dear day log,

today:

i had nice brunch and a mimosa with a stone fox, think cristiano ronaldo but taller.
i took my little charlie chaplin shoes in and exchanged them for a half size larger.
my roommate drank a whole bottle of wild turkey and it made me sad.
there was made and eaten lasagna. mom phones and says, "use cottage cheese next time."
i pretended i didn't exist and then that i was in antarctica.

xoxo, stay real,

aerobe

Day log: the ides of November.

Dinner today: spaghetti with mushrooms and tofu, green beans on the side; tiny slice of pumpkin pie for dessert.

Taking stock:

So here we are, halfway through the month, and this is shaping up to be a successful venture toward the conquest of THE IRON NODER CHALLENGE 3: THIS TIME IT'S MARTENSITIC.

Voting

I decided at the beginning of the month that I'd make sure to use up all 50 votes, plus my daily ching!, every day. This has been surprisingly easy, and I even found myself buying a few extra votes to catch new writeups. So I've put in maybe 780 votes, and I think only three were negative. Out of that scheme I opted to pick an E2'er with a manageable number of nodes and to read and vote on everything in their arsenal. I chose Morwen, and was pleased with everything I read from that noder, especially the theoretical claim of three-way sex with Winona Ryder and Famke Janssen in you have to be kidding.

Writing

As the month hits is midpoint, I have posted 28 write-ups, and this will be the 29th. I suppose I ought to admit, as well, that there are a half dozen more waiting in the wings which I've shepherded to various stages of completion. Some I have in mind to post on particular days, or in a particular order, and so they will not be coming until later in the month. I have, as well, some nascent ideas scribbled across my scratch pads which I may or may not develop, and which I'd quite possibly be pleased to pass on to a fellow noder looking for some seed of inspiration. And as for the posted nodes, they are:

1. Cephalophore

My double-header for Ten Years of Terror: The 2010 Halloween Horrorquest and Ironnoder. This one I've been planning for a while, as headless Catholics seemed to me to be an appropriately horrorific subject for a Halloween write-up.

2. A-Thorism

Just seen too many insistences to the effect that: a) premise: 'my religion is true'; and b) conclusion: 'therefore, my religion is true.' And, as well, that 'my religious text is so wonderful (or, in the example shanghaied here, so "decorous") that it couldn't have been written by humans.' Makes one wonder if these claimants have ever actually read any of the others.

3. An open letter to Dick Wolf, re: bringing back Bolander

No, this actually wasn't intended to be parodic. I'd really like to see it. I suppose it's silly in the sense that Dick Wolf isn't going to be trolling E2 for ideas -- but I emailed this one to NBC as well, so who knows.

4. o-string

For no particular reason I started searching Google to see where the longest "noooooooooooooooo...." could be found. Results here.

5. Battered Voter Syndrome

Politics in America is bullshit. Perhaps it has always been so, but in modernity it is no more than the slick scripted corporatised marketing of a two-headed beast with an unquenchable thirst for power. 'Nuff said.

6. Sailor Mercury

Awwww, come on, she's the cutest one. I happened to catch an episode of the live series, and found that water-based power to be quizzical.

7. The Failure of a Theistic Cohesion

Been working on these ideas from several angles for a while. An evangelical pushing this on me in a forum (as described) just pushed me over the edge to finishing and posting.

8. Eat at Khan's

When I saw this title in new writeups, I assumed that it would be about the Star Trek character. It wasn't. So I made it so. Heheh, little Jean-Luc Picard humour, there.

9. Aging across the Star Trek sequels

....and writing about a possible Khan in the alternate Trek timeline brought me to thinking about how the characters aged across the run of films portraying back-to-back events.

10. Is cancer man-made?

The mummies article was, actually, kind of a last straw for me on the proposition that we're causing ourselves to be exposed to a lot of things which it is unnatural for our bodies to deal with, and the biological response to strange chemicals may very well be disruption to orderly cell replication.

11. It is at that moment, I believe, that Sylvester finds his true voice

Another one where I saw the title in new writeups and was surprised that the content did not match what I imagined; and so I wrote what 'I tawt I'd tee' when I clicked over to it.

12. The Most Remote Town in the United States

Okay, this was simply me being a smartass with the bad pun. And, after the whole controversy over whether I was an alt of Glowing Fish (or vice versa) I always find it amusing to post in nodes GF has created. GF not long thereafter wrote Three United States Counties Not Connected to Land, and I struggled for a while for a story wherein three counties were going to land (in the verb sense), but finally gave up.

13. Questionable Content

Love that webcomic, and what was here was out of date.

