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/* College Angst




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    FINALS /   \/    (__) 
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        / | /|  ME   |/   
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          ^^ ^^      ^^       (Borrowed from friends)

College Angst */

Today was a good day.

Morning
I woke up, actually got my brother out of bed on time for school, and made it to first period without being late. I’m always on time, never late for any reason, except my brother getting up late. I hate depending on my brother like that, to get rides from him in the morning. I always look forward to the hug I get from Whitney. I really don’t know how I would go about my day without waking up to her smiling face and arms to go around me.

School Classes, A-schedule
First period, competitive speech, debate. That went by slowly, as it always does. I was filing for Extemporaneous Foreign speaking. I cut files out of Times/Economist/Business Week/Tribune/etc. I read most of the articles and highlight. Although filing is boring, I do learn much about the world and it’s current events. I look forward to the day I became Sterling Scholar for Debate/Drama, and take state for a tournament. In-between classes I went and got another darling hug from that magnificent girl.

Second period, honors English, always interesting and fun. Poetry this time, my favorite subject to write about. We learned about some famous poets, and how their styles are completely different. My style is all love and mushy poetry, written for Whitney. That period was relaxing, Ashley Smith sits next to me, always good for a smile.

Third period was A.P. Europe, test today, and I was prepared. I got 100%, got every single one right. That should keep an A for that class, and uphold my 4.0.

Cafeteria Lunch Lunch, and unfortunately no car. School lunch isn’t bad, but it needs a lot of improvements before it could be called food. I hung out with Ashley Smith and Sterling, great group of people, unfortunately Whitney is a Freshman at a different school, and only comes part time to my school.

Last school class
Fourth period Marketing, working on my S.T.R.I.K. Video Game project, and it will definitely get a good grade. My group is lazy and I do most of the work, but at least they listen and help when asked. We worked the entire period like mad animals, and finally finished the business final draft, with the power point presentation near completion - since I got the Mario sounds uploaded.

Home at last
I go home, Zelda Nintendo 64, still a good game...

6:00pm, extended family dinner, stay there long enough to get food and leave. It was 30 minutes away and I had to get to the charity work at 7:00pm. Barnes and Nobles book gift wrapping, in the two hours I stayed we got twenty three dollars in donations. It wasn’t bad, but I’m sure we can do better next time. The funds go to my debate class and are used in our debate meets. The upcoming one is at BYU, an Model United Nations competition. I’m going to get gypped this time, since I’m a “newbie” in a varsity class, I have to get paired up with another “newbie”. We will still do well, and practice our section of our debate, and place high even.

I went home and showered, spoke to Whitney on Aim for a measly twenty minutes, then she called me on the phone when her Aim disconnected and we spoke another ten minutes while she badgered me about how I don’t speak to her enough. But I really do, and I care for her, and she knows it. She made fun of me when I typed these exact words to her, and decided my diary entry was quite weird. Then I agreed, and replied that diary entries of mine are always weird. She is beginning to say something, “When I was walking around the corner I saw you coming, and you looked cute today.” I thanked her, and replied on how beautiful her hair was, and began to hang up saying, “Goodnight sweet rose petal.” I then went to bed.

(Mention of one of my writeups removed, since I suspect this daylog is getting downvoted because people think I'm nodevertising. Actually, I just mentioned it because all the upvotes it's getting are the only good thing to happen to me this week, and I was genuinely puzzled by WHY it was getting so many.)

After getting rejected by a Korean girl Saturday night, I come in to work on Monday to discover that our boss has suddenly decided that the students' parents aren't going to like the fact that we have the national holiday of Election Day on Thursday, followed by a Christmas party for the students on Friday, followed by a week's Christmas vacation. He decides to make us work on Thursday, even though every other hagwon (private academy) in Korea has the day off. Needless to say, every foreign teacher here is extraordinarily pissed off about this, not so much because it means an extra day at work, as because I specifically asked him at the beginning of the month whether we had the day off, he said yes, and I marked it as a vacation on the monthly schedule. It's yet another example of how, although our boss is generally a good guy, it's impossible to count on him for anything, because he reverses his decisions on a daily basis. The vice principal is also well-meaning, but unfortunately, not terribly bright. Surely, if either of them had bothered to think about it for a second when I first asked them, the back-to-back day off/Christmas party/vacation problem would have occurred to them, so they wouldn't have to destroy our morale by changing their minds yet again.

Anyway, because I'm going back to Canada for two weeks this Saturday, I had to do all my monthly lesson plans for January ahead of time. Fortunately, the single student in my 2 PM Tuesday-Thursday class didn't show up today, so my first class isn't until 5 PM. That gave me enough time to do all my lesson plans in record time, and I still have time left over to be writing this, and even to play a game of Go.

