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Yesterday I had the not so enjoyable experience of finding out what happens when someone you know in real life happens to read something that you've written about them on the internet. The person in question was the subject of the second half of my daylog on May 24, 2004. Needless to say they weren't impressed with what they read. Comments that I received were 'Why would you write that?' and 'I don't want people reading that'. This may not seem that threatening but combine this with a very high pitched voice and a person who is under 1.5 metres and it gets mighty scary. It is actually the angriest I've ever seen her.

I wasn't particularly prepared this as I walked through the door so I quickly agreed to remove it and then really haven't talked to her since (this isn't that hard as we have different timetables and she does completely different courses). Now you may be saying to yourself, 'wait, that writeup is still there - you lied to her'. Well actually the copy they read was at another site, where I have a blog of sorts which someone else (who happens to be the subject of my May 2, 2004 daylog, which was also posted at the site but deleted before she had a chance to read it) happened to find. Now at this site it is deleted...

I agreed to remove it because I hate confrontation and this was the easiest way to extract myself from the situation. But there is part of me that wished that I stood up and said no. These are my feelings. If you can't accept this then tough shit. You do not have a right to not be offended.

This whole incident made me think about the fact that this maybe a delusion we have regarding the world. In order to be able to sleep at night, we believe that our friends don't say things about our behind your back. Because we are unable to see what others see, we can't believe that they would think or say anything bad about us. Sometimes I actually do wonder what people say about me. But then we just start getting paranoid and that's never good. For me I hate knowing what others think. I'll turn up my music just to avoid hearing other people's conversations if there a chance of them talking about me.

Maybe the real anger for the subject of my daylog was not that I wrote it but what I wrote. I have to admit that what I wrote was not the nicest things, but this is how I see the situation. Another person of course could see things completely differently.

Eww. They are pushing the envelope testing your tolerance of their intimate display. And you pushed it back which is your right, but did so behind their back compromising the defendability of your objection.

Perhaps if you'd complained in the um heat of their moment there'd be less to argue about. Ha but how embarrassing for those two to call them out in the middle of it all, and really I'm not sure what you could have said. Perhaps similar thoughts kept you from complaining til later .

To the conspicuously sonorous smoochers: Value more those moments with your lover and make them truly between the two of you something private and lovely only the two of you can really appreciate...unless your aim is not an intimate communication and you are just showing off your sex-packed lives--in which case great...now we know.

I went to an art exhibition at the Tate Britain a few weeks ago. I was with my then-girlfriend. She was very late, again. I understand that it's not always possible to be punctual in London, but her consistent pattern of careless behaviour in this regard was a significant contributor for the mutual loss of respect.

The art was challenging, as modern pieces should be. Sarah Lucas had made a life-size crucifixion of Christ out of cigarettes. Damian Hirst was still riffing on his familiar themes of dead-in-life. The sides of beef, stamped "INRI", somehow hanging uneaten in the fish tank populated with large fish.

The piece that got my attention, though, was the hothouse tank containing lush green plants, a entomologist (an animatronic mannequin, obviously), peering at a butterfly under his microscope, while around him the pretty butterflies, which Mr. Hirst has been lately fond of gluing to canvas, fluttered around him. Except the ephemeral insects were by now dying, ragged holes in their wings, fluttering feebly on the floor, their intricate patterns of colour creased in intricate patterns of decay. It made me shiver, I wasn't mentally prepared for that.

Q: Why is academic infighting so vicious?
A: Because it means so little.

I just got back from a short tour of Washington, DC and after seeing many of the monuments and the inscriptions of the words of our founders, I got to thinking about how eloquent they were. How they were able to express their idea’s and thoughts about what this nation should become, where it should be headed and what would become of it’s people. I was struck by the effect of the words. In particular, this quote from Thomas Jefferson gave me pause to think…

I am not a advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

I think about our most recent elected Presidents, from George W. Bush and his memorable “Bring it on!” to Bill Clintons feeble attempt to define what the word “is” is. From George Bush Sr.’s “Read my lips, no new taxes!” to Ronald Reagan’s “You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans.” and I wonder where the eloquence has gone. Somehow, I don’t see any of these words inscribed on a monument as a message for generations to come. Yes, I understand we live in a world of sound bites and infomercials, where any given politicians stand on a matter is summed up in 30 seconds and where the nightly news is limited to one minute snippets that barely scratch the surface of a given issue. Where politicians from both sides seem to hem and haw over the questions which are posed towards them. It seems to be an indicator of our attention span as a nation.

I got to thinking about politicians of old. About how they probably had no speech writers, no spin doctors, no opinion polls, no focus groups and no stump speeches that repeat themselves from place to place to sway them. They probably didn’t have a bevy of lawyers and advisors telling them what to tell the public. The words that they wrote were, most probably their own and were heartfelt. They seemed to look forward and have a message of the future rather than on the present or in the past. Unlike today, the words those people spoke or committed to paper were measured and meant to last for eternity. They were bold in the message that they were meant to convey. There seemed to be no attempt to try and hide behind safe terms and traditional idea’s. It makes me wonder where those idea’s and sentiments are today.

