I get to create today's daylog nodeshell, cause it's me birthday

Oh lord. I've been trying desperately to break my noder's block over the past couple of weeks. It shouldn't be that difficult. I have lots of free time, and I have what should be plenty of inspiration, what with having just moved to London two weeks ago. So I'm going to cheat, and up my nodecount not only by daylogging, but by daylogging an email I just sent to a friend. It captures everything that's happened to me over the past coule of weeks.

Hey Colin,

Well, first of all, you have to understand one thing. I don't live in London. Well, I do, kinda. But really, I live in my apartment. I haven't left here in days - ever since we got an internet connection, I haven't had a reason. I don't have a huge social network built up yet, and I don't have any money neccesary to build one. Which is a pain in the arse really. But soon, soon.

I'm not a total hermit though - the girls are keeping me sane, along with the human traffic they drag through here. To describe them:

LEISHA : hot, cool, party girl, but pretty chilled, big-time smoker, kind of person you stay up until 6am having big heart-to-heart conversations with.

BECKY : hot, cool, crazy, caustic, party girl and a bit nutty, kind of person you end up hanging from a chandelier with at 6am, with a bottle of Buckfast in one hand and a policewoman's helmet in the other.

Kinda a fire and ice thing, y'see? Works well, especially as they seem to be able to swap roles at will - I've had some good chats with Becky, and been pretty drunk with Leisha. They're definitely joint holders of Best Looking Person To Ever Live With Bernard award. Whether either of them will get the coveted Coolest Damn Person To Ever Live With Bernard prize remains to be seen (that's held by you my dear...oh, sob, the emotion!). Largest Breasted Flatmate Of Bernard is still firmly held by Mulkabu.

Their boyfriends are also incredibly cool. Justin (Becky's bitch) is charmingly henpecked, but is a real solid good guy, who insists on buying his own beer. Danny is a damn fine dude, who trumped Justin by insisting on buying his own Playstation 2, making anything he ever does okay by me (he even bought one of those stands that you can sit your PS2 upright in, which makes no improvement to the performance, but looks bloody cool).

Beer and Playstation have been my life for the past couple of weeks. Well, that and job-hunting. It's a slow, arduous process. People keep calling me at obscene hours of the morning (who the hell is awake at 11.15?!?) and asking me stupid questions. It's all very encouraging and everything, but I have yet to so much as sit an interview. According to some of the timescales given to me by these people, I won't be interviewing until at least November. Which means I'm not going to see a paycheque until possibly December. Scary.

But I'm okay for cash, and I have this months rent. And I've occasionally given the finger to my bank balance and gone out and reminded myself of why the hell I'm living in London. I went to a press night of a play in The King's Head - a tiny place in Islington that my sister's done some work for. It was a one-woman show based on the life of Vivian Leigh, written by and starring William Shatner's ex-wife. I'm not making this up. It was actually amazing - really compelling and really funny, with a really bitchy script (some great lines - "all the girls on the set loved Marlon, but I thought him a bit, well, mumbly"). Afterwards, we hung out with some journalists, actors and other arty types. A really old guy with a grey ponytail and a big bushy beard sat down beside us, started guzzling the free wine and telling amazing (if wholly untrue) stories about World War II. I thought he was a deranged tramp. Turned out he was one of the most respected directors in London, and had given Richard E. Grant his first role.

Last Saturday week, I met up with Richard and Marina (who live in Oxford, meaning that they're slightly too far to see on a daily basis). They took me to a goth club, also in Islington, called Slimelight. I had totally expected to find myself in Fibbers - dank walls, with teenagers wearing too much eyeliner drinking snakebite 'n' black and shuffling morosely to an interminably long mix of "Temple Of Love".

Oh, was I surprised.

Certainly, there was a downstairs part that fit that description (but even then with so much more conviction than Irish goths). But man, the upstairs room was amazing. First of all, anyone trying to tell me that that music was goth can kiss my ass. It was dance music - hard, grinding dance music, but dance none the less. Every now and then, when the dj thought no-one was listening he'd drop in some rap and garage samples. As if to prove my point, he even played Higher State Of Consciousness.

And there weren't no pale kids trying to to read Emily Dickinson in the corner neither. It seemed more like a fetish club in there. By the end of the night, I had seen so much leather and rubber and PVC and vinyl and chains and whips and fishnets and thongs and smudged mascara and mens legs poking though skirts and crotch-high boots with nine-inch heels and so much god damn sweaty, exposed flesh on so many gorgeous people, I had seen so many people frantically flee their inhibitions that when a guy in a dog collar and leather underpants came up to me and asked if he could have a cigarette for his mistress, I didn't even bat an eyelid.

