the small steps we take when we are afraid. the great leaps we take when the fear becomes a furious sort of courage. it is like tossing ourselves into everything all at once, every dark alley you didn't explore, every person you'd ever wanted to fall for all wrapped into this one last chance to prove yourself as a human. to prove to yourself that you deserve to live, to have lived as far.

it's all rather dramatic, really.


how do we ever know anything? it seems, sometimes, that it is all a matter of convincing yourself that any one thing is reality, truth. that only this one thing is right. the flaws in this particular idea are obvious, eventually there is doubt.

there is always doubt. and oh - it will eat at you. fear will seem like a beautiful sort of relief from the nervous doubt that will creep into you.


dreams. they are all we have. dreams and..


new love, mostly. a blanket. the one thing that can have us feel so intensely and so certainly, if only for a while.


got you on my mind, today. got a lost love and a nervous feelin'. feels like spring. like change. spend so much time waiting for an end, an answer, think you'll hear it in the wind. you just never know.

how it makes you a weapon..
He signs the credit card slip for the twelve pack of Mountain Dew and the bag of Doritos. He being the 19 year old "world is my oyster" guy from down the street.

"You'ld better keep that," he says cockily. "I'm going to be famous."

"Oh yah? Famous doing what?"

"I'm a drummer," he says puffing out his chest.

"In a band hmm?"

"It's where I'm headed now"

I don't say that drummers are a dime a dozen. I don't say you need to be a percussionist to make it big and even those have years of training on top of incredible talent. Instead I say, "What college band are you in?"

"HA! I don't have time for school. What a waste! I have more important things to do. So, be sure to save that slip of paper. It's going to be worth something some day." And cocky boy with a toss of his hair swishes out the door.

He's got confidence going for him, I will give him that. I wonder how long he'll be able to hold onto that in this dog eat dog world without a back up plan. Confidence isn't going to put food on the table. Neither will a lack of higher education. Who knows, maybe he will be one of the lucky ones that accidently bumps into the right person who hooks him up in a rock and roll band that will shoot straight for the stars.

Right now I see that this signature is worth exactly $5.28. I fold the slip in half and slide it into my basket with the other credit receipts.

"Next please?"

If you haven't heard the song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk, you should. It sounds like a drunken post-coital jam session for robots in a run down motel on the seedier side of town, recorded between the bodies of sleeping robot prostitutes, from the proceeds of a robot pimp with a lazy eye named Sven.

The pimp, not the eye.


Today's Headlines

US News

Dozens Killed In Nightclub Fire in Rhode Island
A fire engulfed a nightclub called The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island, late Thursday evening resulted in more than forty deaths and two hundred injuries. The fire broke out at about 11 PM at The Station at the beginning of a concert by the band Great White, whose guitarist is among the missing. Fire officials questioned the safety of the pyrotechnics used in the show as the potential cause of the fire.

Girl Has Second Transplant After Mistake
Jessica Santillan, 17, was in critical condition at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, after her second four hour long heart-lung transplant. The first transplant, which occurred on February 7, 2003, was botched due to mismatched blood types between Jessica and the donated organs. The new organs were repeatedly screened to ensure blood type compatibility.

Democrats Announce New Strategies For 2004 Presidential Campaign
After devastating losses in the November 2002 elections, the Democratic Party initiated a new project, called Project 5104, which is designed to ellicit small donations and grassroots support by using a database of demographic information on 158 million potential voters. This signifies a change in direction from the party's heavy reliance on so-called soft money donations in recent years.

International News

Islamic Jihad Claims Only One of Indicted Men
Khaled Batsh, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad, charged late yesterday that only one of the eight people indicted in the United States on charges of terrorism is an active member of his organization; the United States claims that all of the individuals are members. Batsh claims that the Bush administration is looking for scapegoats in the "war on terror" because it hasn't been able to track down Osama bin Laden.

North Korea Declines Discussion of Nuclear Decisions at NAM
At the Non-Aligned Movement nuclear disarmament committee meeting this morning, North Korea told other members of the group that it did not want to discuss its nuclear policies, but North Korea asked for support of developing nations in condemning the United States. Instead, North Korea insists on bilateral talks with the United States and seeks a non-agression treaty with Washington.

