Monday, February 26 2001
Twelve years ago it happened in a way that had never happened before and has never happened since. My heart, oh my miserable heart, was decisively broken. It was a tragedy only to me, but I was sure to make lots of other people miserable about it over the ensuing weeks. The thing that's so pathetic about the way this happened was that I'd sort of wanted to break up with the girl beforehand but then she went ahead and broke up with me first. That's all it took to graduate me into the realm of the jaded post-naïve adulthood. It had to happen sometime, and for me it was 12 years ago today. I probably wouldn't have even remembered, but another legacy from exactly 12 years ago, Gretchen, is coming to visit me in only a few days.
I wonder sometimes if there is something really just wrong with me. I'm talking about something fundamentally, objectively, measurably wrong. I say this after comparing the lint my laundry generates to the lint generated by John's (as well as his sister Maria's) laundry. John's laundry is your usual grey lint, nothing too special about it. Maria's is wonderfully soft and perfectly layered, starting with a base of big fibers and ending with a garnish of the finest, softest, most perfect dust. My lint, on the other hand, looks like Tijuana in the aftermath of a 8.9 Richter earthquake. It's a terrible jumble of fibers with huge nodules of paper wads distributed throughout. I have no idea where the paper comes from, but it's always there. My lint says something about me that John and Maria's lint does not. The evidence is in. I'd never survive a witch trial.
Tonight I'm trying to install Windows NT on my Linux box just because (as you know) I'm such a Microsoft zealot, and as I'm unsuccessfully doing so I'm watching the Discovery Channel (because you and me baby we ain't nothin' but mammals). There are two things I've seen tonight that really irritate me.
The first of these is the IBM ad series that's letterboxed in IBM blue and always concludes with a stupid-cool young woman's voice saying, "That's when it hits you, you're so ready for IBM." This might sound sexist I know, but I've never heard a woman who talked like that who knew anything about IBM, scalability, or anything else except perhaps sucking her way to the glass ceiling.
Then there's the show about solar system satellites called 95 Worlds and Counting. It was interesting to a point, but I was infuriated when a "natural gas" ocean on the surface of Titan was described as "explosive," complete with the caution that one not light a match on its surface. If Titan really was that chemically unstable, of course, it would have burned up long ago (they have lightning and meteorites there!); the fact of the matter is that there's no atmospheric oxygen on Titan at all. To make the seas on Titan burn would require the massive and extremely expensive importation of oxygen from Earth. Such fuck-ups and non-truths leave me wondering what other falsehoods I've learned by watching the Discovery Channel.
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