Another day… another dollar –or– No one ever said I want to be a stocker when I grow up part II

That’s right folks, I’m back with another great story from hell known as my job. Being a fairly responsible person, I understand that everyone should have a job to make money and support one’s own needs, but no one, I mean no one should have to endure and undergo such mental brutality forced upon myself from the customers…

I find as I work at this monstrosity known as the Sparkle Market longer and longer, I find that to be a customer, you don’t have to be very smart… How hard of a question is “paper or plastic?” In the amount of time it takes the average patron to answer my riddle, I could have gone, slit my wrists, and been currently in the hospital. I get nothing more than sheer pleasure when the response is, “I’ll have the one’s with the handles…” Are you completely brain-dead? Both types, paper and plastic, have handles on the top. I have a great idea, why don’t I throw all your groceries on the ground and let you pack them the way you want to because obviously I don’t do a very good job reading your mind trying to figure out which bag you really want…

I was rendered speechless today when a woman came through the line that I was bagging for and bought a bottle for her child. It’s not the fact that she purchased the bottle, it’s the fact that she complained the whole time about how she was using her ‘cigarette money’ to buy this necessity for her baby… Utterly ridiculous…

Another all time classic is when I’m halfway done bagging their meaningless items, they decide they want to pull the old switch on me and tell me they want paper after I’ve bagged a good three fourths of their ice cream, tampons and tabloids in plastic. I want to cry out to these people to get some intelligence and that eating pork rinds while reading a magazine entitled “How to lose 30 pounds in 30 days” isn’t going to accomplish anything…

And one more thing… If you have exact change but it’s buried in the bottomless depths of your purse or wallet, you aren’t saving me time or work having to dig that out, taking a good 5 minutes to find that one penny. You’re just wasting my time and your time, give me the twenty and we’ll call it even because I could sure use some compensation for having to put up with your guff

Just a heads up, this is the second in what may be a long line of complaints and meaningless rambling writeups I post about this festering pool of toxic waste known as Sparkle Market.

To the Blonde Girl on My Left
A Love Poem

You are not special to me!
Burn in sinful fucklust
For blackened hearts burn the cleanest.

You are not kindly to me!
Flaunt yourself before all the rest
For empty souls shine the brightest.

You are not gentle with me!
Drag me down by the wrist
For secret loves last the longest.

Anyone else think I may be a confused young man?

I got her number on the bus ride home.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not the most open individual in the world. My feelings tend to come out only when I'm intoxicated, and this is the first piece that I have ever done that was this personal. But it is good to get it out on paper, if only because I have my comfortable semi-anonymity here on E2.

pondering my sex life...

Right. I know what usually follows that line. 'Or rather, the complete lack of.' While this may be true, that is not the direction my thoughts are floating towards this night. I'm not the most sexually experienced man on the planet. At least, not with intercourse. Sure, I've had sex with a few women, and plenty of fun with many others, but my total lack of a serious relationship has left those experiences as one-time isolated events. To really understand, know, sex I think you have to know it with one person, at least for a time. Their landscape of curves must be a path that you have traveled frequently. The feel of their body must be comfortable, familiar. Their touch must feel like home.

But what do I know? Hence the pondering. I've had two completely unique sexual experiences in the recent past. They were seriously eye-opening for this self-styled loner.

"I'm going to rape you," she said to me from across the room. The two forties I had downed must really have been strong to make me hallucinate.


"I wonder if you'd resist me," she continued. "But then, that just might make it more fun." My response was to laugh nervously. My eyes were having trouble keeping track of any sort of vision at this point. My reality was all pulses.

"No, I'm just going to have to have my way with you. Don't worry, you don't have to do anything. Trust me. You will enjoy this."

Now let me interject that I don't really find this girl attractive and that I don't really want to have sex with her. It's a good thing that intercourse wasn't what she had in mind at all. I'm thinking this as she makes her way across the room, first turning the lights down low, and then proceeds to strip me. I know, I know. Of course I could have resisted, could've stopped it cold. But I was drunk and her forwardness was going straight to my head. My other head. What follows is the most thorough oral sex I have ever received in my life. No, it was more than head. Blowjob2. Shit, why would she do such a thing? Oh yeah, and did I mention that she's gay? That's right, she's a member of the pink mafia, but apparently all bets were off this night. We didn't kiss or anything outside of her raw sexual gift to me. To top if all off and really make my jaw hit the floor, she then took me to bed, layed me down, gave me an amazing back massage, and then left! She's gay, so she doesn't want anything from me, and I can't figure out why she bestowed such a gift on me. I slept very well that night, even if I was monumentally perplexed the next day.

