It's amazing what treasures you find when you're not looking. The photograph of your bestfriend when you were 9 stuck in the back of a book. The ring your first boyfriend gave you. The DNA specialist living one town over.

That's right, in dinky, backwater, Western Maryland there lives a man who discovered 32 of the DNA markers in each and every cell of my body. A man with a list of credentials that would span the length of my arm, no doubt. A man who cast aside his fame, his glory, his godhood among scientists and chose instead to open a convenience store in a town where no one knew him. In a town where his skin tone and accent are foreign and strange but not unwelcome.

"They call him Walter but that's not his real name. His real name was something foreign...Burmese? Something like that. His accent almost hinted at Chinese origins.." my dad told me as he relayed the tale of how he came to meet this man. A world-traveller, I trust my dad's judgement of Asian accents and the possible origins of a person.

"Walter" has degrees in microbiology, engineering and a slew of other things and yet he has turned away from science and is focusing on small business in a small town with small minded people. Oh, and he's only in his forties.

When he first came to this town people welcomed him with open arms. Everyone smiled, spoke to him friendly, invited him, his wife and his brother to join the town in solidarity. Then he opened his mouth. It wasn't the accent that turned them away, it was the knowledge within.

Small town people don't like being reminded they're small town people.

Who can honestly say they've looked in the mirror without seeing something they didn't like. Perhaps it wasn't in the fleshy visage but something in the eyes that spoke of hidden secrets, shameful lies or guilty thoughts. Having a stranger you considered someone you could guide and show the way turn out to be your guide instead is a hard reality for some.

My father attempted to explain this to Walter, who voiced his situation with puzzlement to a fellow human being who seemed to understand him. He had called my father a mutt. My dad chuckled and smiled at this. The conversation went something as follows according to my dad:

Walter: Let me tell you something about DNA...and don't be offended. The purest DNA out there belongs to the Chinese. The least pure belongs to the Japanese and the Koreans.

My father's employee (who happens to be African American): What about blacks?

Walter: That's tricky. It depends on who you're talking about. European and American blacks aren't pure, but African blacks are pretty pure. Overall blacks are almost as pure as the Chinese.

My dad: And us white guys?

Walter: You're mutts.

And this is where Walter told my father of his situation as an outcast when neighbors looked him up on the internet and discovered the truth behind his mild claim to have "degrees." This is where my father told him of small town minds. Of small town people.
Woke up this morning
feeling EXCELLENT;
picked up the telephone,
dialed the number of my equal-opportunity employer
to inform him:
I will not be in to work today.
Are you feeling sick? the boss axed me...

No Sir I reply,
I am feeling TOO GOOD
to report to work today
If I feel sick tomorrow
I will come in early!

Yesterday at a friend's art opening / going-away party, I signed on as an officer of a new Provincial political party: the Work Ethics party, aka the Work Less party, whose mandate is to promote an increase in the direct pursuit of engaging activities important and meaningful to the individual rather than an ongoing dedication to the alienating abstraction of hourly wages -- if necessary (and possible), to the socialist point of legislating a shorter work week (before overtime -- also coincidentally helping to reduce unemployment) as has been implemented in France and Germany in recent years, apparently towards an overall higher standard of living.

(This is not to denigrate work -- which is to say, any enterprise (towards use-value) of interest or passion pursued by a person; we are all workers, and everything that we do is work -- but rather to assault the notion of the dignity of labour -- an onerous activity engaged in solely to monetarily generate (exchange-value) for the worker some fractional proportion of the surplus value they provide to their employer; dignity is having time to do the things you want to do and/or believe in, like volunteer work or the unpaid labour of spending time with your kids (or painting paintings, traveling, visiting your friends and noding, even), instead of taking the second job to service the credit card debt accumulating on the new car already in the shop. Of course, in this regard working less also necessitates to some extent spending/consuming less.)

Not that we expect to be winning seats anywhere -- and it's not like the Left needs to be split any further -- but the existence of the group can potentially catalyse discussion of its core issues, perhaps ultimately contributing a plank or two to the platforms of others. The extent of our responsibilities is to run candidates in at least two ridings in this or the following provincial election, and we do intend at least that much on top of some great stunts.