I look back upon Mr. Jefferson’s quote and I’m reminded of the whole issue about gay marriage and the subsequent proposal about a constitutional amendment banning the very notion. I’m reminded of the Defense of Marriage Act, the notion of free speech zones, and the war against terrorism. I’m reminded of the whole Whitewater episode during the Clinton years and the personal attacks and scrutiny that our elected leaders of both parties are subjected to and must endure. Our elected leaders always seem to be in defense of something, whether that defense is of a personal nature or of some kind of moral standard.. Most of the times, the defense seems to be that of the status quo. This causes me to wonder about what Mr. Jefferson or some of his colleagues might have had to say had they lived in our times. Naturally, nobody could predict what their reaction might have been or what they might have done in the aftermath of 9/11. Nor, can anyone predict with any certainty how they would have come across in front of a myriad of television camera’s and snipers in the press on from both sides of the fence.

I would like to think that they would have had a more meaningful message and inspirational message for all of us. That the world is a large place, with enough arms to embrace all cultures and that the times we are living in, while certainly ours, do not entirely belong to us. That our government, and in turn, all government has a responsibility to those being governed not only in the immediate days but for generations yet to come, and, in that vein, we should focus our efforts forward and not in the days left behind. I wonder what it must have been like to have been around during the birth of a nation when idea’s and ideals were in the formative stage and were to serve as a guide for the many years to come. When progress was measured in the expansion of the rights and liberties of the citizenship and not in the maintenance or retraction of the same.

America, to me at least, does not seem to embrace change anymore and if we do, it seems to want to change back to the days of old. Internally, we argue about things such as the “moral decay of society” and how we should proceed with the economy and jobs. We seem to be becoming a country where exclusion is more of the norm than inclusion. Externally, we argue with our allies such as France and Germany about the need for war and defy institutions such as the United Nations that are recognized worldwide. We seem to want to seek simple solutions to complicated matters.

Maybe, we the voting public, are to blame. Maybe we don’t demand enough of our elected officials. Maybe, in a world where information flies around the globe at the speed of light, we don’t take the time to measure our words and responses. I doubt Mr. Jefferson or any of his contemporaries would say the same. Their thoughts were measured and eternal. Today, we want our news and views to fit in one paragraph, a nice neat package that plays the same music to the same listener, the message never changing, the words only slightly altered to suit the audience.

Being that America is the so-called world’s only superpower, I’m afraid the we’re living up to Mr. Jefferson’s words when he says “We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

Somehow, “Bring it on” seems to pale in comparison…

So it's my birthday.

I'd planned on forgetting that, but I awoke at noon to the sound of my monophonic ringtone and my grandmother's voice wishing me a happy birthday in that inflection I've never heard from the mouth of anyone else. She lets me know that a card is in the mail.

(Am I a schmuck for really, really hoping there's a check inside that overly-sentimental--and probably glittery--piece of Hallmark posterboard?)

I feel years older as she tells me about one of her acquaintances' daughters who lives here in New York City, making over a hundred dollars a night in tips alone as a waitress at a classy franchised restaurant.

"Did you have to work last night?"

"No, actually, I went out drinking."

Those two lines of dialogue... hurt. Little does she know that I might as well be unemployed, am verging on alcoholism when I'm not careful, and wondering where next month's rent is coming from. My feeling older has nothing to do with the passing of another twelve months. While I told her that her phonecall absolutely made my day, I'll never let on that was one of the most brutal ways to start it off. I've never liked my own birthdays, but I do appreciate the thought, after all.

My roommate just woke up for about seven seconds, said "Happy birthday," and promptly passed back out in a quite possibly hungover stupor. Our bar tends to have that effect, but somehow I've managed to evade those little sledgehammer-swinging bastards that vacation in one's head the morning after a bout of healthy drunken debauchery. Rock.

So it's my birthday. There's food in the fridge, a fresh pack of cigarettes in my jacket pocket, a little money in my wallet, and the season finale of Enterprise airs in T-minus three hours.

Maybe it won't be such a lousy day after all.

I just found out that the grades are out for the semester that ended just last week (or was that the week before? Time is confusing).

The GPA is not yet calculated for me and my math skills are blah and I’ve swung down deep in depression and have little motivation to do math.

