Binary Star

Yesterday evening, I chose another creativity and courage deck during my second booster draft tourney. I didn't win this time but learned valuable lessons. From a surgeon, a member of Candle's tribe, I renewed my courage and learned compassion even for the dead. To her, I was a barbarian outcast; She also taught me the ways of anarchy and power, though I already knew. We wrote our words together. The surgeon was cute. I had selected a dark gold deck under the auspices of the dark gold mage, a kindly, but stocky elf.

At the end of the war, I had gone 2-0, 0-2, 1-2. I had died four times and lived three. The dark gold mage conjured forth a gift of cards from the chaos and presented them to me. New ideas, from the Odyssey we take together, a crystal teardrop in our world, built like a fortune teller. A glimpse of the future! The present! and the past...

The first was a gift of body; I flexed my muscles and was swallowed by EDB. The second was a gift of rage, courage, power, and anger: a sword and an axe. The third was a gift of wisdom, an act of self-preservation in the wakefulness of dreams. The fourth was a reminder from the Order of Chaos: "Those who will not follow are doomed to lead." I smiled internally, thankful. I wave a black flag. The fifth was a reminder of The Cosmic Game, the shadows we play with, torn.

The sixth was the strength of experience, like the will of the archer. The seventh was the only gift from the City of God, the twilight sphere of protection and self-defence. The eighth was a gift of tactical knowledge, to work together. The ninth was the gift of dreams and illusions, the history of our world. We winked. The tenth was the fit of an entire river, the Nile.

The eleventh came from Eden, the gift of reductionism, closing layers like the light of life. The twelfth came from Teardrop, reflecting all published and unpublished knowledge, thinking of the bubbles of love we made. The thirteenth came from Candle, shot like a star from the sky, flying once again, earthbound yet boundless. I built the forteenth with Eden's help, a pair of chopsticks. The fifteenth once again came from the darkness from which we were born, the room itself, the urge to creativity. It was why we were all different from one another.

The memes rested, and diverged with the spark of chaotic life along the infinite fuse away from the cosmic explosion.

eden and teardrop sitting in a tree
k i s s i n g
first comes love
then comes marriage
then comes a baby in a baby carriage
we followed in their footsteps
candle and i
they were the trailblazers
while we had pie
our parents came home to one another
our mothers returned the love of our fathers
if you dont think this really rhymes
go jump in a lake you fucking mime

"There are no problems in life, other than those we define as such."

A friend said that to me last night while we were sitting at a local pub...

I woke up a different man.


I did....

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world."

Yeah, he looks a bit like him too....

OK, so I don't Daylog, but I'm daylogging. Not that I have any angsty stuff I want to relate (well, not at the moment, anyway). I decided to make some announcements here that have something to do with this place or one or more of my nodes. Also, I intend to keep some kind of travel log when I spend this summer holiday in Indonesia. But that is something for the future.

Last week

I went skiing last week, together with my cousin - who happens to be a regular here, too - and his SO. We drove out to Les Coches Saturday, January 26, 2002, in their Ford Mondeo (the choice - which wasn't a choice at all - was between that and my Toyota Corolla). Les Coches is one of the small villages in the skiing area of La Plagne, in the French Alps. All in all an excellent week off, up for a rerun next winter, possibly with more cousins, brothers and/or sisters... We'll see.

The weather was great, except for Sunday, when it started out snowing in the morning (very welcome as the snow conditions were less than ideal), which sadly turned to rain in the afternoon. Skiing in the rain is definitely not one of my favourite pastimes. At the end of the day I was able to wring the water out of my underwear, so soaked was I. Luckily the rest of the week was sunshine all the way, although the skiing was quite exhausting because of the icy conditions.

The evenings were filled with an un-endless series of games of "Settlers of Catan", of which I won one and my cousin too many.

Reading and soon some writing

When not playing Settlers last week I read a book I happened to chance on the Thursday before we left, "Fearless on Everest", by Julie Summers. I expect to write a number of nodes inspired by that book, and also to rewrite my node on Andrew Irvine (who is the subject of the book, btw). I already spotted a number of glaring errors in that writeup, even though I was extremely thorough in the research I did for that node. The trouble is that my research was restricted to the internet, which is an even worse source for facts than I had previously thought.

. ..... . .

I think this will be little more than a pointless angsty rambling mess, but that's what daylogs are for, eh?

