I know New Yorkers have a, well, let's say a surly reputation, but this is ridiculous.

I went on a date last night. A first date. A GOOD first date - within 15 minutes we were debating sorcerers vs. wizards and the most effective spells against various creatures - gibberlings and drow (damn +5 dark elf armor!) and the undead and whatnot. We were having so much fun that we walked from 49th street down to St. Marks Place (about 40 blocks), talking and laughing all the way. It was extremely odd - I mean, to randomly end up going out with a cute geek girl and talking DnD with complete comfort so quickly was...extreme.

When we hit Gramercy Park (the actual park, not the neighborhood) we came across a (drunk?) homeless guy harassing a dog walker. He was groaning and stumbling and generally being a nuisance (though if you ask me, knowing the people who live around the park my guess is the dog lady probably started it) when to my shock he lunged at her and bit her arm. I was amazed. I was also extremely embarrassed - I turned red at said 'welcome to my neighborhood' to my date, and kept walking.

She took it ok, though - we got back to roleplaying, asking each other how each of us would have solved that problem if it had come up in a campaign. Without thinking too much I said 'well, I'd cast hold undead and let the fighters in my party take him out.' She said 'why protection from the undead?' and I was all like 'oh, come on. Didn't that guy look like a zombie to you?' So we argued about what actually makes a monster a zombie or not for a bit.

We went down to Yaffa and got hummus. Walked around a bit, hit the bar (specifically to prove that jewish deadheads exist in abundance - a side conversation we had been having) and went back to my place (after pie. mmm. pie.) We watched psycho (odd choice of a movie, I think...) and passed out.

T'was an extremely awesome first date - it was tinged with enough weird to keep it memorable.

Oh, one other weird thing: when we got back to my place and were walking up the stairs, I saw the door to the apartment directly below mine open (at 4am!) and it's owner just...standing there glaring at us. He's generally a cool guy; I wonder what he was looking for?

I like to come out as a serious-looking, serious-minded person. It’s not a compulsion, just a habit. So ordering this Thai soup last night from the Thai-food kiosk around the corner was made in my usual stern, earnest voice – ”One No. 12 to go, if you don’t mind!”.

However, the people inside the kiosk, the proprietors (I should point out that the kiosk had earlier been a measly medium-to-low-quality Lebanese hot-dog stand), looked at me with eerie, vitreous stares. And if that wasn’t enough, all four of them were standing like a phalanx of Greek hoplites, pointing the narrow ends of chopsticks against my face and upper body.

Nasty, but I was safe, of course. The narrow kiosk window between us prevented any bodily harm to my person, from chopstick attacks. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, when I retreated from the overtly unfriendly zombie-like Thai family, I was confronted by two frequent customers of theirs. I recognized both of them – the man was from No. 82 (my apartment’s street address is No. 76) and the woman works as a weekend attendant in the nearby tobacco-and-porno shop, half a block away.

Both looked like -- well, I don’t know what to say. Petrified is hardly correct, because both of them actually moved, but in a stiff sort of fashion. Rubberified? Puttified? Whatever, these creatures looked at me with the same vitreous look that the members of the Thai family business had afforded me. And they were threatening me with pointed objects, or at least pointed objects at me. Not chopsticks, mind you.

I was too unsettled to try to verify the identity of the pointed objects (could it have been a small dildo in the case of the zombie-like woman?). So I hurried back, to No. 76. On my way home, a terrifying walk of some 70 metres, I met one more person. In this case it was a little old lady. She had the same frightening glassy stare, and pointed her incredibly old-fashioned umbrella at me.

Since then I’ve stayed in my apartment, closing the Venetian blinds, and subsisting on wasabi-coated nuts and red wine. People in my neighbourhood seem to have turned into ill-mannered zombies. I don’t like people pointing pointed objects at me, nor do I like glassy-eyed stares. Do you?

Have you ever had one of those nights, where you just can't sleep, but you also don't really want to sleep, either? I hate those. You just sit around, maybe with the computer on, typing... talking to friends, the usual. People act weird at night sometimes. I think one of my friends fell asleep at the keyboard earlier, though. He was typing some stuff, you know. We were RPing, as we often do when we can't sleep. Playing a little Hunter: the Reconing. We always loved that kinda shit, normal people given slightly abnormal powers being assaulted by decidedly paranormal things. That's enough instances of the word normal to skin a cat with, and we love it.

But like I said, he's been idle for a little while... last thing he said was in all caps... uncharacteristic of him. He's normally really good about that sort of thing, good netiquitte, as they say. But yeah, it was something like... here, lemme find the message log. Um... "FUCK GRETH WHAT THE FUIOIPL;/" which was really strange for me. I wasn't RPing as myself, but it wasn't the first time that either of us had slipped up and forgotten each others character names. But anyway, I'm still kinda worried. I gave him a call ((Using up my fucking minutes on my cell, damn it... shoulda sprung for the night and weekend plan)), no answer. Like I said, he was probably sleeping. Not like him, though. He can usually pull enough energy to keep himself going.

But that sort of stuff happens from time to time. Reminds me of this one time, as a prank, I pretended that I was getting actually attacked by zombies while we were talking... freaked the HELL out of him. I thought it was funny. Who knows? Maybe he's pulling the same thing. Musta gotten his other friend over in Texas in on it, too, since he's not talking either. Ah well. They'll be up tomorrow morning.

I realized why I don't listen to the news anymore, too. Full of this bullshit about disappearances. I don't care! Tell me something that affects me, alright? Like nuclear weapons, world wars. I don't care if you can't find your goddamn kid, alright? Just fuck off and leave me to my anime.

So, I went to a riot today.

I didn't plan to attend a riot, or rather, I didn't know it was a riot when I planned to attend. There was some sort of rally down on the commons that my housemate was going to, and since he was driving, I decided to tag along and do some browsing.

We got there and there was someone on the little sheltered stage thing talking about the inadvisability of reelecting Bush to an audience which seemed in little need of convincing. Just as I was about to go check out the stores, though, all of a sudden these people behind me started screaming and when I looked there were a bunch of guys in Halloween makeup just randomly beating people up. They'd tackle people to the ground, pile on and just wail on them, it was batshit insane.

Me and my friends ran back to our car and got out of there, so I don't know how it ended - I mean, fuck, I'm not even sure it has ended yet, I can still hear a bunch of sirens downtown. Tell the truth, I don't really have any clue how it started, either. I mean, it could be political, but if you live in Ithaca you learn to either ignore or embrace the halfassed liberalism pretty quickly, and our extremists tend to be of the crunchy hippie variety, not known for violence outside of Earthbound.

I'm pretty sure it's not just some bunch of drunk townie teenagers getting a jump on Mischief Night - I think I recognized one of them as living on my hall freshman year, and we saw two or three people in the same makeup in residential neighborhoods on the way back up the hill. Pretty much the only reasonable explanation I can think of is that it was all staged as some sort of guerrilla theater, but maybe I shouldn't put too much emphasis on the "reasonable" here. GTA:SA comes out tomorrow, maybe it's some sort of cosmic force reminding the consumer populace that random violence is not, in fact, all that cool. Who knows?

So, all in all, kind of thrilling, kind of scary, a lot of baffling. I'm not sure what to make of it, guess I'll have to wait for the papers tomorrow.

- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -

A bad day all around, it seems.

While no one bit me (see above), I had a real roaring fight with Art today. We were already mad at each other before he found the UPS waybill on the dining room table while I was clearing out a space in the china cabinet for my new crystal. He totally freaked out over how much I paid for the goblets, to which I said 'You waste money on sports tickets and greens fees and video games so why can't I have this?' and it got worse from there. At one point he slammed one of the new goblets onto the sideboard with so much force that it marked the wood. Thankfully the crystal wasn't cracked or even harmed, it seems that it is unusually solid.

Finally Art grabbed his coat and stormed out of the house. I looked out the window to see where he went, and he went right past Nicola's house without looking in and up the street. He's probably at the local pub watching football. Which suits both of us fine, I suppose.

Since I have the house all to myself I've decided to rearrange the entire hutch, put the Limoges tea service away for now and show off my new crystal. I got out the original three goblets and the decanter and arranged them in the middle of the hutch. Since the decanter has five sides and there are five goblets, I've arranged them in a star pattern with the decanter in the center. It looks amazing like that. I think now that I must have a complete serving set, it seems like it wouldn't make sense for there to be six. But the decanter looks strangely empty. I should get something to put in it, for display purposes of course. The flyer from the liquor store shows a lovely amber-colored amaretto cream, I think it would show perfectly in the decanter.

