January 2003

Summary: Belly dancing and Middle Eastern food with Amy and David; dim sum with Nico, Adrian, and Little Brian; film noir and Mandarin films galore; writer Denis Johnson at Brava; SQL Slammer worm wreaks havoc by infecting 75,000 Microsoft SQL servers in only 15 minutes.

Dates on this page

Wed 1

Spent New Year's day at home doing mostly nothing. Sorted out things of which we want to get rid.

Thu 2

Put in Susie's new news headlines and sent them back to her for review. Made live the winter schedules.

Fri 3

Worked with Rick Stirrat to configure VPN. Restructured the news section. Dinner at home with Patrick: crab cakes, spinach risotto, corn off the cob.

Sat 4

Read news and e-mail all day. Found two fortunes in my wallet from a restaurant Patrick and I went to a while ago. His fortune: "You may at one time be impractical, sporty or intensely restless." Mine: "You will be promoted to a post in which many people will be under you." Got rid of some unneeded files. Met Patrick, Amy, and David at the Roxie to see a film called Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time—a film about one man's artistic expression using patterns and objects found in nature. Amy found out about the film through her co-workers at LeapFrog, and we hadn't seen Amy and David in a long time, so a movie followed by dinner with them sounded like a great plan for a Saturday evening. The film was startling beautiful. Patrick liked the film eventually—he said it had to grow on him a bit and that the beginning wasn't to his liking. I could have done without Andy Goldsworthy's inner thoughts and simply watched him work in his process, but I understand how others might appreciate his commentary. Is it a must-see film? No. Is it better than Baraka? No. Is it better than Bowling for Columbine? No. But parts of it are indeed worth seeing, particularly in a theatre with others, as I found the crowd's reaction to certain parts of the film as interesting as the film itself. Afterwards, dinner at Amira: Patrick had Moroccan pastilla, I had Libyan chicken, Amy had lamb couscous, David had chicken kebobs. We started with the middle-sized appetizer combo. Drinks: Amy had apricot juice. David had a Coke. Amy and Patrick shared Moroccan mint tea. Dessert: there were two: baklava and rice pudding scented with rose water. All the food and drink was very delicious and well prepared. The service was a little on the slow side and particularly neglectful in filling our short water glasses (8-ounce highballs). The meal was made festive with live music and belly dancing, both of which were well executed and artistically impressive. We arrived around 8:00 PM, luckily during a seating lull. Within minutes there was a line at the door, and we watched people wait for seating during our entire meal. The movie was US$8.00 per person. The dinner bill for 4 was $110 after a 10% tip. Patrick was very tired and went to bed. I stayed up and hung out on craigslist Queer Forum. It was my first time posting there (sort of), so I got tagged with a newbie alert and was warned by ScrewyVarmint and SenecaOak to watch out for pigdog pooping on me.

Sun 5

Our inkjet printer stopped working today. Well, not entirely. The black ink is streaked with failure to deliver ink to the page, even with new cartridges. I got out the rubbing alcohol, paper towels, and q-tips and wiped off the contacts to the cartridges and other parts inside the printer that were covered in black gunk. It helped, but not enough to make a huge difference. Printing on the "quick print" setting is still mostly illegible. I realized I don't know how old my printer is. A Lexmark 5700—it could be as much as 9 years old. I said to Patrick, "Maybe it's time for a new printer." Glee overcame his face, and he shouted out, "Laser printer!" since I'd suggested the possibility a while back that we might get one, at which I shouted back, "Advance!" to suggest the possibility of where we might get funds for such a purchase—the book advance for his first novel, currently being shopped around by his agent. We worked around the problem by printing on "high quality" in order to get acceptable quality. Patrick went to meet Aaron while I stayed home and shopped for a laser printer.

Mon 6

A busy day at work. The Web server was down since 4:00 AM yesterday. I passed the buck to Julie who passed the buck to our IT server admins who eventually got the problem resolved. 30 hours of downtime. Cause still unknown. Met with Susie, then Susie and Cindy about Web issues. Finished coding the news restructuring—ended up building a new database for it that I didn't want to but it's more flexible for us in the long run to do it this way. Sent the results to Susie for review. Transcribed messages for Michael about applicants having trouble with the interview reply process.

