Oh my GOD I'm tired.  Fencing practice blows.  But, I've got a tournament on Sunday so I need it.

Tonight, a fun gala of repairing my foils so I don't have to do it during a gigantic party tomorrow night.

Then, glorious sleep.

Tomorrow, nothing.  I get to laugh at all the freshmen and pledges doing the last minute setup for the party.  I might actually get up early so I'm tired tomorrow night and I can get some sleep.

Then, a night of sleep in the basement of the senior house before getting up at an ungodly hour to go compete...

Still trying to follow the guide and get my XP above 50 for level 2, but things are just so tense here after yesterday's big Slashdotting of the site.

Any newbie writeup tossed in there now is just asking to get deleted. But they wouldn't delete a write up from the day log, would they? Isn't that everyone's perogative?

Maybe if i have a dream I could even eke out two writeups a day. So in just two or three more weeks, I could graduate to level 2.

I find myself wrestling with my convictions lately. I'm missing something in life. I'm wasting my time, because I'm not doing what I should be doing. Or at least that's how I feel.

I'm a fairly talented computer technician, but I hate it with a passion. Computers bring me no joy or sense of fulfillment. And yet, with only a high school diploma, I know more and have accomplished more than my friends who are beginning their third year of college. I own an IT consulting company that's failing only because I have no idea how to meet people and sell myself.

The thing I really want to do with my life, I don't dare. I have this burning desire in my heart to serve the public. I want to be a police officer in the worst possible ways, but I know it would kill my grand parents on the spot and break my mother's heart.

I'm so tired of trying to please everyone else.

I'm tired of the woman I love not loving me. Or at least not admitting it.

I'm tired of not acting when my heart tells me to.

I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda miss high school. Life was so much simpler then.

I wish my hero would ask me what's wrong, just once, so I could unload 22 years of pain on him, which he so richly deserves. And oddly, that's why he's my hero.

I'm tired of people not just fucking telling me what they're thinking or how they feel. They think they're saving my feelings by not telling me to go fuck myself and leave them alone, but all I want is an acknowledgement that they see and hear me.

Tom Petty may have said it best in Crawling Back To You:

I'm so tired of being tired
Sure as night will follow day
Most things that I worry about
Never happen anyway

It boggles my mind that I can know what I want, know all the answers to my questions, know in my mind that I don't give two shits what anyone thinks about me, and say that with conviction to people, and still I don't act on my urges and desires. When am I going to please me?

Perhaps Tom Petty was better phrased in Wake Up Time:

Well, if he gets lucky, a boy finds a girl
To help him to shoulder the pain in this world

I think my luck is running out.

Maybe I should just shut the hell up and go to bed. Spend my time worring about the Tuscan feast I'm preparing for the only friends I have in this worthless city this weekend.

The South Pole -- it's there, a great icy, bleak, barren mass, and it's beckoning to me.

The National Science Foundation maintains a research center there, the Adumndsen-Scott South Pole Station. People come and go during the summer months -- approximately 130 -- and there is a team of approximately 28 scientists and support personnel who winter there: eight months in total isolation; no one gets in, no one gets out.

I heard about it a few of months back, and heard about it again today. And as last time, it fired my imagination, it beckoned to me, it called out to me:

Come, spend a year here in my embrace. Come, risk your life in up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit below zero temperature. Come, be a part of the community here. And then return, changed.

I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to go about pursuing this newfound dream; contacting the NSF will of course be a part of it, but I hardly meet their qualifications as listed on their website.

But I shall go. Because I have no choice.

The Pole beckons.

It's late (4am) here, and I'm tired. I've been in the studio all night, making my first digital video piece, in Final Cut Pro. All the creative work is done, it's just rendering now. It's not that complicated, but for a six minute video, it's taking about three hours to render on a dual-processor G4. Damn digital video. I'm not patient enough to work this way. I won't even know what it's going to look like in motion until it finishes rendering.

... but frequent breaks on the piano and E2 have kept me (mostly) sane tonight.

Bed soon. Very soon.

It's my birthday today. Not going out anywhere for a celebratory birthday dinner because I'm still feeling down from my break-up some two weeks ago and I had social things to do yesterday night and tomorrow. Yesterday night I had a housewarming party with my old friend and his sister. One girl at that party volunteered herself as fitting my categories of "young, single, good-looking girl" but will probably end up on my list of theologically unsuitable girls because she's a devout Catholic (devout enough to attend church every week). Tomorrow, on the other hand, is The Great Sydney Fraptabulous Everythingian Get Together which begins in the Kam Fook restaurant in Market City at 10am and goes on from there - looking forward to that.

Yesterday was the last day of my 10 week term in Emergency medicine in Liverpool Hospital. My next term will be in Surgery in Fairfield Hospital. I'm happy to report that no patients of mine died while I was taking care of them.

