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For You Know Who,

I hope you have found what you are looking for.

It's early, I'm drinking. Drinking and listening to Rufus Wainwright. Drinking wine no less. Am I sure I'm straight?

The shower's on. I'm wasting water. It's dark here, in my apartment. I'm thinking about last night. I'm thinking about your face. I'm thinking.

I'm weary tonight, right now, this second. Tired of the rootless-ness of sentiment. Exhausted by the threatening promise of promiscuity; yours and mine. Unable to face the faithlessness of each other. I'm tired.

It's MAD, really. Do I have a choice? It's everywhere; cheap and simple. A joke or two, an inappropriate glance, and there I am in a stranger's bedroom. Just the idea makes my shoulders ache, all that robotic fucking. It's a painkiller, fear-killer, a narcotic. I don't feel you there any more.

My choice is simple; accept this fright and integrate it somehow, or assassinate my fear with someone else's sweat.

Maybe the wine will have an answer for me.
Major anti-war protests are planned in Washington, DC tomorrow – hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend. And not just the usual suspects either – families from middle America, grandmothers, even conservatives are coming out to voice their opposition to the impending invasion. They’re all over the city tonight, almost indistinguishable from regular tourists.

Pantaliamon and I have been debating whether or not to attend the protests. As much as I agree with leftist politics – especially in this case – I’ve always felt uncomfortable among activists. Fundamentalism – be it religious, political, academic, etc. – and the mindless hive mentality it creates is something I don’t like to associate myself with. And there are no greater fundamentalists than the young people who constitute much of the new radical left. Whenever they come to town to fight to shout down the global economy, they almost always end up on TV frothing at the mouth and spewing a lot of Marxist rhetoric that probably makes little sense to the target middle class audience they're theoretically trying to persuade. They're not unlike the crazed Christian street preachers who scream condemnations from city street corners. Because of the zeal of the core protesters, we were leaning towards not going – Pantaliamon suggested we should just watch it on C-Span.

This evening, my friend Brian and I were heading to my apartment when we heard high-pitched squeals coming from a white mini-van idling in traffic. Three girls – no older than eleven years old – were squeezing their heads out of the van’s side window and shouting excitedly at us.

“Hey!” they called. “Don’t walk away! We’re not crazy! What do you think about the war with Iraq?”

Surprised, it took me a moment to respond. “I’m against it!” I screamed back at them.

They clearly couldn’t hear me over the din of the cars around them. It seemed they thought I was actually in favor of the war.

“No war!” they shouted. “Down with George Bush!”

Brian and I looked at each other and then screamed: “We HATE George Bush!”

I really wanted to shout “Fuck George Bush!” but I didn’t think that would be appropriate given the fact that they were children.

I did, however, make a thumb’s down motion to try to reinforce what I was saying. Apparently, they got that we were allies, because they started squealing in delight. It was almost as if Brian and I were Justin Timberlake and Chris Kirkpatrick of N’Sync – it was like we were pop stars.

“Down with George Bush!” they shouted, grinning. Brian and I joined in.

Around us, the neighborhood yuppies shook their heads with disdain. At that moment, I realized that Pantaliamon and I must be at that protest. It would be a great mistake – an affront to our principles – if we didn’t. And if families with kids are attending, then perhaps the rogue's gallery of anarchists and Trotskyites will be drowned out by all the regular people who hold the mainstream belief that war against Iraq is wrong.

let's recap shall we...

It's going to be hard to try to unmangle the events which have happened since my last daylog... but I'll try... oh yeah and I'm writing this at an internet cafe... no time to proofread

I didn't do much of anything after noding that... I didn't really touch my computer aside from to play quake 1 and to listen to music... I moved into a seedy part of town and lived with a seedy friend of mine. Without a job, I intended to live off my last paycheque while I found another job. Little did I know I would instead flounder in a drunken and depressed stupor for 2 months... I can't really tell you the events that happened over that time, but that for some reason we had a constant stream of people coming over to give us drugs and alchohol... my house turned into a party house... I was never sober past noon, and there was a point at which I hadn't slept for 4 days... Come to think of it, I suppose it's best I can't remember most of it.
I suppose nothing like this can go on without a breaking point... and, while there was many a cusp during these months, I think it was the point at which I tried to throw myself into a river in one of my less lucid moments... my friends were with me, and they beat the shit out of me... apparently at some point after that they went 4x4'ing and I regurgitated whilst unconcious... I ended up waking up covered in ditch water, covered with nicks and bruises, and one black eye...

