I was able to temporarily reunite with my long-distance girlfriend via internet chat last night. She told me a story that happened to her on Tuesday.

She was at a coffee shop with two of her friends, a short Asian girl like herself, and a large black dude. They were waiting in line for coffee when suddenly this voice came from behind her making a rather lewd suggestion. She turned around to see that it was coming from a wheelchair-bound amputee. She tried to ignore the man, but he would not shut up.

"Come here and sit on my lap," he said.

This would be difficult, regardless of the situation, as he had no legs.

Rapidly snapping up their drinks, the intrepid trio tried to evade the lapless lecher, with her large male friend taking care to always be between her the disturbing unfortunate.

Eventually, Mr. Crazy-No-Legs-Wheelchair-Man loudly announced to the coffee shop patrons that he "Couldn't keep up with that hot ass," so he was gonna go wait outside.

They tried to finish their drinks as if nothing had happened, and hoped that he really was as addle-coved as he sounded, and might just forget why he went out side and roll off into the night. Such luck was not to be theirs, for as they were leaving, the obviously desperate and socially inept stranger started calling after her again.

They ran to the car, as he rolled after them. She cried most of the way home.

I hugged her, though my arms could not touch her. I'm not a violent man, by any means. Indeed, I usually take a quiet pride in being able to withstand occasional abuse and/or hard times. Still, I told her that if she were ever to be attacked by legless wheelchair bandits, I'd take them out for her.

"I'd kick him," I said.

I went to check on the litter of tiny baby gerbils today after leaving them be for half a week or so. They are placed in my brother’s room, since they are his gerbils and therefore his responsibility, so I try not to bother his space more than once in a while. There was just one problem… < B>The baby gerbils were missing.

The older baby was there. He was born perhaps 15 days before the others, to the gerbil I call my own (Mustard). The other babies are Victoria’s, but I do not love them any less. Le mouton, Mustard’s only child, was in the cage with Brutus and Buttons, the two males of the bunch. Victoria and Mustard were in a smaller, separate cage. This was unusual. I checked the bedding for the little babies who should have been with their mother, but I could not find them. I then checked the bedding of the male cage, but the babies weren’t there either.

What was I to do? I feared the worst, but knew no facts. So I waited for my brother to get home from school. Upon his arrival, I interrogated the irresponsible bastard as to the whereabouts of the babies. He said Mustard and Victoria had eaten their own children. Naturally, I didn’t believe this. Why would the two mothers decide to eat the babies after taking care of them for a week already? Adam said it was because they were starving, that I should have fed them. I told him that they had been fed, that I put handfuls of food into the cage myself not more than four days ago. Adam said they must have been hungry or something. I suspect he is lying.

So, where are the babies? I have four guesses, and none of them are comforting.

  1. Adam got extremely stoned one night (as usual) with his ever-so-intelligent friends and decided to smash babies for entertainment. It has happened before, although not with gerbils.
  2. The babies were made as a sacrifice to the holy ferret who has recently taken residence in the corner of Adam’s room across from the cages of gerbils and next to the fish tank.
  3. The massive Oscar fish in our family room 100 gallon fish tank was hungry, and Adam thought it would be fun to feed him innocent infants.
  4. The gerbils were flushed down the toilet, as Adam has been saying he will do ever since they were born. Maybe he just worked up the energy to do it today.
Needless to say, I am quite pissed. Killing things is wrong. Killing babies is especially wrong. But I cannot bring them back to life.

The gerbils’ water bottle is missing as well, but that’s not of great importance at this moment.

Gemma and I drove to Sydney early Thursday morning, with the two dogs in the back seat. I'd found a very funky hotel in Darlinghurst that welcomes guest's doggies, so we thought we'd take them along.

I spent Thursday in back-to-back meetings in the capacity of my new job -- mostly meeting and greeting. Had a tour through a hosting facility under one of the strictest NDAs I'd ever signed. What I saw inside this bunker absolutely blew me away, and I'm pissed that I can't share it with anyone. Suffice to say that some hosting companies have facilities that modern conventional warfare couldn't take down..

