. . . so depressed . . .

For the life of me, I fail to understand why people who should not be trusted are given such explicit trust, and those of us who pride ourselves on hosesty are disregarded and passed over.

He did it again.

I have a feeling that she is with him as I type this - and there is nothing I can do about it. I told her from the first day that she should not talk to him; that it would ruin everything. No one ever listens to me. It certainly did ruin things, and she knows it. She knows it and she doesn't mind one bit. Our relationship was amazing. I have not been so happy for a very long time. She managed to ease my mind such that when I slept I did not grind my teeth - a nasty habit I first started to exhibit when I was 6.

Perhaps the most unfortnate thing is not my personal loss (though that is what I mourn for at the moment), but that she was duped by him. TC is not a good person. While out with some high school friends last night, I was told some very disturbing things about TC. He has been wooing Jennifer with his lies, his facades, his manipulation, and, meanwhile, he has been calling her a "whore," a "slut," "easy," a girl who will "sleep with anyone," . . . ad infinitum nauseum. The evidence of his trash-talking will hopefully be delivered to me on Tuesday of this coming week, but I have the ill feeling that even if I do manage to get it, Jennifer will not care. He has her. He managed to do it again.

My security has been violated.

I hope, with all sincerity, that people like TC are recognized for what they are, so people like me do not have to cry every night over a broken heart. Jennifer, if you ever bother to read my daylogs again, I want you to know that you have hurt me more than I ever remember being hurt over a girl - because I let you in so deep. Moreoever, I hope you discover what Timmy really is before he hurts you as well.

. . . I am so alone . . .

. . . and so scared . . .

Update: As reluctant as I am to do this, if anyone is in the Pittsburgh area, I could use a friend. Thanks to the afforementioned villian above, I have none. I could use a weekly hug, and an occasional shoulder upon which to cry.

A white shirt and torn blue jeans has gone on long enough, and now we're lost somewhere in the crowd of violent colors. I can remember as far back as last week, I can remember Tool at Conseico and the colors they showed us. I remember that everyone present was male, and I wanted to fight all of them; they were my friends. I showed them a few of the things everyone else hates, and they applauded because they're too wrapped up in themselves to see how terrible my things are. They tell me nice things and congratulate themselves on a job well done. And then I tore into this fat kid in a chair. I told him to close his eyes, and he's not allowed to curse or mention sex or say any words beginning in x y or z. I asked him what he was. I asked him who he was. I told him, picture yourself, tell me what you look like.

I have a longsword of burnished steel; it is as tall as me. Its handle is plain black iron with moonstones set into it. It just kind of terminates, and the crossbar is unadorned. I have black armor on with a red rune etched into it. My hair is long, my face is gray.

Where are you, man?

I'm in a field of elephant grass. It's all green, and it's grass in all directions. The sky is gray like it's about to storm. There in front of me are my enemies, hundreds of them, some in rag-tag armor wielding swords and bows, some in black robes with evil symbols, and one stands out among them on his high horse with an axe as big as him, as big as me. It's mostly blade. They have no banners. It's beginning to rain now.

Behind me are my friends, my family, all the things I care about all huddled together and afraid. Now I'm running forward, and it's raining a little harder. My enemy doesn't move, and I'm not making any progress, either. God damn it!

Okay, wake up. What do you think? He doesn't know what to say. What do you say if someone asks you what you are?

I am a warrior.

I remember one man finding himself. I remember many men losing themselves. Does it take such hatred, such violence to find yourself again? I wanted to fight him all night. I wanted to fight them all. They are my friends, and they wanted to fight me, too. But everybody had responsiblities. We had jobs and classes. The bullshit buried us. One who wears armor should not brag like one who takes it off.

Myself, I long for love and light,
But must it come so cruel, and o so bright?

Leonard Cohen

Daylight Saving Time is here again. We set the clocks back at 2 A.M., spring ahead, fall back, here in the USA. Everyplace except Indiana and Hawaii and parts of Arizona. The kiddies were out Trick or Treating on saturday afternoon here in Oil City, PA and a few other nearby localities. We didn't get any takers at our house. We have had as many as 13 (that's our record) but we live on the edge of town and it was raining off and on.