(Later) Art's still not home. I guess he decided to watch the World Series game too. Funny, after the dream last night (Dream Log: October 24, 2004)I want to go to Nicola's house to make sure he's not there. That'd be silly and paranoid.

I wish he'd call.

I'm not sure what really qualifies as notable in a daylog anymore. I've written about getting hit by cars on my bike, narrowly hit by cars, deciding to run for public office in Colorado, and finding faith in improbable places. I guess this sorta qualifies.

I decided today would be a good time to catch up with my mother. Hadn't seen her in a while, so we met at our regular haunt, down the road from my apartment, a diner of ill repute, a greasy spoon that lives up to the title. We go there anytime she and I meet up, me because I like the smoky atmosphere and comfortable chairs, she because she gets to cheat on her diet and have a load of hashed browns and eggs and sausage and bacon. The coffee ain't half bad, but stay away from the orange juice; it's squeezed juice, but I think it's squeezed through a lard-soaked bit of cheesecloth.

She picked me up, despite my protestations that I'm perfectly happy to ride my bike the four blocks it would take to get there. It's October in Colorado, which means we have some really cold days and some moderately cold days to look forward to over the next several months. That's fine with me, I love the chill--keeps me on my toes when I'm on my bike, and keeps my cheeks a cherubic red. A nice, crisp morning is just perfect for me, out here in the mountains, 5,000 feet above sea level. This morning, however... It seemed almost muggy. A check of local news sites before I left showed that the humidity was not anywhere near unlike the norm, and temperature just like this day last year. But it felt different.

I dismissed it. I must've been wearing too many clothes, or my hat was on too tight, or something. Maybe I had a cold.

The diner was deserted. Nothing new, there. I have no idea, frankly, how they pay their bills. I've never had to wait for a table, never had a delay in my food, never had more than one party within a table of me. Today, we stood at the counter for a few minutes before I took charge of my familiarity of the place, grabbed a couple menus and sat down in our usual, corner booth.

Kept waiting.

We talked about my parents' church, talked about how the choir could really use my voice again to contribute to the anthems and Gregorian chant. They always say that, and after I'm tired of hearing it, I end up waking up at 6am on Sunday mornings to go join them. And I remind myself of why I love going. And then I listen to the right-wing propagandists up at the pulpit talking of The End of Humanity and The Coming of the Lord and I remind myself why I eventually stop going. We started chatting about politics. She's been a lifelong Republican, and I'm a staunch liberal. It's often an interesting discussion, frank and honest, and at the end, even if I may not agree with her 100%, I always remember why I respect her so much. Sticks to her guns, and when she's wrong, she's okay with admitting it.

Kept waiting.

A police car went whizzing by the diner, its lights blaring, its siren screaming like a roomful of hungry Siamese cats. Then another. Two ambulances. Must've been a bad accident farther North.

Kept waiting.

Mother commented that she could hear my stomach rumble. My stomach hadn't rumbled. I wasn't really that hungry. Started getting hotter in the diner. Smelled terrible, like a grease fire, but with a cat thrown in.

Mom gave me the look. The look you never want to see from your mother, and expect to see from your children when they ask where Fluffy, who was run over by the car, is, and if she's happy. The look you see on men and women you see on the news who just watched their homes be washed away by hurricanes, or picked up and tossed away by tornadoes. The face of staring at the inevitable. The face of staring at an absent God--one you've spoken to your whole life.

My mother wasn't looking at me. She was looking behind me. My bottom lip quivered slightly, ever so slightly. A chill ran somewhere. It wasn't hot anymore. It was dead cold.

"We should go," I said, in the calmest way I could. "I think the staff is too busy." I recognized the lunacy of the statement. There wasn't anyone else in the diner. There was no one else to wait on, there were no entrees to cook, no dishes to wash. But it gave me something to hold on to, and when I thought of the food sizzling on the grill, the dishes soapy and wet, it made me not want to scream. I grabbed my mother's hand and we walked calmly out of the diner, to her car, my eyes constantly scanning the horizon, a skill I picked up from years of playing video games. A brisk walk, good for the blood.

Someone was hunched down by the diver's side front tire on my mother's car. Arms in front. Could've been taking the wheel off, but without a jack, that made for difficult work. Head bobbing furiously. Chewing. Attuned, I could hear the sound of ripping meat. We made a quick turn, away from the car. Walked calmly back to my apartment. Took the stairs instead of the elevator. I couldn't stop swallowing. Felt like I had something in my throat.

Locked the door hours ago. Mom's asleep in my bed right now. I gave her some sleeping pills I keep around for when my back acts up and I can't get to sleep. It's a restless sleep. She's thinking of God. I wish I could. It's night, now, and the whirring of my computer is my only company. That and the rat-tat-tat of my keyboard. Every noise I hear outside, always the sound of blowing leaves, or a stick crunching under something, draws my attention to my tightly closed window. They're gonna need more support. I think I have an old rocking chair I can take apart to shore it up a bit.

Fucking zombies.

I'm afraid I may be becoming bitter and cynical in my young age.

I used to think I was, despite being often prone to cynicism and pessimism, a romantic at heart. I think I was, up until about three months ago. Something changed within the last three months, and I don't know what. I noticed the change largely from my reaction to watching three films in the past month.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. When I saw it in the cinema with a friend, I thought I was in heaven. Something about Jon Brion's soundtrack, Michel Gondry's visuals and Jim Carrey not being Jim Carrey lifted it completely out of the ordinary and into something transcendent. I'm not exaggerating, I really believed that. For moments during that film I was happy like I hadn't been for a long time. Like when I was in love.

I went to buy the book of the shooting script for the film the first day it came out, and had to go through four bookstores to find one copy. In one of the bookstores they told me somebody came in and bought four copies. Evidently other people loved this film just as much as I did.

The DVD finally came out recently and of course I bought it. And I watched it again, thinking I'd be transported back to the feeling I had before.

I felt nothing. And I don't know why.

Maybe I was just not in the mood that day?

All the Real Girls. Critics raved about the film, and its honest portrayal of young love. Having missed it when it was showing in the cinemas, I finally managed to get hold of the DVD.

Again, nothing. If anything, all I felt was irritation.

Then there was Before Sunset. I saw Before Sunrise, the original to which Before Sunset is a sequel, only several months ago, having seeked it out after reading the great reviews for Before Sunset and thinking I better watch the original first. And it was great. You'd never think a conversation between two people could hold that much screen time. Nice open ending too.

So I found time to go to the cinema to see Before Sunset. On my own, because none of my friends have seen Before Sunrise or would want to - I'm the only one who like romantic films I guess.

(Skip the next paragraph if you don't want a possible spoiler for the ending.)

Despite everyone saying it's an even better film than the original, Before Sunset didn't do much for me. I felt this irritation again, I'm not sure what it was, but I felt it throughout the film, especially at the ending which was far too positive for me. I found myself wanting fate to tear the two people apart again.

It's strange because nothing in particular happened in the past few months that should make me that bitter.

Is it just a phase? Or is it just part of growing older? Because I don't want to become bitter and cynical. I really don't.


===


Last night I went out for a walk, because I was restless, and just needed to be out.

I guess I caught the end of some big party because everywhere I looked, people were coupled up. And necking and turning their heads this way and that and slobbering all over each other. Some were in groups of threes and fours, men with men and women with men and women with women, just groups of writhing bodies, groaning and moaning rather loudly. Some couldn't even stand and were just draggin their bodies along the ground. All drunk or coked up or something - they did not look at all in a good state, all looked like they had partied a little too hard and too long. And smelled like it too. Evidently they couldn't fit in a shower in between all the partying.

There was a time when I would simply be happy to see people enjoying themselves, but last night I found myself thinking, I'm glad you're happy and in love or having a great sex life or whatever. Just don't flaunt it in my face.

The few who were on their own started staggering towards me when they saw me, trying to grab me, they were that drunk or drugged up. I picked up my pace and weaved my way through their outstretched arms, and they were in no state to catch up. Good thing with drunk people is, they're awfully slow. I don't know what they wanted with me, but the soulless look in their eyes under the streetlight was a little scary.

Public displays of affection and sexuality are starting to get to me more and more. I remember once out with this girl, seeing a couple groping and swapping saliva with each other openly, and her remarking in my ear, They are going to hate each other next week. I remember thinking, I hope I never become that bitter.

But I suppose I understand now. Some of us are not so lucky in love or lust, and just don't need a reminder.


===


It doesn't help that your friends are doing it too. My best mate Shaun called up last night when I got home from the walk, depressed and a little weirded out. It was a strange phone call actually, looking back.

