I saw the most amazing sunset today. In fact, this sunset was so unusual, that there were people standing out in the street taking photos! Let me see if I can describe the scene to you:

It had just finished raining and the rain clouds were grey, but high in the sky. With the recent rain washing away the dust, the urban landscape surrounding my College had that clean glistening look and a fresh clean smell to the air. As the sun sank behind a row of houses, the dying rays blazoned skyward and illuminated the clouds in colours that ranged from a fiery orange close to the horizon to a sunburnt orange straight above me. Gone was the greyness, replaced instead with rich saturated colour.

Imagine that you can't make out any distance in the sky, no perception of depth, a sky that has become two dimensional. It's as if someone has draped a screen in the sky and painted it orange - no cloud shapes, no birds, just a bright orange screen. Now bathe the urban landscape in shades of dull orange colour. No longer are there green leaves on trees, coloured cars zipping along the road, or red tiled roofs on the building. Instead, it's as if you are viewing the world through heavily tinted orange spectacles.

That was the sunset I saw tonight. How I wish I could have captured the scene for everyone at E2 to enjoy.

Even in urban spaces, Nature is indeed beautiful.

Everything Day Logs
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Time: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 00:20:51 GMT
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Number of nodes: 751977 (859 new since November 15, 2000)
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New Nodes: [Sorrells Pickard Groumet Creamy PeanutButter] [pizza toppings] [Toys 'R' Us Kid] [The Gallic Wars Book 1 Chapter 25] [San Francisco music scene] [perhaps love] [disgust] [Life is a game I cannot win] [the state will be served / even by poets] [Hush, I stole them out of the moon.] [Johann Excellent Nodeshell Rehabilitation Center And Everything2 Cocktail Party] [Bits and Bytes] [Habanera] [Everything will be C!] [The Boys of Summer]

Users Online (56): [Pseudo_Intellectual] [Sylvar] [General Wesc] [JeffMagnus] [Xamot] [anotherone] [perdedor] [Eraser_] [ivan37] [Jinmyo] [kamamer] [siren] [mcc] [junkpile] [Girlface] [nocodeforparanoia] [Stride] [Wuukiee] [baffo] [Roninspoon] [Citizen Aim] [spacklequeen] [Katyana] [Byzantine] [factgirl] [Cletus the Foetus] [piq] [b_o_leary] [Michalak] [Tarquinious] [tobtoh] [yerricde] [Infinity] [ferrouslepidoptera] [Mitchevious] [Sputnik] [wh00t] [Ryouga] [jasonm] [LukeyBoy] [madvid] [WonkoDSane] [boone] [mordel] [Pantsless Bob] [swirlsbeforepine] [Illumina] [Dave!] [adamwolf] [WyldWynd] [NYCadAdept] [Aresds] [RalphyK] [HairBear] [MrKibble] [chevette]

JeffMagnus node count: 4044 (-1 new since November 15, 2000)
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JeffMagnus node of the day: God

I'm spending the day trying to write poetry and become increasingly frustrated by my inability to be as creative as I would like to be.

shameless plug
November is a month of spending money. Lots of money. For my computer plans, I've bought a new case and a CPU cooler (at a total of $211). For myself, I've bought a new pair of leather dress shoes and a cellular phone ($40 for the shoes, and $50 for the phone). I know I'll buy a lot of stuff as I close in to the "holiday season," but not to this degree. I would've just been happy with a new case and CPU cooler for the computer.

And then, I'll buy a ticket to see Michael Feinstein, an ATI Radeon graphics card, and so on, and so on, and so on...


OK, here's the deal: the university is having a Fuchs Hunt today, so the place will be probably having a lot of high school kids from all around the country... Reno said he'll be here too. I hope I'll meet him.

I still have a flu and that really seems to drag me down...

Now, I need to get going... will node more later today. =)


Yeah, I met Reno. We went to the university's animal museum and I showed him the fox that looked a bit like Mikko (too short legs, see? =) and we compared the sizes of wolves and foxes. =)

Strange, I don't feel annoyed and the flu is only mildly annoying at the moment...


