Some time ago, I decided to build a Linux box and gain some expertise with a real system. I set up Red Hat 7.1, X, the whole works. It got control of the DNS hostname that AT&T had kindly given me as well, so I set up Apache and a mail server, and gave all my friends an account.

Recently, my girlfriend broke up with me.

By then, she'd been using her address @zach.att.com for quite awhile, and all her friends knew it and used it as her primary. My logs said that she was actually responsible for one-fifth of the mail traffic on my server.

I didn't really have the guts to kill the account or change her password, so I contented myself with small revenges. I wrote a daemon which executed wall every 15 seconds:

-- Broadcast message from root (tty1) Nov 16 2002 at 13:51:02 --
Get off my server, you're not wanted here.

-- Broadcast message from root (tty1) Nov 16 2002 at 13:51:17 --
Didn't you hear me? I don't know why you're still here. Leave me the hell alone.

-- Broadcast message from root (tty1) Nov 16 2002 at 13:51:32 --
I slept with your sister.

She kept showing up, though. I recompiled getty so that her account took ten minutes to log in. fortune called her a bitch at every possible opportunity. Her sessions still kept piling up.

A couple days ago, I got desperate. Driven beyond my means; I opened sendmail.

From: angela@zach.att.com
To: <her brand-new rebound boyfriend's address>
Bcc: <her parents>
Subject: I thought you'd like to know

I'm leaving. I hope none of you miss me too much, but I'm not coming back from Devner. I found a job at the airport for the time being, and this is where I'm staying. It's destiny, guys.

Love you all.

She'd really just gone to a journalism seminar in the Rockies for the weekend. Her parents freaked out and drove a third of the way across the country to find her. By some miraculous twist of fate, none of them ever realized that I'd sent the message myself; guess they weren't real hackers, after all. The police wrote it off as a weird prank, and she got paranoid and stopped using my server. I could finally disable my insult robots.

Really, everyone was happy in the end.

Beware cowards, I live!

Sonata is one hell of a worthless medication. Five pills, five hour half live, eight hours of sleep. Bullshit! I didn't even get to talk to God. Shame, i've still got questions for the guy. My dad was feeling all sorry so he asked if I wanted to drive. Small problem: Asking me to drive is like giving a T1 line to a pervert, you know whats going to happen.

So I got into an argument with my father.

"Are you going to do your homework?"

"I dunno, maybe."

"What, is it too hard?"

I shrugged.

"Oh, so you're giving up because it's not easy."

I shrugged.

This continued for a few minutes.

"I think I should come over there and slap you."

"Why don't you? Comon, go ahead."

"I don't want to hit you."

"Well I want to hit you."

Needless to say, a fight ensued with my mom screaming at me to stop and my dad trying to keep me from hitting him in the face. I just wanted him to get out. He wouldn't, so I left. I walked up to Party City and talked to Ben. I got him to let me sleep in his car for a little bit. He talked to me on his break and took me back home. Basically he thinks all i'm doing is setting arbitrary goals and trying to achieve them, such as trying to get into the University of Chicago. Do I really want to go to college? Why do I want to go anyway? What do I really want from life? Well, nothing. I guess thats sort of the problem, nothing in life really interests me so i'm left to find arbitrary goals and to define myself as a success or failure based on the achievement of those goals.

I don't really see a problem with that, though. I mean, setting goals for an arbitrary reason isn't really any different from setting them because you arbitrarily feel some sort of desire or a call from god, as long as you aren't hurting anyone but yourself. I guess the problem is that i've set my goals high enough above me that theres no way for me to feel successful. Furthermore, since my goals are arbitrarily set, i'm always setting my goal higher than what I have, therefore I can never succede.

No, that isn't true. I was all ready to not worry about Yale and Princeton inevitably rejecting me if I got into Chicago. Maybe it's setup that way. Maybe i'd have gotten into Chicago if it would have made me miserable and unhappy.

Life just isn't something I've ever enjoyed, I guess. I'm probably just not suppose to. It's probably the downard spiral of karma or something. My head hurts, and I don't feel like dealing with anything. I think i'll go to sleep.
RE: Mitzi

Hey, how's it going? Sorry you had a fit, but as i've learned that's pretty much par for the course whenever I talk to people. Personally, I don't think I threatened suicide so much as I planned to have a semi-controlled experience whereupon I would either a) hallucinate something freaky b) talk to god. He's a pretty important guy, or so they say, so I have to do something rather fierce to get his attention. As for killing myself, when I get to that point, i'll just fucking do it. I'm a pretty smart guy and it's really not that hard to kill yourself. As a rule, human beings aren't built for wear and tear. The biggest safeguard against it is sheer laziness. People just don't feel like going through the hassle of jumping into traffic and going into the hospital.

