax return; remembering that the CRA website has operating hours, and it took so long to sort out all the documents that my mom had left before i finally started filling out the forms and realized that i might not be able to do it without all our south african income and expenses

a particularly traumatic episode from lunch until returning home from a beer with an old friend (the gm who didn't appreciate nodding), which involved lots of running after our kids and ended with them rushing their daughter to the hospital for surgery... meanwhile mr smear thoroughly enjoyed his afternoon getting soaked in the fountain.

a peaceful return home, getting through the evening binge-watching addicted to food and making good progress with work.

friday 28th:

crazy, forgotten dreams, up early and finishing this is it; working while mr smear continued to cry at us until he passed out earlier than usual (with a little help from his daddy and a good playlist), after which time i managed to functionally complete the task i've been focused on since the previous week with the satisfying sensation that i'd just completed some particularly sensitive software surgery; it's one thing to describe a system that uses sql to store and retrieve data across multiple databases, creating databases on demand and maintaining referential integrity, it's quite another to implement it.

a little more addicted to food, gd and i getting a little emotional over the poor dude's guitar story, a little tax investigation, a little more work and then spending the rest of the suddenly-already-late afternoon shopping at makro and then dropping things off at home and then shopping at checkers (running into an old friend)

cremora lite: holy shit. we've been waiting for an opportunity to go to makro for ages because they're the only people who sell it and it's the only vegan coffee creamer available in south africa. and we finally got there, and we finally found it! we were so excited we could hear angels singing... until i read the ingredients, and then it became more like demons giggling. cremora lite is a milk product, just like all the others. there is no vegan creamer available here.

a small shabbat dinner, getting mr smear into bed and watching addicted to food until we passed out

saturday 29th:

6am wakeup call from a busy little boy, animated chaplin! and a walk in the bergwind to nü, running into a racist cousin along the way and some friendly parents there

mr smear falling asleep on the way back home, completing addicted to food (emotional and educational, not just about food); an appropriately-timed call from my big sister informing me that she's on a "detox" (homeopathic "doctor", very frustrating), then some lunch / play before taking mr smear out in the searing heat to play at the park... we were exhausted just getting there and he was busy but overall it was a pretty good walk

mom coming over and reluctantly agreeing to watch food choices, mr smear's first proper time outs, gd's ghanaian soup, a little more of the daredevil movie and passing out at 9.40pm sweating

sunday 30th:

at the tail end of an epic dream coming up up against an army employing soldiers with fantastic powers that were killing and hurting them so they didn't want to use them; superior officers desperately screaming at them to use their tragic gifts

one piece on crunchyroll (no funimation available in south africa)
rocking out to foo fighters and solving a technical issue with my project
the disappointment in the vegan mom who knows she eats badly and can't plan a meal for her kid
paying rent "late" (bullshit)
waterfront for the illusions exhibition (kurt wenner): a lot of fun, but the installation quality was poor and i didn't think to use my camera flash so the shadows ruined a couple of good shots

lunch and home, mr smear napping so i napped for an hour; just as i started getting into work he woke up and the rest of the afternoon was spent monitoring him, washing windows, and working until my mom arrived for a bit

mr smear falling off a chair and narrowly missing an injury, getting him showered and ready for bed, overdoing the weird-tasting chocolate while overeating and mindlessly watching grimm, then diving into work

monday 1st:

working solidly through to 2am, simultaneously getting stuck and realizing that i'd need some sleep... but just then mr smear woke up for a midnight feed during which time i became unstuck and found myself a half hour later enthusiastically hacking away

3-ish? sleeping a little, then struggling for an hour or two with rls - effectively putting to rest the soap theory and the zinc theory simultaneously

7am after a continued uncomfortable night, a warm and foggy morning, friendship is magic and geographic tongue and vegan crêpes and nursery rhymes and driving into town in a light drizzle on empty streets

a chat with scar's boss, being distinctly impressed and pleased by how he operates: he works for his employees so that they'll bring in more money. THAT is good business.

mom and the cleaning lady giving me some space to order our financial affairs - a struggle - and mr smear falling asleep just after lunch; i napped for an hour then arose, exhausted and yet inexplicably restless - too restless to lie down, but getting up made me dizzy. later on i'd realize that it was a cranial nerve thing, a repeat of our hospital experience a few weeks ago...

