It's really early the next day and I am in my own personal existential hell. I have discovered a bridge between my current philosophical pet project (Neitzsche), and my unshakeable faith in Islam. I thought this was impossible, then I read the Quran and realize that Nietzsche is just a second rate hack in comparison with some of the verses I am reading on the same subject. His saving grace is that he isn't too far off the mark.

Anyway, not to preach or anything (this node isn't about that) but I really thought this bridge didn't exist, and crossing it has really opened my eyes, and started a re-integration process in my mind. I can feel things, half broken, or nearly completed, finally coming to fruition.

I feel much better, like I have found my internal map and located myself. I know where my destination is again finally, and the philosophy thing is just one stop. This is probably strange, but the WTC attack had the good affect of shaking me out of my birthshock coma. Something that forced me to be creative, and perhaps insightful. I can see who I am again, and the way the media and the world politics is being manipulated, I no longer feel tied to the sofa, or to my car chair, I feel like I can go places, visit people, do things, and change the world.

The feeling isn't some sort of explosion, more a sort of dull roar, the kind that is familiar from my past, and quite long lasting. All this internal tension, the rediscovery is forcing me to abandon my old identity of a guy dejected, left behind by a loved one, and move on into the light. This is where the whole existential crisis comes from, if I am to be this better person that I see within myself, do I have to give myself up to be him? What then in essence am I?

Answers on a Postcard to: Cognitive Centre, Jaez's Brain, Jaez's Body, The Universe.

I know it's technically bad form to node email, but my dad sent me this today, and it just made a lot of sense. Maybe somebody else can get something out of it, too. I have edited the names to help the letter make more sense to the casual reader, and to protect the innocent. I have preserved the formatting, and the questionable spelling to the best of my ability.

Hi [ClockworkGrue],
Just dropping you a note to say that we are thinking of you. Because [your sister at school in Colorado] is an hour behind us I have picked up the phone a couple of times to call her but I keep worrying that it is too late to call you.

I imagine that you have settled in to your classes for fall. Did the dance class work out for you? If you have ever seen me dance you would know why I couldn't manage to pass a class like that. So, good luck to you.

[Your sister] was saying that you were going to look up graduate schools in computer graphics. I imagine that as things get more and more computerized that they will get more grahpical (sic) and eye catching. It will be interesting to see how much this war stuff actually changes how we live. My guess is that we will keep watching companies lay people off until January or February but I think by June we will be expanding the ecomomy (sic) again. When I was in college they reinstated the draft for the war in Viet Nam. It made us think alot (sic) about our beliefs. We thought about going to Canada or being conscienious (sic) objectors or going in the navy before the army drafted us. There was a lot to think about in that war that was so unpopular. We were finally let off the hook when the lottery was held and both [your uncle] and I had pretty high numbers so we knew that we probably would not be drafted. The way it worked was that we had college deferments (called S2 status). So when we learned what our numbers were we wrote the the draft board and asked them to change us to 1A status. Then for one year we were in line to be drafted. My birthday (Feb 25th) had a number of 142. They had to draft everyone with a number up to 141 before they got to me. It was nice to get through that year without being drafted so I could finish college. Then I got to the place where you are... not knowing what I would do next. The fear of the unknown does motivate one to pursue some things and that is good. On the other hand looking back from 30 years experience I can say that I was anxious for no real good reason. I decided to go into corrections and did that for a year before I figured out that wasn't right. So I went back to doing youth ministry that I had done part-time during college. Then after another year I went back to Graduate school while working full time to make a living to move into a career in the ministry. There are days when I wish I had not done this. Most days I like it. My regret is that I probably spent more time working when you were small that I should have spent with you, [your sister] and mom. This is also a low paying profession so that has effected (sic) this whole college thing. But it is a good lifestyle and I think it has kept me thinking and made me a better person. It is the one profession that makes you think about God and the meaning of life in our very secular world.

Let me know what's up when you have time. Dad

For the ages: I live in Vaasa. It is 9 days from the 11.9. events.

I was noding in my school, reading node "creative methods of suicide". I was reading that part about grinding yourself into sausages. I thought I wouldn't kill myself - I got goosebumps from the thought. The time had run out quickly, so I had to run to catch the bus. I was thinking little, being in a drowse. The bus drove as ordinary to the intersection in Vaasanpuistikko, where Vaasan Väri and the office of Veikkaus are. The traffic light turned yellow and red as the bus came there. A truck from Lohja Rudus with an empty trailer stopped and sit there right in the middle of the intersection. I was still in my own little world inside me, so drowsy I thought nothing of it. What drew my attention was that the bus was trying to get past the truck while the light was red!

Then I saw a bike fallen on the road and people wandering around in the middle of the intersection. Someone was crouching to look at a person. Worried, upset faces. I was thinking "Now someone has knocked his head to the truck, gone unconscious and they're trying to get him out of the way". I tried to see more and wondered if I could help using my first-aid skills. I saw her face, which looked familiar, but I know it couldn't have been the person I was thinking of. She had a restful expression, like he was sleeping. Then the bus turned enough for me to see.

The bicyclist had been crushed under the trailer. I read from the newspaper the next day that she was an old woman, and she had got big wounds into her legs and arms. I saw a cleanly outlined pile of gray and yellow goo with red stripes in it. I felt like puking. I thought she had been half crushed under the wheel. I had seen such things in the TV, but it is NOTHING compared to the real gore. Even cutting a mouse into pieces didn't compare. I had never been scared by the real human skeleton in the biology classroom, either. My reaction was an irresistible force. Barely a glimpse of gray and red stuff, and yet I felt like puking.

I was as curious as upset, and turned so that I could see the crushed bicyclist, when the bus was driving away. I was upset and not feeling like talking. It was disturbing as hell that people continued talking casually after that. An ambulance came towards the bus at the viaduct (maasilta). No siren was on, so I thought she was dead already. Only the fire department head's car had switched its siren on.

I thought she was dead. This death wasn't even one of those where you get old, lose the sense of reality, get ten different illnesses and die from them at the age of 72 (the mean life expectancy). Not peacefully in a hospital, not just falling down like Spede Pasanen a few days ago. Now someone was in a hurry, lost his concentration for a fraction of a second - and was crushed to a pile of dead meat and blood under a tire. This I thought in the bus.

A jet plane flew over me when I got out from the bus. I thought of World Trade Center, Sears Tower and the Minneapolis-Amsterdam flight. The terrorists could've chosen that flight and destroyed the Sears Tower also. I could've been turned into such a pile of gore.

After putting the coffee maker on, E2 is the first thing I did. I hope that the terapeutic element of everything exists...

Just a small UPDATE. When I went to the city I checked the place. It is the intersection of Vaasanpuistikko and Pitkäkatu, where Kurre, Kråklund Shåp, Vaasan Väri and ex-Svenna are. The blood splat had disappeared, because this is one of the busiest intersections of Vaasa. But, there was a small (about two thumbprints) splat of blood on the white road painting. It's clearly visible when you come from Kurre to Vaasan Väri. The officials probably won't bother to clean that up. (fnord)

The newspaper Pohjalainen reported that she had remained conscious and lives still. It's strange how she looked like totally crushed. Well, I remember a story from Valtteri Suomalainen's book "Kuolet vain kahdesti" (You die only twice). A pedestrian had been in an accident with a truck. The rescue personnel thought he was dead, because his head looked like a pile of gore crushed under the wheel. When they were talking and trying to decide whether to take the corpse with them or not, the corpse rose and asked "Where's my hat?" Only his scalp had been torn. He had no other injury. Now I experienced this kind of a illusion myself.

Noding about noding so I thought I'd stick it here. There are also some trolls about, so I thought I would share.

A brief noder autobiography

Metaphorically, I used to take a noodle from the pot and fling it at the wall. Sometimes it would stick, sometimes it would not, and sometimes it would fall behind the stove and get covered with brown gack. When I first started cooking noodles and flinging them against the wall, and this seemingly random behavior occurred, I would curse the wall, curse the brown gack, curse gravity. None of this got me anywhere. It made me hoarse, and it annoyed the noodles, brown gack, and gravity.

In time I learned that all this was wasted effort. So now I have learned to just fling the noodles and be content. True, some still fall and some still get covered with brown gack, but I take no notice. I just fling.

This is like my relationship over the years with E2. At first I noded (flung noodles), and while some did well, some were downvoted (fell off the wall) and others got nuked (covered with brown gack). I thought all this was horribly unfair and elitist. It was obvious to me that I was getting punished for what others were getting away with. Eventually I realized that, while this was a valid observation, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Just like gravity, the ways of E2 are an inescapable fact of life. Noders are the way they are, and I am not going to change them. So now, I do the stealth noder thing. Or I don't; I read. Or sometimes I /msg people when I think their writeups are good. Or I tell them the misspelled something or have a dead link. Or I refer a nodeshell or a questionable node to an editor. Or I don't visit E2 at all. Maybe I'll become an editor someday, and remembering my experience, set a better example.

It's only a website. I can always do something else.

How to quit E2 and how not to

I have quit E2 so many times it is not funny. I have done it quietly and I have done it noisily. Other noders' quitting is the stuff of legend -- see anything having to do with the Azamoth affair for an example.

Here is the thing. No one cares. This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. It's still hard to swallow. Whenever dannye or somebody sends me a /msg that he/she has nuked my node for some reason, the first thoughts to run through my head are "But everyone else writes smart ass nodes like that," "I just saw a node you wrote that was worse than mine," "You're just doing this because I am not in the clique," and so on and so on. Earlier in my E2 career, I raised a big stink about double standards and how earning your bullshit is a euphemism for elitism, blah blah blah.

What I have learned to do is to step back and cool off. Some times I don't come to Everything2 for weeks. Look at when I first signed on, and then do a user search on me and check out the dates on my nodes. You'll notice that there are obvious clumps where I would node a lot of stuff. Then the power structure would take notice of some of it and take a flyswatter to some of it. That would piss me off, and I would take my ball and go home. For a while.

My point is if you are going to quit, quit. Take your righteous anger, go, and do it quietly. Don't be a prick about it like I have from time to time. You aren't going to change anything by making a scene no matter how right you are. Do you think that people who have been here since Everything was an Etch-a-sketch, people with 20 zillion nodes and 40 bazillion XP are going to hear your little newbie tirade and suddenly have a Saul/Paul-like revelation? If you honestly think so, put the bong down for a second, and think again.

Everything is not for everyone. Everything is not a democracy. Everything is not a socialist/anarchist utopia. Everything doesn't belong to everyone; it belongs to the EDC, the people who maintain the boxes it resides on, the people who maintain the code, and, only by slimmest of margins, the people who have contributed the most content. That last population is open for debtate.

I'm pretty miserable living on campus. I have no time, but never do anything. I waste away my days in classes, or sitting around doing work, reading books that have no meaning to me and my life. I've contemplated moving away, but the truth is that I don't want to leave Asheville where I live. I love this town, I love this area, I love the people and the mountains.
I just hate this campus and the people on it.

I could move, I could just go away, but I have no money, and little experience for such an expedition. I also have no car, which makes leaving town kind of difficult. I miss my friends, who are all either away at whatever college they decided on or still trapped in high school.
I feel so unbalanced here, like nothing is going on here, there's so much activity, but so little matters here. Whenever people aren't doing work, they just drink beer, or smoke, or sit around. Noone ever does anything signifigant, or interesting. I'm stuck in this cycle.
I've considered going to the counseling office here, just because I've paid a whole shit-load of money to be here, I might as well get some free counseling while I'm at it, but I don't really want to share my misery, or spread it (but that didn't stop me from writing this).
Sorry for leaving a downer daylog.
Virus. Worm. Ack. That's all I'm going to say. Today is housecleaning day. All the silly panic and crazy authoritarian demands of the admins are fading from our collective consciousness. It's time to get back to worrying about war.

There have been more attacks on campus. An Indian man was threatened and shoved around by some cocky motherfuckers all hopped up on God, guts, guns, and glory. This is bullshit. Aside from the crappy logic of attacking someone because they're of Middle Eastern origin, I think some redneck fuckheads need to sign up for remedial geography/anthropology classes. See, guys, we've got these things called countries and continents. You might wanna check up on that stuff. Add in the historical relationship between India and Afganistan and the whole thing would be pretty comical if it wasn't so vicious and stupid. Some asshole that overheard me talking on the phone said that I needed to support my country and that his friends were just "blowing off some steam." My jaw dropped. The whole statement was so full of rich parallels that I just had to flee before shit got ugly. Well, I guess shit is already ugly.

Inevitably, under the huge stinking pile of human ugliness there is a positive note. Many student clubs (a good deal of which are geared towards international students) are forming coalitions and getting to know each other. The circumstances are unfortunate, to say the very least, but it's inspiring to see folks getting organized and dealing with the problems.

Still floundering along trying to find vulnerabilities in OS X. My ignorance about the world of BSD is coming back to haunt me. I admit that I'm a slave to the GUI. Even when I'm using the Linux box I tend to stay in a pretty pictures environment. Damn the graphic design background. I will figure this out. Me and the command line sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. I will RTFM right after I get all this firewire shit configured. Please kill me. Thanks.

No noding for me for the next few days!

I'm off to Anime Weekend Atlanta (a.k.a. AWA)--leaving today, be there tonight, hang out there for all three days of anime goodness™, and then hightail it back to good ol' Gainesville for six more days of glorious vacation. Ahh, it feels good to be temporarily relieved of work . . . By the way, if you're going, look for the short chick dressed as Sae from Maho Tsukai Tai (uhm, insane orange hair made out of sponges, odd witch-like costume, carrying a broom with a damn teddy bear on it)--that's me, swankivy!

Yesterday I did an early Mabon ritual and all my food (especially the luminous crescents and baked apples) was SOOOO good. I am impressed with my culinary skills now. I rule! Ha. I also found out that I am apparently violently allergic to cinnamon oil. I tried to use it as my anointing oil after my purifying bath, and it burned my skin. I looked it up in my magickal herbs encyclopedia, but there were no health warnings about it like there always are with herbs that should be diluted or should not be consumed. So, who knows . . . in any case I'll not be spreading cinnamon oil on my tender parts again.

I'm gonna miss E2 while I'm gone, and I don't think I'll be able to get to a computer to use my votes and see what y'all are up to, which is a shame, but I think I'll live. After all, I lived without E2 (gasp) for most of my life, right? Here's to increased noding when I return, assuming terrorists don't decide Atlanta is the next target . . .

Today, I've received a postcard from Macarthur Parker!

Dear Kit: :) :) :)

Ya know what? I lack wit
and insight for this issue
of Bad Postcard Digest..

Do you know that song "Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe?"
Freaky song. Freaky video too.
This freak-ass bitch is all
in your face singing badly...

Oh well. You've been POSTCARDED,
darling. Keep it real

Once again, a small banter about XP. My complaint of the day is Even Unto Death.

Before I even finished completing the softlinks for this node, it had been voted down. I'm an avid fan of the story of Legend of the Five Rings... I devour the stories. And it took me longer to read that story than the time it took for someone to downvote it.

It's a work of fiction, and thus, it needs to really be read in order to determine "worthiness to include in the database." It's from a shared fiction, which unless you know about the world, you cannot downvote it based on accuracy. It's actually news because I added the writeup minutes after Rich Wulf posted it to public FOR THE FIRST TIME. So, I really want to know why it got downvoted.

I actually have my answer, and that is someone is systematically downvoting everything in relation to L5R. Despite me putting that it relates to L5R in bold face before every post. I cover permission (It is granted by the author), attribute the things, designate the context, EVERYTHING. So, rather than just downvote me, man, drop me a /msg. Tell me what you'd like me to do. I'd love to improve the quality of my writeups, but I do not intend to stop noding Rokugan related topics. I actually find this stuff useful because when I follow a link to a nodeshell (which I intend to fill) I start seeing little connections between the stories. And that actually is an amazing thing that e2 provides for me.

So, if you're one of my mysterious downvoter and read this (rather than just see the name at the top of the post and downvote it), please, feel free to /msg.

It's 3 AM and you lie in bed unable to sleep. You have a big test tomorrow on OSPF which you've spent all day studying for; you've spent half the day studying for. You spent an hour and a half reading about OSPF.

Now, two hours after going to bed, you are awake. You listen to the silence of the night outside turn into the monotonous patter of millions of tiny drops of water striking the Earth as it starts to rain lightly. This is becoming a common problem; perhaps you're developing insomnia?

Ow, fuck. What the fuck? Your stomach is knives and acid, Fuck that is some fucking kind of pain! Ridley Scott's Alien is growing in your gut pain. Ow, ow, ow, stay still until it stops. Let's review:

Stupid, stupid fuck!
  • 03 AM - Payback!
The pain subsides and you make it downstairs, instinctively nailing the light switch in the pitch black. You pour a glass of water; your cold pure savior. That's gonna fix you right up, pal. The pain returns, and your stomach is a checmical burn. Fuck, fuck, fuck! It passes and you drink some water down. In the bathroom you grapple with insanity and exorcise some demons. Where's the fucking Advil?

The pain seems to have abated. Now you're looking at 3 hours of sleep (not likely) and frantic last-minute morning studying before the test. Cakewalk.

I love my Arby's, but she is a harsh mistress.

Until now I was a Day Log virgin. Well, there is a first time for everything.

Today was wacky but good day. No classes today, so I could sleep long. Got up at 10 AM and called a person up in Alabama (I'm in Florida). I am taking a road trip up there this weekend with my best friend. We're going to pick up a car from my uncle.
My uncle is in the Luftwaffe (German Airforce), and was stationed for some ten years in Huntsville, AL. He was a software tester/developer for the Patriot missile defense system, a US/German joint project. Now he is going back to Germany, and I am going to get the car of my cousin, a 1991 Buick Century.
Yeah that's right, I am a college kid and don't even have a car. But it isn't my fault...I can't work here. Uncle Sam thinks I'd take Americans the jobs away. But a free car...that changes everything.

Anyway, I didn't do a lot over the day until the early evening. Basically just reading E2, hacking some Perl, fiddeling with my windowmaker, and playing some Max Payne. Then Valerie called. She has been my friend for over a year now, and she always had the weirdest boy friends. The abusive type. To be honest, I've always had a thing for her, and now it looks like she likes me too. We went to the mall together, and had a lot of fun. She tried on dresses. No matter what she wears, it makes her look sexy.
I met a lot of old friends at the mall. Kids I knew from high school, or that I met on shows or downtown. I also enjoyed fucking with people I don't know and that I'll never see again. The stupid record store didn't want to give me price labels for free. The pet shop was full of dogs sleeping in their own poo, gang-banging hamsters (their testicles are almost as big as their heads!), and weird people playing with cats in cages. I tried to buy one of the white trash trailor people, but apperantly they weren't for sale, even though they sat in a little cage. I don't get it. Then I wanted to buy a pretzel, and the pretzel shop didn't have any. They told me to go to the other pretzel stand across the mall! That's a long walk. On my way there I stopped at various stands and asked the people for directions to the pretzel vendor. One girl sprayed me with window cleaner, some guy started checking out my ass, and upon asking a cop whether or not a pretzel shop without pretzels is a felony, he told me "No." I thought false advertising is illegal. Oh well. It's a twisted world.

Today was a good day. Looks like a finally found a nice, intelligent, funny, and sexy girl. I had a fun with random people and met old friends.

Unfortunately I just turned on the TV and read the heading "America's New War". There goes my good mood.

Fight War,
Not Wars.

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