All the sand aligns 
According to the leaning
Vessel’s texture

Taking the hands
To the touch
That tears
Without harm

We take our minds
Out to examine
    And tune
To times and lives
Surrounding us

And grains of us
Shaking into place
Find the new line
    That is not

I was cleaning my room today when I found an old breakup letter, about two years old, from a girl I've since come to despise.

I know you shouldn't look back in anger, but I have other women to look back in anger at, and she's still a psycho bitch by comparison.

The letter is pretty straightforward high school breakup material; a surplus of emoting over something that neither of you understands.

So I put the letter in my mouth, chewed it up, and ate it.

In three months of dating this girl, I never once really kissed her. There were pecks on the cheek, but I could never bring myself to make the next step. I was fifteen and I'd kissed girls before, too. I just couldn't. It screwed me up. I stopped dating for a year-and-a-half after she dumped me, wrote crappy songs, and had meaningless crushes on a dozen girls.

The stupid glitter pen she wrote it with is probably giving me stomach cancer right now.

I did something stupid today. Well, not really stupid, it's something I wanted to do for a long time. I've never, ever had a really cool car in my life. Okay, my ITB road racing car had cool. Any car with a roll cage and a fuel cell has major cool, even in meltdown green and yellow paint. Race cars, are, well, race cars, and they have cool.

But not a street car. I've had good reliable cars, functional cars, but not a cool street car. My buddy Chris' arsenal has inculded a Miata a '66 mustang fastback, a '55 Chevy Bel Air, and a '71 Chevelle SS in the eight years I've known him. But I've gotten by with a four-cylinder S-10. Practical. Sensible.

Not any more. Today I bought my first cool car, a brand spankin' new Ford Focus SVT. 170 horspower Six speed transmission. Traction control Heck, it's even got heated seats. It goes like bat out of hell, stops like a bungee cord and can pull major gees in a corner. It has heated seats! Plus it looks cool. I have my first key fob. Oh, it's not entirely impractical, it's small and has lots of cargo room. But it's the coolest car I've ever owned, and I am happy. My underwear runneth over.

Now if only I could figure out how to take the boom out of the "audiophile " package stereo. That may take some study.

Tonight, while smoking cigarettes on the roof at work with a co-worker, I was looking up at the night sky. It was clear, beautiful and pristine. The moon shined at half phase upon the dark roof, covering everything with a cool, white glow. The stars were sparkling pinpricks in the inky night sky, dots in a black, void canvas. We made a futile effort to discern which planets in our solar system were visible in the heavens above. Jupiter? Saturn? Mars? We could see definite hues and shades, which might have indicated which planet was which, but the refraction of light can play tricks on the eyes. We were clueless.

I continued to gaze skywards and said, "I don't know much about astronomy, but I do know this: I want to get the fuck up there one day."

He chuckled. "Well, you are a sci-fi fan, after all. Makes sense that you'd want to be up there."

A short while later, after I'd left work and made it to the cafe, a young drunk woman was making a pithy attempt at flirting with me. It's almost kind of embarrassing to see a drunk person flirt sometimes. When she was distracted by a friend of hers, one of the regulars caught my attention. He softly suggested, almost in a whisper, "Dude... get with her! She's all about it!"

I didn't bother to lower my voice as I leveled my gaze at him and said, "Hell no. I have standards." I think she heard me, but I don't really care, because she glared at me with contempt. I suppose she felt put off, but that's not my problem.

I absolutely refuse to try and pick up drunk women. That's not my style. And, I must say, she was "standing down, falling up drunk." There is nothing more unattractive to me than drunkenness. Some people may disagree with me on that score (most likely people who drink themselves to oblivion on occasion), but I stand by it. Inebriation, to me, symbolizes stupidity- or, at least, impending stupidity. I'm not attracted to dumb people. If someone feels like they've got to use a libation just to relax or loosen up, then they're not for me. Fact of the matter is, a person does not need alcohol to relax. Then there's the whole "it kills brain cells" thing, which doesn't endear me to it any. But I digress.

My friend thought it was the height of humor.

Just another day at the office.