fancon 2017: going on the last day was one way to avoid the crowds, but for the end of the last day there were still quite a few people hanging around and plenty of beautiful art to see. mr smear loved the cosplay - even the things we expected to freak him out - and i got some time to chat with mr cat. gd insisted on a few dragon prints, but to be fair, she didn't need to push too hard.

two things:

when your kid's old enough that his head reaches your breasts standing up, it's past time you weaned him.


as we walked past one of the booths, the artist jumped up to aggressively (though not rudely) sell his graphic novel. we looked through it, and it was stunning. we heard his pitch, and it was interesting. but we weren't planning on buying anything, so we made our excuses and moved along but in the back of my mind the seed had been planted. later on, as we were making our way out, i told gd that she'd gotten her dragons and i was seriously considering that graphic novel. just then shadowslight rocked up, and when we told him about the artist being a little pushy he told us how a couple of years ago he was at a convention when an artist cornered him and convinced him to take a copy for almost nothing just so he could make it 100 sold for that weekend. and that the comic was brilliant, but was only part one of a three part series and that the guy STILL hasn't put out the second.

we arrive back at the booth. "that's the guy!" shadowslight exclaimed, and i took one look at the artist and pointed at him: "you bastard!"
he was a little taken aback, but we explained why we found this amusing. he signed a copy to mr smear and we asked him what method of payments he could take - expecting credit card or snapscan - to which he flushed and informed us that he could only take cash. which we didn't have.

so we all had a good laugh when shadowslight pulled through and loaned us the amount, that's the second time this dude's got his money even if we are going to pay it back :P

coming home for a brief stop before taking mr smear to the promenade with my mom, it was a bit too chilly but he enjoyed chasing after a sweet little girl on her bike (he just wanted to touch the light and ring the bell), and then we returned home for a good meal. that was the point at which i realized my neck was in trouble - i'd lost my appetite - although i managed to (literally) shake it off enough to enjoy the food and then get mr smear ready for bed.

there's something deeply unsettling and frustrating when i'm wiped out and my son is throwing tantrums, but even more so when he's just having a laugh by sticking his fingers in my eyes or elbowing me in the jaw.

work, posting, work.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

tax return deadline approaching

... and i really don't feel like it. nor much else. i just want to get my job done and play with my kid and rest. that's how men do it in the movies, right?

sunday 9th:

up early, trying to watch stuart little: no. just... no.

weather fail: from chilly to midsummer in two minutes
blue train, the next generation
may mr smear always be the first on the dance floor - tearing it up for half an hour while everyone fawned
the pain of seeing kids in forward facing harnesses
my kid wearing an accidental glitter hitler mustache

a nap, being woken from beautiful slumber and taking a while to shake it off, eventually deciding not to go shopping
mr smear's spontaneous eruption in contemporary dance moves with hints of breakdancing - and of course not recording any of the good stuff
the long bedtime song / practicing all his words / cold water mistake / another night coughing

the help: incredible movie

monday 10th:

good sleep full of dreams, but still not enough by a long shot. a big shopping mission on the worst possible day, compounded by being forced to use the point centre's shitty elevators numerous times, finding guinness!, mr smear falling asleep and giving me a chance to grind in ffix before crashing for a proper nap

mom coming over and joining me for last minute gift shopping, getting dressed (my nice pants don't fit properly anymore) and fully packed and arriving at dinner have forgotten the dessert (second time we've done that!)

chasing mr smear, but otherwise enjoying a lovely evening and managing a pretty good seder - although i forgot to hide the afikoman and we needed modernized hagadot - mr smear *almost* falling asleep but eventually keeping his eyes and mouth open until we entered our parking lot

tuesday 11th:

a full night's sleep, though still exhausted upon waking; getting through the morning (peanut butter matzah camouflage breakfast, the upstairs neighbour's dirty water on our balcony), almost late for the chiropractor, a mission to the piazza and mr smear's fountain joy, picking up great salads on the way home and a big lunch. mr smear falling asleep while we planned a trip to kirstenbosch, getting a little rest and then getting ready for second night.

hospital bills by snapscan: THIS is the future

leaving more organized, a really nice seder with great food and mr smear providing plenty of entertainment; his first time walking down stairs by himself (i had to catch one misstep halfway, but that was it), and getting biggles' kids to open up with a conversation about gaming

wednesday 12th:

