This weekend was wonderful. My cousin Jen turned 31 on Friday, and Megan turned 4 on Sunday. I spent the past three days at their apartment. It makes me wish I was a kid again. Not knowing how to drive, wanting to get out of elementry school, being so small I need a chair to reach the counter, wanting to eat all the pudding I can stomach....

errr...wait, I already did that   =D

My cousins are just so cute and adorable, and it makes me want to go back to the childhood stages of innocence. For example, my heart just melted when Christian, 6 years old, came up to me and said, "Jen, can I sleep with you?" He crawled up on to the couch and nestled into the spooning position. He was very hot.

Being with those kids, I can't help but think "will I be a good mother? I sure hope so.

As for today's actual events, classes went well. I got into the Calculus class I wanted with Andrew Klimas. Now I have 2 hours to kill in the Benedem computer lab every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, most of which will probably be spent here reading nodes.   :)

Noding while stoned is a bad idea. Case in point.

Pre-Preface

Basically this writeup seeks to prove why noding while stoned is a bad idea, with the major evidence as the poor quality and disjointed nothingness of the writeup itself as the major evidence. I'm repeating myself.

Preface

I used to get stoned a lot more often than I do now. Back in the day I used to go through about a quarter ounce every three days. But I've slowed down a lot. Last two semesters I smoked a record low eight times. My GPA has been a record high. Coincidence?

So far this winter break, I've smoked once. Just about fifteen minutes ago. Essentially, since I signed up in September, this is first time I've written a node while high. Amazingly, I took a single hit from a battie and I'm like...

Does it make sense to node stoned?

My answer to this question is a resounding 'no.' Trying to play the old "let's pick a topic to node" game while high on tetrahydracannibinol is very hard. I'm like struggling right now. What was I talking about?

Deep breath...

Stoned noding. Right.

Ok, it makes no sense to node while stoned. Because when you try and think of a topic, the only things you can think about are overplayed transhumanist jargon, religion as a function of the brain, super small machines and robots and stuff, and bong making techniques. That's all crap right there.

Maybe you are better at stoned noding, but I am not. I bet that if you are in fact a successful stoned noder, then you could be much more so while not stoned.

Look, I am a horrible noder while stoned. Case in point.

Ugh, this writeup is like really short, too.

References:
Jah

Tomato Soup:
Continuing to be sick, I decided to make myself lots of tomato soup. It was campbell’s, I poured in two cans of it. Then reading the directions I put in one can of milk ‘to make it creamier’ and one can of water. Too much milk doesn’t go well with the stomach being sick. I cooked it for a very long time, until it was bubbling and very hot. I then took it down to my room, watched cartoons, and drank it all down. Wow my stomach size increased with the newly added liquids. At least this will not worsen my diarrhea, or so I think. And I’m currently on the phone and this girl is calling me, “Poor baby.” The soup definitely goes down well with her voice.

The Chiropractor:
The funniest thing about this was my X-ray. The doctor told me to take off all metal, including jewelry and unzipping my pants. Although I did take off my watch, ring, cell phone, keys, pens and pencils, I forgot to take off my necklace. So when the X-ray showed up, it showed a nice “W and K” on my necklace, which was very apparent. We both said, “Whops, forgot to take that off.” He realigned my back, and in which it is already out of placement. This will take 6-8 weeks therapy to fix, and heal. It is a good thing we have insurance, and only have to pay a \$10 dollar co-payment. Instead of the bigger amount. My dad’s new insurance plan will cover up to 20-30 Chiropractor appointments a year. I think I’ll be using two a week until healed. The electrical therapy from that machine tingles like none other.

The lucky pair of Socks:
One night out of the blue, I had really cold feet. Although my blankets always kept me warm, and very cozy, my feet were freezing. So I decided to put on some socks. Not any special kind of socks, just normal, white, and long socks. I put them on, and slept like a newborn baby after sucking on the succulent breast of a mother. Actually I took some Naproxen, two pills, and that put me to sleep instantly. I did however continue to wear the same pair of socks for three straight days, and not to keep my feet warm. This pair of socks is now my lucky pair. So this may be a little disgusting, but think of it this way, I didn’t do my laundry and so I did not have any clean socks anyway.

