Friday, March 17, 2017

a note to angry ethical vegans

lifted from a thread about who's worse, omnivores or people who've gone vegan and back again:
wow, guys. i'm ashamed on your behalf, you're so busy being elitists that you've forgotten that FOR THE ANIMALS' SAKES you need to treat your fellow humans with respect, and give them the benefit of the doubt if you want to have any chance of changing their minds.

instead of being so holier-than-thou, you should realize that you're privileged to know something they don't AND be able to follow through, and if you can be patient and civil you can teach those people.

just this morning i learned about yet another wannabe vegan who was so turned off by your myopic, ugly, narcissistic bullshit that she gave up before she even started. you're an embarrassment to the people who really do care and praying that you all wise up and become inspirational teachers instead.

the wrong stuff

the last couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs, and the ups have been great but the downs have been heavy. primarily, our family got hit with hand-foot-and-mouth disease - which is awful when it happens to a child who can't communicate. it took us over a day to realize what he was complaining about, and there were three days of him refusing to eat (thank all the gods he's breastfeeding). secondarily, while i'm finally done with the legacy stuff i've been working on it's taken all this time to do it and cost me many, many hours of bashing my head on the brick walls that are incorrect official documentation, unreasonable and arbitrary restrictions of a code framework and costly hacks by previous developers. oh, and my neck and back have been all over the place, possibly caused by a heavy, twisty little creature who now shouts at me whenever he wants anything or whenever i answer the phone.

monday 6th:

pedantically, thoroughly testing the legacy codebase to store it efficiently in git (i'd made mistakes the previous two attempts) and going to bed around 3am
mr smear sleeping soundly most of the night, then becoming agitated just after i finally passed out - as usual - and all of us exhausted again by morning

he-man wakeup
sea point in the mist
the strange, joyful experience of a couple of mr smear's classmates running up to hug me

the shock of meatonomics (episode 216): whoa. so much for vegans not supporting the meat and dairy industries.
more proof that few people operate under capitalist systems.

understanding the pain in my foot and figuring out how to stretch it

good news from the accountants followed by hard work getting all my introductory documentation together with pauses to pick up mr smear and struggle with a tantrum in between

joint nap time, a pleasant afternoon when my son wasn't being mischievous (there were a few moments), mom coming over to pick up a raffle sheet and chat, putting mr smear to bed on time (which means putting him in his crib and then reading in our bedroom until i'm more or less confident that he's asleep)

tuesday 7th:

getting a job done by 1am and going to bed "early", mr smear sleeping relatively well

mr smear's vigorous "no" meaning "in a minute"
running into our previous neighbours at school

a little work, then meeting with my mom and my nieces but not at the same time because they were spending half an hour just missing each other (by a few metres). picking up mr smear by myself - who needed a particularly difficult diaper change: the teacher's assistant didn't think i was qualified - then finishing my coffee and taking mr smear home to feed and nap

the dropped phone panic when my home button stopped working (but it resumed later), trying to work with a busy boy

a very naughty, busy boy pressing all my buttons (beginning with deliberately damaging a book), getting him ready for and into bed then meeting with my teammate who not only helped me a little with a problem i was mystified by but also boosted my confidence as he was just as mystified...

dinner, a bit of cristela alonzo's mediocre standup, then "me time" hunting down games to use my $10 credit on; it was a tough call, i could take deathtrack resurrection and the golden axe, or motorstorm apocalypse. in the end i opted for the latter and i'm not unhappy with my decision.

trolley shame: we'd gone shopping and i'd forgotten that i'd left the trolley outside our front door until i heard a security guard moving it in the middle of the night

wednesday 8th:

an early night (1 or 2am) after making big progress, a pretty good night aside from hurting my back by carrying mr smear awkwardly around 5am

big breakfast, not knowing what to do about the quiet tearful kid in the school entrance, good work while listening to danny gilboa (that man is a national treasure), early pickup for a no-show purim outfit seller, picking up my mom for a canal walk mission
mr smear eating more than my lunch and breastfeeding, the asshole using the parents toilets: advice and support from the guy waiting, i'm very glad i didn't say half the things that came to mind as the day wore on

another altercation on the way home (taxi driver), an afternoon of work and play, disappointingly expired scene points, starting fences, tired and working

thursday 9th:

going to bed after hitting a nonsensical brick wall, sleeping a few hours but not breathing properly so waking unrested

just passing time until the therapist arrived, a very interesting suggestion for both of us (filtering out negative stimuli), picking up mr smear and having him fall asleep on the way to the waterfront

