So I’ve become a hypocrite.

Who would’ve guessed it could happen to me? I certainly didn’t. Hypocrites are dirty; dirty and evil. And now I’m a soiled member of their brotherhood. Or am I? If one ridicules people for doing something, then does it herself but continues making fun of the people who do it regularly, is she a hypocrite? I think so. And that’s all that really counts, because your brain is the only one dealing with it.

It was an accident. But maybe not. Peer pressure? That was definitely part of it. So here’s the story.

I got home from a long day of work and was planning on going to bed as soon as I could get changed. But when I walked in the door, my sleepiness faded to the dull ache of boredom. I wandered around the house, trying to ignore the loud music pumping through the subwoofer in the basement where my younger brother was having a party of some sort. I had seen all the cars out on the street and in the driveway. I had to park five minutes away from my own house. Curiosity took control, and I decided to go see what was up.

I walked down the stairs and opened the door to a world of darkness and glow sticks. I found my brother sitting in his room with Sheena. Stacey and Mike walked in right behind me, and we all sat around and talked for a bit. Then Adam and Mike insisted I take some e and join in on the good times. I have long been known for making fun of my brother and Sheena for taking ecstasy so much – the constant presence of the baby pacifiers and endless glasses of water, the glow sticks and loud techno (my own cds used against my ears). I declined, saying I wasn’t comfortable doing it at that time and place. Yes, it was my own house. But the person I trusted most was absent, and the person I trusted least was holding my hand and staring at me with huge, dilated pupils while chewing on a pacifier like there was no tomorrow. Her name is Sheena. She makes my entire head hurt.

Mike offered me a pill at half price, but I still refused. Then my brother offered to pay for it. I decided “why not; it’s free.” I gave in.

I took the pale orange circle, looked at the tiny white flecks mixed in, the large P stamped onto it (I later learned that stood for Peter Pan). Everyone told me it would be the worst taste in the world, so I was prepared for anything. I chewed it up some and washed it down with water, as directed. It wasn’t bad at all. Guess they’ve never tried powdered Prozac mixed in water.

I waited, and waited, and waited. Watched most of The Matrix and I still wasn’t feeling a thing. In order to keep everyone’s spirits up, I said I was feeling good. They even got me to dance some. Then I gave up and went upstairs to watch The Fifth Element in peace. And that was the end of it.

No pacifiers, no water. No dilated pupils, no touch-feely-ness or need to smoke a cigarette. Guess there’s something horribly, horribly wrong with my brain that even drugs can’t touch.


Update: 01/23/01
I did some more research on the interaction of antidepressants and ecstasy. A study was done with patients on Prozac taking e -- here are the results:

For half of the people who take Prozac, their experiences with ecstasy are no different than any other person's would be. For the other half, the effects of ecstasy are reduced, sometimes only slightly and other times completely. Guess that's what happened in my case.

No more XTC for kaytay. My brain cells will thank me some day.

since i was a kid i've been plagued by bad dreams. actually, when i was a kid i would sometimes act on the things in my dreams. these dreams, in my younger years, had prompted me to stab my sister with a fork, to kick a little girl down a hill, and various other things.

ALL MY LIFE. all my life i have had these dreams. at times they would get so bad that my only choice was to forgo sleep. usually my bad dreams entail my own death -- one recurring dream was being stuck in a room, in the opposite corner from the door watching the fire coming closer and closer until i eventually burned. sometimes i would have dreams about people forcing me to watch them masturbate or of them actually raping me.

but the worst dreams are the ones where i hurt and kill other people, usually children. i hate admitting this. i worry about being locked up.

inevitably, after my bad dreams i have pervasive thoughts running through my head for days afterwards, and during the nights following i have dreams of hurting myself. i cannot help but feel that my inside is black and rotten and that i need to make ammends for it. it is difficult to describe these thoughts. it's not me actively thinking "i should"... it's more like a mental image that keeps playing over and over again (like seeing the same commercial over and over). things like spraying myself in the face with oven cleaner, cutting my eyelids off, cutting off my nose, carving words into my thighs or burning my skin or hair off.

i think it warrants saying that i do not have any self-injurious habits. i do not intentionally cut or burn myself. this is an issue i had to watch my mother face. the closest thing to self-injury i have indulged has been cutting my hair off.

