I drove north to Peabody, MA tonight. I admit I don't know much about this town, except that it has a WalMart and an Outback. I visited both of them tonight.

The Outback was excellent. The music was at the right volume, the service was prompt and polite. I had a "Bloomin Onion" (for those of you not familiar with this appetizer, it is an onion, split open, breaded, fried, and served with some good dip), a Outback Special (sirloin steak), and a couple of Budwisers.

At Walmart, I picked up a couple of 6' shelves, so I can get my books out of my closets. They had some great flannel shirts that I picked up also.

Right now, I'm listening to XFL in the background. So far, it seems like, ummm, football. Nothing too strange yet. They are showing the coach's talk in the locker room right now. I don't get too excited unless its my home team.

At the time of this writing, I have 115 writeups and 361 XP. I've noticed that alot of people out there have like 16 node-fu, which makes me look bad, but upon close inspection, they've usually submitted about 80 silly nodes for every 2 factual nodes, so it ain't that bad ^_^

I should've done my Biology homework today, but alas, I didn't. I was busy procrastinating. I don't care much about my homework anymore for the most part. Or rather, it bores me so much that I avoid doing it to the extreme. Not sure...

So I noded about half of the day. 3 levels in 3 weeks? Watch out Psuedo_Intellectual ;)

(Despite what my user log says, I started noding 1/1/Y2K+1. It's just that I created the account, forgot aobut the site, and didn't come back till a link showed up on /. a month later)

Last night, I met with my ex and we talked for about 2 hours and I finally told him what he needed to hear: my feelings for you have changed. He was relieved and Iguess I was too. I felt worse too, because I realized just how much I really love this guy. How can you love some one so much and not be in love with them? I don't understand it. It's so much more complicated than I originally thought. I wanted to make love but wisely did not. That would have killed me. So I kissed him instead when he took me home. I went inside my house, got ready for bed and lit five candles, three white purity, one purple passion and one black one evil?. I forget what black means.

I miss him so much today I just can barely stand it. I saw him for a few minutes, and I hugged and kissed him. He was obviously very happy, probably because it's quite obvious to everyone that I still love him. I went out thrift shopping with two friends and cried the whole way there and the whole way back. It really sucks. I want him to be different than he is right now - I think he is already changing. I just have to wait and see what happens.

Well, I had my knee examined today. 5 years ago, I went to the doctor because of knee pain. I also told them about a huge freakin' lump I had on the back of my knee. They told me it was a baker's cyst. I have no idea what that is. I'm not a doctor. They told me it should be painless and I just had to do some flexibility exercises every day and the pain would go away in a few months. Well, I've been exercising for five years and now the pain has recently flared. I went to the doctor again, except this time I didn't go to the same bitchy old ornery doctor. I went to a doctor that I had been to before a couple times, and seemed to be nicer. Now this doctor, he can't tell you that you have a cold unless he first explains to you the history of the cold, what it is, how you got it, etc... So I told him about the pain and the cyst and he says, "Well, how do you get a cyst, specifically in the knee that is? It's a sac filled with fluid. In this case, joint fluid. Where did the fluid come from? There had to be some sort of injury or tear to the knee." I told him that I had had an MRI previously and he said, "Well, MRIs will usually pick up a tear to the miniscus, but they aren't perfect. But I'm sure it's not really big... So I'll just give you a recommendation to a different doctor, a prescription for extra strength pain killers, recommendation to radiology for X-rays, send you over for an MRI, and we might need to do some surgery to figure out what's wrong."

Nothing BIG?

I never even had my tonsils taken out, and this is nothing big?? They are going to cut my knee open and look around for a while! And plus I'm going to be laying down with my ass up in the air (with an open-backed gown) so they can look at the back of my knee.

There is one bonus though. They did inform me that I am going to get stoned off my rocker. I remember when I had my teeth pulled. They gave me nitrous oxide which lasted for about 4 hours when the pulling took about 15 minutes. And they don't wait for it to wear off, they just send you home immediately. So I was playing with my dog for a few hours and everything was just extra fun.
I will take this like a man.

Well, uhm, okay. Not understudy. Backup story? The guy who was gonna provide my alias? Him. The guy who was gonna sit on my back burner because I wasn't really interested in him nor he in me but we found it easy to talk to each other. One of those.

So my best friend, Dee, has this brother, and he's sorta cute, and being as he's my friend's brother, I see him at any family function they have, right? Right.

A. and I had this joke going on - I'm not really looking for a long-term relationship/marriage, and he is. And we never had a problem talking to each other, like friends are friends, right?

Anyway so we had this deal, if he was still around in a year or two or whenever I get serious about anything, we'd probably date then.

Yeah, except he went and got engaged today.

It's funny, actually. I mean, not funny, just interesting. I'm really excited for A. and this girl, Rebecca is really sweet, and Dee's excited, so that's all of us that are happy, and now I've just got to find another friend who'd be willing to fill in my backup slot. (LOL. As if. I'm such a bitch. )

It's just - uhm, how shall I say? A liddle nudge? Because I'm coasting along, my friends are coasting along, we're all pretty much taking it easy. You forget (I forget) that some of us are just cruising because there's no other option. Some of us want to speed up and move on. A. is one of those, I guess. I'm not.

So tonight I went to my friend's engagement party. It's kind of like watching your understudy play your role, only in another gig. It makes you wonder whether you should start getting serious about life and stuff.

Nah. Dat shit ain't for me yet.

so i really sometimes resent my mom. i find it so terribly maddening how she behaves sometimes.

in regards to my stomach pains, now that test results have come back normal, i think i have to try to figure out if maybe i'm crazy or stressed... feeling physical pain for non-physical reasons. i know stress won't turn my crap white, but...

see, and here's why i sometimes resent my mother. she's a certified looney. i mean like in and out of boobie hatches for years. scars on the wrists, burns on the arms, the whole deal.

when all your female relatives died of breast cancer, every bump feels like cancer. i'm in a similar situation. mom's a loon. dad's a loon. dad's mom is a loon. and i look just like mom, and it only makes things worse. how much did i inherit from her? why did she have to be nuts? i feel like everyone knows, and looks at me funny. assumes i'm a loon. i feel like i must factor in the possibility of insanity into every decision i make, every thing i say.

so yeah. i think i'll raise the question to my doctor. could i be nuts? could this be stress? should i go talk to someone? might that help?

and argh. the doctor told me to let him know if taking nitroglycerin during an attack helps... but i'm too chicken to actually take it. it's an old-people-with-heart-problem drug. i'm 24. the side effects can suck. and there's not been any studies done to see if it causes cancer in humans. oh hell no.
wake up. walk the dog, go to the store to buy a grow light and wind up finding an aeonium arboreum and a cute pink echeveria. almost picked up a gasteria and a small aloe, but didn't. i already have too many plants, so i should stick with my focus on the rosette forming succulents.

the echeveria is young, but it looks well. it is a hybrid called "Pearle von nuenberg". it has a nice pink and grey/green colour which can't be achieved without proper light. The aeonium is etiolated, many of the bottom leaves were dead, and the center is green. the etiolation and green center are signs of too little light, and i think overwatering is the culprit for leaf drop. it is a "swartkop" variety, and the whole rosette should be a dark purple black colour. it is not beyond saving, and i will try to turn it into a gorgeous specimin.

dunno what to do with the rest of my day. a top-to-bottom cleaning of the apartment? a long bath? visit my sister? maybe all of the above or maybe none.

I had a much needed day off that was the same day as spouse! WOOOOO-HOOOOOO! This tag team parenting thing hasn't exactly helped with the couple bonding! We decided to head into the Angeles National Forest for a bit of hiking. It was a warm sunny day. (Ok, most days are warm sunny days in Southern California) But, THIS was a different warm sunny day! We were together as a family for the first time in weeks!

We get into the forest (should be called shrubland) and discover that we need an Adventure Pass to park. Say what?! We have to go somewhere and buy a pass so we can park in a park our taxpayer money already pays for? Where we have to go to get pass is not mentioned on the signpost. Translation.... Hiking plans shot to pieces!

The gods giveth, the gods taketh away...

New plan enters spousal mind. "Let's go four wheeling!" Kids are enthralled at the idea of a new adventure. We've not taken them on an offroad experience before. Off we go. We may not be able to park in the Angeles Forest, but no where did it say we needed a pass to drive through the forest! EEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA! Off we go! The views were inexpressibly beautiful! We got out of the suburban and looked out at the skyline. We were high in the mountains. It was silent except for the occasional call of a bird flying overhead. Sweet silence...

smack...I wipe snow off my shoulder and turn to see a giggling child getting ready to throw another snowball! We haven't seen snow this winter yet. It felt familiar. Comfortable. I'm still marveling at 80 degree weather and snowballs co-existing!

Continuing on our journey, we come upon snow and ice covered paths. There are trees all around this little area. It reminds us of the trail behind our old home in Connecticut. I want to turn around and be safe. Spouse wants to forge ahead and seize the day. Spouse seizes. CLUNK ! shhhhhhhhhhh. A sharp rock decides to make a home in our tire!!!!!! At least we have a spare! Spare tire is also flat. Hmmmm.

The gods giveth, the gods taketh away....

At least we have a cell phone! AAA is called but before call is completed we lose service. We are stuck out in the middle of the wilderness. Millions of people surround us, yet we are alone. Visions of Survivor dance in my head. Still, I am not worried. There was an empty ranger station a few miles back. I start the hike while spouse remains with the kids laughing to myself.

THANK GOODNESS for the other idiots...(er, I mean adventurers) out four-wheeling that day! They just happened to get stuck in a place we had trouble with a mile down the mountain. THEY were smart enough to have TWO vehicles and five cell phones between them! One vehicle finishes pulling out the smaller one and they drive me down to the ranger station. Phone call made. They drive me back UP the mountain, without getting stuck this time. (phew) One discovers that his spare MAY fit our truck. Actually it did get on the truck but the tire was much smaller. Not looking a good samaritan's offer in the mouth, we accept the loan of said tire. We follow him to his house where he has the EXACT tire we need for out make/model truck. Fate perhaps? Coincidence? Who am I to question?!

the gods giveth again!(and saved a $500 towing charge!)

Later this evening...I log online to see what new things I can discover in e2. (Who's whispering in my ear?!! Knock it off!!) I discovered somebody chinged me! Sheeeeeeesh! After I got through saying I didn't want to see the little gremlins taunting me from the corner of my screen...(sigh) OK, I admit it felt good. But I didn't want it to feel good!

I start surfing at random typing in things to see where it takes me, a journey through e2 space this time. No flat tires to get here! I come across noisy sunset. WHAT A TREAT!!! A visual treasure! Woooo-hooooo! I was excited! I jumped into the chatterbox to share with my fellow noders this wondrous discovery! I love the unexpected! One of them says to try this one... punch thyself. I'm sure there are those of you that KNOW what this is. Can you guess what I did?...

the gods giveth, the gods taketh away...

I haven't laughed so much in ages!...LIFE IS GOOD!!!

I Feel Like I Just Died

I have written about her several times on E2 (here, here and here), and I have held her as my own - foolishly perhaps - even though she wasn't.

I recently posed the question, "Is a crush better than a relationship?". I honestly didn't know the answer to that question, and still don't. But either thing, a crush or a relationship is bettter than how I am feeling now.

The girl I admired once in passing from a far a year ago, who just happened to get assigned the apartment next to me this year; the girl who I have written stupid letters never to be sent; the girl who made me so smitten with her Canadian "eh"s and "y'know"s; the girl who my roommates got sick of me talking about; the girl with the beautiful smile and wonderful laugh; the girl when she was happy ment I was as well; was the same girl kissing my Irish roommate tonight.

Maybe she was attracted to him because he's Irish. He's a foreigner here too; he's one of probably several thousand first generation Irish in this country, I'm just one in 280 million Americans. Maybe the person who saw them was incorrect, or maybe they were just drunk.

I just wish my roommate would have told me.

I regret not only the things I have or have not done, but all the things I have thought of doing or not doing. I am filled with the rightious feelings of, "I have not done this that you speak of, I am pure." I am filled with pain that my wonder has been crushed for the good of people I will never meet. I am nothing without my wonder. I no longer want to learn and now my mind has died because of it, and I can't rise from those ashes.

Persona poem: Alphonse Capone
Fidelio, Febuary 14, 1929

'Ma femme est morte, je suis libre!
Je puis donc boire tout mon soûl.
Lorsque je rentrais sans un sou,
Ses cris me déchiraient la fibre.'
--Baudelaire: Le Vin de l'Assassin

Tied with gleipnir,
You are the sword between my teeth,
Mae, Mary
Flowers sprout
As I stand by the Styx
And promise you my love.
Betrayal is harder on the heart
Than murder,
(I had not thought that I had undone so many.)

I've got a heat aura around me now. Gee - it was hot today. 31 degrees, and soaking it in the sun. I was at Darling Harbour watching the dragon boat races. Today, many of corporate teams were racing. Like my sister, she was in Team 2 for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In fact, PWC was the largest entrant, with 7 teams of 20 people in this Australian Chinese Dragon Boat Festival 2001. Part of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Sydney. Yeah, it's the year of the snake this year.

Blue skies, no clouds - the best Sydney weather, if a little warm for total comfort. There was some sky writing today too. And the new Volvo S60 on display. FYI, Volvo was one of the major sponsors of the event. And all the bus stops were advertising "We wouldn't change our name if it was the only thing we changed" Accenture. Previously known as Andersen Consulting. Sure sounds like hype advertising: we don't know why we changed our name, but trust us, we're now better than ever!

Caught the train home to The Gong aka Wollongong. I missed the revolving house again. There's this house just after Coal Cliff station that looks like an oversized tree house. It's round and a fair few metres off the ground. House on a stick? It revolves 360 degrees around; so that during the day time, the living area faces the sea, and at night, the bedrooms do. Of course, set in a picturesque bush setting.

Sunday Blues

The soundtrack for this weeks Sunday Blues is Jimi Tenor's album Intervision (1996 Warp Records). The main elements for this choice was Tenor's weird combination of kitsch, melancholia and anarkism. Just the thing to brood over on a Sunday.

The weekend leading to Sunday has been a wholesome blend of action packed dissappointments and insignificant good moments. It is times like these that build up a good Sunday Blues: the empty feeling of having the good life, but still missing out on the things you can't quite place.

The cracking cold of temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius further fortifies the feeling of isolation. The only way to appreciate the cold is to attack it with reckless mockery or treat it like a cruiseliner: we're here, there's nowhere to go, let's make the most of it.

Today I finally reached level 3. I had 71 write-ups, and 301 exp. I was ecstatic. So I signed off and read a book for a while, the got back on. To find that I had 69 write-ups, instead. I was level 3. My home node said so. And suddeny I wasn't. On the bright side, by posting this incident for posterity, I am now level 3. Ah...the heady rush of pseudo-power.....

I've never made a daylog before. But I don't know where to put this, and I feel the need to expunge it.

Last night I attended a dinner party¹ hosted by my girlfriend at her apartment. She'd invited two ex-colleagues from a former place of employment, whom she'd known and been friends with for many years. Both are married with kids, and live out in the 'burbs. They had both arranged baby sitters for the children. Husband-sitting not being part of the equation except perhaps in pr0n, the husbands were invited too.

I arrived early to be supportive of my girlfriend, help her get ready, etc. I'd never met any of these people before (girlfriend excepted) and so I was resigned to being on good behavior. Be polite, laugh at little jokes, carry the conversation if need be, and so on.

Everything was going well, the lasagna that my girlfriend made was excellent, and I was able to unobtrusively pass the bean salad without having to try any. Her friends were quite garrulous and made no real attempt to involve me in their conversation, so I only had to smile and laugh and pass the dishes. Until one of the husbands made a offensive, homophobic comment.

Now, this would never happen within my normal circle of contacts. Whether it's because any people who would do so have fallen out of that circle by natural attrition I don't know, but suffice it to say I've not heard anyone make such a blatantly discriminatory comment in a long time.

So, what did I do? Well, I'm pretty sure what my physiological response was. Smile vanished, eyes narrowed, lower jaw moved forward slightly. But I was so caught so totally off guard that my normally quick wit failed me utterly. And by the time I'd composed a response the conversation had moved on. So I said nothing.

The rest of the evening passed in, for me, tedious banality. It's not too stimulating to sit through war stories about places and industries you've not worked in, followed by discussions of birth and pregnancy when you haven't been part of those miracles since your own birth. Then came a lot of looking at pictures of people I didn't know. But it passed, and everyone left around midnight.

I helped clean up and then drove home. I was tired and fell asleep right away. But this morning, the ghost of Martin Niemoller keeps whispering in my head. "There was no one left to speak up" he whispers to my conscience.

It's a small thing. And yet, I feel that I failed myself as much as anyone. I let my discomfort in the social situation get the better of me. But what will I say next time? This is the key question. I don't know the answer yet. But until I do, Martin Niemoller will keep whispering to me. And I don't like it.

1. Usually I cook for two of us when we're together, but she likes dinner parties and I ... don't. So she cooks on those occasions.
The movers came yesterday, so the 57 boxes and furniture-but-not-anything-useful-to-sit-on are now here in Crooklyn. (I left North Carolina almost nine months ago, but I'm still in the process of moving). I've tried to split my time between a) porting the rickety Perl code of my website to no-need-for-my-constant-intervention Java, and b) unpacking. I made good progress on both fronts until hurting my back this morning (lifting inner classes can be dangerous!) -- so now both sets of tasks are too painful to do right now. As is this day log. I'll lay back down shortly, then probably code the rest of the day. (As I type this, I have to fight to keep from typing the Ctrl-X Ctrl-S for saving text in Emacs -- me am sick boy, boy who need vacation. I'm also on call, if The Corporation discovers some new last-minute boogs for fixting; I wonder if I can claim a sick day if they do call.)

I was awakened, around 8:00 AM, by the noise of a doorbell being pushed, and some knocking on a door; sound carries well in the long hallway, so I can hear everything going on. Being on the first floor, I hear the comings-and-goings of all my neighbors here. As it turns out, it was my quiet little doorbell being rung, with equally-quiet knocking, after the doorbell failed to get the tenant's attention. It was a refrigerator repairman, here to fix the since-December problem of my brand-new fridge freezing its contents. I'm not referring to the freezer, where such behavior is welcome, but the actual fridge, where the six-packs and pomegranites go.(I may diversify my diet later). He replaced the thermostat, and now I can go grocery shopping for the first time, once the doctors give me the OK for lifting boxes of Mini-Wheats again.

One thing I've been able to cross off my task list for today is laundry; I've discovered enough clean clothes (appropriately, in those boxes marked "clothes") to keep the laundromat at bay. I'd wanted to hook up two sets of amplifiers and speakers (one for the "studio apartment" -- i.e. the living room, and one for the "home office", which is actually supposed to be a bedroom) and connect the computers' sound outputs to them, but my back says "mañana, bro". I have one stereo set up, from last night, but need a coaxial adapter to get any decent reception from the FM tuner, the only component actually present at this point; I've been able to pick up WBAI on occasion (the soundtrack to my convalescence), but when the signal drops below a certain threshold, the audio goes blank, which is where it is at the moment.

But, then again, I belong to the Blank Generation. This is a fine soundtrack, yes.





looking over all of the daylogs here, reading through bits.. a reminder that the world keeps spinning, even if it doesn't feel like it should, at least for a while.

last night, we sat in my bedroom and we lit candles for rick, several but it was only the vanilla that really mattered. we listened to music, none seemed appropriate but we sifted through the bits of his life we had shared and we laughed because we thought he would probably be scolding us jokingly for having such poor memories. we wrote down what we could remember, the funny little things, and then we dripped some wax onto the page. wax from the vanilla scented candle. i wonder if he ever thought even for a second that he would not be here in the universe much longer, or if he thought that so many people would miss him so much.

we listened to lightning crashes. we listened to heart and shoulder, strange days, we listened to so many songs and none seemed to serve the purpose i'd wanted them to. i wanted to say goodbye. i wanted to blow out his candle as the song finished and i wanted a goodbye and to thank him for the smiles he was behind. i couldn't do it, couldn't end him. we talked to the candle, as if he could hear us as if he was the little dancing flame and i cradled him it on my palm and stared. i realized that it would be a long while before the flame would die on its own. i went to sleep and left the candle with her, she'd been closer to him than i was and it only seemed appropriate. i went to sleep and there still was no goodbye for me. i don't know if i want there to be.. i am not so sure i've even accepted it yet.

we went into the grocery store today, walked around and heard the whispers because everyone knows what happened. everyone knows he is gone and so many sad faces, fake smiles for oblivious customers. he lit that place up. it is so gloomy and unwelcoming now..

i still need to say goodbye. i just don't think i believe this is real yet.

Today is my birthday!


My parents came by today at around 10am, which was a bit early for me, as I expected to sleep until around noon. We went out for groceries and had chili dogs for lunch.

I went into work at 7pm and had the usual bi-weekly sunday server rebooting. We finished everything up and I was just shutting down my computer to go and one of the two other guys there told me he wanted me to go check something out. He took me to the company kitchen where all of my friends suprised me with a birthday party. I was totally unexpecting.

I've never been so suprised before in my life. Some of these people live quite a distance away to have come here just for that. There was AS, TC, her boyfriend, JS, his wife, Sara, and CR. AS was the one who I expected to be there, as he is our sysadmin. I wondered why he wanted to be so sure to be there since he doesn't usually need to be there for just server reboots. He had called me earlier in the day to find out what time I'd be there. I'm pretty sure TC set the whole thing up as she is good friends with AS. It was an excellent plan that worked perfectly. I was totally suprised.

After much eating of cake and various other foods (pretzels, cheesecake, and baby carrots) we went out for a round of bowling. I haven't done that since grade school. They weren't giving me a break for my birthday though; I still got my ass kicked. I think I got a 58. TC got over a hundred and CR had something like 160.

Even though I was suprised about the whole thing, I was even more so to see Sara there; though she might have just been hanging around with CR today and came there to tag along.

In case you haven't been reading my daylogs, Sara is the first person I have ever 1) asked out, 2) been on a date with, 3) fell in love with, and 4) been crushed by (I was given the "let's just be friends" routine).

She gave me a hug and I didn't really feel too weird or anything around her like I have before. It's strange that they would have invited her though since I know they know I'm still trying to get over her. I think I'm getting there though; I don't feel too bad anymore about the whole let's just be friends thing. I still feel something for her, though it's not as strong as before.

I feel great though. Their suprise plan couldn't have been executed more perfectly. All of my best friends were there and they totally shocked me. This will probably be one of the most memorable birthdays of my life.

It's late evening and I'm nursing sore spots from heavy lifting during the weekend. Went south to the city to help beautiful girl move her things from one spot to another, left early this afternoon in order to get back to the Frozen North before it became dark. Didn’t quite make it, but no matter. While in the city I managed to snag a few small packages of maki, as sushi is a mild culinary obsession of mine and there isn’t a sushi joint within sixty miles of here. Returned to find my home right where I left it, harnessed the power of wasabi, and lay back to read a bit.

I'm too exhausted to complete this. Gravity seems especially strong tonight.

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