Prohibition in the modern world.

Who are these fuckers who vote?
Are they all in their Seventies?
Ban Same-Sex Marriages.
Make sure drugs laws stay rough and tough.
Eliminate smoking anywhere some sensitive person might catch a stray whiff.
Oh, but make sure we have a lottery there in Tennessee.
Everyone is Seventy.
Wake up America.
Wake up before it is too late.

Next year if I want to have a smoke with my beer
I'll have to go drink in a SICKHOLE.

Awesome.

Anytime you want to smoke when you are out in Florida starting in 2003 you'll have to go to a dirty little room filled with toothless old men and sickly old ladies while they chain smoke their way through a pack of Pall Malls and tell you about how they got fucked over by Eisenhower.

Awesome.

The world is progressing nicely. America leads the way! Follow our lead, little tin soldiers. Lets go flex some muscle abroad while we ask the government to protect our wimpy homefront population. Protect us o' government! Protect us from ourselves! Protect us from queers! Protect us from cigarette smoke! Protect us from mistreated pregnant pigs! Protect us from bad people who look at us funny! Protect us from crazy drug fiends! Protect our children! Protect our grandparents! Protect the little girl with asthma. We need to pass a constitutional amendment to make pollen illegal! Jesus, why did any of us bother to get out of the crib? We might as well climb back now.

Are you over Seventy?
Do you vote?
Can we change your colostomy bag for you?

The problem with the general attitude amongst voters in the United States is that they don't grasp the concept of what they are voting for. People vote and don't care about the particular issue in question and vote for something they figure is a pretty good idea. Eventually it will come around to something they care about and then they will be upset because the people who aren't concerned aren't helping them out. Criminalize everyone who isn't a mindless cog in the machine because we never get rid of laws, we just add more. Follow the guidelines set out for you by powerful self-interest groups. The individual voice doesn't matter much when millions can be invested by groups who stand to profit from passing laws of prohibition. It is all about the bottom line. Don't fool yourself. Marketing wins elections, from the candidates to the ballot questions. The slow death of critical thinking is reaching its zenith. Tune in next year when it becomes illegal to do anything other than shop at Pier One Imports while wearing an outfit that is judged pleasing to the eye and non-offensive to anyone. I'm sorry, the heel on those shoes is too high. You are a danger to yourself and others. Look at that poor wimpy kid. She was traumatized by her mom falling down in high heels so we have to protect her... we're pushing a ballot initiative on it next month...

I have to go now.
I only have a few months until I have to smoke in a fucking
SICKHOLE.

How am I? Oi, I donno. I don’t feel very good at the moment. The room feels like it is spinning. I don’t feel the greatest, but; I am doing rather well besides. I am going to the doctor in the morning. I have this weird finger disorder (I should probably word this better, to make the impression that I haven't had these symptoms on my fingers before, but I don’t think I can). So I am going to see the doctor to see if she has any idea what is wrong with my fingertips. The skin is shredding off, and it particularly bad on my middle finger. Me being blessed with health insurance might as well go see her. While I am there, I am going to try and get tested for mono. I donno, however unlikely it is that I have it, it will make me feel better to have a clear yes or no; especially since I feel like I have been showing symptoms of it. *sighs*

I am quitting my job. Why? Well, for one, I hate it. I find any reason to be late or to call off that I can. It isn't the people really, well, not all of them anyway; and it isn't really the work, because I don’t mind it so much anymore… Running for 5 hours straight doesn’t bother me like it used to. Maybe it is that the manager is a jerk; maybe it is that I don’t want the stress anymore… maybe it is because I am sick of people who cannot wait 5 minutes for their precious food to cook completely. Maybe I am tired of the petty people who come in with their demands. I think that is it. I think it is also the fact that my bosses don’t ask me if I mind working 5 days a week (even though I told them I only want 3). You know, they should hire more people if they are short handed; I have the right to call off, none of this "well we don’t have anyone who can do your job." Maybe it is also the fact that they never asked me if I minded washing dishes. OF COURSE I MIND! It is a smelly nasty job, and with this finger infection I don’t want to stick my hands in greasy nasty soapy water; pardon me for being concerned if it falls off or not, but I like this finger (as I like all of them).

