I'd just typed loads and loads for a node, when my computer crashed at midnight (as it does often, I've yet to work out why), and all was lost.

Instead of going back to it, I think I'll put something vaugely inspirational in to take me up to level 5. I had my high school yearbook out to scan in a photo, and had a read through some of the signatures at the back. (so it's only been six months, you expect me to have remembered them all? :) and thought this pearl of wisdom ought to be noded for eternity...

Martin, here's something
my father told me.  If you ever
feel fat or ugly, just watch
international darts.  It's true.
You're a good guy.  Cheers
                             Ally
A passage read on the bus from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude rang resonnant in a context close to all of our hearts - though it touched on previously-asserted matters I couldn't figure any discrete title under which it would appropriately fit so instead I toss it in here as an unusually-reappropriated article of flotsam:
    It was Aureliano who conceived the formula that was to protect them against loss of memory for several months. He discovered it by chance. An expert insomniac, having been one of the first, he had learned the art of silverwork to perfection. One day he was looking for the small anvil that he used for laminating metals and he could not remember its name. His father told him: "Stake." Aureliano wrote the name on a piece of paper that he pasted to the base of the small anvil: stake. In that way he was sure of not forgetting it in the future. It did not occur to him that this was the first manifestation of a loss of memory, because the object had a difficult name to remember. But a few days later he discovered that he had trouble remembering almost every object in the laboratory. Then he marked them with their respective names so that all he had to do was read the inscription in order to identify them. When his father told him about his alarm at having forgotten even the most impressive happenings of his childhood, Aureliano explained his method to him, and José Arcadio Buendía put it in to practice all through the house and later on imposed it on the whole village. With an inked brush he marked everything with its name: table, chair, clock, door, wall, bed, pan. He went to the corral and marked the animals and plants: cow, goat, pig, hen, cassava, caladium, banana. Little by little, studying the infinite possibilities of a loss of memory, he realized that the day might come when things would be recognized by their inscriptions but that no one would remember their use. Then he was more explicit. The sign that he hung on the neck of the cow was an exemplary proof of the way in which the inhabitants of Macondo were prepared to fight against loss of memory: This is the cow. She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk. Thus they went on living in a reality that was slipping away, momentarily captured by words, but which would escape irremediably when they forgot the values of the written letters.

    At the beginning of the road into the swamp they put up a sign that said MACONDO and another larger one on the main street that said GOD EXISTS. In all the houses keys to memorizing objects and feelings had been written. But the system demanded so much vigilance and moral strength that many succumbed to the spell of an imaginary reality, one invented by themselves, which was less practical for them but more comforting. Pilar Ternera was the one who contributed most to popularize that mystification when she conceived the trick of reading the past in cards as she had read the future before. By means of that recourse the insomniacs began to live in a world built on the uncertain alternatives of the cards, where a father was remembered faintly as the dark man who had arrived at the beginning of April and a mother who was remembered only as the dark woman who wore a gold ring on her left hand, and where a birth date was reduced to the last Tuesday on which a lark sang in the laurel tree. Defeated by those practices of consolation, José Arcadio Buendía then decided to build the memory machine that he had desired once in order to remember the marvelous inventions of the gypsies. The artifact was based on the possibility of reviewing every morning, from beginning to end, the totality of knowledge acquired during one's life. He conceived of it as a spinning dictionary that a person placed on the axis could operate by means of a lever, so that in very few hours there would pass before his eyes the notions most necessary for life. He had succeeded in writing almost fourteen thousand entries when along the road from the swamp a strange-looking old man with the sad sleepers' bell appeared, carrying a bulging suitcase tied with a rope and pulling a cart covered with black cloth.

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...

