My last day at home.

I’m leaving for school tomorrow morning at six thirty in order to be there by nine or perhaps, by any sort of luck, a little before then. I’m incredibly excited despite my parents being downtrodden at my departure. They’re excited for me too, on the inside. My mom has come close to tears ever since I got accepted to The University of Michigan whenever I mention having to leave home.

There are five reasons why I am not nervous. They are as follows:

  1. I’ve taken college classes at a college before,
  2. My boyfriend will be three minutes away instead of several hours,
  3. I’ve lived farther away from home than merely across the state for much scarier reasons than getting an education,
  4. Making friends is simple, and
  5. I’m going to learn how to speak Japanese. Who could be nervous when they’ve got that to look forward to?
There are a few reasons to be a little sad about leaving home, but they’re mostly curable with occasional visits and phone calls.

I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing, but I was too lazy to answer it. I soon woke up anyways when I realized it was time for Bob Barker. Unfortunately I only saw a brief moment or two of my beloved old man before running off to Aaron’s house to make sure he was awake and packing. He was. Having done this, I rushed over to the church next to West Ottawa High School, hoping I wasn’t too late to donate blood. It turned out they weren’t even starting to accept donations until noon, so I had a half hour to read Child Emperor of Dune with no distractions apart from the endless chatter and gossip of nurses and lab techs. Alia came to the conclusion that The Preacher is indeed Paul Atreides, although I’m still not sure.

I soon received a free t-shirt and began filling out the usual forms to assure the American Red Cross that I am a healthy human being. I was first in line, so there was no wait. I was passed from lady to lady without hesitation, and before I knew it I had a thermometer under my tongue and a blood pressure cuff around my upper arm. The nurse taking my bp was unhappy with the results, so she did it again. The second try was much more reasonable - 94/60. A little on the high side, but that might be due to the fact that the cuff was practically falling off my arm the entire time. I am not the proper size for an adult, I guess.

I had a large needle jutting from the inside of my elbow soon thereafter. It went quickly, and I was on my way to get something to eat in about fifteen minutes. I sat down at the paper-covered table on the other side of the room, drank some apple juice and ate half a cookie. Then the nausea kicked in. I forced myself to finish the cookie, hoping that would make it go away. It only got worse. A nurse saw the look on my face and got a wheelchair close enough for me to fall into before I passed out. It was exciting.

I left around quarter after one or so, after polishing off a half dozen more cookies and several glasses of juice. I think I should have had some more to eat before giving blood, not after. I was pretty embarrassed, but everyone was nice. They told me to gain some weight. I told them I’d do my best.

I returned to Aaron’s house afterwards. Well, I tried to go back, but there was a slight detour. While I had been inside, a major accident had happened at the intersection of James and 136th. A truck was stopped under the light, tow trucks were appearing, police were directing traffic, lights were flashing everywhere. I did not see any ambulances, thank god, although perhaps they had had time to come and go before I arrived on the scene. I hope everyone was okay.

Once I made it to Aaron’s, I slept for three hours. When I awoke, the Schmoo was home from his third day of school and wanted to play some N64 while Aaron continued to pack. When we were tired of playing, I packed up my N64 and my Sega, several dozen old school Nintendo games, and countless miles of wiring and cords to connect it all to the wall and tv. They’ve been away from home for far too long, and my mom wanted them to return before I left.

Went out to dinner with my parents after a long day of nothingness. We went to Pietro’s, a nice Italian restaurant downtown. I had the manicotti as usual, easily cleaning my plate while my parents struggled to make even a dent in their heaping piles of pasta. My dad and I finished off four loaves of bread between the two of us. The waitress seemed to be impressed.

I’ve got a few more things to pack and several animals to spend quality time with. I should get started.

ooh, my first daylog node. I feel special.

Once again, work is slow and boring, as the server I do all of my perl coding on is down. It's been down for weeks. There are a ton of things that my immediate boss needs to get done, but that aren't getting done, because he's still dealing with the ton of things that is already on his plate, so to speak. We need to hire another person, one who can take some of the weight off of my boss, but I don't think we'll do it anytime soon. This is a constant source of vexation.

I haven't touched anything in the Lycarus series since wossname who's level 3 but management msg'd me, bitching at me, saying my nodeshare wasn't impressive enough, and that I had not earned my bullshit. I don't intend to quit Lycarus, but it still spoiled my mood. If wossname reads this, I don't care either, as he would have seen more nodes in the series eventually, anyways.

For anyone who's interested, I got the idea for The Soulless Ones from watching that Gap commercial with the robots.

Since daylogs are supposed to reflect the mind of E2, I suppose I'll go on more with what's on my mind. My wife wants us to move to Michigan in May 2001. I wholeheartedly agree, because I don't like South Carolina very much. It's too hot, and Charleston, SC doesn't have any goth/industrial clubs, so I can't go dancing. If there were a club, say downtown, I still couldn't go dancing because I work 6 nights a week, and I'm on call until 4 AM. I don't want to be up at that hour. Anyway, getting back to this, I'm just worried about the money. She's not working at the moment, and until she is working, I will be worried about coming up with the money for this move.

