Its been over a month since I started working. Its 12:15am on an early Friday morning. I woke up at 7am today, worked for 8 hours, class for 2, Law Revue for 2. I wake up at 7 or 7:30 tommorow; work for 8 hours; Dave McCormack or my weekly Unknown Armies game; sleep or Rocky Horror Picture Show in the city. I wanted to get to bed early tonight, but I seem to require a 'buffer' of 2 hours between getting home from university and sleeping. Logically, this means I should leave at 8, when class ends, but i need to see people, to remind myself that i'm still a student and brag that I work at a certain television station that I will not name. <\p>

Today we dubbed a program called The Big O onto videotape; my department does many dubs and, if i like the program or it looks interesting, i make a copy for myself. I assumed it either the pilot for one of my favorite anime series or another documentary on Roy Orbison, so I asked for a copy. When i found out it was a show on the female orgasm, I was disapointed. This may tell you something of why I don't have a girlfriend; it tells you more about the station for which I work. The docu did not appear censored in any way; the chances of it being about Roy Orbison or giant steampunk mecha in a city that lost its memories were equal.

A silence decends upon me often now; i have not written in months and fear death with a pathological fierceness, refuing to surrender to sleep until my brain is distracted from its non-existence. I do not let my guard down easily ('Sleep, those little slice of death. Oh how I loath it.' Edgar Allen Poe). In the morning, having survived, I wish only to burrow into the covers and explore the winding tracks that take me from Donnie Darko to Watership Down to The Dark Tower and back. Everything in my life and work can be cross-referenced, often in one or two steps. King quotes Eliot; Eliot was a friend of James Joyce; my iPod switches songs and Joyce had a character say Pogue Mahone; I wonder why Shane McGowan would censor the name of his band when an author didn't censor the expression; things rewind and go back.

Today i talked for 30 seconds with a girl in my electronic music class. She did sound for a play I wrote; she enjoyed the music references, the opening joke ('If I wanted to date Elvis Costello I would have fucked an Irishman!'. I bought tickets to his concert; count the echos). We tried to squeeze more into the conversation; she had to do tech for the show I saw; i did not stay and see her; i wanted to see her and realized 8 months ago i was at the afterparty for the play and I did not talk to her, thinking her aloof, preferring to chase after somebody who played me and a friend for fools until 3am. I saw her tonight; she seems nice.

There is a silence that decends upon me before the silence of existential chaos. If i were to talk nothing would come out; if you gave me a subject i would be pedantic (i lectured classmates yesterday about memetic warfare) or brag about my job. I am overtired, as dad says, running in fumes. I can watch, but i cannot speak.

This weekend I will rest, and I will not write.

I’ve noticed a couple of things recently that I probably should have noticed a long time ago. When it comes to kids playing amongst themselves, groups of three’s are not good and that it takes more than ice cream and a squirt of the hose to cure whatever is ailing you.

I think it was this Sunday last when my little one and I when finished running our errands and were just sitting around, hoping that something to do would fall in our laps. She decided to take a walk down the block to see if her friends were around.

I need to preface this a bit. Any of you who know me know that she only spends a week at a time at my place. With that in mind, all of the rest of the kids on the block come from the traditional two parent families in which the mom stays at home and dad goes off to work. Needless to say, their kids see each other almost every day and do an awful lot of activities together. Since mine is only around for half of the time, sometimes I think she feels she’s got some catching up to do.

Anyway, she made her way down the block and came back a few minutes later. One of her “best friends” parents offered to take some of them on a bike ride to the local park and she asked if she could go. Of course I said, “Yes” and we headed down the basement to drag her bike outside, filled up a backpack with snacks for the gang and some bottled water. She donned her helmet and pedaled down the street and was off.

I started making some mental preparations on what to have for dinner and noticed I was missing some essentials. Not wanting to make a full-blown trip to the supermarket, I decided that the local co-op, which is a about a block and a half away would do. It was a nice day and I figured the walk would do me good. All in all, the round trip took about twenty minutes.

