May the fourth be with you

I had a groovy birthday. Ruth made kick-ass oxtail for lunch, by way of celebration the next day, and I baked a cake. Many wished me happy birthday on FB. I was against FB for a very long time, suspicious and dismissive, reading all the conspiracy theories and other alarmist propaganda journalism literature. But I succumbed, and am happy that I did. FB reminds you about people’s birthdays – sometimes, and then I can wish them happy birthday in return. This is good. Sometimes you get a request for birthday info from a friend and the request turns out to be some app that demands all your information – email, phone, sexual-, medical- and institutional history, ID number, literacy level and whether or not you can make mayonnaise without a recipe, so I often just cancel the whole process half-way. It smacks of the rampant invasion of privacy that early sceptics warned about. I no longer wish to be reminded of that. Besides, now when I post, the link goes onto my FB page and then, sometimes, more than ten people read the blog.

But back to my birthday. I share the 4th of May with an unsurprisingly long list of people, but not many famous ones, which makes one wonder how Wikipedia decided who to include. Although, I guess if you were a Greek football fan in the 1970s, you might have known who Antonis Minou was. Robbie probably knows who he was, but I don’t think that makes him famous.  (No, Robbie IS famous.) Their general anonymity, on the other hand, is surprising because a large number of these people were actors and musicians. I was pleased to see that I shared a birthday with Audrey Hepburn and Pia Zadora. Better than Hitler, Wouter Basson or Britney Spears, I say. At the turn of the previous millennium there were a couple of heads of state, and in this millennium, one scientist, one mathematician, one trans-gender surgeon-pioneer,  one bishop and Hosni Mubarak. But mostly the list consists of artists, writers, sportsmen (no sportswomen, actually) and a couple of politicians. I am no exception to this rule. Like most of the people on it, I am also not famous. Which I think is OK. Famous people really have to watch the shit they write – just ask Helen Zille.

I am not going to muse more about turning older, except to say that I find it gets harder as you go along, mostly because of constant improvements in medical science and face creams. Combined with the current fashionable tendency to live healthier lives, innovation in these fields means that we are never ever going to be able to afford to retire: by the time we die the annuity would have been kaput for two decades or more. That stuff is expensive, as I am sure you know. Anyway. I had a good day. Thanks for the good wishes, and may we all turn a wonderful age this year.

Well, maybe

I have always been a great fan of the saying, “if you keep too much of an open mind, your brain will fall out”. I do not have many principles, but this aphorism has been useful and encouraging for at least a decade (I cannot remember when I first read it, but it feels like a decade ago) at the grindstone, so I have embraced it as such. Still, now, with age and other wrinkles at the corners of my eyes, another thought, or question, keeps niggling at me. How much is too much? How open is too open?

The question is not the result of idle speculation. I am not a philosopher, even though I sometimes wonder if my true love was that guy who thought I knew a lot about Nietzsche when I did not twenty years ago.  Of course I am not calling the demanding, even gruelling academic discipline of philosophy “idle speculation”. I have tried to read Thus Spoke Zarathustra a number of times since that first bunch of actual roses on Valentine’s Day, but have not managed, to this day, to live up to the expectations I created by randomly quoting cool-sounding adages. I think you know what I mean.

Anyway. I honestly believe that we get smarter as we get older. This is, of course, assuming that we were smart to start off with. Without some initial smarts, this theory is just a theory.

When I think of myself at seventeen I don’t feel a great fondness for a braver, more innocent and more energetic version of myself. There are glimpses of the bull-headed naiveté that made it possible for a small-town girl to make a 30-minute fiction film in a big city when she knew virtually nobody, but just thought it was possible to do so. There is no nostalgia in the act of looking back, only small moments of horror. It’s no sentimental journey, no sir, just trip to Cringeville: the details are too harrowing to go into here.

But I should not be so hard on myself, or in fact, young people in general. I turned out OK, you can take me anywhere, for sure, and just because I could read and write full sentences in two languages by the time I finished school, it does not make me better than the average high school graduate in a post-apartheid South Africa.

But back to the open mind. How open is too open? One of my other favourite quotes that I hesitate to use since the disappointing Nietzsche incident is by Albert Einstein: “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. Although it is tempting for an exceedingly smart person to believe that the world is wrong and she is right (as a rule) eventually she must be overwhelmed by the volume and duration of idiocy she will be confronted during her lifetime, and she must see the sense in capitulation as a practical alternative to shuffling off the mortal coil in sheer exasperation. I exaggerate of course.

