We had a cross country race today. The course was suppose to be a really fast course, meaning that you were able to run one of your fastest times of the season there. It had no hills and was mostly run on the fairways of a golf course.

The past few days my knee has been bothering me, but it hasn't been anything I couldn't run through. I really wanted to run today and figured if I ran the warm up really slow, and didn't start too fast, I would be ok.

I ran the warm up with the other girls, but didn't make it real far before my knee started to hurt somewhat. I walked back, figuring I didn't to hurt myself on the warm up. Uncertain of if it would be smarter not to run and hope my knee recovers or to run, I asked my coach. He told me to run and see what I felt like at the mile mark. If I couldn't handle the pain, I could drop out there. He promised me no one would call me a quitter. I really want to run our race on Tuesday because it is the second of three races that establishes who gets top conference standings. I doubt I will be eligible for "All Conference" recognition, but I want the chance. If you don't run all three races you have no chance of getting "All Conference."

I started the race and my knee was a little sore. I figured if I kept running my knee would warm up, and I would be able to run the race no problem. Just past the half-mile mark, some lady took my picture. I had never seen her before. I later found out that she works for a running web site and would put my picture on their webpage. Just past there, I got a sharp, almost excruciating pain in my knee. I started to walk, hoping the pain would subside and I could finish the race.

Once I start a race, I always finish it. If you are fine enough to start you are fine enough to finish. Yes, you may have to jog or walk a little, but you can finish the race. Once in a while, there are extenuating circumstances. Things like asthma and falling so badly you are bleeding can't always be avoiding. Slight cuts and bruises or pain, doesn't usually stop anyone.

So there I am walking, hoping I can run soon. I hate walking during a race. It makes me feel like I'm a slacker who can't even run a 5k race! These girls walk past me and try to encourage me to jog. After they pass I try to jog and the pain returns, as bad, if not worse than before. As long as I walk, the pain is just a soreness that I can handle. But you can't walk a 5k race. I get to the mile and no one is around. My best guess would be it had taken me 15 minutes or so to go the first mile. I'm in the middle of nowhere so the only way to get back to my team was to keep walking the course. Soon I come to a turn off and walk off the course. I have now officially dropped out of the race.

My coach is totally understanding as to why I quit. He usually isn't real big into the whole "well, my leg hurt" excuse. You're running, and it's going to hurt. Today though he realized I wasn't joking around. I was told to ice it and take the next two days off, till the race on Tuesday.

I was walking to go get some ice and found that my knee hurt too much to walk down a hill. I got the ice and sat down to ice my knee. Our coach's daughter was at the race and she asked me what was wrong. I explained that I had hurt myself running. She hung out with me for a while and decided to walk to the bus with me, so I could get some food. I hadn't eaten in about 6 or so hours, because if I eat before my race, I'll throw up. The four year old, could walk faster than me! I got an apple and went back to where our team was on a tarp. I sat back down and iced my knee. That is pretty much where I stayed for the rest of the meet.

My knee didn't hurt when I walked as long as I didn’t bend my knee. When the races were done, I hobbled to the bus. Everyone conveyed their sympathy, but I assured them that it didn't hurt when I hobbled.

We got to the restaurant to eat and I decided to hop down the stairs of the bus. I'm sure everyone has done this, where you grabbed the handrails and hop down the stairs on one foot. Plop. Plop. Boom. AHHH. I slipped and slide down the stairs. I soon realized I was the one that had screamed. I had screamed in fear of what my knee was going to feel like. Somehow I hadn't bent it enough for it to hurt. My friend walking down the steps behind me wouldn't believe that I was ok, till I got up and started walking to the restaraunt. I was so thankful for not being hurt, but also very embarrest.

On the bus ride home, I iced my knee a few times. Despite the ice and ibuprofen I had taken, my knee had still started to swell. Now my knee just hurts a little.

I'm thinking I hurt my knee at the last race we had. That was last Monday. Since this my knee has hurt a little more each day. I'm just hoping I can run Tuesday. The bad thing is that my knee only hurts when I run (or so I hope that will be the case tomorrow), so I won't know till Tuesday how I feel.

I figure the worst I can do is to start the race on Tuesday and realize that my knee is still not healed. Then I'll go to the doctor and see what he has to say about it. For now, I'll follow my coach's advice and get some rest.

experiment in the human condition: day 3

Yesterday I was just tired. Today, exhaustion.

I have a hard time admitting it's even "today". I've not yet slept, and I feel like a zombie.

