Friday, March 30, 2007

Fridays, and why I am tired already

Friday, yes, that is good. On the downside I will be working from 8 am until 11.30 pm, which is not, as such, good.

Update:

So today is another lost day what with health stuff. Should I tackle this? Hell no, I have had enough of seeing doctors about vague, non-urgent complaints. I've had this one for two years now, in varying degrees. Anyway, I feel terrible so I am just going to complain. Actually, I may go out for a bit and warm up. Sun is nice.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Somewhat work-related geekness

"The name “GNU” was chosen because it met a few requirements; first, it was a recursive acronym for “GNU's Not Unix”, second, because it was a real word, and third, it was fun to say (or Sing)."

Recursive acronym. There is hope for humanity still.

Close to the heart

I mentioned a couple of days ago, very briefly, that Northern Ireland is going to be run by Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams. This morning, thanks to the miracle of podcasts, I was listening to the Stephen Nolan show, a Northern Irish radio programme. It was a strange way to start the day, and it made me want to elaborate a little more on this impossible situation.

Impossible - but they just signed an agreement?

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a fervent Democrat in the US, and anti-war, anti-Bush. Now imagine that W suddenly decides that he is going to pull out of Iraq and negotiate with the rebels, and co-govern with them. Moreover, imagine that this war has being going on for, not four, but forty years.

Would you trust him?

Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming Ian Paisley* for the Troubles (occasionally tempting though that is); I am merely trying to conjure up some of the shadow of what a lot of people feel when they hear that they will now be governed by this war-mongering demagogue. Not that Gerry Adams* is any different; he, too, is a brilliant demagogue; he, too, is up to his eyes in blood. I wouldn't trust either of them any further than I could kick them.

Perhaps Adams and Paisley are the right people to be governing the North. Who knows. It is better to have this than not to have it. But I can't help thinking that all of this was made possible by other, more moderate voices, by people who tried harder, and longer, like John Hume, like David Trimble. Where are they?

Northern Ireland is often cited as a success story in reconciliation; but listening to people who say they would prefer to go on killing - as long as the dead are republican (or loyalist, depending on your point of view), and seeing Paisley's smug face, seeing the wounded, and seeing the anger in people's faces...this is not a success story. This kind of story never is. At best it ends, someday.
So hats off to you, you insane bloodthirsty terrorists giving up your guns, hats off to Adams and Paisley, each the other's evil twin, for making another step in the right direction.

Please follow the links. This is a story that needs all the context it can get.

*Can I just note that their bios sound so...nice?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mess of blues

I used to write. I don't mean like this, this half-assed blogging business with which I help a few friends procrastinate. No - I used to write. Creative writing is what you call it, I guess. All through my life, from the age of six, I wrote, because I couldn't help myself, because I read so much, because I wanted to, because I had something to say. I forget who says it, but for me it always was like some actor said - if you want to be an actor, don't do it. If you have to be an actor - go ahead*.

I no longer write; in fact I haven't written anything of any significance since I left the UK, and the best thing I ever wrote (a modest enough claim) is on my recently-crashed computer, unfinished, as it has been for a long time now. I may have lost it irretrievably. It doesn't matter. As things stand I was never going to finish it. I no longer write. I have nothing to say, no awful daring with which to write. Not because of any one reason, though I can think of plenty of reasons. When I was in the UK I took a class in creative writing. It was fun, and mostly interesting because of others' writing. In Hungary I was even part of a writers' group; not for long. I lost my appetite for their tastes, for drinking and intrigue.

Perhaps I have simply outgrown my own style. I always did read too much Oscar Wilde, and loved baroque prose as a teenager, loved drama and grand emotion. This is no longer the case, and if I write from the heart, on a few occasions, what comes out is no more than verbose. I am reading The Woman In White, and the prose makes me impatient and annoys me. Self-indulgent writing, such as my own, seems so unimportant. It seems so petty. The kind of writing that I would perhaps want to do I have no talent for. Wouldn't it be great to be a voice for something I support, like fair trade, or to be able to write lucidly about migration issues. Wouldn't it be great to be articulate about politics? Failing that, I would love to be writer of romance novels. It would be the perfect exercise in craftsmanship, to have fun with the simple and predictable format, and write something which, if nothing else, is harmless.

