Today, after playing volleyball, Edward and I went geocaching. A relatively short hike, about two hours, and our first one just by ourselves.

On the way back after finding the cache (took a deck of playing cards, left a Gustav Mahler CD), walking through the woods, I told him that not only is he my best friend in my forty one years, to which he said (sincerely), "Super!", but that I've also fallen in love with him, which elicited a "Wow, thanks Clarence!" before I followed with "You're such a great person".

Afterward, we hung out at my place for a while, eating more of the Harry and David cherries that we'd had on the hike, then he went off home to clean up before movie night at his house.

I'm on cloud nine!

I wonder sometimes about all this shit.

I wonder if my whole life is going to seem completey repetative in terms of circumstances and instances.

I feel like I have so much that I should look forward to, but yet, I can't take it anymore. I feel hollow inside, completely drained, like I've invested all this time in energy into people and things that just don't care. False hopes, and dreams, that, on the brink of coming true, instead, fall to pieces.

This time it's gone to far and I know now that I am partly to blame. I am partly to blame for being so selfless that I needed you to give me a reason to feel good about myself. It's my fault for being so consumed by the aspects of society that I am so against and for allowing them to affect me in the way that they do.

I am tired of feeling this way all the time, and I am tired of being hurt by people that I love....

I just don't see how you could have meant any of what you said to me,. Do realize how that makes me feel? If you had told me the truth from the beginning, I never would have allowed myself to fall so hard for you.

I don't see how you could actually care about me at all at this point, and the craziest thing about it, is that I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. But fuck, couldn't you have taken just the smallest moment to think about how I was going to feel, or what my reaction was going to be to all of the shit that you spewed out of your mouth and into my heart.?!

I want to let you go, now more than ever I want to let that part of you go. So why is it so hard to say goodbye, especially when you have hurt me so much? Why can't I stop loving you? You made me feel alive, and you made me forget about a lot of shit in my life, but the idea that all of that was artificial is paralyzing for me. And what is almost worse is knowing that in terms of the "big picture", it is not you or the fact that I lost something I never truly had, but more, the idea that it is simply how you made me feel that I miss....

Fuck, I am boring myself with all this moaning and ranting....

But you, you make me not want to believe in people, and that I will never forget. I hope you are happy, even though, you never truly will be if you don't allow yourself to grow into your own person. And if she hurts you in the end, which I am sure she will, well, then maybe you will learn the lessons that you taught me so well.

Fuck you for being so completely fake.

My hand is soar now because I punched a bunch of car windows while walking home last night....none of them broke, fortunately for my hand....

Fuck, I wish you had just told me the truth form the beginning.

It's hard to explain how I am getting by on so little from you.

It's hard to believe that I would let myself get so wrapped into you.

There's gotta be something that would be worthwhile for me to give to you.

We need a connection, but you seem to push me far away from you.

-Dashboard Confessional-

ah, the graveyard shift.

tonight was the end of my second weekend of waitressing at a small diner in a shopping center by my house. (an absolutely wonderful job, i love it.) up the street, there's a series of apartment complexes devoted solely to those living under the poverty level. as with most areas with this demographic, the population is mostly black, and almost all of the black customers we serve are from this community.

nights are in general pretty slow, with no more than six people in the diner at a time. when nine teenagers (one girl, eight guys) from green meadows (the apartments) walked in, i knew i was going to hear it from mike, the 41-year old cook. (it was only us, this restaraunt has only a bar and five booths.) before he could even make a crack, they started yelling at me, and i noticed a few "damned white bitch"es as i was walking away. racking up over $70 worth of food, these teens were rude and impatient, and mike and i were only given two pennies stuck to a plate as a tip. not to mention one of the guys left without paying his bill.

once he left, mike and another drunk started making cracks about how these "ghetto" kids were nothing but trouble, a few racist remarks, blah blah blah. how did i deal? i puked my provolone sticks and pink lemonade from before and smoked a cigarette until they shut up.

and what could i do to improve this situation? nothing. what did i gather from it? nine teenagers, raised to believe that people thought of them as shit, acted like shit. two adults, taught (and also learned through similar life experiences) that these teenagers were nothing but shit, thought of them as shit.

and me, unable to see past the prejudices these two groups held, because that's all they'd show me.

