Today was the day before Saint Patrick's Day, and the Irish were out in force on the streets of Dublin, practicing for the main event of tomorrow by getting blind drunk today. I've never seen so many police in the city centre. They cleared all the roads for fifty metres around the river Liffey, and thousands of people lined the banks to watch the fireworks, which lasted about twenty minutes. We saw the end of them, sparkling between the buildings, and we decided it would be better to go and get ice cream.

We ate ice cream on Grafton street while thousands of people walked past, sheltering in the awning of an upper-class department store. Hess said that he was afraid that hands were going to reach out from the neon interior to drag us in for involuntary makeovers, and push us out into the crowd again covered in lipstick and blusher, our hair primped and styled. Down the street, a short Romanian man was singing 'Delilah' by Tom Jones in an operatic baritone, accompanying himself on the accordion. He had gathered a small crowd, who were cheering him on. Many of them were wearing big, bright green hats and had their faces painted in the colours of the Irish flag.

I spoke to my ex-girlfriend and told her I was getting married to Lindsay. She was very quiet on the other end of the phone. Her house had been broken into yesterday, she said, and her car and her handbag stolen. She was having a hard time at work. She said congratulations, but she didn't sound like she meant it, and I suppose I don't blame her. But I remember a time when she called me when I was living in England, and told me she was getting married to her new boyfriend, and I was shocked, but overjoyed for her. I was so happy that she was happy. There was nothing fake or forced at all about it when I told her congratulations. It would have been nice if she could have been that way with me, but I guess she was having a bad day.

Eventually, we went home. A man with his face painted to look like a tiger ordered chips with us in the takeaway, and told us he was going to go home and have sex with his wife. "She likes it doggy style," he said, moving his hips to demonstrate. "Actually, I'm killed when I get home, killed dead." He'd been out drinking all day, and could barely hold his food.

It's nearly 5am. I'm going to bed.

Well, just got home from the bars (pretty boring actually), after an 8 hour drive back from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I'd have to say, probably the best spring break ever. I mean how can you beat a week of skiing with some of your closest friends...?

All that can really sum it all up is in 4 little words: 50 Inches of Powder!!! Nothing beats is when it's up to your waist!! Well, at least not much.

Jackson is known for it's steepness. Supposedly, it's the steepest mountain in North America. I dont know how acurate that is, but it seems to be true. Out of only 4 days riding that mountain, I'm about ready to sleep for a week straight.

One of the most renound aspects of Jackson Hole is Corbet's Couloir. Which is basically a 15-25 ft. drop, depending on where you huck from, onto a 60 degree pitch chute which is only maybe 10 feet at it's widest part. I havn't hucked it... yet. I'm still a little chicken when it comes to that, but when i go back and they have a foot of fresh... you better get the sled ready just in case...

Welcome to St. Patrick's Day. Not a major thing here in Va Beach, but it was the season pass holders sneak preview for Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

In a word, it was wet.

It's been a few years since I've managed to take the kids there, so instead of promises I bought season passes. Since they were having a paddy's day "party" I decided we should go. The weathermen flip flopped on wether or not it was going to rain during the week, be we decided to stick it out anyway.

Besides the rain, it was a disaster anyway. When I had ordered the passes they somehow managed to screw up my last name. When I called I was informed that it could be fixed at the park when I got there. Well not only could they not fix it, they didn't seem capable of operating the computer at all. So I have passes with the wrong name on them and printed so light they tell me right there that they don't expect them to work. So by the time we got to get into the park it was 11:00, and the rain started getting heavier than a drizzle.

Travesty aside, I got to ride all four coasters before I decieded to call it a day. Sadly the Drachen Fire has been dismantled. Dispite other peoples opinion of the ride I enjoyed it, as I think most other real coaster enthusiast did.

Obituary

  • I wake before my alarm and lay quietly in bed, waiting to see if I'll rise or slip under again. A minute later the phone rings--it's my step-brother calling from the hospital five hundred miles away in Southern California. He tells me that my terminally ill Father may not survive the day. "His gaze drifts...he's doesn't make eye contact. We think his brain is shutting down." I thank him for the information and hang up the phone. Minutes later I'm back in the dream, bare feet cool on patio tiles.

