tags: disordered thought processes

2006

February

2006 Feb 27
trying something new again

So I think I’m going to try and use Wordpress after all. While I fondly used blosxom for almost three years [the beginning][the end…maybe], I found it got harder and harder to maintain since I have less and less time to write Perl scripts. It has even got to the point where I find it cumbersome to sync my local archives (where I do my posting) with my live blog since I pretty much use both my desktop computer and my laptop for blog posting. I just don’t have the energy to dig through the man pages of rsync and cvs to try and figure out how not to nuke my file system.

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2006 Feb 27
octavia butler - rest in peace

I discovered that one of my favorite science fiction writers Octavia Butler has died.

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2006 Feb 27
social bookmarking

Man, the web is a weird wild place these days. I still remember when Gopher was the hypertext king, when Mosaic first came out, and when the original browser wars started, but even the more recent days when I first discovered Slashdot and when I first started blogging are now ancient history.

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March

2006 Mar 3
affirmative action

Just been watching Chris Rock’s routine “Never Scared.” I like how he describes how affirmative action actually works:

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2006 Mar 3
skill vs time

Now I’m not an MMORPGer (for the non-nerds out there, MMORPG is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Dungeons and Dragons ported to the Internet with pretty graphics.) This is not because of some inherent virtue. I might be very well have become one if I had a little more free time in my life or if I had started taking amphetamines, since God only knows I can’t really sacrifice anymore sleep than I already do. But that is another rant.

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2006 Mar 5
kai "say you’ll stay (jazzy jim remix)"

I thought I had mentioned this before, but I can’t find it in my blog archives. In any case, I swear it seems like sometimes my iPod can read what mood I’m in. On my 2 hour trip back from L.A., it kept pulling up all these down-tempo, super-chill, and melancholy, reflective songs, and while this cheesy song by a Filipino American group may not really fall into this category, it is attached to a somewhat melancholy memory.

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2006 Mar 5
everything but the girl “time after time”

I guess you could say that “Time after Time” is one of my most favorite songs, and I have different cover versions of it attached to various memories. For example, the version by INOJ is attached to the summer after graduating from college, when I tried lingering in the Bay Area, but then ended up going home in defeat. Now that was an extremely depressing time. This was also the time when A and E (whom I mentioned in the previous post) finally actually got together, and I remember hanging out with them and feeling superfluous and stupid. Ah memoreez.

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2006 Mar 5
what’s the use of knowing the future

I seem to be experiencing blogorrhea right now. Ah, nothing like insomnia.

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2006 Mar 6
immigration

One would be hard pressed to convince me that anti-immigrant sentiments are not synonymous with outright racism. The arguments that immigration foes posit are specious at best. The whole, “they’re taking our jobs” idea just doesn’t fly. I really don’t see too many white people lining up for a back-breaking season of crop harvesting or signing up to clean out rich people’s toilets. These aren’t jobs that white people want, although in a lot of cases, they are jobs that need to be done. A more informed argument is the idea that we have to discourage them from taking these jobs because it only encourages rich bastards to pay workers poorly. There is a lot of truth in this. The problem is that (1) it doesn’t directly address how we can get the rich bastards to pay decent wages and (2) it doesn’t address the economic pressures that drives people from developing countries to find jobs in the U.S. And, realistically, I just don’t see people voluntarily paying top dollar for their lettuce and tomatoes just so my black and brown brothers and sisters can have a living wage, undocumented or no.

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2006 Mar 6
insomnia

Man, this totally sucks. It’s 1:30 a.m. and I can’t get to sleep. Of course, this means that now I am screwing around with the new blogging engine. As you can tell from the header, things aren’t exactly fixed quite yet, and probably won’t be tonight this morning unless I decide not to sleep at all.

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2006 Mar 7
the mechanisms of cultural transmission

Wow, this post is going to be extraordinarily geeky. By clicking on various links, I stumbled upon some very well thought out posts regarding the inexorable programming language clashes that in reality actually affects the average Net dependent webhead in ways that may not be readily apparent.

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2006 Mar 7
Gödel’s incompleteness revisited

2006 Mar 7
evolution and worse-is-better

Again, perusing posts about computer systems implementation, I come upon the debate between “the right thing” and “worse is better,” I can’t help but think about the way natural selection works.

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2006 Mar 7
desktop blogging: blog thing

I’m testing out Blog Thing which is a simple Cocoa app that supports the Metaweb API. Ah, the wonders of the Web (version 2.0)

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2006 Mar 7
desktop blogging continued: bleezer

So now I’m trying Bleezer which is written in Java. Ah well, no Cocoa for me, I guess. But, this, on the other hand, has a lot more features, many of which I will probably never get to use. Neat.

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2006 Mar 8
simplicity and blogging

I find myself missing emacs, which is clearly a sign of pathology. The silly thing is that I clearly don’t use even 10% of its features. It’s pure nostalgia. Emacs is the only editor (aside from Vi, I suppose) that I’ve been able to run consistently on all the platforms I’ve blogged on—Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. (Yes, I’ve blogged while using Windows, but only as a stop-gap measure.) I haven’t really ever used emacs for something that I couldn’t do with whatever basic text editor comes with the OS (Notepad, GNU nano, Textedit.app—although, interestingly, of these OSes, emacs comes preinstalled only on Mac OS X—in many Linux distros, you actually have to manually install it. Of course, these are the distros that favor Vi—emacs vs. vi is probably one of the oldest computing holy wars around.) I suppose there is something masochistically perverse about having to type CTRL-X CTRL-C to quit. (I still remember the first time I was faced with an empty emacs buffer in 1994, and I had to bug my UNIX guru college roommate to help me regain control of my machine—an already old-at-the-time 486 running at a paltry 50 MHz. Don’t laugh, I’ve computed on machines running at 1 MHz. Machines that you can actually play some pretty neat games on.)

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2006 Mar 8
the fate of blosxom and other errata

Interestingly, as I am debating the merits of various blogging solutions, Robert Thomas “beau” Hayes Link posts to the Blosxom Yahoo! Group and basically asks what blosxom’s fate is. (Interestingly, I don’t know if he intentionally meant the pun by using “wither” instead of “whither.” Get it? Blosxom. Blossom. Wither. Whither. Anyway.)

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2006 Mar 9
filesystem vs RDBMS

As I mentioned previously, I find myself conflicted about having my blog posts live in a database. And, really, I don’t see that much difference between a blog post and a generic XML file. (As I mentioned, I wish I could write posts in XML.) I feel that blog posts, like generic XML, don’t map naturally to a relational database, particularly if you want to have fine-grained access to individual elements. Matt Liotta and Chris Preimesberger discuss the possible performance problems you might run into by trying to store XML in an RDBMS, and how a more elegant solution lies in native XML databases that can be queried in more natural (at least for XML) XPath and XQuery instead of SQL. As the name implies, XPath (which XQuery utilizes) has a lot in common with file-system paths. Consider that the browser’s location field is better suited to handling a file-system path than a query written in SQL (and file-system paths are in fact how most blogs are queried—whether by date or category, regardless of whether the blog engine stores posts on the filesystem or in a database.) And, especially in a shared-hosting situation, I don’t know if a database really gets you all that much more performance than simply dealing with the file-system. Then again, considering that I don’t find hierarchical categories all that useful, I don’t know if paths are all that great either, except for accessing specific elements in an XML document. Decisions, decisions.

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2006 Mar 12
fuck human nature

I am, ultimately, an idealist. However, I can understand that there are limits to trying to achieve utopia. There are physical laws—thermodynamics, relativity, quantum mechanics—that make certain things impossible. But when someone tells me that something is impossible because of the recalcitrance of human nature, I call bullshit.

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2006 Mar 12
the finest in disturbing hyperbole

From the New York Times regarding the Alan Moore, the artist of the comics from which the movie “V for Vendetta” is based:

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2006 Mar 12
stopping time

The vagaries of consciousness? Or quantum mechanical effects?

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2006 Mar 13
inanity and the needless consumption of CPU cycles

After reading these suggestions for the improvement of Mac OS X, I can’t help but think of the manager in “Fight Club” who asks “Can I get this icon in cornflower?” Cosmetic changes, while entertaining, do not an OS major revision make, and can sometimes even break it. Now I’m no Cocoa guru, but if the APIs are exposed, maybe what would be more reasonable is for someone who is not necessarily Apple write a viable Dock or Finder replacement (and at least for Finder, I believe there are already a few around, although the best ones are not free, either as in beer, or as in speech.) Why does the OS itself have to contain millions of bits and pieces that are not essential to an OS?

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2006 Mar 14
munged

Bah. Another reason why I distrust all this stuff-it-into-a-database business. On one of my last posts, I think I may have missed a closing quotation mark, or maybe a closing angle-bracket. Which will understandably make the rest of the post unreadable. Unfortunately, because I am using the built-in text-editor for Wordpress, the editor decided to url-escape everything after the mistake. While I was able to extract meaningful text from some of it, some of it simply fell into /dev/null, never to be seen again.

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2006 Mar 15
tommy’s

So I went to the new Tommy’s in San Diego on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard between the 805 and the 163. It, like the Tommy’s in Hollywood (on Hollywood Blvd.), has an indoor sit-down place to eat, unfortunately essentially resembling an In-n-Out.

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2006 Mar 16
internet explorer is an atrocity

But I think we all know this already. I was perusing an article entitled On having layout, and I am appalled by absurd inner workings of IE. Man, screw this madness. Designers should design solely for pure CSS and XHTML. There is a quote in there that I find incredibly disturbing—is this just something that folks who design for IE subscribe to, or is this philosophy applicable to software engineers who design Windows software?

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2006 Mar 16
HOWTO: create a horcrux

Now I haven’t read Harry Potter and the Half-Blooded Prince yet, but I stumbled upon the concept of the Horcrux randomly following links. The concept is familiar to any J.R.R. Tolkien fan, and clearly, there is at least one way known to create a Horcrux.

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2006 Mar 16
economic discrepancy

This article is stupid. It discusses the evolutionary advantage of a patriarchal society, with definite disregard for the value of human life. While it is true that a rapidly growing society tends to overwhelm less rapidly growing societies, this article completely disregards the reasons—both biological and economic—why population growth slows. My feeling is that the natural tendency of populations is to grow rapidly. And while we have, for the most part, in industrialized nations, made the specter of starvation less prominent (although we all know people in the U.S. who are citizens who are starving), what we have not gotten a handle on is the cost of generating children.

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2006 Mar 17
maternalistic society

I was just thinking, with regards to my post about paternalistic societies and how some people keep using word that word, and I do not think it means what they think it means. What is probably even better for Empire building is a maternalistic society.

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2006 Mar 19
music and the oddest memories

Bizarrely, as I’m trying to sew closed a gaping wound across a toe, MTV plays the following songs:

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2006 Mar 20
selling out to da man

Now, granted, a good number of my friends are artists, so that is what my ideas are informed by.

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2006 Mar 20
out of the ashes

I have always been someone who backs the underdog and have very little use for the de facto Establishment. I am, perhaps, overly idealistic and at times unreasonably dogmatic, but this instinct has driven many of my trivial and not-so-trivial decisions. For example, OS choice: so it was that I decided to run with Linux in 1998 sucked into the Open Source hype, then Mac OS X in 2002, still attached to GTK and GNOME apps. I had long grown weary of Microsoft and their works. Browser choice: I continued to use Netscape, then Mozilla, then Galeon, then Camino, eschewing the bug-laden, unfixable mess that is IE (and while IE on the Mac is much nicer than its Windows counterpart, it is now ancient) I continue to be a resolute Dodger fan, and can’t help but find the Cubs endearing. And I chose Pediatrics as my specialty, because I want to help those who can’t help themselves—that is the nature of children, for one thing, and I feel that pediatricians tend to work more with underserved populations: minorities, immigrants, the undocumented.

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2006 Mar 21
web 2.0 and server-based applications

Shel Israel asks a very Zen-like question: what is web 2.0? I don’t know, but that’s my personal definition of web 2.0: server-based applications, which Steve Yegge briefly discusses in his article discussing programming language choice and Paul Graham mentions (in 2001, mind you!) in his article discussing programming language popularity.

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2006 Mar 21
how far can a people be pushed?

Issa reminds me about Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom I actually randomly met in the U.S. when she was still a Senator, trying to push extraordinarily broad suffrage—where even Filipino Americans who have long been U.S. citizens would be allowed to vote. I remember parts of an interesting conversation with her daughter, which would be quite typical amongst people in their late teens, but which has interesting undertones in someone involved in politics, in fact, whose family has been a political dynasty. (Like George W Bush, GMA is the daughter of a former president.) We were discussing how it is that our parents have so much say in our destiny when it comes to choosing what we end up doing in our lives. In my own case, for example, it is no accident that I ended up in health care. Both my parents are in health care, and so are almost all of my aunts. I swear it wasn’t until I was almost in college that I realized that there were other careers available out there in the world. But I wonder about what that means for someone who is part of a political family. Do you feel inexorably driven to do the same, to seek the power and the responsibility of leading?

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2006 Mar 23
desperation and despair

Reading random blog posts, I find this sentence incredibly sad:

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2006 Mar 24
ladyhawke

Watching this on cable right now. The soundtrack is awesome. It sounds like a cRPG soundtrack, like an early Final Fantasy. I dig the electronic underpinnings that, while echoing the disco feel carried out of the ‘70’s into the early ‘80’s, also reminds me of the sound chips of the early microcomputers/personal computers like the SID chip of the Commodore 64 and the more primitive sound generators found in other 8-bit classic machines like the Atari 400, the Apple IIc, and the Nintendo Entertainment System.

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2006 Mar 25
blosxom and XSLT

My dream (heh, that sounds really bizarre and grandiose but there it is) is to write a blogging engine that is centered around entries written in a custom XML language and transforming it to XHTML and RSS via XSLT. The only real reason I’d like to do this is because I spent an awful amount of time learning XML and XSLT back in the day and I think it would let me do things that I otherwise am not able to do easily without massive amounts of perl kludgery.

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2006 Mar 26
the sin of pride

I was walking through the Science Fiction and Fantasy section of the Borders in Glendale when a totally random thought occurred to me. I think what brought it to my mind is the question: what is the cause of evil? I was flipping through random fantasy novels where characters are neatly pigeon-holed into Good or Evil, and clearly in the real world nothing is that obvious.

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2006 Mar 31
the long march

Now I know that there are plenty of months that have 31 days in them, but for some reason, March seemed unbearably long. I don’t know if it’s simply the fact that it’s Lent and like the good brainwashed Catholic that I am, I feel like I’ve been sent into exile to the Desert, bandying words with the Devil himself.

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2006 Mar 31
god’s role in this debacle

I have been thinking about God a lot lately. Which is interesting because I have been experiencing a severe crisis of faith for the past five years at least, and it has only become worse and worse and worse, to the point where I have considered becoming completely atheist.

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April

2006 Apr 1
over and over

Days like this I feel like I am trapped in some kind of existential loop, a laGroundhog Day,” forced to live and relive excruciatingly painful parts of my life. I suppose it is simply the fact that I really haven’t learned any of the lessons I was supposed to have learned, so I haven’t really learned to avoid these situations that make me want to weep, and maybe even sometimes writhe in agony.

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2006 Apr 2
it’s a trap!

Here I am pondering the chances of actually breaking out of the Black Iron Prison when I am reminded of a quote by Douglas Adams, author of the cult classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (who by the way was an atheist and is a big influence on my philosophies regarding the universe):

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2006 Apr 4
on the nature of loneliness

In the sad, sorry state that I am currently in, I can’t help but wonder if loneliness is in fact a cumulative thing.

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2006 Apr 7
rabbit holes (a tale that's been told over and over)

I finished rereading Memory, Thorn, and Sorrow by Tad Williams, which has been (like many other fantasy novels such as The Sword of Shannara and The Wheel of Time series) compared much to The Lord of the Rings. While there exists much older literature that could considered fantasy (for example, The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser written in the 16th century), I believe that it was Tolkien that allowed booksellers to actually have an entire marketing category devoted to such stuff.

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2006 Apr 7
on the nature of fear

I think I just realized that it’s not the loneliness itself that’s getting me down. It’s the fact that I’m starting to dread the future. I can’t get rid of this idea that I’m on this doomed path that’s leading to nowhere, and that things are at best going to remain forever unchanged and unchanging until I die, but more likely, things are going to get worse.

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2006 Apr 8
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds

Watching the Disney redub on the Cartoon Network right now. I still think it’s pretty cool. The first time I watched it was as a fansub in 1999, I think. I don’t know if being in the original Japanese makes it just seem more epic or something, although at least the Disney version doesn’t have any cuts like the first dubbed version which most Miyazaki fans find completely abhorrent.

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2006 Apr 9
dark elves and sithi

Just pondering Memory, Thorn, and Sorrow still. I think I thought this the first time I read it, and I’m not usually the gushy, romantic type, but I think the thing that sticks the most with me is the relationship between Simon and Miriamele and how painstaking Tad Williams actually fleshed out its nuances. I think my most favorite scenes are when Simon and Miriamele head out on there own to return to the Hayholt in their bid to try to stop the Storm King and to prevent the End of the World, and they have to seek shelter in people’s abandoned houses, and I was struck especially by the scene where she is doing common, domestic things that you wouldn’t expect a princess to know how to do (not that I’m suggesting that that’s women ought to do)—there is a sort-of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves quality to it. I guess the mundanity of it all really struck me, and how what moved that section of the plot along was the developing romance between the two characters. For some reason, these scenes actually seem to capture the sense of Home for me (which also happens to be a major theme in this book.) Whereas Tolkien touches upon the fact that “you can never really go home again,” particularly when he turns the Shire into a totalitarian state, Williams reiterates the (admittedly disgustingly trite) idea that “home is where the heart is,” which may or may not actually represent an physical place. In retrospect, I suppose maybe Tad Williams had the same idea that I did when I read Book IV and VI of LotR: how different the scenes would’ve been if Frodo and Sam weren’t both male (or, I suppose, alternately, how different it would’ve been if J.R.R. Tolkien wasn’t an old school Catholic and had tried to tap the homoerotic side of it all) and indeed I do find it very touching.

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2006 Apr 10
random thought

OK, I admit it. I’m weird. But I’ve been reading up on the Roman Empire lately for no good reason. (Maybe it’s because it’s Holy Week, and I’ve been thinking about Rome and it’s relationship to Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism.) And you know that saying, “All roads lead to Rome”? Well, with all the driving I’ve done this week going home and back, I’ve realized that all freeways lead to Los Angeles.

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2006 Apr 11
whenever i feel terrible

…and I don’t want to face the world, I am reminded of this conversation from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”:

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2006 Apr 21
meaning (and the lack thereof)

So I should know better than to write when I am intoxicated, but I don’t know, I’m overcome once again by this sense of numbness. What does any of this matter?

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2006 Apr 23
waste

I foolishly decided to take a nap at 6:45 p.m., but my alarm failed to go off, so I didn’t wake up until 10:30 p.m., which is a shame, because I had intended to go to the bookstore. Ah well.

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2006 Apr 24
northbound on the I-5

As I was driving to work this morning, I thought about how it’s been a while since I’ve been up to the Bay Area and how long it’s been since I’ve seen my friends from college. Immersed in this reverie, I almost passed my exit, and I thought about just driving all the way up the I-5, past L.A., down into the Central Valley, out to the Bay.

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2006 Apr 26
from the ground up

On one of my therapeutic albeit expensive trips to the bookstore, I was arrested by a book entitled Undoing Depression. What I found unique (in comparison to the many books about depression that I have browsed through) is that the author writes as someone who simultaneously helps other people with their depression, being a psychologist. At the same time, he is dealing with his own problem. He is a fellow sufferer, and yet he does have some practical suggestions that might help. It’s a lot more cheering than various books that describe the author’s depression simply from the point-of-view of suffering (and on occasion, overcoming it.) Mainly, this is because the author has the other perspective of taking care of people who are depressed. And it works better than all those books written by people who may never have been depressed. While they say things that are really no different than what the author of this book says, the fact that they don’t identify as a sufferer of depression makes it, I think, harder to swallow. But maybe that’s just me.

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2006 Apr 27
random links

I am randomly scouring the net. You’d think that using del.icio.us would satisfy my need to bookmark random sites that I will likely never visit again (a technology that I wish had been available when Netscape had first come out—you should’ve seen the madness of my humongous bookmark file.) Alas, that is not to be. Of course, a sideblog would probably work better, but, I’m too lazy to write code right now.

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2006 Apr 27
pretty colors

This quiz reminds me of one I took a while ago which now apparently defunct.

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2006 Apr 28
words and nothing more

I am reading a book whose main character is a linguist, so I can’t help but ponder the use of words. What is language for, really? If not for connection?

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2006 Apr 28
words continued

I find it amusing and disturbing that China Miéville repeatedly uses the words “judder,” “nacre,” and “moil,” to name a few.

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2006 Apr 28
crisis energy and the continued expansion of the universe

One of the concepts in Perdido Street Station is “crisis energy.” From what I understand, it is a magical energy created from crisis situations that ends up acting in opposition to what seems inevitable. For example, one of the possible applications discussed in the book is the act of flying. Let’s say you cast yourself aloft by throwing yourself off a balcony. If you have a crisis energy engine, the impending catastrophe of splattering on the street below ends up propelling you upward instead. The higher you go, the more catastrophic your plunge downward would be, the more crisis energy is generated.

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2006 Apr 30
inspiration

Three things today:

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May

2006 May 3
personality tests revisited

(Inspired by my cousin J)

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2006 May 7
bed-ridden for science

Once upon a time, I randomly blogged about NASA’s study about the effects of prolonged bedrest, something I would’ve totally participated in if I hadn’t been in med school at the time, but apparently one of the test subjects has her own blog.

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2006 May 12
diffusion

I’ve thought once or twice about how pretentious it is to quote yourself, but I like these paragraphs I wrote a few years back:

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2006 May 13
the journey not taken

let this not end, I thought to myself
as the children yawned
and the conversation died
and I thought of the moon
shining only because of reflected sunlight
otherwise it is a dark, lifeless place

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2006 May 14
an even more perfect sunrise

So, yeah, I clearly have my issues with regards to how things in the past have (and, more relevant) have not gone. I mean, we’re talking a good eight or nine years now of what-never-was and what-cannot-be, and I really can’t think about these things without getting disordered. Er, more disordered than I already am.

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2006 May 15
in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end was the word

Ursula K. Le Guin, in her fantasy world of Earthsea, comes up with a brilliant system of magic, one predicated on, essentially, words.

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2006 May 15
impossibilities: imagine this kind of society

I just thought about an imaginary society that decided that it was a bad idea for the wealthy to become powerful, and for the powerful to become wealthy. I think this idea came forth when I heard how former Governor Jerry Brown (now mayor of Oakland) was decried as a hippy for not wanting to live in a mansion and not wanting to drive an expensive car.

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2006 May 15
marxian crisis energy against orwellian global capitalism

Before I completely lose sight of this thought, I wanted to talk about this post on crisis theory and this post on the world of 1984. I think crisis theory does make useful analogic predictions about the future. (OK, I don’t for a moment purport to truly understand crisis theory, but I think I have some gist of it.)

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2006 May 16
drive-by blogging: trains in literary naturalism and in weird fiction

Odd that parts of The Octopus by Frank Norris (sighted on makeweight) makes me think immediately of The Iron Council by China Miéville, although I suppose this is not surprising considering Miéville’s political sympathies and literary background.

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2006 May 16
the metropole-province axis

Another concept that definitely informed my conception of the imaginary city of Cantral Araban is the metropole-province axis, which is basically the dialectic between the central city of a region and the surrounding countryside. This dialectic is especially characteristic of ex-colonies. I learned about this paradigm from Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson, which was one of the required texts in the Southeast Asian Studies survey class I took as an undergrad, and analyzing Manila through this particular lens was very enlightening.

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2006 May 20
i was less anxious when i was nihilistic

In the aftermath of September 11, I actually don’t think I was as afraid of world destruction as I was when the Cold War was still going on. I remember having recurring nightmares about nuclear holocaust. What has especially haunted me since I was a little kid is that image of Hiroshima where people’s shadows were blasted permanently into the walls, the only thing really left of them. It gives me the willies.

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2006 May 21
what if the savior were a woman?

I just watched “The Da Vinci Code” and while the idea that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married or at least were lovers is a popular one that has made it to the big screen on more than one occasion, it made me think of another unorthodox (and actually quite heretical) idea that I remember hearing sometime ago (although for the life of me I can’t find it on Google.)

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2006 May 22
the line between “different” and “truly abnormal”

I don’t know why I’m thinking about this now. I suppose I am reacting mostly to this blog entry by a 4th year medical student somewhere out in the Midwest discussing his current situation vis-a-vis women (in general, as a demographic constituency, rather than specifically.)

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2006 May 23
when the evening falls

The problem with all this is that all good things must come to an end. At least for me. I feel like for normal, well adjusted souls, they are able to weather the changing tide. Me, I get sucked into the riptide, then spat up again onto the rocky, unforgiving beach.

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2006 May 23
zero sum

I don’t know. Maybe I just like misery. Lest my last post mislead you, nothing terrible is happening right now. It’s just this feeling of evanescence that is haunting me. I’m too content these days, and I worry that there’s something horrific awaiting me in the days to come.

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2006 May 23
time travel

The possibility of time travel is actually still an open question. There is nothing in Einstein’s theory of Relativity that prevents it from happening, although the conditions that would be required to allow it to happen seem pretty insurmountable. (For example, you would need a rotating universe, or a nearby cosmic string, or some exotic material that exerts anti-gravity which could keep a wormhole conduit stable and open, none of which are within the technological abilities of humanity at this time.) Still, I am hopeful.

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2006 May 24
there is no suffering without desire

I ran across this phrase on a random blog, and this phrase happens to be a major tenet of Buddhism. I have waxed philosophically much about the Art of Not Wanting and it is such a tricky thing. As I’ve noted, this particular state of bliss has nothing to do with the avolitional state which undergirds atypical depression and schizophrenia. Instead of a lack, an emptiness, the Art of Not Wanting is a sense of completion.

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2006 May 24
normalcy (whatever that means)

Despite my rhetoric of never wanting to fit in, of always wanting to be strikingly unique, of striving to stand out, to make my own unique mark on the world, I am burdened by evolutionary baggage. Like it or not, human beings long to belong. To be one of the tribe.

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2006 May 24
thrust out in the spotlight (this is blogorrhea)

I don't know why I worry so much about things that haven't happened yet, and aren't going to happen any time soon. It's not like I can do anything now to mitigate whatever will happen.

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2006 May 25
twisting paths

a vision as I stare into the western sky
clouds looming up like a great wall
impenetrable marking the boundary between
the land—what must be
and
the sea—what is possible

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2006 May 26
may, might, shoulda, coulda

I think I probably wrote this somewhere else before, but I always find the month of May filled with possibilities. I have always identified it with the end of the academic year, with graduations, with confirmations, with Pentecost. The point of transition, the time when the old order slows down, and the hint of new beginnings tantalizes.

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2006 May 26
self-sufficient

I hope against all hope that I remember this simple fact the next time I am faced with extreme crisis.

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2006 May 27
mine, and mine alone

In this tired hour
of spent beer cans
and cigarette butts
the chewed ragged ends of
hoping for some sort of change
waiting for the winds
to turn aside the drifting course of the clouds
for the sun to shine forth

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2006 May 27
radiohead saved my life

I am currently watching Showtime where they have Radiohead in concert (2004), and I am amazed at how the first few chords and guitar strums of their songs can evoke such vivid memories and even bring a smile to my face.

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2006 May 28
apologia for the art of not wanting

I understand I’s point about the Art of Not Wanting smacking of rationalization and sophistry, but I think there is some profound truthfullness to the Art. One, there is the fact that it is one of the central tenets of Buddhism—without desire, there is no suffering. Two, it also ungirds much of the philosophy of Taoism—desire can only lead to imbalance, but desire is unnecessary because all that you need has already been provided for. The Way is all you need. (I find it interesting that Jesus Christ sometimes refers to himself as the Way.)

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2006 May 28
the undercity

Watching “Batman Begins” I am reminded of what struck me first about Chicago in 1998 (never knowing that I was actually end up there for a substantial portion of my life. Also interesting that they chose Chicago instead of NYC for their depiction of Gotham.) It’s the lower level of the city, reserved for truck shipments and serving as a quasi-expressway leading into the Loop. For the longest time, it was a haunted appearing place, since the intersection of Lower Wacker Dr and Lower Michigan Ave had been dismantled, in the process of retrofit. It reminded of the section of Midgar (from Final Fantasy VII) which lay completely underneath the “Plate,” which is the upscale downtown district overlying the slums.

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2006 May 30
the senselessness of radical intentionality

There is a meme floating about on the blogosphere that illustrates the stupidity of Jeff Goldstein AKA Protein Wisdom (Thersites also joins the fray.)

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2006 May 30
power that is not force

I am rereading Ursula K Le Guin’s rendition of the Tao Te Ching and come across a wonderful phrase: power that is not force.

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2006 May 31
the universal solvent

It’s amazing how much more relaxed you can feel after downing enough tequila amongst friends while watching the sunset at a bar overlooking the ocean. Life has been good. I wish I didn’t have to go back to an 80 hour work week come Friday.

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2006 May 31
intention is only a subset of meaning

This is extremely useful in post-colonial theory, because most of the literature examined in the neo-colonial era is fraught with racist and nationalistic assumptions that white writers assume their white readers already know, but which often times will be completely alien to anyone else. We are not just talking about the fraying of meaning under the lens of multiculturalism, however. The fact of the matter is that convention is completely arbitrary, and deconstruction tries to make what is unspoken explicit.

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June

2006 Jun 3
portents

What is the most likely explanation is that the only thing I've had to eat (at least since 11 a.m.) is practically pure unadulterated sugar. Never underestimate the fact that sugar is actually quite a potent psychotropic agent.

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2006 Jun 4
deconstruction and democracy

Yes, I agree, it’s a little too facile to connect the stance of eminent intentionality with fascism, but I look at eminent intentionality as the antithesis of deconstruction, the bread and butter of post-modernist and post-colonial literary criticism.

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2006 Jun 5
forgiveness is not forgetting

I was inspired by this meditation on racism, which describes the well known evils of over-generalization.

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2006 Jun 5
intuition ain’t all it’s cracked up to be

I wonder if maybe the main reason why guys don’t listen to their sixth sense is the fact that most of the time it tells us completely freaky stuff over which we have no control over.

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2006 Jun 5
less portentious than that

OK, I didn’t mean to make my last post sound ominous. Maybe it’s because tomorrow is June 6. (You know, 6/6/06. I don’t think the Devil really gives a damn about the vagaries of the Julian and Gregorian calendars, so it probably doesn’t have any significance to him, although it may very well have significance to some Satanist or nihilistic terrorists a la Columbine.)

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2006 Jun 8
the quest for water

I have developed the habit of coming home from work and making a beeline to my bed. I seem to be running out of gas much too early these days.

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2006 Jun 9
never had a dream come true

Yes, I realize that this is the title of a cheesy pop song by S Club 7, of which I have disgracefully written about quite a few times before.

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2006 Jun 9
magic/imagination

I’m too lazy to look it up, but I can’t help but feel that there is some cognate root shared by these two words.

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2006 Jun 11
meditation on inadequacy

I find it interesting that my mind is unable to remodel the emotional trajectory of my life through at least the last 10-15 years. I remember being someone who was a perfectionist, inordinably hard on myself, always thinking that I was a failure, that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t smart enough, that I’d never succeed. I recognize that a lot of this was in response to a mother who was excruciatingly demanding, who couldn’t stand things being done in any other way than her own, and who would just do things for me instead letting me do things my own way.

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2006 Jun 12
utang na loob

I always forget whether it’s na or ng. I have this propensity for tacking on unnecessary -ng enclitics and eliding necessary ones. My cousins in the Philippines always find my mangled Tagalog highly entertaining.

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2006 Jun 12
giggles

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2006 Jun 13
sunset over the sea

This was one of those days that I wish I could bottle up and save for when times get bad. With my iPod as my personal soundtrack, I felt unstoppable. There were moments of such heartbreaking beauty that I felt that I could die.

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2006 Jun 21
summertime

The sun stands still for the longest day of the year, and I can’t help but pause and reflect. There are less than 90 days before I turn 30, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I need a long-term plan.

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2006 Jun 23
purpose (portentiousness on a friday night)

Now my philosophical and spiritual beliefs have been very murky these past years, ever since I found myself entangled within a crisis of faith. On one extreme, I do often feel that we live in an uncaring universe, on an ill-regarded planet, orbiting an unremarkable sun. We are victims of chance, the end results of a trillion, trillion, trillion dice rolls, random points along the lines that form the trajectory of the quadrillion, quadrillion particles spewed out from the Big Bang.

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2006 Jun 24
simple pleasures, small magics

Before work today, one of my chief residents was on one of the alternative music stations in town, which was bizarre and very cool. She won an hour to guest DJ and she broadcast her own playlist.

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2006 Jun 24
songs for another journey on my own

I immediately hearken to “10:15 Saturday Night” by The Cure, although I’ve long stopped waiting for the telephone to ring. It seems that that long, dark tea-time of the soul hits me long before Sunday, and it’s kind of sad that I’ve forgotten how to enjoy a weekend on my own.

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2006 Jun 27
one perfect sunrise

The irony is that I am always looking for the sun precisely where it is not.

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2006 Jun 28
last words for a long, hard day

Oh. so. tired.

