at least he wasn’t an aggressive drunk

Someone rings the bell. Since the intercom isn’t working I figure I’d better go downstairs to open the door myself because I’d rather not just let anyone in the building. As I make my way to the floor below I see a guy leaning against the wall. No, not creepy, not creepy at all but against my better judgement I decide to keep walking towards him.

He sees me and smiles. No, not creepy, VERY creepy but I’ve made it this far so I might as well go all the way and face my fears. I am now standing right in front of him and ask: “Did you just ring the bell?”

He responds by offering to shake my hand and says “Merry Christmas!”

It’s not Christmas yet but why the hell not, so I reach to shake his hand. He squeezes and I’m glad neither of us is wearing any rings on our fingers as they’d be ruined at this point or permanently embedded to my bones.

I take my hand back and ask again “Did you just ring the bell?” to which he responds with “I’m from Africa!”. He offers another handshake which I take as a request for approval or a nice-to-meet-you kind of a deal so I go for it. He turns my hand into a throbbing mash and I take back the remains. By that point I am lost for words and there’s a second where I am just looking at him inquisitively. He goes “Awwww give me a hug!”

I have no way to defend myself so the only thing I can think of is to not anger the hand-squashing daemon and to play along. Either way, he grabs me and squeezes tightly. I get a little dizzy from the distillery smell emanating from each and every one of his pores and as he lets go he asks “Do you smoke?”

Now, I can see what’s going on. He’s just a drunk neighbour. I say yes and he responds with “Aaaah, disgusting habit”. So I decide to have a little fun of my own and say “and the worst thing is that I also bite my nails, quite the┬ábad combo” as if drinking like there’s no tomorrow on a school night is a noble pastime.

He tries to unlock the door to his apartment using his key chain and not one of the keys. He offers another handshake, this time with his left hand and I think to myself that this is his weaker hand and a good opportunity to end the madness. He turns my other hand to jam before I have the chance to take it back. I ask him one last time if it was him who rang the bell and he smiles and nods “yes”. I start to back away, “that’s okay”, “have a good night”.

aaaaand scene…

procrastination causes braindeadiness

The end is coming! It is! Blogathon will be ending soon! I don’t think I remember what life is like without Blogathon. I have been dealing with it since Thursday night, since my family kept me busy until then. Group emails, tweets, making some changes to the blog template, cursing because I broke the template, fixing it, more group emails, calls, instant messages…

It’s all for a good cause though and I volunteered to do this so I would never complain. In fact I’ve been enjoying this. It’s nice to do things you want with people who want to do them. This is only my second time participating in Blogathon as a blogger and this year’s experience has been much better than the previous. Plus, I don’t think I’d have made it to the end if I did it on my own. I’d probably have pulled out half my hair and destroyed my blog by now (I tend to break it by accident every time I’m in a rush).

This reminds that I discovered a bald spot in my left eyebrow. I don’t know why or how but I woke up and there was a bald spot! I have talked about how I am very clumsy and tend to discover scratches and bruises on me that I don’t remember getting but this is different. I’ve also been noticing other weird things. Lately I keep catching myself doing the stupidest things. What is happening to me? When did I become the person who cannot remember to not speak while he has mouthwash in his mouth? Yes, I made a mess.

I think it might have to do with the fact that I haven’t been doing much with my brain over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been very lazy and I guess it’s true what they say. Your brain is a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it and let’s just say that I’ve been finding myself with time to floss, time to clean, to discover that my duvet fits in the washing machine, etc.

Starting this Monday I should be getting back into my uni work. I have to start and finish my dissertation by the end of September. Although it sounds like a long time it’s not. There are a lot of things than need to be done. I have a lot of reading, writing and referencing to do. Preferably I should use half the time to research and write it and the rest to make correction/revisions and “last minute” additions which aim to improve the grade.

Having said all this, I know what I’m like and I can see myself procrastinating another week away. What do you tend to do when you procrastinate or get lazy?

2 down, 2 to go (my brain hates me)

We are waiting to be called in the exam room. The time goes by and we’re all telling each other how we are not ready for this and dreading the exam. Some laugh nervously, others sit in a corner and one is in the wrong place altogether. Seriously, he’s meant to be somewhere else for a different exam but he doesn’t know. He realises he should had gone in with the previous group and tries to convince us that we are all wrong and it is us who are waiting in the wrong place. He goes to check and we never see him again.

Then one of the examiners opens the doors to let us in to the room. We all take our seats and so I choose a desk as far away from people as possible. Today everything seems more informal, it is a smaller room than last week’s and the examiners are not as uptight. We sit down and within 5 minutes we are casually told that we can now start.

I begin to read.

1. This question is on UML and OCL, the…

-Candymaaaaaaaaan! Hey! Candy Maaaaaan!

