Q: What's 10 metres long and smells of urine?
A: The Sunset Village Retirement Home line dancing team.
Ha Haha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Well. I laughed.
Then Saturday. Big marital fight. 'nuff said. I was tired. Couldn't cope with things as usual. Didn't last long. They never do. But I think the boat will have to go. Bummer.
Sunday. A 7 hour drive to the conference, in the car with three students. I drove all the way. We began badly. Synthia is beside me in the front. This is a give way sign, she says. Yes, say I, I see it. Here comes a stop sign, says Synthia, you have to stop. Yes, says I, I know. You've taken the wrong turning says Synthia. NO I FUCKING WELL HAVEN'T, say I. Right, says Synthia. If you want me to drive just ask. Yeah, right, think I. Holy shit, this is going to be a long drive. Mercifully Synthia falls asleep, so we listened to Bernard's stories of his time in the Singapore military.
Soon as we get to the conference registration I down a few beers and feel rather better. Then I notice (as I'm stumbling around ogling anything in a skirt) that the people looking at my latest job application are there, observing. Hmmm..... Try a bit of polite chat. Wooops. Big mistake. Articulation is bad. Oh dear. Time for another beer. Don't worry, says Professor RB. He's always like this. Wise nods. I decide to stick to ogling, although the prospects for that are not good.
On to the talks on Monday! Tally Ho. We begin with DB who is really really boring. So far up his own arsehole all you can see are his eyestalks poking out. I fall asleep. Coffee. Quick chat with a few friends. Next talk, quite interesting actually. Next talk. Total bloody nerd. Even more boring than DB. Well, maybe not that bad. I got my jollies during this talk by observing closely the couple next to me. He (older, balding), she (young, pretty student). He (trying to fondle her periodically). She (shrugging off his arm). He (trying to stick his hand up her shirt without anyone noticing.) Yeah right, like I'm not going to notice that. She (getting a little embarrassed by the attention). Me (observing dispassionately). Bah, I was just jealous 'cause *I* don't get to fondle young pretty students during boring talks. Bummer.
Well. It doesn't happen often, but it happened last night. I was truly shocked. So much so that I'm still disturbed this morning, and can see that it's not something I'm going to be able to shrug off. I went out drinking with a couple of graduate students, and a couple of professor types. One of the graduate students is studying under me. We all got pretty sloshed, and in the course of the evening this student make a remark that, for its vicious racism, is probably the worst I've ever heard. Ever. In your face, brutal, vicious racism. She's not from NZ, recently arrived.
Now, this is a student that I am forced to interact with. Forced to supervise, to talk to. I can't refuse to do that. But how can I sit down at a table with someone like that? This is going to be a real problem, and I just don't know how it will be resolved.
New Zealand has its racial problems. Most countries do. The Maoris were dispossessed, partly by force, about 180 years ago, and there is still resentment. Quite understandably. But since that time there has been so much interbreeding that it is often impossible to tell, just by looking, who is Maori and who isn't. A lot of Maori culture has been incorporated into NZ culture. It's something that we, as a country, are proud of and value. Not all of us, no. But it is officially valued by the government, and most NZers would agree, I think. There is a very strong movement among young NZers (some Maori, some part Maori, some Pakeha) to build a hybrid culture, both Maori and Pakeha, an essentially NZ culture that incorporates both sides of the fence. Very many NZers have close connections with the Maori. I myself have a cousin who is Maori. As peoples we are, in a very real sense, closely intertwined. We all, Maori and Pakeha alike, dance the haka.
For a foreigner to say things like I heard last night, things I couldn't even bring myself to repeat here, is deeply, deeply, offensive. It is offensive in a way that I can hardly even explain. It attacks the heart of things by which I live my life. It attacks the country I love, and people whom I love. I'm left speechless with outrage. I want to rip her smug little face off and feed it to the sharks.
Now I'm not really in the mood for trite, off-hand comments about the doings of math nerds at conferences.
Well, OK, it's been a couple of days now, and I can make pathetic remarks again. Mostly 'cause I had way too much to drink at the colloquium dinner and made a fool of myself (yet again) with my pathetic behaviour. Rascally. Or roguish. Or something that the Sheep man said that I can't remember right now. But offensive, anyway, to some people, Funny to others. Math nerds need, in general, to have someone pull the sticks out of their nether regions. Well... I've volunteered. It's a nasty job but someone has to do it. Fortunately the nasty graduate student wasn't there. See? Even while mostly pissed I can't stop thinking about it.