Dinner on Thursday night was at a chi-chi restaurant on Balmoral Beach, called Bather's Pavillion (Serge Dansereau, Chef). There were 15 of us, and as a result of the numbers only a short restricted menu was available. I found the food to be universally disappointing and over-hyped, and the prices on the wine list were just frickin' outrageous. I cannot understand why an already top-priced restaurant has to charge 500% on their bottles.

We got back to the hotel after midnight, with the dogs patiently waiting for us. They're such good dogs. We went for a little trot around Darlinghurst Road and then I fell into bed and slept.

Yesterday I had errands all over Sydney, we got through the traffic by maybe 3pm which got us home at 6-ish.

This morning I've installed a new wireless base station, as I lost my last one when I resigned from the Agency. This one, a 3Com Home Wireless Gateway, went in really easily. It'll take over firewalling duties from galaga, our home server.

Finishing my coffee now, must get to the office for a few hours. An old friend, Stu, is coming down to Canberra while I type, and he'll be wanting to see the Monet & Japan exhibition at the National Gallery, followed by pints. So I gotta get a few hours in before he gets here..

PS: to the cowardly systematic downvoter: you are pathetic.

I just realized that I'm worth $30,000. If I were to liquidate everything - everthing substantial - that I owned and just hold cash, I'd have $30,000. That may not be a lot to most people, but I'm happy with it.

What could I do with $30,000?

I'm sure there is more, but in my present state of mind, these seem like the coolest ones. Given the way my life is going now, I think I'd choose the third one. There's just something about the prospect of sinking my claws into someone who was born in the 80s...

God, if someone was born in 1980, they probably don't remember Ronald Reagan, don't know who Andrew Dice Clay is, have no clue what 10% inflation or 10% unemployment feels like, don't remember Red Dawn, Dirty Dancing and The Breakfast Club being 'cool' movies, don't understand what the difference between communism and capitalism is, think that Metallica's new releases are actually good music, blah blah blah. That's scary.

Maybe I'll choose another option.

Sleep has always been one of my favorite activities. In fact, it's one of the three best things in life:

  1. Sleep
  2. Sex
  3. Shit -- taking one, that is
... in that order.

*groan* I really don't know what I'll do about my intense anger towards the E2 community. Just like every other newbie who gets downvoted, I'm really pissed. I'm tired of arrogant moderators, double-standards for votes, and just about everything else. I'm sure that dannye will read this, and keep screwing with my account(which really freaked me out at first). I suppose that this next week will be a trial period, when I decide if I want to ditch E2. It'd be such a shame to leave a such a cool project, just cause of the attitudes associated with it. I wonder if this writeup will be safe from the whole "earn your bullshit" thing, since it's basically a journal entry to myself. Oh well, only time will tell. Venting session over.

Today, I found a tape of me talking when I was 18 months old. Wow, was that weird. My sisters just kept laughing, and saying how cute I sound, but it's eerie, hearing a me that wasn't me yet.

I transfered the tape to my computer. Contrary to what the dumbasses at Best Buy told me, it was ridiculously simple. I got a male 3.5mm to male 3.5mm cord, hooked one end into the headphones out jack of the tape player, the other into the microphone in jack of the computer, fiddled with some levels, and hit record on my sound editing software. Converted to .mp3, it was small enough to send to just about anyone.

My sisters have never forgiven me for being smarter than them. I'm the oldest, so they often feel like they can't measure up. As an 18 month old, I could say "airplane" and walk. They've worked in daycares, and know three year olds who can't do that kind of stuff. I really do feel bad, because they're both so great. Ann can draw better than anyone I know; she just decides what she wants to draw, and that's exactly what comes out. And Emily is respected by just about everyone she knows; as a junior, she's already stage managed several plays and musicals, not to mention running stage crew.

In any case, my girlfriend should get a real kick out of the tape.

I'm another of those people who has never read h2g2 - but my copy from bol.com arrived yesterday, so I guess that can change.

