I think I'm in love.

I met her on AIM a couple of days ago. Or rather, re-met her, 'cause we had talked ages ago. We were both going "Huh? where do we know each other from?" So we exchanged pictures. *sigh*.

CarthagTuek: youre my soulmate! ;P
censored: We're like the same person in two different bodies!

I know it sounds corny, but this is the way I feel. Our taste in music is the same, our taste in people is the same, and our taste in food is the same.

I really hate living in another country.

Under the right conditions of heat and humidity, lightning will dance in the clouds for hours on end.

A good rainbow can mist my eyes with pre-tears; snow is pretty, but it makes me want to curl up and hibernate. Most of all I like lightning. When it touches down, a djinn in my belly chases up my spine, prays: "let me fly and smite and burn and dance again", makes me want to shake sparks out my fingers and belch crisp ozone.

"Stuff Your Face": a stromboli restaurant, on NJ SR 18 in New Brunswick (?) Purported to have a few billiard tables, but my sources were wrong: there is another location, and that other is where the pool tables are. This site has only a dartboard. A waitress recommends a billiard hall one exit north on 18, and a few miles west. She rattles off an impressive list of landmarks, all on the same road, which confuses me the first time, and makes me laugh, the second.

Since 1997, I've played pool maybe twice. In the past, I would have killed the moments between turns with drags from a cigarette and sips of beer. I can sense exactly what's "missing", but I don't "miss" those drugs. Within 4 games, I'm able to sink bursts of 2-3 balls in a turn, and I don't remember my break ever being this good. "It's like falling off a bike... no, riding a bike... falling off a horse? I don't know. I don't know what it's like." My partner could probably kill me, literally, five different ways with a bo stick, but I feel kind of bad for trouncing her so soundly with a pool cue.

Last week, saying goodnight at her doorstep, I sensed an awkward moment where there could have been The First Kiss; I'm determined not to miss it again. Her hand on the car door latch, her eyes on me - "let's get this first-kiss thing out of the way" - not my most romantic moment, but I might wither and die before I find The Perfect Words in The Perfect Timing; and I grok perfection is vastly overrated. What comes to mind will have to suffice. A kiss is, indeed, just a kiss...

While the silent, impassive heavens burn and flash, something like cool lightning sparks and arcs between us.

Most of all I like lightning.

Crap, I did it. I brought it up. I wasn't going to bring it up. I'm going to get in trouble for this.

"So, it's like a... chat room?" Her brow is furrowed as she gently tries to understand.

"Well, no, not quite... more like a message board. Or a newsgroup, really." Why am I telling her this? She's not going to be happy about it.

"A newsgroup?"

"Yeah, where people post messages and then other people can read and respond to them. Except, in this place, everything you say or do... well, just say, it's not like you can DO all that much, just say stuff... uh... everything you do goes before sort of a... board of directors. People who have been around for a while get to vote on your stuff. So everything you say is judged according to content, relevance, stuff like that."

She tilts her head quizzically.

Crap, she's being patient with me. "It's sort of like a newsgroup on steroids."

"And... this is... fun?"

Bless her, she somehow manages not to sound sarcastic when she asks that. "No... I mean, they say it ought to be fun. Hey, I KNOW it ought to be fun. Why not? But... no, it's not fun. I like it, though."

"...?"

{sigh} Psycho-Erin to the rescue. How do I explain this? "I like the people I hang out with in real life. I love my family..." my normal, happy-despite-dysfunctional family "I like the people I work with..." those nice, regular people living nice, regular lives, who I try not to disturb too much "... but... well. Being around the people on this website is sort of the same feeling I had when I was in school. I'm surrounded by intellectual, probing, critical, often negative people... and, well, it's like coming home."

"I sense a... familiarity. You feel they are more like you?" She is very knowing. Her knowingness is comforting.

"Yeah. I mean, my brain just felt... stimulated and happy, for the first time in a long time." Shit, here come the tears. Why always the stupid tears? Is it something about this room? "I mean, I know it's probably not good for me to be around critical influences right now, but... I mean... I just like thinking this way. My brain has been bored, for over a year now! And it's not that the other people in my life are boring... just... it's something else." Nice. VERY articulate.

"Why do you equate criticism with contempt, Erin? A lot of your problems seem to stem from this."