Dude, it was amazing. I didn't even dance much, I just talked lots and smiled even more. By the time we left, it was after 7. The music was still going strong - all zombie-ish, which I could have happily done for another six hours. We got the first tube home instead though. Angel station at 7am on a Sunday is the most amazing thing in the world. Underground, it's a huge, white, sterile, pristine tunnel that looks like it was designed to be a set in a Kubrick film. The only people there are grumbling middle-aged Indian men on their way to work, and giggling goths still trying to dance off the remainder of the last nights drugs. I stood there smiling, trying to buy as much chocolate from the vending machines as I could before the tube arrived.

I like it here a lot. I'm glad I came. Now if I could just get a goddamn job...



I feel so tired today. 1.40pm, and there's still 3 1/2 hours left in this work day. Hay Fever's a bitch at times. I'm almost never affected by it, but today, my head feels totally stuffed up, my eyes itch, and are tired, I keep sneezing. Fortunately, I've been blessed with the ability to be able to coax a reluctant sneeze out, by looking at a bright light. It's almost 100% effective - also a heriditary ability, about 20% of the population possess. Photic Sneezing is the term - photic sneezers will often sneeze within 2 - 15 seconds of leaving low light, and entering bright light. I don't notice that so much...but I know I can almost always make myself sneeze if I need to. I hate loosing a sneeze - the release feels so good. I've had plenty of opportunity to practice today.

I get moody when I feel like this...and I can't help but wonder why other people have so much trouble picking up on these emotions. All I wanted to do at lunch time, was walk into the city, find a patch of sun, sit down and do nothing for 20 or 30 minutes... Just clear out my mind, not feel like I need to try and act appropriately happy, for the benefit of those I work with. So when I said that I was just going to walk into the city, simply wander around for a bit, and get some fresh air to clear my head...how did my friend and work colleague not realise that I just wanted some time to myself? So he invited himself along...I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd rather he didn't...and instead of being able to sit, and relax, we just walked straight in. I visited the ATM. Went to the chemist, for glorious throat numbing medications. Then walked straight back.

I'm not sure if getting out ended up refreshing me, or just pissing me off. I'm guessing option number 2...seemed that the people I passed on the street were giving me odd looks. I didn't look that angry, did I? I don't feel angry...just so tired.

So for the life of me, I can't really figure out why I choose today to give up smoking. Maybe it's because when I woke this morning, my throat felt dry and sore...but I still couldn't stop myself from walking outside, and starting the day with a cigarette. It hurt to smoke it...but I finished the whole thing.

How fucked up is that? Really...

I've got every reason to quit. I sing, and my lessons aren't going forward very quickly. Well, seeing as my lungs can't hold nearly as much as they should be, I'm not really surprised that I have trouble holding a note for very long. Of course, there's the money thing...but that's never really been able to provide the motivation I need. I hate having clothes that smell of smoke, that's pretty disgusting. The funny thing is, I started to smoke because I was lonely...instead of sitting in my room, staring at the walls, and going slowly mad, I'd go outside, onto the balcony that used to be outside my room, and I'd smoke. Now...I've had trouble stopping...because I'm still lonely. All this time, I told myself that I wasn't going to smoke for a long time...that if I met someone special, I'd be able to stop straight away.

I know who she is now...I know she doesn't like that I smoke. I've never touched her...but I know I love her. Where all other motivation fails...she's enough.

I'll let you know how it goes. In a fight that's going to be more mental than physical, I get to see just how strong I really am.
Well today is the day that my car is to be assessed. It got smashed by a dickhead. We told the place that it got towed to that when the assessor got there to call us so that we could be there. I get a call this morning by the assessor saying he has just assessed the car. Great!. So much for us being there and being notified!. The assessor assessed my car and said it was worth $2,400 AU, minus the damage that was already there which takes it to $1,700 and minus other stuff which brings it down to $1,400, which means he is offering that much and we get to keep the car, what the fuck are we supposed to do with $1,400 bucks!! I can't even buy another car exactly like mine NOR fix the car I’ve got and be a little out of pocket for that much. So we're disputing that the car is worth a fucking hell of a lot more than that. Especially considering that the value of a 1985 gemini like mine to buy is at least worth $4, 000 AND such cars would have more km done on the meter and in worse condition than mine, therefore mine is fucking worth a hell of a lot more than fucking $1,400.