i can't talk to anyone about any of these things. i feel like it's eating me like maggots from the inside out, but i can't tell anyone. no one has any idea how to respond. despite the fact that i live a moral life with malice toward none i am viewed as crazy or dangerous. despite having never shown self-injurious behaviours, people worry for my own safety. i just need to hear that i'm not a crazy monster. my worry, based on the reactions from trying to talk to people about this, is that i actually could be a crazy monster.

i live a good life, i have nothing to complain about my circumstances. around the times when the dreams are at their worst i tend to get a bit distraught and stressed -- usually from lack of sleep. it happens more often in winter times. i don't consider myself a depressed or unhappy person. i am succesful in my career and proud of my accomplishments. this is another reason why i feel i cannot bring these things up to anyone. i do not wish to flant my weaknesses. i feel like i have a fairly strong and put-together exterior. there are a lot of people who think highly of me. i do not want to tell them, otherwise they might start to see me as being rotten on the inside too.

i would have tried using the everyone account, except that those who know me would recognise it and those who don't know me don't matter. but here it is. my mental emesis.
It was an excellent weekend, and I wish it weren't ending. But that's okay, I was able to get a lot of shut-eye, pay all of my bills, watch the Giants slaughter their opponent, and drink a fair amount of beer.

<Rant>I even got to take a few walks. This was by far the most disgusting part of the weekend. I walked around my pseudo-neighborhood, where there is still a fair amount of ice/snow along the sidewalk. Lo and behold, I notice a lot of dog poop on top of the ice. Dog-walkers, if you're not going to clean up after your chosen pet, then at least steer your dog to a place that is thawed out and has grass, so the poop will blend in. </Rant>

Oh and kaytay, if you're reading this, I read your writeup above. My $0.02 is that hypocrites are not evil. If I understand your definition, a hypocrite is someone who

  • a) says something they feel is true and then
  • b) does the opposite.
This is something most good-seeking people do at one time or another during their life. Maybe they even get into the habit of doing the thing they hate. Maybe this thing they hate is even evil. But it is not the "a)" part that is evil, it is the "b)" part.

If you want to be less evil as you say (not me), focus on avoiding "b)", not avoiding "a)".

Just my $0.02 :-)

WARNING: If you do not like reading about or visualizing me (a petite 18 year-old girl) taking a crap, DO NOT READ THIS!

Curse Wal-mart! There I was, standing in the checkout lane with my mom. I was about to buy some paint for my new computer when it hit me. No, not the solution to all of life's problems, but a big, red ball. It struck the back of my head, and so I turned around. My wicked, little sister. She said she was going to go the electronics department to look for a new gameboy game. I nodded in approval and she left. I stood there glancing at the latest Enquirer when my stomach started growling. I recognized the growl, I detest that growl. I knew I shouldn't have drunk orange juice earlier. I know that I have at least one minute after that specific growl in which I should get to a restroom. Failure to reach a restroom in time, would result in a test of my strength to hold things in.

me: "MOM, I reallY, reaLLY, REALLY have to go to the restroom."
mom: "They're all the way in the back...pick up your sister at electronics, and then meet me in the car."

Time was running out. I handed my mom the paint, reached into my pocket, after 20 seconds managed to take the money out of the damn fifth pocket, and walked in the direction of the restrooms. I thought about running, but figured it would be too dangerous. My minute soon ran out. I had to stop after every 12 steps or so and just stand still. I picked up my pace and finally reached the door to the lady’s room. I walked in and tried all the doors. Occupied. Just as I finished checking the last stall, the first stall's door poped open. I ran to it and nearly knocked down the old lady coming out. I unzipped my pants and sat down. Just then I heard many voices. I looked out through the gap of the door and the wall and noticed a little girl standing with her grandma. I looked out the other gap and noticed 2 teenage girls. Damn my luck! So many people waiting to use the bathroom. I held it in some more. I looked at the little girl twisting her feet around. How could I do this to her? The smell alone can kill. Let it out fast and flush! NO. Let it out slowly, so you won't make any noise. I couldn't make up my mind. I let out like 2 ounces and smelled it instantly. I stopped. I couldn’t go through it. I wiped, zipped up, and flushed. I stood there in the stall telling myself to hold it until we drove to the office. I walked out of the stall. The little girl smiled and ran in. Sure, pee now, but if I let this go while I’m walking, I hope YOU step on it. I walked to the electronics section and told my sister we were leaving.

Mom: IRS should by acknowledging all the returns we did in an hour or so. Tomorrow you're gunna come to work with me early to print checks.
Me: Okay. DRIVE!

