Friday, March 15, 2013

core temperature offset

last night, i was sweating just thinking about how hot it was going to be in panama when i arrived. the thought of it when i finished packing at 1am was enough to force me to open the window; i couldn't sleep otherwise. the -6 the night got to was good enough, though.

work yesterday was relaxed. the new director is precisely the kind of guy one should be able to expect in a managerial position. he's all about doing things right (even more than i am), and he has a head for meetings and memos (which i don't). this is seriously comforting. perhaps i'll learn a thing or two!

dinner with godmother after work was really nice; her doctor friend came over and made inappropriate consolations that were quite amusing: apparently montreal's jewish community could use another eligible bachelor. i was a little offended when godmother scrapped an offering on the grounds that i'm not a "creative type". i kept my begging to differ to myself :P

my packing took a while, and was accompanied by netflix's stand up shows - louis ck, aziz ansari and joe rogan. none of their performances were particularly good, but there were a few funny moments.

i woke up this morning to episodes three and four of penny arcade's strip search - it's simply excellent!

the officials at the us border told me that with my short-term visa stapled into my passport i wouldn't need to carry my old one at all. i found out the hard way that this only applies to ground entry - i couldn't check in at the airport and i was extremely fortunate to catch a ride home and back with our art lead who hadn't gotten far after dropping me off in the first place.

the front seat of a no-class emb-145 is nothing special. aside from overhearing conversations in yiddish (so it *is* a living language!), i passed the flight either nodding off or feeling crap.

no water on the plane?! i mean, nothing coming out of the tap, and waterless soap indicating that that's intentional? damn, united airlines, i've never heard that one before.

once again, i forgot to request vegan meals on my flights. i was hungry when the meal cart came by, and when i heard "cheeseburger or chicken wrap?" my choice was easy to make. the first few bites tasted weird, though i couldn't quite put my finger on what was bothering me. it wasn't bad, as such, but it definitely wasn't good either. then i got to the halfway mark, at which point i had a clear view of the wrap's contents. not so much with the chicken, and plenty with the cheese. what the hell? i immediately thought back to the news report i saw two hours before, about the heart-attack grill guy most unironically dying of a heart attack.

this is newsworthy in america? they don't exactly force you to eat there, their food does precisely what it says on the tin. free meals if you weigh more than 350 pounds? AWESOME. it's essentially a legal euthanasia clinic! they really shouldn't shut it down (i presume there'll be calls for that). a quick death by excess doesn't sound so bad, actually.

i dropped the wrap, and moved on to the salad. well, the lettuce. it came with a dressing, which i was tempted to use until i read through the list of ingredients, which would have done a fantastic job of mitigating any potentially healthy / not nutritionally irresponsible effects of eating the lettuce. i picked up the brownie, wondering if it was possible for it not to be too bad: milk, eggs, corn syrup... yeah, okay. whatever. but... "made with love"? love for who?

arrival in panama. first off, flying in over panama city at night is incredible, the city is magnificently well-lit and between the ships and the city it's beautiful.

the airport experience:

1. immigration was surprisingly uncomplicated.

2. i was shocked and horrified to discover that the lock on my bag was missing. my first thought was that crooked panamanians had picked the lock and stolen the demo equipment i was transporting, but the stuff was all there. later i found the polite little slip from the tsa: "to protect you and your fellow passengers... the officer may have been forced to break the locks on your bag". the bag was in transit, dammit. america, land of the free? that's a country that really doesn't understand the meaning of the word freedom. and privacy in particular.

3. i was worried about customs. i've heard stories. i lucked upon two officials who didn't speak english. after an odd back-and-forth, i asked if they wanted to send me to someone else.
"just go," i was told, with an unsubtle "just get out of here" to boot. i hadn't completed the forms, so they don't know what's in my bag, where i'm staying, or how to contact me. smooth.

the hotel:

it really is rainforest, the hotel is located in the middle of a national reserve. i'm sharing a room with our it guy. he regaled me with tales that make me certain that nobody's in control of what's happening here and that i may as well take things easy. i'm disappointed to learn that he's looking to work somewhere else; he's fed up with having so much responsibility and being at the mercy of bad management. i can't say i blame him, and i really hope that with our new additions we can turn things around a bit.

the remake of the jazz singer is very different from what i expected. also, much longer. it's a surprisingly good movie, and even more surprisingly serendipitous: jess and his wife separating because she's not into what he's into feels heartstring-tuggingly similar to my present story with pg. i'm not sure how i feel about the blackface nod to the original.

hmmph. i was totally getting into breaking bad, but then fallout 3. much healthier. also, i had a flash of inspiration on the way here for a quick and cool comic, maybe i'll play with that now that i should have a good deal of spare time.

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