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Hi everybody! I had to go back to school yesterday after having two weeks off. I guess it was okay. I wrote another poem when I was off. I called it “Sometimes”. I hope you like it!

Sometimes

Sometimes my friends can be great
Sometimes my friends can be mean.
Sometimes I know what to do
Sometimes I don’t know what they mean

Sometimes my friends make me happy
Sometimes my friends make me sad
Sometimes I know what to do
Sometimes it makes me feel bad

Sometimes my friends make me laugh
Sometimes my friends make me cry
Sometimes I know what to do
Sometimes I don’t even know why

Sometimes my friends want to play
Sometimes they stay all alone
Sometimes I know what to do
Sometimes I stay in my home

Sometimes I live with my mom
Sometimes I live with my dad
Sometimes I know what to do
Sometimes I like what I have.

Bye!

Food Cost is Love and Flavor

The lower your food cost, the higher your profit margin on any particular menu item. It's a lesson quickly learned, whether cook or waitron. Controlling food cost is the primary function of a menu or tonight's Dinner Special. A menu's interdependency is a tool for simplifying inventory, today's Spinach and Chicken Consomme du Provence a useful method of recycling yesterday's Chicken Florentine. Some chef's will pick over the garbage through the course of a night to see what orange rinds, parlsey stems, and fish heads are there. Some chef's will upend the garbage on the floor at the end of the night, making staff pick through the chicken wing tips, romaine trim, and those embarassingly blackened filets to see what could have gone into a stock or a puree for the next day's specials. Kitchen Managers have line cooks put their underutilized foods in clear lexons rather than waste baskets on the assumption cooks won't waste so much if they can see their own debris.

The best kitchens I have seen, the chef loves their work. They find ways to create or draw flavor from all the food. Whether as garnish, in stocks, bisques, or sauces, their passion for and the subtlety of their work combines to bring food cost down, seemingly without effort.

So the next time you go to dinner and you see the Lobster and Potato Bisque drizzled with Asparagus-Pesto Creme Fraiche, give it a try and don't be surprised how much you like it.

I wrote a lot about gags today. Specifically, ball gag and stuffed leather gag. I am hoping to turn this into a zany gag-noding project by filling in bit gag, penis gag, and maybe a few others over the next few days. Indeed, I'm feeling like I may have found a niche in my noding of BDSM teminology and maybe furry stuff. This is exciting to me. Does anyone else ever feel like they would love to node, but just have nothing to write about that they can do a good job on?

Also, someone needs to invent a file format that makes surfing the web with images enabled using a modem less painful when your broadband isn't working. The internet was never this slow before I got a taste of the good life. Why are we still using discrete cosine transforms to compress our images when discrete wavelet transforms do such a better job? It makes no sense. Bring on jpeg2000! It's three years old already and still no one uses it!

Let me tell you something, and let me tell you this. Do not bitch and complain the next time your grades for college do not come in on time. Why? Because your Professor might just be dead.

That's right boys and girls. Thirty seconds before I emailed my professor asking why he hadn't made the dead line of monday afternoon with grades I recieved an email myself telling me he had died.

Hows that for a kicker?
Everyone and their mother is a blogger these days, it's disgusting. It used to be original and special, now it’s just trendy.

It used to be that blogs were interesting and well written or at least had some added value, the person writing them was a writer at heart or witty or needed a creative release of some kind.

Now, it’s just trendy.

It used to be that forums (actually fidonet or bbs mail) were my special way of getting information, that nobody else could get, I’d know it first, have opinions from around the world. Small intimate communities where you knew most people and the type of people that would be there.

Now, everyone’s writing… some are reading…

It used to be chatting was done on IRC or maybe on some MUD. E-mail was for staying in touch, and you met a girl and asked for her phone number outside somewhere.

There are 300 different chat programs now and websites with 5 million different “rooms” (we used to call them channels… isn’t a ‘room’ where AOLers hang out?) you actually meet girls on these chats… and actually that’s what most people are there for…

But you don’t get a phone number.. you get an ICQ or MSN and if you DO give your phone number… you’ll never hear a sheepish voice on the other end asking for you… YOU WILL GET A BLASTED SMS “hi, ttyl8r 2nite on www.stupidchat.com”

I’m 25…. I feel 52…. I liked the internet when it was MINE, when the WWW seemed like a stupid alternative to gopher, file-sharing meant giving someone an ftp account, and if you were really cool, you’d have an irc script to handle your away message.

Ok, Sorry, Didn’t mean to “I was here first” and I like the web and the new forums and stuff…

but could you please stop the blogging?

”YOU HATE ME!!!” (sob)

”No honey, I don’t.”