We get to the office and I run to the restroom. About 7 feet from it, I realized running wasn’t a good idea. I wobble the rest of the way…

I DID NOT SHIT MY PANTS!!

Today was a bad day.
Basically, I learned about my friend, and his girlfriend. The three of us are friends, or shall I say, were friends.
About two months ago, I asked this girl out. Unfortunately, my friend had other plans. He asked her out a day after I did. She choose him over me.
I got over it. That was months ago. We still remained friends. I still like this girl. I hung out with the two of them, we were just arranged differently. She was hanging on him instead of me.
Today changed all that. I learned that the two of them are hanging out a little too much. My friend is going to be sleeping with his girlfriend very soon. The part that gets to me is, she could have been my girlfriend.
Neither of them could tell me. Instead, I found out through some mutual friends. I now have to face the two of them and pretend that I don't know anything about it. I have to pretend that I still want to be friends.
The sum of the days thoughts is this:
I am an individual alone in this world who lives by hope for my own achievement

In relationships, particularly our intimate ones, we form partnerships. A man works, provides for the family while his wife nurtures and raises the children (or whatever variant you prefer). Each of the partners needs the other in order to have the child. The man cannot care for the child and work to earn money, nor can the woman. I really don't see any type of partnership like this in my life.

In our individual freedom, we aspire to achieve everything that we are capable of. Each of us has great potential, but fully realizing it is the great challenge of life. Many do great things, but few do everything that they are capable of. Maslow called it self-actualization. In a sense, this aspiration is a form of hope, hope for what we may achieve in time. In my life, I aspire and I hope and often times it makes me crazy just to do so.

Oh hell, forget it. I'm sick of trying and I'm sick of being alone.
12:25am

Most of my thoughts are spent thinking about Sara. I have been analyzing every little detail that I can remember of our encounters, trying to dig up any clues, positive or negative about how she feels about me.

Positive:

  • She smiles when I look at her
  • While at the pool hall, often when I look up at her, she is looking at me
  • She said she was interested in another date
  • She hugs me when we meet or depart at the pool hall
  • She sat down close to me and stood right next to me while at the pool hall before our most recent date
  • She always returns my emails
Negative:
  • She never initiates emails or phone calls to me
  • Sometimes her email responses are just echos of what I say, adding nothing new to keep a conversation going.
  • She didn't return my call this weekend
  • She wasn't as close to me at our last pool hall gathering
  • My friends aren't asking me about her anymore. They probably know more about us than I know about us, since they have known her longer than I have.

I actually thought the negative list would be much longer. Maybe I'm just paranoid. I don't know. I know I need to call her though... I have to know what's going on.


7:02pm

Something just happened. I care not to describe it in detail, but suffice it to say that I haven't been that emotional in years. I found out earlier today a good bit of confirmation that Sara is basically going out with someone else. It didn't impact me until just a few minutes ago. I'm feeling ok now. I'm not angry, I'm not really anything right now. I'll write more later.

I almost died today, and I was fine with it.

Driving down a frontage road towards the little town of Weslaco, my cousin and I were talking about mundane things, such as motherboards, processors, religion, the same things we always talk about. My cousin was passing Super K-Mart and a white van started to cut us off, well my cousin had to slam the brake in order to miss the white van, and even then we were inches away. My cousin slammed on the horn and put his brights on the guy. He was travelling approximately 60 mph, slowed to 50, and braked real hard in that whole matter of seconds. The only thing that troubled me about the whole ordeal was killing the man in the van, as it would have been the drivers side that we would have hit. Rather than being afraid, I laughed. I laughed profusely, and nothing else came out of my mouth for the next minute. I was not afraid to die, if I died, then well I died. I was more concerned about the people in the white van than I was about myself. What if it was a newly wed couple? What if they had kids? What would they do without their dad? What if I was in that situation? I thought about this silently to myself, I wanted them more to live than me. What will I become? Who will I be in this world? What part will I play?

12:25

Hellllloooooo E2! I'm back after yet another weekend in Kuhmo.

What I did in weekend? Helped with webmastering, made one Linux box a bit more screwup-proof (it's what we call with technical term "used by someone who knows only a few things about Windows and even less of Linux" =) - I switched the user's window manager to Sawmill, among other things.

Maybe I should make a page that tells what sort of things I've done there - this might help people who are in similiar situation.

Today? Well, I woke up sort of late again, nothing worth mentioning has happened...

15:13

(Yawn) Done usenet, posted about zillion messages. (Well, eleven, at least!)

