Today we will celebrate with much joy and felicity and the like the nineteenth birthday of Maggie. Happy Birthday kanon42!

Today Maggie moves out of my tiny cramped room and into her beautiful single at House K, thus preventing the two of us from killing each other.

Today I attained 10000XP.

Today I will attempt not to die.

Today is Chinese New Year eve. I will be having dinner with fellow overseas medical students turned interns in the East Ocean Restaurant in Sydney tonight.

Professionally, I start work (actual work, not counting the week of orientation I've had) in Liverpool Hospital tomorrow, curiously on the first day of the Chinese New Year. I will be working in the Emergency Department, in the subacute section for my first day.

Found out today that my application for a credit card has been approved. Problem is that they want me to present three payslips to prove my employment status before they will release the card to me -- this is a problem because I have not received any payslips yet, having only had one week of (paid) orientation.

Financial markets outlook - large low pressure cold front approaching U.S. stock markets. Rough weather expected during and after next Fed meeting.

Requiem. This is the last time that I am going to have to do this, a certain air of resignation clouds around me to taint pulling into Australia for the second time. Long way home from where I was before, from the first trip to Japan and the innocence that I assume has somehow been lost. Either the experience has changed who I am or I have altered who I am to fit the environment around me. Beyond all of four hours to midnight and the rest of my life, another unwritten day will dawn. What lies ahead is more than simple redemption or some intangible complex change gone through once and then discarded. It is life, it is freedom and more than that it is mine to with what I please. The inherent randomness of reality will provide some measure of entertainment, or at least that is the wish as of the moment. Need not worry about this sort of thing.
Looking back in a sort of brief retrospective on the three cruises I find it a little difficult to separate the significant from the mundane. In a way there is no distinction between the three as a complete whole, the some of the parts run together and form one very altering experience. Traveling back over the old paths as the ship slows into the first moments of a twelve-hour transit into Sydney harbor for a view on perspective, a voyeuristic peek in on the future and the past. A return to my old self where I am not forced to confine to the dictate of the occasional idiot dictated to lead the collective of enlisted subalterns around by the nose. (Not all of them are idiots, just a significant fraction of their numbers.) I remember childhood and growing up in the shadows of the two largest national labs in the country. I remember Edward Teller's vengeful glee when Star Wars (or more officially the Strategic Defense Initiative,) first started, the menacing shadows of the Wen Ho Lee trial exposing a world of physics gone slightly awry when mixed with patriotism and politic. I remember filling the pages of the Creepy Green Book on my second cruise, recording in careful detail the overwhelming apathy and hatred toward the system that has now waned into something a sort of trite cynical respect.
The vignettes, the way I write. There was a question asked of me by someone that I work with as to why I write why I do and where the style comes from. These memories circle around and I have got to share them with something lest I wind up like Rutger Hauer at the end of 'Bladerunner:' "All of these moments, will be lost." I keep trying to convey the twenty-minute walk from Sagamino train station to Atsugi Naval Air Facility, the sense of coming home and the smells of Japan, without failing to do the perception on this side of the screen justice. This is the most difficult task, to allow anyone and everyone to walk in my boots (as they are battered, worn brown through the black dye and the right one stitched with thin green nylon thread to close a two inch hole,) for a mile. There are so many people that I want you to know, so many minutes lost to history that I cannot resurrect.