I am an insomniac, and I frequently have these spells, of varying length. At the worst, I've gone 96 hateful hours without sleep.

Alot of people tell me that they are jealous of the fact that I can stay up for long long periods of time without sleep. It's not that I can, it's that I have no choice. I'm sure people were jealous that Prometheus was able to regenerate. However, strapped to the rock, with the vultures eating his liver; I've no doubt he saw it another way.

It's the strangest affliction, and I never really thought about it much when I was younger; I thought all kids had a hard time sleeping. I had no idea it would go on like this.

The graveyard shift doesn't help. Now my body tells me I should be awake in the day, and my brain tells me I should be awake at night.

Worse than all these things, it annihilates my ability to think clearly and coherently. I work in the information industry, and this is probably the worst thing that could happen

But, on to another subject.

It's only day 3 of the experiment in the human condition, and I'm already discovering a few things. First of all, Dannye comes off to me more like a zen-master than anyone I've "met". I'm really quite impressed (even though now I sound like a fan-boy).

Second, day logging is strange. I still don't fully have the grasp of it. What I think pains me most is the fact that you rarely get the opportunity to watch other peoples soft-links to your writing.
Not only that, but it's incredibly difficult to really capture in text what I'm thinking. It's much easier when there's a point. But this... this is me saying "here's what I did today, here's what I'm thinking right now, here's what's going on in my life". It's odd... plain old information is always much easier to process, to make palatable.

Third, in my other arms of this experiment, I've noticed that the more open I become on the 'net, the more closed off I become in meatspace. I wonder if this has to do with some sort of balance that people need to keep. I'll have to keep that in mind when interviewing people.

I've always had a hard time finishing writing, so today, I'll use a bit of my main man, Robert Frost:
Quoted from: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

about this experiment... i'm currently trying to decide where the best place is to keep my findings.. right now i'm leaning towards using my home node until i've compiled enough information. however, i'm certainly open to suggestion.

I almost got hit by a car today. It was a brand new car too; it would have been a shame to muss it up with my hot, steaming, entrails.

So, I'm crossing the street (at a crosswalk mind you), when a silver car in front of me starts to take a left hand turn. I raise my hand in hope that the dumb bastard (as he shall be refered to, henceforth]) will slow the fuck down. Well, TDB is blind. I manage to jump out of the way (like a ninja) by a meter or two and the dumb bastard is still moving at full tilt. I do an about face and consider giving him the bird, but then I reconsider, since it's not a good idea to aggravate someone who nearly hit you with his car.

I turn around, feeling remarkably calm, and a previously unnoticed frat boy working on his tan on the other side of the road says:"I can be a witness if you want to sue."

I have managed to survive three weeks of school. All I have to show for it so far is a horrid cold and several empty bottles of medicine, stories of frat boys treating me like a humping post on the dance floor, and the fact that makeup is a luxury I have no time for. This is the college life! I'm loving it so far.

Some other stuff I've learned:

  • the water pressure in the shower is so incredibly forceful that I have bruises.
  • sometimes your roommates bring strange men home, but it's best not to ask questions.
  • laundry takes a lot longer to do than one would think, so it's fine to put everything together in one big load to save time.
  • frat guys like to breath down the back of your neck while dancing until you kick them in the nuts and leave.
  • your umbrella will be your best friend.
  • never let roommates borrow your stuff without asking for collateral or a security deposit equal to or greater than the value of the object which s/he is borrowing.
  • HIDE YOUR SKITTLES. They are precious are disappear quickly. Roommates also steal other food, claiming ignorance when confronted. Label your stuff in the fridge.
  • community bathrooms aren’t that bad if you wear flip flops at all times, avoid the puddles, bring your own soap, and don’t touch anything.
  • contact paper is a necessity on every surface of everything in the room. I don’t even want to mention what I found had been left behind from god knows when.*
  • you don’t have to be 21 to get alcohol if you have friends that have fake IDs or, better yet, friends who really are 21 and need a drinking buddy. Too bad I don’t drink. Very often. Yeah.
I came home for the first time this weekend. I’m glad to see all the familiar things, my pets and my room, my family. I got to hear the usual story of my brother getting into the usual sort of situations I have come to expect from him. The latest is this:
Adam was blamed for stealing almost $3000 from the school’s art department after the teacher in charge of the money left it on her desk, for all to see, and went to lunch. It was gone when she returned. Adam, being the resident trouble-maker of the high school, along with the fact that he was recently caught stealing an electronic scale from his chemistry class, was the first person to be pointed at. He didn’t do it. He doesn’t lie to me, and he told me (in tears) that he didn’t do it. Of course, no one else believed him, least of all the teacher who lost the money. She ended up having to cough up the money herself to pay everyone back. Let’s just say she’s had a grudge against my brother for a while.