Where to begin? I guess, like many people my age I can say I drink too much; Not so much that I'd consider following in the footsteps of my forefathers and becoming an alcoholic, but I find myself spending entirely too much time and money at the bar.

I think it's because I hate being alone.

The funny thing is that not only do I consider myself to be an introvert, but countless personality tests have said the same thing. It's just that hours of introspection are worthless if there's nobody to share the insights with and pointless if there's nobody providing a fresh perspective on things. (parenthetical link).

I've met some great people in my travels, but I can't really identify with any of them. Actually, I can't really identify with much of anyone. I keep telling myself that it's just an environmental thing, but I have to wonder if it's just something with me.

And in other news... I've been enjoying my friend's ex-wife for the last few months (it waa his idea, honestly]. Not so much 'cuz I really liked her or was attracted to her (another parenthetical link) but because it was convenient. Convenient in the sense that showing up drunk at 3a and looking for nookie was acceptable. Well, last night, arround 3a, I was drunk and stopped by for a visit but nobody answered the door. However it was unlocked and I felt like letting myself in would be appropriate.

Big mistake.

What do I see? Her, passed-out naked on the couch with some guy. I always knew I wasn't menatlly cut out for casual sex, but this really drove that home. It made me sick to see.

I can never go back.

Not only did I know that there was another man, but considering the circumstances, it's not really suprising that one exists, but actually seeing him there just really put a damper on my day.

(This is a review for the Brooklyn College production of Fool For Love, play written by Sam Shepard - too bad the title of the play is a synopsis for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode...)

I think now it's time for me to get back into seeing life as an irrational fight between people. In this case, the New Workshop Theatre?s production of the Sam Shepard play Fool For Love is perfect.

The tension I've felt throughout the story ran backwards, starting with a series of slams using a door to the bathroom. A desert-bound couple on the rebound, Eddie and May (respectively played by Daniel Roach and Kristin Atkinson), verbally threw themselves at each other in a rebound of their 10-year on-and-off-again relationship as half-siblings and lovers within reach of a spector of an old man. Once the slams were done with, the couple fought with each other, embraced, and made moments that fall in between. When Eddie rolled his spurs on the floor, the end of the reversed sequence of stressors was still jarring.

Just like August Strindberg's Dance of Death, a power struggle within a couple works its best if a stranger is caught inside. Arthur Soybel made his role of Martin as a listener without playing the role of a punching bag by getting too close to the couple. Whereas the stranger in Dance of Death was more inclined to fight back, to change things - the stranger that is Martin has no power, only the knowledge that May was friends with him.

Being new to the way how playwright Shepard's uses language, I held on to the power struggle on the story by paying attention to how the couple spoke rather than what they spoke about. The Old Man, played by Crandall Diehl, was a great instigator of past memories for Eddie. Mr. Diehl made great use of his voice to goad Eddie to represent his side of the story. Even if the Old Man sounds good at convincing Eddie to stop falling for May, the relationship - no matter how disturbing in origin and its power struggle, stays on. While Eddie and the Old Man worked great together to carry out their origins, the relationship between them requires more effort from May to tell all about how she met Eddie. The latter should work better if the monologue was focused more towards the stage rather than the audience - the father/son togetherness was an advantage to the development of the story through the use of the monologues.

So I walked into E2 today the way I always do, smile on my face, third eye half-lidded, qi up, shields down, Purdy at port arms. Now, E2 means a lot to me. I joke about the Internet providing me with "a very satisfying simulcrum of a social life", but, frankly, it is true. I don't make friends easily.

So I walked into the chatter box to find that gender-neutral pronouns are verboten, user Bexxta is rumored to have decamped permanently, and there is a true tempest in a teacup going on. E2 is just like the small town of your choice. BUt the difference between this and my so-called life is that I choose to be here. I have to make an effort to be here. I have to give up some of my time and money to be here.

And walking in and finding out that someone in power has decided that gender-neutral pronouns are offensive...

It smacks of what happened on April Trolls Day. You all remember ATD? Remember what happened? People in power decided to flex their muscles. Some good noders left that day. Some have returned. Others haven't. And I posit that, with the raising of the bar, E2 can hardly afford to alienate people who have been around a while, people who have earned their chops, if not their bullshit. E2 is a community. Read it!

E2 is people. And some of us, myself included, have chosen a gender-neutral identity, because here we can.

