My major road trip has come to an end. Although there will be several smaller trips coming up, I have none planned that will take me more than a day to drive.

My visits with Hermetic's family were good. I arrived in Austin on Saturday night, and stayed there until Tuesday morning. When I spend time with his Dad or brother, I always feel better and worse. He was so much like his father, in his build, mannerisms and pattern of speech, that it is comforting to be with them, but at the same time very saddening. I drank too much with his dad, then we cried together about how much we missed him. Stepmom joined us in the conversation and comforted me. I drank a bit more wine, then we ate dinner and afterwards, all went to sleep.

I arrived in Baytown and spent most of my time with his mother and grandparents, which was difficult for me. I was there from Tuesday through Friday. I constantly feel like I should apologize to them. As if it was all my fault. I just can not help but feel like I did not do enough. I can not help but feel like I failed him. I keep hoping that as time goes by, that feeling will fade a little, because it is hard to handle. I got to spend time with Adam's first son, Timothy. He is a beautiful boy. I wish we lived closer to him so that my kids and Timothy could be closer. I want his family to know our kids and vice versa.

A friend of mine drove down from Lubbock to spend time with me in Houston. I deeply enjoyed his company as it is always good to spend time with long distance friends. We stayed up late talking about our past, our present and our futures. I miss him now and will have to console myself with e-mail again.

On Friday, I left Baytown and stopped overnight in New Orleans. Templeton was a very gracious host. And, regardless of what she says, her 'hood is a nice 'hood. It was good to stop and talk, to sort of clear out my mind before I spent the next day stuck behind the wheel of my car.

We arrived home tonight, safely and amazingly without any speeding tickets. I came home to find that I had two packages from noders. One CD(plus a credit card offer) and one book (plus a cow drawing). The longer I'm here, the more grateful I become for everyone who has touched my life. Some words summarize my feelings on it.

New people moved into the apartment next door. They were silent moving in, then fought bitterly the next day. A woman with a lilting voice screamed. “It does fuckin’ matter”, and she said it more than once. I listened by the wall. I want to know what matters to her, this stranger. I was hoping for a new friend, she is older. Again I look for a mama. I thought we might have something in common, now I don’t know.

There is a forced intimacy in sharing a wall. When they walk up their steps it is like they are in my apartment. Their slippers on the floor sound like they are coming up my hallway. I would like it to be good. I try to choreograph a harmonious future, as though everything will come out right if I think it through first and invent an a good ending, a pretend picnic.

The other day I went to the market alone. I walked through the doors and saw the fish vendors, the cheese shop, fresh flowers, heaps of pita, fresh bagels. Stood mesmerized by scents and colors and fresh ripe fruits stacked up. I picked out a blood red flower already slightly bent at an angle, and I took it home and put it in a blue vase, above my monitor so the flower tilts down at me. It’s like a sun. While I was there, waiting to buy the flower, two women gasped and hugged, clearly delighted to run into each other. Both were fine. The ceramics class is going just great, little Billy lost a tooth and can you believe the thing that happened to so and so?

I sat outside the market, not wanting to head home just yet. Just picked a bench and parked there, when I saw this woman pushing a teenager in a wheelchair. They were laughing; she was loaded with packages. Her van was right in front of me. She stopped along side it, he put his arms around her neck and she lifted him out of the chair, set him in the car seat and then loaded the her packages into the van. It was a simple thing really. I kind of do that for my kids, but only because they are small children. Sometimes I grumble about it, sometimes I wish them older; old enough do those kinds of things for themselves. But there was this woman, and I found her extraordinary. She was laughing, she had a whole bouquet of fresh flowers. She had a son who touched her face when she was seated.

I got lost in the city for a moment. In having to double back I found myself at a red light near a church. There was a procession, red robed choirboys and the priest in white, a huge cross on his back. A line of worshippers followed behind him. A young girl pulled up, got out of her car and fiddled with the alarm. She was in skintight hip huggers, had a smoke dangling from one lip, a belly shirt, a tribal tattoo on one arm. As they passed I heard, “Wow man. Shit, what a trip.” Such was her summation.

