Perpetual Cycle Then: Some Other Night, Northern Arabian Gulf
"What ya doin' Flopsy?" Scotty walks into the narrow office on the ship, in the process glancing over my shoulder at the computer screen in front of where I am sitting. Overhead the air conditioner hums quietly in contrast to the raging of the wind and sea outside of the gray steel outside of the ship. We're still floating out here in the almost exact center of the gulf, where we will be for some infinite stretch of time. It is odd in a way that when you're in this position that you never really think of all of the time that has passed so far, all of the moments lost in the darkness and sound of the water on the hull. Bad enough that I work nights and therefore have no idea what day it is most of the time. We get into little arguments in the smoking area every now and again as to what day of the week it is relative to laundry day. "Readin' the ops-intel brief, eh?"
"Yeah, just looking at some stuff." I log off the computer and push the chair around on the plastic coating over the steel decking of the ship. "Nothing interesting though. Usual shit."
"Huh." Scott replies by pushing past the desk illogically placed inside of the office, actually a good-sized broom closet. "Nothing good eh?"
"No new shit, same shit as yesterday." Strange reaction when you see some of the pictures taken of some of the things that I have. Initially staring at photographs of people standing around reading newspapers taken from objects the size of small cars hurtling about in orbit above the planet is fairly impressive. After a bit of looking at these sorts of things the reaction devolves into an apathetic bland sheet of boredom. Weeks go by and they could have reconnaissance pictures of the sun shining out John Travolta's ass and you stand a good chance of lapsing back into a coma. Slumping in the chair I let my head go slack so that I can stare at the collection of pipes running through the ceiling. "I think I'm goona die."
"Why's that?" Scott manages to exceed the bored tone in my own voice while still interjecting a sarcastic note of condescending parental whine with the reply. He is sitting in front of the other computer in the office; we have one for the squirrels and one for everything else. "You sick or something Flopsy?"
"You know, I have no idea why it is that persist in calling me that." They've been calling me 'Flopsy' for the past couple of days due to the movie 'Notting Hill' having been shown. Something about my state as a perpetual slightly cynical and self-deprecating bachelor gave these geniuses the idea to assign me another nickname. I don't even look like Hugh Grant. Six foot tall and slightly annoyed version of Anthony Michael Hall with a buzz cut, yeah, I could do that in bad lighting. "Christ, I already have one fucked up nickname."
"Yeah, but you're Flopsy now." Scott says with a cackle. He's one of our aircrew, an enlisted person that sits in the backseat of the helicopter and makes the avionics go. Most of the time they go 'bonk,' or 'bang,' or 'I/O FAULT' and then I get a phone call. The two of us are the sort of grizzled veterans on the detachment at the moment; both of us have three six months cruises under our belts in as many years. Both Scott and I have spent more time asleep underway this year than we have standing, sitting or sleeping on dry land. For me it has been just under ten of twelve, Scott clocking in at just over nine. I joined this detachment while it was in the Nag, (short for Northern Arabian Gulf,) less than month after getting home from my last little trip out. Japan that time, different world operating out of there. You never see the Nag, maybe HK, Sing or Thailand but not the Evil Sandbox of Fun. Scott is half-Hawaiian and half-Chinese, one of the best people that I know in the backseat. Rail thin and perpetually tan, the khaki flight suit hangs over his frame like a burlap sack. The government makes them to fit the expanding, the narrow ones like Scott and I wind up looking like we're escaping from something. "Flopsy."
"Thanks Scott, I appreciate it. No really." The thought strikes me as odd that we can become so jaded out here. Most people would regard being underway and on a ship as something to appreciate, to us it is nothing more than a royal pain in the ass. "I wish we were headed back to Atsugi right now."
"Shit, that'd be nice." Atsugi Naval Air Facility in Sagamino, Japan. Roughly twenty-five minutes by train from Yokohama, both Scott and I did our first two detachments there. Not together, but close enough that we knew the same people and saw each other on the way out or the way in country. "Go hang out at the club and bother what's her name?"
"The bartender?" Musing, I remember the smell of French fries wafting out of the glass automatic sliding doors in the front of the place. Cold winter biting on the back of my neck on the way in, the promise of another night spent relishing being there versus underway. "Yuki."
"Yeah. Some good times there, bro."
"You and Camille, Tom, Jason what's his name. The guy who was always running around showing people his wang." Both of us laugh quietly as the names bring back the time when we weren't gritting sand between our teeth and worrying about the next day's flight schedule. A few short hours from now I will go out, start the machines breathing. Computers, radar, crypto, pre-flight armament, sync the thing with the computers on the boat and watch the GPS acquire a new constellation of satellites. No Yuki, no bar, no double rum and Cokes. Silence slices into the office like a sword, leaving both of us disconnected in a haze of memory and listening to the rushing of the wind over the hull. "Just another day."
"Yeah. Flight goes at four." The inevitable flight schedule with minor variation from yesterday to today to next month yet always relied upon to provide amusement and happiness for the entire crew.
"You got the first bag?" The fact that Scott is still awake at this somewhat late hour ought to provide me with enough information that he does not. Craning over to look at the small metal frame open at the top, I squint for a second and manage to make out the event code dictating another day of sensor sweeps over the Nag for the crew. "Ooh, exciting. You get the log run. I'm all worked up thinking about it."
"Nope, second." Scott says in reply to the rhetorical question. "Yeah, something like, oh five hundred pounds of mail on the carrier."
"Why didn't they just send the shit to Bahrain?" We pull in three days from now. "I'm getting too fucking old, know that?"
"Huh." Scott lapses into silence and stares at the ceiling blankly, like me presumably wondering about what we are supposed to say next. Outside the Gulf does it's best to tear something from the side of the ship, a staccato rattle of steel on steel in the winds.

