My roomate is in love. Not "in lust" mindyou. I mean Luh---UV He is bitten and smitten.

I have known Mike since Junior high and lived with him since graduation. We have been through a bunch and I can honestly say I have never seen him like this.

"How do you know?" He asks me as he cleans under our couch, whisk broom in hand. You are scaring me, I tell him. This is the man who uses newspapers as napkins and has been known to eat pizza that had carbon dating. His previous overtures for dates involved putting dirty dishes in a closet and tossing magazines off the couch if the new girl declined to sit in one of our Red Wing beanbags.

"Well yeah, OK, It's different," he says. "and I think it would be nice if maybe we bought some, you know, air freshener or somethin'"

This is getting pretty weird. I will get back to you on this.

Previous
Next

One week before the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. There was a potluck lunch at my office. I was unsure if I would continue my boycott of these (initiated by irkedness at the fact that it's always the same people who contribute, and the same people who don't). But the disappointed visages of Jennifer and Elizabeth (bringing to mind a Golden Retriever lying with its head on its paws, in the slight rain, outside the locked door, mourning the absence of its warm, comfy doggy bed (with cedar chips) just on the other side) made me decide to attend. (And I'm not part of the freeloader group.)

So last night I made the first incarnation of C-Dawg's Subtle Citrus Salad, and a variant thereof. I did this thusly:

I started with two big tubs of cottage cheese (small curd). Into the cheese I poured some Kern's guava nectar, and stirred prodigiously. I then poured some more and stirred. This I did until the curds had taken on a pleasant pinkish tinge, but stopped before it became a soupy mess. Then, I mixed in a whole package of Craisins. With those succulent dried cranberries forming an optimally spaced matrix, I then spooned it all into two pie plates and leveled the surface. On top of one, I arranged mandarin orange segments around the outside, radially aligned; the other received a random sprinkle of baked apple chunks, which I had bought in a can containing apple pie goo, then sprinkled cinnamon on top. The apple one was done, but I had a surprise in store for the orange version.

Two hours earlier, I had cleverly begun heating some canola oil in a saucepan, and along with it, quite a few cloves of star anise. In the hope that the oil was now able to trigger subliminal impressions of licorice, I brushed raw pumpkin seeds with the oil and toasted them for an hour, and then lined the circumference of the first plate with them. A perfectly formed (and unused) seven-pointed anise clove I placed in the center as a garnish.

The salad was well received at the luncheon.

But, before lunch, my co-worker Art told me that he was going to leave the company, once again making me a programming department of one. Several hours later, I was in the office of the chief of the e-commerce division, when the Big Boss came in to inform him of this. Then he said, "Edward's a big Python guy, right?". Sly, and totally transparent. The Chief pounced on that immediately: "You can't have him!"

I, of course, was thinking, "Yes! Have Edward work with me." This is particularly amusing because, a week ago or so, during my annual review with the Big Boss, he said to me, "Anything you need? Anything I can do to help you? Is Art working out -- or should we get someone else?" At which point, the universe quantum forked, and in a different universe than this one (where I'm not such a responsible, upstanding guy), I said that Edward would be better in that position :) In the spacetime continuum that we're sharing now, I said I supposed he was doing fine, and I didn't need anything.

But the possibility remains that, after finishing a big contract he's working on now, Edward might begin to work with me behind the scenes, making the infrastructure hum, instead of delivering the pretty pictures and dancing icons to customers' desktops ;)

After work, I joined some of the young'uns outside for some skateboarding. Several months ago, at Nolan's house, I'd gotten on a skateboard for about two seconds, and wondered if my memories of 'boarding in my childhood, where it was as easy as riding a bike, were somewhat tinged with the passage of time. I wasn't any better today, but I kept at it, and after five or ten minutes was at least able to stay on it for a straight twenty feet. And sometimes, if I was lucky, persuade it into a gentle turn, but that didn't really work out too well. It had to be easier as a kid. I felt like such a doofus.

B5 watch
Two Three episodes into season 4.
The year is 2261

I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.

~ Margaret Mead

Today was and will be an important day ... I have revisited almost all my nodes and improved the once who urgently needed improvement :-) It's been a long day, but very worthwhile.

From Moonsighting.com

The Islamic Shura Council of North America, of which ISNA is a member, agreed that Ramadan moon was sighted in Tucson Arizona on the evening of Thursday, November 15, 2001. Therefore, Friday, November 16 will be the first day of Ramadan in North America.

Ramadan Mubarak!

