May 21st, 2006


They Feed the Poor, Like Squirrels in the Park

I'm back from Brecksville, and partly as predicted, I stuck to the homes of my mom and grandparents, not even coming near Brecksville proper (my mom lives near the edge of town). My mom made me some nice, vaguely indian-style food, along with a wonderful dish that I think I can probably make myself with little effort -- lentil mixed with rice, with tomato and miscellaneous veggie on top. My grandparents seemed to be doing pretty well, although from what I've heard about their occasional trips to the hospital, age is not treating them well. I had another long political/social discussion with my Grandpa, although it was pretty pleasant. I also saw my Uncle, Aunt, and one of the cousins. Some of the neighbours' dogs came over to join us all -- with Teddy (Grandparents cat, formerly one of my sisters cat), a dog a cousin brought over, and the twin dogs from a neighbour, it was as much a critter gathering as a person one. I found it cute that my Grandparents always let Haps and Tilly (twin neighbour dogs) into their house and often fed them during their (daily?) visits. Coming back, I hung with Max and most of the Zets crowd during his visit, having a pleasant lunch at the Chinese restaurant on Fnord. I was going to get back together with them after Max's graduation ceremony (I have no idea why someone who's been out of town for about a year is graduating only now, but..), but I fell asleep. I'll blame all the travel for wearing me out.

It still feels like a weekend to myself, which is good -- having the Saturday-Sunday divide in my own place, and Sunday ahead and unscheduled, that's what it takes.

Along with the usual pressure to get married, have kids, etc, my Grandpa asked me what it is that I need in a relationship. He implied (although I have no idea how true it is) that my Grandma was the first serious candidate for him to marry, was really interested in him, and things just kind of worked out. He seemed to pry at my notion of nonnegotiables (Liberality, Atheism/Agnosticism, Intellectualism), pointing out (as I already know, having thought about this myself a lot over the years) that this cuts out the vast majority of people, and that I should be dating more often than I am at my age. He then asked me, of all the people I've dated (or at least the three that he knows about and has met), who I could see myself being with now if things had worked out differently. That's .. an interesting question. My grandparents also gave me a box of old books and a clothes hamper (and offered random ancient electronics), and while I was going to retrieve them, I found a large box of Shabbat candles. I probably would've taken them if I had found a menorah, but I have no idea if they have one or not. My grandma related, on my asking why they were there, that (perhaps related to the various parts of my family that married into Judaism?) when she was younger, she studied "all religions"(!) and if she had been religious, she liked Judaism the best. My grandparents are not really church-going or properly religious -- my grandma never talked much about religion (I know she believes there's some truth in fortune-telling, because she once had a friend who was an Astrologer), and my grandpa doesn't seem to be much for theology (never having said much about Jesus, afterlife, etc) but thinks that the christian bible, more specifically the 10 commandments, suggest a reasonable way to live. I recall there was some reason my grandpa dislikes organised religion, but can't remember that reason offhand. All of this is considerably different than my mom who does consider herself Christian, goes to church, etc. I wish it were as easy as it once was for me to spend an entire weekend with my Grandparents. I kind of wonder if, should I end up dating again, whether my grandparents will be around to meet them. Chances arn't too good for my patrilinear grandparents -- my grandfather on that side is already long gone (I think Martha may have met him over the phone, I'm not sure), and I don't know how well my grandmother on that side is doing. .. and thinking like this kind of sucks because it makes my home feel emptier and my life less what I want it to be as I lie here on my bed. I also had yet another dream, this time on the couch while I fell asleep trying to watch a movie at my Mom's place, highlighting how my life actually has a few attractive women in it, but they're taken. Thanks, dream!

For tomorrow, I should take my car to get its oil changed and have the belt changed(?) because it's about to snap, according to my Uncle John, who knows such car things.

If anyone can help me identify a song by some lyrics, that'd be great:
It was a beautiful sight
Your kiss was a flame
not the spark that somehow dies
The style is lounge/jazz, and I'm hoping to snag an mp3 from somewhere. It was on a record player in the Dr Who movie, but is proving to be very difficult to track down.


Electronic Toothaches

I just wasted a lot of time attempting to build Gnash, an opensource flash player. I want it for two reasons:

  1. I don't want to run the 32-bit firefox, and 32-bit plugins won't run in a 64-bit browser, and there's no 64-bit linux flash plugin yet, and my attempts to use the weird 32-bit wrapping plugin were met with something less than success
  2. It'd be cool not to need a browser to view flash files
Dull details of the horribly broken project omitted. End result after a lot of pain is that I now can play flash files, without sound, in a standalone viewer. Worth it? Probably not.
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Like Ninjas to a Party

Today was a nice, quiet day. My landlord stopped by early with maintenacefolk to take a look at my ceiling, which has been leaking almost since I moved in (and staining the carpet, generating a pungent mould smell). The problem lies with a leaky skylight in the apartment above me, although they may need to replace the carpet in my bedroom given the damage. I tried to get maintenance done on my car, but no place is open. After spending some time at the 61c, and walking around for awhile, I went home, got my accordion, and walked around in Schenley playing it. I keep forgetting that I have it -- it's a great way to spend time when I'm not sure what to do. When I was mostly through, I got a phone call asking for help in moving someone, so I did that, had Indian food, and then had the novel way of attending a gathering of giving people a ride there. It went ok, but I started to get sleepy, so I went home, where I am now, and so went another day.

I did well enough in my Bioinformatics class not to need to worry about paying for it. It's not a grade to be particularly proud of, but again, I don't care much about grades because my GPA went into hibernation years ago. I've even stopped having nightmares about my last finals (that stopped about a year ago, I think). So, hurrah! No horrible CMU tuition expenses!

I identified the song, oddly, by using a non-google search engine. It's titled "In a Dream", is a generic(?) piece sung by Pat Hodge. I think that the Tardis in the movie would make a rather cool place to live. I really like the dark wood look -- homes that are bright, like light-coloured furniture, somehow seem like toys. Meh. I am too tired to say anything more.