So, let me see. I made advances to at least one cute graduate student which got me absolutely nowhere and were not expected to, but one has to do this sort of thing just to keep up appearances, and made suggestive and offensive remarks to one of the plenary speakers, which again didn't get me anywhere and were not expected to. Not a great effort, but better than nothing. Nobody else was getting drunk I'm afraid to admit, which makes it all very boring really, but I tried to make up for it. I bought my boss a drink, and he bought me one, and I made stupid remarks to the Auckland people, and I found that JB is actually rather a hard case and I like him a lot, and I ogled the plenary speaker (who is very cute and very clever, an irresistible combination) and I ..... have I ever said before how I find clever women irresistable? (How the fuck do you spell irresistable?) Probably more than once, but it bears repeating. Cleverness, combined with a sense of humour, gets me every time. And if they are cute as well.... wooo....bam... I'm gone. Ahem. Doesn't take much, eh? Especially when combined with wine. She entertained us with some conference stories of hers. Ho Ho Ho. Then she asked for conference stories of mine. No fucking way, I thought to myself, and said so. Not fair, she said. Thinks I to myself, I'm drunk but I'm not *that* drunk, and you ain't hearin' nuthin, because my stories are quite a bit worse than yours, believe me lady, and besides there are all these graduate students and professors listening and no way I'm going to tell them as well. Fuck that.
Kira said in her diary that I must *never* NEVER write diary entries while pissed. Hmmm.... well...... I haven't done so badly tonight I think. Maybe. My spelling is irreproachable (almost) and my grammar is acceptable. And that is, of course, all that matters. I do, I am aware, come across rather badly at times (and if you think I give a fuck, then you just haven't been reading, have you) but one thing I care about is being intellectually well-dressed. Like Alex's leather pants I suppose, just on a different part of my anatomy. My legs I really couldn't care less about.
And this reminds me about something that occured to me quite recently, but I never got around to saying. One of the most literate (and funny) people I have met for a long time is our sheep man. He has a skill with English that is really quite extraordinary. I am immensely proud of the Pope limerick he wrote. (A mathematician called James/Played a gig for the old folks in Thames/ Since my donger's a rope/ Thought Sleipnir the Pope/ I guess I'll just gum all the dames). Holy fuck. I still laugh at that one. Brilliant. Truly brilliant. If I can attempt to be serious while drunk, let me point out that the level of skill he displays is far far beyond the usual run of the mill. He has, singlehandedly, restored Chicago to a real city in my mind. Well, not singlehandedly, cause he had help from the famous singular personage, who is, I fear to say, funny, clever, *and* cute and you know what that means. The sheep man is certainly funny and clever, and may very well be cute but I'm not really qualified to comment on that in particular, having rather different inclinations. Ahem.
Bloody hell. Did I really write that? Better quit while I'm ahead.
Hmmm... and so much for being intellectually well dressed. Having just reread the above entries (written, let me add, much as I was thinking) I now realise just how much the f word appears in my daily usage. How humiliating. A somewhat boring and uncreative obscenity. I shall try to be much better from now on, and at least use a variety of nasty words. Then I can pretend at least to creative obscenity as a substitute for intellectual excellence.
Many interesting doings in CL, all happening at a great rush. An old woman, a nasty doctor Malthus, a gullible Caddrel, an abused Babajaga and a deceived Knight.
The Separ finally appeared, after years of promises from Qual GM. It was, as it turned out, far too powerful. So powerful that every single exile was delumped within a very short time of the Separ's appearance. This may have been the GM aim, of course, who's to know, but it was a miscalculation I think. Had the story been extended just think of the fun to be had. Great chases, dramatic escapes, blah, blah. Enough to annoy every brainless rank-whore in the entire game, who were already chewing nails that something so important was given to, and I quote, "A drama queen". What the bloody hell do they expect? A neat RP tool to be given to Ziff Rengar? Or Phelps perhaps? Or, say, ....... Michael!!! Don't make me laugh. No, the Separ was given, and rightly so, to a person who had devoted more RP time than anyone to a study of the lumps. PWC Tessa had been doing it consistently for an ooc year I guess, maybe longer, consistently and well. Deservedly rewarded.