One interesting patient I saw yesterday was a woman of around 40 years of age who presented with vaginal bleeding. She had been bleeding pretty much everyday since November but it had been getting worse recently. She was supposed to have had a hysterectomy two weeks ago but that operation was called off at the last minute because she was found to be hypothyroid. Anyway, she was referred by her family doctor because she appeared sweaty, pale and felt weak at his practice. When I saw her, she was not tachycardic, had no postural blood pressure drop and was not pale. When I inserted an IV cannula (18 gauge) into her left hand to take some bloods (a full blood count, electrolyes and for a group and hold, I noticed that the Op-site which I was using to stick the cannula down didn't stick very well to her skin. It turned out that she was really sweaty and looked diaphoretic. All from a needle going into her and from me taking about 10ml of blood!

Anyway, the nurses got worried from the way she looked and got her a bed in the acute section. Several minutes after lying down, she looked a lot better. She still had no significant postural blood pressure drop.

First time I ever saw a IV cannula insertion cause someone to go transiently hypotensive. Ohwell.

One thing I got from last night's party was a sore throat. Today one tonsil was enlarged, there was one pustule in the back of my pharnyx and I had palpable lymph nodes in my neck. This brought the expected questions from my flatmate as to who I had been kissing - to which I assured him that there was no exchange of bodily fluids involving me last night. Anyway, despite the possibility, nay likelihood, of it being viral, I started a course of erythromycin.

I had to return the dragon that she gave me two weeks ago. A very nice thing, made of glass upon amethyst and coated with a thin layer of gold. It was a birthday gift but we had since broken up and I didn't feel comfortable keeping it, even though she kind of tried to insist that I did. She did surprise me today though by dropping in and spending some time with me. She left me another gift - a CD I had wanted for a while now and a birthday card.

She asked me half-heartedly if we could get back together again. I told her she didn't sound like she meant it, so I said no. I didn't tell her then that I would have said yes in a heartbeat if she had meant it.

Perhaps its better to let things be and move on.



Today's stuff so far: on TV, something called Ultimate Auctions from Amazon... One more proof why "Amerikans are krazy". I mean, I couldn't watch that without laughing, the only parts that froze my smile and dropped to harsh reality were the actual auction events. The item descriptions were... oversentimental. I mean, did they build a cheese factory next to the TV studios or something?

Before you react to that, remember that many local TV programs here are not any better... =) They're still bad but at least they're bad in a different way. =)

I woke late and now I'm reading Usenet stuff... Time to face more challenges of the day!

Yeah, forgot to say this yesterday: Happy Meganode, E2!


I made a small script to submit news to YiffCam's new SQL connection thingy.

Then a thought occurred... how about a YiffCam, The Nodeball Edition?

Then I thought, maybe not. I already chose PostgreSQL as my database of choice, and Everything won't work on that yet (I still keep a MySQL installed just for my everyclone and do all "real" stuff on PostgreSQL...)

Yeah, Everything Web System is great, but why kill flies with a cannon? All I need is a HTML page and caching camera grab script, perharps some other scripts that add stuff to the page via SSI...

Besides, the webcam stuff was easy to add to everything: Add a new image-type node, with image source as the yiffcam grab script URL...


Three Snowhite viruses today in my mailbox. Wow, one in French. One less than yesterday.


And printing ISO-8859-5 (Cyrillic) texts is now possible, even when that's sort of painful.

enscript -s 2 -X cyrillic -f Teams-Normal12 rbmk-1000.txt -p - | gs -dQUIET -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=cdeskjet -sOutputFile=- --sPAPERSIZE=a4 /dev/stdin | lp -oraw

...involved installing scalable-cyrfonts packages, symlinking teams*.afm to the enscript "afm" directory, adding the fonts manually to enscript fonts.dir file, and adding the scalable fonts to /etc/gs.Fontmap...

This cyrillic font package uses sort of, uh, strange letter forms. You see, the text I'm reading now has information about "Реактор типа РБМК", in other words, RBMK-type reactor (The sort of thing that Chernobyl was). The word "типа", "type", looks like Latin-lowercase-letter "muna" in this font - and "muna" is Finnish for "egg" and... uh, never mind. =)

The silence of the night encompasses me. Nothing makes a sound in the room. My eyes weigh like lead, threatening to fall upon each other at a moment's notice, only to taunt me with the premise with a good night's sleep. Today's events have been simple, yet enough to push me over the edge.

The feeling of being loved and wanted passes so much, so quickly. Numbness seems to last longer. Suffering from repressed anger and other mental illnesses incurred as a result of stress, I find myself having trouble sleeping. I went to sleep, still feeling the glow of the sweetness of one special lady friend. But again, I have to fight against the other problems. Fatigue. Tiredness. Interesting. Finally, I get comfortable enough to sleep.

