Today is June 10, 2001, yesterday was June 9, 2001 and assuming we don't commit suicide between now and then tomorrow stands a good chance of being June 11, 2001.

Despite appearances to the contrary yesterday, things didn't turn out too badly. We're still together and we spent most of this morning getting physically reacquainted, which was nice, but it could have been better.

Last night we went out to john's birthday party, which was fun and a complete surprise to him. It was organized by one of his flatmates, who got everyone together and another flatmate who took him for an extend trip to the video rental place and licker shop.

Dana and I were on form.

(I'm in a GMT+12 timezone, which explains why this write-up appears to be early.)

"So, you got him that for his birthday?"

"Yes. Well, it was the first book I ever read from...
so I figured it was worth a shot!
Still, he seems more interested in tasting it than reading it."

"Wanna know what how my parents celebrated my first birthday?"

Uh. "All right."

"They bought an enormous chocolate cake;
then they stripped me down, 
set it on the floor in front of me  
and   
let    
me     
at      
it."     

"That really is the only correct way to go about these things, isn't it?"

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...

Yet another perfect Sunday...

We have a friend visiting from Sydney for the long weekend (Queen's Birthday), so we've felt compelled to do things, instead of just sitting around like we normally do. So now we've been to lunch (at Three Monkeys), seen Shrek (a super cute, funny movie) and played two games of Trivial Pursuit. At midnight last night, after much alcohol comsumption, it was decided there should be a Useless Pursuit, as in-

"Okay, this is for pie... how do you change a tyre?"... "If you need to urinate, you should do it where?"..."What is the local apple season?" Most questions supplied by Jason. Had to give credit or he'd get shitty.

Another eviction on Big Brother tonight: Sara-Marie, Christina, or Peter will go. Lisa went last week, and this is Sara-Marie's 4th nomination. Many think it'll be her turn to leave... only one hour to find out.

MDT=GST-6:00
So far, today has been a great early sunday morning. My friend and I have been running around looking for cheap thrills on the internet. (Trolling the EDB). I have eaten many goldfish and had lots of coffee. The rest of the day looks like a promising "can't today AND tomorrow be over so I can be done with school?"
Wow. It's Sunday already. Where did the time go?

Friday, 6/8/2001.

I almost walked out of my job today. Sure, I'm happy getting paid to basically sit on my butt and take second level tech support chats and program all day, but for the mess that I have to deal with from our India call center, I should be paid much, much more. Actually, they're not the problem. The company is the problem. I've been slowly burning out in my position there, and finally reached the breaking point. I called my boss, (at HOME, mind you...Isn't that why they're salaried?) and politely explained the situation I was in. He immediately had me check the vacation calandar for availability, and then said, "Why don't you take next week off for a sanity break. If you're dead set on terminating your employment afterwards, so be it." I was more than happy to accept his offer.

After work, I did my normal routine of getting coffee, chatting with friends, and the new ritual activity of playing a good game of pool with Gihran and Morgan. Morgan, mind you, is the same girl I have my eye on. Afterwards, I decide to go home and get some sleep.

Saturday, 6/9/2001.

Today was my sister's 11th birthday. I woke up at 2pm, very ill-prepared for this. I rushed over to Wal-Mart and got her a new game for her Game Boy, and a new CD. My mother's cat, Mitzy, died on tuesday, so the atmosphere is still somewhat somber in my parents house. I brought over my cat Neon, in hopes to lighten things up a bit. Bad move. My sister's cat, Buddy, wanted to play with Neon, who was violently opposed to the idea. My sister was extremely excited to see Neon, however, so I guess it was ok. *shrug* At about 9pm, I leave my parents place, so they can sleep for the drive to Florida today, and so I can go hang out at, you guessed it, cafe coco. No sign of Morgan tonight, unfortunately. However, Gihran and I went and played a nice game of pool anyway.

During the game, I suddenly realized that I had nothing to be stressed over, and things started looking up, including my game. Having a few beers in me, we make our way back to the cafe, while I proclaim to everyone outside and at the bar that "I am a walking alcholic beverage." Quite amusing. On the back porch, I find NightShadow, Ed, Nessa, and Ashley. We chat, and Ashley starts this really frustrating game. Nessa and I went to get her sparklers from the car, and proceed to play with them in the parking lot. Afterwards, we return to the porch, and Ashley, Ed, and NightShadow are still playing (or at least attempting to play) this game. I become intrigued, and now *MUST* figure it out. After about 4-5 hours of trying, I become very angered, and am shown the basics. It's so simple. I just let it overwhelm me, and thought about it way too much, as I tend to do most things. It's at this point, that I hit the next revelation in my life. I have not sat back and enjoyed the simple things as much as I should. I need to take this week, throw logic out the window, take things for face value, and enjoy life. I will, too, that is after I replace the entrance door frame at home.

I'm going to read a good book.
I'm going to sit and watch the birds.
I'm going to sit outside, with good company, and just talk.
I'm going to watch a sunrise. Again.
I'm going to watch a sunset.
I'm going to go back to work next week feeling refreshed and confident, knowing that life is simple, and I am enjoying it.

"Attraction but not love," I suggested.

"Sure," she said, smiling brilliantly and getting the hint.

"Affection but not emotion?"

"Yes. You're getting it!"

"Faith but not-"

She cut me off. "Damn it, Jay, you've lost it again. THINK!"

I scowled. It just didn't make any sense! "Think? I've been trying to do just that for the last hour and it's apparently not helping." I took another stab at it. "Frustrated but not bitter?"

She laughed. "You are so damn lucky, but you're still not getting it. You're overthinking it. It's 'bitter but not frustrated.' I'll invert it if you get it wrong."

"But if I got it," I countered, "how can you say I'm not getting it?"

She shrugged. "If you got it, you'd get it every time. I can see the pattern you're using and that's not it. It's amazing that you're so lucky with it, though."

I sat back, dejected. "Riddles but no answers."

"You're toying with me, right?"

"No," I almost shouted. "I just don't get it! That last was cynicism."

"Well, it was right."

"ARRRRGH!"

Normally I'm good at riddles and puzzles of most types. When I was a kid I had this unique gift for picking out and unraveling patterns and themes, like Colin Laney in William Gibson's "Idoru." This is why it's so easy for me to come up with metaphors when I'm trying to explain something to people and they're just not getting the basic concept from my own perspective. We speak in metaphors so much, as a species, and we never really notice it. We take words for granted as having a meaning at face value, but not looking into their depth and realizing the hidden pearls within. In the Baha'i Faith, it is a common sort of cliché, first uttered by the founder's son, Abdu'l-Baha, that every word has "seventy-plus-two meanings." Seventy-two meanings for each word in any language or just for the Persian languages? This is a question I wish someone had bothered to ask him when he was still alive. He probably would've answered with a cryptic, "Yes." But, then again, that's what religious leaders do, right? They mystify people.

This woman is no religious leader, but she continually mystifies me to the Nth degree, far more often than she has a right to.

I played this game with her last night like a gladiator with wall-eye vision. Hit, hit, hit, hit; miss, miss, miss; hit, hit; miss- drunken battle ship ("War but not battle?" "No. Battle but not the war." "Oh. Certainly. Of course. How stupid of me."). I did it for nearly two hours before I threatened mental suicide and she finally told me. When I saw her explanation, it hit me like a train of thought wreck. Apparently, I'd thought of the pattern she'd shown me, and dismissed it as being way too simple. A complex mind never likes to think simply. Ask Einstein, he'll back me up on that one. When I got it, though, when I was led to the truth ("A horse led to water," she called me), she and I began to torture everyone present. It's a fun game, once you know the rules.

23:10

I survived Oulu... and I didn't even get a T-Shirt!

One of the two entrance exams is behind me. I think it's safe to say at this point I won't be calling myself an university student any time soon.
I believe the test actually went OK. Unfortunately, one has to do a lot better than OK to get in, especially with my lukio diploma. I still have the other test in Jyväskylä, but it's a lot harder to pass it than the one in Oulu. Snowball, Hell etc.
Am I devastated, depressed and/or unhappy about this? Nope.
At least I gave it a shot. The exam was actually damn easy, so next year I know to put a lot more time and effort in preparing myself for it. I'll also most likely apply to some "lesser" schools this fall, which is something I should've done this spring already. It's not like I'm running out of options or anything.
Call me crazy, but I'm actually feeling good at the moment.

I just hope my no.1 IRL friend gets accepted to the polytechnic institute in Hämeenlinna instead of the one in Riihimäki. He's one of the last friends of mine who still live around here, and him leaving would make me feel more and more deserted. I talk with most of the moved guys on IRC for hours every single day and meet them at parties, but it's not the same.
Then again, I'm happy for him no matter what school and city the guy gets in. He said his both exams went really well, so it's looking good. Better than it does with me. :)

In any case, the pressure will ease considerably after next friday. I just need to get myself to do some frantic last-minute studying, no matter how futile it is in reality. I promise to go on a mad noding spree next weekend, to make up for my recent inactivity in E2. There's a truckload of ideas and material waiting to be Everythingized.
Wait, did I say there'll be no pressure? Scratch that. The First Ever E2 Get-Together in Finland is approaching fast, and is still very disorganized. I'm no good at this stuff, but thankfully many Finnish noders have good ideas. Kudos to Simppa, Omegas, CapriKorn and others! This might become a rather cool event.

I still have to get some of my email sorted out before going to bed. Certain people are most likely very pissed off at me for not replying their mails for over a month. I don't really know what to tell them, the whole deal with the exams has kept me very passive even when I haven't been actually studying.

To all the foreigners who hate Survivor..
Thank great maker you're not in Finland where you could see our rip-off of the show.
Yes, it is more horrible than the Merkin edition.
The Finnish language has a word for such programs: "perseestä".

666 writeups. No wonder this one was so devilishly bad. :)

Rhapsody in Screwed :: Part X
06.10.01 :: 22:46

wow...glazy-hazy crazy weekend...it all started friday night-- or maybe i need to duck back to thursday for a bit...

"oh, man. i hate it when i'm right."

ok: thursday. i got out of werk and went home, discovering in the process that frater shinma was home at last. oops. i wasn't expecting him until friday. anyway, he walks over to my place, and i announce that there is a talk that needs to be had, but not now, as i am getting in the car so i can go to niall's brother's birthday party. frater shinma looks madly-badly upset, and i go out and eat good sushi. niall notices i look jumpy, and two cups of sake later, i'm still jumpy, but i can't bring myself to care. i go home and have a short talk with frater shinma, and everything is ok. *phew* so he and i and niall go out to euphoria...when did i become remarkable? at no point during the night were less than four men dancing in a circle around me. the weirdest part was that i usually knew them...i know that sounds backwards, but it's just the way we work. you don't dance with your pseudo-single friends, or they don't get dates. so, at some point, james, our storyteller, pulls me aside and says, "i need you to play a different NPC for me tomorrow. look professional and pregnant." i shrug, and agree. i'll play damn near anything james wants just for the snicker value. anyway, frater shinma and i go home together and have another somewhat longer talk in the morning. now it's really fixed. i'm sure of it. all is well...

"no strings, no ropes, no obligations / i don't owe you don't owe me"

friday is even odder. i go back to sleep for a while after talking with frater shinma, and small_adorable calls me to say that SOWN is playing at the usual place, usual time. great. maybe i'll get there, maybe i won't. i have time to eat things in a skillet with potatoes and onions, start building another machine, and ransack my closet. as i start getting dressed, cap'n mollie calls me to see what i'm up to. i sort of laugh, and we talk antipolitics and polyester as i get dressed for the game and find new and interesting uses for poly fiberfill and high-waisted nylons. so, james forgot to say i'd be playing the *other* npc as well, so after the new one has done her part, i wind up making a human PC that i figure i'lll run in the background, just for shits. agatha maltese: genetics lab corpse hunter. this goes well for a few minutes, until james's PC turns me into a goddamn *vampire*. i make a few snyde remarks OOC and wander off in search of the biologist were-scorpion i'd noticed earlier. definitely a great night for plot. anyway, i didn't make the show. no big deal. SOWN plays every couple of weeks. after snarling at james for a while in denny's after the game, i go home with niall. i now have two words for you that should never, ever, under any circumstances be used in the same sentence: lidocaine and blowjob. ("hey look! my tongue is numb!") it was a nasty accident, to be honest, but no less funny for it. which brings us to:

saturday: get up, go home, sleep. lots. call my mother re: going to a movie. get a call from small_adorable. do i want to do lunch? hrmm. depends on the menu. salad and avocado rolls. wow. i am so there. stopped by my mother's house on the way over, and she decided she didn't want to come to the movie. sad. oh well. on to lunch...i simply can't do justice to the lunch experience. great salad, better avocado rolls, amazing guy. mmmm...happy...after an outstanding surprise backrub, i went back home to pack stuff to go to the hot springs. well, to make an odd story short, niall and i decided not to go to the movie, just straight up to the springs, with a brief spellunking moment on the side. so, of course, i failed to bring anything warm to wear other than the velvet shirt i was wearing. stupid, yes, but even moreso, not pating attention; i had grabbed something that was distinctly not my cloak by accident while packing. but to get on with the narrative, we got *lost* for about an hour and a half in the mountains looking up the wrong road for the unofficial hot springs. so finally, we get there, and i know the hike up and i know i can do it in the dark with no traction. except that niall decides to be *difficult*...oh, he knows a more direct way up...yeah. sure. if i had my *boots* on, i'd have been fine. so after i fell into multiple raspberry bushes, and the occasional patch of wild roses (still pulling out thorns...) we were nearly there! i could see the spring...climbing up the last few rocks...!!slip!! *whack* *eeeurgh* face-first flat on the rocks. narrowly avoided a broken nose because there was a miraculous split in the rock right under my face. but i finally got up there, and damn it felt good. mmmm...volcanically warmed water...so about an hour(?) later, these two drunk guys and a girl come up, and i feel the intelligence level of the area drop sixty points or so, so niall and i wander back down -- my way, this time, and find a nice place to camp for the night. we slept 'til noon. mmm...feels good.

"hey, you know, you've got crazed weasels on your face."

so i spent the afternoon playing with (read: getting trounced by) niall's five year old niece, while he and his parents attacked the house with a carpet cleaner. i can now say i've been beaten with a six-foot long muslin catfish. i'll spare you the gruesome details, but suffice to say, i have a mark on my face from the experience. i am terrible with children. i'm such a pushover. so now, i'm off to bother niall at werk, and get taunted about the lidocaine incident some more...

We attended a newcomer's luncheon at St. James. We were really hoping to meet some people on the same wavelength there, but once again we ended up mostly making small talk with rich people in their fifties (a hazard of being Episcopalian). They were NICE rich people in their fifties, but we looked longingly around the room where it seemed that everyone our age had been separated out, one couple per table. It just kills me that we missed the 20-30 year old group's outing to see Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation. They're having a Bible study next week and I suppose we'll go, but I would rather have met them first in more of a social situation.

Why is it so hard to meet people in our age group? We suspect it's because most people have kids by now, and hang around places where people with kids go. We obviously need to acquire a child somehow. I must remember to ask factgirl how one goes about this.

After an afternoon of running errands, we returned to find a message on our voice mail from a member of the San Diego Writers' Cooperative. Four months later than they'd originally announced, the results of their annual contest were finally in and my short fantasy story won Honorable Mention! Hooray for me! Sure, first place would have been ideal. But I'm happy. James Blaylock, one of my favorite authors, was a judge and I guess he thought the story doesn't suck.

A beetle flew into our bedroom that night and basked in the lamplight as I e-mailed friends and family to tell them the news. I carefully picked him up and released him out our back door before we went to bed, and when I fell asleep I dreamed of swarms of insects.

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