a little quiet coffee time until he woke up, then an exhausting while trying to feed and amuse him before doing a quick grocery shopping and heading home; a visit to the costume shop, then the library (he's too young, but they would like to use him for promotion anyway), then a night filled with struggle after he ate a piece of onion skin which we would only later find out had nothing to do with the faces he was making (he was just getting sick)

friday 10th:

temporary tattoo fail
mr smear unhappy until we dropped him off at school
passing out on the couch with fantastic beasts and where to find them playing (meh. entertaining, but the writing was inconsistent), trying to work a little and getting caught up trying not to get caught out by what looked like a tax scam (but actually wasn't)
shopping in the middle of a friday stampede after picking up mr smear, getting home in time to pay the cleaning lady
a tough afternoon thinking that mr smear was fake-crying when he was really suffering
squeezing in a last minute doctor's appointment
an excellent dinner, thank all the gods mr smear could eat the cashew yoghurt!
deep exhaustion and trying to go to bed between mr smear's cries

saturday 11th:

nobody sleeping, aside from just enough time to have a short nightmare about mr smear missing a foot
whale rider: my second viewing, gd's first and we were both emotional
the drool bath
gd's tofu scrambled egg success, jim jeffries, a long afternoon until my mom arrived, a severe talk about my response levels and a little rest, just getting through the day trying to find ways to get mr smear to eat *something*
some work, enjoying crazy, stupid, love while mr smear got a proper block of sleep

sunday 12th:

mostly a restful night, but the wakings were tough and the later morning (approaching 7am) was particularly frustrating; mom arriving in the afternoon and giving us a break, a quick spar grocery run and gd making delicious vegan not-eggs again
mr smear going down for a nap just after my mom left, getting some work done while gd watched pacific rim (gods, i love that movie) and finally getting the functionality sorted out
mountain fire ash followed by helicopters overhead, an awkward stop while picking up bread because the homeless guy i think is autistic doesn't get the "i need to leave now" social cues (including the direct verbal ones)
good work and mr smear doing much better, although getting him into bed was unpleasant

an inexplicable unfriend notification which later turned out to be the social fixer plugin

motorstorm, baked beans, cider, bed

monday 13th:

a good night until 2.30am, a tough couple of hours before getting back to bed; mr smear waking up with a fever again, so no school and us exhausted. being rescued by the cleaning lady and grabbing a couple of hours of rest, waking up just after mr smear passed out and needing two cups of coffee to be able to work on some exciting ideas for a novel i've been outlining

a tough, long afternoon with a sick wife (we're learning about scintillating scotoma) and a busy boy, my mom arriving in the late afternoon so i could go to buy diapers and baby wipes (they only had diapers) and then needing a coffee just to be able to shower mr smear and prep him for bed

SxS's endorsement of my legacy modifications and setting me to repeating my efforts on some more of it before returning to the interesting project

an unpleasant waste of a few hours because the code is so inconsistent

tuesday 14th:

1.30am bedtime and sleeping relatively well

mr smear back at school, me being awkward dropping him off (beginning with greeting a friend from a distance only to identify them as a stranger as we got closer)

from feeling like teenagers to feeling really old, a day of hard work (with little to no payoff) and chasing mr smear and neck-to-hand back-to-knee nerve pain and a surprise play date (even more surprising when we arrived to find we'd mixed up two moms with the same name)

feeling sore and sick and going to bed early

wednesday 15th:

up at 3am for a couple of hours work and giving up on trying to convince vegan fluoride conspiracy theorists to look at scientific evidence

a little rain and sleeping beautifully, trying and failing to sleep in after mr smear decided that it was daytime. he ate a hearty breakfast, at least

trying to help out our teacher who'd been left alone, finding some hebrew books from the shaliach's wife, returning home and watching the end of the equalizer: denzel washington starring in a grownup remake of home alone

extreme frustration at work, picking up mr smear, shopping, the discovery store and suddenly realizing gd was late for her chiropractor appointment; knead lunch with an irritable mr smear (shouty), though he fell asleep at the grocery store and his nap lasted until just after we got home when i said the magic words: "i need to get some rest while he's down"

mom's visit, conversion conversation.

why is it so much more upsetting when he puts food in his hair just after i've washed it than if it was the next morning?

thought for the day:
a) is it okay to pee in the bath when you're a baby?
b) is it okay to pee in the bath when you're an adult?
c) is it okay to pee in the bath when you're an adult in the bath with your kid?

