Summary: Audium (a theatre of sound-sculptured space), Perspectives of Youth with LGBT Parents, Bush wages war against Iraq.
Dates on this page
Breakfast at home. Shopping in Union Square and the Castro. Levi's, The Gap, Body Body, Banana Republic. Stopped for lunch at Kan's (415-362-5267, 708 Grant Av) where we had a good dim sum meal (though not as good as Ton Kiang and Harbor Village and Yank Sing) for about US$23. We chatted briefly with a table of gay men across from us who were visiting from L.A. (originally Israel) and Guadalajara. When the bill arrived, I was shocked that the restaurant had added in a $3.00 tip for us by default. I was tempted to cross it out and adjust the final value $3.00 less just to spite them for that, but I didn't. Perhaps they get so many tourists who don't know better, but I found it very un-Chinese-like behavior. We had a good day of shopping. I got two t-shirts at The Gap, a t-shirt at Banana Republic, a pair of corduroys at Levi's, and Patrick got a shirt at Body Body. Took care of bills and other paperwork. Dinner at home with Patrick: baked chicken with potatoes and corn on the cob. Got rid of files we didn't need. Did manual tape backups for 2 computers.
Breakfast at home. Cleaned the shower and vacuumed while Patrick and Sam did sword practice at the nearby park. Discovered that my car had been egged again. Someone had thrown an egg at my car and this time the damage was worse than before. The paint of my car is noticably damaged in a radial pattern where the egg struck the car, and the coating of egg seems to have eroded the gloss of the finish—some of that doesn't wash off. We both still don't know who is doing this or why. We both agree it's not going to do any good to tell the police. Like last time, no other cars on our street seemed to have eggs on them. I can't help but think it's another reason to leave San Francisco, since we can't afford to keep the car safely in a garage. Did a photo shoot for Patrick. We needed various shots of him for his new Web site, which is in development. Lunch at Fuzio in the Castro (415-863-1400, 469 Castro St): spring rolls, barbed wire chicken, singapore pork, tiramisu, one iced tea. US$37.28 after a $5.00 tip. At Cliff's Variety I bought a new pot and potting soil for an orchid repotting project I've been meaning to do for months. Patrick did Mandarin homework and laundry. Napped from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Dinner at home with Patrick: Spanish rice with orange poppyseed shrimp. Shopped for a DVD/CD-RW combo drive; our tape backups are getting tedious and putting some of our stuff onto plastic would help out immensely in that.
Reviewed previous applications of the Larry L. Sautter award, since Susie wants me to nominate our redesign project for this year's award. I determined I can probably put something together, but it will take a few hours at least. Removed Step 5 and made necessary framework adjustments from our Admissions Steps for James. Made adjustments to the 2003-2004 calendars for Cindy. Updated current student news. Worked on home page news stories for Susie. Dinner at home with Patrick: garden vegetables linguine in red sauce. Scanned in some artwork for Lodestar. Edited some of the photos we took yesterday. Read a draft of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.
More work on home page news. Debrah had changes to the schedules. Created editable academic calendar. Joel found 2 errors in the academic calendar list of dates (and I found one more as well), so I fixed those. Ran linkcheck again because there were so many changes to the calendar section. All clear—no broken links. Helped Michael resolve the problem described in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 329950. Worked some on getting old college data for 4th-year students from old dBASE III databases. Worked on "Step 4: Make key decisions" in /webdev/, specifying the differences between our template system and our proposed template system and using no template system. Dinner at home with Patrick: Chinese beef stew over steamed rice. Patrick got a bunch of chores done today. He also did Mandarin homework, drew more artwork for Lodestar, and chatted with Amy and David. I caught up on e-mail. I've been reading The Hours by Michael Cunningham. His style is hard for me (mostly because I don't like when parenthetical phrases and sentences are so frequently used as to annoy me). In fact, I wonder how the novel was chosen to receive the Pulitzer prize.
