Do you know what's bad? Reading your girlfriend's Livejournal from before you met her. Especially if you're the really jealous type like me.

I'm back home in Liverpool for the night, having just dropped off my mum's textbook for her new anatomy course which she's starting on Tuesday. My mum and her boyfriend have gone to bed, as has my brother. I really wish that I hadn't even ever SEEN her Livejournal. I don't want to have access to that kind of stuff. It'll only tempt me like it did a minute ago. I had to stop myself and felt the need to write something down of my own, but I don't need no Livejournal to do that. I've got my E2.

I wish I knew what made me so jealous. Maybe it's that she's slept with so many more people than me. I think I'm afraid of comparisons. Or maybe it was that party we went to where she'd slept with more people than I could count. Or the fact that she's slept with more people than she can count herself. I don't think she's cheated on me. I think I've got some sort of Kevin Smith-esque Alyssa Jones complex.

I love her to bits, but sometimes it's hard. And yeah, I know I'm being ridiculous and should just chill, but try telling that to my subconscious.

-=Lord NAgasaki=- Liverpool

We decided to have Chinese food today for lunch, me, my wife, and our friend Lori. We went to China King Buffet, this little hole in the wall two minutes from my house in a little strip mall otherwise populated by laundromats and little specialty stores. It is the best Chinese food buffet I've ever had and it's cheap! I was literally running, no, sprinting maybe, to the side door because the Antarctic winds we're having today was stinging any exposed flesh and sucking my breath away. And I was toting my son in his car seat (covered with a blanket, don't worry). I got to the door and flung it open. Actually, there was no flinging or opening. DEE-NIED. It was locked and I could see people inside. I looked at the hours posted on the door. They were supposed to be open.

After several more attempts and trying to open the door while all the people inside were looking at me, finally one of the employees (all of them are indeed Chinese) decided to go over and unlock the door for me. Maybe the other door was unlocked and we were in a battle to see who was lazier, me for not wanting to walk to the other door or her for actually getting off her ass to come open that door for me. The damn door was supposed to be open anyway and they had just forgotten to do it.

But the meal was good, as it always was, and fresh, as they had just opened and still didn't have everything out when we got there. The fortunes we received were quite interesting today. Mine read:

"Feeling people will see life as a tragedy, thinking people will see it as a comedy."

It was fitting, I thought. For me at least. I like to consider myself a thinking person, although I have been accused of doing many things in my life without thinking. Anyway, I do see a lot of comedy in life, I like comedy shows and movies the best, and some of you may have noticed a lot of my nodes are comedic in nature. I am a firm believe of the old equation: Tragedy + time = comedy.

My wife had an interesting one, too.

"You and your wife will be happy in your life together."


We had a chuckle about that one. Then our friend Lori opened up her cookie and hers said she was going to try something new. And again, always looking for comedy in life, I suggested maybe those two fortunes went together!

Of course, as always, each fortune was much more interesting when adding the phrase "in bed." to the end of each one.

OK, this isn't strictly this day, but it works as well as any other for it... This experience begins with my friend Walter telling me that he had acquired the mushrooms, something I had been mulling over for nearly two years. I had recently confided in him that I felt I was ready to try them, having done occasional research into them for almost a year. He arrived at my home around eleven PM to pick me up, and we went on our way. We stopped to gather drinks and food, thinking that they would be very important on the trip. We finally arrived at his house around 11:30.

Around 11:40, we began preparing the mushrooms by grinding them with a common mortar and pestle. I had been told that the taste was like that of feet, so I wanted to reduce whatever taste I could. At 11:45, I placed 1/16th (I refuse to call it a half-eighth) of an ounce into my mouth after a bit of fumbling, and began to chew. The taste wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected it to be, but it was far from being any good. Walter told me I should hold the mushrooms in my mouth under my tongue for as long as I could bear, which I estimate to be a little under a minute. I washed them down with a bit of lemon lime soda after that, making sure to clear any remaining bits from my mouth.

I opened my laptop out onto the bed, and connected myself to his hub, tested that I had Internet access, and launched my instant messaging client. Walter reminded me that the people I did communicate with I would feel differently about, which was something I should keep in mind.

The delay to initial onset was very short, and at 11:57, I began to feel as if my legs had been weighted down, almost like I had been exercising all day, but without the pain usually associated with that kind of weakness. Walter went out to the back of the house, presumably to smoke marijuana. At about midnight, though, I became extremely giggly, and knew that I was “coming up” much quicker than I had expected.

By 12:04, though, things became much more intense. At this point, it felt like well over an hour had passed, and my monitor began to wiggle in my perception. This made it very difficult to type, but I wanted to log the experience as best I could, so I typed along, fixing numerous errors, although many of them I simply did not care enough to fix, something those who know me would find very difficult to believe.

