Tuesday, October 29, 2013

breathless

wow! i'm still amped from training. i was still struggling with my breathing - and therefore my energy levels - but muay thai was pretty solid. the only mistake i made was trying to kick with my (hurt) right leg, but i didn't need to do that more than once to realize that it wasn't an option.

i went straight into advanced boxing and compared to muay thai it was a walk in the park (so no breathing problems). i worked with a girl who was doing advanced for the first time and she was confident that she wasn't ready for it... by the time i was finished with her she'd reversed herself and decided she'll keep it up :)

apparently i inspire confidence when i ask people to hit me harder than they'd hit a punching bag. i think she was shocked at how much punishment she could take when it was my turn to strike, and i'm pretty sure i was doing something right if i managed to make her laugh through the pain :D

as i left the class the super-flexible girl from jiu-jitsu asked if we can meet early tomorrow to prepare for the exam, which i'm glad for, and the instructor told me to supply a suitable punishment to a beginner who'd arrived late.

"burpees?" i asked, because that's the last punishment i'd received for tardiness. 50 if i'm not mistaken.
"no, pushups."
"oh..."
i looked at the poor kid, did the conversion in my head and cut it down by what i felt was a significant amount.
"120."
"perfect! give me 120 pushups."

i thought about it afterwards and i hope that wasn't unfair of me...

...

as i walked out the gym i was given shit for not trying the cake gsp brought in in honour of 20 years of ufc.
"george said it's vegan!"

of course he did :P

...

i chatted with my mum and rented a car for my holiday; it appears that if you rent through rentalcars.com you can rent avis cars at half the price that avis is offering. how is that even possible?! anyway, it was exciting doing something so concrete about my planned visit ^_^

i've just watched the miller / lauzon fight from ufc 155 which was absolutely crazy, and after spending an evening playing with my new, shiny laptop i'm ready for an early night and excited for the french lessons that begin tomorrow.

overall: very happy. i can't believe how different life feels now that i'm out of that poisoned environment!

Monday, October 28, 2013

unemployment benefits

the true benefits of being unemployed? i had a bunch of things i needed to do today and i got them all done, with so little stress that i found plenty of opportunities to doze and i could take my time with lunch.

i woke up early-ish (9am) to move my dental appointment to a far more convenient time, then (hopefully) finished with the insurance cancellation that i began earlier. i took a deep breath and left the apartment, heading for the hospital.

there's something surreal about walking through a crowded hospital listening to tool's 10000 days album.

registering for the blood tests took far less time than previously, but the wait between registering and being called up was insanely long. i read a lot, i dozed a lot, and the latter was scary because they were calling the numbers in seemingly random order so i could totally have missed mine and never known... it was also difficult to avoid as the voice calling the numbers was so pleasant it made for a perfect lullaby...

the actual extraction took seconds, not minutes, and i went straight from there to my bank to sort something out. the wait was short and the teller informed me that my timing was spot-on :)
from there i headed to l'artère to see what their new vegan offerings were like. not a particularly impressive list, though what they did have was tasty. after a fair amount of time reading, eating and drinking coffee i made my way home.

stopping at walmart on the way to check out their laptops. i was quite disappointed, and decided to try the neighbourhood pc / security store before shopping online from best buy or future shop. it's a good thing i decided to take the metro (it's cold and windy) because it was just as i passed through the turnstyle that i registered that i'd left my book at the walmart while sorting out my tuque, gloves and pockets... so i had to hurry back, pick it up and then leave again :P

the store experience was pretty weird: i walked in, asked about laptops, gave my specs, and was asked if second-hand was okay. it took me less than two minutes to check it out and decide it was right, and i quickly paid and left carrying a decidedly inexpensive laptop that's got more than enough power for my needs. awesome!

i've been setting it up since i returned, it's pretty much done except for an annoying microphone issue, and then i'll be heading off to muay thai. big day!

limping - part ii

[... continued]

i headed off to meet newk'd and his girlfriend. originally we were going to a poetry slam but we subsequently discovered that today wasn't the day, so instead we had dinner at la panthère verte and then found a fun bar to play pool in. i was told about la panthère verte's tiramisu dessert, which they more accurately call "viramisu". i don't know what it is, but it's an insanely delicious thing that's nothing short of dangerous if you're not looking for extra calories.
well, whaddaya know? *i'm* looking for extra calories! ^_^

...

we suspect that the bar we entered was a gay bar. not just because it was filled and there were all of two women including newk'd girlfriend; it was the music selection and the guy prancing around in shorts, socks and sandals befriending everyone that caught our attention :P

...

i've spent the evening hating my netbook for being unresponsive while trying to clear my email. now that i've spoken to the insurance company and i know what i need to do, i'm going to bed and i'll handle it in the morning.

limping - part i

boy, i'm so glad that israeli's on daylight savings time before we are. now i have to stay awake until 2/2.30am in order to contact my insurance company. email is such an amazing invention; wouldn't it be nice if the major institutions and services used it?

---
friday:

i'm glad i took elana gomel - a tale of three cities with me to the clinic because i had plenty of time to sit and wait at the nearby coffee shop. the book is fantastic! it's a little like david wong - john dies at the end in a sense, but what fascinates me more than anything is that in our classes with her gomel regularly expressed her dislike of poetry but her fantasy writing is notably full of it :)

my meeting with the doctor lasted all of two minutes and then i returned to prepare for my first muay thai sparring session. on the way to the gym i ran into our instructor and we talked all the way there - he's from the caribbean, he wasn't impressed with me when i shared how excited i was about winter coming :P

the nice thing about becoming a regular is that when he discovered that i don't know the clinch he told me we'll learn it in the next lesson :)

---
thoughts after my first muay thai sparring session, just when i thought i'd recovered from wednesday's class:

1. it amuses me that the word "clinic" keeps popping into my head (it's joe rogan's fault) when unlike a medical one this type leaves me considerably less healthy and able when it's over. i lost the use of my right leg early on...

2. i'm not sure if the look of excitement and expectation on the scary dude's face when he invited me to a round is what's making me giggle because he looked like he thought he'd have some competition, or if i'm laughing as a response to the trauma of being properly beaten, manhandled and clinched and thrown rather roughly to the floor... repeatedly.

3. the "no whining" sign in the gym is messing with my mojo.

4. i hope my leg heals quickly because that was AWESOME.

---
after training i hurriedly ate and then went to vfmp's to play thunderstone: my leg really hurt and i was properly limping. i had to stop and stretch forward every now and again just to carry on...

it was cold out but the bus was excessively heated to the point where i was sweating even though i'd removed my jacket. what is it with these people?! it's like winter is actually sauna season.

vfmp's boyfriend is a huge fan of nin - hesitation marks and had that and pretty hate machine playing in a loop the entire night. and it wasn't bad at all :)

---
saturday:

i returned home happy because it's now sweater-and-jacket weather :)
i was famished pre-sleep, so i sat and read for a bit while snacking.

i don't know why i woke up early, but i'd missed tilt's message from the night before and was glad that she agreed to meet me anyway. i was dead tired but i limped over to the starbucks, got a large coffee and sat down with her. we proceeded to talk non-stop for the next two and a half hours! at the end i told her how i was feeling and she said she understood and we discussed it awkwardly for a few minutes. then we parted company and that was the end of it.

i headed to the further supermarket and was walking a little better on my foot - i'm rather impressed by how effective using ice was! for once, i not only remembered to use it while eating but i kept it on both sides of my leg for most of the gaming session as well.

