Sunday, December 3 2000
In the morning I woke up and systematically wrote checks for all the bills I need to pay. I don't know exactly why I am this way, but I always get a strong sense of achievement from the act of paying bills. It helps temper the feeling I have about myself that I am irresponsible. My father made this diagnosis repeatedly throughout my childhood and it's hard for me not to view myself this way.
When I was done cutting checks, I left my checkbook out on the coffee table in hopes that my housemate John would see it and remember that he hasn't yet paid December rent. I don't want to have to play the role of nagging landlord.
Then I went to work and yes, it was Sunday. I'd agreed with the CTO's assessment that the only way we'd get this site done in a timely manner was to do some work this weekend. The CTO is a reasonable woman; this doesn't feel anything like the bad old days of CollegeClub.com cult slavery. Still, suddenly I was made aware of all this additional database work that I needed to do and I grimly realized that we wouldn't be finishing today. As the sunny southern California afternoon faded into premature December darkness, I felt a coil of indignation and anxiety tightening in my central axis.
After we'd decided it was a lost cause, I went home in the darkness and came upon my housemate John. He invited me to go with him to our neighborhood Café, so I said sure. While we were there we discussed the subject of how sexual rivalries and jealousies can poison a workplace.
Back at the house we watched something on the Discovery Channel about Sabertooth Cats, the extinct species that left hundreds of thousands of bones behind in the La Brea Tar Pits over where Julian lives. Those scientists who study such things, my are they a wacky breed! Junkyard Wars stylee, they went and built a robotic Sabertooth Cat and took it out to a ranch to see what kind of damage it could do to a dead bison. There's something really creepy about watching some geeky scientists prodding a dead bison into position so that their Aliens-style robot can go for the jugular. As I watched, John cooked me a urine-fragrance-enhancing meal of broccoli and asparagus. He also cut me a fat rent check.
At 9pm John convinced me to watch the new teevee version of the Sci-Fi novel Dune. Sadly, though, it was completely unwatchable for me. It was, among other faults, too woodenly over-serious in a Star Trek sort of way. One of the problems I've found with a lot of Science Fiction is that the "science" is either completely implausible or it quickly dissolves into meaningless spirtual padding such as "the Force." The only space Sci-Fi that ever worked for me was Contact.
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