I called in sick today. I got out of bed to make the calls, and you got out and started the teakettle.

We spent a lazy morning sitting in the living room, sipping hot cocoa and cooing little lovey noises to each other over the drone of bad cooking shows on the television. We sat and talked and cuddled, while the rest of the world went on being busy without us.

It reminded me of the weekends we used to have in the old apartment in Wicker Park. We would wake up and fill our days enjoying the new closeness that my move halfway across the country afforded us. We were oblivious to the world, reveling in the joy of love. That was all before the wedding plans ended our lazy weekends. Before I started working, and you stopped to go back to school full time. Before we got the boot from that tiny little place and moved into the gaping cavern of domestic goodness.

It made me want to quit work and spend every day with you. It made me so happy to be your husband. Thank you for a wonderful sick day.

Okay, I take back what I said on December 15, 2002. Korean girls aren't fucked up. At least, not all of them.

Eun Jung called me up last night, and asked me if I wanted to go out with her. I said okay, jumped in a taxi and met her near her apartment in Pung Deok Dong. We went to our usual spot, a little bar part of a chain called "Tu-da-ri." We drank a couple of beers there, then she wanted to go to another bar near my house, called Elvis, where I took her on Saturday.

A bit of background, for those who didn't read my December 15 day log: I've been seeing this girl for some time now. I considered it dating, and she seemed to be showing me signs of interest. Saturday night, I got kind of drunk and told her that I'd fallen for her, and asked her how she felt about me. She said (this whole conversation is happening in Korean, by the way, and my Korean is not so great, so this is just my understanding of what she said): "Aren't you going to go back to Canada?" I told her that I might go back to Canada when I finished my contract, and I might not. I said that right now, I don't have much reason to go back, nor to I have much reason to stay. I said that if I found a reason to stay longer, I would probably stay, and that having a girlfriend here would be reason enough. She said she didn't want me making any decisions like that on her account, and that we should just be friends. At least, I think that's what she said. She then gave me some sort of long speech that I pretended to understand, but really couldn't follow at all.

Fast forward back to last night. We're at Elvis. She asks me if I'm really going to stay in Korea. I say that I'd like to, but I really don't know what my plans for the future are. Then the conversation moves on to something else. Eventually, we've both finished our beers, but don't want any more. She doesn't seem to want to leave quite yet, so we sit around. Finally, there's a lull in the conversation and she tells me she wants to know how I really feel about her. "Chin-gu?" ("Friends?"), "A-ni-myeon i-sang?" ("If not, more?"). I told her "more." She pointed at a heart that someone had carved into the surface of the bar, and looked at my questioningly. I nodded. I asked her how she felt about me. This time, I think she said that we could probably be more than friends (she drew a picture with the word for friend and an arrow going from there to the word "yeon-in," which I looked up when I got home, and my dictionary says means "lover, sweetheart"), but we should take it slow and see how it goes.

So, rather than leading me on, as I thought she had been doing, I think she's just scared, which is totally understandable. I really like her, but have some reservations about getting into a relationship myself, mainly due to the fact that she's Catholic and I'm agnostic, and she seems very innocent. The reason she said she just wanted to be friends on Saturday night was probably that I was drunk, so she wasn't sure if she could take seriously anything I said about possibly staying in Korea.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be getting on a plane tomorrow to go back to Canada for Christmas vacation. It's coming at a good time... I think both of us need a chance to sort out our feelings a bit.

I hate them. Hate them hate them hate them hate them.

You know what I'm talking about.

Kiwis.

No, not the fruit, you bastard. I love the fruit. Really. It's green and yummy.

No, I hate kiwis, as in, the little fucking birds. Those things suck. I can't quite place why I hate them though, I just know that I hate them with every droplet of bile in my stomach. Maybe it's the fact they're nocturnal, maybe it's because they're flightless, or maybe it's the long, thin beaks that would make extremely cunning weapons of eye-pokery.

I'm not sure why, but I hate them. They haunt my dreams. Everything's going fine, I'm talking to some nice chick, I can hear the slap bass start, and I know I'm about to get it on, and then all of a sudden, the pitter-patter of little Kiwian feet (are those even feet? What the hell do you call a birds feet?), thousands of them, stampededing. They would be a threat, except they can't fly, so they can't jump up and peck out your eyes, so you kinda just stand there, surrounded by thousands of little, brown, fucking annoying birds, making their weird-ass calls, unable to get down to the very business the dream started out with!