"Mate, you gotta help me, I don't know what's going on, Gina's not herself..." Gina is his new girl.

"What's wrong?" He was breathing heavily on the phone like he had been running or something, and it was making it hard to hear him. His mobile didn't have good reception anyway.

"...don't know man, don't know, she just keeps... biting me..."

I don't need to hear about your sex life man, I was thinking. "Well I'm glad to hear she's, erm, enthusiastic..." I tried to chuckle, do the man talk thing.

"...no you don't understand, she came with a friend and they seemed drugged up or something and they keep..." I hear a guttural groan in the background which I just about recognise to be Gina's, although she sounded like she had a cold or something. Then a deep growl, from another woman in the room.

Lucky bastard, I thought.

"Well you're a lucky bastard aren't you, but mate, I don't need to hear this..."

"...no you don't understand, they keep...biting me, I'm getting a bit scared..."

Then I realised he was just calling to gloat. He must've thought it was really funny.

"...help me, they're coming..."

Perhaps I would've laughed and played along with him on another day, but I felt this bitterness welling up inside again. "Yeah well, enjoy your fucking self. I'm glad you're happy." And I hung up. He tried to ring again, but I took the phone off the hook.


===


Feeling thoroughly miserable, I went to bed and tried to escape into sleep, but sirens outside wouldn't let me. They had been going all night, I don't know what was happening, but it's a rough area. Anyway, I was too wrapped up in myself to care. I tried to cover my ears with the pillow, but the sirens were still getting through, and I just lay there in the dark.

Sometimes, when you're feeling like this, you wish the world would just end already.

I guess I was a little short with Shaun last night. He probably just thought he was being funny. Not his fault I'm miserable.

Maybe I'll go up to see him and Gina in his flat tomorrow.

Sunday afternoons my project team meets to discuss whatever we've been working on for the past week and how much of it to report to the boss. It's a particular hassle because the buses in this town don't run Sundays, and I live offcampus, so usually Sunday mornings I'm begging my roommates for a lift. Luckily one of them had to run errands today, so I arrived at the library on time. It was empty, but campus is alwasy deserted Sundays because everyone's still hung over from partying after yesterday's game.

I don't remember what idiot decided we should meet on Sunday afternoons, but very likely it was the same who's currently in charge. He leads by incompetence - inspiring so much antipathy in the rest of us that it drowns out whatever other little gripes we have with each other. He's loud, pedantic, self-absorbed, and generally a stupid asshole who doesn't know he's being one.

The idiot leader and one other person were already there, going over a chart they'd drawn up on the whiteboard for our next report. Jason came in last, about thirty minutes late, and told us he'd heen held up because there seemed to be some concert on the quad - lots of people all headed in the exact opposite direction as he was driving. "There was this fanatic, glazed look on their faces," he said, "like they would stop at nothing to get to the show. Though you'd think rabid fans would make more noise."

There really wasn't much we had to turn in, just a few pages and the chart on the board. Ron and Jason had already started typing at the room's two computers when Idiot Leader turned to Lyn and me at the table and said, gesturing to the hallway, "You two, please feel free to move out there and write up this chart." Everyone protested at this, and it seemed to finally dawn on him that his request had been completely unnecessary. Then, inexplicably, he started packing up and said, "Well, it looks like we're done here, then. Have a good day, everyone." And he left.

I don't get it either.

As it turned out, we spent two more hours finishing up, and by then it was starting to get dark outside, so we all bummed rides home from Jason since everyone lived pretty close to each other anyway.

We hadn't gone more than 500 feet when we saw Idiot Leader walking ahead of us, swaying a bit like he was drunk (not surprising, in this town). Lyn opened the window to yell at him, but before she got anything out he turned around and there was the strangest look on his face - it was all pale and blotchy and glaring, and he stopped and began staggering back towards us. Bizarre as all hell. Lyn freaked and rolled the window back up, and Idiot Leader changed course again, heading back toward the quad. Up ahead, past the turn out of campus, we could see another long line of slowly shuffling people just like Jason had described. Probably that's why he'd had to leave earlier, though it seems strange for fans to be streaming in two hours after the show starts.

In any case, we'll report this to the supervisor tomorrow.

Written on the back of a photograph of a river in St. John's, Newfoundland: "I took this picture years ago. It reminds me that there are things worth loving even in St. John's, for all its decay and cheap defeat. The fleetingness and rarity of these things makes them even better." I'm drunk, friends and neighbours (can you tell me what popular novel I'm referencing right here? message me with your guesses!!). Shitfaced drunk. I'm supposed to be doing schoolwork but I'm not. Don't get me wrong: I just finished and sent off a proposal for a doctoral studies grant. I'm not entirely unproductive. Now it's late, and I wish to unwind and, well, drink. Let's do a rundown of the latest developments:

  • I've dropped most of my shifts at work
  • I'm negotiating the terms of my trip back to Newfoundland for the Yule season
  • My compatriot Mark and I are in the position of parting ways for our next degrees. This is interesting to me because we (not counting various friends here) were something of a team and a support system for one another when we first moved to Montreal and began attending Concordia. After having completed nearly identical Bachelor degrees at the University of King's College, I have sort of come to see us as a combined force - one to be reckoned with, no less! It will be interesting to see the dynamics of my life change once again after I have moved on to different pursuits with different personnel surrounding me.
  • I wrote a real live letter today, to my friend Janet - also a graduate of King's. She's currently working as a Nanny for a wealthy American family near Princeton, New Jersey and enjoying the throes of election fever. Janet once sent me a postcard from France which featured a picture of the cathedral at Montmartre upon the steps of which she vomited red wine and stomach acid. This holds immense sentimental value for me, as I trod those steps a mere ten ears ago. Janet is lovely and rules quite awesomely.
  • I am behind in school, but I am trying to catch up. Really. I owe my professor Vladimir Zeman 3 précis of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and I've yet to complete them. That man really is a sweetheart.
  • Picking up on the item before last: we don't write letters enough anymore. E-mail is convenient and all, but what can equal the delight of opening your mailbox to find a letter or parcel from a friend?
  • Did I mention that I'm drunk? Honesty is my ethical concern here.
  • I would like to make a point of appreciating bewilderbeast, who is carrying on the King's legacy on e2 and producing some bang-up writeups while she's at it!

On the topic of my proposed PhD. research: I am almost surprised (it took me by surprise, that is) that the subject of democracy is of interest to me. For years I was so focused on the Nietzschean lines of thought that I could only imagine things in terms of flight, evasion, critique, and resistance. Now I feel that I'm ready to reconcile those (important!!) notions with the possibility of rolling up our sleeves and working together. I feel as though we can fly apart and come together at the same times. I can't justify my affinity for humans (in all their various contingent possible descriptions), yet I'm willing finally to work with it. If Wittgenstein has inspired me in any way, it is to let go of the deathgrip on justification. My faith in and love for human beings is something I'm willing to inflict as a force, without a logically precise rationale. This is a monumental turning point for me, as I have spent a long time doubting and being dismayed by the so-called human condition. Of course, there are multiple complications to everything I am saying, but I like it that way.1 I don't want finality, I want proliferation! I want motion! I want life! I want life for others after my death. I want liberty in the form of flight, collaboration and dissent. I want us to defend what we don't have yet.

Current musical indulgences

On the potential of daylogging

Mark and I have been discussing the usefulness of daylogs as an interdisciplinary noding tool. When daylogging, the noder isn't subject to the same restrictions as normal writeups (although he/she is subject to much more arbitrary and vindictive voting patterns!). This, on our reading, fully embodies on aspect of e2 in that it enables the noder to exploit e2's linking capabilities to pull a galaxy of concepts into one writeup much more easily than in a writeup of any given discipline or focus. Just sayin', yo.


I'm losing lucidity. I have consumed a lot of alcohol tonight. I need to stop this eventually. Sleep beckons. Tomorrow is already here. Be good to each other. I dream of silences and freefalls.

P.S.>> For Mark: Yeah, I know and believe that we're all doomed anyway, that's not the point.

  1. I take it back. I'm sorry.

I'm not really one for daylogs, generally, but I just wanted to get this off my chest. I had the weirdest journey into work this morning.

It's always odd coming in really early - the underground is so empty compared to the rush hour. There's something a bit strange about all the trains still industriously chugging from station to station when the carriages are mostly empty.

Anyway, I'm sitting in my carriage, which I have all to myself, when I get the sense that someone's looking at me. I look up, and there's a guy in the next carriage, standing right up against the glass of the door. A bloke a bit older than me, clothes a bit of a mess, probably been out all night on a bender. Anyway, point is, he's looking right at me, which is a little creepy. I try to ignore it, but I do discreetly take off my headphones - whenever I feel vaguely threatened or uncomfortable or whatever I don't like to be without my sense of hearing.

