At least she could have been honest with me and told me that she's not attracted to me.

Uhh, she really is taken.

You don't need to be nice to me. I'm alright about. It's not like I'm suicidal or a stalker or anything.

Hmm, how do I put this? She really does have a boyfriend!

It's alright, really. There are other fish in the sea.

Yeah, right. You know that guy that we met last night? He was her boyfriend.

I'm sure that there is a girl out there that will like me for my personality.

Did ya happen to notice that she took no notice of the other guys in the room?

Although, a haircut wouldn't be such a bad idea.

*sigh* No, I guess not...

Posting a letter as a third and finally medium hoping to be read and hoping even more so for some kind of response, even one simply stating it's been read.

Dear Kristin,

If giving (or attempting to give) you the comic was inappropriate, I apologize. I was only hoping to have something as an icebreaker because more than anything else, I just wanted to talk to you. As that didn't happen, I left it with Ben.

Recently I'd heard things which would make me believe that you weren't ok and as such I was concerned. Your friend (I think her name is Lauren, but I don't rightly remember) from Plano happens to go to school with me and we ran into each other a week or two ago. We talked for a good hour or so and I gained a little bit of insight as to how you "work" if you know what I mean (which you probably don't, after all, I never was a great orator). She confirmed what some people had told me earlier - that you'd had troubles at the end of the semester and that your parents basically weren't letting you come home (she also told me you no longer cared about money and just wanted to do what made you happy, which I was quite glad to hear). She also told me that what you said to me the day we returned to TAMS in January was truthful and I'm sorry I ever doubted you. I would hope that you can understand why I doubted what you said - coming from any other teenage female I've known I had to wonder, but I should have realized that you aren't an average teenage girl. Know also that anything she told me she only said because she cares about you and knows that I had nothing but good will for you and wanted to help.

So, yes, I was worried about you and yes I also came because I was hoping there was still a chance we might get back together. I'll be honest - I miss you, it drives me nuts every day wondering how I fucked things up and what would have happened had I ever said everything I felt. With my luck nothing would have changed, but I can't help but wish I'd told you I loved you. I'm not saying this to try and scare you or to try and change anything because quite frankly I don't think it'll do any damn good. I love you, god knows I wish I didn't because things would be so much easier, but I do - and I can't help that, hell, I'd probably have married you if you wanted me to. So it's understandable that I want you to be happy - even if that means without me. There hasn't been a day yet where I haven't wanted to run to you, hold you in my arms, and tell you everything would be allright, which of course I couldn't do because I didn't think you wanted anything to do with me - which seems to be accurate.

Realize, and I'm not trying to make you feel guilty here - so don't, you were the only person that's ever made me truly happy. I miss the girl who was willing to literally fight to be with me. For five months I was able to say in full confidence that I was completely and perfectly happy. If nothing else, I can look back on that and smile. Everything about you made me smile. The way you said hello, the days you'd wear glittery shirts to get back at me for some mild annoyance the day before (yeah, I knew), your gorgeous eyes, perfect smile, soft and oh-so-kissable lips, and incredible intelligence that I found overwhelmingly sexy. And I don't give a shit what some dumb IQ test says, you are a genius - you're bloody amazing. I've never met a woman that was as intelligent as you and I don't think I ever will. 1590 be damned, SO WHAT!? I don't care what any test or score or other person will ever say and the college board can kiss my ass - you are brilliant and perfect. You don't have to be the best at everything you do to get noticed - I don't see how you couldn't get into any school of your choice right the hell NOW if you wanted to. Also, whether you think it or not, you do have a beautiful voice and sing quite well. I'm sorry I had to miss the debut of Barefoot in the AAAAAAAAARGH! (I mean Park). And I feel sick when I think that refused to give you your class ring - I was afriad of embarassing you. I was afraid that I'd get up there and say something stupid, or romantic or otherwise inappropriate in front of your family, friends, and peers. In retrospect none of that matters and I wish I could take it back and do it over again, but I can't.

