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I cut my nails today. They were grown to the point of immanent violence, a length ensuring deathly pain to any and all who accidentally crossed my path. I had already informed one person of his death to come by the nails of a girl – my first victim, if you will. He was honored. Perhaps he will feel even more honored when he learns of the castration of his would-be destruction. But then again, maybe not. He did seem to be pretty excited to watch me try to take his life with all but ten nails on the ends of ten very long, bony fingers without the strength to lift all his 240 pounds from the floor he so lovingly trod.

I donned the beautiful and brand new lavender tank top I purchased from Express a few days ago. It’s quite revealing, but the temperature called for nothing less than almost naked. 96% nylon and 4% spandex. Quite comfortable once you get past the horrid, ghastly shoulder bumps and killer collarbones (see my homenode for more details on that). If only I could hide my deformities instead of delighting in them.

I learned today that Yahoo! is beginning to delete its growing collection of pro-anorexia clubs. I felt a pang of loss when I first discovered this, followed by an overwhelming sense of relief. I’ve often frequented these places, posting anti pro-ana statements and sharing my personal history with some of the girls on there. I’ve actually received a substantial amount of e-mail and interview offers from reporters doing stories on this “sick new trend” on the internet. Janelle Brown, a very nice lady from salon.com, used some of my responses in an article she published:

…To be sure, the collections of posts and pictures in the pro-anorexia groups are, if nothing else, clear proof of how detrimental the cultural cult of thinness is to the delicate psyche of a 14-year-old girl. Each club has a photograph of a stick-thin model as an icon -- never mind that many of those models themselves have eating disorders and drug-addiction problems, and certainly are no happier than the teenage girls who aspire to be them. As one girl poignantly posted in the "Always Anorexia" forums, "Seems like nothing in this life is ever easy ... except for those super thin models we're trying to look like. Why is it so easy for them?" The answer that the pro-ana's don't seem to get, sadly, is that it isn't easy for models either.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
I want to weigh like I weighed in the 4th grade. I want to be left alone. I want to vanish. I want to be able to go through a whole day without thinking about how many calories I've eaten. I want to eat a piece of cake without crying. I want to look at the mirror without feeling horror. I want to go on the scale and say 'Wow that's great I've reached my goal, now I can stop.' I want to love myself. -- From the homepage of Liz, a 14-year-old pro-ana
- - - - - - - - - - - -

There are those who believe that they can infiltrate the pro-anorexia groups and help heal some of the sufferers they find there. Katie, an 18-year-old former anorexic from Michigan, suffered from the disease for three years, ending up in the hospital at 5-11 and 105 pounds, unable to even walk. These days, she hangs out in the Pro-Anorexia mailing list and offers the wisdom of her experience.

"I go there in hopes of talking sense into most of the girls, to shine the light of common sense on their destructive pursuits ... That has been the most helpful result of finding the group. Talking with people who understand me is priceless," Katie says. "But if I had found the group while still stuck in the depths of my eating disorder, it would have been horrible. To have the support and the advice, the resources and voices of experience all pointing me towards weight loss ... I would have been much worse."

The nascent movement to combat the pro-anorexia groups is even seeking (rather naively) to ban the pro-anorexia groups. The pro-anorexia mailing lists are increasingly peppered with the well-intentioned pleas of concerned posters who hope to talk the pro-anas out of their destructive ways. Unfortunately, the pleas seem to do very little except encourage the pro-anorexics to circle their wagons and go on the defense. And unless a parent is actively screening every Web site their daughter visits or all the e-mail they receive, it's unlikely they'll ever know that their child belongs to the pro-ana movement…

-Janelle Brown, www.salon.com

I’m still in the process of thinking about all this.

On a lighter note, I came across $1850 today. I think I’ll go shopping tomorrow. Another $650 will be coming my way within the next few days, for a total of two and a half grand to spend on… something, I suppose. I am open to suggestions. I could always pay bills, or put it into my savings account, but what’s the fun in that? The interest it will earn is miniscule in comparison to having a new wardrobe or perhaps even a brand new piano for my dorm room next year. I bet that would go over real well with my future roommates.

Speaking of which, I have learned the names of my roommates for the following school year. One girl is from Brooklyn, NY, and the other is from Allen Park, MI. I’m hoping they won’t mind my lack of sleeping at night. It will all work out in the end, I’m sure.

This seems the best place to try E2 out.

Jacknifed, and lying in a parallelogram
of gray moonbeam - bisected at the waist
by Diana, who chose to light me
like an A-frame
(my feet are against the wall).