Second experience. I made love for the first time in my life. I had often gone down my 'pondering sex life' road before, and I found that I didn't give the absolute wonder and worship to sex that most other people did. Yeah, it's good, but really what's the big deal? Now I know. Holding someone you care about in your arms, slowly rocking back and forth, forgetting that the world exists, being only aware of that soul that is so intimately connected with you. The first story, I can give details about, but not this. It's something amazing that we shared, and I find that I want to go back to that place all the time. My mind constantly dwells in her sound and fury.

So what did we learn today, boys and girls? Well, this boy learned that sex is inextricably bound to emotion, at least for me. Sure, I am a typical male and can fuck anything that walks, but I now realize that I don't enjoy it beyond the most base fleeting satisfaction. There has to be a connection of sorts, or I find myself acting, hiding behind a shadow; something that keeps me from fully enjoying the union. Maybe it's just a lack of union. Sex is fun. It seeps into your blood and generates copious amounts of red steam that swirls around your brain like acid rain, tantalizing, beckoning you to to dwell in her again and again. My lids fall shut and I see her eyes. My brain gives stutter to thoughts of her. May I find solace in her again before long. May I lose myself tomorrow in her kiss.

This daylog is the first in what will hopefully be a series of fiction-writing exercises for me. I came to e2 to learn to write, dammit, and just doing factual nodes all the time is such a waste of the potential for personal growth as a writer that I see waiting for me here.

I started this story by picking a pseudo-random word in my dictionary and building a story around it, as good a method as any to use for an exercise, I suppose. I am a mathematics and computer science major; I do not consider fiction or indeed any creative writing to be one of my strong points. Nevertheless I like this story, and feedback on it (in the form of /msgs) would be greatly appreciated. With any luck I will start doing this on a semi-regular basis.


Knock, knock.

"Inspection, ma'am."

What? What? What kind of inspection? "Um, I'm sorry?"

"Inspection, ma'am."

"I don't... Um, what... What are you inspecting?"

No response.

Click. Chunk.

"Thank you, ma'am." He's dressed nice, at least. Wearing a suit, and nice shoes and all. And he's got a clipboard. Of course he has a clipboard, it's just an inspector type thing to have. "Mind if I just take a look around?"

"Um, no. No, of course not. Suit yourself."

What is he inspecting? Does he know about the drugs? Did the neighbors turn her in? Who is he?

He doesn't look like a police officer. A private investigator? She had only ever been able to imagine private eyes as being like the ones in the film noirs, but this guy looked like a businessman.

Scratching on the clipboard. If she could get a look at the clipboard, she could maybe see what he was up to. He was in the dining room...

"This is nice china, ma'am. Where did you get it?"

"It's not stolen, if that's what you're wondering. Just because it's nicer than anything else in here."

"Please, ma'am. I'm not trying to imply anything. I was just wondering where the china came from."

"Well... it was my grandmother's. She... she died about ten years ago. She had a small company, and made the china by hand. I guess it's sort of an heirloom. Or it will be. I don't really know how many generations something has to be, you know, passed down, before it's really an heirloom."

"Mmm hmm." Scratch, scratch on the clipboard. "Did you know your grandmother well?"

"Why are you asking me this?"

"Just small talk, ma'am."

"Well, yeah... I knew her... pretty well, you know? She was kind of inspiring to me, starting a company back then and all. But my mom sort of let it die with my gramma. She never had much of an interest in the china... she wanted to be a doctor, I guess. It didn't pan out. I'm just left with these heirlooms now... my mom's working as a secretary or something."

He was nodding. Scratch, scratch, as he looked around. He walked down the hall to the bedroom.

There was a piece of the china, just a small dish, on the bedside table, with a very small amount of cocaine in it, which she had forgotten when she let the inspector in, but now her heart skipped a beat as she thought about her foolishness at letting in this man, who she didn't even know who he was, into her house, and now she could end up going to prison because of a moment's confusion.