---
i picked up my prescription at the pharmacy on my way home, and it was pretty expensive. it was only when i got home and took a look at everything that i realized that the doctor had prescribed me a hardcore laxative and fibre supplements: wtf?! that has nothing to do with what's ailing me and i'm a vegan, i consume so much fibre that if i use either of them i'll probably shit myself to death :P

i went back this morning to return them and they told me that once something leaves the counter they cannot take it back... but as it was all sealed and neither of the items were really prescription they were kind enough to make an exception.

---
i had a quick subway lunch and paid godmother a visit, then returned home for a nap because i was way too tired to do anything else. oddly enough, once i got home i wasn't so tired and aside from a very short nap i watched the usual suspects instead. i'm not sure if i've seen the whole movie before, either way i enjoyed it immensely.
otherwise it was an early night preceded by doing laundry and limping to the supermarket and back in the rain. i'd much rather it was snowing :/

...

i know it's a bit chilly outside, but why is the building's heating set to "furnace"?! i not only have to open the windows, but at one point it was so hot that i had to open the balcony door as well :S

---
sunday:

i began the day with the pharmacy visit and a fair amount of reading. in the early afternoon i paid aota a visit as she was feeling despondent. she originally was so miserable that she didn't want me to come over at all but eventually she relented and within a minute of entering her apartment i had her in hysterics and smiling. as i told her, i'm like a clown psychologist :P
we talked for a while and she instructed me to a fantastic cous-cous and bean salad. it's a *lot* easier for me to prepare than quinoa.

i hadn't been able to contact bnw all day but decided to risk rocking up anyway - fortunately i arrived an hour later than i'd thought we'd agreed and fifteen minutes after she and her husband had returned home. we talked briefly and then discussed the comics: the first page is looking really good and we've established that i need to handle the written script myself, meaning that i need to go out and buy a good pen and then figure out how i'm going to mix my personal handwriting with that of the character's. an important part of this project is embedding ourselves into it and this is an excellent way to do that :)

[continued...]

Friday, October 25, 2013

small shames

i'm embarrassed to admit that i couldn't get my ass into gear in time for the jiu-jitsu exam and training last night. i was so tired that it felt like i was doing everything underwater. at least i took the opportunity to sort out some papers... and i woke up this morning feeling like i still haven't recovered from wednesday's muay thai class. i'm still sore!

---
i had a doctor's appointment yesterday afternoon that i've been holding a referral for for half a year now. on the way there i stepped into the metro a little concerned about my ipod / headphones because they were crackling, then realized that the jack was only half-in and i was sharing bon jovi - lay your hands on me through the ipod's tinny speaker. of all the songs on my playlist! how embarrassing :$

the doctor gave me a script for some meds, and his scrawl was so bad that the pharmacist eventually gave up and told me she'd have to call them and get back to me. it's not an ailment i'm particularly comfortable talking about so having a cute pharmacist asking after it kinda sucked.

the temperature has dropped sharply in recent days and my forgetting the shopping bags when i went to the pharmacy earned me an extra trips in the cold. at least i'm remembering my gloves and tuque now :P

when i got home i discovered an option to increase my internet usage limit for the same price as a cup of coffee, so i did that and proceeded to spend the evening watching fights on netflix. i went to bed early in the hope that i'd be ready for the gym in the morning (i wasn't), then woke up to learn that the internet usage limit increase only takes effect after 24 hours and the excess would cost me $20. shit! i would have spent the evening reading a book if i'd known... i got online with a bell representative and after explaining what had happened she credited my account, which is quite a relief.

...

i just put so much fruit in my protein shake that i ended up with three large glasses, i guess that'll do for lunch. now i'm heading off to the clinic to try and arrange blood tests, hypochondriac me is beginning to fret about the amount of iron in my system.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

unemployment stasis - part ii

[... continued]

i'd been planning on sparring but i was completely broken. i had a hot bath which helped a little, had a long chat with aota in which i heard that everyone's miserable without me and that megaman is properly making a fool of himself - i'm very glad my final memo didn't include what i thought of him, because i've now heard that the ceo is describing him in precisely the terms i wanted to use. good. they know.

it's finally cold enough to wear my new under armour storm hoodie! it's beautiful and wearing it makes me feel like i'm making a statement :P
i've even had to break out my mittens. winter's coming!!!

---
thursday:

i had drinks with tilt and stayed over at her place because it was really late. after a long night on an uncomfortable bed we left with my feeling pretty conflicted. this sucks, because i really like her and i don't want to mess her around. we shared a crisp, sunny montreal morning stroll to the metro: there's little more awkward than waiting on opposite sides of the tracks :P

i got home feeling absolutely exhausted, and didn't feel much better even after a nap. i finally went to subway for a surprisingly crappy sandwich then came here to starbucks to write this (i've exceeded my monthly 90gb internet limit!), ran into a guy i used to work with who seemed excited to talk to me about projects now that i'm unemployed, and am now off to a doctor's appointment that i've been putting off for about half a year.

unemployment stasis - part i

it's amazing how having all the time in the world makes not one iota of a difference in the quantity of things i manage to accomplish. well... maybe that's not exactly fair, but i'm resting a lot more than i feel i should be.

---
saturday:

i headed out to the starbucks to do some work on the comics, then met up with horseman for some tekken. a producer friend of his met us at the metro and we headed down to saint laurent together. the guy from the gym i was going to watch the fights with (wire) was late so in the meanwhile the three of us found a quiet street to freestyle in. this producer guy liked what he heard but i have reservations regarding his own prowess... i mean, if i'm going to collaborate with someone i would prefer that person to be into really making things happen and i don't have much concrete evidence of that to go on. either way, nice guy and fun to chat with.

the ufc fights were bloody (literally) amazing. really crazy stuff! we were joined by vfmp and his boyfriend - after a stray comment wire had made at the gym i was a little concerned that he was homophobic, but not only was he cool with the guys but he found all of vfmp's boyfriends outrageous fight commentary as funny as we did (let's just say he's not a fan of cauliflower ears). so i chilled.

---
sunday:

i got home late knowing that i needed to eat, but instead of pulling out something with nutritional content i grabbed a collection of junk food and watched a full episode of the ultimate fighter. in spite of planning to meet wire early at the gym for a sparring session. after that it was impossible to wake up for 9.30, but i did manage to get there at 10 - wire didn't pitch, so i got in a power hour with the punching bags and chatted with my kickboxing instructor who agreed that i need to focus more on sparring than on classes. i got home to watch more of the ultimate fighter and take a proper nap.

horseman came over again, we played crazy tekken that was actually overload for me - things just got serious :P
we then spent over two hours freestyling in the kitchen; horseman figures i'm already good and i feel like i need a lot of work if i'm going to say things that aren't nonsense. after he left i had fifteen minutes to do a rushed shopping run and then watched most of the rest of the ultimate fighter.

---
monday:

i finally completed season 14 of the ultimate fighter: that shit is addictive, and the season finale (both parts) had incredibly exciting fights!

i mixed pre-training coffee with comics, then went to work out. they were working on the octagon so only a couple of the punching bags were available, but i took the opportunity to make some sparring appointments :)

after training i headed off to godmother's for dinner. it was a pleasant evening, with yang being particularly silly. some of his behaviour was annoying and some amusing, by the end of the evening some had even rubbed off on me...

---
tuesday:

i got up early to meet up with someone at tristar to practice for the jiu-jitsu exam. we spent about an hour on the mats and i made a lot of progress! i finally felt ready, in particular having nailed an annoying part of the omoplata technique. i then worked on the bags for a bit, and shared an awkward moment with gsp as we tried to occupy the same space at the same time...

