For those of you following at home, I am proud to report that my Subaru - AKA "the Soob," "the Mountain Goat," "the Goat", and "The Superu" is alive and well. At 230,000 miles, it is a testament to the excellence of Japanese automotive engineering, and the enduring genius of Ferdinand Porsche's 4-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. The Subarus, until recently, were a refinement of an engine designed by Porsche in the 1930's - the original Volkswagen engine design.

After dying on me as I pulled off The 2, the Goat languished for some weeks at my mechanic's - Mauricio. Mauricio is cheap. Mauricio is honest to a fault. Mauricio is a brilliant mechanical technician in his own right - part engineer and part shaman. Maurico always walks me through the troubleshooting, always shows me the part, will actually dialog with me on what the problem might be. Of his many virtues as both an exemplary mechanic and human being, being fast is not one of them. My car has been there for going on three weeks. I was out of town the first week, in Portland, OR.

Admittedly, the problem was tricky. The engine would not hold compression, so it wouldn't cycle. At first, it looked as if this was caused by a broken exhaust valve spring. However, this only masked the root of a problem - one of the camshafts was broken, sheared in half. Miraculously, because I have poured love, hot and liquid, into that machine, because it is a built like a rolling brick shithouse, because I have, like all the Igloowhite family, good machine karma, nothing bent. Everything is snug as a drum and straight as an arrow.

I rode up there to pick up the car, a long bike ride of some 45 minutes each way. I stopped by my library along the way, to pick up James Ellroy's My Dark Places and the Crime Classification Manual (more reading on serial violence). Deep in Cypress Park, this library seems less like a place to borrow books and more like the outermost outpost of literacy and reason. When I say that people USE the library in LA, I mean it. They use the shit out of it. It's packed with screaming kids. It's part free day care center, study hall, and people's computing center. Reading the books really seems to have moved into some kind of ancillary category. Nobody speaks English, everyone's speaking Spanish. That isn't a value judgment - shit, it's their neighborhood library, people should be speaking in whatever modality makes communication simplest. But I'd be blowing sunshine up your ass if I didn't tell you that, as a tall, blonde white guy I feel like an interloper. I pick up my books, and head out.

Now - the entrance of the Library is narrow, with a shallow skirt of steps leading up to it. These steps basically cry out "Hang out on me!" to the young people of Los Angeles. Things are sufficiently hopping that they've filled up, all the way to the top, and now these two punk teenage boys are blocking the entrance. They are Latino and I am white. I stand there for a moment, and think about squeezing past. Then I get annoyed that they are blocking the entrance, with so many people coming and going. I say, "Excuse me," at a polite volume level. Nothing.

"Look kid - move it. You're blocking the goddamned entrance. Don't sit here." I am pissed when I say it. I mean, my mother didn't raise me up to jam up the damn stairs. It's inconsiderate. As a boy of 15, I would have been the recipient of The Dreaded Claw - a power that my mother possessed, capable of converting her ordinarily delicate hand into a taloned horror that could rend flesh from bone, particularly the meat of the upper arm, The Claw's preferred target.

The two boys move. They don't stand up, they just scoot over. I guess this is the best I can hope for. And then it hits me, I have just become the very stereotype they despise, the angry, rule-bound white male adult that barges in and fucks up their program. But later, on the ride home, I wonder if that’s just some kind of liberal guilt. If they had been a couple of punk ass white kids back in Blackburg, Virginia, my hometown, I would have felt *good* about telling them to move.

I don't want to become a grumpy old man. Is this what I have to look forward to for the next 70 or so years? Or does somebody just need to give those kids The Claw?

I love the winter, I always have, and suspect I always will.

I want to spend winter wandering the streets of New York, watching people shop, and watching the snow fall onto the crowded streets,

I want to spin under the grey sunless sky...

I want to feel Christmas in New York.

I want to wear a heavy coat, and feel warm, and fuzzy,

I want to know why the whole world doesn't live there, I want to know why I don't live there,

I want to stroll through Little Italy, and Greenwich Village.

I want to stop into a small coffee shop and have a cup of chicken noodle soup, and watch the people walking in and out of the trendy, hip, new place across the street.

I want to watch the couples, so in love, going home to spend their first Christmas in their new apartment. It's not the nicest place, and they don't have much, but they have each other, and that's all they need.

I want to hug a frozen light pole, let the city know I love it on Christmas. Let it know that I will never take it for granted. The city is alive, and it needs to be hugged once in awhile, just like everyone else.

