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I just woke up. But I don't wish to talk about to day. I was too distraught to write yesterday. Yesterday was just about the worst day of my life......

It all started off normal enough. I was a little sick, had a slight fever, but other than that everything was just fine. Even though I hadn't slept well the previous night as I had been battling an infection, one of my trusted friend's had informed me that a crush I'd had for a very long time was finally coming around. The ironic thing was I very well thought going into yesterday might have bee one of the best days of my life. Alas, how wrong I was.

I went to first period, and everything seemed fine enough. It all went normal until third period hit. I share a class with my crush that period. My trusted friend had told me to talk to my crush the night before, and that my crush would know what about. So I did and my crush was clueless and said she'd ask her friend. So that wasn't too good, but at the time I didn't really think much of it.

Then lunchtime hit and disaster struck. Going out to lunch my friend informed me that everything last night she said had been a joke. That just started things. I had really been feeling good the entire and that was what began to totally turn the day to hell. I couldn't believe. Prior to the last night, I had complete trust in my friend. It she I went to when I first got a crush on my current crush, and it was she who all the while kept the thing a secret from her while informing me. You have no idea how much gratitude I held her for that. She, of all people, knows how I feel about that girl. Yet still, for some reason she lied to me as a "joke," She released a torrent of feelings that i had either managed to keep down or get rid of. what she did was put through a bit of an emotional hell; metaphorically kicking me in the balls. It's the kind of thing i'd expect from other people, but she, of all people should know better. It mad me hurt horribly in two ways: the first being that I feel I'll never be able to trust her again, and a feeling of disgust and betrayal that goes along with that, and the second being i'm still dealing with all the crush crap she managed to stir up inside me.

I hate to say it, but that was only the beginning. Pretty soon after the first fiasco, my backpack was stolen. I was talking to some of my friends and I turned around and it was gone, even while some of my friend's backpacks were still there. It had my $50 cell phone, my $180 graphing calculator, and all of my school stuff, textbooks and all, except for my math stuff. So now I have virtually no school stuff. That was the second big.

Everything pretty much deteriorated from there. I felt like crap and had a mild fever the whole die. I ditched a couple of classes, got into a few fights, and generally spent the rest of the day wallowing in my own self-pity. My friend tried to give me some advice by telling me to sleep it off, but then I pointed it out that trying to sleep makes it worse. As I have said, I'm battling an infection, and while it's pretty bad but manageable during the day, it's awful at night. I usually have a couple degrees fever, have hot and cold flashes, and generally lay awake at night. Through it all, my mind begins to wander, and I think and think and think and get even more angry and depressed at this goddamn world of ours. I cannot find solace anywhere, it seems.

Hence possible the worst day of my life. But today is a new day and filled with possibilities, and perhaps maybe I can turn my life around today. Who am I kidding? I'm just a sick (literally and metaphorically), pathetic loser with lying friends, no schoolwork, and one hell of a mean streaj to work of. Yeah.....Perhaps not!

he likes to just sit and watch what i am doing, i don't think he really cares what it is, or if i talk so much, but he likes to sit there and be. and he hasn't said one god damn thing, about how hard this is for him and he hasn't complained that i've changed or that i am not the same person. and it makes me sad to know i am going to make him sad again. he's so tired these days, so tired.. i guess i am too.

i just feel guilty. that is what this house does to me. because i can't help anyone here. because i need support and i can't get it here, but it really could be so much worse.
Well I had a good day, but my boss apparently did not. He is still not talking to anyone, and he is now cancelling meetings, cancelling our daily reports, and generally being grouchy.

This did not stop everyone from getting a ton of work done and having a generally good time. A bunch of us even got together after work, ate Chinese food, and watched All For Love. It was pretty good.

I found out this will be quite the travelling summer, once to Atlanta (again) for work, twice to DC to visit a friend and go to her wedding, and once to San Antonio. Frequent flier miles here we come!

I think there's been a total of five days that I have not checked into E2 since I joined up back in October of 2000. A couple of those days have been recent, as in last Saturday and off-and-on since then. I picked up a very nasty flu bug a mere 4 weeks since I got over the last one. When I flew out to San Diego to see my friends Yurei, Pheel and Kay, I picked up the west coast version of the flu virus to supplement my rocky mountain version. My voice is so shot I sound like Barry White (aka Chef on South Park for those of you too young to remember his singing days1). I can't swallow anything bigger than water molecules, which is doing wonders for my weight (lost 18lbs so far). Been running a constant battle with a fever, and it looks like I am gonna have to give in and seek medical attention, which I avoid like the plague. This latest flu has been in me for over 8 days now, and counting.

