Quite a while since my last daylog. Just thought I'd fill you all in.

I have moved house, twice. I WAS living in my brothers flat in Maroubra, Sydney, Australia from January 2000, a lovely "quaint" place near the beach. In 2002 I then moved to Alexandria, inner city light industrial, with a workmate, Daryl. Long story short, he had wild parties, I objected at one, his friends threatened me, I moved out, then HE threatened me when I demanded my rental bond back. Bummer. It was 10 minutes walk from work.

So in December 2002 I moved (hurredly) to Surry Hills - right in the heart of one of Sydney's bar and club districts. My flatmate was my best friend from high school. It was awesome - close to everything, cool party location if you wanted to throw one - next to a permanently closed bar on one side, a crazy Thai share house with like 9 people in it on the other, and temporary accomodation across the street.

Saw my fair share of crazy stuff - police chases, drunks, hookers, mad random girls in fairy wings ending up in the flat (and one in my flatmates bed), gay guys being beaten up by some sick fuckers, helping him and his partner out while waiting for the ambulance, the works. I've moved out now, to Croydon, best described as fringes of inner/outer west. My old flatmate needs location location location, but I enjoy my comforts and am happy to drive everywhere, whereas he won't even spring for bus fare.

On other news, at the end of 2002, my (now ex-)girlfriend announced that she couldn't continue in a relationship with me, and we parted amicably. I went through a dark time, but pulled myself together remarkably quickly. Damn my rational nature. I am saying little because it is over, plain and simple. I am, ironically, also extremely happy now, seeing that my life was idling.

I still work at the most amazing place, the Australian Technology Park. It's approaching the thick end of four years now, an amazing length of time in IT, and it keeps getting better. I do want more money, but I think my role also needs to be re-defined for that to be justified and actually happen. Realism.

I have experimented, from an e2 perspective, on noding for numbers twice, with one moderate success and one failure. I also have had the powers that be edit one of my writeups with little/no consultation, a point I am still a little sore over, but I will get on with life. Sadly, and most obviously, I have been neglecting my noding duties.

In November 2002 my parents shocked my brother and I by announcing: a) they are selling their house in Bondi; b) they are retiring; c) they are moving to Noosa, in Queensland; d) they are doing it by the end of 2002. I am joyous to say that they DID do all that, and are so happy that it brings a smile to my face when I think of them. They have a lovely house close to the golden beach and in an amazing neighbourhood. All the best to them.

So that's it. Sorry for the rambling nature, but rather than one daylog per day, it's just a major status update every so often.

A tragic event befell me today.

For dinner I decided to break my month long boycott of fast food and get a Wendy's hamburger. I immdiately noticed two anti-Wendy's characteristics after I had peeled the foil wrapping away from my delicious prize.

    1. The presence of Satan's semen, more commonly know as the misnomer, mayo.
    2. The absence of mustard.

Since I was a wee little girl I have always associated mayo abstinence and pro mustard practices with Wendy's and their hamburgers. Quality is their recipe. Anyone who is familiar with the evils of Satan's semen knows that the product is not easily removed. Specially formulated, it seeps into the pores of the bun, creams the crevices of the lettuce, and congeals in the grooves of the pickle. Eradication is difficult, made more so by the one napkin they blessed me with. The "mayo" was also intermingled with the lovely, saintly ketchup, a friend to everyone. I was faced with two difficult choices.

    A. Stomach the jizz to keep my tangy friend, ketchup.
    B. Cleanse the jizz from my burger thus losing ketchup.

Initially, I tried the first method but Satan's will is strong and his supply of man juice ample. This thwarted my plan in the first few bites. Especially when I approached the middle, or the "money shot." I decided to go with plan B.

A difficult task at hand, I attacked the bun and lettuce with blotting stabs from my sole napkin. Casualties numbered in the single digits. My sleeve, and three fingers were tainted in the process.

I delightfully began to consume my burger, sans man juice. Then another realization struck. While I contemplated the barren dryness(damn you Satan!), I noticed the bun lacked sesame seeds. It also had a suspicious yellow color, much like the cheap buns you buy at the store. Disenchantment set in and I decided to abandon the burger project.

I found myself at a loss. What happened here? I scratched vigorously at the Wendy's logo on the bag in hopes it might reveal "Wendie's" or "Wanda's" with no luck.

Please, a moment of silence.

True story, just happened ten minutes ago.

"What you want is for kids to come in. As many as possible. But you've got to keep track of them."