The primary obstacle we anticipate is a clear delineation between "Work Less" and "Do Less" (or, say, from "Lazy and Irresponsible Parasite") when the message we hope to complement "Work Less" with is in fact "Do More". "Labour Less" would just see us getting closely acquainted to Jimmy Hoffa 8)


"I had to put up at least one painting containing a human figure; the absence was driving me nuts!"
"What about that one over there?"
"Well, that doesn't really count because it's a landscape, not a portrait."
"What, and in entering the car the driver ceases to be a human being but a component of just another feature of the terrain?"
(also some fascinating discussion of "shadow-painting"; capturing the external geography and internal layout of a room by painting the progress of the shadows cast on its walls by a gradually moving exterior light source -- say, a solar or lunar one. It's not often that I think visually. I would elaborate further, but all that talk about work was, euh, a lot of work 8)
"Could I ask for a big hug before you leave?"
"Fortunately for you, it just so happens that big hugs are the only kind of hugs I am equipped to provide."


Suffice it to say I don't ride home at sunrise anywhere near often enough.

There is much in the first half of this daylog to "earn" some enterprising spirits oodles of XP in the current social sciences quest. I would consider it, but not prior to a Marxist breakdown of our XP/voting economy. Am I exploiting myself here?

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...

Sorry. I was struck by poesy. I realize that this means that the results are likely something only I could love, which is why it's daylogged, and you should feel quite free to skip it.

I was in Italy, see, and there was this plaque commemorating the liberation of a small Italian town by U.S. troops in 1945. This started me thinking about German tactics in Italy, and from thence to World War I, and finally, to the massive slaughters in France...and this came out.

Moved to I Met a Man at Passchendaele

I have a friend who loves me. Well, not just loves me, but loves me in that way.

This sort of thing used to happen to me quite a lot, but as I have grown as a person it has thankfully simmered down somewhat. Nevertheless, this one last gasp of someone declaring their love for me occured. I don't know why he felt it necessary to declare it after all this time, but I am much better at ignoring the fact and getting on with the friendship when the fact isn't vocalised.

In addition to this, he declared he could no longer be my friend. It hurt him too much and he couldn't trust his intentions when doing stuff for me. Once this would have had me crying for a week, but I have worked very hard at improving myself and am now able to accept that this is his issue to deal with, not mine. So I sat there and allowed him to make his decision to not see me anymore all by himself.

A couple of weeks later, he was re-thinking his decision. We met up. I have no idea what he's re-decided as a result of us meeting up, but I have found myself re-thinking if I want to continue my friendship with him. He tends to dwell on the negative things in life. Quadraplegics laugh at life and let nothing hold them back. This guy takes molehills that aren't good but are definitely surpassable and turns them into mountains. Granted he has improved greatly, and I have said many times that he appears to be where I once was in life, but it still gets irksome. His constant negativity grinds away at your own view of life. Spending a couple of hours in his company leaves you feeling haggard.

I don't know what I will decide in the end. Either way someone loses out. I'm not sure if I am willing for that someone to be me again though. Philanthropy is all well and good, but ultimately you need to look after yourself to be able to help more people in the long run.

Today was a good (and cheap) day. Technically, yesterday was a good (and cheap) day, but daylogging in the past is too difficult for my addled brain to comprehend.

It being my day off, I slept in until elevenish, up until my wife dragged me out of bed to check the movie listings. Ever since we saw the trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl months ago, we'd been looking forward to seeing the movie. Plus, I've been cultivating a dangerous crush on Keira Knightley lately, so I had to go. Of course, we went to the 1:00 p.m. matinée showing, thereby avoiding the expensive ticket prices.

The film turned out to be pretty decent, with Knightley looking sufficiently luminous (and eerily like my beloved Natalie Portman). Without going into too much detail, let me say that Geoffrey Rush = excellent undead pirate, Johnny Depp = outstanding pirate and Orlando Bloom = passable, scrawny blacksmith.

After the movie, we adjourned to Cici's Pizza, a DFW-area pizza buffet chain. Short on cash and having left the checkbook back at the apartment, Caramelhead and I crossed our fingers that this Cici's accepted debit cards. They didn't... but as we did an about face and headed to the door, the manager called back to us: You guys can eat on me today. Thankfully, Cici's had some decent pizzas to offer, which helped placate my wife. To paraphrase a good friend: "It's the best pizza in the world; it's the best 'cause it's free." Amen to that, brother.

With a bellyfull of greasewheel, we headed back home for a chance to freshen up prior to the ballgame. Even though I've lived in Texas for two years -- almost to the day -- I had yet to go to a Major League Baseball game. It's not like I hadn't asked, but baseball isn't the wife's favorite pasttime. Finally, with the help of a coworker and friend of hers who's a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, she was persuaded to go.

