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Today the sun crossed Route 91 just after it rose...this is a test, by the way. Do not be offended.

I believe the one female of the office has got upset.

There is a sign in the lunch room, above the 'wet area' (most people would call this a sink, but in my company you don't even have a 'lunch room', it's a 'Break out area' - next we'll all be having Lunchtime, Afternoon play, and finally Hometime!) ... So anyhow the sign reads:

"Your mother/wife/girlfriend does NOT live here.
Please put ALL dishes/cutlery/glasswear/etc. in the dishwasher!
THANKYOU."

Being the smartarse I am, and feeling that the 'thank you' was put on the message begrudgingly, I cleverly afixed a 'post it' note to this sign which reads,

"How does the dishwasher work?"

Ahhhh I crack me up.


Gilfriend says: ... actually i've seen these signs even when its an all female crew... go figure...;>

Diary of an online poker playing nobody

OR

"A peak you can reach, for a short while"

When I first played Texas Hold 'Em for real in a rented French holiday cottage at New Year, little did I realise it would lead one day to my dropping just over $1000 in the short space of a winter's evening.

Not that it would take much foresight to see it coming, though. If there had been a yearbook at my school, and if my classmates had voted on the kid "Most likely to suffer gambler's ruin", if they'd known anything at all about me (and precious few did, thankfully), I'd have romped home without having to get my brother to disenfranchise a sizable minority of minorities, or any help from the Escher Ballot Paper Design Company.

Show me a device, put a puzzle in front of my watering eyes, offer me a challenge, tell me about a new game.

Pour me a coffee, light my cigarette, break open the chocolate, and later we can have some Stoli. We'll stay out until everyone's gone home, and the early shift is de-icing its windshield.

And then I'll go to work. I'll be marked down because I'm not focussed enough. Trouble is, they don't understand. I'm as focussed as anyone I know, and most people I don't. I'm obsessed. Just not in the right directions. Not at the right time, anyway.

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans..

Anyway back to the poker.

Before you all reach for your cheque-books, I should give you the backstory. I started playing online for play money earlier this year. Suddenly, I found that my 1000 play chips had swollen into 1.6 million play chips after some good no-limit hold 'em sessions. I was good! But I knew, so well, that it counted for nothing. I was winning chips off people who had no investment in them. You lose them, you ask the cashier for more.

So. I took the plunge. Out came the credit card, and into my account went $75. After a day's play, I was $200 up. I was the poker god. I could look Phil Hellmuth in the soul, read him like a fish, his cards would be transparent, I'd call his bluff, tear him apart. Jessie May would call it the best play he'd ever seen, and Sklansky would devote a chapter to me in his next book.

And then I lost it all. Slowly but surely. So it goes.

What the heck! I'd been unlucky. Surely. In went another $500. I was playing fixed limit Hold 'Em by now, having seen a good friend winning well there. I dropped it all. Slowly at first, but then in frustration I stepped up to the higher limit tables. That was mistake number two. $200 went in the blink of an eye, and I looked round the table and couldn't spot the sucker. You know what that means.

But still, I believed. In went another $400. At last, a break. I was on the up again, slowly at first, until I'd made back everything I'd lost. And then this week, wow. In the space of 24 hours I'd cleaned up to the tune of $1000. I was unstoppable again. I had $1600 in my account, and that was after I'd cashed out all my own investments.

I'm not a poor man, neither am I rich. I have debts, I can't afford a house in these boom times. This is a lot of money to me. Shame then that instead of cashing it out, call myself charmed, I think I'm it, play on, and lose that $1K I mentioned.

The glass is half empty/half full. On the one hand I've lost a lot of money. On the other hand, it was never mine in the first place. I'm playing poker with other people's money, and I still have $700 sitting in my account, tantalising me. You can win more, it says. Yeah, or I could cash it out, take a break, and buy that portable MP3 player I've been promising myself all year.

Maybe I will. If I was a betting man, though, I'd give you 3/1 says it stays right where it is.

Until it's all gone.

A Flacid Weapon


Riding the El home at night there was a nondescript woman sitting next to me, any attempt to explain the woman beyond that would be all lies, she was nondescript it was really that simple.