Also. Working so much has put a strain on my doing homework. I leave for school at 9:30 or 10:30 (depending on the day), and I don’t get home till 10pm most days because of work. I think most of you will agree that, that is excessive. The bosses at work keep promising that we will start closing at 9pm soon, but, as of yet it hasn’t happened. I need homework time, I fall asleep too many nights on my bed with my homework strewn under me. It isn't fair to me. Also, I need time to apply for scholarships since I am planning on attending a four year school next fall. And, I want to spend sometime with my mom. I don’t see her very often anymore. *sigh*

Sorry for complaining. But, I am happy to say 'Goodbye' to Boston Market. Maybe I will find a new job. Maybe not. We will see what goes on. If I do, I don’t want to work more than three days a week. I think I can be happy with that again. What do you mean I cannot find a high pay low work job?! Heheheh. I am thinking about JoAnn Fabrics with great delight. Mmmmm……fabric.

I am really tired, my appointment is at 7:40, so, I should go to bed now. Thanks for reading this. I don’t know why you did. I wouldn’t have. *laughs*

Now for more interesting reading: My life in the Swedish Army, Fulufjället, I drove my fish to suicide, 23 days in Bhutan, How to get a Goth out of a Tree, Come Mute. Ok, anything more and it would be my bookmark list. Heheheh. Those are all very very good nodes.

My Latte Gives me Superpowers

Meet me. Mild mannered Digital Arts student. I'm an art nerd, and before that, I was a band nerd, and before that, I was just a plain all out nerd. I have trouble meeting new people in general. So, when I eye that super cool girl who works at the local Volunteers of America, I think, "I'm gonna ask her out." I walk up to the counter, and all of a sudden my head is filled with exactly 26 reasons I should not ask her out.

I've been doing this for three or four weeks now. I go, I pick up something to buy, walk to the counter, and before I know it, I'm out the door. My heart pounding, and my hands shaking.

I know this chick digs me. It's not a fear of rejection. So today, I decided that this was it. Today was the day I was going to ask her out. I walk past the row of mountain bikes that are lined up next to the door, constantly sitting there like crows on a telephone wire.

I get into the store. There she is, standing at the register, smiling that beautiful smile. I walk past her and smile, same as the week before, and the week before that. Although this week she stops me.

"So what's your name?" I tell her. "What's your name?" I say. She tells me. Of course I already knew. I heard her boss talking to her one day. I stand there for an awkward moment. Silence. I hate silence. "I'm gonna go look at the records." You're such a wuss., I think to myself.

I pick up a cd. Skypark Am I Pretty? I'd been waiting for it to go on sale. I start moving towards the counter. Just ask her if she'd like to go for coffee or something. It doesn't have to be poetic.

I look up and I'm already out the door. I'm such a wuss. Next stop is the latte stand. I'd never had a butterscotch latte before. Apparently I need to more often because it indeed gives me superpowers. I took one sip of that bittersweet symphony and I saw those bubbles that used to pop up on the Batman TV series with Adam West. Wham! Zap! Pow!

Suddenly I had the courage of ten men. I walked back a block again to VOA. I walk past the bikes, in the door, and to the counter. I look up and I'm outside again. How'd that happen? I was so ready to ask her.... Wait. What's in my hand? Cassette tape, cassette tape, cassette tape, cassette tape. I am such a....

A PHONE NUMBER!

When it comes to women, Batman got nothing on me.

Do you have empty water bottles piling up, just waiting to be used?

Well, I've got a solution for you!
(I apologize for the salesman-like opening, I just wanted to start it off interesting, yah know?)

First, take all your empty water bottles and fill them with water.

Then take some food coloring (you might want to make sure you have that before you fill your empty water bottles) and squeeze a desired number of drops of food coloring into each bottle.

