I am not able to articulate any long-term goals for I do not understand what I want out of life. Happiness is, of course, the ultimate goal, that which all goals precede, but I have no idea how to get there.

What do I value? I do not know. Would I be happy with a low paying but satisfying job? I do not know. What if I get a high paying job, save money, and retire early, living cheaply off the interest? What would I then do? What makes me happy? I do not know.

I obsess over cyberpunk and film noir realities. I secretly wish I could conduct my life and affairs based on the basic rules gleamed from such works. Yet, part of me clings to idealistic notions of a better tomorrow, something worth striving for. Which way do I jump? I do not know.

I'm obviously not going to resolve this endless dialogue right this moment, so here are a few short term goals that will serve me well regardless of which path I take. I will return a year from now with an update.

  1. Lose weight to gain self-confidence. Target: 175lbs.
  2. Do well in school. Target: 3.8 GPA.
  3. Save money. Target: 10,000$ by the time I graduate.
  4. Socialize more. Gain more friends. Grow a network of contacts.

It sounds like onemorekiss ripped a page out of one of my journals from about 15 years ago. So earnest, so well meaning, so hopeful that somehow, somewhere e will be able to think emself out of the problems. Looks astonishingly like the list at the top of my homenode as well. Shows how much I've learned. Circular logic, as it were. Good luck, OMK, maybe you'll find the exit that continues to elude me.

I also want to thank everyone for their feedback on this narrowly avoided disaster. I'm not going to send it or anything like it any time soon. I would have liked to believe that my desire to send that letter had something to do with "taking care of me" and absolutely nothing to do with trying to change him. "I don't want him to change, I just ... okay, yeah, I want him to change... a lot... okay, I'd be willing to sell my left arm if he'd just be somebody else."

I want him to be someone he will never be. And there's no trick, no magic word, no secrect gesture that will fix him. Or me, for that matter. I'm stuck with him, even if he's not around. To use a phrase he never would, "Suck it up and deal, candyass." A type-written line in the sand would do nothing to help me learn to accept him for who he is, nor accept the parts of me that are like him.

It sure would have been easier to mail him the little fucker, though. Hand him back all the crap he's been handing me since I was born, with interest compounded daily. Of course, he wouldn't understand most of it, he would just check out for a while and most of it would just pass him right by. But he'd still catch enough of it for the whole situation to go up like roman-candle factory at mid-shift: cheerful paper everywhere, all of it covered in blood and ashes. Nice and dramatic - one action, tons of fallout. Something I could walk away from without a second thought. "Well, there ain't no way anyone could fix that. I guess it was always broken. It's not my fault he couldn't handle the truth."

Instead, I'm left with that whole being a man, taking responsibilty, owning my choices. Which takes years of hard work and diligence. It means figuring out how talk with him, how to stand up to him in ways that don't explode, how to meet his actions with appropriate levels of response, and how to make the best of a situation that has no chance of going the way I really want it to. I don't want to do all that - that's what parents do ...what adults do.

...What I'm going to do.

Strangest thing. He hasn't called in nearly three weeks. He frustrates the hell out me, but I kinda miss talking to him.

Hi everybody! I hope you are all doing good and staying warm! It’s been really cold here and it’s supposed to get colder. I have my ski club tonight and acting class this weekend. My mom is going to take me to New York next month with some of her friends on a ski trip. The mountains are going to be a lot bigger than the ones in Ohio and I’m a little nervous. I wrote a short poem about how skiing makes me feel. I hope you like it!

I love to whip down a mountain
It makes me feel so free
The air is crisp and cold at the same time

The wind whistles by my ears
I bend my knees lower and lower
I’m almost on the ground but I’m still in control

I feel like I can grow wings
And fly off into the sky

Bye!

I now have a voting strategy I can live with.

If by the Washington, DC caucuses Howard Dean is still in the race, I will caucus for him. If Dean is out and John Edwards is still in, I will caucus for Edwards. Although Edwards is more conservative than John Kerry, he is -- I think -- more electible. There’s something compelling about his “two Americas” speech, and the fact that he -- like me -- is a working class “Straddler.” I have to support him if Dean is out.

Now, if Kerry is the only one still in the race, I’m afraid I’ll have to sit out the caucus, which will no doubt devolve into cheerleading for a man I think has no business being president.

