andy zebrowitzJuly 27, 1979 - February 14th, 2010
kitten   February 16, 2010

Obituary

Andrew (Andy) Morris Zebrowitz, born July 27, 1979, passed away Sunday evening, February 14, 2010 at Emory University Hospital. He is survived by his mother Cyndy Newcomer, father Michael Zebrowitz, sister Robin Zebrowitz Harpak and her husband Dotan Zebrowitz Harpak, stepfather Robert E. Newcomer, stepmother Kathy Aldan, grandmother Rosalyn Felheimer, and aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom loved him deeply.

Andy lived in East Cobb County for 29 of his 30 years and graduated from Pope High School. All his life, Andy marched to the beat of his own drummer, amusing (and sometimes irritating) his family and his many friends with his wry humor and mischievous pranks. Andy was known for his deep, melodious voice and his unique way of expressing himself, both verbally and in writing.

Known to his friends as "Kitten," Andy was a very talented writer who entertained people from all over the world with his website, www.mirrorshades.org, filled with his unique observations and his rants against conformity as well as his specially chosen musical selections.

As a last generous gesture, Andy chose to be an organ donor, so that others may experience the joy of life that was his for nearly 31 years. The family wishes to express its gratitude to the amazing medical personnel at Emory University Hospital's Neuro ICU.

A funeral service will be conducted by Rabbi Steven Lebow on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 4 p.m. at Sandy Springs Chapel, 136 Mount Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs, GA, followed by a graveside service at Arlington Memorial Park, 201 Mount Vernon Hwy. Following the funeral, the family will receive guests at the Newcomer residence.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Humane Society of the United States, www.humanesociety.org. "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long."

andy zebrowitzTake me away.
kitten   November 5, 2009

Without exception, each one of them exudes confidence as they slide up to the bar. Some of them occasionally cast eyes towards the front door as though waiting for someone, or furtively glance at their cellphones, like they're expecting an important call or message. A few stare idly at laptops, giving the illusion of work or importance.

They give themselves away with that, though: all that theatre for the benefit of an audience they wish they had. It's clear that they are all, every one, just another sad soul with elbows on the pine, far more engrossed in the shotglass in front of them than the reruns of Knight Rider they're pretending to watch on the TV above the bar.

Some of them have that confidence trick down better than others, but in the end it's all a show, and you can see in their eyes that something has given way deep inside, probably longer ago than any of them can remember.

"How 'bout another?" asks the waitress, and I point at my glass to say yes. She drifts off to get more, for me, and for the countless others.

The countless others. This girl, with the long blonde hair and who is constantly fidgeting with her stainless bracelet -- she's probably a hairdresser, but a director she knows has her number, only he hasn't called. Yet.

And that guy, with the carefully combed hair and knockoff Rolex, he's in sales, only he's really a guitarist, but his band needs a drummer and a bassist, and his keyboardist quit last month to move in with his girlfriend.

"Here you go, hon." The waitress appears out of the shadows, puts another glass of golden effervescence in front of me. "You good?"

"Yeah," I tell her. "I'm good."

That girl's a secretary but only until someone publishes her poetry. That guy's in marketing, but it's just a gig while he works on his novel. The man in the suit is worried about his bills but it won't matter when someone discovers he can sing.

Everyone has someone's number, but everyone's number is up.

Take me away. Take me a million miles from here.

andy zebrowitzPerfection.
kitten   November 4, 2009

A student of kitten's monastary approached. "Master," said the student, "I wish to attain enlightenment. How should I proceed?"

kitten replied, "You have no servers." The student shook his head.

"You have no network," said kitten. The student shook his head again.

"And," said kitten, "you have no users."

The student looked down, saying, "This is all true, Master. Have I no hope of acheiving enlightenment?"

"You have already achieved it," pronounced kitten.

andy zebrowitzWhat you need.
kitten   October 7, 2009

It is said that during the Asterisk era, a student sought Master kitten's wisdom. The student said, "There is a log file with an error I must review, but I cannot access that file. Can you change the file access permissions so I can read it?"

kitten asked, "You have not actually seen the error?"

"No," said the student.