In the "real world", I am stuck with the genitalia I was born with. For large sums of money, I could change to the other set -- but not at will, not repeatedly, not quickly, and not to both. What if I wish my life to be unfettered by constraints of gender?

Why, I go to E2.

But today, today I was told by the power structure in the plainest possible terms that I and others like me are not welcome.

After ATD I left this site for a while. This time, I probably won't leave -- but I'd be willing to bet that there's a budding riverrun or ocelotbob or knifegirl or confusionthewaitress or donfreenut or Your Favorite Noder who looked in on the proceedings of the day, and said, "I really don't need this shit."

Later: I am aware the problem has been fixed. But it's important that there be a record that it happened at all.

Here's what happened -- all gender-neutral pronouns and affectionate slang (like hir, huggles, sie, fuzzles) used in the chatterbox were turned, through some code alterations, into random obscenities (in the case of the affectionisms) or gendered pronouns (her for hir, etc) when they were displayed in the Chatterbox Nodelet (but not in the java chatterbox). Although people rapidly found ways around it, it gave the wrong impression. (And, Gamaliel? I'm still here, I still care, and I still listen. I even listen to Bones at least one time out of three. Heh.)

Note, 2007: I'm leaving this as a period piece, though it does embarrass me a little five years (!) later and all seems a bit silly really. I'll offer the excuse that I was very ill at the time.

One regret I have experienced on e2 in the past few months, is that when my life is painful I can't use the catharsis of daylogging to cheer me up. This is because too many of my issues involve other noders. This time, however, I feel a daylog is certainly the most appropriate outlet for my thoughts on the events of the day. It also can be a record of how the events unfolded from my perspective and those to whom I have spoken to about it.


This is a snippet of the catbox archive.

  • 09:39 Gritchka fuzzles bexxta and departs.
  • 09:39 call bitch-slaps Gritchka.
  • 09:40 <Gritchka> AAARGH
  • 09:40 <Gritchka> I swear to god that said FUZZLE when I was typing it.
  • 09:41 Gritchka is getting too old, this brain has worn out, this is too much.
  • 09:41 <Gritchka> GRRRRR
  • 09:41 <Gritchka> ANNOUNCEMENT We seem to have an amusing new feature.
  • 09:45 <Fruan> haha. OK. Nice. I owe whoever made this new feature a beer.
  • 09:45 <Orpheum> not so amusing me thinks....
  • 09:45 WonkoDSane noticed that BF issue earlier.
  • 09:46 <call> I owe whoever made this new feature a sound kick to the head.
  • 09:46 <WonkoDSane> Welcome to the Monkey House.
  • 09:47 WonkoDSane FUZZLEs EDB.
  • 09:48 Gritchka huggles self
  • 09:49 <dem bones> THERE CAN BE NO FUZZLE.
  • 09:49 Gritchka huggles self
  • 09:49 <dem bones> I LOVE IT.

Innocuous? Replace every occurence of fuzzle or huggle with one of the following words:

  • grope
  • defenestrate
  • BF
  • fuck
  • fondle
  • irritate

Gritchka fucks bexxta and departs.

No wonder call bitch-slapped him. The catbox was replacing the words randomly and without warning. Each pageload was different, so the words were not consistent across users. Everyone saw different.

call rushed off a msg to edev:

(edev) call says Alright, who's responsible for the 'De-barneyfication' code in showchatter? Own up.

No one did. I went off to look what he was talking about, having just missed the exchange above. Upon opening showchatter, it was plain to me what was up:

# De-Barneyfication. ENOUGH ALREADY.
my @fuzzlefucker = (

# That's AYN rand(), pally. It's a shame we can't (in perl) pull 
# a new replacement for each "Barney word" in a given message (or
# can we?)
my $shaddup = $fuzzlefucker[ int( rand( @fuzzlefucker ) ) ];
$text =~ s/(fuzzl|huggl)e?/$shaddup/gi;

It is a simple regular expression that swaps any occurence of fuzzle or huggle for one of the 'fuzzlefucker' words. I was livid. The stripping of ellipses was bad enough (I'll trail off my sentences if I fucking well want to...), but this was absurd. It changed the whole meaning of what a person was saying. I was sure it would upset someone very quickly. It wasn't until call directed me to that I realised it already had. I sent a msg to edev:

(edev) ascorbic says sorry, but this is fucking fascist. Did anyone see what happened when Gritchka fuzzled bexxta? Something that drastically changes the meaning of a message, but only in certain media and differently on each pageload may be funny (yeah, ha, ha) but is bound to cause hurt. i hate fuzzles as much as the next guy, but fucking censorship by regexp? C'mon!

