Outing with Mom and Sis.

I love you both, but even through the cloudy medicine head I had today I realized the truth about what we have.

Sister, first person: I am obligated to love her though we have never, never gotten along. She ignores what I say and slathers on her hyper Right Wing philosophies, thick with Bible quotes (that I was spouting off years ago in response to her disgusting habits) meant to shake me back into her reality--one filled with family moral values; the kind that allow for sins like racism and a soft bucking of the law for specific splurges. The untrue, classic, fallacy-filled logic I've been fighting against my whole life. She stands knee deep in the swamp of methods and customs that come from growing up in the deep south. We all lived in the same house with the same parents, but out of the five of us, she has retained that Blanche Dubois characteristic of hiding behind a culture that no longer exists, and a deeply flawed culture at that. My sister, my opposite: a great example of the things I do not wish to be. And I love her still, in spite of myself. Tell me more please, about how I ruin everything, and more about the problems in the way I live.

Mother, second person: Meaning so well but always trying in the wrong way. If I knew how to better communicate I would, but even I don't fully understand myself, so you really cannot expect to. You will probably never understand why I grow depressed and lonely, and I know that when I do things in pursuit of happiness they seem crazy to you. I know when I go to the zoo by myself it makes no sense, but isn't this better than what I could be doing? Your priorities are different than mine, and like Pants you seem to have the preconcieved notion that just because it comes from you it must be flawless and true.

It is just so horribly cliche to say things like "My family doesn't understand me." It also just happens to be somewhat of an understatement. I cannot fathom how we can all carry the same germs, same DNA, same bone structure, and be so exponentionally different.

I find myself to be, as I often am after heavy contemplation, "Talking shit about a pretty sunset, blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon." And therefore, "I digress"...

Yeah, okay, so, yeah, well, I went out with C last night. Sort of. We went and had coffee and she spilled her guts about everything, just talking and talking and I was listening, loving every second of it. Cars passed outside the window to our right, in the cozy atmosphere of the Vicious Cirle, whose name may in fact be a little hint from God that something is up, or it might just be that it's a really cool name for a place. I'm beginning to think it's a message.

Afterwards we walk along a path north of downtown Calgary. You could see the whole city from the precipice, below which lay Prince's Island Park and the skyscrapers. We walk back and forth, back and forth along the path, going nowhere. She talks about her current boyfriend, who is a manipulative jerk of the worst order, and I am deeply sympathetic. Eventually we sit on a bench and I try to explain my view of life, and what her problems are as I see them; basically that she's holding on to so much past that it's crushing her.

All is good until the boyfriend shows up. This guy seems "normal". He's friendly and talkative, not as bad as what C tells me about. I understand that they won't fight in front of me, but there's no tension, even. C falls perfectly into the girlfriend role, and D takes the boyfriend role 100%. It's so sick that I was sorry for C, but thinking about it now... maybe things aren't so bad. Maybe I'm thinking too much. C is either 1) faking it or 2) enjoying it, right? What else is there?

Today I talked to J about it on MSN, and she had a completely different take on things. After explaining the situation, the first thing she asked was "why are you wasting your time?" Huh? I was trying to be nice... She questioned me about it and after a while the only way to rationalize what I was doing was to tell J that I loved C. The response: "Oh, Mike, you're too young to even know what love is."

Excuse me? I know what love is. I read a good book and searched my feelings and my soul and from that I honestly believe that love is a thing not of words - that if you try and define it, it vanishes in a puff of smoke. It's a feeling, but it's more, it's pure existence. I know I have feelings of love for C. It's not a neediness or a physical attraction, it's deeper than all of that shit that makes up modern life.

But what J said has really cut into me. What the fuck am I doing? Am I being a friend or am I chasing what I can't have? Is this whole "love" thing God's cheap parlour trick? What I want is someone to tell me that J is wrong, that love is real, and my relationship with C is alright. But maybe I'm refusing to face the truth.

If any of you noders have been in my place, please feel free to send me a /msg and tell me how it turned out.

Have your morals ever attempted to strangle your desires, or vice versa?

Like any normal person who has gone through puberty and survived (whether or not I am intact is for another time), I have a sex drive. It kicked in late, around the middle of my 18th year and was probably way-laid by severe depression, etc. While active afterwards, it suffered many attacks by depression and SSRIs (the irony, I tell you!).

In an effort to make me feel like the sexually mature person I am, I began taking Wellbutrin in early May under the auspices of my psychiatrist. Zap. This quickly corrected my aforementioned problems, but every solution creates new problems.

Towards the end of my time served in an Orthodox high school, I became disillusioned with the idea of waiting for marriage to have sex. First of all I couldn't (and still can't) imagine myself being married, let alone in a romantic relationship. Secondly, I wasn't waiting that long. For my whole life I had been surrounded by guys (and girls) who had bullied, teased, or ignored me (which also led to a general dislike of Jews my age, especially guys). Ergo, I had little factual base that 'my guy' would come around any time soon. After I got to college, I soon became more disillusioned by Jewish guys and decided to make the dating pool not exclusive to them.

However, I still clung to many ideals. I didn't want to give it up inebriated to Random Guy at Party or the first guy that showed interest. I had too much invested in myself for that and also knew that I deserved better. I wasn't flesh with a hole and I wasn't a JAP. There is a wide continuum in the attitudes of virgins and I fell somewhere inbetween.

There didn't have to be rose petals and candles or mushy frosted over scenes. In the course of my year and a quarter in college I managed to make two mistakes, the first of which was very bad and the second of which I have ambiguous feelings towards, which shaped my perspective and helped me garner new ideas on what I was looking for. There was also that crush, which was no help at all. During this time my libido was often weighed down by depression or mixed states and surfaced rarely, making the whole matter slightly more bearable.

I then left school and went home to hide away under dark sheets and hollow myself out with an apple corer of emotional sorts. As I put the implement down and started looking at the sunlight like a mole, I began to redevlop an interest in being myself. Hence the Wellbutrin.

Now I find myself in a quandary of sorts. I have a stronger sex drive, but no one to share it with and no desire to go out and advertise it publicly (see The Onion: "Jenna Bush's Federally Protected Wetlands Now Opened For Public Use"). Sex drive is good. I feel alive. I have motivation and ambition and zest. Still, it's like having a Porsche in the Gobi or making a hole in one alone on the golf course: you have something great, but no one with whom you can share it. The secret is wonderful. Could sharing it yield greater results?

Have you ever seen the picture of the heron swallowing the frog, but the frog is trying to strangle the heron simultaneously? What happens if they both die in the same instant?

/me shivers

A long time ago I used to write overly long daylogs filled with far too much information. But then I got better.

This weekend, myself, my girlfriend (who doesn't node), psydereal, and kimonade went on a fun little road trip to The Lazarus Project, one of those dangerous rave parties you've heard so much about on 20/20. But it wasn't just any party, it was to be huge, with insane talent and lots of kids. Headlining were Kenny Glasgow (!), Dave Angel (!!), and Derrick May (!!!!!). Since this was probably going to be one of the biggest quasi-local parties of the year, we all brought various and sundry forms of psychochemical enhancement with us. There are lots of little stories from the party and the roadtrips to and from it, but the one below is probably the funniest. Enjoy.

Well, we're almost there, twenty minutes or so away from the venue, and we see a car parked in the breakdown lane. No big deal, even though the tail lights are on and nobody is outside of the car. As we drive by, I see the lights on the car's roof. Uh-oh, it's a cop. Ok, this isn't too bad, gonna slow down ten miles per hour so we're going the speed limit, and Mr. Pig won't be able to pull us over. I hit the brakes hard, and we're slowed down before the cop gets a chance to clock us.

In the rear-view, the police car turns on its headlights and swerves onto the road to follow us. Ack. Shit.

I tell everybody to get ready to eat their drugs if the cop lights come on, and we all rustle around to unwrap our stashes and get them ready. In thirty seconds the car's panic potential has gone from zero to so thick it could be cut with a knife. My face lights up as the redwhiteblue strobe of police flashers is reflected by the rearview -- we're getting pulled over even though WE HADN'T DONE ANYTHING. My girlfriend drops my pill of ecstasy into my hand and I dry-swallow it. Now usually, I can dry-swallow anything smaller than a golf ball (my record is seven various pills in one go), but because of the tense situation I had a hard time of it. Plus, the pill is unusually large, and, as with all good ecstasy, has the nastiest of all nasty tastes. Once everybody seems to be done with their munching, I pull the car over onto the shoulder

Cop comes up to the window, shines in a flashlight. "Do you have a driver's license?" I get my wallet off the dashboard and hand him the license. "Whose car is this?" "The blond girl in the back seat," I say, pointing my thumb back at psydereal. "You'll need to get out and get into the passenger's side of the police car, please." Yikes. At least all the drugs are gone, so if he searches he won't find anything. If he calls in the drug dog, though, it'll take so long that we'll be coming on before it's over. Not fun.