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July

2006 Jul 1
dc universe

Just watched “Superman Returns” with my brother and my dad yesterday and I find it bizarre that the city of Metropolis is New York City (while Gotham City is depicted as Chicago.) I found the Messianic allusions a little disturbing (although more sincere than most of the insanity spouted off by Christian fundamentalists) <rant style="post-modernist post-colonialist" method="deconstruction" tone="hyperbolic ironic">What person-of-color would feel comfortable with their savior depicted as a square-jawed, blue-eyed, tall, and muscular specimen of the Aryan race, who is omnipotent and all-seeing? (At least the bad guys aren’t homogenously depicted as blacks and Chicano/Latino.)</rant>

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2006 Jul 9
consolation

I am trying to trace down the etymology of the word “consolation,” wondering if it is necessarily related to “isolation.” Alas, there are no clear answers, but are there ever?

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2006 Jul 10
self-annihilation is painless

Nothing like Radiohead to give you a sense of futility and meaninglessness.

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2006 Jul 12
saving the imaginary world

There is a city I dream of repeatedly that I believe is supposed to be somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, either in the U.S. or in Canada. The first time I dreamt about it, I thought that it was Seattle, although most of its features don’t at all correspond to what little I know of Seattle, and it doesn’t match with Vancouver either. The dream I had last night seemed to associate it with Calgary, but this is clearly wrong since it is not on the ocean, nor is it near any other bodies of water.

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2006 Jul 15
old is not up

The funny thing is that, despite my lack of organization, despite my disdain of long-term plans and schedules, my dislike of homogenous order, my claustrophobia in the face of structure, I am, deep-down inside, a control freak.

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2006 Jul 21
the conservation of mass and energy (a counterpoint to “donnie darko”)

Excerpt from Encyclopedia Mechanica Temporis (18th edition):

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2006 Jul 23
return of saturn and other miscellany

This particular existential crisis all began over dinner at Tantra in Silver Lake. (Tantra is this hip quasi-Indian restaurant with excellent hipster ambience, which I enjoy in this snide, ironic, too-cool-for-this sort of way.) Joce was in town very briefly—I hadn’t seen her since my (naturally) ill-planned trip to the Big Apple some nine months ago. Joce was the de facto leader of our little clique back in college, and we all had some interesting adventures way back when. Chriscelle, another of my friends from college who is actually the one that I’ve known the longest, came out as well. I haven’t seen her since December. (I am a terrible friend.) She had recently started dating some guy, and somehow, the talk turned to my social life (or the lack thereof.)

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2006 Jul 24
diametrically opposed beliefs

I recall a quote from F Scott Fitzgerald: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” There is coda to this quote that is often ignored, but unfortunately I’m too lazy to look it up. I’m fairly certain that it has something to do with brain damage, though.

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2006 Jul 27
falling from grace

spun like fine threads
of fraying axons clasping like hands upon
curled, crackly dendrites
like a mad forest of electrical wiring
exploding in a kind of chemical glee

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2006 Jul 28
no man is an island

I think back upon this past spring, when my world contracted upon itself, and I couldn’t keep the darkness back, and how all I could do was hang on and hide in my cocoon.

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2006 Jul 28
hope, and force of will

The problem with me is that as soon as the going gets tough, I start having serious self-doubt. Now, granted, there are a lot of things in life that I am bad at (normal human socialization being one of them), but for the most part, I hold up the illusion of being a functional member of society pretty well. Sure, as soon as the shit hits the fan, I typically want to hide under my bed and cry, but luckily I’m a masochist, and tend to take fallout head-on, right in the kisser.

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2006 Jul 28
spin

dreaming
wheel of fire
blue green white
the twisting paths of sunlight
beams of starlight glinting across the warp and weave
of cosmic strings and singularities
mathematical catastrophes
eternal darkness

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2006 Jul 29
final sky

I am singular
in this effervescing madness of destiny
swirling, quantum foam roiling
madness seeking
I am dreaming again
facing the finality of these decisions
made smeared across time, indistinct
and indefinable

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2006 Jul 31
insomnia again

Another month gone, and we enter the final full month of summer, and I can’t help but wonder where my peace and clarity has gone. A month ago, you would not find me in this state, longing for things that cannot possibly be, pining and hopeless.

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August

2006 Aug 1
a meditation on why things fall apart

After work today, I went to the Coffee Bean to get some caffeine because of my impending caffeine-withdrawal headache. I basically spent the time sipping on my ice-blended caffeine drink and scrawling depressing passages into my notebook. Man, I’m on fire these days.

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2006 Aug 1
mistakes have been made

What I probably shouldn’t have done was drink three shots of espresso in addition to the Extreme Black Forest ice-blended caffeinated drink from Coffee Bean. This makes it highly unlikely that I will be sleeping any time within the next twelve hours.

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2006 Aug 1
sleep continues to elude me

Man, all that caffeine was a serious mistake.

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2006 Aug 2
in complete disarray

I guess I need to start entertaining the possibility that I may very well be going insane.

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2006 Aug 2
cultivating stillness: the art of not wanting revisited

I stumbled upon this book entitled Cultivating Stillness in the Eastern Religions section of Borders and immediately felt peace descend upon me before I even opened it up. It is a Taoist text, but with a little more mysticism about it.

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2006 Aug 2
oh god. morning

My brain is on fire.

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2006 Aug 3
perdido

the lost one
wandering down the shadowed path
2 days since I’d seen the sun
panic, and then
peace

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2006 Aug 4
radiohead “street spirit (fade out)”

This song just lacerates my soul. It is the epitome of the anomie of post-modern existence. We are force fed lies, sanitized versions of tragedy, white-washed and censored versions of obscene truths, and we are made to choose between two different, polarized existences. Either you accept all the bullshit as fact, live your happy-go-lucky senseless life as a consumer of goods, or as cannon fodder for the state, nothing more than a replaceable cog in the machine, or you refuse to bow down, and earn ostracization or excommunication, indeed forcing you to fade-out from the consensual hallucination known as Reality™.

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2006 Aug 4
overcaffeinated

Don’t ask me why. I decided to drink a four pack of Red Bull. Hence, I am finding it extremely difficult to sleep.

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2006 Aug 5
rite of renewal

What I have forgotten is how important it is to actually go in the water when you go to the beach.1,2 I haven’t gone in the water for three years, ever since that time I went by myself to Puerco Beach and let the massive waves pummel me, leaving me gasping and breathless. Contemplating the infinite ocean and its instrinsic power just seems to put everything into perspective. I guess I’ll figure out all this bullshit someday, even though that day is not likely to be today.

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2006 Aug 5
dance of the macabre: is it cause or is it effect?

As I sit here typing this early morning—it’s just me and my ever-faithful dog awake—I think I’ve figured out one of the key components of my ongoing depression. The fact of the matter is that I don’t have much hope for the future. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all the fucked up shit going on in America today—the country that I live in seems to be the greatest force of evil these days.

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2006 Aug 6
seven years (not in tibet)

(I was thinking of the city of Lhasa this morning as I contemplated my dog, who is a Lhasa Apso-something else. I also thought of the cheery thought my sister shared with me a while ago: you know how we’re fighting wars for oil these days? She predicts that the next natural resource we’ll be fighting wars for will be water. Specifically, as the Himalayan snowpack starts to melt because of global warming, India and China will be forced into a standoff over water rights. I also think that contention over water rights will be the single most important factor driving the politics of California in the next few years. But that is neither here nor there.)

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2006 Aug 6
ipod randomness

Making that familiar drive back down to San Diego, I found myself in a very sullen, sulky, and brooding mood. Maybe it’s just the fact that I have to go to work tomorrow. Back to reality, I guess. No use crying over impossibilities.

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2006 Aug 8
opening a random box of memories

It’s the little things that I remember with the greatest poignancy, most of them existing only in my mind. She would likely be shocked and disturbed by things running through my crazed brain.

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2006 Aug 8
severe brain damage

I don’t know why, but I’ve dreamt of my ex lately. Nothing disturbing, just brief snippets and vignettes.

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2006 Aug 9
ephemerality of happiness

My closest friends always admonish me that I think way too much, which is most certainly true. If I had the knack for shutting off my brain at least partially, I would probably enjoy life a whole hell of a lot more. Unfortunately, when I give it a try, it seems like my brain shuts off completely, and a lot of untoward and sometimes disastrous things tend to happen.

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2006 Aug 11
self-improvement is masturbation

Neuron by neuron, we are taking the centers out. What I would give to have this as permanent, this not giving a shit about the world. OK, maybe I exaggerate. Even as drunk as I am, I have misgivings.

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2006 Aug 12
weddings and funerals

One of my cousins whom I grew up with just got married today, and I remember sort of zoning out, thinking about the possibility of someday getting married, which I find utterly ridiculous since I’m not in a relationship.

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2006 Aug 14
can't stop the blogging

I guess I’m addicted. I told myself that I would stop blogging, that all I’ve been spewing is angst, guilt-ridden, self-pitying, depressing, angst, and no one wants to hear it.

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2006 Aug 14
skye edwards "stop complaining"

I don’t know why
but I cant seem to find the right melody today
I can’t make the words fit how I feel
I don’t know when
was the last time that I slept the whole night through
and when morning comes around I feel tired

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2006 Aug 14
"starlight" by muse

This song reminds me of this poem

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2006 Aug 14
hopeless

I feel so fucking hopeless.

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2006 Aug 15
ten trillion ideas

I feel like I’m completely losing my mind. There are like ten trillion ideas whizzing around my brain. This can’t be good for me.

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2006 Aug 15
running away at first sight

The real reason I grew confused and insane is that I realized that I still like someone else a lot, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. (And this is probably unwise and stupid to post here, but I really don’t care anymore. I’m like a tagger with a spraypaint can, leaving “Kilroy was here” all over the place, like a dog pissing on trees. If you can figure out who I am, and who I’m talking about, well, good for you, it doesn’t change a goddamn thing.)

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2006 Aug 16
attack of the past ten years

What sucks is that I can’t do this vacation thing at all. I can’t fucking relax. It’s like all of the sudden all the thoughts and feelings I’ve been avoiding for the past ten years or so have come out to attack me.

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2006 Aug 16
jumping, jumping

Maybe I have a problem. I like to joke that no one really leaves Berkeley without a substance problem.

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2006 Aug 16
hypomania

Bleh, this beta version of Blogger is eating my posts. This sucks.

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2006 Aug 16
muse "starlight"

Let’s see if Blogger eats my post again.

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2006 Aug 23
demarcation is futile

I’ve been experimenting with other blog engines, namely, Blogger and Typo. I really dig Typo, but unfortunately, I can’t get it to run on my Dreamhost account. There are instructions on how to get it to work but the code gods are not with me, I guess. And since today is my last day of vacation, it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll get it running any time soon.

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2006 Aug 29
dreamtime

There seems to be this alternate reality that I keep coming back to in my dreams. There is a transportation plaza in a place that makes me think of Pasadena, except it really seems to be the civic center of an alternate Southern California. There are several mass transit lines that meet here: blue, red, yellow, orange, and green. There is also a shopping mall with extensive underground parking. The blue line can get you to the airport and to the ocean, ending in a seaside town that should be San Pedro, except it is much more tourist oriented, complete with villas and white sand beaches. The yellow line takes you to the downtown of this place which, for the lack of a better name, I have dubbed Todos Santos. This downtown area is sort of a mish-mash of Universal Citywalk, Old Pasadena, and Disneyland. The red line will take you to a bohemian/rapidly gentrifying/hipster-infested neighborhood that actually kind of reminds me of Wicker Park, but which will also take you to a shopping district that reminds me of Sunset Blvd in Echo Park, except with taller buildings. The green line, in one of the dreams I had, was what I was waiting for get home (whereever that is in this dream world of mine) and the actual platform is separated from the other ones, and it’s not always open. (The red, blue, and yellow lines share the same platform; the orange line is accessible by climbing a faux-Spanish era tower.) The orange line climbs a huge hill and ends up in an area that reminds me simultaneously of New York City and San Diego. (Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.) It also takes you to an area that sort of reminds me of Michigan Avenue combined with Berkeley (Scary thought, huh?) There is a university campus there that sort of reminds me of a gigantic version of my high school.

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September

2006 Sep 1
confusing the sacred with the profane

So maybe all Republicans aren’t religious fundamentalists, but I kind of wonder if there isn’t some sort of congruence between the two mind sets—namely, the kind of ignorance and stupidity that makes you so sure that what you know is absolutely right and anyone that disagrees with you is absolutely wrong.

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2006 Sep 1
simple pleasures revisited

I was lying in bed, warm and comfortable, except somehow I had lost my pillow, and I thought I should just go to sleep and find it when I wasn’t so tired, but then I quickly found it to the side of my bed.

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2006 Sep 3
fearing tomorrow

I don’t know if there was ever a time when I looked forward to the future. Some of this is probably depression clouding my mind, by I remember quite early on in my life that I was afraid of building for the future. As early as elementary school, I was always afraid that Reagan would press the shiny red button and effectively erase history, but somehow, it never happened. Among other things, I am afraid of falling in love, because love can always be lost. I am afraid of bringing a child into this world, because the world is such a fucked up place run by clearly evil human beings. I am afraid of trying to succeed, because there are always fuckwits out there who have nothing better to do than to see you fall on your ass, and point and laugh. And I am afraid of trying to succeed, because, ultimately, human beings tend to be selfish, and however noble my intentions are, they will likely fuck someone else’s life up, and the only rational thing for them to do is oppose me.

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2006 Sep 4
envy

I stopped to think about all the people I know who are married or are in fulfilling romantic relationships, and I realize that I’m jealous, but what are you gonna do. If it’s not going to happen, it’s not going to happen, and I’ll slog on by my lonesome, trying to keep fighting the good fight.

2006 Sep 4
trying to snap out of it

The thing that I’ve been mulling over is the fact that there have been so many Septembers in the past where I’ve been ever hopeful, with the intent of making a change in my life. And while I know it would be hard to convince many of you, there have been times that I’ve actually acted upon this impulse, only to be rebuffed, or even worse, only to be faced with puzzled indifference.

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2006 Sep 4
perpetually courting disaster

The idea was that I was actually going to sleep early today, but somehow that failed to happen. I’m going to try yet again to wake up in time for work, although I’m not all that hopeful.

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2006 Sep 7
no one is useless

If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning. — Catherine Aird

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2006 Sep 9
maybe i’m a mutant

Beast

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2006 Sep 9
last days of summer

There are approximately 3 days, give or take, until I turn 30, and I’ve basically hunkered down and accepted the inevitable. My life will not be visibly different in any way, no major milestones will be reached. It will just be another godforsaken Wednesday that will blow by faster than I can think.

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2006 Sep 11
it’s time to move on

It’s natural to look back, I suppose. We are the stories that we tell, after all. But the beatification and fetishization of this particular day by the media—blogs included—is kind of disgusting.

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2006 Sep 12
the last few moments of this particular age

So here I am, the last hours of my 20s, and there are no answers, really.

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2006 Sep 21
the last days of summer

I can taste autumn in the air. Septembers have always been bittersweet. Since I turned 30, I haven’t really had much of a chance to reflect, although I find that regret frequently colors my reminiscences.

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2006 Sep 22
always crashing

I was happy for about 15 minutes when for some reason the dark clouds of despair overcame me, leaving me a little pissed off, and very bitter.

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2006 Sep 23
reading the paper on a saturday morning

On some Saturdays, I head out to the Mission Cafe in North Park before it gets overly crowded and buy myself an L.A. Times (because, frankly, the San Diego Union-Tribune is not fit to wipe my ass with.) On the front page, I found two rather depressing stories: (1) the beleaguered Charles Drew/Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center in South Central L.A. has failed a “make it or break it” federal inspection, thereby losing funding from CMS and (2) this character piece about a guy named Ronnie Wise who has been fighting illiteracy in the Mississippi delta for the past 30 years in the face of institutionalized racism, uncaring politicians, arsonists, and weather, and who has decided to retire early.

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2006 Sep 23
coding, practicing medicine, and a brief word on blogorrhea

I stumbled upon this blog post about how most of the time spent developing code is actually spent rewriting rather than actually writing, which actually fits the aphorism about how most of writing in general is rewriting. But the thing that he discusses is that this is a function of the fact that most developers can’t immediately grok what code is supposed to do just by reading it, and a lot of them end up trying to rewrite what has already been written, which, in my estimation, is a glorious waste of time.

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2006 Sep 24
equinox

Summer is officially over (despite the fact that today’s high was 76°F and I went out in shorts and flip-flops) and I can’t help but wonder where all the time went. Of course, I don’t know if it’s an artifact of getting old, but it also seems like it’s about a decade since it was June. (Yeah, I’ve been noticing this strange paradox ever since I started residency. The recent past seems simultaneously like it was just yesterday, and like it was 100 years ago. Go figure.)

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2006 Sep 24
capriciousness of chance

So Mireya1 actually called me back and like a fool, I said, no, I can’t go out tonight. Stupid.

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2006 Sep 25
time

It’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep. I’m not feeling well, physically speaking.

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2006 Sep 28
starlight (continually redshifted)

gonna buy me a spaceship
powered by dark energy
take me to the outermost reaches
forever chasing infinity

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2006 Sep 29
coastline by moonlight

In this shadowed hour, I find myself contemplating the nuances of timing.

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2006 Sep 29
fascism declared in america

So what has really twisted my mind is the fact that habeas corpus has been suspended and the Authorities can basically disappear people, just like in corrupt developing countries. I really didn’t think I would see the Republic of the United States of America fall within my lifetime, but I guess I was just in denial.

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2006 Sep 29
installing typo 4 on dreamhost

I struggled with this for awhile, abandoning it midway through, but I finally got it to work. Most of the instructions for installing typo 4.0.1 on dreamhost by Aiden Bordner worked for me, except you need to edit db/migrate/051_fix_canonical_server_url.rb as described by Chris H.

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2006 Sep 29
disappointment (not unexpected)

It is funny how much a simple change in someone’s Friendster status can influence my day.

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2006 Sep 30
hopeless (another september come and gone)

I usually know better than to hinge my hopes on someone else being around, and yet I still hoped that I’d get to hang out with [redacted] this weekend. Wishful thinking as usual.

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2006 Sep 30
the problem of living in a vacuum

I’ve been living by myself for two years now, and I think it’s starting to wear on my soul. In the past, I’ve at least had roommates (despite the fact that I have wanted some of them arrested and/or shot by the cops) and this ensured a minimal amount of human contact.

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2006 Sep 30
yin and yang (i heart huckabees)

I was watching “I Heart Huckabees” and dug the simplified dichotomy of relentless interconnection and infinite meaning versus eternal alienation and complete senselessness. The main character rightly discovers that one cannot exist without the other, and that both simultaneously operate. In essence, it was Taoism redux. There is no life without death, no creation without destruction, and all that jazz.

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October

2006 Oct 6
lowest common denominator

OK, sure, this will definitely come out culturally elitist, but the phenomenon known as digg.com is yet another example of the principle of mediocrity in capitalist economies. (Or, for the more politically correct minded, perhaps we can call it the principle of democracy.) Like Walmart, the American public school system, Microsoft Windows, and our pathetic dependence on hydrocarbons for fuel, the “good enough” is the enemy of the “best” and, contrary to what Social Darwinists would have you believe, laissez faire capitalism leads to championing the mediocre.

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2006 Oct 7
alpha centauri and final fantasy 7

These games came out almost 10 years ago, but I spent way too much time playing them both. Final Fantasy 7 defined my senior year in college, and Alpha Centauri was how I spent my year in existential limbo.

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2006 Oct 11
swirling

Oh, what was it I had meant to say? There are a million thoughts careening through my addled brain at this benighted hour, and I sit here tongue-tied like an idiot.

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2006 Oct 13
sheer madness

So I like to blame all this on damned cats. Now I’ve got nothing against cats, per se. I kind of like how they’re not literal ass-kissers like dogs are (and I am a dog person.) But the problem is that I’m deathly allergic to them, and on Thursday night I got a double dose.

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2006 Oct 13
no day but today

There are three musicals that I used to know all the lyrics to: “Beauty and the Beast”, “Once On This Island”, and “Rent” Each one encompassed a particular period of my life, and “Rent” reminds me of my junior and senior year in college, especially because my roommate at the time was quite obsessed with it. Being in college, the Bohemian lifestyle, the conflict between making money and making art—these things all resonated.

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2006 Oct 14
narnia, corruption, and perfectability

I think the book in The Chronicles of Narnia that left the strongest impression on me was The Magician’s Nephew[site by Keith Webb][on wikipedia]. The setting that I remember most strongly is the ruined and blasted world of Charn, destroyed by the White Witch Jadis by using magic that seems strongly allegorical to nuclear weaponry. I was struck by how the monarchy of Charn started off being benevolent and wise, then became corrupted and evil, eventually spawning the monstrosity that is the White Witch. I also remember the hue of redness encompassing Charn. (Was C.S. Lewis trying to evoke medieval visions of Hell?) What was interesting to me was the explanation for this reddish light—Charn’s sun is a red giant star. While this could’ve just been an idiosyncrasy of this particular world, it actually evoked in me the idea that the civilization of Charn had existed so long that their formerly sun-like star had exhausted its nuclear fuel and was beginning to cool and expand. For some reason (although this is apparently not the reason for its destruction), this also reminds me of the destruction of the planet of Krypton, but that is neither here nor there.

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2006 Oct 14
expendability

The notion of sacrificing your life for others, embedded in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, closing paralleling the New Testament, brings to mind what I find to be a viable adaptionist claim: that some individuals need to die for the good of others in the same genetic pool, which is probably pretty harsh if you happen to be that individual so chosen by selection pressure.

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2006 Oct 15
one sunset at a time

Nothing like a nice sunset to snap me out of a terrible mood.

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2006 Oct 15
morrissey “will never marry”

I’m writing this to say
In a gentle way
Thank you—but no
I will live my life as I
Will undoubtedly die—alone

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2006 Oct 17
mac/intel != win/intel

J Angelo Racoma looks back at the argument that Apple switching to the x86 would be tantamount to the suicide of Apple Computer, Inc.

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2006 Oct 20
surrender is not an option

Saying “I give up” solves nothing.

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2006 Oct 21
radiohead “go to sleep (little man being erased)”

Something for the rag and bone man
Over my dead body
Something big is gonna happen
Over my dead body
Someone’s son or someone’s daughter
Over my dead body
This is how I end up sucked in
Over my dead body
I’m gonna go to sleep
And let this wash all over me
We don’t really want a monster taking over
Tip toe around, tie him down
We don’t want the loonies takin’ over
Tip toe around, tie him down
May pretty horses come to you as you sleep
I’m gonna go to sleep
And let this wash all over me

· Read more…

2006 Oct 21
time marches on

So I give up. This is all there is, and there ain’t no mo’. God only knows what sort of fucked up crisis would actually get me to save myself, but I’m too fucking tired.

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2006 Oct 22
thom yorke “analyse”

A self-fulfilling prophecy of endless possibility
You roll in reams across the street
In algebra, in algebra

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2006 Oct 23
ipod turns five

Charlie White writes about what he hates about the iPod which is, I guess, praising with faint damnation. First off, the proper colloquial term is “hatorade” or maybe “hatoration” if you want to get pendatic. Get it right.

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2006 Oct 23
a hundred million bottles washed up on the shore

I just read this post about depression by alison on bluishorange, and I am so there.

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2006 Oct 23
15 years too early

I stumbled upon this post about NeXTSTEP (the OS that Steve Jobs created after leaving Apple way back when), which basically already had almost all the features of Mac OS X. Which makes sense. Mac OS (what is now known as Classic) was an evolutionary dead-end with regards to operating systems, about on par with Windows 3.11. And while Apple worked on the vaporware that was known as Copland and even while they flirted with BeOS (what could’ve been, huh?), NeXT was already there and was already a decently established development environment. Hell, it had already spawned an Open Source project (GNUstep) before Apple finally decided to get their shit together and bring Steve back.

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2006 Oct 26
the cure “untitled”

hopelessly adrift in the eyes of the ghost again
down on my knees and my hands in the air again
pushing my face in the memory of you again
but i never know if it’s real
never know how i wanted to feel

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2006 Oct 27
My new topic on Consumating

Tell me, how many of you are Consumating from work, and how do you get anything else done?

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2006 Oct 27
physics vis-a-vis racism and misogyny

Man, Lee Smolin, theoretical physicist to the nth degree, is my hero. The first I had heard of him was his book Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, a discussion of the possible unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity, which covers string theory and loop quantum gravity. I also noted his name in João Magueijo’s book Faster than the Speed of Light.

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2006 Oct 27
Consumating’s Question of the Week

What brings out the devil in you?

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2006 Oct 27
more than just aesthetics

x86 machines have been traditionally much cheaper than their Mac counterparts, but things have improved a lot lately. Still, a Macbook Pro supposedly costs as much as two similarly spec’ed Dells. Naturally, the author ignores certain things (which he at least acknowledges): built-in iSight, bundled software, faster RAM.

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2006 Oct 28
waiting for leopard

I admit it. Apple has gotten me successfully hooked. I bought my Mac Mini when Tiger came out. I’m probably going to be buying another machine when Leopard comes out.

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2006 Oct 29
feeling abandoned

I have spent the last 80 hours or so without speaking to another soul. (I am not counting buying stuff at the store, or communicating via computer.) I can’t help but wonder if anyone would miss me if I disappeared.

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November

2006 Nov 1
trapped in my own consciousness

Hat tip to my cousin J who has a thing for these things.

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2006 Nov 1
finger eleven “one thing”

This is a scattered memory of driving up the Grapevine by myself, heading back to L.A. one February…

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2006 Nov 1
there is a thought struggling to crawl out of my mind

I don’t know if it’s just the psychotropic drugs, but I feel like I’m evading something lurking in my brain. Something that I’ve tried to face down head-to-head, only to find myself defeated each and every time. So like the coward that I am, I’ve decided to try to just runaway from it and ignore it.

· Read more…

2006 Nov 2
excuses, excuses

The easy way out is to say that I’m tired, that I’ve been at work all day, and I just don’t want to deal. And it’s all true, I’m not making it up.

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2006 Nov 2
coldplay “see you soon”

This song stopped me cold in my tracks today, and I think I might’ve cried had it been some other time, back when I was someone else entirely.

· Read more…

2006 Nov 3
death cab for cutie “what sarah said”

So who’s gonna watch you die?

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2006 Nov 4
no on proposition 85

As a health care provider, and especially as a pediatrician, it’s pretty clear that parental notification for abortion is a bad idea. It’s not entirely clear what this would accomplish, other than cutting off access of teen-aged girls to not only D&C’s, but prenatal counselling and care in general.

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2006 Nov 5
flashbacks (the theory of circular time)

It was fitting that I caught Alexander Proyas’ “Dark City” on cable the other day. In case you’ve never watched it, it is set in some noir city where it seems like it’s always night, and for some reason there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it. One of the characters comes to realize this and basically goes insane, repeatedly drawing spirals everywhere he goes. (Wow, that’s weird, I just realized that this happens in China Miéville’s book Iron Council as well—one of the characters goes around the city of New Crobuzon drawing spirals everywhere. Totally different meaning, though.)

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2006 Nov 6
the magic of the ipod and other miscellaneous insanities

Cause its gone, daddy, gone
Your love is gone
Gone, daddy, gone
The love is gone away

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2006 Nov 7
human nature

It is the curse of humanity that it learns to tolerate even the most horrible situations by habituation. — Rudolf Virchow

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2006 Nov 7
direction

I’m grinding my teeth, thinking about what happens next, and what the next 18 months will mean.

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2006 Nov 7
new

Excuse me sir
I’m lost
I’m looking for a place
where I can get lost
I’m looking for a home
For my malfunctioning being
I’m looking for the mechanical music museum

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2006 Nov 7
random words keep seeping through

She was right, though, I can’t lie.
She’s just one of those corners in my mind,
And I just put her right back with the rest.
That’s the way it goes, I guess.

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2006 Nov 8
synchronicity

The whole thing about things coming in threes. Again it’s one of those misconceptions that the pattern recognition machinery of the mind foists upon us, but enough about that.

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2006 Nov 10
synchronicity revisited

Now that I understand the Laws of Probability a little better, I recognize that most coincidences are meaningless, or even more likely, most coincidences become significant in my mind only because my attention shifts for one reason or another.

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2006 Nov 10
like a thief in the night

It’s 4 a.m. and I’m heading up to L.A.

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2006 Nov 10
not really synchronicity

I caught the tail end of “Just Like Heaven” which is set in San Francisco, features Reese Witherspoon as an ER resident who works 24 hour shifts and ends up kind of undead, and is titled after a Cure song (and which Katie Melua does a pretty good cover version of.)

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2006 Nov 11
random walk

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also talks about love. It says, “Avoid if at all possible.”

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2006 Nov 13
traipsing around north county

And the way I feel tonight
I could die and I wouldn’t mind
And there’s something going on inside
Makes you want to feel makes you want to try
Makes you want to blow the stars from the sky

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2006 Nov 16
sick but less twisted than usual

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Enfold me
I am small
I’m needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

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2006 Nov 17
definitely broken, and unfixable

What is it in me that drives me to wander the empty ether on a Friday night, bereft of companionship? Why is it that I torture my mind with “could’ve beens”? Or worse yet, things that couldn’t’ve possibly ever happened, they were just thin, dry yearnings escaping from the cracks in my soul, as impossible then as they are now.

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2006 Nov 18
filipinos

filipinoscookies.jpg

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2006 Nov 20
fragmentation and the retrospectoscope

…less and less of this makes any sense. I all of the sudden had to ask myself, what exactly am I hiding from? Why do I hide behind the shadows and the walls, cower in the dark spaces, and the corners? What was it that happened, that made me want to disappear, never to be seen again?

· Read more…

2006 Nov 21
fragmentation and the paradox of social networks

Mostly, I like the fact that it’s not MySpace.

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2006 Nov 21
rescue mode

Damn it. My main blogs are down. Disordered Thought Processes and Starlight and Gravity are down for the count.

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2006 Nov 23
in memory of indigenous peoples

Much like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day has the taint of Western Imperialism on it. It’s just the sad fact of history, and I do try my best not to make too much of it. Just like black people can reclaim the word “nigger,” and gay and lesbian people can reclaim the word “queer,” perhaps we people of color can simply re-appropriate Thanksgiving Day and recreate it so that it doesn’t underscore nor elide the destruction of indigenous culture, and perhaps still be a meaningful day of thanksgiving.

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2006 Nov 25
w’s karma

Today I heard an awful story about an Iraq War veteran. 25 years old, beautiful wife, beautiful kids. On his third tour in Iraq, he runs into an IED. Now he’s paralyzed from the neck down, raging angrily in the Spinal Cord Injury unit.

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2006 Nov 25
war and surgery (a metaphor revisited)

The problem with health care professional talking about the Iraq War is that we always seem to find ourselves with mixed metaphors.

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2006 Nov 26
my mind is not broken, it’s just seriously sprained

I don’t know. This night, this night, my brain is filled with a foggy void. I don’t know if it’s just fatigue, just this irregular sleep-wake cycle that keeps me spinning in hopeless circles.

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2006 Nov 27
tongue-tied

“You have a Midland accent” is just another way of saying “you don’t have an accent.” You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

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2006 Nov 29
some semblance of winter

The temperature was somewhere in the mid 60s today, which is chilly for Southern California. Combined with the Christmas carols and the mall displays, it’s actually starting to feel like December is coming.

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2006 Nov 29
casualties

My mind suddenly wraps itself upon the topic of death once again. It is, I realize, a frequent topic of my profession, one that I am guaranteed to revisit again and again, and while intellectually, I recognize that it is a simple fact of life, viscerally, it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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December

2006 Dec 1
the first of the last (to sleep, perchance to dream)

(The track that is currently playing is "The Perfect Kiss" by New Order)

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2006 Dec 1
sunrise (on a random november day)

IMG_2521_2.jpg

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2006 Dec 2
the words are exploding in my head

I don’t know anymore. There are a million things that I need to say in a particular order, and it’s all coming apart at the seams. There’s just too much information out there, it’s like looking for a way to pick up one molecule of water at a time out of the ocean, making sure to pick each one up in a particular sequence.

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2006 Dec 2
sleep?

Apparently not tonight.

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2006 Dec 2
Consumating’s Photo Contest

You might not be addicted to Nintendo, but everyone likes to play games. Show us your game face!

· Read more…

2006 Dec 5
yet another sunset from some random day

sunset from Torrey Pines

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2006 Dec 5
shadows, echoes, and reverberations

becomes a shadow
dancing on the line
thread upon thread
twirled into the mist
beneath the shattered steel
the dull gray concrete
I walk warily
banner unfurled
sword unsheathéd
dawn creeps nigh

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2006 Dec 6
defying gravity

Now I’m a big fan of rewriting and reinterpreting mythology and fantasy. My initial ambition as a college freshman was to take Southeast Asian myths and rewrite them in the vein of Western European myths. I’m totally into China Miéville’s subversion of the fantasy genre and using it to explore the sometimes faulty assumptions we make about capitalism and Western Civ. I really liked Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, which is a version of Beowulf told from a quite-unexpected viewpoint, and even liked the movie that it became, “The 13th Warrior”. I sometimes think that this is what underlay my childhood obsesssion with Disney animated films. I grew up listening ad nauseam to the soundtrack of Disney’s “Robin Hood” where Robin Hood and Maid Marian are foxes, Little John is a bear, and King John and his brother Richard the Lion-Hearted are literally lions. (“Oo de lally!”) I was enchanted by “The Little Mermaid” and especially “Beauty and the Beast.” One of my more recent ambitions is to write a novel based on Middle Earth after it has been completely industrialized and paved over, dealing with issues of urban sprawl, pollution, and global capitalism. As for a more small scale project, I’m trying to write a story that is really “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “The Hobbit” mashed-up together and set on a nanotechnology-permeated, post-Roman Empire-like society.

