As usual, first the positive news, namely the interview for the Dutch magazine 'Yes'. The journalist arrived on time, we had a nearly 2-hour long interview and things went well, although I did feel as usual that we kept skipping all over the place. Maybe that's normal practice during interviews or so. It takes quite a bit of energy to keep up with the pace, but I must admit to enjoying giving interviews, even if afterwards I'll feel completely exhausted, slightly miserable and generally just want to sleep for a few hours. What I found interesting with this interview, by the way, was that the journalist admitted that she would be reading the previous magazine articles on me again to see whether she missed anything important. She had also been watching the videos.
The interesting part about this is that I no longer have to tell my story from scratch to everyone, but that I have reached or am reaching the point where I only have to fill in some details, with the general story already being known. At the very least this makes interviews a bit more focused. Related to this was the journalist's story about her mother who, when she told her about this interview with me without mentioning my name, her mother immediately said that she had read a story like that in de Telegraaf not too long ago. I thought it was pretty funny, and of course nice to know that my story isn't just read and forgotten.
Publication date for this magazine article will be the first week of June or July. I'm also not sure yet whether there'll be a photoshoot or that I'll have to provide my own photos. I hope I get a bit more certainty on both points soon.
Now, time for some less rose-coloured news. Brace yourselves.
Okay, it isn't that bad, just me stressing out about the large amount of work I have ahead of me, with lots of programming, modelling, texture-mapping and animating to do on the ECD game, plus even more programming on the Lilium simulator. At this point I'm scaling things back a bit, trying to focus on one task at a time, as I noticed the past few days that I'm getting totally overwhelmed again, resulting in me doing little useful work and more switching between tasks. I now limit msyself to a maximum of two tasks a day, one in the morning and one during the afternoon. Hopefully this will keep me from suffering a burn-out or such.
Last night for example was quite terrible. I went to bed at around 11 PM, woke up at close to 2 AM, drenched in sweat, without recalling any kind of nightmare or something similar. I quickly fell asleep again, only to wake up one hour later, in a quite embarrassing and painful state, namely with an erection which seems to have been there for a while already, as it felt very painful. After many painful minutes it finally subsided, only to be replaced by a feeling of nausea, a tummy ache and headache. After a while of trying to sleep anyway and failing badly I went upstairs to nag Pieter. On my way upstairs I noticed that my legs felt quite rubbery and once I made it into Pieter's bedroom I pretty much collapsed on his bed.
Though I assumed I would get no more sleep that night, I still managed to sleep in short naps, probably due to the comforting presence of Pieter. I really hope tonight I won't have to go through the same experience again. I much prefer falling asleep and waking up only when it's appropriate and feeling refreshed, not having the sensation of being forced to survive the night until the dawn finally brings a bit of salvation.
One thing which I think was pretty entertaining was my talk with a Jehova witness, last Monday and today as well. It's both scary and fascinating to explore the mind of someone who absolutely believes in something which is simply put completely irrational. It's like they say: the difference between genius and insanity is very small. In the case of a genius the person will notice where something derails, with insanity there's no such precaution and the individual will happily jump after the derailed train of thought into the abyss of blind faith and absense of logic.
As an aside, when it comes to religion I do not denounce myself by trying to group myself with mundane labels such as 'theist', 'atheist' or 'agnostic'. Scientifically there's no point in lowering oneself to that level. Religions are interesting from a historical and social perspective to me, but no religion will ever directly affect my life, the point being that any religion or essentially belief system is merely an attempt to fill in certain blanks in our knowledge of the universe with made-up content, much the same way we can see shapes in clouds, or the Virgin Mary on a slice of toast. It's a human craving, or instinct to humanize the world around us by assigning emotions, will and desires to both living and non-living objects. To see a sentient being in the universe itself is a logical extension of this. QED :)
The short version is that the question of whether there is or isn't a god or gods is silly as long as one doesn't scientifically define what a 'god' is. A supernatural definition by default means that it's not scientific and thus not 'real' in the sense that it can be tested and verified. Realizing and accepting this would make one's life a lot easier and less frustrating when encountering the rationally less gifted among us.
Finally I would like to end on a note of bleak despair, with the news, or more non-news that the UMCG hospital hasn't given a (useful) response to my latest request for help. I guess having this body I was born with means that I have no choice but to live in the knowledge that it's normal to have my existence denied and that being socially isolated as a result should be seen as a blessing, not a curse. Also, medical science is woefully overrated and it's a good thing only things with a clear ROI are being researched any more instead of silly things, like adding to the general body of medical knowledge. Nobody ever got better from researching new abnormalities instead of prescribing more pills.