"Hrm," his table companion said solemnly. "It'll be tough to charge them admission and whatnot. I mean, how do you price the use of a skate park?"

"What's more," he said, "is that you've got to make it affordable for kids."

There was an uncomfortable silence among the pair of rather portly men as they let their brain cells, what few remained after years of smoking weed and playing Magic: The Gathering, had begun to tumble on the problem. These men, I realized, were not accustomed to problem solving. They could weasel their way out of a Manna turn, but when it came to Real World issues, they were dead in the water, beached whales of intellect, stunted.

I had been listening to them for the last twenty minutes discuss this idea of theirs: to build a skate park and make it work in the Nashville area. There wasn't a lack of skaters, nor was there a lack of desire for one, but so far no one has managed to make it work for a lasting period of time. The main issue had always been costs and the ingenuity of kids, their uncanny ability to find nefarious ways around fees and usage costs. Skaters, more than any other subset of teens, are reknown for bucking "The Systems" which had been devised by adults.

I was tired of this, frankly. These guys couldn't reason their way out of a wet paper bag. I shared neither their enthusiasm for starting up a skate park nor their interest in turning a handsome dollar- for every dollar you have, you inherit another headache. All I wanted was some peace and quiet instead of constant pontification over a problem they were hopelessly and clearly unfit to resolve.

So I turned around in my bench and said, "Numbered Arm bands."

The smaller of the pair (which isn't saying much as both men looked to weigh significantly over 400 pounds), blinked stupidly at me. "What?" he asked.

"Arm bands," I repeated. "You want to charge the kids a fee for using your skate park, if indeed you ever get one started, right?"

"Well, yeah," he said, obviously slow on the up-take.

"What you do is charge them five dollars at the door and issue them either velcro or elastic arm bands, numbered, have as many as is allowed for your facility's maximum capacity. It's easy to get a computer program which can keep track of time usage- bowling alleys use them all the time and so do hourly-wage corporations and such. Whenever you issue an arm band to a customer, you log it in the computer, which is hooked up to a large-screen TV. The kids can monitor the screen themselves or you can just call the number out over a PA. Charge them five dollars every hour or whatever floats your boat. You see a kid in there without an arm band-" I chucked my thumb over my shoulder to illustrate- "they're out the door, baby. Finito. Gone. And if someone doesn't pay up within ten minutes, you seek out the bearer of said arm band, same result: right out the door... unless, of course, they cough up the dough in a timely fashion before they meet the egress in rough terms."

I now had the rapt and undivided attention of both men. The smaller one, the guy who seemed like he had the better portion of intellect between the two, looked down at his lap for a moment in deep contemplation. After a short pause, he looked at his friend, his eyebrows arched. "Damn. That works perfectly. And... fuck, it's cheap."

"Better than cheap," I added. "It's reusable. You could get arm bands made of paper, but why waste the money? Money saved is money earned. Velcro or elastic works just as well. And the arm bands will be inobtrusive to the skaters while they do their thing. You can have different colored bands for VIP's, guests and other special... uhm... dignitaries, though I don't generally classify any kid as anything close to dignified." They chortled. "Anyway. The concept is easy for kids to understand. They pay up when their number is called or on the board. Safe as kittens; smart as mice."

"Thanks!" he said brightly. "You're smart."

I shrugged. "I've been accused of worse," I said. "Glad I could help." Glad I could get them past that hurdle just to finally shut them up about it, truth be told- but I didn't tell them that. I had been rude enough by listening in on their conversation, having nasty personal thoughts about them and stealing their thunder by solving their problem for them. They laughed and began to collect their things, now that they no longer had that singular problem hanging over their heads. I inwardly heaved a sigh of relief. Peace at last, O Lord. Peace at last.

I don't mind helping people. That's true enough as far as it goes. It just grates on my nerves when such simple solutions to simple problems are apparently beyond simple people.

I now have the distinct feeling that I just missed the boat on a fairly lucrative idea.

Dammit.

Sometimes, not all the time mind you, I feel like I’m stuck inside a giant hamster wheel. Running and running, never getting anywhere, but content to just scuttle away forever. This isn’t just any regular hamster wheel; this one is so abysmally huge that I will never get back to the place I started from.

I don’t know why this is the way it is, I don’t understand but I do try to. There is nothing in my life I want to change, maybe give myself a little more sense here and there, but aside from that, I am as happy now as I have ever been. I have no real reason to play the disaffected placard-waver.