Just to have my senses back fully again after being beaten so dull over the sand, better than running about like an idiot grunting at the wires every now and again. (This is the point at which Guy would tell me that I am selling myself short for a very good reason that only he could explain.) Really, I suppose that I am but in reality any well-trained monkey not currently hammering out Shakespeare on a typewriter in a room full of other monkeys could do this. It came to me the other day that it is not that a monkey or horde of monkeys for that matter could do my job, it is just that I understand it that well that I can afford to denigrate it to that level. Guy, as usual, is right and I don't even have to talk to him. The competition to be the best, to be the motherfucker of all motherfucking technicians has exacted a fair penance in the process. One of the most crushing moments that I have ever endured was the opinion of one of my Chief's who knew and worked with Guy telling me that I was better than he ever was. The seconding of someone who was friends with him, (Chief no like Guy, for the Guy hath made much mirth at the expense of the Chief,) that it was true. It has been six years on the job. They keep telling me here that I can fix anything, that they would have never had to call a tech rep for the IFF gripe had I been here instead of the tech that I replaced in the Gulf. More than anything else I had an axe to grind when I came here, I wanted to prove that I was worth what They Were Saying When I Was Not Supposed to be Listening. This was supposed to be a trial and now I find that it was more of a trip to traffic court. It was supposed to be harder than this, it was supposed to be the end. It turned out to be significantly more than I could have covered the tab for if the bartender had decided to serve notice. This job does however take a certain amount of madness to do it with the fervor that I have and here there is absolutely no use in denying that to any degree. Droll gallows humor for what essentially is the winding seconds before the executioner finishes fiddling with the ropes and the fates are finally sealed. Hell of a difference between now and then, between the first day I walked into MEPS with a head full of idealism and the adult cynic. So hard to find that child now, finding the hours passed and the paces taken along the way.
In a way the undermining ambivalence in the background is something that I am wholly consumed with. The notion that I am actively attempting to avoid making a decision isn't a factor I think, not so much as say the need to accept the one that was already made. What and where are laid out and it solely up to a pair of slightly hesitant hands to put them finally right. Just under six months ago I was bouncing in the opposite direction toward a future that if I did not understand then at a bare minimum I feared. The fear is gone now yes, leaving behind a cautious apprehension about acting without thinking. To jump without looking to press forward on faith alone has advantages, however it also holds the certainly large drawback of being a dumb idea. To hell with it, not worth expending too much energy trying to discern which of the thousand paths is the right one. Trying to give the system the benefit of the doubt in the end simply leads to being shafted more often and more efficiently. If someone is going to do something irrational then it might as well be me. This also provides a worry in that if people like Guy had not given me the benefit of the doubt I would never have survived this long or something of that nature. Having come full circle this last time I will pick it up and head to this amorphous 'home' I keep trying to find. The end seems so far off sometimes yet the minutes and hours pass just so quickly, now as they will short moments from the end of it all. Finished, done, complete, this is what I am and what I have done. I survived at least. Just so quiet here on the other side.

Name: Maria Carmen
Born: Feb. 11, 1959
Death: Feb. 12, 1959

I went to the cemetary again to leave another flower, my second. I saw the dates and looked around at the surrounding [tombstone[s, all ages between a couple of days old to just about 3 years old. I started off at the baby burial spots of the cemetary without knowing. I am glad that I started off with young kids rather than adults because at least I know that before the age of three, everyone's innocent. They say the innocent suffer in due time, and they do. But being young and dying constitutes many different reasons including:

I took all of these reasons into mind when I gave my speech for that child. I was troubled and all didn't go too well. There were other people there in the cemetary too, old folks. One of the men had on binoculars and was using them profusely. The other man went to his truck for some supplies that I could not see. Two women were with them walking around looking at different tombstones. I was very upset, these people looked like they came here to just look at tombstones and walk around. At first, yeah, I went to the cemetary to walk around, but not to sightsee. I went to feel at peace with my death. I went to smell the air, see the flowers, wonder about the people, wonder about the people that were at the burial, and such. I did not start going to just "sightsee," I had a purpose, and now my purpose has grown. I go to leave a flower to the dead. I care not if one tombstone has an abundance of flowers, I go in order of the layout presented to me. I enjoy being at the cemetary, these people seemed to too but I really don't know their true intent. I'm not saying I now "own" this cemetary, I just think people should show more respect to the dead.

