Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
This morning, as Mike dropped me off at the T station, I heard blood-curdling screams coming from the car in front of us. I rolled my eyes at first, imagining yelling kids and a flustered mom and turned to walk to the station. But then I heard a woman’s voice very clearly screaming:
“Somebody HELP ME!”
So while trying to look as nonchalant as possible, I grabbed my cell and dialed 911.
The state police helpfully forwarded me to the locals. I stared at the license plate and memorized it. I told the police exactly what I heard, and what I was seeing. What I was seeing was a man repeatedly getting in and out of a woman’s car. Opening and closing doors. Opening the driver’s door, the passenger’s, the driver’s, the passengers. And occasionally I heard her just scream.
I gave my best description of the vehicle, of the man, of his clothes, of his hair, of everything I could see. I couldn’t see her. I couldn’t see where that terrified voice was coming from. I couldn’t even answer, “White, black, or hispanic?” I just watched and reported.
They said they’d send someone. This was just as he was finally walking away, carrying his backpack. She peeled away back into traffic. I gave my name and number, not knowing if I really should.
So I’m stuck in a haze of wondering. Did I do too much? Did I do too little? Should I have walked away? Should I have approached the car? Should I have left my name? I don’t know. I can’t know what was happening. I just knew that she screamed for help and I … I couldn’t do NOTHING. I did the best I can. That’s all I can do.
I really hope she’s okay.
I started today in a right foul mood. Why isn’t important, just that I was severely cranky. So, like any good addict, I updated my Facebook status: “Diane is angry, but has no one to be angry at. I guess she’ll have to cheer up then.” (I should write an ode to Facebook or something. Damn site practically… well it doesn’t run my life… it just runs commentary on it.)
Anyway, sometime later, my cousin responded, reminding me of what my dad might say: “Don’t worry, be happy!” Well, that came, of course, from the Bobby McFerrin song circa mid-1980’s. With that song, immediately came a flood of memories, that song coming out, being played at someone’s birthday party (either the cousin who responded on Facebook, or his sister, or his mother… I can’t be sure, I was little! … or at least young… I’ve always been ridiculously tall), listening to the tape in the car… the new car… must have been the Taurus… brains are special.
So I decided to go get it from iTunes. This is when I discovered who wrote it, seeing as I’m an idiot and couldn’t remember. The name Bobby McFerrin immediately reminded me of the album Hush that we also listened to quite a bit when I was a kid. Only it was a cassette tape. So who knows where that thing is, and I wouldn’t have anything to play it on anyway.
So I looked on iTunes! Low and behold, there it was. Of course I bought it too.
Seeing as my foul mood wasn’t really improving, I went immediately to the obvious cure. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” had me smiling by the first chorus. And now I am reveling in the combined sounds of voice and cello. Man… music is magic.
I’ve been reading this book, Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter. It’s a thick book, both physically and in content. The rest of the post may include some bits that relate to the book, so if you haven’t read it and you intend to, you might want to avoid continuing. But then again, it isn’t really about the plot so much as what the book did to my brain, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. In any case, I do recommend the book – especially if you have any interest whatsoever in physics, astro- or otherwise.
One of the components of the book talks about these kids that are cropping up in society with super intelligence. These kids exhibit some Asperger’s tendencies, but more than that – they’re extremely smart and think about things that elude many adults. But this post isn’t really even about that.
It’s this: What if my kids aren’t smart?
I used to wonder what I would do if my kids are smarter than me, but I think I know how to handle that. Give them something to think about. Give them something to learn about. Libraries are awesome things, and when the town runs out of interesting materials, there are more colleges within reach around here than is really fair to the rest of the world. So it’s not really a concern. Extra-smart kids just need extra things to use their brain for. And the more the better. (And why this isn’t obvious to the people in the book, I don’t comprehend. Fear, I guess.)