"Hell, I don't know. You'd think my skin would get thicker as I get older, but it doesn't... for some reason, the better I get at... at... avoiding mistakes in the first place, somehow, the more unbearable they become when I do make them. And yet, that doesn't make any sense! It makes no sense at all... I can't learn anything if I can't deal with being criticized, you know? It's just stupid." Stupid, stupid tears. Stupid, stupid rat creatures!

"What do you think is going to happen to you if you make a mistake?"

That question again... I never know the answer to it. "Don't know. Listen, is there a way to develop a thicker skin? I know I have to get hurt... but getting hurt doesn't seem to have helped much so far."

Her brow furrows again. She is thinking logically. Her logic is comforting, too. "The trick is to get hurt just a little bit, Erin. That's the way you get tougher. Like exercise."

Yeah. Just like... exercise. Okay, so I'll take a short break... and then I'll go back. And I'll treat it... just like exercise.

Because my brain is so very hungry, to listen, and to speak, right now.

12:07

Recent Stuff: I tuned the Windows a lot. Now it finally runs better and faster than ever!

Some stuff I installed:

  • RegCleaner - not MS RegClean, much better. =)
  • ZoneAlarm - From Swiss cheese to Swiss bank. Well, almost. (If you consider a shady shack on the side of a mountain with "Bank" sing on top of it a Swiss bank...)
  • Powertoys - QuickRes still wasn't part of win98 dist...

The speed problem was fixed by turning the hard disk's DMA off. No idea why that was slowing it down! Now it boots in 1 minute 47 seconds, when it used to boot in 4 minutes 4 seconds. =)

Other stuff: some customization of MSIE... not that I'll ever make it my primary browser.

The video capture still doesn't work. =(

Today... well, what I'll do today remains to be seen. I needed to bang the machine's chassis somewhat to make it not rumble and wail.

Moaning Goat.

16:34

(Dammit, I should stop nodin' from Windows. Well, I guess it's a side effect of playing games here...)

Played some OpFlashpoint again. I almost won the first "solo" mission in the campaign. I even stole a Skoda and drove out of the town. (The look on the faces of the Russian soldiers who were standing on the side of the road when I drove past was probably some mix of amusement and amazement...)

After the Massive Driver Upgrades, Black & White seems to work a bit better, even if the graphics quality seems to have fallen a bit... I was even able to quit the thing before it crashed! I need to play it more today.

21:00

Okay, some Black & White for a couple of hours and it didn't crash! Way cool! Way way way way cool!

My success as a god wasn't entirely cool, though.


Navigatory stuff coming later...

canada day. i hope it's happy where ever you are. but most of the world, sorry. i don't care about you today. it's just dem canajins i be carin aboot today, eh. have a happy one. party. blow shit up.
it's three am, but i can tell mostly that this one will suck. i've been home alone all weekend, all my people have either forgotten me or have taken off for places that aren't here. i wanted to go see fireworks tonight, but forgot to book the night off work. drat. i also wanted to go to festivities at the airport. that probably won't happen, unless the friend who promised to phone me this weekend actually phones me. my fingers aren't crossed.
but on the bright side, what. this weekend has made me realise what a horrible work-a-holic i can be, and how wonderful i am at alienating all my friends. yay. now i have no work and no friends and no fambly. and i can't fill the void by buying material things. i need to save my pennies for that glorious labour day weekend when i assert my independance and move from happy country girl ville, to city slum. yay.
Har har, my first daylog. Nice that the content is about something that happened about 3 months ago, but heck, I don't remember the exact date.

Not-all-too-long ago, I had had a crush on this girl I had know for several years. We were in the same class, listened to similiar music and had some pretty interesting conversations at times. But there were always some things that really annoyed me about her, which makes me doubt it was ever real love, but thats not the point here.
Eventually, she got a boyfriend, and held on to him for two years. During that time I said, hey, she's happy, just let it rest.

And I did.

Until she broke up with him. I felt elated, thinking I might really have a chance again. You see, I had already told her I loved her (even though it probably wasn't true). Now she was pretty heartbroken, so I said, hey, I'll chill until you feel better again. And it was OK.

Until she slept with one of my friends.

Now I know she didn't BELONG to me, and I had no right to be mad at her for it. After all, it was understandable. She just broke up with someone, is feeling lonely, etc.

BUT WHY NOT ME???

Damn it hurt. But I let it slide. But she kept on fooling around with other boys, and my patience had really run out. You see, at 17 I was a ticking sexual time bomb. I had this urgent need to FUCK, and with her, I could at least *imagine* it meaning something to me.