Yes, it's true, it's a pretty fucking brutal thing to do. Then again, i'm not really a nice person that is well liked and respected. In fact, i'm pretty callous, and I more or less admit to being a monster. That isn't to say Hitler and Osama are my heroes or anything.

Basically the problem comes down to this, i'm a perfectly sane person who has become extremely disaffected, and quite frankly, I reject my circumstances. I just don't believe that humanity, or most of the people I know, for that matter, are redeemable.

The competition complex: Everyone isn't out to get you, everyone is out to get everyone. How many times were you cut off in traffic today? Ever seen someone laugh at anothers misfortune? I once saw a guy who laughed because he forced an older woman into an accident with an ambulence. I use to think he was the exception to the rule. I've come to believe otherwise.

The superiority complex: We all have it. Why is one college better than another? Essentially society has forced itself into a complex struggle which no one can win. As a result, we all try to present ourselves in some way, shape, or form, as better than our peers. In some cases, this completely devolves into primitivism, such as the social system of the old south, followed by Reconstruction and Jim Crow. Or hey, how about that whole holocaust thing? I don't get how this can cause people to question God but not humanity. Seriously, Hey, humanity, about that whole holocaust thing? Guess what, humanity doesn't have an answer. What am I doing now? Ah, to become what you behold to be evil.

How did I get here, you ask? Do you really want to know why I hate everything? Well, i'll tell you. Nothing personal but I don't feel like giving you the long version. For the most part it isn't any of your business.

The short story is I had the shit beaten out of me every day for about a year because people thought I was a homosexual. Believe it or not, this took place in the fifth grade. Yes, it is absurd. Life is absurd, so i've learned. I dealt with post traumatic stress for the next five or so years, then I dropped out of high school after my first year. From that point forward my life has been pretty much over no matter what I do, at least academically. Once you've dropped out you've dropped out, and it's pretty much that way forever, even if you come back. So here I am. Disaffected and not really here. As far as i'm concerned i've pretty much been dead to everything for the past five years anyway.
Update:

Dear Mr. xxx
The committee on Undergraduate Admission has examined your application for admission to the University of Virginia and has carefully considered your credentials, both academic and extracurricular. I am sorry that we are unable to include you among those selected for the class entering in the fall of 2003.

I can assure you that the Committee members take their responsibilities seriously and have tried to make selections with equity and good judgment. We received nearly 15,000 applications for only 3,040 spaces and the qualify of those applications was extraordinarly high, making the competition intense.

We appreciate the interest you have shown in the University of Virginia and wish you every success in furthering your education.

Yours sincerely,
(signature)
John A. Blackburn
Dean of Admission

--
1. No, they don't wish me every success. Thats what this letter is about.
2. No, they aren't sorry.
3. What they mean by extraordinarily high is: extraordinarly higher than mine.
Christ, and this was suppose to be a safety. My ass. Damn Wahoo's.
Talked to the guy from Chicago and he basically told me that my application just wasn't good enough compared to everyone who applied. I don't really know what to do anymore.
An Open Letter To The One I Have Wronged


Liz, I don't know if you'll ever read this, or if you'll realize it was addressed to you. I can only write this hoping that it will help others who might make mistakes like mine.

Almost four years ago, we met in a driver education classroom. We were the only two students learning stick shift driving, everyone was was learning automatic. I found you attractive, you found me attractive, and we slowly began to flirt during the week long course. We exchanged contact information and left, at the end of our time there.

In short order, you called and asked if I wanted to go to a fair with you, and I agreed. I really didn't care about the fair, but it was fun to be with you. We kissed at the top of the ferris wheel for the first time, for both of us. It was awkward, teeth banging together a bit, but certainly an enjoyable new experience for us. We continued this all of the way home while your mother drove. I was paranoid about the fact that she might realize what was happening behing her, but then realized she knew and didn't care.

In the following month, I visited you at your home several times, we snuck off into the woods and continued kissing. However, the whole time in the back of my head, a little voice was screaming that this was too good to be true. I couldn't possibly deserve someone like you, and that this shouldn't continue. A short while later, you injured your ankle playing basketball. You called me, we talked, and I proceeded to say stupid things, including refusing to come to your school's homecoming dance.

