18 Aug 2001 robey   » (Master)

So I ended up missing that Poundsign/Fairways show because I was so exhausted on that day that I took a "nap" for 4-5 hours and slept right through it. That's pretty indicative of how my month has been going so far, actually.

say2/jabber: Work has been going as well as it can, I think. We decided to try out Jabber as a potential backend to some chat stuff we've been working on, so I got to check out what I see as the only real contender to say2 so far. They have a lot working, but a lot of it seems pretty half-assed and incomplete. I was left with the feeling that I was looking at the remnants of a "commercial open-source" project in the aftermath of the boom: a lot of construction that stopped midway and hasn't really received much TLC since then. When I ran into problems trying to get my Jabber adaptor working, I wasn't able to find much of a support structure left: a public jabber-chat channel with a few silent stragglers, and some empty webpages that haven't been updated recently. I suspect that they're like Nautilus, trying to adapt to a suddenly much smaller environment.

It did give me some ideas and motivation for say2, though. That, and Scott's nagging, finally got me to start implementing the say2 equivalent of "buddy lists". I thought the concept was pretty simple, so I could hammer out an implementation in one night -- very very wrong. So far I've worked on it off and on at nights all week long, and I'm only a little over half done. The concepts turn out to be pretty straightforward, but the implementation involves a lot of corner cases and new lookup tables. I hope to have the implementation basically done within another week, and to float out a trial release of jenova for clients to try out.

plaid: Last weekend I went up to the city to see what has been my favorite band for most of the last year: Plaid. Arlo called it "the day of the ex's" because he'd been hanging out with his ex Erin all day before the show, and we went to the show with my ex Greg. I had a really bad impression of Bimbo's from the last time I'd been there (crammed full of fratboys and no beer on top, only a few bottles), but this time there were far fewer people there because the headliner band (Squarepusher) had cancelled. They still had no beer on tap, though. Arlo and Greg holed up in a corner talking through all of the opening acts, so I sat bored and annoyed until some freaks stood right in my face and I gave up and stood in the front, just in time to see Plaid set up. They were awesome! It was worth the annoyance of dealing with SF traffic and people in a way that few things could be: awesomely weird videos played to new mixes of some of their best songs, with over 1/3 of the songs being ones I hadn't heard before. If you ever get a chance, you must go see Plaid do their act.

Plaid did not do an encore. Either this is some artsy "elctronica bands do not do encores" thing, or else they weren't prepared because they expected to be opening for Squarepusher. I hope it's the latter because I can't bear to think of Plaid taking themselves too seriously or pretending to be arty.

life: I have no life. But with the roomie gone for two weeks, I've had an amazingly relaxing time. When I clean things, they stay clean. The kitchen being relatively clean actually inspired me to start trying cooking again, too. And I finally bought FFIX and started playing it obsessively (but trying to keep it down to one hour a night). I was hanging out with some hardcore stoners for a while, but I figured out that they weren't any more laid back than anyone else: if anything, they're more dramatic and mood swingy. Also Commie (my cat) has finally decided that he trusts me enough to sleep next to my head, which is weird but somehow comforting, as long as I don't suffocate.

Also I'm reading a book called Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. I bought it because I'd liked a much later book by the same author, and had heard good things about this one -- I had no idea it was so controversial. The first 100-200 pages were sometimes tough to read through, because he gets distracted a lot and spins 20-page yarns about something completely unrelated before returning to the plot, but as I've kept reading, I've gotten more and more enmeshed in it. Some rudimentary web searching turned up interesting info on the book that only made me more intruiged: Apparently in 1973, the judges of the Pulitzer Prize decided that Gravity's Rainbow should win that year. But the trustees were so frightened by the prospect that they declared there would be no prize awarded that year! To me that sounds more amazing than actually winning the prize!

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