A lot of places now have Halloween during the day. There has been daytime Halloween here for ten years. It was ten years ago that a young girl was abducted here in town right around Halloween. She was found dead a couple days later a few miles out of town. The case was never solved. They supposedly know who did it but there isn't enough evidence to prosecute. So October 31 is just another day here unless it falls on a Saturday.

My son and a couple friends hit the streets pretty hard. They each came back with a bag full of candy. I was welcome to the stuff they didn't like. I went out and bought a couple bags of candy just in case we got someone. I have that now too. I can take it to work and put it in the break room.

AMC is having a Halloween movie marathon. We're watching Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers for the third time. They had Halloween II on earlier this evening. AMC used to show movies without commercial interruption. Now they have a break in the movie about every 20 minutes. Somebody has to pay for it.

I spent most of the day puttering. The electric heater in our bathroom wasn't working so I fixed that. We sold our old washer and the guy who bought it came to pick it up. My wife was out of town all day so I was doing dishes and cleaning and cooking. All fun stuff. Well the boys have gone to bed so I'm going to see what else is on TV. I can watch the 6th game of the World Series, Austin City Limits (Los Lobos is on tonight) or SNL. First I have to see where those guys put the remote control.

Alright, this seems to be the only fitting place for this, but what is wrong with the doctors in Florida?

I guess that need some explaination... The last couple weeks have been hell for me. The friday before Columbus Day I get a phone call from a very good friend saying that his little sister was in a really nasty car accident and probably wouldn't live through the weekend. Needless to say this was not the best news to get and totally ruined everyone's weekend. However, on Columbus Day, while she had not yet woken up, she was still in stable condition and has deteriorated very little during the weekend. Then during the week she actually started to get better! This ended up with her actually waking up for a few minutes at the end of the week much to the delight of everyone.

During the next weekend things took a turn for the worse and her condition started to deteriorate again. Shit. This went on up until this past thursday, all week the doctors Tsaying she wouldn't last to the weekend. Then out of the blue on Saturday morning she woke up at was very aware and coherent. After cunducting some tests they decided that she would be alright and took her out of the I.C.U. and listed her condition as stable. She's been fine and has gone from someone they have written off as dead to someone who will likely have nerve damage which may not be good but it is better than the alternative.

Unfortunately, all this was going on in Florida while I'm stuck up at school in New York, so it still doesn't seem real to me. What I want to know is how did this happen? How did someone who was written off manage to pull through despite the doctors saying there was no way it could happen? Was it becuase they didn't want to get our hope up? They don't know what they're doing? Or could it be that there really is a God and sometimes he(?) even helps atheists? I really have no idea and it worries me. All I know is that my friend's sister almost died and then recovered and there is nothing either of us could do and that scares the hell out of me. All that matters is that she is alright now and I'm going to thank God for that everyday whether he(?) is really there or not.

There are some people you just click with, and can talk to at great length about anything, be it life or shared interests, which, in this case, are many.

I spent the last part of my evening with my friend Brian.

After talking about his girlfriend (also a friend of mine), my boyfriend, our past relationships, and relationships in general for a good 40 minutes or so, we set off for our separate dorm rooms to go to bed. I was too upset to stay in my room, so I went back downstairs to find him or another one of my friends. He saw me walking down his hallway toward him, and invited me in to watch Vanilla Sky.

At the end, we were both confused and amazed, so of course, we stumbled sleepily outside to smoke cigarettes.

Our discussion started off with movies and ended up in religion. We discussed The Matrix, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, etc., then we discussed books and dystopias, then religious connotations in movies and books, and eventually, our ideas of religion and religion in general.

It was exactly what I needed, and now I can sleep, not fulfilled the way I thought I wanted to be, but fulfilled nonetheless.

Sometimes friends are better than lovers.

Well, this is my first e2 birthday.

I think I’ve got the hang of e2 now. This took some time. Everything2 is the largest community I‘ve ever belonged to - my home town has only 30,000 people while e2 has 55,000 users. I find this more than slightly odd. I first came to e2 when I was 14, so my perspective may be quite different from the average noder’s.