Anyway, this teacher is not shy when relieving herself of emotion. She blurted out one day that she just knew Adam (my brother) was the one who took the money. She said this in front of a class of thirty students. One of these students, by the name of Jason, took it personally. Her went after Adam the next day and threatened to beat him up along with several other unpleasant things. Stuff started looking ugly, but it was broken up. The next week school was out for the summer, and all was forgotten.

Fall 2001: a renewal of feelings. Jason harassed Adam some more, and Adam being the manly 16 year old boy that he is agreed to meet Jason over at Riley Trails (a park when most of the hicks hang out to smoke after school). So they headed on over there after school, neither one really wanting to fight. Jason has a good 80 pounds on Adam, so he clearly had the physical advantage. However, Jason is a fat while Adam is a soccer and football player. Something happened, Adam was pushed into Jason, thrown into a headlock and slammed to the ground skull first.

He lost two pints of blood almost instantly. Everyone was freaked out – except for Jason. He kept kicking Adam in the ribs, in the face, everywhere. Adam says he doesn’t remember getting up, but he does remember beating the shit out of Jason. A commotion was raised, police and ambulances arrived, Adam was taken away in a pool of blood and dirt. Jason was badly bruised and knocked around, but his head wasn’t gushing blood so he was sent home. Adam got six huge metal staples in his scalp to hold it back together. He’s very proud of them. Jason was suspended from school indefinitely, but not for sending Adam to the hospital. He ran into a teacher that was eight months pregnant, hit a girl, threatened to kill Adam, and then swore at the Dean. I think he should have been expelled for being such a moron.

That was this week’s drama. There’s always something new going on with Adam.

I have a horrible cold. My voice turned up missing two days ago when I awoke. It is still gone. I miss it dearly. Even though I do not exercise it as much as most, I do rely on it every now and again for communicational purposes. I’ve been drinking cough syrup and eating Halls all day, so hopefully I’ll be fixed by tomorrow. Or the next day.

My mom said I have lost weight since going to school. I defensively said I’ve been eating two Belgium waffles for breakfast every morning, along with two more buffet-style-all-you-can-eat meals on top of that. Plus snacks in between. Mom then pointed out that I’m also walking everywhere and climbing eight flights of stairs to get to my room whenever I need to get something. She has a point. I don’t want to lose weight. At least I know I shouldn’t want to. But when she said I looked thinner, a thrill went through me. A shiver of delight. Something inside my head was utterly satisfied with those three words: You’ve lost weight. I don’t understand it. Will I never be normal again? Fourteen years of normal eating was destroyed by ten months of disordered thoughts, which has turned into what looks like a life-long problem of mine.

On a lighter note, I visited a Renaissance festival a few weekends ago. Some man wearing tights kissed my hand while reciting poetry (simultaneously igniting the rage of my boyfriend standing behind me), and I found a hair net made for long hair. It’s a black headband with a black mesh material attached to the back in the shape and size of a plastic grocery bag. It was a perfect fit. I was reluctant to don my new apparel, however, because I had gotten so many comments on how long my hair was. I don’t care how many times I hear it – having my hair complimented is the only compliment in the entire world that I know how to accept without feeling wrong. Just one of my many quirks, I suppose.

Aaron was looking at swords while I shopped, while Seth ran around wearing his newly bought nubbies. Nubbies are two lumps of fired clay, perhaps something else, in the shape of miniature horns. They are threaded onto a cord and tied to one’s head. Seth was positively adorable with his on. He wore them out to Steak ‘n’ Shake last night, in fact.

I am sickly and should get sleep or drink water or eat some vitamins. Farewell.

*: I changed my mind. I found three used Q-tips and a moldy bar of soap on the top shelf on my closet. There was a sticky red detergent-like substance covering the top shelf of my roommate’s closet. We found countless Popsicle sticks in corners and stickers on the walls that had been painted over. Then there were the drawers… ugh.

She was quiet on the way home from the party, despite her earlier enthusiasm at getting home and being held all night. She got annoyed at her faulty cd player, and didn't smile at my gentle caresses like she usually does. I tried to make her smile with my goofy jokes, but it didn't seem to work. She had been tired after work, so I put it down to that.