It’s that sort of thing I like about the city. Columbus is clean. I like to drive through the shadows of the big buildings. It does not feel like home yet, but I might get there.

Sorry for the rant, I just need a place to get it out.

As I sit here at 3 in the morning depressed and about to go out of my mind, I wonder why I'm so fucking depressed. I think it all started with my ex dumping me, and it wasn't over any normal reason or fight, it was over religion. Yes folks, just because I'm not a christian, she dumped me. How closed minded can a person get? christian. If she believes in God existing so much... why can she look past the fact that she doesn't have part of her leg, but not look past the fact I'm not a christian? I sure did, I didn't even think about her leg. Hell, I didn't care, I loved her too much to care about it. And what does she do? Dumps my ass for god.

That was last summer, we can fast forward to a week ago since all that time during then was spent depressed and going out on doomed from the start dates. I see my ex on campus, and it just starts off an emotional landslide in me that I can't stop and everytime I see a couple together or remember something we did, I just break down right there.

I just feel so lonely in the world right now. I just don't understand it. No matter what I try, I'm just not happy. I might cheer up when someone tells a joke or while I'm with my friends, but I always have something hanging on my mood to bring me back down when I stop having fun.

And I really don't want to go to the doctor... I hate doctors. Sure the drugs will help, but the psychologist sessions and other shit like that just won't help. Talking doesn't remove the hole from my sad soul, but I just don't know what will fill the hole that brings me down so far.

Why must I suffer like this, I have never caused suffering to another person this bad. I've always been nice and charming to people that deserve it. Yet I sit here alone in the dark wondering why I must exist on this planet that I have been put on.

All I can hope is that she is suffering just as much as me. Because she sure ruined my life up to this point and will continue until I can get over it.

Marsmicro model 775 mechanical pencil with .3mm opening. HB lead stick.

I overate on the roasted chicken and french bread tonight. Look around a bit. Flex that big toe on the left foot. Slow like.

{FLEX}

Ooh shit. That was nice.

Staedtler Marsmicro. 2000 Model, with rubber molded control grip option. .3mm opening. 2H lead stick.

Sanford Col-Erase Model 20028 Non-Photo Blue.

Kneaded Eraser, gumdrop sized.

E company stainless steel mini sharpener. Imported from Germany.

Germany.

Jeremy.

Jeremy has all the sharp pointed pencils.

3am.

Three A.M.

Three say m.

Free.

Free day pen.

Free day pen.

{shh} Got the time?

{answer yourself. shh)

Free day pen.

Ha.

Free day, pen.

Haa.

{Oh shit. I got it, I got it}

HEY?

Wha?

Free.

Free?

Yeah. Free day.

Free day pen?

Fuck yeah, free day pen.

Sleep deprivation is another way of saying hard work. It's also the fastest way to turn yourself into a thought garbled spoodge puddle of word urine.

Four hours ago, I was deeply immersed with Fred Moore. Fred, you creative bastard.

{Noone knows him. Give a heads up.}

Fred Moore is the person who designed the second concept of Mickey Mouse. The version that we"ve all seen on the TV growing up.

{Fun fact. hit them with the fun-fucking-fact}

Before Fred, they used to draw the outline for Mickey"s head with a dime. And for close up shots, a quarter. Noone in that entire building could render Mickey"s head without the aid of a dime or quarter.

(That's not true.}

Ok, it's not. More or less, it was a continuity thing. So that Mickey's head would still look like Mickey's head after the drawings passed from one animator to another animator, and so on.

On a whim, I decided to import my divx of Blood:The Last Vampire into Premiere and output every sword scene of Saya"s as an .flm file. .flm files are frame by frame sequence outputs of videos. I have no idea why people use flms. Maybe for rotoscoping? It's a way to do that light sabre effect all the kids seem to enjoy so much.

