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Everything Worries Twinkie! (No, not that Everything.)

Yes, everything worries Twinkie. "Twinkie" is a one-and-a-half year old cat we have living here, perpetually wide of eye and fleet of paw. And "everything" is everything, that is to say, all things that carry physical existence. But let me qualify that, this is not exactly true -- I really mean everything that she can see or hear. Ideas that I might carry within my own personal brain (which I got on sale at Radio Shack) do not always startle her, because, and in this way she is exactly like every other cat, she does not think they exist. But often she is alarmed at the tangible result of those ideas, such as when I stand from my chair (which causes in her some alarm), when I pour a glass of tea (which produces quite a bit of alarm), or when I walk across the room (which causes her so much alarm that she runs for the stairs, usually trampling another cat, among our many hundreds, in the rush).

This is more remarkable because her sister, Jinx, is a creature utterly unencumbered by fear. It's true, I have yet to do anything which could cause her so much as to blink. No sudden movement will cause her to panic and shouting is completely ineffective (unless her name is involved, in which case she will rapidly approach, expecting food). I can only thank whatever demonic power is responsible for the creation of cats that Jinx has yet to turn her devious feline mind towards the torment of Twinkie, because it is obvious that the property damage would be large.

The ironic thing is, were these to be outdoor cats (which they are not), it would be Twinkie who would have the better chance of surviving the many wilds (and dogs) of our neighborhood. Were she to run out our front door – of which she is morbidly afraid, but just supposing – no canine persecution would ever catch her. Jinx, on the other hand, would sit patiently while the dog ran up and soaked her in yellow ammonia, for all she cared. Both cats have had sheltered lives, and they're bound to be genetically similar, but they turned out, as far as I can describe, as complete opposites. Jinx's laidback worldview comes as a direct result of her sheltered life.

It seems to me, there are times when the timid approach to the world is simply the most rational way to live.

Original version written: March 31, 2002.

Stuff theSpark.com has taught me about myself today (as if I needed to be told):

I am 34% Un-telligent
   The average is around 60% today. The test claimed I had a bad sense of humor, godlike sense of morality, and a total lack of self-esteem. Fit me to a tee, I believe.

I will die on November 27, 2063.
   So sad. I'll be 79 years old. Both sides of my family have a history of living to ages of 100+, actually. Only females, though; looks like I'm still good as dead. BTW... Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?

I have an IQ of 155
    Yeah, right... don't believe everything you read. The average is supposed to be about a 100; thespark had males averaging 104. Einstein was said to be in the 180s. Like I always say, IQ doesn't mean a damn thing.

I am 19% bastard, with 10% tard.
    The average is something like 44%. This absurd rating is undoubtedly due to my being a complete pansy; anti-war and vegan, and an established pacifist. I'm sorry mom, looks like if Social Darwinism reigned supreme I'd be bacon right now.

I am apparently a woman.
    News to me. This is tragically not the first time, either. One time, a public speaker came to our school (spoke to us about inner city violence or something), and I raised my hand, and he called out "Yes you there, miss, with the long hair... wait a minute... oh my god, you're a boy!" Horrible laughing followed. Real funny, I tell ya, made me want to naw my arm off. Personally, I have always considered genderizing to be totally demeaning, and I quite am happy to screw the system in this case.

As a straight guy, I am 22% gay.
    You would think that me being so feminine that it would be way above average or something. A typical straight guy is 39% gay. I suppose I am confident in my sexuality in real life, and consider myself to be straight and I have half a dozen friends who are homosexual or bi-sexual. I think that homophobia all too rapent in society, and we should all be able to move beyond superficial differences, blah, blah, blah.

I am 36% greedy.
    To all the people in Mexico: I'm sorry I don't pitch in when it comes to the beer pool.

I am 83% pure.
    Not exactly a clean slate, but good enough for government work.

I have a 12% stress average.
    Tell that to my physics teacher. Yeesh.

I am going to be a millionaire by the age of 39.
    Absurd, but certainly a nice thought.

I am not pregnant (no kidding!), but I will have 2 male children who have a 7% chance of infant-acne.
    I was kind of thinking of one, or adopting. There are enough people in this world as it is. But I could always be wrong. Anyways, I'm certain tea-tree oil will clear that infant-acne right up.