I will only vote for Kerry if he is the Democratic candidate in the general election. As much as I despise him, I’m waking up to the fact that I dislike George W. Bush even more. Kerry is an aristocrat, a patrician who believes he deserves the Presidency -- I hate that about him, just as I despise all blue-blooded elitists who pretend to be liberal for political gain. But we can’t let Bush continue to be President -- even John Kerry would do a better job than he has done. I’ll do my best to help Dean or Edwards derail Kerry before the general election, but I will grudgingly vote for him if he gets the nomination.

I’m not including Wesley Clark here because although there are many appealing things about him, I’m not sure he’s ready to be president. He’s such an unknown quantity, I can’t help but wonder if he’s just a political opportunist, banking on the fact that his military credentials will carry him through to the nomination. Dean, Edwards and even Kerry are all lifelong Democrats. When the stakes are as high as George W. Bush, I don’t think we can allow ourselves to run a newcomer inexperienced in politics.

As we fall into a routine of non-structure, the tension in the air has lifted. He's smiling again. He's happy.

From the wilting rose, comes the budding, shining, laughing burst of color that keeps us all in stitches and makes us think.

Just when you think it's too late for resurrection. That it's been dead too long. Awake, alive, aware of everyting around you. We brought him back from the brink.

Welcome home, my dear!!

I must confess that I haven't been around here in a while. That's not to say I haven't been here; rather that I've devolved back into the lurker I was so many months ago. I can justify most of this I suppose; I've been oh so very busy, you see, I couldn't possibly have found the time to actually node, goodness no. This excuse however has recently run quite completely out of steam, and so I am forced to come to grips with the fact that I'm either going to have to start noding, or I'm going to have to accept my station, by which I mean "the fact that I'm a deadbeat"; and as comfortable as I am with that label, it's not one that I'm particularly proud of, nor one which I necessarily want to be broadcasting worldwide, as it were.

I am now an ex-high school student. I'm actually kind of reluctant to actually out and say this, because I suppose it isn't quite a done deal yet, but barring the most unfortunate acts of god, yesterday heralded the end of my not-quite-illustrious secondary school career. I live in the province of Ontario, and our secondary school system recently shifted from a four-plus-one year system, where students could fasttrack and get their diplomas in four years, but where students who intended to attend a post secondary institution were encouraged to take a fifth year (called OAC), to a straight four year system. This additional year of high school was a welcome payoff, because Ontario students could get a 3-year University Degree, instead of the four years required pretty much everywhere else. Our recent conservative government, noticing the sheer beauty of this system, decided it had to go, starting, unfortunately, with my graduating year. This means that the people graduating the year before mine would be expected to take five years, whereas the people in my year would be expected to take four. If you're not very good at counting, this means that two years of students would be graduating at the same time, causing something that came to be known as the double cohort, swamping Ontario universities.

I'm getting off topic. Due to my earlier educational-transgressions, I had to take an additional semester; and assuming my marks are respectable, that should be all she wrote. If they aren't, of course, it means I'll be back to the grind next week, but at this point I think I'd rather submit to a career in the food-preparation industry.

This whole "no more school" thing has opened up a whole new can of metaphorical worms. I'm actually more leaning towards a Pandora's box metaphor over that can of worms one, but I guess what's done is done and all that, so let's move forward. This can, or box, or general colourful synonym for dilemma is really rather significant, and It is what we are going to refer to as the "now-what-paradox". The NWP (making up acronyms makes me feel cool) first arised when it came time to apply to university. I have developed what I feel is an almost crippling range of interests, by which I mean I have fantastic difficulty narrowing down what I'd like to do post-secondarily. Luckily (not really) for me, my aversion to maths has narrowed my range of options quite significantly, being as they (in their various forms) are a prerequisite for a great deal of courses. I should take this time to point out that I do not have an aversion to math per se, but rather that I have an aversion to math as taught in high school. While I am currently looking into taking my calculus by correspondence, I have already had to apply for post-secondary. I am fairly limited as to what I can do without math; I have an aversion to studying english (deconstruction makes my dick soft) and nothing else really caught my interest. In the end then I've applied for various poli-sci/international relations/computer and information policy courses, but with the exception of the latter, none of these particularly rock my boat, so to speak.

