So this happened Monday, February 28. I couldn't get around to a daylog until now for reasons you will shortly understand.

I am 28 at the time of writing this daylog (I'm a 76-er, ol' bicentennial kid -- birthday's in June, by the way) and I had never been involved in a car accident bad enough to total a vehicle (either vehicle involved) -- until Monday. For somebody who has been driving for a little over ten years, that may be considered by some to be quite a feat.

I was running late for work that morning already and when I approached where I usually enter the interstate highway I noticed that it was a parking lot. So I turned around and went back near my house to catch another highway to get to the interstate. That one entered the interstate further east so I figured I might bypass the accident or stalled car or smashed cow or whatever was causing the delay. So I traveled southbound on 79 and on this highway the right lane to get onto the interstate backs up a quarter or half mile sometimes. In those situations I will switch to the left lane, zoom by all those suckers, turn around at a Hardee's down the road, and hit the interstate exit meant for northbound traffic. So this is what I did Monday morning. That turned out to be a mistake. You see, I was a)not far past the crest of a hill and b)coming from almost a complete stop and I drive a dinky four-cylinder. So anyway, I switch lanes, hit the gas, a few seconds later



I am rear-ended.

I knew the car was dead the second it happened. I knew exactly what had happened the second it happened. I knew many things in that second. Except who did it. I limp over onto the shoulder and turn the car off. And the car behind me does the same. I see in my rearview mirror that it's a little girl. I get out and I knew she was anywhere between 16 and 19, closer to 16. This little cute blonde high school girl driving a little Honda CRX. Its front end was laying on the pavement in front of it. I look at my car. The left side of its rear end is smashed in and the rear left fender is nothing more than a piece of bent up plastic shoved behind the wheel. It is no longer an essential piece of the car, it is an inconvenience to any attempt to drive away later.

Oh and did I mention that it was fucking colder than a well digger's ass?! The wind was very biting and cruel, cackling evilly as it hampered my attempts at making phone calls (and hers, too). It was also overcast and flaky. It is very hard to dial when you're shivering so much you can barely tap the numbers. I had a hard time explaining to the 911 lady where exactly I was located. I had an officer from the wrong jurisdiction come out so it took longer than it should have to get an accident report. Like any teenager girl would, she called her father. One of her neighbors just happened to be driving by and he stopped. Later her mother stopped by. I only had my wife, who came by later, exited the car with my son wrapped tightly in a blanket to protect him from the evil cold winds. Poor kid was miserable.

The girl, her name's Lindsay I found out, she turns out to be a senior in high school on her way to unimportant morning classes. I find that out while sitting in her father's car. See, my car wouldn't start again. I thought I was going to need a tow truck. When the officer finally does come we get out and he takes the report. She is going to need a tow truck, but the cop informs me that I probably don't. He instructs me on hitting a fuel reset switch under my trunk. It's a clever device that shuts off the fuel tank when such major accidents occur to minimize the risk of explosions. After I hit that the car can start again. I yank out the fender from the wheel well and throw it in the back seat.

The officer asked me for my insurance card. It's expired, of course. It wasn't good past February 8, 2005. Great. Then he asked me when my plates expire. What??! Whaddya mean when do my plates expire? I look and somebody had stolen the goddamn stickers off my license plates -- AGAIN! Fuckers!! I have really got to get another job in a better part of town. So, yeah, expired insurance card, no year stickers on my plates, I'm battin' a thousand there! But he believed me that they were stolen when I told him where I work.

The officer gives me her father's phone number -- well the number her father had given the officer -- and like a dummy, a very, very cold dummy, I decided that's that and drive off. I should've gotten her insurance information. But that'll be on the accident report later.

I called that number later. It was the number for a pizza place.

As I was driving home my wheel was rubbing against the car. Something was apparently majorly bent. It made this obnoxious noise and sent white smoke everywhere. I knew it was only a matter of time before the tire popped. Fortunately I was almost home when it did. I limped into my garage on the rim.

Anyhoo, I took the entire day off. There's a lot of shit to take care of when stuff like that happens. Lots of phone calls to make. I saw a doctor when I realized my neck was hurting a little. He prescribed some muscle relaxers and naproxen (anti-inflammatory) and sent me on my merry way. Before that we went out to lunch with our friend. It was her last day in Missouri (she was moving to Oklahoma). The lunch had originally been planned for just her and my wife, but things change I guess. It was a nice lunch.

I should rewind a second here. There's something else that kind of made the day a little more fucked up. After leaving the accident scene my wife had an OB/GYN appointment to get to. It was a follow-up. A few weeks earlier they'd detected "abnormal cells." Well when she got back home the news wasn't good. It's too personal to explain in detail, but basically there's something wrong with her that has an outside chance of causing cervical cancer. Some of you might know what this could be.

I might have to make a phone call to somebody I haven't seen or heard from in almost ten years.

But the day got better. We decided to go looking at cars because they were surely going to total out the smashed little green Ford Tempo. My wife cried a little over that, by the way. Her now-deceased father had given that to her, brand new, when she was seventeen. And it's never had any major problems, always ran well and the AC still worked! Anyway, after looking at minivans for a while we found a deal we couldn't pass up and we now own a dark green 2002 Chrysler Voyager.

