The most important thing I did over the last 24 hours was return to e2 after a long absence. Whether this was good or bad probably depends on your point of view. Since I have positive XP and more positive votes than negative votes, I think the consensus may be that it's a good thing. I've decided to focus on New Zealand music, especially since my expedition into ASCII porn scored me so many negative votes.

I noded a couple of things, went to a seminar on virtual documents in information retrieval, noded a little more.

Read enough news to discover that the Japanese have had another oops in their nuclear power industry and decided against reading any more articles.

Plans for the next 24 hours? raise my node-fu. node, node, node, issue nuke requests, issue nuke requests, issue nuke requests ....

Depression sucks, even when you are in love

I should be happy. I live in a great city, I've got good plans for my future, and I finally found someone whom I can say I truly love. But... I just feel off, I guess. I don't have a car, I'm in financial hell right now, and I just don't think I have any friends. Well, at least, not in Baltimore. I interact with people, sure, but I honestly don't think any of them would miss me at all if I were to drop off the face of the earth (well, with one or two exceptions). That whole group of people... I think some of them are absolutely great, but the rest are so damn exclusive... what do I have to do, fill out an application to be welcome into their crowd? And for the record, aren't 30 year olds too old for all this "he-said she-said" high school bullshit? I know, most people would say, if they're so petty, why want to be friends with them? Well, like I said, some of them are great, but it seems to be a package deal. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't go hang out with them anyway, because their "gang-leader" hates me for reasons completely unjustified-- I make her "uncomfortable". Probably just because I'm a woman, I'd imagine...

In any event, I just don't feel like I have anyone around that I can talk to when I need to... but then, maybe I should just shut up and call someone instead of sitting around waiting for my phone to ring. Maybe I should listen to myself when I give all my perky "It'll all be okay" sunshine speeches to other people when they're upset.

Suck it up. Keep in the tears. Explode later.
Can you believe the "Mike's Hard Lemonaide" commercials? Where these folks are losing body parts left and right, or getting skewered....and then someone suggests, "Hey how about a Mike's Lemonaide?"

Next thing you know, they're in a bar or somewhere having these drinks and often waving around the body part. Very funny, strange, or sick, depending on your point of view.

Well I'm officially on vacation until Tuesday morning. It is a very strange thing, and it is even stranger that it is strange. Oh well, I'm ready to have fun!

I'm freezing my ass off in LaVista, NE. It's almost June and it's barely 50 degrees during the day. Who knows how cold it is at night? I left school a week ago and went home for a few days. Now I'm living in a suburb of the huge metropolis of Omaha. I'm currently dwelling in the basement of my sister's house. It's not so bad. I have to look for a job, though. That sucks. I wish I could just lay around all summer and do nothing. For now I only have $80 to my name, and somehow that has to last until I'm employed. I've put in my application at a few places. Hopefully I'll hear from them soon. Earlier today I went and got a public library card. If I don't do anything else all summer, at least I can read. Life has been pretty uneventful the past few days, driving around town, grocery shopping, and going to bed way too early. I really hope this summer goes well. Tonight I'm enjoying this big house all to myself.

I started my new job today, or it is better described as work. In my mind a job includes a salary, work might just be work. Anyway I'm working at one of the local NPR stations, interning with the music director. I pull CD's, make playlists, and call record company pr people. It went well I think except for almost hitting a kid who ran out in the street when I was driving home.

The other thing I found, and already suspected, was most of the staff seems to be very liberal. That is ok, but I stayed out of any such conversations today because of my conservative philosophy. Anyway, time to watch Conan.

Yesterday, I was calmly driving home in my car, leisurely chewing on my favorite guitar pick. I reached down to seize my delicious 7-UP and tipped it into my mouth as I turned a corner. Then!, a brand new Toyota Spider flashed by, causing my attention to shift slightly. I abruptly swallowed the guitar pick, and washed it down with 7-UP. BUT! I remained calm... I hoisted the 7-UP again, a bit more reluctantly, and chugged it. The guitar pick had other ideas. It logded, pretty painfully, right above my chest, still in my throat. I got home, told my mom I swallowed a guitar pick, and to my suprise, she wasn't surprised. I then grabbed a glass of water, and chugged it, too. The guitar pick slowly made it's way into my stomach. There, it has wreaked havoc into my stomach!

... All I can do is wait now, I guess. Ugh

Sometimes it's good to have a forum in which to write out one's reflections on events without having certain others read it. Not being a journal or diary type of person, this is it for me.

I went to my cousin's college graduation party this afternoon (March 24, 2001), which went until around 9:00 pm. Many of my cousin's friends were there, some whom I knew, and others I did not. Kim was one of the ones I did not.