· Read more…

2006 Dec 7
where is my true love?

Your Birthdate: September 13

· Read more…

2006 Dec 12
where am i going? where have i been?

Kind’ve lost in transit right now, not sure what’s up, what’s down, what’s left, what’s right. Just going with the flow, fast and free on one hand, slow and languid on another, the eddies and the swirls drag me to the bottom of the deeps.

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2006 Dec 13
i should’ve known it right from the start

There is a good kind of tired, and a bad kind. The good kind lets you know that you had a good, full day, that you were productive, that you made fairly decent choices. The bad kind is like getting kicked in the face after you’ve already been shot a few hundred times. (I am thinking of the Jersey tollbooth scene in “The Godfather” with James Caan.)

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2006 Dec 15
it’s the same

Greg of Futility Closet writes about sentences composed entirely of one word. I think these are rather arcane, though. My favorite is Tagalog, where an entire conversation can be composed entirely by one syllable, and it’s something that has more common usage:

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2006 Dec 16
procrastination is like masturbation

It may be fun for a little while, but then you realize you’re only fucking yourself.

· Read more…

2006 Dec 16
an addendum to serious brain damage

(In reference to how seriously fucked-up I am.)

· Read more…

2006 Dec 17
self-destructive tendencies

Here it is, 1:30 a.m., and I need to wake up in 4 hours.

· Read more…

2006 Dec 19
fatness and the tragedy of efficiency

Being a Person of Greater Mass™ myself, I understand the discrimination against fat people. (I think the epidemic of anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder among women is another thing entirely, and very bizarre and disturbing, but that is another tale in the telling. Seriously, though, there are way too many women who are either healthy or dangerously underweight who continue to claim that they’re too fat, and sometimes I have to repress the urge to send them all to the inpatient psych ward on the grounds that they are a danger to themselves.)

· Read more…

2006 Dec 19
life, death, trifles, and the fading sunlight

I read an intern’s blog post about a patient dying, and it sort of recentered me.

· Read more…

2006 Dec 22
free association (craziness)

So I was eating by myself at a restaurant the other day, and for some reason they were playing all these late ‘70s/early ‘80s songs, like “I Say A Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick, and then “How Deep Is Your Love?” by the Bee Gees. The latter especially took me back to my early childhood. My dad used to own a blue AMC Concord and it had an 8-track tape player and I think he had tapes of Neil Sedaka, Kenny Rogers, and the Bee Gees.

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2006 Dec 23
simplicity

I think, I hope, that it’s just the darkness that’s killing me. About an hour after the sun went down, I had to put my head down. I don’t know what I want to do. I can’t deal with all this free, empty time. I can’t even think crazy thoughts any more. I’m just…spent. I don’t know how else to put it.

· Read more…

2006 Dec 26
wordpress ate my post

Damn it, I had written a hopeful entry in my delirium last night, and as luck would have it, Wordpress decides to send it to the utter void. I guess it’s for the best. I was kind of blasphemous post. I’d try to reconstruct it in its entirety, but I can’t remember what I wrote. All I’ve got are snippets.

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2006 Dec 27
swiftly changing

It’s amazing how fast time goes. It just occurred to me that we’re fast approaching the end of the decade, what with it soon being 2007 and all. Not quite how Stanley Kubrick or I imagined it. (Where are the flying cars, huh? Or the shuttle flights to Jupiter, hmm?) But then again, I never imagined anything like the Internet, or Google, or the ubiquity of cell phones. Certainly nothing like the iPod, or Wi-fi, or even the PS2.

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2006 Dec 31
Meh

I don’t know if it’s just the anhedonia, or if things have just become increasingly meaningless lately. So it’s 2007, and the new year doesn’t really feel all that new.

· Read more…

2007

January

2007 Jan 3
insomnia continues

So I need to go to sleep now if I want to have any hope of waking up in time for work tomorrow. I mean, I really shouldn’t bitch or moan, considering that I had both Monday and Tuesday off. I’m basically pretty much done with the week, really, and I get the weekend off.

· Read more…

2007 Jan 27
why

I find myself asking this question right now, and it’s tearing the already tattered remnants of my soul to microscopic shreds:

· Read more…

2007 Jan 30
sick of it all

I just don’t know anymore.

· Read more…

February

2007 Feb 2
generalized malaise and fatigue

Oh man, now I’m sick. Fevers. Chills. The whole nine yards. It’s probably viral, so all I can do is wait it out. Meanwhile, I’ve been sleeping about 16 hours a day. I’ve still been going to work, so that means that as soon as I get home, I crash out, only to wake up again and drag myself out of bed to go back to work. Fun times.

· Read more…

2007 Feb 10
a summary of the year thus far

A lot of random little things have happened in the past month and a half that have really sent my brain reeling. In some ways, it feels like Christmas was just a little while ago, when I was wallowing in an irrational, meaningless episode of depression, and ever since it’s been an emotional rollercoaster.

· Read more…

2007 Feb 14
head in the clouds

I suppose I’m still in a phase of mental regression. For the past five weeks or so, ever since my cousin died and I went on vacation, I’ve found myself trying to recreate my childhood. Playing video games. Obsessing about fantasy worlds. Re-exploring Middle Earth. Even screwing around with emulators, trying to play old-school cRPGs from way-back-when. The Bard’s Tale. The Shard of Spring. Final Fantasy I.

· Read more…

2007 Feb 25
another moment of synchronicity

As I headed south on the 805, “Sit Down, Stand Up (Snakes and Ladders)” by Radiohead started playing on my iPod, and when it got to the part that goes “the raindrops, the raindrops, the raindrops, the raindrops…” it actually started sprinkling, and it stopped exactly when the song did.

2007 Feb 25
a hundred million things

Two days off in a row is a rare boon, almost a vacation, considering the breakneck schedule I’ve been running on as of late, averaging about 80 hours a week. The downside is that I have to work 12 days in a row, which basically just really sucks. Around day 10 I start getting extremely cranky, and by day 11 I’m ready to bite people. But I can’t do anything about it except call in sick, which is, at times, tempting.

· Read more…

March

2007 Mar 4
torque, dust, and mist

In contrast to The Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth, where magic remains mysterious and arcane and it is never explained and dissected, there seems to be a tendency to technologize—or at least scientify—magic in more recent works of fantasy. In various worlds, magic is seen as a substance, a commodity, that can be altered, stored, and redistributed.

· Read more…

2007 Mar 6
magic and faerie

The evolution of Tolkien’s synthesized mythology of Middle Earth is well documented by his son Christopher Tolkien, who eventually published J.R.R. Tolkien’s notes and various drafts, some of which eventually became incorporated into The Silmarillion

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2007 Mar 6
more magic

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. —Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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2007 Mar 8
stillness on the move

shifting, sliding,
caught in indecision
trapped in a winding labyrinth
running round circles
fleeing from fate
this moment laden with uncertainty
a drop of rain falling into an infinite sea
roiling and raging
a faint ripple
erased by the unending restless waves

· Read more…

2007 Mar 10
the battle of thermopylae

Stacy Taylor, the host of the KLSD morning radio show, broke down the movie ”300” for me. I was all psyched to watch it, having thoroughly enjoyed ”Sin City” but (1) my dad and my brother watched it without me and (2) Taylor’s deconstruction of it kind of took the wind out of my sails.

· Read more…

2007 Mar 12
clarity (like mud)

It is not entirely clear to me what I had hoped to accomplish tonight, except maybe getting a little tipsy and perhaps even filling my heart with unquenchable longing.

· Read more…

2007 Mar 18
and everything grows still before the tempest

Maybe things are not so still, though I wish it were so. I can feel Time swirling all around me, and I’m just trying to keep my head above the water, wanting to just stay still, but knowing that I’m going to keep moving whether I want to or not.

· Read more…

2007 Mar 20
still dreaming

I think it’s just a matter of time before reality decides to bite me in the ass. I’ve been skating by these past few weeks, trying to desperately catch up on some direly needed sleep, and failing to do so. Tomorrow I am once again on call, and I know for a fact that I’m never going to shake this damned cold. And sadly, my next full weekend off isn’t for another week and a half.

· Read more…

2007 Mar 23
the road of dreams

There was a portentuous sense of destiny this evening, despite the dead part of my soul realizing that it meant nothing. All my aspirations have ended in dust. It makes little sense that this would be any different now.

· Read more…

2007 Mar 24
a decade’s worth of bittersweet memories

I ended up watching two out of the five bands playing at Lolopop, which featured Filipino American musicians. The one that drew me (and the only one I recognized) was Julie Plug which I blithely described to Andy as a girl-fronted alterna-pop band (which was apparently the fad in the late ‘90’s) I first heard about them in the waning years of my college career, introduced by Manny. Their first CD ”Starmaker” rapidly spread virally amongst my friends and there are quite a few memories attached to some of their songs (in particular ”Sometime in June”) We watched a couple of shows, the last of which was in SF in 1998 after we all graduated.

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2007 Mar 25
the color of the sky as far as I can see is coal grey

Mostly I’m tired. This can, of course, be attributed to the fact that I was on call last night, although it’s not like I did much of anything except maybe sleep.

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2007 Mar 26
treacherous conniving always beats a frank show of force (a discussion of duty and honor)

By various convolutions, I am led to the old, laughable screed by Kim du Toit entitled ”The pussification of the western male” written way back in 2003. I find what he says so ridiculous that I have a hard time believing that this guy is serious.

· Read more…

2007 Mar 27
one step closer to singularity

I’m starting to find MySpace increasingly tedious because of the sheer amount of comment spam and the number of fembots constantly requesting me as a friend. That and none of the people on my friend’s list ever respond to any of my messages, but that is another rant entirely.

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2007 Mar 27
motivation and the lack thereof

I just can’t seem to get out of bed these days. Luckily I don’t have to be in at work until 1 p.m., but still. I went to sleep at 11:30 p.m. last night and didn’t wake up until 10 a.m.

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2007 Mar 28
on the classification of nerds

Courtesy of my cousin J™

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2007 Mar 29
effluvia from my leaking mind

Lately I’ve been once again been able to remember what I’ve been dreaming. For the longest time I’ve been having dreamless nights, which, while not very interesting, were probably for the best. I remember from clinical neuroscience that most of our dreams are violent and/or depressing, and this one was no exception. For some reason I was really pissed with my brother. I can’t recall the reason in the dream at all, but the sense of hurt and anger was quite vivid.

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2007 Mar 30
the lesser of two evils?

What my psychiatrist noted is that maybe this whole unrelenting fatigue thing is simply the fact that I’d managed to vanquish most of my anxiety and now lack the impetus of fear to keep me awake and toiling. Seriously, I’m not having any more visceral symptoms of anxiety and my depression is much better controlled.

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2007 Mar 31
ground zero: the death star

The problem with conspiracy theories is that you can pretty much twist any piece of data to support your claim, and anyone who disagrees with you clearly is part of the conspiracy as well.

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2007 Mar 31
lord of the rings by squaresoft

I don’t know how I find these random things, but I stumbled upon Chris Hazard and Ky Kimport’s take on what a Tolkien RPG would look like in the hands of Squaresoft.

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2007 Mar 31
you don’t need no stinkin’ rights

Wow. Just, wow.

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April

2007 Apr 1
the slow diffusion of information across fields

Joanne brings up a disturbing story concerning [May Yuen]1, a Chinese American who joined the Army, who ended up killing herself.

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2007 Apr 1
euphemisms and ridiculous tangents

None of my own inner demons have anything directly to do with Nic’s blog post about how nice guys finish last, but the opening quote reminded me of the dead-end lifestyle I’ve been leading for the last decade or so.

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2007 Apr 2
the old dilemma: legacy support vs the bleeding edge

OK, so maybe I’m just a touch melodramatic when I say that Windows’ reliance on the 8.3 naming convention makes me sad. And, yes, I do subscribe to the ”worse is better” school of software design, so I agree that you shouldn’t futz around and break something that already works pretty well 95% of the time.

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2007 Apr 3
great is the fall of gondolin

I’m still slowly working my way through

The Lost Tales

by J.R.R. Tolkien and edited by his son Christopher. I found the story of the destruction of the great, hidden city of the Elves wonderfully moving—the story in

The Lost Tales

presents much more detail than the version in

The Silmarillion

and there are some interesting concepts that Tolkien later removed.

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2007 Apr 3
the children of húrin and the curse of the golden flower

I just occurred to me the superficial similarities between the story of Túrin Turambar and the movie ”The Curse of the Golden Flower”. The most obvious similarity is the incest (Crown Prince Wan isn’t just porking his sister, he’s also doing his stepmother!) but the idea of curses and of gold also resonates. In the movie, the golden chrysanthemum becomes the doomed standard of Prince Jai, while in the story, the golden hoard of Glaurung becomes a curse to Thingol, king of Doriath.

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2007 Apr 4
aac

On Slashdot, there is a post about Apple’s deal with EMI to release non-DRM’ed music in AAC format may change how music is distributed on-line. While the conclusions drawn by this article may be suspect, I think there are aspects that are worth considering.

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2007 Apr 5
blogging code of conduct

In the wake of the debacle amongst the “A” listers in which a prominent female blogger is threatened with sexual abuse and death, I find that even the MSM (that’s mainstream media, not men having sex with men) ended up writing about it, specifically wondering whether or not we need a blogging code of conduct. Darleene muses about who would even enforce such a thing, but interestingly, we already have a code of conduct.

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2007 Apr 7
erratum or mere sophistry

Randomly, I saw this diagram of a serotenergic neuron. Rageboy wonders about the similarities between LSD and SSRIs.

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2007 Apr 7
we don't need no stinkin' crash cart

Uh, can you really be a hospital if you can’t perform a resuscitation? Or at least attempt one?

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2007 Apr 7
empires don’t crumble, they just fade away

The big internet meme today seems to be that Microsoft is dead, and to claim that a multibillion dollar company that is still making enormous profits is dead is no mean feat.

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2007 Apr 7
robot chicken: office fighter

Oh, I wasted my life.

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2007 Apr 9
blogger’s code of conduct

Tim O’Reilly’s post about a blogger’s code of conduct has generated much discussion across the blogosphere and has actually been picked up by the MSM outlets such as the BBC and the New York Times.

· Read more…

2007 Apr 9
mika “happy ending”

This is one of the happiest songs I’ve ever heard about such a depressing topic:

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2007 Apr 9
i don’t really like fava beans

from my cousin J™

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2007 Apr 10
problems with sleep-onset

I stupidly drank some Vietnamese iced coffee about 3 hours ago, and I’m wired and jittery and all over the place. I have to wake up in less than 6 hours to get ready for work.

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2007 Apr 11
versioning

The Old New Thing discusses the different macros you have to set in order to ensure library compatibility in Windows.

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2007 Apr 11
blogger's code of conduct continued

Tim O’Reilly replies to his critics regarding his proposed blogger’s code of conduct.

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2007 Apr 13
time machine for sale

(From my cousin <a href=http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=168884724&blogID=252744646&Mytoken=81CA045D-AC19-40AE-9094629B0A9D31E23647227" title="myspace">J™)

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2007 Apr 13
no beats. no rhymes. just words.

There is a song in here somewhere
caught in the convolutions of my heart
the tortuous paths, the cliffdrops, the lonely summits
the bitter abysses, this vast desert of ruin
This wasteland of decay

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2007 Apr 13
the trap of world building

Despite the fact that I’ve been trapped in a world-building exercise for the past 18 years, I completely agree with M John Harrison’s assessment that world-building is unnecessary in order to tell a good story, and that world-building is the pinnacle of uselessness: you are creating a literal description of a world that doesn’t even exist.

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2007 Apr 14
slide

It comes to nothing
in the first few trickling seconds of this new day
(cuz don’t you know that time is a river, you go with the flow)

· Read more…

2007 Apr 17
april is the cruelest month

I worry that my capacity to empathize with sadness and tragedy has been destroyed. Most the time at work, I’m forced to put on a mien of detachment and objectivity. If I took everything bad that happens at work to heart, I’m pretty sure I would’ve quit a long time ago. Or I’d have committed suicide.

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2007 Apr 19
thoughts unbidden

Too late, I cry, remembering time past, running through shadows
echoes of ten thousand lives criss-crossing, folding, twisting, bending
In their wake, I am forsaken
Amidst the jetsam and flotsam of plans gone awry
(and still somehow I made it to land,
even now I make plans and grand schemes
to sail forth from this benighted isle

· Read more…

2007 Apr 21
weariness

It’s been a long while since I’ve had to work seven days in a row. In of itself, that kind of schedule makes me cranky. Add to it the fact that this included two overnight calls, and that’s approximately 120 hours of work. Fun times.

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2007 Apr 21
even snoop dogg knows…

…that there is such a thing as context.

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2007 Apr 22
the color of your skin

I am dismayed by this post about a brown-skinned professor who gets detained by the authorities simply because he leaves a bag full of discarded manuscripts to be recycled.

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2007 Apr 29
my daemon

If you haven’t yet read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, you should get cracking. The Golden Compass is coming out at the end of the year!

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2007 Apr 30
he ruined it with midichlorians

Courtesy of my cousin J™

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2007 Apr 30
“sometime” is “never”

I saw it for a second
caught glancingly in the corner of my eye
The four walls that enclose time
The four walls closing in
Behind the wheel
I pondered singularities
accepted my singularity
how you can be certain about certain things
though all of time is yet uncertain
This is my life
ending by hours, minutes, and seconds
this damnable ever-ticking clock
counting down through these years of loneliness
my fate, my doom
a curse upon my soul
unbroken, unbreakable

· Read more…

May

2007 May 1
tempus fugit

My oldest friend whom I’ve known since we were in third grade is getting married to a wonderful woman sometime in 2008, and I can’t help but marvel. It seems like it was just last week we were playing Wing Commander II and listening to the Cure, the Smiths, Soft Cell, and Front 242, or walking up that godforsaken hill while playing some weird word game. There were all those hours spent in front of the Commodore 64 and the 8-bit Nintendo. There was Robotech. Voltron. Bastketball in my backyard. Junior high football. Watching movies at the AMC in Burbank. I could stop and reminisce for hours on end, and my memories may be astray. But it all goes by so fast.

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2007 May 3
early morning awakening

I’m not quite certain what compelled me to get out of bed at 4:45 a.m. I didn’t even set my alarm. Supposedly, early morning awakening is one of the cardinal signs of depression. Meaning I still haven’t beat this disease.

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2007 May 3
the colors of time

I’m starting to make this an April/May tradition. Take the quiz.

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2007 May 5
definition of insanity

Listening to: “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” by St. Etienne

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2007 May 5
they can always hurt you more

(quoth the Fatman: the 8th law from The House of God)

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2007 May 6
mika “any other world”

In any other world
you could tell the difference
and let it all unfurl
into broken remnants.
Smile like you mean it
and let yourself let go.

· Read more…

2007 May 8
already tired

How is it that I did almost essentially nothing today, and yet by early evening I’m already exhausted?

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2007 May 8
like the weather

So maybe it wasn’t as hot as I thought it was. The record high in San Diego for May 8th was 81°F in 1941. Today’s high was supposedly 86°F.

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2007 May 8
the fire above hollywood

I’m enthralled by the ongoing drama about the fire in Griffith Park. It is apparently continuing to spread, now encompassing 300 acres, and forcing evacuations of residences.

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2007 May 8
the fire continues

jozjozjoz is also blogging about the Griffith Park fire and points me to laughingsquid’s surreal pictures.

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2007 May 8
holding on to a thin strand of hope

I suppose if that’s all the medications accomplish, I’m still getting somewhere. For the first time in a long, long time, I actually believe that there’s a good chance that my life will get better. I’m actually looking forward to the future.

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2007 May 9
containment of the griffith park fire

So it looks like the Griffith Park fire is 75% contained as of 6 hours ago, although they still expect at least another day of fire-fighting before full containment. The blaze has consumed more than 800 acres, which is about 20% of the park’s total land area.

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2007 May 9
the witching hour

It’s 1:30 a.m. and I just woke up about half an hour ago. Ever since I finished up my last call month for this year, I’ve just been exhausted. I suppose I have about a month of sleep to catch up on. But this makes my sleep schedule completely screwed up.

· Read more…

2007 May 9
griffith park fire: flickr stream

People posted a lot of awesome pictures of the fire on Flickr. What is it about fire that fascinated me so?

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2007 May 11
happiness, the continuing elusiveness of

Now I realize that happiness in of itself is a rather empty goal, reserved for victims of unusual strokes, the congenitally mentally incapacitated, and the clinically deranged. You lesion a few tracts in your brain, and you can be permanently happy until your dying day, singing “zippy-de-doo-da” out of your asshole, your face guaranteed to freeze with a rictus grin. I can see it now, a corpse grinning maniacally in his/here casket.

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2007 May 12
fuck

Well that was unsatisfying.

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2007 May 12
closing time

The question is: what the fuck were you expecting?

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2007 May 12
ouch

Well, here I am, moderately hung-over, not only listening to an owl hooting continously, but someone also decided to blast some rock en español. At freaking 6 a.m. So now I am awake, and I can’t get back to sleep. Wonderful.

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2007 May 12
returning to normality (normal for me, at least)

We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem. — Tricia McMillan AKA Trillian from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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2007 May 12
the parable of the cave

I have come to realize that the living room of my apartment resembles a terrorist command center. I have three computers and four LCD screens, seven speakers plus a subwoofer, a TV, and a receiver as well as all the requisite cables and hubs and what not in here, because (1) I couldn’t fit it all in my room anyway and (2) the first rule of sleep hygiene is to only use the bedroom for sleeping.

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2007 May 13
unwell

Is this aching in my belly anxiety or dysentery? One wonders.

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2007 May 13
journey "don't stop believin'"

I woke up at 3 a.m. for no good reason and couldn’t get back to sleep.

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2007 May 13
years upon end

Reminiscing about distant journeys
lost in the murky mist of my fading memories
down that Mother Road, and the paths of generations past
to the south side and the lake shore
and back again
to the mountain pass and to the Sea
the years wash upon the sands, wave after wave

· Read more…

2007 May 15
wtf

I’m feeling sick to my stomach for some reason. I don’t know. I don’t know.

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2007 May 15
glen campbell “wichita lineman”

Driving back from Harrah’s on the Rincon tribal lands, my iPod suddenly popped up ”Wichita Lineman Was a Song I Once Heard” by the KLF. (The KLF?!?) This immediately took me back to my childhood, when I couldn’t go to sleep without the radio on, and the station I would listen was the easy listening station. It used to be called KJOI 99, but now I think it’s Star 98.7. Crazy.

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2007 May 15
the fray “fall away”

I am now reduced to merely posting song lyrics.

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2007 May 15
there is clearly something wrong with me

Man, that was an incredible waste. Three hours down the drain just to get a stupid RSS widget to work in MySpace. I wish that Myspace would just let me crosspost to their blog engine, but noooo.

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2007 May 16
alphaville “forever young”

Did you know that Tiffany did a cover of Alphaville’s song? Weirdness.

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2007 May 16
phil collins “take me home”

Maybe I’m just being morbid. Maybe it’s because I just finished working in the ICU and watched plenty of people die and signed plenty of death certificates. Maybe it’s because I had dinner with (among others) someone who works for the medical examiner. Nothing like talking about people who died in sudden, unexpected, and often gruesome ways while having Japanese food. Maybe it’s because the track before this one was “Mad World” by Tears for Fears, which has the classic line “the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had,” a song that was resurrected by Gary Jules and the movie “Donnie Darko.”

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2007 May 16
spam trapping

You know what would be an excellent Turing test?

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2007 May 17
crossing my fingers

The last time my sister graduated, I was seriously in love with S. While in the back of my head I suppose I always knew it wasn’t going to work, I had been doing a good job ignoring that particular fact. Naturally, when I got back to Chicago, everything went to hell, and I went into a patented downward spiral.

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2007 May 19
back in san diego

Woot! I like flying back from the East Coast. It makes you feel like there’s so much time in the day because of the time zone difference.

· Read more…

2007 May 20
still moblogging

Hmm. The timestamps are kind of screwed up. This app i’m using is posting in Greenwich mean time or something. Or I wonder if it’s the blog engine. Good thing they’re both Open Source. Of course that means I’m gonna be pissing away a few more hours of my life screwing around with code.

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2007 May 20
holy grail

Oh yeah. Blogging on my cell phone. Booyah!

2007 May 21
I have no mouth and I must scream

Suffice it to say that I am extremely pissed off right now. What a god damned fucking waste. It’s true what they say. In times of crisis, you find out quickly who actually gives a shit about you, and who is just using you for the sake of convenience. Some people really only know how to manipulate people as objects and have no interest in what you think or feel. C’est la vie. You live and learn.

· Read more…

2007 May 21
i tried

…and as Homer Simpson warns, this is the first step to failure.

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2007 May 22
spin the wheel

spiral despair
rif(f)ling through the trash
rummaging through the detritus
perimeters, delimiters,
we rage through time and distance
the memories well up untold
unbidden

· Read more…

2007 May 24
mistake. really.

so what this allows is drunken blogging. Perfect.

· Read more…

2007 May 24
stupidity

car blogging? Unwise. Probably dangerous.

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2007 May 24
that girl

something like home. I am so lost.

· Read more…

2007 May 24
shapes

In my dreams, evil is always man-shaped
the cockroaches and the worms
fill me with loathing
but they do not fill me with despair
hatred
disgust

· Read more…

2007 May 25
the promise of salvation

Could I have saved her—?
And thereby have saved myself?
Knowing what I know
doing what I do
and all I’m good for
is letting people slip through my fingers

· Read more…

2007 May 25
not-so-graceful degradation

cry for stillness
listen, that rhythm, that beat
crashing and burning
spinning and turning
we’re dancing, we’re diving
we’re dreaming, we’re scheming

· Read more…

2007 May 25
the trials and tribulations of a single week

How much changes in a single week. Anticipation has lately been more enjoyable than the real thing. My fault as usual.

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2007 May 25
in transit (how to move your wordpress blog)

On the off chance that you actually cared, I’ve changed this blog’s URL. You will find the latest drek escaping from my vacuous soul at http://disorderedthoughtprocesses.com, and for once the domain name actually matches the title. This will be a transparent process, thanks to the beauty that is the Apache Web Server, and thanks to the beauty of Wordpress itself.

· Read more…

2007 May 25
in love (with a machine)

I’m seriously digging on The Hype Machine, a mp3 blog aggregator. Sure, there are probably less painful ways to try and find your favorite track currently being played by the Evil Empire Clear Channel, but for more of the underground, completely whacked-out stuff, you gotta check it.

· Read more…

2007 May 26
my soul roils

I have this agonizing sense of dysequilibrium.

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2007 May 26
jacaranda tree

It’s definitely summer now.

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2007 May 27
summer in the city (a flashback moment)

There are certain parts of the year that seem to get me down. That perception may simply be apophenia. A meaningless confluence of stimuli that cause me to believe there is some sort of pattern. Like listening for voices on blank cassette tapes. Or seeing the image of the Virgin Mary on a scrap of tree bark.

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2007 May 27
sand pebbles

I just finished watching ”Sand Pebbles” which stars Steve McQueen, and it’s a brilliant, intricately subtle anti-war movie that has excruciatingly painful relevance to the present day absurdity of the continued occupation of Iraq by the U.S. “Sand Pebbles” chronicles the tribulations of Jake Holman, an engineer in the U.S. Navy assigned to a gunboat patrolling the Yangtze. The setting is China during the tumultous revolutionary era, as Chiang Kai-shek attempts to oust the warlords whom the western powers support. The specter of Soviet involvement looms large, and so the U.S. characteristically sticks its nose into something that they probably shouldn’t have. Getting involved in other nations’ civil wars seems to be a pretty bad idea if you ask me.

· Read more…

2007 May 28
more tree

Jacaranda Tree at the corner of Round Top Dr and El Reposo Dr

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2007 May 28
continued imbalance

isang pagkakataon lang… one chance only
minsan sa buhay… once in a lifetime

· Read more…

2007 May 30
years, then decades

You turned me inside out and you showed me what life was about only you, the only one who stole my heart away

· Read more…

2007 May 30
not exactly rocket science

Now I think Apple is doing the right thing by offering DRM-free music. Although, frankly, the DRMed stuff is not all that hard to crack. Just burn it to CD then re-encode it with the Apple Lossless codec. No loss of quality necessary. (I wouldn’t recommend re-encoding to mp3 or AAC unless you don’t care and/or don’t notice the drop in quality.) Hard drive space is cheap, anyway. My 30 GB 5G iPod cost me less than my (sadly, broken) 20 GB 2G iPod. And if you don’t want to waste a CD-R, I’m sure there are other hacks out there for removing the DRM.

· Read more…

2007 May 30
the sun still shines, the sun still sets

Sunset at Ocean Beach Sunset at Ocean Beach Sunset at Ocean Beach Sunset at Ocean Beach

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2007 May 31
disinformation (itunes 7.2 and itms)

At the risk of sounding like a raving, gibbering Apple fanboy, I’ve got to ask, what’s up with all the FUD? First there is the paranoia about Apple tracking you through your DRM-less $1.29 downloads, and now there’s this big deal about no longer being able to convert DRMed AACs to DRM-less MP3s (discovered via boingboing.net.)

· Read more…

2007 May 31
afraid of apple

Wow. This story has actually hit the mainstream media. The BBC notes that people are paranoid about all that personal information embedded in the DRM-free songs offered on the iTunes Music Store.

· Read more…

June

2007 Jun 1
fucking with my circadian clock

It’s past 4:30 a.m. and I really, really, really should go to sleep.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 2
quizzy-poos

My cousin J™ [1][2] loves this crap:

· Read more…

2007 Jun 3
A generalized sense of madness

I can tell you, working nights is not particularly conducive to mental well-being. Especially when nearly everyone you meet is somewhat insane as it is, and a good number of them are just completely crazy.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 5
from phoenicia to austronesia?

(revised from ”The meaning of syllables”)

· Read more…

2007 Jun 5
binding energy

(revised from ”Cultural Origin of Dualism?”)

· Read more…

2007 Jun 5
on gods and spirits

(revised from ”Re: response to victor & malaki)

· Read more…

2007 Jun 6
alibata

Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa ang amoy sa bulok at mabahong isda — Jose Rizal (Anyone who doesn’t know how to love their own language is worse than the smell of a rotten, stinky fish)

· Read more…

2007 Jun 9
more quizzes

Your Personality Is

· Read more…

2007 Jun 11
enneagram simplified

From J™:

· Read more…

2007 Jun 11
this was unexpected (following j™'s via-trails)

· Read more…

2007 Jun 11
oh blessed sleep

So now my sleep-wake cycle is completely fucked. It was probably a poor idea to have that Frappucino with an extra shot of espresso.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 12
the middle part

(inspired by a comment to a blog post by someone whom I’ve been blog-stalking on MySpace)

· Read more…

2007 Jun 12
endings (a conversation continued)

June. Before the solstice and the fading of the sunlight. The beginning of summer is always the ending of another year. Another epoch. As usual, I am always facing the brink of time alone, each time finding myself further and further from civilization. (A voice cries out in the wilderness.) The exile has never ended. I’ve lost any hope of finding a distant shore. Like The Flying Dutchman denied from mooring at any port, I am forced to sail on, sail on.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 13
radiohead "lucky"

(Listen to it on the Hype Machine: Radiohead “Lucky” (acoustic))

· Read more…

2007 Jun 14
the future is now

I once had a dream about blogging, being irritated with the emergency department, and the planet Pluto. Somehow these elements randomly came together tonight for no particular reason, and I got this eerie feeling that somehow I can dream about the future. This isn’t the first time this has occurred, and it’s not just some déjà vu weirdness. Unfortunately, my dreams about the future are never useful.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 15
bathala

I don’t know how this managed to elude me for so long, and I don’t really know what prompted me to look this up. Somehow I had stumbled upon the word kairos, which up to now I had merely thought of as the high-school retreat that my high school, along with many Catholic high schools, has seniors participate in. At my school, it wasn’t mandatory, so I never went. I hear that it can be quite life-changing and that it’s very touchy-feely. There insider motto is “Live the Fourth.” Since the Kairos retreat is three days long, I have been told that “the Fourth” means the fourth day, which basically means that one’s life should be lived as an extension of the Kairos experience.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 15
lord of the universe?

I also wonder where exactly my last name comes from. It’s a really unique name, and pretty much anyone who has it is almost certainly related to me somehow.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 16
attraction/repulsion

I really haven't gotten the model thing to work for me. I like how I attract unstable people. Yay!

· Read more…

2007 Jun 20
little thoughts

This week is starting to really get to me. I only have to work for two more nights before I get a weekend.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 21
more myspace bulletins/quizzes from j™

Which forgotten animated heroine are you?

· Read more…

2007 Jun 21
gift or curse

The New York Times published an article about how eldest children tend to be ever-so-slightly more “intelligent” than their younger sibs. (Found on Newsvine.)

· Read more…

2007 Jun 21
solstice (my voluminous blogroll)

I literally skim through 400+ RSS feeds a day. I kind of wonder where my limit is. The point where it starts to feel onerous, and that I’ll never ever get any real work done.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 21
mas preguntas

How will I die?

· Read more…

2007 Jun 22
full circle

It’s 5 a.m. and I’m actually at work, where I am allowed to sleep. Unfortunately, I’m all keyed-up and can’t seem to sit still. Hurry up and wait, indeed.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 23
by the pricking of my thumbs

So I thought about the story of Snow White, how her mom pricks her finger on a sewing needle, and when she sees a drop of blood upon the white cloth she is sewing, she thinks of naming a daughter Snow White. So she gives birth, and then dies.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 23
where does he get those wonderful toys?

