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Backstory of the waffle

It all started with a dream. Wait, no, no, it all started with a conversation in #e a long time ago. You see, WonkoDSane was leaving for waffle house. And my insatiable desire to have waffles was sparked. You see, we have no waffle house here in West Lafayette, IN. For a week I went on about waffles, and my desire and need to have them. Finally, my roomate decided to buy a waffle iron to shut me the hell up. So, we made waffles, we had Orange Juice and Champagne, and syrup of all sorts. And we had a few people over. Yes, this is where the story begins.

We had several of these little waffle gatherings, small, with our friends or whatnot. At some point down the road in May actually. We (myself and brainwave) decided, school had just gotten out, I had just been fired from a fairly lucrative job. We should go to Nashville and have waffles with WonkoDSane. So, we fired up the old e2 messenger and shot a message to both he and Bitca. And a few days later off we went, south of the Mason-Dixon where there are an abundance of waffle houses.

After this little jaunt to the south I forgot about waffles for a while, I was busy doing nothing, and doing some more of nothing. But July rolled around and July meant hot damn 2. This was an event not to be missed, so again, we pack up the ole Saturn and head east. The morning after we got there, there is a run to Waffle house. Well, never one to pass up a chance for a waffle I go. Now this was the last time I had waffles. Until last night.

Backstory of the LAWG

You may not know it, but we have a fair number of noders here in West Lafayette. Being a college town for an engineering school, it's not too surprising. Most of us are imported. At some point Wuukiee and I were talking about local noders, she knew of a few, I knew of a few more. And it naturally came to, "we need to meet these people". So it was decided. I set a date, then changed the date, then changed the date again, then /msg'd some more people. Then, we set a permenant date. It was, well, it was sometime in the fall I don't know. After setting this whole thing up using individual messages and AIM I got the idea (or maybe it was wuukiee neither of us can remember) to set up a user group.

On the eve of or original meeting, an excursion to have sushi We had a user group. We are the LAWG (but don't ask me what it stands for I'm not sure). We got together that first time, not everyone in town made it, but we all got along quite splendidly. We had a few other little gatherings. One when Strong_Bow79 and gwenllian came to town, another just random get-to-gether, then a few weeks back when dann was supposed to roll through town. Which places us conveniently, at my story.

The Story you came to read

Well during these previous gatherings we'd had I'd talked about "we have to have you guys over for waffles some time". And, "Some day we'll do this whole gig at my house" Well, our place is a lot larger than Wuukiee's and we have several different rooms (library, kitchen, Entertainment room), and, it's really quite a decent place to hold a party. Well, at the last gathering we had I said, "that's it, I'm done Saying I'm going to do it, We're going to do it." Or some variant there of. So I said, "dead week or Finals week?" we chose the Friday after dead week, which is really just a fancy term for the week before finals.

The time drew near, and the days started getting cold. And I sent out a message. Friday, December 6, 2002 18:00. Here, Waffles, fondue. There was more to it than that, but you get the idea. not one to leave well enough alone I dug up all of their AIM s/n's and their e-mail addresses. I made sure everyone was constantly updated and in the know. I was a bit of a control freak, but that's okay. Everyone was to contribute SOMETHING, whatever it was however small.

I went shopping and got everything I thought I needed aside from what I had assigned to be brought, I found a fondue recipe (which I'll revise next time I make it) and I ensured everyone had a way to get here. Well, I thought I did anyway. See, I assigned this task to mcc so it's all his fault, blame him. I expect one of his enterage to tell that story. End all, they were 2½ hours late and I started getting stressed. (and brainwave put in his newly acquired My So-Called Life DVDs But They all made it here. Now, let me give you a roster of our little party.

  • At the top there was me CzarKhan
  • Then there's my housemate Brainwave
  • Brad, one of our non e2 friends
  • Then the Rein bearer of the LAWG Wuukiee
  • And the driver of all people living on campus mcc
  • The master of the macintosh PMDboi
  • The bright shining new face of evadyne
  • the slightly quirky and be-webcamed s_alanet
  • a little later came one of brad and brainwave's friends Terry (whom I am informed dislikes me)
  • and last, and here for the shortest time burnboy

I'd met all of these folks but evadyne previous to this little get together. I drove to Boston with Burnboy, And the others had attended our various other get-togethers, but this is the first time they'd all been in the same place at the same time. There were a few of the usual, I'm X, and you would be?... And that, After everyone arrived, I began to make the fondue.

