Just drove home through a storm, surrounded by fantastic lightning strikes, listening to Imogen Heap singing sweet anxiety.  Having lifted the roof of clouds at the horizon, god's orange moon-eye flits through the trees, watching my heart beating faster and giggling "ooh, he'll like this one."  I suspect that a full knowledge of the joy of this world somehow involves having at least once been slightly unnerved in this way.
 I did have to skip the song "Psychobabble", however, as the lyrics both disturb and annoy me, and also get stuck in my head like nobody's business.
 (It's unfortunate that Christianity doesn't typically include a trickster who will not often cost you a soul or two. It is not well-suited to creating this sort of image of a god.)
Just pruned my friends list a bit. Old, abandoned journals that I haven't seen anything on for... years, now. Don't feel bad if I've de-friended you! Or maybe do, I dunno, but at any rate it's not like I hate you. We just never seem to talk any more, so I'm trimming off some dangling threads.
Dinner tonight: apple, orange, tangerine (sitting in the fridge too long, hafta use it), kiwi, lettuce salad w/ almonds, a cherry tomato (left those too long too), and Caesar (with canola oil, oops?), grated cheese. Steamed green beans with my laughable attempt at sauteed garlic, green onion, and almonds, and shredded cheese. Also also, Keith Shoemaker, I'm finally drinking that Oberon. XD
(Sautee almonds? I figured, "why not?")
Lessons learned: use a nut chopper to chop almonds, rather than spilling half of them on the floor (though as a man I have issue with owning anything called a "nut chopper"). Sauteeing is /fast/, steam the green beans first. Also cut them up more. Three minutes is not /quite/ enough for steaming that many beans, and one minute is quite too long for sauteeing that little. Get some more theory in you. Get some spices in your cupboards. And/or learn about the ones already there. Also: that's a lot of food. Though, being sick last week, I didn't really eat that much. We'll call this make up. >_>;
Successes: knifing the ends off of three beans at a time, rather than breaking them off; more efficient bean-usage /and/ faster. Prep time in general and just general practice in kitchen. Clean up is also like 95% done already thanks to early pan-washing.
Wish list: better cheese. Kraft shedded Mexican, miraculously un-moldy despite "use by" date of 4/2010? If it could have been helped, no thank you.
Dinner tonight: cucumber, apple, orange, chocolate chips. In a blender. (Ha ha kidding. Though now that you mention it...)
Was going to work on the last Himoto & Hirusui story that I was writing, tonight (thank goodness I have snapshots from before Wiki-chan finally went kaboom!), but just climbing back up to the top of my Facebook ...wall (when I didn't even start at the bottom! o_o ) has taken sooo long. >_>;
Maybe I will try to get some work in anyway. Wark wark. Made an interesting realisation about where I wanted the story to go. A song of release changes to a song of rebirth.
Oh, hope, why do you seem so trite? With my aversion to "what everyone else is doing" I might as well, say, swear off food because everyone else is doing it. I am going to listen to some more John Denver tomorrow, see if I can't figure out what this hope foolishness is about, and how to feel it.
Between this and the one that I didn't post a few months ago about student loan practices, I'm all super-dubious about higher education right now. If socialist systems tend toward inefficiency  and free market systems rot in their own corruption [hyperbole, but not much?], what oh what system is the magic silver bull...et that will save us humans from our unkind fates and from ourselves? >_>;
...or maybe this is kinda like how forest fires work? A bunch of small ones will keep the dead brush cleared out, keep any individual fire from getting too huge and catastrophic. I get annoyed with constant calls for reform because I wonder why the system has broken in the first place, but that may just be the natural progression of selfishness and entropy. Perhaps the true song for any system, any human endeavour, is "Reform Reform Reform".
"Renew thyself, every day." That was, I think, the very first page in that zen-a-day calendar that I continue to neglect. XD One must continue to be the green and growing branch, or one will find oneself a part of the underbrush that must be burned away.
Dot's pillow is still in my room, and tonight I figured out why: I flipped it over and used it as a cushion for meditation. Zafus and Zabutons be damned, I have what I need right here.
The full lotus position is surprisingly easy. Not to get into, mind you, but once I'm there, it's nice to sit in. Much harder, I've found, is posture. My lower back just will not stand for it. I really like the oval hand position, though. My heels, when in the lotus, kind of necessitate that I hold my hands slightly out in front of me, so the small oval forms this neat 2-iteration fractal with the oval of my arms. I have a feeling that that was deliberate. The intent is to direct one's focus inward, yes? It does provide a nice space in which to sort of pool your energy.
I'm working from this 2009 Zen-a-day Calendar, and the last five pages (which I read all at once) have only mentioned one thing to do with your brain during meditation: count breaths. You count each breath, up to 10, and then start over. Only, if a stray thoguht enters your head, you also start over. It is like the Frantic Ultimate Sudden Death version of The Game. And yet at the same time it is very peaceful. Figure that one out, will you? (Ha ha, does The Game have the Buddha nature? XD )
In other news, things are complex! Monday was kind of a waste, but Sunday was not, and neither was Saturday. I am pretty broke and the car repairs are taking a while (in no small part my fault), but I wrote my first poem in a very long while. Unfortunately, it's not the sort that I can share too widely. But perhaps more will follow.
That is vague but will have to do. I have a morning shift~.
