What I'm always struck with is his subtlety. Some people can stare out into the Grand Canyon and ask, "How could anything so great not have had a creator?" But aren't those the people who think about dying once a year, on a particularly cold night, as they're falling asleep -- they fall asleep anyway.

I don't fall asleep. I get into bed in a snug, quiet room, and worry about where my life is headed. My thoughts alternate between fantasies of grand self-actualization and vague, sheepish prayer to a god I can't hear or smell anymore.

I love people. They're so mysterious. I can spend whole afternoons just watching people walk by on a crowded street. I guess I'm a little different from most people watchers, though. What I really want is for one of these strange women to stop suddenly, look straight at me and say, "I, too, am very lonely and looking for a soul-mate who enjoys Dostoevsky and Sloan." She never comes -- even when I'm humming a catchy Sloan tune or reading a copy of Crime and Punishment.

Being alone is quite a talent for someone as self-conscious as me. I spend 99% figuring out how I'm going to get into the next deep, soul-searching conversation with someone. There's some insatiable hunger inside for a human truth.

Human truths are irritating. They're contradictory and paradoxical. The only way you know human truth is when it smacks you in the face. They're actually very banal. Part of the reason I've separated myself from so many of my former beliefs is because they lack that accesiblity. What good is a truth is any old schnook can't grasp hold of it when he wants to?

So, it's barely Nov 2. here, but i didnt write yesterday, so here's my last 24 hours in a nutshell:


Guess that's about it. OH! I watched Titus (the movie) tonight. Hopkins is GREAT. I love Shakespeare performances by big name actors, it shows who is a truely dedicated thespian, and who's just in it for sex and money. Jessica Lange, Anthony Hopkins, and everyone else... awesome movie, all in middle english, all amazingly well costumed. Kinda like Romeo and Juliet w/ Claire Danes, only to the extent that it's Shakespeare in a modern setting... but 100x better.

Ok, now I'm done!
-doug
Apathy.

Apathy apathy apathy.

Too much to think and feel so my brain has let in the grey foggy clouds outside to hide behind.

My head aches. In a numb and fuzzy manner, it pounds at me.

The fairies at the bottom of our garden flew off. Instead, there is a pole wreathed in bouquets at the bottom of the street. Two people were killed there yesterday. I drove past the car, crumpled against the tree, draped in a white sheet to hide the interior gore. Two people are really, truly and forever dead, but the scene was straight from a teen-angst poem. It even happened on a grey and windy afternoon.

is it the weather, that's eating at everyone's moods?

Everyone I speak to lately seems to be depressed. Maybe it's the time of year. Winter approaches the Northern hemisphere, and the east coast of Australia is more wintry than it has in months. My brother called at 1am the other night, just to chat. An hour later, back in bed, my mind wouldn't let go of that odd note in his voice. I called back. He will be ok, but is relieved that I checked.

There is a hollow core of sadness in me, from this morning's argument. I didn't mean to hurt him, but somehow we caught each other's jagged edges and tore out gaping holes. Normally I would be angry. Normally I would be breathcatchingly afraid of what it means for our friendship. Numb. Empty . There is an achingly sad worriedness somewhere inside, but it's untouchable.

Somewhere inside, too, is that cluster of cells that have gone bad. That resist all my mental attempts to probe them, heal them, even envisage them. In the deepest part of me they crouch, hidden in an inky blackness that I can't penetrate. I can't see what is happening. I can't see what it will mean. I know the statistics. I know they're in my favour. But they're diminishing. Last week there was a 90% chance nothing would go wrong. Today it's 50. I don't get sick. I am scarily, robustly healthy. Whatever happens, it won't affect my health too badly. But it may (such a little word, may) make me barren. I know this word is not PC. I know "infertile" is the accepted term. But it's so clinical, so sterile, so unreal. If I can't have children, I will be barren.

I think that this concept will frighten me, when I remember how to feel.

back | days | forth

Urgh

Drinking a lot of lager and eating a lush curry last night has left me a real state this morning. To cap it all, I have to work as well. In so many ways I want to be at home in my warm bed, dreaming of nice things. Coming back to work after a week away is not so nice when your desk has been moved and all your work is in disarray...

More rain and wind here in the UK, with even more forecast to come. Trees with broken limbs line the roads and leaves clog the pavement trying to hitch a ride into work on my boots.

10:40 GMT

Whatever happened to being dizzy?

I chose my nick because I never seem to be able to cope, I am always spinning from one crisis to another, especially at work. However, today (even with a bad head) I have sorted out problems with ease, and I am planning ahead! I don't know what is going on, how I am suddenly proactive for perhaps the first time in my life...

Let me sleep and I will feed you when you're hungry
forever live inside of me
Through the holes in the pockets of my clothes
High, as high as an angel
I will stand there beside you
Love is all we need

People are asking me how things went last weekend, I answer with a soppy grin and they laugh and smile. Even distant recruitment girly was nice to me. Amazing. You can blend into the background of a workplace, thinking that you're ignored, then people cluster around you once the rumours about you spread. I'm happy with this attention, something I would have run from up to last week...