Everything Snapshot

Time: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 00:19:53 GMT
Everything server: Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) Debian/GNU mod_ssl/2.4.10 OpenSSL/0.9.4 mod_perl/1.21_03-dev

Number of nodes: 806349 (1103 new since January 22, 2001 [863.3 wa7])
Number of users: 24127 (94 new since January 22, 2001 [95.1 wa7])
Number of links: 3293669 (11904 new since January 22, 2001 [11023.4 wa7])
Number of writeups: 447101 (593 new since January 22, 2001 [444.6 wa7])
Number of cools: 57827 (190 new since January 22, 2001 [176.4 wa7])
Number of votes: 1840305 (9345 new since January 22, 2001 [7731.9 wa7])
Number of hits: 30759430 (151665 new since January 22, 2001 [142358.2 wa7])

Node to user ratio: 33.421 nodes per user
Link to node ratio: 4.085 links per node
Link to user ratio: 136.514 links per user
Link to writeup ratio: 7.367 links per writeup
Votes to cools ratio: 31.824 votes per cool
Cools to user ratio: 2.397 cools per user
Hits to user ratio: 1274.897 hits per user

New Nodes: [802.11b] [Amanda McKittrick Ros] [Boy Meets World] [Buddy's Confession] [We rock so you don't have to] [The Ritual of the Pentagram] [To the People of Sangamo County] [metanodeshell] [Of Books] [Does that Phone taste Good?] [God Bless You Purveyors of Warez] [ass transplant] [The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name] [demons fly out your nose] [Mango]

Users Online (55): [dem bones] [hamster bong] [yam] [Electricsound] [JeffMagnus] [pukesick] [Quizro] [jessicapierce] [emil greer] [m1a9366b] [blaaf] [kaytay] [ToasterLeavings] [Jinmyo] [mcc] [m_turner] [legbagede] [Girlface] [Protector of Mankind] [baffo] [VT_hawkeye] [Mojo Jojo] [wh00t] [ccunning] [Infinite Burn] [sleeping wolf] [ZamZ] [Ater] [WonkoDSane] [factgirl] [Gone Jackal] [Accipiter] [srkorn] [Aresds] [Tarquinious] [Flip] [Belli] [Gritchka] [Pyro] [Pakaran] [GirlsDontLikeMe] [Milen] [sabby] [Karla] [Jennifer] [deeahblita] [Pantsless Bob] [Powers] [AmadeusTheKitten] [mailspd] [Dr. Plaid] [Sirius] [akf2000] [sparkleface] [XCthulhu]

JeffMagnus node count: 4089 (1 new since January 22, 2001)
JeffMagnus experience: 11713 (-1 more since January 22, 2001)
JeffMagnus experience to node ratio: 2.865 XP per node
JeffMagnus nodeshare: 0.508% (Via alternate method: 0.915%)*
JeffMagnus node of the day: Windows Error Lookup Guide

Note: The Everything Snapshot daylog will return as soon as I work out one that is more pleasant for members of the Everything Whino sect.

I retract my earlier statement. Who needs friends when you have this kind of homework?

Got my books today-- $486!!, the most I have ever spent on books in my life-- and this evening decided to sit down and catch up on my history assignments, since I registered late...

Will someone please save me from this evil?

The Age of Reconnaissance... ahhh... wonders of the 14th and 15th century, glorious discoveries in sea travel and exploration, and... the most boring fucking book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Excuse my sarcasm. Don't get me wrong, I love history, I really do... but this is severely pushing it.

Making friends with the cute manager of a local CD store... applied for a job there, and he says he'll get back to me... let's hope so, I could really use it. Well, I think; this daunting factor of homework could, as I stated earlier, delete all social life that I attempt to have.

This was a quiet and pleasant weekend. I read, muchly. Finished Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. Read a bit about networks. And the newspapers.
But the great activity of the weekend was certainly noding on a Palm. I used QED, because I didn't want to break the node into a gazillion little notes.
Of course, having a keyboard was very important. I also discovered that the keyboard uses a small but significant amount of power.
The photography node was well received, and, what is more important, when writing it I remembered certain things that I would not have remembered otherwise. Which is very good. Especially when lives away from home, memories are all.

Occasionally I get musical obsessions. At a certain point, I could not stop listening to the first piece of "Tous les matins du monde", a peppy march by Lully.
Today I feel the obsession with Popcorn, both in the original Jean Michel Jarre version and in the Aphex Twin ... it is not really a version. It is something that moves from one speaker to the other, and does strange things with a flanger that make your ears go pop. Anyway, I listen to this at progressively higher sound volume. To get the nuances.

During the weekend I actually woke up on Saturday night in anguish, because of something connected with the job. Then I rationalized it, and realized that the problem had been presented to the Big Kahuna, and he had elected to ignore it (he said "I'll think about this").
Which means that if now there was a large sum of money to pay, why, this is just the price of the Big Kahuna's meditation time.
It is not cheap time.

Sunday night I went to watch a silly movie at Miss Nice's. The movie was "Airbag", and it was quite funny. Not profound, but that was what I needed.

I am in a sort of suspended state. Everything is quite nice now. I have friends here. But I feel the distant call of Italy, of my family. And of my old friends there: friends with which I have done many strange, wonderful and stupid things.
I suspect that the age is past when one could do this kind of things, which means that that kind of bonding is forever out of my reach.

Friday I went to a gym, to move some weights. Some of my muscles still hurt today. I thought that I had been careful, but at a certain point, I just went biceps-happy.

The Irritating Lump Company keeps doing what it knows best. Friday afternoon a pleasant little email arrived, asking the Directors (I am a Director, strange as it may seem) to produce the 2001 planning, with detailed spending previsions, and projects and "things to make it look good".
Due ... on Thursday. Irritating as hell. And nearly impossible to do in a decent way, of course. Even more difficult with drill demons in the building.

Iron .oOo. steel

I successfully survived my first day of classes. Even better, i have no classes tomorrow. Ahhh... my schedule is arranged so beautifully. All of my real classes put on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. With gym on Tuesday and Thursday (at 11:30 of course, i wouldn't want to get up early) and a lab on Thursday. Of course, the lab probably counts as a class on thursday, especially since its three hours long. But, since most gym's don't start until next week, its no classes tomorrow. But enough about the future... let me analyze the past.

Morning: Woke up, had some breakfast. (This time i got a fork... :) ). Went to my first class: Math 293. The professor didn't seem to bad. Next it was off to my Freshman Writing Seminar (Its a philosophy one about Socrates). This is kind of mean and stuff but... most of the other kids in the class look kinda dopey, so i should be able to easily get a good grade in that class.

Afternoon: Go for my lunch, and then the second round of classes begin. First my chem class. Honors chem 216. The professor, who is supposedly some kind of genius or something, is amazing. First off, he is dressed like a flood victim (to quote dilbert). His hair is all messed up, his shirt is barely tucked in... but who cares. He is amazingly funny, and seems to really understand how we want to learn the material. Many teachers say "I know that you guys find this stuff boring, so i'll do what i can to make it interesting..." But they usually fail miserably. This guy seems to actually remember what it was like to be a student... What it was like to read a textbook. He is utterly amazing. Well, moving on. My final class of the day was Comp Sci 280. A math/proofs class (meaning there is no actual coding). The professor had a shaven head and spoke with an accent. For some reason, it was hard to place. I was thinking it was probably French, perhaps German, but someone else thought it was Russian. Most of you probably think i am a moron at this point because these accents are quite easily distinguishable... but i dunno... it was just hard to place. Well, that concluded my academic day.

Evening: Some AQ is played... Then i have dinner with 4 of my good friends. We sit around a while and talk about whatever... Like making fun of the local news. The things on the local Ithaca/Syracuse news is just hillarious. The top stories may include a dog being stuck in an icy river and a gas station being robbed. I'd like to see that make the news in NYC... Later i played some pool and then retired to my room for the evening. Then i began my daily voting/noding ritual.
Although I probably qualify as addicted to E2, I am beginning to wonder if I am also addicted to work. I woke up at 3:30 am this morning with an urge to check some production processes I am responsible for. Nevermind that I have a pager that will wake me up if something is going wrong.

