I recently had a double experience of previously noded relationship problems; falling in love with my best friend, and then falling out of love with a friend. I have mentioned a bit about her in an earlier daylog, but it's basically your classic "Boy and Girl meet, become friends. Boy is totally crazy about Girl. Girl rejects Boy. Boy's already poor self-esteem drops like rock."

I love talking to her, being with her, making her happy, all of it. We can talk on the phone for four hours and it will pass by like it was just minutes. We trust each other and can tell each other anything. She is an amazing person and without a doubt my best friend. But she can also be pretty tactless at times, and she has on occasion mentioned meeting guys which she liked, was attracted to, or kissed. She doesn't do this to hurt me, she is just used to telling me anything and doesn't realize how I'm going to feel about hearing this.

Yesterday I told her that our friendship wasn't working, and that I needed to take some time apart from her and figure out some things. I need to resolve my feelings for her. I need to improve how I feel about myself. I need to deal with the fact that just because she rejected me, does not mean that I'm an awful person, or even that she thinks I'm an awful person. We talked about it for a couple of hours. Both of us cried a little bit, but I think we were both feeling somewhat detached in the moment. We have had conversations like this before, trying to figure out if what we are doing now was the right thing to do. And before, I always said no, it wasn't the right thing, because while she has done things that hurt me, I truly do want to be a good friend to her. But I realized that us caring about each other is not going to make me feel OK with how things have turned out, or make me able to deal with the fact that she is a 25 year old women who (while she rarely dates) does have interest in guys. Specifically ones who are not me. And because we are friends, me feeling hurt was making her feel bad, both due to being a cause of pain for me, and simply because I was her friend and I wasn't happy.

We talked, we hugged and touched and held hands and cried a little more, and then I walked home while she walked to her car. It was almost surreal, nothing seemed solid. Until I got home, when I realized that I might never see or talk to my best friend, the person I'm closest to in the world, for months or even years. Up until this point I had felt like things were under control, that we had done what we needed to do and that things were going to be OK. I rarely cry, and when I do it's typically just a few tears, the matter of a few minutes and a kleenex. When I got home, I sobbed for hours. It was like she had died.

But she's very much alive and moving around. And I hope she's doing well. And I know one day we will be friends again, and be able to share everything with each other like we used to. I miss you.

I have been doing weird things to my body ever since. I think it's to distract myself. I am trying to quit smoking (cigarettes). The last one I smoked was the one I had while she and I talked. I had a horrible headache last night after all the crying, so I drank a sake and Oxycontin cocktail and smoked a punch of pot to help me calm down and let me finally sleep. I think if I hadn't, I would have just stayed up all night crying. None of this (asides from not smoking) seems very healthy, and I know the alcohol and Oxycontin mix probably is downright stupid, but I don't think I'm pushing things that hard right now, and I need something to keep me from thinking about how badly I miss her. But I will need to find something a little more healthy in the medium to long term.

< _ >

She likes him and I can tell by the way she brushes her hand across his shoulder. He doesn't notice it, though, never does, never will; or maybe he does but doesn't acknowledge it. Either way that's their moment frozen, her dance hovering around him, his dance pretending not to notice or not pretending to notice.

Every day I used to see them at school going through the same motions and I would think, hey, that could be happening in twenty years, as some stable representation of an unstable situation. But more often I think about how we use our experiences as rulers and measure the size of the world with our own small bare feet. Forgive me -- it's spring and that gives some helplessness to the gamut of emotions that run along your spine.

He comes back from a country and says it's wonderful, amazing, beautiful, the love love thing. Love the world the food the smiles. And that's all nice, you know, all good but that's still the love-love syndrome. He's in love, you know, still in love. Nobody here goes to Canada or Kansas and says It's wonderful, amazing, the people are beautiful. It's exotic love, man. The people the food the smiles. Love-love. Transcends everything and it's bad because of that and it's okay because of that.

Still he's still in love and she's still in love. I guess it's okay. Who's to blame? Go marry Japan or Antarctica, Peru or China. I hear India is a beautiful bride this decade.

Sometimes I wonder why I beat myself over a girl I'm not even actively trying to get, by most people's standards. I thought I'd compile a list, maybe it'll be enough to get me off my ass. Maybe it'll make me smile whenever I load up E2.

I do it because...

  1. of the way, at the start of first year, people thought she was a lesbian... I was so happy when I found out she wasn't.
  2. sometimes, I'll catch her with an expression on her face that can't possibly correspond to any real human emotion, and I want to know what that's about.
  3. of the way she sings to herself when she walks, like I used to until a girl I liked razzed me for it.
  4. the day I decided she was perfect, I saw her imperfections and didn't change my mind.
  5. sometimes when I catch her looking into my eyes I get the feeling she can actually see what's behind them.
  6. when I look her into her eyes I can't.
  7. as much as I tell myself it's not a physical attraction, I know damn well it is.
  8. when Pete made a comment at Dionysus I was scared that he'd get there first, even though the idea wasn't in my mind at that point.
  9. that last part of that last one is a total lie.
  10. I don't think I've ever seen her wearing anything but cords, and that's awesome.
  11. she took Carlos Escude seriously, and got me to see his ideas from a new angle.
  12. I get the feeling she'd understand my ideas if I could only get them straight in my own head.
  13. maybe I hope she could help me do that.
  14. I like girls with short hair and have never met anyone who pulls it off better than her.
  15. every time I'm afraid I've build up a construct of her that doesn't correspond to reality, her reality corresponds to my constructs.
  16. she listens to music I've never heard of, just like I listen to music no one else has ever heard of.
  17. when I lost my last $10 in my apartment, she bought me drinks all night (note to self: return that favour)
  18. when I can't sleep at night it's because I'm thinking about her, and when I do fall asleep it's for the same reason.
  19. I know everything I've seen of her is only a tiny fraction of what there actually is.
  20. I thought, at one point or another, both her roommates were the nexus of cool, but then I realized it was her.
  21. of the way I'll say I feel comfortable around her when I really feel awkward as hell, and that contradiction doesn't bother me.

Whooopah!
--Cletus the Foetus

One week from, say, about now, Jeremy, Jordi, and I will be heading down the highway to Columbus, Ohio, and the waiting E2 Allthing. As pavement passes beneath our wheels our heads will buzz with Red Bull and recollected road trips, and we'll bond, brothers of road and node.

I wanted to bring a memorable gift for our hosts, and have burned a CD in their honour. I will attempt to re-burn it; something has gone wrong, and it "sticks" between songs, requiring manual advancement. It's okay on "random," though. The CD consists of several existing songs that somehow relate to things noderly, some other stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time, and one Original.1

"We Didn't Start the Fire," possibly Billy Joel's most banal hit, made the perfect template for my "original," because it mostly consists of a list of things, and alternate lyrics could be substituted easily. I downloaded an instrumental karaoke track and went from there.

A musician friend of mine agreed to record it on his home system, in return for my help with a speech he has to give. Unfortunately, his computer became corrupted, and he has not been able to recover his home recording system. Fortunately, a stunningly talented local musician with access to state-of-the art recording equipment stepped in, and devoted countless hours creating the vocal track.

Mostly, it consists of noder names. Obviously, I could not fit everyone's handle in. I apologize to anyone who feels slighted. I inserted a few references to e2 history along the way.

The chorus, on reflection, makes little sense. As I understand it, we do, in fact, stir the nodegel. Perhaps the song's chorus indicates that we shudder at this awesome responsibility, and therefore try to minimize our own involvement.

Yeah, yeah. And islands in the stream don't, in any meaningful way, rely on each other.

In any case, I present the track listing and "original" lyrics for those who care:

The E2 Dysfunctional Family Reunion
The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture

1. It's Great to Be a Nerd -- The Arrogant Worms
2. All I Want is Everything -- Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
3. Keep on Rockin' in the Free World-- Neil Young
4. Make Shit Up -- Voltaire
5. This is Everything -- Tegan and Sara
6. Theme from The Monkees-- The Monkees
7. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds -- William Shatner
8. 500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be) -- The Proclaimers
9. Dizzy -- Tommy Roe
10. Bewilderbeast -- Badly Drawn Boy
11. (Everything is Comin' Up)
Rosy and Grey2 -- The Lowest of the Low
12. And if Venice is Sinking -- Spirit of the West
13. Clocks -- Coldplay
14. We Didn't Stir the Nodegel -- The Insulting Softlinks

We Didn’t Stir the Nodegel

(To the tune of "We Didn’t Start the Fire")

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Bones gonna rise again…


Ccunning, karmadebt, dannye, Andrew Aguecheek,
Rancid Pickle, Jet-Poop, Roninspoon, dann.
Panamaus, kthejoker, Gorgonzola and demeter
Tiefling, tandex, GrouchyOldMan.

Dman and Saige brawl; Chiisuta doesn’t need a stall
Lometa, LadySun, sid, haze, riverun.
Ouroborous, Quizro, iceowl gets freakin’ cold
jaubertmoniker, Katyana’s close call

We didn't stir the nodegel
It was always glowing
Information flowing
We didn't stir the nodegel
No we didn't do it
But we fell into it

zot-fot-pig, TheDeadGuy, Chris-O and allseeingeye
AlbertHerring, NinjaPenguin, Dman grows fierce.
Witchipoo, Koreykruse, anthropod and Jurph, too
Cletus the Foetus, jessicapierce.

Lucy-S and Braunbeck, Borgo begets Borgette
BrooksMarlin, izubachi, Bugs go to JayBonci
thefez, Templeton, Gritchka, Bitca, momomom
E2 Civil War; Dman gets shown the door.

We didn't stir the nodegel
It was always heaving
Surfers are receiving
We didn't stir the nodegel
No we didn't do it
We just fell into it

Andromache, icicle, Chiisuta finds a good Hotel.
Mauler, GeneralWesc, SharQ, Teiresias.
Pseudo_Intellectual, Man who is Transitional,
avalyn, brassmule, Webster is nobody’s fool

Butterfinger Mcflurry, aneurin writes history,
Habakkuk meets Mukkachuck, sneff makes parfait from a duck,
mordel, mock style, cruising in at machfive.
Ascorbic the catbox files; Sensei teaches for awhile.