Ergo, if you're trying to get in touch with me, don't expect a speedy reply. I poke my head in here only long enough to see what's going on, or when I start a hacking cough episode (whichever comes first). /msg'ing chicken soup is always appreciated, btw :) Until I'm recovered, take care of yourselves and happy noding.

1Geez, I am sicker than I thought. Thanks Donfreenut for pointng out that Chef is Isaac Hayes, not Barry White.


At work in the Company. I'm now trying to make sense of the inner structure of the Product.

Here's what I think of the thing: [ NOT HERE FOR SECURITY REASONS - CLASSIFIED ] Cool, huh? =)

The last few days were amazing - I installed Progeny Debian and Windows 98SE to this machine (the first is for work, of course)... neither had driver for the network card, but Progeny got extra points for identifying the graphics card correctly (Win98 needed driver CD) and an oak leaf cluster for finding the Microsoft USB mouse.

The first work day (Monday) wasn't cool. I went there, sat in a shady, stuffy room for 9 hours installing the OSes, had a headache, forgot my keys on the desk, and got to wrong bus... and woke up late next morning. =(

Mail not read for 3 days. =(


Deleted about 20 spamules from mailbox. Made it a bit more motivating.

Somehow, I'm out of votes. Already. This is strange...


I had my first game of Steel Panthers that I played to the very end...

...and I won! Hey, this is a lot easier now that I know how the opportunity fire and the indirect fire (mortars) work. I can shoot back! Woohoo! =)

It's now upgraded to version 5.01... and in this version, the scenario I played - "Frozen Hell -39", the units were more understandable: The Finnish ski troops look like humans (and not tanks). The problem? The Soviet troops have horses or mules to pull the things forth. When they're destroyed, they stand there and smoke.

"We blew up the two soup cannons right when I saw 'em! Those are dangerous weapons..."

Yay, in this scenario the Finns had piled-up charges with which destroying tanks was easy... "I would have blown up the damn tank, but it lagged like hell!"

(Okay, you aren't supposed to catch the references...)

Other day logs o' mine...

Noded today by y.t.: GNOME Transcript breadcrumbs Hearse

Updated: Some.

It feels that I've taken a step in the right direction today, feeling a renewed sense of responsibility and growing up. Work has become different in my eyes, and simply because I've realized my role in the team. On the other hand, I took a step backwards, literally daydreaming about happier days. I guess I couldn't get a better day for a while so I relish the thoughts.

I got to work extra early today, but of course after eating my lunch. I took the Richmond Auto Mall shuttle, then proceeded to McDonald's to grab my sister some lunch. At least she had something to eat instead of the junk she usually eats. Only if I was concerned about my health as I was about hers. Little brother mentality I presume.

For the first time in years, I woke up in the exact same position aas I fell asleep in. I'm a notorious kicker, and I roll a lot. Even with a disturbing nightmare bothering my sleep, I woke up, arms crossed across the chest, but sweating nonetheles. I hope that it was due to the heat being turned up but I knew that it was smarter for me to not ask questions. I haven't worked out for a while now and mentally, I never realized to what extent I was becoming dependent on it. Venting pent up physical frustration is a great way to lose weight, tone up muscles, and relieve mental anguish. I'm not saying that it's a miracle cure but it works for me so I follow it.

I got to work exceptionally early (almost an hour and a half) early. I'm one of those people that rather be painfully early than fashionably late. It was a nice overcast today. Cloudy but cool enough to be able to sit outside comfortably without a jacket. I remembered thinking how awkward life is when the one of the expected high points of the day is to play tetrinet, in which I did poorly in, to simply spite people. Also I considered dropping my economics class because I can't consistently be in class due to the lack of a car in conjunction with the translink strike. The sun shone through the clouds for on emoment, causing me to look up, as in disbelief of its appearance. Eyes are still puffy, both from lack of sleep and from what I believe is an illness that I am fighting. It's that queasy feeling, threatening to tear me up from the inside out. The prospect of losing my lunch on the employee deck at work was the only thing that kept it in.

As I'm always outside, I'm starting to realize and appreciate life's subtle beauties. I'm not talking about the vast beauty of the sun setting or the sounds of rain falling on the ground. I'm talking about the way puddles ripple when disturbed by rain or the breeze. The rhythmic way that trees sway with the wind. It seems as though they were telling a story, one of beauty and one of the nature of life. Life is great until something disturbs you and even then, the strongest beings in the world survive by simply following the flow of destiny as it intertwines with fate. No resistance, no urge to fight. Simply flow. How incumbersome. How profound yet so idealistic and so unachievable. Finally, I've found a standard to compare my life to. It is simply hard to understand what you want to do when you don't know what you want. It's even harder to know where you're going without knowing where you have been. You might be going in circles all this time. I sat on the deck for another half hour before I placed my jacket over my shoulder then sat down for another hour, watching life pass me by.

