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Yes, this is a day early, forgive me.

Harumph. Today is the day I have to buy a new car. Grr. What a nasty thing to have to do! You see, my car turns out to be a "total damage" case, as my insurance adjuster so nicely put it. Two doors, a center post, some of the body, the driver's seat... man, that's only about a quarter of the car! Oh yeah, don't forget the emergency brake. Heck, the tow truck driver made me repark it (after a 180 degree spin-stop-crash) before he'd tow it away... he didn't want to park in the intersection.

Okay, so I'd rather buy a new car than get my old one back pseudo-fixed, but really, I'd rather my Forest Green 2000 Honda Civic were still in the mint condition I remember it in. After all, it is was my first car.

So, you can see why yesterday was a painful day for me, even more so than August 13, 2001 - I had to go and perform the "last rites" on the car - the notorious removal of the licence plates.

Well, that's done. Now, poor Civic, you will live on only in the scrap yard of some Ontario wrecker, and in the three pictures I have of you (2 post accident).

Oh, yes, and you will live on, in the licence plate number A**F 8**, which will be worn with pride by what ever new car I get. I think that will be a 2001 Honda Accord LX (blue or silver).

A word to the wise is sufficient: If you buy a new car, GET THE PURCHASE PROTECTION INSURANCE. For something like $25 (that's Canadian loonies) per year, you can get this insurance that pays you back the price paid for the car rather than the depreciated value, for any total loss accident in the first two years. I found out after the fact that my insurance agent added that BY HIMSELF for me.

Thank you, Mr. Insurance Agent. For once you were worthwhile, and Goodbye Honda Civic, you live on in E2.

Today has been filled with amusing antics and strange sigh tings.

10:30 AM - I arise from bed, get dressed, eat etc. and drive to the bank to cash my check and deposit some random bills I was sick of holding on to (I have this disease - if I hold money I spend it). As I drive up to the automatic vacuum tube and reach for the canister I notice something that I've never seen on any of the other vessels for cash - "This transporter will not hold coinage". I found this very odd. Why couldn't it hold coinage? Would it fall out? Would it disappear? To test this, I added approximately 17 cents in pennies to my deposit. My check was cashed, my bills deposited.... and my coins returned, along with a note stating - read the tube: NO COINAGE. I drove home mildly confused. They misprinted. Obviously it does hold the coins. Perhaps THEY should read the tube...

3:00 PM - I receive a house call from my friends Twitch and John Candy (both named for personality traits). They enter bearing a DVD copy of Rammstein: Live Aus Berlin. I partook gladly of the video. I am later informed that they are to help with a function at the local high school and I am invited to attend. There I saw a site I thought reserved for carnivals back in the 20's - a woman with a beard longer than mine (yes yes, mine's a short goatee, but still - she had a beard). We had to get this spectacle on film (for proof) and did so inconspicuously.

Later, during the same event, I was hit on by a fairly attractive young (and slutty) female. Apparently she hadn't filled the day's quota or something. Sadly, this occurred right as the ex-boyfriend of a girl I'm working on getting into a relationship with was passing by. So I remembered my grandfather's favorite saying "Fifteen will get you twenty" and refrained, which was in my best interest as she probably had many a disease I did not want.

10:00 PM - I arrive at my house and leave Twitch and John Candy, who were now accompanied by Big Josh (obvious reasoning for the name), to go about their business... or so I thought. Approximately 45 minutes later, the dynamic duo and friend appear at my door and hand me the most fantastic gift I've had in years -


I was in awe, not only had they brought the display version of the system box, they also included the green glowing plastic and metal combo display. It seems they had "yoinked" them from the local Gamestop.com store. Big Josh had taken the items while John Candy was the point man and Twitch waited in the getaway vehicle. Had they stolen something that would have been SOLD, I'd have been mad. But this was beautiful, and deserving of a spot in my memorabilia hall of fame.

11:32 PM - Twitch and JC went home and I sat down to node about the day's glorious events. I am currently speaking to the passerby's ex, and it seems he didn't tell her about the slut hitting on me, thank god. For once, things seem to be going fairly well. Goodnight all!
I'm getting legally wedded on Monday, August 20, 2001.

Here's why: Dan and I were going to wait for a year (the full length of the handfasting) before getting legally married, but he wants to go to college this fall. He is not yet 23, so his mother's and stepfather's income affects whether or not the government gives him money for school. (And Dan's mom & stepdad make way more than enough for the government to not give Dan any money.

