How much is that Noder in the Window? (woof woof)

So I was thinking. On evercrack there is a thriving real-world economy going on. People sell equipment and characters for money. There is a black market exchange rate for game money to dollars. A lot of money changes hands in the real world just for in-game things.

Could the same happen here on e2? How much would people spend for a decent account? For a well written write up? For someone to nodevertise their nodes in the catbox? You laugh - but it could happen...

If anyone is interested... I've got one Level 2 account, about 8.5 Merit - 51 W/Us, only $500

So the day was. So the day is.

One of my flat mates - the One Who Does Not Node has run away. We haven't seen her since Saturday night. We worry.

We slighted her somehow, we don't know why. She locked her self up... and now she's... gone. well, we do know where she is but thats not really the point

Apart from that the day was fine. Code a bit of PHP, swear at debian - the only OS I've found where running "apt-get install php4-gd" installs the wrong version of GD as its dependency. Seeing segfaults in your apache error log is never a good thing. It also takes a bitch of a time to track down the error and to rip things out of debian with out killing programs with dependencies.

It has come to my attention that some people got confused about my last daylog. When I said that I wasn't going to vote on nodes written by people who hadn't been seen in over a month, I didn't clarify one thing. Good nodes are likely to be well linked. So I'm pretty likely to come across them again as I wander the nodegel. So if the noder has been back to e2 and I come across that node again then I'll happily vote on it!

Hi, My name is elem_125.
I'm a daylogger.

signing off.....

Heh heh heh let's see if this trend can continue -

Hi, My name is sui.
I daylog.

The people in my office are weird! I opened the office fridge to get milk out, and after digging through all the green salads and healthy looking brany/brown breads and home made lunches, after pushing aside all the Rev, Skinny Milk, and Lowfat soys, I found a single 600ml carton of plain milk!

FREAKS! This is an office! Don't they know that they are in the computer industry? Has no-one told them that they are supposed to be slightly overweight have cold pizza and coke in the fridge?

SHEESH!

- AND they all go jogging or cycling at lunchtime - if they haven't ridden push bikes to work. I am surrounded by a room of health nutters - I wonder how my boss (who is the achtype Dilbert boss) copes every day!? (although I had noticed that even *he* has been bringing his lunch in every day of late... ;)

Of course I've heard tell of the Government office where it is all the reverse...

I've heard that after it has been decided that it is a waste of public moneys for workers to have even tea or coffee supplied. The office fridge doors are full of milks with everybody's names on them... Each one hoarding the precious substance, even though they are identical - not a single low fat or soy among them.

Each employee's bottom drawers are full of coffee, and sugar or Milo, or nibbles, and locked up tight at the end of each day. Although the stash of lollipops, biscuits and chocolate are offered freely to anyone in the area, woe betide anyone who offeres them to someone else. Unless ofcourse when needed to bribe the IT guys... who (as all good IT guys should) trade in food for favours, and expect a little bribe.

But wot really disturbs me is that no matter what fridge I have ever ecountered there is ALWAYS one strange container that just seems to live there, with something brown wrapped in paper towel, which no-one seems to own or touch. Was this left be the last round of redundancies???

Still I am surprised there are no 'macrobiotic diets' making a re-emergence, for which I am eternally greatful - that and I guess we are all safe as long as there are no tubs of natural yogurt half full with the spoon still in *grin* ;]

Last night I stared out my window for a long time. While I hadn’t noticed, the leaves on the trees outside my window had fallen, and for the first time I could see past them. The view leaped out over the hill I was on top of, down to the massive hospital and campus. I could see where the lights ended at the lake, I could see where I walked each day, I could see so much I was mesmerized.

I’ve told people that I can handle it, being this busy. I can handle it because it’s not hard I say. This is all just a game, I tell them, all you have to do is play calmly and know what needs done. I tell them this, some agree, some laugh, and some don’t say anything.

This semester is the busiest I’ve ever been in my entire life, easy. I have my fingers in a lot of pies, and I always feel like I could be doing more. I skip my classes to go to meetings and make phone calls, to do homework and learn things from the week before.

I went out with this really sweet girl. She doesn’t talk to me now I think because I couldn’t do anything; I was always off in some other state at a conference, at some meeting, doing some homework.

The leaves changed and cleared the view from my room while I wasn’t looking. I sat here on this cursed computer while the trees peeled back to show me the life I was missing. I promised myself when I came here I would connect, but I think I need a disconnect soon before I blow a fuse.

Here we go with more of the same old horrible relationship angst. She isn't happy, and I'm not happy because she isn't happy. There is so little joy in this world. Why is it so hard to be happy? The bastard is making things harder than ever. He's such a fucking black hole of emotional need. Why cant he find someone else to leech off of? She's mine, for fucks sake. I think I love her. I mean, if it was just the ass I was after, I don't think i'd care. The threat to my precious supply of poontang is not the issue. I want her to be happy. I want to be that person who pulls her up out of her misery. I don't know if I can; I don't know if she'll let me.

"It's good to see you writing again."

That's what my wife said to me before she went to bed last night. I was surprised; when she said it I was sitting here at my computer working on softlinking my most recent node and starting the research for the next ones. When I asked her what she meant, she pointed at my browser, where my scratchpad was displayed.

"It's good to see you writing again."

I hadn't really thought of my noding as "writing." Writing for me has always involved hunching over a notebook, the tip of my fountain pen flying across the paper, trying to keep up with the words and images in my head. The words used to flow, almost without conscious effort on my part. And for a long while, I haven't been able to squeeze any words out of the images. Writer's block, I suppose. The last several times I've tried, I sat there with pen poised, but the page remained pristine. And I don't try very often any more.

"It's good to see you writing again."

After she went to bed, and for much of the day today, I kept thinking about her words. I realize now the feeling I get when I'm pounding out a node, even a factual that's required two weeks of research, is exactly what I used to feel when I was sitting with pen and paper, scrawling out scenes and dialog until my hand cramped, then stretching the fingers, popping the knuckles, and cranking out some more. It's a good feeling, a rush I'd all but forgotten, a feeling of creation.

"It's good to see you writing again."

It's good to be writing again. Perhaps it's time to buy (or even make) a new notebook, dust off the pens, and see what comes out. Whatever happens, her words made my day.

WARNING: If the mundane details of working in retail bore, upset, antagonize you or otherwise make you feel like casting downvotes, then stop here, dump your vote and move to the next w/u. If not (or if you feel obligated to read this entry before zapping it) then proceed at your own caution.

Give blood, work at JCPenney.

For the last four months, I've been working in the menswear department of my local JCPenney department store. The job isn't terribly challenging: sell the shirts, stock the shirts, fold the shirts, sell the pants, fold the pants, hang the pants etc. You get the idea.

What surprises me about the job is how often I wind up bleeding. Nothing serious; we're not talking about arterial lacerations here folks. Just an assortment of small, painful nuisances that punctuate my day.

But working in retail should be reasonably safe, shouldn't it? So I thought. The hazards are numerous, and they include:

Paper cuts - Describing the pain of a paper cut is wasted effort; we've all had one at some time or another. And while the average Penney's associate doesn't handle too much paperwork, he/she is by no means immune to paper cuts. I've found the worst culprit to be the stiff plastic collar stays that are placed in the collars of dress shirts. Grabbing a shirt the wrong way (especially one that's falling from a shelf) may result in nasty paper cuts to your fingers.

Pin pricks - Again, dress shirts prove to be a den of potential digital anguish, this time by playing host to dozens of unseen pins. Sticking your finger or thumb on a pin is more of a minor bother than anything else: rarely do you bleed and the pain subsides relatively quickly. Fittingly so, the ugliest shirts -- I'm talking about your nasty-ass shirts, Hunt Club designers -- have the most pins and thus inflict the most pain. And for the record, dropping a box of pins onto overworn industrial-grade carpeting usually leads to a miserable afternoon.

Dye tags - JCPenney uses dye tags to discourage shoplifters. Removing a dye tag requires a special device (in reality, just a large magnet) located only at the store's cash registers. If the tag is removed without the device, two vials of colored dye are spilled onto the garment, ruining it. When removed, the tag separates into two pieces: a large (3-4 cm in diameter) conical section (which contains the dye) and a 3 cm long pin (with a large plastic head) that fits into the other half. Part of my job entails tagging new merchandise. Reaching blindly into a cardboard box filled with unsorted halves of dye tags often result in getting pricked, but with a thicker, blunter pin.

Misc. hazards - In addition to the above dangers, I've also walked into displays, had boxes dropped on me, been run over by carts and have had flaming pokers jammed into my nostrils. Well, maybe not the last one.

Besides that, I actually like my job. Almost.
Antarctica: November 21, 2002

Meat

Lotta work today.

Got to breakfast at 7:00 this morning. Mark, the MegaDunes physicist was there. Mark weighs as much as a person his size without any flesh. He has spent six seasons on the ice, as well as a couple in Greenland. He's a professor at University of New Hampshire. The polar regions make him hungry. He had four bananas, three eggs, sunny-side up, two slices of buttered toast, and a big slab of ham on his plate.

I had a bowl of something that was supposed to be raisin bran. I sat down at the same time as Chris, the MegaDunes ice core guy, and Ron, their mountaineer.

"You guys didn't read the sign," he said as I eyed his plate. "It said: 'Take a banana.'"

"It didn't say, 'take ALL the bananas'," Chris replied.

"I wasn't about to fall for that trick," Ron said, commenting on the cheezyness of Mark's bananas. "First it's a banana, then it's mind control."

So began another day in McMurdo.

Moved the webcam boxes out of MEC (Mechanical Equipment Center) and down to the helo yard. Got the 802.11 working and put the access point in the Puzzle Palace (the comms building). Got both of them on line on the internal McMurdo network and watched helicopters take off on the cams.

Tony, my PI (Principal Investigator--your "PI" is your boss in Antarctica), calls the webcam boxes TAISUs which stands for Tactical Autonomous Instrumentation Support Unit. We have both TAISUs running now.

Did my weekly clothes washing. Got my first shower in three days. In the old days showers were strictly limited to one two-minute shower per week. Now that there's a desalination plant, everyone can take hollywood showers as frequently as they can get to the shower. Of course, as this place was built in a time when showers were limited, there aren't many. (There are two on my dorm floor which must house 100 people). I went into the bathroom this morning and in a miracle of queuing theory found a shower open. I ran back to my room, grabbed my towel, and availed myself of an Antarctic luxury.

All herc flights are delayed out of here due to bad weather surrounding the station. Our weather is fine, about 20 degrees F, overcast, light wind, but to the north and south there are blizzard conditions. It's starting to get more crowded as folks flow in from Christchurch but can't get out.

Coming to McMurdo in November makes you a target--something I've just learned. By November, all single people looking to "hook up" with someone on the ice have done so and anyone not hooked up is a lost cause. New blood is fair game, apparently.

New blood. Meat.

So I've met a lot of people this year. I start off by showing them pictures of my family. That sets the tone. If they're interested in a nice conversation, they stay, if they hope I'd be meat, they leave.

Tim left for the helo to take him to the dry valleys today. I met him on my floor while I was rushing to my shower. He was in his ECWs for flight, holding a case of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. He handed it to me explaining it didn't fit on the helo. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart. The gift of beer in a treacherous, life-sapping landscape could only be felt as a bond of brotherhood. I will have to find a way to repay him.

Perhaps I will need to buy him a house when we get back north.

The MegaDunes guys do a daily "safety meeting" which involves drinks. Last night the weekly MegaDunes "safety" meeting was in Chris and Ron's room. We stayed up till midnight, drinking beer and wine, listening to iTunes quietly pushing the Beatles into the dry Antarctic atmosphere.

Ted, the expedition leader, has also tried his hand at screenwriting. When he was describing his project to some newcomers he began this way. It could be a wonderful opening to a novel or a movie. Ted said:

"We had the idea these giant structures existed by reading the journals of the early explorers. They'd separate by a couple of kilometers and suddenly they'd disappear into what appeared to be a completely flat icescape. And pilots flying on the deck would radio down to field teams that at altitude they realized the teams were moving among massive ice formations invisible at ground level.

"It wasn't until someone looked closely at a geosat picture of West Antarctica that we realized there were huge ripples in the ice covering an area the size of the state of California, and that they moved against the wind, and were covered in sastrugi running parallel to the wind, and nobody had the slightest idea how something like that would happen."

While Tony and I go out to bring uninhabited places closer to society, Ted and team are heading out to the -40 degree air temps and nearly -90 degree wind chill equivalent temp to attempt to solve one of nature's mysteries by meeting it in person.

My name is StrawberryFrog,
and I daylog

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Clap. Right, let's move on. I wrote a bit of whiny self-indulgent stuff, but I'm not posting it. I have accomplished a lot of what I set out to do this last year, am pleased with that, and am working on the rest.

Q: What’s the difference between an emigre and a refugee?
A: Timing

Think of me as just another displaced person. One of the lucky ones, with a valid passport to wave at the border guards. It’s not a question of right or belonging. It's what you can get away with.

Birthday presents: I read that the South African government is cracking down on the practice of holding two passports, and I read today that I have until the end of the week to choose my nationality. Let's see – entire European Union or single African country that would have me back anyway as they always need skilled workers? Erm, surprisingly tough choice, seeing as how I have always said I’d ditch the SA passport in a heartbeat if it came to this. I am able to walk away from things easily, but I hate to close the door behind me.

So am I happy? Happiness is overrated. I wasn’t happy there. I'm not unhappy now.

London; Winter. At noon, the sun is maybe thirty degrees above the horizon. It gets dark around 4pm, Daylight Saving Time. Daily it creeps earlier. Maybe you see this as normal, but I find it abnormal. I knew winter would be the most difficult part of living here.

I am fascinated by this metropolis, still bustling with open hairdressers and the smell of curry from Indian restaurants at 6pm in the cold dark misty gloom.

I've had my cat, Buddy, for 11 years. We got him when I was only ten years old. He's been here through half of my life.

Eat, sleep, eat, sleep, eat, run around outside, come in and sleep some more...
The life of a cat.

He did not like the winters. He spent them sulking in the house, driving us all nuts until he could go back outside in the spring. He loved to be outside. He spent whole summers out in the yard. He would spend the days sleeping under the bush in our front yard, emerging to greet you when you came down the walkway. At night he would disappear across the road, into a world we could only dream of.

In the fall he would return late at night, not wanting to spend it out in the cold. I would pull into the driveway after midnight and he would come running back across the road to meet me.

Last night he crossed the road for the last time. I carried him back in a box.

To all those who have come and gone; May your next stop be as mysterious, enjoyable and painfully real as this one.

Buddy
1991-2002
Thank you. Goodbye.

Thanks for listening.

Hmm. Similar to corwin's. Here goes...

Wifey (a.k.a Supervixen) said to me the last night while she was shredding nearly a year of old mail, "Are you ever going to write again?"

She's eerie that way, further convincing me that she is indeed a witch, reading the bare intentions of thought in my mind, the ones I try to hide even from myself.

The fact is, I have started again. I realize this time that it will be hard work. I will have to bear down and be consistent. Do not count on a daily ejaculation of prose. There are a cast of characters that have lived their lives in my head for the past eight years. They've spoken to me at length, some a bit more interesting, sharing a little more, than others. Then they've scared me by going away for long stretches without sending any updates.

Then the heroine of the story bluntly gave me some advice.

"Look," she said. "Quit all the Great American Novel bullshit. Just write the fucking story or we're outta here for good."

Then she stormed back in to her teepee. Or schoolbus. Whatever. I haven't gotten that far.

Now the plan is to write it all down without a goal in mind. Write it on anything, anywhere. Do it every day. Finish it. Polish it. Done.

Then show it to Supervixen and answer, "Yes."

Strange days my friends, strange days.

Dreams of violence and fast food. Assaulted in an orange lit alley, submissive, handing over my wallet. Flash of orange light. Suddenly fighting back, throwing ineffectual punches at stunned assailants. Useless. But A policeman appears on the beat. Maybe not so useless. Would be muggers flee and my wallet is returned. We go around the corner, to a yellow and white fast food joint, McDonald's but not McDonald's. Lining up, ordering, all calm. The skinhead assailant from outside makes a thinly veiled threat. Suddenly frightened, my eyes desperately flash to the cop that saved me before. A Reassuring Nod, and the threatening guy leaves. Fade to Black.

Come to in a lounge room in suburbia. Red. Thick red carpet and soft red drapes. Disorientated. Red strobe memories of murder. Red strobe images of brutal axes and disembodiment. Evil red grins, in a red room, with red blood. Then beers and congratulatory, evil grins. I scan the room and notice a family of four, father, mother, two sons, watching television in their pyjamas. Somehow they are completely oblivious to the half dozen bodies strewn around their lounge room, out of their field of view, fixated on the blue screen in the red room. A flash of panic across my face. Trying insanely to alert the others, without disturbing the viewers. Hastily, quietly, cold fear in my stomach, running out of the front door and starting my car. Four other people rush in. The family hasn't noticed. We're going to make it. Two people left. I consider leaving them and start the car down the driveway. Guilt makes me reverse, but panic urges me to leave. My two remaining butchers dive in as I skid to a stop. Spin the wheels as I leave the driveway, seven butchers in a three door hatch, two butchers with feet hanging out an open door. Everything quite as the car speeds into the night. Glancing in the rear-view mirror, an angry father's face, framed by yellow street lights, remembering the numbers on my licence plate. Wake to a wash of cold fearthey know who I am.

I haven't had a vivid dream in a long time. Lately my dreams have been indistinguishable from reality – normal conversations with friends, causing mild déjà vu later. I certainly never have such violent dreams, and have never woken up to the memory of the joys of brutal murder. Shaken, I lie for a while and before long, fell again into a restful sleep. Audrey woke me at nine, I think mainly to laugh at having woken me. She calls again seven minutes to midday. She's early and owes me seven minutes sleep.

My father comes around half an hour later. He walked during his lunch break to my new apartment, which he hadn't seen before. This is the third time he has tried to walk here, but only the first time he got the right address. He kept forgetting the number. So I rub the sleep out of my eyes and throw down the 'cube controller after finishing in second place. We have coffee at a little orange café across the road, that I've been meaning to go to for the last two weeks, but it closes too early. It's empty, but actually quite good – the boy behind the counter is cute and the coffee is good.

Dad leaves and Audrey shows up, and we walk to the video store. Four DVD's for fifteen bucks and five dollars of late fees. The girl behind the counter is really cute, with a really nice labret piercing and a really bad haircut. We chat for a little while; banks are evil, she's broke, but they gave her a credit card and she gets in trouble buying things on the 'net (the share house she just moved into has cable. Cable is pronounced slowly, it's still a relatively new idea). I pay for our rentals and my late fees on my credit card (overlimit. Significantly overlimit). As we leave the store, Audrey turns to me and starts pissing herself laughing. Apparently my little crush was quite obvious. I grin and enjoy the five minute crush.

We decide to have coffee at the orange place again. Its been maybe two hours since I went there before. The boy behind the counter smiles and makes small talk. After coffee, after paying, more small talk. Really pleasant small talk and then we leave. Crossing the road, Audrey starts singing; I think he likes you'. I grin and half blush – he is kinda cute, remember?

We watched Zoolander and Life of Brian. I hadn't seen Zoolander before, and its actually quite funny. Much, much better than I had expected. It hadn't been long enough since the last time I watched Life of Brian, and I smoked four of my day's five cigarettes during it. Strangely enough, I didn't go buy a new pack after. I seem to have spontaneously quit, or at least spontaneously stopped smoking for a little while. It's only been about six hours now, and it will probably be pretty rough, but we'll see how it goes. I wasn't planning on quitting for another 2 months (January 23, 2003. There's no particular significance to the date, but it's after new years. Who really quits on new years day?).

About eight, and Audrey and I gointo the city for coffee with Brian and Shelley. Three separate groups of friends, who barely know each other, and only see each other through me. An insane hour or two at the coffee table. I'm tired and on a caffeine rush and nothing is making sense. No cigarettes. Brian has a crush on Audrey that he developed a few weeks ago, the first time that I introduced the two. Shelley is seeing ghosts and Audrey is having a mild panic attack about leaving for India in two weeks and not having any money. The table is spinning and I have no cigarettes.

Brian and Audrey and I go back to my place and watch Charlotte Gray. It's good. Really good. Cate Blanchett is superb, but she seems to be the only one in the movie with eyes. She has big, bright, clear blue eyes, and everyone else seems to have dull, brown eyes. But when your biggest problem with a movie is that someone's eyes are too blue, the movie can't be that bad.

I drove everybody home, relaxed, and not tired anymore. The craving to smoke has passed, or seems to have passed, for now. I'd smoke 'em if I had 'em, but I don't think I will actually go mad, as I had feared before.

It's time to go to bed. Half past one, local time, and this marks the end of my two day mini holiday. Back to work tomorrow, for one day, and then it's the weekend. University has finished for the year, and I have No Plans.

Maybe the Blockbuster Chick will be working tomorrow when I take back the movies. Maybe I'll walk in to drop them off, instead of driving through. It's been a good, lazy day.

My name is nic. I guess, from today onwards, I am a daylogger.

    Dear Folks,

    Mother passed away about 4:30 this morning. The funeral is to be at Kempner Baptist Church, on Monday, Nov. 11, at 10:00 AM. I am sure that the church will want to furnish us lunch that day.
    There will be a visitation at Dobson Funeral Home Sunday evening at 6-8PM. I will have three extra double beds available here at my house for anyone who needs them.

    Peggy


    Sent flowers to Tiana's funeral from all of us and hope it was ok with you -included a short msg and signed our names.
    She was born Apr 15th, 1912 second oldest after Glenna Mae. When Tiana & Edward married in 1939 Jimmy and Noreta were 5 & 1 yrs -Their mom died in 1938.
    Love, Dad
    I just wanted to say thank you for sending the card to your Aunt Tiny when we thought that she was getting better. I don’t exactly know what happened except that the Good Lord decided that it was time to take her home. Because she was doing fine one day and then all of a sudden she took a turn for the worse. She kind of went to sleep but you could tell that she knew we were all there at her bedside and she would open her eyes and look at us every once in awhile. However, she wasn’t in any pain the doctors made sure of that thank God.
    I remember her looking at Jerry and then at me and I told her that if she had to go to go and not worry about us that in heaven she would meet up with her parents, her two sisters, and Edward, and of course she wouldn’t have to worry about having any pain whatsoever there because up in heaven there would be no pain. I also wanted to thank you for being such a good friend to both Jerry and I and keeping in touch with us.
    May The Good Lord Bless You And Your Family,
    Your Friends,
    Barbara & Jerry

Uncle Paul who is related to the Godwin’s by matrimony says he married into a family of thoroughbreds. Married to my Aunt MayDell he’s referring to my father, one uncle and seven aunts.
    When Tiana was five days old, a blustery April hailstorm beat out the windowpanes to the bedroom where she and her mother were, but she was safely covered with a pillow.
    (Godwin-Hill and Related Families, Gadbury, Ruth Godwin, 1980, p 66)
Their parents Enoch Godwin and Nollie Bell Hill had been married four years when my Aunt Tiana was born; by the time Grandmother gave birth to her ninth and last child-- Dad, Tiana was 17 years old; a strikingly handsome young girl with long sable brown hair she kept up in a bun, full rose-colored lips and the much talked about town “Godwin eyes.” Her husband of fifty years passed away just two years ago, living in Lampasas they built up a herd of milk cows operating a dairy for over four decades. A ruddy faced blond haired man with hands thick from hard work, Charles Edward Smith was missing a finger under some mysterious circumstances I was too polite to ask about and because of that I would alwys greet him with running hugs and a kiss on the cheek to avoid any possibility of a handshake. I was more than just careful about avoiding getting myself buried in the grain bins by cousins just in case that missing finger was wiggling around in there still somehow. A man who valued his opinions about his country Uncle Edward corresponded by letters to Presidents and they wrote him back. His daughter Peggy follows in his footsteps. Attending a Town Hall Meeting President George W. Bush was holding last spring; she told him that it was her opinion that women on welfare should be sterilized. President Bush thought this was a funny idea and when he laughed she gave him her hardest teacher look then checked for understanding by repeating her opinion. She wants women on welfare to be required by law to use Norplant. President Bush did take her comments more seriously the second time around. I don’t necessarily share her opinion, but I can understand where she may be coming from teaching in a federal women’s prison.

Food flowed from Aunt Tiana’s kitchen and when teen-aged Dad went dove hunting with his fishing license, she had a small ‘conniption fit’ then made him a delicious dove pie. (It’s something like chicken pot pie only made with dove meat and a few buckshot pellets); only her chicken fried steak could rival Grandmother’s and always served it up on her big Blue Willow platter.

Tiana and Edward were childhood friends and dated sporadically looking to each other for counsel during their courtship. Edward was a young widower with a son and daughter when they married in 1939, and they had a daughter, Peggy and son, Jerry together.

Tiana went to a one-room school house in Long Cove until the eighth grade, graduated from Lometa School in 1931, attended Baylor for a time then; Tarleton State College. After teaching for a while she went into nurses training; later working as a seamstress to supplement their income. In 1957 they built a pink brick home where I spent curled up in afternoon naps as a toddler on her Baptist pallet at the First Baptist Church of Kempner. After 40 years of operating their dairy they sold their herd in 1991.

Grandma and Grandpa were good farmers and considered a success at it. They had to be to have raised the family they did during the worst depression this country ever experienced. They never knew anything other that hard work as all of them did in the family. Aunt Tiana wrote about her memories in her “Living Off the Land”

    As a gardener, Mother was a wonder! She raised enough in the garden to feed and raise nine children and all the company they brought home. I have always marveled at how she cooked for, and fed, all the hands during syrup-making.
  • We started hoeing berries in January and hoed until March, in the evenings after school. When they were ripe, we picked them. If we offered to give some to the neighbors, they would ask, “are they picked?” If they were, they gladly took them; if not they refused.
  • We cut potatoes to be planted, and hoed the garden, set out onions, cabbages, tomatoes and watered them. One year Papa had us set out rows and rows of onions in the field. It was such hard work!
  • One day we were all hoeing in the garden. Papa had gone to town to get some sweet potatoes. He had a big fat possum under a tub in the front yard and they planned to have opossum and sweet potatoes for supper. “Oh my!” I though “How horrible it would be to have a stinking old ‘possum on the table!” Of course I did not intend to eat any, but it would be such a disgrace to the family! I pretended to have to go get a drink of water. I took my hoe and let that; possum out. Oh my, I was sure scared of him! I dug a hole in the ground, so it would look like he had dug out. And I never did tell anyone!
  • Mother raised... hundreds of chickens in her lifetime. At one time she sold baby chicks by putting ads in the Farm and Ranch. They were Brown Leghorns. Then she changed to White Leghorns. When we were very small, she would have us build our playhouse by the little chicken house so we could keep the hawks off the chickens. These chickens provided a lot of our living, eggs each day, most of our meat, and all of Mother’s money. I remember turning the eggs at night and passing the flashlight under them to see if they were going to hatch.
  • Mother milked the cows so we could have milk, cream and butter. Glenna Mae and Ruth would come in after school and skim the cream of the milk and drink it. Did they get fat, and the rest of us went without.
  • One time Mother bought two lovely Jersey cows from Aunt Ann and Uncle Tommy Bishop, who lived in Lampasas and were moving to Houston. She milked the cows for a while. Then one morning she went out to milk, only to find them both dead, lying on their backs, with all four feet sticking straight up in the air. Mother did not cry often, but she cried then.
  • When I was very small, Papa fenced off a place along a little creek that was a drainage ditch between our place and Uncle Lonnie’s place. He planted it in Burmuda grass so he could raise hogs there. That did not last long. They got out too often. After that we just had two hogs for meat…Mother would have us carry the slop to the hogs. The bucket would be too heavy for one to carry, so she had us put a stick in the handle so two could carry it. If we got mad at each other, one would try to put the other’s end of the stick in the slop bucket to get it dirty for the other one to carry.
  • I always wondered how Mother could make the two hogs that we raised for meat and lard go so far. They would last all year. With lard she fried chicken, made biscuits every day, seasoned vegetables, made cakes and pies, and fried down sausages. And last of all she made lye soap from this lard. The soap was for washing clothes and sometimes kids, if we short of hand soap.
    Your Eggs and My Eggs (1988) p.23.

Visiting them over childhood summers they always needed a willing pair of hands to the work around the farm. Uncle Edward sent my cousin and I out to round up a part of his herd that had broken through a fence and into a pasture of wildflowers. If they grazed on the wild onions growing there he told me, the flavor would come through and their milk would be ruined. Texas bluebonnets blossomed in field there with bright orange scissor-tailed flycatchers streaking across them taking my breath away. I gathered a big bouquet and gave them to Aunt Tiana, she beamed when I told her how they matched her eyes; put them in one of Grandmother’s vases and chucked me under the chin. Popping a piece o f peppermint candy in my mouth I returned my very best freckled-faced girl grin.

Then there was the fire one snowy cold winter in the middle of the night, one of the grain bins had exploded burning their dairy completely down to the ground. Uncle Edward rebuilt it with lots of spanking new fiberglass tubes and shiny steel pasteurizing tanks that would pump and whoosh the sweet heady smelling milk down the lines, followed up with tangy chlorine after a good cleaning. A big semi trailer truck came and took the gallons upon gallons of milk to market. All those years of hard work eventually got to my uncle and neuropathy in his legs sent him to bed in his late 80’s; for some reason Aunt Tiana went to bed with him too.

As news of my Aunt Tiana’s impending death trickled in I was saddened to think that another member of the “Greatest Generation” was leaving. I will miss them.

In memory of Charles Edward Smith {1908-2000) and Tiana Godwin Smith (1912-2002)


Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."
-John 14:2 (NIV)

Devotion

Back again, not for certain how long...

It's odd to pick up an old diary that hasn't been used in years, but still has blank pages in it. How do you fill the gap with all that has happened? Do you trivialize everything, narrow it down to one short, concise, bulleted list? Or do you write pages and pages and pages on everything swirling through your head...?


It's been too long. I don't know what to say.

I don't know what to say, I don't know what to do; my life has become one long longing for clarity. Especially... him. I want him, need him, crave him; he burns out my insides, sets me on fire... and yet. And yet, I can't even remember what he looks like. What he sounds like. What he smells like. Each time we meet, it may as well be for the first time... "Who are you?" The lines of his skin sear my thoughts, but I know nothing about him. I probably shouldn't know anything about him, though, should I? A cardinal rule of casual sex; never get too attached. I don't even WANT a relationship (I think)... he certainly doesn't. But with the string of men in my life who have said "I like you, I want to have sex with you, but I don't want to date you", I'm left to wonder if there's some bizarre mental quirk I'm unaware of, some misfiring in my brain that sends out "this girl is dangerous, back the fuck off" vibes... I think it's time to build the wall up again. Distance... Detachment... Sanity... ahhhhhhh.

I sometimes don't think before I talk. This gets me in trouble with some people and gets me respect from others. My uncle once told me that I remind him of Jesse Ventura because I always say what I think. Not sure if that is a compliment or not.

Today’s 'think before you talk' moment went like this: I was at my work’s annual Thanksgiving potluck lunch. Everyone brings food and sits around and makes small talk and enjoys not being at their desks for an hour or so. I was sitting at table with a nice mix of people this time, some friends, some not. This made for good conversation. The conversation went from the Joss Whedon show Firefly to the Baldwin brothers somehow. Oh, it was because the character, Jayne on Firefly is played by an actor named Adam Baldwin and we all wondered if he was "a Baldwin" like Alec and his other actor brothers. I mentioned that I didn’t think he was because he didn’t look like the other Baldwins. Maybe he is a cousin or something.

Anyway, so this made me bring up actors who I think could someday be president. Everyone thought this was a quirky notion, but indulged me. Someone brought up that Alec Baldwin couldn’t be president someday because he is divorced. Someone else mentioned that it was a messy divorce, too. Someone else mentioned there has only been one unmarried president ever. Then the thought occurred to me, do you have to go to church every Sunday if you are president? What religion is Alec Baldwin, anyway? It would be horrible to have to make a show of going to church every Sunday if you weren’t religious. It would be terrible to have to lie about that.

Someone said that Bill Clinton didn’t go to church every Sunday when he was the president, which I am not sure is true or not. Then they mentioned that he used to go to the Foundry Methodist Church on 16th and P Streets. I got so excited because that church is on my block. I blurted out, "Oh, the Poop Church!" Wide eyes all around the table, I tell ya. Huge, wide eyes. I then had to explain that Scoresby and I call it the Poop Church because it has one of the biggest patches of grass near our apartment and we take the dog there to go number two. This didn’t make the eyes any less wide. "We clean up!" I said. "And we don’t let him poo there on Sundays!" Laughter all around. Then I told another story about how one of Archie’s cronies, whose mommy doesn’t leash her, once ran right into this church while on a walk. She then yelled, "Chloe, don’t go in that church, we’re Jewish!" This story got a round of laughter and I guess made up for the fact that I said Poop Church like 4 times.

So, President Clinton used to go to the Poop Church. So cool.

I'm going to graduate!

As you may (or may not) know, I am a student at Hiram College, in Hiram, Ohio, majoring in Art. I will be completing the associated coursework in December, for May graduation. Part of the graduation requirements are to put up a senior exhibition - a collection of the best, most representative art I have done during the last four years. This exhibition will be held in the college art gallery. The opening will feature food and drink! All are invited to:

cbustapeck's
Senior Exhibition

Paintings, Assemblages, Books, and Works on Paper

Opening Reception: Sunday, December 8, 2:00-4:00 pm

Exhibition continues December 9-20, 2002

Frohring Art Center, Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio.

Gallery hours are 9:00-4:30, Monday - Friday.

Some images of the paintings I have done this semester are at williambustagallery.com/me/ - more will be there as I have time. No, I am not William Busta. I just have space on that server.

The show will be big oil paintings, huge assemblages, collages, books, and other things. It will all be really cool. Trust me. Free food!

If you want to *gasp* attend from out of state, let me know, I have plenty of space to put people up, given advance notice.

Coding. Grocery shopping at Sam's Club. Picked up a few CD's from the public library and ripped them into iTunes.

In my continuing efforts to make E2 the definitive Unicode information center, I noded Small Form Variants, which is a really boring set of characters necessary for compatibility with some other character set. I also got through many more code blocks updating them in my new improved format.

There's a pot luck dinner in Lexington tomorrow, so I made my famous Ginger Thins from Joy of Cooking :

Mix

And combine with Put dots of about 1/8 teaspoon (easiest with a pastry bag) on parchment paper on a cookie sheet (or a greased cookie sheet). Cook 5 to 6 minutes at 350o.

This makes a big pile of little cookies which are consumed by volume rather than by the each.

Once Ruth Anne got home with Amelia, all productivity came to a stop, as usual. We managed to get fed, and then played with Amelia for a few hours till she was ready for bath and bed. We played the stacking-the-spice-jars game, the climb-up-the-stepladder game, the kitchen-sink game and many others, including Amelia's personal favorite, the destroy-everything game.

Why did I settle on squeezie?

It all began in September 1997. You may like to cast your mind back and recall what you were doing then. Just for your own personal context, of course. It is unlikely that it directly affected the rest of this story.

Aaaanyway, September 1997. I'd just started at University studying for a BA (Hons) English. Imagine, if you will, a bright-eyed, enthusiatic, shiny-haired fresher, determined to do well, work hard and make people proud. She was sitting next to me in the first 'Welcome' lecture.

One of the first things that struck me as a fresher wasn't the medium-sized campus library, the under-sized union bar or the enormous amount of dangerous cyclists there are in Cambridge. It was the computer room. The room where the only sounds were mouse clicking, furious typing and the old dot matrix printer. Having come from a home where the internet was something that other people had and my parents thought was faintly suspicious, the freedom of being able to surf until all I could see were sparkling balls of white light was all too much.

I soon discovered chatrooms (I think the first ones I used were at beseen.com). Gradually I visited more and more rooms. This is usually the point when you find that your 'oh-so-individual' username has been snaffled by someone else. In my case, I'd been using the highly unoriginal Ophelia, which I couldn't use outside of beseen as, to my surprise, there are lots of other people out there who like to identify themselves with that young, rejected, over-caring, off-the-wall bundle of madness.

After realising that Ophelia was a lost cause, I went with Wendy. I am not certain if that was a nod to J.M. Barrie, or because I'd watched too much South Park. I fear it was the latter. Wendy suffered the same fate as Ophelia, much more quickly.

This is where the leaps of logic started.

I've always enjoyed word association, so, as I sat there on that rainy Thursday afternoon in the stuffy computer room, I pondered around Wendy. Tinkerbell was my first thought, and while that username was rejected on the grounds of excessive girliness, the idea of a fairy stuck with me.

In the UK, Fairy is a washing up liquid. It's (supposedly) a 'top of the range' washing up liquid and is one of the most pricey. Being a student, Fairy was beyond me in the affordability stakes, and we would settle for the cheaper options that the local shops had to offer. Among those is a brand called 'Sqezy'. I don't know why so many letters from what is clearly supposed to be 'Squeezy' have been missed out. My best guess is that it's harder to read lots of letters from one fixed vantage point on a curved bottle and the makers wanted to print the letters they were going to use as large as possible.

It's a small leap from 'Sqezy' to squeezie, but that was where I landed.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.