Have I said I would marry her? I must have.

She has made it clear that she would marry me--and I have spiralled away into panic over the differences in our ages and appearance. I have hardly the will to write about it now, but I will have to.

Soon, and for the rest of my life.

For the moment, I am with her in the Blue Note on West 3rd, listening to the Herbie Hancock quartet perform live jazz. The drummer is perhaps fifteen feet away from where I sit in the corner balcony, but it's easy to ignore the musicians. There's not a conversation going on in the full house--standing room only at the bar. But not all eyes are on the risers. Most are. Some are drifting over the faces in the crowd, more are bored and looking up into the lights and speakers.

They must all be thinking. I wonder were they go in their minds.

I found myself back in my childhood, maybe fifteen or sixteen years ago; not such a long time by ______'s standards--a point of contention for us. For me. For her. For us.

I'm in my old house on Danube Way, a river turned winding street in nowhere of note, Illinois, at a party my brother didn't invite me too. I've done my room up to attract the attention of kids his age, cooler only by virtue of their age. The lights are off, the soundtrack to Beetlejuice is playing, I don't remember why, and the Apple IIC is done up to have square yellow eyes and a pixellated yellow grin on a dark blue background, something--the only thing--I had ever or will ever have learned how to code. The Robie, Sr. was up--which makes me think of my father, all the things I had, the things he gave me. You don't realize as a child--you have no idea what anything really is beyond your own pleasures or complaints.

All these people were children once, with toys. How did they all get from there to here? What have they gained or lost along the way?

Herbie is mumbling away from his microphone to the band.

"I didn't finish my sentence, did I?" he asks, and the people laugh. He's been on the planet for over sixty years, and can't have loved all of it. Life isn't easy for anyone. It's too full of choices and loss, indecision and doubt. For everybody. What might anyone in this room have to face when the music stops?

What are these three hours worth to them, as time away from life? The twisting, curling lips of the bass player, lost in his fingerwork, will they smile or frown when he comes out of it?

The two hottest chicks in the place are pawing at each other like high school sophomores. How did they get there?

The older man at the table by the stairs with the short, round, grey-haired woman holding him around his Falstaff-like waist, the one with the half-closed eyes behind drooping glasses--what brought him to her, and them to the Blue Note?

Who would trade places with who in here? Which of them is smart enough to rate what they have above what else they could have?

Some things seem very simple, and others not, and nothing that is the former can't be made the latter by way of a little contemplation. What do you want for your whole life? Are the phases so discontinuous? Are they divided by anthropological periods of the individual? Triassic, Mesozoic, Jurassic' infancy, adolescence, adulthood. How am I to evolve?

Or, as _____ seems to think, does it matter?

Live or die trying.

So much fear and doubt--a life of fear and doubt; wanting one thing, craving another, having neither, losing both.

What would ______ say?

"Just listen to the music."

And after all, isn't she right?

At some point some woman is the last woman you're with--after twenty-six and four--is she that woman? What faith have I ever kept? And if you have to ask--but I love her, and have loved her more than I have ever loved anyone. Marriage, from the start, was my idea.

And the crowd applauds.

She should have been lithe. She should have been petite and straight-haired, with delicate features and perfect skin. She should have been ten years younger.

But she's not. What should I have been, that I am not?

Herbie leaves the stage, and everyone stands up to shake the hand of a great man.

It does not matter what level or type of theatre it is, casting a show is a challenge. Having directed a few shows over the last six years, I have gotten somewhat used to actors reactions at seeing the cast list. There are sometimes tears as well as the occasional squeals of joy. Actors will sometimes ask me why didn’t get a larger role, which usually leads into a discussion about either audition performance or the choice of audition piece. In my opinion, it is important to be as honest as possible, while still sparing feelings. This has been difficult, but worthwhile in the long run. When the cast comes together for the first time, they generally arrive with a good attitude.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. For the first time ever, there are whispers about casting based on race. The production team knew that it could happen, but we are pretty idealistic people and thought our actors about that sort of behavior. We were wrong.