So, I'm sitting there without my headphones, and he's standing there staring at me. Fine. I go back to reading my book (a collection of Groucho Marx's letters, incidentally - recommended). Anyway, the train slowly draws to a halt, inside a tunnel, and shuts off its engine. Happens all the time; just waiting for a train somewhere ahead. But, now the engine is off, I notice that he isn't just standing there looking at me. He's banging his head on the glass. Not like a mad beating or anything; just a slow, rhythmic banging. Bang. Bang. Bang. Still staring at me, or at least I think he is, because I'm trying not to look at him directly - I'm looking at his reflection in the window opposite. (I do this when I want to eye up women discreetly, too. I expect everyone does. I expect the women are watching my reflection eye them up.)

Anyway, just about the time I noticed this, the train started up again, and off we went. Eventually it arrived at King's Cross, where I change lines (despite the advice of a hundred notices). I left the train with all reasonable haste and strode off to the next platform without looking back, more as an exercise in self-control than anything. When I eventually got to my platform, I stopped, exhaled, and then casually looked around (who am I kidding?) but crazy head-banging guy was nowhere to be seen. There were a couple of other people on the platform, too, which dispelled the general feeling of creepiness, like it always does.

The next leg of the train journey passed without incident. All well and good. But now we come to strange event number two! As I walking from the tube station to my office, I have to cross a huge great road junction, which normally would be via subways, but they are all closed by building works. Anyway, as I was crossing I saw a girl, or a woman (couldn't really tell from that distance) right in the middle of the thing. Not on a crossing, but in the big grid boxed thing. She was just sort of shuffling slowly across the road, right through the main thoroughfare. If it were the rush hour there would be hundreds of cars queuing up to run her over but this early in the morning she wasn't in any immediate peril.

Being the good London citizen that I am, I, of course, ignored her completely, which I feel vaguely bad about now, but then it's not like she was lying in the road - she was actually heading towards safety, albeit slowly.

So, now I'm at work, here for this bloody conference call with some wretched small company whose proprieter apparently doesn't have time to sleep (bastard), and the phones don't bloody work! It baffles me that I can have a working 'net connection and yet the simple telephone network isn't reliable. On top of that, the other chap who's supposed to be in the conference call isn't even here, so my bizarre journey into work is looking like it's been for nothing.

You can see why I don't write these more often... I just ramble on and on and on and on...

It's the start of term, and today was supposed to be my first day of proper work. After all, I've had... ooh, let's call it five months' holiday, and it's my third year and I have to work hard if I want to stay on for a fourth.

I had a plan. I was going to eat my dinner, then work until midnight. Finish at least one example sheet. Mice and men, eh? My room is on the third floor this year, and I don't know if it's because of the altitude or the direction my window faces but it seems like I can pick up every emergency vehicle in Cambridge from where I live. I mean, I always wondered how it was that folks like Batman and Spider-Man were always at the scene of the crime at the same time as the cops, or even earlier, and now I know: they hang out in high places like the terrace outside my window, and then follow the sirens. Today in particular has been so astoundingly bad that it makes me think that the gods don't want me to do any work. I dunno if there's been like a major car accident or a shooting or something but they've been wailing outside since dusk. I was completely unable to concentrate on my work all evening, and it's now 2:30am and they're still going. I can't even get to sleep. This is not to mention the drunken idiots who, since closing time, have been persisting in wandering around in the court below my window, making lots of noise. Don't they have work tomorrow?

I don't know what the hell's going on. I'll check the news websites tomorrow or something.

3:00am edit: One of them is now drunkenly attempting to climb onto my terrace. He's been trying to for the last twenty minutes. Friggin' idiots.

My first ever daylog.

I wouldn't normally go for such a thing, what I get out of e2 is more about the factual nodes than anything else so I like to give back along the same lines. A sentiment that doesn't hold so true given the poetry commentry percentage of my nodes but whatever.

I moved to this place about nine months ago, the old country, a place so quaint and anachronistic that it's actually still called a Kingdom.

The government here isn't as anachronistic as the power grid though, blackouts are a relatively regular occurence around here, I work at a major finance institution so we've only seen one bad enough to hit work but the lights go out now and then at home and we crowd around the laptops and watch DVDs.

Where I'm staying is quite rural and you can hear sheep and cattle in the night air most nights. As I look out my window tonight over the nearby town, I can see the streetlights running along the residential areas but that's all, the power is out again in town though I seem to be ok for the time being. It's a good thing the streetlights are still on, one my housemates called, he was down in London for a few days and needs me to take his car and go pick him up from Leeds, seems the trains are down between there and here and they're not coming back up anytime soon. I'm often late for work so it'll be good to have an excuse today.

My other housemate came down with one of those generic flu-like thing that goes around, this'll be a pain at work because aside from being housemates they're also both work-mates and we're on the same project, I'm going to be busy covering for them when I eventually head in. I normally don't get these flu things but I've been bleary eyed all morning and generally fatigued.
We'll see.

My weekend

Saturday

Saturday night I went to a poetry reading. Seven Dutch poets reading their own works. Well Dutch and Frisian to be exact. Just for completeness, they were Jan Baeke, F. van Dixhoorn, Elmar Kuiper, Erik Lindner, Nachoem M. Wijnberg, Martin Reints and Tsead Bruinja.

Interesting and a very good language exercise. And it also proved to me that poetry is very close to art. I don't get the amazingly deep arty-farty thing about analysing poetry. But sometimes a poem can just grab hold of your heart, sometimes stroking or caressing and at other times pulling violently. My two favourites of the evening were van Dixhoorn and Tsead Bruinja. The former for his multi layered poems with maritime connections combined with a great presentation and the latter for fantastic poems performed with musician Jaap van Keulen. Sometimes almost rap, very beautiful and kind of reminded me of Linton Kwesi Johnson, but with less Reggae.

I also ended up talking poetry with the aforementioned poets and a rather attractive female poet, Anne van Amstel, and I stayed quite late. On the whole a nice evening. Thanks Dave for bringing me along.

On the way home I saw several groups of people just hanging around in a rather sinister way, something I'm not really used to in Amsterdam.

Sunday

Yesterday I slept late and woke up rather hungry and thought of going for breakfast in a local café, but realized I didn't have any cash, so I decided to make an omelet instead, since the cash dispenser is much further away than the café anyway. When I finally got out there was a haze in the air. Almost fog, but not quite. I saw some bees flying past and then a whole swarm came past. It still puzzles me, because it is really not the season for swarming bees. But I don't think they would have listened to me anyway.

After having got some money out and got myself some groceries from the almost always open but expensive little shop. I shuffled home again and I don't know if it was because of the haze in the air, but somehow the streets seemed emptier than a normal Sunday. The only people I saw were a group of youths in the distance. I ended up spending the evening watching television.

Monday

Although today is not actually part of the week-end I still wanted to tell you about this morning. I had promised to get some food for a friend of mine who is coming back today form a long travel, and I know how nice it is not to have to go shopping when you are jetlagged. So I went to her local supermarket and shuffled around the shelves just like everybody else, getting some milk and bread and cheese and all the usual stuff. I also found a very nice piece of Spanish ham, jabugo, which I know she will appreciate. At the cashpoint the cashiere stared at me with an empty and glassy stare and didn't say anything at all, and I thought that it's amazing how Monday morning can turn everybody into a zombie. As I took my change and left I looked back and I suddenly got the feeling that everybody in the whole store was slowly shuffling along after me.

I know I'm probably paranoid, but it made me hurry to my friend's house and lock the door behind me. Maybe I shouldn't have watched Shaun of the dead last week. I wish I had a cricket bat handy.

woke up so sleepy and so hungry couldt see good and walk is funny went to kichen and evreythin taste bad couldnt open cans adn got mad and threw cans and holler then go outside for look not thinking good like awake for 2 day and saw naybor girl from dwon stiars she say hello you ok and i not evn think and grab her and bite neck meat and blod so good and eatng is good and then i stop and say what is this what am doing why i kill naybor and go home bcuase i can write agin i know and rmember huw to turn on compoter i am wwriteing story abut great advnture and love but words arnt all rite and then am thinking in fog again and hhungry so hungry so go out agin past naybor and go with a crowd adn we find peple and we kill eat lotsof em adn i feel reely smarter and think to check on brothr and graanmuther and driving is hard but they are not there and dog is sick and dirty and i wash her then we eat kitty then i go home takes long time becase forgot car and sometms forget how going home but stop and eat and remember agin and wehn get home help naybor lady eat othre naybor lady then go home and rite agin i think meat help brain work or make brain able think of thngs that not food so i shuld eat many peples so i wriet i wiish i had laptp compotr so i cary it eat and rite and not have walk bak home but must go bfor all peples gon and no more eat and no more write

My days are groggy. I work a 7 to 3 shift at the University. By the time I really wake up it's time for lunch, then I need a nap. My boss handles emergencies, so he's usually on vacation during regular hours, and the rest of them don't care much what I do. I can go weeks without making eye contact, let alone talking to someone. I never thought much about my life until now.

