Of course, I could let you create a new " July 19, 2001" node...

I'm sitting here watching my desktop fsck (okay, my other desktop, I'm working on my laptop). It has this nasty habit of forcing me to fsck everytime I reboot...there are some problems in /share/texmf/fonts/afm/??.... oh well... It will at least be quicker than the earlier fsck on two 80G hard drives during a server reboot. There wasn't anything wrong with them, but we had the server up for 103 days, so an fsck was forced upon us.

I can't believe how quickly the week has flew by. And there is a chance for nice weather this weekend...oh I'm hoping! I still haven't made it out to the beach, and I am dying too. The only problem is that I also enjoy sleeping in...we shall see....

p.s. thanks to the creator and maintainer of the E2 Scratch Pad. I really like it.

I just came to the realization that I am a man in terms of age.

Although I have been 18 for over 6 months, I never really thought about how fast my life has gone by. It seems that just yesterday I was walking into Kindergarden for the first time. I can still remember my birthday of two years ago in perfect detail, as if it just happened.

This scares me.

I feel old, even though I'm not. Why? How long until I am 30? 50? sigh. At least I truly deep down understand what people mean when they say that life is short.
The La Bria Tar Pits of my Life
I wonder just why is that I continue to make a mess out of my emotional well-being by situations I either create or just plain let happen. Talked to verity last night in Virginia. She wants to fly up for a weekend to see me, and Long Island. I'm in shock, pleasant shock, but shock nonetheless. This is a girl I made every effort to push away when I met her in Florida out of the guilt that I was in no way good enough for her. At the time it didn't help that I was massively depressed with life in general. Now things are different, with me, and her, and life in general. It makes me step back and really think about her in a new light. She was always a true friend, for the short time I knew her, but I still think she deserves better than me. I look forward to seeing her though, and I'm through pushing away light. A little sun never hurt the darkness, just makes it harder to hide in the shadows.
The phone is on! Huzzah. It only took Verizon (The Evil Empire Part Deux) three weeks to hook it up. I tore it up last night, calling Florida, reaching out to numbers I had almost forgotten. Talked to my little taurus girl friend there, she said she stopped frequenting Insomnia, since I don't go there anymore. They always knew how to bolster my ego, those Florida girls.
I'm still in shock about the news from Baltimore. Not really my place to get into specifics, concerning where I'm writing this, but I feel a sense of loss creeping up on me, very quietly, with a very large, nail studded 2x4 in paw.
I make a good target.
Sometimes, you just gotta laugh at yourself.

I've always disliked imbibing alcohol. And I never knew why. Today I think I discovered why. And it never ceases to amaze me how bizzare the motives for my behaviour are. The reason I don't like drinking alcohol is because I can feel it making me more stupid. I can feel it changing the way I think about life. And I don't like it. I like being me. After all, I can't be anyone else, can I?

And that whole mental weakness gig isn't for me. I can't stand it. It's like the cotton that is between me and the world gets thicker. I hate that. It means I can understand less about the world. Less about others. Less about myself.

AUGH! It's the fourth day in a row of jackhammer (de)construction at work. (It's a museum--something's always being torn up.) Anyway, it's coming right through the solid concrete walls, and it's loud and it hurts my ears. Ow.

I noded a couple of restaurant reviews yesterday. ktinga thinks I should go pro. That would be fun, if unlikely. Starrynight was at both of those eating events, which were a lot of fun--as was the rest of visit, despite getting off to a rocky start. And even that wasn't as bad as he seems to think it was--it's not often I get to prove that I really would do anything for such a friend. ^-^

Major life changes coming up for me again. And an encore performance of last summer's road trip. I'm not looking forward to that, but there's little I can do about it. At least I'll be flying back instead of driving...on the other hand, I'll be transportationless on my return. Oh well, nothing to be done for it right now. In related news, I've got a big list of things I'd like to do in the next year or two. We'll see how many/whether any of them get done.

I really want to be shocked. I wish I could flip the news on one day and be totally floored by what I see.

But it never happens. I wasn't even surprised or shocked when that lady drown her five kids in Houston. I mean, it's really sad and I hope she fries in hell, but I wasn't shocked. I remember when I saw it on the news one morning in Boston. I just said "damn", and went about my business.

Kids get killed in schools and I'm not surprised. I'm angered, I feel sympathy for the kids killed and their families, I even feel sad for the kid that did the shooting and/or blowing up of something. But I'm never shocked.

At this point, I don't even know what it is that would shock me.

To be perfectly honest, I've been truly shocked one time in the last year, and that was when my mom told me she was seeing a black man. And that was funny-relieved shock, not serious shock.

