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Thursday, January 29, 2004
The restack
 
I work in a cube farm. You all know what I'm talking about- an office building where, instead of nice little rooms with a view, most of the low level employees get a defined space in the shape a beige cube with walls that are designed for things like pushpins and the creation of pushpin people. Anyway, my office is restacking this weekend. Basically it means that every person on the two floors we work on packs up everything in their respective office/cube and some moving company moves all that stuff, as well as the entire contents of filing rooms and cabinets scattered across the floors to a new location. The idea is to shift people and departments around so as to give more room to those that are expanding and to best manage the space. Unfortunately it also leads to a number of unproductive days as we are unable to access the papers and files we need. For me the end result is that tomorrow I will go into work, finish packing my scant possessions in a single crate, and have the next 7 hours 45 minutes to think about anything else. And then on Monday we get to unpack which means another unproductive day. It all just seems to add up to a whole lot of lost productivity, but I guess that's the way most medium-large size companies are today- huge resources are spent with little gain on things that seem like they could be accomplished in cheaper and simpler ways. Although its my first move like this, knowing they have done it 2 other times in the past 3 years makes it seem like a little much, especially when the new configuration is apparently very similar to the one previous to the current one. Guess I'll just go to work, read a book and not complain- but I still feel somewhat bad about just doing nothing for a whole day.

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Noam
 
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Now how often does that come up at the dinner table? Of course, coming after my angelic sleep demons it doesn't seem so farfetched a topic of discussion, but thats a matter for another day.

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Sunday, January 25, 2004
.5 Birthday
 
Happy 1/2 birthday Meg! And happy birthday Ankur!

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Saturday, January 24, 2004
Nosedive
 
Penguin baseball is fun (thanks Kevin for the mirror). The goal is basically to hit the little penguin as far as you can. You play the abominable snowman type with a large bat, and the penguin gets to go flying on an amazing journey that usually ends in a nice skid after a bounce or two. When you hit it too high though the penguin instead ends up dropping like a stone in a nosedive that promptly ends its forward motion. And it can get addicting. Anyway, the challenge is to beat your previous high score. Mine stands at 323.5. Can anyone beat it?


Like a kid in a candy store
 
Meg and I just got back from Pete's Candy Store, a little bar in Brooklyn just off the Lorimer stop on the L. Thats what it looks like on the map at least. In reality it's a bit of a walk from the subway stop, and in sub freezing temperatures with lots of wind and cold blowing it feels even further. Anyway, we got there at 9:30 which was when the music was scheduled to start. About 20 minutes later Freeloader came on and played for almost an hour. They were a nice mix of guitars and drums and tried to play songs softly so they didn't disturb people in the bar section. The music there is actually in a back room with doors that close it off so it really wasn't an issue, but it was nice that they were considerate of their audience and those who didn't want to be a part of it. After their set there was a small intermission and The Navigators came on. I liked them a little better, probably cause I could understand the lyrics more and I liked their sound. And then we made a break through the cold got the L to 14th and took the A up to 207th. The most wonderful part of the trip home was hearing that the train was running express after 59th. As it was midnight by the time we got on the train it was quite a surprise since the express trains stop at 10:30 normally. (I know, I know enough about the transportation). Meg won the bet on how many people would be left on the train at the last stop. My guess was 4 other than us, and hers was any other number. Just a bit of an advantage over me, but I never would have expected 7 anyway. And we made it back with a few minutes to spare before 1.

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Sunday, January 18, 2004
Copy
 
That word, in bright red, is now one of my least favorites to see. It's only been one day at my new temp job (at the same company in a different department), but that one word is what I now get to see all day. I went from doing real work most of the time in my old place to being one of those people who stamps the word copy on 1000 pages every day. The worst part is that I have a 10 page document and Im supposed to make 10 copies of it and then stamp copy on all of the pages. I would have thought it would be a lot simpler to just stamp one copy of it and then make copies of that one. When I asked about this possible time saver I was told that it was not possible as it was imperative that the word copy was stamped in red and not the black that it would be if copies were made of the stamp. Why this is so important noone seems to know, as the copies are put in a folder stuffed with papers and probably arent more than glanced at ever again, but that's what they pay me for I guess- not to question them. It's a job and easy and no work to take home after so I guess its not so bad.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Lange time
 
See where Langes across the globe are at Lange time, the newest item featured on the left hand bar, under the archives. Not exactly hi-tech and no real time tracking, but at least anyone who wants to know whether it is possible to reach me in a month or so can check there and see what ungodly hour in the morning it probably is.