13 reasons why until 1.30am

another pretty decent night's sleep, although there was a trying period where mr smear was crying out in his sleep, making us repeatedly jump to the rescue only to find him calm again

up at 8am to go downstairs to pick up milk for my mom and realize that in the span of a few days i've gone from detesting the managers at our supermarket to pitying them

opening sabuda's peter pan with mr smear for the first time and both of us being blown away by its sheer craftiness; paying hospital bills with snapscan and purchasing origin's complete command and conquer combo

mr smear's nap followed by 13 reasons why instead of working

when "i love you" needs a safe space (no "more") and an angry sunset; a fix before returning home, a big dinner (mr smear's throwing arm is improving), showering, taking a painful punch to the eye (his punches are improving, too), a quick goodnight and some more 13 reasons why

mom's fantastic news! (a long time coming)

working on security

thursday 13th:

getting to bed around 1am

big pancake breakfast with an enthusiastic mr smear

reintroducing the chewbacca mask
mr smear pointing at his diaper and yelling "tar!" (star), we laughed and told him "diaper" until we realized there actually was a tiny star on it

no nap, but good music
great almond chai latte after a lovely afternoon playdating in the park with the grannies, a little bit chilly and a bit of rain
unlocking somebody else's golf: my key unlocked it, set off the alarm, and wouldn't lock it again. the owner was nowhere in sight. awkward.

keeping mr smear from falling asleep before we could feed / antihistamine him, then struggling to get him to bed, giving up for a while then trying again

the trigger warning in 13 reasons why comes way after i'd been triggered by a bunch of things in the series: it's an amazing series, brilliantly written. irresponsible, according to a lot of angry people, but i'm not so sure.

trying a little rest before work, soap under the sheets to protect against rls

friday 14th:

unable to get up, but the odd sensation that the rls soap was actually working

another big pancake breakfast, trying to work and losing twenty minutes to a stressful hunt for something that gd didn't lose

the furniture store closed, hitting checkers for a big grocery shopping, running into other school parents, the awkward discomfort of eating bread in public on pesach

hido and wife arriving for coffee and staying for a great afternoon catch-up, the sudden wind chill when saying goodbye, prepping for dinner and almost making it on time

a lovely, loud friday night dinner with my sister and her sister and our sister-in-law, mr smear very busy attention-seeking and thoroughly basking in what he received, my cousin saying a lot of inconsiderate things that i believe he thought were funny

a quick goodnight, 13reasons why

saturday 15th:

into the night, a coughing episode
work frustration: should've started node dev with swagger or similar; getting to bed around 3.30am

second night of the rls soap experiment, stuffy nose, waking up to 13 reasons why and weeping uncontrollably at the clay revelation; managing to stop watching in the middle of powerful drama to keep the season finale for the night

mr smear progressing from the tune of "twinkle, twinkle" to what sounded like fragments of the words, reading gennady spirin's beautifully illustrated version of little red riding hood, verifying against the original and learning that i don't like *any* of the versions because i believe the story should end with her being eaten

gd banging her knee with a door as my mom arrived to relieve us

rockpool with the gang, hido and sagirl and dirk diggler and another couple of friends i've barely seen since the beginning of the millennium, a great afternoon with popcorn mojitos and good food, eventually returning home to wake up mr smear and arrange canada post and enjoy a delicious new dinner (gnocchi in chilli with tofu scramble and oyster mushrooms)

bedtime prep, 13 reasons why was absolutely amazing right until the ending, which was full of empty promises of catharsis and unsettlingly unsatisfying. the series was worth every second, and i can't be sure i won't watch it again one day.
*SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* i only hope that awful frustration we're left with is intentional, we found no catharsis in there whatsoever... just a bunch of characters frozen in motion in our minds, forever trapped under threat of consequences. i guess that's what hannah would have wanted?

sunday 16th:

another night exhausted and unable to claw my way out of bed for the alarm and lots of interruptions by an uncomfortable or hungry mr smear and feeling the frustrations of having lost a lot of project time

a little morning tension (misinterpreting "breakfast arrangement"), the realization that an implementation was done wrong (the tech doesn't support the design)

an interesting coffee at my uncle's with my sister, her sister and our sister-in-law, mr smear trying desperately to interrupt my mom's international call

running into a birthday boy at checkers seconds after sending a message suggesting we meet up sometime, then running into our old neighbours; a pleasant drive through to tableview and only being a little misdirected by apple maps, enjoying a really nice afternoon with hido's family

driving back from a gorgeous sunset, hitting the shower with mr smear who pushed out a life-disrupting poop just before i picked him up to rinse him; tensions rose.

