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This week has been ups and downs, it seems like. I saw Puffy AmiYumi on Monday night at the 930. Watching the show, I realized I have such a crush on them but in a completely abstract way. Just the fact that there exists in this world two cute Japanese girls who can rock out like that makes me feel great. And the show was tremendous fun; I've been listening to them for a while, ever since I heard the Teen Titans theme song, so I knew most of the songs, and they played a lot of my favorites. Walking back from the club to my apartment, I passed by a bar near 18th and U that I hadn't noticed before. Having just moved here, I am still trying to find good places to eat and drink, and I'm trying to do it quickly as I'm already feeling my exploratory spirit draining - it can be hard to motivate yourself to explore when you're on your own all the time. It was fun at first but it gets old. So I figure I should do as much as I can while I can still motivate myself.

My general evaluation strategy for bars runs something like this: walk in, order a Yuengling, and see how much it costs. Then, keeping the cost in mind, take the overall scene of the bar in (how crowded, what sort of people, decor, music, availability of food, etc). Under this system, the best bar I've found so far is the Brickskeller, which has sorta-cheap beer (and an amazing selection of it) and is open every night, rarely crowded, and serves pretty decent bar food until late. On the other end of the scale was a bar on 14th, I forget the name, which was $5.50 a cheap beer and was packed full of terribly fashionable people. This new place, called Common Share, has $2 Yuengling, which means I pretty much instantly had a good feeling about it. While it is on the outskirts of Adams Morgan, it's obviously a neighborhood bar, not an Adams Morgan bar. It did kind of surprise me at first to walk in and realize I was the only white person there. That is something I'm relatively used to but I did not expect it that time, being as we were so close to the vast collection of yuppie bars just up the street. I had a couple of deliciously cheap beers and then went off home.

Up until this week I had managed to keep myself nice and busy with things this month, which was pleasant. On Tuesday I realized I should start watching how much I spend (since I don't get my first paycheck until the middle of September and I have to stretch what I have until then). So I didn't go out, which in the end was probably a mistake. I later found something in a writeup by m_turner about avoidant personality disorder: "Its easy to keep going, occupying your mind until you can't actually feel anything. And yet, once you slow down, it all catches up and hits you like a freight train." I think that pretty much nails how I felt that night. I couldn't sleep and ended up smoking quite a lot of weed just in order to calm down enough to stop pacing around and at least get into bed. Wednesday was just as bad, and I couldn't concentrate at work at all, especially after an old co-worker sent me an email about a happy hour going on tonight. This particular happy hour is a goodbye one for a certain someone, as tomorrow is her last day. As she was the 'cause' (trigger would be a more appropriate term) of much of my recent problems with myself, and especially as she does not want me in her life any longer, I decided I had other plans. That night I went out and revisited the Common Share and drank cheap beer until 1 AM or so, which didn't do much to make me feel better then and certainly didn't make me feel very great in the morning.

Today was all right. We went to a baseball game in the afternoon. It was the first time I had been to a major league baseball game. It wasn't that entertaining, but it was much better than watching one on TV. I spent a fair amount of it reading and had a couple of decent conversations with some of the people I work with. Rather than deal with another commute to and back from Nova for only an hour or so of actual work time, I just took the Metro home. Having actually gotten home at a reasonable time for once (5:30), I naturally went to sleep until 8 or so.

So, I guess I'm hoping that Friday and this weekend will end up better than the middle of this week has. I might go up to Baltimore on Saturday to have some fun and relax, though I still do need to hit up the Hiroshige exhibit that is showing at some museum around here before it closes in a couple of weeks.

This time off is sucking the motivation right out of me. It's not so much the time off, but the task I assigned myself. For a half year I've been tripping over boxes and containers. I've been looking at the mess piled in the corner of the room and turning my head away. It has been a persistent drain on my psyche to know it is there, yet postponing the inevitable. These are the remnants of once upon a time. When I was living with my parents, they were tucked away neatly in a storage garage about ten miles from their house. I didn't see it everyday. I didn't have to think about it. I didn't have to deal with it. I could tuck that piece in the shadowy corners and draw the drapes. I could postpone.

One can only do that for so long. They don't go away. They are still sitting there waiting to be dealt with. Clutter drains the well being out of a person. How many times must I stub my toe? How many times will I need something that I know is buried in the recesses, yet will not going hunting for because of the cobwebs surrounding? How many times will I sneeze and rub my eyes because of the dust accumulating? It is not healthy.