E2 has introduced me to many things. With the help of various mp3 file sharing networks it has widened my musical experience greatly. I would like to thank e2 especially for showing me:

There are many others, but these are the ones that come to mind immediately. As well as informing me about rock and roll, e2 has enlightened me about sex and drugs (sex and drugs and rock and roll - ah-hah-ah-hah). But really, e2 has shown me a lot of things that you don’t get taught in school.

When I first came here, I had no expectation of where (level/XP/nodecount-wise) I would be now. This year I am setting myself targets: I want to be level 4 or above, but I don’t think I will get above level 5. I also, more importantly, want to have done something for e2 that will make it a better place.

I love you, e2!

I really, REALLY need to rant. I'm extremely pissed off about this damn English homework and school in general, that I'm going to explode if I don't do some serious venting of the spleen.

Let's begin.

Why does Education have to be so fucking linear?

Education systems suck. While you're in school and college, you're expected to suck up to the teacher 24/7, like they're god or something. Then, in return, they give you some essay to do over the holiday that has nothing to do with the fucking subject becuase they're all just paid to do fuck all while YOU read from a text book and YOU do all the work while they sit on their fucked up asses looking at porn. And if you don't do it? Detention. Detention. Detention.

And it's funny, becuase Detention is supposed to intimidate us in some way. For god's sake, how is it intimidating? All you do is sit there for an hour or so fucking thinking to yourself. I don't know about you, but isn't imagination the key to heightened success in a lot of fields of work? I'm aiming to become some sort of Computer Game designer (seriously, there's a degree), and I found Detention quite fucking invigorating. And hell, it's only an hour or so, not like the fucking apocalypse or a fucking nuclear bombing raid or anything.

Hell, It's better than listening to some bitch with an iron fucking spear up her ass jabering on about how "you'll never pass with spelling like this" and "3000 words minimum, why have you only done 2500?", to whom I say FUCK YOU WITH BRASS FUCKING BELLS ON! I'll do as many words as I like and I'll still have a more successful life than you ever did! Bitch.

Oh man, what is the point of examinations? I mean, for fuck's sake, don't they give us enough work in class and at home to be graded on? It's not like they NEED exams at the end of the year anyway. And exams have so many need-fucking-less rules as well, like how you can't write inside the score box, or your only allowed to write in pencil, otherwise your paper is ripped up and fed to the fucking dogs. What the fuck!?

And during the exams, you can't even LOOK at someone else without having your paper ripped up there and then. And for god's sake, THEY'RE JUST MOBILE PHONES!!! It's not like you're gonna start talking to anyone in the middle of the exam, is it?! You're not even allowed to put your bag down in the exam room, even if it's on the other side! What the hell I am going to do? Use my X-ray vision and enhancement powers to look up the answers in my bag? Hell, if I had spent anymore time in Detention, I might have found some way of unlocking some amasing power inside me, which I'd probably use to throw every-fucking-person who's ever doubted me out the fucking window.

And why do people shout at you? To make them feel big? Hell, If I wanted to be shouted at, I'd join the fucking army. At least they have a reason to shout at you. These shitbags just want to destroy your confidence so you fuck up later in life like they did. If anyone tells you it's to motivate you to do better, tell them to stick a pigeon up their ass all the way up to their brain cavity, 'cause they obivously have no brains and a shit-covered pigeon would certainly do a better job than fuck all.

Fuck you. Fuck him. Fuck her. Fuck everything. Rant over.

Stop that, quit! - All that, quit!
Who ruined it? You did! Now grab a notebook and a pen
Start taking notes, I'm being everyone who's on the top
You think we're on the same page - but, oh we're not!

d e f t o n e s
b a c k t o s c h o o l

This has been an adolencent hormone-fuelled rant, brought to you by me. Any similarity to any and all rants previously written by anyone is complete bullshit. I do not take any resposibility for any reaction while reading this node, and I welcome all downvoting with a sturdy fuck you. Thanks for coming.

Today I have made two writeups, a node, and another node I planned to write in but couldn't because we had a blackout and I lost everything I had written. I really don't feel like rewriting it all now (frustration...), so I'll do it tomorrow...
Why is this so nice? Well, because I'm new to E2, and (if we don't count some HTML mistakes) I haven't (yet) been tremendously downvoted, and nobody's deleted my writeups.
I like it here :)

The Tale of The Mouse
Part the Third

TheMouse gets more messages;

2002.10.26 at 05:58 G****** says no problem. anything that pokes fun at pretentious prose is okay in my book. but why not node this under your real e2 name?

