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Chess club:
Today we played bughouse and normal chess games. I began my lecture about some Chess basics and other essentials to the game that needed review and to help newer people to the club. I went through a few of the opening goals; first control of center, second development, and thirdly get your king to safety ‘castle’. After teaching the newer people this we played bughouse. This game is very fun! Two players vs. two players, whereas you take a piece give it to your partner and he may drop it. Also called Drop chess. I’m the chess club president, and my vice wasn’t here today, so the games were unfortunately in my tide. We did have a lot of fun, and my club learned a lot. I wish we had a teacher to help support and run the club, we don’t. So I’m a sophomore running a club with absolutely no help, we’ve done well.

Today I went early to get math help, I had forgotten how to use this equation and it’s counterpart: A=PE^rt when it’s compounded continuously. The other equation I figured out fine on my own because I didn’t have the letter “E” in it. I had forgotten that on my TI-81 calculator there was an “E” button that stood for it. It’s like approximately .21 or so. That made my work easier. Later that day I found out my debate scores, pretty bad this time: For Foreign Extemporaneous, a third place-fifth place-fifth place. Although I’m varsity for that section, that for me is bad. Then my Spar, first place-third place-second place, which got me to semi-finals. And in my semi-final round the three judges separately rated me, third place-third place-fifth place. So I didn’t make finals, but that was the first time I ever did Spar. –This also affected me whereas I didn’t do as well in FX because of double entering. Later in the day I found out I got a hundred percent on my spelling test. In fourth period, Marketing, we played jeopardy, just a big television copy cat. Of course my team won, I picked them well. Today was fun and I learned a lot.

The Chiropractor two:
Today I went to the Chiropractor again. This time the choice of methods my doctor used was very relaxing. A electricity machine to sooth my muscles. He then pulled out this huge weird looking machine that massaged my back. It was heaven! After which he went through his routine of realigning my back. A lot of cracks, pops, and loud sounds later I was done. I felt much better, no more aching bones in my spine out of place. I asked him if my diarrhea could be linked to my therapy, he said probably not. My mom after picking me up and paying, complained how the front desk lady is a twit. She doesn’t like her... I think the desk lady’s attitude is bad, but that’s just my opinion. We then went home, on the car ride home my mom explained to me how I may have a parasite in my digestive system. Not fun! But my back feels better!

If the girl wants to get rid of me, why doesn't she just say so? Why do they keep us lingering on to the point where life passes us by?

I don't know. I don't know what to do. I'm at the crossroads on this situation and I don't know which way to take. I love her, want to give her the room, and get back together someday. She still loves me and everyone can tell it. It's all a matter of time for her to find her way.

The other side says good bye and good ridance. See you later. And in a way I want that too. Just to let her go. But I can't because I still love her too...

I don't know. Only time will tell. I'm a man that has faith and I'm praying for guidance on this. I know that God will give me the right direction even if I don't. It's His will. And I'm putting my faith, my life, into His hands.

I’m so tired of TV.

It’s poisoned me into thinking that everything in life can be solved within 30 minutes (unless it’s to be continued) and that every little thing can provide me with a poignant moral. These people have a team of writers working for them along with mood music, make-up and sets all designed to maximize the action. I have none of this.

I’m learning that the most important times of my life don’t happen when I have the time to appreciate them. The world is full of distractions and half the time I’m trying to do one thing while the meaningful stuff is happening under my nose.

What I need to do is quit trying to fight it. It’s never going to be like I’m used to seeing played out on TV. I’m never going to go running through the rain to profess my love to some doe-eyed beauty shivering wet with the moon playing flawlessly on her face. I’m never going to find myself deep in conversation in some abandoned theater with the snow falling outside.

What it’s going to be is me in the car, stuck in traffic while she asks a question and, distracted, I’ll answer awkwardly and spend the next few days trying to re-explain myself. I’m only a team of writers of one and half the time I don’t have the time or energy to come up with all the right stuff to say. Or it will be an almost-asleep conversation, with her head tucked into that place between my folded arm and my cheek. We’ll be mumbling about things and important stuff will slip out but, in the morning, we’ll both wonder exactly what was said and how serious the other was.

