We skipped stones at the pond down the road.
I still just heave them into the water--
I can't hook my arm,
I can't send the stones sailing
level across the water
until they make contact with the surface tension
and bounce along until sinking
but I was happy to watch you
as you sent the stones across
breaking the tension

We skipped stones at the pond down the road.
I haven't skipped stones since I was a child,
standing at a vernal pool that appeared
in the field behind my housing development.
I would skip stones with a boy named Derrick.
We were twelve--my first real crush
and we'd skip stones, until the day
his family flew back across the Atlantic to Limerick
and I first recognized

Now, twelve years later
the uninformed hope of a twelve-year-old
now (if slightly) understood better
comes breaking in waves over me
as you hold my hand
brake the surface tension
kissing in the fading light.
The wind on the surface
brought small waves lapping at our feet.

'How to Fall in Love and Get Your Ass Kicked After a Bender in Mexico',
'How I Met My Girlfriend'

It all started in Puerto Nuevo, a small town on the Baja coast line north of the asshole that is Rosarito and south of the armpit that is Tijuana. I've only had a first-hand experience with the armpit. I was well prepared for it, having been born in the armpit of California, but the cops were a little too zealous for my taste. Corruption and extreme poverty make for a nasty combination, especially in a police force. Of course, I should never have been pissing in the street either, but I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I?

Back to Puerto Nuevo where a large group of my friends, consisting of girls and guys, had taken over an entire resort. If you ever need a large amount of beer in Mexico, just contact the local brewery and they will cart out a couple dozen kegs at very little charge. I can sum up the scene by saying that a sun-drenched resort within view of waves crashing and half-naked people cavorting around a dozen kegs makes for a good party. Having a lobster-village within walking distance was just frosting on the cake.

You'll excuse me if I didn't notice her until late at night in the middle of the DJ's set. I felt her eyes as a slight burning tingle on the back of my head and it took me not long to locate the source. Dancing late into the night, the fatigue lessened considerably by copious amounts of Tecaté, to this day I have just one clear memory of her. She smelled, tasted and looked like lavender. The weekend ended, the revelry died down for another year, and we made our way back to Los Angeles in the buses that we arrived in. After that weekend, the group on the bus was considerably more subdued.

She seemed nice enough back in the real world, but these were my asshole-extraordinaire days where my relationships with girls were largely touch and go. Relationships. What a laugh. I was a boy playing at being a man; a fool playing at being a drunk. Still, I feel bad for those girls that were looking for a man in a boy. I never practiced to deceive.

The hickey on my neck was obscene. Generally I find them tacky at best and self-deprecating at worst. This one was obscene. What are you supposed to do when the girl that you are in love with is sucking on your neck? Of course, she was only trying to worsen the bruise from the girl that had actually put it there. I never wanted to hurt the lavender girl by having her see it. Wait a minute, back up. This bears explaining.

At the time she was a friend of a friend, and my girlfriend-to-be though I did not know it. A fiery little blond with an undeniable spirit. The force of her was intoxicating. She had been in Puerto along with me and the lavender girl, but I would not know her until a couple of days later. After slowly depleting a 12-pack of Bud we meandered back to my room. I only noticed what was happening when the wind was knocked out of me from being thrown up against the wall and an ice-cold tongue dallied at my neck. 'So that's what she had grabbed the ice-cubes for,' I thought to myself. 'How long had she been planning this little coup?' I have to note that at this point lavender girl still hoped that our fantasy in Mexico somehow bled onto the page back in the real world. Do I look like an asshole yet? That's probably an accurate assessment.

Ahh, my future girlfriend. That night spun my head like a top and brought all my attention to bear directly on this tiny blonde with a personality like a football offensive-line. Unfortunately I was still in love with my best-friend at the time and this had the effect of screwing up my programming like a division by zero. 'Surely these women will be the death of me,' I thought. 'Yeah, it's either that or growing up,' another voice said. Clearly neither were an option.