I noticed that she didn't hold my hand all the way down the stairs to my room out the back, like she usually does. I would hold it out for her, but she either half-heartedly held it and then let go as we came to an obstacle, or not take it at all. Well, it was dark, so perhaps she didn't see it.

I let her into my room, and went up to the house to the toilet. The light was off and she was in bed when I came down, which was also strange; we usually play a few little flirting games and undress each other before bed, even if we're too tired to have any further fun.

I climbed into bed and put my arm around her; it was a warm night, and the heat of our touching bodies was slightly uncomfortable, but as usual, I ignored it for the greater pleasure of holding the one that I love. I drifted off to sleep.

I woke a few hours later to find she had moved from my reach, and when I put my arm out to her, a bundle of blankets was in the way. I pushed my way past them until I was touching her. 'I just want to be wrapped up completely, like a cocoon.' she said, half asleep. I let her have her way, content with our legs slightly touching, savouring the heat her body was giving off. More sleep.

She got up to get a drink of water, and when she got back in bed, I tried to put my hand on her side, my leg against hers. She picked my hand up, moved it from her body, then closed the blankets around her, separating her from me. My stomach sank as she turned away from me. I turned to face the wall, the memory of her pushing my hand away bouncing around in my head; she'd never done anything like that before, she's always loved my touch, my hands. 'Why doesn't she want me touching her? Have I done something wrong?'

The insecure, paranoid thoughts bounced back and forth in my head, increasing in strength until they brought forth silent tears. I fidgeted, hoping I would get her attention and she would ask what was wrong. I wanted to say something, but what would I say? I didn't even know if I could speak, my words would be choked as I tried to push them out. Tossing and turning next to her, trying to discreetly get her attention but not to disturb her if she was sleeping, I worried, and cried.

I placed my hand gently on her leg, on top of the blankets, softly so as not to be obvious, then lay there as if trying to sleep; I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. She moved, turned to face me; 'You're so cute, you can't not touch me'. She hadn't realised the effect her rejection had had on me.

Her arms reached around my neck, she kissed me gently. 'I just don't feel like being touched tonight, I shouldn't have come over, I wish I'd gone home'. I managed to choke out a 'why?'; if this was the first time she realised how upset I'd got, she didn't react particularly strongly. I held her close, relieved at her touch, relieved that I could cry in front of her, relieved that she knew how much anguish she'd caused me in the last hour, unintentionally. I'd never cried in front of her before. The next couple of hours were a blur of kisses and touches, holding her tight, not wanting to let her go for anything. A blur of my quiet questions, and her distracted answers. 'How can you understand what I'm feeling, if I don't understand it myself?' I just wanted her to feel better, wanted her to feel like she belonged.

She had to leave early; she had work to do and she was behind in it. I dressed her, my eyes downcast; she didn't seem to understand completely how I was feeling. I lay with my head in her lap until she decided she had to leave. She kissed me, and I held her. As she got up, I looked into her eyes and willed her to say the words that would make me happy, the words that would make it alright for her to leave me like this. She walked out the door, and I cried out of helplessness, out of confusion, and out of sheer love for the woman who had just hurt me so much.

I've probably made this sound a bit more dramatic than it was, but not overly so. She has times when she doesn't want anybody, when she wants to be alone, when she's questioning her life, her friends, and occasionally, she questions her relationship with me, which hurts. I wish I could be there for her when she's in this state of mind, but I don't seem to be able to help her.

We've talked since then and discussed what we were both feeling and why, and all is right again, as expected... but during that time last night, my insecurities got the better of me, the paranoid thoughts just took over. One of my shortcomings.

back to September 21, 2001 | on to October 8, 2001
*cracks knuckles*

Wow. I haven't done one of these daylog things in a long time... Let's see if I still know how to do it...

It's Sunday, September 23rd, 7:15am, and I'm still sitting here at cafe coco. I've found an ethernet jack behind the obscenely out-of-place oxygen bar, so I'm on a cablemodem connection, sitting on the porch. Rock on.

Last night, I woke up around 10:30pm, popped my medication for my bronchitis that I acquired Monday at work. Watched Chill Factor on Showtime, then called my friend Holly*. Holly says that if I want to see her tonight, I have to get my ass out to the "cafe bla-bla". Now. I jump up, throw on some clothes, and head out.

Upon arriving at the cafe, I'm greeted by Holly, looking beautiful as usual, and her friend Amber*. Give my hugs, and we go order food. Spoticus, as he likes to call himself, decides to join us. We place our order, sit down, and Holly whips out her photo album. Mind you, photos are always nice to look at and remember good times with friends, but these photos are of her. Some are baby photos, and some are school photos, but none the less, she's always been attractive from what I see.