Tue 7

Worked on the State of the Web document. Lunch with Michael, Ena, Kristina, and Joel at Pasta Pomodoro. We didn't plan it—someone said if we did it wouldn't've happened. We talked about Joel's visit to Pasadena for the Rose Parade and saw lots of Christmas trees abandoned on the sidewalk along the way. Upgraded one of my computers with a 256 MB SIMM since we don't have enough money to upgrade the whole thing (it's due). Dinner at home with Patrick: stuffing-stuffed chicken boobs, baby bok choy, bread and butter. Watched The Emporer and the Assassin at home on DVD with Patrick. The movie was so long (2.5 hours) we stopped at 2 hours and went to bed.

Wed 8

Staff meeting. Addressed issues regarding the new OAR site which broke a lot of my site's links. Lunch with Joel at Nan King Road Bistro. We talked about craigslist and Queer Forum gatherings and his perceptions on boyfriend hunting in the gay community. "When it comes to interviewing potential Prince Charmings, there's a real difference between actually interviewing them versus testing them out," he says, with a smirk. In May 2000 while on a train ride in France, I jotted down this note-to-self: "Who is building the metaverse?" Nearly three years later, I find out by way of boingboing.com that the answer is there.com. Rodney trained me on the equipment in his lab for his 2-week wedding and honeymoon vacation. Finished watching the DVD from yesterday. Then we turned on the director's commentary and watched the first half hour. We wondered initially if the commentary dialogue would be in Chinese or English. Turns out it was Chinglish. Or, rather, English with a moderately heavy Chinese accent. The director, Kaige Chen, was not a very good commentator. We started counting the uhs and you knows and repeatedly burst out laughing after only a few seconds. If we were drinkers, it would have made a good drinking game: Drink once after every 5 uhs and every 5 you knows. Drink twice each time an uh is followed by a you know. Drink 3 times when the director says "scweenpway." Okay, so his English isn't perfect, but his film direction is quite amazing. The film is based on the true history of China in 221 B.C. in which an assassin is sent to kill a powerful king who may soon become emporer of all of China. Some of the film's writing is overtly patriotic and overly simplified, but the actors do an excellent job of carrying the film's grandeur and violence to visually poetic heights. We could have done without some of the repeated expressions such as sentences of death followed by "and kill his entire family!" It was unnerving to see practically every character in the film invite death and be proud of it. This film was almost as though someone said, "I need you to do a Chinese version of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers without digital effects." At least I don't think they used digital effects—none were apparant. No, that's not a fair comparison, but I'll leave it in here because it was (one of) my first thought(s).

Thu 9

Worked mostly on the State of the Web document. Lunch with Joel and Patrick at San Tung. Patrick's fortune: "Confucius says: It's your capacity to go out that draws something in." Mine: "People find it difficult to resist your persuasive manner." Another rain storm. More ceiling leaks at home. And earlier this week I discovered mold on the wall behind our bookcase. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, corn on the cob. Watched Happy Times on DVD.

Fri 10

Worked on the State of the Web document for the first half of the day. Went in to work—my first time when telecommuting—because students in the computer lab were having trouble printing and Rodney is out on vacation/honeymoon. The problems were error messages in the printer administration tool called PHAROS: "Unable to select printer" and "No money left in account to print". Not sure exactly how to fix this, but since we couldn't reproduce the problem, I put up a notice asking people with this problem to log out, then log back in, then email me to say if that fixed it or not. Joel e-mailed me a reply after I sent him the URL to rainbowskate.com: "OMG.... this is sooo gay!" Dinner at home with Patrick: we couldn't remember, even though it was just last night.

Sat 11

House chores: dishes, laundry. Shopped for a laser printer. Dinner at Four Season with Patrick: steamed dumplings, walnut prawns, dry braised chicken. My fortune: "Everything will now come to your way." Patrick's fortune: "A member of your family will soon do something that will make you proud." Went to our first craigslist Queer Forum gathering at the Pilsner. Met a bunch of people: HoldingOut, Countess Olenska, 21, HeadStrongBoy, Missfire, Buttmonkey, SemiNormalGuy, Joe_Long, su_deathcar_monkey, TastesLikeChicken, PatrickHSF and probably a few others whose names I forgot. Afterwards, we hung out at Brian and Kelly and Jesse's place. The whole gang (Eric, Big Brian, Little Brian, Adrian, Nico) was visiting, as well as two new people we hadn't met before: Warren and Xandra. We watched old South Park: Aspen, Towlie, and "It." The DVD had a scratch that interrupted "It" so I tried fixing it up with some toothpaste and it worked until very nearly the end—d'oh! Everyone but me had a lot of cookies and fell asleep.