  • I rise with the alarm and head to the UC Santa Cruz campus for a final exam. At 7pm I'm back home and calling my step-mother. "He's gone, Dan. One-thirty this afternoon, after Mark called you." She tells me he went peacefully, surrounded by her, Mark, my sister and her husband. I pass the evening without mentioning anything to my housemates, still laughing with the crowd. A moment of contemplation finds me alone in my room. I sit in a meditation posture and form the strong intention to send a message to my departed father. I don't necessarily believe in channelling or communication with the dead, but I am certainly willing to entertain the possibility.

  • My father's presence becomes very strong and everywhere I look in the room I see the luminous outline of his face and body. A flood of images pour into my mind as from an astral slide projector. I see my father at various times in his life, all depicting an aspect of fatherhood. There are many scenes of him from my childhood on vacations to Alaska, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Israel. There are others from before I was born: I see him as a younger man in Venezuela and Panama with my sister; I see him even younger in Florida with my brother. He wants to acknowledge a special bond with my step-brother, Mark, who always reminded my father of himself. In response to his visual communication I call to mind my favorite moments with him...I remember riding on his back as a toddler as he swam in the swimming pool. I remember late nights in the Alaskan wilderness, trading off reading aloud from Moby Dick. I remember his distant gaze out the window of an airport shuttle, driving at dusk up the Sonoma valley; the sun has just set and the sky is a perfect rainbow from sun-gold to starry black-blue. After this a bubble of long-buried emotion rises to the surface as I mentally confess to him the years of fear and moments of hatred that his sharp words caused me. I forgive him all of this. He thanks me for the long silent prayers while I sat with him in the hospital--never have I felt my body so full of light--funnelling the energy of the universe into him.

  • As I come out of the trance I reach over and turn on my computer. While it boots up I send a final request to my father's spirit. I ask him for a sign that our spiritual exchange was a true event, not just the hallucination of a bereaved son. My computer randomly chooses a background image from a collection of hundreds of images, the vast majority of which are photographs of my girlfriend & friends, and computer-illustrations. I ask my father to choose a background image that will unambiguously communicate to me that he is here with me. When the screen lights up, the painted face of Jesus Christ stares back at me, the only image of its kind on my hard drive. To most people, a religious icon would be significant in this context. To me personally, Jesus the Christ specifically represents the idea that death is not an end, that the soul continues to walk the Earth in the form of the resurrection body. The message was as unambiguous as they come.

  • Only now do I understand the frequent visions of my father that began to visit me more than two years ago, before I even knew he was ill. Consistently, his image would appear whenever I used my spiritual sight; often I would see his face growing rapidly old, his body becoming thin and weak. At the time, the idea occured to me that the visions were a harbinger, premonitions of his death, but I didn't put much faith in the accuracy my apparent hallucinations. These last few months have seen all those visions of illness come true. Perhaps I should have had more faith. But I am exceedingly thankful for tonight's visions of fatherly love and immortality.
look at the stars, look how they shine for you

you are so young living in this old world. a little girl with your crowns and looks, with your eyeball finger puppets and don't you feel so small when you're lost like that? unfamiliar roads always scare me, i hope you weren't scared.

you smell right and good you smell like comfort and special. you came so far just to see me and you sounded stressed and away when you first called, i worried this was too much, that you shouldn't be driving so far and taking time from the way life makes us all rushed and busy and hurry or you'll let someone some thing fall.

why does it feel as if worlds will collapse unless one of us is there to hold them up?

so i will think of you every time i see the little fuzz on james dean's noggin', and i will think of you as i try and remember how to write again. and you should know i was floating in my head for hours thinking about writing a cookbook like that. and you're right, no one would know, except me, and they would wonder why anyone would need to know how the dried basil should fall across the chicken like a slow aching snow fall (the sort where you know it is getting colder and colder and soon there will be nothing left to do but wait until it leaves again). i don't even know what i am talking about, not at all.

i am so glad that i can connect you with your words, that you weren't falling over yourself uncomfortable and i was shy too, i was so shy. (i was also exhausted, relieved that you didn't seem bothered by the absence of spring in my movement). peeking out the window at a distance i wondered a million things and you would have laughed at me fretting as i waited for you. (you would have laughed more if you could have seen me pacing when i could not figure out where you might be for an hour or so.)

i love the little jewelled crown and the feather'y pink and i played with my eyeball puppet all evening. i thought of you while we watched the simpsons and was disappointed you couldn't have stayed longer. at the same time, i am so very glad that you managed to make it here at all.

it was very nice to meet you, princess gracie, we will have to go for tea, some time. you are exactly the right amount of crazy-lovely-dreamy.

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