... i have to say that tristar might actually make a morning person out of me, what a great way to wake up!

i didn't have a lot of time before my dental appointment but i hurried through to the jean-talon market to pick up clif builder bars anyway. they don't do the big boxes anymore, and i actually had to ask for help to find them at all. why is it that it's harder to find clif products in canada than in the states when they're made here?!

the dentist experience was a pleasure, the examination showed that my teeth are okay except for my grinding them and that fixes to my fillings are optional but advisable. fortunately the cleaning didn't have any ensuing eating restrictions, i didn't realize just how hungry i was until i polished off a giant meal at my favourite chinese place.

i had a pre-exam rest and arrived at the gym feeling totally confident. i breezed through everything until hitting the omoplata... and failed it precisely on the point i'd been so excited about that morning. failing the exam didn't bother me nearly as much as failing it because of that. that upset me.

what followed was kind of a private lesson for a new guy in which i did almost as much teaching as the instructor. after that i sparred with one of the professional kickboxers who taught me a lot of lessons, one harsh tag at a time. at one point i thought he'd hit me hard enough to knock me out but he explained that it's just the surprise factor. the most important lesson, the one that's going to take me longer than i'd like to learn, is how critical it is not to look at your opponent's face or limbs in a fight. focus on the chest. focus on the chest. the following sparring session i had with the guy who'd demoralized me a while ago went pretty well, and reinforced that last point.

we had to stop because something was being filmed live and it's really difficult to train in silence...

...

i saw a shooting star on the way home. it might very well be the first one i've ever seen.

...

i had a great smoothie and then a great dinner, i played around with caloriecount and it really is good. apparently i'm doing well on my diet, minus excessive iron intake. this could be a very bad thing, i guess i'll need to test for it.

the reason i started watching american psycho was because i remembered enjoying it but didn't want to rate it on netflix without being sure. i don't know why i watched until the end, i'd give it a meh+.

halfway through wednesday i would realize that while watching the movie i *should* have been packing ice onto my nose and my arms. i was totally battered and bruised.

---
wednesday:

i woke up repeatedly to get the laundry done, and was caught just before the last alarm by a friend from the gym who's got a contact in one of the big aerospace companies to tell me that they'd like to see my resume. nice! after sorting that out, i headed to the french school (a private residence in the heart of the village). beaudry metro has the craziest escalators as they're flat like in an airport only they're moving uphill. this makes the simple act of standing on it feel like exercise and provides a very interesting ambience. it was a chilly tuque and gloves afternoon and i'd arrived early, so i stopped for a quick cup of coffee first, on the way coming across an amazing piece of street art on wolfe relating somehow to amnesia that you're supposed to explore physically.

the school is run from this guy's apartment, and after a brief chat he convinced me that this is a good investment. it's kind of a cross between standard teaching and immersion.

i went to la panthère verte for lunch and was impressed by both the quality of the food and that of the overall experience. i couldn't not laugh: when i asked the girl at the counter how things work she told me, rather matter-of-fact, "first you're going to taste the falafel, and then you're going to order a falafel sandwich because it's the best falafel in the city". i was feeling pretty sceptical between her statement and that piece of falafel, but then that melted away and i did as she prescribed, adding a bowl of delicious leek and potato soup. i thoroughly enjoyed my meal, was pleased to have all the recycling / compost stuff explained to me when i was done and i returned to the metro fascinated by how relaxed mont royal was.

i was so tired i slept on the metro, almost missing my stop. i got home to find that the cleaning lady had locked me out and she obviously couldn't hear me, which made me super grateful for the comfortable couch in our building's lobby. after a short rest i headed to the starbucks for a bit. by the time i returned she'd left, so i had a pre-training nap and then went to my first muay-thai class in ages.

omg - muay thai with tristar's olivier is like a punishment for all the times i've ever slacked off during training since i did judo as a kid.

snowboarders: you know that first run of the season, when your whole body's hurting and there's no way you can go out for drinks afterwards but you do anyway? it's like that...


i misunderstood one of the exercises and took a lot of damage on my forearms, and i was actually gassed out by the tail end of the class which was embarrassing. i could barely raise my arms, let alone my knees :$

[continued...]

Saturday, October 19, 2013

fight night

tilt picked me up last night and we went through to le carlton centre to watch the boxing. some of the fights were a bit boring, but some were really good! the guys i went to support did okay, nothing special, and the fight of the night (in my opinion) goes to the last one in which an apparently well-known guy from tristar with huge support was beaten in a great match. i was particularly happy about the decision because the contender had won in spite of a bunch of chavs sitting behind us screaming inappropriate things at him non-stop.

a lot of my classmates were there and regarding them i think it was a mistake bringing tilt. first, the not-knowing-everyone's-names thing made introductions uncomfortable. second, everyone was scattered in groups of two or three so the fact that we ended up sitting by ourselves was fine but afterwards everyone was getting together for drinks and we were taking our date elsewhere...

[good date]

it was a very slow and lazy morning, we eventually got up around 2pm. it's taken two hours to get my day going, it looks like a busy night of hip hop and ufc fights :)

bronchi say no

the doc prescribed ventolin, so i acquired some and was taught how to use it. and use it i did! aaaaaand... nothing happened.

#!$@.

faring well

i walked in to the office yesterday to sign a release and clear out my desk. aside from megaman everyone was supportive and friendly or shocked that the company would let me go. the it guy was especially awkward, as his first reaction was "what? they fired you before *me*?!" and then he got all mopey. i only discovered about half an hour ago that they'd fired another one of the team on wednesday, and i've heard that morale is now at an all-time low... which is quite a feat.

i'm still amazed by the colombian developer, who behaved as if his legs had been taken out from under him but who, as i found out later, was the only one who'd already heard. hah! he totally fooled me :P

anyway, they let me keep my phone and they're considering giving me the laptop i was using. pretty cool.

---
thursday:

i finally went on that shirt exchange mission: i could have just posted the goods back to them, but for what? to miss out on running around cote vertu looking for the right bus stop on a hot, sunny day? i wasn't in a hurry so it felt like a treasure hunt, and if i had found it quickly i might have missed out on the special mixture of smells caused by a fellow passenger eating macdonald's in a stop that reeks of pee.

it was a great service experience - less than a minute of greeting, swapping and leaving, and i was lucky to get to the bus stop with only a few minutes to spare as the line frequency was pretty low.

i stopped for lunch and coffee on my way to the office and i ended up arriving a little late... but nobody else cared either.

i came home and watched the rest of ufc 157, the first women's fight, and it was a satisfying one. then i watched a bit of the ultimate fighter while resting for training...

only a handful of us at training, so the instructor made it personal; i was short of breath (as i've been the past week) but i still worked really hard. i let out a lot more aggression doing low kicks on the heavy bag than i thought i ever had in me, and i set the bar for 100 solid kicks in 64 seconds (although the others totally blew that away at around 57 seconds average).

...

the gym's "no whining" sign is a problem for me. i like to whine while i work!

---
that moment when you turn on the shower and remember you meant to shave first. it happens to me a lot.

---
i was still huffing a little when i headed downtown. tilt took me to brewtopia - the music was really good but i wasn't really paying attention. it was a very cool night and we left a lot later than planned... it was raining, and that made for a rather romantic end to the evening ^_^

---
friday:

oh, wow. my first day officially unemployed and it was raining when i woke up. well, if the universe wants me to sleep in, who am i to refuse?

i got my laundry done this morning, and i felt stupidly happy about it being unrushed - what a pleasure! i spent some time checking out french courses before finally deciding on one (i registered online, i hope the form worked properly) and while i was doing that chatted to a few people, including my niece who's unhappy living in london :(

---
"it's warm in the metro"
i, like everyone i know, can't stand the excessive heat in there. it shouldn't be "warm", it should be "not cold"! that's not the same thing at all.

from heated metro to an unseasonably warm day and into a hot vietnamese / thai restaurant called la saigonaise, thinking that the food had better be good cause it felt like i was in thailand with no air conditioning. fortunately they had a decent vegetarian platter.

on my return to the clinic i was suddenly struck by a more severe shortness of breath than i've been suffering; as i waited for the doctor to see me i half dozed (and snored a few times, ugh) and felt miserable. the doctor checked me out, decided that i don't need to worry about my nose ("just a lesion," she says) and she prescribed me asthma meds and an x-ray if they don't help.

