karmic payback time
Saturday, April 14 2001
I've been really pathetic this weekend. Both Linda and my housemate John are out of town and I'm involved in a big online skirmish with Bathtubgirl, so I have no one twisting my arm trying to get me to have more of a social life. But, strangely enough, the only thing I want to do aside from drink booze by myself is work on a Flash deployment editor I've been building as part of my job. I actually went into work for a couple of hours around noon to implement some features I feared I might forget if I waited until Monday. How pathetic is that? At least I'm enjoying what I'm doing at work. It isn't always this fun. I think the reason I like doing this particular project is that it allows me to do a lot of that old file system manipulation I used to do before I became a SQL whiz. I just love parsing long strings, manipulating the results, and cramming it all back together again. XML and I do very well together, for example. But this project, it doesn't even involve XML. It's all about the manipulation of information-containing meta-files and text files destined for a program called Flash Generator. Later on in this project I get to write some web page code that executes a .BAT script on the server. That ought to be, like dude, a total trip.
Somehow, though, the lack of a social life started taking a toll towards evening. I could tell it was bad when I was walking back from a shopping mission this afternoon and found myself delighted (in almost an ecstasy-induced sort of way) to see a whithered old couple actually pass me on the sidewalk in my pedestrian-endangered neighborhood. Neither of them performed the basic unwritten sidewalk protocol, that is, establish eye contact so as to avoid a collision, but I wasn't fussy. There were actually people in this world!
So later, for a stronger dose of people, I rode my bike down to the cliff above the Pacific, took a few pictures, then walked down the crowded 3rd Steet Promenade, discretely taking pictures all the way. Easter Saturday (or whatever this is called) seemed like it should be the de facto beginning of Spring in Santa Monica. I expected, at the very minimum, to see chicks in their sundresses with pink ribbons in their hair. But the weather wasn't really cooperating. Though the sun was bright and warm, the air was cold and a stiff breeze was blowing from the north. I don't know why people are forever singing the praises of the weather here in Southern California; it's rarely warm enough for me.
I continued my bike ride south to the middle of Abbott Kinney just for another hit of that rich European thing that happens there. People wear a lot of black down on Abbott Kinney. Happily enough, they even wear a lot of black on Easter Saturday.
Coming back home through Ocean Park, I stopped for a cappuccino in a popular non-Starbucks coffee shop on Main Street. The bicycle cops were there too, in line in front of me, ordering coffee and being relatively jolly (nobody was getting maced). In all the confusion the cashier forgot to pay me, and I didn't say anything about it either. That's right, folks, I managed to steal a cup of cappucino right in front of Santa Monica's finest.
On a somewhat related note, I've gone ahead bought some new computer hardware to replace some makeshift and somewhat mismatched equipment I've been using ever since getting to California. I checked the shipment's progress on UPS.com and it's in transit, but my credit card hasn't been billed. I wonder if that somehow got lost in the computerized bureaucratic shuffle? I've had mistakes made against me more times than any person should get in a lifetime, (including a mysteriously lost $500 cash credit card payment - at least I was able to fix that one). Perhaps it's karmic payback time.
The Santa Monica Beach viewed from the cliff above,
near the intersection of California and Ocean.
Click for a bigger version.
Random people on the 3rd Street Promenade
in Santa Monica, waiting to cross the street.
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