Today, it begins.

Soon, I will no longer be fat.

I will smile, and confidently flash those white teeth and red lips framed by freckled fleshy cheeks as I solidly walk past you in the hallway.

(I shall dare to eat that peach.)

Soon, I will no longer be fat. No more will the love of my life fear for my own longevity as he traces his fingers up and down my spine, pausing at each and every bump and crevice. I will gain that wonderful, wretched mark of womanhood back - and no more will I fear breaking in two at the age of fifty.

No longer will I cringe at my thighs and hips in the mirror - my butt, finally a butt - will fill my pants. My butt, finally a butt - will cushion and protect my bones from those horrible benches.

I will gain those twenty pounds, and finally - I will no longer be fat.

Today i broke out of the college bubble and took a trip down to the mall. I intended to visit the Apple retail store to pick up a copy of Mac OS X version 10.1, and in general wanted to spend some time off campus. So i got some readings for class printed out, scrounged up some bus fare, and headed on south to Bloomington.

Upon arrival in the mall, i was confronted with a huge billboard that said, "Minnesota salutes your bravery and courage!" which people were signing and which was to be sent to New York. Next to the billboard, in the rotunda in the middle of East Broadway, was a Volunteers of America choir in the middle of singing America the Beautiful. Towards the end, the conductor directed the audience to join in, and upon completion of the song, the onlookers on the first floor and peering over the railings above erupted into a great round of applause and cheering. I walked on to the Apple store. There were flags everywhere. The Stars and Stripes hung from each support column on either side of the hallway, spaced a mere, say, 7 meters apart. Huge flags adorned the display windows of Victoria's Secret and The GAP and the White Bean Candle Company. Kiosks sold flag paraphernalia and "Osama Bin Laden: America's Most Wanted" t-shirts. Stores were taking donations for the Red Cross; red, white, and blue were everywhere. This country has exploded into a frenzy of patriotism while i wasn't looking, trapped in my tv-free ivory tower.

I arrived at the Apple retail store, but they were sold out of the OS X 10.1 upgrade. I poked around anyways, investigated this improved OS that i was planning on throwing away a whole $20 on. I played with it on a dual-800MHz G4 machine, and was blown away. Even on a more timid iMac, much closer in speed to what i have now, it was impressive. I was really sad that they were out. I continued to wander the mall, and walked along nearly all 4.3 miles of storefront in that monstrosity. I ate at Taco Bell.

I visited a flag shop. They had an impressive collection of flags, but were sold out of all but the crappiest, tiny, polyester U.S. flags, and were mysteriously out of those of Afghanistan. I wonder if they were sold or removed from the shelf... I asked if they had any two-sided Oregon state flags, but they only had the state seal, without a beaver on the back. That was sad. The woman at the register started talking to me, asked if i was from Oregon, asked if i was white or mixed. I asked her where she was from; Somalia. I bought flags for Austria, the EU, and the Basque country, as well as a couple postcards. That woman told the man who was ringing me up to give me 10% off, because i was a "good guy".

I wandered for a while longer, then took the bus home.

1:12 AM EST

I've used up all my votes for the first time in a month or two. I’ve only left the house once in the last three days, and that was to pick up a pizza and drop off a trunk full of overdue library books. It would be bad for me to become a hermit again, but I’ve needed this time away from people, from my life, from what’s going on. I’ve needed to recharge my batteries and work through this. I’ve figured some things out, I think, or I might be wrong yet again.

I used to tell myself that I would never take Prozac because it would stifle my creativity, suck out the emotional energy that I needed to be an artist. But life’s done that for me. I haven’t written a decent poem in perhaps two years, and I struggle to read anything worthwhile or challenging.

It would take a month’s worth of daylogs I never wrote to explain how I’ve gotten to this point, and there may a month’s worth unwritten ahead. I may write about it here, I may not. I might ask for help and call in the big guns, or I might now. Part of me feels that there’s nobody capable of handling this but me, and another part which feels like I’ve handled it very well so far.

The world breaks everyone. I worry that it might have broken me. I worry what I would do when called upon to handle something truly emotionally unimaginable to me. My neighbor died a week ago. He was a World War II naval veteran. His wife now lives alone in an empty house. If I’m like this now, how can I possibly cope with something like that? My father is not that much younger. What will i do when he dies? Thousands of people are coping with something which is like nothing I’ve ever had to deal with. They survive, somehow, someway I will never understand. And poor Adam, whom I unfortunately never met but I’ve thought a lot about lately, and about the times in the past where I thought I was in the sad place he was.

I’m not depressed like I was then, I’m just weary. No matter what happens, I never seem to have grown a callous. I just retreat, and just when I thought I’d gotten everything together and it was all perfect, it all falls apart again.

And in the end, I’m selfish, egotistical, thinking about how this affects me, my life, my future, and it doesn’t have anything to do with me at all, no matter what I do. But when I see beautiful and innocent and joyful things destroyed by the cruelty and callousness of life, a part of me dies and it becomes harder and harder to understand why I should bother.

I’m sorry, I just had to get a few things off my chest, regardless of how much of a whiny freak it makes me sound. Maybe I’ll explain it all, maybe I won’t, but don’t worry, like I told a friend, it’s not bad, it’s just complicated. I’ll figure it out somehow, and pick up the pieces when I fuck it all to hell.

100 XP.

Ok, Today starts my Sukkot holiday from school: one week of sleeping, Quaking and noding. Yay.

I recieved today an email saying my project was approved by SourceForge.
My project is called SODA NS (for State-Of-D-Art News System. Yes, I know it's very, very kitchy. it's a temporary name). It is basically yet another Slash site system written in PHP. I've done it simply as a challenge I put to myself. And I gotta say - it looks really good so far.. Just a few more things and I've got my own Slashdot.
So anyway, the project was approved. I shall begin uploading and updating everything as soon as I get back from my vacation.

Yes, I'm going on vacation. Four days in glorious Eilat, with the close familty. Should be fun. I hope.
I'll have my laptop over there so I hope I could node from there. Or maybe just waste my daily votes.

So that's it, I think. hf.

Happy New Month!

yuck, so many mispellings in one little write-up. hope it's better now.

it's late. i'm still up. i heart being unemployed. or something.

i seem to keep comming back to these three goals for myself.

talk less.

master civility.

chuckle softly.

and then, of course, there's move back to the East Coast where you belong, asshole. but i'm still working that one out.

Today I saw one of my friends for the second time ever.

We met during my stay of six months in Albany, Western Australia. We exchanged addresses, we became penpals, we wrote to each other. At the end of the 6 months, I moved back to Perth and continued writing letters and receiving them. Two weeks ago, approximately two years after we first met, he wrote and said he would be up at Perth for the long weekend due to his Aunty getting engaged. We made plans to meet, and then we met.
Today I saw one of my friends for the second time ever.

It was a rather weird feeling, seeing this person who had become familiar to me through written words. I knew so much about him, yet had only seen him in the flesh once. We had never spoken on the phone. I knew him only through words. He was a collection of experiences written down for me to read, ideas expressed in ink, creativity through penmanship. His face was not unfamiliar to me. I don't know why, since it was the second time ever I had seen it. A familiar being, one who I fell into easy conversation with. Why? I don't know. I knew him, but not conventionally, not in the way one usually knows their friends. Paper and pen, he is my friend.

Today I saw one of my friends for the second time ever.

I wonder when I will see him again?

God give me strength...

My best friend from high school--Mike--is packing his things right now, waiting to go to the airport for a six pm flight to Heathrow, London. He's going to spend a year at Sussex University, getting his MA in literature. I'm gonna go out of my head over this.

Mike and I grew up in a small area of Pennsylvania, east of Reading and Lancaster, but far enough from Philadelphia that everything seemed rural. Most of our friends from high school have never really left the area; some never went to college, others went for a year or two and dropped out, still others went their four years--yet all are working in the same jobs as their parents, it seems: farmers, construction, garden shop, landscaper, mechanic. Don't misunderstand me--there's honor in those things. It isn't the jobs that I find depressing. It's their provencialism, I suppose.

Mike was over his friend Ritchie's house on Saturday. Ritchie never went to college and now runs his father's garden shop. Mike sat, listening to Ritchie's mother talk about another friend's mother, and about the 1973 Boyertown homecoming game, as if it were yesterday. Their lives revolve not around the whole world, but around their town. There is no outside world; there is no exploration of your talents--just go work in the quarry like your father.

Maybe that was fine in the 19th century, but this is the 21st century, and America is not an island, as we've seen. I guess everything is made more poignant for us because of September 11, but it's true nonetheless. Mike is getting out--he's working eventually towards a PhD. So am I. There's only one other person from our class who's moveing on, a girl named Christine, who is studying dramaturgy at Columbia. I'm not from Boyertown, I'm originally from Philadelphia, and come from a relatively nomadic family. Christine is originally from Lansing, Michigan. Mike's father has taken him outside the country any number of times on business trips--Mexaco, Spain, San Francisco. With Mike, it's a privilege of money; with us, it's a sense of being an outsider.

I'm usually proud of being an outsider, of being a nomad. I still am. As Mike said, "They {the kids we grew up with} may not know the world now, but they will; I'm lucky--I'm going to England. They're probably going to end up in Afganistan."

My dad died yesterday morning. I spent the rest of that day and this morning making calls and funeral arrangements. I'm so glad to be away from the hostile nurse who didn't want me staying there with him all the time and who felt his grimaces of pain were "just his Parkinsons". It was very peaceful, he was on morphine and oxygen for comfort but no lifesaving treatments.

I trusted the night nurse. I could hear her there taking tender care of dad and was able to rouse just slightly and go back to sleep next to him. I got up at 6 am planning an hour walk so I could be back before the nasty nurse arrived and found he had slipped into a slow pulse and low oxygen saturation. They gave him more morphine to keep the oxygen hungry panic down and I got him dry and cleaned his face and reassured him. I told him for the hundreth time I loved him and called his wife. She got there and he just breathed slower and slower. She laid her head on his pillow next to him and he breathed his last....I couldn't believe he was gone, I'm a nurse myself but I've never seen a peaceful death before. I felt compelled to listen to his chest for the absent heartbeat for minutes to convince myself he wouldn't wake up in the morgue. I think the fact that I could lay his poor drawn up legs down straight for the first time in weeks was what really let me believe it. He had left.

Tomorrow is the day of reckoning for my financial situation.

I have, in my hand, a check for $400. My rent is due today, I have court tomorrow, as well as various other bills to pay, and was short on my last paycheck because of a wonderful illness called bronchitis. I just hope that my landlord will be lenient with me, since I'm on an open-ended lease, and allow me to pay half now and half later. If not, I get to move in with my parents again, and that would NOT be fun.

Last night, I was up for 25 hours. I did this because of what happened Saturday; sleeping through an entire day can really mess with your head. I needed to get back on schedule for work, so I didn't have to miss any more than I already do for court tomorrow. Fun was had, I played NightShadow In billiards around 5:30p. He tore me up and down the table, then I got exhausted, and did the same to him. *shrug*.

After billiards, we went to T.G.I. Friday's and had dinner. I had the Jack Daniels' Pork Chops, while he had the French Dip. If you like pork, and like seasoned, flame-broiled pork, then definately give them a try. I had two 8oz slabs of meat. Very, very good.

Right now, it's 3:40pm where I am, and I go on lunch break from work in 20 minutes. I'm going to attempt to hit the bank, deposit that check, and get a cashiers check for half of my rent.

Please wish me luck with the landlord and judge tomorrow. I am definately going to need it.

Worlds are words are violence.

Depression is sanctity is a cool clean desk and the soothing ice palm of nothingness against my cheek. I bring my forehead down greedily, wanting to catalyze the rush of my iced-coke resurrection.

The thud resonates in slow motion as conversations quicken. A moment of shock: did the teacher hear that? For a moment everything hangs and she goes on rifling through papers. A few stares. Pain flowers in my forehead. Her eyes well up with tears.

And I stare at her in amazement as they drown but don’t spill. Surface tension? Cohesion?





Pain is a flower, but guilt is a wrench.

Man, I haven't written a daylog in ages...

Well, here goes

I got laid off last week. Isn't it a bitch the way companies pretend that everything is going fine until they're ready to fire a few dozen people at once? Just a few weeks ago, my boss handed me a free shirt and a letter thanking me for my hard work in closing a successful fiscal year 2001. I've spent almost the whole summer on the road, and most recently was in kansas city for four weeks, completing a major upgrade for a high-profile customer.

Of course, I can't really blame my supervisor, or manager, for all this...the decision to have layoffs obviously came from on high, and a lot of useful people got the shaft.

Anyway, I'm over it now.

I buckled down and started looking for a job today. The economy is sucking, and there aren't as many opportunities as there were two years ago.

Okay, okay, I'm really over it now.


I'm useless in times like these

Susan, a friend from school, miscarriage today.

I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I'm very sad because this must hurt her very much. On the other hand, she's got a very, very bad case of lupus and can barely take care of herself. And then, On the gripping hand, she's taken a job as an English teacher in Korea. She wouldn't be able to keep it if she were pregnant, so this is a good thing in that light.

How am I supposed to feel about this? I'm not prepared to handle things like this... I'm glad that my wife is good at this sort of thing. You want logical and controled decisions made under pressure? I'm your man... You want a shoulder to cry on? Umm... Er... Well, I'm not so useful there.

The world is full of beautiful, pink girls, round and soft in all the right ways, sitting, sipping their coffee (although, strictly speaking, Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato is just delightlfully sweet milk streaked with espresso, for its color), and paying me no mind. One has an unusually straight nose but is pretty in spite of it, her thick, black glasses perched in a painfully hip way atop it. The other is simply stunning, all rings and blonde and generous curves. This one oozes sex as she leans across the table to peer through the glasses and devour the other's soul. Her cheeks are a perfect shade of rosy and she has painted her lips to match. She licks them (lips, not cheeks) thoughtfully between sips and coughs and early fall sniffles; the sudden change in weather got me, too, although I'm thrilled to look forward to frost on the pumpkins.

I spend the better part of an hour looking over the top of my book at her between paragraphs, between wistful thoughts of all the tomorrows I'm likely to face. The chai is sweet and tingly and spicy on my tongue, which has just been treated to an infrequent cigarette. I don't smoke, but it makes the night so beautiful. There is something about the combination of wearing my glasses -- which I don't strictly need, although they clear up fuzzy edges and make night-time neon brilliant like the 4th of July -- and nicotine that makes this clear, cold night even more beautiful than it might otherwise seem. I have become convinced that all the good ones are gay, or taken, or both, and that all the rest aren't interested. I get all manner of looks and smiles and needless favors from men and, of course, I am flattered and intrigued, but I've been down that road -- in thought, though not in practice -- dozens of times, and I know that it's not for me. Men are beautiful and sexy and funny and smart, but what I crave is a soft, smooth girl who smells nice and who will stomp in puddles with me and make snow angels and think it's cute when I burn pancakes while she still drools softly on my pillow.

I know I look all of 16 or 17 years in my hooded sweatshirt and short haircut and smooth face, although my driver's license says otherwise; my posture, too, helps to reinforce the angsty teen persona. I am timid and fidgety and trying to snuggle in the armchair, warm in my courderoy and big, fuzzy socks. I ache for the looks, the smiles, the giggles that she gives so freely to the girl in the fuzzy, blue sweater. She looks -- and never disapprovingly, as some do -- but there is nothing behind it save curiosity. Still, I furrow my brow and try to look interesting -- but why? Nothing could come of it except more bitterness.

I take a final gulp of my now-icy drink, congealed and sickeningly sweet at the bottom, and have a final look at the barrista -- whoever does the hiring at this franchise obviously has the same taste in women as I do (they're all small, and curvy, and more interested in each other than in me) -- and shove Tom Robbins back into my backpack (the same Jansport from 1996, now with an Ozma button, now with the green hilighter fading, maybe still with tiny traces of the marijuana I carried in there for a month or more after finding it on a shelf in the public library, too terrified to smoke it lest it be laced with PCP or worse), and head out the door into the crisp night. I light another cigarette and take in the beauty of neon and traffic and girls walking past trailing hot breath and girly smells.

I am empty, and alone, but I feel that the rush of the infrequent cigarette and the simple beauty of frost and neon and women walking awkward puppies will keep me company until I've gotten over myself and learn to make the first move, and the second, and so on until I am needed and loved and hopeful again.

Just an update for those of you who haven't been to the airport or flew since 911. The ticket-counter line at Logan for Delta was bad, but not horrendous (it took an hour).

At Logan they make you take off your belt, and take laptops out of their cases before they go through the x-ray. But other than that, and a lot of police (which I'm happy to see, to be honest), things appear to be pretty normal on the surface. I personally feel safer now flying, because of all the heightened awareness.

The plane I was on was pretty full, I'd say about 70%. The deli-grab-bag snack was the same as always.

Just thought some people might like to know.

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