May the Pain Never Stop

The cold of winter settles upon this island in the sea

The phone rings.

i know i shouldn't answer

i know i shouldn't answer

I answer

It's her. She's down on the island. Her 17 year old cousin was found hung in the closet. Right after Julz had threatened to do the same.

So she wants to spend the night here, instead of in the house her cousin died in.

I can't deny her that.


she gets here at 9:30pm. Leaves for the funeral at 8am.

Call me a prick, but I never signed up for this.

I officially decided that next year, I am NOT celebrating christmas. I even told my mother today that this is my last year. I have several reasons for this decision. First off, I am not christian. Why celebrate what I don't believe in? Secondly, it has been comercialized. I mean, christmas is really about the presents. You go in the mall, people are rude, pushy, impatent, when its 3 days before christmas and they have waited till then to actually go shopping. Like me of couse. I waited untill today. BIG MISTAKE!

To top it off, I had a shitty day at work. Just add some fuel to my fire. My boss can't fire anyone, no one wants to work, and its ALL MY FAULT! I sound bitter. Maybe I'll go.

I know I'm going to get crushed in the downvoting today, but who cares.... My own personal feelings are that I can node whatever I want in a daylog and should not worry about getting nuked or downvoted or such.

Today was a day I was looking forward to for a long time, being the day LOTR was released as a movie. So, I'm going to node my thoughts about it and I wont give out any spoilers.

It was great, truthful to the book and all that except for the whole part dealing with Arwen, but we all knew that it was in there and so I dealt with it. I mean it was added only so the female half of the world's population would have any desire to see it because of the added "romance". Thats its only redeeming purpose.... Nuff said.... Great movie can't wait to see it again.

Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson

Today I drove down to Seattle to see Lord of the Rings, I had intended to drive down for the midnight show but sadly I remain sub-ubergeek due to various parental concerns. radlab0, Pseudo_Intellectual, FlamingWeasel and I assembled at the Cinerama in downtown Seattle. They had seen it the night before *grumble*. Anyway, what follows is my review of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Attack of the Clones

Let me begin by saying that if you have read the books, it is likely that you will enjoy the movie. However, if you have not read the books, it is likely that you will enjoy the movie to a greater extent. This sort of thing happens in the mind of the average pedantic geek type person, we know it won't measure up to the book but we compare it as such anyway. This is not a good thing for seldom is a movie better than a book. Before I go any further, let me state that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it is one of the better movies I've seen recently, if you have a choice to see this movie, see it. Now on with the criticism.

We must give everyone involved in this movie their due credit (except Liv Tyler), the direction and adaptation were wholly stunning, Peter Jackson should be knighted, he has done an excellent job and gone further than I would have expected towards my expectations for the film. He and his crew managed to fit a great deal into the comparatively short 3 hours (even the BBC radio production took four and a half). Consequently, however, the speed at which they were forced to move the plot managed to squelch a great deal of due awe on my part. The locations were portrayed beautifully, extremely detailed and, in many cases, quite similar to my preconceived ideas pertaining to them. The problem was, however, that the plot had to keep moving. Where the book spends no less than a chapter on Lothlorien, we were in and out within 15 minutes. Lothlorien is one of my personal favorite locations in Middle-earth, where it might have been explored with greater time, we saw only glimpses and scarcely any of its inhabitants.

I will not fiddle with nit-picking issues of Balrog wings (the Balrog was very cool, though again, not quite enough time) nor Tom Bombadil (he was, as in all LotR incarnations thus far, left out for the sake of time; I turn rather to the issue of characters and the changes made thereto. The acting was superb (except for Liv Tyler), even Elijah Wood (much to my surprise); the characters themselves, however, were written differently, some to what I would say a drastic extent. Many of the character changes are negligible; however, one I find most unfortunate, is that of Galadriel(played by Cate Blanchett. She has been tainted and given the greed of men. This is the main point with which I take issue. She should be fair beyond fair, inside and out. They, however, saw fit to change her and it may yet come to some use. Speaking of which is Gollum, who was portrayed extremely well, very creepy, you'll just have to see 8)

I would like to conclude with everything I enjoy. The visuals were spectacular, very well done though I am beginning to dislike the CG that is killing my capacity for awe. One visual a particularly enjoyed was the effect the scene took when the ring was used, almost exactly as I had imagined it and it must be seen to be understood. As I have said, it was quite well acted. Some characters of personal note are Gandalf(my favorite in the books) was portrayed very very well by Ian McKellen, he could conceivably be a wizard in real life; and Legolas (my favorite in the movie) played by Orlando Bloom; the only way to phrase his character is "Kickin' ass and takin' names".