I am not, as it happens, a romance writer, and I will never write a book of any kind. I am not, and never will be, an analytical mind. Disappointing as that is, it is always best to know, and take it from there. My development is elsewhere. As I get older I realise that I have inherited more of my mother's practical skills than I thought, and that I am far more of a techie than I thought I was. Surely I can do something with that?

Oh whatever


Blogging controversies aside, I have little to say today. I am thinking about money management - I have been steadily getting better at this, though still not actually good. I think it ties in with me being the Queen of Excel.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Education

When I was six, and going to primary school, I took this class called "zedenleer", which translates into something like "the study of morality". In the class itself, that concept was further clarified as being "non-confessional morality". What in God's name, you might well ask, was my school thinking when they put this on the curriculum? Well, not in God's name, as it happens, and I will tell you exactly as I understood this class when I was six.

Zedenleer, then, was a non-religious morality class, a tiny group of dissidents who weren't taking the Catholic religion class. In the US that sounds like an odd concept, but this is how it works in Belgium: everybody can choose a course for these hours - Islam, Protestant religion, Catholicism, or this, zedenleer. Other religions could opt out with certain regulations in place.

I was in zedenleer; there were, I think, twelve of us in all of the six years of primary school. We liked being a minority. While the other kids read Bible stories, we read about the first Greek agnostics and pagan sun-worship. While the other kids sangs hymns, we learnt about what our manners should be like, and how we should treat other people. Moreover, our teacher** told us, because we are a suspicious minority, our behaviour must be beyond reproach. We owe to ourselves and to them to be at our best.

It was a demanding curriculum for six to twelve-year-olds; but there were also trips to the kiddie farm to hang out with baby goats. On Saturdays we would, with parental permission, take ice skating and swimming trips, puppet theatre and parks. It was great.

This strange class in morality was the only class, of that name (it continued in highschool, with other teachers) or any other, which ever explained to me what we can aspire to be as thinking beings. Never mind Sagan* and his patchy teachings - it was as a six-year-old that I was first told that science is our torch in the darkness. I heard the name of Poincare for the first time, and at ten years old we started to write our first presentations. It was in this class that I made up my mind to be agnostic, because being an atheist seemed as presumptuous as any of the religious assumptions.

It occured to me years later that this is an unusual way to teach small children. It dawned on me that that small group had experienced something quite unusual, and that we learned much that we needed to know. About thinking for ourselves, about being the best you can be. And about fun, which can be had in many ways.

I am still agnostic, and I still believe that if somebody drops their possessions, you should help to pick them up. I had forgotten about being a suspicious minority (Belgium is just too secular), but those lessons stand me in good stead in this religious country; and I still believe in leading by example.

*Actually, I should tell you about the last part of The Demon-Haunted Universe, which is better than the rest, much better, since Sagan finally stops grinding his axe and talks about the importance of science education.
**Ok, so the notes are backwards. To hell with that an obsessive linearity. Anyway, I am trying to get in touch with my old teacher; now seems like a good time to say thank you. Hope they can locate him.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Good Lord Jesus

I mean that title in the most literal sense. The biggest news item of the day is this - Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley are probably going to be running Northern Ireland together. I find this thought frightening, insane, wonderful and hilariously funny. I was trying to find a comparison to explain to you just how bizarre this concept is, but failed. Perhaps it is as strange as the idea of Bush ruling with Ayatollah Ali Khomenei? If they lived in the same country. Erm. Anyway, in a way it's good, but it is at least equally scary. And funny. Let us not forget funny. I predict that there will be a great muchness of talking, since they are both outstanding orators. Or do I mean demagogues?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

From the west

I am currently still away in the west for work, and having a fun, interesting, challenging time of it. Sometimes I have the best job in the world. Sometimes, though, I have the worst job in the world*. Yesterday was a bit of both.

There was the part I spent talking to people who are developing really exciting, really cutting edge stuff in the field. There was also the part that was spent talking with my favourite christian fundamentalist and an employee of the Corporation I used to work for. It was a deeply interesting conversation, and a mostly pleasant one, since I like both the christian fundamentalist and the Corporate Employee.

One of the things which came up in the conversation was a piece of information I didn't have about my employer (though it does not surprise me) - their effective Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. The fairly brutal way in which they treat any attempt to change this. The Corporate Employee, who, though straight, is passionate about this, and moreover works for a company with a truly magnificent diversity policy, was pointing out that some day this would have to go, and things would have to change.