I'm hungry. Reeeeeally hungry. Maybe I'll go to the town first, though.

17:08

Still no MechWarrior 4 in stores... =(

18:37

Fooled around with gnome-session.

Again.

YES, I know I should avoid it - just for the sake of my mental health.

But I did it anyway and I already regret it. It was... painful. Again.

Excuse me for harsh language, but what the F* is wrong with GNOME + WindowMaker combination?

Granted, I'm the last remaining WindowMaker user on this planet, but still, I thought the very idea of GNOME way back then was that it would be a desktop environment that's separate from window manager - KDE was closely tied to its own window manager.

And now... Only Enlightenment and Sawfish work 100% with GNOME. And no, I'm not going to touch those, even with a ten-meter pole.

Yes, I'm bitter. For a reason.

20:18

I finally got to publish the Schedulist's old files... they're now in SourceForge, ready to download! Now if I only could get the CVS tree issue fixed... I sent them a request to ny00k the broken tree.


Other day logs o' mine...

Noded recently by y.t.: Wisdom SET MechWarrior 3

I've now got my bed finally delivered to my place. I had a problem with the company last week. Capt'n Snooze contracted to deliver a bed to me on Saturday for consideration of some money and a delivery charge already paid by credit card. On Friday, I received a call from someone at the mattress manufacturing company telling me that because they had run out of fabric, they could not finish the bed on time and therefore Capt'n Snooze could not deliver the bed on time.

Ringing up someone at Capt'n Snooze, I was told by the somewhat unhelpful woman answering the phone that the bed could only be delivered on the next Wednesday or Saturday (their delivery dates for my area). I protested quite rightly saying that I had already paid for the bed and that since they could not meet their end of the bargain, they ought to bend to accomodate me or make me an offer rather than forcing me to comply with their delivery schedule. I should add that I was not keen on accepting delivery on Wednesday because I would be working that day and they only deliver during working hours. Taking the bed the next Saturday would mean it was one whole week late.

Having had no success with their support over the phone, I went to their shop and complained. I told them that I had been sleeping on the sofa because I had no bed and, to make matters worse, I had, expecting a bed to be delivered on Saturday, agreed to allow a friend of mine to stay at my place over the weekend when he called me on Wednesday (I had ordered the bed the previous Sunday).

I went looking for a guy called Paul at the shop, being the guy who had sold me the bed. As it turns out he was the store manager but was not in that afternoon. Another guy also named Paul spoke to me and profusely apologized but though he personally could not do anything for me but instead suggested (at the end of a lengthy conversation) that he would get Paul (the manager) to call me in the morning. He did tell me that the company normally had a policy that cancellations attract a penalty fee of 20% of the price but that would likely be waived if I insisted on a refund in this case.

Come Saturday morning, there was no call so I went to the shop again on Saturday afternoon. This time, Paul the manager was there.

I started by introducing myself again and asking him if he had been told that he should call me in the morning.

"Trudy told me that you had already agreed to another delivery time so I thought it was not necessary."

"I made no such agreement. The last thing I said to the woman I talked to on Friday was 'I'll get back to you'".

After a few more lines, I got to the guts of my case.

"Normally, as I understand it in business deals, if one party cannot meet its contractual obligations, that is the side that must compromise and make another offer to the affected party. I am angry not because your supplier let you down - in fact, it is none of my business what your contractual dealings with your suppliers are - but because whoever answered that telephone yesterday told me unequivocally that *I* must compromise because you could not meet your side of the bargain through no fault of my own."

"So what do you want me to do?"

"Refund me my money or make me an offer."

"What kind of offer?"

"Deliver the bed to me after hours as soon as you get it ..." (I was about to suggest a better bed or some money back for my trouble next but he interrupted me)

"After hours delivery? Hold on a minute."

With that he got on the phone and got on the phone to someone and after some waiting, got to talk to the person he had in mind and promptly arranged for delivery to occur on Monday after 5pm. He even agreed that, if necessary, he would personally accompany the driver to carry the mattress. My bed could be personally delivered by the store manager!

Well, it ended like that. We shook hands and I left much happier than I had been towards that company than I had been in the last 24 hours.

Today is Monday, past 8pm and my bed has just been delivered. I got a phone call at 4:30pm saying my bed would arrive between 6 and 8pm and another call at 7:50pm saying that the bed would be another 20 minutes. It finally arrived, though without Paul, the manager but I was happy it finally got here. On Friday afternoon I was contemplating insisting on a refund and using it to buy another bed from another company. My confidence in this company has been restored. ... as long as the bed turns out to be fine ...