Sleep dwindles like sands in an hourglass. My sleep seems like floating on shallow water. Calm, cool and steady. Until it shakes when the wave breaks. I am half awake, not awake enough to move my body but enough to hear what people are saying. I say no words, speak no lies. I wanted to hear what they thought. My family complains about how I need to take control in my life. I try to but "she" comes to me. She always did. Lately, she's been lying. About how she tells me that she loves me. How we were to be together. Why we had to be together. What life we would make I say no words, speak no lies. I lie still, making sure that I'm inconspicuous. I try as hard as I must, but I feel my nose sniffling. I can't hold back anymore as a single tear runs down my right eye. I lick it off my cheek. Its almost sweet. Maybe its a sign.

I hear the barrage of comments about being responsible from my older sister. I speak no words, tell no lies. She can't understand. She won't understand. Simply, she doesnt' want to understand. I take it all as I walk through the door to go to work.

Step by step, breath by breath, I get off my bus stop. No one was around. I started singing to myself, hoping that I could make myself feel better. I almost lose my composure. Almost. Back to work I am again. First of a three day stretch, at least I get money.

Work is easy. Not even tiring. Maybe that is what Ativan does for you. My brain is numb. So is my body. But what thoughts do come out disturb me. I need to know what lies beneath. I need an ending. I seek not an answer nor a solution. I seek an ending.

I didn't ask for a ride home but I got one. I was going to pick up a lady friend from her birthday party but I wasn't able to because my transportation has been not available to me for a while. So home I go. The silence continues. I still say nothing to them. I wait for them to say something to me but its like waiting for your own death. You shouldn't wait for it. You should dictate when it should happen. I walk out.

Dungeons and Dragons is the game of choice for today. Too bad. Maybe someday, I can convince MrFurious to play the game. But after an hour, I go back home. They're all asleep. At least in their own rooms. Hope that I wake up for work tomorrow. Back on the phone. My friend hangs up and tells me she'll phone me back. I don't think she will now. But I still sit here. I hope that I will be able to sleep soon. I don't think I like being awake anymore.

I've had a taste of the light. It felt nice to my touch but it melted part of my icy soul. I try to pick up and bring that part of me back into myself, but the more I hold it, the more I lose of myself. I hide back into the darkness, where it welcomes me.

I have no need for love anymore. Nor for a need for compassion and hope. I just need a reason. A good enough to reason to stay. Like love, I will not seek it. If I'm lucky enough, it will come in time. If not, I won't feel a thing.

I whisper words in the wind, hoping that you would hear them. The wind creates sounds that I perceive as your voice, telling me that you don't love me. Yet, to me, at least for the meanwhile, its good enough. I have no choice. I look for a reason to stay. You are a reason to go and a reason to stay. I've been in the light too long. I can no longer see clearly. I will go back into the darkness. At least there I know where I'm going, where I'm heading. There is no difference, no direction in the darkness. Lead me to you. If you want me, I will not go into the light. Come find me in the darkness. Then, can we be together, frozen in time.
the sun is shining. i'm wearing one of those pathetic tennis outfits. the yuppie ones with a white skirt and matching dorky golf shirt. and red sneakers. i'm walking along the thick white line against dark green background, tightrope-style. looking down, i see the fuzzy chartreuse ball. it's rolling back and forth lazily on the wet ground. it doesn't belong here.stepping off my line, and into the monotonous green, i bounce the ball. once, twice. i catch it, toss it gently up into the air, and swing my racket. fwoomp! it connects, right above my head, and then sails sleepily across the net. the ball's in your court now. i don't want it anymore.

i don't want to go back to playing with the garage door, either.

evilrooster was much obsessed by death...

Not usually, but this has been an unusual time. 37 weeks pregnant with my first child, I am brought face to face with my own mortality, with the series of "what ifs" that determine all our fates.

Enough grandiose philosophy and esoteric quotes, rooster. What ARE you talking about?

OK. In English this time.

For the past six or seven weeks, we've been able to tell how the baby is lying. And it's all wrong - the head is under my ribs on the right, and the feet kick down in my lower left abdomen. Technically, it's oblique breech (diagonal and feet down). Normally, babies at this stage are head down.

The midwife booked us in for an ultrasound yesterday to confirm the position. The scan itself was exciting - we haven't seen the baby since 10 weeks into the pregnancy, when it looked like a lima bean. We saw the head, the spine, the ribs and heart, even the tiny feet. No chance of spotting of the genitals, sadly (we would have loved to know ahead of time). And all these adorable body parts are in the most awkward place possible. Put simply, it cannot come out as it is.

If I had been born a hundred years or a thousand miles south of where I was, if I lived out of the reach of modern medical science, I would be dead by May. And I would know it. Worse yet, I would know that the baby would die as well. Even the thought is unbearable; how would I deal with the reality?

