Even though I've had a good week, I'm the most confused and unfocused I've ever been in my 26 years of life. The reason? My insecurity and paranoia. Even with E2 back online I've found little in here to console me. All kinds of questions are flying through my head (please, make the voices stop) - like, "is this relationship working", "does she love me", "blah blah blaaaah blah - another annoyingly pathetic question fueled by my poisoned mind". Grr. Why does insecurity suck so much!? I have no idea why I'm having such a rough time of it. Something to do with my girlfriend but I'm so fogged up at the moment I can't see what's in front of me. I even cried. Jeez...

I'd be interested to hear from fellow noders - if I get some good ideas/opinions/feedback then I'll make a serious entry into insecure/insecurity

Saddam Hussein has been captured. I just wanted to be the first to say it. He's been taken alive.

The Defense Department is not yet confirming the story, nor is the Ministry of Defence, but several news outlets are carrying the story.

I have been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq since its inception (hell, since before that, when it was just speculative). While I admit that Hussein was a degenerate tyrant, and that he needed to be removed from power, I never thought that anything productive would ever result from this war. Well, if this report is confirmed, I hereby retract everything to that effect that I've said in that past year, and even congratulate President George W. Bush and the United States Military for a job well-done.

Update, 17 December:  In the past few days I've gotten several messages from various users who I believe may have misinterpreted what I meant.  By "everything to that effect" I meant only that I retract all of my previous statements to the effect that the "war" action would not be able to yield any actual results.  I still do not believe that the cause was justified by its ends, simply that I was wrong about the futility of the exercise.

Today's my wedding day. All the past, present and future rolled up into one 30-minute ceremony followed by a tasty luncheon.

I, like so many others, had a chance to step back during the downtime of E2. Of course, I didn't have to think about what to do in the meantime - the wedding decided that for me. And combining that my fiancee/wife just took a job three states away and we are in the midst of moving further sealed where my spare time went.

As I look out my window right now, I see that it is raining. It is supposed to be good luck to receive rain on your wedding day. Of course, we are having an outdoor ceremony, but I still think everything will be fine.

Things will be incredibly hectic over the next few months. Starting a new life, in a new town, in a new state, with a new job should make things mighty interesting. And because of that I may not get to spend the time here that I would like. Which is sad in some ways. E2 really is a community, and a family in a lot of ways. Though I often feel like an outsider still to this day, I have a had a glimpse at the family, at the core and the life that makes this place so much better than just a factual warehouse.

This family, my E2 family, has shared many things with me. People getting sick, people's parents passing away. Car accidents, first kisses, marriages - I have gotten to read about them all. I have also been able to share my experiences - getting engaged, having my mom die, holding my first noder's meet, and now, getting married. The encouraging words, the random /msg to see how things are, just the beauty of the community. Knowing that no matter what happens in my life I have a rock to anchor on.

So I just want to say thanks E2, thanks for playing such a role in my life. And I'll see you on the other side.

Why the E2 server move pissed me off

I am not mad about the down time. Not even about the fact that it took five weeks. I am sure that there was plenty of good reasons for it to take that long, and that the gods were doing everything within their power to get E2 up and running again, as quickly as humanly possible.

Having your provider pull the plug with little warning, is of course something that is impossible to protect against. It happens and I am happy that it was possible to find such a good place to relocate the servers to.

However, one thing about the server move was just totally unacceptable.

I managed to reach the gang through out of band means, and I know I am not alone with this.

The level of information that the general public received about what was going on, was pathetic. Having a single line of completely useless information, accompanied by an equally worthless picture that changes every couple of weeks, shows a complete and utter lack of respect for the users of E2.

Really you are just pissing up and down the backs of people who have put a lot of time and effort into this site. You simply owe it to them to keep them reasonably up to date, about the state of their precious work.

The least you can expect is a brief communication, that is updated a couple of times a week, and that has accurate information about what is going on. Saying that you are going to be up and running in a week and then not keeping that promise, without any explanation, will get people worried and disgruntled.

And don't even mention the livejournal community hideout. I only stumbled upon those bits of information, because I am skilled with a search engine, and I was really trying to dig up more news about this. The E2 main page mentioned that it was difficult to update the everything2.com pages. That is absolutely no excuse, since you obviously managed to do it anyway. It would have been easy to add a link to another website, where information could have been made available on a more regular basis. Lastly when E2 is finally back, all we get is some stupid editor log, which just says "yeah, we are back and things couldn't be better.". Bullshit!

E2 is up again, and having vented my feelings about this, eventually I can get back with the usual noding schedule. But this is definitely an F to the E2 gods for their public relations actions.

February 29th, 2004

After this incident, it has become clear to me how fragile E2 really is. E2 could suddenly lose funding, or the people responsible could one day for whatever reason be unable to care for E2 anymore. Then all your precious work will suddenly be in limbo. In principle there is nothing that either E2s gods or editors can do about it. They can fool around with peoples material, but has nothing to do with the actual running of E2. This privilege and responsibility rests on only a couple of individuals, and we all better hope they take it seriously.

