Wow… keep meaning to write in this thing, but I’m not yet in the habit. I seem to have reached the maximum number of things I can think about at any one time. Anyway, here’s the short recap of what has been going on with me lately. Having bought a house in Chapel Hill, NC, I was legally obligated to either get pets and buy a hybrid car, or become a vegan. Now, I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not crazy enough to go vegan, so we got a couple of cats named Prettyboy and Floyd from an animal rescue group and picked up a “seaside pearl” (that means “blue”) Prius.

We got the cats about 4 days ago, and they had a bit of a trial adjusting (we faced a challenge convincing them to use the litter box for a couple of days, which is lovely on the hardwood floors and the erstwhile chair cushion), but seem to have decided to indulge us.

We bought the Prius almost accidentally… our old ’93 Toyota Corolla (dubbed the “Casserolla” when a cheese casserole was lingeringly spilled in the backseat) has been dying a shuddering death for months, so having put off getting a new car until we found (and financed) a house, we went out a couple of weekends ago to test drive a Toyota Yaris or a Scion xA. We did drive a Scion, but the Prius was just so much nicer (and with a better resale value) that we ordered one on the spot. It was delivered yesterday, on my birthday, October 24th. It’s pretty 21st century. We got the simplest option package, but even still that came with keyless entry and startup (as long as I have the “key” on me, I can open and start the car, without touching the key), and a rear-view backing-up camera. This is as close to a luxury car as I ever intend to buy. We saw a lecture last week by Dr. Wallace Broecker, the gentleman responsible for the groundbreaking theory of the Great Ocean Conveyor that was key in the understanding of global warming, on the need to develop an efficient way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. We chatted with him after the lecture, and among other things, I asked if the Prius would really help the environment… he praised it not only for those qualities, but also just for the engineering and comfort of it (his wife has one). I’m not fooling myself that I will save enough money in gas to make up for the price, but I felt like it was my civic responsibility to do what I could for the environment (and it really is a nice ride).

So, speaking of my birthday, we went out to visit some friends last night, then had a great time at Fuse, a local nightspot, where we had a good dinner and bumped into a different crowd of friends for a fun conversation. The night before, we went to the Cat’s Cradle to see Bettie Serveert (an old favorite band from the Netherlands, 15 years old now!), and really enjoyed the local opening act as well, Alina Simone. A few days before, we saw some friends’ bands… The Strugglers opening for The Prayers & Tears Of Arthur Digby Sellars at Local 506, and it was a great show as well. I used to see at least 2 or 3 shows a month (sometimes that many in a week!) just a few years ago, but I’m not as in the know about bands and shows these days. Still, we want to make it a point to get out to live shows more. My girlfriend’s younger, so her knowledge is a little more up to date than mine.

Man, what else? Work-work (we have revamped our database to be a lot faster and more powerful, and I’m renovating the charting package to match), and standards work (mostly SVG), and secret project work, and domestic stuff, and reading, and hanging out with friends, and seeing The Prestige (we don’t go out to movies that often, but I loved this book), and all that normal stuff that one does when one isn’t in a foreign land. I promise I’ll talk more about Morocco, by request, in some upcoming post. And more about technology. And less about quotidiana.