It's not easy to get from Toronto to Nashville, Tennessee.

The first train left Buffalo at 5:00 am, and arrived in New York City at half past noon. Don't ask how I got to Buffalo for 5:00 am. I'll tell that story some other time. I'd never travelled by train before - kind of a mix of the subway and air travel. Unexpectedly complete with stewardesses and a little drink cart in the aisle, although US $2.00 for a can of Coca-Cola seems a bit rude.

It takes a long time to go places by train. I've been spoiled by corporate air travel. I mean, 5 hours from Toronto to San Francisco by direct air. You figure a train ride's not gonna be that much longer, right? Do a couple of crosswords and you're there. WRONG!

I should have wondered why it takes troop trains so long to get around in those American Civil War novels and alternate history derivations that I like to read. America's a big country, and a train is not nearly as fast as a jumbo jet.

A two hour layover in NYC, not enough time to see anything except the train station itself. Penn station. Vaguely interesting but a bustling horde of hot, harried and hassled humanity is not my idea of a good time. Plus I've a newbie's fear of New York. After all, the paper's on about alligators in Central Park. I thought that was an urban legend. I felt like it was some kind of joke arranged for my benefit.

Then it was 2:30pm and onto the Night Train from NYC to Atlanta, GA. I thought the people on the Maple Leaf Daily were surly - they had nothing on this lot. I'm a bit wider in the shoulder than the designers had in mind when they built the seats, the aisles, etc. Not quite as bad as an airplane, not quite as good as a modern movie theatre. Being too big for your seat earns you no popularity points, my friends, none at all.

I read for a while - Stephen Jay Gould alternating with my copy of "Software Requirements" - even on this truncated vacation I have to work. I think I'll have a job to go back to. I hope so. You can never tell in software. Later I slept fitfully, with my bulging JavaOne 2001 backpack clutched to my chest. Finally morning, and Atlanta.

Trying to buy a decent breakfast in Atlanta reminded me of my first visit to Quebec. I could make the locals understand me, but my Ontario accent cracked them up. At least we were all speaking English this time ... I think.

A three hour layover this time, and then 5 1/2 hours on the bus to Nashville. Sometime I have to do this right, with time to stop and see things. All that Civil War history out there somewhere, and me on a tight timetable.

6:00 pm in Nashville. A day and a half total travel. Strangely not tired from the journey, so I checked in to the hotel, showered, had a quick meal at the local Mickey Dee and took in Tomb Raider at the nearby cinema. (There was a waste of my dearly bought American money!) It did make me sleepy though, so perhaps not a total loss after all.

The next morning I was in the lobby at the appointed time, and the smiling Saturn dude arrived right on the tick. We popped into the sporty yellow SC2 he'd brought and tooled off to pick up my new car. One of the last of the special 10th anniversary Saturn SL2s, an "impulse buy" of sorts, even though I'd been thinking about it for a while. I'd been leaning to the roomier L-series, but hey - why not indulge myself. (It may seem odd to indulge myself with another compact sedan, but I decided I wanted it, and could afford it.) The only ones left were at the plant in Spring Hill, hence the trip down here.

All the paperwork signed, money handed over, the obligatory photo with the dealership staff and a complimentary tank of gas (a gesture of largesse because I'd come so far) and I was off to Arkansas. Nothing but an ancient AAA roadmap and dannye's lousy ASCII art to guide me, but I managed to find my way eventually. More on that adventure another time.

Next up: A marathon road trip north, ending with the gods' Summit in Savannah. Can you get there from here? dannye says yes. I'm not sure this was a good idea, but what the hell. You only live once ...

Today was busy. I woke up to the sensation of my left foot being poked. It was quarter to eight and my dad said I had to get up before he left for work. My parents seem to have figured out that mere alarms no longer have the power to bestow consciousness on my sleeping mind. I had to be at work at 9:30. I got out of bed around 8:15 and wandered the house looking for something to occupy my time. I found nothing.

Left a little after nine o’clock for the bank. I entered my pin, punched in the deposit nonsense, prepared an envelope, and waited for the transaction to work. It didn’t. This happened twice. I then left the National City on Lakewood and traveled a few miles to the one on James next to the mall. This was on my way to work anyway, so it was no big deal. The ATM at the James Street branch, however, is ghetto. I don’t care for it.

Work was slow as always. I passed the time doing price changes and making labels for miscellaneous Pfaltzgraff stuff laying around the register area. My mom called around noon, only to say that she wanted me home asap so she could say goodbye before leaving for Saginaw with Adam for his soccer tournament. I promised to try to be home by 5:30, but that I had plans for after work (I got out at 2:30) and might not be able to get home before she left. Mom said she had forgotten what I looked like. I argued that she had seen me only yesterday; yes, it was three in the morning and I was shaking her awake to say I was home, but I’m pretty sure she opened her eyes.

