My Deepest Apologies to A.A. Milne

The phone rings.

"Hello?" I said.


"Marcus. What's up?"

"You remember that thing with Violet? That crazy thirty year old chick from Enfield?"

"Uh..." I wince.

"A couple of the guys here at work are showing Gina the tape of it, right now."

"But I didn't cheat on Gina!!! We just started dating."

"No... the webcam."

"Oh wait. That was the..." cross-face chicken wing on Gina's sparkling image of me?

"Yep. Winnie-the-Pooh."

"Fuck Christ! Sweet Jesus! Stop her! Why are you caling me?! STOP HER!!!" I could hear myself in the background:

"Well, I tried to stop 'em but there's a bunch of 'em, man. No dice. Just wanted to call and warn you. How do you think she'll take it?"

"I don't know, Marcus. You're lookin' at her."

"She seems kind of conservative to be witnessing this. She's wincing now, but hey, at least you weren't caught out cheating."

"Dude! She's wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh costume and you're..."

"Shut up, man," I said.

"And you're dressed like..." He started to laugh.


"Just call me after she sees the bad part. Okay Marcus?"


It was like I had pica. I hung up and started eating things. Gina was watching a tape of me having sex with a chick in a bear suit. What the Hell was I thinking? After a minute, my phone rang. I picked it up.

"I told you to call after the bad part..."

"What are you talking about?"

"Oh... What's up, Gina?" I said.

"Hey HONEY, wanna meet up for lunch somewhere?"


Commercials come and go, and as a new crop of advertisements appear on my television then it must mean it's time for another installment of "Commercials I Hate".
  • What's It Like To Bite Into A Twix? Well, if this human beatbox is any indication, biting into a Twix must be pure hell. Human beatboxes must be all the rage in marketingland, as last month Chilli's was using one to hype their menu. This month we get another rapping percussionist, and just as it looks like the commercial can't get any worse, we're "treated" to an extreme close-up of the man's mouth, complete with horrid teeth! Crunchy!
  • Checkers's "Ya Gotta Eat!" No, I don't. Next please.
  • Stop Payment Notice This is a local spot, so you probably haven't seen it if you live outside of Florida. This commercial begins with Used Car Commercial Voice Man announcing "STOP! A stop payment notice has been issued for all cars in your area!". Call me crazy, but I sincerely doubt Bud Looter's Chevrolet used car dealership has the authority to override the bank.
  • Chilli's American Idol It takes a special level of suck to make my list twice in a row, but Chilli's has done it with that infernal baby back ribs jingle. This month the company got two American Idol rejects to sing it a capella. "I want my baby back"? How about "I want my thirty seconds back"?

Let's hope that next month is a better month for advertisements. I'll be watching because, apparently, I gotta eat.

wot a week i have had.

my father just rang...

I don't know if I've ever FULLY communicated to anyone how little, small, worthless, and inept he made me feel as a teenager.

He made me feel like shit because i didn't care about school. I think he thought when he said 'well if u get a job, you can leave' he thought i would abandoned the challenge.

When i got the job at the newsagency and left.. literally he got off my case. other things started, but.. yeah.. the world got slightly brighter..

I know he always thought i was a bit of a failure for not having attended uni, and i think that's y i feel that i missed out on something by NOT going..

but i also feel that pretty much i achieved the life in computers i DID want.. all be it through a WEIRD path..

SO you will see the BITING IRONY that I feel when he calls me up in the middle of the day and says, "with work, we are speaking to young school kids yr 10 and telling them that they DON'T have to attend uni.. they can achieve a career without going to uni.." and... "guess who he'd like to be a guest speaker as an example...."


i think he was a bit shocked when i laughed at him..

said I'd do it though.. I'm SO not going to miss the chance to 'strike back at the system' and tell these kids to leave school.. i still harbour a strong resentment to the schooling system.. but i mean really.. being asked to do this by Dad.. wow...