Sun 12

Sam and Patrick did sword practice at Stern Grove. All three of us had brunch at Cove Cafe in the Castro, ran a few errands afterwards. Came home and napped. Cleaned up moldy things in the closet. Water had seeped through under the carpet from outside. Ick! Snack: leftover chinese food from Four Season. Aaron replied to a Lodestar submission today and cc'd Patrick: "Hey Mattilda, Thanks for the submission and the compliment. We'll review it and get back to you as soon as we can. In the meantime, I hope all is well and happy new year! Yours, Aaron. IMPORTANT: This email is not intended for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humor, or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination or copying of this email is not authorized and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this email, although the kelpie next door is on borrowed time, let me tell you. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message by reading this backwards, so ignore that Microsoft Alert Notice. However, by pouring a circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you or your pets. If you have received this email in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites, whisk and place in a warm oven for 40 minutes." Dinner at home with Patrick: woodsy pumpkin pecan pork chops with cartwheel pasta in a tomato and cream sauce with chanterelle mushrooms. "Very simple," Patrick says. Later, as I'm looking at imdb based on a recommendation by headstrongboy to see the film called Rabbit-Proof Fence, I ask Patrick, "Do you wanna see a 'heartbreaking triumph of the human spirit'?" He just laughed and said, "That's every movie, these days." We listened to remixes of old Falco songs: Rock Me Amadeus (American 12-inch) and Vienna Calling. Fun!

Mon 13

Met with Cindy and Susie about the State of the Web document I drafted. We had a great discussion and decided to make a few tweaks before meeting with Rob Duca about it. In the afternoon I spent several hours troubleshooting printing problems in the IRC lab. Dinner at Ton Kiang with Patrick, Little Brian, Nico, and Adrian. It was a gastronomic orgy. We had hot and sour soup to start, then one of every dim sum item on the menu. For dessert, Little Brian had mango (pudding?). Nico ordered something and it turned out to be mini custard tarts—not what we thought we were going to get, but we ate them anyway. I thought the bill was going to be US$130, but it turned out to be about $86 before tip. We couldn't decide whether to order walnut prawns at the end. We decided we'd save that and the Peking duck that Little Brian wanted for a return visit. After pigging out on dim sum, we drove across the city and pigged out on ice cream at Mitchell's. I had a waffle cone with New York Cherry and Cinnamon Snap (cinnamon ice cream with ginger snap cookies). Patrick had toasted almond and macapuno (sweet coconut). Little Brian had spumoni. Nico had ube and avocado. Adrian did not have ice cream. The occasion for the feast: school starts tomorrow, so I call it the End of Freedom Feast.

Tue 14

IRC babysitting. Worked on Susie's State of the Web document. Lunch with Joel at San Tung: broccoli beef (me) and sweet and sour pork (him). My fortune: "YOU ARE BRIGHT SO GIVE OUT THAT LIGHT!" Worked on Cindy's graduation changes. Helped a student, Phu Nguyen, with problems with the CDS database. Dinner at home with Patrick: teriyaki fish, acorn squash, stuffing. Watched a Robin Williams show. Listened to a Margaret Cho show.