I called at least a dozen people when I got home, looking for someone to go to the beach with me and Gus – the big American bulldog. I got a hold of five or six kids, all saying they’d meet me at the beach around four or so. I took Gus and headed out to the car. He knew we were going somewhere special, so he was more than willing to help prepare the backseat for his intrusion. He chewed on his blanket as I tried to use it to cover the seat to protect it from his shedding hide. It worked out wonderfully. Right. The drive wasn’t bad. I sang along with some DJ Funk samples to keep Gus calm and happy while his tongue hung out the window and he drooled everywhere.

The beach was incredibly windy. Meagan was there when I arrived, and we proceeded to entertain Gus with a red Frisbee, some sand, and a lot of waves. He hadn’t been to the beach since last summer, so he had forgotten what the lake was. Once he remembered again, we were romping in the shallows just like the good old days. He even managed the find and eat the only dead fish on the beach. Impressive.

Jon and Tim showed up shortly, bearing gifts of white Russians and pot. I declined as usual. They weren’t surprised. Soon enough Aaron got there, and then Jessica. By this time Meagan had to leave to see her boyfriend off to Ludington for the weekend. Gus was whining for attention I was not able to give him at the time, and I was frozen after hopping into the lake fully clothed. I stripped down to my bathing suit and hung my khakis on the nearest piece of drift wood to dry. They looked like a double wind sock or some sort.

Eventually it was time for everyone to go. I made it home just in time to say farewell to my mother, and for her to give me the gift of a clear bouncy ball with flashing red lights inside. She’s always giving my brother and I little presents.

This is when the sadness started. Adam and my mom had left, and it was just me and dad in the house. I asked where Bean was. Dad said he hadn’t seen him since this morning. So as usual, I went on my Bean-hunting mission. He was no where to be found. I decided he must have found a new hiding spot after seven years of living in the same house, so I patiently searched every room. At last it came down to one room – mine. I looked under the bed, behind my bookcases and finally, in my closet. That’s when I saw him, curled up in the back corner beneath hanging shirts and skirts – completely motionless, face towards the wall.

My heart stopped. I feared the worst. I gently poked him. Nothing. I called his name, poked again. I head a faint and distant hiss. Bean does not hiss. I carefully reached to pick him up and bring him out of the closet, but I immediately stopped when he started to screech unbearably. I have never, ever heard a sound like that in my life. I immediately called the vet in Zeeland. They’re the only ones open past normal business hours. I described Bean to him – wouldn’t move, cried at the slightest touch, panting uncontrollably, smelled weird, grunted with every breath. He said it might be a urinary tract blockage. He said to meet him at his office in 15 minutes.

We took Bean there as fast as we could. The vet rushed him into the examination room, and asked where I had found him. ”In the closet, I said. The vet replied, ”He went into your closet to die.”

These were not the words I wanted to hear.

The vet said to leave Bean there and he would do blood tests and x-rays, and he would call as soon as they were done. Driving home was hard. Leaving Bean was hard. The vet called shortly, only to say they had put Bean on an IV and that he was severely dehydrated. His kidneys were not functioning correctly, but they couldn’t say why. I am going in tomorrow at eight in the morning to see if Bean makes it through the night.

To see a picture of Bean,
Go to kaytay’s homenode.

Please keep Bean in your thoughts tonight.

Since I'm unemployed, yesterday I spent vast amounts of time in front of the computer getting my ass kicked (while kicking ass, if you play the game you'd understand) at Civilization 2. Very productive, no? So today I decided to venture out into the real world for my entertainment so I drove to Manhattan, home of the other major university in our state to have lunch with one of my friends from high school. She's doing a lot better now, this is a very good thing. Since my aunt who lives in Manhattan wasn't home, we went to the mall and hung out for a while (me spending money that I don't have in the meantime), and then just for the hell of it, I drove the extra hour to Salina just for Cozy Burgers. I got my sack of them and drove to a park and ate them, then drove right back home. It was a great day, and a beautiful drive. Apparently, I don't do enough driving around Kansas in the middle of summer because I never realized that this state could actually be beautiful. 20 years of living here and the realization dawns on me.

I got home and remembered that I needed razors, but I'd just been behind the wheel for God knows how many hours, so I decided to ride my bike to Wal-Mart instead. Man, I'm out of shape, that was a hard-ass ride. I can only run about a mile and a quarter before I have to stop and walk too, I remember when I did cross-country and running two miles was like jogging across the lawn. Came home and watched a horrible playmate of the month video with some of my housemates. Debated going to a party, but decided against it.

Oh yeah, and my Hello Kitty Vibrator from e-bay came yesterday! It's so cute! But I can't try it out until I've shown it to people, so that sucks. Ah, such is life.

I read a line in one of my housemate's diaries that I really liked: "I've spent a lot of time laying around not committing suicide." I think that fits the way I feel sometimes to a tee.

Hello, anniversary of my birth.

Hm. I guess where I am it's been my birthday for around 25 minutes. 2^5 years old (I'm 25! Really! Sorta.) and deeper in debt. I can't handle the notion that my friends may wish to perform some ceremonial outing. I'm really unfortunately not in the mood.

I don't know why. Maybe it's because they keep tweaking my meds.

Obligatory Pet Mention: There's a ferret curled around my foot. She is industriously testing whether or not humans can be stirred to action involving kibbles by continuously licking my toes. She, clever minx, knows I'm ticklish. I will prevail, however. I have opposable thumbs and a higher IQ. I think.

She's still licking. I think she's gonna move to nibbling in a minute. This ferret has a tendency to do stuff like order books from when I'm not home, so I'm not sure what she'll do if her will to nosh is thwarted much longer.

Obligatory work mention: I am presently (for the next week) entirely wrapped up in planning (oh, now she's on the ke00000000000000


In any case, I'm entirely occupied with moving my company's multiple production web systems from one colocation facility to another. This naturally means exquisite timing of InterNIC and DNS changes, lots of sweat, worry, prayers I don't drop the irreplaceable Sun E220, and no sleep before it goes wrong anyway. This is what they pay me the small bucks for. Well, not that small, but still. Small enough that my impending mortgage brings a cold sweat to my once free-to-quit-my-job brow.

I think the meds are losing effectiveness because I'm gaining weight. Every time I go see my physician, I get another highly entertaining lecture on weight management from a thin person. He means well. Very well; he introduced my parents. I once caught pneumonia during a New Year's while snowed into my house alone; after the second day of listening to my tortured wracking on the phone, my mother had him come over. He determined that I had mycoplasma pneumonia and gave me horsechoker pills, saying that normally he'd have hospitalized me, but I appeared to be past the worst of it.

Now I can tell everyone that I had the head of Infectious Diseases from Tufts Medical School make a house call when I want to feel important. Heh.

There's really not much else to tell. I could write of my new-found unclehood and my 11-week-old nephew who's already trying to stand up when you hold him (waving his arms for balance and everything, until his still-weak knees give in). That probably deserves a non-daylog writeup, though. I think I'm depressed still, despite the various medications. Good thing I'm in therapy. Ferrets are excellent for depression. They continuously emit fields of cuteness and hilarity, and evoke laughter, exasperation, glee and snuggles in succession - all of which make it difficult to remain blue. Try feeling that nobody loves you when you have two warm furballs curled up around your hand and in the hollow of your neck and shoulder as you lie in bed, softly breathing (so fast!) and warm, every once in a while stretching to yawn and lick your ear before returning to slumber. It's really, really hard.

I think I'll kip out for a quick nap. There's a ferret, looking comfortable on my couch...

Happy Birthday, self.

Happy birthday Girlface! (grin)

Bean, get well and happy. Don't head for the Rainbow Bridge just yet; there's frolicking to be done here. Really.

Today I leave for camp. It was sort of odd saying goodbye to E2 - I didn't actually say goodbye to anyone in particular, just sort of announced my departure and then when no one responded left, but all the same I felt a tightness in the chest, perhaps even a glimmer of emotion. This place, when all is said and done, after nearly a year, means a lot to me. Fucking softy.

I'll see you in a bit, E2.


I'm a walking contradiction, and I ain't got no rights.

What an appropriate phrase for the past couple days... Sleep 4 hours, live 30 hours, sleep 18 hours, live 24 hours. My cycle's beyond broken, and I just don't have the will to fix it. Who knows what's next, doesn't really matter anyway - not like I have a job anymore.

I gave my employer a failsafe resignation. They were unhappy that I was unreliable, I was unhappy that I couldn't fulfil their needs and that I was giving them a bad name. I promised to become reliable or let my unreliability tender my resignation. Looks like it's time to start hunting for a job - car's been fixed and running for a few weeks now, no reason or even excuse for not calling or showing up in the past three or four weeks. For all intents and purposes, I don't work for them anymore... Anyone need a hax0r? Will code for food. Oh well, time to brush up on those customer service and retail skills anyway. Maybe if I could bring myself to care...

In other news, my personal life is still rather blah. Well, maybe not so entirely blah, but not something that I really enjoy much of. I've been hanging out with yet another old acquantance from my high school days. Just as I get closer to her, we drift apart and she heads for this other guy. Then her sister moves in on me and I jump on the opportunity to spend some quality time with her... Well, isn't this just getting better? The younger sister apparently has quite an attraction to me, and i'm not sure what to do. I'm stuck in the classic "fear of rejection" syndrome that I've been involved in before, and it's getting a little old. Who knows, maybe it'll pan out for the better. Too bad it's so hard for me to give a damn.