Susie sent me a new Update from the Dean yesterday to put online. It's much longer than the usual one and has several tables. Took me about 4 hours to code and send back for review. Went to my first physical therapy appointment at Davies. My therapist is Pinder Baidwan. I wasn't in a very good mood at the beginning because I just had to fill out a whole bunch of paperwork, one form of which said that if I was late for an appointment I had to pay $25. Pinder didn't show up for my appointment on time—10 minutes late, but do I get compensated for my wasted time? No, and no apology, either!—another example of my continued bitterness toward the American health care system and American medical specialists in particular. Turns out she seems very knowledgeable and friendly. She gave me some exercises to do and wants me to bring different shoes when I return for my next visit in 2 weeks. She thinks my knee problem is caused by my right foot not arching properly—it falls flat on the ground when I walk, which causes the knee to become misaligned. Showed Joel how to format and sort data in Excel. Pulled photos off the digicam for Kristina. Upgraded AIM and RealOne Player for Ena. Worked on the student data request that Cindy gave me a long time ago. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover beef stew, leftover linguine in red sauce, side salad. We listened to music from artists starting with the letter J. Earlier today Patrick took all the books out of our folding bookcase so that we (he) could clean up the mold behind it that we discovered several months ago.
Basic 4 for breakfast. Link checking—resolved a bunch of old 301s. Spent all day working on changes for James to the academic prerequisites and information for international applicant sections. Dinner at Blue with Patrick: shrimp and escarole soup, steak sandwich with mozzarella and bell peppers and a side salad and side of onion rings for me, gourmet macaroni and cheese and a Thomas Kemper root beer for Patrick. We have dessert at Sweet Inspirations: a slice of chocolate chestnut ganache, which was somewhat disappointing because we didn't taste any chestnut and it was served too chilled. It would have been much better at room temperature. We didn't eat even half of it.
Got an MRI done at Davies on my knee. My physical therapist was almost positively certain that the MRI would not turn up any problems, and she was right. Everything looked in order on the final films. The MRI experience was cool: part day spa and part amusement park ride. I changed into shorts and a t-shirt, removed all metal from my body, and lay down on a comfortable bed which was pulled by a motor into a gigantic magnet which magically enabled the friendly specialists behind the glass window to see inside my body. The process was very noisy. They offered me 29 db earplugs before I lay down, but I stuck my nose in the air and said, "I've got 30 decibal earplugs. Thanks, but I'll use my own." When inside the device, my face was about 3 inches from a microphone and speaker which let me talk to the specialists behind the window. Looking down along my body was like looking into an unusually lit tunnel. I couldn't see very far without lifting my body up, which would have probably ruined the scans they were making. Looking up, my field of vision was entirely consumed by the giant magnet, which was encased by metal the color of beige eggshell, and which curved upward and outward. The noise was like a sewing machine crossed with a jackhammer. Helped out and took photos at the White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2004. Spent the rest of the day working on changes for James to the academic prerequisites section. It's finally taking shape, and I'm feeling better about it now.
Errands in the Castro: bought orchid mix and bark. Borrowed books at the Eureka Valley branch of the public library: Art for Dummies for me, Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai for Patrick. Sushi for dinner at Warakabune with Amy, David, and Patrick. Went to Audium (415-771-1616, 1616 Bush St) with Patrick. Audium is self-described by its composer and performer Stan Shaff as "a theatre of sound-sculptured space." It's a large room with lots of speakers in different parts of the room. The performance is done entirely in the dark—visitors are seated in chairs positioned in concentric circles. I found it interesting because it combines art and science in unique ways. However, it was also disappointing because the performance wasn't particularly beautiful to me. Camper English (whose delightully sin-ical writings I am somewhat fonda) wrote a particularly scathing review of Audium. Yes, you can laugh at the lack of modern coffee facilities or the mid-20th-century powdered Borax soap in the restroom, but I would recommend a visit if only because there really isn't anything else quite like it. On the way home a painter saw me carrying the Art for Dummies book and chatted with me on the bus. "I'm no dummy," he said.