Which will lead to an awkward conversation later.

I can’t help but think of those guitar-played scenes on the roof of a building while everything just rolls out nicely like a velvet, red carpet with all the answers walking down on their way to the Oscars. They both maintain eye contact and there’s nothing distracting to get in the way except maybe the beautiful cityscape or a stunning display of fireworks.

But real life ain’t anything like that.

And I’m learning to appreciate those moments any way I can get ‘em. Whether it’s a hurried word on the way out the door or a shout from another room, I’m starting to understand. These are them – this is it and it’s so much better than TV.

Screaming in my mind.

How is it that even though I'm making minimal sounds..just the clickity clack of the keyboard, and the rest of the house is silent my thoughts feel like a SHOUT in my head? Every sentence is like a canon going off, yet I can't keep them from flowing through me. And what set me off..what made me hypersensitive to every sound...

There's nothing quite like being told to piss off. Even if that isn't the exact phrase he used..it's what he meant. I was so super cheery today, not my usual mood. Lately I've been really happy.

Now that Christmas break is over I'm back at work, and even though there isn't much for me to do yet, it's good not having idle hands anymore. I'm forming friendships with fellow noders, I look forward to talking to these people every day. I look for them, seek them out and say hello. I think E2 has a lot to do with my improved mood these past few months. I feel like someone finds me interesting, like I'm not completely wasting my time here.

He used to make me feel that way too.


We used to spend endless hours chatting from our respective work places. Both of us could easily manage our conversation and our workload without injuring our work reputations. What great conversations we had.

There was also the similar interest in art and design pulling us together. He would call me and arrange a friendly date to go see Dave Mason speak in Baltimore, what an excellent lecture it was too!

We spent four days together while his wife, my close friend, was in California. During that time we went to art museums, visited the Inner Harbor, and relaxed while watching movies.

It was comfortable.

The kind of time you can only have with your best friend.


I went weeks without hearing a word from him. Not an email. Not a message. Not a phone call. It was eating me up inside.

Didn't he hurt being apart? Didn't he feel that hole where I used to be? Was I the only one who felt suddenly stranded in the cold with no one to tell my secrets to?

He emailed me out of the blue one day. I miss you. There was more..an apology for being an ass. I had been so angry before and those three words had stopped me in my tracks and made me cry.

Was it relief? I suppose it was. Our friendship wasn't totally lost, there was something to hold dear, to rebuild with.

At least I thought there was.

He's really distant. Makes me seek him out. Never returns my emails, or acknowledges them. Ignores me when we're the only ones online. Blows me off..like he did tonight.

me: Cha cha cha
him: eh?
me: I'm chair dancing
him: wahoo
him: i probably shoulda had my away message up.... i'm resting my eyes tonight
me: oh...sorry
him: I just have this on in case Carly stops in

Hurt wasn't what immediately popped into my mind. I've had a month of his neglect now, so I'm used to it. It was this overwhelming shame and humiliation that filled me..left my face burning hot upon reading his third line.

He knew something was wrong..backpeddled through it. Kept repeating "no no no" to my attempts to end the conversation, saying I wasn't bothering him at all when I said "yes I was ..I can tell" followed by "'I should have had my away message up' aka go away."

It's hard to try and believe him when his next words after telling me I'm never bothering him when I'm talking to him are "I'm gonna make some cocoa and watch some tv"

So I was left with my humiliation, and no solid reason for it. Why did I feel so humiliated that he blew me off to watch television? That only his Aussie friend was worth talking to tonight?

It's an illusion..our friendship. One sided. I keep giving it my all, and he keeps taking it and turning away.

..and so my mind cries out in pain and frustration the only way it knows how..making my every thought excrutiating. However..


In the time it took me to write this tonight, to find just the right pipe links, I was cheered up unwittingly by my friends. I've been entertained with talk of phobias and snakes, and the cuteness of lizards. I've been challenged again by a mytserious poet to write under a nodeshell.