I just finished Moving Pictures, which started off kind of slow for me. This is odd, as normally I devour Pratchett quickly. Happily, it eventually picked up, and it was quite good. Now I'm reading Mercedes Lackey's The Serpent's Shadow, which has started off quite nicely. I really should read Bruce Sterling's Zeitgeist after, 'cos it's due back to the library soon. It's another slow starter, though.

I started school today.

I'm in 12th grade (in the US), which makes me a senior. Not that this matters or anything. All it really says is that there are more people that you have no clue who they are, rather than knowing a nice fluffy majority of the school. Oh well...

The way my schedule works is rather nice. I only have to attend school up through 5th period. After 5th is over, I get to leave school. When I leave, I'll go to a local junior college to take classes for free, or I'll go to work (Phoenix Business Technologies <http://www.pbtg.com> *plug* *plug* *plug*). With my shortened schedule, I only have 3 classes per day. Those classes (should you care, of course) are:

  1. Physics II Honors
  2. Pitt Calculus*
  3. American Government/Economics (depending on semester)
* The University of Pittsburgh offers a program in which high school students can take a high school class that conforms to the college curriculum, and with the proper passing grade (and money of course!), they recieve college credit. Pretty neet.

Well, I got into home room today to find that my homeroom teacher is an absolute whore. She refuses to let us talk during the 25 minutes we have to fucking spend there, and she's going to be a bitch if you are tardy. God, what birch branch is up her ass? Whatever.

Physics rocks. It's the same teacher I had last year, and he is one of the coolest teachers ever. My class is comprised of mostly my friends (the ones that go to my school, anyway) and it seems like it's gonna be a grand ole time.

Calculus sucks. The teacher is an idiot, and the class is comprised of a bunch of rich whiney little brats that complain emmensely. ("Are we gonna get homework?! Man! I haven't had homework in math since 7th grade.") The teacher seems to be ok in that you can work at your own pace, and that seems like it's going to be a very viable option.

American Government fuckin rocks. Well. Sorta. The people in my class are generally the same people that are in my calc class. So that sucks, but my teacher fucking rocks. He's the best teacher ever. He's got tenure, so he just comes into class stoned all the time and just makes fun of the idiots. I don't blame him; if I could do that I certainly would. That and he tosses out bonus points like candy. Wooooo! (For more experiences with my History teacher, read my January 9, 2001 w/u)

Study Hall sucks my testicles. The teacher seems ok, I guess, except for the fact that you can only leave the room 5 times per 9 weeks. The class is, yet again, comprised of people that I don't particularly like. I have a feeling this is going to particularly painful because I'll have to hear about their binge drinking and their Dave Matthews Band worship. *sigh*. Another problem with this class is that it fucking taunts me. Seeing as I leave after this particular class, it's like its some thick bondage gear that's keeping me from bolting to my car to get the fuck outta heeeee. I may or may not be cutting this class for the rest of the year. I have to figure out what kind of punishment they'd try to inflict on me. Weigh your options, ya know?

Sweet Freedom.

After a 3 minute layover at Taco Bell, I headed off for work. Work was surprisingly busy and I had to do this crazy configuration that had to deal with pcANYWHERE, Windows NT Terminal Server, a satellite hookup, and some stupid accounting software. That was grueling.

After work, I headed out to the chiropractor. I had a re-exam to indentify my improvement (if any). Then I got my spine smashed. God does that feel good. Better than a $10 blowjob from a hooker-circus-midget.

I'm beat. I arrived at home completely drained. It's really going to suck whenever my junior college classes start up next week. I have to go to school, then to class, then to work, then home. That's going to kill me. I'm going to be even more corpse-ish whenever the fencing season starts up, and I have to do all of that, plus go to practice twice a week. Now it is time to dye my hair and hit the sack...what a day...

I started school last Thursday. Mon pere arrive a huit heure, a demain.


I realized today, that I dont like hippies. There is no real reason either. I wrote a silly little rap song... I lay it out for you...


Damn the man.
Population control plan.

You stupid hippies,
with your symbols and headbands.

Your baggy ass pants,
with your love and ragged vans.
I don't love you,
get the hell away, man...

Ideas fucked up.
Youre hair ain't cut.
Close it up, you stupid free love slut.
I don't want your ass, layin on the grass.
All one with nature. Hey, I think I'll pass.

I hate stupid hippies,
with your whale love shit.
Go climb a tree,
ya damn pacifist bitch.

And smoke your bud,
you know? that cheap shwag shit.
Cant get that K.B.,
because you can't afford it.

I sneak little hippies,
duck and stick as I pass by.
Never know its comin,
cause Im camoed in tie-dye.

But, I dont hate you,
there's no reason to get mad.
I just dont like you,
because you always smell bad...

bitch.

//Begin Commentary. No... no no no... Don't get me wrong. I'm not an asshole... I'm just at one with my inner Chi or some shit... Ah oui... J'suis blanc. C'est vrai... No... Je sais, je sais... C'est la vie. C'est ma vie... sigh...

