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My babe,

You are so perfect.
Wrapped in your soft swaddling,
Sleeping peacefully on my breast.
I dare not stir.
Trustingly you cleave to me.
There is power in your meekness
Heaven and Earth will I move,
that you may not suffer.
You are my best creation,
and I adore you.

My child,
How quickly you have made your place.
This world was made for you to enjoy.
How my spirit soars as I watch you.
Growing stronger, living at play.
Your soul already knows the way.

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Several months ago, shortly after moving to a new office at work, I noticed a chipmunk in the foliage outside my window. It is, of course, a reflection of our modern urban society that seeing a chipmunk was a rare event for me, and a somewhat exciting one at that. I decided to try to make it a semi-pet, a mascot if you will. So at lunchtime, I stopped by the grocery store and looked for something a chipmunk would like. The nuts and seeds section seemed obvious, and I settled on Cornuts™. Arriving back at the office, I sprinkled them around the window and hoped the chipmunk would return and try what I hoped would be a delicacy for him.

No action that day, but within a day or two I noticed the cornuts were disappearing. I kept a sharp eye out, and shortly spied a rat who'd taken an interest. He'd dart out from the bushes into the little open area next to the building, sniff around, pick up the most scrumptious-looking nut, and scurry back into the bushes. Thirty to forty seconds later, he'd be back for more. Edward and I have debated whether he's storing them somewhere, or it just takes him that long to eat it.

Over the course of a week or two, we never did see the chipmunk again, and finally decided he'd either given up the ghost or departed for greener pastures (ingrate!), with the former seeming more likely. We were given some false hope one day. The second batch of cornuts I bought was a variety pack, so at one point I decided to see if there was a preference for any particular flavor. That night I put out one or two piles of each flavor (plain, chile limón, barbeque, ranch, and salsa). In the morning they were mostly all gone, but one pile apparently had been sampled repeatedly until a final downvote was given: in the place of the cornut pile was now a mound of thoroughly nibbled remains, quite as large as the original pile. No single cornut had remained untouched. We speculated that perhaps the rat had carried off all the others, while the chipmunk may have been working on that one. We'll never know the facts there.

But we had entered into an informal pact with our rat; we provided easy pickin's and he entertained us once or twice a day. Edward set up a camera and connected it to a computer which would record images when it detected movement, and over the course of a week we got quite a few shots of the rat, which provided amusement for our coworkers.

Then the rat was gone.

What happened to it? Who knows. Presumably it was eventually cut down in our urban jungle. Had we perhaps made life a little too easy for it, and made it careless? We could only hope not.

Eventually, though, another rat appeared and was provided for as had been the original. This one was a bit smaller, and it didn't take long before we saw that there were actually two of them. Mostly we only saw one at a time, but on occasion they would both come for the vittles together. On some of those times they even seemed to be cooperating: one would stand at the edge of the bushes and keep watch while the other made a dash for a mouthful (which by this time could be any of cornuts, peanuts, or sunflower seeds).

And then they were no more, also. One night at the office, a day or two after it seemed likely that we'd lost them too, I saw a cat walking around outside the window. Maybe no coincidence there. More time passed. One day, there was a large possum scouting the area, but apparently didn't like the lay of the land. Saturday night, I saw a raccoon, also a transient visitor. But Monday we had a rat again. I quickly threw out some sunflower seeds, then got some more peanuts at lunchtime. He's still with us.

But this evening, Edward and I were leaving the office and noticed a stream of water running through the parking lot. The upper balconies of the building were being washed down, and the water was coming out through a storm drain that runs under the walkway around the building. The mild weather of Santa Barbara means that those drains go months and months without feeling the touch of water, and it's not unusual for an efflux of pine needles, leaves, etc., to be ejected at the first rain. Such was the case tonight, but in addition, there were eight tiny baby rats a short distance from the mouth. They were about an inch and a half long, and apparently hadn't opened their eyes yet. There was still water exiting the drain, the current steady and not fast enough to carry them away, but more than they could stand up against. Two of them appeared to be trying to walk and one had gotten a few feet, though we thought it was dead; most of the rest were lying, some on top of another, and seemed to be breathing rapidly and with great effort, as their noses were not always clear of the water.