I went to bed about 8 last night after getting back from dinner with my husband and father-in-law. We went out for Chinese food at Legin, which is usually very good. I ended up with an MSG headache. I don't get these very often, and usually only after eating at really bad Chinese places that put 10 tons of MSG in the food. So, I went to bed at 8 with a horrible headache and woke up at 3:30 am when my husband came to bed. Poor dear, he stayed up too late again because I wasn't awake to remind him to go to bed around midnight. Tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't. Got up about 4:30 to have something to eat and read for a while.

So now its 6:40 and I should be getting ready for school. I guess I only have to do half the work since I already had breakfast, but I still need that shower to wake me up completely. Waking up early is so disorienting to me. The hours between 2 and 5 are the most eerie to be awake in, especially if the rest of the house is sleeping and quiet. I just hope that my typing in my room down the hall doesn't wake hubby. I guess its now late enough in the early morning that I have a right to be a little louder. I heard some neighbors already leaving for work in their big polluting SUV's.

I still have a big time case of writer's block. I can't string a decent plot together, nor do I have the drive or energy to work on my website(s). I keep trying to figure out what the problem is, and I can't. I know you're just supposed to sit down and write to get things started, but I just can't for some reason. Still trying to work through this.... its tough!

Plus, more subtle pressure from parents to get a "real job" instead of going to school part time and attempting to write. They think I'm such a waste of space, or at least I think that's what they think. Their subtle disapproval of my life is really getting on my nerves. It will be a miracle if I get through the holidays without screaming at them.

I get more spam than email from people I know. This strikes me as very pathetic for some reason.

More later maybe. Need to get that shower and get ready for another fun-filled day in Puddletown.

What will the spammers come up with next?

Today I received the most bizarre e-mail ever.
Am I tempted to reply by the offer of millions of dollars? Well... yes.

Here's the text:
FROM THE DESK OF:MR. UCHE IKODIE
E-mail: ucheikodie79@yahoo.com.sg

ATTN:  My Surname, My Forename

STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

RE: TRANSFER OF SIXTY FIVE MILLION, FOUR HUNDRED
THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$65.4M) INTO AN
OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNT.

I am extending this proposal to you in my capacity as
an accountant and a  member of the Audit panel
scrutinizing all records covering executed
contracts awarded by the previous Military
Administration. My colleagues and I have uncovered a
floating amount of US$65.4m without a clear
beneficiary

Owning to a deliberate act of over involving and
inflating of values by the officials of the past
government.

This money has already been approved for payment by
the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and
is secured contract number FGN/NNPC/0229976/CB/97.

As top civil servants, we are not authorized to
operate foreign Bank account; this is why we want you
to provide us with a bank account where this fund can
be lodged for safekeeping and investment purposes.

Upon receipt of your favorable reply and your
nominated bank particulars,you shall automatically be
considered as our foreign partner and you will
be furnished with details and modality of the
transaction.

We have resolved to let you have 25% for your
contribution, 70% will come to us while the balance 5%
will be set aside for all expenses that might be
incurred during the transaction.

Please contact me urgently by Email as shown above
only as soon as you received this letter.

Best regards

MR. UCHE IKODIE

So, what did I do? Well... naturally I did a Google search for Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and e-mailed their Public Relations department asking for any explanation. Oh, and the host which sent the e-mail was in the United States...
I'm puzzled: What could a spammer possibly acheive for himself by sending such a message?

Update: Thanks to everyone who /msg'ed to tell me that this is one of the well known Nigerian Mail Scams.

A few days ago, I had a dentist apointment; one of the most unpleasent experiences in life. It turned out to not really be that bad. I left with that usual gross-after-dentist taste in my mouth, and started off to my boyfriend's house. From my dentist office, I had to go through the not so nice part of town. In doing so, I passed a cemetary. I slowed down, and stopped at my light. Looking over, I saw a man, maybe mid-sixties, standing over a grave, weeping. I thought to myself, "I wonder who it is he misses so much. His wife? His child? Did they get along in life?" It made me think about all the people in my life I love....My mother, my father, my boyfriend, friends. And I also thought about the ones I have lost, especially my grandmother. I shed a little tear for this man, and drove off.

I'm going to see Sonic Youth tonight. Without you. I wish you were coming. I wish you were here. Maybe I'll keep a picture of you in my pocket. Maybe I'll write your name on my arm. Maybe I'll think of you while you're gone.

Its times like these that I cry myself to sleep. Its times like these that I drink myself to sleep. Last night my roommate and I laughed until we cried. Then she fell asleep and there was nothing left to do but to do it (boom boom) for real.

