Dancing in ecstasy to Ewok music

Well, I just got off the phone to my girlfriend of 1 week. And you know what? It's crazy, but she's still my girlfriend. I was convinced I was going to get dumped. However, I was resolved to have my corpse facing the enemy, as it were. Grim determination was on my face, my fingers were on the buttons of the phone...

But to make any sense of it all I had to go back, back to 4 months ago (Can anyone smell Max Payne in the air?) when I was holidaying in an Asian commune with my best friend Ken. Yes, it's a long story. Yes, it could possibly be considered interesting. But that's not the point. The point is I feel a need to write something, anything, to get across my delight. Anyway, 4 months ago.

There was this girl. Yeah, that's right. I said girl. Her name was Krista and I'd been flirting on and off with her for, well, about a month. I didn't really like her, I was just bored with celibacy. Annnnnnnyway, the first time I met her she was at the movies with an incredibly good looking girlfriend of hers (sadly, not in the bisexual sense) called McAra. Wow. She was spec-tac-ular. For all of you fans of American Beauty, think of when Lester first met Angela at the Basketball game, only less sexual. For all of you Lord of the Rings fans, think of when Grima Wormtongue was describing Eowyn, except less creepily pedophillic. It's not a word, I hear you say? Fuck you. Too happy for that.

Annnnnyway, I tried a lot of things to get McAra to notice me. I fell down stairs, I picked up the air hockey puck when it was needed, and I was an all around silent nice guy. Strangely enough, we fell out of contact (that's not entirely true, seeing as I didn't speak one word to her while we were there) for quite a number of months. Untill 4 months ago...

You may not be aware of this, but there are these great little programs called Instant Messangers which I was using to talk to all the people back home from my little Asian commune. So, I get to talking with Krista and we recall with fondness that magical day at the movies.

"Do you remember McAra?" she asks me. Do I... Do I remember McAra? OF COURSE I REMEMBER MCARA! "Do you want her email?" I want it more than I want a Liv Tyler and Natalie Portman fanboy sandwich. I get the email. I talk to her. I swoon. Can guys swoon? I swooned. We hit it off. We connected on so many levels. We talked about God for an hour once, for all the good it did. The intensity of our conversation was amazing. I knew it as well as I know that I'm not a very intelligent person: I was in like. I'm not THAT unintelligent as to believe I was in love. For christ's sake, I'm only 15 and I'd just "met" her, in a weird, online, nerdy sort of fashion. We have the same taste in music, movies, etc, etc. All the cliches that for once were coming true. I start talking about my eagerness to see the sequel to Analyse This, Analyse That.

Guess what? She did, too. And you know what? I asked her out from more than 3000 kilometers away.

Guess what? She said yes.

Fast forward to two weeks later. I'd been talking to her continuously throughout my stay and I was really, really excited about our date. I bought her a gift from the Sydney Markets (Ok, I admit, my so-called Asian commune was my friend's house in Sydney), a little carved wooden horse. I gave it to her, and my first words to her in real life were nothing short of Casanova-esque genius.

"Sorry," I fumbled. "My pockets are a bit tight." After much struggling the horse was free. She called it Arod. We saw the movie. I used the old yawn-arm-around-the-girl trick, evoking much humour. We went for walkies through the CBD, and went back to my place. Nothing happened. She caught a bus, and that was that. There would be no more dates.

Of course, I didn't know it yet.

We were both very eager. Soon, I was going to ask her out. But, alas, this time, it wasn't meant to be. Another guy, who she had been romancing before me, came along, and I was thrust to the back of the stage, and forced to wait in the wings. I asked her out. She said no. This guy, whom we'll call Mr Silly, asked her out, soon after. She said yes.

It was a pretty rough period for me. I played a lot of Gamecube to mask my unhappiness and I moped around the neighbourhood, occasionally slinking into the wilderness for day-long periods of solitude.

To make a long story short, things with Mr Silly didn't work out. I spoke to her regulary on the phone while she was still going out with him and we developed a really, really solid friendship. Then one night, we were both in bed, conversing via-telephone when she says something I didn't quite catch. She won't repeat it, but I have a gut feeling what it was: She likes me, too (I forgot to mention, I still liked her a lot at this point, despite Mr Silly).

2 weeks later, she confirms it. 2 weeks after that, she breaks up with Mr Silly. And 2 weeks after that, which would be this time last week, I asked her out.

