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I never write here anymore and for good reason. I'm far too busy these days to keep spitting out wu's. 40 hours a week on the job and 24 credit hours a semester is more than any man can handle and maintain any kind of a online presence. I push, and stretch, and struggle, and ultimately thrash against the unbreakable bonds of time.

All my life, as long as I can remember it, I've pushed hard at something. Usually it was just at myself, a sort of implosion that didn't really change anything but kept alive this constant feeling of conflict that I've struggled with for as long as I can remember.

It's not a hopeless sort of feeling either, or even a sadness or anything so definable as all of that. It's a discomfort with my own skin. So I strive, and I stretch, and push so much harder than almost anyone I know to gain some sort of imaginary ground to stand on.

I know many hard workers in my life and many that simply seem to lumber along, living half-asleep lives of contentment, and so I ask myself: what is the reason for all of this labor? It would be seemingly without benefit as that it yields little internal satisfaction and less temporal reward.

I know a man who struggles to make a name for himself, and by extension God. For a time I thought that this would be my pursuit. I thought that I would stop only when my worldly needs were so well cared for that I couldn't think of anything more to want, much less a place to put it. The longer my life went on, and the more happiness (for that's really what this entry is about, my quest for happiness), I was able to attain without material longings always going answered, the more I realized that not only did I not worry about the items, but also accolades of others, and that I actually don't want them. The word recognition took on a new definition in my mind as I realized that I had little to no desire to attain it for myself any longer.

What I craved was something deeper and not in the casual meaning that springs to mind. I wasn't looking to go and have some spiritual experience leading to enlightenment. I don't really believe that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can be found in this life. Religion and spirituality for me is about how we live, not about how much we get or where we end. When I say deeper I mean something internal. The harder I strove at what we would call admirable things, the less I cared about who admired them and it was leading to me an understanding (or perhaps a reminding), about myself that I achieved this afternoon.

As I sat here (where is actually irrelevant), this afternoon reading about a great writer that I respected immensely I was struck by a solid and undeniable truth about myself. All of the work, and the pain, and the struggling that for years I thought I was doing for the love, appreciation, and admiration of others really was serving a completely different purpose. In the end I was only trying, and still am in fact trying, to forge myself into someone that I could respect.

I have made enormous steps on the path of becoming what I consider to be a respectable human being and I still have many yet to make. Because I am not satisfied, or perhaps because I do not know how to be satisfied, I will continue to push, struggle, and strain until I find a place inside myself where I see what is a complete, respectable man. A man who bases his actions and choices on a genuine love for his community and his world.

After coming to these realizations it was much as I expected. No noticeable weight was lifted from my shoulders. I am still beset by the various responsibilities I have imposed on myself. I am an 'Atlas' who will never allow himself to shrug because I believe the real value lies in the struggle itself, and in the forging of the person. I am in fact not one bit more prepared to face any of the challenges I have placed before myself. But there is this one thing I have realized. I have realized that although some might not rate my motivation as anything better than a desire for acceptance, I do. I have also realized that in the pursuit of making myself a better man I will be as a force of nature. I will be as a titan. A monolith. Nothing will ever stop me from hammering myself into the best me that I can be.

I would consider it the very greatest of honors (and you are reading this you likely know me and so it applies to you), if you would take a moment and consider coming, or staying, on this path with me and encouraging me on this journey towards becoming something greater than sum of my parts.

My name is Steven Adam Ward, and this is how I feel today.

It was a long ride to Washington, and I didn't sleep all that well, despite a sleeping pill given me by Craig, whom pure chance made my seatmate and is now my friend. I ran into an old friend as the buses departed, a friend, her sister and her sister's partner and children. Over a hundred of us met at Midnight to take that eight hour ride. But like me, we're all pretty disgusted with what we see, a political process increasingly dominated by hatred, invective and a distinct absence of reason. I avoid TV in the weeks before an election. I don't want to see the hate and scare tactics, most of whom have little or nothing. I want a political process centered on the real truth, and one that treats us like adults. And so when Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert announced their Rally for Sanity (Fear) we just had to go.

It was cold when we got there at 8:30. Carol wanted to have dinner at Ebbet's Grill, across the street from the Treasury, and a power-broker hangout where she'd once seen Tip O'Neill. We had a fine breakfast and a tasty bloody mary provided celery to balance my diet. As we had time, from there we took a quick walk through the World War II Memorial, which none of us had seen before. Washington is a remarkable city, and the Mall particularly fascinating. The Capital, Memorial, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial all line up, in a way where you can simply turn your head and see a clear reminder of American History across the three centuries of our existence. Then we walked down the mall to join up with Carol's sister who had staked out turf under a tree, near the stage.