It was a magnificent day for baseball. The temperature hovered around a bearable 91 degrees, dropping to the mid-80s by game's end. The sun was shining and the sky was dotted by a few inoffensive clouds. As the three of us (me, the wife and her friend Natalie) are between paychecks, we were doing the game on the cheap. We parked beside a warehouse for free, but less than half a block from the $5 parking lots. ("It's the best parking spot in the world; it's the best..." Oh, you get the idea.) We bought $5 grandstand tickets -- the cheapest offered -- but wound up sitting on the 3rd base line because the Texas Rangers haven't played competitive baseball for two years and rarely fill the Ballpark. It was "Dollar Hot Dog Night". Aside from being pillaged for $7.50 for two 20 fl. oz. Diet Dr. Peppers, the game was an economical success.

I was struck by how small a major league stadium looks once you get inside. On TV, they appear expansive, but in reality are much more intimate. In the end, the Rangers rode a strong pitching performance from Joaquin Benoit and a two-run Alex Rodriguez homer to a 4-1 victory over the flagging Minnesota Twins.

And I rode home contented by a good movie, decent food, good baseball and good company. All of it was cheap, save for the company. I had to say that, lest Caramelhead turn into her evil, crabby alter ego "Fungushead" and pummel me.

From:    Tom Carden
Date:    10 July 2003 11:06
Subject: The Darkness & copy protection


I am currently enjoying listening to the new Darkness album.  My thanks to
the band for a great record, and thanks also for their outstanding opening
performance at Glastonbury Festival this year...

However, my enjoyment of the new album is impaired due to the copy
protection employed on the CD.

Since my primary listening device is my computer, I am forced to listen to
the compressed tracks included on the CD.  The compression employed is,
frankly, abysmal.  The record sounds as if it is being played underwater,
with cymbals in particular being heavily distorted.  In my opinion, Windows
Media Audio @ 48kpbs is an insultingly low rate to encode good music.

Now, I understand the music industry point-of-view in employing these copy
protection methods, but here are some things I routinely do with my CDs that
I can't do with the Darkness CD:

 * listen to music as the band intended, in CD-quality, on my computer
 * make a digital copy onto minidisc, for use on my way to work and in my
friend's car (we often drive long distances and the radio isn't very good
but we can listen to minidiscs);
 * make a digital copy to my computer network for listening in my home
without moving the CD from room to room, or risking damaging the CD at all.
I also plan to get an iPod, or similar, in the future - but The Darkness
album won't be on it;
 * make a backup copy to take on holiday in case it gets lost/stolen;
 * etc. (I'm sure you get the idea)

I am also worried that the CD case says the CD will play in "most" CD
players.  If it is branded as compact disc audio, it should play in all
players!  I suspect the players it won't work with are high-end players
(such as those is expensive hi-fi separates systems and in-car CD players) -
do I now have to take my Darkness CD everywhere with me and try before I

The bottom line is that this form of copy protection hurts consumers and
won't stop professional pirates.  I urge you to do whatever you can to get
The Darkness's next records released in a standard, unencumbered format.  I
also urge you to make sure that retailers clearly state when this technology
is used - I will be contacting about this shortly.

Thanks for listening,

Tom Carden.

PS I'm aware that there are many websites out there encouraging this kind of
letter-writing campaign.  I've haven't read them for a while - this is from
the heart and not at all political.

Yesterday was my 21st birthday. For most turning 21 is hugely important but IMHO it's just another year. birthdays seem to be becoming less and less important to me. When I was younger the weeks leading up to the day would be spent deciding what I wanted for my birthday and how I wanted to celebrate the "special day".

This year I celebrated my birthday by sharing a Chinese takeaway and a nice bottle of red with my partner in our new home. I know it might sound boring to some but it was a relaxing evening and neither of us had to cook. Before getting the takeaway we went swimming in a lake called Clyn Idwal by Crib Goch in North Wales. It was absolutely freezing but extremely refreshing and revitalizing after a long day at work and the walk up. It was quite nice just to look up and be surrounded by mountains.

Even though it was a quiet day I did enjoy myself and I'll probably do something on Saturday night with the few friends that are left here now that the semester has ended and the exams are over. I'm not really fussed, I suppose it must have something to do with my getting older and realizing that it's not that big a deal. Thats quite ironic really isn't it? If it wasn't a big deal then why am I writing about it.

Every year around my Birthday I also reflect over the past years and how my life has changed. So far all the big changes that have occurred this year indicate my growing up and becoming an adult, scary word. I've moved in with my boyfriend, I have an official job 9 until 5:30 and I'm living far far away from home. Well I suppose it's a good thing over all. Well I apologize if I've bored you but I like putting my thoughts down on paper and I thought this would be a good place to store them. Thank you.

