Yesterday I learned something
Yesterday I learned something about parking my car
Yesterday I learned something about parking my car - when you move it, you must move it to a different zone altogether, not just within the same zone.

That council-employed bastard.
The chef prepares
a special menu
for your delight, oh my
Tonight you fly
so high up
in the vanilla sky

I've had bits of this song floating through my head all day. Paul McCartney had been crooning "Vanilla Sky" since I woke to an unusually dark morning to shower and drag a razor across my face. The lyrics can almost seem poignant and relevant to certain life-situations that I have found myself in recently—if you're the mood to reflect and spend time thinking about such things. Thankfully, I'm in such a mood.

I can't remember when my last daylog was. I'm not about to go check, as it isn’t terribly relevant. What is relevant is the drastic changes that my life has taken in the past six or seven months. I will attempt to recount what has happened, if only for a basis for where I am now and a permanent record.

I am no longer in the Frozen North. The Catskill Mountains in the great state of New York is now my current residence. I live in a town of no town: it consists of a post office and a few left-over resorts from the Catskill's heyday. Strangely enough, one-fifth of just such a resort is my apartment. Two floors, one bedroom, living room, bath, kitchen, and outside my window the undulating and geologically ancient Catskill mountains forcefully lay their beauty across the horizon.

Along with the apartment, I have a treadmill, new computer, and a black/tiger cat named Maxine. As I write she casually romances my ankles.

Your life is fine
sweet and sour
unbearable great

The woman I often alluded to in my daylogs—"Beautiful Girl"—is gone. She left me in June. There isn’t much to say about it: she made a really poor and immature decision because she couldn’t confront me about things that bothered her, most notably my depression (for a good indication of this, sample my former daylogs). She stayed with me until she found someone better, and then called to say that she didn’t want to see me anymore. A week prior to the call I was at her house, interviewing for a position twenty minutes from her that she had found for me, so that we might finally live with, or at least in close proximity to, each other. A week later four years and an engagement went "ffft," and she broke my heart.

The irony of the whole situation is that losing her allowed me to realize how depressed I actually was. I had, in moving to the city to be with her, managed to alienate nearly all of my friends and family, and fall into a hole where the whole world was shit and only she gave me any sort of joy. When this terrible burden finally got the better of her, and she decided to leave me (without telling me why; I had to figure it out on my own), I came to the realization that two people cannot make a universe, and in my attempts to make one I had lost my family, friends, any sense of self, and joy. I had reached a point where I was scared to get out of bed, and woke actively hating who I was. Losing her allowed me to finally see how screwed up my life was.

As a result, I worked all summer on myself. I contacted old friends, and was delighted to find that they only smiled and said that it was good to have me back again. I also began to repair the rift that has formed between my parents and myself as a result of all my cynical and joyless crap. I began jogging, and am now a svelte (for me) 175 pounds. As I am 6'2", and have been 200+ for the past five years, this was quite a coup. I also learned how to take joy in life again, which is something that I don't think I've been able to do in a very long time.

You gotta love every hour
must appreciate

I landed a job: teaching tenth and eleventh graders the glories of writing and literature. I love working there; it is wonderful and awful and it drives me insane and makes me laugh. At times I have to remind myself that they are paying me to do it. How many people can say that? Of course, one undesirable characteristic I was unable to shake completely was my ability to procrastinate, so I sometimes still create undue stress for myself. But it is something that I'm working on, and it gets just a little better by the day.

In short, losing her allowed me to realize that I have a really great life. I have friends and family who love me, a great apartment in a beautiful part of the state, a great job (which, ironically again, she found for me), a new body (thinner), and new haircut (shorter), and the ability to actually notice these things about my life instead of focusing on any and all things wrong. This Thanksgiving, when we did the rounds of what we were thankful for, I simply said that I was thankful that I had the ability to be thankful this year, as it feels as if I haven’t been for so long.

I could tell more, but I think here is a good place to stop. I have more to catch up on—interesting experiences at two Christmas parties come to mind—but the hour is late and I have been up since before the sun. Perhaps tomorrow.

This is your time
This your day
You got it all
don't blow it away

For the first time in my life, I can actually see meaning in somthing like this.

I am alive again.

Something I learnt today - Never turn off the microwave at the wall. After being annoyed at why none of the buttons will work your significant other will take out some form of revenge or other.

And of course , the lesson for today is that revenge is a dish best served cold. Especially when the microwave isn't working