We talked deep into the night, our tongues loosened by strong red wine and good company. The air rang with laughter and conversation when quite suddenly, a silence descended upon the room. We looked around trying to discover in each others eyes the reason for the sudden stillness.

An angel passed.

...said my friend gently, the room fell into a comfortable silence again, she continued...

Do you know what angels eat? They eat words shared in friendship, they love conversations, discussions and thoughtful words so they flock around people who know how to talk. I always thought that angels must be hungry a lot of the time, that's why I like hanging around with you guys so much.

Slowly we filled the silence, but it was only later thinking about it I realised how very like my friend that is, more interested in the welfare of hungry angels than the fact she has a flock of them following her around.

My second day of being thirty-five years old! I feel like such a badass now. I think my voice has even dropped an octave! MAYBE I WILL FINALLY HAVE CARNAL KNOWLEDGE OF A WOMAN.

I am of course kidding. Like I'm ever going to score, right?

I think I feel so good about 35 (so far) because I've never been cool, and now there's just no way in hell anyone's going to expect me to be cool. Why, it seems like a short time ago I was listening to the "alternative" radio station and feeling inadequate because I had no idea who the Buttmunches were. Now I don't have to care! I got other fish to fry, kid, but you go ahead and enjoy the hell out of your new CD, and I sincerely wish you the best of luck attracting the girls while dressed in those falling-down cargo pants with one leg rolled up. 'Cause I know when you're my age, sixteen-year-olds will be wearing stuff that makes you gag.

Sunday before last I went to services at First Baptist here in Mira Mesa, and today I decided to pay the Catholics a visit at Good Shepherd down the street. Now, when I went to First Baptist, I was greeted warmly at the door, and as a result of my filling out a visitor's card, received an unexpected visit to my apartment (yikes!) from a nice elderly couple bearing pamphlets, a card in the mail from the choir director, a voice mail from the pastor, a copy of their newsletter, and another call from the pastor asking if he could come by with pamphlets (thank you, got all the pamphlets I need from the first team!). As unnerving as this was, it is stereotypical Southern Baptist behavior; they really, really want you to make their church your church. What did I find at Good Shepherd? Yes! Stereotypical Catholic behavior! YAY! (And I mean this in as nice a way as possible. They're all good folks, at both places, and there are plenty of ways the Episcopal churches I've gone to have lived up to their reputation of being a "country club with a cross on top". But it's still kinda funny.)

In contrast to the extremely hearty welcome I got at First Baptist, nobody at Good Shepherd took the slightest bit of notice of me except when the liturgy required it (passing the Peace, holding hands for the Lord's Prayer). Visitor's card? What visitor's card? I think the assumption is that if you're there you are probably Catholic so you're pretty much all attending the same Church anyway. If you're not Catholic, well, once you come to your senses and decide to join, the phone number of the parish office is in the bulletin.

Though I'd braced myself for it, the natural absence of the Protestant hymns I'm used to threw me off a bit. As did the absence of a hymnal, until I realized that the big black book in the pew -- the one without a title -- had on its newsprint pages both the order of service for the Mass and the hymns. Which I sang, trying to put some enthusiasm in it but faltering a bit when I realized that I seemed to be one of maybe twenty people outside the choir who was singing at all. I felt like such a geek. The liturgy itself was almost identical to that in the Book of Common Prayer, with some minor differences in wording and a couple of delightful MAJOR differences in wording. ("This is Jesus Christ," the priest said, holding up the wafer, whereas during the Eucharist in an Episcopal church it's made quietly but firmly clear that this is NOT Jesus, it is a piece of BREAD. I love a good doctrinal dispute.)

Since the prevailing sentiment seemed to encourage leaving other people alone, I didn't have the nerve to ask anyone why one group of worshipers was sitting in a separate room behind a large window. (Plus, I would have been tempted to ask, "Have they been bad?". That sort of levity might not have been appreciated coming from a guest.) I think they were getting a translation into Spanish.