However, if Dan is legally married, then he is considered financially independant, and his parents' income will no longer be a factor. Voila, money for college.

We are getting the legalities out of the way now, and having the full ceremony with all of our friends and loved ones next year, as originally planned.

The last true day of summer

A grand day out with a shoplifter, warez and women!

The following is a work of fiction. All coincidences to actual people and events are purely coincidental. ;)

Every once in a great while we are granted the sorts of days when everything flows smoothly and coolly. These are the days when you wish you could continue as that persona forever, so cool have you become, if only for a day. I just had one of those days, and I know its likes cannot come again. I am a dork. This kind of thing never happens to me.

This is the sunset of my post-high-school summer. My friends are all about to leave for school in various locales. I, unlike most of them, will be attending a nearby college, namely Macalester College. For the next 4 days I'm working, so today was the key window in which to blow things out.

I knew I needed to distribute lots of warez to people today. It is really quite telling, the people who didn't bother to show to your graduation party, they come calling when they need software a few days before they leave. And so it was. My warez price structure, recently developed, is quite straightforward: the more I loathe a person, the more I charge. One girl, who drives a goddamn Mercedes with a vanity "FILMAKR" plate, I charged her $100 for OS X and some fat digital video progs. She was rich and pretentious, so the Hong had to equalize.

Now my first mark today is a very decent guy. He's skipping college for a year to intern with a teen outreach program. He got MS Office 98 gratis. Good guy. I hopped on my bike and picked up the Subaru. I went over to the shoplifter's house, where he needed a PCMCIA Ethernet card installed. Considering I was dealing with Microsmish Y2K, it went smoothly. So we took off and I call up MegaStoner. I was providing him with a small array of miscellaneous software.

I stopped at a gas station along Minnesota 36, a Phillips 66. I topped off the tank at an optimal price of $1.459. Later that day, astonishingly, I found the usually cheap (and automated) Gas for Less for 15 cents more! So that was good. And that gas was topped off well above the F mark.

After treating Shoplifter to some superb pizza at Cossetta, we went to MegaStoner's house in the second poshest section of St. Paul. (besides Summit Ave.). Well, we arrived, and without a word about it, MS directed us to a screened-in porch on the second floor and he packed a bowl. All enjoyed it. We talked of how damn oddly pimp I was, cruising around distributing warez. "Yo I got dis shit hot off Carracho, man. Fuckin' hot!" was his impression.

So we copied him some warez, and I left with him some more for someone else, also gratis. He smoked a brother up, what can I say? Oh yes, I also brought him a perfectly valid baseball card with his name on it. He got a kick out of that. We finished up Shoplifter's eighth which he needed to finish before he went to school on the 18th. Which was nice.

We wandered a little in his neighborhood. The house next door, which used to be a prep school called Visitation back in the '20s, is four stories tall. It has a crew of 5 gardeners come 5 days a week. It has a reflecting pool and security cameras. After the school moved out, some eccentric zillionaires built another floor on the house, and you can see both downtown St. Paul and the IDS Tower in Minneapolis. And to top it off, they have an 80-ton rock from Scandinavia. And a line of custom-made little pillars which appear to be simple little wall pillars. But if you look at their contours, they are all faces! Faces! Which can mess with you when you're high. The intended illusion of faces in the neighbor's brick wall. Shoplifter and I headed out, and I collected a piece of foam which looked like Pac-Man. Sweet.

I contacted my next mark. This kid raises the art of raver poser to a new level. Now he's going to some Philadelphia school for web design. Damn! I have seen his work and it frankly blows. You can't learn aesthetics... He wanted BBEdit and Photoshop, for him, a round $20. But he was damn late. Shoplifter and I wandered around the corner of Snelling and Grand, seeing if he was around a corner. No results, through our thick THC haze, but all was not in vain!

Someone shouted "HongPong! HongPong!" (or my real name :) from a car. A female someone. That's almost always good, yes? The shouter was my former classmate and fellow Macalester first-year Melanie. She was out at an art gallery in Boston all summer, and I hadn't seen her in months. So she hops out of the car and gives me a hug, and Shoplifter a hug too, and we talk a little bit on the corner. But no sooner have we started talking than more women start showing up! Que Guay!