Truthfully, I was scared shitless. I didn't know what was happening, I was probably too immature to be in a relationship at all, despite being 16. I bullshitted explanation after explanation regarding why I couldn't go, and I know I wounded you deeply. You wanted support, someone to lean on, as you had just injured yourself off a sports team you cared about, and you wanted me to go with you to a dance, to have fun and meet your friends. Instead, I threw it all away. I proceeded to childishly run away from you, and haven't contacted you since then.

I want to apologize, however late it is, for all that I've done. Though I did not deserve you, that didn't stop you from wanting to be with me. I proved myself right, such as it was, by throwing you away, something I regret to this day. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. If you never want to speak to me again, I can understand, but I at least want you to read this apology. I'm so very sorry for hurting you.
This was originally a node of it's own, but I was informed it should be a daylog

Pure Gold

That's how I described it to her. I had told some joke and she thought it was quite lame. Perhaps I was feeling defensive, or perhaps it had just dawned on me, myself, but whatever the cause I launched into an explanation of why I tell so many jokes. Why I'm always trying to entertain.

Earlier in the evening the cocktail waitress came over and asked if anyone needed anything. I never drink so I always purchase entertainment from waitresses instead. I usually tip a dollar for every water I get, and then more if they play along with whatever inane crap I come up with that night.

This particular waitress was wearing a white T-shirt with big red lip prints on it and the words KISS ME. She also happened to have a lollipop in her mouth when she came over and checked on us.

"Doesn't the stick get in the way?"

Maybe she saw me looking at her chest, because she knew exactly what I meant and she said that in fact, it did.

"Ah! My father told me about women like you. He said, 'Brian, there are women in this world that will give you mixed messages, but you just pay attention to the lollipop and don't worry about what the shirt says.' I had no idea what the fuck my father was talking about, but it all makes sense to me now."

I wish she had been drinking beer at the time, because it surely would have come out her nose. The waitress was less amused, but it didn't matter. That kind of laugh is the reason I'll always take the risk of telling a failed joke.

I struck pure gold, and so when I told a stinker a little while later, I simply explained why it didn't matter.

In her March 30, 2003 daylog, Mitzi is understandably disturbed by a disturbing (albeit small) number of E2 "suicide-note dayloggers". Agreed, committing suicide is in bad taste. Threatening to commit suicide is even worse, a case of bad manners. Mitzi tells these people, in no uncertain words, to quit writing suicide notes and get professional or semi-professional help instead.

Nobody in her or his right mind would want to contradict Mitzi's advice to get help. Let me also state that I have no emotional attitude whatsoever toward suiciders or suicide-note writers. I see them dispassionately as an age-old problem of demographics, a problem that may (or may not) find sociological and psychological solutions in some distant future.

It is clear that a writer of suicide-notes proves in writing that he or she is mentally disturbed in some minor or major way, and should hence seek professional help, as Mitzi recommends. There is a problem, though. Does the suicide-note writer know that he or she is mentally disturbed? If I or Mitzi start seeing pink elephants in our living-rooms, then we surely know that we are in a bad way and will immediately call for professional help. But we also know that there are people who do see pink elephants, but surprisingly don't call the doctor. We call such people psychotics, but they themselves don't know that. Does a suicide-note daylogger say to himself: "I must really be in a bad way, writing this silly suicide-note of a daylog, I have to get professional help quickly."?

The suicide-note daylogger is probably not a psychotic. He or she could even be a childish prankster. Most probably it's just a person who feels a bit low on this particularly drab, gray day and acts in very bad taste, giving me and Mitzi an uneasy feeling of unwarranted responsibility for his or her imagined or real predicament. In effect, a suicide-note daylog is an undeserved pain in the ass to most E2 readers. In some cases professional help is really called for, but as we have already seen, the cases themselves don't know that. And then there might be a rare case or two who will eliminate him- or herself by committing suicide as threatened, without the courtesy of seeking professional help first.

In spite of the pain in the ass, I would still strongly recommend accepting the suicide-note daylogs on E2, enduring the pain that goes with them. After all, we don't have to read them, and if we do, we don't have to take them to heart. But to most potential suicide-note writers the mere thought of an E2 audience of 62,790 (at this morning's count) has a decidedly greater psychological impact than privately writing a few desperate lines on paper and later burning it. Take note of the word "potential": it is quite possible that for every actual E2 suicide-note there are hundreds of potential ones, never written, only because they COULD have been written, to be read by an audience of 62,790 readers. The very knowledge that you are free to hang out your anguish before tens of thousands, may give solace enough to leave it at that.

