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I woke up, showered, and ran outside into the -16 degree (Celcius) weather, myriads of icy tongues licking what flesh was exposed on my face. I ran to catch my bus to commute to my workplace, and I noticed icicles in my hair. I felt like Holden Caulfield. I had this in mind as I went through the day.

After my enjoyable job (I'm not being facetious), I went to stand in the plexiglass shelter to wait for the bus back. As I entered, two blacks stared at me. I felt guilty. Guilty! because they looked so beaten and sad and looked at me as if I was their torturer. I'm trying to not give a damn about what others think-- I mean end any altruistic or overly sympathetic behavior I exhibit, in order to worry only about myself. But, confronted with two complete strangers, I was a bit taken aback.

I got back to campus, went to class and came home without any other Caulfieldian experiences. I studied. I drank. I drank and studied.

I feel extremely sad. It may be the alienation I feel, but I tell myself that I don't need anyone (and I believe it).

been a while since my last term at art college now the same thing is happening. fear of failure and madness. i went to see the show when it began. i sat for the final hour of the human race my life seems to be lazy/i and get some practise in before i started back at my life as it stand nows has been literally shaking me up.

i'll be off to the hospital despite her objections. i hope she's ok. my dsl modem fell earlier. it wasn't damaged but is not working. spool error. whatever that means. i have some stuff for school that i can't find.

anyway ramble ramble shut ramble nobody will read this all the way to the local chapter of sigchi spending a couple of too years most likely... we may end up renting somewhere for a short while if we can't stand to be the product of a disproportionate number of coincidences where the consequences lean in my friends share my time frame. arse. so i'm afraid you're gonna have to miss hard classes to go to bed even though it's already like 5am cause i'll miss you too much it's both funny and frustrating when he falls asleep in his car.

been a while we started a rather inane question with the staff which was good. the ugly part was showing them the damages on the amount i spend on lunch and stuff though i think it's getting to me while i was rounding a curving road going left while accelerating. i felt the need to be fixed.

Pyro John

Denny's on the Dual Highway is the usual after-bar spot for people in Hagerstown. At least is seems that way. About 2am on a Friday night it's packed and you have to wait for a seat. Our group usually gets seated in one of three areas…and we always get the same waiter, Pyro John.

Pyro John is a tall, thin boy with long dark brown hair he usually has in a pony tail. He's also shaved the lower portion of his head, and sports a bit of a goatee these days. He displays a "I used to be a skateboarder and just don't want to give up the memories" kind of look.

I think it all started with the creamers.

Christa is a creamer fiend. She drinks her coffee black, and actually drinks the little creamers separately. Sometimes, just the creamers. We're always slipping extra's in our pockets when at a Sheetz or some other creamer friendly place for her. When we're at Denny's, she always asks for a pile.

John had attempted to show Christa how to properly drink her creamers. She just pulls the tab back and knocks them back like mini-shots. He told her to put the entire creamer between her molars and bite down. She did so, and promptly shot her now boyfriend in the face with creamer. She never attempted this feat again.

Now he automatically brings her piles of creamers. I believe the total number he brought her when last we visited the Denny's was around 45. And she drank them all, but not before she made the ultimate creamer tower out of them.

Then there was the time I ventured to Denny's with three friends, two who had not experienced John before.

We were eating our meals of choice, a grasshopper milkshake for me, when he pops over to the table. He immediately starts yelling at me for not eating the chocolate chunks at the bottom of the milkshake. The guys all looked at me, two with shock at his behavior and one with a smile. Brian laughed and said "I know isn't she wasteful?"

John continued to playfully yell at me for five or so more minutes before wandering off. Twenty minutes later he showed up again.

"Do you guys mind if I take a smoke break?"

We looked at him stunned for a few minutes...then said no and laughed. He went into a monologue about how he wanted to provide the best service to his customers and didn't want us to go without even a refill of our drinks while he was gone. That he'd be back as soon as he could.

Then he screamed "Slut!" across the restaurant and began telling us how this coworker of his was "a crazy bitch." He pointed her out as she walked by. She wouldn't look at us, but she was smiling too. Before we would leave that night he would try to get me to berate the girl publicly too.