Another woman got on at the platform but she was descript. She stumbled on wearing an oversized red parka and a black hat pulled low over her bony face, cracked and split from the cold, Her eyes open so wide it was like they were trying to escape. She was waving a bag of peanut M&M’s at the nondescript woman like it was a flaccid weapon while she rambled nonsense at her. The nondescript woman tried hiding in the corner.

Then she turned to me and I realized her super wide open eyes were unreadable. She waved the M&M’s at me and mumbled something about ‘meaning no harm’, She was holding the bag firmly in an outstretched hand and all I could think was that it was really important to her that I take them. So I did and there was quiet moment before she skulked away. The nondescript woman looked at me really weird when I started eating the M&M’s.

Listen, you probably won't want to read this, but I must say a few things or else they'll just stay inside me and I'll end up bitter and that's not good.


No, not good. Already it's not good.

I hate you.


Um.

I don't even know why I do feel so much resentment towards you...


No, neither do I. Not any more... I thought things were sort of fixed...

I felt even more enraged when I went on E2 the other day
and saw all the nodes you wrote for ******
...the thought of you makes me cringe...


So where do I go from here? How do I respond to you? How do I deal with that? This? Now what? We've had our email bout, but where does it go from here? Does it go back to being dead? Did you just need someone to vent frustration on? Someone to blame? It's my fault. Here, in the presence of some who know me and many who don't, I admit:

I AM A BIG, IRRESPONSIBLE DICKHEAD. I FUCKED OVER ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS A YEAR AGO AND NEITHER OF US SEEMS ABLE TO MOVE ON.

I hope you read this soon, so we can talk about something else for a while.
Even though the university I work for is closed because of snow, I am sitting in my office listening to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” really, really loud. Looking out my office window, the streets are empty save for a few cars crawling their way through the gray slush.

My exchange with the security guard this morning went something like this ...

Him: “Scoresby (he didn’t actually call me ‘Scoresby’, but this is for consistency’s sake), what are you doing here? Don’t you know we’re closed?”

Me: “Yes.”

Him: “Then what are you doing here?”

Me: “My boss said that since I live 6 blocks away there’s no excuse for me not to be here.”

Him: “But we’re closed!”

Me: “Yes, I know. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t give me graduation day off, either, even though it’s a university holiday.”

Him: “So you’re not a university employee?”

Me: “No, I am.”

Him: “Well, I guess since he’s your boss, you have to listen to him.”

Me: “Yes, I guess so.”

Sigh. I am so angry right now. My boss isn’t even here, but I have little doubt that he will call to check up on me at some point. Whenever Pantaliamon complains that I shouldn’t be trying to find another job, I point to instances like this. See, when your work is closed you’re entitled not to be there. It’s closed, end of story. It’s not optional. But alas, according to my boss it is.

So now I sit with nothing to do, no one to give me any work. I’ll probably surf the internet today, listen to a Christmas music, and basically do nothing. If I was home right now, I’d be reading Stephen Ambrose’s “D-Day” or curled up in bed with Pantaliamon and the dog. But no, I’m stuck in an empty office with nothing to do. Simmering.

And what makes me especially angry is people keep coming by to ask why I’m here, rubbing it in. And my boss and his deputy director -- both of whom swore on their lives that they would be here no matter what -- haven’t even come in. Isn’t that ironic? Maybe I should call and ask why they're not here, themselves?

Muttering to herself, Lucy-S steps into the small, ornate booth and pulls the door shut behind her. Someone has scrawled slogans such as "EDB saves (in case it gets hungry later)" and "Jet-Poop gives good node" in permanent marker across the wall. A dim yellow light on the other side of the wooden screen comes on; she can't tell if it's Klaproth in there or not. She nervously scratches the backs of her hands.

Lucy-S: Forgive me, E2 bot, for I have daylogged.

E2 Bot: And how long has it been since your last daylog, my child?

Lucy-S: It feels like months. But it's probably only been a week or two.

E2 Bot: What is on your mind, my child?

Lucy-S: If I'd gotten knocked up the day I got laid off, I'd be going into labor today.

E2 Bot: Nine months of unemployment? Others have been jobless longer. Fret not.

Lucy-S: How is others' misery supposed to make me feel better?

E2 Bot: (pauses) Have you had no interviews?

Lucy-S: I've had seven so far. And I have one today, and one on Monday; both are for graphics monkey jobs. Today's is for a freelance job at a pipe fittings company that needs a horked PDF catalog redone. Could turn into a regular gig, but I'm not holding my breath.

