Thursday, May 30, 2013

visualization

waking up visualizing the talk i was going to have with the cto, the horrible realization dawned on me that there's no way for us to discuss it without my at best implying that he's an idiot.

i'm not a politician, and being especially tactful is not what i do.

aota came in to the office for a short while, and i'm very glad i managed to catch her for a "talk". i shared all of my frustrations and she assured me that a) all the executives are aware of what's going on and b) that that's precisely what megaman's been tasked with dealing with.

i headed back to megaman's office to convince him that i don't need to be in the meeting and to argue with him for over half an hour about the value of commenting code.

...

if i don't give a shit and take things less seriously i *do* feel better. can i keep this up?

---
i can't tell if megaman is a victim of buzzword-speech or if he's simply imprecise. regardless, he knows how to make me feel needed.

...

three things made me smile yesterday: my rocket surgeon shirt arriving at the office, buying ministry albums (psalm 69 and the mind is a terrible thing to taste), and one of the interns finding the original syndicate on gog.com.

oh, and leaving early for an eye exam.

---
it wasn't hard to find the eye institute, their welcome was quick and pleasant. they did make me wait a bit, though, and i was pretty tired...

the tests went strangely. my right eye couldn't focus on the letters either, and the pressure tests left me in tears. afterwards i was led back to the waiting room where i sat for so long i began to nod off. it was in a haze that i entered the doctor's room...

... where we discovered that my right eye's vision is excellent. perhaps the test equipment wasn't calibrated correctly? anyway, for my left eye i was asked to look through a patch with holes in it and my vision was instantly corrected. science! and piracy. maybe i should just wear a patch instead of dropping almost two large on surgery?

the technician who explained the details and risks could barely speak english; he made everything awkward by constantly apologizing...

---
i felt a couple of drops of rain and headed into tim horton's for a cup of coffee. i was inside and cozy when the skies opened up and the rain came bucketing down - once in a while i get it right!

while there i went online and was touched to read a lengthy note by tpj concerning consciousness; he may have missed a few steps in my personal history but he definitely internalized what i was getting at :)

i returned home with no plans to train. i did laundry, chatted for a while with SxS and then overclocker, finished season 7 of doctor who and watched another couple of episodes of death note before going to bed early.

i *was* thinking about working on my comics but i really disn't have the energy.

---
today:

special deliveries! i received both my copy of the arden sonnets and my syndicate shirt! it came out beautifully ^_^

so far, it's been a positively meh day at work. the most interesting bit was designing icons for something and almost explicitly stating that cheshire cat lady's input wasn't appreciated...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

google fails

let's start with the blogger app that i used for my last post, that refuses to post here and sends things to my poetry blog instead:
map fail - the big one
ooooh! it was all a horrible google maps mistake. i wondered why the clinic didn't have the same name, and now i know why the website was off: maps + streetview sent me to an unrelated clinic across the street.

i guess it's a totally private walk-in clinic and that that's why it cost me so much money to be seen. now to find out if that's why the waiting time was bearable, too.
so to continue on that thread, no. the waiting time was much less and the doctor was thorough and has a great bedside manner. i appreciated it even more when i realized that he wasn't referring to my tattoo as a disease. [apparently i have a skin condition that's called a disease but most likely doesn't mean anything]

---
the first part of the day was a major headache; the "misinterpreted" upgrade by imperieux saw the two of us spending an inordinate amount of time being extra-careful about integration. at least by the end of the day we were happy with everything, but that first part had me running out of the office for the lunch break just to get away.

megaman and i are no longer the only people on "our side" concerned by the cto's blatant disregard for everything we've been working towards and his apparently inability to play with others. my mother, bless her, griefed me for about half an hour earlier because she thinks i should inform the ceo - in addition to putting my job on the line, i'm not sure it would be constructive. [having said that, you do have a point, mum. i heard you.]

at least i'm in a position that i wouldn't need to rush to find employment if i stopped working.

---
it is entirely likely that my sudden energy drops are related to my not consuming enough protein. different sources cite different numbers, but i'm getting the impression that i should be getting at least 150g in me per day, and i've been getting little more than a third of that. today i made 130g, and that was through three protein bars / snacks, breakfast, lunch and a double-dinner that i'm only halfway through.

note to self: mlo bio protein double choc is gross. i was desperate and that's what the dep (kiosk) had, and contrary to the review i just linked to i found both the texture and the taste appalling and cringe-worthy.

season seven of dr who while sewing my other hand-wrap's velcro: much better than the three doctors.

kickboxing: i slurped down the grape-flavoured rockst*r, which was easier to get down but made me feel a little nauseous. that *could* have been from the protein bar, though... i almost hesitated, but went to training anyway and had a really, really good session. i'm so buffed i almost didn't recognize myself in the mirror during warm-up! very cool.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

fighter, poet, preacher

i wonder how much of my personality is based on song lyrics i've ingested over the years. on my way back from gym this evening, i thought about a kid in seventh grade who labelled me a fighter, and i guess he was kinda right. and i call myself a poet, and i'm definitely a preacher. in more ways than one. so... bon jovi?

---
yesterday:

i'm very glad i went to the gym! even if the jump rope upset me, i worked out a lot of stuff on the punching bags and i came home feeling good about myself. i had just enough time to shower, do the laundry, eat and even rest a little before heading out to paintball with some of the guys from work...

... only the pain returned and drove me nuts, and then when i went down to get my laundry out of the dryer it was wet. again. this time it was the other machine. the caretaker wasn't in, so i left a really angry message on his answering machine while trying to find places to dry my clothing; then my mother called, and at the same time pg called, and my plans for the week got complicated and my stress levels rose and i got irritated.

---
paintball was a welcome break. getting there was a bit confusing (i was supposed to get a lift, and then i didn't, and then they tried to pick me up at the metro when i'd already found the place) but not difficult, and i was a little nervous until we actually got inside.

that was the most fun i've had at paintball since i was a kid! there were a lot of combatants, arnold's is a very cool setup and it's run by people who take safety seriously but have a sense of humour. we had some funny moments, and some desperate moments, and most of us walked out with tender welts and an increased sense of camaraderie.

a few of us had dinner at my favourite downtown chinese restaurant - our experienced intern from myanmar agreed with my choice - and we ate a lot of delicious food and shared a lot of laughs.

on the metro home i was so content that i sunk into the plastic seat and it was tough for me not to fall asleep... i worried that showering would break the spell, but i was still in a dream-state while i brushed my teeth and i floated into bed to enjoy the softest, easiest sleep i've had in ages.

---
today:

i woke up slowly with the warm sunlight just sneaking into my room, got ready for the day and headed to the israeli consulate to sort out a power of attorney for pg. there was no map or instructions on how to find the actual office, the security guy was pleasant but bumbling, the people there were either behaving badly or were trying too hard (like, wasting time speaking hebrew when both sides could handle english), i had to wait for ages to be noticed, at first i wasn't actually helped (at least the second person i dealt with made a bit of an effort)... it was great! if the experience was supposed to make me not miss israel, it did the trick.

---
there's nothing worse than losing faith in your boss. the cto is behaving in a way that screams "amateur" and he's interfering with the systems and processes that we've been putting in place specifically to get around the side effects of his lack of professionalism. as a developer. cto's shouldn't really be coding, but that's another story.

he called me today to ask me about something, and the way he described what he wanted to do raised red flags and alarm bells sounded in my head. i tried to clarify, and the response i got was an aggressive "you don't need to tell me how to handle it, i *know* how to handle it. i deal with these things all the time!"

yes. badly. and now i have to walk on eggshells?

...

you know, i'm probably not going to quit but if i did, i'd feel really bad for abandoning everyone else.

