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YES! Oh yes, sweet sweet yes.

I will get to spend a lovely chunk of my Easter watching not JUST the Easter Special of Doctor Who, but the BRAND NEW RED DWARF!

So I went and saw Watchmen finally. And no, I haven't read the comic.

Cut for spoilersCollapse )

That's all I have to say on that. Afterward, we high tailed it over to Livermore for Mini-golf for Janet's birthday, which was with a fun group. It's funny - I forget that I've met friends of Janet's before, so I was all surprised to know people there aside from Rob and Ernesto. We managed not to slow up the people behind us too bad, but in the end, we weren't so much playing mini-golf as we were playing bumper golf with our feet. Good times.
At this moment, the educational part of the conference is done. At 5pm, we're all supposed to get back together for a roundtable session that I will be attending but not likely participating. I don't want to say that the conference has been a waste of time, but it seems as if it's been very... incidental to what I do. And normally I would be very interested despite it being incidental, but most of the presenters weren't very good at presenting.

It was independent of the language barrier, that's for damn sure. Aiya.

But, the fact that I had a lovely lunch with a water engineer (Greece) and a surprisingly engaging solar plant engineer (Switz.); I say surprising because he acted like an arse throughout the morning session. And Maria too, of course :D

This was a vast improvement over yesterday's lunch which was with two microbiologists, one from DC and one from Israel. The gentleman from Israel was... a bit rude, actually, but DC scientist was nice. I've never been interested in microbiology -- I didn't take one class on that subject in college -- but it became rapidly apparent that I would never go in that direction since I wasn't A) a stamp collector or B) overly particular and controlling.
For your viewing pleasure, here are my thoughts from this morning just before the beginning of the conference:

Ha ha, did you know salary comes from salt!? *headdesk*Collapse )

Afterward, all I think now is asdflkjaweoialkhf. That is the text of a brain melting under extreme minutae.
I'm sitting here in my hotel room in Merida. It's 10:02 and I'm not tired. What I AM is STARVING, but it's so late I don't think I should eat lest I spend the night with heartburn. The only things I have on me to munch on is chocolate and water (bottled).

The flight was SO BUMPY both to Houston and to Merida, I actually was starting to feel nauseous on the descents of both of them.

But now I am here. In my Holiday Inn hotel room. In Mexico.

It's very surreal to be surrounded by a city that only passingly speaks my language (why yes, this IS my first time out of US/Canada). I managed to pick up a lot of the conversation Maria and the cab driver had (quite a bit more than she thinks) and I really felt for the poor woman behind the counter who looked at my surname with wide-eyed confusion. But she was a trooper and we managed to hammer out the hotel stuff with her okay english and my sorta spanish.

I just... can't believe I'm here. I can't believe there are so many Burger King's here. And Ford dealerships. It's surreal.

A few things of interest:

I'm going to my mom's house tonight which kills all my plans for RPing tonight (I have like... a bunch of really wonderful threads I'm trying to keep up with). It's not for any bad reason: she's making Chicken Tacos and that is SUCH A RARE OCCASION that I'm driving through Friday rush hour traffic to have them. Seriously, you would too if you tasted them. Mmmmm.

So. I think I may be done with the Spreadsheet of Doom. Seriously. I'm making a few charts so that it'll be easier to read, but... I think I finally made something that is easily manipulated to predict different values for a given data set, something that is easy to read and understand, something that doesn't spit out #N/A or #VALUE ever time I try to alter the initial parameters, and something that is generating a 5 year forecast. I'm not sure who I should send it to (my gut tells me Maria, but I think I'll get more of a response from Richard), but I really think I need someone to play around with it other than me before I call it done. Then I can move on to synching it up with the Crx-DSP-BP half of the protocol and then... I don't know. I get a service award?

It's come a long way since the early days nearly two years ago when it was just one insanely huge worksheet that required 24 pages of printing and taping together to view. I went through this afternoon before I left and just started deleting things that I no longer needed and was surprised to find out that about 75% of the reference lists I created were now redundant. That the PSR2B page that was the jewel in my crown for the last year could be simplified to the point of non-existance. I know that if I hadn't built all of that, if I hadn't gone through the thinking and the programming of it I would never have come to the place that I'm at but... gracious. It's just kind of boggling to see the change between version 8 and any of the version 7's.

Alright, enough about that for now. Other interesting things: apparently Academy of Sciences has Thursday Party Night for +21? Thinking about going there as a work group (ie. Matt, Robert, Nicole), but might be fun for the not work set...
So, as some of you out there know, my father is a recovering alcoholic and addict. If you didn't know... well, now you do.

My father went into rehab when I was twelve and on his second stint there, he met a man named John Walker. John Walker was in his twenties, spoke with a Connecticut accent and had been living on the streets of SF for the last three years. When the two of them got out of rehab, my father went to live with my grandmother for a time while John moved into a residence program in SF. They did the 30 meetings in 30 days (AA; John never did drugs and my dad didn't like NA) and even got the same sponsor. My dad made it. John didn't.

My dad came back to live with us not too long after my parents completed a few months of couples therapy. Soon after, John came to live with us, riding the couch, clothes in two big bags. I can't remember how long he stayed, but it was six months or more. Then, one day, he was gone. Back on the streets.

John has been in and out of our lives since. He'd go to detox, get into a program, stay for a few months, then go back out again, drinking and sleeping on the street. Sometimes my parents would give him money, they were always his reference when he applied for jobs. They even paid half of his airfare to get back to his sister's house in Mass., where he stayed for a few years to get away from The Life out here. But he'd always go back out, back into detox, back into a program.

Every time we'd hope that this time would be the time that stuck. This time he'd find his way. Especially when they diagnosed him with bipolar- that was the most hopeful time yet. He was getting along with the people in his residence program, he had a stable part-time job...

SF Coroner called my dad this morning. He was brought in last night. They think it was an overdose on his already cirrhotic liver. He hasn't told my mom (who is going out to dinner tonight with an old friend) or my sister (who is at Disneyland for Kylie's birthday) so only me and my brother knows. And I'm sure my brother isn't hugging my dad. He said that he was glad he didn't have to come and ID the body because he would have lost it. And my dad doesn't "lose it".

I don't know, writing this makes me want to go home and hug my dad. Mostly it makes me sad that John wasn't ever to find peace while he was alive. I hope he's at peace now. With all of his problems, he was quiet and dry and loved to watch baseball (Yankees but meh), could even do the statistics in his head. Even after fourteen years, I never gave up hope that the next time in detox was the last.

I'm not crying because he's gone. I'm crying because I'll miss him.

Mar. 5th, 2009

I'm reading the Yelp entry for Clementine, the restaurant I'm going to tonight and I already know what I'm going to look for. I can't tell you how excited I am to be going out for Girls Fancy Dinner tonight. SO Excited.

Well-prepared food is my anti-drug.

However, not so excited about trying to find parking... god damn Richmond with like, no mass transit near it but MUNI!

Snagged from a bajillion people!

I want to know 33 things about you. I don't care if we never talk, never liked each other, or if we already know everything about each other. Short and sweet is fine... You're on my list, so I wanna know you better! :)

The Meme!Collapse )
Train Horns

Created by Train Horns

Oh my god that hurt my ears!