Okay, Now, remember how everyone was to bring something? Well, they got to the house and they were all carrying several bags of things, they'd brought Champagne, and Orange Juice, Chocolates, cashews, beer, fresh fruits, all manner of things coming in so hard that I was proud to be a part of this family we call e2.

I made my fondue, brainwave made his waffles, much dipping of fruit, bits of cake, oatmeal-craison cookies was done. Compliments were made, alcohol was consumed (some by minors, but none of them drove and I don't believe in that law). And i became slightly tipsy, relaxed a lot, changed shirts three times, ate some fondue, ate some fruit, and some cake, had a few beers, several mimosas, and a huge screwdriver. and was feelin' fine.

We all chatted quite a bit then moved into the library to read from the if... books. and be caught by the webcam. I got the best seat in the house right between wuukiee and evadyne, two quite attractive women if I must say so myself. Things slowly wound down, burnboy left kinda early, Then Brad and Terry filtered out. After a while mcc, wuukiee, and S_alanet made their way out the door. The four of us chatted a bit more then made our way to watch Lola Rennt.

all in all, it turned our pretty well. We now have a slightly messy kitchen that I get to clean up. Some new friends, and a promise to do this again. I promise I'm going to try to get you guys together at least once a month from this point forward.

Oh, an you know, it's the damnedest thing
I didn't even eat a fuckin' waffle!

Her name was Lisa. I met her at College Orientation and immediately knew I was going to make her my girlfriend. I did. I fell in love. But then she moved to Florida and broke up with me four days before my birthday. Our relationship officially lasted 8 months. She broke up with me just over 8 months ago.

Of course I still think about her.

We promised to stay friends. And to maybe try again if it were ever possible. She moved back to her parents house sometime during the summer. We've talked only four times since June.

I just finished talking to her again. Over AIM.

I'm saddened. But I think I'm ok.

I think this is the climax of my depression. Or would that be whatever is opposite a climax? I'm not sure.

I have no SO, or even a possible one. I have no real life friends that I can readily see. My grades suck. School is blowing me. The one escape I have in the real world is my job, and well, we all know how pathetic that is.

But I think I'm all right.

Isn't that what we always tell ourselves? That we'll be all right and everything will be ok? We're silly organisms, that we are. Pessimistics are odd people. Optimistics are frightening people. And only with a healthy dose of both can one truly be happy. So what does that mean? Don't dwell on the past, and don't look to the future. Live in the today. One step at a time. Viva Las Vegas.

And yet we almost never do it. We never take it one step at a time. We think life is a chess game; and we plan for the future, and kick ourselves for losing our queen five moves ago.

I try. I remember just after September 11, 2001 how everyone was panicking. Worrying about war, the draft, future attacks. They asked me if I was worried at all. I told them no; I wasn't. I am not fearful of the draft because if the draft were to be enforced, that would mean the United States Army is losing to a bunch of cave dwelling goat fuckers. But aren't you afraid of future attacks? No; I'm not. The World Trade Center is a one time thing within my lifetime. The CIA and FBI won't allow themselves to be caught with their pants around their ankles more than once. I mourned for the victims. I gave them their day. And then I continued with my life. I did not see the point in worrying about the future of myself, or America. I would simply live on. Moment to moment. Day to day.

And yet I still pretend that it's all right. I pretend I'm living happily, and I pretend I am too busy playing counter strike and Diablo II to bother with real people. Heh. I amuse myself too.

Thank you, e2. For listening.

It's been awhile since I last wrote a daylog. I've been working like mad with 3D Studio Max5- just started on my first original mesh, the NX-221 USS Athena (Trek- original design by yours truly). It's coming along slowly but surely. Every day I add something new and different or replace some element of the ship that doesn't sit well with me for one reason or another. The guys over at SciFi Meshes.Com have been quietly supportive, which helps. I'm still learning about the software and this experience has been an incredible adventure in using what I've already learned and learning new stuff. My day is wasted if I don't learn something new.

