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Something stinks in the house of Multi-Creamer

Mercersburg, Pa is a quiet little place where the autumn leaves drifting on the slopes of the academy lawn can take your breath away. Burnt orange and summery yellow bursting about randomly on the deep green grass. A town with old world charm, historical mansions, and a close ski resort. It is picture perfect as long as you don't live here.

Indulge me, read more. The Mercersburg Borough and Police are my ever so recent target of young hostility. I believe they act the way they do out of sheer boredom. They have nothing else to fill their work days, why not fuck up some paperwork? "At least then we will have something to keep us busy while we fix our own mistakes. What do we care?" says the imaginary Borough worker to the other in my angered brain. Doom on you I say. Doom on you.

In the past ten months, since I moved to Mercersburg, I have managed to memorize their phone number. This is how much they suck. They have messed up two water bills. I have had numerous (likely around 5 or so) disputes over parking tickets. I still do not understand why it is okay for them to put parking meters on the street outside where I live. But oh well, shit happens. The least they can do is mark off the tickets I have paid off so that I don't get letters in the mail threatening a heafty fine and a boot to my car if I don't pay up soon. I really don't feel it necessary to have to make photo copies and keep records of every last one of my two dollar parking tickets just to avoid such things.

Then there was the dirty water incident. Brown, stinky water was coming out of all the faucets in my apartment. Naturally I was worried and called the Borough office for an explanation and to ask if it was safe to cook with. They insisted that it had nothing to do with the water plant and that the brown discharge was likely from rusty pipes. They suggested I take up my complaints with my landlord. This would have been perfectly fine if it were even slightly true. Furthermore . . .rust water is red, not turd brown. After contacting my landlords and hearing them bitch about the water quality through out town I decided to call the Borough back. Different story from them this time. Still not their fault. Poor, poor Borough office people always getting blamed for things. Whatever. Five days later I recieved a letter in the mail explaining why the water was discolored and that boiling shouldn't be necessary for consumption. It was however recomended that bottled water be used for drinking. Like I was going to drink stinky turd water anyways. Apparently the drought had reduced the local resevoir to it's lowest levels and something (I hope just mud) was getting into the water plant lines. This letter was from the Mercersburg Borough office. Heads up their asses.

Now to tackle the police. Let me just say that just because I am young and have a nice car does not mean that I am a drug user/dealer and must be followed and leered at. This behavior does not give me the feeling that I am being "served and protected" but rather "accused and threatened."

In conclusion: Mercersburg, you can kiss my imaginary hairy left nut!

The past week has not been good to me. My Crohn's Disease is in full-flare mode again, meaning that I haven't eaten in 8 days and am living off of only bottled water, Ensure, and popsicles. I'm dealing with bad stomach pain, dehydration, nausea, fatigue, and all the other crap that comes with dealing with this chronic illness. I'm missing out on work and college to stay in bed and take my pain medication. As all of this wasn't enough, today I found out what happens...

When Appliances Attack!

This morning I found a note in my front door from the apartment office. It seems that someone broke a water main and they'd have to shut the water off for a few hours. No flushing toilet, no washing machine, no running faucets. I slept through most of the madness thanks to my medication. The water came back on around 3pm and all the air rushing through the pipes proceeded to blow up in my toilet, sending little plumes of water gushing around in the tank. The shower met the same fate, sending rockets of water shooting into the bathtub. When I showered more air hit the system and fired water bullets at me through the showerhead.

Fast forward to 9pm. I go to get a popsicle out of the freezer. I pull open the plastic wrapper and wind up with a puddle of popsicle juice on my hands and at my feet. Please, no, I thought as I checked the other things in the freezer. Melted ice cream... thawed meat... I am royally boned - my freezer's broken!

I call the on-call maintenance guy. It seems that while the water was out someone in another building left a towel in the drain of the sink and left the faucet on, thereby flooding the whole place when the water came back on. As such the repair team was tied up for the night, and the best they could do for me was to scoop up the surviving freezer foods and take them to an unoccupied apartment's freezer for the night. I can reclaim my stuff tomorrow (but where will I put it?).

Now, here's what's coming up: tomorrow the maintenance staff will bring me a beat-up old and busted loaner fridge. It has dents and no handle. In a few days they will come and bring me a new fridge and take out the loaner. As for tonight all I have on hand in some room temperature water and warm soda. Where's my non-fridge food, you ask? Remember my all-liquid diet? Yeah, this'll work out real nice.