Kim is/was cool. We talked a lot, more at the afterparty at my cousin's house, after we left her Mom's house around 9:00. It turned out that Kim needed to replace a headlight. Having recently done this to my Miata, being a kind and generous soul, and trying to impress her a bit, I offered to help her change the light.

After some time, and the retrieval of a proper screwdriver, instead of the Leatherman I had, we replaced the light. It was around 1:30 am this morning by this time, and I was feeling some interest from Kim.

We adjourned back to the house, and talked for a good long time about philosophy, Libertarianism, and generally how to save the world, until around 2:15. We then both took our leave of the party, and made our way to the cars.

Getting to the car, she thanked me for helping with the headlight, and I hugged her. It was a nice hug, and a warm one. Backing out of the hug, keys in hand, I gave her a peck on her cheek. This turned into a kiss, which turned into another, hands moving around, keys going back into the pocket...

At around 2:50, we are sitting in her car, after the event. Afterglow is fun. We laugh about the incongruity and unexpectedness of the situation. She assures me that she's not "that' kind of girl. Digits are exchanged, promises to call are made, and we set off on our respective ways.

This is when the thinking begins. "Why didn't I just go straight home?" "What if I had left earlier?" This adds so much complexity to a life that's already pretty complicated. It doesn't help that I'm dating another woman. Not that the recent events constitute infidelity. We have a non-exclusive relationship, though this is the first time that's been directly relevant. It's just that now, I have two girls to juggle with the rest of my life, instead of one. Do I tell the first about the second? Vice versa? What happens when Kim calls and I'm with Margaret?

Sometimes life is too complex. On the other hand, not to seize the opportunities that life provides one with, is to live with doubt. The question remains, however, is regret better or worse than doubt? Do I regret at all, or am I feeling residual guilt over the meaning of tonight within the framework of a traditional, monogamous relationship?

I'm confused, and in addition, I have only about three hours to sleep before work tomorrow.

*Sigh*

11:13

Today's stuff: Not Much, as of yet... trying to produce documentation.

Last night: Watched rest of Titanic. Oh dear, did it really have this huge, huge amount of syrup? Scary, truly scary. =)

15:56

...producing documentation with StarOffice is pain compared to LyX, I've noticed...

I mean, LaTeX handles all diagrams and images and cross-references automagically, but StarOffice needs a lot more manual formatting. Plus, sometimes it's rather complicated - LyX "expects" less and is more "automatical". And StarOffice is BIG.

(You know what to do to above, if we're talking about MS stuff: s/StarOffice/Word/g;)

21:39

Spent past hours replying to Usenet stuff. And it's 10 o'clock soon already... Some jobs are time-demanding. =(

00:13

Well, this was a sort of a busy day - but I think I'm happy with the nodes I did today (that BattleMech node is, I think, okay).


Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: turtle Elemental BattleMech MFD

Updated: Some

Here's the News for the day as of 12:23pm Central European Time:
________________________________________________________________________________

International Herald Tribune (www.iht.com)

Democrats to Control Senate After Republican Defection
Senator James Jeffords of Vermont announced Thursday that he was leaving the Republican Party and would help Democrats regain control of the Senate in a move expected to profoundly affect Bush administration initiatives.

McCain Slams White House as Democrats Woo Other Moderates
After four months in which President George W. Bush, by general agreement, has used the Republican majority here smartly, the departure of Senator James Jeffords has rattled the political china, illuminating divisions within the party and raising talk of further defections.

North Korean Bomb: Do They Have It?
A high-level team from the International Atomic Energy Agency has opened negotiations in Pyongyang with fresh demands for access to the nuclear weapons project that North Korea agreed to abandon seven years ago.

Africans Uncertain How to Interpret Powell's Visit
As one of the world's highest-profile diplomats, General Powell has lived the kind of African-American story that makes many Africans fiercely proud. But they are also deeply suspicious of General Powell's Republican affiliation.

Placebo Effect? A Myth, New Research Indicates
In a new report that is being met with a mixture of astonishment and, sometimes, disbelief, two Danish researchers say that the placebo effect is a myth.

Japanese in U.S. Baseball Break Mold
On the mound, at the plate and in the box seats behind home, something different is clearly in play when Major League Baseball's new Japanese stars are in the lineup.

China to Release Plane
China said Thursday that it had agreed to let the United States dismantle and take home in pieces the damaged U.S. Navy surveillance plane that landed on Hainan Island on April 1 after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet. ________________________________________________________________________________

BBC (www.news.bbc.co.uk)

Frantic search for Jerusalem survivors

Dozens of people remain buried beneath the rubble of a reception hall that collapsed in Israel's worst civil disaster.

Blair talks up euro
The UK prime minister says he believes he could win a referendum on Britain joining the euro, as he prepares to make a key speech on Europe.

Danger ahead, says US Fed chief
US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan signals that the country still faces the threat of recession as growth remains slow.