Fifth Ashes Test, Sydney Cricket Ground, Third Day. Australia 1st innings 363 (Waugh 102, Gilchrist 133), England at stumps today 2/218.I'm still exhausted, and today didn't make it any better. What happened in the last 40 minutes of so of yesterday's play was totally gripping--an adrenalin charge, and finally so full of emotion and exhilaration. Yesterday was just too soon to write about it. Before play began today, ABC radio replayed their broadcast of yesterday's last over. This was the one in which Steve Waugh hit the last ball for 4, thus getting his hundred and equaling Don Bradman's record of 29 Test centuries. Waugh had come in to bat when Australia's third wicket fell for 56. By the start of the day's last over Australia were 5/229, but its position in the Test match had long left the minds of the spectators; what mattered now was the extremely dramatic possibility of Waugh reaching his century before stumps. The crowd of 41,931 was in a noisy frenzy of anticipation, chants of "Steve Waugh! Steve Waugh!" swept the SCG, and the radio commentators--the BBC's Jonathan Agnew and the ABC's Kerry O'Keeffe--were barely in control of themselves as the events unfolded. As Agnew said today, it was the sort of scenario a commentator dreams of: Waugh with 95 and on strike, and only 6 balls left in the day with which to reach his century. Waugh blocked the first three deliveries without scoring. Off the fourth ball he scored 3. This brought him to 98 but also gave Gilchrist, his batting partner, the strike. The clamour of the spectators was deafening. Would Gilly be able to take a single off the fifth ball and give Waugh the strike for the last one? Would Waugh then be able to reach his century off it? Gilchrist did indeed get the single--thus prompting the loudest cheer one single run has probably ever gained. This meant that Waugh was on strike for the last ball of the day. It was probably only by strength of will that the commentators Agnew and O'Keeffe didn't fall into a raving fit from the excitement. As Nasser Hussain walked the bowler Richard Dawson back up his run-up, he was smiling ruefully--or was it sheepishly? No reason to doubt that the England captain knew very well the enormity of the situation. For the last few months Waugh's form and run-scoring capacity have been under the most searching public examination, and last week the selectors had given him notice that his time was almost up. Some of his friends in the media had been urging him to retire. But--the SCG is Waugh's home ground, he's Sydney's favourite son, the people's hero: a 17-year Test veteran, a battler who goes out and digs his team out of trouble, the captain of the Australian team that had just retained the Ashes and which had won the 1999 World Cup--and perhaps the most respected and popular cricketer in the country. And right then he's on 98 not out.As Hussain took minutes to set a run-restricting field the crowds booed him, and in the ABC broadcasting box Jonathan Agnew, almost imploringly, said, "But he [Waugh] could come back tomorrow..." "Stuff the silver, we've come for the gold!!" Kerry O'Keeffe cried in reply. "Poms would come back tomorrow; Aussies want it now! We're instant people! Come on Stephen!!!" And then Dawson bowled to Waugh.Almost immediately, the crowd erupted. That's the only word for the loudest sound that's ever been heard at the SCG. Waugh had hit the ball through the off-side--the crowd saw it was going all the way for 4, in mid-run Waugh himself realized it, leapt with elation and pirouetted with bat in air, threw both arms up, and drank in the absolutely electrifying 41,000-strong standing ovation for his hundred.It wouldn't have been surprising if strong men had burst into tears--and according to today's Sydney Morning Herald, at least one spectator did. It was Waugh's triumph, his success off the last ball of the day, his equalling Bradman's record--and above all, one in the eye of the selectors who, it seemed, had been waiting to consign him to the dustbin. The thunderous cheering continued even after he'd left the field for the pavilion to the applause of the England team. Some of the crowd stayed at the ground late into the night to relive the moment. Nearby pubs were filled with drinkers chanting "Steve Waugh! Steve Waugh!" and brandishing their SCG tickets for the day--they'd been there and they'd seen it; groups wandered the city singing out Waugh's name. And we were completely drained by one of the most exciting times of our lives: 6.45 p.m., 3 January 2003.Early this morning I went out for the papers. Waugh's century was a banner headline on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald. "Invincible" said the front page of the Daily Telegraph. "Perfect Ton, Perfect Day", "One Man Stood Alone When All Seemed Lost", "The Shot that Made History", "Moment Created Just for a Legend". "Waugh's Ton of Courage" headed a side column of The Australian's front page, and its sports section featured a large photograph of Waugh leaving the field triumphant, bat raised, his hair spiky with sweat: "The Conqueror". Today people told each other where they were or what they'd been doing when that shot went for 4. It was a totally emotional and satisfying moment, one that those who privileged to witness it--whether at the SCG itself, or on TV or by radio across the country and around the world--will probably remember for the rest of our lives. As Jonathan Agnew so rightly said, "You could not have scripted anything more remarkable than what we have seen here this afternoon."
I once smoked so many cones I didn't even know whose car I was illegally driving as I delivered our crew of giggling space cadets to the cricket.

I once spent a full week doing nothing but drinking obscene quantities of beer and sleeping on assorted people's couches.

I once ate the flesh of a raw cactus for no better reason than a friend, eerily Ozzy-like, told me it "fucks you up, man".

I once swallowed a pill of questionable composition and found to my irritation in the early hours of the morning that sleep was still far far away.

I hold no pretension to being "hardcore", but let it be known that I am not fundamentally opposed to chemical enhancement, and have been blessed in that my experience any negative consequences have been moderate and never lasting beyond a day.

But I now admit that my caffeine addiction is way out of control. I don't even drink coffee: I drink plain black tea in uncontroversial quantities. But deprived of it I am overcome with fatigue, laziness, headaches and depressed introversion. I would have been better off avoiding this drug from the first, but instead my dear mother has poisoned me with this dark filth for a quarter of my life.

I find the fact that such a bland, unremarkable substance exercises such totalitarian control over my daily existence to be unbearably tedious.

I don't know if anyone else is like this.

So... I have a bun in the oven.

I have wanted a baby for as long as I can remember. In fact, I want at least three. But I always thought it would be different. In my mind, I thought I would feel the presence of a soul. That I would know my child before I saw him or her.

Apparently, for me it doesn't work that way. A friend gave me a book called "Pagan Parenting". It gave all these ways to communicate with my unborn child, how to find out if it's a boy or a girl, and even to find out what it wants its' name to be.

I'm due at the end of the month. I don't feel pregnant. Obviously, I know something is alive in there, at least there'd better be, because my belly dances without any help from me! But I don't feel any connection to it. I'm growing my own little stranger. I'm so scared that when they hand me my baby, I'm going to be asking what child is this? I've read a million articles on postpartum depression, and thought "there's no way I'll feel like that". I feel like I'm going to be a bad parent... I'm not going to know my own child.

Is there such a thing as pre-partum depression?

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