Actually waking up happened Thursday afternoon at about noon, because I was over at a friend's house all night, having a mini-LAN party and burning school notes and hated papers. The school demon, however, was not to be banished so easily. Just as the past few years and blocks of months passed marked by deficiency reports and significantly dismal report cards, the news arrived today that I have to attend summer school, for one course, and move another in the next school year, my Senior year in High School.

I don't understand my deficient grades. Rather, I don't understand my own laziness. My deficient grades are in direct relation to said laziness. I have been diagnosed with ADD, put on two different forms of Ritalin, and been through 1 summer school course and retaken a course during the year. I don't suck as bad as a real delinquent, yet my grandparents (who are footing the bill) and my parents (who are very cool, yet confusing) are at an almost complete loss as to what the hell my problem is.

I want to be an audio engineer for a band, or a movie audio editor of some sort. Being in a private, parochial High School, especially one where the media club excersises an almost Orwellian chain of command in which we, the officers, are trusted with our own room as much as a lion might be trusted herding sheep, is not very motivating. I am most definitely a nerd, and I carry a laptop that I take notes on, which all too often becomes a target for the spitwads and gumwads that the idiots (spoiled brats whose parents had to send them to "the best" high school in the area) like to fling while a teacher is talking.

It's also not very cool to have a religion class that conflicts with your own beliefs, especially when you're almost the only one in the class that holds those beliefs. Talking about euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, video game violence, and other controversial topics almost makes it the class vs. me, and most times the teacher as well.

I almost wish that I could take a more spread out schedule, having certain classes only on certain days, and breaks in between. Having 7 period days with 40 minutes for lunch (including standing in a gargantuan line if the lunch is popular) is not a very relaxing way of gaining one's important education. For the most part, however, I pay attention, when I get home, however, and slip back into my own world, inside my computer, on E2, and within the vast far-reaching depths of the internet, I forget completely about the doldrums and bullshit that school brings, and allow myself to become completely unaware of a 50 point essay that needs to be printed, or a math assignment that is due 6th period tomorrow. I find so many peers from my computer that the world of school seems so chaotic and unwelcoming that I just shut it out. This is so hard to explain to my parents, it isn't logical, it isn't a good explanation, but I don't know how else to explain my shitty grades.

Fuck it, it's almost 11:00, and I'm nodding off. This, my first Daylog, has gotten about 3 paragraphs longer than I'd planned it. I just am glad summer's here, and that my friends and I are starting a movie soon, that if I play my cards right in, I may just be able to create a name for myself.

Here's to the night. Tomorrow is coming too soon.
Oh happy day!
Tomorrow I head off for Harvard - not for school- since I'm not good enough for that sort of thing
But for an internship at SAO - Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
I still have no idea what I will actaully do there, but I do know that my topic is cataclysmic variable stars.

The trip up here was just wonderful, I'd never been to the north east before.
The first leg of the trip was to see New Orleans - I admit - since I am underage- the city was not all that great
Actually I spent most of the one day we were really there in the hospital
Diagnosis: We don't know why your stomach hurts - here have some pain killers and we will bill your dad.

Actually they thought that I could have endometriosis and that I should seek further medical stuff.

Well in the following days my wonderful boyfriend and I made our way up to the Great Smoky Mountiains - He fell in love with the place and I admit - It was the most beautiful place I'd ever seen.
I think he wants to move there
I told him that It would have to wait until I got my degree *grin*
We stayed the night there and ran the risk of being eaten by bears - well not really - but they do have bears in the park

The next day we took a road trip of the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs through the mountains there - It was a beautiful drive but slow as hell
The next day we went around historic Virginia, Monticello and Williamsburg. Very nice day - it felt good to get out of the car and walk around all day.
The following day we went to D.C. That was really cool.
We walked around a bunch of the Smithsonian museums and ate really great ice cream and stared and stupid art.
That, my friends, was a good day.
The next day was scary
We drove up to New York City - the scariest city ever. I was all about going there and seeing the sites, but when we arrived all we saw was dirt and filth everywhere. The city was gross. While driving around the city and nearly getting myself killed a few times, we found our way to Time Square - That place made me sick to my stomach - This was the most materialstic, sad, scariest place I'd ever been to
But I digress
The following day instead of returning to the city we moved on to Boston and ate wonderful food. That was also a good day.

The next morning I had to drive my boyfriend to the airport and say goodbye to him for a month. I wasn't allowed to go past the security gate, so I said goodbye and returned to my car in the pouring rain and cried for a few minutes.

And that concluded my trip to Boston - Now I get to sit around for a day and wait untill all of the other interns arrive.


Saturday, June 8th, 2002. Sydney, NSW, Australia.

It's good to be back in Sydney, even if it's in the midst of the cold season. Having been away since February, I've now undertaken the 7 hour flight to see lignocaine in person again.

Today, we took the morning and afternoon to do some property hunting. We started by buying the Sydney Morning Herald, leafing through the property pages in the "Domain" section and selecting a few places with open house property inspections on that day. In Sydney, the days for property inspections turn out to be Wednesday and Saturday.

We saw a gamut of places, from run down two bedroom apartments in Coogee to a $2.5 million dollar house on a hill with a view of the beach. I had known that property prices in Sydney were overpriced but finding out firsthand was quite enlightening. There were, however, signs that the property boom are coming undone. Several of the properties we saw were for sale because the previous buyer was not able to complete the transaction. The $2.5 million dollar house was also for sale by auction by the bank, a sign that the previous owner was not able to make the mortgage payments.