By the way, everyone who downvoted is a treehugging cogsugin' bitch lovin' shwag smokin' loose blunt rollin' bitch ass mutha fucka... bitch.

Hey yo'. This rap goin' out to that bitchass wannabe mutha fucka, up in Lil' Rock, Central HA! what!? bitch.

In the midst of a week of crash-course Chinese, something strange has come out of the blue: The couple who lived above me at my apartment in Alameda have requested my and my boyfriend's presence at their wedding, which will be in a little more than two weeks. The big surprise, though, is that they'd like me to marry them. There are two funny things about this (in addition to the "Who, me?!" aspect). One: I got my minister's credentials a couple of weeks ago, so I'm legit even without the one-day permit* they were planning on getting. Two: This is the second time I've been asked to marry a couple (I didn't do it the other time, for several reasons). Hmm, for that matter, a piece I wrote was the reading at another friend's wedding last week.

Should I drop the PhD plans and do this full time? ...nah, just kidding. I'm just wondering...what's UP with all this?

I wonder what all I need to figure out. For example, where in Emily Post does it tell you what to a wedding if you're the one conducting it???

Ack.

For the record, I'm taking these things seriously--both the minister's credential (even though anyone can get one--it's not like I earned it like Deborah909) and the wedding.

* In California, any person can conduct a legal wedding if they and the couple file for a special permit with the county clerk.
Today was another mediocre day, but one that gave another one of those memories that will stay with you for a while. Like a lingering feeling, or even comparable to phantom limb syndrome but not as severe I suppose. The korean music is always as entertaining but beginning to toll on my mind as I am starting to understand what they are saying, which depreciates the overall value of listening for the simple melodies. I realize that the simplest solution would simply be to listen to instrumental music but what's the fun in life if it was ever so simple right?

Not a long day by any standards but a great day at that. Woke up late, ignoring phone calls on my cell phone simply because I didn't want to go out and buy stuff for my friend Deborah at Ikea. Maybe I should have, especially since she's cute. She did come to my birthday celebration but I doubt that she talks to me simply because of my personality. But at the same time, she's very attractive and I know that I will wind up getting it for her but not now.

We went to that vietnamese pho place across my house and then went over to Delta to pick up Dawadeving. It was one of those things where we would drive a good 20 kilometeres because of sheer boredom. Still, I have my mind on last night, where old friends contacted me. Nostalgia I suppose but uncomfortable would have been the better word.

Sometimes I don't know what to comform to anymore. It's simply too easy to tell me that I should do things for myself but I can't anymore. I have snapped once again, and I don't really care whether I go to school or not. Am I to be the intellectual that I so desire to be? Or the educated occupational professional that my family desires me to be? Or the sensitive caring friend that my female friends expect to hear from once in a while? Or the lewd, shrewd, and often screwed goofball around my good friends? Self-delusion, mediocrity and questions bound the world around me and I don't know how to let go. While I understand that everyone else in the world go through this, why can I not simply let go? I have tried to get help, but to no avail. I have tried to distract myself only to come back with such despair. I have tried to ignore it only for it to grow like a mold within myself. I try so infernally hard to become what everyone tells me and it drives me insane. I try to live for myself and it drives me crazy. I find a balance and I find myself yearning for more. Have I degraded so far that I can no longer distinguish between the happiness and the melancholy that is simply a part of growing up and maturing into an adult?

A recently made friend told me yesterday that she wouldn't be able to talk to me anymore because her mother believed that she may be suspect to my alterior motives. Humorous indeed as I don't really have an alterior motive. I found her intellectually intriguing which I personally found very attractive but at the same time, it didn't even come to mind. Drove me insane I tell you. She called me tonight but I wasn't able to talk to her for long. The mindless drivel which is the complaning of my constant companions about myself being on the cell for too long encouraged my still compromising reflexes to hang up, even though I wanted to stay on and hear more. I realize that it's my life but alienating friends isn't really my forte as well so I chose to take the lesser of two evils. When will I talk to her again? I have no idea, but I hope its soon, though I doubt that. I tell myself sometimes that I'm simply a victim of fate but let destiny dig itself a burrow in which it can hide for no longer can I stand it. What hurts even more is that I know most of this is simply my fault.

Now I'm here, alone, venting out to the world in a silent voice that can only be heard from afar as the clicking of keys. Monotonous sounds that mean nothing except to myself and my hands. I take a deep breath and smell the humid air within the room I am in and feel a great relief in my lungs. For simple moments such as these I wish my life to be filled with. Yet at the same time, I am a living contradiction as I make decisions that are simply more complex because I don't want to be bored while I strive for a simple life. I'm a farm boy by heart but a city boy in character. Inner conflicts, outward complexities and an unnerving balance.

