Is it me, or are these various communities where the beltway snipers plied their trade almost jockeying for position to be the first one to try and execute the DC duo?

"Not only can we execute teenagers in this jurisdiction but we have the quickest and best gavel-to-grave track record of any state outside of Texas!"

They should set up some process like the IOC does when deciding which city gets the Olympics. They should take into consideration which state has the smoothest, most severe judicial system. Does the state execute all killers via that wimpy lethal injection or do they still have execution methods on the books that will ensure the killers' last moments are filled with a modicum of horror? Maybe they could move the trial to Utah where they still allow executions by firing squad. Wouldn't that be ironic? Alanis would think so. Then again, since the whole Salt Lake City Winter Olympics debacle, I'm not sure Utah will ever be allowed to bid on anything ever again. And what about media coverage of the trial? Does the community where the trial will be taking place have proper media facilities and adequate hotel rooms to accommodate the press? Will any of the jurisdictions let Geraldo do an interview with John Allen Muhammad so he can get all up in his business? Maybe in the bidding process one of the jurisdictions will offer to build a stadium to house the public who want to watch the trial. Hmmm...Trial Stadium, complete with corporate luxury boxes. And what about jury selection? How difficult is it going to be to find an impartial jury? Maybe this might be cause for relocating the trial to Utah. If anything, it's surely a ball in Alabama's court. What would the jury pool cattle calls be like in the initial round?

"Anyone here who experienced any fear between Oct 2nd and Oct 24th while pumping gas, loading your SUV with groceries, or walking your young child to school raise your hand and just go home and live out your days in peace. The rest, a Green Beret doctor would like to take some cheek cells from you and get you to sign this waver saying your DNA can be cloned and turned into a generation of fearless super soldiers."

In Fratelli's, the walls are all mirrors. This is surprising because it used to be a Howard Johnson's. Did the new owners think that mirrored walls make a classy joint? The place is filled with old people. Not terribly old people, but newly old people who still have teeth and spunk.

My dad says you know the food is good when the old people show up. He has been here before, at this maybe-classy-Italian-restaurant-former-HoJo. That is why he has requested that we come here for his 50th birthday. We are not all here, though. My brother has called via tiny cell phone to say that 1.) He hates Italian food and 2.) He doesn’t want to go to this dump. This dump is my dad's current favorite restaurant, so I go along. I am married to Scoresby, but he isn't in attendance, either. He can’t eat cheese. No cheese. So he doesn't chance a place like this.

I look in the mirror-wall opposite me and take us all in. Compared to my Italian mother, I look very pale. She is almost brown. She is shrinking. She looks like a little old brown bird, pecking at her food. My father is big and sad and tired and slouchy. He talks about how good the bread is. He looks like he could cry. He is so lonely. I want to steal him away from his life and give him a brand new one. But instead, I am pretending to celebrate the one that he has. I talk a lot when I pretend. I babble about silly things that no one understands.

We are like a painting come to life. Like Sunday in the Park with George. My sister's hair is long and mostly blond, but brown in some places. It looks like it could be crispy to the touch. She is getting old. She is younger than me, but older than me. She is 24, but could pass for 40. Her skin is tan and almost pitted or bumpy somehow. Her hands are very thin and I wonder what makes them so, the diet pills or the other drugs. I compare myself to her because I can barely believe that we are sisters. My hair is smooth and wavy and reddish brown. My face is plump and pale and forgiving. Next to her, I almost look like Botticelli's Venus. Next to me, she almost looks like an older, worn out Britney Spears. I wonder how I got here and how she got there. I remember when we were younger and I told her I hated her. I wish I could take it back right now. I almost do. But her boyfriend and 'baby’s daddy' starts talking about online gambling and I look at him and wonder how much dumber he could get. He plays online casinos. I guess someone has to. My sister's daughter, Brittney, runs around the table pretending to be an Opera singer and no one tells her to sit down. No one even bats an eye. She makes one, two, three laps and falls into her chair, giggling. I’m the only one who shares in her joy.

I wonder if I am the only one of them who can experience joy anymore. I want to ask them. Tell me what you enjoy. Tell me about joy. Tell me about happiness. But I don’t because it is my father's 50th birthday and I love him.

It's amazing how a day that started out so beautifully could end up so bad.

Driving to school this morning, I passed through the Land between the Lakes (a wildlife preserve/recreation area in KY and TN). It was beautiful beyond description, with the fall foliage bursting forth in all its glory, and incandescent maples flaming forth from between the drabber olive-green cedars. All I could think about was how in the world I would be able to communicate its beauty with mere words.

School goes fine, no problems.

After school, my Psych Nursing class had to attend a lecture on battered women for extra credit. We will be covering the topic at the end of the semester, so when Murray State got a guest speaker, my instructor jumped at the chance. This went from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.

I was sitting in the auditorium, reading one of the pamphlets they give out at all these things, and I started getting this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. You see, I describe my husband as being emotionally abusive, but I never really was that serious about it. I mean, yeah, he called me names, threatens to kill himself if I leave him, throws things, destroys property, has punched holes in the wall, has hidden my car keys so I couldn't leave, has threatened to knock my teeth down my throat, but I really didn't look at it that way (he has an anger control problem, he came from a dysfunctional family, he doesn't know how to be a good husband or dad...). Sitting there in that auditorium, it became absolutely clear to me for the first time.. I am one of them.

I always read about abused women and wondered why they didn't just leave - I certainly would, if I was in their situation... well, guess what.. I haven't left. As a matter of fact, several years ago, my Sergeant (We were both in the Army at that time) called me at home and heard Dave in the background, yelling and cursing at me. She confronted me that next morning and told me that she was turning him in for spouse abuse. We were referred to the Psych section at the hospital for counseling, and I staunchly defended him, saying that my Sergeant had misinterpreted what was going on, that yes, we fight once in awhile, but doesn't everybody.. and it kept on and on.

To me, abuse always had the connotation of physical abuse, but sitting in that auditorium, listening to the speaker tell the stories of these women in their own words, it struck me that the worst part of it wasn't the physical pain, horrendous though it was, it was the psychic torture, the fear, the anticipation of each new attack, wondering what will set him off, what will I have done this time, will this be the time he loses control and kills me, what will happen to the kids.. that was the worst part of their experiences. And I realized that what they felt, I felt. I live in fear of his coming home (he has been stationed in Washington for the last 2 years). It was 6 months after he left before I realized that I didn't have to sit there on the phone, crying while he ranted about the latest thing I had done wrong - I could hang up! It was the most liberating experience I had had in a long time. He had that much control over me, that for 6 months it had never occurred to me to just hang up.

I HAVE BEEN ABUSED BY MY HUSBAND. Tonight was the first time I said that to anyone other than 2 friends, and in a daylog here (but it doesn't feel real if I say it here). Tonight, a friend asked why these women don't just leave, she doesn't understand it, and I looked at her and said "Maureen, my husband fits every single criterion for emotional abuse". Several of my fellow students were there, as was my psych instructor. It was amazing what oceans of hurt I didn't even know were there those words released. My eyes flooded with tears (as they are again, writing this..) and I was unable to continue. My instructor was very sweet and honestly concerned. She made sure I was going to be safe, that Dave wasn't around, and she offered me her home as shelter if I ever need it.

I feel like absolute hell tonight, and for the first time in awhile I thought with longing about what an easy out it would be just to make it all stop. But I'll never do it. I can't hurt my mother, my sister, my kids, my honey, all my friends who care about me. I can't relieve my pain at the cost of adding to theirs. The worst part of it is that I know there is worse still to come, when I am finally able to confront him and tell him that it is over (which I won't be able to do til I'm financially stable, after I graduate in May). I know he will put me through hell. He knows all my weak spots - he's stuck knives in them often enough - and he'll enjoy using them against me. No hope for a friendly separation here; he's the type who will swing from love to bitter hatred in a heartbeat if he perceives you as being against him. Oh god, the rest of my life like this...

If you're interested, the guest speaker was Mary Angela Shaughnessy, co-author of Sisters in Pain: Battered Women Fight Back (Univ. Press of KY, ISBN #0-8131-2151-5)

You know what the worst part is? My self-esteem, which had painfully clawed itself back out of the muck, is crushed again (this time in absentia, with no further input from him). I am once again hearing those little voices that side with him, telling me I'm worthless, fat, lazy, stupid... and making me wonder what the hell is wrong with my honey for him to want to be with someone as fucked up as I am...

November 4, 2002

Today read Graham Greene's The End of the Affair. Maurice Bendrix, the narrator, is awful--yet Sarah loved him. The start of the book is horrible, all about Bendrix's jealousy. Felt like giving him a good kick in the ass. All Sarah wanted was to be loved and admired--and who did she turn to for that but Bendrix! When people take up religion and start talking to God it makes me think they can't trust their conscience anymore and that they've gone off their rocker. So, if Bendrix had been a generous and loving bloke rather than a creep, Sarah might not have gone bonkers. The story is actually just a novella padded with the interminable dreadfulness of Bendrix. I can't imagine how they managed to make a film of this--which they did a few years ago with Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes. Bet they left out Sarah's religious doubt. The back of the Penguin edition has a puff from Evelyn Waugh--of course, because the tedious solemnity of the religious bits is just like parts of Brideshead Revisited.

My hand on my lover's large belly... I feel my unborn son moving, under my palm. I press in gently. He presses back from inside... That was an elbow, I think! I press back again, he presses back again.

We play this game a little longer, until her rhythmic breathing hypnotizes me, and I begin drifting into a hazy sleep, my hand resting against that membrane separating us, feeling his movements, fingertips watching him through her skin...

My hand on the rear car window... I press against it with my palm. Small fingers against the glass, press back from inside the car, trying to touch mine. He giggles and laughs, he doesn't know this is the last he will see me for a long time...

I tap the glass with my fingertips, rolling them in a pattern, watching him giggle at me, pounding back on the glass with his palm. Voices scream inside, telling me I can't let this happen. They are wrong. I can't stop this.

We play this game a little longer, until the last moment when she starts the car, and it starts to drift away, too fast, too fast, as I stand, waving at him, and he watches through the glass...

I've recently heard the opinion that every man wishes to "leave a permanent mark" of his or her existence on earth, be it by building a house, planting a tree, or by having people build a statue to your honour (post mortem of course). Last but not least, you can always have a grave or tomb where people may go to mourn the ones they miss.

Yours truly, on the other hand, would not wish to leave anything back when the moment to bite the dust will come (be it from natural causes or not). I would like my body to be cremated and have the ashes blown away (something along the lines of the Big Lebowski). I wouldn't like to have a place where pople could go to and be depressed. I do not wish to be indentified with the rest of humanity as I do not agree with what they do. Secondly, I am scared shitless of being buried alive. I really am. So should anyone read this after I am on the other side please see to it that my last wish is fulfilled. Node for the Ages. Cheers.

Procastination, the one highly evolved ability of the student.

Just got to put it off one second longer.

I do realise the following will destroy my xp even further, but this seems a little unusual to me.

I have 10 entries, (not including this). I have a total of 102 upvotes, and 70 downvotes. I have a total of 8xp, including the 1 xp per entry. So not including the automatic xp, I have -2xp, while I have a net of +32 up votes, 1/3 of which is 10-11xp. So, theoretically, I should have a grand total of 20-21 xp, yet I have 8.


The day was quiet and restful. When I woke up, things began to move quickly: going to a client's house to help him finish his website ($30 in 2 hours ain't a bad bit o' work) was a hat trick and a half because I was supposed to be there at 7 PM and woke up a 6:45. I was thirty minutes late. Fortunately, he hadn't checked his email today, so he didn't know that I was planning on stopping by then. But all was well. I got to see my cousin's baby daughter again (the client is my cousin's husband... nepotism... Nashville was built on it)- doing so awoke a soft, quietly insistent pang of wanting to hear the pitter-patter of little feet running around my home someday in the eventual future. She's a jewel of a child. I couldn't help but envy them in a way.

After that things slowed down considerably. I made my way to the cafe, like I do every night, and tried to finish downloading last season's third episode of 24. I've been trying to get it for three days running now, with very little success. It just got done. Small pleasures.

Something is turning inside of me, like it does every winter. I'm becoming more... atuned to the world around me in some way that I can only barely describe. It's like... hearing music that is playing softly in the next room. It's an unsettling feeling. There are times these days where I want to turn off everything and get away from the propaganda- war is spoiling... war is spoiling my stomach. I find myself wondering, more and more often, if the people in my country will ever get tired of war, of the costs it brings, of the damage it inflicts, of the retaliations it eventually calls for, of the indignities it represents. I wonder when an actual "War Tax" will be instituted and when our government will do away with all pretense: the military machine supercedes everything else in the budget, even education. "Educated soldiers aren't necessary. Let 'em learn what we need them to learn on their Nintendos and let's get 'em on the front lines before they get too smart." Participate in your own manipulation indeed.

I'm at the point of singlehood where being single is no longer a bother anymore. In the last two days I've been hit on a lot by the opposite sex. I was even asked to give out my phone number- sadly, I don't have a working phone, so there is no number to give, but that didn't seem to bother me in the least. I guess I'm through with the whole flirtation game; sex doesn't concern me at all.

But I'm still keeping a sharp eye out for an interesting woman... is that irony? To not feel motivated to date, but still looking for that ever-elusive "The One?" I've got bigger fish to fry, I think. My career as an aspiring author consumes almost all of my attention these days. It's the only thing I think about. I sometimes wonder if all my financial and personal problems could be resolved if I just achieved my life-long dream. Probably not, but it's nice to think so.

The cafe's owner came to my house earlier today (he's also my landlord) to check out some repair/maintenance issues. We got to talking about why he's relinquished control of the cafe to his wife, Coco. He's decided that he wants to pursue "other interests" in life. When he told me that I just smiled with a sort of secret understanding.

"What?" he asked, when he saw my smile.

I just looked at him, almost amused. "You're closing in on 40, aren't you?" He told me that he was thirty-seven and asked why I'd asked. "You're getting to that point, Chuck, to where you're no longer happy with just getting by and chasing the tiger's tail. Business doesn't interest you anymore. Let me guess... you want to write a book or do something significantly creative now, don't you?"

His jaw dropped to the floor, like I'd reached into his head and pulled something out that was supposed to be a secret. "How'd you know? I've been teasing the idea of writing a screenplay or a novel for months. I haven't started yet."

"Why not?" I asked, my face a perfect blank. Inwardly, I was a bit surprised. Chuck never struck me as the creative type. Now that I think about it, though, his attention span (which is minimal at best), paints him as being patently creative.

He thought about it a minute. "You're a writer," he observed of me. "How do you write?"

My smile got broader. "One word at a time," I answered. "Lots of writers don't figure this out until they've had a lot of experience at it, but a character or even an entire story has a life of its own. They're separate entities, sort of like the voices that crazy people prattle on about, but not as ludicrous. They're not you, per se, but they're within you. For instance, Stephen King writes horror, but he isn't a homicidal maniac. He's a family man who writes, mostly, sci-fi with a thrill. Those characters aren't him. And when he writes, when any writer writes, he doesn't do it thinking, 'This is going to be a book' or 'This is going to be a novel.' He does it thinking, 'This is going to be a story' and leaves it at that. Most writers, when they start out, try to bite the big one, go for the gusto and take a stab at writing a book with that sole intention in mind. Then they get bogged down by the thought of it. I mean, a book is a pretty hard thing to do, even for the pros. It's a major undertaking. But keeping it simple and saying to yourself, 'This is a story' doesn't set limitations, it doesn't fence you in or bog you down. You just write, one word at a time, and see what you've got when it's all said and done."

He was quiet for a long time and let it sink in. Finally he looked up and said, "Then I guess I had better get to writing and worry about the details later. Book, novella, short story, screenplay... it doesn't matter, does it? Just write the thing and see what happens?"

I nodded. "Chuck, you've grasped in three minutes what takes most writers three years. Above all, remember this: have fun. If you want to write, then go ahead and write. Don't worry about publication until you're comfortable with your writing. Just tell your story and go on from there."

It's the first time I'd seen him smile in a long time, genuinely and with some sense of relaxation. "Thanks," he said.

It was a singular event, I think. We are all stories. The Author writes us all down in his book, one word at a time, with the passing of every second. Some of us are tragic, some are comical, some are amazing. Be your own fiction. After that, the story almost writes itself.

Do you ever have thoughts about nodes you want to write when you aren't sitting in frong of a computer and then finally when you sit down, you can't remember what you wanted to write?

We are working through the bugs with the conversion that happened this weekend. A lot of the queries have to be rewritten, which I am slowly learning how to do. I have never worked with the program, CIF 20-20, before so I'm learning where all the files and in which libraries things are loaded in.

Is it just me or when one person learns something new they compare to something they know and understand. For example, this is the first time I have worked with an AS/400 so I'm learning a whole new of working and dealing with things. In order to better help me understand things, I compare it to Windows because thats what I know and understand. My boss, who started on the 400 and moved over to working supporting Windows, compares things the other way around. I guess its just human nature to compare something new to something you understand.

I have also started learning Linux at home. I know I might be the last one here to be running Linux, but its a whole new thing to me. So I try to compare how things work with that system to what I know and understand. I have to read a good book that would explain things correctly. I know how to admin a Windows 2000 network, but I can't admin a Linux network, I don't understand it. So if anyone has a book, a How-To or some other source that could explain things in the way a Windows based network administrator could understand send me /msg. Thanks

And so...
On the anniversary of Rachel's death,
My only record of Beth was destroyed.
It seems I am to live
Without proof of my pain.
Only scars.
Four years ago I began the spiral
That would lead me here
To a diner on Elkton
Remembering... being
Alone and bitter,
Furious at the world,
Shaking my impotent fists
Like a high-schooler again,
At those pale walls.
Barring my entrance.
I tried to get in.
I wasn't strong or weak enough.
Too corporeal to pass.
I held too much blood.
I didn't cut deep enough.
It seemed I was to live.

The neon light outside says "Kids Eat Free"
They don't know, the kids
Are dead.
All gone.
We went and grew up way too fast.
Way too frail to pass,
Too strung-out to fail.
Hell can't do us any harm,
Heaven won't have us.
So here we are-
The living fucking youth,
Fruit of the earth gone bad too quick.

Four years walking
Speaking and writing and fucking
And growing tired early.
I know full well that I miss the idea of you
More than I miss the actual you.
There wasn't really that much to us, was there?
Was it all in my head?
Am I that lost?
And were you the cost of my life?
Four years no tears have cost me,
And almost five since Beth was alive.
My father would say that I've wasted my time.

The cars parked on my street are covered with wet leaves. Yellows and oranges and reds. A variety of decals, placed randomly on windows and hoods. As the afternoon melts into evening, the streetlights send down little pools of yellow onto the sidewalk and kids on bikes whiz in and out of traffic.

Autumn melts quickly into winter here. One day it is breezy and filled with color, then it fades into dark brown piles of wet leaves and black puddles. In a few days sleet will turn into snow and then black ice will attach itself to the sidewalk for what will seem like months. In my place Halloween means winter. There is no pause before the wind rushes off the lakes.

Canada is more than eager to share at this time of year.

Today I wrap myself in a blanket of me. I cannot welcome you.
I have things to do and places to go,
in my head
The walls of this fortress are strong,
my friend.
Admittance runs a pretty penny.

"If I'm on my knees I'm begging now
If I'm on my knees groping in the dark
I'd be praying for deliverance
From the night into the day..."

I could use a stiff drink whilst I straddle the massive entropy that calls itself my psyche these days.
Will you...could you...ever really know me. All these long, long years I have searched for you and now that you are here, I wonder.
But you are home to me. This much I cannot deny.

"But it's all grey here
It's all grey here
It's all grey to me..."

lyrics: Natalie Merchant, I May Know the Word

The end is nigh - Brothers flee to the hills, They have banded together. The forces of evil are working against me. I am doomed! DOOMED I tells ya.

They have joined forces, teamed up, united in sisterly solidarity, consolidated their ideas... and unleashed hell.

You guys know what I am talking about, you women folk take heed! The dreaded 'spring move the house around' is upon me. Another year of having to ask where everything is. another year of bumping into stuff in the middle of the night, another year of working out my 'spots' for things.. *sigh* GONE. all gone..

The Girlfriend and Flatmate (both firmly of the womanly genre) have decided to move the house around. This means squeezing a whole living room into a dining room (half the size), and the dinning room and computer room into the living room... WHY ? yes.. that is an excellent question..

I personally feel that I bought a house (hurrah for mortgages) so that I DIDN'T have to move everything every year. So that all my stuff could be out and have a home, rather than packed into boxes.. but NONO.. *sigh* apparently this is the wrong idea. Apparently I am meant to be happy that the dinning room - of which one wall is completely covered in books - is meant to be moved. apparently I am meant to be HAPPY that 2 couches are being squished together, and that a nice surround sounded room is being ruined and with no plan to make it good in the new area.. apparently the stereo 'isn't that good' anyway - CHICKS!! (have I ever mentioned that I don't believe women can hear stereo ?)

Anyway the good thing about this is at least I can indulge in a little grumpiness for the next month or so.. yes let's look forward to that! ;)

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