"Then you don't need it," replied kitten.

andy zebrowitzPriorities.
kitten   October 6, 2009

A pupil of kitten was attempting to solve a user's problem, but found the user's constant whining distracting. The pupil went to kitten to complain.

"The user whines because he is irritated," said kitten.

"Why?" asked the pupil.

"Because you are concentrating on him, rather than the problem," said kitten. In that moment the pupil attained enlightenment.

andy zebrowitzOverflow.
kitten   September 28, 2009

It is recorded that Master kitten received a Windows priest who came to inquire about Unix. Presently, kitten served tea. He poured until his visitor's cup was full, then continued pouring. The Windows priest watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself: "It is full! No more will go in!" he exclaimed.

"Like this cup," said kitten, "you are full of your own opinions and methods. How can I show you Unix unless you first empty your cup?"

andy zebrowitzKnowledge.
kitten   September 26, 2009

The Unix nature teaches us not to rely on the likelihood of errors not occuring, but on our own readiness to receive those errors. Not on the chance of the rootkits not being used, but rather on the fact that we have made our machines unassailable.

andy zebrowitzTruth.
kitten   September 24, 2009

A monk said to kitten, "Are the command line tools of Unix not obsolete? Modern systems use graphical interfaces." kitten said nothing, but pointed at the moon, then at a statue of Torvalds. "I don't understand," said the monk. kitten pointed to the monk, then to a rock. "What are you trying to tell me?" asked the monk. kitten tapped the monk twice on the nose, then dropped him in a river. In this way did the monk acheive enlightenment.

andy zebrowitzError.
kitten   September 20, 2009

There is a legend that kitten found two of his disciples arguing over the cause of a SIP failure. "It is a format error," declared one, while the other said, "It is a sequence problem." Master kitten answered them thusly: "/dev/null" whereupon both were enlightened.

andy zebrowitzHell and paradise.
kitten   September 19, 2009

An admin, hearing of kitten's Unix-nature, sought kitten at his temple and said, "Is there a paradise and a hell?"

"Who are you?" inquired kitten.

"I am an admin," came the reply.

"You, an admin!" laughed kitten, "What kind of company would have you as an admin?"

Enraged, the admin logged into his root account.

"So you have root! You are probably so incompetent you could not use it!" continued kitten.

The admin began to delete kitten's account. kitten remarked, "Here open the gates of Hell!"

The admin, perceiving kitten's discipline, logged out of the root account and bowed.

"Here open the gates of paradise," said kitten.

andy zebrowitzThe chimes of midnight.
kitten   September 18, 2009

If you know Unix and know yourself, you need not fear results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself, but not Unix, for every victory gained, you will also suffer defeat. If you know neither Unix nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

andy zebrowitzFalling faster.
kitten   June 2, 2009

Endless coats of enameled paint have blurred the details of this ironwork. Some blacksmith, long forgotten, forged these guardrails, following exact instructions from a man also long forgotten, a man with too much money and no vision of tomorrow.

The guardrails wend along a staircase in a fibonacci spiral for three stories, each sweeping pass wider than the next, until culminating at the top; a vast expanse of the city.

"No roof access," declare the signs along the way. Don't believe it for a moment.

Three flights above the streets isn't much, in the end. The asphalt below seems distant; the pinnacles of steel and glass, monuments of industry, tower much higher. Falling would be preferable to climbing. And for a moment, falling seems an option.

No, three flights above the streets isn't much. But from here, a swatch of the city is laid bare, from 10th to Childers, along North and 16th, and all the sidestreets between. The skyline rises above it all, backlit, stormclouds coalescing. Windows picked out in light, here, there. Like phosphorescent survivors.

This is the city. Where street level is noise and confusion, culture and wisdom, all wrapped in decaying possibility. Where sky is stormy and thunderous.

This is the city, girded in concrete and brakelights and five million people's thoughts.

This is home, or so it is said. But without you it seems hollow sometimes.

This is the city.

andy zebrowitzThe strength I need to feel.
kitten   May 29, 2009

We interrupt our regularly scheduled ranting and neon to bring you an important public service announcement.

