On July 26, 2001 I will be finished with my graduate work. I have my last two final exams in my last two classes today. This is a really big deal. (Let me repeat.)


Did you get that?

I started school when I was three years old and will finally finish on this day! Pre-school, Kindergarten, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College and Grad School; I’ve been a student all of my life. This past year has been by far the hardest!

I did my entire Masters Program in one year! I do not know if anyone, who has not done this, could understand -- It was truely the best and worst decision of my life. It is great that on July 26, it is all over – but the work to get here has been tremendous. 36 graduate credits in one year plus teaching full-time during the fall semester (in addition to the grad work), plus subbing (also in addition) during the spring semester, and two summer sessions.

If a person were prone to mental illness, I would highly recommend them not to do this!
If a person were in search of a job, I would highly recommend them not to do this!
If a person has a significant other, I would highly recommend them not to do this!
If a person has children, I would highly recommend them not to do this!
If a person has a life, I would highly recommend them not to do this!

On this date, it will be over. I will be able to have friends outside my computer again! I will be able to have a conversation without typing it while at the same time researching the origin of behaviorism. I will be able to get six hours of sleep every night. I will be able to node again! I will be able to go for hikes again! I will be able to take long showers again! I will be able to write email and call friends far away again. I will be able to invite friends over for dinner again! I will be able to dream again! I will be able to have a life again! I will be able to live again!

I find it so ironic that I did all of this “to start my life” when I felt dead for an entire year because of it.

"the boatman, he is gone, the loons have flown for cover.."
Nick Cave..he always brings me into myself. Perhaps I relate too much. I am found at this moment listening to the single girl in the apartment upstairs suffering from insomnia as I am. Or maybe she's just a nightowl. That's the thing about living in New York..you're so close to your neighbors, you know their routines; their random bumpings in the middle of the night that just reek of fellow eccentricity. I wonder what she's doing right now.
"What's he building in there?" Tom Waits
I hear the mumurings of her tv..is it that loud to drown out her thoughts of loneliness? A companion of circuitry? A lover of gamma rays beaming into her glazed eyes and the peaks and valleys of sine waves caressing her sun shy skin?
I wonder..
Another day on the island of Long finds me one month exactly since my birthday, June 26th. I was supposed to be in Baltimore with some now very quiet members of E2, celebrating the day we were all unleashed on this unsuspecting planet..but I was not summoned. I believed the reasons given, believed the utterances from lips I trusted, missed, and abused. I never made any promises, because I didn't want to let you down baby. You never saw that.
One month. One months time to spend by myself in a land of strangers. One month to assimilate 2 years of burning in Florida like a dark star falling into itself.
I have found my answers where I forgot to look.
In here.
so i find myself in a moment of reflection.....

A friend just came over to my house and left with two grams of Black Afghan hash. Not even a friend really, well let's say a friend now. An old pal told me someone he knew was looking for hash, I talked to him on the phone and let him know to come over. So he knew what he was buying, I asked if he wanted to smoke any. He replied with filters and papers from Amsterdam and a hellified spliff. The fellow really should have been in the movie Half-Baked. Because he was the "all knowing" smoker. I love these guys.....they make you feel good about what you're holding. I saw the brick my hash came from, a large golden crown engraved on the top of THC turd. So for 43 bucks, he left with two grams of hash, a cantelope, two cucumbers, a tomato, and a jade star watermelon. I'm an organic farmer, I bring stuff home so visitors can leave with something. Watermelon tastes better in a Texas July than any other food. Maybe caldo, but I'll stick with watermelon for consistency's sake. I'm rambling though, my guess is the spliff.

I recieved a message from Klaproth today. Seems my foul tasting Hot Carl node wasn't taken too well. Oh well, the subject alone is a great bar anicdote. I'm looking into the Peace Corps right now. This farming job shows me a light I've never recognized. Funny thing is, the ideas seem real familiar. Trust me, when picking your 35th vine of cucumbers you have a lot of time to clear your mind. Good and bad things come from that.

Well, I could go on about these thoughts and expose the completely insane side of me. But instead, I leave you with a suggestion. Watch the movie State and Main.

The alarm clock goes off at 9. And we instantly enter a staring contest. I guess I won, because I wake up at 11. I take a shower, and rush out the door. As I'm heading into work I'm angry, thoughts of my ex rush into my head and the sleep still hasn't worn off my mind. I kick myself hard, theres no reason to be enraged today. Yet. As I step out of my car to enter work my boss meets me at the door. He spouts off thirty things I'm supposed to do. I mostly ignore him. E-mails are piled up and I delete them with finese.

The boss' wife wants me to fix her computer, so I head into her work. The printer cable isn't plugged in the right way. Why people just shoove them in any way they can I have no idea. So I unhook it and plug it in the right way. It works now. For a second there I'm wondering wiether to tell her it was plugged in wrong or to make something up so she doesn't sound like an ignoramus. I always did like making people sound stupid.

The boss' wife tries to initiate conversation. I'm not in the mood. So I give her short sparse answers that don't cure her desire. She probably thinks I'm shy now. If only she knew.

I head back into work, and my time there is almost up. I finish up a few last things and head out. I head over to Subway and notice that theres only six bucks in my pocket. Today is payday. I haven't been paid. I head back to work.

My boss pays me in cash, and normally he pays me straight down the the cent. Today he rounds down by four dollors. This better not be an every week thing.

So I head into the second job. Jump on the computers there because the place is dead. I read slashdot. Dimitri's plight is bothering me, but there really isn't anything I can do about it. I remind myself to delete Adobe and install ghostscript. My little protest, I feel like such a rebel.

Theres a girl there that asks for help. She's your basic country girl, 300 lbs with buck teeth, strong Texas accent. She could probably break me in two. For some reason I'm not intimidated but rather disgusted. I enjoy a woman who acts like.. well.. a woman.

Me and my boss get into a long discussion about the academic core, cell phones, and next semester. I inform him that I may not be working next semester. I think I broke his heart. His blue eyes seemed to loose their shine when I spoke this.

I head out into work over Brandon's house. His psuedo family is having a pool party, and me being the lovable hippy I am of course invited. I get to see everyone in a bikini. The day is looking up.

Lindsey is there, part of the family. Lindsey seems like that girl who doesn't quite fit in your crowd, because she usually associates herself with cooler people. Yet she's around this ecletic group of mismatches. She's cute, to say the least.

The water has this magnificant quality of being pure bleach, which is great on the sinuses. I'm out of shape and the pool wears me out. I must get off the computer at some point and enjoy the great outdoors a little more. The pool party ends around 9 and me and Brandon decide to head over to Fats.

We play a few rounds of pool. I get my ass whooped. I did manage to win one, although only because he scratched. For someone who is considered by many to be a mathematical genius I should probably shoot better pool. Well it's not all about angles and simple geometry.

We run into Jeremy, who seems a bit of an elitist although friendly enough to say hi. Jeremy has this strange addiction for fooseball. We cater to his obsession by playing a few games. There's this girl there, tall and slender, blonde and boisterous. She's incredibly attractive by anyone's standards. Her eyes are dialated which make her irises look like fine blue rings begging for something more then just idle chit chat. I don't indulge her desire, not out of lack of confidence just out of shear lack of will. The pool party really wore me out. On top of this I'm not feeling myself. A little more goofy then normal. I'm not the impressive lady killer tonight (nor most nights for that matter).

We head out of the bar scene and go for the after bar snack. Cheese fries prepared by the waitress and orange juice. I'm not a coffee drinker, Brandon is. We sit and chit chat, about what I couldn't tell you now. Nothing tonight seemed very important, more of a simple stress relief. Brandon drives home, I've had a few. Not enough to remain tipsy but enough to relax me for a little while. I'll still be up a few more hours tonight. Brandon rambles on about theatre on the way home, I'm listening I really am but I've lost the mood at some point. He says I'm just typing that because he's standing behind me, he's not exactly right on that one. I heard his conversations about Bob and some play which I've forgotten the name. Ok, so maybe I wasn't listening. I got the gist. He's passionate when he talks about theatre, and I'm wondering why he doesn't just persue it. It's not like he's doing anything right now anyway. What is there to lose.

Brandon says I'm a true artisan, because I've delved into a little bit of everything in life. A 'jack of all trades, master of none.' I think I'm just incredibly bored.
I am really annoyed. I hate e-mail worms.

The-email-worm-of-the-week is SirCam. You have probably seen it, it's the one that has some text like

I send you this file in order to have your advice
and the attachment that's in the e-mail is some random file from the sender's computer, plus the virus, of course.

I can't really blame the infected people. Usuaully, they are just middle managment or simple home owners that don't know anything about computers. I can blame the software designers. Why did they ever add scripting to e-mail documents? Do you know, I've never actually seen that used, ever, in a legit way? Only ever seen it used in worms and virii. Anyway, I don't really blame the software designers. I blame the person who wrote the virus.

