An early Valentines.

This was written when my husband and I were dating. I thought you might enjoy it. I’ve saved it all these years. Silly man wrote a second one just like it a few years ago. He said he was getting forgetful, I told him it's proof that his love for me has not changed.

For My Little Muffin

    Her eyes are like diamonds, her lips like a rose.
    I want every part of her, from her head to her toes.

    A body that sways, a body that plays,
    it fills me with glee because I know it’s for me.

    With you and me and my shining gray car.
    We can go places and travel afar.

    We’ll travel all of the, night and all of the day.
    We’ll do what we want, and in our own way.

    I promise I’m never going to scorn ya,
    I promise to take you to California.
    We’ll see so many things, it will make you dizzy
    We’ll even spend time, in the Kingdom of Disney

    My love for you is like a burning fire.
    The hotter it gets the more the desire.
    The life of a single person is sometimes fun, and sometimes harried,
    but one of these days I’m going to whisper in your ear,
    “Do you want to get married?”


    The love of my girl clings to me like a web,
    and the name of the girl I love –that girl’s name is Deb.

    I love you,
    Scott

The "shiny gray car" was a Dodge Challenger that some worm poured gas over and set on fire one night while he was working at Bob’s Big Boy on Speedway and Sawn. We never found out who it was. Both of our sons were conceived on vacations to Disneyland. We are planning another vacation there in a couple of weeks. Like the five previous trips we will leave at three AM to get there by one. The first ride we always take is the train.

He never did whisper “Do you want to get married.” But he did give me an engagement ring the following Christmas. He is very introverted in a fulsome sort of way. He gave me the gift on bended knee with a beaming boyish smirk, but words would not come out of his mouth. The mystery solver in me reasoned that this was an attestation of his deep affections,
Oh!... Oh you want to get married ! and we set a date.

For some strange reason he picked Blueberry Hill as “our song,” and called me Betty Sue, but not before he embarrassed me to bits by singing Volare! at the top of his lungs every time he stopped by my apartment. This is our 27th Valentine’s Day together.

How sweet it is to be loved by you,
Yes it is…



iceowl says nothing better than good, honest, love.
Grzcyrgba says Hey you two, get a room! (Just kidding. Happy Valentines Day, Lometa. :)
wertperch says It's so refreshing to see people actually in love. I wish you both many more years *hugs* for you both.
jessicapierce says This is unspeakably cute.
Chras4 says .... you are lucky, my dear Lo, hold on with all your might. It gives us all hope, you know. Most important for those of us dangling by a string of it. ♥ to you. warm hugs.
JohnnyGoodyear says Nice day log.....'every part if her, from ...'...I think he probably menat OF you not IF :) Trust all's well. JG
doyle says Luverly! My love and I just celebrated our 27th Valentine's Day together....nice coincidence.
CoolBluesMan says 27 YEARS?? what is this, Science Fiction?? Aaaaaarrggghhh!!! Happy Valentine's day :)
GrouchyOldMan says Lucky Lady LoLo lounging in the limpid lustrous light of luscious lambent luvin.
graceness says Thank you for sharing something so lovely with us. Gives us youngins hope. ;)
allseeingeye says we all love you too Lolo. He just got you first :)
Love … rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
-1 Corinthians 13 : 6-7 (NIV)

Devotion

I didn't even think about Valentine's Day this year. It was probably because I went home on Thursday, rushing to get my car serviced in Miami on Friday and then drive back to Gainesville in time for the big Tet show on Saturday night (I have a big job in the new Asian student council, and they always have good food at the Vietnamese functions anyway).

So Valentine's Day found me soaring up Florida's Turnpike at thirteen to twenty miles over the speed limit, cursing the rain showers of the swamp and flashing the slow drivers out of the way, then running through the downpour to bring my stuff in, then showering at high speed and throwing on my suit.

The Vietnamese did several traditional love songs during the show, which I used as segues to get more food and drink in preparation for the comedy and dance acts. There were couples all over the place, of course: many non-Vietnamese guys hang out in the Vietnamese crowd just to pick up girls. But I wasn't even paying attention.

I haven't had a girlfriend on Valentine's Day in all twenty years of my life, so maybe it just doesn't mean much to me. It certainly doesn't mean much to my father: he wouldn't hesitate to tell me about the old country where they didn't give a damn about the holiday.

Before I left town, I rode to Costco with my stepmom, and bought her a Christmas CD collection on the way out. She loves Christmas music, even in February. Anyway, at least I know that on this Valentine's Day, I made one woman happy.