I was walking down the road one day in March heading downtown to go to my dishwasher job at the Thai restaurant. A car zoomed by and honked its horn at me. I turned and looked at it as it headed the other way. Later that night when I returned home I saw the same car parked in the driveway of the house.

She held me tenderly in her arms as we sat together in the gloomy twilight. She looked into my eyes and kissed me. I bit her lower lip gently in return. She massaged my back with her left hand and I felt her warm breath on my neck. Holding her right hand in mine I kissed her again with more enthusiasm this time.

I stood on his chest naked from the waist down. His two giant boa constrictors were in their makeshift case, a horizontal grandfather clock cleaned of all of its machinery, to the bed’s left. Other than the bed and the clock and us the room was bare. He asked me to masturbate and come on his chest.

The cell phone rang, I saw it was Barbara again. She calls me all the time now. Sometimes she calls four times a day. Why do I meet these women who always want to talk to me so much, or talk at me, because I’m never really sure if our conversations are anything more than monologues running in parallel.

We climbed the iron girders of the train trestle that spanned the river. We were all as high as kites and being 100 feet above the river made us feel even more like superheroes. Ed was doing his monkey impression. He was always the most adventurous of the group. I followed behind him basking in the glow of the spring time sun.

The room was Spartan with white walls, one window and a pair of yellow Ikea folding chairs. I sat down in one, she in the other and we just stared at each other not knowing what to say. I started by telling her how sorry I was about her loss. She swallowed hard and tried to hold back her tears.

99 bottles of beer on the wall 99 bottles of beer,” we were on the bus heading to Wrigley Field and everyone seemed to be singing except me. It was the annual teacher’s helper field trip to see the Cubs play. As the yellow Bluebird school bus bumped and grinded its way south on I94 I stared at Sarah.

Mom was screaming at me to clean my room and how shitty and miserable we kids were. She was having one of typical cleaning fits before the guests came over, running around in her underwear and hysterically shouting at her four children. I shut my door and then snuck out the window to avoid her.

The road undulated underneath the wheels of my bicycle as I cycled past farm fields heading north towards Wisconsin. I had already come more than 20 miles today and it was only 10:30 in the morning. The route I was on continued north till beyond the state line before turning back towards the south.

It was 4:20 and a large glass sidecar pipe was circling. When it came to me I inhaled deeply and then passed it on. I began to cough, the smoke rushing back out of me in one gasping fluking burst of cough, smoke and spittle. There was some out there funky Herbie Hancock fusion on the stereo.

Damn, it's been so long since I've daylogged, I almost forget how...

Just let the words flow from the brain to the finger, that's how we sing the daylog song

Things are finally starting to make sense. My golf swing is back, my love life is at a point where worries no longer exist. My job, although still an easy job, is less demotivating than it once was. And my direction in life has become clear.

Make sure you think slow and let the day linger, that's how we sing the daylog song

For awhile there, I felt so detached, so distant from myself and those in my life. Failure will do that to you. I began to think, to feel differently, and for once there was a sense of urgency. "You're watching your life pass you by," said the neural cortex to the lazy boy. "Oh lazy boy, it's time to grow up."

Events and places and people and time, that's how we sing the daylog song

I'm a fortunate person to be surrounded by such inspiration. It's a shame it took so long to see it, let alone to use it as a muse. Regardless, I now know what it takes, what I have to do to be me again, to look forward to the future not only in awe, but certainty. Thank you, whoever helped me see that.

I bet you wonder how I got this to rhyme, cause I like singing the daylog song!

Thank you.

The New York Times' quotation of the day, and mine:

"This Schulz probably grew up taking part in noisy burping contests, after drinking gigantic amounts of beer and gorging himself on fried potatoes."

- Stefano Stefani, Italy's under secretary for tourism, on a German deputy in the European Parliament who had exchanged barbs with the Italian prime minister.

I love George W Bush. He is perfect. Ever since I first became aware of his existence - which was shortly after he won the election in America and became president - I have been fascinated with him, and I realise now that this fascination was more than the curiosity one displays when examining photographs of gunshot wounds, but something much deeper. I believe a lot of people love Mr Bush without realising it. No so much physically, although he has vulnerable lips, but as an icon. They say that we get the leaders we deserve, and we deserve Mr Double-You. We should be thankful.

I believe George W Bush will win the next election. Whether you think this is a good thing or not, you probably believe the same yourself. You might not want to believe it, but you do, because it's true; he will win, and with a greater majority (or, indeed 'with a majority'). Furthermore, I believe that the American people will become so enamoured of Mr Bush that they will clamour for the president's term limit to be abolished, so that George can win the next election and the election after that, until he grows old and ascends to Valhalla, there to keep watch over the land forevermore.

