"So kick back, relax, and ponder this: where are all the good men dead? In the heart, or in the head?"
- D. Newbury, Grosse Pointe Blank


Today, reading about my President's latest attempt to paper over his firm belief that he is on some form of holy Crusade, I found myself asking the above question.

That's not the only reason I was asking it, however. Since the other is a purely personal one, well, it's daylog for this one, I suppose. The other reason concerns mistakes made, oh, long ago, when I believed I had all the time I needed or would want. Mistakes that came back to haunt, rightfully, me; I don't know if me alone, but - in my recent realizations - I sure hope so.

What they were weren't important. What happened isn't important. None of this is, really, especially compared to the cauldron into which so many are about to be thrown. I'm not saying I don't think the upcoming Great Unpleasantness isn't called for - for I do, in fact, believe that this fight is one that needs to happen. I also, of course, believe that it needs to happen because the current Great Leader and his Da couldn't finish a task to save their lives. But that's not for now, I suppose.

Nope. Now I have to ask myself - should I acknowledge it was a mistake? That I know it was a mistake? That I regret it, probably most each and every day? I could, of course. Now that I've paid a price, I can, in fact, speak out. But I have to ask myself: why? Why would I do so?

Because it needs to be said? Nothing 'needs to be said,' ever. Whoever tells you this is lying. What they mean is 'I need to say this.'

Is that a good enough reason to disturb what tranquility I have? I don't know.

Of course, the other possibility - is this sense or cowardice?

I'll have to ask myself that one day, I suppose.

And thus, tomorrow or this week, my country goes to war, and an opportunity for disaster or redemption slips past me, laughing whispers in the wind. I can't help but feel I didn't say enough both now and then.

Where, then, is this man dead? Both in the heart and in the head?

when you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong?

I was not welcome anywhere in her life. Her mom was a psychopathic control freak who thought I was "a promising young woman" but was also repulsed by me, and her friends were stuck-up, gossipy bimbos who had never had real problems. The guy who molested her went to jail, but that didn't keep her dad from beating her up every time she went over to his house. She wasn't the first in my long line of fucked up girls, but she was certainly memorable. Soccer player, National Honor Society, fairly popular, totally fucked up. She broke my heart.

We kissed on the floor of my bedroom the winter of my sophomore year. At fifteen, it was a world-slowing, mind-twisting, life-eventful sort of kiss, illicit and magical. And then she had to leave. She sent me postcards from New Mexico, postcards from across town. We saw each other at school but strictly did not talk, instead she left me notes in the office with bunnies drawn in them. Once she ran over the bunny with a truck just to get a rise out of me. The two of us created monstrous phone bills that pissed off our parents, while steadfastly ignoring each other for an entire semester of Advanced Senior English. It was all about appearances.

The further she felt the more space she took up in my brain, until everything I did was because of her. Every time I opened my locker I felt weak for just a second, wondering if she’d slipped me a letter. Class was just the hour in between passing times, she’d be waiting for me outside the basement staircase where she had fourth period photography. I lived off her notes, her poems, photographs of her pet turtle that she'd give me. And we argued. I never said it, but I wanted her to choose, and she couldn't. Of course she couldn't.

I don't remember how we drifted, it just happened like those things do, she called less and started taking a class at the local community college. I saw her passing in the hall; she hardly looked at me anymore. By graduation we almost never talked, and the most I saw of her was her car--a 1994 Honda Prelude--parked beside her house. She was home, but I didn’t dare knock on the door. Early that June I asked another girl out, a silly, immature junior, and spent that summer with my new, damage-free girlfriend. I went away to college in the fall, and that was that.

This past summer I worked for a bank, dressed up to be someone else's file bitch. I played grownup with my nylons and black flats, and only the beat-up backpack belied me. One very hot day, July, a sleek black car pulled up to the side of the road as I was walking to get my daily sandwich and pickle, and the blond who stepped out made my knees liquidate. She bought me ice cream, and I tried to remember that I was a grownup now. In college. Not fifteen anymore. I wore grownup clothes now and made decent money. I had college friends and a new, sparkly, well-controlled life. She wasn't the same girl who'd winked at me from across a pep rally.

All of that was bullshit, of course.