But I don’t really like dealing with people who aren’t smart. I know, it makes me sound like an ass, but I prefer spending time with smart people. I’ve been some combination of lucky and smart about my friends choice in me as a friend and in my choice of fields. I keep myself surrounded with people who are smart and intellectually stimulating. My friends are smart. I work in a company where the people I interact with daily are more likely to be much smarter than me than not (and it sometimes gives me an inferiority complex, which just makes me want to get a masters so I can know more – but that’s for another soul-searching post). I know how to deal with smart people. I avoid “stupid people.” And I use that term generally to refer to people who may not technically be stupid, but “just” average.
Yeah, I’m an ass.
What if my kids aren’t smart? I can’t avoid them. I can’t make fun of them. I can’t be laughing or even frustrated at them if they can’t keep up.
Maybe they’ll be good with music. That would probably be enough. To have music in common. Or art in general. That’s something I think I could handle.
But, and here’s something far more terrifying, what if they don’t like music? Or art? What then?
I was musing about such things, while walking up the hill from the train. I finally came to a conclusion – it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t. And I don’t have to worry about it right now anyway. I’m not having kids now. Someday, but not now. And I guess all the fear just reminds me that I’m not ready.
Thing is, I used to get creeped out by my friends having kids. And I can sense in some of my friends that they still are baffled that our friends are having kids. But it doesn’t freak me out like that any more. I know it’s something that just happens, and something that I hope some day may happen to me. (Just not now.)
I guess the introduction of this set of “what ifs” is just a part of the progression of my genetic imperative.
Either that, or this book is making me think too much.
When I finish these (there are three in the series), I think I might need to go back to Harry Dresden. He only makes me think about how cool it would be if I could do magic.
For 1-2 days, do not…
- use a straw,
- eat hot food,
- tilt your head forward, and
- eat food that has “particles.”
For 1 week, do not…
- blow your nose,
- eat “sharp” foods,
- forget to swish nasty mouth sanitizer,
- allow your tongue to feel around your stitches, and
- forget to swish salt water around your mouth after eating.
For 1 year, do not…
- eat difficult to chew foods without first cutting them up,
- use your teeth as a tool,
- forget to brush and floss (in fact, this is important forever), and
- worry about your front teeth falling out (because, you see, they’re already gone, and replaced with something shinier (though temporary))!
I had a really good idea for a blog post last night as I was getting ready for bed. It was going to be awesome. I felt like I had at least a good four or five paragraphs worth of stuff you might actually want to read.
But I now cannot remember a lick of it. Not even the title, which I remember being especially exquisite.
So, instead, you get to hear more about how hardware hates me.
When I got home last night, Mike was upstairs fussing with my computer and the RAID that we have for backing up our shit. See, the night before, my personal laptop’s hard drive decided that it too would like to shit the bed. Luckily, it is dying a bit slower than my work computer’s hard drive did. The work computer was a complete loss as soon as I noted that it was broken. My laptop decided that it was okay to boot up after it’s initial seemingly complete death. Sure, it made a sad mac noise. But it still came up.
So we tried to back up my shit. We tethered it to the RAID, set stuff up, and walked away. Apparently, Mike found it to have failed to copy the next morning. So he started it again, and yesterday afternoon it had failed again. Leaving him with only one option. He hacked the OS.
Yeah, that’s not the option I would have thought of. And it’s probably good that I didn’t see him doing this. It would have made me anxious. He told the OS to keep trying to read bad sectors. Like 1000 times or something stupid like that, before calling it a real read error.
But I do smell a trip to an Apple store in my future. One with a visit with a Genius. Hopefully he tells me it’s easy to pop in a new hard drive, or at least that he can do it for a fee that doesn’t make me nauseous.
Ultimately, though, my computer is pretty ancient. I mean, I want to believe he’s going to make it another bajillionty years, but when it comes down to it, 4 is old for a laptop. Just… I don’t really have spare money floating around for a new laptop. And I don’t really want to get a desktop. I like being able to lounge on the couch when I’m working from home.