Wed 15

IRC babysitting. Dentist appointment with Dr. Natasha Anne Lee, DDS (415-731-9311, 1317 9th Av at Irving). This was perhaps the best dental experience I've ever had. The office is brand new and very tastefully decorated. Original art hangs on nearly every wall. Modern electronic music reminiscent of Enigma plays softly in the background. Clutter is nowhere to be seen. The interior design is practically perfectly balanced in every respect: ratios, colors, textures, lighting, ventilation. Every employee is not simply polite, but gracious—a welcome change from the 6 other medical offices I've visited in San Francisco. The doctor (dentist) herself is the very model of all this order. She evokes wisdom, honesty, and a dedication to service unmatched by any other dentist I've known. I don't think you'll find a better dentist in all of San Francisco.—Worked on Susie's State of the Web document. Worked on Cindy's graduation changes. Lunch with Joel and Michael at You See Sushi. Michael had Special A, Joel had Special B, I had Special C. Dinner at Four Season with Patrick: drums of heaven, Shanghai chicken (finely chopped chicken with pine nuts and other stuff), tangerine beef. My fortune: You will always be successful in your business or professional career. Patrick's fortune: You will never know hunger. After dinner we were going to go to the Jon Sims Center for the Arts to hear Beth Lisick and Justin Chin read poetry, but we got the time wrong. We thought it was at 7:00 PM, but it was really at 8:00 PM—too late for us, so we went home. Patrick studied Mandarin. I caught up on e-mail.

Thu 16

Helped Mike Lemont with e-mail and address book troubles. Printed building schematics for Chris. Met with Cindy briefly about the caretaker for the computers in the student lounge. Finished the mockup for Ken's continuing education changes—he's putting the first full course online called Quality Assurance. Sent the mockup to Ken and Susie for review. James bought pizza for the staff in preparation for the student interviews which start tomorrow. Spent the afternoon troubleshooting the HP LaserJet 8000dn in the computer lab. The printer was jamming and being very slow. I did a cold restart to break through the console password, reconfigured the printer settings which were lost in the process, changed the idle timeout from 90 seconds to 5 seconds. Printing is back online; we'll see how the timeout change affects tomorrow's big print queues during class. Quick pizza at Escape From New York Pizza in the Haight. Saw Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Red Vic Theatre. Caught up on e-mail.

Fri 17

Worked from home today. Susie's State of the Web document. Mirrored Sue Miller's PC113 site from woodward to pub because her move to Mission Bay will leave her site down for about a week. Did research to figure out how to get the color printer icon restored for all users in the IRC lab. Gave instructions to Kim Bivens on how to fix the HP LaserJet 8000—more users complained of jamming. A few minutes later she called back and said all was well. Fixed a few broken links. We planned to see The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Dark Passage (1947) in a double feature at the Castro—opening night in a weeklong series of film noir. Patrick received news from his mom about his Uncle Tommy being in the hospital. He'd had a stroke and is not in very good condition right now. We ended up leaving late, so we bought tickets and skipped the first film since we'd seen it on DVD not too long ago. Dinner at Fuzio: Patrick had barbwire chicken. I had Singapore BBQ pork with rice noodles. We shared a chocolate-coffee pound cake which was distastefully dry around the edges. Two iced teas. The bill was about US$25.75 before tax and tip ($31.95 after). We talked about Patrick's mom and his uncle. We had some time to kill before Dark Passage started, so we shared a hazelnut latte at Starbucks. We got in line around 8:45 PM. The film was supposed to start at 9:10 PM but we were still standing in line outside at 9:15 PM and we were freezing so we decided to skip the film and we got a refund instead and went home. We love the Castro Theatre, but tonight we were sorely disappointed that they made us suffer in the cold for so long.

Sat 18

Woke up around 2:00 AM, couldn't sleep. Read news and craigslist Queer Forum. Back to bed around 4:30 AM. Woke up around 11:00 AM. Patrick had gone to dance class. I tidied the house and did dishes. We intended to go to the Anti-War March and Rally downtown, but Patrick didn't get back from class until after 1:00 PM. We figured by the time we got there it would all be over, so instead we saw films at the Castro: Lady from Shanghai and Woman on the Run. We enjoyed the latter more than the former, and we generally agree with the user comments posted at imdb.com. Dinner at My Friend (415-626-5358, 599 Castro St) with Patrick: hot and sour soup, walnut prawns, garlic chicken. Patrick's fortune: You will have a long and healthy life. My fortune: You never hesitate to tackle the most difficult problems. Patrick thought the walnut prawns were better than Four Season but not as good as Eric's. I agreed and liked that they were served on a bed of deep-fried rice noodles—something Eric's doesn't do. The noodles provide yet an additional welcome texture to an already multitextured dish. Very nice, my friend.