Guess what? She said yes.

It would have to be one of the highlights of my life so far. I danced dances of the gods, I sung fair songs of happiness, all was good.

She's a rower, which entails sitting on your ass, pulling sticks and going backwards, but it's really a lot more intense than it sounds. The dedication required of rowers is astounding, and they all meet the challenge exceedingly well. The Head of the River is a wonderful day: all the schools in my state get together at the best rowing lake in the world for a day's rowing. For the first time in my life, I went. Because of McAra. I loved it. I didn't see her much, she was competing for the better part of the day. She won a lot. That was cool.

I then saw her again 2 days ago. We went for a walk in the park, I held her hand on the way. When we got to the playground though, something was wrong. We sat on the swings, and talked. But it was shallow talk. We couldn't connect. We went over to the playhouse, but she wouldn't sit next to me. We went over to a bench. I sat on the end, making it very obvious that she was meant to sit next to me.

She stood.

I was worried beyond all worry. I was shitscared, I honestly thought on the way home I would lose her. I couldn't help but feel sad that I would lose this girl, whom I liked above all others. I came home, and, distraught, I tell her friend what happened. Her friend, that night, calls her up.

Through an exchange of mobile phone messages, I gather that McAra is very confused. Hell, they weren't the clearest text messages and I was struggling to get the gist of it all, but that was it. I knew I'd lost her now. No hope remained in my heart and I was ready to give it all away.

But I was resolved to have my corpse facing the enemy.

I rang her tonight. At 7:30. Her family are just about to have dinner, and her mother, who I met at this rowing meet, informs me very politely that McAra will call me back. Fast forward half an hour. I am pacing madly about the house, screaming at the phone to ring. I don't think I've ever been that stressed, and I doubt I will be for a long time. She rings.

Well, we talked for about 15 minutes before she had to go. She didn't want to break up with me. She was having trouble opening up to me, and I am willing to wait as long as it takes to make it work. So, as I gather, is she.

I got off the phone, whacked on the Ewok celebration music from Return of the Jedi and danced like a bitch. I'm not a big dancer. But hey, just once. It's not as if anyone was looking. That was one of the happiest moments of my life.

It might seem stupid to you, the reader, whoever you are. Simple, even. But sometimes the simplest things can bring the most happiness. So much emphasis gets put on the importance of the begining, the importance of the end. I think people should concentrate more on the middle. After all, that's what makes the memories.

I won't forget this.

fuck 'em if they can't take a joke... right?

this odd feeling like peaceful, calm, soft almost.. breathing and too aware of eyelids.

it's just this - i'll be anywhere a while and i won't see anyone for a long time. and i won't really care. but i think i start to empty out, gather dust? everything feels like too quiet and this odd sadness finds its way in..

and i don't really care. and it's really kind of nice, sometimes, when it's this quiet. and you're all white noise and the world is all white noise and i forget how to speak. how to form words. because i don't want to.

i think that people talk too much. i miss animal eyes and my baby. i miss giant horse eyes peering through splintered failing wood. it is hard not to appreciate the things you'll find there..

sometimes i look into people's eyes and i don't see anything at all. not one thing.

i've fallen asleep again, and when i wake up you won't be here..

It's my favourite time of the year right now - when the Champion's League is in its final stage. What I mean is, the first two group stages are *yawn* very boring. Are they worth watching? Are they fuck! The best thing about this years season though, are two simple facts: 1. Bayern Munich didn't make it past the first group stage; 2. No Germans in the quarter-finals. Well, none of the Polish teams managed to qualify but that's a completely different issue;-)

This weeks results:
Tuesday:
Real Madrid 3 : Manchester United 1 - the ever-so arrogant Ronaldo was as useless as ever

Ajax Amsterdam 0 : AC Milan 0 - a shame that Ajax couldn't get full 3 points at home.

Wednesday:
Inter Milan 1 : Valencia 0 - didn't watch it, don't care

Juventus 1 : FC Barcelona 1 - Saviola saves the day for Barca.

Looking forward to the matches in two weeks. I think, if I recall correctly, that this is one of the strongest line-ups of CL quarterfinals in years.

The rain beat down upon our heads, but still we stood, unmoving. You towards the train, me towards my car. Above us, the faint rumble of lightning could be heard.

