Names and situations have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent (me). For clarity purposes, some bits that may have been merely thought at the time, are fully spelt out here.

A bit over a year ago, last class of the semester:

Prof. Travoltus: And I wish you all a successful career and might see you again one day, shall you decide to go for a post-grad in AI.

Dave: Does that mean you are involved in that curricular too? Oh god, no.

Prof. Travoltus: Indeed I am. And don’t worry, I hate your guts too.

Dave: Why, thanks. You are quite a tool yourself.

Prof. Travoltus: You little arrogant piece of self-sufficient shit. Don’t you think I didn’t notice your constant sneering at every other one of my [very unfunny] jokes and comments, all semester long.

Dave: Same to you sir. By the way, 1970 called and it wants its corduroy bellbottoms back. ’said you could keep the pungent cologne, though.

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I suppose it might a bit late to ask him… But nevertheless: could Glenn Gould please just shut. the. fuck. up.

Glen: we know you’re a bloody genius, and you do temper that clavier mighty well indeed. But seriously: ENOUGH WITH THE HUMING ALREADY. It is driving me batshit crazy (not that I need much these days).

Thanks.

 

Because this phase of intense self-absorbed navel-contemplation passing off as thoughtful meditation just isn’t about to end now…

the Good

  • Last week’s blitz-vacations in London were everything I needed (quite possibly a few things I didn’t need too). I unfortunately didn’t have time to travel to the countryside and say hi to the family (hi auntie, sorry I didn’t make it), but I got to catch up with many longtime-not-seen friends, met a few cool new people etc.
  • This week, funding was approved on a research internship I had a applied for, back in February. As a result, I will be spending the Summer in Tokyo, perfecting world domination plans and my army of killer robots at the NII. That is, if I don’t decide to drop out and retreat to a Zen monastery instead. And it is far from excluded at this point.
  • I’m “brilliant”. More to the point: I am no longer the only person in the world to publicly hold that unflinching opinion of myself (see below).

the Bad

  • Being “brilliant”, I am therefore “way too smart to be wasting time on such trivial matters as those affecting my mood and the quality of my work these days”. Sayeth a certain advisor of mine.
  • “Fuck you”, or a somewhat equally disparaging and hardly more articulate variation on the term, may have been my reply to said advisor and coincidentally depositary of a good share of my academic future.
  • Despite today being the first day of final exams week (more like the French equivalent of post-grad quals, actually), I have yet to open a single revision book or prepare for any of it. The cause may lie in aforementioned trivial matters of the heart or, more likely, in the sudden realization that I might be heading the way of that very advisor’s somewhat pathetic, if highly regarded in academic circles, life and career.

the Ugly

  • In fact, for reasons I can’t fully fathom (although there sure are a couple leads to follow), I seem to have caught the academic-self-doubt bug at the most unbecoming time. I honestly don’t think I will act on it, but the fact I can’t bring myself to even find interest, let alone try and revise for those rather important exams, seems a pretty efficient passive-aggressive way to get there nonetheless.
  • Irony of ironies, I think I may have done pretty well today in spite of my utter lack of preparation, which still leaves the question open for the remaining 4 exams I am to take (not to mention, yearly lab project, due next week).

I suppose I still have ten hours (sleep notwithstanding) to acquire a motivation, snort 10g of crushed Red Bull powder and catch up on two weeks worth of revisions.

Will I ? Fuck if I know. Suspense is killing me.

Have you ever noticed how, sometime, you feel so great about life that the most catastrophic news barely manage to scratch past your happiness before slipping away unnoticed…

But then, when things have come crashing down and you feel utterly miserable about everything, inside or outside, you cannot bring yourself to care, let alone rejoice, about the sort of good news you’d been waiting with baited breath for months until then.

All that in an endlessly repeating sequence, it seems.

I think we need a name for that strangely cyclical phenomenon…

Mu

May 3rd, 2007 | Filed under Insignificant Details
 
Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.

Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realisation, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received.”

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth angry.

“If nothing exists,” said Dokuon, “where did this anger come from?”
Zen koan

Qualche volta, la notte, quest’oscurità, questo silenzio, mi pesano.