Sleipy was caught very very easily, as I had no idea the Separ could be transferred from person to person. There was I, desperately trying to avoid the nasty Doctor, while all the time Jo Maril was creeping up on me with the instrument of abuse. Sleipy should have departed while he could have. And the nasty Doctor's PWC could have warned me if they really wanted Sleipy to remain lumped. Bah. A pox on them all. So now we have a delumped Sleipy and a silent Knight, who can no longer speak it appears, due to Pallidew damage upon exit. Hmmm..... This was all just a GM plot to stop Sleipy talking. I knew it.
However, every happy cloud has an unpleasant lining, and this means that Sleipy will no longer be able to be rude to other exiles. Bummer. While he was lumped he was quite happy to send blistering bks to nasty persons. I mean bk as rude as I could possibly make it. And often. Yes!!!! Damn, I love my job. Anyway, can't do that anymore. The funniest thing though, was HGM using Sleipy in the NG as an example "Well, it would just be so out of character for, say, Sleipnir to say something like go fuck a sheep, and yet it wouldn't be out of character for blah blah blah". Little did he know that just that very day.......well... 'nuff said.
The happy cloud is of course the fact that Sleipy is now free to ask for the hand of his favourite Sylvan in marriage. Again. Be nice to him or you won't get invited to the wedding. And wedding there will be, despite the best efforts of Caddrel yet to come. Meaning of course that he doesn't know yet but will soon enough and the shit will then hit the proverbial fan. Am I afraid of the big bad Caddrel? No, no, no, not me.
Some of my words are going to have to be eaten. With a dose of humble pie. Only some of them mind you, before any persons yet unnamed should get ideas. It seems that some of the people following LIFE around are just so damned annoying, not to mention rude and unpleasant that they have reached the limits even of Yor. Now, I think that Yor (although sometimes hasty tempered) is a gentleman. For him to be riled, and considering restricting LIFE membership and participation is quite something. It seems clear to me that, given an open door policy and completely open dissemination of information, there are some exiles who will take such advantage of it as to be classed as total wankers. I must admit, I hadn't really appreciated this before. What I have seen and heard through LIFE would piss me off no end, were I involved.
I guess, what I'm saying is that I have a greater understanding of some bits of PM behaviour. Some. Not all. Oh no, I'm not going soft, so don't worry. Some.
A relatively uneventful weeked. Boat broken into. Yet again. Rained all Saturday. And I do mean *all* Saturday. Band practice. Usual stuff. Xmas shopping. God I hate that. What shall I get for Monique? I have no idea. Kids are easy. Just get something cheap, plastic, and of the appropriate colour (pink for the girls, blue or green for Paul). Subject matter of said plastic item isn't really important. Found yet another exercise in my book which I couldn't do. How humiliating. I know a group of Russians has, so I'll have to ask them, cap in hand. I hate that.
At last, at last, I have reinstalled a comments system. To say something rude about me, just click here. Hate having to do it this way, but it's the only way I can think of at the minute. Or, perhaps I can try and get some free web space from Paradise. Now, there's a thought.
|And isn't this just so wonderful!! Huzzah. The Knight is back in business, free to be as sloppy as he wants, and annoy every rank whore within hearing. What a relief. But it's going to be an expensive business. The Knight had better do some serious coin-whoring I guess.|
Well, I seem to have fixed some of the problems with the comment system. It turns out that I had to use ereg_replace instead of str_replace because the server is using an older version of php. Easy, huh? And did any self-styled Web expert help me out here? Hell no! A deafening silence. Did any of the computer "support" people around me help out? Hell no! (The official response was "What? You want php updated? Well, we're all really busy around here and you can't just come in and tell us to do stuff and we have our priorities and we're all just going away on holiday and nobody here knows anything about php". Stupid twats.) Did any of these so-called "knowledgeable" people say a damn thing to solve my EASY problem? Hell no. I had to read the goddamn books and find it out for myself. Well, Chis lent me the book, so thanks to him. But the rest of you lazy buggers? Pfft. Pathetic. You whine about links and anchors and form over function and how horrible someone else's web page is, but when it comes to an easy peasy question, you curl up and die.
OK, here's a second chance for you all. I want to do a transparent server-side redirection (from the official web server to my own Mac) so that I can mount web pages on my own Mac, thus evading the firewall. How do I do this? Pull your fingers out.