---
i took a break to mail the morning's document to pg. according to google maps it should have taken me ten minutes, but when i arrived at the post office it turned out to be a police station, and the pin had disappeared from the map. the next closest pin was at least a bus ride away, but i'd already committed and wasted my time so i gave it a shot.

after a bit of a mission, i arrived at the place and... nothing. and hey! look! that pin had disappeared from the map too! what the hell, google?!

thwarted, i hopped on the bus back to the office. it's a good thing i was paying attention, because halfway back i spotted a post office! nope, no pin on the map. what the hell, google?!

[i just had to retype that all because "you have logged in from a different location" - no, i didn't. :S]

at 6pm i signed out and headed to the cafeteria for a pre-training meal and some pool. i only stayed for a couple of games, but they were good games :)

boxing tonight was really good - tough, really tough, but fun and satisfying.

---
hungry for change is very preachy and air-fairy towards the end, but at least half of it is worth watching. i'd go so far as to say that some of it should be mandatory watching.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

agony and happiness

crap. i woke up early and my body hasn't let up hurting for more than a few minutes at a time. i definitely need to see a doctor. in addition to worrying about my health, my tenant sent me an email informing me that he's moving out earlier than i'd like. just another headache... i hope it won't be a big one.

in the meanwhile, i've at least been deriving some pleasure from reading comics. saga is stunning, and mono just totally knocked my socks off!

i can't read comics without thinking about my own. i really have to push 'em out.

---
just before i went to sleep last night, a fellow student caught me for a quick chat. she informed me that a lot of people in the department think that i'm just on a long holiday, not realizing that i'm not planning on coming back. she also informed me that my absence is noticeable. as i said to her - of all the experiences of my twelve years in israel, the english department of tel aviv university was the one that was almost entirely enjoyable and fulfilling. i really do miss them, and her timing was impeccable because just yesterday i finally sent an email to mcgill's english department asking for a meeting: i really want to continue with my degree, and i really want to get back into academia.

---
right: the weather is miserable and i don't actually want to do anything at all, but i haven't done laundry this weekend just in case i'd train and by gum, i'm going to train. even if it's just to justify the delay :P

read to bed

okay, it's now bedtime. the private eye? exciting. totally worth the whatever-you-want-to-pay pricetag!

i've now spent my evening reading comics and playing abandonware (in particular, tongue of the fatman and space quest iv). the former sucks because i can't figure out the controls and apparently they'd suck if i could, and the latter is really cool but i need to get into the right frame of mind... it's nice to have dosbox running on a mac, though!

---
funny, the caretaker gave me shit for late laundry, but until a short while ago my upstairs neighbours were playing loud music and singing at the tops of their lungs and nobody seemed to mind...

preaching

i just got home from dinner at godmother's, which was much more pleasant than usual. i started writing something on the way there, continued on the way back and i'm now very happy with it.

forgotten towel

first, some reminiscing:

i walked out of the apartment yesterday listening to house, and a dj quicksilver track came on. the tracks of his i'm familiar with all use similar samples, and they remind me of the first vinyl i ever purchased, bellissima, which i bought as soon as i could after hearing it at 6am at the faithless / sister bliss / judge jules rave at culemborg in 1997.

that was either my first or second rave ever, and i'll never forget how krybabie laughed at my inability to dance so i headed into the crowd and started copying people - by the time i got back, all his friends were saying "dude! he dances better than you do!"

---
one of the interns was on the same train, and i looked at him for a while without getting a response before deciding that i was simply looking at someone similar. i'm glad he didn't recognize me, because when we arrived and i was certain it was him he really wasn't much fun to talk to.

imperieux: after thursday's horrific discovery, he spent the night like every other night for the past week - working and not sleeping. he looked terrible, he looked unhappy, he looked frustrated. i feel bad for making him feel bad, as much as i feel bad for him having worked so hard unnecessarily; i really hope this hasn't burned him out. megaman and i spent the day trying to convince him to get some rest.

the previous interns: they weren't very good. in particular, their ability to pay attention to detail was practically non-existent, and it's very frustrating to discover that they completely disregarded an important column in the data sample i provided them and the new interns are now going to have to work around that.

*facepalm*

...

i stocked up on food and supplements at loblaws, and couldn't resist buying a box of french fries. i was hungry, and i thought a big box would be a good idea, but the big box was much bigger than it needed to be and the fries were so delicious that it was impossible not to overeat. i couldn't eat a real lunch after that and i didn't feel good at all. that's not to say i didn't enjoy them...

i added some cool functionality to our central development server yesterday and was very pleased to receive a pat on the back for it. it's the little successes that count, no?

my nose didn't stop running the whole day in spite of the antihistamines, and by the time happy hour came around i was feeling out of sorts. but i went anyway, and i had a beer anyway, and although it was a pleasant hour or two i got up feeling *drunk* in the sense that walking in a straight line was a problem. i was exhausted by the time i got home, so i sat in front of some old doctor who (the three doctors, not the most exciting introduction to the series) before climbing into bed.

---
saturday:

i slept fitfully and for more than twelve hours, not including an afternoon nap. i'm embarrassed to admit that i forgot my towel at home when i left for a hair cut. i was uncomfortable the whole time (those health issues) and i think the guy figured i didn't like him because my face was frozen in a scowl.

afterwards i checked out the clinic website which says "seven days a week", and i arrived there to discover that it's only open monday to friday. well, that sucked. just like last week.

---
daniel tosh is so offensive he's hysterical, and i love his meta-jokes.

i'm reading wired again and they mentioned brian k vaughan - the private eye: i've just tossed him two dollars for a look and i'll let you know if i like it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

rewrite

i experienced a soul-crushing moment today, when i realized that after a long time working on his mandate to upgrade a system i constructed - most of my time on the original spent creating libraries to make development quicker, easier and more secure - imperieux had been rewriting the system from scratch instead. this is exactly like cam2, except that this system actually works and does what it's supposed to do, but it's now incompatible with the previous system and that's going to cost us in integration :'(

well, that's what happens when you're overloaded and you delegate. this sucks.

...

on a related note, but in the other direction: one of our developers has been bitching about work that one of the previous interns did badly, and he called me over to show me something he was struggling to read and translate. i looked at it, then looked again, and realized it was something of mine :$

---
i left work much later than i'd have liked (working around robocopy, which doesn't work as advertised), and was long out of time to eat before training so i made do with a protein bar. i didn't feel too good by the time i arrived in the gym, the short jog had worn me out and my abysmal failures with the jump rope had me a little dizzy; i was hesitant to continue, and considered just saying "i can't" and leaving.

but i didn't. it wasn't an easy training, but once i'd warmed up i started doing the right things, and even though i was partnered with the slow guy (he doesn't seem to understand any of the exercises) i left feeling very positive.

...

you know you're shadowboxing well when:
"dude! are you alright?!"
"i'm fine, you should see the other guy..."

...

the final part of the training was very exciting - we were working on the heavy bags that up until today have dealt more damage to my legs than vice-versa, and this time i came out on top! it's the little victories...

---
check out this brilliant summary on exoplanet detection!

piraro being serious is quick and fun to read.

is $120 to drive a lamborghini galland through two laps (less than five minutes) on a race course worth it? because that's how much they're charging. i compared the per hour rental cost of a ford fiesta to its purchase price ($2.5/hr : $20k) and this deal to the lambo's ($1440/hr : $210k). although i suppose using the track might be expensive... that expensive?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

driving rights

it's a good thing i like soda water, because by the time i got to the supermarket they were all out of anything else. the water on the island may or may not have been contaminated, so everyone's being extra careful...

---
those health issues which i'm still struggling with seemed to have abated, only they haven't. yesterday morning i woke up with difficulties; on the way to the dmv i had to wait a while for a bus and i was in major discomfort. not cool, biological shell, not cool at all.

