Well, it's almost here. The day we've all been waiting for. But are you ready for it? I know I am:

  • I have my official "USA 9/11" team jersey ($79.99 from Reebok)

  • My Getting over the 9/11 Tragedy with Inane Amounts of Vivid Photographic Reproductions picture book, by I.Q. Twit (Random House, $19.95)

  • My official 9/11 lunchbox (Hasbro, $9.99)

  • My official 9/11 Memorial/Anti-Stress Candle (Bath and Body Works, $12.99)

  • My official 9/11 t-shirt (Haynes, $24.99)

  • My official 9/11 Doll - a plush Dubya with a string in the back that makes him repeat "I will never forget" over and over in a high obsessive falsetto (Fisher Price, $39.99)

  • My TV tuned to the official 9/11 24-hour news channel (CNN, 20 commericals an hour)

  • My official 9/11 Microwave Popcorn (Wal-Mart, $2.99).

  • Hell, I even had my doctor write me a prescription for some Official 9/11 Anti-Depressants (Numindum Pharmaceuticals, $112 for 30 tablets).

I can't wait!

My dog didn't die today.

She's been a little tired for a week or so, and putting on a bit of size round her tummy, but I assumed it was simply that she was old and a bit arthritic

But when she had to take a rest at the bottom of out two, shallow back steps before coming back inside yesterday morning, I felt I probably should take her to see the vet. There was no sense of urgency, no panic. Just...

It'd probably be a good idea.

So I did.

The vet looked at her. She felt her tummy. She looked into her mouth and her eyes.

She asked if we had any rat poison around.

Then she said "It's probably a tumour... she'll need to stay with us and have an x-ray and some blood tests"

At 5 o'clock she called me and said my dog would need to have surgery. That she had a tumour growing on her spleen. That it was probably hemangiosarcoma

That she only had a 50/50 chance of coming out of it alive.

But she did.

Even though she is likely to only live less than one more year, I am glad she's alive now, and that her last conscious time was not being locked in a cage with no food and no water without the people around who love her and are meant to make her happy.

I'm glad my dog isn't dead.

I hope she can die at home.


Much later.

This daylog looks a little different than when I originally posted.

Anyone who read its previous incarnation will have only come across the 'here's a little bit about ME, I'm at, or near, the centre of the world, or MY world, anyway, I'm wry, and pretty smart. Here's some of MY thoughts for you to spend some time reading' section at the end.

But I have come to realise since posting it, how wrong I was. And how little I am, and how little I know. The truth is that for me, this is a day much like any other. It was my birthday yesterday, so I mused on what today held, its position between yesterday and tomorrow. Yesterday was important personally, tomorrow is important in more ways than I care to go into.

And today is important too. I realise now that this day, for many of you, means something. Probably in many different ways, more even than I now know.

I hope I haven't offended or upset any of you.

The original daylog content is below. I wrote it, it exists.

I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for September 10. Sandwiched between two famous anniversaries - a day before September 11 (and perhaps I don't need to go into much detail on that one) and a day after September 9, which for the uninitiated among you is the birthday of theboy - shared with Hugh Grant, Otis Redding, and Leo Tolstoy among others I'm told, but not Neil Armstrong as I was also once told, or even Billie Piper. I've lost my train of logic already. Anyway, theboy was celebrating his second birthday when Mao-Tse Tung shuffled off this mortal coil, having suffered from Parkinson's disease for a while, which is interesting to me, as it's my girlfriend's line of research. His successor, Deng Xiaoping was PD as well. And so is the Pope, in case you're interested. And Michael J. Fox, of course.

And Janet Reno.

But I digress. What does September 10 have to offer. Not so much. Arnold Palmer born, Stephen Jay Gould born, Will Smith's TV Fresh Prince debut, apparently, in 1990. No parks connections to speak of, and a long way from my next birthday...

...Not to mention the huge weight of tomorrow hanging over it.

My brand new magic 8-ball did not recommend posting this. But... what the heck! it's my 'day-after-birthday'. I'm feeling reckless.

I will be more obedient in future.

Happy birthday to me. And anyone else who has one around now.

Well today is the start of a whole new session for my life. I get to start carpooling with family again, something I haven't done for a little while.

Yesterday my car got totalled. /me pouty face

Quite frankly yesterday all morning I was saying how my life was on a personal high. All weekend I spent time with a great new group of friends that I truly enjoy spending lots of time with, but also much more. Sunday I had a decent day at work, and had planned on having a good monday.

Well yesterday on my way into work, in Kent, Ohio, there was a lovely several car pile up - my car and I ended up involved. I couldn't tell the damage cause I wasn't able to get out of my car immediately, traffic was busy. The guy infront of me jumped out of his car yelling to me "sorry i had to stop immediately".

Cops on the scene I finally got to get out of my vehicle, it was still running but when i got out i realized i no longer had a front end. Only good out come was teh airbag didn't release especially thankfully since I hadn't been wearing my seat beltcause I leaned over to grab something that landed on the floor a few miles before the accident happened!

Little silver 2001 Daewoo - RIP

Think what you wish
of me
and my awkward dishonesty
Think what you wish
of you
never wanted me anyway
Forget the way you touched me
tricked me
and made me ache
Forget the way I touched you
held you
and made you shake
Do you remember
those few weeks
when life didn't seem so bad?
Will I remember
those cool nights
when life didn't seem so sad?
With a sigh
summer is over
Not fooling myself this time.

12 months can drain away with surprising rapidity, but the hurt can still come back all at once. We will always miss you. I hope you are someplace better.

Ordering and drinking a gimlet at a fancy hotel bar is probably the fastest way to increase your social standing amongst friends and less than closely related persons. Respect comes your way quickly.

What else can be said? I have had an emotionally trying day and I'm not going to mention that other thing that happened a year ago. Sometimes pain is personal. Sometimes people lead you on and then they really stick it to you. That isn't fair most of the time but it is the kind of thing we have to swallow. I just don't understand.

I am flying down to Orlando, Florida next month for a big gem and lapidary show that I am looking forward to. A lot of wholesalers will be there to peruse. This woman I have been talking to over the internet after finding her business website wanted to meet me. We exchanged photos and talked about all matters of things. She said she hoped we would be able to get together during my visit and I agreed to travel down a few days early so we could get together. For months we talked and now she sends me a vague and hurtful e-mail saying she doesn't think it will be a good idea to meet and implies I have something emotionally wrong with me.

She was a little upset I think when I told her I had to have my dog Baron put to sleep. She thought it was unjustified, but the vet recommended it even though there was nothing I could see wrong with Baron other than a slight limp. Then I think she was turned off when I told her that a friend of mine was a homosexual and I didn't think that was a problem. She seemed to think something was wrong with my friend, who I call "M" for privacy, because he left his wife and family after twenty years to get into a relationship with a man. She also seemed put off by the fact that this guy down at the stables has offered to give me massages to help with my back problems and I agreed and took off everything but my fruit off the looms and hot oils were used liberally. I guess she does lack and open mind but this just stabs me in the heart. She says she will not e-mail me ever again and doesn't want me visiting her website (even though it is a business website, not that kinky crap). She won't even explain why. More hopes and dreams dashed. Right in the toilet.

I am a middle aged man of Middle Eastern descent who grew up in post-war Germany. I've been through enough. Why can't people be real. Why are they always such loose screws that I can't tighten even with a torque wrench? I am a fool and I'm also bald.

Well, I didn't get the job.

I also didn't do most of the post-disappointment things I said I'd do. The apple cider went undrunk, the apartment floor unstomped, the dust bunnies escaped berating. However, I did do some job searching and wrote a bit to make myself feel better. Seems to have worked.

I was so nervous Sunday night about finding out about the job that I didn't sleep at all -- I stayed up all night doing some web work for a friend and, of course, a bit of noding for good measure. And so I called the hospital's HR department around 8:30 in the morning, and got a callback from the HR lady I'd interviewed with around 9:00.

"They've decided to go with a more qualified candidate," she told me.

Which, like most "just give them a reason and get them off the phone before they start crying or yelling or something" explanations, tells me virtually nothing. More qualified how? I had everything they asked for in their job posting. More science reporting experience? More lab experience? More corporate writing experience? Were their interview clothes more professional? Their references more enthusiastic?

Did they ask for less money?

I really wish it was acceptable to request a post-mortem in situations like this for the sake of finding out what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. But nobody has the time or the inclination to engage in conversation with a stranger whom they've just rejected, and to ask for such a conversation is to come off as some kind of a crank.