Again, more quizzes from J™.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 24
the empire

Bush and Cheney’s disdain for the rule of law—to the point of disobeying their own laws—has been flitting around in my consciousness for the past couple of days. On one hand, it’s not surprising at all. Ever since the election of 2000, W and his cronies have been breaking laws and have tried to consolidate the supreme power of the executive branch. From W’s usurpation of the presidency, to the illegal war in Iraq, the abolition of habeas corpus, the institution of torture, and W’s unlawful signing statements, these bastards have far exceeded Nixon’s violations. But Devilstower on The Daily Kos puts it into chilling perspective.

· Read more…

2007 Jun 25
backward compatibility

I don’t know if it’s because I have just a touch of risk-seeking behavior, but the concept of backward compatibility was never a compelling reason for me to expect that people would deliberately sabotage innovation. And yet, witness the gutted shell that is Vista, which is lacking interesting features like WinFS and Monad/Powershell (although this is eventually going to be released), features that would actually make me want to explore this brave new OS. (And these are only the most infamous of the scrapped features, to boot.)

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2007 Jun 25
baffling (how i learned to stop worrying and love the gui and high-level languages)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a developer. The extent of my hacking history lies in the good old 8-bit days when I was hand-coding machine language programs into BASIC DATA statements. I learned, of all things, Pascal (which happened to be the programming language tested on the AP Computer Science test) and tried to muck around with C and C++, but eventually gave up with that and ended up learning Perl instead.

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2007 Jun 25
trolling the board

A few small gems that made me laugh out loud that I found while looking for potential admits on tonight’s emergency department board:

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2007 Jun 25
addicted

Quizzes. Not from J™. Unfortunately I don’t remember the source.

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2007 Jun 26
more disorder

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2007 Jun 26
at least i'm not that guy

Wow. This sounds bad.

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2007 Jun 29
oh my adrenal glands

I feel utterly tired and spent. I have spent the last two weeks living an unnatural existence, forced to try to sleep during the day and stay awake at night. I can almost imagine my adrenal glands screaming, trying to pump out enough cortisol and epinephrine to keep me from crashing. After my last shift tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up sleeping until Monday.

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2007 Jun 29
the etymology of "gorked" and its cognates

Gorked is a word we like to throw around the emergency department and the hospital wards from time to time. In our general usage of the term, it basically means someone who is non-responsive, generally comatose (as opposed to mere altered mental status/delirium.) In some ways, it has an iatrogenic connotation to it, as it is sometimes used to describe patients who are inadvertantly rendered unresponsive due to excessive dosing of medication (although the more common terminology for this condition is snowed) or unresponsive because of a bad clinical outcome, such as massive stroke, brain hemorrhage, post-code brain (so called because this is what tends to happen when they call a code blue [cardiac and/or respiratory arrest emergency] and it takes more than 8 minutes to get you back, meaning that there is bigtime hypoxic-ischemic brain injury—no oxygen or bloodflow to the brain), or post-bypass brain (which is usually a lot more subtle, and usually has psychiatric qualities to it, but occasionally, someone who gets a coronary artery bypass graft—abbreviated as CABG and affectionately pronounced like “cabbage”—gets gorked.)

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2007 Jun 29
if i were a dame

Found on Gura’s Blog:

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2007 Jun 30
better lucky than good

The Fool is an auspicious card, depicting potential.

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2007 Jun 30
dissolution

July cometh. A new year starts.

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July

2007 Jul 1
rss promiscuity and why nofollow is cool

I find myself commenting a lot on how stupid Digg is. Not the concept itself, which is basically Slashdot evolved and on steroids. The problem is that the average posters are morons.

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2007 Jul 1
where are they now?

My sister informs me of the fates of a couple of child actresses from the Shelly Long movie ”Troop Beverly Hills“ [IMDb][Wikipedia]

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2007 Jul 1
future megalopolises

Or megalopoleis for the pendantic.

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2007 Jul 3
pivot

I would say that it’s a sense of foreboding, but I don’t want it to all negative like that.

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2007 Jul 3
then maybe not

Not so still, perhaps. But just as hopeless.

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2007 Jul 4
small frustrations

unexpected traffic. Sunlight fading. Visions remote, receding, flashing quickly through my field of vision. Hoping to get lost in familiar territory.

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2007 Jul 6
insensate

I find it interesting that I searched for the word insensate and Google’s adsense popped up the following:

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2007 Jul 7
so sick

Maybe I just need to get into a rhythm. Usually I look forward to the summertime, never mind that I rarely get time off anyway. But I just feel, I dunno, bleh.

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2007 Jul 7
all we need is time

in the fog of indecision
the clarity of the dawn
in the anxious disappointment of missed chances
the cold, hard certainty of inescapable destiny
in the silence of defeat
the distant roar of victory

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2007 Jul 7
the sea, and distant tidings of sorrow

The Internet is a convoluted web, and I still marvel at the deftly woven connections between strangers, and I wonder how one can be touched by someone who you never knew, at least not in “real” life.

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2007 Jul 8
what's right vs what works

I seem to revisit this topic from time to time. Usually in the context of trying to struggling through someone else’s code.

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2007 Jul 9
the epitome of pathetic

OK, folks, I think I’ve reached a new low here. I opened a tin can of beans with a hammer and a screwdriver. Supper of champions.

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2007 Jul 9
random epiphanies

Now I’m not one of those sad-sacks who comfort themselves with the idea that “everything happens for a reason.” Lots of things happen for no good reason. Irrationality rules the day most of the time, and if everything in the universe were really premeditated, then God would have to be a psychopath, no question.

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2007 Jul 10
fear of success

Oddly, my horoscope gets it right:

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2007 Jul 11
ok computer: 10 year anniversary

Radiohead *OK Computer*

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2007 Jul 13
nerd dreams

I swear. Who dreams of particle accelerators?

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2007 Jul 21
archetypes dying in media res

Because of the release of Deathly Hallows today, I had to catch up and read Half-Blood Prince. One of the reasons why I had decided to put off reading it was because everyone had ruined the “big surprise,” which was the death of Albus Dumbledore.

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2007 Jul 21
spoilers

“If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?”

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2007 Jul 22
severus snape: the man, the myth, the legend (massive spoiler!)

“You never saw Snape cast a Patronus, did you, Riddle?”

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2007 Jul 23
drag-and-drop goodness

Now, granted, I’m no impartial observer. I’ve hated Windows since the 1998 iteration, and haven’t looked back. I used Linux as my primary OS from 1999 to 2002, then finally ended up buying an iBook and switching to Mac OS X (which was at version 10.1 at the time.) So I am confused by the outrage generated by drag-and-drop “installation” that is the method that Apple recommends to all developers. The article itself discusses the rationale for these guidelines, which I won’t regurgitate, but which I will refer to.

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2007 Jul 23
oh, and btw, a change

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve once again changed blogging engines. This change differs from previous migrations in that I actually imported my old posts. Of course, I haven’t sifted through the old posts yet, and I’m pretty sure a lot of them are pretty broken. I can’t believe I wrote 400+ posts in the past year and a half. Can you imagine if I actually dedicated this time to writing a novel or a book of poems instead?

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2007 Jul 25
migrating from wordpress to typo 4.1.1 (trunk) on dreamhost

This is just a quick outline of the steps I took, which I hope to fill in as time goes on.

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2007 Jul 25
returning to earthsea/of wizards and warlocks

I’m still ruminating about the end of the Harry Potter saga. The mainstream media’s reaction has always interested me. They continue to be bemused by the idea of a novel taking the world by storm, and infiltrating popular culture. Never mind the fact that people were writing “Frodo Lives!” on subway walls 40 years ago, or the fact that The Lord of the Rings trilogy was extraordinarily successful, and, as far as wizards go, Gandalf the Grey is as well-known as Merlin, and is arguably the favorite and most-beloved of wizards amongst nerds and geeks world-wide.

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2007 Jul 25
severus and lily

I don't think you can really call it love, but still…

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2007 Jul 25
magic: earthsea, middle-earth, et al.

I think The Earthsea Cycle will always have a place in my heart. The three key fantasy novels/series that I am heavily influenced by are The Lord of the Rings, The Last Unicorn, and The Earthsea Cycle. And because of the accidents of time and space, I think I will never escape the popular culture influences of “Star Wars” or of the Harry Potter series. Not that the latter two don’t have any merits. It’s just that I simply don’t consider them to be in the same class as the first three.

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2007 Jul 26
scattered thoughts (spoilers!)

It’s ironic, really. While I have thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter series for the past 7 years (I was gifted the first three books in 2000), I never really held it in high regard, especially in terms of literary merit. To me, it was the fantasy equivalent of a romance novel: lots of fun to read, but not something you would read again. As I’ve mentioned before, the only books that I’ve managed to read more than once have been The Lord of the Rings, The Last Unicorn, and The Wizard of Earthsea. (Actually, digging around in my memory, there are a few more: some of Madeline L’Engle’s books, in particular A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters; and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy series by Douglas Adams.)

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2007 Jul 26
"el regalo" by peter s beagle/why I dig earthsea

Actually, one of my favorite “there are wizards among us” stories is entitled “El Regalo” (The Gift) by Peter S Beagle (of The Last Unicorn fame.) Part of his anthology The Line Between, Beagle chronicles the misadventures of a 15 year old Korean American girl named Angie and her 8½ year old brother named Marvyn, both of whom come to discover that they have magical powers. In this tantalizing tidbit that is just calling to be expanded to a full length novel, they find themselves pitted against an ancient, malevolent sorceror only known as El Viejo, The Old Man.

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2007 Jul 26
if there were no revolution

It occurs to me that July is pretty much over, and August is close at hand. This summer is flying by, and I kind of feel like I’m having to hang on tightly, lest I end up falling on my ass.

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2007 Jul 27
imagining the aftermath of war

While I’m sure that W+Co would love to have the war in the Middle East metastasize and essentially last forever, there is such a thing as finite resources, and either the occupation of Iraq will end soon, or we will find ourselves sending an significant chunk of an entire generation to their needless deaths, and throwing away taxpayer money to the point where our infrastructure will start to suffer. (I imagine that Hurricane Katrina is only a foreshadowing. And keep in mind that we have yet to institute any actualy measures that would keep us safe from terrorist attacks.)

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2007 Jul 31
ch… ch… changes

Just a quick status report: I’ve been struggling mightily with Ruby on Rails, the web application framework du jour, and I finally managed to get a working copy of Mephisto, yet another blog engine. While Typo was OK, I unfortunately discovered that AJAXy-goodness wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be when I couldn’t easily customize my blog. While the idea of drag-and-drop widgets is cool, it’s also slow as hell, and I just didn’t have the patience to wait for the refreshes, particularly when in some cases, I could just write the requisite HTML in the same time.

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August

2007 Aug 2
the sorting hat

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
These cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.

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2007 Aug 2
this type of hero

How much of your destiny is truly predetermined? How much of it is self-fulfilling prophecy? (There are technical terms for these things, I think, except I can’t remember them. Confirmation bias? Forer effect?)

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2007 Aug 2
getting mephisto (trunk) to work on dreamhost

I found all of this rather confusing, since I’m pretty sure I downloaded the same version of Mephisto to my local machine as well as to my Dreamhost account. But I got things running on my local machine with no problem, but had to struggle for a couple of days to get it to work on Dreamhost (with Ruby 1.8.5 and Rails 1.2.3 as of this writing.)

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2007 Aug 2
bloc party "pioneers"

The video is awesome.

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2007 Aug 2
wordpress → typo → mephisto

Now, bear in mind, there are decent scripts lurking in vendor/plugins/mephisto_converters that will do a reasonable conversion from either Wordpress→Mephisto or Typo→Mephisto. The problem that comes up, however, is the dichotomy between categories and tags. While I was still using Wordpress (which only offers categories and does not offer tags), I was basically using categories as tags. I never really did get into the whole semantic partitioning between categories vs. tags and find that tags alone satisfy my organizational mindset (meaning, complete chaos, but I digress.

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2007 Aug 3
mika "happy ending" revisited

Wow. This puts a different spin on ”Happy Ending” by Mika.

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2007 Aug 3
vaguely troublesome

Some inchoate misgivings haunt me this early morning. My confidence is at once bolstered and yet shaken.

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2007 Aug 6
i'm not sure why i didn't do this earlier

So the experiment here is to see if I can just hack Blosxom and make it read XML files instead of the standard text files it reads.

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2007 Aug 6
andromeda

The Sci-Fi Channel had like six back-to-back episodes of the show “Andromeda”, whose concept was originally conceived by Gene Roddenberry (the creator of the original “Star Trek.”) What made me stop was that Nia Peeples[wikipedia][myspace] was a guest character on a particular episode. It turns out that Lexa Doig[wikipedia][IMDb] is a main character (in fact, the title character.) Why am I not aware of these things?

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2007 Aug 7
purpose

Hoping that when I find myself face-to-face with an ICBM with a neutron bomb payload, I won't have to say the same thing

addendum

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2007 Aug 7
jacking a macbook (immersion/submersion)

So my sister is out of the country for another month and a half, and she purposefully left her computer at my parents’ house, so I’ve started using it. It’s a MacBook with an Intel Core Duo running at 1.83 GHz with 1 GB of RAM, literally twice as fast as my iBook G4 with 1.28 GB of RAM, and it’s pretty sweet.

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2007 Aug 7
hbo

My sister has hooked me to HBO original serieses (er, yeah, I know that’s not a real word.) She has been obsessed with ”Entourage” which has now grown on me.

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2007 Aug 8
cocoa vs carbon (an on-going debate)

Even six and a half years after the debut of Mac OS X, this programming API debate continues to draw flames passionate cries of outrage from both camps: the classic Mac OS developers versus the NeXTish developers. [Carbon viewpoint][Cocoa rebuttal] And while Apple does officially intend for Carbon and Cocoa to be both native, first-class APIs, I always got the feeling that the ultimate target was Cocoa. This is unsurprising, considering that Cocoa, derived from NEXTSTEP, is therefore sort of Steve Jobs’ baby.

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2007 Aug 8
one for the road (another shitload of scattered thoughts)

I really can’t articulate why I just don’t feel right. There is a part of me that is sure that I’ve always felt like this, and it’s kind of silly to question the matter now.

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2007 Aug 9
kablog revisited

In addition to stealing my sister’s MacBook, I’ve also taken her old phone, and so I’ve installed a blogging client on it, which I am testing right now against Mephisto.

2007 Aug 9
blogging clients (the good, the bad, and the ugly)

So far, I’ve tried three desktop blogging clients for Mac OS X: Journler, MarsEdit, and Ecto.

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2007 Aug 10
hmmm…

<meta>Still playing with ecto right now. I can’t figure out the timestamps and it’s kind of driving me nuts. Whatever. I’ll let Mephisto figure it out. But ecto is starting to grow on me. I may very well be shelling out $17.95.</meta>

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2007 Aug 10
the flossy flossy

Interesting. You may have heard the song ”Glamorous” by Fergie. The chorus has been driving me crazy:

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2007 Aug 12
fatherhood

Odd, the synchronicity of this post from someone who is going to be a father. (P.S., the asking of highly detailed, extremely specific questions is not a sign that someone is going to be a good father. In fact, it is extremely annoying to the average health care provider, whether midwife, nurse, or physician, and for some reason, the information they have never seems to comport with either the reasonable guidelines suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the reasonable guidelines afforded by what is traditionally called “common sense.” One could even go as far to say that such nit-picking and attention to often irrelevant detail is a sign that things may go very badly, and that this individual may very well stifle all things that are good about being a child. The specific details of feeding regimens—except in regards to what will allow your baby not to choke to death from aspirating milk—are pretty pointless, since the correct answer to the question of “When should I feed my baby?” is “When he/she is hungry” and believe me, they’ll tell you when they’re hungry, and the correct answer to “What should I feed my baby?” is “Milk” for the first six months of life. There is a raging debate as to whether you should use breast milk or formula, and the data has a lot of good things to say about breast milk, but if, for whatever reason, this is not going to be an option, I would not let your baby starve to death because someone tells you that formula is evil. Bottom line: you’re doing fine, in my opinion.1

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2007 Aug 12
atm (against the mainstream)

In an [article in the Chicago Sun-Times][1], Steven Pinker brings up some ideas that are often met with knee-jerk reactions. (The terms “sexist,” “racist,” and “fascist” seem to pop up in the brain for some reason.)

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2007 Aug 12
if I were an evil supervillain

…I would be Apocalypse

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2007 Aug 12
cross-posting

I’ve been trying to cross-post some of my blog posts on MySpace. Why do I bother, you may ask? Frankly, it’s probably because, deep down inside, I’m a narcissist and an exhibitionist, and I want to expose myself to as large a population as possible, and fact of the matter is, everyone and their mom seems to be on MySpace.

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2007 Aug 14
back to the beginning

Mephisto broke for some reason. It may have been the plugin that I was experimenting with. But even when I took it out again, it stayed broken. I kept getting the dreaded 500 error. So I did a clean re-install. The blog itself is now still accessible (although I moved it to chaosanddisorder.net.) But I can’t get into the admin page.

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2007 Aug 15
fubar. snafu.

So apparently it was all Dreamhost’s fault. Both Mephisto and Movable Type are working at reasonable speeds. I still stand by the notion that Dreamhost really can’t handle Ruby on Rails very well. I’m looking into switching to (or at least adding on) a different shared host. Site5 looks promising.

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2007 Aug 15
more fubar

D’oh! Another thing I realized is that I just nuked my Mephisto database. The only thing still sitting on the server are some random archives and the index, and luckily, the Atom feed. I have my Wordpress install backed up, and my database for Typo is still around, so the only thing I’m probably missing are a few posts between the last time I used Typo and the oldest entry I posted from Mephisto that is still in the Atom file. Hopefully I can import all this stuff without too much headache.

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2007 Aug 15
that heat, that heat, that heat

Pardon my French, but it’s hotter than a motherfucker out there. This wouldn’t be a big deal at all if I actually had air-conditioning. I’m actually contemplating the idea of renting a hotel room just so I can turn the thermostat to 55 degrees and chill. Literally.

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2007 Aug 16
like a whelk in a supernova (scattered thoughts continue)

Well. It’s hot. What can I say. I’ve spent the entire day floating from cafe to cafe because I couldn’t stand being inside my air-conditionless apartment. (I really dug Influx Cafe, and they even have free wi-fi!) After that I even headed over to Fry’s (after almost getting into an accident after a guy popped a tire on the freeway and nearly rammed me as he headed to the shoulder) and contemplated buying a portable air-conditioner. But seeing as how I don’t have $399, I ended up leaving empty-handed.

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2007 Aug 16
Marié Digby

Looks like fellow Angeleno and California Golden Bear Marié Digby is making it big time.

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2007 Aug 17
trying to convert atom to something MT can read

I contemplated the idea of simpling writing an XSL stylesheet to convert Atom to WXR because this is one of the formats that MT can import. But unfortunately there is no codified spec for WXR, so I have no idea which elements I can safely ignore. And I don’t want to comb through the WXR-to-MT plugin to figure out what MT is actually reading (although I may end up doing this anyway.)

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2007 Aug 17
on the road again

The weather has cooled down wonderfully, but it’s still like an oven inside my apartment. I give up. I’m going to go to my parents’ house in L.A. and bask in air-conditioned glory. Sure, I have to go to work on Sunday, making this a short trip, but whatever.

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2007 Aug 17
perl script for converting atom to MT import format

Ideally, this should probably be a plugin that uses the MT API, but this little bit of kludgery seems to do the trick. Be forewarned, I used a lot of perl modules that may be non-standard.

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2007 Aug 20
indecision

The problem I’m having with Movable Type is I don’t like how the permalinks work. Since using Blosxom, I’ve grown accustomed to permalinks of the type such as http://domain.name/yyyy/mm/dd/slug, which happens to be the default format of Wordpress and Mephisto. (This was actually one of the reasons I wasn’t fond of Typo, because of the it inserts the word article between the domain name and the year. I found this unnecessarily crufty.)

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2007 Aug 21
mephisto on Mac OS X

Currently, I am actually running a copy of Mephisto on my sister’s MacBook. Navigating the interface seems marginally faster than interacting with a remote copy on Dreamhost, but that could all be placebo effect. The main reason I wanted to do this is because I didn’t want to have to SSH into my shell account on Dreamhost for troubleshooting purposes. To be fair, it seems like they’ve taken care of their networking issues and the massive amounts of latency is now gone, but still.

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2007 Aug 22
there and back again

So after much toil and trouble, I managed to migrate back from MT4 to Mephisto. I really wasn’t into the way MT4 handles archives. Of the blog engines I’ve tried so far, there are only really three that allow me to have permalinks the way I like them (domain.name/yyyy/mm/dd/slug). These are (1) Blosxom, (2) Wordpress, and (3) Mephisto. Granted, Blosxom doesn’t do this out of the box. (Actually, Blosxom doesn’t do much of anything at all out of the box) I probably would’ve stuck to Typo if I could’ve figured out how to get rid of articles from the permalink. Oh well.

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2007 Aug 24
harry potter and the lord of the rings

This idea was stolen shamelessly from this page that satirically insinuates that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a thinly-veiled rewrite of The Lord the Rings. Being the Middle-Earth loser otaku that I am, I had to adjust a few plot points:

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2007 Aug 25
rails grief/bot hammering

Not sure this made any difference, but I reverted down to r7357 for Edge Rails because r7358 kept running into MySQL out of memory errors.

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2007 Aug 25
never what you expect

So, yes, now it's Simplelog, yet another blog engine running on Ruby on Rails. I guess I'll be sticking to the stable distribution right now, although it doesn't look like the codebase has really been touched in the past 6 months.

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2007 Aug 25
summer is beginning to give up its fight

Transplants from the Midwest and the East Coast laugh at Southern Californians whenever we mention the idea of seasons. But I grew up in L.A., and I've lived the past three years in San Diego, and I swear to you there are seasons down here.

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2007 Aug 27
haunted by something that never was

I find it ironic when I think of who exactly got me to start reading the Harry Potter series in the first place. But that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

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2007 Aug 27
total eclipse of the heart

For some strange reason, I wake up at 1:45 a.m. My eyes are gooey and difficult to open because I fell asleep with my contacts in. I gaze outside my windowsill, and there's the full moon gleaming down upon me, and I remember that today, there's supposed to be a lunar eclipse.

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2007 Aug 28
it's never enough (successfully migrating from mephisto to simplelog)

When you get down to it, Mephisto has all the things I want in a blog engine. Non-crufty permalinks. (Only Wordpress formats its permalinks similarly, although you can easily get this from Blosxom.) A clean interface (Simplelog is probably the only one that is as clean.) A templating system that doesn't utilize nested angle-brackets (something that every single templating system out there has a problem with, except for Liquid, XSLT, and Erubis.) A templating system that strives to separate business logic from presentation (this is something I hate about PHP, and it's the thing that drove me away from Wordpress and which keeps me away, despite the fact that it has been the easiest blog engine to deal with so far. This is the thing that I love about XSLT despite its obtuse, arcane syntax. This is what I fear about Erb, because it makes it so easy to insert Ruby into your templates, leading to the potential of a PHP-like mess. Granted, Ruby is a much cleaner language than PHP, but still.)

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2007 Aug 28
i am seriously dying

I just wanted to say that there is a beautiful girl sitting across the room from me and it just reminds me how fucking hopeless I am. Hahaha.

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2007 Aug 28
migrating from mephisto to simplelog

So I managed to teach myself how to use Rails a little, mainly, how to utilize the magic that is ActiveRecord (which unfortunately probably took me at least 48 hours of sustained effort spread out over the last six days.) ActiveRecord makes me almost forget that I'm dealing with a SQL database. I don't have know any arcane syntax. I just have to know Ruby, which is an extremely Zen-like thing to know. (I know it's a stereotype, but, damn, you've got to hand it to the Japanese.) OK, I'm oversimplifying. I haven't really gotten the hang of join tables, but its nothing that convoluted kludgery can't get around.

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2007 Aug 28
clinical definition of blogorrhea? (damn Lord Byron)

I don't know why. I've been once again obsessed with the sad and sorry life of Severus Snape, and how he lost the only woman he loved, and how his life was effectively ended after she was murdered.

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2007 Aug 29
the third way

I learned a valuable lesson from a fallen priest back in high school. At the time, I didn't know his crimes, and the lesson loses no value because of them. (He was eventually accused and proven to have molested several children.)

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2007 Aug 29
nelly furtado "all good things (come to an end)"

I’ve been obsessed with song lately. I’m not sure why. It’s pretty catchy, though. Very “Dust in the Wind”-like, or maybe “Sound of Silence”-ish.

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2007 Aug 29
dream academy "please, please, please let me get what i want"

Dum spiro, spero

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2007 Aug 29
judybats "being simple"

…and I want to be good, but good is being simple. Simple is forgetting. I simply can’t forget….

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2007 Aug 30
accidentally clicking on photo booth. the free wi-fi cafe tour.

Whoops!

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2007 Aug 30
mark ronson featuring daniel merriweather "stop me"

Mark Ronson covers the Smiths.

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2007 Aug 31
chief complaint: indecisiveness, avoidant behavior

Despite religiously taking my medications, I’m still not quite all that functional. I mean, I suppose the good things are that I’m not having any problems at work, and I’m not sleeping sixteen hours a day anymore.

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2007 Aug 31
september already?!?!

WTF?

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September

2007 Sep 3
hot

Damn it, the heat is practically melting my brain. It’s been near 100 degrees all weekend, and as humid as a tropical rainforest. Which means that by the time I get home it’s like 120 degrees inside my apartment and disgustingly moist.

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2007 Sep 4
hot. continued.

The expected high temperature today is supposedly 90°F but the humidity is up to 60% and I’m already going out of my mind. It’s time to find a place with A/C to hang out.

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2007 Sep 4
whispers of the gods

On panspermia and ancient aliens (at least in science fiction.)

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2007 Sep 4
meta: the snow queen

I haven’t been this affected by the death of a character ever since Gandalf fell into the abyss in Moria.

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2007 Sep 4
half a person

Can you still be human when you’ve purposefully amputated your capacity to love? When you’ve decided to never feel another goddamn thing again, and there is nothing in your heart but dark emptiness?

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2007 Sep 4
creation from nothing (quantum mechanics)

To be loved, you must love…
But those who have so little, the ones who need it the most…
are the least likely to give it…

· Read more…

2007 Sep 4
faith (and the lack thereof)

When was the last time anyone believed in you?
Outside of the trappings of your profession
without the aegis of your Oath?

· Read more…

2007 Sep 4
convoluted

every thought is second-guessed
every impulse examined
every sliver of hope is processed
every emotion filtered

· Read more…

2007 Sep 4
dreaming

“will you come with me?”
and she would say “yes”
just that
and I would know

· Read more…

2007 Sep 4
even starlight fades

the fragrance of her hair haunts me
the way her eyes sparkle when she smiles
the sound of her laughter
the curve of her face
the quiet grace of her every move

· Read more…

2007 Sep 4
massive attack "teardrop"

I first heard this song one fevered night that I was driving to L.A. the long way around, up I-15, somewhere between Escondido and Temecula. Mix Master Mike was DJ’ing Spin Psycle.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 4
tortured soul

tortured?
you’re damned right my soul is tortured
twisted and wracked beyond even my darkest imaginings
fraught with pain and blood and death (though it is the vomit, the piss, and the shit that gets to me the most
and worse yet, the stench of bacteria feeding on still-live flesh
I have nightmares about resistant Staph aureus and Pseudomonas more than any of my other fears combined)

· Read more…

2007 Sep 5
counterbalance

Last night I dreamt that someone confessed her feelings for me—not that it mattered even in my dream, since she was married and had kids. And she kissed me, leaving me literally floored. It was too late, much too much too late, but to know that all my heartache, all my suffering had not been completely in vain was something of a comfort to me. Even though nothing could change, that bit of knowledge consoled me.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 5
mind trace

· Read more…

2007 Sep 5
no desire

why this dream now,
disinterring the past
I thought I had buried it deep
buried it well

· Read more…

2007 Sep 5
commentary for the day

That last post was actually quite painful. Who knew that sifting through six years of blog posts could evoke such bathos?

· Read more…

2007 Sep 5
the flaming lips "do you realize?"

The Flaming Lips • Do You Realize??

· Read more…

2007 Sep 6
rivermaya "himala"

It was 1997 when I first heard this song, on the island of Tablas, in the province of Romblon, awaiting a plane to take us back to Manila.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 6
87,600 hours

The last 10 years of unbearable loneliness have finally gotten to me, I think.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 6
Jocelyn Enriquez, Amber, and Ultra Naté "If You Could Read My Mind"

Nine years ago, driving down to San Diego to watch “Dogeaters” at the Mandeville Center on the UCSD campus.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 7
mindtrace (i'm getting better)

Maybe this story of fighter planes with nukes accidentally left on board flying over the U.S. was the genesis of one of the dreams I had the other day.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 7
trying to achieve escape velocity (retrospective: 10 years ago)

I’m not really sure what triggered this strange mood of mine. My mind wanders back to the end of my college days, unearthing a lot of bittersweet memories. (And do I even have any memories that just have the sweet and not the bitter?)

· Read more…

2007 Sep 7
even farther back

1995: Deep wounds. Ugly scars. And then: new, unfounded hopes and unfulfillable wishes. I learn a secret that, in the end, fucks me up bad, but which I am bound by honor to keep. (And would the outcome really have changed if I had betrayed it? Except for the damnation of my soul?)

· Read more…

2007 Sep 7
youtube candy

Before I find myself dragged back down into the pit of self-pity as I reminisce rather mawkishly, I thought I would share some mashups that I thought were particularly clever.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 7
the downward spiral

How did I get here?

· Read more…

2007 Sep 7
arcade fire "no cars go"

I left work this morning singing that line: “Between the click of the light and the start of the dream.” Orion gleamed through the clouds. The crescent moon was rising, and Venus also glittered in the east like a jewel, heralding the rising sun in less than an hour.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 8
flight

My mood is better now.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 9
overstimulated

Not sure why, but my brain feels like its full right now. There are like 100,000 thoughts spinning through this absurd skein of neurons wound up tighter than you could cinch a piece of string around Kate Moss’s waist, and I’m just paralyzed.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 9
blast crater

I guess there is no recovering from this. Even 10 years out.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 9
the coming of cold iron

I never watched the original version of “3:10 to Yuma” but I suspect it probably didn’t have the nuances of the remake starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. The plot is relatively straight-forward. Ben Wade, the infamous leader of a band of outlaws that have robbed the Southern Pacific Railroad twenty-two times, finally gets caught. Meanwhile, Dan Evans, a veteran of the Civil War who lost his leg, and a rancher who is being forced off his land by the Southern Pacific Railroad, decides to take the job to bring Ben Wade to justice, by escorting him to the prison train that stops in the town of Contention. Of course, Wade’s band of outlaws does all they can to save their boss.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 9
hope springs eternal

dating pools

· Read more…

2007 Sep 9
mindtrace (a full review)

But if I dissect out the past few weeks, I guess I’ve been asking for it. It’s like jumping up-and-down on an unstable bridge.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 10
basic concepts in wound healing

One of the things we learn as children about wounds is that you should never pick at your scabs. This is guaranteed to prevent healing of the wound, and can actually promote scarring to the point of disfigurement.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 11
ephemerality

Is “ephemerality” even a real word?

· Read more…

2007 Sep 11
doomed

Septembers have also been traditionally the month that I would start re-reading The Lord of the Rings. There is always something poignant about the ending of summer. It reminds me that it’s time to move on, and to fly towards the shadows of the unknown.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 13
31

Today came without much fanfare or glee. I am quite happy that I have the day off, though. This week I’ve been working rather fucked-up hours, and it’s begun having a toll on me. I’m not a big fan of leaving work and finding the sun rising up to meet me. I still have to work another shift with similar hours tomorrow, but thankfully I have the weekend off as well.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 13
reintegration

Now that I’ve found a blog engine that I’m relatively happy with, I’m thinking about folding all of my old entries into it. Not sure exactly what that will accomplish except that it will be easier to search for certain topics, but I’m sure that I’ll waste at least a few hours trying to figure it out.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 13
they might be giants "older"

A humorous paen to aging and mortality.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 23
letting go

trust not to hope
hope will have you believing in things
that have no hope of coming true
and despair is not the absence of hope
no, despair is hope so thin and frail and fragile
hope so deadly, so fell, so fraught with peril
a thread of hope so sharp, so razor-thin
cutting deeply, jaggedly, viciously

· Read more…

2007 Sep 24
hulogdahon (a prelude)

Summer’s beginning to give up her fight…

· Read more…

2007 Sep 24
hulogdahon (failure to disentangle)

It’s been a strange ride. Friday, against my better judgement, I went to the Beer Festival. Hilariously, I ran into a bunch of people from my residency class. I didn’t know whether to be disturbed or to be comforted that there were at least six or seven physicians at that place.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 24
hulogdahon (the heart of the matter)

So S (of whom I’ve written a few things here and there) got married on Saturday. Strangely, it didn’t seem like it had been all that long since she first hooked up with her now husband, but four years is a pretty long time.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 24
hulogdahon (a brief and fitful storm)

I’ve never been sore from crying before. I mean, literally sore. My recti abdominalis hurt the next morning.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 24
recent mistakes and bad ideas

It was probably poor planning to drink coffee at 9 p.m. and expect to be able to sleep.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 25
back to our regularly scheduled program

While I’m technically not on a ward month now, I’m spending about 11 hours a day in the hospital. Which is not as bad as it sounds, I guess. I dig working on the wards a lot better than working in the ED, frankly.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 26
anticipation

For no good reason I woke up at 4:30 a.m. today without any prompting from my alarm clock.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 27
last thoughts of the day

My mind has been everywhere today. I suppose one of the good things about getting older is that there is a wider field for my brain to wander. I could probably keep myself usefully amused for several days just letting my thoughts meander.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 27
my mind is on overdrive

The problem I have with overly optimistic philosophies is that it seems to discount the seriousness of human suffering. I mean, seriously, try getting someone who, after 10 grueling years of intensive chemo, followed by an equally grueling course of bone marrow transplant complicated by graft-vs-host disease, just had a relapse of leukemia—try getting them to watch “The Secret” and see how perverse and even insulting that is.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 29
julia roberts already made that movie

I feel like a lot of loose ends are being tied up in my life lately. I don’t know whether to be relieved, or to be sad. Or whether to be wary of the future. Every time life comes to one of these pauses, one of these lacunae, it seems that everything goes to shit.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 30
september fades

This song is by Pedro Gil, whom I ended up watching a few months ago.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 30
karma is not a linear function

My interpretation of a mathematical theory of karma:

· Read more…

2007 Sep 30
pain cycle start

is it sharp?
is it burning?
is it constant?
is it intermittent?