Today was great. It had snowed during the night and I woke up, went downstairs and put on my coat and gloves and ran out with my dog like a little kid. I really enjoyed today. and it hasnt melted yet so it'll be there tomorrow too.. ;). I took the dog for a walk. Running through the snow, with my dog following close behind, eating at every step he took. catching the snowballs in his mouth and swallowing the white mana. I religiously ran RM, e2 and 42 into the snow... running along with each stride making the sides of the words, then I love nine9.
I then jumped down and did two snow angels next to each other, one with four legs ;). Then I ran into the next field and did a forward roll, then 7 in a row ... then 13 or 14 until I was really dizzy when I stood up. I toppled over with the loss of control and snow fell down the back of my neck.
And now I am at home in the warmth. The words and flatness of the snow still existing. The crunch when I layed my foot down is still written in the imprint of the snow, encoded in its shape and size.

I sit infront of this computer now, with ale. It tastes of industrialism. Like steam, coal, and fire. Like a factory bustling with trains and black smutty air. It tastes pleasing. Reminding me of a place where I have never been, like a part of me was once there. Maybe so, and I drink the past. Each sip taking in what used to be.

so if i fell would you think to catch me or smile at the little broken pieces? not that it is of any consequence in these times..

it's always the tiny connections that throw me. a softlink to one hundred years of solitude and i need to renew my library books and other things i can't think of right now. i have nothing to say, and so, i am not sure why i am bothering with this at all... hm hm.

silent sunlight.
Things not to do in Philadelphia if you want to stay alive:
  • walk six blocks down South Street in December, with a wind chill of -15C ...
    • ... without a jacket
      • ... without a sweater
        • ... without having had breakfast

I've never been so cold (and that's saying something, coming from someone who once walked from Mount Holyoke College to UMass in a light sweatshirt and sweatpants in a blizzard). I could hardly walk. I could hardly breathe. I actually collapsed onto the pavement at one point.

And I can't feel sorry for myself -- it's my own damn fault. I own a huge fluffy L.L. Bean coat that's supposedly guaranteed to keep a person alive for six hours in -50C weather -- it's just that I left it in my trunk. I never wear the thing -- it's too big for normal use (it's so huge, I can't pass through a standard doorway while wearing it.)

Final Fantasy VIII is not a good spectator game, especially when you've already played it. I'm currently watching kanon42 play; as I write, she's just after the Forest Dream (disc 1, en route to Galbadia Garden). The music is tormenting me... god, will it ever end?

I'm gonna junction my BOOT with her HEAD if I have to watch a GF summons clip one more time.

We're thinking of taking a road trip Jan 4-16, but (1) we don't know where to go, and (2) we have absolutely no money.

Donations via Paypal are welcome to dmd@3e.org :)
Donkey ripped up our phone line. We had no phone for 3 days, so my brother and I decided to get it done. Since stupid GTE bastards were never coming. I hate dial-up.
It hasn't been a good day. Nate's being a meanie again. I just wanna hear his voice. I lost in Monopoly. I had 50 bucks to my name, and I was only the owner of Baltic Ave. when I landed on a hotel on Marvin Gardens.
Talked to cure. He seems to be doing fine. Redboot came over. He was the one that gave me Baltic. Hehe. Went to a Foreigner concert yesterday. $35 was not worth it.
We killed two pigs in the past 2 days. It's so time consuming. It took my mind off the fact that I couldnt get online. While we were gutting the pig I noticed that the cannibal chickens are at it again. My step-dad fed them pig blood. I don't know why...
I need to get my car fixed. It keeps overheating on me and the "low coolant" light comes on, but I have plenty of coolant. My heater doesn't work either.

I watched Scarface tonight. It was rather disappointing really. There was a ridiculous montage in it. Kinda' like in a Rocky movie: "Eye of the Tiger" is playing and Rocky is working out in different ways. Except in Scarface it some horrible 80s songs and scenes of Tony gettin' rich. I thought Al Pacino was great, as usual. Some morons on IMDB actually think this was a better movie than The Godfather. Huh? There's always a complete fanatic available for even the dumbest movies.

whilst i am out of school, the days all melt into one. the weeks all melt into, well, duh, one. it's just a long expanse of time that seems endless, and wherein i know i can achieve lots of things, but they all get left to the last minute.