The highlight of the day was definitely dinner. Lignocaine and I went to the Palisade Restaurant (read about the experience by clicking through). Although I insisted on paying for dinner, sneff insisted that the meal was on him. We couldn't but accept, even though the meal and drinks would have come to about A$150 but we promised we'd repay his kindness someday.

Attention all e2 noders - sneff has authorised me to tell you that all noders are welcome to a meal, at the Palisade Restaurant, on him, as long as you contact him beforehand.

I was at my buddy Chris' house, visiting and paying him back for all the help he's given me on mine. I've had him standing between the floor joists in my kitchen, and sometimes buying him a taste mole sauce dish isn't enough. Besides, I like working with him, I like his wife, and most of all, I like his children.

Chris and Kim have five kids. They aren't mean, or screaming all the time. They read and ask questions, and they smile when they see me. I like them, and I like spending time with them. So it's good to visit. We filled my truck with sand to mix in with the peat moss and spread it. We rototilled the soil. After planting a tree, a passel of hostas and spreading mulch he and I took his middle children over to the pool.

Chris got the idea that I could teach his kids a few things about swimming. I used to be on the swim team, was a lifeguard and had my WSI. I may look fat and old, but don't race me. So, yes, I do have some lessons to pass on. With kids, its wise not to get too ambitious, one lesson at a time. So I showed them the right way to do a flutter kick, and got them on the kickboard. Most important was making sure Chris understood as well so he could keep reinforcing the lesson. The key to a good flutter kick is keeping your knees straight. The kick uses your legs into a big lever. Or a swinging gate, if you prefer. Bend your knee and you lose the leverage. But locking your knees isn't natural. You have to think about your technique until it becomes second nature.

And we played. Joel is eight and Joanna six. I sculled around with my toes out of the water, chasing them with The Foot of Doom. Or the Foot of Smell, as Joel suggested. Which get them kicking to get away, and giggling like idiots.

On the side of the pool little Daniel watched, clutching his rubber duckie. He's barely four, a sweet trusting child with a smile for everyone. But he's scared of the water.

Well, that's nothing unusual. Lots of people are scared of water. Red Cross teaching methods have ways to deal with that as well. Get them wet. Keep them wet, but in stages so the fear breaks down slowly. So I sidestroked over to the side of the pool, picked the boy up and brought him in with me.

We sat quietly at the side of the pool for a time, his tiny arms wrapped around my shoulders. He was cold and terrified, but his parents are gentle and patient, and as Dad's friend, I was someone he could trust. So held his chest in my hands and talked softly to him, reassuring him. I took time, more than a few minutes. But his shivering stopped, his voice calmed and Daniel's wide, gap-toothed grin returned.

Chris always told me, "Children don't understand Quality Time. They understand time." You can't bond on a schedule. Holding that little boy, I understood for the first time what makes children so very special. I'm 45 and I've never married. Not that I haven't wanted to, but Lady Luck doesn't smile much upon me in that way. I have no children. My life is full of books, good friends and racing cars. Holding that little boy it really sunk home how much I've lost.

Children are so tiny, so vulnerable. Daniel almost felt like a toy resting on my knee. From his very dependence came in different form of intimacy, one built upon trust.

Now I understand why parents dote upon their children, put up with drum practice before the child can play, put up those silly 'Baby on Board' signs. It's the love of a puppy or cat, yet brimming with potential. Children have so many moments where they take a step forward, become a bit more like the men and women they will grow into. Parents get to be there for so many of those moments.

But I'm 45. The women my age have either had their children, or don't want any. I can't blame them either. My opportunities are probably gone. But Chris's kids like me, and well, I have visiting privileges.

At least I get to borrow children.


Wow, today was a heck of a fine day. It started with joining Edward at noon to play volleyball (and at one point, winning a game with just him and me on the team). A trip to Hamburger Habit for some refreshment followed at 4 o'clock (during which, he fashioned a little frog that could jump half way across the table, using the paper placemat!). Then, it was decided that we, together with one of his other friends, would adjourn to Edward's house to watch a movie, it having been discovered that neither of them had ever seen The Big Lebowski. I went home and showered, then ventured off to Edward's house for the first time, DVD in hand.

After watching the movie, the three of us hung around a while, doing various computery and electronic things. At about eight, Edward's mother made us dinner (I get the impression she is accustomed to making his friends at home there). Then the geeking continued. Edward's other friend was at the soldering station, and Edward was doing things with resistors and an oscilloscope. He left me in charge of getting acquainted with PIC programming, having downloaded a simulator and reference manual. Edward's newest project is to build some kind of robotic thingy, and he invited me to join in on the software side. After reading for a while, I started in on the first baby step: writing a function to delay for a given amount of time. Around 11, his friend went home to bed, and I was going to do so also; I left my work to that point in Edward's hands, telling him that it probably wasn't right yet (having not put it into the simulator). He said, "Well, let's give it a try!" I yielded the driver's seat to him, and we then spent several hours side by side while we discovered things that were wrong and experimented until it did finally work.

When he realized it was three o'clock in the morning, he announced that it was time for bed. I immediately rose to leave, but before I left, I said I wanted to tell him something:

Do you mind if I say something personal?
Not at all.
I want you to know why I've been perhaps coming on a bit strong lately telling you what a good friend I think you are. I gave him the two-sentence version of my situation with Nolan, and my recent discovery that all was not as I'd thought in that department. It really means a lot to me that you actually want me around.
Sure, I enjoy your company a lot. I think you're a really cool person to hang out with.
And with that, we continued on the serpentine path to the front door of the house, talked a few more minutes, and said good night. Monday morning, arriving at work, he told me that he'd had a really fun time. Golly, he makes me happy :)

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