So, I guess if you want me to leave you alone for the rest of your life I will, but I can't stop caring about you. Don't kill yourself over your GPA, don't give a shit what anyone else thinks, and do what makes you happy. I will never EVER again tell you to shut up - even jokingly as it was, speak freely goddess, but allow me to look upon you in fervent (I hope that word means what I think it does...) awe and admiration at your undying beauty and unbridled intelligence and simply gaze upon whatever God's may or may not exist perfect creation. And this time, I mean it.

There's so much more that I want to say, but I can never remember all of it in one sitting, and if I wrote it all there'd be a novel when I finish. Fortunately I think all of it can be summed up with I love you, do what makes you happy, and have a wonderful life - with or without me.

~Tony Toepfer~

Taza World, Season 5 - Episode 6 Preview "Taza did what??" (Taza)

Note: This episode preview focuses primarily on the events involving the character Taza, and not so much Lars, Jaie, or Fish.

Main Cast: Taza, Lars, Jaie, Fish
Supporting Cast: Jon, Scott, Katie
Guest Stars: Emily, Jenn,


Recent polls indicate our target audience is tiring of the Taza/Lina thing. If this trend continues, ratings will undoubtably plummet! As a devoted member of the supporting cast and a steady guest star, Lina has consistantly contributed to the series, making the decision a tough one for the suits upstairs. In the end the bottom line must be upheld, so it is my sad duty to announce the departure of Lina from Taza World. We all wish her the best of luck with her HBO spin-off, Lina World. Expect the breakup scene to occur sometime on Monday, probably afternoon.

On a completely unrelated note, it looks like Taza and Katie are going to become an item, neither of which got much sleep Sunday night.

Jenn still manages to make a solid appearance early in the week, while Taza's conscience remains at large. So don't forget to tune in for this week's Taza World. It promises to be a page right out of your favorite spanish soap opera.
This daylog thingie is really so strange. Why do people keep posting stuff here. Why do I keep posting stuff here? Perhaps we're all searching for a shoulder to cry onto, even if we know no shoulder will come. Perhaps it's some form of expelling your fears and daemons. Showing them to the world, at last. Oh right, this is supposed to be a day log.. Well, ok, today nothing much happened except for something, which prompted me to come here. Which was that a girl I've met called this afternoon, and, well, it was the strangest think talking with her, because I realized I forgot whom the hell I am. I'll explain: when you're young and surrounded by friends, you know who you are, what is it that makes you tick, etc, for the simple fact that you're constantly interacting with folks who have a lot in common with you... Well, what would happen if you took that kid, put him in a place where no-one was like him, wait a while for the torture to really nab his heart, watch gleefully as the young kid started replacing his spontaneity and trueness for the facade that made him befriend those people, laughed out loud as the young boy realized he was incapable to do that and ended up all alone. And then, took him back to the place of wince he came, and observed how fucked up he was, because he couldn't even know who or what he was, and had lost all his friends...

I just noticed today that I don't write anymore. Well, not like I used to. I used to write short stories, poems, songs, journal entries; anything for the sake of writing. Only now that I recall this do I also remember how cathartic it would be, to solidify all this noise inside my head. I think there must be something satisfying about taking a small fraction of what's up there, and allowing it to make that leap from thought to something tangible; something that exists.

This seems to be my primary motivation in life: to find something I can hold on to. I don't know where this desire comes from. An unstable home while I grew up? Some might say so, but I've always felt I rose above that and instead of acquiring negative traits from the experience, I just lacked the positive ones that should have been instilled in me during that time.

It seems as though I'm always searching for something to die for; a cause, a person, an object. I'm constantly filled with a desire to be part of something greater... but greater than what? The answer would be greater than myself, greater than what one person's life can mean in this world today.

Does that mean I have self-esteem issues? Do I feel somewhere inside myself that all I could amount to in this life is less important than what my death for the sake of a cause could mean?

Objectively, this seems to be the diagnosis. This would mean that I have a problem with self-esteem. And maybe it has just gotten so bad, that I no longer write because I feel like my own opinion, my own thoughts aren't valid or worth anything. Another part of me now openly rejects what I wrote. This is the part of me that also vehemently shakes it's head at the thought of having a problem to begin with.

What I need is a reference point, an individual that seems to be made for this society, rather than being an eventual product of it, someone to stand side-by-side and compare myself to.

. . .