McVeigh execution confirmed
The US attorney-general says Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh will be executed on 11 June as withheld FBI documents contain no new evidence.

Intensive care failings 'cost lives'
Many patients discharged from critical care units over the past 10 years died unnecessarily, UK research suggests.
________________________________________________________________________________

The New York Times (www.nytimes.com)

G.O.P. Strategy Challenged After the Jefford's Defection

Senator James M. Jeffords's decision to become an independent is an example of the perils of President Bush's strategy of governing from the right.

Rate Cuts Are Paying Off, Greenspan Says
Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, hinted that the most aggressive phase of the Fed's effort to ward off a recession may be over.

Power Trader Tied to Bush Finds Washington All Ears
Enron, the nation's largest electricity trader, has become close enough to the Bush administration to possibly have influence on federal energy policy.

Devastating Picture of Immigrants Dead in Arizona Desert
Federal officials say a smuggler likely abandoned more than two dozen men in the Arizona desert in an effort that killed at least 14 Mexican immigrants.

Israeli Hall Collapses; 25 Dead, Scores Injured
A festive Israeli wedding party turned into a national tragedy Thursday night as a crowded dance floor collapsed onto a packed dining hall.
________________________________________________________________________________

Panapress (www.panapress.com/english)

Intrigues beset voter registration in Gambia
Banjul, Gambia - Barely four days into the exercise, voter registration in Gambia ahead of the next presidential, parliamentary and local government elections has sparked off a controversy, with observers already anticipating a repeat of the whole process.

Kenyan motor industry may collapse
Nairobi, Kenya - A Kenyan minister has predicted the imminent collapse of the country's motor industry due to the influx of cheap imports.

South African bank signs deal to provide cellphone banking
Johannesburg, South Africa - Absa Bank in South Africa has signed a deal with Vodacom to make cellphone banking available to its six million clients.

South Africa reports 232 new cholera cases
Cape Town, South Africa - A total of 232 new cholera cases have been reported in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa since Wednesday afternoon

Chad to get 260 million-dollar debt cut
New York, US - The World Bank and IMF have agreed to support a debt reduction package of 260 million dollars for Chad under the debt initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).
________________________________________________________________________________

China Daily (http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/news/index.html)

Jiang: Asia-Europe partnership bodes well for new century
The Third ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Foreign Ministers' Meeting opened in Beijing Friday, with Chinese President Jiang Zemin calling for a strengthening partership between the two huge areas.

Supachai: China could join WTO by next year
China could join the World Trade Organisation by the beginning of next year, the incoming chief of the trade body said on Thursday

Done Deal or No?
China says US agrees to take back EP-3 in pieces, but US questions

Article slams US for backing Dalai's separatist activities
The Human Rights Society of China (HRSC) Friday slammed the United States for its support of the Dalai clique's separatist activities and interference in China's internal affairs.

China backs peace in Korean Peninsula
Top visiting Chinese legislator Li Peng said Thursday that China supports the reconciliation process in the Korea Peninsula.
________________________________________________________________________________

Moscow Times (www.themoscowtimes.com)

Putin Wins Vote to Limit Parties
A bill that could wipe out most of Russia's political parties was passed in the second reading Thursday.

Russia Tries to Get Off Black List
The Duma has given tentative approval to an effort to take the country off a money-laundering black list.

Mr. Chubais Goes to Washington
UES chief Anatoly Chubais met with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in Washington this week.

Drug Market $560M in Q1
Russia's pharmaceutical market grew to $560 million in the first quarter, according to Farmexpert.

Putin Pledges Gold for Flood Victims
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday toured the area Siberia that has been devastated by floods and promised to find federal funds to help rebuild the region's damaged homes.
________________________________________________________________________________


A Very Merry UnBirthday to
everyone

Summer cold, night sky. Cold morning. Grey Sky. Undtidy bedroom. Dust in air. Tissues lying about the place. Everything so Grey. Get up. Change. Don't wash, no time. Must drop sister to Doctors. Brush teeth. Get 2 pounds from mother. Drive courtesy car ford escort into town.

Drop sister off. Try to get ears syringed. No luck, need appointment. Get appointment with Dr Lavery, guy who was my parents' doctor when I was born. Still remembers me, I like him. Trust him. Met him yesterday by accident in a petrol station. Make the appointment. Go meet sister. Sitting outside doctors room.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Decide to walk. Walk into Holywood. Turn left past Jiggery's, cross road. Walk into mountain trail shop. Just after guy with a box. Shopkeeper comes up and asks if he can help me. Note of desperation in voice. I tell him he can't I am just looking. I look around for a bit, nothing catches my eye. I leave. Walk past Gallery, look in. Beautiful painting of sunset, change mind. Not so good. No depth, just gradient. Picture of mountains beside it is better. I move on. Walk across road, near maypole. Only maypole in Ireland.