My thoughts redirected despite myself. My mood altered to one of happiness once more.

This is not a very good node to read, but it's got to go somewhere. Thank you E2.

Last year was one of the best, and worst, of my entire life.

The end of a two-year relationship, my first, that went sour and horrible and wrong. The tail end of a sickness that started the year before, related to the aforementioned relationship. Throwing up every day for three months isn't healthy.

My academic work has suffered, my personal life damn near drowned in a sea of tears, and sweat, and vomit, and alcohol. I found out that I was an addict. I'm over it, now, but the temptation is always there.

I had to, for the first time in my life, totally shatter somebody's hopes and dreams. To crush their soul. Ruin their life. Hear them cry every time I closed my eyes for months. They got over it. I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself.

My university is asking me why they should let me back in their hallowed halls. I have very few reasons.


I have found a wonderful girl. She loves me. I love her. It's beautiful. She has given me the happiness I thought I'd lost, taken my fear of emotional involvement and thrown it away. I am saved!

I have found goals. My life so far has had no goal, no purpose. I know what I want to do, now.

I have a wonderful family - this year I've talked to them more than ever before. I was afraid to grow up and not know my siblings, but now, I have friends for life. Unless they piss me off. Hah.

I have cactii.

I have, for the first time in what feels like a long time, hope, joy, and inner peace.

And, here, a Captive Audience of good people. Ta.

Where does all the weirdness go?, a poem

Where does all the weirdness go?
From what we see to what we know
And where does all this truth come from
That we are taught until we're numb?
If what I see is what you see
Why can't you see inside of me?
What's in your head, why can't I know
Where it is the weirdness goes?

What are the truths that make you you?
Are they the same that make you true?
Or is it that you're true at all
If so, why do you erect your wall?
To keep me out or keep you in
So smile and hide behind your grin
Or stop a sec and let me know
Where it is the weirdness goes

We are taught for all our lives
The things we never realize
In a plot to paralyze
Until we meet our timely demise

Where does all the weirdness go?
Close your eyes so you might know
Look and see what most you dread
It's all around but never said
What's new to you is always there
It's different when you see it bare
Fell the wind and how it blows
And hear where all the weirdness goes

This is an original poem and the first time it's been published anywhere. I recently found it while going through my old notebooks. I'm really not one for noding poetry, but I believe this is one of my best poems (found amongst all the crap I’ve written) and I wanted to share it.

Because some have asked, I will offer a brief description. However, I am under the impression that explaining poetry ruins it. Even though I wrote this, I should have some deep incite into it's meaning, but I don't believe verse has to mean the same thing to everyone. Others could interpret it completely different than my original intentions. Also, I think I have problems expressing it's meaning, the exact reason I put it into a poem. That's what so great about poetry. So I believe the poem has far more meaning than this feeble explanation that follows.

The weirdness symbolizes truth. Normality is our perception of truth, which differs drastically from actual truth (if there is such a thing) particularly as we interact with others. On one level the poem tries to get across the point that we do not let people see our true selves and likewise, they do not let us see their true selves. On another level it discuses how things don't have to mean the same thing to everyone. What's true to me isn't necessarily what's true for you. Also, it talks about social control. Everyone is constantly trying to convince us that what they believe is true. And finally it encourages us to just except this and to try not to perpetuate the cycle. Understand that it's ok for people to have different ideas than you and to have an open mind about those ideas.

It showed in central London today. I’m trying to get past the "wow this so new" reaction, but I’ve been looking out of windows and grinning all day.

I explained to my colleagues that yes, it does snow in South Africa (on mountaintops) but no, never ever in Cape Town. Johannesburg gets ground frosts at night in winter but is very dry at that time of year.

Let me list for you all of my prior encounters with snow.
1) Those rare clear winters mornings at the University of Cape Town, you can see right across the Cape Flats to the faraway mountains, suddenly white-capped.
2) Hiking in the Drakensberg, climbing up to the sheath of old, melting snow under a cold blue sky. We made a snowwoman. That evening, camping under an overhang, a party of hikers came part. They thanked us for the snowman. They said it had really boosted their morale after being snowbound in the high mountains for days (!)
3) Newcastle-on-Tyne. Visiting relatives in the North of England ten years ago. The night rain turned white for a few minutes, but stayed wet.

And that's it. Not a lot. Until today. The night’s frost deepened into grey skies, feathery flakes swirling around, growing and growing as I went to work. Snowflakes taste of nothing but cold and air. I blinked when they got in my eyes. I caught them with my gloved hands, crossing at the pedestrian crossing with all the apathetic commuters. Busses had a grid pattern on their roofs of melt and freeze.

By lunchtime it was inches thick. Heaviest snowfall here in London in ten years, they say.

SharQ had four feet of it in Norway and is sick of it. I can see how he can feel that, but the first time is great.

At lunch I was determined to run an unnecessary errand just to get out there. That wasn’t needed. Two colleagues invited me to join them in the park (just a small square, but has trees and grass). Snowball fight!!! Then we made a snowwoman. The snow makes these powdery crunching sounds when you pack it.


After lunch, as we left the park, the snowfall stopped. Then gradually it went soft, puddles on the damp roads where the traffic wore it down, peaks on the architecture where it was untouched.. There were still white lumps and slippery packed slush all over the place when I walked home. The untouched churchyard was a virginal bed of powder. The main roads were pushed clear by the traffic, but the infrequent traffic on the side streets has succeeded only in packing them down, making it very slippery.

Now, at night, it looks like it has frozen properly again, turning roads and sidewalks into icing sugar ice-rinks, the tarmac covered in an invisible shield of dirty and frictionless hard-packed soft-serve. No doubt it will melt tomorrow during the day.

I was going to write a poem.

I was going to write a story.

But now that I have the opportunity, I'm too afraid to do so.

Over the past 3 weeks, I started feeling existential again...

My own life seemed a wisp of smoke, or less than that. Perhaps a spark between two voids: that before I was born, and that beyond my end.

My net existence averages to zero in the grand scheme of things.

I want to see one million years ahead. I want eternity, even. I don't want to wither away, to drift in memory loss or incontinence. Too many people have died already, and in my opinion it's time for it to stop. Overpopulation notwithstanding, eighty or even ninety years is by no means enough time for a person to experience the universe. I'm twenty-four, and have never even left the United States. When I was little I dreamed of being the first human on Mars. I was going to grow up and invent time travel. I was going to have a room in my house full of nothing but Lego. I was going to have ten cats and a husband.

Perhaps I can still do some of these things. But over the years, my needs have changed: there is more of an urgency to my thoughts and actions as each year I feel time passing more and more swiftly. Already I have finished college, and already people my age of my acquantance are having children. It is strange not to be a member of the most recent generation.

I get a weird feeling walking into such places as retail stores. Bright decor, colors, people making transactions. Exchanging bits of matter for other bits of matter. Seen through a super sensitive microscope, human interaction would look like a frenzy of particle movement, or a slow drift of tiny strings, perhaps. Only the scope of our perception: our eyes and ears that have adapted to the size, shape, sounds, and smells of our environment, makes any of this have any meaning for us.

I understand for the first time why people seek religion. I can't believe in any of the major religions myself, but I can see how even in the absence of hard proof, people can convince themselves that a certain philosophy is true. The brain wants to exist. In a sense, it cannot properly conceive of NOT existing. Something comes along that teases the mind with the promise: "You will never truly die". It is in the interest of humans' reproduction to be happy, healthy, and motivated. Someone sitting there being depressed over their own nonexistence is not likely to make the best mate. Therefore, the brain must find a means to circumvent this existential brooding. In my case, it is not religion that has allowed me to do this, but something else.

And what is my "something else"? Truthfully, I don't know! I guess I just keep telling myself that I will achieve an incredibly long lifespan somehow. It's the only way I've found to keep myself from brooding too much. Whether I try calorie restriction, take megavitamins, or eventually get myself cryonically frozen, I'll find a way. In the meantime, I am going to try to learn as much as I can and enjoy the beautiful aspects of life and what I have left of my youth.

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