An excerpt from the scribbles of my little notebook:
I remember as I held her hand on the park bench. I felt her silky complexion against my rough skinand felt tantilized at the purity that I am being exposed to. She was crying tenderly, with each tear being followed by another as they dribbled down her face. I placed my right index finger right below her left eye to catch her tear before they fell down to her mouth. She placed her head upon my chest and held my left hand tightly. She spoke words of discontent regarding her significant other but my mind was elsewhere. I was there, listening, but thinking how easy it would be to manipulate this moment to my advantage. Then I realized how I knew I wouldn't anymore. The moment continued for another 2 hours. At that point, I almost allowed a tear to come down my face not because I was empathetic but I was simply disgusted at how I have become. I stared up to find an answer but the stars can only give you beauty not answers. Maybe another day.

12:54

It's business as usual at the office. We (barely) made it past the deadline crisis the other week, but now I'm facing an another one. I'll be keeping my 9 days worth of vacation time right after we are done with this project, which is giving me at least some motivation in dealing with annoying clients. (id10t, anyone?)

While the big stock market hype companies are laying off tens of thousands of workers, I (along with others around here) actually got a small raise starting from September. Furthermore, the simple logo I designed for the company two years ago (in 10 minutes, practically as a favor) is now shining brightly on the side of the building.
...
Wow. For a split second I didn't feel like a complete loser. :)
My aunt, the coolest of all my relatives, voiced her concern over my job while she was visiting us yesterday. I was happy to inform him of the fact that we are more busy than ever, and I for one am not afraid of losing my job any time soon. (knock on wood) I guess there are some advantages in working for a small company with no huge debts or the constant need for finding suckers to hand out billions worth of venture capital. Plus that the firm feels like a team with everybody knowing eachother, and we don't even have facistic bans/limitations of network usage and/or noding... Wait a minute, why do I always put down my job?

On a sadder note, my 90-year-old grandmother seems to have finally gone over the edge. She has had some lapses before, but after sprouting tons of utter nonsense at a doctor she was seeing, they immediately admitted her to a psychiatric ward. My parents visited her the other day and told me the poor lady was completely out of it, telling about how her house burned down (no, it didn't) and how the hospital is actually a courtroom (no, it isn't).
A certain kind of mental degeneration is naturally expected of someone who has reached such a respectable age. But it all seemed to happen so suddenly. It's only been a month after I talked to my grandma at her 90th birthday, thinking she was quite bright and energetic for her age. I'm not a doctor, but this doesn't seem like your usual dementia to me.
Things like this almost make me understand those who think it's better to burn out than to fade away. But not quite.

To be continued.

The day/check button my answering machine says it's Thursday, 3:42 am, in a frighteningly robotic, disembodied woman's voice, and the clock radio that came with the phone says it's only yet 3:37 am. My poor, dilapidated CD player, which now dual functions as a CD eater, claims 3:38. My watch reads 5:41 am. I never reset it from my trip to Iowa.

And these are all leaps and bounds of whirring mechanism ahead of the server time, which is 10:13:44. I set them all ahead intentionally. It means I'm never late.

The trick is not just to fool your clocks. Clocks are dimwitted creatures with limited capacity for distrust of their human companions. Clocks are like dogs. No, the real skill is in warping time around yourself until you are actually running on time. It is not you who is early, it is others who are late.

Otherwise, you adapt and take into account as you rush through your shower, or fork down those Wheaties (and what are you doing, eating cereal with a fork?), that things aren't so bad because your clocks are all fast and you have however many minutes to spare. At that rate, you might as well not offset your clocks at all. Worse yet, you may begin overestimating how fast they actually are, and now you are not early, you are not on time: you are late.
what i did (or didn't do) on August 20, 2001
  • am expiereincing a fit of minor depression and can't make any plans for the day. Perhaps I should work on getting past my malaise.

Things to do today

  • meet my guest jen in Dublin
  • Ring rachel and arrange accomodation for the weekend.
13:41 Well 10 days since my last day log, blame work getting less leniant on my surfing (only 10 min left of break to write this node), also blame the fact that I have not yet gotten out of my slump, well this is the start of teh ascent, it's not that bad mind, just led to inaction on my part.

Jen comes to stay with me today, she is from Texas but works frequently in Europe for some company that make bits that go on the end of drills for oil rigs, we will go this weekend to Killarney, mostly so that I can see Claire before she departs for Peru to do the Inca trail. I need to arrange accomodation for myself and jen. We will go walking and weather dependant climbing while we are down there.

I need badly to get a ob, the data entry thing is getting disheartening, it will last only another two weeks, perhaps three. I have decided that I want to go to the south of France in September, to Ceuse to go climbing, there are many people goging, I have no money now and must save to afford this trip, I will return jobless and without money, but I need the break. So I need to get my shit together to find a job, no word yet from Edinburgh but I can no longer think positivly about this, perhaps it is a good thing, Claire may be moving to Dublin to work, I would like to live in Dublin for the coming year, yes I think I have decided this much. Let me be honest, I just need a source of income, there are two paths open with have some promise, one is in the IT industrym difficult in Dublin at the moment, the other is teaching, I could do this, but it might not be the best for my sanity. I need to see if I can get a job in IT, that sort of thing. I have a list of companies, now I need to find time to send cv's to them.