15:05 GMT

Sorry, Mark

17:10 GMT

Mark appears to be OK, but I worry about him. I feel guilty and yet I am more relaxed now. Well, some Mother therapy will help this evening, dinner and chatting about Dana and my Mum's impending spinal fusion operation...


More to come when I get the chance...

I had an abortion almost a week ago and it just hit me today. It's amazing how you can weigh all your options and although you figuire your chosing the least regretful choice but you never know until it's done.
I was fine until I found a peice of paper with the names of my planned children and knowing that this was a boy has made it harder than I could have ever imagined, yet I'm still not sure that I wouldn't do it again. I think the biggest regret has been not telling the father. He may or may not have had the right to help decide the fate of his son since he hasn't had anything to do with my life since july, but I feel an ackward obligation to him.
The emotions that flooded my mind today were unbalievable. I have never felt that guilty and out of no where just started crying.

10:52

Morning!

Well, umm, last night I got certified at Apprentice level in Advogato.

Small wondering that I've been wondering about, regarding that one and the other things: I've been coding for a small eternity, I've been playing games for small eternity, yet I feel like I'm not really good at either - or anything, for that matter. Why? Am I doomed to be a newbie for the rest of my life?

Dammit, I'm at level 7 and I still feel like Just Like Your Average Noder, no one important.

I'm not Great at anything. I wish I would be. I'm not whining, but I... I'd need to. I don't like the idea I do nothing well.

20:38

Did three digital media excercises. Well, two, actually, because the new learning environment (called "Profiler") is apparently lazy when handing out new passwords...

The first excercise: Did some funny diagrams. The second: a few hundred PHP lines. Guess which took more time... =)


Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: Gregorian Masters of Chant (Thanks for reminding me, break... =) Sinder
Updated:

I saw Maya Angelou speak today.

*swoon*

I actually think she may have reminded me that my life really does have meaning.

I have never heard a more honest, more real, more poetic, and more inspirational person in my entire life. I actually started taking notes on what she said (yes, I do realize how sad that is), just so that, sometime when I'm falling (as I tend to do), I can remember exactly how I felt in the middle of her speech tonight.

Dr. Angelou reminded me that there is a beauty, a power, and a strength in each one of us - that our potential is limited only by the constraints we put on ourselves.

She reminded me that I can still feel something.

And that's a lot.

She reminded me how much peace I've always found in books and poetry ... because "poetry is something to fall back on and, in the the literature, you can find your inspiration and your strength."

I even want to write again - more than just a paragraph or two per node at Everything, but really, really write again.

I needed something this semester to remind me how to feel.

I got it.

Today, our admins decided to change a server around that housed all of the notifications/reservations for every Hilton hotel in the world. Not just 9, or 27, all of them. They did this in a very half assed manner, and did not bother to notify any of the people who should have been involved, or would have been affected. Basically, they decided to fall over to another server for storage of notifications, but not update the scripts to point off of the active server to the new storage server. So, I get to hear complaints from all over the globe, even as I node. Edinburgh is my favorite, I get to pretend Sean Connery is yelling at me.

Oh how I love my fucking job.
Found on the bus:

If I was (crossed out)

You made this
quite a Labirinth for me
I don't know which way to turn
I don't know if I'll ever learn
they way out of you.

If I was Persephone
I would never leave your side
I would leave the world to hide
in the shadow of you.

You and I write quite a tale
You were always the hero
You and I will be told
throughout time
.

If I was Hylas the Knave
Your water would be so warm
I would never want to bathe (crossed out)

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...

Heh! Hiiiiiii! I have two whole dates this weekend. Friday and Saturday I will be attending various functions both of which I will be calling dates. One is blind -- as in blind date, that's Saturday. Friday I'm going up to some little town to hang out with some girlies and go to a party. It's been me sans date for six months, and now two in two days. Woohoo!

Several nodes are in progress, being written offline but not yet ready to be posted. Research for these future nodes made it clear that some of my existing nodes required clarification and correction.

Most of the changes needed were relatively minor, but accuracy is one of my principal goals here. In fact, if anyone else finds errors in any of my writeups, /msgs to me will be greatly appreciated.

However, in recognition that the primary responsibility for the accuracy of my work here rests with me, the following nodes have been corrected, clarified, or expanded today:

Babi
Baha'i
Shi'ih

Particular thanks are owed to ymelup, whose efforts to explain the differences between Sunnis and Shiites spurred me to improve the explanation in the Shi'ih node.

16:19

I'm eating some delicious and nutritious junk food at Carrols, and spot a man in a military outfit who looks exactly like Radar O'Reilly from M*A*S*H. I get home and log on to E2, and what do I see on the Random Nodes nodelet? Radar O'Reilly.
I read a node about hummers and switch on the TV. What's on? Yep, stuff about hummers.
Damn, sometimes I feel this place is hard linked to my brain or something.