· Read more…

2007 Sep 30
the roots "complexity"

This song seems curiously apt with regards to the thoughts flowing through my head in the last 48 hours or so. This song actually reminds me of those days when the evil resident was raping my soul and somehow it ties everything together and closes the loop.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 30
hooverphonic "eden"

I really find this song haunting. And fitting, as the memories of this last summer and the summers gone before blow away upon the wind of smoke.

· Read more…

2007 Sep 30
92 days

…left in 2007. Where does the time go?

· Read more…

October

2007 Oct 2
movement while staying still

I have yet to determine when the ideal time to have my last cup of coffee is. I feel like if I don’t have it before 6 p.m., I’m totally going to fall asleep, but if I have it at 7 p.m., then I’m going to be awake all night.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 3
el camino escondido del dios

in that space unrecognizable,
scotomata perforating your visual fields
the mind fills in the gaps
elides the ragged, raging ends of
punctured, gaping reality
all is well with the world
as far your aching mind is concerned
ignore something long enough and
trust me
it will eventually go away
and all bleeding stops eventually

· Read more…

2007 Oct 3
el camino real (un poco y poco)

Autumn on this desert shore
sputters and drifts, stutters and stammers
skipping/scratching/scuffing/grooving
and it’s DJ G O D in da house, muthafucka

· Read more…

2007 Oct 3
active stillness revisited

Oh her blog, S. (not S) posts this quote from T.S. Eliot:

· Read more…

2007 Oct 4
desperate housewives derides philippine medical degrees

Not sure if you’ve come across the latest outrage du jour. Apparently, Teri Hatcher’s character in ”Desperate Housewives” thinks her gynecologist is a quack because he just diagnosed her with being perimenopausal, and she demands to know whether or not he graduated from a medical school in the Philippines.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 4
aqualung "black hole"

I swear my iPod is becoming sentient. Somehow it always manages to pick the right song at the right moment.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 5
obviousman strikes again

Truism #31415: No one likes being called an asshole. Especially when they deserve it.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 5
inconceivable!

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 5
interweaving patterns everywhere

You can always find a bit of synchronicity if you look hard enough. Also known as the Forer Effect.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 6
between

writhing with frustration
aching with desire
wrestling with indecision
still as a mountain top looming over the City

· Read more…

2007 Oct 6
forcing

Even a nuclear bomb up my ass
might fail to move my sad sack, bloated body off of this chair
stuck stupid and slack-jawed, gaping at this screen
(to filter through reality
like stripped shorn pantyhouse in front of a sewage drain
leaving the cigarette butts and used condoms to wallow
in that sepulcher of corrugated metal and chemical despair
letting the fecophilic micro-organisms,
the rich culture medium of turd
float out in the cold of the unforgiving sea)

· Read more…

2007 Oct 7
fall from grace

I forget what exactly I typed into Google, but somehow I ended up at this archived discussion about the motif of static history in stereotypical fantasy. It’s true, Western Civilization seems to be obsessed with the idea that things were better in the past, and things really suck now. Tolkien called this idea ”The Long Defeat,” specifically referring to the Fall of the Noldor, from a state of Valinorean grace to becoming refugees fleeing Middle-Earth furtively in the night.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 7
even the environment pushes back

The Lord of the Rings vis-a-vis the Cold War and the War on Terror

· Read more…

2007 Oct 7
synchronicity: two is only a coincidence

I find it funny that I’ve never heard of Michelle Monaghan before, and all of the sudden this weekend I’ve watched two movies she stars in: ”The Heartbreak Kid” and ”Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang

· Read more…

2007 Oct 7
infixation

Neil Gaiman brings up the linguistic phenomenon of infixation, which is extremely rare in English, but is part and parcel of Austronesian languages.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 8
visions and revisions

Gary the Tolkien Geek has been reposting blog posts that analyze the text of

The Lord of the Rings

, so I haven’t tried to reread the thing itself. (Despite the fact that I’ve read the book multiple times, it’s absurd the things that I’ve managed to miss: for example, the insinuation that Eärendil’s ship Vingelot may be a spaceship or the fact that the place name Nargothrond actually occurs in the text.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 8
sun stricken

Where have I been? What have I seen?

· Read more…

2007 Oct 8
unsung heroics

unsung heroics part I unsung heroics part II

· Read more…

2007 Oct 9
michelle malkin: a disgrace to all filipinos everywhere

I have to ask you, Michelle:

· Read more…

2007 Oct 9
corruption and the developing world

There is this punk on the Alibata Yahoo Group that I find myself arguing with whenever I participate in a discussion. Calling himself Malachi, he uses tactics that are reminiscent of the average troll. But for some reason, people never call him out for it.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 9
rehab (even amy winehouse had to go)

OK, I’m not talking about my drug problems. I’m talking about the terrible shape my body is in.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 12
responsibility

Inspired by a random blog post.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 14
hypochondriosis

You would think that being a trained medical professional would make me immune to supratentorial disorders.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 16
there and back again

So like the absent-minded fool that I am, I left my psychotropic medications in L.A. Because of the terrible, terrible withdrawal side effects, I was compelled to pick them up after finishing work.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 19
again with the indecision

Right now I can feel my plasma glucose levels slipping. My liver seems to have exhausted all of its supply of glycogen or something, too.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 19
back. way back.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 21
comings and goings

You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.
—Unknown

· Read more…

2007 Oct 21
lone wolves: a misnomer

A biography about Charles Schulz’s biography was recently released, and the blogosphere has had a field day analyzing it. While the Amazon reviewers are apparently disgusted by the dirt that Michaelis dishes up, other readers have found it wonderful to discover/have it confirmed that the creator of such a well-known cultural phenomenon as Peanuts was all too human.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 22
world on fire

In Southern California, autumn does not bring the changing of the leaves, nor the bluster of the cold. Rather, it brings fire and ash, as the Santa Ana winds dry out all the brush, leaving behind powder-keg conditions. All it takes is a stray spark, or the mindless malice of an arsonist, and literally all hell breaks loose.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 22
the cry of the wind

Kevin Drum is incredulous about Joan Didion’s description of the Santa Ana winds. While it is probably a little over the top, there is a change in the atmosphere when those blasts of moisture-stripping wind barrel through the canyons and passes, howling and shrieking, and making your house shudder every once in a while.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 23
fiery rant

Leave it to San Diego politicians to turn a natural disaster like the fires that are currently running rampant throughtout San Diego County into a partisan issue.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 23
the time for pointing fingers, I guess

Me and a colleague speculated over why San Diego County can’t seem to protect their citizens from something as regularly cyclic and expected as wildfires. Everyone knows the drill come October. The Santa Anas come blowing in. The brush dries out. Eventually something is going to catch fire, and the fire is going to spread. Fast.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 24
san diego politicians make me sick

While Governor Schwarzenegger, Mayor Jerry Sanders, and Representative Duncan Hunter continue to fellate each other about what a good job they’re doing, I’d like to point out that the evacuation effort actually underscores the fact that the victims of Hurricane Katrina were grossly mistreated and neglected.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 24
duncan hunter is a cunt

But you knew that already.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 24
adrenalitis

It’s quite possible that my adrenal glands have finally given up. The wall-to-wall 24/7 coverage of the wild fires has worn me down. I don’t remember being this wired since the destruction of the WTC or maybe not even since the L.A. riots.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 24
last thoughts for the day

As I try to clear my head from the fires, S. gets me thinking.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 25
unholy light

After grabbing some grub and buying more toilet paper, I noticed for the first time the unnatural, diffuse glow that seems to envelop all of San Diego. The sky is this bizarre faded and yet deep blue, like the color of the light filtering through an aquarium, maybe, or maybe more like a TV screen that’s on but without any input coming in, not even static. Or maybe more like an overexposed picture, and just as grainy.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 27
rails vs php

I don’t know why, but suddenly I had the urge to try yet another blog engine, even though I haven’t really hacked into SimpleLog’s internals and given customization a chance, which was the whole point of using it.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 27
priestly duties

It has been about six months since the last time I had to give The Talk™. It’s not something I’m particularly good at, although I’m better than I used to be. In the end, it’s about getting to the point: your loved one is dying, and everything we’re doing to her/him is only prolonging suffering. Will you give us permission to stop these things, and focus on making her/him comfortable?

· Read more…

2007 Oct 28
on silmarils and arkenstones

Still reading The History of the Hobbit by John D. Rateliff. There have been loony theories around the Internet which ponder whether the Arkenstone from The Hobbit is in fact a Silmaril.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 28
us vs them

Anil Dash objects to the subtle mockery that Apple throws towards Windows, and I do see his point. It’s yet another sign of “immaturity”, in the same vein of the shit-talking found in the Mac vc PC ads.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 28
past tense

As I shot down the I-5 listening to my iPod, this song came up, bringing up memories from my first year in college, way back in 1994-1995

· Read more…

2007 Oct 28
changing tides

It still remains to be seen if the U.S. can be salvaged from the claws of totalitarianism, but I remember the dark days of the botched 2000 election, when the Supreme Court stripped the people of their sovereignty and selected the guy who didn’t win the election, and I remember the cynical use of the destruction of the WTC as an excuse to foment war in Iraq.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 29
flashback: the unit

Love is watching someone die.

· Read more…

2007 Oct 30
some reasons why san diego sucks goat dick

The more I think about it, the more unlikely it seems that I’m going to end up staying here in S.D. While the weather is nice and I have some connections that would make it easier to find a job out here, I think I’m just sick and tired of most of the people here.

· Read more…

November

2007 Nov 2
asymmetric warfare (mozilla vs microsoft)

The argument about ECMAScript 4 (the proposed next iteration of Javascript) could very well become quite interesting, although, realistically, this probably won’t be happening for a few years.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 3
the under city

On the way home, I took a different route today. I absentmindedly stayed in the right-hand lanes on the Santa Ana Fwy. going north, and ended up getting shunted onto the Santa Monica Fwy. heading west.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 3
the continuing evolution of google

The transformation of the Matrix (also known as Google) is at hand.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 4
revisiting crisis theory

I was actually first introduced to Marxist crisis theory while reading a fantasy novel, Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville. My simplistic one-liner about crisis theory is that it predicts that increasing prosperity actually diminishes the ability of labor to produce the same amount of profit, inevitably leading to a clash between capital and labor. But mathematically speaking, what this means is that the normal progression of a capitalist economy starts off high, but steadily declines, eventually approaching 0 asymptotically (although never actually reaching zero). There is probably a critical point where crisis occurs, and wealth becomes redistributed in some manner (usually violently.) This restarts the engine of capital expansion, which again inevitably declines.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 4
terrorism, drugs, and the prison system

Just finished watching “The American Gangster” with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, which documents the rise and fall of the drug lord Frank Lucas in the late ‘60’s to the mid ‘70’s, concomitant with the Vietnam War era. (The New York Magazine has an article about him.)

· Read more…

2007 Nov 6
the jig is up (the desktop is dead, long live the web appliance)

Well, ain’t this a kick in Microsoft’s pants?

· Read more…

2007 Nov 6
seven years of wandering the desert

Of note, yesterday marks the 7th anniversary of my blogging endeavors. Why is it that I always watch druggie movies in November?

· Read more…

2007 Nov 7
hasta la vista, baby!

More news about the Internet appliance cum computer: the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe sports a mini-OS called Splashtop, similar to the Phoenix Hyperspace Mini OS which I mentioned previously. The writer seems to be missing the bigger picture, which is that your primary OS resides on the Web. (Specifically, Google OS)

· Read more…

2007 Nov 9
yet another reason why San Diego sucks

Today is the last day of the Stacy Taylor Show, the only local progressive AM talk show on the air here. They are being evicted by their corporate task masters, the evil empire known as Clear Channel. They give me yet another reason to continue pirating music, to bring these motherfuckers down.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 9
backwards compatibility with ms-dos

Yikes! Programming for Windows definitely has some harrowing pitfalls.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 10
emo elvish poetry

Adding a few new feeds to Google Reader has caused it to dredge up a bunch of old entries, but I find this rather pretty:

· Read more…

2007 Nov 12
play

Not sure where exactly this entire weekend went. My mind feels like it’s been liquified, and I’m not sure if I’m coming down with something, if I’ve grown allergic to my parents’ dog and my sister’s dog, if I’m suffering from really severe caffeine withdrawal, or if I’m quite possibly losing my mind.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 13
incomplete, unfulfilled

trip me up with the frailty of life
the inevitability of mortality
even at this height, I can see the deep darkness
of that impending horizon where no stars shine
and night is eternal

· Read more…

2007 Nov 15
not a djinni in the lamp

Wow. I find the governor of Georgia’s attempt to ask for rain extraordinarily presumptious. What gives us the right to ask God for anything, really? I am reminded by a scene out of the Bible where the priests of Baal have a theological contest with the prophet Elijah.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 16
from there to here, from then to now

Seven years is slightly less than ¼ of my life so far, and exactly ¼ the number of years of memories I have tucked away somewhere in the eternal labyrinth of mushy grey stuff hidden away in my skull. (I remember my first memory quite distinctly. It is rather mundane and extraordinarily unremarkable, but I know it is the first. Me and my dad were driving south on Alvarado St. in Echo Park, past the Safeway just before Reservoir St. Why this sticks to me, I don’t know.)

· Read more…

2007 Nov 20
round corners

The round corners of the menu bar in Mac OS seem to be an artifact from the early 1980’s, when the 9 inch CRT of the original Mac 128k had rounded bezels.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 23
tired and weak but thankful

Is this just pure sleep deprivation? Is this dehydration? Am I just hungry? Or maybe this is the characteristic post-post-call torpor? Paranoid thoughts about the H5N1 virus flit briefly through my brain, but the probabilities are pretty slim.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 23
false etymologies

I have a thing for trying to discover the underlying etymologies of proper names. It becomes a fun game to generate names in imaginary languages that have similar meanings to names in real languages.

· Read more…

2007 Nov 25
grains of sand in an hourglass

Come December, and the end of the year is nigh
and though the air is dry and warm
the sky glimmers, shimmers with cloudy gray
and the waning sunlight casts long shadows
upon the cold blue sea

· Read more…

2007 Nov 28
a theory of miracles

I thought to myself this morning:

· Read more…

2007 Nov 29
coping with existence

Not sure what exactly changed this evening, after I gave up with lying in bed, weary, defeated. Maybe it was the odd impulse to write this line on a random scrap of paper:

· Read more…

December

2007 Dec 3
facing the unknown

will it be just like falling asleep
without waking
an eternal night
without sun’s dawning
no stars, no moon
just the silence
and the void?

· Read more…

2007 Dec 3
amazon and itms

Robert Scoble seems to be spinning this as an attack on Apple, but as an iPod owner, what this means is that I now have two places where I can legitimately buy songs in digital format (and even more if more artists get with it and go the way of Radiohead.) Looks like a win-win to me.

· Read more…

2007 Dec 5
exile

unfinished
unending

· Read more…

2007 Dec 5
retrospect/chronologic

· Read more…

2007 Dec 8
multicellular computing

A phrase that seems to be cropping up more and more to describe Web 2.0 and the evolution towards Web 3.0 is ”software above the level of a single device.

· Read more…

2007 Dec 9
always struggling with inertia

Am I growing set in my ways? Or is it just that I really hate this time of year, and the night feels like a smothering weight crushing me into the ground?

· Read more…

2007 Dec 9
central dogma

Of course, I suppose I really should’ve searched Google before trying to coin a phrase. Other people have already used the analogy of the mechanisms of life to the mechanisms of computer programming and information technology.

· Read more…

2007 Dec 10
versioning metaphor

Still reading stuff about multicellular computing.

· Read more…

2007 Dec 10
still chasing starlight/the relationship of music and spacetime

I think it might’ve been Sirius, the dog star, in the southern sky that lit my way tonight, like a beacon, brighter than the ambient glow of the urban sprawl before me, but I only have a faint grasp of celestialography, so I could be wrong.

· Read more…

2007 Dec 11
the longest road

Just when you thought it couldn’t get lonelier. Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any more difficult than it already is. There will be no resting on any laurels. The road ahead climbs up steeply, into the forbidding vault of the heavens.

· Read more…

2007 Dec 13
subsistence

when degrees of freedom
fail
just one
a single loss
enough to imprison
caged
still

· Read more…

2007 Dec 18
where is everything?

Coding—even in Ruby—is not exactly plug-and-play, but it's a whole hell of a lot easier than it used to be, I guess.

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2007 Dec 19
six degrees from robin hood to j.r.r. tolkien

Wikipedia has basically become the path of least resistance these days, and if I want to find information on anything, it tends to become my first stop. Which is sometimes unfortunate, because sometimes the primary sources aren't exactly transparent. There are very few well-documented Wikipedia articles, and the ones that are well-documented have way too many references, leaving me with no idea how to stratify the authoritativeness of each reference. I can understand the reluctance to perform this stratification: it's a lot of work, and the tendency is to leave the burden—perhaps quite rightly—on the reader, but failing to do this makes Wikipedia far less useful than it could be.

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2007 Dec 19
scattered thoughts on code complexity and natural language

Steve Yegge's rants about programming are always really interesting. I'm all about the big picture, and I like how he can properly abstract his arguments so that it makes sense to a non-specialist. Very few technically competent people (whatever the field) are actually able to do this, and if they could, it would certainly make cross-discipline interaction a lot easier.

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2007 Dec 21
documented higher risk of mortality

It's official. I have hypertension, which is more simply known as high blood pressure.

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2007 Dec 22
switching back from simplelog to mephisto

In case you didn't notice, I also switched my blog engine again. Now that Rails 2.0 is out, I thought I'd give Mephisto (from svn) another spin, and it seems to be working relatively well, much better than when I last tried it, although I still get the occasional 500 error.

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2007 Dec 22
misunderstanding modern medicine

I have finally found a synonym for my embryonic philosophy tha I've been calling "The Art of Not Wanting." Akin to Hindu and Buddhist ideals (where desire brings about suffering),voluntary simplicity is a lifestyle that eschews the excesses of the modern and post-modern era. It has significant bearing on the contemporary environmentalist movement as well as with its intersection with Neomarxism.

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2007 Dec 22
axial tilt

The words come bubbling up all of the sudden

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2007 Dec 26
truth, truthiness, and authentic fiction

In the Western model of education, there is an operational distinction between physics and metaphysics. The former gets you grants from the Department of Defense, and opens doors to working at NASA or JPL. You get to work with nuclear reactors and supercolliders and fusion bombs and Einstein-Bose condensates. The latter is stereotyped as the demesne of hippies trapped in the 1960s and undergrads who have no idea what they want to do with their lives. Generally, the discipline is called philosophy and not metaphysics, but a rose is a rose. You know you're pretty marginal when even the social science and humanities people look at you with that "What the hell do you do?" look in their eyes.

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2007 Dec 27
Dreamhost, htaccess, and routes.rb

I have never been able to get my .htaccess file to properly redirect requests from different blog engines. For example, Simplelog tacks on either /archives/ or /past/ to its URLs, and Typo tacks on /articles/ to its posts. That's one of the things I like about Mephisto: it doesn't add what I feel are superfluous tokens to the URLs. (Although I am still trying to figure out how to get rid of /archives/ from the monthly posts.)

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2007 Dec 28
simplelog to mephisto

migrating from Simplelog to Mephisto

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2007 Dec 28
Benazir Bhutto

I feel extremely saddened with thinking about Benazir Bhutto's assassination, casting a shadow on the end of the year. News of her death rocketed across the blogosphere at near light speed.

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2007 Dec 29
oh no, not again

I won't disagree with the notion that Western Imperialism has caused much evil (the plight of the Pakistani in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination is yet another piece of evidence in that regard) but this monologue from Shakespeare still sends chills down my spine

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2007 Dec 29
hope

I read Barack Obama's speech and felt like I had to post it (originally on Politico.com):

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2007 Dec 30
recapitulation of the ontogeny of computer languages

Steve Yegge's rant about huge code bases and how Java exacerbates the problem is definitely circulating the internets. Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror chimes in and agrees wholeheartedly.

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2007 Dec 31
models

I dig this quote:

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2007 Dec 31
pinanggalingan/paroroonan

In six months, my plan for the future will officially run out.

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2007 Dec 31
teaching a computer to read your mind

The crux of the eternal static versus dynamic typing debate is just how much are you willing to let the computer (or more accurately, the language implementers) decide what you mean. Those who favor static typing tend to favor explicit direction over implicit intuitive understanding, and strictly-defined categories and hierarchies rather than free-for-all tag webs and interconnections. The static typist immediately recognizes that the computer (specifically, the compiler or the interpreter) is a non-intelligent entity that must be told exactly what to do, or else you're liable to saw your own foot off. The dynamic typist, while not delusional about just how intelligent the computer is, is willing to have a little more faith in the language implementers, believing that they will do the Right Thing™ with the input that is fed to them.

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2008

January

2008 Jan 1
separate spheres

If things had gone differently, I might've actually become a computer programmer. Although it's questionable as to whether I would've survived such a decision.

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2008 Jan 1
beginnings

If there are no endings, can there be beginnings?

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2008 Jan 1
how PHP is destroying Rails

From Zed Shaw's rant as to why the Ruby on Rails community sucks:

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2008 Jan 1
passion (and the lack thereof)

I suppose that dull, drear apathy is preferable to suicidal depression, but I keep thinking that there's definitely something missing from my life. The apathy, I'm sure, is merely a symptom, and not the thing itself. (And I guess I've become some sort of expert about what things aren't, although I'm still pretty sucky at telling what things are.)

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2008 Jan 2
radiohead "videotape"

The underlying, repeating, melodic theme—four notes descending down the scale, the second and the third exactly the same, the last one barely audible at times—arrested my attention as I skidded to a stop at the end of the offramp from the 805, and I found myself mesmerized. I couldn't really catch any of the lyrics, but reading them here, I find them disturbingly apt for my frame of mind.

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2008 Jan 2
time: out of sync, in a daze

I don't really believe that it's 2008. The number looks ludicrous. I'm disappointed that we don't have regular shuttle service to Mars and Europa. That alien species haven't tried to contact us. That we don't have flying cars.

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2008 Jan 3
woot!

Barack Obama takes Iowa.

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2008 Jan 4
i've got obama fever

The blogosphere is a-twitter with Barack's unlooked-for win in Iowa last night. Obama may not be as progressive as Edwards, and on certain positions he is definitely to the right of where I stand, but symbolically speaking, he is ideal.

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2008 Jan 5
remembering my ties to the body of christ

Since 2001, I've been struggling with a crisis of faith. I was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church as a baby, participated in the Eucharist, and was Confirmed. I went to a parochial elementary school and junior high. I went to a high school that is run by the Jesuits. In college, and in the beginning of med school, I participated in the Catholic Community.

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2008 Jan 5
scrawling on the wall

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2008 Jan 6
markets

I stumbled upon this debate about the future of markets. Part of the problem is that “market” is so poorly defined. Instead of digging through centuries of capitalist tracts or recycling paleomarxism, my understanding of markets is that they are simply the mechanism by which transactions of resources, manufactured goods, or financial instruments take place. Anywhere there is supply and demand for a particular thing, that creates a market.

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2008 Jan 8
nelly furtado "wait for you"

I'm sure I've heard this song before, but it felt like it was the first time as I drove away from the ocean and made my way onto the freeway.

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2008 Jan 10
john kerry endorses barack obama

I wasn't expecting this.

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2008 Jan 10
social progressive/fiscal conservative

I like to think I take a progressive stance on several issues: for example, universal health care, women's rights for choice, same sex marriage. I want us out of Iraq now. I want us to work on alternative fuels, and to add stricter regulations to the consumption of hydrocarbons. On the other hand, I'm all for a small government. Maybe Reagan successfully brainwashed me as a child. If I lived during the time of the foundation of the Republic (and I wasn't a person-of-color), I might have been a Whig. I'm all for weak executives, paralyzed/gridlocked legislators, and strict constructionists. Let the people in power play their futile tug-of-wars. It will let the rest of us get down to business. To me, states' rights are paramount, and local politics are key.

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2008 Jan 12
lost in time and space

‘“Who am I? What am I up to? What have I achieved? Am I doing well?”’

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2008 Jan 13
plans

It's 3 a.m. Usually not the best time for making plans and changing directions.

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2008 Jan 18
to wish impossible things

to be wanted · xkcd

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2008 Jan 19
loneliness

Loneliness is both painful to experience and potentially deadly. “It's actually a greater risk for morbidity or mortality than cigarette smoking is. Being lonely is a bad thing for you,” he said.

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2008 Jan 21
technical difficulties (mephisto failed to start properly)

So I can't seem to log-in to my blog currently. What I ended up doing was trying something that may have untoward side-effects. (Which reminds me, I should probably backup my database.)

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2008 Jan 21
giving up on rails on dreamhost

Since I'm only averaging about 500 hits per day, shared hosting should theoretically be sufficient for my purposes. Alas, Mephisto continually dies on Dreamhost, and since I couldn't get my kludgery to work (mostly because I can't seem to install the mysql gem on my local setup), I gave up completely and found a host that actually supports Rails.

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2008 Jan 21
avatar: the last airbender

Cartoons on Nickelodeon have always sparked my imagination since I was a little kid. From Dangermouse, to Belle and Sebastian, to the Seven Cities of Gold, I found myself transported to remote times and places.

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2008 Jan 23
disoriented to time and space

I've been rifling through my own blog entries and trying to index them. That's one of the things that I liked about my old hacked-together system (see exiled by fate, foobar, lunacy, and congestive soul failure) that Blosxom lacked. And while Wordpress, Simplelog, and Mephisto all support excerpts, I haven't really used them. (I suppose that'll be the next project once I get through the several hundred entries I posted through Blosxom.)

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2008 Jan 23
version targeting (firestarter)

As Microsoft develops Internet Explorer 8, the idea of version targeting comes to the fore. Two articles from A List Apart, one of the premier web design web sites, ignites a firestorm, with different camps backing backward-compatibility, standards-compliance, and progressive-enhancement. Version targeting is introduced by Aaron Gustafson, and is seconded (surprisingly!) by the standards guru himself, Eric Meyers.

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2008 Jan 23
mephisto, rmagick, and hostingrails

Got bit in the ass with this bug when I migrated Mephisto to another host. Looks like you have to explicitly define what imaging package you have in config/initializers/custom.rb. :none will definitely work, but so far :rmagick hasn't caused Mephisto to crap out either, although I have yet to upload an image. I don't really have any experience with :imagescience.

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2008 Jan 24
adventure?

There was a time not too long ago that I would've jumped at the chance for adventure.

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2008 Jan 25
messages in a bottle

It finally occurred to me (or I just remembered) who I'm writing this for. Me.

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2008 Jan 25
small epiphanies

At this moment, I'm right where I want to be.

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2008 Jan 26
an end to empire

No, I've learned everything, and I've had to learn it on my own. Growing up we were taught that the Fire Nation was the greatest civilization in history. And somehow the war was somehow our way of sharing our greatness with the rest of the world. What an amazing lie that was. The people of the world are terrified by the Fire Nation. They don't see our greatness, they hate us. And we deserve it. We have created an era of fear in the world. If we don't want the world to destroy itself, we need to replace it with an era of peace and kindness.

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2008 Jan 26
limitations of taxonomy

This elliptical rant about a failed taxonomy for computer users gets me thinking. We (as in, those of us who have been exposed to Western metaphysics) have noted the failure of taxonomic structures for a long time now. While it is sometimes useful to see things in terms of hierarchical relationships, this is likely a relic of our primate ancestry, and it is clearly a kludgy shortcut in terms of understanding the universe.

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2008 Jan 26
version targeting: the new bugaboo

Jeff Croft brings up [version targeting][0] again, and casts it in the old "The Right Thing™" and "Worse is Better" debate.

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2008 Jan 26
happiness is meant to be ephemeral

I decided a long time ago that asking if I was happy was a pointless exercise. You either are, or you aren't, and whatever the answer is, all you can count on is that things are bound to change.

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2008 Jan 27
version targeting: render unto microsoft what belongs to microsoft

I agree that Microsoft should have to deal with their own backward-compatibility quagmire without burdening web developers. The author brings up the IE-dependent components of Windows and other legacy, propietary software solutions (for example, the emergency department at one of the hospitals I work at uses an IE-dependent computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and charting system) and these are less trivial to upgrade to standards-compliance than a web site would be.

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2008 Jan 27
macbook air

The MacBook Air is clearly not meant to be a primary machine. Understandably, there are many of us who do use a notebook computer as their only computer, and we are not going to be the target demographic. But there's something to be said for a computer that only weighs 3 lbs. Face it. Minimalism is beautiful. Why do you think European sports cars sell so well?

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2008 Jan 29
version targeting: apple says no

Maciej Stachowiak, who is on the Apple Safari development team, has no intention of breaking the web (seen on Daring Fireball)

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2008 Jan 30
9iu11ani is out

I remember watching (and eventually becoming nauseated by) the news coverage of the WTC attacks back in 2001 and thinking how Rudy G was totally posing for a presidential run. I'm actually surprised he managed to fuck it up so badly. He managed to piss away his position as front-runner, and he even turned 9/11 into a sad, pathetic joke.

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2008 Jan 31
technical merits of microkernels

After switching from Linux to Mac OS X and after playing around with Ruby a little bit, and getting a feel for the philosophies of Objective C and SmallTalk, I guess I'm coming around to Andrew Tanenbaum's thoughts about microkernels.

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2008 Jan 31
breaking even

Down to my last $20, I decided to hang out at the 1¢ slots, betting a measly 18¢ a pop. Over the next hour or so, the slots whittled down my 2,000 coins to a pathetic 200 coins. This was not without its ups-and-downs, though. At first, I kept telling myself that I would quit when I got down to $15. This actually took a while since the machine would intermittently give me 50-80 coins back. But when I hit $15, I decided to keep going, telling myself that I would stop at $10. Again, it was this slow game of attrition. At $5, I moved over to another machine. The slow trickle of coins lost continued. I found myself mulling over the miserable failures and disappointments in my life.

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2008 Jan 31
clawing to the surface

Wow. It's been a while since I've felt this way. As I gazed mesmerized by the spinning barrels of the slot machine, I felt suddenly suffocated by an awful feeling of despair and loneliness. It was almost as bad as being short of breath. The feeling eventually passed, but I just feel spent, and my muscles are all tight with anxiousness.

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2008 Jan 31
night

The roar of traffic, the murmur and thrum of the crowd
and the mournful winter wind, scouring the desert sand
and the inside of my soul is silent and still
like a raging river flash-frozen in mid-torrent
and eons have passed, the axis of the earth precesses, and still there is no thaw.

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February

2008 Feb 1
eastern sky before dawn in the desert

Venus and Jupiter shining in the dark Colombian sky Venus and Jupiter shining over trees in San Diego Venus and Jupiter above a rural road in Ohio Venus and Jupiter above an industrial complex in Texas Venus and Jupiter shining between the leaves of a tree in Lake Elsinore, California Venus and Jupiter above the Turkish Riviera

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2008 Feb 3
the underdog has his day

The narrative of the New York Giants appeals to me. They started the season 0-2. They were the wildcard team. They were expected to lose by 12 points to the seemingly unstoppable, undefeated Patriots. Talk about David slaying Goliath.

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2008 Feb 4
acute gastroenteritis

Man, driving 6 hours while you have the runs sucks. And the Grapevine is closed.

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2008 Feb 6
branches, lines

this trigger
sending millions of
particles of light
laser beams
gamma rays
sunshine
starlight

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2008 Feb 7
violently ill

It's been a while since I've been this sick. I've gotten sick over the past few years, usually with some kind of upper respiratory illness, and I even missed at least one day of work, but it was usually just something I could power through, and eventually shake off. A speed bump, if you will.

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2008 Feb 8
the failure of vista

It seems to be conventional wisdom that Microsoft Vista sucks, and most Windows users are not going to be comfortable with switching to a Linux distro. (Mostly because they can't play their games, but my advice for them is to invest in a PS3 or a Wii, or buy a Mac and install Parallels so that you have Windows around whenever you need to get your game on.)

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2008 Feb 9
40 year symmetry

My sister reminds me of the 1968 Democratic National Convention which ended up erupting into riots. 1968 was a crazy year. Both MLK and RFK had been assassinated. The Vietnam War was still raging and sending body bags back at an obscene rate, and the American public was in an uproar. LBJ had announced that he would not seek re-election. The front-runners of the Democratic presidential nomination were Hubert Humphrey (who would end up losing ignobly to Nixon), the more status quo candidate, and Eugene McCarthy, whose platform rested heavily on an anti-war stance, with the goal of rapid withdrawal from Vietnam. The undemocratic manner in which Humphrey won the nomination without having participated in a single primary ended up being a liability in the general election, and resulted in permanent changes in the nomination process.