I guess the moral of the story is i) do not be bullied unnecessarily and ii) make sure your support staff are not clueless about customer satisfaction.

My first sialolith today.

Actually it was a bit of a disappointment. My patient brought my this jar with the "something" that gushed out of the floor of her mouth. I was hoping to see a little mass of some description. It was just some fluff in water. But worthy of note, none the less. Maybe it decompressed!!!!

Anyway, she is a young adult who suddenly complained of a golf ball -sized swelling underneath her jaw on Friday night. Her ear also ached a little, and it felt as if her "glands" were swollen. It hurt a little during dinner.

BTW, when most people say "their glands are up" are actually referring to their lymph nodes, which are not exactly glands.
Her GP (general medical practitioner) ruled an ear infection and told her to see her dentist (me!).

It felt like there was a firm lump in her right submandibular region, and not exactly consistent with lymphadenopathy. That was Friday. I ruled out her wisdom teeth, even though they were impacted and needed removal, I don't think they were symptomatic. I told her it might be her salivary glands, but I wasn't sure at that stage.

Today, the account of her weekend was pathognomonic of an obstructed salivary gland - obstructed by a stone, a salivary calculus, a sialolith. There was swelling at meal time, more pain at meal times and the floor of her mouth was swollen. But something happened one hour before she saw me - she felt something dislodge into the floor of her mouth, followed by a gush of saliva. That bit of fluff in the jar (she said it was more compact when she first saw it) came out.

The orifice of the duct of the salivary gland was a little red. I took an occlusal radiograph in an attempt to see if there was more stone in the ductal system. No, there wasn't one large enough to show up on my dental x ray. I sent her for a special x ray, a sialogram, to see if there was more stone blocking other parts of the glandular system.

Quick anatomy: the submandibular gland is located underneath the lower jaw, but the duct that pours the saliva into the mouth exits under the tongue behind the lower teeth. And obstruction/blockage anywhere in this system leads to a build up of saliva in the gland, and swelling and pain during meal times. This condition is then known as sialolithiasis.

She's coming back to see me after the sialogram.

This morning the weather was cold. Really nipple-achingly cold. I feel ill and am just about to go home to rest for a while. Early night. Oh yes. Actually, I feel really odd at the moment. Almost drunk. My hands are shaking and my head feels heavy. When I walked to the vending machine (I heard it was selling Mars Bars for 4p, which it was -- this is something that happens) I felt light and disconnected from my feet. However, as it's been a while since I wrote a daylog (I went away from work for 2 weeks for Christmas, and now I seem to be out of the habit) I feel like updating you on my life. Hope you don't mind it being a bit fragmented. I can't concentrate enough to flow.

Christmas was good. Nice to have some time away from work. For New Years Eve I spent the whole day with my darling wife. We didn't go out, but watched fireworks from the window. Romantic like.

I have been doing fun things with computers recently. At work, I taught myself how to write a simple Servlet. I love servlets. Better than Applets any day. Recreationally, computers still play all too large a part in my life. All day Saturday was spent playing Counter Strike in a 30-player LAN party.

My Lego collection steadily grows. It's moved firmly into Star Wars territory now. I'm missing only a couple of ships - and as I got paid last week I may have to remedy the situation this week.

Oh, I got a work colleague hooked on E2 last week. Felt vaguely dirty. Or something. (He's reading this over my shoulder and just took issue with the word "hooked"; he hasn't actually submitted a writeup yet I'm sure he is addicted. I've already seen him looking things up today.)

Time to go home. I hope to see you tomorrow, when I should be feeling a bit better. Send me cookies and milk. And tomato soup..

Okay, now there's a study that links cellphone use with cancer - eye cancer in this case.

I'm thinking I'm going to cancel my cell service, but I find I'm strangely reluctant to.

I don't smoke because I know smoking is bad for you. I mean, I don't use a microwave in my home because I'm concerned about the plastic/microwave interaction causing cancer or other toxic effects, and I know I'd put plastic in it if I had one. I take in as few drugs as I can, avoiding even headache remedies unless I'm seriously unable to function without them (and then taking half a dose of children's tylenol), because I worry about the effects on my body.