And then there's the kiwi lovers! "Oh, save the Kiwi, it's an endangered species!" Maybe it wouldn't be an endangered species if it just minded its own business, and stopped encroaching on our lands. I can't help it if I shoot one for trespassing, then cut open its wretched carcass and make sacrificial offerings to Moloch's immortal spirit. Noble kiwi? They're ugly chickens, essentially, and at least chickens can get off the ground. Kinda. But we're not talking about chickens, we're talking about Kiwi. Stupid small-winged hellspawns.

Speaking of Moloch, I think he wrote one of his propehcies just for me, as if he intended for me to uncover a rare third edition of his Millenaeons and read it. The exact prophecy is as follows (Translated from Latin, of course):

One man shall go forth into the theater
Sit amongst thousands; all suffering
They will find joy, though it will take
Nine-score rotations to be freed

Now, obviously, this prophecy relates to my experience at Lord of the Rings on Wednesday. I mean, I could hear the heavy breathing of 2 thousand people, all holding their bladders closed, desperately waiting for the 180 minute (9 score! Get it?) movie to end so they could rush off to the pisser. I stayed after and marveled at the sheer size of the line for the men's rooms, it was truly inspiring.

So, to sum it up - Kiwis - Spawn of Satan.
Moloch - Predicted my Wednesday
the Two Towers - unF.


...If the end of us is not when you come to me soggy the next morning saying you were too drunk and now you're sorry but now I will have to walk around with the image in my head forever and won't I please take you back....or if the end of us is not when I go all quiet inside myself and sick with self doubt and slip out silently at 2 am with the engine idling low but it doesn't matter because you sleep like a hundred dulcimers....then I hope the end of us will begin with rubble.

The crumble and rumble of man made bricks and pre-squeezed and measured mortar...the rubble of tract houses. The sirens are blasting, and I am laid out on the sofa, one leg twisted, broken, but the car under rubble too and no one on our block alive. So we wait. The one thing we don't know yet is that I am bleeding internally, that I won't make it until the electricity is reinstated to our grid (but then how are the sirens working?), I won't make it until the next day. You were in the backyard when the first wave came and so all you wear is a smear of dark green grass where the blast knocked you on your face, eyes to the back porch, watching the kitchen take me into its maw when the house imploded.

I am smiling and we are smoking in the living room, even though we wouldn't normally but there are no distinct rooms now so why not and we don't know where the kids are and the panic is numbed from shock and whatever other tidbits of normalcy we are faking. You managed to find your bass and you open the case and start to play. It is dark, night now, but I can still see your teeth. You are saying, see this is that peppers song and this is part of the Clutch song from the show we saw and can you hear the difference and where are you...and then I go silent, blessed in sleep.

And no, this isn't autobiographical. It's just something that popped into my head while I was at work today.


I have realized today how much anger I have inside of me, how much worry and regret, how I fear people, and why I push them away.

I've said it before, many times. the two longest relationships I've had in my life ended in infidelity. I've said it to myself and anyone who would listen, hoping it would unlock a cure to how these facts made me feel. To be true, I wasn't wholly faithful in either situation either; I wasn't completely innocent. But still, the images roll back into my mind whenever the issue of competition arises. If I just stay this ultra-super-cool girlfriend that everyone likes and is so funny and sweet and loving and sexually aggressive, everything will be just fine.

Over and over I saw the images of you two in bed. I saw you both naked, and since I'd seen you both naked in real life, this image was even more unbearable, because I knew somewhere, sometime, it was real, it happened, and now knowing is the curse, not the act. Sometimes I wish I didn't know, so that I could not hate you for leaving with me this scar that threatens to poison this relationship I have now, this person to whom I have thrown everything, and all because I trust him.

I ask all the stupid questions. Why does he have to be so damn desireable? Why does he have to be so nice? How can he be so blind to how women respond to this niceness? How can I compete with all these other people? Why do I ruin my own joy with this doubt?

I loved them both so much, more than they wanted, more than they asked for. As I confess today's jealousy to Jake, he tells me that he thinks, in at least one of the cases, I boosted the guy's confidence enough to cause him to looking other places. Gage was thin, small, maybe lacking in some confidence that I, with all my worship, helped to unlock. I am not all that eager to find out if that was the case. That road goes two ways, anyway.

I want to be confident. I want to believe what you say. I want to be able to trust someone with my heart. I don't want to be a nag, or give you guilt trips. I don't want to be your past and I sure as hell don't want you to be mine. I want to believe.

I know this will pass. I know that I have something worth holding on to, and that I will heal in time. I don't think the men who hurt me can really grasp how this has just added to my own neuroses, added to my distrust for people and fear of being hurt. And how sorry I am.