i have school next tuesday. i am unprepared. i have 900 pages left to read, and a story to write. i am uninspired. maybe it's the darkness. i'm solar powered and go into very bad pits of depression this time of year. but i met a guy. i'll tell you about him.

i actually met him a while back, when on my way home from my math exam, on the day in vancouver where we got a lot of snow. i was stuck at the skytrain station for a very long time because the bus simply did not come. not a good thing. my feet were wet and i was in a bad bad mood. he saw me standing there cold and alone, and decided to some talk to me. "to distract me from how cold i was". so we talked, and i learned a lot about him. he is three weeks younger than i am, but had already experienced way more of life. he had been a drug dealer, in prison, he'd dropped out of school at the tender age of thirteen, but he was going back. he'd lived back east, on almost all of vancouver island, and most of the distant parts of langley.

he had long hair. and blue cordoruy pants.

my horoscope had told me to "break the rules" on that day, so when he asked for my phone number, i gave it to him. that was a few weeks back. he phoned me yesterday. he was in the area, so we went for a walk.

for a drug-dealing dropout convict, he was pretty nice. i didn't want to meet him, but i was trapped. i'd not wanted to go. i told him i might have to pick my sister up, i wasn't sure. he said that if i wasn't there when we'd agree to meet, he'd assume i wasn't coming and no feelings would be hurt. ten minutes early, when i'd decided not to go, to sit in my apartement and watch tv and fake having to pick my sister up, he buzzed on the intercom. so i went down.

i'm not stalking you, were the first words to come out of his mouth. that freaked me out. he'd seen me go into the parking lot of my building, and he knew my last name, so he figured he'd give it a try. first thing that bugged me. he knew my last name. i must have given it to him. i can't believe i'd done that. he told me that it hadn't been a good idea to give out my last name. i normally don't. i have a stalked paranoia thing going.

he gave me a flower that he picked out of a planter at my building.
he told me i looked like someone who had graduated with honours. (i had)
he told me i had an unique look about me, not very forgettable.
and that if i was ever hungry, to call him and he'd invite me over and make me dinner.
he turned out to be a tree-hugging protester type.
when he found out that i didn't smoke, he mentioning about how he'd quit "very recently"

i hope he's not stalking me. i hope i'm not so despirate that i'm finding things to like about this guy. i'm not going to call him. my mother always told me not to pick up guys at surrey central station.

i think i may have just found my story.

Last night round ten I drank a Jack Daniels and Coca Cola. A long day in front of a computer and a stiff drink dropped me like a Roy Jones Jr. hook. I woke up at 4AM this morning confused but feeling good. So I decided to go to the HEB for some groceries, without cable, 4AM gives me limited options. Rolling Lamar st I waved at cabs and flicked them off in the rear view. Sounds mean but cab drivers do this, and you gotta go with the flow when surrounded by cabs and flashing yellows. KVRX, the University of Texas's college radio station, spills beautiful music in the late hours and today was no different. HEB's visible population might have been 5, one check out clerk, 4 stockers to be seen. Towards the end of my shopping in the produce section, REM's What's the Frequency Kenneth? came on. Now moments come and moments go, but this one was truly beautiful. For the first time in about 2 years, everything was what it should be. I sat there in awe as oranges, apples, cilantro, potatoes, and every other vegetable or fruit in that entire section enjoyed REM's music with me. I thrive on human contact but I have to admit, I think more moments like this would make life a bit better. And the oranges? They did shine.......and in a way you never see.

Made an appointment to get a massage this afternoon, and lordy lordy lord I need it. Came into work every day but Xmas this week. The combination of driving every day (usually I carpool) and working harder than usual (!!!)

I was expecting it to be a quiet week in which I'd be able to (1) catch up on my work, (2) prepare my 2001 agenda (transferring phone numbers, info, etc.), (3) update my resume and send it to my favorite head-hunters, (4) balance my checkbook, which is somehow $210 out of whack...