It will be hard to embrace the idea that in spite of knowing how the world should be, I should try to live in it as it is. That is – for me – incredibly open-minded. It may sound like a step in the the right direction, but even so, as I go, I think I will be holding my head. Just in case.

Virgin in the woodpile

For a technopeasant it is especially disheartening to experience multiple technology failure. This week I contracted both CCPD (crazy cell phone disorder) and WMSD (washing machine shut down) on the same day. I wondered for a moment if the machines also felt the end of year approaching and decided to take some early time-out, like the folk who start going home from work at four in the afternoon from the beginning of November.

It could not be tolerated, of course, so I swiftly reached for the landline to sort things out. Defy will send, I suspect, the same guy they have for the last four or five years, as the Automaid has required a bit of TLC on a regular basis ever since I moved to Killarney. Maybe moving house four times in her lifespan just took the spin right out of her. I am proud, actually, of how she shakes ahead unwearyingly, week after week, in spite of her creaking cylinders.

The guy is called Ricardo, or something like that, and lives in Rosettenville. He arrives, usually, at about eight, smelling like cigarette smoke. He is earnest and talks a lot. He tries to show me troubleshooting tricks with the Automaid – things that I could do when the going gets too tough for her, but normally after a visit from Ricardo she settles down for a year or more, by which time I had forgotten my repair lesson. Then, as I pay, we talk about how expensive things are in the North, how oxtail per kilo is half the price at the butcher around the corner from his home, and I express surprise about the fact that he has never heard about the Troyeville Hotel. You’d think the Portuguese community was tightly knit, but it seems you have the Rosettenville Portuguese and the Troyeville Portuguese. Just like, as Kay often indicates unintentionally when she talks about curry, there are the Durban Indians and then the Nelspruit Indians. No single cultural or racial group is a homogenous one, the lesson is, I think. Ahem.

Just like all cell phone providers are not homogenous, for example. Look, I believe that they are all thieves and liars, but as thieves and liars go, they are a diverse bunch. I am with Virgin because 1) you do not have to sign a 2-year contract (freedom!), or even if you do, you can still give a month’s notice before you skedaddle if they piss you off (but then again, where would you go?);  2) you pay what used to be the cheapest possible rate for only the seconds you use; and 3) there are no monthly “contract fees” (you all know that there is no such a thing as a free phone, right?).

In spite of all these wonderful Pros, I have never walked into the Virgin shop in Sandton (I am the only person I know who really likes to go to Sandton City, any day of the week) without feeling that I am a being terrible and unreasonable burden to whoever is behind the counter. They are fucking rude, and if you want to buy a new phone, usually don’t have any stock. These Cons have made me consider packing up my number and moving it to somewhere else. But freedom… freedom… as our history has shown, people will pay a lot for freedom. Except in the case of political freedom they seem to expect freedom to pay them back.

But anyway. Back to the Virgin shop in Sandton. The Virgin shop-assistant clones talked in vernacular amongst themselves for a long time while establishing that my sim card was in need of a “vernac-vernac-vernac-sim swop-vernac”, and then they asked for my ID.  I gave them my driver’s licence. They made a copy and started fiddling with the computer. Look, they explained, because you don’t have your original green ID document, we have to ask you some questions to establish your ID. I was OK with that. More time passed. Then they asked me if I lived at – and they read out my address from the computer – and I said yes, except it was number one, third street and not thirteenth street. They did not look impressed. Then they asked if I ever worked at a place called “Stan”… or something. I was very confused, because I had not. Let me write it down for you, one offered. She wrote down my surname on a piece of paper. This is my surname, I said, I don’t work there. Still no flicker. She looked back at the screen.

Is your payment on your Edgars account R150 per month? What? I have not had an Edgars account since before they invented cell phones, I said, so no. I closed it when I was still in my TWENTIES. Later it would turn out that it was not the scorn I heaped on the age, and the implication of its utter stupidity, that caused her to raise an eyebrow.

Is your payment on your revolving credit account R1500 a month? Again, I was astonished. I have not had a revolving credit account for more than ten years.  But you did have an account there? Yes. Ten years ago.