"So..." you said, shifting slightly.

So, yes, it had come to this. You must leave and being again in a new city, and I must stay behind here. Our lives were pulling us apart, but still we stood here. Stalling the inevitable. Pretending that we would still be lovers after this day. Pretending that our lives would ever be the same again.

"I don't know how to do this."

No shit. How do you say goodbye to someone like you? You're not alone in this ignorance, trust me. This feeling is new to me as well. How easy it is to speak of being emotionally strong when you're emotionally comfortable. I'd definitely learned that this past week, as the realization that we would no longer be we. It would be you and I.

"We just need to say goodbye."

We just need to build a time machine. We just need to travel faster than light. We just need to pretend that this isn't going to hurt. We just need to choke back our tears.

She was going to say something more, but I just shook my head.

"I still love you."

I pity the man who hears this from the woman that he knows must walk away from him.

"I always will."

You have exactly two minutes to board the train, I say.

Her eyes plead with me. Tell me something, they say. Anything. Ease this. Make it easier. Please.

I blink.

The crash of more thunder.

We were both soaked.

She sees my tears, as if for the first time, mingling with the rain.

One minute until her train leaves. She has to go. Now. Zero hour.

She moves closer.

Fifty-five seconds.

I feel her breath on my face, and I get flashbacks. I remember feeling that same breath as I awoke in the morning to see her looking at me. The times I truly recognized how much she cared; those times when I caught her at caring. Earnest in a way that one can only be when unobserved.

Forty-five seconds.

I tell her so.

She puts her arms around me.

"Do you still love me?"

I want to tell her yes. I want to shout this at the top of my lungs, so everyone can hear.

I nod. The rain pours over us.

"So just kiss me."


fiction...
This was inspired by the node title of so just kiss me.

It's a law. Don't ask why - memorize it.

Having a lot to say sometimes means that you run out of fresh ways to provide evidence with out looking borring and under read. That's not a law.

Quotes Require Quote sources - that is a law.

Here is a law that should be an E2 law in my opinion just because it's true. Take it away Stephen Hawkings:

Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory... Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.

(Or It may be true but perhaps I'm lying)

Other law like sayings:

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.  -- Oscar Wilde

Ben Franklin's Observations:

  1. Fish and guests smell in three days.
  2. Tart words make no friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.
  3. Most People return small favors, acknowledge medium ones, and repay great ones-with ingratitude.
  4. One rotten apple spoils the barrel.
  5. Love your neighbor, but don't tear down your hedges.
  6. Love your enemies, for they will tell you your faults.
  7. Whoever lies with dogs, rises with fleas.
  8. In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith but by the lack of it.


Professor Gordon's Rule of Evolving Bryographic Systems:
While bryographic plants are typically encountered in substrata of earthy or mineral matter in concreted state, discrete substrata elements occasionally display a roughly spherical configuration which, in the presence of suitable gravitational and other effects, lends itself to combine translatory and rotational motion. One notices in such cases an absence of the otherwise typical accretion of bryophyta. We therefore conclude that a rolling stone gathers no moss.

Vali's Axiom:
In any human enterprise, works seeks the lowest hierarchical level.

TV Truisms:
A sinner can reform, but stupid is forever.
One seventh of our lives is spent on Mondays.


well that had a very long intro didn't it.

What Is Boredom?

So I'm on Passover break from my school here in Israel, and after two weeks of nothing, that perennial enemy sets in; Boredom. I don't know, maybe I could force myself to stay in bed for another couple of hours, but it is 2:00, and even though I'm sick, I don't think I can read another page of this James Michener novel (Hawaii) without going insane (good book, though.) Anyways, I'm bored, very bored. And sick.

I got out of bed, threw some clothes on, and wander out of my dorm room. I then stood there, for half an hour, trying to decide what to do. I realized, about then, that without going anywhere, or doing anything, or even deciding what to do, that I was no longer bored.

WHY?
What exactly is it that changed in that half hour that made mre no longer bored. I still had nothing to do, nowhere to go, and a book that I really couldn't read another hundred pages of right then sitting on my bed, but that mind numbing feeling I have when there nothing to do was gone.

Some things, clearly, are not meant to be understood.

