Create it as a Person

The bad thing about writing is that a good writer leaves no proof of his fiction(Even in non-fiction, this is true). He makes real whatever he words with no regard for the truth of the matter. He refuses reality and perceives to create a new one from fragments he observes in the world around him. I am an obessesed writer and go through this first hand. I want to know, hear, and see everything until this world becomes an immensly large place to borrow from.

The problem is abstract at first. After all it is a powerful skill to be able to convince people, but the muse has absorbed me for many hours and is programming me to relentlessly pursue her mastery. Often, I spend so much time thinking to be a convincing character, that I forget to stop and be myself when I'm done. In this dissociative fugue, I am merely an empty student, curiously jumping off of bridges just to know what it feels like, talking back to cops to see what they do, and embarassingly witnessing myself to learn. These tend to be reckless excursions that cost more than they're worth.

Sometimes my friends call me during these fictitious episodes and I forget to realize that this personality is not mine. I hope they understand:

After such an invested process as splitting nothing into one, the rough draft is finished, and I must test every living word of it.

Today (March 8th 2003):

Two year anniversary of losing my virginity to a boy who never cared about me.

My boyfriend of a year and some broke up with me. I love him dearly and drank the pain away earlier this evening.

Very tragic day indeed, to say the least.

Curriculum Vitae
Charles Alfred Lewis Reams

There's something about constructing a CV, you know? It forces you to examine yourself under a harsh and often unforgiving light, playing your own devil's advocate. It's only when you list everything you've ever achieved that you realise how one-dimensional you actually are. Of course, I'm using "you" here to mean "me".

Date of Birth: 17th February 1986
Place of Birth: London

I'm probably too young to understand the full implications of a CV. I've never written one before, after all, and my father wrote most of this one for me. "Father", eh? Writing this thing has put me in formal mode.

Education
1990-1994: Cherry Trees Preparatory School, Risby
1994-1998: Kings School Ely
1998-Present: The Perse School, Cambridge

Thing is, the CV is something that follows your round for your whole, well, vita. Soon I'll have escaped from the marvellous school system, but the CV will pursue me everywhere. I keep checking over my shoulder.

Qualifications
GCSE: A*, Mathematics
A*, Physics
A*, Chemistry
A*, Biology
A*, History
A*, Latin
A*, Greek
A*, French
A*, English
A, English Literature
Other: A, Additional Mathematics

Having a huge list like that makes it look like I'm showing off. I revise it, trying to turn it into one long line. It looks worse. I change it back. I think I've already made my thoughts clear on the matter of GCSEs under that node.

Honours
Represented Cambridge County Reserve Target Rifle team from 2001 - 2002, and County first team from 2002 to present.
Reached national final of NSRA Golden Jubilee prone rifle competition in 2002.
Member of an eight-man team placed second in the West Kent national postal league in 2002.
Also placed second in the individual event of the same competition.
Part of the winning pair in the Pairs competition.
Holder of the school record for military prone rifle.

Well, there's something I actually am proud of. I look along the shelf of cups, medals etc and try to remember what each was for. I decide it might get a bit tiresome listing my placing in every competition I've ever participated in, so I include only the cups whose caption I can read without leaving the computer.

External Awards

2002 Gold in UK Senior Mathematical Challenge
2000 Gold in UK Intermediate Mathematical Challenge
Awarded by the United Kingdom Mathematical Trust (UKMT)

1996 Grade 1 Piano
1997 Grade 2 Piano
Awarded by the Royal Schools of Music

Grade 1 Piano!? Another inclusion under duress from the parental unit. Quite why any interview would care that I could play one musical instrument to some very low standard seven years ago is beyond me. Still, best not to argue.

Other Achievements
Captain of winning Fastermind team representing Kings Ely, 1997.
Represented Perse in Cambridgeshire Inter-Schools general knowledge competition in 2000.
Wrote computer program for Kings Ely, now adopted for educational application.

My general knowledge is verging on non-existant so I was rather surprised when I remembered being in those teams. The computer program in question was a rather interesting simulation of relative population numbers for lions and gazelles in the wild, where clearly both affect the other. All a bit chaotic, though I didn't know it at the time, being nine.

Interests
Prone rifle shooting
Computer programming
Football
Film

"Film" sounds a bit vague to me. I bet everyone puts that anyway. Also labouring the point a bit on the subject of rifle shooting. Well, football (soccer-style) is fun anyway.