Turkey Seeks Aid-For-Troops Deal With United States
Turkey held out hope late Thursday for an "aid-for-bases" deal with the United States. Under the deal, Turkey would allow use of their military bases for a potential United States attack on Iraq in exchange for a significant financial aid package. The proposed package has an estimated value of $26 billion. Turkish economic markets have risen rapidly in the last week in anticipation of the sealing of such a deal.


FCC Chairman's Failure May Derail His Agenda
FCC chairman Michael Powell's defeat yesterday on his sweeping plan to deregulate the regional telephone networks. Powell was defeated in a committee addressing the issue, which was populated by a Republican majority, of which Powell was a member. This event could cause potential problems later for the FCC chair as he seeks to ease rules on broadband communications and caps on large media corporations.

Northwest Airlines Adds Fuel Surcharge to Discounted Flights
Northwest Airlines this morning added a $20 fuel surcharge to all discounted flights. This comes after a tumultuous week in the airline industry, where Northwest did not go along with an industry-wide increase in fares, causing the initiative to fail. This move was in response to increasing oil prices.

G7 to Meet in Paris This Weekend
Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven industrialized nations, plus Russia, will meet in Paris on Friday and Saturday to discuss potential economic fallout from a war between the United States and Iraq. Also being discussed are budget policies of the member countries and how to incorporate emerging economies such as China into the group.

Science & Technology

ELC Releases Embedded Linux Standard
The Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC) has released the ELC Platform Specification version 1.0 this week. The specification is available to the public as of this morning at

US Deciding How To Relieve Space Station Crew
NASA reports that they have nearly finished their deliberations on how to relieve the crew stranded on the International Space Station while the space shuttle fleet is still grounded. The top plan is to send a Russian Soyuz rocket to the station, replacing the crew with a fresh crew and fresh supplies. The shuttle fleet was expected to provide most of the ferrying between the space station and the planet surface.

IBM Upgrades Low End Web Servers
IBM has announced that they are upgrading their line of pSeries 630 web servers by adding the Power4+ processor to the configuration. IBM claims that with this chip addition, the p630 web server is the most powerful entry level web server on the market and again reflects IBM's focus and dominance in terms of the low end Unix server market.


Coffee Consumption Can Increase Stillbirth Risk
Researchers at at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark report that consumption of coffee during pregnancy can greatly increase the chances of stillbirth. The researchers found that pregnant women who drank four to seven cups of coffee a day had an 80% increased risk in stillbirth, and those that consumed more than eight cups of coffee a day had a 300% increased risk over mothers who did not consume coffee during pregnancy.

New Device Detects Breast Cancer Early
Experts at University College London have discovered a way of identifying tumours when they are just 4mm wide. This technology is based on a newly-discovered scattering effect that cancerous cells have on X-rays. Using this concept, the scientists developed a device called Diffraction Enhanced Breast Imaging to analyze this effect and detect small tumors early.


Sonics Deal Gary Payton To Bucks
Yesterday, the Seattle Supersonics traded star point guard Gary Payton and third year guard Desmond Mason to the Milwaukee Bucks for three time All Star Ray Allen and reserve guards Kevin Ollie and Ronald Murray as well as a conditional draft pick. This trade reunites Payton with his long-time coach in Seattle, George Karl, who has coached the Milwaukee Bucks in recent years.

Tyson Fight Back On Again
Amid a week of the usual chaos that surrounds a Mike Tyson boxing match these days, the previously cancelled Saturday night match between Mike Tyson and Clifford Etienne in Memphis, Tennessee is now back on. Tyson, who in recent days has added a large tattoo to the left side of his face, claimed to be ill earlier this week and called off the fight, but after some last minute negotiations and a "miraculous" recovery, the match is now going on as planned.


Michael Jackson Documentary Saga Continues
Sky One is the latest channel to cash in on the Michael Jackson/Martin Bashir documentary controversy, agreeing to air Michael Jackson's revision of the original documentary on February 24, 2003. This revised documentary, including footage shot by Jackson's own entourage, shows that Martin Bashir made false statements while creating the original documentary on Michael Jackson.