They conferred amongst themselves in vernac. They went “vernac vernac vernac Standard Bank Edgars vernac.” Is this going to take long? I asked. I really have to get to work. This test, one of them said, is just to establish your identity. I understand that, I said, perhaps a little too forcefully. I want to know if it is going to take a long… time. That appeared to offend her. Well, there is problem, because you failed two of the questions.

Failed? FAILED?? I failed questions about my identity? It was an alarming existential moment. How can I fail these questions? I asked. How could you possibly know whether or not I closed my account? This is ridiculous! I could hear my voice amplifying with incredulity and this caused a shift of some kind on the other side of the counter. One hit back with: what is the month before your birthday? It’s APRIL! I shouted, and that seemed to do the trick. She slunk off, leaving another one to activate my new sim card and take my fifty-five rand. The ordeal was over.

I went into MTN to RICA my data card and a woman called Francine was friendly, keen to help, and keen to find a solution for me when I did not know the number of my card. I will photocopy your rates bill, she said, and your ID, so just e-mail me the account and I will RICA the card for you. It took a few minutes. I wished the Virgin girls were like her.

So there. Even technology failure has its uses, and its lessons. About homogeneity, diversity and about the pros and cons of being a with Virgin.

Losing it

When my brother Douw was a little (like six or seven, I think), and I was a teenager and constantly on diet, he once said to me… “I know how you can lose ten kilograms of ugly, useless fat overnight.” It was never going to be a solution to my utterly imagined but nonetheless ghastly obesity, but I had to ask, “How?”

“Cut off your head,” he giggled.

I reminded him of this when Jurie and I went to his wedding in Taiwan two years ago, and he thought it was at least as funny, then.

I have a vague notion* that I have started losing my mind.

On Monday I locked myself out of my flat at 07h00 and I had to wake up the caretaker to let me back in. The caretaker is about seventy and wears a sexy white see-through nightie. It was very traumatic. I could not stop saying how sorry I was and she tried so say it was not so bad but really she wasn’t looking at it from my point of view.

Yesterday I walked halfway between the parking lot and my office three times because I kept on forgetting things in the car. My access card, the books I wanted to return to the library, and once because I was sure I forgot to lock it.

In the afternoon I missed my writing class because:

  • I completely lost track of time, both of the day and the hour (I thought it was still Monday for most of the day, actually);
  • Even when I told people I could not make meetings, etcetera, because I had a class on Tuesday afternoon it did to register that THAT day, was indeed Tuesday; and
  • On the way to class, forty five minutes late, (my neighbour asked me, “Are you going to you studies?” when I was, in fact, going to gym, so I screamed off in the opposite direction) I convinced myself that there was no class on that particular Tuesday, so I turned around in the peak-hour traffic and came back home.

I did an extra 20 minutes on the bike to pay a penance of sorts.

Later Ruth phoned and in answer to the question “how are you” (early on in the conversation, as you can imagine) I spent 20 minutes telling her how I missed my class, what an idiot I felt and how I thought I was going nuts. “What? YOU?” she asked, in THAT tone of voice. I feel I should use the capitals here just to underline the fact that my best friend finds such behaviour in me incredibly surprising. “Stress,” she declared. “You are stressed.”

And then I think I spent another 20 minutes agreeing with her. (One can tell, I have decided, that I am stressed when I don’t update the blog for two or more weeks.)

So I forgave myself for the current flurry of madness, and resolved to no longer go about the place like an absolute airhead. I am smart and together and in control of my life. I am smart and together and… etc.

Today, however, I completely confused a member of my Reading the Media class with someone in my Investigative Journalism class, and did so in his presence, and unambiguously. “Margaret has been looking for you,” I said after we chatted for five minutes, and then Margaret walked past and I said to her, “Margaret, haven’t you been looking for Wale, here he is!” upon which they both looked at me like I had lost it and she said, “This  is not Wale.” And he said, “I am not Wale.” And then of course, I knew that he was not Wale. “That was unbelievably embarrassing,” I said to him and he was kind enough to point out that black people often also thought that all white people looked alike.

Which of course made me feel much better.

Anyway. I had a story to write so I had to get over the squirm pronto.