I owe a great big thanks to izubotchi. He called me from across the country. I was desperate and scared and needed someone to talk to, even if I did have to pretend to be fine. I couldn’t admit how bad I was feeling because I have to pretend for my grandma. I’m not okay, but I can pretend to be okay for short periods of time. I have to. It is so hard. If I let down my guard I lose everything. I have been threatened so many times. One slip up, that’s all it’d take. I’d go from my miserable little perfect life living with my grandma, (rent free, with my laptop, my television, my stereo, my 100 plus cds, my vcr, my dvd player, my playstation2, my thermal sheets on my big soft bed, a telephone, having some internet access at school and having my own room) to a state hospital for a minimum 6 month stay…with no where to go when, and if I were ever released.

I let some people online see I’m slipping. No one irl knows though. Too big of a chance of my family finding out or the “professionals” finding out. They don’t know what happens online though. Only one person, my bestest friend in the world, sees both the true me and Jennelle, the young woman who goes to class, giggles at all the stupid jokes, has it all together. That’s just not me. It’s an act. That’s it. Just a performance I have to put on every day. High school drama was a prepatory class for life. My best friend and I, who were co-house managers, were always telling the teacher we were going to quit. Left notes on his car “I quit” and on his desk, and in various places. We never walked away though. Stuff needed to get done and there was no one else to do it, so we did it, plus we wanted an A. We’ve always got what needed to be done, done. Despite both of us being mentally ill, these two psychotic depressives always got it done. After all these years we’re still a team. She answers the phone at three am. I’d do anything for her. All she asks from me is to try. She wants me to be okay as much as I want her to be okay. I don’t know if I can do it anymore.

I’ve been cutting a lot lately. I even cut in class on Wednesday. No one even noticed that I was bleeding all over my papers. I tried to get it to stop but the band aid wasn’t enough. My two fingers were bleeding too badly. It was a brand new blade. It felt good. The blood filled the Band-Aids and started leaking through all the tiny air holes within seconds. I was getting blood everywhere. By the time the class was finally over I’d gotten the bleeding to pretty much stop. I then used the hand sanitizer on my hands and wherever I spotted blood. Of course the hand sanitizer is like 62% ethyl alcohol.

OW!!!

Anyone that’s ever put alcohol on open wounds knows what I mean. I know it seems crazy that’d I cut myself, bleed all over the place and then talk about the alcohol hurting. The cutting doesn’t even “hurt” anymore. Not in the way that people understand as pain. It’s a good feeling for me. A relief. It’s not something that’s easy to understand.

Each day is worse than the day before it seems. I just want it to end. I want to cut badly. Deep. So many tears. Crimson tears. Let them flow across the pale skin. It’s getting too much. I’m so scared. I don’t want to go to a hospital. I don’t want to have to live in an institution or a board and care. I want to live somewhere where I can eat what I want, when I want to. I don’t want to live at all. I don’t want to eat. I eat a lot. So much food, juice, candy, cookies, and stuff goes into this body and all I want is to purge. It just shouldn’t be in me. There are people that share this body with me. It makes life so confusing. Some want to eat, some want to throw up. Some want to go to school, some want to kill me. Some try to get me to cut, some try to make me remember bad things but wont let me remember other things. I hate it when I lose time. I do things without knowing I’m doing them, and I don’t remember them later.

I’m scared. And my mind is slowing down. I was thinking okay when I started writing but then it gets harder and harder to think an then all I can think about is the blade. I need to bleed. I need help but there’s no help for bluebird. We’ve tried everything. It’s over; there is no reason to keep fighting.

Saturday morning!

I went out last night! We were going to go to a play at our old high school. It was sold out though. We ended up calling some friends we used to go out with all the time. After several stops, and deciding all the places were too crowded we ended up at a bowling alley to play pool. I drank more than Europa! No one drinks more than her! I had two surfers on acid, two Malibu gins, and sex on the beach. Europa only had four drinks. And I drank part of one of them. I’m really really hyper today. It is like after 9am and I haven’t slept yet. Oh well. I’ll sleep tomorrow or something. Who needs sleep? I’ve got so many things to do now. I’m going to organize everything I own and write a book and do all my school work and write a bunch of nodes and call everyone I know and defrag my hard drive and run scan disk and go through all my floppy disks, and beat that stupid frog on Pac man world 2. (Someone please tell me how!) Then I will write some poems and maybe a story or two and then I will read all those books I have been meaning to read. There’s so many things to do…I better get started!…

I've gone every night.

My friends, what friends I have, tell me I'm a masochist. And they're right. There's no reason to keep going back to the meetings, sitting quietly and letting the sounds of law and performance lull me into numbness. Numb until I return to the dorm, to silence and memories-- and dreams.

Last night, during the brief respite of my day at home, my relatives came to visit. My cousin, two years younger than me, a thin blond girl dressed in the latest designer clothes. Too thin-- much, much too thin. Apparently anorexia, like so many other diseases, runs in the family. She's even thinner than I ever managed, and I don't eat.

Seeing her was a reminder of how much I tried to destroy myself. First I did it with starvation, and anorexia. Then I tried cutting, letting blood wash away everything. And now? I bury myself under work.

But with mock trial over, my last trial finished, there's no work to lose myself in. Before me there is only a seemingly endless stretch of time, and nothing to fill it with.

There's only so much you can do by yourself. And by myself is how I always am. I don't meet people easily, I never have... and until I was pushed aside, there was no reason to put forward the effort here.

And now, it feels like I've come too late. I have acquaintances, but never friends. Much as it pains me to say it, I miss high school. It took four years, but at least at the end I could say there were a few people who knew me.

I can't say that anymore. And I don't feel like there's anything I can do about it. The only people who even associated me were forced to, my teammates. And when they wrote the pairings... they took the eight people they thought could win. Then they took the three people they wanted with them.

So where does that leave me?

I'm tired of being on the outside looking in.

To the Bush administration,

I feel like I am watching a little girl play with a loaded gun from behind a solid locked door with a window in it. "Stop!" I tell her, "it will hurt you or someone you love!" I don't know if she can hear me. This is very frustrating. This is how your plans have made me feel. How do I internalize this frustration so that it doesn't come out in my open hand against my own daughter's face, or my wife's? How do I stop from going crazy? Is it because I am behind the door? Because I know I am powerless in this so-called democracy, in this world where two gigantic wars have produced something United, some set of leaders interested in avoiding gigantic problems? Is it because I know that all I can do is watch her play with that gun and hope that when she or someone she loves gets injured enough to make her stop, that the wound is on an arm or a leg, not in an eye or a belly or a throat? How can I watch?

It is because I have seen a child die from a bullet wound and it is very sad, but there are other people left living and each one who suffers from the loss contributes to the effort to keeps guns away from children. And so I hope we learn our lesson from the tragedies you are creating. I expect it to hurt, but I expect us to learn from it. This is how I can hold back my hand from my children and my wife in the midst of my powerlessness. I am sending all my support to the historians.

I've always wondered what fear felt like.

Growing up I had never known. The brave little child that only cowered from the dark, jokingly, to appease the siblings. But you forget things; I forget things. Memories long gone, never to return. Always dangling behind my head, just within my peripheral vision but never quite there. I don't remember what fear felt like when I was still a child.

I don't remember the Gulf War. I never learned about it in school, either. I lived through it and all I know is that what's-his-face kicked Saddam's ass. And I've always wondered why we didn't depose him then. As a 10 year old boy, just wondering. I remember I was fascinated by the images I saw of the war on television. The burnt Iraqi tanks, the American soldiers firing rifles, rocket launchers, anything. I felt proud to be an American back then. I've watched a lot of documentaries about the War since then, but I have no personal recollection of it. I didn't feel the affects of the war. I didn't understand why so many people wore the yellow ribbons.

I have to wonder why I still don't understand now.


As I listened to President Bush give his speech at work, mostly ignoring the live television broadcast I was supposed to be monitoring, I was forced to think: Just how many of us has this man doomed?

It's not like he'll ask Iraq to send missiles our way. But some one can send them...

I live just outside Washington, D.C.. In suburban Maryland. Probably no more than 15 miles from the Capitol Building. We gave Saddam Hussein a 48 hour ultimatum. I think it's fair that I get one too. I do not want to go to war for the sole reason of "I do not want to be turned into radioactive goo with a bad case of anthrax."


I thought it would stop with Osama Bin Laden. I had hoped. I wanted our revenge and I wanted us out. I did not mourn or fear or weep on 9/11, because I thought that I would be safe. That it wouldn't happen again. I believe in Bush, I truly do. I think if he wants to be, he can be a very capable leader. I want to think that the CIA and FBI have gotten their act together enough so that I can sleep at night. But now we have to be the aggressors.


But now we are the aggressors.


We are opening ourselves up to more attacks because... I wish I knew. I wish some one knew why we were doing this. But we are. We are allowing the enemy, whoever they are to have a reason to attack us. It would not be like 9/11, because that wasn't revenge. Next time, it'll either be a counter-attack, or revenge. There will be deeper scars that may not heal as easily, I am certain.

But because I live near Washington D.C., I have to wonder and worry that maybe, just maybe I won't know if we've been attacked. I'd be dead already. They'll bomb DC and I'll be one of the first hundred thousand or so to go. I wonder why I don't have a say about whether I live or die.

