Four days in Ann Arbor.
ALONE.

Well, not really alone. I went down there on Wednesday night after my mom got home from work, which means we drove through GR in the middle of rush hour. We took separate cars because I planned to stay for the weekend while mom was only going to stay one night and attend the Orientation activities on Thursday for U of M. It is damn hard to stay behind the same car while dealing with merging traffic on both the right and the left while going seventy five mph.

I got sick of going slow, and eventually took the lead once we got past Brighton. Of course mom lagged behind and got lost. I pulled off to the side of the road and waited for her to catch up. The only problem was that it was dark – I couldn’t tell which car was hers. So I pulled back out into the road and drove slowly until I was sure she must have found me by then. It was a complicated process.

We made it to Aaron and Nick’s apartment just fine. Mom had her cell phone and had called there when she got lost, so she knew where she was going. We all went out to Mongolian Barbeque for dinner, which was as crowded as any place I’ve ever seen. Nick got a bowl full of spices and brought it up to the grill, pretending like he intended to eat it. The guy with the big sticks gave him an impressed look and announced to everyone that Nick was a real man. No, that didn’t really happen. But the guy did say the following word: ”Wow.”

Mom and I took off for the hotel after dinner. I went to bed pretty quick in order to wake up ready to walk around campus for eight hours. The night was uneventful.

Campus Day, as the informational event of the day was called, was rather dull. Learning all the history of the campus is cool and all, but not when we have to wander around in a huge tourist group carrying bright yellow Welcome to the University of Michigan! folders. We walked from the Union over to Alice Lloyd and then back again within the course of two hours or so. We also sat through several speeches and Q&A sessions. I skipped the part where we were supposed to sit in on “actual, live U of M classes” and went to Wendy’s for some Dr Pepper. Mom and I found our way back to the Maynard parking thing and drove back to the hotel to pick up my car. She then followed me all the way back down State St. to Aaron and Nick’s place. I gave her directions to Main Street from there, and told her to look for some Business 23 signs as soon as she got far enough along.

I stayed at my boyfriend’s apartment for the remainder of the weekend and spent the time sleeping, eating, partying, and being extremely cold. I can’t recall what happened during the rest of Thursday. Friday was a blur of activity, most of which involed convincing a drunken mexican that there were no such things as moose. He didn't believe us at first, but eventually admitted he has suspeced they weren't real. I asked if he believed in reindeer, and he got offended -- "Of course not! Everyone knows there's no reindeer," Jaoquin said. I told him that the Yak had been invented for a Jim Carrey movie, which he accepted immediately. "Who would call an animal 'Yak'? That's some crazy white bullshit," he calmly stated.

Saturday was exciting. Aaron’s band had a gig at the famous Beer and Booty Bonanza on McKinley Street. There was also the celebrated annual Beer Pong tournament taking place at seven that evening. The group seated first was none other than Brother & Wonks, Jake and Shithouse, the champions of Beer Pong last year. “Brother” Jake plays guitar for Greysoul, the band Aaron is in, so we were obligated to be spectators for the evening.

Aaron, Nate, Jaoquin, Jake, and Brian set up their equipment in a sad excuse of a garage. While Wonks had gone out in search of extension cords, it started snowing. It was damn cold. I had three coats on but eventually had to abandon by place of support and run downstairs inside the house to observe several illegal activities taking place. But at least it was warm.

I met up with Ben, a good friend of Aaron’s. We hung out while the band was off doing its thing and cheered for our favorite teams. Aaron came and found me to say the police had showed up after the first band finished their first song. So the music was cancelled. We camped out in the basement with an occasional trip outside for a refill. I was being the only responsible one of the twelve of us – no beer nor booty for kaytay.

Jake and Wonks ended up winning the entire tournament for the second year in a row. They were both drunk off their asses before even starting, and continued to drink after winning. I can only wonder where all the liquid is stored inside those two. Granted, they’re both rather large people (Wonks is easily 300lbs+), no human bladder or stomach is able to contain so many gallons of alcohol.

The police showed up a second time. I told Aaron I would wait outside for him to round up the rest of the boys so we could be on our way to bigger and better events. He said he’d be back in a few minutes. I waited outside – in the snow – for at least half an hour. I made a lot of new friends, however, most asking after my health and wellbeing after noticing my chattering teeth and shaking limbs. But unfortunately, I was too stubborn to go back inside and look for my loving boyfriend. I sent six or seven of my well-wishers inside to find him, but only three returned, all saying he was nowhere to be found. I must give props to “The Doctor” for keeping me company most of the time I spent outside. He was not dressed for the weather, and yet he sacrificed his comfort in order to make me smile.

Aaron eventually showed up. It was super crowded inside, and the rest of the guys had been up in the attic getting into mischief away from prying eyes. Aaron got pulled into it and forgot about his girlfriend waiting out in the cold. Or something along those lines.

The weekend was okay overall. I got a lot of homework done while Aaron was out, and watched Arlington Road for the first time. Definitely a worthwhile weekend. But I’m glad to be home.

The music plays Ani in syncopated beats as my mind considers where I find myself. I'm sitting in an apartment whose rent is as much as my mother made in a month. She sacrificed everything for me, and I had no idea until years later.

My childs breath warms my foot while cats lay sleeping on stereo and floor. A mile west jannie sits beside her love. Northwest of her my oldest friend sits at his computer contemplating what he has done. His girlfriends broken heart lies on his couch. Maybe six miles to the northwest my boyfriend lies recovering from jannies cold. I have seen him maybe twice in the past month and wonder what is to become of us.

