02:44

So here I am, noding. I really, really should go to sleep or something. Maybe I will, after I finish this chapter. Who knows.

I should be sleeping, I should make the reply to E-mail I promised to make for my friend... Oh, okay, I admit it, I'm an irresponsible fool. =(

Or maybe I shouldn't think of this kind of stuff.

I played Metal Warrior III, and it seemed like a fairly nostalgic game... I'll node more tomorrow, if I dare. Amazing that games like that get made in 2000s.

Good night, E2.

10:57

Morning!

It's not exactly the most pleasant thing for an Audiophile to wake up with right ear full of wax. That has certain kinds of negative hearing-related effects... =(

12:11

FUCK.

- AfterBurner and the rest of S.P.(U.T.U.)M.,
in memory of Douglas Mackall (1958-1999),
a fellow anti-spammer

I read a mail from my friend, he said he was going to commit suicide.

Sent last night.

And he doesn't reply to my SMS or mail.

::WWWWolf lets out a terribly sad, tearful howl...::

I hope he's allright...

17:29

...the friend wrote back. =) I just wish that he'll stay calm...

...sorry if I got everyone upset or something...

...::deep sigh::...

19:34

Goddamn. Nothing seems to work this day!

Jippii Group should implement auto-idle-disconnect thing. If you were using my webcam and didn't see me by the machine, that's the reason here...

I ate a bunch of almost old stuff and tried to figure out ways to make World Funnier For Everyone, but I didn't know how.

Nelonen has PDA version of their news, it seems... Way Cool...


Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: pucrunch RLE AfterBurner truth table Metal Warrior III

December 30, 2000

My New Year’s Eve party went pretty well, despite the immature actions of my sixteen year old brother and his girlfriend, Sheena.

About thirty people showed up at one time or another, including a large group of girls traveling in a pack from party to party. They congregated in a corner and played Truth or Dare Jenga, which Sheena had been kind enough to bring. The entire house was filled with the sounds of shrill giggles and gratuitous noise until they left.

Back to Adam and Sheena. They were both rollin’ pretty good by the time the party officially got underway – in fact, Sheena had already chewed through one pacifier and was well into her second. She went up to every person as soon as she could draw him or her away from the crowd, and begged to be told if she was acting weird. Most tried to be nice by denying the fact that Sheena was acting like a moron, but I don’t think she believed them. My brother, in the mean time, was glow stick dancing like mad, and handing out money to anyone who asked. I got a dollar.

Only six people spent the night; most left around two in the morning or so. Jessica and Meagan slept on the floor in my room, while Adrian and Mike each took a side of the couch in the living room downstairs. Adam and Sheena disappeared for a couple hours, and I didn’t have the energy to hunt them down and break it up. Aaron and Schmoo ended up going back home, because Aaron was having asthma problems and forgot his inhaler. He is so wimpy for being such a big guy.

January 1, 2001

Woke up around ten the next morning, played some Bust a Move on N64 with Meag and Jess. Adrian and Mike were still dead to the world, and remained so for a while longer. I went over to Aaron’s house and woke him up, made sure he was breathing good, and then dragged him back to my house for breakfast. Scrambled eggs and hash browns. No pancakes, unfortunately, but eggs are almost as fun. I swallowed my usual handful of pills in the privacy of the hall leading to the bathroom from the kitchen. I hate taking meds in front of people.

Went to work at one o’clock. That was the rest of my day.

January 2, 2001

Aaron and I went to see The Family Man with Nick and Pam Tuesday night. It was a decent movie, especially after watching Dracula 2000 a couple days ago. Pam is still too quiet around Aaron and I, but I guess I understand. Aaron and Nick and I have all been friends for a few years, long before we knew such a thing as Pam existed. I’ve gotten used to Nick and Aaron’s behavior when they’re around each other (it’s pretty bizarre , trust me) after long hours of suffering through endless Tony Hawk and Final Fantasy sessions, watching countless Dragon Ball Z episodes, listening to Fear Factory over and over, and being berated for flinching every time one of them came within three feet of me. Well, that applies more to Nick than Aaron. He tends to enjoy hurting me and calling me a kitchen whore. But that’s another story.

Pam needs to hang out with me some more. I think she’s either scared of me, or incredibly shy around people she doesn’t see too often. I talk to her on AIM whenever she’s around, but that’s different than interacting in real life. Nick is just a selfish bastard and keeps her to himself most of the time.


…Back to the present

Today was a change from the past week. I went back to school, which wasn’t so bad if you ignore the waking up early bit. Found out I have an A.P. Stats test tomorrow, and a rough draft of a seven page play due next week for creative writing. I am the master of B.S., so that’s no big deal. But math takes knowledge, and that is something I don’t have.

My hours at work have been cut down to six hours per week. If I needed money, this would be a bad thing. But I have nothing to buy beyond a tank of gas every now and then and a few bagels to get me by. I can live on less than twenty bucks a week, easily. But that’ll all change when I leave for school next year, I’m sure. Tuition is the killer of dreams.

Goodbye, dreams.

How is life for this Italian emigré, these first days of the millenium ? I am far away from Italy. But let us tackle the quarterbacks of life one by one, in an orderly fashion instead of the usual smelly confused mess.

Job

... I am still on vacation. My contract has been confirmed until the end of January. Part of me would like the Respectable Institution to just fire me, so that I could quietly leave the country and retreat into the cocoon of the family.
The Italian family has this amazing property: you can always go back. Which makes one feel quite safe and much less lonely than the average gringo. Of course, this also means that our parents retain the right to opine about our personal affairs as long as we live... one more analogy between Italian and Jews.

Anyway, I am looking for a job. See my boring resume at http://resumes.dice.com/baffo, and remember that it does not mention my three chief virtues: being a genius, modesty, and being a very skilled liar.

Some guys in Italy started a project I might be interested in, but things will start really happening in October. In the meanwhile, I have to entertain and even *feed* myself somehow.

Love

The breakup process that began in the previous writeup has completed. We are not a couple anymore, and it hurts, but not that bad because after all it was me that wanted out.
We will keep loving each other, but as a couple it is over. I am moving to a temporary accomodation on Friday, and if it sounds as a quick end to a five year relationship, well, it does feel quick.
We have spent the last two weeks saying goodbye: we even went to Oaxaca, the first place I visited in Mexico. This "taking leave" process certainly feels long and painful, and it goes against my tastes. Nonetheless, she feels that she needs it, and I owe it to her.

Media

... we carefully separated the books, into mine and hers. We added little notes to the ones that were given as presents, so that we would remember. The same we did with the CDs. I still remember how I cried when she gave me, four years ago, her Silvio Rodriguez CDs.
I have re-read John Varley's Steel Beach. I am reading Val the Stick by illegal means (do not ask). Last night I read a bit of the Black Book of Perl, and if you ignore the irritating pseudo-socratic style there is *actually* information in it.
I am reading Under the Volcano, but it is not as entertaining as I hoped.

Outside

The Popocatepétl is quiet, for now. No giant earthquake has torn down the city, yet. The air sucks, it is grey and it stinks.
In Yucatan, the local Congress is ignoring a ruling of the Tribunal del Poder Electoral de la Federación, which is a bit as if the Ohio Congress said "U 5UCK d00D !" to the Supreme Court.
In the state of Tabasco, the ex-governor from PRI, Roberto Madrazo Pintado (once seen as a possible presidential candidate) fled to Miami and tried to impose his own candidate as the next temporary governor (a temporary governor is necessary, because the local elections were declared void by federal authority due to various scandals). There were very ugly scenes in the local Congress, with fistfights and destruction of documents. Of course, there is an alternative PRD-supported governor.
The president Vicente Fox Quesada is pointedly staying the hell out of the Tabasco situation.

On the other hand, these petty scandals utterly pale in comparison with the sheer ugliness of the US presidential elections. And now dubya is dusting off the Star Wars project, which remains a stupid idea for reasons that remained very good over the years (and will probably remain good for many more years, since they have to do with human nature and the difficulty of software engineering).

E2

Today I noticed a raging debate on censorship and editors and gods. I carefully stayed out of it. My years as wizard in a MOO have taught me many things, and one is the great value of silence, in certain situtations.
Got a nice msg from BJuarez, whom I hereby place under the obligation of writing a very good WU about Benito Juarez.
I found some unexpected dead in the Node Heaven. Toughen up and node. Never contribute to GTKY node. Only bitterness lies that way.
I noded Oaxaca and tlayuda. Factual, very factual.

This was written while listening to Propaganda's Wishful Thinking


Formerly, the citizen claimed that ... -*- In the future we will all have wings

Buying a used car in Sydney

I've ended up buying a 1990 Holden Apollo - it's exactly the same engine and body as the 1990 Toyota Camry for some reason.

It's quite a story. It was the 3rd or 4th car dealer I walked into on Parramatta road. I was on my way to Cabramatta because I noticed a lot of cheap cars in an online ad listed as being from a car dealer there but decided to check out the car dealers on the way. After stopping at a Toyota dealer and being told that their "used" cars only started from $20k upwards barring one lousy $8000 piece of junk, a salesman told me about this guy about 1km away so I stopped there.

Once I got there, I walked in and noticed a red Camry for sale for $7990. So I asked the proprietor about the car. He said it was a 1990 car, 140,000 kms, blah blah blah ... automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering ...

So I asked him if I could see the engine and if he could start the car. He got the keys and attempted to start the car but it failed to start. He said that it starts fine but it sometimes had a problem because of the inclination and that it would start immediately if he towed it to level ground (a few meters back). So I walked around his car lot a bit more and he jovially said "how about this one - it's the same car!". I said "It's not the same car, it's a Holden, the other one's a Toyota". He told me to have a closer look and opened the car bonnet. It was the exact same darned engine. So he told me it was a 1990 model too and that Holden got their Apollos from around that year from the same car as the Camry. hmm... so I asked him why was this one $4990 when the other was $7990. "Because this one has 200,000km on the odometer while the other has 140,000km"

Whilst I was looking at the $4990 car, checking for rust, that the engine looked ok (grossly ok), bouncing the car for the suspension (mostly ok), checking the lights, starting the engine (he gave me the keys) and verifying that there was no smoke and it started fine and that the air conditioner worked.

Anyway, by this time he had gotten the $7990 car pulled up to level ground and did indeed call me to show that the car started fine like that. "Sometimes the fuel intake is a bit higher than the fuel level if the car is at an angle", he said.

I told him that I liked the $4990 car but I wanted to go to other car lots, see other cars. "Oh come on now, Alex (I had told him my name), how many other cars do you want to see? Ok, how much would you pay for this car to walk out with it today?"

"$3000".

"Oh, get off it. No way. $4700"

I asked him if I could take it out for a test drive. After handing him my driver's license, and his moving other cars out of the way, I was off. The car moved fine, gears seemed ok. No funny noises. Could rev up to red line without too much problem. Gear changes were ok too. Turning was fine with no clicking (differential). Brakes were ok, reverse gear was ok. Suspension wasn't perfect but not bad. Sound system was lousy and the volume knob was broken. Ohwell.

When I got back, I told him that I thought the car wasn't bad, though the suspension might need some work and that I wouldn't want to pay $4700 for the car.

"How much would you offer for the car then?"

"$4000"

"Come off that. That's still too low."

"That's a lot better than $3000."

"How can I make money like that?"

"You'll still make money. Just slightly less money."

We were interrrupted by another customer but, without breaking pace, this guy asked this other customer "look, I'm trying to sell this guy the cheapest car in Australia. It's a 1990 Camry, automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering, Dec 2001 registration (which means I don't have to renew registration until December ... which might save a few hundred dolllars) for $4700"

The other guy said "Sounds good. What's the milage like?"

"Oh. Don't ask about the milage!", he said in a jovial voice with a smile.

Just then a car pulls in and this youngish guy opens the door. The salesman shouts over "Go away! I don't need any more Fords".

"That's no way to treat your customers."

"That's not one of my customers. I've got enough Fords, can't move them. I need more Toyotas, they sell. See, like I'm trying to sell you this one here."

We finally agreed on $4500. We also agreed on a somewhat dodgy deposit of $80 (normally deposits are 10% but my wallet only had $85 in it) and that I would come back today with the balance, after my cheques had cleared.

So today I am about to go there to complete the transaction and get a 1990 car that might be worth up to $8000 for $4500. I'll probably pay $1000 for repairs and maintenance (oil change, rubber hoses, filters, battery, spark plugs, whatever) over the weekend but that should bring it up to speed.


Already moved in with an old friend to a nice flat in Parramatta. Nice place, if a little old. A whole lot of eating places (KFC, Pizza Hut, Pizza Haven, a few Chinese restaurants, a Thai place, a pizza place, the Cheesecake shop, a Korean BBQ place), a Blockbuster video outlet, a medical center, a post office, a solicitor, an accountant and various shops within walking distance. Nice and convenient. Have not yet fully furnished the place. Currently sleeping on the sofa futon bed until I buy my own.

1:45 am EST

Slow day at work, at first anyway. I have lots of things do to: return phone calls, work on my syllabus, etc. But somehow, I can’t bring myself to care. I feel apathetic, lethargic, and my tooth hurts. So I spent the afternoon on everything. I was going to node some more G.I. Joe figures, but then I was shocked (absolutely shocked!) that there was no node for The Bicycle Thief. So I just had to add one to the database, and following that I’ll probably put that grad school book learnin’ to work by doing a bunch of nodes on Italian cinema. It’s certainly a more noble endeavor than nostalgia tripping by noding G.I. Joe characters. And dammit, I still owe Sylvar a write-up on Richard Wright to replace the nuked one I narced on ‘cause somebody was plagiarizing. Remember kids: Write your own stuff.

Met the new hire at work today. She’s a former social worker from Georgia who’s in the Student Affairs master’s degree program. She’s in charge of the online "Cyberorientation" for new students. Great, it’s bad enough that teachers are being replaced by distance "learning", now academic advisors are too. But she seems nice enough. The acting director has asked me to assist with her training, sitting in on meetings and helping her and so forth. It’s optional, but I’ve blocked out my calendar for all of it. Hell, if they’re going to pay me to go to some meetings and do nothing, who am I to argue?

Spring orientation. What fun, but at least it’s two and a half hours of overtime. The room was packed to the brim, and there’s still one more orientation to go. One guy sat at one of the advisor’s tables, and when one of advisors asked him to leave and sit with the other students (we need these tables to work, otherwise we wouldn’t care), he was a real asshole about it, bitching and moaning about how somebody should have told him not to sit there five minutes before. I was working with a student already, but it was all I could do to not curse that idiot out. Jesus Christ, sit down and shut the fuck up, we’re trying to do our job here, bitch.

On the way home, I remembered that I had forgotten to ask about one of the advisors who had gone into the hospital before New Year’s (this was my first day back since NYE). I’m sure I would have been told if anything serious had happened, but I still felt pretty guilty for forgetting.

Watched Man on the Moon tonight. Wow.
Went to my cousin Rolie's the night before and we picked up another cousin, Rey, and went hunting for munchies at Super K-Mart. Rolie bought Swat 3 Elite Forces and ice cream.

We started playing LAN games like Rogue Spear and Swat 3 (which sucked). I hadn't slept yet, morning came along, it was then 11:30. My cousin's Tahoe needed an inspection sticker. His mother said it would only take 5 minutes. So we left to get the inspection sticker.

Drove around trying to find a place that would inspect the vehicle, there was only one we found: Exxon (a gas-station). Apparently we were second in line and the vehicle before us still had to be inspected, so that was a good 30 minutes, and then Rolie's vehicle had to be brought in and inspected, another good 30 minutes. The Inspection Officer came inside the store and told Rolie his vehicle failed. The brakes didn't stop in 25 feet, it stopped in 30. The officer took us on the test, yup, 5 feet over. Officer said that they can check the brakes and see what was wrong, $20 bucks and 45 minutes. The three of us split a taco from Taco Bell. The Officer comes inside again and says that his vehicle failed, again. The Officer had to see what was still wrong, a good 30 minutes. A friend of mine comes in to the store and says that she got them to do her's before our maintenance by offering them a paid lunch. We waited for hers to be inspected, a good 35 minutes. Finally hers was done and Rolie's went back in, the brakes needed to lose its fluid and re-do some other things (I'm not a mechanic). That took 40 minutes, by the time we were able to leave, more than 3 hours had passed since Rolie's mother, my aunt, had said it would only take five minutes.

Came home, got on the internet and chatted in #everything, I tried to be more sophisticated, I really did: unsuccessful. Why can't I just be appreciated? My friend is leaving on the 5th, I will never again see her. It pains me to lose such a person at all in my life, I know I will miss her a lot. She was a fun and caring person. I have slept 2 hours in the past 42 hours. I am a bit tired and now I must sleep. Thank you for your time!


note: Thank you anemotis for cheering me up!! you're a doll.

Two thousand and one.

I never thought we’d get here, to be honest. When I was young, I’d think of the year 2000, and it’d be unfathomable, something that little boys were unable to wrap their minds around.

I would be 20 when the clock struck midnight, I told myself. 21 for 2001, 22 for 2002. My age would be fairly easy to figure out after that.

But twenty is such a big number then you’re small. Twenty is fantasy, make-believe, a number that lasts forever. Two thousand was a year that would never happen, never mind 2001.

And now it’s here, and now I’m 21, and now things keep moving faster and faster.

The past year moved by so fast I find myself at a loss to extract anything useful from it, anything positive and memorable. There wasn’t much, I don’t think. It was not a good year for me.

No, not a good year. It had its moments, and it had Jessica, but it was not what I wanted it to be.

Now we move on.
Random thoughts for today:

I wonder if my spiked hair is too radical for this workplace.

Oh yeah, New Year's Resolutions! I've made them already during the New Year's Eve Walk with my Love. Here they are:
1. Fight less with my Love. (Make them more reasonable.)
2. Play down my sedentary life by going out to excercise more. I am in a dilemma as to whether I should get a winter thermal jacket to excercise outside in the fresh air, or a 6-month membership at a fitness club.
3. Live my dreams.
4. Get my finances in order.
5. Finish reading the books I have started.
Hmm...sounds more like a list of Things To Do.

There should be a velodrome for the City of Toronto. For all those fitness and competitive cyclists out there, it would be of great benefit to have such a facility especially for the winter months.