sailor arriving, introducing him to john oliver and indian racism as we walked to pick up over-pickled falafel (i forgot to avoid the pickles, and i suffered the entire length of what would otherwise have been a delicious laffa); talking until late about a couple of exhilaratingly good ideas

monday 17th:

early up, a little work, mom's visit to bring gd soil stones, planning work days ahead, taking advantage of mr smear's nap (passing out for a good one) then heading off to sort out the car rental and arriving ten minutes before they closed; meeting mom at the waterfront for a little shopping and food and a little more shopping then coming home and getting ready for dinner and bed

my wife gave me a son who's as passionate about jazz as he is about nine inch nails and tool and psybient and funk ^_^

a bit of a tough sell getting mr smear to sleep, gd sorting out my sore neck before my fight with entity framework

junk food dinner (vegan burger and hot dog) and reading fascinating stuff in social: why our brains are wired to connect

tuesday 18th:

a hard night continuing the struggle, eventually turning in around 4am after finally completing what should have been a relatively straightforward task

mr smear up and down since 5.30am, getting an hour's rest in from 8 when the cleaning lady arrived then getting out of bed and sort of starting the day with coffee and telkom (who have been ripping us off for four months now, and who i'm trying to avoid buying a phone from because my home button's failing) and paying lots of medical expenses and dealing with labourers accidentally bursting the water pipe feeding our building

a half hour on my back before reading more social during gd's chiropractor visit: consistently surprising and surprisingly important information even if the balance between readability and good science is poorly navigated

trying to work during mr smear's very short nap, getting halfway through my veggie burger and happily (for both of us) sharing the rest with him when he woke up

a mixed afternoon (from fun to frustration and back again), stopping by my mom's before walking mr smear to and on the promenade; it was a glorious sunset and he had fun playing with a couple of fearless kids in the playground while their father struggled to accept my being local because of my accent

showering mr smear at my mom's, which wasn't too bad but very different from what we're used to, then coming home via the grocery store and running into an old friend (my first dm) who's making aliyah soon

re-watching louis ck live at the comedy store and finishing my current task around midnight

wednesday 19th:

climbing into bed after half an hour of tidying up

an hour's mystery struggle in the middle of the night

a shitty first morning back at school even after a mostly good night's sleep, then a quick run to town for breakfast with SxS at plant interrupted by a rush back to sea point to pick up gd and take her right to where we were; a quote request from a printer to another short visit with SxS, gd joining us with her new haircut then back to the school to pick up mr smear and return home for lunch (his nap, my lunch) then return to SxS's hotel for a few hours of work

feeling wasted, reading mr smear his new hebrew books, a call with telkom after they brilliantly "resolved" a billing issue by telling me which phone it was happening on; a promenade walk with my mom and quick shopping before settling down for a delicious scramble / avocado dinner

nodding off waiting for mr smear to fall asleep

thursday 20th:

3.30am start

5.30am back to bed, then two hours up and down for mr smear's complaints before getting up to feed him and prep for school; he refused to eat until i gave him the spoon to feed himself, at which point he remembered that he actually likes the maize meal...

dropping him off and then dropping gd off and meeting my mom to give her the car seat before heading to town to have breakfast with SxS and his cousin

a little work, then meeting gd and my mom for lunch at plant (very slow service), the giving of baby gifts and the realization that the swimming pool visit wasn't a good plan, some solid work and the traffic on the drive home inspiring me to download waze

gd's insanely delicious vegan cheese naan experiment, mom bringing the car seat over, shower time and a frustratingly long good night

watching legion and passing out,

friday 21st:

getting up at 3.30-4 to sort out an email problem and begin a morning of struggle with programmable migrations

mr smear's smearing maize meal and cashew yoghurt all over his hands, his face and his legs right before we had to take him to school; heading straight to meet with SxS who wasn't answering so enjoying a decent (though not amazing) "traditional breakfast" at plant while working, joining SxS for his coffee and then being interrogated by his cousin on the topic of my graphic novel

waze + tool ftw, picking up gd and mr smear and getting him to nap soon after coming home

instagram account separation (moving all the feeds i follow to a new account on the same device) and sudden exhaustion just before mr smear woke up extra demanding; gd with her stupidly good chilli-cheese-stuffed mushroom crêpes

