I had a non-crack whore girl in my apartment today, and she didn't even vomit.

That would be the title of this node if I were naming daylogs. I'm not really sure how much you need to know about where I live for it to make sense.

Actually, it's not even that disgusting of a place. But of course you have to keep in mind that is the opinion of a single male. In general I'd say women have higher standards of cleanliness and how desirable a location is. Except for crack whores.

Near as I can tell their primary concern is crack. Getting money to get crack seems to outweigh any other concerns.

I was walking up the stairs outside my apartment and a young woman and a man were sitting on those steps.

She said hello and I said hello back and then she asked if I get high before I passed her. I stopped and looked her in the eyes and told her no.

Sure you do!

"No, actually I don't," which was met with silence and her just staring back at me, so I added, "Is there anything else you needed?"

No...you have really pretty eyes.

I thanked her and started to move past her and she added:

Thank you for being honest.

I wouldn't be suprised if I told her she was more than welcome. The truth is I have no idea what I said to her. I got in my apartment and I just remember being elated. If I get a compliment from a woman, 9 times out of 10 it's going to be about my eyes, but to be thanked for my honesty! I was in heaven. There was this tremendous subtext to the comment...like most guys would lie and get her back in her apartment and try to screw her...and that I was the greatest person in the world for not doing that.

Funny. Remembering that encounter is so much better than the thinking about the attractive friend who came over today.

Got to have priorities.

I'm hormonal, I'm ill from flu and I've just given up nicotine and yet people are expecting me to be normal. All the customers at work, all the people I met during my day to day life.

You, yes, you. Crazy woman in Kwiksave.
I saw how you looked at me when I dropped that can of beans in aisle three and burst into tears.

And you, little old lady with the dog
Why don't you move over?!? Why don't you walk on the other side of the path?? ARGH!

And as for you????
Dammit. I won't even start with you.

Gosh, Bob. What's up with her??

Perhaps I should be carrying a new business card and hand it to every person I see -

--------------------------------------
|  CAUTION - THE BEARER OF THIS       |
|  CARD IS A COMEPLETE PYSCHO BITCH   |
|  FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS :-       |
|    a) SHE'S IN COLD TURKEY          |
|    b) YES, IT'S TTOTM               |
|    c) SHE HAS FLU                   |
|    d) YOU'RE A COMPLETE ****        |
---------------------------------------
It's been four days since I had a cigarette.

Four whole days without nicotine.

Four whole days without the drug I've been addicted to for eight years.

It feels like a lifetime. Anyone who has ever given up the cancer sticks or has even ever tried will understand what I am saying. I decided to go completely cold turkey, no patches, no life saving gum, nothing. I have to say it's a whole new experience, so much so that I am writing my first ever daylog about it. I have never been so on edge and so twitchy. Days one and two were OK, I was coughing too much to think about it and the thought of a cigarette made me sick. Day three, well, I slept all day so that was OK. But today? Today was a whole new ball game.

I suppose I've chosen to do this at completely the wrong time of the month (as it were). I don't know what my boyfriend is making of the last few days but he keeps saying that it's nothing.

You know how it goes..

  • I scream and shout like the banshee from hell.
  • He rightly assumes that it's nothing to do with him and carries on regardless.
  • This action, well, we all know it just makes things worse.
  • So I throw something across the room.
  • Storm out.
  • Half an hour later I'm the biggest pile of snot rags and wringing wet tissues that you can find.
  • I apologise profusely.
  • He says it's nothing.

    I just tried to rip off your head and spit down your windpipe
    for simply not knowing what you want to eat and you say it's nothing??

That boy is totally crazy.

but I love him all the more for it

So he says he loves me.

Awww, how cute. Really, a very sweet sentiment. Even if I have only known him for a month, and we've only had time to see eachother every once in a while... doesn't matter to him. He's come to know my words, and he thinks there's some truth to be found there. And for him that's enough. Which is all very well, but...

I don't believe in love.

Fairy tales of love and romance are for children. I stopped looking for my Prince long ago. Once I tried, I tried, back when I was naive, back when I thought it was worth something to have people near me. But it's no use looking for what doesn't exist.

Love doesn't exist.

No, I'm not just bitter and jaded, taking out my miserable experiences in past relationships on everyone I get close to. (Well, at least I don't think I am...) I'm willing to say I like someone, willing to let some of my guards down, willing to drop the mask on occasion. But my heart will always be my own.

