Today I saw a monk on the way to work.

A small asian guy in orange robes. He looked so splendid - the cut of the robe, his shaven head, the wire framed glasses. He stood at the traffic lights and waited patiently, hands lightly clasped behind his back, quietly watching the traffic go by, a small smile playing across his lips.

What do they know that makes them happier? How does this guy pay for his existence? What brings him into the city ( this was an unusual thing - there ARE a lot of Hare Krishna's, but not many monks) ?

Not for the first time do I wish I had been born earlier, or possibly later. Although I fully enjoy the benefits of modern pharmacology and good dental care, I think I might have done wonders in another time. Then again, I might have just yearned to live in a different time/place in THAT time space like I do now heh heh .. kinda bends your brain a little. Maybe that is what the little guy was thinking...

Embracing you in my own reality,
Your life’s energy bursting from seams
Opening in pinpoint hopefulness,
Barely remembering the reasons
We were choosing to keep a distance
Between our two bodies and the three
              Notably obvious eternities.

Of who and what came before
And between us the last time
We slipped into this wholly selfish
  	      Body of our actuality,
To revel in the existence of such clarity
Of a momentary life worth living, 
Was worthy of the costs and casting of illusions 
In place of such sweetly tasting intensities
              Of this Familiar Allegory.

Ever wondered what a halo would feel like?

This was what you said before,
What you screamed to me across the wavering darkness,
Silent and shivering as my hands crept around you,
As we stood and froze under the blank urban sky,
Under skeletal obelisks, sacred galvanic stomachs,
Praeternatural god children in this wilderness of concrete dread,
And we bent our heads inside out and spun around,
Listening to their creaking sails of metallic gossip,
Whispers of coded messages passing through the aether,
Opening our eyes and ears as great human dishes to receive

These transmissions from the satellite heart,

Pulsing down thick running wires of anxious amorphous copper,
Aztec sundials spread serpentine across the landscape,
Steel frame pyramids beckoning to angry gods.
We spilt the blood of sacrifices upon their steps,
We tangled in their arms and wept until morning,
We fashioned Ben Franklin kites to reach their secret passions,
We broke through to the centre before your courage shattered
And you fled through secret inverted mine shafts to empty skies,
Across cavernous swinging bridges lit as a twilight womb,
While the passing traffic spun headlights against our cage.

Wasn’t this what we wanted?
To be eaten alive amidst this field of hydraulic pickets?
To crucify ourselves upon a massive electron cross?
Across its shadows, its dark sweeping reach of congested longing?
To splay ourselves before groping fingers of static and frost?
To be taken up in its fluid wash of redeeming energy?
Ascending to heaven in a flaming solenoid chariot?
Humming fingers coiling around our voltaic corpses?
Crumpled vessels singing frequencies in the antarctic night?
Wasn’t this what we wanted?

These transmissions from the satellite heart.

And as you ran away I heard them again,
Arcane secrets raining down upon rusted antennae,
And our souls spasming in this wash of resonant frequency.
I stood frozen beneath Tesla’s alien juggernauts,
Their symphonies lifted on sacred breezes into the heavens,
Their indecipherable telegrams riding along spindly wires,
Their seismic generators sending tremors through our veins.
They shook you, they drove you from this place.
Ever wondered what a halo would feel like?
This was what you said before I began to climb.

I am just a man,
fighting other men,
for land,
for land.

I saw her again today. Twice. The first time was at dinner; I avoided her until my courage seperated itself from my chicken and stars, and I went over to her table. She sat there with her nameless friend, and as I sat down, the friend rose with a smirk, giving me some sort of glance that only dogs make before they do the unthinkable.

All I could muster was a muddled "Hi." She replied with the same, though dripping with confidence. Damn my lack of wit at crucial times. Damn it.

"She has to know that I'm interested. It's only obvious!"

We chatted for a bit, interrupted by a mutual acquaintance, someone who we hid our newborn friendship from. Our conversation was cut short, and I departed, spending a cold walk and the next two hours floating in and out of thoughts about her.