Mebbe.

In my grey underwear while eating breadsticks, I printed the flms out. Full color, on my 11x17 double thick matte white paper stock.

I have a stack of them {----------------------this------------------------------} big.

Fred Moore would have liked Blood:The Last Vampire. Blood did a lot of timing tricks Disney invented. Double ups. Triple ups. Similar frame sequencing during the drama parts. Squeeze and pulls with the monsters. The curly dog tail movement trick with Saya"s hair.

{noone cares}

I made a circle on my floor with the printouts. There were so many printouts I had to layer one circle over another. Um, this was around 11pm. Before I sat in the middle of the circle, I put on pajamas and a black dragonball Z shirt and replaced all the lightbulbs in my room with red bulbs.

Dizang, it's all Snow-Crashey in here.

Under red lights, and with thoughts about Hiro standing guard on top of my roof, I sit within the circle and stretch out my legs and throw my head back. Yawn and stretch. Flex and sigh.

I try to wake up somewhat. The voice. Where is my very special inner voice?

{psst.}

right.

Anyway, I open my eyes and confront this circle of printouts leveled upon other circles of printouts.

Each printout contains approx. 720 sequenced frames of animation. Maybe at 320x240 resolution. Each frame has a grey information box underneath it, with the timecode and frame count number labeled within the box.

I think I'm surrounded by 35 seconds of animation, total. I forget at this early hour how they photograph animation for cinema. 24 FPS or um, what is it, 16? 14? Bah. Only 35 peasly seconds of movie, yet there are just dozens and dozens of printouts here. All this hard work. All this..output.

And what for?

All for 35 seconds of moving cinema for a movie that bombed because it was too short. Critics ate you alive, didn't they? DVD distro didn"t help much either.

I look around some more.

When I'm doing this. When I'm finally, completely out of the web design field and meeking out a life as an animator…

Is this gonna make me crazy?

{well, everyone you know who loves you says that you"ll do fine. Just stop drawing boobs on women so big. It was cool in high school, but now it's just gross, especially if Pixar hires your lousy ass.)

Right.

All my stagings. All my drawings. All my digitally colored master shots. All those weeks and years of 2 hour naps and 12 hour work cycle schedules. All that..concentrated effort. Is all that gonna equate to only 2 seconds of a shitty direct to DVD animae flop? With my luck, months and years and working weekends and missed Friday night social events will all work out to be like, some shitty-ass flying computer console sequence in like, I dunno, the opening DVD special edition limited press release of Final Fantasy XVI, The Spirits Are Within, And Yeah, This One Sucks As Bad As the First One.

{that was a very long title for a DVD you made up.}

I flex out my foot some more and touch the circle of printouts lightly with my big toe.

I'm tired and sleepy now. I drew for five hours just now. Stupid boring stuff, like renders of my hand in every possible angle and office supplies.

{why the hell were you drawing office supplies?}

Because whenever I see office supplies drawn in cartoons, it never looks right. Except maybe the stuff on the Mayor's desk in Powerpuff Girls. It bothered me so much that I drew things like compressed air cans and plastic pencil trays all evening.

{Powerpuff is hyper-stylized. you can't count that for realistic animation of office supplies in an animated cartoon}

Whatever. My point is that when I'm older I'm gonna have a demo reel of nothing but office supplies moving around. This, I imagine, will get me in good with Digital Domain, ILM, Digital Muse, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

{You're an idiot. Seriously. And you cannot blame this on the 4am waking-dead state your body and mind seems to be now neck-deep in.}

Maybe it is time to go to sleep.

{Finally}

Rich. Rich. Rich!!! came the shrill yell outside of my room.