In the cop car, I try my hardest to look really, really sober. No lip-licking, or rubbing my eyes, or paying too much or too little attention to my surroundings. Perfectly straight, nobody's on drugs here, officer. I pretend to study the function of all of the little devices in the car's cab, although in retrospect it might have looked like I was frying out on all of the blinkenlights on their panels. The policeman looks like he was built to be run underwater or something -- his face is almost slicked back, like slightly melted plastic. Creepy. I'm reminded suddenly of the cop from Terminator 2, realistic features but somehow just not right.

"You crossed over the center line a couple of times after you passed me. Were you trying to hide a bunch of stuff?"

CROSSED OVER THE FUCKING CENTER LINE?! PLEASE! "Oh, I hadn't realized that. I'd noticed your police car, and braked sort of hard to get down to the speed limit." No sense in lying, he obviously hadn't clocked me.

"So, where are you going tonight?"

"Oh, we're going to St. Joseph, probably going to stay there all night."

"Hmm. Are you carrying any alcohol, weapons, drugs, or explosives?" Yes, he actually asked us this exact question.

"No sir."

"So I could search your car, and I wouldn't find anything?"

"Yeah, but you should ask psydereal first, it's her car." I point to the blond hair visible in the police car's light.

"Hmm. Are you going to the civic arena?" Aha, so he knows there's one of those evil rave parties going on in St. Joe tonight.

"I don't really know, the brown haired girl is reading me instructions as we go. Am I, uh, going to get a violation on my insurance record for this?" I point to Kimonade, and try to look concerned about my insurance rates. My heart is going about twice it's normal rate, and I'm almost positive the cop can smell the pill's horrid chemical aftertaste on my breath.

"No, I'm not going to ticket you. Go on along, and be careful." He hands me back my driver's license. Kickass!

I get back in the car, and everybody looks at me all concerned like. I make eye contact with my girlfriend, and break out a big shit-eating grin. The whole carload starts laughing with relief, and we take off. A minute or two later, the same cop passes us and pulls over another poor sucker. In the distance, we see yet another police car stop somebody heading the opposite direction, it must be a rave task force or something.

At any rate, the party was bangin', and we got there safely before the drugs kicked in. Kenny Glasgow's set was surprisingly strict techno goodness, and he played a big percentage of my favorite tracks. Dave Angel (who only plays in the USA about ten times a year) threw down an uplifting, pretty set, with almost as much trance content as it had techno. While I don't usually go for trance, his tracks were excellent and mixed masterfully, and he is highly recommended.

And then there was Derrick May. Stunning, absolutely stunning. He was all over the mixer like it was a Bosendorfer and he was Igor Stravinsky on meth, mixing in all of his own breakdowns and beat drops. He helped invent techno, and knew exactly what to do with it to make you want to jump. Breathtaking.

Tonight I dreamed about somebody holding me so tight, embracing me with such force that I could hardly breathe, but it was a wonderful feeling actually, not at all suffocating. Better dream in any case than the one I had recently about Hannelore Kohl ( who commited suicide some weeks ago, because apparently she had a light-allergy and had to live in constant darkness ), anyhow in my dream Helmut Kohl actually killed her and I saw him doing it, because all three of us were sleeping in the same room. Horrible.
So now I just came back from the market place of Bonn where the Team Telecom of The Tour de France celebrated their “heroes” ( as they repeatedly called them ). First if all we all got huge pink inflatable hands and rather cheap pink hats. Then the Kölsch ( kölsch is the dialect in this area ) band “Brings” played a few songs until finally Udo Bölts, Erik Zabel, Kevin Livingston, Gian-Matteo Fagnini and last but not least Jan Ullrich, this year´s second best appeared. Everybody waved their hats and pink hands and in return the cyclists waved back, always grinning, looking like school boys.
The mayoress Bärbel Diekmann said a few unimportant things nobody listened to---but then—Jan Ullrich addressing his fans: It was truly epic. I wish you had been there. He is not the most gifted talker, he muddles up prepositions and talked about the Champs-Élysées ( pronouncing it incredibly ) in Paris yesterday and how happy he still was to be here in Bonn…completely clumsily he somehow delievered his speech but it made him all the more lovable.