Hmm. Now, as I've said a million times before, but I think I know what my problem is. It seems as though I question the validity and normalcy of my own thought processes too much. At some point, I seperated myself from my mind. Rather than thinking, "I feel depressed or happy or sad... why? What situation / what person / what chemical is causing this?", I need to start thinking, "I am depressed or happy or sad." I just watched "Grosse Point Blank" last night. It's one of my favorite movies. Now a particular line in this movie stands out in my mind like a plastic bag in the ocean: "This is me breathing."

Her name is Smudge and she is the newest member of our family.

About six weeks ago, we had to have our first family pet put down. Misty was seventeen years old and was suffering from kidney failure. The last few days of his life were hard as we watched this once vibrant cat reduced to a shell of his former self. The decision to put him down was tough, but necessary.

At the time, the idea of getting another cat for the family was nearly impossible to conceive. We were so hurting at the empty space this cat left in our lives that we couldn't fathom what would make us want to bring another pet into our home.

But after a couple of weeks, our other cat began the process of convincing us that getting a second cat was a good idea. Gabby is a thirteen year old Siamese with a pair of lungs that rival the horn of her namesake Gabriel. The first couple of weeks Gabby was quiet, but after about two weeks, she began to call around the house. My wife and I both work and the poor cat was lonely after spending all day alone and was very demanding of our attention when we got home. Over the past three weeks, I have spent a number of nearly sleepless nights for Gabby climbing on the bed looking for attention.

So two weeks ago, we headed to a cat show in Augusta, GA to look at what was available in breeds. We had two in mind: the Abyssinian and the Maine Coon. There were no Abyssinians at the show but a number of people were showing the Maine Coons.

We struck up a conversation with one of the breeders and she was knowledgable, open, and honest about the pluses and minuses of owning one of the largest of the domesticated cat breeds. But her passion for the breed along with the impressive cat she was showing, a two year old male named Thor, convinced us to take a trip to Atlanta the following weekend to see the cattery.

The breeder happened to have a litter of kittens that were spoken for wit the exception of a female whose litter name is Smudge. The kittens were being picked up on the day that we went to visit and during our time there we were introduced to all of the cats in the house. The Maine Coon breed is large with males running up to 24 or 25 pounds. We left still wondering if this was the breed for us, but by the end of the weekend, we decided to contact them back and purchase Smudge.

We collected her on Saturday and she spent the first night in our bedroon with my wife and I slept on the couch with Gabby, so that no one felt left out. We introduced them yesterday and it could have gone better. There was a good deal of hissing and low gutteral noises coming from Gabby and just hissing from Smudge. We all slept in the bedroom last night, but it had the feel of a Mexican stand-off.

Smudge is here to stay, but I will be glad when the arched backs and fluffed up tails ends.

I'm awake and it's amazing. Once so sleepy, now I feel the opposite: alive, stimulated, awake.

I finally got up and did something on my own, for myself. I drove to the elementary school, met Ms. N, and began my student observation. I was amazed at how different second grade seemed in this classroom than how I remembered it to be. I was only there for a few hours though, and this school is nothing like mine, but more like the one my mom teaches at. At risk. This is how they define all economically poor schools with improper funding in two words.

I come home feeling even more amazing - I feel like I'm having a long adrenaline rush that never ends...

My brain is working. It's a wonderful thing to feel alive.

I have been pondering a lot about the word "love" lately. I hear a general groan from the reader. Here comes another philosophical search for what love means to so-and-so. I think the realizations I have come to though are almost mind boggling and earth shattering for me. This is what I recall thinking while sitting on that moist dirt path in the woods at 2 am. This is what I remember thinking as I smoothed the earth off a yellow leaf in the dim light the moon squeezed in through thinning tree branches:

in this way Love can be separated from Lust

in this way Love cannot happen at first glance

Of course this is just what I think... and it will change with time... but when she told me to "go be in love" it seemed so cute and romantic and it sat in the back of my head saying "well... are you really in love?"

I don't know why I never realized how great the ii-v-i jazz progression is. Neither do I know why I like it so much. I can't exactly describe it. I don't see pictures in my head or feel strong bitersweet emotion or acquire limitless energy; it's just clear and bright and hearing it and soloing over it makes me feel happy. Corny, but true.