What is the deal with zebras? What a bunch of pompous, self-important striped horses. I mean, come on. Just because you have black and white stripes you won't let folks ride on you? People enjoy going on horseback rides through the woods. It brings families together. And yet, horses are very expensive. They cost a metric shitload of money to purchase. Then there are boarding fees, feeding costs, medical expenses, and more costs on top of that which I can't quite remember because that girl I love that owned a horse isn't around right now to answer my questions. That isn't the point. The point is that I have serious issues with the damned zebra.

It isn't just their nauseating attitude or the way in which they are inflating the cost of owning animals you can ride by limiting the market. It is also their creatively limited color scheme. Remember that Fruit Stripe gum zebra? It had rainbow colors. That was pretty cool, but can you believe no one has noded Fruit Stripe gum, making that a dead link? What is black and white and red all over? A zebra I have beaten to a bloody pulp because of its arrogance. Yeah, that's right, animal lovers, a bloody pulp.

Now, if you were an analist of some kind you would be having anal coitus in a lab right now. If you were an analyst you would be asking me about my zebra problems. Is this anger somehow connected with deeply rooted childhood issues? Is this hatred related to my insufficient genitalia? Well, I was pretty mad as a child when I subscribed to that Safari Cards thing and I never got any of the cool animals. I got way too many bug and squirrel-type cards. The puma card was pretty cool, but most months I was let down. I never got a zebra card. They probably didn't have one. You know why? Because if you look at pictures, zebras are always running away. Why? Because they are arrogant motherfuckers that deserve to be flogged.

Which reminds me. Some time ago I ran into a guy in a convenience store. We were both flipping through Playgirl and reading the insightful articles. He turns to me and asks what I know about "very small ponies."

Normally, I would have begun ranting about my desire to bludgeon striped horses that call themselves "zebras" just to be "towards the back of the book" but I didn't. I listened to what he had to say and did a lot of nodding. You know, the whole nodding in agreement while remaining non-committal kinda thing. It was pretty cool and eventually I forgot about my magazine.

This fellow told me about how very small ponies had appeared to him in a dream and how they were so small you could hold one in the palm of your hand and feed it little blades of grass. He also told me that they enjoyed when a man and a woman got together and the man sucked on the woman's toes. I considered this point to be both odd and moot so I ignored it and mostly forgot all about it. What was more important was that this fellow claimed he had been told by some imaginary oracle that when the very small ponies appeared again, the world would come to an end.

You can imagine my surprise this afternoon when I had a vision of the very small ponies. This was at three o'clock. At ten minutes to four this afternoon, the world ended. I was astounded.

Six years.

That’s how long I’ve had to deal with those little fuckers.

And they’re cunning little sons of bitches too. Nobody has ever suspected them. The entire neighbourhood thinks I’m crazy, and every scheme I’ve ever had to prove that I’m the victim here they’ve pre-empted and foiled. You know the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. Think of them, only much smarter.

When Agnes first moved in across the way six years ago, we were all thrilled to have her. She was such a sweet old lady, always baking cakes for the boy scouts to raffle, always giving the kids extra nice candy on Halloween. Always ready with a bottle of whiskey and a story about the war for the more grown-up visitors like myself.

And sure, her hobby seemed a little strange at first. But we learned to live with it. And anyway they were such cute little devils. Although you couldn’t pet them, cause they bit. That should have been the first clue.

I asked her once how they survived out here, given our cold Northern European climate. She said she had a special formula of vitamins she gave them all every six hours. And its that formula I blame for them becoming super-intelligent. That formula, along with her laziness about keeping her door locked has been responsible for my torture.

Prairie dogs. Everywhere. All the time. Little bastards. They hang around outside my windowsill, shrieking like ravens. How the fuck does a prairie dog even make a noise like that anyway? Theese things are beyond prarie dogs. They're some breed of super-prairie dog. In the morning, they wait until I’m standing in my driveway, then run out of their nocturnally dug burrows, knock me to the ground and steal my lunch.

My appeals to have them all put down have failed. My attempts to capture them have always been thwarted. Every time I try to shoot one or stab one, another appears out of nowhere and nips my wrist. Every time I try to photograph one, they sneak into my room and “mysteriously” nibble the film.

Mutant prairie dogs are ruining my life. I can’t sleep at night. They taunt me. Always. So tonight, I shall fix them.

While reading The Prophecies Of Moloch, I came across the following passage:

Tormented by the invaders,
The warrior shall lead one last charge
Detroying enemy, warrior
House and all

Of course, Moloch students generally consider this a prophecy of the forthcoming war in Israel. I’m not sure. Tonight, I’m going to make it come true in some small way.