Speaking of placard-wavers, I hear some nut-bag stabbed himself to death in Cancun as part of a protest outside a W.T.O. meeting. If they don’t care about the millions of homeless and starving refugees that are dying around the world even as I write this, why the fuck did he think they’d pay any attention whatsoever to him?

To believe that behavior so irrational could be viewed with anything other than rampant disdain is just plain dumb. While is respect the strength of his convictions, I can’t help but question his motives. Why would you kill yourself for something like that? Will the death of one man, or woman for that matter, change anything that the W.T.O. will do in the future? I think not. To suppose that your life is of greater value than the millions that the W.T.O. throws to the wind is arrogant. Fine, granted that the silly bugger meant well, all this means is that there is one less protestor throwing stones and fire-bombs at the police outside the next W.T.O. meeting.

I will never die in a pool of blood, by my own hand, outside any meeting, including the W.T.O., it was a waste of a life and that guy, were he alive today, should be ashamed of himself for creating such a spectacle.

My little rant is over. It has been a crap day. She was late. Very late.

If there is only one thing in this world that I am allowed to hate with every fiber of my being, it is her repeated lateness.

You will hear from me again I am sure.

Go college.
Well, here I am, sitting in class... or, rather, sitting in the classroom about half an hour before class is about to begin - I wish I'd brought my headphones.

People get excited about Thanksgiving. I guess thinking of seeing everyone and eating tons of food gets them all riled up - personally it's never meant more than another day off school to me. Of course, this - my first semester in college - would be the one where I have mondays off anyway, so it's not like it makes much of a difference to me.
It's just sort of an inconvenient weekend.

Not that I don't like my family. I just.. don't have anything in common with any of them. I've known them all my life but I don't really know anything about them. Carly - she's the closest in age, only like 9 months younger, which is nothing - we used to be like best friends, but now I barely know her at all. Hell, her psychopath brother is more fun than she is now.
Though he's not so nuts now. Which is good. Although he dyed his hair black (it used to be almost white. White!) and now he looks like my older brother. It's so weird.

aaargh. I've been using Word so much I keep wanting to hit Save. Dammit!

It felt odd, moving on to a new school, except this time I couldn't take any of my old friends with me.
Courtney I never see anymore; she's gone and moved out or something. She said she was moving in with her boyfriend, which I think is a stupid idea - which I told her was a stupid idea, since she's still got another year of high school to go through. Now there is no way she can go to school and have a job good enough to pay for rent (at least some of it), buy food, and buy whatever school stuff she needs.
I really really hope she stayed at home, or at least moved back. I haven't heard from her in a month or two - since that fucked-up party we got in trouble for because I like making friends.

(That's a whole different story and I am not going into it)

Apparently she called me once, last week, but I don't know where to call her, so I didn't. If she's not at home, I don't want to talk to her bitchy mother, and if she's not at Sheldon's, I don't want to talk to his bitchy sister.
Why does everyone suck?
The only old friend I ever see anymore is Kirk. And Jon, occasionally. They're both good guys (I've known Kirk for as long as I can remember), but they're not Courtney. She's insane, but she is a girl, and as much I like having guy friends, there's nothing like a female who knows exactly what you're going through.
Most guys just don't want to know.

Oh well. I'm having fun at school, so that's good.
Aaaand now I have nothing left to say.

"Why aren't we moving?"

"This is taking forever. I should have stayed for my VLSI class."

"Ten minutes and still not moving?"

The door to the bus opens. A black man in a blue work uniform steps up to the entry.

"A lady was just killed by a cement truck."

Really, does everyone on the bus have to spin around towards the construction and peek into every nook to see if they can scope the afformentioned woman?

I kept my eyes fixed on the horizon, and did my best to hold down any tears that were building behind my eyelids. Not knowing someone doesn't imply a lack of feelings for their well-being.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman shaking her head in frustration. Someone else was gossiping on the phone about the incident.

The entire thing was made worse by the passing of where the policeman was talking to whom was surely the closest relative to the lady who just left our Earth. I actually turned to look at this, perhaps out of empathy, but perhaps disbelief that such a soul is now abandoned of his other half.

I saw, talking to a police officer, and who appeared to be the man in charge of the construction effort, an eldery gentleman, with wavy grey hair, wearing a brown suit, with nothing left to live for. Or, I could be wrong. Perhaps it was not his wife who died; perhaps it was another. Something tells me, though, that my intuition is correct, and that man is now the most lonely person alive.

