Little Miss Chastity Pants, you vex me so, how shall I frame you?

And you, dear cervix? Will you be all right once they have scooped you out? Will you come back healthy, so I can be free of this prodding? This wondering how you are doing microscopically? Because if you are trying to tell me something, I hear ya sister. Another place with lips trying to get me into trouble. Just spit it out already.

And you actual sister? How is the move why are you silent what do you think of this?

Argh. I am turning into some kinda pirate. I hop on board and … and what? Slash things? Hoard the gold? Brake my teeth on imported beer bottles?

No. I am turning into a smarmy, all prude with sensible shoes, a navy blue pleather purse full of Freedent and sugar packets, a pocket raincoat, some orange lipstick. Toothpicks, some frilly. A bingo chip, support gear, menthol. A heavy broach pulling at the rayon of my collar, my waddle tucked in, (my bun has a pin), Your whole way is a sin, dear.

No wait. I am nervous and budding, sparkles in lip gloss, overlapping fruit scents, aware there is freedom and I don’t quite have it. Kind of leggy, dishwater blond, thirteen and a half, with well-studied poses, frozen hair, cosmetically altered skin in now shades. I smell of Loves Baby Soft. I have a pen with three hot colors, a book I doodled on. Senseless shoes make me wince but they go with my outfit, which gives me a power I don’t really understand.

I am seven and fierce. Shaggy hair tangled by the swing set, scuffed elbows, knee freckles, sharp shoulder blades and teeth that are too big for my mouth. Don’t tell me not to be scared, I could fly if I ran fast enough and whirled my legs like a Snoopy dance. I sucked all the cinnamon hot outta the toothpicks without getting a glass of water, do you want to see a gross thing about my scab?

I am slinking across a plush rug, body twirled in silk, hair mussed in a just right fashion. Spikes strapped to each heel make it hard for me to get away, so I just crawl around on the ground, come-hither. I’ll take hold of your tie, lead you around, throw you down and suck out all the juice. I live to sigh at just the right moment

I am I am and I am. What the hell else is there to do?

I've learned, when the day rolls over on E2, I stick with the day I'm given. I went to see Vigilantes of Love Sunday night at the Howlin' Wolf. It was practically just the people I brought with me in my Festiva that were in the entire place. So sad. A woman named Dayna Kurtz went on before the band. She's from NJ and she said after the WTC deal, all these Wall Street rollers she knew were getting all spiritual and people were getting divorced left and right. She thought it was just strange.

Suzy stayed over last night. She brought her tools to make collages and her toothbrush. We bought Rally's and some Shiner Bock and talked until midnight. Ken took Bryan and Carson out to the Mermaid, which I thought was good for all three of them. They stayed out very late and Ken didn't sleep again until he'd hit some 30 something hour mark. He and I agree that he's dangerous when he's unemployed. Ken is a good friend. He's seeing all his friends going through wacky times right now and he's reaching out to each of us.

Today at work, I got pulled into a meeting about something I had done with some pre-printed flyers. We were supposed to mail off the ones that were already folded from the printers, but for some reason I thought they were being reserved for another purpose. Now we have all these folded ones we don't need that were pretty expensive and one department is upset at my department. Words like resource and support flew around, making my head spin. I was already at that almost-crying state, and I couldn't handle well being reamed for errors at work at that point. It was then decided that I would no longer be a support resource for this other department and that maybe that department could get its own assistance. I expressed that often felt more stressed out because I wanted to do a good job, which often caused me to make more mistakes. I felt like saying that I wouldn't be so stressed and unfocused if I could afford to pay my bills on what I get paid, but that isn't their concern. If I could have food in the fridge and gas in my car, I might not be so touchy at work. But that again is not their problem.

We had Bible study tonight, our last before the holidays. The whole week of Proverbs we were studying was about wealth. I didn't want to add to the discussion, because I couldn't relate. These people were talking about buying Christmas presents for their whole big family and I haven't had the money to buy gifts for my parents since I've moved here. I am trying not to think about Christmas.

I checked out the college schedule for spring and they have two classes of the four I need, one of which is at night. If I can apply soon enough, I could be taking them next year. That's exciting and scary as hell.