Today we also went to get my car back towed here, its costing us $315 which I may have to use my credit card at a ATM because they only accept cash, damn parents don’t use cards and banks aren’t open. The cost of the towing we're supposed to EVENTUALLY get back from their insurance. I was advised by my solicitor to send a fax to their insurance company indicating that we’re not happy ( NOT HAPPY JAN; famous advertisement quote on telly in Australia that people say when they’re not happy) with their offer, that we want a second opinion and that my car is worth more because if I had to buy another car exactly like mine it would cost $4,000 plus it would not have a new muffler like mine does, it wouldn't have a stereo like mine does, it wouldn't have a new alternator like mine does, it wouldn't have an alarm like mine does and it may not have a working air con - like mine did and it wouldn’t have a good engine with low km as mine DOES! If their insurance refuses to give us an acceptable offer , we have to make a claim through our insurance and let the two insurance companies fight amongst themselves, in the mean time, my car will be left in my street, useless and all my friends will be 21st before I will be driving again.

*feels like crying*

How can this happen to me, why do I have to suffer consequences when it wasn’t even my fault. Further more I have exams to study for that I’ll be lucky to pass. The fuck wit that won’t pay for a new monitor when they sold me a shit one that is still under warranty still hasn't gotten back to me with any money yet to get a new screen.

My mums old screen also blew up and even though there is a swap meet near by on the weekend I haven’t had a chance to study yet so I should probably use that time and I would rather go with my boyfriend, just he and I but mum wants to tag along, and the value of seeing my boyfriend even though we hardly see each other now that I don’t have a car is dramatically reduced if my mum is around.

I got a quote on the damage of my car, around $5,000 + , of course there are a lot of things that are not necessary to the running of the vehicle and are just cosmetics but that means I would be driving around a slightly more dinted car than before! If we had at least $3,000 we could have the option of trying to fix my car enough to make it run, or go looking for a new one like mine but then there is the risk of not knowing exactly what we’re buying and some time down the track find that there are major problems.

Somehow however I don’t see the assessor valuing my car from $1,400 to $3,000!.

By the time the insurance companies fight it out there would probably not be as many or no good cars like mine on the market. Making the situation even more depressing.

* really feels like crying *

I hate being a passenger, and I hate not being able to drive!

*goes to go sulk in her room*

Do you ever feel like someone is trying to node something *to you*. It is 3:00 in the morning and I just got out of the shower. Sometimes the shower helps to clear my mind but my world is no more limpid than it was when I got in. I have a class in five fucking hours and I have a test in that class and I haven't studied enough and I just don't fucking care.

So there is this girl (that is _always_ how this story starts), she is driving me mad; actually I am driving myself mad about her. I don't know what happend or why and everything I learn about this that should elucidate some part of the situation only seams to make the picture more muddy. It seems to be sort of like quantum tunneling as soon as you think that you have realy nailed something down about the way things are you find your subject in a completly different place than you expected.

I keep telling myself that I shouldn't be so damned upset about a girl; two years is a long time but it is realy over now. God damn it, I am upset anyway. I don't want to be. I don't want to make myself this miserable, but I am, and this is all compunded by the fact that I am at school far from home and my friends and I am really lonely here. I am a geek alone at this school even the computer science students here don't seem to be geeky enough. I can't stay up all night bullshitting about stupid shit with these people because no one realy wants to talk about what I am interested in. I am surrounded by business and criminal justice majors.

I sit here at my desk, wondering why?

I wonder why do I have to take these pills, one peach colored one that smells like marshmallows, three lighter peach capsules, and one baby pink tablet. Even if I am diagnosed with a collection of 'illnesses'. Why? What good do these pills do me except make me 'normal'?

In my most humble opinion, I would be better off dead... Now before you get worried, don't worry about me, I have enough people that do that, and I certainly don't need any more... I won't kill myself, I can't kill myself, and I know that is as true as Jesus was Jewish. I know my demons quite well, and I know how to handle them, but let me explain why I think I rather be dead...

This world is fucked up I see nothing but wrong going on in this world. Whether it be Death rearing it's ugly head to thousands of people daily and on certain occasions are fellow friends, or Mischance popping out and hurting people, or are fellow humans doing dirty deeds in this rat race called life.

So I take these pills with my glass of chocolate milk and in my deepest hopes, I wish for it to all to end, and something better, and happier to be put in its place.