---
i arrived at the dmv on time, and they sent me through to wait for about half an hour. still uncomfortable, not as bad. the dmv was a mixed bag of humanity, and shared that same sense of bureaucratic strangeness as does every other one i've entered.

when my number flashed i went to the desk, where a very pleasant woman was impressed by how organized i was and responded in kind with efficiency. i was surprised when she told me that my israeli license is valid for use for six months from my relevant entry! i was surprised when she told me that i shouldn't take any lessons that require a learner's license, because once i have a learner's it will render my israeli license unusable here. i was also surprised when she told me that she didn't have a "hazel" option for my eye colour, and would have to choose between green and brown. i told her that my eye colour changes depending on my mood.
"well, they look green to me."
"then today's a good day."

i hope my license is never examined on a bad day.

the final surprise came after she handed me a medical declaration form. in israel i can drive a car without restriction but i do have to wear glasses for a motorcycle. when i asked her, she took me for the eye test.
"you've got truck driver's eyes," she informed me, "you don't need glasses even for a motorcycle."
i don't know if that first part was a compliment or not.

after all that (which didn't take very long), i was sent to be photographed and to apply for the theory test. that was all handled very quickly with almost no waiting. i took the test, which was much easier for my having practiced with the online sample, and only failed a couple of questions because they were frustratingly tricky and without context. anyway, it was quick and painless.

the only thing left to do was sign two documents and get out of there! that's when they caught me for forty five minutes of sitting and waiting for my number to come up again. what the hell? is there an approximate amount of time that each person must be in the building, and they stretch out the waiting to make sure that nobody messes with the statistics?!

---
google maps sent me the long way around to the metro station, so i got to work much later than planned. so i haven't been to muay thai yet... i was going to leave early for it but then felt bad about a three hour workday. as it was i wasn't very productive, because i spent ages going over moonlighter's code and commenting / fixing some really amateur stuff... only to discover that i was working in the wrong place. when i found the right place, i discovered that he still doesn't get how to use the svn... and i had to junk all my changes.

*facepalm*

...

how is it that the (physically) heaviest shopping i've done is the lightest on my wallet?

training was good, the best part being at the end: last night was the first conditioning in which i took a few good punches like a man! i use the word "man" in as gender-neutral a sense as possible, though, because one of the girls in our class is half my size and takes shots twice as hard without even flinching.

not being able to use tap water is very limiting, so dinner was even simpler than usual. i ate it watching bill burr - you people are all the same, and he's funny and has a few really good points.

---
i went to bed early and woke up slowly; it was a good night's sleep, but i'm still not feeling amazing...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

sliced 'n diced

allergies, i'm told? could it really be crazy quebec-specific allergies that are horribly worse than anywhere else? i don't know, so i bought some antihistamines and gave it a try. i'm not sure how much better they made me feel, and i'm fairly certain that what made my training okay was the massive energy drink i consumed before it. i believe in rockst*r!

---
work today was about onboarding the new head of qa (hooray!), fighting with stupidities of linux (security and cronjobs working together to make a mess), and being introduced to aota the facebook stalker (it's an amusing story that i won't discuss further).

i'm well proud of myself for coming up with something that two of my quebecois co-workers found funny. it was a random thought that struck me yesterday as i left the piknic:
the quebecois (and NSFW) version of mary poppins' "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" is "super-câlisse-fragil-osti-expialidocious"

---
training was excellent, although my gloves are fitting strangely and i took some big hits during conditioning - one of which would have knocked me out in a real fight and made me want to throw up :(

i can't get the hang of the jump rope, by the way. it's driving me crazy. i'm either doing it completely wrong or i'm whipping my toes really hard.

while unwrapping, i was talking to one of the girls and discovered that she also took the last week off training and for the same reason! i wonder if it's "allergies", or if we just picked up a bug in the gym.

i jogged home through the rain, it was a monkey's wedding and although the sky above was cloudy the rest was clear and the sunset was magnificent - it was fantastic and magical!

---
slicing a thumb while preparing a salad is annoying, but not nearly as annoying as continuing to prepare the salad without using it :/

i've done a couple more online exams for the "knowledge exam" for the driver's license, and now i'm going to bed so that i can be up early enough to make my early-bird appointment at the dmv...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

patriotic days

today was patriot's day, and i'm pretty happy that it made for a long weekend. i've just watched an episode of death note after experiencing a surprise breakthrough with my comics and thesis, and i'm definitely ready for bed so i'm going to try to get through this post as quickly as possible.

---
sunday:

studying for the driver's (not that i'm worried, but it'd be nice to be fully confident) has made correcting my eyesight a little more urgent. so i've now contacted two clinics to see what they're about.

i had to wait days to register for my medical insurance website because they send your details in the mail, even though they're details you already have. it's very bureaucratic. i then waited a few days more because i never had the time or energy to log in and sort my shit out. until yesterday! i registered successfully, but then it wouldn't accept the password that i'd just entered and i'm now locked out of my account.

bastards!

i caught pg for a chat and i felt bad afterwards because she sounded miserable by the end of a call that was essentially me asking her to help me out with my apartment. fortunately the emails she sent today were more positive, i really don't want to antagonize her. [whoops! i totally forgot her birthday today. *sigh*]

i spent a fair amount of time studying french; i should be a daily thing but i never get that right :(

note to self: soft tofu is a menace and not worth the effort required to handle it. it's amazing how it can flop precisely where you don't want it to every single time.

i thought i was feeling better, but i woke up from a short nap feeling like death. in a trance i hurried to meet up with horseman. there was a guy in the metro planking at the end of the platform. a few people were staring and laughing, he didn't let up until the train came. i thought about strolling up beside him and joining him, wondering if a chain would form, but it was highly probable that he'd find my intrusion offensive.

the afternoon at cagibi was great, nocence joined us, and later we moved to her place to discuss poetry and hip-hop at length. aside from my suddenly beginning to feel horrible, on my way out nocence and i had a gross misunderstanding that was related to my being partially aspie.
"that's the sort of thing you have to tell people upfront if you want to collaborate with them!"
umm. maybe? it's not something i think about all the time.

the night was post-rain and cool, with cool city rain smells.

---
today:

i woke up still feeling awful, but i went through the motions of doing laundry anyway. once i was done i checked to see if my clinic would be open (it was a holiday). they would! i headed down there to see a doctor because i've been feeling bad for almost two weeks. and those issues i went for last time still aren't resolved...

... so i arrived there and it was closed. closed, closed, closed. wtf?! i headed back to the metro and found myself on the train going in the wrong direction. i decided to go with it and head to the picnik electronik to pick up my season pass, stopping for food along the way.

i began to overheat and sweat bullets while the red cross dude spoke to me about donations; i started to worry that i had a fever. i guess i didn't? i introduced myself to chez geek, who do boardgame pick-ups every thursday evening, then walked into commensal. it was a little confusing at first, but overall i like the place and the food was decent and decently vegan. i had an issue with my "live" tea - some weird woo thing, i guess - which seemed to be infused with vigor every time i tried to unscrew the cap. i got the impression that it was trapped and trying to escape, and it took me most of ten minutes before i could get the cap off and drink it. by that time my hands were sticky with the short bursts that i didn't manage to catch :P

i entered the street illegally just as i noticed a policeman standing on the other side, and tried to pull off nonchalance as i continued to cross. no matter, he was about to jay-walk too :P

i've come to the conclusion that i get much more done with my comics over coffee in a coffee shop environment. i'm very excited about today's starbucks progress ^_^

i arrived early for the picnik without a picnic, and just sort of milled around for a while. i used the opportunity to send an introductory email to a great artist that nocence wants me to work with, and i hope it entices him to meet me!

the music was a bit crap at first, but it got progressively better. eventually i removed my shoes and got a bit dirty, i was surprised to recognize a girl from the last time (in 2010) and i saw yang for a couple of minutes before i disappeared. it was on my way out that aota's daughter's friend walked in with someone else; i didn't recognize her (she looked better than i remembered) and she said hi but didn't stop. which i found weird considering that aota had messaged me last night to say that she wanted to meet me there...