A note on the subject-matter:

Combating suicide is a tricky business. There is no telling who will and who will not commit suicide. Some write notes and go on living, some make repeated attempts and never kill themselves, some write notes and kill themselves, while most simply kill themselves, without any warning in writing or otherwise. The words of conventional wisdom, "suicide is a cry for help", is a well-meaning misunderstanding of the bewildering facts, facts that are extremely difficult to analyze. There is very seldom an identifiable "cause" of a suicide, quite contrary to popular belief. In "bad times" and in "bad societies" the suicide rates are paradoxically lower than in "good times" and "good societies". And the remedy "professional help" is most often not applicable to potential suiciders, because most suiciders don't show any overt signs of mental disorder before being found dead.

Today is my birthday. I turn 27 today. I was supposed to be spending the day home with my parents in my hometown, Kluang - just an hour and a half's drive away from where I am in Singapore.

Instead, because of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak, I've been roped in to help out with the Infectious Diseases team who have understandably been overwhelmed with the huge amount of patients now warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital with SARS. Over the last week or so I have been on the frontlines in SARS patient care in Singapore.

I have sent my share of patients down to ICU, I have admitted new patients, I have taken bloods, written up medication lists, done discharge summaries. I have seen cases ranging from Singapore's 4th and 5th new index cases to people who really shouldn't be admitted for SARS because they probably don't have it.

However, that's not why I'm rambling on here. I am not happy today because one of my friends is dying from SARS. He was a cardiology medical officer (i.e. doctor) in my hospital who was infected, together with a bunch of other staff, about two weeks ago when they intubated a patient who was in respiratory distress. It turned out later that their patient had SARS and had been misdiagnosed as having congestive cardiac failure on admission ... this was before SARS became front page news over here ... and before wearing protective masks became mandatory.

Anyway, while the rest of the team have more or less recovered from their same infection with SARS, this guy has taken a turn for the worse. Just on Friday night, he collapsed and was hypoxic for an unknown period of time. Despite resuscitation and a quick transfer to the ICU, it now appears that he now has multi-organ failure. His vital signs are hovering just above danger levels despite now being on the best intensive medical treatment the hospital has to offer.

This guy is engaged to be married in September - I know his fiance (who thankfully did not catch it from him). His mother is in hospital with SARS (she was not so fortunate).

Though he was not a very close friend, I have known him for 8-9 years and have always known him to be a nice guy, dependable and trustworthy. As far as I know, a good guy.

I saw him down in the ICU today. I read his clinical notes. I observed his vitals on the screen next to his bed.


All he did was do his job.


I don't think he's going to make it.
The good die young


These are exact conversations I engaged in no more than 15 minutes that arriving back in the states.

cell phone ringing 2:15 PM Sunday


<me> Hello?
<bekah> Nori, hi - I have a problem.
<me> what's up?
<bekah> I lost my baby - I went to the doctor today cause it would of been the end of my first tri-mester (11 weeks she says) sobbing I lost the baby at seven weeks.
silence
<me> I'm sorry, are you ok?
<bekah> Not really - just been really upset about it and such. I wanted to see you and Norbi today but I don't want him meeting me in this state let's just plan for another time.
<me> Ok that's fine - do you need me to help you with anything?
<bekah> No I'm going to go lay down and mourn, I'll talk to you later.
<me> Ok - well you know my numbers, give me a ring if there's anything I can do
<bekah> Ok, thank you - pray for us. See ya.
<me> You're always in my thoughts, see ya.

This was a conversation with my 'twin' - we actually look identical, not related, and are always mistaken for one another. She and her husband have been trying for at least 2 years to have a baby - she finally got pregant and then this happened. I'm very concerned for her I'm going to call her later and see how she is and talk to her husband to see if maybe he should put her in some counselling.

phone rings 2:55 PM Sunday (concurrent with last conversation same day etc)


<me> yo...chica (I have caller id)