I sit meditation style, you know, legs crossed hands by my knees, on a large flat rock in the middle of a bed of sand. There is a small rock path that winds through the carefully combed grains. The sun is shinning today, most days it does. The heat of it has brought my arms, chest, and dark black hair to a boil. The sensation of warmth turning to burning provides stark contrast to the emptiness I am trying to fill my mind with. The futility of the task is the Budhha's last great secret. The forefront of my thoughts are too focused. Nothing, emptiness, I think to myself and ignore that little voice in the back of my mind that refuses to stop. The scenary is quite amazing. The warm rock garden I am on normally sits in the far recess of the castle grounds but today I have changed it. The rock is on the edge of a ridge high among the mountains. Far out I can see the marvelous view. The mountians rise out of the ground like tired giants. They are dotted sporadically with patches of trees, some covered entirely. Past the peaks to the right the glimmer of the blue lake reflects back offsetting the greens and browns in the hills. It is quite a beautiful view and naturally brings calm. But I digress, nothingness, think of nothing, clear the mind and simply breathe in and out, in and out. The breathing is important. Some people say you should focus on it, let the physical act and feelings of breathing encompass your mind. Focus your thought down to as narrow an area as possible. The brake lights interrupt everything.

Driving on the freeway can be hypocritical, especially in heavy traffic. The lack of turns, intersections, and speed restrictions mean you should be able to just drive straight and not really pay that much attention. The jackass in front of me insits on braking too hard each time the car in front of him touches the brakes. His sudden and unexpected deceleration forces me to hit the brakes fairly hard also. We quickly slow to a crawl and then speed back up again. Sometimes I think that continuous driving during rush hour would be better than meditation.

Work is boring *and* stressful. I am not even sure if that is possible.

Panda Express calls me to it before I can even get on the freeway. I haven't done anything but sit around all day but that orange chicken is quite tempting. The meal practically eats itself. I have never had problems putting food away, and it only recently started adding to my waistline. During the entire meal the fortune cookie stares at me from the corner of my red plastic tray. I am really looking at some cute high school girl sitting a ways away, but the cookie is calling to me. I am not quite sure why. For some reason it feels like today the fortune cookie will be right. Whatever it says will carry more weight than normal. I think it is the fact that I initially forgot it was there and then suddenly it was again on my tray. I look at it and wonder what it says on the inside and whose job it is to come up with creative and politically acceptable "fortunes". I try to imagine what my luck numbers will be. The last of the mushroom chicken finds its way off my plate. I am fairly full but I have room for the cookie. It doesn't count if you don't eat the cookie, you know that right? Did you also know that they don't have fortune cookies in China, they are an American invention. I snap off the plastic, break it into two and pull the piece of plasticy paper out of one side of the cookie, I forget which side, and pop the other into my mouth.

"BE SURE TO HANDLE FINANCIAL AFFAIRS WISELY"
PANDA EXPRESS * PANDA INN
over
Panda Express celebrates 20 years of yummy.

I spent Valentines alone.

Well, not exactly alone alone. More with family alone. The sort of SO-less alone.

To be honest, I have no idea what to feel. On the one hand we have that, as a friend of mine observed, Valentines is just "Commercial Exploitation Day", that day in which we all buy lots of satin hearts and Milk Tray to sacrifice to the great god Hallmark, who duly rapes us up the ass along with Woolworths and anywhere else that decides that it's time to add a few more zeroes to the bank balance.

And then theres, well, the unashamed displays of affection it brings. Hey, we're bombing, shooting, maiming, torturing, may as well take the time away to be quiet with a loved one.

Me? The one person I would have wanted to spend Valentine's with lives a few hundred miles away and isn't interested in anything more than the odd IM convo occasionally. I suppose that's just my fucking luck. Considering I have all the charm, etiquette, looks and social prowess of a breezeblock and am therefore unlikely to meet anyone round here it'd be nice to have a non-one way relationship with someone. As the catbox topic said...nope, I didn't get any valentines cards. Not even one of those Flash e-greeting cards, not even a link to that vomit-inducing b3ta cartoon of a singing kitten (one of a few million). Zip. Nada. Zero.

Of course, every time I keep reminding myself of that, I keep correcting myself:

"No, Joe. The reason you didn't get any Valentines cards/e cards is precisely because you were reading the catbox topic. Face it: all day Saturday you were reading The Independent (real lady killer is that, nothing like hard facts and news to get you pussy, same way as CNN makes you popular) and adding sarky stuff about SCO to the school's internal Wiki. You do, indeed, have all the charm, etiquette, looks and social prowess of a breezeblock, and you're not doing much about it."

I may as well forget it. Another Valentines Day, spent alone.

It doesn't matter-it's all commercial...isn't it?

I'm the guy who makes sure you don't go home alone. It's sad, but it's true.

Any bar I hit, it's guaranteed I'll be assigned to this role. I'm the guy who'll play the perfect song on the jukebox. I'm the guy who'll step outta the way to make room for you and your new love. I'm the guy who buys the drinks, sets up the relationships of the evening. I pick the dances, I ensure the blending of yes and no.

I'm the guy who, realistically, decides who's going home with whom.

And the sad part is...I'm here, noding, at 4:30 in the morning. Alone.

So What I'm trying to say is...you're welcome, whoever you are. Have a happy night. particularly tonight. Good luck.

In Vienna we sit in a late-night cafe; straight connection, tea. For me the taste of the water is subservient to its sterility, and for this reason I prefer water which has been boiled several times, indeed I tend to boil the water, let it cool for a while, and then boil it again. Any pleasure I might get from the complex taste of virgin water would be outweighed by the pleasure I get from knowing that the water I am drinking is dead, dead, dead. Hydrogen and oxygen and bits of dead rock and nothing else.