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2008 Feb 10
nerdy tasks for today

For the last three years now, I've been trying to build GNOME on Mac OS X using Fink, but I always end up bailing out long before I get through the myriad of dependencies. Now I realize the easier thing would be just to bail on Fink and go with MacPorts, but I had already taken the trouble to learn Fink's packaging format. Moreover, while MacPorts has a *BSD heritage (as does Mac OS X itself), Fink has more of a Linux heritage, which I'm far more familiar with.

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2008 Feb 10
time marches on

This week's I-5 playlist, featuring cheesy love songs and songs to commit suicide to:

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2008 Feb 11
something inside me may have died a long time ago

I don't know. Sometimes I wonder if I've just lost my capacity for friendship. For love. For caring.

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2008 Feb 14
fire and rain

should my soul catch fire again
(the embers smolder, glow bright in the darkest hour)
not a wildfire streaking through the fields
up the mountainsides
leaving smoking disaster and ruinous ash

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2008 Feb 15
dreaming like water trickling through my wall of cynicism

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2008 Feb 15
the market share myth: why mac os x will never be completely open source

Some people just don't get it.

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2008 Feb 16
desktop linux

All sorts of theories have been proposed about why Linux has not taken a significant chunk of the market for desktop OSes. While there may be merit in some of the psychosocial economics presented, it ignores big, more concrete reasons why Linux hasn't seriously eroded Windows market share, and why even Mac OS X is outstripping it on the desktop front.

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2008 Feb 17
google reader

I find it really ironic. Despite the fact that I'm drawn to technology, I find myself resisting dominant trends. When everyone had CD players, I was still hanging on to cassette tapes. When the world was dominated with x86 clones, I was still banging away at my 8-bit Commodore 64. When Windows 3.0 came out, I stuck with MS-DOS.

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2008 Feb 17
cerebral malaria

Erythropoietin protects children from the cerebrovascular ischemic effects of cerebral malaria.

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2008 Feb 20
worst president ever

Jeff Albertson AKA The Comic Book GuyGeorge W Bush AKA The Worst President of the United States

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2008 Feb 20
not finding

were I not to find
that which I most desperately seek
what would this life be worth?
not nil, I pray
even in this half-existence
can I not steal a few drops of
reflected sunlight
from ghosts and phantoms
of things that could never be?
like a half-starved cur
begging at his master's feet.

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2008 Feb 21
trying to avoid misogyny

Now I've been an Obama supporter since he ran for Illinois State Senate. I definitely want him to win the Democratic nomination so that he can kick McCain's ass and win the presidency.

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2008 Feb 22
urban warfare

Apparently the Glendale Freeway is closed right before the exit to my parents' house because some guys started firing on cops with automatic weapons, and the LAPD shot a few of them back and killed one.

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2008 Feb 24
random walking through pubmed

I'm a sucker for cross-disciplinary, cross-age demographic topics, and Grand Rounds today was given by Martina Brueckner, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist and scientist from Yale.

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2008 Feb 24
serious geekery

Well, this is a fun little puzzle from Google Blogoscoped

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2008 Feb 24
quiz: what punctuation mark are you?

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2008 Feb 25
genetics: only the abnormal is interesting

One of the things that drew me to the field of genetics when I was an undergraduate was the fact that geneticists seemed to value the abnormal over the normal. Genes are named for the "abnormal" phenotype, rather than the wild-type phenotype. So you get names like hedgehog, a gene, which when mutated, causes a fruitfly to develop "lawns" of prickly denticles, and fringe, which makes the fruit-fly have, well, fringes. And geneticists aren't afraid to appropriate facets of sociology and popular culture. So one of the better known mammalian analogues of hedgehog is sonic hedgehog, named after the video game character.

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2008 Feb 28
strange

Not good.

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2008 Feb 29
can't sleep, clowns will eat me

When I got used to the regular nightmares, my subconscious got creative · xkcd

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2008 Feb 29
a sickness

This is probably getting a little obsessive.

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March

2008 Mar 1
this is a house of a crazy person

I surveyed the chaos and squalor that is my apartment and quickly stopped because I didn't want to vomit. This is how insane people live.

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2008 Mar 1
only now, at the end, do i understand

A movie (that I have yet to watch) produces a memorable catch phrase that is destined to be used and abused to no end, and which has already spread across the blogosphere like the way wildfires spreads through San Diego County:

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2008 Mar 1
flashback (the hazards of having gone to berkeley)

A week ago, it was sunny and warm, and I headed up to L.A. I was wearing my "Barack the Vote" T-shirt that my sister gave me for Christmas. I didn't realize I was running on empty until I got to Carlsbad, so I got off the freeway and stopped at the nearest gas station. All of the sudden, I got self-conscious about wearing the shirt. North County San Diego is notorious for being rabidly right-wing, and I wondered if anyone would react. But I finished filling up my tank, got back in my car, and got on the freeway. Somewhat fittingly, the next song my iPod decided to play was "Get Together" by the Youngbloods.

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2008 Mar 2
uncool

Well, that was a little creepy. Some dude started knocking on my door around 3:55 a.m., calling out for Greg or Martin. I wonder if he was just so trashed out of his mind that he thought he was somewhere else completely. I did contemplate whether he would try to crash through my door, and figured that the only two thing I could fend him off with would be my kali sticks and my wrought iron coat hanger. I ended up not being able to go back to sleep and just camped out in the living room playing on my laptop with my kali sticks at hand. Stupid drunk people.

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2008 Mar 2
alternate solution vis-a-vis version targeting

I looks like the version targeting debacle is still very much a heated topic.

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2008 Mar 3
profession: astrophysicist/neurosurgeon

I'm sure you've heard the phrase "it's not rocket science" to describe something that should be easy. So Raymond Chen asks what actual rocket scientists say when they want to describe something easy. The common answer seems to be "it's not brain surgery."

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2008 Mar 4
franklin delano roosevelt and barack hussein obama

This morning NPR's Renee Montagne interviewed Donald Ritchie, author of Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932. He seems to implicitly, tacitly compare FDR to Obama, noting that when FDR was campaigning, he stuck to a message of optimism, without getting mired in the specifics. He also pointed out that in 1932, the choice seemed to be between FDR's message of hope and Herbert Hoover's message of fear.

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2008 Mar 4
unix: it's fan-tastic

The great thing about running UNIX is that it's like running around with a loaded gun rocket-launcher with a hair trigger. One of the things that frustrated me the most with Windows is that if something broke, the only reasonable solution was to reformat your hard drive and reinstall.

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2008 Mar 8
one man's slack as another man's creative meditation

There is a meme floating around on the blogosphere, promulgated by Duncan Riley's spin on a post by Jason Calcanis of Mahalo fame, and seconded by technophiliac Robert Scoble. The idea is that startup companies cannot afford slackers, so anyone who is not a work-a-holic needs to be fired. (Note that Calcanis has eased off on this statement.)

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2008 Mar 9
ho

(Sardonic flag on. Don't take any of the following too seriously.)

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2008 Mar 9
folly

cracked, but still I've got to keep it together
time out of joint, the sunlight seeps through the window pane
am I coming or am I going
hope is like a little gnat, biting and buzzing
that I can never swat away.

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2008 Mar 11
looking back at the last decade of my life

It seems like an infinitely long time since I last claimed to understand what love is. There was a time in what seems like another lifetime when I thought I got it. In nerd slang, I grokked it, once upon a time.

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2008 Mar 12
the long stretch

Man, I thought I was done with these. I don't have another day off until nine days from now, and I'm already exhausted. I ended up being stuck at work until 7:45 p.m. today. I knew I should've just gone home and gone to sleep, but instead I went to Tommy's and had a chili burger, which guarantees that I'm going to have a rough night of GERD symptoms. So I'm trying to postpone that moment of lying down supine.

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2008 Mar 14
semantics of time

I must admit that I like the fact that the sun is still up when I come home from work. It gives me the illusion that my time off from work is much longer than it actually is. Waking up in the morning sucks big time, though. Nothing makes you want to pull the covers back over your head than waking up to your alarm clock, looking outside the window, and finding it pitch black.

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2008 Mar 14
wound care

not every wound heals
some fester and drip
leaking poison into your blood stream
infiltrating your very being
even sometimes invading the chambers of your wounded heart
hiding in the scars of your memory
or in the pockets of darkness within your soul

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2008 Mar 14
through the gate

Out of the desert
I am come to thine gates
I bring the emptiness of the wilderness
and the silence of the bitter wind
unlooked for, I crossed that threshold
no one cared whither I went or no
among the teeming masses
I am but one man
alone
voice drowned out by the bazaar
the moneychangers
the tax collectors
the merchants
the con artists
I tread the worn-down road
a million footprints
turning the soil into concrete

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2008 Mar 14
wind

Where do I go from here? Isn't that always the question?

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2008 Mar 19
my god, it's full of stars!

my god, it's full of stars! (from Deadly Computer Blog)

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2008 Mar 22
racism is part of american culture

His opponents on both sides of the aisle are trying to make hay with Obama's comment about the "typical white person" who is afraid of black men. But they miss the point entirely. He's not throwing his grandmother under the bus, as some are wont to say. He's not trying to insult white people. He's merely illustrating an unfortunate truism about American culture, which Chris Rock touched upon a long time ago:

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2008 Mar 22
crisis of faith

It is interesting that Arthur C Clarke recognized that physicians are more likely to be atheist. The first story of his that I ever read was "The Star" which describes a Jesuit astronaut coming upon the blasted remains of a civilization that once orbited the star that supposedly went nova in order to announce Jesus' birth. In other words, the Christmas Star. The question asked is, how could God destroy an entire civilization just so that the shepherds and the Magi would know where Jesus was born?

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2008 Mar 22
how to: lose the faith of your customers

So I used to have an array of external hard drives attached to my Mac Mini by Firewire. Most of the hard drives were encased in Venus DS3s. Like many Firewire 400/IEEE 1394a hard drive enclosures, it's based on the venerable but reliable Oxford Semiconductor 911 chipset.

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2008 Mar 22
os timeline

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2008 Mar 23
reading material

Jean's post about how her parents did not think fiction was appropriate reading material got me thinking about how I got sucked into the written word. As long as I can remember, I have this image of my dad reading something: the newspaper, Time magazine, the latest New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, or American Family Physician, or dime-store type paperback spy novels. If he wasn't watching TV, he was reading, and sometimes he would do both—the book/magazine/or paper would get him through the interminable commercial breaks. It's obvious that this impacted me greatly.

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2008 Mar 29
all at once

It seems like this week has been filled with bad news. S's grandfather died. My neighbor was recently diagnosed with metastatic small cell lung cancer. JdG—one of my closest friends from college—just recently found out her mom has breast cancer, and both the sentinel node and the margins were positive.

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2008 Mar 29
beast's curse

It is interesting that the dark night will arouse strange thoughts that you can't imagine thinking during the day time. Maybe it's because of the fact that I'm excessively sleep-deprived and not-a-little delirious. Maybe it was because it was 1 o'clock in the morning, and we all know only crazy people are out on the open road at that hour.

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2008 Mar 31
escape from the black iron prison

Philip K Dick coined the phrase "black iron prison" to describe the illusory world that we are trapped in, forever living and reliving the first century anno domini. It is an instrument of the tyrannical Empire, initially identified with Rome but also identified with any wielder of imperialist power descended from Rome, culminating with the tyrannical elements that rule the United States. Dick identified Richard Nixon as the apex of this tyranny. (God only knows what Dick would've thought of George W Bush and Dick Cheney.)

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2008 Mar 31
swears like a sailor

Apparently, I'm a foul-mouthed bastard.

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April

2008 Apr 3
random quotes gleaned from the web

Twitter is an exercise in simulating Brownian motion in a network. It's kind of like the example of the drunkard trying to find his way from the bar by choosing a random direction at each intersection he crosses. Or, technically, I guess, it's a random walk on a graph, where instead of merely choosing cardinal directions, you could just as easily choose walking through a tunnel, down a diagonal, or up a freeway on-ramp.

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2008 Apr 4
hoping against

I have this fantasy that if I hold my breath and Valsalva real hard, that nothing will come in through the emergency department that they'll call me about.

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2008 Apr 4
weird, lucid dreams

I dreamt that I was trapped on a planet in a colony star system that had sort of descended into barbarism. Magic was real, and one of the main centers of government was the School of Magic, highly reminiscent of Hogwarts, without the forest around it. I believe there was an alternative community that opposed the magicians, and that relied on old 20th century technology.

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2008 Apr 5
a song in my head

As I finish off my residency, I realize that no matter how awful some of the remaining hours and the minutes can be, this experience is finite and bounded. My senior resident on my very first in-patient intern month took a sardonic aphorism from the seminal medical novel "The House of God" and added a hopeful corollary which has become something of an unspoken mantra. "They can always hurt you more, but they can't stop the clock."

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2008 Apr 6
sing your melody

…with longing and wistful hopelessness, he parted from her reluctantly, out into the cold darkness. The bejeweled stars of Orion dipped headlong into the sea, and the night air made him shiver. Sometimes, the right song plays at the right moment, crystallizing a brief memory, forever remembered half-wrong and askew. But he remembers her smile.

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2008 Apr 6
valediction

I haven't made up my mind if I'm going to stay or if I'm going to go. The reasons for going are obvious. The reasons for staying are not so clear, but in brief moments, they are incredibly compelling.

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2008 Apr 6
complexity of the global economy

This song by Wyclef Jean, Akon, Lil Wayne, and Niia seems pretty straight-forward: it's about a girl who seemed to have it all together in high school: all the guys dug her, she was in sports, and did well in school. But she ends up having to become a prostitute, in order that she and her kid can survive.

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2008 Apr 7
it's made out of people!

I could say something snarky about the passing of the legendary Charlton Heston. (On Twitter, I saw someone ask if we could finally take his guns.) I still find myself highly amused by his lines from "Ben-Hur" about being peace-loving and some such.

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2008 Apr 8
stuck in the '80s

My iPod took me back, way back, on the drive home from work today:

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2008 Apr 8
randomly walking through YouTube

So my trip down memory lane keeps going:

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2008 Apr 8
inspiration and sacrifice

So talking to S has inspired me. And reminded me of all the things that I've given up to follow this path that I'm on.

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2008 Apr 9
ever heard of opportunity cost?

This article in the Washington Post tries to argue that prevention is more expensive than intervention. The only problem is that they deliberately ignore two preventative measures that have clearly been demonstrated to decrease costs: immunizations, and colon cancer screening.

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2008 Apr 12
answers

In that moment, as I leaned on the railing and watched them all dancing, the unasked questions buoyed my heart, lifted it up with the tide, and I smiled, knowing for that one moment the answer.

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2008 Apr 13
self-doubt

For some reason, old songs I haven't thought of for a while suddenly sprang forth from my memory.

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2008 Apr 13
here

my heart misgives me
and yet this vigil I must keep
through the long dark night alone I gaze upon the stars

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2008 Apr 14
small tasks; simple promises

Even as I grow torpid and still, I remember that I promised myself that I would see the ocean today, come hell or high water. The temptation to just crash out on my bed is immense, but I know I will be a lesser person if I give in.

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2008 Apr 14
consequences of the sunlight/the dream of the wave

Oh man, I let myself get burned. Despite my brown skin, even I am not immune to the effects of the California sun.

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2008 Apr 16
light chasing away the darkness

This song always makes me go a little teary-eyed.

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2008 Apr 18
brain splat

What is going through my head?

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2008 Apr 18
the way is not straight

To find the way, you must search for it
but you cannot search for it without losing it first
and how can you lose the way if you have never found it?

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2008 Apr 18
all water, all light

The water that falls upon the arid plain
was once the water that flowed in waves upon the deep dark sea
the water from the well that you drink with great thirst
the water that flows through the river, rushing down rapids swirling in eddies
the water that is your perspiration, that are your tears
and blood is made up mostly of water, and so is urine and bile

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2008 Apr 19
sacrifice

If I could guarantee the happiness of a certain someone whom I think is the coolest person in the world at this point, I would sell my soul at a pinch. No matter how much misery I must endure, if I know that she is happy, then whatever I suffer will be bearable.

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2008 Apr 19
man's best friend

Grasp him tightly, try to carry him
and he will squirm and struggle
snap and bite and cry out
trying to get free

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2008 Apr 19
type-a personality

that which you seek to perfect
fussing and worrying over
will come to ruin
too much force
and the thing will break
too much care
and you will wear it thin
and all you're left with are the little pieces
useless debris, detritus

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2008 Apr 19
fortune telling

There is nothing external to yourself that can tell you about the future, because you already know what's going to happen. And if you don't know it now, you'll never know it.

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2008 Apr 19
the way

I

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2008 Apr 19
simple action

XVII

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2008 Apr 19
trying to characterize what makes me sick

The irony is, I'm terrible with details. I can't figure out the right threshold, the right setting. Either I actively ignore the minutiae and pretend they don't exist at all, or I end up mired in the trivial, and I end up taking hours when it should've taken minutes, and every task becomes a variation of Zeno's Paradox, getting halfway there, then halfway again, then halfway again of that, but still no closer to the finish line. This leaves me extraordinarily tired and frustrated, with a bunch of half-finished or maybe three-quarters finished projects lying around.

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2008 Apr 20
hourglass/urgency

I reached inside myself and found
nothing there to ease the pressure of my ever worried mind.
All my powers waste away.
I fear the crazed and lonely looks the mirror's sending me these days.

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2008 Apr 21
already the moment has passed

Driving from work. Nothing as wearying as watching the sunrise, as you're pining for your own bed.

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2008 Apr 21
waybread/an overliteral dissection

II

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2008 Apr 21
not the first time I've heard it

A man's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play.

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2008 Apr 22
anticipating karaoke night

J™ reminds me of this classic chestnut, one the great theme songs of unrequited love.

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2008 Apr 24
hiatus

I accidentally nuked my blog, so it'll be a while before I get back up and running again. Stay tuned!

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2008 Apr 25
fixed

While I had stay at work all night until the morning, I really didn't do much besides get Mephisto up and running again. This all started because I got sick of the Scribbish theme (which is, nonetheless, a great theme—I dig the hAtom support). I tried to install the Clarity-Orange theme but because Safari irritatingly always decompresses files, I ended up with a folder instead of zip file.

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2008 Apr 25
how i hate the night (reprise)

Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infrared,
How I hate the night.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.

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2008 Apr 25
shh!

III

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2008 Apr 26
don't let's start

iv

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2008 Apr 30
serendipity never disappoints

So apparently I've had this song sitting on my iPod for years, literally, and Sunday was the first time I ever heard it.

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2008 Apr 30
dimensionless

wanting starlight
sunlight
sunrise
gold glimmer
warmth
you make me think of home
and a deep longing buried within the frozen chambers of my heart
thaws
like darkness arising
monstrous awakening
madness stirring

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May

2008 May 2
cause is not reason

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that causation means intentionality. Lots of things happen where you can trace the chain of events, see exactly how one thing leads to another, and all of these things could be devoid of intention. While each decision may be made by a rational agent, the sum is not greater than its parts.

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2008 May 2
all there is

lightning strikes
end points and infinities
waves and foam
the clouds coruscating against the setting sunlight
a gull takes to wing
fluttering, fading beyond the horizon

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2008 May 2
difficulties with obtaining a full physical exam

A man was seen by his doctor.

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2008 May 3
epigastric abdominal pain

It could just be acid-reflux. I could just have a gastric ulcer.

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2008 May 4
at the edge of the sea

there is no one left in the world
that i can hold onto
there is really no one left at all
there is only you
and if you leave me now
you leave all that we were
undone
there is really no-one left
you are the only one
—"Trust" by the Cure

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2008 May 4
all i need is a map and a set of wheels

Fear and panic in the air.
I want to be free
from desolation and despair.
And I feel like everything I saw
is being swept away
when I refuse to let you go.

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2008 May 5
killing me softly with her song

A little more than a week ago, I watched Lea Salonga perform at Harrah's Rincon.

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2008 May 6
get this right

I don't know. Maybe S. is right. Maybe the last 3 years 10 months have finally caught up to me.

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2008 May 6
color me frustrated

I first found this test (or a variation of it) back in 2002 while I was in the throes of studying for Step 1 of the USMLE and dealing with the fact that E didn't like me in That Way™. I'm not sure if this test is even vaguely validated by any sort of study, but it's entertaining nonetheless. I can already tell that it's highly susceptible to the Forer effect, but whatever. You can find meaning wherever you want to. That's what the human brain does, after all.

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2008 May 6
risk-benefit analysis

It all comes down to this: how much does this matter to me? If I can't survive without it, then I've got to reel in all my lines and just aim straight for the target. Do-or-die. No quarter given.

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2008 May 7
bizarre stimuli

How did this all begin? That's probably too much to figure out in one night, particularly one where I'm at work. I'll just pick at a single thread in the tapestry. Eventually it'll all unravel.

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2008 May 8
hypothesis about population genetics

OK, well, I haven't really done integrative biology in a long time, so I'm probably grossly misusing terminology.

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2008 May 9
3 am eternal

I really should sleep, but the sensation of burning acid in my gullet makes me wary about lying down supine again. I suppose an extra pillow should suffice, but I'd have to dig through the disaster that is my bedroom.

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2008 May 9
on the other side of the burn

I tend to pinpoint my inability to trust people on a single catastrophic event (the dissolution of a relationship), but now that I think hard about it, I wonder if I've always been distrusting. Some would say perhaps paranoid.

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2008 May 11
the intersection of pop music and medicine

There are two units in the hospital that tend to get a particular song stuck in my head.

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2008 May 11
layers not versions

Josh Catone writes against the existence of Web 3.0, arguing that the version numbers don't really depict any specific discontinuities the way that real major version changes would.

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2008 May 12
nothing too terrible/still irritating

The Lakers fought a pitched battle against the Jazz, despite their captain and MVP being injured early in the game. Twice they closed a ≥10 pt gap, only to fall behind again due to some bad breaks and insanely lucky shots on the part of the Jazz, and the fact that Kobe's game was totally whack because of that back injury. I think it would've been less disappointing if they had gotten blown out instead. Then I would've just turned it off in the second quarter

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2008 May 12
pacific coast highway

So I just got back to S.D. from Harbor City, where my uncle and my godmother live. The quickest way back would involve backtracking to the 405, and then heading south directly to the 5, or via the 73 toll road:

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2008 May 12
wrong city/wrong season/wrong weather/no matter

This is from Brooklyn…

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2008 May 12
reminiscing/high school days

Whenever I hear this song, I can still feel those cold autumn early mornings after pulling an all-nighter, writing an English paper or a History paper, fully saturated with caffeine (a total of 230 mg would usually tide me over), with no one but Sluggo on KROQ to keep me company.

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2008 May 13
easier said than done/15 years/too little, too late

I seem to be stuck in a time warp.

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2008 May 13
brain on fire

OK, so maybe it was a little counter-productive to only sleep for four hours last night. I felt compelled to finish my blog entry, even though the ending of it was probably too rushed, and a little forced. So it wasn't until 2 a.m. that I finally surrendered and went to bed. Unfortunately, I had to wake up at 6 a.m. today. (It's going to be even worse tomorrow.)

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2008 May 13
time/chance

15 years: 5,480 sunsets
the days spin by, the hours whirl
blurring into infinity
and I can't remember where I've been
nor all the answers that I figured out
falling out of my hands
scattered wildly like spilled grain
as I was, so I will be
upon this path to nowhere
to anywhere

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2008 May 15
infectious diseases and other medical conditions as a source of band names

While I was writing a consult note today, I was highly amused by the word "mucormycosis." There is something lyrical about it's dactyl-trochee stress pattern. "Myxomatosis" (which features most prominently as a Radiohead track from Hail to the Thief) is also a dactyl-trochee combo.

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2008 May 16
small revelation

I have been concentrating very hard on the Art of Not Wanting, and despite all my effort, my brain is still wrapped around a lot of crazy and insane ideas that are completely out of my control. My stomach gurgles with the sound of reflux, and I get bouts of epigastric abdominal pain. I can't sleep very well. My eating habits have become even more unhealthy than before, which I didn't think was possible.

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2008 May 16
choose life/too long for a twitter blast

Even if you believe in the afterlife, that's no excuse to fuck things up in this life. Telling people that it'll be OK when we get to heaven is a cop-out. If you really cared, you'd make things better now

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2008 May 18
random thoughts on ip

I have, curiously enough, been thinking about IP for quite a long time. It all started when I had my 8-bit Commodore 64 running at 1 MHz (that's right 1 megahertz. More than 1,000 times slower than the slowest computer you can buy new today.)

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2008 May 19
memetic transposon/yay area in da house ftw

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: How the Valley put Obama over the top, via hellofriend, via cajunboy, via caro, via claudia, via britticisms, via soupsoup, via seriouslythough, via poortaste, via ayÅŸe.

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2008 May 19
crazy pills/we'll run out of roads before we run out of internet

I'm not even gonna mention a certain fucktard's pseudonym, because you all know who I'm talking about. It irks me that people take sock-puppets seriously. But what are you gonna do. Some people just enjoy being lied to.

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2008 May 20
the public is unmerciful/origin of the health care crisis

I learned about the sordid history of health care and health insurance while writing a paper in college for a two unit class that was pass/not-pass (and therefore useless to my GPA.) It forever opened my eyes to the lunacy that we loosely term health care in America.

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2008 May 20
bad patient registry

The idea of being able to review your primary care physician and leave a comment online is a little unnerving for me. I know for a fact that not everyone can like me, and many patients will just be put off by my approach no matter what I do. But you gotta be true to yourself, and you can't please everyone all the time.

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2008 May 20
trust

Throwbacks stuck in the '80s seem to have a hard time accepting the Brave New World™ we find ourselves in. I'm not preaching some magical transformation of human nature. It's just that the game has changed. There's a transition under way, and we are slowly weaning ourselves from the past.

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2008 May 21
why end-stage liver disease patients should not take viagra

Found on my iGoogle page, with elaborations:

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2008 May 21
trust revisited

Having a brief conversation with @anodyne2art on Twitter with regards to my post about trust, and while it's true, the buzzwords are authenticity and honesty, I think these are only tangentially related. Trust probably has more to do with transparency, but it's not quite that either.

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2008 May 25
chart abbreviation or not?

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2008 May 25
institutionalized racism in the 21st century

Disturbing blog post about how white blue-collar workers supposedly won't vote for Obama if HRC doesn't get the nomination.

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2008 May 25
web 2.0 and disintermediation

Now, Amanda Chapel's agenda is pretty transparent. She (or, more precisely, the anonymous people that created her) is trying to keep her job relevant.

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2008 May 26
twined

chewing on the frayed ends of old, worn threads
of choice, of chance, of fate, of hope, of dreams
wondering where my free-will ends, this cup
passing, where destiny begins, takes shape
takes form, did it not matter, or do these
things still shift, still split, still slip, twist, and bend
this far out, this late in the game, now in
overtime, with seconds to go, and still…

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2008 May 27
this way lies madness

Cassandra whispers to me of disaster and catastrophe:
"Harden your heart, o wanderer
the road is long, the horizon far
no surcease of sorrow shall come to succor thee,
no hope of rescue, of salvation, of love
through the grey desert thou shalt tread
alone, forsaken, unlooked for, unwanted, unmissed."

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2008 May 29
jacta alea est

the die is cast, the cards laid down on the table
the flop, the turn, the river, but it's the pocket that matters
and you don't know what she's got
you're crossing your fingers and holding your breath
trying your damnedest not to give away a tell

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June

2008 Jun 1
neglect

Ever since I got addicted to Twitter, I guess I haven't been blogging as often as I used to. There are just so many ways to express myself besides the long form of a blog post: Twitter, Facebook link posts, Google Reader shares with notes, del.icio.us. I am Web 2.0-ed out.

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2008 Jun 3
mentally checked out

Man, my brain is currently occupying another dimension entirely.

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2008 Jun 4
like the weather

The weather really does make me want to crawl back into bed and call it a day. I'll try again tomorrow.

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2008 Jun 4
small triumphs/on the other hand

Given all that tripe, I did have a decent day today. I managed to get in an arterial line after three tries. The attending that I'm working with—who has a reputation for making interns cry—thinks that I'm probably no dumber than a box of rocks. (Which, believe me, is a complement.)

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2008 Jun 5
to a crisp

I am thinking that 26 years of formal education can really burn a guy out. I'm like beyond slap-happy. I'm this close to raving lunacy.

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2008 Jun 7
time

The problem is that if you think too far ahead, everything always ends in disaster. This is the ugly reality.

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2008 Jun 8
more multivalent medical jargon

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2008 Jun 10
turn

found on ayşe's tumblr

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2008 Jun 10
yet the arrow of time

I randomly went home on Sunday. I woke up around 6 a.m. outside my own volition, without any alarms, and decided it would be a good idea to hop on a train and head up to L.A. I pretty much just ate something like six meals and watched cable TV with my dad. We watched a bunch of westerns.

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2008 Jun 10
unlooked for

Just when you think all is lost, sometimes you're pleasantly surprised. After struggling futilely to find some kind of jerry-rigged solution, sometimes all you have to do is turn the power off, and then turn it on again, and miraculously, everything else takes care of itself.

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2008 Jun 10
well worn paths

It's déjà vu all over again.

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2008 Jun 11
¡ay caramba!

Coherence is probably a little too much to ask at this hour, after this much to drink. Today I have come to another bitter revelation, and I have a good idea of what my trajectory is going to be.

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2008 Jun 11
the stark glare of dawn

I need to count the number of times I've used the phrase "Tomorrow is another day." I keep hoping that each day will bring some magic change inside me, that somehow I'll manage to snap out of it, and somehow all the things broken inside my soul will have mended themselves.

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2008 Jun 11
it's not science fiction, dude

The current meme circulating on these internets is whether or not we should trust someone who can't use a computer to lead the nation.

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2008 Jun 12
acid

Well this is pleasant.

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2008 Jun 12
loneliness vs heartbreak

The unholy combination of Twitter, Google Reader, and raging insomnia brings me to this blog post about weighing the pain of loneliness vs the suffering of heartbreak. I kind of wonder if it just isn't the distinction between chronic disease and acute disease. Isn't loneliness just a more diffuse, protracted form of heartbreak? Loneliness is what heartbreak turns into, given enough time.

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2008 Jun 12
17 days

What does it really mean to be done? I've got 17 days of formal education left. I'm trying to be as optimistic as I've ever been about the future, but I'm just not an optimistic type of guy. I don't know. I'm more of a giddy cynic. A hopeful pessimist. The mantra of my profession seems to be "Hope for the best, but expect the worst."

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2008 Jun 14
there are no happy endings, because nothing really ever ends

I don't remember the last time I wept tears of joy. Tonight—even though I have 16 days left—I felt that, at the last, it was truly, finally, over.

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2008 Jun 14
light: salvation, damnation

I just watched a sweet, low-key film called "Infinity" that stars Matthew Broderick as the renown physicist Richard Feynman and Patricia Arquette as his first wife Arline Greenbaum. Despite the fact that it covers the period of time when Feynman worked on the Manhattan Project, it is mostly really a love story.

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2008 Jun 14
3 of swords, reversed

3 of swords, reversed

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2008 Jun 15
i'm not here, this isn't happening

An incredibly haunting piano and vocal re-interpretation of Radiohead, entitled "How to Disappear Completely", found on Kid A

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2008 Jun 16
i guess that's it

So it occurred to me that maybe that's my only purpose on this Earth, to ease the suffering of at least a small handful of people. Nothing fancy, nothing glorious. While sucky, loneliness is only one of the multitude of varieties of suffering available on this planet, and it is certainly nowhere near the worst. I guess. That's how I get myself through the day, at least.

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2008 Jun 16
so you see, lonestar, evil will always win, because good is dumb

We all want the good guys to win. Most major religions prophesy that Good™ will triumph in the end, even against overwhelming odds, even if it seems that most folks are playing for the dark side.

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2008 Jun 17
not well, no, not well at all

Internet traditions?!?! WTF?!?!

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2008 Jun 18
love

Mark 12:28-31, New Revised Standard Version

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2008 Jun 19
so transient

Truth be told, I am hoping for something terrible yet wondrous. Awful, joyful things.

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2008 Jun 20
ab reductio absurdum

man. so i'm reduced to this. blogging on my phone. no a/c. no writing utensil. brain barely functioning. maybe i should just go home.

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2008 Jun 21
mining time

Skipping merrily along the random fractured paths of the Internet, I somehow found my way from the sad fact that Cody's Books on Telegraph and Dwight has closed (hat tip to Jamie Grove to the revelation that such a thing as a Twitter political debate exists, and that it sucked immensely (with commentary penned by the lovely Jennifer Van Grove) From there I discovered that there is now a patron saint to Twitter: tweetjeebus.

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2008 Jun 21
the pirate ship "unmerciful disaster"

…some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never—nevermore."'

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2008 Jun 21
effexor withdrawal

So I gave up on my psychiatrist because she's been pretty adamant about me making timely follow-up appointments. Unfortunately, part of my problem is that my executive function is seriously fucked. I'm just not very good at making plans. Seriously. It must be at least a minor miracle that I've made it this far without ending up dead.

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2008 Jun 21
post-mortem while the body's still warm

Wow. Just, wow. Good thing I'm a little drunk.

