Driving in the dark through a snow storm in the middle of nowhere is one of my favorite things. Those flakes tunneling through the air, parting over my windshield makes me feel like I'm flying. My eyes can't help but dance back and forth as I track a flake rushing towards me. I always try to force myself to look down, watch the lines, ignore the spectacle of this dancing white vortex, but I can't help but be mesmerized.

So there I was floating through a Missouri snowstorm and the inevitable happened. The 'it's always the dumb-asses with the SUV's who wipe out' rule coming to call. I was on a bridge, a long one, thinking that I probably should have listened to that voice... The one that said I would be better served to spend the night under a particularly pleasing down comforter with a flannel duvet in Ames rather than brave this road. The one that said funny of him to insist I call when I get home when I know he'll be dead asleep. The same one that had noted that Orion, my constant companion that crossed the sky as I traversed these roads had abandoned me; he was no where to be seen. Beth Orton was softly crooning ever so sweetly as my backend swooned to the left. I turned into it, to no avail and did a one-eighty.

I couldn't help but notice as I was traveling my arc that the snow in my headlight beams as I twirled was all the more disorienting, and ethereal. I recalled that I would surely, eventually bang into something, but the aspect of flying and the trick of the eye in the spectacle before me was strangely soothing. The flakes, once running to meeting me were now hastening away. As luck would have it, there were no headlights to greet me as the passenger side thumped into the guard rail on the bridge, sending my curiously limp body against the door. No air bags. Just the grind of my car coming to rest as Beth played on.

Building 'em up in order to find
What's not lost but left behind
My instinct got bruised, but I still see
I was a victim of being no casualty 

Just like coming home...just like coming home
Just like coming home...felt just like coming home 

Lost myself in a tangent

So I managed to get my crippled car pointed in the right direction and it hobbled a few yards down the road, past the bridge. My car was utterly incapable of being driven, and as luck would have it, I happened to be in one of the few dead areas in this, our modern, mobile world. Upon inspection of my auto I found myself doused in endorphins, heady with the jolt to my nervous system that had me highly aware of the smell and the soft quiet of the night around me. I was visibly shaking. I stared at my hand, certain they hadn't gotten the wrong idea in Ballard's Crash.

I was soon joined by three men in the dusty night, each extending his hand. Left with no other device I eyeballed my three would-be knights... One in an el camino was a wee bit too eager. Another trucker was hardly worth noticing. My instincts haven't failed me yet, and as I walked across the highway, I asked Steve how far it was to the next town.

I climbed in to his bobtail rig, his companion for the next 20 miles down the road. He was rather tall and round and reminded me of a kindly Hagrid in flannel in my mind's eye. His hair was curly and stuck out at all angles, his beard was scruffy, but his eyes were like bubbles. He begged forgiveness for the clutter in his cab as he quickly cleaned his home on the road. We chatted about the weather, the trucking industry, September 11th and his home. We discussed my getting laid off and the economy and the sagacity of investing in real estate. He offered me a cold drink, but I was too jittery. He told me he'd seen me on the side of the road and had radioed back to the other truckers to slow down traffic. He was a good man. He dropped me off at the truck stop and as he pulled around, he replaced his dark glasses and hat and then waved goodbye.

It's a good thing in this world that one can, on occasion, rely on the kindness of strangers.

I got a package in the mail today. It was a large box and fairly heavy with the weight of books and memories. It contained my father's old collection of science fiction novels and short stories. A splash of Anderson, a smattering of Philip K Dick and generous amounts of Bradbury and Heinlein. Their garish, psychedelic covers harkened back to a day when there were more free thinkers and the science fiction genre truly flourished. It made me wish I had been around back then. I envy my father the chance to live in the 60s and 70s. The music was better. It may not have been any more peaceful, but people stood up and made their opinions heard. The box also held a copy of the International Herald Tribune from January 29, 1973, the day the ceasefire was finally signed to end the Vietnam War. My father was very outspoken and very liberal. I see alot of him in me. I have very similar objections to America's actions in Afghanistan. Thank goodness that one was only around for a blink of an eye.

I've been wanting to read more science fiction lately, and when my father was visiting his parents recently, he remembered that he had all these books lying around. I leapt on the chance to read them. I really appreciated him handing them down to me. More and more I find that I'm a lot like him. I'm becoming a literature geek just like he was. We listen to the same music. In fact, his tastes may be more modern than mine. The box had all his scholarship and college-related papers in it too. I got to compare our National Merit Finalist letters. Mine had arrived along with the box that morning. Strange coincidence. We're the same MBTI type. I've even considered becoming a foreign service officer, just like him. I've decided instead that I would like to go into his first career, teaching.

We share a link that is more than just genetic. (I would not mind such a link, though. He's a dead ringer for Pierce Brosnan.) We are very often on the same wavelength and are very comfortable just sitting together watching a hockey game or a baseball game. Despite my most earnest efforts, I have taken up tennis, his biggest hobby. I'm becoming a history buff. His nose is always stuck in something about World War II or the drug war in Colombia. There are times when I've wanted to strike out on my own, be my own person, but that's just my stupid pride speaking. I really can't think of anyone I'd rather be like, even if it's unintentional.

I've got to get to work reading this sci-fi...

I sent my darling a very cheesy, mushy homemade Valentine today. I can't wait to see him this weekend. I was talking to him online tonight and he asked me what I would say if he asked me to marry him. Although I'm not really thinking about marriage at this point in my life, I wouldn't hesitate to say yes. I told him whenever he asked me to marry him I would say yes. It's so weird I've found the boy I want to be with for the rest of my life. That's serious stuff and it blows my mind. I really feel like grown-up-hood is sneaking up on me.

Earlier this evening Psydereal and I were at Java Break trying to study. We started to talk about drugs, one of our most favorite topics. She said "I want to roll next week, but at the same time I kind of don't." I know exactly what she's talking about. I will always be an advocate of legalizing drugs and allowing people to choose for themselves what substances they want to put in their bodies. Used by a responsible, informed user drugs aren't nearly as harmful as society claims they are. But I'm nearing a point in my life where I really don't care if I ever do another drug in my life. I've gotten everything I will ever get from ecstasy. I don't see it offering me any new, amazing experiences. A year ago I would have seen that as a sad thing, not wanting to do drugs anymore, but I guess I'm just moving on. God help me, am I growing up? Talking about marriage, thinking about giving up drugs. It's very surreal, but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Yeah it's scary, but a lot of things are.


It has happened, I am beginning my 22nd year on this planet. Somehow there is a huge difference between 21 and 22; 22 sounds so much more grown up. Scary.

It has been an odd year, a good year but an odd one. Even ignoring that I discovered e2, it has been eventful, I have done a lot of things now which I had not done 12 months ago (which I will not go into here, hi mum).

At the moment, I am fairly content. I have no money, no car and no flat but that has never really been important to me (I used to think it was, but I never really believed it) - however, if anyone wants to remedy that, it is my birthday :)

I am getting lots of darkroom materials from my family, so everyone I know will be bombarded with black and white enlargements until they can take it no more (I like making prints and I like giving presents, good arrangement eh?). If anyone wants one, drop me a /msg and I will see what I can do. I am a bit short on negatives at the moment because I only rarely shot B&W until recently, but tell me the sort of thing you would like and I will see what I have.

Oh yeah, its pancake day too:

  • 4 oz Plain Flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 210ml Milk
  • 90ml Water
  • Vegetable fat
Mix all ingredients together (except the fat), heat a bit of fat in a frying pan and add enough of the mixture to cover the base of the pan, cook until it bubbles and can be easily turned over, turn and cook until golden on both sides. Repeat until all mixture is gone. Drench with your topping of choice and eat.

The world is not just. On Sunday night I had 9 hours of sleep after a restfull day, and felt grotty and tired all monday. Last night I drank most of a bottle of delicious Backsberg Rhine Reisling, and then woke up at 4am, didn't sleep again until 5am, was bothered by Mosquitos, and I feel great today.

My nipple rings are healing much faster than my belly-ring did. It's been just over two weeks now, and they are still at an irritable stage, and do clog with gunk if I don't clean them. The left one seems to get more annoyances than the righthand one.

My life is chaos, work in progress and pieces flying all over the place. Long to-do lists of scribbled items. In order to change you must disassemble. And a plan, parts of it coming together. This is good.

This will be it: Leave Cape Town Evening of Thursday 7 March
Arrive London Heathrow Friday 8 March Am
Take bus to London Gatwick
Flight To Dublin Ireland
Check into Avalon house hostel Friday 8 March Pm.
One week of chilling, sightseeing and even employment agencies in Dublin. Stay there for a week, check out on 14th or 15th 'cos they don't have any vacancies left over St Paddy's day weekend.
Check into P-'s couch also in Dublin for the weekend.
Monday or Tuesday is where the plan starts to get sketchy. Baring the event of finding a job in Dublin, it's back to London and A-'s couch. Apparently London a very tough job market right now. This is worrying me, but there's not much that I can do about it right now.

Along the way I must finish Serious Sam, which is actually as unserious a game as 3d shoooters get, back up all my worldly belongings, find tenants for my house (one possible, students - that's what I get for living close to university), sell stuff, pack stuff, revise budgets, get forex, contact people, go to farewells, another Vortex, hear Roger Waters live, paint bits of the house, node more towards seventh level. etc etc. Three weeks to go on Thursday. Tension or anticipation? I'm OK with it so it's not stress.

Once again, I have no laundry money.

I hate that. I'm not getting paid until Thursday, so I'm going to be turning my socks inside out for the next two days. That is, as they say, some brutal pie.
I have an exam tomorrow and a paper due on Thursday. On top of that, it's still winter! When is it all going to end? That's what I'd like to know. At least I have the following things going for me:

Don't put the girl of your dreams on your buddy list.

Really. Don't. It will drive you nuts. Every time she comes online your heart will stop, hoping that she will drop you a message just to say "hi" or to ask how you are doing. It will crush you every time she doesn't bother.

It will cause you to create a separate screen name that she doesn't know, just so that you can check to see if she's online and be prepared before you really go online.

It will cause you to stop using IM software altogether because you risk talking to her in a less-than-ideal situation; for when you IM her, you don't get to see her run her fingers through her hair or look into your eyes and smile or do any one of the thousand things she does that make her her.

Don't do it until you know her decently well and can deal with it, even though it doesn't seem like a big deal.

Of course, that's just me, and this node proves that I'm a huge loser so YMMV ;)

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