Phew. At least it's done now.

Today's Headlines

US News

Violence Erupts At NYC Arcade
At least 11 people have been injured after a fight erupted inside an arcade in New York City. The violence erupted at Broadway City Arcade in Times Square stemming from a fistfight, which quickly escalated into the arcade being filled with a shower of bullets. Some of the victims suffered gunshot wounds, while others appeared to have been stabbed, says Louis Camacho, who also said that the conditions of the victims are not immediately known and that the police have no suspects at this time.

1967 Study Discouraged Use of Nuclear Weapons in Vietnam War
A 1967 government study on the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons in the Vietnam War, declassified and released for the first time yesterday, found that the political cost of using such devices far outweighed its military benefits. "The use of tactical nuclear weapons TNW in Southeast Asia would offer the U.S. no decisive military advantage if the use remained unilateral ... the political effects of U.S. first use of TNW in Vietnam would be uniformly bad and could be catastrophic," said the conclusion of the study.

Antiwar Protests Picking Up Steam
Saturday was filled with more nationwide (and worldwide) protests opposing the war with Iraq. Chanting "Bush says Code Red; we say Code Pink" and "Peace, not war!" thousands of women marched through downtown Washington yesterday to the Ellipse to protest the looming prospect of war with Iraq on the event of National Women's Day. Among thise arrested during this protest was American writer Alice Walker. This was perhaps the most high profile protest of the weekend, which featured protests of more than a thousand people in most US cities.

International News

Israel Justifies Slaying of Hamas Co-Founder
Israel put its security forces on top alert Sunday after justifying its assassination of a co-founder of the Islamic hardline faction Hamas. Meanwhile, the world watched as Yasser Arafat finally named his second-in-command in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as his prime minister, a reform aimed at curbing Arafat's sweeping powers and introducing more accountability into the organization of Palestinian politics. Mahmud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, is seen as a moderate and will give his response this week after the Palestinian parliament defines the premier's executive powers.

UN Security Council Split Widens
Just as they did the last three times they met, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council agreed on Friday that Iraq has not complied with their demands that it disarm immediately and completely. However, just as in previous gatherings, the nations disagreed over what to do about it and when. On the day after George W. Bush stated more clearly than ever that he didn't need UN approval to go to war, country after country told the United States that it was wrong to state that Iraq's chance to disarm was all but over. The disagreement revolves around whether or not military conflict is a proper response to Iraq's unwillingness to follow UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which states that Iraq must disarm.

Blair Faces Revolt Within Own Party
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a rebellion of up to 200 Labour MPs and the resignation of as many as 10 members of his government if he proceeds with military action against Iraq without a second UN resolution authorising it, according to media reports today. Labour rebels, who mustered 122 votes against Blair in the House of Commons 11 days ago, say their numbers will pass 200 if Blair strikes Iraq without the second UN resolution, The Sunday Times reported. Military action in Iraq could mean the end of Tony Blair's premiership.

Business

Buffett Increases Warnings on Derivatives
In a recent note to investors in his financial company Berkshire Hathaway, financier Warren Buffett warned of the potential devastating effect of investments in derivatives, which he called a "time bomb." derivatives are financial contracts that call for money to change hands at some future date, with the amount to be determined by one or more reference items - such as the level of interest rates, share prices or exchange rates. If, for example, you're on either side of a share price index futures contract, whether you gain or lose will depend on what the index does over the specified period. Buffett says derivatives contracts sometimes run for 20 years or more, and their ultimate value is often tied to several variables. The complexity of the investment makes them very dangerous, says Buffett, particularly to unwise investors.

Six Continents Looks To Split
Hospitality group Six Continents remains determined to hold a vote on its planned demerger despite speculation a new bid could be tabled. Shareholders of the group are due to vote this Wednesday on whether to approve its plan to separate its hotel and pub divisions. The Six Continents group contains Inter-Continental Hotels, the Holiday Inn chain and All Bar One pubs. In recent months, the company has been the target of takeover attempts, most notably from Marriott.

Employees Lose Control of United Airlines
UAL Corp, which owns United Airlines, said today that stock held by the company's employee ownership plan had fallen below 20 per cent, effectively ending workers' control of the world's second-largest carrier. This follows action earlier this week by the Internal Revenue Service, which allowed the manager of UAL's employee stock ownership plan, State Street Bank and Trust, to sell 3.9 million UAL shares without incurring tax penalties. UAL is expected to rise on this news, because the drop triggered provisions in the United Airlines board of directors which limited control by the employees, which have been blamed for recent troubles in the company.