When I got home, I started to unload the supplies. The house was quiet and I figured I had an hour or so to myself before she got home. It was then when I felt nature’s call and made my way upstairs to the bathroom.

Before I even got the door open, there was my kid, opening her bedroom door. She had that look on her face and I could tell she had been crying. I’ll let her describe the circumstances which led to the tears.

”Today when I was going on a bike ride with Gracie and Cameron, they started to ignore me. They rode away from me as fast as they could and every time I would catch up they wouldn’t talk to me. It hurt my feelings a lot. It hurt so bad that I turned around and went home. I thought they were my friends but I thought otherwise at the time. I was up in my room crying for a little while when my dad came home. He assured me that everything was fine, gave me a bowl of ice cream and we squirted each other with the hose. After that, I was better but still upset.”

I’ve always told her that if things aren’t going well, she could always come home. That she’d always be safe there and that no harm would ever come her way under my roof. I’m glad those words appear to have sunk in. (Although I do have some questions for the dad who let her ride home alone but that’s for another time.)

I guess it’s kinda tough being nine going on thirteen. I guess it’s kinda tough being the odd man out when a couple of kids decide that’s what you’re going to be. I guess it’s kinda tough trying to explain these kinds of things to your old man who thinks that a bowl of ice cream and a blast of the hose is some kind of miracle cure for whatever is bothering you.

My life is a chip in your pile. Ante up!

You may or may not have noticed that I have not been well as of late. I suppose that it would be hard to observe this directly, as I have not been complaining excessively about anything in my life. Truth to be told, I think I have been in a slight depression. My recent excessive catboxing may be an indication of this. Some things have not been well. And now I have been given a risky opportunity to improve everything. The question is, how much of a gambler do I consider myself?

I need to explain something of my situation. I am twenty-three years old. I was born in Mexico City, and spent nineteen years there. For the past four years, I have been living in Montréal, Canada, working on my university degree. This summer I graduated with an honours degree in mathematics. I strongly want to go to grad school and do a masters, except that I have debts with the university and my younger brother that prevent me from going right away. I first need a well-paying job. University grants and scholarships are not going to cover the full extent of my debts.

Compounded with these difficulties is the question of national affiliation. I'm a foreigner living in Canada, one of many, and I have developed a sincere love for this country, particularly for the Quebeckers, for whom my plea is forgiveness for my not yet perfect French. I'll still be able to hold a conversation with you, don't worry. To them and the rest of the country, I congratulate you. Your national identity, your symbols, your sense of humour, your people, your diversity, your two official languages and countless unofficial ones in the larger cities, your writers, your poets, your natural landscapes, your oceans, your open amiability and friendliness, your relaxed attitudes and political opinions, all of it, all of Canada, how I wish I could call it my own too. When living in Canada, no other country in the world seems quite good enough for living.

I have been spending this summer working on a research project for a professor, looking for a job so that I may stay in the country, and spending time with Talia, whom I met the first week of summer. She has left today to spend a year in New Zealand. This had been decided before we met. What I thought to be a summer fling turned into something passionately more intense. The separation we knew was inevitable is starting to take its toll on my happiness, and perhaps on my health too. I have been sick for this past month. Coughing, tummy aches, and recently fevers and nausea. Yesterday I went to get a chest x-ray and some blood tests. Hopefully the doctor can find out what's wrong with me.

I have also been so far unsuccessful on my job search. True, I had other things to worry about, and perhaps I haven't been concentrating enough on finding employment. But without a job, I cannot stay in Canada. First, because I can't afford it, and second, because the government won't allow me to stay if I am a burden. So I am more or less forced to move back to Mexico, back to my parents' residence (actually, my mother's, probably), and to try my luck finding a job there. Talia also knew at the beginning of summer that this could possibly be my eventual fate. We took the plunge anyways. Fools rush in, I suppose.