Again I turn my thoughts westward and follow them to New York. One girl rides a train home and draws with colored pens in a pad of childlike dreams. I smile as I think of her and let my mind head west again. Karen in there and I don't know what to say. She was the love of my life. I would have married her in a second, without hesitation or thought, but now she is someone else, someone who pushed me away for reasons known only to her.

West again through darkened air Michigan approaches and a friend who sweetly stole my heart lies with her fiance worrying about money and hoping the world will somehow work out for them. I head south to Indiana, and see my sister. I sit beside her and try to let her know I love her, and lend her the strength to sleep, and not worry quite so much. Her boy, my boy, is in his house tonight. I feel myself touch down on his roof but I do not enter. He is ok, but needs to learn the next part on his own.

West again, and north, into the Los Angeles suburbs. I used to play cards with this boy and his wife. Their house was welcoming, and so were their hearts. I miss you zak. I don't know quite what you became to me, but you are friend and I will always think of you even in the months between our words.

I have reached the other coast and the sunlight can still be seen over the horizon. I miss these sunsets. They were the best thing about California, sunsets, and the Birds of Paradise that grew outside our window.

My father sits alone in his Miami condo like me in my Boston apartment, one reading, one writing.

I feel selfish to wish I could share this bed when the world has already given me so much.


to those of you i didn't mention: don't worry. you're in there. I just didn't write everyone.

Nothing to do today.  Yay!  Time to lie in bed to avoid being sore from Saturday's fencing competition.

Bowling at night, should be nifty as we're bowling the blind.  Woooooo, scaaaary!

Afterwards, watching my tape of Monday Night RAW, which should be tres interesting since WWF just bought out WCW.

Mondays RULE.

I died last week, I think. Some of me did.

You bend and you bend and you bend and eventually you break. Eventually you get weak, and you shatter, and you fall.

It is at that point where time stops, the world goes away, and the attention of the gods is only for you. It is a sacred place.

Only in these places can true change be made. Some people build and bind these circles, some people can visit what is holy to them, whenever they want.

Others have to break.

...

I died last week. I stopped fighting back, and I bent, and I broke. I saw only cardboard skies, and masked pedestrians. Music felt empty in my ears, and I had no love for stories, or passion to tell them.

Yesterday, I tried to wash all the flesh away, and blind myself with chemical passion.

Somewhere in all the dead skin, I found something real.

...

Today, I was alive. My nerves burned with every touch, and my eyes saw a little more colour, a little more beauty in the city streets under the night.

I hope my melodramatic writing is somewhat excused.

There is a story interrupted, one that needs resolution. I have Kenza’s permission.

The city whispers in my ear, and calls me close. I need to sleep in Toronto’s arms, and see her smile again.
Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream

I felt, for the first time, in so long. Sadness, Concern, Happiness, Yearning, Joy. All coming back, there was something missing all that time, and I finally noticed now.

The usual happened, wake up, go to church, etc. And I'm on my way out the door, the phone rings. It's a girl, with a problem. Frantic. People all around me interrogating as to who is on the end and she's talking, but it's not talking in the normal sense, she's just dropping words as quickly as she can, out of order, flying all over the place.

Inside my head there's so much going on, her words fall to the floor. I felt so hollow, a lump in my throat rapidly forming, and I try to piece the phrase together, I needed to stop the chaos all around me. "I've gotta go, sorry." But the frantic dropping of words like a hailstorm pelting against the glass of a car's windshield could not cease. I dropped the phone, thinking it would disconnect my head from all of it. The words began bouncing around my mind, I was trying to piece together what was being said, and I managed to figure it out to an extent. Somebody was having a problem, and I did nothing but leave them with a simple mechanical click.

I felt like shit. I was sitting in the back of my family's Blazer, on a trip out to Best Buy to pick up some CDs, maybe a movie or two. How utterly meaningless, when there was someone with a real problem needing to be dealt with. Unfortunatley there was no real way for me to not go, I was already committed to the day's commercialism.

That's all when I noticed it, I had began to feel again, and I haven't for so long, but since a few days ago I have, I don't know why, but I've got some pretty good ideas.

I eventually talked to her and helped her to an extent, I felt really bad about letting someone down though, just this horrible sinking feeling. You get the good with the bad.

goodness gracious, i drank too much

No, not tonight. Not even last night. This was two nights ago, and I just now feel human again. I haven't drank that much since spring break in college, during a South Padre Island trip.

I guess it didn't help matters that I was going fine with cuba libres, but then switched to strong brew.

It was a great night, I heard our director of QA's band...she was the vocalist. Not only that, but she was wearing a great outfit. Yowzer!

And, I met this nice woman from Dallas. She works at an Exodus facility there, which is funny because that is where my company has their stuff co-located (not in Dallas, the one in Waltham).

Anyhew, here comes another week!

around 3:00 am EST

It Kara's 16th birthday today. I got her The Doors self-titled cd for a gift. And I plan on baking her a cake after I get some sleep.

But thats not what i'm thinking about. Regrettably I'm too sad right now to be happy for her. You know if I hadn't gotten kicked out of school I could be there, at the apartment sleeping near someone I truly love. Instead I'm stuck here, a mere 20 or 30 miles away, unable to sleep, because without a car I'm incarcerated when the bus isn't running. I spoke to her earlier, the one I love, she seemed distant, and was not as talkative as she used to be. She's probably mad at me like every other female in my life.