We never made it. Every step more and more people seemed to fall in step. They carried signs, mostly humorous. I saw "The Civil War was an Inside Job", two girls with painted on Hitler mustaches offering mustache rides, and another young woman whose t-shirt carried the inscription "Civil Conversation Makes Me Wet". One sign in the crowd said much "I get my comedy from Fox News, and my news from Comedy Central". There were more, many more but much more but you get the idea. Oh, some were about political causes, and nobody seemed like Fox News for not being an actual news network. But many, many of the signs called for reason. Called for listening. Called for moderation. You know, the pre-conditions for an actual productive debate. And there was so many. I'd never seen so many people, and I've been to the Ohio State-Michigan game. (hint: both the Horseshoe and the Big House each seat over 100,000). We crowded together, but no one jostled anyone. Everyone was polite, but we never got even close to the stage. In fact we had a hard time, seeing a jumbotron from where we ended up. And we could see people gathering on the adjacent street, and on the steps of adjacent buildings, including the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which was across from where we stood. We had smart phones, but I with my dumb cell was the only one who could get data, and that by leaving a voicemail message. My friend texted back that he hadn't seen any counts and overheads but the counts were huge. We really couldn't see much but people from where we were on the fringes, and we got there two hours early.

We had fun. The musical choices weren't those I'd have made (Sheryl Crow really needs to do a better job of memorizing lyrics and Ozzy had a bad day). But they never are. And how can you really criticize Mavis Staples or Tony Bennett singing American the Beautiful? The jokes worked, but they all worked toward a well-defined point, with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert pointing that fear and hatred have no place in democracy. We laughed, we made each other laugh, we had fun and we all got it. I don't think I've ever been at such an event where I bet you could pick any five people out of the crowd, invite them to dinner and know you'd have a good time.

Getting over 200,000 people like that in one place is a real achievement. Most crowd control rally showed the rally far larger then Glenn Beck's, and without a hint of anger. And I have to wonder what Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, the Daily Show correspondents, their staffs, or the management of Comedy Central are thinking now? This rally was an overwhelming success. Their original permit was for a gathering of 60,000, and that must have seemed an enormous gamble. Now they have created an actual news event, one that crushed the Million Man March, or Glenn Beck's. You have to wonder if they're shaking their heads and wondering 'What Next?" Once a lighthearted look at the news, The Daily Show has become a serious force in the American political debate, by performing the simple task of fact-checking and exposing the idiocy and hypocrisy so common in American politics and pundits. Stewart and Colbert assume their viewers are adults, capable of telling a joke from the truth. By contrast Glenn Beck's success depends upon the ignorance of his audience. Comedy Central is more about reason then many serious commentators. Will they simply continue as they were? Probably. But Stewart in particular seems to take his home very seriously, and has shown real love for what America is and can be. As things get worse will the responsibility of leaving a better home for his children lead him, like Al Franken to give up comedy for a more serious position?

I don't know. I don't claim to know what Stewart, Colbert or Comedy Central should do next. But this day, they did something far larger then anyone dared dream.

for more of the signs, most of which will at least bring a chuckle look here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/30/the-funniest-signs-at-the_n_776490.html#s169727

Author's Note: There's a certain freedom in futility and tunnel vision. At this point, I'd discovered the ability to stimulate dreams with various legal substances, and was on my way to acquiring a pretty gnarly melatonin resistance. Strangely, all I could dream in were grey cityscapes that peeled away like onions into the monochrome of data centers.

I wrote a lot. Mostly because I had to, or I would go crazy.

15mg melatonin/1.2g piracetam

Melatonin, first taken, within the first few months, and without the saturation I've achieved, stimulates dreaming. The same for piracetam, if taken at half a gram. Piracetam, too, has an expiration date for dreams like acid trips and lucid wanderings through the back of the brain. Taken together, though, and in unreasonable doses, you conk out and dream, vividly, milking the glands until they pop out liquid stress relief in the form of brilliant visions behind the eyelids.

It's a comfort. It's not a comfort. It's a temporary solution at best. You get to know your brain really well. You get a softer edge to the fog that comes with several months of vampire shift, get a cool detachment, a lethargy. It's blunting down sharp things until they can break away and disintegrate or until they simply, silently, go away.

Speaking of sharp things breaking, on top of losing my paycheck and losing people, I've lost the tip off the black Benchmade I bought in San Francisco. It's my own fault - using the most fragile part to try and dislodge a stubborn server is stupid - and somehow, I'm not disappointed. The knife, like so, so many other things, reminds me of things lost, of people I dearly need to stop thinking of. So while I'm out a cool $100 and a Griptilian, I don't mind so much. I have another, pink, but otherwise just like it, that I bought right here in Virginia.

Work is work. Things continue to break in unfixable ways in ridiculous numbers at ridiculous rates, and there's no way to catch up. It remains supportable via Underworld and constant, reweaving beats and bits, lyrics and music that all MUX together. Overload, too, is dulling the edges down. Sheer volume makes this bearable.

And I'm raw, still, even with this, and this daylog, even, is more bleeding than I'm comfortable to do in public, too risky. I can no sooner stop writing, however, than I can cut off my hands.

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