3:33pm EST
I'm actually doing work and it is complex. Now I thoroughly understand why developers make our jobs more difficult when it comes to designing user interfaces.
I AM TIRED TIRED TIRED I WANT TO NAP NAP NAP

I got a new kitty yesterday. Susie. Two years old. Calico. Spayed female. Cute. Cuddly. I'm seriously and unexpectedly stressed out with worry over how well she and Toby, my sweet sweet 1.5 year old neutered boycat will get along. After I brought her home I was suddenly struck with pangs of anxiety. Toby is so gentle. Is susiecat going to scare him? Make him unhappy? Reduce his quality of life. I'm half hoping the vet today will find some mysterious flaw that will let me return her, half not. I was very sure I wanted another kitty before this. Aghhh I can't decide whether this is something genuinely concerning, or random angst on my part. I remember when I first got Toby I was full of doubts and second thoughts, but now nine months later he is so dear to me. This comforts me and also makes the worrying more intense. Is this going to work? Ohhhh...

I hate forms done in PDF. Great, I can fill them out in the free pdf format. Fuck you, I can't save them. I've retyped this one form like 6 times now.

augh, thank god that's finished. unless the lawyers need me to change something.

my uncle n apparently just ran for political office in Nanaimo. cool. he didn't get elected, of course, as he was running for the green party. I think he got about 1100 votes or something. I haven't seen him in years until last night. No, that's not true, I passed him on the street last year. I said hi but he didn't recognize me. Well, fair enough, I've changed a lot more than he has. my uncle b is still crazy, my aunt f still nice, my cousins d1 and d3 have turned out to be really cool, and cousin d2 is still an anti-social wreck. neat. see you all again in two years or something.

I wonder if uncle n will run again next time. Maybe politics is his calling in life. He's been a bit of a drifter for a long time, treeplanting here and there to support his protesting habit.

zoned zoned zoned. it's a good thing I signed up for Yoga for Computer Users. I wish it started earlier.

Whoah, I just used deemed disposition, capital loss, front-end, registered plan, in kind contribution, and settlement process in one sentence. I'm such a dilletante that I'm always disturbed to find that I've accidentally acquired a competence in something.

My mum's book has been published. Hurrah!

I'm so zoned. I need a long walk or a long nap or a long something that isn't sitting at this desk. Ackg. ggg. gg.

This is what the day logs are for. Argue though people will, we cannot have all 19,000 some-odd users making personal day logs every day. It isn't practical or economical and will only cause more problems. Thanks.

PureDaily - Jan 4 2001
 launch editor 
created by PureDoxyk
 (idea) by PureDoxyk  C! Thu Jan 4 2001 at 16:40 utc 
 
This is my journal, not a day log. It's here for amusement purposes only, like the platypus. If it amuses you to read, add to, or downvote my journals, have fun. I'd just prefer they not get nuked.

January 4, 11:15 a.m.

Every year I get so caught up in the coolness of Christmas that I forget how much the two or three months after it SUCK ASS.

Today is going to be a slow fucking day at work, slow like Christmas Eve. My maid of honor and possibly the coolest person I know is coming to visit me today from Boston. She and her beau might actually be at my house already. I could be hanging out with some of the most awesome humans I've ever found, but no, I'm noding.

"And though I once preferred a human being's company
They pale before the monolith that towers over me...." --TMBG

Okay, well, I'm getting paid to node, technically, so I guess I can't say I got a raw deal or anything. But still. I'd rather be smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo, if you know what I mean. I guess I might as well node something about Cate, my awesome former maid of honor. And this is probably the place to do it, since nobody reading a "normal" node will care one fuck about Cate. Well, you should. If anybody's gonna save the world, it's gonna be her.

Cate had the kind of nightmare childhood that produces superheroes. No-one else I know would even have lived through what she did, but she, unlike myriad peoples with much more minor problems, wouldn't bitch about it if you paid her. She has no excuses, anywhere, for anything she does. She fought her way into Harvard, and is currently tearing it a new asshole. She's gotten scores on tests that have set records, participated in research projects that no undergraduate has ever been allowed in--that sort of thing. She's dating a very, very cool guy named Glenn--he's a raving genius too. Sometimes, you can imagine, it's hard to keep up with them in a conversation. Good thing I never get bored of hearing things I don't know! Let's see...the latest thing Cate and Glenn were involved in was landing an internship to participate in the first round of negotiations between Ethiopia and an independant tribe (whose name I can't pronounce, remember OR spell) that they've been warring with for three millennia. Now THAT'S an internship!

Cate's also a healer; no shit. She's one of those creepy people that can cure plant diseases just by touching them; who can make you feel better by feeding you a tea she made up on the spot, choosing her ingredients by looking at you. She was the first person in my life to ever cure one of my famous ass-kicking migranes. (She's still the only one who can stop one once it's started, but the recommendations she gave me for keeping them at bay have worked great for two years now; I've had very few, comparatively). She's grown and spliced plants and trees that have won state awards, and no, she's never taken classes in anything except philosophy (where I met her) and psychology.