This is all because I am a nice guy, fucking best friend to everybody, a type of guy that can work a 8, 10, 12, 14 hours and probably more. Then when asked how was my day I only make it a side comment as if nothing but that should be expected. I am made of mother fucking steel and nothing can hurt me. That is my problem, I am a fucking lover of everything that can be deemed good, and all sentient or sapient beings, especially humans.

So I ask this, "for what, god?"

Today was the king of long, drawn out days.

TCAP testing was going on, so our schedule was all messed up. We went to our first class for about 5 minutes, went to our fourth period class for something like 2 hours, went on to fifth period for what seemed like eternity, hopped back to fourth, and ended up back in first period. Not a day passes that I don't hate our school's administration.

In other news, the car is acting up (as usual). The front suspension system is in need of repair. The balance bar has been unhooked from the left side since we had body work done, and the shocks haven't been replaced since the car rolled off the assembly line (It's a 1997 Hyundai Accent GT).

Saturday will be my last day of high school marching band. Ever. We're going somewhere close to Asheville for a festival. The forecast for the weekend is quite chilly, which is nice for us drumline types. The less you can feel your arms, the harder you can play.

All I've been able to listen to lately is Radiohead. It's sort of awkward, since my musical tastes used to be so broad and expansive. It seems I've found my comfortable spot early in life.

I recommend both The Bends and Ok Computer to anyone interested in melodic rock. To stoners I suggest Kid A and Amnesiac. I'm told they're beautiful.

Damnit, it was still the 24th in the eastern time zone when I started this, and it's the hell going there.

This afternoon I got this curt email from my mom that went a little something like this:

We spoke to Brian last night. B's mother died Sunday. You might want to send her a card or something. Love, mom

Brian is my little brother, right, and B is his quite serious girlfriend, and her mother had cancer. And they moved across the country to Seattle--he moved to the opposite corner of the country with her--to be with her mom and the rest of their family for as long as possible before she died.

And the last couple weeks have been horrific for them. Horrific. They've been staying at her parents' house on some island in Puget Sound, and Brian has been taking the 6 am ferry (apparently the only ferry you can reliably get on) every day, driving home to their apartment, getting another hour of sleep, and going to work. Then he goes back across to the island every night. B has been staying with her mother all day. I have no idea how she is doing. I asked Brian and he said she was sad, but this is clearly not the entire story.

So I've already been walking around town for a week or two, thinking about whether to go to Seattle for a weekend and see what I can do to help, or if I can help, and trying to figure out what I would do if I did go. I do have the ability to go: I have a salary, I can buy a plane ticket, I can get to Detroit Metro quite easily. I can go take care of all the logistical things and make them go to bed with hot drinks and cook things for them and generally try to make sure things are not too unbearable. I don't know how I would do this exactly, esp. since I've never been to Seattle, but I would still do it. So I have to get ahold of them (quite difficult, at this point) and ask if they want me. Because the last thing you want to do is impose in a situation like this. But if I'm not imposing, if they want me to go, I'm damn well going.

And my mom thinks that maybe (use of "maybe"!) I should SEND A CARD?? I mean, B didn't exactly get a warm reception from my parents, since she and Brian aren't married and are therefore immoral for living together (same with my situation, for that matter), but REALLY, NOW.

It will not have occurred to my mother to do anything but call and send a card. She certainly won't consider going to Seattle. Not that they would want her there just to be judgmental at them. But actually doing something helpful won't even have occurred to her, and god knows what has occurred to my dad.

I just keep getting lulled into thinking my family isn't so bad, can't be so bad, and then they are.

What an amazing concert last night!!!

I had never been to the Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago before, and it is a great, great venue. Not too large, very comfortable, nice and clean. Absolutely perfect for Tori Amos.

After they finally opened the doors a little after seven, and we made it through the cursory body searches they were doing on people (two lines out the outside for the women, very long, and two lines on the inside for the men, never a line), we braved the crowd around the stand they were selling t-shirts, necklaces, and such at. I swear, the prices are going up - two t-shirts and a necklace for $75 - and the hoodie sweatshirt I really wanted was $50 (the "Satin Worship" jersey was $40, I almost gave up the necklace to get that). I still need to check Tori's web site to see if they have merchandise on there.

The opening act for the concert, just a little after the listed starting time of 7:30, was Rufus Wainwright. I know I've heard the name somewhere, I just don't know where. Anyways, he played a couple songs at the keyboard, and quite a bit more with the guitar. I was quite impressed - I liked him a lot. I'm going to have to check and find out more about him, maybe get a CD or two.