I've been talking to a few noders about my situation. jethro_bodine and panamaus in particular has been very helpful, trying to make me see things from all angles. As I've said, if I know a bit about why something has an effect on me or why people may be acting as they do, I can deal with things much better. If would help if I knew what was going on in Carson's head so that I can find peace in this, but I feel like he'd rather just be left alone.

I tried to hock this extra TV I have at a pawn shop, but they were only going to give me $10 for it; they called is a sympathy buy, since it was so old (1984). I ended up bumming a dollar from Terri, a friend who also goes to Bible Study, added it to the dollar Suzy left in my car as emergency money and the quarters in my wallet and bought a pack of smokes. Then she gave me five more dollars. Life is like that. Some here, some there.

On Saturday morning, I dropped Carson's Linux CD and some photos he had left here in his mailbox and slipped a note under Sandi's windshield wiper at her house; she hadn't responded to my emails and I can never catch her on the phone. She and I will get together Thursday, when we both get paid, get some coffee or something. People are good. I will have a long time to be alone. It's good.

You there with a paintbox
You there with paper and pen
Me I got this blunt instrument
I'm gonna play on till the end
From VOL's song, Skin

Wow, another daylog. Didn't know I had this many in me, but all I really have going on in my life these days is classes and pressure and so on. I don't really have it in me to do the kinds of nodes I really want to do, Took the General GRE and the computer science subject GREs this past weekend... it feels odd to tell folks, "Yeah, I can relax this week. All I have to do is an artificial intelligence project and a midterm in my hardest class." ClockworkGrue and I took the same tests on the same days, and even though he took them a state away, it felt good knowing someone else was going through the same hell. A sort of cross-state camaraderie, I guess.

Why do we feel better about our own lot, bad as it may be, due simply to the fact that someone else is going through the same bad deal? I suppose it's because misery loves company, and obviously no one wants to be alone or feel like the only person who's getting beat on... Still, its a bunch of crap many better than I have gone through in the past, and many better than I will have to go through in the future, all for the "privilege" of higher education. I don't know, call me old fashioned, call me a commie, but I think that anyone should have the right to pursue their education to the fullest of their ability. Of course, one must have a way to gauge such ability, and a test is a dang good way of doing that, and the true barrier to a good education is a combination of money and social strata... and now I'm arguing with myself. Must be time to go to bed.

We have personal relationships with the oddest things, sometimes. At least, I do. You see, I've had this Zippo lighter for almost 12 years going, bought back when I was going to high school in Dallas and had just started smoking. It's brass with a sort of floral engraved design on both sides. One side of it, I suppose it could be considered the "front", has a smooth section with my initials engraved on it- a gift to myself so many years ago. JHS, scrolling down and barely visible unless the light hits it just right. This is probably the only thing I've had this long. It's seen me through a broken engagement, a trip to London, England, almost a decade in Nashville, TN, a lost baby, a brother's marriage, a sister's marriage, a cousin's marriage, countless jobs, five years at the café... it's been with me all my adult life. Series F-VII, twelve years old, bought in August of 1990 for $12.95.

Tonight it broke.

I was playing billiards with my cousin, Josh. The game was nine ball and I was whooping the ever-lovin' shit out of him- 12 out of 20 games were won by yours truly. We were on our third game and I had beaten him straight so far. He was taking a shot at the nine-ball and I was standing at the opposite end, lighting a cigarette, confident that he would miss the shot because it was at an odd angle, the cue ball snookered behind the three-ball. I pulled out my long-time friend, the Zippo, and flipped the lid.


The lid flew off the Zippo's main body and bounced lightly on the floor, just as the nine-ball dropped in the pocket, signifying Josh's victory. The hinge pin had somehow slipped out, thereby making the lid completely useless. The lighter itself is fine, but without that hinge pin, it serves little purpose to me as it will do nothing but run out of lighter fluid that much faster.

I just stared stupidly at the floor, where the lighter's lid lay serenely, a portion of a thing that has shared more time and experience with me than any family member I could name.

I can send it off to the Zippo manufacturing company. They repair their products, free of charge, under their lifetime warranty that's world-famous for the Zippo brand of lighters. It can be fixed.