I don't love him.

It's not that he isn't a great guy. He is, nicer than lots of others I've shared my life and my bed with in the past. I let him near me, that alone is a mark of the highest esteem, truly. But I don't love him.

I don't love anyone.

Even if I'm wrong and love does exist, I'm not capable of it. I live for myself first, and only. I'm too selfish to ever share myself with anyone. And I don't have anything else to give.

You say you love me...

But you don't even know me.

Music has a profound effect on me emotionally. It has the ability to make me feel happy, excited, or even at times sad. I'm sure this is not strange, as a large purpose of music is to express emotion. But lately, the songs that I have been hearing and choosing to listen too have caused me to delve deeply into my feelings, memories, and recent times.

One song in particular has stood out amongst all the rest that I have heard in the past few weeks. It has impacted me not only because of its quality, but also because it possesses an uncanny resemblance to my life as of right now. Being a huge Dave Matthews Band fan, I indulge in his music every day, and this song has caught my ear and held my attention. The song is titled "Grace is Gone", and is from his latest studio release "Busted Stuff". The song speaks of losing a loved one, and of the inability to move on. It has so much pain and sorrow that are evident. I used to listen to and like the song for its musical quality, but recently, I listen to it for its emotional meaning.

Here are the lyrics to "Grace is Gone" by the Dave Matthews Band:

Grace Is Gone

Neon shines through smoky eyes tonight
It’s 2 am - I’m drunk again it’s heavy on my mind
I could never love again so much as I love you
Where you end where I begin is like a river going through
Take my eyes take my heart I need them no more
If never again they fall upon the one I so adore

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll move on

One drink to remember then another to forget
How could I ever dream to find sweet love like you again
One drink to remember and another to forget

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll move on
One more drink and I’ll be gone

You think of things impossible and the sun refuse to shine
I woke with you beside me your cold hand lay in mine

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll go

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll move on
One more drink and I’ll be gone
One more drink my Grace is gone

Source: www.dmband.com

Davidian's Engagement Log: Entry Three:


After classes I bolted down route 3 towards Burlington. While I had paid for the ring yesterday, I had to pick it up today. The jewellers sliced the rock off of the old ring, and put it on a properly sized yellow-gold ring. I look at it now, and am amazed by it's sparkle. It sits snugly inside it's maroon box, standing out like a butte in the western US.

I was met at the door by the black man with whom you'd not want to fuck with. I think the majority of his scariness comes from the fact he's A) taller than me (I'm 6'4", not many are taller than me) and B) his hideously bad teeth. However, he was nice and led me over to Judd, the guy who gave me the hook up yesterday.

Judd's an interesting guy. He's currently in the same boat I am, just a week ahead of my schedule. He also has this strange habit of not saying "Good Luck," or "best wishes" or something like that. Instead he says, "May the force be with you." I'm sorry, I consider myself a geek, I like Star Wars as much as the next geek, but come on! I didn't know people actually used that phrase in day-to-day conversation. However, I should not rag on Judd, he did, afterall, give me the hook up.

I have nothing to do now but bide my time until next Friday, when I call my girl's father. I think it was my love of Arthurian legend when I was younger that gave me my semblance of chivalry. This will probably be the most nerve-racking phone call I will ever make. When I do make it, I just hope he's home.

Previous --- Next

I lie in my bed,
thoughts dance in my head
of the things I will burn
when eighteen I turn.

10 days til I turn 18. This is a turning point in most young peoples lives. Mostly for the things you can do when you turn 18, like smoke, vote, be a porn star etc. For me it is a big day because I will be able to pursue girls. Actually, not just girls. One girl. A girl who I have feelings for like no other girl I've ever known.

A long time ago I vowed to God that I would not date until I turned 18. I would give the years before 18 souly to him and him alone. Many people have asked me if I was gay or a Mennonite. I would just grin and reply, "Nope. Just waiting." There's a lot more sense behind it then just my devotion to God. To me it seems wise. I can concentrate on my school better. I only have to worry about being sensitive to my feelings and my family's feelings. It's less pressure.

Believe me, how I've longed to announce attraction to some girls and ask them out, but I've held back; keeping my promise. It wasn't really too hard for me, but it was a challenge.

