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Silence. Every day I go to sleep with music ringing in my ears and the sticky silence of noise-pop feedback lingering in my ear canals. Every night I wonder where this silence lies and it always surprises me next morning that I fell asleep, wondering how it would always surprise me the next morning that I would fall asleep wondering, that.

Moments stretch like smoke in warm air and I find myself liking the designer who painted the ceiling. Elementary stucco. Today was spent inside watching people die every column, listening to notes broadcast around the world before it reached my ears. Surrealism is overrated in that it happens every day; surrealism is underrated in that it's never noticed, like the cigarette lighter the janitor always puts on the top of the light next to the trash can smoking moments and tossing them away before picking up tips and cleaning up rooms. What was it that it said? I sucked on my cigarette like I was giving my sadness head. Spent hours here trying to find it back. Lost, can't find it now, haystack needle situation without any magnets.

Someday I will record the music of my life and play it on top of a movie and show people and yell look look synchronization I have been meant to live this life, things fit like puzzle pieces. Look can you see please. Look look you are young again.

index | March 29, 2004 >

So a bit of background and geographical data:

I live in Torquay (UK) and I go to Uni at Exeter. Every day I drive twenty-one miles for a couple of lectures and come home again. Now, Torquay is not greatly blessed with much industry so, unless you want to make your career in hospitality (read: barman or running around with plates for minimum wage), other residents also make similar trips to Exeter or Plymouth every day. This includes my father, ny brother, his girlfriend and about half my friends (to give an indication of how many people make this sort of trip).

The drive's actually quite nice. It takes about half an hour, during which I find I've changed from early morning malaise into a more awake state. The problem is, however, that although most of the route is along dual-cariageway, the first few miles are a single carriageway road between Torquay and its neigbouring town of Newton Abbot. A good percentage of the hundred-odd thousand people of Torbay using it make this road pretty much a car park, so many people (like me) take one of the two rat-runs involving twisty lanes through the countryside. Others use the train, which at seven quid return is a bit steep, and includes a stretch of track closed for repairs more than any other in the country due to its position stuck between the tidal Teign river and a big cliff prone to rockfalls.

Now entering rant mode:

Why am I telling you this? I'm already in a Bad Mood this morning 'cos I woke up late. Then there was a car crash on the main route (It hasn't been revealed what happened, yet and I hope no-one was badly hurt - my annoyance to come seems insignificant to what could have happened to them). The road has been closed off all morning. Or course, this adds to the traffic to the back roads which are now impassable. Add to this that the trains between Torquay and Newton Abbot are not running because of track repairs, and busses are running instead. And you have a real mess.

There are of course other, more round-about, ways to go - up the coast and over the river at Teignmouth, or down the coast to Paignton and over the bridge at Totnes, but these are also now blocked; the locals being joined by Torquinians in their increasingly desperate attempts to get to work.

Now, I'm lucky. I only have to go to Uni for lectures. No-one will notice I'm not there, but I started thinking: what if I had exams, or a job interview? Then it gets worse: what if something bad happened? What if there was a really good reason for needing to leave town? What if there was a terrorist attack (You may think Torquay's too insignificant for such a thing, but we've had a few bombs in Hotels and such thanks to the IRA), or a major flood or something of this nature? There is absolutely no way to leave town at the moment! Not by car, not by train, there's no airport, I suppose there's some boats in the bay, but that doesn't really help.

For years and years now, there have been plans around to build a bypass to get us out of ths mess, but successive governments have shelved the plans time and time again. In this time industry has left us due to high costs of distribution. In two years thousands of people (including me) have been made redundant from jobs that have never been replaced in the area; adding to the congestion problems.


Well. I feel a little better now. I'm gonna make some coffee, smoke some fags and hope nothing else goes wrong today :-)

Hi. I do day log now.

