Today on the way to work, I passed a couple in their 80s. The lady was on a swing, going back and forth, and the man was standing in front, looking as if he would catch her if she came flying off (although she was going nowhere near fast enough -- I think it was mainly a gesture, and lack of a different expected thing to do while they were alone at that part of the park). It was touching and cute.
I've decided not to go to Qatar. The reasons are all related to restrictions that CMU-Q places on its employees, some of which are related to the local culture. One of the issues is something that I feel disappointed that CMU is going along with, but so it goes. I'll probably stay in Pittsburgh for at least another year, and then either go to work for Google in europe or try to get into grad school. It is a nice plus that I don't need to leave my friends right away.
In other news, the pageup key on my laptop has fallen off and cannot be reliably reattached. Frustrating. I may need to replace this thing sooner than I hoped. Also, our AMD64/FC3 box at work is getting error messages of the sort
sh:3592: mm/memory.c:98: bad pmd ....
in syslog, and having strange program behavior for the affected processes. A little research on google suggests that this is a problem with the kernels in FC3, and that upgrading to FC4 MAY fix the problem. On the chance that it will, I'm going to upgrade tomorrow. It is unusual that a single program, and only that program so far, invokes the error.. hmm.
I've also been (finally) involved in mediating on Wikipedia. It takes a fair amount of time, but it's very satisfying. It also adds intellectual spice to ways I can contribute to the project -- my level of interest in contributing to articles waxes and wanes.
Some people I know here are going through what look like tough times of various types. For others, these are merely eventful times. These certainly arn't the lazy days of summer, at least not for the social circles in which I wade.
Within the last week, I angered someone who was once a big part of my life in not giving into a demand of theirs. I'm pretty sure I'm remaining consistant to my values for society in steering the course I am there, and expressed anger back at them, but as always in my psychology, whenever I feel or especially express deep anger, it makes me feel depressed and destabilised afterwards. I don't know if I think this is a bad thing -- cultivating a deep calmness, so much as is possible and consistant with living life the way one wishes, is something I treasure, and leaving that is probably supposed to be difficult. I recall the last small incident when I became very angry, when an autistic kid was making a huge scene at a bookstore when a lot of people were trying to study or read, and the mother exploded on me when I gently suggested taking the screaming, rolling-on-the-ground kid outside or not bringing him into areas where people expect quiet -- while I kept fairly cool throughout the entire unpleasant exchange/confrontation, I was trembling for a few hours afterwards from the anger, and was kind of disoriented for the rest of the day. I hope nothing further comes of this issue and the present arrangement of things doesn't need to shift for that to be the case. I may concievably face a legal or other threat, and while I have no doubt I could win either in the end, and probably make a lot of trouble if need be, it'd be emotionally unpleasant for me.
Within the last two weeks, I've been strongly attracted to someone for the first time since Nicole and I broke up. It took three months, but it happened. Of course, target of said attraction is not free for a relationship, so I'll need to look elsewhere. Or maybe I won't look anywhere at all. It might be better, all things considered, that I remain single for awhile, perhaps for good. I need to think about it.
One of my bathroom books (My bathroom closet is very deep, and has bookshelves in it) was, until recently, Fussell's Class. At some point in the past I had a much older edition, but I either lost it or perhaps it was my parents and I returned it, so I re-bought it at some point. The newer edition I have has appendices that include an extra class, which he calls X, for people who stand outside the traditional class system, not really living in the normal power or social structures, nor caring about them much. Fussell's description of X, and his treatment of them, seems to me to be very preferential, although it bears investigation if my perception of the preferentiality is because of percieved shared values. I don't think many people fit very neatly into Fussell's categories, each having a number of characteristics that may span into adjourning social classes. Fussell attempts to provide room for almost everyone within his system though, and in another appendix to a version I have, does suggest that there is fluidity by the notion, probably not meant too seriously, that a "point system" can give a good guess as to the class one is in. In some senses, I was raised into an upper-class mentality, although materially upper-middle. Within his framework, I might say that I've turned my back on much of that and at least partially moved into his class X, although the borders are fuzzy enough that it's hard to speak definitively about these things. I don't know anything about Centre College, but this class looks interesting.