The wrong theme at the wrong time.
Prelude and Overture.

We sat around for about a half an hour before anything even remotely interesting happened. In all of the times that I had been forced to sit around waiting for something to happen prior to this there had always been a common thread of urgency in the air. A sort of public idea that you were waiting for whatever it was to happen so that important things could go on, that life could move forward and all would be in order and right with the world. Typical southern California day with bright sun, cloudless sky, and the promise of decent surf should I feel like going later. The thought crossed my mind, that much I remember. Surfing versus standing in front of the base chapel in summer whites and waiting for the doors to open so we can attend a funeral.
Nearly all of the people here representing some seventy-five percent of the command are enlisted personnel. This is appropriate since we are after all burying one of our own. Most of the officers know better than to show up, still a few like Matt's division officer, the Maintenance officer and his Chief are here. Scattered in the crowd of seventy or so are a handful of Chiefs making the rounds through small knots of somber faced charges. The doors finally open and the crowd slowly drifts into the building like slow dust. For me, this is something that I do not particularly want to do but I am doing it anyway at the behest of two other people. I do not like funerals, (actually I hate them with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns,) simply because of the way that they always run down at the end. In all honesty I hate to sound like a clod, but I can't stand denominational funeral or memorial services. They're gone, let it go and swallow the lump.
I do not deal well with people dying.

Something unsuitable to fill the void.
Intermezzo.

Silence pervades the small and dusty patio in front of Pete's barracks room on MCAS Tustin. Far enough from Los Angeles that you don't lose your mind yet close enough that you can still lose it for a weekend if that is what you really want. Slowly scraping the grit underneath his right foot into a series of parallel lines, Pete and I are staring at the fading sun and waiting for one another to speak. Both of us are very much aware of why I am there and why neither of us speaks into the warm summer evening air. I arrived and he silently motioned me onto the patio to where we have been standing in silence since, a mixture of apprehension and tact muffling what we both know.
"Suicide." Pete says solemnly, looking up from his labors in the sand toward the squat shape of a CH-53E passing in the distance. The low thrum from the seven-bladed rotor head growls just above the audible level making it loud enough to be a temporary distraction from this odd little catharsis and nothing more. "Dumbass."
"Eric told me." I mention quietly, remembering the face of the dead man. Pete, Eric and I had been classmates through school, along with the man who's name I cannot bring myself to mention. "Went home after that JAG investigation started and did himself."
"What a dumb fucker." Pete laughs quietly at the enormity of the situation. He looks like Henry Rollins only slightly shorter and more intimidating. I have seen Pete angry twice and wished both times that I hadn't been around despite the fact that I was not the target of his wrath.
"Thought you ought to know." Flatly without remorse, we dance on the edge of acknowledgement.
"I don't know Yurei, should've expected it." Pete says winding through condescending tones.
"Expected what?"
"Somebody." Softer now, barely audible behind the droning sound of rotors on the apron a full mile away. "If it wasn't Dave, it would have been someone else."
"Yeah."

Try and run now, your feet nailed through the floor.
Second Overture and Finale.

The commanding officer is halfway through his speech mainly made up of things that someone told him about Matt. That he was a good guy, an asset to the command, a promising sailor. Some officers make stock speeches at funerals because they believe it will garner them more respect from the troops, as if the Pope were to stoop down and kiss a few children here and there. On the other hand, the vast minority take the time to write something original and then attempt to sound sincere while doing it, not like the man standing in front of the seated white uniforms scattered throughout the church. This one sounds like he is late for another meeting and could really care that Matt died accidentally while off duty, could really care that up until about ninety-six hours ago was a living human being. It occurs to me that this particular officer is probably more worried about the fact that he still has to figure out how to put the right spin on the accident that killed Matt so it won't look too bad on his next fitness report. The woman sitting next to me weeps softly and keeps digging her nails into the polyester fabric covering my knee providing sharp punctuation to the lies being spewed forth from the pulpit. I look around and notice several others bristling in the same way, the faces all saying the same thing.