I am Bulk, thing that artman2003 turn into when he get real mad. i like his yang or something. Like Jeck and Hide. anyway, he say i not do write ups when I here cuz i no gud at it. he say i not smart enuff. well, ha ha, he no in cuntrol now, me is. i do write up now, i show him. problem is i keep breaking keyboard, not know own stength. i hope he no mad at me for that.

anyway, this day log so i tell you my day. artman say if i ever do write up it shuld be day log. i no know why. anyway, day was gud. first he get all mad then i here. i no remember why he so mad. then i roar reel loud cuz that scare peeple and i like scare peeple. then i smash blue car. then i smash red one. then it start making loud noise that hurt Bulk's ears. so i smash it sum more. then it shut up. after that i throw sum jurk into window. i think he try to stop me, but that funny cuz he little wuss. that or he just walking by me and i no like his tie.

after that i go to stor and get candy. Bulk like candy. some man say something about muney. i smash his counter and say "have nice day." Bulk no need muney because Bulk SMASH! then i ate candy bar. it gud. i always like choclat, specially when i smashing. it smashing snack, i like to say. also sprees.

then i go back to home and get on computer. that when i find this and decide to do day log. boy he be so mad when he finds out i do day log. shhh. no tell him or he might try not to get mad for long time and then i no here. I'd better finish cuz I'm starting to turn back to normal.

In Canada, we have this television station called "Space: The Imagination Station". It's run by Moses Znaimer et al., down at CHUM television, in Toronto. It is a good station; far better, in my opinion, than the Sci-Fi Channel. To Sci-Fi's credit, however, they do show all the good shows before Space does, which is a pain in the ass but easy enough to get through, emotionally speaking. What's hard is convincing your American friends to shut the fuck up about Children of Dune, you'll see it when it comes out for Chrissake.

They show a good deal less commercials than most other stations, so less so that they have a free three or four minutes after every hour-long program. In these three or four minute blocks, they show science- and science fiction-related factoids. For example, you'll see a picture of Saturn's ring structure accompanied by shoddy chyron work which informs you that the rock which forms Saturn's rings ranges in size from the size of an ice cube to the size of a house. Or, conversely, you'll see an interview with some astrophysicist ne'er-do-well who tells you why the next Mars mission is going to be revolutionary.

Yesterday, I watched a snippet of an interview with a fat, young computer scientist graduate student. This fat, young man was talking about how, with the onset of the internet, and the various instant messaging and electronic mail functions inherent to the present design, there is increasing evidence that we are sleeping less.

Additionally, he posits that there is less effort involved with communicating with other humans, and thus less energy is spent, in general. There seems to be merit, at least in the base logic of such a claim, but he takes it a step further.

He refers also to the fact that humans require a fairly specific amount of sleep per night, and that as a deviated result of the internet, we are sleeping less. All because of things like E-mail, text messaging, and instant messaging software. He also notes that various other software contain forms of instant messaging. Many other forms of entertainment, like video games and peer-to-peer software, contain messaging utilities of their own.

As a result of this, humans aren't expending as much of their energy stores to communicate with other humans. As a result of this, humans are not going to sleep when they usually do. As a result of this, they are not experiencing rapid eye movement sleep for as great a time as they previously did. As a result of this, we are all going slightly insane. "Mad" is the word that he used.

To dumb it down for the non-fat, non-young of us: what he's saying is that the internet is making us crazy.

Well, thanks. I hadn't noticed it before.

The Perils of Daytime TV

Beauty is only a phone call away
one time payment, at the LOW LOW PRICE
of a dream, and a pipe to put it in.

operators are standing by
to help you along the road of self improvement
this salvation is not available in stores
and supplies are limited.

You have too much hair and you're not firm enough
Nor are you adequately familiar with the 80's greatest hits.

The path to enlightenment has been paved for your convenience!
just send cheque or money order to the address listed below
or have your credit card ready
you too could have a whiter soul in just twenty days

or your money back.

cmyr, building up the courage to node a poem in the white.
Also: A four day streak.

Random Thoughts for the Day

I'm going to at least come up with a pile of these each day; just in case I haven't got anything else to say on a given day, I'll at least have these.

Everything2's honor roll thing confuses me a bit. Most of my writeups gets more positive than negative votes. None of them have been nuked in ages -- I got the hang of writing here fairly quickly, thankfully. Weird thing is, yesterday before I posted my March 22, 2004 daylog, I needed 58 writeups to hit the next level (I think level 4, too lazy to look right now). Today, with messages of "you gained 4 experience points!" and my writeups getting positive votes, I need 60 writeups to level. The mind boggles :)

I don't particularly care about leveling, but it's just weird to see that number change so randomly that way.