My job as a movie theater projectionist is beginning to take a severe toll on my psyche. We now have set schedules and, of course, I have nothing but night shifts- six PM to closing every night except Saturdays and Mondays, which means I get out of work on weekdays at around midnight and about 2 AM on Fridays. I don't see the sun much anymore except at sunrise and sunset- the intervening hours are usually spent sleeping. The winter is getting to me, too, which conspires with my work hours to inspire even more depression. The Winter Blahs. Blah.

Every night after work I come to the cafe and it's the same story, mostly. Kids, some drunk and some not, all shouting and whining and being... kids. I'm turning into an old grump, I tell you. Then again, I never really was one for high-energy crowds... they tend to scare me, always making it clear to me that I can't watch every possible vector of potential trouble.

A girl who's been hanging around the cafe a lot lately, Sarah, has been dealing with a severe kidney infection which was initially very minor but got progressively worse because she refused to save her money for medicine and her parents equally refused to help her. She's been taken from the cafe to the hospital a few times because she's a boneheaded twit who decides to get drunk while trying to recover from this ailment. She's been going "dry" for the last two weeks, mostly against her will due to finances. She just came into some money and was talking tonight about possibly getting drunk tomorrow. Upon hearing this, I could not stay silent.

"Sarah?" She looked up at me expectantly. "Would you ever let a bull butt-fuck you? I mean, a big, rutting, horned bull."

She was a blank slate for a few seconds, trying to figure out where in the deep recesses of my warped mind such a question could lurk and break free. "There's only three guys I'd ever let-"

I stopped her. "I'm not talking about people. I'm talking about bulls. Anal sex with a bull. Yes or no?"

"No," she said with a look of disgust mixed with confusion clouding her features.

"And why not?" I asked, not giving her enough time to answer. "Because it'd kill you, right?" She nodded, uncertain where I was going with this. "So... if you won't take it up the ass from a bull because it'll kill you, then why on earth would you even consider going out and getting drunk if it'll relatively have the same effects?" She blinked hard at me, at a loss for words or a response. "I mean, let's recap here, Sarah. The last few times you got drunk, you ended up in the hospital- every time. You threw up blood, you passed out twice. You cried incessantly about the horrible ache in your kidneys. You couldn't eat for two days. You got no sleep from all the stress and anxiety. And while you may think your self-confidence was bolstered, you were actually pretty melodramatic and over-sensitive about most things that you would normally ignore when sober."

"Yes," she said uncertainly. "That's all very true. And, when you put it like that, it doesn't sound like such a good idea."

"...and yet you're still considering it, aren't you? You're still thinking about getting drunk tomorrow night, knowing that the end result will be right on par with taking it up the ass from a bull. If you want to die experiencing just a few moments of pleasure, well hell, Sarah, I can take you out to Whitehouse, just thirty miles out of town, and introduce you to a bull that's ready and raring to go. I mean, there's got to be a bull out there, somewhere, who's looking to keep warm for this cold winter night. What do you say?"

She was quiet for several seconds, looked down and said, "Maybe I won't get drunk tomorrow night after all."

The rest of the room was deathly silent during this entire, warped conversation. Everyone was holding their breath, awaiting my reply. "Damn right you won't," I said softly. "Now... should I say it or will you?"

She knew what I was talking about. "I'll say it," she answered. "I'm a fucking idiot."

"You're a young fucking idiot," I corrected her. "But you're an idiot that we all care for, so when we hear you talking about doing something blindly stupid like you have been, well, we as your friends, tend to get our panties in a twist. Now shut up about getting drunk and tell us something worth hearing."

Three people promptly stood up and applauded, which was quickly followed by everyone else who'd heard the exchange. Sarah's best friend, Andrew, told me that he coulnd't have put it better himself.

Just another day at the cafe.