Walk into a kitchenware shop. Nice looking african woman is leaning near the doorway, she looks bored, radiates irritation. I walk past her, and tell her she looks happy. She seems surprised I noticed her boredom, comments on the fact that she is bored and asks me if I need some help. I decline, and look around. Nothing much catches my eye. No Wait, Brass scales]. Nope, not yet. Wait a while. I walk out without buying anything. Past african woman, and the other shopgirl she is speaking to. Turn and walk down the street. Past Optometrist, and past war memorial.

I walk into Stewart Millar's. Combination all in one shop that is the heart of many a small town like this. Walk past magazine wall, nothing on PCs. Nothing on my old Amiga, sigh. DVDs, an interview with Michel Yeoh. Walk past. Newspapers. Front Headline of one newspaper reads "Why I switched to Ibrox" A story about why Sean Connery now supports Rangers instead of Celtic. Walk past, another front page headline about rising car insurance premiums. Walk past. Head upstairs, come across Bridget Jones Diary in book section. Read a bit, set out like a diary, (surprisingly) about her boyfriend Daniel being a jerk, and her meeting a girl that Daniel had slept with. Put it down. Already watched the film. Can't be bothered reading the book this close to exams. Walk further into the shop. Past furry toys section. Wonder if I can find a Pikachu for a Finnish friend of mine. No luck. Walk past.

Catch a glimpse of beautiful long brown hair from corner of my eye. Lovely Holywood girl serving behind counter. Walk towards her, knowing my mind is spinning and I am going to have to buy something near there anyway. Walk to the stationary wall, check out 6 inch helix rulers. They all seem to be curved. There are wooden ones there as well, but they are 12 inches, and there are also 12 inch helix rulers. Examine all of them. Then settle for a 12 inch shatter proof ruler that will serve me well in the exam. Pay for it. It is 59p. The girl smiles and asks me if I need a bag, I decline as it is just a ruler, and then recall that I am going to have to walk past another checkout before I leave and they may stop me. So I take a bag, and she wraps the ruler in it. I leave. I am sniffing because of the cold I have. I walk out. Decide not to walk further into Holywood and make my way back.

Stop in at Electric World, see that they are selling toy guns now, and 28 inch tvs. There is a health program on with a woman interviewing a patient and a doctor on all the tvs. The doctor, and Asian man with glasses, is holding a medium sized blue marble, and describing how surgeons use it to clear the digestive system. The patient doesn't look too happy at the prospect of swallowing the marble, but stays largely silent. The woman is suitably amazed with everything and concludes the interview. I break off my tv trance and leave the shop. I walk down the street and walk into the chemists. Vague notion of vitamin C tablets for my cold. Notice how all Holywood women act in the same slightly haughty-humble, polite manner. Kind of sweet when you get to know it. I grew up here and know it a lot. Leave Chemists.

Walk back to doctors place, am 5 mins early, about to head back into town again but get called from the door as my sister walks out. Good timing. We get into the car and drive to Belfast. She comments that she hasn't got any lectures today, but by this time we are on the dual carriageway already near Belfast so I cannot turn back to collect my things for studying. Frustrated I carry on driving, and drop my sister at the gates of Queens. Park Car outside my department. Lucky parking spot.

Go in and log on.... only 11 AM.

Another half day at my new office. On arriving, I'd barely put my box of stuff* down before my boss, the CEO, called me into his office in a state of excitement/high-energy. A new law had been introduced through the Senate overnight that was, well, lets say it was a technically unfeasable and fundamentally wrong-headed example of ill-informed legislators attempting to over-regulate the 'net for nefarious political purposes. (So what else is new, eh?) The office was like the illegitimate (and righteously pissed off) lovechild of The West Wing and Pirates of Silicon Valley.

This has to be my last work-related daylog. It's been great fun, being brave/stoopid enough to publish my petty work dramas up here. Cathartic, daring, and a warm feeling knowing that others (friends and strangers) are reading and maybe empathising. But now, it's time to keep counsel.

Thanks, friends, for listening.

* Sony powered speakers, picture of Molly in rare "Snow Angel" Hello Kitty frame, spirulina, Bad Badtz Maru pencil cupand metal minature lunch pail.

1150 bst
Reading how to get rid of a tailgater reminded me that something vaugely non-boring has been going on in my life.

The first of my exams was yesterday. Mechanics, and I think it went fairly well. There was only one question that I didn't answer...

After that, and a game of pool - which, it should be noted, I almost won - and a bit of lazing around in the park, I went into town to pick up mum's car and head up to Murano Street to visit Roger. Since he doesn't really want to have to lug his computer to Cambrige and back, I'm keeping it here over the summer, so I was over to pick that up. And the tailgater bit? A woman in a merc far too close to me on the Kingston Bridge, where she couldn't overtake, and where I had to stop suddenly because the lorry in front of me stopped to turn into the next lane.