...

right, past time for bed. as usual.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

a day at the movies

today was a gorgeous day for being outside, but there were movies that (apparently) needed to be seen. i saw two today, and hopefully i'll see the third tomorrow.

previews and posters:
world war z looks like fun, although it looks like it'll center around a single character which would miss the point entirely. kinda like the screen translation of the men who stare at goats.
elysium looks really, really cool.
absolutely nothing today excited me as much as seeing a poster for ender's game. seriously?? are we there yet?!

star trek:
a little over the top at some points, but otherwise a glorious, wild ride. great story, excellent experience!

iron man three:
after all the excitement and rave reviews, i'm mortified to report that iron man three was less than epic. i consider my reasons to be potential spoilers, but the bottom line is that as good as it looked, it left me quite disappointed :(
*SPOILERS* the best thing it had going for it is that is was a great comedy. robert downey junior *is* made of win, but it's like the 1995 judge dredd where the actor is given greater value than the character he's playing. just like the original dredd, he didn't wear his helmet enough. why fight with an untested suit when you have good ones at home? my biggest issue with the movie is that the enemies were so overpowered that the hero had to force multiply to match. so iron man wasn't actually enough of a hero to save the day! as i said, it made for great comedy, but it was a terrible superhero movie. although it's definitely not as unwatchable as the spiderman series before the recent reboot.

---
before each movie i had half an hour to sit and sketch over a cup of coffee, and i made some progress with my comics that i'm pleased with. i even spent ten minutes sitting on a park bench soaking up sunshine after lunch :)

it was a stunning day, and i took the long way to godmother's. dinner was pleasant when yin wasn't being verbally abused by her father and brother - the viciousness they throw at her is simply shocking. my offer to her to use my couch if she feels the need to escape was entirely serious.

after dinner i had a couple of drinks with "the boys". there's nothing more pitiful (to my mind) than the intellectually impotent telling me how the arts are all a waste of time. my uncle is fascinatingly small-minded and has no clue that there's a world outside of the misery he knows; yang, in spite of his claims to the contrary, is well on his way to following in his footsteps.

...

once home, i took it upon myself to deal with the most important items on my lengthy to-do list: t-shirts. i bought a rocket surgeon, then spent ages tweaking a custom syndicate shirt i've been planning for years and never got around to. i *really* hope the graphics come out the way i want them to, it was difficult to scale such tiny images...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

willpower

and i don't mean the power of shakespeare, although i have some of that, too.

yesterday was a very relaxed friday. in addition to all my usual distractions, i had one job to do and that was to get one of the previous interns' projects to work. now that i've finally gotten it fixed, i find myself even more disturbed by this third year engineering student's complete lack of logic. also, he overcomplicated everything. but i suppose that can be put down to a lack of experience.

happy hour was quite funny and a little embarrassing; one of the guys (imperieux) had just enough to drink that he hopped up to play on the piano. this was funny, although he was actually quite good, but embarrassing because there were plenty of other patrons and pianos don't have volume controls. one girl had to move away to continue her skype conversation... i felt partially responsible.

after we were done, jock, newk'd, imperieux and i made use of our cafeteria pool table for a couple of hours. jock introduced us to cutthroat when newk'd left, which was so much fun that i was overjoyed when i won the final game. jock joked about me being a bad winner, which did shame me a little...

anyway, after a really enjoyable evening i returned home, made dinner and tried to decide if i was going to hit a trance party downtown. eventually i figured that it would be better to rest just a little bit more, because i really want to be in fighting shape as soon as possible!

...

i woke up around 7am this morning, and i'd slept enough. i finished reading chris beckett - dark eden and i cannot praise it enough! i'm now ready to face a day wherein i see a couple of movies that i'll regret not seeing on the big screen...

---
on my way home i was thinking about the possibility that my feeling horrible this past week might well have been a purely psychological thing. the demotivation from work hit me hard, and i shouldn't be letting bullshit get under my skin.

Friday, May 17, 2013

under the weather

well, i felt horrible yesterday. i ran a few errands, but by and large didn't have it in me to do any more than lie about and read.

being welcomed home by a fire engine and emergency services was worrying. i don't know what happened, but i don't get what they needed a fire engine for. just in case?

i read a lot of chris beckett - dark eden. i can't figure out if i find it more cleverly thrilling or more thrillingly clever, but i'm genuinely excited to be reading it and very glad that facebook's usually completely incorrect filters saw fit to show my postmodernism professor's recommendation in my news feed. what a beautiful merging of fantasy, biblical stories and anthropology!

---
pg had sent me an email about the apartment that i found very frustrating. just like with kc, now that pg and i aren't together our frictions feel more pronounced. like her losing her cool at the *possibility* of inconvenience. how did i manage so well with such an opposite of a free spirit?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

consuming

i finished sewing, i finished the it crowd, i watched some dilbert, i watched conan o'brien can't stop even though i don't find him funny and i was surprised to be interested by it, and i started watching a '99 show of george carlin's in which he's as brilliant and funny as always. the thought that sitting and staring at my wall while continuously eating and not actually doing anything was nagging me the entire time. i got up, read the brilliant lyrics to lupe fiasco - streets on fire and am now planning on reading some more of chris beckett - dark eden which is as great as my postmodernism professor said it is.

that's still a lot of consumption. i must produce!

revisits complete

i woke up this morning still feeling crap, but with tennis elbow too. i thought i'd gotten over that ages ago... i haven't trained in a week, i feel like i haven't trained in ages and i don't feel like i'm ready to go back to gym. this sucks.

i'm *so* glad i get the jewish holidays off (today and tomorrow are "shavuot"), i really needed them to myself. i hope aota wasn't too offended by my sms telling her i didn't feel up to going to the synagogue today. i explained that even if i had been interested in going, today would've been the day to stay home sick. but seriously, i don't want to waste hours in the synagogue. it's not my scene.

while doing the laundry i finally went to the dry cleaner's to pick up my trousers which have been waiting for me to have an opportunity to get them for at least a week and a half. at 10am on a spring morning, my neighbourhood becomes the suburban ideal, the lovely gardens and the relative quiet, even the roofers doing their thing. i guess reading the local newspaper may have contributed a bit to the sensation.

i finally called up about my driver's license and was fortunate to catch a cancelled appointment in a week's time :) i did the online knowledge test sample and it looks like i'll do just fine :)

i got some serious sewing done (i'm about halfway through on my mr. price pants) while watching more of the it crowd and wondering how many days in the week i really need just for myself. it's nice that i get weekends, but usually those are crammed with social things or pressure items. i think i need at least another day each week to be out of sync with the rest of the world and Get Stuff Done.

the cleaning lady surprised me (i wasn't thinking about the time) and after shifting things around so that she could get started i headed to the bank, explored a possible new route to the starbucks, walked all the way back because it wasn't a good route, and chilled at the starbucks until i received a phone call telling me she was done. i came back in the pouring rain, she'd done a good job and was very enthusiastically appreciating the apartment and its decor.

after she left, i plugged in my computer and i've been posting and accepting invitations to trance events ever since. i think i'm ready to get sewing again. i wanted tonight to be my first muay thai class! i really hope that i'll be feeling better by tomorrow.

revisiting: tuesday

i'm splitting these up. it's been a crazy week.