So, I'm at a new college now, I went a Community College for two years and now I've graduated onto the big 4 year University. I'm a junior by year, sophomore by credits though, I seem to drop a lot of classes when I'm doing poorly. Which is what happened today, I dropped eight credits, so I have seven now. Seven. That is pretty pathetic, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure if I do poorly because of my study habits, insomnia, or personal issues. I was talking with someone today and we found out that everyone has the same midterm goes a little something like this:

Well, I had a pretty bad semester this time around, but next semester I'll try harder. I'll study more. I won't drink as much. I won't procrastinate.

Hah. Yeah, I've said that how many times?

So, so far this has been a big digression from what I really wanted to write. I'm at this new college right, well, I used to grow up around here, so I looked in the college directory for this girl I used to have a crush on from like first all the way to fifth grade, when she moved away. You guessed it. She goes to college here too. Which got me thinking, would I recognize someone I haven't seen in almost 10 years? Especially because people change so much between like age 10 and age 20. It has really gotten the best of me. When she moved away, I cried, she wrote me a letter, I never wrote back. Why? I'm not too sure.

Is she still that beautiful blonde I remember? Does she still wear glasses or did she upgrade to contacts? I constantly catch myself looking around campus, thinking, "I bet that's her." I tell myself that if I ever meet her again, I'll ask her out, and if you are wondering, I have tried to contact her, I sent an email to her college address. . .no reply. I looked her up under Hotmail. . .no reply. *shrug* So, she could be avoiding me, in which case, fine. I'm not a stalker. The more I think about, I'm not even looking for romance. I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Ugh, this is one big rant. (also my first daylog, so downvote away)

The PalpZ update.

I really should get more sleep.

Naw, fuck it, I'm having too much fun.

So, I moved into my fraternity house back in September. This is something that I've wanted to do for a good 3 years, but of course, I couldn't afford it.

Now, however, the parents are moving to Edmonton, so I needed to find a place to live. It's a vast improvement in some ways.

I used to live in the very very SE corner of the city. The University of Calgary is located in the NW quadrant of the city. I usually spent on average about 1.5 hours each way on the busses and on the C-Train.

You really would think that with an extra 3 hours a day, I'd be getting more studying done, and getting more sleep.

Then again, I suppose there is the minor factor that I no longer have someone to cook for me, or do my laundry. Also, my room is small. Very small. Of course, it was the last room that was open in the house, and now there's a waiting list of about 3 guys who want to get in after I got in.

I managed to fit all of my furniture in there. It's a bit of a tight squeeze, but I've got my bed, my dresser, a desk that was left behind, and a small bookcase. There's just not all that much floor space in between all that stuff.

I also managed to snag me a new girlfriend.

It's been a while. Almost 9 months since I broke up with Laura, and hell, almost a year since the last time I've had sex.

I like Jolene. I really like Jolene. We're trying to take things a bit slow, which I think is usually a good thing.

Met her online. From playing Medievia to be exact. Known her for a few years on there, but only met her irl recently. Eh, we seemed to hit it off. I really do hope it works out, because if nothing else, dating someone again has reminded me just how much I hate being single.

Gah. Whatever, she makes me happy when I'm with her. That more than I can really ask, right?

What else is new? Oh yeah, I'm actually doing well in school for once!

I'm in my 4th year of Mechanical Engineering at the UofC, although I'm taking mostly 3rd year classes. After all, I can count the number of engineering students I know who are actually graduating in 4 years on one hand.

Taking 5 courses. Got 85 on my midterm in Heat Transfer, a stunning 96 in my Fluid Mechanics II midterm, and decent marks in my Communication Studies class. Probably like Bish. That's the only stuff I've gotten marks back in yet, but I'm fairly confident that I did reasonably well in those.

This is a fairly new thing for me. I got a 3.0 GPA out of four last semester, but if I keep that up, I'll have almost doubled my GPA from the two semesters before that.

It doesn't really take a genius to figure out what happened. I actually started going to class on a semi regular basis.

I mean, that isn't to say that I don't ever sleep through a class, but I'm a lot more likely to go if it doesn't mean that I have to leave the house at 6:30 to go. I mean, for my circuits course, one or two years back, I forget, I estimate that I went to a grand total of 6 classes that semester.

Shame really, because the professor is a really cool guy. I just couldn't think by the time I got to school. Half the time when I did go, I just ended up having a nap. By the time I got to the final, I had no idea what was going on in the course. Left at least one question blank. Somehow managed to pull off a D and didn't have to take the course again. Thank god.