I have a theory: to some extent, the emotional pull of music is inversely proportional to its level of cliche; not having heard the ii-v-i before fairly recently (I must have heard it, of course, but my mind never interpreted it in a jazz context as anything but slightly dissonant gibberish) it's Fresh And New and therefore evocative, slipping past my mind's jaded outer wall. The first time you get it, it's like pure inspiration, like when your brain goes from A to C without touching B. As I said, I can't exactly describe it.

The particular song I'm practicing on is Bluesette, a great great 3/4 tune with plentiful ii-v-is. I've been playing it for the past week and a half or so, and considering it progressively cooler, and getting progressively more surprised that my teacher (Paul Finkbeiner) doesn't like it. (In fact, I decided to pop home after my 11 AM Linguitics test and before my 2 PM philosophy class to play on it a bit, but -- if I may take a moment to spam -- got sidetracked finishing off yesterday's daylog.) Then, at the weekly lesson tonight, I realized: he doesn't get it! Not the chords, of course -- he's mastered those long ago, and perhaps they're beginning to seem almost cliche to him -- but the rhythm: superficially he's swinging the eighth notes, but in order for the piece to really swing (and you know what they say) you have to hear it simultaneously in a sort of cool 6/8. I mentioned it, and he got it, and it sounded amazingly better (though thinking about it consciously seemed to have gotten my front brain and back brain tangled up and I couldn't quite play it properly for the rest of the lesson).

So, you know that Woody Allen quote about sex? It's true for Bluesette, too: anyone who says it's just okay isn't doing it properly.

Update after reading Stealth Munchkin's node on the subject: come to think of it, I don't particularly like the ii-v-i in pop or rock music; in fact, I might go so far as to say I actively dislike it (cliche, etc). It's different in Jazz, though; the chords are altered, or there's anticipation, pre-jumps in scales before the chord really changes, or something. I'll figure it out.

Day 3: Labadee. Labada. Life Goes on, Bra!

For the record, Labadee sucks. A small island off the coast of Haiti, Labadee is the creation of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The brochure says that Columbus discovered the island before his flagship ran aground on Hispaniola. It was then forgotten until Royal Caribbean “rediscovered” it 500 years later. Somehow, I doubt native Haitians overlooked the existence of an island a mile off the coast. As a result of this rediscovery, Labadee has become a Club Med type of beach resort. Lots of tropical drinks, crowded beaches, and bikini clad women. It’s exactly like the boat without the air conditioning, the food, or the good times. Joelle went lunchless. Her hamburger was swarmed by some sort of fruit fly and she decided it would be better to starve.

My shoulders got scorched. Luckily for me, I managed to correctly apply sun block to a small hand print sized portion of my back. If only they had a contest for silliest sun burn.

There was parasailing which looked fun but it also cost 100 bucks. Instead, I went to the market in search of an anniversary present for my girlfriend. I struck out. I’m going out on a limb when I say she wouldn’t be interested in a wooden statue of old people making out or a sign reminding her that “Jesus love you”. I saw a necklace that she might like but she warned me against ugly jewelry. Now I’m terrified because I have poor taste in all things fashionable. I started to walk away when the merchant dropped the price to 5 bucks. I would have gotten it but the last time I bought something for such a bargain I ended up with a dolphin shaped bottle opener. I was also offered the worst painting of Bob Marley ever created. I guess Haiti doesn’t hold Bob Marley in as high regard as Jamaica. At least I hope. If I see this painting in Jamaica, I’ll scream.

Tonight was Mexican night. Another painful reminder that I wasn’t scaling Mayan temples today. I got shit-ass Labadee instead. Couldn’t decide what I wanted for dessert, Tres Leche cake or pineapple sherbet. I got them both. I love cruises.

The cruise version of the Newlywed Game was entertaining as always. Evan and Joelle went to audition but chickened out when they found out what they would have to do to win. The winner had his wife on his shoulders screaming like a banshee. Joelle would never go for that. My grandparents would have been on the show by virtue of their 65-year marriage. The longest married couple in the room was only married for 40 years but the husband doesn’t like his wife to wear bras... or so he says. Grandma and Grandpa decided to sleep instead.

I avoided the casino for the second straight night. Maybe I’m not a gambling addict after all.

Currently I’m sitting by the pool watching the other passengers “Dance under the Stars.” It’s cloudy and there aren’t any stars. Not that anyone is looking up anyway. Alas, it’s midnight, my beer is empty, and the band has started playing “Who Let the Dogs Out.” I’ll take that as a very good sign…

Read on… there’s more

Day 1: It rained on my Paradise
Day 2: Ernest Goes to Sea
Day 4: I seis the Rios, I siete the Rios, I Ocho the Rios
Day 5: The Voyage Home

"Bike Maul"

(a gritty urban drama)

"Why can't we get a bike-only bridge across the 405?" Steev asks Jon and I as we roll North though the back roads along MLK. The sun has set, but there is still 20 min of good light left. Enjoying the ride and talking about our upcoming video screenings, we try to stay where the cars ain't.

Rolling up to a red light on the intersection of NE 7th and Broadway we take our time, but someone behind us has got a problem.

*Honk* I guess they see someone they know.

*Honk honk* They must like bikes.

*Honk honk honk* Maybe they really like bikes.

*Hoooonk honkhonk hooooonk* Well, I guess they want my attention...

I stop and give them my attention: I look at them blankly for a second, the light turns, I bike on.

*honk honk hoooooonk honk hooooooooooonk* Now they really want my attention.

I stop, step off the pedal, and stare; this time in the middle of the intersection. "What? What do you want? " I am not sure what they think will be improved by their honking, but clearly it was not my disposition.

I pass though the intersection. As they pass us a block later, they yell something about turning up ahead.

"...yea that is a poor intersection," I hear Jon say as I shift to a lower gear to catch up. "When there is a right turn only lane forcing bikes to merge into the center lane, like between Weidler and Broadway, it's trouble."

"I hate being surrounded by cars," Steev says as I notice a guy crossing the street on my right side.

"Hey man, hold up." He calmly calls to me . I am coasting while he jogs along side me for a split second when he grabs my shirt. "Hey man... so whasup!"

He tries to pull me off but ends up holding a handful of fabric. At this point it becomes clear to me that this is not just some random angry pedestrian. I realize these two guys are from the honking car. As I reach the concrete island designed to discourage automotive traffic I take a quarter second to determine whether or not I should just ride on. Let's evaluate:

  • 2 built, aggressive, disturbed black men striding toward
  • 3 white, timid artistes, paused, straddling bikes

Now Jon and Steev are great. They are some of my favorite people in the world. Nevertheless I am guessing they would rather I leave well enough alone and not get involved... I think my thought process was, "My shirt is already ripped, what more could they really do to me?"

"Dude! Yo man I like this shirt," I say in my inimitable fashion. "Why you got to pull shit like that?" I hope my talent in communications can still defray this looming conflict.

At one moment I stand on the top of the hill, the direction of my life still very much in my control. Which route do I take? How steep is this slope? Can I see the bottom? Do I have any brakes? In the next moment I realize that the hill was actually a ledge already crumbling under my feet.

One guy is standing back playing with his clothes ("fronting" so I am later told) the other is in my face; and when I say in my face I mean it was like he was trying to establish permanent residence. I chill, not being one to uproot people, indigenous to my face or not. Seconds feel like minutes. Jon and Steev both try their best to calm the situation down. I stay cool but hold my ground. "Why you gotta honk at bikes? The light was red; it's not like you didn't get through."

Although I am trying to prepare myself for a fight I never assume that it is a foregone conclusion, as I have talked my way out of situations where I had no right being anything but pummeled. Thinking back, I guess faking some mental disability might have kept me out of trouble here, as one quickly loses bragging rights for threatening a guy with Down's Syndrome.

Meanwhile I still have a big bald black guy getting mail forwarded to my face. His friend gets impatient with the slowness with which the battle is developing (I guess he was done adjusting) and runs up and full on kicks my front wheel, breaking a spoke and any chance of me maintaining my composure.

"WHAT THE FU-" was all I got out as I felt the familiar sensation of someone's knuckles adjusting my jaw. A quick turn to the left did confirm that the bald guy had given up on peaceful negotiations. Moving to get off my bike, a series of blows continue to massage half my face.

