Days after we had decided
it was best to be apart,

after we divided our possesions,
and agreed that you would be the one

to move out, we stood silent
in the bedroom, listening

to the argument next door,
the young woman screaming something

about him not loving her
enough. Their voices resonated

as if there was no wall that separated us
from them, the shrill desperation

of her voice so pierced my chest
that I almost felt as if I were the one

fighting for his love. When the air went
quiet, and it seemed that we were back

to being alone together, you tiptoed to the wall
and pressed your ear against the thin wood.

I scolded you for for doing wrong,
but soon I was beside you, listening

to the sounds of their love,
muffled, as if trying to keep from us

the key to making up, as if they knew
just how many keys we had lost already.

love sucks poetry contest 2001

A Call To Alms

or "Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?"

On March 24, 2002, the gods made the following offer:

"Don't like a writeup? For only 1000 USD, you can have it killed. For 10000 USD, it will be painfully killed! Hurry - this one-time-offer expires at the end of this month."

I've decided to take them up on it.

Now, as a Canadian student, I can't afford the grand myself. But I think I might have a solution: we pool our resources and see what we can nuke. All you need to do is head over to the Donation Box and make a pledge, and be sure to attach a note saying that you want it to go towards this little quest.

Now, we need a target. After some consideration and a few suggestions, I do believe the most easy and worthwhile target is none other than:

Butterfinger McFlurry

It's high-profile, considerably controversial, and isn't run of the mill. A perfect choice for a crusade, of sorts.

I request one concession: that the gods graciously extend the deadline to May 1st, 2002. (Update: They have agreed!)

So get into the Donation Box, and give what you can. We raise anywhere from $300 to $900 a month usually anyways, so now we do it with purpose. Message me with your amount and date of donation, and I'll make a note of it on my home node. Together, we can both support E2 and watch a little piece of nodegel burn brightly.

Step up to the challenge, folks!

Update: For clarification, these few points:
  • It would only be the first w/u that appears under Butterfinger McFlurry, of course, which just happens to be written by someone wonderful and understanding.
  • Any donation over a dollar US counts, and I'll also take any donations that were made as of March 24th, 2002.
  • To clarify, I have NOTHING against this particular node. It is just the most high-profile node that I could think of that would get people's attention and what not. This is for the financial betterment of E2, people. Honest! If you disagree with this method of fundraising, /msg me and TELL me why!
  • By popular demand! You can NOW donate to KEEP Butterfinger McFlurry around too! Just let me know which side of the dime you're on, and I'll post it on my homenode with the amount, etc.

I turn 18 on Tuesday. I'll be a legal adult. But what the hell good is it going to do me? I can vote, buy cigarettes and lotto tickets. Oh yes, and porn. The voting sounds ok, but there isn't going to be an election for who knows how long. The rest of it isn't exactly all that great.

It’s not like on Tuesday at exactly 6:48 A.M. I will suddenly become a new person. Heck, I'll still be asleep. Somebody, somewhere decided that on this magic birthday, I was an adult. Does this mean I'm free from my parents' constant complaining or yelling at me, my sister, each other? Does this mean that I will finally end up dating a guy who is a nice decent guy, one that doesn't act like a jerk? Will I stop liking the guys that I can't date? Will I finally be more than just some high schooler, who everyone thinks is too smart? Will someone finally see that I'm a person, who has feelings, and wants more than anything in this world to be somewhere else?

My dad's yelling at my sister as I write this, not ten feet away. As if I can't hear, as if it somehow shouldn't affect me. After Tuesday will things change? Will I actually like my house, and not feel like I need to escape?

I guess it's not so bad. Nobody abuses me or does drugs or is a drunk, but I kind of expect more out of life, you know? Like parents that are always mad at your sister, cause she can't follow the rules. A sister that doesn't sleep around with every guy she dates, and makes everyone wonder how you ever ended up related to her. Parents that realize that what you say matters, and don't interrupt you when you speak. They love you and act like they care, but sometimes I have to wonder. If they care, why do they yell in front of me? Why do fight with my sister, when I'm standing there, trying to help make dinner? And I know, if I leave, they will wonder why I'm not helping make dinner.