But those aren't really the impressive things about Cate, and I should get to those. In spite of the fact that I only attended the same school--hell, only lived in the same state--as Cate for one year, I have never lost touch with her, nor she with me, and it's been two years since then. I refuse to lose track of Cate. And every time I've ever talked to her about a favor, of any sort, the first and only words out of her mouth are, "What can I do?"
The most amazing thing about Cate is that she bends over backwards for absolutely anybody. She gives cigarettes to beggars on the street, and spends her free time doing volunteer work for soup kitchens and Rape Crisis Centers. Cate, in spite of her amazing self--or maybe because of it--never thinks for a second that there's anything better about her than anybody, no matter how low that anybody looks to be. And she doesn't ever think that she's doing a favor from on high--she's absolutely genuine, and you can believe that, coming from someone as tried and jaded as me.

Cate blows me away. She's the most magickal person AND the most human mage I've ever known.

And in a scant six hours or so, I'll get to see her again. Whee! My soul is drooling.

But the single most astounding thing about her is this: She would write this node, probably just like I did, but she would write it about me. And she wouldn't understand, just like I wouldn't, why I'd want to write it about her. She calls us "kin". I'm the writer, but I don't have a word for it. I just call it Cate.

--PKSC

In the evening

Let's have quick scan of today:

Quite difficult to wake up in the morning; must learn to go to bed earlier again. Those holidays must've mixed up my daily rhythm. I was busy at work, working around some things and helping a linux newbie to get along with the system. Tried to find a suitable place to play badminton; there's one nearby where I work, but all sunday's were already taken for the next 6 months. Have to find a some place where there is free fields on sundays, as sunday seems to be the only day for me and friend to have time to go and play. (Can't these clubs keep their phone numbers in yellow pages?)

Finally, got home and quite soon my friend called and asked if I could master his own music onto cdr. (This had been discussed earlier and I had promised to do it for him) So my friend came along with his computer, and I copied songs worth of two cd's on my hd. There's quite a lot of work in those. I had been thinking of converting one video of other friend of mine to realvideo, to put on his website (which I have created and maintain); I'll probably do it tomorrow, as it's getting late already.

it must have been longer than merely 24 hours.

yesterday i woke up feeling somewhat sick but i went to school anyway. something someone said, a very insignificant, little thing, made me depressed. so i bailed out. that's all i've been good at the past few months.. leaving when things get rough. i went home, using my quasi-illness as an excuse, and i slept/cried for 2 1/2 hours before going to work.

(but was it really only 150 minutes? it seemed like so much more. every emotion and every detail of my life--past, future, present--was packed into those precious moments spent alone)

to work, to be yelled at by impatient, uncarring customers who haven't the slightest idea what it takes to get them that prozac they need so desperately.

home again, trying to sleep, but only did so fitfully during the night. so hard to silence your mind when the universe is so loud..

and i thought perhaps it was because i never could share my feelings that no one seemed to care. but, what now? after the emotional whoring and the pain what do i receive but averted gazes and superficial words? it won't be like this forever, i saw that in those 2 1/2 hours. but i know it can seem like forever.. and that's what i've felt during the past so-called 24 hours.

Ivy & Phil & I are learning how to live in this house. It’s been a long few months. Our first house, new surroundings, lots to learn.

Phil is my Philodendron, and Ivy is, what else, an ivy. They were very happy in North Carolina. They had completely covered the file cabinet and nearly taken over my desk. They had a large spider that lived outside the window and made beautiful webs. The sun rose every morning in front of their big window. They were happy, but I was miserable.

So, now they are perched on a shelf in the "foyer"; precariously high above the first floor. I reach them from the second floor landing. Their limbs reach down - Phil nearly to the floor and Ivy just to a foot or so below the 1st floor ceiling. They have no windows up there. It’s the only spot in the house without windows. But all of the rooms around have windows, as does the first floor where their limbs are growing.

I think we’re all having a hard time adjusting to the new place though. At first I was watering Phil & Ivy too much - Phil's leaves near the base started turning yellow and falling off. Then they both got aphids. I sprayed them last week. But now I don’t think I’m watering them enough and Ivy’s leaves are turning.

We all made such a good team at my old place. Now I’m out of synch with the plants. We’re having trouble getting the timing right. I know we’ll all hit our stride again. Changes are changes and we grow through them. Phil & Ivy are still growing. They are good role models for me.

I sauntered into my class an hour late with my giant hat and crazy hair. The business drones were all cooking up things the Prof. could write on the board. He then wrote eight lists and tried to prove they were all interconnected based on these insane assertions. I had this Prof. two years ago so I am relieved to know his stupidity does not leak into marking.