Perpetual Cycle Ephemeral: Thursday, HMAS Sydney
Scott is behind the #25 Red Filter attached to the front end of the wide-angle lens on my camera, his back against the forward 5-inch 54-caliber mount on the forecastle of the ship. The forecastle, I recall, is the pointy end. Black and white film marches out of the roll housing to the back of the shutter where it waits for a dose of light and then procession to the other side of the camera. I told him to make sure he shot half the roll remaining, the shadows of Sydney's Thursday morning hopefully providing enough contrast between the gray of the ship and the white polyester of the uniforms the commander and I are wearing. In the event that it wasn't enough I still screwed the red filter over the end of the lens, which slightly perplexed Scott until I explained why to him. Slowed measures of a song I was just listening to in the shop before walking down here floats through my head until the OINC clears his throat. Rudely slopped back into reality I realize that this is the point at which I either put up or shut up. This is the decision. Slowly the right arm comes up, thumb aligned neatly with the side of the hand, elbow at a ninety-degree angle as prescribed by regulation. Again, yes I, Yurei, swear to protect and defend. Six years gone in less than sixty seconds. Shake hands with the CO and make a witty comment about being congratulated. My own Chief didn't even bother to show up.
Outside on the pier in late evening twilight that same day the full gravity of what I have done settles in like a lead weight over my shoulders. So much of my life gone by at my own behest, a thousand other nights disappeared into memory not because I could not find the words to recapture them later but due to the ink just running together. So much time, yesterday just like tomorrow and last week just like last month. All of this time spent at sea waiting for something that never happens and yet I have nothing to show. Scarred hands hold open empty palms for the eyes to observe, heavy ridges around the joints marking the wear and tear placed on a body I remember being so much younger not too long ago. When I first came in I was such an idealist, now the bitter core of a hardened cynic and a picture hanging in my mother's sewing room all that remains of the boy. Lost through irretrievable hours, innocence moves fleeting as cigarette smoke through the Sydney air. I feel so broken at times, isolated, miserable, the world pressing in and trying to drown out every word from this mouth. Hardening again, I drop the cigarette into the can, watch the light sizzle out in the half-inch of rainwater at the bottom and walk away. I don't need this self-indulgent id right now. Eyes narrowing as I climb the brow to the quarterdeck, pushing all of the shit back down where it came from. Stay. Don't move.
Stepping up the back stairs behind the shop, the lever pulling all of the dogs simultaneously swings free and the shop door pivots on silent hinges. Scott is sitting inside, half-watching his pizza disappear and the television spewing forth propaganda. 'Rules of Engagement' was a little biased when you think about the plot line. Bit of sensationalist yellow journalism on the studio's part, still we sometimes loudly root for the Marines "wasting the motherfuckers." We laugh at this recordable death knowing that it is not real and never will be anything more than two hours of fantasy on a television screen. In a way this is part of coping with an uncertain future.
Sort of like shooting the tops of radio antennae off of Iraqi intelligence trawlers with a shotgun, if we can clip enough out then no one will know what they're is thinking. The times when we insist that nothing else can go wrong then something does, if we expect the worst of all possible outcomes and you get anything better than that then you're doing okay. Eventually you alter your outlook enough that you just don't care that the worst is what is happening, at least you were prepared for that eventuality. The problem then becomes what can be worse, what can be the worst situation that you can possibly come up with, what if something worse than that actually happens? In the unspoken pauses between the gunfire on the television and the stone silent and silken menace of a flash-suppressed .50-caliber machine gun sitting in an aircraft door I suppose I can hear my innocence. Evaporating, leaving, burning off like heavy red wine to depart with nothing more than an acidic aftertaste. Perhaps this is the worst thing, that it is already gone.

Perpetual Cycle: Friday, Coogee Bay Hotel
"Yeah, Mark used to do that in the Gulf War." Troy ruminates, laughing.
"Shoot antennas off?" Scott shakes his head and laughs while resting his forehead between two upswept palms.
"He told me about that." I interject as the story returns from somewhere.
"Yeah, they'd pull into a hover, Mark'd point the gun out the door and blow the damn thing off." Troy says through a thin-lipped smile while making a rifle gesture at the other side of the table. "All these expletive fuckers running around on the deck. Fucking funny, what it was. Scott, you guys ever lock and load on anyone?"
"Showed some guys the belt like twice. You guys?"
"Eh. Yeah." Troy mutters, voice dampened by a cloud of exhaled cigarette smoke.
"You guys stop anybody with that fifty while you were up in the Nag?" I ask for literally no reason other than I felt like saying something.
"Couple." Troy sips at his beer and resumes speaking. Amber fluid from condensation soaked glass absolving us of the last of our collective sins. After four I can't even feel the weight anymore. "That was some funny shit."

[ Dream Log ]



Well, I played a lot of Metal Gear Solid - 23:00 to 01:00 or so - finished the Comm Tower A, <spoiler encoding="rot13">Fgha Teranqrf urycrq n ybg, gunaxf sbe nfxvat!</spoiler> and got to the Hind shooting gallery.

Then, off to Final Fantasy VII, I haven't played it for long time (and still not finished). Messed up the march. TV station, whose ratings dropped to zero because of my bad marching style, sent me a bomb. "Received Grenade!" The Japanese are truly mad (in a positive sense of the expression).

I'm progressing well in games, I think. I recently won Pokemon (Elite Four was a piece of cake, actually...), and I'll be soon finished with MGS! Just that a friend of mine started playing MGS in the weekend and has played more than quarter of the game already...

Uh, that's about it for this night. Time for me to go to sleep...



I knew I would wake up sort of late again... Another week ruined =(

Well well, everything will be all right.

Time to face the challenges of the day.


Soooo... I went to town, and came back empty-handed.

And I still don't get what's so great about CORBA. Everyone tells it's great way of making distributed stuff, but when I ask how to use it... well, doesn't seem like a walk in the park.

Oh, and there's a Jet Li movie in the TV today. Once Upon A Time In China...


Ohhhhhkay. Folks. As you may know, downvoting daylogs is not cool.

Downvoting dream logs even more so!

Oh well, I might as well go to lunatic asylum or something.


OK, I got the Palm working again, and no data seems to be lost... Windows desktop software seemed to be more fault tolerant when syncing. =)

Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: Mi-24 Hind Dream Log: January 30, 2001

Updated: Metal Gear Solid

  • Well, this is truly hilarious; I'm running QNX under VMware under Mandrake Linux under VMWare under Windows 2000 right now.
  • Maggie had a nervous breakdown and her mom came to pick her up. I am worried about her.
  • I missed my classes today.
  • I'm still nearly deaf after attending Chinese New Year festivities in Philadelphia yesterday.

    I need a hug.

  • I would do a link to my last day log like I used to do, but it's been so damn long since I wrote one I cant remember when I last did. And this computer in my school is so slow its not worth it to check.

    I almost noded this separately in a node entitled Days When it Feels Like the World is Eating You Alive. But I think that would have been a bit egocentric.