I'll keep sending you pictures of myself. In the hopes that someday I'll see you again. Santa Claus is a long time away these days. I'm waiting for the snow to fall. I'm waiting for the cold to come. Waiting to freeze to death so I can climb on my plane and see your face.

My boss' wife had her a baby this morning, a baby that was taking far too long. A baby boy. Relief, says the single (meaning divorced, not unmarried) women in the office. This way, he will not try for a boy (they have a girl already). I was told days before she went into labor that it was my duty to send flowers to the hospital, to "bail me out," as my boss put it. Babies being born is always a big deal: everyone calling you (including business partners, clients, vendors) to hear the beautiful body measurements of the baby and just how worn out the mother is. Babies are in a way, it seems, the easiest way we can witness surreal elegance, simplicity, and unmarred humanity. Babies mean the world isn't ending, that tomorrow simply has to show up for the children.

Earlier this week I went to UNO campus to get confirmation on the classes I needed for certification, only to find that there were no advisors available. I never call ahead for shit like this, I thought. It's so funny being back on campus. Students always act like they own the place because, well, they do. I barely remember that I was one of them.

I feel a lot better today than I've felt in this last week. The final talk with Carson went very well and I have more peace with things now. So please stop asking if I'm ok. I am quite ok. Wilco lyrics have once again been my testament:

Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(Again)

There's a whisper I would like to breathe into your ear but I'm too scared to get that close to you right now. There are dreams we must have shared and I still care and I still love you, but you know how I have been untrue. In the beginning we closed our eyes. Whenever we kissed we were surprised to find so much inside.

I dreamed about killing you again last night and it felt alright to me. Buried you alive in a fireworks display raining down on me. Your cold, hot blood ran away from me to the sea.


I was told about a meteor shower early Sunday morning. I think I might find a place by the Lake to see the sky catch on fire.
I don't daylog often. In fact in all the time I've been around here on E2, I've daylogged only twice, both the times on the same day, and it was essential for me to do it in more broader sense than to record something personal.

But today is the day I start to daylog for next few days. Maybe a couple of weeks, because things are happening, life is changing, my future plans and life, like clouds in the sky, are changing shape, and instead of looking like a hurt but carefree blue feathered bird tumbling around in the grass, it's promising to look like a well paved road, with the greenest grass, the bluest sky and the yellowest sunflowers on the sides ... and oh there's also Iris, and lily-of-the-valley and daisies, orange daisies...

Anyway, in less than a week I'll start for a month long vacation in India; I'm visiting my family.

I turned Chacha1 early this month. I had a niece. Like all grandparents the world around, my parents think their grandaughter is the most beautiful ever and has the loveliest voice ever. And they decided this within a few hours of her birth. She was born when it was about 7:30 in the morning here (PST). I received a call from my father at about 8:45. I was expecting the news for some days and so as soon as I heard his voice on other side of line I smiled in anticipation.

"Rishi! you've become a Chacha of a girl", he told me in a very excited tone. "And she looks exactly like Manu (my elder brother), she's very fair and beautiful Rishi, she's very beautiful!"
Considering any girl who looks like my brother would be far from 'beautiful', I chuckled at my father's euphoria. I've never done that in life but if I were around him physically then, I would'd hugged him.

I never thought that having a niece would be such an important change in my life till before it happened. Since she was born I've started to feel very different. Older, Mature, Responsible, Humbled ... I drive a little more carefully now, plan my future a little more sincerely now. And it's funny coz I've not even seen this little thing yet.

There are also other things changing in my life at the personal front which are making me change for better too. There are decisions I've made and am making to promise myself a happy future.

The morning glory vines are growing and sunflowers are budding; I'm collecting autumn leaves and promising myself evenings watching sunsets. And there's more to come - there are songs to lip sync to and poems to write; volatile dreams to 'save' and memories to 'commit'.

Its been a very long time since I've been this sure about my life, since future had a face. I need to record these moments for myself.


Chacha: Hindi - Your father's younger brothers are your Chachas.
I got my drivers license yesterday. Of course, I wouldn't mention this, let alone write a daylog, if it weren't a truly laborious and painful process. I took drivers education (which is very much a joke we all endure to appease insurance agencies) almost a year and a half ago. Here in Maine, they force you to drive 35 hours with a licensed driver (my mom or dad, in this case). This may not seem like too much on paper, but in reality, it's quite an ordeal. Especially when your parents are busy driving your sister to the ridiculous number of soccer games she plays, and especially when they won't let you falsify it as everyone else in the known universe does.

