I sat down to do a write-up similar to the first write up in this daylog, though mine was inspired by the procrastination that is TV, along with the general pacification of life. It makes me wonder how many other people out there feel this way, and why?

Warning: "What does it all mean" rant coming.

I am starting to think that we are all just longing to be connected to eachother without a monitor, phone, paper or any other less personal medium involved. We weren't made to hide under roofs inside little buildings and cars scared to talk to eachother, yet struggling for eachothers approval in some way.

I just thought about something. Most people in this country and many others are under a roof of some kind almost all day, aside from the daily walk to and or from where ever, those who's jobs are outside (i.e. forced outside) or the occasional family/friends outing. That is pretty damn weird. You know, if someone wanted to raise a family in a field... or even a cave, in the U.S.A., they would have their children taken away from them and be put in jail or a mental institution. Our superiority complex as a race has led to our complete seperation from Earth, or more the ability to control our environment. Mother Nature is just to wild to tame, so we box ourselves in and control the box. What else would have plastic plants besides a human?

The lead singer of Tool calls society (actually, I think he was specifically talking about California, but it works here, too) "one great big festering neon distraction", but if that's true, from what are we being distracted? The fact that we are slaves on a corporate plantation, or something more? It's hard to understand the proper actions to take in life with such a clouded view on reality. If I knew a way to step away from it all and live freely to talk about it, I would. I just want to understand why I know there is so much more to life than what I experience on a daily basis, yet have no idea what that could be. Sure, there are the simple pleasures in life and the relationships we form, but how does that justify the existance of humanity. Where does this help the grand scheme of things?

I know there are no immediate answers to these questions, if ever, but documentation is integral in these kind of though processes to eliminate redundancy. Maybe someone will come across this and have all the answers... or maybe sometimes I just forget to live. I guess you are only limited by your perception of reality.

But the entity should know there is more to life than to live, and a success must be one in which the entity may grow in understanding and in knowledge. It must be one in which grace and mercy and truth have been and are the directing activities; else regrets, in the home, in the associations, may be the part of the entity's experience. Keep self, then, well balanced. Budget thy time more . . . For he that makes material gains at the expense of home or of opportunities and obligations with his own family does so to his own undoing.
Edgar Cayce


We all know it, we all love it. Well maybe we don't love it, we just love to do it. Well maybe you don't love to do it, but I do. Well actually I don't, but I do it anyway. Why?

You see, up until now I've had a system. It's real simple; whenever I don't feel like doing something I do something else. If I don't have anything else to do then I start a new project. This allows for perpetual procrastination by steadily adding more important tasks and completing the less important ones first. As long as I keep adding more important tasks the process can continue in perpetuity and I stay relatively productive.

But suddenly I find myself paralyzed. I've got way too much to do, not enough time, and no desire to get started. Even though I've always been a procrastinator, I've generally been able to pull myself together for those crucial moments like college finals and taxes. Now that ability feels like it's sliding away.

Instead of living in the moment, my thoughts are consumed with endless self-reflection and prognostication. While I'm sure there are some people who need to slow down and do a little self-reflection, I am not one of them. I do it all the time, and the more I do it the more useless I feel. I feel tension building; muscles twitch and mind races; surf the web, read a book, organize my desk, call a friend. Tension must be released, but it's set too deep now. By the time I get to the task at hand, even success feels like failure.

Of course this writeup is just another symptom of the problem, but I place it here as a personal landmark. I'm hereby instituting a new system:

  1. Every time I think of something I need to do, I'll write it down.
  2. When I consult my list, I will pick something from it and do it promptly.
  3. I will not think about what I need to do other than using the list.
  4. At all other times I will focus on what I'm doing.

If this doesn't work, I don't know what I'll do, but at least I've been able to put off some work for a little while longer.

< _ >

So I saw her yesterday. Standing on the steps of the coop (bookstore, second floor) I am a repositionable statue (rodin, thinker) and she is acting out drama (acting II, theatre design I) and love (unrequited, impossible). Like that. Boom. She snaps her fingers. People pass us by looking. I don't care. Neither does she. (I care about not caring instead.)