14. The Art of Blowjob

I actually wasn't, particularly attempting to be provocative with this one. I simply agree with that website's premise that there's no reason why a blowjob can't be as much of a work of art as any other sort of performance.

15. reincarnation

This is an idea I've kicked around for a loooong time -- a decade or more -- and the excitement of ironnoder simply finally got me to put it down here.

16. The Muse's Triumph

This poem, for me, seems to capture a sense of what drives some to keep coming back here.

17. Why women have ridiculous amounts of shoes

This was a pure reaction post -- saw a theory put up, happened to have my own theory already knockin' around my noggin, thought to post it.

18. rocket surgery

I've heard folks proclaim this as a mangled punchline (intentionally or no) on more than one occasion.

19. brain transplant

Another thing I've though about for quite a long time. Obviously.

20. hot-boxing

Spur-of-the moment write-up on a topic that crossed my mind which I saw no coverage of.

21. How to spot bad internet porn stories

I don't remember how I got to looking at this node in the first place, but there were so many items of advice given that I just had to compile them as much as I could into a single story catching them all -- and throw on an unsexy twist ending to boot.

22. The Last Harry Potter Adventure

Got caught up in the Harry Potter fanfic storyline from the past few weeks of Questionable Content.

23. My First Porn

I was genuinely nervous about posting this. I haven't put much in the way of true erotica on the Internet, nor have I tended to write biographically.

24. alphabet trick

It.... came up.... while writing My First Porn -- I had just assumed it would be noded here; lacking that, I put it together.

25. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

The Custodian had this on a want list; well he had a lot of things on the list but this is the one that jumped out and grabbed me and cried out, write meeee!!

26. North American Man-Fetus Love Association

This has apparently caused some disconsternation as well. I was inspired to write this by the ridiculous self-justification arguments made by pedophiles, I had put together this joking piece a while ago on the equally absurd idea of fetophilia. I finally got prompted to posting when I read about the pedophilia how-to being pulled from Amazon.com.

27. The science fiction of shrinking

Another one I had bubbling around in my mind for a long, long time -- for as long as I've written about the possibility of time travel I've been keen to point out the implausibility of this sci-fi stepcousin to that concept.

28. Jesus was a Gay Black Hippie Jew

Well, here's the deal. Woodnot posted Jesus was a reactionary reformer, just like Martin Luther in later years, and this popped up as a related link, and following it led me to multiple arguments about the possible gayness, blackness, and hippieness of Jesus, but all of them relating to only one of the many possible definitions which could be applied to each of those words.

Success!!

All of my nodes to this point of the month are still alive. The most upvoted is My First Porn; highest overall score (and most C!'d) is Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Total upvotes 273. Most downvoted (and lowest overall score) is the admittedly bad-pun-driven The Most Remote Town in the United States, with 13 downvotes for a -5 overall. Total downvotes 93 (my six most downvoted writeups for the month count for more than half of all downvotes). Overall evaluation? Eh, not too bad.

It's definitely spring now, verging on summer

Breeze shakes the jasmine
wraps itself in mournful scent
for winter's last rites

First daylog ever. Just some ramblings.

A.
Finally got to actually look over that polisci test I got back Friday.

I'd forgotten: under the question 'How does a bill become a law', I wrote out the entire schoolhouse rock song, 'I'm Just a Bill'. I got full points and a smiley face. And here I thought he didn't have a sense of humor. Too bad none of the other corresponding questions had a song to go with them.

B.

Somebody seen him hangin' around
At the old dance hall on the outskirts of town.
He looked into her eyes when she stopped him to ask
If he wanted to dance, he had a face like a mask.
Somebody said, from the bible he quote.
There was dust on the man in the long black coat.

Joan Osborne's cover of Bob Dylan's 'Man in the Long Black Coat'. Holy hell, this is a big step up from 'What if God was One of Us' (seriously, the concept was interesting, but dammit if the lyrics didn't sound like they were written by a third grader). There's some really cool imagery in there. Being the remorseless scavenger I am, I have it on repeat and am trying to figure out how to use it. There's a story in there –hell, there's fifty different stories in there, but I'm trying to pick them out. It's like, there's a bunch of threads someone laid out in one big pile, but just the act of picking out one string moves and tangles the others. There may be fifty potential stories in there, but I'll be lucky if I can manage to get one whole one out intact.

The song itself brings to mind the Terry Pratchett quote, "And it was all very symbolic, though nobody could tell of what." (I think it was a Tiffany Aching book, but don't hold me to it).