I also set up, at my dad's request, a torture device in my parents' shop. It's more commonly known as music on hold, and is just the one song. To all the people who phone, I do apologise.

Today, I plan to get a little maths revision done, and hope to get drunk tonight. A simple plan, no?

2150 bst
Hm, downvoted. Not that I'm complaining (I'm not), but at least people read these things and they're not just votedumps...

It's just been pointed out to me that the flatmate of one of my friends (who I have a bit of a thing for) looks remarkably like someone who I was pretty much infatuated with for the last year or two of high school. I'd never noticed the resemblance until now. That's.. almost interesting.

Oh, and I didn't go out tonight, which sucks.

I apologise for the poor quality of my daylogs. I think this is what happens when you're in the house all day.
Today was okay, I guess. Meh.

I'm thinking of getting a puppy. I want a Dachshund, a cute little black and tan sausage dog I can call Santo. It would be okay because they're a good dog for people who live in flats, and though jt, arkaem and I live in a house, it's more flat-sized than house-sized.

And I'd be really good and walk Santo every day, and clean his bowls and feed him, and brush him and play with him and bathe him.

I've done heaps of research (as I did when we got the budgie and the rabbit) and I know A LOT of stuff about dachshunds. And as you know, jt and arkaem, I can't have a cat for allergy reasons, and besides, another cat in the neighbourhood would be asking for trouble. And if we move, it would be better for a dog who lives indoors than for a cat who'd get lost and run over.

After careful consideration, in summation, I think a dog would be the best thing for me at this stage of my life.

Pleeeeeease ?

Okay, so it's been a while since I've actually written something. So what better way to get back in the swing of things than to node? I've been chatting on slashnet for a while, telling bad jokes and getting shot at from an orbiting laser cannon. What fun.

My new job is boring as hell. The internet cafe thing isn't too exciting. It's in the loop in Chicago so most of the people that populate this area are business types that have their own connection anyway. Hi ho.

My job isn't to complain about my job, so I'd better suck it up and start using my time productively: by surfing the net, and chatting on irc. What's a nerd to do?

The girlfriend is comming into town today. I can't wait for that to happen. I only get to see her on the weekends, but we're trying to fix that. If anyone reading this has an apartment or condo in the Chicago area let me know! I need one soon! Ehhh, that's it for now. Maybe I'll talk more about my day when it happens.

Okay more happened. The CEO of my company came in and gave me a huge raise! I'm going to be making about 4 times what I was making before. The moral of the story: Sitting on your ass pays off!

Grr. At least one 15 minute period of my morning was completely ruined by an incompetent.

This morning on the way to work, I dropped off my friend stimpy. In Acton, on route 27, I stopped at the McDonald's for a quick bite. I swear, I think this is the only McDonald's in its own building that doesn't have a drive-thru in the WORLD.

I walk in, wearing my stupid green Ron Jon's Surf Shop pork-pie hat. I was in a fairly decent mood, considering it was only 8:55am. I stood around for a few minutes before a very diminutive woman came up to take my order.

"Can I help you?" she muttered in an almost unintelligible Spanish accent.

"Err, yes, I'd like a #7, with ham instead of sausage." (That's the Spanish Omelette Bagel sandwich meal, btw)

"You want the Steak with . ." she trailed off, confused.

"No, the Spanish Omelette Bagel meal," I said, pointing to the menu on the wall.

She stood there, staring at the terminal screen and its buttons for about a minute before the manager finally realized my plight and attempted to rescue me. "He wants a steak ..." she started to tell the manager before I clarified again, "No, no, I'd like the Spanish Omelette meal with ham on the sandwich instead of sausage."
The manager punched about 29 keys and then nodded. "And to drink?" the woman asked?

"I'll have a medium french vanilla," I say. She looks around confusedly. I point behind her at the machine. She puts the cup underneath and presses the button.

"Can I help next person please?" she asks. I step aside. Some guy named Grant Hicks (and the name sounded familiar) stepped up and ordered a #3 (Sausage McMuffin with egg meal) with a large coffee, black, and a breakfast burrito.

Somewhere in here, I pay, and she gives me a bag with my sandwich in it, and my cup of frothy sugary instant goodness. "Hey, wait a second, doesn't the "meal" come with a hash brown?" I ask.

"You not ask for meal. You said sandwich," she states matter-of-factly and turns away to get Grant Hicks his meal. I stand there, waiting. This is unacceptable. She brings Grant back a bag of food and his coffee. She stands there while Grant rummages through his paper bag, and I ask again, "But I asked for the meal!" I insisted. "Where's the hash brown?"

Grant Hicks pipes in with, "And while you're at it, could I get my burrito?"