History has a strange way of sneaking up on you.

Having studied centuries of Western Civilization's music history, I've come to understand history in grand gestures and sweeping movements, in terms of highlights and arrows, compare/contrast columns, and timelines. Eras are typified by their giants: Guillame Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Orlando de Lassus for the Renaissance; Claudio Monteverdi, Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach for the Baroque; Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the Classic; Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms for the Romantic; Igor Stravinsky, John Cage, Arnold Schoenberg for the "modern" part of the twentieth century; and then of course the more recent giants of our time, whose lives and work are not yet finished nor properly-understood within the scheme of things. And then those giants are typified by their great works, be they massive symphonies or sacred music for liturgical cycles or analytical systems or re-conceptions of music as "Art."

The point being that I've generally always understood history to be a monumental thing. And it seems we teach each other this very belief, that, for example, the United States has its roots in the lives and beliefs of a relatively tiny number of heroic men, a teaching which manifests itself even on the dirty pennies we stuff into our pockets.

But having seen at least one great historic event happen -- 9/11 -- during my lifetime since I've reached the "age of reason," I have to wonder if history doesn't have a strangely understated way of presenting itself. I remember that morning, waking up to the clock radio and wondering how it could possibly be true, how a fixture in our collective imagination could possibly be so vulnerable.

It was much this feeling I had this morning when my roommate called. He is on vacation in Florida -- Universal Studios, of all places -- but he called me to ask if I'd been watching the news. I hadn't been. But the news was: they'd caught Saddam.

At first, I was incredulous. I guess I'd reached the conclusion that Saddam would never be caught. It seemed, somehow, magically impossible. But there it is. They even have pictures.

I'm normally quite well-read of the news, but when things such as this happen, when history is being written, the pages of the papers and the hours of the broadcasts are saturated with government-prepared media releases designed to make our free press act like an efficient mouthpiece of the state. So I turned everything off and forced a certain amount of media seclusion. I expect, tomorrow, when I show up to class, to be one of the few not talking about -- not celebrating, really -- what the U.S. government will no doubt want to portray as a massive victory in the so-called War on Terror.

And it causes me to think how, in a nation supposedly built upon noble ideals, we've come to be a society that exults so much in the suffering of others and to depend so much upon war to define our position in the world. Is this what freedom looks like? Is this what it feels like? To be drowning in orgies of jingoistic patriotism, to feel assaulted by the media with addresses from a simple-minded executive?

They've caught Saddam Hussein. Good for them. I guess they're winning their war, after all.

A Typical English Lesson in Japan, or
Combine Cartoons and Weed for a Pleasant Afternoon

Have you smoked marijuana before?

Hearing this question is one thing; hearing it in a crowded café with a dozen people within earshot is another. And hearing it said in such a simple, straightforward, curious and completely non-judgmental manner made me giggle at what should have been a rather offensive inquisition.

Student #1 and I had our weekly chat in a "traditional Japanese coffee house," as he calls it. I call it a strange Victorian-meets-crazed-art-nouveau-rip-off lounge, complete with velvet chairs and tiny tables that my gigantic knobby knees refused to slide under no matter how I folded my legs. It was filled with the bluish haze of cigarette smoke, the dim buzz of polite conversation, and incongruously bright chandeliers.

We had a pleasant meeting as always. Student #1 was the first one I ever met since beginning my English-teaching career oh-so-long ago, and he is still my most regular and most favorite. His speech has improved ten fold since our first rendezvous, which I can’t take complete credit for – the man studies as hard as he works his salaryman job, so he is his own maker.

Back to the conversation. We talked about the differences between turn on and turn off, turn up and turn down, turn in and turn out, plus turn around and a few others that have slipped my mind. After we spent an hour on the grammatical junk that is my passion, we began with the usual blah-blahing to help him practice free conversation.

That’s when the marijuana question came up. Of course the directness was mostly due to his inability to form more subtle inquiries since he is not yet adept at the delicate maneuverings of the English language (though such maneuverings appear to be gross, fumbling screams in comparison with Japanese and other more refined languages), but this didn’t distract from his boyish lovability. Plus he was quite free about sharing his own drug experiences, mostly relating to professional snowboarding in the States. I confided that my little brother is also a snowboarder and thus I am acquainted with the correlation between the two pastimes, which made him grin.

He also gave me a Disney calendar for Christmas, then invited me to Tokyo Disney for our first lesson in January.

Mickey Mouse and pot talk, the makings of a fine afternoon despite the ache in my legs from sitting like a pretzel. I know the only reason he is happy learning English from a 20 year old college student is because he wants to show me off in public, but I have to make a living somehow.

back to Being a foreign female in Japan

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