Then she came into my view. Perfect and radiant in my sight. Not just because of a physical attraction, but because of her inner beauty. To me she is everything I have sought after. I am friends with her. She makes it harder to keep the promise. Though, I'm not gonna pounce on her right after midnight strikes on March 16. I'm gonna wait. I will slowly get to know her better and then maybe I will know.

I've taken a traveller to see life through my eyes - in this case, it's a night out to see Mary Cleere Haran and a small chunk of the New York Cabaret Scene.

I volunteered to be a guide for the local Youth Hostel for a few of the cabarets and performers I know in New York City. March is a great month since most of my favorite singers are doing shows out in full force - especially some of the folks from my Chicago trip years ago.

Here I am, strapped with my camera, film and a tripod. I knew I don't have to use everything, but I had to be equipped. Only one hostel guest made it. She was from Canada and Australia, rip-roaring to go see New York my way. I left directions for the laggards to the World Financial Center, and we were on our way downtown.

Tonight's show was in the World Financial Center - Mary was doing her show about lyrics and lyricists. That didn't throw me off guard because I saw the same thing (only scaled down to an hour) in the Ravinia Festival. I asked some of the high mucky-mucks about permissions to take pictures during the show, but one of the guys from Lincoln Center (the producers of tonight's performance) said no. Fine, I take my camera down.

The only thing I didn't like about this performance was Mary doing It Had to be You un-miked in the Winter Garden. It's not the Ravinia, with the acoustics of an indoor theater. Okay, I was sitting three rows from the stage last year.

I met up with Mary and she had to say I was a dedicated fan, going to Chicago and whatnot. However, she kissed me on the cheek like always.

I took the guest (Patricia was her name) to 46th and 8th - Restaurant Row. I wanted someone to see one of the spots that made the Cabaret Scene the way it is. Don't Tell Mama Piano and Cabaret Bar was the place. We had drinks (everything was on me, since I only had one guest), and we were talking to each other and the bar regulars. I even met up with a gay Catholic guy who was with his mom and his lover because the night was after Ash Wednesday. He was talking about his life, his confession for today and his promise to give up alcohol starting now. Patricia found out somebody's wireless phone was swiped, and they were talking about stuff from then on. I told the Catholic to come back after Easter, and I'll be back too.

I dropped off Patricia in the uptown subway back to the hostel, and I went back home.

Gardening
~
Possible slogans for a campaign to encourage people to grow their own food:

"Gardening: It's like putting your hands into a big bowl of chocolate"
"Gardening: Do not hesitate to harvest the crop; God will not hesitate to harvest you"
"Gardening: It will be a silent world. Silent and beautiful."
"Gardening: A century from now nobody will bother."
"Gardening: If you take it seriously enough, nobody will think it odd if you were to seriously consider applying for a shotgun certificate. And also if you were to purchase large quantities of ammonia, nitro-cellulose, soap powder, nails and the like. And an umarked van in which to carry them all. And some of those pressurised oxygen cylinders. And a bandsaw. And a vice. Hammers. Quicklime. A large plastic tub. Tarpaulin. Wire. Some of that orange plastic rope. Bolt cutters. Pitons. Glue. Cloth. Tyre. And a lot of bands."

Taglines for films
~
I believe Hollywood films would recoup their costs at a much greater rate if the taglines, instead of being pithy epigrams, were instead anagrams:

Road to Perdition: A rod - not rope! Diit!
(which is a real line of dialogue from the film, in which Jude Law argues with a fellow gangster as to the best method of killing Tom Hanks. 'Diit' is of course Dutch for 'idiot' and is used here as a pejorative. Used as a tagline, this phrase captures the atmosphere of the film).

The Adventures of Pluto Nash: Torture! Hen van! Shot of ludes! Paf!
(this attempts to capture the freewheeling nature of comedy; but also the serious undertones of the plot, which involves gangsters. A van full of hens is inherently funny, which is why I have included it).

The Bourne Identity: Titty bun hedoneir
(this emphasises Matt Damon's female appeal, a 'hedoneir' obviously being one who enjoys 'hedonism')

My Big Fat Greek Wedding: My Big Geek Wedding - Fart
(it's a comedy, right? And lonely internet ladies might want to see it)

Pi: IP
(a reference to the technological bent of the film)

1984: 1489
(which is the title put in ascending numerical order, which is the kind of thing a totalitarian state might do. Also '1948', which - and this is a true piece of trivia - was a reference to the final score of the Rugby League final that year, 19-48, Wigan vs Imperial Coal and Gas. Orwell was a big fan of Rugby, because it is a group sport)

I have put a lot of effort into these and I believe that they cannot fail.

