Mon, 23 Feb 2004

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what am I doing with my life?

I should've been asleep almost two hours ago. Instead I've been tap-tap-tapping aimlessly on this computer of mine, searching. Ah, if Google could only solve all my problems.

So in 36 hours or so, my path will be irrevocably set. I am frightened by the inexorable nature of where I'm going to end up in four months, and, worse, the complete opaqueness of it all. I just have no idea. (Didn't I tell you I was a closet Type A personality/control freak?)

On a obliquely related note, I've decided to abandon my habit of failing to capitalize the beginning of sentences. It has begun creeping into my non-blog writing.

Whatever.

I have been busy stalking virtually. I am a sad, scary guy.

In any case, I'm not the one who invented Googling people. They say that this is a popular technique for people who are going on blind dates, and for job interviewers as well. This is, in my impossible moments of sheer utter boredom and inability to do things I actually need to accomplish, how I try to find people that I have lost touch with.

For instance, a girl I met one drunken August evening in a club in Chicago. I never went out on a date with her because, well, for one thing, she had a boyfriend. Interestingly, I did not learn this fact until late in the evening, when she felt that she had to confess what exactly was up. I believe my response was something to the effect of "ain't no thang, ain't nothing says you can't have a good time." I did call her up once, and ended up meeting her again, along with her friends, of course. Luckily, I had the foresight to bring a wingman. From what I remember, I thought the evening went quite well. I suppose I could be quite wrong. In my more mentally altered moments (which is, surprisingly quite rare these days), I like to wonder about what the hell exactly was going on, but, as N, B, and B will likely point out: there was absolutely nothing.

There were two points of ridiculously hilarious synchronicity: one, her boyfriend lives near where my parents live in So Cal; two, her sister goes to my school. (Which unlike the monstrously large university I attended, is small enough where you could actually meet everybody, which I haven't, since I am particularly anti-social.)

What the hell. I'm rambling and crazy. I need something to center myself with.

I am suddenly reminded of these song lyrics from the grungy '90's:

Runaway train, never going back Wrong way on a one-way track Seems like I should be getting somewhere Somehow I'm neither here nor there —"Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum

As I write this, "Gods and Monsters" is finishing up. What a poignant examination of the nature of loneliness. And how ridiculously appropriate.

As I finish writing this, HBO is now starting to play soft-core porn.

I believe I should just go to sleep.

23:47:24 23 Feb 2004 > /soul > permalink > 2 comments

Sat, 21 Feb 2004

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haunted house

I've dreamt about this before. I think it's just a manifestation of all the adventure games I used to play on my computer as a kid.

anyway, so there's this haunted house in this abandoned part of town. for some reason, I imagine it's some part of L.A. that is very rarely traveled, near the ocean. perhaps something off of an abandoned routing of old US 66, or one of those abandoned freeways in L.A. of course, this place I'm imagining doesn't actually exist, although I dream incessantly of a partially built x15 that deposits you in the middle of some hills. but anyway.

everyone knows about this haunted house. In fact, it's become a game of sorts. so me, my brother, my sister, and my dad go into this house, and explore, level by level. We already know that if you try going back out the front door, you won't be able to leave. We already know that the only way out is through a hidden grating, across a lawn, and over the fence, which has a gate, but it is locked, and the lock has fused. we get to the 4th level of the house(!) and I open one of the doors to find a wolfman sitting in a room, sleeping. I don't mention this to anyone else, and we head up to the 5th level, into the inner sanctum, where the final confrontation awaits. This is where it gets very game like. so there are two wolfmen whom accost us to do battle. it gets very Final Fantasy like, and suddenly there are several German Shepherds on our side. after a while, though, I remember that we can't defeat these guys—the actual objective of the game is to run away, out the grating, aacross the lawn, and over a fence. so we beat a hasty retreat. the wolfman on the 4th level is awake and now giving chase. we struggle with the grating, try to crawl across the lawn (because there are sentinels that would sight us otherwise) but the guys from the 5th level get to us and massacre us. after that, we end up in the atrium of the house again, locked in a loop until we can get out.