Another beautiful day in West Michigan, the sun is out and clear blue sky is overhead. It is a wonderful Thurdsay and I'm glad to be alive. Seriously, I have nothing to complain about. I have a great job at a wonderful place to work at. I have a wonderful fiancee who loves me very much and food and shelter. What else does one need in life???

On another note, I have been trying to learn and understand linux lately. I maybe a Johnny-come-lately to the whole bandwagon, but being a full time Windows admin prevents some time for exploring and learning new operating systems.

I started my search for new knowledge the same way I undertake any learning experience, buy a good book and read it. I picked up Linux in a Nutshell and started reading, not learning much from the whole experience. I thumbed threw some other books, installed several distros and tried to understand something that in my mind is completely different then what I am used to.

I was looking for a way to understand the OS and its concepts and thought one of the best ways to understand would be to get training for a certification. I ventured down the route, though scared at first I would lose my other certifications, this not being the case I proceed.

I also started to pursue books that related my current knowledge base, to Linux. I searched for a GOOD book that related, if it was possible, Windows knowledge and concepts to the concepts/knowledge of Linux. I found some really bad ones, some I'm ashamed to admit I purchased. However, I found one that was quite helpful. Mark Minasi, along with Dan York wrote a great book, Linux for Windows Administrators. I would recomend it for anyone seeking to learn Linux.

On the certification side of things, I successfully studied and passed CompTIA's Linux+ exam. Through reading the certification book and applying the examples, it stregthened what I had already read. Why choose Linux+, I don't know of the top of my head, I have always found CompTIA tests to be useful and help me out. I don't know how much of a raise if any this certification will add to my salary, but I was not going for a pay raise, this was nothing more then personal improvement and satisfaction of learning something new.

Now back to other job related certifications, the fun never stops.

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It's been a long time since I wrote an angsty daylog. My apologies to you and the Baby Jesus if you could do without another one…

For the past month or so, I've been feeling that my life basically sucks. (And for all you armchair psychologists out there, no, it's not some "war depression"; just a coincidence.) Nothing has changed to cause it; in fact some things are better.

For the past week, I've been sitting in half lotus position for part of my yoga routine; that's an improvement. I played tennis with Jennifer for the first time; that was fun. And my temporary relocation to another building at work got the most annoying person in the world out of my hair; he'd been sharing the office with me and Edward for about a month since he joined the company.

Nonetheless, I've been miserable a lot of the time. My apartment is a mess; I haven't even put a sheet on my bed since I took the last one off. I've been eating badly. Way too many times have I picked up a slice of cake from the grocery store on the way home from somewhere, or even walking there late at night to get one. My weight has been going up (duhhh), and my clothes, which I was proud to get into again after years of non-use, have been letting me know it. I did so well losing weight last year, and when I got significantly under two hundred pounds, I told myself I'd never visit that neighborhood on my bathroom scale again. But I'm getting darn close to it.

Edward remains a wonderful friend, but I've been crying at home over the role I can't play in his life. I don't want to put words in his mouth or make assumptions, but I would be able to have a different relationship with him – comprising everything we have now, and more – if I were the same person I am now, but female. I just don't understand monosexuality, and I suppose I never will.

When I feel bad like this, there is also guilt. What right have I to be complaining when 90% of the world's populace would trade their life for mine in a heartbeat? Unfortunately, perhaps because of what WolfDaddy once referred to as "Catholic guilt", that tends to create a postive feedback loop, making me feel worse, adding to the guilt, etc.

I know that the only way to stop this self-abuse is to just stop it. Sounds simple, dunnit?


P.S. Happy birthday to my childhood playmate, Nancy M. I haven't seen her in twenty years…

Hooray! The troops are in Baghdad! The people cheer, the troops smile!

I imagine Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (Iraqi information minister in severe denial) is in a room somewhere with a psychiatrist, being shown a picture of a US tank, shaking his head, screaming "No! No! They do not exist! Fairy tales! Lies!"

Hooray! A big statue of Saddam is toppled! Again! (there's like, thousands of 'em)

Bizarrely, today's media seems to have a foot fetish. Again and again, we are told that crowds threw their shoes at posters of Saddam - apparently, throwing shoes or hitting things with shoes is "a serious insult in the Arab world". Today's Metro mentions this on page 2, then on page 3 it reminds us that hitting things with shoes is "an insult that carries particular resonance in the Arab world". Also on page 2, when the statue has fallen, it says "the shoes come off again". Just in case we don't get it, there's a big picture of Iraqis hitting the fallen statue with shoes. So there you have it, next time anyone from "the Arab world" hits you with a shoe, it doesn't mean he likes you.