For one thing, I'm usually among the first in the building, but recently it seems building traffic is peaking in the wee hours. There aren't any conversations. I'm not one to butt into other peoples business, but I know college students like to talk. No one's in a hurry anymore either, they just kind of shuffle around. The trash cans are always empty too, which makes sense I suppose since no one is carrying anything. In fact, the only janitorial duties I've really had to fulfill are cleaning up little piles of goo that have been mysteriously appearing around the place.

On the one hand it's all a bit disturbing, but on the other hand I'm not one to worry or complain. I've always lived a simple life, so maybe people are just starting to see things my way. At any rate, I fit in better than ever before. Just minding my business, mopping the floor.

I haven't written a daylog in a couple of years--so bear with me. This morning's events are too strange to go unwritten.

I was driving to work, notable only by the absence of traffic and the whine of my speedometer. The lack of radio makes me acutely aware of all the squeaks and whistles my car has to offer, and there are quite a few.

As I was passing the three-story sporting goods store that I've passed a thousand times, I heard yelling coming from the adjacent car-park. I glanced over, as one can only glance while operating a vehicle at 40mph. I saw what looked like a homeless man lumbering after another guy, who was yelling for help.

I kept driving. Things like this aren't all that out of the ordinary in a large city. Although it was fairly unusual for a homeless man to sport a $2000 sports jacket and a suit to match. That much I guess I noticed.

I considered the incongruity of that as I heard the sirens. Emergency vehicles were apparently on their way to intercept the well-dressed homeless fellow. Except they passed me. Going the wrong way. What seemed like dozens of them. I spent more time pulling over than I did driving. Even stranger was the fact that I saw no less than three fire trucks pass a burning two story building. Never was there a time I wished my radio worked more than now.

After more of the same, I arrived at work, but there was no one there that I could find. I made my way to my cube and began to write this account while it was still fresh in my mind. And I just heard movement and what sounded like a moan from down the hall. I'll go see if whomever that is can tell me what's going on.

I am mostly offended at activities that occurred, meaning happened, to me in the recent times as in today. There is a holiday that some of you good people may or may not be aware of that is celebrated here in Baltimore and I am led to believe elsewhere in cities of America at the end of October called Halloween. Usually I am happy to embrace this holiday as the staff of Civil War Action Figures, Ltd. usually has a Halloween party at a bar near our offices which is decorated in spooky fashion do to this holiday which is about celebrating spooks. Now, the date of this holiday is October 31st and often they will arrange for little kids in cute costumes to parade around the neighborhood begging for unpoisoned candy by ringing the bell and saying "Trick or Treat" on the weekend night close to the Halloween holiday. If October 31st, which is Halloween, happens on a Wednesday they sometimes have the kids roam around on the following Friday or perhaps the previous Saturday depending on whether there is a presidential election or not because two scary events in one night is not kind to those in Baltimore who have heart issues such as possibility of heart attack due to fright.

Now, whether you are aware or not of the particulars of this Halloween holiday which may or may not be limited to the Baltimore area, there are certain elements of the holiday which must be followed. The first is that it involves night time. Many of the costumes and activities are ghoulish in nature and therefore absolutely must happen after dark because everyone knows that real ghouls don't like the sun because the sun belongs to the Christian religion which they abhor. The second is that even if they move the celebration to a weekend night to help make sure kids pass their history tests, the celebration must happen in such a way that it reflects the date of the holiday, which as I have noted is October 31st. Those of you in Cleveland might be confused as I was recently told no one in Cleveland has any idea what Halloween is and all the months have only 28 days in Cleveland, which is odd in my book.

Now, today is Monday and it is during the morning hours as I am sipping my morning coffee and reading in the newspaper about the World Series game when my doorbell rings. It is during the day this happens and almost an entire week before the October 31st date when Halloween is penciled in, pending review by the Department of Homeland Security (as of this writing no changes have been made). So, the doorbell rings again and I go to the door in my bathrobe and slippers to see what the matter is. I think enough to anticipate that it may be a person trying to sell me something and as a man who sells action figures modelled after Civil War persons (none of which have been manufactured yet - but sales is about money, not about actual production mind you), I always hear out salesmen.

There are two persons at the door and they are dressed in spooky clothes and I am not knowing what to do because I know it is completely the wrong time, i.e. too far in front of the Halloween holiday and too early in the morning, for "Trick or Treat." I stare at them and they stare at me and we do not say any words to each other for many seconds before I finally break the silence by saying, "Can I help you?" This is a normal phrase to say under the circumstances.

"Lost me arm," says one of the two spooky persons, who have very pale skin and are wearing dirty trenchcoats and blue jeans with a lot of holes in them and no shoes or socks. Then he shakes the empty arm of his coat at me and makes a sad face. I ask him what he wants me to do and I ask him if he was in the war, but he says no and just says, "Lost me arm" again. I feel that this is an improper exchange I am having so I tell him I need to get ready to go to work and try to close the door in his face without any politeness.

Instead of taking my obvious hint of disinterest in continued conversations, they throw their bodies against the door and push me back into my home. I am an older man and I am bald, so I was not able to resist very much and also fell on my behind. They came into my home, making a lot of mumbling noises and groaning like a deaf woman in the heat of carnal passion as they stepped over my body and started knocking my things around in my home. They are looking for something and I am feeling a fright because these are questionable persons who have forced their way into my home without an invitation and I don't want them doing what they are doing, which is a lot of random swinging around and breaking of valuable items such as my serving dish for green beans and other items similar to green beans.

As they spend almost ten minutes breaking many of the things in my home, where I live alone on account of having gone nearly twelve years without receiving oral pleasure upon my genitals from a woman, I have time to right myself and stand up against them. However, my age and baldness begin to interfere with my ability to resist again and I start crying. This appears to bother them. When they see me crying they stop breaking things and come towards me again, seeing I am now standing. The individual of the two who complained of armlessness grabs my arm and starts trying to pull it out of my body, perhaps thinking it will be a suitable replacement for his own, but my arm does not come out of my body with ease. They see that there is a problem with this plan of theirs, at which point they grab me by my bathrobe and start dragging my out of my home and into the street. This is the point at which I became more scared than any point earlier in the day.

I see my neighbor, Mr. Henderson, out on his front steps and I call to him for assistance. He does not look like he is feeling very well and at that point I wonder if he will be of much help to me, as he may have the flu and even though he is normally strong as an ox and can carry heavy loads from one place to another, the flu might slow him down considerably. He comes towards me and my two enemies who are dragging me without any concern for my well being or my wishes and then stops and stares at me. He apparently has a very bad flu, as he has no color in his face and his nose is running quite a bit. He looks at me with sad eyes and then goes back to his house and I make a mental note to speak to him at a later time about his lack of helpfulness in my time of need.

The events that are transpiring, meaning happening, are starting to make me very angry and while crying like a baby I begin to struggle with all my strength against my enemies. As I pull away from one of the foes, his arm comes out of his body with the hand of the arm still clamping tightly onto my arm. I am able to get free of the enemies, but now this arm is attached to me by a gripping hand and this is cause for what the young people of today like to call "freaking out." I run into some bushes, even though I know it is a place where dogs do their business, and crouch down in the hopes they will not see me here. I also make a concentrated effort to remove the grippy hand from my arm, but there is no winning this battle and it is obvious to me that my foes have more than one or two things wrong with them as normally I think that a grippy hand would release once the arm attached to the grippy hand is no longer attached to a person's body unless somehow rigor mortis is involved and the timing is perfect.

I am not aware of what to do at this point, so I stay crouched low in the dog poop and bushes, waiting for rescue from law enforcement or someone with courage. My two enemies walk off in the other direction, obviously not able to have common sense which would have led them to my hiding place without too much trouble. After they are far away down the road, I come out of the bushes and attempt to go back to my house, but I see Mr. Henderson again and he is with two associates who also appear to have the flu. They are accompanied by a woman, who not only appears to have the very bad flu due to lack of flu shot availability, but she is carrying her head in her hands which makes no sense to me because she is able to stumble about with Mr. Henderson and associates without her head properly mounted to the neck moorings. Although I am not a medical professional, I believe nine out of ten physicians would agree that the head must be in the neck moorings in order to continue forward mobility and friendship with others.

