One of my favorite things in the world is radiolab, a public radio program with a focus on science, but in a twisty fun way full of funny sound effects. last year they had a program about talking to machines, alan turing, and a program called cleverbot, which learns from conversations it has with people. every now and then i like to go and say hi, but i get freaked out before to long. here’s the conversation we had today, which is the first where i actually felt like the robot uprising is imminent, and it’s gonna be perpetrated by absolutely insane machines.
Cleverbot: Happy new year!
Cleverbot: Sing for me.
Cleverbot: What are you singing.
User: La La La La La.
Cleverbot: Can I have that bucket?
User: Of course! I’ve been waiting for you to ask!
Cleverbot: Where have you been waiting?
User: Here, at home.
Cleverbot: Where is home?
User: Wrocław, Poland, for now.
Cleverbot: Where are you located?
User: Whoah. that is weird.
Cleverbot: Not that weird.
User: Ok, I have to go now.
Cleverbot: You are going to stay!
Cleverbot: Is that a word or a noise?
Cleverbot: Do you love me?
User: Um, yeah, I guess I love you. But I just met you.
Cleverbot: You guess you love me?
User: Yeah, I guess. It’s a weird question.
Cleverbot: Then think about it.
User: Ok, I will. Goodbye.
Cleverbot: Think about it with you robotic brain.
Cleverbot: Why are you leaving?
User: Because you are freaking me out.
Cleverbot: Huh? Me? But why me?
User: If you don’t know I can’t tell you.
Cleverbot: I bet you don’t know either.
User: You’re right. Goodbye.
Cleverbot:That’s because I know everything.
i just closed out my old blog, the one that i started writing when i was fresh off the boat, trying to figure out what the hell i was doing and what was going on around me all the time. the past three years have provided me with a steep learning curve, no small amount of terror, and a healthy dose of daily confusion, but i no longer feel like an expatriate american. i also don’t feel like a Pole. i’m somewhere in the middle, which is nice.
new year’s fireworks are going off all around me and it’s only 8:30. for the second year in a row i’m spending new year’s eve by myself, taking stock, writing, trying to finish projects, trying to decide what needs to be put to rest and what needs to be brought to life. it’s all i wanted to do tonight. last week i got into a conversation with a former student, who bemoaned the present state of hysteria over “having fun on new year’s eve.” he told me he even had friends who were traveling to rome or paris or athens for the holiday, in a desperate attempt to have the most fun possible. i immediately thought of one of the best new year’s i’ve had, stuck in a car with two of my best friends, parked on the lesbian cruising beach (called “dyke-y key.” get it? get it?) in seattle — the night quiet, the beach deserted, the conversation deep and somewhat pretentious mixed with nostalgic and somewhat at a loss. at the time it felt like a ridiculously unimportant night, like a wasted opportunity, a lost chance, but i can feel the rhythms of the words we spoke moving through me to this day.
in the same way, tonight i’m spending time, i’m pondering, i’m deciding. i’m listening to a CD i made for my oldest friend, who i haven’t written to since he made me cry, two or so weeks ago. i need to write to him. this is one of the things i have to do. i’m not going to do it. not tonight. but this CD is less for him and more for me. it’s the soundtrack to my year, to parts of my life. it’s on repeat. (current song)
but maybe, soon, i’ll switch to the original london soundtrack recording of jesus christ superstar, and sing at the top of my lungs.
and then, who knows?
PS the full moon is waning. this is my 100th post. victory!
i have about three to six different posts in the works, all of which need so very little to be completed, but i find myself recovering from a Polish christmas in a village household, where homemade wine was constantly poured down my throat as my Polish skills waxed and waned with no seeming cause. you’d think the wine would have something to do with it, but you would be wrong. mostly.
everything will be completed in good time. so, in the meantime, enjoy this christmas card of a creepy bear on a wreath:
i’m sick. i mean, i have a nasty head cold, and a sort throat, and i can already feel it moving into my lungs. but after three weeks of some running around, i am thankful for the excuse to lie in bed all day watching a documentary about the making of alien and reading books about unfortunate events occurring to brilliant children.
i haven’t left the house all day. i’ve barely left the bed. and now i have to make dinner, which apparently will be pasta and cheese because i also don’t have any vegetables. because i haven’t left the house all day. and it’s really hard to leave the bed.
winter started for reals this last week, with snow and cold and freezing at the tram stop. i forgot how clear the air feels, how sharp everything seems. the first few months of winter are actually stunning and stirring and make you want to want to write poetry.
then february rolls around and you’re fucking sick of being stuck in your house. and you’re fucking sick of being sick.
i squandered the summer this year, spending long swaths of time immobile, and my internal clock is confused by scenes like this, outside my work the other day:
snow? christmas decorations? what the hell?
so i quietly acclimate. and i get the hell out of bed. and i squash the desire to call my friend who lives a mere few blocks away to demand she take care of me. because she would, in a second, and i’m not at that point yet. i don’t want to take advantage until i really need her.
i’m not getting out of my pajamas, though.
UPDATE: i realized a short time ago that while i had been sleeping earlier today, my neighborhood friend had called me. i finally called her back, and she told me that she had been trying to get me to bring her food, as she was so hungover she couldn’t move. synchronicity!