Then came the time I had a little party in my back yard. Nothing big, but we had music, beer and company. At the end of this evening, me and this other guy (the aforementioned guy) took the girl back home. Eventually, the dude left, winking at me. I turned to the girl, who was about to say goodbye, when I blurted out:

Can I sleep at your house tonight?

Note: I live a freaking block away from her house.
She looked at me for a second. Then she said: "I don't think you should." At that I broke down, asking her why the hell she had slept with that guy, why she was fooling around with everybody, why she hadn't chosen ME. She knew I loved her, what THE HELL WAS HER PROBLEM???

She had a pretty good reason. She said that she feared once we slept together, it would mean too much to me. She wouldn't be able to see me in the eye anymore, knowing that I would love her even more, but she would not feel a thing for me in return.

Taking a swig from the bottle of Bacardi I had brought with me, I said: "Damn.", and sat down. Then she gave me a choice: Either I have sex with her, but it meaning zilch emotionwise, or I go home.

I am such an emotional softie.

No, I did NOT sleep with her.
girlotron, liha..... hope this explains some things.

Daylogs seem to depersonalise. Things never look as dark and broodingly messy in neat, black type shining out of a clean plastic box.

Once again, several areas of my life erupt simultaneously. Last week I finally, finally sorted everything out with h-boy. I thought that it would be a bigger deal than it was. I miss him dreadfully, but the relief outweighs it. The order of the day amongst those who know is probably "I told you so".. and yes, they did, and yes, I agree. I agreed at the time. I just wanted to keep the good parts going for a little longer... I'm lonely, you see.

Mum doesn't have Alzheimer's. We don't know what she DOES have, but at least it means her euthanasia plans have been shelved.

I finally admitted I needed help- REAL help. I don't know if it changed anything, but talking to someone who sorts people out for a living at least made me realise that my "issues" are real, and that I am allowed to be selfish about them. So I'm being so.

I still don't know about work. I think I want to finish this- heck, I KNOW I want to finish this, but the timing might just be too hard. Maybe I'm not mature enough, maybe I'm burnt out, maybe I'm just bloody lazy, we'll have to see. The lab work is a lot less depressing than the writing though, so maybe I'll make a go of it after all. Maybe it's just the commitment and the further expectations that are frightening me. Maybe, Maybe, Maybe.....

One day at a time

My grandfather is in hospital down here. He had a quadruple bypass and valve replacement on Thursday. We didn't know if he would live. We didn't know he was this ill. Last week was hell- waiting and watching and hoping and trying to calm his fears yet still say all that needed to be said in case it all went wrong. I've never seen him so scared. I had the vague idea that by the time you turned 80 you'd come to accept death. Perhaps he had- as a pain relief, as a stranger in the night, but not like this. Not being put under anaesthetic KNOWING there was a chance that you wouldn't come out. Not gambling your life on 85% odds. He woke up. Grandma coped. Mum coped. I coped. He spoke to a priest before he went in. This is not something that happens in our family. Now there is the drawn-out bizarrity of the recuperation period. He was well, we were relieved, now there are odd things going on- hallucinations, mood swings- that we can't understand. I'm not allowed to see him- being a plague-carrier right now. Admittedly, today I didn't want to see him.

I ran away from it all last night. I've been playing the damsel in distress to some extent, and probably hurting someone that I care about in the process. He's a very sweet boy. He's leaving. I..... need him. Just for now, I need someone that will look after me, and then go away so that I don't have to deal with the aftermath. He doesn't want that, but he is a male, a sweet and sensitive and confused male, and thus far too easy to manipulate. I'm not behaving in a way that I respect, but he's making it very easy for me. I crave affection. Physical, real, not necessarily sexual affection. He's been providing it lately, in a friendly manner, after a drunken lapse of judgement a few weeks back. We work in gossip central. I don't particularly care- let them speak their small, dark and vicious minds for an eternity! - but it bothers him. A lot. And after last night... My behaviour has given them a brand-new topic. I'm being dreadfully unfair to him. I'm taking advantage of his lonlieness, his kindness, his inexperience..... pushing my luck far too often, but I don't feel all that bad about it.

I'm selfish right now.

A pinch and a punch for the first day of the month!

A slap and a kick for being so quick!

July: This will be the month I get a job, find immense happiness in who I am, balance my time with friends and family, and start getting a handle on my finances.

In the words of Edna Krabappel: Ha!