Grammys Set To Feature Simon and Garfunkel
This year's Grammy ceremony, set to air live from New York City this Sunday, is expected to feature a segment honoring legendary folk duo Simon and Garfunkel, who split in 1970 and have only reunited occasionally since. The duo is from New York City, and given the recent tragedies, a poignant tribute is expected.

And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

As some of you know, I intentionally keep parts of myself hidden from those at e2, even going so far as to keep my gender a secret. Last night, a user of e2 started asking me a great number of personal questions about myself, such as my gender, my job, and so forth. I basically stopped answering the questions.

At around the same time, I became aware of the "controversy" around ephealy's "death" and "resurrection." If you don't know the situation, take a gander at ephealy's homenode.

I was part of a discussion on this situation with some other users, and our esteemed dem bones hit the nail on the head, I think: There's no need for personal lives to cross the line into E2. Right on, bones.

I came here because I enjoy writing and reading what others have written. I've stuck around because there are a lot of interesting writers here who have written some interesting things. I've never met another noder from here. I've not talked offline to another noder from here. I don't have any deep aversion to meeting anyone, but I don't have any compulsion to meet anyone, either.

A lot of you will probably be nodding your heads in agreement right now. Others will be wondering why this is. Perhaps a few of you are planning on hunting me down and skinning me alive. Hopefully a very few of you on that last one.

I'm here because it's fun to write. There are interesting people to talk to, like BlueDragon and corwin and atesh and borgo and dannye and Ouroboros and countless others. I get to write my own stuff and contribute it to an interlinked network of writing, discover that others like it (sometimes), and show my appreciation for other's good writing.

But that's where it ends. E2 is not a substitute for life. It is a fun diversion for evening hours or long rainy afternoons. And it stays there.

I love e2. I've donated some money to the site and I would hate to see it ever disappear. I've talked to several people I quite like here and would be just fine with meeting some day.

But when it crosses the line into something outside of E2 without anyone else's consent and mutual interest, then something is wrong.

Hi everybody! - I went to the dentist the other day and want to tell you about it.

I thought I was only going to get my teeth cleaned but he found a cavity and I had to get it filled. This was my first one and I didn’t know what he was going to do.

He gave me two needles in my mouth and it went numb. My mom told me it was something called Novocaine and it would stop it from hurting so much. The needles hurt and I was scared but after a little while I couldn’t feel anything in my mouth.

The dentist drilled a hole in my tooth and filled it up. My mouth was still numb and felt funny. I was talking funny and my mom said my smile looked weird. When it was over we went to Maggie Moo’s and I had a root beer float. It tasted real good!

Then my dad met us there and took me home to his house. I wasn’t allowed to chew anything for a couple of hours so he made chicken soup for dinner. It was good.

I’m going to brush my teeth a lot more and try not to eat so much candy. I’m going to floss a lot more too. I don’t want any more cavities. See you next week. Thank you!

graceness turned me on to Homestar Runner the other day, and I cannot thank her enough.

As you may or may not know, when you enter the site's main page one of seventeen different page designs randomly loads. One of them (number thirteen) has the look and feel of an Atari 2600 game. Hovering the pointer over different menu items causes different animated scenes to play.

Pointing to the e-mailoption causes a 2600-ized rendition of site villain Strong Bad to run across the screen, carrying the Holy Grail from the game Adventure while pursued by one of the dragons from the game. "SOMEBODY GET THIS FREAKIN' DUCK AWAY FROM ME!" he screams.

This one small bit makes me happier than just about anything has in months.

Last night...whew...where to begin...

My roommate is from Macedonia. He's normally an OK guy, but lately, he's been getting on my nerves. Watching Spanish soap operas until 4 AM, turning on the TV and blasting the volume when I'm obviously trying to study or watch a DVD on my laptop, laughing uproariously at Friends (I'm sorry, it's just not that funny), locking me out of the room for two hours when I just got up to pee, the fact that he only showers every four days or so, I've gotten used to all that. Sure, I want to stab him with an ice pick sometimes, but it's usually bearable.