I leave for college in the fall. Everyone else says they will miss their friends, their families. I have moved quite a few times in my life, so I know when you leave your friends, life goes on. You keep in touch, or you forget them. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. I have had some good times with my family, but I'm only going four hours away, I'll still see them. But I won't be here for the fights and the yelling.

I suppose I should be thankful. My parents are nice, decent people. I have what I need and then some. Nice clothes, a job, a car. I have enough money in scholarships to go to college and my parents'll give me spending money. I guess I'm making a bit more out of this than there is.

I remember this one birthday of mine. I think it was seventh grade, maybe eighth. I'm sitting on my bed, and a pile of clean sheets is sitting on the bed, with the covers all thrown up in a heap. I guess I must have washed the sheets that morning. I had just gone outside, and had gotten mud on the clean sheets when I had curled up on my bed. I'm crying and my mom comes in and tells me to stop crying, my friends'll be here soon. And I feel like screaming back, no, let them see me cry. You made me cry, you and your yelling at dad. Why should I make you look good, like we have a normal family? I don't say anything though. She eventually leaves and brings me a cold washcloth. I don't remember anything else from that day, just that.

I'm not asking for pity, or anything like that. I guess I needed to write this, just so I knew it was written down somewhere. That someone else had seen it. Perhaps so someone else will know they aren't the only one. I wonder if everyone else I know at school have the perfect lives that they seem to have or if the ones that complain about their lives really have it as bad as they say they do? I guess we kind of all say what we think we need to say to survive and fit in. I guess we all have that in common.

Part of the problem, I suppose, is the fact that I don't feel particularly wanted by anyone I spend time with. I don't necessarily feel like I'm not welcome, but most of the time, it seems like those around me could do without me being there. It doesn't seem to matter too much to anyone else.

I feel needed by my friends, sometimes. I have skills that they don't, and I get called on them often to help out with a project of some description. These things make me feel needed. They don't make me feel wanted, however. In my experience, if you have a need for someone but not a want for them, resentment soon follows.

I don't recall the last time someone close to me invited me out for a movie, or coffee, or dinner. This is not to say I haven't spent any time with friends lately, but it's always been at my prodding and insistence. If I don't initiate these things, they don't happen. That's a warning sign, if the relationships I had when I was younger are to be trusted. When you're always calling them, and they're never calling you, they probably don't particularly enjoy your company.

It is unfortunate that this pattern has expanded to include my roommates, my girlfriend, and everyone in the city of Toronto that I have not met at my current workplace.

Of course, if voicing these feelings results in any changes in the behaviour of my friends, I would find it extremely difficult to accept them as genuine.


On Jessica:

I don't write too much of the details of our relationship here, as an unofficial rule. Having a journal that the world can read created some very real problems in prior relationships, and I was not anxious to have those situations repeat themselves. I don't think I've ever censored myself on the topic of Jessica (and if I have, it was a matter of so little consequence that it has escaped my memory entirely), I just omit gratuitous personal details.

Recently, however, it strikes me that this omission makes it extremely difficult to write about any details that I feel are relevant to my journal. If I write about the behind-closed-doors issues of our relationship, it almost seems like a breach of trust, from some unspoken and unwritten agreement that Jai-shall-not-write-about-Jes.

And a breach of trust, of course, is the last thing that you want when you're having difficulty within any kind of relationship.


I would be cheating my own feelings if I did not say that the thought of escape has come to mind.

It was decided yesterday that today would be the celebration of my birthday, as Monday I am in class all day. I was given the promise of sleeping late, breakfast when I woke up and a day out with my daughter.

Unfortunately, the sleeping and the breakfast fell through. I cannot find it in myself to complain as a 6 1/2 year old taught me so much (once again).

The school fair was this weekend. For my birthday present, she has decided she is taking me. She pulled from her purse money that has been saved from The Tooth Faerie and Santa Claus as well as various good grades rewards. This money she handed to the gentleman at the ticket booth and said "I need to get as many tickets as I can. It's my Mommy's birthday". (As I scramble in my head to tally up what I need to sneak back into her purse later on)

The clerk hands her the tickets and we are off to the rides. Last year, I so clearly remember her getting to the top of the 3 story slide and being terrified to go down. One can only imagine my suprise at her leading me to one of the scariest rides available. It is called "The Bullet". Consisting of a large metal beam with a carriage on either end, it spins as the two ends of the carriage turn as well. "Don't be afraid, Mommy. I will hold your hand", she tells me.

Today, my daughter showed no concern for what she wanted. When she won a game, she gave me the prize. She took me on the scariest ride and showed no fear because she felt her mother wouldn't like the "kiddie" rides. Today, my daughter was selfless and thoughtful. I don't dare tell her that I would have been content to eat cotton candy and ride the Carousel with her all day long.

Happy Birthday to me. I must be doing something right.

"You are so fucked," is what she said. When someone makes a threat that way you suck the good air into your lungs as fast as you can because you know the next breath is poison.

So I give her one of these, "waddai du?" faces and I start a DMA on my corpus callosum, racking my brain for what it is she's pissed about before I go hypoxic and pass out. You and I both know you can't commit suicide by holding your breath. But I'm going to turn a little cyanotic so she'll know she's having an effect. She won't stop unless she knows she's inflicted injury.

I blurt out a quart of air along with the words, "It's not garbage day?" Unfortunately there's a mirror in front of me and I can see the ridiculous smile on my face, something like Bill Murray playing Forrest Gump doing The Joker.

Hey, I'm the one holding the razor. I'm the one with half of face of shaving cream zebra striped in blue red from where I opened a vein when she barged in threatening to tear out my liver through my nostrils. Damn. That's not half as bad as the damage I might have done. I'm afraid so to look down because I just got out of the shower figuring I'd be alone in the bathroom, so why not shave naked? Why do I have to get dressed to impress myself? So I'm standing there with something purposely sharp at my neck and the thought flashed for a second whoever was coming in shouldn't see my gonads--naked and left handed, the razor indeed in that hand gets shot down between my legs as if hiding my dick behind a two-inch steel blade is a really good idea.


I say, "I forgot to tell you your hair was nice missed your birthday didn't send in your renewal to 'House Beautiful' forgot our anniversary oh what a nice tattoo your sister got, my brother has one of a giant squid eating a baby's head."

"Well if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you," she says, and I'm about to compliment her logic, because not knowing what makes her hate me keeps the missiles in their silos and the world safe for democracy now that the lactose intolerant Chinese have all the Cheeze Whiz they need to join the dairy cartel.

And I love her. When we were younger, I loved walking into restaurants watching everyone stare. I loved that she was mine on the beach. I loved she knew who Harlan Ellison was and that a stock Corvette is faster than most Ferraris. I love that of all the people in the world she could torture in the cyclic estrogen driven nightmare she has for emotions once a month, she picked me. I could have been any idiot chopping of his balls with a BIC safety razor, but I'm Ozymandius. I'm Apollo. Zeus. She makes me God.

I say, "I love you," as hard as I can, try to turn my smile into something that feels like a real life.

Her eyes narrow, lips purse. "You're not getting off that easy," she says. So I put down the razor and wipe the cream from my half-shaven face with a towel. Arms out, I'm Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Slide on the sunglasses next to the sink.

Sometimes you just gotta say, "What the fuck."

I tell her okay when she gets out of her clothes. I tell her I'm sorry and I'll make it up. Do whatever she wants. Never, ever find out what it is that set her off in the first place.

Dear god, save me from being in love with this woman.

Yesterday, I was offered a position teaching this summer at a small residential school for children with autism. From what little I've heard, the field is in desperate need of new professionals and people rarely stay in the field for long. This makes me a bit scared. There are quite a few reasons for this, I think. It's been my desire for a long time to teach. The profession encapsulates so many of my interests; it's difficult to imagine doing anything else. I love speaking in front of people and communicating my ideas to others. But this job seems so much different from all of that. It feels like it will really throw any ideals I have to the testing point.

What are people with autism like?

Children with autism typically develop along normal developmental lines until they are approximately two years old when they will begin to show delays in language skills and social interaction. Usually they spend a lot of time alone, seldom interacting with other children and often not learning how to respond to cues like smiles and eye contact. Sometimes, children with autism will have sensitivity to light, loud noises, particular odors and textures. Usually autistic people are prone to seizures or self injury. Austistics may also manifest other disorders such as Down's Syndrome, Tourette's Syndrome, epilepsy or mental retardation.