Hooray! Over a thousand innocent Iraqi civilians killed! Sorry, I mean liberated!

Hey, what about these supposed weapons of mass destruction? Wasn't that the main reason for starting this bullshit war? If we gave a shit about the Iraqi people, wouldn't we have done something sooner? Like not selling him the weapons and chemical shite in the first place? Hello! Paging Dr Common Sense! Dr Common Fucking Sense, please pick up a white courtesy telephone!

Hooray! Ali, a 12 year old boy, has his arms blown off, receives horrific burns, and has his father, brother, and pregnant mother killed! He wanted to be a doctor, but now he wants to die! But hey, at least he's free! Free to have a miserable life without his family! Free, I tells ya! Free!

I want Saddam dead or in jail as much as anybody, the man's a demented monster who's a bastard to his own people. But you know, there were other paths we could have taken, that didn't involve killing and maiming the poor bastards we're supposed to be liberating. Again, wasn't this supposed to be about all these weapons he was supposed to have? Where are they, then? Sure, I know that war is hell, and there will be casualties no matter what we do to prevent them. Er, like, that's why I was against the war in the first place. Fucking *duh*, you know? Saying "hey, be against the war, fine, but let's look after the Iraqi people now" is also conveniently ignoring the fact that most people who protest against war also want decent treatment for oppressed people around the world, but we're just ignored by our governments in that regard too - unless there's oil in them there hills. And talking to me like I'm some stupid, misguided fool who just needs the facts of the big ole world explained to him is just going to piss me off. I know it's not *just* about oil, I'm not fucking stupid. But I know it's definitely *not* about liberating the Iraqis, or finding these fantasy weapons of mass nothingness.

I'm glad that the war seems to be over. I hope we really can give a better life to the survivors. I hope everything turns out great, that I'm totally wrong, and it all comes up roses. I really do. Those of you who have suggested that I take pleasure in the deaths of our own troops, or support Saddam, are missing the point in a staggeringly childish way. I don't want to say I told you so. I want it not to happen in the first fucking place. And no, neither side should resort to name calling - but come on, let's face it, Bush is a chimp who can barely string a sentence together, and the world went mad the day he became leader of the most powerful nation on the planet. The warmongering hawks who tell him what to do must have shit their pants and thought it was Christmas when he fell into office.

So if any of you pro-war people can look me in the eye and tell me, with a straight face, that 1,252 innocent Iraqi lives, 5,300 of their troops, 130 of our troops, and 12 year old Ali's arms, family and dreams are a price worth paying, then you, sir or madam, are a heartless fuckpig, and no better than the tinpot dictator you want deposed.

To Hell With Our Enemies
God Bless America

I have seen this bumper sticker on three different cars in the past two days. There have been countless others with similar sentiments that I have been a witness to over the last few months. People I see on a regular basis, as well as people I run into at the pub, the gas station, the supermarket and the shopping mall exude a belligerent zealotry. They call it patriotism. I call it madness.

That isn't to say I think anyone who supports the War in Iraq and the policies behind it is mad. There are those who have studied and made informed decisions about where they stand on the issues at hand, but such people seem to be a minority. Of the two-thirds of Americans that polls say support the current action, the majority seem to be flag waving, rage chanting, "My country right or wrong" types who only turn on the news if there is word of a new victory "for our side."

When I was younger and studying history I found myself completely bewildered when it came to studying World War II. There was one running question in my mind that I went to great lengths to try to answer. If the cause of Nazi Germany was so profoundly wrong, how did they get so many people to support it and take to the battlefield to fight for it? Didn't these people realize their leaders were "evil men" who didn't care about anything other than advancing their power and their disturbing vision of what the world meant to them?

I am not making a direct comparison between Nazi Germany and my own country in the present day. There are those who make those comparisons and they are as misguided as the chest-beating "Go get 'em, Bush!" crowd. I am talking about something else completely. I am talking about the strange and evolving nature of nationalism and patriotism and how it seems to have made zombies out of so many. I bear witness to to a tunnel vision that has so many tuned in to news reports with expectations of what they want to hear. If the news reports anything resembling a setback or questions about the "cause" it immediately results in a cry of "The media is against the war!" or "This channel is anti-American! Who pays your salary, asshole!" They want to hear about military victories and cries of support for the inherent goodness of the cause. Anything other than that is unacceptable.

