Already 15 minutes late punching out at work, I heard my name page over the intercom. "Telephone call, line 2." I dutifully responded to the page, only to hear my mother's frantic voice. She said: "Your sister Deb is in the hospital. She was in an accident. She was going down a hill and couldn't stop at the bottom and smashed into a van."

Instantly, I had fabricated an image of the accident in my head. There was my sister going down Leonard in her blue van. Just before her mailbox and after the hill, there is another van-- the one that she smashes into. It was all so clear.

About two hours later, I was sitting with one mom, three non-Deb sisters, one brother-in-law, five nephews, and three nieces at church for the usual Sunday mass. We got to talking about the accident after church, and my 14-year-old nephew asks "Why didn't she just roll off at the bottom." I was a bit confused. Roll off a car? It was then that I found out that my sister was not driving a van, but instead she was being driven by a sled. My mom neglected to mention that to me earlier on the phone.

From what details are now clear in my head, Deb and my niece were going really fast down a hill. When Deb realized that they were going to hit a van parked near the bottom of the hill, she pushed my niece off the sled. My niece rolled down the hill in decent condition. My sister, however, traveled through the air at 25 miles per hour and hit the van's hood so hard that she made a dent in it.

Anyway, she made it out of the accident with some internal bleeding, a cracked rib or so, back isses, and a plethora of bruises coloring her body. Now she is loaded on vicadin and doing fairly well. The moral of the story is if you are going to go sledding down a hill with a motor vehicle parked close to the bottom, then you better bring some vicadin along just in case your face meets the hood of that motor vehicle.

So I've always had a problem with trusting people. I think it started even before my best friend had sex with the guy she knew I was still crushing on. Before I had a boyfriend kiss another girl, or before I kissed a guy besides my boyfriend (I know some people don't consider that cheating, I do).

So when my new boyfriend and I hit our one-year anniversary, it still hurt him that I didn't completely trust him. I'd find directions in his car to some place and just need to find out what they were about, always trusted his answers. That sort of thing. Little things that can just nag at you, I just tried to take care of them right away, so I wouldn't be nagged and it wouldn't turn into some big, imagined problem. But he needed me to trust him. So I did.

Then tonight I go to his homenode, and am reminded that he has a web journal. Silly me, I check it out. There's an entry from a few months ago about a "curious romantic situation". A few days after that there's an entry saying "It's still a problem, guess I'll have to talk to the people involved." I'm paraphrasing. Unfortunately, he lives an hour away, by Rhode Island standards much too far to drive, and his parents are already asleep. Fortunately, he shows up online. I ask him about it, he can't remember what it was even about. I'm sorry, I'm trying my absolute best to trust him, but I have a very hard time believing that. I'm also getting back into insecure mode: he's looking at other people because I'm just not cool enough.

But that was a few months ago, he's still with me, and that's good. Things have been great. Honestly I don't think he's had time to cheat on me, he spends so much time driving here or with me or chatting online with me. And like my roomie says, "You can tell when he looks in your eyes that he really loves you." It's still gonna bug me for a little while, and he's just gonna have to deal with it. The bestest, most reassuring thing he can do is just hold me, and look into my eyes. And the best thing I can do is keep trusting him.

Woo hoo! My 21st birthday! It's here (at last)

I've been spending a lot of time recently, thinking about a lot of things in my life. Net results of this..
  1. A decision to do PhD work after I finish my BSc
  2. Two New Year's Resolutions
    1. Shave/shower more often (go you strategically shaved monkeys!) which may well help the second which is...
    2. Well, it was "get laid", which I've been using for a few years (keep going till it works...), but it's now been retired, in favour of "have a relationship that I will be willing to count at the end of the year", which is nicer and a lot more stable.
All in all, it's been an interesting 21 years. Here's hoping for a few more yet (come on down singularity...)
Dad Diary: Entry 1

This is my little spot to talk about little ones. As a first time to-be father, I've got a lot of questions and things I've noticed.