Like any other person, autistic individuals have highly developed personalities that are unique to each individual. People with autism tend to process information very differently. Sometimes it will happen as a person speaking in a monologue about a subject even though others attempt to comment to them while they're doing it. Others have very mild symptoms like they aren't able to sustain conversation for very long. "Educators and other service providers must consider the unique pattern of learning strengths and difficulties in the individual with autism when assessing learning and behavior." 1 Contrary to many conceptions of autistic people, many grow to smile, laugh, and converse like anyone else. It's all in varying degrees.

What are effective methods of helping austistic people?

Evidence clearly shows that early intervention in the lives of children with autism dramatically helps them. Since these children are all different people, methods vary; however, highly structured schedules, programs oriented towards the child's interests, and involvment of the parents in educating the children have all shown to be the best. It is most important to consider that each child is different and will therefore learn and understand the world differently.

These children need help in order to live; some are more high functioning, but many of them will always have severe problems communicating with other people. I feel like I don't know much about what I'm doing, and I'm scared that I'll screw something up. Communication and basic cognition is something that I totally take for granted. For years now, I've developed my thinking skills until they're largely second nature in many ways. However, these children have difficulty in making such connections. The amazing part, however, is that they make other connections quite easily — connections in the mind that I can't hardly fathom. I think that the most important thing is to remember that I love taking care of children and being able to interact with them. These children are so unusual, too; they're totally different from other kids. I believe something like 1 in 10 autistic people have savant tendencies. I can't begin to imagine how fascinating these kids are. And I've missed being around children in the last several years of my life. I was thinking about it while I asked a few close people to me about it. Interesting what the responses say.

My roommate told me: "I want to work with the retards!"
My mother told me: "You've got a good soul, Lauren. You can do this."
My friend Christopher told me: "If it's what you want to do, I'm sure it will work out."
My father told me: "You'll finally be able to teach; it's very exciting."

I'm really happy that I'll finally get my first "real" job. It may seem silly, but I'm absolutely in love with the opportunity. I really hope that I can remain in love with it; I don't want to become one of the faceless many that hate their jobs and their daily lives. Perhaps this position will give me the chance to be in love with my work.

I really hope so.

Update 5/4/02 3:53 AM EST The job didn't go through for numerous reasons that I won't get into. Thanks to everyone who offered support on this, though.

Not being able to speak is NOT the same as not having anything to say. 2

Further Information on Autism:

Limits of reason

A friend with a profound aversion to religion sends a quotation from Jim Wong at

From an Enlightenment or Positivist point of view, which is Hume's point of view, and mine, there is simply no avoiding the conclusion that the human race is mad. There are scarcely any human beings who do not have some lunatic beliefs or other to which they attach great importance. People are mostly sane enough, of course, in the affairs of common life: the getting of food, shelter, and so on. But the moment they attempt any depth or generality of thought, they go mad almost infallibly. The vast majority, of course, adopt the local religious madness, as naturally as they adopt the local dress. But the more powerful minds will, equally infallibly, fall into the worship of some intelligent and dangerous lunatic, such as Plato, or Augustine, or Comte, or Hegel, or Marx.

Because we can conceive of reason, in our best selves many of us are inclined to prefer reason to all other modes of thought. We easily persuade ourselves that human beings should be rational all the time and that anything else is "madness". But it's not clear to me that reason is the only mode of thought that is biologically necessary or most natural to us. It's also not clear that irrational behavior is without its logical causes. I think many of the most familiar things in human group interactions are half-rationalizations of instinctive behaviors, and even for people who are sincerely intent on living by reason alone they are nigh impossible to change.

The spread of linguistic habits is the example most familiar to me. Since research started in earnest on sociolinguistics beginning in the 1950's, it has become indisputable that human beings use shared linguistic traits to define "in-groups".

Other examples include

  1. the behavior of men after winning or losing struggles for prestige with other men, which seems to be hormonally determined;
  2. the fact that friendships often rupture over people's views on political and social issues - if we were genuinely rational, we would accept that opinions naturally vary (and matter little), but there seems to be something that makes us want to surround ourselves with the like-minded and expell non-conformists.

Actually, I observe that nonconformity is a very powerful draw for the soi-disant rationalist, but I'm not persuaded that it's wholly rational. I certainly exhibit this trait to a high degree, but I can see that the immediate motivation for it (don't like TV commercials!, think pot makes me stupid, am offended by both pro- and anti-war sentiment) is rarely the sole motivation - it satisfies my deep itch to draw a boundary between myself and others. Non-conformism, though it may give the appearance of thoughtfulness, is thus a semi-automatic way of defining my own in-group in many unpredictable situations.

But why bother? Another friend scowls when people say things like "Have a nice day" to him. That seems to me the same kind of thing. Doesn't he realize that this is just a competing way of saying "goodbye"? People who say this don't care what kind of day you have - they say it as a form of social ritual. Maybe it's good self-training to force oneself to engage in such behaviors - specifically the ones that tick us off the most. (You may soon find me sitting stoned in front of a TV watching football, as a form of self-cultivation.)

I wish I could understand what our nearest biological relatives, the gorillas and chimpanzees, do about the struggle between reason and instinctive belief. It would be fascinating to find they have disputes about such things, too. I feel in my bones that they must.

last day-log entry: March 11, 2002 | next: April 11, 2002

Firstly, this is a day late (its not my fault i was at the point of collasping from tiredness) But not to worry eh!

I awake from a deep slumber that was caused only by 4 pints of Guniness, for some reason I have become strangly attached to that drink (it just goes down sooooo smooth). My brother was looking over me and i just mumbled:


There was a reason for being up at this time, (and its lucky that it was a good one because i dont like getting up early, especially on a sunday morning!) We were off to Alton Towers for the day (wheeeee) the first time ive been in 2 or 3 years so i was fairly looking forward to it. So me, my brother, my brothers mate and my girlfriend all piled into my brothers mate car and set off.


We entered the theme park and was sat there for about an hour more waiting for my brothers best mate, (it was his brithday and he invited some other friends) While sitting there enjoying the view of the castle thats situated right in the middle of the park, i came to the conclusion that i was bloddy cold!

Eventually my brothers mate turned up with his girlfriend and brother and we started to walk.

The first ride

This first ride that we went on was only a short walk into congo land, here we went on the ride "runaway mine train" i give it about 7 out of 10 on the scary factor, not a bad ride, fast but comfortable, although like on all rides there were some drops and going through a dark tunnel at whatever speed always does the job!, the queing for the ride wasnt that bad either, only really had to wait for about 10-15 minutes

We had soon covered most of the rides in the park, all the good ones anyway, we were off to the final section of the park, there in this place was the biggy, the crem de la crem of rides, it is simply called Oblivion the worlds first virticle drop, the interesting feature about this ride is that just before you drop, the ride stops and lets you hang over the top for a few seconds and then an omnious voice speaks

Dont Look Down!

But unfortanetly you cant do anything but look down!


The end of the day was approaching we had been on everything just about once, and we came to the water section of the park, ohhh the log flume and rapids, i will only say that we came from that place very happy, and also very very very very wet!

This cautionary tale is being noded by me to help stem the horrible tide of sandwich topping co-mingling that is costing patrons of Subway restaurants their very basic rights and freedoms as consumers. I, googol, am a man of very refined tastes. I have also have a pathological hatred of raw green pepper. Cook them and were all friends. Raw, however is a different kettle of fish, or peppers as it were. As per my usual ritual, I head out from my protective cube-like work place in search of food at lunch, that most sacred of breaks. This particular day, I decide that Subway will be the beneficiary of my $8.04 Canadian (thats 1 blue bill, a toonie, a loonie and 4 pennies for y'all Amer'cans) The graceful dance of customer and Sandwich Artist begins: googol: I'll have a footlong turkey on Italian.

Sandwich "Artiste": uh... ok

The bread is prepared, the turkey is liberally applied.
"This lunch will be most satisfying" I predict smugly, contrary to Fates plan.
Now the pivitol question, the ultimate confidence between consumer and company, is asked:

Sandwich "Artiste": Wha you want on dis?