Sun 19

Slept in while Patrick and Sam did sword practice. I ate leftovers from My Friend. Patrick met with Yasuto at Jumpin Java and also did homework. David Erickson, the carpenter, came over to do repairs on our ceiling which had leaked during the last big storm. Went to Polly Ann's Ice Cream (415-664-2472, 3142 Noriega St) with Patrick. Patrick tasted a bite of durian ice cream. We'd seen it at Mitchell's and Nico told us, "If you can get past the smell, it tastes yummy." It smelled really awful, exactly like diesel, and I wouldn't have a bite, but Patrick tried a sample and subsequently regretted it. Instead he got a sugar cone with one scoop of Turkish Coffee. He was burping up the durian ice cream every 5 minutes or so for 3 or 4 hours, making him feel miserable each time it happened. He said, "I feel like a lawn mower." I got a waffle cone with one scoop of burgundy cherry. We got 20% off because we visited their Web site at pollyann.com and printed out a coupon. We went to Golden Gate Park and walked around and took some photos of each other. We thought about going to the Steinhart Aquarium because we'd just seen it in The Lady From Shanghai, but it was already 4:00 PM and they closed in an hour, so we decided to save it for another day. Dinner at home with Patrick: stuffed chicken breast, cornbread, green beans. Watched The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys on DVD.

Mon 20

Slept in. Breakfast at home with Patrick: hash browns, scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach, cornbread. Took a nap. Lunch with Patrick at home: leftovers. Errands with Patrick: returned the DVD we rented, dropped off film at Wolf Camera. Hung out with Nico and Brian who were detoxing from last night's party and dancing. We listened to Zero Seven and talked about Warren and Jesse, the Noir City Film Festival, old photos of Brian Kusler and Erik Popravek, how Brian looks better at 32 than he did at 22. Dinner at home with Patrick: crab cakes.

Tue 21

8:30 AM bus didn't show up again. Worked on printers in the IRC. Met with Rob Duca, Susie Levings, and Cindy Watchmaker in Susie's office to discuss Web plans. Business lunch with Susie at Ella's, a very pleasant restaurant next to the Laurel Heights campus. When I got back to the office I noticed that Kristina's printer had arrived, so I went to The Source, our campus computer store, picked up printer cables and other things we needed. Installed and configured Kristina's printer—an HP LaserJet 1200. Got it working in about 15 minutes. The hardest part was that the instructions said to install the software before connecting the USB cable, but during the software installation it said it couldn't find the printer, so I plugged the USB cable in with the error on the screen and then everything more or less proceeded as expected. Installed Michael's copy of InDesign 2.0, so he has his official license now. (He'd been trying it out and decided he liked it.) Dinner at home with Patrick: condom pasta with lima beans and prawns in a creamy lemon sauce. Figured out a plan for getting rid of Yahoo! Mail and the accompanying spam: implement single-wall spam filtering through sonic.net's SpamAssassin software and if that isn't good enough, do double-wall filtering with 5dollarhosting's spam filtering software. Hopefully soon—no more spam! And no more slow Yahoo! Mail! Caught up on e-mail. Did more research for buying a new printer—decided to say no to the HP OfficeJet 6100 because HP didn't have user manuals or drivers available on their Web site—the OfficeJet 6100 wasn't even listed in their list of printers in the support section! Hoped to go to bed early because I have a meeting at 9:00 AM at Laurel Heights, but it just didn't happen, even after 2 glasses of chardonnay—Schug 2000—a gift from Heather for my helping her out with her laptop. It was quite delicious! Thanks, Heather! (Hi to you, too, Michelle!)

