I am a small man trapped in a large man's body.

I'm sure there are other tall men out there who can sympathise with me here. I've always been a tall person, I've always been physically strong, but I don't think I've ever felt tall. My personality has never really suited my body.

That was going to be the start of a node I was going to write, until I realised it was going to suck if I kept going at it the way I was. It annoys me that I can't write the way I'd like to, as well as I think I should be able to. Whenever I try to write a node on here, I start to ramble, to go off on tangents, and never seem to be able to write a concise, self sufficient piece of work. Which is why I daylog.

I was going to write the above node because, well, I often don't like my body, my shape, my physical presence. I can look in the mirror sometimes, and not recognise myself in that person that's staring back at me. When I don't think about what I look like, I can be myself, and be comfortable, but if I'm doing something and start thinking 'What do I look like right now?', I am immediately put off by the thought.

I don't think I'm ugly. I just don't look the way I want to look. I'm a lot smaller inside than outside, both mentally and emotionally. If this were the Matrix, my residual self image would be a lot shorter than I really am.

I'm clumsy, I'm goofy, I look stupid when I try to be comfortable with my body and just let myself go. I feel like I should be more graceful, more certain of where my body is and what it's doing. Sometimes I can be, but it takes a lot of effort.

But, whatever. I get like this sometimes. There are times when I am happy with my body and the way I look, and when I finally get off my ass and lose some weight, those times will probably be more frequent. Meh.

Anna has finished her course, which just rules, she's feeling extremely good about it, as you would expect.

Damn I'm tired, I can't concentrate properly.

It was Melbourne Cup Day yesterday, a public holiday in Victoria, so I had the day off work... Anna and I were burning CDs at her place all day, music CDs for her 21st. I would've preferred to stay in bed all day, but this had to be done, so we didn't even really get to sleep in much, unfortunately. We haven't been able to have a good sleep in morning in ages, because her parents won't let her drive her dad's car when it's dark, and she works late both Friday and Saturday nights. :o/

Hehe, I hope Anna gets over her E2 addiction soon... if you're reading, do us both a favour and upvote her Scratch My Back node, it's her only negative reputation node, and she's obsessing over it. *grin*

Ah well, work. Bah.

Reading tes's node makes me want to contribute, but as I go down the list I realise I don't have the ability to articulate what I feel about most things on the list, and I don't have the time or motivation to research the facts of the others. It's a shame, this site could become a great resource, and it'd be nice to be able to contribute something other than daylogs.

back to November 1, 2001 | on to November 12, 2001

It's my birthday today, godamnit. It wasn't yesterday, and it won't be tomorrow, so I didn't and won't mind the fact that I'm too poor and unemployed to celebrate, (thanks to what seems to be employers' prejudice against non-US nationals). Today however, I do mind; but I'm going to try and not let it bring me down too much, though a good feed and a bit of a smoke would be good for sure.

It's odd though, my first birthday in America. They started celebrating back home in England over six hours ago by GMT, or they would have, if I wasn't unknown to anyone but my friends and family. So I'm just going to be partying in my meager way with my super-wife Jennifer (which is just fine thank you) and my Father in law (which is also fine since I can't afford to smoke any today anyway) and I'll probably spend a lot of time with my mates back home over Yahoo Instant Messenger since I can't afford to phone either. How odd, again, to have almost an entire social life in cyber space; you hear jokes about the idea, but I really do!

Damn I miss England though. Not being in England per se, but to be around my friends and family and everything I know, where I can guarantee finding a good smoke because no mate of mine there would let me spend a birthday completely sober and straight. Where I could go anywhere I want because I have friends everywhere. Where, frankly, I don't need too much money to have fun because I was there long enough to know how to bluff my way through anything.

It's not that I dislike living in America, actually I quite like it, even though we live in Oklahoma City which can be a tad boring at times. But I don't fit in here yet, and it's days like these which really let me know that. I have friends here, just about, but I don't really relate to any of them yet. I'm a permanent outsider, notable only for a "sexy" or "charming" accent and as a database of answers to questions like, "Hey, is it true you have socialised medicine over there?" or "Is it true you eat blood pudding?" (the answers to which are both: Yes. And they're crap. And bad for you. Not to mention, "What's with the royal family?" like I know what's with them!)

I guess I need to polish up my social skills. I'm practicing my "Y'all" as hard as I can but I can't go as far as getting to like Country and Western or Hip Hop, or frankly, too much beer. Call me snob but I find these things kind of crass and they're all that seem to go on around here. Still, it's me that's having the dodgy birthday, so maybe I should lighten up a spot.