So, anyway, August '01. A year and a month after the fact. I finally completed my hours and sent in the damn thing. I went to the DMV, which is situated near my house in a large residential neighborhood. The DMV is famous everywhere for being the very model of a inefficient, infuriating bureaucracy. I'm not sure how bad it is in other places, but it's pretty bad, here. With the exception of Azure Monk and maybe detunedradio, I'm fairly sure no one here has had the pleasure of dealing with the Portland DMV.

The building, and the all people who work in it, reek of this unpleasant yet not appalling odor. Something like a cross between cigarette smoke and new carpeting. One of the examiners ambles out into the parking lot, eyes the three cars parked there, and enters the one to the left me. The next one comes out, and enters the car to the right of me. Finally, as I've been the only sitting there for about ten minutes, this old bald guy who resembles Skinner from The X-files walks out to my car. He instructs me very curtly to activate my blinkers, headlights, wipers, brake lights, etc.

Finally, he gets in and tells me to move it. He then rolls down the window and remarks on how cool the automatic windows are. (Yeah, like no one has those nowadays). I should mention that I'm nervous as hell. It unnerves me just to think of this day, as I would have the repeat the futile excercise three more times after this. Yes, I failed the damn test three times.

Alright. The first time I failed because I was too close to the railroad tracks when I started to slow down and look both ways. They have those big barricades that come down in front of the tracks here, too, so I frankly fail to see how this is a necessary skill when driving.
The second time, I was at a 4-way stop, and another car was coming from the perpendicular direction. I apparently left the intersection too early, and I am "not experienced enough to make that judgement" as to whether I could make it in time. Even though I had at least 5 seconds to spare. Oooohkay.
The third time is the worst. I did not look at the caged-in impound lot when I was exiting the parking lot. The lady still made me drive around for 1/2 hour, even though I'd failed about 10 seconds in. At this point, I had developed a extreme abhorrance for the DMV, and a suspicion that they were holding a personal vendetta against me.

The fourth time I miraculously managed to pass the test. After a good hour's wait, they finally, grudgingly it would seem, took my picture. All the while, the mustachioed old man at the desk cracked jokes about how I must be a horrible driver on account of my age being less than 20, and that my mom also must be insane to let me drive a car. Thanks, asshole. At long last, after nearly 16 months of watching everyone else get their conveted palm-sized avatar, I too was handed a little laminated card with my name and picture on it.

Funny how such an insignificant piece of plastic and paper would mean so much, socially, to people my age. Such a materialistic society we live in.

As expected, around 8.15am, the local plumbers' merchant turned up with the requested supplies this morning. However, as no one working on the site was around, I helped take everything upstairs.

We thought that was going to it for the day. However, at about 9.30am the plumber (and his mate) turned up. They were quite happy to open up the roof for access and set about working on the basics, such as running the pipes, making holes in our wall and fixing up the soilpipe. Whilst they made quite a lot of noise - they were working on the other side of the wall directly in front of me! - they weren't particularly communicative. In fact, at 3.30pm when we went to offer more tea or coffee, they'd cleared off! We hadn't even noticed them tidying up.

We checked with the office of the loft firm whether anyone would be working this weekend and were told, thankfully, that there wouldn't be. We're expecting a replacement toilet pan on Monday morning but then nothing until Martin returns on Wednesday or - more likely - Friday.

A funny thing happened at the supermarket last night. It was rather busy, around 6:25 PM, and my mom and I were buying dinner for tonight, hoagies. Mmmmm, corned beef, honey turkey breast, pastrami, some oregano, some mayo, some alfalfa sprouts, some more oregano, all on a chewy soft white bun of pleasure....mmmmmm. But I digress. We had about thirty items in the shopping cart, too many to go in the express line. So, we head over to the least-full line, which contained one woman with about 15 items in her cart and 5 on the conveyor belt, and patiently waited for the woman to complete her transaction.

A few minutes later, the woman heads out the door to her car, but for some odd reason, there is no cashier to ring up our items. So, we pateintly wait a few more minutes, and then, lo and behold, a cashier come up to us and...says "I'm sorry, this register is closed." Sigh. So, we pack up our things into the cart, push it out of the register line, and find another line. Now, that isn't very good business, but what happens next is the smacker. Right after we leave, about five more people decide this line looks appetizing, so the line we were just in fills up. Now, maybe an absent cashier appears, or maybe they just decided that it was too good of a n oportunity to pass up, but for some reason, they put another cashier on duty in the line we just left, not three minutes after we were gone.

