I can’t believe the family that I belong to. I made an effort to be home for dinner when I could have been at my boyfriend’s house eating Chinese food, my favourite. I get home and aunties and uncles and cousins are all about, sitting and chatting in the family room. I walk in, basically into the CENTRE of the room and say ‘hi everyone’, and they all totally ignore me, which isn’t a surprise. It is time to eat and I’m at the ‘kids’ table as there is no room on the other table, only my sister sits down and eats with me. An aunty comes by to give lollies to all the kids, I get some too, because you know I’m equivalent to an under 8 yr old child. It starts to get cold outside, we go inside and sit at the table, again there is no room for me. My cousin walks past me and doesn’t even make eye contact. I decide to go have some interaction with people by going online to chat with my boyfriend.

Everyone has left and my parents notice that I’m in the house, they then have the nerve to complain to me that I’m a snob, that I don’t say hello to anybody. What more can I fucking do than enter into the centre of a room and say hello to everyone in the room? Normally when someone enters a room, the people in the room turn around to see who has walked in and say hello in order for the new comer to say hello back. My parents continue to complain that I don’t speak to my cousin. Well gee, it is a bit difficult to speak to someone that doesn’t fucking even make eye contact with you, what the fuck am I supposed to do, jump in front of their face so that they can’t possible BE looking at anything else!, just to get their attention!?, fuck that!, they’re not worth it!.

It absolutely pisses me off that my parents think it is all my doing. I have a headache by the end of the night and am trying to get to sleep but mum decides to start cleaning and vacuuming the house.

More annoyances during the night is when I’m speaking to someone, and mum comes along and starts speaking to the person that I was having a conversation with, as if I don’t exist. That is what I call rude and disrespectful, then she has the nerve to complain to me that I’m the rude and disrespectful one? Because you know, I can’t possibly interrupt any of HER conversations!!!

I seriously don’t know why I bothered to come here.

I hate Christmas because of the family gatherings, I hate my family, I hate this place and I don’t want to be here. I’m so lucky to finally have a place to turn to. To have someone to turn to.

My parents asked me if I act the same way (ie. rude and anti social etc according to them) when I’m at my boyfriends place, I said no, they don’t ignore me.

I would rather be with my boyfriend’s family instead of mine because …….

  1. When I walk in a room, they would turn around and say hello
  2. When I’m speaking to someone, no one would start speaking to the person I’m speaking to as if I wasn’t there.
  3. I won’t be expected to kiss anyone I don’t like. (I come from a big woggy family where this is a custom, 'woggy' is an australian term it seems for someone from a european descent displaying actions eg. the way one dresses and talks in a stereotypical fashion)
  4. I can meet his whole family without them having met mine, and there is so speculation of the degree of ‘seriousness’ of our relationship, or any expectations.
  5. I can walk around with my boyfriend and no one will look at us as if we are strange, where – as with my family they would look upon us as strange couple and as something weird.
  6. Finally I can feel comfortable around his family, they are a lot easier to talk to since they speak English and even some older members of his family are fans of Lano and Woodley !
  7. My actions or behaviour will not be frowned upon or complained about.

May be this all sounds petty, but I haven’t been having a good weekend. Work is shit because the manager hasn’t put anyone extra to work for Christmas time, which means the people who are already working have to work over time to get stuff done and not get paid for it, and people like me who need extra shifts don’t get any. At least I had some enjoyment, I got to spend my spare time with my boyfriend watching movies.

On another matter, I’ve updated my home node. I’ve also updated my favourite node of mine and another node that people didn’t seem to like, so hopefully with the changes people will also change their minds.

I’m off to spend money that I don’t have.


It's been a year since I decided to change my life, to be no longer just passing through the world alone. I'm still alone, but I've become more social in that time, and I've done some things that the old me never would have done. I've made a start, but I still have a ways to go.

The first proactive step I took last December was to get my teeth bleached, so that I would feel better about smiling at people. This turned out to be more than just dipping my toe in the water, because I was so taken with the gentleness and empathy of Seanette, the BriteSmile technician, that I asked her out. It would still be a long time before I asked anyone out face-to-face, though, so that was done in a letter that I sent to her at her office; it was a combination of congratulations on her chairside manner and a request to see her socially. Unfortunately, no response either way was forthcoming. (When I called the office a few days ago to confirm an appointment for a cleaning, that was made back then, she answered the phone, but didn't particularly remember me -- not that I would expect her to.)

After that start, the rest of my year included the strange relationship with Rebecca, the waitress at Red Robin, going out once with a woman that a friend at work hooked me up with, starting psychotherapy at Nolan's urging, stopping that about six months later after possibly getting some benefit from it, joining Match.Com but never getting the guts to actually post a profile (though I did contact a woman that seemed like someone I would have gotten on with well, but she declined to meet me), and asking out the sister of another friend at work. This lady had seemed to enjoy talking to me at parties on a couple of occasions. After talking with her a bit at a company social function in September, and leaving early as I am wont to do, I emailed her, apologizing for not talking more with her even though I enjoyed it, and asked her to play tennis. We did, and much fun was had by both parties, though her calendar is very full and she's not to able take on more at this time.

A non-great occurrence during the year was having a former co-worker and casual friend, who used to listen to my woes wrt my unrequited love and who, after moving away, told me that he had been sexually attracted to me the whole time we worked together, which was rather a bonding experience, tell me that I, along with everyone else he knew in Santa Barbara, was psychotic and he never wanted to hear from any of us again.

Fortunately, thanks to one of The Four Agreements, with which I became acquainted after WolfDaddy lent me the book by that name, I was able to see that, even though I was saddened by that, it was not my fault and there was nothing I could do about it,

Back on the good side, and providing several examples of the changes in me, was my friendship with Edward. Exemplary because we are friends only because I flat out told him that I thought we could be, and wanted to take action toward that end, which has happened quite to my satisfaction. And just today, I called him out of the blue and asked if he'd like to play tennis. This is something that is very difficult for me, and a year ago I definitely would not have done it. [And we did play, though he made me decide on the time, not letting me get off with "whenever you want" :)]

Now I have to start on the next year's accomplishments.

B5 watch
Ten episodes into season 5.
The year is 2262.

How could I forget this? I also went to the E2 gathering in New Orleans hosted (hostessed?) by Templeton. My therapist was amazed that I would travel cross-country to see twenty or thirty people that I didn't know. (So was I.)

Last night I was struck with inspiration. I was out delivering a Christmas Card to a friend. I was a little unsure of the correct address and when I got to his house the car in the driveway did not appear to be his. I decided that I'd leave the card in the mailbox there anyhow, and at least someone might read it and be wished a Merry Christmas, if not my friend.

That's when it hit me. Back at home there were some blank cards left over. We'd given a card filled with warm wishes and a personal message to all of our friends, and finally finished delivering them all.

So with the leftover cards, I thought it would be a great idea to make use of them, and deliver them to random addresses that night. In fact I was so inspired I went and purchased another pack of 15 cards to augment the four that remained.

So in each of the cards, my girlfriend and I wrote the following message:

You have been specially selected for
a "Random Christmas Card" delivery.
We hope that the year gone by has been
a joyous and fulfilling one & that Christmas
Day is filled with the love and laughter of
those closest to you.

May 2002 bring some of your dreams and goals
a little closer to realisation. This New Year's Eve
take a moment to look back over 2001 and remember some
of your successes, realise what a great year
it has been after all, and how great the future can be.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Have some spare cards left this year?
Why not spread the Christmas Cheer a little further
& do your own "Random Christmas Card"? If not perhaps a
simple smile or a "Merry Christmas" to a stranger will
do just as well. Remember, we shouldn't need a reason to be nice to one another!

We then drove around for an hour or so, wearing those silly foam reindeer antlers and picking houses at random and dropping the cards in the mailbox. I had more fun doing that than I've had in a long, long while.

I had a thought today. (wild cheers.) You know when you're watching a film and someone says something really, really corny and you think to yourself: "My god! I'm watching a corny film!"? Well, what if this corny line was deliberately crafted to demonstrate the particular characteristics of the character at hand? What if the corny line was recognised as a corny line, and was put in the script to show the shallowness/corniness/falseness of a character? What if every corny line was a subtle touch which depended on the intelligence of the viewer to understand the significance? If so, then I've really been a bad, bad, movie-goer.

I had a thought today. (wild cheers.) What if those pictures of Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz making out, which were published in the tabloids and might well have been the cause of Tom & Nicole's split, what if those were just pictures taken by a reporter who snuck onto the set of Vanilla Sky while it was still being filmed? What if the pictures which revealed Tom Cruise to be a two-timing cheat were really just pictures if him acting out a scene in a professional manner? What if Nicole saw those photos and refused to believe Tom's lame excuses that they were just photos of a scene being acted out? What if Nicole went to see Vanilla Sky and it suddenly hit her that Tom was telling the truth?