Slashdot headlines: "At Last, Mir to be Ditched" and "Iridium Saved?" Wait wait wait. Tomorrow, I guess, we'll see "Mir Saved (Again)" and "Iridium Deorbiting Has Begun"... =)

...in addition to a few Bush-wins-Gore-wins-Bush-wins headlines and...


Why can't people just decide?

We live in the age of constant uncertainity...


They tagged the last (compulsory) Digital Media excercise "unfinished".

Which MEANS I need to try to make that New Media Majestetic Wonder-Javascript-Nonlogger (that didn't work with Mozilla - or pretty much anything else I tried with it) to work to complete that. Poor me. This isn't going to be pretty.

I'm now really really really ticked off... =(

Other day logs o' mine...

I have suffered from a severe case of interpersonal transgression with this person. Described as my "ex", the last conversation we had last night ended along the lines of "I don't ever want to speak to you again".

It really really hurt, when I thought things couldn't hurt anymore. Sounds like a typical tantrum? We have managed to rub each other the wrong way all the time...

What is strange is that "I want to follow you" still lurks admist all this.
I think I will be good for you, if only you'd listen.
You can tell I really like this guy! But I will continue to be heart-broken for a long time to come.

So, it's hard to keep your personal life separate from work. I was incredible gloomy at work, though I have to put on a cheery face: afterall, who wants to go to an unhappy dentist?
Today I will make my seventh trip to my college in Flint, Kettering Univeristy. I have not actually started classes (I start in January), but the company I am working for is constantly recruiting so off I go. I get to spend about 9 hours in a car with my boss and I will probably not have access to the Internet for another 14-29 hours. It's scary, but life goes on. I'll update on the success of the recruitment and/or discuss my feelings about my school.
(updated November 17, 2000)

Man, long two days. I go into the actual trip in detail tomorrow, but I just wanted to say that I should have forseen it would have been a two day trip and there were other small issues that could have been prevented had I known what to expect. *sigh* That's what makes life worth living.

Today my former employer learns a hard lesson.

The problem is that the company I used to work for still owes me $3,646. They "suspended operations" (which means they ran out of money) so they are apparently having a hard time paying people.

I know for a fact that this guy who owns the place has enough money to pay me. As such he is feeling the wrath of someone who is unemployed, broke, badly in need of money, and has nothing better to do.

I'm calling his cell phone every fifteen minutes. I'm calling his house every other thirty minutes. I'm calling the Texas Employment Commission every hour or so with updates. I'm calling one bulldog of a lawyer later today.

It might seem mean, but I got shit to do.
Fourth day back at work:

previous | next

I've quit school. It was too much for me, and now I'm starting to think that work isn't that much better. Lately I've been incredibly down. Usually I can preoccupy myself and try to forget about it, but it always comes back when I think about things. I've never felt like before now. It hurts.

I can't find anyone. I feel so alone, so helpless. Everyone else around me has someone that they can lean on, someone to help them make sense of the world, and I don't. Everyone keeps telling me that I'm not alone, but that doesn't help. I don't feel complete.

I'm going to the doctor today. I have no idea what he's going to say, but everyone has been telling me to see him. I don't know... It scares me to think that he might want to put me on drugs, but it would scare me even more if he wanted to send me to a counselor. I don't know what I want to happen. Some of my friends take pills. Little blue ones.

I don't know why I'm so afraid right now. Doctors don't usually scare me so much. I think it might be that I may have to tell him stuff. I'd like to keep that sort of information from as many people as I can while I live here. It's a really scary place where I live.

I'm also under quite a bit of stress lately. Quitting school was almost as hard on me as staying in, but at least it ended quicker. I've also got a credit debt to pay back, and my work won't pay me for another three weeks. I think I can get by, but I might not have any money to spend for Christmas. I've also got to help get some other people get money...

Has anyone else here had to cope with this? I was so depressed yesterday that I couldn't even think. It scared me. How can you deal with this sort of thing when it seems that you're never going to find someone? When it seems that no one will ever love you back?