Why the hell do I think Mysterious Strangers ™ in long coats lurking around are so cool? It's just a fun concept*, they could be anything. Is it Kalfu (or any of his mythological counterparts) lurking around at a crossroad waiting to make a deal? Is it a time traveler looking around, finding himself in unfamiliar territory, but reassured with the certainty that he knows what's going to happen next? Is it someone part of some Ancient Conspiracy ™ waiting for something important to happen? A badass wizard detective? Something else altogether?

It's like play dough for the brain: you can play with it. Mix it around, mash it up, and turn it into something. It may not be something worth keeping –it may be utter crap, in fact, but the very act of making that hunk of crap was worthwhile in and of itself.

. . .

Gosh, that sounds bad. But the point remains valid. It's not just the mysterious-guy-in-a-coat trope I'm talking about wither. All ideas are like that. Any little thing in the real world can be twisted up and turned into something fun.

So yeah, tangent. Huh. Well, this whole damned daylog business is just one large tangent, isn't it?

C.
Woo! I got to level one today! I can finally start voting on all the writeups I like. Watch out, all y'all, I intend to use up every single one of my votes, possibly on writups that have been around since I was in the fourth grade.

Seriously, this was the entire reason I joined the site: I wanted to tell the Custodian how much I liked the New York Magician stories (I found them through the TvTropes page). Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I ever did tell him. Ah well. I'll go vote on them once the vote count-thingumy loads up.

D. I love BBC radio now. Thank you, random internet person who directed me to their reading of H.G. Well's mindfuck, 'A Door in the Wall'. Of course, it's no longer available. >.<" I wish I knew how the hell the site worked. Are we allowed to download those or buy them off the site or what? I want that reading, dammit!

E. Well, that's all I can think of at the moment. Um. Goodbye, daylog?

Preacher was talkin', there's a sermon he gave,
He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved.
"You cannot depend on it to be your guide,
When it's you who must keep it satisfied."
It ain't easy to swallow, it sticks in the throat,
She gave her heart to the man in the long black coat.
**


*In stories, I mean. It's fun to play with in stories. In real life they usually fall under the categories of:
- (Fairly common, especially in the twenty-something crowd) Matrix enthusiast/ person who wants to look cool.
- (More rarely) Person who is actually cold.
- (Almost certainly) Pervert who may or may not be wearing anything beneath the coat.

** Of course, reading that verse now after making that Dresden Files comment, I can now only see the two as a weird, old west alternate dimension versions of Harry and Murphy. Dammit.

EDIT Nov. 15, 1pm: I just realized how funny it was that I found this song after writing 'Man at the crossroads'.

Early morning light filtered through Venetian blinds. The bed supple, the down comforter warm. Knowing this day needed to be started, I slipped out of his bed, out of this feather soft nest of dreaming, and quietly padded toward the bathroom. I have never awakened in his bed before. I have never slept in his bed before. We have been together since April and have slept in other beds, in other rooms, in other houses, in other cities, in other states, but never in the luxury of his king-sized bed. I like his bed.


He made a murmuring sound in his sleep, I froze, he stirred, but he remained on that ragged edge of sleep. For this I am grateful.

The clock on his night stand table in the chiaroscuro, illegible without my glasses, but I guessed it was somewhere between 6 and 7AM. Venetian blinds are something new to me. I have no window treatments on my windows at home. No lacy curtains, no shades, no blackouts. I am always up with the birds. At home, the first thing I see every morning is treetops, clouds, and dawn streaking her way across the canyon skies through a set of French windows or the oriel on the southern end of my room. Sometimes there are rainbows cast by the crystals I have hanging there. Light caught in the prisms and refracted onto the walls and antique furniture, the rosewood floors, and the ceilings, spattered with glow-in-the-dark stars.

It's odd brushing your teeth in someone else’s bathroom. He uses Trader Joe’s anti-plaque toothpaste with fennel, propolis and myrrh. I load my toothbrush, left on the counter the night before, with this liquorish tasting wonder, this gourmet treat, and brush as I glance around this foreign space at the things he has collected. A Picasso-like drawing in a plastic box frame over the toilet, a black and white photo of an African American woman, she looks familiar, Ella Fitzgerald? 3x5 pictures of me, taped onto the mirror, or propped against the back splash. The one of me wearing the green knee socks, the socks I bought after reading Richard Fariña’s “Been Down So Long It looks Like Up”, the photo taken a few days after I returned from Peru where I had gone on an ill fated magazine assignment. Another one taken recently on a summer morning, while we were relaxing on my verandah after breakfast, after he had finished strumming my guitar, taken seconds before he has announced that he had to leave, had to go home, a home I had never seen. Me not wanting him to go. But needing him to go so I could get on with my day. There were other photos I had not seen before taken that same morning. A morning soft with love.