Enron
~
There was something in the Times an age ago about how the managers at Enron divided up their employees into A, B and C categories, whereby the A people were given huge bonuses and lots of praise, the B people were given a little bit of money and a hug, and the C people were forced to work in a gravel pit, with a holographic projection of Superman standing behind them, bleeding, gasping 'you... you killed me... but why?' through gritted teeth.

This practice was called 'Thank and yank'. It was developed by an American think-tank. A Yank think-tank.

The report concluded that the Yank think-tank's 'Thank and Yank' stank.

And was one of the reasons
why Enron was sneezin'
and their profits were freezin'

Wall Street took a tumble
the banks were ready to rumble
'cause Enron stumbled

That little rap did not come from the Times, although it was prompted by the Times. It was a sign o' the Times.

Five characterful names taken from the 'Vexatious Litigants' section of 'Court News', dating back to the 1800s
~
PITCHFORTH, Samuel Abraham
TORKINGTON, John
SMURTHWAITE, Ellen Sarah
BOALER, Bernard
MILISSICH, Giovanni

'Samuel Abraham Pitchforth' would be an excellent name for one of those Michigan Militia types; it's Biblical, it has 'Abraham' in it, and 'Pitchforth' sounds both salt-of-the-earth farming stock and also a bit clever and aggressive ('Freeman' would be too obvious). I envisage this man having grand ambitions, a plan to set America to rights, which will amount to a website with some reviews of guns, and regular letters to the local newspaper.

Snakey shed his skin yesterday before dinner. He (yes, he, you can check that on snakes and we did) is a beautiful red rat snake my son, SweetFaceBoy, has. We've had him for about six weeks. He lives comfortably in the screened-in back porch in a 10-gallon aquarium furnished with indoor/outdoor carpetting, a water dish and a handsome stick for climbing. Every Friday afternoon he dines on a pre-killed pinkie mouse. Watching him slowly swallow the pinkie while we enjoy Slurpees is the highlight of the week.

Anyhoo, it was Supervixen that spotted Snakey shedding. This is highly ironic since it took about six months of discussing, cajoling and verbal aikido with her for her to agree to get it. She screws up her face every time she sees it, although she did allow herself to study it during the shedding process.

RunningHammer had just woken from his afternoon nap so I quit cleaning the pool filter and ran and got him from his crib. I had to keep telling him, "No, you can't hold the snake."

We knew Snakey was going to shed soon. He was growing steadily and his eyes had gone bluish gray over the weekend and cleared up yesterday. I reassured my big guy (age 8) that even if he started late at night or early in the morning, I'd wake him so he could see.

"Oh look! His eyecaps came off clean!" SweetFaceBoy said, one of our main worries put to rest. He continued to wriggle insideout of his old skin until the final thread of it snapped off the tip of his tail like a rubber band. We all cheered.

Snakey then showed us all that reptiles feel joy as he corkscrewed over, under and around the stick in his house, relishing his new skin. He is gorgeous and bright.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all shed our skin every once in a while?

SweetFaceBoy picked out the old skin and put it in a bag for safekeeping. He gave Snakey fresh water. I had to lift him up and carry him to the dinner table because he could not tear himself away from Snakey. On his face he wore a giddy look of awe and love.

By the way, he's named Snakey because he's long and thin and wiggley and slithery and overall basically, er, umm, snake-like.

***********

I learned earlier today I did not get the job I had interviewed for last week. (Cue the heavy sigh.)

Just as well, really.

There was a group of us invited for a career fair/interview. After an hour of slick presentations, we were subjected to another hour of schmoozing with a group of employees. The longer I talked with these people, the longer I thought, "I will go crazy if I work with these phonies."

Each one represented a type of person I have loathed since junior high, which is a goddamn long time ago. They had the well-trained but forced, welded-on smiles of people who have learned to bullshit in order to keep their jobs.

The first person I talked to was a girl who seemed startled when I asked her about her job and proceeded to wait for other people to gather before she would talk. Then she turned her back to me and spoke to them. One guy would not look me in the eye despite the fact that I kept moving in order to speak with him face-to-face. I promise you, I had bathed, brushed my teeth and dressed professionally.