So now I know cell phones are bad for me, and I'm considering keeping it because it's convenient? Agh, convenience is so insidious. My first reaction is to want to shrug off the study as a preliminary study, to rationalize that I only use the phone for 15-20 minutes a month (though the number creeps up every month), that my phone is one of the lower producers of radiation (what, and that makes menthol cigarettes safe, right?). This scares me. I'm clever enough to make up a convincing argument. Thank god I'm also clever enough to realize it.

..linked with cancer... ...three times more likely...

what do I have to lose? a minor amount of convenience, and the risk of cancer. cancer, for christ's sake.




I was thinking of cutting back a bit on the amount I give to charity each month to help make my budget sit more smoothly. Instead I'll cancel my cell and keep my donations as they are. That, at least, I can feel wholly happy with.

update: cancelled it. good.

"Don't take it personally"

I find this phrase growing weary. Yesterday I had the bitchqueen herself as a customer. She didn't SAY she was the bitchqueen, I just assume she was THE bitchqueen based on her demeanor.
How does one handle such a person? A person with the patience of a saint would continue to smile and try to soothe afore mentioned customer and, barring that, contact a manager to come soothe said person.
Bitchqueen wasn't satisfied and stayed in my face because manager wasn't coming quick enough and I obviously was inept because I couldn't do my job (which in her book, I'm thinking, was to kiss her ass.)
My bitch tolerance level is at an all time low these days and it's pissing me off. I was about to call manager for the third time because she wanted manager to drop what she was doing and come yesterday when I saw the smug "you've got to do what I say because you're a nobody" look. I slammed down the phone and walked away. Yes, I was wrong to slam the phone. Slamming the phone was better than verbalizing my feelings of her rude, holier than thou treatment.(at least that's what I'm telling myself)
So, while I'm hiding in the back stock room trying to regather what dignity I have left, Manager takes care of customer. She comes back and tells me "Don't take it personally". The other customers behind bitchqueen tell manager they would have blown 10 minutes earlier than I did. Thing is, I'm NOT taking it personally. There are all kinds of people who, for whatever reason, have bad days and don't stop to think about how they are acting. It's not a big deal. I've had far WORSE than that dished out at me. I'm pissed at myself for SHOWING my displeasure at being treated like a doormat.

I have always believed and followed the tenet, treat others as you would be treated. I have always treated others, no matter what, with utmost respect. I hold myself up to high standards and find I can't reach them lately. Slamming the phone falls short of my expectations of myself.

Maybe I'm just taking myself too personally.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately of noders past -- those who are no longer with us.. at least, not officially. Namely the sagas of DMan and Puredoxyk.

For those of you who don't know about any of this, go look somewhere else because I really don't want to give a history lesson right now. Besides, if I gave a discourse of the events leading up to now, it would be tainted with my personal feelings, and that would not be fair to them. I respect them too much for that.

That having been said, I still reserve the right to say what I think because I'm egocentric enough to believe that I've been here long enough to to have earned the right to have an opinion on such matters.

Both DMan and Puredoxyk shared a lot of the same characteristics. They were don't very opinionated, outspoken and eloquent. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were Professors or Theologians in past (or future) lives.

They were warriors to the last -- and I mean that as a compliment. But being the general of your own army often leads to a fatal loophole.

They did not know when to stop.

Fighting against the system has the unfortunate side-effect of destroying the very boundaries that keep us in a state of understanding. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In the end, I feel that (DMan especially) their arguments degenerated into combat for it's own sake.

It's a bad trait to believe that everyone else is wrong. And I, quite frankly feel that is what they believed. I get the vibe they wanted very little else then to be 'in charge'. To be the big man on campus. But what was failed to be realized was that the Biggest Bucks get taken down first.

Public opinion on E2 is a sliding scale. The more people who know your name, the more brimstone it opens you up to. Your views carry more of a payload, and then your views magnify themselves far beyond their intended scope.

And in the end, they both limped away. The General may have a resolute jaw when he leads his troops in a retreat, but the soldiers know what the true feelings are.

Some have said, quite insightfully, that they were both looking for a reason to stay. Someone to call them back. I believe that. And it would have worked, too, except that no one wants to grasp a naked blade to pull themselves out of quicksand, and neither of them wanted to admit they needed the forgiveness they sorely owed themselves.

In the end, E2 is a sadder place without them, I feel. Puredoxyk especially. He angered me on many occasions and thoroughly insulted my beliefs and feelings, but in the end, I still feel I was a better person because of it. A little more cynical, maybe, but better to a degree.

I guess this could be thought of as... farewell... to them. Even still, though they are gone, they're spirit still lingers. They made a lasting mark, whether we want to admit it or not.