    Do you ever get that feeling in your chest like you've swallowed a coconut, and you feel you can't move from your current position until you stop feeling the way you're feeling?

    I got to school today feeling frigging wonderful. I have been unbelievably broke the past few weeks, and (lo and behold) when I went to my bank today, I had money! Granted, it's money coming out of my savings and it will eventually mean a huge student loan, but for today it meant I could go grocery shopping and afford to take the bus to school again. So I treated myself to a McDonald's breakfast, my lovely indulgence. I was so enraptured in my breakfast bagel that I left my small toolbox at the bus stop. It didn't have too much in it - a set of pens and compressed charcoal, some pencils, graphite sticks, erasers and drawing supplies. But it was about fifty bucks in art supplies in total. So I'm grumpy the whole day, after going back and looking for it and of course it's not there.

    I check my email and get a note from my mother.

    "I checked your account on the net before that money went in.
    You were $150.00 overdrawn, so I put in extra to cover the overdraft.
    Why are you overdrawn?
    The service charges are terrible."

    This either means I have unknowingly spent my entire budget for art supplies (which has to last me the rest of the semester) or my bank has screwed up big time.

    By this point I'm feeling pretty shitty and I'm worried as hell about my financial situation. I go to the kid's art school where I am an assistant and start fixing some toddlers clay pieces that blew up in the kiln. I'm feeling sorry for myself, broke and pms-ey and pouty and crampy. I can't get the damn things to stick together properly and I let the teacher I work for know that the broken pieces won't be able to fit together perfectly.

    She shrugs her shoulders.

    "It's okay, there are worse things that could happen in life. Though what they are I'm not sure."

    She has breast cancer. She is in the middle of intense chemotherapy. She is young and wonderful and beautiful. All of her hair has fallen out and she occasionally gets tired, but she still works four jobs and is constantly smiling and positive.

    All of a sudden I feel wonderful and terrible at the same time. I feel petty and shallow and self-centered.

    And then I feel better and I remember that my day wasn't so bad after all.

    When you are in school, you are a drone. Every week, you follow the same pattern. Classes on the same days, labs on the same days, homework due on the same days. From class to class, the little drones follow each other is straight lined swarms. When will it all end? When will we be free... But then there is the kicker...
    Its probably going to be the same once you graduate and get employed

    Well, thats enough optimism for the future. Its time to recap my ever so exciting day.

    Morning: I wake up, take a shower and go have breakfast in the nearby cafeteria. I then trudge to my first class: math. Following math i have my freshman writing seminar.

    Lunch: Instead of having the regular grilled chicken sandwich, i go wild and have the pasta special which consists of pasta, beef, and a mildly spicy sauce. MMMM.... it was actually kinda good. Well, after this its off to my chem class, where an extremely funny professor resides. This is probably the only class i look forward to each day.

    Afternoon: After chem i have my comp sci class. Its a class in discrete mathematics. I'm not sure what that exactly means, but it seems that we just do math and logic type stuff that directly relates to computer science. Other than that, one may confuse it for a basic math class.

    Early evening: I then trudge back to my dorm room, where i engage in some online gaming consisting of killing people. The more people ya kill, the better ya feel. Then, around 5 or 6, or whenever enough people get hungry and decide to go eat, me and some friends went over to the cafeteria to eat. I had a ham, salami, and provologne cheese sandwich. MMMM... sandwich.

    Evening: Because i have no classes tomorrow, i decided to not really do any work. Instead, i watched the movie groove. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who likes techno or trance music, just because its got damn fine music. The plot is really just one giant crazy rave in an abandoned warehouse. Then the highlight of my entire day hit. I get a message around 11:30 from a friend that i need to come over to his room. This is kinda late on a school night to be leaving for a friends room (his dorm is about 2 minutes away from mine.) But, he seems rather urgent so i go. When i get there, i am stunned.

    Friends room, circa 11:35: I walk in to a room with 3 people in it. My two friends, who occupy the room, and their neighbor, who i also know because he is often there. He is dancing. But that is not the weird thing. He is dancing on a pad hooked up to a computer in sync with a dancing type game. The point seemed to be to hit the right spots as the indicators for spots on the pad scrolled by on the screen. They convince me to give it a try. As i am doing it, a flash goes off from my friends camera. This isn't too surprising.... Well, this went on for about an hour or so, but it was mostly the neighbor playing... since he was kinda good at it. Then i went back to my room and started up my nightly noding ritual.
    How does the Divne Being protect animals from getting the shit beat out of them when they chew up the cable modem coaxial cable all along the house, then dines on a $500 hand-held radio transceiver?

