*horns blowing*

*lights quickly flicker on*

*screams and singing shouting through the air*

Well that's what I remember of my 14th birthday at least - oh and iceskating that night, which was exciting!

It's only my birthday on server time, February 11th, 2003 - my 22nd year on Earth has come around and it doesn't get any better from last year so far.

There was a lot of people born on my birthday in 1981 cause it was a huge blizzard as I'm told - the hospital was packed and people were rushed in and out of delivery rooms like it was a subway station and people changing trains. But I was born healthy and a cute bundle of joy to new parents - yay.

I guess I have a lot of be thankful for on my past 22 years - never having major health problems just a broken arm and jaw surgery. Fairly successful in school - still deciding what I want to do when I grow up!

Now all I have looking forward to is finally finishing college I was actually looking at other universities today to transfer and finish faster. But I'm trying to rush my 1.5 years left - need to ease down.

Happy Birthday to me!

short takes well

I've been offline most of the week with a bad case of SMAC addiction, but in the end, Brother Lal had no choice but to capitulate to the University. The dozen Singularity Planet Busters didn't hurt my case, either.

A couple days ago, I was having an anxiety attack. Pretty minor stuff, really, except that they can lead to panic attacks, and, frankly, I don't need those. Bad. Tres bad. So, flapping my arms didn't help, smoking too many cigarettes didn't help, talking to Noteponymous, jumping jacks, nada.

I dug through the Hallowe'en box, a huge Rubbermaid tub, until I found a small plastic container of blue greasepaint and applied warpaint, Braveheart style.

It was astounding.

Incredible.

In the space of ten seconds, everything was better. It was as if someone had coated me in fine dark chocolate. Suddenly, my nerve endings were no longer exposed to the chill, the teeth of the bastard file of daily life. My AC went to -24, my charisma doubled, and Mandy Patinkin was singing Oh, What A Wonderful World somewhere very far away.

I think I may be doing another collage soon. This pack of Export 'A' lights has possibilities, speaking to me the way Gauloises spoke to Robert Motherwell.

Some classified information has come down the pike, as well. No, not government or business, just stuff that I am not permitted to speak about in public. Believe me, I want to, it's eating a hole in my brain keeping it in...

I am noding again!

I am very pleased. I said I would... and I did! I am being an active noder. I am even being helpful. I have found missing facts.. I have helped clean up nodes...

I am using an E2 Node Tracker, and this is what I think has helped me most. It's much more cathartic to node when you can get instant feedback... And it's a great way to shore up older nodes that might otherwise be ignored. I strongly suggest it.

It also helps that the kind and generous Wuukiee has been shepherding me along, more or less. Use the buddy system.

My big goal is to get on the Honor Roll, now... Easier to get XP than to write almost a hundred more nodes :)

Just a couple of notes for posterity.

Note the first: If you end up going to a pimps'n'hos party, and you drink a lot, and do a lot of drugs, and watch an ex-city councilman lovingly, yet desperately clutching onto his boy (that looks to be about the same age you were when that not-yet-city councilman had a crush on you (which was fifteen years ago, but you tell everyone ten)), don't then launch into a diatribe about how evil the ex-city councilman is for managing to get Ford to contribute fifty fuel cell powered vehicles to the university to which you (still) attend, all right? It's crass, takes advantage of the ex-city councilman's drunken, drugged, horny, desperate, or otherwise altered state, and reveals the fact that you're a professional student who is ungracious into the bargain. A pimps'n'hos party is not the place to debate the evils of corporate America, nor to take out petty revenge on an ex-fling.

That was for them, this one's for me:

Note the second: If you go to a pimps'n'hos party and you drink a lot, and do a lot of drugs and party like you're 18 or 28 instead of 38, and have a wonderful time, including playing electronic Taboo with a bunch of people, including the most amazing drag queen who is also seven feet tall, and don't want the wonderful time to end, and so you happen to think it a really good idea to go get a Bloody Mary at 8:30 in the morning in one of the worst white trash dive bars in town still dressed as a pimp with a black woman as your companion, who's still dressed as a ho ... remember this:

It's not really a good idea.

It is, however, very interesting.

Am I the only one left who sleeps well at night?

The world is a sick place.

It's got something. Something wicked and wrong and it smells bad. It has a sense to it, like fingernails on a chalk board, but I don't hear it the same way that lots of other people do, though. I hear it and it's music, which will eventually hit a final note.

People flutter in and out of life, like moths in the periphery of a yellow light bulb. Some do this by choice; others do it kicking and screaming, but they do it anyway.

Banality slips through our consciousness like a night fog, creeping into our minds and hearts like a soft, warm blanket. It's okay to be banal- that way you don't draw any attention to yourself, make yourself a target.

Stupid things to talk about. Stupid things to do. Stupid things to ponder. Stupid things to dream of. Stupid things to fear. Stupid things to hate, love, watch, see. It's all so stupid, but it's very attention-grabbing. Like Pee Wee Herman.