It's just that... well... it's like this wierd sort of realization came over me when I found myself stooped under that pool table, fruitlessly looking for the hinge pin amidst years of cigarette ashes discarded by innumerable drunk pool players, low shag carpeting and poor lighting. I've been smoking for more than 12 years. That's thousands of cigarettes, countless hours of my life wasted for naught. I hate smoking these days. It ruins my breath, it kills me slowly, it costs a hell of a lot more than I can really afford, it makes my clothes stink... and here I am, bothered by the fact that my Zippo is now broken. That thing doesn't represent anything but time- mostly, time lost. For all the years that I spent using that damn lighter to light my cigarettes, there will be untold time lost in the future.

I think I will keep that Zippo exactly the way it is for now. I won't send it in to be repaired. I'll leave it sitting on my desk, in pieces, as a reminder of what it truly is: an instrument of my own demise, in a pretty brass shell.

Watching the news this morning made my jaw drop.

All the SATs taken worldwide are mailed to Princeton, New Jersey. Unfortunately due to most if not all of the anthrax coming from Princeton, the entire post office is closed, the mail quarantined.

Noooooo! My SAT is in there! The November SATs have been held in there for over a week, and not delivered, much less graded.

I wouldn't be upset if it weren't for 2 reasons:

  • It was a far easier SAT than any of the other 4 I've taken, and I feel much, much more confidant.
  • I'm applying Early Decision to Columbia University. A substantially higher score could really boost my chances.
The college announces their decision on December 15, 2001. Here's hoping they do something about it, irradiate the mail or whatever. Most people in my class are understandably upset. I'll have to call when I get the chance.

Where are the ACTs graded? Oh, pretty much all over the country, except The Garden State. Whew.

I wish I had more cools, I just want to cool things all day long. (I shouldn't complain; I had all the cools in the world as an editor. Now I don't, but I also gleefully skip over horrible writeups without bookmarking them and feeling guilty and avoiding e2 for.. for.. hours! until I feel like taking take of them.) I keep running across users I've never noticed before who have like, a thousand writeups and most of them very nice.

Today it is Blaaf. I stumbled on him while looking for nodes about running. I am alwasy pleasantly surprised when I develop a new interest or curiousity because e2 always obliges with some tasty new tidbit.

I am running a 5k race on sunday! I am so excited. It's my first. I am hoping to be able to run most of the way.

I am having a party (but it's not my birthday, it's someone else's birthday) on December 15 in Vancouver. You are invited. And you. Not him, though. He has bad breath. Also you. Invited, not bad breath.

Damnit, i've been ratted out!

yesterday was my birthday, and i thought i had gotten away with it and would be spared all the singing and cake. I ranted enough about the subject yesterday, so i won't repeat.

So here's me, happily skipping through my work day, knowing that i cheated the strange customs of obligatory socializing. I cheated the system - no, i cheated Death itself. Well, maybe not. But anyway. And here comes one of those nosy co-workers, of the type that gets horribly offended when you tell them Secret Santas are a stupid idea - and she's got a printout of everybody's birthdays in her hand! She knows!! She knows my secret, damn her. For an instant i consider the obvious solution, but i decide that, for my new baby's sake, i can't afford to kill anybody this year. Damnit.

"You forgot to tell me something about yesterday," she beams joyously at me. What, is my antisocial scowl broken today?

"What's that?" i ask her. How come nobody does subtlety anymore?

She smiles victoriously. "It was your birthday!!" Oh yeah.

"Oh, that. No, i didn't forget." Hint hint.

"I'm going to tell the boss". I swear she says this exactly like a seven-year-old tattling on her naughty siblings. It's too late to strangle her now. Too many people have seen us together. Damnit damnit damnit.

But i'll be damned if i'm going to eat that cake.

North Avenue, North Avenue....Where the people ain't scared of the Boys in Blue.

Shipped Jacob back up to Baltimore two nights ago. His grandad's bad off, and I think he got as much R and R as he needed to get. Kash was upset he was leaving, I knew he needed to get going though, because he has so much to do when he got back. He just got an agent while he was down here, so things are looking up for the boy. DJ Goode and all that.

I got a wild hair on my ass and took the kids down to South Beach this last weekend before Jakey had to head back. We saw Russel, that was great. Club hopping, and 'Digo waking up Sunday morning in a 1950's -esque hotel room going, "Ohhhh, my head. What the hell was I thinking?" Miami. It was fun. And what a great way to start such a busy season for me.