So this got me to thinking. Why don't I write a reverse-virus that spreads in the same way? This virus will work like this:

  • Send itself out to all the people on the recipient's address book
  • Edit the Registry to disable scripting in Outlook
  • Possibly install a small pop-up that warns users whenever they open a file from Outlook

    After that, the "infected" machine will not be able to propagate these kind of virii anymore. Of course, this won't stop Windows e-mail worms. I can think of a dozen ways to write new ones. But you know what? I'm not going to write the thing. I'm just too lazy. And it's dangerous to let something like that loose, since you can't always predict what's going to happen. Also, no matter how small I make the thing, it's still gonna affect network bandwidth for the ISPs SMTP servers. (Though, if I got the whole thing into 5K, I don't think they'd really notice).

    So that's why I'm annoyed. I can see the problem, and I can see a short-term solution. But nothing is going to change. As long as there are idiots willing to spend time to write virii, there are going to be victims.

    I wonder if there's any education programs that discourage writing malicious code? I doubt it.

  • Previous

    I finally got some time with Nolan tonight to have the "serious" talk that he's been promising me for a week we would have.

    Having written notes so I would keep on track and not forget anything, which turned into an actual letter, I had been dithering about whether I should read it to him, or just have him read it and discuss it with me as we went along. I had been so angry/hurt at him earlier in the evening (when it appeared that another day would go by without this happening) that I definitely decided on him reading it.

    He had no problem with any of it, and addressed the points as they came up. He said that all my concerns about overstepping the bounds and damaging our friendship, and carefully orchestrating all my words and actions toward him, and overanalyzing everything he did and everything I did, were not helping me to be any happier. Then he said just the right thing, one of the kindest things I've ever heard.

    I'll always be your friend, C-Dawg.
    You don't have to worry about that.

    Despite the hurt I inflict upon myself when he seemingly ignores me, I want to tell all you people and bots out there in E2land (especially if you read yesterday's rant), he really is a good person.

    Today is a One Dollar Day.

    I have an insurmountable amount of items to clear through the warehouse. Fifty percent of it will be trashed due to wear and tear or just the fact that is not worth wasting space on object x. It doesn't stop coming. Someone opened the damned dam of donations and it's closer to raw sewage.

    We're here to give y'all a good deal. I have not been in the mood to give more than 10 seconds to each item and the items don't deserve more than that. This has lead to a large number of dollar items. There are some $2 sprinkled about and the rare $10, but I'm just going through people's garage clutter, zapping their worth (do plates have self-esteem?) and putting aside anything of market value for the pros.

    Also, I am just not in the mood. The volunteer who is supposed to be pricing these items has not shown up in a while. When she does, she goes into a vitriolic akin to a Baptist preacher if anyone else gets their paws on her housewares. Sorry, honey, but I ain't waitin' no longer.

    By 10 am, I am sweating. The sweat flows into the small of my back, rolling downward, downward. There is a sexiness to this (can you say Flashdance?:)), irritating as I am forced to focus harder on the task at hand.

    Today is the middle of an E2 Rut.

    I started off so well. Now I am fumbling about with lack of discretion, editing, emotion, and talent, or so it seems. What is going on? Perhaps I am rushing myself to get to level 3. I need to slow down, do more research, and enjoy this more. Sometimes I am trying to hard and it comes off as a poor reflection of myself.

    - deep, rib expanding breath -

    Back to it. It's like cutting off the heads that constantly regrow from a mythological beast (Hydra?).

    10:28 PM, EST

    My school books arrived today. I bought them used and were in very satisfactory condition. Now I have another book to add to my Java collection. The book on logic was just lovely and reminded me of Godel Escher Bach. The so-called college level book for philosophy is the type of material I used between 7th and 9th grade. The calc. book is the next edition of the one I used last year at school, so thumbs up there.

    I keep on trying to fight the prejudices towards the public school system that grew over years of being in private institutions, but stuff like this just slaughters me. After knowing many incredibly smart kids who flourished in public high schools, I have come to believe that they would have done magnificently no matter where they were. Like my friend whose school had little or no substance in the writing and composition department at her local school; she still slays 90% of other college-age kids. It's innate. There are kids from my old dorm who could run circles around you even though they never had a firm grounding in grammar or paltry excuses for science courses. I myself had a poor excuse for reality until I got to college and I'm doing quite alright, thank you.

    Perhaps one of the best proofs of this is Ramanujan. QED.

    Another in a series of infrequent daylogs.

    I'm dating a woman named Jodi; we met at a Beltane party in May.