Burned my fingers (not badly) helping Patrick make pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Laundry. Repotted the big orchid. Took out the garbage. Saw Far From Heaven at the Embarcadero with Sam and Patrick. Picked up a few groceries at Safeway. Lunch at Four Season: sesame chicken, mu shu pork, walnut prawns. Service is usually just adequate; the food is consistently delicious (2nd-best walnut prawns in our book). This meal is relatively cheap for 3: US$31.25 after a $3.50 tip. Sam's fortune: Avert misunderstandings by being calm, poised, and balanced. My fortune: He thinks as much of you as you think of him. Patrick's fortune: You are the center of every group's attention. (He thought it would be funny if 2 or more of us got the same fortune.) Went to bed early (exhausted).
Woke up around 1:00 AM. Surfed the Web while eating some soup. Lurked on craigslist Queer Forum, looked for jobs, looked at quality of life surveys for various cities around the world, read some evolt.org, rescuemuni.org, looked at wacky photos of Camper English on his Web site (the calendar section). He's someone I very much almost want to meet. Looked at rental listings on Rent Tech. Went back to bed around 5:30 AM, got up again around 8:10 AM. Academic prerequisites pages for James. Lunch with James at Chow: spaghetti and meatballs for me, Caesar salad with chicken and a cup of minestrone for him. We shared a cannoli for dessert. Met with Susie. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp paella, small pizza, small salad. Patrick and I did the Belief System Selector at www.selectsmart.com/RELIGION/ and his top 5 results were: unitarian universalism (100%), liberal quaker (96%), theravada buddhism (94%), secular humanism, and taoism. I got: secular humanism (100%), theravada buddhism (98%), nontheist (94%), unitarian universalism (94%), and neo-pagan (83%).
Sent Cindy the list she requested of pre-pharmacy degrees, majors, and institutions for students of the Class of 2003. Cleared away some old and unneeded e-mails. Late lunch with Joel at Beijing on Irving. My fortune: Where your treasure is, your heart will be also. 1, 25, 28, 9, 22, 7. More fillings replaced at the dentist—no problems. Made some Web changes live: Update from the Dean, stylesheets now set a active, White Coat Ceremony, many other very small changes. Chatted with Chris De Lay today: he says just last week he decided he wants to go to grad school to study library and information science. Cool! Dinner at Pasta Pomodoro (415-558-8123, 2304 Market at Noe) with Patrick. I wasn't very hungry and just got a large minestrone soup. Patrick had pollo alla griglia, which is grilled chicken breast with orzo, olives, spinach, tomatoes. Service by Sebastian was on the slow side, but all the food was delicious. Patrick had an iced tea, but since I ate lightly this meal was a bargain: US$14.48 after tax but before a $2 tip. We also filled out a survey for them. We went to the new GLBT Center at 1800 Octavia to attend an event called "Hear it from Us: Perspectives of Youth with LGBT Parents." It was very interesting to us because we don't often hear from these voices and we both may want to raise a kid or two before we die (nothing certain just yet). We heard from 5 very smart kids, mostly in their early teens, who all gave great words of wisdom to a great turnout of about 60 adults, such as: Let your kid make first impressions and control how and when to tell teachers and friends that their family is alternative. When kids are teased about having gay dads or lesbian moms, teach them to point out to others who and what is great about gay culture: famous GLBT people, acceptance, diversity, creativity. The fear of something bad happening because you're part of an alternative family never quite entirely goes away. Being open with the truth can sometimes surprise even you. Kids can be smarter than you think or expect. Kids can sometimes find what they need on their own (e.g., role models). I wanted to hug every kid and every gay dad and every lesbian mom in the room—there was so much love, and I felt thankful and assured that they are making the world a better place. It was very worthwhile for us to attend. Bonus too that this was our first event at The Center since it opened about a year ago. The gem in today's mail was a handwritten thank you card with my favorite flower (Iceland poppies) on the front from my dentist, Dr. Natasha Anne Lee, DDS (415-731-9311, 1317-9th Av), for referring Patrick to her office, also signed by assistant Marisa and receptionist Jennifer. Included was a gift card for Jamba Juice (tho it doesn't say how much money is on it). If you missed my review a while back, I still think she's the best dentist with the best dental support team in San Francisco. Okay, I haven't visited every dentist in the city, but I've seen 3 others and they—and their staffs—were all cringeworthy, and that's enough to convince me. If you live in the area and need a new dentist, go see her and tell 'em all I sentcha! If I get another Jamba Juice card because of it, I'll even let you have it—no joke.