E’ la pace che mi fa paura. Temo la pace più di ogni altra cosa: mi sembra che sia soltanto un’apparenza, e nasconda l’inferno.

Pensa a cosa vedranno i miei figli domani…

Il mondo sarà meraviglioso, dicono. Ma da che punto di vista, se basta uno squillo di telefono ad annunciare la fine di tutto?

Bisogna di vivere fuore dalle passione e altri sentimenti nell’armonia che c’è nell’opera d’arte reuscita, in quell’ordino incantato.

Vodremmo reuscire al amarci tanto, da vivere fuore del tempo, distacati…

distacati.
La Dolce Vita

Back from London. Now I’ll be taking a break for a couple days. See you later.

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... is what they say after you vote in France.
Today I voted for the first (and probably one of the last) time in my life in a French election.
Now off to the afterparty

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Unfortunately, our peaceful evening on the Pont des Arts was interrupted by some sort of weird political flashmob made of supporters for French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.

Not only were they noisy and unsightly, but they also spent their evening, spreading balloons and political pamphlets on every single boat passing by. Doing their bit for their candidate and (literally) polluting the surroundings.

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Despite my tummy’s strong disapproval of last night’s excesses, I shall soon be heading north for a [supposedly] relaxing week-end in the land of plentiful, cheap, yummy Indian food (been craving a real tikka massala for months now).

See ya on the other side.

 

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I have only one ambition in life.

Well… Two ambitions, but the other one is more of a long-term goal. For now, I just want to become the first search result on Google for my given name. This in itself being a crucial step in my larger world-domination’s plot, since we all know Google controls the world already.

As it is, I already have pole position for my old ‘dr Dave‘ moniker. But, and you read it here first, I am hereby setting in motion the switch in online identity from ‘dr Dave’ to just plain ‘Dave’.

No, I wasn’t sued by the American Board of Medicine, or any equivalent local institution. Beside, that Honorary Ph.D. in Curse Removal and Sexual Healing from Kinshasa’s University of Black Magic is all but legit.

However, crazy as the idea may sound (I have a hard time believing it myself), I might one day not too long from now be a bona fide doctorate student: it is likely that my honorary ‘Doctor’ title would by then confuse many people (not that it hasn’t already) which was never the intent. Hence the shift to unambiguous, simple, likable ‘Dave’. I’m guessing there are only a couple millions of us out there, someone has to be the one.

So, how are we doing on the Google front? Well, guess what: not so fucking bad!

Six, if you count them, six people (or things) are standing in the way to intercontinental online stardom.

Of course, I could rely on the quality of my content, my shining bright personality and ever-increasing public appreciation to slowly climb to first place. But I know better.

Instead, I have devised an infallible 6 Steps Program that shall shortly take me there, whence I will finally be able to rest and contemplate the world at my feet, laugh and move on from that Internet fad once and for all.

Please allow me to develop. Note that for obvious reasons, I cannot allow my now mortal enemies any extra link publicity and you will therefore have to Google their websites for yourself. Do it while you still can:

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L'Assassin, 99, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, Paris XI.

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So, apparently, “The Blogosphere is in deep mourning” and It has consequently decided to stop writing about Its cat for a day, “in honor towards” the latest US shooting craze victims. All that with shiny, yet appropriately sober, webtwozero buttons, because the Blogosphere likes nothing like an easy cut-n-paste mirror-effect logo to put in Its sidebar.

While some might be prompt to point at a culturally self-centred inconsequential web fad with vaguely nauseating marketing overtones, I won’t.

In fact, let’s take it one step further!

As of today, Tuesday, April 17th, the official death count for the ongoing Darfur genocide clocks in at a little over 400,000.

By my own calculation, and using the ongoing rate for online death commemoration, this gives us a mere 33.2 years, which we will round up to 30, for simplicity’s sake.

And it is therefore with great pleasure that I hereby introduce the 30yearBlogSilence initiative. Forgive me if I haven’t got the shiny web buttons ready, but feel free to set up a website for it.

As for the starting date, I think right fucking now is probably a good time: go ahead, I’ll be right behind you.