Six Feet Under is an incredible show. I've seen two episodes of it so far, and practically tear myself apart waiting for my roommate to want to watch more episodes of it (the whole first season of it sits on DVD in the living room, taunting me). It's nifty.

I always up-vote day log entries. If you spent the time to write something there, you deserve a good vote for sharing it with us. Thanks!

I'm going to start the letters-to-the-universe idea today. I'll be at the store anyway to pick up a few things, so I'll get a notepad. And I'm going to write in it. I'm going to write down what I want in my life, how I want it to happen, and when. I will be honest, selfish, and will hold back nothing. It'll make me feel better. And maybe, just maybe, the universe will listen to me, and help me achieve those things.

Self-Healing Update
Okay, so I've embarked (well, have been embarked for awhile) on this mission to heal myself and make things better. I should probably describe how I'm doing.

Physical -- today I'm at 190 pounds. Wrong direction, needs to go down a bit.

Spiritual -- Didn't have much need or time for spirituality yesterday, but I did still take the time to just shut my mouth and have a listen. Nobody had anything to say to me, but I'm okay with that. Yesterday's was a reasonably decent day.

Emotional -- Stuff still hurts. Duh. Seeing love scenes on TV shows stings, hearing songs about being horny or about making love still put me in the mood, and that nobody's around to do that with me stings. I get the feeling another mild crumbling might be on the way. I'm still hurt on the inside from my divorce, and of course still hurt from recent events too. It might just take another couple of breakdowns to get that all out in the open and dealt with. I have a tendency to look at Erica through rose-colored lenses, and sometimes I have to remind myself that it's okay to feel upset and a bit betrayed by what she's done over the past two months. She surely didn't mean to hurt me, but she still did. I don't hate her for it, I'm not mad at her for it, and I have already forgiven her for doing it. But that hurt is still there, and just needs time to heal. It's pretty cold to first say "okay, I've decided; I'm done with that guy, let's pick our relationship back up and go with it!" then say "I think we both need to stop and not date anyone", then say "I want to give it another chance with him, but we're not dating right now, so I'm waiting for him to be ready. In the meantime, you're out of my bed, and no more intimate stuff, because he won't trust me otherwise. But I still love you." Ouch. Just ouch.

Last night was hard. Sleep didn't come to me easily. When I did fall asleep, I was given the rare treat of pleasant, outright wonderful dreams, reliving the happy moments of my life from the past two months (and believe me, there have been plenty). When I woke up this morning, I laid there for a minute, not thinking about anything except the dreams I'd just had. I was still not entirely awake, and was in that state where I still believed what I was dreaming about was real. I felt something warm and soft laying next to me, and for a moment, I believed it was Erica. Then as I woke up, looked under the covers, and my wonderful little cat emerged from under them, I realized I wasn't in a soft, warm bed cuddling with the woman I love, but was in fact laying on a rather hard, very cold (it's chilly downstairs; her bedroom is upstairs) futon/couch thing, by myself apart from the cat who wanted a cuddle. Believe me, she got one. This is probably the toughest night I've faced since all this started.

I still read her last two LiveJournal entries sometimes. Both of them were saying goodbye to him. Both of them were fairly angry. Both of them seemed final. She has to know all those problems she wrote about still exist. His reply to the first one was astoundingly angry and final-sounding too, and apparently he replied to her second entry privately, but I imagine it was probably just as heated. It still boggles my mind that after all that, they're still going to try. I did that once -- for six years in an unpleasant marriage, my ex-wife and I both tried our best to make it work. It took us six years to realize it wasn't going to.

It hurts to read that exchange between them, hear them both say it's over, and remember her telling me it was over between them. It hurts to remember how good I felt that day, how happy I was. It hurts to realize how foolish I was for believing it right away.

Financial -- Some much-needed money came in yesterday. The most critical thing can now be paid for this month before it goes too far past-due to avoid trouble. Whew. There's still hope in this department.