"Nothing's going to happen. I know it already. I'm telling you."

It was 11 PM, and the office was empty. I said I'd visit, so I went right in and sat down next to her. She was at a desk; not hers, but she fit right into it. Sweatpants and a t-shirt made her casually beautiful. It was hard to talk, but I loosened up. Her eyes are so dark and deep, which made it hard to concentrate on them. There was so much to take in of her. The tender skin, smooth to the touch, although I wouldn't dare...not yet. Her golden hair: not blonde, but golden, as if it were worth thousands. The lips that held you there as if suspended. This is a complete person.

She generates magnetism, radiates something I haven't seen in years, and something I need to die a happy man. It gets harder to keep my mouth shut, to keep from saying, "Leave behind your ways, and run, run with me to a place where stars shine brighter by the hour, a place where glass beads and love trinkets lay in leisure. It will be beautiful, but not nearly as much as you."

Just a few more days until we are alone. Italian cuisine, the deepest Merlot money can buy, and our words, tangling and wrestling for answers. Is she for real? Is this something that I can manage? Will it stay this way forever, caught in between a lucid dream and fantasy?

"You don't know what you're getting yourself into, man."


next++

My head is spinning. There's been so much going on lately, both inside and outside of it, all around it.

To wit, the past month has been full to bursting of all kinds of stuff. Some good, but mostly bad. I think I shall start at the beginning.

The month of November started off on the sourest of notes; I got dumped. Via email, no less. Net addict that I am, even I would've prefered a phone call for something as serious as that. The dumper was the girl I'd often daylogged about how happy she made me, etc.; none other than Anna Lisa. The 400-mile buffer zone between New Orleans (my home) and Birmingham (her home) made getting dumped that much worse. No real opportunity to go somewhere serene and talk about it, not without a long drive or $150 airfare, anyway. A couple of days later I emailed her back, saying I understood and so forth, but it still hurts. It hurts quite a bit. The fact that I haven't heard from her since receiving her breakup email makes it hurt worse. I don't know where it went wrong, even though she attempted to explain all that in her email. She made several good points, but I don't know. I don't know what to make of them, or what to think anymore, or whether I will ever feel the same about anyone else again. I think it's pretty unlikely that I will. If I do, it'll be years and years later. I remember it as the sort of love that doesn't just end when the end comes. It hangs around, semi-tangible, at all times and takes a really long time to shake. I know I need to move on, but I wonder if I'll ever really be able to shake it.

Like I said, my head is a right mess.

I guess that doesn't really give me reasonable cause to go out and find someone else to try to take the pain away, but I went and did it anyway. And it's just making the pain worse. Like about a million love songs I've heard, the bit about I'd always be thinking how she's not you keeps playing itself out in my mind as I do things and go out with this new girl. As a direct result of that line of thinking, I've been growing more and more distant with the new girl. She doesn't understand me (mostly because I haven't given any inkling to her about how I'm really feeling) so she's feeling dejected. And so am I. It's savage, how this sort of stuff works out. I don't know how much longer I can deal with it, because it's driving me into the ground.

The new girl has personality problems of her own that contribute to how poorly I'm feeling, but I won't get into that, at least not while it's still going on.

As a break in the monotony of day-to-day life, the new girl, work, and bills has become, I rented a car and drove up to Nashville, Tennessee, for an E2 gathering. It was my first gathering, and it was oh-so-memorable. I loved every minute of it, and though I'd heard it said before, I didn't quite understand to what extent it was meant, so I'll say it myself:

Noders are the fucking bomb.

Everyone I met was so nice and fun to be around, and what other group of people could an obscure in-joke be told and actually understood? Where else would XP whoring come up in conversation? Where would the puns and in-jokes outnumber the facts? Nowhere but a gathering! Though I had to leave relatively early, it was one of the best times I've ever had. Julia and Scott, thank you so much for putting it on. Everybody else, thank you for showing up and talking to me. I'm by no means the most popular noder on E2, but you made me feel as though I was, and I got the impression that was how most everybody else was feeling, too.