Then line up the bottles where either a) the sun can hit them and light them up or b) they can be lit from behind by some form of lighting.


What follows is a description of what I've done with this process.
As a college student, and living in an arid part of the world, I drink lots of water. And flats of water bottles are cheap. I have drained 5 to 6 dozen bottles of water in the last 3 months. This is why I decided to experiment. I also thought it'd be cool.

Most of the bottles are lined up in one of the windows in my dorm lounge. The window is high enough up that only a really tall person can reach it, which my roommate happens to be. The only way they are coming down is if someone goes to drastic measures (i.e. a ladder, long stick, or getting someone else equally tall to snitch the bottles) to get to them. This lounge feels really bare, so I was trying to effect the lounge by messing with lighting color. Each bottle has one drop of red food coloring in it. This makes them kind of pinkish, because one drop is really quite weak in that amount of water. The effect, however, is pretty cool. Anytime during the daytime you can go in there, look up through the bottles, and see this sort of shiny pink illumination.

I also have some bottles lying on top of one of the lights in my dorm room. They are about 1/4 full, so the weight doesn't kill the light; and on their sides, so I get more area coverage by less bottles. These ones are a mix of colors. Some have only one drop of blue food coloring in them, some have a lot of drops of blue food coloring in them (they are almost purple), others were attempts at making purple by mixing one drop of blue and one drop of red in the same bottle, there's also one bottle with a drop of red in it to add contrast to the whole set up. This makes really good, really cheap mood lighting. And it looks pretty damn cool to boot.

The last place I have my bottles at is in my front window, which looks out onto the passageway where everyone in the dorm has to walk if they want to get to the elevator. These bottles were more to experiment with color drop combinations than for any particular effect. I've got several of the previously mentioned 'pinkish' bottles in my window along with a bunch of others. Theres an orange bottle (one drop yellow, one red), a weak purple bottle (probably 1 red, 2 blue), a couple of dark red bottles (lots of red drops), two dark blue bottles (lots of blue drops, one is slightly darker due to more drops), one really really dark, almost purple bottle (possibly 1 or 2 red and then many drops of blue), and two bottles that look like a dark crimson (these were a lot of red drops with a lot of blue drops, also my favorite two in the group, though they look black when not lit by some kind of light). I usually keep these bottle back lit by a lamp on my desk. Anyone walking outside can see the colors a lot clearer than I can, and they look very nice. When the sun gets low enough, it shines through my window through these bottles. The colors that play across my room from this light shining in, are undescribably amazing.

The bottles in my window are also good conversation starters.

As a result of my experiment I am now almost out of blue food coloring. Oh well. I've also used up all the available space I have for my bottle. My roommate suggested putting them in the lounge of the next dorm over, which has exactly the same layout as ours. As soon as I get enough empty bottles again, I just might do that. Oh yeah, I'm also out of empy bottles. This experiment was highly effective. If you choose to do something like this, I highly recommend that you just play with it. Thats the best way.
A friend of mine showed me the trailer for "Comedian" at Apple's website. http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/comedian.html. Very amusing. I followed the link to the film's official site, and the film itself doesn't look that great, but this trailer is funny. A good parody of all those over-dramatic voiceovers for action films.

"when everything you know .... IS WRONG!"

It is an exciting time at our place. As you may or may not know, we are expecting our first baby in April. Yesterday, we had our first ultrasound. It was amazing. Those of you that have had the experience agree, I'm sure. I, as the father, didn't have much to do but watch and be amazed as the ultrasound tech rubbed the lubricated wand over my wife's belly.

The little girl, tentatively named Sophia, appears to be healthy, thank God. Two arms, two legs, heart, kidneys, bones, brain. We have a tape of the whole thing.

I suppose this is the paragraph where I am supposed to say something pithy or profound, but given that billions of men have fathered children, and probably at least millions have seen them via ultrasound, all my radical ideas regarding my baby daughter's ultrasound have already occurred to others. It is an experience to be lived. I cannot explain it to you if you haven't lived it yourself. Perhaps if I was a poet or creative writer, I could whip something up.

The best I can do is this. Before, the baby was an abstraction. Yes, I saw my wife's body change, and yes, I saw that she was sick and fatigued. That was real, too. But that was my wife being sick. The fact that a little aspiring human was the cause of it was something that I intellectually knew, but didn't grasp on a soul level. Seeing Sophia's very human form sleeping, stretching, rolling, bending within my wife brought it home deeply. All the new parent literature I've read so far has said the father feels like an outsider during the pregnancy and after the birth until the baby starts recognizing other faces weeks/months later. Not me. I feel involved right now. And I love it.

I love baby Sophia.

Check my homenode for a link to some ultrasound pix, if you're interested.
Victory is mine... sort of.

As I am sure you all remember, I am a new born fawn in the cold cold world of the modern office. As I shakingly get to my legs, I can't help but notice all the wolves. I believe the correct term is "Eep".

Well, the railroad trip is significantly shorter than I expected. I was in a position to be out on my ass next Tuesday. No longer. This is the good news. In my grubby little hands I have a contract that says they can't toss this baby out with the bathwater... yet.

This is where the bad news always fits in. When the wolves think you are bleeding, they are less cautious about exposing what it is they want. The usual slimy backroom dealing becomes less backroom. And I was taking notes.

I am now firmly entrenched on my own little Maginot line. Peering out of my concrete slit, I see the enemy massing for that assault I politicked myself out of. Like the noble cowards of ages past, I am plotting my escape. Hope they don't figure out the guns don't turn backwards.

I realised today that the most difficult project I have ever worked on at work is actually remaining employed. When you are low man on the totem, everybody sees you as a bundle of cash. It always comes down to survival of the fittest.

Fucking Darwin.

So, ok, this whole election results business. Bleah.

Michigan has an hiftoric first female governor, and that's good. More to the point, she's the first Democratic governor in forever. John keeps saying "there hasn't been a Democratic government here since I was ten!", which is true. And the evil proposals (i.e. "give tobacco taxes to big business, who promise to do something good with it really something good really really GIVE US YOUR DAMN MON-- oh, do excuse Frank, he's a little testy today") didn't pass, but the good ones (big bonds to improve water stuff) did. So that was ok here.

Other than that, though. I went over to CNN to see what was going on elsewhere, which was uniformly depressing. Republican northeast? What? Ew.

So I was reading some article on governorships and saw a link to a related story at the bottom of the page, like you do. It was titled something very much like "Bush plan continues to push for peace". WHAT I said. Not even with a question mark. Not even the Socratic "What?! Are you nuts?!" So I read it. It turned out to be some cursory AP wire about Israel and Palestine, which makes slightly more sense, and certainly explains such a headline, but still. Jesus Christ. That was almost totally misleading, and the only thing that provided the qualifier "almost" was the article itself.

In other news, we're having layoffs. This was in an email from the president's office so I should think it's pretty definite, although they did say "we're going to have a budget meeting and discuss", but still. It's going to be discussing how we can cut 3, 5, or 7%, not how we can save the damn jobs. I know how we can save the jobs: stop sending the higher-ups on pointless trips to Europe et al. It's a library; you do not need to go to Europe to buy books. Send away for the catalogs and we will buy them right here. But. Apparently they do.

The funny thing about this is that one working day after the layoffs email (which was, of course, sent Friday at 4:30), somebody or other felt the need to announce a happy little sharing our experiences session starring those librarians who did go to Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. Way to show everyone in the library whose agenda actually matters.

Our supervisor came over this morning and said "you've probably heard the rumors..." Yes, since they aren't rumors, but emails from the president's office. Rumors, my ass. "We don't want to cut anyone." Sure. Well, I know my supervisor doesn't--we've just spent eight months trying to get all the positions in our division filled by actual, competent people--but the administration clearly feels otherwise. A couple weeks ago we had gotten a warning email, too. That one said that new policy, starting immediately and with no exceptions, would be to keep open positions open for six or nine months, depending on the job. This was because they had previously assumed they would have a set amount of open positions, and so they budgeted a set amount of salary money for other stuff. Then, when people actually were hired, they no longer had enough money. Great! Who budgets salaries for something else, while actively seeking to fill these empty positions? Obviously, the solution is to eliminate these needed positions, not to redo the budget into something reasonable.

Ok. I mean, my job is not in any immediate danger. I've been here longer than anyone in my division (which says something about turnover, i.e. people hate this job) so I don't really have to worry much. And I'm going to go off to PhD program at the earliest possible time anyway. Still. It makes me angry that a university library should be reduced to such ridiculous budgetary tactics under such obvious bad management. People are all "well, if you don't want to work in the business sector, work in education!" Well. I am working in education, and this still happens. Technically I am working for the government, yes, since it's a state school, but still.


I probably shouldn't post this, but fuck it.

How to express this? I have been here for 2 months now and feel the need to say something about E2...to somehow take a snapshot of my "progress" so far in a form besides XP and number of writeups. As it stands now, I have 14 writeups. Some have been very well received, others have garnered a mixed reception. Such is the way of things.

The people that camp out on the top half of the "Other Users" list amaze me. I feel like a high school freshman trying to party with the cool kids, saying awkward things that I regret as soon as I say them.

I have been attempting to mine through the history of E2 so that I can understand such things as why so many noders have "/me misses Sensei" on their homenodes, and why Butterfinger McFlurry has become the phenomenon that it has.

I feel like I've missed so much, only having signed onto E2 two months ago. The people who have been here for two, three, and even four years have shared joys, sorrows, and jokes that I will never fully comprehend, not having been around at their inception.

Newbies have it rough here, not because E2 is unfriendly to new noders or anything like that, but because E2 is such an established, interwoven community of human beings. Being new here is much like walking into a crowd of people that you know you want to associate with, but that have no idea what kind of person you are, if you're going to actually contribute to the community or just goof off, and whether you're going to stick around or simply take off, leaving your user account to wither away in the nodegel.

Happily, the crowd here seems largely to be a forgiving one. My first few writeups were (rightfully) nuked, and I have been perhaps a bit of a nuisance in the catbox (too much talk, not enough noding), but 99% of the criticism I have received has been polite and has benefitted me. E2 is a community with the balls to enforce quality and good conduct, which is definitely refreshing to see on the Internet. You will not be spoon-fed praise here if you do not earn it.

I have seen many other newbies come here with what seems to be a persecution complex. It seems like every day in the chatbox someone says, "Why was I downvoted?" It makes me cringe to see that sort of behavior because I know that whining will most likely lead to even more downvotes. I know that the particular newbie who is doing the whining is going to get even more pissed off, then, and possibly leave in a huff and never come back. Perhaps this is a good thing. Perhaps E2 has a way of weeding out the chronic whiners, those people who can't take criticism in any form and who mistook E2 for a haven for those who wish to be stroked and petted for every little thing they write, no matter how crappy it is.

Though my experience here has been mostly positive, there is one aspect of E2 that disturbs me somewhat and that is individuals who think E2 should change to suit what they think it should be. For instance, there are people here who downvote every node that is not a completely factual, encyclopedia-entry-like node. There is so much creative material here, so many interesting and varied personal experiences set to literary form, that there is no chance of turning E2 into a bare-facts-only reference. People need to deal with that. While I agree that yes, this place needs more actual content, I admit that I enjoy reading about peoples' personal experiences and it is obvious that others do, too. E2 can be a great place to learn about the human condition. I think that E2, with its mixture of facts and anecdotes and jokes and poetry is just fine the way it is.


Wow I have received more attention from this daylog than I have for any of my other nodes...I expected this little ramble through the mind of a newbie to be ignored, at best. I thank everyone who /msg-ed me for your supportive words...it's that sort of encouragement that makes me want to work even harder to write good nodes that will enrich the knowledge base of E2! This daylog was simply my attempt to express some notions of E2 that had kept me awake the night before.

...huh?


Huh? is what you say when you're confused, like when the old woman next door falls down and can't get up and bangs on the wall for help, and you don't know where the god damn banging is coming from. Or your friend tells you his car was stolen and set on fire in your parking lot, exploding and destroying everything around it. Or when your fucking UPS supervisor pulls you aside and asks to pray for you.

Well huh? is what I said when this girl told me to lick her ass. Yes, I said ass. ASS. She said, "Oh god... Lick my ass." I just looked up at her, and said, "H-... wh... huh?" You know.. Kinda like what the fuck! Well that was a first.

Admiring happy families -- of foundlings jealous, also. I envy their asylum, try the locks, and all through sanctuary's halls go.

...cute and crippled, cruel and dimpled...

Beneath notice. By all means, we'll go...owl wells abandoned.
Aboriginal peoples, displaying the visceral
dignity of a fetal piglet, orchid-pink, blunder
into open pits.

Given two grins for boiling every
bone, the maw's insatiable. What's left to do down there?
Plate sincerity and go, shining like a forearm
blow across the nose.

What premature star, spilled out of its
overturned bassinet, bounces and sputters on buckled
pavement, rushing toward intersection with an unknown
inevitable? The scent of ant lion. Heavenly.

Today is my 28th birthday. And as such, I have resolved to do as little work as possible, which couldn’t be easier. I’ve got 800 static web pages to build -- the prospect of that immense pile is enough to deter me from doing anything constructive.

This morning my boss and the deputy director threw me a mini-birthday party. They even made sure they picked all non-dairy pastries. The guilt was terrible -- especially since I’ve been saying so many awful things about them, lately (not that some of those things weren’t well-deserved). Working relationships are always complicated -- these are people you wouldn’t necessarily spend time with if economics weren’t at stake. I try to be realistic about work -- it’s a source of income, not necessarily the center of my life. In Washington, it’s easy to forget that, though -- so many people here are all about their jobs, they even form most of their friendships with their coworkers. I try to keep boundaries up lest I become one of those people.

I also felt bad because I’m still waiting to hear back from the place I interviewed with a few weeks ago -- any kindness on their part makes me feel even more like a traitor. With 12 “final” candidates, including two people from inside the company, I’ve pretty much resolved myself to the fact that I’m not going to get the job. However, it doesn’t make me feel any less guilty about pursuing it.

And then there’s the issue of parties. When I was a kid growing up, birthdays in my family were always low-key affairs. No surprise parties, just cake and ice cream with my grandparents and maybe one or two friends. A stark contrast to the rather lavish affairs some of my friends’ parents would throw for them -- I remember one kid would get thousands of dollars worth of gifts that he would have to hunt around the house for. Of course, his friends were all encouraged to assist in solving the riddles his parents had left for him. My parents almost seemed to feel like birthdays were an inconvenience -- and I imagine they were for them, having to spend money on the latest “cool” toys. Whenever I asked why we never had any surprise parties, my parents always said: “We’re not party people, that’s not our way.” So now when anyone makes any kind of a fuss about me -- no matter how obligatory -- I feel a weird mix of gratitude and unease.

This is not to say that I want a surprise party -- a lot of people assume that those of us who complain about these things secretly want them. Not me -- if I could avoid any attention at all, I’d do it easily. Being the center of attention makes me feel like crawling under a rock. That’s partly why Pantaliamon and I got married in a court house and not at a traditional wedding. Lavish productions make me uncomfortable, especially when I’m supposed to be the star.

Tonight will prove to be a subdued affair. I’ll write a little more of the story I’m working on, watch the nightly political talk shows, and read some more of Neil Gaiman’s “Smoke and Mirrors.” Tomorrow everything will be back to normal, and I can put off avoiding well-wishers for another year.

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