<marie> nori, you wouldn't believe this.
<me> oh your husband finally granted you your divorce?!
<marie> no worse
<me> nevermind I don't want to know!
<marie> I need your help - I'm pregnant.
long sigh from both of us
<me> well...well...I don't know what to tell you that's what you get for spreading your legs with the guy your in the process of divorcing.
<marie> I know!! yelling But what can I do - I mean I need an abortion or something cause I don't need another child.
<me> well what's Aaron say?
<marie> Oh you know he wants another child - he's already raved to his family that we're pregnant.
<me> well did you contact planned parenthood?
<marie> Can you take me to one?
<me> You seem to forget I haven't been driving for almost a year...
<marie> Oh yah shit - what can I do?!
<me> What about Aaron, what about your mom?
<marie> Yah right that'll happen...
<me> well I don't know how to help you.
<marie> Oh I just remembered my insurance will provide rides - that's what I'll do call them to take me
<me> cell beeps low battery Ok well I'll call you and see what's going on tomorrow, ok? - good luck.
<marie> Ok see ya - can you look some stuff up on abortions for me tonight on the internet?
<me> we'll see - I'll talk to you tomorrow. See ya.
<marie> See ya.

She's 21 years old have a child she was forced to have at 18 from this 28 year old husband - they married when she found out she was pregnant thinking they could work things out - she cried at her wedding cause she's didn't want get married! They're very dysfunctional she's left him and gone back 10+ times - claiming she doesn't like to be lonely and runs back. They've been putting one another in and out of jail off and on for over a year, finally got their son back too from a foster parent situation, child was probally better off than being around all the yelling and fighting. She's actually planning on paying for the divorce filing fees with her tax return which is coming in any day now.


Bekah, I and Marie are close friends - I'm afraid when Bekah finds out about Marie being pregnant again it'll send her off the deep end literally.

It's really aggrevating that children are born and 'abused' like such before their born. I'm moreorless for the freedom of choice for a female and would support what Marie decides - but still I really want to tear her apart for not being careful and such. Very aggrevating. Adoption is not an option because if she went thru with it as she says she would become to attached and won't give over the child when it's time.

I kinda went off on a tangent about it and my boyfriend was like wow - and said well - think of the father. (his ex-aborted a child of his and it 'killed' him for a while) I dunno just reinforces the use of protection to all!


Oh - yay I'm back too! The world literally fell apart while I was there. Well I was supposed to go to a funeral and it never happened. The guy didn't die he's expiration date was faulty - but he's struggling, on his own will though which is ok - except for ripping his IV out from his arm, that's upsetting.

Feeling like I'm drowning in a sea of my own confusion.

The person who was the most important in the whole world, a girl of course, has suddenly reappeared in my life, totally recreated. I look at her and I feel what I once felt for her, in the back of my head, like a dull blade cutting at my emotions.

It turns out she wants a relationship again. I don't know how to respond, she breaks up with her boyfriend, who she was engaged to, then flips around to me instantly. I have missed her a lot over the last year, since we disappeared slowly out of each others lives. We didn't even officially break up, truth be told I don't know how exactly it happened, but I think we were drifting because we realised we wanted different things from life.

My brain tells me no, but my heart pleads to be hurt again, as I know will be the end result.

I have quietly kept up with her life, thanks to the evil beast that is livejournal, and heard all her stories, and I know for sure that the person she is now, is nothing like the one I loved, she has grown, probably for her own good, but not into the kind of girl I could see my self with, or trust.

But still the happy memories tear at me.

I went to visit Duke University Law School this past weekend. It went well enough, but I made some interesting observations regarding the rest of the possible incoming class. The first observation is the phenomenom that occurs when every person is given a name tag. Each person walks around with there eyes directed squarely at the chest of everyone else. My tag said that I was from the University of North Dakota, so I was the victim of many double-takes. Perhaps people were shocked that I wasn't wearing overalls.

Secondly, there are a lot of very smart people who speak very good. I got's to learn to talk like that, so I don't sound like a dummy. They use lots of words that flow goodly. It sounds pretty.

I intended to write poorly for the last paragraph. People from North Dakota are not really that stoopid.

An Old Dictionary

Slowly, like the indescribable movement of glaciers, do I become aware that all the things that tie me to my time are wearing thin and vanishing. All the tiny portions of existence that, over the course of my short life, I have taken for granted, are far away, or gone--vanished from this earth as if they never were.

As a little kid, don't remember how old, I received from a neighbour a stunning birthday present: a gigantic, hard-cover Webster's dictionary. I was a bookish kid, cerebral in a roughshod way, and enjoyed reading it. It was an encyclopedic type of dictionary as well. If you looked up Canada you would be provided with deliberate facts hewn from what could clearly be a longer work: country, 24,000,000 people (at the time). Has a prime-minister and governor-general. There were added sections at the back of the dictionary.