    He/she/it makes them cute as hell, fuzzy and with a big wet nose. He/she/it makes the animal hang out with your three kids, who are hugging on it when you discover the damage.

    It's a good thing I repaired electronics for the military for eleven years. I hate running cable. Now I have to buy a roll of cable and dig out my environmental splicing kit. I have a nice laser capacitor that I will partially charge, and I'll run a wire parallel to the coax. If the fuzzy little dog-beast gnaws the cable again, he will get a nice mouthful of electron discharge.

    As for the radio, it needs about $80 in parts and some micro-miniature soldering. He snagged the radio from the kitchen countertop, so I bought some mousetraps. When he jumps up to see what he can chew, he'll get his toes pinched. No, I'm not totally evil. I'll wrap the trap snare with duct tape to avoid hurting him.

    The problem is he destroys things when nobody is looking. I caught him once chewing on a table leg, and I bellowed while standing over him, Alpha-dog style. He knew that he did something wrong, and hasn't chewed the table again. I can't smack him on the noggin with a lead-filled snow shoe unless I catch him in the act. Otherwise, he won't know why I was whappin on his head.

    Crap, I'm out of metal braiding. Gotta pick that up tomorrow when I get the cable. Damn cute dog.

    P.S. No, I don't beat my dog, even though he really deserves it at times, even with a lead-filled snow shoe.

    Just completed an evening shift in Liverpool Hospital Emergency Department lasting from 1600 to 0000 hours today. I have another shift in the morning from 0800 to 1630. arghh...

    Today was an improvement. I was in the "Acute" section again. Saw more patients this time, around 6.

    It was raining - patchy rain - on the way back. Puddles of water on the road make the tyres "bite" into the side they wade through the water on. This is, I guess, the reason why drivers should keep both hands on the steering wheel.

    It's so hard to get up in the morning.

    It's even harder to upkeep my noding activity. It's been so busy at work lately, I haven't been able to do my usual one per day. But here are some things that are happening:

    Getting in shape again is hard to do even though I've done some cycling racing before. I've enrolled at a Curzons Fitness Club near work to do some conditioning. I am also thinking about restarting my racing career this year. I've already put a deposit down for a Pinarello road frame. Having a personal trainer is so much harder because the person pushes harder, though he offers encouragement throughout the workout.

    Final Fantasy IX rocks! I usually just watch it, but since my Love finished it without me, I have to go through the story myself. I must say, that I am indeed addicted. Playing it last night from 6pm to 12am proves it. Right now, I am on disc 2 on the Outer Continent.

    Oni for PS2 is coming out in stores today. I just reserved it. I hope I get it today.

    Still-heavy and getting emptier. A car comes to mind, with a fuel tank which is getting perceptibly emptier all the time.

    I am running on memories.

    The need to fall back into the familiar warm embrace, to drown myself in the love and approval is overwhelming. Crazy plans, farfetched notions keep coming to my mind.

    Scenes of past tears and pleasures swim before my eyes almost constantly. I'm like an addict craving a fix of a drug willingly left behind, except that my drug is unconditional love.

    This will actually be mostly about yesterday:
    This Sunday I woke-up in the morning feeling perfectly alright
    Sick as a devil but mentally fine, Which was a bit weird you see. The last few days(or weeks or maybe even months) I was feeling totally depressed
    In all possible way and on the damn verge of being ill, and now all of the sudden
    out of the blue I feel even better then fine. I didn't even know how
    Depressed I was until I got out of it.
    And now going about my daily business I find to my horror
    That I forgot how to act when I'm OK…
    I am thrown, ruthlessly unbalanced, I feel as though I need to learn
    How to live all over again, where should I start?
    But all in all I'm glad to be me again I welcome my optimism with happiness
    And I forget half of the things I wanted to write here, I TOLD myself I should write it down somewhere
    well. so yesterday i called my doctor. i am so completely and totally frustrated with the amount of pain i feel on a daily basis. you see, last year in june i had my gallbladder removed after living with pain in my upper right abdomen for some time. since the surgery, i have continued to feel pain, and it's worse than before the surgery. it is constant. and 3 or 4 nights a week i wake up between 4:00am and 6:00am in intense pain from my bra-line to my belly button, all the way across. walking around or taking a shower will help a bit (marijuana helps more), or if i really need to finish sleeping i will ball up a pillow and lay with it under the area of my stomach that hurts. the pressure makes it feel better. i also sweat intensely, so much that i leave blankets soaking wet and wake up amazingly cold, uncomfortable, itchy, and even wrinkled as though i just got out of the bathtub.