---
tuesday:

i awoke to stomache troubles. i'd be surprised at the end of the work day to be informed that i wasn't the only one in the office ("there's a party in my stomach," he told me), and the two of us weren't the only ones not feeling well. by the end of the day i felt terrible, and i've decided that last week's worries about over-training were misplaced and that what was actually happening was that i was beginning to come down with something.

i watched strip search before leaving, and watching monica in the elimination round made me feel terrible. that's two eliminations in a row where mike is verbally abused, and i know that the context is shaped by the editing but i consider it really bad form on the part of the contestants. these are the guys! these guys are penny arcade, and they're awesome and they do so much and care so much, and yes they're fucking with you but it's all in good fun and what the hell?!?

it was sunny and 5°, perfect rollerblading weather. i took it easy, but felt out-of-sorts nonetheless, and graham boulevard and i had a disagreement over reasonable paving. my front right wheel caught on an uneven strip, and although (or perhaps because) i wasn't going very fast i lost my balance and came down on my right knee and hand. the good news is it was a well-controlled fall and i didn't so much as scratch my skin. the bad? my kneepads were under my mr. price specials and they ripped right through.

i would've preferred a bit of my skin scraped to that, to be honest.

well, i did need to obtain a sewing kit anyway. i found a little african dollar store around the corner and bought a great one.

the work day: i felt like shit the whole day, i had to make non-stop manual tweaks to our server because moonlighter never thought to make an interface for it (he really does love doing things the hard way), my plate was otherwise full and i just wanted to be nursing my disorientation anywhere else.

i seem to have impressed megaman by asking the interns to rank all our tasks according to how confident they are in tackling them before assigning them. once i was done with that, i said goodbye, strapped on my wheels and rolled on home. i cannot provide a rational explanation as to why i didn't just take the metro, but the roll home was much better than the way there. maybe it was the wind direction or something.

i sewed until i came up with a good plan for the evening, then took the metro to the health store to pick up some things. clif bars are good, the builder's version are better! i did some regular shopping, then returned to eat dinner and watch hours of the it crowd until i almost passed out on the couch with a cup half-filled with water in my hand.

revisiting: monday

i'm splitting these up. it's been a crazy week.

---
monday:

i mentioned winter coming back for a visit - my windows have been open since the temperature began to rise, and in the middle of the night i woke up feeling frozen.

later i'd wake up absolutely exhausted. it felt appropriate to walk through the rain with folk and blues accompanying me. i was also accompanied by a little trepidation, because i'd received authorization for my south african holiday but megaman did express concern as company policy is not to take more than two weeks consecutively and not to take any holiday prior to CES.

as aota said, though: if it's been authorized, then that's that. i guess in my head i'm still under military conditions regarding holidays...

one of the interns invited me to go white water rafting this weekend - i wonder if it'll materialize? it does sound like fun...

there's nothing i dislike more than crazy last-minute fixes, and being informed that with the amazon server we now have access to metrics and that these metrics show our server operating at 100% cpu after we've already hit showtime... i was not happy. it didn't take long to find the source of the problem, an infinite loop that moonlighter wrote. funny story: i had trouble trying to find a way to perform the same logic using interrupts instead of constant polling, and after a lengthy search discovered that he'd overridden the default operation of the function he was using so that it specifically wouldn't use interrupts. by the time i made that discovery, made the change and tested it, it was too late to put it into production.

not - happy...

to make matters worse, the office had been going completely nuts right until the end of the day, and i was about to pay the price for bad delegation. i asked cls, who'd helped me test my fix by making an important fix on the client, to send out the email to inform megaman and the cto what we'd done. unfortunately, cls misunderstood and thought that we were modifying our production environment to match the testing, and the cto spent the next few emails (spanning a couple of hours) shouting at us for something we weren't planning on doing. no matter how many times i explained. he wasn't reachable by phone. the whole thing was pretty infuriating.

i wasn't feeling great, so i spent the evening cleaning up a bit and trying to write posts. copywriter, my mother and overclocker all made that last bit really tough.

1. copywriter told me, in a rather circuitous fashion, that making the sacrifices that i'm making in order to establish myself as canadian is the right thing to do. on the one hand, i didn't need him to tell me that. on the other, i did need someone to tell me that. by sacrifices we're talking about things like not studying right now, and not going to burning man, and not really focusing on my comics. that sort of thing. essentially, the sacrifice of working full-time as opposed to freelancing and owning my schedule.

2. my mother and i have established what's wrong with me! well, one of the things that's wrong with me, anyway. i have information ocd. that explains why i can't not update my blog, why i need to present myself (and you) with all the details of my days that normal people would simply gloss over. and why i feel terrible when a conversation goes one way without going the other, or why i have to get the whole thought out or prevent you from continuing your story without clarifying things that i can't assimilate. <see asperger's>

i made an enormous salad, grabbed a beer and settled down to watch loads of the it crowd. i needed the beer. i was just about to get into fixing my wraps when i got blocked: it appears that pg took the sewing kit i bought and left me with a different one, one that didn't have any needles in it :S

---
something that occurred to me on saturday while listening to stories about our forebears travelling through the desert (for forty years): people who travel through the desert would have to become nocturnal, which would nicely explain why the jewish calendar is lunar, why the jewish "day" begins in the evening and why unlike most cultures jews consider the moon to be masculine and the sun feminine.

it's also easy enough to imagine that the whole blood libel story might have stemmed from the passover retelling of the painting of blood over the doors to ward off the angel of death. but let's ignore the blood libel aspect and return a couple of thousand years to when the jews emerged from the desert and into the land of israel. how quickly did they return to being collectively diurnal? would their enemies (or neighbours) not have found their nocturnal behaviour strange and begun to believe them to be nosferatu? could this explain their miraculous conquest of canaan?

just a thought.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

revisiting: sunday

i'm splitting these up. it's been a crazy week.

---
sunday:

i slurped down a monster energy drink and headed downtown; it wasn't hard to find the place. it's actually the last club i went to with yang, only now i have an idea of what it's called (kim foo's, only it's not) and where to find it. i walked on in, bought a bottle of water so i'd have change for the coat check, and entered.

aside from about half a set all told, the following five hours were filled with grinding, styling beats.

SO...montreal has a proper trance scene. and it's beautiful! it was so nice to see the sunrise from the right side again, even if my hearing was out and my feet hurt. that was one heck of a stomp, and some of the locals were just as much fun as chromatone! the crowd was great, too :)

"my best sleep is between 7am and noon. when i sleep those hours, it's the best sleep i get and it's just enough". i say this a lot, and it's very validating whenever i actually do it and find that nothing's changed. i woke up to a call from godmother responding to an email i'd sent her about tickets to south africa: the prices were going up, she said, and i should get on that.

i spent the next while researching tickets, eventually going through flighthub because kayak's site wouldn't operate properly in chrome or firefox: it cost me a couple hundred more but in addition to the site actually working my flight includes a day and a half in daylight stopovers in london - plenty of time to get into the city and meet up with friends ^_^

i'll be using my full three week package, and i've decided that if there are any work-related issues with my visit to see friends and family, be at my niece's wedding and usher in 2014 in the traditional manner, the latter will most definitely be trumping the former.

i had a lengthy and positive chat with pg about the apartment and then headed out to meet horseman; we found an awesome vegan bar / coffee shop (that does live performances) called cagibi and were having a great talk about shakespeare and his sonnets before sidetracking into the political when he discovered that i'm israeli. the conversation was uncomfortable, but he heard what i had to say. it was a long walk to the metro and we got into personal traumas - the man may be a reformed criminal but i find it hard to see past "gentle giant".

the evening was a bit chilly - winter was on its way back for a visit - and the sunset was gorgeous.

i got home with a list of things to do, and i got everything except fixing my wraps covered. moonlighter contacted me towards midnight for another long work session...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

revisiting: saturday

i'm splitting these up. it's been a crazy week.

