Alexis convinced me to ride the bus by saying “you could ride the bus.” I Hugged Ainhoa and Leo at the bus stop. I Met Matteo, the new photography trial from Italy. Lorena talked with her Spanish/special needs bus-friend (who is an excellent singer when Lorena isn’t around to converse). The guy with elegant outfits who I see exiting the bus whenever I bicycle by was sitting near me. Jonas and I talked about how good his outfits always are as he exited.

Big mama Fabrica bought me some presents which were sitting under my desk. New ultrasonic mister and accompanying floating ring. It felt like my birthday, which it will be soon.

I was working on a maxpatch, Kenzi and Laura came in and rang the Mensa bell. Quentin stayed and worked on modular furniture drawings. Ainhoa made him a mensa-sandwich.

Kenzi and I went to Mis Catena. I talked about Finland (he didn’t know I was going), he talked about the “Venice Over Tourism” Unesco World Heritage project that Social Campaigns is working on.

In the afternoon I was measuring out a fan-array  when Quentin came in and said “it’s five” we went to the Imago Mundi meeting. Karen skyped in. Jonas picked ever present glitter out of his hair.

I chatted with Fuse as we left the bus home. Ran upstairs, ate the tiny amount of soup left from last night, changed the SIM card from my phone to ipad (broke the cable on the battery replacement I was attempting to instal on my phone) so now I giant phone instead of a tiny monitor.

Met with German photographer, Phillip, in Venice. We got a coffee, I signed his handwritten model release because there are no internet cafes in the world anymore, and no printers in all of Italy. He gave me €50, we took pictures by graffiti, by water, by trash cans with the Mcdonald’s logo (M, for me). A drunk guy came up and asked drunk questions.

The train was coming in half an hour so we got a drink. Two medium IPAs each. We had two because though the room was full of clocks, none of them were correct and I missed the train. I said he didn’t have to babysit me and he said he would be delighted to do so. We stayed another hour, talking about AI. Phillip lived in Japan with his gf, they started a company, they broke up. He went back to Germany and translated Japanese into German for Nintendo (Mario, Zelda, etc.) creating new jokes for those that were untranslatable.

“Grazie mille” I said to Phillip, as we waved goodbye, half a meter apart. Last Valentine’s day I was in Venice for the first time, having dinner by myself, amidst a sea of couples who’s language I didn’t know, and it was romantic. This year I had a romantic-platonic date with a stranger (who also forgot it was Valentine’s day).

I don’t really know the story of saint Valentine (of course I could look it up) but my impression is it has to do with someone who was brutalized/imprisoned, wrote kind letters (to friends?) from prison, and then got killed/martyred. And it’s a nice thought to celebrate love in many forms in honor of this dude who was v loving in spite of having it real bad.

In practice Valentine’s day seems to make people feel like they’re being martyred ;) All responses, critical and non, are common to the point of being boring. I feel boring writing about it. I am so bored. Here is a chart.

Critical / Negative Uncritical / Negative
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated is overly capitalistic Stress about buying gifts for (usually female identified) partners
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated is overly focused on romantic love Stress about being romantically alone on Valentine’s day
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated is cis/heteronormative Blanket middle-school-like hatred of Valentine’s day because it seems edgy
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated causes a significant upswing in emissions from rose agriculture  


Critical / Positive Not Critical / Positive
In terms of the namesake story, the holiday is actually just about spreading love, which is lovely It’s romantic


I am only parsing my thoughts on this topic because Kamille was bummed, belonging primarily to the uncritical-emotional-response group (though she’s meta about this). She said “When I’m alone and see other people in love I feel somehow jealous and my thoughts go in the direction ‘noone loves you because you’re trans.”

Heartbreaking. Reading what she had to say made me empathize more with people who feel things other than indifference toward the holiday.

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