At the moment we're trying to put together the gigantic IRC party starting tomorrow. Basicially that means figuring a way to get all out-of-towners to Jope's house alive and then let the chaos ensue. It's always a blast when the channel gets together, so I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Even when it means I won't get to wallow in loneliness and feed the systematic downvoters. Maybe next week then.


22:28

Ok, this ad running all day has got to be a joke. Gregorian monks singing rock'n'roll hits?
What's next?
The pope reciting lovely pieces of urban poetry by Eminem?
An all-rabbi-chorus doing Marilyn Manson A cappella?
Perl Monks switching to ASP?

The world can be a delightfully screwed up place sometimes.

Welcome back, Booyaa! :)
Great to see him and Everything Snapshot back from the dead. Now this is what I call a day log!

This is my first day log for ages; I've been off e2 for a while, and way-hey! I'm now celebrating my return the other day. But enough of that.

Why does my life seem to be made up of several sets of experiences, groups of friends activities etc. which don't intersect? There seems to be no common theme, link or bond. I do something, then disconnect and go do something else; talk to somebody about one thing, and later somebody else about another - I wouldn't consider swapping people, or topics, around.

Why do I need to compartmentalise my life? Why?


Well, today I've not done much really. Turned up at a tutorial, in which I sat and tried not to feel too hung over, although I was. That feeling where it seems that your limbs are still saturated in alcohol, and are too heavy. Later I attended a tutorial which didn't exist (I hope, else I missed it somehow).

Later...

Exercise log:
  • Pushups: 45
  • Side-kicks: 45, each side
  • Power crunches: 40
Insomnia log: Moderate. I took matters into my own hands and had a couple tokes of marijuana, which helped immensely. I don't like cheating, but I really didn't want to lay awake all night, waiting for my brain to shut down.

I'm nervous and excited about my date tomorrow night. I haven't really been out on a real date in over a year, maybe two. I've had sex in that time, but no real dates. I feel young and silly, but it's a nice feeling.

Glider rides are really expensive. But I might be going to a rave in western Mass on Saturday, anyway. The catholic schoolgirl might be going with me, I don't know yet.

The house is being sold. It's a pretty sure thing at this point. The buyer has 3 days to back out. She'd better not, or I'll be pretty pissed off.

The house we're renting looks pretty nice, and more importantly, it's three minutes from where I work and about a half hour from my old college, where the girl lives. Much better than the hour's drive I used to have. I just can't deal with that kind of drive on a regular basis.

Everything Day Logs
Yesterday | Tomorrow

Everything Snapshot

Time: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 15:59:28 GMT
Everything server: Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) Debian/GNU mod_ssl/2.4.10 OpenSSL/0.9.4 mod_perl/1.21_03-dev
Number of nodes: 739419 (60824 new since September 4, 2000)
Number of users: 20143 (1662 new since September 4, 2000)
Number of links: 2443468 (-975610 new since September 4, 2000)

Node to user ratio: 36.708 nodes per user
Link to node ratio: 3.305 links per node
Link to user ratio: 121.306 links per user

New Nodes: [crickhowell] [lunatic fringe] [September 4, 2000] [Noding while sick] [belly button] [dazed and confused] [two girls and a guy] [Standard Geek Dialect] [8^)] [Localized geek dialect] [Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance] [Love Power] [autonode test] [alt.os] [I can hear your thoughts much too clearly]

Users Online (44): [dannye] [hamster bong] [JeffMagnus] [novalis] [binarydreams] [mblase] [Jinmyo] [ism] [Footprints] [siren] [nocodeforparanoia] [Roninspoon] [Tannor] [SgtCoolGuy] [ril] [TheLady] [Byzantine] [Chihuahua Grub] [masukomi] [spiregrain] [K9] [Card] [Maldoror00] [PhysicsChic] [Beltane] [dogboy] [Mr. Option] [Miles_Dirac] [booger] [Ciab] [Teiresias] [jimbeam] [Kalie Ma] [jethro bodine] [Whipster] [Fquist] [witnie] [small] [madvid] [umquam] [Skinwalker] [Yawgmoth] [derekv3.3] [imamess]

JeffMagnus node count: 4033 (-15 new since September 4, 2000)
JeffMagnus experience: 9648 (48 more since September 4, 2000)
JeffMagnus experience to node ratio: 2.392 XP per node
JeffMagnus nodeshare: 0.546%
JeffMagnus node of the day: Lithium

things are weird. life is going too fast. one day blends into the next and i don't seem to be able to keep track anymore. i wake up, go to work, come home, occupy my waking time until i can sleep. lately sleep usually comes around 4 or 5 in the morning. lather, rinse, repeat.