Tonight I have a surprise for the prairie dogs.

Tonight, I have 10lbs of homemade semtex around my house.

Tonight, when they come to mock me, I’ll be ready.

I’m going to hell, and those damn prairie dogs are coming with me.

Just a word, "Sony Cybershot DSC-F707". No I am not a Sony retailer, but I said to myself:
--"Zaxos, you like photography".
--Yeap. (I replied)
--You like computers.
--Yeap. (I replied again)
--Why don't you buy a digital photo camera?
--I don't have the money.
--Use your father's credit card!
--Hmmmmmm....!

So, here we are... 20th December 2002... I bought it online a week ago from a store on the 9th Avenue in New York, and it came today with FedEx. In the meantime, I had made some arrangements, and OK, I found the $850 that it costed. And damn! I was pretty happy that in the stores here, the camera costs around 1200 Euro! Ahhh, I forgot to mention, that since I had no money, I said, what the heck, why don't I also buy a 128MB memory stick?! So I did.

Some hours ago, I received a phone call from the customs house of the local airport. They told me that my camera had just arrived at the airport. Needless to say, I nearly pissed my pants! I was waiting for the camera like the virtuous people wait for the Second Coming. (and actually, I also had a bit of stress, because it was the first time I bought something from the net, and $850 is not a small amount of bucks...)

Then, the lady from the customs house told me, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, that the fee that I should pay for the custom clearance is... 350 Euro... And as everybody can verify, 850 Euro +350 Euro = 1200 Euro... Damn it! My only consolation is that here, only the camera costs 1200 Euro, and with 1200 Euros I also bought an 128 MB memory stick, and second, the camera kicks ass!

And last but not least, with this writeup, I go to level 2!!! Whooohoooo!

If i tip my head upward, i'll see him. And then he'll see me. And if that happens, that's all she wrote kids, goodnight and please lock my coffin behind you.

People think he's cute - they don't know. They haven't considered the claws that could sever a jugular in less than a second. They honestly believe that those big round eyes are just there to be adorable, not to scan my every move.

He detects movement, and he's right above my head this very second, a furry Freddie Krueger with eucalyptus breath. I've been sitting at this desk for 28 hours straight. My back teeth are floating. Doesn't bother him, he just pisses right where he is, thick, green, leafy-smelling urine like Verbal Kint was a vegan.

I can't move. The irony is exquisite - bursting for a piss while dehydrated to the point of hallucination - but you'd better believe that i'm not hallucinating my furry little friend, oh no.

Two days ago, i did a Random Node link and got that prophecy that claims you'll have a friend for the rest of your life? That Moloch, what a joker.

Please help me.

Woke up this morning, something didn’t feel right... Looking around I noticed something strange. My dog “Normandy” had something blue in her mouth and it was slightly dripping some red liquid that looked awfully like blood.

“Norm, Whutcha do babe?”

She looked at me with her sad Labrador puppy dog eyes.

“Normandy?”

My beautiful dog came up to me, laid her head on my leg and let go of the small fleshy item. I could now see it was actually all blue with some clothe like coverings. The red liquid was in fact blood.

I turned the blue thing around in my bed a bit, knowing that the sheets were ruined forever the minute the blue… Creature had been set upon it.

“Normandy, what did you do?!”

No movement, no sound at all

NORM!”

A slight whimper, she then nudges me to get out of bed, which I do for some reason, instead of inspecting the odd mutilated…. Animal? Which she had presented me.

The dog led me downstairs on the way I encountered another blue and red mess. Ignoring it, knowing that she was leading me to the answer I followed on.

Two more on the stairs, one with a sort of yellow , no, blond sort of fur or hair.

The lower hall had around 5. Here the retriever sat and just looked into the living room entrance. I inspected the 5… One of them wasn’t as disfigured as the rest.. and it hit me what they all were, Smurfs!

Another whimper, one of fear of some sort. I had never heard her make that sound.. not even when Billy Cohen’s Rottweiler had somehow gotten into his sisters stash of PCP and attacked us. She was scared for sure and she still doesn’t like me to walk her past the Cohen house and pulls me across the street. But now I actually saw some kind of fear in her eyes, the kind of terrored look that I’d assume in most cases comes right before a violent death.

I walked into the living room.

Dead Smurfs all over!

The den was even worse! Some of them were chopped in half, some missing arms or legs… one even looked as if it was thawing out from a freeze, dripping water and having a slight icy blue color. They were bigger than I had always imagined, truly “three apples tall” yet on TV they always seemed smaller.