I may not have made this clear before, but I HATE Xmas shopping. In fact, I hate *any* kind of shopping, but I can't avoid it at Xmas. I trail round behind Monique as she goes up and down every single bloody aisle of every bloody shop, picking up every single piece of useless shit she sees, and buying nothing, leaving me to realise that the whole process is going to have to be repeated again and again and again and again....... It's like a fucking nightmare. And I say, oh wouldn't this be good for the kids, and she says yes dear and I say well let's buy it then and she says oh we can't do that because it could be cheaper in the warehouse and I think how I don't give a fucking shit how cheap it is in the fucking warehouse but I bite my lip and smile nicely and we carry on and on and on and on and on...and then we go to the checkout counter having bought one (1) thing only and she sees a tray of thingies by the cash register and she says oh that would be good for one of the kids, please pick one out dear, so I pick one out and she looks at it and shakes her head and puts it back and picks up another one that happens to be a different colour and buys that one whereupon she sees the expression on my face and says what's the matter and I say look, if you want me to choose it let me choose it but don't ask me to choose it and then put back the one I chose and pick another one because it is somewhat annoying and in fact IT REALLY PISSES ME OFF. Yes dear, she says. Come along now. On the way out she tried to go into yet another clothes shop whereupon I actually had to use physical force. No, I said. I have had it. I am fed up. I WILL NOT SHOP ANY MORE NOW. So I grabbed her arm, held on tight, and headed for the car.
Well, that feels better.
'Twas the night before Bawkmas has now appeared in print for the very first time. Couldn't resist it, but I was hoping that Mary wasn't going to kill me. She didn't, thank the lord. Spent some time hanging with the cool dudes in CL. I almost feel cool myself. Kewl. Woops, piccies don't work now. Have to fix them from home. And here is the Pogue's reply.
|A nasty green dress, huh? Colour of snot when you have a sinus infection. Sleipy tried to tell her, but would she listen? Oh no, not her.
The Slyphonics, hangin' man, like totally cool.
A difficult time in the Snagglewood. Yes, that's right, some of us actually have trouble in the Snagglewood. You laugh, the next rude verse is aimed at you
And an impromptu concert in the Northwest Forest. Dr. Malthus writes well.
I have, believe it or not, been requested to write more about my children. Now, is this because that person just cannot bear reading about my pathetic doings, or is it all a nasty plan to annoy the Sheep poker? Either. Or both. For who, in their right mind, would voluntarily think about children? Not I, not I.
Well, they don't play Clan Lord much now. Mostly because they just got to be such a pain. Always wanting to go on the phone line and then howling when they got killed. Poor old Paul was reduced to tears every time his character died. I diverted them to other games. Blades of Exile now. It's almost worse. Dad, dad, where's the key? Shut up. No, but Dad, Dad, where's the key? Look for it. No, but Dad, Dad, we have looked everywhere. Obviously you haven't or you would have found it. Don't be pain, Dad, just tell us where the key is. Dad, Dad, Paul is pushing me on the seat. I am not. YES YOU WERE. I WAS NOT. Whack. Thump. Howl. Wail. Dad, Dad, Sarah just hit me. Dad, Dad he pushed me first and I wasn't doing anything to him. You were too you weren't giving me any room on the seat.
Dad sighs. Dad smiles sweetly. All right darling kiddies, go now each to your separate rooms, and stay there until I say you may leave them. If you make a noise, so help me God, I shall take a blunt instrument and wallop your disgusting little backsides. Katy, you must stop thumping me on the head, and sit quietly on my lap. Unless you want to join your foul and brutal siblings in bedroom banishment.
Blessed silence. For at least 15 minutes usually. It's a precious time for me.
Today we went for a picnic to the beach. I threw Sarah in the water just for fun (well, not all the way in). Paul jumped in with all his clothes on, because the girls told him to. He will learn as he gets older. I met a bunch of Monique's friends. Lots from South Africa, new immigrants to NZ, part of the white flight. Now, one tries to be dispassionate and unprejudiced, but I have to say, white flight South Africans give me the creeps. Especially in such large numbers as on the North Shore. I can't help thinking, are these racist jerks? Why did they leave? What are they thinking about my family? The sad thing is, these thoughts are just as wrong as any racist thoughts they probably aren't having anyway. I have never seen the *slightest* hint that these people think racist thoughts. Some of them are wonderful people, friendly, kind, pleasant. I try to be a better person, but sometimes fail.
Will the funk quartet get going again? I think so. Lance is keen. Must chat to Barry. Xmas is a bad time to try putting a band together I fear. In the New Year I'll see. The folk-fusion group is going so-so. Steeleye Span coming out my ears, as I try to put a repertoire together. From Auckland to the Bluff (contributed by Weezoh) should make the list. Hope so, it's a neato song. I'm looking for a band manager now. Anybody want the job?