To a certain extent this is futile, because the teabag and the milk are full of germs, indeed milk is itself a germ - and as a digression, I find it queasier to think about where milk comes from than to think about where hamburgers come from; it disgusts me less to imagine cow flesh being roasted than to imagine drinking the unprocessed lactations of the same cow - but I also accept that human beings such as myself are not rational, indeed that rationality is impossible in the organic domain, and I don't worry about it.

Perhaps this also explains my fascination with alcoholic spirits, as they are sterile as well; at least, I imagine them in my mind to be sterile. But then again it worries me to think that creatures live at the bottom of the ocean, in the shadow of subaquatic volcanoes, and the temperature there might be over 100oC and yet they thrive; it is fortunate that these creatures are thousands of miles away beneath a mile or more of water.

I don't know whether this fetish for sterility is a reaction to my own filthiness or to the dirt of others. I suspect the latter, for the former grows gradually over a period of time after I have bathed, and is thus less noticeable. If I were to take a holiday from myself, or to become unconscious and to then wake in a hall of mirrors, perhaps I would be cured, or my condition would be worsened, insofar as there is something wrong with me; there might not, I might actually be onto something real and vital.

The heaviness of a new age weighs on my shoulders /
as if my breasts were boulders /
dumpy trousers /
mouses

Woke up early today.

Went to the bike store. Bought new mountain bike tires (Bontrager full tread front, Kenda slick center rear) and tubes for the Specialized, which I am attempting to outfit as a XC model suitable for daily riding, which consists of both commuting and trail riding.

Also bought much fresh fruit and vegetables. and SOY. soon to buy Copper River salmon and Rogue Morimoto Hazelnut beer. Tonight we feast.

Admired river. Avoided mud puddles. Soaked up sunshine. Collected nature specimens: fern, horsetail.Observed marauding Himalayan blackberries, kudzu-like around river area.

99 Points of Life

As I have a less than admirable memory, I decided to transcribe the events of my life as they occur from my fleeting neurons onto the everything2 database. Not being much for web logs or the personal, the 'narrative' (it is only a narrative in the barest sense of the term) lacks the panache and excitement of a real account. It is more of a daily annal (how contradictory) than the story of my life. It is interesting to reread one's week in such bland, objective-sounding terms. Here it is. A week in my life, for what its worth.

Friday, February 6, 2004: Today I begin noting the occurences of my life, in all their daily monotony. Friday. Spent all day walking around with Peru and Doser, acquiring various objects, looking for a Naruto comic book for Jeremy's birthday. Doser and I got a smallish bottle of five star and started drinking early for the night's festivities, while Peru sipped his Bailey's, I also partook of that flavourful beverage. Eventually Doser went home and Peru and I went to visit Iris at her place of work, which was completely empty..I would like to have her job I think; the solitude would be appreciated. She came to look for Naruto at a suggested comic book store, they didn't end up having it either, so Peru and I bought Jer some weed (kind of a lame last minute present, but it was the thought that counted, maybe). Sat around for a long while by myself, reading a book about Modal Logic, which is difficult for me, but interesting. Eventually I went up to Jeremy's house for the festivities. He was still at work so Doser, Peru, Matt and I sat around hanging about, smoking weed and let the various guests in as they arrived. Jeremy then had a birthday party, which was small, drunken, drugged and funny. Attendees include Rob, James P, Matt, Peru, Iris, myself, Eleanor, Jeremy, Doser, Sean...sausage laden, but fun nevertheless. Afterwards Sean, Doser and myself went to a party across the street in the sweatshop building..not terribly exciting, I think it was petering out when we got there (around 330 ish) but, after having consumed some not unimpressive quantities of beer and weed, it was a welcome source of further late night beer..at 3 dollars a glass which was alright. Danced, dissed the DJ while standing directly beside his girlfriend, etc. Got home around 5 or 530, incoherently and uncomfortably sotten. C'est la vie. Read Thucydides some before falling asleep.