I wish I knew who she was, so I could find him, and console him - even if just a little.

I woke up about 4:00 AM last night as someone was leaving my room. The room was lit up by the window above my bed; the movement-sensor light outside had been triggered. If it hadn't been for that, I probably wouldn't have been sleeping lightly enough to become gradually aware of someone moving around in my room, and opened my eyes to see my door stealthily sweeping shut. I got up quietly, feeling confused and out of sorts (can't imagine why.) Somewhere in my fogged brain a seed of uneasiness was germinating, but I supposed maybe it was my parents, who had stopped by for some unfathomable reason and needed something from my room, but didn't want to wake me. I opened the door and turned on the light in one motion, and found myself staring at my would-be burglar. He was a little taller than me, with black hair and a goatee and a good face for a thief in that it was wholly unremarkable. He smelled strongly of cigarette smoke. He was poised in the hall right outside my door, I assume either steeling himself to enter my roommate's room on the other side, or trying to ascertain whether it was safe to reenter mine.

There was a suspended moment where we just looked at each other, each probably thinking something along the lines of, "Oh, fuck" (I can attest to my end of that.) I'm not sure who spoke first or what exactly was said, but it went something like this:

Me: "What (the fuck) are you doing in my house?"

Burglar (pressing his palms together beseechingly): "Ok man, I can see you're freaking out, but the thing is somebody invited me here. I'm just trying to find my way back to the party."

Me: "Who invited you?"

Burglar: "Ok, see, I'm trying to get to your back yard, where the band is."

Me: "What band?"

Burglar: "There's a band playing, isn't there?"

Me: "In my back yard? There's no band playing in my back yard." (gesturing to window, trying to gesture also towards the complete absence of music)

Burglar (skeptical): "There's no band playing in your back yard? Are you sure about that?"

Me: "Uh, yeah, pretty fuckin' sure."

Burglar: "Please don't freak out. Can you just show me how to get to your back yard?"

Me (confused, waving vaguely): "Uhh, it's just--"

Burglar: "Around that way, then? To the right?"

Me (realizing how ridiculous this is): "Can you leave my house please?"

Burglar (hands in prayer again, wagging them at me): "Well look, you're understandably wigging out because somebody you don't know is in your house, but I swear I'm just trying to find these friends of mine who left me. I'm Justin, by the way. What's your name?"

Me: "Tom." (We shake hands)

Justin the Burglar: "So are you in a band, Tom?"

Me: "What? Uhh, no. Could you leave now? Please."

Justin: "Sure, absolutely. Would you like to escort me out?"

Me: "Yeah, right this way." ('after you' gesture; I follow him to the front door.)

Justin: "What's your address, by the way?"

Me: "428 East--"

Justin: "Stone, right?"

Me: "No, 4th Street." (Stone Avenue runs north-south, and is several blocks west of my apartment.)

Justin: "Shit. They left me! Well, thanks, I'm sorry about all this--what's your name again?"

Me: "Tom."

Justin: "Tom, right." (shakes my hand again)

Me (sardonic): "Godspeed."

Justin (rubbing his arms) "Hey, do you have a spare sweatshirt by any chance?"

Me (too bewildered to laugh at the absurdity of this request): "No. Bye."

I closed the door, locked and bolted it (which I'd of course forgotten to do before I went to bed--never again!), and went around the house belatedly checking to see if everything was there. I haven't found anything missing yet, so maybe I interrupted him while he was still in reconnaissance mode. The whole time I had been talking with him, I had maintained the impression that he was really just a drunk guy trying to find his way back to a party, but afterwards the ludicrous nature of everything he had said caught up to me, and I'm pretty sure now that he had just been talking out of his ass, doing his best to keep me more or less at ease until he could get safely out the door. And it worked; he could've had my wallet in his pocket when he left, and I would've let him get away with it. It didn't occur to me until afterwards to ask him to empty his pockets.

The gall of the guy though, to ask me for a sweatshirt (of all things) after I had caught him prowling around my house at four in the morning, still continues to amaze and amuse me. Maybe that's all he was after all along, was a sweatshirt. Perhaps he's a renegade agent of the Salvation Army who, frustrated by the constraints of that ponderous instutition's bureaucracy, decided to take a more direct hand in redistributing the world's supply of warm clothing. A sartorial Robin Hood or Dennis Moore. Godspeed indeed, Justin Moore! But I've only got one sweatshirt, and you can't have it.