I managed to get back to my home and close and lock the door. Even though I was doing a lot of crying and whimpering, I was still able to move much faster than these people who have the bad flu. I barricaded my door out of fear and blocked all my windows and now I am inside my home using the computer to ask for help. If there is anyone in the Baltimore area who does not have the bad flu who can help me, please contact me at my home number. I am in the book under Berhardt Goates but I have a block on the line to prevent calls from telemarketers so don't call from a telemarketing number or I won't receive your call. Help me. Thank you.

You know, it's gotta be really tough to have your birthday come on October 31 in America.

I mean, my dear friend icicle, she all plays it cool, you know, "Oo Halloween - I mean, c'mon, it rocks, right? Right? Right?" and we all kind of humor her. It is kind of cool - but mostly for us, not for her. To us, it just makes her this really freaky girl who was born on the scariest day of the year. I mean, if this were a playground and we were all 7, you can bet who we'd be making fun of.

So I'm sitting here, racking my brains on what to get her for her birthday, because I know what's like - my sister's birthday is Independence Day, and one time my parents seriously shafted her and told her her birthday present was going to see fireworks downtown. WTF. I bet icey's gotten like, a nice costume for her birthday before. Or maybe a couple of extra bucks for UNICEF. Crap like that.

So you know, a real birthday present seemed in order. But I am what you would call a very thematically oriented person. I figured I would get her a present that represented both Halloween and her birthday. Maybe a nice candy jar, or a nice scary movie, or a nice shrunken head. Ya know, for kids.

But then I had a better idea: I would get all of her e2 friends to write up a zombie daylog. Something scary, but also something real. Nothing melodramatic or fancy, just something to kind of fill in the seasonal spirit. And then I would write up a "the jig is up" daylog and say happy birthday, Icicle, and she would be like "hell yeah" and mad props to me and all of her e2 posse.

Something went wrong.

At first, it was really funny, Sam and Jeremy excitedly sending me their daylog sendups in scratch pad form. And Team JET-POOP delivered hardcore with one of the most surreal daylog experiences in some time. There were so many excellent contributions, it's hard to name them all. bewilderbeast, Servo5678, wordnerd, princess_loulou, StrawberryFrog, gitm - and everyone else who did one - they all did fantastic jobs and really set the tone for my zombie infestation. DejaMorgana blew up half of NYC, the_effervescence, machfive, and smartalix all offered compelling origin stories, and JohnnyGoodyear even learned a bit of German! I mean, icicle was just gonna love this, right?

But then I got some really weird msgs. Joe swore that everything in his daylog was true; so did Pint. And then Hazen started talking in the catbox about gasoline-filled condoms to fight the zombies. And THEN people I didn't even ask to be in on the gag started posting daylogs about serious shit going down. I mean, it was pretty silly, really, but it was one of those confusing moments where I couldn't quite figure out if I was being trolled as much as everyone else was. But I can take a joke, you know? I mean, I'm the joker.

So this morning I'm making a trip to my grandparents' house about 5 miles west of my house, and I saw one. Not like, a drunken college student, or a crackhead, or a Lordstown factory worker, or a guerrilla theater employee, or a Republican.

A real fucking zombie.

This one did not move slow. He was not asking for brains or doing ANYTHING like they do in the movies. About the only thing they got right was this fucker was as ugly as they come. And he was running around the Target parking lot, which was pretty empty at 9 in the morning on a Monday. There were already 2 police cars on the scene. The cops were out behind the cars, kind of talking shit over. I think they knew what it was - how could you fucking not, jesus it was awful - and like maybe they were just trying to deal with it like a normal situation. I guess that's a good thing to do.

He was attacking the cars - I don't know if there were people inside - and he was just a real damn mess. I mean, spitting blood, fuckin' I don't know what was the deal with it.

SHIT IT WAS A ZOMBIE.

There's no origin story. This is no fucking "I don't normally daylog" bullshit. This is like, holy shiteating mother of God there is a zombie out there in the Target parking lot, and he looks pissed. And I can't help but think of Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. You know, that Borges story where the guys make up the country and then currency appears from it, even though it doesn't exist.

I'd say happy birthday, icicle, but frankly, I'm holed up now. I don't even want to hear it, don't want to hear the news or see the news or what. Motherfucking zombies DO NOT EXIST. They don't they don't they don't.

Yeah, my last daylog was a complete dive, but so what? Daylogging's great anyway.

But I'm not here to daylog about daylogging, I'm here to daylog about The Store.

Ahh, yes. That treasured little gem sitting out there in the slums, used to be that one could get really cheap corndogs there. Maybe 3, 4 cents each. Not anymore. People've been robbing Sam, the fellow who owns the store. And you know what? I've seen them rob the store, and it's horribly stupid the way they do it!

See, they shamble in just like the youth around here, just moving around hunched over. Reminds me somewhat of the kids at school, with the heavy loads on their backs. Some of these kids even have the balls to come in covered with wet mud! (And they stink to high hell, too, but that's neither here nor there. Just take a freaking shower!)

So they go inside, and they just grab crap and carry it back out! They don't even attempt to hide it! I saw this girl I knew walking out with 5 or 6 sealed cases of candy bars! And you know what? Sam was nowhere to be seen.

Kids these days.

But you know what? Sam himself was always an eccentric fellow as well. Why he would try and sell brains out of an ice cream case, in public nonetheless, that was always misunderstood by me. Usually people sell them in the freezer, maybe 8 or 9 cents an ounce. But not Sam, oh no. He just had this Good Humor ice cream freezer, and just loaded it with brains!

It was last week I think, yeah. Last Saturday, I stopped in. He gestured to the freezer and said that these brains were half price, would you be interested, they're about to go bad tomorrow]. I obliged, and I forked over 4 cents for all of it. What a deal! And I didn't have to crack any skulls to get them!

crikey, what a day! it was raining when i was leaving for work this morning. i've lost my work umbrella, which is plain and boring, and matches my work coat and bag, you know, all sensible. so i had to take the joke umbrella that my sis bought me. i have a thing about the powerpuff girls so she bought me a ppg brolly. it's that clear plastic mushroom shaped kind that comes right down over your head but you can see through it. and it's got a mini bubbles sitting right on the top of it. so there i am, dashing to the bus stop in my smart red coat, smart work trousers and smart heeled boots. hair straightened, discreet silver jewellery. i mean, when i go into the office, i look the part. except today i topped it all off with a bubbles brolly. i felt supremely stupid.

bit of a backfill for you, i'm on my way to work after a week off sick with chronic back pain. the medication made me all woozy and doped up, kind of half stoned all the time but over the weekend i was trying to wean myself off the pills so i could actually work again. some hope. this morning i was still fairly shot away and not able to concentrate, so it took me a while to realise that there was no one else at the bus stop. that just never happens at 8.30 in the morning.

then i remembered. something about buses on diversion. so off i walked, a ten minute walk down a busy main street, to get on the same bus but further up, but before the diversion started. damn those high heels.

but it wasn't until i got to the other bus stop - where no one was waiting either - that i began to worry. the clocks change around now, don't they? am i an hour early or something? how does it work again? do they go forward or back in autumn? surely they would have brought it to the nation's attention on radio 4? but there is no one anywhere to be seen, not even on this busy stretch of high street.

after about five minutes and now really starting to freak myself out, i dug around in my bag for my phone to call around some friends, see if there was a problem and i was unaware of it. as i looked up and put the phone to my ear, balancing the hooked handle of my brolly under my other arm, i saw a bus come round the corner. it wasn't the right one, but it would get me past the diversion and i could meet up with my bus route a few miles down the road.

busy struggling with my brolly, trying not to get my hair damp, putting my phone back in my back and digging out my bus pass all at once meant i didn't notice until the doors opened that the bus was totally crammed. with pasty-faced, bloodshot-eyed, druggie-lookalikes. oh my god. and they are lurching towards me.

