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Welcome to this Researcher's Journal. If you'd like to comment on anything they have written here, just click the relevant 'Discuss this Entry' button.
There is a television in the bathroom.
Jan 27, 2000
(Posted 24 hours after mailing this to nearly everyone I know)
Sorry to burden you all with this, but I will not rest until I have told everyone.
I am in Los Angeles, in a room on the eighth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, and there is a television in the bathroom.
No, really. A little white Trinitron. I can't find the remote control for it.
There is also, of course, a massive television in the main room, along with a video recorder, a minibar, a nice selection of seemingly-free snacks and a nice stereo that lights up when I go near it.
What I'm using now is the free Ethernet connection. 10mbits of high-speed Internet access to every room. (They gave me a spare 3Com "pigtail" for my laptop 'cos I lost mine in transit. I didn't know anybody called it a pigtail, but from now on I will always call it that. They are right about everything here.)
There is also a telephone with two lines and voicemail.
It took me ten minutes to find the light switch.
I wasted half an hour watching "The Dukes Of Hazzard". (It's always a revelation watching shows you remember from your childhood that seemed, at the time, to be aimed at adults but were quite obviously for children, or adults who think like children. I like the way that each plot point is repeatedly explained to you over and over again, often with the amazingly imbecilic characters as the excuse. Hazzard County is obviously a place where social Darwinism does not apply. Or maybe that's why it's so barren and has only five cars in it.) I watched it in the main room, not in the bathroom. (That would have been silly.)
I had a shower. It was very nice. I like the way that hotels give you lots of little bottles of free things to pour over yourself. By the time I left the bathroom I had used most of them. (I wanted to make a good impression in this very stylish, ostentatious and neat hotel. I think people could tell.)
There is lots of marble everywhere. Lots of green and gold and pinky-beige. It reminds me of the sorts of places that my paternal grandparents like to live in.
It was a rather hectic day, especially since I didn't sleep much last night, and two minutes before the SuperShuttle arrived the landlady called, who I'd never spoken to before, the reason being that I sublet the flat from Tom, who has never really talked much about the landlady, whose voice I didn't recognise until she told me she was the landlady, by which time I had already told her that Tom had moved out and then she told me that his subletting was in breach of his contract. So I may be homeless next week. But probably not. Pouneh says not to worry, it will get sorted. I trust her. And there are other places to live in San Francisco anyway. Probably. The flight I was meant to be on was cancelled, but because the SuperShuttle was fast I managed to switch to an earlier one, which was held up for ten minutes while waiting for the Duchess Of York and her six minders and personal assistant to board. Oh, and I lost my 3Com pigtail somewhere in transit, but I already said that.
It's amazing how quickly your troubles disappear when you go to a nice hotel and all the staff are amazingly nice and helpful and the list of available services takes up a rather thick folder on the marble desk and there's a heated pool on the fourth floor and a television in the bathroom. It's one of those hotels of the sort which has those advertisements in The Economist about how one of their guests once lost their poodle and the concierges did not rest until they had bought the guest a replacement poodle, which they managed in half an hour. But I asked the porter who showed me to my room about a replacement pigtail for me to take home, and he told me where CompUSA was. Oh well.
It is the company's money, and I am trying to be relatively thrifty. However, I just bought a bottle of Evian from the bar and it cost six dollars. I think I know why this place is so nice.
I saw my friend Tina tonight. She is very fab. We wandered around Westwood and bought cheap CDs and played Ms Pac Man. Tina is remarkably good at it. She drives a big car truck thing, of which there are many here. LA is very spread out, the roads are very wide, but the cars are wider. The cars keep growing. They are already large enough to be re-employed as small refugee camps. Parking is obviously not a problem in LA, unless you lose your car under another one.
I have just found the complimentary bottle of spring water on the little table next to the armchair. This has taught me two valuable lessons: Firstly, that I am a reckless fool who should pay more attention to his surroundings before spending other people's money. Secondly, the hotel staff are able to presciently gauge my needs to a fatefully cruel degree.
