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Last week (Dream Log: October 13, 2004) I wrote a node about some recurring nightmares that I have. It wasn't all that well received but I felt better afterward, and I haven't had those dreams since I wrote about them. "That's a good thing" as MS would say.

I did have one new dream that's kind of related and yet it is a new one. Not worth a new dream log I guess. I'm a prisoner (again) of some grungy bearded warlord, nasty like a Blackadder character instead of all heroic like Braveheart or something. But unlike the other dream it's obvious that they're going to hurt me, the warlord guy hates me and fears me all at once. He orders me to drawing and quartering. The Hanged, drawn and quartered node says this didn't happen to women, but it does to me, and there's no hanging first. I felt the ropes burning my wrists and ankles and then the tension in the ropes and then I woke up with a start. I kicked Artie a good one and gave him a severe charlie horse, he was pretty pissed.

I talked about this with the therapist, who says I need to try lucid dreaming. Turns out that here on E2 is a lot of stuff about it, which is likely mostly bullshit, but maybe some of it can help.

Speaking (or writing) of bullshit, do you remember I wrote about some lead crystal goblets I won on eBay? Well, they came today, via UPS. These bastards not only charge an outrageous fee to fly my stuff air from South Africa, then there's a "Fuel Surcharge", but then there's a brokerage fee which is almost as much as I paid for the item, and THEN there's TAX on the FEE. What kind of BULLSHIT is that??? What's the UPS slogan? "It's Brown" or something. IT'S BROWN ALL RIGHT!!

At least the goblets arrived intact. So I'm going to post my vendor feedback on eBay and then go to bed and try some of the lucid dreaming tips. See if that helps, or if I can at least control the dream a bit to see what it's all about.

Good freakin' gravy, this has been one of those weeks.

Monday, I'll grant you, was pretty slow.

Tuesday wasn't too bad, aside from work being super-busy, having to skip lunch, and having to go to the irritating Grocery Store Filled With Idiots after work.

"Hey, are y'all carrying that Mountain Dew Pitch Black? That stuff's good."

"Naw, we're not stocking that anymore. It was too much trouble to keep restocking it over and over."

"Wait, you're not carrying it because it was popular? You were selling a lot of 'em, so you went with a product that fewer people wanted?"

"Hey, pal, don't try to tell me how to run my store."

Wednesday was pretty hellish. I'd taken the day off so I could take my 93-year-old grandmother to a very rare flu-vaccine clinic. Her doctor decided he didn't want to deal with ordering flu vaccine this year, so we've been trying to find someplace that would give her a shot. The clinic was scheduled to start at 8:30 in the morning. We got there a little after 7, and the parking lot was already full. There was a two-block line outside the place. We decided to skip it. She's 93. She can't stand all that long. No way I'm gonna let her stand in the sun for hours, get an awful sunburn, maybe fall and break her hip. We'll have to keep looking for a less-crowded clinic.

After getting some errands done at the bank and the post office, I got a call from my brother. His car had broken down, and he needed me to give him a ride so he could try to change the alternator. Neither of us had ever had to change an alternator, the car repair book he'd found was vague on the details, and he didn't have the right tools anyway. We still spent about 90 minutes pretending we had a chance at it, though.

And then, that evening, my grandmother called, worried to death, because my diabetic uncle was supposed to go in for emergency surgery the next morning to have one of his fingers removed. A few hours later, the doctors changed their minds and decided they'd try to save it for a bit longer, but still, that was another dollop of stress to top off my day.

Thursday was okay until after work. My brother had found someone from his office who knew how to change an alternator, so they were out at the parking lot getting that done. But my bro hadn't been back by his house since before 8 a.m., so his dog had been cooped up in her crate all day. So he called me and asked me to take her out, put her in the yard to relieve herself, and give her a bowl of dog food. Well, I got there way too late. She hadn't been able to hold in. Stinky. I had to give her a bath, then go hose out the crate. Everything still stunk, though. I didn't know how to disassemble her crate so I could get it properly cleaned, so rather than leave her to roam the house with no supervision, I stuck around for several hours. By the time I finally got home, I had time to pay some bills, then go to bed.

On Friday, half the office -- hell, just about half the campus -- was absent for completely unspecified reasons. I had two last-second projects, given to me by people who assumed I could get every TV station in the state to show up for a ceremony announcing a $2,000 grant from a local soda bottler. The cops and ambulances were seemingly running their sirens constantly, which after a while, really starts making you crazy. And I had to skip lunch again. I hate being hungry.

So on Saturday, after a week like this, I was in the mood for a goddamn beer. A little background: Lubbock is a weird town. You can buy liquor at various restaurants, but there are no package sales in the city limits. So if you want a six-pack of beer, you've got to go to the Strip, just outside of the city limits, where they have a half-dozen liquor stores. They're crowded with college students and bums most nights. Saturdays are far worse.

And this Saturday was apparently breaking all kinds of records for end-of-week lunacy. No full moon, so that's not an excuse. There were way, way too many bums and college students sitting around the parking lot, either drunk or stoned into near-catatonia. To be honest, I was having trouble telling the students from the bums. Everyone was filthy. Everyone stunk. Everyone looked like they'd been in a fight. I went in, grabbed my beer, paid for it, and got back into the car. Just narrowly avoided some really fucked-up panhandlers who were apparently going to bearhug me into giving them change.

Had a guy try to wash my windshield at the stop light on the way back. Too bad he didn't use a rag. Too bad he got blood and other crap all over my windshield. I thought of rolling down the window to yell at him, 'cause by this point, I was really getting mad, but I also didn't want this blood-soaked lunatic to get mad at me and come through my window after me.

Seemed like the panhandlers were everywhere tonight, so I went straight inside my apartment after I got home. Didn't bother to clean the windshield, which means it'll be a bitch to wash off tomorrow.

Got inside the apartment, and the phones had stopped working.

And there were people screaming in the parking lot outside for half the night. By now I'd had it. I went outside and yelled at 'em (more panhandlers, dammit) to shut up. One of the fuckers actually bit me on the arm. Of course, I gave up at that point, went back inside, locked the door good, and washed my arm. I'll be going to the hospital tomorrow morning, if the phones don't start working before that.

Jesus, I'm getting so fucking hungry. I hate being hungry.
(News Item) William Shatner aims for real 'Star Trek'

Friday, October 22, 2004 Posted: 10:40 AM EDT (1440 GMT)

LONDON, England -- William Shatner wants to boldly go where he's only pretended to go so far.

The "Star Trek" star is among more than 7,000 people who have told Richard Branson they would gladly pay him $210,000 (£115,000) for a trip aboard his planned spacecraft, the entrepreneur said Friday.

I will now recount for you a tale, if I may.

When I was a young lad, I was a Star Trek FANATIC. I loved that show, what it represented, and the critique to our society it provided. There was a time I found myself sitting with my mother and home-room teacher (A Jesuit Priest, I was attending Fordham Prep at the time) discussing my scholastic situation. Father Ghiblin (I may have the spelling wrong, it was a long time ago) told my mother in front of me that I would amount to nothing as long as I inhabit my “Star Trek dream world”.

Today I am an editor at a major electronic engineering magazine, writing about advanced technologies and proselytizing forward development via increased industry communication. I strive to create a world, if not a “Star Trek dream world” at least one where mankind is free of this fragile bassinet and roaming the stars. I got my passion from his over-the-top enthusiastic portrayal of a futuristic Horatio Hornblower. I envy him tremendously in his actualization of our mutual dream of reaching the stars.

You Don't Have to Be a Rocket Scientist...the Blog!
Feel free to check out my user profile, friends list, and contact info while you're here!

Previous Week

10/23/14 - 8:53 AM EST

My apologies for not having updated in the last week. It's been like hell in a hand basket, fitting for my first week here at NASA. And I mean that in the worst way possible. First the satellite de-orbit that I was brought in specifically to assist with goes batshit. It got delayed 3 days because of extreme solar flares and the resulting solar winds. Then, when we were finally able to bring her in, she comes apart halfway through the stratosphere. I will neither discuss how long it took to find fragments larger than my testicle, nor that poor farmer's cow. Yuck.

Thankfully, we found the diagnostic pod, and Hank willing, it was intact.

The guys in Tech ops are going to have a field day, once the thing passes quarantine protocols. Me, I'm getting 3 hours bunk time after a week of 36 hours days. Fucking government contracts.

10/23/14 - 10:35 AM EST

So much for the catnap. Pressure from Washington to find out why their $20 billion hi-res imaging satellite came apart mid re-entry was so high they decided to bypass all containment guidelines. They were able to convince the goddamn Commanders-in-Brief that the 1500 degrees experienced during crashdown were sufficient preventative measures, and they barely gave me and the Biotech team enough time to prepare a counter-argument. We threw up the fact that such an action was in blatant violation of the Opportunity Protocols especially in light of that outbreak last year from the returning rovers, but I'll be damned if that mattered to them. Words like "accountability" and "error analysis" trump "biological contamination" and "space-borne diseases."

Tossers. I wish upon them a vile incurable strain of laryngitis, just so they never spew any hot air in my general direction again.

Regardless, it's quite cathartic to finally be able to pay some attention to this blog.

Which reminds me, I need to catch up on posts to the "Show your boobs" usergroup. I mighta missed me some fine titty.

10/23/14 - 11:08 AM EST

Every staffer on base from Tech Ops has been working non-stop on retrieving data from the black box, and they've come back with some preliminary info. Now, I can't get into it fully, being as that it's "classified" and "of national security," yadda yadda yadda, but it seems that the hull pressure sensors experienced a rapid series of spikes over a period of 11 minutes. Several of the spikes were sufficient to exceed the hull's theoretical limits, and knowing how over inflated our specs tend to be, I wouldn't be surprised if that threshold was 30% lower.

I'll tell you this off the record - Don't book any goverment space flights during the last week of the month - Inspections are kinda lax around then. And you didn't hear it from me.

Regardless, voltage irregularity went way outside spec at that point, no doubt to interference from solar radiation. You heat that thing up to 1500 degrees, and all those little hull cracks are gonna get a helluva lot bigger. In layman's terms - Satellite go boom.

Anyways, they were hoping to get something from the imaging data, since the satellite uplink for video downloading was disabled for the entire week prior to the re-entry, but apparently, those hull flaws led to corruption of the data drive. Jesus Christ, who the hell uses magnetic storage these days? Even the private sector's using holographic data storage. I'll bet it has something to do with the bloated bureaucracy around here depleting parts budgets, but then, that's every government branch.

The tech guys think they can hammer out a de-corruption algorithm to fix the compressed video, and they've managed to get Lawrence Livermore to pony up some free megaflops, so we might get this thing done before lunch.

Oh, and note to self - Start winter influenza prevention methods early. Stock up on zinc, vitamin C, and garlic, coworker's olfactory senses be damned. Me and the rest of moderately healthy United States of Microsoft wasn't eligible for the vaccine this year, shortage and all. I've yet to hear any viable excuses for how 75% of the flu manufacturing capacity could be diverted to meet demand on Shevitra, but the PharmCos never fail to confound.

I'll have to start early this year, especially after seeing how under-the-weather some of the TechOps guys are. I know geeks are supposed to be pasty and all, but their beige computers look bloody ivory in comparison. The alpha tech's got some of the nastiest oozing sores I've ever seen, and I've seen stoners with less bloodshot eyes. Don't even get me started on the noises coming from the restroom on this floor. It sounds like some of them are literally vomiting their guts out; I nearly lost my lunch just passing by, and I was in a frat for chrissakes. I haven't used this floor's bathroom since.

They said the flu was gonna be nasty this year, but Jebus. I'm about ready to take a gamble and try and snag some off eblackmarketbay.com.

10/23/14 - 1:42 PM EST

Video reconstruction's done. Woot. The geek squad got sent back to the dorms immediately afterward, because apparently they were getting sicker than death. The janitorial team got called in half a dozen times in the last 2 hours alone to mop up their spew, and for his troubles he actually got ralphed on to boot. Bad day to be a custodial engineer, that's for sure.

But, we've got video. We lost about 70% of the frames, but we've got a clearer picture of what happened. Apparently, a cloud of space debris, pebbles in size mostly, slammed into the thing the day before re-entry, during the solar wind flareup. Where it came from is anyone's guess, but we've got some math wizzes lunching with some astro-nerds calculating trajectories and plotting planetary locations and a whole bunch of mumbo-jumbo to figure out where the shit came from.

I'm pretty much idled now, filling out debriefing papers so my ass is covered in case of a freakin' inquisition into the mondo fuckup this past week has been. I'm pretty much in the clear though, thanks to my limited involvement and late arrival.

I had garlic bread for lunch today, with extra garlic. My coworkers hate me already, I can tell, but I'll be damned if I catch whatever the fuck's going around.

On a lighter note, there's word going around that the bumfuck farmer with the perforated cow already has a multimillion dollar lawsuit lined up against the goverment. I love litigation.

10/23/14 - 3:28 PM EST

Venus. That shit was from VENUS. Get this, you're gonna love it. The sun starts solar flaring, sending these blazing solar winds out into space, which are powerful enough to penetrate Venus's atmosphere, send some planetary debris flying out BACK into space, which hauls ass through space to slam into our goddamn satellite.

You can't make this shit up, it's so weird.

And I'm investing in one of those Michael Jackson face masks. More and more coworkers are getting ill, and I heard rumors they had to send ambulances out to the Tech guy's dorm rooms, they were so violently ill. One of them managed to claw and bite his way through 2 EMS's before he was able to be restrained, he was so fucking out of it.

Definitely eating more garlic for dinner.

10/23/14 - 5:19 PM EST

I'm ready to call it a day and get my contract ass off base. They're about to call in the National Guard and quarantine the place, but fat shit lotta good that's gonna do; half a dozen people already got meat-wagoned off to a private hospital.

I've taken to wearing that surgeon's mask, and I'm thankful I did. Some asshole cowork stumbled up to me, obviously after having had a few cocktails on the job (and people wonder why shit goes wrong here?), and tries to spit up in my face. I actually had to slug the guy to get him off me. God, those eyes. They were so glazed over I questioned if this guy wasn't on a half a dozen other substances. I actually saw a vein burst in his eyes while he had me down.

I'm definitely gone for today. I'm not getting paid enough to get puked on.

10/24/14 - 9:39 AM EST

Someone just called my house and said not to come into work today, I quote, "The base is swarming with zombies." Now, I've heard a lot of bullshit in my day, but that's gotta be the most ridiculous way of sacking someone go I've ever heard of. I mean, I know I didn't stay late yesterday, but christ. I'm only human.

I don't even think I'll bother throwing this little snafu on my resume. Zombies. I'm going back to bed. I feel half dead.

The reason we don't have good science fiction...

Is because the vast majority of American television audiences think like this:


Date: 24 July 2004
Summary: The worst show of all time next to The O.C.
The 2002-2003 television season featured tons of unwatchable shows, more unwatchable shows than any other recent television season. Out of all of the unwatchable shows put out that season, this was the worst one. Then again, it was created by the guy that gave us “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” so of coarse it was going to suck. I considered this the worst show of all time until The O.C. came on the air last summer. Maybe this show would have been watchable if the acting and special effects weren’t so unbelievably bad. Yet despite the atrocious special effects and acting, the show somehow developed legions of fans and found its way onto DVD. Now a FIREFLY movie is being made. It will no doubt be the worst movie ever made, even worse than YOU GOT SERVED.



I’m so pissed off about this show being cancelled, no doubt because of COMPLETE AND UTTER FUCKLEAVINGS LIKE THIS, that I’m going to wait to write my review on IMDB. And it will be glowing. This show is the best science fiction I have seen on television, ever.

God damnit I am angrier about this than I should be.

But seriously WHAT THE FUCK. “Bad special effects”?! No, this was no Lord of the Rings, but it’s made by fucking Fox. Were you mad at the lack of fwoosh and zoom in the space scenes? How about that there were no firey explosions in the vacuum, or any sound during scenes set in vacuums at all? Or that there were more bullets than lasers? Or that there was no peaceful space-exploring utopia with snazzy uniforms and morally infallible characters? Or that there was no super spooky, pseudoscientific, metaphysical bullshit beyond what was immediately required by the concept of a ‘supernormal brain’? I AM SORRY, AM I OFFENDING YOU? OFFENDING YOU WITH SCIENCE? OFFENDING YOU WITH REASON?

Lucas and Roddenberry have both saved and ruined science fiction. Yes, it’s almost entirely due to their creations that we even have any pop culture sci-fi media, but their laser-blasting, noisy space-dogfights in AERODYNAMIC SPACESHIPS have made expectations for ‘science fiction,’ as a genre, completely fucking skewed. The average person hears “sci-fi” and thinks “Star Wars.” I fucking love Star Wars (with the exception of the newest movies). But I love it for what it is: Space Opera. Science is not involved in any way, not even the fictional way. And Star Trek can kick ass, but damn it. It’s got more logic holes in its little fictiverse than I care to address, because it’s already been addressed countless times and there’s no way people would watch it if it weren’t mostly gibberish. Galaxy Quest established this, soundly.

In closing: Google your username, “jellyneckr,” you ignorant, tasteless little peasant. You’ll find this entry, because Google loves my Livejournal like a fat kid loves cake, and I want you to see my rage. And if you comment, you can bet your ass I’ll ban the shit out of you. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT 200 COMMENTS. GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL, WHERE A VERY LARGE MAN IS GOING TO MAKE YOU HIS CAMWHORE.

I’m a mature individual in this respect.

I had no intention of daylogging again anytime soon, but the last two days have played like the prologue to a bad movie, low-key good things with moments of weirdness stumbling through.

Or, to be more precise, moments of weirdos.

First, though: I guess the big news for me, if not the universe, is that we will be reviving ...Shadows.... Sure, other plays we've workshopped over the years have been bigger, friendlier, bring-the-kiddies crowd-pleasers, but none have had the lasting effect of that one, nor garnered the kind of responses. Also, every time we create one of these shows we seem to stagger further from the original premise, which was to create theater based on the experiences of teens. Maybe this will bring us back to basics.

Paula, a young English teacher and soccer coach has gone gung-ho for the project, and has been actively recruiting the kind of guys who often don't turn out for things dramatic. She has no experience of the original, and I think her perspective will really help me with the rewrite. We also have three other adults on board for various duties, so we should be okay. I talked to the kid brother of the original Kevin; he saw the show when he was in elementary school, loved it and, now a high school senior with several local and high school plays under his belt, would really like to do this one. He still has to decide about auditioning, because there's a Community Players production starting up about the same time.

So, here's hoping.

I managed to get away from work early Thursday, and drove to Hyde Park. This is not the park of that other London, but a small town nearby. The huge antique warehouse there is like a literal E2, where you wander through a maze and every corner brings you childhood toys, odd comics, decades-old furniture, 1950s novelties, history.

Anyway, I was buried deep in the back section, with only one other guy nearby, and I'm looking at some underpriced original line Star Wars figures to see if I could find any my nephew would want in his collection. I'm not even thinking about the other patron; the last human beings I've seen there were two old ladies looking through cross-stitching books. Then I smell something, not antique dust mites but something more foul, and turn and this guy is standing two feet away from me, slack-jawed. I move aside in case he's wanting to look through this collection of miniature Lucas and DC heroes, but no, he just stands there, staring vacantly, and makes a noise like, hrrrrr.

I decide I need to move on, and practically have to walk through this mummy-like moron. What the hell? I've never seen street people in the wee town of Hyde Park before; it just isn't big enough. Surely its dispossessed move to London.

Maybe it's the big-box Wal-Mart and Price Club they've just put up in former farmers' fields across the road.

Last night, Friday, Nancy and I head to our local place to meet Singularity Girl and have dinner. It's changed, of course. They've redone the bar section, reduced the pool tables from 42 to a handful, and installed bowling lanes in the back-- though they've done a wonderful job of keeping the sound out of the front portion. A younger Singularity Girl had been a writer on the original ...Shadows..., and is enthused about the revival/re-workshopping. She talks about her new job, and about Michael. She's not sure about this guy and still has very mixed feelings regarding, uh, her mixed feelings. She misses her ex-girlfriend. Her personal drama gets a cheesy joke parallel in the fact that she couldn't decide between meat or seafood on her pizza.

Well, it was funny at the time.

Later that evening, we're heading home and we see a bunch of guys wandering out of the parking lot. They look a little drunk, a little slow.

They head to Adelaide Street-- a major, four-lane north/south conduit and busy on a Friday night. Several of the houses on the other side have been decorated for Halloween. It's a mood-evoking, starless night.

And they walk right into the freaking traffic.

Cars screech. Fortunately, the light at Oxford has just turned yellow and the cars were slowing down. Tires screech, but no one, apparently, gets hurt. We stand and stare.

Asshole! someone yells.

In the streetlight, we can see these are not university students, bold with alcohol, but a weird mix of people. They stagger across the street like the Family Reunion of the Pithed.

We recover. I mention that her favourite movie has never been written up at E2, and this might be a place to start, if she wants to actually node. She's been doing a lot of her own writing, and she has signed up at E2.

Her ex still has her copy of it, she notes, and she frowns, mistily.

The semi-comatose pack makes it across the street, and staggers on.

Very quiet this morning.

I'm never wearing Axe deodorant again. I am dead fucking serious.

So my girlfriend got it for me because she thought it would smell good on me. See, I'm an Old Spice guy myself, but for some reason Old Spice reminds her of old people, so she's been looking for something else for me. I am, however, set in my ways, so it's been rough. That, and I hate the Axe commercials. No, seriously. "Guy wears deodorant then gets about twenty hot chicks just because he's wearing it, blah blah blah." Ugh. I hate advertising like that. It's enough to make me boycott a product, so I would never have owned the stuff if she hadn't have bought it for me.

Well, just a couple of hours ago, I decided to head to my local bar for a nice martini. I had been working today, so I grabbed the first deodorant I could find on the way out, which was the Axe. No sense walking around stinking just because of a bit of corporate hate, right? So I sprayed some on, then I left. I went straight into the dimly lit pub, and sidled up to the bar. Just a nod to the bartender was enough; he knows my drink of choice.

I had just taken my first sip when I heard the door open behind me. I turned around, and in walks, nay, staggers the hottest fucking blonde I've ever seen in my life. She stopped just inside the door, staring blankly around the bar.

I grinned to myself. I'm happily taken, so the usual thoughts were quite absent from my mind. No, I was thinking that this, without a doubt, is a woman who is truly fucked up on some Xanax, and that if I played my cards right, I might leave with a bit for myself.

She stumbled towards me. I half-raised my drink to her.

"If you're looking for a good martini, the bartender here really knows how to handle a bottle of gin," I ventured.

She stumbled to right in front of me. I gingerly pulled my martini out of the danger zone; she looked as if she might end up knocking it from my hand.

"Yeah, so like I was saying, the bartender here makes a killer drink. What's your name?"

She stared at me with those Xanax-deadened eyes, with her head cocked to one side. I saw her nostrils flare once, then twice.

"Ummm... So, I was thinking that maybe we cou-HuRRRK!"

See, that was when she straight grabbed me by the front of the shirt. I'm not even kidding. I don't know what they put in that Axe shit, but whatever it is, it works. She yanked me towards her as her head shot towards my neck, and I could feel her lips drunkenly working there.

"Ummm, hey, ahhh. Listen, lady, I think you've got the wrong idea. See, I'm kind of taken, and I, OWWWWWWW, MOTHERFUCKER!"

SHE BIT ME! The psycho bitch bit me! I mean, I've been come onto before, but I've never had some girl just come up and start chewing on my neck before. I yelled, and pushed her away. Apparently she couldn't take a hint, as she ended up taking most of my shirt with her. She hit the ground, and then she had the nerve to snarl at me! What the hell?! I decided that this might be a good time to vacate the premises, so I went for the door. I was almost out when I felt her grab my leg from behind, and this time her teeth sunk nearly an inch into my calf.

I don't know if anyone here has ever been bitten that hard before, but let me tell you, it HURTS. I screamed, and yanked away from her again. Then I did the only thing I could think of to do.

I kicked her in the face, as hard as I could. I don't usually hit women, but it was the only thing I could think of to do. Then when she slumped to the ground, I ran. I just kept running until I got home, then I locked the door behind me.

I've just now cleaned up and bandaged the wound. It's a really nasty looking bite, too. It's all red and swollen, and I sincerely hope it's not getting infected already. It hurt like a bitch to clean out, because of all the jagged skin around it. It's gonna scar, too. I took some hydrocodone I had laying around, but now that the adrenaline has worn off, it's really painful.

God, I can't believe that girl. This is the easily the craziest fucking thing that's ever happened to me. Ever. I think she may have been on something a little stronger than Xanax, in retrospect. I thought about calling the police, but I decided not to. Cops are utterly useless creatures, in my experience. They'd probably arrest me for the hydrocodone while some crazy woman is out running around biting people in bars. What's worse, I think the crazy cunt had the flu or something, because now I'm running a temperature now of over 100 degrees, but I feel really cold and I keep shaking. I just hope it wasn't rabies or something.

Fuck Axe deodorant. I'm never wearing that shit again.

Sheeeyit. I know I promised, long ago, that for the greater good of all mankind and for all the little children in the world, I would never daylog again. But, my fellow noders, some seriously fucked-up shit has been going down in Andalucia.

My life since I moved back home has been approximately as interesting as watching paint dry. Reeeally slow paint. I've been waiting for over three months for the paperwork on my residency to go through; I'm pretty sure they have a pack of trained monkeys urinating on it right now. Until I get my green card-or-equivalent, though, there's damn all for me to do.
I can't register for classes. I can't get a job. I can't even get on a train, plane, or donkey cart, because my passport was one of the documents requisitioned by the simian attack squad. If it weren't for high-speed internet access, they probably would have had to wrap me in cotton and put me on valium.

My life has become a series of daily routines designed to keep me, if not happy, at least sane. The broken-backed red chair in front of the computer calls my name, from the wee hours of the afternoon to the creeping half-way light that comes before dawn. It's my one source of entertainment. Of communication. Of free hot donkey-- er, I mean, of educational materials. It's also the surest way there is to get more potato-shaped than I already am, so I've taken to working out on a daily basis. I usually spend an hour or so pounding on the wall with my sparring gloves and doing calisthenics, which helps relieve any frustrations I may have immensely. I've also taken to walking up and down the beach. Preferably at night. While surf, sun, and sand will never make my top ten list of things I couldn't do without, even I have to admit that I live in one of the most stunningly beautiful places on the face of this earth.

Last night's walk was... much more eventful than I'm used to.

I had been walking along the shore for a good half hour, away from the hotels, the skeletal remains of concession stands and rum shacks that dry up and blow away when tourist season ends. I was wonderfully, delightfully alone. No idiots with double-wide baby carriages, no drunken teenagers passed out in the scrub, no startled Spaniards staring openly at my hair or clothes. No one else around for miles and miles; just me, the sea, and the pack of wild dogs fighting over something over by that rock formation just down the beach.


We've got a bad problem over here when it comes to strays. People don't spay or neuter their pets. At all. It's just Not Done. Add to that the number of people who buy a dog as a cheap form of home security, then turn those same animals out into the street when they become too much trouble to take care of or feed and you have a serious Situation. In the summertime, it's not too bad. They tend to scavenge things from dumpsters, and large groups of people scare them off. The off season, however, is a different story.
These beasties are not afraid of a single human being, all by her lonesome. The dogs that have been abandoned tend to be a bit more people-shy, but the truly wild ones view us as just something too big to be eaten in one go. If you go out by yourself after dark, it's a good idea to carry a stick of some sort, in case any of them decides to test that theory about "one go."

I, of course, was an idiot. I left my stick at home.
Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, I began to edge my way back up the beach.
Which worked-- until I heard a scream.

Shit! Shit shit shit!

I froze in my tracks, then swore. Reached into my pocket for my borrowed cell phone, then swore again. Shit shit shit shit shit. Why did I get the feeling that the number for emergencies here wasn't 911? I tried it anyway.
Yep, it wasn't 911.

I heard the screams again. The voice was high-- child-like.

Oh, fuck.

I scrambled about in the sand, looking for rocks, shells, bottles-- anything I could throw to distract those fuckers. I managed to find good-sized stone and ran at the pack, screaming. Most of the dogs scattered when they heard me. There were only two left standing over the body by the time I got there-- huge sons-of-bitches, german shepherd-demonspawn half-breeds. One was worrying at an arm-- the other, the stomach. I took aim and managed not to totally fuck up for once. Pegged one of the bastards right in the head. He yelped and ran.
One down, one to go.
I came closer. The other dog raised its head and growled. I swallowed, but kept on edging in.
And here's where it gets weird.
The kid-- who I had pretty much decided was down for the count-- started to get up. Or tried to. I could see the bones in his arm where the dogs had eaten away at it. The blood was fucking everywhere. He made these wet, mewling, screaming sounds, like a pig being slaughtered. As I came closer, I could see that most of his throat was gone; I mean, by all rights, this kid should have been dead. But he was still screaming, still trying to get up. There was no way he was going to make it.

And then he bit the fucking dog.

That was it. Kid or no kid, I was getting the hell out of there.
I don't remember how long it took me to run the three or four miles back home. By the time I got back, I wasn't even sure what I'd seen. I told my parents. They freaked out. Panicked. Insisted on checking me out for head wounds and freaking spinal injuries. We called the cops. They said something about looking into the matter and coming around to take a statement. We're still waiting for them to show up, as usual around here.

...One thing I'm sure of, though. I don't think I have the heart to make dead baby jokes anymore.

Dear everything2:

How are you? I'm good. I know we haven't talked in a while, and I'd just like to say before we get too deep into this that I'm sorry. Things have been busy, everything2; and it isn't that you aren't important to me (why do you beat yourself up like that? you know you are) it's just that sometimes in life we have to focus on our other obligations. I don't know if you remember, but we weren't seeing each other very much last year at this time, either; but if you remember, I was going through some real transitional life-type-stuff then, and you stood by me the whole time. Remember how I was reading that one node and I suddenly decided to apply for creative writing? And how I pledged to work hard on that quest, and really push myself, and just Go and Do It and Start Today like all those dusty, under-read books say? And I'll confess that yes, maybe I blew off the quest, but I did get into that program. That's right (or should I say write?) e2... I'm a real, honest-to-gosh writing student! And while it certainly isn't everything I'd hoped (you have to provide your own inflated sense of self-worth and tweed blazer) it is definitely helping me feel better about my station in life.

How about yourself? I have to say you really look to have lost some weight. I understand you're going through a bit of an identity crisis, but I want to reassure you that you'll always be the only collaborative user-modified database for me. I even saw that you made a book... I read some of it last week, and it looked really good! I'm sure you're happy with yourself. I've even heard rumblings that you're considering a bit of a makeover; and while I would never even suggest that you aren't wonderful the way you are, I think that some of your ideas could be really neat. I've even been trying to convince this guy I know to give you a hand with some of the technical details, so you can be sure I'm behind you one hundred percent. I even have a few other ideas for you floating around in the back of my head, and if I find the time, I'd like to try and make them a bit more coherent, and submit them for your perusal.

I almost forgot, did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? I have to assume that you do, because you've always been so firmly planted on the ball in regards to this sort of thing. Well anyway, I'm actually going to try to participate this year. And I'm sure you remember how this sort of long-term, real-word commitment has never been very easy on me, I really think that this time, I'm going to do better. I've been doing two thousand words a day or so for the past week, getting myself in the mood... I don't really want to talk about my novel because I know you're going to laugh at me (don't even pretend you won't, you aren't fooling anyone) but I'm really feeling good about this one. It's a time of change, everything2, and you can be sure that when the dust settles, it'll still be just me and you, together forever.

love, cmyr

My neighbor across the hall was at it again last night. He loves to bring the whole damn bar back to his apartment for after-hours parties (some of you will remember this from my catbox perseverations last week). This is really starting to have a negative impact on my semester. The first time, I went over there and yelled. The second time, I went over there and yelled, and told him that the next time it happened I would call the police. I know that sounds harsh, but we're talking 3:30 in the morning, loud music, and loud drunk college kids. You remember how loud drunk college kids can get?

So last night, I'd just finished chapter 3 of Yet Another Book on Medieval Cathars, and was soooo sleepy. Turned off the light, snuggled down into my feather bed, pulled the down comforter up to my chin, and sighed that "Now, for my well-earned sleep" sigh. I fell asleep almost immediately, and woke up with a start about two hours later. Yep. Shithead Matt. Bringing home the bar. THe music gets cranked up. Some girl, also cranked up, is cawing on and on like a fucked up talking crow at some guy (apparently also cranked up) to get his hand off her ass. Matt, for some reason, is drunkenly bellowing "FUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKER" and then laughing his ass off, over and over again. They tramp up and down the hallway, letting more people in.

I call the police. I get a RECORDING! "All 911 operators are currently on other calls." WTF. I could understand that if it was like, the night after a big game, but it's not. My buzzer goes off. Like I'm going to let one of those assholes in. But Matt's on it, Matt knows these walls are paper thin, mi buzzer es su buzzer, mi peace of fucking mind es su POFM. He lets this guy in and yells "FUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKER!" He starts his hyena laugh (I'm lying there flinching, waiting for it to hit the painful high notes) and then stops cold. Then there was weird breathing out there, really loud, like they're making out or screwing. This kind of surprises me, as Matt never struck me as a guy who could swing both ways, but whatever. Then a big thump. Someone is passed out in the hallway. Great.

Then Matt's door opens (momentary increase in volume of music and chattering) and then slams shut. Within five minutes the party volume has increased from drunk screeching to drunk screaming at the top of their lungs. I think the girl might have been actually really scared, but the guys sound like they're laughing. I call 911 again. Still no answer. I think about my fast-pitch bat, the one that looks like a cudgel. I think about the girl, and the way she said "GIT YOUR HAND OFF MY AAA-YASS" to some unseen and unheard guy earlier. There have got to be ten men in there with her. I'm ashamed to admit this now, but I didn't go over. She was one of those girls who come home with Matt and half a bar. Am I going to risk my actual neck fighting ten drunk men for her virtue? The answer is kind of in the question.

But I do call 911 again. Still a recording. I'm still trying to decide how I'm going to do whatever it is I'm going to do to when it goes real quiet over there. Real quiet. Too quiet. Whatever was going on in there has happened. It's too late. I double-check the locks and get back into bed, baseball bat at hand. I call 911 again. No answer. The adrenaline rush is gone and I'm crashing really hard. I try to stay awake, but it's been a bitch of a week (two presentations, a prospectus, and the usual 100s of pages of reading) and I fall asleep. I went out this morning to get my coffee and the hallway reeks of cheap bourbon, and the other bad bar smells. There's a whiff of vomit and, I think, feces. There's a thick smear of actual blood on the wall (I think), and it reminds me of how scared I was last night. I call the landlord and leave a message. I call the police again. Still no answer.

Not a lot of traffic this morning, and I had a nice clean shot through the Starbuck's drive through. Jordan, my favorite baristo who is the cutest EVER, has a giant lovebite on his neck that he's slapped a big bandaid on in some attempt at modesty. This makes me even grumpier. But he looks like hell. Apparently, whoever she was, she wasn't worth it. He is totally after, but NO glow. Maybe it won't last. Maybe it's already over. I give him my best smile when he hands me my latte.

Now I'm back home. It's too quiet over there. Too quiet. Usually Matt is up by now, banging around and playing ESPN news, even if he has been drinking. Sometimes he comes over and asks for eggs to scramble. I think about the blood. Call 911 again. Still no answer. Not sure what to do next. I'm thinking about driving down to the police station to file a report, but on weekends you can't just walk in, you have to sit in the entryway and wait for someone to buzz you in, it's a pain in the ass and they'll probably just roll their eyes at me anyway. Not sure what to do next.

I have to reform my X100 class from a full semester to an 8 week format over the weekend, I start teaching on Monday. Also, I have a qual paper and a textbook MS to turn in. Also, the fucking Cathars. And let's not forget historiography. I probably won't leave the house for the rest of the weekend.

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