Phonies. Every single one of them.

Then I was ushered in to a room with four executive VPs. I was told I had exactly seven minutes to sell myself.

"Great," I thought. " I couldn't sell a boat to a drowning man."

However, they went over my resume and I answered all their questions without my usual stammer. If I was not confident, at least I faked it well. They asked me if given the choice, would I rather work in their QA department or as a programmer coding in VB and COBOL. I told them I would be comfortable in either position. I just wanted to put my knowledge and experience to work for them.

This seemed to satisfy them until they looked at the gaps in my resume. I have a few years here and there when I was either a stay-at-home Dad or held a variety of odd jobs. This apparently did not sit well with them. Frowns all around.

"Planning to have any more kids?"

I knew this crossed the line as a legal interview question, but I answered anyway. "No."

Bastards.

***********

SweetFaceBoy's second-grade class had an open house last night. They recited poems (true to form, my son picked the shortest one he could find) and showed off a village they've been working on for the last few weeks.

The village had all the normal things a village has: bakery, restaurant, police station, school, neighborhoods. They were all made from milk and orange juice cartons with windows and doors cut out. Tiny gingerbread boys and girls stuck their heads out of doors and windows and walked along sidewalks.

It was all very innocent until I noticed the big black and green building on the edge of the village.

"What's that?" I asked the teacher.

"That's the military building," she said. She then proceeded to tell me that in eight years of teaching she had never had the children demand to have such a building in their village.

I'd call that a barometer.

***********

It's just March, but it is getting warmer here. Heavy rains recently have the lawns coming back from winter dormancy. Everything is green and blooming.

This weekend I'll get the pool crystal clear and keep it that way so that once it warms up after a couple of 85-to-90-degree days, it'll be ready for us to dive in.

Then my lovely warm-weather morning routine can resume.

Wake up and run or lift. Either way, I'll be drenched in sweat when I finish. Slip on to the backporch. Strip. Roll out the yoga mat and, depending on the time, perform anywhere from a few sun salutations to the full primary series. Then out to the pool for some pre-dawn skinnydipping.

Ahhhh. Life am good.

Today's Headlines

US News

Thousands of Students Protest Potential War With Iraq
Students at more than 300 high schools and colleges walked out of classes yesterday to participate in a nationwide "student strike," and thousands more students walked out in Britain, Sweden, Spain, and Australia in solidarity. The protestors wanted to highlight the effects of war on domestic issues, including education, health care and the economy. The protest was referred to as the "Books Not Bombs" protest and was coordinated by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition.

Monterey Bans Cruise Ship Over Dumping
Officials in Monterey, California have banned a cruise ship, the Crystal Harmony, from its harbor after learning that it had dumped 36,400 gallons of wastewater in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary last October despite pledging that it would not. "The Crystal Harmony is no longer welcome in Monterey," Carl Anderson, Monterey's public facilities director, said in an interview today. "We mean business and will do whatever it takes to protect our sanctuary."

Former Forest Worker Gets 12 Years In Prison For Fire
Terry Lynn Barton, a former employee of the US Forest Service, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in state prison for starting the biggest wildfire in Colorado history. The fire spread over 138,000 acres, destroyed 133 homes, and caused $29.9 million in damage. Barton accidentally started the blaze while burning a letter from her estranged husband.

International News

Colin Powell Remains Adamant on Saddam Hussein's Guilt
Colin Powell is currently in the midst of a two-day diplomatic journey in which he will try to overcome strong UN resistance to using force in Iraq. Powell also reiterated earlier claims that if the Security Council does not act, the United States and its coalition partners are prepared to disarm Iraq by force and take responsibility for Iraq's future after a war. Referring to Iraq's disclosures of a handful of missiles and other weapons information as being "too little, too late," Powell said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein still has not made a decision to disarm. Friday, Powell will speak to the United Nations in a final effort to convince the group to support the United States/Spain/Britain coalition committed to disarming Iraq by force.

Three Nations Vow To Block United States on Iraq Issue
France, Germany, and Russia unilaterally stated yesterday that they will block any movement towards war, and chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix delivered an upbeat report on what he called "real disarmament" in Baghdad. Meanwhile, US President George W. Bush met with an envoy from the Vatican, which has taken a strong antiwar stance, and thousands of students worldwide walked out of classes yesterday to protest military conflict with Iraq.