Afterwards, talking to the FCF, the expected stuff came up - how she certainly wasn't going to stick up for these gay people, and how she could not believe that there were some (covert ones, of course, no names were given) on staff. I pointed out that statistically it was extremely improbable that there should be none at all, and that, while I would not expect her as a "conservative" to be really into the issue, it is, and will be an issue. I said that I felt that these people needed to be respected, much as anybody else. We talked some more and I did my best to refute the usual strange prejudices.

I think it is the best I can do - I don't start topics, because I don't want to spend my working life defending evolution, or gay rights, or Harry Potter. When talked to, I give my straight opinion, and it is much to the FCF's credit that she is not put out by this. I wish I could say the same, and quietly keep having the discussions that need to be had. Because I believe that it is important, for example, for me as an undoubtedly straight and happily newlywed (ie conventional) person to speak up for gay rights. She may actually listen to some of it, coming from someone she sees as at least partly from her camp.

It upsets me. This discussion particularly upsets me, because this time it is not a personal opinion, but my employer's. That the organisation is conservative is no surprise; but things like these make me wonder if I should even work there at all. Should I be giving my time to a homophobe organisation? Or is it important for there to be divergent opinions so that perhaps someday they will change? Or should I do as the Spouse says and keep it in mind, and when I decide it is time to move on, tell them calmly that these things are what makes good employees leave?

How the hell would I know.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mere subjective opinion

As before I have many things I would love to share, like the rest of my rant against the late Carl Sagan. However, this will have to wait as things are quite busy right now and besides, I still haven't finished the sodding book. Tomorrow I leave for the west coast, woohoo, where it will be warmer. Work will be aplenty but I may get something out. Then again, I may not. Don't hold your breath. I get back next Saturday.

Meanwhile, let me just note that Sagan just posited that post-modernism (which for some obscure reason he does not refer to by name - he is not good with labels) was invented by the literary types to spite the scientists and their "truth".

How is that for a self-centred conspiracy theory?

"There is a strangely waxing academic opinion, with roots in the 1960's. that holds all views to be equally arbitrary and 'true' and 'false' to be a delusion. Perhaps it is an attempt to turn the tables on scientists who have long argued that literary criticism, religion, aesthetics and much of philosophy are mere subjective opinion..."

Note that he says "academic opinion" rather than, say, "writers" or even "theorists", as if somehow the humanities in their offices have concocted a scheme with no grounding in their actual field. Yes, Carl, Julian Barnes is doing it just to spite you. Because that's the kind of people we are, we literary types, we just invent stuff that suits us, "mere subjective opinion", not like we research any of that stuff we write about.

Grrrr. Wanker.

It is almost infinitely saddening, too, to read this, because Sagan could instead have noticed that this "academic opinion" has its roots in literature, popular culture, and yes, even science. He could have reflected on the relationship between it and the demons.
*sigh*

Friday, March 16, 2007

Candles

So this is a very brief post. Not because there is not a lot going on in my head, there is, but because of a shortage of time so drastic that even my obsessive multi-tasking has been temporarily suspended. Let me just say that today is not a good day, and this is not a good week; not in the usual I-having-a-bleh-day way, but in a broader sense. One of my colleagues asked me to "pray, or keep (another colleague) in your thoughts, or whatever you do". I think the Quaker concept of holding someone in the light is a good one - and there are a few people here who need all the light they can get right now. My thoughts are with them.

And all that science, if there is something it can do, now would be a good time.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

To the death

It occurs to me that reality shows are really very much like Roman games - the stakes are high, everybody has their favourites whom they cheer for, there is plenty of showing off of weaponry (of whatever kind), plenty of demonstrations of readiness for battle. Moreover, the public generally demands its weekly kill.
The difference is that reality show participants take part of their own free will, unlike gladiators (well, the vast majority of them anyway). In addition, the killings are symbolic only, taking the form of banishment, another very Roman idea, rather than death.

How is it that, say, America's next top model (or whatever it is called) makes me feel like Roman games are positively civilised by comparison? Not that I am suggesting killing people on reality shows - although it wouldn't surprise me as a future development.

Hunting season


It is time to do taxes. Woohoo. This was easy in the UK. It was easy in Belgium. Hell, even in Hungary it was pretty easy. Here in the land of the untaxed, apparently it is a nightmare for couples like us. Yikes. Must find accountant person. Oh, and to make things more interesting, our flat has been sold and we have to move out by June first. Again. Fun fun fun. Not that it is essentially a bad idea to move, we need a bigger place and can afford one, but I have moved so much lately. I am fed up. I would like to be in one place for a year or two. Why is that so hard?