So... i'm trying to control my compulsive need to clean by diverting my attention towards growing succulents. i find it relaxing. since carefully pouring over the care and maintenance of the plants is a 'hobby', it's not so weird as carefully pouring over the care and maintenance of my carpet. i feel like i'm switching one compulsion for another. instead of controlling my environment, i am controlling the life cycle of several species of succulent and cacti.

it's almost worse. with plants there is a unique standard of perfection for each species -- a standard which i must learn to achieve.

what makes sense to node will be noded. for my own reference, here is a list of plants about which i should node (including soil recommendations, water and light needs, propagation, etc):

more to come...
left work early and splurged on The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening. then went to the hardware store for more clay pots. while i was in there i found this 4" round ductwork elbow thingie -- it's an adjustable corner piece for making odd angles, i grabbed it and a 5" round endcap. over with the pvc pipe i found leaf filters which fit inside. i twisted the elbow joint into a neat shape, put the pieces together and now have a funky planter. it is metal with a black base (the leaf filter acts as drainage holes) and it can be put in the endcap to catch water. it looks like this:
     
  +--------------+
  |              |
  |            ,.+  -----+
  |        ,.~^   \      |
  |    ,.~^       *  ----+ twist here to adjust angle
  |,.~^        _,/ \
   \          /     \
    \      _,^       \
     \    /          |
      \_,^           |
      |              |
      +--------------+
      |              |
      |              |
      }=============={
      +--------------+  --leaf filter drainage
it looks neat, it's twisty. about 10" tall. i planted a succulent in it which has low water requirements so water-tightness at the twisty-joints isn't a requirement (nor is the endcap drainage pan -- but it's a neat accessory).
I'm getting seriously pissed off at my housemate Julia, and her boyfriend, Dale. This morning went like pretty much every other -- wake up at 6 shivering, find a bathrobe, trek downstairs to the thermostat (which see, for explanation), change it from 50°F to 70°F, and crawl back into bed and attempt to make the most of body heat.

Today their inconsiderate behavior was even worse. I was intending on meeting with my academic advisor at 9; this would mean me taking a shower and leaving the house by 8:30 or so. At 6:45, I woke up again, and went to shower. No luck -- someone's using it. Well, ok. I wait. I read a book. I check again. Still in use.

Julia and her boyfriend were still in the shower, together, at 8:15, a full hour and a half after I first checked.

I'm as much a fan of showering with a loved one as anyone, but 1 1/2 hours? In the morning? Do they not realize that other people might wish to use the house's only toilet?

When they did finally finish, of course, there was no hot water left, which is why I smell like thefez.

</rant>

DISCLAIMER: I'm certain this node will get downvoted into oblivion, but I feel like sharing it anyway.

I got into a massive feminist ranting-match last night. Now, normally I have no problem with feminism in the "We can do anything a man can do" sense. Bring it on, we need more females who know which end of the computer is which, and can play quake and baseball. However, the vitriolic "we could have a perfectly good society if it weren't for the scum-sucking pigheaded bastard men" type of feminism just pisses me off. Society doesn't work that way, and it never will. Ladies, you're stuck with us, deal with it.

Anyway, I got into a shouting match about why women couldn't have a perfect society without men (reproduction springs to mind...) She claims that they could just clone each other, implant the cloned DNA into an egg cell and off you go, so to speak. That is, of course, a load of horseshit. Humans heve never been cloned successfully, and even if they could, the lack of genetic variation coupled with the inevitable small errors in synthesizing the DNA would make the third of fourth generation of her utopia look like the creepy little three-toothed banjo-player from deliverance. But she doesn't listen, of course. I have a penis, and I am therefore wrong beyond measure, and probably too stupid to even know it. I should just go sit in the corner with the other phallocentric bastards while she rants and rails in peace.

Now, she has some good points about how men have mistreated women for millennia, but I wasn't there, so it **CAN'T POSSIBLY BE MY FAULT**. Yet in her mind it is my fault, because those people were male, and so am I. What the fuck? I didn't do it, but I have to sit here while you ake revenge for chauvanism that happened before I was fucking born? I think not!

A good feminist never acceps defeat at the hands of scienc, she just changes the subject, and blames men for all the wars, famine, disease, and general evil badness in the world. I just gave up. you can never win an argument with a christian, a neo-nazi, or a feminist; logic hold no significance to them. All that matters is that they are right and you are wrong, and truckloads of facts and logic can't sway that belief one centimeter.
Grr. The network here sucks. Mostly because one of the routers died and UCIS has been scrambling to fix it. Meanwhile, every 30-40 minutes the entire network goes down completely. Then it goes back up 100% after being down for 10-20 minuters. Very annoying.

I've talked it over with a few others on our floor and we've decided to just buy a switch. A switch is just like a hub except a hub sends all data to everyone and a switch just sends it to who it's for. However this won't help our internet connection when the network goes down. But it will make it a little faster when it's working since everyone's computer is getting mass collisions from everyone else currently. Also we will atleast be able to "see" each other when it goes down. Thus allowing us to transfer files, play Quake3, and play RedAlert2. Plus it'll only be $10 per room. The only problem I forsee is some UCIS guy coming into the hub closet and be like "why are there five empty plugs?" and then follow the wires to the switch duct taped to the back of the door (the best hiding spot we could find).

Ah well. It was only $5.

