Part I

Tuesday morning. 9:03a.m.. I sit down at my desk at work. The view out of the window in front of me is of the marquee at the Tower Video across the street on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Larrabee. It reads the titles of all the video's coming out for rental, or sale, this week. I should stop here and mention that I have recently acquired the nickname "Smoochy", because after a few beers, apparently I become very...well...smoochy. You may be able to see where this is going but it turns out that the movie "Death to Smoochy" is out for rental this week. So, basically, I spent the entire day staring at the words "Death to Smoochy", which was just a little bit disturbing.

Part II

Tuesday afternoon. 4:30p.m.. waiting for the 180 bus...and waiting and waiting. Guy in the KTLA Channel 5 shirt, also waiting for the bus, proceeds to open his pack of Marlboro Lights and chuck the foil and plastic on the sidewalk. Now, many people who know me are aware of my constant beef with people who litter. I have been known to follow people off the train or bus and tell them they forgot something, and that's when I'm in a good mood. Which I certainly was NOT today (fuckin' PMS). The thing that really pushed me over the edge with this guy, though, was that there was a proper receptacle bin within arms reach.

Me: "Dude, there's a trash can, like, right there."
Channel 5 guy: "Yeah, I know."
Me: "So, what, like, you just don't care?" (yes, I use the word like alot. I was born and bred in the Valley, what do you want?)
Channel 5 guy: "Not in this town."
Me: "Then maybe you should go back to where you came from, you arrogant, lazy fuck."

People standing around also waiting for the bus snigger and snort and give me "the nod of approval". Channel 5 guy mutters something inaudible except for what I'm pretty sure was "dumb bitch" and continues smoking his cigarette looking extra surly and pretending to be fascinated with something in the opposite direction.

A few seconds later the bus finally pulled up and when I got off at my stop I couldn't resist the urge to look back at him and say smugly, "Hey, man, give a hoot...", to which a good number of the people who had witnessed the scene prior to getting on the bus laughed out loud.

Today I went with my dad to see the "Heroes Among Us" traveling art gallery at Lloyd Center in Portland.

"Heroes Among Us" is an exhibit of comic-book art inspired by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Some of the art was pretty interesting, even touching. Recurrent themes included superheroes thanking emergency personnel or even deferring to them. Of course, it wasn't the art that will leave a lasting impression on me.

Wandering through the exhibit, one comes inevitably to it. It's at the end of a long wall of photos of rescue personnel. You know what it is from far away. Twisted, burnt, warped metal. It emmanates menace from across the room. A girder from the World Trade Center.

It's been transformed into a small memorial, festooned with drooping flowers... it looks more like a parade float... it even has mardi-gras style plastic beads on it, for some perverse reason, from the Chinook Winds Casino. Smaller, more meaningful memorials adorn it, too: a heart necklace, peace stickers... but no decorations can cover or negate the pain and terror that have forever been associated with the twisted wreckage.

I touched it and smelled my hands (rust)- felt the amazing toughness of the steel... I pulled a sliver of aluminum off of a fragment of the outer shell of the building, was going to take it home, but placed it back.

The whole thing looked like some sort of modern sculpture. A soaring bird was the first image that came to mind, somehow.

I thought of it as a metaphor. Gaudily decorated, in the heart of the largest mall in Oregon, yet still powerful. Dead flowers and plastic beads and burnt steel.

...I hope the true America can pull through.

Today I've been somewhat less than my usual hale and hearty self.
Not realising that I was in fact sick I attended classes and had the joy of taking notes through a hacking cough, a fever, slight hallucinations (I misred "accomplishments" as "Canada"), headaches, and so on.
Though the reeling sensation spinning slightly on this chair produces is not wholly unpleasant.

Me: (speaking to friend) Yeah, so I'm never sick except for this one time of year, every year.

Friend: Why's that?

JC: (placing thankfully cool hand against forehead) Because it was on this day, all those years ago, that The Witch King stabbed me in the shoulder with a morgul blade.

F: (sarcastic but sympethetic) Ha ha, you're really funny. You know that?

JC: guhn

So anyway, my immune system has taken its yearly leave of absence and if it doesn't return and cure me within two days I'll be like this through a nine-hour bus ride (as enjoyable as this is normally, I imagine it'll be even moreso when I feel like my skull is going to rupture).

I've been on E2 for a year and sober for ten days. Thank you. All of you.

Yes, you. All the people who said anything, and who have and are helping me through this. It means so much. And as dann says, Everything is a family - you are the best family I could hope for.

Its 6AM and my cigarette has burnt to the filter. For the few seconds until I light my next cigarette, I have to live and I am totally frightened by it. All I can do at night is stare blankly at my computer monitor when I know for a fact that I need to wake up the next morning for class. I don’t know what is going on but I know that I am complete and totally afraid.

Recently, I have moved from my mother house into an apartment on campus at UTD. I really enjoy living on my own and my roommates are the best. However, I work full time at a grocery store and I go to class full time and I have a lot of money troubles going on that must get taken care of. I have to say none of this even phases me in the slightest. What scares the shit out of me is that I have nothing really keeping me from ruining the rest of my life.

For the first time, I am completely responsible for my life and in the back of my mind is a voice screaming that I will fuck it all up. It keeps me up trying to find some sort of reasoning why my life will be ok. The only reason I fall asleep is my inability to stay awake forever. Maybe it will get better…maybe it won’t. For now, I smoke another cigarette and hope that I am personally strong enough to survive on my own.

When I was growing up, I used to go to my Grandma's house for weeks at a time in the summer. She lived in Chicago and I lived in Rochester, New York. There was a huge cardboard box in the finished basement that was filled to the brim with old comic books, Mad magazines from its hey day in the late sixties and seventies, joke books and a few issues of Cracked.

After a day full of swimming in her gorgeous, in ground pool, and eating liversausage and mayonnaise sandwiches on the patio while the Cubs played on WGN, I used to put on my terry cloth cover up and go down into the basement for a Tahitian Treat and my annual rereading of all of the magazines. I wouldn't watch t.v., wouldn't eat, wouldn't go to bed. I just read and read and read these magazines that I'd read a hundred times before.

The one I remember the most, though, was a small Wonder Woman comic book entitled "Wonder Woman Battles the Elements" (I THINK). It featured Wonder Woman fighting four other women, one made of water, one made of fire, one made of air and one made of earth. And their costumes were GORGEOUS. Water, in particular, I remember, was a filmy, aqua colored mermaid/fairy number that I longed to duplicate for a Halloween costume.

Anyway, my grandmother threw the box of stuff out when I turned seventeen and went to college...and I've never been able to find that comic book anywhere since. It is my Holy Grail.

I’ve found the most delightful thing to do!

My new favorite feeling in the whole world is dancing on acorns. Haven’t tried it? Come to my yard. Though the lawnmower may curse like a veteran sailor at the thought, my yard is covered in crunchy acorns fresh off the autumn trees, and I have yet to find a more wonderful feeling than dancing (in tennis shoes of course) all over the acorns. They pop so nicely under your feet.

Pop crunchcrunch POP! pop pop crunch CRUNCH!

This is my logical September 18th, starting around 5:20pm the 17th and ending around 6:15 the 18th.

I've been at college for a month now. 31 days at Georgia Tech and counting. For me, today started yesterday when I woke up at 17:20 after sleeping 13 hours, including through a class, a recitation, and a doctor's appointment.

After recovering from morning amnesia, I grab a quick breakfast of a waffle and a bagel & cream cheese at Woodruff before rushing over to my CS1321 recitation for a test. A test that I forgot to study for. It was easy enough though. I think I aced it, but I've been drastically wrong about how I did too often to presume I did that well.

I get back to my dorm, surf the web a little, and find myself looking at more stuff for my computer upgrade. Nexfan's got some of the rounded cables for less than Newegg, so I'll probably go with them for those. They've also got some glowy fans with 4 LEDs in the frame that would look rather cool in the air intakes, but they're rather pricey and don't offer as good of airflow as some.

At some point, I check the schedule for my english class and see that I need something resembling a rough draft of the essay due friday for class today. For this reason I took my laptop with me when I went to the basement to do some laundry. Predictably, I watched the Berserk episodes that DM sent me. After I finished laundry, I went back to surfing the web and generally avoiding the essay.

The essay can wait. At the moment, making it to calculus 2 is more important, especially after my abysmal score on the first test.

In calc, I actually pay attention the whole time and take diligent notes. Perhaps this has something to do with me leaving my Palm in my dorm room.

After calc, I come back to my dorm as usual. I finally start working on some stuff for that english essay. I decide to skip psych, as my english prof might be checking the rough drafts. I realize halfway through my predraft that this is probably supposed to be the autoethnography. Aah fuck. Well, this'll have to do until I have time to do a better rewrite. Off to class.

In class, we spend the first 10 or so minutes registering for, the (in)famous antiplagiarism site. The rest of class, we're supposed to peer-review the rough drafts that not exactly everyone has. My group just winds up talking about random stuff while we casually pass around papers and occasionally gesture to them.

After class, as usual, I get breadsticks and a coke at the only Pizza Hut Express in the world that serves Coca-Cola products instead of Pepsi products and go back to my dorm. As I approach the 24-hour mark, I grow progressively more tired, to the point that I think I fell asleep in my chair sometime between 5:15 and 6, despite the best efforts of Winamp and my mp3/ogg collection. I make my bed and crawl into it around 6:10, at the end of my day.

My first daylog...yay...

If you are a fan of reading my daylogs, you might be aware that, for the past few days I have been rather ill. The cold seemed to peak on Monday night, and has tapered off a bit since then, although I still feel rather debilitated and all around miserable. My head is stuffy, my sinuses are backed up worse than Pittsburgh traffic, and I have been in need of much more sleep than usual. It is more than likely the seasonal cold I get every September (last year I was hit by it the hardest on September 11) and every Spring (yeah yeah, so I can't remember the month I get it in the Spring right now). Mom keeps telling me to dress for cold weather in the morning, and warm in the afternoon. She is right, of course, but I like to feel the fresh, cool air in the morning right up against my skin - so, of course, I do not wear a jacket.

At any rate, I am ill.

I happened to mention my illness to Jennifer many times (usually in the form of a complaint about something or other hurting) so she knew I was feeling sickly. She told me she would come over to my place after she got off work (she Co-Ops right now) and we would watch Star Wars (I am getting her hooked!). I was thrilled! I love watching movies with her.

So, the clock rolls around to her usual time, and I hear the knock on my window (no doorbel for my effeciency). I dust myself off, and go out to greet her. Alas! she is no where in sight! I turn to my left, and what do I see? A dozen roses in a vase, along with a card, and cough drops, in my mailbox.

I felt like melting.

I may have swooned.

It was about as hot as a blast furnace outside, so I quickly gathered up the presents, and took them in to my room. I left the doors open, of course, as I wanted to go search for my mystery gift-bringer. I took a walk around the corner, and saw her coming out of her car, walking towards me.

She is so kind.

She brought me the Office Space Divx CD! Many hugs were given to her, right there on the sidewalk (I am generally not a fan of public displays of affection). My room smells like roses, and I can smell them in spite of my stuffy nose.

Thank you, Jennifer.

I've never had Ramen before, so I was naturally curious when I saw it at our local Cub Foods. I mean, this stuff was 8 for a dollar - how could I go wrong? I piled a selection of 8 mixed packets of Ramen into my cart with the rest of my goodies (mostly unhealthy things) and proceeded to the check out counter.

Fast forward about three weeks. Its about 10 at night. I'm sitting in my dorm room alone, (my room mate's at a baseball game in Milwaukee) and hungry, and there's no food. There's no way I'm going to walk back to Cub by myself this time of night (the townies have been restless, lately), Geri's is pretty much out of the question for the same reason, and I don't have a car, so I can't drive to Wal Mart.

Wait, I remember, I have Ramen! This is great. Crisis avoided. I dig into our box o' food, well, what was left of it, and pull out a roast beef flavored Ramen pack. Now I'm really excited. But what to cook them with?

Herein lies the problem. I have no hot pot, plate or any other kind of appliance that makes water hot, EXCEPT a coffee maker. Fine, I'll use that. It works for hot chocolate, after all. Here, I should say I used the coffee maker to heat the water, not actually cook the Ramen. That may have actually worked better.

So, the water's a-heating, and I gather the necessary supplies: fork, bowl (to heat and cook the Ramen in), and cup (a container to place the cooked Ramen in). I place the Block O Ramen into the bowl, and it fits, but there's some kinda sticking out of the top, so I pour some of the hot water over the brick, and then attack with the fork. Once it softened up and conformed to the bowl I added more water, stirred and added that little packet of flavoring that comes with it. Now I have something that looks like noodle soup in beef broth. I assume this is normal. I let sit for a few minutes, and fork the contents of the bowl into the cup.

What have I done?

The stuff was really bland, to begin with. At least I thought it was. I actually couldn't be sure, cause I've never had this before. But I was pretty sure this wasn't right. And I kept eating, which made it worse. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good. It was filler, with a hint of beef.

This is not to say I don't want to try it again – I'm just going to wait until the mass in my stomach is gone. I'm interested to try the different techniques and recipes on E2.


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