I'm Diana, and my house is dead quiet
and still air lies on my thighs
then I open my eyes...

Hephaestus shadows the doorway;
my world's upside down.

lady cressida
I was thinking today. (I do this way too often. I've been given pills, but they don't help much.) What about? Time.

Actually, I was thinking about Time and the English Language. Despite all the parsing errors that creep into the language, I think it's pretty usable. But if you think about some of the expressions used in describing time, you get a very odd image.

For example, take a random trio of phrases:

  • Time is short
  • The night is young
  • A hairy moment
    What you get, is an image where Time is much like a troll-cub. (Short, hairy, and young). And that is probably one of the more tame examples. (Don't even think about using "half-past" in one of your images. Eww!)
  • Ok, I haven’t written anything in a while, I guess I am just trying to prove I am not an XP whore.

    Well, I’m not…. I swear…..

    Anyways, On Friday I sort of totaled my car, well, the company car… the one owned by my bosses… I spent Saturday mopping around feeling depressed (what a stupid accident!) and in dread of calling my boss (even though I knew he wouldn’t get really mad)

    Sunday morning (Sunday is a workday in Israel) I took a cab to work, and fixed up all the insurance and tow truck stuff, and we found out the car really wasn’t worth fixing. (It’d be about a third of the value of the car) So now I am driving the Renault Express and not the Fiat Uno….I don’t like the Renault much, but I should remember that saying, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” (I really hate French horses.)

    SKIP SKIP SKIP. Until now, Monday evening, 20:19 (That’s 19 after 8 O’clock for any of you people who don’t know military time for some stupid reason)

    I’m getting better at Sonic (the hedgehog), my brother lent me his old game gear, I really hated it at first, but I am getting much better, especially after those Keebler Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Slingshot. Yes sirie, I can get to the second boss now with 8 lives, and 1 continue… so he can kill me 11 whole times, instead of the 1 or 2 he usually did….. I swear I’ll pass him soon.

    Today was a good day as Ice Cube might have said, I didn’t even hafta use my AK. Offcourse, I don’t own an AK, but that’s not the point, I enjoyed today, I enjoyed the word I learned the other day Tetragrammaton which is a freaking cool word.

    And on a last note, part of a conversation I had today regarding a Hungarian alcoholic beverage that I consumed a while ago, it tasted a bit like gasoline and everyone else who had some either got very drunk, or very sick (I myself had about half a liter and puked a bit up later that night)

    Me: Paul, how much of that poison of yours do you reckon I drank the other day?
    Paul: Not enough to kill you obviously….and I would not know whether it affected your mind...since you stayed the same...which..to say the least..is disconcerting.

    50 proof homemade Transilvanian brew just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be I guess…..

    Homesick is a funny word, one that perhaps I can't use in the current context. I was going to say that today made me homesick for the UK, but of course my home is with my wife now. So I will just have to be content with saying that today made me like my previous country a little more, and my new country a little less.

    Perhaps I should explain:

    I have an itchy, spotty rash on my hands and feet. It hasn't disappeared in almost a month, so yesterday I finally took the plunge and made an appointment to see a doctor. Since arriving here in the US, I have thankfully been healthy enough to avoid such a trip, so I have't had the experience of US style medical care. After a long hold time with bad muzak and some basic questions during which the secretary deciphered my accent, I was told that I could see the doctor this morning at 9:45am. (yeah, like Home Counties English is the worst accent in the world, try listening to a thick newcastle or glaswegian accent sometime)

    We get up at some ungodly hour, about 9am, and drive the short distance to the hospital complex, taking several wrong turns along the way. Somehow my wife thought that because I was the one contacting the doctor, I should know where his office was ;-) Another accent/culture problem almost directs me to general surgery (I've always called a doctor's office a surgery, apparently that isn't the correct term to use here in merkinland) Once Katyana steps in and we get correct directions, we arrive at the surgery. (yes, I'm english and some things will stay how I want them to) I'm handed a poorly photocopied patient registration sheet where I fill out my real name. (Surname Clark, not Clink - apparently some guy from a crappy TV series)