I've never known what fear felt like.

I do now.

Oh my god, I'm crying.

This is the first writeup I've had in a very long time, for a variety of reasons.

Over the past year, I joined the Maryland Crew Team, but due to a scheduling conflict, was unable to ever really participate with the rest of the novices, and the "veterans" didn't want a novice practicing with them. I then took this semester off crew, to concentrate on schoolwork and to think more about if I wanted to continue.

I've met new people, been treated like an adult for the first time by my parents, despite turning 20 in a few months, gotten wasted and forgotten the entire happenings of an evening, and continued living a fairly boring life.

As I look at my life, I wonder if I'm going insane, or if I'm already there. I can't, for the life of me, figure out exactly what the point of it all is. I spend hours talking to myself, trying to work up the courage to talk to a cute girl I've seen repeatedly on campus and in the diner. Then I walk past her without so much as looking at her, as I'm scared to death of what might happen (be it good or bad). I procrastinate for hours, because I honestly don't believe I have any work to due in the next week, then somehow I end up staying up until 5AM doing homework. I know there's no solution for me except to change, and I've tried, but nothing seems to work. I out-think myself at every turn.

Worse yet, my temper is wearing far too thin. I can barely hold back the hate-filled words that are on the tip of my tongue. Everyone is worthy of contempt, it seems. My professors for catering to the lowest denominator, my friends for being annoying and nosy, myself for not changing, the list goes on.

The only good news is that my ongoing quest to raise my GPA back up to 3.2 to get my scholarships back is progressing fairly well. After my dismal performance in Fall 2001, it's a wonder I'm even here. Somehow, though, I'm slowly dragging myself out of the depths. If only I can apply that same metaphor to the rest of my life.

As I look around the campus, the world, it seems like I'm the sole voice crying out for war. There, I've said it. I like war. I see nothing wrong with killing people, and would go kill people right now if there was no punishment for it. Hussein should be removed from power. I think almost everyone can agree with that. Furthermore, he obviously won't step down willingly. And despite what the peace protesters claim about how he's gotten rid of his weapons, I intern for one branch of the government, am a military brat, and know lots of people from the National Spooky Agency. They know far more about Iraq than we have been told. I see nothing wrong with military action to remove from power an individual who should never have been there in the first place.
The rest of my life: Day 1

Today was a rather uneventful day. Nothing earth shattering really happened. I finally calmed down from all the fear and excitement that came with giving Sarah the card yesterday.

I did manage to accomplish a few things today, as I am trying to accomplish something each and every day. Today I made an appointment to get an oil change tommorrow, touched up the rusty bolts on my Mars mini arcade game, and read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (which I recommend to everyone).

As always, Sarah weighs heavily on my mind. Yesterday was a bit of an important day as far as she was concerned. I gave her a thank you card at church for some good advice she had given me. It actually said far more than thank you, but I am not going to reproduce the contents of it here. I didn't get to see her reaction to it, because she is far to much of a good girl to read a note during church.

I had hoped to speak to her after the service, but there was a meeting about the men's retreat that I had to go to.

In entertainment news, I managed to score 6100 points on my new Jack the Giantkiller cocktail table!

I may be in the minority here that supports the decision to go to war with Iraq, but I think its about time we took care of Sadaam and delt with everything we should have finished a long time ago.

I remember the Gulf War very well, I was 13 years old and in junior high. I was at my Wednesday night youth group when they announced the bombs were falling and war was on. I remember being excited about the war and letting others know about it. I was young and thought it was the coolest thing to happen so far. I rememeber one girl who was crying because her father was now going to be in the war and possibly die.

I got all behind the Gulf War, maybe because my parents were behind it. I had the Gulf War trading cards, a 'These colors don't run t-shirt and other Gulf war stuff. This time I'm still behind the President and think we should go to war. Lets get this done.

People are talking about their fear and anger at current events above, as they have been for a while. One thing that really struck me is how many are saying something in the neighbourhood of "So this is what it's like".

In contrast, I remember this feeling very, very well. Not that this helps at all. I actually envy those feeling this for the first time - it's worse knowing by experience that we as a species seem to find a way to inflict this on each generation.

It's the mid-eighties and I'm a young teenager travelling home from school on the train. An adult in the carriage has a newspaper and I can see the headline. The United States has just bombed Libya. We'd watched Threads a few months before in Chemistry class at school (our teacher was a bit nuts) and so I had vivid images in my mind of a nuclear holocaust being triggered by just such an event in the Middle East. I remember being both completely debilitated by the fear (which was widely shared at the time) and stunned by the emotional detachment of those who seemed to think that this event was only small news.

Even more amazing (to a teenage me) were those who seemed complacent about the fact that this "game" being played by the US was, in fact, a very real gamble with the lives of every man, woman and child on the planet.

Until very recently I would tell this story (of being afraid of Mutually Assured Destruction) to people five years younger than me or more and they would grin in the sort of semi-embarrassed way people reserve for "old-timers" and their crazy stories about the Cold War. And didn't we win in the end? So there wasn't anything to be really afraid of, right?

No-one seems to be grinning now, and that makes me feel sick. Call me a fool but I liked that grin. It was a grin that meant maybe things were getting better.

I am not concerned, here, with arguing the merits or insanity of war with Iraq. I just know that September 11, 2001 brought this feeling back, the feeling that we were all teetering on the edge of an abyss, and nothing that any country or leader has done yet has made this edge we walk seem safer. On the contrary, today just made it far, far worse.

Today's Headlines

US News

Democratic Party Divided Over Iraq War
With war looking imminent, some Democrats in Congress are choosing to voice their support for the 250,000 troups stationed around Iraq, while others, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, are continuing to voice disapproval over the upcoming military operation. "I'm saddened that the president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we are now forced into war," Daschle told union workers yesterday. However, it is expected that once the bombs stop dropping, many congressional critics will fall silent, a view expressed by Senator Frank Lautenberg, who said "As a veteran, I know what it means to have the strong support of Americans back home," after criticizing Bush's failed diplomacy.

Mitchell's Father Asks For Leniency In Smart Case
Shirl Mitchell, the 79 year old father of Brian David Mitchell, stated yesterday that his son deserves leniency from the courts for treating Elizabeth Smart well during her nine months in captivity following her abduction at knife point from her bedroom last summer. "They say, 'Oh, she could be terribly traumatized.' I didn't see any evidence of that. Apparently, she never was in danger of having a horrible end," said Shiri in a public statement. The father also attributed the kidnapping to Brian's desperate need for attention, but could not explain how Brian Mitchell went from his position as a high counselor in his central Salt Lake City stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to living on the streets, panhandling and preaching.

Security Level Raised To High Along With New Security Plan
The federal government on Monday night implemented the tightest security nationwide since the 2001 terrorist attacks and raised the terrorism threat level to "high" in the face of war with Iraq. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge cited "highly reliable" reports indicating that terrorists would attempt attacks "against U.S. and coalition targets worldwide in the event of a U.S-led military campaign against Saddam Hussein," which could come within the next 48 hours. Ridge also enacted a security plan called Operation Liberty Shield, which steps up surveilance at US ports and increases security at nuclear power plants.

International News

Bush Gives Hussein 48 Hour Ultimatum
In an address directed to the United States populace but broadcast on many networks worldwide, US President George W. Bush announced that he is giving Saddam Hussein 48 hours, which would end at 01:00 GMT on Thursday, March 20, 2003, to abdicate his leadership position in Iraq and go into exile or else face military action led by the United States. Iraq has already declined the abdication, leaving the route to war between the two nations seemingly very clear. During his speech, Bush stated that it is his view that the United Nations has abdicated its responsibility to disarm Iraq.

Tony Blair Faces Political Revolt Over Iraq
Tony Blair's nominally Labour government in Great Britain yesterday found itself in shambles after Robin Cook and Lord Philip Hunt, two members of Blair's cabinet, resigned over Blair's hawkish stance with respect to potential conflict in Iraq. Blair's pro-American stand over Iraq is opposed by the majority of Britons and has angered members of his party, leaving him politically exposed on the verge of committing troops to war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Today, Blair is expected to ask Parliament to provide support for "all means necessary" to disarm Iraq, but as many as 150 members of his own party could vote against him on this measure.

New Chinese President Promises More Democracy
New Chinese President Hu Jintao, in his first speech as president of the world's largest nation, told the closing session of China's National People's Congress that only socialism can help Beijing develop in the future, but pledged to bring greater democracy to the people of the nation. He also praised outgoing president Jiang Zemin for his work over the last ten years and called China's future "bright," which he attributed to an ongoing "national rejuvenation." The new president also promised economic and cultural exchanges with Taiwan in an effort to build more friendly ties.

Business

Federal Reserve Board Running Low On Options
As the Federal Reserve Board meets today to determine how exactly to deal with the surprisingly weak economic data of the last month, but the question remains: what options does the board actually have in dealing with the weakened economy. With the federal funds rate already at 1.25%, the lowest since the 1960s, the board does not have many other options for attempting to stimulate the economy. It is expected that the board will stand pat for now, and then lower the rate a bit more in the springtime. Most experts believe that a rate as low as 0.50% would be fine for the economy, meaning the board does have some limited leverage in terms of adding oil to the economic gears.

Spiegel Files For Bankruptcy
Spiegel, one of the nation's oldest catalog operators and owners of the Eddie Bauer clothing chain, filed for bankruptcy yesterday after the failure of their credit card business, mounting debts, and suffering sales in many corporate divisions. In documents filed with the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, New York, the company listed $1.71 billion in debts and $1.74 billion in assets. The company, however, has arranged for $400 million in financing to keep its stores and catalogs running during the upcoming restructuring. The company's troubles were largely linked to its failed credit card business.

Dow Surges As US Marches To War
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 282 points (or 3.6%) yesterday to 8142 on the news that war with Iraq is imminent, which would bring to an end the year-long standoff with the Gulf state. For months, instability in the stock market has been blamed on the constant geopolitical uncertainty, mostly revolving aroud ongoing hostilities with Iraq. With resolution coming in that area, some speculators feel that this could be the first jump in a consistently rising market over the next year, and is a clear reversal of the strong downtrends in the market over the last few months.

Science & Technology

Futher Security Holes Plague Windows 2000
Microsoft has announced that a security hole affecting web sites running from Windows 2000 machines that can allow crackers to seize control of the computers that the web site is running from. Microsoft has already posted a patch, but customers are complaining about the downtime for testing and other issues involved with applying the large number of patches released recently. Microsoft, which gave the latest flaw a "critical" rating, said it has received only one confirmed report of a customer attacked by this method. reports from attacked customers. "Critical" tops Microsoft's scale for security defects, and it indicates the hole may be used to control or damage a system. Microsoft said that the vulnerability isn't present in other versions of Windows.

Composting Toilets Urged By World Water Forum
At the World Water Forum in Kyoto this week, many parties are urging the United Nations to abandon their plan to install conventional sewers in the Third World, which would give more than a billion people sewer access over the next decade. Citing potential ecological damage, scientists attacked the proposal and encouraged the use of composting toilets. "Conventional sewer systems are just not the right answer," said Bengt Johansson, of the Swedish International Development Agency. "They are very expensive; they pollute rivers; they use a lot of water for flushing that could be set aside for drinking; and they deprive farm soils of the nutrients in sewage." Instead, a system for composting sewage, called ecological sanitation, is being proposed.

Internet Banking Passwords Stolen
An email scam circulating Australia has been used to steal countless passwords for bank accounts for the Australian Commonwealth Bank. The email provided a link to a website with much the same look and feel as the Commonwealth Bank site and encouraged users to enter their password there. When entered, the password was stored by the scammers and could potentially be used later to access bank accounts. Users are being encouraged to not fall prey to such schemes and to change their passwords if they are suspicious that they may have given away their password. The email was sent from an administrator at commonwealthbank.com; however, the bank actually uses commbank.com.au as their domain.

Health

Asian Illness Claims Another Victim In North America
A 27-year-old Edmonton woman is in the isolation ward of a city hospital with a suspected case of the deadly disease from Asia known as severe acute respiratory syndrome. The woman travelled to Edmonton from Hong Kong on Saturday and went to the emergency room late Saturday evening complaining of a high temperature, cough, and gastrointestinal problems. Dr. Gary Predy, medical officer of health for the Central Region of Canada, said, "She's doing well clinically and appears to be recovering." This case brings to 11 the number of probable and verified cases of the disease in Canada.

Hormone Therapy Does Not Help Older Women
Researchers from the Women's Health Initiative, in an article on the website of the New England Journal of Medicine, stated that hormones prescribed to restore vigor, reduce depression, improve overall health, and increase sexual satisfaction actually do little for the millions of older women who take them. This is seen as a strong condemnation of the regular diet of estrogen and progestin that many older women take daily, particularly menopausal and post-menopausal women, and contradicts the common medical thinking of most of the 20th century, in which hormone supplements were prescribed with high regularity.

Sports

Pollock Becomes Scapegoat In South African Cronje Confusion
After South Africa's recent World Cup failure, captain Shaun Pollock was relieved of his captaincy of the team and was awarded to Graeme Smith in a move that is seen widely to be a move in which Pollock was viewed as a scapegoat for the great problems of corruption brought to the team by former captain Hansie Cronje, Pollock's predecessor. Cronje was removed from the captaincy five months ago amid a scandal involving corruption and bribery, but is still widely viewed as a hero in South Africa, where in Cape Town many bunches of flowers can be spotted sporting the message "We Miss You Hansie."