Thanksgiving next week, then Lord Bear's coming down for 5 days the following week. The same day he leaves, Thor arrives by train, (Lucky bastard!) and we start planning the trip in January to AZ. We already have $500 saved for gas money alone, and we are hitting N'awlins again on the way out. Onya and Troy wanna come, but honestly, if we're going to be looking at a house to rent, or property to slap some savings on...and I have school counselors to talk to, we really can't afford to be distracted. I have family to spend time with too, so the trip's gonna be busy as it is. Hey Deb! Get the Montezuma ready for us, we're almost there! I have to be back by the 3rd week in January because that's when my classes start. I plan on Maryland for Spring Break, then classes end in May, and June brings the move. Have I left anything out? 'Prolly.....but s'all right.

And I have a new baby.
I finally stopped by the Humane Society, and let a kitty pick ME out. He's a 3 month old version of Pan. They called him Black Bart, so I went ahead and named him Pirate. My family just got a little bigger.

Yeah, things are still damn good, if not speeding up yet again.

Loft conversion day three - today is the day that the crane comes.

Note: Sorry this is not a minute-by-minute account today. It's been quite hectic, really...

It was after 7.30pm that Martin turned up, contrary to his promise, which wasn't too troublesome. He got back to clearing out the loft after a long chat to explain how today's main event fit into the overall scheme of things. We need, it seems, three RSJs install to support the new and changed structure of the roof-space. One will be at the apex, holding everything together. One will be under the floor, holding everything up. I didn't quite understand where the third went - just below the escape Velux, I think.

About 12.30pm, one of the loft firm's bosses turned up for the second staged payment. Ouch... Well, my current account balance will look normal again in a few days...

We had a number of stories about when the crane was due. Eventually, everyone settled on 1pm. At 1pm the crane turned up. It spent the next two hours hoisting everything up onto the scaffolding and into the loft space. We watched from outside while the RSJs were being lifted.

Around 2.30pm, the plumber (and mate) turned up - unannounced - for a site visit. This provided an ideal opportunity for everyone to take a tea break. It also proved fortuitous as none of the plumbing materials had been organised! After some last minute changes to accomodate stock levels, we arranged for everything to turn up on Friday.

It's 6.10pm now and they've just stopped making large, metallic clangs. These had been going on for about two hours. Maybe they've nearly finished... (we wish). They're clearing up, at least.

Just before 7pm, Martin said he was off. He then explained his "10 days on, 4 days off" shift pattern. I'm sure it works out 9 & 5 not 10 & 4... He's got another job he needs to put windows in then he'll be with us again next Friday. Unless the windows don't turn up, in which case it'll be a week today. Apart from Friday - when the plumber's bits are coming - we should have some nice normal days for a while! He's replaced all the roof tiles, so we should be safe from weather.

Well its been two days since I have a had a job as a sub. I wonder if it is because I am too picky about what I want to teach? Well let me rephrase that. I have been called, but it is for stuff that I don't want to teach. I would rather not teach middle school, I cannot deal with students that young and immature. The lowest grade that I want to teach is freshman in high school. The other choice was alternative school students. I don't want to deal with them. Maybe I'm too picky, or too selfish.

Royal Street and about to rain

The most exquisite piece of literature I've laid my hot little hands on, and I finished it today. The world is a bigger place.

Again I am walking down the street smiling, but not like the millionaire I might have been. This was the kind warmth of finding a crumpled dollar on the sidewalk, and unfurling it to find a love poem scrawled from one stranger to another.

I pass by the plastic rooster window display, the one I see daily, flanked by window after window of sundry golden glass things and velvet sitting stools.

A woman is standing in the street, sporting a dirty face and a silent accordion. She is looking forlornly down the block at Mr. PurpleHaze with his electric guitar and one-note blues riff. Her thunder is being stolen, dollar by dollar.

I would give her my dollar were it not for the love poem.

The wind picks up as I trip over a jagged bit of sidewalk. I don the sweater without breaking stride, and notice it smells of Laura and cloves.

My last daily post was August 27, 2001. After this, a lot has changed in my life, but I realized after reading some of my newest nodes, I haven't shared it.