So, somewhat annoyed by this, my mom and I discussed the best hypothetical (we were both hungry, lazy procrastinators who'd rather just get the hell out of the store and eat) course of action to take would be. She said that there really is no point in doing anything about it. I said "Wait a second. We obviously can't change a few factors. We cannot change the fact that our checkout was moronically delayed. We can't change the fact that they made a bad business call. However, we can change one factor: our response. Now, if we complain to the managers, one of two probable things will most likely happen. Either they will take measures to ensure that on busy days, the checkout lines are fully staffed, or they'll do jack shit. But no matter what they do, we still get to rant and rave a bit, which will make us feel much better, so if I weren't so lazy, that's what I'd do. But, since I am, and since it's our turn to pay for our stuff, I think we'll just put our stuff on the conveyor belt. So, we did...but later, when we got home, we had a discussion over dinner about what SHOULD have been done. We agreed that Acme should have had the lines staffed, but that the matter was too petty to compain about. But we still don't know what to do about that radioactive squirrel hiding under the salad bar.

They say that today is the first day in the rest of your life. For some, it's just the first day of life.

My two sons were born today. I became a father, and my wife became a mother.

Of course, technically we've been father and mother for months and months now, but it's in a more passive way. But when they were born, lying there helpless and vulnerable, I realized that my life had been profoundly changed forever. Good or bad, my life will never be the same. Nothing has ever affected my life in such a way that so much will be so very different.

I woke early this day, I had not been sleeping well. It had that kind of strange, nervous, tense feeling inside of me, much like when you're having an important exam, will be holding to a difficult presentation in front of an audience, are getting married. It's also the having kids kind of nervous feeling. Anxious. I had been sleeping at home, my wife at the hospital. She would be under the knife, a planned caesarian, in less than 6 hours.

The reason for the planned caesarian was because my wife was showing signs of preeclampsia, indicating that her kidneys were working very hard. Also, her blood pressure had been steadily rising. Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs during pregnancies, and untreated it leads to the death of the mother. The only cure is to end the pregnancy. However, my wife was feeling fine, but she was showing symptoms that worried the doctors. Since the pregnancy had gone 32 weeks, and the boys were doing good, the doctors decided that there was little risk for the babies to be delivered, and some risks in waiting for their mother.

Driving to the hospital I realize that the rest of the world was minding their business like nothing's about to happen. They were oblivious to the fact that I was standing at a cliff, about to jump. On the other hand, I too am oblivious to other people. We interact with so many people every day, and yet we are complete strangers. The woman in the coffee shop, the guy whose parking spot I steal, their lives being invisible to me. How many times have I been exchanging casual remarks with someone whose feet is halfway over the edge of the cliff ?

Hours later, entering a room full of people in scrubs and face masks. How odd, to see one's wife on the operating table, with tubes and wires and whathaveyou attached to her. All in all, eleven people in the room, including me and my wife. I hope my insurance covers this, I think as the doctor motions for me to take my seat. I talk to my wife, who is calm, but a bit dizzy from lying on her back with the babies pressing her main artery. I don't like watching surgery on TV, so I avoid looking at what the doctor's doing. In just a few minutes, I hear the doctor's words: "I see a foot...". Soon after, at 12.34 p.m., they pull out a tiny, blueish/pinkish little being. At 1.422 kg (3.1 lbs) my first son Nils was an impressing sight. He opened his eyes, puzzled, drew his first breath and let out a little scream.

Welcome. This is the world you will live in for the rest of your life, son.

One down, one more to go. This is the tricky one, since the upper twin has to be pulled from his place down to the incision below the belly. One minute after his older brother, Axel filled his lungs with air and announced to the world that he had arrived. At 2.2 kg, 4.9 lbs, he will probably have an advantage over his older brother for a while.

The poor kids look like their dad. Hopefully they will get something from their mom... From all other things to judge, they are most likely identical. They do not look like each other much at all, but that has probably got to do with the difference in size between them.

------

One week old

It turns out that it was little Nils that was the stronger one of the two. Just a day after being born 8 weeks premature, he is off additional oxygen and soon after he starts eating. Through a tube down his belly, but anyway. Big little brother Axel were a bit too big, and couldn't support his breathing by himself. But after a few days on respirator he too managed to get his breathing in order, and not soon thereafter he began eating.

12 days old

Both are now growing, Nils by about 40 grams a day and he needs it. He still needs to stay in a slightly warmer environment because of his low body fat, while his brother is in a crib. Both are eating their full amounts of breast milk and they have started trying to eat some from bottle. They still have to learn swallowing, but as soon as the can eat their full meals through their little mouths, they can come home.

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