At 12:05, which might as well have been twenty to thirty minutes away from 12:04, I began to giggle and laugh much harder than before, which was somewhat painful due to a pre-existing shoulder problem that I had failed to take into account. The pain of my shoulder was an interesting condition, because despite my otherwise detached perceptions, pain was very much the same as it was before.

12:09 rolled around, and it was absolutely impossible for me to stop laughing. As if a very very good joke had been told, no amount of willpower was sufficient for me to stop. This somewhat frightened me, as I became worried about people knowing what I was doing. I had been told many times that no one can tell if you are tripping unless you tell them, but I highly doubt that even now. I felt as if I needed to go to the bathroom, but it also felt as if my colon was escaping, and I became worried that I wouldn't be able to deal with an experience even as mundane as a bowel movement.

Around 12:11, I began to feel as if my entire body was vibrating. Not shaking, which would, I believe, imply large crude movements, but vibrating, which was a very low buzzing effect throughout my entire body. Two minutes later, which was a virtual eternity away (it is very difficult to express the feeling of the time dilation, but I liken it to the same way time seems to pass when one is bored, only exaggerated, and much more fun) , I made an experimental attempt to push the feeling away, something I had learned to do with alcohol (the only other drug I had ever used in my life), but was unsuccessful. This frightened me, as with alcohol, I had relied on the ability to appear sober when I needed to.

Not too long later, though, he edges of text and application windows began to shift, as if they had been printed with each color as a separate layer and not matched up correctly. The colors were also very vibrant, almost saturated in appearance. My original, raw log recalls it as "Holy fuck, the colors and edges". At 12:22, my typing was much more erratic, and I began lifting my hands up into the air and holding them there and then dropping them, as they felt light, but heavy at the same time.

12:30 rolled about, and I began to wonder what eating would be like. I was determined to experiment with all five senses. This turned out to be futile, as I couldn't lift the bottle with my drink in it to my lips on the rare occasions I remembered to even open it. I couldn't remember where I had put the burritos I had bought, but I doubt I would have been able to eat them.

Soon after, however, I overheard Walter and our guest talking about tacos, and I became angry that they were eating mine, despite this not being the truth. Time dilation became very extreme at this point, and I began to see patterns in places I normally wouldn't. The wood grain of the door became very coherent, and I was able to see the pattern of the art from a Magic the Gathering card in it. The effect was very similar to when catholics see the virgin mother in various objects. I looked at the door the next day, and there was absolutely no resemblance anymore.

About now, at 12:32, I realized that Walter had been working at putting the monitor by the bed so we could observe it while listening to music. They kept insisting that I move to the other side of the bed, but all I could really observe in response was "Why?", bearing a wide grin on my face. I was enjoying myself too much where I was to move over wherever they were asking me to. Eventually, they convinced me to move, although it took a bit more work to help me figure out where I was supposed to move. I was much happier where I was, although I am told that I had been repeatedly bumping my head into the wall, which was creating enough noise to draw unwanted attention.

At this point, Walter put headphones on me ( I couldn't manage to put them on myself ) and began to play Pink Floyd's "Breathe". Synthesia took over at this point, and I flung the headphones off in a pain response, as the headphones were very very hot and burning me. This of course was not actually the case, but it didn't matter, that was what I felt. The headphones remained warm-feeling for the remainder of the trip, but the initial response was so shocking that I remember it very well.

With 12:53 coming about, I began to observe that the mouse cursor was moving on its own. Whether this is due to the drug or machine failure is unknown, and likely will be forever. I was apparently still very frightened, as Walter kept telling me to mellow out, something about reasoning it out. Reason was the farthest thing away from me at this point. EVERYTHING was very far away. It was if the bed was a little island, and everything else was full of shark infested waters, I just didn't want to leave the bed. I didn't want to leave. Just then, my cellphone rang, and I felt it vibrating against the side of my right leg. The trouble is, I don't own a cellphone, and haven't for several months.

I decided I should communicate with someone, and I made the unfortunate choice of an ex girlfriend, who was also tripping. I now regret this, as I feel much more attached to her than I did before, and although I want to be with her, I know I cannot. She has expressed no such interest. Talking with other people was very interesting, as words had more meaning, as if they had taken on a voice of their own. The voice was much like the ones used in my dreams, in that they lacked actual audio, but were made more of thought and concept than anything else. A friend from Chicago messaged me, and I could feel a sting with her words, as they were very sad and bitter, and I wanted to heal her and make her feel better.

A minute later (it is difficult to convey the length of these minutes), I began to feel like I was sweating. A wipe of my brow revealed this to not be the case, but I felt like I wanted to lay down. It was then that I realized that I would neither be able to log all of this experience, nor would I be able to put it all into some coherent form for others to read. Too much happens far too quickly, and I fear it will be impossible to ever accurately describe the experience. I'm trying anyways, but I'm on a fourth revision, and it's still nowhere close. People need to know how amazing these are, though.

My vision became put into lines that reminded me of a kaleidoscope, and then as if Circuit City logos had been watermarked into the air. I asked myself if this is what deleria would be like, but dismissed it, as deleria could never possibly be this good. I again commented that the music was very warm.

1:02 had a single entry of "I'm melting", after a quick correction of the time to 1:01.

Shortly after (my timestamps are illegible at this point, although I was able to make sense of some of the words I put into the log) I again noted the time dilation effects, but with emphasis on how sudden changes still bothered me in the same way they typically did. I also noted that I needed to remember to breath less erratically (this was likely due to the pain of my shoulder, and I recommend that anyone who does trip do so while in good physical condition and free of pain)

At 1:15, I observed that out of my peripheral vision, everyone's face began to take on either a bony quality or a that of a dog. It was as if I could see them perfectly without even looking at them, though. I commented to myself that I should purchase a dog ; however, my family already owns a labrador retreiver. In this same minute, I became convinced I could feel my laptop's pain, and began to listen very carefully at the noises the hard drive and fans made, even though I knew very clearly that it made no sense to do so. My head began to sink to the bed, and I reveled in the soft feel of the bed clothes.

At this point, about 1:26, the others began to want to go somewhere else, although I didn't want to leave. Frank was over at this point ( I had just realized who my earlier mentioned visitor was ), and he was talking to me in a manner that made me wonder why he was talking to me like a dog. I began writing this into my log until it occurred to me that I shouldn't tell my log my problems with him, I should tell him. Of course, this problem was only perceived, and not real, but I needed to tell him anyways. There was talk of going into the basement, but I was firmly entrenched in the belief that my socks were too wet to make this possible.

Further talk of going somewhere frightened me, as a sentiment to drive became apparent. I felt as if I had to step in and tell them that we couldn't, but I was reassured that it was the new "sitter" that would be driving. I then realized someone had IM'd me. I believe it was Jessica. I felt very detached at her, if that makes sense, and her words conveyed a sense of sadness. She was asking about a New Year's party, and I informed her that I didn't know about the things she was asking because it was not my party.

Frank was VERY tall.

The Beatles were playing in my headphones, and it became apparent their intent with some of the songs they had written. They were obviously tripping, or intended them for people who were.... parts with the lyrics repeating seemed to go on endlessly, warm within my head. Unfortunately, at this point, my log ends. I recall eventually stumbling over to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror. Walter looked fine, however, my own face was something more resembling a poorly forged Picasso, with one eye much smaller than the other, and one eye exaggerated to comical proportions. My nose appeared very slender, and the premise that someone couldn't know what I was on was very foreign. I knew that portions of my physical appearance only appeared that way to me, but some features, I felt, had to be obvious to others. After a bit more stumbling we found our way out to the garage, which I decided was very cold and walked back to the bed. Although I wanted to explore more, I couldn't manage the feeling of being removed from the warmth, because it was so happy and beautiful.

Anyways, I was going to come down soon, which I realized was pleasantly like being drunk, although unpleasantly unlike the original effects. I wasn't too happy about this, but decided to go read The people on it pissed me off, as their vitriol and bitterness struck through clear as day, and their words again took shape as not words but voices. I leaned back against the wall and thought to myself “These people suck, they need to be nicer to each other”.

Listening to music again brought back the original effects, which came as a surprise. The effects became renewed. This went on for a few more hours, and although it wasn't nearly as intense as before, it was a very pleasant feeling that left me grinning like an idiot.

One thing I do recall very strongly, and something that I wish I had the words to better explain, is the very intense feelings of empathy I experienced. Talking to people was a more real experience, although difficult, because I was frightened that they might discover what I was doing and hate me for it. It doesn't make sense now, but it did then.

Please me have no regrets...

, Drove back north to Lafayette, Indiana (shithole of a town) and picked up my bus from the Firestone where it was parked. Brought it back to Louisville. After paying for the rental for 3 days, the tow dolly, the gas for my buddy to drive me down there, lunch and miscellaneous expensed related to buying him a tow hitch so he could pull her back home the trip cost me about as much as it would have to have a wrecker tow her to Louisville and with much less stress. Oh well, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20.

One last bit of bad luck, we stopped for lunch at Stake and Shake and I dropped my walled on their floor as we walked out of the place. When I realized it and called them I was relieved to hear they had found it. We went and picked it back up but it was $20 lighter than it had been previously. That was all that was missing. Bad karma and curses to that robber.