And to think I used to be such a dork. I no more have to wander around stoned near a warez deal and the chicks are all over! I could not have imagined that I would be such a cool dude even for a day.

So Second Chick parked at a most unfortunate angle sticking out into the road, but couldn't fit the car better because of the torrent of traffic on Snelling right behind her. We all laughed lots and lots, which I think eventually drove her away. But Shoplifter, Melanie and I retired to the coffee shop until Poser got there. We caught up on happenings, and Poser came and got his software. Things dissolved, but it was good times.

Shoplifter's long and illustrious career in the Twin Cities

(A large but worthy tangent) My shoplifter friend loves knocking over Best Buys, especially. He really does. He's stolen about 150 CDs from 4 different Best Buys. And now that he is finally leaving the region for college, he decided he needed to give Best Buy a farewell letter. In it, he lambasted their lazy security staff, their high prices, and described his well-refined and successful methodology for ripping off CDs. Including the complete listing of every CD he stole, the document ran 3 pages. He had a young lackey tape the documetn to the inside of the men's bathroom door. You have to admire his chutzpah, no doubt. In my mind, this redeems him, as far as an utterly amoral, devious thief can be redeemed. He is such a pop culture junkie, but he subverts the aim of the multinational corporations by not spending any money. He manages to have his cake and eat it too. He and I have also developed a myriad of ways to rip off movie theaters. Quite a myriad.(end tangent)

We collected my GF and went to go see an independent movie. First, we stopped at a convenience store to purchase cheaper drinks. Or for Shoplifter, not purchase them. He snuck them into the movie, and we saw The Deep End, in Uptown Minneapolis. It was not a great movie, but oh well. I got back to the GF's house and basically got some lovin'. Which is good. And then I split to hang out with Shoplifter again. I ate the last delicious late-night frozen cheese pizza and Coke I'll have there for a long time. And I watched him play trippy video games. When a rather dorky fellow, TheTrekkie, came by, I launched into a vicious and insightful dissection of anime. (which is basically overwrought arcade games, node forthcoming) He was a good sport about it.

I headed out to my trusty Subaru, whose gas gauge still floated above the "F" mark. On the way home, I saw hated railroad crossing flashers blinking ahead of me. I saw no train for a moment. Then off to the left, there it was. I could beat it easily in the Subaru, and there weren't any gates. The impulse to floor it was tempting...

But I didn't. The day had passed. It was 2 AM. It was time for me to regress into total meek dork. On the way through my downtown, I experienced the esoteric Thursday-evening desertion of flashing yellow everything.

And that's how it was. Damn it felt good to be a gangsta. I need to go defragment my hard drive now.

I lost. And she so totally won. It's a game to her, I think. To see if she can crush guys. She sure broke me. I'm never, ever going to get over her. Ever. She curses me out. She toyed with my heart for a whole year. She played me constantly, seeing how much of her whiney grumpiness I could stand, probably laughing inside each time I tried to make it better. Assuming it was somehow my fault she couldn't even have fun in Las Vegas or at Disneyland. Not even when with the person she said "I love you" to just the night before. And still I cannot stop loving her. I can't stop forgiving her, even though she's probably pure evil.

I'm sitting here, and while this cute college girl who lives just a few blocks away is chatting with me and trying to get to know me, and sounding normal, I'm still writing this. And she's cute and nice and not manic depressive or nuts, and still I do this. I'll probably end up picking her up in my convertible tomorrow night, driving her down to my favorite park by my favorite beach, and ride the swings with her as we talk and smoke. And maybe I'm experienced enough now to know how to get a nice kiss out of it, too. And I'll be happy she's not some slut like my ex, and she won't be rolling around in the sand with me all night long or anything. And she'll be respectable. But I'll still miss the ex. Because she's so embedded in my heart right now. As if cupid took out a soldering iron and scratched her name in there long ago.

And on Saturday a girl I dated before I met my ex, and whom I really liked a lot, will probably drive down from Los Angeles to visit me and try to pick up where we left off a year ago. That's something she's expressed to me a lot lately in her e-mails. I'll probably eat a nice candlelit dinner with her on the brand new dining room table I bought to make my apartment more like a home before my ex was going to move in. And I might smile at my date and make out with her a little or maybe even she'll spend the night. But I'll still think about how tricked and betrayed I was to think my ex was going to move in, and that was the only reason I had that table.