I hope I can get out of this. I hope I can find someone someday. I hope I won't always be afraid.
When I looked outside a few minutes ago, I realized that it's getting dark outside, while it's only half past 4 in the afternoon. Then I realize that it's almost winter. Damn, the days go by faster then I thought. In little over two weeks I'll turn 23. I'm getting old.

I took the morning off from work, so I woke up pretty late, around 9 a.m. (ok, I know it's not very late, but it's later then usual). Had breakfast, took a shower, got dressed properly.
I had lunch this morning with Paul, my "Human Resource Manager". He's a nice guy, but he's a suit. He comes to visit me at work every now and then and we have lunch, and talk about what has changed with the company I work for (which is different then the company I work at). He also gave me a few cds with Visual Basic and Oracle trainings. I plan on becoming certified in one of them, I just haven't figured out which one would be best.

Around 1 p.m., I showed up at work where I've been doing nothing the whole afternoon. It's a quiet day, so I've been noding a bit. Unfortunately, one of my write-ups already existed (I checked but couldn't find it until someone gave me the [title), so that one can be deleted. Oh, next time something like that happens, /msg me so I know why it is downvoted and can ask for deletion, instead of leaving me wondering why it is downvoted!

I just received a few scripts that I'll have to run on the databases here in the near future, and I doubt they'll make me happy. They'll update] the data in the database, but they take about 2 or 3 hours to complete. And I can't run them during office hours, since the database is being used then, so I'll have to do it during a weekend or in the evening. I'm definately not looking forward to that.

In a few minutes, I'll be on my way home. I still have to do some shopping, but the stores are open this evening so I'll do it then. After that I can probably be found on IRC, or playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. I got that game last week, and I'm hooked on it already. It's one of the few games I really enjoyed in the last few months (the other is Diablo 2).

Today was a very bad day.

Woke up feeling like shit. Sprained my ankle a couple of days ago and just moped around my house yesterday as it is too long a walk to the station to be bothered with with my ankle in that state. So missed a couple of lectures.

Ankle slightly better today, but still feel bad. Have a cold, and a backache that I have had for a year now. I really think I should see someone about it. It's just started moving down into one of my legs which means some sort of trapped nerve scenario or something I think. I certainly hope it's nothing more serious. I'm only fucking 21. Will try and see Doc. soonish. Don't know if stress is exacerbating everything.

Also have insane amounts of Uni work. An individual and group project on the go and two pieces of coursework due tomorrow. When I feel so crap about my health this makes motivation for anything else so so so much harder. Will probably just get it in on time - as always.

Hopefully I will feel ok, and my ankle will have recovered enough to go out tomorrow night - to my normal goth club haunt in London on Friday Nights. (Nb. am not a goth).

Why can't I just be happy?

To begin with, I want to apologize for yesterday's torrent of adolescent nihilist rant about how the world is against me. Update The world has not singled me out for abuse. I am a whiner.

Yoon and I had our 2.5 year anniversary dinner last night at what may be the perfect place for dates with someone you've been with for a long time and intend to marry. The inference here is that you want to be comfy, not spend an obscene amount of money, and still manage to feel like you're doing something "special." We ended up at this restaurant that we had assumed to be a yuppie nightmare but was actually just nice and reasonably priced. I think part of growing up is realizing that not only have your radical ideas occurred to others but most of them are based on really bad information. Anyway, we had a good time and I had this sage chicken dish with a sauce that filled me up before I'd finished the bird. Yeah.

In philosophy class we spent a good deal of time talking about the similarities between Plato's Allegory of the Cave and The Matrix. It seemed like a fairly obvious parallel to me but my fellow students were mesmerized by my professor's pop culture fluency. It is a good way to explain the allegory but not exactly a quantum leap in teaching methods. When kids start college is it just a slow process of pulling their heads out of their asses or is there really something magical about that summer that divides high school and college? I have no idea but the kids I am in classes with seem to be easily amused. I think a shiny object class may be in order.