The last line of a WU like this is usually reserved for the words "you'll probably end of voting this down, but", but I'm not putting that here. Why? Because, frankly, I think a lot of you agree with my feelings.

Ten years ago. Honeymoon in San Diego. Newlyweds staying in a nameless, faceless TraveLodge, directly across the street from another TraveLodge. Wife got sick, decided to stay in and watch soap operas on television. I decided to do something else. Since I didn't have my driver's license yet, I opted to walk to this one record store downtown I had heard about, to inquire about some bootlegs. Somewhere along the way, I am stopped by a disheveled woman with scabby lips. "Do you want a date?" she asks. I politely decline and continue on my way. About an hour later, on my way back, I'm walking back to the motel room. I see a well-dressed elderly man duck out of an alleyway and turn to make his way down the sidewalk in front of me. Shortly thereafter, the woman who had accosted me before ran out of the alley with a smile on her scabrous lips and a twenty-dollar bill in her hand. I tailed the elderly gentleman for at least three or four blocks, wanting so very badly to ask him if he got his money's worth.

0500 EST
It's official. I'm a glutton for punishment.

I log off, depressed, exhausted, and defeated. My MP3's are about to cycle into I Will Survive which always has a way of perking someone up against their will. In defiance (and against that voice in my head that tells me he's not alone) I dial his number, he answers, we exchange pleasant hellos and he sounds perfectly normal so I can't ascertain what the situation is. Already on the borderline of tears, I ask the question I already know the answer to.

You have company?
Yes.
I'm sorry, I shouldn't have called.
No, It's all ri--

   -- flash -- 
   Why do I go out of my way to not let him know I have company?  
   Why do I protect him so much?  
The emotion I've been holding inside all night pours out.

"Oh Chrissy," he reassures me tenderly.

We speak of the movies we saw today. I saw Billy Elliot, he saw Chocolat. I start crying again since Chocolat had romantic themes and I had been hoping to see it with him. He insists it was just a comedy. I don't know why I'm suddenly so upset about things, I tell him. He reminds me that we had discussed hanging out today, which I vaguely remember. I don't remember the part where he tells me that it was up to me to call him.

    I know he's in his living room since he tells me he loves me.
And now it's the moment I've been avoiding all night...crawling into an empty bed. My teddy bear, Veronica, is comforting, but she's not what I need right now. What I want is a warm body to embrace me, someone to make love to, someone to kiss me goodnight and hold me while I cry. Inbetween pickles and pork chops I told yossarian not even 12 hours ago that I was enjoying being single again, and I sincerely meant it. It's been over 5 years since I had to stand on my own two feet without anyone to fall back on, and it's a good feeling to be working towards self-reliance again. But, I miss him. And I know we're going to find ourselves in each others arms yet again in the coming months.

The rain is still falling.
The rain echoes inside of me.
Raindrops dry on my face.
Tonight is not a night to be alone...
but he's not alone.
I am.

Drained, the pen rests, and I fall asleep.

After returning home from work yesterday I promptly crawled into bed and fell asleep. I did not get up to face the day for another seventeen hours. Throughout the night I was plagued by exceedingly odd dreams. It is unfortunate that I can't remember enough of any one of them to write a dream log. I woke several times last night, and each time I was ravenously thirsty. Upon retrospect I'm faced with strange dream images and repeated trips to the fridge while naked.

Work today was uneventful. More digging and cataloging of worthless dusty crap. I left the building at nine to find I was almost out of gas and the left headlight on my little red econobox was out.

I have been plagued the past couple days by a state of complete emotionlessness. The only feeling I can identify is a sense of impending dread, and I honestly have no idea where this feeling is coming from. I came to the realization today that I need to get out of this city. It is beginning to eat away at my serenity and any happiness I may feel towards the world. I believe I can feel myself dissolving in the annoying, bad, and altogether rude shit that happens to me on a daily basis simply because nobody gives a fuck about anybody else in this goddamn place. This little dirty town is a perfect example of the American Ideal of "grab a much as you can and fuck the other guy."

When I arrived home tonight I immediately administered three overly generous shots of Tanqueray, and in retrospect I'm sure I'll regret writing this node whilst mildly drunk. But if I have reached a point where I have to drink to forget where I am, a change of scenery is needed. I think if I listen real hard, I can almost hear the clock tower and freight trains of the Frozen North. This daydream is brought to an abrupt end by one of the thousands of assholes in this godforsaken place who have their stupid little penis-cars wired up to explosive stereos that blast bass over a fifteen mile radius and will render them deaf by the time are thirty so they might say to the world "I have enough money to by the expensive equipment it takes to rattle your windows and bowls." Perhaps these idiots think that this post-modern mating call will get some stupid chick to fuck them. Perhaps they just wish to be assholes. In any case, they drive past my window once every minute or so.