I was pretty angry. Anyway, shortly afterwards JayBonci arrived. He quickly removed the offending code and was greeted by many hugs in the catbox. There was some bitching, but people eventually started getting on with their regular noding. I wrote it off as a joke gone wrong.

I decided to have a further look through the showchatter code, to see if there was anything else in there that I hadn't spotted. Well, I found something:

	$text =~ s/(^|\W)em(self|$|\W)/$1him$2/;
	$text =~ s/(^|\W)eir(self|$|\W)/$1his$2/;
	$text =~ s/(^|\W)hir(self|$|\W)/$1her$2/;
	$text =~ s/(^|\W)sie($|\W)/$1she$2/;

Uh-oh. People were not going to be happy with that! What those four lines do is replace all the gender neutral pronouns (GNPs) that many people are fond of, with arbritrarily gendered pronouns instead. For example hir becomes her, em becomes him. Now, personally I find those words a bit silly. We have perfectly good GNPs in it and itself and their and so on. That said, if people want to use them it's up to them. English is a living language. I could also see how people who had chosen to be genderless would be offended by having a sex applied to them by the code. Another issue that I raised in edev, is that these are two and three letter words that are used in other contexts. For example <em> is the XHTML tag that makes text italic. Sie is used in German (which is often quoted in the catbox.

I tried this out in the catbox as I wasn't sure:

  • 13:12 ascorbic tries out hir gender-neutral pronoun
  • 13:15 <ascorbic> hir sie eir em
  • 13:15 sphere777 sighs
  • 13:16 <ascorbic> OK, looks like the Powers That Be have decided to filter gender-neutral pronouns and replace them with specific ones
  • 13:17 DyRE applauds.
  • 13:18 <DyRE> (for sphere, not gender-neutral lackiness)
  • 13:19 <DyRE> hmm, testing... sie hir
  • 13:19 sphere777 bows, wiping the sweat from hiz brow
  • 13:20 <Fruan> All made up words will die! The english language will remain static!

Many people were offended by this. See eponymous's daylog for an example.

During the time that the huggle/fuzzle filter was on, we quickly discovered a way around it. We took to putting empty hardlinks inside the word like this: h[]ugglez. The pronouns could be displayed by hardlinking the whole word. Some of the words in later logs will have been displayed correctly.

A few hours later, just as everyone was starting to forget the fuzzles and hugglez, they started filtering again. Upon checking the code, I could see wharfinger had put the code back in, and added a comment: (my pipelinks)

        # jb says "enough."
        # w sez "I ran this up the flagpole w/ bones and it stuck. 
        # Even *I* wouldn't pull a stunt like this on my own hook, 
        # y'know."

Then call is borged, for seemingly no reason. The reaction to that by me and BlueDragon provoked a flurry of borgings, which drove the tensions higher. I have reproduced some of this below. The only editing I have done is to remove a couple of messages from a previous conversation, and corrected a few of my own typos for clarity.

  • 17:51 BlueDragon decides to huggle hirself just out of boredom and idle curiosity
  • 17:51 <Chiisuta> These are truly the best days!
  • 17:51 <BlueDragon> mmm, that was nice!!!
  • 17:52 <wharfinger> call: All trucks do.
  • 17:52 <BlueDragon> I am so glad that the hiuggle has been recorded in the archive for posterity - dangerous games you ppl play
  • 17:53 <BlueDragon> oh my - and it changes all by iself...wonders never cease, and nor does my sarcasm
  • 17:54 BlueDragon wonders if the mIRC ways of getting round codes work in here
  • 17:55 <BlueDragon> Huggle
  • 7:56 <BlueDragon> nope, it seems not :(
  • 17:57 <ascorbic> what! the huggle thing is back in?
  • 17:57 <BlueDragon> so someone has put the code back in eh?
  • 17:58 <call> showchatter
  • 17:58 <trust the doctor> may i ask a questio about node content pleasen
  • 17:58 BlueDragon thinks huiggle is far less offensive than fuck
  • 17:59 ascorbic huggles wharfinger
  • 17:59 <call> Grr...
  • 18:00 call will huggle someone he cares about if he damn well pleases. Those whe disagree can go fuzzle themselves.
  • 18:01 <BlueDragon> use them as references, doctor, but dont copy and paste large chunks of info
  • 18:01 <jessicapierce> quoting a source is fine. copy and pasting the whole thing IS NOT
  • 18:01 EDB has swallowed call. moist noder flesh
  • 18:02 <Epyon> hahahaha, take THAT huggles!
  • 18:02 ascorbic will join call. fuzzle censorship, you bunch of fuzzleing fuzzlers. /me huggles wertperch
  • 18:02 <BlueDragon> hmm..hug?
  • 18:02 EDB has swallowed call. call yummy! More!
  • 18:03 <DyRE> is EDB reposting form data?
  • 18:03 BlueDragon hopes EDB chokes and dies
  • 18:03 <trust the doctor> you see the thing is, i have two articles about the author philip pullman, one from the times one from the mail on sunday both showing a different opinion of his dark materials trilogy.
  • 18:04 <Epyon> What a day, the Super Bowl and a passing comment from jessicapierce. Now if only dannye could teach me the ways of bullshit, this would b
  • 18:04 EDB has swallowed ascorbic. Mmmm...
  • 18:04 EDB has swallowed ascorbic. *GULP*
  • 18:04 BlueDragon huggles EDB

At this point BlueDragon was borged too, though the archive missed it. I am by now on the phone to wertperch who is trying to calm the situation. He has decided to stay out of the catbox, and is trying to talk to various gods about what is happening. BlueDragon logs in as another user.

  • 18:11 <Epyon> and when the edb is enjoying his bounteous christmas dinner, I hope he chokes...just a little bit
  • 18:11 <Lometa> whoa! Whatin the Sam Hill happened ?!?
  • 18:13 <jessicapierce> I feel I should remind the group that the EDB is just a handy way of taking away chatterbox privileges, thereby making the "eaten" users shut up for a while. Just a reminder.
  • 18:13 EstragonBleu is very tempted to huggle all new users
  • 18:14 EstragonBleu sighs
  • 18:14 <brassmule> Dude. Mean, nasty Ms. Jessicapierce spills her hatred into the catbox and burns us all.
  • 18:14 <EstragonBleu> the EDB is in danger of abusing his power!
  • 18:15 <EstragonBleu> every time someone gets unfairly borged they should try creating a new user..
  • 18:15 <DyRE> hahaha
  • 18:16 <Epyon> My nodes here are just a handy way of expressing my eternal love for Jessicapierce thereby making her love me back or borg me trying. Just a reminder
  • 18:16 EstragonBleu wants everyone to remember that EDB is just some jumped up user with an overly high opinion of himself
  • 18:17 <Epyon> Rock on doc, rock on, for the future!
  • 18:17 EDB has swallowed EstragonBleu. EstragonBleu yummy! More!
  • 18:18 Impartial watches as ranks of noders turn into Dman.

call and I log in as other users. I try and calm the situation down a bit, but find it hard to keep my head.

  • 18:18 <(c)all> brassmule: this is political, not behavioural
  • 18:19 <ascorbot> wertperch is talking to The Powers. Lets all keep calm. Is this worth causing such anger over?
  • 18:19 <Epyon> I wish bones had left the story of Dman in his homenode as a message to the rest of us
  • 18:20 <saintjim> Big Brother (or is it sister?) is watching you all, fair users, beware!
  • 18:21 <kiladogg> well, they must not succeed, anyway
  • 18:22 <(c)all> /asamoth call
  • 18:22 <wertperch> Please! Calm?
  • 18:23 <ascorbot> It is stuff like this that turns reasonable noders into dman or asamoth. wharfie: was it worth it?
  • 18:23 brassmule gets the feeling he walked into the convo, halfway started, and maybe said the wrong thing to start off.
  • 18:23 <saintjim> its too late!
  • 18:23 (c)all shuts up.
  • 18:24 <wertperch> Thanks, call.
  • 18:24 <(c)all> So, my point was what ascorbot said, but he put it more succintly.
  • 18:24 Impartial thinks ascorbot really oughtta listen to cooler heads. Is it really killing you?
  • 18:25 <getha> And, just for good measure, I personally think you guys have a point here...
  • 18:26 <uncleozzy> GO PATS!
  • 18:26 <brassmule> WORD. GO PATS GO!
  • 18:26 <wharfinger> ascorbic: DMan was a lunatic, and he is responsible for his own lunacy. The same goes for Asamoth.
  • 18:27 ascorbic is listening to wertie more than you may think. Is just less able to do the calm thing
  • 18:27 kiladogg is torn, being a raiders fan and all
  • 18:28 <kiladogg> i think the sun is even shining
  • 18:28 EstragonBleu hates to see the lunatics taking over the assylum
  • 18:28 ascorbic is anti many things, but doesn't think they should be regexped out of existence