My boss talked to me about how I dealt with the shop over the weekend. My other boss was sick so I dealt with all the administrative duties. At first, I thought that he was displeased but he wasn't so I felt relief. It was the first time that I talked to him like that, other than during work, asking small questions like "Where is that? Do we sell that?". It was nice but I didn't know what to say. He left so that he could work so I started folding origami cranes. I started giving them out to random co-workers. They all thanked me, and it made me feel that I made their day a little nicer. Some even put the birds over the terminals. It made me smile, even for just a moment.

Work was a breeze, though I was alone most of the night. I did hurt my wrist though and hope that it will be okay by tomorrow. I'm pondering whether to go to school tomorrow or not, knowing that I'll drop the class in a split second. My mom picked me up, and still, we say nothing to one another. We gas up the car and I paid for it, since I drive it as much as she does. Rising gas prices aren't the greatest values around of course but I guess it was the thought that counts.

I get home, and realize that I've left my S.E.S cd in my locker at work. I'll go get it tomorrow. I sat outside for about 45 minutes looking at the sky. It's still cloudy out but the crisp breeze makes clouds rapidly moving. The moon peers down on me, but I don't mind. I come back inside and play some tetrinet, and chat online. Now I'm here.

Kan Mi-Yuon of Baby V.O.X is now on my winamp, and she's singing in my winamp player. Sometimes I want to believe that she's singing a song to me, telling me how much someone like her wants to be with me. I stress how much she wants to be with me, not someone like me. I guess that's the appeal of the music to me. It calms me down and helps me imagine scenarios not possible in real life. Now I turn off my speakers and her voice resonates in my head. Wait. It's not Mi-Yuon's voice. Noo. Not now. I can't deal with this. I sleep.

I feel drowsy. I place my hands along the walls, feeling their surface in the dark. I don't know where I'm going nor do I care. I need to get out, to find where I am supposed to be. I stumble upon something cold, and fall on one knee. I feel the thing I stepped on and know its a body. I feel the face and know it's not mine. I keep moving, knowing the sooner I find my face, the sooner I'll find home.
I am filling in during GangstaFeelsGood's extended absence as part of the Daily News Log backup team.

Here are today's headlines:

International Herald Tribune (www.iht.com)