bigfoot files (surprisingly interesting) and work, finally getting one of the two pages done around midnight

thursday 16th:

working through until 2-ish, going to bed having finally sorted out the second page and with a minor one left to go

another tough waking: i'm not getting enough sleep, but i'm sleeping WELL and dreaming almost constantly

another danny gilboa appreciation morning, dropping off mr smear, getting through most of the last page, doing the health exam with gd (we had fun and we're both healthy - although i'm a little overweight and my good cholesterol is so low that i've been instructed to eat lots of oily, fatty foods)

picking up mr smear (gd having a proper coughing fit at the school), then heading home. working most of the afternoon, taking mr smear for a walk cut short by the wind, him passing out just before my mom arrived for a quick visit, dinner and the first episode of grimm, finishing the legacy work, then...

mr smear waking up into a coughing nightmare

friday 17th:

that lasted a couple of hours, then slept for about four. i got up to use the bathroom and on the way put a light blanket on him, which woke him up and led into four more hours of him coughing and crying unable to breastfeed and refusing water and to be held by anyone but me - which is flattering but hard - eventually falling asleep again only to wake up half an hour later.

i managed to get an hour or two of sleep - i think - and then held for a short while before he napped again for another short while and we decided that it was more likely allergic asthma again that actual illness

after 13+ hours of horror, and almost exactly two hours before his emergency doctor's appointment, his situation improved dramatically, at least for a little while...

Monday, March 06, 2017

from light to dark and back again

friday 24th:

fun work (and successful) while downloading something using teamviewer, which crashed just before i did and effectively wasted a night's worth of work that i should have been doing on the legacy shit. the temperature suddenly dipping at roughly the same time.

why would we want to get up at 7.30am?

breakfast deal breaking, not wanting to create a pathology by forcing mr smear to eat but trying to ensure that he eats enough :S
dropping him off efficiently, home to rest and work, picking him up, home, seeing cape town's worst in the insane traffic into town for gd's haircut and mr smear's twenty minute nap, waking up to join me in a very berry smoothie while i ate a surprisingly decent vegan meal from wellness warehouse

back to an afternoon of play and success with work
mr smear pushing over the mirror which fell flat onto its face, fortunately all unscathed, and spending a long moment being in the moment and grateful for my time with my son

he *gets* the word cat! in hebrew and english!

mom over for a really nice shabbat dinner, watching trevor noah and then ali wong - she's brilliant, but we forgot just how hardcore she is in crossing *all* the lines - really bad rls and a little treatment and rest

saturday 25th:

the first most-night's sleep in a while, waking up to a pleasant morning, meeting my sister, her twins and her sister-in-law at the farmer's market, mr smear playing with the woodchips, a couple of people showing interest in learning about food from me, good vegan food, drinks and dessert, mom joining us for a bit and mr smear passing out as we left and staying asleep even as i put him in the car

working the afternoon, struggling with a typo i'd entered the night before but ending the day very satisfied with my progress; thoroughly enjoying i don't feel at home in this world anymore, then turning in early

sunday 26th:

ted talks, then a beach mission to muizenberg! almost being killed by a maniac driver, tailing him to get his plates, losing him afterwards and then passing him after he'd smashed into someone else; the shock and adrenaline taking a long time to wear off and followed by an adrenaline dump of note
arriving on an unpleasantly windy beach, the vegan place looking nice but with no available seating out of the wind, driving back home so gd could make more végépaté
no rest, but too tired to head down to the police station; deliberating over whether to go to a different beach or just call it a day, eventually joining sailor and his dad at clifton 4th for a fun afternoon and a good view of the eclipse. losing mr smear's bucket, which was a pity

scheckter's raw was closed, so home for showers and bedtime and big meals and four brothers (fantastic)

monday 27th:

up early but more rested than usual, rick and morty and dodgy yoghurt, dropping off mr smear, enjoying some time to ourselves (in particular, proper nap time), the unfortunate incident of what appeared to be animal poop halfway through a loaf of sliced bread

picking up mr smear, driving dirty (i only realized he was sporting a full diaper when it was too late to do anything about it), the pretend nap fakeout and looooong playtime

mom taking over so gd and i could acupuncture, passing out on the table then restless and uncomfortable, wasting our time trying to file a police report, dinner frustrations (mr smear refusing gd's chilli again), and mr smear passing out before shower time

protoplasm visit with my brain mostly off and needing coffee just to say goodbye and gear up for work, then finally getting my dev environment sorted only to be pulled away by an inexplicably distressed mr smear who it took forty minutes to comfort