And one of my best friends started pouring her heart out to me lately about being unsatisfied in her current relationship. And she started saying stuff that suddenly got me thinking about her lustfully for the first time in about 4 years. And it seems like if I wanted I could end up with her. Something I never said I wanted to do, but after stories she told me last night I kinda think I wanna try. And I think she might be interested too, maybe. But I keep thinking about that damned ex when I think about my friend. I keep thinking about how my ex expressed so much jealousy for my friend even though at the time we dated I had nothing but a platonic interest in my friend.

And I won't even start with the girl I was dating last week.

How do you get someone so incredible out of your head? Or how do you get back into their heart? If I was ever in it, that is.

Coming back from vacation, I realize how hard just working full time is when I'm trying to take care of myself physically and emotionally, be available to my teenagers, and have a social life. Something always goes. Cleaning and maintaining the house always goes! I don't know what I can cut back on - in the past, I have always sacrificed exercise for other things and I don't want to do that any more. I worked out or took a class or biked or at least walked for an hour every day on Cape Cod. It felt so good, my body was so happy. And I want my body to keep being happy, it doesn't like not moving and sweating.

Rearranging things to better suit priorities is hard. And it doesn't really ever work. I have to drop some things. The difficult part is I want to add so much in right now, not drop things! More art, more music, learning more stuff at work so I can take the tests and get certified, painting my living and dining rooms and kitchens, stuff like that. I want to take art classes in the fall. I want to paint my other car with bold designs and enter it to win something for next year.

I don't know how to figure these things out. Maybe I will talk to my therapist about it, to try and approach it in a logical fashion. And not get overwhelmed by trying to figure out how in the hell I'm going to do it!

Last night went to karaoke night at a lesbian bar in B'more. It was fun, met Linda there and we laughed all night. Met a new person, Bea, who is a pro singer and she's very cool. I gave her my card, hope we go to Renfest together and become friends, she seems very open and friendly.

Whatever floats your boat, eh?

I first heard this saying almost exactly two years ago, and it really bothered me for some reason. I mentioned it to the people there, but for the life of me I couldn't explain why. I think I figured it out today.

A similar (and possibly related) saying is We'll drink enough beer to float your boat to Valhalla, generally said before somebody does something really stupid. The modern equivilent is the famous Oh, hell. Why not? said in a jovial fasion, prior to the equally-famous (and final) Oops... or Oh, SHIT!.

Back to the point, both of the sayings mention floating a boat, or rather the boat - your deathbed. So I guess that's what has been bothering me. My mind made a connection between the two which made the saying Whatever floats your boat... a death-saying. Which is kinda depressing, to say the least. It's almost exactly like saying Well, it's your funeral..., but not as sarcastic.

Stuff like this reminds me of the connection between Santa Claus and the old pagan blood-on-the-snow-in-the-woods rituals which were preformed to make the winter end. (Look it up, the connection is scary. Think of the origin of the XMas colors of red, white and green.)

Well, that was another of those back-burner ideas, which sit in the back of your head for months or even years before you suddenly go: "Hey, that's it!" (or Eureka, if you're Greek.)

Last thing: I keep finding myself begining every sentence in my daylogs with either a I or some grammatical tool-work (Well / However / etc.) Is this something that daylogs create, or am I subconsciously self-centered? /me is going to worry about that.

/me misses kamamer

It is my E2 anniversary. I became a user a year ago today, after jbird told me about the site. Thanks J. It's been a neat year; I've learned a lot. I can format simple HTML now. Go me!

This is the sum of my first year on E2:

w/u's : 165
XP : 2803
Node-Fu : 17.0
C!s : 36

Write-up with highest rep : I am not attractive : 33
Write-up with lowest rep : U-Dub : -2

I've been blessed once, never cursed, and never borged.

I am not an exceptional noder, but I think I contribute fairly well. I try to add content, and I try to earn my bullshit.

The most important thing I've learned so far is that almost every acceptable factual node will get at least one downvote from somebody...

...and that's okay, because

XP doesn't matter

Will: He used to just put a belt, a stick, and a wrench on the kitchen table and say, "Choose."
Sean: Gotta go with the belt, there.
Will: I used to go with the wrench.
Sean: The wrench, why?
Will: 'Cause fuck him, that's why.