I was woken today by a million and one ring tones- well, two. jt is on call and was continually paged between 3 and 6am this morning, and then his phone started ringing sporadically. At 9:15 my boss rang and told me I was supposed to be working at 12. Sure, that's fine, I'll be there. It was a christening, a finger food luncheon, at Kilaben Bay. "You do know where Kilaben Bay is, right?" Of course, I'll find it. No problem.

Of course, I didn't find it- not on time, anyway. And my boss forgot to give me the address of the hall the function was in, and I forgot to ask, so I just had to ask around once I got to the small seaside town. When I finally arrived, twenty minutes late, I had to invent a story about being run off the road and getting a flat tyre so the customer wouldn't get shitty.

While I was there I was talking to a woman who was hanging around the kitchen with me while a ten year old boy did a skipping demonstration to Eiffel 65's "Blue" (is that common for a christening reception?). The woman said that I'd make a good journalist because I have a friendly manner, listen when others are talking and can communicate well. I know it was just bullshit because she'd only known me for an hour, but it still inspired me. Maybe she was a clairvoyant and she was seeing the future! Maybe she secretly owns a huge international magazine chain! Maybe she can get me a job! Maybe I'm seeking kindness and inspiration in any old place I can find it!

The day was all right after that. Jemma left BB, so now there's only Chrissy, Sara-Marie, Ben and Blair. I still think S-M will win. I hope so anyway.

Here's to a good week. I hope all e2ians have a good July and are as happy and healthy as they can be.

Hot hot hot.

Time for the tomato cages to come up.

The wife bought a huge, old 5 drawer filing cabinet--it looks like it's from the 1940s. Gorgeous, but it was in her car since Friday, and we had to get it out, which was no small task. It will need to be touched up somewhat, but will be a useful addition to the home office once done. And, after all, you can't get these kind of file cabinets anymore. The ones at Staples are flimsy, and even commerical grade ones like a Steelcase aren't as massive. I think you could have all the drawers open on this thing and it wouldn't tip over. It should basically last forever.

Soon to the category killer home improvement store to buy more tomato cages. If we're lucky, we'll have tomatoes to pick in a week or two--there are already some plum tomatoes on the plants. Mmmm.

*yawns* Finally home from work. *glances at the clock* I got off work 4 hours ago, after having been at work for 51 hours. >.<;;

My first time back at work after being released for full-duty, and I worked a full weekend live-in. That is, I went into work at 1:30pm on Friday when Dan and I picked one of my clients up from WASCO (a workshop for MR/DD people - they can do something as a job and earn money.) and transported her home. Dan dropped us off, and then left. I did all the daily living stuff like making dinner, giving baths, dispensing medications, etc. Not too bad for my first day...

Dan came to visit around 9:30pm after the clients were sleeping, and we cuddled and such until he left to go role-play with Amber, Thomas, and Ross around 12:30am. I went to bed, but alas, not to sleep for long. One of my clients was very restless, and kept getting up to pace the house. Which of course means I have to be up with her. Oh, well... at least I get paid for the entire 8 hours I was supposed to be sleeping.

Saturday wasn't too bad, overall. I finished Burning Brightly by Mercedes Lackey - the one Valdemar book I hadn't read - and again did the daily living stuff. This time, my excitement was increased by cleaning up 2 urination accidents and one huge bowel movement accident. *sighs* And yet, I love my job anyway...

By the end of the day, I was in pain... I had to lift up on one client to get her to stand up to go to the bathroom, get off the toilet, go to the table to eat, etc. This took a toll on my just-recovering back. Dan and Mom brought my backbrace up to me, and Dan helped me put it on. Ah. Insta-relief. For awhile, anyway. Again, Dan came to visit around 9:30pm - 10:00pm or so, and we watched The Lion King. Dan massaged my back before he left, and I went to bed and sleep this time.

Sunday was easy enough, just feed two meals of the day to my clients, give meds, etc. I spent much of the day reading book 1 in the Death Gate Cycle, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. This is the same series that Dan is reading, but he's in the 4th book, and I'm about 1/2 way through the first book.

The backs of my eyes ache from lack of sleep as I write this.

Today is pleasantly cool with an infrequent chilly breeze.

Today the sun rose and glared at me through my southern window in the house I've lived in all of my fragile seventeen years.

Today my world fell apart.

I had fallen in love for the first time last October. The violent surges of emotions it has caused over the last nine months have been nothing short of Hellish.

The entire ordeal took place online. A thousand miles separated us, however, our barrier can't truthfully be defined in tangible terms.

