6th of August, 1945.

Yay. I finally launched the website I've been toying with for months.


Happy birthday to myself.

< To March 3, 2004 | The Journal | To August 7, 2004 >

What a woman.

I've been attempting this writeup for the past few days, but I've stopped myself in the process. The problem is it seems so taboo; and it is. However, this is my daylog, and we do have the right to write about our lives here. Without further ado, here's what I have to say:

I turned 19 on August 3, 2004, and on August 4, 2004 I went online, just for the heck of it, and joined a Fitness and Health channel. The funny thing is, while I've been in AOL Chatrooms before (and they're no big thing to speak of) I've never been in the Health chatroom. I went with the intention of finding someone older, more mature than people my age, to speak to.

Why was I looking for someone older? Well, in the past, I've spoken to females that were younger, the same age, and older than me. I've held conversations with the ones that were several years older than me, much longer, than I have for the ones that were my age or younger. Why? I don't know, it could be the kind of people I'm choosing to talk to (although I really don't pick and choose much). Older, more mature women are just far more interesting to talk to for me. I enjoy speaking with them, I'm not talking about online chatter, I mean a phone conversation.

I met this lady in the health chatroom. She tells me now that when I initially told her I was 19, she kinda cringed, thinking I was just another teen boy with a raging hardon, but we spoke online anyway. Later on she tells me she kinda figured she didn't have anything better to do, so since I wasn't one of the guys who asked her what she did in her spare time (like the rest of the AOHell drones) she would continue to talk to me.

We spoke online for several hours that day, I was complimented (which hasn't been the first time, in person or otherwise) for being alot more mature for my age. I like that compliment. Turns out, she's a married mother of four kids, and takes care of alot more kids during the work day. She's funny, very deep, interesting, not very political. She's laid back, comfortable with her life, her surroundings. She loves her job, her kids (which are all between 6 and 13), her home. She's got a great spirit, an excellent personality. I love how she's a great listener (because I can ramble on sometimes) and she's not afraid to give her opinion.

Generally, I love talking to her, even though she's in her mid 30's (and she's.. ahem.. hawt ;) ), she loves talking to me too. We spoke on the phone that evening for three hours (till about 1:30AM, then the phone card ran out) and spoke again yesterday for four hours (and my phone went dead).

I'm waiting on my phone call today, should get it soon as I get home. Speaking to someone so interesting passes the time so quickly. It's amazing how you can click with someone, regardless of the age difference.

I look foward to many more days of interesting, relaxing conversation. Oh the joys of life, keep your eyes peeled, because you'll never know what life can bring you.

I GOT A NEW JOB! (almost).

S'true. After months of being ignored for job interviews in fields ranging from pet handlers to singing telegram deliverers, I've been granted a job I actually wanted, sight unseen.

Welcome to the bookselling business.

Starting...well, I'm not sure when, but sometime soon, I'm going to be working at labyrinth books in Washington Heights. Half a block from the cathedral, a few more blocks from Columbia University. The commute's a bitch, but you know what? It pays booksellers what they're actually worth, well, closer to it, anyway. Currently, minimum wage + manhattan apartment = DOOM! whereas this new gig might actually let me have a social life. This seems much, much better than what I've got going on now.

There are problems, but not insurmountable ones. Stage Two of my plans for world domination are nearly complete. Now all I need to do is built my FTL book delivery system and I can take ovah ze whirled! (anyone with spare parts should message me.)

I fed my inner seven-year-old this evening. I was driving home and had to take a detour due to a car accident on my usual route home, and as I was driving along the detour I came across something I hadn't seen in years, a place that in my youth was my favorite fast food place to eat: Cap'n D's Seafood. When I was a kid I loved fried seafood. Fried fish, fried shrimp, fried clams, etc. Somewhere around 1991 or so the only Cap'n D's in my hometown closed down and was replaced by a dermatologist's office (and they kept the nautical food theme for some reason). Then my illness hit me and fried foods were out, so figure that it's been at least ten years (probably more though) since I ate fried seafood from Cap'n D's. And tonight I came across one, the first and only one I'd seen since the old one closed down. I had to stop.

The place was just like I remembered it even though it was a different physical location. I'm serious; the decor and feel of the place hadn't changed since the 1980s. In fact, if I'd have stepped back outside and found that it was 1988 again, I wouldn't have been surprised. After reading over the menu I decided I had to go with my old favorite, the fish n' fries basket with hush puppies. The portions seem a little smaller to me now, but the taste is just as I remember it. The fries were a little soggy, the fish was crunchy, and the hush puppies had just the faint taste of garlic in them. Delicious! It's amazing how something as simple as fast food fish can fill the soul as well as the stomach.

Overheard crossing the street
(in Silver Spring, Maryland on the way to catching my Z8
bus home from a long shift at work where I mostly just
logged into E2 and worked on a sketch illustrating
the last scene of allseeingeye's writeup about guns and robots)
fair warning, this is basically irrelevant to the rest of my day:

"Once I dated a dark sister, black like coffee. Never, not once, showed up on time for nothing, and I asked her, Why you always so late?"

"She said, Ain't you never heard of Zulu Time?"

4 years ago to the day I was not in a good mood. One of the few things in life that I'm proud of is the volunteer work I do. It's not much. It's ridiculously little as a matter of fact. But as far as my contributions to society go, it represents most of it and so I am proud of what little I give.

During the summer of 2000 I volunteered to help out at a camp of kids of all ages. My title was MaƮtre de Maison, which literally translates as Master of the House but in this case means host. I was basically in charge of the smooth operation of everything for the duration of the camp and answered only to Management. 300 kids but also 30+ supervisors who don't necessarily like taking orders from an overworked kid with unkempt hair. The kind of job which tries your brain and body, but also your guts as I discovered a few days later when, my childlike face full of tears, I started packing my stuff in the bags they came in. I was talked into staying by the man who offered me the job, and still is the greatest human being I met.

A job where you have to walk all day, you know, that fast walk they do when going from one office to the other discussing policy with finely crafted humor on the West Wing, that takes a lot of getting used to, especially when everyone around you stares you down, got up after you, and is going to bed before you. On the morning of that day I had the symptoms of what could be called a panic attack, although it was probably as much a symptom of physical exhaustion as it was one of mental. Breathing gets heavy, head spins, ears ring, pins and needles in your face... I stopped feeding bread in the electric breadcutter and propped myself up on a table to rest. I felt immediate relief and pleasure in having my swollen feet off the floor. The world was moving in and out of a blur. Keep in mind I was an experienced mountain hiker and long distance runner. This was not an easy job and this was not a good day.

I didn't blame anyone for not remembering my birthday because I hadn't told them. I thought of that other cheek thing when a guy walked by and told me I shouldn't try to take up a job if I can't do it, but I stomached it more out of resignation than out of Christian love for my neighbour.

I mention this, because that day is my only memorable birthday: I think birthdays are irrelevant because I think age is irrelevant. At some point someone handed me a piece of paper with strings of very tiny kabbalistic signs lining the header and footer of the page. In the middle was a note scribbled in large, partially erased black ink, handwriting which I instantly recognized as my Mother's, kindness sketched by her honest cursives. She commented on the original day with a few sentences and wished me a happy one. Needless to say, the fax brightened my day up.

The summer of '86 was the hottest in decades, and the house in Burgundy our family lives in, due to its orientation and hilltop position always ends up with the coldest temperatures in the winter, and the hottest in the summer. My parents had taken refuge there to avoid the string of relatives which my father's side of the family inevitably sends to new mothers. A week before her due date my mother's water broke over breakfast and she was driven by her parents to a clinic in Auxerre. It didn't take long for the staff there to notice that my mother isn't quite like most people. It seems to be the custom for this fucked up bicephal clan I hyphenate to involuntarily make our difference obvious. The nurse aksed how far she had progressed in her lamaze classes only to be told she hadn't done them. Gasps of shock and the febrile thinking which preceeds panic. But it's because she lacks the capacity to panic that her gynecologist dispensed my mom of lamaze classes, which are essentially there to give the girls something to think about so they don't panic.

Whenever I hear talks of childbirth as the most painful thing a person can endure, I smirk in petto. My Mom's comment on the whole procedure was "I felt bad about forgetting to bring a book, because it was really boring."

I was born with jet-black hair the length of my healthy body. I had that large blue mark down the small of my back, that disappears in a few days and is said to be the mark of Genghis Khan's descendants or something. I had the characteristics which still define me to this day: big brown eyes, and testicles.

I was born on the day of the transfiguration of Christ and baptized on the day of the assumption of Mary which, if there has to be one, I consider my real birthday. I had survived the Chernobyl cloud, I had listened to Haendel's Messiah from the choirs and fell in love with music. It was a fairly routine day but, like most of those that followed, like those fabrics which have the lining slightly intertwined with the upper layer, it slightly shimmered with difference.

Today was a fairly uneventful day. Harrassment by my cat until I fed him, then back to bed for a couple hours. Jogging. Some chocolate cake for lunch. TV. E2 in the evening. Like foam, life slips out of my hands and I only watch. Not because that's all I can do, but because that's all I will do. Tomorrow in the eyes of the law I will be an adult but I am a child. I'm like Musashi at the beginning of that book: full of gifts, but those gifts are useless because I do not truly make choices.

Happy birthday, motherfucker, happy birthday.

I spent another day at a client - an un-named hotel chain's corporate headquarters, working on the computer of my boss's girlfriend while she was on vacation. I didn't work with anyone there - I barely talked to anyone. I just came in, sat at her desk, and tried to get their application to run on the latest version of our software. I resolved almost all the startup errors, by moving their config files around so they combined more easily with the default confg files. The only startup error that remained was a de-serialization bug for one of the repository caches. Not something I considered worth my time, since the serialized file was created while I was working on it, it wasn't part of their codebase that I had checked out. I figured it was something bad written to the cache when I hard-killed the server process.

The thing I couldn't figure out was why I couldn't bring the website up. For some reason a session object was not being created. I started putting in a whole lot of debug code, but the startup cycle took so long it was hard to test out different hypotheses. I guess a debugger would have been nice - but I was working on someone else's machine which was slow enough already.

On the el ride home an old white woman sat gasping with the stunned, stupid look of a fish. Next to her sat an Indian woman with a very strong, unavoidably prominent nose. Not ugly in repose, but with a smile that was a grimace. In laughter, her face looked like a rubber mask being cruelly twisted off of a basketball.

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