The bathroom contained another 3, obviously burned… The little white pants singed, one of them was scorched almost beyond recognition…I heard a sort of “Plup” from the toilet. I looked over, another one, smoldered as well, probably jumped into water so as not to be totally destroyed by the fire. He had drowned and now and then a bubble would come up from his mouth. They were clearly not bubbles of breathing.

I heard a stuttering sort of sound, something human… or human-like anyway. Coming from the other room.

Running back to the living room, I now realized that it was a laugh.

An evil snicker, the kind diabolical cartoon villains would make (And maybe real ones as well…) coming from the kitchen

The snicker turned into chuckle and then into a high pitched yet sort of deep full maniacal laugh.

I went into the kitchen and was horrified. Half dead Smurfs littered the linoleum, one had a fork stuck in his back, another had a plastic bag over his head, an expression of shock stayed on his face even after the suffocation. I could see smoke coming out of the stove and heard muffled screams.

I could see one of them, with glasses in the blender, very alive and pounding the plastic walls which imprisoned him.

Standing on the counter was another dressed in red, his white beard stained in blood and his hands covered in it. He smiled at me. A very disturbing sort of grin that was akin the look my sister had before killing her boyfriend and committing suicide one August night

I now knew where the laugh was from.

Papa Smurf walked to the blender while humming to himself the way a craftsman often does while working his trade.

He looked me in the eyes again with that upsetting insane smile.

Pause.

He pressed the green button

I love squirrels. Usually. But not today.

Yeah, yeah, I don't daylog but I'm meming, wank wank, but I had to log this, and it doesn't belong anywhere else. We live on the edge of a wooded area - lots of squirrels, a fox, one time we even saw a deer eating the flowers in someone's driveway. The squirrels are cute, funny, we feed them bread, sometimes biscuits (one time we fed custard creams to a fox, it was hilarious, he buried one in a custard-cream sized hole in the garden). But they've never been at all threatening. I mean, how could they? They're squirrels. They're tiny, fluffy, cute little things.

Anyway.

So I've just left the flat, heading to the train station to go to work. I'm in a hurry, so I'm doing that half-run half-walk that terminally unfit office shinyarses like me do, huffing and puffing as if I'm actually doing something strenuous, and up ahead of me, on the path, is a squirrel. I smile. It's really close, I've never been that close to one before. It spots me coming, and skitters off. It stays on the path though, as I'm running for the train, so for a minute, it's like I'm chasing the squirrel. I start laughing at the absurdity of it all, and my day is made that much brighter.

But then the path curves, and the squirrel has nowhere to go. It tries scrabbling up the fence, but its claws can't get any purchase on the plastic. I guess it felt trapped, cornered or something, like a rat. That's the only explanation I can come up with for what happened next.

With nowhere to go, the squirrel turns to face me. It snarls, actually fucking SNARLS at me, a squeaky, hissing noise that would be funny if it wasn't suddenly a bit weird and scary. I stop, worried.

And then it comes for me.

I yelp, turn around, and run, I'm that freaked out.

So the squirrel is now chasing me. How fucked up is that? I'm being chased by a squirrel, and I know it's stupid and silly, but for some reason I'm shitting myself with fear, running like the hounds of hell are after me and not some tiny, chittering squirrel, all my friends are going to laugh at me when I tell them, what must all the neighbours think, looking through their twitching net curtains, they think I'm bloody weird anyway because I don't make them fucking cakes or try to fuck their ugly inbred mutant daughters, but hey, if I survive at least it'll make for an interesting writeup, all these thoughts are running through my head until the final, most terrifying thought of all - what the fuck is the squirrel going to do to me if it catches me?

Just as I think this, the squirrel runs up a wooden fence, into the trees, and vanishes. I can still hear it hissing angrily. I pull myself together, gather my thoughts, and head to the station, just missing my train.

That's not the weird thing.

Last night, I had a dream about squirrels, that they were eating my face off. Sure, it's not quite the same, but isn't it a bit odd that I would have that dream, the night before a scary encounter with one?

That's still not the weird thing.

The weird thing is, last week I was reading some prophecies by some olden times fruitcake called Moloch, can't remember the webpage and I can't find it now, but there was a line that went something like "The raven shall bown down and afear the nut gatherer", or "The raven shall be afeared of the nut gatherer", something like that, I remember laughing at the time at how silly this whole prophecy thing is. But check it out: the nut gatherer is obviously the squirrel. The raven? That stupid fucking node called Ralph that keeps getting chinged, for some bizarre reason, like that other stupid fucking unfunny writeup that I won't dignify by linking to it. The definition in Ralph is "name given to the raven". My handle here is RalphyK. The raven (Ralph, RalphyK), shall be afraid of the nut gatherer (squirrel).