Enough whining, things are really going well. It just I was hoping for some quiet time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sagan and therapy

So, more Sagan. I am now most of the way through The Demon-Haunted World, and it is not improving on me. I am very disappointed. In a book that purports to be about the wonder of science (as being a greater wonder than any of the silly stuff we, er, imagine), Sagan has now spent most of his time convincing his reader that UFOs and alien abduction are poppycock. Fair enough. I can think of more interesting topics, but whatever.

Then Sagan starts talking about the role of therapy in the "recalling", particularly under hypnosis, of alien abduction memories and the like. Again, fair enough, we know that it is easy to suggest memories to people under hypnosis, even if the therapist is not aware that he/she is doing it. Then, however, he starts saying things like

"Psychoanalysis is not a very self-critical profession, but at least many of its practitioners have M.D. degrees. Most medical degrees curricula include significant exposure to scientific results and methods. But many of those dealing with abuse cases seem to have at best a casual acquaintance with science. Mental health providers in America are more likely by about two-to-one to be social workers than either psychiatrists or Ph.D. psychologists."

The above quote is one of the more explicit statements of Sagan's attitudes, but those attitudes pervade the book. My disappointment, then, is that someone as obviously enthused about the scientific method, fails to provide his readers with enough information for them to make up their own mind, and does not critically examine the merits of the discipline he criticises so broadly. Let me clarify what I mean -

1. Psychoanalysis is the only form of psychotherapy referred to by Sagan. There are, of course, many, many other forms of psychological treatment out there, and psychoanalysis, particularly in its original, Freudian sense, is not by any means the prevalent treatment, at least in Europe (I don't know any American psychologists, so feel free to comment). Surely not all abuse victims are treated with the same method; and if they are not, then why are no other methods mentioned? Or does this mean that Sagan does not distinguish between psychotherapy and psychoanalysis? If the former, then why are we as readers not getting the full picture? If the latter, then why does he speak in such depth about something he does not have basic knowledge about?

2. Sagan then moves on to say the well, at least some of the "psychoanalysists" have M.D.s. Now, I don't know how psychology curricula look in the US, but last time I checked psychology as a discipline was not based solely on Freud's word. It is, in fact, based very strongly in research, with the peer-reviewed publications and all of the things Sagan values so in science. People without M.D.s can have training in the scientific method.

3. Let's assume, in the fuzzy structure of the above quote, that somehow the comment about M.D.s as a superior qualification applies to the psychologists as well, and that the scathing tone of all this applies to social workers, since they are obviously so much worse in Sagan's hierarchy. Again, I will say that social workers are in my experience very thoroughly trained, though obviously without the strong emphasis on academic research which psychology and medicine have. That said, the method he faults so elaborately, hypnosis, is surely unlikely to be used in the type of case management sessions in which a social worker would be involved. Moreover, this is his only mention of social workers. If these scientifically undereducated folks are so crucial in encouraging abductees, then where are they in the cases he cites?

4. Let me nitpick, because the devil's in the detail. "Mental health providers in America". Surely he means the U.S.? Otherwise, where are the Canadian cases? Mexicans? Argentinians? No folks, he does mean the U.S., but can't be bothered to distinguish the Canadians. Much as Belgium really isn't a part of France, the rest of America deserves to be differentiated from the use. It's polite.

5. On a broader point, Sagan talks a lot about the scientific method; by never explicitly states how he understands it. An important point, it seems, since any research in the humanities obviously doesn't count.

6. Again, on a broader point, Sagan judges psychiatry/psychoanalysis/psychology by the small proportion of the profession that encourages alien abductees, and judges very harshly. I am pretty convinced that I can find a very much more substantial selection of mad/dangerous scientists - and they are usually a lot more dangerous than any abductee psychologist.

I could go on, and on, and on, and then some.

Anyway, the man is dead, and this is not meant as a personal criticism. It just annoys me so much when a subject this interesting gets mauled. In the defense of the scientific method, and of science, surely it is important to be exact, to look at all evidence. Sagan manages this somewhat where it concerns UFOs (after all, he wants to believe, and sympathises to some extent with those who do believe); but when it comes to psychology and, for that matter, religion, he can no longer contain his personal prejudice and vents it without a second thought. That's why this book is so utterly disappointing - because it justifies all of people's prejudices about scientists as condescending prats whose self-criticism does not make it out of their own discipline. I would like to believe that that is not a fair representation of science or scientists.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Writing

Hmpf, Carl Sagan is letting me down. It annoys me when somebody spends a whole book going on about how we should apply the scientific method, and then gives a horribly slanted view on therapy which, so far (and he will have to correct pretty heavily if he is to be fair), does not take the benefits of it into account. In fact, by listing it as a chapter header, he implicitly categorises it as pseudoscience.