Welladay, and thus passeth the season of goodwill and cheer. If only the kids would stop singing bloody carols it would be a bit more cheery. Silent Night. Loudly. At 6.30 am. Bugger. Then they try and do it in harmony. Sarah isn't too bad and can actually sing in tune. Paul? Ah, well. Yes. Ahem. Volume is his motto. Volume, volume, volume, and be damned to the intonation. You have no idea how bad they sound together on Silent Night, in harmony divine. At any time.
Haven't had time to play CL much at all. A little bit of coin gathering at nights, to pay for the expensive ring the Knight will have to buy soon I suppose. Here is a typical sunstone conversation.
|You get the general drift I'm sure. Monolith, as always, is most polite. What a wonderful exile and a fantastic solo hunter from version 3.
Where did LeAnn go?
Sleipy did, of course, rescue the silly Shepherd from the Pass lakes. With the help of Kirth Gersen. Well, Kirth did the rescuing, the Knight just watched. Kirth Gersen should be in the Red Quill. So should Sleipy I suppose. Instead of just pretending to be.
I suppose it's time for the annual summary of how the Knight stands. Hmmm... perhaps not. A bit too embarrassing. He is pathetic. Can't do a bloody thing. He hasn't got a non-library rank for years. Perhaps I should rank-whore more. Perhaps not. I did love the NG comment. Quite Freudian. Can't remember who it was. "Achievers... as opposed to Bards and Role Players". Perki got all fluffed up about it, as well she should. I would have to if I cared enough. As it was, I just giggled. It amuses me to think of the mentality of someone who could a) label as an "achiever" some kid who spends hours of every day playing an online computer game, and b) label as a non-achiever someone who composes original music to play in said game. Hilarious.
Evus bows to the Knight. Has done for ages. He kills almost nothing he can solo. The odd Maha I guess. He hunts in a group less and less as I become older and crankier. Ah, what the hell do I care? Talk about something interesting instead.
Poor old Tessa tried to get me interested in continuing to be evil, from lingering dew influence. No fucking way. Can't mess up his marriage prospects. Still, I felt like a wet blanket.
What is Xmas like? A very good question. I'm glad you asked. Dawned bright and sunny, hot and a little humid. Gorgeous weather, as it should be for Xmas. This Xmas snow bullshit is totally weird. Presents for the kids first thing. Wrapping paper flies everywhere. Presents too. Screams galore. Monique and I shudder and try to smile. Peace for a short while as the kids go off to destroy the things they just got. Ring up my parents. Hullo Mum. Hullo James. Usual stuff. I love my parents. Ring up a few siblings. Actually, I love them too. Down to the beach in the afternoon, at my grandfather's place. Big Xmas dinner round there, cooked by Fiona and Rose and Monique. How chauvinistic. Alfred and I just sit and chat math nerd stuff. Alfred is my uncle and a math nerd too. He was my hero when I was a kid. We look at all the yachts passing by and discuss sail design. Neither of us know anything about it but that doesn't stop us.
Everybody drinks too much (except Monique). Grandfather gets talkative (he's 96) and we can't get him to shut up about the bloody war. Pull Xmas crackers. Little pop. Bad jokes. Eat rack of lamb. Delicious. Drink more red wine and champagne. Huzzah! We want to go home, chorus the kids, we're tired and this is boring. Snore all the way home in the car.
Next day (today) out to the boat. Do a bit of fibreglassing. Check out my new dinghy, bought to replace the one that got smashed to pieces in a noreasterly storm a while back. Well, it's really an old and shabby dinghy, but it's new for me cause I just bought it two days ago. Find that the VHF still isn't working and I have no clue how to fix it. Get the boat booked in to the hard up at the club for the first week in the new year. A good day's work. Do some math nerd work after dinner.
Our neighbour's wife has just died of cancer. Started as skin cancer, metastasised, and bingo, she's dead. Kids saw the whole process, from a vibrant, healthy, lovely lady (around 60) to a total wreck, skin and bone. Now, finally, to a corpse. They struggle to understand. Hell, so do I. There go I, quite likely, at some stage. Not a nice thought. The neighbour has lots of family to help him through, but he'll struggle at first I'm sure. He'll come out on the boat for some marine therapy next week.