So not only do I have a nightmare about squirrels the night before getting attacked by one, but some mad old geezer hundreds of years ago predicted the whole fucking thing.

Now that's weird.

Hey, someone noticed I'm in this office. As my desk is in the middle of the room, I'm pretty hard to miss, but I've had literally no work at all to do for the last week. Now this is great for a while, but if your're sitting in this position you can't spend all the time perusing E2. Well, not with the startling pink and yellow theme I tried for a while. So I was amusing myself improving old utility programs of mine, until this morning I was actually given new things to do. Called up the system and there were four separate compilation errors that other people have put in in the past week and not noticed need fixing. Typical.

She startled me when she came up to me, and not just because I had to guiltily shut down E2 before she saw it. I wasn't really reading, just thinking about the dream. I was still a bit spooked. Now I've never seen an owl except in a zoo, and I've never been in a zoo at night, so I don't think I've really seen owls at their prime. So why the hell was the dream so vivid?? Memo, don't stay up so late reading ancient stories like that.

I could forget a dream. I could say it was just a dream and it'll fade. Except I pass Michelle talking to Jill in the corridor, and I only catch a couple of words but I could swear she says "OWL" and "horrible", and there's a note in her voice I've never heard. She's usually so bubbly.

...

Shit, John B. from Payroll was almost shouting just then. Cynthia's telling him "It's only a bird!" and he shouted back "It was huge!". What was? I don't want to ask. I need another cup of tea.

...

That's five people now I've heard talking about them. They're starting to compare notes. I think Liz has gone downstairs to see if anyone there has had dreams. John's wasn't a dream, he says, he's still talking about it, he hasn't said what kind of bird, as if he's afraid to name it.

...

Now it's starting fights. That dickhead Greg made hooting noises and John went for him. Took three people to separate them, and Greg's gone home bleeding. Linda's not in yet and no-one else knows first aid.

...

Linda's in hospital, her mum just called. Attacked in broad daylight by an owl, the doctors refused to believe it, but her mum collected the pellets with the fingers still in them. Hope they can sew them back on. So what was special about last ni--

They're at the window. They'll never break that glass, what are they trying to do, where did all the

I had to resign my job this week. My other option was getting fired, which looks bad with the temp agency, so I resigned. I have to call them on Monday, to remind them that January 3rd will be my last day at this gig.

I've had the current job for about 4 months. It's nothing big, or wasn't at first. I move stuff around for a group that does research on organ transplants at the University of Minnesota. Mostly that means I go back and forth between their office and the medical buildings, carrying around medical files and the mail. Not too hard, right? I can't do it.

Ever since I got shot last year I've had memory problems. I've got problems with my long term recall, and I have serious problems with my short term memory. What this means is that I have more moments where I blank out for a second than most people do, and that when I have these moments, I can't backtrack to figure out what was going on because my mind is blank. If I can't figure out what's happening from context, and I can't get someone to help me, I have no way of remembering what I was doing or what's going on around me.

If the job didn't affect organ transplants, it wouldn't be a big deal.

So my immediate supervisor asked me to resign. She's going to help me look for work, she's talking to people at the co-ops, which would be more my speed even though it would make money even tighter.

Losing this job is a little bigger than most of the others. I was going to become a permanent employee at the University. I was going to have health insurance. I was going to be able to take free classes. I was going to be able to join the union in less than a year.

This is the fifth job I've had since I got shot. I've had to resign two, I've gotten fired from two, and the other was a month long temp position at the University Bookstore during rush week. I feel like this is never going to be over, that I'm never going to get away from this event. Every time I feel like I'm starting to get things together, it turns out that I still can't do something really basic.

I want my life back.

This morning I was sitting eating my bagel in my cafe in the middle of town, when a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked me the time. I turned around. He was sitting at the next table with his back to mine. He was shorter than me - but then, most people are - and about sixty years old. Gaunt, thick white hair, dressed like a university professor, and he checked his wristwatch as I told him the time according to mine.

"And what date?" he asked, pressing a button on his watch.

"The twentieth," I replied.

"Of December?" he asked.

"Yeah."

"What year?"

"Uh... Two thousand and two. AD," I added as an afterthought. At that point I noticed the nineteen-year-old youth sitting at the seat opposite him, obviously listening to this conversation. He was skinny, with spiked blond hair and a leather jacket.