  • Fed Trims Rates and Hints at More Cuts
    The American central bank reduced short-term interest rates by half a percentage point on Tuesday, the fifth easing this year, and warned the economy remained under pressure, raising speculation of another cut late in June.
  • Defiant Palestinians Mark 1948 Removal
    Tens of thousands of Palestinians froze in silence Tuesday as a three-minute siren sounded to mark the 53d anniversary of what Palestinians call "the catastrophe" of their displacement when Israel was founded.
  • Europe's Rightists See Hope in Berlusconi's Win
    Silvio Berlusconi's victory in Italy serves as a refreshing swig of psychic tonic for the center-right of Europe, where national elections will challenge the left's axis of parliamentary power in Britain, France and Germany over the next 18 months.
  • Olympic Bids by Beijing, Paris and Toronto Praised
    An official evaluation report Tuesday effectively reduced the five cities bidding for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to three after placing Istanbul and Osaka behind the other three - Beijing, Paris and Toronto.
  • As Bush Envoy Visits, Beijing Assails Shield Plan
    Even as President George W. Bush's emissary was here making the case for an American missile-defense shield, the Chinese government on Tuesday publicly condemned the U.S. proposal, calling it a fruitless step that would endanger global security.
  • Taiwan and China: Ever Closer Bonds
    Despite visions of war conjured up by President George W. Bush's suggestion that the United States could help defend Taiwan from any Chinese invasion, social and economic integration between the mainland and the island is stronger than ever, and it is growing.
BBC (news.bbc.co.uk)
  • Labour Sets Out Ambitions
    UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is to outline his vision for the next 10 years in Labour's manifesto, promising to improve public services.
  • Palestinians press US on Middle East
    Palestinians urge the US to take a leading role in ending Middle East violence as Israel "admits error" in killing five Palestinian policemen.
  • China shuns US nuclear plans
    A United States envoy fails to overcome Chinese opposition to Washington's plans for a new missile shield defence system.
  • US to brand Real IRA 'terrorists'
    The US Government is set to introduce sanctions against the Irish republican group Real IRA as it designates it a "foreign terrorist organisation".
  • Amazon destruction surges
    The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil is at a five-year high, following an improvement in the Brazilian economy.
New York Times (www.nytimes.com)
  • Still Wary About Economy, Fed Reduces Key Rates 0.5%
    The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point for the fifth time this year, continuing its campaign to reinvigorate the economy.
  • Bush Task Force on Energy Worked in Mysterious Ways
    Much of Washington remains in the dark about how the Bush administration's Energy Development Task Force operated while it devised the nation's energy plan, which will be released on Thursday.
  • U.S. Panel Supports Widespread Use of Cholesterol Drugs
    A national panel recommended that millions more Americans take powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs or immediately alter their diets.
  • Lawyers Fail to Reach Deal on F.B.I. Spying Charges
    A lawyer for Robert P. Hanssen, the F.B.I. agent accused of spying for Russia, said plea bargain talks had broken off over the government's refusal to negotiate a deal that would spare Mr. Hanssen's life.
China Daily (www.chinadaily.com.cn)
  • Beijing, Paris and Toronto rated `excellent' for 2008 Games
    Beijing, Toronto and Paris won ringing endorsements Tuesday for their bids to stage the 2008 Summer Olympics. Osaka and Istanbul were virtually eliminated as potential hosts.
  • Resumed US spy flights meet Chinese jets
    The United States has dispatched three surveillance planes to spy on China since the April 1 plane collison incident, and each time they met chasing Chinese jet fighters, the Pentagon said.
  • Envoy: Talks with China constructive
    James Kelly, assistant US secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said on May 16 that his whole-day talks on May 15 with Chinese officials on the American missile defence program is constructive. Kelly released a statement while departing Beijing for Hanoi to continue his mission to promote President Bush's missile defence system.
  • Bush aide proposes major adjustments in Asia
    A new report authored by one of President George W. Bush's senior aides advocates "major adjustments to US strategy and military posture" in Asia, including developing Guam as a key regional military hub and possibly opening new bases in Oman and Vietnam.
  • Economy enjoying 7% growth
    The Chinese economy appeared on track to enjoy the predicted 7 per cent growth rate this year, indicated statistics revealed Tuesday on the first third of 2001.
Panapress (Africa) (www.panapress.com)
  • South African Women Lobby for Sexual Rights Charter
    A university woman's health project has started the processes of developing South Africa's first Sexual Rights Charter.
  • South Africa Says UN Conference Cannot Fail Poorest of the Poor
    Key challenges facing the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs) relates to their integration into the globalising world economy, according to South Africa's Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma.
  • NDA Leader Ready to Meet President El Bashir
    Exiled leader of Sudan's National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Mohammed Osman Almirgani has said he is ready to hold talks with President Ommar El Bashir in order to resolve the country's long-standing conflict.
  • Kenya to introduce disease resistant oranges
    Researchers from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KEMRI) and the University of Nairobi are working on a project to produce disease-fee orange seedlings in the country.
  • Microsoft intensifies anti-piracy battle
    In one of its hardest stances to combat piracy in South Africa, Microsoft SA is seeking signed declarations from businesses attesting to a "clean bill of health" regarding the use of its software.

This has been a good week. Two reasons:
i) there has been no day this week that I have had to stay back for overtime in the operating theater past 5pm ... so far.
ii) this week I earned more from my various stock options (exchange traded options bought on the ASX) than from my job as an intern. in particular, my portfolio today is worth more than A$1000 more than yesterday, which is not bad, considering that that's about 10% in one day. :-)

Alan Greenspan lowered US interest rates by 50 basis points (0.5%) yesterday, for which the stock market rallied for all of about one hour for.

The US stock market looks sick right now. The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all look like they're setting up for at least a short term fall. Meanwhile, gold looks like it's building up strength for a move higher.

I hold calls in gold mining companies and puts in some blue-chip companies in Australia.

Beware the stealth recession.

15.45. Feeling good. Leaving work for a 14-day holiday in England, where my girlfriend is waiting. In fact, I'm leaving as soon as Nick Cave is done with O'Mally's Bar on my CD player...

Have a nice fortnight, people. :)

Holy Crap!! My wife is pregnant!! I'm wondering if my penis is writing checks my mind can't cash. It's kinda like when you discover the power of the shell in Linux, you are just so overwhelmed with possibilities, except much more emotional. He could grow up to be just like me. She could grow up to be a hot geek chick. I have to make him/her socially adjusted though so they don't have the problems I had. I suppose I should just worry about getting my wife through the pregnancy first.

Chatting last night we came up with some things I might say someday.

When she was 3 she had installed linux all by herself.
He was just standing in the crib and blurted out "make dep clean bzlilo modules modules_install".
She compiled kernel 2.6 all by herself when she was 4.
He helped Linus redo 2.8 when he was 6.

The possibilities are wild but the consequences of messing it all up are staggering. Maybe my mind should try to make a couple more deposits.