One good thing to note, I got some writing done, for the first time in a couple months. I don't think it is that good, and I haven't finished it. I guess I need to wait for my muse to shit on my head again. well, here it is:

Dead hands still grasp the hilt of a broken sword. The sword, though broken, glistens crimson in the fading sun, a faint remembrance of its past beauty. He looks a stout fellow, stern of countenance, and sterner of build. Though clothed in the garb of a common thug he appears noble, a veritable king of the dead. Scattered bones of vanquished enemies surround the body, which remains unblemished after all these long years. He lays here, amongst the remains of his foes for he pushed away his companions and took the road alone.
thats all i've got so far.. please /msg me with any comments/suggestions.
Once again, I find myself here, by the computer, alone in the dark. With the halogen light off, and no one in the house awake, I find myself listening to the slight hum of the hard drive working, with the constant tapping of the keys. Of course the best way to stop would be to sleep, but again, thats something out of my control.

I guess, like any other day, my day started at midnight. And once again, it starts with a phone call. Ring my phone says. I pick up and say Moshi Moshi and chat for a few hours. Either my senility is getting to me or my lingering depression is hitting me as even female voices are beginning to infuriate me as well. Constant small talk, no content. Sounds like my brain when I'm asleep. Little voices, like gnomes, working in the garden, bickering like married couples about absolutely nothing important. But somehow, I still feel solace in helping a lady friend in need. But my sleep is dwindling as we speak. I always thought to myself that I should speak no words so I can tell no lie, yet I can't help myself. I'm lying to a person so dear to me, yet I can't stop. One of these days, my subconscious will kick the stuffing out of my conscious mind.

Again, I feel the concern my friends feel for me. They fear that I have gone over the edge. Self destructive. Suicidal. Maybe I am, but something time will tell. The human spirit toils with trials and tribulations. My spirit is willing yet the flesh is weak. When I can move my feet, my spirit leaves me for a destination far away, where even I can find it. How uncouth. While I long to be able to express my gratitude to my friends, I see no way to show it. Maybe I've been in the light too long. Maybe its not my brain that has burned out. Maybe its my eyes, as it feels like I can no longer see. Or maybe I've grown up, and I'm just not willing to admit it. It makes me want to cry, it makes me want to die. It makes me want to glide into the abyss. I try to sleep, but my body betrays my mind. I stay awake into the morning, sobbing quietly. I guess I should do it more often. Maybe my own sniveling has made my body have pity on my mind.

I awoke to the sweating of my brow. Another nightmare. I'm good. Four days in a row. God must have blessed me to have gone through this much turmoil. Off to work

Work becomes a plethora of eye candy and a medium for the adverse effects of lack of sleep. Off to home.

Home becomes a 8 letter word: Computer. I live and breathe my computer now, almost a routine. I reach down, place my headset on my ear, and talk to people on the phone while they are online at the same time. How sad. I've been so needy that I need to hear their voice and digital self. What hurts is that they don't say anything much interesting. Maybe they have found out that I am better online because they don't have to hear my squeaky voice or contradicting tone. Its the best thing for one's morale. You should try it one of these days.

Out for bubble tea with a lady friend. Lovely lady, with gracious personality. Its nice to have an opportunity to hang out with someone lovely and interesting once in a while. While comments about my physiological obesity hurts my feelings, I guess I have to take it with the whole package. I rather have the ribbon on the present rather than to see the package through the store window. How sad.

Then off to the arcade with MrFurious. Typical evening, with thrills, chills and spills. Except I drove this time.

This leads up to now. I always knew that everything wasn't supposed to be easy. I knew that karma existed. But I never understood why I work so hard and all I get is gratitude and I'm supposed to be happy about it. Again, I try to speak no words and tell no lies.

I seek to find solitude in the darkness, where everything is uniform. I seek to be the shadow, so that if the object was to fall, I would come back into the darkness, waiting for the next object to come. I seek to hide from the light, the light that blinds us, not allowing us to see the truth. While darkness is cold, I rather freeze in peace than die with the fury of the heavens.

12:34

Our Most Interesting Weekend: I played BattleTech with my sister. The scenario was quite interesting: I took a city map, we filled it with Lego buildings and stuff, used only beginner-level rules and improvised all "hard" rules like vehicle movement. We had a lot fun, especially about the "Old McDonald and His Unarmed Tractor" (25 MP... I wonder if we give the old man a WorkMech next time?)

(And the Nov13 writeup behind "Old McDonald", by ojnk, reproduced here in case some editor feels like nuking it, says "He had a farm. E I E I O. And on that farm, he had a cow and chicken, pjg, and giant robots bent on world domination." Look at the latter part. This has GOT to be the weirdest coincidence I've had recently... =)

Apart of that, nothing weird happened.

Just woke up (the programming environment course is over, thank God, no need to get up at seven until next September =) and need to face the challenges of the day.

20:42

Not much happened: I went to the town. Came back. Did nothing important.

Looking at my piece of blue Node Heaven:

Does anyone know whose bright idea was to nuke Everything Quest 6 (the "scrapbook" quest)? And is it summarized, if so, where?

Looks like I had one DMan'ed writeup there that also has been nuked. ("All Linux Users Are Gay" had some thoughts about Usenet trolls who invoked homophobia to scare people; DMan noticed it one beautiful day, babbled about Linux users in general, and that caught the attention of general public. Oh boy. =/)

00:53

I had 911 writeups earlier today. I think I need to seek help. (Some say I should have done that when I had 112 writeups. =)

Okay, old jokes aside...

Some Schrödinger stuff: I can vote, but I don't know the rep of writeup before I vote. The question is: How do I know if Mozilla has a form handling bug?

An awful lot of new writeups from me today... =/

Bleah. Need to go to sleep...