---
aside from posting this and getting in a dentist's appointment before my medical insurance runs out, i've had a nothing afternoon. i guess i should pick up the meds and rest a bit before going out to watch the fights tonight. a part of me believes i should get the meds and use them for an awesome training session :P

---
americans and their rights - it occurs to me that any american arrested or harassed by police or government officials has every right to call those entities unamerican and unpatriotic. it's like the americans have suddenly fallen into the hands of a terrorist dictatorship... and they don't have the tools to do anything about it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

slowdown

the psychological space i'm in is a little warped by the fact that i'm no longer employed. on tuesday i went in to the office and was greeted by silence - the cfo (who is formally hr as well) didn't interpret the cto's email as firing me and megaman certainly wasn't looking forward to chatting. after sitting with the cfo and aota for a bit we established the chain of events and i explained my take on everything - everything - and i was told to take the day off and wait to be contacted in the morning.

i finished up something that cheshire cat lady needed help with and left, on my way out passing darn and his crew - it looks like the new hire is just as much a plant as the rest of them. that probably requires a bit of explanation, but sod it.

i woke up late yesterday morning and pleasurably relaxed about it, but spent the day not doing anything as the hours flitted by and i wasn't called in. in the late afternoon i finally received an email telling me to come in this morning, but then later received an update saying 3pm.

the good news from the rumour-mill is that they're not going to be dicks about this - apparently everyone (except megaman) would like us to end our relationship on good terms.

---
tuesday:

the tone of my morning changed considerably when i received a response to my midnight memo informing me that my position is appreciated and that so is my professionalism under the circumstances. that was quite uplifting coming from someone who'd just sent me an "i have nothing left to say" mail. i'm very glad i removed the parts of the memo in which i described megaman as incompetent and lacking integrity.

on the metro home i was with two of the guys who're supposed to fight tomorrow night, but unfortunately one of them scored a concussion sparring so he's out... what a bummer :(

it took me tuesday and wednesday to get my netbook running ubuntu into a usable state, with a little help from nystire and advice from overclocker. nystire took the opportunity to inform me that the big air force project that the two of us worked on together has been solely attributed to captain incompetent and our names dropped entirely, along with that of the systems engineer we collaborated with. to add injury to insult, captain incompetent will be getting a significant salary increase because of this.

not impressed.

i finished watching indie game: the movie and i have to say that it's not only entertaining but a bit inspirational as well. i think it does a good job of contrasting the attitudes of its subjects.

after a round of planning follow-up dates and a couple of phone calls, i figure it's time to come up with a nickname for the girl i'm seeing - is that premature? i hope not. turns out all the obvious ones were pigeonholing, so i arrived at "tilt" which is part secretive acronym and part how she makes me feel :P

---
speaking of phone calls: i'm very glad that my mother's self-aware enough to recognize when she's overdoing the concerned mother thing :)

it's funny, but everyone seems concerned for me - which is very nice, don't get me wrong - and meanwhile i'm feeling pretty good about a horrible situation finally being resolved. and about having some me-time!!! gods how i need this. i've even been making time for duolingo.

---
as i had plenty of tuesday left, i went to the gym early. aside from half an hour resting during which i discovered that due to metric / imperial system confusion i've actually been consuming about half of the protein i need (0.8g per POUND. why would they mix systems like that?!), i trained hard for about five hours and i'm still very tender two days later. okay, maybe doing solid boxing while still tender exacerbated things.

regardless, my jiu-jitsu is much improved after i worked with that super-flexible girl again, it's so much harder to submit her that once you "get" it submitting normal people is a cinch. kickboxing was decent, but my chest has been feeling tight for the last week and i'm not sure i'm getting enough oxygen... resting or training...

i watched marc maron - thinky pain over a delicious salad (seriously, how am i doing this?!) and it's difficult to call what he does an act. some of it's hysterical, but most of it is touchingly honest and i was less amused than empathetic.

---
yesterday:

tender shins and tender muscles. in particular my upper / middle back muscles - i really need to focus on those.

i watched a fair amount of ufc while upgrading my netbook, including the silva / weidman fight which was disappointing even though it had been spoiled already.

there's nothing like the struggle of heavy shopping to make you feel like your boxing class was a success. we did conditioning at the end, and i was working with a guy who's pretty solid. after a few seconds i heard the instructor yell at me: "what is that? i wanna see a proper liver shot!"

so i obliged. and my poor partner crumpled :D
i didn't feel too bad, though, because i was up next.

another excellent salad and some more ufc, then vfmp came over for some tekken; he won the final battle, at least... i'm not sure how to encourage him without seeming condescending.

---
i may have teared up a little at this wedding proposal. in case you're wondering why i'm sharing.

the gselevator guide to being a man (thanks, airplane) is pretty solid. and fun to read.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

thanks for thanksgiving

the weather was miserable, which was a great excuse to stay in and learn some french. in the afternoon i made a mistake and watched horgasm - not a good idea to watch someone having such awesome fun on a snowboard before the season's begun...

i sent the email to the cto requesting a meeting to discuss his apparent disappointment with me, and was shocked by his almost immediate response letting me know i'm being fired. putting aside the fact that this is the first time i've ever actually been fired, because i was expecting it, i had expected there to be a conversation and i had to change tack to cope with that lack.

i headed off to a second date with tilt (the girl from wednesday), and we went to see gravity. firstly, the movie: damn! it's super-intense. i wasn't sure if it was going to be worth seeing on the big screen, but i'm very glad i did. and the 3d was subtle and very well handled. secondly, it was a great date. as in, i think it's safe to say we're dating.

i came home to disconnect my accounts from my work pc and remove all my personal data, and am now attempting to return my netbook to relevance while watching indie game: the movie. it's exciting!

and i've just verified that the mortgage bank stuff is all handled. awesome!

Monday, October 14, 2013

the storm - part ii

[... continued]

saturday:

side note: there's nothing like walking into airflow in an enclosed space and having a man approach you coughing openly.

it was a gorgeous day - heck, the entire weekend's been amazing weather - and i waited in the sun for newk'd and his girlfriend. we went to see the cory arcangel exhibition. it was divided into two parts, the first part being a mix of video game / movie madness that half impressed me and half assured me that this is someone who has way too much time on his hands. the second part was absolutely incredible, the "light side" if you will of that very same mix of superhuman patience and a bizarre attitude towards the nature of digital reality. it was totally mesmerizing and i'm very glad i went!

we strolled around old montreal, stopping for lunch (i had a cheeseless pizza that was pretty good) before meeting up with horseman and heading to a proper pub. we talked and drank non-stop and it was not only entertaining but we had some sodding good ideas as well, and somehow all ended up in an alley outside doing fun freestyling exercises for an hour or two before finally calling it a night.

my brain was overtaxed and i got home in a zombie state.