(I also recently saw the Star Wars films for the first time, and someone's been telling me I must see Dogma, which is on tv on Tuesday, so that shall be sorted too)

1245 bst

MARTIN gets mention in oddly syntaxed sarcastic British e-zine
    http://www.ntk.net/index.cgi?back=2001/now0601.txt&line=247#l

I got a text message last night from that chick from that party, suggesting a day of fun this Sunday. She picks the day, I pick the fun. Although I have no idea what kind of fun she has in mind. . .

Oh, and thanks to exams on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, I'm going to have to study my ass off again. This afternoon, and tomorrow if I get a chance, will have to be spent in the library again. Yay.

I don't know how to begin this, so I'll just jump right into it. I was trolled yesterday. This is not a big issue, as it happens all the time. This time, though, it was a personal attack. It has long been the policy of this institution to not negotiate with trolls, but, well..

I have been trolled. I have lost. Have a Nice Day.

I let the troll in question actually get to me, and I did what you are never supposed to do: I responded. I rewrote a perfectly wonderful and thoughtful writeup over this one little insecure ninny. I let it get to me.

This morning, though, I did the Right Thing and filed a nuke request for it (mine, not the trolls'). The way I look at it, that's one of only two ways you can deal with someone like that. You can either get into a pissing contest that will never end because they will never admit to being wrong; or you can bow out and be noble.. Taking it up the ass it might be, but as least I can put my mind at ease about it.

A note to all newbie's: You do not have to tollerate trolls. You do not have to respond to them, and I encourage you to just ignore them if you can. Here is the thing: just because they're an level 4, they can still be a troll.

You do not have to play their game.

It seems my weekend has gotten off to a chaotic start. I lost my fscking train pass somewhere between getting off of the train and/or leaving the train station.

This morning, my monitor exploded. My second 17in Princeton Graphics E720 monitor fizzled smoked and popped it's self to death during a hectic game of Baldur's Gate II.

Luckly, my mother notified me of a school district surplus yardsale/junk dumping taking place today. I made it over there posthaste and picked up a replacement 14in monitor AND and perfectly fine, yet dusty Macintosh LC 550 for a grand total of four dollars! Computer equipment costing less than Starbucks coffee, whooda thunk it?

The only problem now is I can't run anything on my computer over 800x600 at 70HZ, I'm too used to massive CRT real estate 1600x1200 now goddamnit!

Consequently, I reccommend anyone in the market for a new monitor to stay very far away from those sold under the label of Princeton Graphics, utter trash they are. Can anyone suggest a good 17in in the $200-500 range?

June will be a month of flipping between Maryland and Florida again. I have to drive down this weekend to get my whiney, if not endearing, twin out of that mucky swamp. In two weeks after that, my mother's flying me down to visit right before my birthday....at least that's the plan. I will only be able to pull this off if I get that other job. EVERYBODY, light a money candle for me, wouldja?

Talked to Garryn very late last night, I had planned on cancelling my drive down there this coming week, but needless to say, he talked me out of it. He ran into Marcus, my ex-boyfriend, and he's excited to see me....I think, because he asked for Ry to drag me by. Like I wouldn't go anyway. And an Elvis song will be playing on the radio as I drive up, right?

Onya called me in a....not quite panic....that weird guy she was seeing dumped her. No matter....now she's champing at the bit to get up here. Yah! And I get to see Thor....heheheheheeehehehehe!

MY MOTHER THOUGHT I WAS TURNING 24!!! Ah...the side-effects of being adopted. Ma, I'm only 22 right now....why does everyone think I'm older??? So I have highways for stretchmarks....your point??

Um...feeling weird from the tooth still, but nuthin' I can't handle. Getting dragged to a party late tonight. Grrmly asked if I was coming....he could have called me his own damn self. This doesn't have to be strange. That is something to make me smile, though. Be careful, boy. I'll bust out our secret if I have to. "Stop thinking so much, stop thinking so much...."

Waiting to hear back from my father-in-law. He's got something up his sleeve again, told me I had to call last night, I did....now where is he? So I don't know. Now what? Keeping my fingers crossed about tonight, but I ain't holding my breath.