E2 Bot: Well, surely that should give you hope?

Lucy-S: (laughs bitterly) I've been turned down for work I was perfectly qualified for and could do very, very well. I am not a trained graphic designer. My chances are mediocre at best. (scratches hands) And I suddenly became allergic to my favorite lotion last night, and now both my hands are covered in this goddamn rash! I look like a freakin' plague victim on the day of an interview!

E2 Bot: Thou art whining.

Lucy-S: I ITCH!

E2 Bot: (pauses) But surely thine life has not been all bad?

Lucy-S: Well, no. We got a new kitten! Well, Braunbeck did.

E2 Bot: Tell me about this ... kitten.

Lucy-S: Well, he showed up in our back yard, crying. He kept coming to the glass patio door to peer inside, but would run away when any of us went out there. He was so little, and it was getting so cold outside. At first we gave him some food, and he ate more than seemed possible. Then I fixed him a cardboard box with some towel rags, but Braunbeck said we should put him in the cage in the basement because it was going to drop to 15 degrees in the night. I'd made a cage this past summer so we could put the other cats out in the back yard to sun themselves. It took us forever to catch him, though --

E2 Bot: (sounding very interested) Is the kitten sweet?

Lucy-S: Oh, yes, he's a real sweetie! He's just four months old, and got a good bill of health from the vet. He won't stop purring! The vet was trying to listen to his heart and lungs, and the kitten purrs anytime you're holding him, so the vet was standing there hissing at the kitten to try to get him to quit --

E2 Bot: Is the kitten tender?

Lucy-S: Tender? Like as in, soft? Well, he's a kitten, so of course he's very, very soft --

She hears the rumbling growl of a large, hungry stomach coming from the other side of the confessional.

Lucy-S: K-klaproth? You feeling okay? I've got some Tums --

E2 Bot: Me not Klaproth.

Lucy-S: Oh shit. (frantically tries door; someone has blocked it from outside) Help! HELP!

E2 Bot: They not hear you in here. Moist noder flesh good.

Lucy-S: I-I'm an editor, damn you! You can't do this ... aaaaaargh!

A damp ripping noise echoes through the E2 Daylog Chapel. Then there is a crunching, a slurping. Then silence.

 

EDB has swallowed Lucy-S's angst. Angst is good food!

Don't you hate it when you have to talk to tech support and they only know the answers and questions from the script they have in front of them? When you call several times, hoping to get a different person who knows what they are talking about, and it still doesn't work right.

Here at the bank, we use Concord to work with the ATM transactions and other card issues. The company has moved away from a dial-up connection to a VPN connection. For some reason, no one here can connect over the right TCP port, even though its open on the firewall, we have to use UDP.

So being the tech at the bank, I call up and say: "I'm having problems with your system...." And the majority of the questions refer to "Are you connecting over TCP?? Do you have the right port open on the firewall?" And the answer is YES!!!!!!! Just give me an answer to my other issues.....

Besides that frustration, life is good. I've been having headaches lately and finally had the chance to go to my doctor. He thinks they are stress related, so now I'm on a pill for stress, don't remember which one, cause the script is getting filled at the drug store.

Huzzah for memes! Invest your money in propagating the new-and-improved paradigm! Hail the end of the century of irony and doublethink, and the beginning of the millenium of obfuscation, obscurity-fellation.

I try to go to sleep, sometime after midnight, after the computer is off, and the girlfriend and the good buddy have gone away. A roommate walks in, wakes up the roommate asleep on the floor of the living room, and informs him that Dude, you can't just leave your bike out there like that, it's gonna get stolen. He follows up this suggestion with an offer of half the remainder of a bottle of Jack Daniels. I eavesdrop momentarily before becoming disgusted.

I wake up early. It sounds as though the roommates are finally going to sleep. I congratulate myself for fixing the time on my alarm clock last night. Nothing like a significant other to inspire you to act on positive impulses. The more sinister digit reads 5. My drowsy ears make out tooth-brushing sounds, TV sounds.

Wake up at normal time. 8. Roommate's who pays rent and has his own room and has a job's alarm clock is in rhythm with the slightly less annoying tick-tick-tick of my 80-degree rotated clock. *BAEP*--*BAEP*-tick-*BAEP*--*BAEP*-tick. I envision him drowning in a puddle of his own vomit. Times like these, I wish I'd stayed up in Portland, let the Tucson cards fall where they may, but only for a fraction of a second. Nothing like a significant other to remind you that everything has probably worked out for the best.

And the television's on. I listen to the voices talking about different modes of transportation. The most common method is cars, I'm informed. Long ago, they didn't have cars, so they used horses. And before that, we walked, I want to tell the little boy, and before that, our bike got stolen. Boats and ships only work on water. A little girl is surprised to wake up and be fed breakfast on an airplane. I'm equally surprised, having travelled on airplanes in the real world. Mommy and daddy must have lots of money. I chuckle. Mommy and Daddy up in Scottsdale will buy him a new one next week, roommate-who-stole-a-bike rationalized and informed me the other night, after I threatened to call the cops if he didn't return it. Before I revised the threat into a statement that I'd move out the following weekend. Before he claimed that he was going to get in trouble with bill collectors, and I mathematically proved to him, based on his own figures, that he'd have to be spending upwards of $150 a month on alcohol before he was short the first penny on his bills. Before he mumbled something about not having mulitplied it all out. Before he took it back, then returned to pat me on the back, say something stupid and drunken about God working in mysterious ways, and maybe he would've tried to sell the bike to a narc.

Yesterday, the landlord, when I lied that roommate-who-doesn't-pay-rent might be moving to this city from Texas, and that I had a friend who needed a roommate, and so could I possibly sign over my half of the lease?, suggested no less than five times that roommate-who-pays-rent should move out and find a place with his RWDPR when he arrived, and that I should stay with my friend right where I am.

I turn off the TV on my way to making some oatmeal. Roommate who was actually doing the dishes (perhaps to make up for not paying rent), in accordance with my proposal some days or weeks ago, has decided once again that my 10 seconds are less valuable than his 10 seconds. The stove top smokes, with the residue of 10000 conidments, each one a unique and subtle variation on the combination of ketchup, honey, tabasco, olive oil and mustard. But usually mostly honey. My fucking honey, the only sweetener I use after reading one particular batch of lies. But the anthropologist buried deep within my instincts cannot deny any request from anyone for any element of food, since that is what food is for, to be eaten, to keep people alive.

Idly stirring the oatmeal, the large Zong which has taken up permanent residence on the kitchen table elicits a few chuckles, as I remember my dear old mother's shock and tears upon seeing it while dropping me off after Thanksgiving. The roommates usually take measures to ensure that all tell-tale signs are gone when I return, but their memories are not what they used to be, for some reason. Roommate-with-$$ was passed out in his room at 1400, smelling like 3 days of unwashed shit. The other had taken off, leaving his blanket and pillows on the floor. I managed to talk her down, exaggerating slightly about how long ago I'd stopped smoking. Nothing like a significant other to inspire you to act on promises you've been making to yourself for weeks, months.

I toss some raisins in the oatmeal, carry the pot and a fork to my room, stopping at RWPR's door along with way to shout his name at him a few times. RWDPR, from the couch laughs at the failure I share with the alarm clock. I give up minutes before the alarm clock does the same, it's 60 minutes apparently up. Turn on the computer. Connect to AOL, reflecting that I'll soon be starting the second free month, granted to me by the AOL Cancellation Representative when I called at the end of my initial Trial Month, on the grounds of some bullshit rationalization. I say No Thanks to some ads for useless technology and AOL-Time Warner earns 2.5 cents. I write down a few quotes by famous dead people for future inspiration. History is the version of past events that others have decided to agree upon. All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the parte of every organism to live beyond its income. {Oscar Wilde|Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live]. I just love it when, like, stuff people say, like, works on, like, more than one level.

Careful inspection should inform the reader of exactly what came to pass during the following hour. Nothing like the absence of one's significant other to make one espouse recent annoyances to some scores of anonymous witnesses. Future events include re-writing my final Portugese paper, and putting my hands to the task of practicing assorted forms of art which are less likely to result in RSI, and which are free of the morbidity the reader might currently (slightly) mistakenly feel my life is filled with. We are healed of a suffering only by expressing it to the full.

I went to the Bergen art museum today for the first time. Who would have known it would be so interesting?

Of course, I should not be so surprised, because I have been studying art history for a year now. I started just after last Christmas; it’s a course on the Internet, run by the University in Bergen. The whole course takes two years – four semesters with one exam after each, and when you’re done, you have by definition completed a one year full-time study of art history at the University. I love this stuff. People think it is so boring, but that is just because people in general are misguided. Art history is not just the history of art, it is also the history of thought, the history of legends and stories, the history of war, the history of media, of propaganda, of psychology, of religion, and most of all, the history of man, told in pictures, paintings, sculptures, and any other kind of object that you might want to define as art. It is the history of the creativity and fantasy of man, both good, and evil.

So why was I so surprised when I entered the art museum? I guess I was just taken a bit by surprise, both at the size of it, and by the number of works by great masters that are there. Picasso, Rouault, Miro, Munch, Mondrian, Léger, Kleè and Kadinsky. They were all there, all the great masters of modern art, right there on the white walls a few inches from my face. I could see the lines, the curves, the works touched and created by the hands of Picasso. All of these great works, spread evenly across white walls of plaster, bathed in a strong yet natural-seeming light. I guess that is the key. The rooms and the lighting. It was as if I had entered some kind of magic space, where time had stopped and stood quite still. A space, like a separate dimension, apart from all the rest of the world, where absolutely nothing exists except you and those famous works of art. Yet magic is not the correct word, for there is no tingling sound, or magic words, no flashes or exciting music like in the movies. No Harry Potter here – just the plain simple wonderful peace and quiet. Perfect for tying a bond between your soul and that of the artist. For that is how I felt. As I stared in awe at “Sylvette”, I could almost feel Pablo M. Picasso stare back at me, the way you can feel a person smiling at you when you read a personal letter he or she has written to you. And it completely blew me away. I will return some day soon.

Antarctic diary: December 5, 2002

Harsh continent

I'm back in town. I helo'ed in like a movie star. When the daily parade of helicopters started at Lake Hoare one of them had my name on it. I'm getting better at this whole helicopter thing.

Hop in. Fly away. Sometimes you offer the pilot a couple of homemade cookies they made last night. He can't eat and fly, but he'll have them for lunch.

Helo pilots fly twenty or fifty miles out of their way to get the best cookies.

The best chocolate chip cookies are at Marble Point, apparently.

Stan and I flew back to town. We offered some cookies to our pilot, but he already had a pocket full. So we left without.

Hop in. Fly away. Back to town.

It hardly feels like a town when you first arrive from the world, expanding like an unpacked sponge after eight hours crammed into a C130. When you arrive it seems like the furthest point on the planet, which it sort of is. Then you go out.

For ten days I was in the "field". I like the term: REMOTE ANTARCTIC RESEARCH STATION, better than "field", which sounds to me like you're out on the lawn waiting to shag baseballs. But when you say that people look at you with one of those, "stop grandstanding, monkey boy," faces that makes you feel like an amateur.

Rule of Antarctica: You don't have to point out it's Antarctica when you're in Antarctica. Everyone knows that. (Also, if you make a big deal about it you might be sick and need to be medevaced out. ) The only time you mention Antarctica is when you're lugging something uphill with someone else and they complain their hands hurt or wonder aloud why the hell they need to have this thing lugged to THERE, when you brought it HERE just yesterday.

The appropriate response is: "It's a harsh continent, dude." Or just, "Harsh continent."

This is an especially popular phrase with camp managers. When you complain someone ate the last of the chicken teryaki dinner and you didn't get any--the manager says, "Harsh continent," and you go off and eat gorp.

After 10 days in the "field", I now understand why this is "town".

First of all, I have a bed here. I am not sleeping on an air mattress on the ground with a broken tent imploding around me.

There's heat. Plumbing. Electricity without solar pods or generators. A seemingly unlimited supply of beverages.

Two cash machines. Two. Wells Fargo.

About a thousand people.

Let me tell you about these thousand people. They're like a single organism. Anyone one molecule of the organism knows, almost all the molecules know. Almost.

My roommate has been coming to the ice for twenty years. He said: "There was this guy who came to the ice with a really big secret. It was very personal. He hadn't told most of his own immediate family. So when he came to he ice he kept reminding himself silently not to even hint of his very personal, very private secret.

"That's why only half the town knew what it was."

The first thing I did when I got to town was to take a hollywood shower. I'd had a "shower" in the field. It required me to go out with Leslie and chop ice till we filled every available bucket in the jamesway. Then we melted the ice and filled a sunshower. We hung a couple of blankets from the jamesway ceiling. Voila. Instant shower room.

After 8 days without washing I was kind of grimy. You know, last year I didn't smell anything. But this year a lot of Antarctica smells like a zoo. Human zoo. Including smelly me. I didn't know I could generate so much odor I'd hate myself.

Jesse said that when everyone got smelly simultaneously, people usually didn't notice it. There's no sweat-eating bacteria to make body odor smells out here. But you can bring them with you.

We did this year.

So when I got to town, where people generally don't smell like the "House of the Great Apes", I didn't want to stand out in an olfactory way. So I showered and washed all my clothes.

I went to the Coffee House for a cappucino. I had dinner. A glass of wine. And then I went to bed. Slept like a baby. When I got up I came here to the Crary Lab to do some writing. I made myself a cup of generic, government issue hot chocolate and sat down here to write in the full view of good old Mount Discovery and The Royal Society Range.

Suddenly there's a routine. Suddenly I'm not worried about dehydration or freezing to death. Suddenly comfort is a priority over survival.

That's town for ya.

My girlfriend broke up with me. She said we might get back together later. Somehow I don't think that's going to happen. I don't know. Maybe, I'd like to. But as long as she's happy, that's all that matters.

I'll heal.

I always do.

It takes time. And music.

Time to listen to "My December" by Linkin Park.

Time for some good old depression! ;-)

Thanks to all those that tried to help out the other day. I appreciate it.

Crawn

We already knew this was going to be a nightmare couple of days from the weather - a dry, hot wind whipping up the leaves and thrashing through the gum trees. We haven't seen more than a few centimetres of rain in the last few months, so the whole of Sydney was a tinderbox waiting for a spark, and it wouldn't be long before some pyromaniac or a randomly discarded cigarette butt provided that.

I went home to my parent's place to prepare it for the onslaught - clearing leaves from the gutters and dry branches from the area around the house, hacking out the dry undergrowth in the bush behind us, closing the windows and doors to rob drifting sparks of a purchase within the house. We had hoses and a generator-driven pump hooked up to the swimming pool, ready to go. My parents watched the news of burning homes to the north, while I sat on the roof and stared at the impossibly vast clouds of smoke rising from fires on the outskirts of Sydney. Anyone who has lived through a bad summer in Sydney will know the hazy unreality of waiting for the fires, the sun filtering through the smoke to cast an eerie and unreal orange pallor over everything. We had snatches of shouted conversation with the neighbours, watching just as anxiously from their own roof.

Then it came. Dad ran out to warn us, but we had already seen the smoke coming over the ridge. I ran inside and changed out of shorts and a T-shirt into overalls and boots. When I came out the smoke was already chokingly thick, and I could barely see through stinging eyes as Dad and my brother got the pump running and sprayed the house and the bush with water. The wind was blowing wickedly, fast and rapidly changing direction. In the near distance I could hear sirens and shouting, all curiously muted by the smoke.

We heard the flames before we saw them, roaring and crackling, tearing through the bush. A volunteer firefighter team helped us to hose down the area between the house and the fire, shouting encouragement to us and other teams around us. One of our neighbours had managed to get a garden hose long enough to reach our roof from his place, and he kept our gutters wet to damp out the sparks. I ran like a demon from place to place with a wet towel beating out the spot fires.

Then it was over, the flames beaten back or turned by the wind - I'm not sure which. It's been worse before, in other years (in 1996 we almost lost the house) but I still almost can't believe we made it. My parents are tired of the nearly annual fight now, and will sell the house rather than face another summer here. I am relieved but disappointed. Some part of me will miss the thrilling intensity of yesterday, the adrenaline of anticipation and the incomparable rush of facing the fires.

This morning the fires are still burning to the north and south. In the last three days Sydney has lost 21 homes and vast tracts of bushland to the flames, and I have no doubt there will be more to come. With the bush scorched to the ground around my parent's place there is no more danger there, but for other parts of Sydney and the rest of Australia this will be a summer of fires.