I tiptoed back into his bedroom, stealthily retrieved my glasses, my iPhone, a ring I wear on my right hand, the head of an Indian chief, his head dress adorned with mother of pearl, bits of onyx, turquoise, and coral, a silver necklace, the gift from a past lover, and my cornflower blue silk blouse unceremoniously dropped to the floor the night before. I then crept out of the room once again. The clock now no longer a blur read 6:23AM.

I am silently praying he won’t awaken. I treasure my mornings. The quiet time when I can write undisturbed.

I finish a node on a childhood memory and post it, start one on chestnut soup, and then get the inspiration to start this daylogue. Today is one of the most important days of my life. It is something I have wished for for many years, and now the dream has come to fruition.

I write for awhile.

I hear him one room away, moving about, then I see him naked in the doorway, searching dark corners for me. He comes to me, plants a kiss on the top of my head. I reach out and stroke him, fondle him. He asks me what time I got up. I reply, he says he needs coffee. We don’t drink coffee at my house. I prepare myself for the aroma I know is eminent. Knowing I’ll be flooded with memories of other days and other times. He respects my need to write. He disappears into the bathroom, I hear the drip of the coffee in the kitchen. I am totally unaware of him, have lost tract of him, until he sits in a squeaky chair with his back to me sipping the freshly brewed coffee. I glance up, he has dressed. He’s reading the NY times online. I continue to write.

He mentions breakfast. We decide to go to a nearby taco stand for breakfast burritos, common street food made elegant, but first he stands before me, one foot on the coffee table, a guitar balanced on his knee, strumming a good morning song for me, as if he senses how much music means to me and how much I miss it in my life. Tears well up in my eyes. I contain them, I do not permit them to spill.

We drive to breakfast. It is always amusing. His wry observations about life entertain me. I drop him at home. Minutes later I am navigating the 134 freeway.

On my road I meet a car coming down the narrow, paper street upon which my house is precariously perched. Had I not sat in the car at the bottom reading my mail, I would not have had to back up onto the ramp of a driveway, hewn into the side of a decomposed granite mountainside next door to my house. It is easier to do this than to insist upon my right of way. So I fasten my seatbelt which I had taken off to get the mail and I try not to look over the cliffside as I cautiously back up.

I made good time 25 minutes door to door from his house to mine. I have the rare comfort of leisurely getting ready for my event tonight I take advantage of it.

Inside my room, after showering and dressing in the long black cotton summer dress I bought to wear in Tuscany last month, I pick up a drone flute, adjust the fetishes, practice scales, readjust the fetishes, finally get them right, and play a tune I want to play tonight before I recite Tiny Warrior. I am pleased with the sound and the drone. I gather the things I need, a tripod, a movie camera, a still camera, a purse, my computer, a shawl, opera length pearls, shoes, keys, then I lock my bedroom door and exit the house.

I set the GPS then head down the canyon to the corner drugstore, the one that used to be Thrifty Drugs, the one that used to have an ice cream counter with rainbow ice, the one where i used to take Daisy when she was small. The one where my mother used to take me, when I was a child. Now there is a 1 hour photo shop in that place inside the store, and I wonder what will replace that when people stop printing photos. I chose the cassettes for the movie camera, pay for them and leave.

I ignore the GPS telling me to take Fairfax, that would be insane on a Sunday late morning, especially driving through what we call The Borscht Belt. Instead I want to take Crescent Heights, wouldn’t you know; a movie company has it all blocked off for several blocks I take the detours, telling the GPS woman to shut up. I finally get to a point we both agree upon and merge onto the 101 headed west to Santa Monica.

I am sitting in a church on Hill street going over our set list for tonight. Dean has changed the reading to accommodate a slide show. Sunlight illuminates the stained glass windows, Jesus in a scarlet cloak, storm clouds gathering, a shaft of light shining down upon him, as he sits, hands folded atop a rock, in prayer . His window is flanked by two almost identical windows with Easter lily designs, angels, a star of David. One window in memory of Junior Sanders, the other a William Kestner . People begin to drift in. Some of them I know, we exchange greetings, I work on the set list correlating the books to the poems Dean has chosen based on our reading last Sunday at a book store in Echo Park. I get it done just in time to recite, Things I'll do now that he's gone and promote the show tonight. I notice I have three hours before the moment I have been waiting for for 5 years. I head over to the venue; I am an hour and a half early. I unload the car, take the book trolley into the book store. At 6:23pm I realise I have only 8 copies of the new book, Somehow I left the box at home, I am perturbed, I usually have a road manager to do silly things like that. I get into my car and head home on the surface streets, collect the books and somehow make it back to the venue at 7:10 for a 7:30 show.