Here on this website, the majority of people who have come out with an opinion on the war and issues around it are more informed than your average person on the street. They may be inclined to seek out reports and viewpoints that support their own beliefs, but I believe many of here us try to seek out alternative viewpoints just to weigh the issues. Most people do not do this. All too many people seek out only the news and information that tells them what they want to hear.

What disturbs me is not the War in Iraq itself. What disturbs me is the growing war fever that is sweeping across this nation. Seemingly blind to anything other than the expected end result, people wait for news of the enemy's defeat and the triumph of their nation's mighty military. No one wonders if military victory really equates to correctness of a cause. Some of them already eagerly await the next conflict, talking anxiously and excitedly about how other "hostile nations" must be brought in line as well. To me it was best summed up by someone I saw in line at the 7-11 yesterday. He was looking at the front page of the paper announcing victory in Baghdad...

"The North Koreans better be reading this.
I can't wait until we kick their sorry asses."

Top Ten Job Offers for "Baghdad Bill", the former Iraqi Information Minister

yeah, there's eleven. Sue me, I was on a roll.

On volunteerism

Volunteer work is a good thing. Doing your job well is a good thing. Criticism of the second is not an attack on the first.
Imagine this scenario for a minute. You are working as a volunteer in a charity store. A co-worker, also a volunteer, has made coffee for all. Instead of your favourite hot beverage, they serve you a hot cup of freshly brewed rabbit droppings. Do you smile and swallow, or do you spit it out? Are they exempt from your criticism due to being a volunteer? "I am doing what this out of the goodness of my heart", they say. "How dare you criticise me?"
The point of this contrived and rather overstated example to drive a wedge between the good, the altruism of doing unpaid work, and the good, the craftsmanship of doing something well. It's a point that is seldom understood. It is an easy mode of thought to slip into that nobody has a right to criticise a volunteer, that said criticism is an unwarranted attack on your very volunteerism. Maybe it isn't. Learning and growth is better done by listening to feedback.

So next time you feel pained that someone is daring to criticise your altruistic volunteerism, stop and think for a minute. The pain that you are feeling may just be your own knee jerking up to hit you in the face. Don't be a jerk.

Heyoka and i have launched our thousand cranes project. To find out more go to http://1000cranes.net .

Starting means, after a bit of planning and discussing, we now go out and talk to people about peace. It means we, er, actually approach people, and ask them to write the word 'peace' on a square sheet of paper. Then we promise to fold them into cranes.

The idea came from our wondering about ways to broadcast people's wish for peace. We have both been marching in London, attending some vigils, and talking to activists in the area. Pictures of the masses of marchers on Feb. 15 went around the world, and covered the front pages of the national newspapers. We were also marching in representation of other people who couldn't attend the marches. We decided to use another way to represent these millions of people, and the thousand cranes idea fit.

First, there is a tradition of folding a thousand cranes for peace, which people all over the world have done since the 1950s.

Adding to the tradition, the word 'peace' personally written by a thousand different people will show that there is a movement out there, represented by more than the marchers. It will take these people less time to write the word than to write to their MP, or their local newspaper, but it would show that these people probably would be more vocal if asked or encouraged.

It starts a conversation, that could start a thousand more. It means I have to practice what i preach: if I believe that my government should always strive for nonviolent solutions to word problems, then I should find how I can play my part in it. I can do this by talking to people about it, and trying to have an informed response to any argument for violent actions.

Part of the Stop The War Movement has been gathering various other organisations together. From the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to the Socialist Workers Party to the Stuckists and the Slacker Generation, all were marching for peace. The 1000 Cranes project is the same, taking all people who want peace together.

The great thing about folding cranes is that it can be done during slack time: while watching a movie, listening to the radio, going over the newspaper, even in the bath. Once you get the process down, it's almost second nature. The folds don't have to be perfect: wonky cranes have more character than precision cranes. So really, the only 'work' is talking to people, which isn't too hard, is it.

Well, I do have a lot of trepidition about that. I remember the 'first' gulf war, and how opinion was divided between 'dude, like, no blood for oil!' and 'Love it or leave it, peaceniks!'. There was very little discussion about the why and effects, about what was truth and what was propaganda, about ways to stop dictators and superpowers without a hell of a lot of innocent people killed.