    I'm quickly greeted by a nurse/doctor who doesn't give her name but takes my weight (almost 200 pounds now, ick) and my blood pressure and pulse (thankfully normal). Then my wife and I are left in a small room to await the doctor. He's funny, middle aged and competent. After asking me the standard medical questions about my health, operations, and history he takes a look at my hands and feet. I feel assured that his diagnosis of my condition is correct and I will be cured soon. He takes a quick scraping of my hands and feet to ensure that I don't have a fungal infection. After he returns, I'm prescribed a steroid cream for my eczema. Our lack of health insurance prompts katyana to ask whether we can get the largest size container possible and if there are any free samples going. Thankfully our doctor is happy to help us with that and asks for a generic (i.e. cheap) medicine. So things seem to be going pretty well as we make our exit. We hand in the exit form to the receptionist and she asks whether we want to have the bill sent to us. We are a little indecisive so she tells us we really want the bill sent, we don't want to pay now. Seems that because I am a new patient, I get to pay through the nose for the privilege of having questions asked by a doctor. 175 dollars for a visit, without the prescription. As we stagger downstairs worrying profusely and feeling our stress levels rise we decide to at least see how much the prescription costs. Another 85 dollars for a tube of cream. Well, 40 dollars if we choose a smaller tube with lower strength.

    Welcome to the American health care system...

    In the UK, I would have phoned the doctor, made an appointment, attended, been written a prescription for exactly the same medicine and paid about 8 to 10 dollars for just the prescription. Hoo-fucking-ray for socialised health care. Sure, to get good treatment for serious conditions that require surgery, you still need insurance in the UK. But it costs a hell of a lot less to be ill in Europe. Even the medical insurance is less; 50 to 100 dollars as opposed to 250 dollars for the same level of care. And taxes are just the same in the UK (excepting petrol which is extremely high priced at about 4 times US prices)

    I wonder just how many people in the US are enduring health problems because of this crappy system? How many mild, treatable conditions turn into serious life threatening ones because of 200 dollar doctor visits?

    What's worse is that I am now feeling guilty for being sick because of the stress it is causing my wife, and I'm feeling guilty because I don't want to come across as an anti-american bigot. And of course I now have yet more pressure to work the instant I get my Employment Authorisation Document next week.

    So onto my next angst: employment. (an angsty ranty daylog? never!) Despite whoring my details to various employment sites, I have yet to receive even job agency interest. No degree means a lot more in the US, I assume. Or just the total lack of education. Four years as project support in Sony Research and Development with a list of skills as long as a cliché doesn't seem enough anymore. My optimism has crashed down an icy ravine, dragging my happiness with it. So I can add depression to my list of worries. That makes depression, employment, money, health and competence tp work. See, I'm a slow worker, evidenced by this daylog taking hours to write. I honestly don't think that I will be able to cut it in the US job market.

    Rhapsody in Screwed :: Part (Who Gives a Fuck)
    07.31.01 :: 13:32

    i return! o, yea, i return! ...i s'pose i should start with my birthday, and work through the weekend from there... i turned 21 last wednesday, and it doesn't feel too much different from 20. same old me, same old drink options, only now i can buy for myself. whoopee. just what i need -- an excuse to drink alone. on the bright side, my relatives gifted me with $200, an antique demitasse set, and a great jacket and hat from a company that makes sun-proof clothing. yes, i know you're thinking, "but isn't *most* clothing sunproof?" depends on who you are, and where you live. in the high desert, at anywhere from 5000-10,000 feet above sea level, you are a shitload closer to the sun. people actually still die of sunstroke here. and speaking of sunstroke, on to lonely mountain!

    so we left thursday morning, at some unholy hour, but by the time we finished packing and running last minute errands, it was 15:00. that's ok, but i'd been hoping to travel early, before the cloud cover burned off. turns out it was not so ok. i got sun-sick on the way up to the site. simple enough to fix, really. i drank a good gallon of water, took too many vitamins, and laid down. a few hours later, i was a yellowish shade of pale, but no longer radiating heat. niall and i wound up with a strange girl drunkenly passed out in our tent that night, but she was gone by morning. friday was largely consumed with building the tavern. mind you, by this point i'm nearly bat's-ass blind from all the sunlight, and no protective glasses. i know, i torture myself, but i figure i'll either adapt, or i'll do permanent damage. i'm hoping for adapt, myself. but yes, the tavern. logs, twine, duct tape. i shit you not. we created a freestanding structure. amarys, aelwyn, and i decided that the guys were being macho idiots during the construction, so we decided that we could be just as dumb and macho if not moreso. we moved a 22' log, 2' in diameter 150 yards down the mountain, after lifting it 18" to get it out of the ground. we used nothing but a rope, a shovel and a hatchet. we spent the rest of the day raising the tavern. i was narrowly missed by a falling log, and five other people panicked while i explained that i couldn't possibly have been hit, i was short enough to fit in the angle between the wall and the log, and i knew it. that night, aelwyn and i got tanked at the tavern and wandered off into the woods to ... find a tree ... and discussed whether or not we had peed on our shoes, and if we had, if the smell would keep us safe from black bears. what can i say? we were tanked. i stumbled back to the tent, an 11' diameter cotton pavillion, woke niall, and ... well you can guess.