During sound check, Kit my best friend from high school turns up. I am thrilled. We regale everyone with one of the only stories we can remember that’s worth telling; we broke into the drama classroom one night and changed the grades of our friend Susan who was failing Drama and in danger of not graduating. We changed several of her F’s to A’s. In the scheme of things it didn’t matter if she could emote or not. Right after graduation, she entered a monastery to become a Buddhist monk. She has spent her life in that monastery far up in the San Bernardino mountains. So Mrs. Shields, what difference did it make? You obviously couldn’t act either otherwise you’d have been a big star, instead of teaching a bunch of disinterested teen-aged high school kids who could care less.

My beau arrives, sets up the camera. The second I see him I know it will be a good show, because I can forget about the audience and make love to the camera, as I flirt with the “guy” behind the lens. My guy!

It feels like winter. It's sunny out there, bright blue sky and shafts of orange-tinged light brushing the trees outside my window, but the light will only last a few hours, the appearance of nice weather is belied by the biting cold that hits as soon as you step out in it.

Winter gets a lot of people down, especially in Scotland and all the lands north of it. I know a few people who probably just shouldn't live at this latitude, knowing they will have to get through months of depression every year, and one or two who've flown a long way south for that very reason. Mostly it doesn't affect me so much, but I'm not immune. For a couple of weeks or so I've had that feeling of being chased by the darkness, knowing I can stay on top of it if all goes well but if I slip then my head will go under. Maybe I can still swim my way back to the surface and stay there though, we'll see.

I took part in this year's Samhuinn Fire Festival, so nicely written up by gnarl, at the end of October. This was my second Samhuinn as a performer. Last time I played the part of one of the Valravn, corvid embodiments of inevitable death - not the cheeriest of roles, but sometimes I think embracing the shadow is the best way to deal with its existence. This year I opted to co-run the Summer Troupe, leading a gang of huge, sunny, fabulous animal puppets dancing obliviously down the Royal Mile to our inescapable, gruesome doom. It was a lot of fun, and I got on well both with my group and the wolves destined to eat us, but I wonder if I'm finding it harder to adjust after roleplaying that militant unawareness of the change of seasons.

I've been putting a lot of 'work' into E2 lately - re-doing the front page after Aerobe solicited suggestions for what needed to be done for it, playing with a nodegraph visualiser I wrote in Processing, fixing up a few other bits and pieces, and meanwhile working on some writing, because in the end that's what I'm here for. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the future of the site - we're well on the way to fixing most of the really stupid stuff in the interface, and after that I'm hopeful about it starting to grow again. I realise some people may see this in much the same light as the Summer Troupe dancing happily towards a pack of wolves, but I plan on staying hopeful until I'm proven wrong. Wish us luck.

The time is now 23:00 local time, 12:30 E2 server time.

I am writing a daylog today because a bunch of IRON NODERs are writing one today, I'm not entirely sure why, I think mostly because we can. This is a daylog and will cover specifically today, if you want to know what's been going on in my life lately, see my previous daylog. I was wondering what I was going to write for this, but now that today has actually come and gone, the problem seems to have resolved itself somewhat.

To get something out of the way first, yes I am going to see a medic in the near future. The ball has been gotten rolling for that today. Anyone who needed to know that should probably be happy about it, anyone who didn't will probably simply not care less.

So, balls. Yes, there was totally balls, well, one anyway. And it was filled with helium. The balloon launch planned for the weekend unfortunately "had to be scrapped due to poor weather," and there was instead a smaller balloon sent up today for testing. Balloon and payload lifted off from Mount Barker at noon (01:30 UTC) right on schedule, and the chase car set off after it. Ground tracking stations (of which I was one) and the chase car monitored telemetry off the UHF link as usual, and relayed it to the central tracking server which then pushed it all out to us again, along with anyone else who wanted to watch. The balloon rose to 17,315 metres at 03:26 UTC before bursting and descending back to Earth to land just inside Ngarkat Conservation Park. The Land Cruiser's not gonna have to go and retrieve it next week fortunately, the guys in the chase car just got it back as I type this. A speed of 124 km/h was reached, faster than the 120 km/h of the chase car.

Other things? I arranged to get paid finally for some work I did not long ago. Mmm, money. Oh, and I posted the node I wrote last night. Can't think of much else.

Have fun, stay safe. Oh, and listen to this.
*waves and disappears into the night*

November 15, 2010: TAKE ONE

I woke up early. I showered. I got dressed. I had breakfast. I spent some time online... I had dinner. I sat down to write this...