Today's my roomate's birthday. Lots of people came and decorated our door while he was at class. It looks really cool, too bad my birthday's in the summer. Damn. Speaking of which, he's been playing DeusEx for the past month, calls it "the best single player game I've ever played." It looks like it. Great graphics, plot, very difficult, very long, and tons of detail (such as guards chatting while you sneak up on them). Plus there's more than one way to finish any level. You really are put into a 3d world.

I just finished the intro to it, looks cool so far. Will keep updated.
Watched Jackie Chan's Mr. Nice Guy with the husband. Very funny movie, and lots of action moves I've never seen before.

Almost as interesting was watching my husband's reactions. During the fight scenes, he would sit up; his body would stiffen, and he'd start moving his arms and hands and making funny little sounds. I don't think he was even aware of it. I've mentioned this before to him, so this time I didn't bother to spoil his fun.

"Nice day for a sulk..."

The sky is gorgeous. I just wish I was in the mood to enjoy it. I wake up around two in the morning and resign all hopes of getting rid of my accursed insomnia. Pieces of yesterday's lunch with a friend (which, truthfully, seemed more like a break-up than a conversation) are still hanging about my head, and stay there after I spend the next two hours watching Singles and poking at my beer. I then decide to take some hydrocodone to help me fall back asleep. I read old Tick comics until a narcotic slumber finally takes hold.

I wake up around eleven o'clock still foggy and unwilling to admit the world exists. The first person I talk to is my mother, who calls to yell at me for not paying my dentist's bill -- not my fault, seeing as how one of the local banks has misplaced my savings account, which is where the money was coming from. I hang up on her, then dig up my old bank records so I can e-mail them to her. She calls me back up to apologize, and then starts yelling at me: for not being able to make my sister's sudden wedding, for not paying the bill despite my lack of money, for generally existing. I hang up on her again, suddenly infatuated with my new found low shit tolerance.

I drive into town and mail off some things, then have lunch at Packard's. One beer. Turkey club. Two beers. Stress doesn't melt away like I want it to. I catch myself in the mirror by my table and see a fold of skin around my neck that belonged to my dad. I see my mother's birdlike features. I see nothing of my sister who, out of all of my family, I'm closest to. During lunch I think think about what my sister has told me: she has a 30% chance of losing her baby. I think to myself while picking a piece of turkey off my plate that 70% is damn good odds and that it's a good thing she's having the kid in Reno with odds like that -- my money's on the kid. I think to myself while chewing on a stray chunk of tomato that I enjoy tomatoes very much: the soft texture and sweetness of the centre, the resistance of the skin. I start thinking about things that won't amplify my angst: golf on TV, Miles Davis playing in the bar, the hops of the beer. Most of all, I try not to care. It would be nice not to care.

Apathy? Fuck apathy. As I walk off the beers, I look at each and every person individually and say to myself: you are dead. Bald man, you are dead. Cute baby, you are dead. Pretty redhead, you are dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. For some reason this is extremely comforting.

At a record shop I pick up the new Poe and an old John Coltrane album (Blue Train, if you must know). I talk jazz with the clerk for a bit and then take off. I've stopped acknowledging everybody's state of non-living. It's not that they're worth it or anything. I guess a simple conversation about Charles Mingus has cheered me up so much that I can quit being such a prick for the moment.

Back home, I watch Sixteen Candles for the first time in my life and decide not to do anything for the rest of the day. Laundry is piling up, dishes are in the dishwasher, the apartment is a mess, the kitchen could stand to be mopped, the toilet definitely needs to be cleaned: screw it. My couch is the only person I have to hold onto right now, and it has my undivided attention, even if it means I accidentally beat Jet Grind Radio and have to watch Hee-Haw re-runs all night long.

The Cure. Joy Division. Bright Eyes. These are bands that I need to quit listening to on the off chance that something brighter will improve my outlook on life. Viva cynicism!

It's not that I'm depressed, per se. It's just that I haven't had a really good reason to appreciate life in a long long time.

Here it is: November again. I marvel over it: at how much can go on in a year, how much can go wrong in a year. I feel stoic in my life. A bystander, silently watching things as they go awry, more awry, and set themselves to right again. There's gravity in all things, if I'm permitted to be grave. Visualising see-saws, with chance on either side, fighting for the earth - to be at rest. I hold in my mind many other lives, several of them my own. With time they have passed by, but I wonder what pieces of each remain. What have I held onto? What fragments compose me now? How much of myself have I chosen? I don't recall flipping that coin.

I evaluate my life.

There was a time all I wanted was to be a journalist.
There was a time all I wanted was to have fun.
There was a time all I wanted was to get run down by a car.
There was a time all I wanted was to make the rent.
There was a time all I wanted was anything different.
Now I have everything different.
Now I don't want anything.
Except perhaps to speak to The Boy in my Philosophy Class.

Is this progress?
What did I give up to gain everything?

I sense the things lurking in the shadows. Coyly waiting to go wrong. Another see-saw: common sense and paranoia. How do I stop the things I could never stop before? What power do I have over this life I've never felt in control of?