"Um! Um, I'm sorry! What... what are you here for?"

He turned around to face her. "I'm just collecting some data for a private enterprise, ma'am. Here." He reached into his pocket, pulled out his wallet, and offered his ID and a business card for her examination. "It's my own company, run from home. Feel free to keep the card. If you don't trust me, you have my name and home address right there if I do anything uncouth."

She kept the business card and returned the ID. "Sure. Look..." Did she look as nervous as she felt? It was all right. Let him think there was a used condom on the floor or something, just something embarrassing she didn't want him to see. "Um, could you... not go in my bedroom, please? I need to... straighten it up." Lame. Lame. Would he buy it?

He looked her in the eyes and said, "I noticed you've made use of that china for things other than decoration. Can I ask why you don't want me to go in your bedroom?"

"Are you going to arrest me?"

"Ma'am, I've told you, I'm just trying to run a small business here. I'm not with the police. If you were worried about the drugs, I've seen them and I'm not going to turn you in. May I look around your bedroom?"

"...I guess."

Scratch, scratch.

She went back to the living room and sat down and just waited for him to finish inspecting whatever.

"Can I ask your name, please?"

"It's Alison."

"All right, Alison. Thank you for your time. Watch my company, you may be seeing something pertaining to yourself in a few months, based on the information I've collected here."

"What do you mean? Like some kind of statistical thing?"

He paused on his way out the door, and turned to face her.

"Yes," he lied.

He was always amazed how infrequently people questioned him, and how they never noticed his hands shaking with nervousness. A nice suit did wonders for one's credibility.

He sat down at his typewriter. Looking at the notes on his clipboard, he wrote:

Heirlooms: A Story

Dedicated to Alison

And, filling the cracks in his knowledge with tales that may or may not have been larger than life, he started telling Alison's story.

I'm pretty sure I ought to be asleep right now.

Last time I flew back home from way out west, across the Atlantic, I spent a good, healthy, 15 hours in quiet slumber the following night. Last night, I managed less than five hours sleep. And that's after being awake for almost all the preceding 36 hours, and travelling for half of it.

I have a theory, though, for why I couldn't get to sleep so easy last night, and why I was, unusually, up and about feeling plenty spritely before my alarm had had chance to rouse me.

As I mentioned before, I've quit smoking.

Yup, after nine years of morning nicotine rushes and smoking room banter, it's all over. Never again will I feel that glorious goodness that a cigarette can bring. Well, I say never, but you and I both know that sometime I will slip up. There's no such thing as the last cigarette, and I should know - I've already smoked two of them.

Before going away on holiday, P and I agreed that I would give up smoking when I returned home. I suggested that my last cigarette should be smoked before getting on the plane for home. The plan was hatched, and so it was that in the early hours of April 1st, I smoked my last 'home' cigarette, huddled in the pen with my fellow addicts (and I mean pen - Gatwick departure lounges feature central pens, metallic and sleek, with windows offering views in all directions, a central extractor fan, and automatic ashtrays that you just drop your lit fag into when you're done. It's actually quite pleasant and civilised, except for the feeling of being watched and looked down on by the clean non-smokers all around.

On holiday I smoked more than I have done for ages. With little else to do, and drinking every night, I was pushing 20 a day for the first time in ages. (I settled at 13-14 a day at home), but at £1.25 a packet, and knowing they were my last, I wasn't worried, just coughing a little. Part of me wanted to smoke just as many as I could, in the way you indulge yourself when you know something is about to be taken away for good. I had yet another reason for not wanting the trip to end.

P hates smoking. Quite a few other people I know hate smoking, and I can understand why. I've even hated it myself from time to time, and not just because of smoke-throat and fag-phlegm. Cigarettes burn hot, they hurt if not handled carefully, they smell, they make me smell, and despite the fact that I can look damn cool smoking (nine times out of ten, P interrupts me, smoking just looks gay) I suspect they do not, on average, bring the women flocking. On the other hand, big fat cigars... no, no, that's no good either. Women smoking big cigars, however. Mmm. Interesting.