She starts to argue with both of us until the manager steps in with a hash brown in one hand, and a burrito in the other. Grant and I turn and walk out.

What was my point in telling you all this? Well, simply thus. Working at McDonald's requires minimal intelligence to do what they expect of you. This isn't even really a question of intelligence, however. How could a manager put someone at the counter who couldn't understand the customers well enough to serve them properly? I'm all for equal opportunity, and diversity, but still, to work at the register, you have to be able to understand your customers. This was worse than the 15-year old pimpled kid they usually have behind the counter of a McDonald's. Grr.

(and then she ARGUED with me about it. Why? I would have thrown another dollar at her if she was really convinced I didn't pay for a meal, even though I did. I just wanted a slab of greasy ground up potato with my breakfast, is all.)

I didn't really know who Grant Hicks was. I just read his name off his credit card while he was fishing cash out of his wallet. Grant Hicks, coincidentally, was also the name of a character from Mallrats -- he was the third contestant in the gameshow. Hehehe :)

Roads are blocked, and nervous policemen direct us away, to alternative routes. Sirens are screaming ceaselessly in the background, and helicopters are tearing the darkness in search of something/someone? mysterious.

Another suicide bomber, we think, and head on our way.
They're fighting for their freedom, my mind exclaim, and we move on.

Worried neighbours/relatives? are gathered outside the buildings of my old neighbourhood, and we continue driving.

As we enter the decaying apartment, home of my lost childhood of old, the increasing sirens--rumors of Death--bring tears to my eyes and fear in to my heart. Hordes of ambulances race down the road outside the window. We lay down on the couch, cuddling with obvious intentions. Life affirming actions to the sound of the sirens.

Early morning we wake up smiling.
In the car on the way home the radio says the current death toll is 25 people, and hundreds are wounded, as the floor of a wedding hall collapsed.

That's one Love affirming action that went really wrong, a cynical thought corsses my sleepy mind.
An unknown number of people is still trapped/buried? beneath the rubble, and we are home.

Ah, Friday, the best day of all. Spent this lovely morning and afternoon with a machete cutting line through florida jungle. Fun fun. Actually had an interesting evening, borrowed two bucks from the roommate and headed on down to the local coffee bar to sit and write. Ended up being invited to Ybor City (party area in Tampa) by a rather gorgoeus screenplay writer I met. Her sister was down from Boston (oh Johnny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling), so we figured she deserved a show. Tahiti Joes was the first stop, they have this thing at bars down here called sink or swim, $5, all you can drink. The place was right out of Coyote Ugly-girls on the bar shaking their rumps, frustrated guys milling around, bored staffers. Our girls hop up there and start doing their thing..and I drank. And drank, and drank. And sank. Bored with that, I dragged them to a place called the Flytrap..gothic industrial, lots of Bowie, Depeche Mode and Morrissey playing. Much better scene. There is this guy that wanders around Ybor called The Senator. About 6'2", 200lbs, and he wears -only- a black thong and a girls nighty shirt. Lace to boot. Feeling rather sloshed at this time, I went up to him and asked him if he'd like to dance with our Boston girl. He agreed, and she nearly fell over. They danced though. For a while. It was a good night, actually one of the better memories I'll take with me of this place. I've decided to get over the nobody loves me bit, because, well, they don't. Pain, chaos, and confusion, guess my work here is done. It's tough sometimes being a Cancer, there's no way to turn off the feelings, the empathy, the pain. Drugs don't work, people are only distracting, and the world just keeps spinning. Guess you just have to deal, right?

-=it's may 25...do you know where your towel is?=-

Rhapsody in Screwed :: Part III

sirens...why do i keep hearing sirens? oh, right. sometimes i forget i live across the street from a hospital. it's been kinda scary lately. heart-hospital helicopters at all hours, and ambulance sirens almost constantly from sunset to daybreak. really makes one wonder what the hell is going on in the world.

so i finally collapsed last night from some sick combination of adrenaline poisoning, allergies and politics. and when i came to, the first time, anyway, i discovered that one of the desk machines had locked up in the middle of a redhat install. that really doesn't make me happy. so i switched it off, and then the world spun, and i was down again.

three weeks of getting jerked around, and two days of a recalcitrant 386 laptop will do that to a person. i named it nemesis, and it is in my kitchen, taunting me. i have, what, three laptops now? only one even pretends to work, and it is this molasses-slow hunk of plastic. i'd love to get that swank black gateway up and running, but it has this funky proprietary hard drive connector, and i don't have an adaptor.

"what can i possibly say?"

i just got another request for a machine, and while i'd love to give him one, i don't have anything stable that doesn't already belong to someone else, and i just ran out of pci video cards and ide cd rom drives. i have more scsi cd drives than god could ever want, but they do me no good here. i should just sell them on ebay, take the cash and buy a new laptop.