Doomsday Book is /wonderful/. Now that Kivrin's well enough to be up and exploring the 14th Century, I am more than a little enthralled with that half of the story. I sort of want to skip the other half--and I have, a little bit. But I sort of like Colin and Dunworthy, however, and Doctor Mary, so I suppose that I will go back and make good.
Why am I enthralled? Hmm. To write about this I turned on my computer and am going to file this journal entry wirelessly to a server on the other side of the continent, and which can then be transmitted around the globe in less than a second. Heck, really I'm sitting on the edge of that global sea myself, and filing it on the server in California is only a formality. With the right invocations I could be doing the hosting myself.
Similar to my Dad's much more extensive Geneological research, it's fascinating to see people in such a different context. What the human race has come through, what they had to survive. There is no density in that world, from a storage or computational standpoint. Except for nervous systems, which of course can't be utilized by those that posess them in quite the same ways as technology.
From my perspective here, it is a little hard to believe that it was ever even real! And yet the first PCs came out a few years before I was born, and the computer itself was developed, historically speaking, not much before that. And phones and electricity and modern medicine and what have you!
Rolling the concept around in my head, that lack of density seems somewhat freeing. Though I would probably get bored. >_>; And/or, y'know, die. Don't exactly have the build to be killing wolves or invaders. And my immune system seems pretty sturdy, but that is only by today's standards.
Who knows. Perhaps if our civilization falls then I will get to experience something similar firsthand. XD XD XD (Not that I'm anxious for that. Dead at 37 after a somewhat miserable and painful life? On the other hand, that might do me good. It seems like success too often breeds failure, while adversity eventually yields success, all circular-like.)
I am slightly amused that Kivrin, hailing from 2054, has only a few GB of memory on her voice recorder whereas I, gone shopping in late 2009, could have had 16 in my phone had I bought the expensive chip. But of course Science Fiction tends to accumulate some reverse anachronisms here and there. At least the units specified are still widely in use today. Heaven knows if they will be in 2054, however. Maybe we'll be on to Petabytes or Exabytes by then. (Actually, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exabyte we are already there, at least on a global or national scale. But hardly, yet, a personal. And hopefully individual applications themselves will continue to be considered unduly large when they broach 100 MB compiled, no matter how large the data files they deal with get? Otherwise they are likely to be impossible to maintain by humans. But then they'll perfect self-modifying genetic algorithms or something, which will grow and change of their own accord until they are hardly recongnizable by humans, let alone understandable. And that of course poses its own problems.)
Hey wait. How did I get from gushing about Doomsday Book to talking about storage capacities? Well, I guess I was poking at the future-tech.
But still, ha ha, perhaps I have spent too much time on the computer.
It is also interesting how female-dominated this particular part of the book has been. There are in-story reasons for it, but still, there is the Lady of the House, her two daughters, her mother-in-law, a serving girl... Kivrin herself.... The only men in the story with names and also screen time are the Father and one of the Lady's Husband's retainers. And a little boy with scurvy and the stable-boy, if you want to get picky.
...that is enough aimless rambling for me. For one night anyway. I had best sleep some.
The first ten pages of Doomsday Book are quite promising! I have been wanting to do some reading about history for a while now, and a time-travel scifi story is certainly one way to go about that. As long, I guess, as one take it with the same grain of salt one uses with any single, non-cross-checked source? "This is probably true, but I would need to verify it before I staked my life on it." Or something.
Ha ha, I am a little jealous of Andy's class. XD Perhaps I would even be able to relax and enjoy an English class under such circumstances? Surely more wondrous things than that have happened in the history of the world.
Also I think that reading xkcd makes me smarter. Or, well, it's like a collection of logic puzzles as much as a comic? It... illustrates a kind of structured, logical thinking that I'm not very good at. Makes for good practice. Or at least I felt that way today, as I seemed to have an easier time than normal figuring out how to deal with some problems I was having with the numbers at work. (It took forever because I was also exhausted, but the thinking itself managed to exploit some logic that it usually doesn't.)
Hmm. Read a little more? Maybe. Then sleep. Lots of sleep. I need a weekend after this weekend. >_>;
I am beginning to fear that this linux install is going senile. It has outright /lost/ the contents of one directory (the desktop) and the entirety of another (/home/jon/bin). This hasn't happened /again/, mind, still just that one time last... Sunday or whenever. But still. I've heard various horror stories, third-hand, about various flavors of Windows mangling files or partitions, but /never/ been hit with it on on any of those platforms myself. Perhaps I was just lucky?
And now, on Wednesday, I boot the computer and suddenly there is no sound. Sound preferences applet doesn't even list the device in the hardware tab. Symptoms survive multiple reboots. Freak out, finally get an interim backup solution in place (I had a lovely homebrew solution using 7zip and batch files under XP, but have yet to find a Linux application and learn it thoroughly enough to get all the functionality that I want). So anyway, boot to WinXP partition last night, sound. Boot to Ubuntu 10.04.1 i386 LiveCD today, sound. Boot to Ubuntu 10.04 x86_64 partition today, sound! WTF.
(I miss WinMerge, NotePad++, and frhed. The first two are, like, /the/ applications for graphical diff and lightweight source editing, respectively, on the Windows platform, and frhed is a wonderful, lightweight, and fast hex editor. None of the graphical differs that I've found under Linux are quite as easy to use, gedit doesn't have nearly as many features as NotePad++, and Okteta is a KDE project, need I say more.)