Food arrives: Pizza. While Spoticus meticulously tries to find ways to hit on Holly, I enjoy my pepperoni and mushroom personal pizza. Now mind you, I have an intrest in Holly, but I let him have his fun. I found his attempts to be quite amusing. After Holly finishes her pizza, Holly and Amber decide it's time to go to Murfreesboro to have a few drinks at one of her friends houses. At about the same time, Nightshadow walks in, gets his coffee, and sits down. At this point, we share our jestive pokes at each other, and then simmer down for a night of conversation with other cafe go-ers.

Now, the reason I came out to cafe coco this evening was to see Holly, since I quite obviously overslept my arranged billiards meeting with Nightshadow earlier in the day. Now that they've left, I start getting bored, and begin singing songs from the jukebox. During the course of said singing, I accidentally toss a cigarette butt into Nightshadow's coffee. As I go in to get him another coffee, I notice the cafe has filled up with all sorts of beautiful women. Some being vandy candy, some being just run of the mill girls. I also notice that Spoticus is hitting on just about all of them. I grin.

After Nightshadow leaves, I am left with nobody I know here except the aforementioned "womanizer". No real intelligent conversation is exchanged, just a private count, that some of us have designed to designate those hotties that we see. I end up at 63 by the time everyone leaves.

Before Spoticus leaves, I notice the ethernet jack behind the oxygen bar, and make a cable for it. After one unsuccessful crimping of RJ-45, here I am. Writing a daylog. Watching the morning people come and go.

Pretty boring, eh?

* - Names were changed to protect people mentioned in this daylog. If you find it obvious who I'm talking about, then you probally know me; Keep it to yourself.
Sometimes you realize that you matter after all, or rather your innate will comes through in your life and suddenly the 'stuck' sense of daily life shifts and changes and you feel like things are moving again, and that you have purpose, meaning.

That happened to me today, I found myself walking into a mosque, almost totally empty, and I realised that I had to get things moving, something in my heart told me this, and I listened to it.

I met up with Azhar, quite by accident and together we walked through the local neighbourhoods in Belfast looking for muslims to invite to the meeting that I sort of had in mind at the time, and at the next prayer meeting we found a large number of young men willing and sitting in a circle, with an attentive look on their faces. I exhaled and started to speak, the words coming from somewhere deep in my mind and also touching my heart, and sometime halfway through my speaking I noticed that all the eyes were on me and I had their total undivided attention, in their eyes was a sense of recognition, and it was the good kind. The meeting went well and we finished quickly after decisions were taken. I left feeling more optimistic and so did the others.

It's odd how the smallest of things can change the atmosphere, and quite encouraging.

"Bless me Father for I have sinned. It's been a month since my last confession."

And here we are; confessions of a teenage male, desperate in his attempt to grab your attention with the perfect opening line, yearning for you to read and understand his clumsy way. Does my openness shock you? Are you puzzled by my honesty and seeming WYSIWYG appearance? You say, NO? Clichéd you say? Finding my overuse of question marks irksome? It's only an attempt to draw you in closer. Close enough for you to see how much I need other people to think I am worthwhile. But it's not working at all. I know this. I know because I always try too hard, and no matter how much I try to be myself and to seem interesting, it backfires. I end up sounding like a friend who once sarcastically exclaimed (in a forlorn voice):

"I *sob* just don't *sob* know what's wrong with me, *whimper*,*sniff*, I just keep looking for sympathy.....*expectant face*"

So I come to analyse what all this forthcoming 'honesty' means. Is it just attention seeking? Is it yet another carefully constructed persona for me to display in order to make friends and influence people? Or maybe it is (and obviously this is the option I'd favour because it actually allows me a modicum of integrity) that I feel undefined, and need to for once and for all, set the record straight about who I am. What it boils down to is this: I need reassurance and friendship and fuck.....

I can't write this any more, I thought I could reveal my heart, I reckoned I was strong enough to leave myself open and vulnerable. But I'm not. I'll have to do things the old fashioned way, win people over by hard work. Jokes and tomfoolery like the old days. I'll pretend to be confident, I'll act the clown. That way people don't victimise you, you don't get downtrodden for looking downtrodden. I'm not actually bursting with self-confidence though. And I don't have the self control to write a perfectly measured article about it on a public website. I realise that the above breakdown in coherence probably seems well rehearsed and suitably timed, but it wasn't, I'm writing off the top of my head now, instead of trying to seem rational and thought out. Trying to look like I could analyse my reasons for wanting people to like me so that people would like me. It's all a trick! Ignore me please, I'm just looking for sympathy.