3:15am

projectless, i pace distractedly,
what to do? what to do?

options:

1) sit down and learn how to code ASP
2) work on company website
3) squeeze out another few minute of audio for a cd
4) remaster existing audio
5) work on rom component of said cd
6) get a coffee

off to the vending machine i go to get a hot can of coffee (this stuff is great)
return
drink/smoke

3:30am

projectless, i pace distractedly,
what to do? what to do?

options:

1) sit down and learn how to code ASP
2) work on company web-site
3) squeeze out another few minute of audio for a cd
4) remaster existing audio
5) work on rom component of said cd
6) go up-stairs and grab a video to watch

up-stairs i go
"the ninth gate" - j. depp
return
sit/eat/drink/smoke

5:30am
projectless, i pace distractedly,
what to do? what to do?

options:

1) sit down and learn how to code ASP
2) work on company web-site
3) squeeze out another few minute of audio for a cd
4) remaster existing audio
5) work on rom component of said cd

power on
booting...
booting...
samples (script variety)
bah!
hmmm, i wonder what asp files sound like as waves?
wham
bah!

6:15am
projectless, i pace distractedly,
what to do? what to do?

options:

1) work on company web-site
2) squeeze out another few minute of audio for a cd
3) remaster existing audio
4) work on rom component of said cd

sequencer loaded
samples selected
sequenced
bah! sucks!
delete

7:30am
projectless, i pace distractedly,
what to do? what to do?

options:

1) work on company web-site
2) remaster existing audio
3) work on rom component of said cd

sounds the way i want it to now
but what if i do.....
bah!
how about....
bah!

9:00am
projectless, i pace distractedly,
what to do? what to do?

options:

1) work on company web-site
2) work on rom component of said cd

optimize unessentual animation
what? its even bigger now?
how can that be?
delete

10:00am
go to work
Much better today. My backache/neckache. I am really really looking forward to seeing the musculoskeletal specialist tomorrow. I am hoping he will tell me that I have a problem (which I do) and give it a name (yay!) and tell me the cause (work-related). The next step is that he will tell me that it is curable and not just manageable. PLEASE.

Somehow I managed to do mandibular first permanent molar extractions today for 3 patients. It's one of those times when you look for reasons why coincidences occur. I guess it adds a sense of awe to the sprinkling of indeterminancy in our lives.


An update on Mr. Inflammatory Internal Resorption - another dentist took a look at the x-ray of his tooth, which I have described as a bomb-having-exploded-in-it (Day Log March 21, 2001). Yes, Rx = prolonged root canal treatment with about a 10% chance of survival for the tooth.

The alternative Rx for an upper central incisor?
1. A partial denture. No one relishes the thought of having removable teeth for the night time...
2. A 3 Unit immediate bridge. "Immediate" means that the bridge is put in at the same time the tooth is extracted. Actually this is a temporary bridge that he wears for at least 6 weeks before the final impression for the 3 Unit bridge. Gotta wait until the gums have finished shrinking sufficiently.
3. An implant. Yes, a screw in place of the missing tooth. A crown is then placed on the screw to replace the coronal tooth. Treatment period is at least 5 months, while we wait for osseointegration of the titanium screw to the bone before loading it with a functional crown.

He chose the 3 unit bridge, which means the teeth on either side of the space gets crowned. It's OK because they aren't virgin teeth. They have existing fillings.

Well, it's been for-freaking-ever since I noded much of anything here. I stumbled back into e2 about a week ago, just to look up some information on MDMA, and like the node-junkie that I am, I've taken up the noding habit again. As though I really had enough free time for this... ^_^

A few days ago, I met a girl who went to my elementary school back in Colorado. It just boggles my mind that I could end up sitting beside someone in philosophy class who went to the same school I did, 10 years ago and in another state! She turned out pretty cool, a little freaky, but still cute. So we talked about how things have been, and how she wants to go back, then we watched The Shining and smoked weed. (that's a pretty creepy movie when you're stoned...)

I spent a few hours yesterday theming (yes, I'm a hopeless theme geek what's your point) WindowMaker and gtk to look like MacOS X, with the graphite theme (aqua is just too bright, even for me). Then my roommate (the microserf) came in and told me it looked like a ripoff of Whistler (aka Windows XP). Grrr!
What the fuck happened to me last night?

7:30 Wake up as a result of sunlight pouring in through my slightly cracked blinds. Realize I am very hungry. I don't want to eat, both because my roommate is asleep, and because I don't want to move. Is it really Monday? Do I actually have to go to class? Proceed to fall asleep and wake up intermittently, having vivid dreams in between of visiting a friend of mine, who has moved in with his girlfriend in a mobile home in the middle of the forest.

8:30 Drag myself out of bed, remembering that today is the deadline for a very important scholarship renewal application, and go to my computer to e-mail my mother and remind her to fax it in. Sit down at my computer, and realize that I now feel bloated. I am also completely out of energy. New mail. Turns out my mom already sent it in, and managed to email me by 7:10 this morning. I will not be able to stay awake in my 9:00 class like this. I slowly go through the motions of collecting the requisite materials for taking a shower.

. 8:43 I've been in the shower for a few minutes, and already discovered that hot water is not doing anything for me. Cold water does not seem nearly as cold as usual. Breathing is more difficult than usual. It feels like my airways have been constricted. Just as I'm looking at my watch to take note of the time, someone turns on the radio in the shower room (which contains exactly two usable showers, and a little broken chair for one person to wait in). Violent imagery of myself smashing the radio to bits immediatly ensues. I don't know what station it is, but I cannot fucking stand the radio, let alone the stations in this town, let alone the absolute shit that people who listen to the radio in the shower in this building seem to enjoy.

8:46 I notice that I'm looking at my watch even more frequently than normal, when I suddenly make out the tune of the newest McDonald's commercial above the white noise. With no better way to vent my rage, I jump up and down a few times, stamping my feet on the ground as loud as possible, and then start shivering. I slowly drag my hands over the skin on my face, then stare in horror at the bleak walls of the tiny room I've enclosed myself in.

8:48 I turn off the shower and grab my towel, and hear a local used car dealer who's been doing commercials in this town as far back as my memory goes. Holding my towel up to my face, I moan a few times. I am seriously considering grabbing the radio, running outside wearing just a towel, and throwing the radio as hard as I can into the side of one of the nearby buildings. Even thinking of it now... what unimaginable relief that would bring. But I hear the other person get out of the shower, so I stay inside mine until the coast is clear, at which time I make a mad dash for my room, stopping briefly to hurl my room key at the floor.

I keep wanting to throw things that I pick up. I smacked my head into the door of the bathroom stall several times when I was in there 15 minutes ago. Listening to Pantera and slowly munching on crackers is making me feel a little bit better. I have never been a violent person, and I have no reason to be now, but this is the only adjective I can apply to myself. I just hope my roommate doesn't come back right after he gets out of his 9:00 class. Just sitting here, I'm shivering and glancing around as if I'm completely strung out.

I had a nice weekend.

My family wasn't home so I had the house to myself the whole time. They took all the cars so I couldn't drive myself anywhere, I had to solicit rides to work and home which was lame. I can't wait until I get my own car.

I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights so I had to do things during the day. I slept all day saturday and then my friend pingponglee came over after I worked and spent the night. We watched a movie and enjoyed the serenity of my house. Aaron called me, which was surprising because I didn't think I would hear from him again. We talked about having sex once, but I of course backed out because that kind of behavior isn't up to my moral standards. He wanted to come over, but since I had company, I wouldn't let him.

Sunday I went to the beach, and I was the only one out of my friends that did not get sunburned. I love the beach and the sun, which makes me sad about leaving San Diego later this year. Oh well. I worked and then convinced Jesse to take me home, I only asked because I had no other choice. He stayed for a little while and we watched Fight Club and stuff like that. Then I kicked him out and my friend CASweetAngel came over and spent the night. I tried to take full advantage of my parents not being home, by having girls spend the night? Gees. Well it's not like I could have Jesse spend the night, although he does still owe me a nap....

(By the way, I've decided to talk about Jesse still when I see fit. It's not like I'm going into much detail and if he decided that he doesn't want to talk to me just because I mention that he still talks to me then he obviously doesn't want to be friends with me that much anyway, and he can go fuck himself)

0730 - Got up.

0745 - Breakfast. Blueberry Bagel and Apple Juice.

0815 - Saw off my father (a truck driver) for his next 3-week run.

0830 - Arrive at work.

0831 - Fuck this.

...maybe this day-timer structure works for some noders, but I can't handle it. Too trite for me. I need flow and verse. For those of you who have complained about my day-logs, I have to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, blow me.

Anyway, I get to work today, as usual. I hate Mondays, even moreso now then when I was in public schooling. My brain just finished decompressing from the Friday before, and not I have to rev everything back up again for another 5 days. I should really look into flex time, but I somehow doubt I'm valuable enough yet to be granted anything of the sort.

Winners never quit, quitters never win. But if you never win and never quit...

I just don't have the passion for my work until sometime in the middle of the week. It's a pity, too, because I want to do work, but the inspiration hasn't hit me. So I sit here and node. And play LORD.

I'm having a hard time comming to grips with the fact that I might actually be good at something. That I'm actually competent in something that someone else cares about. Both at my day job and here.

I wrote a boring writeup this morning. It was just some numbers and facts to go along with them and wasn't really special. I expected some XP, but I didn't really care. I was just bored.

And then someone C!'ed it. I don't know why, but as soon ass Cool Man Eddie messaged me, I wanted to write back the the person responsible and scream "Why the hell did you waste a Ching! on that load of rubbish? What is wrong with you?" I didn't do it, but I wanted to. I feel better about it now, though, and I'm grateful for it (thanks -- you know who you are). I'm a messed up individual -- I was disapointed that I did get C!'ed. Wow. I feel like I should put on a tutleneck sweater and a baret and go discuss dada over some overpriced bolivian coffee.

Wow. Now I'm grep'ing the 2.4.0 kernel tree for dirty words.

A couple of things have crossed my mind today

I was quite amused, some kid on the bus claimed to me that i had a boring life, I made a few comments on friday, he twisted what I said "so you fucked a toilet cos you couldn't get a girl on your 18th birthday", what was more interesting is that he wasn't showing off to any of his mates. It was as if my presence was somehow offending him, it was unprovoked, I didn't do or say anything to him. After this attack on my life, I was quite nice to him (I wonder what goes through his mind).

I wrote a rather offensive email while drunk on that same Friday to someone I have known for a while, and have grown to dislike. I simply told him why I don't like him, and his friend. What was interesting was that they both completely misinterpreted what I was saying, which meant that they didn't get the point I was getting accross and even seemed to ignore the very obvious parts of it. Their conclusion was that i was a geek with no life.

The guy who recieved the email is much better than others, but that day, he provoked me with his bullshit.

On reflection it would seem that a lot of people think I don't have a life. I know the person from the third paragraph quite well and know what he does, which is do the same thing, week after week. Isn't that against the meaning of life?

Any /msg's of comments or nodes that I might find helpful would be nice. This is the rant of my mind

So today I go to the gastro entomologist to have a Sigmoidoscopy done to figure out why I bleed when I poo.

The preperation for this included chugging a bottle of Citroma and giving myself two enemas. I did not have a good weekend.