I’m so tired.

I need another drink.

Yes, you may grovel at my car now.

All these weeks of excitement and saving money like a badass finally paid off in the form of a 2001 Honda Prelude. No longer will my day logs be a jumble of "fscking auto hates me, took me three times to start and there is an oil spill the size of Mexico underneath my car, and now the check engine light is going on, they said they fixed it a month and a half ago, WHY THE HELL AM I OVERHEATING?!?!?!?!"

Because I am now the proud owner (if you do not count the bank) of a sports car.

And the others said noooooo she is just being bipolar again...all up and happy and damn convinced that she is going to buy a new car, she's 22 years old, who has that cash?

I do.

Yeah, I am a money-saving wizard. I upheld the household for eight months on $10.58 an hour when SO was looking for a job and playing Playstation. I know when to spend and when not to spend, and how to make my credit card companies very happy. I know how to carry a balance and pay large amounts to them every other month so that they like me a lot and said "Yes, give this girl 8.25% on that loan." I keep records of all bills paid and if it is not neatly filed away, damn sure it is in a pile on the bookcase ready to be filed when I feel like it.

That's my car. Don't touch the paint. See that car over there in the parking lot? Awful nice huh? It's mine. I have a sunroof. I have 200 horsepower. I have VTEC. I have six speakers that are not blown, and I have a gas gauge that works. I have oil that says inside the car. It's mine, all mine....

....in 60 months.

Heinous in Germany - 15 Jan 2001

Monday dawned earlier than necessary, in my humble opinion. I got ready, and made an interesting breakfast out of a tomato, some green pepper, and some cheese. Marc stopped by in the morning, as it had occured to him that I didn't yet have a ticket for the U-bahn. We had some coffee, and then headed off for another exciting day at the SuSE office.

The build was still broken, so there was not too much I could do, short of documentation for most of the day. At lunch, we went to another of these Döner Kebap places. It was quite good. After that, I went to the grocery store and bought some pretzels, some carrots, some cigarettes, and some peanut butter. Apparently peanut butter is some sort of weird American special item, which is imported and quite expensive here. Strange.

Later, I got an email from Marc asking me if I knew the details of when Randall (one of the guys from the Oakland office) was planning on arriving and such. I told him I would see if Randall was still there, because I thought he left on Monday. I sent off an email to Randall asking when he was arriving, and if he needed to be picked up from the station, or flughafen, or whatever. As soon as I finished the letter, someone was saying, "Hi Leah", in the doorway. I finished sending off my email, and turned around to be surprised by Randall. I was very happy to see him, and I dragged him around for a bit.

We all decided to go for dinner at the Greek restaurant, that everyone seems to like so much. Quite a few people were there, and we had a good time drinking bier and so forth.

We returned to the office, where I finally managed to figure out the strange phones here, and called my friend Matt, in Switzerland, and arranged to come down to visit him on Saturday to Monday, this weekend. After a little more hanging around the office, we all headed home.

Woke up this morning at the crack of dawn and went to work, not stopping to think that it was Martin Luther King Day, and I didn't have work. I don't mind at all, and no one knows of my folly except for us.

Home from work at 9:00 a.m., what a feeling! And I spent all day moving into my new room.

I haven't unpacked yet, but that's not the point, nor is the fact that I moved out of my old place on December 31.

No.

I am happy because today is C.'s wedding, which means she is officially moved out, and the three of us in the flat can now rearrange the whole place and get the new dynamics moving.

So I moved into my room, (it's smallish but big on personal space); Delli and Tania moved into the larger room which they will share. Being the strongest of us three, and how sad is that I was the one who moved beds and dressers and shelves, I am the one who heaved and grunted while they toted clothing around (not bad) or tried to help by grabbing the other end of things (worse).

Showering later, primping for the wedding, I take stock of my body. Big red welt in middle of my back, from standing up under the shelves I forgot jutted out from the wall. Large colorful bruises all over my legs from when I used them to brace the weight or maneuver something better. Little dots in the bend of my arm where some capillaries burst from exertion.

I'm tired, but it's a good sort of tired.

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