At least I know what would happen to the brand new power cable I just bought my laptop less than a month ago. I was whining about how I’d hate to spend money on my computer only to have to replace it when Mike stated, as a matter of fact, “If you get a new computer, I’m stealing your power cable. We can sell the broken computer with my broken power cable on eBay.”
Nice to know someone’s already in line to steal and sell parts…
I wonder if I can get the kind of price I got last time I sold an old and broken computer on eBay.
eBay is my Friend
How neat is it that you can sell broken used crap on eBay and get real money from people? I wrote a little poem to express how lovely eBay is.
eBay is my Friend
I had a nice computer,
I liked it quite a bit.
I dropped it on the floor,
because I’m a dimwit.
It was cracked and broken,
but as I wiped it down,
I seemed like it would function
still, so I – I didn’t frown.
Then after months of happy use,
the screen went two-thirds dead.
It’s usefulness was shattered
and I hung my sad sad head.
After I got over it,
I wanted to see it gone.
Now some guy in California
wants my computer for his own.
eBay is my friend now,
’cause they let me peddle
my junky broken ‘puter
to the highest bidder.
Pretty crappy poem, huh? I’m awful proud of it. And I’m awful glad for eBay!
— My LiveJournal, 03/03/2004
This is less of a blog post and more of an order. You should back up your shit. Now. I mean it. Get out a CD-R, or connect to your company’s back up server, or make a shelveset or a personal branch, or do whatever it is you do to make sure you don’t lose things. Back up your shit. I mean everything. Even the stuff you just kinda keep on your desktop. Everything. Even the VMs you think you don’t care about that much. Everything. Even the work you’re doing right now that isn’t finished. In fact, especially that. Just think about how much it would suck to have to start over.
Back up your shit.
Or you’ll end up like me.
Well, it’s official, my brain clock is confused (so much so that my first attempt to type “brain clock” came out as “brain flock,” which leads me to picture something that kind of resembles that old flying toasters screen saver, only, you know, with brains). I had a 7:00 AM meeting with a customer in Bangalore (or Bengaluru, depending on which translation you prefer). Now, astute friends and possibly readers might know that I am pretty much a morning person. As such, you might expect that a 7:00 AM meeting wouldn’t have too much of an effect one me.
You’d be wrong.
Sure, it’s only about a half-hour, fourty-minutes before I usually get into the office, but in order to get here on time for such a meeting, I needed to take a much earlier train. The 6:20-something wouldn’t cut it. I needed the 5:52. That’s 3 minutes earlier than my alarm on a normal day and an hour and 4 minutes earlier than my normal train. Still, you think, at least you’re not architect-man. He usually doesn’t get into the office until like 9:30, 10:00. It must be much worse on him.
You’d be wrong again.
Architect-man was relatively cranky this morning to have to be in early, but he claimed that he would easily adjust and just make up for it in some extra morning sleep the next day. Me? Yeah. No. I’m almost certain to snap awake by 7:00 tomorrow even though I could really use to make up that extra hour.
That’s right, extra hour. I set my alarm one hour earlier than usual – 4:55. Yes, folks. That time starts with a four. That time is also known as still-night-o-clock. You might also note that it was one hour earlier, not one hour and four minutes earlier, as the train would be.
I missed the train.
So I drove in. Did you know that the morning guys on 101.7 start “The Sandbox” at 6:00 AM? Me neither. But now I do. They have intro music and everything. Did you know there’s traffic at 6:00 AM? Me neither. But luckily, there was less than at 7:00, because I couldn’t afford to be late.
But yeah, my brain’s biological clock is superpissed. I have a very strong clock up in there, and it is very, very confused. I fed it some caffeine. That may have made it worse. I don’t know for sure.
I do know that I am currently simultaneously wide awake and completely asleep.
Today will be fun.