I eventually got my wits about me enough to hold down a contractual Technical Consultant position at a local community college... I fixed their network and did upgrades on their archaic netware 4 server... this gave me the money I needed to give a couple of friends of mine gas money and ferry money....

I moved to victoria with the best of intentions... I had secured a place to stay with a friend of mine, craserv, with the intentions of looking for a IT industry job, and, failing that, getting a job at the telemarketing scam place his girlfriend works... I was looking forward to a new life, new friends... a way to start over...

I got here, only to be whisked away with new experiences... total culture shock... going from living a slovenly lifestyle in a skungy part of a shithole, backwater town to being thrust into a fast paced life in a medium sized city. My friends and roommates, Adian and Sadie, catered to my every want and desire... they showered me with affection, love, foriegn cuisine, drugs, and sex. I was trying my hardest to become a different person, and I had the annonynimity of being a small town fuck in a big city on my side. During which, I started exploring my sexuality, and was soon involved in their sex life.

Then Adian's house turned into a party house. He works at a computer store, and as such has the resources to set up a large website, streaming 6 webcams off of as many computers. The people we attracted in real life were the geekier of the well-adjusted party people... so people would come over to chat with our fans on our irc server... bringing with them copious amounts of booze and drugs... anyways... some aspects of my life in abbotsford resurfaced, making it hard to cope with my depression... and after a month and a half of computer-related job searching, the holidays came... during which, of course, it is nigh impossible to look for work... the week adian and sadie had off during the holidays proved to be a test of my roommates patience, and some events at a party (including myself being punched in the nose) started to bring back the demons in my head... I started feeling unwanted and unwelcome, as Adian and Sadie were no longer trying to go out of their way to make me happy (which they were doing when I wasn't really all that depressed).. They thought it would be best for me if I wasn't involved with them sexually... of course they didn't tell me this, and their sudden coldness to me only worsened things.

Given time to wrap my mind around all this, I know that adian and sadie love me with all their hearts, and would do anything to help me... but since I've outstayed my welcome, and my attitude has become a perpetual downer to listen to, I've told them I must take my leave.
as adian would put it, I left with a jacket, a backpack, and my dignity.
I need some time to think.
I need some time to find myself..
This happened yesterday... I slept in a bush last night... I didn't really sleep though, as it is winter here... I mostly just stayed up and stared at the sky and thought...
I wish I had a pen, because the entire time, my thinking was more clear and consice than I've ever known. It was half manifesto, half monologue, half teachings of a buddist master....

Basically I've learned the following from my first day as a street kid:

Only when you are content with nothing, will you learn to appreciate everything.

wish me luck

You ever had one of those weird experiences in life that just make you stop and think, "Huh, I never thought that would happen." Well one of those experiences is happening today.

My grandma is getting married. She met I nice man about 14 years older then her. She's 62 and he's 75, but they both seem to enjoy each other very much. She was afraid that if she was to marry him, that right after they had become married he would croak on her. But she's finally taking the plunge after my grandpa left her high and dry almost 10 years ago. She's happy and that's all that matters.

He felt strange...He knew for some reason that he had woken up from a long dream. That long dream materialized itself as his life. He felt like he had lived twenty-some odd years in a dream.

He could remember dates, parties, family, friends and what he had eaten yesterday. Or at least what he thought he had eaten in his dream. He sat up, realizing that he was lying on his back in a bed. There were posters, a desk and a tv in the room. It looked nothing like the bedroom he was used to. He suddenly felt very confused.

A thought occured to him. With everything so different, would he still be called the same name here, wherever he was? A voice suddenly filled the air, called out for Amanda.

The door flew open and a woman entered. "Get out of bed! You'll be late for school!" she screamed.

It was about this time when he finally looked down at his body...only it wasn't his body. He was wearing a T-Shirt and...panties. His jaw dropped. He couldn't feel his dick. There was something else there...something he'd rather it not be there. His head started spinning.

Another voice interupted his thoughts.

"Tommy!" a voice shouted.

His world faded to black. It then reappeared in a different room.

A tall male walked over to where he was lying in bed calling out for Tommy.

His head stopped spinning and he collected his thoughts. Damn, he thought, I just missed my first class! This thought was followed by "What a strange dream..." Which was then followed by him going back to sleep.