It's all coming to an end one day and then what will you occupy your time with, when it's all gone? Why are you living for something that won't last? If today seems so utterly blank, what's wrong with tomorrow?

I don't live for this world; I live for the one that comes after it, the next world, the world that awaits me after I die. Sounds like a pretty kickass place to me, come hell or high water.

She broke my heart. He stole my money. They took my job. We bombed their country. I lied on my application. You're not fit for this exam. What's the question again?

The stars will crumble to dust, just like you, in their Hollywood homes and limos. The politicians will get old and frail and lose their jobs, just like everyone else. The pontifs and preachers will all lie at one point or another, some for good reasons, many for the worst reasons imaginable. Parents will cry over their children. Children will scream at their parents. Worlds will collide and the sky will fall. And then it'll all reset again.

Don't hit the History Erasing button, it'll erase history.

What? Oh, we don't know. No one's ever hit it before. No one would dare touch that button. But it's tempting, isn't it?

I have been on holiday back in Cape Town since the 26th january. It took a week to adjust. For the first few days the old town seemed half-deserted. I was wondering where everyone was, and my brother's small house seemed monstrously huge. It is a bit surreal seeing Cape Town as a tourist, an outsider. It's a sleepy place that doesn’t change much.

I even miss London a bit, the bussle and action, the dirty, crowded streets, wet with rain, festooned with litter, phlem and chewing gum. Hard to believe that I only dug in there in late March 2002.

In the second week I felt at home again. I opened up the storage and realized that there was my entire former life crammed into this little concrete garage. So much of my stuff that I had been happily living without. The things that I own, but which hadn’t quite managed to own me.

I have done touristy stuff like taking the cable car up Table Mountain, going down to Cape Point, going on a wine route. And some business, credit card, bank account, etc. And some laying about, doing nothing much, reading comics and avoiding the sun. All in all, it's great.

And the nano records outdoor trance party. Much as I had a blast, and met great people I'm glad I don’t have that in my backyard every weekend. I've been good in London, and here it was so easy to go back to being bad. And such fun, after a lay-off. There's the temptation, the diminishing return.

I have 8 days to go, in which time happens a stag night, a wedding, another outdoor trance party, packing, clearing out of furniture and much goodbyes again.

The Message You Will Never Get

Well, I have seen what I needed to see. After feeling so awful about ignoring you on tuesday night because I didn't know how to deal with seeing you last night's little scenario showed me how little you really did care. It doesn't take a genius to work out what you and her were doing.

You moved on so quickly but I think maybe she was the reason you finished it in the first place. You really did make the safety choice there. You said you had more fun in 1 month with me than in 6 months with her, and yet you are going back for more. It must be such an easy option. I feel strangely numb, it's a bit like shock I think. I am waiting to react in some way.

Now I want to see you, talk to you, sort this situation out and get at the truth. I'm not sure why I want to do this and I need to wait to see what happens. I know I'm going to cry but it hasn't happened yet.

I really need to rationalise this, you didn't love me, you didn't know what that word meant. My feelings are different, its strange, its like the sadness got heavier, I've been through so much in the last few months and it seems you weren't worth it. You really aren't the person that I thought you were.

She will never be like me, you will never find someone else like me. I risked and gave a lot for you and you just push it all behind you and carry on like nothing happened. It's not like I feel sorry for myself, I knew all the time it was dangerous but you made me think we had something and I just let myself be swept along with it. You were right, it would have ended in a disaster, so maybe your decision was the best one. But I feel like you have taken something from me that it will take time to get back, and that makes me more sad.

But I can start to see the real you now. This is closure, the chance to move on. Your friends said you didn't really know how to treat women properly and I never thought that was true when we were together because you said and did such fantastic things, but it was all words, and now apparantly empty words. I still can't see us being friends, the confusion in my head about how you felt about me, the thought that if you still loved me then there was a chance that we could try again, or you would want me again made the whole thing screwed up in my head, but now I know what you are like, I don't want you (I think),but I'm not sure because I'm not reacting properly. I don't think I want to go back now.

I need to be sure that the reason I feel that I want to see you and talk to you is not because you are with her, I feel that it is because I want to finally be able to move on, and I want to hear you tell me the truth about what happened. I do feel that you owe me that, but whether you will or not, or even if you'll be man enough to meet me and talk remains to be seen. I need to put my life back on track, and I need you to help me do that.

Hi – this is my first write up. It’s a song I wrote when I was seven. I’m eight now. I wrote the words and my friend Gracie (she’s almost 10) wrote the music. We hope we can sing it at the block party this summer. It's called “Can’t Repeat”. I hope you like it.

I was walking
down a road
But what I saw
I can’t repeat
(Can’t repeat)

For what I saw
You could see
But what I saw
I can’t repeat
(Can’t repeat)

Down by the river
Where the flowers run free
The roses and the marigolds
Speak to me
But what they say
I can’t repeat
(Can’t repeat)
(Can’t repeat)

My dad helped me with the spelling. Thank you.