Science & Technology

Endeavour Finds Evidence of Cataclysmic Event
NASA scientists have discovered the strongest evidence yet of the cataclysmic event that wiped out the dinosaurs and most of life on Earth some 65 million years ago. An obscure geologic formation on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, photographed in detail in 2000 by the space shuttle Endeavour, reveals clearly a very large crater shape. Chicxulub, as it is called, is an ancient crater, some 112 miles wide and 3,000 feet deep, and it is thought to be the site of the asteroid impact that ended the Cretaceous period and cleared the way for the age of mammals and humans.

Nvidia Unveils New GeForce FX Chips
Nvidia unveiled yesterday the two newest chips in the GeForce FX video chip line, the GeForce FX 5600 and GeForce FX 5200. These two chips target the mainstream and budget markets, respectively, along with the already-released high-end GeForce FX 5800. The 5600 is very similar to the 5800, except it does not support DDR 2 frame buffer memory, but does support up to 256 MB RAM, more than the 5800 or the 5200. The low-end chip doesn't support DDR 2 or Intellisample, but it only costs $79. All chips in the line support DirectX 9, according to Nvidia.

Mars May Have A Liquid Iron Core
New information about what is inside Mars shows that the red planet has a molten liquid iron core, confirming the interior of the planet has some similarity to Earth and Venus. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory analyzed three years of radio tracking data from the Mars Global Surveyor and concluded that Mars has not cooled to a completely solid iron core. Rather, the interior of Mars is made up of either a completely liquid iron core or a liquid outer core with a solid inner core. Their results are published in the March 7, 2003 online issue of the journal Science.

Health

Abortions Cleared of Cancer Risk
The National Cancer Institute said yesterday it was changing guidelines on abortion and breast cancer after scientific advisers examined recent studies and found no link between the two events. Executive director of the NSW Breast Cancer Institute Professor John Boyages said that weak evidence linking abortions and miscarriages to breast cancer have been brushed aside in recent studies. "This is just confirmatory evidence that abortion is not a risk factor and we should just put it to bed," he said in a statement.

Bush's Medicare Plan Viewed As Weak
The latest proposal for Medicare reform, unveiled by the White House Tuesday, would come closer to providing the kind of prescription drug coverage the nation's elderly need than previous administration efforts. Over the weekend, Democrats decreed that the plan was closer, but not close enough, stating that Medicare should provide comprehensive drug coverage for all seniors, those who choose to stay in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program as well as those who opt for private-sector plans.

Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Finish Perfect SEC Season
Kentucky closed out a perfect journey through the Southeastern Conference on Saturday, getting 18 points from Gerald Fitch in a victory over the University of Florida Gators. The team finished 16-0 in the perennially tough conference and 26-3 overall, and look set to receive a top seed in the upcoming NCAA basketball tournament. Florida saw their school record 19 game home winning streak snapped in the loss, finishing 12-4 in the conference and 24-6 overall, putting the team comfortably in the tournament as well.

Jim Harrick Faces New Charges From Rhode Island
New allegations surfaced against embattled University of Georgia men's basketball coach Jim Harrick on Saturday, this time from his years as coach at the University of Rhode Island. The Providence Journal reported that Christine King, who worked for Harrick in 1997 and 1998, charged in a deposition that Harrick tried to influence and change grades for former Rams players Luther Clay and Lamar Odom, arranged for team managers to write players' term papers, arranged for players to get housing and money from Rhode Island boosters, falsified expense reports, and paid a women's basketball player to cover up an alleged assault on her by one of Harrick's players. These are the latest in a string of accusations against Harrick, who also faces charges at his current position.

Entertainment

Broadway Strikes Continue
The stages of 18 Broadway musicals remained dark Saturday, a day after contract negotiations between theater producers and striking musicians collapsed. Actors refused to cross the musician's picket lines, resulting in the cancellation of the shows. The action has cost about $1.2 million per performance in lost box-office revenue, according to Jed Bernstein, head of the musician's union.