---
saturday:

i got up only a little later than usual, as i'd been invited to aota's daughter's hebrew naming. she'd simply never gotten around to it, and so newk'd (who's not jewish) and i found ourselves in a synagogue on a shabbat morning. nice little shul, actually, very relaxed and informal. i was amused to discover that by the time i arrived her daughter still hadn't settled on a name; i helpfully ran through a whole bunch of hebrew names for her explaining what they mean :P

the meal afterwards was less a meal than a set of snacks with some bread, but suddenly it was a few glasses of scotch and a couple of hours later and we'd been talking non-stop about all sorts of things. i enjoyed talking to the rabbi, whose opinions differ very much from mine but who's pleasant to discuss things with.

after a nice-enough afternoon i was exhausted and hurried home for an emergency nap. i emerged feeling utterly shite, convinced that i'd come down with something. chatting with my mom picked me up quite a bit, at least until we discussed my uncle and that got me all riled :(

i shambled throughout the evening, doing laundry and shopping, then being upset at 10pm because the tumble-dryer hadn't done its job at all. i converted my apartment into a blocky set of washing lines, worked some more with moonlighter and then started preparing to go out - yang had sent me an invitation to a party he wasn't going to. chromatone would be playing! i tuned in to psychedelik.com and one of his tracks was on. it had to be some sort of sign :P

see... i'd been feeling so bad that i wasn't quite sure i was up for a party...

revisiting: friday

i'm splitting these up. it's been a crazy week.

---
friday:

on thursday morning a mail went around the office linking us to our ceo's twitter feed, and i "followed" using mine. on thursday morning i went to sleep worried by a message that he'd signed on to follow me... what bothers me about that is that my feed links to my blog... oh, well.

i slept the sleep of the dead, and woke up to some good emails:
1. moonlighter sending an email praising my efforts (i think he's realized that i'm not just all talk now that i've gotten my hands dirty)
2. pg sending me a valuation for my (and my mum's) apartment that's not disappointing!

work: there's nothing cathartic about discovering that you'd done something right the first time and that it didn't work because you were testing against the wrong thing. the previous afternoon i finished configuring the amazon instance and the reason we couldn't get it to work was because we were using the wrong ip address! for some reason, the management console provides two urls and an ip, but the actual ip that you need to use to access the server is embedded in the first url and not mentioned anywhere else. wtf?!?!

partially relieved, i joined aota and another co-worker for indian food. usually i order spicy and it's just good, but this time? i was crying, my nose was running and i had to take breaks! the funny thing is that even while suffering it was so good i couldn't stop eating :P

...

i went to the saq to pick up a bottle of wine for my uncle. the foxy girl i asked for assistance described the bottle in question as particularly good to go with meat; in particular, very bloody meat. there was something in the way she said it that made me blush.

on the way to godmother's, there was something magic about the slight drizzle blowing through the vent in the roof of the bus.

my uncle was very pleased with the wine, and i think he thinks we're friends again. dinner was pleasant, although he was on form and some of the things he said to and about his kids was pretty distressing :(

i had to wait quite a long time for the bus to the metro, and it was drizzling and cool. not cold, not until just before the bus arrived, but that cool, breezy, rainy night that coupled with the old-school house like josh wink - higher state of consciousness took me back to waiting in the line for unity to open; we were so fortunate to experience the cape town super-clubs...

when i got home i got an email from SxS, and i spent the next hour or two trying to plan a trip to visit him. flights are expensive! so i'm now waiting to hear if i can join him and his SO for a weekend a little closer to home.

revisiting: thursday

i'm splitting these up. it's been a crazy week.

---
thursday:

the extra half hour's sleep was perfect! i woke up curious about overtraining, but considering that i'm still feeling good after training (even if i'm completely exhausted) i don't think i'm quite there yet.

it was my uncle's birthday on thursday. what's a good birthday gift for an uncle one doesn't get along with? does laughing at his inappropriate jokes count? k-twang's response to my question made me laugh: "one of those bags people without colons use... with a feedbag attachment". a rather literal take on a figure of speech our uncle is wont to use :P

things vegans in training get excited about: jsk pumpkin snacks. delicious (like peanut brittle), high protein and better value for money than dairy protein bars? no way!

i was asked to interview another guy who's worked with megaman before, and i was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of common ground. not just experience-wise, but attitude-wise as well. how many rollerbladers are we going to have in one office?

out of three interns, two are excellent. one is... well, he's certainly better than any of the previous ones, but his english isn't very good and he makes bad calls.
*sigh*

moonlighter's gifts just keep on giving: it's like he created our database with a book in hand explaining all of the mistakes one can make, just so that he wouldn't miss any. once i'd dealt with one of the issues i felt like i was running away to train as opposed to running to training.

jiu jitsu was hardcore, i was with a guy who's twice my size and not much more than half my age who spent most of the session patiently explaining what i was doing wrong. unfortunately, it took until the end of the session to really start getting it, but there was definite progress made :)
and lots of sweating done.

kickboxing was rough - though not as rough as tuesday - and i returned home broken and in need of a rest. i was appalled at my inability to finish my dinner: i knew i needed it but i couldn't swallow another bite! i felt awful turfing the last bit out :(

i didn't want to but i really had to work on thursday night. it involved collaborating with moonlighter, and he was much more pleasant to work with than usual. we got through the urgent stuff in about two hours, and it didn't take me long to fall asleep after that.

Monday, May 13, 2013

revisiting: wednesday

i'm splitting these up. it's been a crazy week. it's 2am on a monday morning and moonlighter and i just decided to call it a night...

---
wednesday:

it's crunch time, and moonlighter and the cto are working nights so why shouldn't the rest of us? what's a couple of hours of sleep time?

...

three 'n one - reflect and cj stone - in your mind were part of a good start to a sunny morning.

i settled in to get focused, but ccl was bothering me. she keeps forgetting her passwords. this time, on a system where we don't have a method of resetting a password... that blew only five minutes of real time while i figured it out, but an eternity of aggravated time...

after ccl there was a general state of madness. a few of us had lunch at l'artere and aota and i somehow ended up discussing my previous relationships, which somehow led to a discussion about work incentives, unemployment, skills training and career switching which i believe deserves a post of its own.

i wasted some time and totally lost my cool because our wiki refused to accept "/etc" in the document text: at first i was lucky because i'd copied all the text to the clipboard before previewing because i'd written a lot... but while trying and failing repeatedly i got distracted and at one point pressed "save" having overwritten the clipboard data... i was *very* grateful when pressing "back" had the desired effect of restoring all my text.

i decided i needed to block out the world, and blasted good trance with my headphones on. it totally worked! except for one incident when an intern came to ask me a question and laughed at me because i was completely absorbed in what i was doing but dancing in my chair at the same time. the blockout, however, was a great success! i was really excited about having migrated to amazon cloud services even though everything else was going to shit. that's when i decided to take my leave.

i stopped to pick up shirts at walmart, and the queue was really slow. i was upset because i had to shop before doing laundry so that i could put the shirts in, but by shopping first i wouldn't have time to do laundry before training. on the way home it struck me that as long as i can put my things in the dryer before i leave, i can pick them up afterwards... i just need to confirm each time with the caretaker that nobody's going to throw away my clothes.

boxing was killer, and my arms felt properly overworked. enough that i'd be concerned about over-training... i watched it crowd over a huge dinner, found myself entirely incapable of working and went to bed.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

a punch to the gut

i began my day chatting with pg: it was good to see her online.

i bladed out into a cool breeze, and it seemed that the day was slowly warming along with my core temperature. by the time i got to the office i definitely needed a shower.

it's an odd shower setup, very much like a nice bathroom one would find in someone's home. i guess i was expecting dorm / barracks-style. my tiny towel was *just* enough, i'm glad i brought a spare shirt, and there was something strange and pleasing about having my first cup of coffee at my desk after a shower. and something even stranger about talking to people on the way and wearing my rollerblades, which just look like cool hi-tops when the wheels are off.

i resumed facepalming over moonlighter's code, and was horrified when megaman came over to inform me that we're going to need to put in longer hours and get the new interns to stay late too. you see, i don't think i'd be against it if it wasn't because the cto had committed to something even more absurd than usual, and the feeling of hopelessness is dramatically demotivating so i just don't want to do any more.

as it was, my priorities had to flip to a dangerous shortcut, and i couldn't simply make the switch because i was halfway through securing something that would break what i was working on if i didn't finish it. on the one hand, i'm very glad i got it done. on the other, i was super-tense when i received a second phone call from our guy in panama who basically shared how irresponsible he'd been and how he'd managed to break something in his rush to get everything ready for a big presentation tomorrow.