    my doctor said he couldn't help me, but to talk to the surgeon who removed my gallbladder. i called him, and he said i need a procedure called ERCP, but that he doesn't perform it. he referred me to a gastroenterologist. they said the situation sounded bad and that they would see me tomorrow morning at 9:15am. Unfortunately, the doctor may not be able to perform the procedure for another three weeks. so i called my general practitioner back and requested pain medications.

    what i have read about ECRP says that only local anesthetic is used, but the gastroenterologist told me they use general anesthesia, and the procedure may be done inpatient, given my symptoms. i also read that depending on the location involved, the endoscope may go in through my mouth or through my side. neither sounds particularly comfortable, although i'd rather have a sore throat than an incision in my side.

    anyway, i am now less frustrated than i was. the wheels are in motion to get the pain gone, and i don't have to wait too long. but i am a chicken. a BIG chicken. bawk bawk beegawk.

    January 30, 1983.

    On this day 18 Years Ago.

    I was born.

    Woohoo! I have finally turned 18 years of age. What makes this great is no curfew for my license! I am finally legal, this day opens many new possibilities for me.

    Yeah, thanks!

    I'm in bed, typing on my lap, and I am dog tired. I'ver had a full day, a comfortable evening (bangers and mash & the TV with my wife) and an early night. I am happy and content.

    It is, however, way too early to sleep - so I shall fill you in with details of my day.


    It was, as it often is for me during the winter months, very difficult to wake and rise. I didn't breakfastbreak my fast at home (I never do on a weekday), but had a bath, got in my car and drove to work. There, at 9:30, I instead had a 'team breakfast'. This is where members of the team get together and enjoy a breakfast courtesy of our manager. A weekly treat, and much enjoyed. Today, I chose a can of coke and a sausage-and-egg sandwhich. Drippy yummyness.


    By midday I had caught up on my (corporate) email, done a little work and noded a couple of things. I was pleased that they were both cooled immedietly. Two in a row is a first for me I think. Lunch was a sandwhich and a cold can of Dr Pepper. My habit is to bring food back to my desk, rather than sit and eat a proper lunch in the canteen.The notable exception to this rule is Friday, when a trip to the pub is usually called for.


    By early afternoon, I'd realised that my sporadic vists to #everything had ceased. I decided to right the situation by firing up mIrc (yes, I have to use NT at work). This cheered up my afternoon greatly and keeping up with dizzy, idoru and the crowd was a welcome background task to enjoy while working. I also found myself able to calm, console and offer advice to a furious noder who'd had 20 WUs accidently killed. (Out of interest, I directed him at Node Heaven, where his writeups were resting and awaiting his re-submission, complete with tags and (html-ified) links.
    NB: I wouldn't generally encourage a user who'd had a bunch of wus killed to go ahead and repost them. In this situation, a god had mistakenly killed the 20 most recent wus of the wrong (but similarly named) user - and had already apologised and given substantial XP as a compensation. Rather than lose these writeups forever, I wanted them back in the gel. Actually, is it unfashionable to talk about the nodegel these days? maybe I'll start a revival.
    So, other than a meeting, and generally being a all-round nice guy, I had an uneventful afternoon. A friend sent a text message.....

    J'aime beacoup
    d'etre perdu a
    Paris en hiver

    (the pipelinks give my translation)

    It turned out he was in Paris on business. Nice for some. It was good to hear from him.We patched up an issue that I would have hated to harm our friendship.


    I left work just before 5, and drove home in through the dark and rainy night. Half way home, an old lady stepped out in front of me. This terrified me, and my subsequent horn-blast probably scared her too. What angered me was that she was trying to cross less than 10 meters from a pedestrian crossing, where she could have crossed the road in safety. I wanted to stop, get out, and explain this too her, but her age and apparant frailty made me worry at doing so would totally terify her.