I am going to do this next week. I have managed at last to install MySQL and the MySQLdb python module for the company that I am doing some part time evening work, now I need to mould these things into a datase interface to the web for tehm, I have been faffing terribly, next week then Mon-Thursday I will go there each evening and do both of the following, get something live for them and send my CV off to a lot of places. See what come of this.

I took a day off last week to tidy my house (at last) it's good, I had two dinner parties last week and they were small but fun, guest list for the first-> ed,faith a friend fo faiths, christine and myself.

the other party had Claire (she came and spent teh weekend in Dublin with me, it was amazing, I'll see ehr again tommorrow, it's an interesting relationship, when we are apart I am certain that I am not as much into it as she is, not to say that I\, not into it, just not as much, ahh, but when we are together, well, as ever I am sure that I don't know what is going on in my head at all.

Ahh, remembered, the other job option, the postion with DCU. That would be nice, I need to give myself some time to think about that, perhaps I should take a day off next week and write up a proposal to send in to them, it should take only a half day or so, I need to get some papers from astro ph which might be of relavance for teh sort of work that they are doing at DCU. It would be a better occupation than most in Dublin these days. Ahh more enthusiasim, thats what I need.


yes this has been incoherent, it is clear that what I really need is

TIME TO THINK


last,up,next.
Once again, I do it again!

I was in the zone again during my commute, testing my driving abilities at 120km/h through busy traffic. It wasn't as busy as yesterday when I couldn't even move. After moving to our new place, my commutes have been cut short. So I try to make the most of it by being myself - sort of like real-life GT3. My Love is in London right now, so my commute is even shorter and faster. Paul Van Dyk's CD has been in my car for the past week or so. The music starts to up the rhythm once I hit the accelerator out of my driveway. Onto the ramp and rushing through on the highway, I begin to make moves and snappy decisions. The words of this writeup do not do it justice, so I have to type faster.

Amovethereandamovehere.thetrafficseemstobestaying alotslowerthan it wasdoingsoyesterdayi must typefasterso that youcanseehowfast I went.therewere times wheniactuallythoughtiwagoingtocrashby instantlyirememberadvanceddrivingtechniquesi practisedthenoght before(lastnight)on my Playstation 2.GT3isamazing.thiscommutewasamazing. weavingthroughtrafficlike and unsatiatedtailor,nothingcould havestoppedme.iwasColin McRae, iwasCarlos Sainz and TommiMakinen and therestoftheWRCdriversrolledupinto one.a fewclosecalls but I didn't let it phase me.Thewholetime the musicmovedasIdidkeepingasymbiotic statewith meand mymachine. Pinchingmycarbetweenaslowermovingvehicleand afaster one, instantlychanginglanes when the timing was perfect, being humbleandnotriskingit when thereisatimeforcaution. Iwasdoingeverythingright,and extrmelyFAST. Someoneshouldhave filmed it all. Myspeedbarelyletup even offthehighway. Movinginfrontofthe truck to achieve a quicklanechangeanda turnattheintersection was a little scary, but the quicknessandagility of the carshowedme therewas nothingtobe afraid of.

My, my. I still cannot believe how well my car handles. It must know what I want to do. Th response I get from it is probably equalto that of a Porsche. I know that my mother's SAAB was not as responsive nor quick as this!
The record for my commute: 12 minutes.

All around, a thoroughly amusing day.

I realized night before last, in the middle of my roommate's birthday/cocktail party, as I downed wine to ensure I would be able to fall asleep while the party continued, that the next morning, I would be teaching my first college class ever. I further realized, that given its 10 am starting time, and the fact that all the names on my class list were frosh, there was a good chance that I would be the very first college instructor these people ever see.

Now ain't that a trip?

So I'm up around 6:30 am, running around to make sure I got everything, back into the house twice because I forgot something, and I'm walking to campus. Its a nice 2 miles, very relaxing. And I arrived just in time to start my T'ai Chi class, which went suprisingly well considering how long its been since I've practiced. But I'm sore.

And then I've got an hour break before my teaching class, so I buy a bunch of Odwalla bars for breakfast, and head to the department office to see if they've got my keys yet. Of course not. There's no one there. So I sit in front of the library, and look over my first day notes and syllabus, and try to calm the jittery stomach. I always get this way before I teach, with my high school classes, my tutoring, even when I'm just a student and want to present something. It always goes away after the second sentence.

I figure that I'll arrive about five minutes early, plop my stuff down, and chat with the people that are already there. But as I walk down the hallway, there is a crowd of students outside the door, and as I reach for the handle, I hear one of them say:

"I don't know. I just called the philosophy department, and they said they'll try to find him, and that I should call back in a few minutes to find out where to go. Yeah, there's an ESL class in there."

I turn slowly--"You're not talking about the Critical Thinking class, are you? Philosophy 110?" "yes, the instructor's not here, and there's another class in there." "Oh, well, I'm the instructor, let's see what's going on."