*sigh*

i actually thought of throwing in the towel during my blade home, but i guess i'll stay and hope for the best. seriously, though, i can't see myself staying with this band of jokers longer than is necessary to acquire resident status. there are plenty of other companies in this town just as desperate for talent.

i'd left later than i'd intended, and so had to rush to get to training on time. kickboxing killed me, but it was awesome and i'm super-stoked that i went!

special moment: during conditioning, i was fighting back tears from a few shots to the solar plexus. the instructor took the opportunity to come over and demonstrate *precisely* where to strike... my only consolation, the next guy to have it explained to him writhing on the floor, wasn't particularly consoling.

mma is teaching me what i'm made of! whatever it is, it's soft and squishy and filled with nerve endings. but i'm totally loving this shit ^_^

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

a crocodile's enthusiasm

zomg - i got in from boxing feeling like an absolute BEAST! after expending all my energy and then some, i still felt like i could get in a ring and pull off some crazy shit. it might just be the ego boost from having proved to myself (even if nobody else was watching) that i'm totally ready for the advanced class. also, i'm not the only one who's noticed that i've gotten bigger over the last few weeks: both newk'd and our it guy commented on it this morning.

did i not mention feeling like arnold schwarzenegger in twins when he bursts his shirt sleeves? this is some good shit!

on another note, every time i come home after training i drink a glass of cold orange juice, and it's *SO* perfect that it's really distressing finishing it. every time.

---
sunday:

i woke up yesterday morning from dreams involving navigating through a swamp across the backs of crocodiles. i wasn't feeling good - these issues i've been skirting around - and i used my suffering-and-can't-sleep time to do laundry.

i headed out to (finally) get myself clothing for summer, it was a beautiful day and i was dreading shopping. i was going to take godmother's advice and was on my way to old navy, but as i was passing by rockland mall anyway i decided to check out sport experts first. on my way i passed foot locker, and noticed a couple of pairs of shoes that seemed like possible fits.

sport experts: holy crap! i found pants that are *precisely* what i was looking for: slightly baggy, more or less respectable, good pockets and comfortable for sport and the office. SCORE!! a little expensive, but so's everything...

i couldn't find shorts that made me happy, though, and so instead of compromising i left and checked out foot locker. what the hell? they have shorts? their own brand of shorts? and they're AWESOME?! i bought two pairs, found a great pair of reasonably priced nike's - the first pair i tried looked good and fit perfectly - and i was done!

after such quick, slick shopping i rewarded myself by finding a decidedly good tofu meal at sukiyaki, stopped at walmart for a couple more training shirts and then had nothing to do but read and rest until meeting nocence and horseman.

on the way there i got a little lost in a cool area. i was struck by the thought that a smoker is just like a car whose rings are shot.

we walked a long way in the wrong direction to find coffee, then hit the park. after a little bit of meta i got into the meat of the subject, and i'm extremely pleased that after a couple of years studying with my advisor and contemplating the sonnets i actually have enough of a grasp not only of shakespeare's works, but of his life and the world in which he lived that i can go on and on for hours sharing details and infecting others with my enthusiasm. all aboard!

i think i got a little too much sun, and that's having used sunscreen :/

we carried on talking into the night, and i got home pretty late. i ate a lot more than i wanted because i have good food in the fridge that'll go bad if i don't. that's not cool :(

---
monday:

it was a smooth monday morning. i was surprised to discover that buying a bag of vega smoothie powder is less value for money than getting a bunch of regular protein bars. i was also disappointed to find that only one of the frozen meals i like was available, and i don't want to eat the same shit every day :(

after a horror story in which i accidentally deployed a half-finished change to production and frantically searched for the backup to restore it, i took a break for lunch and finished what i was doing. while triple-checking before testing, i discovered that moonlighter had once again made changes directly to production without informing anyone or reflecting those changes in the svn. i called him up to make sure that i'd understood what happened correctly, and basically what i got from him was a big "f*** you".

i was so frustrated and i couldn't say anything to him, and all i wanted to do was see him in person and crack his jaw. he might have been partially responsible for my excess energy for training. i might have imagined his face while beating the crap outta the punching bag.

i worked late, and left as soon as the first test passed. it took me about half an hour to write the testing framework that i'd instructed cam2 to write, only this time i did it according to the specification and it didn't take two weeks to produce nothing.

*shakes head*

shit, i spent more time failing his reviews than i did writing the damned thing myself...

---
i've never heard lupe fiasco before yesterday, and he's really, really good. immortal technique too.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

weekend heat

friday:

strip search has totally broken the reality show format and remade it beautifully. friday's episode was so exciting and cathartic!
***SPOILER ALERT***
for those who've watched it: did anyone else enjoy the pun in "come from behind victory"? it would have been good if either of them had won…
***END SPOILER***

dress code! that's broken too. i was all stressed about it, but i decided that friday was the perfect day to test my colleagues. i wore a t-shirt and my 1999 mr. price specials (black baggy trainers with excess laces and pockets), and everybody was happy with it. none were as happy with it as i was!

ccl brought in vegan treats as a goodbye gift to the leaving interns, and they were delicious. but horrifically crumbly.

---
i began the day with the cto, excitedly embarking on a rescue mission to restore the missing (and vital) segment of our codebase. that excitement was soon crushed, however, during an urgent meeting with megaman in which i was informed that our cto has once again taken on the role of an entire marketing division in selling (to a huge corporation) software that we don't have, under a deadline so outrageously unrealistic that all we can do is grind while praying for miracles.

---
on thursday i convinced aota to seek medical help - she's been feeling awful ever since we returned from panama. on friday afternoon she returned from a battery of tests and informed us that she's been hit with hepatitis, which one specifically she didn't say. firstly, i'm really glad she listened to me. secondly, i'm kinda a little concerned that i might've been hit by the same thing - although i strongly suspect that that's not the case as my own health issues are unrelated and i've been feeling much better since i started training.

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back to work: my new primary assignment is to clean up moonlighter's mess while he focuses on something else...

at 4pm we upped and left for happy hour, and we walked out of the office into a perfect summer day, replete with crowds of smiling people dressed like they were off to the beach. it was wonderful! the drinks began awkwardly but as the guys relaxed they got more social. as i got up to leave (early, to get to training on time) i banged the back of my hand on something (the chair?) and it became rather tender. i worried about it until class began when i discovered that it made no difference.

i managed to get to the bank, and the teller explained to me that i qualify for an account upgrade. whoo hoo! i haven't been this financially stable in... ever.

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the boxing lesson was good, and tough as hell. the toughest part was my learning that i simply shouldn't train with girls. after the previous night's amazonian incident, i was set to sparring (body shots only) against a girl at least a head shorter than me and with large breasts: i literally couldn't see past them. so i was pretty much guessing for most of my shots, which seemed to be okay until she eventually stopped to glare at me and ask "are you aiming for my tits?!"
i explained that she was giving me too much credit, and was very embarrassed.

not only that, but she's much faster than i am so overall she beat the crap outta me.

i stayed behind to watch a couple of the guys sparring with full gear, and explained to them that i'm far from being ready to enter the ring. i'll go in when i have some idea of what to do with my feet and i've developed useful responses to strikes coming my way. at the moment i'm simply a reluctant sponge.

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on an arbitrary note, dilbert's translation to an animated series is surprisingly good.