I have fears that this war-- which is illegal, deadly and bloody-- will spawn more. Because, since there were people who were silent, the US and the UK feel they got away with it. I was too silent when Afghanistan was bombed. Not enough of us said, 'no'. And we need more people to realise they have a voice, instead of letting the ones with the bigger guns get away with murder.

When America and Britain started up their campaign in Afghanistan, I spent my energy growling at the newspaper. Ranting and raving to heyoka, who ranted and raved the same things back. We've been doing the same in the past few months, but also started being more active about it, contacting the local Stop The War group and attending their meetings and vigils. Now, instead of preaching to the converted, we will find out if there are more people who want peace instead of war.

Maybe this project won't work. Maybe it's the wrong approach. But we have to try. I don't like feeling as if I've stood by without standing up to be counted.


If you have any ideas for this project-- various groups to send information about it to, ways to get the word out, etc-- or want to get involved, please /msg me or heyoka or, better still, email 1000cranes at 1000cranes dot net.

My daylog or "E2 personal critical mass"

First let me say this isn't one of my well loved, "Rants" - so you may wish to pass this by unless you really enjoy E2 and have some time on your hands to read my personal reflections on it.

I don't know why, but I've always really liked the term "Critical Mass" and this week I've hit that here at E2.

When I first joined this site, I felt it was mind boggling. It took me over 3 weeks just to understand it enough to register. I could literally write a book, or two on this site and all that it entails. But as each day and each week went by I learned more and understood more of all the little quirks of this living entity.

All the politics - which are more obvious than some 'up above' may realize. All the little games played, and goals made here. The way the "nodegel" lives and breathes and grows. All the hopes, and frustration of us newbies.

There is so much involved here at E2 - that it'd be impossible I believe to 'explain it' but I have to wonder when most hit this 'critical mass' point in their growth process at E2. Where it all begins to come clear, and make sense. I have to assume it's not easy to explain or it would have been explained by someone by now, so I won't even TRY to explain it, but will assume anyone who's 'been there, done that' and been at this point can relate.

I've been here 3 1/2 months according to the stats. But I have no doubt that's equivilant to 90% of the users here's 6 months, or year. At least I doubt anyone else would admit to spending the amounts of time that I have here. (thinking of the 30+ hours I've spent just tweaking my homenode ). Back when I was (literally) addicted to the library I read, at times, 3 full books a night, and I don't 'speed read' so me spending 8 hours here, would be the same as some spending 24. My point? Well basically... I don't know each persons time frame for reaching 'critical mass' - where E2 as a whole stops being a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and instead paints a picture. But I'd have to guess it'd be somewhere between 5 and 12 months.

Over the past few days as I reached this critical mass, I have to wonder if it's just the beginning. Like imagine your an ant, and the entire world is your ant hill, suddenly you leave the ant hill - and venture out into the 'world' - the world to you then would be that square MILE around you. You have explored that entire square mile - and realize you see the whole 'world'... and then some other pesky ant tells you - you've just hit the tip of the iceberg - that the world is almost 5 miles square!!

So this is where I'm at today. I feel I have a vast understanding of the E2 - one I'd like to explain but I don't donate enough to E2 to use there bandwithd for a "Whit Book" - and now just wonder, if a year from now I'll look back and think how 'quaint' it was that I thought I understood E2 back in the spring of '03.

Perhaps a year from now - when I've 'paid my dues' - or as the regs here call it 'earned your bullshit' I'll try to paint the overall picture of E2 from a newbies standpoint (I will *always* be a newbie here).

For those still reading, I hope I didn't waste your time and you enjoyed this node for one reason or another.
Most my time these days concerns the loss of so many in the war, and the joy of the Iraqi's I see. I don't know how much our media is not telling us... I can only hope we (and I watched 24/7 till DB died) are seeing enough to have reached a "critical mass" in understanding what's really happening over there.

I was not in support of us (the USA) going to war in Iraq, but when I think of the 5,000 Iraqi people killed with little more than a thought (till the US needed justification for this current war) I have to think of the fact that - that is a few thousand MORE than we lost when the towers fell. We are witnessing first hand how little the Iraqi people really know about what's going on in the world around them. I wonder how much we really don't know yet... there's the possiblity that we've just seen the tip of the iceberg on this. I think of the statement "Lest we forget".