Anyhow, the process has failed because for some reason, we (me?) were not monitoring the disk usage, and the partition was at 100% gone-usedup-zippo-no-more-space. So I go through the fun process of zipping up the files, shipping them off to a larger disk, blah blah blah blah. Of course there were processes that cron usually ran that had to be run by hand, so here it is, 6:30 am and I am sitting in front of my computer thinking, "I have a 10:30 am meeting and now I have no sleep...what to do what to do... AH HA! I'll take a nap."

I am one of those people that get this extremely heavy and groggy feeling if I take a nap from 6:30 to 8:30 and then try to get going. But after I shovel in some caffeine and Burger King into my system, I feel half-human and get through the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, I'm still avoiding dealing with a situation with my boss, who is a living example of The Peter Principle. A good guy, he got me this job (which I love), but still... sigh. Oh well, the week is 20% over!

One thing I've been enjoying about E2: when I'm working on a writeup, I'll often check with another browser window to see if a particular word or phrase has been noded, so that I don't have any hardlinks that just point off into outer space. What I've found is that by typing a longer phrase that I am pretty sure will not have a node, I get great search results consisting of really fun nodes!

For example, this writeup caused me to look for this:

nodes that point off into outer space

Of course there was no writeup like this, but how on earth would I ever had enjoyed the following gems:

So, the next time you're bored on E2, just start typing into the search engine!!! Heh heh.

Today I received an another book for studying for the universities' entrance exams. I actually had a copy of it already, but they are saying only last year's edition is acceptable. Fine. I have far too much money in my hands anyway. (yes, attempting to be sarcastic again...)
This, in combination with an extremely boring workday, once again brought silly thoughts in my mind.

Sometimes I want to shake my fist and scream obscenities at whatever supreme being conglomerate is manufacturing this organic machine called human. Especially at the department responsible of the gray matter inside my skull.
When I passed through the assembly line, how come they didn't install any talent? Or was it an accessory too overpriced to my ancestors' heritage?

Sorry for the bitches and moans, but sometimes it sucks to see all my gifted friends fighting off companies bombing them with job offers, promising even higher pay and more enjoyable work than they already have. And here I am, studying until my eyes hurt just so I could get into an university. And unlike my father thinks, simply getting accepted into a school doesn't immediately make me a high-earning professional. I barely could finish lukio, and although my motivation has improved significiantly the world of higher education has good chances to crush me into a pancake.
Some say that in years to come the ones who have entered the fast lane with only their natural ability and not much education will be replaced by more patient people who have completed their schooling. Perhaps I should be happy about this, but I still think it is wrong to judge someone completely by his/her diploma instead of what they can really do. This seems to be the case with anyone who doesn't have really exceptional skills in their field.
Ultimately the whole seems to be a lose-lose situation, but as far as I can see the only real option is to go with the flow and try not to fall too far behind.

I need to form up a steady studying schedule and follow it precisely. While the chances of me getting accepted are one in a million, I will not just crawl into a hole and die.
A Japanese friend of mine is just having similar exams, and she told me to expect her being very depressed for a long while if the tests don't go well. While I understand that the society puts a whole different level of pressure on students in Nihon, I still stay on my position that no matter what, there is more to life than studying.
So if I'll fail, don't worry. It will not be the end of the world. And you won't see any more whining in my day logs than usual. :)


I'm taking a break from my pleasant stoned state to inform you that simonc is an extremely great fellow. Really.
That's all, I'm not good at noding under the influence.
The HTML tags look funny.
And don't take what I said in my first entry too seriously.. I can be such a silly melodramatic whiner sometimes.

When it played in cinemas, I heard everybody talking about American Beauty. TV shows and magazines thought it was brilliant. Since I hardly ever watched a movie in the cinema (except when it's a movie I was really looking forward to), I hadn't seen it yet. Today I decided to finally buy it on DVD. A movie that won 5 Academy Awards can't be that bad I guess.