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Stream of consciousness
 
Something about mouse spleens, airports, sperm frozen in amber and radically new methods of artifical insemination. Thats what happens when two wandering minds intermingle. I wont even get into the trouble tree huggers can get into, or or the wonders of Latin cases and declensions that produce gems like translucidationisity. Maybe something to do with the long lost Locative?

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Monday, January 12, 2004
Im from New Jersey
 
Last night Meg and I went to Makor, at 35 W. 67th St., for the second time. This time we went there to see John Gorka, and got to see Dee Carstensen and Guy Davis & Ann Rabson all perform in 3 one hour sets. Guy and Ann started off, an interesting mix of performers, but they had a wonderful rhythm and both were wonderful Blues singers. My personal favorite was One Meatball, which Ann sang- covering Van Ronk Dave. Ann and Guy alternated singing songs throughout the set, and Ann jumped between the piano and guitar while Guy either accompanied himself on the guitar, or played the harmonica with the guitar when Ann sang. Dee was on next, and she played the harp and sang along beautifully. A really nice voice blended with amazing melodies on the harp at first, and later on the piano. Finally was John, who Meg and I had previously seen at the World Trade Center just 2 weeks before September 11. He played a good mix of songs, and took lots of requests- a nice way to see a show. Overall we both had a really good time and enjoyed the evening of music. It had been a while for me since I'd just sat somewhere and listened to music live without interference, and very relaxing.

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Saturday, January 10, 2004
Scrumpets
 
One of those where I don't have any idea specifically of what I'm planning on saying, but I'm at my Aunt and Uncles in NYC and seeing my dads side of the family here. Lots of pictures from all our various trips around the world, spanning 10 time zones or so in the past 2 weeks. Just going to have a quiet dinner here and then head back to Maplewood and spend the evening with Meg- whatever is left of it. Last night was dinner at the local Thai place where they know our order before we even sit down, and the day before that was dinner with the other side of the family where we got to see Emily who is just starting to get to know everyone's names. Im Andy, and Danny is Ugh- but she is starting to get much better at speaking and just has such an infectious laugh, it is just wonderful. She loves to run around and get thrown into the air and spending time with her can't help but make you smile. Dinner time in a few now, so I'll leave for now, but I'll be updating regularly at least until I take off for Australia, which looks like it will be happening the first week of February or so, as orientation starts on the 13th, and I need to find suitable housing before that starts.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Home again
 
Back in NJ after a long flight from Heathrow filled with delays and lousy tv screens. With the time change I've been up basically a full day now, so sleep seems like the inevitable thing to do now.

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Monday, January 05, 2004
Cambridge
 
Its good to be back in a place that has the same name as my old street in Parsippany, even if it is a few thousand miles away. Spending my last full day in England with Caille and Chris in Cambridge. I got a bus from Hemel in here last night, and am going back there this evening. Sad to know that tonight will be my last one in this time zone. Today was a long walk around the town, seeing all the colleges of Cambridge, and getting to know a little bit of the history thanks to my tour guide, Chris. Unfortunatley Caille had to go in to the school where she is teaching today, as the school starts for teh students tomorrow and she had an inservice type day. She will be home shortly though, and we can go grab a curry and have some good Indian food for the last time out here- don't know when the next time will be for me as my parents are not too keen on it. Hopefully when I'm down under I will be able to eat it. The architecture here is just amazing, and its wonderful to see buildings and places that are hundreads of years old and still being used as buildings where the students live and learn. It's just so different from the American University with the new flash and glitz that seems to prevail- it just lacks the charm that thousand year old stone has, and nothing here looks like a poorly designed prison. They have plenty of green space, even if you aren't really supposed to walk on most of it, and noone is threatening to fill in part of their river. Overall a wonderfully beautiful place, and I'm really glad I got to make it up here, even if it was just for a day.

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Friday, January 02, 2004
Belfast
 
No fancy title or anything like that, but just a brief update from Northern Ireland. Staying with John at the moment, sleeping every night in a different location, be it a bed, a floor, a couch, or any other one of the random locations we have been using. Thats the way it tends to go when we try to fit 8 people in a flat that normally serves one. Its been an interesting new years to say the least and in the interest of civility I'll stick to the facts for now. Got into Belfast on Tuesday, after nearly missing our flight by a whole day. Met Justin, Anna, and Danny at Stansted airport outside London and flew into Belfast where we got the bus into the city proper and were met by Tasha and John, and Philippa who had gotten in a few hours earlier. Went around the city, took a black cab city tour where we were treated to the exaggerations of the mulleted cab driver. More later when John is off the phone.

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