Of course, the NHS will just do a Caesarian section in a fortnight's time. If I go into labour before then, I am to call the hospital right away and tell them the baby is oblique breech. They will then do an emergency section. Even that is a low-risk, everyday operation.

I love modern medicine, but I can't help grieving for what might have been.

Since I couldn't figure out how to delete an unpopular node I wrote so as to save the Gods the trouble of doing it themselves, I rewrote it the best I could about Doctor Who and figure it still deserves a -5 rep but at least I did my best. Ah, well. I only wish there was more support for defining just what locked in a vault somewhere or even just plain old locked in a vault as it seems like something worth defining IMHO -- any idiom does, since if English isn't your native language and it might be difficult to understand the connotation of what one says when they say locked in a vault somewhere, not literally, but figuratively. You know, like Fort Knox. Anyway, you can vote that one down all you like, it's going to node heaven anyway and I have no intention of seeing it return! Anyway, I hope edger is right and I can't take too much a hit from writing up a day log entry but since I have no points anyway, what the heck! The worst thing they can do now is ban me from Everything 2 forever and then I'll just reserve my definitions for some other medium. I ain't doin' this for the rep ya know! :) Illumination is all I seek to give.

BTW, thanks to evilrooster for the hint on forming paragraphs and other externs and congrats on week 37 of only a handful more before you enjoy parenthood! :)

Most of today is dedicated to Pigtown Fling, a weekend contra dance.

My wife, Ruth Anne, and I taught two workshops this morning; beginning Waltz at 9:30 and intermediate Waltz at 10:45. We taught Cross Step Waltz in the intermediate class.

After lunch we took Zweifacher which I know well and quite enjoy.

Tonight is a contra dance with The Contrarians and David Kirchner, where all I have to do is dance.

What I'd like to see in everything

I've tentatively brought this up in the ChatterBox a few times now and I think my thoughts have reached a point where it's warranted to commit them to a node. Seeing as this is personal stuff I'm putting it in here, the Day Log, the 31st of March, 2001.
In general I agree with the way this site is set up. There are improvements possible in a number of areas, granted, but my guess is that certain individuals (to name one) are working on most of the gripes and problems right now. What I'm referring to is the grand scheme, the big picture behind Everything2.

Direct linking should be made possible...

Ooohhh, here come the nasty soft links, downvotes and angry /msg's. But hear me out for a minute, will you?
What I'd like to see is a rather restricted form of direct linking1, namely direct linking to - and only to - wu's in the Log sections2 of the database.

They're there for a reason

Now, that reason may not be the one I perceive, but I'm not too picky when I can mold something to better match my own views...

How I see it, the Logs are there for noders to add stuff to the database that is personal and, therefore, does not belong in the database proper even though it is often interesting.

I can think of quite a few instances where personal experiences, thoughts or actions can illustrate3 a factual writeup and give it more depth for the reader. Flesh it out, if you will.

At the moment the only truly feasible way to add such a personal part to a writeup is to add it to the writeup in the database itself. Because if you link it to a writeup in the Day Log as it stands now, it gets drowned out by the number of other writeups in the Log that are completely irrelevant to your factual writeup. So it doesn't at the moment make sense to link between factual nodes and writeups in the Log sections4.

Why not across the board then?

The reason direct linking is not implemented in the everything2 structure is - probably - that it's not in line with the big idea behind E2. When you're searching for something, you want to be able to type a few words in the search box and get taken to a place where you can learn about what you want to learn about. But the beauty of the no-direct linking implementation is that you see all the other possible meanings of the word or phrase you were looking for. That's one of the strong points of E2 in my opinion.

But that reasoning breaks down when applied to the Log sections, now, doesn't it?

If you link to one of the Log sections, the person following your link gets taken to the complete node, with all the writeups added to the Log for that day, ranging from Fencing practice, XP woes, tired convictions, birthdays, the South Pole, ER, smoking alone, sleep, lesbian moms, ... I could go on forever. Not what you want now is it?

Enter my proposition and it all makes sense again!


Well, okay... Not too clear on that point yet. Which is also the reason for me not having written an e-mail regarding this to dem bones or any of the other developers yet. Or maybe I should, regardless. They might be a lot smarter than I imagine... heh.

1 With "direct linking" I mean the ability to hard link directly to one single writeup
2 i.e. Day Log and Dream Log
3 For example, my own solo writeup and my addition to the Day Log of March 8, 2001
4 Even so, I've done it and probably will keep on doing it for lack of a better solution at the moment
I was not pleased to open the mailbox this morning and find that my insurance has been raised to $400 this month for my two cars, one barely running...and $200 a month after that. Something has to be wrong. Very wrong. I will call them later. I used to pay $70 a month for auto insurance. Progressive lured me in with low rates and then they raised them on me and this must stop.