BYU Situation Bungled By NCAA Selection Committee
The placement of Brigham Young University in the NCAA mens and womens basketball tournaments has resulted in a great deal of controversy, since according to a well-known rule BYU does not play sports on Sunday, yet in both cases, the schools would be scheduled to play on Sunday if they were to make it through the first weekend of competition in the single-elimination tournaments. Rather than restructure the brackets immediately, the NCAA decided to handle the situation later if BYU advances far enough to make the question an issue, and would then move BYU to other areas of the bracket to allow the team to play on Saturday.

Entertainment

Gandolfini, HBO Come To Terms On The Sopranos
HBO and Sopranos star James Gandolfini have apparently come to terms for the upcoming fifth season of the hit show. The tentative agreement involves both sides dropping their potential lawsuits against each other and agreeing to a contract that would pay Gandolfini approximately $13 million for the season, or $800,000 per episode, but it would require Gandolfini to return to work immediately. The exact details of the agreement will be worked out today, according to talent manager Brad Grey.

News Organizations Battle Over War Coverage
As UN wepons inspectors and other officials fled Baghdad this morning in anticipation of war, all of the major news organizations are scrambling to cover the evacuation, set up proper coverage of the war itself, and also stay out of the way of any military conflict. In his speech last night, Bush urged all journalists to leave the nation, but many reporters and cameramen are staying in Iraq for now to cover the war as it begins and report on the situation inside Iraq. Demand for satellite time has also been tremendous, with individuals battling for time to submit their reports to stations in the West.


And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
- Johnny Rotten, 1978

As I watched Bush's speech last night, I couldn't shake the feeling that the United States is being greatly led astray by a government that is making poor choices that do not reflect the will of the populace. "Surely, though, there must be a lot of people out there supporting this conflict," I thought, so at the end of the speech, I called several people to get their opinions on the speech and the seeming inevitable military conflict.

I called people all along various points of the social and economic scales, people with vastly different backgrounds from absolute libertarians to absolute authoritarians, from socialists to Randites.

And yet every single person I called was opposed to this conflict.

It is completely inconceivable to me that in a representative democracy, as we supposedly have in the United States (and for that matter, in Great Britain), that a leader can make decisions that completely disrespect the will of the populace.

Something needs to change drastically in Washington. Behavior such as what is being shown by the executive branch of the United States government is completely unacceptable.

Is anyone in support of this war? If you read this and feel as though we should be involved in miltary conflict right now in Iraq, please let me know. I am not going to try to change your mind; I am mostly curious as to whether or not there is any support at all among the populace for this war.


Lent Diary, Day 14

In my daylog for February 19, 2003, I outlined my plan for a challenging Lenten discipline: no food or water during daylight hours. Visit that daylog for more details.

I am beginning to feel that my chosen discipline is more timely than ever.

Last night, I talked to an Islamic friend of mine who was extremely upset with the actions of the United States government. He said to me that their actions are leading to the perspective in much of the world that the United States and Britain are the true "axis of evil," particularly in portions of the world that are heavily Arabian and Islamic.

So I meditated on this, and I am at a loss as to what I can do about it. I am glad that many are aware of what I am doing and the purpose of it in the sense of demonstrating solidarity with those of Islamic faith.

But all I can do is pray that this does not turn into a Holy War and that this action is not perceived as another Crusade as I fear that much of the world is interpreting the action to be.

For all the political and social calculations that have gone into this conflict, has no one considered the spiritual impact?

The first truth is that we have all been mentored at some point in our E2 careers. We have all looked up to someone with more, and say, where are my errors? Other Users has said, here they are, fix them. And we did. And it was good. We are everything. We beat with the heart in the binary and the soul in the code. We find the niches and corners where the data lies in strings, and make it real.

We provide the fact in the fiction and the lies in our facts. We bless the cursed and give the stagnant much-needed motion. We prod with upvotes and nudge with downvotes, and bare our writeups for all to C!. These are our most private parts and we make real the trivial. Daily, we give the new their minute legend, and raise them as high as ourselves. We do not differentiate between anyone--we hold each other to the ideals we strive to achieve. We donate credence to the unsure and love to the weak. We strengthen the individual and in this way do we strengthen the community.

We dispense heartfelt praise and bitterly admonish the proud. We take pride in our work and expect it replaced by those above and below. We take great pains to better ourselves, and through this do we watch in awe as our students teach others. The circle is closed, and we belong in the centre. We are the circle; we are the centre.