When the lights went off for Tori, the crowd let out such a roar! She started the show with 97 Bonnie & Clyde - there was a curtain with all sorts of holes in it to see the variety of lighting behind, and a picture of the song's character in the corner. Tori was offstage for the song. At the end of the song, they dropped the curtain, and right afterwards she came out on stage.

This is my third Tori concert. The other two were the Plugged Tour for From the Choirgirl Hotel, and the 5 1/2 Weeks Tour for To Venus and Back - so I had only seen her with the band. This time, there was no band. It was her and the piano. It's a very different atmosphere, and I did like it.

The Set List (courtesy of The Dent):

97 Bonnie & Clyde
Real Men
Hey Jupiter
Devil In A Blue Dress improv
Silent All These Years
Flying Dutchman
Not The Red Baron
Little Earthquakes
Doughnut Song
Bells For Her
Here. In My Head
Me and a Gun
Windows Of The World

1st Encore:
Pretty Good Year

2nd Encore:
Tear In Your Hand
Sister Janet
Baker Baker

The Devil In a Blue Dress improv was done after Tori talked a little about Halloween. She said she hadn't decided what to be for the holiday yet, and was talking about it backstage. She said that Tasha (her daughter) was going to be Tinkerbell - and that she picked it out herself. :) Someone in the crowd yelled out "Devil in a Blue Dress" - so she started playing a little bit of an improv song. There was even something at the end about getting ready for an extra horn. :)

There were a lot of B sides in the show - I recognized most of the songs, though some of them it was more or less like "I've heard this before". It was quite nice to hear some of them she played - I was REALLY happy to hear Tear In Your Hand, as I'd never heard it live before - I couldn't even find an .mp3 of it back in the days of Napster. It was also so nice to see her play Me and a Gun live - as she hadn't done it for the other two concerts I've seen. I must admit, it is so amazing how dead silent such a crowd can become. Silent enough to hear the two idiots working for the theater chatting away and laughing during part of the damn song.

Part of me was a little saddened that I didn't get to hear a lot of my favorites, as they're now more or less only done with the band, it appears (considering she hasn't played them in the tour to date). Precious Things, Cornflake Girl, Raspberry Swirl, God. Other songs I wanted to hear that she could have, but didn't play... Icicle, Winter, 1000 Oceans, Strange Little Girl. But you can't have everything, can you? :)

After the show, we walked back to the parking garage, where we had to wait a good 20 minutes before the cars around us even MOVED. Then there were delays on I-90 going back out to the suburbs, then a needed stop for gas. I am so glad my friend K drove, I hate driving in those areas. Anways, we left the parking garage at 11 pm, got back to my apt at midnight. We ended up making a run to Denny's, for some greasy sampler platters and some chocolate milkshakes. Thankfully, we all took Wednesday off work. :)


This morning I packed up my things preparatory to attending the New Orleans noder meet, and went off to work. At the office, I wrote a message to Edward, written in Spanish, apologizing if I was being too forward and asking if he might take me to the train station this evening. I told him to definitely not be shy about saying no if he didn't want to. I then went on and said that, in case it wasn't obvious, I hoped we might become friends. And, humorously I hope, repeated that he shouldn't be shy about rejecting that plan also. I could feel the acid in my stomach roiling as my finger hovered over the send key, finally descending and perhaps altering the course of my life. (It's possible.)

An hour later, You have mail. No, my mail program doesn't really say that. He said "Sure, no problem", then asked where I was going on the train. That having dispatched the butterflies, I then broke out into a big smile when I saw the subject line of his reply. The message I had sent him had had a generic Hola for a subject; his said Hola, Amigo. I replied with a short explanation of the noder meet, then tried to get back to work, this time with my stomach feeling full of, not butterflies, but a group of puppies cavorting in a meadow surrounded by daisies. A much better feeling, but no more conducive to programming productivity :)

A half hour later, he visited my inbox again, with an invitation to lunch! I was one happy dawg, and we spent a very pleasant hour getting to know one another a bit more.

So now I'm on the first leg of my train trip, to Los Angeles, where I will catch Amtrak train number 2 to New Orleans. The train is very comfortable, clean, and well-appointed. Each seat row is accompanied by an electrical outlet, thoughtfully annotated as 120 volts in both English and Braille (which brings to mind an unhappy scenario of a shocking reading accident, which I'm sure never happens).

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