"we are all illusion..." i leave for three days of crazy in-the-woods fun tonight. or at least that's the theory. i haven't heard anything from the man who's doing the driving, so i don't know if he got the message i left wednesday nite that my other brother *is* in fact coming in, but not until ten. this makes me jumpy. i haven't finished packing. i barely finished cooking... i have two hours when i get out of here in which to make sure i have everything i could humanly need.

"resilient, and poised to strike."

i'm ready for anything. there can be no more surprises. anything that tries will be summarily hunted down and killed. brutally, if i have any say in it. i can't take much more of this lunacy. next week, it will all straighten itself out. it just *has* to.

Don't EVER work for a University. Especially Rutgers University.

To fill in a gap, I'm a teaching assistant in general biology. I have been for two years. It's how I pay for graduate school. The school pays me to teach two sections of lab per semester. (Rutgers runs 66 lab sections in the fall, and there were 54 in the spring.)

Well, this past semester, one of the TAs resigned her position three weeks into the semester. Rather than train a new one, a couple of us volunteered to take over her sections. I was one of those people. The promise was $1500 per section for doing all the usual work -- grading, teaching, etc. We already go to prep, so that didn't count, I don't think. Anyway. The money was supposed to be added on to my paychecks, as soon as the paperwork went through.

Fucking bureaucratic red tape.

The semester's been over for two weeks. I taught 11 weeks worth of lab. Therefore, even with ordinary red tape, I should have been getting extra money for the past, oh, 5 or 6 paychecks.

I just sent a scathing email to the woman in our department who is basically the liasion between us and whoever it is that pays us. At this point, they owe me $750 per paycheck until my contract runs out.

I've never had to deal with anything this patently FUCKING ridiculous.

Don't ever work for a University. They hate paying you for what you do.


(Anyone with advice on what to do if they don't can feel free to email me.)

All I have to say about the movie I just saw is wow. Just in case you are wondering what movie I am talking about, it is Shrek.

This movie absoutly blew me away with the smooth graphics and fucking hilarious jokes. While I did miss bit of it due to a little cuddle time with my girl, the rest of it had us rolling on the ground laughing our asses off.

Tonight, we're supposed to go see Pearl Harbor, but I really don't see that happening since she has to be at a family reunion Saturday. Looks like I'm going to have to run the gauntlet (a.k.a. the family) again, and watch a movie at home with her.

Anyways, on to other things.

I'm so glad, I only have one day of public school left. I'm having mixed feelings right now, because one side of me wants to get the hell out of there, but the other side wants to stay because I'm really just starting to get to know the teachers that like me, and they're being pretty cool about everything. But since I have one day left now, I'll probably never see any of them again. And by god, I'll miss most of them.

I am blessed with a few spare minutes for introspection and quiet contemplation. The boys are with their father in the workshop, and the girls are with their sisters in Rachel's house. It is her turn to prepare the Sabbath dinner. I have finished the menu planning and lesson plans for the next week, and soon I shall do my daily devotions.

Today we went into town for supplies. I had hoped to find some good summer clothing for the children, but there was nothing modest yet durable and suitable for the girls. The sweet souls knew not to ask for sleeveless shirts, but I saw them eyeing the nail polish longingly. Tonight their father will remind them of the words of our Lord in 1 Timothy.

We picked up the basics: flour, sugar, canned goods, shotgun shells. These are getting harder to come by, with the recent changes. I fear it will only get worse as events continue along their present course. I also bought a few bolts of plain cotton to make dresses for the girls. All but the two youngest are old enough to learn sewing. Young Sarah is fast becoming a better seamstress than me. With her help during lessons the task will soon be complete. We will not have the luxury of manufactured clothing for much longer...

Hannah's son Jeremiah asked today why he couldn't go to school like the town children. I shall have to speak to my husband about Hannah's teaching of the children - they are obviously running wild. In these uncertain times, we can not relax our vigilance on the souls of our children.

In a couple short hours, I'll be signing a lease for my first apartment. My future roommate and another friend of mine are the only ones who know about this, and I'm lying to everyone else, saying that I'm just checking the place out. And it all just goes to remind me that I'll do anything to help a friend -- he has no place to go after the end of May, and I'm leaving for New Mexico tomorrow morning for over a week, so I already made the decision to stay there even though I haven't seen the insides of the rooms yet, and haven't looked into any other places at all. It's a great deal, and a brand new complex, but it's just a more hasty decision than anyone I know (including me) would approve of.