Warning: This is another dumb daylog entry about a girl:

So, right, on this end of the planet it's Monday night. I just got back from having a mild coffee and chinese food evening meeting with a wonderful woman. She's a few years younger, but she speaks and acts with dignity and maturity. Big deal. We talk about whatever is on our minds, and she's razor sharp. Did I mention she's beautiful and I've got a big crush on her? When we talk about even the most mundane things, she fixes me with her intense eyes. She smiles at the strangest times, but those are also the times when I would smile too. I can see that she is really thinking about what she says, and when I speak, she really listens and understands.

So you might ask what's so bad? She's single, she's cool, what could be wrong? She wants to remain single. She will see a guy for a while, but then wants to be alone. If I end up with her, it's going to hurt when she wants to say goodbye. If I don't it's going to hurt as well. But, what can I say, That's Life (that's what the people say). I'm such a goddamn fool. In the end, I'm sure everything will be alright, but in the mean time it's agony, but sweet agony.

Moving slowly through the gauze I spread her out cold between my fingers, sweet Mary Jane it is you that takes away life's pain and makes the world seem bright and sparkling once again. The wind blows and I notice as I tip my pipe how cold the air has become, it makes everything taste sharp and metallic, caustic, forced and rough like sandpaper. I put the pipe to my lips and wait a moment for the strong breeze to subside and when it does I click my lighter and breath deep once again.

Oh, look! Anpther beautiful morning with which I can share my love and joy of life with ALL you wonderful noders!

I kiss you!
I kiss you again!

Oh how wonderful it is just to be alive and kicking it. Why EDB, you look hungry! Why yes, you may certainly chew on my arm! Klaproth? Do you need some lovin' too? Here, have my defunct write ups. thefez is feeling down? Well let's get him a nice new monkey.

/me ralphs.

Gotta love sarcasm for something. My life sucks, as you could as well have guessed. I cannot hang out with friends in groups larger than four or I become miserable. And on New Year's, I did just that. I don't know what it is about freiends. But they piss me off. I know I have a mental illness (for lack of better term) of somesort that causes me to want social activity, yet fear and withdraw from it at the same time. I hate this complex of mine.

But then, with out it, I wouldn't be who I am now.

I need to break out of this shell. Any advice?

yes, I know the lyrics are misquoted.

I gaze out of the window and see the piles and piles of snow covering every square centimeter of my parents garden. The bushes lie drenched; the grass buried alive.

The radiator next to me keeps me warm, but I can only imagine the chill outside.

mother of creation waits

For some reason, everything seems pointless. I want to isolate myself, where no one can touch me. Where I can no longer hurt anyone but myself.

so much pointless angst in this world.

darkness, negative, receptive
a firmament between the waters separate the space

i don't know why i'm writing this.

If I am as blessed with talents as they say I am, why do I feel like such a failure?

I don't suppose there is a point, really. To everything. There probably never was one to begin with. Everything in the world is a distraction; all the adversities and everyday problems you face are merely manifestations of the collective human subconscious desire to numb themselves from discovering a truth we can neither define nor wish to acknowledge.

that everyone is alone.

mother of destruction waits
with a belt of skulls strap me down and send the ship away

I should just let it go, right?
I should just bow down.
I should accept the facts as you distort them.

programmed with the process
mindless souls from the gas form from every shape

Earlier today, I wrote a daylog, in the firm intention of posting it. But (as I wrote it at work and mailed it to myself to node from home) I've had the opportunity of thinking twice. The daylog you aren't reading now was a rambling account of winter depression and the irritations of being single. I've still got noder's block - something else my old daylog whinged about - but I expect it'll pass. Winter depression is the same every year, but I can beat it. After all, it's purely chemical. Life treats me pretty well, and I've not a lot to be depressed about. As for the singleness, well, it still annoys me. But then what am I supposed to do? I can't conjure an ideal partner out of thin air, or expect one to send me an e-mail out of the blue. I get out plenty, and have an extremely busy life in some respects, so I shouldn't fret. Time will tell. My ideal partner might be reading this right now, for all I know. (If you are, get in touch.) I still worry that my relative lack of empathy is going to cost me dearly one of these days. The best I can do is to be honest. I'll just have to hope that someone sees past my neuroses and my romantic ineptitude, and loves me anyway.