Finally purchased a still camera. Ashai/Pentax K1000 - oldskool SLR rig, cost me about US$ 260 after lens filter and the first roll of T400 black and white film. After taking 36 pics and getting them developed, I'm definately encouraged by my new photography hobby, much more so than my now-defunct videography kick. This has alot of my interest at the moment, so I can't see it fading until I run out of cash or credit. ;p

Ahh, that too... The credit card is filling up again, and it doesn't help that they've raised my limit. Late fee after late fee all adds up, yaknow. $29 for this, $29 for that... i've paid them over $400 in fees alone simply because I don't care enough to get payments in on time. Gotta get a job and work on this debt. Oh, and stop spending too. Too bad they raised my credit limit. Hard to care about a credit card when you've got over $1,000 of headroom to play with.

Got my tongue pierced. Not much to say here... Did it about three weeks ago this comming monday (19 days ago I think). Oh, and i'm twenty. Yeah... Birthday... Another uneventful one no less. Oh well, the family still cares so that's cool - sure beats last year's. Bah, 2000 sucked anyway.

Thta's about it. Been a long while since I've daylogged, and I figure alot's missing. It's way past my sleepy time and it's really a shame I don't have the time to construct some sort of well written diatribe on how much my life sucks.

Okay, maybe not. ;p

I never realized how many pairs of shoes I had until today. Somehow, I have to pack a lot to take with me to CTY . I didn't think it was a lot -- it's not nearly all of them -- but then I started to write it out simply because the sheer volume was beginning to perplex me:

  • Two pairs sneakers: my Converse All-Stars for normal wear and Sauconys for sports
  • Rhinestone flip-flops from Target: I can't leave them behind, they sparkle!
  • Cheapo flip-flops: One year I tried showering without them and got Athlete's Foot, so I'm not risking it again.
  • Black dressy clogs: Well, they just look cool. They're actually too big for me.
  • Black dressy shoes: True, they threw my back out at the Christmas dance, but that was my fault anyway and I drew on them with glitter.
  • Brown dressy shoes: For those few things that don't go well with black.
  • Brown Oxfords: Not just any brown oxfords, I have customized these with hunting-orange shoelaces and written "left" and "right" on them. I probably won't wear them but need to bring them simply because that's how people recognize me during the winter.
  • Black boots: Like I would go anywhere without them.
  • Two pairs fuzzy slippers: I need to take one just to have them with me, and I'm not going to leave the other pair behind.
  • Birkenstocks: These are the only shoes I actually ever wear.
Obviously, my mission is clear: find all new clothes that go with Birks.

Today is a special day

for the following reasons:
So, fellow noder, I would like you to go out and to celebrate the beauty of today... run in fields of long grass, swim in the lakes. Tell that special someone you love them. But, most importantly, have a good day!

Life is so crazy. I just went to lunch (a weekly gig) with my ex. Told him that driving home from a party, I wanted to give him a call. He said that would have been fine. I explained, no, it was late. He said, no really, that would have been fine.

I'll never stop loving M. in this way, I just know we shouldn't be together. But - I can definitely see a booty call in my future. Crazy stuff...If sex was love I'd be so set.

Yes, this is a rant. Burying it in a day log won't help, but I've got to do it.

The night of San Juan (Saint John, June 23) is not a night to go out, for me. You see, us barbaric spaniards have the tradition of burning and blowing things up this night (kinda like a 4th of July).

Children of all ages take the streets with pyrotechnic devices of mayhem bought by their fathers and well... it's one of the busiest nights on hospitals.

I'm not against fireworks (well, I don't like anything powder related, but I kinda tolerate them synchronized to music and in hands of professionals), but these things are dangerous. I still cannot understand how parents give their sons and daughters money (more money than you'd believe) to buy things that explode, lend them lighters and tell them to enjoy themselves. Some of them don't even care to watch over them. And it's perfectly normal and they do it in the middle of the street.

It all began a few days ago. I was with some friends in a nice bar and then BOOM. And BOOM. Whoa! That was really a biggie! There was this kid (6 or 7 years old), with a cigarrete blowing fuses in the best Hannibal Smith tradition. Later we learn his parents are in the table next to us. Well, it reminded me that San Juan is here, again.

So here I am now, in my bedroom 2:40am of the next day, still hearing explosions. My grandmother came for a visit and we had to escort her back home in daddy's car so no teenage Nero's stray rocket (yeah, there's major artillery here) goes wrong.


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