"Thank you, young man, you've been a great help," said the professor. He turned away and resumed his conversation. I turned back to my bagel and continued to eat, but I couldn't help listening in.

"Accursed boy."

"Oh, come on. Like you're any better than me at mental arithmetic. It was a mistake anybody could've made."

"Well, if you'd finished the software quickly enough we wouldn't have had to do it all by hand in the first place. I only brought enough fuel for the trip here and back, we'll have to go home, stock up and make another expedition."

"Oh, man... That's bad. I guess we'd best not stick around any longer than necessary, then."

"Agreed. Let's get out of here."

They left a few minutes later, discussing something or other about Bond movies. I feel a little weirded out by this for some reason, and I don't know why.


Update: see December 20, 2003

I wasn't planning to write a daylog today but a combination of events have driven me to distraction and I feel that I have to get this off my chest. Just five minutes ago another one walked past my window. That's got to be at least the tenth one today. For the benefit of American and International noders, I'm talking about donkeys. For the last few weeks the UK has been increasingly plagued with stray donkeys, mainly clustered in urban areas.

Of course the public is used to the occasional donkey, for instance in the employ of South London street vendors (the so-called 'rattle-me-spoonies') and the increase in sightings was initially greeted with amiable curiousity. In every café and tramp's nest you could overhear endless conversations speculating on the cause of the donkey plague, or relaying the latest internet rumour in hushed tones.

The prevailing theories that have been circulated in the media are that either the donkeys are being droplifted in containers by the French, in vengeance for some perceived diplomatic slight. This is backed up by the abrasions around the necks of many of the animals, suggesting onions were hung around them until recently.

Ian Duncan Smith's Conservative Party have been doing the rounds accusing the government of negligence, at first throwing their weight behind the 'French' theory, but now taking every opportunity to spread their new 'Firemen's Strike' theory. (Their rationale being that disgruntled coastal firemen, who still traditionally use donkeys to carry buckets and hoses to beach-side incidents, have been massively overbreeding their pack animals and bussing them into inner city car-parks.)

The tabloids have jumped on the bandwagon, with the Daily Mail ("FOUR LEGGED ASYLUM SEEKER SHITS", October 29th) asking for Jack Straw and David Blunkett's resignations and Cherie Blair's... erm, for Cherie Blair to "admit that she's really an evil skeleton in a rubber mask". The Mirror ("SMASH THEIR F***ING HOOVES IN", November 21st) have taken a vigilante slant, with Bobby Davro, Charles Dance and Popstars's Darius touring the country on a DONKEY CULL FOR BRITAIN campaign bus, handing out fire axes and special Weetabix-sponsored donkey traps to baying crowds of puffer-jacketed rat-people.

The most ridiculous response however has been from Mike Oldfield, who claims that the donkeys are a fulfillment of some centuries-old prophecy by some Nostradamus-like crackpot who only see seems to have heard of. This has widely been seen as a publicity stunt to shift copies of his latest quadruple-album, a synth-prog-opera recorded in a submarine lair and entitled "The March of The Aquarian Soothsayers in The Fey Majestical Age of The Donkeys".

Pity me.

For 22 years now, my birthday has been on December 20. Well, I'm just about fed up with that. Every year on my birthday, for as long as I can remember, I've had to either take a final exam in something, or work late, or something equally heinous and unfair. Not to mention that the weather always sucks an unusually large amount of balls. This year, I have to skip my company's holiday dinner because of a damn final. You can apply to change your name, why can't you get your birthday legally changed?

Deer piss me off. There's no doubt that many other people feel the same way. It was written long ago that they were doomed to be a thorn in humanity's side. Whether it's jumping out in front of your car when you're on the highway, eating your garden, or eating your map right out of your pocket when you're not looking, they're a damn pain. I didn't see any on my way to work this morning, but in this fog I wouldn't have had time to screech to a halt. I think my Jeep could survive at least one collision with a deer. Moose on the other hand I'd dodge at all costs. Their massive bulk demands respect. Deer however are only good for venison.

I cannot escape.

Long has the darkness approached me. Long have I evaded its grasp, eluded its watchers, and foiled its threats. Now, though, it is upon me, with footsteps as the knell of doom. The drums of war echo behind it. The howls of wolves herald it. My mind shudders at its frigid approach. I am terrified.

I cannot escape.

The worst part of the terror is that I have created it. I could have done so much differently, but I am weak. Now I have a few hours before my demon catches me and I must do naught but despair. But perhaps there is some way out. I search frantically but find nothing. There are windows but they are too high. If only I had more time. It is very close now.