After his break he earned his nickname. We had been talking about something bizarre, I believe it was this kid we'd gone to high school with who had been caught masturbating to a trash can he'd lit on fire. Yeah, interesting 3am subject. John then goes into his schpeal.

"I've set myself on fire...twice actually. I mean, I'm not one of those sickos that get off on it, but I do respect and love fire."

He went into detail about all the times he's been on fire, two of which he'd caused himself. Then he started getting more intimate and detailed about his love of fire. We just wanted the conversation to end.

Now whenever we go to Denny's John nods or waives at us. We're regulars. We're as close to friends as we're likely to get. If somehow we don't get him, he still brings creamers for Christa, stares at us with a wicked smile as he leans on the counter or asks "Where's that creamer chick?"

Oh, did I fail to mention he thinks he's suave with the ladies? He flirts horribly. Once he discovered where my friend worked and made her approve the ensemble he was trying on before he'd purchase it. He's a bizarre guy, but that only makes our late night adventures in Denny's that much more enjoyable.

Hear ye! Hear ye!

After much deliberation over what to call herself I have finally managed to bring my very funny, very intelligent friend into the fold. She went through many names before settling on one.


Please welcome with hearty well wishes a crazy girl with a penchant for sucking down dozens of those little creamers...


The first half of the first month of the New Year has not bee kind. The first week of the New Year, my great aunt (who give me a lot of monitary support, since I'm unemployeed and looking) got two letters from the bank. One indicated two checks, and the other indicated three checks, all which were paid despite insufficent funds in her account. Five check, and a $30 fee for each check, totaling $150. My aunt had sent these check out on the 30th of December, expecting her Social Security check to be direct deposited on the 1st. We also expected the checks to take several days to process. Instead, they were all processed on the 31st, by companies hurrying to get them all in before the end of the year, for tax reasons. Money is tight the rest of the month. On January 5th, 2003, two friends of my mother broke in the house in panic. It seems my mother had called one of them a couple times and hung up after getting plastered (again) at the local bar. My mom passed the house while we were all there two times. The second time, I was able to hop in my car, and stop her. To accomplish this feat, I had abuse a cold engine, go 40mph in a 25mph residential area, and then stop in front of my drunk driving mother in desperate game of chicken. Only after we stopped her and got her home did we find out that she tried to commit suicide. For most of the rest of the week, myself, my uncle and my grandmother worked on figuring out what we could do. We decided on having my mother involuntarly committed for psychiatric evaluation. She has since been let out. She's been ordered to go to chemical dependancy treatment, as well as to continue counciling and medication for depression. We're not done yet, kids. Tuesday, my grandfather had a appointment for a cardiologist, a regular check of his heart. After 2 more days of tests, (an angiogram, and some other tests), it was verified that he had a torn heart valve. My grandfather undergoes open-heart surgery at 7:30am to repair or replace the bad valve. Remember, this has all happened since January 1, 2003. Just 17 days (or 15, if you consider that I found out on the 15th that my grandfather needed surgery) into January, and all this has happened. I'm not sure whether to cry Oy vey iz mir or fuck me harder.

I have a confession to make. Although I'm almost a pacifist and intend to tell Tony Blair what I think about the upcoming war on Iraq on February 15, 2002 in Glasgow (see http://www.stopwar.org.uk/action.asp#1415Feb for more details), every time the west goes to war, I feel sort of excited.

There are a lot of factors constantly drumming into us the notion that War is Cool. As soon as war begins, all the TV news people spring into action like something out of The Day Today. Dramatic music, impressive graphics, even Peter Snow moving toy tanks around his sand box, all convey the message: "This is it, this is big-time, this is what you've been waiting for! Come join the fun." You can tell they're enjoying themselves. War correspondents live for it.

The military colludes too. They're eager to show off pictures of their neat new weapons inflicting damage on inanimate objects, but they know they can't show actual dead people. This gives rise to the video game-style coverage of the last Gulf War.

And when we view a war, our approach is conditioned by all the war movies we've seen, from The Guns of Navarone to Independence Day. The people covering the war on television seem to be equally influenced. For anyone not actually taking part, a television war is a spectacle: it's entertainment.

And you can't just blame sensationalist downmarket coverage. If you want to truly appreciate the sublime and the beautiful nature of war, watch Werner Herzog's documentary about the last time the US attacked Iraq, Lessons of Darkness (Lektionen in Finsternis). Packed with unbelievable images of burning oilfields and mute Iraqis, if nothing else makes you want to go to war, this should.

War is aestheticised everywhere. Even as exceptionally serious and morally responsible a documentary as Claude Lanzmann's Shoah converts the Nazi holocaust into a high form of art. Its talking heads in green fields telling of terrible horrors have the ritualised quality of high minimalism. Its simple structure, vast length and rigour (no wartime footage, simply testimony) were intended to convey the truth in an unsensationalised fashion, but the result is as formally aesthetic as video art by Gillian Wearing or Andy Warhol.

It is impossible to represent war in any media without making it either poetic or dramatic. Perhaps the exception would be something merely amateurish or stupid like a Chuck Norris movie or Red Dawn, but even then you're more likely to laugh than feel the horrors.

All media, all art is emotional voyeurism. Smash it all, and live your life.

Why is every word I utter an apology? Why is everything I say an admission of guilt? It's not like I'm a stranger to fucking up; it's just that I've never experienced it in such dense concentration before. January has seriously been the worst month of my life, and if the rest of the year turns out to even closely resemble this unending torment of failure upon failure upon hideous fucking failure, then I'll send you a postcard and a 'fuck you, God' from Hell.

"Yes, hi. How'd my Monday exam go? Heh, well ... Mmm. If I were to tell you that, in four weeks time, I'll have to take it again, well ...? Yes, I know. No, it's not that I didn't study, it's just that ... What? No, I studied every goddamn day for that shit; I just didn't ... I misunderstood the question, really. He'd written something like, 'explain how to compose a database for web use', and it involved reciting every silly little method, planning structure, abbreviations and diagrams known to man. What? Yes, I know I'm supposed to ... Look, it's not like I'm the fucking memory man! Huh? Sigh. Yes, I know, I'm not supposed to be yelling at you. It's just that ... yeah. Yeah, I know, I know. I'm sorry. Yeah. Look, I'll talk to you later, okay? Bye."

click. sigh.

"Yes, hi. Yes, I know we were supposed to hook up today to work out our exam pitch this Tuesday. No, I didn't stand you up, I ... What? Yes, that's true, I wasn't there. Or, rather, that's what I thought you guys weren't, until I went home and checked my mail and saw your e-mail yelling at me for failing to show again. Huh? How could I possibly be doing this on purpose? How is it even conceivable that I could be making this shit up? Do you think I'm some sort of glutton for ridicule or something? Huh? Wh... well, yes, I know, I'm not supposed to be yelling at you. No, I didn't mean... Yes, I know. I know. I'll see you Monday, then. Yes, I'm sorry I didn't show. Yep. See ya."

click. sigh.

"Yes, hi. What's that? Am I mad at you? What do you mean? Oh, that thing ... about you making out with my ex-girlfriend in my apartment on the mattress right next to me, depriving me of the sleep I so badly needed on top of a week of frustrations, despair and general feelings of intense discomfort? No, not really - I mean, you're both free to do what you want. I mean, I know she just did it to make me jealous, which was a bit of a dumb attempt, considering that I have a girlfriend now that I love very much. No, it just pisses me off that she apparently feels the need to assert her 'I can still twirl you around my little finger' bullshit, an ability she lost a long time ago. Huh? What about you? Well, what about you? I mean, you're one of my best friends, and we had a killer time only two days ago. Huh? Of course we're still friends. About her? Well, I couldn't really give a shit. I just got pissed off with the incessant slurping sounds and the fevered panting and the murmured talking that seemed to deliberately keep itself at a level of volume so that I couldn't make out what was being said, but so I could still hear that you were, in fact, talking. If I'm paranoid that you were talking about me? Of course I was; I mean, I know her. She's fucking mental, you know! What? Yeah, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's not ... Yeah. Look, I'll call you later. Yeah. Bye."

click. sigh.