The left lens of my goggles has a crack in it running from the top left to the bottom right. The electric light fixture bolted to the wall of my station flickers and my request for a replacement lamp has gone unanswered by the Upper Room for nearly a week. Condensation has formed inside the glass faces of dials Ten and Twelve. I think I am rusting.

Bronze cylinders with new orders engraved on them clatter down the tube and fall into the bucket with a heavy clank throughout the day and night. I feel compelled to read them all, though at least one a day will send me into an impotent rage. Lately, though, that is as far as my sense of obligation extends. I no longer carry out every order I receive. It is not that I am in revolt; only that I have learned over time that many of these orders are reversed soon after they are issued.

I hate this. Why can't they just leave me alone?

Sometimes the way my dimly lit station here on Shaft Thirteen, Level Ninety-nine looks through the red rippled glass lenses of my goggles, the venting of steam, the endless hollow rumbling of turbines behind thick walls of riveted iron, all make me feel as though I work in a volcano deep beneath the surface of the ocean. It is a strange feeling, both disturbing and comforting.

I worry that I will lose my connection to reality. I worry that I will forget what the upper world looks like. I worry that it will all someday become too much for me to bear and I will run amok, smashing the dials and taking a sledgehammer to the tube, then running through the tunnels to emerge at the nearby stations to tear the sparking, smoking, twitching limbs off my generally harmless neighbors moloch213 and moloch45 and beat them about their heads with them.

All right, it would be funny. The real pity is that they would doubtless bring me down before I made it to moloch17's station.

I will tend my small part of the Machine, and hope that something good happens soon.

next |

Although I write this on Wednesday, I'm posting to the date it happened.

I had an epiphany today. One of those moments when the world shifts on its axis and everything means something else. It's all better now because I've not explored my realization to all its possible conclusions. I just know that it's there, complicating things.

So, what happened you ask (not really, there is only a hypothetical 'you' I'm talking to, the thin potential of being read by others as well as the knowledge that this is here for me later)? Nothing traumatic or bad, just unsettling. Let me contextualize a bit. I was assigned the second chapter of Frederic Jameson's The Political Unconscious for one of my classes. In it, he discusses (from his Marxian perspective) that literary criticism is incomplete without considering the historical (sociological, political, economic, etc.) context not only of the text, but of the critic. This way, one can examine how the notions of the critic inform the way he or she applies lables, defines structures, etc. and influence the analysis of the text (or affects their theories). An interesting and revealing exercise....

Anyway, today in my Historiography class, we had a guest lecturer who gave us a quick introduction to the history of science. To illustrate one of his points, he brought up Darwin's notebooks. (All the following details about Darwin were related by the professor.) These notebooks reveal a great deal of Darwin's thought processes, and clearly mark a difficulty he had with finding a comprehensive organizing metaphor for what became the evolution of Natural Selection and The Origin of Species. Well, apparently the notebooks indicate the precise point at which Darwin overcame the problem. How? He was reading a book he had picked up for pleasure. The book was by a political economist named Malthus who theorized (amongst other things) that a human population will grow until it reaches a limit placed by food (etc.), at which point the society will stabilize at a plateau or crash. Apparently, this was a rather gloomy book. Anyway, Darwin went ''AHA!'' and this marked the point where his theory of evolution began to solidify into a cohesive total.

This isn't such a big deal. A lot of people have noticed the relationship between economics and Darwin's theories. What was disturbing for me is that the metaphor has come full circle to the point that economic battles and success are often referred to as survival of the fittest. What I had subconsiously considered the use of a unifying universal of science applied to economics, was revealed rather as an economic theory placed upon biology (and the metaphor has travelled beyond the bounds of biology). This is so ingrained that, when I mentioned it to a classmate she said something along the lines of: ''Well, perhaps it isn't so strange, because the pattern is a universal truth which manifests in both theories indep.... Oh, wait...'' Yep, the ''rules'' proposed by the economic theory and the biological theory are both very new, and in the grand scheme of human history, far from universal concepts of how reality is organized.

Yes, I know that referring to Darwin's theory as economic is nothing new. I'm just saying that I never really thought of it before as having been applied to biology rather than to economics as a derivation from biology, and of its attendant implications. It rams home the idea that even scientific explanations of reality are imposed narratives. This, for a person who relies on science to fill some of the post-modern void, is extremely unsettling.

It's also fascinating, really cool, the stuff I love about school.

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