Happy New Year, e2.

Yesterday my boss told me that our program will not be renewed, meaning that I’m out of a job. The fortunate thing is that our money doesn’t run out until Fall 2004 -- so I have almost 2 years to find another job. Meanwhile, he’s trying to raise money from other sources, but given the current economic situation, I’m not sure how successful he’s going to be. Hopefully things work out, but you never know.

A couple of days ago, I saw an interview with Andy Rooney on Tim Russert’s CNBC show. Russert asked Rooney what he would do if someone gave him an envelope containing the exact date and time he’s going to die. Rooney wisely replied that he wouldn’t open it -- who wants to know that, anyway? This sort of feels like that. I know I’m not going to die or anything, but that great stable job I counted on isn’t so stable after all. I know I’m going to continue to be employed for a long time -- almost as long as I’ve worked here -- but now I see the end. I guess my situation is better than for people who are unemployed, or people who are on a much shorter contract, but I can’t help being scared. My Monster.com search agent is only pulling up six jobs. In 1999, it pulled up hundreds.

The bright side is, that now I can look at other options for the future. Pantaliamon and I will soon be out of the credit card debt we amassed during college -- all those groceries and text books will finally be paid off. Which means that I don’t necessarily have to work a job that makes as much as I make now. And -- this is the really tantalizing idea -- maybe I can go to proper graduate school. Not continuing education like I’m doing now, but a real school with a full time curriculum. I’ve never had the luxury of learning for learning’s sake. And this is the first time I’ve ever been able to look for another job without being secretive or feeling guilty.

But even with a bright side, I still can’t help feeling depressed. Both my boss and his assistant have been near tears the last couple days -- I’m sure they thought they would be in education forever. We haven’t even told the office manager, yet. I’ve always been sort of down on this job -- sort of like a rebound relationship. Yeah, I kind of like it, but I wish I was still working in Public Radio. Now that it’s coming to an end, I maybe appreciate it a little more -- and what the people here are working to do.

Today when I was in line at Subway for lunch, one of the other customers -- a tall, lawyer-looking white guy in a suit -- started talking to one of the workers in Spanish. It was a total cringe moment. See, the people who work in that Subway are Palestinian. They don’t speak Spanish. She just looked at him with a dazed expression, wondering just why the hell this dork was talking to her in a language she didn’t understand. But he didn’t get it, and continued trying to talk to her.

I hate when other Americans try to talk to fast food workers in their worst high school Spanish as it is, but to actually confuse someone from the Middle East with a Latin American is even more embarrassing. It just goes to show that people need to be more sensitive about ethnicity. I’m still not altogether certain how anyone who knows Spanish could ever confuse a Latin American with someone from the Middle East. I guess there are people out there dumber than I thought -- I guess a law degree can’t mean that much.

It is estimated that prehistoric man worked only two or two and a half days per week, with an average work week consisting of fifteen hours hunting or gathering produce. In fact, they (you know, the nebulous them) say that this was the case for much of human history. It was only the shift to industrialization that caused the eventual soaring of standard work hours. Remember Roosevelt’s New Deal? Of course you do, but you may not have known that it was then that a forty hour work week was established as your God-given right as a citizen. No longer was leisure time a valued commodity, it was work that made you, work that defined you. Remember when people used to retire at 55? Of course you don’t! And remember when Social Security benefits meant something? OK, neither do I, I just got caught up in the feeling.