We've had enough now. We do not deal well with people dying. This guy was our friend, more than that he was a human being. Denigrating him to the point where he becomes a fallen martyr and then hoping that we won't notice isn't going to impress anyone anytime soon. Go back to your office, your golf game, your meetings. He was one of ours, don't come down here with a bunch of flowery crap and call him the equal of the any person to walk the face of the earth. Don't pretend that you know who we are just because someone gave you a copy of the last two evaluations to come down the pipe.
The CO has to say these words because it is his duty, if he did not show up we would show a no less visible degree of hostility towards his absence. He is there partially as a target for our collective frustration arising from a futile ending and partially because duty dictates he must.
Taps bleeds through stained plastic windows depicting two thousand years of religious oppression mixed with the fallen closer to our own cause. Battleships and aircraft carriers sanctified by the holy struggle of democracy mingle with the saints canonized for warring over theocracy. There it occurs to me for the first time that god, in whatever form, might not give the slightest damn about warships, guns and planes. However we invoke that name the first time we begin to slaughter one another for ideology, real estate and what boils down to nothing more than the inability of a group of people to act like civil human beings. Immediately on the heels of this realization I consider the fact that if the world were a little more reasonable, if people were more apt to light barbecues with versus of dropping napalm then fewer people might wind up roasted in the end. Such is not the case and I am not out of a job, unfortunately.
The casualties of peace are somehow more real than in war, we remember the humanity lost instead of forgetting the loss in a crush to bury the past with the dead. The notes are bittersweet in the Friday summer morning, two miles away people are conniving their way out of work. They have no idea about Dave, about Matt, about any of the others. It isn't their place.
If there was no Navy then people wouldn't walk into propeller arcs, get sucked up intakes, plow their planes nose first into the ocean at eight hundred miles an hour for no apparent reason. If there was no Navy then people wouldn't be blown up three thousand miles from home by unreasonable assholes on both sides, there would be no suicides, no pain, no anger, no hatred. Life would be so much better if we could just get rid of the military, disarm everyone and then send the good soldiers home. Society would benefit manifold ways too complex to even fathom if we could take all of the guns away, wrap it all up in a plastic wax shine on the hood of an electric car. No one would even think to dissent against the new government waging peace, no one would think that censorship in the name of the collective happiness would hurt anyone either. I could go home and stop worrying about redemption and the price of a sofa because I could just have one. To deny me as much would be tantamount to putting a knife in my spine, and we cannot have any of that. You can hug your child because of nuclear arms. Try not to forget that in the revisionist orgy going on as of late that there was a time when we were threatened and a great number of people were killed on both sides. By the same token, if in the end everyone's dead then there is no right and wrong.
"Sorry bro." Taps finishes and I whisper into the air, break from attention and mash thin onyx black sunglasses onto the bridge of my nose. Walking down the pew I wait for god, wait for conscience, consciousness, maybe oxygen.
"Don't forget their faces Yurei. Don't forget them because someday you're going where they are." The chapel is far too cold and I need that cigarette really badly now.

This doesn't ever really happen so easily.
Coda from the Director's Cut.

Almost five years later I am watching the sun crawl through craggy stones and stained glass windows belonging to the façade of a cathedral in downtown Melbourne, Australia. I am tempted to duck in from the street amidst the traffic of the business day. Stopping feet short and retreating from the flagstones, I feel as though I am going somewhere that I am not entirely welcome. God and I haven't been on speaking terms for some years now; I sort of poke my middle finger at the sky every now and again to piss the old bastard off to evoke a mental resolution to terrestrial difficulties. In return for this him, her, them or it reminds me not to do this by causing the airplane to break in various aggravating ways. I settle onto a park bench facing the physical structure representing an unknown salvation, duck against the gusting winds and light a cigarette. Amber light filters from the sky to paint the granite face blocks a dulled version of the same color. Inhaling deeply I wonder about the intervening time between when I began to seriously doubt the possibility of salvation and now, whether it is possible to find your way out of such a self-constructed labyrinth. After all I am the one that built the thing, which means I should know how to go about extracting myself from the situation. Down the old corridors and away from the guilt of the past brought on by too many days spent at work believing that there wasn't anything called home. The myth written by your own mind is the most difficult to doubt.
Displaced by a soul, divorced by a past, surrendered to the whim of conviction and given one last desperate stab at returning. Slight sliding guitar washes through the headphones gently nestled in a pair of ears to serve as a reminder that I can always go home. The life and death, everything rising eventually put to ground by the same pair of hands. Sound of two planks being brought together; follow the slight rise and rapid fall of the hammer to start off the reaction.
Spreading crimson pulls the angst to the grass, I watch it pass with no trace of emotion. The twin smiles briefly, closes his eyes and says nothing more of redemption. Stiffening against the wind I wonder if it was such a good idea to let go of so much so quickly. Three weeks away and all I can think of are the times and trials of not having to worry about any of this anymore. There are no endings, just a series of muted crescendos built around the acceleration to the next breakdown and quickening. Now she says that there is a way. I am lost, faithless. Stunned in the face of an invitation to hello in the morning.
God laughs in the face of the tattered vestiges of Guilt's life, seals the body away in a granite vault to drag the skeleton out again at some time in the future. I once screamed at someone in anger that they could lie to me and call me human all they wanted and it would change nothing. Home, where is home, why is it that everyone has one of these things?
'It was just time.'
"You again?" Not a hallucination, this one just an old daydream.
'You managed to eat Guilt, who were you expecting? Doubt?'
"No." I was to be perfectly honest. He knows the lie and smiles slowly from the green iron bench facing mine. "Maybe Ed."
'Not here.' Subtle pause to step up and kneel on a gnarled Cholla cactus cane momentarily, curtseying around considerable girth restricted by a cheap suit and topped by thinning white hair. It snaps back into the usual mirror after a leering smile from gravestone teeth. 'Not here, yet.'
"And what is it you want now?"
'The usual, a conversation.'
"Fuck directly off. You're a goddamn figment of my imagination."
'You're the one day dreaming.'
"So?"
'It was just time, they had to go.'
"You got a point or is this more gibberish like usual?" Temper flaring as the opposite languidly lights a cigarette.
'Yurei, you're a fucking child of the bomb.'
"Again, so?" I elect to follow suit, it always pisses this one off when I mirror their movement.
'Don't you ever think about that?'
"What?"
'I'm in your head, asshole.'
"And?"
'It's a free concert from now on.' I had no idea I could look quite so sarcastic. Need to watch that in the future. 'Look, I know what you're thinking.'
"Forgot about that."
'You didn't.' Twisting briefly in their seat, they split briefly into twins and tap a foot encased in sizeable brown hiking boots to a snippet of Death in Vegas. 'Anyway, I digress. Look, we're all getting tired of this crap.'
"What crap?"
'You, you dumbass.'
"You can't call me a dumbass." The sudden sluice of anger makes little if any sense, considering what I am arguing with at the moment. "You're supposed to be helping me, at any rate."
'We are.' Her voice. Just once, just enough.
"Don't do that." Constricting enough to force a thin shriek from enamel, my jaw grinds in sudden protest. "That's not playing by the rules."
'I live in your head, I play by your rules.' Laughing again, they do handsprings on the grass after kicking over the signs telling them not to do as much. The inexplicable and pointless sudden motion reminds me of K's Assistants. 'You read The Castle, where'd the hell you think we got this?'
"Look, if you're going to screw around." Threatening with a single hand purring through the pages of a book nestled in a large battered black messenger bag at my side. "I can just go get some coffee and read for a bit."
'Okay.' They settle in a huff, many hundreds standing on each other's shoulders. The pile wobbles, collapses and then condenses into a single figure with minimal wasted motion. 'Check it. You either get your head out of your ass or we're going to drive you nuts.'
"I'm still dunno what you're after here." Scratching my head provides no insight into this train of thought, other than I have a deep-seated desire to kick my own ass. "Really."
'You're about as fucked up as a football bat, know that?' They smile, all at once and alone. 'Just accept her.'
"What the hell's that s'posed to mean?" Roaring I grab at fading lapels of an orange shirt hanging loosely over the same overly baggy green fatigue pants. Almost translucent now, maybe not enough time to finish this and get an answer.
'You're not going to have your time for quite awhile.' Gone now, still seated on the bench and watching the smoke curling away from enough for a last drag on the cigarette. 'It won't be so bad to live in the interim.'

End Credits

Thanks to the staff of Molly Bloom's (Bay St. two blocks from the T intersection at the end,) in Melbourne for making Toohey's available in sufficient quantity that this made sense at the time that I thought of it. Also thanks to Jason and a few others on Melbourne's finest for exposing me to St. Kilde, 'Mell-bin,' George for the stop to grab food when I was 'quite pissed.'
Parting Shot
Scotty: "Wanna beer?"
Yurei: "Yeah."
Mack: "Shot?"
Yurei: "It's nine 'o fucking clock in the morning."
Scotty: "Hell, fuck it."
Yurei: "It's five 'o clock in Denver. I guess we can drink liquor."
Mack: "Whose is this anyway?"
Junior: "Ross'."
Mack: "Fuck it, I owe him one."
Yurei: "Will someone get me a goddamn beer?"
Yurei: "Okay, that's it. We're getting shitty before noon."
Mack: "I'm still drunk from last night."
Yurei: "Oh this is not going to end well."

Everything Snapshot

Time: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 00:19:56 GMT
Everything server: Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) Debian/GNU mod_ssl/2.4.10 OpenSSL/0.9.4 mod_perl/1.21_03-dev

Number of nodes: 805246 (1084 new since January 21, 2001 [823.3 wa7])
Number of users: 24033 (95 new since January 21, 2001 [95.3 wa7])
Number of links: 3281765 (12769 new since January 21, 2001 [10876.6 wa7])
Number of writeups: 446508 (569 new since January 21, 2001 [419.9 wa7])
Number of cools: 57637 (140 new since January 21, 2001 [174.1 wa7])
Number of votes: 1830960 (7432 new since January 21, 2001 [7463.0 wa7])
Number of hits: 30607765 (130183 new since January 21, 2001 [140807.1 wa7])

Node to user ratio: 33.506 nodes per user
Link to node ratio: 4.075 links per node
Link to user ratio: 136.552 links per user
Link to writeup ratio: 7.350 links per writeup
Votes to cools ratio: 31.767 votes per cool
Cools to user ratio: 2.398 cools per user
Hits to user ratio: 1273.572 hits per user