tuesday 28th:

bitcoin exploration before bed, definitely not enough sleep but resting a little on the couch (fending off a barrage of cars and tennis balls being thrown at my head) before successfully feeding mr smear maize meal (he's happy to be back with the usual brand) and the rest of his breakfast then quickly showering him and dropping him off at school

trying to rest but frustrated by the fact that people i respect for their intelligence refuse to even *look* at the facts about food and nutrition, getting up and trying to work but instead learning that my blood test results came back perfect and that futurelife is interested in investigating whatever's in our bread and that i'm late for filing taxes (those last two unrelated)

lunch with sandman's sister, mr smear's artichoke frenzy and pesto removal, his big, inexplicable sadness before we left
a stupidly hot afternoon
working at a staggeringly slow pace while fending off mr smear's attempts to destroy the fan
cloudfunding inspiration
playground slide scare - he climbed up to the top which was just out of our reach and we didn't know which direction he would go in
hot fusion, shopping
mr smear suffering hardcore asthma and throwing up just before bedtime
crashing for a couple of hours then waking up at a run to pick him up while he spiked a serious fever and hurled his lungs out

wednesday 1st:

a long and frustrating and worrying time getting his fever down and getting him back to sleep, not helped by additional unnecessary tension and the awful sensation of mr smear's frailty (he's usually remarkably solid), then working until 3.30am after finally taking the first steps to moving from tfs to github and making insanely slow progress with silverlight xaml

waking up around 8am to continued stress even though mr smear was clearly doing better, mom coming over to save the day and giving me a chance to rest and then go pick up mr smear's passport

the traumatic introduction to the nebulizer

integrating git, taking mr smear out for a walk: he'd been much better since the morning, but as we left his cough started up again which led us into another magical night of struggle and meds and trying to get some work done with my brain somewhere else

thursday 2nd:

another uncomfortable morning, not helped by brother-in-law stress and trying desperately to find french children's books

a visit to the doctor, an all clear for mr smear and a different approach to try for allergy management

mr smear falling asleep on the way home, a quick late breakfast and then a meeting with his teacher which had us all in hysterics: he protects the bigger kids in class, but he's also just as mischievous and (good-naturedly) defiant there as at home

the cleaning lady giving us a couple of hours to rest, mom getting stuck in traffic on the way to babysit and doing a baby handover in the parking lot

acupuncture: less pain when the needles went in, followed by a full-body discomfort that had me deep breathing and slo-mo shaking it off and using pain referral until the doctor arrived for gd and helped me into a sitting position

dinner tricks (gd mixing blended beans with pasta) and a worrying continuation of breastfeeding gagging; figuring out how to redeem my playstation code but not knowing what to do with the money

mr smear going to sleep without feeding, sending gd's brother an ultimatum for her childhood photos, finally getting the silverlight result i was looking for but inconsistently

friday 3rd:

midnight feed success and relief, finishing p.s. your not listening while building and being thoroughly stunned
mostly getting some much-needed rest

mr smear sleeping well but waking up with a difficult cough, taking him to school anyway and it improving dramatically on the way

finally, a breakthrough with the work, feeling really good about it, picking up a happy mr smear and then the single bottle of oat milk the dischem had moved branches for me (more would have been nice) while mr smear passed out on my shoulder, so exhausted that he slept through getting in the car, out the car and into bed
mike birbiglia's brilliant new special (thank god for jokes)

shopping and mom's visit and mr smear's bedtime and horace and pete and bbc's africa series

saturday 4th:

one year back in south africa!

a full night's sleep, africa again, amazing psybient followed by firefly once mr smear hit naptime
taking a walk on the promenade but turning around when mr smear began coughing again
gd cooking while i fed and showered mr smear
the shameful writing of transformers: age of extinction vs gd's great pasta dinner, plus the extremely sore arch of my right foot

sunday 5th:

another decent night, waking up to bee movie - weird, then cute, then pure awful but inspiring me to write because if this drivel earns fat salaries...

finally going out for groceries, mr smear's nap and mike birbiglia

a walk in the park with my mom after narrowly avoiding the worst of the kirstenbosch traffic and grabbing coffee at the gym
i missed it, but the idea of my wife feeding a fly to a venus flytrap on a toothpick is great

mr smear's dinner and bedtime prep, reading xamnesia while waiting for him to fall asleep and eating my dinner while watching rubbish; a little work, a little reading