Mental pictures were completed and expectations met: radlab0 is a sweetie. WonkoDSane somehow knew who I was without being told, and then melted everyone's hearts by... well, I'll let them explain that one. thefez is a total weirdo. Chris-O and LadySun are cute together. witchiepoo is witchie indeed, and spoke volumes on the subject of poo. jessicapierce is an enigma, and seems to move throughout the universe at a higher vibrational frequency than the rest of us, making it impossible to take an in-focus picture of her. tandex is the bubbly, funny, picture-taking guy. Spackle reminds me of Mr Owl from the 1970s Tootsie Pops commercials. enth is the most well-spoken raver I've met. Cow Of Doom is also a total weirdo. So is karmaflux, who reminds me of what Mr. Belvedere would be like were he 40 or 50 years younger. Bitca was all over the place, like a superball. gwenllian is exactly as her homenode describes. Strong_Bow79 reminded me of an unplacable yet very established author, in his earnesty. Metacognizant does the genderqueer thing very well (enjoy the CD!). Walter is like unto a monkey in his tree-climbingness. zade and I clicked on the gender thing. Everybody else, I didn't get to talk to as much as I would've liked. I'm already planning on attending next year, though. Yeah!

The drive back to New Orleans from Nashville was very peaceful. It took from 10:00PM to about 5:00AM, and for most of that time I was totally alone on I-65, I-59 and I-10. For a few 2-hour stretches I didn't have to disengage the cruise control. It was just me, the CD player, and my thoughts. The drive through Birmingham, Alabama, on the way there and on the way back, was wrought with sadness and wanting but unwillingness to slow down, take the I-459 exit and drive by her place. My thoughts drifted around Anna Lisa, and by the time I came back to them I'd passed out of Birmingham and was on my way out of Bessemer. It started raining, softly at first but with increasing intensity. The rain continued all the way home, as kind of an homage to my frame of mind over the past month. I slept for nearly 24 hours straight after getting home.

I still don't really know what's going on or where I'm headed. The gathering got me out of that funk for a few days, but now I'm back in it. After my day of sleep, I haven't been sleeping much. Right now I'm positively aching for it, though I'm at work and I can't leave for another three hours. The new girl wants me to go to her place after work, and I just want to sleep.

I just want to sleep.

Last Friday was my first Black Friday experience. See, my mom wants a DVD player for Christmas, but Pantaliamon and I can’t afford a good one -- but we noticed in a sales flier that Walmart had an Apex player for $50. Apex is -- in my opinion -- a great brand. Their first player on the market even included a “secret menu” where you could disable region coding. Any company that would fly in the face of the corporate decision to arbitrarily lock people out of content for the sole purpose of profits is okay in my book.

The catch was that the sale was only on between 6 - 11:00 am, after which time things reverted back to their normal prices. So Friday morning, Pantaliamon and I got up at 5 and drove out into the cold dark country roads in my mom’s neighborhood to head to Walmart. We thought that there wouldn’t be anyone there -- how insane we were.

From a mile away from the store, we spotted a line of cars, like a glowing electric snake coiling it sway into the parking lot. When we finally navigated the traffic to get to the store, it appeared that an army of rednecks had hauled itself out of the woods of rural Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania and decided that it was time to conquer the Hagerstown Walmart Supercenter. It was insane.

Inside, crowds assembled around a tower of Apex DVD players stacked up in the front of the store like Soviet mothers fighting over the only toilet paper delivery for a month. People clawed their way to the tower, salivating at the bargain. Pantaliamon decided to circumvent what little order there was and flank the tower from the northwest corner where there appeared to be little resistance. Of course, I had her back.

At that position, we found a guy handing out the players to everyone in stacks of three and four. It didn’t appear that he was even a Wallmart employee, but merely a hapless volunteer. Pantaliamon was given three players -- we kept one, and she handed the others to a thankful guy dressed in fatigues, an orange meshback ball cap, with a long brown rat tail dangling over his shoulder.

I couldn’t help thinking as we regrouped at the front of the store to plot our next move that DVD really has come to the masses. When we bought our player three years ago, people thought we were crazy -- VHS was king. Who wanted digital video? I tried to explain that the picture was indeed better, the discs didn’t degrade, and the extras were like a continuous supply of film school classes. Now every one wants one. Even my mom, who is happy enough to play back decaying movies she taped off of HBO years ago.

After the engagement at the DVD tower, it was clear that the mob was out for blood. There wasn’t a single square foot of floor space in the entire store that wasn’t occupied by a human being. Pushing, shoving, shouting and numerous thefts of DVD players and low-price television sets when their “owners” weren’t looking was the order of the day. Living in Washington, D.C., I am accustomed to large crowds -- particularly at grocery stores and shopping malls. You get used to it. But here in semi-rural Western Maryland, the people clearly weren’t equipped to deal with so many of their brethren competing for the same scarce goods. It was all out war.

It occurred to me that the Bush administration might consider taking a group of potential terrorists to a Walmart Supercenter on Black Friday. I’m sure if they saw just how savage Americans are in their natural element -- namely consuming cheap electronic goods -- then perhaps they’ll think twice about launching attacks on our country. Do they really want us invading their countries? People were disemboweling their neighbors over copies of the Sopranos on DVD -- what would they do to someone who wanted to force us to trade the Sopranos for prayers in a mosque four times a day?

I don’t even want to think about it.

I hate writing daylogs about myself, but I feel the need to. At 12:35pm EST my niece was born in Columbus, Ohio. Upon announcing this to #e I recieved many notes of congrats and such, and I think the overall happiness of the room went up 2 points. But how come I'm not excited about this?

I was really happy when my nephew was born 3 years ago last September. While the pregnancy wasn't planned, and it gave my father a major headache, we were happy. My brother got married to his long-time girlfriend and mother of the child in November of that year, in Vegas, at the Treasure Island Casino, on the British Boat. The british boat also happens to be the one that sinks in their little stage performance. All of us at the wedding joked how we hoped that this wasn't a sign. I think we jinxed them.

I can't really say what's going on at this moment. Not because I don't want to share with my noder brothers and sisters, it's that I have no clue as to what's going on. She has 2 kids, wants to go to law school, even though she already has 2 degrees, and doesn't want to leave Ohio. He graduated from USC last year and is working out in LA right now as an architect, the one place she's adamant about not living. They can't see eye to eye.

How can I be happy about this new life when there's so much in the air involving the parents? While I'm sure that little Sophia is going to grow up happy, with a good life, I just hope it involves her father, my brother.

In my world, I'm less than 5 months away from proposing to my girlfriend. I can see how my brother's marriage is effecting my future one already. I can see the questions in my parents eyes as I continue to love another blonde Ohio girl. I just wish I could get more of an answer from my brother than "things are fine" when I know they aren't.

Obla-dee, Obla-da, Life goes on

It's now four in the morning. I've been behind the wheel of this damn truck for over six hours now. You're sleeping in the passenger seat, as you have been since we crossed the border into Ohio. That was well before it started snowing, causing the interstate to become one solid sheet of black ice. I ran out of wiper fluid a while ago, and the windshield is now a piece of glass crusted with salty road spray.

The road is taking us down a hill, and I'm terrified that this unfamiliar behemoth is going to spin around on me, or drive itself into a ditch, or just do something crazy that I won't be able to save us from. To add to this harrowing moment, almost everything that I own is packed in the back of this beast. Furniture and antiques from my grandfather's house. Boxes full of things that I packed up four or five years ago, and never bothered to open again. One wrong move out here on this deathtrap of a road, and it will be time for the trash heap.

I wish that you were awake right now; At least I would have someone to complain to. You're always good at putting up with my shit, and trying to calm me down. Last week, when we flew to Albany, you sat there holding my hand as I went off on United employees. You tried to calm me down as I tried to contort myself into a business class seat that obviously didn't have enough legroom. You hugged me when my nicotine fit took over my brain and made the whole world uncomfortable.

You loaded up the truck this morning when I threw out my back and couldn't move anymore. You drove the first part of this trip, and gave me time to recover. You do so much for me, and I'm completely lost for a way to repay you. I'm so glad that you are my wife.

Even now, no matter how much I miss you, I let you sleep. I will fight off the evil ice and wind to make sure that we get home in one piece, together. I love you. I hope you're dreaming of me.

Antarctic Diary: December 3, 2002

The plateau

Everything happens for a reason, they say. So it is true that of the most magnificent hike I have ever taken I have no pictures to show you. I left my camera in the jamesway because I thought we were going somewhere I'd already been. Then I thought about it several times as I was walking and decided it must be some divine intervention that requires me to use my own powers of description to bring you to that place. Because it was felt as much as seen. And I realized that I could take hundreds of pictures of it, and you wouldn't understand that standing where I did seemed to connect me to times long before humanity, and times long after.

The ridge above Lake Bonney is roughly 1000ft high. Like most hills in this area, geologists call it a terminal moraine. It's the detritus left over when the glaciers melted.

See, this whole valley was one huge glacier at one point, or so the scientists theorize. When that mammouth city of ice melted, it left behind mountains of boulders and crumbled stone. And so what you have are huge "dunes" of sandy soil impregnated with loose rock the ranging from the size of your hand to the size of a small car..

At the top of the hill the big stones stand out like teeth in the wind. Over tens of thousands of years they have been moulded by wind-borne sands into smooth contours that make them seem like modern art. They're like blobs of clay that have been randomly poked and squeezed by a child, then fired hard. They're called "ventifact" stones.

I'd gone up to a garden of ventifacts with the editor of the Antarctic Sun, the NSF sponsored newspaper in McMurdo. She'd never been here, so wanted to see them. We got up to the ones I knew when our camp manager appeared at the ridge line and motioned for us to follow her.

We followed the mountain top to where it formed a plateau. And on that massive table were rocks so hollowed underneath by the wind they now stood on two or three "legs". One rock, the size of a large truck, was perched on a single thin stalk of rock so that it seems to be a square mushroom with a round trunk.

In the midst of these magnificent stones were two tiny frozen lakes, no larger than the playground in a small park. These were perfectly smooth, and in the middle of one, a giant ventifact rose like a monument to the spirit of that frozen body.

The lake on the plateau is ringed by jagged, ice-torn peaks thousands of meters high. Between two peaks, in the distance, the Taylor glacier plows a path over the land from the polar plateau.

The day was clear and cool. A bitter breeze rushed past us from the east. We stood in the center of the lake listening to the wind and as difficult as it is to describe, I need to tell you it felt ancient. Like standing in stonehenge, or before the pyramids.

Like nothing any of us could build or imagine would last as long. Least of all, us.

From the lakes we moved to an area covered in tiny stones of bright red spongy pumice. The pumice littered the side of a mountain and had spilled from the hillside hundreds of meters above covering the landscape so that it seemed to be carpeted in smooth red. And as if dropped in from above, five home-sized ventifact rocks broke the thin red horizon, huge and solitary. Like God was saying--these are special.

We walked for nearly a mile across this bright red martian plain, and coming to the first ventifact, circled it reverently.

You know, maybe it's way too much anthropomorphizing for one man. Maybe the stark beauty of a place like that does something to you. Maybe when you find yourself in a landscape so outrageously alien, your mind fills the inevitable gaps in cognition with legends and parables.

There are no people indigenous to Antarctica. If there were, they would inevitably come to a place like that and feel part of the great eternity from which all things arise.

I swear, though, on everything and anything I own or will ever imagine those stones talk.

Holy fucking shit.

My uncle died last Sunday in his sleep. He wasn't even sixty. Completely out of the blue, he went to bed, fell asleep and never woke up in the morning.

He was one of my favourite uncles. A bit eccentric, he liked to build full size, fully working replicas of World War II fighter planes in his shed and sell them to museums. His last plane took over six years to build, a complete labour of love.