The worst thing about the whole deal is that the other friend who knows I'm going to do it was counting on me staying in the dorms again, and seemed pretty let down when I told her how far away from campus the apartment is. She wanted my dorm room to be an oasis on campus between her classes, since this will also be the first year she lives off campus. The worst part is, I can't convey to anyone (especially my future roommate) how this is a con for living at the apartment... most any rational person would tell me that it's not my responsibility to endure the depressing living conditions of the dorm room just so someone else has a place to kick off her shoes every once in a while. But it plagues me now, the thought of her unhappiness absorbing the negative emotive energy resulting from the frightening prospect of making such a huge commitment so hastily. I have too much empathy for most of my friends, and way too much for her in particular.


Update, in case you're reading this now for some reason:
Come to find out, the nice lady at the apartment wouldn't let us sign a lease until we filled out and they processed our rental applications (lousy life experience, and my lack thereof, causing me to make foolish assumptions... argh!). And then it turned out that when the nice lady told us to lie on the application and say that we weren't students (no students allowed at the complex, as it's some kind of family housing/government section 8 funded project) because "they'll never find out", she was completely wrong, because they called our places of work and did, in fact, find out. So now we're probably going to live in a house much closer to campus.

Quite a long time without a daylog, I see.
There have been changes, or rather changes are imminent! the 31st will be my last day on the job at the Irritating Lump Company, located in the quiet hamlet of Mexico City, Mexico.
Two days afterwards, I will jet back to Italy. New context, new place (Ivrea) and new job as well.

Boss baffo turns into Prof. baffo, more precisely Senior Associate Professor Baffo. Senior: how very something or the other. I hope I survive. I hope my students don't stone me immediately.
I am quite excited about going back to my country. I have been living outside (in the US, France and Mexico, with a brief vacation interlude in Mali) for six years now. Italy, meanwhile, underwent political change and everybody now has a cellphone.
I will see the changes for myself, in the first days of June.
My father has retired, and my parents are moving to Milano. My sister started University. Many of my friends have married, and some already have kids. Things have changed, how fucking original. I hope I will adapt rapidly to the different circumstances.

I am also sad about leaving all my friends here, mibarra, Miss Nice, the Lesser Kahuna (both the new and old), all these people that I codename to avoid embarassing them, have come to mean much for me over two years.
Friendships are easier here than in the United States, let me assure you.
And of course, of course, leaving Mexico entails being thousands of kilometers away from my ex-SO, and this is bad, because we are quite close in our way, and we will miss each other.
Even if she read erosion of memory and she was not happy about it.
I am making copies of the slides I took in Mali, to give her.

Regarding E2, plenty of nuking and not too much noding, I am afraid. Well, maybe one decent writeup about Popski's Private Army, a fascinating history fragment. When I grow up, I want to be like Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Peniakoff, who proved that you can indeed be a hero in your middle age - if you are prepared. And, of course, if you have the requisite solid brass nuts.
I also liked noding Camera Work and Imogen Cunningham.


<---oOo--->

All my nukes and edits and things for this month are in Editor Log: May 2001

Nothing much happened today.

Nothing much ever happens. I did get up at 8:30am though after going to bed at 4:30am to drag my ass to the shower just so I could get ready for a brunch with relatives that were in town. Of course the brunch didn't start till 11:00am but we ended up staying at the restaurant till 4:30pm. There was about 60 of us, friends, relatives, people. I don't know. There was lots of food, Chinese food. Hmmm.. Didn't talk that much with my cousins because they were the little ones and the last time I saw them, the oldest one there was 5 and the youngest was just born. Now the oldest there is 13. I'm better friends with the older ones but they're all graduating from Univ this year that's why the parents were traveling around.

Hmm after that I got onto here, played with my dog. Went to sleep for awhile because I don't actually have to work today. I went over to my friend's house and we played SSX for a couple of hours, finally unlocking all tricks and tracks. Also played Crazy Taxi, I think that's the name of the game. But yes, it wasn't a very fun game, there isn't much to do in it except for driving people to their destination and making lots of money, it wasn't that hard to master. Sigh. And now I'm back here at 3am. I rule! Hehe. Actually I think I should stop playing all those video games because I'm starting to have dreams about them or dreams with themes based on those games. Hmm!

Hey.... I have received a postcard today from Macarthur Parker!

Please accept this EMAR-induced postal assault as a token of joy and stuff. =)
Jalapeño Express
Züm!

Dear my esteemed Kit Lo,

Please accept this small (insert coffee stain here) spilled coffee stain from Denny's #1110 in Lakewood, Colorado -- simply because I am having trouble thinking of something meaningful to fill the space of this postcard. Writing in larger pring would simply be a cop-out, and drawing something would.

On the bottom of the postcard, I see a mountainscape, with the sun to the east. A Kit Lomobile approaches, to a figure holding the sign (Hi!). Further onward, a sign with my name on it is supported by three figures. The first figure accidently let go of the sign, the second is holding the sign, and the third was crushed by the sign. "Sign drawn after mountains by stupid guy."

(heart) MacArthur Parker.

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