Osama bin Laden's Status Very Unclear
Reports from both al Qaeda operatives and Pakistani officials reveal strongly conflicting reports as to the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, even going so far as to be unsure as to whether or not bin Laden is even alive. Letters found in the capture of al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed add to the confusion, as one letter is apparently in bin Laden's handwriting (but undated), while others discuss how to handle the death of bin Laden.

Business

Hughes and Boeing Settle With US
Boeing Co. and Hughes Electronics Corp. agreed yesterday to pay $32 million to settle a civil case charging that the companies illegally transferred space technology to China in the 1990s. The State Department had claimed that China could use the technology to develop intercontinental missiles. The settlement ends a seven year dispute.

Ice Cream Merger Negotiations Continue
After the FTC rejected a planned merger between Dreyer's and Nestle to unify their high-end ice cream brands (leaving Unilever, which makes Ben & Jerry's, the only competitor in the market), the companies offered a new proposal in which the newly merged company would sell their Starbucks ice cream brand to the highest bidder (which would presumably be Unilever). Another company, CoolBrands, also testified before the FTC, stating that their company is also a competitor in the market, selling Eskimo Pies and other ice cream brands.

Bombardier Lays Off 10% of Workforce
Bombardier Inc. is again laying off thousands of employees, the company's third such cut since 9/11. The transportation company said it would lay off 3,000 employees in the next year, which amounts to 10% of its aerospace group. The company will also slow production rates on all plane lines. "In view of challenging market conditions, we have a responsibility to take aggressive actions to continuously improve our competitive edge and align our production rate with market demand," said the president of Bombardier's aerospace division, Pierre Beaudoin.

Science & Technology

Four Were At KSC and Cape Canaveral Illegally
Four suspected illegal immigrants from Mexico were arrested while working as contractor employees inside a restricted area of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, NASA officials said Tuesday. Agents from the NASA Office of the Inspector General made the arrests with the help of the US Border Patrol on Feb. 18. The four were working in an area where materials are displosed, according to Joe Kroener, executive officer of the NASA Office of the Inspector General.

Microsoft InfoPath Set For Beta Release
Next week, Microsoft will release the first wide beta of InfoPath, a new application for data sharing and organization that will be a part of the upcoming version of Microsoft Office. Experts say that the software is hard to use with a steep learning curve, but that the potential benefits for sharing data between applications is high. InfoPath is an XML-based tool for easily sharing data between applications. Microsoft will also release a beta test of OneNote, a Windows equivalent of the Macintosh Stickies.

Intel Plans Heavy Centrino Push
Centrino, a line of chips designed by Intel specifically for wireless computing, is "second only to the introduction of the Pentium" in terms of corporate importance, according to Intel CEO Andy Grove. Intel is planning on spending $300 million in promoting the chip bundle, which is intended for laptop and tablet PCs which will make heavy use of wireless computing.

Health

Aspirin Reduces Colon Cancer Risk
On top of yesterday's study revealing that aspirin can reduce mouth and throat cancer risk, two separate clinical trials revealed today that aspirin is effective in reducing the risk of colon cancer. The studies focused on individuals with a high risk of colon cancer and found that aspirin reduced the rate of appearance of colon and rectal polyps, which are the precursors of colon cancer. The aspirin was most effective when taken in small doses, such as a baby-sized dose.

Clues Found in Mad Cow Disease Research
Researchers at the Imperial College in London, England have used antibodies as an effective treatment on mice infected with scrapie, a variation on mad cow disease. Both diseases are spongiform encephalopathic diseases, meaning that there is strong likelihood that the technique could be used to treat both diseases, as well as other brain-wasting diseases.

Sports

Sharks Trade Owen Nolan To Maple Leafs
Last night, the San Jose Sharks traded forward and team captain Owen Nolan to the Toronto Maple Leafs for center Alyn McCauley, center Brad Boyes, and a first round draft pick. By trading Nolan, the Sharks have apparently given up on making the playoffs and are now planning on undergoing a rebuilding process. Boyes is considered to be a top prospect at center, and the team is hoping to use the draft pick to select a forward. The Leafs appear poised for a playoff run, as Nolan fills one of the holes in their already strong lineup.