– No, this can’t be happening. I thought it was over!

– Who can take the sunriiiiise?

– No! No! Shut up!

the Object Constraint Language. The following type diagram represents a…

– Sprinkle it with dewwww…

– Arghhh! Stop it!

– Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or twoooo

– This is not good.

I keep reading through the rest of the questions and try to answer what I can while this plays over and over in my head.

– The candy man can ’cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste goooooood…

By the second hour of the exam I have surrendered to the madness. My feet now move along to the full on band going off in my head in dolby surround.

– Talk about your childhood wishes, you can even eat the dishes!

How can you be upset about doing crappy on an exam when you have this song in your head?

– Who can take the rainbow (who can take the rainboooow)
Wrap it in a sigh (wrap it in a siiiiigh)
Soak it in the sun
And make a groovy lemon pie?

Yes, there were backing vocals too. Why does my brain hate me? Why won’t the voices in my head stop torturing me at the worst possible times?

1 down 3 to go

Momentum. That’s what I have right now. I swear I could start revising for my next exam right now but I won’t. I will not, because I think my brain has already turned to mash and I don’t want to push it over the edge. It would probably liquify and that wouldn’t be good since I have another 3 exams before I finish.

Today’s exam was um, interesting. I honestly don’t know what to make of it. I wasn’t in my best of moods today and I couldn’t even smile. My friends at uni knew there was something wrong as soon as they saw me and because I haven’t been taking much care of myself lately either, I also look like crap. One of them looked at me for a few seconds and then said that I looked “old”. I don’t know whether it’s because I haven’t shaved in a WHILE or because the bags under my eyes have now stretched all the way down to my knees but that was the verdict. After waiting for about 30 minutes (yes, of course we were there early) the lecturer told us we could go in and get settled.

I took my time. I found a desk away from people I knew and sat down. I didn’t want to be distracted. My luck had a different opinion though. After I sat down more people came in the hall and filled out all the spots but that was not the bad part. You see, I was expecting all the seats to be filled. What I was not expecting was sitting in direct view of a student with his butt hanging out of his jeans. I am not talking about that “hip” thing where your jeans hang low and everyone can see your underwear. The guy was airing his butt! He was sitting on his frickin’ belt!

A few moments later the faint aroma of shit reached me. I don’t know who it was. Either someone had soiled themselves because of all the stress or they could had stepped in dog shit. All I know was that I was being mooned and could smell shit.

I counted backwards from 10 and I refrained from taking deep breaths. I focused my mind elsewhere. I filled in my details on the papers in front of me and read the first couple of questions of the exam though the front page (I consider this a skill) and tried to think.

The time came and the tutor informed us that we could open our booklets and start the exam. I opened mine and read the first two questions again. They were not making any sense. I moved on to the next page. Nop, still nothing. I felt like the words in front of me had lost all meaning. I moved on to the last page which was of course the last question and it made sense! That was it! That was were I was going to begin. I started writing and writing and once everything I could think of was on the answer booklet I moved back to the previous questions. Everything was making sense now. I was in the zone and I couldn’t stop writing.

Almost 3 hours later and I was still writing. My hand was throbbing but I ignored it. I kept writing until I suddenly stopped. I still had 20 minutes but my brain was finally empty. Everything I could possibly come up with as answers to the questions was now on the paper so I decided to see what I had done. I counted the pages.

14 pages! I hadn’t stopped for 14 pages! I was amazed! Not everything I wrote was relevant but it was correct. If they give me marks for half the stuff on there, I’ve passed.

The next 3 exams are all next week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday). These will be tougher because I won’t have much time in between to revise as much as I’d like but for now I’m not worrying. I have a few days before Tuesday to prepare for them.

hosting ugliness

So it’s been almost 4 days since this blog died an ugly death. Two of the MySQL servers of the hosting company stopped working (with no explanation given) and when I contacted them they said that I should check the “known current issues” section in the account control panel. In fewer words; they suck. They didn’t even bother to tell me what was happening and their response ended in “I hope you’re having a great weekend”.

I may be too upset about this but when someone contacts you in the middle of the night before the sun is even up on Saturday and they tell you that their site is dead they can’t be having too great a weekend can they? They probably didn’t mean it sarcastically but that’s how I took it. I wanted to jump through the screen, grab them by the shoulders and shake them a couple of times.

As you can see the database is back online which means the site is back on as well but I don’t know for how long. As I type this the server might have already crapped out on me again and when I click the Publish button my entry will be lost. I made a fresh backup of the database and will soon start to move away from this hosting company.

They used to be far more reliable when I was with them a year ago and now they’ve lost me as a customer for ever. If they had done anything about this issue sooner or if they had offered some sort of decent apology or compensation I would not be so upset but they haven’t.

Bye bye streamline.net. I am seriously disappointed in you.