Clinton and Dole To Debate Tonight
Former US president Bill Clinton and his 1996 opponent Bob Dole will be facing each other in a series of 10 debates on the CBS television program 60 Minutes, starting tonight. "The historic face-off of a former president and a former Senate majority leader will help make an unpredictable world a little more understandable," "60 Minutes" executive producer Don Hewitt says. Although they were opponents in the 1996 election, Dole and Clinton have worked together since then. Clinton awarded Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1997, and the two men are co-chairmen of a scholarship fund for families of 9/11 victims.


And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

I received several pieces of positive feedback from e2 users after my announcement yesterday that I am considering running for public office as a Libertarian; in fact, multiple people suggested that I node my platform in detail for the interest of the e2 community.

I'm a little hesitant to do this, mostly due to my concern of it turning into a GTKY type of situation; on the other hand, it may be of significant interest in terms of what I perceive the overall goal of everything2 to be: a preservation of a snapshot of the facts of the world.

My platform and politics do have some support in my local area; I have discussed issues involving my beliefs with many local leaders, and their encouragement has been the impetus for my consideration of making this move.

So, I guess my question is would you, as an e2 reader, be interested in reading my platform (and perhaps campaign notes and speech transcription) if I were to node it? For one, it would give me a good reason to clearly eludicate my ideas in written form; second, it would be useful for the long term to look at the political agenda of a prospective candidate for political office in the modern era; and third, I'm sure it would get some feedback, as these "opinion" sections of my news daylogs of late have done.

This does not mean that I am going to necessarily run for office, just that I am giving the issue serious consideration and am willing to publicly share my platform. I would post it here because e2 is a sensible and intelligent community of people who have provided some very well thought out discussion and commentary in the past, both in terms of nodes and messages.

Let me know what you think by sending me a /msg. If I have some substantial support on the issue, I may node my platform.


Lent Diary, Day 5

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

This is the dawning of the first Sunday of my fasting. To respond to some questions I've already received, yes, communion is an exception to the fasting rule.

Interestingly, it seems as though each day is easier than the day that preceded it; yesterday was the easiest day so far. Even though the days are steadily growing longer, as they will continue to do throughout Lent, the actual practice hasn't been all that difficult.

I use a little calendar I made to indicate when the actual times for sunrise and sunset were. One can easily obtain geographically correct sunrise and sunset times, so I made a calendar listing these times. Now, I don't just jump up and run to the fridge when the official sunset time comes; I usually just casually drink a glass of water and eat three dates, then spend a bit of time in meditation, considering the day that is past.

Most mornings, I eat a simple breakfast (usually corn flakes with skim milk and perhaps some yogurt) and drink a good deal of water before sunrise. Then, at sunset, I eat the dates and a light supper (except for last night, when I ate pizza with some friends). So far, the light supper has been either a tuna sandwich and a salad with a glass of V8 Splash or a chicken breast and some Brussels sprouts.

Today, I will pray for the strength to continue this journey and for continued understanding of the world about me. I'll also pray for others undergoing disciplines, so that they will find the same things.

I must not have gotten to sleep until after 7 am yesterday morning. This is a bit late even for me. Mostly I know I was in bed by 7 trying to sleep and failing. Then after I finally do fall asleep I get a call (which is a rarity for me these days) about 10:30 am that I answer a bit groggily.

"Hello?"

Hello, this is Sergeant Lockhart with Metro, I'm just calling to inform you that we will be doing a raid on one of your neighboring units this morning. We just want you to remain calm, stay in your unit, and keep the door locked. Everything should go smoothly and we will be in and out in a timely fashion, we just wanted to alert you of the commotion.

It's not uncommon for me to drum my fingers. On my legs, on the table, on anything. Not out of impatience, just out of a song getting in my head. My brother does it too. He actually learned how to play the drums growing up. I have no idea where this behavior comes from.

During officer Lockhart's call all I could think about was the time a few nights ago I absentmindedly drummed my fingers against the wall behind me as I was lying in bed. A knock came at my door, which, at 2 in the morning, was probably less uncommon than a phone call at 10:30 am.

I threw on some pants and answered the door. I saw through the peephole it was my next door neighbor. Despite the lateness of the hour and the fact this man could most definitely kick my ass if my body didn't respond with some super-human surge of adrenaline, I decided to open the door. After all, he might just want a cup of sugar.

Was I being too loud?

"Um, no..."

Oh, did you knock on the wall?

"Oh, no..." I was going to explain that I didn't mean to knock on the wall, not actually lie about it, but he cut me off.