The sharpness of the memory is still there. It's funny how you can tell when your going to have a love-bruise from someone kissing/sucking on you. You can actually feel that sharp tinge when the blood-vessels break, though arguably this can be hard to pay attention to when you're in the situation that allows for it to happen. She thought it was so goddamned funny, my best-friend, my true love - the bane of all my existence. I was trapped between my girlfriend-to-be, my lavender one-night-stand, and the woman I loved. These thoughts jarringly exited my head as my bane lunged at me, knocking me to the bed, quickly followed by one of her girlfriends. She succinctly Hoover'ed my neck beyond all measures of taste, and then her girlfriend took her turn. At least I never have to wonder what my neck would look like if a major-league slugger beaned it with a line-drive.

Sheepishly, I recounted my dispicable past couple of days to lavender, hoping (like I was in some sort of cockamamie scheme cooked up by George Costanza) that this would be the end of the line for me and her. "So, this isn't over?" I asked. I responded to the shake of her head with a resigned and drawn out, "Awright."

Fast-forward to nightfall. Guys can be stupid when they are all hopped-up on testosterone. Add a deluge of cheap beer to that volatile mix and they are downright mindblowing in their stupidity. Unbeknownst to me, a friend of mine had been in an altercation with a fellow from another group of friends, and rather than end then and there the kettle was continuing to boil down on the street in front of my place while I imbibed the aformentioned swill up on the second floor. My self-destruction was halted by another friend of mine peeking his head into the doorway long enough to utter the rallying cry of "Fight!"

"Hmmm, a fight. That sounds like fun."

'What!? What the fuck are you thinking! That's the most imbecile thing I have ever conceived of...'

A few swigs was all it took to silence my sober voice into oblivion. Extremely drunk, I found myself out in the middle of the fucking street where I happened to be swaying on my feet in the midst of a brawl. I didn't have much experience with this sort of thing and I didn't really want to just attack a guy without provocation - even if it was a free-for-all. I saw one of my friends on the ground with a guy hovering over and kicking the shit out of him. Good target. Taking a running start I brought my right-knee sharply up into his ribcage like a character from Double-Dragon and sent him rolling onto the sidewalk. I've always heard that time slows down in a situation such as this, but I have no memory of him hitting me. Damn, that fucker was big and damn, could he move fast. I only knew he had socked me across the jaw spinning me fast enough to cut my hand on a car-runner, because it adorned the car that had previously been behind me.

Chicks dig battle scars, and supreme stupidity apparently. I didn't feel a thing as I was still supremely drunk and I now had two women doting on me, while cursing my macho facade. Poor lavender. She never had a chance really. My girlfriend-to-be was maternal, biting, sexy, arrogant, and dominating all at once. I didn't flinch under her reprimands or her rough first-aid. In fact, I found it hard to hide my pleased smile. I'm sorry lavendar, wherever you are. You skulked off that night and I never saw you again.

That's how I met her. Little Tex we would call her, a fitting name as she was from Texas, but only from my lips was she called Babydoll. The only girl I have ever settled down enough to commit to. You still bring a smile to my lips occasionally, you know that? It's a tragedy sometimes how misplaced our affections and notions of love can be.

Hi everybody! I went to this for a couple of days this weekend and had a really good time! All you people are very interesting and interesting is good. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay longer but my mom was picking me up so I could go to play at my softball game.

Here were some of my favorite things:

Roasting marshmallows by the fire
Watching someone try and shoot a plane into the sky
Talking with her about writing
Trying to sneak up on my dad
Lots and lots of other stuff

I hope everybody made it home okay and I hope I get to see a lot of you all again real soon. – Bye!

Tomorrow Sophia will be two months old. One thing that I have learned in my two months of fatherhood is the value of prayer.

Let's be clear on our terms. I am not a religious person, but I consider myself a spiritual person. I believe that there is a singular Truth out there, and my spiritual journey centers around discovering that Truth. I am unsure of the existence of gods and goddesses and their natures. But one thing I believe in with certainty is the value of prayer and meditation. I think there is something encoded in the deep structures of our minds that cries out for this sort of reboot. Having a baby has only cemented this belief. Having a baby almost requires you to reach out for something beyond yourself that is bigger and stronger and wiser... something transcendent.

When I was outside the operating room waiting to attend my wife's caesarean section, I prayed. I uttered the prayer for protection and the litany against fear over and over. I was terrified, and focusing and retraining my mind using these exercises calmed me down. I was able to be a strong support for my wife to lean on as they worked on her.

When Sophia emerged from her mother's belly, I was momentarily struck by all the blood and gore, but my prayers of thanksgiving blew that away like the seeds of a dandelion.

In the days that followed, I prayed for strength, clarity of mind, resourcefulness, energy, and confidence, and those things came to me.

Now, when Sophia screams in all hours of the night (ear infection), prayer keeps me grounded and patient. When she just won't go to sleep, and I am stuck watching infomercials all night, prayer keeps me awake and loving. And when she smiles or laughs at me, I am grateful.

This is what I have learned from two months of fatherhood. If there was no such thing as prayer, a parent would have to invent it.

Ever since I posted my surgery report a few days ago I've been getting a lot of questions about what lies ahead for me and my health. I thought I'd take a moment to answer some of them here in the daylog for all those out there who have been following my story and might have similar questions. Don't let these answers stop you from /msging me with any other questions you might have, and as always I invite anyone to just say Hi.

1) So, what's next for you? Back to school and work and such? Yes, but not right away. I cancelled my summer courses at the college this year to spend time recovering. I'm planning to start back at work at the end of this week, but only for an hour or so. I'm planning to ease back into daily work as I continue to feel better. On the whole I really want to do things again. I've spent the past five months asleep in bed for the most part. I miss going to malls and movies and hanging out with friends and stuff. I've had to turn down chances to do some neat stuff for a while, but not for much longer. I'm going to spend my time recovering primarily watching movies (I moved my DVD library to the bedroom to watch on the computer while I lay in bed), catching up on some writing (both E2 things and other projects I have going on), and cooking.

2) Wait, cooking? You're eating again so soon after strange men and women rummaged around inside your innards? Yes. From February to May I lived on only liquids because I lost the ability to digest solids. Before I left the hospital the doctor had me back to eating scrambled eggs and Jell-O. Now that I'm home again I've arranged for my kitchen to be filled with my favorite foods and ingredients so I can rediscover delicious meals. I am primarily eating sliced chicken and ham from the local deli (Boar's Head brand; demand the best). These two meats are in every meal in some fashion. Sandwiches (on rice bread), baked with melted lactose-free cheese on top and served with a side of mashed potatoes or baked french fries, made into an omellette, etc. These are very soft and easy-to-digest meats and, best of all, they have flavor! I'm so sick of vanilla.

3) So how soon until you're ordering pizzas and eating bacon? Or ordering a pizza with bacon on it? Or eating pizza-flavored bacon? Not for a while. While I do have working intestines again, I'm still not able to digest foods that I lost when I was initially diagnosed with Crohn's Disease nine years ago. At that time I lost things such as dairy, fruits, vegetables, and sausage/bacon-type meats. Chances are that those won't be in my diet for a long time, if ever. The foods I am probably going to be able to recover safely are wheat products (breads, buns, pizza dough for homemade pizzas, etc.) and beef (hamburger, steak, etc.) because I only lost the ability to digest those in 2001. I plan to work backwards through the order that I lost the ability to digest things. I do plan to take this progression slowly though.

4) Well, good luck to you. I bet you can't wait to eat all that stuff now that you're cured. Ah, but I'm not cured. The surgeons removed the portions of intestine that were causing the most problems, but there is nothing that can be done to cause slightly effected tissue to revert to full health or to keep healthy tissue from becoming all Crohnstastic. While I am in good health again now, that could last a week or a decade. There's no way to know. All I can do is continue taking care of myself and hope for the best.

If you'd like to learn more about Crohn's Disease please check out the Crohn's/Colitis Foundation of America at http://www.ccfa.org or my own website at http://pages.prodigy.net/mattgreen/. You can also ask me; I'm very open with my illness and am always happy to answer questions.

Hot Damn 3! nodestock

I think the best part about arriving several hours early to a gathering is getting to relax with your noder friends and chit-chat about who's coming, where you've all come from and, of course, avoiding the 100 car pile-up on Rt 68 because it's Memorial Day weekend and everyone's in a hurry.

I met up with LaggedyAnne and cbustapeck at the Columbus Greyhound station and we headed to zot-fot-piq's place where we met up with Sean and were soon joined by BrooksMarlin. I just want to point out, never jokingly put your hand up when there's a ball of any sort in BrooksMarlin's hand, he'll throw the ball.

You made the "throw the ball to me" hand signal. I cannot be held accountable for the fact that you have no skillz.

After being joined by thefez, witchiepoo, tandex, enth, dann, borgo and borgette - and some preboozing fun while a small group awaited nocte - we all piled into cars to head to the camp site. And that's when it happened. Nocte became a holiday statistic when she plowed into cbustapeck's mini-van. The intersection was littered with broken plastic car and glass bits. In her defense, cbustapeck had come to an abrupt stop when it was discovered we were in some weird Columbus intersection that made no sense and left him unknowingly without the right of way and staring into the frightened eyes of a vacationer from Virginia. Sgt. Hughes (badge number 1538) advised them against a report and eventually we continued on to Hot Damn.

Tents were raised, a fire was started and fun was had. The highlights of the weekend were:
  • Jurph. Do I really need to explain? Oh, ok. There were Coffee Mate fireballs. There was glass sculpture with discarded beer bottles. Oh, and the rocket launches. What? You can't have Jurph and not have rocket launches.
  • NoahPierce. Again, do I really have to explain? Ok. Radlab0 shaved his head, so all got to rub the smoothness for good luck. Yeah, that's why we were touching him.. *cough* He also flew a tent. No, that wasn't a typo. Having earlier seen elephino and JessicaPierce playing with a plastic kite, I suppose he got the bright idea to use a spare tent..I hope it was a spare tent. He - with a child in tow - attacked this tent with a sharp knife, leaving it looking as though Freddy Kruger had been there. Oh, and aside from general sweetness and hilarity from the guy, he is very into sharing knowledge. He showed us how to make nifty walking sticks with a branch and a blow torch..he instructed a 13 year old on the proper use of said blow torch then showed her how to make chedder cheese shoes with it. I must accept some responsibility for this (Ok, Mordel, I fess up) since I suggested the cheese shoes in the first place.
  • Other highlights? Well other than volleyball, hanging out in the rain around a hot fire, being up at 4am with Sean, Tandex, Mordel and NoahPierce waiting on noders to arrive from their far-off origins after catching the tale end of fireworks in the middle of the street...what can I mention? OOOH! I know..
  • Butterfinger McFlurry baseball. Prompted by Avalyn, LaggedyAnne and I purchased a few on a shopping trip and the boys were in baseball heaven. For as long as the desserts lasted, anyway. I believe that dann has some digital photos of the whole thing.
  • One night we were visited by a ninja. Clad in black, of course for that is the ninja way, he rolled stylishly around the ground and battled whomever was brave enough to face him.
  • At brunch on Sunday it was decided that we really need to start up that "Men of E2" calendar. As a fundraiser, of course. Some months have been passed out already (sorry boys Noah is October), you'll have to contact LaggedyAnne for the complete list as I can't remember them all. Of course it might have been the randy females at the table just getting carried away..
  • While some noders played volleyball, other noders launched rockets as bi-planes flew around, and still other noders loaded into a car and went off to meet nocte's mom...cbustapeck, Ch'i-lin and I made our own journey to The Serpent Mound. Eductional, nice drive, you should go at least once to see this nifty burial mound that looks like a snake uncurling and swallowing the sun.
That's all my still travel weary brain can manage for now. Although I will leave you with some of my favorite weekend quote/moments.

BrooksMarlin suddenly crooning "Put it in my mouth". I guess a 30 minute car ride listening to LaggedyAnne's mix cd: 69 Minutes of Bliss will do that to you.

Jurph focused on the fire and moving the bottles around to make interesting bits of slag, saying to an 8-year-old "I am the king of wang."

NoahPierce looking at me with a goofy grin and saying "You want me to go to....." me: Funkstown "You want to take me to..." me: Funkstown "You want to take me to..." me: Yes, Funkytown "Awesome!"

Dann's pics: http://doulopolis.net/index.pl?lastnode_id=424&node_id=526
My pics: http://doulopolis.net/index.pl?node_id=528
Katyana's pics: http://katyana.com/album/index.cgi?mode= album&album=/Hot%20Damn%202003

Thanks go to our gracious hosts for a wonderful weekend!!!!