Today would have been my parents' 28th wedding anniversary.

The theme of the week for me has been frustration over what I create. People go to my website and read through the lyrics that I have written, they read my e2 additions and then e-mail me saying this is the work of a genius or something along those lines. I just don't see it. It is only what is at the front of my mind at the time, and yes, although I come up with lines like "And it's hard to tell between the wheel and feet and wings / And harder still to commence sleep," I see those as either a big fat cop-out from telling people what I am really talking about, or just a rare moment of saying what I need to say in just the way I need to say it. But at this point, I don't even think that an arena full of screaming fans would convince me.

One of these days, I will have a nice and happy day log! Stay tuned...

Next week I am going to node more and worry less.
A rather uneventful day...
I like that.

I woke up in a good mood, and that carried me all the way through the day.
After having a terrible end-of-work-week, a restfull weekend was much needed.
So my day goes great, I even see a movie, "Shadow of the Vampire" which ruled and made my day even better.

Then this happens.

JayStile has hacked E2 and fucked up the XP system... and is making lots of nodes backwards, all kinds of fucked up shit.
All in the name of April Fools.

It's my birthday! I'm 20!

I feel so old. Like, really, now I'm not a teenager anymore. I have to be a lot more responsible and shit. I think I'm supposed to be dating by now. Now I can look down at teenagers flocking around Macs' and 7-11 and think "damn kids".

My friends brought me out to the Escape nightclub and got me wasted. It's their own fault I wasn't coherent at the end of the night. Still, I need to thank them for wasting all their money on me and buying me so much overpriced alcohol.

My b-day present will be a decent chair for my computer desk. I'm tired of getting a pain in the back every time I have to do a multi-hour coding session.

Party log: 31 March 2001

What’s a party log?

A party log is like a day log or a dream log. It is a space for the sordid details and ramblings of the events that made up your recreational self-abuse. A catalogue of debauchery, alcoholic or otherwise. It's not a day log because it covers a time period that may be shorter or longer than a day, and is defined by location and events, not time.

Hopefully, like a dream log, editor or day log, it will be immune to being down voted simply because it is about your personal life. It is something that may or my not catch on. Regardless of if other people make party logs or not, I still need this.

In it’s own way, this is noding for the ages. Historians in the year 3000 investigating our era will want to know this stuff. They have plenty of official documents about what the official version of life was like. Stuff like this gives them a glimpse of what is was really like to exist here and now.

One more digression: I am aware that some noders here object strongly to pro-drug nodes. See The problem with nodes condoning drugs. Myself, I don’t have a problem with drugs. I take drugs, I get high. No problem. I can control my intake and not do it every day, or even every week or month for that matter.

I have a problem with rabid anti-drug disinformation, on everything or anywhere else. I try to make my writeups about drug use factual, even if the facts are “I felt great, it was amazing. I want to do it again.” Or the opposite , as the case may be. This is my truth. If you have a problem with the truth then the problem is all yours.

Okay, now the reality, the party log.

There were 2 parties: Mike’s 30th at his house, and Alien Safari’s outdoor trance techno event somewhere put near Woester.

We started at Mike’s party around 8pm. He was turning thirty and it was a pajama party. Very few of us actually own pajamas so there were a lot of dressing gowns, and borrowed nighties. Mike & co has but on a magnificent buffet of yummy food, but I had already eaten & didn’t want to challenge my stomach too much with the pepadews, cheeses, salsa and other spicy foods. The utterly huge mushroom (the edible variety) looked cool though.

He had made jugs of a delicious concoction: Bright blue and fragrantly lemony. Highly alcoholic under all the citrus. I only had one glass as it wouldn’t mix.

I heard about the roadblock on the road just before the trance party. The narcs were probably trying to target dealers in the afternoon, but we don’t take chances.

I left about 10:30, got home, changed and put various trance party stuff in the car: clothes, juice, loo roll, a torch, sweets. Alien Safari parties are smaller than Vortex so I thought that we we would be able to park close to the dancefloor. There have been thefts are parties recently so I was planning to lock all valuables in the car.

Various goodies were well-hidden in anticipation of the roadblock.

The drive was long but uneventful. I haven’t been through the Dutooskloof tunnel in ages.

Along the way I got a call from Paul that the roadblock was gone. This was expected, as the cops are loath to work late on a Saturday, but anyhow the precautions are worth taking. I can’t afford another arrest.

We arrived after 1am. The field for parking was large and full of cars. I dashed off an SMS to the General to say that the roadblock was gone: “All clear”.

Another surprise. We walked to the edge of the field, and the dance floor was nowhere nearby. A bakkie was operating as a ferry service. The driver drove a bunch of waiting people, including us, a Km so up a dirt road, and dropped us off. We began to walk. It was dark as only a cloudy, moonless night in a deep valley in the countryside can be. Ahead the road twisted into the top of the valley. We could by now hear a faint thump, and as we rounded the corner, see lights playing on the slopes. The venue is called The rabithole, and I saw why.

