Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Torch and Shade

This has been a pretty busy and odd week. Several people are visiting from out of town, and very few people have been on campus in the work sense. I've been doing a fair amount of my work from home too, so my office has been fairly empty.. Emotionally, things have been very strange - things that should've made me happy haven't, but there were some times where I just suddenly felt exuberant for no good reason and was all smiles for awhile. Unrelated to most of this, my grandmother "Mimi" in Texas died. This is still floating around my brain in search of something to connect to - mentally she wasn't very there for the last few years, and I knew the body was dying. What I knew as her was, as I understand, gone quite some time ago. There's still an impact, but it isn't a particularly large one. I think going to Dallas for the funeral would be a very bad idea for me..

last few days:

  • Last tuesday, I was overenthusiastic about heading the ball, giving myself a nasty headache, and once getting it in our goal. I'm glad we play informally. Lesson learned: Don't head the ball when near one's goal
  • Life needs an undo button, ideally multi-level. I'm not sure how far back I'd go, but ... actually, this would probably take me back years.
  • There was a fireworks gathering that sucked, and a party that went reasonably well.
  • Hanging around other CS types make me realise how much I'm getting bored with my job. I don't think I'd need a hardcore CS-type job (although maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea), but nobody there seems the slightest bit burned-out yet, and while they're all young'uns who haven't been beaten down yet by post-university life, I know I can feel that way about work too. Not burned out yet, but bored.. hmm
  • In person, I expose too much of my internal thought process to other, presumably uninterested, people.
  • Yesterday, I helped some people out, and was exposed to some rotten potatoes (that were eventually tossed). The smells involved are among the least pleasant I've experienced. I also met a really nice Orthodox Rabbi from downtown whose sense of humour mixed well with mine.
  • There's a sushi place in oakland that has reasonably affordable and reasonably good veggie selections.

The world hasn't sit still:

  • The Red Mosque situation in Islamabad (Pakistan) continues. Here's another reasonable overview of things. After police surrounded the Mosque, there were some street clashes, a curfew, and police demands to surrender weapons. A number of people have died, considerably more have been injured, and while a few hundred have surrendered or been captured, the situation hasn't been resolved yet. On the larger picture, a USA Today article notes that Taliban forces from neighbouring Afghanistan now control many non-city areas of the country, and also explains some of the goals of the mosque leaders. Musharraf's handling of the situation seems to be fairly popular among city-dwellers..
  • Hamas's freeing of a journalist held by a rival religious militant group has some British MPs calling for open dialogue with their movement. A Ynet article asks why the PA failed to resolve the situation while Hamas succeeded - the answer, of course, is that Abbas's supporters and the PA are a very broad and very loose coalition of various parts of Palestinian society, with institutions (such as police and schools) having questionable direct loyalty and in many cases more loyalty to a smaller group that is only provisionally aligned with Fatah/the PA - while Hamas is a populist movement, it's a highly centralised one that doesn't need to play politics internally.
  • I'm curious and possibly concerned at Chavez's handling of criticism from the Catholic church in Venezuela - not that I care for the church as such, but because I don't think it's a sign of healthy public dialogue/discussion. Some constitutional reforms are being prepared for proposal (which are confidential) to the National Assembly.
  • Australia's defence minister made an honest, awkward, and from my perspective very condemnable statement - that Australia's involvement in the American invasion of Iraq had oil access as an important factor. I've long felt that to avoid possible "confusion" over these issues, invading countries should not be permitted any profits from their wars, even on a cost-recovery basis.
  • Yemen to push for rule-of-law and against external group influences...

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Frustration: I often pile on layers of meaning beyond the surface when I'm interacting with people, but sometimes these go awry by mistake. It's easy enough to control what one says, but using subtleties to fine-tune what one's saying, add additional layers of communication (some perhaps not conscious), and drop hints into people's brains that they won't even realise are communication, sometimes the cues/signals get crossed. I recently let someone look at something, and there was something accidentally affixed to it that I had forgotten about that easily could've been meant to say something to them on a nonverbal level - it wouldn't've been odd for me to intend such a thing on that level with different content, but I was unable to even retract what it accidentally said for me because that communication was already on a nondirect level. This has happened a few times before, once when I was showing someone with whom I had just reconciled some differences a collection of funny-but-depressing images that, I had forgotten, included an image that more-or-less made fun of certain issues they had in life. In the latter case, they were bright enough to "get" the communication and no doubt thought I was toying with them on some level.. what's there to say in such circumstances that doesn't sound just like just another step in those back-and-forth dances? ...


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