In the aftermath of the mass freezer food exodus I was cleaning up the mess left behind. It turns out a thawed cold pack sprung a leak, leaving a trail of blue ooze all over my countertop. I cleaned up that mess and was washing the goo off of my hands in the sink when *BAM!* more air hit the pipes and blew water all in my face and on my t-shirt.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

What a Wuukiee!

Well, Friday was the big Lafayette noder meet, which was great! I¡¦m really starting to feel like e2 is a community now (for me), rather than just a really really cool website. While the party was cool (despite me spilling oil and brown sugar from plantains on my pants), the most important part was after the party.

On Sunday, I went with Wuukiee and mcc to PAN, the Pagan Academic Network here at Purdue. Now, I am not Pagan, nor do I have any plans to be Pagan (if it happens, it happens though ļ). The main reason I went was because there were guaranteed to be 2 really cool people there. Plus, its always fun to learn new fun religion stuff!

So I learned a bit about Wicca and Santeria, and then mcc invited me back to Wuukiee's place, where we ate dinner (Wuukiee makes kickass pork chops!), played Cubivore (my new favorite game!), got drunk and watched Robin Williams standup comedy.

Honestly, it is rare that I meet people that are so open, inviting and just plain nice!

And Sam, the cat, is really cute too!

I should be a Catholic. I mean, I'm a devout agnostic, absolutely unshakeable in my faith that none of us have a fucking clue, but I definitely have the guilt complex that seems to be the defining feature of the Catholic Church. Confession would do wonders for me, I'm sure.

Maybe it's just that I have a terrible track record with Korean women, but I keep thinking that something is going to happen, Eun Jung is suddenly going to change her mind, and never want to see me again. My most recent cause for torturing myself with guilt and fear of being left was last Friday night. On the one hand, that was when we became "official." She kissed me (see January 19, 2003 for details) and everything seemed good. As time passed, and the elation of knowing for sure that we were a couple wore off, I started getting this nagging fear that maybe later in the night, the part I don't remember clearly because I drank more soju than I should have, I did something drunk and stupid to scare her off. I sort of knew I hadn't, but last time I was with a Korean girl and had a suspicion that somthing might be wrong, even though logic told me otherwise, it turned out my instincts were right. Anyway, thinking of that made me sure, beyond all reason, that I'd fucked things up already.

Last night, I invited her over, and cooked spaghetti for her. She seemed as happy as ever to see me. I contemplated immediately apologizing for getting drunker than I should have on Friday night, but then remembered that, my psychological complexes notwithstanding, she probably didn't even care. Nonetheless, when offering her a drink while I cooked, I didn't mention any alcoholic beverages, it being Tuesday night. "Mwo mashigo shipeo? Kola? Saida? Mool?" What do you want to drink? Coke? Korean 7-Up equivalent? Water? "Sool isseo?" Do you have any booze? Apparently, I needn't have worried.

The night went alright, except that my housemate, who is almost never there, chose that night to be at home, watching TV. Being a Korean girl, Eun Jung probably wouldn't want to be physically affectionate in front of him, nor let him see her disappear into my room with me, so I didn't suggest it, and we were forced to endure his company. I wasn't the only one annoyed by this. The first thing she asked me when I met her outside my apartment building is if I was alone... and when my second housemate showed up, a couple of hours later, she sighed and said something. I said, "Huh?" thinking she was speaking to me, but she said she was just talking to herself. I distinctly caught the word "honja" ("alone") in there, leading me to suspect that she was saying something like "*sigh* We're never going to be alone." She left shortly thereafter.

Anyway, I'll probably see her Thursday or Friday night, and we have plans to go to Muju Resort to go skiing this weekend. That'll be romantic, and I'm definitely making sure that it'll just be the two of us. Next time I invite Eun Jung over for dinner, I'll tell my housemates to make sure they have somewhere to go or someone to see at that time.

I'm mercilessly banging my head on my desk right now. I just had a call from a woman who works across the room from me. Across the room!! She couldn't access one of our intranet development sites - basically because we're in the process of modifying our DNS services. I'd sent an email out at the end of last week saying this work was happening today and if that it caused a problem to use the IP address instead. So instead of http://devserver/ use http://192.168.0.x/. So yeah, I forwarded the email AGAIN to her but then she printed the damn thing out just so she could type it in. I thought she'd keep the bit of paper for future reference, but no, she scrumpled it up and threw it away.