New Nodes: [January 22, 2001] [...and then I took it up the ass.] [General Order 26] [chord tone] [New York Mets] [Procrastination] [The Flawed Perception of "Right"] [steeplejack] [Buddha] [Former names of countries] [Two-Part Third Species Counterpoint] [Altoids] [The moment] [General Order 30] [There's a woman inside my stereo]

Users Online (58): [dannye] [hamster bong] [Dis] [tftv256] [girlotron] [ToasterLeavings] [Jinmyo] [m_turner] [melodrame] [achan] [Kit Lo] [wonko] [narzos] [WonkoDSane] [Dyslexic] [dead] [cahla] [CowboyNeal] [Aresds] [Beltane] [Torque] [Aighearach] [Gritchka] [pokey] [sparky] [flyingroc] [Kimonade] [GirlsDontLikeMe] [Pakaran] [Loon] [LagMan] [Jennifer] [Sputnik] [Damian] [chromatic] [lazyr] [de-frag] [RevJim23] [azzer] [Phssthpok] [microlith] [ZaphodBeeblebrox] [atesh] [Sirius] [chkno] [Halspal] [Nicopa] [PeterPan] [Fquist] [sphere777] [jandradt] [aozilla] [Billy] [Schmik] [senbei] [mofaha] [Agent000] [erias]

JeffMagnus node count: 4088 (-1 new since January 21, 2001)
JeffMagnus experience: 11714 (92 more since January 21, 2001)
JeffMagnus experience to node ratio: 2.865 XP per node
JeffMagnus nodeshare: 0.508% (Via alternate method: 0.916%)*
JeffMagnus node of the day: Microsoft

Note: The Everything Snapshot daylog will return as soon as I work out one that is more pleasant for members of the Everything Whino sect.

"We were all feeling a bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it having been an evening of some small energy expenditure, O my brothers." -Alex, A Clockwork Orange

9:09. I woke up with an awful, horrid pain in my back. That's what you get for falling alseep on the futon in front of the computer, I suppose. My mom wandered in and asked me if I was still planning on going to the biblio this after. Seeing as my 20 page AP English report is due in a month, I suppose it was a good idea. All of my research is due Tuesday. Wait. All of my research is due Tuesday. Shit.

1:24. After putzing around the house for a good bit, and having quite the nutritious breakfast of Chips Ahoy!, I headed off to the library. On approach, it seemed like a nice, quiet, place of study. False. Everyone from all 5 periods of AP English, has swarmed the poor 70's styled institution, and has since defiled its sanctity. Oh that's not to say that I didn't have a good time. Instead of getting my 50 notecards worth of information which is due for a grade in 36 hours, I sat around and procrastinated a bit more, for good measure. We berated a girl for her smoking, I bitched about my gordita. All of this had nothing to do with researching the aspects of adolescence as they both appear in the books A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. That's my thesis statement. After a few people left, I finally got my chance to smoke my huge nugget of grade A literary crack.

Performing research is alot like doing drugs. You get a high from a sense of accomplishment, but the comedown's a bitch. I meandered out of the biblio 5 minutes short of closing time, and collapsed home.

6:53. My brain is mush. I only have about 25 of the 50 notecards done, and about 70% of them are invariably wrong. Whatever. I sit here and actually have to think of what all I need to do to feed myself. Hold spoon in hand. Put spoon in soup. Put soup in mouth using said spoon. Lather, rinse, repeat.

7:37. Now that I'm filled with all of the nutrients that a bowl of Cream of Broccoli contains, I guess I better go back to doing more research. I hope the high is better this time.

ahhhhh.....

Not a bad weekend, not at all. Quite good in fact.

I finally took care of some unfinished business... Finally, Finally, Finally!!!! Whew!!!! Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Needless to say, I celebrated all weekend long.

I saw Save The Last Dance, and enjoyed it. I have to admit, I had to wipe away a tear or two. But then again this happens to me all the time.

Oh, and miracle of miracles, I cleaned. Oh. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean clean, I just mean bachelor clean. There are some benefits to this type of clean, for example, I found ten dollars!

To top it all off, we had a beautiful snow here in Boston. Nice and fluffy.

The last day before classes start once again here at Cornell University.
How did i spend this last day of freedom? Crying mostly. J/K

Morning: Got up early - my strategy to allow me to go to sleep early and actually get up for my 9 am class on monday. Played some Action Quake and talked to a few of my friends who were actually awake.

Around Noon: Went to eat with one of my friends. We talked about classes and the sort. Most people would frown upon talking about such things the day before classes began, but we didn't care. -Side Note- I ate cereal, eggs, pancakes, and pineapple with just a knife and a spoon. Yep, they didn't have forks (it was crowded) but i met the challenge head on.

Afternoon: Spent most of the afternoon just as i spent my morning: playing AQ and talking to some friends.

Early Evening: I had been expecting that two female friends of mine were gonna cook dinner tonight for a group of us. Turns out they just made garlic bread and we had to bring the rest of our meal ourselves. Oh well... Their explanation was that they forgot to bring the sushi that they were gonna make and serve. Oh well... sushi dinner becomes garlic bread with a sandwich. Not quite the same.

Evening: Some AQ is played (again... i hadn't played in a while since its not installed on my PC i have at my home away from college). Then i attempted to watch Futurama. Some loser was watching a basketball game. Oh well... at least it was changed back to fox by the time the simpsons came one. Of course, in the middle of Malcolm in the Middle the lounge was raided by a group of girls that absolutely had to see the Golden Globe Awards. Oh well... i return to my room and watch some anime.

Then, its off to the noding and voting here...
I can’t sleep, and I just found out Roger Waters met Trent Reznor

Nine Inch Nails
Pink Floyd

It was titled “in the flesh” and I found it in this magazine called Revolver. The idea for the story was one of those things that I had never exactly thought of, but it seemed like I had. And there on page 56 it proclaimed:

THEY’VE CREATED SOME OF THE MOST PROFOUNDLY DEPRESSING MUSIC IN THE HISTORY OF ROCK, BUT ROGER WATERS AND TRENT REZNOR ARE JUST TICKLED PINK TO SHAKE HANDS
This guy who stole the idea I almost had, Alan di Perna, has the easiest story in the world. I think all he did was sit there with his tape recorder and ask 5 short questions. He does nothing and I picture him like a spoiled little kid whose dad owns a candy store. Fat cheeks. Fat little fingers. He’s giggling, but really I’m just pissed off I’m not Alan di Perna. Lucky bastard.

I think what I was really hoping for was a collaboration. But it’s not. It’s a 10 minute conversation. The Wall didn’t meet The Fragile, but that was my idea too. Reznor idolizes Waters and Waters admits to never actually hearing any of Reznor’s work.

Reznor does his usual whining about how The Fragile didn’t sell so well. He almost tries to make us all feel guilty for not buying 3 copies each. ”Thanks to you, my record company won’t pay for anything I want anymore, so now you’re not going to get any more NIN.” Coming soon: Trent Reznor and His Xylophone, Halo 19.

So I don’t know where this leaves me, this much potential with this little outcome. Maybe it makes me want to become a writer, and get paid to be the spoiled kid.

Today it’s obvious.

Amedeo Modigliani never sold any pictures. Van Gogh peddled his pictures for a bowl of soup.”

12:47

I'm not having fun.

Last night, I had some great ideas (about a new cool executable format using binfmt_misc.o) and wrote some hacks (a new hex dumper because od doesn't do quite what I want...)

The problem? I'll always be a nobody. People expect to see Gurus who write generally useful big things. I just... write what helps me to do things I do, that's all...

Well, maybe I should quit whining now, no one wants to hear me whining again anyway.

17:52

...and the goddamned MechWarrior 4 is still not in the stores... =(

(Sorta-happy-but-really-not-that-happy sigh...)

22:14

So.... how has my day gone? Not really nicely, but no complaints, still...

22:33

Some thoughts (so that this daylog won't be entirely worthless):

Apple machines used to come with blueprints. Nowadays, MS operating systems don't even come with the full manuals.

A few days back, I had this horrible vision of seeing a shelf full of blueprints for modern PCs. What if modern machines would come with blueprints? And technical specifications? And OS specifications?

It's just this trend that every device we see are getting "simplified". My TV has one SCART socket. My video has no RCA sockets, and not even audio dub/insert features...

Oh dear. It's always a compromise between "simple enough that the newbies won't get scared" and "enough features that the power users won't get scared".

(This machine of mine has no goddamned ISA bus. AND only four PCI/AGP slots total... And not enough drive bays... mmmmumble mumble....)


Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: hex dump coolant Alpha Strike The Net Peacekeeper's War Stress CIA CrystalSpace

I discovered Everything2 yesterday. I contributed my first node about NHL Player Nicknames, just to get started. Not an epic work, but something that was missing from this project. It was neat seeing something I wrote added to this massive collection.

I then added a little writeup to a list of (fake) bottom 20 children's books, just because I thought they would be funny.

I wake up this morning and see that my original work was given a rep of 2, but my second piece was given a rep of -2. So I'm currently floating by on 2 XP.

Oh well. I wish the people who voted negative would send me an email and tell me why. I don't want to be an XP whore, but I'd like to be able to contribute.

Then again, maybe they already have and I don't know how to see their comments.

Okay, so my life probably still sucks right now, and I don't know when or if I'll be getting another playcheck from my employer, but I'm feeling better about it.

Probaly becuase I spent the whole weekend cannabalizing machines around my home office to build a new Linux Web/Dev server, hacking Perl and designing my database.

I've got a project Idea I'm working on that will require considerable computrons, and my old Packard Bell p100 that is currently being "Mr. httpd" is just too slow. It takes almost 5 second to launch the perl interpreter and mod_perl doesn't wanna work right under NT 4.0... and a CSV File Database can't do joins, and that's kind of important.

I'm also happy about this idea because I told someone about it, and just the other day he said he read something in 'Red Herring' about that very kind of thing I'm making.. they're supposedly 'the next big thing' -- for once I'm ahead of the curve.

On the downside, Red Hat 7 and it's drain-bramaged installer obliterated my MP3s... *snarl snarl gripe gripe*.. all 6,5 gigs of MP3s...

Ah... the Monday, how exciting, the death feeling of waking up to a whole new, horrid week, but today, I am in love with Monday..... wait.... um.... oh yea...

Notable Notables

Well... thats all for today... later!


I wonder what's going to happen tomarrow.....
      ARGH!!!

      Okay... now that I've got that out of my system... phew I feel better now. Okay, maybe I don't. But at least I got to scream. That accounts for something.

      I haven't written in the daylog in a while. It's not because I haven't had anything to say, I've just had other stuff to do. Stuff I wish I hadn't had to do.

      Thursday night Jessica and I were to go out to dinner at Denny's. No big deal, and we were both looking forward to it. When you are poor and don't get out much, you look forward to even the most simple of things. I decided to drive since my car's in (marginally) better shape than hers. We headed out for the ten-minute drive to the restaurant.

      At the light just before the restaurant, I made a right. Now, in Michigan it is generally okay to make right turns at red lights, as long as there is not a sign posted telling you not to do so. I didn't see a sign, so I proceeded towards Denny's. Just as I was turning, I saw a police officer that had just passed us going the other way turn on his flashers and do a U-turn. Since I didn't do anything illegally (or so I believed), I just assumed he was in pursuit of some other recalcitrant driver.

      About 100 feet from Denny's, the police officer pulled us over. The first thing I thought of was that I wasn't wearing my seat belt. Thinking this was a really stupid reason to pull me over, I didn't think that was the real reason. I looked out my side mirror and saw this fat beast of a cop coming towards my car.

      "Evening, sir" He said, "Driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance, please."

      There are three fundamental rules to remember when a police officer has come up to your car after stopping - these are:

            1. Don't get out of the car
            2. Don't talk back to the cop
            3. Don't question the cop's judgment in pulling you over (this is very important!)

      I violated rule 3, and asked him why he pulled me over.

      "Well, you see, you ran that red light back at the intersection."

      You mean the one that I didn't think there were any sings to? The one that I always see everyone turn on?

      "It says 'No Turn On Red', sir. Can I have that license and registration now?"

      I comply, and he goes back to his car. I am pretty steamed right now, because I clearly didn't see any sign, and I am half tempted to tell the cop to show me where the sign is so that I can prove he's wrong and there is no sign there. I decide to just hold off until I take the ticket to court. No need to make this cop's job any more difficult. Let him just write his silly little ticket, get his little fleeting sense of self-worth, and let me go have my damned buffalo wings.

      Right about that time is when he took me to jail.

      I had a suspended license because of a ticket that I got forever ago and forgot to pay. I kept meaning to pay it off, I just kept forgetting. My folly is costing me now. So much for going to Denny's. Jessica can't drive a manual transmission, so they had to impound my car.

      That was Thursday, and I've spent all day today trying to get my car back. Sure, they released me from jail the next day (Friday), but too late in the afternoon to get my car back. I went and paid the offending ticket, though. I just have no car. It sits in the impound yard, costing me more every day. I want to scream.

      at least he didn't cite me for turning right on red after all.

      How was your day?

I spent several hours at the DMV today, waiting to get my license reinstated after having it suspended (for two speeding tickets) and taking a class. I certainly expected the place to be crowded, it being a Monday morning and all. But dear god, I wasn't prepared for what I found.

Not only was the place crowded, it was packed. People in nearly every seat, and the seats without people contained odd beings that looked somewhat, but not quite, entirely unlike people. Despite the abundance of people, there were two DMV employees working at the counter. Just two. There were at least six more open computers, but all the other employees were apparently in the break room drinking coffee and burning money.

I took a number and sat down. My number was 42. How ironic. A quick glance at the "Currently Serving" display told me it would be some time -- they were currently serving number 80. Apparently the counter wraps at 100. As I waited, I watched people.

Two young punks walked in loudly, laughing and burping and saying things like "fuck" and "bitch" louder than the rest of the words in their vocabulary, which drew stares from all the God-fearing hicks seated across from them. One of them had apparently had his license suspended for drag-racing, and had then failed to pay the ticket and ignored two letters telling him he'd failed to pay the ticket. After ranting for at least 20 minutes about how fucking unfair it was to have the number 75, goddammit, he began ranting about how fucking unfair it was that his license was suspended just because he was racing and ignored two stupid letters.

It went on like this for a while. Nearly an hour. He'd bitch to his friend about the wait, then bitch about the ticket, then about the wait again. Eventually, he went up to the information desk and asked the lady something, and she looked at him disapprovingly and shook her head. This made him very mad. Apparently, the documentation he had with him wasn't enough to get his license reinstated. Ha ha. He and his friend left, uttering obscenities and bitching about the wait.

As I watched them walk out, in walked a young hispanic fellow. He asked the information lady a question in Spanish (my Spanish is rusty, but I believe he said "I need to renew my license") and she told him to take a number and have a seat. The man then proceeded to poke and prod at the slot on the number-producing machine, in total ignorance of the large red button and the multilingual label with arrow saying "Push button for number".

After watching him dig in the slot for four or five minutes without any success, I began to worry. His frustration level was obviously increasing, and he was starting to turn red. The information lady was busy with somebody else and apparently didn't notice his plight. Finally, he gave up trying to get a number out of the machine and turned to ask the information lady for help. While he wasn't looking, I jumped up and pressed the button.

He said something quickly in Spanish to the lady and pointed at the machine, and she looked at him confusedly for a while. Finally, he looked back at the machine and realized it had spit out a number. He turned a very deep shade of red, took the number and sat down, mumbling to himself.

I tried to look inconspicuous.

Anyway, I ended up getting my license reinstated, so I can drive again. Yay. Stupid DMV. Next time they illegally suspend my license, I'm taking them to court instead of putting up with their crap.

I've got this dog, right? His name is Wiley. He's a yorkshire terrier. And I'm almost positive that every bit of his internal dialogue is screaming.

He's so excitable, I can't imagine the voice he hears in his head as not screaming constantly:

"OH MY GOD HI HI HI I'M THE NEW DOG HI! HI! PLAY WITH ME I'M CUTE GODDAMMIT! HI!"

"I HAVE TO PEE! I HAVE TO PEE! WHO ARE YOU? OH SWEET JEBUS LORD IN HEAVEN GIVE ME SOME FOOD I HAVE TO PEE!"

"YAY THE CAT THE CAT I LOVE THE CAT COME HERE CAT BE MY PAL OW OW OW OW OW OW"

Trust me. If you could see this pooch, you'd know what I mean.

This is pretty much all I've been thinking about today.
A rollercoaster, again. Everything goes from the pit of your stomach to the top of your throat, and gets caught somewhere in the middle, again and again and again.

I broke up with Jes. I cried, and I wept, and I left. I was in no shape to listen to anything she had to say. It was only later, over coffee, where we had a calm, rational discussion, did I think better of it. We are once again a unit. This time, we’ve promised to actually talk, cut the bullshit, and make things work.

Once more.

...

I’ve finally gotten a paycheque from work, although that joy is offset by the fact my bank claims that I deposited a few hundred dollars worth of bogus cheques. As they failed to update my mailing address, the cancelled cheques are being sent to my former address in Toronto, so I will have no way of checking exactly what the issue is. I imagine someone owes me for them, but damned if I know who.

In any case, the pay is a boon. I might spend some of it on a trip to Toronto, as Paul Van Dyk is doing a set on the tenth of February, and I’d like to be there. The rest needs to go against paying off this newly discovered debt. Having a negative balance with a bank does not do well for one’s credit ratings.

...

Emotions are still high, I find myself very easily agitated and high-strung. Things don’t slide off me well, not at the moment.

It will pass, though, all extremes pass, given a proper timeframe.

...

I have to allow myself my freedoms. I have to stop restricting my wants, needs, desires and dreams. I need to stop telling myself that things are unrealistic, that what I want is unattainable.

I still dream of Europe.
"I mainly taught myself ... except there were a few mistakes that I've just recently cleared up."--DJ Shadow, Building Stem With a Grain of Salt

Wake up. Shower. Class. In English we had our open ended midterm papers to write. I wrote 8 sides of bullshit. Slept through music lit. History too I think.

At lunch we were discussing the correlation between penis size and shoe size. The girls didn't believe what I told them, not that they'd want me to prove it or anything. Nothing else of note at lunch.

Went on to Chemistry, our teacher was sick and had to leave to get sick during class, not cool. We were doing review over all the chapters, but we didn't really get much accomplished. In Algebra 2 we had another midterm thing to do. I did okay, but prolly would have done better being prepared.

Then came sociology, we were handing in our books, so I had to go to my locker to get mine. At the locker to the left of mine who did I see but Feng Ye, whom I had been ignoring for over two months now due to her meanness. She opens her mouth.

"How did you do?"

...

"Andrew? Andrew?"

What?

"On the math thing, how did you do"

I dunno.

"You know you don't talk much anymore"

I do. Just not to certain people

And I walked away.

Could I have simply not answered her? Could I have had a change of heart and not been an asshole? Who knows, who cares. I got a 91 as my quarter grade in sociology. Going home I got stuck next to some slutted up bitch and her friends on the bus, what fun.

Who knows what the evening shall bring?