Today I worked. I woke up while the sky was still an extraordinarily uninteresting shade of colorless. I guzzled coffee, yanked on clothing that I had thoughtfully laid out for myself the night before and then watched in horror as my coffee pot exploded its contents onto the countertop (just the newest in a series of bad tidings that I relate cosmically to beginning another unimportant job). Later when stepping outside, I realized that somewhere in the up-till-now ceaseless string of days spent languidly relishing the warmth under the covers I’d forgotten just how cold a January morning can be. I nearly fell on my ass on sidewalk ice and, because every other drone in New York was also out pollen picking, there were no seats on my train. In summation, it was chilly, extremely bright and very lonely.

Debt. Expensive toys means credit cards and that means living in a world where a bank statement might list thousand of dollars to your name even while your total worth is a negative number. How many people can really boast a forty hour week? I can’t. Technically, I work two jobs (one of which remains unpaid, despite the valuable contributions I make toot-toot), for a grand total of six days a week, forty-nine hours. The average American now spends 47.1 hours a week at their full time job, four more hours than in 1977 and 32.1 more hours than in you-name-it BC. That means 2449.2 hours of work a year versus some frighteningly smaller amount of time engaged in leisure, when possible. Because after working all day plus the commute, exactly how much fun are we prepared to have, what with laundry that needs doing and bills that need paying?

At the door of my new place of employment, Pearl Paint (convenient Canal Street location), I was confronted by a humungous woman whose expression indicated that she would most likely not be into independent film, long romantic walks on the beach or more subtle forms of humor. She looked like she might really enjoy pulling a sixty hour work week.

"Excuse me! We’re not open yet," she said.

"No, excuse me, bitch breath, but why don’t you just hop on the cock you so obviously badly need and ride back into whichever of the seven hells you came from. I work here," I replied, spitting out the words like a bad piece of fish...

...in my head, and even then I said it very, very quietly. In what most people call reality I just stood there, looking in every direction but the woman-wall’s until my supervisor came and dragged me off. So much for making any big first day impressions on the other staff members. This didn’t matter much, however, as my day consisted mainly of being told "You’ll learn that later" or "That’s something you might do after a month." Heh, suits me just fine. I’m not learning anything so I’d be much obliged if they’d just tell me what to do and then leave me be.

Quick, stop what you’re doing and take a twenty minute power nap! Visit your company’s on staff masseur after spending your lunch hour at the on-site gym! Clean the boat! Wash the motorcycle! Take a ride? Who’s got time?? Aw, need a half hour break? The absurdity of the half hour break or even the hour break when one must proceed back to the same activity is beyond me. Fifteen minutes to loosen up and then fifteen minutes to wind everything back up nice and tight in unconscious anticipation. But there is always sleep, right? Wrong. Many gyms today open as early as four in the morning, or stay open all night to accommodate those people chipping away at their bodies’ only chance at repair: sleep. Much of today’s 'us time' comes in smaller servings, and thus the tendency is to whip out the Palm PC or the cell phone. Lines between the week and the weekend and increasingly blurry, as are those between work and play – Does "I have to take this, it’s a business call." sound familiar? Vacation days have steadily decreased since 1970, as have sick and personal days. We are helping that happen.

My new job is awful, but not nearly as awful as I’d predicted it might be. The other employees are friendly and stoned, and my boss is as chipper and energetic as a honeybee on liquid crack. I did not, contrary to my predictions, come right home and drink beer until I was too wasted to remember my manager’s name. No, I wrote this first. But before even doing that, I boarded my train and while riding over the Manhattan Bridge, stared down at the water that was shining with reflections of what would be a fiery sunset and thought. I will miss waking up just to wake up, dancing because there was nothing else to do and then sitting out on my fire-escape for hours drinking amaretto coffees and writing reflections on being poor. I will mourn the loss of the freedom to make a purchase without quickly noting to myself that "this pack of Marlboro Ultra Lights cost me one hour of work." I’ll miss doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.

Some speculate that our free time being in smaller chunks causes us to underestimate its true value. It has been proposed that we actually have much more time to ourselves than our parents did, but I don’t feel it. Nonetheless, welcome me back, working-world, I still hate you.