    Well, if you've read all of this, then thanks for listening. I just needed to dump my day on my Palm Portable Keyboard, and it does seem to have helped me unwind and switch off. I now hope for pleasant dreams, which, if remembered, I shall node for your delight in the morning.

    P.S. I have just dialed up using my mobile phone to node this while it's still today :-)

    The day started off kind of unusual. My friend/co-worker's truck's alternator went nuclear (he said it was glowing red) yesterday and so he needed a ride into work. I was supposed to pick him and his wife up at 9:30 and that was about the time I was still in bed and had just remembered. Bah. I made up for it though by making an extra stop along the way for them.

    Got to work, I got some stuff done. I started on a big project today. I got the basic groundwork laid down. I should be able to get a lot of it done tomorrow. The part that sucks is that I am going to need to also port it to Visual C.

    My friends

    I'm probably going to do an object-oriented style set of C functions and global variables. This seems like the best way to do it.

    I feel awesome. I went to the pool hall tonight and got to see Sara. She gave me a hug when I showed up. I didn't play pool at her table, but after everyone was ready to go, she decided to hang around and practice. Everyone else had to go since they all drove in one car. I decided to stay around and chat, and she invited me to a few games. I was very happy to just be there with her alone (apart from the group).

    We played 4 games. Each of us won 2 of them. When we left, I got another hug and I complemented her. She looked awesome. She is so beautiful, I'm so very lucky just to even have her as a friend.

    Anyway, suffice it to say I'm in the best mood ever in at least two weeks. I am going to keep this attitude for as long as possible. I needed to see her again. I really missed her and was feeling so down and rejected, but I'm happy to see that everything is cool between us and that we can at least be good friends even after what happened. I still love her, but I can live with unrequited love for a while, especially since it seems like she is at least mildly interested in me.

    I've never written a daylog before, but today I'm excited. Today I'm happy.

    Sunday I returned to school at Macalester College, in St. Paul, Minnesota. I'm sure I'll start missing people at home, I'll miss my kitty, and I'll miss Portland, Oregon and its cheap sushi. But for now, I'm excited to be back on campus, excited to see my friends here, and I'm excited about my classes.

    . So I arrived Sunday night, came back, started getting settled in. I headed over to the new Campus Center, which was just completed. It's beautiful: lots of windows, lots of light, and everything's new and shiny. And next Monday the food service moves over there; with any luck the food will improve along with the facilities.

    Monday, classes started. My German class is great, with a professor that seems just as friendly as the last one, but who seems to be at the same time a much better teacher. I'm starting a Spanish conversation class, which looks to be about what I wanted, and seems to be at about my level of skill, thankfully. And it'll help me develop listening skills, which I need work on. And then there was conditioning, a PE class which turns out to be exactly what I hoped it would be—a general excercise class, or in other words something that'll force me to work out thrice weekly.

    My roommate and I traded closets, so that each closet would be on the same side of the room as its owner's bed. That was very good, as it forced me to clean and organize the closet. A healthy start to a brand new semester.

    I got a postcard from Bozon, who found my address on my homenode. Thanks, Bozon!

    It got all icy last night, and it was fun stuff making my way over to the dining hall for dinner, but I survived without breaking anything.

    Finally, today, Tuesday. My cartography class was today, and taught by a very happy, smiley woman whose voice modulates wildly when she gets excited. Very fun, and it looks to be an awesome class. I get to stare at and make maps all day, woohoo! And then there was economics, which should be interesting. It's a bigger lecture class, and the room's a bit too small for the number of people. We reviewed basic math important to econ, and talked a bit about constraints and productivity, which the prof tied into the movie Cast away.

    Tonight I played Boggle with a friend, and soundly burned her bum, 131 to 93. And we both had fun, I think.

    More exciting stuff: I went to a meeting of the Mac Weekly, the student newspaper here at Macalester, as I had been told about by one of the photography editors. What I didn't know was that it was a staff meeting: I've been designated the official photography staff, to work under the two photography editors. This means that I'll get more frequent assignments, I think, and that I'll have access to the office with my ID card and will be able to use the darkroom. This was a total surprise, and it made me feel good.

    Came back to my room, did some homework, read some nodes, and wrote something on defensive cycling. A nice, relaxing end to the day. Now I go to bed. It's been a good few days. I'm happy.

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