Today was the first day of my new job as a computer tech. at a local community college. I was late. Well, wait, let me back up a bit. It's Co-Op job. That means I goto school 1/2 the school day, the goto work the other half. So, my schedule had to be re-worked a bit and so the only English class that's available is an enriched (ie: hard) one. But hey, that's not that bad, I like literature, I've done pretty well in english before, or so I thought... First assignment for me? Five page (eight paragraph) research paper on The Canterburry Tales. Yup. Fun.

I still have my same Tech Math class. More fun. But, I got everything ironed out. I had all the details worked out in my head, and was ready for all the stuff that was changing. Or so I thought...

11:13 Math is over. School is done. Goto lunch.
11:40 Lunch is done. Time to goto the bus stop.
12:00 Arrive at bus stop, 10 minutes early :)
12:10 Bus'll be here any minute...
12:15 Yup...any minute
12:20 Hmm. That's strange. Bus is 10 minutes late.
12:30 Starting to get the feeling the bus isn't comming.
12:40 Yup. Not comming. Go back to school, explain to my teacher why I'm not at work. Call my boss, tell him I'll be late. Call my mom, ask her to come give me a ride.
1:30 Got to work. Late. My first day. Late. Even More Fun.

Apparently, I've got an old bus schedule. I guess they don't update the schedules on their website...

But, I get to work and that goes fine.

Find out that the bus route I planned on taking to work doesn't exist anymore. I Have no clue what to do now.

Find a different way to make it to work. Hopefully I can leave math 10 minutes early every day to make it to the bus.

I should have spent more time describing all this, but it's late, and should be sleeping right now, and I've still gotta get a shower and read... Suffice to say, I had all my plans worked out, but they didn't work out. It was pretty frustrating. But, on a positive note, the two used CDs I ordered from DJangos.com w/ my Christmas money came in the mail today, and they're in perfect condition :) (The two CDs were Loud and Clear by The Supertones and All The Hype That Money Can Buy by Five Iron Frenzy).


You know I haven't had the best of days
But I want to stop and that You anyway

'Cause every single moment whether sleeping or awake
Is your creation
And what you've made is good
I don't always thank you for the rough days and
the hard times in my life
Even though I should


January 23, 2001. Update: Got everything worked out w/ the new schedule and such, works fine... woohoo!

11:31pm

Yeah, getting a late start on the daylogs today. I'll probably wind up with a negative score for not having posted earlier in the day. It seems like all of the negative people arrive late. Oh well, I don't really care what score I get, as long as the writeup isn't nuked. It is important to me that I can retrieve all of my daylogs. Perhaps I should find a way to go through and download them all back to my computer for archiving.

I spent most of the day feeling really tired. I got enough sleep, but I think it's starting to hit me that I'm alone again and have nobody for which to share a special closeness with. I think the music I've been listening to has been further exaggerating these feelings as well.

After going to the gym, I feel better for now. Tomorrow night is pool night, but Sara won't be there. She is in the middle of a situation involving two friends who were going out together. In order to stay neutral in the aftermath, she spends equal time with both friends, and that means she'll not be at the pool hall every other week. Bah.

I'm trying to think of something I can do for valentine's day just to show her that I still care for her. I've been thinking about what to give her, and what to write as a message on the gift that I give her. Maybe I'll get her a half dozen white roses with a simple message saying something like "I still care very much about you, give me a call when you're not busy.".

Ok, It's nearly time to pay some bills again. My dad's birthday is on saturday. Time for a list of things to remember to do soon.

  • Pay car bill
  • Pay phone bill
  • Pay electric bill
  • Get gift for dad's birthday
  • Remember dentist appt
  • Get new eyeglasses

Well, I'm going to go download some ISOs to upgrade my linux box. I'm getting frustrated with some of kde's desktop quirks stuff, so I'm going to switch to mandrake and gnome.

Strange memories in retrospect, looking back on this day. I cant really say what happened today was interesting. In fact, I cant even say what happened really happened.

Since my last daylog I have made my way back to the Frozen North which I had come to sorely miss during my stay in the city. Of course, my homecoming has not been all roses and parades. The instant I returned I was thrown into twelve hour days of training that I honestly do not require. Still, attendance is mandatory, and so I drag my sorry carcass out of bed each morning in order to make eight o'clock breakfast.

Today was the beginning of a decline in my schedule. I was able to spend my afternoon shopping for groceries and attempting to piece together the remains of my room.

Topnight was spent drinking too many martinis and gin and tonics while watching The Cell (mediocre) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (one of my favorite books, movies, directors, etc.). After the movies I wandered into the bathroom and made faces into the mirror, scaring myself with the visual savagery I could summon at will. I felt just like I used to in old nightmares as a kid when I knew something was behind me, letting out a drawn-out scream as my whole world dissolved into red heat. I'm afraid to go to sleep now.

Once my wheels find their pre-determined ruts and life once again settles into its precious little groove, I’m sure Ill be better of than I am now. Alcohol doesn’t help much either. I should know that by now.

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