Oh and it's my little sisters 27th birthday.. happy birthday Emily.. gosh i feel old

Never Be an Engineer

mom told me there would be days like this

You'll lose your soul....

Now I sit here after a long night of studying -- looking, watching, quantitative analysis, planning, measuring, calculating, plug into the state equation, eigenvalue, characteristic equation, sum of moments about a point are zero...

but I digress....

There is so much in the world to learn, and there are so many people working so hard to develop ways for the next wave of brave young men and women to understand and expound upon those methods and ideas...

One would think that after having set his or her mind to a goal, after having latched their dream to the rising crest of the clock-cycle of their life, which they would be able to work towards such a goal -- without imaginary impedance. Are we getting less intelligent? Because there are not enough people at this school that are willing to take a hard course, with a hard professor, I will not be able to achieve my goal... my dream. My every aspiration as defined by the moments leading up to right now -- The school just won't accommodate it.

An eerie sense of trepidation and loathing settle on my skin like the oil of a three-day unwashed face. The scariest thing I've ever had to face is the idea that the basket that I've put all my eggs in may have been designed by a shitty mechanical engineer.

No road looks good from here. As far as the eye can see, there is nothing but digression or loss.
-----I stay: I lose my dream, I pick another emphasis, and I deal with it. I go about my business, and I don't get to get my Electrical Engineering degree with an emphasis in VLSI.

-----I go: I spend at least a year catching up to the standards of the university I transfer to, I spend multitudes of money at an out-of-state university, but I graduate with something I can hold to be true.

-----I stand here in the middle: I go nowhere.

The thing that I mostly forget is that this is happening all over. People are getting hosed, and people are intentionally hosing their fellow brethren. Fuck.

Thank you for being there -- only one person in the world that I can't account for. Giving up the ghost. Giving up, or giving in -- who knows. Why do I thank you in the confinement of anonymity...

sorry... I put your picture away.

Sorry for the waste of raw infectious human emotion this daylog probably isn't worth the electrons it's displacing on some faceless, nameless cluster on some undescript hard drive whirring away in some server somewhere in the world.-- my books don't care, my calculator doesn't understand, my thoughts are non-differentiable on the unbounded x-axis, but putting it in the frequency domain might help us see things a little more clearly.

Our lives must be non-homogeneous differential equations with uncertain boundary conditions... *sigh*

I'd like to tell her that I'm lonely and that I'm ready to commit.

I'd like to tell her that I love her and that I'll always be there for her.

I'd like to tell her that I'm ambitious and that I'm already as successful as I'll ever need to be.

I'd like to tell her that I'll live forever and so will she, as long as we have each other.

I'd like to tell her about the stars and the moon and the day and the night and I'd like to tell her about my past.

I'd like to tell her that the future is brighter than ever, that I can see tomorrow through a multi-colored prism when I look into her eyes.

I'd like to hold her in my arms and caress the small of her back while her belly brushes against mine in the cool night air.

I'd like to smell the roses I put in her hair and hold her hand in a dark movie theater.

I'd like to tell her what I've learned from her and teach her things she's never known.

I'd like to share life (and death) with her and make new life.

I'd like to tell her a joke and hear her laugh brightly.

I'd like to cradle her in my arms as she cries over the little things that make her happy and tell her that the world is hers, what little of it I can offer.

But she doesn't exist. She is nowhere to be found. And it's finally turning to Spring.

Another year alone. And a war is coming.

Playwright in Tech

D -7 Day

I haven’t even left yet for Los Angeles, but the inevitable pre-show “it’s-always-something” anxiety is already ratcheting up. The director called and said he’s jammed up trying to find two running crew people for the run of the show. I told him I’d make some calls to folks I know who know the kind of naive young theatre enthusiasts that might do this for the nominal fee. (Just about enough to cover gas and expenses.) It’s tough trying to pull strings and call in old markers from 1,100 miles away, but it’s at least something I can do till I’m down there in the flesh come Saturday. Also, the set designer called me panicked that the producers didn’t schedule enough time in the theatre for tech. Apparently we won’t even have a full dress run in the space until Invited Dress, a.k.a. the night before Opening. He thinks he can manage his end of things, but wonders when and how we’ll be able to set up the lights. Tradition calls for a day to hang, and then another to focus. Not even one day has been scheduled for this. Eeep!.