NOTE: SEF says, "The folks behind the glass had crying babies, Quiz. Did you really want them in the same room with you???" I saw no babies, but this makes wonderful sense. I've never seen such a thing before. THANK YOU SEF.

I'm glad I visited this church and the Southern Baptist church one after the other; it helps me to get clearer on what I'm looking for. The Baptists have such obvious zeal and joy, the Catholics have the liturgy and ritual and a sense of tradition. I'm often discouraged lately over where the Episcopal church as a whole is heading, but for me, at its best it still combines the best parts of what I've seen over the last two Sundays.

Visiting other churches that are very different from what you're used to is, I think, a very good thing. But it'll be nice when I find a home again.

Yesterday Angela gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble, enough for one CD. That of course meant I spent at least an hour and a half today deciding what one CD to buy. I had it narrowed down to three choices:

  • I, Jonathan by Jonathan Richman
  • VH-1 Behind the Music: Go-Gos Collection
  • Rocket to Russia by The Ramones
  • This was extraordinarly difficult. The Go-Gos are perfect summer listening, and I'm dying to hear more Jonathan Richman than just the Modern Lovers album I own and cherish. In the end I went for the Ramones though, because not owning Rocket to Russia anymore, as I haven't for years since the time I had to sell my vinyl for rent money, was like missing a piece of my soul. Now I am whole again. LOBOTOMY!

    first sunday

    weill in japan: day 05

    Today was the first day that I didn't leave home from waking until sleep, but at the same time I didn't feel constrained at all. After finishing my job application test, I was able to get on-line at home and finally push some files. Working on dial-up speeds with dozens of hops to U.S. servers makes matters hard, but it beats having no connectivity at all. Interestingly, many public and for-rent Internet terminals say "No web-based e-mail" since I suppose that people spend way too much time there. I don't fault the operators, since messaging remains the most time-consuming activity that people feel compelled to do on the web now.

    In Japan, Winnie the Pooh is called "Kuma the Pooh," where "Kuma" is Japanese for "Bear." That's not the only name change that takes place: I was trying to explain that the movie "The Negotiator" doesn't star Eddie Murphy despite the fact that the newspaper said so. On TV, the movie "Negotiator" started with Eddie Murphy, and the English-language title "Metro." I watched bits of it with the English-language soundtrack option.

    Japan loves food, but also loves its beverages. Although vending machines are everywhere, they mostly sell beverages. I still haven't seen a candy vending machine here, although candy is still sold at convenience stores and kiosks on train station platforms. Today I was first introduced to the wonders of Japanese beer, since my host father loves the stuff. It's not bad. Sapporo, Kirin, and Asahi beer are all available in the U.S. as well as Japan, although the American versions are usually made in the states by Anheuser-Busch or Miller. Today I was also introduced to the extremely simple but satisfying snack of soybeans (edamame) with beer. Good stuff.

    Even if I go all the way to Japan, I can't escape being called upon to help people with their computers. Today I helped my host father defragment his hard drive. Trying to explain the concept of defragmentation is hard enough in English, but I was able to get through it in semi-Japanese just as well. Most technical Japanese consists of loanwords from English -- "defrag" is "defuragu" for instance -- so it takes a certain amount of basic technical knowledge to get by.

    Today was a quiet day, but on the plus side I was able to get through it without a nap in between. I also took care of my laundry, a good thing: tomorrow would have been the last day of my all-too-short six-day laundry cycle here. The washer is a little confusing to use, since I have to manually transfer everything over to a separate bin for the spin cycle, but the dryer is American-made with English controls. I have to plug the dryer in and only run it on the low-heat "delicate" setting because of the extremely unsafe position where it is mounted. Most Japanese families do not have dryers, opting instead to hang wet clothes outside, according to my host mother. I prefer the dryer during this rainy season.

    The seven broadcast TV stations that we receive here put out an impressive amount of original programming. There's variety shows, sports, and a lot of educational programming that runs non-stop. Contrast that with American broadcast TV channels, which show reruns of old sitcoms and movies during the average Sunday afternoon.

    Week zero is in the books. Tomorrow, the real fun begins as classes officially get underway.

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