I don't hate smoking. Not yet, anyway, although I have already had my first post-giving up pious moment, informing a young gentleman at the airport that he was lighting up in a no-smoking zone. And tutting slightly. Heh.

I meant to tell you about the last cigarette.

The last cigarette, Part I.

My first last cigarette was smoked at La Romana International Airport, on the south coast of the Dominican Republic, to the left of the (outdoor) check-in desks, just outside the departure lounge. The departure lounge at La Romana is a no-smoking area, so unless you pre-book a slot in the VIP lounge (you can become very important by paying about US$30), you have to be prepared for a long wait for your next smoke, with little in the way of shopping or eating to distract the mind. I enjoyed my first last cigarette, tinged though it was with a certain sadness of what will no more be.

Luckily, on stubbing out the last cigarette, I kept the packet (well, you never know) and lighter, even though I wasn't expecting to be getting off the plane during the drop-off at Jamaica on the way home.

The last cigarette, Part II.

My second, and so far final, last cigarette, was an altogether different experience. On arrival at Montego Bay, Jamaica, all passengers had to leave the plane. I took a blue 'Transit' card, and headed off for the transit / departures lounge. Leaving P with the bags, I set off to find water, the obligatory Stoly, and, apparently not quite ready to have quit just yet, the smoking lounge.

I needn't have bothered following the signs. Our plane turned out to be packed with nicotine hungry Brits in search of a fix before the eight and a half hour flight home. For a while, I was one of them. We filed down some stairs, along, up some stairs, and into the bar.

I lit up, and savoured the taste of my last cigarette. Marlboro, full strength, just like my first cigarette. I didn't smoke them any more, but to complete the circle, I had bought one last pack of the reds. I looked around, and immediately hated all that I saw, heard, and smelled. Fumes billowing from every mouth and white cylinder, polished nails clutching lighters, packets, and Embassy No.1s, gargoyles all around me, visible (barely) through a dusty, choking haze. Conversations I didn't want to listen to, people I didn't want to see, contaminants I didn't want to breathe. I wanted to be anywhere but here, longing to enjoy my last cigarette, but I knew that this was how it had to end. I stubbed out the foul Marly, dropped it into one of the heaving ashtrays, took one last look at the packet it had lived in, and dropped it alongside. Its remaining, unsmoked, contents would make a nice surprise for one lucky punter, I hoped.

And walked calmly, briskly, away from the scene.

So, Montego Bay, Jamaica. That's where theboy quit. Around 7pm, local time, Tuesday 15 April, 2003.

All that was some 36 hours ago. It feels like a whole lot more. I didn't have a cigarette when I got off the plane, I didn't have one when I got home, I didn't have one before I went to bed, or one when I woke up. I didn't have one on my way to work, or when I got to work, or mid-morning at work.

And I'm not having one now, after lunch.

And I won't, oh god it won't be easy, be having one next time I go out for drinks.

What I will do, though, is find out exactly how to go about this giving up smoking business, so I can get through it without losing the plot, my nerve, or friends.

So long, Marlboro, so long Philip Morris, so long Altria.

Hello good clean livin'.

They say it’s your birthday...

I never attach much significance to my birthday, it’s just another day normally, yet this year something special is in the air or in my mind. This year is a watershed year for me. It marks my 3-year anniversary in Europe and the first birthday here without K. wishing me well.

It comes as I question my motivations for building a life here and at a moment in which I am extremely homesick for the US and bored with Germany. It comes just months after I began a new job here in Mainz and a new chapter in my life.

Today the weather is beautiful and I can’t help but think it would be a perfect day to eat some mushroom chocolate and trip out a bit. But I’m alone and I would rather share the chocolate with a friend.

Last night I took myself out for a few drinks. It was pretty boring. I have an especially hard time overcoming my shyness here in Germany since I don’t speak the language so well. My roommate, Siriwan, baked me a birthday cake last night while I was out at the bar. I discovered it this morning. Blew my mind. She hardly knows me (we’ve only been roommates for 3 weeks) and yet she went and spent hours on that. Add in the fact that she didn’t start until I had left at 10:30 pm. Other birthday wishes came from family and co-workers.