The doctor said she doesn't need to come in to find out for sure until 8 weeks and they figure with her sickness that she is 5-6 weeks. If that is the case then the due date would be approx. Jan 9, 2002.

That would suck because then the kid would have so many birthday/christmas gifts. That could be good in that the people might make the individual gifts bigger. If the kid can play it right it could be a big haul. I always played on my divorced parents like that. Maybe he/she could play off the grandparents like that.

Sometimes maybe I should just keep the thoughts in my head and not tell anybody. Then what would be the point of having the thoughts.
More motion, more speed, more action is what I need!

Dougherty's again last night. Cammy came out to play....whoa, she's goin' nutz. Painted, drank like a fish, Grrmly damn near lost his job, Adam was being bitchy, Phyllis was in fine form, Eric came out, as did Lilly and Steve, Satyr got momentarily stood up, my sister-in-law has a boyfriend!

Cut to today: finally got to chat with Masukomi, and you are a sweetheart! Have to have big talk with Lord Bear over coffee and schtuff, and going to pick Lilly up in about an hour. Decided I'm flushing Garryn's stash down the toilet.....he's being a moron. You'd better hide it before I get down there....that shit's bad juju. Been working that Italian Love Spell for five days now...I'll node the recipe later. I don't know if it's working yet, I can't tell, and I have to hit the streets to write down lease numbers this afternoon.

And it's almost the day.....One day 'til the day. I'll leave room to say more later......but right now everything's just spinning!

Heh. Wish me luck.

8 AM: The struggle continues. After three hours of sleep in my normal clothes, my PC buzzing next to me, the German portfolio temporarily obscured by the screensaver, I got back up, back to work.

11 AM: Two more hours before the deadline. I stopped writing in German some time ago. Instead I first got everything I wanted to say down (up?) the screen in a mixture of English and Dutch, hoping that translating it later would work faster than writing it in German right away. I don't really speak German, see, so I have to look up every other word in my Oxford-Duden. But now it dawns on me: I won't make it, Resistance is Futile, this time I pushed my luck too far. That's it, I just give up. It's only two steps to my bed, only to heartbeats before I'm fast asleep.

2 PM: I wake up. My class started 1 hour ago and I wasn't there to hand in my portfolio. For a short moment I seriously consider the possibility of emailing my professor that I'm ill, or can't make it because of "personal problems". I know it would work, but I decide to be brave. And bravely I walk to the classroom, bravely I tell my professor that my portfolio is not finished, that I could send it to him tonight, but that I prefer to send it on Friday, so I have some time to pay more attention to details (having those minor things, such as grammar, spelling, umlauts, et cetera, in mind).

He is so friendly. I have time to hand things in and correct mistakes till Tuesday. What a perfect teacher: he makes me feel guilty for being the slacker I am.

Then, bravely I tell him I have to get back to my room, back to work. I leave the classroom behind. I can ignore German for now and focus on my 3500 word final essay for Ethnic Relations (deadline: May 17, 2001, 4 PM).

7 PM: Browsed some books I had on racism in British schools and searched the internet for useful articles. Slept for another two hours, drank coffee with my Gruszka (this is_NOT_a nodevertisement, I just feel this link is justified here, do_NOT_ follow it if you object (alternative = do follow it and vote me down)!)

Now I have to start. A writeup first. I can take my time. I am alive!

I am poised, crouched, at the edge of the precipice. The sun has come up, streaming light and life into the valley below. I stretch out my wings to their span and feel the morning breeze tickle my feathers. After a long moment’s hesitation, I spring out, and am airborne. I feel the release, the freedom, the exhilaration and joy as I fly out, away from what I know and love and understand.

At the same time, fear of what lies ahead does have a gentle hold on me. I have lost forever the vision of a white picket fence, the perfect and pure marriage with M. I do not know yet what I have truly gained, besides my freedom.

Stand. Sway. Stumble. Repeat.

I admit it, I sluffed work. After the weekend, I couldn't see myself back at work on Monday, so, uh, I contracted a priority illness and took two days off.

And I don't feel guilty at all about it. I deserved it. I needed some preventative maintainence on my mental state, so I took some time for myself and ditched everyone else. I managed to rebuild my Car Computer and punched out some really good documentation for my latest project, TouchTex.com (blatant plug).

It's amazing how much things can suck and be cool at the same time. I suppose that suckitude is all relative according to your frame of reference. There I was, wasting time on a Monday afternoon. Just driving, no where to go, nothing to to. Just rolling, windows down, music pounding out of a beautiful piece of technological masturbation. Pure bliss. Of course, the car sucks and my A/C is broken, so you can see how it sucked at the some time as well.

Funny how the interplay between things can be so extreme and yet so subtle.

Wow, I'm noding again. I forgot how much of a release it was to do daily logs.