I have my wife, at least after she returns from work; I have my Dad-in-law who'll probably buy us dinner at a BBQ shack (my choice, one part of American culture I can't get enough of). My wife will be wonderful and so sensitive to the fact that I'm away from everything else that matters to me, and that's going to be more than enough for sure. And who knows, someone might even pop round for a smoke!

Still, being foreign sucks sometimes.

Today I had udon for breakfast. After that, I ran out the door to make the 8:01 Hankyu train to school, which begins every day at 8:40. I am lucky to live so close to school, most people here have to commute for at least an hour each way, whereas i get off super-easy with only a 20 minute walk and a 3- minute train ride for a total of 23 minutes to get to school.

Class was good. I am talking to my teacher a lot every day and we are getting on really well. Usually wednesday's 3+ hours of grammar class are boring, but today i talked so much and it was really great. At the end of class, we watched the music video of "White Love", which is a new song by Kuwata Keisuke. After that, I went to lunch with people from my kenpo team- we have practice tonight, and every night this week as we are preparing for a big meet next month. It has gotten quite cold here in Japan, and I have started to use the thicker quilt on my futon in order to stay warm at night.

Hmm, 2 am... guess I can schlep on the daylog now.

So I haven't noded in almost three months. I can live with that, even though I kick myself daily. The sad thing is, I know that when I ask myself what inspires noding?, I realize that everything that's been happening these last few months is what makes for great nodes.

Where can I start? Well, for anyone who knows me well, or read the daylog on May 29, 2001 (and for some reason remembers it), I decided that my girlfriend was the one that I wanted. For now and forever. Done deal. I acquired the diamond. Went shopping for settings.

Then she dumped me. A month later. I never even got the setting.
(Note to the Nodeshell Rescue Team: she dumped me is in need of rescue! For that matter, so is The Nodeshell Rescue Team. Ironic.)

Yeah. She had an internship at the John Deere plant in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She was an engineer. So was he. They hit it off. He was more "mainstream" then me, liked Friends, that insipid TV show, and the Dave Matthews Band, which I consider some of the best music of the late 90's, mainly because everything else was crap. Worst thing was, she didn't even want to start a real relationship with this guy, just kind of date him for the summer then come back to me. Besides, she wasn't sure if I was really the one she wants to marry, and I knew that she needed to live life without me since we'd been dating since she was 17, and blah blah blah..

That stuff makes excellent node fodder, not to mention that my summer classes were interesting and I hadn't touched my Sanskrit grammar nodes. But you know how you get when a breakup like that happens.

I didn't want to just "hang around" while she did her fling, no matter how necessary it was; I have my pride. So we broke up and tried to be friends. Of course, we fell madly back together three weeks later, and decided to just do a seeing-other-people thing. She ended up dumping the other guy, and I had a few abortive relationships, but that's that. We're more or less back together now, patching things up, and it's working.

Again, more great node fodder. So many emotions! So many thoughts! Why haven't I been noding?!

Maybe it's the blitz of stuff I've been doing to get into grad schools, and possibly get a job at the NSA. I need recommendations, I have to get rid of my commie flag (the irony was over, anyhow), etc...

So why aren't I noding about that? I don't really know. Daylogs are damn therapeutic.

What the hell. I've just had enough caffeine to kill a horse. Time to get back to the swing of things.

Do you ever get the feeling that you're worthless?

I've felt that way a lot recently. I lost a good job a week ago, I've been sleeping from sunrise to sunset, my financial situation is slipping out of control, and to top it all off, I can't find a job to save my life.

I want to get over it...

I've been hanging out with friends more often since my termination, and they are all supportive and understanding. I thank each and every one of them, from the bottom of my heart for all of their support and effort in helping me. I'm going out today in search of a good job.

But it's always there.

Bills. Insurance. Parking Violations. Credit Card Debt. Just when you think that you are making progress, it all comes crashing back down on you like a ton of bricks. That empty, worthless feeling invades your personal space agian so quick you don't even get the chance to react.

So why try to do anything about it?

When I finally am able to catch up in my personal life, what more will I have? I will be in a void of financial responsibility. I will have a job, a car, a place of residence, and a family. If the feeling of worthlessness is about not being able to improve your life, why does it also exist once you have reached that utopian state?

Only time will tell.