It is this prospect of going back to Mexico that makes me so unhappy. Not that I wouldn't want to see my family again, to be back in my country and be a full citizen again instead of a foreigner. But I would be going back defeated, lovesick, unemployed and in debt, and back to being a dependent. I don't think my mom would let me contribute to the rent if I moved in to her apartment, nor am I sure that I could contribute. The upside is that I will be spending less money in Mexico, and that I have better chances of finding a job there because my family knows people who know people, and because I would again be part of a certain Mexican aristocracy that knows how to take care of itself.

My mother understands the downside and wants to salvage my pride as much as I do. This is why she has consulted with businessman friends of hers and yesterday proposed the following: putting her car as collateral, she will obtain on interest a loan of appreciable size, which she will give to me. I am to use the money to live for another two months in Canada looking for a job and to begin the paperwork towards becoming a permanent resident (one of the reasons I haven't started the paperwork for residency is that the fees are more than I can pay at the moment). She believes in me, and the way she puts it is that after spending all those thousands of dollars on my education, this investment (she's going to invest on me!) is insignificant in comparison. I have proven myself over the past four years by getting a degree in high standing, she believes. Don't throw out the cake because it's missing the cherry on top, she says.

And it's not just a matter of pride. Love factors in. Love for the country and love for Talia. I will have a better chance of seeing her again if I secure a foothold in Canada, instead of dropping to my Mexican safety net. I've been given an opportunity to use a stronger pickaxe as I strive to climb to the top.

This is very, very exciting. This offer has knocked me out of my malaise. Just the idea of spending two months in a dedicated job search, with no other distractions, nothing else to do but search, search, search, with a degree from a reputable university, well, this all makes me very hopeful and determined. I think I can do it. It would be a fighting chance. Perhaps I should take it.

And a risk it is. The stakes would be piled higher. Double or nothing. Double the penalty if I fail, and double the winnings if I succeed. To become a full Canadian resident with a well-paying job, or to return twice defeated and deeper in debt. Time is running short. My parents need to set things in motion either way very soon. They have given me until tonight to make a decision.

I want to take it. I believe in the gambler, the risk-taker, the adventurer. I'm a hopeless romantic. I believe in good fortune for those who strive for it. I believe in Canada, that she will help me if I help myself. I am optimistic, a dreamer anew. I can make it happen.

Whoa, hold your horses right there, buddy. Back to reality. I asked for my brother's opinion. Though younger than me, barely nineteen, he is also wiser than I in practical matters. He is the one working on a degree in business administration while I get the one in abstract mathematics. He recommends that the risk is not worth it. Come back to Mexico, your family misses you, odds are in your favour over here. His opinion carries a lot of weight, because he has proven his ability to amass small fortunes for a variety of personal purposes, because he is one of my creditors, and because he is my brother, damnit.

It is an interesting problem. I am split. A very important decision is coming up, almost here already. Fortune favours the bold? Or better safe than sorry? Am I feeling lucky today?

I have recently returned back from a two day backpacking trip as part of my orientation here at the University of Puget Sound. I must admit it was one of the coolest welcoming activities I have ever attended. Of course it did rain the entire time, but I guess that's what I must learn to expect in the land of the northwest coast region.

My roommate is a pretty cool guy and his computer knowledge has far surpassed mine, but I don't think he even has an E2 account, so I still rein in that domain. We're in the "outdoorsy" themed dorm, SCHIFF which aparently means we get first dibs on all the outdoor trips that the Student Body plans. I've already got a chance to tour the area on my bike, and so far it's been pretty amazingly beautiful.

I've just been informed of the Bumbershoot Festival and am planning on attending Saturday and maybe Monday to see the following:

Saturday:

  • Pedro the Lion
  • Nancy Sinatra
  • Unwritten Law
  • Face to Face
  • The Catch
  • Throw Rag
  • Monday:

  • Pixies
  • Harvey Danger
  • The Killers
  • Built to Spill
  • Rise Against
  • If you are in the area shoot me some mail and maybe we could do a little noder-half-meet or something.

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