We tuned the last corner and the sound hit us. A field, a large dance floor in this isolated valley. The crowd was large for an Alien Safari, easily over 500 people. Regan was playing his brand of techno, a bit to repetitive and tunless for my liking.

I soon located some friends. They had staked out an area to the left of the dancefloor. I was getting cold and my earplugs were back in the car. I didn't feel like dancing, so I made the voyage to the car and back. I was lucky and didn't need to wait for the shuttle either way. I came back with a pack containing energade, a torch, loo roll, assorted goodies, and wearing my warm, heavy-weather top. A few pinpicks of drizzle had hit my face whilst I was on the back of the bakkie, but that was as much rain as we got that night.

I was planning a relatively sedate weekend – just some mushrooms at dawn, and GHB in the day.

It was cold & they got a fire going.

Chris told me that people were selling Nitrous oxide in balloons. Previously I have refused it, but this time I felt “Why not?” once can’t hurt can it? It’s not like you’ll get Olney’s lesions from one hit. A novel, legal, non-addictive, short psychedelic can’t be bad, can it.

Anyhow I obtained a big balloon of Nitrous. The vendor suggested that I sit down before trying it. Back at the fire, I sat down, exhaled and sucked on the balloon. After a lungful, I held my breath for a few seconds.

I felt lightheaded, like the time I sniffed lighter fluid. It wore off 20 seconds later. If this is all there was to it, then I was cheated.

But there was still plenty left in the balloon. I exhaled completely, and sucked down a big lungful and held it.

This time I felt so lightheaded that my ears rang & I saw spots before my eyes. As I exhaled my voice had clearly dropped three octaves. “Aamm .. Iii .. taaalkiingg … sloooowly ?” I asked. I was underwater, swimming in treacle, talking in slow motion. I giggled at myself. My head cleared rapidly.

Hm. Not bad, but not amazing either. The balloon still had some gas it in it. I exhaled, took a big hit, held it and followed with a second one that finished the balloon.



Information is being experienced.

It appears to be a text stream, but not just plain ASCII, some richer format. A lot of M’s in it. Unclear.

OK, so if information is being experienced, then it must be experienced by a subject. Yes. Subject is tentatively termed “self”

What is known about self?


Where did self come from and how did it get here?


Nothing, ok, let's leave that question for a minute and return to the information, which is resolving into a field of points of light, all moving to the left in unison. Size is impossible to estimate without reference points. It is possible that “self” is located inside a cylinder and is rotating rapidly.

New information modality: touch. Does not correlate with visual. Feels like rough surface covered in straw, located where the open base of the cylinder should be. By reflex, the hand touches it in several places. There it is again. And there. A flat surface. And that now is a knee covered in fabric.

An image is fading into the starfield. Lines, like a photograph on glass. After a while it becomes clearer. It is the outlines of a person. It is looking at me. It is surprised. It is not just a distortion, it is a communication, a reality. I know her.

The stars fade and the image gets stronger. Oh. I’m coming back. This is the ground, the party. Never before have I been so quickly and completely ripped out of reality. Fortunately I came back again just as quickly.

Nitorus is somewhere between LSD and sniffing glue. It is like holding your breath until you black out, only trippier and not as uncomfortable.

As it gets light after 5am, I swallow the mushrooms (the psylocybe variety) as planned. They are finely powdered to make them easier to swallow. I never find that part easy. The yogurt is back at the car & I doubt that the shuttle service is still running so I force them down with Energade. It’s not fun at all and I fight off vomiting.

In retrospect the mushrooms were way too strong.

I feel lightheaded, leaden, cold and have difficulty breathing. I have to lie down and cannot move.

After a while I felt so dizzy – like the world was receding in a black tunnel, that I was worried that this might be a serious problem. Fortunately I know a lot of party-going medical students. I managed to get Jonno’s attention & after taking my pulse he told me that it was just psychosomatic. This doesn't make me feel any better.

It was then that I began to reinterpret the Nitrous as something far more monstrous. The universe has an off switch. Stripped of sensory input, identity and space-time, I still existed. This was all there was, but now the illusion is no longer perfect. I am not this body, this meat puppet, this mammal on planet earth.

We are not from here, we are plugged into here. The user illusion is not perfect any more. It’s like being wired to the sensory input of an animal, a homo sapiens, but it doesn’t seem real anymore.

When Neo unplugs from The matrix he still has a body much like his illusory one, he still has space and time. It won’t be like that. Those are just rules of this universe. You can’t exit it without leaving them behind. A mammal body made of meat, linear time, 3d space, even memory, identity, causality, all of these are just local features, rules of this gameworld. Unplug and they are gone.