My cold day

Crash, boom, crackle the sky wept its tears upon the Earth. A gigantic storm had arisen from the dark ends of hell and was pouring its revenge upon the mortals. Swish the wind would go at high speeds rushing through the tree tops of the oaks and pines. I was walking out side when I noticed a funnel cloud approaching the Earth as if gravity was it's only rule.
Reports on the radio started buzzing in, "Attention, all people apart of Cache Valley go indoors and down to your basements for shelter. A tornado has hit the ground."
That is what it felt like today, after walking out side of school. The power had just gone out directly after the bell had rung and school was done for the day. Winds reaching 50-60 miles per hour gushed at me as I walked out side to venture home. But a tornado never hit luckily, that funnel cloud was real though. Lake affect had also hit, unfortunately this time it swept up the desert sands and decided to rain mud. It was very icky and disgusting, the smell of the Great Salt Lake also stung the air turning it bitter. It is spring, even in April though it decided to snow. In a matter of two hours the temperature dropped 45 degrees. It was chilling and my power at home was also out. I made it through the day though, call it luck or call it fate. Either way I am alive and proud to be alive. And as I end my day, the rain stopped and I fell asleep in my warm covers on my bed.

Sleepy green eyes turn up to me.

"I'm not tired, Warrrrnn."

"You may not feel it just yet, Andy. But I can see it."

His eyebrows raise a bit.

"You can? Where?"

"Right ... there," I said, forking my two forefingers and pointing at his eyes with them. He giggles a bit at that, and cuddles his head where my neck meets my shoulder. I slowly raise my hips from the windowledge, scooping Andy's legs up into my arms as I go. I hum softly under my breath as I wander down the hall to the boys' bedrooms. I glance in at Joey. He sits at his desk. At my passing he looks up at me. Pencil is gripped in his hand, grinding in odd patterns into the paper. Slices of graphite splinter and break off under the pressure of his fist. I dip my head in a nod at him, and smile. He relaxes a bit, and smiles back at me.

Andy's room is neat and quiet. I pull back his blankets and place him in the coolness of the sheets. He leaves the circle of my arms and reaches to hug his pillow. I smile at his bundled little form as I pull the sheets up around him. I walk to close the miniblinds and leave the door open a smidgen.

"Lauren?" Joey's voice calls to me as I pass his room again. I walk back to the doorway.


His eyes lower for a span of time that makes my stomach drop in the apphrension that I can see on his face.

"When're they comin' back?"

I look at my watch.

"Anytime now, Joey." I wonder if I sound sympathetic enough. We both know what is coming.

We didn't have long to wait. The grinding of the garage door sounded their return. Joey's eyes returned to his hard lines on the page. But the pencil dropped. I walked quickly out to the living room. Panic flooded my mind, which whirled in response. I pulled the curtain back from the window. I looked across the sweeping neat suburbanite lawn to the sleek green minivan rolling into the driveway.

I tore my eyes away. Hands twisted around and over each other. Just let them be quiet, let it be quiet, please — please.

The basement garage door opened.

"We're home!" Joe's voice announced brightly.

My eyelids snapped shut. Shit. Shit. Joe, the only man I know who acts happier the angrier he gets. They shortly appeared at the top of the stairs. Joe's brow was covered in sweat. His shirt was heavy with sweat stains. His wife Ann followed behind him.

"So!" Joe began, panting, smiling, "how were they today?"

"Good, Mr. Shapiro, very good, but they're really tired I think, they probably need to —"

"Alright then, Lauren, that's good enough. I need to get them ready for their bath!" He smiled. No, no. He grinned. The kind of grin that only appears on clowns or family portraits. Sharp, large, but it didn't hit the eyes; no, the eyes were terrifyingly black. I closed my eyes as Joe turned towards the bedrooms.

"But, Mr. Shapiro, Andy's already asleep, you told me to put him down, and Joey's in his pajamas, you said you gave them a bath before and they didn't need one." I knew that my tone of voice was rising frantically. I didn't care.

His laughter mocked my concern with its heartiness.

"No!" The laughter stopped suddenly. He turned to me. Even the grin was gone. "They need one."

He almost ran down the hallway in excitement, pausing in the bathroom to start the water. Ann turned to me.

"Here's your money, Lauren. Thanks." She walked to the living room and sat down. Soon, Jeopardy! echoed through to the hallway.

I heard Joe's laughter hiss through the doorway of Andy's room. The boom of his baritone was muted by the walls. I heard Andy crying. Joe emerged with him screaming in his arms.

"Time for the bath!" He left my sight again as he hauled Andy into the bathroom. The screaming continued for another several seconds, and then suddenly it was cut by the oddly off-pitched gurgling of water mingled with terror. I could still hear the screaming bubbling up through the water. It stopped for a minute, followed by a hacking cough, and the sounds of heaving. Tears were flowing freely from my eyes now. Thank goodness the hallway was empty. Andy started screaming again, this time able to form a clear stream of mangled, sobbing speech.

He emerged, leaving Andy sobbing in the tub. His demeanor was quiet. He offered a debonair smile.

"Thanks for watching the boys, Lauren."

Speaker could not have put it more eloquently, although I am about 4 hours north. My day started out a total 180° from the previous Friday, which was bright and sunny and filled the passing day having the Army give demonstrations to our school of their toys with an Apache touching down in one of the athletic fields. This morning (4/15) was filled with wet snow, cold air and just miserable conditions.

It has been only a couple of weeks approaching the end of the Semester and everyone is gearing up for finals. All of Winter's snow has finally melted and they have swept up the red sand for traction from the streets and the lawns. The watering schedule has been put in place and the grass has turned from the brown that it has been all winter to a nice brigh green. So this is what springtime is like in Rexburg. I am so used to the humid climate of Western Washington, that this has been my first real opportunity to live away from 'home'. And the high mountain desert is very much different from the Puget Sound. Hard to imagine that I will be spending the next 3½ years here to get my "education" that all the employers in the tech industry are now seeking, unlike 5 years ago.

From the time it took me to walk home from my classes (roughly 5 minutes), I was half frozen from the sleet that was sticking to my hair, my face, my clothes, and the slush that I was stomping in. Logging onto the National Weather Service and other websites like Intellicast.com revealed that we were in the midst of a winter storm....halfway into April. Now I realize that the climate here is much different from what I am used to, with the coldest morning that I have experienced in my life being -15°F. The worst I had experienced before was the Winter storm that hit the Puget Sound on Dec 26, 1996, knocking down trees and powerlines with a day's worth of freezing rain while closing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge because of falling icicles going through driver's windshields, thereby stranding me on the wrong side. (And that is a whole `nother story)

Now at 2:15am, the snow has not ceased coming down and the last measurement I took about 11:00pm measured 4 inches on the ground. We are expecting at least 8 by morning. Well, with this wacky weather, I should be in for a long ride.

Enough of my rambling, it is time for bed.

Got anything you’ve been meaning to tell that special someone? Ever had something you’d like to say yet can’t, for fear of repercussions? And no, this is not a specific attack on the opposite sex. It is self-control at its best, humans against their own mind; forcing yourself to have the complete opposite reaction to the obvious reaction. Not simply for originalities sake, but for necessity, to remain in a specific situation.

You may already have an application for the opening of this node. I did, my source is a female. At this point you may have no idea what I’m getting at. But I’m always getting at something, so listen to this: the human mind is a complex ocean of fable, imagination and past. There is, to my experience, rarely time for living in the present. If you ask me, the path to enlightenment is simply forgiving yourself, and stop allowing your brain to make comparisons to past events, place, people and ideas.

How often do you imagine a situation and plan it out before you act on it? I do it all the time I must admit. I think to myself, “I’ll say this…” and then I imagine the reaction of a person. This is worse then dwelling on the past, this puts the future in the past before you even reach it. It’s like acting on the future, and when you are eventually in the situation you have imagined and planned, it is never as good or as rewarding as you thought it would be.

If only I could tune myself to live in the now, to forget grievances, hurt and pain, and to get on with living. I claim life sucks most of the time because I don’t know how to forget the past and move on. Should I blame myself for that? Probably. I can go on blaming myself all I want, or I can blame something or someone else.

According to my mother it takes the brain a repetition of 21 times on a specific thought until you absorb it as a habit.

I am a composite of everything I have ever seen and loved. I inherit everything I like.

I have a new cat, and she doesn't know that I get to hit my snooze button at least three times before actually having to get up. So my alarm goes off, and she's in my room, meowing at me, walking all over my bed, wanting me to wake up. Damn schizophrenic cat. I try to snooze anyway, dream fragments come back to me. I see Scotty in my dreams, I walk on campus and I see him on the lawn in front of Strong Hall, he waves at me. (This stems from the fact that I've been running into that boy constantly lately.) This is all I can remember. I give up on my last few precious moments of sleep, and sit up...

Oh sweet Lord, beautiful pain. I can feel every little muscle in my upper back outlined in pain. Yay, kickboxing class. I think that sore muscles the day after working out really hard is one of the best bad feelings there is...it's like, "wow, I actually DID something."

Even with the early wakeup, I was late to class. I always am. Kim and I walked together and we discussed our elaborate plan to turn campus into a Water Fun Park. Jayhawk Blvd. (the road that goes through main campus) would be turned into a giant lazy river, there'd be a giant wave pool in front of the library, and instead of adding on to the engineering building, they'd build a huge complex of water slides instead.