So what will I do with myself today and tonight? The nightlife here in Mainz is better than that in Wiesbaden, but again I find that Germans are tough nuts to break open socially. People don’t go out to the bar to meet new people. I’m not sure how people make new friends here. It seems even more clique oriented than Italy. People go out with their friends and they don’t socialize with anybody else.

I keep dreaming of meeting my kind of people over here, you know; hippie-kids, travellers, starving artists and writers, yet they remain hidden from me. I just read Steppenwolf and found the book to describe a whole ´another Germany. One where jazz held sway and the roaring 20s were in full swing. One where intellectual activity wasn’t something to be ashamed of and one in which there was an active counter-culture. That clearly doesn’t exist any longer.

I’m thinking since I’ve had no luck meeting women that maybe I’ll start hitting the gay bars. Maybe after a 2.5-year monogamous heterosexual relationship I should try something different. I haven’t been with a man since the end of my time in Italy when I slept with Marco (who I’ll be seeing in May). If nothing else I’m sure I could get laid. Men have always found me more attractive than women.

Just the same more than sex, more than a relationship what I would like to find here is a good friend. Someone to puff with, someone to talk to, someone to go to movies with. Someone who can relate to me and I can relate to. I feel so much more alienated here than I ever did in Italy or America.

The world has changed so much around me in the past 10 years. I think back to 1993 and the life I was leading then. My marriage was on the rocks. I was a new father. I was a LSD dealer. I was living in Santa Cruz, California and going to Grateful Dead shows.

Now I work for a corporation, I wear a tie, and I’m single again. At least I’ll go and see The Dead in August in Joliet, Illinois. Some things remain the same. So if any of you have any ideas for what I should be doing with myself let me know.

Life moves so fast, but the moments move so slowly. Oh, what I want to know is where does the time go? One more trip around the sun & another day older and deeper in debt. Where will I be tomorrow? Where will I be in 2004?

I propose the following: Advocates of free thought, i.e. thinking for yourself, are not necessarily what they claim to be. All too many times, "free-thinkers" are simply trying to persuade others to think like they do. Or so it seems to me, on occasion.

The conflicts arise in individual interpretation of known facts. Each person, having viewed a set of facts and made a decision, ultimately will feel that their interpretation is more correct than any other's, unless otherwise proven wrong. I feel that it would be possible for everyone to come to different conclusions even when exposed to identical cases and information. The reasoning being psychological or environmentally based, there are basically millions of variables as to how one person will view an event.

The reason that I feel this is significant occured to me when I attended a Spike Lee discussion on our campus. He posed the question, Why Iraq and not North Korea; we already have enough rice. He told us in the audience to use our heads. The point that I'm trying to highlight here is that Mr. Lee implied that using our heads would invariably lead us to his conclusion; we should not be at war right now. If we did not arrive at this conclusion, our "free-thought" had somehow been skewed by media propaganda.

That brings me to the media, particularly the sensationalized news coverage. Many educated people have sworn off the coverage of the war. I feel that to be a mistake. The information is mostly accurate, even if not complete. Of course there is an extremely conservative tilt in much of the reporting, but that doesn't mean that everything they are saying is just pro-Bush bologna. Some of it bears merit, and is grounded in actual fact. To decide without facts from both sides is no better than simply believing everything Fox News says with blind faith.

For concluding remarks, there is no "correct" educated opinion. I consider it insulting and egotistical when someone believes themselves to have the correct and educated view, and if others do not reach that conclusion, they're wrong. The two extremes are pro-War and anti-War, and there are millions of degrees of opinion in between. My particular views place me somewhere in the middle, as I'm sure most people's views probably do. I'll finish with an appended version of Spike Lee's comment. Use your head, but don't expect that you have developed the one and best solution, even if others agree.

Yes, I realize the irony that this writeup appears to express my view as "the best", while, at the same time, attacking such behavior.

Well, this is exciting!

Now that the official Terror Status is lowered to Yellow, our lives are opened to a multitude of freedoms and release from the bondage of fear. Why, now that we are simply ELEVATED: emotionally and physiologically in terms of terror, the gates swing wide for debauchery and free will.