Maybe I was too ambitious. Maybe the lack of distractions makes me fall into my computer screen for hours. I sure didn't expect complicated emailed problems from co-workers in India.

sigh

Right after I finish this I'm going to turn my email's "out of office" autoreply on and try to be productive (shudder)

18:46

Raise!
It's still below the average sum paid to people in my field, but for a person with no diplomas other than one from lukio, and from a very small and young company, the pay I'll be getting from January 2, 2000 onwards is surprisingly good. Let me tell you, I was very motivated for the rest of the day after I signed the contract. :)
The man will most likely raise my taxes more than would be necessary now, but nevertheless this means there shouldn't be any financial obstacles between me and the planned trip to Tokyo next autumn. And since Rexx is generally doing much better than me with his earnings, I don't think he'll have a problem either. Nihon, here we come!

Snow!
And lots of it. Walking home from work in -10°C with truckloads of snow falling down all around me I remembered why I spent the entire summer whining about it not being winter on E2. Here in southern Finland, there seems to be a large amount of young people who bitch and moan about the temperature as soon as it drops below +25°C. Pardon my french, but right now those people can suck my balls. If they can't enjoy the cold beauty of mother nature, so be it.
Still, I do realize I'm pretty much the direct opposite of those people. In 6 months, when I'm feeling like an overcooked ham in the oven, the winter haters will be the ones laughing. Those are the breaks.

Weekend!
Ahhh, it's friday already. It's too bad I don't have anything special to do on new year's eve, but at least there is E2. Due to being busy both in the office and at home, I haven't been able to node as much lately. This weekend I will attempt to put an end to that by continuing my projects. Don't worry, I won't become a 100% day log noder. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And in case I forget to say it later on..
Happy 2001 to all Everythingians!
Even to the systematically downvoting and soft-linking cowards. But only this time.


To be continued.

We made it. We're in Arizona. There are still three of us standing. Four nights, count 'em, four nights wrapped up in the Blazer in the fetal position. And I'm saving maybe three people from the state of Virginia and blowing the rest of it up into the Atlantic. You've been warned, I hate your state, pack your valuables, loved ones, and get the hell out. That state is going down. One flat tire too many. Did I menton the first time I was ever thrown from a horse, it was in VA?? Waste of land.

We drove through the tail end of MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, stayed a horrid night in Alabama, skipped through Louisiana, didn't even get out of the trucks in Mississippi.....and Texas...we're giving the state back to Mexico at gun point as a gift. Bad enough the state spawned my mother. Two nights in that godforsaken state! 250 miles of ice and sludge. knarph hates rain, wanna see him panic?? It sounded like a there was a lamas class being held in the driver's seat.

New Mexico was beautiful, as usual, and AZ is my freakin' holy grail.

So everything makes sense now. No fights, no screamin', no difficulties other than the weather. We stayed in that truck over 96 hours straight, and had a huge family welcome when we got here. Four months, three art shows, and everything will fall into place.

Christmas was harder than most this year with Juanell's death her daughter pulls up in the driveway and comes in the door still dressed in her pajamas. It must be so very hard for her to loose her mom at Christmas. I tell her to be patient with herself and then we cry and laugh over coffee as she tells me what their last days together were like...more like best friends than mother and daughter she says. Then she runs off to start her busy day at work leaving her slippers behind. I tell her not to worry she can come over again and get them when she's ready. I like to think it may give her a reason to come back and when she does I invite her to go on a walk with me.
I found a new way! I tell her excitedly....it's the wash where I found my Ebeneezer stone.
She laughs and says You used to walk this way all the time before you got sick.
Shooken up.... I just listen for the rest of the walk.....I don't think I'll ever get used to myself who haunts me from my past.

I spent a year at my brothers-in-law Christmas morning, up to my knees in panic. Someone somewhere has decided that I should be doing something. One suggested I need to go back on my medication. Why? I ask. I offer to send something to my sister-in-law. Really, don't... says her husband dryly. I tell my husband I would like to go now. Which is too bad because this is the first year in eight years he's been home on Christmas Day. God forbid if they ever have a brain tumor. Recovery takes a long time and they haven't got the slightest clue as to what it's like.