Now unlike earlier shows of mine, this one is mercifully light on tech, but there’s still plenty of sound and light cues to be worked through, and you can’t do that properly (or really at all) unless you’re in the space that the show’s going up in. (It’s a natural, albeit fallacious, assumption of lay folk that a show simply rehearses in the space its performed, but this is an utter myth from community theatre on up to Broadway. Performance space, always at a premium, is routinely othewise booked until a week before you open. In this case, there are classes scheduled in our space some nights in that last week of rehearsals!) I have no idea when, or even if, there's going to be a proper paper tech or dry tech.

It’s a brand new company I’m working with, though most of the key players are old colleagues from many shows and companies past. Unfortunately, it seems in their efforts to make it an artistically rich experience for the actors, they’ve forgotten the vital technical side of things. It’s a common rookie mistake. Actors are great, but who cares if you can’t see them.

But all the technical worries aside (there’s always plenty of technical worries, and they’re always dealt with somehow), what looms most dolefully for me is how hard being away from my baby boy is going to be after being his primary care-giver these last four months. At nine months old, will he miss me? I hope not. But I know I’ll miss him like fresh air, not to mention my beautiful wife. I’m getting tired of this theatre thing. Too much work; too little pay off.

Fred Rogers’ death makes me think that maybe the rapture has come. The one real person on earth who embodied Christian values has been spirited away to safety, the rest of us left behind to face the apocalypse. Of course, I’m an atheist - I don’t even believe in god, but I loved Fred Rogers. Not a kinder, gentler soul existed in the world -- his simple message, that all children need to feel loved and protected, was so comforting to me when I was a kid.

I’m startled by the tremendous grief I feel. It’s been so long since I’ve seen his show -- since a Children and Television class I took in college, where the professor, a Baltimore Sun media critic, made mild jokes about him being “square.” The names of some of Mr. Rogers’ alter egos have faded from my memory, but I remember King Friday XIII, Meow-Meow, Mr. McFeely, Lady Elaine. More prominent is the feeling of peace the show evoked in me as a kid, the calming effect he had.

This morning I came across a quote in The Washington Post that really moved me and I think summed up Fred Rogers’ impact on the world:

Perhaps no story speaks more about the depths of Mister Rogers' appeal, about his pervasive grace, than one he recounted in an Esquire magazine profile a few years ago. It seems that Fred Rogers wanted to meet Koko, the gorilla who was taught to communicate using American Sign Language. Koko had watched Mister Rogers on television. When they first encountered each other, the 280-pound gorilla instantly enfolded Fred Rogers, all 143 pounds of him, in a massive embrace.

And then? And then Koko took off Mister Rogers's shoes.

Does anything more need to be said?

A while back I bought Terry Wogan's autobiography from for £11.99. It is called 'Is it me?' and I thought it was a decent overview of his life, although I would have liked it if there had been more about his television career, and also photographs of Salma Hayek. For American viewers, Terry Wogan is an Irish radio and television presenter, who has been very successful in Britain in the last twenty years because of his bemused, deadpan, self-aware wit and mellifluous voice.