So unexpected to connect strings again and to watch words go understood. This is bad, I think, because I haven't seen her for 11 months, and this is good I think because I haven't seen her in two years.


A: How have you been?
B: Watching the pigeons, watching her smile, falling in love over and over again.


A: How have you been?
B: Chainsmoking clove cigarettes and proposing to people while drunk.


A: How have you been?
B: Look at him! He's from Austrailia! Austrailian straitjacket escaper! Austrailan arm-twister! Australian street performer! Austrailian Australian!


A: How have you been?
B: Alright.


A: How have you been?
C: Are you interested in our new Disney promotion?
B: How have you been?

Behind me the wind is gently tousling sheets of advertisements. People float on the paths in front of us like flocks of clouds, bobbing up and down and walking slowly.

Her voice drops a period and I stare as she picks it up between her forefinger and thumb. It wriggles gently and as she lets go I watch it take flight and disappear into the sky. There is beauty in details. Same necklace, I point. Funny how we think similarly, she says.

She pats me on the back.

I blink.

She left me two months ago, but not forever.

She needed to know if she could be by herself,
I am ashamed to wish she couldn't.
She could.

I plan to meet her in two months time
I quit my job
I will meet her in one week.

This is difficult.. I know.
I am hoping and trying.
I want this to work out.

She's travelled and changed,
I've worked and thought and probably changed too.

I will meet her in one week and it will be different.
I want it to be the same,
I want us to hold each other and to make this work.

It will not be the same
this I know,
but it could still work.

I am hoping, and trying, and
nervous waiting.

Who knows anything?
I will meet her in one week.
I do know there is still love.

I do know there is a heart, and a brain
and sometimes the two can fight.

I am hoping.. that the heart wins.

It feels good to be free

It’s over.

As of today, nearly $20,000 of credit card debt is paid off. All those groceries,CDs and Doctor Who videos I bought back in college belong to me, not the bank. I know I only have myself to blame for burying myself under so much debt, and paying it off isn’t an achievement so much as an act of responsibility, but I can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of relief.

Of course, credit is owed to Pantaliamon who manages our financial affairs and obsessively monitored our “War Against Debt” until we won the final battle. To tell you the truth, I didn’t do anything but earn a paycheck, so really she’s the one who did this. I was just a bystander.

This is what it says now on the credit management website:

Account Paid In Full

Our records indicate all of your listed debts with Genus Credit Management have been paid in full. For information regarding your account, please phone our Customer Service Center to speak with a representative.

I feel like putting that on a t-shirt.

I tried listening to “The O’Franken Factor” on Air America Radio today, but Al was doing some ridiculous skit where he pretended to be Henry Kissinger. I don’t listen to conservative talk radio, but I just can’t see Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly doing stuff like that. Franken’s funny, but only when he talks about issues. Most of his Saturday Night Live work didn’t appeal to me -- especially the Stuart Smally stuff. He should focus on what he’s good at, rather than make an ass of himself.

Well, the media blackout still stands -- my Air America experience didn’t even last five minutes. Although I’ve glanced over the headlines on the newspapers at work, I’ve successfully avoided television news for a couple of days. It’s a nice feeling not knowing what John Kerry and George W. Bush are saying about each other.

What I have been doing instead is research for the trip Pantaliamon and I have planned for the fall. Since we no longer have any debt -- and for the first time in our lives have some disposable income -- we’re going to go to the U.K and France for a week in the fall. I’m both excited and scared. We’re going to do the international travel thing in baby steps -- start with Western countries, and then branch out to Asia and Latin America. Although I’d love to visit the Middle East and parts of Africa, I think we’ll stay clear of those places until the world security situation stabilizes a little.

It’s very ironic that I work at a foreign affairs school, but have never traveled outside the United States. I’m embarrassed whenever I tell my colleagues the truth of my inexperience. Once that’s done away with, I can’t think of many other major milestones that need to be accomplished. Maybe fathering children, but that’s something that can wait a few more years ...