So now the bus is sitting at the Volksdoctor waiting to be fixed. I'm going to just go ahead and spend what it takes to get her running again (after all as long as the engine isn't totaled, which I don't think it is as it still drives -should only cost 1300-2000$).

Slight compensation is that I was futzing around on ebay tonight and I see that there are tons of these buses for sale for up to 1600$ (so far bidding isn't over). I have hope that I'll be able to sell her for more than $2000 once she's running again and thereby recoup what I'm about to put into her.

I still have to make some new arraignments with my ex-wife, she sold me this money-eater. I have paid her $600 so far and owe her (based on our agreement before the engine blew 3 months into my ownership) another 1500$. This is not going to happen. I will have to spend that just to fix the van. Most likely I will offer to pay her the remaining sum (or lily just 50% of it) later in the year once my nest egg is restored to what it was before the repairs.

I don't mean to suggest that she knowingly sold me a car about to die, but she did know about the anti-freeze leak and said it was a slow leak. That's because she hadn't driven it much the past year... of course once I began to really use the car the problem went from a leaky gasket to a blown one... that's logical. So in a sense she did sell me a van knowing it was problematic, and in sense she didn’t having been assured by her mechanic that the leak wasn't anything serious and the only way to fix it would have been a costly gasket replacement (THE EXACT REPAIR I'M NOW PAYING TO HAVE DONE -she's a crafty one, sell the van and get the new owner to pay for the repair. Only problem is - I'm the father of her son who has just moved into town to take some of the burden of parenthood off of her shoulders.

So I have a tightrope to walk with her, like the fool walking the edge of the cliff... I can't outright yell at her for fucking me over by selling me a van about to explode, nor can I just let her off the hook. There is a middle path and that's one that involves a suspension of payments for the time being while the money that would have once gone to her for the bus goes towards repairs. After all I did her a favor by buying the bus in the first place (just as she did me one by selling it to me on payments so I wouldn’t have to sink a full 2000$ or more into an auto at once - which I'm now forced to do) because she was loath to put it on the open market where 1) she wouldn't get 2K for it and 2) she'd have to scrape the Deadhead stickers off of it and 3) likely pay for the engine repairs herself.

Some of this is just my perception and maybe not the full truth of the matter... but I'm rolling here and I need to get this out.

I hope she doesn't take me to court to try and get the rest of the money from me and that we can come to a friendly agreement over the price of the van considering it's new condition. I pray. If not we're gonna fight for the first time in years and this will set back my plans for a renewed relationship with my son Quinn - which is the only reason I came back to America, moved to Louisville and was in the position to buy the van in the first place.

I only pray her need for the 1500$ under weighs her desire to make good karmically with me and for us to continue having the excellent working relationship that we have.

Ahem. I pray silently now

In other news I have a weeks temp gig with the National Tobacco Company doing some office work. This will be the first work I've done since leaving the graces of RadioShack Corp. on December 23, 2004. I hope it's the beginning of a series of temp jobs that will make me enough money to pay for these repairs a well as put me into a new house here in Louisville.

On that note I'm looking at a room in a 3-bedroom house on Tuesday. The rent will be 450 if we don't find a third roommate and 300$ if we do. I think we will. It sounds like a nice house with front and back porches, wired for high speed Internet, garage parking for the bus and two stories in a nice neighborhood.

Wish me luck on that.

The medium term sees me going up to Chicago on March 13 or 14 and then on to Amsterdam to see my friendClaire on March 16. I'll be in A'dam for about 10 days working on an extensive photo shoot of the coffee house scene there (say 3000 frames of film at 20 different coffee shops over the course of 10 days). I have dreams of publishing a coffee table book of coffee shop photography, history and culture. Then Claire and me are flying to Madrid and going to spend a week in Spain. Then back to Amsterdam, then Chicago and finally back to Louisville by say April 9 at the latest.

Once here it'll be back to work for me and then as spring turns to summer I'll be going to Bonaroo in order to sell all of my accumulated trade goods (some 75 kilograms of clothing, hand made books, lamps, lanterns, hammocks) and my photographs from Thailand and Morocco and tour.

This stash of stuff is worth about 7000$ and should work to rebuild my savings. (I'm quite the planner!)

The best thing about being back in the US in general and in Louisville in particular is that I'll be able to spend time with my son Quinn every week and this is the greatest blessing I have in my life right now. After years of being an absentee father living in Europe pursuing love, career, and adventure I have trumped them all and come to be closer to him. I find this decision extremely rewarding. In fact I'm spending tomorrow afternoon with him!

That's about all... as they say in the comics... 'nuff said.

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