The arguments continued, but I got tired. They continued raging until JayBonci returned and removed the code again, with this comment:

        # jb says back: Well at any rate. We're done with it. It was originally
        # my idea, but for random borgings. This isn't worth it.
        # w sez: Great minds think alike. I still can't see any 
        # downside to it. 

No downside? Many people were very uspet by this. Gritchka blanked his homenode, replacing it with /me hugglez bexxta and disappeared. It hardly seems worth it just because someone was annoyed at displays of affection. It has been suggested that this is an attempt to stop people "behaving like children", and that e2 is "a writing project, not a chatroom", but I think that misses the point. As hermetic put so well: Everything is a Community. In fact I'd go as far as dann and say Everything is a family. There are a lot of complex relationships here. The chatterbox is the escape valve for this community. Yes we get silly in there. Yes we flirt and fuzzle and snog and cuddle. Yes people shout random bullshit and talk rubbish sometimes, but it's far better it's in there than in the nodes. In fact, those who are silliest in the catbox are often those who contribute some of the best factual nodes. Look at Gritchka's flirting. Look at wertperch's huggles. Look at BlueDragon, SharQ, ocelotbob. These are but a few examples, but are all people who contribute some amazing stuff to this crazy project we call E2. But they also mess about in the catbox. Would people rather I was writing loads of dumb daylogs and GTKY nodes, or pissing about in the catbox? I'm not blowing my own trumpet, but the stuff I do write here, people seem to like. Until the inevitable downvotes that this will trigger, I had a IQM rep of 13. That's quite good. BlueDragon was actually helping a newbie at the point she was borged, as you can see from the clip above.

Perhaps the solution to all this is an option for those who don't want to use /chatteroff, but liked the silly filters. Let them have them. Or maybe call was right:

call says Just a thought, but it' occurred to me that a more suitable and acceptable form of 'censorship' for the catbox really ought to be code that converts 'fuck' 'grope' or 'fondle' randomly inte 'fuzzle' or 'huggle'. Just a thought.

Just don't stop us expressing ourselves. It is the community aspect of this place that keeps me here, and I know many others feel the same. The writing here is often superb, and this is an amazing resource we are creating, but it is the catbox and the huggles and the vote tags and the noder meets that make this place special. E2 is noders. I guess what upset me most about this was I saw the place I love being taken away from me, and I saw those with whom I share it being upset. I felt like I wasn't welcome.

I'm certainly not one to quote scripture, but Tiefling and wertperch mentioned Psalm 133 verse 1, which seems appropriate to all this. Have a read of it.
To wharfinger, I'll quote one of his own nodeshells: sounds like somebody needs a hug!

So like every night, I kissed my girlfriend goodnight and sent her on the drive back to her apartment. Only it was slippery out and she isn't a very good driver in the snow. Its her first winter driving, so I comforted her and sent her on the way, saying "You will do fine, give me a call when you get home, or if you have any problems..."

Well thats what happened, she had problems.... Seems like some guy rear-ended her. So I went out to help her out, to take care of things, to be the good boyfriend, to be the man of the situtation. All along I thought, why didn't I have her wait 5 minutes, or why didn't I have go get her fleece which she left in the basement? Why......

So we started talking with the offier about the situtation and he asked my girlfriend how she felt and she replied that she had a tingling down her arms for a bit. With that said, he called for an ambulance and off to the emergency room we went for x-rays to determine what went wrong. Its wierd, she was up walking around, but the first thing the EMTs did was to place her on a spine board.

Well three hours later, and much, much, later then I ever wanted to go to bed, we got home and she now has to wear a neck brace until the doctor can do some more tests to make sure her sprain was just a sprain....

ANd this is how my week changed in an instant

I am a victim of hate crime and Pabst

Being accosted for my apparent gayness is something I always thought I was capable of but never figured would happen (especially in Portland... especially in front of Powell's)

So its now 3:30 pm. I have been working at my office for a awhile before I realize I still don't have a shirt on, have not showered, have not anything. I know I slept because I remember waking up.