2002.10.26 at 22:23 A****** says You are an alias account.

Which of course brings up the interesting philosophical question of what is real and what is not. (Let us pause for a moment and go away and read a stackload of Philip K Dick and ponder that question.)

Back again? Hmmm, I was actually under the impression that every account on E2 was an alias and that nobody used their real name. Unless you're trying to persuade me that there really was a Mr Bones and Mrs Bones whose child had the given name of Dem (perhaps its short for Demmis?) and if to take an example at random, StrawberryFrog isn't an alias I'd like to know what is. TheMouse is a figment of your imagination but aren't you just a figment of mine?

But I know why you're asking G****** and A******.

The truth is quite simple and uncomplicated, my SO has an account on E2 and spends a good deal of his time here when he should really be emptying the dishwasher. I have been known to look over his shoulder from time to time, so to speak, and I therefore know a lot more about the power structure of Everything and all that kit and caboodle than you average Level1 person normally does. So that should explain that.

And who knows, one day TheMouse may get some votes and one day TheMouse may able to use the threat of downvoting to get my SO to empty the fucking dishwasher like he's supposed to.

It’s late Sunday afternoon (or is it evening – going back to eastern standard time has made me feel a bit out of sorts). Pantaliamon is at a housewarming party for a friend that’s inexplicably not being held at his new house, and the dog and I are alone. The television has been off all day, and I’ve been listening to most of Jets to Brazil’s brilliant new record “Perfecting Loneliness” on my old MP3 player over and over. And when I say “old” I mean it – it’s a beat up Rio300, the case is cracked in multiple places and the battery keeps falling out. I’ve had it since 1998 or 1999 – I can’t remember which. It’s served me well, though it sucks as much now as it did when I first got it. I really need to get a new one.

Pan and I have been together for nearly nine years now – and we have very rarely been apart, except for work. So when she goes out with friends – or when I do – the house seems strange. Empty. The dog senses it, he sleeps much more than he should, and sometimes I’ll notice him looking around. “Where is she?” he seems to ask.

I spent a few hours reading George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords – the third in his excellent series, A Song of Ice and Fire. I started re-reading the books in September, after I loaned an extra copy of the first volume to a friend. It’s as good as it was the last time I read it – two years ago or so. But it’s hard to read, so many terrible things happen in it. And knowing when they’re going to happen just makes me even more anxious. My mom – who taught me to love books when I was very young, much to the confusion and derision of my meat-and-potatoes blue collar dad – hates stories that don’t have happy endings. And although I give lip service to liking things more “realistic,” I know part of me still loves a happy ending. And that’s the part of me that gets worn down from reading Martin’s book – that says to me “enough is enough, let’s go do something else.” Something happier. My mother would be proud.

But for some reason I can’t think of anything happier to do. A few weeks ago, I might have played Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, or Battlefield: 1942, but I’ve reached my saturation point with computer games. I’m sick of them.

So I listen to records and make some rather pathetic attempts at doing chores while I wait for her to come home. Our apartment is a wreck, and I just don’t have the heart to clean it. Neither does Pantaliamon. The dog I suspect couldn’t care less about it.

Last night we went out to see Q and Not U play at the Black Cat with the Mercury Program and Ink. Ink used to be a band I loved in the mid-1990’s called Candy Machine, and it was great to see them. Peter Quinn, their singer, stands on stage looking uncomfortable being there – well, maybe “uncomfortable” isn’t the right word, “miserable” is more like it. He sings his lyrics from a beaten note pad, because they’re too complicated for him to remember, but I loved Candy Machine’s songs so much I knew most of them. Ink’s songs are different, though – I don’t know them. The Mercury Program were a boring Tortoise knock-off – at one point when the announced they had two songs left, I nearly heckled them (well, I did groan loudly – does that count?). There’s just something really tiresome about using rock instruments to make soft, classical-music inspired instrumentals. I’m sure it’s great in theory, but ten minute songs with repetitive riffs and xylophones just doesn’t make a very engaging live show experience.