My Unoficial grade report (entire Citrus career) from the college website:

Unofficial Summer 2000 Grade Report
Course Name: COLLEGE PLANNING
Crse # 156
Units 1.0
Grade A
Term GPA 4.00
(Took this class for the sole purpose of being a continuing student in the fall….skipping the new student lines at registration)

Unofficial Fall 2000 Grade Report
Course Name: READING/COMPOSITION
Crse # 101
Units 3.0
Grade F

Course Name: SURVEY OF MATH
Crse # 160
Units 3.0
Grade F

Course Name: STELLAR ASTRONOMY
Crse # 116
Units 4.0
Grade D

Course Name: GOVERNMENT OF U S
Crse # 103
Units 3.0
Grade F

Course Name: HEALTH SCIENCE
Crse # 171
Units 3.0
Grade F

Term GPA 0.25
Cumulative GPA 0.57
Academic Standing Academic Probation
(November of this semester my computer was taken from me and I had no hope of finishing the semester. Depression was severe. Suicide was attempted and three or four days were spent in the ICU, then several more days spent on suicide watch in a regular hospital room before being carted off to the loony bin on my first 5150.)

Unofficial Spring 2001 Grade Report
Course Name JOB SEARCH PLANNING
Crse # 150
Units 1.0
Grade NC

Course Name INTRO THEATRE ARTS
Crse # 101
Units 3.0
Grade B

Course Name TECH PRODUCTION LAB
Crse # 125
Units 2.0
Grade B

Course Name FUNDUMENTALS OF STAGE DIRECTING
Crse # 241
Units 3.0
Grade F

Course Name INTRO THEATRE SCENRY
Crse # 130
Units 3.0
Grade B

Course Name INTRO TECHNICAL THEATRE
Crse # 120
Units 3.0
Grade B
Term GPA 2.36
Cumulative GPA 1.46
Academic Standing Academic Probation
(All theatre classes. Except for a class I had to drop because I could not afford the fancy clothes and expensive paper the teacher required by the following class. The Directing class was failed because I was hospitalized and despite the fact that I had a doctors note and missed only one class, the teacher refused to help me. The day I missed was the day scenes were assigned. She, the teacher told me that there was no hope for me to pass the class and it did not matter because I would never make it in theatre anyways. I learned a lot that semester in the classes I did pass.)

Unofficial Summer 2001 Grade Report
Course Name TECH PRODUCTION LAB
Crse # 125
Units 2.0
Grade A

GOVERNMENT OF U S
Crse #103
Units 3.0
Grade F
Term GPA 1.60
(The government class was online and my internet access was taken away so I failed this class again. It is required to transfer but the school does not allow you to repeat a class more than once without extensive paperwork and pleading.)

Unofficial Spring 2002 Grade Report
Course Name INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY
Crse # 101
Units 3.0
Grade F
Term GPA 0.00
Cumulative GPA 1.36
Academic Standing Dismissed
(And such is what happens when you take a college student’s computer away, especially when said college student is taking online courses.)

Unofficial Fall 2003 Grade Report
Course Name READING/COMPOSITION
Crse # 101
Units 3.0
Grade F

Course Name INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA
Crse # 150
Units 4.0
Grade C

Course Name WORLD CIVILIZATION
Crse # 103
Units 3.0
Grade C

Course Name INTRO TO ACQUISITION
Crse # 203
Units 2.0
Grade A
Term GPA 1.83
Cumulative GPA 1.57
Academic Standing Academic Probation
(Thanks to my best friend I returned to school, taking 3 of the courses with her. She’s the reason I passed at all. Although English class became overwhelming and I did not complete the course, Marcie kept me strong and alive. Our Math teacher and History teacher were both morons. Acquisitions was my first course in Library Science and I made a good friend, Stephanie. Together, Stephanie and I will continue in the Library program.)

Unofficial Spring 2004 Grade Report
Course Name INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY
Crse # 101
Units 3.0
Grade A

ELEMENTARY PIANO I
Crse # 105
Units 2.0
Grade W

Course Name INFORMATION SOURCES/RESEARCH METHODS
Crse #102
Units 3.0
Grade A

Course Name MICROCOMPUTER APPLICATIONS I
Crse # 130
Units 4.0
Grade C -

Course Name CAREER EXPLORATION
Crse # 143
Units 1.0
Grade W
Grade Report Incomplete as of 5/26/04 (The Career Exploration class was dropped when the teacher said I needed too much help and should seek a personal councilor. I asked one too many questions about the assignments. The piano class was dropped because the cold and the strain caused my hands to be very painful. The Library teacher is a wonderful lady who was the best teacher I have ever had in college. (Thank you Barbara). The Computer class was a pain, and required software that messed up my computer bad enough that I ended up reinstalling windows. I need this class as part of the Library degree requirements and must have above a D. I just barely did that and am thankful for her pity points.)

I still need to figure out my Cummulitive GPA now to find out if I will be allowed to continue at the school. From my estimates I will still be on Academic Probation but will not be dismissed. *crosses fingers*

Tomorrow at 4pm I have an appointment to get my priority registration appointment. Appointments to make appointments. Daftness ensues.

I honestly was not sure I would survive the semester. Illness, both physical and mental made it very difficult. Now that it is over I am to fulfill my promise of going to both a family doctor and a psychiatrist. The problem is I’ve run out of places to look for one that will take me on as a new patient and my hopes are slipping away.

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