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Hello everybody. It's been a while. How are you doing?

This is just going to be a rambling of random things that I've been thinking of lately and stuff from my life. So do whatever you want with it. And I'm not going to bother with linking unless there's one or two things that I may want to make a point with.

I've been a bit scarce lately. It's been a busy and difficult summer. With the exception of the past few weeks, and the last week of July when I was vacation in Florida, I was inundated with a deluge of things at work, too much to keep up with almost. Things have died down now at work but I continue to be overwhelmed at home. And it shows. I need help but nobody can give it to me. I'm just stating that as a fact, it's not a desperate plea or anything. Really what I need I cannot afford: an entire crew of people to swoop in and organize and clean everything and get us caught up. Wouldn't that be nice?

Whatever spare free time I have, which is really none, I have been spending on a novel I'm working on, so no time for E2 stuff lately. I began it while on vacation and have done little on it since coming back. I really believe in this novel, more than any other I've ever worked on. I believe in its ability to be published. I think I've got something here. I've got to somehow find the time to work on it. I do have a few things for E2 that I will somehow push out at some point, like the latest Max Wood episode, which will directly follow the bloody good entry by eyeofthebeholder. There will be another Point/Counterpoint soon, much to the disappointment of the artman-haters. I have actually written three essays lately but none are on E2 and two of which aren't anywhere. I'm not sure where to put them. The first, entitled "Gay marriage is like Trix," I put on Facebook. I didn't know at first if I wanted to put it here or there, because here I would have been "preaching to the choir" but on Facebook, where I am friended by some hard core right-wingers, I was afraid of negative feedback. I know what you're thinking, but at least here I rarely, if ever, have to see any of them in person. On a daily basis. It is for the same reason that I haven't done anything with the other two, "Ideology is poison for the mind" and an untitled one about how if Jesus were to come back today the majority of the Religious Right would actually despise him. I actually get into quite heated debates with right-wingers on Facebook these days, like I used to get into with left-wingers here. My point is, though, Facebook is my new drug of choice; I spend a lot of time on it using my iPhone, which I got for my birthday in June (just about the coolest gadget EVER!). If only Everything2 had an iPhone app. I can catbox on E2 from it but that's about it. You can't really node from it because the field you type in doesn't scroll on the iPhone Safari browser so they have to be really short.

My son started Kindergarten last Wednesday. My boy is growing up! He seems to be doing all right in it so far. My babies are growing up as well, talking a little here and there, and they are getting harder to handle. I love 'em all, though, very dearly.

I recently found out my dad has cancer. Esophagus and stomach. He started chemotherapy yesterday. They are optimistic about the outcome so we'll see what happens.

I've been finally getting into some side work lately, which is good, anything that helps pay the bills. I have one in the works and two prospects, one of which I actually have a meeting scheduled for. I like getting to do some concepts, something I have not done a lot at work lately. It's starting to really bug me, actually. It's the only thing I don't like about my job lately. The two guys over me are also designers so I am in a situation where it's a huge unfair advantage: the two other people in the design department besides me are also project managers (one is the VP) so naturally they'll choose themselves over me on who does the concepts (I design other stuff, little things here and there, or concepts for subpages based on homepages they designed; plus I am doing all the HTML/CSS stuff, or "front-end production"). One of them is much younger than me, didn't have my education or nearly as much experience so of course it annoys me greatly when I am sitting here with nothing to do and he is extremely busy but yet decides he is going to be creative director AND main designer on the projects and I have been in this business for over 10 fucking years, he's been in it less than half that, and I've probably done about twice as many sites as he has, and... well, I'd better stop there. I try to keep myself in perspective, though, try to remind myself that in this economy I should be lucky to have such a good job - a job at all, really. But it still upsets me and I cannot help it.

Another thing that is pissing me off lately is politics. I am so fucking tired of these neocon nitwits at these town hall meetings, of these goddamn "tea baggers" (ha!), and, most of all, these racist backwards Birther dumbshits. I used to get annoyed at all the venomous Bush-hating that I saw here (I didn't vote for him, didn't like him all that much, but I wouldn't say I hated Dubya), but Jesus Tapdancing Christ, I don't think it ever approached the hatred I am seeing of Obama from these angry righties. Calm the hell down, everybody, sheesh, he's only been in office for about six months! He's not Harry Potter for fuck's sake, with a wand and a "Fix economy NOW" spell.

I get into about that, as I've already kinda said, with some right-wingers on Facebook. One of them I used to hang around back in high school. I didn't realize how much of a right-wing nutter he was until I found him on FB. It's weird, though, on there, how many people I have reconnected with from college and high school. It's a little surreal, actually. I feel sometimes, with the technology we have today, like with the iPhone and Facebook and the level of communication we can instantly have, uploading and sharing photos taken a few seconds ago, that I should be living in a science ficiton movie.

Speaking of which, I really want to see District 9.

What a movie-filled summer it's been, as they usually are. What a death-filled one, too. With all these celebrity deaths it seems like the Reaper had some catching up to do. The latest is Senator Ted Kennedy, but that one was pretty much expected. My wife's great uncle just died a few days ago and that one was expected, too. He was a nice guy, fun to play cards with. Cancer strikes another victim.

I've been listening to (not watching) a lot of Pat Condell using my iPhone (instead of using its iPod to listen to music) while doing household chores - which is usually late at night when kids can't interfere. Are things really that bad off, is freedom as threatened in the UK as he leads on? Is it REALLY becoming illegal in Europe to criticize religion (Islam in particular)? Of course Mr. Condell could be just an old fart who is a little off his rocker, but if there is ANY truth to it, any at all, or anything else that Pat rants about in regards to religious tolerance threatening freedom, then things are really fucked over there.

I think I'm done now. I think I'll go see if anybody has anything for me to actually do.

The Route 62 bus starts its route in downtown Philadelphia and ends it in Andorra, five minutes from the suburbs. It first goes down Market Street, then turns onto the Expressway, at which point it passes Thirtieth Street Station. I catch it one block before there, at the last stop before it leaves downtown. Familiar faces greet me each time, but I never talk to them -- they are mostly women in their middle age, and from what I hear of their conversation, they and I would not have much to discuss.

This day, I saw someone else. She stood out like a sore thumb, sitting in the front seat, turning her head left and right and left and right. She must have been five-foot-eleven, and in her early twenties; her features were soft, apart from her bright and penetrating eyes. She wore a top whose straps crossed at her neck, leaving it and her shoulders exposed. She just seemed full of light and energy, unbefitting the end of the day. I was startled. I had to say something to this girl.

But I walked past her and sat in the back, where I normally sit.

What is it about her that draws me? I asked myself repeatedly. She wasn't ugly, but she was no Venus; suffice it to say that she was not my type. As I stared at her oscillating head, the answer came to me in a flash: Kate. My friend from college. This girl could have passed for her sister. How long ago had I called her -- a week? Maybe two? I was waiting for her to return it. It was long enough that I had already forgotten... and for good reason. By now, you know as well as I do that she isn't calling back. I had asked her a question that I wanted to years ago, knowing full well that her answer would probably be silence.

As the bus proceeded onto the Expressway, our mystery girl pulled the cord to get off at the station. It was too late now. She stared back as it receded into the horizon. But she said nothing, until the woman behind her spoke first -- one of the regulars, late thirties, dark hair, dark complexion. I couldn't hear them; I listened intently, but heard nothing until the woman leaned across the aisle to clue in her friend.

"Six years of French, and I don't remember a thing." She exaggerated somewhat, because she had said something to the girl in French, this girl who didn't speak English. Suddenly, I was glad that I hadn't said anything to her. How I would have hated to agonize over a line, turn it this way and that, perfect the inflection of my delivery, only to be met with a blank stare and "Comment?" (And no, I don't speak French. If you thought I did, your flattery is appreciated.)

It was explained to her -- somehow -- that she would have to wait until the bus got off the highway, then wait there for the next bus downtown. It was a good forty minutes out of her way, but it couldn't be helped. I wondered at her presence here; was she a tourist from France? Or maybe Quebec? Or one of the other francophone places I never think about? Why would she choose here to come on vacation? And why would she come alone when she couldn't speak the language? I had just gone to Italy a month before, staying with cousins, and I just barely scraped by, despite having studied Italian for years and years.

When I'm wrapped up in thought, an hour can pass like a minute. Before I knew it, she was stepping off the bus. I kept my eyes trained on her as the distance between us increased. She looked down the street, then up again, not knowing what to expect, or how long she'd have to wait. The next day, I made a point of looking at that stop, to see whether she was still there. She wasn't -- you know it as well as I do -- and I was glad of it, apart from a small pang of sadness. She has gone, and I am here day after day, waiting on impossible chances, yet hoping for more of these chances to come along.

When I finally got off the bus, I laughed to myself and muttered under my breath. Lord, next time you put a goddess on the bus with me, let her speak English.

As much as my life is slowly becoming better - I feel like there's plenty of lost time to make up for. The harder I work on things, the more I realize how behind I am; compared to so many people of my age. 

Two weeks back, something to this effect took place. After being unemployed for a fair bit of time, I got a job and things started to look up. I was also very involved with uni work. However, things don't always stay stable for too long in my reality. I started getting lesser shifts at both my jobs. And uni work went down the drain with procrastination dominating assignment deadlines. I slept in frequently, refusing to come terms with my sad conditions. My room was my cave

Getting into the state of being suicidal is a place everyone has been to. We all have, sometimes been so tensed by life's problems; that we wished it would all go away that very instant. And suddenly, you would snap out of that hallucinatory gaze. Suicidal tendencies are brought about slowly amongst most people. The process of feeling that way itself is quite slow and gradual. I am still uncertain as to whether or not I was sick of being alive or just holding out for that legendary second chance.

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