Maybe tomorrow I'll node up the guy who tip-ex'd his keyboard and wrote on the characters because it was set to US when he was in the UK.

Back to banging my head on my desk...

Look out for that Wuukiee, she'll steal your hat in a flash if you don't watch it. Good to see more people from Purdue on here. Eh crapola, looks like I'm getting smoke-jumped into another networking mess... boss says they are having "connectivity issues." New account, nebulous problem... hrm I smell a sausaging coming my way. One of those spicy ones at that. Once more into the breach...

Learning part of the script to Harold Pinter's play The Birthday Party for my Drama GCSE is hard. Mostly because of the way that my character (Goldberg) changes the subject so randomly that learning one continuous flow of words is almost impossible - one minute he is asking "Is the number 846 possible or necessary?", and then he's asking the terrified Stanley "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

However, learning all my lines so that I avoid miserably failing my GCSE is even harder when the two people I'm working with decide that attendance is for other people. So I have no one to work with, which provides me with a rare opportunity to muck around on E2 at school.

I also encountered the thrill of loosing my tie.

No, seriously, it's great fun. I left it in the changing rooms yesterday. So I go in to pick it up this morning, and there's another guy walking out of the changing rooms holding a tie. I go in, and look in the bit I was getting changed in (which the other guy was walking out of) and it's not there.

I look round a bit more until the kid comes back in, as if looking for something else. As if, say, he'd just noticed a name label on the tie he'd picked up, and saw that it wasn't his. I ask him if that's his tie.

"... Yeah."

*He realises that he has my tie*

*He makes a quick exit*

After looking a bit more I find the tie that he was looking for under a bench. Oh well, since that one was his, it looks like this is now mine.


Last Daylog * * * Next Daylog

Is everything saving or sinking me?

I first logged on here back in October. A former student of mine pointed it out to me: an altogether unique and gifted kid who was home-schooled on an off-the-grid island in the San Juan archipelago. He's in college now, but we keep in touch and he sent me an email telling me about some of the things he was into now, one of which was E2: "This one takes a while to appreciate, and longer to understand. It's essentially a subjective encyclopedia. My username is vruba."

I checked it out from my day job in Manhattan. Thought it was cool enough to create a user name and even posted one writeup, but then I forgot about it. Big things were in the works: my wife, 5-month old son and I were moving from New York to Seattle. (God, I hate moving.) I temped for a while upon arriving here, but my wife found the better permanent job (better being relative in this depression's current job market, especially in Seattle). So we switched roles and I became the stay-at-home-dad.

Lord knows, my wife wasn't thrilled about the arrangement. She missed the boy desperately at first, abidingly cranky when she left in the morning and close to tears every evening when she got home. As for me, needless to say, the job proved much harder than I imagined, even though my brother, who has five kids , claims I'm "living the dream" because all women are lazy and just want to stay at home. (I can never tell how much he's kidding when he says shit like this.) I know it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to bond with my son. And it's not like I'm not used to working at home, having had long stints as a freelance writer between obligatory corporate slavers. But the difference between this and those times is literally unfathomable unless you, like I'm starting to, experience it.

The baby has his own schedule, and it's not always the same schedule every day, though every day many things absolutely have to happen, over and over and over again: feeding, changing, playing, snuggling, naps. It's like a constant melody constantly varying. And like a shopworn jingle, it can drive you insane unless you learn somehow to love it-- not love the boy, he's easy to love; but love the grinding predictably never predictable routine.

So you find ways to get out of the house, even if, as in winter, you can't always get out of the house. Everything has become one of my ways. The 25 writeups mark seemed insurmountable at first, given my distractions, but surmount it I did, though not always with the best or most interesting writing I could manage. Now I can vote, which is less of a blessing than I imagined. What really turned the corner for me is when few of my w/u's inspired other users to write me messages of congratulation or interest. (Heck, even the correction messages were welcome communication.)

I've corresponded with a retired engineer 20 years my senior and a college-bound high school senior 17 years my junior. I've been literally swept to tears by nodes like Helping your kid brother die, which I only discovered because IWhoSawTheFace wrote me a nice response to my Sonnet LXXVI writeup. The common denominator among nearly all the folks who've messaged me is their intelligence and earnest commitment to this place and their own writing. This is deeper than it first appears. Becoming a better writer is almost always commensurate with becoming a better human, because writing challenges you to think more clearly and more honestly.

So I'm gonna stick it out here, though I'm gonna calm down a little on the noding: I got a long way to go to the next level and no real interest in acquiring the extra votes I'll get when I get there. I can already feel the obsession easing a bit. This place isn't my salvation, but on the other hand, even if it is a somewhat compulsive indulgence, it boosts me, and raises my bar as a writer, as a person.

Yesterday I was walking back from the QFC in the Seattle winter rain pushing my baby boy in his clear plastic covered stroller. It hit me then, clearer than it ever had before: I love this. Truly.

What an interesting day today has been. Last night I came home from work with a pretty bad migraine and promptly fell asleep at 9pm. This morning I woke up at 6 'o clock AM with the same headache so I called in sick to work and went back to sleep. At 9am, I woke up with no headache so I went into work. No need to waste sick days when you don't need to.

When I got to work there was lots of problems. People couldn't remember their passwords for some reason, the Citrix browser service stopped so no one could connect to the Citrix server. Plus various and other problems that happen in the tech world. Maybe I should have stayed at home with a sick day....

I don't think anyone can ever truly express how excruciatingly painful the experience of having your wisdom teeth coming in is. It's like the perfect diet. You can't chew anything, because it hurts like a mother. You have to stuff the food down your throat, or cut it into teeny pieces. I'm getting over this agony though.

Probably though most eventful part of my day was finding out that my dad was, in fact, not a Republican, but (gasp!) an Independent. This was kind of a surprise to me, because for as long as I've known my dad he's at least seemed like a raging Republican. Most of my political views were molded by him. We had a big discussion over Bush and the possibility of War. My position is Bush is our President, but as our President he is the flip-side of the coin from Clinton. Bush is leading us, but to where? I just pray to God that Bush will gain some wisdom. On Iraq: We don't need to go to war with them. This is just some sort of empire building scheme, yet on the same token, if they attack first we have the all out right to go to war.

As a Republican it may shock some Democrats to learn that their are a bunch of Republicans who don't support Bush. We voted for him, but now we are seeing the true colors flying. Honesty is the best policy, but how can we know the truth if he's NOT TELLING US ANYTHING! Colin Powell is the same. No truth coming from him either. A rough qoute from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "They will be the first ones against the wall when the revolution comes. And if a journal from the future were to time-warp to the present it would probably read, 'They were the first ones up against the wall when the revolution came'.

I knew it was coming, for years, but this week the trucks arrived. They are tearing down the big woods behind my neighborhood to make a road in order to "improve traffic patterns".

I thought I'd said my good-byes but find I keep needing to walk what is left of my old paths and do some sort of grim death watch.....the old farm machinery left to rust in place, the hill we sled on, the fox dens and bird nests, the snake holes, the stream bank, the blackberries, the huge old trees, the tire swing, the tree house, the silly out of control bamboo grove are all being pushed together in big dead piles.

The noise is horrendous but comforting. It's like an acknowledgement of the destruction. I don't mean to trivialize the pain of others, I know this is small on the larger scale of things but still, it makes me very sad.

What a wonderful day! My girlfriend and I are celebrating our seven month anniversary today. I have come to realize over those seven months what it means to truly be in love. I have had so much fun since we first met, getting to know her, becoming a friend to her, falling in love with her, and loving her more and more with every day that passes.

Words can't truly and justly define how much she means to me so I will just say that it's the world, she means the world to me and more. She has been by my side through the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly. Those good times made us strong, and once through the bad times, they made us even stronger.

So thank you so very much to my girlfriend, for being there, always, for me. Thank you for being the wonderful person that you are. Thank you for making the past seven months, without a doubt, the happiest, and most memorable of my life. Thank you for being you.

I wondered what it would be like to live in Joyce's Dublin. I imagined myself sitting on a bench looking at the shadows of the clouds as they passed by. I wouldn't be totally aware of my surroundings, but they would merge together, bringing on a Gestalt flash in me. The city and its inhabitants would be like shadow puppets, and only my thoughts would be lucid.

I have to settle for this wintry city. Walking down the sidewalk, I look down and see the asphalt merge and float by. Like I'm lost in the Sahara, I can't afford to keep my eyes open more than halfway. I feel like I'm in undiscovered territory, a hero journeying through harsh lands.

Those who enter my periphery go unnoticed. The trees and gables merge into one gray viscous sea. Suddenly, despite the wind's lacerations, I am in Ireland in June.

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