We studied them for a bit. Edward suggested that here was my opportunity to have the pet rats I've said I wanted, but this wasn't exactly the way I wanted to get them. But I did pick them up and set them up on the walkway. I thought that that didn't seem to suit them, as by the time I got the eighth one up there, some of the earliest transplants seemed dead. But Edward was sure they were just sleeping (and possibly resting after their endeavors in the water). We didn't know how long they could go without food, but he said we had nothing we could give them; that all they could handle would be milk delivered through a tiny nipple. But we hoped the mother was around somewhere and would take them back into her charge.

I don't know what I'm going to see on that sidewalk when I arrive at work in the morning...


The next day.... There was no sign of the rats this morning. Hopefully that's a good thing. In case you're interested there's a picture of them at
http://silcom.com/~clarence/BabyRats.jpg

Update: September 15, 2002 I saw a new rat outside today. His body was only about two inches long, and I'm wondering if it's one of the babies. How much does a rat grow in three weeks?

Update: September 20, 2002 I'm told by people in the know that that was a mouse.

I appear to find myself in a state of flux...

My job is starting to wind up as I prepare to go back to another year at the grindstone and yet I find myself not looking forward as much as i should. I will get to meet up with friends and no longer have to do 40 hour weeks, and yet, and yet...

I have enjoyed my time working, enjoyed having spare money to indulge myself... I'm not so sure that I want to commit to another two years of study instead of working. I have made new friends here and have been offered a full time job if i drop out of my course.

Other factors are starting to influence my thoughts, reasons to not continue putting roots into Aberdeen, factors both pushing me away, and others drawing me elsewhere. My ex being a good reason to leave - I no longer feel I can go out in the City knowing that I will meet her in the clubs I have gone to for five years. These places (and indeed the whole City) feel out of bounds, as if I am being punished for what happened over those three years.

I am at a complete loss as to what to do. The way things are going I will roll with the punches and allow what happens to happen, like i always do. If I do, then I might end up in the wrong place, and away from the one that I care for. The next two months are going to be very hard.

Back to: The City that never sleeps, part 2

Buffalo

After New York we headed up to Buffalo so that we could see Niagra Falls. We only spent two days in Buffalo, on one we visited the falls and on the other we went to see the Albright-Knox, a modern art museum in Buffalo.

On the first day we went to the Knox, it was another example of the amazing amount of high quality art that is in America. Even though Buffalo is a pretty small and not very touristy place the gallery had Picassos, Monets, a Pollock, a Close and more. We enjoyed the gallery and in the evening we went to a concert in the main square with some alright local bands playing.

The next day we went to the falls along with an Australian couple who were staying in our dorm at the Buffalo Hostel. The bus there is nice and cheap since it counts as a local one so we paid our $1.85 and clambered on. Once we made it to the falls we went up to the observation deck to get a look in perspective, they truly are an amazing sight. We then went on the Maid of the Mist a boat (well actually 4 boats) that run from both the Canadian and American sides of the falls. The boat takes you right up to the Canadian falls with the mist surrounding you and soaking you and the water churning underneath you.

Boston

We arrived in Boston late in the evening after a nightmare 15 hour journey from Buffalo that should have taken 4 hours less. We found our hostel and staggered up to our room only to find that it was swelteringly hot and that the pathetic little fan in there had been turned off by the other occupants. So we cursed them as we tossed and turned and attempted to sleep.