It's all so boring! When I lived in the city things were more exciting, I could go places and see things, and now I can't afford to go anywhere and am trapped in this idiotic suburb on a peninsula. Well, I refuse to acknowledge how boring it is out here: I am going to retroactively make my day awesome.

November 15, 2010: TAKE TWO

I woke up, dispatched the assassins in the wardrobe, showered, and got dressed. I was just about to make breakfast, but I was interrupted by an enormous crash outside - it turned out one of the dinosaurs from the cloning facility was loose and had caused someone to swerve in shock and roll their vehicle. It had one foot on the crashed car and was trying to get at the tasty snack inside.

Dinosaur breakout is a common occurrence in these parts, so I just grabbed a large-bore rifle from the closet, loaded a couple of shells into it, and took the slavering reptile's head clean off. I couldn't really think up a neat line on the spot, I hadn't had my coffee this morning and I really need some caffeine before I can manage the witticisms.

Of course, I was out of coffee.

Since I could still hear the dinobreak sirens in the distance, I would have to load up on ammunition for the trip across to the shops. When I got there I found everything was closed. Lazy bastards! Well, it was easy enough to pick the lock on the side door. Still no coffee. That meant a trek over to the other side of the hill to find a shop with coffee - the buses aren't allowed onto the peninsula when there's a dinobreak, since there's some sort of bizarre fear they'll escape quarantine via public transport.

I won't bore you with the fending off dinosaurs, or the zombies from the graveyard. But when I got to Seatoun, what did I find? Bloody pirates looting the store. It's always the same, isn't it? The worst part of dealing with pirates is that they always call me a wench. It's like there's some kind of regulation.

Fifty-three dead pirates later, I was on my way home with some coffee. When I got home I found that the house had a pteranodon roosting on the roof. I decided I couldn't be bothered dealing with that right away. Coffee beckoned. Since it was getting late I made dinner - and I have no idea how a cobra got in the oven, but since they're not quite as alarming as dinosaurs it's probably best not to think too hard about it. I just threw it out the window. I think I hit someone with it, but they should be aware of the "watch for airborne venomous animals" signs.

So I've just spent some time finishing off the abbreviated tale of my day. I can still hear the pteranodon on the roof, but otherwise it's quiet. Quiet, but all of a sudden bright. There's all this bright light outside... Oh, aliens. Here we go again...

Iron Noder progress:

Slow but not sure. A handful of entries, but-- if related to previous iron noder attempts-- a marked improvement. Although I certainly have many things to node about, I keep hesitating. One positive thing I've noticed is that what I've noded so far this year has received much more feedback by private message than many years previous. I find myself commenting more and more on other people's contributions as well, and not just niggling little typo corrections, but inspirations, bits i like, things the writing has reminded me of...

I doubt I'll make the 30 to meet the Iron Noder quota, but I'll get close to it if i get the gumption up. Part of the hesitation is due to doubts about Why I'm writing for a site that appears to be moving nowhere. Why should I contribute to something with no established purpose, no sense of direction, and no indication that it will be here in the near future or beyond? This is a conflict that's plagued me for several years, and since I don't have an answer, I've been trying to get beyond it and just write.

Just Write. That's the mantra and the motto.


Everything2 idea:

One of this site's great concepts is the pipelinking. The other, by accident I think, is the copyright reverting to author 'unless stated otherwise'. There's nothing that indicates anyone involved with the site will co-opt my writing for a book, promotion, another site without proper compensation.

We've had writers start here and go on to bigger and better things, maybe we should start inviting other writers here, specifically bloggers. Writers who are blogging interesting things, writing about what's happening in the world in an extensive way, writing about artists, films, books, architecture, music, politics, love, travel... all the things written about here anyway. As the writers retain copyright, they can leave their work here or take it away whenever they feel like it. So I'm going to get together a list of a dozen bloggers I think would work well if they put some of their subjects on e2, and email them an invitation to join.


Day Log:

A few years ago I worked with a group of people to pull together all the places you can go to in Scotland to be physically active-- like football pitches, gyms, and parks-- for a website. Lately I've been employed to review all this and make corrections. It's a pretty long and dull slog. One of the bits of the site includes the location of the place on a Google map, and I've had to correct this or make it finer. While we were orginally putting the site's data together, Google was doing its Street View capture, and now I've found that this is helping me. While on a map it might show a play area surrounded by fields you could play football in, checking the location in Street View shows me the green fields have houses now. Also, when we weren't given full information by various councils about equipment in play areas, we had to squint and assume that shadow matched a swing. Now, I can pop the address in, zip around in street view and see that there's a swing, some roundabouts, a climbing frame, etc... or see that the swings are only suitable for toddlers.