In conclusion, I would like to again emphasize: "See this movie". See it in a nice theatre with THX (see the new THX logo), listen to the witty ones make comments on the previews, and sit back and try to forget the nagging voice in the back of your mind which says that Hugo Weaving (Elrond/Agent Smith) is really still in disguise from his last movie and is planning to again attempt to vanquish "The One". In fact, I would recommend drowning out the bits of you that compare it with the book by watching the trailer over and over again, pretending it's the movie, then compare the movie to the trailer, much better. Anyway, there it is. Go see Lord of the Rings.

Original Story by J.R.R. Tolkien, Director/Writer/Producer: Peter Jackson

I have to work on Christmas. It wouldn't be a big deal, but I was originally told it would only be a few hours. Well, my boss's idea of "a few" must be wonky, because I'm working 10 hours. I know I volunteered for it, but since I was told by my direct supervisor it would be a short day, I wasn't prepared for this.

Now don't get me wrong. It's not even my holiday (I'm Wiccan). But my whole family is Catholic and Christmas is a big deal to them. My grandparents are up from Florida to visit. My grandmother has breast cancer. I would like to spend as much time with them as possible, but it's just not going to happen. I probably won't even get to open presents with my family that morning, as I have to be in work by 8am.

I suppose with all of the horrible things going on in the world, I shouldn't complain. But, as Joe Walsh said, "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."

Final Fantasy X just came out yesterday. I went to the nearest Electronics Boutique and reserved a copy the day before. Last night, I started playing the game for 41 minutes, and already, I'm amazed at the quality of the graphics. The voice-overs are actually much better than having to labourously read the caption. The game, however, doesn't seem to have that medieval feel to it. It's similar to that of Final Fantasy VIII.

This time around, she won't be playing the game with me. Had we still been together, this Christmas holidays could have mimicked that of when we were still in university in Ottawa - playing Final Fantasy and then eating chicken fingers, battered fish or pizza all day. Those were better times when things were much simpler.

I'm still actively searching for a mate. I never thought I could be this persistent and this dedicated to it. I guess I've jumped in head first with this venture, just like I do with everything else.

The somewhat odd thing about this is that the women who are interested seem to have children already. I'm still debating whether or not that really bothers me. But it's not like I'd be dating their offspring. On the one hand, I don't believe I'm quite ready to be an instant father to someone else's kids. On the other hand, it probably wouldn't matter much and I would embrace the idea if I just so happen to fall in love with the woman. For now, I'm leaving myself open to possibilities these circumstances may bring, and just journey through the process cautiously.

It'll be a good time alone. My family will be down in Florida for their yearly dose of relaxation. I'll be up here soaking in the coldness by myself and perhaps with some of my friends. I might even soak myself in a blaze of glory with champagne and wine, just like I did one year in Ottawa.

So, they moved me today.

Let me straighten this out. I am employed by a financial institution. I have been moved my location, two stories out of the basement. I don’t mind the light coming through the windows, of which I can see a sliver of light from. It’s just that the rest of my department, IT, is in the basement, and I am no-where near my former comrades-in-arms.

I’m up in the loan department. I can hear the loan collectors’ cough at irregular but consistent intervals like a diseased heart that just won’t give up. The country music is tinny but distinct through the walls of the cubicles. It’s not a consistent noise, voices Doppler in and out of a distant corridor, interspersed by music and commercials and drones of a half-dozen PCs.

I feel like even less a part of the department up here. I don’t have a phone, which could be a blessing, I suppose, but is more likely not, because I don’t really look that busy compared to someone on the phone to the PHBs. And I’m not all that busy, at least as much as I should be.

I get regular comments on the 15” LCD monitor that sits on my right. The 17” that is too big for my desk on my left goes unnoticed. The Compaq PII 233 it’s attached to is my clandestine Linux machine.

I define the co-workers whose machines I work on as clients. I have about 70 clients at four locations. Further out, there are about 30 more about 25 miles away, and 5 about 50 out there, and 3 about 100 miles south. So, all told, I have over 100 people to support. My three other IT department people (one manager, one other tech, one Administrative Assistant who moonlights as first level support) are over-worked right now. Next week: who knows? This is a small business, but every person that works here has a computer but two (mail room people). Even the maintenance man has one.

This is a temporary job. I think I forgot to mention that. I’m only here for another month or 6 weeks or something like that. The thing is that I’ve been doing this for years. At this same company. Working three months at a time for about three years.

I don’t really feel like a real employee. I know my status is temporary full-time worker.

There’s a guy here that sounds like Lundberg from Office Space. I feel like Melvin or whatever his name is.

I’ve been here three years.

It’s really hard to care about what’s going to happen in the future to the company. There really is no incentive for a temp to give a damn about the quality of his or her work. I think that consultants may have the same problem.

I’ve been here for three years and I didn’t get a Christmas bonus.

The money is important, negligible. I’ve earned more than what it was when I read news on slashdot or cnn or whatever for an hour in the morning. You know? Maybe it is the money and I’m subconsciously shallow. But I feel like even less of an employee. I’m totally disposable, and both me and my employer knows it. Why even bother?

I kind of hope that they’ll create a Design position, a part-time position, something that theoretically has been in the works for a while now. I think that my boss would like to keep me on part-time, as an IT person, and between the two, I’ll be able to really have a full-time job, benefits and everything and I’d be able to do two things I like to do.

But I don’t think they will. I’m not really employed here. I’m fodder.

I’m just feeling not very connected. Not very useful. Not very anything.

On a personal note, my mom crys every time I see her now. I moved out, and I don't really have a full-time job. Moving out is the second stupidest thing I've ever done.

I've been under the weather and rather tired the last few days. Finals have passed and I can finally get some sleep. However, now that I have more time on my hands it seems life has become more complicated. I was trading /msgs with Templeton yesterday and I asked her a question that I still haven't answered. I asked if she thought that someone could be devoid of a soul. Being the kind and attentive person that she is Temp talked with me about it, and whether she knows it or not, gave me some good insight.

It is kind of a strange question now that I think about it but it is in reference to this girl that I am going to start dating. I don't know her that well but she seems 'empty'. That is the only way I know to describe it. I hate to be judgemental but I couldn't help but form an instant opinion of this girl. She is one of the people you see during the day that, assuming they have a soul, you know it is hidden beneath the Tommy Hilfiger and Abercrombie and probably hasn't seen the light of day since they were a small child. That is one of the reasons I like children. They have no concept of brands, coolness, or even politics. They are just amazed to be alive and constantly learning. Anyway, I hate to judge so I am going to give it a chance. Hopefully it will go well and she will turn out to be a wonderfully complicated and interesting person.

Tonight I will attend the annual Christmas get-together of the now defunct theatre company I belonged to in high school. I will only know one person at the party: my director. When I was sixteen I had a huge crush on him, which he cultivated with all the strange affection that only exists in the world of theatre. Many of the less attractive girls, the less popular girls and the girls who hovered on the outskirts loved him and wanted him. I was sixteen and he was ten years older. I remember one occasion where he rubbed my back while I cried about something or other. Looking back, it was probably inappropriate, but at the time it was my little triumph. Look, he’s paying attention to me, and not you. Sixteen year olds are strange people sometimes with strange desires that they don’t understand.

I have too many Christmas parties to attend. I spent too much on gifts, as usual. The holidays are certainly a time of excesses. I wonder if Jesus would approve. I like Christmas the most when I spend it with my six younger siblings. The oldest of them is fourteen and the youngest recently turned two. I am the big sister, twenty-two years old and worshipped because I am graduating college, and I get to have a job and drive a car. I secretly worship them because they get to roll around in mud and on Christmas morning they rip off the wrapping on their gifts without thinking about bills. They aren’t old enough to open a package of socks or a AAA membership card. They get toys and candy. I want stocking full of toys and candy, too.

OK, that’s going overboard, because so far, every year I have gotten my stocking filled with the exact same goodies that are in my siblings’ stockings. I like that, and even if I don’t need a notepad key chain, it’s much appreciated.

I can’t stop thinking about them today. I have three brothers and three sisters and I generally missed seeing them growing up because they live in Florida and I live in New York. Some play sports, some are cheerleaders and some are future academics, but I’ve never seen them play in a game or on a stage. Likewise, they’ve never seen me in a dance recital or in a play. I love them more than my own life, and though popular media has made it cliché, I’d gladly throw myself under the wheels of a semi to save them. They don’t know it, because I’m so far away. Most are too young to understand the sentiment. My father tells me that they always include me in prayers, which is nice. I know they love me back. There is nothing sweeter than a big hug from little arms.

Oh, and one last thing. For Christmas this year I want to be five again for a day. I want to stop worrying for one hour. I want to feel like I did when I had my first kiss for just one second. I want to see my brothers and sisters growing up all over again and hold them as babies one more time. I want to take back the things I said. If you can give me these things...well...I don't know if I'd do anything right this time, but oh, I'd try.

Yesterday evening was Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring night. As a movie of the book, it strikes a few false notes here and there, but that doesn't stop it being an amazingly good visual symphony. it's a visual feast, well acted, well paced, probably the best movie I've seen this year. The effects are ubiquitous but not intrusive. For instance, after a while I just got over the effect that Gandalf was almost twice as tall as Frodo, and accepted it as reality.

As someone who read the book again this year for the nth time, I found the events as told in the movie went by very quickly.

The movie was supposed to start at 8:45, but we only got going around 9pm, and emerged, blinking, a seeming few minutes later, but after midnight. I and a headache and a runny nose & sore throat. Definitely a sniffle coming on, so I took a sinutab (Over the counter cold medication containing paracetamol & codeine: a very very nice pill for sleeping) and was out cold by one am.

In the morning I was feeling better, but I am still going to bunk gym today, hoping to feel 100% on Friday. I was at the doctor at 8:30 am on another matter. After measuring my vital signs he told me that I was fit as a fiddle, and the pains must have been a strained muscle. I felt better right away for knowing that.

My boss has me on another of his wild goose chases that he insists that I go on sometimes, chasing down transient errors that only manifest when the packets are traversing the internet and two firewalls. Now I have to try to replicate it on my PC. It's probably a real error, but I kinda feel that I have better things to do than spend the next two weeks fooling around with settings that don't actually change anything, becuase this is now "higher proirity" than stuff I can actually fix, as this is Java and you can't get at the low level stuff. I it wouldn't have happened if the protocol had been better designed in the first place. I am again appreciating large companines, when there are other experts to help you out, when your advice on your speciality is valued, when the programmer doesn't double as the system administrator, webmaster and network troubeshooter.

I spent several hours staring at text scroll by, indicating flawless transmission on localhost, whist surfing E2. And finally getting around to reading critical opinion on LoTR:FoLR. I had been avoiding this until I had seen the movie firsthand. It looks like they have stuffed up my pay again this month. I'm not overly motivated.

I have stopped being nice to the HR lady, after she today promised to find my payslip and didn't reappear at all. Assuming that it exists, I will extract it from her tomorrow. I could be more proactive about this, but I find keeping my web site up and in business more interesting. I'm a coder not an accountant. They don't exactly go the extra mile either, and I'll be lucky to get anything from them in the next couple of days, asuming that they are not all on leave already. Sometimes being on contract sucks.

I Leave for Dallas to visit my dad tomorrow. As much as i am looking forward to this trip (it's a chance to get a much needed break from my mom's side of the family), i can't help but worry about Jackie (my girlfriend). My worrying has little/nothing to do with the fact that we'll both miss each other very much. Her ex moved back to El Paso after taking a shot at living on his own in Phoenix. This guy, while good at heart, has caused her some serious pain. She hasn't been to visit him yet since he got back. I know she will probably go visit him while I'm gone (she's told me that she wants to... it's not like it's a secret) and I don't have a problem with this. The only thing I'm worried about is not being able to be here in the event that he upsets her again. It's going to be difficult to relax on my upcoming trip, but at least I'll be rid of my mother's annoying addition to my family for a while...

Besides, who can argue with unlimited screen time with no interruptions?

Ending on a (sort of) good note, final exams are finished at last. Goodbye calculus. Maybe I'll understand you next year. I'm looking forward to finishing out my senior year as a relaxed one( the way it should be).

I don't usually write daylogs. I really need to vent though, so please excuse me if this write-up isn't "for the ages."

I work at Target, in the electronics department, where everything that's valuable is locked up. It's the last few days of the pre-Christmas shopping madness, and I'm really beginning to lose my sanity. Nothing has made me lose more esteem for my fellow man than these past few days. People have absolutely no respect for anyone, they scream at me, order me around, and make me do backflips because they are too lazy to spend four seconds of time actually looking for something before they stop me (whilst I'm helping 3 other customers) to ask where it is. People pull up to my electronics counter with carts full of merchandise and ask me if I can ring them up because they don't want to wait in the lines at the front of the store, regardless of the fact that there are 20 angry people standing around all waiting for me to help them, all thinking that they're next. People berate me for not having some camera that is on an exceptionally good sale this week even though it's only four days before Christmas. Then there comes a man who wants to see every camera in my display case and wants detailed explanations of every minor feature on each, despite the fact that angry uneducated brutes are yelling profanities at me for wasting five precious minutes of their lives. I have no time to think, I'm constantly on edge, stressed, and ready to burst. No one realizes that the four minutes of time they save by rushing me costs me so much more. It sounds melodramatic, but I come home on the verge of tears, knowing that I have to go back to that hell again tomorrow. I come home to my empty room, needing to be told that I'm a human, to be hugged, to be consoled, and all I have is my computer. The one I need is across the ocean, fast asleep. I mourn the loss of my love for people. I don't like the fact that I now see people as potential obstacles, problems, insults. I am beginning to become rude, losing my cool with people. A woman interrupts me while I'm telling my co-worker what he is expected to do this evening so I can leave. She asks me if she can pay for her cart full of clothes and all-things-non-electronic at my counter. I say no, because I really don't have the time, my bus is going to leave in ten minutes. I try to finish telling my coworker what he needs to know, and she starts to loudly call me lazy, says that I have to help her, and that I need to shut my mouth and get started. The lava that I've managed to keep banished to the corners of my soul begins to rise, and I feel my face turn red, and I know I'm going to say something I shouldn't, but I can't help it. It's either let it out or lose my mind. I tell her that I don't need to do anything. She asks me if I think it's appropriate to talk to a customer in that tone of voice. I ask her if she thinks it's appropriate to interrupt someone while they are speaking to someone else and to talk to them as if they aren't a person. I manage to keep from swearing. I know that if I don't leave right now, I'm going to lose it and do or say something I regret. It's the same icy cold nausea I felt when I was 18 and went into a blind rage and proceeded to beat the crap out of a guy who'd tortured me for years about being gay, making me hate myself.

I left, got on my bus, and began to cry. As I waited for my next bus in the pouring rain, I began to laugh at the absurdity of it all, and I couldn't stop, even as my bus pulled up, which made me draw fearful looks from the people on the bus. The cure for what ails me is the one thing I don't have right now: time.

On the drive back up to Santa Cruz from Southern California, we swept along Interstate 5 with sunbeams, washes of raindrops and the two solitary feet of a body-less rainbow. Genery asks what's been on my mind and Chuang-Tzu speaks with my mouth: "the wise one has a mind like a mirror--it receives every thing but retains no thing." Of course, as every wise man won't tell you, you already have the Buddha nature. Thus the mind must already be like a mirror--right now, this very instant.

Once there was a day when my mind was like a mirror. I lay in the grass with like-minded friends beneath a pine tree in Spring. Try as I might, I could not think a thought without one of my friends speaking it aloud in perfect unison with my internal voice. Some people babble unceasingly as if they have no internal monologue and must think aloud--this was a peculiarly inverted instance of this condition. Mind like a mirror, how clear the water runs! A stream of thoughts I once believed was my consciousness, but no! The stream runs swiftly past the grassy bank while I lay on the edge with my dripping hand raised an inch above the surface. There! the glassy surface gives back my own face--just an image, not the real thing. Then whose thoughts are these that I am having right now? And on the glassy surface was only the image of the trees and sky overhead.

From the green and yellow foothills that look like lions sleeping in the rain we drive through Gilroy and into the mountains between here and the coast. As the roads turn white with slushy hail, we argue about the difference between what is real and what is hallucination. Where do you draw the line? I would not be the first to say that the difficulty of proving an experience is a hallucination is exactly as difficult as proving it is real. I think she's afraid our difference of opinion is a threat to our relationship. I say that our love is not based on having identical opinions, hobbies, interests or professions--it's an emotional connection not an intellectual one.

Safe at home eating pizza watching the Sci Fi channel on TV. A show I've never seen called FarScape where the hapless crew is caught in hyperspace and switching between alternate realities (some resembling the more intense parts of a few trips). I hold my love in my arms and feel bliss and compassion course through us; the love I feel is overpowering and I briefly imagine how I'd feel if I ever lost her and this makes my heart swell even greater. On the television screen one character shouts at another in exasperation: "Real! Hallucination! Real! Hallucination! How can you possibly tell the difference?"

The movie of the day is Single White Female. For those of you who don't know, it's about a girl who put an ad out for a roommate, preferably a SWF. Once her new roommate moves in, she starts to 'become' the girl. First, she cuts her hair and colors it to look very similar to the original girl.

There is a reason for that being the movie of the day. I havent seen it in forever, but today, I saw the girl my ex left me for. It was a bloody battle. And now that I think of it, I'm better off without him. Anyways. This girl got a lovely haircut. Its nearly the same as mine was last year, only flipped out. (Last year, I was with my ex.) Not only is the cut similar (which is nothing because its common for girls to be cutting their hair shorter), but the color is the exact same as mine had been.

When I saw her, I just about busted up laughing. Not only about her hair, but the fact that after nearly a year after the whole deal, she was still scared of me or something. She walked to the opposite side of the group of people that she was with. It was good to see that I have more maturity than some people.

That just tops it. This is one of the best weeks of my life.

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