Hubby may be getting a promotion soon. There's an opening form him as store manager in his store and he told his boss a long time ago that if that position was available he would be happy to take it. He likes the people there and they really like him. We decided he could take on more responsibility now since I am getting better and not as dependent on him. It will mean I'll only see him for three hours a day and he'll be under more stress at work, but it also means a raise. He'll do terrific I'm sure!

I did get some cookware, and a new Bible...Proverbs and Revelations had fallen out of the old one I've had since High School. And EMPORIO ARMANI perfume, I love the scent.... very soft with a hint of spice!
...it's been a long time since I've even cared about things like perfume.
In {God} we live and move and have our being.
- Acts 17:28 (NIV)
I just logged in to e2 after an extended absence. I've been camping with my Boy Scout troop for the last few days. We go up to a little Scout Reserve a few miles from here called Saukenauk, just hanging out in a cabin up there, emerging occasionally to fish or go sledding on one of the many great hills there. But anyway, back to the writeup at hand. I logged in, and my eyes went from one nodelet to the next, right down the page. First stop, epicenter. Oh good, I've gained experience. Next one down: edev. No new news, after a week. Ah well. Next stop, chatterbox. Instead of the out-of-context blab that usually occupies the space when I first log in, there were several /msgs. Nothing but checkboxes and italics as far as the eye can see. There were a few from my man cool man eddie, a couple from various noders praising/complaining about various nodes of mine. Their concerns were squelched with a deft click as I dismissed the assorted notifications of typos and misinformation, as well as the sundry buttkissing and compliments. The checks next to the cool man eddie messages stayed unclicked, for the time being, as I tried to remember who likes being thanked for the precious C! and who doesn't. (Here's a tip: Never, ever /tell P_I thanks for the C!. Trust me on this one.) The rest got my full attention. To my surprise, they mostly fell in to the same catagory. They all said something along the lines of:

How was your christmas, anotherone?
Did you have a good holiday?
Haven't seen you in a few days- I hope you'll do a writeup about what you've been up to! =)
What'd you get for xmas?

As soon as these were dismissed, more filled the chatterbox. I took down names, in order to /tell them how my christmas was. I began drafting a short message, but found it impossible to sum up all of my experiences over the last week or so in the short text box nate has provided for us. So I decided to write this, a node to replace the several daylogs that I should have written about what happened during my Christmas break. Here goes.

December 23, 2000
Christmas, for my family, starts on the 23rd. The four Coonrods who live under this roof gathered in the living room and exchanged presents. I wasn't expecting much from my parents, since they're paying for various repairs on my van, and it was understood that this was to be my gift. However, I was taken aback when one of my presents began ringing! I quickly tore it open to reveal a Nokia box, with a Nokia 5120i inside. The rest of my gifts were great, a pair of Happy Feet house slippers, a lamp, and a few accessories for the phone. After the gift giving was completed, I retreated to my room to watch Saturday Night Live and play Mastermind on my new cell phone.

December 24, 2000
The next morning started early. The family went to church where we attend, Central Baptist. The Youth Choir, which I'm a part of, sang a song whose title has escaped my at the moment. It's the one that Micheal W. Smith wrote for the girl who was shot at Columbine High after admitting that she was Christian. After that was over, we made the two hour drive to Carrollton, IL, where my grandparents live. When we arrived, we had Christmas Dinner at my mother's parent's house. After lunch we opened more presents.

My mom's father is severly technophobic. He had stated that he would not buy me anything having to do with computers. This would be a problem, since I wanted an MP3 player. After explaining what I wanted, and telling him that it was simply a new format of music which allows you to keep several CDs on a special type of cartridge, he agreed to get me an 'MTV player'. sigh. I finally wrote down exactly what to get, ("Anything with the words Portable, MP3, and device on the package.") how to select one, ("Somewhere on the package it should have a list of 'specs'. Get as many MBs as you can find.") and price range ("Get the most expensive one you can."), I left him to his own devices... expecting to get a Sony Walkman.

However, I was surprised to find that he somehow got a great one, the Memorex MPD8505CP MP3 CD player. The rest of the presents I got from them were clothes, as usual.