    an aside about the tent: cotton is actually a fantastic tent material for rainy events, if you use it correctly. our pavillion had a conical top with a scalloped edge, and no poles but the center and the hoop that supported the wall. this meant that when it rained the water would wick down the top to the scallops and run off, for the most part, outside the wall. yes it leaked a bit along the wall, but as long as you put everything at least 2" inside the tent, you had no worries about it getting wet. best part? a wet cotton pavillion is an effective swamp cooler.

    but back to saturday morning, aelwyn, agate and i went shopping on merchants' row, and at last (at long long last!) i bought a fnord to hold my tankard to my belt. yes, even outside the mundane world, i must carry gear. it's just different gear. i watched niall get all armored up and skirmish a bit, but i missed the tourney. it was too hot, and i had to sit down in the tavern for a while. then, near the end of the tourney, aelwyn got this bright idea that we should cut up our log for table legs. eventually this involved a big norseman and a foppish young squire, but aelwyn and i cut halfway through the log in two places before they even showed up. picture this: one girl, long black hair, dressed in gypsy garb, with lots of jingly bits, wielding a hatchet, and another girl in an ankle length pink dress and black leather vest, also with jingly bits, wielding a full sized axe. neither of these girls is over 5'3". we scared the holy living hell out of most of the guys in the tavern. i got stupidly cranky that night; some kind of uncontrollable hormonal reaction to the sunlight, i suspect, and i started a godawful fight with niall. shorty, if you read this, here's my public apology. i am an idiot. i am so incredibly sorry i put you through that, and i hope to hell i have the sense not to do it again. after a 45 minute nap behind a tree somewhere just off the road, i was fine and sensible again, and i promptly recovered my handsome young compatriot, and got tanked. we picked up aelwyn and amarys and a few others, and then we stole a fifth of tequila from the pyrates...*grin* saturday nite is fuzzy, at best. i remember there being a few rounds of nastrovyas. (i think that's how you spell it...) i remember, near the end of the night, when i was just barely still sober enough not to blow niall in public, singing a bit in the toasting circle at golias, and being asked to sing more. when niall and i got back to our tent, we became a drinking game. every time we got too loud, the dozen or so people outside took a drink. they must've gotten damn tanked from that. *grin*

    sunday was just depressing. taking down the tavern with ghostly echoes of some dead can dance dirge wafting in from another camp...it was like watching a funeral. i didn't want to come back to the real! i was just getting warmed up! however, i'd eaten little but fruit and bread all weekend, and i knew i couldn't do that for too much longer. aelwyn and i watched axe throwing at the pyrate camp for a while, and played "spit pits at the big hairy viking". somehow we all made it home.

    tonight is niall's niece's birthday party. i have to find a nice wind-up toy for her from my collection. perhaps one of the blue messenger turtles i've had since i was eight. those are a scream.

    I feel like being thoughtful today

    I got up quite late this morning, and it's all the fault of the Beeb. To wit: The BBC streams it's programming on Quicktime, and I've become quite addicted to it. However, all the coolest programmes like Future Fantastic, Clic On-Line and Holiday are shown during the day.. that is, to say, the 'day' in the UK, which is usually after 2300 hours Mountain Time. And so, obviously, I have to stay up and watch these things, and I end up regretting it when my alarm clock rings me awake at 7 in the morning.

    But it's worth it.

    During my lunch hour, while driving to the sandwich shop I was listening to one of the local talk radio stations, and today the interviewer was, er, interviewing some local women's' movement leader. I was not really paying attention to it until the topic of rape came up. I have a slight interest in the subject so I started paying attention. The discussion was about how her organization was lobbying for stiff penalties for rapists, and I had to agree with her -- such crimes are not prosecuted firmly enough, I think. Then they had a caller (not me) who read my mind; he alluded to the fact that sexual assault laws, while stiff, only took into account the act of rape by men on women: "Why", he asked, "shouldn't Rape laws apply to women too?".

    That's when things broke down.

    The guest then started going on a tirade about how it wasn't the same thing, that men were incapable of being raped because of biology, size and the like.. and then the worst line came: "it's not the same because men don't find forced sexual relations to be objectionable or unpleasant."

    I weep for the species.