Courtesy of Frightdoll.

andy zebrowitzCastles in the sky.
kitten   May 13, 2009

There's a chain in all of it, really: neurons firing, analog thoughts, your fingertips tapping against plastic. A beat goes by, lightspeed, faster than the heart twitches. In that interim, fiber illuminates, twisted wires ignite, and switches fire, culminating on my screen in subpixel perfection -- imperfect analog representations of perfect binary interplay of two minds in the darkness, circling, wondering. From neurons to thoughts to fingertips to plastic to fiber to wire to screen, those pixels are your words, your votives and confessions, and reading them makes my heart twitch faster than the beat of light.

andy zebrowitzCognition.
kitten   May 5, 2009

Peace will come to me in abandoned church pews, with moonlight scrubbed by stained glass across the aisles, and music heard alone, the rhythm of which is measured by silence and footfalls.

andy zebrowitzWindows 7 review.
kitten   May 3, 2009

Note: This post contains a lot of bitching and griping about computers. If you don't care, move along.

More...

andy zebrowitzReality.
kitten   April 17, 2009

Winter left without you. Now it's spring; a time of renewal. A time of renewal, but where are those promises you left? Promises escaping easy from your lips, thoughts of wonder, thoughts of ritual, rites of passage, togetherness. Promises broken and left ashen on the floor.

Months have passed from miles away, but I still hear your promises, cast down copper and fiber. In my dreams I still hear those promises, so distant, and distance is something in which I'll never believe. Not when your eyes catch the light that way. Not when your hair cascades along your shoulders like that. Your lips curl knowingly and I can't believe in distance that way. I never will. Not like that.

andy zebrowitzSilence is our answer.
kitten   March 26, 2009

"Who was that?" they might ask, years hence, sifting through piles of manila folders, tales handwritten on legal pads, on graph paper. Dusty stories of love, loss, and neon, undated, in no particular order. Poetry or prose, it never mattered; flickering into being and cast into darkness just as quickly. Ephemeral, they were -- fleeting, never touching their intended, and relegated to archives, like millions before.

"Who was that?"

andy zebrowitzRose-colored dreams.
kitten   March 13, 2009

Her voice slides off the edge of winter, bringing promise of warmth, holding back just the way I'd expected, season after season. "Belief isn't a crime," she tells me, glancing skyward, ignoring my gaze outlining her profile. "You'll find beauty when it comes," she finishes, and holds that moment.

Beauty, I have found, I don't tell her. Beauty is your hair in the morning, I don't explain. Beauty is the way your lips fit against my neck, I wish I'd said, and how your thighs interlock with mine. She'd smirk if I told her that beauty is your voice drifting into song because it struck your mood, so I don't. Beauty is your fingertips brushing against my palms, I can't say to her, those palms clenched with need. Why wont you accept that?

The question, never answered, and the moment passes for her, as it always does. As it always did. Eyes meeting, neurons firing into some distant eternal shore with a surf that flows by rhythms only she can hear. Her fingers, mine, twisted together, twitching to a pulse that is hers alone, and I may never follow. She says so without a breath, and I pretend to understand.

Understanding, I may never receive, and the comfort of her faith may be something in which I'll never wrap myself. But I believe there was a moment for her, maybe long since gone, in which she heard these words, and felt my hand tighten around hers.

The question never answered, the moment passed. Understanding, I may never receive. "Belief isn't a crime," she had told me, so long ago, and maybe at the bottom of this bottle I'll find the beauty she'd never let me find in her. I believe I will. Belief isn't a crime.

andy zebrowitzForget about the morning.
kitten   February 15, 2009

Smoke curls from her lips easy as her words and just as artificial; another day to her, another needful ritual. I've heard those words, the same empty tale spun into the nothingness of blank hotel rooms over and over. Another bed, another pillow, another moaning breath of affirmation, and it vanishes with a bill and signature. Powder cut in such pretty little lines, wiping it all away as soon as it's done. And so I'm done, her use of me complete, staggering rumpled and addled to a taxi on 14th. Somewhere a connection was made, lips pressed against skin, and obliterated by need -- not want, or feeling. Just the need, and the goodbye, caulked in dilated pupils. Just the need, as ephemeral as her touch. The need, and the goodbye.