I cannot escape.

It is upon me now. It freezes my soul, the darkness. Slowly, in the agony of terror, I slip into its grasp.

I did not escape.

Okay, this can stop now.

No, I mean it, right now would be a really good time for it to just fucking well stop, okay?

I mean, when I took the cloth off Beauty’s cage today and she said “morning”, clear as a bell, I was delighted. I’ve been teaching that damn budgie to talk for months, after all.

I was surprised when she fluffed up her little green feathers and continued “enjoy it while you can, sucker”, but I just figured that I’d left her alone in the room with Sky TV that once too often.

So, I went about my day, as one does. Headed off to the shop started shelving the boxes of musty old books that came in from that estate sale yesterday.

I was flicking through them, trying to figure out whether I had trash or treasure, expecting to have a little of both. There’s usually something genuinely rare in amongst all decaying mess if you look for it, and even the others can generally be sent out the door for a couple of dollars apiece, if you tell people they are “antique”.

I’d pretty much filled up the space I’d cleared in the “$2.00 and under” section, so I decided to stop for a while, sit, drink coffee – everything’s slack at the moment since people are all off in town Christmas shopping.

So, I settled into the chair at the back of the shop, kicked off my shoes and picked up the Stephen King I’m whiling my quieter periods away with. It was warm, and when I felt my eyes drifting shut, I thought “Darn it, why not have a doze?”

I didn’t expect to dream.

I certainly didn’t expect to dream of row on row on row of identical bird cages, each containing a replica of Beauty. At first they just sat there, thousands of little green budgerigars, peering and pecking at their little mirrors, preening under their wings, and chirping. Then the central one began to sing:

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a whistle!
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And then they all joined in, I swear. There was this huge squeaky chorus of Always look on the bright side of life. But there was nothing cheerful about it. Oh no. It hissed and spat and spluttered like fat on a barbecue. And every last one of those little green buggers stretched out its wings in imitation of crucifixion, each staring at me with black, malevolent gazes, blaming me for something… something.

I woke up in a fever sweat of terror. A cigarette made me steadier, but I was still shaken. I dragged the smoke deep into my lungs, holding it there for a count of ten before releasing it, and the nicotine hit chased away the worst of the shuddering.

I decided to close early, because I was feeling not at all well; but I brought the three books I’d set aside as “possibly valuable” home with me.

The first of the three was a gem. A first edition of Behind the Tattooed Face in really good condition. I tissue wrapped it straight away, and set it aside for auction – it’ll pay the cost of the entire house lot with some to spare. The second was an old family bible, quite nice, very collectible.

The last, the leather binding was cracked, and the gilding had worn off, but it had that feel in the hand, you know? The one that says “age and antiquity”.

I picked it up, and it fell open. Most of the ink was fairly faded, but one quatrain stood out very clearly:

From a verdant flock
The voice of the serpent comes
Words unheeded, too late understood
Herald the great darkness

I knew then that it was a copy of Moloch. I didn’t need to look.

And now, from behind me, that bloody budgie has started to sing. If you’ve never heard a bird gloat, trust me, you don’t want to.

And she’s saying:

You'll see it's all a show,
Keep 'em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!

Please.

Make it stop, now.

Please.

I think I'm ranting. Yes I get the grade back from the class I thought I was doing well in. Actually I know I'm doing well in. I need at least a 3.8 GPA to get into grad school. Yes. So I get back my mark from my exam for Abnormal Psychology. I have 78.788888%. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! The class average was 85% on the exam and standard deviation was 6. According to the EVIL UBC Psychology Department rules, all classes must have a Mean of 68% and a Standard Deviation of 13. Yes I was scaled down to 78.88888%. I hate the stupid Scaling rules! I have been screwed over way too much!

Oh well I still have hope for next term but I already feel burned out. Hey but I also do feel set, as long as I stay above a 72% average I can continue to Directed Studies for next year since one of my profs already offered me a position in her lab for the summer and winter. It was the happiest day of my life when I got an email from her saying I got the highest grade in my class! It was exciting because I've never gotten the highest grade in any class so I ran around jumping and screaming and calling all of my friends. Sigh! I thought I would go through hell next year and the year after begging for profs to let me work in their labs going through grueling interviews, but no not anymore. I'm guaranteed a spot. I must constantly think about this opportunity to make myself feel better about my grades in ABnormal Psych and Analysis of Behavioural Data which I know I'm going to fail next term, and the Experimental Psych I sucked at this term.

Good luck everyone on your courses!:)

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.