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saturday:

i got up a bit later than intended, ate breakfast, slopped on some sunscreen and slapped on my blades, and headed to the office. it took less than an hour to get there and back without pushing too hard, and most of the route i picked turned out to have a bicycle lane! an unmarked bicycle lane on a long boulevard. very cool, montreal, very cool.

i finally got it together to return my snowboard today, and at 1.30pm i called to find out poubelle du ski's hours. today was their final day before closing down for the summer, and they'd be open until 2pm. so i'll have to return my equipment in august...

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i spent the afternoon reading, resting and shopping. it was on my way back that i began to stress about having dinner with my uncle. the man is so unpleasant, and i suddenly realized that i don't need that shit in my life. i suddenly found myself wondering how pg ever went back at all; i didn't want to go and i didn't want to tell godmother why not because that wouldn't be fair to her.

so my day went from awesome to ugly and stayed that way until i actually arrived. once i was there it was okay, and my uncle and i ignored each other for the most part. i get the feeling that the feeling's mutual... at one point he told me that i do stupid things, to which i unashamedly responded that he thinks everything i do is stupid, so whatever.

at least the worst-case scenario that'd been playing in my mind didn't happen, although i can't say that it's off the table. it's that point at which he performs like he did last week, and i let him know precisely what i think of him before getting up and leaving. i grew up with a father who made me feel like that, and life's too short to let jerks who don't matter make you feel like shit.

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after dinner i felt over-fed and drained so i promptly returned home. i've spoken to my mum and to a fellow poet (horseman) who wants to know what's got nocence so excited. as i've said to them both, i'm happy to share it with him but i'm not going to invite him to join us unless we can work together as a team. it's my project, and my project is to keep the work as close to shakespeare's vision as possible while making it as accessible as possible: this is a fine line to tread and it'll be all too easy for multiple cooks to spoil the broth.

Friday, May 03, 2013

a touch of shame

so! the advanced kickboxing class. and i was an odd number so i was grouped with a guy and the amazonian i've mentioned a couple of times. as hard as i've seen her go before, she was really gentle with us and so i couldn't help but hold back. which would have been fine if we hadn't been practicing a combo that involved push kicks, and one of my slow motion kicks softly met her breast instead of her solar plexus.

whoops!

anyway, it wasn't a regular training but it was really tough and i'm feeling totally pumped up! i'm so loving this, i can't believe i haven't been training properly in soooooooo many years.

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on the other side of the biological organism that is me, the issues i've been experiencing have regressed a little, and today was tough :(

work: so we got a new intern in today, and everything would have been fine except that we'd transposed letters of his name and all his accounts were named something a bit offensive, and only amusingly so when not said in his presence :$

we took him out for lunch, and i was kinda shocked at how silent the table was when i didn't offer anything. what's with these kids?!

the cto, moonlighter, megaman, another senior developer and i had a long, productive and fun meeting in the sun that lasted most of the afternoon - i guess it was a good day.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

speed report

it's impossible to maintain the intended tone of this post because i've just discovered that neither of my posts from last night were published - the first i've just published now, the second appears to have disappeared completely. so beginning with the missing post:

i went downstairs to move my laundry to the tumble-dryer, and found that somebody had opened the top halfway through and all my laundry was wet. angry, i began wringing out my soaked clothing before suddenly realizing that the washing machine might still recall its cycle state. i threw my clothes in again and closed the lid. it worked!

and then the caretaker appeared to shout at me for doing laundry after 10pm. i told him i had no idea that this was an issue*, and he pointed at some marks on the door and explained to me that they're the remains of a sign that stated the rules explicitly.

REALLY.

he told me he'd make an exception this one time and go and explain to my neighbours who'd complained. convinced that some bastard would mess with my shit, i came down a few times to check that everything was alright, which was entirely unnecessary stress.

* aside from once or twice, i've always done my laundry around midnight. i can't do it in the morning because i'd never get to work on time, and i usually only get home late. odd how nobody's complained until now.

funny story: so i'd never paid attention to how loud the machines are, and for the first time i noticed that the rumbling was audible all the way up the stairs. by the time i entered my apartment it had become a low hum, which i supposed would put me to sleep but could conceivably annoy someone used to total silence.

so i noted that noise every time, only when i finally took out my laundry and walked up the stairs... the rumbling was still there. and when i entered my apartment, the humming was still there. so the laundromat isn't audible from the first floor. screw these assholes!

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beats, rhymes & life: the travels of a tribe called quest was interesting, certainly, but not much fun. after seeing something from nothing: the art of rap i was totally disappointed. ice-t did it better.

i'd trained hard and i'd had an aggravating evening, and i was exhausted by the time i climbed into bed.

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i woke up this morning feeling good and refreshed! still not 100% health-wise, but definitely improving. and i'm certainly feeling better on my training - i haven't felt such a marked change in physique in about a decade!

weather? SUMMER IS HERE. properly. today was gorgeous, hot and sunny. which makes the dress code thing even more of a thing: everyone's got bloody weird ideas about how "normal" people are supposed to dress, so when megaman and all the other developers say "wear whatever you want" and aota says "sure, but that still means button shirts" and my mother says "don't wear your normal clothes", i'm left feeling super-awkward about dressing down *and* i'm uncomfortable with the clothes i'm wearing. so this is lose-lose regardless, so shouldn't i at least be comfortable?

this sucks.

i got a fair amount of work done today, some training too, and what seemed like an eternity of sensitive retroactive svn tagging: i had to keep reminding myself to blink :(
good news - the new interns seem to have their shit together! very cool :)

i left early to go with aota and newk'd to walmart to pick up a couple more sports shirts, paid my rent, bought new 16oz boxing gloves, gave up trying to find out what "vylar" leather really is, rested a bit, chatted with my mum (very positive news from both sides ^_^), and hit the gym.

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today's boxing lesson was exciting and edifying! important take-away: my insides are soft, squishy and a lot more easily accessible than i thought. next on the list: when i land a liver shot, it does precisely what it's supposed to }:D

the most amusing incident was working with a guy who realized that i know nothing about "dancing", and he proposed that the instructor teach me a bit.

instructor: "fuck it - he's mma."
me: "hey! but i want to learn how to dance!"

level up

[what the hell?!?! i published this last night! and there was another post that simply disappeared! not impressed.]
[edit two weeks later: i found it! actually, i think i saw this before and got distracted before i could retrieve it.]

is there anything as purely enjoyable as ice-cold orange juice when you're hot and thirsty?

yes. that orange juice when you're hot and thirsty and have just returned from a kickboxing class where you were tested and deemed worthy of joining the advanced class ^_^

in the meanwhile, i worked my ass off and i was already hurting from yesterday's boxing class, and i seem to be making progress with the jiu-jitsu as well - this is promising to be one hell of a powerful week. full of aches and pains.

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health-wise, i'm feeling a little better in some respects and a little worse in others; i'm hoping the latter is psychological, otherwise i'm going to be super-annoyed. i want this shit to be over with and get back to full strength.

it was a decent day in the office, the most interesting points being a discussion on dress codes (i was informed by megaman that there shouldn't be one, and that he'll fight hard against any that may exist) and an awkward goodbye to one of the interns who wanted to know if he'd be able to come back for his next term - i like the kid, but i think we've all decided that he's not productive enough. dodging the question while wishing him well and in front of one of the new interns wasn't nice at all.

back to dress codes: aota informed me that if i don't dress well i shouldn't expect to be promoted... quite frankly, i'm rather happy not to be promoted and so i guess i can just do my skater-style thing.

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i'm doing laundry, which means that i'll be able to go to bed no earlier than around 1am, and my plan is to hit the metro at midnight to renew my pass and the bank to draw some cash to pay the cleaning lady. i think i'm almost ready to eat food now: since training i've been too thirsty to. this weather is too hot for heating!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

wrath of neighbour

i've never seen the sign that was removed from the laundry door that allegedly stated "no laundry after 10pm", and i was (and am) pissed to find that someone had flipped open the lid in the middle of my laundry cycle.

now i gotta keep an eye out to make sure it doesn't happen again. this sucks.