So yeah, anyways. Things are going well. I really should stop being so lazy though. Study more, work out once in a while... or I could take a nap. Cya!

So, I'm walking to the shops the other day, and I see this old lady waiting to cross the road.

Of course, I come over with the existential dilemma of "should I help her across and secure eternal good karma, or leave her and not look like a prat?"

And then, for a split second of guilt, I rate my chances of scoring her.

But I eventually decide to leave her alone, and go into the shop.

But then I come out, after buying the new FHM, and I see that the old lady has been hit by a car, and she's lying kinda awkwardly on her face.

So I feel all bad, and move in to get a better look.

But then they roll her over, and even though her head is all messed up and it's difficult to see anything, I realise that it wasn't an old lady at all.

It was a clown in a bikini.

So I felt much better after that, 'cos I'd hate for an old lady to die because of me.

Following yesterday's slight-almost-partial breakdown, I was pleasantly surprised by the affability that today seemed to treat me with. In many ways, I wish I had more than four hours of English per week. It seems to be the class which generally leaves me feeling the most as if I've actually learnt something. I can't help thinking that if I had known all of the teachers in advance, I would have opted to take Dorothea Finan for all of them; but of course it's far too late now.

Began to re-read How Many Miles to Babylon, today being the first day of its prescription for the aforesaid enseignant's class.

Strange; I woke up this morning calmed from the turmoil of the night before. A dream calmed me, of water and warmth and empathy and impossibility. And I awoke to read of Rachel's dream, on a different dimension to mine. Something about a chair, something about love. I would have expected to feel perturbed, at the inverted synchronicity. But it seems I am a poor judge of myself.

And another day ekes by. An almost-week, now. Time passes ponderously. Colm had it right,

'Of course time's passing slowly. Christ, nothing ever comes if you're waiting for it.'

I'm afraid. I'm afraid to be back here, after what happened in my Geography lesson today.

It's probably nothing.

But I think the first signs of addiction are just vague ones, after all.

Even so, I wonder if I should just quit and not come back here.

As I looked down at my Geography book, full of boring crap about pressures on the rural-urban fringe, at what I'd just written, for just a split second, I could see square brackets around some of the words. I imagined what I would call the node for my work, and what I'd softlink it to.

And then it was gone.

I could only stare at my book in horror.

I'm addicted to E2.

My first daylog!

Last Daylog * * * Next Daylog

The Tale of the...
Oh enough of that. Let's just get on with things.

Well I finally popped back to see how my latest contribution to the "nodegel" has done. (See how I've picked up some of the jargon.) Oh, better than the last one I see, perhaps I might even be getting the hang of this.

And even some messages. Now I like messages. Messages are feedback, messages are a reaction, messages are little ripples on the pond after I'v whacked my large pebbles at it..... Well a lot of people thought my Pile of Kittens was sad. Which it is really, since it features both death and disappointment, neither of which are normally happy subjects, but sad

2002.11.13 at 00:07 O****** says re Pile of kittens: This w/u rules. Ignore the playahataz.

(And no, I've got no idea what "playahataz" means either. It must be a real word, as it's on Google. Still couldn't work out what it meant though. Must be one of those 1337 things. I shall have to ask.)

2002.11.09 at 16:21 B****** says re Pile of kittens: I like this a lot better than the first entry.
I don't understand why that one did so well ...

Dear B***** I suspect that "first entry", "did so well" (I assume that having twelve of those exclamation mark things is a mark of great success.) because it is both cute and sentimental and cute and sentimental always plays well in certain quarters. But I shouldn't let that worry you any more than it worries me; cute and sentimental isn't (yet) a crime.

Now the tale my Pile of Kittens tells is true enough. Or at least the truth as I remember it. After all it is my memory of someone else's memory, so the truth has been filtered through many layers of perception, and whether what I ended up writing is now totally ojective record of events I do not know. I wrote it because (obviously) something in thatgirl's writeup triggered my recollection and gave me the idea to write what I did.