The first of these supplements was dedicated to the American presidents, all the way up to the present. (At the time, the man who held the office was Ronald Reagan. His vice-president was George Bush. Not mentioned was the vice-president's son, George W. Bush) After that came a coloured section containing the flags of all the countries of the world. It included the flags of the U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia, East and West Germany, and Cyprus. After that there was a section detailing the United States and Soviet space programs. This section was highly detailed, with comprehensive lists of theirrespective orbiters, landers, satellites, and space shuttles. I don't know where this dictionary went, but it enumerated my life as it used to be, easily divided into a working point-form.

I remember so much of my life, but one of my fondest memories as a child was standing at the very foot of the World Trade Center. I don't remember how old I was. I was absolutely in awe of these two buildings, tops touching heaven, and I clearly recall thinking something to the effect of, "Wow, people actually built these things." Unfortunately, some years later someone crashed airplanes into them causing them to fall, stripping me of any chance I may have had to feel small again.

I guess I'd always assumed that the World Trade Center would always be there, like Stonehenge or The Great Pyramid of Giza. Instead, the World Trade Center has sort of become the Colossus of Rhodes--destroyed by someone, somewhere--who really knows why? At this point in my life I started to realize that the tethers preventing me from floating away were beginning to unravel. It was not, and is not, a pleasant feeling.

I have vague, blurry snapshots of memories from my childhood, regarding the hi-jacking of planes. They remained stored in my brain for years and years until someone, somewhere blew up the World Trade Center. I suppose that hi-jacking seemed so impractical to me, ultimately, that I never gave the idea as a whole any bona fide credence. It always seemed to me that maybe a bomb, carefully constructed and hidden, would be a better way to get a terrorist message across. Why hijack anything? You're only going to get caught. Another one of the assumptions I stupidly made in my life.

We lost Pioneer 10 a little while ago. In that old dictionary, Pioneer 10 was well-documented. There was a photo of Carl Sagan's gold plaque on the side. It is now hurtling through the void at incredible speed. Maybe it'll reach Aldebaran, maybe it won't. Nowhere in my dictionary did it say anything to the effect of "We will lose contact with Pioneer 10 on January 22, 2003". Nowhere did it say "The World Trade Center will be attacked on September 11, 2001". For that matter, it didn't say a thing about the Berlin Wall falling, the Gulf War, the internet.

Today, I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop: what next? I didn't truly expect another war in the middle east. I expected that all the parties in the news--the United States, the United Nations, Iraq, whoever else--were just posturing, inflating their bodies, flattening their necks. Look at me, I just might strike...but I probably won't. But I might! I feel like Pioneer 10 today. Floating out into the void, eyes growing dim, no longer able to send data. Floating into a sea of black so vast that I no longer truly know where I am, or where you are.

Something’s going on here.

I’m not the only little brother to have an uneven and often strained relationship with the next male up on the family totem pole. Over the last 35 years I’ve disagreed at least ten times as often than not with my older brother Eddie (almost everyone calls him “Ed” now; but I refuse: just another example of our contrariness.) I’ve always been the radical Leftist, he’s always been the red-necked Dixiecrat-- a Republican, as far as I could tell, in all but registration. (In Maryland it just doesn’t pay to sign up as anything but a Democrat.)

But over the last months, I’ve been surprised at his response to the ever-looming war, now brought to us in full, live, 24-hour color by the endangered Bush Administration. A little to my surprise-- and a lot to my enduring pride in him-- Eddie has vehemently and openly opposed this ill-considered, wrong-headed action from its inception. And he tells me that his conservative friends, far more Right than even he is, seem to be unanimously against the war as well.

But what to do?... What to do?...

Eddie has a wonderful wife and 5 beautiful kids. He also has an ancient farmhouse he’s refurbishing in the northern wilds of Baltimore County and a job as a programmer that just barely pays for all this. Like myself, and many of us, he’s uncomfortable “taking it to the streets” for reasons of both pragmatism and style. But he wanted to do something, and so he took his coding skill and began building a website: www.warisbad.org. The response in just the last day or two from my friends has been overwhelmingly heartening. A Filipino actor who played Cheek Eye Chin in my play An American Book of the Dead - The Game Show deconstructed Bush’s 48 hour warning speech to Saddam. It’s hilarious. An animator whom I’ve only worked with tangentially donated in his bit of vitriol for the Bush Administration. An actress whom I haven’t seen in ten years since she appeared in my independent film Hitting the Ground posted a message, too. Maybe some Everythingian will be similarly inspired, though that’s not really the point of this daylog. The point is I wanted to share the small spark of light my brother surpised me with in these darkening days.