Things are always more fun in your imagination.

I updated my Rammstein writeup due to popular demand.

Please /msg me with comments if the new one proves my point better than the old one below.

Well, i got some points to point

There are no word-games in Schrammsteins lyrics. They are plain crap, the have/hate-pseudo-wordgame in Du hast is mostly used by nazi audience to shout HATE! HATE!.
I know, it is a sensible topic, but i strongly belive the way Rammstein uses Third Reich symbols and aestaetics (I know that George Lucas heavily lended ideas from nazi propaganda director Leni Riefenstahl, but it is not fucking the same) in their videos without any critic, but singing 'bout burning flesh, rape and so on is NOT the right way to not being a hero of the dumb nazi youth.
AND Rammstein has a huge number of fans in the nazi scene.
They stole their musical ideas from laibach, put away irony, added violence and became heroes of the nazi youth.

Another example for lyrics made to be misunderstood is Heirate mich (marry me), the above-mentioned song 'bout the guy digging out his dead love.

The chorus goes someway like

Heirate mich

Great for shouting Heil like in Sieg heil, isn't it? Guess what the fucking nazis do.
Disclaimer: I do NOT think Rammstein] are nazis, i think they are lousy musicans making this music to make money with it.

I like industrial music like Die Krupps or Laibach, but i do not like making money by selling nazi music.

Thats all, please dont downvote me for nodevertising, i think the point i make is quite important and want the community to understand what the point is and that there is a valid point, not just a rant.
Please do not upvote this daylog entry. Better upvote the Rammstein w/u if you think its good.
Thanks for cooperation.

Dear God, I'm tired.

Mainly lack of sleep, although part of the reason I couldn't sleep was that I was infuriated with... well, a lot of people, really, but mainly my wife.

It always starts with the little things. This time I came home from work, saw my wife with the girls in the kitchen, said hi, and decided to start emptying the dishwasher. And the wood-handled paring knife was in there. For about the twentieth time, even though I keep asking her not to put wood in the dishwasher because it eventually splits and ruins it. She has argued that since the wood kitchenware tends to soak in the sink before it's washed anyways, it's not being done any greater harm. Somehow, the idea of not letting them soak in the sink either hasn't occurred to her.

And since I was already frustrated and tired, I reprimanded her right there as I put it away with a strained "please," rather than waiting until our kids weren't around. The older girl pointed out that I shouldn't have assumed it was my wife who put it in there. (She was, but it's true I probably shouldn't have assumed it.)

My mood never got better. My new glasses were giving me grief all day, so I finally had her take me to the shop after dinner and found out that I'd been twisting the frames so much, I'd broken a screw and they'd have to order replacement frames. At least it was under warranty, but now I'm back to my contact lenses. I'm going to keep them. The economic advantages aren't worth the inconvenience.

The girls went to the youngest's band practice. I went grocery shopping, then back to pick them up. They always spend half an hour or longer after practice talking and socializing, which is fine and good, except that (a) I had frozen food melting in the trunk and (b) when they don't get to bed before 10 o'clock, they're impossible in the morning. So am I, but that wasn't my motivation.

After waiting for five minutes after the music stopped, I walked in and whispered, with no tension in my voice, to my wife that I hated to interrupt, but we needed to leave a bit earlier tonight because of the frozen groceries. I got cut off with a short "I know that, give us a minute!" I bit my tongue. She did not know that, and I certainly hadn't been pestering her about it, as her tone implied.

So I did what any other husband would do: I let it drop, went out to the car and stuck in some music while I waited another ten or fifteen minutes for them to come out. I'd brought a tape from home specially: Rusted Root's "Cruel Sun". A now-ex-girlfriend of mine had copied it for me years ago. On days like this, I find myself missing her. She and I had been completely incompatible as far as our major life goals were concerned (marriage, children, religion, etc.), but at least she and I had always enjoyed the same things and liked discussing each other's interests.

My wife, on the other hand, shares my major life goals but lacks all but one of my interests: ballroom dancing. And we haven't once had time to pursue that since we got married. So I took the tape out before any of them got into the car. I wasn't in the mood to be ridiculed for my taste in music on top of everything else.

She thinks I think she's a bad wife. I've never thought that, or said that. But I would like a little respect when I do things like ask her not to wash the wood-handled paring knife I bought before we were married in the dishwasher.

back -- forth

I hate it when people say they are going to do things and then they don't. I mean, it's a phone call, it's a simple SMS message, is it that hard to remember? Perhaps I am being a little harsh, it just hurts me because I feel like if they cared they would have remembered.