That afternoon, we went to my other grandparent's house across town. It was the annual Christmas party, full of happiness and jubilation. Movies were watched, food was eaten. Visiting cousins visited. As the Coonrod tradition goes, we had a Grabbag, during which many assorted prizes were distributed, including a few Immortality Devices that I donated. After the bags were all grabbed, the party dispersed, and we went to bed.

December 25, 2000
Christmas Lunch was eaten at my mom's brother's house. Lunch was delicious, but the company was... odd. As soon as I walked in the door, my Uncle David grabbed me by the arm "Evan, I am so glad that you're here. Follow me." The last bit about following him was unneeded, as he was dragging me alongside him. I managed to escape his grasp and followed him into my cousin's room. "Katlyn ((My cousin)) got a television from Santa." He winked at me, and indicated the 27 inch tv in the corner. "And she needs to get cable in here. Do you know how to do it?"

Before I could answer, he led me to the basement where the cable was spliced into several cables, each winding its way into the suspended ceiling and then to various points around the house. I grumbled at working on Christmas, and then decided to grin and bear it. After stringing coax above the tiles and up through the floor, I went to eat lunch. Before I could eat, my grandma pulled me aside to speak with me.

"Evan," she started. "The TV that your cousin got was from us. You would have gotten one too, but with your grades, I don't think you need another distraction. See that those are raised, and you'll get one for your birthday." I agreed and nodded. My aunt's father, who I suppose would be my grandfather-in-law (?) is getting a bit senile in his later years. He overheard this conversation, and for the rest of lunch, talked about it.

"Hey, Lou (that was his name), could you pass the catsup?"

"No." Huh?

"Huh?" I was confused.

"If your grades were better, I'd pass it, but I don't think you need any when you're flunking school."

"..." You could see the dots above my head. I eventually got the catsup, of course, but since his hearing was poor, he almost shouted what (I assume) were supposed to be clever jabs at my 'smarts' for the rest of the meal. Once lunch was over, we got out of there and moved on to get presents from the other side of the family.

The rest of the day was spent opening presents over there. Although she gave me the option between a Playstation 2 and a Razor Scooter (tough choice!), grandma got me several shares of a Van Kampen mutual fund. Now I've got an actual portfolio. I'm so happy. I also got your standard assortment of York Peppermint Patties, socks, and trinkets.

Once that frenzy of Christmas Cheer was over, we returned to Quincy, IL. After a day or so, I packed stuff up again and we went to the abovementioned scout camp. Tonight I'm attending a Christmas Party, and New Year's Eve I'm planning on either sleeping or hanging out on E2.

Today work went well.

Left work and hit a deer.

Phuck everything...

There goes my next paycheck...

"Jinmyo says 'Hello. I remember you being very kind to me when I was new to E2 and ran into Pinchemadre on chatterbox. You were very kind to me then. I haven't forgotten....'"

she /msg'd me this while i was busy being a bossy, belligerent ass in the chatterbox.
i'll have faith that she hadn't noticed, and accept it as a compliment full-on.

made my week!
for someone who's node-fu has so surpassed mine... to take the time to look back and remember... station!
11:49PM

Interesting day at work. I get there early at 10am since my boss asks me to come in early to get something important done. He shows up 30 minutes later. I don't bother to go talk to him until an hour later, and he doesn't have anything new to give me to do. No big deal, it's supposed to be a short day anyway (everyone is leaving at 3pm I'm told), so I'm not complaining. I leave at noon for lunch to join some people from another department who are leaving work at noon for the day and are just joining us for lunch. So the deal is they are done for the day and we have to go back after lunch. Well we get back, and our boss tells us to go on home, everyone else left. So essentially, I didn't do anything; I might as well have not even come in today. Oh well :)

I sent Sara another email.. just trying to increase the intensity a bit to see if I can get a reaction one way or the other.

I went to see Miss Congeniality tonight; I'm a Sandra Bullock fan, and this movie didn't quite look as bad as the past few, so I gave it a try. It was better than I expected.

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