Still working on a paper about Watergate and the precedent set by that fiasco both for constitional interpretation and political scandal. The more I read the more I am convinced that the memory of Watergate has been largely erased from the collective memory of joe average American. It seems like few people really remember the more sketchy events of that period. Ford's quick draw pardon of Richard Nixon is just one of them that evades notice at least from a historical perspective. The more I read the less I really know. That may be the ultimate result of doing too much research - the realization that you don't really understand the question. It is humbling. Once I started digging into Congressional documents I was totally overwhelmed by the scope of Watergate. I should not be surprised by the general disinterest in the subject but it just seems too huge to ignore. My radical ideas about the apathy of the American public have already occurred to others.


Sometimes it feels like the world is so screwed up, a huge asteroid destroying all life on this planet would be the only viable solution.
No, I'm not talking about the silly U.S. election farce, the fighting in Israel or even the senseless rape & murder of a 14-year-old Finnish girl that's all over the newspapers.
I'm talking about LightWave 6 being marketed as a plug-in for 3D Studio Max.
That is the most insane thing I have ever heard! This is like marketing GIMP as an add-on for Microsoft Paint!
I really hope this is an early april fools joke or something. Newtek must be doing really badly if they need to kiss the asses of 3DS users. Then again, it's partially their own fault for releasing LW6 in a completely unfinished state.
*sigh* .. It's just a damn shame to see the very best 3D program going down.

Strange. I showed my boss what I had been working on, and he didn't trash my ideas. He even complimented some of my work. But don't worry.. At the client meeting tomorrow, my ideas will be shot down like the Red Baron.
But who the hell cares, since it will be Friday.

well i've finally reached level two!! i'm not excited for having leveled but more for the fact that i get to vote now. ten whole votes!!! it's not much,i know but still it's ten more than i had before. now i get to let people know that someone likes their node and whatnot. i know that when i see my rep on a certain node go up it makes me feel good, and now i get to take part in that whole shabang. it'll be fun. i'm excited.
and now it's off to an eventful day of studying and slacking off. not necessairily in that order though. maybe i'll slack off and if that gets boring i'll study.

yeah!! that sounds like a plan.

being awake is too much, the nights are filled with dreams that throw me, and i am beyond tired, anymore.

i do want to go.. more than anyone knows. i am terrified of a lot of things, it is ruining my sleep, and i just need away from here for a while.

i feel selfish. i have been breaking more and more and i feel so selfish for it. pull yourself together, look straight faced into the day.. no one is making this any easier on me.. but then, there are few this is really easy on, anyway.

you don't expect these things.. not usually. i expected it, for some reason. what i didn't expect was the fact that i would drop so much just to be able to go to you.. that i would be willing to do this on my own, because i need it. (and i do..)

it is so hard, sometimes, to do something for yourself when there are so many others to consider. i am sorry, i just can't break anymore..

The days are cold and crisp now on my daily walk. Children fleeting and flitting like cyclones of the crunchy brown leaves underfoot, they tumble out of homes and into the street eddies on bicycles and roller blades.........parking their scooters under my kitchen table while they play computer games swept up in the perpetually frozen era of childhood.

Silence swallows and time elapses. I am no longer so easily allowed into their private worlds. I can only hope to love them the way they want to be loved. With respect and kindness, provide the opportunity to talk, a ride to the store for a treat or a surprise ride home from school so they don't have to ride the bus. Mid-adolesence, a time to develop the perfectly congeniallity to the demands of the spirit--with great resources of will and no self....attempts to say what one is and what one wants, in any day-to-day, practical way. To establish oneself with no clear boundaries utilizing wills to give shape to their own.

He declared at the restaurant,
I would like to get a restraining order on someone, how do I do that? his body fixed in an ireful slouch.
On who? I asked with small alarm.

After two years of hiding in the library at lunch, being harassed-- Piggy! and hard mean --pokes in his sides Number Two Son has reached his plausible limit. I encouraged him to write the names of the tormentors down and suggested we try the school principal first.