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you.

He turned to leave. I'm sure it was obvious I was pretty tired, despite the fact he didn't actually wake me up. Before I could apologize or anything he was on his way back to his apartment, so I just let him go.

He just seemed so...paranoid.

"All righty..." I told the officer wondering how much sleep I was going to get that day.

At this point the "officer's" voice changes as he starts to laugh.

I've been had!

At first I'm thinking it's a friend of mine I left in Colorado that I haven't actually spoken to since I came to Vegas. We have e-mail back and forth but I haven't heard his voice in months. Then after a bit longer I realize it is a new friend I made here in Vegas that I just recently gave my number to.

I ended up going to his house for the first time yesterday, meeting his wife, another friend of their's, and playing Modern Art for the first time. I love learning a new game, especially when it's as amazing of a game as Modern Art. It's a pity we only played once.

Anyway, I just wanted to publicly, time-stampedly declare the practical joke war is on. Despite revenge being a dish that is best served without detailing one's plans on the internet, it will be served.

...so in the end, we - this is me and Ed - said "to hell with moisture detectors" and built the giant robot instead. We used junk that was lying in the Technology workshop. Old capacitors and CRTs and junk. It was a monster of a machine. It must've been about fifty feet tall. It ran, it jumped, it could fall a thousand feet and take a cruise missile to the chest with no damage. Stayed active for 1000 hours - not like those nancy ones with external power cables - before needing recharging and could be piloted completely by remote control. As for weaponry, well, you were looking at twin chain guns, bazookas, a rapid-fire armour-piercing rocket launcher, tactical nuclear missiles... the whole Christmas family gift set. Oh, and Magnetic Physics loaned us their railgun, which was nice of them.

So we took it to the DOD and said "Hey, look what we've got!" and tried to sell it to them. But they said "yeah, we've got one too" even though we knew they didn't really, and didn't buy it. So we're left with this fifty-foot robot on our hands. The university said they needed the car park back, so we had to put it in Ed's backyard. We were well annoyed, especially Ed.

The alien invasion started later the same day. I am absolutely not kidding. What are the odds? We finished building a huge weapon of mass destruction just at the EXACT same moment that a massive alien army arrives. Second time that year!

As a number of unfortunate aircraft pilots discover, all our "conventional weapons" are totally useless against their "shields", because they "just absorb the energy to make themselves stronger" (yeah, right). So, predictably, a couple of hours later the DOD comes knocking on Ed's door saying "Hey, could we like, borrow your amazing, flying, all-conquering gigantic robotic war machine?" And Ed goes "Use the one you've got" and we laughed in their faces, coz it served them right.

I couldn't help thinking it was a bit unfair of us, to doom mankind just to get back at the black suits. But Ed turns around, reassures me. "It's okay," he says, "I've been practicing Mechwarrior for months." Which is true. He's been playing that game obsessively since before we even starting building the mech. I haven't been watching too closely but I know he's been getting rather obscenely good at it. So when he shows me the keyboard and mouse interface that he's worked out, I figure this could be a pretty interesting week.


Ed stories | next

I am so alone today. But not lonely.

This morning my parents fled across the border, to Progreso, ostensibly going in search of prescription medication but actually going to get drunk off their asses. I'm okay with that. I've been wandering around the house all day, naked, wondering at the silence and stillness and light amidst the cacaphony of police sirens and raucous coeds (I live near sunny South Padre Island, notorious for its festive Spring Break sessions).

It's been a long time since I've been my own company. For the past few months my weekends have been occupied with my boyfriend, dinner parties, and excursions with the family. I remember delighting in being told to "go to your room!" after committing a familial transgression. I'm still quite socially awkward, faltering with eye contact and the personal revelation. But now it is strange to find myself staring vacantly at the TV, looking hazily out at the mist enveloping our beach house. Trying to read ( Nabokov) and study (U.S. History). Trying to find myself again. Trying on my black prom dress, watching it float diaphanous against the breeze.

I think what I've realized is that most of my diversion is really an opiate, heightening my senses while dulling my self-perception. I must come back to myself, learn who I am without the sedation of books and movies and games. I must enjoy my own company again.

Yes brother, I hear it was good.

Sorry I couldn't join you.

I was out getting the girl instead... :)

Will join you next time though for sure!


Update: Well it didn't work out with the girl in the end... :-\

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