Took White Coat Ceremony photos out of the digicam, color-corrected them, then put them up on the server for the staff. Made changes to the reply form for the admission offer because people were calling in just to ask, "Did you get my reply?" Lunch with Joel at Milano Pizzeria. I found a hair in my salad. The food was just okay, but Joel thought it was better than that. We each had pizza slices (pepperoni for Joel, mushroom and green bell peppers for me). The pizza had almost no sauce on it. I stopped at Jamba Juice after to use the gift card my dentist gave me—it had $5.00 on it and one drink there cost me $4.25—Joel and I split it in 2 small cups. Made a movie for the first time today with the Canon Powershot G2 digital camera. It was very simple, and the file format is AVI—played back perfectly in Windows Media Player and RealOne Player. Fun! Worked on the nomination document for Larry L. Sautter Award 2003. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled pork chops, onion rings, steamed broccoli, dinner rolls. Worked on Lodestar.
Worked on the Sautter document. Put in abbr tags for the home page. Set up HTML-Kit to use SSH tunneling. Lunch at Nan King Road Bistro with Joel. He got his usual: #3 with the chicken very well done. I got double happiness (big udon-like rice noodles with basil and wontons). He told me about a new word he heard and thought was clever: tinkerbeef. Used to describe beefy muscle guys at the gym who otherwise exhibit mostly feminine qualities. Tried to find files on backup tape for Kristina but they were older than we had tapes for. Worked on the templates section of the Web site—describing to others how to use our templates. Today there was a little bit of rain and a lot of wind. When I got home from work, a large piece of the fence separating us from our neighbor came free and was lying on the ground. Dinner at home with Patrick: baked chicken stuffed with asiago, boiled new potatoes with rosemary and olive oil, grilled zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Yum! Worked on Lodestar—completed the home page with all decks and photos. Fixed a few broken links for all non-work sites. Uploaded a great new photo of Tina to her Web site at tinaluu.org. Read some craigslist.
Adjusted multiple "skip navigation" links to conform to this WCAG guideline: "Do not use the same link phrase more than once when the links point to different URLs." Set up SSH tunneling at home. Installed Webmin on rx and changed the rx home page. I installed the rpm and that was simple. However, I got stuck trying to view Webmin from home—the request would just time out because it couldn't find the server on port 10000. From within an SSH terminal, however, using localhost:10000 works. I found instructions describing how to view Webmin through Apache (we're using Apache 2.0). It gave step-by-step instructions for the part about creating the virtual host, but they weren't clear enough to me. Gonna give up for now. Found what I think is the fix for the error "Init: Session Cache is not configured"—must start apache with 'apachectl startssl' instead of 'apachectl start' after ssl.conf is configure properly to include the virtual host for the ssl server. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled talapia, rice with lentils, snow peas. A huge storm passed through tonight. Lots of wind and rain.
Breakfast at home with Patrick: sausage, hash browns, eggs. Created a playlist called "set me free take me higher" which contains songs—mostly by disco divas—which espouse free-ness or high-ness in an inane manner. Sample lyrics: "Ooh I get so high when I'm around you, baby / I can touch the sky" (Toni Braxton, You're makin' me high), "You're free / To do what you want to do / You've got to live your life / Do what you want to do" (Ultra Nate, Free, Full Intention Vocal Mix), "Are you ready to fly-e-ah-e-ah-e-ah? / Together we reach for the sky!" (Rozalla, Are you ready to fly?), "Put your hands in the air / Be free, be strong" (Dmitri from Paris, Free Ton Style). Worked on Lodestar. Got poetry all ready for review then took a nap. Patrick went to Jumpin Java to write and do homework. Dinner at home with Patrick: farfalle with bacon and green onions in a cream sauce, dinner rolls. More work on Lodestar: got bios done. We got a surprise visit from the neighbor's dog this evening. Since the fence blew down the other day, the dog is free to roam through our walkway. It's not a big deal to us; we love dogs and this one in particular, a yellow golden retriever (we think), is very docile and friendly. Finished the featured writer piece and one fiction piece for review. Made 2 more playlists: "believe" (songs asking people to believe in something or if they believe in someone or something) and "everybody" (songs prominently about everybody). Worked on Lodestar until 2:30 AM, got a lot more of the Lodestar pages to validate (had some non-validating navigation issues to work out first), added lots of abbr tags and xml:lang spans for accessibility.