Tiger Woods Skips Dubai Tournament
Tiger Woods pulled out of this weekend's $1.2 million Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament because of a possible US-led attack on Iraq, leaving Ernie Els with top billing at the tournament. Els is on a roll, having won four of the five tournaments he's entered this year, and is defending champion of the Dubai tournament. Several other top players, including Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, have withdrawn from the tournament due to political tension in the area.

Entertainment

Coughing Helped 'Millionaire' Champ Cheat
Major Charles Ingram's trial began yesterday in a cheating conspiracy stemming from Ingram's appearance on the television game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Ingram won the grand prize of 1 million pounds on the show last September, but suspicious members of the production crew noted that there was a large deal of coughing into one of the microphones. After further investigation, evidence for a conspiracy between two contestants was apparent.

Bill Clinton and Bob Dole Agree To Debate
Former President Bill Clinton and his 1996 opponent Bob Dole have agreed to a series of 10 debate segments on the television program 60 Minutes starting this Sunday. The debates are the beginning of a revival of the Point-Counterpoint segments that the program used until 1979. The debates will each involve a single issue, with Clinton describing the liberal viewpoint and Dole arguing the conservative side.


And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

Have you noticed that in the last month, the Bush administration has repeatedly changed their reasons for wanting to attack Iraq without actually stepping back and looking at the bigger picture of why the rest of the world disagrees?

At first, it was because of the implied threat that the 9/11 mastermind was being harbored in the country. Well, now the United States has the man in custody.

After a bit, the accusation was that Iraq was not being supportive of UN weapons inspectors. Almost immediately after this, Hans Blix said that Iraq was being largely supportive of his cause.

After that, the reason was that Iraq was refusing to disarm. But this week, Iraq has begun digging up and destroying missiles, much to the satisfaction of Hans Blix, the person who is actually supposed to be managing the issue.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration is continuing to beat the war drums, even though their supposed reasons for war are disappearing faster than Kevin Garnett in a playoff game. Colin Powell is apparently giving a speech this Friday stating that the United States will go to war with Iraq regardless of what the world community thinks.

This is madness, people.

Iraq has met every demand made of them in the last several months. They allowed weapons inspectors back into the country, and when the weapons inspectors wanted more cooperation, Iraq gave them more cooperation. Think of this from Iraq's perspective: they've got outside people coming in and investigating their military, ordering them to disarm, while planes are constantly monitoring 50% of the airspace in the country and shooting down anything that moves. Now, because the UN has asked, the Iraqis are digging up missiles and disarming them.

Iraq is being as cooperative as anyone could realistically expect. They've had trade embargoes and flying restrictions on them for better than a decade, and they're agreeing to allow searches and destruction of their military equipment. We have the 9/11 mastermind in custody, even.

Please, someone tell me why the United States is trying to start a war with Iraq.


Lent Diary, Day 2

In my daylog for February 19, 2003, I outlined my plan for a challenging Lenten discipline: no food or water during daylight hours. Visit that daylog for more details.

Aside from the thirst, the first day went pretty well. I did not feel the effects of hunger until almost an hour before sunset (but then it came on like a freight train, with my belly DEMANDING attention), and the three dates and a cup of water right after sunset helped as well; it was a really big perk-up.

But the high point of the day was the time I was able to spend walking in meditation. I took a route home through parks and other diversions so that it would allow a lot of time for me to think and meditate without having my concentration broken by vehicles and other such things. The cold weather also helped; there were no other pedestrians to speak of.

I walked along, feeling very thirsty, and several things occurred to me. The sense of thirst was much less pronounced than some of the challenges that Jesus faced during his forty days in the desert. What was that suffering like, I wondered? I couldn't imagine.

Moreover, the consuming of the three dates made me consider the Holy Trinity and the purpose of communion, and I came to realize that in some ways, the eating of the three dates has a lot in common with communion. The three dates and the Holy Trinity; the consumption of something representative of God after a period of meditation; there are some serious parallels there.

I think the dates themselves may become a spiritual comfort.

Playwright in Tech

D -1 Day

It's an absolute law in theatre production that if you're producing a show in a rented space, you "own" that space for the last seven days, 24 hours a day, no exceptions. There's just too much to do with hanging lights, building sets, painting, rehearsing, etc, for it to be otherwise. But of course, in L.A., if it's a theatre law, it's made to be broken. A standard practice for small spaces down here is to supplement rental income with acting classes taught in the space. (If the number of acting classes in L.A. somehow correlated to the quality of acting, the place would be crawling with Oliviers.) So the theatre was utterly unavailable to us Monday, Tuesday, and from 2pm to midnight yesterday. Insanity! (The ludicrous upside of this was I got to go watch a friend of mine tape a guest star appearance on the sit-com Becker. Not crazy about the show, but my friend did a great job, and I got to witness my first "taping". I'll write about that some other time.)