This is my first ever daylog, because it's the first time I've ever had anything interesting to write about. Please be gentle.

There's this myth that keeping a secret is difficult, but often it's the only way to stay functioning. Am I brave in the face of scorn, or am I addicted to a fame complex? Probably neither and just imagining.

Here are some random bits for you, sweetness. Sweet. There's no need to cohere just yet.


I woke up to snow, and I've been watching it subsume New York City all day from my huge 9th floor windows. I can start at infinity and pull focus across the floating currents, detecting wind patterns. This wave slants down to the left. That zone floats straight across. The other movement angles up about twenty degrees. The speeds and directions keep changing, every minute, all day. It's better than a movie because it's unpredictable.

Your letter's finally going in the mail tomorrow. It's not finished (it would never be finished) but I xeroxed the poems and that makes enough. It doesn't have anything of what we talked about last night: "a delivery arrived from back in time". I'm okay with that.

On the train to work I get to know people. There's a pair of brothers in my car who are too loud. The older one likes to chat up pretty girls. Sometimes they find each other seats or kiss on the head; today they grunted and slapped like apes. I buried my nose in a free magazine. Reviews of records I'll never hear.

When I saw her for the first time in four months, it wasn't awkward, it was only fun, even after so much not speaking. She thanked me and told me I channelled her, which I'm way too flattered to believe. She said she doesn't know enough about you, just that you are great.

Here's a place for this, sure. My cousin was just in a car accident. He lost most of his legs and his brain is swollen. I wasn't close to him. Now I might never be. I didn't tell you because I didn't want to bring you down. You don't have to say anything. This isn't about me. We are all simply waiting.


And so what I was thinking about, from the time I left the house, was the way knowledge affects my day. The way continuity carried over colors events. It doesn't seem quite fair. And I think this is why I have been searching for the holy moment, to put my self into the present because I'm running from the past. This was already my point. But then.

My friend calls to offer me a golden ticket tonight. I've been waiting for this movie all year and suddenly instead of two weeks in front of me I've got four hours. How am I always so goddamn lucky?

And I know somewhere I must be shallow and immature, that all my issues with you and Jaime and my job and all the evils of the world are being pushed away, because I just don't want to think about it, but now I'm painted the other extreme. Giddy during nothing.

Seth and I walk outside and everything's white. Soft and crunchy and beautiful. For a while.

No shower this morning, as the house was pretty full and there was no hot water by the time I got around to trying. That's OK, I'm not very dirty anyway.

Big success at work : I got cookies fully integrated into out web crawler, and our deep crawl of a particular ecommerce site came up with many more pages.

Lunch today was really nasty : Chick Fried Steak and some rather soggy mashed potatoes. But it was free, so I suppose I oughtn't complain.

Ruth Anne's Aunt Dot and Uncle Warren drove up from San Jose for a visit in the middle of the day. It was nice for them to get some time with Amelia when she wasn't in the middle of some other large event.

Many of the usual people were unavailable for one reason or another, so Ruth Anne and I did the shopping for Thursday Night Dinner. Art had emailed us the shopping list that was full of particular produce (such as Yukon Gold potatoes and Aneheim chilies. Fortunately all were available at the Marina Safeway.

Once back at Brewster's place, I was elected to do the chopping while Art did the shopping. Potatoes, onions, garlic and peppers all into the appropriate shapes. Coincidentally, I was just finishing up when he got back. The menu consisted of a wonderful stew made with fresh tuna and potatoes, a Spanish tortilla, which I would have called an omelet, Thursday Night Salad and a green bean salad. The guest list was unclear, and so way too much food was made for the people who actually attended.

Tonight's question was vague. It was sort of "tell a story about an event". or something. I told about the time my first wife surprised my with full size live action game of Super Mines.

Elise (her last name escapes me) is an artist also staying at Brewster's for a couple of days. She has a show opening at 77 Geary Street. She does wonderful drawings entitled things like "everything in my apartment", "everything in the firehouse" and "everything I need to draw". In these she draws all of the items in the category mentioned. "everything in my apartment" consisted of over 13 thousand distinct images. It's really excellent stuff, and I wish I could afford to buy some.

The biggest surprise of the night : Ruth Anne got Amelia to sleep before dinner (around 8 PM) and she slept through, allowing us a pleasant dinner and adult conversation. Woo hoo!

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