Sometimes when I do this, I feel like I'm in that scene in Men In Black, where Tommy Lee Jones zooms into the garden of his abandoned sweetheart. This especially kicks in when i click too fast, and the map turns into giant pixels.

Another depression log

Well.

I seem to have driven yet another therapist into recommending drastic steps as a 'Hail Mary' sort of option.

Last session, he started talking about TMS and the various logistical complications (insurance doesn't cover it, e.g.) and its possible benefits. Unfortunately, under 'possible benefits,' the answers are sort of hazy. They all seem to boil down to 'step 3: profit!' and not much else. I guess we don't really know exactly how psychopharmaceuticals work either - I mean, we can tie them to a physiological difference (serotonin levels, etc.) but we can't postively follow the train back to why these changes make people more or less depressed. We just don't know enough about how the brain works.

This time, I seem to have driven him to this suggestion because his model of therapy seems to be incompatible with my particular pathology. In other terms, my problem prevents me from deriving any benefit from talk therapy, at least as he implements it.

Do I just buy that explanation? Looked at one way, I don't have much choice, I guess - he's the therapist, after all.

Part of this is no doubt because my set of problems are (like so many others) rooted in things that happened in my childhood - and one of the things that happened in my childhood was that I was raised by a psychiatrist. As a result of that, large chunks of my personality and behavior patterns evolved to 'ward off' the normal methodologies and techniques of the therapist - because, after all, most kids find ways to keep their moms out of their lives, regardless of what tools those moms have at their disposal.

So it's possible that my inability to derive benefit from talk therapy - or, talk therapy's inability (so far) to help me - comes from that.

The problem is that we seem to live in a fucking Dark Age when it comes to psychiatric medicine. Honestly. I mean, the steps that seem to be followed, from my experience, are:

  1. Talk therapy, which is a very very 'art-like' process, and has severe limitations
  2. If that doesn't work, or in addition, medications whose effects we can't really follow precisely but seem to work sometimes
  3. If that doesn't work, jump to TMS, which is a recent option, because otherwise we would go right to
  4. ECT, which relies on inducing seizure and unconsciousness in a manner quite like the workings of the electric chair in order to induce some sort of dramatic change. Um, thanks, but no thanks.
And that's it.

The Dark Fucking Ages of a medical specialty.

Well, now. Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Went to class. Spilled an entire bottle of water on myself. Came back home. Doing homework now, and preparing a slab of meat for dinner. Hummed White Room by Cream to myself all day. I lead a really dull life.

I'm halfway through the Iron Noder Challenge, and only one day behind. That's a refreshing change of pace seeing as I utterly failed at NaNoWriMo three years consecutively. I'm a little annoyed that all but one of my write-ups have been "things." But, I've gotten almost entirely positive feedback so far, not to mention a few friendly spelling corrections.

I'm a little obsessed with completing this challenge. Before November 1 rolled around, I made a huge list of everything I thought might not be in the database. Then, I checked everything on it, crossed about half of it off, added more things, and so on. But, I've only mentioned it to one real-life friend. I told him I was writing one mini-essay a day for fun. He solves math problems in his free time, so he simultaneously completely understood and was totally mystified. Such is life.

Today I visited the museum of childhood. It was excellent. There were toys that I had no idea existed. And lots of snoopy. No museum is complete without snoopy. Especially a knitting snoopy. Knitting snoopy’s are the best thing that you could possibly hope for. All in all an excellent experience. Especially the vast amount of things made out of paper. Who knew that you could make so many things from paper? I thought paper planes were the greatest paper based entertainment. Until today. I feel truly enlightened.

This was followed by a beautiful moment involving discovering just how good lamb shank is. Another truly enlightening experience. I feel like a childhood fed chubby Buddha. This, my friend is truth.

I would not daylog if I wasn't being urged to do so as part of our venture. However, I do feel I should make some brief notes on my progress as an iron noder, which is my progress as a noder, which is my progress as a human being.

I was actually working on a theme this year for iron noder, of a sort. I have been, compared to past years, somewhat slower in writing, but I actually think this year's effort has been one of my best yet. I am trying to discover what e2 is for, the golden realm between dry data and fecund emotion. I was going to cover the recent elections (already gone beyond the horizon of the news cycle), but in doing so, I begin to think, as I often do, about the many gradations of the American political landscape. I started out on a quest to describe the vagaries of geography. I still plan to return to my original goal. If nothing else, the sheer number of elections in the United States gives me a great deal of numbers to churn out.