It gives me hope that this underdog, this little man, can go from obscurity to being president; that this inarticulate son of a civil servant, blessed neither with charm nor good looks, can become America's representative to the world, beating the beast Gore. He is America's champion; the knight they choose of their own free will to assume the field. We have Tony Blair, a fertile man, and they have George W Bush, a man who has lived a life. It gives me hope that a majority of America's voters share my belief that he is the greatest citizen of the greatest nation on Earth.

I first read 1984 at an early age - I was born in 1976 and I remember the book still being set in what was then the future, so I must have been 6 or 7. I was a precocious child, very much into 'Star Wars' and space technology, and '1984' was a science fiction book and thus fair game for my voracious desire for more of the same. 1984 had a big effect on me; although probably not in the way that George Orwell expected. I understood that it was not Star Wars, it was a serious work for grown-ups.

Although I wondered what the ultimate goal of the book's society was supposed to be, I also wondered why Winston Smith was not happier with his lot, given that he had his own flat, a television and a job. That was more than what my dad had at the time, and more than I have now. Granted, Winston wasn't 'free', but who is free in this world? And what did Winston do with his 'freedom' when he got it? He rented a terrible room in a poor house and had sex with a woman who might have been part of his imagination or not. The torture with rats didn't seem as extreme as the stuff in Alien and the video nasties my cousin used to watch, and the stuff about loving Big Brother and believing in two mutually-incompatible things just didn't make sense to me at all because I was young, an only child, didn't have a brother, and didn't know what love was because kids are entirely selfish and love is a selfless thing.

I have since come to understand 1984, except for the thing about loving your brother because I am still and will remain an only child. That kind of love remains mysterious to me. Many people today believe in mutually-incompatible things; stereotypically right-wing people hate immigrants and minorities because they see them as plague-spreading scum, whilst loving them because they provide cheap labour, whilst stereotypically left-wing people tend to see all non-western cultures in a positive light, although only as a shallow collection of trendy fashions and foodstuffs, because they're more 'primitive' and therefore more 'genuine', whilst simultaneously deploring the attitudes they espouse. Thus we have thinkers getting in a twist whilst trying to mask their own racism (by, for example, talking about 'the zionist entity' instead of saying 'jews') or trying to justify women having to wear veils, by eventually either (a) denying that it happens at all or (b) just ignoring the issue entirely.

In any case, I re-read 1984 recently and checked what Everything2 had to say about it. The reviews here are mostly dismissive, presumably because it makes one feel big and powerful to kick the classics and deface the products of earlier generations, and also because the reviewers are left wing and would rather that the book does not exist because it exposes their devil lies. I distrust the kind of people who call George Orwell 'Eric Arthur Blair'. We know that he used a pen name; you don't need to tell us that you know also. There isn't really anybody to champion 1984 any more; left-wing people obviously don't like it and right-wing people don't like George Orwell, and in any case the book is more than half a century old and people aren't taught it at school any more, people are instead taught non-controversial things about nothing.

Why not teach The Godfather and be done with it? It'll prepare people for the real world more than Maya bloody Angelou. Heck, just give the kids a pistol and a bag of drugs and see how much money they can make, it's better than being on the dole. Society tries to fill us with respect for the rule of law, but without giving us anything solid to respect, because the law is hobbled by regulations and rules, prohibitions designed by jealous, corrupt, evil people, lawbreakers themselves, to prevent the law from working properly. The law should be an iron force, an unbending will, a crushing, unstoppable concrete block with spikes on one side and chains on the other.

And that is one of the reasons why I love George Bush. Many people and organisations tried to bully him into bottling up the ecstacy of war, but he was steadfast; he refused to be dragged down, down to the gutter in which the socialists thrive, like a virus, not quite a living thing, not quite an independent creature, instead forced by their own limitations to parasite on the goodness of others, sucking the blood from their host and replacing it with pus. Instead of this nightmare Bush pressed on, backed with a force of moral will so strong as to persuade Mr Tony Blair, leader of the world's socialists, to join him.

Now Iraq is smashed and turned to chaos; disordered, but no longer a threat to the world, now and in the near future. Long may his crusade continue. There should be more war, but in the southern hemisphere this time. The 20th century was a time of wars in the northern hemisphere, and we eventually got sick of war, but abroad, the people south, they want all the weapons we can sell them or make themselves. Peace will not reign until people have come close to the edge, the drop-off point, and stared into the crushing ocean depths that lie beyond.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.