So I walked into the room, and the instructor there insists that this is their classroom, and that its in the schedule. "well," I think, "I've been trying to change rooms anyway, maybe they got another one and didn't tell me." And then I think, well, this was a creative way to get my stage fright taken care of without going through the first two sentences.

So we had class on the Quad, where they water the grass so much that we had to stand in a circle for the whole session. I explain that I didn't like that room anyway, because it enforces the lecture style, and I think the class needs to be able to do other things, so, even though half my lesson is shot (I was going to have them talk about how physical structure can enforce particular teaching methods), this is all good. And I have them introduce themselves, tell about their major, interests, etc., and name an animal that tells us something about them. There were 2 lizard lovers, 2 jaguars, a bunch of dogs and cats, and various more exotic ones.

Then I go over the syllabus, talk about what critical thinking is, and why I'm not going to teach it the way the university wants me to, and give them their assignment for Friday--to critique my syllabus and the argument I gave them about what critical thinking is for. Class ends 10 minutes early, and I'm surrounded by folks who want to add my class. I take down names, and tell them I'll have to see on Friday once the room situation gets fixed, and chat with a few of them about experiential education and engaged pedogogy, and Paulo Freire. And I leave feeling awesome

Much of the rest of the day is spent wrangling with the department about getting a good classroom, finally getting keys to my office, and trying to work out a way for me to help our logic professor, and get paid for it this time.

And then, finally, there's the reunions, everybody I haven't seen all summer, coming into the lounge, hugging, welcoming, asking how the thesis is coming, how the apartment hunt went, how those projects are going, and sitting around and chatting and helping and planning. Getting past the bullshit, the bureaucracy, and the ego.

This is what philosophy is supposed to be all about.

Ripples

Small meaningless decisions that you make everyday have a much greater impact than you would ever realize. Little things like, buying a new television, visiting your family, or mowing your lawn, can change the world. Something a simple as opening up a can of Pepsi can spark a chain of events that could change the world.

A 20 year old man in Illinois died last friday night. He would still be alive today if I would not have made a small comment to my roommate about being lonely.

I told Tammy that I was getting pretty lonely and that I needed to find a girlfriend.

Tammy brought me along to a big party to meet all of the girls she knew.

At the party I met Jesi.

I was with Jesi for a while. I realized that she was not right for me. So I broke up with her.

She found someone else.

Friday night that someone else died in a motorcycle accident on the way home from her house.

He would probably still be alive if I had not broken up with Jesi.

He would probably still be alive if I had never gone to that party.

He would probably still be alive if I had never made that little comment to Tammy

I have never met this person. I am not truly to blame. Perhaps he would have died anyway. Perhaps I would have caused someone else to die by not making that comment. But the cold fact remains that I did make that comment. That I did go to that party. That I did break up with that girl. That in the end, someone did die.

I was level 4. I noded the entirety of Albert Hofmann's LSD: My problem child. I spent about 6 hours doing it; converting from html, setting up the chapters to be different nodes, mucking about with some autonoding perl scripts that failed horribly, hard-linking for another two hours just to make sure the writeup was integrated...

That earned me level 4. It was a total of 13 writeups.

It got killed. I probably should have known it would have; it's potentially a copyright violation. But it's hard to be sure. It's availble all over the web, and it's out of print. I searched and searched, and couldn't get a statement anywhere that it's officially public domain. Unfortunately, Hofmann is German, doesn't speak much English, and apparently doesn't care, because a couple online book repositories are waiting for confirmation before publishing the book online. They've been waiting for confirmation for about a year now.

That's fine. It made me realize that there's a wealth of books I could autonode if I wanted to. I'm browsing Project Gutenberg, looking for good examples. What's more, there's a couple of autonoded books on here that haven't been finished. It's probably bad form or insulting or something, but I honestly don't see why I shouldn't be able to just pick up where the previous noder left off.


Fourth day of classes. I just spent $450 on books. I probably could have searched for the books online, but I did that for a few minutes and discovered that I would save about 10%, spend $2.90 more per book for shipping, and wait up to a week to get them. That headache is not worth the approximately $30 I would have saved. There's times that you just hafta accept that they've got you by the short and curlies and the best thing to do is get it over with and save yourself the trouble of fighting it. This is one of those cases.
Today I had no sleep . . . and an egg for breakfast! Yay.

For some reason I went to bed at 6 in the morning last night, and got up at . . . 9. Just 'cause I felt grungy, then took a shower, then didn't wanna go back to bed. So I'm up. Tired. Been wrestling with my printer again.

Today my diet will probably be somewhat thrown off, but I will do my best to keep on it . . . my ex-boyfriend is in town and we're gonna eat at the Japanese restaurant called Sawamura's. I'm going to eat a LOT. So I kept the breakfast and lunch kinda light. My menu for my 1,000 calorie diet today:

Breakfast:
1 hard-boiled egg: 75 calories

Lunch:
1 plum: 15 calories
16 Wheat Thins crackers: 130 calories
1 vanilla lite yogurt: 100 calories
1 slice lite Swiss cheese: 70 calories

That makes me have 610 calories to eat tonight at the Japanese restaurant! Yeah! I will have broccoli and carrots and some rice and onion soup and a salad with ginger dressing! How exciting.