We were both stereotypical depressed teenagers; fraught with mental disturbances and every other cliche I could list. We were geeks. We were roleplayers. We had everything in common.

By the time she admitted her three year old suicide attempt to me, I was willing to do anything to make her feel better. If she asked me to, I'd have jumped out of an airplane without a parachute. The next day I told her I loved her for the first time.

Rejection, acceptance, trust, doubt, troubles of identity, euphoria, agony, secrecy and occasional boredom splashed together in our rainbow drink of a relationship. I was ripped and torn everywhere in the spectrum of feeling.

Between the two of us we endured pneumonia, hospitalization, a severely unstable friend, and a broken ankle. The amount of worry we put into each other was infinite.

Christmas went smoothly. For the first time in my life, I was happy. I had goals, ambition, a will to live, and a girlfriend to love.

After the holidays she began descending into one of her self described "black moods". The positive facade everyone admired was crumbling. I choked on the flakes and fragments of her mask, unable to save her.

A planned trip in February took her away from me for a week. One week turned into two. Then it was March fifth. She posted a few times on her message board. I ran home, so out of breath I wanted to collapse and die on the floor from exhaustion. I was ten minutes too late.

I stayed up over forty-eight hours waiting for her; waiting to see if she would post again or if her AIM screen name would pop up. Nothing.

Her real life friends stopped posting on her board. Information was leaked that indicated she had been institutionalized. Silence dominated the board. Her cyber-only friends were left clawing for information.

Why the communication blackout? What happened? Was she still alive? Three and a half months living in torture; worried about her.

The remaining friends, including me, had become suspicious. We delved into board archives; looked for any indications that might explain recent events.

Her homepage was taken down, revealing the index of files. It was in a Geocities account originally created by one of her old friends. Something looked odd. Everyone knew this old friend, Catherine, and another one of her real life friends, Tony, were a couple. We knew they had gotten pregnant over New Year's. But these family pages showed that they had been married for several years. That was the first we had heard of it. Many of us assumed they weren't married because of the way they were acting about the pregnancy.

On a birthdays page in the account, it listed Catherine's birth as February 18. On the board's birth date thread, Catherine's birth was supposedly in June, and my girlfriend's was February 18. It was an unexplainable mix-up. How could they have made a mistake like that? It bothered all of us.

A member's profile was found on a Farscape fansite. It had my girlfriend's name, but the information was ... wrong. It was some kind of distorted version of the person I knew. The photo on this profile matched her other photo only in vague ways, as if she had been described using words and two different girls were shot that matched the description. She never lied, not even on trivial things like that. She was always honest about her identity.

Little pieces of evidence started congealing into an unclear picture. Something was out of place.

Upon reinspecting the earliest message board archives, I noticed startling similarities in the writing styles of all the people that had physical contact with her.

Today I figured out why that profile was so strange.

It was a prototype. The profile was the predecessor of the person I knew.

My girlfriend wasn't real.

This person that I wrote bad, angsty teen poetry about, the person I gave so much support to, the person I chatted with incessantly, that I had loved, really, really loved, wasn't real. She was a character created by Catherine Miranda Esta. Not only my girlfriend, but four others as well.

All of the odd details fit perfectly now. Her reluctance to empirically prove her existence, her father's security company and the excessive caution, her incredible offense at my doubts. They all fit, and that birth date was the cornerstone of Catherine's mistakes.

Today, the world that I've been living in for the past nine months fell apart. I had been living in a lie, a colossal mass of fabricated details, people, places and events.

It's frightening, knowing I've lived in a lie. The seams of my perception are cracking. It's tremendously difficult to cope with this idea.

I was gullible and stupid. I was drawn into one of the best made and conducted forms of interactive fiction ever produced. I was a part of the artwork. I had believed.

And now ... my whole life feels so ...

hollow.

DataJunkie,

Perhaps I'm just that kinda person but one may have chosen to say that he though she really needs to get off and that it won't mean that much to him either, so sure, they can do it ;-).

You see, there is a certain amount of pain threshold that a person can bear. Once you overflow it, it overlaps and you just don't feel it any more.

There's not much to lose (except for pain), really, when taking an offer like this, once you look at it that way.

And there's enough to win - she might really like it and therefore finally "find some emotion" for you ;-).

But speaking of my today - it was not a very good day since I blew 2 tires in a row and hitch-hiked to get a second spare from a garage. Not much fun.

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