It is a beautiful day to be hungover, that is true. But enough about where I am... this is the story of how I got here.

So after full day volunteering at the Geek (FREE GEEK if your not hip) an opportunity to drink with some underage folk comes and I take it. A few beers at the Montage and I am on my way. A few PBRs and several shots of tequila later I am naked in a hot tub with 4 others. What do I remember... well I remember I was naked and drunk then time seems to slip. I wake up wearing only a towel on someone's couch in what a friend has called "The Independent Nation of Espoonabornia"

No time to dilly dally however, it was superbowl sunday and I have beers to drink before I sleep and beers to drink before I sleep.

I ride my bike to the MAX and jump on a west bound train. An hour later its Henry's and salsa, Henry's and guacamole, Henry's and water (I do need to hydrate after all), rum and coke, rum and water, rum and lime, lime and corona, corona and corona. Huh? Holly shit the Pats won! More drinking.

"About this time you mouth be getting dry... when your mouth is dry... you plenty high." -Thorogood

A person I meet that day and I are going to go to Cuba in November. Now all this is to lead you up to let you know the state of mind I am in last night when the train operator for the Eastbound line says, "Please deboard the train. The MAX is done for the night." Gee I sure wish I had been here 30 sec earlier and caught the train we saw leave. Jess, thinking that it was only 11:30 and another would run by shortly joked, "there it goes Phil, wave good-bye." But he is gone now and it looks like I will have a chance to burn some calories.

Another person is in the same situation, he has 4 very small wheels compared to my two big ones. The skate boarder and I go from around 185th in scary dark road with only a tiny flashlight to warn passing cars of our existence. We are lucky though that after a hundred blocks or so we flag down a bus.

His name is Ulysses. He works at the Tonic Lounge. He tells me about his impending visit with his formally estranged father after 15 years. He didn't watch the game but wants to buy me a beer sometime.

Then I get off the bus downtown. A short old man gets my attention somehow. We cheer "The Patriots won!" He explains his history as a WWII veteran from Greece. I wonder why he's not taller. We got along great. We walk several blocks to a particular bar. Fellini next door to The Satyricon. Nice place. They wont serve him (they must have some history from earlier that night) and because I am with him they wont serve me. "I just want to buy this guy a drink!" He says. I calm him down and we walk to another bar. My anecdotes on how crappy the OLCC is are totally lost on him unfortunately. We walk a block West and half a block south to a place I have never been before. Now before I have the ability to describe my shock at there being a bar downtown that I have never been to he asks me for the 26th time that night what a Godfather is. After explaining it again, this time to the bartender, I was very pleased to be able to learn a little about his past. I cant remember any of it mind you, but he did talk for about a half an hour. At some point I noticed that there were other people in the bar, attractive other people, womanly attractive other people. So I figured that there might be some bad karma if I let a short Grecian WWII vet buy more than one drink and I knew the blood content in his alcohol stream needed none of my help so I broke away to hit on a girl. I don't remember if the conversation actually started with her saying she had a boyfriend but it definitely was toward the beginning. The nice man next to her whom had been more interested in the rest of the group became very curious about my life and was asking a few questions. After only 10 min of dialogue I produced two empty beer cans as visual aids (of my excess I suppose, I can't think of any other reason why I took them out). In the next moment a server comes over and starts harassing me about the cans. "What the Fuck do you think you're doing?"

Now at this point I had a good solid buzz going but still I was able to respond appropriately, "huh?"

His temper went from annoyance to rudeness to violence. Now being that I had accomplished a lot at that bar already I was ok leaving. I had already got a free drink from my short friend (who left just a min before). I was very pleasantly /surgically dispatched by a girl. I was being picked up by some dude on a cell phone. All things combined it was a fine time to leave anyway.

"Would you like me to leave?"

"Yea. Get the fuck out!"

"{two second pause} ...ok then" I figure I offered... and so I should go. I stand up and then I am being assisted out the door (something that was not at all necessary). Still pleasant as I was feeling I said its cool to the other bartender who seemed to be a little calmer. That is when the empty can hits me squarely on my forehead.


"I offered to leave and I was leaving... then you decide to hit me with a beer can?" I look around the room for a sign that I had done something wrong. I didn't see any fires. I didn't use the bathroom. There were no swastikas on me. And last time I checked I had not committed any gross crimes against nature.