There is, however, something else. I have recently been considering the prospect of taking creative writing. I enjoy writing, which is something, and in my initial perusal creative writing was written off merely by it's association with English and the horrors of literary critique. Writing, however, is something that I've always sort of viewed as a tool, or a hobby, but not the sort of thing I would ever want to rely on to put food on the table. In taking creative writing, I am more or less conceding that, well, I'm going to be a writer. This makes me really, really uncomfortable. That, to me, sounds an awful lot like commitment, and commitment is something to which I have developed a healthy allergy. Bee stings might cause me to break out in hives, but commitment causes me to break out in fleeing.

Serendipity is something which has stalked me quite closely in my young life. I had intended to apply to creative writing at Concordia, and then to spend some of the next 6 months writing, testing the waters, running it up the flagpole, etc. So when I logged on E2 yesterday (the day, it is worth noting, of my last exam) I was welcomed by one of those little things that seems to just scream "hi, this is the universe, and we're watching you".

(e2prose) Lucy-S says Hi
all. Let me know if you'd like to
give the new quest a try

The quest in question is a really rather timely one. It's really rather simple; to fulfill the quest, you've got to get published. There are several ways I could go about trying to fulfill this quest; I have written fiction that isn't terrible, but It is also not a venue I particularly enjoy. More professionally, I could do creative non-fiction for the small-market magazine... market, or I could do basic BS for a school paper. This latter option is one I am very reluctant to pursue, because it seems to be a pretty cheap and basic way to fulfill the quest. The fiction route is one I am also reluctant to pursue, but which I would feel slightly better about than the school paper. The creative non-fiction would be perhaps the most difficult, but would make me feel warm and mushy inside.

I don't have any real idea how I should go about this whole thing, but luckily there is a great metanode available, which is giving me somewhere to at least start browsing. Other than that, I'm going to go through the back of some old Utne Reader's, and looking into general niche-market alternative magazines, which seems to be as good a place to start as any.

Lets see how this goes.

Urgh. What a bad day for Britain.

Today, for the second time in 7 years, I have been ashamed being a voluntary citizen of the UK.

The first time was 7 months ago, when the Blair government took part in the attack on Iraq after constructing an unbelievable case of an threatening arabic state being able to deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes (on what? Slough?) , aided by a warmongering American president.

Today was worse: the inquiry into the death of David Kelly, the biological/chemical weapon specialist who spoke to Andrew Gilligan of the BBC, whitewashed the British government from any blame, although there was significant evidence that Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair, Geoff Hoon and their civil servants screwed around with the decisive report that convinced MP's to let Blair go to war. This is on the scale of totalitarian governments and unbelievable. This will leave me thinking hard about my future home.

What made it worse was the complete breakdown of traffic in London due to 1 cm of snow and temperatures of -1 Celsius. The British authorities knew for five days that a significant bad weather front was coming up, but failed completely to react to the challenge. So this morning, the whole of London was not moving : street-traffic didn't move because the roads weren't cleared. The trains weren't running because - well, the trains never run when it there's a temperature shift of five degrees.

So, the evidence shows: third world infrastructure with a government to match.

Damn.

Here in Gothenburg we got another 6 inches of snow, made everything look like Christmas cards again. Traffic ran as usual, the trams as well. Of course we are used to snow in this country, so people take it in stride. Only snowstorms with several feet of snow at once cause delays in traffic and suchlike.

I was expecting to have to brush snow off the co-op car when I went to pick it up, but someone had driven it earlier today, so I just had to log in and drive away. Very handy for me. I took my eldest son to the shooting range, parked in the deep snow outside. The indoor range was nice and warm. He shoots quite well with the air-rifle, better than he did with the .22 outdoors in autumn.

We saw a couple of the snowplow-and-salt trucks that clear the freeway on our way home. I love the way they make the snow crest up like a wave as they speed along. I also love driving on the freeway when there's snow, makes a cool cloud blow up behind every car. I feel like we are driving rockets instead of cars. I'm careful in the deeper snow when changing lanes, but drive as usual when in the tracks left by the other cars. Fast.

I'm tempted to book another car just to play around in the snow, do handbrake turns and stuff, maybe some powerslides... All just to freshen up my driving skills of course, not for the pure fun of it. Heh.

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