Anyways, today has been great for me. No really fucking great... First it starts out with a whole bunch of school happenings that would take up too much time to type out. (Fast forward to right after school) I'm driving to work on the interstate, and with the way the semi drivers were driving today, you would think they're trying to help me save gas by pushing the back of my car down the road with their bumper. I'm beginning to agree with Rayford(sp?) on John Boy and Billy who refers to the interstate as "Interstate Hell".

Then when I get to my dream job (no sarcasm here, $10/hr and i'm only 17 :)), I find out that the only job I have to do right now is image almost 600 PC's for a replacement project I'm doing. The only problem is, that is all I do, I image the machine and set it aside and get another one ready... boring. No going out on the floor and installing, just sitting in my workarea with no radio, no games, no porn, no nothing.

Damn... I wish me and my boss got along better, its been hell since he first came into power.
My duties used to include going out on the floor and handling mission critical problems and even going into the OR and fooling with the computers in there. I got to see some neat shit while I was in there. Now it's "No Biggs, you can't do anything except sit on your ass for 5 hours in front of a computer running ghost." While I would normally jump for joy with just sitting on my ass, it looks like this is what I'm going to be doing all summer long.

Today was my last day of school, ever.

Which is nice.

Actually, depending on your point of view, that statement is anywhere between mostly true and entirely false. Yes, today was the last day of my secondary education. Yes, my life is now mine to do with as I choose. But...

There's still study. There's still exams. There's still college. Oh well.

Today was...odd. I think I've heard somebody singing every possible song with the word "end" in the lyrics. "My Way" seems to be popular. Personally I like "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)".

I won't say it hasn't been fun. I've got some good memories and some good friends. And a shirt which has been signed in three languages. Still, it's nice to finally be getting on with my life. I was starting to feel like a character in a sitcom. At least it wasn't a teen drama.

We'll always have the time Niamh mopped the floor with the good Mr Barton. We'll always have the time Mark tried to start a bar fight at 6 a.m. in Dublin Airport. We'll always have the time we got lost in a blizzard somewhere in the Dolomites. We'll always have the time we made that substitute German teacher cry. We'll always have the time we set the Chemistry lab on fire when we were supposed to be making soap. We'll always have The Happy Frog.

Hopefully, we'll always have each other as friends. I know it's sentimental bullshit, but it's true. It's these last few weeks that you find out who your real friends are. They're the ones you keep making plans with. The ones who are helping to buy a tent for that rock festival in August. The ones who are planning a trip to Andorra for next January. The ones who offer you an invitation to stay in their house for the entire month of July. At least I hope these are my real friends. I wanna go to rock festivals and Andorra and empty houses.

It's all over. What can I say?

It's been a pleasure.

Summer time rekindles the dilemma of how many hours per day I can allow myself to waste/goof off/node while on the clock, being paid by the state. I promise myself, for the umpteenth time, it seems, that I'm not going to waste this precious three month sabbatical, that I will play my guitar for hours every day, that I will read all the books I've been buying and stocking up from the library, that I will put my creative energy to use, and be a better person when I school starts again in the fall. Then I realize that I'm pondering leaving work early so I can stop a few video game stores and seek out Final Fantasy games for the recently-acquired Playstation on the way home. Some things never change. Usually because I don't bother to change my decision-making tendencies.

My preliminary to do list for the summer:

  • Shove Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television down as many throats as I can manage
  • Compose songs; See if I can't get the musical eat-poop-you-cat idea to bear any fruit
  • Read, constantly
  • Play my guitar, constantly; Learn to play a host of Nobuo Uematsu's compositions
  • Start writing articles for the Tucson publication produced by the Merry Band of Anarchists
  • Attempt to engage fellow summer school students in semi-meaningful conversation; improve my public speaking abilities
  • Remove the mental block that keeps me from being able to read poetry
  • Start learning to alter the frequency of my brainwaves; Meditate regularly
  • Increase my attention span; Learn patience when trying new things and stop wishing for the instant gratification I know will not come
  • Carry out plans, rather than existing stagnantly in my mental space and thinking that I should have started doing things like this years back
root@badtz simonc# date
Wed May 16 11:55:13 EST 2001

Okay, so now that it's midday on the week's middle day, I'm officially on the last half week of my employment at the agency. This has been a very challenging two years, and has forced me to do a lot of growing up. I've been whining about this place for ages now, but while I sit here at my desk and look around, there are a couple of people I'm really going to miss.

Jayne. Trusting, loving, loyal, mature. Jayne's been reliable and a good listener. She wants to become a ski instructor! I hope she achieves her dream.

Claire. My right hand. Brilliant young engineer. I hope she'll go far.