We met fellow noder momomom, and she was very cool. She brought her fifteen year-old daughter and some of her daughter's friends along. If only my parents had been that cool. I didn’t go to my first show until I was in college, and my mom had been horrified to hear that some of my school friends had taken me into D.C. to a club. I hope momomom’s kids appreciate how great their mother is. I doubt many parents are interested in punk music, and respect the importance shows have on any devout music fan.

Well, back to cleaning up, I guess. And the dog is looking at me as if he wants to go out for a walk. I hope Pantaliamon comes home soon – it’s getting very lonely …

To Observe a Murder...

Life is a dirty game. Everyone is sick in some aspect. I'm sick, you're sick, the world is sick. Today I viewed the murder of Daniel Pearl. If you're smart enough to type in his name in google, you can find it, but I wont give you the direct source. The tape of the murder itself is very brief. The video promotes the end of US policies and makes demands of the United States. It does this by using Daniel Pearls own words.

1. It is established that he is Jewish. Very Jewish. Jewish enough to visit Israel "numerous times" and have a street there named after his great grandfather.
2. He states that these are the sort of problems (kidnapping, murder in foreign countries) americans are going to have to face as long as "US Policy is the way it is."
3. He feels remorseful (probably at the point of a gun) about the presence of US Soldiers in Afghanistan.
4. Murder. Knife. Blood. Beheading. Head held up for the camera like a trolphy. You can feel the testosterone fly through the monitor. All I sense welling up within me is deep rage.
5. Organizations name: National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistan Sovereignty (NMRPS)
6. They still demand the following.
  • Release of those at Camp X-Ray.
  • Immediate end of US Presence in Pakistan.
  • The dilevery of F-16 planes that Pakistan paid for and never receieved.
  • "We assure Americans that they will never be safe on the Muslim land of Pakistan."
  • "And if our demands are not met this scene shall be repeated again and again..."

    Alea lacta est, as they say. Is it possible to have peace with someone who finds your existence an affront to their own? I know that the Arab world and the West are on a colission course towards war that cannot be stopped by either side. I can only think of the likelyhood that one day, I will be drafted and asked to kill Arabs, to live with incurable racial predjudices like those who fought in wars gone by.
    Posted on "New Writeups" since the day is over.
  • On the same day that we sports heads see Emitt Smith pass the almighty Walter Payton as the NFL's leader in career yards rushing, The Anaheim Angels are your world champions of baseball. They beat the San Francisco Giants in the World Series this year in what turned out to be a very excellent series. The sportswriters and sportscasters all had their eyes on one person, Barry Bonds. It seemed like Barry was running for president the amount of press he was getting. While Barry is an amazing player, he is not a team. Good for him that he hit 8 out of the Giants' 14 home runs in the series, the Anaheim Angels only needed half as many to win the series.

    This was a good series for two reasons in my book. The first reason is that it went to a game 7, and game 7s are cool. The second reason is that the two teams denoted two very different baseball styles. The Giants were a big hit team. With Bonds, Jeff Kent, and Benito Santiago in thier line-up, the Giants hit a lot of longballs in the season, and in the post season. The Angles were a baseball team that could manufacture runs. Their guys could get on base and cause trouble. The Angel's also had a team batting average of .310, about 29 points better than that of the Giants.

    The score of Game 7 was 4-1, in favor of Anaheim, of course. John Lackey was the first rookie to pitch the win in a game 7 of a world series since 1909. Angel's third baseman, Troy Glaus, was the winner of the MVP trophy, although an argument could be made for several of his teammates. One person especially, would be who the Anaheim fans are calling K-Rod, and his first name starts with an F. Francisco Rodriguez, a 20 year old out of Caracas, Venezuela, pitched 18.2 innings in the post season and marked up 28 strike-outs and shined as an excellent relief pitcher, marking up only 4 earned runs in the post season.

    And where's the love for the Rally Monkey? I think that lil guy should be the Angel's MVP as he did turn things around several times in the postseason. I wonder if the Boston Red Sox want a Rally animal; I think we need one. Besides, I wouldn't mind wearing the mascot suit. I could be the Rally Otter, or something.