One suggestion comes in from C****** who says;

2002.11.09 at 19:10 re Pile of kittens: Here's an upvote, but please consider
moving this writeup to another node. Pile of kittens is famous here, and not for this

Well I've considered it, but no, I think I'm quite happy with it where it is. (The Powers That Be may disagree and do what they will as is their wont.) My Pile of kittens was both inspired by, and is a response to the write up that precedes it. They are both the better (or so I think) read in conjuction.

Consider it my antidote to sentimentality; I wanted to remind people that our projection of anthropomorphic cuteness onto small fluffy mammals is a product of a place and time that permits us that luxury. There have been different times and there are different places.

Washington, D.C. is the kind of city where the in-between seasons -- autumn and spring -- are truncated or skipped altogether. It’s not uncommon for winter to end, segue to one day of spring, and then jump to the hottest most humid April day you can possibly imagine. The transition between summer and autumn is even worse -- one minute your sweltering in 90 degree October days (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating here a little), the next it’s 40 degrees and raining.

But once in a very great while you’ll get a proper seasonal day -- and people like me who grew up someplace else, someplace with a more nuanced sense of seasonal change, are reminded of what fall should feel like. Today is a case in point -- bright yellow sun, orange and yellow leaves carpeting the sidewalks, and cool 60-degree weather. Hell, it even almost smells like autumn -- that mix of cool air and rotten leaves that reminds me of picking apples with my grandfather as a kid (pardon me as I wax nostalgic for a moment ... waxing ... please wait...), or going on long drives to nowhere with my parents.

And wouldn’t you know it -- I had to enjoy it in my office, looking down on all the happy people basking on the street in front of Hopkins, while I was stuck answering email from my boss in South Africa, who even across the ocean can always think of new projects that need to be done. By the time I leave at quarter after five today, it’ll be completely dark -- in fact, it almost already is. In summer time at least I get to sit out front reading while I wait for Pantaliamon to come meet me -- but in November I have to trudge home in the dark. The only positive is I get to peek into the street-side studios of the National Geographic Channel and maybe catch another glimpse of that Egyptian archeologist who’s always on while I wait for Pantaliamon -- they really only open their windows in the winter, and it’s about the only thing I have to look forward to in the dark.

I miss being a kid in Hagerstown, MD and getting the chance to enjoy the passing seasons. I hate that all my time has to be spent worrying about work and school and all these other things that aren’t as important as I pretend they are. I miss the old eroded mountains of home and Saturday afternoons that just stretched on forever. Now everything feels so scheduled.

Pantaliamon and I are in negotiations about having a kid. We imagine we’ll start trying in the next year or so. In that time, I’ve really got to figure out some way to slow life down, to not rush all the time. To be able to enjoy a nice clear fall day for more than five minutes before I have to get back to laying out a newsletter, or banging out pages and pages of mind-numbingly dull HTML code. I’d hate for us to have one of those post-modern kids, swept up in a flurry of work and consuming and television -- all those clock-driven things that control our lives today.

But I’m not sure how to do this. I make plans, but then I break them. Important things need to be done, but it’s funny how unimportant they seem while you’re actually doing them. Yet still they take priority over more meaningful things.

Today my roommate did something that very much improved my perception of him.
But first, a little background.
My roommate and I have very little in common. He is very close to the stereotypical fratboy, and I am very close to the stereotype of the socially retarded music geek. He rarely articulates any deep thought, so I simply assumed that I had nothing to gain from associating with him outside of the dorm. We have conflicting views on many topics, but we haven't had any conflicts because we are both reasonably nice guys.

So I was straightening my side of the room, as it tends to clutter very easily. I picked up something that was handed to me when I attended a Halloween showing of Attack of the Clones at the local IMAX theater.
Various events at the theater caused that to be one of the most unpleasant nights of my life. I held the newsletter in my hand, debating internally with myself as to whether I should throw it away or not.
"It's just a big ball of negative vibes, man. Chuck it."
"Weeellllll, it really wasn't that bad. C'mon, keep it."

Eventually this dialog leaked outside my head. I told my roommate of my situation. He listened, and agreed with what I was saying. I then delineated the reasons why I should and shouldn't throw it away.
He then walked over to me, snatched the newsletter from my hands, tore it up into about five or six pieces, and threw it in the wastebasket.
"I don't like bad memories."

Today I learned that everyone can teach us something. Today a drunken, shallow person taught me that sometimes you just need to let go of the past. Especially if it hurts.

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