We didn't stir the nodegel
It was always heaving
Surfers are receiving
We didn't stir the nodegel
No we didn't do it
We just fell into it.

Indigoe, briglass, server in Los Angeles
Wiccanpiper, Timeshredder, server moves up to Ann Arbor
Lesbians, monkeys, soy, Swap turns out to be a boy
Sexycampcouselor, not a real convincing girl
Indra 363, Halspal turns out hard copy
Online polls, April Trolls, Nate it’s unacceptable!

We didn't stir the nodegel
It was always glowing
Information flowing
We didn't stir the nodegel
No we didn't do it
But we fell into it

hapax blazes in, arcanamundi back again
Some long-fled dork can’t get laid in New York
IronGoth and Jasmine spar; E2 tries to raise the bar
Grundoon and wertperch tie the knot across the ditch

heppigirl, bewilderbeast, kerawall, Columbus feast
Princess Therion, busty ninja bake-a-thons.
Polls say E2's getting better
I’ll subscribe to your newsletter.

We didn't stir the nodegel
It was always glowing
Information flowing
We didn't stir the nodegel
No we didn't do it
We got sucked into it
We didn’t stir the nodegel
And when we are gone
It will still shine on and on and on.....

UPDATE: The song is available at http://mindfire.net/stir_the_nodegel.mp3, courtesy of ModernAngel, who rocks.

1. Song may not actually be original.

2."Rosy and Grey" contains this fine example of syllepsis in the final stanza:

I've kissed you in France and I've kissed you in Spain
And I've kissed you in places I'd better not name
And I've seen the sun go down on Sacre Coeur
But I like it much better going down on you.

While driving to work today, I ran into the following situation. I find that this happens way too often to just be a fluke.

A group of cars all drive normally on a road with a speed limit of 65 MPH. Suddenly, the car in the front of the pack sees a cop and hits his brakes, slowing down to 55 while passing the cop. All the cars behind the guy in the front must slow down to 55 as well. When the cop is out of sight, the cars all speed back up to their previous speeds.

Why do people feel compelled to drive BELOW the speed limit when they see a cop on the side of the road? Do they think they'll be reward by the cop? Do they want a gold star for obeying the speed limit really well?

Note to all people that do this: You will not get a reward for driving below the speed limit! In fact, you're just causing more harm than good. You put extra wear on your breaks by slowing down more than necessary. Furthermore, you hurt fuel efficiency by having to accelerate more to get back to your desired speed. Also, due to the Red Light Effect (delayed reaction time), you're causing larger slowdowns behind you, ultimately leading to a traffic jam if the situation gets bad enough

Plus, you make me late to work. Damn you!

What a week this is shaping up to be! Business is booming (for a change) and Suzi is out of town for a week.

My massage practice is one of the most interesting things that I have done in my 41 years on earth. I say this not from exaggerated modesty, but out of an attempt to be realistic. I'm not disappointed with my life—far from it! Still, it would be a little delusional to think that my quiet little life has been particularly noteworthy. Just because it is unspectacular does not mean it is unsatisfying.

Four years (and some small change) ago, I left the stressful world of graphic arts in order to pursue a zany dream of doing something for the good of all ... or something noble sounding like that. Fact is, I hated making advertisements and never felt very good at it. I asked myself how a guy with a bachelor's degree in neuroscience wound up there and realized that it might be possible to make a living doing something that makes people feel better.

Several years and a lot of financial worries later, things may just be looking up. In 2004, I made about one-third of the money that I earned in a year at graphic arts work. I had to borrow money from friends (never a good idea!) twice and take a part-time job to make ends meet. But my job satisfaction has never been higher. I never dread working anymore. I love my job—and I dearly want to prove to myself that I can do something this crazy and actually succeed.

Yesterday, two new clients and a few regulars made for a pretty successful day. I have one booked for this afternoon and one for tomorrow. Since I usually get a few quick walk-in chair massages on Saturdays, this is shaping up to be the most lucrative week I've had in all of 2005 so far!

In other news, the significant other took an airplane ride Wednesday to make the annual pilgrimage to the ancestral homeland of Los Angeles. It seems like all is well out there with her parents. For a week or so, I get to be cat and ferret dad all by myself. I adore Suzi, but it is nice to occasionally spend a little time apart. Tonight, my friend Chris and I will likely get together, maybe get dinner and watch a movie or something—but not a guy flick, Suzi usually likes those. More likely something with men named Nigel and Colin arguing about who owns the manor ... or possibly something with college coed women in sleepwear having pillowfights. Either is good really.

I've also been experiencing a bizarre phenomenon. I keep hearing songs or bands on the radio after thinking of them or mentioning them in conversation (it has happened about ten times in three days). A few times this has happened with listening to CDs as well, but I think that is a little more explicable.

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