So I'm at the doctor's office, and he's lubing my escape hatch to put the camera in when he pulls his finger out and says "You have hemoroids. See the blood?"

My immediate feeling was "I don't have to have the butt cam!!"

I was wrong, he did it anyway. Through the whole deal (which lasted about 5 minutes) he and his nurse are discussing their children. My only thought was "can we focus on the camera in my ass?!"

At least it wasn't the ass cancer.

Last week was my 22nd birthday. The cards and kind words from my family are a little slow coming in. That's understandable because of all the illness in my family as of late.

One grandmother with a broken back, two great aunts with cancer, one of them needing a hip replacement to boot, and my mother with a torn ligament in her arm.

Today I got a card from my healthy grandmother with two $10 bills inside. To me, this means gramma was thinking ahead, and only two words come into mind after that.

Beer money.

Everyone else sent me a check meaning I'd have to swing by the bank, deposit the check, and get some cash before I could commence drinking. Grandma was smart enough to just hit the cash so I could go straight to the bar.

I love my grandma.

The limitations of AIM

I hurt someone Friday without meaning to. I'm not sure exactly what I did. I can only guess. My guess is that I didn't acknowledge him when he came online. I didn't notice him there because I had my speakers turned off so no AIM buddy door open sound was heard. I was engrossed in reading an article and didn't see his name pop up on my buddy list. My guess is that I hurt him by not appearing to care enough to greet him. I have felt this myself at times when others don't greet me, so I feel I could be projecting myself and my own experiences onto how he feels. Usually when I feel this way, it disappears the moment I realize that they may be doing other things. For me it's more that I get a feeling that I'm not worth caring about. It's how I view myself at times. It's a feeling that I forcibly shake off. It's not that they don't care, because they do. I know that.

I feel bad that I hurt my online buddy. I did it inadvertantly. It's a limitation of written communication, a confinement of AIM. He can't SEE the regret in my eyes. He can't hear the care in my voice. He can't even feel the touch of my hand that I want to reach out to him. It's not the same as face to face conversation. He can only see my words, which are shoddy at best. It's taken me three days of reworking this and still I stumble. I can't make him see with these keystrokes what the nuances on my face would show him in an instant. I do care. I care about all of my online friends. I've been told that they are not "real" friends by those that believe the computer is bad. BAH! I tell them. Penpals are not real friends either by those standards. They don't understand that you make friends by sharing yourself with others. ALL friends are made that way. But, I see how they could think that because they say you can't hug an online friend. Maybe not, but the feeling is still there.

Misunderstandings abound in the world of AIM. It's a limitation of the system. I am not a mind reader. I'm a face reader. Tell me your feelings since I can't see them. I will do my best to tell you mine. Just pardon me for tripping over the words. FORGIVE the limitations of the system. FORGIVE me.

/me hugs my online friends.

It may not FEEL the same, but the FEELINGS are still there.


I will be honest, I was unsure whether this should be its own node or a personal log, so I asked someone....It was suggested that it needed tweaking, to write less of the personal angle and make it more meta-personal. Then it would be an OK node. A good suggestion to be sure. I tried but it lost all of the feeling I wanted to convey. It became dry and cold. It defeated my purpose. It had no emotion. My frustration with AIM is that it is hard to express emotion. Therefore... I can not cut out the personal.

"Hello?"

"Hi. I'm looking for an EGR valve for an '89 Geo Spectrum. Do you have that model car in your junk yard?"

"Uhmm...." The clickety-clack of a keyboard gives itself away over the receiver. "Yeah... we got three of those. Two '89s and an '87."

"Great... do you think the EGR valves would still be attached to them?"

"Don't see why not."

"Fantastic. How much?"

"Twenty dollars."

"I'll be there as soon as I can. Thanks. Bye."

We get there, look at all three engines and the part that I've memorized on sight doesn't seem to be on any of them. There ARE some pieces that look similar, but I'm not sure.

"How much to take this part and this part, see if they're the right ones and, if they're not, come back tomorrow and get our money back?"

"Thirty-five dollars."

"Deal. Sounds fair. Thanks."

We take both parts and something in my gut, aside from hunger, begins to churn, telling me that neither part is going to work.

We get back to where my car is and, within 30 seconds, my suspicions turn out to be well-founded.

"Fuck! Damn! Shit!" Much cussing will ensue.

I've spent my last dollar on those damn parts and neither one is the right part. I can't work because my car isn't working.

I call a few other "chop shops" around the Nashville area to see if someone else might have what I need. Three places tell me, in no uncertain terms, that when they get cars in they actually throw out the EGR valves because they almost never break down and people almost never come looking for them.

Meanwhile, the car dealership has one on order, for $120, and they tell me that the part is discontinued.

I'm looking at this fucking thing and I have to admit, at some point, that it no longer exists.

I'm going to have to get a new car, all for the want of a non-existant part that's no bigger than a coffee cup. Ain't life grand?

According to information from the City of Oakland, The Matrix II will be filming scenes in downtown Oakland this week. Here are the streets they have requested closed:
- March 25-27: 16th Street between Telegraph Avenue and Clay; San Pablo between 17th and Frank Ogawa Plaza
- March 26: Telegraph between Broadway and 17th
- March 27: Telegraph between 17th and 19th; 17th between San Pablo and Broadway

Additionally, warnings about delays in the Webster Tube to Alameda on March 28 may or may not be related. I'm not going to go to any huge effort to try to check it out--work and all--but all the same, it's pretty cool. And I *am* going to go up to the Point (abandoned naval station) to see if I can spot the "highway" they've built for some big car-crash scenes involving expensive European cars. WHEE! (Who says nothing exciting ever happens in Alameda, eh?) Anyway, I'll report back if I see anything interesting.
I woke up from around 12 hours of sleep finding myself restless in getting up and wanting to stay in bed all day long. I wondered how I had overslept from sleeping earlier than usual. I got online and talked to some friends before I had to go to work. I ended up deciding on skipping work today and just stayed online.