Mother Teresa once said: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” My brother has inspired me; I can only hope to do the same for someone else. Perhaps “small thing” by “small thingsomething great will begin to happen.

Evil Corporate Empires and their Evil CEOs

I was watching a movie this weekend and something interesting came to mind. The movie had the usual evil coprporation, run by the usual evil CEO who was going to kill a lot of people to achieve greedy ends. What struck me was this: when was the last time you saw a corporation or high-ranking business person portrayed in a good light on TV or in a movie?

I watch a fair number of movies and some TV (but not much network TV, so maybe I've missed something) and I can't think of a single example in the last 10 or 15 years. There probably are some, but the fact that I can't remember any probably means there are few.

Counter examples, where evil corporations and their CEO's are the plot backbone of a large percentage of hollywood's output. It wasn't always so. You see benevolent corporations and CEO's and bank presidents and newspaper editors all the time in 1950's movies. I guess the mistrust of business was a 1960's thing, I'm not sure.

Anyone with recent examples of good corporations or CEO's can /msg me. Maybe I'll work up a real node with examples of both.

I almost died tonight.

It justs stops you. While I was walking with my girlfriend in a street in my hometown of Turku, returning from a small, independent movie theatre playing "Adaptation", I heard a loud crashing-and-clinging about a meter behind me.

I turned around, scared stiff. An empty beer bottle had fallen from the nth floor of a building and it had barely missed me. At that very moment, I realized what had happened. All the other people in the street were watching, propably thinking how close the bottle was. To calm down my girlfriend, I lied. "The bottle dropped from that gentleman who passed us just a moment ago." But it really didn't.

While the idea - being killed by a falling beer bottle - is somewhat absurd, it made me think about life itself. I have no known enemies, so the deed - probably a mischief of a random drunkard - was not planned. Someone just wanted to hit somebody with a bottle - and he barely missed. Will the same person try again?

Just to think how close we are to death - every single day. Everything we are, everything we have done - it all can be wiped out in a blink of an eye. As an atheist, I don't believe that any God saved me - no, I just got lucky. The drunkard aimed poorly or perhaps I walked too fast.

But what would the world be like, if he'd got me? That makes me think. What would have happened? Who would have worried? There are plenty of possible futures - and none of them would have been nice.

What do I think now? Well, I propably don't sleep that well tonight. But I am happy to be alive - there's too much to see, too much to do. And yet... so fragile we are!

Not Enough Debate? Spam Goes to War

I've written before about the not enough debate canard -- the idea that debate about the Iraq war has been absent, or even suppressed. More evidence that this is foolish arrived in my inbox today, in the form of two spams. One was from "Kate" (I LOVE the Internet -- its so friendly -- I can be on an instant, first name basis with a woman I've never met!!!), with subject "Should America Be At War". The other was from "Internet Survey" (honest at least), with subject "Do you support the war in Iraq". With a few clicks its possible to view source without revealing to interested parties that I've opened their spy-mail -- and Lo!, a T-shirt offer if I fill out this "consumer survey". Alas my hopes that Gallup or other legit opinion pollsters have finally decided to ask me what I think are once again dashed...

My point here is, spammers have realized people, or at least the Internet community, are so interested in the war, and interested in having their opinions be heard, they're likely to open an email that purports to be an opinion survey about the war. Its doesn't say a thing about who is right or wrong about the war, but it does provide additional evidence that people are at least taking an interest in this chapter of the great debate.

And, legitimate, scientific polls, on CNN for example, indicate something like 3/4 of all American viewers are watching 2 or more hours of war coverage per day!

I'm sitting here, and my roommate is saying random, nonesense phrases just to have something to say, like she tends to do. She's watching a show about eating disorders, aLifetime Origional Movie that is supposed to educate women about the problems they've been having or could possibly have. And I think, "what a crock. Those women are beautiful. If anything, this is going to make me want to be bulemic."

I sit down to write; I need to write a review of a recital I went to for my minor in music. I look at the wall behind my laptop. I had just started putting things up there; cards that made me laugh, Bible verses, a card out of the flowers my dad sent me for Valentine's Day, pictures, the like. I have a Curious George calendar, even. What constitutes 'me'? What is it that makes me up? I have a funny card of a black & white picture of an orangutan, a card that my grandmother sent me (as my grandmother never sends random cards, except for this one), a card my roommate wrote for me to just "have a wonderful day" even though she shares this 10x13 room with me, I have pictures of myself making faces and fooling around, pictures of old friends, and small prints of impressionistic art, mostly Claude Monet; on the desk itself is a thermometer, one with the floating bubbles of colored liquid that I could explain but doesn't really matter (go Gallileo...), a picture of me and my mom in a heart-shaped frame, and a little picture clamp from my work that holds cards my dad got me with my name, the meaning of it, and on one, a Bible verse that describes me.