    But now baseball is over. Another season is in the can, and I can cry because the BoSox, with their second highest payrole in baseball didn't make anything. Atleast the Yankees didn't win. Oh, And for all you people from Cleveland, Kenny Lofton was at the plate, with 2 outs in the top of the ninth inning. A man was on second, and another on first base. Lofton takes the Troy Percival pitch and slams it, high.....deep.... but not deep enough, as it's caught by the centerfielder. Sorry Willie Mays Hayes, maybe next year :^P

    October 27, 2002

    It's Sunday night. Very late Sunday night. Actually, it's about 1:30am Monday morning. I wonder who I became this weekend... why I became this person... and how. Yesterday was Saturday. Any other Saturday would've been the same ol' same ol' type of day, working 9-4pm at SBCC and then going home to do some work for my other boss. But yesterday was different... quite different. Saturday started like any other, with me going to work at Santa Barbara City College... a few minutes early as usual. 8:55am found me standing outside the Multimedia Arts & Tech. building at SBCC, waiting for someone with a key. I should have a key to this place. Why don't they give me a key. I think they're afraid. But anyhow, at about 9:02 David comes running down the slope of a very dewey well-trimmed mound of grass, jumping from the cement wall to the floor, where I'm at. He's got keys. He's a very lucky guy. I wonder about Atlas; he told me he was coming by.

    It's warm inside, and grey. Very grey... like the way everything looks when you first wake up... after you've slept in an extra hour, and have not quite opened your eyes. Almost a "pre-greatness" type of place. Genius in the workings. Yes. And the humming of 70+ computers in one room helps.

    Grabbing two sets of keys, I open up one of the remaining three classrooms; the Maya lab. Gay Marie is here too, she's got her own keys and a line of dutiful students following to her classroom; yet another room of computers. I've never taken a class from her. I simply don't want to. The production lab stays closed for now, this is only for the special people. Going back into the main lab, I see David opening up the office I share with him during the day. It's 9am on a Saturday, and there are students waiting to be checked in. This is how my day begins. My computer is a Maya server, and is slow to wake up from its 11 hour sleep. After sitting behind my desk, the front desk, I check everyone in... and begin to relax into the Saturday morning routine. Check in - check out. Headphones? Sure. Audio adapter? Sure. No student I.D.? Give me your drivers license. Your credit card. Hell, give me everything. I know you're not leaving.

    "Message Received"

    Atlas will be here in a few minutes. The phone rings; it's my tutor for the open-lab floor. She's running late. That's fine. This job pays less than a third of my regular day job. No worries. I'm a veteran here, no classes this semester, yeah I've been through this program. Yes, I know what it's like. I'm here for a little relaxation... just hanging out, helping out, the room of SGI's being a slight comfort. Rob's desk is currently inhabited by David; I recall not talking to Rob in a very long time. I'm so out of touch with most of my social relationships. He's still my best friend, though. Atlas is here now, bringing coffee and a smile, attempting to alleviate some of the boredom that invariably occurs. I'm signed in to my lovely simple browser-based version of AIM, and e2 is open as well... of course. The hours fly... as they always do. It's just after noon, and David comes back from lunch. Atlas and I have spoken with fogboy0; he says he's coming up the hill to visit us "noonish".

    I'm having this conversation with Achromatic that is baffling Atlas. I can sense the questions burning... and it's funny. I'm glad to have both of them to talk to and to mess/be messed with. I don't know now that Atlas will comment on it later, when fogboy0 is here. Atlas gets a little edgy so I let him log on to his e2 acct; so he can node a w/u waiting in his scratch pad. I settle down to my yellow notepad, writing a letter in longhand cursive. Atlas glances over every so often, unable to read my words, but he expects this by now. I'm always writing something...

    We give up on waiting for fogboy0, so decide to... go see him. We know he's procrastinating or distracted. His away message on AIM said something about showering and clean clothes - and possibly being late to all of his appointments today. We've been warned.

    Quickly we walk down the hill and to the Harbor... fogboy0 lives in Marina One on a boat. We're not sure exactly which one. Neither of us have a key, but in less than a minute somone walks out and we grab the door and go inside. Walking down the docks my mind is wandering. We pass by the sailboat my boss bought for his wife. "My Dream" makes me smile. I wonder about "Sea Dragon". Atlas says the guy who bought it has it in a different slip. He keeps track of things like that.