I now weigh 112 pounds.

Got in to work pretty early this morning. (9:15. yeah, that's early for me.) Checked my email, answered some of it. (It's my day to respond to messages sent to my team.) Got back to what I had been doing yesterday. ("porting" some reports from VB+SQL+Formula One to VB+SQL+MTS+XML (ooh, buzzwords!), so that we can have two front ends, one VB and one web-based, but only one back end, with the added scalability of using middleware.)

So, my manager comes by, as he usually does, checking on my progress, seeing if I need things to do, how I'm going, etc. ("pretty good, things seem to going more smoothly, now that we've worked out some of the design issues we were having.")

And then, just as he's starting to walk away, he says, "Oh, and so you know, you are officially not laid off". "Great!", I reply, at the same time thinking, "hmm, I wonder who officially is laid off...

A little while later, I start to find out. "Another one bites the dust..." - parting words of the guy who started working here on the same day I did. (Any plans? "Find a job in less than a month, since that's when the severance package runs out.")

And this afternoon, one more: "well, it's been nice working with you." He seemed a little too chipper to have just gone through what he did... must be repressing something. "They keep saying, 'it's like a war out there', but I didn't think that in war, armies got rid of their own troops", he says. No, I guess they don't...

But hey, at least I am still employed, eh? "Great!"

Driving to work this morning, it was overcast and foggy. I listened to December '63 on Mix 107.3 FM as I followed Route 15 through Lucketts. The speed limit sign in front of the school had the red 25 illuminated, so I was a good citizen and did 25. Last thing I need is another speeding ticket.

I had been behind a tanker truck since Leesburg. It had an Olde English-style "B" printed on the back, and underneath in plain lettering:

INEDIBLE

Inedible?

I started wondering what sort of inedible substance the tanker was filled with. Contaminated custard? Sour milk? Ectoplasmic residue?

And why, if this stuff was inedible, was someone going through the trouble of putting it in a truck and shipping it somewhere? Why not just throw it away?

I followed the truck to Point Of Rocks, where it continued northbound on Route 15.

The moments we treasure so rarely come to us on a schedule, waiting in the wings for Christmas or a birthday to make their appearance. Instead, they jump us in our daily lives. Maybe there's one just around the corner for you, O Reader, today, this August the 30th. There certainly was for me.

It was my night out; the Hub was taking care of the baby. Usually I spend the evening in a cafe, preparing nodes on my Palm and folding keyboard. But I saw a listing for 2001: A Space Odessey in the paper, and walked over to the cinema to see it. Unfortunately, the paper had it wrong: the film doesn't start until mid-September. But the noding mood was broken, so I decided to walk.

Walking for me is the universal solvent. All my best thoughts, all my best conversations, have happened to the rhythm of putting one foot in front of another, uphill and down. And Edinburgh is a good city for walking in. There's always something else to see, from the secretive cobbled closes off of the Royal Mile to the formal Georgian elegance of the New Town. I decided to go to Holyrood Park, where the grassy slopes of Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags loom over the city. Approaching the park, looking at the long cliff face of the Crags, I felt the first stirrings of a complex of emotions I could not yet identify.

The climb up the crags is strenuous, and I took it at a brisk pace. Soon my legs started to ache and the endorphins began to sing in my brain. I reached the clifftops just as the sun dipped below the horizon, and looked down at the city outspread at my feet. In front of me, across the Old Town, the Castle glowed in its floodlights. Further on, the city lights stretched to the Firth of Forth; beyond it, the grassy hills of Fife lay in shadow. Above this spectacle, the clouds glowed like molten gold. I glanced over my shoulder to see the nearly full moon turning its half of the sky to silver. The wind blew the echoes of bagpipes toward me from the Tattoo.

I glanced back down at Edinburgh, and felt the first stirrings of vertigo. I was reminded of Milan Kundera's definition in The Unbearable Lightness of Being - vertigo is the desire to fall, the call of the void. And on the back of that desire came a tidal wave of feelings: not an epiphany, but a consolidation of the last ten years, all in a moment. It's been a hard decade - turning away from the self-destructiveness of my university years (not an interesting, extroverted self-destructiveness that starts by trashing the body, but the boring introverted kind that eats one from the inside, making a desert of the heart first, so that nothing else matters), forgiving the unforgiveable so as to put it behind me, nervous breakdowns and bad decisions, miscarriage and loss, all of the painful steps and hard choices that have brought me here.

These things are a price I have paid, and what I have bought with them is joy. My blood sings in my veins, the breath burns in my chest like fire, and tears blur the lights below and above me. I don't laugh aloud - this is too serious and too wonderful for laughter.

The moment passes. The wind rustles through the grass, sounding like the pebbles on a beach as a great wave ebbs. But I am not the same as I was before the tsunami of emotion broke upon me. I am conscious, now, of having found a balance I've been searching for for years. It's the reverse of a mid-life crisis.