Like, for instance, clothing. Why is it they always say stuff like I love mommy, but it's also like, #1 Dad. Is it a competition?

Clothes made for premature babies are kind of weird.

Eddie Bauer baby stuff probably wouldn't be all that bad if it wasn't plastered with the damn logo. Maybe. Too expensive, too. It's like a whole life style, to integrate fully with your Eddie Bauer limited edition SUV.

Supposedly, baby can hear now. I wonder if listening to Fantomas in the car will be detrimental to its sense of rhythm.

Even if baby toys should be black and white and red because they can't see color, parents still like bright colors.

I'll be back later, probably with more. Probably not dealing with baby, just my neurosis.

The child is due April 30, 2002.

Every day at 10:30 I go downstairs to have a cigarrette. Its only one, my only cigarette of the day. Then I eat my granola bar. I am trying to loose weight and I have found that the best way to do that is to regiment my intake of food. I eat the same thing every day, until I get home, then I eat some other food. But always I am limiting my calories to 500 below maintance, which is about 2500 for me since I go to the gym all the time.

Today is gym day, more specifically, it is leg day. I will do squats, lunges, step ups, lying leg curls, calf raises both seated and standing, and perhaps some horizontal leg presses. My legs are looking very good lately, they are like big hams, and my squats have improved dramatically. I think that my new protein regime is really starting to kick in. I don't like training legs as much as upper body, but you gotta do it, as your legs are crucial to the production of Human Growth Hormone. I like upper body much better, the pump is more visible and especially training arms, when I get a good bicep or tricep pump my arms feel like they are going to split open.

This morning I walked on to campus from the West Gate. Behind me, in Berkeley proper, some kind of industrial smasher beat a steady pulse around 70MM; to my right, the ventilation systems on top of the plant biology buildings hummed in an A-major chord. Somewhere, a garbage truck backed up, supplying the ninth. As I continued east, that sound curtain faded, replaced by the chirping of birds in the eucalyptus trees outside the life sciences building. Through the West Circle, the white roiling of the creek became the predominant key, and a batterie of percussion in the form of a grad student's scrappy bicycle passed me. Next to the Navy Memorial Flagpole, the sounds of the 8 o'clock carillon reached me.

At this point I ducked into the Free Speech Movement Cafe, which was extraordinarily quiet, as most students have not yet returned from break, and my day became mundane.

Truly Cage was right: listening simply and deeply is in itself a musical experience.

The Pinball machine

We went to a little dive for some drinks after a movie. She picked it out, because a friend of hers said they had a cool jukebox thing with lots of 70s and 80s music. I was so glad to go someplace WITHOUT karaoke that I would have gone about anywhere.

We get there, get a couple of beers and I notice in a corner, unoccupied is a pinball machine. The big old kind about five feet long and about 5 feet tall on the scoreboard. I explain to my asian sweet that this is cool as news, but she was unimpressed. She is used to bells and whistles and all things digital.

We get a couple dollars worth of quarters from the bar and I attempt to explain the finer points of the machine, here are some of her comments:

No, don't go there...where's the pause?
Hey, it took your ball, where did it go?
I did NOT tilt it, I just shoved it!
What does that mean-GAME OVER, the lights are still on, right?

She got progressively better, despite herself, and towards the end of the coins, began to approach good scores. Although she did not really understand how to lightly nudge the bumpers, she began gyrating her hips and shoulders in an effort to will the ball in certain directions. From a distance I am sure it looked like someone had put a cricket down her back.

Suddenly the last ball escaped her flippers and disappeared inside the machine-DAMN she said, then a sudden CLUNK as a match popped up on the board.

What's that? she says.
"It's a match, it means we're lucky-the numbers matched and we get a free game."

Means, I get a free game-look out!

She hipchecks me out of the way and flicks the first ball away.

I think we need to stop watching so much hockey on TV.

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