I cleaned the whole kitchen. Spent the whole day at home with Patrick coding Lodestar. Domino's Pizza for dinner. The guy on the phone had a very thick accent and must have been hard of hearing. When I said to tell the driver to use the side gate, he repeated back to me "Five?! Okay, apartment five!" I had to spell it out—S - I - D - E—to which he replied, "Yes! Five! Apartment Five!" My eyes rolled as though my neck were paralyzed and a meteor shower passed overhead. The conversation I had with him was perhaps twice as long as it should have been, and there were other similar misunderstandings. When the pizza finally arrived, there was no salad! We found out that he didn't understand we also had ordered a salad with it. Yeesh! I thought about complaining, but then I figured it would probably just be the guy's brother with an even thicker accent on the line at Customer Support or Guest Relations or whatever euphemism they have for what is really just the toll-free complaint line. I didn't feel the need tonight to spell out the words "delivery" and "problem" for someone who might not understand them.
Joel made cupcakes today which, as usual, were deliciously perfect with their green frosting and green sugar sprinkles. On top of that, we were treated to holiday bags of candy. What a joy! Met with Susie about Web projects. Uploaded the Spring 2002 issue of Alumni Voice. Modified a ring logo for Cindy. Added abbr tags for a bunch of pages under /contactus/. Updated employer statements for Joel. Got my hands all dirty when I installed a used hard drive into the office server. Did it without much notice because everyone suddenly left the office at 5:00 PM and James and Chris weren't in so I didn't have to worry about booting them off. It was almost fun. The install went smoothly though I had to steal an IDE ribbon cable from an old computer in the storage closet and fortunately the new drive letter didn't seem to screw up any shares—something I was worried about because Windows sometimes seems to just arbitrarily choose new drive letters when you install a new drive. I called Tina at 9:29 PM on her cellphone. She says she's in Las Vegas for a pastry competition and was with some friends that just happened to ran into (I think)—no one I knew. "We're being very bad tonight." Patrick had hiccups that wouldn't stop, so I made dinner: macaroni and cheese, gardenburgers on pugliese rolls. Ran errands at Walgreen's. Worked on Lodestar.
Updated the P2 schedule for Debrah, who is just back from a week-long vacation. Made Joel's employer statements live. Meeting with Rob, Lorie, Susie, and Cindy about the Web. Lunch with Susie and Cindy at the cafe in Laurel Heights. Backed up Chris's laptop and updated virus definitions. Worked on the Web Developer's Guide. Spent 30 minutes to figure out why Chris's laptop screen displays garbage sometimes by opening it up. I removed the screen but couldn't see anything wrong, so I put it back together and after a few taps it was working okay again. Physical therapy with Pinder Baidwan at Davies. She taped up my knee and asked me to try it like that for a day to see if it resolves the pain.