Who built this game, this cage, this system that we find ourselves locked into? Why should be take it seriously? Let me out. Make it stop.

For some reason my eyes were watering. We finished a project at work this week, after a year. We shipped a 1.0 of our software. I thought I’d feel elated but I just feel tired and empty. Perhaps I am fading out, ceasing to exist.

I know what’s what and the scenery is pretty, but isn’t it just a movie? It’s the sensorium of a meat animal, nothing to do with me.

After a few hours I am able to sit up. I find a small sharp stone, a chip of shale, and start rubbing it against my left hand. Pain. A sensation. It hurts the meat, not me. Is it real? I don’t know so I try again.

When I realize that I am sitting on a bench with a mournful expression, staring vacantly ahead, rubbing a sharp object against my wrist, I shift over to the back of my hand. I do this for a while. Sometimes I drop the stone and pick up a new one. I still have four of these little stones.

I want to go there again, to flip that switch, to pull the plug. A bullet in the head would do it.

I didn’t need to go here. I’m not ready for this. I like my scientific world view. I don’t need Cartesian dualism, that debunked bugbear. But it persists.

I ask several people if they have a mechanism to reconnect the ghost to the machine. Nobody has one.

But it comes back. The shrooms wear off. I slowly reconnect, and feel with it enough to take some GHB. After a while, I am having a good time.

If the reality switch can be set to here or off, can it also be on to other places. They may be very different. All we know: Gravity, identity, space and time are just local environment, just this universe. I think I’d better lay off the disassociatives for a while.

For a few minutes, this is how it’s supposed to be. I grab the 2-note melody as it bounces joyously back and forth. This is an African trance party, Saturday night still going strong at noon on Sunday, hot and dusty, blasting white-hot techno into the clouds and mountains.

For the last 2 parties I have purposefully left the meth at home, and taken hallucinogens instead. Next one I’ll do the reverse. I need some uncomplicated fun, dammit!

Thank god for breasts. They really do make life a lot more pleasant to the eye.

Later on we sit and chat. Dale complains that Craig’s music is too rolling and monotonous. Personally I agree and am not dancing, but I know that Craig has a well-developed musical sensibility and he likes his music just like this, so asking him to change would be both rude and pointless.

We swim in the dam in our undies and go home around 3pm. Apparently the music wound up around 4pm. We feel good.

At home, my girlfriend comes around. She is a medical student, and I ask her what the names for it are. Depersonalisation and derealisation. She says she loves me. I say nothing. It’s all I can say.

At 6m I fall asleep and wake up on Monday morning. Tired but mostly normal again. We never solve these issues, we just shelve them. I listen to more Joy Division.

Today I was exhausted for staying up all night with Sara, consoling her for being sick. We got up fairly early; Sara gave up on trying to sleep at around 6:45am. I finally arose from the bed at around 7:30.

We went out looking for breakfast and then headed over to the theme parks. I got a 2-day pass, realizing that I can upgrade it to an annual pass if I like it. Islands of Adventure was pretty good compared to what I was expecting. I think all of the park designers from Disney left and went to Universal. There was a lot of detail put into everything, and it all went together quite well.

We wandered around over to the Dueling Dragons roller coaster right away. I was a bit clausterphobic in the queue line; it's themed like a castle, and sometimes I get a bit nervous being closed in where it's dark and narrow with a lot of people. I was already nervous about going on the roller coaster, since I'd never been on a real roller coaster like this one before. It was great though. I think I was so anxious about it that it didn't seem bad when I finally went on it.

After that, we wandered around and met up with TC. Sara was starting to feel really bad so she rested at a spot while Ann, CR, and I got a quick snack and TC and her friends went to do some water rides. After food, we had some fun in a sort of playground area where there's tunnels and nets and things to climb around. We found a nice place to lie down in the nets, but it started to rain. Fortunately we were under some wood planks, but unfortunately it started to really pour and the water was getting to us anyway, so we had to make a run for shelter.

We were stuck in shelter for about an hour while it stormed a bit. We decided we should try to meet back up with TC, but she wasn't responding to her phone, so we wandered around a bit until we met up with her and had lunch. We went on a few more rides, including the other roller coaster on Dueling Dragons, and finally on the Hulk. We were getting tired and Sara wasn't feeling too well, so we left a little early and headed back to the hotel.

I fell asleep immediately, face down on the floor. They stayed awake and watched episodes of Get Smart. About three hours later, they woke me up and we went to Dennys for dinner. We all went back and well all finally got some rest. I slept on the floor this time, though it was mostly because I settled in there. I think I could have probably slept next to Sara again, but I wanted to make sure she got enough rest and so I didn't want to disturb her while she was sleeping.

BTW, I found out something interesting about Sara's middle name. I always refer to her as Sara here because I don't want to use her real name just to keep her a little bit anonymous. What's interesting is that I found out this weekend that "Sarah" is her middle name. I thought that was a cool coincidence.

