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Denial of Sleep

July 17, 2000

Dear [bunch of names],

Insomnia, insomnia. It's 03:30am and I'm awake. I already read a book, I worked on my thesis, I listened to some music and now I'm writing an e-mail. I'm waiting for Sleep to visit me, but I'm inclined to suspect that she forgot me tonight. I never try to sleep when I'm not tired, so as a last resort I hope that I find writing to you so boring that I'll get tired.

For you to be able to picture this, I'll give a rough sketch of the situation: I'm sitting upright, cross-legged in my full-size bed (about as big as a twijfelaar) with a comforter over my legs. I have an IBM Thinkpad 600 running Linux 2.2.15 in my lap. Using ViM 5.7 (patchlevel 2) I am writing you this---up to now exceedingly boring--- e-mail. It will get better, I promise. Actually I know it will get better for sure, because I already wrote the rest of this e-mail. The cover of my comforter is orange and my mattress cover is yellow. Next to me is a small portable CD player playing Mozart Piano Sonata 10 (K. 330, my personal favorite) played by Glenn Gould (who disliked Mozart's piano sonatas; he makes that very clear, too). On my ears I have the best headphones Sony (and mankind as a whole) ever created. There is a van Dale Nederlands-Engels dictionary lying with me in bed, too.

Now that you have the full picture I can go on. I'm still not tired. Its 03:45am and I'm still going strong.

It's been a while and not much has happened since the previous e-mail. You would expect that writing an e-mail about nothing is a good way to get tired. Let's see...

Yesterday I went to the worst wedding ever. I married! Just kidding. I didn't. Someone else did, though, and they're going to regret it once they see the pictures. It was a very untraditional Jewish wedding and it was a very nice, very free opportunity to see what MY wedding will NOT look like. It was soooo cheesy: music, cake, first dance, bad speeches and drunk people. Very impersonal. It ended with people dancing in a congo-line (polonaise). I felt a trifle uncomfortable with the unfolding scene and thank heaven Shirley (the young woman I went with) suggested to leave at that point.

Does anybody know why the man has to put the ring on a woman's right index finger and the woman has to put the ring on the man's left ring-finger? It didn't make sense to me, but I guess it's one of those Jewish laws/rules/traditions that simply won't make sense, however hard you think about them. Americans have weird rules too: they won't let me in a bar without my passport (no joke), but buying a gun is OUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT, DAMMIT!!!! Want more? OK, here goes: you can only walk around with alcohol if it's wrapped in a paper bag (so that everybody can see you have alcohol with you). Let's see: oh, yes... according to the latest projections, this country has 2.17 trillion dollars to spend (that is roughly 4.5 trillion guilders) and Baby Bush is standing there, explaining that the people who pay most taxes (i.e., the rich) need a tax break. And nobody is laughing at him! Classes are overcrowded, children can't read when they come out of school and people are dying because they can't pay medical care. Thank god for Bush, though, who protects the tax-payer. According to opinion polls, that guy will be this country's next president and nobody seems worried about that. Mark my words: that guy has "problems" written all over his forehead. I am really happy to see, though, that Americans are choosing their future president based on real issues. The most eloquent thing I heard somebody say about George W. Bush so far is that he looks better than Al Gore. I was close to strangling that person.

If you feel like it, fill out the form on http://www.speakout.com/SelectSmart/ and see what candidate you would vote for. The form asks your opinion on different issues and tells you what presidential candidate you would vote for if you had the god-given right to vote in this country.

OK, enough. This will only make me angry, not tired.

I try to learn new words every day. Yesterday somebody said that something was such a serendipity. A while ago somebody revealed to me what regurgitate means. Do you know what perpendicular is? No? I do.

Besides taking cold showers, I spent the last 5 days sitting in my chair writing my master thesis. I write, rewrite, edit, rewrite, draw pictures, delete, copy and paste. I am going sooo slooowww. I actually spent 1.5 days on three paragraphs. Perfectionism is supposed to be a wonderful trait, but sometimes I think I am stretching its meaning to the point of absurdity.

I miss Amsterdam and my friends. I'll be back soon.

OK. It's 04:40am now. It's getting light and I am pretty tired. My back starts to hurt, too. I feel a little brain dead and I have a cold, too. Good night.

Thomer

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