---
today:

around 4am i woke up freaking out, thinking that if i don't quit i'm going to develop an ulcer. i managed to get back to some fitful sleep, then got up to plan things until i could put my mind at relative ease.

i did the laundry and had to consciously ignore some aggressive unneighbourly behaviour, then suddenly realized that i'd forgotten to sort out the mortgage! that turned out to be in my favour, because later on pg would get in touch and agree to handle the payment herself! [she's doing that literally right now, i'm *so* excited that this shit is getting sorted out ^_^]

i spent the afternoon at starbucks working on my comics and then returned home to receive horseman for smoothies and tekken. he's damned good and gave me a run for my money - it's always a great pleasure to discover other serious fans :D

i visited godmother for a pleasant dinner. yang's had his wisdom teeth removed and was in surprisingly good spirits.

i returned home and watched the other two thirds of the girl who leapt through time: what a wonderful movie!

it's taken me ages to post this, but i guess it's better to be dealing with the mortgage / mortgage insurance issues before going to bed. i sense i might sleep much better tonight.

the storm - part i

holy shit, it was the calm before the storm. the end of the work week got progressively worse, culminating in my walking into a private meeting with megaman on friday afternoon - with my phone set to record - wherein he verbally abused me for most of half an hour in spite of his realizing halfway through that i'd been right all along. something he said during the meeting about the cto's attitude towards me changing, whether true or not, made me realize that his reports to them count in spite of their history with me and if i allow him to continue my professional reputation will be jeopardized.

i'm not certain how much it really matters to my next potential employer, but i do know how much it matters to me. and on a more immediate note, fighting with my boss is not at all pleasant* and perpetually being charged with "damned if you do, damned if you don't" tasks makes me feel like i'm trapped in a padded cell.

* even if causing him to drop his facade in front of others was just a teensy bit satisfying

i spent most of friday and the beginning and end of saturday so upset and unable to collect my thoughts that i was on the verge of an anxiety attack. i woke up at 4am angry and worried and with the taste of bile in my throat.

my mum helped me gain a little perspective, and i've prepared myself for resignation. i think and i hope that i'm doing this the right way, i'll do my best to remain professional. i feel like it's time for full-time french and some personal projects.

---
thursday:

i tried to wake up at 1.30am to speak to the mortgage bank but as i stood next to my computer i felt like the world was dropping out from beneath me. i hurriedly returned to bed and tried and failed a couple more times before eventually getting it together at around 3am. it felt like a live nightmare followed by a call to the mortgage bank that made me hate them more than i thought possible. of course, i was unable to get back to sleep after that.

i've mentioned that creepy grin cheshire cat lady uses, there was something unnerving about watching megaman turn an exact copy of that grin back on her during the morning meeting. it's not clear if she realized what he was doing.

a summary of my interactions with megaman on thursday:

(him) "prioritize these tasks."
"no, you."
"i insist."
"okay, we should begin with this one..."
"no, you definitely shouldn't do that."
"how about you prioritize?"

---
because hating my mortgage bank wasn't enough for the day's list, the vending machine supplier decided to remove our favourite cookies. i discovered this when one of the developers asked me for coins for the machine, and we were both horrified when we saw that the delicious, vegan-friendly "cookie club" cookies had been replaced by "cookie star" crap. it was a travesty!

i called up the suppliers, who explained that while they cannot guarantee that the desired cookies would be returned they were also not at liberty to disclose where those cookies were sourced. the nerve! so i hunted the supplier down myself, got in touch with them and found that they're happy to deliver to our office at half the price per cookie.

screw you, vending machine people. screw you.

---
we work in cubicles, and sound travels well throughout the office. creeper told me he'd had trouble finding vegan food the night before.
"the reason i'm trying not to eat meat or dairy is because my wife and kids are away this weekend, so i'll be trying dmt."

my brain froze.
"you know what dmt is?"
"the drug?" i asked hesitantly.
"yeah! i mean, it's a long weekend so i figure i might as well enjoy a good trip!"

holy crap (O_o)

---
the it guy seems to have sensed that his theft might have consequences and seems to think i'm a good confidant. he's apparently interviewing for other jobs now because "interviewing when you have a job is like walking into a club alone when you have a girlfriend."

i wish that didn't apply to my own situation so well.

...

our sister company provides a service that they've left entirely unprotected and open to the internet. when i sent a mail describing the authentication requirements we have their star it guy responded by calling the open access a "feature" :S

---
i was a little tired when i left for class. i made it in time for jiu-jitsu and there were only two of us so it was basically a private lesson. the instructor asked if we felt ready to grade, we didn't have anything to lose so we both gave it a shot. the other guy really wasn't ready, but me? i was awesome! i got through the tough "everyone always fails on these ones" moves easily, and was almost done when he asked me to do a chest-to-chest sweep.

the chest-to-chest sweep is the first one you learn, it's the most basic. and i failed. i launched my body up to do it, and for the first time since my first class i froze and didn't know how to proceed :(

anyway, the monster who was with me was oddly shy but happy to let me do as many exercises as i wanted so i got really good practice. odder than him being shy was him deciding that he was done fifteen minutes early. that was strange, but let me catch the second half of the advanced kickboxing class. it was one heck of a warm-up for the beginner's class, and i learned a lot (especially how to kick: upgrade!) even though i was completely broken by the end.

the girl who kind of invited me out the other day? totally ignored me. weird!

as happens every now and again, i had no appetite. i chugged a protein shake and went to bed early.

---
as i climbed into bed i discovered the codex seraphinianus. i don't even know how to begin processing something so magnificent! so i've pre-ordered a copy for myself :)

---
friday:

i woke up exhausted but otherwise feeling good, in serious need of a massage. good thing is was feel-good friday :P

first success of the day? i've been wearing my awesome orange troop jacket home from training and it smelled of sweat; i decided to rinse it and hope that wouldn't do any damage. it didn't, it dried quickly and it smells fine. superb!

first fail of the day? noticing that my septum is swollen. now i'm worried about nasal polyps. gods, i hope i don't have those.

i wonder if my subconscious knew how badly the day would go when it decided to play linkin park - in the end's chorus over and over during the morning meeting. or how cheeky it was being when it brought out becker saying "anger... ooh, go with that" as i pissed off megaman the first time.

i'm convinced that he's dishonest because he's incompetent.

---
nin - hesitation marks is growing on me. bnw and her husband told me that hearing songs from it at the concert had changed their minds, and now that i've given it another chance i'm finding myself likening it to pretty hate machine. satellite feels good.

great friday night boxing training, not-so-great sparring but with the guy who'd previously upset me but at least it was a considerable improvement over that last time. i'd left the day behind for an hour or two, but afterwards i was so focused on the shit at work that i went shopping instead of heading straight to vfmp :$

i was a little late, but there was plenty of vegan feast left and we followed it with about five hours of thunderstone and way too many freshly-baked cookies.

---
saturday:

i slept decently in spite of thinking about work before and after. i had a good smoothie breakfast, chatted with my mom and then headed to old montreal for the day.

[continued...]

Thursday, October 10, 2013

out

how about that? i went on a date with a diaspora-jewish girl and the world didn't end! it was actually really nice, in spite of the transit system getting me there awkwardly early, and i think there might be a follow-up.

---
before going to sleep i read something about how focus is what elevates the successful, and that the more you practice the more natural focusing becomes. the example exercise was focusing on breathing and not letting anything distract you. the penny dropped and i finally realized what the whole meditation thing is about.

---
i woke up at 1.30am to call the mortgage bank, did that and returned to bed. i slept really well, then woke up to an email telling me that the bank had done something really stupid and my accounts couldn't be closed. i spent half an angry hour on the phone with a guy who was insistent that this was not the bank's fault or responsibility and there was nothing they could do to help me sort out the mess. now i have to call again in an hour in the hope that we'll figure out a way to fix this :(

so that's the list of things i hate today: bank leumi. avast! is still up on the board from yesterday, i haven't forgiven them for all the gremlins-in-my-pc shit.