Today I have perhaps set a record for the most timezones directly experienced in one twenty-four hour period. Leaving for my on-site interviews at the evil empire, I was on Eastern Daylight Time. My stopover in Chicago put me and my laptop in Central Daylight Time. Arriving in Seattle put us in Pacific Daylight Time. That night, as the Everything2 April Fool's Hack was in full swing, BAM I found myself in Pacific Standard Time. Considering that on April 3, 2001 I'd be adding Mountain Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time to that list, I was sort of impressed. Suffice it to say, my body had no fscking idea what time it was supposed to be!

In any event, I figured I'd practice my Grafiti by writing down a few little rants about my trip. Yea air rage.

This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.

Cramped in my so-called "Economy Plus" seat, digesting the soggy single-serving danish and kindergarden carton of 2% which could only pass for a "continental breakfast" in this most degenerate case of polite society, Edward Norton's post-flight depression repeats in the Dust Brother's video's "This is your life" loop.

Is it so bad? I am on my way to interview at the evil empire, and since they offered me a position last summer I'm not particularuy nervous. One of my friends from last summer's Trilogy internship is interviewing the day after me, so perhaps we'll get to hang out together in overcast Seattle.

First thing I do when I get to my stopover gate (after buying a heart-healthy McDonalds lunch) is find an outlet. Only by crawling behinb a pillar and taking a seat close to an over-stressed mom can I plug in my brick on a leash.

As I wait to board in Chicago O'Hare we hear that a seal on one of our engines is being replaced. They will then run the engine for about 15 minutes to ensure that the new seal was installed properly. I always wonder how they know things like that need to be done.

All that searching and manouvering was for naught, as it turns out. I hadn't even thought to check, but that power outlet wasn't hot. So my hour of Evangelion (what, you thought I brought my laptop to do work? At least I use it for something more sophisticated than Solitaire.) on the flight from PIA to O'Hare, justified in my mind by the half-hour I'd have to recharge in Chicago, may have cursed my little Vaio to a dark four hours.

Somehow, the mean passenger age is always the same. I hope for the late-20s, early 30-something Palm-wielding jet-set from whom I might beam a new game or two, but half of this flight still gets help when they need to pee. I have no choice but to order a preemptive vodka tonic. (Thankfully, the vodka is imported, not tasteless American swill.)

Airlines edit in-flight movies for objectionable content, right? How can they leave in scenes where people smoke, especially strolling down the street or relaxing in a bar? Not because I think it's so objectionable to depict smoking in a situation where the easily-influenced (note the under-age crowd described above) sit staring at the tiny screens like they're the only thing keeping them sane, but because I feel sorry for the smokers -- the passengers on this four-hour flight who connected thru Chicago, where you have to leave the airport before it's legal to light up. Of course, given that the awful unsightly alternative seems to be "smoking rooms", walls stained as yellow as the poor saps' teeth, if you could see them through the thick haze of smoke, let them suffer, the airlines say. Then again, I think those smoking rooms may be one of the best anti-smoking messages out there: "get hooked now, kids, and when you're flying out for an interview you'll still be spending your stopovers in here."

Finally, I arrived at Sea-Tac. Someone who looked like the captain and then an engineer were out there, looking up at the wing. Great.

This was the day of my epiphany*.

I was in Miami, went out with my sister, her acquaintance and now my newest friend, I hope, Sean, and two of her co-workers. I was down there on a free trip, free hotel courtesy of my sister's health club. We wanted to take the two co-workers to a gay bar, as they are both 50 year old females who live on Cape Cod, one of the whitest places on earth (excluding Provincetown, of course). Neither had ever been to a gay bar.

By the time we found parking and the bar we were looking for, we all had to use the facilities. Of course, it was a male gay bar, and the only bathroom was for men. As it was early in the evening, it actually wasn't too bad. It was funny because all four of us went into the handicapped stall. I think we were all a little nervous, to be perfectly honest, although about what, I'm not sure. Probably just for breaking the American taboo on using the men's bathroom, something I've done many times.

Anyway, we danced a lot. There was a massive golden statue over one of the bars of a nude male reclining, with such impressive muscles, he wouldn't be able to walk if he truly existed. A drag queen came out and did a hilarious show, she was such a bitch, her outfit was very over the top. She roped in one of the co-workers and that was funny too.

My epiphany came to me that night as I people watched while I danced, which is always a fun thing. I always feel that I can't dance, that I'm clumsy and awkward when I can't get into the music (true in this case), so I turn to people watching and just shuffle around a bit. I'm disheartened by another bit of knowledge about myself that is true, something I don't like, and something that I can't change.

*There's a "friend" IRL who reads my daylogs so I can't yet disclose what it was. But I will, later.

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