Good grief, it's already Wednesday, and i haven't written about ANYTHING yet. Nothing about the wonderful time i seem to remember having at the Meow Mix on Saturday, or the bitter wind that attacked me on the way to work yesterday, or the intense feeling of failure that came with my latest rejection letter. So of course, having mentioned that, i am going to talk about that and nothing but that.

I can deal with rejection, believe it or not. But why do they always take so long to reject stories? Yeah, yeah, i know - the longer they take, the more seriously they're judging your work. To be honest, i don't care. If it gets rejected, it gets rejected, and having been seriously considered doesn't change it at all. I waited for four (4) - count'em, four - months to hear, "sorry, we're not interested, and our policy is that we never tell you why we're not interested, so basically you've waited four months and have a little photocopied rejection note to show for it." You know what? If they had made one comment about why, i would feel infinitely better. (I can hear you in the back row there, saying you know the reason why, and don't think i'm not taking names).

As it is, it's just like anonymous downvoting. No explanation, just "you sucked".

Fuck it. I sent the story out to another magazine the next day. This time, i picked a magazine with vision, with an understanding of art, with the balls to publish edgy stuff. I picked a magazine nobody ever heard of. Hey, i'm sure their money is just as green as our New Jersey dollars.

It's good old hump day, thats right...Wednesday. Halfway through the week, its a day that is infamous for seeming VERY LONG. Especially when you are in the situation that I am in at the moment.

You see, I am suffering through this week because I have a date on Friday, yes it's true. I care so much about her it's unreal, it's all I think about...

All the remains in my mind of her is a conversation we had last night as follows...

"If you go to sleep too early, then I can't talk to you", I said..PLEASE stay up...a last cry of hope...don't leave.

"Yeah you will...", It ended there. She drives me crazy..In a good way of course. I have to get home to talk to her again...damnit. I guess we talk to each other in our sleep....

I hope this works out. I really want it to, it better.

My daughter has suffered from migraines for the past four years. It started out every once in a while, but then they came closer and closer together. A pattern started to emerge. 6 months apart, 4 months apart, 2 months apart. She could not function for 24 hours. Her brothers looking at her funny hurt her head and made her want to be sick. A car driving on the street, the light from her clock radio. She would hide in her room, door closed, shades down, blankets OVER shades, and duck under her covers with a pillow over her head. She knew when they were coming too. It would tense her up even more. She'd see spots floating before her eyes about an hour before.

It took us two years to figure out the cause of this nightmareish pain for her. We brought her to the doctor when she was 10. What's going on? We tried to find a trigger, nothing was in common. Then the pattern emerged. That along with her developing body. Her migraines were hormonally induced.

"She's becoming a woman. She will probably have these monthly. BUT now we know, we can stop most of them from incapacitating her."

That doctor was a blessing. "Stop them before they start or she'll have to ride it out." Now when she feels them coming on (sees the spots), she takes lots of Motrin, goes to lay down in a dark quiet room for a half hour, and that seems to work. We keep a stock at school for her in case one hits there. She has control now to stop it from starting.

Last night I had a migraine. I didn't recognize the spirally specks floating before my eyes for I had not seen them before. They didn't connect to anything. I've had headaches before but never such as this. I've never really understood the pain she felt when she had them so often. How it could be so bad it would make her ill. I never really understood how the little things made it worse. I never understood until last night, that is, when I couldn't get comfortable, I couldn't go off to a darkened room by myself, I wanted to rip the engine right out of the truck that was running next to our trailer for a half hour straight. I wanted to hurl a rock at every streetlight.

I found myself laying on the concrete slab outside of our trailer to get away from the light of kids doing homework, the sound of the TV, the sound of SO's fingers tapping on the computer keys, in the only spot where the street light didn't touch, a pillow over my head...and even there, the trailer park kids coming up to me,,,,"Hey, is A around?"...I bit my tongue so I would not growl. What I needed and couldn't have was my own private soundproof room with the door locked and a big comfortable bed. I do not know how she made it through without crying. Tears streamed out of my eye, the pain was so great.

SO took pity on me when he realized how bad it was. Daughter sat and stroked my head for a little, full of sympathy, cause she knew. SO kicked the kids out at 7:00 pm to play, turned off all the lights, every last thing that gave off any light whatsoever, shut all the windows, closed all the shades, and let me go to sleep under a ton of blankets and pillows to block out all sensory information from the world, (seeing as I couldn't blow up that dratted highway next to our park).

Twelve hours sleep did wonders. I understand now what my child went through.

go ahead,
see if you can find a dead link
'tis more than a daylog,
an exercise in the fine art of hardlinking

let's open this with a friendly note to toastido: been there, done that, ex-girlfriend stole the t-shirt. i don't know what to tell you except what it took for me to climb out of the hole (the countless times i've pried myself up from those depths). i had to let go of everything. i had to retreat from the sympathetic friends, from the lure of detective shows on cable, from my brother cadfael novels, from everything i was, and everything i knew. i had to shut down. somewhere in there, behind the loathing and the despair was the wild power of desperation, and behind that was the infinite serenity of someone with nothing left to lose. sometimes, still, i'll snap, and it will all come flooding back...all things irrelevant except that final risk, the leap from having/being nothing to the smug satisfaction of supporting myself at the bare survival level. i have seen some scary shit, in my day, friend, and i think you're seeing some of it too. best of luck, and don't spread yourself too thin.

but, really, i came here to talk about love and beauty. i came here to talk about me. i don't talk much about me, to tell true, but i talk an awful lot about what i see, what i hear, what i learn. but who does the seeing, the hearing, the learning? sometimes i forget that i am more than two hands and a mind. there are three mirrors in my house, despite the fact that i don't look in them often. one hangs at a height that reflects little but my t-shirt, it has a lovely brass frame, and the word "kallisti" inscribed upon it in greek letters. the second is the full length in the hall, that i always forget is there -- my mother painted the frame. the third is the obvious medicine-chest mirror in the bathroom, which i am damn nearly too short to use to any good effect. when i do bother to look at me, on purpose, i am not impressed. i have a hard, square face, with dully mocking eyes, and usually an unpleasant, thick lipped smirk. i am much happier when i cannot see me -- when i can imagine that i am an exotic beauty worthy of notice for something other than the slogans on my jacket, or the glasses i need to wear to protect my eyes from the sun. (no more retina burn for me, thanks!) sometimes, when i am preoccupied, though, i shock myself. i'll glance past the mirror on my way to the bath, or while bending down to get my shoes, and i'll think "my god! who is that lovely signora?" or "who is that beautiful boy, and why do i know we'll never meet?" and it'll be me, but the illusion fades quickly. and yes, when i have my glasses on, i am almost always taken for a boy at first glance. i don't mind, at least i've been recognised as the same species. and that impression fades after a few moments of conversation. i don't talk much, so when i do, if i am surprised, i don't speak terribly coherently.

so that's me. whatever. i can't write about that anymore...it's just not appealing or relevant. on to love.

love is beautiful, i don't care what anyone else has to say. it's beautiful like the lady of pain (ok, tell me i'm not the only geek who was into planescape...), all the worship and adulation in the world will only earn you a flaying, and you'll die with a smile. i have to say it, maybe it makes me a masochist, but i enjoy being in love. maybe it's just a survival response -- something that if i didn't get used to it would eventually kill me. i am always in love, full of love, i can't help it. i am drawn to beautiful things, i want to surround myself with beautiful people. ok. stop. redefine beautiful. beauty, in my little corner of the world, is something compelling and not immediately identafiable. sometimes it is a brilliant mind, a passionate belief, a bearing of serenity...rarely is it a pretty face, although it is not unusual for a pretty faced person to posess another of these qualities. maybe it's just me, but conventional beauty isn't all that attractive if it has nothing to back it up. back to the topic at hand. when i have found beauty, and i have come to love it, i offer all i have to give in order that it may flourish and continue to brighten the world. yes. my love is selfish. i want to be able to bask in the presence of my loves, to draw my inspiration from them, from their joy and from their pain. but i want to give, as well, whether i have a worthy offering or not. there is no better time spent than that spent in a room full of people i love, who love each other. a casual intimacy and fierce loyalty binds us all, and we'll spend hours talking and laughing, and wake up in the morning cuddled together in threes and fours around the room, still smiling at last night's reverie. it's been a while since i've had friends that close who knew each other.

what's the point of all this, you ask? i just had to get it off my chest so i could get back to work and write something meaningful and useful. let me end this with some names.

emoryswank, mitchell, puck, niall, databeast, wirehead, ogre, fixer, one and two, captain mollie, starrynight, 7ghent, amelinda, calli, piker, clovis, boy, tetsuo, darkstar...

i love you all. i know there are more, but these are those that come to my tired mind right now. i love you all dearly and with all my heart. you are the ones i would defend to the death. i would give my life for you, i would kill for you. i expect nothing in return, but i desire the joy of your company. thank you all for so many years of inspiration

update! glorious update! i have finished writing that accursed paper, and eris willing, when i have the presence of mind, i'll put it up! thanks for all yer support, kids. *smooches* all around!

oh, and by the by, this is my 200th writeup. again. i don't know what that counts for, to have to pass 200 twice, but i'm guessing i should quality check my next mad noding spree...*sheepish grin*

An update on my life:

For those of you who don't know about my upcoming move, refer to October 31, 2001. I have found a place to live. I'll be living with a girl whom I have never met and only spoken with briefly on the phone. That's a first. My boyfriend went and looked at the house and room for rent in my stead. Now if that's not what you call trust, I don't know what is!

It's all very exciting and exhausting. My house is a maze of boxes. My two best friends came over last night to help me pack...probably not the most productive thing in the world, but it was nice to spend time with them. I find it's hard to go to sleep at night. My brain won't stop spinning with the "What if"'s and the "When I get there"'s.

I have been pondering this move for about 4 months. Never in my wildest fantasy would it have happened so quickly. I guess somewhere in the back of my head I thought it would never really happen.

It's really happening.

I have a new neice. My brother re-re-married and took the new wife and the new kids to Germany with him, where he lives, along with his ex wife and his kids. The letter came in an envelope with a rose printed on the flap and was written in pink paper with a cute little bunny on the front that is holding flowers and wearing a pink housedress. I will type it as written in her burbly girly handwriting; spelling errors are hers and therefore intentional.


Hi how are you doin? I'm ight. I know we don't know each other but I thought you are my Aunt now so would could get to know each other. My name is Erika I will be sixteen in March (12). Hopefully we will get to meet each other one day. I am in the tenth grade. I don't like school much I'm pretty popular though I made most popular for the year back and best all around.

If you wouldn't mind but will you send some pictures of you. I don't have any at the time but when I get som I will send you some so you can see what I look like. When I go back to the states I want to move to St. Louis or Alabama, New York, Lousianna, Michigan or I would move back to my hometown Baltimore MD. I like living in big citys and in the ghetto basicaly. I also wouldn't min living in Dallas Texas. But I really want to move to St. Louis.

A little more about me. Things I like to do are cheerleading, play basketball, watch the guys play football, go shopping, and I like going to clubs and partying. like all teenagers. What all do you like to do? What kinda music do you like? I like Rap that's all I like. My favorite is Nelly, D12 Eminem, and I also like Jagged Edge 112. My favorite song is What Would you do. By city High on the Life CD. I want that for Christmas but I think they are going to get me lotz of clothes. Do you want to ever come to Germany to visit?

Brady was telling me that you was thinkin bout bein a teacher. I think that would be pretty neat if you were a teacher over here. My favorite class is cosmetology. I love doin hair. I got a permit to cut and style hair in beauty shops I took cosmetology for 3 years. My worst class is English cause the teacher is so mean he don't let us talk to much all we can do is talk he last 5 min of class but I like computer class to. School is alright but only somedays. Well Ima go for now and I will holla back atcho when I hear back from ya.

Your new neice,
Eryka Helmick

Hope to here from you soon. Sorry about my handwriting I don't write so neat or talk perfect english theres a lot of slang.

They call me GA in school for Ghetto Booty. I like my name spelled like this eryka or erika not erica. Just to let you know.

Is this like punishment or something?

All that's left of our friendship is an empty box.

I had been dreading this step in the death of our friendship: the return of all the things I had ever let him borrow. After days of nauseating anticipation, it happened suddenly with the appearance of a box of CDs and books on my doorstep. He didn't even bother to include a note. No "hope you are well," not even a bitter "I don't care if I want you more than my girlfriend, I wish I had never met you."

Due to the drought in our communication and my knack for obsessing, I have run our former friendship through my head over and over again. Too much deep thought in this avenue eventually led to my seeing our relationship as cheap straight-to-video porno full of overstated sexual innuendo and bald-faced lies. And we never had sex, only the promise of sex. Am I really the whore of Babylon?

But enough whining. I'm past the denial stage, have moved on to the anger stage, and am thinking of heading straight for acceptance by bypassing deal-making and depression. He can try to forget me and I will try to forget him, but if I see him again, he won't remember the delightful neck nooky we shared because I'll give him something else to remember me by, like a coupla black eyes.

Yep, I've progressed.

But I still wonder if he ever thinks about me.

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