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2008 Jun 22
set adrift on memory bliss

The Dragonfly Initiative suddenly took me back to those halcyon days of yore, when I could just sit for hours studying things that I find are of little-to-no clinical relevance. Chronic renal failure? Obsolete. It's Chronic Kidney Disease. Congestive Heart Failure? Obsolete. It's just Heart Failure, or Decompensated Heart Failure, now. There is no such thing as Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, either. It's either DM type I or type II. Beta-blockers are standard of care in Decompensated Heart Failure. Digoxin is almost useless, except as a way to achieve rate-control in atrial fibrillation. The difference between Q-wave Myocardial Infarctions and non-Q-wave Myocardial Infarctions are academic and don't make a difference in terms of treatment. What we care about are ST-elevations: STEMIs vs NSTEMIs/unstable angina. And it's all called Acute Coronary Syndrome now.

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2008 Jun 22
unroofing

It's terrible, really. Times like these, when it's sunny and calm and blissful and quiet, is when I worry the most.

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2008 Jun 22
an exhortation

I know you. If I leave you to your own devices, you'll pick the path of least resistance. You'll stay in San Diego because it's the easy thing to do. Or you'll go to L.A. because your parents are there and you have a fool-proof backup plan. But I think it's time you took an active part in your fate and not just let chance decide where you go.

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2008 Jun 22
beauty and the beast, revisited

I keep thinking about the cruel arbitrariness of the back story—how a beautiful fairy shows up dressed as a hag, and the prince is disgusted and throws her out. OK, so judging people by their appearances is not a good thing, but to use it as a pretense for turning a guy into a hideous monster makes me want to kick the fairy's ass.

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2008 Jun 22
apocryphal medicine - episode I

My dad relates this anecdote to me:

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2008 Jun 23
confundor, exfundendus

Non certior ubi omnes illi inceperunt. Fuisset ubi ea et meus laboramus pariter, ante omnes res quid ea subire. Pro nonscitarum rationalibus, ea meum accrediderat.

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2008 Jun 24
realized

OK. I'm too exhausted to make up a video. I know it's crappy, and I must warn you, there's a possibility your tympanic membranes will rupture, and you might be enraged and/or disgusted by dropped notes, off notes, and screwed up timing, but I just had to post it.

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2008 Jun 24
worn down to little bits and pieces

It is weird to observe new beginnings without actually being part of it. Like when A+E first got together, for example.

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2008 Jun 25
always struggling against gravity

I woke up with this song in my head

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2008 Jun 26
i'll follow you into the dark

This song, which recaptured my imagination a few months back, popped back into my head today.

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2008 Jun 28
timeline runner

So I woke up at 2:30 a.m. because of some excruciating left upper quadrant (LUQ) abdominal pain, with some referred pain to the neck. The abdominal pain was a burning, almost boring, continuous sensation. I wasn't short of breath or diaphoretic, and this was pretty typical for the problems I've been having with my GI tract, which I've basically written off as either really bad GERD or quite possibly some peptic ulcer disease. I blithely entertain the notion that I'm having a heart attack, but since the only symptom is this quite caustic sensation in my belly, I don't buy it. In any case, the neck pain goes away after some Tums and ranitidine (Zantac) 300 mg (4x the over-the-counter dose.) But the acid pain is still there, and I figure I may as well eat. And since I'm eating, maybe I should go to the grocery store.

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2008 Jun 28
wall-e

No, I haven't watched it yet, so there aren't any spoilers. I just read the review in the L.A. Times from yesterday, and it seems like it would be very much my movie, the way, I suppose, I got obsessed with "Beauty and the Beast", even.

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2008 Jun 29
clinical medicine

That is most of it, being a physician—listening and seeing. The rest is technique.

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2008 Jun 29
happy ending

Even this late out into the game, I find myself still hoping for a reprieve from a life devoid of tender companionship, a life destined to loneliness and continued struggle.

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2008 Jun 30
eve

Quite predictably, I am in love with a robot.

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July

2008 Jul 2
mathematical catastrophe, revisited

the slow, legato silence, by intervals, by measures
frame by frame, ignition, combustion, explosion, boom boom
that's my soul up there, in particles and all aerosolized
like an ashen rain falling upon my haunted visage
I taste the firestorms of the fall, and the endless winter
that followed, on its heels came spring and that harrowing
catastrophic thaw, now the floodwaters crest, come summer
sun burning and my soul withers, my soul crumbles to dust
and still there are no endings, just fraught nerves, the pain reminds
you are still alive, against all reason, beyond all odds
* * * in this echoing silence, I am forced to ask myself,
was this thawing worth the inevitable disaster?
my words unspoken, my song stilled and silent,
already I can see it coming like a wave rushing
washing upon the shore, foaming and spraying, gurgling, roar
on the verge of breaking right upon you, crashing down like
a shattered, suddenly shorn mountaintop, cut down mid-rise.
Are the days awaiting, the nights laying awake, alone
in the cursed glow of the full moon, or the mocking glare of
the shimmering stars or with all the lights in your room lit,
striving in futility because the dark is too much
its unbearable weight crushing you with your self-doubt, your hidden shame
wondering if mistakes were made, or if you failed because you suck
or if you were driven by fate, unable to avert the speeding arrow of time

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2008 Jul 3
winds, tides, luck

The first instinct has always been—will always be—to flee from impending disaster. As far as I can tell, I've played this game as tight, as taut as I might ever play it, given the circumstances, given what shape I'm in, and I really couldn't have hoped for more. It wasn't about not being enough (although that may be true) nor was it about not being true to myself. That's all there is, there ain't no mo'. I've been down this road so many times, the thought of even one more trip makes me utterly sick.

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2008 Jul 13
and yet another change

Trying to decide on a Rails-based blog engine/CMS. I wish permalinks were easier to customize

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2008 Jul 15
abandon in place

It's about 3 a.m. and I'm utterly exhausted. I've pushed myself to the brink for no good reason and I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm not entirely certain what I'm trying to prove here. I try a reconfiguration to see if it will make a difference, and I guess I've proven to myself what she knew all along once upon a time, that my attempts at fixing things end up being mere rearrangements. I don't so much clean as reshuffle. Things move around, but nothing really changes.

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2008 Jul 21
the past comes bubbling up to the present

Apparently one of my neighbors is either reminiscing about the past, or feeling heartbroken, or both, because he/she was playing this song from TLC from yesteryear:

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2008 Jul 21
don't follow me/i'm lost at sea: a status update

Brand New "Millstone": a punk rock retelling of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

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2008 Jul 31
the wound

As I sit here procrastinating, irrationally hoping that I can somehow, someday figure out how to stop time, it occurred to me that I will probably never be whole again.

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August

2008 Aug 5
loneliness

Is it a bad sign that I have to keep reassuring myself that it's not going to kill me?

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2008 Aug 5
in threes

Somewhat inspired by this diatribe about 2008 thus far on a random blog I clicked through to, I realize that I had pegged my hopes on three things to happen this year, in order of estimated probability from highest to lowest:

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2008 Aug 9
off

I haven't been able to shake this feeling that nothing is right with my world. Everything is in chaos. And everything I try to do to fix it ends in stagnating failure.

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2008 Aug 9
what is "real"?

One of the books I'm currently reading is A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein by Palle Yourgrau. Essentially, it concerns Gödel's conclusion that the Theory of Relativity naturally leads to a universe where time isn't real. I also started The End of Time by Julian Barbour, who comes up with a similar conclusion, though his formulation is much more recent, and in the few pages that I have read, he necessarily bases his ideas partly on the way that the brain processes information (without actually going into the messy neuroanatomically and neuromolecular details.)

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2008 Aug 10
charm (and my appalling lack thereof)

There is a woman whose name I don't even know for which I have this desperate, raw attraction to. I see her from time to time, as we occupy opposite ends of an extremely large social millieu, as friends of friends of friends of friends. I don't know what it is about her, but I find my eyes wandering toward her if I don't monitor myself, even as she's hanging on the arm of some guy. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I've never had an attraction like this before.

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2008 Aug 10
positivism and God in the gaps

I know that this stance has been refuted a long time ago, but I can't help but enjoy the delightful symmetry of it.

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2008 Aug 12
completely insane

So I was this close to getting to sleep at a reasonable hour last night, but then I heard that the Perseid meteor shower was supposed to peak the evening of Aug 11/early morning of Aug 12. I tried to think of the darkest place within a reasonable distance. The Anza-Borrego Desert came to mind, but that was a good two hour drive into the middle of nowhere, so I figured driving through the Temecula Valley on the way to L.A. would suffice.

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2008 Aug 15
mushrooming beyond my comprehension

not just loneliness weighing gravid, doleful,
becoming this furtiveness rooted, still
seeming in the light to be seen, yet unseen
amidst the hundred thousand voices seething, roiling, teeming
the faces, the gestures, all worn-down by rehearsal
words spoken by rote, by habit, stripped of meaning

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2008 Aug 16
route

in this voiceless silence interrupted
by the whirring internal combustion
engines, rubber running across worn-down
concrete, these assemblies of metal growl
past, slashing through the air like two-ton knives
at 70 miles per hour, almost
like the tumult of a rushing river
or waves crashing down on the silver shore
my mind lost in the eddies and whirpools
of wind and debris, as the sunlight streams
in, vainly trying to evaporate
the dark mood crouching upon my soul like
a gremlin ready to ambush and havoc

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2008 Aug 20
smooth sailing = FAIL?

It occurs to me that each of the previous board exams I took have been taken under somewhat adverse conditions.

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2008 Aug 20
not in this timeline

a phantom lifestyle imagined by my fevered mind where there would be someone at home who would wish me luck and send me out with a hug and a kiss, and there would be someone to look forward to seeing once
it's all over

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2008 Aug 21
dyssynchronous ventilation

Questions that had answer choices that all had something wrong with them, leaving me to pick the answer that seemed the least wrong.

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2008 Aug 21
in fits and starts

So I finally met my neighbors the other day, after living next to them for several months, and hearing all sorts of snippets of conversations as they smoked their cigarettes outside my open window. It's kind of funny that I plan on moving out at the end of the month, but, oh well. After four years of living in this pit, I'm about ready for a change.

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2008 Aug 23
8 minutes

I'm not sure where I pulled the number '8' from, but it may be from pathology class from the second year of med school. 8 minutes is the amount of time you've got before the lack of oxygen starts causing permanent damage (such that if you do manage to restart the heart and/or reopen the blocked vessel, you may actually cause even more damage than what has already been done—so-called reperfusion injury.)

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2008 Aug 24
faze/phase

Bewilderment spins mercilessly around my heart
weaves/binds/patterns/stitches, embedded like magical runes
threads of fate, minutest of imperfections becomes a message
that I cannot decipher, much less interpret

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2008 Aug 28
it was never about the guy (or gal)

The powers-that-be will always try to tell you that you can't make a difference. But that is and always will be bullshit. This year, the Dems grok it. The promise of America has always been about the little people. This isn't some brainwashed mob following some messianic figure out into the desert. These are people who have been kicked into the ground for the last eight years, who finally realize that, by banding together with like-minded people, they do have the power change things. Obama is only one person. At best, he can only try to get the doors open. It has always been, will always be, only ourselves who can get us over the threshold.

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2008 Aug 29
or, more succinctly

Obama is the standard-bearer.

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2008 Aug 31
just like a game of craps

I understand John McCain likes games of chance, and I guess selecting Sarah Palin is his way of saying "jacta alea est." Statistically speaking, McCain's chance of mortality—even though ostensibly, he is at the peak of health for his age—is significant. So what this might suggest is that the Republicans are actually willing to elect a woman to the presidency. While I disagree with just about everything she stands for, that's kind of impressive. I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime, that the party that has been trying its damndest to preserve patriarchy and has at times even openly professed misogyny would actually allow even the slightest possibility that a woman would lead our nation.

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September

2008 Sep 2
now I definitely can't sleep

I think I was supposed to learn something from this. I wish I knew what it was, though.

2008 Sep 5
a song I wish radiohead would play again

Blowout

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2008 Sep 5
song dedication

To a woman whom I failed to communicate how I feel about

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2008 Sep 7
a frank assessment

Now his failure is complete
—Darth Vader

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2008 Sep 7
subito

there was never anything more than fine gossamer threads of hope
fraying and tenuous, breaking, snapping, tearing with the slightest breeze
the merest whisper
more like a dream than anything else
so that awakening came like a disaster
and the dawn brought nothing but dread

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2008 Sep 7
she leaves with someone you don't know

I'm a sucker for these song about unrequited love and failed relationships, failed attempts at connecting. I don't remember when I first heard this song, I just remember it was while the sun was shining down upon me as i drove south on the I-15 somewhere between Corona and Temecula, a lot happier than I am right now.

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2008 Sep 7
2 for the price of 1

I don't know why it grieves me so, when I knew this was lost already.

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2008 Sep 7
lacuna

The mornings are the worst,
when all of the sudden,
you are reminded of all that
failed to come true, of all that is not there
all that has never been, and all that will never be

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2008 Sep 11
said it was the only solution

Sometimes I try to do things and it just doesn't work out the way I wanted to.
I get real frustrated and I try hard to do it and I take my time and it doesn't work out the way I wanted to.
It's like I concentrate real hard and it doesn't work out
Everything I do and everything I try never turns out
It's like I need time to figure these things out

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2008 Sep 19
where did september go?

How fitting.

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2008 Sep 21
the last day of summer always feels so cold

It's been 8 years since this song was released by The Cure. I remember that the first time I heard it, I felt that it captured perfectly my despair from that moment my heart shattered 13 years ago.

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2008 Sep 23
does it make sense to mourn what never was?

Since you and I never came to be—

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2008 Sep 27
it's too late now, let it all go

It's never gonna be all right.

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October

2008 Oct 4
fall

I seem to be running in this card a lot.

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2008 Oct 11
at odd hours

It's a terrible thing, not being able to sleep. Tonight is the second night I've woken up around 2 a.m. in a semi-panic, not knowing where I was or how soon I had to get to work. And I don't know what's worse, the initial disorientation, or the coming to terms with hard reality.

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2008 Oct 13
crux

I don't know if it's just the time of year. Maybe it's the waning sunlight, heralding my impending succumbing to seasonal affective disorder. Maybe September has never been a good month for me, and October is always about trying to figure out where I went wrong.

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2008 Oct 18
reform vs revolution

It is 17 days until November 4th, which—one way or the other—is a day that promises to be epically historic. I predict that we will see record-high voter turn-out, that's for certain. And I won't say anything more than that. I can only hope for certain outcomes, but we all know where hoping has gotten me this year.

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2008 Oct 19
the land of what will never be

Don't wish. Don't start.
Wishing only wounds the heart.

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2008 Oct 19
random walk through spacetime

I've been thinking a lot about the trajectory of my life lately. I haven't really come with any good answers, and I feel like I'm working against the ever-ticking clock for some reason. It seems like the only time I can really make definitive decisions is when I'm put on the spot. Otherwise I just end up ruminating endlessly over increasingly worn-down ideas without ever coming to a conclusion.

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2008 Oct 21
negative convergence

For various irrational reasons, I'm feeling quite forlorn and abandoned. Such is life.

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November

2008 Nov 11
infinite regress

Hope is not always warm and fuzzy. Sometimes it is cold as ice, and harder than steel.
The mood of my entire day has been driven by a nonsensical dream about an impossible situation. Even after all this time.
The mind understands that time cannot be undone. Somethings are out of your control. It wasn't chance. It was destiny.
Some of my darkest dreams relive the essence of this moment. I lie helpless as fate turns aside from me. It will never be.
It was not, is not, will never be, world without end. And yet the heart still yearns.

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2008 Nov 12
milestones

What are the little worries of our lives, against the backdrop of tumultuous history?

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2008 Nov 13
light my candle

I am burning the candle of my life in the dark
with no one to benefit
from the light.
The candle slowly melts away; soon its wick will be burned out and the light is gone.
If someone will only gather the melted wax, re-shape it, give it a new wick…
for another fleeting moment my candle can once again
light the dark,
be of service
one more time,
and then… goodbye.

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December

2008 Dec 2
doesn't seem like it's going to be today

This is my life, and it's ending one minute at a time

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2008 Dec 3
album leaf "always for you"

This song has apparently been sitting on my iPod since 2006. I'm sure I've accidentally listened to it once or twice, but I guess it never really registered on my consciousness. For some ill-articulated reason related to the socially-avoidant state-of-mind I've been in, I've been skipping this song whenever it came up.

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2008 Dec 4
more pointless lists of random thoughts

I am not feeling well. Not feeling well at all. Apparently my GI tract is on strike or something. I am not even factoring in the depression, as it is pretty standard for this time of year.

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2008 Dec 5
friend zone

I should probably just show this to every woman I meet to save both of us time.

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2008 Dec 5
illusive elusion

the days fall like dry, dead leaves
even in this land of no seasons
time winds its way
the signs of the zodiac
do their slow, courtly dance
through the heavens

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2008 Dec 13
the violence of translation

A copy of a copy of a copy…

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2008 Dec 29
the open sea

Surprisingly, there have been moments where I realize that being lost at sea isn't necessarily the most terrible thing in the world.

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2009

February

2009 Feb 15
a soundtrack for storming the castle

My oldest friend B had a Commodore 64 too growing up, and he was who I got a lot of my warez from, actually. One of the most addictive, most imagination-capturing games he lent me was The Bard's Tale, a first-person party-based computer fantasy role-playing game, akin to the more established Ultima series and Wizardry series. God knows how many hours, how many sleepless nights I spent grinding through the cellars and the sewers, getting killed by animated statues and unending swarms of berserkers.

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2009 Feb 19
is there a word for that?

I've long suspected that I may have seasonal affective disorder. Despite living in Southern California, and despite the fact that currently, it's 75°F outside and sunny, the critical factor has always been the number of hours of sunlight. So my mood always ebbs when Standard Time comes by, reaching its nadir around the winter solstice, then picking up again when Daylight Saving Time starts up. Rainy days (like the last few) make things worse. Unseasonably warm and sunny days like today make things better, but don't fix things completely.

· Read more…

2009 Feb 19
just drive

As soon as I got my driver's license, I discovered that getting behind the wheel was very therapeutic whenever I got depressed. For some reason, it seemed that I would tend to take these random drives around this time of year. Back then, I would go up into the San Gabriel Mountains, and out to the Antelope Valley. I never really had a destination in particular, but the winding, desolate roads would somehow soothe my soul. It was then when I also learned the particular advantage of driving a car with a diesel engine, which was that if you were inadvertently submerged, the engine wouldn't die like with a gasoline engine, a fact that may have been fortunate because I had to ford a rushing mountain stream on one of those drives.

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2009 Feb 19
the geography of los angeles

Now, I haven't actually lived in L.A. since 1999, but I go there as often as twice-a-month to visit my parents and my sibs. In the time I've been elsewhere, certainly a lot has happened. When I left for college, Echo Park and Silver Lake were still kind of sketchy areas (Echo Park is, after all, part of the demesne of the infamous Rampart Division that had its infamous special anti-gang unit) and I felt like a lot of Angelenos had no idea that Eagle Rock was in the state of California, much less part of L.A. But as R can attest, the hipster population in Echo Park and Silver Lake have certainly increased, and I continue to be astounded at how much Colorado Blvd. and Eagle Rock Blvd. have gentrified. I knew it was a beginning of a new era when a Starbucks finally opened on the corner of those aforementioned streets.

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2009 Feb 25
stat

Just came across a tumblr entry which demonstrates a novel (to me, at least) use of the word "stat".

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2009 Feb 25
last night i dreamt that somebody loved me

So tell me how long
Before
The last one

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2009 Feb 26
meh-mor-eez

Yes, I am subscribed to the RSS feed of Ken Jennings' blog and today he discusses his first five memories of newsworthy events.

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2009 Feb 27
racism and the veil cast by defensiveness

So, apparently the mayor of Los Alamitos wasn't aware of the racial stereotype of black people supposedly liking watermelon, and found nothing offensive about e-mailing a photoshopped pic of the White House lawn with watermelons on it instead of Easter eggs. This, naturally, became a thread on Friendfeed, and eventually, it turned into a discussion of what racism is exactly.

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2009 Feb 28
retrospect

In these silent moments, I wander my thoughts
the wrack and ruin of the years gone by
the tumult and the despair
the small victories, the trifling triumphs
in all this havoc, I marvel at
how Time consumes possibility
like a ravening beast, it rends apart Chance
rasping the meat off its bones,
reveling in blood and spent breath
and inevitability is what it excretes
Fate is the spoor of Time

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March

2009 Mar 3
examining the ruins

I marvel
at the dying glimmering light of the day
streaming through the stain-glass windows
I reminisce on
the panoply of idle Sunday afternoons
the vows are made
the oaths are sworn
in this act of finality
there is a calm solace
a quiet certainty

· Read more…

2009 Mar 19
fragment lacking antecedents

that which I thought the greatest thing
this I had never lost
for I had never possessed it
it was never mine to begin with

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2009 Mar 20
the city and the stars

Sir Arthur C Clarke wrote The City and the Stars in 1956. It is basically a rewrite of his earlier novel Against the Fall of Night, updated to take into account the then-nascent Information Revolution.

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2009 Mar 20
realization

I will never again want anything as keenly, never again be willing to hurt so deeply, and so never again know such happiness. I guess this is how you die slowly, a heartbeat, a breath at a time.

· Read more…

April

2009 Apr 1
house is a neonatologist, too?

I always get hooked by the opening song, "Teardrop" by Massive Attack, which is like one of my favorite songs. So the episode I'm watching right now has House seeing babies. Crazy.

· Read more…

2009 Apr 1
twitter vs tweet: there's more than one way to do it

transitive verb 1. to utter in chirps or twitters 2. to shake rapidly back and forth :

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2009 Apr 8
only for a moment, then the moment's gone

I haven't been wanting to write lately. Partly because my attention span has been whittled away by my increasing participation in the phenomenon known as twitch media, exemplified by Twitter, Friendfeed, as well as the new Facebook. But also partly because I've been in a state of disordered transition for the past few months, haphazardly figuring out what I want to do with my life. I still don't really know, exactly, but I've at least decided which direction to go in this garden of forking paths.

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2009 Apr 11
watching the sun set in the rear view

Most people complain about the smog in L.A., but, perhaps disturbingly, the smog makes for some pretty spectacular sunsets. I was driving southbound on the 405 earlier today, passing through Orange County on the way to San Diego, and here, the freeway veers eastward, putting the sun in my rear view. The sky looked like it was on fire.

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May

2009 May 10
the subjunctive mood

The month of May always, always makes me think of possibility. It is, I suppose, merely a function of the lengthening of days. The sunset continues to inch further and further north, and closer and closer to 8 pm, while the earliest rays of dawn encroach upon my dreams earlier and earlier.

· Read more…

2009 May 11
always, always uncertainty

May gray is in full effect, and I'm dragging in the mornings, my eastward commute cloaked in sea-borne fog. Everything felt out of sync for some reason, and instead of listening to the morning shows, I ended up plugging in my iPod.

· Read more…

2009 May 13
fuggedaboutit

I haven't been sleeping well lately. Which sucks, because how I feel when I wake up pretty much dictates how the rest of the day goes.

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2009 May 15
like a ladder to the sun

For a while, I couldn't get the Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Zero" out of my head. The lyrics are pretty sparse, but people have come up with interesting interpretations. The idea of the song referring to a prostitute does seem to fit. But, maybe because the bass-line reminds me of an engine, or a propeller, "zero" makes me think of the Mitsubishi Zero, the mainstay of the Imperial Japanese air force during World War II, and of kamikazes.

· Read more…

2009 May 17
lost my train of thought

So that 5.0 earthquake in Lennox threw me off for a bit, and I'm just trying to reassemble my thoughts.

· Read more…

2009 May 18
endure

The hill loomed before him. His legs began to ache, and maybe there was even a little numbness in his fingers. He was just terribly out of shape. To put it bluntly, his body was a shambling ruin, encased in pounds upon pounds of fat. He drew deeper, sharper breaths. The cold air raked his lungs, sort of how he imagined an aerosol of glass would feel, only he knew he was exaggerating as usual. Sweat beaded, then trickled down his face.

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2009 May 25
wandering

Would it be the mountains? Or the sea? It had been a long time since he had seen the south-facing beaches, so he decided it would be the sea. He would go west, west toward the sunset, following the ancient road leading out of the city, the King's road, though no king ruled any longer.

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2009 May 25
what is gone is gone

He found it strange how an old song that his dad always used to listen to on his cassette player had embedded itself so deeply into his brain that when he heard it again, it instantly took him to a time and place he could scarcely remember, a past that never was, memories that had faded into a story, into lore, more akin to fantastic fiction than to anything he had actually lived through.

· Read more…

June

2009 Jun 2
the axes of the city

L.A. does have Cartesian axes in practice, even if they aren't really acknowledged. Broadway and 1st Street is origin. Addresses are numbered from here. The y-axis is Broadway, and it runs all the way from Lincoln Heights to Carson. The x-axis is 1st Street, which extends from the unincorporated area of East L.A. to just east of Beverly Hills (although not quite continuously.)

· Read more…

2009 Jun 2
the fractured city

Cover of The City and the City by China Miéville

· Read more…

2009 Jun 10
apophenia, again

I suppose it's no accident that I ended up in the profession I'm in. From the beginning, my mind has been tuned to look for patterns. The finding of patterns is actually quite easy: everything has a pattern, every bit of data, every tiny stimulus can be fitted to a scheme. The big trick, the thing that they pay you big bucks for, is figuring which of these patterns actually match reality.

· Read more…

July

2009 Jul 9
traces

Betrayal? What was there to betray? Abandonment? But what claim did I have, what duty did she have?

· Read more…

2009 Jul 28
off the rails

Destiny as simple as booking a one-way trip
on a train winding through the canyons and passes of decision
along the lonely gray strand of time
where the waves crash and break into quantum foam
chances realized then dematerialized
and not even a scrap of hope remains

· Read more…

August

2009 Aug 26
drought, flames, ashes

When is the right time to write? It never seems the right time when the words come. Paper, pen, or even keyboard, touchscreen are never in reach when the words bubble up, unlooked for, unheralded. And before I can write them down, they evaporate, like a single cup of water spilled heedlessly upon the cracked, dry earth as the sun beats down mercilessly.

· Read more…

December

2009 Dec 31
fallow

Truth be told, I'm just trying to figure out something to write before this year and this decade come to a close. The last time I logged into this blog, it was still the height of summer, although fire season was at hand. It's easy to lose track of time in this land of no seasons. In Southern California, not very many leaves turn color in the fall, and the first snow falls only on the mountain tops.

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2010

January

2010 Jan 2
new, again

I am trying to blog again. It used to be such an important thing for me. In past nine years, it has helped me crystallize a lot of my thoughts. It has helped me tease out a lot of recurrent themes in my life. It has made it easier to isolate a lot of my self-destructive behaviors and thoughts. (Whether or not it has actually helped me deal with them is another matter entirely, but, as they say, knowing is half the battle.)

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2010 Jan 3
the quest for chilaquiles

I realize how pathetic it is that I grew up in L.A. and I don't have any idea where to find a place that makes chilaquiles. I never even had chilaquiles until I moved to Chicago, and found this place within walking distance from my apartment that I would go to as often as feasible. In San Diego it was pretty much a Sunday morning routine (at least, on the Sundays I would actually wake up at a reasonable hour before all the breakfast places were mobbed.)

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2010 Jan 8
that's probably pretty low on the differential

So I've got this pain in my right foot that's been bugging me for the past couple of days. It's not terrible pain, it's just annoying. Over the years, it's come and gone, and it's never really lasted long enough that I've thought much of it. What it probably is is just run-of-the-mill plantar fasciitis. I should probably just take some NSAIDs and do some calf stretching exercises.

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2010 Jan 23
the book of eli SPOILER

You remember how Ray Bradbury sued Michael Moore for just using the title "Fahrenheit 911"? Well, I hope Ray Bradbury doesn't sue the Hughes Brothers for stealing a major conceit from the book.

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2010 Jan 26
trying to remember that there is good as well as evil in this world

The first time I encountered the clinical aspects of child abuse was when I was a third year medical student doing my pediatrics rotation. The outpatient portion of my rotation had me going through all the various subspecialty clinics. One of these subspecialties was child abuse.

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February

2010 Feb 1
to be and not to be

This is the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching I ever read, and it totally blew my mind.

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2010 Feb 17
fairy stories

There is a trend in the fantasy genre that I kind of wish never took root: the multi-book series. Every author seems intent on publishing ten-thousand page epics, each one longer than the last, with no end in sight. The most egregious of these seems to be The Wheel of Time, by the late Robert Jordan. The twelfth book in the series just came out in October of last year, nearly twenty years since the first book came out, and there are still two books to go. And despite the fact that since the sixth book, I've felt that I've just been strung along on a wild goose chase, I still plodded through the monstrous volumes, still wanting to at last reach the end of that gargantuan tale.

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March

2010 Mar 13
oh noes! something on the internet pissed me off!

I'm still not really in the right frame of mind to write a well-thought out blog post to explicate the thoughts that led me to stop visiting Friendfeed for now.

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2010 Mar 13
offline

One of the other reasons why playing Final Fantasy XIII has been therapeutic to my mind is that I don't have to be online to play it. I don't have to read the idiocy that is part and parcel of World of Warcraft's Trade Chat, where racism, homophobia, and misogyny are frequent features. I don't feel the need to Command-Tab over to some social media site and read about atheists bashing Christians, Ayn Rand-inspired insanity, and people jumping all over other people who happen to react viscerally to racist terms, even when they realize it's being used ironically, and not in a malicious manner at all. Instead, all I have to do is watch the pretty animation and mash on a limited number of buttons.

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2010 Mar 13
not so final fantasy

I'm a total sucker for this series, having played the very first one on the original 8-bit NES, back when I was still in 8th grade. I played FFIV (originally released in the U.S. as FFII) right before I started college, FFVI (originally released in the U.S. as FFIII) in my (I think) sophomore year. When FFVII came out, I ended up buying myself a Sony Playstation my senior year in college. I played FFVIII during my first year in med school. I skipped FFIX and FFX/FFX-2, and have never played the MMORPG FFXI, but I played FFXII during my 3rd year in residency, while on vacation, right after one of my cousins died and I was feeling decidedly antisocial. It's kind of weird realizing how all these games bring back these memories of things that happened right around the time I played them.

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2010 Mar 18
it's always darkest right before it goes pitch black

I've always believed that despair is not synonymous with the absence of hope. But it now just occurs to me that despair is actually when you begin to believe that having no hope would be preferable to the slim fragile sliver of hope that you're clinging to, even as it wounds you with its seeming impossibility, like a piece of shrapnel inching its way slowly through the flesh of your heart with every beat, as your life's blood seeps away drop by drop while you pine away for something you can't figure out how to achieve, no matter how many nights you've spent lying awake in the darkness, your gut paralyzed, silent, and still, acid gnawing and rasping at your entrails.

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April

2010 Apr 6
the glue of civilization

It's like some people completely ignore the fact that a civilization cannot survive without people giving a shit about other people who aren't related to them. The higher the proportion of stupid, selfish assholes there are in your civilization, the faster it will collapse. Cooperation with non-relatives is the only reason why we managed to evolve from the savanna and not get completely wiped out by other animals who are bigger and stronger than us. Behavioralists have classically called it altruism but, in reality, it's enlightened self-interest.

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2010 Apr 6
random completely out-of-context thought on a slow tuesday afternoon at work

It's not much of a sacrifice, to hold back so she could be with the better man, if there wasn't any chance she'd be yours anyway.

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2010 Apr 6
a dearth of creativity

For some reason, I started looking back at my blog posts from exactly 3 years ago and I just realized that somehow, despite working 80 hours weeks which included 30-hour calls every four days and some rather intensely harrowing experiences, I somehow managed to write a lot. I honestly don't know how I did it. Now that I have more free time, I can't seem to put two words together into a coherent thought.

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2010 Apr 7
orphan is down SPOILERS

I missed ToC25 again because everything seems to conspire against me making it home before 7 p.m. PDT. Besides, I've been having problems with terrible latency, as bad as 3,000 millisecond pings, which may actually be a problem with the latest patch if the forums are to be believed. So I ended up finally beating Final Fantasy XIII instead.

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2010 Apr 9
picking through the debris

in the shadow of the white mountain gleaming
still ice-crowned though the cherry trees blossom
the sky pale blue as the warmth of daylight fades
I'm lost in a memory of a dream forsaken

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2010 Apr 11
fantasy genre mashup

Because I read all four existing books of A Song of Ice and Fire right before I started playing Final Fantasy XIII, I keep wanting to call one of the characters in the game "Jon Snow" instead of just "Snow".

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2010 Apr 11
help, i'm trapped in a disney movie, and i'm not the hero, or even the sidekick

The Americana at Brand is one of those hybrid residential/commercial developments that sprung up like weeds during the housing bubble, featuring high-end boutique shops and restaurants with condos on top of them. They're basically the next-generation mall, carrying on the long tradition pioneered by Southern California, of creating quasi-high-density pseudo-urban experiences in the setting of a private development (see also the Paseo Colorado, L.A. Live, The Grove, Universal City Walk, Downtown Disney, etc.)

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2010 Apr 12
the future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed

So I finally got a look at an iPad today. Surprisingly, I haven't been to the Apple Store at the Glendale Galleria in a long time.

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2010 Apr 14
life? don't talk to me about life

The other day I was eating by myself at a restaurant and happened to overhear a heart-to-heart conversation between (two people who I assumed to be) a father and his teenage son. The father had (something like) this to say:

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2010 Apr 16
arguments

I think it's naive to believe that for every argument, there is someone who is right, and there is someone who is wrong. The most fractious arguments I've witnessed are between people who were both right in their respective contexts, with no obvious way to harmonize their conflicting mind sets. The question is, in an argument, do you go for the win and try to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you're right and the other person is wrong, even if it means destroying a relationship? Do you try to aim for common ground, even if it means compromising on your beliefs? Or do you just keep arguing until the other person gets exasperated and quits entirely? Or is there some other option that I've never managed to consider?