Saturday, February 7, 2004: Today I woke up around one o'clock, Doser asleep after our encounter with 1 liter cans of Faxe, terrible ten percent beer, and about 4 liters of other alcohols, each. Disgusting feeling today: I was more hungover than I've been almost any other time..I'm sure it was that Faxe. I knew it would be sick, yet I got it anyway. That's how I do things I suppose. Tonight was, among other things, ridiculous. So after a full day of slogging through modal logic and a million articles on Causality (David Lewis, Jaegwon Kim, Michael Tooley, Ernest Sosa, a few others) and being hung over I went to, quelle suprise, another party. This time at Doser's. Ostensibly, this party was a pot luck. I say ostensibly because only three of us other than Doser brought food, which I had predicted as Doser only told anyone it was a potluck the day of the affair. Nevertheless, Jeremy and I rocked it pretty nicely: he brought two shrimp rings (funny that he loves shrimp rings...) and this malt whisky smoked or soaked cheddar, which was excellent. I brought more cheese: a really buttery brie that was quite good and a bit of Saint Agur, which is about the only blue cheese I really like. I also brought bread, obviously. Sean also brought a Triple Chill Cake, which sounds ghetto (and is) but is nevertheless quite delicious. The party was attended by a number of people I didn't know, as well as the usual cast of characters. After being so hung over, I didn't buy any liquor and relied upon weed as a social lubricant. Myself, Matt and Jeremy smoked four or five quite large joints and chilled on some couches and watched the semi-ridiculous events of the party unfold. Basically, there was our contingent, a bunch of ridiculous and drunken punk rock guys (who were nice, but over-loud) and (here is the 'funny' part) a gaggle of coke and K laden girls going crazy and bouncing off the walls. It was odd for such a small party to see that kind of action, they were doing bumps of coke and K all night and just kept getting more and more insane. It was really funny, though at times uncomfortable. But I would say the hilarity outweighed the discomfort by at least a factor of three. Went home in a cab with Jeremy, Matt and Sean. Read a bunch of stuff before I could sleep: Sherlock Holmes stories (3 or 4), some Thucydides, some Leo Strauss (a tiny bit), a couple pages of Being and Time, and a bit of the Kafka diaries (which are interesting and satisfying).

Sunday, February 8, 2004: Another slow day, with no accompanying party or drunkenness. Went out to brunch with Jer at a new place (La Croissanterie, bad name good place). I got a quite-good chicken, goat cheese, avocado sandwich (I was in a sandwich mood) and a vanilla milkshake. Jer got a tofu burger, which looked good and was, upon closer gustatory inspection, as well as an orange juice and two alangers (I'm not putting accents in because I'm not sure how to spell the word, coffee not being my strong suit). The place was quite art-decoed out, in a non-shitty way, and it was funny hearing all the various conversations around us, as they all pertained to the art world in some way or another. Oddly enough, Jer and I talked at length about some various art crap, specifically his class at NSCAD a long time ago regarding various artist's cosmologies. Various interesting asides, went to Boite Noir afterwards and Jer got Ichi the Killer and The Tale of Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman (the first movie in the lengthy series). We went back to Jer's and Peru and Matt came over to watch said movies. We smoked a large joint and tried to watch Ichi the Killer, which was too much gore and torture for our hazy minds, so we switched to Zatoichi, which was great. A lot of odd little interludes with massages and fishing, which I quite liked, good and quick swordsmanship as well. Zatoichi looked almost eastern european or maybe Spanish, odd. Came back home, talked to Sara on the phone a few times. Again, spent a fair bit of time reading: reread the David Lewis article "Causation" (I might write a little synopsis paper about it), read a bunch of Sherlock Holmes, some Thucydides, some articles on Emotions, some Kafka again, a bit of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations which is uplifiting though worrisome at certain points (I can't believe I just said uplifting). Some other bits and pieces of the Modal Logic book, and some other miscellany that has slipped my mind. Uneventful evening, ate the rest of the brown rice with some piri-piri and butter, surprisingly good!