    Jodi has been studying French in Fort Pierce, on the east coast of Florida. Her employer, Convergys (a call-center outsourcing provider) has been rapidly shedding employees, especially on the Dell account. She does not want to be stranded without a job in the middle of the coming semester.

    So instead, we're moving in together! We'll live in my new condo, which is conveniently located near a bus (she doesn't have a car with hand controls) that serves the local community college.

    And then, in December, she'll move to a dorm at USF to start her third year of school. This will be a bit weird and backwards, but I figure she'll get a car with hand controls and learn to use it. Then she can move back home and still attend USF. Meanwhile, we'll have weekends and some evenings...

    Tomorrow she'll give her two weeks notice. After her last day, I'll arrive for a weekend. We'll throw a Saturday packing party so that her friends can eat our pizza and drink our soda and help us shove a bunch of stuff into my Taurus. Then on Sunday we'll drive over and unpack.

    And in the fall, I'll give her a hand with the Dreaded Math Class that she's put off until the very end. (Set theory, logic, non-base-10 arithmetic, etc. for beginners. Half of it she already knows, I think. Fun stuff. I'm trying to dredge up the diagonals demonstration of the countability of the rational numbers in case it should be needed.)

    By most calendars, it's awfully early to be moving in together, but we're both happy about it. But then again, I said within 24 hours of meeting her, "Hmm. Let's see. Smart woman, likes books, into languages. Will you marry me?" ...and she grinned and said "Ask me again in a few years." -- so I suppose we can skip a lot of the "does s/he like me? where is this going?" stuff. :)

    Leslie, the co-host of the Beltane party, still swears she didn't set us up. "I don't set people up, I introduce them." Uh huh.

    I am happy!

    There I am a bad, poor, lonesome, newbie noder one night. It's well past 2 AM and I'm thinking that I might be a little bit sleeping and might even start considering sleeping. I still check the new nodes. After all somebody MUST have written something interesting. To my surprise I don't find any interesting nodes. I try a couple randomly and find stupid nodes that might even be worse than my own nodes.

    I even try looking at the Chatterbot for something to do. All is quiet... I surf somemore on the nodes of E2. Suddenly I realize that there is something odd going on in the Chatterbot.

    EDB is watching you. Only one thought passes quickly though through my head: "Orwell. George Orwell. 1984". Then for no reason my screen turns itself off. I look at the screen. I stare at it. Then finally the image appears. And all is quiet... again.

    The skeptic in my brain starts working. It quickly discovers a theory involving a bad power cord. Rather boring. The mystic in me I still not convinced.

    All is quiet, but not in my head as I finally fall asleep

    I spent the day wandering around and drinking coffee on patios. I wish life could go on like this forever.

    I missed my first bus home because I wanted to finish my cigarrette. And I missed the second one because I couldn't find my purse, which I discovered, too late, hanging from my shoulder. And then I remembered that I had my bike, so I didn't really need to take the bus anyway.

    There are some of us in this world who simply should not rely on the schedules of others. :)

    This morning I learned the word 'Gudgeon'. Wow.

    This amazing piece of info came to me after I had pulled my motorbike into the service shop and there on the desk was this badly burned out piston, from somebodies bike. A now very dead bike by the look of it!

    Anyway I was fiddling with it, amazed someone had managed to slag the head of the piston so successfully, that I commented to guy, "Wow I am amazed that somebody could slag this so successfully!". He made a grunting sound and replied to me, "You shoulda seen the Gudgeon Pin and Rod under it..." I was just so stunned that I mearly nodded and continued on. I was desperate to get to work look up this new word and find to my disbelief that it existed!

    I wonder what other wonderful junk is inside my engine!

    Ah. 'Tis truly an OK day.

    I wrote two exams this week. Monday's was poetry - hence my recent noding of couplet - and today's was short fiction. My professor (Mahmood Moghaddam - and I highly recommend him for anyone at Concordia or McGill universities in Montreal) is terrific and the classes are always interesting. A stressful week of schoolwork is complete (sort of).

    My sweetie was sick last week, but I got to see her again yesterday, and tomorrow is our one-year anniversary - one of them, anyway. On Saturday, she's dragging my skinny ass to the beach.

    I repayed my roommate/bandmate a debt that's been owing for too long, and was substantial, so that's a good feeling.

    I've made a few new E2 friends lately, and that's a good feeling too.

    In general, this mean ol' misanthrope is full of warm fuzzies right now.

    (Yes, I just knocked on wood. Just 'cause I'm happy doesn't mean I'm stupid.)

    Today is Independence Day in Liberia. Liberia was founded in the early 1800s by freed American slaves and became an independent republic in 1847.

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