Sent in a request to Dell to fix Chris's laptop screen. Sent files to James at home. Uploaded changes to the electives schedule for Debrah. Uploaded changes to the senior interviews page for Joel. Lunch with Joel at Beijing on Irving: sweet and sour pork and a Diet Coke for him, mixed vegetables with shrimp for me. My fortune: Youth is a gift of nature, middle age is a work of art. His fortune: You are never selfish with your advice or help. To which Joel added, "...in bed with handcuffs and a sailor yelling anti-war slogans." The impending war against Iraq has everyone worried and jittery. Joel said on the bus to work he saw a man downtown dressed in a business suit yelling "NO WAR!" at the top of his lungs, total absence of control. During lunch, we talked about what we're doing differently because war seems likely, despite what we and many others would like. I told him Patrick decided he won't take Muni in the tunnel anymore. And I plan to carry bottled water and a flashlight everywhere I go. He wondered: why a flashlight? I told him, "You can't film it if there isn't light," and he burst out laughing. I have no video camera and no intentions of making a film, but the absurdity (or hope?) of glamour in the midst of suffering made him laugh, I think. I think I've found out the problem with getting Joel's new graphics card to work. The monitor has two different inputs: VGA female and DVI-I female. I have 6 different video cables. One uses a single ADC male to dual VGA female, two cables have a single ADC male to dual DVI-D female, one is a link cable DVI-D male single link to DVI-D male single link, another is a link cable DVI-I male to DVI-I male (which from the pinouts looks like dual link but I suspect is really single link because a search on the printing on the cable ("UNIXTAR E74020-C") found a page that said this cable was single link), and a last one is a link cable VGA male to VGA male. None of these in any combination worked—I'd get no signal at all. Dinner at home with Patrick: Caesar salad and leftovers. Over dinner we listened to CNN live radio feed over the Internet to President George W. Bush's announcement of the start of the war. The news disappointed us tremendously. Our worries and planned changes of behavior over the past couple of days have suddenly become a lot more real. Started getting a sore throat late tonight. It's ironic because I had already decided I would go in to work tomorrow despite a call from internationalanswer.org for people to walk out of their daily routine—jobs, school, smoking weed and watching TV on the couch—and gather in protest downtown.
Last night I dreamt I was on a bicycle riding with Little Brian and Adrian. We were riding fast through the city down big-hilled streets, then through a park. Eventually we came to a small private garden area with tall trees that let the sunlight filter down gently through the warm air. We met up with other guys that seemed to be friends of Brian and Adrian's. They were mean-looking types, dressed in fatigues, similar to skinheads but more relaxed and less victims of fashion. That part of the dream ended and another part started in which I was in a large gay bar sitting at the bar which seated at least 40 or 50 in a rectangle. Everything was normal—people were drinking, bartender was making rounds, music was playing. Then suddenly, all at once, everyone took out a candle and lit it and the entire place was silent. I looked around near me and saw an unlit pillar candle to my right. I pulled it toward me, but I didn't have a lighter. I looked around to get a light from someone, but the scene was so starkly beautiful—dozens of lit candles around the room—that I was speechless. The dream ended there. Called in sick. Oatmeal and zinc and vitamin C and psyllium and chloraseptic and peppermint tea for breakfast. Ugh! My throat burns. Patrick went to school because he knew his teacher wasn't going to walk out in protest against the war. After class he had to meet his language partner—a native Chinese speaker who is learning English up with which he got paired by the language program. They speak English for half an hour, then Chinese for half an hour. Our new CD+RW/DVD combo player arrived 2 days ago. We needed to archive some of our data using a method easier than the Onstream DI30 tape drive I've had for a few years now. In between naps, I'm reading Queer Forum on craigslist. There's much discussion about the war and the protests downtown. I don't feel the war is justified, but I also don't think there's much I can do to stop it. Is protesting in the streets helpful? I think partly yes, because it reminds everyone that there is more than just one voice on the matter. But mostly no—a month ago Bush already waved off the many protests around the world, belittling them as "a few focus groups." While browsing the Web, we laughed when we found out that there's a beach called Gay Head in Martha's Vineyard, Massachussetts. Surfed the Web with Patrick. Made Issue 5 for Lodestar live. We heard a car alarm tonight—very unusual for where we live. Patrick went out to look and said there seemed to be nothing unusual he could see.
Stayed home again to take care of my sore throat. My pal Victor Cosby sent me a petition from MoveOn.org in protest against the war. I filled it out, adding this personal statement: "I emphatically do not support President Bush's actions of war without support from the United Nations. Our president has clearly overstepped his authority within the global community, and We The People are the only ones who can reign him in. Americans: If you agree, make your voice heard!" Went to my orthopedist Christopher Cox today. He said my MRI looked very good, but since the condition I have—something about the patella scraping a little bit where it shouldn't—is permanent and I should avoid hills and stairs forever. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, asparagus, skinny french fries. Sore throat still hurts today.