Monday, February 9, 2004: Quite lazy today. Woke up around one, as per usual, read some Sherlock Holmes in bed, read Jaegwon Kim's response to Lewis, read some of David Lewis' Counterfactuals, seems like he gets into a bit more depth about the comparative similarity between possible worlds, though I don't understand the depth yet. Went to Latina and got some groceries (Mango and Orange yogurt, a bit of goat cheese, some portobello mushrooms, a little bottle of those marinated roasted peppers, some orange juice, some tortellinis, a few of those good burritos) stopped at the Italian bakery on the way back and got some big round rolls to make some mushroom burgers with. They turned out good, with lots of that cheese and a big one of those roasted peppers and some garlic butter. I shouldn't say they, I only ate one. Called my Mom and asked her to order some flowers for Sara on Valentine's day. The card will say, "I profess my undying love". Suitably tragi-comic I'd say. Took notes on the David Lewis article (for so short an article it seems to require a lot of effort on my part, probably due to my aversion to the stodginess of much of this causality stuff, despite the fact that I'm interested in it). Earlier today I read and edited Christian's paper on the role of history in Cicero's attack on divination. I was surprised at how well written it was, as Christian does not write papers often at all. Only a few minor corrections here and there, and some stylistic suggestions. Watched the Simpsons (Arthur Fortune episode) and That Seventies Show (a good episode), and then decided to begin writing down the events, however paltry, of my life.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004: Woke up late-ish (12:30-1), read a little before going to class. On Tuesdays I have two classes, first (at 3:30 to 5:45) I have Wittgenstein and Wittgensteinians on Religion, taught by Kai Nielsen. This class is interesting, though sometimes a little dull, as Nielsen repeats himself often, though with variation. The problem is that we discuss G.E. Moore at too much length and too often. Though we are reading Wittgenstein's On Certainty, which deals with Moore quite directly, it seems as though the most interesting bits of the text are glossed over in favour of repeated simplifications and nods in the direction of Moore's 'proof' for the existence of the world. Not that I'm upset, as there are quite a number of interesting things said, but we haven't begun to deal with Wittgenstein's ostensibly 'religious' point of view in nearly enough detail for the second month of the class. Nevertheless. The second class I have (6:00 to 8:15, same room) is Virtue Theory with Sheila Mason. I took a class with her last semester which was extremely interesting to me (the class was also on Virtue Theory), and I wrote some papers in that class which were, it seems to me, some of my best. So, this semester, I decided to do a sort of independent study class with Dr. Mason, though under the larger aegis of a class on the calendar. This has been going well, as I get to mesh my various interests together. For instance, the paper I wrote for this class already was about Martha Nussbaum's work on philosophy and literature and Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire. I haven't really been able to do much literary stuff since I started going to Concordia, and it is refreshing (though difficult) to think semi-rigorously about art and literature again. This class itself is usually interesting, though somewhat repetitive for me (as I took the virtue ethics seminar last semester). The presentations all use literature for examples, which is nice, and a girl in the class lent me a copy of Camus' The Outsider after it was illustrated that I'm the only one in the class that hasn't read it. The girl who lent it to me is very nice, though it is too bad that she continually brings up para-psychology in the Wittgenstein class, really too bad (for her). After class, I went over to Reggie's (the campus bar) to see if anyone was there. Cecilie, Nick and a fellow named Dave were there, drinking and talking about how to read supposedly confidential letters of recommendation, which was enlightening. After a number of beers, Dave and I started talking about 'philosophy' (which is always funny to do, in earnest): we talked about the political aspects of deconstruction, Dave taking the Rortian position that there is no political angle and me pushing the Specters of Marx line and saying that deconstruction needn't be political but that it can be. As I got drunker I pushed a more Foucauldian line and argued that anti-essentialism (or non-essentialism, better) is itself a political move, but we both agreed that such a definition of the political is a little too broad. I kept thinking about Schmitt's friend-enemy distinction and how I still think that politics should have a broader scope than that, though I'm not as sophisticated as to be able to illustrate clearly why that is so (Derrida does it well in Specters of Marx. Dave left and Nick, Cecilie and I decided to go to another bar, despite the fact (or because of it...) that we were already quite saucy. We ended up at some ghetto ass bar, Bar des Pins I believe, and we drank a fair bit more there, something like four pitchers. Cecilie ordered potato chips, which led to a conversation about English bars (pubs) which led, further, to Cecilie and Nick regaling me with tales of the mysterious world-out-there... It was good, I genuinely enjoy listening to stories about people's travels, as I have travelled very little in my life and want to do so often and lengthily... Perhaps sooner rather than later. I walked home, it took about 20 minutes, maybe longer, and as is my habit when alone and drunk my thoughts turned to stealing. I ended up at home with a green bin, for which we have a temporary use, and ended up laughing my ass of at the fact that I stole a green bin without even noticing it. Ridiculous. Matt was awake and we talked about some bullshit, which I only vaguely recall, and I went to bed after reading a little, I can't remember what but I'll say Kafka's diaries, which seems plausible.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004: Today was another lazy day, though I did produce some tangible work. I finally wrote up the notes on Lewis and turned them into a paper. It was somewhat amusing insofar as I got to use logical symbols in the paper (the square and arrow combination for "counterfactually depends upon" is particularly delightful), though it was otherwise unexciting. I did feel satisfied that I understood the text clearly and presented it fairly clearly, satisfied because Lewis is pretty far afield from my usual philosophical interests, and quite difficult for me to read easily. I can't really recall how I spent the rest of the day, as it is Saturday when I write this. I of course talked to Sara on the phone, and I'm beginning to miss her quite a bit, not that I already didn't, but that it is coming more to the fore lately, for whatever reason. I also assume I read something at night, probably something unrelated to Causality or Lewis entirely, though I'm not certain.

Thursday, February 12, 2004: Matt was still sick, so I used his metro pass to get to school. Jeremy, who skipped work due to his being sick, came with me on the metro as he was going to James' house to scan a drawing for an art show in Tokyo (incidentally, the drawing reminded me very much of Jer's old style, which I like; I hope when he does the big war painting that it is a semi-hybrid of that style and his newer stuff). Class (Causation with Dr. Andrew Wayne) was a mixed blessing, we kept running into interesting issues, but Dr. Wayne would sideline them in favour of a determined list of topics he wanted to address. Though I can understand his reasons, it seems rather absurd to so rigidly separate one subject area from another, when the problems of one are clearly problems for another. I also made a ridiculous terminological blunder (between realism and anti-realism about causation) for which I was censured and, surprisingly, I felt somewhat embarassed. It isn't often that I feel embarassed (not that I'm especially sure of myself, just that I tend to find my mistakes funny: they don't make me feel like an idiot or a 'bad person'..). I'm not sure why I felt so bad about such a stupid mistake, but the rest of the class was filled with disinterest for me after that: I started to be over-critical and I kept thinking how little of the stuff we learn in that class applies to the career I might potentially have and how little is my serious interest in it. Nevertheless, Dr. Wayne is good at what he does, and presents the material clearly (though today might have been a little less clear than usual). When I left to go home, I worried about my paper, that it might have been wrong on some key issues, but on reflection I'm not so sure this is the case.