This morning I bought breakfast for a homeless person. I feel good about myself for the first time in months. Dealing with college exams and my exgirlfriend had made me begin to contemplate my value as a person. From all the underhanded ways I made meager amounts of cash (selling alcohol, pimping my body to the med students MRI machine, offering information for a price), I doubted that I was saveable; I was going straight to hell, and there was nothing that could get in my way. Maybe God, if he exists will forgive me, maybe I love myself after all. Sometimes you feel like nothing you can do will change anything.

And every now and then, the small things make all the difference.

After having her angst removed in a brutal, anaesthesia-free psychic surgery performed by EDB, Lucy-S wanders dazed through her daily life. Her psychospatial matrix has been destabilized to the extent that, when no other human is there to observe her condition, she isn't quite herself. Sometimes, she is unusually glamorous. Sometimes, she can speak only Spanish, and as a result can't understand herself. Sometimes, she is full of bees, but not in an angstful way.

This morning, she wakes to find herself tiny as a mouse. She wriggles free of the carnival tent of her pajamas and rolls a spool of thread to the top of the stairs so that she can rappel down to the basement. The kitten's down there, lonely in his 10-day quarantine. He's the only other creature stirring in the entire apartment, and today, she can understand his gravelly miaows.

"Hey! Let me out of here!" the kitten complains to the ceiling. "My people never got this kind of shabby treatment in Egypt!"

Lucy steps toward the cage. She built it during the summer with white wire shelving panels and plastic cable ties. It's big enough for a litter box, a food and water bowl, a cat bed, and a few square feet of pacing space.

The kitten spots Lucy watching him through the bars. To her, he's as big as an elephant.

"Are you prey?" he asks, sniffing at her.

"No, I am not prey. And you have to stay in there until Thursday. You got worms, and nobody else wants them."

The kitten arches his back haughtily. "How dare you suggest that I should be infected with worms!"

Lucy nods towards the litter box. "Then what's that I see in there? They come out in clumps like that, you know. And then I have to clean them up, so don't bullshit me about what is or is not in your poo."

"Oh." The kitten looks deflated. "So that's why my tummy hurt."

"Kitten, I don't know what to do with my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I'm pretty good at it, but nobody here is hiring writers or editors or even web designers right now. I can get lots of volunteer work, mind you, just no paying gigs. That wouldn't bother me so much but for the fact that I need money to pay for rent and food and such."

"Money?" the kitten asks.

"Yes, money. You get it by working at a job. Ideally, a job should be something you'd want to do anyway, but most often you get money doing something you'd rather not do. Sometimes you think you'd almost rather gouge your own eyes out than do the thing you're paid to do. It's a flaw in the system."

"Do you get to play with string and chase balls at jobs?"

"Well, some professional musicians do the former and athletes do the latter, but sadly I'm not one of them. When I'm lucky, I get to wear jeans and come in at noon to work at a computer. When I'm unlucky, I have to wear dry-clean-only dresses and pantyhose and fight downtown rush hour traffic to get someplace by 9 a.m. to work at a computer."

"You smelled like dry cleaning the other day," the kitten says. "Did you go someplace for a job?"

"Yeah, I had an interview at a pipe fittings company. It was for a freelance job to fix the singularly most horrendously screwed up Pagemaker catalog I've ever seen. It was over 300 megabytes big, 190 pages long, and had literally hundreds of missing file links. And whoever had converted it from Illustrator had rendered what should be text blocks as graphics, so it's the biggest pain to update.

"And they want it fixed in the next week. And they're going behind the back of a woman they hired to see if someone else can fix it faster. And they don't want to pay very much. This whole thing happened to them because their president is too cheap to either send one of his existing employees off to a daylong seminar to get trained in Pagemaker or to keep a regular graphic designer on part-time to take care of this stuff.

"I've been shafted on dodgy freelance gigs before. The little voice in my head said 'Flee! Flee now!' I've learned to listen to that little voice, so afterward I emailed them to decline bidding on the project."

"Flea?" the kitten asks. "I've had those."

He scratches behind his ear.

"Yes, and that's the other reason you have to stay down here, so the Frontline can kill off the rest of your passengers. Having to flea bomb this place would be a nightmare," Lucy says.