When I first moved out on my own, I was stopped cold half way through sorting through the mess by a small box. 10x8.5x2. I collect bits and pieces for future use. Key pieces of my journey. I have been asked why I did not throw these away when he left. I have heard of so many people that will burn these up, rip them to shreds, and fling them to the four winds. How do you throw away a part of your life? I can't grasp that. I save key things to help me remember. This is also why I write. There is a strong chance that when I come to the end of this road, I will not be able to remember a thing. I consider this my memory's insurance policy.

And so the very box that stopped me cold, is staring up at me again. I put it aside and go through the others containers of the previous chapters. Old photos, old phonographs. old receipts. Trip books, maps, bills, planners, calenders. It is a quagmire. I pull out what I need for this chapter and place it in one pile. I pull out what I want to remember right now from the last chapter and also put this into the now pile. Then I carefully repack away what I may want to remember at a future time. I am not so foolish as to think I can erase time. I am not so naive as to think there were only bad times. There were many many good times and this is what hurts so much. I am remembering those times more clearly than the bad ones now and I miss them. It's an ache that settles at the core of the belly. It is not a comfortable feeling. But it is not any more uncomfortable than pretending that the memories are not there cluttering up and collecting dust.

I put the small box with the letters into the future use container. I remember what they say. I see one envelope and I can remember the first feeling I got when I opened it. I laughed shaking my head in amusement at the words "you are the apple in my eye". I don't have to open it, the feeling is wrapped around the outside of it like a christmas ribbon. It leaves me wistful. And so, I know that someday I will laugh again when I open it, perhaps to show to our grandkids how their grandfather tried his hand at writing his heart. It's a good piece that I will not try to erase.

Garbage bags line the chain link fence outside my door. There is a lot of it. Card board boxes are broken down and piled high. It looks messy, but it blends in with all the other garbage dumped outside in this welfare neighborhood. I pride myself that the outside of our corner is always neat and tidy. It is a direct contrast to the surrounding areas. Looks can be deceiving. Now my inside clutter becomes the outside. I know by next Tuesday when I return home from work, they will be gone. The inside comes close to matching the outside.

Still, it sucks the motivation right out of me. I have four more containers to deal with. My emotions run rampant this week. It is messy. It is exhausting. I would rather just crawl back into bed, but there is no fairy with a magic wand who will deal with this for me. I will not wake up to neat and tidy, shiny and new. It doesn't work that way. I have to be my own white horse. And so, I will go charging on, because I have to. Such is the way.

With all the buzz about space tourism lately, I have decided to build a rocket and give away some tickets to its maiden voyage. However, this rocket isn't going for some lovely jaunt in the orbit of our great, blue, beautiful planet. No, unbeknownst to its passengers, this rocket is going straight to the sun. That's right. Some of you may point out that I am inspired by a Simpsons episode, but the following is a list of totally unsuspecting people that I am giving the tickets to:

  • Ann Coulter: Here's a person that I'm going to make sure has one of the front seats. Read the node on her and some of you will agree. A trip to a giant ball of gas that's 6,000°C (11,000°F) on the surface would do her good. Nobody needs her ultra-right wing, crap-spewing mouth any longer, not even the rest of the Conservatives, as she often reinforces the bigoted and heartless stereotype that is often assigned to them. Here's your ticket, Ann, enjoy your flight! Oh, certainly, Ann, I'll make sure you're not seated next to any minorities or feminists. Have fun!
  • One of the folks that most deserves this flight is Dennis L. Rader, the BTK killer. I'll make sure this sick fuck gets a front row seat. Here's a guy who killed whole families, who hung an 11-year-old girl on a drainage pipe in her basement, kept taking her down when she would start to die, so her long and torturous death would last about an hour. Oh and then he got off on it and masturbated while doing it, and gizzed on her body. Nobody needs a serial killer like this on the planet any longer. Here's your ticket, Dennis, enjoy your flight, sorry, there will be no in-flight movies of little girls being strangled.
  • Pat Robertson: I don't think I have to explain very much, especially to you guys, why this dude needs to go. But any right-wing religious whackjob who says that America deserved the 9/11 attacks because we allow gay rights and such, and was recently stupid enough to call for the assassination of the president of Venezuela on television, gets a gold ticket. Sorry, Pat, contrary to your future plans, I really hope you're actually going to Hell, and here's a first class ticket to help you get there!
  • Jerry Falwell needs to go, too, for much the same reason that Robertson does. It was actually him who initiated the conversation about 9/11 on The 700 Club. Besides, Pat's going to need somebody like-minded to keep him company during the long flight to delicious oblivion. Have a nice flight, Jerry!
  • Al Sharpton: A lot of you may disagree with me here. I have a writeup in that node, see that for why good ol' Al bugs the hell out of me. If you don't want to go over there, here's a good summary: he's always looking for racism where there isn't any and every times he goes on one of his witch hunts he lays waste to years of racial progress in this country. Sure he's funny, he's got personality, I saw him on Comedy Central during the 2004 elections. But he's a bigmouth who loves the sound of his own voice and he stages protests for phantom racism and he just needs to shut the fuck up...forever. Here's your ticket, Al, it's the seat right next to Ann Coulter!
  • Whoever decided that it would be a good idea to manufacture and market thong underwear for preteen girls. I'm still trying to find out who that is so they can get their ticket. I'll keep you posted. Actually, I won't, that's just an expression there.
  • Nobody deserves to be on this flight more than Osama bin Laden. There may actually be some of you here who disagree. I don't care. I don't give a flying shit about supposed atrocities because of our government, or foreign policies, or what Islam has to do with it, and anybody out there who thinks we deserved it for any reason can have a ticket, too. You do not fly planes into buildings and kill about 3,000 innocent people just going to work in the morning, you don't pilot the planes or send people to do it or have anything to do with such a horrible act!!! Osama's flying in the baggage hold, he doesn't even get to enjoy his final flight. I'll have a special transmitter down there so I can enjoy hearing him scream as his skin starts to melt off as the rocket slowly enters the sun's corona.
  • Supreme Court Justices David H. Souter, Stephen G. Breyer, John Paul Stevens, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: These galactic assholes are the Supreme Court justices that ruled that it was OK for your town to demolish your home and put up a shopping mall. The case was KELO V. NEW LONDON (04-108) where a group of Connecticut homeowners was suing their town for trying to take their homes ala eminent domain for a commercial development. Until the decision in which the Court allowed that, eminent domain in the United States meant taking homes for public use such as roads or parks. As of late-June 2005, now your homes can be taken from you and given to another private citizen/company and there's nothing you can do about it (with monetary compensation that may or may not give you what your home/land was/is worth). Public outcry over this ruling has been vehement and I don't know anybody, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, who has been for it. So fuck you guys, here's your tickets, enjoy the flight!
  • Jack Thompson: Thanks to BrooksMarlin for this info and suggestion... This douchebag is an attorney who files lawsuits against video game companies on behalf of victims of school shootings. Sorry, anybody who goes on a shooting rampage is unhinged anyway, and if anything, playing a violent video game discourages such behavior because they get to play out their frustrations in fantasyland instead of real life. Here's your ticket, Jackoff, and as an added bonus, I'm giving you a video game console and a copy of Grand Theft Auto to play during your flight!
  • Anybody who thinks reading/watching Harry Potter is evil and teaches kids to practice black magic. You're fucking MORONS. Harry Potter has about as much chance to teach kids to do dark magic that the Back to the Future movies have of teaching kids to time travel. And Harry Potter's not evil anyway. And he's not real, anyway. Actually there's not room on the rocket for all of them, I'll just have to find one person in particular who's representative. When I find a perfect candidate, I'll let you know.
    Again, that was just an expression.
  • O.J. Simpson: Hey, jackass, how's your search for the real killer going? Here, take this ticket, this should help in your quest.
  • William Hung: NEWSFLASH, Billy-boy: YOU SUCK! There was a reason they didn't send your suckass to American Idol. How you keep stretching out your fifteen minutes of fame is beyond me. Do you realize that it's all one big joke and you're the butt? Here's your ticket, and, congratulations, you're part of the in-flight entertainment.
  • Michael Jackson: So, what, are you a black man, or a white woman? I'm confused. It's sad, actually, you have so much talent, I loved those songs back in the 80's and early 90's. But, dude, you're fucked up to the max. And you're responsible for somebody dying in a hospital during your trial. When you were admitted you just had to have your own room and they had to move somebody hooked to a respirator. And you know what? Your trial didn't teach you anything, did it?! You'll be sleeping with the kiddies again anytime now probably. Well, before you do that, here's your ticket, the ride's going to be a real THRILLER.
  • While on that subject, let's give a ticket to Cardinal Bernard Law! This Bostonian low-life covered up molestations on the part of the priests he'd supervised. Sure he resigned after public pressure, but let's make sure this guy doesn't come back. Here's your boarding pass, you're sitting next to Michael.
  • Fred Phelps: Founder of godhatesfags.com. Hey, dickweed, if God hated anybody, which he supposedly doesn't, it would be you, you piece of shit. Not only are you a myopic hate mongerer, but you're probably only pissing off God, not pleasing him as you think you are, by purporting that you know who He hates and who He doesn't. If lightning doesn't strike you down before the flight, here's your first class ticket, buddy!
  • Yoko Ono: The Beatles, despite how timeless they're supposed to be, were still before my time, and as such I never really got into them. However, I am well aware of the venomous hatred most hard core Beatles fans have of this woman. I'm not going to get into the whole debate over whether or not she broke them up because I don't really have any information on that, but I will say that I agree she's extremely annoying and really needs to shut the hell up. She'll be singing with William Hung for the in-flight entertainment.
  • "Dr." Laura Schlessinger: She hosts a radio call-in show where people ask her about their problems and is usually incredulous about their problems and berates them more than helps them. The show isn't for the people calling in at all, it's for her and her bloated ego and self-righteous attitude that her morals alone are the right way. And along the way sometimes she manages to offend many classes of Americans, namely homosexuals, by calling them deviants and associating them with pedophiles. This stupid, ignorant bitch is mean, offensive, and worthless as far as I'm concerned. Go have tea with Satan once you arrive at your destination!
  • Louis Farrakhan: This dude is so out there he's orbiting Saturn. He's racist against white people (and yes the term reverse-racism is retarded, racism is racism, people!). If there was a black version of the KKK he'd be Grand Dragon of it. He just goes way overboard when championing black rights and fighting racial discrimination (against blacks). Here's your ticket, you get a seat next to Jerry Falwell!
  • Courtney Love: She rode into fame on Kurt Cobain's coat tails and I suspect she had something to do with his death. She sucks, one of the worst singers ever, and she's just a strung-out, high, drunk, gigantic waste of our precious resources (air, water, food).

And that fills every seat in my rocket!

Alternates: (in case any on that list dies before the flight) Michael Savage (a wingnut who hosts a radio talk show, ultra-conservative, and is supposedly anti-gay, but I've never heard him utter any anti-gay sentiments and I like his show sometimes); Michael Moore (I actually like him and think he's informative and funny, but he does go too far sometimes and there are a lot of folks who'd like to see him make the flight), Mike Tyson (insane rapist and unintelligent boxer), Rush Limbaugh (conservative tv/radio talk show host, thinks he knows everything, has an ego as fat as his gut)... and, well, if you have any other alternates you'd like to suggest, /msg me. I'm tapped.

my cute summer coworker had a boyfriend in italy. we went out all the time. to dinner, to bars, to lunch everyday. i started to like her. i have low self confidence. she had three female roommates, all of whom were cute. her parents are rich. she seemed to like me, i don't know why. i told myself that she had a boyfriend and that i would just get hurt. i'm afraid of being hurt.

we had a couple of weeks of work together left. she invited me to be her roommate's companion to the march of the penguins. i accepted. i didn't know if it was a date or not. i don't understand these things. i figured i needed practice being around people.

the march of the penguins was very good. her roommate invited me back up to her apartment and so i went. her other chubby roommate was there. i don't understand these things. we all drank tequilla and i did her roommate's oxycontin.

we went to a bar together. i don't know what to do in a bar with two girls, one of whom might be my date. so i left without telling anybody. i took a taxi home and masturbated. she called and asked what happened. i said i had food poisoning. she seemed very concerned and caring and made me call her the next day. i did.

through the coworker i invited the girl i ditched to a law firm gathering. the coworker said she asked, and her roommate was too busy.

the last day we worked together, all of us went out for tapas and sangria. i am extremely competent when i'm drunk. other people are easier to understand. the cute coworker went to pee. i asked and the roommate said the coworker never told her about my invitation, and she'd love to go. she and the second chubby roommate went to have a secret chat.

the coworker came back. she said she thought we would be better friends if we weren't coworkers, didn't i? i said yeah. i don't know what she meant, i don't understand these things.

i never talked to them again. did they invite me out because they thought i was a loser? or did they feel like i rejected them? it makes no difference. my pride wasn't wounded. if i must, i may enter a fantasy world in which i was too good for them. indeed i'm too good for everyone. i've only been rejected once--when i was 16. i don't do much rejecting.

it was ten years ago, the high school rejection. since then i don't date, i just have sex with random people. i am a giant callous. i used to be a kind person.

nobody would suspect these things. maybe they would. who knows. i'm just waiting for my break. my break never comes. maybe because i'm fat and ugly. maybe because i'm unapproachable. maybe because i'm crazy.

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