---
my day can be satisfactorily defined by the words "back strain". my muscles were really tender and only stopped hurting in the early evening.

megaman moment of the day: "you're setting us up to fail," i told him after a surprise delivery requirement on a completely unrealistic time frame. why do i keep saying exactly what i'm thinking?? he sort of backpedaled, though, so it worked out okay.

it's supposed to be autumn and we're experiencing strangely warm weather. which is nice, but kinda sucks when you're geared up for "sweater weather". it's easier to deal with cold and very cold than warm, cold and undecided. the office snow talk didn't help because we're all getting excited for what's going to begin at least a month from now...

...

jslint is a surprisingly helpful tool. i've read a couple of articles trashing it, but in my opinion it definitely has a place amongst our tools.

---
thought for the moment: "whatever your medium, whatever your tools, your art is the you that should be good enough to stick around forever". i have to watch in bits and pieces 'cause it's so very long, but chasejarvis is very interesting.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

consequential

i definitely didn't sleep enough last night, but that's not the real issue. the real issue is that aota convinced me to try a tim horton's donut this morning and in a twisted turn of fate it was filled with custard. i *LOVE* custard! and i'm allergic to dairy. i couldn't help myself and i ate a couple of bites before finally binning it, but by then the damage was done and a couple of hours later my body began to crash in a way it hasn't done since the last time i overdid dairy. i don't remember when that was.

dear mr. horton.

i am trying to immigrate to canada, and unfortunately there's one aspect of life here that i cannot fully participate in: eating your doughnuts! i would be exceedingly grateful if you could produce a vegan-friendly doughnut. just one type, it's all i ask.

yours faithfully...


i had a short (but heavenly) nap before training and between that and the energy drink i was mostly on form. which reminds me that i haven't stopped thinking about the conversation i had with ceh in the afternoon about caffeine addiction and its effects on the brain. i wish i could drop it "cold turkey" but i well remember what happened last time i did that (in 2001)... two weeks of non-stop migraines? no thanks. perhaps if i lose my job.

---
speaking of which, as i mentioned yesterday i interviewed a potential replacement this morning. the interview was going spectacularly well and i was rating him an A before the technical question. as the first interviewee to start with an iterative solution to our "big" problem he had me convinced that this was going well, but then he stumbled. stumbling brought him down to an A- or a B+ in my book, only after stumbling he just gave up and even though megaman continued to push him* he just couldn't dust himself off and get back on the horse. i was sorely disappointed.

* courtesy, i guess, because the dude had come all the way from ottawa just to see us

i had lunch with megaman - let's not discuss how odd that was - and he shared the same view. what was interesting to hear is that he won't pick someone for the job unless they're strong enough to earn the team's trust immediately. he's still kinda looking for me to step up and save the day but the more he describes the role the more i realize that i'm not the man to take it. perhaps in another environment with different values and less politics, but not in this company with these guys at the helm.

---
aota came over to inform me that another month of inexplicable data usage has gone by. it's been decided that my phone is faulty and i'm being sent a replacement... an iphone 5. here's hoping it's in good nick!

speaking of things being nicked, i don't know if it bothers me more that there are dishonest people in my company or that they're so pathetically obvious about it. megaman and his crew with their machinations are so transparent and bloody arrogant about it, like we're all totally stupid and oblivious. but the it guy? he keeps stealing equipment, and his explanations and excuses are so crap it's like he isn't even trying to hide it.

---
things i hate today:

1. tortoisesvn for mysterious, non-stop tree conflicts when merging that it would take me ages to figure out... they've overhauled their merging dialog box again. the first option used to be the wrong one, but the second option's new and looks suspiciously like the old second option (which used to be the right one). good ux job, guys. well done.

2. google, whose search results were so useless and irrelevant when looking up perl configuration issues that i resorted to trying bing. which actually did the trick, for once, and i wasn't looking for porn. [i think i'd heard about that before, but creeper did his bit and made sure i knew. he also shouted over the cubicle wall that now that i'm aware of the service i can just start... oh, never mind. it was grossly inappropriate as usual.]

---
i left on time for training and was held back by a long sob story from one of my developers... he has sickly pets and a new car that's giving him trouble. it may have been a bit heartless of me, but i explained to him that that's precisely why i don't have pets or a car. pets are an enormous responsibility and you need to be ready for them to need (sometimes very expensive) care and attention. cars are more trouble than they're worth. they're expensive just to own and maintain, you have to worry about parking, snow shovelling and designating a driver if you go out for drinks. it's cheaper to use taxis or rent a car on the odd occasion that actually justifies a personal vehicle.

"but in our culture everyone owns a car!"
"in everyone's culture, that doesn't make it the right thing to do."

i *just* missed the train because of that.

---
training was really tough. i learned a lot of important things that i'm going to need to consolidate...

how very interesting: the older woman i worked with a while back (why can't i find the post?) was asking how my work was going, and it turns out she has aerospace connections. this could be good!

what a feeling, to get into a hot bath post-training after a whole day of knowing i'd need it. my back is really hurting and i need to get my muscles functioning again. a few weeks of illness and everything went to hell :(

...

holy crap! it's 11pm and i'm ready for bed! aside from the bit when i'll get up in a couple of hours to deal with the mortgage bank, that's very impressive.

---
this complaint to virgin airlines really is brilliant.

...

the dangers of birth control: this is pretty scary. like, holy shit, how have woman been using these things without knowing what's at stake?! like in this world people need another cause for anxiety...

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

balance in the force

today's summary is pretty uplifting, even if raising my arms is now a chore. i began the day by getting my driver's license, which makes me three for three in three countries! it was a grim day in the office and rainy, but just as i was leaving the skies cleared a little and the world turned bright yellow - i stepped outside and a giant, solid-looking double-rainbow that reached down to the ground on either side took my breath away! my first boxing class in a while was killer but very satisfying, and in addition to reserving a ticket to go see some of my classmates fight in two weeks i was followed until the metro by a cute girl from the gym with a hebrew name who, unless i grossly misunderstood, has invited me out on the weekend.

hah!

---
sunday:

why did the whole city smell funny over the weekend? i went to godmother's for a very relaxed cup of coffee, then travelled through the drizzle to my favourite chinese restaurant for a delightful lunch. on the way i passed a beggar with a sign asking for money for food, and was glad to find a clif bar in my pocket - he seemed grateful, and i prefer handing over something nutritious instead of cash.

i headed to bnw's for a most enjoyable evening; the comic cover's pretty much done and it looks great :)

i left just after the rain stopped, travelled the long way on the metro to collect my thoughts regarding something that bnw pointed out was problematic with the comics, hurriedly chugged a smoothie and took a melatonin tablet to prepare for an early morning: it worked!

---
monday:

there's nothing quite like the joy of getting up before the sunrise on a chilly day. after that, i *had* to pass this driver's exam :P

...

no, beautiful woman sitting next to me on the bus, "musk and falafel" is *not* a sexy scent. it was overpowering :(

---
i was quite nervous for the exam, and that wasn't helped by my getting a car with a finicky brake pedal. expectation is also a big factor, as a co-worker who took the exam recently told me that when he got out the lot and onto the road his examiner turned him right back and passed him without doing the whole route. *i* had to do the whole route. which wasn't an issue, of course, i know how to drive well - except that when you're experienced keeping your hands at "10 and 2" and not crossing them on sharp turns demands a heck of a lot of concentration.

i was feeling pretty confident, though, until i misunderstood where to turn in to the lot on our return, and proceeded to enter the 20kph zone doing 40. when my examiner cautioned me i was sure that i'd blown it! i parallel parked liked a champ, parked the car back where we picked it up and was unbuckling when he turned to look at me: "alright, you passed."

whatever else he said turned into "blah blah blah"... just kidding, i got it all but that's how it felt nonetheless :P

---
i've got a new thing in my cubicle, a note on the whiteboard that lists the things i hate today. last week's included microsoft accounts, our sister company and the tel aviv municipality. today's? avast!. it appears to have been responsible for all sorts of crazy malfunctions i've been frustrated by of late - including the microsoft accounts thing - and when it began to interfere with my work today i lost the plot. the option to "add to exclusion list" didn't work, they make reporting a false positive a bitch, and their interface is so crap that i couldn't figure out how to temporarily disable the damn thing.

so i tried uninstalling, which proved complicated. i filled in their survey because i was only too happy to tell them precisely why i was uninstalling and had to clear the form and start again because what i said couldn't possibly be as constructive as it was amusing to the intern who bore witness to the whole fiasco.

i don't know if windows defender is really doing its job, but my overall computing experience has improved dramatically.