Sources include:
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/08.12.99/work-9932.html
http://future.newsday.com/7/ftop0725.htm

P.S. - for your reading delight, if you can’t figure out what there is to complain about, remember the hold they have over your life by checking this out:
http://www.usu.ru/frames/eng/usu/rules/Pr3.htm
At 9:00 AM, Central Standard Time today, my final paper constituting 10% of my grade for a class I do so despise was due. As of 7:00 AM I had not written a word of it.

The alarm didn't go off. Fucking alarm set to fucking PM when it should be AM. Everyone needs to switch to military time just for my benefit is one of the first couple thoughts. Rush into the shower, rush out, rush upstairs, downstairs, upstairs, finally have everything, and out the door before my mother can mention, "You're not wearing a shirt."

Yes, I ran out to my car, in January, with a winter coat on and no shirt. I am that incompetent.

At school, major attempts were made to bang up something that might feasibly be called an outline of a paper. Cobbled together some bullshit on the fly, chugged it through the Fancy-Vocab-o-Matic (it discombobulates and synthesizes Julian fries!). By 7:45 AM I had the ghost of a decent final paper. Enough to pass, at least.

Press print once. Press it again. Tap foot and stare at the cruddy computer in one of the random science labs I'd snuck into. Tap foot some more. Save it to a floppy, restart the computer, check to make sure floppy saved properly and rush to another open lab to try that printer. Now here's the thing: this would have been fantastically easier had I merely saved the paper to the network. Click, save, move to any single fucking other computer in the school and all would be well. But we can see from exhibits A, B, C, etc. that I wasn't really riding the whole 'functioning brain' trend this morning.

So I walk down two floors to the physics room. My teacher watches me scramble in, hurrying between computers like a bat out of hell. He sips his coffee calmly.

You here for help, or what?--

Nope, just here to rape your computers 'til one of them spits out my paper.

Sip. Nod. My physics teacher is a bad ass.

Cram the disk in the drive, boot up, tap-foot tap-foot will you fucking hurry up you horrific blight on all crappy-computer-kind?! Mental yelling didn't do all that much to speed things along, but damn did it feel good. With everything finally booted and the incessant clicking ceased, I try to open the paper...

Between the lab two floors up and this lab, everything has been erased. No paper. Nothing.

See izubachi weep. Weep, izubachi, weep.

*Rrring* Aaaand that would be the bell, for a class on the opposite side of school. I had half of the paper printed already from an old rough draft. And that's what I submitted. From a student who hasn't missed an assignment, test, or quiz from day one, this is going to send my teacher into conniptions, I suspect. It's not going to particularly ruin my grade, but it's the principle of the thing, you know? Such valient procrastination efforts should have been more amply rewarded.

Oh, and the physics teacher mocked me for my troubles at the end of the day. As I said, bad ass.

lookit, msgd bindlenix this morning, and linked to a rental listing on craigslist.
Within the hour I had arranged an appointment to view the flat this evening.

So, around seven we toured the place. It sits on a major street, with a large yard and off-street parking, surrounded by a six foot wooden fence. Across the four lane street is a huge church and two rather cheap-looking hotels. It is walking distance from my current residence, and a shopping district with a fine grocer and my local. It is the upper of a pair of two bedroom flats with all mod cons. It has a wide stairway; a foyer; a living room with non-functioning fireplace; a dining room with a built-in buffet cabinet; a Wedgewood stove in the kitchen; a large pantry off the kitchen; hard wood floors throughout; and the most amazingly ugly bathroom I’ve ever seen: pink tub and commode, pink tile to (almost) match the porcelain, pink walls and ceiling to (almost) match the tile.

We filled in applications, turned over our bank account and credit card numbers, and sat a "father’s second degree" from the grandfatherly landlord, who had been there all afternoon re-painting the place. That hurdle passed, we got dinner (at our favorite Indian place), compared notes on each other’s performance (nice save, saying you had lived on campus), and confessed to each other how nervous it felt to be applying to live together.

UPDATE January 9, 2003
It was mere chance that bindlenix caught this listing, resting her eyes from footpadding the job listings. And good fortune that it turned out to be a gorgeous flat below market rate. I am even willing to call it a sign that the landlord just called and offered the flat to us. We meet him tomorrow to sign the lease.

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