The next day I placed a phone call, deliberately a few moments before he walks through the door. Soon the principal returns my call and he's on the phone gathering the information. He will speak to them and please come by his office if they continue the harassment. I hope they decide to end it here. They are too old now to sit down over a bowl of Spagettios to read a story about how hurtful teasing can be.

At the age of maybe four or five, Number Two Son would complain that Jacob or Brandon wouldn't 'take his sorry' and that they 'won't give me their sorry' as if it was a not an adjective but a thing... a possesion. Sorry's to him were a gift to give, a notable endowment, voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation. I let him think this...... it was much too precious to explain away and he was so right about it. Such wise thoughts .....

Experience teaches it. It is learned through the body and the spirit, not the mind, which is why advice helps so little. One must allow oneself an education of experience.

Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all.
1 Corinthians 12:4 (NLT)


Nervous breakdowns, eh. What good are those, really?

I feel much better today. Woke up with the realization that you know, who really cares what all has happened in the past three weeks? Nothing is going to change what is meant to be, so my sitting here and whining, bitching and feeling sorry for myself is only going to... make me feel worse! Life's still ticking, might as well make the most out of it, no matter what it throws at me. Maybe I'll get back into photography, or maybe I'll actually start that novel I've been meaning to do. And seriously, I can say that I really do wish those two the best, and mean it. Now that I'm... calm... I can focus on what's good for me.

On that note, please don't be alarmed if I join the circus or run off to Kathmandu tomorrow.
Well, the resnet is back online. The last few days its been going down more frequently than a high school cheerleader. Yay, I can get my e2 fix again. The new statistics nodelet looks cool. It at least three features I've asked for in E2 suggestions all put into a nodelet. Badass.

I discovered emulation the other day. That means I've been wasting far too much time playing 10-year-old video games. Yes, I have an 800MHz Athlon CPU, and I use it to emulate a 1.01MHz 6502 so I can play Super Mario Brothers. Scour exchange is finally dead. Here's to hoping Napster follows them to the grave. Maybe I would be able to download my pr0n err... do computer graphics research at a decent speed then.

so, my interest in plants is blossoming (tee hee) into a real obsession. the only issue i find myself with is that i am a perfectionist -- and with plants, perfection is a goal which takes a while to achieve. and, once it has been achieved, may only last one growing season. but no bother. i am learning more patience, which would be a valuable addition to my personal arsenal of virtues (a hopelessly understocked arsenal).

i enjoy succulents most, i find them fascinating. the many interesting forms they can take, their hardiness, the cool ways they have adapted for survival in varying environments. the fact that some very strange plants can put up breathtaking, almost alien flowers. The succulents i own are: the non-succulent plants i own are: plants i would like to own:
  • Aeonium arboreum (tree aeonium) - imagine a tree with no foliage except artichoke looking things at the end of each branch
  • Fritha Pulchra (pink baby's toes) - they're called baby's toes, but to me they look like a clump of chopped off legs of tiny elephants with their feet planted skyward
  • Haworthia truncata (cut window plant) - doesn't look at all like a plant, looks like dark rectangular stones sticking up out of the ground
  • Lithops, any species (living stones) - all species are neat. for plants that barely look alive they make awesome flowers
  • Sedum morganianum (burro's tail) - looks like dreadlocks. i want to find a planter which is shaped like a human head to put these in
i am trying to decide if i want to keep my kalanchoes as they are, or to do stem cuttings and propagate new plants. Oddly, when i got the kalanchoe there were four planted in one pot, and none of them had the typical large round leaves on the main stem. even now, after a pruning and good solid care, the plant shows plenty of new growth but the leaves just aren't what they should be. i think i'll do stem cuttings. tomorrow.

for now, i go home. take a long bath. and chill.
They just installed a kiosk at the mall I work at where you can surf the web...the ramifications of this are terrifying. The last thing I need to be able to do on my lunchbreak is write another node for Everything. *evilgrin*

I turn 24 tomorrow. it's nothing too thrilling, I know, but I've got a little case of the birthday blues nonetheless. I guess it's because this makes 2 years in a row that I'm spending it pretty much by myself. I'm throwing a small party, but still, it would be nice (even if it is a selfish wish) to be sharing it with someone special.