In a perfect world, all directors would cast based upon an actor’s audition . It takes a lot to put aside all bias and to judge solely on the audition performance. I fight to do just that in my theatre and hold my staff to the same standard.

I understand that the theatre world is not perfect, but for many of us, the theatre is our sanctuary. We come to the theatre to share, to escape, and to create magic. It can be a warm and caring place. With the recent events, the theatre feels a little colder now, and it breaks my heart.

Finally. Finally finally finally I have found out his name. The evil duck from Darkwing Duck (yes I'm aware there were lots of those), the one that looked exactly like DW except dressed in yellow, black, and red instead of purple. For years I've been asking people, but very few people even remember Darkwing Duck himself to begin with.

Negaduck!

It never occurred to me until today to just do a freaking Google search.
Actually I found a bunch of DW nodes linked from a Count Duckula node (another duck I thought I had imagined from childhood), and they listed off a whole bunch of villain names, so I just picked one and searched.

Thank you Servo5678 for your Negaverse node. I would still be going crazy if it weren't for you.
After Google-ing frantically, I came across a Negaduck shrine.
Yes, a shrine.

http://lavender.fortunecity.com/elystan/416/negaduck/


There's something about supervillains (even/especially cartoon ones) that seems to turn on the majority of females in this world... I swear this girl has(or had) an unhealthy obsession with Negaduck.
Not that I'm complaining; I have the same mindset, really. I can't help it. Lessee, there was Negaduck, Zexx (I think he was from Gundam, though he had a really gay helmet), Frost from the movie Blade... There are more but I can't remember off the top of my head.
Oh yeah, and Satan. Everyone loves Satan.
I think to be a supervillian you're required to be sexy. Even in children's cartoons. Of course there are exceptions, but the general idea is that, if you're going to be bad, you might as well look good. Maybe it's because you can avoid notice that way, or something.
I had the concept... now I've lost the words I wanted to use for it.

Hmm..
Well, I'm going to end this rather than rant incoherently for a few more paragraphs. I'm spacing out... it's better than...um..
shit.

I just saw a commercial for McDonald's.  At the bottom of the screen was a disclaimer:

All major credit cards accepted.

Now, I know Americans are a bunch of fat bastards, but who is this policy targeted towards?  Do people actually need to finance their fast food bills now?

"Two more installments at eighteen percent interest and I own those forty-two Big Macs I had for Thanksgiving. Thankfully my student loans paid for four years of McNuggets, or it'd be Chapter 13 for me!"

I often hear myself writing things in my head, as if I am narrating my life, while there is a soft faint soundtrack of memories and thoughts in the background.

For the past two nights I’ve been taking 5-htp before going to sleep. Yesterday I noticed it, I fell into a nice deep sleep, and the kind I don’t remember having since I was a child.

Is it psychosomatic? Does it really work? How much should I be taking?

I woke up this morning fresh, I’m NEVER fresh in the morning, I’m usually still asleep somewhere in my mind until a bit after noon, if not more… I am most alert after midnight, hence my eternal battle with sleep or wake as it be.

I read somewhere about some experiment with Germans, underground, while most synced to a 20ish hour day without knowing the time. A small group synced to a 30-hour day.

I think Germans are insane. It’s not because I’m Jewish… I swear it isn’t. But all the S&M stuff is always German; I think they have a lot of sexual hang-ups. I mean just listen to Rammstein while watching the news tell us about Hannibal Lecter real life maniacs.

Some of you are yelling “But that happens HERE” Well maybe it does… but not here where I am.

So anyways, I think I’m like the 30 hour day group, only not German.

I'm currently sitting here trying to get into the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website but for some reason it ain't working. My suspicion is that there are thousands of eighteen year olds across NZ trying to do the same thing.