This morning ryano caused a minor stir in the Catbox by asking in a deadpan manner what we all would do with our time from now until E2 was switched off for good on October 17th. Actually, he didn't say E2 would be switched off; he said it would be chopped with an axe. (Which those of us with IT experience know is really the best way to down a server.) Some of us got the joke and played along. Others were bewildered and, as the joke went on, became panicked or angry. At that point I explained that we were just being goofy and that E2 is not being destroyed this October, as I had no desire to see myself and my fellow admins burned at the stake by pitchfork-carrying noders.

(I also remember too well my own feelings when a noder reported in the Chatterbox that wharfinger had been killed in some sort of accident. When I asked if it were true or not, no one would answer me. I was really scared on account of recent events, and then REALLY angry when it became apparent I'd been hoaxed about the death of someone I liked.)

So! E2 is safe, and all is well. But keep in mind, cats and kittens, that Web publishing is a notoriously transient medium. We have surviving manuscripts from the 12th century, but do you seriously think this site will last that long? Will Butterfinger McFlurry still be around a hundred years from now? Fifty? Ten? In his Confessions, Augustine reflected on the death of a friend: "For whence had that former grief so easily reached my inmost soul but that I had poured out my soul upon the dust in loving one, that must die, as if he would never die."

I sincerely hope this site outlives us all. But for the sake of your own mental health, please make sure you're emotionally prepared for the news item that starts out, "It's been fun, but..." Love the site, YES, heavens yes; but not as one that will never die.

And if there's a node of yours the irrecoverable loss of which would break your heart? Dude, print that sucker out.

Hi. I'm kinda new here.

I've liked E2 ever since I saw it. I can spend hours browsing nodes and surfing softlinks in a flurry of Mozilla tabs. I've contributed a few writeups, but only in places where I thought the database needed to be enlightened. I noded what I knew.

However, it can't be denied that the most beautiful nodes here are the accounts of people, relationships, and love. Not the writeups on Kazaa's structure or applications of Fitt's Law. And I think to myself, I want to node like that.

But there's this bar thing, see. It got raised. And I hit my damn fool head on it.

I can accept that my style's not up to par with E2's best. Even with E2's half-best. I'd just like to be able to touch the fiction end of the E2 pool without getting obliterated. I'd also love to see E2 rekindle my desire to write, which I think (by its popularity with writers) it's capable of. What I'm asking you, the Day Log reader, is whether I should look into getting a Mentor, fulfill myself with a few words of (your) advice, or what-have-you.

I'll appreciate any well-meaning advice. I don't know if the Day Logs are the right place for this kind of thing, but I'm sure you'll let me know if I'm wrong.

I am coming to realize the sobering difference between the things you want, the things you need, and the pictures you see in your head. Life is always so different when your financial situation changes. I used to want things, I used to want to upgrade all of the material crap in my life, and now all I can think about is how I'm going to make a mortgage payment and what's going to happen if I can't make the bills on time. I used to daydream and see commercials for America in my head. Lush green lawns, spotless white t-shirts and never a thirst that couldn't be quenched by red Kool-Aid.

This is not all my responsibility, but I can't help feeling like I gave the green light and said I could do it all: I can't. I can't afford the sporty little Ford and the big 2 story house and all the new clothes I want. I can't afford the gas, the electric, the cat food, and the co-pays. I daydream now about having no credit. I wish I were waiting tables again and could only spend what I have in my hand. I wish I didn't have ivory colored carpet and faux wood blinds. I wish I didn't have this responsibility to things, to a location; but I do. The entire idea of the Fight Club truth - you are not your things has never been a reality. It just mocks you from the side.

Now the images depicted are all of something empty - a desperate yearning for simpler times, easier obstacles to overcome. It's wanting the sensation of a good hug without the gnawing feeling deep inside that there are THINGS TO DO. How can you feel good when you owe somebody somewhere in excess of $100,000? How can you possibly be allowed?

I feel like I am not allowed to be okay until I have settled these debts, financial turning into spiritual - eating away at my confidence in being able to do anything at all anymore.

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