    What scares me is that she was as the head of some organization, and so if she believed that, chances are there are many people 'below' her who believe it too. I pity her for not realizing the kind of pain that will be caused to innocent people due to that sort of attitude.

    Miss, whomever you are and where-ever you are, I want to to know something. You make me sad.

    My vacation was both a smashing success and a big stinky dump truck backfiring in my face. Every second was bliss. Even all of the interesting New York smells. Yes, all of them.
    I am home now. I am supposed to be feeling dreary and sad. I am supposed to be moping.
    But I cannot be anything but happy. My cheeks ache. I cannot stop smiling. I am perfectly content.

    Breakfast is like curtains, isn't it?

    I wanted to go out there and:
    1. Have a marvelous time and be friends.
    2. Forget that I'd ever had a silly little crush.
    But I was so busy with the first item on the list that I forgot the second. And I think that's okay.

    I squeezed his pinky so tightly on the way to the airport this morning that I'm sure it turned blue in my hand.
    If my life were a movie, there is a certain song that I know would play as the closing credits rolled. I chose it very carefully. That song crashed over me like an ocean as I memorized the planes of his face.
    11 miles to Bradley airport

    Half an hour after takeoff, I sat examining the back of my left hand very closely. I have a new freckle that seems to have popped up overnight.

    Moving Day
    How People Get Fucked By Corporate Landlords

    Haverkamp Properties in Ames, IA, has to be one of those most money grubbing landlords I know of. I helped my girlfriend and her roommates move out of and clean their Haverkamp apartment. Of course, they couldn't move into their new apartment until 5pm, so it was about 10pm before we started cleaning for the check-out inspection the next day at 10am.

    Now, this is the second Haverkamp apartment these girls have lived in. The last one they moved out of, they were assessed about $40 in fees (which came out of their deposit) for various things. Some were perfectly reasonable, like the marks on the wall where they had a dartboard. Others were for not quite meeting Haverkamp's cleaning standards, which an obsessive-compulsive clean freak like Danny Tanner from Full House couldn't even meet. They forgot to wash one of the many light fixtures, which I think is a $5 fine. Also, one of the bulbs apparently went out after the girls had checked for burned out bulbs. Another $5.

    So we clean. All night. Until 5am. We vaccume the carpets and clean them with a rented Rug Doctor, scrub all the linolium floors, wash all the light fixtures, replace all burned out bulbs, dust off all the ceiling fans, dust all the woodwork (including around all the doors, inside and out). We run the self-cleaning oven though the cleaning cycle, which irritated my eyes like nothing else. We did everything on Haverkamp's 3 page checklist. Yea, there's a stain on my girlfriends floor and a gouge in the wall caused by her old bed, but we knew the deposit was going to get dinged for that.

    So what do we get for all that trouble? When checkout comes, the lady assessed a deduction for the carpet stain and the wall gouge, which as I said, was expected. However, she then dings the girls another $10 because there was still a little bit of dust in one of that bathroom cabinets. This, of course, after she say how wonderfully clean the apartment is.

    You're probably thiking to youself what all the fuss is about. Well, I know how clean that apartment was. You could have eaten off any surface in that place. Fuck, you could have performed surgery in that apartment! But the $10 fine wasn't what set me off on this tirade.

    My girlfriend asked the woman how much, on average, each apartment tends to get fined. She replied with a figure of about $200. Two hundred fucking dollars is the average.

    I figure since most of Haverkamp's renters are college students, the landlords are just milking them for all these renters are worth. It pisses me off. If the average apartment is getting $200 deducted from their deposit, something is seriously wrong. You can't win. I doubt anybody gets their full deposit back without some kind of deduction. Hell, a bit of dust in an under sink bathroom cabinet is a $10 deduction.

    And my girlfriend wonders why I such a bent against [evil corporation|corporations.

    I seem to recall a time, a generation ago, when a publication like Rolling Stone was actually radical and counterculture. Times change, don't they?

    Now, this once admirable magazine has sunk to the depths of anachronisms like TV Guide. This week's issue offers not one, not two, but six different covers. Five are of the individual members of N'Sync. The sixth is a collective shot of the whole group.

    Great concept. So those shills put someone like me in a great spot: as the father of a 14-year-old rabid N'Sync fan, I'm practically expected to run out to the nearest magazine rack and drop $17.70 plus tax for the entire collection. Six copies of the same old crap.

    Thanks, Mr. Wenner.

    A note: that 14-year-old rabid N'Sync was perfectly happy to get just the issue with Joey Fatone on the cover. This demonstrates her higher intelligence and greater consideration for others then indicated by the folks at Rolling Stone.

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