---
after a day of mindless grudwork i went through a resume of a guy we're bringing in from ontario to interview: *this* looks like a guy being brought in to replace me. i'm okay with that, now that i've made my peace with everything.

i was right not to stop to photograph the double-rainbow, as i barely made the metro on time.

i'm suffering jump-rope arms but feeling really good about today. now to hurriedly make dinner and eat before crashing.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

current increase

well! after a month of feeling absolutely horrible, i just got back from working on my comics and doing some shopping and i'm feeling powered up and positive! i think (and pray i'm right) that i'm finally back to health. hooray! ^_^

on a different emotional note, lately i've been listening to karnivool - deadman a lot and i find its correlation to my breakup with pg extremely eerie. it's been seven months, and i'm in the weird space of being comfortable enough to really start dating again while still being uncomfortable with the fact that life took such an unexpected turn.

the reality is, as it always appears to be, that it was for the best. for both of us.

selling out - part ii

[continued...]

when i eventually got to the office, it was for a short day including a supremely painful massage and a happy hour send-off for imperieux that he didn't attend. oh, well. we played great pirate fluxx instead of pool.

i got home wasted (not from alcohol, i still haven't had alcohol since i started - and finished - the antibiotics) and dehydrated, binge-watched the rest of how i met your mother season 8 which vastly improved after the halfway mark. i was rather disappointed by the first half but believing it to be the final season (whoops) i was just watching it for closure.

the mongoose: sometimes good friends just drift apart. seeing as the past few times he's contacted me he's been looking for drugs (and i've never been the right person to ask), i felt that his message to me was hollow and i couldn't let it slide. after the back-and-forth, i think it's now "official" that we're no longer friends.

---
today:

i woke up stressing about renting a car for the exam, as my driver's license is no longer valid to drive on. i tried a few numbers but they all seemed closed on the weekend, and i spoke to godmother who very kindly assured me that we'd work something out but i didn't want to inconvenience her so much. fortunately, one of the numbers i'd called got back to me, and they'll happily be waiting for me on the lot of the saaq on monday morning!

awesome ^_^

i tried to go back to sleep but got caught up in AddaWordRuinaMovie madness - i'm not a big twitter fan but i had a lot of fun nonetheless :)

i went downtown for a large lunch and a haircut. the latter was good, though the old dude cut my ear with the cutthroat!
my south african sensibilities and i are not happy with this :S

---
i felt the soft, warm death of a sleepwalking siesta through a beautiful afternoon, which is how i got home. on my way out the metro i experienced the joy of being able to help someone carry her stroller up the stairs: i always feel awkward and then terrible watching mothers carrying their kids in their strollers by themselves, and this time the woman took one look at me and asked for assistance. granted she asked in french and i had to infer her meaning, but still the assistance felt appreciated from the get-go.

the afternoon was reserved for napping, but after a shower i instead got stuck into the final episode of the second sherlock season. THEN i napped. wonderfully ^_^

---
i just realized why i can't get anything done at home: i keep rushing off to the kitchen to grab more snacks. i'm off to the starbucks to work on my comics.

selling out - part i

big news for the week:

1. the apartment sale has gone through, the keys have been handed over and all that's left are niggling details. awesome!

2. tensions in the office are low, either this whole mess was the right thing to stir up or i'm enjoying the calm before the storm. bottom line: right now i'm feeling more appreciated, i'm getting things done and i'm worrying less.

3. i've discovered a well of supportive friends in my hour of need - the need to learn french.

4. i feel like i'm at the end of being sick. i'm still tired, but that's probably because i just don't sleep enough.

---
wednesday:

i started dinner late anyway, i didn't need ps3 to force me to upgrade in order to provide me some entertaining accompaniment. while waiting for that i installed the "voice translator" app on my phone, and i gotta tell you it is SERIOUSLY impressive!

...

lots of variety in my dreams. i woke up to a few bills that needed to be paid, not least of which being my rent. i apologized for being a day late and was told about the building manager's policy which is actually really considerate - not only do they not mind rent being a couple of days late, but they're only too happy to make allowances for families living on the edge of their salaries and who can only comfortably pay rent in installments.

i don't have any idea why, but wednesday was an alanis morisette day. it was chilled, but i was a bit cross-eyed by the end of it. during the day i spoke to a fellow gym-buddy and he informed me that he was just as sick and for just as long as i've been, and that whatever it is it's been properly making the rounds. yesterday i heard that newk'd's girlfriend was as bad as well...

arguing with megaman over tools: apparently one button when you begin a task and one when you complete it is too much for a software developer to manage. *facepalm*

i left the office when i was tired, bored and unable to connect to the internet (for work). just before i left i put in an order to a tel aviv florist and the site crashed as i pressed "submit order".

---
i was quite surprised when they phoned me directly to ask what had happened - it must have been around or after midnight! when i finally got it right, i was shocked to see the order go through and receive confirmation without my actual payment. usually when one opts to pay with paypal one is linked through to a page that lets you log in and pay immediately; with these guys, they receive the order and then bill the sender's email address. in my case, i didn't want to pay with that paypal account!

i was complaining about the fact that paypal won't let me transfer funds between accounts when aota remarked that i could simply charge myself for goods or services. what?! brilliant. so that's what i did. which only serves to reinforce my opinion that limiting a paypal account to a single country and not allowing direct transfers is bloody backward.

i'm glad to report that pg received her flowers (thanking her for all her assistance with the sale) and was happy with them, but i was offended by her certainty that they were exclusively my mother's idea :(

---
on the way home there were two other tristar members on the metro. i've been in the same car as the one guy before and he totally ignored me even though we take classes together; this time when i looked at him and smiled he raised his hand high to give me a thumbs-up. that was amusing, we continued to not look at each other and everything would have been fine if he hadn't stopped in the doorway as we walked out to shake me by the hand. we still had another train to catch together, and we still had nothing to say to each other.

my inner ear was hurting most of the day, and as i returned home i worried that i'd developed another infection... fortunately, that seems to have gone away.

wednesday was laundry day, and some bastard was hogging the machines :(
the day was vastly improved with soup godmother had sent me home with on monday - that woman's soups are insane.

after a how i met your mother binge i was too tired to make proper dinner so i just did a smoothie. it was a laziness thing, but i had to wash even more dishes afterwards so i'm not sure that was a good trade-off.

---
i don't know what got me so nostalgic, but i found myself reliving (in my mind) a night at the gallery with protoplasm in the february of 2000; it was me celebrating completing my diplomas and celebrating three totally sober months by getting fantastically hammered. of all the weirdness of that night, the only thing i wasn't clear on was whether that was the night they'd set up tekken 3 on a projected screen above the dancefloor... i recall playing panda. and playing badly. i double-checked with protoplasm and it appears i'm not making things up :P

---
thursday:

dreaming: a cross between a large canine and a prairie dog found its way into my lap. it was particularly vicious: i was face to face with the creature and could not let go of its neck for fear of being mauled. nobody would help, and the longer i held him the more aggressive he became.

the apartment sale:
finding out that the tenant missed a water bill from half a year ago wasn't as surprising as the fact that municipality let it slide until now. speaking of the municipality, why the heck would they lie?!?! i called them up and they told me they'd contact pg to get it all sorted by phone, then phoned her to tell her the only way to get anything done would be for me to send a fax.

seriously?