Ah well. I got farther in the process than 117 other people who also applied for the job, so I suppose I should feel somewhat good about that.

Damn but this job market is tight. Over 120 applicants for one medical writing job at a hospital deep in the heart of the ghetto -- and not a particularly well-paying one, at that.

A fellow in my local writing group just got laid off in August -- 6 months before he could get his green card. So now he and his family have to pack up move back to Canada. At least I'm not being thrown out of the country.

I did my best, and I suppose, in the end, that if I was meant to have the job, I would have gotten it. I like to think these things happen for a reason. Maybe a better job is just around the corner.

And I will be thankful for that which I do have: good friends, both here in Columbus and scattered around the world. Jobs come and go. You guys are what makes life worth living.

I hate being powerless. I'm so much more comfortable when I can guide and direct life, or at least be pleased with the direction it's going. That's not the case in the instance of my ex-husband and my ex-best friend. I need to spew and vent and get it out..and this is the forum I'm choosing, so you might want to move on.

My husband and I split up about 9 months ago. We remain good friends for the most part and see each other alot. We have two kids whom we both adore and things are fairly smooth. Then the ex-best friend moves in.

This woman was my "best friend" for a period of about 9 months a few years ago. During that time I got to know the real person behind her oh-so-pretty-and-sweet facade. I realized when we were close that she's a huge RX drug addict and has a constant stream of physcosomatic illnesses and injuries that keep her in vicodin all the time. When she can't do it legally, she turns to some illegal avenues, or asks people she knows for the drugs. She also hates kids (despite having two herself) and would rather just keep kids out of sight. She also has a rage problem, and on two separate occasions I debated on whether to call the cops on her when she was shouting horrible things at her children and jerking them around. Unfortunately, she's also very beautiful, smart, and charming and an expert at using people. I was her best friend, her "long lost sister" for awhile, until she found a new man to take my place, then she never called again.

So..this woman is pursuing my ex....hard. He's laid back to the extreme, and would happily let any woman do all the chasing. She's playing up to his needs...trying to convince him of what a wonderful mom she is, of what a nice person she is, etc. And it looks to me like he's buying it all. She's this caring, loving person who gives him attention and sex...and he's falling for it.

The main concern I have is for my kids. They're already drawing away from him, as he's been working alot, and If I know Jan(and I do..very very well), she'll be needing him more and more and finding excuses to pull him away from the kids...ever so slowly and subtly. The kids know what she's like, as they saw her with her kids, and with the "nice face" off when we were friends, but my ex was never around much to see it, and I didn't share her problems with him.

ARGGGGHHHHHH. God..Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

If you read this far...sorry for dumping my soap opera here, but it needed to get out of my brain.

I never met Hermetic. For that I have no regrets, and yet there is a twinge in my heart every time I hear reflections on his life and his final days amongst us.

You see, September 10, 2001 feels all too much like June 6, 1994 to me. My user name on E2 is not an accident or a sick joke. The truth is that I should not be here amongst you. Sometimes I'm not sure I really am.

I took into account the feelings and reactions of the people around me when I decided to take my own life more than eight years ago. It just didn't matter. My pain was internalized and nothing really mattered. I could have won the lottery and had an orgy with supermodels and it would not have mattered. I had lost faith in myself and given up on hope. The end was all I wanted because the pain I inflicted upon myself was too much to bear. No one was to blame. There wasn't anyone who really let me down and no one failed me. I failed myself and I couldn't deal with being who I was any longer. The sorrow and pain of those left behind when anyone dies too soon, especially by their own hand, is a difficult burden. Yet sometimes the cross they carry is heavier than it really is.

I've seen two good friends take their own lives over the past fifteen years. Both had reasons I could understand. I was sorry to see them go but did not mourn their passing. One left before I did and the other afterwards.

Well, the priest he cries
Virgins ascending to the skies tonight
All day long
I have passed my time alone
When the church bells rung
I stayed out on the tower
In a dying sun

Dire Straits
Follow Me Home

I only knew one person who was close to Mick, and that was his wife. She did not have the opportunity to mourn his passing. His despair had come as the result of a foolish motorcycle accident. He was piloting the motorcycle and she was on the back. His pride convinced him he could make a manuever he could not make and she died in the resulting collision. That was something he was never able to overcome.

Bobby had been systematically molested by his father throughout his childhood, joined the Army after high school, went AWOL and was later put under psychiatric care. He fell in love with his social worker and moved in with her. Months of seeming bliss followed before he broke things off suddenly and moved in with his father, who had since been divorced from Bobby's mother and lived alone on his father's farm. Bobby was there for a day before walking out into the garden and putting a gun in his mouth. The memory of his father smiling and shaking hands with people at the wake haunts me to this day.

Reading emphatically about the people who knew Hermetic and felt great sorrow and pain at his passing, I have found something here on E2 I never expected to find. I can picture the days following June 6, 1994 had I not somehow found my way back here after my death. I can see how those who cared about me would have felt and reacted. I can understand that which I never could feel or understand before.

Penance was not why I came here
but it helps me understand better why I am here.

The phone rang last night about midnight. It woke me up, and before it registered in my mind that something was ringing, the machine picked up.

It was for my dad. He left town yesterday evening on a business trip. I didn't catch much of the message, just "Jim" and "I need you to call me." I thought for a moment that I know a Jim, and then why the fuck is he calling so late for a guy that isn't even in town? I know how these things work. When there's one call, there's always at least two more. Such is the nature of my father's work. I decide that if it rings again, I'm going to be very rude in how I answer it. I drift off to sleep, mentally daring someone to call.

It didn't ring again. I woke up this morning at the ass-crack of dawn for an early meeting. The meeting was never scheduled to happen, because my boss messed it up. I decided to go downtown and do a little shopping at Good Records to extract my revenge for forcing me out of bed earlier than I normally would get up.

On my way downtown, my cell phone rings. I don't recognize this number, so I assume it's someone I don't care to talk to. I'm in a very bad mood lately.

It's my dad. The helicopter he was responsible for way back when I was in the 7th grade crashed last night. No survivors. It went missing about 10PM outside Aberdeen, and a farmer found it this morning. I don't know anymore details, but it's possible that somebody suffered a really bad night before finally passing on. Maybe even someone I know.

Dad tells me Jim is the mechanic in Aberdeen now. I go home and listen to his message. This is the first time I hear the deep concern in his voice.

I'm glad the phone didn't ring again last night. I would have been awfully disappointed in myself this morning if I had jumped that poor man for waking me up. At least I get to wake up.

Update: September 11

I talked to my dad about ten minutes ago. He spent all day picking up body parts. He's been working on this particular type of helicopter longer than I've been alive, and he had no idea they could be destroyed to this extent.

He's talking about drinking. My dad's been sober for 14 years now, and I don't think I'll be able to take it if he falls off the wagon. I just hung up with my grandfather. I hope he can say to my dad what I couldn't.

I'm not exactly sure how to feel right now.

This morning’s paper gave me another reason to reflect on my regret that I haven’t left this miserable state years ago. On page four was a full color photo of one of my high school classmates, arms spread and with a big grin on her face under the lights of Times Square. The story was about Tampa natives who’ve transplanted themselves to The Big Apple and haven’t been scared off by little things like collapsing skyscrapers. Apparently, she moved there in 1997 and works in a bank. I’m glad she’s happy; she was always a nice person.

Today was primary election day in Florida, so I did my civic duty and voted on my way to my Research Methods class. My precinct, as it has for the last several elections, votes in a church, which in and of itself doesn’t bother me. It wasn’t so bad today, but during general elections, the side of the road in front of the church is packed with partisan campaign signs, all for candidates of a single party. This is probably legal, but there shouldn’t be such a blatant display of partisanship in front of what should be a neutral polling place. It infuriates me so much that I daydream of driving my car over those signs and hearing them go down under the wheels with a satisfying sound. Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack.

Most voters had their first exposure to the touch screen voting booths today. I know that this is a badly-needed improvement over existing technology, but I can’t help but feel a Nicholson Baker-like twinge of nostalgia over the loss of the punch card ballots. There was something tangibly fulfilling (and maybe sexual?) about sticking that metal pin in the hole and hearing the satisfying crunch of the ballot and feeling the chad give way. And I have worries, probably unfounded, about the accuracy of and potential for tampering with votes that exist only as intangible computer records. Nothing to touch, to count, to verify. Democrats don’t trust machines, I guess. All of that aside, I wholeheartedly applaud this necessary upgrade. Yet in the state voting was extended two hours to 9pm because some people had problems with the new technology. Perhaps some elderly Jews tried to vote for Pat Buchanan again.

I skipped voting for judges and school board members because I was so utterly uniformed, and I wasn’t about to vote for random names or make choices out of some misguided sense of ethnic solidarity. Mary Barley was my choice for Agricultural Commissioner, a race I normally wouldn’t care about if she wasn’t a big target of a series of particularly nasty attack ads. A group called “Florida’s Working Families” accused her of being a Republican in Democratic clothing, donating money to Dubya, attacking Democratic Senator Bob Graham, and being an all around nasty bitch. But it turns out that Florida’s Working Families is a front group for Repubican big-ticket donors! Political ads are always nasty, but the ones from this election and from that party are particularly onerous, and they make me want to tell everyone I know to vote for Mary Barley.

Bill McBride and Janet Reno, both running to be the Democratic candidate for Governor, are also the targets of particularly nasty Republican ads. I’ve always had mixed feelings about Reno. There are many things I admire about her, but I disagree with her about many things. The clincher is that she has no chance of winning against Jeb! in a state where much of the population is still bitter about Elian Gonzalez, hates her because her boss got a hummer, or thinks she is a lesbian. Bill McBride seems like a nice enough guy for a corporate laywer, and as the Weekly Planet said, it takes a rich white guy to beat a rich white guy. Here’s hoping that’s true.

Has it been a year already? Raise a glass and pour one out for those we’ve lost. And don’t forget to remember the ones who are still here in case they join that list before you expect them to.
I think I'm going to spend tomorrow in a dark closet, wearing earplugs and taking pulls from my bong. I am so burned out on 9/11, and had enough on rememberances stuff on Sunday. Back in February, I was giving a mental health diagnosis of depression by Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I started cognitive therapy in April, and am still in therapy. I have characteristics of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I'm sure 9/11 didn't help me at all. I come to avoid the news most of the time this week. Tonight's been the worst, though. I tried to check the news, and it started with nothing but 9/11, terrorists threats, Condition Orange.

glad to see you

As my gaze wanders my eyes fall upon a velvet milktoast wash; words spoken, and I catch a brief glimpse of moonlit cloud closed in by two vivid sunsets. My gaze wanders further; my thoughts are lost when suddenly I behold two meadows of Irish green over which the west wind blows revealing hidden gold, over a pool of moonless night. Concealing a beauty that few will ever know but is there as surely as the grass shall grow, as serenely as the tide flows.

Every now and then I hear a sound like that of the west wind blowing, telling me the sun will rise and I’ll get to gaze upon those fields and admire those two tiny mountain ranges. I want to let my eyes roam the valleys of those hills, look over the edge and see those brilliant white breakers flash something deep down; so deep that no one knows the secrets they keep. Telling me only of a velvet milktoast wash, sprinkled with the carnations that the flower girl sells on Saturday.

Maybe I should wander and journey to the fjords, delicate, strong, and supple. Tracing thoughts like the dolphins trace pictures in the sea, leaving a delicate wake of words for someone to follow, or turning ashes in a broken stone ring to pictures in the sky. Lit by the moon or the sun, lies a mind clearer than a foggy day, telling me to wait for the rain to fall.

Perfection reflects from puddles of molten silver that stand after a rain of moonlight on green grass, full of ripples that are washed by the jealous sun and overlooked by masses of stones that pass by each day, only noticed by those willing to stop for a second and gaze at their reflections.

My travels are complete for now. My eyes are bright and my soul and heart have traveled a thousand miles and are ready to travel a thousand more. But now I can think of nothing but warmth and contentment, like the first rays of a clear winter sunrise.

My ears have heard a symphony composed by what lies under those two fields and sung by a choir of pearls in a carnation room. Danced to by some sort of telepathy.

The magic pauses for a while with a warm embrace, and the sound of breathing. Hands of satin speak a quiet goodbye, broken by the clip clap sound of black sandals on concrete. Intermission has started, life gets up and the audience waits for the next act to start…

Two people miles apart holding hands in understanding while two more holding hands are miles apart. Eyes gaze at a world of beauty one lit by the radiance of something deep the other lit by moonlight.

07:33 09/10/02

glad to see you too

milk toast,

Toast, usually buttered, served in warm milk, often with sugar or seasonings

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