We can now have wild, unprotected sex with citizens of many nations.
We can stop boiling our tap water to kill toxins
We can move safely about the cabin
We can stand at the top of tall buildings and cry "In your face, Terrorists!"
We can mail Smarties to our friends without fear of them being crushed in transit
We can buy humorous, novelty bombs and send them to our friends with a small note reading "Just kidding!"

So get out there, enjoy the fresh air of a world where we only have to SLIGHTLY worry about being annihilated.

As I stood at the bus stop this morning, one of my favorite cartoons came to mind.

The old physicist stands before his chalk board. To the left we see the usual maze of mathematical formula, intended to baffle, impress and identify. To the right is written " = " followed by the eureka answer to the equations, punctuated with exclamation marks.

In the center of the chalk board, between the proof and the pudding, there resides a large cloud on which has been written, "Miracle Occurs Here"

And it occured to me that the unexplained result is not always a "miracle"

I was diagnosed with adult onset, type II diabetes in October of 1998. I was working at Microsoft at the time, consuming huge quantities of processed sugar, and was not all that surprised at the diagnosis. I had often joked with one of the suppliers of our sweet addiction that they must hold stock in a pharmacutical company that supplies insulin ...trying to drum up some more customers. I had to be especially tactful when this person became aware of my diagnosis...

Working with my doctor, I established a new diet for myself and over the course of the next six weeks, reduced my weight and brought my blood sugar levels back into an acceptable range. Through all the changes and stresses of the years since then, I have managed to avoid taking any sort of medication for the control of my diabetes; I have lost control from time to time but have always been able to reassert myself and regain some stability.

Within the last six (6) weeks, this has all changed. My blood sugar levels have risen to all time highs for me, and I have been unable to reduce them despite a strict diet, increased exercise levels and maintained weight loss. I began suffering from problems "caused" by diabetes, as opposed to just having the problem of being diabetic. These high sugar levels and their physical manifestations could not be ignored and on Monday, I returned to my doctor for an examination... and an explanation of the non-responsiveness of my internal mechanisms, to known effective controls.

The explanation given, in best medicalese was... "Something Happened"

Certainly a metabolic change, with no real notion of what exactly it was. Only an "equation" and a "result" with that mysterious area in which "something happened."

And thus the difference between those results which pleasantly surprise us, and those results which are less than pleasantly surprising. The first is a miracle, the last is, something happened.

I am now on a medication regimen to control my blood sugar levels. The oral medicine prescribed, effects the way the cell responds to insulin, rather than causing the pancreas to produce more. This treatment is one I agree with, because I still hope for that future in which miracles still exist.

Who knows? Something could happen any day now...

For the past few days I'vd been without the Internet. My ISP, BT (don't blame me, my parents chose it. And they're afraid of computers) decided that even though we had previously been paying for all you can eat evenings and weekends, we (or perhaps everyone else on the same deal) had been using too much juice. I know, people using the Internet time that they had paid for? Outrageous.

So anyway, Bastard Twats (or BT for short) have decided that 120 hours per month is all the evenings and weekends we get. Go over the limit and we then have to pay that 2p per minute crap, no matter what time it is.

I could probably live with having to pay a small amount for an hour or so on E2 each night. But the problem is, just at the point when we went over the 120 hour limit (at least, I think that's what has happened) I noticed that our BT daytime dialer (which we're supposed to use when 120 hours runs out) doesn't work. I asked my dad, and he said that it has never worked. It used to, but BT told us to download an update, and the new version doesn't work.

So, no Internet. Not even expensive Internet. And I'm only assuming we've gone over the limit - because I can't even get to my BT email, where there is no doubt a message from them saying "Please now dial in with the BT daytime dialer!". There's also probably a message from them saying "Sorry, but we've just noticed that our daytime dialer that we told you to download has a crippling bug which makes it not work. Please download a new version. Oh, no, hang on, you can't. Because you can't get to the Internet at all now, can you?"

Apparently, the rollover for the 120 hour thing is Thursday this week. I'm writing this on Tuesday, because I'm bored to hell not being able to node. Praise be to dann for the E2 Offline Scratchpad - I've been able to draft out some nodes to post when I can get back on. I really hope I can get on this week - to be honest, I'm bored as hell. My friend has just recently given me a CD with a Java SDK on, and I'd been hoping to find some tutorials on the Net and start learning to program. But of course, I can't. And while there's a Java tutorial in my History, for some reason IE hasn't got it in the Temporary Internet Files, so I can't get to it.