Suddenly, there's a creaking on the stairs and heavy footsteps coming into the basement. Lucy is observed, and in a split-second she shoots back up to her normal size.

"Miaow?" says the kitten.

Braunbeck is staring at Lucy. "Where are your clothes?"

"I'm observing an ancient winter solstice ritual," she says. "The first Sunday of December is always Speak With Animals Naked in a Very Cold Room day."

"But I thought last Sunday was the first Sunday of this month," he replies suspiciously.

Lucy shrugs. "I'm just going by what my Yahoo! calendar says," she replies lightly, then breezes past him to get her pajamas back on.

Yeah, so today was miserable for me...

My girlfriend didn’t come home 2 nights ago. She left a message around midnight for me saying she was out at a pub drinking lots of beer because she felt stressed. I happened to be out at the gas station with my friend frank buying tobacco and I had left my cell phone in the house. I got home and saw the message and tried to call her on her mobile. It was turned off.

she didn’t come home that night... the next morning I was worried sick... I called her best friend, mother and brother. in the year we have lived together she had never done anything like this before.

At about 2 pm she called, wouldn’t say where she was but that she’d be home in 20 minutes. I feared the worst, but at least I knew she was ok.

I was right it was the worst... she had slept with another man and was breaking up with me after 2.5 years together.

I’m completely freaked out. This happened the same day I finally found a new job doing pr for opel autos, after being unemployed for 3 months.

2 days later we still haven’t really spoken. After her surprise betrayal and confession I left the house and went to my friend Frank’s house. When I came home I couldn’t face her and I went to bed and pulled the covers up over my head.

I felt like dying, I feel like dying. She went out and didn’t come back last night either. Today when she came in she looked more beautiful than ever, her hair was windswept and her cheeks rosy red from the cold.

She looked at me as if I was in her way. Then I asked her when we would talk, she said she was leaving to go to a football match with her brother. She said we could talk when she returned around 11 (in just an hour or so).

I don’t know what to do, I’m paralysed with fear, after seeing her this afternoon, and seeing the cold way she looked at me, my hope is fading...

Is it really over? Is it really time to wake up? I guess I’ll know soon.

Up early, but not as early as it would have been if we were in the Presidio. Amelia was kind enough to stay asleep until we were ready to head out. I was feeling good, in part because of the can of Rock Star that I had ready in the fridge. Typical boring day of boring airline travel: curbside check-in and drop off Amelia and Ruth Anne; return the rental car, get through security. I took the airport shift, meaning that I chased Amelia around the terminal while Ruth Anne read her book. I knew that once we were on board Ruth Anne would end up with the lion's share of the work.

We were officially booked into window and middle seats, which would have been bad. The lady in the aisle seat was willing to trade, so we could be in aisle and middle seats. Through a miraculous stroke of luck, a whole row was available across the aisle and back one, so we had a whole row to ourselves, as did the nice lady in our original row.

The dinner was a tomato pasta dish, which was surprisingly tasty. The movie was Crocodile Hunter: The Movie, which wasn't too bad. Ruth Anne got Amelia to sleep during the movie, and she slept for something more than an hour. The rest of the time, Ruth Anne was mostly walking in the aisle or at one end or the other chatting with various flight attendants, all of whom were totally smitten with Amelia by the end of the flight.

Land, claim luggage, fetch the car, back to fetch Ruth Anne and Amelia, and home again after a quick stop at UDF for three different kinds of milk (whole for Amelia, 2% for Ruth Anne and skim for me).

Ruth Anne and I were exhausted by the time we got home, even though it was only 8:00 local time and only 5 PM San Francisco time. Amelia, however, was still firmly on Pacific time. After failing to get Amelia to sleep, I let Ruth Anne have a little nap, and Amelia and I went downstairs to play. For the most part, I sat and read a book (The Genius of Science by Abraham Pais) while Amelia played, as she only demanded my participation occasionally. I was in the rocking chair, and now and then she would come over and rock me. Quite sweet and advanced for a child only 17 months old.