It takes me an entire block to figure out that the guy was nuts. But now I am back at, Fellini, the previous bar that we couldn't get served at. Well as long as I am getting kicked out of bars I might as well go in.

The bartender was very accommodating. She explained that I was okay and that I shouldn't have cans thrown at me, made me a Godfather and provided several pieces of paper. (Actually they were thin cardboard from the backs of ticket books they use... but the point is she was nice to me and went out of her way to accommodate my drive to spurn that man who wronged me.)

So I am writing a letter to Wm. Steven Humphery of the Portland Mercury (Portland's finest publication and likely the only people that might give a damn if I was hit by a can). In small print on both sides of 9x4 cards I detail the process of bringing that server from a bar I have never before seen to justice.

Now I need to find their office. So I head down to Powell's City of Books because they will have lots of mags with their address. A guy about my size and build asks me some questions about the city, namely where in it did he park. I tell him several times that we are now just off Burnside and Davis is two blocks that way. He says I am gay.

I can't recall exactly how he came to that conclusion but reflecting on the past 24 hours I had just been hit on by some guy at a bar, had a beer can thrown at me, made plans to visit cuba for all of next November with a guy I just met and was naked in a hot tub with 3 other guys and only one girl the night before, so maybe he was closer to the truth than I realized. I know homosexuals who have had straighter days. I suppose it wouldn't be unheard of to have assumed that at 2:45 am a trendy dressed man riding a Japanese ladies bike in front of Powells might be gay. I thanked him for the compliment (being gay is so "in" these days).

"I appreciate the thought but no really. I like girls."

"Sure you do."

This kind of exchange was becoming more and more regular for me. I noticed I was having to repeat myself often and not because I was mumbling (as I have been known to do). I can only say that my experience with the likes of the ASSes (FREE GEEK's Administrators of Systems and Security) like Richard, Doughnut, and Vagrant (whom are varying types of pacifists) has caused me to gain some patience.

"You are very, very gay."

"Do you know where the Portland Mercury office is?"

"What say I take your bike."

"Well I don't think I'm going to let that happen."

"Awww common."

"Did you see the Pats won."

"I didn't watch the game... You are so gay."

At some point he did grab me and try to shove, but I just met with equal resistance. Then he called me gay again. It never occurred to me that this might just be foreplay because I was fairly certain I was going to have to fight the guy. Upon closer inspection there is a good chance I was involved in some sort of bizarre mating ritual. A very sobering notion to a very drunk guy.

At some point I did just start walking away, but he was able to grab my bikes basket so violence would have been necessary. But as it turns out the next time he grabs me Portland's finest turn the corner. I wave them over. They probably have a lot of domestic violence calls given the way they handled it.

Police: "What's going on here"

You-Are-Gay Guy: "I just want to find Davis St."

rev: I told him several times it is two blocks that way

Police: "You seem to be the only person who doesn't know where Davis is, why don't you have a seat in the car."

YAGG: uhhh (one pus him in the car the other is talking to me)

Police: "So did you meet each other at a bar?"

rev: "no he started talking to me over here... I really actually am not gay."

Police: "I don't care if you are gay, sir

rev: ok then.

I tell them YAGG has been telling me my sexual orientation for the past half hour. The police get a decent chuckle from my unique comic styling.

As it turns out the Portland Mercury boxes outside Powells are all empty. So I cruse over to Pioneer Courthouse Square. There another short happy man was doing some trash inspection and removal. He also didn't know where the mercury was but he let me smoke his pipe of butter-rum tobacco. It tasted damn good so I gave him the apple I had in the pocket of my cargo pants.

The Mercury's office is way up on NW 23rd and Quimby. I bike up there without further incident. But I had lost 3 of the 4 cards in the process of being gay. Somewhere on the streets of Portland are the missing bar scrolls of rev.phil's drunk ass discontent. Then I had to go to the bathroom. Soon. I had been drinking/drunk for over 15 hours and my body was going to have words with me. That alleyway looks appealing, there is even a little foliage (though I can only imagine what kinda of plant would actually benefit from that fertilizer). Crapping in public not a skill that came to me naturally. You really have to hone your skills though practice, practice, practice.

how did I go from wanting to have my words appear in the next mercury to wiping my ass with their current edition? That's right party people: Alcohol.

And now that I have properly made this part of the historical record I think I could use a shower and some clean clothes. I imagine there is ink all over my ass.

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