So I find myself yet again on the 23rd of the month writing my heart and soul into a piece that no-one will read. The 23rd is good, it's poignant and it makes me want to talk. 7 months. 7 fucking months. I don't know how I got this far, but it's a miracle that I did. I'm not sure how balanced I am, how far ahead or behind, everyone else that was affected by his death, I am. It doesn't matter I suppose, because I am a new person. (My mother just came in there talking about University and the coming week, but I'll get back to that in a minute.) It's weird how emotional upheaval affects your creative processes, so many of the songs I have written were written or completed after his death, while I was completely FUCTUP. Some of the ones I began before his death obviously have two parts. A pre-Feb23rd01 part and a post-Feb23rd01 part.

I wonder if I'll continue to write these day logs every month, it'd be a strange experiment. I originally hadn't intended ever writing day logs, they seemed silly. But I've begun to warm to them, I can see their benefits. I get to vent, and anyone who cares gets to see my innards. I hope that everyone reading this is well intentioned, I'm sure few have read this far. (look more sympathy grabbing!). I think it might also be useful for people to see how much a person (me) is affected by the death of a close friend. It's not something that goes away after three months just because people stop giving you the special Handle-With-Care treatment. I'm still very much affected by Phil's death, particularly the circumstances.

I remember reading one of the Read-This-If-You-Know-What's-Good-For-You nodes, when I arrived here first. It said that I should be comfortable for ANYONE to read my writing on E2, and the thing I remembered was that it said I should imagine my children reading my words. Well as of now I think that if my children read this they would realise what all children must eventually realise about their parents, that they are not infallible. That they are flawed, and scared and that like most people they haven't a fucking clue what is going on. So this is ME, confused, confusing and wondering if honesty really is the best policy after all.

I had intended this to be easy to read.


I realise it isn't. Mostly because I abandoned preplanning somewhere around the collapse of the second paragraph. Random train-of-thought type writing might be fun for me, but I doubt that it is good to read. If it is let me know. This is honest though. A better sort of honest than the pre-pondered type I was planning. I suppose I'm trying to justify the fact that I'm treating this like a diary, which apparently is a bad thing to do. I'm sorry. E2 is not a therapist. E2 is not a therapist. E2 is not.....

So if you know me, I'm sorry if I surprised you. If you don't (yet), please stay tuned and follow the exciting adventures of Emmanuel Stone every month, right here. (I'm hoping for a cult following).

"We apologise for the lapse in transmission we will shortly return to scheduled programming:

And now for the news in brief: "

I move to Dublin in less than a week. I have been working for a month and I am well adjusted, I have saved IR£300. I spent my first paycheque of IR£400 on a ticket to see Eels on October 14th at the Olympia and on a bill from Trinity College Dublin for IR£365. I may earn up to another £190 depending on how this week goes. My father was due to go to Cyprus today you see, but what with all this stuff going on at the moment with aeroplanes, he decided to stay at home rather than risk getting stranded there, 20 miles from a British army base during an attack on Afghanistan. So to compensate for his lost (and well deserved holiday), I may accompany him on a trip somewhere local. I'm not suggesting that I'm any substitute for a beautiful beach, but I suggested that I finish work early in order to have a break myself, and not to leave him on his own.

Even a break will only delay the inevitable fact that I must move to Dublin, and start a new life. Shit, I'm scared.

I've just seen A.I.
I liked it.

I've read the nodes on this film, and I guess they were all written at least a couple of weeks ago; so I'll just say that the obvious poignancy (too lightweight a word but I have no others to hand) of the Manhattan scenes added an entirely different dimension to the "end of the world" storyline here. The twin towers were still there but everything else - just about - was gone, submerged and desolate. Somehow it didn't seem too awkward. Everyone in the theatre was probably thinking exactly the same thing as the skyline hoved into view; but it merely added an extra layer of reflection, not of embarassment for the bad timing or the wretchedness of the film distributors. It was OK.

And the film? Lots to take in and think about - I'll probably go and read Aldiss now! I hadn't realised the "aliens" were robots - perhaps it doesn't matter because its not made blatant enough. The mother-son parts were emotional enough with the right imagination (or experience) and I was left with the feeling I ought to see it again to pick up all the bits I missed first time around.

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