After my return from Tennessee on the 27th of August, my life has been good. My relationship with my best friend was not ruined on that trip, was I was afraid it would be. I had given it 50/50 odds, and we beat the odds together. Despite all the problems in our relationship, we decided that with enough time and effort we could fix those problems. I'm over my crush on another girl which I apparently had in preparation for loosing this relationship. On the relationship front, my life has returned to the same stable state it has been in for 4 and a half years.

On September 15, 2001, I moved out of my home of 19 years. A co-worker and friend of mine has moved in with me to an apartment in downtown Calgary. We are a wonderful two blocks away from work. I'll tell you, it's great to wake up in the morning at 5:00 and be at work by 5:45, after taking time to get on the computer and check my e-mail and get updated after a night of sleep. It's common now for me to work 9 or 10 hour days, even when I don't have to. I love my job.

Work has been pretty busy. Still pounding away at the same project I have been since June, but not 100% of the time. I work on a lot of smaller projects often. Everything at work is great. November 13, 2001, I was given a raise. A 33% raise. Yay! My co-worker/friend/lacky was given a great 14% raise, but wow, am I ever excited about a 33% raise.

Our new apartment is great. We have a nice ADSL line, running at 7 Mbps. We have furniture, a TV, a VCR, a PS2.. with both of our raises, we can afford cable now. *grin*

Club Me to Death

Today my girlfriend made plans to meet with one of her best friends in town. A Korean-American adoptee by the name of Holly. Now Holly is a sweet girl, but I feel like she has been bruised by life a few times and she just refuses to kick back. She has manic-depressive tendencies.

Holly, her Korean boyfriend, my girl, and myself all met at the Korean Singing Room (a la Karaoke) and belted out the tunes for a good two hours. My girlfriend and I had actually invited a few of our good sushi chef friends to join us; but they informed us they were going to be late. They arrived an hour-and-a-half after we had been there.

Anyways, Holly got rather jittery and said that she wanted to leave and go clubbing. That is sort of her deal: she likes to escape reality and go clubbing a lot. Everything is cool when the music is loud,the lights are flashing, and she is high as a kite on X.

I did not really want to go, and neither did my girlfriend. But Holly wanted to go so badly that she even offered to pay for the whole evening. I felt bad too, because our other friends had only just arrived. About the only thing that I would do if we went to a club would be to see Wookiefoot, who was playing at The Quest that evening.

I suggested it to Holly and it sounded like a go. I arrived at Quest first with my girlfriend, payed the $24 ticked price and grooved to the music. Now, I know that it wasn't exactly my girl's choice in music, but she seemed to groove along to it pretty well.

Holly arrives 30 minutes later (don't ask me what took so long). Her boyfriend pays the cover, she hears one song and says, "this totally sucks. I want to go hear the techno upstairs." My girlfriend wanted to be with her friend so she asked if we could go to the other show as well.

If you know The Quest, you know that the club has three venues: the downstairs, the upstairs, and The Ascot Room which is connected to the upstairs and by a private stairwell. I found out that the cover for the techno that night was an additional $20/person, so I wanted to sneak in through the upstairs. No go, the door connecting the two areas was closed and locked.

I tried sweet-talking the ticket agent into letting the four of us in claiming, "I was entertaining three Korean nationals who mistakingly bought the wrong tickets." My little attempt failed. Holly's boyfriend got impatient and just layed down another $40.

Now I am not cheap, but I am also not stupid so I told my girlfriend I am not following them unless I can get us in for free. Luckily, I know some of the people at The Quest through some of my dad's connections and I talked to a bouncer I was acquainted with. After some begging and some attempted palm greasing he told me they would open The door to the Ascot Room for 15 minutes for me.

I went upstairs and walked in without paying the cover. Here is the climax of the story: I was greeted by Holly, higher than a kite who was foaming at the mouth and dancing at us armed with glow sticks; her boyfriend screaming obscenities and being extremely aggressive because they opened the door after he just had payed an additional $40 of which they would now not refund (I never told him I was the man responsible for getting the door open!); and my girlfriend who hated this music WORSE and was now made uncomfortable by high-Holly, angry-Korean-boyfriend-man, and by moving around so much. She went into silent treatment mode: she just shuts down when things do not go as she likes them to.

After 10 minutes, I took her by the hand and the two of us left together. I would say it took her two days to fully recover emotionally from this incident...

To paraphrase the Red Hot Chili Peppers, "her love is like a roller coaster baby, baby."

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