Friday, February 13 2004: Today was notable. Most of the day I whiled away (woke up at 2), I read some of the Camus book, I'm not sure how I feel (still even after I've finished it..). It has its good and its bad points, though it does seem to me that a lot of the work is subordinated to an obvious and unsubtle existentialism, but that is just my prejudice against that kind of view filtering through my reading. Some of the sentences are nice, and I do like the main character, it just seems schematized in the way that Nabokov thought a lot of moralizing writers schematize until they miss the tingle of aesthetic bliss (whatever that might be...). After sitting around, and doing whatever it is I did all day, Sean showed up at the door with a friend of his from Ottawa (Simon was his name). He asked if I wanted to go get a beer, I accepted (being bored), while Matt declined (being sick). We went down the street to Dieu du Ciel, which they had been to earlier for quality beer at eleven dollars a pitcher. When we got there it was packed, we had to sit at the uncomfortable bar, and the pitchers ended up being $14.50 after a certain time. So, after the first pitcher we left and got some forties (Forties of 50-- up ten notches!) and went to Sean's studio underneath the art store where he and Peru work. It was spacious and comfortable...Sean was on the computer doing some miscellany, so Simon and I talked, as I hadn't met him before. After discussing History at length (he is a history student and interested in the sort of history I like, i.e., stuff about Eurasia and the middle ages, Slavs and also British Imperialism, Greek and Roman history, etc., it became clearer and clearer how right wing Simon was. I was surprised, as the university culture tends, for the most part, to breed facile leftists (which I am constantly in danger of becoming, unfortunately). We argued back and forth for a good few hours, surprisingly, and then I got tired of arguing (which usually happens much quicker) and I decided to just see how far his beliefs went, and instead of arguing we just talked about his thoughts on various issues. It was really surprising for me to meet a person who thinks that the American government is a perfect model for the world, that there is nothing wrong with the state of capitalism and that sweat shops and colonialism are not problematic. Despite his politics, or maybe because of them, I can't be sure, Simon was congenial sort of fellow and we drank another forty at the studio (I got a 6.9% one this time...which may or may not have been a mistake). Sean's ex-girlfriend (Nataile) arrived later on, which was funny because Sean had pretended to be out of town in the south (Santo Domingo, etc.) for a few weeks to avoid her, and others, though I think it was more a need to chill on his part than a hatred or dislike of her or the others, as they both got along fine. I met Natalie once before, but never talked to her much, she seems nice, we talked about her job (she works in a group home sort of set up for schizophrenics) which sounded interesting and something I could never do.. After getting suitably drunk, we went to a bar called the Jupiter Room at like 1 or 2 or so, I'm not really sure as I had no watch or interest in the time for that matter. Simon left and the three of us went up the stairs and they were playing that song "Here in my Car" by Gary Numan (sp?) which I am decidedly in favour of. It was eighties night, and they played some good jams, though no Soft Cell (quelle dommage pour moi). Natalie kept buying me vodka and cranberry, as they had no interac and I had no cash. I must have had like 6 of them before I went to the bank and got more money, then I must have had a few more at least, but they were more expensive for me as it was Ladies' Night, which I learned rather too late. After dancing for quite a while and spilling quite a bit of vodka on everything near me, I thought it best to go home, and I left by myself. Apparently, Sean and Natalie were out til around six or seven, so I'm glad I left when I did (around three) or I would have been drunk and broke. Well more drunk and more broke. I collected a few idiotic items in my drunken stealing mode: a bunch of band-aids (which could prove useful), a huge bag of elastics, and a paper with about 1,000 names on it, all of which are crossed out. This is my life, and I'm losing it one day at a time.