A great Architecture Prof. is teaching my Innovation class. He has done these bridge breaking contests on our University TV station since I was a kid. Such a good-natured, intelligent guy. It is his last year before he retires so I am extremely lucky to have him. There is only 20 people in the class and he and I had a chat before it started. Although I am looking forward to the class, there is this stupid personal problem: a guy I asked out once through e-mail is in my class. He never replied back then and I have felt like an idiot around him ever since. Hopefully he will drop the course. It sounds stupid, but he is the only guy in my life to ever reject me without me ultimately winning him.

I wept when I saw the skaters on the way home.

9:53 pm

I got a lot of work done today. Going to sleep at a fairly good time paid off. I got an email from Sara while at work today. She must have looked up my work email address from an old message that was cc:'ed to everyone. It was a good letter and it brightened up my day quite a bit.

I wasn't quite sure if she knew that CR was expecting us to go to the movie alone, but she mentioned in her message today that she was trying to get ahold of CR to ask him when would be a good time for her and I to get together with CR and his date for the movie. I know from my other friend/co-worker TC that CR planned for us to go alone; he's seems to be sort of masterminding a relationship between Sara and I. So I thought I'd let her go ahead and straighten that out with him, since I wasn't really supposed to know that. I prefer to go with her alone, since we have not had any time alone yet.

Sara had a line dancing class tonight; I was thinking about asking her if I could come along, but I don't want to pester her too much early on, and it would probably have required me to skip out on work early, which I wouldn't mind doing, but it might look a bit too obsessive this early in the relationship. We need to spend some time alone so we can talk and get to know each other better. So far, every time we've met, it was with a group of people.

Saturday should be our opportunity to be together alone for a few hours. I'm so unfamiliar with small talk and non-technical conversations and what to ask, I've been going through some questions in my mind trying to make a sort of rough list of things that I'd like to ask her. I hate it when I'm talking to someone and I just run out of things to say or ask.

Why don't I just go ahead and make a list right here of what I have in mind to ask her:

Can't really think of any more at the moment. Oh well.. I'm going to get something to eat. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to /msg me :) This will be my first informal date, and I have no idea what I'm doing...

By six in the morning, our bags are packed and we are ready to go. I take one last look at the house and try to take a mental snapshot of it. It's changed much since the last time I was there, and I'm sure it will change by next time. I pass by our pictures hanging on the wall as I exit the house. I pass through the gate and don't look back.

sad goodbyes

Our luggage is loaded onto the truck. I hug one of my aunts goodbye, as well as my cousin. I give my brother a raised eyebrow as he gives my cousin a good handshake and a pat on the back. My cousin disappears quickly afterwards. He doesn't take goodbyes very well.

Traffic is just starting to build, and it only takes an hour to get to the airport. On the way, I see people lining up at the U.S. embassy hours before it opens. It was bombed about five days ago, but people need to get their papers processed, and that won't deter them. They'd love to go where I'm going.

stickers

There is a lot of activity at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. We quickly find our airline's terminal and unload our baggage. Hugs to my other aunt and other cousin who came to see us off, and into the terminal. Security is tight as usual. The airport officials are sticker-happy and plaster our baggage and boarding passes with a multitude of adhesives proclaiming to the world that we have passed their security checks. We proceed to pay the airport fee, which comes out to 10 US$.

i'm a terrorist

At immigration, there's a snag. My name matches that of a wanted criminal. For some odd reason, they have no more information on the criminal other than the name, and I need to see the supervisor so he can verify that I'm not the same person. I have no idea how they're supposed to do that since they don't even have a physical description of the guy. My family surmises they wanted some grease money. After much arguing, immigration finally lets me through.

There are two hours before our flight departs so we look around some of the duty-free shops. The taxes are replaced by markups. We proceed onto our gate, and go through another x-ray, a handsearch of our carry-ons, a body search, and a metal detector. Our plane starts boarding and eventually we pack into the flying sardine can. My sister gets the window seat and I sit next to her. The plane takes off, and we eventually reach cruising altitude at 37000 feet. I look out the window and say goodbye to the Philippines as it disappears from view.

The single meal served takes the flight attendants some time to serve. When they finish, they start collecting. Since we were one of the last people served, and it is much quicker to collect than to serve, I had about 3 minutes to finish my meal. Needless to say, I didn't eat very much. Probably for the better, as the eggs were rather nasty.