Spent most of the day in bed. Lots of sneezing and sniffling along with the existing sore throat. Read anti-war articles on Slate. Read the new Wired Magazine online. Chicken broth and spinach salad for lunch. Added songs to the get up get down playlist. Kept current with indybay.org.
Napped. Read war news. Ate soup and cold remedies.
Stayed home again today. My sore throat is beginning to go away, but I have lots of coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. Ugh! Napped and read the news on the war. Dinner at home with Patrick: teriyaki salmon, lima beans, almond rice pilaf. Patrick made chocolate crackle-top cookies.
Couldn't sleep well last night. Did some work from home just to catch up. Did some house chores: dishes, house cleaning. Vermicelli noodles in chicken broth with spinach for lunch. Napped. When I woke up, I had a vision of what the Web would be like many years from now. I can't explain it exactly, but it was a feeling of being able to call up huge quantities of very specific data and have it all be meaningful, relevant to the task at hand. In some cases, it was simply to show off what the technology can do. One example: you could request to see portrait headshots of every British celebrity that lived from 1965 to 1980. They could be shown laid out as thumbnails or just as easily flashed full-size, rapid-fire like a flipbook. Sort them instantly by age, last name, first name, date of death, and so on. People today have already put up large databases and let people manipulate them in lots of different ways, but I felt as though I saw—in a semi-dreamstate—a next giant leap beyond that. In a different dream, I dreamt I was a secret agent. I was in an office or someone's home—luxurious rooms with dark wood floors and furniture. There were 2 or 3 other people in the room or a nearby room. We were waiting for something or someone—I'm not sure which. Time passed slowly. I had polished silver boots that came up to my knees, but I didn't have them on. I had the feeling that when I stepped into them, something amazing would happen. Dinner at home with Patrick: Domino's pizza. Patrick is not yet fully recovered from the cold he gave me, and had a long day going to class, meeting his language partner Erik, and then meeting Jason Baum for more writing instruction. I'm starting to feel more like normal. I'm coughing up bright and dark yellow blobs of phlegm now and then, but at least the painful sore throat is gone.
Leftover pizza for breakfast. Today I learned that setting margin properties for an img tag using CSS causes the image to inconsistently appear in unexpected locations on the page in Netscape 4 for Windows. Take those margin properties away, and the problem disappears, too. Napped. My energy is better today. Didn't take a walk outside like I've been wanting to, but almost did. I've been cooped up for too long. Dinner at home with Patrick: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, stir-fried broccoli. I couldn't eat the meatloaf; I felt sick in the stomach when I tried it.
The cough I've been having has turned less phlegmy and more of a dry cough. The headaches and uncontrolled sneezing have mostly gone away. Hooray! Still a lot of congestion in my nose, though.
Stayed home and rested most of the day. Went to the shoe store to get orthotics to help my knee problem. Hung out at Reverie Cafe waiting for Patrick. Dinner at Cafe Zazie with Patrick. Zazie is a small French restaurant we found in Cole Valley after deciding we wanted to find new places in the city to enjoy. Zazie was a pleasant find: lit not too bright nor too dark, French posters of stage shows on the wall, tealight candles on each tabletop, a lively crowd for a Friday evening but not too noisy to talk. Service (provided by Server ID 3) was very good. I had a small salad and pasta with mushroom ragout and spinach. Patrick had the US$18.95 prix fixe meal: your choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert. He had a blackberry iced tea, walnut and gorgonzola salad, fish soup with snapper, and chocolate orange bread pudding. All the food was delicious and we would return and recommend this place to our friends. Our bill came to $40.80 before a $6.50 tip. They wouldn't take American Express, and after the server left with my MasterCard, I said to Patrick, "What? I didn't see any Asian owners!" We were planning to do something after, but Patrick has had a long day, having met Krandall Kraus earlier in the day to chat, so we went home and turned in early.
My cold is almost all gone! I can feel it going away. Yesterday I still had lots of mucus in the nose and lungs. Got a lot of that out with warm showers. Today I woke up early and ended up organizing boxes of stuff while looking for medical tape to tape up my kneecap. Didn't find the tape, but I got a lot of things organized. Updated the current students and visitors calendars. Breakfast at home with Patrick: pancakes and sausage. Made 4-up postcards for Lodestar with Patrick.