And I got one of those funny voicemail messages. Some woman talking in an accent like they do on the other side of the country, "Hi this is your mother. When will you be back in Groenlo?".
I don't know who she was, but she definately wasn't my mother (unless there's something the people I call my parents haven't told me). And I looked up Groenlo on a map and it is, just as I suspected, at the other side of the country.

I just informed the always lovely Soberty that I want my Preacher books back, since I really want to know how the story continues. I still regret it that I introduced her to it, since she instantly became hooked on it, and insisted on borrowing part 8 even though I hadn't read it yet.

Oh my god I feel so damn old but don't really feel anything.

Basically, it's like this :

I hate school
I hate work
and I hate being home.

I hate the fact that I have to get up in the morning to go to work so that I can make money so that I can pay rent for an apartment and a lifestyle that isn't making me happy anymore.

I hate the fact that I have to get up in the morning to go to school so that I can take arbitrary tests over a series of years so that eventually when I graduate I can get a piece of paper that says I know these specific things and this entitles me to more money that I can then use to buy more things in a desperate attempt to sidestep the fact that none of it is making me happy and eventually I will die this way.

I hate the fact that life is a series of random events instead of something with an eventual conclusion. There is no rest, you can't win. Everything is constantly maintaining what you have and guarding it against being taken away. You're supposed to have fun 'on the way' to accomplishing your goals, but that's not happening for me.

Don't get me wrong, I have good times too. Especially when hanging out with friends (for some reason this makes me happy) so I try to do this a lot. When I have to go back home, though, things just turn back to normal and I have these bullshit 'philosophical' feelings about things I didn't have to think about before, and I think a great deal of this has to do with my chemical status (which makes me want to seek drugs, because I don't think I can afford to try and pursue biofeedback or whatever)

I hate the fact that if I manage to avoid going to work or school I sleep as late as I can and then when I wake up I want to sleep more. I don't actually want to sleep my life away, but at the same time I want to sleep _this_ portion of my life away. Maybe this portion of my life is permanent. I hate being home because when I'm not busy I realize how everything is utter bullshit.... and it seems that recently I haven't been able to concentrate on other things at all so as to distract myself from this state of mind. Normal used to be okay for me, now I have to go to extremes to get any feeling at all.

I wouldn't mind not being able to sleep if I could be productive in the hours that I am awake (like I used to be able to), but that's not possible either. I've always known that I've had a healthy dose of ADHD, but now it's absolutely choking me.

I hate the new perspective that I've gained on things that allows me to see more sides to issues than I had seen before. It in essence destroys my will to take sides at all or pursue any actions for any change that will require maintainence that I know I will not be able to provide. Everything I see is futility. I'm not sure which is right now, the way I was before, or the way I am now. I suppose if I was the way I was before, I wouldn't care.

I really think all of this is due to chemicals. I realize now that I'm basically just a robot slave shackled to the whims of the chemical reactions happening inside my head that I don't believe I have much control over. So right now I'm thinking I can either give up and die, or try anything to avoid being dead.... which will probably lead to the inevitable prescription of medication to me in some form or another.

At this point, I haven't thought much about killing myself (in the actual planning that is... I have done a lot of thinking about the lack of worth in my life). Predominantly, I have a lot of thoughts about the futility of everything, and how right now my perception of life is pointless and painful.

I don't know if any substance will be able to make me feel more distant than anything than I feel right now, so I guess it's worth a shot.

I'm seeing a psychiatrist for the first time today. I don't have faith in the practice of psychology/psychiatry, but I also don't have faith in the 'healing powers' of the medication I'll probably end up on. I just don't want to deal with whatever else is going to happen to me if I don't take some action, any action whatsoever, to correct (or forestall) what is currently happening to me.

It's hard to analyze and reject feelings and thoughts you are having as being the cause of a chemical status, because you're using the same brain for both things. I guess it's sort of like trying to bite your own teeth. Maybe soma will help.

I guess you could say I'm depressed.

Yes, I do realize how illogical I sound.

I'm not sure if this is proper material for the daylog.

