Having Been Human
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Mon May 21 22:48:32 2012
No Joy in Joy

Today (extending back into parts of today I don't consider today, last night) I spent a lot of time wrangling email stuff for work. Not that fun; the details are pretty boring, fiddly, and a lot of this stuff is not documented very well. Plus some systems at work have a really crappy configuration done by one of the previous sysadmins who I don't think believed in best practices (clearly a clued dude, just not a tidy one who cared about the next sysadmin; I always hope the next sysadmin wherever I've worked will find me bland and competent). I don't really like maintaining all this crap, but eventually hopefully things will get better; I need to rebuild some servers to get rid of the last vestiges of weirdness though, and that might mean justifying it to my boss, which is something I am not used to needing to do; I am also used to understanding the needs of users, but being very part-time and having no clue what the company does and no contact with the users, that hasn't happened either. Oh well.

I guess I'm learning stuff that I could use to replace some of my custom anti-spam stuff in my email system; not really stuff I care to know, but it's useful, I guess. This is the kind of stuff I'd rather delegate to some junior-level sysadmin.

Still getting used to having a variety of in-person inputs for ideas thanks to all these meetups; that's nice. It's not so nice that I still haven't made any friends though, and these occasional fits of intense depression compete with migraines for making life difficult.

I had a nice run in the park today, and finally my feet are tough enough that I was more limited by my lungs than my foot-surface. If I keep at this, ideally I'll hit the point where I'm limited by my muscles instead. I am still thinking about getting toe-shoes for running; getting my feet clean in the shower is a bit of a chore (NYC's streets are dirtier than Pittsburgh's). I think the best part of today's run was that it was raining the whole way.

Dinner tonight was at Joy Indian (301 Flatbush, Brooklyn), and was entirely unremarkable. Nothing was particularly bad, but nothing was particularly good either; not a great value.

During the run, I worked on a blogessay tying together three topics that've been on my mind: the recent TED mess over the withdrawn speech, the shape of activism, and cultural/lifestyle production that seems to focus mostly on those who are already well-off. Notes are mostly complete, but I need to get back in the mood to actually translate/write it.

A few days ago I was on the subway, it was fairly crowded, and a woman standing near me smelled kind of like my ex-boyfriend; that was pretty weird for me. I hadn't spelled that kind of kinda-spicy-with-something-else smell for many years, and smelling it from a woman... I never really understood if it was cologne, some personal product, a personal scent, or some mix. The subways have sometimes been pretty weird for me; seeing someone give someone else a massage or just put their hand around someone else's shoulder/waist/etc ... the very idea of being allowed to do that to another human being and breaking this feeling of tremendous distance from the rest of humanity... intense jealousy/pain. But it passed, of course. I am still keenly aware of my fragility on this matter though, and unsure to what extent the other deep wells of emotional pain I'm navigating many days are tied into this.

Perl 5.16.0 came out recently; I heard about it a bit early from PerlMongers. I'm hoping that Perl can make a comeback and push back against Python, Ruby, and Go. Reading changelogs is like a little gift-holiday.

Coming to think of NYC as being a lot like Ohio State, where I did my bachelors. It's a perfectly fine place to get an excellent education or a terrible one; its size (and being based on quarters) simply means that you should do a lot of research on the classes you take. NYC has that similar kind of infinite variety; it's mostly a palette for building a life rather than a particular life. I'm still wondering if I might've been happier in Boston.

If I decide to stay in NYC, I recently found that it's legal to have chickens in the city.