Luke Melia


February 14, 2002

2/13/02, 11:40 pm

I always knew that I was a little weird, but the last couple of days, I reminded myself of it. Two things got me very excited recently: XML DTDs and campaign finance reform. It wasn’t the only thing that pepped me up recently — but they were highlights.

XML DTDs are cool because the let you define syntax and set of rules for an XML file that you can then use to validate a file. Imagine writing a few rules down and instantly being able to speak another language and know without a doubt if you’re doing it right. I should have been using DTDs all along, but better late to the party than never. I’m getting the vibe that XML Schemas are superior for the same tasks. I’ll have to check them out.

Campaign finance reform is hot because we’re on the brink of the most significant structural political change in my lifetime. The Shays-Meehan bill passed tonight. (No link yet, the papers should be full of articles tomorrow.) If it can weather the remaining battles ahead of it, it will go a long way to reducing corruption and in appropriate influence in our political system. The good news, great news even, is that it looks like there’s a strong enough coalition of politicians who want to do the right thing to make reform succeed.

There are exceptions, but most people I share my excitement with on either of these fronts — well, let’s say they’re excited for me, but not with me. Ah well. Weirdness is what it is.

As for the rest of life, it goes on. Been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with friends recently. We picked up a win this week in volleyball and celebrated Cher’s resignation afterwards over sushi, sake, Asahi, and even age-tofu and kanten. That was Monday and that was Japanese.

Last night was a celebration of Chinese New Year (Year of the Horse, if you’re wondering; and bad year for getting married, if you’re thinking about it) at Melissa’s. Dumplings, eggrolls, noodles and apple pie. Yeah… I’m not sure if the apple pie fits in either, but it was damn good. The crowd was lots of fun. It broke down like this: a teacher/poet, a student/teacher, a producer/Bill-Moyers-sidekick, a web-writer/job-seeker, a designer/blogger, a boyfriend/ex-banker, a city-planner/secret-DJ, and more good-hearted citizens (my wit is fading…). G and I talked blogging as usual: he’s going to be published in a book about bloggers! Anyway, that was Tuesday and that was Chinese.

This evening, I showed Shannon pictures from my trip at a mildly overpriced but tasty vegan restaurant in East Village. Nice to catch up with her. And I think she’s the only other person in New York that hasn’t seen “Amelie”! Since the photos of the world-traveling duck continue to elicit reference to that movie, we’re making plans to check it out. So that was Wednesday and that was vegan.

Tomorrow… Valentine’s Day. Not the most wonderful holiday for a single and slightly-depressed-about-it young man. I thought about drinking alone at home, (There’s a six-pack of Kirin in the fridge leftover from the Superbowl.) but downward spirals are so very unattractive, so I decided to drink at a bar with my other single male friends. There’s not too many of them, but enough to commiserate and generally get ourselves in trouble. So that will be Thursday and that will be, umm, male, I guess. Or something.

Screw it, I’d better wait for the future to arrive before writing about it. Happy dreams of useful Document Type Definitions, corruption-free politics, themed days, and friends that are there for you when you need them most. I’m serious! Especially about the last one.

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