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2010 Apr 17
you seem a decent fellow. i hate to kill you.

So I just finished watching "Kick-Ass" and starting thinking about revenge fantasies.

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2010 Apr 18
little girls who will stab the hell out of you if you cross them

(And of course, this reminds of the time when my sister was six, and she got really mad at our neighbors and chased them down the street wielding an axe. True story.)

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2010 Apr 18
face it, there are a lot of advantages to centralized control

I've been struggling with playing Dragon Age: Origins on my MacBook Pro, mainly from problems that have nothing to do with actual game play. From the system requirements, I would've thought that I have an adequately spec'ed machine to play the game, but I'm plagued by mysterious intermittent slow downs and lock-ups. I'm fairly certain it's the game, since I don't seem to have problems running other apps. But what it reminds me is why I tend to stick to consoles for gaming.

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2010 Apr 20
grammar nazis

You may scoff at this as being mere political correctness, but I say it's about precision.

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2010 Apr 20
post-mortem

So it's been a little more than a month since I stepped away from Friendfeed. To be honest, I didn't expect to be gone this long. I really did need to take a break though. My initial intention was to walk away for a few days and let the threads fall off my front page, and let my temper cool. But work got really busy, and the past month ended up being pretty rough. The whole episode pretty much took a back seat to everything else I had to deal with. But the longer I stayed away, the more I felt that I had to work through why I got so pissed off before I came back.

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June

2010 Jun 22
the time of the elves is over

I was listening to 30 Seconds to Mars "Kings and Queens" before I went to sleep last night, and the first thing that popped into my head was the Exile of the Noldor and the end of the First Age from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion

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2010 Jun 24
exhausted

I'm going to see how feasible it is to write a blog post on an iPad with my contacts off. The screen is probably only about three inches from the tip of my nose, and I have to do it with only one eye open because there's such a big difference in the power of my left eye versus the right.

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2010 Jun 29
pondering the dream

It's been a couple of days already and I'm still obsessing about a fairly vivid dream I had. I think I need to sit down and reflect a little, and maybe write out some of my thoughts when I have more time. We'll see if that actually happens today.

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2010 Jun 29
lack of focus

I seriously haven't been able to concentrate on anything today. I wonder if I just had way too much caffeine today. Or maybe I still haven't recovered from sleeping only for four hours Sunday night. Whatever the reason, it doesn't look like I'll be writing anything substantive tonight.

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July

2010 Jul 21
unspooling ariadne's golden thread

So "Inception" totally blew my mind. A lot of thoughts have been streaming through my head since, and the synchronicity of some of these thoughts have been kind of unnerving.

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2010 Jul 23
team composition, and the art of group dreaming

WARNINGS: (1) more "Inception" spoilers (2) more incoherent, meandering blog posts

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2010 Jul 27
low quality dreams

I've been disappointed at the dearth of dreams I've been having since I watched "Inception". There are only two that I remember. The first one was fairly vague. All I remember is trying to hijack a Final Fantasy-style airship. The second one involved me and my ex from high school in an alternate timeline where we never broke up and we were supposed to go to a wedding that I first assumed was in Las Vegas, given all the casinos and hotels, and the fact that it was the middle of the desert. The only thing that was totally off was the fact that this dream city had a port, and I remember thinking in my dream "When did Las Vegas get a port?" The dream involved searching for a particular book in all of this dream city's bookstores. Yeah, not very exciting.

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August

2010 Aug 1
mash up

So I had a dream that was a mashup of "Inception", Starcraft II, and the archetypical American Western.

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2010 Aug 2
an idle mind is the devil's playground

So I've been in a weird mood all weekend. Maybe it has something to do with the recent solar flare and the incoming coronal mass ejection. Maybe I'm not getting enough sleep. Or maybe too much sleep. Probably, I'm not getting enough exercise.

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2010 Aug 5
i need new hobbies

Maybe I need to find something else to do with my free time besides play games. I dreamt that a cadre of undead businessmen and their zombie minions were trying to strong-arm the mayor of my Sim town into letting them build a sprawling mall-and-parking lot complex that would cause untold ecological catastrophe. While the Sim mayor tried to stall during negotiations, a detachment of space marines from Starcraft landed in drop pods and annihilated the legions of undead.

2010 Aug 7
simple is forgetting. i simply can't forget.

It occurs to me how much less angst I would experience if I stopped imagining certain scenarios as "what if" and just accepted them as "never gonna happen". What is gone is gone.

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2010 Aug 16
wandering through these streets

If I dwell too much on it, it does depress me how much I feel like my life has shrunk. This was, to be sure, inevitable. Almost all of my energy is spent working so that when the day is done, I just don't feel like doing anything at all. Because, sadly, whatever remaining energy I have gets spent on the arduous commute home. The East L.A. Interchange is evil, and whoever designed this monstrosity needs to be punished.

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2010 Aug 17
westbound on the 10

I'm starting to notice that the days are getting shorter. It swear it was only a few days ago when I could still make it home long before the sun would set. Now I'm driving home with the sun in my eyes most days, trying to make it before the sun disappears. But I guess I don't mind watching the sun set too much.

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2010 Aug 18
i so rarely catch the sunrise

I've been in an odd mood lately. It's weird how the end of summer still gets to me.

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September

2010 Sep 7
the end of summer

I can't believe how much it already feels like autumn.

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December

2010 Dec 18
anti-climax

So I've been completely neglecting this blog, to the point where I didn't even realize my web host had suspended it (I'm not entirely sure why. I thought I was still paying for hosting, but I guess I was wrong.)

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2011

January

2011 Jan 14
anger born of grief

Maybe I should just make another Twitter and/or FriendFeed account to serve as an outlet for the random thoughts that come unbidden to my mind that are too tangential and decontextualized for anyone else to make sense of. I'm not really ready to coherently blog about everything that has happened. I was really only going to post three words that popped into my head as I listened to NPR and hearing about how the staff of Gabrielle Gifford's office is doing, three words that imperfectly describe what I've been feeling this entire week:

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2011 Jan 15
it was only hunger

I was in a terrible mood this afternoon, but it turns out it was only because I had ended up skipping lunch. After getting something into my stomach, I'm feeling a lot better.

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2011 Jan 17
random song lyrics

If only I had thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I'd thought of the right words
I wouldn't be breaking apart…

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2011 Jan 31
out of context

On these interminable commutes home, truly random thoughts will pop into my head, sometimes riffing off of something my iPod decided to play. I'm not even sure what song it was that prompted these ideas, but now I kind of want to write ti down and see if I can fit it into some story I might write some day:

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2011 Jan 31
query

is it possible to see at that depth with such clarity?
to plumb the hidden recesses of the universe with just
the force of thought?
I no longer believe it, yet still I am drawn
to the lofty and the sublime
though still wary of deceit, of confusion
is there wisdom behind the knowledge?
not just comprehension but understanding?

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February

2011 Feb 9
the utmost pessimism

Sometimes I get the feeling that the bad guys are going to win, and there's just absolutely nothing I can do about it, and I can't even just hang on and at least try to enjoy the ride to hell.

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March

2011 Mar 4
how do you know we're not in a simulation?

I just came back from watching "The Adjustment Bureau" and was sufficiently entertained. It did have its slow parts, and the trailers did set me up to expect something subtly different, but I still liked it.

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2011 Mar 5
why did don quixote cross the road?

The Western genre as treated by Hollywood is itself like a cultural palimpsest. Long before Hollywood was even a metonymic signifier for the entertainment industry, the westward expansion and the genocidal Indian Wars driven by Manifest Destiny were already the equivalent of America's Dark Ages, at the very least in the sense that mythology and legend could be easily inserted into that period without running too much afoul of history. (Like how Europe's Dark Ages are ornamented by King Arthur, and Roland and the paladins of Charlemagne, and the lost Ninth Roman Legion beyond Hadrian's Wall, to name a few that come easily to mind.)

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2011 Mar 5
things i am not a fan of

being told that something that I know is good for me (or which I believe is good for people I care about) is actually evil and needs to be destroyed, especially when such a denunciation is devoid of any solid evidence, and most especially when I have spent a good amount of time pointing out counter-evidence, and that counter-evidence is completely ignored.

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2011 Mar 6
if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul

A few weeks of headaches and listlessness, of palpitations and sleeplessness, of such unshakeable weariness
the painkillers and the antibiotics, the receptor blockers and the immune modulators
make you a little less achy, and little less sore, and the nights aren't as fraught
with tossing and turning, and the fluttery, nervous twirling in the pit of your gut
and that basic fear of worrying whether you even know what you're doing anymore
if the next morning will bring some horrific disaster that everyone is counting on you to fix
and you'll just end up standing there uselessly, hands trembling and nerveless
and the roar of triumphant chaos finally sweeps you away from the sandy shores
drowning you in the dark depths of that trackless sea of despair

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2011 Mar 8
do as i say, not as i do

I procrastinated on working on my absentee ballot, and ended up forgetting to do it before the mail-in deadline, so I ended up working on it tonight, and just dropping it off at the polling place. It was a short two block walk, but I am monstrously out of shape, and my allergies are terrible right now. The walk back involves climbing a hill, and by the time I reached the top of it, I was gasping and wheezing, in the throes of an asthma attack.

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2011 Mar 9
scattered thoughts about corporal punishment

What being hit by the belt or smacked in the ass for misbehaving taught me was that the best way to deal with frustration is with violence. This lesson is now something I constantly struggle with to suppress.

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April

2011 Apr 11
i still got soul

"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul." — Charles Bukowski

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June

2011 Jun 12
exactly the same in an entirely different way

Inspired by Facebook comments, I ended up reading through some of my old blog entries. A lot of it is in fact quite sad and pathetic, to the point where I started thinking to myself, "My God, the writer of this crap needs serious help!" (The part that isn't sad and pathetic is random and borderline incoherent, which leads me to the same conclusion.)

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2011 Jun 23
i probably watch too much tv

I never end up writing down my dreams immediately after waking up. Usually, it's because I'm in a rush to get to work, but sometimes it's just because I'm lazy. Not that I think vivid dreams necessarily mean anything other than the fact that my sleep is fragmented enough that I wake up in time to remember my dreams, but it's always interesting to re-read the weird things my brain comes up with from the flotsam and jetsam of my mundane life.

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2011 Jun 26
liberty and emergent behavior

This is from a Friendfeed thread from a little while ago that I wanted to preserve (with a little editing):

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2011 Jun 27
a thousand folds

My current lack of introspection is starting to alarm me. When you've gotten to the point where you feel like you can't even be honest in your own blog that you treat like a secret diary because hardly anyone reads it anyway, this might be suggestive of a significant lack of openness.

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July

2011 Jul 8
fireworks

Tonight was fireworks night at Dodger Stadium, and as I watched bright colorful explosions in the sky from a distant hill, I remembered that it was around this time of year twelve years ago when I made a last-minute decision that would forever change my life in weird and sometimes quite traumatic ways.

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September

2011 Sep 29
randomly reminiscing

The easiest thing to do is just to blame this aching sense of bleak desolation on myself. But there really isn't anyone to blame, no rationales, no reasons. What happens, happens. (Or more pertinently, what doesn't happen, doesn't happen.) I suppose I need to admit that I expected more. But nobody ever gets everything they want.

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October

2011 Oct 17
somehow shifted

Funny how the random function of my iPod can just make my thoughts go "that a way", to steal a turn of phrase. "I See the Light1" from the "Tangled" soundtrack started playing, and I started thinking about fairy tales. There has been much ink spilled and many photons shed about how Disney ruins little girls, but maybe it's not really that gender-specific. While it might be argued that Hollywood in general peddles the pernicious idea of "happily ever after", none of the studios inculcates this idea so universally to people at such a young age.

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2011 Oct 25
silver linings

Trying to focus more on what I have, instead of what I don't.

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November

2011 Nov 14
pause

I just need a moment.

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2011 Nov 17
not enough time

I've been wanting to write an actual blog post and not just Twitter-like sentence fragments, but I just haven't been able to gather my thoughts. As much as I think sleep is absolutely necessary, it sure would be great to have an extra eight hours a day.

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2011 Nov 30
where the hell did that come from?

So I'm driving home and all of the sudden my iPod starts playing "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, and the lyrics just hit me:

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December

2011 Dec 17
generalized malaise

I'm feeling disconnected and unreal.

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2011 Dec 21
them's the breaks

It is easy to feel rejected because of the fact that people weren't able to modify their schedules to accomodate me trying to drive up about 400 miles in order to see people I haven't seen literally in years, but, yeah, some people have farther to travel that day, and what's another few years more, I guess. People grow apart. It happens.

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2011 Dec 23
dark thoughts

It would be easy, just like falling asleep. But I never did like easy. I must endure.

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2011 Dec 24
keeping the melancholy away with bright, bright lights

So I'm sitting here procrastinating over the millions of things I'm supposed to get done. Apparently I'm hosting my sister's birthday and my parents' anniversary party at my house on Tuesday, and the inside of my house still looks tore up, almost like I had left all the windows and doors open that day the winds blasted up to 80 mph. Basically boxes and papers all over the place. This is a direct consequence of the fact that I'm a single guy living in a three bedroom house, and I simply don't know how to sanely manage all this space.

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2011 Dec 31
don't look back

So when I was a teenager and in my twenties, I used to be really into "Best of" lists and countdowns and reflecting on the last 365 days and all that crap, but lately, I just don't give a crap.

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2012

January

2012 Jan 4
better than a time machine

I didn't want to threadjack, but it's crazy how a song will just take me back into the recesses of my memory (although the version that I have in my head is the inferior remake by INOJ1.) It reminds me of the summer I went on an East Coast trip with my parents and siblings, from NYC to northern Virginia. It was definitely a time when the world was still rife with possibility, and I still remember hoping for something dear that never came to fruition.

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2012 Jan 5
it's not real unless it's shared

This was always an article of faith for me: it might as well have never have happened if there isn't a story to tell. As I've spent several years of my life essentially alone, this has caused me to feel a significant portion of my life is unreal and perhaps even in vain.

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2012 Jan 6
trying not to dwell, failing

I am trying not fixate on the fact that I totally pissed away my day off being angry, since that only makes me even more angry.

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2012 Jan 7
inchoate rage

You ever been so pissed off that it exhausted you? Yeah. Just woke up from a rage-induced four hour nap. Still feeling kind of ragey. No, I don't want to talk about it. Yes, I'd like to punch something.

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2012 Jan 24
love and duty

A lot of stories pit love against duty, making them completely antithetical to each other, because we live in a culture that says you should never do something you don't want to. But, just from observation, sometimes love truly arises from duty, and a sense of duty can be kindled by love, and eventually you can't tell which comes first, and which arises from the other.

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2012 Jan 31
random thoughts while walking aimlessly through target

I don't really know where it comes from. I just know it's from somewhere external. I did not learn it. I was informed of it. Probably some sort of romantic—or even Romantic—garbage that I came across in high school, about how you can look into someone's soul just by looking into their eyes. How you can identify intelligence by recognizing a spark.

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February

2012 Feb 3
not in a good space right now

I am feeling especially futile right now.

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2012 Feb 29
time

It's just another day, right? Same as yesterday. Same as tomorrow.

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March

2012 Mar 3
there are no happy endings, because nothing ever ends

There was a time after Edwin Hubble discovered the universe was expanding that I think a lot of people thought the universe was doomed to end. Gone was the idea that the universe was static and eternal. So it was either the Big Freeze, or the Big Crunch. Either the great heat death of the universe, or gravity would eventually halt the expansion and everything would come crashing back down into a singularity again.

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2012 Mar 5
the art of not wanting

But everyday I say I'll try to make my heart be still.

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2012 Mar 11
it's never enough

The thing I recognize that will be a growing problem because I spend all this time alone is that I am becoming increasingly selfish. I find myself less and less able to tolerate other people's contradictory opinions, and I find myself increasingly resentful of others when I feel like they're impinging on my freedom, even though I realize that compromise is necessary if you intend to keep the peace. I know for a fact that I used to be far more tolerant than this, but I'm not sure how to stop this apparent devolution.

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April

2012 Apr 6
a common etiology of anxiety and panic

Sometimes I feel like telling people "the reason why you can't sleep and can't eat and feel like your heart is going to explode is because you've totally bought in to the American Dream bullshit, and it's slowly but surely killing you."

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2012 Apr 13
metaphor, or omen?

Ugh. Dreamt of a [what-if situation][1], of a missed chance (or maybe it was always just in my head) that left my heart aching when I awoke and realized that it never happened that way, that it was all just wishful thinking.

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May

2012 May 5
sad on a lot of levels

So, all of the sudden, I'm brought to tears because of a dog that died more than seven years ago. And I've only had two beers.

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2012 May 20
some people claim that there's a woman to blame, but I know it's my own damn fault

I've spent too much time thinking of might-have-beens, of the garden of forking paths, of the paths forever barred to me
is it a sign that I'm getting old, always looking backward instead of forward, or a sign that I'm still too immature for my age, unwilling to plan for the future, and wallowing in my broken dreams?

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2012 May 28
almost like a time machine

I have always used music to index time, since I was a little kid. I may not remember exact dates, but I can often remember the exact details of what was happening around me the first time I hear a song.

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June

2012 Jun 2
adversarial mood

Woke up feeling grim this morning. I wonder what this portends.

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2012 Jun 6
the long defeat

We can still win this if keep striving. And if we can’t win, then at least we can go out fighting.

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2012 Jun 6
requiescat in pacem, ray bradbury

(Some scattered thoughts I originally posted on Friendfeed after learning Ray Bradbury had died, about Fahrenheit 451's continuing applicability to the contemporary world, and how the Internet's ability to save all information may be a double-edged sword, slightly edited)

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2012 Jun 8
it's the way it's put together

So, yeah, up until 1 am for no good reason, except I got sucked into YouTube and the Hype Machine, finding covers and mashups of pop songs that have finally burrowed their way into my consciousness after constant exposure. And it both delights me and makes me a little wistful that I'm not the first person who thought two songs just happened to fit really well together not just thematically (lyrically speaking) but even in terms of key signature and rhythm.

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2012 Jun 15
i think there's something wrong with me

So, yeah, I've been kind of out of it all day. I can't seem to concentrate. I feel like I'm pushing against an unseen force, like I'm swimming in molasses in something.

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2012 Jun 18
what is gone is gone

You can't lose something you never had. And yet, that makes it even worse.

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2012 Jun 29
music from the land of canadia

As my iPod decides to play some songs from female Canadian singer-songwriters back-to-back, I ponder over how I should probably be ashamed that some of these songs are on my iPod. And I wonder, was Carly Rae Jepsen directly influenced by Avril Lavigne? Was Avril Lavigne directly influenced by Alanis Morissette? Are these the only female Canadian singer-songwriters I actually know?

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July

2012 Jul 1
the problem with people

You want a situation that cannot exist. You may think it should exist because you can imagine it, but if you unravel and follow all the threads that comprise the current state of the universe right now at this very second, you will realize you cannot get there from here, at least not without expending far more than it's probably worth.

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2012 Jul 7
a single letter difference, and too much free time

I found myself thinking about the last section of The Lord of the Rings (that got cut out of the movies): the "Scouring of the Shire" chapter. And it occurred to me that "scouring" and "scourging" are only one letter apart. And while in common parlance, "scourging" just means whipping, I started thinking about the Scourging of Lordaeron in World of Warcraft, where cultists transform an entire kingdom's populace into ghouls and zombies, and so, what if Saruman was a necromancer, and he basically turned all the hobbits undead….

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2012 Jul 9
years after it was much too, much too late

It's weird how random memories will sneak up on me. Usually while I'm driving, but I suppose that really shouldn't be that surprising since I live in Southern California, and odds are, I'm in my car.

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2012 Jul 11
the pursuit of happiness is in vain

I'm trying to figure out where this thought came from, trying to tease apart my memory to determine who taught this to me, or how I learned it. For as far as I can remember, I've taken it as a personal article of faith that you cannot really chase happiness. Maybe it's just an extrapolation of the conventional wisdom that you can't buy happiness. But happiness is not something acquirable, certainly not like you can obtain the newest iPhone, or even the acquiescence of corrupt politicians in certain regions of the world of ill-repute. You can't realistically set a goal like "in 3 months, I will be happy", certainly not the same way you can say "in 3 months, I will lose 20 pounds" or even "in 3 months, I will be married."

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2012 Jul 14
systems of magic

Ever since I heard of Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law—any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic—I've often found myself thinking of how magic would end up being studied in a post-scientific revolution civilization. I know a lot of fantasy authors don't like making their systems of magic explicit, because it inevitably makes it magic less magical (and not making it explicit is also incidentally in line with Tolkien's thoughts on how magic should work: internally logically consistent the way logic in fairy tales and dreams are internally consistent, no matter how weird.)

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2012 Jul 17
searching for flow

The words used to come easy
Like wind upon my brow
like deep frozen memories suddenly thawing in the heat of the sun's blazing
like the ebb and flow of blood through my veins
and into my heart
so full, and then oh so empty
a microcosm of crashing tides and shifting winds
and deep endless night

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2012 Jul 20
control

The sad confluence of events, starkly rendered
in terse words over the static of the airwaves
confronting you with your own mortality
you've got no control
there was nothing that could've stopped this
you don't know the reasons
how could you possibly know the solutions?
how could you possibly know who to blame?

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2012 Jul 25
the hour that will probably eventually kill me

This is always the hour that can bring me to utter despair, after the sun disappears beneath the horizon, and I'm alone with nothing but my thoughts. But this too will pass. Anything is bearable if you wait long enough. One way or the other.

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October

2012 Oct 8
epiphany

I've got no one.

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2012 Oct 9
crypticism

Is this a harbinger, or a precursor? Would she have saved me, if I had somehow threaded my way through fate? Or it's just the chemicals, the neurotransmitters diffusing through my brain. Maybe this is just the way they all justify the emptiness.

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November

2012 Nov 1
rudeness and privilege

The problem I have with the concept of rudeness is that it is frequently used by the privileged to stifle the speech of the marginalized. For example, we can't talk about racism, much less call someone out as saying/doing something racist, because it's rude. Never mind whether the accusation of racism may be true….

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2012 Nov 1
rudeness

Let's face it. In the wake of this presidential election, especially during and after the presidential debates, much ink has been spilled and many photons have been emitted in regard to how President Obama was being rude by interrupting Mitt Romney's lies.

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2012 Nov 23
errant nerdery

While rummaging through my cabinets looking for some Tylenol, I started thinking about the drug delivery mechanism they use in the movie "Looper": eye drops.

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2012 Nov 26
I watched too many cartoons when I was a kid

Thanks to my little sister, I became thoroughly immersed in the lore of Rainbow Brite (as well as She-Ra, and less so, My Little Pony) The one episode (two episodes, really) that really stuck to me was the pilot, which was/were far darker and more foreboding than the actual series was—basically explaining how Rainbowland came to be transformed from a devastated wasteland ruled by a malevolent force into an Edenic paradise.

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2012 Nov 29
willful blindness?

How is it that libertarians can talk at obnoxious length about how certain behaviors by private entities are totally justified and not immoral while the exact same behaviors performed or sanctioned by the state are violations of human rights, but when you try to explain how racism is bigotry plus state power and/or sanction and/or influence, and without the state reinforcement it's not the same thing and definitely not the same level of oppression, they're all "Huh?!?"

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December

2012 Dec 3
more things in heaven and earth

I just finished reading Ken Liu's short story "The Waves" this morning about human interstellar travelers who are presented with, progressively, the choice of biological immortality, the choice of machine immortality and the Singularity, and the choice of transforming into pure energy life forms, interspersed with retellings of the creation myths of various cultures.

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2013

March

2013 Mar 29
clarity

I've been kind of obsessed with this song.

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April

2013 Apr 9
what if?

It took me a really long time to learn this, but I finally realized that asking "what if?" unilaterally makes no sense. Because it doesn't matter if it never crossed her mind.

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2013 Apr 10
thinking about starting a new blog

I don't know why I thought the domain name highpoweredmutant.com would still be available.

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2013 Apr 17
Middle-Earth vs. Earthsea

Both J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin call their respective fantasy universes Eä/Éa. Coincidence?

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May

2013 May 21
the last gleam of sunlight

There is something about the final brilliant moment of the day, right before the sun dips below the hilltop behind my house, that really puts me in a weird, contemplative mood. My iPod decides to start playing a Hikaru Utada song.

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July

2013 Jul 27
what's wrong with performance-enhancing drugs?

The ultracynical part of me thinks we should just let athletes use performance-enhancing drugs. Yes, it might seriously maim or kill them, but that's what they're getting paid millions of dollars for anyway, to potentially wreck their bodies for our entertainment.

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2013 Jul 29
i dreamt about the POTUS

So I should write this down before I totally forget: Last night I dreamt that me and Barack Obama got kidnapped by a couple of Filipino gangsters working for the Triad. (Don't ask me where Secret Service was.) We managed to outsmart the gangsters, but had to steal a limo to get away. For some reason no one recognized the POTUS at all.

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2013 Jul 31
pissed off

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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2013 Jul 31
no vacation for you

I guess I'm not going to Santo Domingo, either.

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August

2013 Aug 4
everything is political

Descriptive/positive statements may or may not be political (although there are those who argue that epistemologies based on descriptivism/positivity are inherently political.) But prescriptive/normative statements (explicit or implied) are always political.

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September

2013 Sep 30
i don't do well with people

So the (perhaps post-hoc) rationale was that I wasn't there to pick-up on women, I was there to hang out with my cousins.

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October

2013 Oct 5
the last days of sunlight

One day shall come a dawn where I do not see the sunset
a summer after which I need not endure the autumn
my last memories will be of the hot breath of the Santa Ana winds
and the acrid reek of smoke from the raging wildfires
and bright sunlight without end.
Until we meet again, my friend.

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2013 Oct 5
it's all bullshit

I could be coping better. This is not going well at all.

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2013 Oct 5
life. don't talk to me about life.

I'm sitting here in the dark, totally drunk, recounting my failures and losses. There are a lot of places where it went totally wrong, but I find myself lingering on one of the milestones that I choose to remember. A. I loved you in my fashion. But that is neither here nor there.

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2013 Oct 6
on-going

I am so tired but I can't sleep. Wonderful.

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2013 Oct 6
who's going to watch you die

I think the worst part about watching death—even just the death of an ill-tempered and anxious dog who lived a long life of almost 15 years, who had deteriorated to the point where he couldn't even stand up to take a drink of water or even to move out of his own filth—is that you know for a fact it's going to happen again and again, unless you happen to go first.

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2013 Oct 6
some say because it's over

When my cousin died all of the sudden without warning about seven years ago just after we started reconnecting, I listened to this song a lot.

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2013 Oct 8
grief

I'm totally getting the auditory hallucination thing that I've read some pet owners get.

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2013 Oct 11
silver linings

At least Angel doesn't have to be cold anymore.

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2013 Oct 11
the kick

I dreamt Angel had gotten out through the gate somehow. I asked him "What are you doing out here? How did you get through the gate?" Then my brain went "Oh, I'm dreaming" and I immediately got booted out of that level of the dream.

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2013 Oct 21
how i hate the night

I wonder how long it will take me to be able to go to sleep without second-guessing the decision to euthanize the family dog and without needing antihistamines and/or alcohol.

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2013 Oct 26
feeling helpless in the midst of suffering and death

"If you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul." — Charles Bukowski

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2013 Oct 31
beginnings and endings

My sister picked up Angel in front of the Sav-On down the hill (long before CVS had bought it) when she was just a senior in high school. Some kid was selling puppies for $10. It must have been sometime after Halloween, and we always used Halloween as his birthday (although we never really knew.) We wondered if she had taken him too soon from his mother. He fit on the palm of my hand, and he wouldn't eat and we were certain he was going to die. But eventually he figured it out. For the longest time, he needed to be supervised, otherwise he wouldn't finish his food.

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2014

January

2014 Jan 11
the law of equivalent exchange

The Law of Equivalent Exchange in "Full Metal Alchemist" is really just a reformulation of the First Law of Thermodynamics: matter or energy cannot be created or destroyed. Everything has a price. You cannot create something from nothing. This often leads to the facile interpretation that life is a zero sum game, where one person's loss is another person's gain, and vice-versa.

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2014 Jan 15
dying in the friend zone

How did people get over this? They obviously did. Every day someone fell in love with the wrong person and had to pack up all their fragile, misguided hopes and unwanted affection, and move on.

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2014 Jan 17
ghosts

Well, that was disconcerting. As I was walking Pazzo back to my parents house, I saw a golden animal standing in the middle of the street far down the hill. It then darted to the sidewalk. Pazzo quickened his pace but didn't bark or anything.

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2014 Jan 31
maybe it's enough

I dreamt about a woman whom I've had unrequited feelings for. She was hugging me and telling me that we'd always be friends. In retrospect, it was probably for the best. As if it could've turned out any other way.

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May

2014 May 2
still reeling but i'll get over it

"Who would've known how bittersweet this would taste?"

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2014 May 28
inaccurate rationalizations

Actually, I probably don't need to blame other people's emotionally traumatic experiences for my own pathological avoidant behavior. I've got plenty of emotionally traumatic experiences of my own.

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2014 May 29
message in a bottle

And I thought Bruno Mars was ripping off the Police. Check this out.

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June

2014 Jun 8
i really should know better by now

My standard excuse is that I wouldn't know what love is if it bit me in the ass, but after all this time and heartbreak, that's not really true. Although I suppose it's not really about recognizing love, but about recognizing that spark that has the potentiality of becoming… something more.

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2014 Jun 13
dilemmas

I'm not really sure which is worse: the pangs of this impossible longing, or the emptiness of knowing there's really nothing left to hope for except the sweet release of death.

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2014 Jun 15
everything happens for a reason but sometimes that reason is i'm stupid and make poor decisions

Who am I kidding? I know what I did wrong
but my errors are mostly sins of omission rather than commission
chief of which was not answering the call of need, or the call of love, even, perhaps
and snuffing out the embers before they might catch
for unfounded fears of catastrophic firestorms and searing tragedy

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2014 Jun 15
still not still

To know it's possible in a general sense is one thing. To know that this one thing is impossible is another. One of these days, maybe. One of these days it will be right.

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2014 Jun 17
you can't hurry greatness

"A life-changing transformation isn't going to happen in less than a month. Get a hold of yourself." — things I have to remind myself

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2014 Jun 17
broken then bound

My bedroom window looks out west, towards the last glow of the day and to the north lays a valley where chrome streams of cars crisscross the gleaming white concrete slashing through the wind, roaring like the sea lulling me to sleep like the tide crashing upon the sands

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July

2014 Jul 29
summer waning

The end of days
of summer waning
(the wheel turns and turns)
hoping for all manner of impossible things
hanging suspended at 30,000 feet in the sky
and chasing the fleeting sunlight

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August

2014 Aug 6
pause

Thinking about the last three months, it's kind of crazy how much has happened to me.

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2014 Aug 25
soul mates

After all this time by myself, I'm fairly certain that the common idea of soul mates is bullshit. If there is such a thing, they are made, not born. You tell yourself a story, weave together a narrative, and you just hope that you meet someone willing to tell a complementary story and that your stories mesh together well. It's not going to be a perfect fit, but you can strive to make it so.

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September

2014 Sep 23
waves

September is when I set sail
under duress
amidst the crashing waves of disappointment
driving me far from shore

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2014 Sep 24
recursion

My heart is heavy in a certain way.

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2014 Sep 24
panning for gold

Every day that I survive is a small victory.

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October

2014 Oct 2
fate

Lately, though, I can't help but think
that this is the way things are meant to be
once [the probability wave function collapses][1]

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November

2014 Nov 6
cleaning up a little

Deleted a bunch of spambot comments. It's interesting which posts they've been hammering.

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2014 Nov 15
time traveling

"This weekend left me thinking about the nature of courage: To stay in the fight, even without any hope of winning, and let yourself be destroyed ingloriously? Or to look at the darkness with both eyes wide open, and realize, it's time to let go, there's no point in hanging on and tearing the whole thing down with me? Each to their own, I guess."

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2014 Nov 20
it's always darkest before the dawn

Hyperbolically speaking, it does seem like things have a tendency to end up working out for me once I've lost all hope #LetItGo

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2014 Nov 22
equilibrium

Only in silence the word
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky
—Ursula K. Le Guin The Wizard of Earthsea

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2014 Nov 22
feelings of inadequacy

Everything that happened had to have happened, because I wasn't enough. Some lessons are hard and painful, but live and learn.

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2014 Nov 23
rewind

It has been more than 14 years since I started writing down my thoughts and posting them. It has only really been in the last year or so that I've chanced to look back and trawl through the vast tracts of ephemera and melodrama. And it occurs to me that I only write here when I am sad and anguished. I rarely write when I am happy and joyful, or if I do, usually it's tempered by melancholy. So these blog posts provide a skewed picture. (Although I haven't really chronicled the grimmest moments, either.)

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December

2014 Dec 11
tincture of time

still thinking back to those lonely nights
lying in bed by myself, staring at the shadows
listening to the still silence

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2014 Dec 11
no rhymes, no rhythm

Trawling through my comment spam and finding some old poems

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2014 Dec 12
simple

do you miss those days when I strove to win your heart
with awkward attempts at making bold gestures?
screwing up all my courage to ask you out
to walk around these city streets
teeming with crowds
but I only had eyes for you
the whole world could've been empty for all I cared

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2014 Dec 12
moments

It's been a while since I was this happy and content. I'm kind of afraid to jinx it.

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2014 Dec 16