I can't even bring myself to get out of bed for you anymore. Anyone else calls, and I'm shooting out the front door like a rocket.

Today was a particularly screwed up day.

Well, yesterday, really. Friday was my last day at work.. That was strange to begin with.. *shrugs* Oh well.

Then, I drove up 93 into NH. Somehow I always manage to forget that when 93 goes from 4 lanes (in MA) to 2 lanes (in NH), there is a traffic nightmare waiting to happen. So, this time, that nightmare resulted in my car overheating. I'm driving along.. or more specifically, driving and stopping along.. when I notice a funny smell.. and the "Check Engine" light is on. Then, I notice the temperature needle pinned in the red at the top. Great. And smoke billowing out from under my hood. Thrilling.

I manage to wrestle my car over to the side of the road and decided to take a peek under the hood. Sure enough, there my coolant reserve was, merrily boiling away like nuclear green tea. Lovely. I waited until it cooled off a bit, then eased my car down the breakdown lane to the rest stop 1/2 a mile down the road. Went inside and acquired some lukewarm water and added that to my coolant, then drove the rest of the trafficky way with my heat on in a vain attempt to keep the engine cool.

Anyways, so I made it to my destination in one piece, with my car not quite ablaze yet, and picked up my friend Denise. We went out for dinner and played SkeeBalltm at the FunSpot. (the place where the pac-man world record was broken, among other things)

On my way home, I'm coming down 93-S and I see two state police cars with their lights on in the right-hand shoulder. I slow down a little bit, but I didn't see any flares or anything I should look out for. Suddenly...

There it was.

An unidentifyable lump of aminal flesh sat in the middle of the lane, with blood smeared all over the road. I didn't have any idea that one creture could HAVE that much blood in it. I couldn't go around it. I couldn't stop. I had to drive **through** it.

I gritted my teeth, held onto my wheel tightly, and... *thump-thump*... it was over. Except for the SMELL. In my panick, I had forgotten to turn my ventilation to "recirculate". I sat in shock for 10 minutes at 65mph.

So, I got to the Dunkin Donuts in Portsmouth. I got out of my car and was simply amazed by the amount of blood all over EVERYTHING. Spattered up the sides, coating the wheels, all over the mudflaps. I had "Cream of Sum-Yung Deer" all over my car. YUCK!!!!

Two hours after June 1, 2001 ended I wake up. Not many souls are moving yet. I try to go back to sleep. But can't get back to sleep over the sounds of sleep. I get up and move around. Outside I meet Protector of Mankind. We talked for a bit. While people are still coming to life I meet a few more. I think this is when I met ideath, predador, and Phyllis Stein, milling around. Eventually a group heads off to a diner to get some breakfast/lunch. I meet thefez and briiiiian on this adventure.

After a greasy, but good breakfast, most people hang around the diner waiting for the second wave of diners to arrive. I head back to see if I can grab a shower. Score! I am Clean! People start cleaning so I join in. More people arrive, I think I meet more people, but the middle of the day is mostly a blur for me. Before heading to the park of the Aerobie eating tree, I think I met the gilded frame, clampe, kurt (the pope) and Andara. At the park, play some frisbee. When that breaks up I say a few passing words at people, but mostly mill around feeling alone in a group of strangers. All of a sudden I felt out of place. I'm not sure why. What do I say to complete strangers? I walked by little collections of people talking, I would listen for a bit and realize I don't know how to be involved in this conversation and move on. Don't feel bad for me this is normal, this is my life. This is why I drove 7 hours by myself to meet people from the internet. I'm bad with people.

ccunning shows up with his guitar and lets me make horrible noises on it, and we talk guitar for a little bit. Later ccunning, somebody who I can't remember (please forgive me), walked back to zot's to make some food and get some grub. Speaking of Grub, I think around this time is when I met Chihuahua Grub, brassmule, and pyrogenic. ccunning makes some damn fine food! I roam around mingling.