15,000 people showed up at the war protests in Nathan Phillip Square (Toronto) this afternoon. It was the coldest Saturday so far this year. Lots of signs to look at, each with their own agenda:

Stop the War, Son of a Bush - punk rocker

War Kills Humans, Animals, Everyone - animal rights

US, France, Britain = Axis of evil - socialist

Stop imperialist attacks! - socialist student group

Peace and security for all the children - children's group

A little Iraqi boy was running around with a sign that said

bush is alien, get rid of alien

There was a lot of women's, socialist, and communist groups. The United Auto Workers were there and I wondered what self-interest they could be serving.

All of these extremists seemed very un-Canadian to me. Then were these girls, not pretty enough to be real cheerleaders, being cheerleaders for peace chanting "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer so kiss my ass!" then turning around. There was megaphones all over the place, more screaming about 'stop imperialist attacks'! There was a giant puppet, an 'uncle sam' looking guy beating a drum. In front of him there were 3 people with big plastic letters that transformed from OIL to WAR. A man held a bloody stick with a fake George Bush head on it. A group of people with paper-mache pheonixes and painted faces were chanting and dancing to the beat of a drum.

I stood closer to people with signs like this:

Don't you get it George?!

War fuels terrorism

I find my personal crusade against this war has made me associate with people I normally would have nothing to do with.

I was photographed and filmed at least 100 times today. I tried to hide my eyes with my hat, and face with my scarf. No sign, no chant, nothing extreme. Just a regular person, a member of the silent majority, who believes this action is wrong.

Chicken Soup for the Schoolteachers Soul, this ain’t.

I’m a good teacher—I can teach Algebra to almost anyone—but I’m not always particularly nice. I lose my patience; I have been known to be rude or loud or sarcastic on occasion. It’s a good thing I work with teenagers; I would never make it in a kindergarten class.

Today Harold* asked how to do a certain problem, and I pointed out to him that he was doing work that wasn’t assigned. (This is not the case of a student trying new or different work just for the challenge, or love of learning; this is a kid who didn’t read the assignment carefully enough.) “Oh,” he said, “then do I get extra credit points for doing extra work?

I know I shouldn’t have said this, I know it was unprofessional, but I have never understood why kids think they should be rewarded for not reading the directions and doing the wrong work. Before I had considered the words leaving my mouth, I answered, “No, you get stupid points for wasting your time.”

I teach kids with learning disabilities; I employ all the usual strategies and a few extras, besides, to try to get across the finer points of study skills, class behavior, and the “hidden curriculum.” Sometimes, however, it’s the well-placed zinger that really drives the point home. Please note that I did not actually call Harold stupid; I called his action stupid.

.                 .                 .

It was Tony’s last day in class; circumstances beyond our control had lead to his withdrawal from our private boarding school and a move back to the public school system, two states away. Sitting in class, saying his goodbyes, he remarked to his friend Harold that he’d miss me—that I would have to travel up north to visit him, and yell at him for old time’s sake.

I sniffed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never raise my voice.”

Ned, tall and lanky, quiet and wry, didn’t miss a beat. “Look, Anne!” he said to me, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. “Outside the window! Pigs, and they’re flying !

I laughed loudly enough to miss Harold’s response to Tony, muttered under his breath, which he then repeated for my benefit—“Anne won’t have to visit you. She could yell from here and you’d hear her.”

.                 .                 .

Harold is a day student; I happen to be the person who chauffeurs him to and from school each day, and we have a pretty good relationship, with a fair amount of teasing on each side. Yesterday I badgered him all the way home, drilling his vocabulary words. This morning he made a 100% on the vocabulary quiz; this afternoon the carpool stopped for gelato on the way home.

I think maybe the ice cream balanced out the 'stupid points' comment.

* All the names (except mine) have been changed in this little story.

January 17th, Friday, 2003.

My Friday night preparing for my Model United Nations episode. Today although my delegation received the award for top three ‘in other words first because we were’, it was a long boring day. See January 19, 2003. The previous night was far much more interesting, trial-some, and annoying. Please see Writing MUN Policy, Model United Nations, and MUN parliamentary procedure, to further understand this node and the topic.

Partying on a Friday night.
Holy fussing crud, can college people throw parties or what? People were actually enjoying themselves with appropriate things! No alcohol - or drugs! Luckily they had pizza, cake, and a lot of goodies, NOT TO MENTION THE FREAKING GOOD LOOKING GIRLS!!!. Songs were sang, people laughed, and I did enjoy myself other than the fact I didn’t get any sleep, leading into a four our night.