The air has an edge to it as night begins to fall, and I hurry off the hill while I can still see the path. I have promises to keep, and I'm looking forward to getting home.

I just got called to the front desk of my office with the words "Daniel Santa Maria" is here to see you, and my heart sunk. I wanted to puke and cry and beat my head against the wall. You see, Daniel is the ex-boyfriend of my best friend Bird, and the only reason he would come to see me would be extremely bad news about Bird.

Bird is a heroin addict. She kicked it for about 3 years, in which time she got her family back, built relationships with her kids, established a household, got a job, and began a new life that didn't involve drugs and walking the streets for money. But...Bird is a heroin addict. People who have worked with addicts and alcoholics know that the pull is always there to go back to the very thing that turned your life into hell before. Inexplicable, yes....but very very real, and stronger than many people's resolve to stick to the new life.

About 2 months ago, I called Bird because I had her daughter at my house, and she was ready to go home (Bird lives 5 hours from me). Bird was high. Right after that she cleaned up, went through the hell of heroin withdrawals, and kept clean for a couple of weeks. But her problems, and her inability to deal with the emotions and the guilt and the pressures of life caught up with her, and she went back out. Daniel called her house Saturday, and her oldest daughter said she hadn't been home for a week, and they were out of food. This girl, who was left in charge of 4 kids is 13. Heroin addiction sucks.

My friend Bird is a wonderful person. She loves her kids very very much. She's a moral person, she's a spiritual person and she's a strong person and I love her very much. I know how much this tears her up, I know how much doing this to her kids kills her. Right now she's at her mom's house going through withdrawals. Her kids are safe there, but my heart aches for my friend and her kids. Someday she won't come back.

Oh god. The week really isn't over yet. I was very excited to hear that my English class was cancelled tomorrow but very unexcited to find out that I still have to waste a lot of time running around campus doing tech support. This ordinarily wouldn't be so bad but I am the Apple support person. I made the mistake of mentioning my exp with the dreaded little buggers and now I am in hell. My job consists of double clicking a lot of icons. In a year or so this will be funny. I swear it will.

Yoon and I rarely see each other. She started teaching AP classes as well as the usual freshman gut English classes. The workload is insane and the agony of reading high school level writing is painful at best.

I've been chilling out in an empty computer lab for the past six hours marvelling at the crazy fact that I'm actually getting paid to sit here. Literally. I do nothing. I sleep. I drink coffee. I load paper into the printers when I start. That is my work day today. I've actually done some noding today.

On the other side of that dreaded Mac support coin, I do have a brand spanking new G4 all to myself. I hadn't played with a Mac since I worked for [Kinko's} and I was really impressed at how fast Photoshop zipped through filters even in CMYK. I don't do design work these days so I've had little need for the single button mouse over the past few years. It is nice to know that at least something about Macs has evolved.

Now it is time to go hook up with some of the folks that I play music with and choke down a couple of well deserved beers.

I'm not sure I remember the quote just right, but it goes something like this:

"When we started I thought we were going places, Clyde, but now it seems like we're just going."
- Bonnie, Bonnie and Clyde, the movie.

This pretty much sums up how I feel about school. It is a complete and utter waste of my time, I mean, it's not like they'll ever let me graduate. (Thats what you get when you blow off 2 years of school and just don't go.) I started school about 3 weeks ago, (I am lucky enough to live in the area for the charter school with the longest year in Georgia, August to June.) and I do enjoy most of my classes, but everything I do has this sort of sense of futility to it. Had I just ignored the bullshit and the idiots in my grade and gotten over my post traumatic stress from the various things that happened to me in life, and done the stupid work, i'd be a senior in High School right about now. Unfortunately as it is i'm a 17 year old Super Sophomore. I wanted to take classes at open campus so I could hurry up and get all the stupid credits I needed. But you have to be a junior, and i'm guessing they don't offer the Freshman courses that I need.

The school i'm in wont even let me take the core classes I need to make up. We get 8 classes a year, 4 a semester, and it's against policy to let someone take more than 6 core classes. I managed to subvert policy however and get 7. So at the end of this year I should have 19 of the 32 credits required to graduate. (Thats right, at this rate, I'll graduate from high school when i'm 21.)

Summer school wasn't an option. You can only take summer school if you failed a course. I never attended them in the first place.

So my schedule for this semester goes like this
  1. 9th grade Literature
  2. Algebra 2
  3. 11th grade Literature
  4. AP US History


Next semester my schedule should involve Latin II, Marketing (worthless non core class that they shouldn't even be teaching in high school), Chemistry, and the other half of AP US History.

At this point, college seems like a fantasy that isn't going to happen to a guy like me. This is kind of depressing because for a long time, and still today really, my dream was to get into Harvard. Isn't that sad? I let the bastards grind me down.

I feel like i'm washed up at 17, and every day I wonder why god doesn't strike me down for being a worthless piece of shit.

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