My hope today is we all learn enough to feel the 'ends justifes the means' - that's my pipe dream anyhow. I once said the only thing that'd change my mind on this war being 'ok' is that all countries with "WMD"'s also have to disarm, the worst offender, the USA, included. But after being spoon fed day after day, a certain view of this war, I'm waivering. I have to hope for the sake of those who lost loved ones, that history will show their sacrifices meant something very important.

Thinking of the familes of the US, and UK Hero's lost in Iraq the past month. May your loved one Rest In Peace.

And my thoughts go out to the Iraqi citizens who lost loved ones. I can only hope there is enough change that you will not look at their loss, as tragic as it is, as meaningless. As I watch the "information minister" tell you that there are no troops in Baghdad while they surround him, I have these thoughts, that maybe there's so many unimaginable horrible things you, and we don't know, that will make your sacrifice and loss mean so much more. This is my hope, and hopefully not just my pipe dream. May they Rest in Peace, I'm truly sorry for your loss and many of us US citizens will not forget them.

The Tally
  • 2 broken Power Supply Units, one of them gone out with a bang.
  • 1 harddisk, gone with a Mission Impossible death
  • 1 harddisk, just stopped working
  • 1 DVD-ROM drive, which also exhausted plastic smoke and died.
  • 1 CD-burner which just blinks madly after this experience
  • 60 GB of data :(
  • A night of headache
  • which was bearable, considering I was occupied with
  • A few hours of tickle fight with a particular Member of the Opposite Sex

Computer parts were all over the place, the room smelled of melted silicon and plastic, my dorm neighbors and I were trying to figure out what happened to my just-last-week-I-was-marvelling-at-how-reliable-it-is computer, and she walked past, "Oh and what's going on here?", she asked and walked in.

She lives here too, have been since last November. A nice girl, a bit shy, and despite my bumbling uncertainty in regards to approaching her, we've become closer over time, but still not close enough to be significant.

Minutes, hours (?) passed. Both hard disks were dead. A hooked up old CD-ROM drive was still able to boot Knoppix, telling me at least the processor, motherboard, memory chips, and graphic card were okay.

One by one everyone went, except for her who stayed. I'm not even sure why. I sat there, still wondering what went wrong, how what first looked like a failure of the power supply ended up with the deaths of those connected to the IDE channel, leaving me still wanting to press the power button to see if the computer would run fine this time, but afraid of seeing yet more smoke.

There wasn't much entertainment with my computer being half-dead, so I sat there beside her on my bed. We talked, she went through the things laying on top of my scanner (which was then conviniently lying near my bed), through my disorganized euro coin collection.

So the night went, we idly chatted as we poked each other in our ticklish zones and relaxed between bouts of tickle attacks. Nothing more happened, but nothing more needed to happen.

But now the bumbling uncertainty returns. Was that all just platonic? How do I follow it up? How do I say "We should do that again sometimes" without sounding like I'm a freak? Or is it acceptable to say that? Maybe with my "Ha ha Only Serious" grin that always works...

I guess I shouldn't worry too much and just enjoy what happens.

The following appeared on my homenode from April 10, 2003 until June 23, 2003. I'm archiving it here mostly for my own reference (and because my scratch pad is getting awfully cluttered with this kind of stuff).


10 April 2003, Eugene, Oregon

Yesterday I saw a number of cars with brand-new American flags flapping proudly from those awful window flagpoles that are so convenient for creative car thieves. It reminded me of how you could tell how well the Lakers were doing by the number of team flags so displayed in the LA area. Sigh. I like to think there's more to war and politics than Go Team USA and "patriots" who are really just fair-weather fans, but stuff like that gives me serious doubts.

2003.04.10 at 23:16 TheDeadGuy says in the military who don't want to be there, but have to fulfill their duty. Let them come home and send the armchair warriors in their place. -->

In other news, for the past month Jongleur and I have been waffling about maybe moving to Portland, but we've decided to stay in Eugene for at least another year, so he can finish his M.S. and then think twice about getting his Ph.D. from the U. of Oregon or taking some time off or transferring elsewhere or whatever. I think this is the right decision.


The self-indulgently autobiographical homenode "journal" entry before this one was on 17 February 2003.

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