Bleargh. Why did I ever give up on boys? :P

15:20 PST

I'm becoming increasingly irritated with some of my co-workers. Working on a help desk can suck sometimes. I do not want to elaborate too much on the off chance that someone at work knows about this site, but its bothering me that certain people harp on being logged on the phone at all times, when they generally do not practice what they preach. And they all wonder why the "new kid" has such a high call count... maybe its because I'm taking all the calls because I'm always logged in??

I'm not having a good week. I found out this week that because I sit down all the time at work and drink too much caffeine, I have developed an embarassing condition that I don't want to gross you out with. I was going to go off about it, but you know, you don't care about my health conditions. On to the next subject...

I'm getting DSL soon. I have to call US Worst aka Qwest today and order it. They will send me the "modem" and I will install it myself. This is a very good thing. I didn't want some random dumbass tech in my house installing something in my computer. If my computer is going to get fucked up, I'll be the one doing the fucking.

Today is my day to deal with stupid users. Don't blame me if you can't use a computer. People need to take responsibility for learning how to use the basics. I can help you troubleshoot the problems, but it isn't my job to tell you how to use Outlookor PowerPoint. That's what books and classes are for.

This weekend I'm going south to the small town of Lebanon to visit my grandmother with my family. We are going to meet the man that she is going to marry. She has known him for about 2 months. I haven't been down there in a while, nor have I spent this much time on a car trip with my family in a while either. This could be fun, or it could be an exercise in frustration. I guess we'll see.

Only an hour until I get to go home, thank god. New memory for my computer arrives tomorrow. If only tomorrow was payday, then everything would be perfect.

Thursday is supposed to be an easy day for me - lectures at 11 and 1 (one of which is mechanics, and therefore not worth going to), and labs at 2.

I took advantage of the relatively long lie, and headed in to uni about half an hour early so I could stop by the library to copy some tutorial solutions. I thought I was being smart in not taking the subway via Govan - there's normally a stop of a couple of minutes there at that time in the morning, while they do a quick clean of the train or swap drivers. But the train I chose, the one that went via town, was apparently the slowest underground train in world. Not only were we travelling slowly, but we were at each station for about two minutes per stop. I think it took me twice as long as usual, and all I had time to do before my lecture was buy a bag of crisps.

After the lecture, I joined folks from my course in the beer bar, a couple of whom also decided not to bother with Mechanics. I headed up to the library with the apparently simple task of getting three copies of the solutions we needed, which took the best part of an hour because of a big queue, and only three assistants at the desk. Consequently, I turned up for my Materials labs a couple of minutes late, with no idea of where I was supposed to go. The people in the laboratory told me to try the computer cluster, the maths lecturer in there told me to try a room downstairs. I went in. After a few minutes, it turned out I was in the wrong room. Someone led me to the right one, eventually, for a fun(?) afternoon of CNC machining.

I'm not sure I agreed with the judges' decisions in the MTV Europe Music Awards. Travis didn't get best band (Backstreet Boys did), and Moby didn't get best dance act (Madonna did). bah.

01:38 GMT

I have had such a high anxiety level all day today. Not only did I need to get some last-minute code done for a demo today, but I've been thinking all day about tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am going to ask Kawana to go on a date with me to the company christmas party. I've never asked a girl out before. I've been asked by girls, but I've never been the person to do the asking. I'm all tense even know. It's nice to know that this should all be over by this time tomorrow, but I said that about the elections last Monday.

People at work have encouraged me, and are telling me that she'll almost certianly accept, but for some reason it really has me all wound up. I can't explain why logical reason doesn't prevail in my mind today. It's sort of like an irrational fear which can't just be "thought away". I think I'll go take some Kava Kava now.