Afterwards we went for lunch to the University´s mensa that was surprisingly crowded and I ate too much. My day, sofar.

There’s a bridge that connects Burlington and Hamilton, spanning the entrance to Burlington Bay (better known as Hamilton Harbour - it’s always the important cities whose names stick to things). Rather long as single-span bridges go, the James M. Allen Skyway was once the longest bridge of its type in the world. The original span is a thing of antique beauty, and when Ontario’s infrastructure sell-off really gets going, I fully expect to see this bridge on the Antique Roadshow. The roadway rests on an intricate, steel-framed underbelly, supported by massive, arching, concrete piers that tower above the surrounding fields of grass like Roman triumphal arches must have along the via Appia at the peak of the Empire’s fortunes. The middle of the bridge is further supported by the graceful curves of a pair of arches that rise above the roadway on each side, and driving up it you feel almost like you’re about to become airborne, about to come free from the low-slung, binding, suburban quagmire around you, escaping into a clear, blue sky. This feeling lasts until you reach the crest, until you come crashing back down at the other end amid Hamilton’s industrial wasteland of steel mills and aggregate piles and dilapidated piers.

I can imagine how lonely this single span must have been in the early years after it was built; right now I am awash in the same pain it surely must have known for many years after its opening. Standing in this field, alone, feeling so different, so helplessly isolated from everything else. Its sole purpose to ensure the entrance and exit of ships into and out of the harbour. And occasionally, something would come out of the great expanses of lake, something that would make the bridge’s weathered heart skip a beat; a great, cargo-carrying sea vessel. This ship must have appeared to him a magnificent swan, so large that her feathered hull nearly brushed the sides of the narrow channel beneath the bridge, her holds packed with a load of iron or gravel or emptied in anticipation of a shipment of newly forged steel. And the bridge would marvel at this thing of beauty as she approached, her grace, her bearing. And for a few brief moments, as she swept beneath him, the bridge would feel at peace with the world, would feel wondrously complete. Yet, all too soon, the cargo ship would slide on into the harbour, leaving the bridge to his lonely watch post above the channel. While disheartened, the bridge would at least be able to gaze at this beautiful angel from a distance, as the cargo carrier sat at her berth in the harbour amid a frenzy of dockworker activity. Yet even this time of distant longing was fleeting, soon enough the day would come when this magical creature slid back out into the lake, headed for Detroit or Duluth or the St. Lawrence Seaway, leaving the bridge totally alone once again.

These brief encounters were the justification for the bridge’s existence, the purpose that kept him from being torn down and sold for scrap. Without this lake traffic, the bridge would undoubtedly be turned piecemeal into toaster ovens and Hydro towers and hull patches for these ships that would forever awe and torment him. The bridge knew all that, yet were the choice his to make, he would have gladly sacrificed his great, majestic span in the hope that even one piece of his structure might have filled a hole in one of the ships that passed him by.

The bridge sat for years at the harbour’s entrance, alone, his once gleaming structure slowly graying beneath the toll of wind and water and smog and ice. Until one year, a second span was placed beside him to meet increasing automobile traffic demands. The bridge finally felt complete, his long years of tragic, brooding emptiness were, if not erased, then at least reconciled with this newly-minted future, a space-age partner full of long, graceful, all-concrete curves. His sadness at being unable to convince any of those many graceful steel-carriers to stay with him had finally come to an end, an ending paradoxically derived from all those ships that had refused to stay, that had continued to ply the waters of the Great Lakes, that had continued to feed the burgeoning auto industry and made a second span a necessity according to the gods of transportation.

And I’m sitting here, beneath this contented bridge, and his story is my story, and I wish to God that I could be the bridge as he is now, not the bridge as he was, thirty sad, lonely years ago.

To bring some quality to the Cool Archive dem bones changed the amount of Cools of each level. Which is a great idea but means I have to change my level title nodes.

Changes that where made are:

Also when a node is cooled the xp bonus is reduced to 3, but it can be cooled multiple times by different users.

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