Now, I just have to make tests for the students, since we're supposed to test them on Thursday, instead of having a day off, and fill out evaluation sheets so that our principal can do phone counselling with the parents over the Christmas holiday. Poor bastard has to work, so I guess I can't be too angry with him for cancelling our day off.

Upon chatting today after a couple of hours of good TV Veg Time, the hubby and I have decided, after my next semester, I'm going to go back out to Florida and seek employment as an EMT-Basic and finish out my Paramedic program there.

My mother is killing the both of us. I know, I know, I should be eternally grateful to her for letting us live here, but it's not as if we don't do back-flips to try to keep her happy. We try constantly to keep the peace, but now it's affecting our kids.

She never has a positive thing to say to them. Not one. They run her over like a freight train and she can't see why. They don't do that to us. I've tried talking rationally to her. It just doesn't work.

2 major recent arguments...

1.) Mornings: My husband gets up every morning and gets the kids ready for school. He does laundry twice a week and they always have nice, clean uniforms and warm jackets, etc. It never fails. She gets up before him and then starts getting in the way. "Morgan could wear a skirt and tights and you wouldn't have to do laundry so often." (It's in the 30's...I think pants are a little more smart)....Or in the afternoons it's "Put your uniforms here so I know where they are." Uh, you don't need to know. HE needs to know. THEY know where to put them.

This would seem like piddly crapola if it weren't for the fact that it's really screwing the kids up. We set down guidelines, and she's constantly over-riding us and confusing these poor children. They are good kids, but they can only be expected to be pulled in so many directions at once.

We had a "family discussion" the other night. My dad told her "Stay out of the way in the mornings..they have it..you don't need to do anything", because she'll martyr herself on how she helps and on and on and on...but she's not helping...she's hindering.

2.) "Get up and come see what I got the kids for Christmas"..."I'm studying for a final, Mom. Can't right now. I'll see it on Christmas"...So she comes in my room and sticks it in between myself and my book.

She doesn't do this for the effect of "Hey, aren't the kids going to love this?"...I've known her for 28 years. I know what her motives are. She's been trying to talk us into letting them open presents here the week before Christmas. It's not because she wants to spend Christmas with them. She'd like them to not talk, move or laugh. It's all because she needs everyone to know and bow to her greatness for how much she spent and how hard she worked to get those gifts.

My dad has always been the "bread winner"..she just started working a few years ago. She does retail at Dillard's part-time. But I'll be damned if she doesn't look my kids in the eye at least once a day...for something they got months ago...and "What do you say to Nana???"...Over and over and over again.

The woman has no soul. I've seen her cry once in my life and I can tell you exactly why. My brother and I were young and she had finally pushed my father to the breaking point. He told her to leave. She wasn't crying because she was heartbroken over losing my father. She was crying because she had "failed" and had no way to support herself and it would "look bad". It wasn't status quo. That's it. That's all. I guarantee it.

So, we are going back to Florida. Attempting to avoid Jacksonville, itself and try to get a HFH house in Fernandina. My husband's mother is awesome and adores the kids. She can be a little batty, but she's a really good mom and grandmother.

I swore when I left there in the beginning of 2001 that I'd never return. Now I find myself wishing I was on the beach with my kids and we were all happy and healthy. Here, we aren't. We just aren't. We are all miserable and my kids don't have TIME to waste. Every minute I spend too stressed out to take them outside to play, is a minute I lose with them. I can't afford time like that. They need me. They need him. They need love. They need all the things that we had to give them there. I was simply too selfish and tired to see it. I wanted to go home. I wanted to go back to school and couldn't see a way of doing it from there.

Now, I CAN see it. I know I can do it. If I can live in this war zone, I can work and go to school. I can take my kids outside...hell, they can play in my mother-in-law's yard just fine. Here, if I'm not right up their ass it's "They picked up a rock from my garden!!!!", yet if she's watching them while I'm in class, I come home to find my room destroyed because she's shut them in here and doesn't care, because she can't hear them. As long as she doesn't hear them, she's happy and my stuff be damned.

I want my life back. I want my space back. Damnit...I want my kids back. They are so beautiful and smart and funny, and I don't want them bittered. It's not right for her to tell them once a week that she's going to put us all out on the street and how their mother is a good for nothing bitch. That's a direct quote.

I'm busting ass to get through school and show them what can be done. My husband has really turned into a wonderful man that wants everything for his kids. We're getting there. We sure as hell aren't sitting on our asses.

Goodbye Lousyana...Hello Fernandina.

I preordered tickets to see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers as soon as they were available. Tomorrow night at midnight I’ll arrive at The Senator to be among the first people in Maryland to see the movie. I don’t fit the profile of the typical fan who’ll be there – I can’t correct Liv Tyler’s Elvish grammar, I won’t debate the authenticity of the costumes, and I haven’t even read the book recently. I’m not looking for a religious experience, just a little modern day movie magic.

Last year while seeing The Fellowship of the Rings, I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with the world. I found a world where moonlight could open doors, birds could be spies, and even rings had eyes. When I went home that night, I started drafting a letter to Peter Jackson, the director. I explained how much I loved the movie and I begged for a chance to be an extra in one of the following films by defending how much I looked like a Hobbit with the same curly brown hair so prevalent in The Shire.

I showed a friend of mine my draft of the letter, and he pointed out that the movies had all been pre-filmed: I was heartbroken. Watching the movie made me believe that the world could be anything. I spoke of my secret dream of forging my own magical rings with sweat, tears, and blood. (Blood magic has always been the strongest of magics.) I spoke too of the package I received in the mail one year with a return address “from the Faeries” that contained my stuffed animal I had left in the forest of Monhegan Maine, and I spoke of the faerie houses I’d built in thanks every year following. The friend didn’t call me on the childish behavior, but instead dubbed me a ‘true believer,’ the only nickname I’ve ever been given. I didn’t actually fully believe in the existence of these supernatural sprites, but that’s okay, because even grown women…have been known to play make believe.

Despite my midnight plans, I don’t expect any ghosts or ghouls to come from the witching hour tomorrow night. The only magic I’ll see will be on the screen, created by hundreds of computers and by people who only did what they could to get the money or the fame. But the magic I’ll experience will be through the screen. For three hours, I’ll enter this foreign world and I’ll be convinced it’s my reality. I’ll believe so many things.

A German philosopher from the 1940s claimed that to know something, to really know something, one must love it first. He claims love is the ability to see the full potential something has and to accept it. While I’ll agree with him that much, I must elaborate. To see the full potential something has, to truly love it, is to believe in it.

Unlike friends of mine, I’ve never been blessed with the magic some find everyday. When I find myself falling down the rabbit hole, I have never been woken up by the beauty of a star inside a tulip, or by a sorcerer of a soul mate who anticipated my anxiety with a preemptive phone call. I have never found the kind loving God some know; it’s hard to find that kind of a god when you’ve watched the life force drain from someone with your very eyes.

With no factual proof magic exists many people find it easiest to dismiss the thought as childish and immature. Magic is childish, and beautifully so. It lies in wonder. Children are the true magicians. The first time the first child pointed his finger at the moon – that was the creation of magic. Magic comes from the ability to perceive infinite possibilities in the blink of an eye, the head of a pin, or a flash of light. You have to believe, because the true beauty in life comes from making the most minute experiences glisten with delicious golden honey. I’m ashamed to say that after the movie tomorrow, I probably won’t be falling asleep until four in the morning: it’s no smart move the night before a major test, but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by. I need to allow life the opportunity to remind me about love, wonder, magic, and belief. I need to remember why I first was dubbed “true believer.”

I awoke at 8:02 A.M. I set the alarm for 8:46. When my time was up I rolled out of bed and bundled up to turn my English paper in. In my hat and black scarf, I imagined myself Shinobi. Jokingly, I thought of throwing stars at trees.

After turning the paper in, I went to the library. Upon entering, I saw a man with the makings of a beard smoking a cigarette. He gave me an odd look as I tossed the scarf back.

"It's for warmth, buddy. U-til-i-tar-i-an." I say.

Female seems to mad that husband is demanding monogamy.

First of all, I am not mad. I am not happy, this is true - but most of my not-happiness stems from the fact Dan is depressed and I hate seeing him in pain of any kind. Dan's ideal, as mine, is polyamory. You know this. For him to decide that he needs a monofidelitous relationship for a time indicates that his depression has progressed further than either of us expected it would. The other source of my not-happiness is because I have other people whom I love and am involved with. A change to monofidelity with Dan means that those otherloves receive the short end of the stick, so to speak. I don't want to hurt them, either.

First of all, I have issues with female anyway. These mostly stem from the fact that female and husband are some of the many people who have told me that they loved me and then turned around and completely forgotten that I exist.

Yes, we both told you we loved you. And we did. When you made it very clear that you were not comfortable with an emotional relationship with either of us, and did not want to persue that, we both backed off. I am not in the habit of trying to force others into loving me, if they do not. Yes, I admit I was lax in keeping up contact with you after you moved home, but I am not the only one at fault, as you've said in your latest entry. But I've never forgotten that you exist, and I've never stopped thinking of you as a friend. And I am sorry you do not think of me as your friend any longer.

There has always been the belief that he could do better. Nick's opinion on the matter is horribly similar and only furthers my own beliefs.

Now this is one of the parts that really hurt. In fact, I'm not really sure how to respond to it. There are days that I agree with you - Dan is beautiful, stong, handsome, and I consider myself none of those. There are days when I can't see a bit of what he sees in me. But I trust him - with my life. And he tells me unceasingly that he finds me beautiful, desirable, and that he thinks we were meant for one another. And even on days where I do not see it, I trust him on that.

My mom once said to me it sounded like he was interested in me, and why didn't he and I date? I tried to explain the polyamory thing, and that he was pretty into female. I added that I didn't see what he saw in her.

As above, quite often I agree with you. But your mother was right, in that Dan was interested in you. But you already knew that.

My mom summed things up pretty perfectly. "Maybe he likes fat girls."

This line caused another major wince, but now that I'm thinking more clearly, your mother is right. With the exception of you Amber, and Valerie, every female that Dan has been involved with/been with has at least my size/general body shape. Obviously, there must be something to like in this body type, if I'm not the first girl he's been attracted to of this size.

That ends what was in the entry from the 15th that I am going to address. I will address a couple points from the 16th's entry, however.

Second, just because someone was my friend at a certain time in my life, and was able to hurt me pretty badly because of it, doesn't mean I still consider them friends. I do not consider Dan or Shayla friends of mine. They are people I know. Barely. They are people I know through other people. At one time I would have considered them wonderful friends, but neither side (me or them) has made any effort to keep up the guise of friendship after last December.

I am profoundly sorry that your friendship with me has hurt you in any way. I admit I am at a loss as to what exactly hurt you so badly, but regardless of what it is, I apologize for any actions that hurt you, Amber. *bows*

I did not mean to make everything sound as completely cruel as it did, and I am sorry that my thoughts are not sweet and sisterly all the time. But you know what? No one forced you to read any of it. I made a clear effort to warn those involved that they would not like what they read.Point conceded. I agree that you gave fair warning that you were going to be mean, though I had no way of knowing your thoughts were going to be about me. I wasn't even sure you knew what was going on with Dan and I, though I suspected that perhaps Debi had told you.

I leave you with this thought.

On my desk is a framed photograph, and propped up against it is smallor wallet size picture. I like the people in these pictures, because they are all smiling beautifully, and so glancing just to the left of my computer screen, I have this little cluster of beauty. The framed photo is a family picture of my dad, stepmom, Steve, and Heather, taken while I was a freshman in college.

The wallet is a picture of Shayla.

This another thing to which I am not sure how to respond. I am glad you still have the photo of me, and that you still look at it fondly. It does confuse me that you would continue to keep a picture displayed of someone whom you do not consider to be a friend, but that is your perogative, of course.

*takes a deep breath* Okay. I feel better, now that I've gotten out all my feelings in response to Amber's entry. I was going to add something here about my new job as satan's bitch - oh, I mean, as a telemarketer - but this is long as it is, and I think I will just post about the job later.

See bariatrics and December 9, 2002 for previous details.

Coming up on three weeks after major surgery, I feel pretty normal. I lost 30 lbs in the first two weeks. I worked all last week with no problems. The doctor said my progress was fantastic, and I can drink a glass of fruit juice every day, and have some "no sugar added" frozen yogurt once a week. My diet is very limited. I can drink water, have some broth, eat cottage cheese, string cheese, yogurt, refried beans, egg drop soup, miso soup and soft scrambled eggs. I ate a whole egg this past saturday and filled myself up so completely that I almost threw up.

I do notice that when I get hungry, I just notice it. It isn't the ravishing urge it was before the sugery. I don't know if that effect is physical or mental, nor how long it will last. I enjoy cooking for the family again, though I don't eat any of the stuff I cook. The six incisions are just scabs now. They don't hurt anymore. It is still somewhat difficult to drink half a gallon of water a day, but I'm managing so far.

My wife notices that I'm smaller. So do I. Next week I get to add some things to my diet. I'm looking forward to it, but I know that meats will fill me up much more quickly than yogurt, so i will have to be very careful. When i started this, I was 5'9" and 384lbs. I need to lose half my body mass, which is a rather daunting task, but things are progressing well so far.

I got nine hours of sleep. I can remember waking up only once: not when my wife got up at 3am because she just couldn't sleep (so she tells me), but instead at 5am when she climbed back into bed, got me to roll over towards her, grabbed my hand, and put it right on the middle of her... face.

"Nose cold," she mumbled in a little girl voice.

Well, my day had't even started and I'd already had my surreal moment.

At 0557, the alarm went off, playing Fleetwood Mac, "Rhiannon". I set it for this odd time to avoid the 0600 traffic report, which is always depressing. I'm not sure "Rhiannon" was any better, as it colored my dreams with someone best forgotten. I spent the next 44 minutes climbing to consciousness as follows:

  1. Flip covers back.
  2. Roll out of bed.
  3. Take two steps towards the dresser.
  4. Slap snooze button on alarm.
  5. Take two steps back to bed.
  6. Roll back into bad and flip covers up.(one motion)
  7. Sleep for 10 minutes and 55 second until alarm goes off ("Money").
  8. Repeat three more times (Don't remember these clearly)".

Finally, the noise made it past my autonomic nerves into my brain and I stayed lying in bed listening to Jethro Tull "Bouree". When it finished I got up and finally turned off the alarm. My wife, still asleep, immediate rolled over bury her face in my pillow, presumably to keep her nose warm. I put on my slippers, rolled her back over to give her a kiss goodbye (and she rolled right back over after), and head downstairs to the shower.

Then I had a day that didn't suck. I know that's the short short short version, but nothing stood out. And sometimes the lack of bad equates to pretty good.

Cold Day:

In the morning the light of the day through the subway exit is brilliance. There is nothing cleaner.

At night the trees are frozen in the streetlamps, the limbs as still as figures on a Grecian Urn, a flash photograph in the darkness.

***

I have had dreams I in which I am captive, the Nazi soldiers arbiters of my fate. He with the most needed skill survives the incursion. What will save me? My skill is at cards. Who won’t let live the master of chance?

10:00 am, Amherst, New York. 1976.

Moon is in Scorpio, Sun in Libra. I’ve known the man for thirty minutes and here we are, sitting at the computer, analyzing my fate. I tell him I have to stop worrying about the sting. We are strangers; I am playing a role within a role within a role. I am my outward persona discussing my outward persona. Inward, outward: I can never make them balance. Is this just postmodern malaise? I like this man because he reads emotions as something significant, even as he rejects buying into the system that elevates them. This is a kind of shorthand, a symbology where we can embrace depth without giving it power over us.

Meaning is inscribed in the system through which we track it, in the systems that we use to define it. I live in early eighties theories. I read feminist semiotics. I read Foucault. And then I feel selfish, absurd.

“Who knows how long we’ll take to learn/To live as stars-
Free in the midst of what is without end/And needing no one to feed us.

***

Over dinner – pasta sauce with olives and spinach, eggplant and zucchini, summer squash and mushrooms, after the silence and the breaking of bread, we open the discussion. Variety, choice, postmodernism. David, Melora, Jonathan and I. It always comes up. Can you objectively discuss happiness? With Jonathan it always comes down to the table and God. You compare your experience against the wisdom of the ages. This is the only possibility for objectivity. If someone else’s objectivity is different from yours, you simply know that it is wrong.

When we discuss possibility and choice, we discuss agency and identity. I end up, as always, with the question: why insist on the idea of the one essential self? Are we one? Or are we a sequence of gestures, defined by the multiplicity of our interactions with others? Are we, as the proverb has it, a composite of the company we keep?

I think we are living out fictions, narrative dreams. We are characters with each other. These are our faces. These are our roles. We all live in a story. We just have to choose what kind of story it is.

***

Sun through the window, sun through the window, sun through the window.

Cold mornings, anything exposed is bitten, wind-worn, made brittle. Who knew the journey would be a drying process? Open wounds scab over; once firm, strong skin cracks open; the tongue becomes felted and dull.

***

I am closed and I am open. In posture, an open and shut case. I’m sorry for the snow. It’s just what I left behind. It piles up in drifts around us. An invisible aggregate of people and actions, places and belongings, beginnings and motions toward, like waves that will never crash on the shore that will never be.

The photographs I catch lurking unexpectedly have backgrounds with pieces of things that I once knew intimately. The everyday. What should be easily forgotten becomes intractable. It’s the most literal form of semantic despair. The objects are associative and handle more easily, butter knives next to the cold steel of sentiment. Better, weep over the window. Better, weep over the twine. The axis of memory holds events and people – the system is too complex to reframe. Posit it on the mirror. Make it into the substance of me, now. Hold the tragedy. There is no tragedy. Only an aching difficulty, like reading a road sign from a distance. In the darkness. In the fog. Like watching the exit pass by.

***

appendix: “Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.

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