I keep thinking of what words to use, should I prepare them in advance, should I bring the party invitation; should I ask right after I arrive, or right before I leave? I don't even know much about the party; my invitation says "details to come". What if I'm a total mumbling, stuttering, stumbling idiot when I'm confronted to ask?

Calm down.

It's not a big deal. If she isn't interested, everything will be OK. If she is, then well, uh-oh: here comes more anxiety :) If she does decide to come with me, then I'll need to get a lot of stuff ready. Geez, you'd think I was proposing to her the way I'm acting. I need a good smack across the face. Maybe I'll get it tomorrow :)

Ok. I feel better now.

It's not too late yet, I think I'll go to the gym and walk a bit.

04:17 GMT

I went to the Gym, walked for about 25 minutes @ 3mph, which seems to have burned about 200 calories. I then went to the grocery store, finally - it's been about 3 weeks since I've been there. Either I'm highly susceptible to placebo effects, or this kava kava stuff is working. My anxiety is at it's lowest so far today, despite the approaching event.

I've got an actual schedule of things to do tomorrow. It should go something like this:

  • 9:00 wake up
  • 10:00 orientation at gym
  • 11:00 get to work
  • 11:30 head out to "lunch"
  • 12-3:00 ask Kawana out to christmas party
  • 3-4:00 get back to work
  • 4:00- review the preceeding events

I think while I'm in a good mood, I'll write a letter to myself in case I'm turned down:

Ok, so she wasn't really interested. Perhaps she has other things going on in her life that you don't know about. Besides, it may just be too strange of a situation for her to get involved with people she meets at work. You have some great friends who really seem to care about you, so let them know how you feel, and I'm sure they'll help you feel better. You're now dedicated to improving your health and self-esteem, keep it up, because the next time you ask someone, it will be much easier. Hang in there.

Hmm.. I hope I don't have to read that tomorrow :)

There are little sobbing people upstairs, red in the cheeks from this lingering cold, both whining and in need of a bath. It is a big needs day, but after so many of them in a row I have to escape to the dungeon. Under the guise of laundry I sit down here in the basement, I found a pen over there and a piece of cardboard over here and I don’t know what I am going to do with it except decorate the blank space.

I stand among the garden tools, cat box, dust and dirty laundry, looking for clothespins, grooming the family clothing., thinking about writing, thinking abut crushes, thinking about writing about crushes. I write on a stack of boxes, standing up, a flurry of hand cramping squiggles. Seems since I got this new computer (my very first), that I never do the longhand thing. And now my thumb is hurting pretty badly.

I can hear my husband reading to the kids, committing to each character, allowing me some time to myself.

Oh, but wait! I am summoned. The guy from the salvage yard is here to pay us thirty-five dollars for our old car. I pat Katie’s head while we stand in the window, her voice is kind of sad when she says. “Mommy, that’s our car.” I don’t answer, not expecting to feel anything, it is just a car after all. My husband deals with the whole thing. An acrobatic tow truck guy hooks it all up, crawling around the hood, checking the interior (finding our missing vice-grips, but not the screwdriver we used to start the car). Jay is mopey looking.

While we are watching the driver tow the car away I notice a dead rat on the sidewalk, frozen in a furry coma. The porch is rotten looking, the sky is gray and heavy, and the trees poke the sky with cold bony fingers. Jay scoops the rat up with a discarded butter tub he finds in the alley. Inside there are dishes to do, little plastic toys to pick off the floor and diapers to change. I can not escape the general funk and disorder.

I put on the Bar-Kays, which makes it better immediately. I dedicate “Son of Shaft” to you, 1979 Pontiac Bonneville, a.k.a. The Bro-ham. The smoothest, largest car I have ever owned, with your roomy interior and cloth seats smelling of old smoke and fry grease. You will always be fondly remembered, right up to the part about the engine blowing up. I will miss you, party barge.

Acrobatic tow truck dude assured us you would live on in the form of train wheels. Keep on keepin’ on, Bro-ham.

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