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I’m not sick anymore!
I finally got rid of that nasty little bug. It was giving me massive diarrhea, headaches, and everything else that comes with being sick. I had taken many medications to try and solve my problem, until I found the perfect one. Loperamide Hydrochloride, I bought it from the pharmacy in ShopKo. My doctor had to prescribe it, so it was strong stuff. But I take three pills a day and bing-batta-boom, I’m all better. I can eat all the foods I want to, and all the sugar I can digest. I went to school today in a wonderful mood, no more 18 trips to the restroom a day, and no more lack of sleep. It’s good to be back!

Soccer Tryouts are advancing.
Today after school in Mr. Riby’s AP Euro classroom, there was a meeting for interested soccer players for the highschool team. I being very athletic and interested decided to give it a shot. I haven’t played on competitive soccer teams in four years, and I’m pretty rusty, but why not give it a shot? This year the odds are in my favor. I go to a AAAAfour A’ highschool, but we are the second smallest AAAA in the state of Utah. So with very few people going to my school, and all of the major athletes going to other highschool’s to get better programs, I will probably make the team. Twenty five people showed up to the meeting, 18 times two teams, Junior Varsity and Varsity, make the final cut. In other words, unless a large interested body come to tryouts March 6, 2003, there’s no way I can’t not make the team. Good luck, to myself...

My Marketing presentation.
Today in fourth period, Marketing with Mrs. Owen, we had our semester test, and Marketing presentations due. The test took forty minutes, and all I need is 80% correct to get a passing grade, I will. My group is well built because I only work with the best, so we are going to get an A.

We had to make a make, create, and put together a few items:

Our group project was called STRIK Video Game. We were to make an imaginative company that actually could be created and survive in today’s world. It had to be realistic, and we had to have facts such as costs, where the company would be located, etc. The project was a success and the presentation lasted the required twenty minute time. Thanks to my team’s hard work, we did well.

STRIK V.G., we sell and rent video games. Want to try out that new video game, or want to decide what to rent or buy? The benefit to shopping at our store is we have every gaming system available in the store for you to play and try out. (Me speaking to the class.)

you're like                    a finger
and i                  am an ice cube
and we are both                in a glass
and you are              swirling around me
you don't touch me,            i'm too cold
and as we both          go around
i begin to melt,       while you spin faster
your heat      makes me melt
until i am no more    a solid
and your finger has left the glass.




goodbye.

Ahhhh. Today I finally started down the path to being a teacher. I began shadowing some of my teachers at my old high school.

It was quite an interesting experience to finally observe a teacher's lecture being more concerned with the method of presentation, and not the content of the lesson.

I am a Freshman in college, and an aspiring Technology Education major. After finally being able to partake in some field experience, I look forward with ever growing anticipation to learning more about the teaching profession.

I received my inspiration for being a Tech. Ed. teacher from my Tech. Ed. teacher in high school. He was such a fantastic influence on me. His outgoing and friendly personality, made it easy for me to want to follow in his footsteps. As for the laid-back, and comfortable atmosphere that he created for his classroom, made it even easier for me to want to follow in his steps.

So I have started down my road for education, and I am very excited to see what is around each bend!

She might just be joking, I don’t really know, because she might not. And it’s scary because I don’t know, and that’s something that I should. But I can’t do anything, because I don’t know what is appropriate. And I just wish it could be good, and I wish things were happy all the time like they use to be. But just when they get better, I sense clouds overhead.

i want to share my story and to mark the passing of my grandmother who i called nana.

she lived on an island and was fiercely proud of her independance, even in her later years when her health forced her to move to a care home, she was determined never to be one of the old people who sit downstairs and watch tv all day. recently however, her mobility failed her and her spirits took a down turn. she had been ill with a stomach bug which she seemed to be recovering from, i spoke to my father last night who had decided to go and visit her as soon as possible, it sounded like she had been ill but was through the worst of it and on the mend. perhaps that's what i hoped, i don't know.

this morning i spoke to my sister, she had also spoken to our father this morning. she had got the impression that nana wasn't well at all and possibly wasn't long for this world. she was tired of it all. after that phonecall, i sat back and shut my eyes. i called to mind pictures from my childhool of summer holidays spent there, my most recent memories of her when we visited last year. i did what i often do when i know of someone far away who i can't help physically, i packaged up a bunch of notions such as my love and respect for her, my memories of happy times and the strength and lucidity for her to know her own mind and have the strength to take control of her life with the knowledge of how her choices would affect her sons and their family. i see all of this in my mind as some form of energy then i sent it to her with an image of myself as a young child giving her a hug in the market garden she used to run.

i was just told by my mother that she died this morning. as best i can reckon it, she died within a few minutes of my doing all this. i'm happy for her as i know she wasn't happy with her life, she never wanted to be an old person, she'll be buried next week next to her husband, i hope i can be there.

i'm not sure why i'm posting all of this here, i'm not looking for answers, i just wanted to share my story. thanks for reading.

I got my E2 coffee mug in the mail today, now I proudly support my addiction. I don't remember from which shop I bought it, but go out there and support your addiction.

Over the start of 2003, I haven't had the time or desire to node as much as I used to. I written several daylogs and posted maybe one or two updates to some of the projects I have been working on. Work has been too busy to really spend anytime on here and I'm working on several other projects at home as well.

I have felt more and more lately that E2 is a community now that I have joined several groups and participated in several discussions via /msg. Also there are a lot of new noders out there striving, maybe even crying for help and attention. A good /msg with a bit of advice seems to go along way. In fact of tbe new noders I have had conversation with they have all stuck around and moved on up closer to their next level. So encourage newbies, make them feel welcome and even invite them to join your group.

Well, another layoff at work. Another one I survived (thankfully). Another 25% down. Despite the upper management saying that our product is great but the sales folks are unlucky in closing deals, half of the cuts came from the already-barebones development department. No severance for anyone.

Signs aren't good for this job, but it's still there and I'll stay there until it isn't.

Hey noder who applied for a job here, remember how I said I was sorry for only being able to offer that suckass of a job? I don't feel too bad about it anymore -- even if you had gotten it, you would have lost it today. Now, hopefully, you know why I was apologizing for the job offer. I was worried that if you got it, you'd only lose it in short order due to something exactly like today (then hate me).

The saddest part, for me, is the loss of P, who does the documentation. I will really miss working with her.

So now it's back to four days a week, with more duties (I get to start doing my old job again, in addition to my regular development stuff -- code management and performing builds). All in all, for the company, this is situation normal, all fucked up. I want to cry because it is so unstable, but I should be chill that I made it through.


On a less un-fun note, the man and I picked out a ring, a gorgeous vintage 1950s wedding set (the engagement ring and wedding band are currently soldered together). I picked out a more traditional ring than I had always thought I wanted -- but I wanted it to be a visibly recognizable symbol that I AM TAKEN. Thank you for all the congratulations and well-wishes on this matter, I appreciate it.

Word to the Britnoders:

I AM ON MY WAY.

Seriously. I'm heading to the UK and France the first week of March, and I'd like to hang out with you guys at some point.

Britnoders, particularly Londoners: I have a few things I want to see which I missed the last time I visited, but most of them are only open during the day. Thus, my evenings for 2-4 March appear to be conspicuously free. So, any of you that would be interested in meeting up/showing me around/whatever, please drop me a /msg. Tourist London I can handle myself, but meeting cool people makes travelling a whole heck of a lot more fun.

Hope to see you guys then.

How do you grieve over someone you don't like?

Over Christmas, my grandfather was complaining about being tired, not wanting to get up out of bed. This is my late father’s dad -- my paternal grandfather. My mom and I tried to get him to go to the hospital to get checked out, but he refused in that nasty, self-righteous way that only conservative old men who don’t trust the modern world can refuse. Suffice it to say, he was pretty insulting.

But his symptoms got worse. And although my mother doesn’t particularly like him, she decided to do something, telling him that if he didn’t get help he would die. Just a few days before, he asked his only friend -- a guy my dad used to work with at the printing plant -- to bring him a pistol so he could “end it.” That kind of melodrama’s not unusual for my grandfather, but when he was faced with really dying, he half-heartedly decided he didn’t want to.

Getting him to the hospital was a nightmare. First he insisted that my mom make him a cup of coffee before going -- which he promptly spilled all over himself because he is no longer able to use his arms. Then he decided not to go, making my mom argue with him for another twenty minutes. Finally he relented again, and she got him to the emergency room.

After a three-hour wait that could have been avoided if they’d gone in earlier (a trauma team rushed in five accident victims right when they arrived), they began running tests. Which scared the hell out of him to say the least. At 84, he’s not been to the doctor in 25 years, and adamantly refuses to take pills. So the battery of blood tests, rectal exams, catscans and EKG’s, didn’t go easily. He was abusive to the doctors and the nurses and fought every step of the way.

Medical science is like some terrible magic to him. When my dad was in intensive care dying of cancer, my grandfather couldn’t grasp the idea that he was being fed with an IV -- he couldn’t get over the fact that my dad wasn’t hungry. “It’s gotta bother his stomach,” he said, “he’s gotta be starving to death.” When I explained how IV’s work, he was incredulous and abusive. “I don’t believe any of that,” he told me. He rarely believes anything anyone tells him -- he thinks the entire world is lying to him.

After hours of tests (and struggles with him), they discovered he was suffering from a mid-grade stroke. A stroke that could have been much more easily treated had he come in when he first started feeling ill. Now he’s in the hospital ICU, and the prognosis is -- as of this writing -- uncertain.

So that’s the background. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I’m feeling ... nothing about it. Maybe a bit of guilt for not feeling anything, but I certainly don’t feel any grief. My grandfather and I have not been on very good terms for ten years now. When my father died, he commanded me to drop out of college and “take care of my mother.” Which was kind of ludicrous, considering that 1) she had a lot of life insurance money coming, and 2) she had a good job, already. I refused, and he got sterner. Finally, I cussed him out and swore at him in a way that I have never sworn at another living human being. My one dream in life was to go to college and escape the world I lived in and not follow my father into a life of hard labor. I was not going to change that, regardless of what my grandfather wanted. My mom didn’t even want me to drop out -- shouldn’t she have had a say in what I did? To my grandfather it was irrelevant, since my mother is a woman. In his mind, women exist to take care of men -- their thoughts and opinions are otherwise meaningless.

So that started the rift between him and me, though it wasn’t the start of the bad blood. When I was four, I mysteriously “fell” and broke my arm when he and I were running up the hill together outside his house. My parents suspected I may have been pushed. When he was drunk -- and that was often -- he was cruel and mean-spirited. He emotionally abused my grandmother, chiseling away at her self esteem day after day. We suspected my grandma had Alzheimer’s disease for years, but he refused to get her any help. She fell down and broke her hip and the disease was discovered -- she died little more than a year later. Afterwards, he boasted about how he had to care for his poor wife -- when in fact he neglected her for at least nine years.

I never thought my grandfather would die -- I always sort of pictured him being around, immortal, outliving me. Even at 84, he still has most of the color in his hair -- once black, it’s now a dark charcoal gray. To look at him, you wouldn’t think he was older than 65. Until the stroke, he still had his wits (such as they were). But now he’s on the edge of death.

I might not feel any grief now, but I feel ... lonely. Not sad, but empty. Like visiting your hometown to find all the people you used to know have moved away. My childhood is long gone by this point, but there are some parts of it yet -- my mom, my grandfather. But once my grandfather is gone, it’s just my mom. And when my mom is gone it’s just me -- the excitement and drama and fun and sadness and wonder of my childhood will be over. His passing away is almost like a harbinger of my mom’s death, which would be truly devastating to me.

But still no grief. Maybe it’ll come later. It would be comforting if it did.


Lauren is a redheaded Jew and she doesn't belong in a Catholic school any more than I do. She wears her hair in a high ponytail, the kind that sprouts out of the very top of the skull. She prefers pink barrettes and I have never seen her wearing less than ten at a time, all over her head. It's a good thing she is such a sweet kid because the way her face scrunches up into a grin, I am liable to let her get away with absolute murder. Freckles that would break your heart. She is shy and cheerful; she is six years old.

--

I should preface the following by assuring you that the after-school program where I work is not a deathcamp, despite the grisly stories I've been telling lately. There's the 5-year-old's electrocution, as well as the 9-year-old's broken arm ("broken" as in "humerus snapped cleanly in half inside a useless dangling meat tube") and the 8-year-old's accident with the epi-pen ("accident" as in "injecting himself with a full dose of bee sting medication, not actually having been stung by a bee, thereby flooding his system with unneeded adrenaline, causing his heart to flutter, sending him into mild convulsions and making him think he was going to die."). They all ended up ok. We've been lucky.