Old age homes. Hmm. It seems everyone in there falls under one of these categories:

The Deceived. Those who are still with it, still their normal selves apart from the increase in depression. Five years ago, they were in their hometown, surrounded by their friends and their community, playing chess in the park with a lifelong pal, waiting quite comfortably for whatever may happen. Then, somehow, one of their children who lives on the other side of the country arrogantly decides that they should be telling their parents what's what, and tells them to move away from their home of 90 years and move into an old age home across the United States of America in a town where they know no one but their family so they can be properly looked after and be with the family . The promises of frequent visits simply melts the heart, so away they move. And it doesn't take long to realise that they made a terrible mistake, and have now commited themselves to an old age home until....well, until. Wondering, day after day, "When will they visit me again? Next week, maybe? No, they're so busy..." And the worst part is, there's a lot of these. So many of them talk about how they were told that they would be visited twice a week, every week, if only they'd sell their house and most of their possessions and leave all their friends behind.

The pay-per-viewers. Those who have my full sympathy. Those who watch the pay-per-view channel advertisements, over and over and over again, day after day, not realising that they're watching the same 15 minute long recording every single time. When one meets a pay-per-viewer, they understand that old age may take the soul out of us. At least this type doesn't get depressed about being old...

The children. Those who have the maturity of an eight year old. These usually have different personalities for different situations, sometimes offering themselves up for normal conversation, and at other times wishing to make you feel guilty for spending too much time taking care of the next elderly man along, and not enough time talking to her. "Don't you worry. I know you don't like me! Don't waste your time talking to a silly old bat like me! I'm nothing but a bag of wheat to you aren't I! Well that's fine! Talk to him for all I care. Go on! You can do what you like!"

"Things they do look awful c-cold (Talkin bout my generation)..............."

I stepped outside of my office this afternoon, to the sight of my city burning.

I looked out at the horizon, and briefly felt a thrill at the sight of dark skies, thinking that a storm was building. Stepping around the corner, I soon realised that what I'd seen was thick, dark smoke. Ahead of me was a massive column of smoke, pumping into the air. I'm used to seeing smoke in the distance during summer, a bushfire far off in the bushland that surrounds my city. This wasn't a distant fire though. This wasn't burning deserted land, this was close. Very close.

The city was almost deserted on the walk back to my car. Not many people work to 5.15pm on Christmas Eve, crossing what is normally a busy road was an exercise in simplicity. All the time, I was staring at the sky, realising that there was more than one fire burning in the distance. Sirens filled the air. My normal trip home was straight towards the thickest of the smoke, and I wasn't surprised when I had to turn around not long after beginning my journey, the road closed. At least there was almost no traffic on the road. Most people would have been home long ago. Some of those people would have been feeling sheer terror.

My alternative route home was going to take me through the drifting smoke, the further I drove, the more I realised that people's homes are directly threatened right now. Passing the large, sweeping round-about that passes Parliament House, I noticed the lights of Police cars, in the large, grassed median-strip in the centre of the road. At first, I thought I may be turning around again. Then I realised that the traffic was still flowing. Soon after, I noticed the crumpled front end of one of the Police cars. It had hit something - hard. I guess it took me longer to find the other car...because it wasn't looking too much like a car any more. Flipped onto it's roof, every panel bent, doors ripped off. Or perhaps removed with the Jaws of Life. A Sports 4WD, crumpled and bent, a Police Officer crouching low, taking photographs of the wreckage. I guess that in the rush to attend to this fire, in the haste to help people in need, something's gone horribly wrong for the driver in that Police car. And for the people in the other car, Christmas Eve has taken a drastic turn. I was fully expecting to come home, turn on the news, and hear of a fatality. News that the road toll had increased in the A.C.T. All I could wonder, was whether someome would be receiving a knock on their door, to say that the people they loved would never be coming home. That Christmas day would not dawn to happiness - instead of families gathering to celebrate life, they would be gathering to ask why? Fortunately, it seems that all involved survived. No mention was made of death on our roads tonight.

Further down the road I drove, and the smoke just kept getting thicker. Eventually, visability was reduced significantly. The car was totally surrounded by smoke, it was all I could smell. Too hot to wind up the windows without air conditioning, the smell of burning pine needles and eucalyptus was everywhere. The sun shone through the smoke, tinged copper, looking like the most beautiful sunset ever seen.

Once home, the news was straight on, to see just what was happening. Residents in several suburbs have had homes threatened by fire. Every half hour or so earlier in the evening, a grim faced news presenter appeared, reading instructions to those in danger. "If your home backs bushland, hose down your fence and roof. Keep pets indoors. Don't drive unless visability is good, and you can see other people travelling. If you're home is in danger, and you can't see emergency services in the area, dial 000." I've never seen messages like that on my television screen before.