Approximately four hours later, we land in Osaka/Kansai International Airport. The landing is an experience, since the airport is built practically on water, and the visual effect this creates is simply breathtaking. Our layover is about two hours so I walk around the terminal. The newstands have lots of magazines, a quarter are general interest, another quarter is manga, another is porn, and another is rather odd. They contain pictures of young-looking girls in scant clothing, and as best as I can figure out, the names of the magazines usually involve the word "cute." The other shops have lots of Hello Kitty, Pokemon, and Doreamon merchandise. I buy my sister a tiny stuffed Clefairy. It's hella cute.

a long day

Our 747-400, refueled, is ready to embark on another leg of the trip. We take off and the mountains in the horizon compliment the water everywhere below. I say goodbye and give thanks for not having to go through Narita. About five hours into the flight, we cross the international dateline and it's early morning again, January 4. The airline attempts to entertain us with some movies, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and The Replacements. I am not entertained. After twelve hours in the air, we land at Detroit International Airport.

U.S. immigration is extremely speedy. The officer looks at our passports and confirms our U.S. citizenship, and all five of us pass through in about a minute. Customs is quick as well, as we were waved through and didn't have to go through an x-ray and manual baggage search. We transfer our baggage to the domestic check-in. We have two hours before our last leg, so we try to freshen up in the bathroom as much as possible. We look like shit and can't do much about it. I'm just happy to be back on U.S. soil.

Our plane is delayed by a half hour, but eventually we pack into a 757. We quickly reach cruising altitude, and the projected flight time is only about an hour, a welcome a difference. Approaching northern New Jersey, we can easily tell, since there is a tremendous difference in light pollution. Upon descent, I can make out sections of Newark. Downtown and the Ironbound is on the other side of the plane, but I can make out MacArthur Highway/Route 21, as well as the Parkway and Routes 1 and 9. The Prudential building is easily spotted. I try and find my school but I can't see it from the side I'm on. We make a smooth landing at Newark International.

Arriving home, it is just as we left it, except with over a foot of snow blanketting everything. Two weeks worth of mail sits in a box, collected by our neighbor. I sort it out; bills, catalogs, periodicals, mostly junk mail. Vacation is over.

I still get amazed by how quickly we can get from one side of the world to the other. Not just the physical distance, but the cultures as well. It's an odd feeling.

11:34 I'd love to tell you all what happened today at this time. But I can't as it puts a good sized one time payment in danger. Like if I tell you what happened, I wont get that check, I'll be more than happy to tell you after I get the check. So pehaps you should check Feburary 1, 2001 on that day and I'll be more then happy to tell you and the rest of the world.

January 4th, 2001

And so, what happened today? Well, not too much of interest I suppose. I woke up in my slimy, nasty, icky, yucky and otherwise disgusting bed, sat up and thought "Gee, did I really drink that much last night?" as my head spins around several million times. I finally attempt to stand up and tip an ashtray in my room over, spilling the repungent ashes everywhere. (Note: I don't smoke... my roommates do. What a nice guy I am ) So, I stumble into my kitchen and break a very cool glass I've always loved to drink of. Since I'm barley alive, I leave most of the glass shards lying about, crying out to be stepped on, and grab a "not-as-cool" glass. I then fill it up with some stagnent tap water and take my twacky ass back to my room where I fall asleep again.
After several fitful dreams of having sex with people I once adored, I wake up, again, my head spinning needlessly and wander into the bathroom. I then jump (no, not GET it, but actually jump ) into my shower and think about how wonderful my boyfriend is considering that I haven't spent one night with him in two weeks and he lives in the same city with me. Then, I consider all the drunken voicemail messages I left for him last night and cringe. With a mental note, I make sure that when I get into work, I will call him and apologize. But... I'm still angry.
I get out of the shower and use the most irritating purple towel in the world to dry off. I then sit at my computer and chat with various people who confuse me more than I confuse myself in my own like CYBERWORLD . What a thrill.
I crawl my way outside to my car in the maze of nasty ice and snow that I live in, which some call Michigan, cursing again my luck and stupidity to continuing to live somewhere that I feel actual pain from the temperature outside. My crimson Bronco II takes 3 attempts to start, which it does reluctantly and very unhappily. Apologizing to Joe (my car) profously, I drive through the horrid streets, avoiding certain death to a job I absolutly abhore.
I arrive at my cubicle and sit quietly down, enjoying the conversation around me between my co-workers. They are the only reason my job is half-way decent, you see? Its a wreck. Regardless, I am pinned with large amounts of projects today and told I have to work an hour later than I actually am suppose to because my roommate is sick and cannot come in. (insert blank stare here) Well, after SAVING THE WORLD , I can finally relax, but I remember that I did call my boyfriend and apologized to him for my stupidity last night... four... five hours pass and he does not call me back! He does not call me back!!
And so, when I am done typing this wonderful insert, I shall call him in an attempt to find out what happened. Wish me luck, right? Of course, it could be worse...

I COULD BE DEAD.

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