Sleep, where is it?
Trying to go to sleep in an apartment with twenty-some college singles, all of whom were attending BYU, is impossible. Especially since half of them were girls. I did meet a linebacker for the BYU football team, Carlson - his last name of which I forget his first. I told him how the Edwards coach has a grandson who is one of my best friends, a neighbor. I also told him about my chess career and the reason why I was at the apartment - Because there wasn’t enough room at Joseph’s dorm and BYU is strict with a rule of an age of 16 or older only. Joseph’s brother, John, was who we were staying with. Unfortunately because of all this, I got to bed at 3am in the morning, only to awake upon my alarm at 7am. I’m a big sleeper, I’m sorry four hours is not enough! Sleeping bag, and couch pillow, I slept upon. But I did find out sleeping with my legs elevated help me sleep.

Provo city, what went wrong and why.
We attempted attending a movie at 11pm on a Friday night, in a singles area, and Mormon populated. They were sold out of every single movie, from the stupid P.G.’s to the better P.G.-13's. They didn’t have any R-rated movies, again it was Provo, Utah. Our group of two cars, eight people, went on many wild goose chases running around Provo. Finding somewhere to eat food, then ice-cream, then a movie, followed by trying to return to the Helaman Halls - and getting lost. The worst thing about this night was the fact I couldn’t stay in the dorms because I’m not sixteen, and Brigham Young University has strict rules. Although because of us all this, I was still asked, “Did you have fun?” My quick reply was, “No... Because I haven’t written about it yet.”

Sources include my brain, Provo, and delusions.

Please see MUN parliamentary procedure, parliamentary procedure, Brigham Young University, Writing MUN Policy, and Model United Nations, to find more information about this topic. See January 19, 2002 to read about the Saturday tournament.

I was in the anti-war rally in Portland, Oregon today. As several other people have commented here, it was different from other anti-war rallies, and different from the parade of rallies that frequently occur in Portland. (Including the yearly May Day Rallies.

Most previous rallies in Portland were around rather abstract issues, such as globalization. Now, while globalization may or may not be a good thing, only people who spend their time and emotional energy analyzing political trends get worked up over it. "Globalization, what is it good for?" just doesn't have a good ring to it.

A war is something that is easily morally identifiable. Either you are for it, or against it, but if you are against war, you know when the issue is being presented to you.

The rally was predominantly middle class people, and people who did not have an ideological axe to grind. Although there was a sprinkling of the black clad anarchists, the rally was mostly centered around church groups and unaffiliated people.

Perhaps due to the great number of middle class attendees, or perhaps due to their better judgement, or the fact that Mark Kroeker was out of town, the police presence was rather scaled down, mostly consisting of bicycle police to block traffic and guide the crowd. The only place riot police were present was in front of the Terry Shrunk Federal Building.

Over all, the event had a rather festive atmosphere, with a lot of music and talking. At various intersections along the parade route, belly dancers, musicians and drummers all entertained the crowd. Since the crowd was so large, with estimates being between 20 and 30 thousand people, there was no unified chanting. It was almost as if it was just several thousand people out for a stroll. With signs.

This march, and the others like it, signifies a change in the anti-war movement from the hardcore politicals who protested the global order at The Battle of Seattle into a movement that includes people who just hate the idea of the concrete manifestation of war and violence.

Searchers were able to dig holes for 75 yards. In each of these holes, cameras were lowered in vain. The search was called off for the day at 4 PM Thursday afternoon. There were rumors that the search would be cancelled soon. The students returned home yet again with no answers.

Another long night passed slowly. Images of where he might be, nightmares about what he went through, and the fear that he might not be found ran through many minds last night. Finals seemed to last forever, and there were tears mingled with the answers. All morning we listened for the announcement that would end the waiting. No announcement came.

Then there was a whisper. They had found his body. The whisper grew into a muted shout, and for the first time in days, we saw our seniors smile. They were smiling not with joy, but with relief. People began searching for their friends to give them the news. Details about the recovery were filtering through the school, and clusters of students gathered around those who were hurting the most.

A relief rescue worker had begun digging another hole when he spotted something. His father walked onto the ice to watch the monitor which showed the location of his son. Almost all of the workers left the ice, and divers went in to retrieve the body as family and friends waited.

A son returned to his family today in a way every parent dreads. Nothing will ever be the same. No longer will our hallways echo with his laughter and shouts. We had been seeking closure. Closure will be a long time coming.

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