strangely, I have access to the Internet, and everyone knows about this "game." this is, apparently, where I learned the strategy to escape this place. and there are some false memes floating around too, like how if you just hit each of the wolfmen on the 5th floor 100 times each, they'll die. This is refuted by people who actually tried it and failed. also, we are required to have dinners every so often with the host of the house, who is a ghost. he appears and disappears a la Q on Star Trek, giving us useless, sarcastic advice. he also provides weapons. every so often, on the lawn, questers can receive one item from him. these items are whatever was left behind by people who get massacred by the wolfmen.

also bizarre is the fact that while literally millions of people are playing this game, you never really run into them a the house, except during the item exchange on the lawn, and at the mandatory dinners. when you actually ascend into the house, you can only bring your original party with you.

anyway, the dream somehow segues into me alone gaining my freedom, and I'm wandering the very altered streets of L.A. (the L.A. of my dreams where there is an Interstate 21 that starts at Adams Blvd. south of Mid-Wilshire and goes all the way down to San Pedro) most of the layout, though, is grossly intact. the noteable additions are that there is a significant light-rail system in place (as I mentioned in a previous dream), K-Town is even more significant than it is (like, there are even bigger buildings, it is more gentrified, and Korean businesses aren't the only ones thriving.) I eventually head up Elysian Blvd, which doesn't exist in L.A. (although there is an Elysian Park.) on a clear day, you can actually see the ocean from Elysian Blvd., but as in real life, clear days are rare in L.A. I eventually get on a freeway that I thought was the 101, except that it intersects the 101. this freeway has some exits that have San Jose street names. in any case, my objective is the haunted house, which I imagine is that solitary house you can see when you come down from the southbound end of the Glendale Freeway.

anyway. geography. undoubtedly it is a manifestation of the fact that I don't know where I'm going to be three months from now.

08:54:16 21 Feb 2004 > /dreams > permalink > 1 comments

Fri, 20 Feb 2004

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the flying song

and here I thought that I've actually stopped being pessimistic.

goodbroken
Your wings are BROKEN and tattered. You are
an angelic spirit who has fallen from grace for
one reason or another - possibly, you made one
tragic mistake that cost you everything. Or
maybe you were blamed for a crime you didn't
commit. In any case, you are faithless and
joyless. You find no happiness, love, or
acceptance in your love or in yourself. Most
days are a burden and you wonder when the
hurting will end. Sweet, beautiful and
sorrowful, you paint a tragic and touching
picture. You are the one that few understand.
Those that do know you are likely to love you
deeply and wish that they could do something to
ease your pain. You are constantly living in
memories of better times and a better world.
You are hard on yourself and self-critical or
self-loathing. Feeling rejected and unloved,
you are sensitive, caring, deep, and despite
your tainted nature, your soul is
breathtakingly beautiful.

*~*~*Claim Your Wings - Pics and Long Answers*~*~*
brought to you by Quizilla

Sheeeit.

anyway, this makes me think of "The Flying Song" by Colin Hay (formerly of the band Men at Work)

It's easier to love somebody It's easier that you be loved You say you want to be somebody Why don't you be yourself
If you wait for an answer From somewhere up above You may never hear the laughter You've been dreaming of
Now we're flying so high With the world down below Spread your wings across the sky
It's easier to love somebody It's easier that you be loved You say you want to trust somebody Why don't you trust yourself
If a wave rolls down from heaven With the turning of the tide You're pulled in all directions Only for awhile

of course, it also makes me think of "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister(?)

OK, enough of that.

15:33:25 20 Feb 2004 > > permalink > 5 comments

Tue, 17 Feb 2004

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(don't) shake it like a polaroid picture (memetic backdiffusion)

A song lyric from Outkast becomes a FAQ

18:00:06 17 Feb 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 0 comments

Sun, 15 Feb 2004

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forgot something (QT/Mac and KDE cont.)

of course, to save much pain and misery, you can use the scripts provided by Ranger Rick for building KDE, which includes configure-kde, which will figure out the proper flags and library locations for you. He also included some patches, but I haven't gotten them to apply cleanly to the CVS versions of the kde modules.

13:35:22 15 Feb 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 1 comments

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QT/Mac and kdelibs (Part 2)

12:21:02 15 Feb 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 0 comments

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QT/Mac and kdelibs

in trying to configure kdelibs, I ran across this problem with net/if.h (which is, again, present in other applications being ported to OSX)

a patch to config.in.in allows configure to succeed without warnings.

after applying the patch, run make -f admin/Makefile.common cvs

now to see if it compiles.