But that doesn't describe me at all. That's describing what the root of my name is supposed to mean. The Welsh name for "Sea Guardian." What does any of this mean? Who am I? Am I just a bunch of neurons, protons, electrons, arranged in just a way to make me an average-sized, blonde-haired, blue-eyed living creature that we classify as a 'human'? Am I a God-made guardian of living things that was created for a purpose, created to love Him and help other things? Metaphysics. It's the eighth wonder of the world.

When you read too much of your philosophy book, everything does(n't) have meaning.<\p>

I received a form letter from the Smithsonian Institution today informing me that I was not selected for a job I applied for over two months ago.

Thanks guys, but I think the fact that you never called me in for an interview sort of implied to me that I wasn't selected. But I really appreciate the confirmation.

I've sent out eleven resumes in as many days. I have received no communications from any of the places I applied to, with the exception of a couple postcards. After I submitted my resume to NPR for an editorial assistant position, the job description on their website magically changed. An extra line was added that made me no longer eligible. I spent two hours tooling my resume' and cover letter for that one. If that sentence had been included in the original description -- the part about applicants needing two years of "journalism research experience" -- I wouldn't have even bothered. But I can rest assured that in two months time I'll receive one of those humiliating postcards in the mail explaining in a courteous yet condescending manner that I wasn't "selected."

Job hunting sucks. Job hunting in the Bush economy sucks even more.

4:00pm, the deadline of all deadlines. I had to get my manuscript in for the CRWR program here at school. And I did. With half an hour to spare - and I filled all the forms in right. And they're all in matching bright red folders. I am convinced it was the bright red folder than got me in last time. Here's hoping.

I won't find out until the end of may. Which is when the non-wussy camping trip is. so, that weekend, I will either be overjoyed and drunk or miserable and drunk. ha.

I just want to scream. WWWWWWWHHHEEEEE!!!! This is my big secret. No one knows I've applied except for the faculty itself and you guys. It's easier this way - I won't have to tell people that I didn't get in.

Which I won't, of course. My submission was crap and the only thing holding it together is the nice photocopier paper and the fifty cent bright red folder.

I wrote Death Protocol and I stand by it although it's got a negative rep (last time I checked anyway). It hurts me that someone who can help would bail on us. Before you go, avoid the mistake of ignorance. Think about it a while. Get a second opinion. Being wrong is okay.

I had a dream that I was on the train that takes me to work in Irvine. I realized I was dreaming and so I took some liberties. I started at one end of the train and I kissed each passenger, either on the lips or the forehead, depending on their sex, and I said "I love you." There is something in me that wants to love everyone. I woke up too soon.

I drive up to Irvine on Monday and back to San Diego on Friday. On my drive up this morning, I saw a few pretty women driving in a lane next to me. Then I remembered my dream, and everyone else on the freeway suddenly became... attractive, sort of - people I cared about. There was a man, light brown skin, clean shaven, driving with a relaxed face, but not looking happy. I wondered if he was listening to the news about the violence. I wrote a week or so ago that I could handle the frustration of my powerlessness against the supidity and damage being done to my world because I can be patient and expect lessons to be learned. This is not a claim with which I will part.

I read a lot of distressing stuff in this daylog. I wanted to remind you all that you've been happy. If you want to do that again, just pay attention to your life. You will find the spots that make it beautiful. I ask my daughter what makes her happy when we're driving home in the dark from Grandma's house, an 80 mile trip, which she always begins with complaints, fear, cries of desperation, screaming that we never should have gone to visit grandma in the first place. She can't answer me. She's five. You're older than that, and you probably can answer the question. Answer it for yourself, and watch out for more happiness to come.

I could fix the world in a few years if only I were smart enough. Teach me.
I don't know the name of the part.
But I know it will come off with the locking pliers.

I murmur a prayer to the plumbing gods.
Let not this line spray water all over my bathroom.

He doesn't tell me its name, the hardware clerk.
Replace the whole thing, he says.

Four dollars and forty nine cents later
I kneel, reach beneath the porcelain.

toilet supply line--
hand tighten the nut.
The homeowner triumphant!

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