I start with the new adventure in a fortnight. I'm being given the opportunity to influence the way internet policy is set here in Australia, and hopefully I won't suck too much. The opportunity to do good is awesome.

Had dinner last night at Sneff's new restaurant in Surry Hills -- had a blast. He's such a cool chef. Drinkies tonight with the agency crew. Then home tomorrow morning, after a big sleep...

"Still... a pretty good year."
--Tori Amos

You know your day was shitty if you can sum it up with a Tori Amos line. I almost don't know where to start. Saturday, Douglas Adams died of a heart attack. The very same day, a hero of only slightly less stature died of the same cause. His name was Gene Raters, and he was a branch chief at the National Air Intelligence Center. He was a hell of a guy--one of those crusty old government employees who looks like he remembers the last five wars precisely because he does remember them. He was one of the minds that first conceived of ballistic missile defense, and he kept up with the Evil Empire as long as they existed, compiling a vast mental database of their ICBMs and the various tricks they planned to use to get them here. He died so suddenly and unexpectedly, there was no time to ask all the questions we wanted his opinions on before he retired. We all took the morning off today to go to his funeral. I talked to him the day he died: as he was going home, I asked him a stumper of a question on a topic which, while humorous to me, is unfortunately also top secret. His theories seemed dead-on, and brightened my day, and if we publish them, they'll be his last "work" for the intelligence community.

It hit us doubly hard to lose him, because a few weeks ago, one of the other guys in the office lost his wife--she couldn't have been 35--in a car accident, and all three of their boys were seriously injured. They're still recovering. That was really the first thing this year, the first really bad thing. What do you say, what can you do, at a funeral for someone you never met?

I still haven't told anyone in the office that my grandmother died last week. I was glad I took leave a few months ago to attend her 90th birthday party; I didn't know for sure, but I suspected that would be the last time I'd see her, and we got about an hour to talk alone. It's amazing how long it takes before you can talk to your relatives like people and not just characters. But we talked, and without really knowing it, we said our goodbyes. I think she knew it better than I, and I'm touched that she made the effort to finagle some quality time with me. Anyhow--I didn't fly down there this week for that funeral. I felt bad, but also happy that she didn't suffer at all.

I'm sorry if I'm bringing you down... but my point is, I've been in a justifiably bad mood. My perpetual optimism was just enough to keep a positive attitude through all of it. Bored, and not in a mood to stew around the house, I called up my friends in the area and dragged them out to a local bar for some live music and some Guinness. We were gone for 3 hours. When I got back, my house was trashed.

Someone came through the back door and "liberated" my stereo, a gift from my high school roommate, who was also my college roommate and practically my brother. The morons failed to take the 6-CD magazine, the remote control, or the CD collection laying out right next to it. The computer hardware I've been buying to do my quadrennial hardware upgrade--still in the boxes--untouched. The alcohol in the fridge--untouched. My Top Secret access badge--untouched. A checkbook, a Walkman, cordless phones--untouched. All my clothes: strewn. My theory of the crime, as it stands, is that one of my less intelligent neighbors, who sees me wearing camouflage to work every day, failed to make the leap of logic that I'm in the Air Force, and was looking for my M-16 or my M-9. I don't own a gun, though, so their search, though messy, was fruitless. They took a more or less non-functional stereo. I have renter's insurance, and once I pay my deductible, USAA will replace the stereo with one of equal or similar function and quality.

So what did I lose? My deductible. A half-dead stereo. The mix tape I was making for Girlface and the other everythingians, which was the only media in the stereo at the time. My grandmother, whom I was lucky to have for as long as I did. Gene, whose advice and resounding laugh I have already etched in my memory. Douglas Adams, who was kind enough to leave behind some of the funniest prose ever written about bad poetry. Jim's wife--I didn't really know her. We (at work) all lost a piece of Jim, but he's got us, and he's recovering as best someone can.

And my gains? I know how renter's insurance works now. I know that I should practice better OPSEC with my weekly habits of coming and going on a routine. I learned to double-check door locks. And I learned, painfully, that life is temporary and setting an alarm clock for tomorrow morning is an act of faith--that you'll wake up the next day is not a given. I'm making good money, I enjoy my new job more than I ever would have expected, and I'm finally starting to get the hang of this "independent responsible adult" thing. So, still: a pretty good year.

OK, so finally I made a decision about uni. I'm going to take my exams this year and then leave. Taking an ordinary degree of BSc in Biology. Part of the reasoning behind this is that I don't feel that in my current state of health (or rather lack of) I could continue on to do Honours at all. However, to graduate I first need to pass 3 of the 4 courses I took this year... I think I can manage this, although it may take me 2 attempts.