During my time of intense boredom, I was looking around my PC, and I found a saved page from E2 that I saved in September 2002, just after I had started noding. One of my first ever writeups was in the New Writeups list. It made me realise how absorbed I have become in this community, and how annoying it is when I can't get to it. As it stands I just hope I can get on this week, or I'll be really pissed. Although, all this is helping to convince my parents that Broadband is a very useful Internet access tool which is always on and boy could we do with some of that broadband now and A NEW PC AS WELL WOULD BE PRETTY NICE.

Oh, and also, this lack of the Internet is stopping me do any work for my GNVQ in ICT (files for which are on my school's website). But to be honest, that doesn't bother me too much right now...

UPDATE written today: Wow. I'm finally back on. Got a nice amusing email in the BT account, which basically said "You have used up all your Internet access this month. To connect to the Internet, please download the dialler from the following page..."

Good forward thinking there BT. Where would I be without you?

Yesterday, I was waiting at the crosswalk at University Drive. That is, there's a crosswalk there with streetlights but no intersection; it's essentially there so people can walk right across from Lot 59 (the official name for what's really just Sun Devil Stadium's parking lot) without having to go all the way up to Rural Road or down to the bridge.

Anywho, like I said, I was waiting there. It was taking an awful long time for the lights to go red - usually it takes no more than two minutes - but I was in no hurry. After it had been about five minutes, some of the guys on my side starting walking across. It was like those psychology experiements I've seen about people following a person jaywalking; apparently people are more likely to follow if the person is better-dressed. Anyway, soon, everybody on both sides of the crosswalk - about 100 people, all told - was crossing with the light still green. Everyone except me, that is.

You may wonder what the point of this anecdote is. Quite simply, I wonder if this was true nonconformism or simply reaction (i.e. the group does one thing so I automatically do the opposite). Yeah, yeah, laugh. But this is kinda important to me. I know I'm not a "true nonconformist" - I'm not even sure it's possible to be one - but I hate to think that this sort of thing is just a dislike of following the majority (as it then follows that you then shrink from any good within the majority as much as the bad).

On a completely different note, these glasses are driving me crazy. I can SEE THE FRAMES. Maybe it's just because I'm not used to it yet, I dunno, but it's very annoying; it fact, it's adversely affecting my eyesight, because everywhere where the frame is my vision is blurred by it overlapping by what I would otherwise be seeing. And considering the nosepiece is having the same effect as the rest of the frame, this is rather disorienting.

On the good side, if nothing else, I can see a lot better at night. Driving home last night, I realized I could see the cars around me as solid objects (rather than speed-blurs), and the various lights from cars and streetlights didn't bleed and blur to my eyes like they used to. I honestly thought that it was normal to see light that way at night up til now.

It’s a question of priorities

You never know what you really want in life, at least I don’t. You get that “I know what I wanna do” feeling but it’s never permanent. Hopefully that can be attributed to progress. My priority in my life is teaching. At this moment in time I love teaching and my students. This is not to say I ignore the rest of my life but with so much energy spent on teaching and working with my students I have little to nothing left. It simply becomes a question of priorities.

It’s a question of desires

I want to be successful, sure we all do. But what we want to be successful at is where we have our variations. Our desire for a level of success places us on different turfs. I want to be a successful writer. I want to be a successful friend. I want to be a successful teacher. A glance at my priorities and my desire is obviously placed into one of these in an extreme.

It’s a question of abilities

I have the ability to do so much. I have seen this. I have the ability to multitask in my life as well. I have found, however, there is a limit to everything and I have reached the end of my rope, at least at this point in my life. It’s not admitting defeat: it’s admitting where my abilities are. What in the hell am I getting at? I have not been writing and being the best friend I can because of so much diverted abilities and time to teaching and my students. My ability is in that realm. So to all of my friends and family on E2: I’m not gone, I’m just on a break. Once I have a better knack on efficiency in teaching and working for my students I promise to spend more time back with E2. I’m sure most, if not all of you understand. That or you don’t care sarcasm.

Either way it may be: it’s a question of when I will return, not if.

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