So, what would shock me?

-The U.S. lifting trade sanctions against Cuba and Iraq would shock me.
-Any government in the world standing up to China and their bullshit human rights record would shock me.
-If a company would come out and say, "You know? We don't give a damn about what the stock market says.", that would shock me.
-If politicians would admit that they have no idea what they're doing, that would shock me.

I suppose I have a better chance of being hit by a lesbian driving a Ford 2-ton truck.

You know I'm really starting to like being able to see what votes are what.

I went back on some of my old nodes that did good and found that maybe 1 or 2 votes out of 30 were downvotes, that makes be feel even better about those nodes.

But when I looked back on my most popular daylog, it shocked me. When vote dumping time comes, people arent kidding when they say the daylogs are a bombing run. I found that on my highest ranking one i have +40/-18. Thats 58 votes wasted on a daylog. Thats unreal.

Now I am guilty of votedumping a bit, but not to that extent. I may dump 10-15 a week out of my 140. Try not to waste your votes on something that really doesn't deserve it, there are other nodes out there that deserve it more than daylogs. Now I see no problem in it if you like it or totally disagree with it, but please give your votes to other, more creative nodes.

/me steps down from soapbox

I was given a Bonsai Kit about six years ago by my girlfriend (now wife) and I let it sit because I had no place to put it. Our cats are notorious for getting into my plants and I can only put the hardiest ones in the house so they can survive the constant attacks by the furry beasts.

A few things happened lately. After the whole problem I'd noded in (a little bit of sweet, a little bit of poison) I took the afternoon off and took Stefanie to the Columbus Museum of Art. We had a nice time and eventually wandered into the gift shop... Lo! and behold! I found a kit that had seeds for a Gingko tree (I will be noding additions on the Gingko someday because I love those trees). We bought it and I was thrilled (it doesn't take much to impress me).

The next day I brought it into work and one of my co-workers (also a plant buff) insisted that we start the process of growing the three large seeds at work. I figured this was a great Idea because they would sit on my desk and I could keep a watchful eye on them.

We started talking more about trees and bonsai's and so forth - we went as far to order more gingko seeds (18 more) as well as about 500 more of various types (Monkeybread trees, Silk Floss Trees, Japanese Red Maple Trees, Cedar of Lebanon, even a shitload of Giant Sequoia Trees!). We started experimenting with types and ways of getting them to germinate. Heck, I even wrote the Los Angeles Botanical Gardens to find out the name of the Silk Floss tree so we could find seeds. They told me that it would not grow in our region - but I think I can bonsai it.

All of this got me thinking about the old kit I'd had sitting (unopened) on a shelf. I decided it was time for me to see what I could or could not do. I opened the pack and removed five seeds (labeled "Italian Stone Pine"). I placed them in pots and watched them carefully.

When I got home from work on Tuesday I found (to my great surprise) that one of the old, six year dormant, seeds had sprouted. I was ecstatic.  I transplanted it into the kit's shallow ceramic base, spread out gravel and larger stones - and even added a sprig of ground cover to the pot. It looks great, I hope it lives.

10:17 PM, EST

The nice thing about some memories is that oftentimes you can make yourself forget them or maybe, if you're lucky, your brain will misplace them. The problem with some memories is the same as above, but even more so that memories are likely to have physical attachments that make them (the memories) linger like the smell of death after the plague swept through Europe. When your mother starts stirring the stew of your memory, everything can get exponentially worse.

About every few months, my mom will try and make me do something. It's not illegal or illicit, but I don't want to do it because I want to deal with those years and why I now still sometimes consider myself a failure. No pictures, no death in the common sense, just fabric.

Size 6

Popularity kills. I was another fat-fashionless-smart-shy-bookworm-socially inept girl. I was OC. My mom tried to make me thin to rectify her fat childhood. I resisted and did a great job.

Half way through 8th grade I decided to start exercising on my own. I began jogging, then running, then counting the calories, then weighing myself everyday immediately after waking up and doing x number of crunches. Here I was successful as well. The higher I climbed, the higher the peak seemed to be and there was nothing to stop me.

But there was still the rejection. Worse was my stubborn blindness. It must have been a riot, but I trudged on, surrounded by a strong will and depression.

Around the beginning of 10th grade, the weight started sloughing off. Everyone was so happy. My parents heaped adulation upon me. People didn't recognize me. My peers cared less for the most part.

But the best part was the shopping. I was never a fan of shopping. I never saw the allure of stores and I detested having to go to the petite section of JC Penny's because I was too damn fat for anything else. That and the junior's section of the same store at Cumberland Mall. All the outfits were ugly and just not made for someone who was about five feet tall and 130 lbs. Trying on outfits that never fit, having to buy new clothes every month because I was constantly gaining weight. The rejection in my mom's face, the utter disapproval and disappointment drove me to eat more for over a decade because I never thought I could win.

Now that was over.

Now I could shop at The Limited and Express and American Eagle and Rich's and all those other stores that catered to average sized people. Never in my life was I so happy to be average in any way. I wore regular jeans and regular skirts. Size medium! Wow! I would check the tags over and over to remind myself. And I kept on running, every day, farther and farther.

All the nice clothes. BCBG. Anne Klein. Kasper. And I looked so nice and was so flattered. I felt great. Even my swim team coach was impressed and all the girls had a crush on him, though I was the last to admit it. I woke up at 5:45 am to run or work out at the gym before 8 hours of school. I began to compete with my calorie diary to see how few calories I could consume rather than how healthfully I could use my 1500.

My 16th birthday started with me crying hysterically because the scale claimed that I gained three pounds. I was still a size 6, but I had gained three pounds. I could occasionally fit into a size 4, but I was still a failure. That was a really lousy birthday and it was the beginning of a string of them.

The best thing my peers might have ever done was not accept me because it said that they had some fundamental problems with me that had little to do with my waist size. I’ll give them that much.

So tonight was the night I forced myself to do what I avoided for years: to go unearth the bags of size sixes that have been nicely folded in bags and hung in plastic sheaths on hangers and laid to rest in the crawl space in the basement. I looked at those pants and suits and skirts and could recall where I was and what I was doing. There were genuinely happy moments in those fabrics. But that was then, this is now. I picked up the caramel velvet skirt and the khakis and the courds and the cute shorts and the nice Shabbat skirts. Light but heavy.

I went through them all until I found a dress I wore to my school’s excuse for a prom in 10th grade before I had gotten down to my “optimal” weight. Hey, maybe this could fit, I thought as I hastily grabbed everything and made my way out, treating my pride and joys like the useless rags they now were. Upstairs, I hung clothes in the coat closet and put the bags in the car to take to our favorite cause.

“Mom, this has some stains”, I said, holding up the dress.

“Does it fit? I can take it to the cleaners and see what they can do.”

“OK. I’ll go try it on.”

Retreating to my room, I pulled the dress over me. It looked strange over my work pants, so I pulled them down, but left them hanging around my ankles over my sneakers, the lazy way. I hopped into the computer room for my father’s judgement.

“Hey dad, does this look nice on me?”

“Yeah. Is that new?”

“No. It’s from high school.”

“Yes, you look good in it.”

I turned around and hopped back into my room like the Mad Hatter, jittery from running and rehashing. Undressed and redressed, I put it in the bag for the cleaners. Perhaps those stains will finally come out of that dress and out of my mind.

In the arms of an angel,
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort there

I heard that song today driving in to work. Sarah McLachlan's voice soared out in my car, making me think of some one special - can't stop thinking about her and wondering what the future will hold. I am under no illusions about it, just hoping it is good for both her and for me. Just hoping that in the end, we will both have gained far more than we have lost; and that (this is the big hope) we end up as friends, real friends. Beauty, truth, hope, love, kindness, peace, unity, compassion, spirituality, communion of souls, making love - isn't that what I'm really looking for?

I found out today that my mates have been going through some serious romantic issues in recent weeks. What galls me is that I have been so wrapped up in my own problems, I hadn’t even realised that something was wrong and I hadn’t, of course, put myself in the right place at the right time to help if I could. It’s not something I’m necessarily good at, but I do, at least try to be there for my mates.

Made me more depressed. Whereas I had been depressed for my own sorry ass, I was now depressed for my friends. Which is an improvement. Isn’t it?

Also this all came out while discussing the same friend’s recent redundancy. Redundancy is never usually a good thing, but at least there are some up-curves to this one, too something-or-other to name or list here.

One of the options on the cards is that he go to London. London is calling, like the Clash album. The selfless part of me is saying “Go! Follow that wander-lust. Go where the mood takes you! I know I would...” The selfish part is whining “....but now you won’t be in Dublin when I go there, and I’ll have no-one to talk to about The Smiths and Brass Eye and stuff!”. Guess which one is the right one.

If you read this, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I screw up and I don't always see everything that I should. I'm sorry I didn't see you were having trouble and if you ever want to talk about it or hit someone or anything else I'm there for just that purpose.

Email me, cos I know you don't like telephones. Or simply meet me. I'll make time.

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