11:44:16 15 Feb 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 0 comments

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QT/Mac and arts

in the ongoing saga of getting KDE to build against QT/Mac, I have been following Ranger Rick's instructions on how to build KDE against QT/Mac yourself. the first hurdle was arts. after some kludgery, I came up with this configure command:

LDFLAGS="-lXi -lXmu -lm -lXext -lX11 -L/usr/X11R6/lib" CFLAGS="-Os" CXXFLAGS="-Os" ./configure --prefix=/opt/kde --with-qt-dir=/opt/qt-mac --with-extra-libs=/sw/lib --with-extra-includes=/sw/include --enable-mac

I won't claim to understand everything that's going on here. The CXXFLAGS are necessary to keep the atomicity.h error, also found in other applications, from happening. The LDFLAGS are necessary so that arts can find X11(?!) I don't know why the code depends on both glib and X11 despite being based on Qt/Mac, but, hey, it compiles.

01:22:43 15 Feb 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 0 comments

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adventures with QT/Mac and KDE

I have embarked on a quest to compile KDE against QT/Mac so that I can run KDE apps natively instead of running them with X.

I finally got QT to compile cleanly, using the instructions on how to compile QT/Mac by Ranger Rick as a reference. I don't know if the instructions don't work exactly as stated because Qt/Mac is no longer beta, or if there are other reasons, but what I did was somewhat different (NOTE: I will assume that you are very comfortable with the command-line and have some experience with compiling from source):

  1. Untar the archive to whereever you want, such as in ~/.
  2. Set $QTDIR to point to whereever you unpacked the archive. For example, ~/qt-mac-free-3
  3. Add $QTDIR/bin to $PATH
  4. Add $QTDIR/lib to $DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH
  5. ./configure --prefix=/opt/qt-mac
  6. make
  7. sudo make install
  8. Change $QTDIR to /opt/qt-mac
  9. Reset $PATH, $MANPATH, and $DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH to reflect the change in $QTDIR

01:12:07 15 Feb 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 0 comments

Tue, 10 Feb 2004

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personality disorders and levels of hell

I found these tests through R's site, and this is what I got:

DisorderRating
Paranoid:Moderate
Schizoid:Moderate
Schizotypal:High
Antisocial:Low
Borderline:Low
Histrionic:Moderate
Narcissistic:Low
Avoidant:Very High
Dependent:Very High
Obsessive-Compulsive:Moderate

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

there's that schizotypal personality once again rearing its ugly head. inpatient psychiatry, here I come. damn it.

and since I was there, I thought I'd see how damned I was going to be as well:

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Low
Level 7 (Violent)Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

wonderful. but probably true. at least Satan won't be eating me for all eternity like poor Judas.

(This reminds me of a dream I had—that Satan had abandoned Hell (just like in Neil Gaiman's Sandman), leaving his minions to duke it out amongst themselves. Of course, they end up destroying each other, leaving Hell a smoking ruin. All the sinners are still there, though, so Virgil and Dante decide to turn the whole place into an amusement park, giving tours to those who pay the admission price. Shit. Maybe I am crazy.)

20:52:16 10 Feb 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 5 comments

Mon, 09 Feb 2004

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lost (en las calles de los angeles)

(author's note: as you can see, my title is pretty much a rip-off of Barbara's series on calles [fundación][los orientales][moreno y oscura][del consejo práctico y los dolores y trastorno de tensión postraumática]. what follows is an unmanageable, undecipherable piece of mind-blather that fails to encapsulate the inexplicable sense of alienation I experienced today, wandering aimlessly through the streets of the city of my birth.)

city overlaid map in my mind forking roads, to sea and sky like double-vision the eyesight of a drugseeker or a prophet

Sunset and Hollywood where the road splits the city splits eastside vs westside reina de los angeles, her comforting embrace despite the depradations of the conquistador and the gringo vs lost angels, fallen angels, cast down from heaven, thrown up from hell the hookers and the pimps the dealers, the pirates, the bandits in their suits and ties and their slick-backed hair

they claim that two things cannot occupy the same space and so my memories must be bulldozed the ground razed and wiped clean tabula raza build upon the rubble even as the ground shakes

Santa Monica and Sunset even here, still, the rumor of the lost Great Road running to the sea like a river of chrome and reaching back to the cold and hard places through the unforgiving desert and the dry and dusty plains 2,000 miles of generations past, and era falling down the memory hole to where my heart froze solid and shattered once and for all