ok, girl, think. you have to admit you have a bit of a resident evil, erm, oh sod it. just say it. addiction. you're on horse tranquilisers and you're evidently just letting your imagination run away with you. easy, girl .or maybe booyaa'd mixed up the grass and the green tea this morning;)

but they started getting off the bus, tripping over each other as they stumbled, arms swaying in front of them, towards me. the bus driver - who looked scared out of his wits but had at least a normal, healthy skin tone - stood up and through his perspex cabin was shouting something and signalling wildly at me. i couldn't hear him over the noise of the engine and the groaning noises coming from all these weirdo zombie type people but i realised he was pointing at my umbrella. i tired hitting one of these swaying monsters with the curved handle but that had no effect whatsoever on the guy. but it did have the effect of making poor bubbles fall off the top. leaving a rather nasty point. heaving the brolly into the air i lunged at the guy, who by now had his arms level with my neck and was about a foot away from strangling me to death. or poisoning me with the horrific stench, not sure which would be quickest. the sharp tip of the umbrella went straight through his head which splattered like an overripe pumpkin. and the guy was down. yes! only, um, about 30 to go and i'll be done! move over milla jovovich. it's my turn now.

but i didn't need to fight them all. they were obviously going somewhere, as they all got off the bus, one or two at a time, bumping into each other and tripping up and falling over in the process, but very definitely on a mission. and they mostly ignored me. the bus driver beckoned for me to get on the bus and he told me he'd picked them all up outside the hospital about five miles up the road and had been trying to radio for help ever since. no one at the depot believed his story, of course. kept telling him it wasn't april the first and to get the hell off the emergency channel. poor guy.

and you know what went through my mind once i sat down and breathed out? i need to write to the manufacturer about this umbrella. it's dangerous for kids.


note to wertie and karen and anyone else who hates no caps writing. please don't be offended. i know i promised never to not use capitals again but i'm just way too freaked out and shaky to think about things like formatting right now.

Dear Penthouse,

I've read your letters all these years and have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about them. The women all had pneumatic boobs and wanted to sleep with dorky guys who all had eleven inch tools.

It's the same with these Elvira women. Where can you find a 25 inch waisted woman with maximally enticing cleavage, tottering around in five inch heels and big black hair, eyeliner... Where do these women come from? They don't exist.

That's what I thought. Until last night.

I'm hanging with Halspal, who's wonderful at bars because sitting next to him, any other guy looks like Tom Cruise. I figure, if I could get lucky any night, it's tonight.

Bingo bango, sure enough, this dame walks in. All heads swivel. Three guys buy her drinks before her lovely derriere hits a bar stool, which is right next to me. Halspal rolls his eyes and says something about having to get back to his writings (yeah, right) and Mary (yeah, right), and he toddles off, leaving me with Miss Hell-O! May I Buy You A Drink Too?

I'm sipping a Bloody Mary. She takes one look at it, throws the celery stalk at Dave the Bartender and tosses it down like little boys drinking milk straight from the gallon bottle. I'm impressed. The word guzzle comes to mind.

She coughs and spits, which does absolutely wonderful things to her decoulettage (I hope I'm getting these words right), since she's all bouncy in all the right places - there's some serious heft in her chest flesh, and let's leave it at that. When she recovers she makes this face like it was the nastiest drink she'd ever had. I'm like, OK, what's next? That was $3.50 totally wasted.

She grabs my arm and brings her mouth real close to my ear. "Let's get out of here," she says hotly. Her breath could use some Binaca. It smells like an open sewer, and frankly, this does not do wondrous things for the old libido, but she kinda grabs me and yanks me out of the chair and drags me out the door. The guys are whooping and hollering, thinking there goes one lucky schmuck.

We're in the back alley now, and I'm opening the car door for her, and this chick begins doing a serious number on my neck. I mean Good Lord, girl, let's wait until we get back to my place, at least. But no. She's sucking on my neck for all she's worth, right there in the trash filled alley.

I appreciate her enthusiasm, though, and finally South America begins to wake up, if you know what I mean. I move in to grab her a little bit firmer. Hey, if she wants it right here in the alley, who am I to say no? And she has a killer body. Absolutely killer. Long legs, narrow waist, bazooms to die for.

She's far too enthusiastic about the neck action, however. This Hoover on heels is beginning to draw blood, and the more she does the more I'm thinking exactly how long it is I'm going to have to wear a turtleneck sweater, because at this rate it's going to be until next year. But I'm trying to FOCUS. FOCUS. God. I just wish she'd stop with the neck, and perhaps think about applying that wonderful vacuuming motion to other parts of the anatomy.

Major turn off #1 happens when her left arm falls off.

OK. I can rally around that. Left arms are overrated. We can get beyond that.

Major turn off #2: Right arm falls off.

This is when I throw her into the car. Hell, if she's going to be a quadriplegic (which is going to be any second now) it might as well be in my bedroom, so time is of the essence.

We roar off. Get about two blocks, a leg falls off. She's making growly animal noises now. This girl is not looking good any more.

Another block. Another leg.

Another block. I open her door, toss her to the curb, get back in the car. And head to that ladies' strip club in the city, the one where the Chippendales do their thing. It'll be packed with women tonight. I have this unaccountable need to suck on somebody's neck.

So it's been a while.

Somewhere around June I contracted a serious mental illness known as Spider Solitare. No, I'm not kidding. I played that game for at least two weeks with short intermissions of school and sleep. I think it was mostly about just letting the flurry of the previous several months shake off and doing nothing worthwhile or effort-requiring.

Anyway once you've allowed yourself to get that lazy it's harder to bounce back than you expect. Every now and then I still feel that "ugh, even reading fluffy novels is too hard I think I'll just sit here like a broken robot..." And somehow "every now and then" means "every time I think about noding something." So I'm writing a daylog. If there's an E2 equivalent of Spider Solitaire, this is it, right?

I've noticed a lot of people daylogging this week. More daylog chings than usual and I don't know how many apparently special occasions. There seems to be something going on, but I guess I just haven't caught on to whatever it is, yet.

This weekend has been annoyingly noisy. Residence usually gets a couple of decibels louder on the weekend, but not this much. The idiot next door played that one Pink Floyd song on maximum volume repeating loop a couple of hours longer than usual. The girl two doors down had more people getting drunk in her tiny box of a room than usual. How do they all fit in there? And what are they drinking? I always thought drunk people "shlurring their wordsh" was a rumour or something, but apparently, if you get drunk enough... they sounded like they were losing bits of their tongues or something. And as they filtered out, or went to the next party, or whatever, they all seemed to be bumping into the walls and falling down and things. How weird. I don't understand how it can be fun to get so trashed you can't control where you're going.

Someone also messed up the hallway pretty badly. There are strips of wallpaper ripped off and something disgusting-looking on the floor. It looks almost like dried blood -- but I'm sure that much blood wouldn't be left there like that. It must be some kind of food or drink item in combination with the carpet. It's a pretty weird colour to begin with. Thank goodness I can't smell it (I have a bad cold). Whatever it is, it's gross. One of those things that makes me want even more to be an invisible antisocial little island.

This morning on my way to class I noticed more people around than usual. I'm becoming chronically late for Japanese -- I keep sleeping until five or ten minutes before it starts. Anyway, since lots of classes start at the same time, when I get going everyone's usually already in the proper buildings, or else hurrying the way I am. Today there were lots of people kinda meandering around, not looking like they were going anywhere. All of them looked dead-tired and sick. I guess it wasn't just my building that had a really rowdy weekend. Or maybe this is flu season starting up. Hopefully I won't catch it.

I guess this is sortof why I haven't daylogged much in the past, apart from experimental fiction. When I get started on a stream of consciousness sort of thing sometimes it gets away from me and half an hour later I'm still going on about... well, nothing in particular. But I promised myself I would post this, just to get myself started. Maybe now I'll be able to goad myself into a good writeup or two.

Cooked lasagna on Saturday, good ole
spinach filled lasagna.

I've been eating it and sharing

it, and two pieces remain.

Rather, two pieces remained.

You may not know this, but lasagna takes

many many minutes to reheat.

And I was passing the time splendidly, reading

some St. Augustine, ignoring my anticipation,

and many many minutes later I check my lasagna-

perfect, warm throughout.

I closed the oven door and I saw it happen, like slow motion

I tried to stop it,

but my lasagna fell.

It fell on the floor, splattered sauce everywhere

and my heart sunk.

I got some more RAM and an Airport card this weekend at Microcenter to try to breathe a little life into my old spaceclam iBook. Figured I'd install them here at work since I gotta pass my A+ certifications soon and I figure it's topical, right?

The good news is that the Airport card is in and working dandy, as is the new RAM. The wireless coverage in the building is better than I expected.

The bad part is, I'm not sure how long I'm going to be able to enjoy my upgraded computer.

See, right now I'm hiding in the equipment room off the staff break room on the 5th floor of the Baker Systems building on the Ohio State campus. I'm typing as quietly as I can because I don't think they know I'm in here yet.