I want to sit in front of my fireplace, sipping hot chocolate, and watching the nightly news.

I want to walk into Macys and see the wonderful display that they set up, just for me.

I want to watch the snowplows moving down the streets.

I want to see store employees wearing green & red ties, and elf hats, not because they have to, but because they want to, and it's Christmas.

I want to listen to music with pipes and soft, plucked guitar lines.

I want to hear Bing Crosby, dreaming of a White Christmas, and knowing that right here, right now, his dream is coming true.

I want to stay like this forever. Locked in this perfect moment. Forever being allowed to feel this way, this content...

suggested listening: "A cloud to the back" - Sam Prekop "Blue thunder" - Galaxie 500 "Talking shit about a pretty sunset" - Modest Mouse

Ten days until I and Noteponymous leave for California to meet my dnafamily.

Ten days to pack, ten days to organize, ten days to get my physical and mental shit together.

I'm terrified and elated by the prospect of a cross-country trip in troubled times, and by the upcoming meetings at the other end of the road.

Today I did something I rarely do. I sent several people an email, some words from a friend at my other online home. The words are important, and I want to share them here as well.


"From on high I pass this sentence on.

On the equinox gather around the drums,
stay aware of the story that is unfolding,
and think about the kind of world that you want,
and the choices you need to make for it to come to be.

Pass this sentence on."
Random Notes -- Rushmore is damned funny. I love Owen Wilson's writing more than his acting.
On Hotmail, there is a banner ad stating, 1 broker to evaluate them all and seek best execution. After reading this quote several times, I was forced to reread Lord Of The Rings.

I just got dumped again. Exactly a week after I predicted it, a week and 3 days after the most promising kiss in how long? I’m so fucking sick of this. I swear you godawful fucks off for the rest of my life?

(Go ahead, vote me down, fuck you too, and I deserve it.)

Why is a stupid fuck like me who’s always so fucking in love and so happy with fucking love so fucking destined to be a fucking spinster? Why do I keep saying fuck? FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. Fuck you S. and fuck you M. and fuck you C. and fuck you fucking asshole fucking B. and fuck you C. #2. Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you Fuck you and your little dog too. Fuck you, fuck you and fuck me. Fuck you last five fucks to kiss me and to want something else or someone else or nothing else or not me.

(I know I know I know, I’m not even mad at you, and I’ll tell you that when I see you. Fuck you. I’m mad at this and that this happened again. I thought I was smarter this time. I’m just mad. I’m not mad at you. I knew. I knew long before it ever began that nothing would ever work. Hello spinster-dom. I will enjoy you very much.)

(It is so dark out I can see the lights of the pseudo-city from my sad back porch, choking on a cigarette that I don’t need that tastes like ass that lets me be somewhere, doing nothing the way I want to be. I find a bright one, a white one glowing and wonder if it is burning. I trace the stars and I want to go to sleep.)

I have nothing to say. I know your answer already. I knew it. I knew it I knew it you fuck.

I haven't been noding much at all, or even checking into E2 much, for the last few weeks, because I've been preparing for my trip to Australia, which begins tomorrow.

I'm flying to Sydney tomorrow night, if United and the FAA let me. It seems that they will. I'm excited, but nervous, actually 2 kinds of nervous - first, the kind I would have had anyway, the normal nervous you'd expect to be when you're about to fly to a different country, continent, and hemisphere. When you're about to sit in a plane for 14 hours. When an entire day will just evaporate because of crossing the International Date Line. All those sorts of things are weird, for me at least, so i'm bound to be nervous. But then there's the other, more edgy nervous that comes from the the events of last week. And the fact that my country might be going to war very soon. The deadline for the Taliban to turn over Osama bin Laden is tomorrow too, right? Or is it Thursday?

Anyway, I've been telling myself that my plans will not change unless we actually declare war before my plane leaves. If the war starts while I'm in Australia, well, I can think of worse places to be. In fact, if it gets really really ugly, Australia could be the best place. I could just head for the outback. But probably things will only be sort of ugly, and i'll probably head back to the States as planned on the 29th.

It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how the Australians treat me face-to-face in light of the terrorism in America. Will they be more sympathetic than they normally would be to Americans? Will they offer their condolences? Or will they say, "you Yanks asked for it, mate."? heh. Prime Minister Howard already said that Oz would "stand shoulder to shoulder" with the US for any retaliation. How macho of him. Worth noting that their current refugee problems are with mostly Afghans...