18:46: The creation of this log entry.
18:20: Supper is completed. I've eaten only half of the gyro. Too much tzaziki sauce. I feel like a decadent Western hedonist tired from a hedonistic shopping spree.
18:10: Poutine is done and over with. My stomach hurts. I decide to go for the gyro, though I'm not hungry.
17:55: Doorbell rings! Muted deliveryman drops off the goods. Family rejoices. Mother makes funny remark about Dr. Phil not approving.
17:25: The food is ordered from La Belle Province. Total: 35$.
17:10: Conversation is overhead between my mother and sister, trying to convince themselves that ordering out is not such a bad thing after all. At this point, they could go either way. I jump in to make sure they jump rightly.
17:00: Funny remark about me needing a poutine right about now.
16:45: Idle thought concerning the worth of poutines in general.
16:30: First poutine mention. Answered with a cursory 'no'.
16:06: Paul Martin, Canadian Prime Minister, begins answering 2 hours worth of questions from a Canadian public that's thoroughly pissed off about the scandal of the day.
16:00: Channel-flipping ends.
13:00: Channel-flipping begins.
12:25: We have a vegetarian pizza for lunch. I eat half of it, while my mother and sister divvy up the rest.
11:00: Fruits are consumed!
10:05: A peanut butter sandwich with the special bread mysteriously disappears, never to be heard from again.
10:00: A peanut butter sandwich with the special bread is concocted with the aide of common household ingredients.
09:45: A delicious bowl of Muslix cereal peppered with fresh blueberries is consumed.
09:30: Masturbation ends.
09:27: Masturbation begins.
09:00: Fully awaken, I continue to consider today's possibilities.
08:30: Awaken but not quite fully so, I contemplate life options available to me. Will I live a happy, successful, and fulfilling life, fully engaged with friends and family around me? Or rather will I die a lonely man? Either paths seem possible at this juncture. I need to boost my self confidence to get anything done, and I need to lose weight to boost my self confidence. It's just the way I'm wired, quoth the girl with the sharp fingernails. I don't know what to do. I've been seriously trying to lose weight for about 10 years now, which is almost half my life. It is a vicious circle. Every time I binge, I get less self-confident and more pessimistic about my odds of getting where I want to be. This makes me even more likely to eat too much of the wrong thing.
08:29: I wake up with the certainty that today will be a good day and that I will inch closer toward my long term goals.
I have mixed feelings about winter -- on the one hand, it turns the world into a giant frosted pastry, and the way the trees look after a night of freezing rain is gorgeous; everything turns to glass.

On the other hand, the older I get the less tolerant to the cold I become. Layers upon layers just to go get milk 5 minutes away. Shovelling off the driveway sucks, too. I recall winters in Quebec, our father would shovel out the back yard and take the hose to it. Overnight it became our very own backyard ice rink. I remember snow sculptures and the bonnehomme du neige - the snowman mascot of Ottawa's winter Carnivale.

Seeing ice sculptures, a pure joy. Rolling a snowball while walking home and finding that it became a boulder! Making angels and snow palaces. Drinking hot cocoa & the eternal runny nose. Cheeks flush & ears rosy pink and clouds pluming from our open breathless mouths. The wet feeling of a scarf from hot breath and sweat from exertion. Mittens and earmuffs and snowpants making a swoosh swoosh sound. Wet socks and snow-full hair.

Catching snowflakes on our tongues and in our hands Marvelling at the miracle of each myriad pattern and feeling a little ache as they melted away. The secrets of their patterns known only to us and only for that split second. Enjoying the Christmas mass, back before we were taught to fear God. The baby Jesus with glassy eyes staring at me from the altar. I could only stare back. The chorus of everyone singing, and meaning it. Simpler times. These hymns would make my throat scratchy with the threat of tears.

I remember someone once told me that talking to them was courting sadness -- it made me laugh a little, because I warn people to be wary of the same thing with me. Oh, angst! Our little sorrows and injustices should be piled in a basket and strewn before our paths like rose petals. Poor little paupers, orphans with pleading eyes, the single tear that makes some people sneer, some people ache. We are loved because we understand - we breathe - sorrow.

We become confessors and keepers of secrets. We are like these harvesters of truths, people feel it is necessary to tell us everything as it comes to them. I don't know why. I don't know. Generally I keep things to myself. There are very few people that I confide in, because so few have the time, or even care for that matter. I believe there are very few people in a person's life that they can be one hundred percent true to - I think we all have those people that are joined, link by link, at the soul level.

Circles of friends surrounded by more and more; water ripples. Overlapping. The heartbeat of existence is shared by us all -- if someone close to us falters, see how many circles it can effect. I think this is the nature of the inexplicable sorrow that overcomes us all at one point or another in our lives. Something to think about.

I often wonder if I am the only one who thinks on these things. But then I realize how preposterous that is; surely there are others.

I would like to paint happier pictures than the ones I have created here at some point or another. But again, the truth is I am tired of those kind of stories, I have to tell them to people who demand happiness. I tire of mending everyone else's tattered knickers of sadness. My own are threadbare. But it is unfair to dump them at someone else's front porch and expect them to hold them up to the light and see and perhaps add a patch here and there. Not fair. All I can do is offer the same for them in return.

Anyone who knows me well realizes that i truly hate Valentine's Day. I've hated the commercial holiday ever since puberty came and not one woman gave me a Valentine for over a decade. I hate it because the first woman I ever loved did not love me, so Valentine's Day meant more proof of a truth i wanted to deny. I hate it because the second woman I loved used it to tell me about her other lover, and the following year it marked the bitter end of that relationship, the only relationship of my life were the M-Word got used with intent. I hate Valentine's Day.

Now, I do have one particularly pleasant memory of the day, but that involved a night dancing to The Squids with a long-legged brunette. That night culminated in an x-rating. I'll say no more except that it left one picture burned into my mind. That image I'll happily take to my grave. I can see how those lucky enough to have found true, mutual love could find it a particularly pleasant celebration. And If I were in the greeting card industry or a florist I'd love it.

But I'm none of the above. For me Valentine's Day punctuates a certain emptiness in my life. It's a little spike in the side, whispering "you're not good enough" in my ear.