Wed 22

Oh, it's so hard to get up. Woke at 6:30 AM. Three meetings today. Meeting 1: Sean Norton, Lorie Rice, and Susie Levings to discuss the possibility of Sean working on the Center for Consumer Self Care site. Meeting 2: Websteering Committee to discuss the Web Developers Meeting next week. Meeting 3: Susie to discuss Web issues. All meetings went well. In between meetings, I shopped for a fast color laser printer for the office. So far it looks like the Xerox 7300DN simply because speed is our primary concern and this appears to be the fastest color laser on the market now. Lunch with Joel at Pomelo. We hadn't been to Pomelo in a while—I was in the mood for noodles but also grains, so it was a perfect choice. They had a new menu since December 1. We sat at the counter and while we ate Joel shared his story of meeting Miss America 2003 at the Rite Aid Health and Beauty Fair. He then pondered the question, "What if Miss America got a mullet after being crowned?" While leaving work to meet Patrick at Muddy Waters on Church then go to Azteca for dinner, my left eye started feeling very irritated. I thought I had scratched the surface of it earlier in the day when I had trouble with my contact lens, but around 6:00 PM the irritation suddenly got worse. In pain, I made my way on the N-Judah to Church Street, found Patrick, and we walked directly to the emergency room at Davies Medical Center a few blocks away. I got checked in around 7:00 PM, and it was over an hour before I got to see the doctor—it was a busy night. The diagnosis turned out to be conjunctivitis, so I was sent home with an ointment to apply 4 times a day and the prediction that I would be better within 2 days. We left the medical center around 9:00 PM and had dinner at Orphan Andy's instead of Azteca as we originally planned. We both had fried shrimp and french fries. Patrick had an iced tea. The bill before tax and tip was US$23. We took a cab home—Castro to Parkside was about US$15. Patrick was home today to receive our delivery from Walgreens.com: macaroni and cheese, Twizzlers, Ester-C (acid-free vitamin C), 0.75-inch Scotch tape refills, and Orville Redenbacher's Light Popcorn.

Thu 23

Worked from home today due to my conjunctivitis. Spent the whole day putting together an outline for a Web accessibility presentation I must do next week. I did the outline in Word and shall port it to PowerPoint or InDesign or both next week. Lunch at home by myself: shrimps ramen with an organic, free-range, brown egg and organic spinach. Dinner at home with Patrick: pan-fried sea bass, biscuits.

Fri 24

Worked from home. Made live a news story for Susie. Made small revisions to my accessibility presentation notes. Added Page Valet and WDG links to my private footer since Bobby is no longer free. Began resolving a problem in which reduced formatting pages (for browsers less than version 5) were missing the header, breadcrumbs, and leftnav. I got the header and breadcrumbs in for template 2, and examined the leftnav. Still need to finish leftnav next week, then do a quick test run in all 18 browsers to make sure nothing got clobbered in the process. I also need to resolve id versus name tags. The plan: for older browsers, use the less strict doctype. Dinner at home with Patrick: sausage orzo with red pepper pesto. Watched Shower on DVD.

Sat 25

I was tired all day today. Exercise and oatmeal. Napped. Patrick and I took MUNI to the Castro to return the movie we watched last night. We had lunch at Catch (2362 Market Street, 415-431-5000), which turned out to be the worst experience we've had at Catch. We waited a long time before we could place our order: one plain water, one iced tea, one fettucine marinara, one shrimp and crab ravioli. Our side of fries and a small ketchup dish arrived within minutes—before we even got glasses of water and Patrick's iced tea. The glasses of water arrived soon after I requested them from our fries deliverator. The iced tea followed shortly thereafter, brought by our waiter, Sean. Our entrees arrived within an expected amount of time after our fries were cleared (but the ketchup was mysteriously left behind). However, we had never gotten a basket of bread like other tables had, and since Patrick doesn't eat his pasta without bread, he had to wait to eat until someone was flagged down and someone else eventually brought us bread with an apology, "Sorry, guys." All the food was delicious—the fries in particular were like McDonald's fries but better because they were fresher. Food was prepared mostly very well. My water glass went empty during the course of the meal, and I also emptied Patrick's as well. Neither were refilled—no one even bothered to try. Patrick got one refill of iced tea with an expected amount of time. We declined an invitation to "expresso" and dessert. (Yes, he quite clearly said "expresso.") Sean cleared our plates, again mysteriously leaving behind the ketchup. During our meal, two women were seated next to us. One of them had to send her plate back twice: once because she had ordered a side salad but instead got a side of fries, then again because her burger was not cooked as she had ordered. We left no tip and decided not to eat at Catch again (at least for a while). Within seconds of leaving the restaurant, both of us felt sick in the stomach. (I'm not making this up.) To calm our bellies, we searched for ginger tea at Starbuck's, but they didn't have any. We found it at Tully's, then later found crystallized ginger at Buffalo Foods. Our stomachs were feeling better, but I didn't have the energy to go to Chinatown to see the Flower Festival, so we went home and I took a long nap. Dinner at home with Patrick: macaroni and cheese and homemade tortilla chips. (I was still full from lunch, so we only had snacks for dinner.)

