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Today marks my 31st birthday. I am writing this one week before the fact. I suspect that this birthday will be much like the others for the past decade or so.

I will not have a girlfriend on my birthday, and therefore I will not get laid.
I will most likely spend some time with my family.
I will not work on this day.
I will probably sleep in.
I may or may not see a movie alone.
I will drink coffee.
I will do my best not to smoke on this day.
I probably won't write anything on the few stories that've been collecting dust these past few weeks and I will definitely wish I had.
I will not hear from my mother. (biological)
I will not hear from my father. (biological)
I will probably get a free meal at Cafe Coco.
I will say a prayer of thanks for my life upon waking- and it will probably be the first prayer I've said in many months... aside from the quiet, mental, private prayers I offer up from time to time, when no one is around to see me in a spiritual mode.
I will still be broke and wondering how to pay for getting my tags renewed in time for my June 2nd court date.
I may chip a tooth.
I will laugh some.
I will read my horoscope. (cue LAUGHTER)
I may even cry at some of the gifts my family gives me, for they know the topography of my heart well and how to reach it.
My baby neice, when I hold her, will not cry, for I will shave first.
I will get a phone call or two from the few close friends who know that it is my birthday.
I will not expect much and will probably get more than I deserve.
I will do my best to be humble and thankful to those who love me.
I will go to sleep alone and hate that fact.
I will update this w/u once all is said and done, to see whether or not I was accurate with these predictions.
Generally speaking, I will enjoy the day, come what may, for I will be alive and loved by people who've been in my life a good, long while.
Though my pockets will likely be empty, my heart will be richer.

Happy Birthday to me.

My pet peeve for the day is people who claim to be an "expert" on horror, or science fiction, or mysteries, or any other literary genre because they've read absolutely everything by just a single famous author in that genre ... and smugly refuse to read anything else.

Odds are, you've met someone who's this type of "expert". You've probably had to endure their homilizing endlessly about their extensive knowledge of the field based on having read only Stephen King or Clive Barker or Robert Heinlein or Robert Jordan or Agatha Christie or Or OR ...(not dissing these writers, get it? Got it. Good.)

And you have undoubtedly heard these "experts" dismiss out of hand any writer who isn't King or Rice or Barker or Or OR... because these "experts" don't want to expand their understanding and appreciation of the rich diversity of fiction offered elsewhere because to do so would be to admit (to themselves and others) that they don't really have the slightest goddamn idea what they're talking about.

For someone to claim they're an "expert" on horror or fantasy or mysteries or science fiction based solely on having read everything written by a single author is tantamount to my claiming to be an "expert" on automobile mechanics because I've read the owner's manual that's stuffed in the glove compartment of my girlfriend's Toyota.

Try this little experiment: the next time you find yourself confronted by one of these "experts", politely interrupt them and ask them how they feel about, say, the influence M.R. James's or Nathaniel Hawthorne's work might have had on King or Rice or Barker or Or OR..., and see how quickly that stops their lecture mid-sentence.

And if they can't answer because it's obvious they've never read (or, in most cases, even heard of) James or Hawthorne or Matheson or Blackwood Or Or OR... tell them to shut the fuck up, then go have an intelligent conversation with someone who has the brains to admit they don't know everything.

Last week I went to see American Splendor at the Sydney Writer's Festival. Great movie (full w/u to follow) that had a very amusing R. Crumb, wearing a strange flat fedora, an odd moustache, and black glasses.

