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The Woman in Black

At the risk of making this just another node about some girl, tonight I met this beautiful strong black woman in a strikingly low-cut black dress with cleavage that made me consciously focus on her eyes so as not to be seen as the horrendous curr that deep down all men are. She was sparkling and smiled at me and we exchanged pleasantries and she confided in me that she had spent eight years as a stand up comedian but she spoke of her time on stage in the past tense and so I delicately pressed the issue. She had to give it up for personal reasons and then she explained what they were but I won't disclose that here because I am a gentleman.

And I explained to her that at one time I attempted to be a comedian so I admire anyone who successfully did it for eight years. I never made it to the stage.

"Why not?" She asked inquisitively.

"Well I found out I'm not funny."

She laughed politely in response to that and then added, "well at least you found that out in time. There's comedians out there now who are on the stage in front of an audience and they're making money at it and they're not funny at all."

Then she introduced me to her husband and I mentioned that I thought Jay Mohr wasn't funny. She disagreed with me. We started talking about something else, and then someone tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around...

I lost her in the crowd after that...

Her words are haunting me now though, and I'm having difficulty going to sleep. There are people out there less funny than me making more money than me doing what I wanted to do. They took that chance and I didn't. That's the only difference. "There's comedians out there now who are on the stage in front of an audience and they're making money at it and they're not funny at all."

I suddenly wish I could go back in time eight years and kick myself in the ass.

This piece was originally located at a node called The Woman In Black but has been circumvented to a daylog against my request.

Today Tom and I have been married for a year. We’ve known each other since 1997 (we met online – yes, it does happen), lived together since 1998, and handfasted since 1999. We have built a life together and that together means forever.

On September 30th of last year, we were legally married in Toronto. Why? Because it’s possible under Canadian law (in some provinces). Because we like Canada very much, and may live there someday. Because our own country denies this legal recognition of our relationship.

I won’t go into the many reasons why we should be able to marry here in the US. I will say that I think there are no credible arguments against same-sex marriage. Those who are worried about the "sanctity of marriage" would do well to consider this: what kind of message does Britney Spears with her multiple media marriages, for example, present to her impressionable teenage fans?

I don’t expect our marriage license to become valid in the US during my lifetime. It’s valid here in our house, and that’s what counts.

Stupidity play! RED CARD!

The title of this entry is a direct quote from a fondly remembered high-school gym teacher. It was his direct way of informing you that you had just done something that (again in his words) dropped you below Darwin's Breakpoint, and since he couldn't remove you from the gene pool, he could at least kick you out of the game. Just in case, he would thunder, stupidity is catching.

Bless you, Alton Smith; I have warranted the Red Card. Became so incensed at work today, from a long series of wearying travails I won't belabor here, that I was forced to redirect some rage upon a whiteboard, which (like a certain door) hadn't ever really done anything to me.

Unlike the door, though, the whiteboard (with the help of the wall it was hung on) came out ahead. It's undamaged. I, on the other hand, have been informed by the helpful folks at MGH that I have what is descriptively known as "Boxer's Fracture" - twice - of the smallest metacarpal bone in my right hand.

This entry is hence being typed one-handed-lefty, which means I'm having to look at the damn keyboard for the first time since college. And it's slow.

Learned some cool stuff in the hospital, though. For example, I was chatting with a gent whose coworker had had his thumb sliced halfway through the base, cutting two tendons. The medics assured my neighbor his buddy was in no danger of losing it. While he waited for the injured guy's wife to show up, we talked about his job - he's an elevator mechanic. I learned that the reason I have an unconscious affinity for old skyscraper elevators is that most of then are original equipment, with the exception of the motors and controllers - the DC motors are now AC, much more reliable, and the controllers modern (if trash). He told me the old elevator systems were overengineered, made of heavy steel; as a result, they are smooth and nigh indestructible, giving a superior ride. Modern elevators, using cheaper materials and engineered tightly to legal tolerances to save money, while safe, are not as rigid and solid.

Also, one of the main limits to building height has been the elevator shaft. The shaft must be true; no flex is tolerated, although sway is. As a result, extremely tall buildings have sky lobbies where you switch elevators so that the structure can have flex points where the shafts break. He told me that Otis has an elevator now that can move sideways between shafts automatically, smoothly enough that it is hard to notice - meaning no more switching elevators in extremely tall buildings! Turbolifts, here we come.

From listening to the tech instructing the medical student as he put on my cast, I learned that changing the temperature of the mix water in plaster will not only change the time to set (which I had known but forgotten) but thus change the temperature of the cast's exothermic period - which makes sense.

And from this experience, I've learned that broken bones hurt, and that having one working hand is startlingly annoying. Especially when flying middle seat cattle class on a Boeing 737.

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