Anyway, I'm going officially to take part in an art festival, specifically Electrofringe, which is part of a larger festival called This is Not Art. So what I've been doing for the past few weeks instead of noding (and more) is creating a video collage that will be projected behind me while I perform improvised sound collage. This will happen September 28 in Newcastle. Also performing are People Like Us and The Evolution Control Committee.

But I plan to get lots of r&r in also, hit the beaches, the Blue Mountains, see some koalas at the Koala Rescue Hospital in Port Macquarie and more. I'm not going to just be a pasty pale electronic artist sitting inside sipping espresso and shopping for records all day. I've wanted to see Australia ever since I was a little kid, this art stuff is just the excuse to finally go. But it's a pretty good excuse, don't you think?

So, hopefully I will be noding at least a few daylogs, maybe more while I'm there. Actually, no, strike that, I probably won't be noding much. Probably after I get back. But hell if I'm going to sit at a computer when i could be out looking for wallabys and wombats. If any Sydneysider noders want to meet up with me this weekend, let me know!! message me, or email steev@detritus.net....

God, this should probably be noded in Daily Evil because I have done nothing but bad things today and at nearly 1 p.m I am finally starting to feel bad about it.

I lied to an admin that I particularly despise. I told him that I'd already looked around for signs that the readme worm had been through our network when I'd actually just sat on my ass all morning. Later in a fit of guilty conscience I confessed and did the work. Is this mere guilt or an instance of redemption? I don't know but I still skipped all of my classes today. No one is perfect.

Time to go image iMacs. Yee haw. No guilt, no guilt.

Today was dumb.

Mostly it was dumb because it was the last day of work before my nine-day vacation, and yet I feel like it's already starting to go by too fast. I don't like being busy. I just want to relax, but hey, my vacation is action-packed, so be it. Doesn't make it any less dumb.

I accidentally dyed my hands red today.

Yes, yes, I know, DUMB. I was trying to dye some gloves for my anime weekend costume, and I didn't have the sense to put on rubber gloves. I figured the food coloring would wash off. It didn't. And now I have very red hands; my fingers are all pink and around my nails it looks like someone tried to yank them out with pliers. I put the gloves out to dry outside, and they looked like two small forlorn dead animals, and I their murderer.

And then I got a bloody nose. My nose was running and I wiped it, and I couldn't tell at first that it was blood because I'D DYED MY FUCKING HANDS RED. It's stopped now, I think.

I'm going to be in Atlanta during Mabon, the autumn equinox. That means that if I want to do a ritual it has to be today. So I am going to. I am very tired so first I will have a nap; I was up baking last night, some of the food for my festival. I am having a feast of baked apples, some cider, some carrots, some corn, some of the banana bread I baked, and then these cheesy things called luminous crescents, which I have yet to make but intend to do soon after finishing my nap. :) As you can see I'm not really doing my diet today, but holidays are just a bit exempt.

Hopefully I will get to work on my anime costume, clean my apartment, do my Mabon ritual, and have a less dumb day. That would be nice.

Hmmm...

You Can't Go There Anymore was deleted because "The fact that the name of something that never existed became a pet phrase of yours is not noding material nor does anyone care."

I'm curious about this, because it didn't exactly strike me as one of my worse nodes (and believe me, I've got 'em). It was based on one of my favorite topics, urban exploration. It had a reputation of 7 (with no negative votes), and was well-integrated before it was deleted. Obviously other folks thought it was noding material, because they cared enough to upvote it.

And as far as noding things that don't exist goes, unicorns, splotchypines and pants filled with elves never existed, either.

As Debbie said: "Everything is supposed to be a database of knowledge and what good is trying to node everything if you are purposely going to leave something out?"

Indeed, what's the point of calling it Everything if it isn't about everything?

Ohwell.

XP Isn't Everything.

Well, my first indication that this country is slowly returning to normal came in today's paper, as columnist George Will blamed the recent terrorist attacks on the Clinton administration. Huzzah!

Also, the nations of the world are politely letting us know that, while they truly meant all those flowers and candles and things last week, they are reluctant to go charging saber-first into other people's countries without some sort of concrete proof that they are involved in the aforementioned attacks. As usual, I am of two minds about this.

Meanwhile, my grandmother's move to an assisted care home has not stopped the ongoing drama of her old age; apparently she's still falling down all the time, and my family still has to drive down and deal with it each time. (Where's the "assisted care" part of this equation?) She's an iron-willed old Southern matriarch, and if I had to hazard a guess as to what's going on, I'd say she's refusing to use a walker.