Breakfast at home with Patrick: Grape Nuts Flakes for him, oatmeal for me. The weather was spectacularly fine today: warm and sunny, sometimes hot even. We bought shoes and Superfeet for me at the Sports Basement, a great place to find discounted athletic and outdoor gear, similar to REI but not as comfortable inside. (The lighting is not only fluorescent but also inadequate, and the couch I sat on to try on shoes looked like it came from a dumpster.) Still, the employees were very friendly and helpful, especially our blond hunky cashier, "kstarrett," according to the receipt. Patrick got a sportyish black zip-up vest. After that we went to Hamburger Mary's at Folsom and 12th, which had changed owners and is now known as Harvey's Soma (415-626-5767, 1582 Folsom at 12th). I hadn't been here in years. There's now wood siding on the exterior, but the inside looks the same. Patrick had a burger with grilled onions, swiss cheese, mushrooms, and a side of curly fries. I had a turkey burger with a side of onion rings. We had iced teas. The order took longer than we expected to arrive, but all the food was delicious. We were surprised that the turkey burger I got was boob meat—not ground turkey—nice! Both burgers came on sesame buns—another nice touch. The onion rings were essentially *perfect*: big cuts of onions, crispy crunchy, not too hot or cold. So good we would go back just for the onion rings. Service was just okay. Our server ("75 HUSSEIN") made a bunch of small mistakes, like: bringing iced tea that wasn't cold and then later bringing us two glasses of ice, not bringing napkins until after we got drinks, not taking our menus after taking our order, bringing condiments after (rather than before) the burgers. Not a big deal overall since we were so pleased with the food. After lunch, we went to the End Up. The place was not very crowded. The music was good to listen to, but not too great for dancing. We stayed a few hours then got bored and drove to the Castro, walked around enjoying the warm weather. Had coffee and chai tea at Peet's on Market. Patrick wore his new Camper shoes today. He likes them very much. Back at home in the early afternoon, Patrick reviewed new music for making a new mix while I worked on entering journal entries for May 2000 and put books for sale on Amazon. Our Internet connection stopped working at around 8:06 PM. After about 30 minutes it still wasn't back up (unusual for sonic.net) and we couldn't think of anything to do so we went to bed. I had a stomachache anyhow. Patrick had made chicken cordon bleu, which he ate by himself since I was feeling ill.
First day back at work after being sick for so long. Sam gave me a ride to work because the 8:30 AM bus arrived at 8:25 AM and didn't stop. Argh! Muni is so frustrating! Sam also left us with some Ferraro-Rocher chocolates. I got a zillion things done. Chatted with Samsung technical support about Joel's monitor. Did more tests on it and discovered that it's probably now the graphics card that's bad since it won't even work with a CRT monitor using the VGA adapter. Met with Susie about Web stuff. Filled out my timesheet. Completed HIPAA 101 training and signed the form Cindy needed. Resolved problems that James had printing multiple e-mails from Eudora 5.0. (We upgraded him to 5.1.1.) Changed passwords for Michael's accounts. Migrated admissions mail from Michael's computer to James's. Ensured that everyone in the office was upgraded to Build 0008 of PharmAdMIT. Lunch by myself: Subway sandwich at desk with Sun Chips and pink lemonade. Talked with Mark Bering at UCSF ITS customer support about why it seems mail.ucsf.edu is acting as a POP server (it was a configuration error and should be fixed tonight). Made small Web edits for Joel. Fixed Ena's computer so that James could work on Excel and Word documents on it. Brought home CD-RW disks that we had ordered awhile back and I had delivered to the office. Dinner at home with Patrick: lentils and rice with cherry tomatoes and cherry sausage. The sausage turned out too spicy for me to eat even though the meat man at Tower Market told Patrick that it wasn't spicy at all. Liar! Finished my tax documents. Took care of bills. Tina left us a message on the answering machine while we were gone. She's in Portland, Oregon for a conference. She found a beautiful box of 36 petits fours for $30 at Sur La Table, which is a much better deal than 12 for $40 at Harry and David.