...

the day before i'd been describing a bad service experience and creeper suggested responding by sexually harassing them over the phone. on thursday i was explaining a system to someone and he overheard, overly-loudly asking "what's a cronjob? sounds dirty!"

...

i've been holding on to an idea about ebook sales for many years now and i'm always complaining that nobody's done it yet - i was discussing it with aota and she made a really insightful suggestion, bringing it into the realm of practicality without large investment and providing me with something very interesting to do if i do get fired :P

---
although i've declared that i won't be managing the team anymore, nobody's said anything to the developers and i'm still being tasked with interviewing. i joined megaman in talking with an older guy applying for a job as senior developer. at first i thought he'd be replacing me... his resume was loaded and he talked a very big story, which made it all the more disappointing when he was presented with one of megaman's standard questions and he completely floundered. at first he couldn't handle the problem definition, and he followed through by demonstrating an incredible inability to think on his feet. wonderful for my ego, not so wonderful for our talent shortage.

the bit that really killed him, though? after his less-than-inspirational performance i asked him about his attitude towards comments.
"there are no comments in my code," he proudly proclaimed.

what a fool.

---
thought for the week: it suddenly occurred to me that the way megaman behaves he could be on acid all the time. except that if he was he'd come across more intelligent.

i joined aota and newk'd for some hardcore shopping and dinner at her place with her daughter and newk'd's girlfriend. it was an enjoyable evening but i got home around midnight again.

---
friday:

extremely complex dreaming. i woke up to a surprise, i'd be interviewing potential interns and the call would start before the time that i usually leave for work. that surprise turned out to be a bonus as i could chill and do my own things in the background; the other surprise wasn't as much fun. in all the excitement i'd completely forgotten that i have a driver's exam on monday!!! i'd be in slight panic mode until this morning.

favourite resume moments:
1. a candidate who described himself as "junior data ninja". he was rated "outstanding" by his previous employer - does that mean that nobody ever saw him in the office? or, as nystire suggested, that he can insta-kill a database?
2. a simple personal summary consisting of "i am the lion in shark tank". total winner!

[continued...]

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

compromised

i went to bed properly troubled about my code being trashed, taking more and more offense the longer i thought about it. replaying my chat with the ceo and coming up with all the things i should've said and didn't say. very helpful, brain. nice one.

after a sleepless night before, i mispressed "snooze" and woke up - still a bit groggy and certain ten minutes hadn't passed yet - late for work. well done, brain! hat trick?

i hurried out with joni mitchell - big yellow taxi in my head. just before going to sleep i read up on the new law that came into effect two months ago: the way i got my work permit? the way i was planning on trying for permanent residence? both options shut down for anyone who doesn't speak french at an advanced intermediate level. holy shit! and while i was busy getting perspective, all the good things about my job popped into my head, like the english, the lack of a dress code and the fact that i don't need to get into the office before 10. not to downplay the horrible psychological shit of the last month or two, but certainly good arguments for staying.

i walked in, grabbed coffee and joined the cto and megaman for an awkwardly comfortable meeting. it started off with us sidestepping the issues, and then i did what i knew i shouldn't have done but couldn't help myself: i asked why the code that i'd written, that had been purposed to be ported and reused, had been scrapped. megaman's response was telling and super-defensive:
"my hands are clean! it was [darn's weak developer]'s decision."

huh. even though i know that that's bullshit, i cautiously hope that the cto read the same into his response as i did. either that or that this whole thing really doesn't matter.

anyway, that opened the floor for megaman to bring up the real issues in a way that makes me almost sure that he's heard report of what i've passed on to his superiors. there was a weird undercurrent while the two of us talked things out as if we were really ready to see things eye-to-eye. maybe it was just a charade, maybe the charade made it real, but either way i ended up agreeing to continue with all of my responsibilities except for the management. a little bit grudgingly, but whatever. i'm certainly feeling like a weight has been lifted and further than each individual task i have on my list i don't give a damn about anything. if things continue the way today went (preferably including at least the number of small victories), this little bit of unhappiness was totally worth it.

i also got an immediately positive response when i explained the new language situation and that i'll need to take day classes, coming in evenings to make up hours. that's very helpful.

---
i met up with horseman and visited the youth center he works at for a few games of pretty good pool. we then spent a long while talking and a little while freestyling. apparently i'm getting better. i was feeling inspired as i made my way home. that was before knocking a few tasks of my to-do list and writing this. it's now past midnight, i haven't made dinner yet and i definitely need to get myself into bed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

forgotten jabberwock

i forgot to mention how i woke up on sunday morning: a lucid dream which saw me fighting the jabberwock, eventually offering him a two-headed cow in appeasement. he was scary as hell!

---
today:
i was tired and went to bed early last night, perhaps it was my nerves or something but i suffered from extreme restlessness all night, every now and again giving up, reading a bit, then turning in again. my melatonin pills expired in february, i discovered around 2am. i think i must have finally dozed off around 4.

...

i wasn't feeling particularly full of life at 8am when i got up and got ready for my consulate visit. the weather report lied and told me "a bit cold", when in fact it would be a beautiful, warm and sunny day. i wish i hadn't taken my jacket :(

i arrived fifteen minutes early and was made to wait fifteen minutes, others arrived too and we were all left standing outside. i was tired and pre-coffee, i felt like i was in the army again. when the security guard finally poked his head out the door he handed my documents to someone else.

"excuse me, i think those are mine."
"no, they're not."

the guy who received my documents looked at the packet quizzically, and that was when i recognized my receipt stapled to the front.
"no, those are definitely mine."
"what's your name?"

seriously, *such* a good reminder of why i'm trying to leave that country.

i walked across the road to the courier who impressed me no end with his expertise and amused me no end with his patter, and once done there i stopped in at java-u for a giant coffee and to send the appropriate updates to the lawyer and the estate agent. gods-willing, in another few days i will no longer need to be worried that i owe insane amounts of money to the mortgage bank ^_^

---
what should have been the worst news of the day? the shirts i ordered after comiccon arrived and they're SMALL. either their web forms are screwed or i really did manage to select the wrong sizes :(
either way, at least they're local and i can exchange them whenever.

what was the worst news? well. i talked with the cto and after a while we felt we were on the same page. he told me to talk to the ceo, and i got a chance to do that later. in the interim i went through all the emails that have been stacking up and discovered that darn's developers rewrote all my work from scratch, literally tossing out EVERYTHING.

first thought: what morons, they wasted a whole lot of good work that i'd made fully functional, modular, organized and readable. all they needed to do was plug it into the new interface!

the thought after talking to the ceo: what bastards! well, darn and megaman at least. those assholes told everyone that my code was completely worthless and had to be scrapped. they set me up to fail, and when that didn't happen they LIED about it! i was spitting mad when the gravity of that sunk in. i still am, but i'm going to take godmother's advice and play smart.

or smarter, at least. the ceo offered me some friendly advice about not going over my immediate supervisor's head in the future. i seem to recall hearing that before somewhere...

anyway, everyone seems to know what's happening, the bad blood between megaman, darn and myself is now out in the open and one way or another, as i said before, something's going to give. but while the giving is taking place i'll be looking for my next step: i've already sent out my resume for about six jobs tonight. i wonder who'll rescue me?