I should look up some statistics as to how effective therapy is, but am having a hard time, and also no time. I am tempted to see what other people have said on this topic, but really should finish the chapter first. Sometime when I have time. Either way, he cites the effectiveness of treatment of mental illnesses with drugs (which I do not at all take issue with), but does not give any information on how well/badly therapy works.

Meh.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Good

It is Monday, and I had an uplifting story planned for you, but for complex reasons to do with water mains I spent most of the night sleeping in the bath with was decidedly sub-optimal. I have, then, decided against the inspirational story. Particularly since I dreamt that cockroaches stole my shoes. Cockroaches always make me feel decidedly uninspirational.

The other night I dreamt that I was in Cuba. Cuba, which in my dream had a land border with the US, which we were trying to get to. It was one of those Big Brother totalitatarian dreams, except that we were afraid of long insolent interrogations* and that at one point were all standing in a circle holding hands, and Fidel Castro was too my right, and George W. was standing behind me refusing to hold hands with anyone at this inspirational moment. I tried to talk him into joining us and being a good sport. He was having none of it.

Oh well, at least I have friendly, hand-holding totalitarian dreams.

*Kind of like when you you're waiting for a terribly delayed flight and some really stultifyingly boring person latches onto you and asks you impertinent questions for six hours straight.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Accident prone

So yesterday I was making a recipe from our brand-spanking-new Joy of Cooking for the very first time. I was using, also for the first time, our new cookware. Moreover, I used one of the as-yet-unused knives from our new knife block (a thing of beauty), and talking to the Spouse. All in all it was a wonderful newlywed consumerist experience. It was, until the splendid new knife slipped and I got to experience more of its splendour and efficiency than I really wanted to. Anyway, no dangerous damage, just a fair amount of bleeding - broad elastics, while not ideal, do a pretty good job of binding off. Eventually the bleeding stopped, bandages were applied, and the meal was finished*. A very good meal it was too, so I am quite pleased with all the newness.

This morning, though, the Spouse finally convinced me to see a doctor, who of course berated me for not going in earlier and who, perhaps as a punishment, inflicted a fairly sizeable metal thing on the affected finger, so that now I have a half-inch cut covered by a bandage/metal thing covering my finger up to the knuckle. I could take her (the doctor's) advice and beat people with it if they harass me about it.

*Did I mention that I am an obsessive multitasker? I did most of the -very simple- cooking while the Spouse was out getting bandages, and he kindly did the rest.
**By the way, the fonts on this post a playing up. Sodding new Blogger

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Things I know

Yesterday, walking home in the cold, I looked up from my book - and looked straight at someone coming from the other direction, also reading and walking, and smiling at me.
I was reading the very end of Dead Until Dark, a, erm, Southern vampire book that I picked up on a whim, because of its plot summary:

"Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome -- and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's exactly the kind of guy she's been waiting for all her life.

But Bill has a disability of his own: he's a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs out with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of -- big surprise -- murder. And when one of Sookie's co-workers is killed, she fears she's next."

Anyway, much as it can't be Saturday every day (more's the pity), I don't always read High Literature. In fact, I read very little literature proper these days, I think it is because it is so hard for me to find things that are really worthwhile. If a book is going to appeal to me on other grounds than sheer craftsmanship, it had better be pretty damn good at whatever else it is doing.

Now that I have more headspace again, I am picking up my love of popular science again. It does a good job of exercising my brain, like doing stairs or going running for my body. Literature...well, after five years of intensive study you develop a routine, and besides, you realise that analysis only goes so far. Literature, for me, is all about instinct, about simply loving something, some style or character. Why you do so is, essentially, less important. Popular science, on the other hand, while not without its use of instinct and fascination, is more disciplined. I am tempted to say "more demanding" but that really depends on what you're going for and where your experience lies. I am, then, excellent at theorising about literature. By contrast, I am terrible at all things scientific, but deeply enjoy exploring science. Hence popular science. The idiot's guide principle - I will never actually explore the actual theory behind chaos theory, but you can get me to read a popular science book about it any day of the week. James Gleick, Ian Stewart, been there, done that. Do I understand any of it? Hell no, that stuff is too complicated for me. Can I explain the Lorenz attractor to you? Not at all. Can I draw it? Sure! I enjoy the challenge of trying to understand; and by extension, of trying to explain to the Scientific and Highly Intelligent Spouse.*