But driving home this afternoon I had to muse over the alarming events of the last few days. I wondered if I was in the grip of early-onset Alzheimer’s and/or menopause, and if anything could be done about it. Should I go to the doctor? And if he confirmed my self-diagnosis, how would that help? These conditions are not reversible and the former is incurable. And frankly, who can afford to get THAT sick these days? Would I have put stickers in my shoes that say, “Toes first?” Would I have to listen to a looped soundtrack that reminded me to “breathe in, breathe out?” Would I start putting stamps on faxes? Would I have to lose the blonde hair colour to hide my shame? At what stage, I wondered, should I shoot myself in the head in order not to be a burden on someone who would feel sorry for me? How long before I forget to do even that?

I didn’t think of these as dark thoughts, actually, I thought of them as practical ones. Really, who wants to be less than the sum of their whole memory? (Although I could really do with forgetting the last three days forever.)

And then, as I sat down at the computer at home and opened the web page of my food diary (I started keeping one as I could not FATHOM why it was impossible for me to lose the (#) kilograms I gained in the last three years – now I know, and it makes a difference) and something wonderful was revealed to me.

The little weight I lost in the last three weeks came from my brain. Except that it was, unfortunately, not “ugly useless fat”, but working brain tissue, which is unfortunate. On the brighter side, however, I am an exceedingly smart girl with brains to spare, so I am confident that regardless of the loss, it will require only a short period of adjustment and rewiring for my smarts to come back and then I will be thin AND clever.

If the “adjustment/rewiring” period is shorter than two weeks, it would have been totally worth it. If not, well, perhaps at some stage I may get used to being thin and an idiot and forget what a smart cookie I used to be.  As a bonus I will then also be sure to find a man who would want to marry me.

So, having discovered the reason for my current diminished capacity, I am relaxed enough to write a missive on the blog and clearly, for the moment, relatively stress free. It was Douw’s birthday on Sunday. Sometimes I miss him a lot.

__________________________________________________________________

* It is impossible for me to use this phrase without thinking of my best Calvin and Hobbes strip ever. Calvin meets Lucy at the school lockers, and he asks her, “What is it like being girl?” She is surprised. “What?” And he continues, “Is it like being a bug?” She is taken aback. “WHAT??” And then he explains: “I think both girls and bugs have a vague notion that nature has played a cruel trick on them, but they lack the intelligence to understand the magnitude of it.”

 Then of course she beats him up and he gets the last word in, “I must have put my finger on it.”

My all-time favourite, really.

Notes on a Friday morning

I saw Jozi last night.

It was everything that the reviewers said it was: charming, endearing, off-beat and left-of-centre amusing, but in the end, no great shakes. (Sorry Robbie.)

What people did not say was that the team had a fantastic and rare opportunity to make a really interesting, and funny, and GOOD movie about Johannesburg. They had some money, they had the time (from conception to completion about four years, I think I heard) they had big-time producers that backed them and WANTED to make a film with them and considerable talent, to boot.

And they produced something that is amusing, but not in any way  impressive, or even particular.  I would call it, really, our first decent TV movie? I feel a little disappointed. (And I really thought the art direction was below par. It looked a little like a student film, from that point of view.) But anyway.

More entertaining by far, unfortunately, is the world at large this morning!

I don’t know where I have been but apparently Beki Cele will now be called “General Cele”. According to the Times this morning, the decision was approved by Cabinet. I am not surprised that they make time to spend on these issues, as discussions about corruption, crime and service delivery must be boring the shit out of them. Upping the rankings of the more colourful panjandrums must be a welcome diversion.

In a letter to the paper Prof Kader Asmal asks,

“Has the Cabinet taken loss of their senses, especially as another proposal was to change the name of the service to ‘Force’ as the deputy minister of police [Fikile Mbalula] with his enormous knowledge of warfare, now desires a military force, which presumably has been discussed in all ANC structures.”

His point is the militarisation of the police services, but I think that by exposing such whimsy as the passing of “idiotic proposals”, he is finally calling a guava a guava.

Also interesting is Gwede Mantashe’s suggestion that Julius’ “kill the boer” invocation at UJ this week should be seen in a “historical context” and that as such, there was nothing wrong with that particular bit of hate speech. Perhaps he has come to the conclusion that Julius really can replace him single-handedly with Fikile Mbalula in 2012, and is hedging his bets.  If we were really perverse, we could argue that Fikile is already building an army (see above) to prop up a classic African military regime. I can just see him and Julius in their camouflage and cigars, tossing valueless currency from the windows of a black state-of-the-art 4×4 in the middle of a two hundred meter convoy.