Luckily, although most people were out of town, the BAP came to the rescue. Randir, drunkenmonkey and jarsyl all met up with us at JP Licks and we wandered down Newbury St and then into the Prudential Centre before heading to a pretty decent Chinese restaurant for some lunch. After that we headed back to the hostel and dossed around for a while. In the evening we met up with randir again and boogied on down to this funky coffee shop, shot some pool, drank some coffee, just chilled, dudes. After that we took randir up on his offer of a floor to escape the heat of our hostel and kipped down there. After the refreshingly cool night at randir's we decided to change to the other Boston hostel, at Fenway, which had air conditioning, it also turned out that we ended up with a private room with ensuite.

The next morning we went off to the Museum of Fine Arts. It was pretty impressive and although a little pricy (luckily that super dude jarsyl had given us a voucher for one free entry to help us poor student types), we enjoyed the range of stuff on exhibition. It was the last museum we visited and we were certainly a little fatigued by this point, so maybe we did not marvel at the art as we had done in the National Gallery of Art of the Hirshorn but we still enjoyed it. That evening we went off to Comedy Connection for free with the hostel and I though everyone was pretty funny. The early intro guys had a tough time warming up the majority foreign crowd who either didn't get or didn't understand their jokes. Jim Lullela(sp?) was the main set and he did well, still having trouble witht he crowd. Cahla and others were back in town that evening and tried to find us but we didn't meet up, although we certainly appreciate the effort it will have to wait till I next come to invade you.

On our final day in Boston we went shopping and then flew home, glad to be returning to cold ole England. Thanks to all you Bostonians for your hospitality (or attempts to meet up with us), particularly randir. You've definitely got a guide for when you hit London.

Apparently my life has three stools.

I'm sorry, I'll say that again. It's this sort of a day.

Apparently, my life is a stool. The stool has three legs. So it goes

Love

Work       Home

Provided you have enough functioning legs, you'll be fine. You don't even need all three. Perhaps like software - good, fast, cheap: pick any two - you can't have all three anyway.

I am currently sitting on the floor studying some broken bits of wood.

I won't bore you with the details, but I will bore you with the summary of the details:

I have no desire to correct the problems with the book I'm working on at work, my love will be leaving the country in less than two months. Then again, she might not. Then again, again, she will, and I really need to get my own place. No disrespect to my housemates or anything here you understand, it's just that I want to be in my own space, one big enough for a bed of conventional length.

In the words of Tom Waits:

"No one speaks English, and everything's broken"

Today is the first day of (hopefully), my last year in undergraduate education.

Yearly milestones always depress the hell out of me. You look back at everything that's happened in the past 365 days, and find that nothing's changed, that everything is still the same. You remember your ideas for what would be different, the things you imagined one year ago. You fell far short.

Well, being 20 pounds lighter was definately in the plans last year...but I find it difficult to be proud of weight loss. So my pants are 3 sizes smaller--Big fucking deal. Just add something else to the things-we-think-might-make-us-happy-but-really-don't list.

I'm so glad that this is my last year. I'm ready to leave. This town is too small, I know too many people, I crave an anonymity that comes with leaving everyone you know and living in a place where you couldn't get to know half the population if you tried. I don't want people to know my face, my name, anything about me. I want to be able to reinvent myself, if I so choose. This persona that I created is getting old. I don't like her anymore. She's too honest, she laughs too much, she talks too much, she has no secrets. My skin is uncomfortable, so is my mind. My heart, it's empty.

I'm praying to whatever God is out there to make this year something I can live with. Because I know I can't live through another one like last year. I would say it was the worst year of my life, but it has to compete with the year before that, and that's like comparing apples and oranges. Each was set off by a seperate event...a place where I can look back and say right here, that's when things changed. Silently I accuse...you broke me.

I guess there's something positive I can say about the past few years...I have met a lot of really cool people. I love them to death. And I can't wait to leave them.