There is a personal side to my fascination with isolated points. I have spent over a year living in Hamilton, Montana, which is quite a change from the life of a hipster in Portland, Oregon. Part of my isolation is caused by me being in a place where the political and social currents are (superficially, at least), different from what I was used to in Portland. But I think much of my isolation comes from a deeper source than the lack of options for cheap Thai Food: it is about the fact that I am more adept and interested in written English than spoken English. This is actually a preview for a writeup I am planning, on Standard Written English, but there is an entire mindset that comes with using the written word over the spoken word that is hard to capture. Recently, I left Facebook for a week and a half because the constant stream of images and one-liners was not contributing to my edification. During this absent period, I realized how much of a home I had on e2, because here, the people speak my native language: written English.

It is personally very important for me that I can have people who I can communicate with in the subtleties and gradations that written language allows, as opposed to the sloganeering that is omnipresent on the internet. It is also very important to the world as a whole that the technological availability of information and out new-found ability to share everyone's opinions, views and information becomes part of decision making. So that, in short, is my daylog describing my trajectory, as we, the brave few noders of e2, try to channel the internets violent froth of chaotic information into a form that can be used by the people as a whole.

Finally! The long awaited day is upon us at last. Iron Noder Daylog Day 2010. There is a food drive at my school, and it's getting pretty intense. My home-room teacher, Ms. Eiffert, has won the food drive for team 8-2 since the school school started it. The other three home-room teachers, are so determined to win, that two are willing to give all their food to Mr. Anderson. They don't even care who wins, so long as it's not Eiffert.Mr. Anderson even tried to bribe me with donoughts and a note that would get Mr. O'Neil to take one entire minute off of my jog test, if I would sabotage my own, and siphon off Eiffert's food to him. It's going to be a pleasure to see the look on their faces as Ms. Eiffert wins. The food drive starts tomorrow, we already have 6 lbs of food. Besides that, I've been enjoying reading Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall", while I was taking a break from the "Hitch-hiker's Trilogy." I do love me some of that good old-time science fiction. Circumstances have prevented me from doing the prolific noding I would have liked to achieve over the weekend, though I could probably find time to crank out two or three tomorrow in between all the reading I'll be doing. I haven't had Poptarts in so long, I'll have to put them on the shopping list. Ahh so much work so little time.


Until next time,


Dr. Jimmy

So those doing the ironman thought we should all daylog on the same day, the 15th was chosen since it was the halfway point. The server for E2 is in Europe, I believe, so it's actually the 16th already, but it's certainly the 15th for me, so here this is.

In about an hour and fifteen minutes I'll get ready to go to work again. This is day 7 of 8 days straight. Then I have 2 days off, get to work Friday and Saturday, then two more days off.

The 11th was the one year anniversary of me living on my own. I hesitate to even mention my ex-girlfriend due to my dislike of the idea I'm not over her or whatever. With the anniversary and all I think it's pretty natural that I've been thinking about her lately. I'm sure striking up a conversation with a Mandarin speaking woman who's only been in the US 3 years didn't help. She played blackjack all night, and there were times she was the only one who was at the table.

Three women I know are pregnant. No, I had nothing to do with it. I haven't had sex in 5 months or more I'm guessing. I was thinking earlier about the idea of settling. We always settle. It's just because we have amazing imaginations. The reality is we aren't even perfect for ourselves. But we can imagine perfection.

What my life lacks in the female department it is more than compensated in the gaming department. This whole working a lot thing, combine with this crazy writing challenge, has really showed me just how much I crave gaming. I think the happiest I was at work last night was when some guy I like mentioned he was thinking about getting Assassin's Creed 2. Not sure if I'll get it, I'm still not a consumer, but it was fun to talk about AC. "Jump in some hay and you're good to go."

Which reminds me how disappointed I was at the part of AC where you are railroaded into fighting a lot. I liked the avoiding fighting part of that game more. The climbing was so much fun. Which also reminds me of DOTA. I've been playing a lot of the Starcraft 2 DOTA, and someone said that Valve was working on a full DOTA with 100 heroes, which sounds just awesome.

I looked it up, but it says that Valve is going to call their game DOTA 2 and has applied for a trademark, and I read that Blizzard isn't happy about that, which seems totally understandable to me, since DOTA was a mod someone made to run on Warcraft III.

I was destroying someone's base in the Starcraft 2 DOTA, and when some opposing hero came to stop me I teleported away. Basically I was accused of poor sportsmanship. What I don't know is if the guy was serious, or if he was just coffee housing.

I mean the goal of the game is to destroy the enemy base. Some people may play like the goal is just to kill each other...get as many kills without dying much. That's a great way to make money, so you can get better items, but it doesn't end in "victory" until you kill the enemy base.

Interesting stuff, if you are me anyway. So interesting, in fact, that I need to get in at least one more game before work.

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