Print Story Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
By aphrael (Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 07:25:44 PM EST) (all tags)
There's a plastic bag in a lab at work, with large styrofoam penauts, and a label that says:

 * combusyibles in LOW quantity of HEAT and NOT give out any HARMFUL GAS
 * possible for dealing with waste as COMBUSTIBLES
 * NOT give out an OFFENSIVE SMELL
 * FIBROUS but not DUSTY

I remember twenty years ago today; we had pizza in class, to celebrate. My German teacher had come from East Germany, before the wall went up; the day after it came down was the happiest I ever saw her, and unification day was a close second. The hopes and aspirations of the German people were fulfilled on that day; it was a day of great joy, even knowing that the work ahead would be difficult.

The work ahead was difficult. The hopes of the day have, to a great extent, not been fulfilled; the dream has turned, a bit, sour. And yet ... and yet: wounds take a long time to heal,  and a slash through the center of a nation does not heal in a generation. The process is ongoing; in time, it will be as nothing.

Inside: music, california politics, school, life.

The last trance show I went to, someone died. It was a major controversy in my county, with the county board of supervisors getting involved to pressure the venue to say "never again" to electronic dance music of any kind. The next show by the same promoter unexpectedly cancelled itself in July, and of course our local clone of the Love Parade cancelled itself as well. So when tickets for Sequence (with Blake Jarrell and Roger Shah) went on sale, I bought them immediately. (The promoter sets up a pricing structure which encourages that: the first X tickets go for price A, then the next X for price B, etc).

Yet Saturday afternoon and evening I found myself not wanting to go. We'd spent the early afternoon playing board games with a local friend and an out of town friend who was visiting for the opera; that had been fun, but after dinner I found myself feeling lazy, and clingy, and lonely. Unmotivated, not wanting to do much of anything.

Still, I forced myself out of the house, and it was a good thing I did; I had a blast at the show.

The venue was somewhat small (the health-and-safety certificate said the main floor had a capacity of 440, which shocked me). This was good in that it meant that everyone was close to the musicians; it was bad in that the annoying f---tards in the crowd were impossible to avoid. (There was a particular group who seem to have never learned how to move politely through a crowd, and were basically shoving people aside as they moved around all night. This is a behavior pattern I don't understand: I can usually get to where I want to be fairly quickly by simply waiting for the spaces to open up as people shift about, and then sliding through them. Although I admit that can be made harder by groups like the extended chinese family who were in the middle of the floor, minimally dancing, sticking together, and mostly making sure everyone had enough water, chewing gum, paper towels, etc, to feel comfortable). Still, annoying f---tards in a crowd are possible to ignore, and as much as they piss me off at first, eventually the atmosphere and the energy of the music and the joy communicated through the dance cause me to just not care any more. :)

I don't remember much of the night itself; there's a degree to which five hours of dancing to trance music blends together. After a while, there can be a meditative aspect to it; a total immersion in an environment which causes thought to silence itself, and allows me to simply be present, to see and hear and feel, and not ponder or wonder or worry. Bright shining moments of stillness in the midst of motion.

What I do remember, mostly, are pictures of people - the tall Indian dude in an anunjabeats t-shirt with his short southeast asian girlfriend who were the only people other than me who were essentially on the floor dancing the whole time; another indian dude who, during the last set, kept grabbing his young chinese friend by the t-shirt and pulling him back over (the friend kept wandering off to watch some girls on the other side of the stage); the tall dude in the beret (who was vaguely associated with the large Chinese crowd from above) who high-fived me; the dude with the multiple glow stick necklaces who was making out with his girlfriend; the extremely cute 50-something couple dancing together during the Roger Shah set, lower energy than us younglings jumping up and down but still having a blast; the muscular shirtless young desi guy standing next to me for half an hour during the last number; the dude who got all excited and happy and shouted about partying when I hugged him; the dude in the deadmau5 shirt who danced for most of the set and was passed out on the couch by the bathroom when i went out to use it early in the fourth act ... all these people, faces in the crowd, distant and yet not, sharing moments of joy and peace.

There's something about trance in a crowd which is cathartic and relaxing; something which leaves me feleing love for each and every person I meet on the floor,that brings an astonishing peace and acceptance and echoes the joy of life throughout the room, and deep in my osul.


It was cold when I left, my shirt and pants soaked through, the wind coming up from the ocean and pushing across the city. Cold, cold, cold. But it was a short walk.


In other news: my project has shipped, finally, after more than a year of working on it. It's hard to be excited about this, the way I might have been back when I worked at Borland; what I feel is mostly relief ... the responsibility off my shoulders, and some time and space to breathe.

One of my favorite team members quit in August to move on to newer (and more remunerative) things; we've picked up his replacement and started training him today. It's a good time for training; we're in a low ebb, which makes it possible to spend lots of time on hand-holding. (All software engineers need hand-holding when they start; that's the nature of the job).

I'm mostly bored with my classes.

That's not entirely true.

Civil discovery I am, as expected, entirely bored with. Patent law I'm just pissed off at (patent law seems to be all about figuring out how many demons can whip the angels dancing on the head of a pin; it's remarkably unsatisfying intellectually and the class is just increasing my lay engineer's opinion that the whole system is fundamentally broken). Advanced Criminal Procedure, taught by a real criminal defense lawyer who seems to spend most of his time telling war stories, is a blast.

But I'm ready to be done.

There's a saying about law school: "the first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, the third year they bore you to death"; this doesn't strictly apply to the four-year part-time program, but ... i'm done. It's hard to maintain attention; the good news is that most of my classes don't require that much actual work, so I can concentrate on things like cuddling with my husband, listening to techno, and playing civ.

I'm disappointed in the new civ5 for many of the reasons ucblockhead explained in his diary.


I feel bad spamming the diary section with California proposition stuff, so rather than reproducing them, here are the two most recent rants, as links for those who wish to follow:

Proposition 26; Proposition 21.


There's an anniversary coming up which is critically important in the history of my life; and many of ya'll are indirectly involved. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

Thank you for being there.

Yous knows who youse are.

< Now she's gone and done it. | Gah >
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
do you by garlic (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 09:02:31 AM EST
take chemical enhancers for these shows or just get by naturally?

the sum total of chemical enhancement by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 09:59:31 AM EST
I for one by duxup (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 03:42:58 PM EST
I find the California proposition stuff interesting, amusing, and frighting at times.

so did you click through the links? :) by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 06:40:23 PM EST
Yup by duxup (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 10:24:00 PM EST

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Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback