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As I mentioned in my last daylog, My girlfriend's fiancee's birthday is in two days! For her birthday I originally planned on composing two different poems, one a free form, and the other a sonnet of some sort. I ended up using a rhyme-scheme consisting four couplets, and the last line in each couplet rhymes. This was not planned, and was the first thing that came to my head.

I was able to go to Ridgevale Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts today. The sea is an excellent muse. Although I wanted to get more done, I only spent an hour at the beach. It was nice and quiet, low tide too. Here's what I got done on the poem.

Every morning I wake up
and am sad you're not there
Your face is so peaceful,
framed by your hair
I cannot but help to pause,
for I'm caught in a stare
life without you
is naught but despair.

When we are apart
I feel an ache in every bone
alas, I cannot wait
for a place we call home
It won't need a tv
cable or phone
Just me and my Baby
So we're never alone

You're too far away,
when you're not in my arms
I'll stay right by your side
and see you ne'er come to harm
You make me want to do crazy things,
like run away, and buy a farm
and sometimes I know,
you think I was raised in a barn

Obviously, this is a love poem. I think I conveyed that part of it rather well, however, I am also a very non-serious person most of the time, which I think explains the last four lines. I don't really know if I want something that humorous, or non serious, in there, as it damages the mood of the poem. That's also the reason I decided to leave the beach, if I got started on silly, I'd stay in silly mode for a while. Here are some other stanzas I'm thinking of working in somehow.

You're my guide,
my companion in life
You're the only reason
I want to have a wife.

My love for you is more
than I could say
Even if for you,
I wrote a poem a day

You're Venus unmarred,
with none more beautiful
Skin soft and pale
like a baby lamb's wool

I'm off the market,
To you I am sold.
And we'll live together
Til we're a hundred and one years old.

These are seperate because I wanted to have four rhymes in a row instead of just two. I really want to use the Venus unmarred stanza, as I like the way that sounds, I just haven't found any good rhymes for beautiful yet. I also really want to incorporate the first and last stanza somehow as well. When it's all done, I want to have five sets of four couplets, a total of 40 lines of poetry. I'm thinking of giving her a handwritten version, plus a typed copy of the poem, so she can actually read it. I have until this Friday, beacause that's when I see her next. Hopefully I can sit down with this and finish it up at somepoint this week. I'm open to suggestions at anypoint before Friday, as I have an early flight that morning, and need this done before then.

Here in the middle of the moon's cycle, our nights are filled with bright blue light. Some evenings are so bright that large trees send 11pm shadows across the street and if you arch your head toward the sky, you can watch the red lights of airplanes dart between pale clouds above you.

I know we should all take such things for granted, but I really enjoy walking outside when the moon spotlights the neighborhood. To my perspective it is like an inverted eclipse- these small nights of bright light and cool shadows.

Stop and watch the moon's glare sparkling off the chrome of a large truck. Notice how night air mixed with blue light makes everything almost sepia. Pretend it matters. What the hell, it's free.

American filmmakers are geographically dishonest.

Today I watched a movie that was set in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. The movie itself sucked, but I had a great deal of fun watching it. It was just exciting to know exactly where the characters were. However, the movie was edited so that locations that are actually across town were apparently next to each other. That kind of takes away some of the believability. When the main character goes underground at the Convention Center, he surfaces out of a manhole downtown. There is nothing wrong with that, but the Convention Center and downtown Portland are on opposite sides of the river. Also, after diving in the Willamette River, one of the characters surfaces at Oregon Falls. Once again, there is no problem to the average viewer, but as a Portlander, I know that those falls are UPSTREAM, and there is no way anybody is going to swim from the Hawthorne Bridge to Oregon City while being chased by police helicopters.

My family and I had the same problem with Free Willy. It is one thing to see a kid wake up, leave his house on a bike, cross a bridge, and go to the aquarium. However, when you're an Oregonian, you recognize the house as being in Astoria, the bridge as being the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, and the aquarium as the Vancouver Aquarium. This prompts the reaction "How the heck does that happen?" and can potentially destroy the movie.

I wonder if this is a problem in movies that are set in larger cities like New York or Los Angeles. I don't know the answer myself, because I have never been to those cities, but I imagine that filmmakers are less likely to mess with geography, if for no other reason that many of THEM live in those cities, and they would probably be annoyed at such geographical blunders. That is not to say that movies set in New York are perfect; there are only so many exciting locales in any one part of a city.

The moral is clear. If Hollywood shoots a movie in your hometown, be prepared to just accept the fact that all of the exciting places in your town will somehow teleport within a few blocks of each other.

A curious landmark.

These days, I take a slight detour on the way to work, when I can make it through the turn (i.e., when no one is blocking the intersection), to avoid a traffic light and some other left turns usually required to enter my place of employment. I don't know the name of this road, offhand, but there's not a lot on it, although the growth has exploded in recent months. There's a realtor office, TAG Computers building, and a Pan-Am building... not much else.

There are a few unused, but presumably sold and/or speculative, lots off this road. As property costs are skyrocketing out here, people are trying to make a mint, selling commercial real estate. Most of these lots tend to have gravel-dirt driveways, with big rocks, or something else equally obstructive, blocking entrance. This is why I never noticed Tippett Hill before.

Across a gravelly, red clay entrance that seems to lead into a splotch of old-growth forest, is a cable attached to two small posts. On an old tree, off to the side, is nailed a very simple, black-and white metal sign about the size of a licence plate, that reads:
The first time I saw it, I was curiously drawn to finding out more about this sacramental parcel of land. Not in a morbid sort of way, mind you -- it was more at an immediate wonder about this apparent dichotomy of some old cemetery in a newly rapid-growth area. This said, curiosity was mostly passing, in that I never remembered exactly how to spell the name, or simply to do some online research, in the two weeks that followed my initial observation.

Tonight however, shortly before going to bed, something made me think about it, so I did some quick web research to look it up. As it stands, there's not a lot out there. After finally getting the spelling right, Google only returns five results for "Tippett Hill", and only two have anything to do with this cemetery. After seeing it in the Loudoun Cemetery Database, however, my interest is even more intent.

It seems Tippett Hill was a community cemetery, whose earliest burial was in 1908 and, although most are earlier, whose last burial was performed in 1994. The latter doesn't feel all that long ago, but eastern Loudoun wasn't all that big back then, either. There are several children (indicated as "baby" in the name record) buried here. Most interesting to me, however, is the 1994 burial, simply labelled as "Froggy,". Is that a last name? Where is the surname? Is it a nickname? Hm...

One of these days, I want to take a short trip out there and visit, and it's not through any desire to do something intrusive. I simply have this sort of "spider sense" that I could learn a lot about the area in which I live, by visiting Tippett Hill.

Dada Rocks

I was sitting on the sofa yesterday, watching Dada play a game on the machine. He was trying very hard to do something, and when he succeeded, he was very happy. Mama was watching to, and she said,

Dada rocks!

So I said it too.

Dada rocks!

Mama and Dada liked it when I said that. They both laughed, and I laughed too.

A little later, Dada and I went outside, to the driveway in front of the house. Mama was in the doorway. I gathered up some of the stones that were lying there and gave them to him, saying.

Dada rocks!

Why did they laugh at me?

Yesterday Southampton got to their first FA Cup final for 27 years and I was there and hooray!

You have to appreciate that Southampton are not a big club. Until two years ago they had the smallest stadium in the top division; their most expensive player (Rory Delap) cost just £4.5 million, chicken feed by premier league standards; and they have won just one major trophy in their history - which was in that final 27 years ago in 1976 when Bobby Stokes scored to give us a shock one-nil win against favourites Manchester United when we were in the old second division. So for us to get to a final is not the minor achievement it is for some of the big guns: it's absolutely huge. This sort of thing doesn't come along very often - if previous form is any guide I'll be bloody 46 when the next one comes along in 2030 - and everyone is determined to make the most of it.

What's more: we've qualified for Europe! Because Arsenal, who we'll be playing (eek), are already there through the champion's league, so we get the cup qualification spot by default. Next stop Skonto bloody Riga. Or Helsingborgs or something.

The game was pretty average, to be honest, but I always felt we had enough in reserve to take care of lowly Watford, even if them pulling one back late on was a bit nerve-racking. (It was 2-1, by the way.) And the travel was, of course, hellish: British Rail on a sunday is always a shot in the dark, and we were lucky enough to share a carriage on the way home with about forty miserable Watford fans. And then the train stopped at fucking Oxford instead of Reading and we had to get a bus and then a cab and if we'd lost it would have been the worst journey ever. But we didn't. We bloody won. It was completely worth it. And the atmosphere was fantastic. Everyone was up for it and I was lucky enough to have a seat right in the thick of it, waving my flag, wearing my ridiculous jingly bell hat. It's this sense of community you get from football that makes it so fucking great: I reread fever pitch recently and it reminded me just how rare that thing is, that feeling of belonging with complete strangers.

One other nice thing: the best player on the park for us was Brett Ormerod, who not very long ago got released by Blackburn and worked in a cotton mill for a while, playing non-league football. And then someone spotted him, and he got signed by Blackpool. And then he broke his leg in two places. And then he healed and started scoring goals and Southampton signed him and he always works incredibly hard, though he doesn't score that many, and yesterday he made one and scored the other. And he said, and it's incredibly cheesy but who gives a shit? that 'you have to hold on to your dreams because the only person who can really make them happen is you'. Yay! Go Brett!

I'm very grateful to football, actually. The last couple of months have been the hardest of my life, no question. But goals, it occurred to me, are like orgasms. They push everything else out of your head. When it's your team that scores, and you're there live, and the goal matters, you think of nothing else. It's a moment, albeit a brief one, of genuine and all-consuming release. Just for a second, I'm not thinking about her. And although most of the time I have a kind of masochistic desire for this thing - I really can't bear the idea of not minding any more at all, and I'd rather feel like this for ever than believe that what happened didn't matter, massively, more than anything else in my whole life - the occasional moment of escape from it can only be good. Two of them yesterday: roll on Cardiff.


I don't see it, I feel it. I can feel my body adjusting to operation during daylight hours. All of the little subsystems in my mind are slowly clicking on again, being manned. I wait with my eyes closed for Damage Control to come online and decide if my body is ready for deployment. While I wait, I try to remember where I am, since the feelings underneath my back and legs are completely foreign. But on playback the past few hours are clippy and nonsensical. Logistics sets to work cleaning up the footage. It doesn't take long for Damage Control to report back that the risk of attempting to sit up is acceptable. They've also deemed opening my eyes an acceptable risk based on what sketchy data they have, so I say a little prayer and blink.

There's the obvious and expected pain at first, but something's wrong. I can't readily grasp what it is I'm seeing. The guys in Imaging just got their coffee, so they're a little slow to get to work. Eventually, what I'm seeing sharpens up to the clarity I'm used to, but still I can't understand what it is I'm seeing. Logistics reminds me that I have been cleared to sit up, so I attempt that instead. As I'm slowly sitting up I realize what I was seeing was the colorful knit blanket that was draped over my face. A blanket I've never seen before. And suddenly I realize, I'm in a living room I've never seen before.

Where the hell am I?

Suddenly, Sensory finally comes 100% online and I taste the remnants of alcohol in my mouth. The fermentation process that had begun while I was passed out left my palette begging for something to rinse it. There was something else that I tasted besides the alcohol -- stomach acid, mildly. Everything from the night before came rushing back at me. The conversation, the bar, the drinking games. Ranting about men like a woman possessed. Kneeling in a dark narrow room, utterly helpless. And clutching porcelain because it was the only thing that kept me from falling over. My knees were getting sore from being in that one position for however long I was in there. I vaguely remember someone coming in to reassure me that he had just cleaned the toilet that day, so I was lucky.

I arose from my funeral pyre and cast away the rags of sleep fully. Logistics had already begun to review the footage from last night to locate my coat, since with the new knowledge of just how badly I behaved the night before I wanted to make as quiet an exit as possible. I realize that there is a couple sleeping on the couch close by, and the reason that I decided to go on such a bender comes flooding back as well. A member of Public Relations quietly but spitefully suggests that I do something mean, just because they are lying there so peaceful and serene. But Logistics has pinpointed my coat, so I set myself to making my quiet escape.

Optics screams at me once I get outside. It's 9 a.m. and the ground is covered in snow, so it takes a full 10 seconds or so for Optics to get on the ball. Once I adjust, I realize that there are now two rather large cars parked behind mine. With Public Relations warning me against waking anyone up I devise a plan to get alongside the cars and ride the snow-covered grass out. Logistics reminds me slowly but firmly that my car is rear wheel drive and most likely will get bogged down. I remind Logistics, still half drunk, that I'm not a child, I'm running this show, and we're gonna do it my way. Logistics throws it's hands up and backs off. So I start the car and with what room I have I make an attempt to turn around, inevitably getting stuck. I run back inside to tell my friend that I've got an issue, but he's a bit too out of it to try and help, so I go back out to the car and rock it for all I'm worth to get her out. A couple next door to the house I was at came outside at this point, presumably to go to church. They see my plight and get behind to push. After about a minute of that Logistics and the guy behind my car both decide that it's not gonna work. At this point, the woman decides that we can use their truck to pull my across the grass onto their clear driveway and out we go, me in tow. Once we're both on the street and unhooked, I hand the guy a ten spot and tell him to take the Missus out to Sunday breakfast. Public Relations silently patted itself on the back for that one. This couple didn't have to do what they did, they were just good Christians who were on their way to worship and saw a chance to do what Jesus would have done. Good kids.

I realized, thinking about how good those two seemed, that I felt reborn. After such a night of hate and self destruction, I awake feeling like a new person. But there's still internal conflict. With so much that I'm unsure of in my life I feel like I'm being crushed. And I make attempts to get out from under the crushing weight, but every movement just crushes me more.

It feels like my spirit is breaking.

And if you've never been there, let me tell you, it's a darker, more complete death of self than a breaking heart could ever be. Your faith is lost in everything, your self doubt all-encompassing. If ever there was a way to mentally be in the shitter, a broken spirit is it. I don't want to be that way, and I'm trying damn hard to be better. But Jesus Christ on a stick, when I get to a point where I set out to put myself in the ground through alcohol, it makes me think that the opposite of progress is being made. I'M TIRED, PEOPLE. Tired of? Men, war, bills, unemployment, family, booze, school, friends, everything.

And no amount of resting is gonna help my weary soul now.

(Courtesy of RoninTetsuro)

simplicity. it is all the fuck about simplicity.

I was getting ready to leave the house, this morning, and he was still sleeping in a sunbeam that had crept out from behind the curtains -- another angel with a shimmering halo. somehow he'd managed to sleep through the swearing and hissing from the other room, as i'd hacked out the last of the paper that i had to turn in, today.

i sat down on the bed. "hey, beautiful. i'm going to class, now. anything you need while i'm out?"

"just come back." not fearful that i wouldn't, just hopeful that i would.

and in that moment, i ran out of things to say. there are no adjectives, no amount of overused trite phrases that could sum up how content i was right then...

and all the way to school, i was humming lou reed's "perfect day".

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