That said, we had an awfully promising run-through of the show yesterday before 2. The guy playing Greg really "took the note" and added a wonderful layer of boxed-in anal-retention. And this after I thought I was going to have to fill in for him because he booked a couple lines on ER, and was going to have to miss the rehearsal altogether. (This is another constantly looming frustration in L.A.: actors can actually make money here, so if they're any good, they can be called away at a moment's notice to shoot some film or t.v. show.) Happily, the actor's call got pushed back.

Bottom line: yesterday's run through went a very long way to put me at ease and make me think we might actually have a show on our hands. There's still a shit-load left to take care of on the technical end-- I was at the theatre from midnight till 4 a.m. last night helping paint and seal the floor-- but I've seen that stuff come together eleventh hour many times before, so I'm guardedly confident.

Tonight is invited dress. We shouldn't have many people watching, but I hope there's at least a few so that the actors can get a feel for how it "plays" with an audience, where the laugh holds are, etc. (assuming there are any laughs-- "Please, God, let there be laughs").

Playwrights are the very worst sort of foxhole atheists.

It's raining again.

It seems to rain all the time. People are starting to complain that they dont' remember what the sun looks like. We're winding up the worst winter in more than 23 years (i.e., the worst winter since I was born, and then some). It has snowed just about every week. And we're not talking about an inch or two. We're talking about 6+ inches every week. This is highly unusual for the Delware Valley. This isn't Buffalo, it's Philadelphia. Almost every day is gray. The sun doesn't shine. It rains, it snows, or it just stays gray.

I don't mind, though. Who loves the sun? Not me. Not now. I wouldn't care if it never shines. Because these days, I can't stand the light. I can't stand seeing people happy, laying out under the sun, smiling. I can't stand being blinded.

Eco wants me to try and find something that'll make me happy, and just do it. Something simple, something that doesn't take much, but will make me happy. But that's difficult to do. I dont' know what makes me happy. I know of things that I'm compelled to do--write, listen to music, act--but they aren't necessarily something I do for pleasure. Not anymore.

I'd like to find something I'd enjoy. I'm having trouble finding it. Everything I do seems to fall apart.

Things have been pretty great at the moment and I thought things had finally changed. I hate people. I hate the way they don’t think about what they say before they say it. That makes me unhappy. I actually thought nothing mattered to me anymore but getting on with life but maybe I was wrong, maybe I’m lying to myself.

Over the least year I changed a lot. I think I grew up. I realised that other things were more important than what people thought. So, for a while I ignored it. I ignored it all. Then, today in assembly I could hear them talking about me, talking about my appearance and how they didn’t like me. I think at that point something inside died. I wanted to cry, curl up in a ball and hide. I can’t believe they still make me feel like this.

I laughed it off at the time, the hurt there and still raw. Why can’t they leave me alone? I thought once, being young and stupid, that if I was thin I would be popular and people would like me, I lied to myself for so long. Over the last year my appearance has changed a lot and I have gained confidence from that and I achieved something for myself and myself only. So, I am going to continue to laugh away the pain. Maybe I am only cheating myself but it is hell of a lot easier than facing them and my fears.

I also want to add just because I had my hair cut short it does not mean you can say I look like a boy. If you don’t like it don’t comment because all you are doing is trying to hurt me and I think it is starting to work. I don’t have a problem with you, so, why do you with me? Think about it, I’m quite sure it isn’t a good reason.

Thank-you to all the people who have been around for me recently. You Have all been a great help. Cheers :)

Yesterday I went back to the doctor for a followup to my bariatric surgery. So far so good. 75 lbs lost since the surgery. The doctor says I can eat whatever I want now, though obviously, I can't eat much of it. I now weigh 309lbs. As difficult as it is to believe, that is the lightest I have been since the 9th grade! I'm feeling better all the time. I look noticably different now. I haven't told many people, so I imagine the "he must have HIV/cancer, crack addiction" will be starting any minute.

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