Ok, So I am sorry this really isn't going to be really long. In fact, it prolly shouldn't live very long....since it is so awfully short. I just feel the need to day log.... I have been writting about my life in every other day log.. And I needed HAD to write about how great today is! I am writing from school, and in fact I am rushing to pump this out before I have to go to class. If I dont do this now, I wont get to at all this week... we are going camping tomorrow. Today was my first day of class, and it is so wonderful. I just wanted to write to tell you all about how great everything is. How great life is, how great the weather is, (too hot), how great classes are; and how much I love you all. =) I feel Wonderful, and without any drugs either! *smiles* I love you all. Have a wonderful day, and smile!

Christmas in August!!!

I just got home, picked up the mail and here is an interesting little package from Bonn. NothingLasts4Ever (my E2secretsanta) sent me another gift. He made a trip to the Rhine river and found me the most interesting river rocks.

You have to first understand that I love rocks. One is a thin, flat, triangle, perfectly sized for a pendant, gray with white striations that not only color it but create a raised surface. I love it! The other is a longer, darker gray stone with an interesting mixture of sharp angles and curves, rather like an athame straight from nature. Perfect for the front hall’s horizontal surface - which is too female in nature, holding mostly flowers, candles, and other small tokens; plus Randolph (who lives underneath), but he is another story.

See    http://explodingdog.com/january1/rockscanbenice.html.     <smile>

Thank you NothingLasts4Ever.

This is a good example of why you should never try:

  • 2002.08.20 at 10:16(PDXCB) RevPhil says This Thuraday: A Bus Mall Action happened on the way to the transit center. Also a Bikesummer event with the Full Moon Treasure Hunt
  • 2002.08.20 at 10:18(PDXCB) RevPhil says that should have been:This Thuraday: A Bus Mall Action happened on the way to the transit center. Also a Bikesummer event with the Full Moon Treasure Hunt

This is when the furry began to rise. I had been at the keyboard too long. The radiation from the monitor poured into me. My forehead began to broaden, my chin squared, my clothes didn't fit so good, and I noticed myself saying things like, "Please don't make me angry, Mr Chatterbox. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

  • 2002.08.20 at 10:19root says You tried to talk to AGH, but they don't exist on this system:"damn you! That should be funny thing"
  • 2002.08.20 at 10:29(PDXCB) RevPhil says "A [funny thing|Bus Mall Action| happened when I tried to mesg you

this is where I gave up

  • 2002.08.20 at 18:26(PDXCB) dTaylorSingletary says You know Phil, I've been reading those 3 messages for the whole first half of this day, and I still just don't get it. Have you come down yet? ;)
  • 2002.08.20 at 19:23 qousqous says re Bus Mall Action: um hey this is what the pdxc is for. and you didn't say it was in portland, nor what day it was happening. um. moo.
  • 2002.08.21 at 08:29(PDXCB) Glowing Fish says The thing about Revphil is he never comes down, he just stops typing.

Alas if I only had a reasonable excuse for all this.

  • "I was in rehab",
  • "My right pinkie kept twitching over 'Enter'",
  • "It's hard to smoke crack, plug in an IV morphine drip, huff whippets, walk over hot coals, and remember the E2 syntax all at once"

it should have read:

RevPhil says This Thursday: A funny thing happened on the way to the transit center. Also a Bikesummer event with the Full Moon Treasure Hunt

if you are really interested the phrase, "A funny thing happened on the way to the _______" is an old comic bit, used to start a story. The best known version of this comes from the play/movie A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

alas

But wait there's more

The Contiuning Censorship of Revphil's crappy nodes:

Apatrix says re March 13, 1977: I fail to see the purpose or meaning of this pseudo-daylog.

Klaproth says I ate your writeup March 13, 1977. All nodes need links. Node Heaven will become its new residence.

you said "that was so that people coming to Horace Phair would be able to vote on hearing some o my wit from the {scratch|ass] pad. Alas it has alredy been eaten. perhaps none shall read it ever again. I am guessing you didn't like it?" to Apatrix

heehaw the hits keep on comming

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