”YES, YOU DO!!!”(sob)

”No honey, I don’t.”

”YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT ME!!!”(sob)

”Yes honey, I do.”

”AAAGH!!!” (sob)

”AAAGh!!!” (sob)

”Aaagh!” (sob)

fade to quiet

Man, words can sting, especially when you consider the source

I think it was a day or two before New Year’s when I heard these words shouted down from the rafters and assault my ears. As I write this, I forget what even caused them. Maybe we were both having a bad day, maybe it was just one of us, maybe there was no reason at all except for a nine year old going through whatever emotional crisis a nine year old can go through. Maybe it was because a forty five year old didn’t have the patience to deal with the crisis, real or imagined. Maybe it was the stress brought on by the holidays and having to bounce back and forth between her mom and me.

Yeah, I know, forgive and forget right? Here’s the thing. Of course I forgive her for the words and it’s probably a good thing that I forgot whatever incident sparked them. I think she probably has too. She probably forgot even saying them. Here’s what I don’t know though..

I don’t know when I’ll be able to forget them. I try to brush them out of my mind but every now and then they keep coming back. It was the first time I’ve heard them from her and hopefully, it’ll be the last. Hopefully, each time they reverberate through my brain, they’ll get softer and softer until they finally disappear altogether. Hopefully, there won’t be a repeat performance.

When all was said and done and she was fast asleep, I went upstairs, peeked into her room, gave her a kiss on the forehead, tucked her in and whispered for her to “sleep the sleep of angels.” I went downstairs, sat at the kitchen table and gathered my thoughts on what to do about it the next day.

When she woke up the next morning, after an initial period of silence and wary looks, we both smiled at each other and made promises to never let that kind of thing happen again. Let’s hope that those promises hold true.

Funny, this episode wasn’t in the manual.

grey day.

skies threaten rain, even so early, and I have a long way to drive.

we're going to a place down on the California coast...very beautiful, even more so in the rain. the road is uncertain at best...we hope for the best.

hoping to find jade...hoping to find peace...hoping to find wisdom.

who said, "to travel hopefully is better than to arrive?" I want to arrive.

I came home and dropped my keys on the little black table that holds my answering machine, lamp, and a few trinkets. I saw the little red light on my machine box blinking with one message waiting for me listen to it. I pressed the play button and I heard my best friend saying that she was just calling to tell me that a boy that went to middle school with us for a year, Justin Creech, had been stabbed to death in a parking lot of Wendy's on Broad street. My eyes teared up fast and I stood there in shock. I heard the phone ring snapping me out of my state of awe. I picked up and it was another friend that new him. She told me the news again and I was mortified.

That night I watched the news especially for Justin. It said that the person who stabbed him was 16, and that his name had not been realeased because of his age. I'd known that Justin was supposed to be in school when it happened and that he was with a friend of his. I thought for a while that it was probably his "friend" who stabbed him. That night i was frightened out of my wits. It was hard for me to leave the house that morning to go to the bus stop. When I got home I called Alex, one of his and my close friends, and asked her if the guy that he was with had stabbed him. She said that it was another boy who she'd eaten lunch with her the day he killed Justin.

The two boys had been fighting over something stupid so Justin was convinced by his friend to punch him, and when he did the boy took out a knife and stabbed him. She said that when Justin fell to the ground the boy kept stabbing him until he ran off. Justin died in his bestfriend's lap.

I didn't know Justin as well as other people, in fact I don't even think I ever had a real conversation with him. He was a really nice boy from what I heard, but I still don't think I can except that he's gone. Someone my age, gone for no apparent reason. Gone because he threw a punch over a bike, because that was the day he decided to skip school out of many.

I wanted to tell all of the noders this so that they will keep in their hearts Justin, his family and all of the friends he left behind.

An observation:

Writing something you like for this site is a lot like spending half your career trying to paint the Mona Lisa, and then finding out nobody wants it because they're trying to paint the ceiling of that Sistine Chapel over there, see, and well, this weird smirking woman just isn't what we're looking for right now, right? But be sure to try again.

I haven't shaved in a week. Last washed my clothes 5 days ago. It's been 4 days since I quit my job. I haven't stepped outside my apartment in 3. It's been 2 since I've had a shower, and today I never even changed out of my pajamas.

All I want is the job I went to college to get. The one where I have the same hours every day. Where I don't have to wear anything with the company logo on it. Where I can make plans to go away for a weekend without worrying that on Friday night I'll be informed that I have to work Saturday morning. Where I have someone to talk to other than the fucking customers. Where I'm not re-enacting the movie Clerks every second of every day.

One where I get to keep even a tiny slice of my dignity as a man.

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