Y'know what the thing that makes me most angry about feeling like this? It's the fact that I know I am perfectly capable of doing well, but that I just can't do it at the moment. Grrr.

As for other things, the next 6 weeks are going to be chaotic... what with exams, having lots of work done in the house (getting heating replaced and a new kitchen)... I think I'm going to need a holiday. Oh, and we're going to have fun keeping the cats out of the way of building work.

Finally, I am slightly happier now that I have a new job. yay.

Hmm, yes, I meant to add... Can anyone tell me a reason why I should move a node that is spelt correctly as far as I'm concerned, to one that isn't? I'm not getting at anyone here, but the UK and US sometimes have interchangeable uses of s and z, and if I'm spelling how *I* am used to spelling, should I have to change to fit in? /msg's welcome with thoughts on the matter... :-)

Today I learned that the Royal Bank, the most profitable bank in Canada, has adopted a new policy of refusing - at the very last moment, thus maximizing the inconvenience - to process student loans for people who have had credit card problems with them. I could understand this if the loans were not guaranteed by the government, but they are, so this is clearly a revenge policy. And I'm complaining about it because it the 437th thing to go wrong since I went back to school in January 2001. So I'm planning to get together with others in my position and bitch to the media (while wearing my Royal Bank t-shirt, if I get on TV).

And to top it all off, some fuckhead stole my notebook from the library today. It contained all my notes, as well as my student loan certificate, which means I'll need to get a new one issued, which means I'll have to wait four to six weeks, which means I'll probably get evicted.

Excuse me while I go off to find someone to strangle to death.

These days change us.

Woke up at 11 this morning with what may have just been a migraine, or maybe a tiny bit of a hangover. I do not do alcohol very well, and keep forgetting that I hate tequila. I made it to church by 12:15 though...

Note to the ladies out there: Body by Victoria bandeau bras worn under tank tops make the latter decent enough to wear to church. I would not recommend this for all churches, though. Or all tank tops.

Ryan is in San Francisco right now for his brother's graduation. I told him goodbye this afternoon... felt bad that I couldn't kiss him but there were so many people around. Public displays of affection are not something I feel particularly comfortable with, especially around the group of people we were with. I keep wondering if I think too much, if I am too cautious about everything regarding this Relationship Thing that is so very new to me. Maybe I should relax a little and just let things happen... at least that is what everyone is telling me to do, so it must be good advice, right?

Anyway, as he went off to his apartment to pack, I went out to Fort Worth to help a friend clean out his mother's apartment. She passed away last Wednesday due to lung cancer. She was 50. She was beautiful. He seems to be handling things very well, almost to the point where I worry about him. When my dad died, I was overly emotional and could not get anything done, while my friend is being incredibly methodical and productive. I only saw him cry--once, at the funeral. And I feel so powerless; I have been here before myself and I should know what to do. But all I can do for him is what he asks for... and I don't feel like that is enough.

But what more can I do? Maybe this is enough. The six of us that were there today got a lot of things done as a group that would have been hell for him to go through on his own. We all laughed, reminisced, debated the evils of Pokemon and Reader's Digest; it was like just any other day, except we would have been doing this in the Canterbury parlor instead of his mother's living room. It is a bittersweet feeling... I'm glad we could be there for him, but I wish that we didn't have to be... that everything in life would just be perfect, always, and we would never have to say goodbye or watch our friends have to.

It had been the base for a glass security case, this big pink upside-down T-shaped pedestal that surrounded the single steel support in the middle of the retail space. The decision, however, was that it had to go.
“Pink,” my housemate, who will soon open a game store, explained, “is anathema to your average wargamer.”
I dual-wielded an old rusty hatchet and a brand spanking new waffle-faced hammer and proceeded to fillet the pink formica from the monstrosity. At one point I made a critical hit and set the hatchet blade clear into the fiberboard itself! After I finished, the housemate, wielding a drill, went after the screws that seemed to hold this nude, but not pink box together. Most of them were stripped screw|stripped]. More application of the hatchet and hammer was required. Eventually we pulled these double-L-shaped boxes off the floor, what we found there was even more scary: this fixture had been constructed before the original carpet had been laid, there were six pieces of wood nailed into the concrete floor.
When you run out of ideas, take a trip to the hardware store, my dad used to say just about every Saturday morning. And we also needed to pick out paint chips. At the hardware store, it takes like a half hour to get anyone’s attention.
”What kind of tool do I need to pull nails out of concrete?” inquires the housemate.
”Wow, how did you set those ‘cause I’ve got to do that,” some random homeowner who obviously didn’t hear the question.
We buy a gorilla bar, and go back to tearing that shit out, along with some small bits from the concrete floor. There’s nothing quite like the thrill one gets from the power of simple machines.

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