five hours of frantic programming encompassed most of my day today. bugs, deadline, and the unseen pressure of the client's client woke me this morning. after my morning ritual of opening all the shades in my house, i sat in front of my machine debugging code and looking for solutions. i think i'm pretty close, going to take early tomorrow morning to test the results, but i'm cautiously optimistic. when i'm in this zone, i often forget to eat, and that was the case today. i would've gone the whole day hungry were it not for my father we dropped by briefly to deliver some of my mail that'd been piling up in belmont and to show me how to make scallion pancakes. we actually cheated a little bit, he brought over some store bought pre-made pancakes, and all it was was a simple matter of heating it with some oil on a frying pan. the hardest part was to make sure it didn't smoke up and fill the house with the smell of grease. they were actually pretty good, warm solid food on a day that was very cold in my house because i wanted to conserve heat and wait until the temperature indoors dropped to the 50's, but i couldn't feel my hands and feet anymore and even after pants and a pullover top i was still shivering, so i fired up the furnace to make the house nice and toasty. my father told me he'd show me how to make scallion pancakes from scratch another day.

for dinner (or a late lunch) i reheated the hot and sour soup over the stove (i almost never use the microwave to heat anything unless i'm in a hurry) and had another bowl of that stuff. that's when alex wong called to see if i wanted to do dinner at the porter exchange, most probably cafe mami because alex is a creature of habit and that's where he always eats. it wasn't too crowded today, we got a seat right away. we sat next to these two obnoxious international kids of middle eastern descent, their cellphones and wallets on the table, sitting with legs wide apart, reeking of cologne. they tag teamed their seats, allowing two of their friends to take their spots, disregarding whether or not anybody else was waiting for seats. i passive aggressively fantasized about one of them accidently bumping into me so i punch one of them in the face as hard as i could. fortunately, we ate in relative peace, no blood was shed. the waitress didn't even bother giving alex a menu, he apparently comes so often and always order the same thing (did i mention the creature of habit part?). i ordered the spicy beef on rice ($7). having just had a big bowl of hot and sour soup at home, i could barely finish this second dinner of the night. when we were all done eating, alex started talking to these two asian girls sitting next to us, a singaporean girl and her korean friend. i figured it was just chit chat, i didn't bother joining in, sort of sat and watched and drank my water. just as we're about to leave though, alex asked one of the girls for her phone number, which she refused to give him. later he told me that his technique would've worked in japan, but not here.

i called joel up because i was to meet him at the kendall cinema to catch a free screening of standing in the shadow of motown. he swung by in his jeep and picked me up from the street corner outside of the white hen pantry in porter square. when we got to the theatre, we met his friend chris, who was also going to the screening as well. the movie, a documentary, was about the story of the funk brothers, the musicians who created the sounds of motown. it was sort of like a concert film with the surviving musicians performing with contemporary vocalists, sliced with first person anecdotes, peppered with the occasional third party views and the occasional dramatic reenactments. the music was the selling point though, and although the lead singers get most of the glory, to an extent they're rather expendable, but without the musicians to make the signature sounds, there would be no motown. made me want to put on my motown records (cds) when i got home.

joel drove me back to cambridge, where i showed him my place again. since his last visit, the kitchen's been pinked and the bathroom's been greened. also when he was here, the network/cable wiring hadn't been finished yet. i brought him down in the basement as well so he could see the screen house foosball table and the old screen house sign.

i don't mean to be mean but... have you ever checked out tracy mcgrady? or, as the kids like to call him, t-mac, the basketball player for the orlando magic and spokesman for adidas. is it just me, or is there something seriously wrong with his eyes? they point in different directions and they're set so wide apart, like a chameleon, or maybe a hammerhead shark. can he even see? maybe he's able to track the ball with one eye and with the other eye watch his man? i'm just surprised nobody's ever mentioned it, it's so obvious, i can't even watch any magic games, i'm too distracted by t-mac's roving eyes.

i'm starting to care less and less about macs. i no longer feel that apple is the company for me. it makes me feel ill when i read supposedly objective macintosh magazines that do nothing but extol the virtues of the apple platform and say things like how the g4 chip is way better than any PC chip or the scant monthly reviews of the handful of new products that came out for the mac. i feel those publications are nothing more than apple propaganda. apple does make some exciting and innovation machines, but you can't put a copyright on a look and each time apple comes out with something new, all the major pc vendors have similar looking clones of their own soon afterwards, so there's nothing exclusive about apple's design cool. i hate it how we as mac users have to sort of rationalize and convince ourselves that less is more when it comes to software selection and hardware choices. i don't like how we must always play last season's hottest game when they're just lukewarm now. steve job not wanting to attend the macworld expo here in my own city of boston in 2004? if that wasn't the death knell of my love affair with apple, then it must've sounded pretty similar. i don't think i'd ever make the switch to a PC, at least not in my immediate future. i grew up on a mac, i know macs, all i have are macs, it easier for me to just use macs. but the choice may not be mine. future macs won't be bootable from OS 9, only OS X? that's another bad news right there. apple's been pushing OS X down our throats, trying to convince us how it's this cool new OS. well ladies and gentlemen, i'm hear to announce that i hate it. OS X is unmaclike. OS X is unix, and when i signed up for this mac experience almost 2 decades ago, i didn't sign up for command line procedures and trying to figure out what all those hundreds of thousands of files are doing in my system. that's the PC experience, that's not mac. well, not anymore. maybe the future of computing is higher levels of complexity that are barely disguised behind a soft layer of GUI, maybe i'm just missing the big picture, not bright enough to understand this revolution in computing. but i liked OS 9 the way it was, i didn't need a complete makeover. i feel like the woman on trading spaces who comes back to her bedroom and sees that they've completely changed everything around and things look terrible and i have to walk off camera to sob uncontrollably while my husband quietly mumbles "this is bad" over and over again. somehow within the past few years, i've lost my mac faith. despite all its shortcomings though, is there a better computer religion out there? maybe i just hate computers in general. sweet life of a farmer working with his hands out in the field smelling that fresh earth tending to my crops, maybe that's the life for me. a computer should just be a tool, but depending on what platform you choose, you also find yourself absorbed into these competing computer cultures. i don't need that culture.