I took more time off work yesterday morning when an insurance adjuster came out. He said it was totaled, which didn't surprise me. He said there was probably $4,000 worth of damage. The rear axle or suspension was bent, something that also didn't surprise me. Retail value of the car is $1500. I hope I get close to that, but I have to wait until probably Monday to find out.

Last night I finally completed the process of taking the Christmas tree completely down and putting everything Christmas back into the storage closet. I was up until 12 AM doing that. You see, usually I get all that done by the end of February. Having Christmas stuff up in February is unusual, but having it up in March is just downright ridiculous. But, you've already heard about what happened on the last day of February.

I think I'll just end this now before I bore you too much. TGIF, for sure! I think I am definitely going to take it easy this weekend.


I am so fucking pissed off right now, I'm not sure if I've ever been angrier. My wife just went down to the police station and got the report. Get this. The cop wrote down that *I* hit *HER*!!!!! WTF?! I hit her?! Excuse me?! I was REAR ENDED!!!!!!!!!! Her front end was fucked up and my back end was! Either this cop was a colossal dumbass or he's friends with them. That's all I can figure. I'm going to be talking to my attorney, which, conveniently, is downstairs and is my boss' father.:)

I hit her! Fucking bullshit!

As part of my mandate as Pope of E2, the sad duty of seeing nodes off to their final resting places falls upon my shoulders. Normally, I let these solemn events pass without much ceremony, but today, today I felt compelled to speak. Klaproth, our beloved and gentle undertaker has informed me of the untimely death of Arts of Masturbating, a node born just moments ago. Its life serves as an example to us all. Now, I give you:

A Eulogy for Arts of Masturbating

Friends, we are gathered here today to pay our last respects to Arts of Masturbating, a friend to many, a helpful node born of simple parents who briefly touched all our lives. But not inappropriately. Like so many other first born nodes, Arts of Masturbating had a short life, a turbulent life, a life filled with promise that seemed to end too quickly. It is only by remembering it that we can truly be enriched by its short life. Let us pray.

Webster 1913 tells us that a eulogy is a "speech or writing in commendation of the character or services of a person; as, a fitting eulogy to worth." What can be said about our friend Arts of Masturbating? It tried, as many nodes do, to peel back the pall of ignorance that falls over us each day. It dared to speak about the "wangs" and "vulvas" of our lives, uncomfortable topics that only the brave and courageous speak of. It wanted to help us, it steer us from the pitfalls that its author, TK 23, had endured. What greater gift could we hope for? What nobler love than self love?

I upvoted Arts of Masturbating when I met it. It only lived to see 8 votes. +3/-5, the final tally of our collective confusion about it. Who are we to judge? Who are we to cast the first stone? We are the noders. Indeed, it made such an impact on ariels that the gift of a C! was made. Arts of Masturbating lived in the sunshine of the Page of Cool, if even for a brief time. It was a short life, but a life of education, of fame, of sparking the discussion of the literary minds of the great Halls of the Chatterbox. Can we judge this life wanting? I say to you that we cannot.

Arts of Masturbating lived all the ups and downs any node can expect, a concentrated lifetime of both joy and sadness, of upvotes and downvotes, of chings and marks of destruction. When you think of Arts of Masturbating, think of all the nodes that came and when before it, made by your hand and the hand of others. This is the cycle of E2 life. Cherish it.

What lessons did Arts of Masturbating want us to carry with us?

"However, I see no reason why we should be ashamed here. We are all men after all."

"If you are masturbating more than 4 times a week, I STRONGLY URGE you to seek help and do whatever the best you can to overcome this lust."

"DO NOT ever fantasize about any real person (or anyone at all I recommend whether it be fictional) during, before or after masturbating."

"unskilled or carelessness shall lead to a very sore "wang" for ages"

"The best way is to think, be creative and follow your own way."

"do it alone and privately."

"Half the world's starving! Think about it."

"Keep it unseen and hidden."

"make sure you are alone and your doors are locked to avoid indecency and embarrassment."

"As I have said before, BE CREATIVE but NOT ABUSIVE"

Words to live by, truly.

Its love of Gladwrap, lumpy pillows, headless balloon dummies, and quotations around penis euphemisms is what we will all carry with us, always.

Klaproth took Arts of Masturbating softly into that good night, showing it the way to the Kingdom of Node Heaven. We should not cry for Arts of Masturbating. It is in a better place.

The '48 hour' field op is still going, but the few of us that volunteered for rear party have been pulled out, and detached to 1MEF. We went to the dam last night to pack up our shit, and this morning we hopped on a convoy here, to Al-Asad. I am clean, my belly is full of good chow, and for me, the combat portion of this deployment is over.

We are to wait here until we can secure a flight down to Kuwait, and there we'll be helping prepare units for shipment back to the States.

I'm elated, over-joyed. It's still up in the air how long we'll be in Kuwait, but, in a way, I'm on my way home.

Mail is now being seized in 29 Palms, so I won't be able to receive any, but I should have consistent internet access for the duration of my time here, so feel free to e-mail.

I'm not home yet, but I've made it through the hairiest parts, and I am safe and whole.

See you all soon.

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