I sit at my desk of our new offices. The Nelson Mandela bridge is two blocks from my chair. The mid-morning Friday traffic is unhurried and smooth.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

The relationship between me and my 3G/HSDPA service provider can hardly be more strained. If we were a married couple and in a movie, the movie would be called The War of the Roses and I would be Kathleen Turner trying to poison Michael Douglas.

I called MWEB many, many times last year to complain about the fact I hardly ever get the 3G or HSDPA signal I am paying for, and that my internet life is a laborious one of waiting entire half-hours for my mail to download. Joys like the Onion are few and far between, and loading video clips onto my blog a harrowing experience. No, the little green light that indicates MTN EDGE is the only one that shines from the cute little modem.

Now that my contract is running out (OK, only in August, but time flies: for example, how the hell can February be over already?) MWEB has started to phone me, noting my complaints, wondering if I have been sorted out. Of course not, I say a little bemused, because my migration to ADSL in August is certain no matter what these callers do.

I have cried, screamed, cajoled, begged and pleaded for months. Of our two-year relationship I will remember only the terrible humiliation I suffered in vain attempts for a little attention and a little help. I cannot count the number of times that MWEB, my spouse in this matter, tried to convince me that there was not much they could do, as MTN were the folk who provide the signal.

And every time I reminded them that I do not have a contract with MTN, that I have a contract with MWEB, that is where my money goes every month, and will stop going very soon. I do not care how they fix my problem, or who they have to blow to do it.

The calls have become more frequent, with Carol from MWEB phoning twice in two days, once just to say that she will be phoning again. That was amusing, at least.

But then today, here I was, happily boiling a potato for lunch, when my doorbell started ringing like an insane fire alarm. I locked the flat and walked down the two flights of stairs to see who the hell wouldn’t take their finger off the button. It was a delivery guy, and I had to shout at him to stop because he was looking away from the door, did not see or hear me. He was aggressive, rude and unapologetic, saying that he could not hear the bell (surprise) and thought it was not working.

I said that I was going to complain and he said, “you do that mama, I don’t care.” It was absolutely infuriating. I so badly wanted to punch him on the nose, or at the very least call him a miserable cocksucker, but I didn’t, and I am still sorry about that.

He was delivering some contraption from MTN that I suspect is a signal booster. It looks like hard work to me, and I don’t think that I am going to be getting down on my knees any time soon to install it.

Enough is enough. I want a divorce. I am married to a liar, who sold me the supposed-to-be fastest internet connection on the market at the time, without telling me that it was only really fast when you were the ONLY one online. They can send all the signal boosters they like, but in another six months, they can kiss my ass goodbye.

On writing #17

I think of myself as a good writer, potentially. But then I read a sentence like:

“But the rocket engineers’ sense of how to articulate awe, how to inhabit teatime-news psychology, how to manipulate their way around geopolitical fears and ambitions, was very small indeed, which may explain why so many of them disappeared or cracked up after the public frenzy which attended their going into space.” [Andrew O’Hagan, LRB Feb 2010, pg13].

and I just wonder a little bit.

Short and Curlies #5: Desperado

Cowgirl on the FLy

Okay. So. I am going to be honest and say that it has been at least four days, three bottles of wine and two slabs of 70% cocoa chocolate since my last to-finish estimate, and I am still not done with the Overview (sic) of 2001 and 2002. (In the meantime I have spent three very long days at the Wits Power Reporting Workshop – just in case you think I have been watching the 4th series of The Closer  by the box set.) I have found some information, and I added it to the near-empty page. Now I have to figure out how to stretch this information, which can easily be squeezed into the first paragraph of a very short news story, into 200-300 words. And to make it sound intelligent.

Once could argue that, two CI manuals later, I should be able to do this in my sleep but let me tell you – writing about nothing is never an easy task, unless you went to advertising school or work for government. There they teach you to write entire pages full of words that say absolutely zero.

And I can’t escape. The after-hours crowd at the Seattle really scares me and honestly, getting into bed at 19h00 is just too strange if one has already avoided spending the day there in its entirety. I have to sit in my flat and churn out 600 words about nothing. My last refuge is the couch and the TV. I have often found inspiration during the ad-breaks in Lipstick Jungle, and have managed to write unbelievably coherent crap in this position. Ask Giulietta – she will confirm that this is the only thing one can write on the couch in the company of etv.