I have a meeting with my boss tomorrow. It is why I am here. The meeting is at 8 AM. I think my boss is trying to test me. He knows that my body clock lives five hours west of my physical location, wherever it happens to be. But I shall prove that I can rise to such a challenge, even if I fall face-first into the poached eggs halfway through.
I must finish outlining my work schedule and another document or nine and then go to bed. I must not log onto ICQ or play Starcraft or use Napster or watch the television in the bathroom.
I repeat: there is a television in the bathroom.
Thank you for your time.
Still getting the hang of this
Jan 16, 2000
Today's cookery lesson: You can't make an omelette without having eggs.
Obvious, yes, but not obvious enough to prevent a forlorn pile of grated cheese.
Went nicely on Ritzes, though.
Still feel a right t**t.
we believe in the land of love
Dec 20, 1999
Got up at midday, at the same time as Pouneh and Polly (my flatmates) and Charlie (Pouneh's boyfriend) did. Had delicious breakfast of poached eggs, toast, potatoes and melon at Three Rings on Valencia. Day was utterly, utterly gorgeous - clear sky, sunny and actually warm for once. Waitress was nice too.
Came back to flat, wrote long mails about Jakob Neilsen and Richard Stallman which I put a hold on once I realised what I was missing. So I headed for Dolores Park with a bar of chocolate. Sat and watched adults and children play and couples of all sexualities cuddling on the grass, while the setting sun transformed the background skyscrapers from glowing gold to brick-red to grey, under a pink-and-blue sky. Work is becoming manageable and fun again, I have a ton of good startup ideas swimming around my head and things between my girlfriend and I are more solid than they have been in a long time. Most importantly, even if none of those work out I'm sure I can still be happy. So life is pretty good. It's not fantastic, but it's pretty good. I'm glad that I changed my situation, I'm glad to be in San Francisco.
Media Of The Day: "Kiss Of Death" by New Order (b-side to "Perfect Kiss")
was easy for me, anyway
Sep 3, 1999
(this is the dull namedrop paragraph. you may want to skip to the next one which is far more interesting)
Had a very very nice time.
At midnight, the Victoria line train I'm on pulls into Pimlico. Beepbeepbeep, doors open. Beepbeepbeep, doors close.
Train's tannoy: "Pull that thing out the doors, you're not getting on."
There's someone shouting on the platform: "My leg! My leg's stuck! Open the doors!"
Nothing happens. People in the next carriage move towards mine to get a better view, but I can't see anything from where I'm sitting.
"Open the doors! My leg's stuck!"
Eventually there's some beeping and I hear another carriage's doors open and close. As the train pulls off, the tannoy, menacingly:
"You won't find it so easy getting off."
I found some particles of glitter on my arm, on the way home. Don't know where they came from.
Unix-talked Quinn and Nancy at the Seybold conference. Wrote this journal entry. Collapsed into bed. Overslept.
Summer's not gone yet
Sep 2, 1999
Currently off Com. Ed. duty, moved onto stats work, feeding a desperate hunger for numbers and graphs. I am the Stat Pusher, the Numbermonger, the Manic DataMiner! I AM SUPREME DATA GOD! At least, until I'm given a remotely non-trivial problem.
I've found a nice Perl module that makes it really easy to do graphs and Jim's already done 80% of the work getting the log totals in a nice state, so it's been an easy start. Plus we have every single hit as a record in a log database, so I can get SQL Server to do a good chunk of the munge work (at least, once I sharpen up my SQL).
Car dying - needs new battery or alternator or both. I should get it to Eli Motors before the weekend but I doubt I'll have time.
Bywater is wandering around with one of the fans (metal airblowing fan) and swearing 'cos it doesn't work. Now he's making nasty comments about my music. (Basement Jaxx)
Shim has been taking silly photos with the Fuji all day.
Sean's dad and Kate have been building in the orange room. I'm so impressed by people who can actually build stuff, like with wood and saws and nails. Yay Sean's Dad.
Off to Israel on Sunday for 2 days, yet another wedding. Should be fun, though.
Off to do lots of partying now. 'ray.
Media Of The Day: Was going to be the Po Bronson book I've nearly finished, "The Nudist On The Late Shift", but his site's fab so I'll do that instead.
(Shame there aren't any decent pics of him - he's pure beefcake)
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