We are, and do provide mentors to the brave; the mentored do in turn sacrifice themselves for the cause and take on new apprentices. The apprentices blaze new paths, trails, and find the lands we never could. We discover hidden rivers and bring to light dark corners in the nodegel. We are an expedition through the knowledge of the world. We look on in wonder as we discover new places and new faces. We mark the faces and burn them to mind; we claim the lands as our own.

The circle opens again--we throw wide our arms and embrace. We never stop. We grow and continue as one. We were never separate. We travel the miles together, and we sit down and rest as one.

for noders come and gone

It was my birthday this past weekend and the boys and Lovey suprised me with a dendrobium orchid and a $50 gift certificate to a local art supply store.

With my vandas, ascocendas and cymbidiums all blooming, the drobey was quite a surprise. All the other ones I have look sort of distressed and in dire need of repotting. However, getting the gift certificate really blew me away since I'd been thinking about getting back to painting a lot lately. In fact, I've found myself doodling sketches on scrap paper at work. This is really not a good thing.

Why?

Because all I paint are nudes and erotica.

Quick Bic sketches of a large-breasted woman receiving a furious tongue-lashing or a pencil rendering (complete with shading) of a naked man regarding his generous penis will get my ass yanked down to HR faster than you can say Robert Mapplethorpe. So I try to be discreet and aware of who's around me.

Supervixen wants me to get started again because I love it and maybe this will prevent me from being the asshole I've been for many weeks. She is my favorite model.

"Just don't show so much pubic hair," she said. "OK?"

###

I agree. I've been a dick lately. Even on my birthday I had a vague, aimless anger despite all the goodness. I don't know why this is.

It could be the fact that I have not had a good night's sleep in about four months. I either fall asleep on the couch for a two or three hours, wake up, and then can't get back to sleep, or I fall into bed with my mind spinning a zillion miles an hour, following nightmare scenarios to their shreiking end.

So I changed my lifting routine and added some running, thinking that a bit more exercise is what I need to remove my edge. Not only did my erratic slumber cause me to sleep through my workouts, but when I did do them, I couldn't make the lifts I did just a couple of weeks ago. My knees began to hurt. More anger.

I don't know what to do so I'll do nothing, perhaps the hardest thing for me to do. The boys are on spring break this week, and we're travelling so I'll try to relax, eat well and rest as often as I can. Maybe this bubble will burst on its own.

Or maybe not. Not after this.

###

" Goddamnit," she said. "God damn."

Then she went to lie down with SweetFaceBoy, who requested to sleep in our bed for the night. I think this was because he overheard wifey say from the kitchen (where we were watching the address while the boys enjoyed a "Rugrats" cartoon), "Great! We're going to war."

I fell asleep on the couch, woke up at 1:00 a.m., puttered around on the computer for a while, tried to sleep, couldn't, finally did, overslept, but still got to work on time. A call from 'Vixen this morning confirmed things.

He's eight years old, and he fell asleep asking her questions he shouldn't even have to think about yet. "Is the war going to be here?" " Why do people who don't even know each other want to kill each other?" "Are the soldiers going to find Osama bin Laden?" "Will we get to go see Grandma again?"

New rule: no TV news while the boys are awake.

I kissed him and smoothed his hair and covered him and his mother with a big SpongeBob blanket before I left for work. I don't know about other parents, but I consider one of my jobs to be keeping my boys innocent and safe as long as possible.

###

So we're going to war, and I'm scared about it, but I know we have to. The uncertain peace the world would otherwise endure is no guarantee of safety. President Bush does not want a repeat of Sept. 11 on his watch. It is the moral obligation of a leader to protect his people, and that is what he is doing.

Everyone would prefer not to go to war. However, the hand has been dealt. I only hope the " shock and awe" does what it is intended to do and the military strikes with a pure and terrifying force that will turn any resistance to ashes and end this thing in a matter of days.

I'm wearing an American flag pin, and I'm going to put up a flag outside my house when I get home. First, however, I'm giving my wife and sons each a huge hug and kiss and tell them I love them.

I didn’t get in.



For all of you who have been waiting to hear, I heard back from Grove City today… you know the only school I have Ever wanted to go to, yeah, that one. The only one I applied to… yeah. So they rejected me for the second time. BUT WAIT! They have a waiting list. Yeah sign up for that. So I did.

I knew it was too good to be true, I knew months ago I wasn’t going to get in.



Pardon me while I go jump off a bridge… I have no direction anymore.




/me is heartbroken also.

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