By around 11 PM Amelia was willing to go to sleep, so I could too.

The disturbing conversation I had at the bonenkai

My han consists of only 8 households, and it was the inhabitants of these 8 households that got together at the local Chinese restaurant to celebrate the end of the year.

Japan is an aging society, and this is reflected in the makeup of my han. Five of the eight households consist solely of elderly people. The three exceptions are all families with children ranging from 5 to 14.

I live in a small country town, in an area noted for its conservatism and rural ways. It's probably as good an example of small-town country thinking as you can get in Japan.

And so there I was at my han bonenkai - a 6' tall gaijin with funny hair and ear rings - a classic fish out of water. Things were quiet at first. My neighbours were shy, and I was no better, as making conversation in Japanese is practically impossible for me.

But after a few drinks we all loosened up. Assisted by one of the younger women who spoke reasonably good English, they started to ask me the standard questions gaijin are always asked:

  • How do you like Japan?
  • Can you eat Japanese food?
  • Can you use chopsticks?
  • etc.

I'd dealt with these questions a thousand times before, and so knew the appropriate noises to make. My neighbours started to relax. And here is where the conversation took a disturbing turn.

"You are very kind", they said.

"Oh thank you", I replied, trying to brush off this compliment.

"No, you are a very nice person", they repeated, with genuine feeling.

"Thank you", I replied.

"These days in Japan, there are many different types of people, but they are not so kind", they said, and an alarm bell started ringing in my head.

Uh oh. This was code, of a fairly obvious kind. What they were really saying was that they felt that Japan today is full of scary criminal foreigners, but I had nevertheless shown myself to be acceptable. I suppose this was meant as a sort of backhanded flattery, but it came across as more backhanded than flattery. However just as I was starting to wonder whether my initial suspicion regarding this line of questioning was correct, my worst fears were confirmed by the next question:

"What do you think of Japanese people?"

I spied my opening. Before I could think twice I blurted out "Japanese people are the same as everybody else", and it was only when all jaws at the table dropped that I realised that I had given exactly the wrong answer, at least from the point of view of my neighbours.

The conversation moved on, as these things do. I was treated cordially enough, but there was a definite chill. Had I gone too far? Perhaps I should have been more sensitive to the mores of my community?

Ah fuck it, they deserved it.

Today is a day that I never want to forget.

Today is the 1 year and 1 month anniversary of the day I asked my girlfriend (now my fiancee) out. It started off when i woke up this afternoon (when else would i wake up?)

She was already awake.

I assume she was working on some sort of schoolwork (probably for her theatre class). when she saw that i was awake, she layed down next to me and i held her in my arms. for a while and we talked about nothing (as per usual).

After deciding where to go for dinner (breakfast? lunch? what the hell are you talking about?). We layed in bed for another couple of hours.

We ended up eating at Joe's Crab Shack.

After dinner we went to Starbucks for coffee. The moment we walked out the door it felt as though we'd flashed back to high school. All of the problems we've faced since leaving for college just vanished. Everything felt perfect.

We returned to her dorm room to watch a movie.

When we got back to the dorm, we played near the front door like little kids wrestling.

We put in Enemy at the Gates and watched it all the way through.

After the movie ended, we put on a single candle to light the room. The way we talked to each other brought us back to the time that we first had sex. It felt exactly like that night a little over a year ago. We were both nervous and excited.

We talked as though we were reliving that magical night, our thoughts flowed out of our minds and into our words.

The sex was indescribable, so i will not even venture an attempt at it.

Afterwards, a powerful feeling of wellbeing washed over me. I know i must have had an enormous grin on my face (which probably look quite odd).

Then, a birthday announcement came in on her icq account... holy shit! i completely forgot that it would be my birthday in 2 days.

Right there in front of me, she typed out a birthday ecard on icq. Seeing what she wrote was a catalyst that set all the euphoric feelings free within me.

For no reason at all, i broke down into tears of joy.

I felt that this was important for some reason, so i rushed to her computer to create a way for me to remember this moment, and here is that means of remembrance.

Jackie: If you're reading this... i love you with alll my heart. thank you for being the only one for me.

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