Oh god, I hope I don't start writing bad poetry and posting it to my 800k image-laden cloud-backgrounded rainbow-animated-gif line-divider having courtney love tribute geocities page.

SUMMING IT UP: Riight, another rather eventful two weeks. I'm trying to break up with Blind Date, mad diplomacy-empathic skillz at work - we both come out of it relatively unscathed.

CONNECTION REESTABLISHED: Minutes after 'breaking up' with Blind Date, I run into Cute Girl On Standby 2, whilst waiting for the subway. We haven't seen each other in half a year (I lost my cell phone and her number). She seems to be doing OK at work, getting promoted to team leader and so on. We exchange phone numbers and decide to have a fika some day.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: I've been transferred to the R & D department for real and gotten a hefty raise along with some added responsibility. I'm not quite sure what to make of it - I'll have to work a bit harder to live up to the expectations of my co-workers.

RUNNING LATE: I still haven't sent the birthday gift to my little sister. Shame on me.

UNEXPECTED/PLEASANT SURPRISE: A letter i did not expect at all. A thousand possible implications. Think I'll let it slide, can't be bothered to go through all that again, no.

MEME PROPAGATION, INCORPORATED: As I was waiting for the blue line, I began walking on the cracks in the concrete, tracing the outlines of the pattern the concrete slabs formed. Yup, I was rather bored. Soon, a cute girl also began walking along the cracks, in the opposite direction I was walking. I chickened out before we collided, and smiled nervously.

SOTD: Goldbug - Whole Lotta Love Rawk!

I got a box of fleas from jessicapierce

You are all envious.
Actually the box contained this: The dissolving peanuts are the best part, but they don't taste as good as the cookies. (Yes. I ate one.)

We just watched a documentary about the space shuttle that exploded in 1986, and I mentioned how you only ever see astronauts saying they want to explore space for romantic reasons, not scientific. My dad said it was probably because research scientists are the scientific ones, and you have to have romantic notions to put your life on the line like that. Then he went on to say that he hated it when people were lazy, and didn't do anything that they wanted to do with their life, when all they needed was a small nudge. So I figure this is secret dad code for telling me to get off my arse and do something. I asked him what the defining difference was between a lazy person, and someone who worked hard - he just spouted some crap about "just doing it", and then accused me of sounding like a sociologist. I took this as an insult, not because I didn't want to be called a sociologist, but because he said it with such contempt that if I said "well actually I want to be a sociologist", he would probably have spontaneously combusted. No wait, that's bullshit, he was getting annoyed because he thought I was sidestepping the issue, and he probably *was* telling me to get a job, and it seemed like I was telling him I wasn't interested, and wanted to lie around all day hypothesising about stuff like sociology. I guess that's every hard-working father's nightmare situation for their son.

Today is another new beginning for the Brooklyn College Excelsior office. The anchors that have held old computers, old obsolete equipment that served its time years ago, have been dismantled from the desks.

From the looks of it, one would expect me to be happy because I'm going to buy new equipment in place of the old. I don't think so.

My current responsibilities in the faculty computer lab AND the Excelsior can burn me out soon. I have to take care of computer duplication work in the former, and I'm shopping under a tight budget for new stuff in the Excelsior.

Surviving the campus bureaucracy through the Central Depository department is one thing, but I have to go through Excelsior brass again for buying new stuff. And the Editor-in-Chief is not one who is mentally sound to absorb the rest of the stress either.

In theory, I should be able to buy new software just by signing a few papers. Blammo! I would have a few copies of Apple this, Adobe that, and a replacement scanner. No, I have to get to the Central Depository to make sure it's cheap enough.

So far, my first purchase will be some memory upgrades. The only two surviving computers and the laser printer need as much as RAM as possible.


Bad day today. I didn't do anything at work. I was in a good mood until lunch. We went to Friday's, and I don't know if it was the conversation we had there or the music I listened to on the way there and back that put me back into my depressed mood. I stayed that way until going to the gym. Maybe I should go to the gym in the morning, so I will be in a better mood all day.