A co-worker gave me lots of delicious food to take home. In five minutes I will bicycle home with my backpack bulging, and later I will deposit my PayPal check from my recent eBay sales. I'm that much closer to buying a sound card, or a boxed set of Mystery Science Theater 3000 videos. Or something else.

Well, this day threw a few curve balls at me (nothing major, merely things that upset the general drudgery of my daily life).

To start with, it seemed that time was not behaving itself, this shall not be mentioned again until I can form some kind of concrete evidence that I wasn't just hallucinating or until I get a new watch.

I also encountered some kind of 'mega-borging', that lasted nigh on two hours (although apparently this is no record, with borgings lasting days in some cases). An interesting side effect of which appeared to be immunity to further borgings. I did not have the time nor the inclination to test this theory, and hopefully will avoid such a situation in the future.

Perhaps the most disruptive occurrence of the day was a new fear. I got in the lift, as usual for every morning, and it was not long before I noticed slight difficulty breathing. This concerned me. I've never been truly comfortable in a lift, but it couldn't be the onset of claustrophobia - I have little to no trouble with crowds of people seemingly intent on crushing me to death, or with enclosed spaces.

So I thought to myself, why should I have trouble now, when I'm trapped in a poorly ventilated metallic coffin, suspended only by thin cables of metal which could succumb to the stress laid upon them at any moment?

I'm not sure, but I'm fairly certain people noticed my haste as I left the elevator prematurely and hurriedly.

I've only taken the lifts from the basement since then (no other way up), though I'm sure the extra stair climbing is doing me some good. But I really must wonder, does walking burn more calories than cold fear?


Update

It's been nearly a month, and I'm relatively over my new fear.

The only problem I had was when I decided to bite the bullet and save time going up a few floors. I'm convinced the sadist who got on after me knew I wasn't exactly relaxed and asked "Room for one more?"

Not exactly the kind of thing to put you at ease.

We've had so many minutes of silence. All of which have been respectful. But I don't want silence. Right now, it's not silence that will soothe my soul.

I'd like to have a minute of rage. One single minute where all of us in the world who are amazed, stunned, apalled, hurt, saddened, and angry about the terrorist attacks yell in unison. A moment of rage. We need to let it out. (And hey - better to take it out as a group scream than as an attack on a foreign country.)

Life returns to a semblance of normality. -and- How I got Achilles Tendonitis

I think I have begun to adapt to my new home in the friend zone. I was a lot less depressed today, and felt more like my usual old self.

The depression only sets in when I chat with Allie. When I see her in person, I don't tend to feel bad, but for some reason, whenever I talk with her online, it only brings me pain.

I think I managed to make a new friend today. I was juggling the soccer ball with a guy I didn't know in PE, a few days ago. He isn't in my class, so I didn't see him every day.

One day at lunch though, I saw him writing something. I assumed that he was using the opportunity to finish some homework assignment due later that day, and asked him about it.

It turns out that John writes fantasy. He is working on his first book.

I get excited about this, because I am a fantasy enthusiast. I have tried to pen some of my ideas before, but I have some difficulties narrating a story, that I might node later.

Today we played some more soccer, and then we talked for a while about Forgotten Realms before I went home.

When I got home, I sat down to work on my MUD. But before I started to code, I realized I still hadn't solved that little inheritance problem my objects kept having. I asked some of my coder friends, but the ones that weren't busy at the time didn't have a clue. It wasn't solved in any of my books, either.

Just as I was leaving to go to Borders with my dad, Tina came running down the street. Apparently, AT&T messed up again, because she couldn't call my house, "That number has been disconnected.".

I apologized that I couldn't stay, then left with my dad. I looked through the fantasy section quickly, but saw nothing that caught my eye. I then proceeded to the computer section, and skimmed through all the C++ books until I found my answer, explained in a margin in three lines of code.

Afterwards, I went to Tae Kwan Do. The session progressed regularly, until I was supposed to bludgeon a pad with a jump roundhouse kick. As I was pivoting my ankle, a shooting pain went up through my Achilles Tendon.

I informed my instructor that something was wrong, and that I would need to sit out for a bit. He immediately got concerned when I described the problem, and instructed me to see a doctor immediately. I was more than slightly freaked out.

I went home, and told my mom about the problem. She also had an "oh no" expression when I showed her which tendon hurt, but didn't seem as worried as the instructor had. She told me to ice it and go to bed, and see how it felt in the morning.

I hope I don't have this damaging condition.

I don't want to stop walking.

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