£11.99 is roughly $18. In the UK £11.99 will buy half a week's shopping for an average working-class person, or a new album on compact disc, or a single shoe of reasonable quality. In America I believe that $18 will purchase 50 rounds of .45 ACP or thereabouts. In the UK I could not possibly own ammunition legally and I weep at the thought of that. I love guns. They fascinate me as objects and symbols. I'd do anything to own one. I wouldn't kill anybody. I'd just savour the ability to do so without the possibility of failure, something which puts me off buying a knife or hammer or making a garrotte. With melee weapons there's always the possibility I might be overpowered when the time comes. But with a gun there is no such possibility, unless it jams. And it would not jam, because I would take care of it as if it was a pet cat. If somebody on Everything2 can help me here I'd be very grateful. I can pay. It has to have a real barrel, not a bored-out piece of pipe. And it has to be a proper firearm, not a converted air pistol or blank firing replica. I've always had a soft spot for the Russians, the Makarov and the Tokarev. They are austere. I like austerity. I don't care about looks or fashion. All I care about is results because I am a child of the Thatcher era, and also because I'm just like that.

Terry seemed to squash the last twenty years of his life into the final tenth of the book, and I didn't like that one little bit. I am 26, and the last twenty years of Wogan's life encompass the great majority of my own years and experience. Lots of things have happened in the last twenty years, momentous events, and I would like to know how Terry saw the events I have seen, and how he interpreted them.

For example, what were Wogan's feelings on my discovery of the Apple Macintosh, on my realisation that Turkmenistan exists, and on the failure of my first driving test? I can barely remember these things myself, and it would have been nice if Wogan had written them down. I am worried that he is trying to wipe me from history, which is terrible of him, especially as I paid 11.99 for his autobiography. He's a great man, but he has a terrible temper.

Anyway, I went into W H Smiths the other day, and imagine my horror when I found out that they were selling the same book for 4.99. It was smaller and the packaging wasn't as good - the cover was floppy - but it was still the same book. It had the same cover and title, and the words were the same. Each and every one of them. The index still made no mention of BASIC or the Mary Rose, though.

I think this is terrible. It devalues the book. It's quite posh.


Weblogs, eh? I like them and hate them at the same time, although I've never read a one in my life. They're either full of stuff I get elsewhere or aimed at another audience, i.e. the author's friends. They remind me of those backslapping on-line new music magazines that review underground records by Thomas Brinkmann and the like; there isn't a cloud of doubt or criticism on their horizon, they're just a big circle of hugs and friendship, a big crèche of sheltered ineffectual liberal types who are thinking and talking themselves into extinction, as criminal scum wipe them out. There's no future in being nice and full of love and listening to glitchy experimental electronoise; it's a dead end. People need to listen to something that will fire them up for the coming war, the war of the individuals, every man for himself and God against all. Hate will win; for decent, law-abiding people to triumph we must be made to feel hate, we must hate the people who make us hate, for making us feel hate. That's why I like weblogs; they fuel my fascist urge. They whistle down the wind. And I like that a lot. Dreams can come true; you know you've got to be strong.

The thing that puts me off weblogs is that I firmly believe that you should go the whole hog. Never hold back; never threaten; just do it, do it totally, drive the blade in, all the way in, and don't feel pity and don't flinch. They made you do it; it's out of your hands. You should either succeed utterly or not try until you are sure of victory, and at the moment there are too many weblogs for me to read them all, so I shy away.

If you're going to eat an orange, eat an orange - not a satsuma, or a nectarine, or a tangerine, or a mandarin, or a muslim, or a Sri Lanka. Tamils? An orange! The biggie. Chomp it down. Chown down on a clown. Don't go on a diet; just don't eat for five days. You'll either lose weight or you'll be put off dieting forever - in either case, problem solved! You might die, of course, but what's life without a little risk? It's boring, that's what. Once in a while I try to see if I can make myself faint by holding my breath for a very long time; you should try it too.

When I was a kid I used to screw up my eyes and put my thumbs into them and press. The visual distortion that resulted from this looked as if I was flying over a valley of mud; there was a hut on a hill, and I saw it several times but I couldn't ever reach it, like the mountains in Battlezone. Heaven is like that. You can't quite get there.

I like trucking. And I like to truck.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.