He was a quiet man, contemplative, but always friendly. One of these people who didn't speak really until they were spoken too. He loved to talk about the war but really hated the Germans.

He leaves a widow, my aunt, and a son, my cousin and friend who are still grieving over the loss of our grandmother three weeks earlier.

If there is a god, he has a sick fucking sense of humour and terrible timing.

We don't need this shit.

I had a car accident today.

A few noders may know that I recently purchased a brand-spankin' new Ford Focus SVT. It's fast as stink, and would have eaten my old ITB Toyota Corolla alive. It also has all the amenities, including traction control, a sunroof and heated seats. I didn't know if I wanted them, but three weeks of winter in Ohio has convinced me that heated seats are a righteous indulgence.

I love my new SVT Focus.

Fortunately, I was driving my truck instead, which serves primarily to take me to and from work.

I was running up to Petsmart in search of cat food for my hungry children. It's very cold, but the roads are all clear, and in good condition. Except where I was. Apparently they have a sewer/water main problem at a local intersection because as I entered the braking zone behind a red light I went from good grip to glare ice. I suppose the "Steel Plate Ahead" sign might have been a dead giveaway. At any event, I realized I had less brakes than a hockey puck.

Not good.

But if you can't stop, sometimes you can steer. Realizing I wasn't going to stop and the light wasn't going to change in time, I steered right and climbed the curb. Ended up sideways against a bush but mission accomplished. Stopped with no contact. I breathed a little sigh of relief. Then I hear this noise to my right. It was a K-Car.

A woman (with children) on her way to the airport chose that moment to enter the same patch of ice as I. I experienced about a millisecond of existential dread before she slid right into the right rear of my truck.

One bent rear fender. I feel a vibration when I drive it, but I can't tell if that's it's a hurt truck, or me just being a bit keyed up.

Police called. Documents searched for. Insurance card missing. Oh yeah, my new insurance cards were sitting on my kitchen counter. Now I'm worried. in Ohio we're supposed to carry the cards and mine was sitting in the kitchen. The police were cool though. I had evaded one accident, while the rather nice woman behind me had not. I guess not making it a three car event gives you some points. The gave me a number to call for a police report.

Lesson number one: Pay closer attention to the appearance of the road surface. In winter, the road can change from nice to evil instantly. I might still have been hit, but would NOT have had to engage in gyrations had I started braking before I hit the ice. Or if I had a place to go driver's left.

All in all, it could have been a lot worse. In the Focus I would NOT have tried to climb the curb. Not with 45 series tires and alloy wheels. Then I'd be grousing about a ticket, and knowing it was really my fault.

Okay.

Hooray for finally posting something.. somewhere. I've been a sort-of lurker for long enough, I think. although I have a lot to do still tonight, and it'll definitely carry through till tomorrow. I bet you anything.

Today my best friend (well, was once my best friend, but that's another issue) James was bringing his friend Jamie to school with him. Jamie lives pretty far from us all, so we don't see him very often. I haven't even talked to him online in ages, except once like a week ago. When James brought Jamie to meet everyone sometime in grade nine, I think (no, I know) all the girls in our group fell in love with him. Or at least "fell in lust". Hooray for the sex drive of the adolescent being.

Well, I had mixed feelings about seeing Jamie today. Mostly I was glad to see him, because I haven't seen him in so long, and he's a lot of fun. Cheerful all the time. It's so great to have someone like that around at least every once in a while.

But, there's the whole thing about what always happens when Jamie's around. Every time I see him I remember that I was attracted to him once, and that sort of makes me attracted to him all over again. And this I can't have.

I've been dating James (a different James) for two months now, and we're happy. And I'm not just saying that as a "we're so damn happy, you better believe it!" sort of thing -- because I've done that in the past. But I've been smiling since we started constantly hanging out in September, and if that's not a sign I want to know what is. When James (okay, James-my-friend-James is henceforth known as JamesS and James-my-lover-James is JamesD. There.) When JamesS said Jamie was coming to school and that he'd be hanging out with me in the cafeteria in first period (that's my spare), I was glad because I haven't seen him in so long.

But, again, I remembered.

Remembered that every time I see Jamie, I flirt. At first I told myself, don't be worried. You considered what you did before because you just wanted attention, from someone, because you sure as hell weren't getting it from the boyfriend you had when you met Jamie, or, sometime later, from the one that came after. But JamesD pays attention to you. Hell, he smothers you sometimes (I could go on, but I'll cut it here). So why was I worried?

Because I knew he'd flirt. That's what he does. That's not meant as an insult or anything (I'm sure that's what it sounds like), and if it does then it's one to me. Because I never discourage him from it; more the opposite.

And I don't want to mess things up with JamesD. Because he's not stupid, like the others were. If something were to happen, he wouldn't stand for it. And I understand and respect that. I'm not a whore; I don't run off and do random people just because I get bored or feel neglected. Although I bet my brain would make me if it could. Hooray for Freud and his id vs superego theory.

I am Jack's idiotic ego, trying to sort out simple matters in my head while more complex matters lie in the dust of my neglect.

(Un?)fortunately, things went all wrong, and no one was able to get Jamie to go where he was supposed to until halfway through 3rd period. I'm still not sure how I feel about that, even now. Am I disappointed that I couldn't see him? Or am I glad that I've avoided a possible crisis? I've been without a single crisis since I left my last boyfriend (more difficult than it should have been, considering he was sucking the life out of me). JamesS suggests that we're both going crazy because we don't have any crises to correct. He's confused because his usual thing is to try and get me to break up with whoever I happen to be dating. But now he says I have a reasonable boyfriend and he doesn't want to break us up. I'm glad for this (you have no idea), but it does leave a sort of blank gap in our lives. We went for a walk a little while ago and had absolutely nothing to talk about. It was creepy, and a little sad. I miss being close with JamesS. He knew me inside out, and though he possibly still does, I can't read him anymore; not like I once could. Our conversations are sort of lopsided and awkward -- his friends aren't really my friends anymore. Later on in the winter this may bother me some more, due to my winter depressions, but right now I don't care that much.


My parents and older brother should be home sometime soon. He lives in Toronto, near his college, and I barely see him anymore, even when he does come home. Either he hides away in his room, or I go out, or he takes the car and goes to Markham to our cousin's house. And he's my favourite brother, too. My little brother is pretty much useless in the house. He eats food, sits around, sleeps, and yells at everyone. The joys of adolescence. Apparently I wasn't like this. Actually, I know I wasn't. I hide in my room during family fights; I always have. I avoid conflict by, well, avoiding it. Makes me a coward, no doubt, but at least I'm welcome in my small household, and I have little belief that my younger brother is so welcome.

Hm. I started a sort of philosophical rant, but I stopped making any sense about halfway through it.

Oh well. I'll end with a quote. I like to end things with quotes.

"Life is hard. After all, it kills you eventually." -Katharine Hepburn

Good day today. I finally got my write up on Skaldic Poetry written, which I've been meaning to do for a couple of years now. I based it mainly on an email I sent to my wife back when we were first courting. As a side effect, I read through a bunch of those first emails we exchanged - all I can say is that it was a magical time.

I was at loose ends this evening, and I almost saw Die Another Day, but I was planning on a 7:30 show, and at 6:58 I found out it was really a 7:00 show. Ah well, perhaps I'll Watch Another Day.

I didn't accomplish too much at work, but I'm trying a new angle on sifting through a few dozen terabytes of web crawl data to discover what sites are really synonyms for each other.

I consumed a Pit Bull Energy Drink, which I then also wrote up. The local Safeway still has only an empty space where the Rock Star is supposed to be.

I know I did a bunch more stuff today; after all, it took me all day to do it. I guess I filled out and submitted an expense report, that accounts for another ten minutes. That's why I'm daylogging, to keep from losing all my days into the mists of my undependable memory. Perhaps I need to update hourly as some other folks do.

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