This week I've been researching James Joyce for a final paper, and every book has a picture of him looking exactly like Crumb does in that shot-- same hat, same moustache, same glasses. When I get some time I will post the two pictures side by side so you can make up your own mind and when I have even more time I will make up an insane website involving reincarnation and conspiricy theories. As of now, the only similarities I can see are a tendency to get involved in obscenity trials, a love of "large", "fleshy" women (no offense intended, but if you've seen some Crumb or read the right bits of Joyce you know there's no other way I can put it), a relentless experimentalism and a sometime focus on the mundane. Still, there may be tricks, reincarnation, and a global plot to imperil the world.

~~~~ (If you're looking for the poem that used to be here, its at Do not look into laser with one good eye. I'm sure posting it twice is, somehow, illegal)

Lately, since I have become aware of the proposed draft before Congress I have been very disturbed, so below is a copy of the letter I sent to my representatives in Congress. I am aware of who proposed the bill and when it was proposed. It does not matter, either way they are willing to have me die.

Dear Elected Official,

I have recently become aware of two bills sitting before Congress which would reinstate the draft as early as June 2005 (S 89 and HR 163). I would like to express my utter dissatisfaction towards this proposed legislation as it is unwarranted and unwanted. If you vote for this bill and/or support it in any way, you may count on losing my vote in the next election. I am almost 18 and will be able to vote in the next election along with being directly affected by this legislation. I would also urge you to bring these bills to the public's attention, as of now I have not seen any coverage on such important legislation, a fact which makes me very suspicious on why not, considering the public opposition that is easily foreseeable.
According to the scant information I have had available, $28 million dollars has already been added to the 2004 Selective Service System budget to prepare for a military draft as early as June 15, 2005. This again makes me increasingly suspicious as the legislation has not been passed, but already the budget has been given a substantial increase. This strikes me that part of Congress feels that this money is going to become necessary, something I do not want to see.
I must express that not only am I opposed to said draft on all grounds, but I am opposed to the makeup of the bill. It grants far too many unchecked powers to the president, and I feel removing my Congressional Representatives from protecting their Constituents, though this is being accomplished right now by the lack of attention to the bill. I see this as another sign of the undemocratic nature of this bill and urge you once again to vocally oppose said legislation.
Please send a response and any information you may have that might enlighten me further regarding this legislation or any other topic you would like to discuss.



Well, it's 12:43am 2:07am, and here I sit... unable to justify a single thing presently in my life. I can't really find a reason to do much of anything these days, other than to avoid shear boredom, which doesn't give me much gas to get anywhere other than not where I was.

I've always fed off of the people around me. I need them dearly, and lately I've been quite the home body. I can't remember what I used to do before her, but even if I could, I'm starting to think that it just wouldn't cut it for me anymore, anyway.

I always complained about Kait, but she kept good company, even though I never really told her that. She was my encouragement to keep busy. She's the only girlfriend that ever really loved me, which is a hard thing to walk away from. I'd like to say that she wasn't ready for a serious relationship, but the culprit this time is most definitely me. She just doesn't make me happy.

I can't explain really how I've been lately other than to say that my life is a complete waste. A waste of the passions I posess somewhere deep down inside, and of my time given here on this earth. Work, sleep, and the random task at hand are what fill my days. My heart is no where but in these lonely bones. OK, maybe "lonely bones" is a bit of an over exaggeration. I have roommates, a few friends and my family. That's more than alot of people can say. But my heart is here, in me and only me, though it wasn't always this way. This is of course my doing, though it all drifted away so slowly that it was hard to notice at first.

I'm not quite sure what it is that I am looking for out of life, but I know that I gotta buy a ticket if I want to win the lottery, and I can't complain if I don't.

Logan Pinto. Welcome to the club.

I'm not quite sure if this little 22 month old feller from up in Boise, Idaho was the victim of incompetent medical attention or if he is the modern day record holder for elapsed time for a death experience. Hard to tell from the reports, but the experience can be overwhelming for someone of his age.

Wandering away from a babysitter and falling into a canal, where he was underwater for nearly thirty minutes, he was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the hospital. An hour after he was pronounced dead, they were preparing to send him to the morgue when he started breathing again.

A gift and a life changing experience, it can be overwhelming for a child. There is usually no coherent memory of the experience, although there is usually a sense that "something happened to me." Not even two years old, I'm not sure how you will process this.

Two former girlfriends of mine received the experience when they were young. The first died during an operation when she was six years old. It was an operation to remove a cancer infected kidney, and she died during the operation. The memory stayed with her mostly in the form of the rather severe, deep scar she had from her abdomen to her sternum. They had not bothered to attempt to be cosmetic when they sewed her up because she was dead. Minutes after they closed her and prepared to inform her parents, her heart started beating again and she started breathing. She grew up being especially dedicated to the study of science, eventually focusing on psychology, scoring almost perfect marks while she partied constantly and freely gave of herself physically and sexually. I knew her before my own experience, and much of it didn't make much sense to me. She always went full force into life and never stopped.

The second, Christina, was pronounced dead at the age of five and started breathing again twenty minutes later. She was unable to remember anything of the experience, and yet dealt with life in a different way than most children. She was often left isolated and sad as a child. The results of chemotherapy, especially the loss of her hair, having to wear a wig to school, and a weight gain she felt she couldn't control, took its toll. At the same time she was able to make it through on her inner strength and the power of an inner voice that reminded her that she was special. She would also devote herself to education, did very well almost effortlessly, while she partied constantly and, once she devoted herself to becoming who she wanted to be in a physical sense, gave freely of herself physically as well. The parallels between them were numerous. They were both focused, forgiving, cared deeply about people and yet knew their limits when it came to giving of themselves.

It would be interesting to be able to watch the progress of Logan Pinto, but we'll likely never hear from him again. His story was a quick "public interest" piece that hit the national news briefly as a "feel good" story, but the Boise papers and news channels seem to be updating on his progress. He's still in critical condition in intensive care, but I have a feeling he's going to be okay. Godspeed, little dead guy. I'm praying for you, and I guarantee the rest of our tribe is pulling for you as well.

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