- From Good Will Hunting

Day -1: I think I'm supposed to say something to those people who sit on the stairs around me or just stand there, when I sit, on a dirty steps, leaning on my knees like I'm sitting in a sauna, reading a book. Occasionally I turn my head up, look around the hallway below teeming with people, and look back down at the book. The thing is, I have nothing to say. Should I talk to them about normality of e? About my day of baldur's gate and starcraft, or the lousy american comedies that our soly commercial TV spurts out a constant rate? These days, it seems, the only vaguely social thing I do is gamble. It's strange thing, that coin; I like to think I'm not superstitious but I can't help but to wonder when this one fellow win again and again on that damned coin, but when someone else throws the coin instead of him, he loses. Strange thing, that.

Day 0: I did something slightly odd today. We were on our compulsory post-lunch break "fresh air" break and it was raining outside. Having always been fond of the feeling of water falling out of sky on my face, flowing over my eyebrows in my eyes and gluing my hair to my forehead, I stood in the rain and soaked. Did visit the nearby green-ish woods too at a suggestion from another rain-man, and then walked back to mathematics class in a wet flannel shirt and eyeglasses I couldn't see through. The pentecostal fundie christian suggested I'd adopted a new philosophy of punishing the body or whatever it is those monks did some hundred years ago.

Inspired by that incident, after the swedish class during which I was acting uncharacteristically alive, I walked, in the pour that had lasted for 6 hours now, for an hour. I didn't want to wait for the bus at the station so I bought myself something sweet and started walking home 40 kilometers away, and was picked up by the bus an hour later, feeling very wet and slightly dizzy. Well, I suppose that taught me something. My head does not feel right.

Of course there's more, but I won't write about that.

Today was a good day.

To start with, I fell asleep at about two in the morning. I'd gone to bed at ten, but my internal clock just wouldn't let me rest. Four hours. There's an awful lot of thinking that one can do in four hours when he'd rather not be existing. I can't recall all of it, but I know it wasn't very pleasant. I'd always sat on that mattress, cold and alone. This time, however, the loneliness had a great weight. I think it was because of her. The figment, the phantom, the perfect girl carrying herself sweetly between my ears.

At one point, to break out- to break the locked loops of thought that were accelerating through my mind, I picked up my guitar. On my nylon-stringed lover I fingerpicked and strummed my way through Mykel and Carli, My Name is Jonas and Bach's Bouree in E Minor. By this time I'd nearly cracked the chains had permeated my being, and I slid back to the mattress. My thoughts still pounded painfully, but they eventually subsided to a dull ache. When I'd returned to my safety between the sheets, she danced. Oh, how she danced. So I reached out.
I drew her close as I faded out alone in the dark; I held her with me as I slept.

The alarm woke me up. 6:00. Too early. 6:30. Alright. I'll get up, you stupid thing. I made myself a S'more Poptart. I took a nice long shower. Teeth were brushed, and glasses were cleaned. My father graciously drove me to the school. Too early. I had ten more minutes in which to sit alone on a bench with the thoughts in my head. This is never a pleasant prospect, but it's even worse when I'm nervous. I was definitely nervous. The familiar Mullen's School of Driving car pulled up into the familiar school nurse parking space, and I was pleased to see that my instructor was Bruce. He got into his seat, I got into the driver's seat. I adjusted the things that needed to be adjusted, and off we went. Driving is incredible. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it. Getting a driver's license is without a doubt the most significant milestone for a boy my age. Well, besides loss of virginity. Driving is easier, anyway.

There were no major incidents. I forgot that I was in reverse or park a few times, but nothing that could've ended seriously. I enjoyed the two hours thoroughly. We returned to the school and I couldn't help but feel more than a little joyful. Bruce signed the blue paper which stated that I had completed the 30 hours of classroom instruction, the 10 hours of road instruction, and that I had passed the written test. I thanked him and said goodbye in my own awkward way.
'Thanks. It's been fun. I mean, well, not so much for you probably, but I enjoyed it.'
'Well, there were days... there were days when wondered why I was doing it, but that wasn't your doing. Drive safe.'

I wasn't sure how to take his reply. As little as I knew about him, I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him. I soon sent away for my permit, which I will probably receive within a week or so. As long as I drive, I hope I never forget Bruce. He was willing to put his life in at least moderate danger everyday to just help adolescents gain a little bit of freedom and to get his salary. I like to think that he ranks quite high on my scale of nobleness.

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