The yell quickly made its way into my room when my mother opened up the door and continued yelling the same words. I got up quickly, instantly aware of the smoke in the hallway outside of my room. Thoughts of homelessness entered my mind as I quickly mapped out escape routes in my head. But then my mom kept freaking out, saying things like, He was standing right over me. He could have raped me. The smoke in the hallway quickly cleared away. It was simply a fog created by eyes so quickly overwhelmed by light.

I ran towards the front door because my mother said that that is were the guy escaped. I ran out with full intent of chasing the guy and showing him my brand of street justice. When I reached the front door, I saw him rounding the corner towards a parking lot. It would have been futile to chase after him. He would have the advantage of being able to hide behind cars. Possibly, he was armed and I was barefoot. Not a favorable combination.

I ran back inside and ran downstairs, to the basement, to wake up my brother. Fear crept in as I realized that I was leaving my mother alone upstairs. I wonder what thoughts must have crept through her mind as she lay in bed, face to face with a would be burglar, rapist, or who knows what else. I woke up my brother, and as I did, I noticed tears coming out of my eyes. I was not quite sure if I was actually crying or if my eyes were tearing due to my sudden awaking. Nonetheless, I wiped them off my face and went back upstairs.

A second way of bravado surged through my body and I ran to the parking lot behind my house. I walked around for a couple of minutes, hoping that whoever had entered my home would show his face. That was a wish that would not come true. After several minutes, I turned back around and came home. I sat in the dining room with my brother and my mom and worked at comforting her out of her flustered state as well as trying to comfort myself.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

My Turn to Rant

Easter is named after Astoreth (Tiefling reminded me that Easter is named after Eostre {whomever!}). But I'm still going to comment on the Heathen infiltration of what is supposed to a High Christian Holiday. The Old Testament Prophets warned Israel to take down the poles (phallic symbols) set up in honor of Tammuz's private parts. The test for the faithful was to not copy the lascivious fertility rites of their neighbors. (I'm sure either the Pagans or Purists, Passives will or would have a detailed writeup on this.) So, here this fine morning supposed the two milennia's worth of celebrating our Lord Jesus Christ's arising from the dead (giving us all hope who only need just believe) and I just wanted to throw the virtual Easter Bunny and his Mithraitic eggs down the virtual loo.

My Time to Rave

If one ever bothered to read one of my monthly (mol) daylogs, (and I understand, believe me) then one would know that this noder is a rapidly aging, but still active retiree who was blessed enough in this downturned (oh, but Greenspan said it's over...) market to get a job at less than half of what I was making before, and it involves humping boxes of frozen food for eight hours a day. I'm on my feet more than when I was sorting mail. But, two thirds down, almost, on making my ninety-day probation period; even though one day when the freight comes in, my freezer was blocked by the Coke man (the soda vendor). (You would of had to been there.) It turns out that I will get my 19 units needed to be eligible for Social Security at 65 if I work a little over a year at this pace. (You see I was under Civil Service Retirement for thirty years, and no S.S. was deducted.)

And Now for the Creative Segment of this Edition

The E2 Blues

I got up this mornin' and first thing on my mind1,
I got up this mornin' n' the firs'2 thin' on my mind,
Look for something nodeworthy3, dis is all I find4.

You got to be additional5, you got to be so cool,
I said you gots6 to be factual, if you want to get a C!ool
Don't try none yo poetry,
They just call you simple fool7.

I started out on Monday, By Friday I's so tired, I got started on Monday, By Saturday I's so fried, If I can make it Sunday, 's not all in vain I cried8.

They say E-two's a communitee9, lot'sa friendly folk, They say this here's a family, everything's no joke10, But look at the world all around you, It's time someone got up 'n spoke11.

When you in a microcosm, it's like a big fish bowl12, When you livin' in a fish tank, it ain't no jelly roll, But amongst the self-mongers13, are many who've been made whole14.

Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Dot Dah.
1 What ever's left of it.
2 This is a blues thing, you might not understand.
3 I'd like to think I coined this, but (oh, where are those math majors, now?) statistically, probably not.
4 The same thing you find, a chance to daylog. Send me a msgI if you've never daylogged, and then I'll do the daylog for you.
    I Message; Blab; Chatter.
5 Adding something substantial to the database/nodegel.
6 See above 2.
7 See above 2. and you more than likely will just be downvoted, but they're thinkin' it!
8 Okay, here's the personal angst part of the song. I really am tired as HadesII by the end of the week with this job. I only have time to node on weekends on tired sore fingers, and which do you thinks hoits the most?
    II That deep dark place where the worm never dies and there is gnashing of teeth. Gehenna. I just can't bear to use the other "H" word on this Holiday.
9 I know what you've been thinkin', why hasn't he linked these, well, here's where it's appropriate: E2 as a community.
10 While one should have fun here, one should also take their art seriously, seriously; enjoy!
11 If the people and situations around you seem evil, ask yourself: What have I done to help?
12 Yes, if you open yourself up, you become vunerable, it's inevitable, it's indelible.
13 This (number thirteen) is so heavy, look--- talking about sin on Sunday and trying to be so nice, it's a hard gig, but someone has to do it.
14 We have closure.

Someone's got a sick sense of humor, and it isn't me. After a lot of scheduling and rescheduling, my next trial date has been set. We were supposed to go next week, but my codefendant, the accountant, can't do anything before tax day. I sent my attorney a list of the dates I couldn't come - my brother's college graduation in Ohio, my friends' wedding in Dallas. I thought about asking that it not be scheduled over the first Sunday in May, as that's when the Heart of the Beast Theater puts on its May Day celebration in Powderhorn Park, but as my attorney said she was going to try to schedule the retrial for right after tax day, and I didn't think they'd schedule things to start as late as they have, it wouldn't be a problem and I'd just have to get between Long Beach and Yellow Springs quickly. I wish it had been so clean.

My new trial date is May 1, 2002.

About the last place I want to spend the first anniversary of being shot is in Long Beach, particularly in the courts, and although it's better than the jail, it's not a lot better, and some of the ways it's better are pretty pathetic, like regular meals.

Supposed to be cleaning the room today.

This is a larger task than might otherwise be imagined. For the past several weeks, I've been living in my office while the ferrets have gleefully wreaked destruction and horror in my bedroom.

Interesting. I just called the office 'the room.'

In any case, I think I've just done my future unborn children grievous, nasty harm. Chemical warfare of the suburban utility variety. See, it all started with not wanting to file my paper...

That's how it always starts. We need to find fifty or a hundred of the brightest people on the planet, perform a year of study on them, find out what they hate to do most of all, and (best part) figure out how to assign each that particular task with reasonable consequences for not carrying it out.

The Engines of Procrastination.

We could probably solve half the extant problems of the world, you know.

In any case, having the file the Sun Workstation box full of (cough) 'current' mail, bills, lists-of-things-to-do-NOW and the like naturally caused me to sit down in my desk chair and...pull out the tool case I've been meaning to mod into a travel case for my Powerbook for some time now.

Excellent, they have precut foam in here...great...if I rip out this section, stuff the TiBook in the bottom, I could put another layer up here with the iPod, and the digicam, and the...waitaminit, I could just put those up inside the top of the case, and it would work better. Yeh. Okay, so here's the foam frame for those, now I need to hold it in shape...ah, high-density foam from a motherboard slipcover. Perfect. Snip snip snip snip...need glue. Have rubber cement, that should be fine, it's just to hold the frame against the case top...got some in this drawer, here, open drawer (god what a mess) and start rummaging around

COUGH

hack spit gag

...what the hell was that?

Oh, God, it's PVC cement, and it's fallen open, and I just got meself two biiiiig lungfuls. Hell. Gotta go throw up.

...

...back.

The papers aren't filed.

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