Perhaps the reason I am upset about this now is because it is what I grew up with. My mother and father would do this shit all the time. Say they would call, say they would be there to watch the school concert, the soccer game, the blah blah blah.....and they would always let me down.


It made me feel like they didn't really care because if they did they would have made more of an effort to show up, to be on time, to show any true form of genuine interest in any way whatsoever.

But no, no they didn't.

Just like you are doing right now. Maybe you don't have credit on your phone,which is a pretty lame excuse to begin with, maybe you are just tired and don't feel well.

But I really don't think it is that hard to follow through on something as simple as a phone call. I am not asking for much, I don't ask for hardly anything ever! All I ask is that you attempt to refrain from reminding me of how fucked up my life has been, attempt to be the one person that isn't going to let me down for once. I think I could fall in love with you and yet I question that, and I hate that I have to question that right now.
Ok, so maybe I am being a little silly, but I am just hurt. And I know that tommorow it will probably mean nothing to me, but right now, right now I am angry. Angry that I have been brought back to the pure shit that was my childhood and that is my adulthood.

So next time, don't say you are going to do something and then not do it, because this is what will happen to me. I just end up thinking about all this shit that I am trying to forget.

Hot and humid today, and now, as it approaches evening, I can see thunderheads gathering over the mountain. Hopefully it will rain some tonight and cool off. I didn't take into account before moving to the tropics that they can be...well...tropical.

Despite the recent arrival of my income tax refund, I am still short on money. My fondest wish, currently, is to move out of my sister's dorm room. I have not yet reconciled myself to the idea that it's entirely possible to live off the land here (though it does look good on paper), so I spent today, like most weekdays, looking for a source of income.

Kelly Services called yesterday and said they had a sure-thing position lined up for me, working graveyard shift in a call center. Trouble is, the next training class for it doesn't begin until the middle of May. Nevertheless, in the hopes that I might be able to get some interim work with them, I rode TheBus to downtown Honolulu. There I killed some time before my appointment goofing off on foot in the vicinity of their office and calling a friend back in Baltimore from a pay phone. With still half an hour to pass before my scheduled time, I went in anyway and got started on the mound of paperwork that Kelly requires. Application form, drug testing release, background check release, I-9, Federal and state tax forms, and more besides. I think I may have signed something entitling them to my firstborn.

At some point when I was clearing myself out from under this pile of paper, my interviewer had returned from lunch. I presented her with the paperwork, my ID, and my resume. She reiterated that the call center job was a can't-miss opportunity, that they were desperate for warm bodies to coordinate conference calls, and that my body would suffice. She gave me a standard battery of clerical tests for the meantime. We discovered that my typing speed is 93 WPM at a near-perfect rate of accuracy, and that I am also qualified to operate Microsoft Word and Excel. With that, and a vague promise to call me if something in my line came up, I was out the door.

It was still pretty early, so I got myself back on TheBus and rode to what I had been told was the general vicinity of the Hawaii Humane Society, for which I had seen a want ad. After a lot of hiking around and retracing my steps in my uncomfortable job hunting shoes, I found myself at their office. I made the happy discovery that from there I could see the building in which my sister (and by extension, myself) lives, thereby saving myself another bus fare. I went inside and filled out another application, only to learn upon turning it in that they wouldn't be even interviewing for 3 more weeks.

I meandered down to my sister's building, which was trickier than it might have been, as the H-1 was in the way. There I gratefully changed into something more comfortable and put in a little work on two freelance gigs that I hope to develop.

One is a computer science tutoring gig, for which I whipped up a flyer that I will print up and post around campus. The other is a little more interesting. I'm having cards printed by VistaPrint that say:

Do you have problems? (Of course you do.)

Tell me about them. [Ground Control], Psychological Counselor

...with my phone number and e-mail address. While my formal training in psychotherapy amounts to exactly nothing, I am known for being fairly sympathetic and I have an excellent "listening face." If I can get people to pay me $50 or so an hour to listen to their troubles, and offer some common sense advice, I won't refuse. I plan to go down to the University library and suck up a few books on psychological theory before I start handing out cards. If any of you are psychologists and outraged at the idea of a civillian practicing psychotherapy without a license or degree, remember that bartenders and priests have been doing it for centuries.

Well, in the course of this writing, it has passed from evening to full-on night. Time to get a little dinner and hit the copy shop. I will node another daylog in the near future to share the results of my experiments.

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