I am futiley picking up the pieces still

signs of renewal and decay phoenix dawn, ashes to ashes childhood memories flicker and fade a Polaroid picture in reverse dissolving into the murky white gone no, never was

where did I come from not so much forgetting but simply not wanting to know how much pain and suffering seeking ignorance and yet circles in circles blind spots and the brink the edge

Hyperion, Fletcher, Silver Lake lost in the winding rills and ravines through the rolling hills pockets of silence and sweet bliss the reservoir shimmering in the sun the lone house on the hill a voice sings softly in my heart and still I dare not be stirred

all I can see is the edge

Vermont and Los Feliz in the shadows of the verdant hills in this land of no seasons and the watchtower upon their brow lonely citadel gazing upon the city below the stately forbidding houses enclosed in their fences and gates do they keep us out, or trap those within?

so many years run together fast-forward then rewind warp and jumble images lashed together with twine like so many wet bundles of newspapers and magazines thrown haphazardly on the porch

where am I going? in this space that is no space time suspended like a bridge that touches no shore true north, when there are only lies half-truths, rationalizations, and spin control only the mountains tell me in their majestic silence the grand hulking bleakness snow-touched and mighty dwarving the towers of Babel the ringing towers south, and east, and west K-town and mid-Wilshire, Bunker Hill downtown, Hollywood and Century City cold and gleaming like pikes and swords encircling, as I gaze out from the ramparts

Vermont and Franklin obscurity and glimpses of the stars in these hidden spaces I have trod where dreams bloomed unbidden in my heart riotous flowering colors without roots I let them wither and die

I am king of no country not even the barren wastelands of my heart nor the wind-scoured deserts in my soul not so much emptiness, but nothingness not vacuum but non-being like slipping out of a dream I wonder am I figment of someone's imagination? a character in God's dream? and if He should awake?

Glendale and Hyperion upon the ancient bridge across the concrete river dry like witch's tears dry as the wellsprings of my soul I stare at Mt Wilson black giant staring back down upon the valley prickling with antennae like some giant insect queen

my lone beacon in the night shimmering and flickering as the February winds gust the spirits on the wind keen and moan and still I fear that in the high places even there, I cannot find what I seek the things that I have lost not the flowers, but the roots of a dream

19:57:28 9 Feb 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments

Sun, 08 Feb 2004

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ebotula

I'm not much of an IRC'er, so I don't even really know what bots are supposed to do, other than auto-replying. but this project on freshmeat.net caught my eye just with its name: Ebotula. it sounds like some novel bioweapon, a combination of Ebola and botulism. scary.

06:37:53 8 Feb 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 7 comments

Sat, 07 Feb 2004

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URLs

I know I have way too much free time on my hands. but I am again contemplating switching blogging engines.

as lovely as Blosxom is, I'm not entirely down with the file-format. it is admittedly very nicely simple: the first line is the title, the rest is output as is (in my case, garden-variety HTML, but other bloggers have implemented other markup languages [ATX][textile][wikiwordish].) but, unlike XML, it is not as easy to spot errors in the markup, particularly with the pre-theme flavor files. (and if you dig around my site for a while, you will see instances plagued by HTML errors such as unclosed <a> tags and mismatched <span> tags.)

so, because of my masochistic nature, I am trying to write my own blog engine based on XML and XSLT. I am a little apprehensive as to what sort of load this will cause to my webhost despite the light traffic, but there is always static rendering, I suppose. In reality, I'll just be writing a more dynamic version of my hand-kludged blog engine that I had been using previously, with more Perl and less XSLT.