Other than the events mentioned I spend my time pulling my usual party stunt of roaming a lot so it looks like I'm active, but not really talking to people. Sometimes I stop and talk to people, but not many conversations. Gone Jackal and mordel show up. Jackal and I head to the store to buy beer (don't want to run out at 3 in the morning) and smokes. It was cool to talk to somebody one-on-one. Most of the party I observed. I watched the ordering of karmaflux, the street performance of Jurph and ccunning, listened as ccunning, jessicapierce, and Phyllis Stein chatted on the air mattress, I even lurked in #everything a little. This isn't bad, this is how I am at parties. I had fun. It was a great time. It was really cool to meet people even if the talks were short and without depth. I talked with Kurt for a bit, and predador for a bit, and mordel for a bit, and Eric the Omnifaceted for a bit (got a dinosaur painted on me!), and toastido for a bit, and jaubertmoniker for a bit, and witchiepoo's husband for a bit, and avjewe for a bit, and Gamaliel for a bit, and Morgan77 for a bit, and most everybody for a bit. I know there were a few I didn't get to meet or talk to other than a hello. It was very cool to meet so many new people. It was exceptionally cool when introducing yourself and somebody recognises the handle and says "Dude, It's great to meet you." That is why I made this trip.

Eventually I snag a ride with sane guy and crash on his flow and Ohio Day Two ends.

Ohio Day One | Ohio Day Two | Ohio Day Three

Yesterday morning I had to call an ambulance for dad. Mom called upstairs to me that dad needed some tea and if I could make it. When I came downstairs I looked into my parents' room to see my father. My strong father who, in my entire life has never so much had a cold, was folded over the side of the bed convulsing. Mom was kneeling on the bed behind him, throwing blankets over him and rubbing his back. The turned-on-TV with sound muted, mom's bed hair, and my father's sleeping apparatus still hanging around his neck made me anxious and shaky. I go downstairs and start heating water in the pot and taking out the green tea jar. I prepared a tray with some napkins, extra sugar, and a bottle of aspirin. I guess it was just a reflex to put the aspirin on the tray with the tea. I should have known it wouldn't help dad. What can you do when your father is sick and you're not a doctor with real medicine magic to help with? The pot was taking too long to heat, so I nuked some water in the microwave and brought that up on the tray of tea and aspirin. As I set the tray down mom is already walking past me.

"Watch your father while I get some things," she says to me. And so I do that. I watch my dad shake uncontrollably in front of me, his head just barely touching his kneecaps. I kneel in front of him, trying not to cry, and spoon feed him some green tea. Dad doesn't speak the best English, and in broken Filipino accents he tells me to hand him the cup and let him drink it himself. I push-shove the slight hill of comforters engulfing his backside so I can sit next to him. Dad is shaking so hard that the tea is rolling over the edges of the mug, probably burning his hands faintly. He makes horrible slurping sounds in between pants for air. If water could suffocate. If that was something possible in this world, it would sound a lot like what I was hearing from dad's mouth. With one hand controlling the shaking of the other, I try and rub the top of his head. First I comb over the top of his head with my fingers, then down the back of his neck, and then to the side and down his broad shoulders. Dad is sweaty and smells like an old memory of a trip to the Pocono's.

I say, "It's ok tough guy. Mom's getting stuff to help now. Are you cold? Let me try and pour the tea into your mouth. C'mon pop, you look great. Let me try and pour the tea into your mouth."

Dad can't hear me, or if he can, doesn't make any noticeable sign. He just pours hot tea down his throat, usually most of it dribbling down the sides and into the towel I placed on his lap. Mom comes back into the room and I'm too nervous to know what she was holding. I jump back from dad to let mom have full control over this situation. Mom's a nurse. In my life, I've seen her fix small bumps on the neighborhood kids and I've seen her apply emergency CPR on people in the throes of heart-specific seizures at company picnics.

Mom will fix all of this. She will not fuck this up into a situation that I cannot handle. Mom knows something special that she saves just for her family when someone is very sick. I watch her look quietly at my father drink the tea. I wait for her to fix this fucking situation. She comes to some conclusion and clicks something in her brain. She takes the cup from him and without taking her eyes of dad, tells me to call an ambulance. I run downstairs.

As best I can remember it:

"What is your emergency, sir?"

"My father is having convulsions and I need an ambulance ma'am."

"Is he awake, alert, and breathing?"

"Yes ma'am. He has shortness of breath and it's difficult for him to breath. He's sitting on the side of the bed. His eyes are closed but he can speak kind of. He's really shaking hard, ma'am."

"EMS services are on the way. You're being transferred to the ambulance en route."

I get turned over to the paramedic not driving, and repeat my father's condition. She tells me to hang up and wait outside to wave them down when they turn onto the block. Mom already has dad dressed in his robe coming down the stairs.

It is 1.30 a.m. when paramedics arrive, rig dad for movement, and we depart for Flushing Hospital's emergency room. Mom is a nurse who works the neonatal intensive care unit of Flushing Hospital. I've been on this drive to the hospital hundreds of time when I was a kid. My sister and I would accompany mom to work when Dad drove her at 7 p.m. every evening. Sitting up front with the driver, I repeatedly look in the back making sure mom is telling the other paramedic everything correctly. I shouldn't have to. She's more in control than I am right now. I know that my mom has seen horrible things that I'll never want to know the specifics of. My mom has trained in all medical departments. She assisted on the man who made the local news by getting shot in the face with a concealed make-shift pen gun back in 1986. She's worked the emergency room on many fourth of July weekends. She's seen the complications of pregnancy and still-births. I want my mom to holler at me from the back of that ambulance. I want her to scream in her strong, old Filipino accent,

"Allan! This is ok. Dad is ok now. Stop looking back here and upsetting me! You are more grown up than that!" I want my mom to scold me for still being scared when the situation is already well under control. Mom doesn't scream. And I am not rebuked. We get to the hospital and I've already died five times in the last twenty minutes.

The quick and dirty summary of the rest of this morning is good. Pop got his stomach pumped, was given cat scans, x-rays, oxygen, and medication. He's been observed by the medical and surgical doctors. Mom even called in special favors for specific doctors to come see my dad. Every Filipino nurse seems to know my mom in the emergency room. And that makes me feel better. Dad was stabilized and is now being held for observations on the third floor of the building. I said prayers that Pop will get away from this whole adventure with just some meds and maybe minor surgery on his gallbladder. I don't know yet.

So this is my thing with this node. I'm not one to write this kind of stuff and if you look at my previous noding, you'll see that I'm a pretty lighthearted dweeb. I like jokes and humor and laughter very much. And tonight, after seeing the first ever Iron Chef dream team episode of all French vs. all Chinese, I can safely say that Iron Chef is the best TV show to grace primetime since The A-team. For the most part, I've never had something like this happen to me. And now I can say, with absolute surety, that the worst thing I've ever had to do in my life was call an ambulance for my father. And in comparison to whatever 'pain' I've felt in this life, this has been the first real experience of knowing what fear and pain and aggravation are really all about. I have such little drama in my life that I tend to make big shits out of little, insignificant shits. No more. My point is that if you lead a life freewheeling yourself from one drama to another, living in the throes of some soap-operatic consciousness, please. There's a difference between that kind of stuff and real, horrible pain and fear. And now that I know that, maybe I won't waste my life so much with silly immature life-specifics. Maybe just *telling* you to be more real to yourself won't work. Maybe everyone in this world needs to feel what real fear, pain, and sadness is before making significant changes to their personalities. I don't know. Maybe I'm the only drama-prince left in this world and it's only me that needed this wake up call to what the fuck life is all about. It just bothers me that someone would get caught so mentally unprepared like I did yesterday morning. This node is a warning, I guess. Lighten up, buddy. If nobody's dying, convulsing, or somehow in harm? It's cool then. Your life is cool.

This node has not been submitted in the new write-ups column. I ask whomever might see this write-up to not C! it if they were thinking about doing so. You would have had to do a search on my stuff to find it. And if you went *that* far, I trust that you might respect my wishes.

Just this once. This write-up is just for me. Besides, my nodes where I say 'asshole' and 'fuck' a lot are way cooler.

Thanks

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