Now I have dismounted, gotten into my boxer's defensive pose, and am sizing up the situation. Will I have to fight two guys? I actually have been boxing for almost a year now, but would wrestling them be more constructive? I have never thrown a punch in anger... but I have been waiting for the opportunity. Will Jon and Steev be able to save me? A number of thoughts cross my mind and yet all I see are my two assailants "stepping off", as it were.

"Next time we see you... Next time. There'll be some murder," they yell backing up and pointing at me, now a quarter block away, just before they turned to run to where they had parked their car.

Immediately I knew something was amiss. I would have expected them to want to hurt me a little more. I was ready to prove myself at a street fighter, but they didn't care. They didn't seem fearful of my ability to be hit. Maybe his fist was starting to bother him.

Turning back to my friends I notice Steev is on his cell phone, giving a description of the guys. I would like to say, "Well, I guess my boxing prowess was to much for them..." Alas.

Within a few seconds a pair of guys from across 7th Ave. come down to get the full story and also to determine if I was ok. They had a full description of the vehicle, including the make, model, color, and a burnt out taillight.

They came up with some intriguing observations.

"Did you see that guy pretending he was gonna pull his piece?"

"Um... no. Was he?"

"No he was just fronting."


Baggy clothes are handy for concealing weapons. If you wear tight jeans you have to worry about pronounced bulges (something that totally gave hoodlums away in the 70s). Loose-fitting clothes are, however, inconvenient when you want to pull your piece, thus you end up pulling your shirt up a lot to aid the quick draw. Gangsters, it would appear, are very much subject to the will of fashion.

I determined that fronting helps to distract your attention from the primary threat. When Mr. Baggy Pants realized that I was too concerned with the facial squatter to recognize his posturing he decided to get my attention by kicking my bike. Immediately thereafter came the blows.

Later they let me know their theory on why I was the only biker getting harassed, centering around the idea that I was a possible skinhead. At this point I am overwhelmed. I want to tell him I am going bald and am aiding nature rather than fighting it (you gotta chose your battles). Still a little dazed and trying to get a grasp on what just happened I tried not to speak even when I had something really amusing to say. It was hard.

About 10 min later the cops do arrive on the scene and promptly park right in the narrow passage between the concrete island and the curb, blocking all through traffic. The two guys offer their eyewitness testimony.

"It was a white, blah blah blah car, officer."

"Did anyone get the licensee place number?"

"Uhh, they parked on a side street."

"Oh." After a long pause she turned to me. "Well there is not much we can do for you. We will take your contact info in case there is another report tonight, but I gotta tell you there isn't much chance of us finding them on the info we got." I realize that I am way out of my league, after all they had been wise enough to threaten us so we wouldn't follow and to park on a side street so we couldn't see their plate as they made their getaway.

"I was considering not even filing a report. I mean, I guess it helps to have it on the record, but..."

"What would you like to see happen from all this?"

"Do you think we could get some better bike laws or something?"

"Hey, me too. I ride my bike all the time, but that's really not my department."

"Right. Well it's good that you ride your bike."

"I would have gotten in some counter punches if I was you... teach them a lesson."

"Oh... ummm... Thanks."

I can't help wondering what would have happened if I had hit him back. Or if they didn't see Steev calling 911. Maybe they would have followed us to Steev's house on the next block. What then?

At Steev's I check myself in the mirror. Other than slightly fuller lips and a ripped shirt I can't see any difference. "Damn I look good! I should get beat up more often..."

Steev pours me the last Bikesummer beer ( and we sit to watch the Chuck666 music video for our screening. It was odd watching myself jousting with Spider Man on tall bikes.

Then to add to the evening's surrealism we go to the Hollywood Theater to watch Roman Holiday starring a young Audrey Hepburn as a ignorant princess full of wanderlust; and a dashing Gregory Peck emotionally torn in a fake Italian world gone mad. As a whole the evening was quite stirring.

I finish the night discussing the social aspects and ramifications of being a sissy with 6rady, the publisher of "wimp!" ( until 4am.

Later I hope to regale you with the story of how I flipped over my bars, ran into a car door, and fell off Esplanade all in one week!

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