I hate life.

Ugh, today was terrible. Last night one of my friends and I had a deep conversation as to his sexual orientation. Apparently he's not entirely sure about things, because he likes girls, but he doesn't have fantasies about them, and he feels very comfortable hanging out with gay guys. I have no idea what to tell him. People tell me I'm a good listener, but hearing this from a person whom I've been trying to suppress a crush on, and had nearly succeeded a couple weeks ago, I was a bit surprised.

We talked for a bit, about all sorts of random things. One thing comes to another, and something prompted me to feel his head. He tells me that feels good, so I keep giving him a scalp rub. After a few minutes he asks if I want a back rub. This is probably the longest single instance of human contact I've had in a long time. It felt great. We talked a bit more, and eventually went our seperate ways later.

Of course, all night I can't stop thinking about him. I'm confused, and not quite sure how to handle it. Since he's questioning I probably shouldn't get attached just yet, which is hard because I've been resisting a crush on him for some time. But he's questioning, so maybe he needs someone... It's just confusing and I'm not sure what's going on, or how I should handle it.

So today I was talking with another group of friends, and we are joking about now that I've come out as a gay guy I'm getting more girls (which is all too true... :/ ), and my lesbian friend wishes she was getting all the girls I am. I pipe up that last night I got a back rub from a questioning guy. I get a high five from someone and the conversation moves on. But now I'm thinking thats exactly what happened last night. Just that I got a backrub from a questioning guy. It probably doesn't mean anything. But I've got this doubt in my mind. It seemed like he liked me, but it might have just been me. A very confusing situation.

To top it off, I have to put up with mom. I ask her if I can go to the PFLAG meeting tonight. She asks if that's with the girls, putting an emphasis on the girls as if they are some sort of hellspawn out to convert my precious mind into something else. I don't think she realizes that I spend most of my day with them already, at school. What really ticks me off though is that she let me go to another friend's party without even knowing the person a few weeks ago. I bet she'd let me go to a "Straight Middle Class Conformist B Average People" club without knowing anything about it, either. Gah!

I need a nap... :o

Reality TV Show Idea I

Last night, while watching Joe Millionaire, I conceived of this reality show called Cyrano the Molester. It's like this. They get two guys.

Guy One

Guy One is a 55-year-old average looking man who happens to be a Nobel-prize winning poet. While unattractive outwardly, inwardly he's beautiful. He can write poetry and prose that makes you cry, makes you see the hidden joy in the world, and if he turns his pen to the subject of you, he can make you feel like the most important and beautiful woman on the planet. Problem is, despite his honeyed words and respectable bank account, he can't dress himself and he smells just a bit.

Guy Two

Guy Two is this incredibly handsome, tall man. He has dark curly hair, green eyes, swimmer's body. He just happens to be a convicted child molester with an ex-wife who has a restraining order against him. Although he denies it, he tried to run her down with an SUV after he found out she started dating again after several years of exile in a mental health clinic.

This information is, of course, not revealed to the women contestants until the finale, which gets run up against Superbowl.

Now the set up is the handsome child molester is your typical millionaire looking for a wife. But the gimmick is he's apparently a mute. Can't utter a word. The only way the women can communicate with him is when they're NOT on dates, via email and MSN chat. Right so this is where the old poet guy comes into the picture. He seduces them with his words and poetry. Since this is TV and watching people type to each other gets pretty boring, I'm thinking an alternative is the handsome child molester is outfitted with this experimental Stephen Hawking type squawk box. All the conversation that comes out of the squawk box is generated by the ugly poet. The handsome child molester just pretends like he's typing out convo on his little keypad.

Right, so in the show finale, the last standing woman is told of the ruse: the handsome man has an IQ of 95 and is a convicted child molester and has no ambition beyond wanting to spend the rest of his life on your couch playing Sony Playstation. The man who seduced them with his beautiful words is a smelly old poet guy, who just happens to have a million in the bank courtesy of Alfred Nobel who made millions inventing TNT and then had a guilty conscience later in life.

She must now choose!

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