IF ANYONE AT OSU HAS A GUN OR A SHOVEL OR SOMETHING BETTER THAN A CORDLESS DRILL AND CAN MAKE IT UP HERE, PLEASE COME GET ME I REALLY WANT TO LIVE! I HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS AND CAN TAKE YOU WHEREVER YOU WANT TO GO! KTHX!

Um. Okay. I suppose I should really say that if you're near OSU, you should probably stay away. While I really want to avoid being torn into quarters and disemboweled like our floater Jeff, I wouldn't want anyone getting killed on my account. But in case you come looking, the staff breakroom is just down the hall from the 24-hour computer lab.

If you come, stay the hell away from the 4th floor. Everyone left in the Call Center is, um, a bit bitey. And a mite pissed off because I drilled a few of them. Thank god my cube is right by the cabinets with the tools, or I'd be soaking into the carpet like poor Jeff.

The battery on the drill is probably pretty close to dead. I've got blood all over me. I don't think Travis broke the skin when he grabbed my arm but I'm very worried.

Oh. If you get up here, please do a shave-and-a-haircut knock so I know you're not after my flesh. That would be nice. All I have in here weapons-wise besides the drill is an old fire extinguisher, but I'm sure we'd both rather I didn't jump the gun and squirt you.

All might not be lost; there's shitloads of CAT-5 in here; if I braid it I wonder if it would hold me? I can bust out a window with an old 486 desktop. The ground below looks clear, but I'm terrified of heights.

Keep a good thought, everyone.

G., if you can read this at home, please IM me. I'm terribly worried about you; you were awfully cold this morning. Get down in the basement; it's probably the only safe place right now.

I feel compelled to write a daylog today. I've not been feeling very well, I'm nauseaous and I figured I could just lay down and sleep it off, but then I wake up to find myself typing in "Everything2" into the search bar, which makes me embarrassed about the mechanical drive of my body, but hey.............................
...........................
...........................It's been a weird day.

Well, I've never done this before, so, greetings from Pittsburgh! It's that time of year again, time for the spooks and the creeps to roam about. See, almost forty years ago, a man named George Romero made a movie out of one ton of makeup purchased in bulk, a common Pittsburgh household, a common Pittsburgh graveyard, and a dream. Yes, it started all here, and I've now come to realize that Pittsburghers of whatever social class, race, age, gender, or college all seem to hold these movies dear to their heart with almost fanatical displays of their love for zombie movies popping out of the woodwork. Literally!!!!

This year, for instance, the city is literally split in half over a choice that has been coming for the last four years. Yes, I'm talking about the choice between George Romero or Tom Sevini, as their rivalry has boiled into Trojan Warlike proportions. Yes, the director and make-up artist have taken the competition beyond their film school war and moved on to a smaller scale, each creating their own haunted house. Beyond that, they each have assembled the largest and finest group of zombie players I've ever seen.

I didn't have work today, and was feeling kind of depressed. I have Netflix to supplement my lack of TV and I put Harvey on the queue a week back. When I finally got it, I decided to watch it stoned, pot being something I partake of only every two or three months. The experience was alright, but the entire morning I was in the funk of the aftermath. I've been smoking cigarettes lately too, and I'm on allergy medication so I can't tell what exactly has put me in such a lethargic state. Anyway, I tried reading some daylogs, and I see some people describe themselves in an equal funk what with flus and such, but I just can't hold my interest on them, can't read them to the end.

So, I felt a good cure would be to get out of the house and decided to ride down to Oakland to return some books to the library. Traffic was annoying mostly because of the players wandering in and out of the street, putting on entirely convincing shows of zombiedom. I was dodging more zombies than cars, which is nice, but not exactly safer. I have to say, I can't really tell which zombie was in whose camp, but both Romero and Savini have really warped reality with the amount of make-up and effort put into these costumes. The stench is compelling. I mean really. Plus, there have to be some diehard fans on the city council to allow the burning cars and all this goddam screaming. Alright, it's neat, and I've always wanted to be placed in a situation where I'm fighting zombies, but it really is too hectic today. The fake shotgun blasts are a little distracting while riding my bike and it was getting somewhat dangerous for me. Windows smashing on cars placed specifically for that reason, a "frantic" woman had gotten in on the gag screaming "My baby my baby" as her little tyke was all dressed up, clawing at her. Okay, it's creepy stuff.

There were actors in the library as well, screaming about how we have to barricade the place, with the library staff either laughing or playing along or trying to calm them (I was finding it kind of confusing who's an actor and who just hadn't heard about the event). I met one of the zombies having a smoke. Since he was on break, I figured I could ask him a few questions, although he looked very distracted. I suppose he should be with dried blood pouring down the side of his face and the green decayed make-up, and he gave me the oddest, most vacant stares as I talked to him. I guess he got caught up in his role and was still somewhat in between. Despite his ill state he still talked and answered most of my questions about the production in "yes" or "no." Eventually, we stopped talking, hearing the occassional moan and watching others do their thing. Finally, he asked, not looking at me at all:

"You heard about the whole zombie thing, right?"

I thought this was a weird question, but I said that I had heard it from a friend. He nodded and mumbled something in response. I asked him if he was okay, and gave a warn-out laugh: "Yeah, just a little too real I guess." I was going to ask him if he was for Romero or Savini, but he got up, and I watched him walk before bolting down the street and knocking one of his dazed partners out of his way.

On the way back to Bloomfield I almost ran into a guy who simply refused to break character, which was kind of exciting since I had to get away before he'd "bite" me. On the rest of the ride, a strange thought popped into my head. I mean, what if some psychotic decided to sneak some real shells into one of the prop guns.......or something. It's all taking an eerie turn

Which I guess I forgot about once I got to the grocery store. Bought some cereal and ice cream and stepped over some people "feasting" on each other. Alright, nice blood capsules in the teeth there fellows. You're really going all out with the animal entrails there, cute, haha. I bought a lint brush, finally. I didn't get a kick out of the "looters", but I wondered if I could get away with it anyway, in all the confusion of fun. When I left, a man was being rundown in the parking lot and I was finding this pretty tedious after three hours, and I just wanted to get home by then.

So. Then Shit I know I started this casual, and I'm trying really hard here not to I know this will sound crazy I'll just say it when I got home I went into the house and I heard noises from the kitchen I figured it was just my roomate and i went in and Frankenberry was standing in there turning him into a marshmellow

Now I'm holed up in his room, typing this. and having been stuck here for a little I'm calm enough to note how I'm not really in danger since all Frankenberry can do is mash his soft corpus against my roommate's door, he doesn't really have the ability to change shape or anything, he just makes semi-lingual noises coming from one of his slogans. We have a cramped house, but I can probably crawl out the window, and make it to Marcella's to borrow gas or something flamable from her husband and then I'll just melt the bastard into a gooey pink pile. Actually, this isn't a bad situation, since my room was originally the living room of the house. I'll finally get some privacy and sOh God! There's something at the window a shambling blue translucent and foamy figure!

IA! BOO-BERRY! ARRRRGGHHH ARRRRRGHGHGHHAAAAA

Shit man, what the fuck is going on? Is this for real? I started reading this stuff last night and I was like, sure, nice one guys, great joke for Halloween season. There were still people around back then. When I went to bed I could still hear my neighbors laughing in the hall.

Then the sirens started. I thought there must be a fire nearby or something, I'll read about it in the morning.

How far has this spread? my girlfriend is in fucking North Carolina and she won't answer her cell. Is that her on my voicemail screaming. Where is everyone? I was hearing the sirens all night but now, nothing. Nothing. Silence. Like a cemetary. The plaza outside my window is totally empty. I can only hear the sound of the wind rattling my window panes. I wandered around campus all afternoon. Everyone is gone. The whole place is empty.

And there is blood everywhere. All over the roads and the sidewalks and the stairways. Spattered on the windows. Dripping from the trees and bushes.

Why am I still here? Was it because I slept in til 1pm after writing my paper all night? Is this all true? Or is madness setting in? Am I really writing this?

HOLY FUCK I SEE ONE NOW. A FUCKING WALKING CORPSE BANGINGONMYWINDOWHOLYFUCKINGSHIT ASDFGHJ KL;' .

I'm used to the occasional mom having sore nipples. After all, if they didn't have some problems I'd be out a job!

But today the place was overrun with really bad ones. It seems like every breastfeeding mom I saw had bleeding nipples.

I don't know, things seem to come in threes but this was more like coming in sixteens.

I think the night shift has something to do with it. They keep giving the moms wrong information and we have some new staff. Oh well, I guess it is time for me to do a new inservice but I HATE going out after midnight to teach reluctant learners!

Sigh.

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