mom coming over after her first day of training, a delicious ghanaian dinner and sorting out her business mail and finishing legion (gd's not a fan, i think that the basic premise is really good and the execution was over the top and sometimes silly but still entertaining)

massaging javascript regex handling, mixing and matching solutions until i (mysteriously) got my routing right

saturday 22nd:

an awful hour of mr smear vomiting his lungs out

hotel transylvania (great film, insultingly cheap music and singing) followed by high drama before heading to the doctor

getting in on mr smear's short nap, suddenly being struck by extreme fatigue that'd been looming since thursday... eventually coming around just before my mom arrived to relieve us for an hour, giving me a chance to slug down a cup of coffee and figure out programmatically creating databases with entity framework

the hunt for luxuria superbia (we owned it, but couldn't recall its name so i ended up downloading and scanning through my copy of gameloading to find a reference), the warning poop (on the lookout for c. diff again) and a shower and a long goodnight

a little peanut butter soup leftovers (bowl nuked but soup tepid), a little ffix and a lot of work with entity framework migrations

sunday 23rd:

00.40 into bed

"he plays amazing chess, when everybody else is playing backgammon"

did mr smear suddenly become significantly heavier or was i just becoming particularly weak? [seems to have been a bit of both]

restarting my day with automatic migrations, eventually moving towards an undocumented strategy and tasting success just as we needed to get to the hospital to deliver a stool sample and pray that mr smear wasn't still carrying c. diff...

not the brightest nurse doing triage, an uncomfortable waiting room experience; mr smear napping when we got home and giving me time to figure out the migrations, waking up just after i finally lay down myself.

tending to his royal grumpiness (employing the magic pudding to good effect), mom arriving with the other half of lunch and stuffing ourselves

staying over to give me a chance to rest a little, getting up from a two hour nap in the sun with a sweaty neck; on lockdown due to mr smear potentially being ill, so an afternoon reading and playing before settling down to some adventure time before showering before putting him to bed


the profound gratitude in mr smear joyfully dancing to tool and nine inch nails, and in catching him just as he was toppling into the bath while i dried my face; the pride in him not swallowing when rinsing his teeth, and in his new reliance on words to communicate with us; and the joy of hearing him singing "twinkle, twinkle" to himself as we ready him for bed


lucas bros: on drugs (some very funny jokes, mostly just cute and clever), then work

monday 24th:

getting into bed around 1.30am after fighting with configuration files for three or four hours

up at 7am after too-little sleep overloaded with intriguing, weird dreams that i couldn't recall

episode 3 of the secret life of four, five and six year olds and jaja upsetting gd, getting mr smear's test results and the relief of an "all clear"

working throughout the day while entertaining mr smear, making solid progress; mom's business partner arriving half an hour late for me to sort out his email (so no evening walk with mr smear), followed by an incident of spilled (not milk) that escalated quickly and painfully

tuesday 25th:

a night of decent work, calling it early at 1am

a decent night's sleep? still feeling shitty from the night before, mr smear playing with his breakfast, dropping him off at school and heading to the waterfront to demand that the apple doctor fix my phone - which they appear to have done this time - doing a quick and heavy shopping and hitting baby city on the way home

still a shitty feeling, trying to get a little work done then rushing off to pick mr smear up again, taking his grumpiness to buy rechargable batteries for my mouse and his nap on arrival home; i don't recall that portion of the afternoon, but after some time playing with him when he woke up i decided to take him to kirstenbosch.

leaving for anywhere after 3pm is a bad idea, and this was about 4.45pm so it took us forty-five minutes to get there; it being winter hours, we ended up with about twenty minutes before it was time to go home. insane drivers, but great views, and running into someone i went on the kfar haro'eh programme with and her 9-month old

mom's upsetting email experience after a long day - sorting it out, but surprised (or not?) that mweb didn't warn its customers that they were taking down an in-use pop server... thrown dinner time, mr smear suffering from a sore tongue (he actually pointed to his mouth and said "ow", which is a first), getting him to bed fairly easily and watching the fourth episode of the secret life of four, five and six year olds while eating everyone else's dinner before settling down to post this. for a number of reasons - and a couple of distractions - it's taken a couple of hours, but i did come up with a solution to a project problem i've been struggling with so that's nice :)

now, do i work or sleep?