When I was twenty, or thirty curing that emptiness mattered more than anything. But I'm middle-aged now. i have built a good life, one rich in friendships and hobbies. Most of the time that doesn't bother me too much. I don't meet any women sitting here at my computer, geeking away or working on a writeup or my new novel. I don't meet them at the race track. I don't meet many among my science fiction friends, and the one I did meet at a con is the aforementioned woman i almost married. I don't meet any women on my job, because construction is a nearly all-male environment. I don't meet women on the net, at least women in my time zone.

Because of that, lack of confidence, and other factors i periodically declare that i will never date again. That's it. No more expensive dates, no more heartbreaks. I decided to substitute 'good enough' for 'great' because 'great' seems out of reach.

The most common source of such declarations is the relationship I just left. But it happens now and then anyway. I just get into a mood, and decide to do the logical thing.

The problem is that without the special bitterness that comes from being caught between a steamroller and broken bottles the appeal of celibasy never survives contact with an actual woman. Something about an intelligent, personable woman with a shapely behind destroys all pretense of monosexuality. Wedding rings help, but in their absence of such rings my resolve melts away like butter.

Today was a case in point. My friend Willie had his annaul Daytona 500 party. Lot's of beer, buffalo wings, and french fries hot off the grill. Willy had set up a small grandstand in the living room of his still uncompleted home. I got to see the garage where his GT-4 Ford Fiesta will soon reside. I got to see the race.

Great party, except there was a woman there, unknown, attractive and not a gold band in site. Nice sense of humor. Great butt.

I tried to resist. i told myself that i wasn't going to do this any more. I ran to the food table. I geeked out talking racing with racers, an enjoyable avocation we call bench racing. I talked with my friends I took my turn cooking.

But my resolve was weak, or fate inervened. Sooner or later i found myself talking with this exotic, unapproachable creature. And I liked it.

Fate left me an escape, as she is the long-term girlfriend of a racing acquaintance. I never once asked for her phone number. I joked and stayed safe. i did nothing to truly compromise my status as a once and future monosexual.

But as i drove away the old pangs were there, gnawing at me. Telling me to lose weight, go to a singles group, get into some activity i don't have time for but women actually participate in. Reminding me that i'll be fifty soon, and if i want to strike while the libido is hot i'd better get hopping. Reminding me that I am a man, and as a man a sexual being.

And on the same weekend as fucking Valentine's Day.

To hell with Valentine's day.

I had a photoshoot today. I was modeling very expensive pajamas at a studio in the warehouse district of Seattle. I take the buses everywhere; owning a car in Seattle is about as useful as owning a Ski-Doo. I left the house in a blue button-down shirt with a grey sweater over it (way emo), a plaid skirt that came to just above my knees, thick kilt socks bunched around my calves and my rockin' Soda high-heeled sneaker-boots (or "snoots"). I bunched my ringlets up under a scarf and put my kitty hat on top. I was unremarkable and with no makeup, and no spare flesh showing besides my knees.

And still, I was harassed.

Some fat, filthy Latino leered something at my as I crossed to street to the bus stop. I told him to fuck off and he called me ugly. Which is it, pendejo? Am I ugly or not? I am ugly because I reject you; because I see you for the waste of grease and blubber you are. Waddling around Capital Hill like some modern Jabba, shouting at schoolgirls. As soon as I got to bus stop, a very well-dressed, older black man started in on me. Was I a Catholic schoolgirl? Why wasn't I in school? Was I Catholic? Could he 'see' me again sometime? What did I do? Why wasn't I a professional model?

I finally arrived at the shoot (after the busdriver, also black, telling me to 'be good;' as I got off the bus) and waited around for makeup. The geekier of the two male models made moony eyes and conversation at me, pleasantly enough but almost timidly.

Asian men don't ever flirt with me.

I have consistant experiences with racial flirting and sexual harassment in Seattle. Latin men catcall and yell, then change their minds when they are rejected outright. Black men are smooth-talkers with sweet voices and calm demeanors, and do not give up even when rejected (I have never had to yell a black man down for harassing me; they have all been very polite, especially the older ones). White boys are either shrinking, worshipful nerds; shifty and insinsuating goths; or screaming out their windows at 60 mph with their baseball caps on backwards, too ashamed of themselves for liking a girl without a tan to act civilized. I hate this last kind the worst of all. Cowardice and stupidity are two of my buttons. Many times have I wished I had a BB gun to shoot some cracks into their retreating SUV windows. Or a Molotov cocktail. Rocks. Anything.

"Next time," I think to myself because I know it will happen again and again, "next time I'll be ready for them. Next time I'll have my mace, my knife, my gun, my rocks, my purse with a brick in it. My spiked bracelet. Something, anything to make them pay for my discomfort and inconvenience, to make them think twice before doing it again, keep them that little bit father away from escalating it into a physical rape instead of an aural one."

My fantasies of throwing myself on these men with my knife in my teeth and slitting their throats...it can't be good for society as a whole.

Society as a hole.

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