    Atlas and I realize that neither of us have fogboy0's number, so he calls spitefulben and I call a non-noder. Said non-noder has fogboy0's number and I call him. I learn that fogboy0 left to go visit someone at SBCC. Smiling, I hang up when we see him walking towards us... stopping once for a quick salute. He is hilarious as I've heard... I've never met him, but Atlas knows the guy well. We go back up to SBCC and fogboy0 sticks around for awhile... good company. Atlas and fogboy0 are talking, and Atlas starts to speculate.

    Atlas: You know how a cat will sometimes catch her prey and play with it for awhile? This is how cami is.

    fogboy0: I'm not so sure about that...

    They go back and forth, debating how evil and playful I am... and I just sit there grinning from one to the other, amused.

    Almost before I know it, fogboy0 has to leave, my shift is over and David is helping me lock up. Atlas goes home and I'm getting a ride home from David. God I need a car. As soon as I arrive home, my little brother is waiting for me at the gate. He's dressed as a "karate kid" and ready to rumble. We're going to Montecito, he says. I find out that I'm taking him and my younger sister to a trick-or-treating event that the merchants on Coast Village Road are having. It's about 5pm when we get there, and the kids have fun.

    Stopping into a gallery where I've set up a reception for my boss, I see the owner. She shows me a black and white invitation to an event she's attending later tonight. She says that it's Melinda's 50th birthday and there's going to be a big party; it's also a Halloween bash, and it's going to be incredible. Smiling, I realize who this is. I remember Arron. I haven't seen Arron (aka Yohe) in about 8 or 9 months. We went to school and worked there together. I remember meeting his mom Melinda, and his younger sister Bree, one time at school. They're wonderful, sweet people. I know I have to go. Briefly I wonder if Yohe's friend Aaron will be there as well. Aaron and I have been talking online for about 6 months, and never met. We both know Yohe and that's been enough so far. Glancing at the invitation again, I memorize the the address and time, then give it back. The theme of the party is "Rockstar". Ooh, I can have fun with this.

    Every day wear for me is generally in the image of a business professional. I can usually be found wearing a black skirt or pants, nice shirt and and business jacket. Tonight I dig into my closet for a bit... run things through my mind. Rockstar, eh? Hmm... I juggle the idea of combat boots or high heels.. sandals or barefeet. I wonder about wearing a dress or skirt. After about five minutes of debating, I've got it. I decide on wearing a pair of tight black pants with laced slits to to the knee. Two gold anklets and black heeled shoes. Striped tube top and a black leather jacket. a chain around my neck finished the effect. Alright, the rockstar's in town. My mom is my chauffeur, decked in black lace and gold. She's always gorgeous.

    Walking down candlelit pathways, we arrive at a Spanish Church style home full of people. The folks at this event are for the most part very well endowed and of great import to many. They really went wild last night though, more so than I could have ever imagined... but it was nice. very nice. I was transformed as well, I'd gone from the sometimes quiet, sometimes smart ass, sometimes professional, geek, to... another one of the wild people. I was the youngest at the event, but that didn't matter. I'm always the youngest. Walking through the house was incredible... Yohe did the decorations supposedly, and did an excellent, amazing job. The bar was the best, I think... very dark smoky room intricately decorated in so many ways it is indescribable. I walked into the back room... and was surprised.

    Are you... Cami?!?

    Smiling, I realized that this must be Aaron. He's dressed in a regular business suit but has silver tinsel hair. I think he's fabulous.

    Yes, I'm Cami...

    We try a handshake and that doesn't work out. Hugging, we continue to joke and laugh like old pals... 'cause we are... but until now, never in real life. Great fun. I ask him if he's seen Yohe or anyone? He says he knows no one here. I go off in search of more people I know... if any?

    The dance floor was wild, but I found Melinda and told her happy birthday and all that good stuff... She was in the middle of telling her daughter Bree to stay out of the bar. My mom happened to be nearby... saying almost the same thing, except that I just wasn't allowed to get drunk. I think she's more lenient with me because I don't hardly ever drink, and have never been stupidly drunk. As I'm speaking with her, I turn my head and notice someone in an incredibly extravagent costume...