I have am amazing ability to temporarily contain the stink of my farts.

Sometimes if I fart, and my ass is in just the right position in my chair (or whatever type of seat I happen to be in) I can create an air tight seal. I am particularly adept at doing it in the car. My wife sits in a position whereas if she passes gas in the vehicle the stink is released immediately. I, however, can sometimes seal all of my farts for the entire car ride and release all of them at once upon exiting the vehicle, which saves passengers the unpleasant experience of my stink and constant window down-rolling. Just do not be anywhere in the vicinity of where I disembark the car.

But as I said, I can create air tight fart seals with my ass anywhere: at home, at the office, or at the neighbor's house. I was prompted to write this valuable day log when I noticed how good of a fart seal I had today. It has been a fairly gassy day for me, probably because of all the Velveeta cheese I ate last night. I left my chair to go microwave my coffee, which had gone cold, and when I returned I was smacked in the face by the collective stink of two hours' worth of my farts.

"Man," I thought to myself, whilst wiping tears from my eyes, "my ability to seal farts is astounding!"

I do not have a definite theory on how, exactly, this phenomenon occurs and perhaps it is worthy of further scientific study. If there any scientists on E2 who would like to study my ass (a subject worthy of it, of that I assure you), please do not hesitate to /msg me.

About a week ago, my friends Rob, Jeff, and I decided that a flash mob was in order.

See, here at Texas A&M University, we are subject to the kind of huckleberry conservatism that seems to personify Texas to a lot of individuals in America and abroad. You know, the gun-toting, archconservative cowboy stereotype. It exists here in large and identifiable quantities. Such an atmosphere isn't conducive to my own eclectic leanings, nor that of my baby, KANM Student Radio.

So, Rob, Jeff, and I, sitting around the KANM office trying to think of something fun to do, decided that a flash mob would be precisely the sort of thing no one would think to do around here. New York City? That's so 2003. London? Paris? Chicago? Please. But here in this sleepy college town in the heart of Texas, a flash mob would be as out of place as a foreign-manufactured truck.

Pressed for ideas, I casually asserted that we would all get together and do the robot. From there our plan steamrolled. We scripted the entire event:

  • At precisely 2:08 PM (via www.time.gov.) we would convene at the Sul Ross statue at the heart of campus.
  • At 2:10 PM, we would announce via megaphone: "ATTENTION: The age of robot has begun."
  • We would turn on some funky music, and dance the robot for 30 seconds.
  • Another announcement: "The age of robot has ended. We now resume the age of man."
  • Everyone would disperse nonchalantly.

We thought ourselves brilliant, wrote up a flyer and an e-mail, and sent it on its merry way to our few friends in the area. Two days later, the e-mail came back to me, in the form of an IM from an old friend I hadn't talked to in over a year. Others told me about how they had seen flyers for it posted in places that we hadn't gone. Local club listservs were spreading the word.

This sort of thing makes you wonder just how sleepy this town is.

Finally, the big day arrived. We acquired a megaphone, wrote and revised the script, found a track by Fre-Q Nasty announcing that "we can all dance the robot", and made our way to the statue.

At 2:08, we all converged on the statue. Nearly 50 people were there - just the number we had predicted. Some 50-100 others were gathered around to watch the proceedings. People walking between classes stopped to stare. At 2:10, Brad Shoup, resident KANM music director and noted culture geek, gave the announcement and began the music.

And suddenly, for a brief minute, we were robots, stuttering and spluttering with activity. Our age had begun, and we reveled in our nonhumanity. The puny humanoids who gazed upon our willing wires were awestruck. For a while, we had conquered mankind. It truly was The Age Of Robot.

With a sudden snap, the music ended, and with the faintest hint of resignation, Brad announced, "We now resume ... the age of man." And I marched off, back to the station, satisfied in our efforts to bring the future in one concentrated dose to this city of complacency.

Pictures and a video should be available soon. Details at 10.

UPDATE: Pictures available at http://cubanraftattack.com/pictures.php. Pick the "Age of the Robot." directory.

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