Our program is well-staffed, and we watch the kids as best we can. But even under the highest standards of attention and care, bad things are still going to happen. There are some kids you could lock in a rubber room, and they'd still find a button to choke on.

--

Lauren is not accident-prone, careless, or dumb. She was only running too fast, and she crashed into a sharp corner, and then there was a horrible, horrible wail trying to get out of the throat of this child, and her face was covered in blood.

I've heard that many new parents learn to tell the difference between an "I'm hungry" cry and a "my diaper has grown unpleasant" cry. I used to think that was nonsense, but that was before this job. I am not dealing with babies, but I can immediately tell the difference between tears caused by pain and those caused by emotional distress. A kid who is frustrated or disappointed or mad will cry louder, and more slowly. There's all the time in the world to be upset, and, logically, the longer you cry, the longer someone is likely to rock you and try to make it better. When you feel like crap, it's nice to be the center of kind attention for a while.

A pain cry communicates terror and urgency. HELP ME NOW. When Patrick broke his arm, all he could get out was a sort of stuttering howl, broken up by panicky gasps. Lauren sounded like a wounded puppy who doesn't understand what's going on, only knows it hurts.

Between the other grownups running around trying to forestall a massive kid riot/stampede, fetch ice, call Lauren's parents, and clean up the bloody trail she'd left, I was left on my own, holding this child in my arms on the floor of the main office. I don't think I've ever seen that much blood come out of anybody. It was amazing. When it comes to personal fluids, I know I should be more careful, but when a kid is in trouble it never occurs to me to ask for gloves. These kids are generally wealthy white upper-class Catholics, a pretty safe demographic, but still, I know, I know. At the time, I didn't worry about it, just tried to get the poor kid mopped up.

The bleeding would not stop, and I really wanted it to. Only half her crying was from pain - the other half was panic, and most of that was from seeing her own blood all over the place. All my co-workers had temporarily abandoned me, and there were no bandages or even kleenexes within reach. I was not about to let go of this little girl - she was clinging to me and whimpering, and prying her fingers loose from my arm was a cruelty I could not consider.

When a child who cannot yet pronounce her "R"s right is bleeding into her own eyes, making that stop becomes my priority. This is why I took the (clean, new, sealed) maxipad out of my back pocket, and put it on her head.

It worked; the Kotex did exactly what it was designed to do. As the flow of blood tapered off, I was able to see that whatever she had run into, she'd knocked a hole in her head. Like, a hole.

I would later find out that I was looking into Lauren's sinus cavity, right between her eyes. An inch either way, and the story would not have turned out as well as it did. The ending we were blessed with is this: I managed to get most of the horrifying quantity of blood cleaned up before Lauren's very kind father showed up and took her straight to the ER, which we had called, where a plastic surgeon was standing by. She got seven stitches, some subcutaneous. Her sinus cavity was sealed up good as new, they put the tiniest of bandages on her nose, and sent her home to eat all the ice cream she wants. Her mother called us when they got home, to say Thank you, over and over.


There is a holy moment that occurs after a child stops crying and before she falls asleep. Occasionally, I get to hold that moment in my lap.

On January 10th, 2003, I turned 18. This is a big deal. As well, the day before, I cut my hair and donated it to Locks with Love so now, I'm an entirely new person. How strange is that?

A conversation with etouffee today reminded me of something my father once told me.

There is this Portuguese custom/myth that states the ladybug is the herald of love. They even have this poem that they sing. I can't remember how it goes. Something about "ladybug, ladybug, find me my true love" or something.

Anyway. A while back, my parents were having marital issues. They were having a long conversation in their front living room when a ladybug was noticed on my father's hand. It was the middle of winter and they have no idea where it appeared from. He gingerly brought his hand up to his face and whispered the words to it.

And it flew directly to my mother.

They both cried for a long time and realized that their only issue was that they had forgotten just how much they loved each other.

On the day that I got married, it was clear and beautiful. And there were thousands of ladybugs around. That was the day my father told me this story. He said to take the bugs as a sign that I am marrying the right person.

Anyhow, I just wanted to jot this down. Because it's stories like this that I want to remember and tell my kids.

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