    Prince was stunning. His blue velvet tailored jacket had coattails and he wore a ruffled white shirt underneath... absolutely perfect. His hair was a mass of fake dark brown curls, and the hat topped it all off quite nicely. Excellent costume! --Why, thank you my dear. When he kissed my hand I noticed the long fake manicured blue nails and the costume jewelry rings. I was dazzled, to say the least.

    As fate would have it, we got to talking... and he happened to be a software engineer, working for the guy throwing the party. We have a lot in common... and he was so surprised that he could talk to me, a young female... about subjects that would bore so many others. Bree comes over to us, obviously crushed. She's got a boyfriend, but told me that she's single tonight. I'm not sure how that works, but I understand. She told me that she's going to ask Prince to dance. Bree is shorter than me, blonde in a red dress... with bare feet. She's incredibly sweet and innocent. I smiled at her, bit my lip, and lifted my eyebrows in such a way that encouraged her.

    Drifting off, I finally located Yohe, who knows too much about me, and too little. Glad to see him, such an old friend... he did an excellent job in orchestrating the event. He points out that his dad is playing the keyboards. Yes, I said.. the band is great. I could sense that he was uneasy about something, and I still don't know what it was. He was surprised at how I found out about the party... at first he suspected that Aaron had told me. Why is it that I'm always surprising people?

    Mulling that last thought in my mind some more, I walked into the bar and bumped into Aaron again. He was ordering a drink, and when it came, shared with me. It was mild... rum and coke, I believe. He warned me to watch out for the everclear which was on the other side of the room. Everclear is illegal in California, also. I debate trying it... and finally decide to have some of it later.

    I headed out to the dance floor and danced with everyone. I'm not that great at party dancing... having gotten awards for much more classic types of dance. It was fun though, and Bree helped me to loosen up. Costumes. Everyone's costumes were wonderful. I especially enjoyed the girl who had a table around herself, complete with a black table cloth, mirrors, razor blades, and rolled up dollar bills. In case the necessity arises, she says. For the Rockstars attending the party. It's a bad habit...

    Pumpkin pie and apple cider in the dungeon. Candles and more candles. It was nearing midnight, and I was notified that I needed to head home soon... my mom is rarely lenient about letting me stay out too late. I said goodbye to Prince in the hallway. Hugged Bree, and told her I'd give her a call sometime. I found Aaron in the bar, he was drinking Crystal Geyser, trying to sober up he said. I gave him a long hug, and told him he was wonderful. We'll talk online. As I neared the dance floor, and was saying goodbye to Melinda and her husband, Prince comes up behind me and whispers delicately in my ear, "May I have this dance?"

    I could say it was any number of things... his cologne, his accent, the fact that he was courteous and kind, and very less drunk than the others... but I'll just say that I fancied him at the moment. We danced and discussed tcp/ip and dns issues, we danced and talked about the uselessness of visual basic, and the strong foundation of C as a programming language... we danced and discussed the colors of our eyes, and the level of jealousy in the men watching us. We discussed everclear and the burning sensations that come along with it. Deadly juice. My mom was watching, as well... and waiting. She was amused I could tell, but happy. Wow - he met her approval. I think it's because he kissed her hand too... but I can't be sure. As the song(s) ended, we bowed, and I introduced him to my phone. His email is stored there until I decide to utilize it. I'm not a good dancer. But I danced.

    Come with me, dance to the tensions of a world on edge...

    I won't forget his voice or his stunning eyes or the smell of his clothes and the emotion of the moment. I won't forget Aaron, and I know we'll be closer too. I have resolved to find Yohe and talk with him until he is at peace. I will call Bree. We'll go horsebackriding or dancing with handsome Puerto Ricans. Atlas will come again, and I hope fogboy0 will as well. Melinda had a fantastic 50th birthday I hear, and her husband's keyboarding career continues. My revolving conversations with Achromatic are still mysterious, and still rule my mind in a way I have never truly felt before. Starke is now my mentor. I will node and link and try for the factual stuff. I like it here.

    ps: what happened on sunday? I don't know...

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