Do I understand physics? Not at all. I am, in fact, a notable failure at all things physics. Have I read A Brief History of Time? Twice. It is a credit to science (and Hawking), I think, that scientific idiots like me can enjoy such books. With some self-discipline, and by re-reading some pages three times. Huzzah for science. Maybe I have just worn out the initial wonder in literature, and am now going for new kicks in science. Enthusiasm, rather than persistence, is my strong point, and I always did have a weakness for disciplines I failed in and the people who were good at them**.

Science seems more of a battlefield here in the US, more disputed, more controversial, more beleaguered. This has made me even more interested in reading popular science; as people become less knowledgeable, it becomes more important to be, at least, aware, and to know the scientific issues at stake a little better (I am now reading Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, can you tell?) It's a good excuse for me to enjoy a good book***, which is really all I want.

*"well, it's like this...graph thing...it's kind of shaped like a butterfly and it describes...well...who knows...something about weather...does it plot the outcomes of a simplified computer model of the weather? or was that something else...anyway, it had something to do with weather. so the point is, this person lorenz was doing some computer simulation thing and he discovered that even small differences in initial conditions (even in his simple model) made for...big differences. in outcome i mean. in weather. and then everybody ignored him for ten years or so...and then suddenly they thought hey this meteorologist isn't so crazy..."

**Like that random Australian person with music - I suck at music - anything for a musical snob with a guitar - completely batty he was - but in a great way. Or the Spouse, who had that whole vague physics-astronomy thing going on when I met him. Hmmm.

***Like Ulysses, only easier to read, and not so long, and more coherent, and not so obnoxious.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Post post

I planned to blog yesterday, honestly I did, but of course stuff happened (about a hundred Jewish girls, in fact) and so I didn't.
After all this, after all these months of planning I had hoped for some down time but ah, no rest for the wicked and as such I am fully occupied just now. Does this mean I am postponing Legitimate Activities in order to blog? Why yes it does. I am indulging myself. After all this, I feel I get a post-post. Meaning one proper thank-god-it's-over post. It's good to have headspace for other things.
Am I not sad it's over? Ye gods, yes, you know what, I am. Sad to see my family and friends leave. I have even, tragically, caught myself wistfully looking at bridal magazines - of which, during the last six months, I have bought exactly one. Ok, so I caved. Too much cultural pressure. Anyway, they do have useful tips. No kidding.
In addition to the above, I now have much more boring things to do/plan, like my driver's ed, my embassy registration and my attendance at a gruelling work conference. On the plus side, we have lots and lots of new things to play with, what with registries and things, and a funnish, less gruelling work trip coming up soon.
You know what, this wedding business isn't so bad. It depends on your family I guess, and we're both very lucky with that, but we made it through without any major fights with anyone. This is a minor miracle according to everyone. Mind you, it helped that we were already legally married - that takes some of the nerves out of the equation. Having said that, I realised that other day that I have promised to love and be faithful to one person until I die. That may well be a long time. I mean, I hope I live for a reasonably long time. The point is that that's a big thing to promise. Who knows what happens, after all? I know, it is not completely binding, even in church (we were married by a divorced and re-married minister after all), but the catholic in me rejects that whole plan.
Until death us do part. Why marry, after all, if not for that, all of it, all of the promises. Commitments do not come in halves. And so I do promise, I did promise, that I will try everything in my power to live up to all the big words.
So here's to the end of the beginning, and the beginning of the main feature.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Brief

So today is brief, but I felt like putting something up at least. I am as of today back to work, and while I did start the day ardently hating said job, I have mellowed to my usual mixed feelings by now, thanks to some nice colleagues (I do have them).
Otherwise - well, we have a (small) flat full of large boxes waiting to be unpacked. And some new cookbooks. I will have to start properly entertaining now. Yikes. Still, fun stuff. It will also be nice to have some time to do stuff now. Brain stuff. Exercise. Woohoo.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Visual

I've put some pics up on our website (of the wedding) - for those who are curious.

Tomorrow we head back to the Homestead. Blech.