Sun 26

Lunch at Eric's. My eye was feeling a little more irritated than yesterday, so we again decided to not go to the Flower Festival to save energy for tonight. I napped at home. Around 7:00 PM we joined writer Jason Baum at a benefit for Intersection for the Arts and Campo Santo—two arts organizations in San Francisco. The event was an interview with writer Denis Johnson by writer Dave Eggers. Jason had found out about the event from a listing in SF Weekly. Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son was one of the first books that Patrick had recommended to him, and Jason seemed to have liked the book. Such was his interest in going. We had 2 lattes and a green tea at a nearby ice cream shop. The event was packed—not bad for Super Bowl night. It started with American blues guitar by Jim Roll and Chuck Prophet. Then came the interview, which was surprisingly entertaining and funny, partly due to Dave Eggers' lack of interviewing skills but mostly to Denis Johnson's wit. I wasn't expecting that from a writer whose most famous book dealt with religion, philosopy, death, and illegal drugs. After the interview, we were treated to a sneak preview of live drama performance of the forthcoming play called Soul of a Whore, written by Denis Johnson. The scene we saw featured Delia MacDougall, Brian Keith Russell, and Michael Torres. Following that was another sneak peek: a work in progress written by Dave Eggers and performed by Sean San Jose and Danny Wolohan. The evening was fun and Jason's company was pleasant. SQL Slammer worm wreaks havoc by infecting 75,000 Microsoft SQL servers in only 15 minutes.

Mon 27

Worked from home again today. My eye is better almost completely. I wanted to stay home one more day to make certain I wasn't contagious anymore. Continued working on the problem from Friday. Now all pages served to older browsers include header links and breadcrumbs links. Also, older browsers now show "skip navigation links" to provide for greater accessibility, e.g., to screen readers. Left navigation is not yet done and doesn't show up at all on older browser pages—I'm workin' on it. DOCTYPEs and A NAME tags versus A ID tags are also resolved; I wrote a function to handle the differences. We're now validating on most pages with XHTML 1.0 Transitional on a true (rather than faked) basis. A productive day's work. Stayed up late writing code to import the Campus Calendar into our own site at /pharmd/events/. It works (!), and I threw in a few preg_replace() functions so that their invalid code would validate properly in our site.

Tue 28

Spent most of the day working on the Web accessibility presentation I am to give on Thursday. Leftover sandwiches and pasta salad from Claire Lee. Dinner at Beijing on Irving by myself: special chow mein. My fortune: You will be traveling and coming into a fortune. Picked up lemons and honey for Patrick. (Couldn't find DayQuil—the drug stores had all closed.) My fortune: The only good is knowledge and the only evil ignorance. 44, 16, 45, 35, 43, 24.

Wed 29

Lunch with Joel at Nan King Road Bistro. Joel asked me to include this line of his in my journal: "I'm convinced that people who don't have weight problems have other monsters that they have to deal with, and that keeps me from being bitter towards skinny people. You can march that to the doughnut shop." My fortune: Love or fame, you'll be able to handle either or both. Dinner at home with Patrick: yellow curry chicken. After dinner we reviewed and discussed the household budget.

Thu 30

Did a non-technical Web Accessibility presentation for a group of important people at UCSF. It went pretty well, I thought. Dinner at home with Patrick: meatloaf, corn on the cob, Spanish rice. We listened to a collection of Madonna songs and played Scrabble. Patrick played "cuir," and I let him since I was wasn't sure it wasn't a fabric (what he said it was) and because I was less than 26 points ahead. Turns out cuir is not an English word, so he would have lost—it's French for "leather." I played "nary" which he thought had an apostrophe. He was suspicious of my play of "unhoods" but didn't challenge it. He also tried to play "queso," but I made him take it back and let him play another word. It was a very close game, and Patrick even took the lead more than once. In the end, we tied exactly at 304 points each! How exciting!