Conforming to fit my own excuses. I am at fault. I am at every fault. I am at the heart of everything that has ever gone wrong. Yet somehow I got here. Sweet liquid to chase a bitter pill. High upon this stack of inconsistencies I rest. I hold the balance, or I tip the scale.

Flippant as I may be, I am still solid, with enough weight to upset everything, or to block out those shadow-lurking nuisances. I am able.

It is a foreign concept, the aftertaste metal in my mouth. Fear, you might call it.

Another November. Another year with only tentative conclusions.

My Day:

My day has sucked so far;

-Geometry: Took test today, yesterday and will be taking one tommorow.

-Science: Did two labs which I have to finish tonight for homework on top of the chapter review.

-Art: Well, I'll just say that this is the only good class that I had all day. My teacher is cool and the people are cool so that is a relief.

-Spanish: Teacher assigned a project; Make a Menu in spanish by tommorow. Test tommorow and lots of homework for the weekend.

-Lunch: Forgot to pack some extra food hungry as hell.

-English: Have a test tommorow. Have to write a theme and I have to finish two vocabulary chapters. -Non-Western Cultures: Got to watch a video, but still have some homework.

Since then I have checked E2 and found that I have lost a total of 3 XP today because of monkey butter and Why Catholic School Sucks. As if it isn't hard enough coming up with ideas for nodes. That is my day. More later when I think of it.

Driving to work today, I noticed a flock of birds flying up and around the bridge. They seemed to come out of nowhere, and they were loud. They seemed to scream at the traffic and the sky, pissed off that we were rumbling below them and stinking up the air with our exhaust. They were magnificent - black silhouettes against the gray morning sky, drifting in and out of the fog.

Today I feel like one of those birds. I feel like I'm looking down at everyone, screaming at them all to shut up, go away, and leave me alone. I'm looking forward to going home.

I've readdicted myself to Roller Coaster Tycoon. I love that game. I have a craving to build that park, and I can't wait to go home to do that. How pathetic am I? I bought the expansion pack online today, so I should have that in a few days. More coasters and scenery and other assorted cool stuff to play with. I need a life.

The drive home is always nice. I drive over the Marquam Bridge, which gives you an amazing view of the downtown Portland area from the top deck. It is absolutely breathtaking sometimes. On a clear day, you can see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood in the distance. I hate the traffic, but the drive itself isn't always bad. Right now the leaves are still orange, although some trees are bare. I like staring at the trees while I inch past them in traffic. They make me feel strangely peaceful inside.

He and I talked last night for a while, but I kept finding myself feeling sad. Even while we made love, I felt sad inside. I cried afterwards, and the only words I could say were "I love you" over and over again. My feelings were so weird and jumbled, and all I could feel was love for him and sadness. He cried too, and we fell asleep together, legs twisted together. We love each other so much, and I wish that we could spend more than just a few hours a week together. The time asleep in the same bed doesn't count. We don't interact when we sleep, unless spooning and twisted legs count.

I miss him.

Nodes That I Wrote Recently:
people will steal anything

CD’s I’ve Listened To Today:
Boogie Nights soundtrack
Revolution magazine compilation disk
DJ Icey - Essential Mix
Movingshadow 99.1 drum and bass compilation

Today’s Horoscope on my Calendar (Aries) - Roll up your sleeves and get down to business. Mars seeks a truce with Saturn and hard work brings home the bacon. A love interest can suddenly generate sparks as Venus mingles with Uranus. Novel approaches are advised.

20:22

Tight sphincter time...I am on call by myself for the first time tonight. Two hospitals' radiological whatnots funneled through my eyes and fingers until 8am.

Like a glider, I get a motorized send off: an attending physician is around the corner dispatching plain films until 2030; Greg, fellow resident, until midnight with the subtle Haitian humor and phone calls to Canada. Then: freefall until morning. Sure, there are ISDN lines and groggy attendings...They are not insane: there is a ripcord. Patient care actually does come before Ego, despite the TV show impression.

All 3 CT scanners occupied and a table of scan requests. The ER hallways are filled with people, which means all three cores and "fast track" are full. deep down, I feel that it will be OK: a little grinding of the teeth, some chanting, dreaming of vivid arriving, teaching me poi, and gifting me with fire spinning chains and a hat.

so far, so good
I'm having a great day.

SURPRISE

Seriously, you'd think after skipping an entire day of school yesterday, being physically ill all day, and facing my stalker, I'd be a little worn out and depressed.

I'M NOT

I've discovered things to live for, things make me glad to be alive... It's like I've never lived until now, as corny as that sounds. I've discovered people that make me laugh and make me feel interesting. People that I actually enjoy being with. I'm filled with so much inspiration I can't even describe it.

As I vaguely mentioned earlier, I did write my stalker a note stating that her cruel morals and lies were not something I wanted to associate with. Some people think I went a little overboard with it, but it felt good. I gave it to her after class, and she hasn't called here yet, so I'm hoping it worked. It's that, or she's already committed suicide, which would make me feel quite guilty.

Nothing can beat what I'm feeling right now, so don't ruin it was a downvote, please...

headache all day today. is it the weather? is it the serotonin? is it stress? is it cancer?

thinking like this will eventually drive me to putting a drill to my head, i fear.

anywhoo. despite the nagging head pain, had a relatively productive day. went to almost all of my classes, but skipped a discussion to go to office hours. see, my data structures project got mangled by the course auto-grader, causing my (fully functional) project to score a 47%

BOO

but, it's getting checked out, i'm sure that it will all be find in the end. since, after all, it works.

stayed in tonite, watched empire strikes back with a new girl i'm starting to date (apparently). which is fun, but mildly confusing. she's a fun person to hang out with, but we're still kind of in the 'feeling each other out' stage. getting to know each other and all that.

but it's not really worth worrying about too much.

this weekend, planning a trip to canada, which should be fun. haven't visited our lovely neighbors to the north (actually, from Ann Arbor, Windsor is directly east...) since march or so.

off to bed, try and sleep this headache out of my body.

Well, well, well... A non-early start today, which is a Good Thing. (Except 11am for a maths lecture is still fairly early. Such is life.)

I didn't bother turning up for my Mechanics lecture, due to the likelyhood of the lecturer being very boring and telling us stuff we already know. I went to the library to work on my maths tutorial instead. And at 2? More maths, yay. *ahem*. This time round, it was labs, where we sat at computers and tried to work through the sheets as fast as possible. Fairly simple stuff in MatLab, really. There was a bit of a comedy moment when Nick and Graham went for the same chair, but neither realised it. This resulted in Nick landing on the floor.. :)

On my way out of the building heading to town, I checked my phone to find I had a message from Adele - "was that your name I heard on the radio?" Turns out I'd won a pair of tickets to London with easyJet, because easyEverything opened in town. That was where I was heading at the time anywho, and it's pretty damn cool.. :o) I met Clyde 1's "nick.com" and got myself 3 hours' access for £1. Pretty damn good.. You can put Napster on the machines, download a bunch of files, and then get them written to a CD. And as nine9 pointed out, if it's just mp3s you download, they make an audio cd. Nice.

Being Adele's birthday on Friday, she decided to go to the union to celebrate, and there were tons of us there, it was pretty cool. Although one of the party got a little too drunk again, and depressed at the same time, so that kinda put a dampner on things. And Chloe missed her ride home, so me (not drinking, and with mum's car as transport) offered to drive her home. I didn't mind at all, but getting in at 2am isn't a great idea when you have a 9am lecture...

Rhonda came to kidnap me away from L’Abri my first Thursday there, which is typically our day off from study but this time we were to get Friday off instead because Dick Keyes, the director, was hosting a rehearsal dinner for his son Tim’s wedding. On Friday afternoon, we would all be kindly asked to make ourselves scarce so that the house would be empty for the dinner’s guests. Between that mess of activity and watching the hootchie-coo of Sara and Ryan’s romance, I was more than ready to hang out with another single chick close to my age.

Amherst is about an hour plus from Southboro, so when Rhonda arrived, it was already dark and an hour past dinner. Since we’d last spoken, she had bought a car, this adorable little two door Eagle something or other, all blue with chrome moldings and fat tires, a little ghetto roadster. Rhonda is looking for the translation of little blue frog in French (her language choice for her gen ed requirement) and that will become the car’s christened name. Like the loom I’m storing for her in New Orleans, she bought the car from her boss and will be working it off for a while, but she’s happy and loves and I thought it rocked most charmingly.

Once we got back to Amherst, she took me to the café her boss runs in addition to a cookie company for which she manages the accounting, and we sat outside, smoked, shivered and talked about all the things that had been going on since I’d seen her in February. At 26, she is attending college as a freshman, doing this accounting jag as well as driving a bus for the township, and I am more than proud of her, because for the longest time she didn’t think she’d make it in college. She rents a room from a family in town instead of living on campus at U Mass, so when we got back there, she offered to sleep on the floor, since she had already gotten used to the drafty cold of New England houses and I had yet to.

When I awoke the next morning, Rhonda had already left. I had be told to walk to campus and meet her in front of the building where she had her first class so I could see the grounds and sit in with her during her day at school. In Astronomy, I heard about neutrinos and isotopes, watching a wiry man in thick glasses lament about how amazing our universe really is. We went inside the campus center and bought Cokes, then went outside to watch the students mill about, looking only slightly busy as they went from class to class. I remembered that when I was in college, one of the biggest trials was simply getting to each class on time, moving from one end of campus to the other like musical chairs. In Art History we heard how Michelangelo would include the faces of men he hated and put them in the Hell section of his religious murals, and what the Gothic style really meant in its origin. Rhonda had wanted me to watch this prof very carefully so I could mimic his mannerisms to her friends; she must think I have a knack for such things. During her French exam, I wandered back into the campus center and the bookstore and recounted how central a place it was, where you could get almost anything you needed and where you almost always resorted to when decorating your dorm room. Flipping through the carousel of postcards, I was saddened at how ugly the buildings at U Mass are, how dull and boxy. I checked my email at one of the library’s Mac labs, all the while noting what I missed out from my college. Internet connections as standard in the dorms, for crying out loud, and nice, new Macs for public use. I mean, U Mass has a hotel on campus for visitors and a visitor’s center where anyone can get a tour. Shmancy.

Greek Mythology was the biggest class she had, around 400 or so, and that day they were finishing up a screening of Black Orpheus, a cheesy rendition of the Greek myth. There was a scene depicting Carnival, and the teacher reminded us that this sort of thing happens in New Orleans, and it’s called Mardi Gras. We looked at each other and laughed. Even here, New Orleans can find us.

Later that night we went out for Indian cuisine in Northampton and nearly overstuffed ourselves on Na’an and red wine. One of the coolest feelings is to step out of a warm, dimly lit restaurant, full and satisfied, and walk out into the cold night and light a cigarette. Earlier, Rhonda and I visited a humidor to get some vanilla cigarettes she had been pining for; Bob Marley was playing. I was pleased to find that the little entertainment and retail district had absolutely no franchises or chain stores. One of her bus driving friends had a drummer for a boyfriend and we were to attend one his shows that night at the Iron Horse Music Hall, but before that we stopped at a bar because Rhonda wanted, specifically, two whiskey sours. It took the waitstaff almost an hour before they decided to tell us that our clove smoke did not mingle well with the burger fare, so we left soon after that. The bar had this article from Bartender’s Digest framed by the bathroom door, showing two men in a tandem sky dive, one of which was holding a martini shaker. The caption below it read: Mile High Martini. Boy that was awfully clever of them. To wake ourselves up once we left the bar, we stopped into a small coffee shop/bookstore. Ozzy was on the stereo. I love this place.

At the Iron Horse, you couldn’t smoke inside. We sat by the door so that every time someone left to smoke, we would get hit with a waft of cold air. Going up to the bar to order drinks, I saw a bottle of Tia Maria on the shelf and asked the bartender if she new how make a drink with it. After having to consult a bouncer, she was still pretty much clueless, so I ordered a Guinness to make it easier for her. I wasn’t allowed more than one drink at a time, so Rhonda had to come up and get her own. Only in moments at bars like this do I note how New Orleans bars are different. You can get a go-cup and take any alcohol with you, and you can smoke in every bar. But the band sound checked a half hour late, so that made me feel more like home. Nothing starts on time back home.

The first band was a bit too funky for my taste, but if the funk bands in New Orleans could sound that good, they wouldn’t still be playing in New Orleans. Even Jess’ boyfriends band wasn’t my taste either, but I loved their energy. We were watching them from the side and the bass player and guitarist would weave back and forth with the music, looking from my angle like the copper legs of a massive wind chime.

We were out until 2 or so before coming back to her room to crash. The next morning I helped her wash and wax her car, which was funny to me because the paint was so faded that it was coming off with our rags, with the car wax sponge. She ran some errands for her boss and in the bakery where the cookies are made, a couple artists have rented an adjoining studio space where they made pottery. One tenant made these amazing clay dinosaurs, with full rows of teeth glazed in white. She brought some of the cookies with her when she drove me to L’Abri because Ryan’s favorite animal is the rhino, which was the cookie company’s mascot.

She dropped me off late Saturday afternoon. Thinking back, I can’t tell you specifically what we talked about, or what we shared, but I do remember that she is one of my closest friends because I can tell her everything. I trust her and love her and can say as much to her and not feel awkward. When she comes to get her things next week, it will be sad for me because it will mean that she won’t likely return to New Orleans except to visit, as I will when I move. Still, it’s nice knowing that she’s out there, and that I am being missed by a really good friend who has weathered with me through some of the most difficult ordeals of my life so far, and never once turned me away.

We arrived at the retirement home cheerful and a bit apprehensive, in separate cars, and loaded the equipment inside; we were to perform at the top of the stairs, where the piano was, and so we spent 10 minutes lugging instruments and stands and components of the drum set there.

Finally, once the elderly crowd was assembled, we played – our usual set, the one performed a week before at the fall concert. Timidly at first, despite Mr. Roberts' boisterous conducting, because we were afraid for the sensitive ears of our audience, then a bit more loudly. I played a passable solo on A Night in Tunisia and a nice one on When the Saints Go Marching In. The people seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I've always found the idea of a nursing home rather depressing; after a long and perhaps enjoyable life, you end up staring into space with a trickle of drool running down your chin in a smelly room with nobody to talk to. In practice, however, there seemed to be a wide variation of mental capacities; there were a few people who looked miserable and not-totally-there (including one, I was told afterward, who was covering his ears the whole time, which none of the nurses noticed), a few who seemed bored, and a few who enjoyed the concert greatly, and told us so with shining eyes; one in particular I can imagine at a '50s-era jazz club (he still had that sort of hairstyle going, and exuded a bit of coolness).


Continued: March 30, 2001


Node your Humanities class community service requirement. Really. Node it.

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