With every mention of the emergency gripping my city, I thought of the firefighters, the police, fighting to make sure that everybody was safe, fighting to ensure that nobody lost their home. On Christmas eve, these people are away from their families, because other families are in danger. Our rural fire service is made up of many volunteers, people who are willing to risk their lives, to make sure that the lives of strangers are kept safe. Willing to sweat in the intense heat of a bushfire, breathing smoke and ash, fighting until exhaustion overcomes them. They do this year after year, knowing that many of the fires they fight are the work of arsonists, lit for kicks, or through the stupidity of a cigarette butt thrown out of a car window. They're always ready to answer the call, and it humbles me. Knowing that there are men and women in my community who will take that risk for their fellow man. Many of them won't be home for Christmas day. They'll still be out, ensuring that nobody is given a blackened home as a Christmas gift. In my country, elite athletes are often raised to hero status. While in the grandstand, an ordinary man or woman sits, cheering with everybody else...not looking for praise, or recognition, of the fact that they have saved homes, lives, dreams. It's an incredible thing.

Well, Christmas morning has dawned, and there's far less smoke in the skies. The gusty winds died down overnight, and it looks as though the fires have been contained. Hopefully they won't flare up during the day, because the winds have returned, as strong as ever. It does look like there'll be firefighters able to spend the day with their loved ones though. I hope they get the chance to relax, and enjoy a cold beer today. They've earned it.

I’ll be heading to my mother’s house today for our annual Christmas party, though I’m currently still recovering from a loopy weekend. A few old friends of mine I have not seen in almost a year planned on going to a club Saturday night and they asked me to go. So Saturday evening I traveled over to Atlanta and met up with them, and we headed to Backstreet.

I’ve only been to Backstreet a few times, and it’s hardly a place anyone could withstand for very long sober- it’s a huge 24-hour dance club loaded with drunk and drugged up people. It can be a lot of fun, if you’re on the same level as everyone else. My friend Jenna, whom I’ve known since high school, had only recently been experimenting with E, and she and Sherry had each taken a roll so by the time we arrived they were squirming all about the car. I took an alternate illegal substance to keep me going. The moment we’d parked, a homeless man ran up to my window, began knocking on it, speaking incomprehensible words with wild eyes as we tried to avoid looking at him. Eventually a parking attendant drove him away and Jenna and Sherry ran inside while I tried to gather what I needed together. Once I got inside and caught up with the two, we ran upstairs for the drag show.

All throughout the show, Jenna kept leaning over and asking me questions in awe. (“What is that he’s wearing? Is that really a guy? How do they do that? Those boobs are real! Aren’t they?”) The two were rather amusing- I was laughing my head off. Several of the performances were really good. One performer danced extraordinarily well to numbers by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, (I highly doubt I’d have enjoyed it as much if I were sober) and I went up and handed her $5 dollars. After this, one of the performers pulled a guy out of the crowd and began undressing him on stage. His embarrasment was obvious and he futily tried to keep his boxers on. The drag queen was grabbing him- I suppose it was meant to be funny but we felt bad for the guy and yelled at her to let him go. He eventually escaped.

We began to move around the club, avoiding many of the guys attempting to chat with us and dancing for a while. Two guys came up to us at one point and began talking to us. We felt like sitting down and did so next to them. Normally I’d never be speaking to these guys, but I was in my unsober talkative mood and chatted away- primarily about my boyfriend, who was out of town and who I was missing terribly. The guys still remained, I guess determined to get at least one of us interested in them. They were amusing for a little while. When we were about to move on, one of the guys quickly spit out “We’re about to get a bag of coke and go back to the Hilton. You guys want to come with us?”

The three of us laughed and declined, but they didn’t want to end it there. One of the guys kept talking to me, trying to get me to go dance with him. It’s hard for me to be mean, so I was kind in my declination. Sherry gave him the evil eye so well I think he may have been truly concerned. The two eventually headed out for their coke binge, and we finally met up with a few of Sherry’s club friends. A good friend of mine from Athens showed up at about 3:30, and I was so happy to see him. We talked for a while, and Jenna and Sherry and I had a good time reliving college memories and watching the odd assortment of people saunter by. Jenna and Sherry were ready to leave by 5 a.m.; they were coming down and wanted to get out of there before getting totally sober, for that’s when the place feels rather depressing and scary at times. We headed out and I was still awake enough to drive home. I crashed into my bed at about a quarter to seven, glad to be able to have the night out with old friends, and looking forward to Christmas with my family after I slept for 20 hours or so.

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