Now you my be asking your self why thousands of eighteen year olds across NZ trying to do the same thing? The reason is that are out today the University Bursaries results will be out and we can all find out how the next five or so years of our lives will progress.

The University Bursaries exams are sat at the end of your last year of high school. You sit an exam for each subject (in my case five). Then around this time you should receive the results. Based on what you get decides whether you have automatic entry into University. I'm pretty sure I have that (you only have to get over 46% in three subjects). But what I'm worried about is how high my scores are.

If I can get over 300 combined score over five subjects I get what is called an A Bursary. It is basically a label because the only cash award is $NZ200 for three years! And if I can get high enough I get direct entry into some harder papers at University - a huge bonus and saver of money.

But I'm still waiting here. I've finally got to the page that allows me to log in after waiting ten minutes at another page so I could get to that one. The results aren't probably there but I continue waiting on the off chance they are. I could of course ring the 0900 number (pay by the minute) but then I wouldn't have the fun of writing this while I wait would I?

And at the same time I waiting for an email from Dell to tell me that they've shipped my new computer. Couldn't believe it when my Dad was purchasing it online as he had to answer a question as to whether he was going to use it for the manufacturing of Weapons of Mass Destruction? What rogue state or terrorist organisation is going to answer that question truthfully?


Update
It is good to see that NZQA is prepared. I'm currently getting 500 Internal Server Error when I try to log in, probably meaning that every man and his dog is trying to do the same thing. I can imagine some meeting where they decided that it would be fun to try and let every person find out there results over the internet but we won't go and hire out some extra bandwidth or however one does it (as you can see I have no knowledge of the intricate workings of hosting a site). No we'll just let everybody suffer.
After four hours of trying I finally found out my results:
Chemistry 65%
French 46%
Calculus 63%
Statistics 85%
Physics 64%
This means I get into University and have an A Bursary!
Today it came out in the paper that only 3000 people had got their results by 4 pm NZ time - some seven hours after they had been released and some people still had not got theirs by 9 pm that night. I can't imagine what it will be like in a weeks time when the National Certificate in Educational Achievement comes out. Then there will be over 130,000 students wanting results instead of the 28,000 for Bursary.
Niederrhein Airport, or waiting for 5 hours at the gates of hell.

Coming back from a romantic weekend in Helsinki with my significant other via V Bird I had to change flights in Niedderrhein Airport, that sleepy little gem in the middle of the big nowhere that is the german border area to the netherlands.

In the past months I usually took the last Ryanair flight back to Stansted Airport from this normally sedate little place (only 14 flight movements per day), so when I found out that I had 6 hours between connecting flights, I wasn't too worried, as I imagined myself sitting in some corner of the usually empty restaurant, overlooking the airfield and reading as many sunday papers I could get my hands on and taking some pictures of the beautiful V Bird Airbus 320's.

The first sign that something was different greeted us when the plane parked in front of the terminal: the visitors terrace, normally empty, was packed full with people, staring at our plane. My first thought was that some starlet or footieplayer might be with us on the plane, but after getting into the main hall, it was far worse: literally hundreds of families used the small terminal for their sunday afternoon stroll, with dogs and small children yelling and yelping everywhere. The restaurant and cafe were packed solid, and every so often, everybody would get up and sprint towards the visitors terrace to see a V Bird arrive/leave. In the meantime the assorted German and Dutch masses (most of them looking like they never would be able to afford a trip away from their drab lower rhine region) would complain about the food ("Hans, look at that: they don't put gherkins on the hamburger. Have you ever seen anything like it") or about the service. If they would have stayed at home, they would have saved money and nerves.

I don't know, but for some weird reasons it seems to be deep rooted in the psyche of my fellow countrymen to take your extended family somewhere everyone else takes their families and then unisono complain about the masses at their destination, the lack of parking spaces and the bad service/food of the place they've all chosen.

As Jean Paul Sartre said : "Hell is other people".

The man had a point.

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