I talked to some online friends and although I was being totally wrong in thinking things were ary and out of context, a friend blew me (someone she has talked to and knows a lot of stuff about) off in calling me with "I'm still scared". This would not affect me so much had we not been talking for so long as we have and being since I am not the type of person who will stalk or even prey upon any of my friends friends. I am a loving and trust-worthy person, or so I would like to think. And maybe I'm wrong in assuming such things, but is it so wrong to talk to someone whom you've been chatting with online about personal things of yours? Is it so wrong to put a voice to the text? Is it so wrong to not understand how one's own reflections of themselves can damage the thoughts and actions of another human being?

Woke up, went to Japanese class. I was very sleepy and not much in the mood to do the conversational stuff. Got together with CR, TC, and JS for lunch at Wendys. I told TC about what happened last night with Sara. She was quite tired today so she didn't ask as much as I hoped she would.

We spent about 3 hours at lunch today, because after lunch, TC, CR, and I went to the mall for a while. TC decided to go shopping for clothes, so we had to wait her out a bit :) What a girl :) After that we went to Barnes and Noble for a short time and finally back to work.

We left work early at about 6pm. I stopped by a liquor store today and purchased Peach Schnapps and Absolut Vodka for some alcoholic beverages. I've never puchased liquor before. It was interesting because it's the first place I've ever seen use something that reads the magnetic stripe on the back of the Florida driver's licenses. I then went to Publix for Orange Juice and a couple other things. I picked up chinese food and went home.

I had some luck with the first drink I mixed. My goal was a Fuzzy Navel. I seen two main types of ingredients, one with vodka and one without. For my first attempt, I mixed about 6 parts OJ to 1 part vodka and 2 parts peach schnapps. It was sort of more bitter than I had expected, but it was ok. The second time I did basically the same thing but left out the vodka and it tasted much better.

I'm feeling kinda sleepy and slightly disconnected, but feeling fairly good. Although I wish Sara were around; I miss her every moment I'm not in contact with her.

I now hate the sound of the Spanish language.

I took Spanish in high school and enjoyed it, and spoke it fairly well for a sheltered little non-Hispanic girl who's never been out of the USA. I have nothing against the people who speak Spanish, or what they say. And until recently I had nothing against the sound of it either, but I realized today that that had been ruined by one person.

There is this bitch who comes into the bookstore where I work, every couple of days, with her damn one-year-old. She allows the child to trash the bottom two shelves of most of the kids' books section. Guess who's department head of the kids' section? Yeah. Guess who has to repeatedly clean up after this monster? Yeah.

So when I hear this lady running after her one-year-old chattering in hushed Spanish that I cannot understand, I wince, I flinch, my blood pressure goes up, and it sucks. I know that shortly I will see kids' books all over the floor, and possibly juice spilled and baby-gummed crackers left all over the table (yes, they do this too, and make no attempt to clean up or apologize). Doesn't this lady think about what she's doing? Our store isn't her daughter's playroom, you would think she wouldn't let the kid destroy the store day after day.

And the weirdest thing about the whole situation is that this lady repeatedly bestows kisses upon her child. Lays the kid on the dirty floor and goes "mwah-mwah-MWAH!" between excited gibbering in Spanish. I was very scared the first time I saw this. Now I just pray for them to leave.

And today, I heard some people talking in Spanish. It sounded remotely like the lady (I found out later it was not her), and immediately upon hearing it, my heart started pounding with annoyance and anger that soon I would be playing maid to a kid I did not birth. Relief washed over me when I saw the source of the Spanish: A different family, in the intermediate readers section, calmly looking at Goosebumps books. I realized then that the Spanish language has been forever ruined for me by a total bitch.

There is a beautiful girl who lives in my residence hall. She and I exchange a greeting every day or two. We bow and say something to the effect of "namas thdei". Up untill today I did not know her name. I only knew her because I usually say hello to people with a bow, it is just one neurosis I happen to have. She did the same and said this strange utterance and politly informed me that that was the Indian way of saying "hello". I saw her in the dining hall today. She was sitting alone and so I asked her if I could sit down. She smiled and said yes. We had a very interesting conversation to say the least. I have come from a completely catholic background, all of my life I have been surrounded by highly religious people. My current life at NYU is really the first time I have been among the majority with the people who are sceptical of organized religion. And so she tells me she was a missionary in India, building orphanages and attempting to convert the people she met there. This astounded me. I was completely off my guard and for the first time in a long time I encountered someone of such a strong religious conviction that I have not tried to "open their eyes". I had this image in my mind of her converting all of these people in india, and how wrong it was for her to impress her delusions on other people. I realized I would be no better to impress my own upon her. She still is beautiful, and I know I'll have to work hard to keep my evangelical atheism to myself. It was just astounding, for strangely enough, I saw myself, my previous life among all those delusional catholics in her resolute beleifs in the midst of the moral decadence of New York, and I could only stop and stand in awe. Spirituality is a leap of faith that I'm not sure I'm capable of taking, and if I'm right it may just be the crutch of the weak, but she did not seem weak. And If I had a penny for each time some evangelical god squad team has told me that I'm afraid of gods love, I would be a rich man. I don't think I'd be helping her, or myself, if I tore into her with all the fury of reason and logic, but I wish I had told her that she probably isn't helping all those poor hindu people with her dogma and doctrine.

I can no longer stand living with my parents. They are making my life miserable and I just want to runaway from them.

I spent to whole day at my grandmothers today just to stay away from them. They have been treating me like shit lately and not allowing me to socialize with my friends. I have not talked to any of my friends today and it's pissing me off. I just wanted to talk to anyone of them and none of them are online when my parents allow me to get online. The fuck with my parents.

My uncle barbequed some meat for me and my cousin today. My uncle and cousin sat for almost 3 hours talking to each other about how my cousin's father would never punish him and how his father would say Son I love you on a consistent basis. I wanted to scream out and say "FATHER I HATE YOU". I listened to them for a while and couldn't take anymore. I walked away and laid down on the levy and cried. I cried for almost 2 hours straight trying to figure out why in hell my father never told me he loved me or showed me any sign of affection and then why nobody has ever shown me any affection or anything of that sort. I want to cry. I walked back down after I had calmed myself. My uncle went to bed shortly after It was about 12:15 and me and my cousin stayed outside around the fire. We talked for almost 5 hours about certain things and smoked 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes between the both of us.

I learned things that I had never known about my cousin last night that I just can't quite believe.sigh... I have to find a someone else I can talk to. I need someone other than family to talk to. Someone that will understand me and what makes me tick and what I feel like. I want someone I can cry on. Someone that I can call late at night when I feel bad and laugh and cry with. Someone that won't turn her back on me when I need her most. God dammit why haven't I found someone like this

Fuck it.

I'll never find someone...boo fuckin hoo

I need to get out of here today. I need to leave my house and get away from these people that call themselves my parents. Fuck I hate them I need to get away from here. Someone take me away.....please.......

The week of March 26, 2001, or: The Pleasure of Being Anonymous

During the week of 3/26/2001, my company sent me on a seven day business trip to Houston, Texas. My travel arrangements were made through my company's travel agency. I never once spoke with the individuals who made the arrangements. I left voicemail, and received email in response. I sent email, and received snail mail in response. I got my tickets and hotel reservations without ever hearing another human being's voice.

On the plane, I had an aisle seat with two strangers sharing the row of seats with me. We did not speak, except for 'excuse me' and 'thank you'. We simply read our books, listened to our personal CD players, and went on our way.

I arrived at the George Bush International Airport in Houston three hours later. Nobody met me at the gate. Nobody gave me a ride out of the airport. I simply got off the plane, got my shit, and got the hell out of the airport. It was the first time that I ever arrived alone in an airport and left alone. It also remains my personal speed record for getting the hell out of an airport after a flight. I did not have to speak once at the airport.

After leaving the airport, I got on a shuttle bus which took me to the rental car service. I didn't say a single word to the driver, and the driver didn't say a single word to me. After I got off the bus and walked into the Budget rental car office, I used my voice for the first time in over four hours to state my name and answer direct questions put to me about the nature of my stay in Houston and my method of payment for the car rental. I paid, got my keys, and left.

I drove to the hotel, in west Houston. Thirty minutes of silence. On check-in, I gave my name, showed my driver's license, and got my key. Payment arrangements had already been made; I didn't even need to show a credit card. I checked into the room, ordered room service, and didn't leave until the next day.

My business in Houston was to attend a training program on a software application which my company uses. As I am the primary maintainer of that application in our shop, I got selected to attend the class. The entire class was a study in the mantra RTFM. Since I had already read the fucking manuals, the class was a time to coast and shape my plan of action for how to use the application better when I returned home. For four days, I did nothing but interact with students and an instructor, living off cafeteria food by day, and room service by night. None of the other students had any prior knowledge of me, nor any expectations about my ability. I said what I wanted, did what I wanted, and learned what I wanted.

Class ended on Friday. I went back to the hotel room and hung out until Sunday afternoon. I didn't even set foot outside the hotel room doorway for nearly two days. On Sunday afternoon, I attended WWF Wrestlemania XVII at the Houston Astrodome. I had a great seat, only seven rows back from the ring. I went by myself. I chatted briefly with my neighbors on the stadium floor. We had a pleasant, relatively intelligent conversation about wrestling, and never even exchanged names. I shouted at the top of my lungs throughout the whole show, and walked out hoarse but satisfied.

I got back to the hotel, crashed for a few hours, and got on the plane the next morning. During my entire time in Houston, I was simply an anonymous consumer. I had no friendships, romantic ties, or family relationships to worry about. I did not say one word about my personal life, or explain one idea that was important to me.

There is a simple pleasure in that; to be able to retreat within myself and simply be anonymous, for days at a time. With enough money and patience, you could keep that game up forever. Just drift from city to city, hotel room to hotel room, restaurant to restaurant. Never share company, never build long-term relationships. Live as though anything which requires prior knowledge or future expectations is not worthwhile. Just coast across the country on a credit card. If you can move fast enough, your life will never catch up with you. The pleasure is that while you're gone, your life is in stasis. When you return, you can pick up exactly where you left off, but everybody else will have moved on, even if they've moved just a little bit. You detach, coast for a while, and reconnect. In the meantime you have experiences that you did not share with anyone, and everybody you know has had experiences which you were not obligated to take part in. Solitary travel is great. It's the ability to just drop underwater and drift on time's current for a few days or weeks, and then resurface at a different point in the same river. You pick up your obligations where you left them, reattach your life where you disconnected it. In the meantime you get a little while to just sort things out and listen to your own counsel. You get a little time to let your mind to unwind back into its original shape, the form it takes before other people and events pull and stretch it to fit a different mold.

Being anonymous means that nobody can change your mind.

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