Tonight was pool night and I was trying to decide whether to go or not, but I was not asked by CR if I was going tonight, so I was thinking about not going. On my way home I decided I would go ahead and go, but then when I passed my exit on the interstate I changed my mind again. So in the end I didn't go. Sara wasn't going to be there, but J was. I'm sure by now he knows that I know about the whole situation. Since I wasn't in a good mood, it was probably not a good idea for me to go anyway.

I cleaned up my apartment a little when I got home from the gym. It's good to have energy afterwards. Actually I feel more alert and awake after the gym than the whole rest of the day. I need to get my brother to be a little more interested in keeping stuff clean. I hid a bunch of silverware since we don't need that much in the drawer; having a bunch of silverware just encourages him to use a new fork or spoon rather than washing one.

I'm feeling somewhat ok now. This depression trend has got to end sometime though. I've even been serious considering some psychotherapy or mild drugs. A small dose of MDMA even sounds like a good short term solution; at least I'd have some good days. I don't know. Being a special person to someone special themselves was such a good feeling, and I miss it now. I don't know how to get it back.

A big fuck you to goes out to all of those cowards who downvote nodes without a /msg as to why.

In this episode, our hero plays the deadly game of Bowling For Consciousness and throws gutterballs.

A strange thing happened tonight. After my classes were through for the day, I visited my friends at the Porter College dormitory at UC Santa Cruz. Once there I was passed the bong and thus proceeded to get extremely altered. My friend, Allen, didn't participate because he had a class at 7pm, the Psychology of Law. As he left to go, he asked me if I wanted to come along. What he'd told me of the class before sounded interesting so I went with him, still in a very non-ordinary headspace...

The lecture was interesting but I kept going off on wild mental tangents as I am apt to even when straight (but especially so when I am tripping). One tangent was remembering the one time I'd ever come close to a sudden loss of consciousness. I'd been sitting in bed talking to my roommate, August, when I abruptly felt like I was fighting to maintain awareness of my body and my senses. I fought to stay awake and only barely succeeded. A related tangent was thinking about August's own recent experience of a very similar variety. All these thoughts brought to mind my own fears/premonitions about a possible heart problem that could take my life. So there I was: sitting in the very center of a huge lecture hall, stoned and fatalist.

Very suddenly, two events occurred, the order of which I am uncertain; but I think it was the following: 1) I imagine a scene where I have some kind of attack right there in class. 2) I feel a pop in the area of my solar plexus followed quickly upon by a feeling of dread and panic as my vision begins to lose color and contrast. I feel like I'm being pulled down into unconsciousness, into a dead abyss. My mind races and tries to convince myself that I'm just tripping--my sensitive altered state merely manifesting and amplifying my own fears. In short, I pretend it's not happening. I picture the scene I'd make standing up in the middle of the row in the middle of the large lecture hall. It feels like I couldn't make more than a few steps before falling. I muster up a calm voice to ask Allen what time it is: one hour to go. He can tell I'm flustered in some way and asks me what's wrong. I fake it and tell him I'm "just feeling a little claustrophobic; strange." I fight to stake awake.

After a few minutes the sensation subsides a little and I get to feeling a little better. In all honesty, the greatest force in keeping me conscious was the anticipated embarassment of causing a scene in front of all those people. If not for that, I might have called out for some help from Allen before losing it altogether.

The conclusion to this story is highly significant to me. At a short breaking point during the class, I was able to slip out and begin walking back to Porter. Coming out of the classroom, two girls were walking ahead of me. They were in front of me all the way back and I tried to keep my distance. As we were crossing the last bridge, I caught a few words from their conversation: "...felt like I was being dragged down into a dark hole...never happened to me before...scary feeling like I was dying..." Amazed, I walked faster to hear more. It sounded as if one of the girls had just had an experience identical to my own and was discussing it with her friend. I hesitated and resisted the urge to ask her directly what she was talking about. But the synchronicity was enough to startle me and give me that good old feeling of subtle satori.

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