It seems that the only thing I see on the news sites I read is the arrest of the Dell Dude Ben Curtis. The tagline "Dude, you're getting a cell." was funny (especially when Fox News used it when reporting the story), but quickly got old. It surprises me that even Ellen Feiss is still getting attention from her appearance in an Apple Computer "Switch" commercial. In my opinion, these two have already had their 15 minutes of fame, and just need to move on in their lives.

Unprepared for this now, and you’re not
The same as you were away from gravity.

Too late, too late. It repeats and holds
Our secrets while you work through another minute
Of this effort, unconcerned.  Preparing yourself
For where you end and it begins, you find
That you are letting the rhyming be seen
And feel the over will be here in a moment
Making you lighter and a shape defined
By a selfless breath forming practiced
Welts in veiled places of Skin and Principle
                              And Expression
                              And Inspiration.
And as we complete the moment you again comprehend
That we are standing where we end, 
And are seeing the beginning again.
she's a funny lookin' fella

As I prepared for work this morning, our cat was going through her morning ritual with me ...figure eights around my ankles, falling down at my feet, jumping on the counter and pawing at my face. In this observation ...and participation... I realized that this one year old cat has developed a fine sense of its responsibilities, and is the best time manager I know.

Susha ...or as I call her, Fargo... keeps the house amazingly purged of rodents, and other creatures a person does not like to encounter or find evidence of. She sweeps the house daily for spider webs, errant winds, ghosts and anomolies in the space-time continuum. She guards the perimeter through constant communication with her tomcat tabby boyfriend, and a couple of the neighborhood squirrels. She cleans her food bowl and doesn't leave crumbs all over the place. And keeps all of her toys picked up and out of sight under the furniture, when she is not playing with them.

In addition to these duties, she gets proper rest to restore her energies, greets every guest that arrives at our door, and makes time each day to express her affection for each member of the household ...seemingly, just when we need it.

I have read and studied many books and methods about organization, delegation of responsibility, and time management ...but until this morning, I had never realized such a perfect example exists in my life.

I hope you have one too.

I’m about a third of the way through David Herbert Donald’s biography of Abraham Lincoln. I bought the book on a lark at a used bookstore, but I'm really enjoying it. If anything, it’s taught me that the harsh partisan politics we’ve seen in the U.S. for the past eight years or so are nothing new -- in fact, things are pretty mild compared to the way they were back in Lincoln’s day. In his unsuccessful Senate campaign, he bribed a newspaper $500 to support his candidacy. There’s nothing like history to give you a little perspective on modern life.

Still, it’s difficult to get perspective on living in here and now, on the eve of a war in Iraq with the terror alert status jacked up to orange. To other people around the country the idea of terrorism is an abstraction -- September 11, 2001 was a vicarious event. But living in D.C., I actually saw the smoke rising from the Pentagon and three weeks later toured the wreckage, myself. I stood on the curb when the city cleared out, the streets eerily quiet despite being jammed with fleeing commuters. Lawrence, Kansas probably has very little to worry about Al Qaeda, but living in the American capitol is a cause for real concern.

I’ve given up on watching the cable news channels -- I get all my information from the internet, now. Maybe having a bright orange danger warning flashing on the screen is good for ratings, but it’s not good for my state of mind. It’s irresponsible of them to constantly beat the drums of fear -- to have constant running analysis on the inevitability of attack. Isn’t it enough just to repeat the government’s warnings? Why heighten hysteria?

I’m reminded of Michael Moore’s documentary, Bowling for Columbine, where he discusses how the news media creates a culture of fear. Well, I’m tired of being afraid, tired of worrying constantly whether I’m going to get mugged or killed in a terrorist attack. I just want to go about my life peacefully, unaffected by all this “excitement.” When was it that safety and quiet were abandoned in favor of terror and constant nervousness? I certainly can’t remember.

I guess I can just be thankful I never moved to New York.

Something Revolutionary actually happened on this Tuesday Night… how ironic…

After spending so much time working on my write-up for the Weeknight Sound Track, I was afraid that tonight, this Tuesday night, fate would hunt me down and delight in my demise. I feared for the way my luck usually runs. I feared that tonight would be a horrible night peppered with depression and too much caffeine. Instead: it was Something Revolutionary. For the first time in too long, I finally felt truly energized and quite optimistic about the future. I have a close friend that has setup one hell of a five-day weekend for me. I can’t begin to convey to anyone how important this night was to me. I felt that depression sneak up on me. I felt that dark corner beckon me. I felt it. And then I conquered it. It’s one of those nights that so many anxious thoughts zip through your head that sleep is something you doubt will happen. I can not comprehend what will go well or wrong this weekend but I can see that glistening weekend glory in the distance and dammit: I’m Ready.

”I mean how do you know what you’re going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don’t. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it’s a stupid question.” Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe launched by NASA on June 30, 2001 has returned its first results. They help elucidate some of the most fundamental question in cosmology, such as the fate of the universe or the validity of current theories.

Science at work ladies and gentlemen: be amazed.

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