When you hear from me again, this nightmare will be over, and after that I will be riding off into the sunset as soon as I have written a 4500-word essay on investigative journalism and ethics. Cheers.

Surreal # 1: Don’t ask. Just go with it.

Sometimes, while pondering the universe  or just despairing into space while waiting to get connected to the internet via my MTN/Mweb 3G/HSDPA modem, I imagine that I am in a hostile, rocky, desert-type landscape, that the sun is beating down mercilessly, that I am a hundred years old, weak from lack of food and dehydrated, and that I am obsessively hauling a decomposing human body with me to wherever I am going, which is at least a thousand kilometres further down the drag. Or more. Like, let’s say, on the road from Johannesburg to Cape Town (going via Kimberley) I have just passed Potch.

(Sometimes I file my nails.)

It is Wednesday night. I had to wait for 20 minutes for two emails. On was 11kb and one, 63kb. They were crap emails, but how could I know this until I received them, right?

I am working up enthusiasm to mount a real offensive against my service provider in order to get out of a contract that is supposed to hold until August next year. There is a new law now, saying that if you are dissatisfied with a person or company’s service, your contract cannot bind your ass to the kind of rage and frustration that I feel at least once or twice a week.

I am keeping notes, and I think I will call Mweb tomorrow just to get recorded as saying (again) that their service stinks.

But having finally managed to get connected, I had better use the opportunity to speak. To illustrate (so, very hypothetically)… it’s a little like standing in a queue so long that your problem is sorted out by the time you get to the front. For example, you might join a coda of people at the bank, waiting to see the bank manager in order to rearrange your bond repayments, because interest rates have sky-rocketed. By the time you get to the actual manager, he is happy to tell you that interest rates have, in the last six months come down, and then… well, you have nothing to say. So you make up an additional story about bank charges in general, or something.

Okay. Not very funny. On a completely serious note, I think I might have to sever my very puzzling friendship with my friend Gray. First of all, he does not care if he offends my friends, which is offensive to me. Secondly, he eats like a peasant and chooses the cheapest wine on the menu. Thirdly, he does not do much work, just enough to make sure that he can play as much golf as he likes to, and to go overseas to acquire electronics in China or Taiwan every now and then – which he turns around for enough money to keep him in golf shoes and a house (also one for his mother) and a car and so on.

Which brings me to… fourthly. Because of the absence of a daily grind in his life, he pretends not understand that those of us who live by it, are incredibly irked  by his disdain for our economic endeavours. If he fucking calls one more time and says hello by way of “and so what are you keeping yourself busy with today?” I swear I will… well I don’t know what I will do. I will probably just say that “I work, you fucking cocksucker, so I will be working today, and please don’t ever fucking phone me again.”

I have a good friend whose ex also disparaged paid labour of any kind, having invested wisely from an early age, and he was also a deeply unpleasant person. That is why she dumped him. He only ever saw life from his point of view, and this point of view demanded a profound contempt for anybody who did not agree with it. He really had to go. Money or not. So, even though I am against virtually all the principles of Protestantism (and all other organised religion) there is something to be said for the work-ethic thing. And as a person that lives by it, on the day that I win the Euro millions, I will show the necessary respect to those who did not.

And so on.

On writing # 8: Writing that makes you want to kill yourself. Or drink a lot.

“To coin a cliché” is also a cliché.

Just a thought. I am writing the copy for the Corporate Identity Guidelines of a large minerals-and-mining company, and if I have to conjure up yet another way of saying, “speaks to the values of the brand” I am going out for a bottle of whisky. Fortunately the end is in sight. Most of the weekend has been spent in the service of Satan. I guess he pays. At forty one, I have no qualms in selling my soul for money, as selling it for various versions of love or meaning, so far, has proved a very bad long-term investment, every time.

The results of this transaction are also much cheerier than the alternative. (Unless of course one is making drama for the SABC, when one frequently finds oneself screaming at imaginary people, first thing in the morning, in the bath. But back to me, in the present.)

Considering that I am relentless in my current pursuit of happiness (I am taking happiness vitamins. They say Vitamin D3 is a cure for SAD) I have taken a little break to write something that I have not already written in other words. This was it.

And now I have to get back there. I feel much better now.