So, the other night, he announces that his friend from Macedonia was coming to spend the night. That's fine, I would've appreciated some advanced notice, but whatever. So she gets here, and they, along with two friends of mine, go out to a party at around 11:30. I stayed in to do some studying. They get back around 3 AM. And then the shit hit the fan.

My roommate and both my friends were drunk. They get here, get in bed, and I'm trying to sleep. My roommate is whispering sweet nothings without actually whispering them, serenading her in Macedonian, and laughing this obnoxious laugh, not dissimilar to the one I hear when Joey Tribbiani acts stupid on television. I try to drown this out as my friend comes in, also rather drunk. Her roommate was in the process of hooking up with some guy, and she asked to sleep in our room. Being a gentleman, I offer her my bed, which she declines in favor of the floor. My roommate also offers for her to squeeze in bed with him and his friend. Did I mention that, whenever my roommate is drunk, he propositions girls for sex? Well, he did this again. My friend brushed it off sarcastically, to which he replied (and this is a direct quote:

It's okay, though, we can have sex and still just be friends!

My friend again sarcastically says thanks but no, but my roommate has trouble understanding sarcasm when he's sober. He said fine, and he'd try again tomorrow. Because, in his words, he's a "nice guy". I tell him what a gentleman he truly is, offering to fuck with no strings attached. He didn't get it. So he goes back to his giggling and whispering while my friend on the floor gets up to use the bathroom. When she doesn't return after five minutes, my roommate's friend gets up to check on her. She comes back, speaks to my roommate in Macedonian, and he get's up to leave. I ask him what's going on, he says nothing. Apparently, "nothing" mean's "she's puking" in Macedonian.

So my friend gets back and goes to sleep, and my roommate goes back to his whispering and singing, until I politely tell him (it's 5 AM by this point, mind you) to shut the fuck up. He finally complies.

Thank God he went home for the weekend.

I had the rare opporunity to tour the n-Space video game development studio (they're the group that made games such as Duke Nukem: A Time to Kill, Danger Girl, and Bug Rider) today and I thought I'd share some of the neat things I saw on the tour. The office is in the process of moving, plus there's those nasty nondisclosure agreements that got in the way of me seeing any top secret stuff, but I did get to see a few interesting things.

The first neat thing I saw was a Nintendo GameCube that ran on game paks instead of discs. Yes, it's true! The catch is that they use the game paks to copy games they need to test and that way they can reuse the game paks later, whereas the discs are single-burn items and the game paks contain hard drives. I also saw someone playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker which won't be out in the USA until next month.

One room in the studio was loaded with consoles: Nintendo GameCubes, Sony Playstation 2s, Microsoft XBOXes, a Sega Saturn and more. Another room had arcade machines in it, such as Tank Gunner and Street Fighter II: Championship Edition. As for the development teams themselves, each was located in their own rooms. One room handled animation, another did programming, another was the kiddie department (Rugrats et al), and still another was the music room.

Overall it was fascinating to see the inner workings of a game development house, although I wish I'd been able to see some things in active development. Darn secrecy...

Last night I had noticed that a local diner had been replaced by a Grand Buffet. I'd never heard of the place, but it had Chinese characters on the sign, so I was guessing it was a Chinese restaurant. I went there this afternoon, hoping that it was, and hoping that they delivered, because I still haven't found anyplace to deliver Chinese food to me. Turns out they don't deliver, and it's a buffet and food bar of biblical proportions. Imagine the food bar at your local Frisch's or Bob's Big Boy. Now multiply that by five. Enormous variety of Chinese food, plus sushi and eclairs and lots of other yummy stuff. I stuffed myself silly for only $5.25 ($5.57 with tax). Definitely gets two thumbs up.

This evening we went up to Kenwood Mall for dinner. Ruth Anne had a hankering for the bourbon chicken from the Cajun place in the food court. Another big plus at the food court is the large carpeted place for small children to run around in. Amelia had a great time, and we spent almost three hours there, not accomplishing much other than amusing the child and developing her motor skills.

Started noding Unicode 2.1, but it's going to be a bigger job than most. Noded Tetragrammaton in which previous write-ups lacked examples in any but Hebrew and Greek.

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