This is where it all falls apart.

googol: Lettuce only please.

Note the polite request, the delicate delivery and the acknowledgment of the Artiste's bond to me as a part of the fellowship of man.
The rest of the story makes me dizzy to recollect. Instead I present a detailed breakdown of the eventual contents of my sandwich:

Lettuce, turkey, italian bread = what I asked for.
1/2 of a hot pepper, 4 pieces of onion, 2 semi circles of black olive, a copious amount of black pepper and

7 big chunks of green pepper. Raw. Mocking me.

After this horrible dissection was concluded and the office looked like a carnivore's worst nightmare, I ate the damn sandwich. It was rich with the taint of the offending particles. I didn't care for it.

Now, seeing as I was traumatised, I set about discovering how all this extra particulate matter entered my unsuspecting sandwich. I set up covert observation post (3rd booth on the left of the door) and watched the "Artiste" practice his obscene art. Cuts bread. moves bread. Applies topping. Sweeps bread over to wrap... wraps up... wait.

Thats not right.

I observe the "sweep" closely. The movement of the bread from the board to the wrapping paper brushes all the toppings that have fallen out of the sandwich directly into the lettuce. Further observation shows the lettuce to be thoroughly contaminated. I leave in disgust, at least pacified to finally know the truth.
So beware my fellow Everythingians: Peppers lurk among the lettuce.
Scene 1: Peter's bitch Romanian Manager has a go at him for not knowing what a Wire payment form looks like.

Scene 2: Peter fights back, stating that he can't possibly know everything about his job in the space of 2 days, and that his bitch Romanian Manager needs to ease up on him, or get herself someone more experienced! Threat completed, Peter sits back in his chair pleased.

Scene 3: Peter outside Canary Wharf, P45 in hand, sad look on face.

I want to call this day my worst ever, but it just isn't, which just goes to show I have had some fucking shitty days in my time. Quite simply it start badly and got progressivly worse.

Didn't get into my 2 day old job in London's Docklands until noon due to the worst train delays I have ever experienced.......EVER! Then I had to get a security pass, but I was told to go to the wrong building........4 times! Ended up shouting out FUCK! twice on pavement due to anger, surrounding public not impressed.

Bitch Romanian Manager expected me to know 99% of my job in the 2 days I have had it. Fired at 5:30pm. Had to stand on train all the way home, due to busyness caused by morning's problems. Have to go on dole, find another job, fund car restoration, combat depression.

26/3/2002 Update- Okay, just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, my girlfriend dumped me this morning, I wonder if there's a scale of depression?

So yesterday it was bright and sun-shiny and quite lovely, and i had a fantastic case of writer's block, as is my wont, and i had use of my mother's car. so i leapt up, took my books in hand and scampered out the door and up the steps to the driveway, where my mother's car was blocking the landlady's, who incidentally was about to pull out. so i did a little jump up the steps, tripped over nothing and went full speed into the pavement.

i fell on my hands and knees, now isn't that an image - i skinned both of my knees for the first time in 10 years or more, got a nice bit of road rash on my right palm, but my left.

oh, my poor left palm, you are so scratched. you are missing bits of flesh and you have dirt in you. Oh palm, who art getting infected and who oozes pus like the great grand mississippi. how does one spell pus-sy? i do not know.

I went inside and took a full twenty minutes to clean myself up, and I obviously did not do a very good job, since it's now infected. There is pus everywhere. It soaks through band-aids. It hurts to write. :(

Damn this snow. I thought it was spring, yet Mother Nature decided to turn on the lake effect snow machine for another day. Just driving in today, I passed by several cars that skidded off the freeway. I got let go from work at 4:15 because my boss knew that I would have a slow drive home.

Driving home was almost identical to driving in: cars sliding all over the place and oriented in strange positions either in the median or off to the side. I paid a visit to my mechanic because he was supposed to have some stuff ready for me, but he didn't have time to do so because he recieved a tow truck to work on. He was also waiting on another truck to be hauled in on a flatbed. From what I was told, the truck wiped out on the interstate and needed to be towed in for inspection and repairs.

Came home and was exhausted from being out on the road and being up all day. Last thing on my mind is to be in bed, all covered up and sound asleep.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.