Work -- The pile keeps getting higher, but I keep wading through the workload. I'll get it all done. Just try to stop me :)

Other stuff -- Sleep is still difficult for me. Once I get to sleep, though, I thankfully stay asleep and end up feeling rested when I get up. Going to sleep is hard right now. Instead of a warm, comfortable bed (the most comfortable mattress, sheets, and comforters known to man), next to a beautiful woman who usually rolled over and hugged me during the night, I now sleep on a much colder, much less soft and cushy futon that folds into a couch. And it's just me laying there. The cats (even mine) tend to stay upstairs with her where it's warmer. My comforter is decent, but can't hold a candle to hers. It's just lonely.

I know all the stuff about "you're never alone!" but I mean "lonely" in the literal sense of the word. The person I want to sleep next to isn't willing to let me sleep next to her anymore. Sigh. I have to get used to it, but I still don't want to. I'm allowed to bitch about it :)

When I was eleven, I was bullied. At primary school, I was never what you might call popular, but this was something different. Many people have a way of rating bullying, permanent scarring is worse than ‘normal’ physical abuse, physical abuse is worse than psychological abuse, etc. I don’t believe in that crap, bullying is an awful thing to go through. It’s degrading, humiliating and you have no one to talk to. At least it was for me.

I find myself, at the age of eleven, being sprayed in the face with a can of deodorant, and wondering if I should tell my parents. It is the bullied kid’s dilemma. Do you rely on your authority figures, because they seem to be able to fix everything else? On the plus side, you have confided in someone and you have some sympathy. On the minus side, they’ll tell the school. When that happens, the school will do something about it, usually to the bullies themselves. And when the school does something about it, the bullies do something about it too, and the cycle continues. It didn’t help that the school didn’t give a shit, the guy whose actions could very easily have cost me my eye-sight was given the punishment of missing the school day trip to Calais. He sat outside the headmaster’s office all day. I realised then that no one gave a shit. I couldn’t tell my parents, because they would tell the school. The school would punish those responsible, but not in a way that would make them stop doing it. They were punished in a way that annoyed them, and then they took it out on me again.

When human beings are in trouble, we cry. It’s our natural reaction, it is, quite literally, a cry for help. Babies do it, young kids cry crocodile tears, looking for something from someone. But in order to be able to cry, psychologically speaking, you need to be aware that there will be someone there who will be able to make it better.

At the age of 11, I stopped crying. There may have been people there, but they couldn’t make it better, they could only make it worse. So I just got on with it. In emotional situations, when other people would cry, they would see me not crying, and pour their emotions out onto me, because they thought I was the strong one. In reality, I could feel all of their emotions, plus an extra one: Jealousy. Why? They were able to let their emotions out, they could CRY. I couldn’t. I lost the ability to cry when I was eleven, it was taken from me.

My best friend came back after a year away, I wanted to cry tears of happiness. Nothing happened. My brother got married, I wanted to cry tears of happiness, just like the rest of my family, but nothing happened. At the end of my gap year, everyone cried because many of them would never see each other again. I knew I would never see many of them again, I was upset and I wanted to cry. Nothing happened.

Two years ago, when my grandmother died, with my family all around me, I cried for the first time in seven years. Floods and floods of tears. I wasn’t really that close to her, but I had watched her as the pain became greater, and she was given more and more drugs, until they could give her no more, and she had to be sedated so that she didn’t feel the pain. I didn’t see her die. But I saw my father saying memorial prayers for her over her body. Eshet chayil meimtza. A woman of valour, who can find her? I cried then. I had cried unhappy tears, I had cried crocodile tears, but that night, and every night since, I was hit by the fact that I have never been able to cry tears of happiness.

My girlfriend and I have been together for about 8 months now. Sometimes she cries when we are together, out of happiness or out of sorrow because we live at opposite ends of the country and one or other of us is about to leave. I love her so much, but I feel an intense jealousy that she is able to do that. March 23, 2004 will for ever be a landmark day for me. Curled up in her arms, watching a movie, but not really watching the screen, more watching her. For the first time, the ultimate realisation that she can always make it better, no matter what the problem is. The greatest day of my life. At long last.

Tears of happiness.

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