I'm still stuck on parsing the requested URL. I have decided on the popular format of /category/subcategory/2004/02/07/slug, although I'm still wondering about the extension. on one hand, slug.html is kinda crufty looking. on the other hand, I like Blosxom's notion of flavors. still, the only other flavor that I can think of that would be worth supporting at this time is RSS, and while good for indices, I can't see the utility of serving up individual RSS entries. and this in itself leads to some parsing ugliness. if I stick to the flavor idea, then my RSS feeds will be specified like /category/subcategory/2004/02/07/index.rss, and I realize that index is pretty crufty. but if I discard flavors entirely, /category/subcategory/2004/02/07/rss would probably be how I should specify a feed, but I think it would cause a parsing nightmare. I think I would have to hard code it, but that also strikes me as inelegant.

so it's still a work in progress. I've spent a couple of days on the parsing routine already, using Blosxom's routine as a take off point. I've also been screwing around with regex's, but I imagine that would be processor intensive. so we'll see.

anyway, I found inspiration about non-crufty permalinks here:

11:39:33 7 Feb 2004 > /computers/www > permalink > 4 comments

Thu, 05 Feb 2004

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i spy

so I spent part of my weekend in nyc screwing around with b's computer, which was completely infested by spyware and viruses and all sorts of irritating, memory-consuming, surreptitiously installed programs. the computer is on the verge of complete unuseability. my advice was simply to wipe the hard drive and reinstall windows xp. this is, after all, the favorite piece of advice given by anyone who does win xp tech support. but this would require backing up the hard drive, which would inquire purchasing a hard drive, and in the freezing temperature at this time, this wasn't a palatable option.

we then tried installing spyware-removing software, which either don't really find anything, don't remove anything without a $60 fee, or they actively install even more spyware.

Adware did discover about 200+ different spyware processes living on B's machine, but, of course, it wouldn't remove them without us paying for it.

so we delved into the registry. fun, fun, fun.

what stumped us was svchost.exe. installed in C:\windows, masquerading as a legitimate process (which really lives in C:\windows\system), if you try to kill it in the task manager, it does some funky RPC stuff that makes the system shutdown in 1 minute, a la MSBlaster. eventually, we called it a day, and I headed out to manhattan.

the problem is internet explorer. using internet explorer is a lot like having unprotected sex in thailand. I'm mean, really, the advice to not use hyperlinks and manually type the URL is utterly ridiculous. and given that there will no longer be a stand-alone IE, and that the next update will not occur until Longhorn is released, that means these things will probably proliferate for years. it's like gonorrhea before penicillin was invented.

if you don't buy this argument for migrating to mozilla and family, well, good luck.

when I got back to L.A., my sister ran into a pop-up that started opening her cd tray.

I'm so glad that I've been windows-free for five years now.

so. stay safe. practice safe web-browsing. don't use ie.

09:03:57 5 Feb 2004 > /computers > permalink > 0 comments

Wed, 04 Feb 2004

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oh the places you will go

because I am obsessed with maps, I find this really amusing.


create your own visited states map or write about it on the open travel guide

I just added Missouri and Oklahoma in December on my ridiculous drive half way across the country. I do not think it is surprising that I have not ventured into the northernmost Great Plains states, nor the northernmost parts of New England given my dislike of extreme cold. I have been deliberately avoiding the South because, well, I've heard of too many racial situations there. In any case, I have this feeling that my Californian ultra-left wing leanings wouldn't be too welcome in that part of the world. OK, I admit it. underneath it all, I'm prejudiced against Southerners.

15:06:39 4 Feb 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 0 comments

Mon, 02 Feb 2004

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lily white

spill your secret to me creeping shadows, and the evil that lurks in the night that makes the dogs bark in fear with their tails between their legs the hooded man without a face stealing innocence

why it was that you turned to me to fill the gap how did I get sucked into the vortex knowing what I know I had counted myself wiser than Odysseus, thinking to just skirt the outer edge of Scylla but I should've known better to think that I was better than a hero

and still everything lay outside of my grasp I do not understand I'll never understand those dark nights when the only people in the world were you and I singing each other to sleep drowning in each other's sorrows the soft catch of your breath as you lay your head upon my chest your dream-filled smile as I kissed your cheek innocence, stolen by the years and the heartache the betrayals and the evil intentions yet nothing is ever innocent like an image reflected in facing mirrors distortions with every layer deeper depending on which way you look the Devil can look like God without even bothering to wear a disguise

in other words, we see what we want to see dream only good things hope for the best

but you and I, we have grown wise the fire searing our flesh blackening our hearts know better than to put our hands back into the flames to expect the worst to know that, in the end, all things fail and promises were never meant to last forever

I do not understand I'll never understand these webs of words that I keep twisting and turning trying to suit my own purpose and only tangling my will into knots did I mean what I said or did you really see the truth in my words?

to love is to lose and the reason we die is when we've lost too much

17:56:05 2 Feb 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments