Ben Harper always reminded me of a fellow on the bungie.org hotline server. He went by the handle 'Patient Zero', and if anyone reading this knows who I'm talking about (I called him Mikey-san, as did many other server members), tell me how to contact him, if you would.

In any case, I used to be an avid member of the hl.b.o server. I'd log in most every day and often post articles in the news about things that might've interested the server population. I critiqued J├Ągermeister's art, argued politics with Gawyn and umop3p!sdn, and bothered Patient Zero.

I don't think he liked me in the first place, he's the sort that never likes anyone at first. Rather arrogant, I suppose. Or perhaps I mistake that for something else. He would have something to contribute to conversations once in a while, usually an acerbic remark that most of us on the server didn't want to take the time to decode his intricate sarcasm to find out who he was insulting today anyway. steve hated him, petri hated him, it's a wonder he stayed around for so long. Until the server went down, as I recall. I was talking to petri, or maybe it was steve, and I inquired as to why they didn't just ban him.

He contributed little to nothing to the environment, save for the aforementioned acerbic remarks. He didn't often post news, and when he did, he generally made it short, and to the point. He drew nothing (or at least nothing that he scanned), and his HTML was limited to his own page, or perhaps his company's as well. I don't remember that too well.

One day, I was looking in the server files for new desktops and whatnot, and stumbled upon a screenshot of Mikey-san's desktop. What really caught my eye about it was the font. It had a sort of 22nd century feel to it that I rather liked at the time, and so I messaged him on hotline as to where one might acquire this font. I messaged him twice in 30 minutes, asking for his attention for a moment, and after recieving no response, I realized that he was still active in the Users window. So I messaged him with my entire inquiry, and he sent back, "Finally you've finished your incessant bombardment." and continued to berate me for this for over 10 minutes.

I eventually found that the font was one of those $400 ones that only a graphic designer like Mikey-san would ever bother buying in the first place, and in my foolishness asked him to upload it. I don't think he's ever forgiven me. Mikey-san was the Lawful Neutral type, not one to go out of his way to break the law, and morally opposed to the idea. He knew who I was (and am), and knew quite well that I could never, nor would ever, pay $400 for a font to use on my desktop.

My behaviour after that point was something I am somewhat ashamed of, and do not wish to discuss here. Needless to say, a long and bitter feud existed between him and I, worse than he and most of the other server members. I thought him a fanatic. An asshole, definitely. An idiot, probably. In my blindness, I failed to see the way I was behaving. I wish I could talk to him today, and tell him how dearly sorry I am for that.

I have just been informed that he now hangs out on rhl. I retract everything!

I could probably be labeled "proficient" in HTML. Not good enough to be able to conjure up a full header tag from memory, not good enough to (de)code intrinsicate nested tables, but good enough so that I don't have to look at a HTML guide when I'm coding my pages. JavaScript is another matter. I'm pretty much at the "eyes wide shut" stage: I can't really code or interpret any real JavaScript, but I can begin to grasp the concept of what's actually going on when I type out document.write("Hello, world!")

This is, of course, no help to me. I have, for the past five, maybe six hours, plus another four over the past two days, been constructing a series of web pages. Nothing too advanced, but I had to scour the web for all the graphics. I used a WYSIWIG editor to construct the basic layout of the toolbar, which has five rolling-over tabs.

Most of that time was spent in my trial version of Adobe ImageReady 3.0 (I'm too poor to bother to get the full version; waiting for a Hannukah present from the filial sector to produce the dough.) I started out with a pure black background, a 344 x 244 rectangle. Add a dozen or so lines of random binary digits, 18 point Courier "crisp" green set at 90% opacity. This makes the green look very "digital", while not being too bright and a bit fuzzier (yes, the "crisp" option makes text fuzzier...I don't even want to know why.) Each line of text has it's own layer. I set up grids with 11 pixels (height of binary digits) between the lines to help position the "code" more evenly.

Then came the tedious part. What I had to do was select the last digit from each line, delete it, then go to the front of the line, and add it back. After doing this on each line, I took a screenshot and labled it "framex.jpg". After taking 32 screenshots (number of digits per line), I stashed 'em in their own folder, and set about looking how to animate them. I stumbled across an app called GIFMation, which is a very very nifty GIF animator. So I load all 32 GIFs in, experiment around a bit, and find that...the max number of frames on an unregistered version of GIFMation is THREE. Hours and hours of work..wasted. Oh well.

I figure what the hell, and save the animated GIF anyways. In about ten minutes I have a working page up, absolutely bare-bones -- one placeholder table with a tranparent GIF inside, to keep the animation from hitting it's head on the top of the browser, and the centered animation itself, linking to the main page. The animation is choppy, but hey, it's free.

The main pages are an amalgam of canned WYSIWYG HTML and JavaScript and my tweaking of same. WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editors are notorious for consitently failing to produce the results you want, especially when what you want is anything more complex than, say, adding a background color.

As for my body, well, it's screaming at me to get some more sleep, so I bid thee farewell. Ciao.

My mind is a confusing place, it seems to run a complete course of its own, only bothering me for inspiration and energy.

I began this day officially at 3:00pm after sleeping off a rousing night of clubbing at a small underground gathering of a group of avid adventjah ravers. The tunes were amateur, the company was decent, but somehow I left feeling satisfied. Unknowingst to me that my fellow companion felt the opposite.

Waking up I felt a strong flush of overwhelming sadness. Sadly, I attended a funeral last week for the mother of a very close friend of mine. She was an incredible woman and I will miss her. But, the sad thoughts I felt were of a far bigger case then the event of death.

Generally, I keep my anger and sadness within myself. Letting out these "socially unhealthy" emotions on other people just doesn't seem right. No one else should have to endure my crap, when they obviously have their own to deal with. So, everyday I open my wound temporarily to absorb more and more of life's punishment, eventually awaiting the moment I can rip open to pour out to a welcome shrink and/or life partner. But, unfortunately, your mental state doesn't wait for a welcome and secure area to release its waste like a certain physical part of your body.

One could call it a mental version of wetting yourself.

During the wake of the funeral, my mind decided that it had enough emotion plugging up its sensitive psyche and proceded to pour it out slowly and widely, like one would do in a bathroom of a pub. So, since Friday, I have been waking up with both an incredible hostile intent towards my fellow man, and, at random points of the day, feeling completely depressed for no apparent reason. Its like an weird and unbalanced case of hormonal mood swings that operate on their own strange regime which I have no control or influence towards.

I hate being depressed too. It really emits a strong feeling of unfriendliness towards everyone, which is quite annoying since I try to be a social and outgoing person. But, as they say time heals all wounds.

Not a very productive day, but the end to a enjoyable weekend nethertheless.

Time for some self-indulgent whining. Downvote here or skip onwards.

I'm sick of my life. I'm sick of pretending to be happy, i'm tired of having to be rational, i'm exhausted from making gestures of goodwill. I'm depressed, possibly clinically, certainly chronically and there's absolutely nowhere to turn to.

I'm more like my partner's flatmate than lover, i don't actually remember the last time i felt loved at home. I have interviews to go to, which is a massive relief because if i don't get work soon, i'm going to be broke, in debt, alone and homeless, just to ice the cake.

There is no respite. There is no calm place to retreat to. I practise my bass frenetically, obsessively, trying to concentrate on notes and fingerings, tempos and fretwork, anything to blot out the overwhelming waves of resentment that fill the flat.

I could go out, drink, submerge myself in alcohol and forget it all for a while but i have to be up tomorrow. Interviews.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. I doubt it.

What a surreal weekend.

I was going out on Saturday with my cousin, he is older than me, but we get along pretty well. He had, as always, bought rather a lot of weed before he came and picked me up. I ended up going halves with him, and it turned out to be some very interesting shit! Missing out all the standard night out type activities, after a few drinks and quite a few joints, we ended up in the local pub watching a live band. As I was standing watching them perform, I began to feel a bit nauseous, so I nudged my cousin and said something about going outside. My first step was made notable by a black curtain rising from the floor. I still had a vague idea where the exit was, but after another few steps I had walked straight into a woman. At this point my eyes were open but I could not see a thing. Intending to find the door, I only reached the jukebox, and just collapsed onto it. desperately feeling my way around for the door (what a sight that must of been!)

I was pulled from behind.

Blackness.

Through the black comes my name, which is then followed by a couple of slaps to the face. I muttered something and cautiously opened my eyes. I was outside, lying face up on a bench, looking into the faces of about five people. This was the moment when I realised I had lost about ten seconds of my life. There is a clear gap in my mind between being grabbed and being outside, like a sea of darkness between two islands of clarity.

Slowly I raised my head and sat up, which much to my surprise was followed by a pleasant sensation. I finished my drink, and just chatted for about ten minutes. Then we got into the car, and watched everything speed by without a care in my mind. I felt like I was made of energy and could just get out and run 10 miles without even drawing breath.

The next morning I got up, and went out for a quick cigarette. This was the finest cigarette I have ever had, breathing in the smoke was like flying through the sky and sucking up the clouds. Once again I felt this overwhelming sense of energy, and oneness with myself. Then I began to get some very odd thoughts about being reborn or being given a second chance, which as a cynic was quite alarming. Suddenly I had a feeling of motivation and, for once I didn't feel like there was a mountain that could ever be too high for me to climb.

I am still feeling slightly "odd", not anything I can put my finger on, just one of those vague feelings.

This might be one of those "life changing moments" we always hear about....then again maybe not.

Plane Crash At The Twin Bridges

  • I'm at Thomas and Allen's house with August, Tish, and Thomas. Thomas's mood is highly exhaggerated--he's at his most crass and physically aggressive. August, Tish and I leave for Tish's house, partly to escape Thomas. We walk outside and get in their car but Thomas comes out of the house after us and gets in his own car. As we pull away Thomas chases us. I become Tish's body driving the car, now fully aware that this is a dream. With this in mind I have no fear for Thomas's safety as I light-heartedly crash into his car as hard as I can. It sails over the neighbor's house and explodes loudly. I know he'll be alright. As we drive to Tish's, August converses with me from the passenger seat. We talk about lucid dreams and comment on the fact that it's easier to alter existing dream objects than manifest entirely new ones. As an experiment, I peel open a plastic-wrapped cookie and hold it between both hands. As I draw my hands slowly apart with facing palms, the cookie floats stationary in the air. When I draw my hands further apart the cookie dissipates into a cloud of crumbs in synch with my gesture. I then bring my hands back towards each other and the cookie magically reintegrates into a whole object. To contrast with this feat of object manipulation, I hold out an empty hand and unsuccessfully attempt to will a new cookie into existence. The experiment confirms our hypothesis. When we arrive at Tish's, I sit on the floor and look at all the framed photographs and paintings that literally cover the walls. We talk more of dreams and pass the pipe around.

  • I've just boarded a 747 jet plane, though the interior has the size and layout of a car. I sit in the co-pilot's seat to the right of the pilot. A car dashboard wraps around in front of us with a pilot's control stick instead of a steering wheel. Immediately behind us sit the two or three female passengers. Even as we speed down the runway for take off I can tell that this pilot is insanely under-experienced and reckless. Seconds after we leave the ground he has to swerves in order to miss a mountain. Moments later he flies under a freeway overpass. The women behind us make strangled comments. The pilot tells me he wants to crash the plane and I ask him if he's sure. From the beginning of this experience I've been lucid and so have no fear of death or anything. I only ponder in the inconvenience of having to leave my body. We approach the Golden Gate Bridge from the south and I see that it's actually two twin suspension bridges running parallel. Now I'm in the pilot's body, guiding the plane down. I aim us right into the sea water between the bridges and we come down with a fantastic splash. Daylight is replaced by underwater darkness. I consider the idea of swimming back to the surface and ask if there's an escape hatch. He tells me no. Deciding to avoid the hassle, I will myself elsewhere and appear on a nearby mountainside overlooking the bridges and San Francisco Bay. There's some strange machinery nearby and a transparent glass wall standing freely. Feeling that there is an unseen adversary to overcome, I manipulate the controls and cause massive changes in the dream landscape. All I recall from this point on is drifting up into the sky to join a flowing river of sunset-colored clouds.

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