Well finally my life seems to be getting better. Since late october I’ve been having bad luck continuously. First my computer monitor blew up, then the spare one I was using blew up, all to which you can read about the legal difficulty I’ve been having to get the monitor fixed, in detail I think, in my October day logs.

If you’ve read those day logs you would have read about how my car was smashed, since then I had been using my Dad’s shit car, to which got stolen! Just a few days from my birthday. More of what happened with the stolen car experience can be found in my boyfriend’s November 19, 2001 day log. We eventually got the car back and running, of course we would, it is such a shit car, it was a surprise that anyone was stupid enough to steal it. They didn’t get far, it broke down not even 2 km away.

For those that are interested, the issue with my computer monitor is STILL not resolved completely yet.

For the past few months, you can see why I haven’t been completely happy go lucky, in fact, I’ve been quite depressed about these events happening to me sequentially. I was told by someone that I should ‘walk it off’ , that I’m lucky to have a computer (with no monitor), a car (that’s smashed almost beyond repair), insurance (that do shit all to help) and a boyfriend (who actually is absolutely great that I can be happy about). Well okay yes, they have the point that there are people who are less fortunate than me, but should that excuse and justify my depressive feelings as unimportant, as meaningless, as pathetic? Anyone whose read Depression is Universal would agree that people who are fortunate also get sad!


I had my birthday parties, a family one and a friends one. The family one was completely humiliating, embarrassing and degrading. It was boring as hell. A totally woggy affair, with woggy music, bad food, unsociable, unkind relatives who stare, laugh, and insult you. The friends party went surprisingly well. It was everything I could hope for, people really just sitting around getting to know each other without making a fool of themselves due to alcohol.
Some time later I got my damaged car back, it looks okay. It is so strange to drive, it has been over a month, the clutch is extremely loose, the brakes are fantastic, the stereo sucks and the wiring looks fucked. It steers well except that it seems it needs a wheel alignment because it swerves towards the right when you keep the steering wheel straight. I’m just happy to get my beloved car back, it gets me from A to B, I’m happy.

I got my University results back, I passed everything, even did well considering. This week I’ll be going to see someone about studying hypnotheapy.

Finally things are getting better, I hope it lasts as long as the period of time that I was having a lot of bad luck. Perhaps even longer would be good, if I’m lucky :0)

Today I realized something: the ratio of Louis Vuitton bags and Berbery scarves/people in Japan is ridiculously high. I begin to suspect that somewhere there is a dispensary where they are given out free, and I intend to find it...

This morning I woke up at 7. I went downstairs, but nobody was up yet, so I went back upstairs and cleaned my room. My host mom woke up really late, so she just made me some miso soup and natto with egg for breakfast- it was good though and I was early enough coming to school that I could stop to get something to eat at the convenience store on the way. All this morning I have class but tonight I am going to go to "train sushi" with my classmates. Originally we were going to go to okonomiyaki but because our favorite okonomiyaki place is a little far we decided to go to the (closer) sushi place, which is fine with me.

If you'll excuse me, I'd like to rant for a second.

<RANT>

The sequence of events went something like this:

  1. Tech calls me asking if there's any reason for the proxy server that I wrote to be exhibiting random strange behavior. I basically "uhmm... no clue" (without a decent control to the situation I can't do shit).
  2. Tech decides that since the random behavior is occurring, and another random program on the gateway is messed up, that he should reboot it.
  3. A mass ICQ is sent out informing everyone of the immanent gateway reboot.
  4. Gateway reboots, internet is lost for some.
  5. Boss calls me and bitches me out, asking me what I broke on the proxy server.
  6. I respond in the negative, telling him that the person who is at fault for this is not me.
  7. Boss calls CTO asking what went on. As the CTO had just heard me talking to the tech, he assumes that it was I who ordered the gateway reboot.
  8. Boss calls me and bitches me out, saying that I told him to do the reboot.

Needless to say, I don't enjoy being bitchslapped, especially for something that I had no fucking involvement with!

</RANT>

I spent two hours yesterday afternoon and another two hours this morning on the witness stand, testifying as to my lack of involvement in the riot I am being accused of participating in on May 3, 2001.

Testimony starts out with direct examination, as usual. My attorney gave me an outline of the questions she was planning to ask me and some of the responses that she wanted to get. We got partway through her examination on Monday, and then continued it this morning.

This morning I managed to sleep past 5 am for the first time since I started staying with my friends in Redlands. We were getting up early, around 630 am to get on the road at 730 am to get to court at 930 am. Redlands is not close to Long Beach. In the morning I get up and take rescue remedy, which had thus far kept me from panicking in court. My friend J. and I get in the car and once again make the drive to Long Beach, projected at just under two hours in good traffic.

I am scared.

As we are leaving, I notice that my pager is going off. We head back to the apartment and I call my attorney. She is not at home, the number I was paged to. I start to worry that she paged me last night and I missed it. I call her cell phone and leave a message.

We get to court. Inside, the attorneys are arguing with the judge about the jury instructions. My attorney whispers that she wants to talk to me before I go back on the stand. In the bathroom she tells me that there's footage of me standing in the street at 1st and Pine, taking photos with the other media people. She's also worried that the prosecutor is going to grill me about not knowing where I found out about the demonstration.

On the stand, neither of these things are issues. During her direct examination, we have to cover what happened to me in the course of the demonstration. This means we have to talk about when the police shot me.

Yesterday we talked about my injuries, and the clothes I wore and the reasons I was wearing them. It didn't bother me to tell the jury about being shot. I was too busy being pissed off at the prosecutor for objecting to most of my attorney's questions about my injuries. We weren't allowed to submit photographs, either the ones the police took or the ones my friend took the next day. I wasn't allowed to say that I would need surgery or even that I had at least one rubber bullet left in my leg. It was okay for the prosecutor to mention that my codefendant, one of the defense witnesses, and I have all filed claims against the city for damages from our injuries, though.

Today we had to cover the end of the demonstration. I watched video of myself being pushed by the police, walking with my hands up, and then from around the time I was shot. I started crying on the witness stand when we got to the part where I was pushed into the street and shot. Proceedings slowed down a little while I stopped crying enough to continue answering questions. Juror 3 stared intently at me for several minutes after this. I didn't see her doing this because on the stand, my vision narrows down to the person asking me questions and my thoughts revolve around answering them without getting confused. This is harder than it sounds because the attorneys tend to ask a lot of convoluted and negative questions.

On cross examination, the prosecutor spent a lot of time trying to put words in my mouth. He kept trying to make me say that I was with the group by asking compound questions like: "Here in this photo, where you're standing with the group, what are you doing?" And I'd say something like: "Here in this photo, I'm not with the group, I'm to the side of them with the other journalists, and I'm taking a photo." And then he'd do it with the next picture. He spent at least 5 minutes trying to determine which parts of the dispersal order I'd heard or not heard, and when I said I didn't remember specifically, he got pissed. He asked how I could not remember this, since it was part of such a significant event in my life. I said I didn't remember. It wasn't clear at the time.

My attorney said I did well. She was pleased with how I held myself and handled the prosecutor's obnoxiousness. She said I was ladylike, a word that is almost never applied to me.

They asked more questions and then let me go sit down. We broke for lunch, and when I got back, the attorneys were arguing over the jury instructions again. My attorney wanted an instruction about entrapment, but the judge denied it, saying there wasn't enough evidence.

He did dismiss the last charge against both myself and my codefendant, remaining at a riot. We now each have 5 charges against us.

Closing statements began then, and lasted the rest of the day. The two defense attorneys were clear and well thought out. They both talked about things that were relevant to the case.

Then the prosecutor talked. He ranted about urban terrorists, called the kids soldiers, said they were organized into cells, and quoted George W. Bush, from his speech about drawing no distinction between terrorists and those who harbor them, or however that goes. He used every buzzword he could think of short of blaming us for the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He called me the anarchist staff photographer. He called my codefendant, a republican studying to be a CPA, slick. Finally he shut up. One of the jurors was rolling her eyes, and another was refusing to look at him. A third kept covering his mouth with his hand.

The bailiff and the court reporter both wished me well. I will be waiting in the courtroom for the next few days while the jury deliberates, as this makes a positive impression on them. I'm hoping to go home later this week or this weekend.

To see how this started, please see my daylog for May 3, 2001.
For difficulties in dealing with court dates, please see my daylog for May 7, 2001.
The charges against me are listed on May 10, 2001.
For an account of my first arraignment hearing, please see my daylog for May 24, 2001.
For an account of my bad dealings with my codefendants, please see my daylog for May 30, 2001.
For an account of my second arraignment hearing, please see my daylog for June 22, 2001.
For an account of my decision to go to trial, please see my daylog for October 31, 2001.
For an account of pretrial matters and my journey to LA, please see my daylog for November 17, 2001.
For an account of my codefendant's plea bargaining, please see my daylog for November 24, 2001.

<rant>


Did people have this much trouble with television?

I work as an internet sales consultant for a large Australian telecommunications company. In the course of my work I spend a lot of time explaining to people how to set up their computer. Unfortunately many of these setups involve me explaining to the user how to use the computer. Now, normally this doesn't bother me. People cannot be blamed for their ignorance when they first begin something. However I have just had a call from a woman who has had not one, but two previous accounts with us (both suspended due to tech problems). On this, the lucky third account, I thought I would not be required to explain the setup again. Wrong.

Now, I've heard some strange things in this job (including 'Microsoft Family Lagoon', 'If I send an email to Canada, is that a long-distance call?' as well as my personal favorite, 'What's the Internet?') and this one was not nearly as strange as those. But it pissed me off. I said 'Click on My Computer with the right mouse button' (I can't use tech-speak like 'right click'. She says 'It turns blue'. This is a normal response. I give her my standard reply 'No, you need to use the right-hand mouse button'. It works this time. She exclaims 'Oh! A menu popped up! I always wondered what the right mouse button did! Does it do that for everything?'. I swear, I could have leapt through the phone and strangled her.

Computers are in everyday use. No-one can deny this. This particular woman has had, as I said, two previous accounts with us. A quick look at her usage summary shows that she (or someone) uses it a lot. And she's not alone. From what I've seen, about 50% of people (or at least, 50% of my company's customers) are completely ignorant of the standard applications of these little beige boxes that control their lives. Judging by the number of people who keep calling the sales center when they want technical support, people can't use their phones either. Once I tried dialling my company's number, just to see how difficult it was. An excerpt:

Phone: Welcome to <company name removed to protect my job>. For all telephone inquiries, press 1. For all internet enquiries press 2.

Me: <BEEP> (pressing 2)

Phone: If you would like to sign up for a new internet account, press 1. If you are having problems connecting to the internet, press 2. For all billing related inquiries, press 3.

How could this be any clearer? Yet I still get countless customers saying 'the internet is broken' or 'about my bill...'

This internet thing will never last, people will kill it with their determined ignorance.

</rant>

Hey, this looks like the day for rants...

I know, I've gone a bit overboard with the formatting. But I think it deserves it. NOTE: This writeup does not display properly in Opera 6 (on Linux anyway). Please do not downvote it for the formatting, I noded it at work on IE.

I went on a date tonight- with a known psycho hose beast. It's a long, convoluted story, and I thankfully had very little-to-nothing to do with it except as an innocent bystander. Anyway, the woman is a friend of mine and she's getting her shit together. She asked me out to see a movie with her and I accepted. I have utterly no interest in the woman except as a friend, and I'm fairly sure that's obvious to her, but we had fun. We were originally going to see the Harry Potter movie (second time for me, first for her), but I was late in meeting up with her, so we had to select an alternative movie. Second runner up was "Monsters, Inc.", which was fun, entertaining and made me laugh out loud. I needed to laugh some. Laughter is a great thing to help a person step away from stress. At the end of the movie I was certain that there would be some sort of "capper", which is typical of Pixar productions to add stuff after the credits just for shits and giggles. She was reluctant to wait around, so I bet her that there would be a capper- the prize was a cup of coffee. If I was right, she'd buy. If I was wrong, I'd buy. Sadly, I was wrong (yet another reason why I don't gamble, folks- when I press my luck, it presses back).

We got out of the movie and went back to Cafe Coco, where we bumped into impishlaugh. I bought my "date" her coffee and made off to get today's newspaper, intent on doing the crossword, as is per my usual routine. I try to do the crossword every day (except Sundays... those usually require more thought than I would like to put into them). impy and I had this sort of tradition, which is to do crosswords together whenever possible. She's been kinda absent from the Cafe lately, but tonight we tore into that crossword like it was barely even there (impy did most of the work because I was having trouble filling in blanks from an awkward angle).

With the crossword done, I decided to take a table by myself and check out today's "CryptoQuote" in the business section. About a month ago toastido and I discovered the CryptoQuote and found it practically impossible to crack. Ever since then I've taken a passing interest in it, just the occasional glance, to see if I could pinpoint a pattern of some sort. Until today, nothing about them seemed to make any sense.

But today I beat it.

In about 5 minutes.

Yeah, I'm proud of myself for it. What of it? I mean, toastido and I aren't exactly idiots. My IQ was rated at 182 when I was 14. His can't be lower than 160. Each of us qualify as geniuses- and the two of us combined couldn't crack one of those damn things. But tonight, I guess I was just "on." Here's the encrypted quote (in case you're interested):

B WKBOR B IMSTA WSNO
QOA TBEU GBWK QOBCQTY,
WKUX QNU YM DTQIBA
QOA YUTH-IMOWQBOUA.
-- GQTW GKBQCQO

The first thing that stood out, immediately, was the one-letter words- both of them with the encryption "B." I knew, instinctively, that "B" could stand for only one of two letters- A or I. Since the cipher was a quote, I decided that the letter "I" would have to be it, because personal quotes don't usually start with "A {blank} A {blank}". Therefore, "B" should stand for "I."

I looked at the second word, a five-letter job. Racking my brain, I realized that the word "think" would fit nicely. As in, "I think I...." Working on that assumption, I began filling in the letters, bit by bit and things started to make sense. Before I knew it, I was looking at the thing half-completed inside of two minutes. Here's the answer:

I think I could turn
and live with animals.
They are so placid
and self-contained.
-- Walt Whitman

No math was involved. No real "strategy," either. A little bit of probability analysis, simple deduction and some horse sense and the rest was simply looking at it and trying to figure out what would make sense. I still can't figure out the encryption method used or the code key, but the answer I devised is comprehensible and works perfectly.

Today was a simple exercise in following my "gut" and it seems to have worked out well. All in all, not a bad day.

For the first time in my life, I today faced the prospect of an immediate death. I'm sure I've been at points in my life before whereby the choice I made saved my hide, whereas in a parallel universe I would have shuffled off this mortal coil. But this wasn't a "might have been" scenario. It was a very real experience that I could feel every second of, unsure of whether this morning was going to be my last.

I've been suffering quite a lot recently with a nagging infection in my respiratory system. I'm awaiting the results of a blood test that will determine exactly what, but for the most part I have been beset with a hacking cough and a numb head. The fever and shakes have subsided, and I have been back at work for a week and a bit, with only an occasional coughing fit and my regular morning cough, the sort that smokers have - whereby I attempt to dislodge all the crap that has coated my throat during the night.

This morning was no different. I woke up and felt the need to cough. I hacked up the usual amount of green phlegm, but instead of it entering my mouth for me to dispose of at leisure, it decided to drop back down into my windpipe. I tried to cough again, but my gag reflex kicked in and i began retching violently. As I struggled for air, the mixture of phlegm and bile had completely blocked my windpipe. I was choking.

I stumbled down the stairs to the bathroom, wheezing and desperate to get air into my lungs, my mouth hanging open. It had been about 45 seconds without air and I began to feel my chest tighten. The bathroom meant i could properly try to vomit my way clear of the situation (even then I was thinking of not having to clean up sick from my carpet), but another 30 seconds or so without oxygen would lead to me blacking out, alone, in an empty flat in a city where nobody knew me. I turned to the stairs to the front door, for the first time confronting the reality of how to save my own life - my only hope would be to get out into the street and pray that somebody would be able to help me. The only other thing that I could think about was Laura, how she would find out that her fiancé was dead, and had been for hours while she had been in blissful ignorance, until the police arrived.

That was probably the thing that shocked my body into fighting. With tears in my eyes I lurched into the bathroom and convulsed, until i forced the solid matter up into my mouth and spat it out. Wheezing and crying, I managed to get air into my lungs. It wasn't a particularly euphoric feeling - my nose was dripping snot and vomit, my tastebuds were overwhelmed by the acrid taste of my own puke, and my eyes were streaming. But I wasn't going to die. That's got to be something.

It's an hour later now. Physically, I have returned to normal, apart from being a little bilious. Mentally? Well, people tell of how a near-death experience changes them, changes their whole perspective on life. Not me. I still feel invincible. I still feel like there's no way my body is going to give up and die. Apart from feeling shit, I feel great.

the tap water is crunchy today.

so no shit, here i am, finally writing that goddamn ten page treatise on the influence of pauline christology on the writings of walter hilton...and i recall, quite suddenly, that i don't particularly like *either* author. damn, this makes me grumpy.

in other news, i'm about to be put on academic probation, and lose all my financial aid. i guess taht would be the universe (or the university) telling me to quit fucking around, and get my goddamn degree already... :)

party's still on tho! it will be most amusing to have Starrynight in my living room, once again, for the second time in as many years. *sigh* i hope the music doesn't make him dissolve, like the wicked witch of the west. with this one, i can never be sure. slide has made it to austin and is looking into means of getting to albuquerque. the prospect of borrowing slide for xmas, of course, makes my toes tingle. w00t. this is gonna be one hell of a party. i just hope i can find good eggplant at this time of year...

Random thoughts

Sometimes I find it very odd:

Someone I've known for and loved for six years or so, is finally out of my life and exits with the upmost hatred and disrespect for me. And in the meantime, after meeting a complete stranger online, and having spent only a week or two communicating with the person, the void is suddenly replaced with the hopes of beginning yet another relationship. I barely know this person, and yet, I feel I am drawn to her. I listen to my internal dialogue constantly in order to keep my sanity and rationale in check. I keep asking myself, "Do I love her?". Each and every time, I answer a "no" or "not yet". Other times, I force the answer just to keep myself from jumping off another cliff.


I don't hate her. By nature, I love her. I still do. It's when my water gets boiled that I hate her. I dislike very much when this happens. My heart is just going through the process of breaking right now.


My heart is being reformed by someone else.


Hmm..going 160km/h in this morning's commute when the person I'm starting to fall for has a phobia of being in a fast moving car. So what does this mean? I can't drive fast in her presence? That'll be a tough one when it comes.


I went to another business meeting last night. This time, it was for other reasons. I was beginning to learn the approach techniques required when I talk to others about it. I seriously wonder why some people question the system so hard? It's not a scam. It has all the benefits. It costs next to nothing. Takes little effort. The effort is battling the resistance. But even sometimes, the battle is so futile that we forgo it and just let people make their own mistakes. This is what E-commerce is suppose to be!

But I still think most of us are hedonists. But it's not like it's a bad thing. I can still make all the money yet hold an education. Perhaps, I should even consider getting many degrees and expand my knowledgebase.


It's not going to hurt.
No. I don't love her. She went on MSN again and I started to hyperventilate. So I made sure that she's no longer in my life. Now, I'm sad. I'm sorry. I needed to do this, to keep my sanity.

I don't love you.

My heart is now completely broken. Good bye.

What's with it with the rants today?

Ya'll sound like the digital version of Henry Rollins or Dennis Leary only... not funny.

She won't answer the phone, we always talk around this hour, why does it bother me so much? I thought I no longer wanted her.

Aside from that, life rocks

Sorry, I just don't have much to say today. Life is what you make of it

Unless you are a lazy bum.... like me


Nevermind! she just SMSed me

Weather Records: Highs! The Director's Cut!!
Record Highs for Wednesday, December 5:

Dulles International Aiport, Washington, D.C. - climbed to 76 degrees today - breaking the old record of 75, set in 1998.
Spencer, IA - rose to 62 - which broke the previous record of 58, set in 1939.
Lamoni, IA - hit 65 - resetting the old mark of 64, recorded in 1975.
Mason City, IA - reached 62 - breaking the previous record of 61, set in 1998.
Ottuma, IA - got up to 67 - which broke the old record of 65, set in 1975.
Waterloo, IA - climbed to 67 - resetting the previous mark of 64, recorded in 1998.
Burlington, IA - hit 64 - breaking the old record of 63, also set in 1998.
Webster City, IA - rose to 65 - which broke the previous record of 62, also set in 1998.
Atlantic, IA - reached 66 - breaking the old record of 65, set in 1975.
South Bend, IN - hit 69 - which broke the previous record of 64, set last set in 1982.
Indianapolis, IN - also climbed to 69 - breaking the old record of 66, set in 1998.
Mid Continent Airport, Wichita, KS - soared to 73 - which broke the previous record of 72, set in 1965.
Topeka, KS - also rose to 73 - resetting the previous mark of 71, recorded in 1946.
Logan International Airport, Boston, MS - climbed to 65 - breaking the old record of 63, set in 1973.
Worcester, MS - got up to 61 - which broke the previous record of 59, set in 1973.
BWI Airport, MD - rose to 74 - breaking the old record of 71, set in 1998.
Portland, ME - climbed to 55 - tying a mark last reached in 1991.
Alpena County Regional Airport, MI - rose to 56 - breaking the previous record of 55, set in 1998.
Detroit Metro Airport, MI - hit 66 - which broke the old record of 65, set in 1998.
Flint Bishop Airport, MI - got up to 64 - breaking the previous record of 63, set in 1998.
Muskegon, MI - reached 62 - resetting the old mark of 60, recorded in 1982.
Grand Rapids, MI - rose to 66 - which broke the previous record of 63, also set in 1982.
Lansing, MI - also climbed to 66 - breaking the old record of 64, set in 1998.
Concord Airport, NH - hit 62 - which broke the previous record of 60, set in 1973.
Newark International Airport, NJ - reached 66 - resetting the old mark of 65, recorded in 1999.
Central Park, NYC - got up to 66 - breaking the old record of 63, last set in 1999.
Akron-Canton Regionall Airport, OH - rose to 67 - which broke the previous record of 66, set in 1982.
Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, OH - rose to 68 - breaking the old record of 67, set in 1982.
Mansfield Lahm Airport, OH - climbed to 67 - resetting the old mark of 63, recorded in 1998.
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, , OH - hit 68 - breaking the old record of 67, set in 1982.
Lehigh Valley International Airport, PA - also reached 68 - which broke the previous record of 67, set in 1982.
Pittsburgh International Airport, PA - rose to 71 - breaking the old record of 69, set in 1880!!!
Tri-Cities Regional Airport, TN - soared to 74 - resetting the old mark, last recorded in 1982.
Dane County Regional Airport, Madison, WI - hit 64 - which broke the previous record of 62, set in 1998.
QXZ's London Invasion, Part Six
back to part five

It's a dead man's party, who could ask for more?
and
East enders.

The radio weather prophet was right: rain when I woke up, then sunshine. I put the 28mm lens back on the camera. That's, I've found, a better "travel lens". It's often hard to get far enough away from something large (like, say, a building) to photograph it with a normal lens, so the wide is pretty useful... as long as you're not shooting detailed closeups of anything.

Back to Benjy's for breakfast; Builder plate again. The TVs in here are running M2 Pop. There's definitely a difference between the British and American relationships to pop culture, but I haven't pinned down what it is yet.

Emerged from the Underground at Westminster and took a couple of shots of Big Ben. Walked around some of Westminster Palace (the Houses of Parliament) and noted that the House of Commons is convening at 2:30. Maybe I'll sit in on that after I do the Abbey.

Like my reaction to Notre Dame de Paris, it astounds me that people were able to build something like Westminster Abbey in the 11th and 12th centuries. No modern equipment. People living their entire lives, working on the building, dying before it was complete. Amazing.

And everywhere you step, you're walking on the dead. Nearly every stone in the floor has an inscription on and a body underneath. Seems a shame to be contributing to the erosion of the memorials, but what a privilege to see this.

The tomb of King Edward I (d. 1307) is remarkably plain. Simply a rectangular wooden tomb with Latin painted on, and a good amount of that is worn away. "Edwardus Primus" is the only part fully legible. He is preceded, tombwise, by Edmund Crouchback and Aymer de Valence, both Earls. Their monuments are much more ornate. Then again, when you're buried in Westminster Abbey, what more impressive a monument do you need?

Henry III's tomb is a step up; he's at least got some gold inlay and a double-decker. The dual tomb for Elizabeth I and Mary I is lavish. White marble, gold, black columns. It looks practically new, even though it's been here since 1603.

Henry VII's tomb is literally fenced off. Intricate ironwork surrounds it, preventing you from getting closer than six feet or so. I wonder why he's been made so inaccessible?

Here, just in front of the RAF Chapel, is where Oliver Cromwell was buried before having to be pried up and rekilled. Twice. Looks like he had a nice rest for about three years.

"You are Mary, Queen of Scots?" "I am." One assumes her body's been reunited with her head. Nice of King James I/IV to have her buried here after giving the go-ahead for her murder. She gets the fancy tomb while her roommates Queen Anne, William and Mary, Queen Mary II, King William III and Prince George of Denmark are under simple slabs in the floor.

The Coronation Chair has what looks like graffiti carved into it. Curious.

Finally, under slabs, Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Interesting.

I lit a candle on my way out, and didn't really consider why until later. I suppose simply for the stories; the history that's made me want to visit both London and this church. Onward.

A motorized bed just drove past me while I walking up Whitehall Street.

To balance out Cromwell's plaque, I've just passed the spot where Charles I lost his head.

Across the street, I happened upon the Queen's Life Guards. Two of them on horseback flank the entrance to the Horse Guards Parade. They're the Queen's personal bodyguards, but it seems their primary purpose is to sit or stand around stiffly and suffer the photography of tourists. And the occasional horse molestation. I don't know how long their shifts are, but standing stock still for hours can't be much fun for the horse.

The Virgin empire maintains a store called "Virgin Bride" on Northumberland Ave. Ha.

Went down to the Barbican and bought a £10.00 ticket for tomorrow night's opening of Hamlet. Pretty good seat, too: center of the first balcony. I've only been down here twice, but I don't like dealing with the Barbican. It's ugly, utilitarian, soulless and labyrinthian, and I can't believe people live here. Boring, squat, concrete "civic center" architecture. Also, it's surrounded by hypermodern financial buildings and old, old, historical structures, so it entirely fails to fit in. However, this is where the Royal Shakespeare Company is shaking its spear, so I guess I'll deal with it.

It's dark out, and it's only 4:20. No more of this "getting outside at 11:00" nonsense. Regardless of how much sleep I get, I've got to get up earlier. Daylight is just so limited and, besides, most of the touristy things close around 5:30. We're getting to the point where I'm going to have to start seeing at least two major things per day. Tomorrow, hopefully, I can fit in Greenwich Observatory and St. Paul's Cathedral before the play. I have to remember to pay for the final three nights at the Hostel of Infinte Wakefulness tomorrow as well. My accomodations are going to run £115.00 total. I guess that's not bad for ten nights' bed in London, even though I'm not using the last one.

Okay, what now... what now?

On my way to The Spitz in Spitalfields, I happened to notice the door of Christ Church was open. I took a quick look inside. It's heavily columned, and the entire building (inside and out) gives a feeling of great weight. It certainly doesn't soar; more squats like an ancient temple. Hmm.

Tonight's Camera Obscura at The Spitz. Me, several pints of Guinness, live music, and a room full of British indie rock folks. They come complete with small eyeglasses and cryptic t-shirts, just like in America. I'm not being derogatory; it's nice to see the signifiers hold on both sides of the Atlantic.

The indie rock girl has a type of face. Take a way the shoulder bag, the retro clothes, the cute shoes and the eyeglasses; the indie rock girl face remains. It's very cute, though not conventionally beautiful. It's intelligent. It smiles shyly, with eyes that look anywhere but at yours. Is it genetic fate, then, that one be born an indie rock girl? Have they no other option? Impossible to imagine them embodying any other cultural idiom. For this we raise glasses and give thanks.

I think you must dream everything that happens in your life before you live it; that's the origin of deja vu. He was lighting his cigarette toward the middle, too far up from the end, so his friend grabbed his hand. But instead of steadying, the friend brought the lighter over and lit his own cigarette. Then pushed the flame back and held it still under the first. As it lit, they held hands for a moment in smoky camraderie. I've seen this before.

Eh. The band right before them was better. I wish I could remember their name.

Pretty darling, you left your rubber band on the seat.


Excerpted from QXZ's travel diary, 12/5/01.
QXZ endorses nothing.

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Today i told the doctor that i saw flashes of light when i closed my eyes. He said that was a bad thing, that meant the meat part of my eyes was ripping away on the inside, that i could go blind, that meant i couldn't see, you see...and he sent me to the hospital, by taxi even, because it was that urgent. On the way in the taxi driving past Mt Royal cemetary and the terraced houses with the wroughtiron railings and to this big hospital and I am looking at everything thinking maybe it'll all suddenly just black out like a cathode-ray tube and the world suddenly getting smaller and smaller receding like a dot in the distance until i never see it again. And I got out of the taxi and went into the emergency room to see the triage nurse and i walked in and i saw a guy in a wheelchair and an old guy with a young guy propping him up and a madwoman but no one was bleeding. the nurse finished writing down all the particulars of the lady she was with who like me wasn't apparently sick. She pointed at me and I said "detatched retinas" which was all the doctor said I would have to say and she beckoned me over and I sat there and told her my particulars, and then she told me to go wait again so I did.

After a while i got to see the doctor. But first I had to sit on a bed and wait for him.

There was a lady in the bed beside me and she was another madwoman. She was asking the doctor for a shot of anything to make her feel better. The doctor tried to calm her down but eventually shouted at her and went over to me. I said "detatched retinas" again. He flashed his light into my eyes but said that I needed to go to the special machine. I had to go wait in another part of the hospital, down a corridor and left and down another corridor again and then I'd find it.

I found it. I waited. Another doctor put drops into my eyes and said I had to put my chin on the bar. He turned the machine on and shone a light around the inside of both my eyes. I could see the inside of my eyes as he did it, tendrils of blood vessels ricocheting in gleams of incandescence.

Then he told me I was fine.

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