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In an interstellar burst
I'm back to save the universe.

Yesterday, I thought my cat was dying. He's been hiding under my bed for a couple of days now, and hasn't eaten a thing. Even putting milk in front of him, he wouldn't touch it. He would try to cover it up like it was cat litter. I know you're not supposed to give cats milk, because their intestines do not produce the lactase required to digest it, but I just wanted him to have something. This morning though, he came up on top of the bed, and I groomed his fur. He seemed quite happy, and drank a bit of milk. I think he's just sick.

This just happening after my other cat decided to run away from home for a couple days. O kitties, what are you doing to me?

I've been listening to Radiohead music for like, weeks now, and nothing else, and I think I'm finally getting a little tired of it. Now I'll revert back to Beck or something.

I wish I could get more hours at work. More work = more money = happier me. I don't like not having money. I'm getting screwed on hours, because the management decided to double our staff at the bookstore I work at for the holidays. So we're all getting around 4 hours a week.

My girlfriend is so cool about me not having any money. She even thinks she can pay for some stuff we do. That makes me feel kind of bad though.

This is what you get,
this is what you get,
this is what you get,
when you mess with us.

For a minute there
I lost myself, I lost myself.
Phew, for a minute there,
I lost myself, I lost myself.

I can peer into her mind if I really have to, but it’s disgusting the way you women think. Or at least my penis sure doesn’t like it. To think with a vagina, it’s a difficult proposition. I don’t know how you survive without killing yourselves. Oh, of course men take it upon themselves all the time to try and think like a woman, write from a woman’s perspective. But we’ve all got it wrong. No matter how convincing it may seem we will never understand the horror.

It’s cold in her mind.

I work downstairs so I don't have to drive to work. The less of a distance between home and work, the more likely I am to go. Just take the elevator down, which is enough of a trigger. Let me predict my death: stabbing or shooting by someone standing right outside the elevator door, or in the elevator. Every time, click click, mechanical glide, I know where to stand to slice the pie. Phew, no one waiting for me with a gun or knife. My stomach relaxes. You can see what floor the elevator is on, so I can usually deduce whether someone is on it. However, there have been statistical aberrations when someone will be on the elevator when it wouldn't make sense. Elevator at one, I'm on nine. Press. Elevator goes to three, stops, picks up one or more passengers. Rises to four, opens. Up to nine, click click, mechanical glide, slice the pie, stomach... wait, there's someone on it.

"Going down?"

"Yes."

Eyebrow raises, stomach relaxes (it's only a resident). Then the trip down. I'm not one of those people that are paranoid about the elevator falling. Stops at five. Opens, enter citizen. Curt greetings, eye glances.

Regardless, I work downstairs in Suite 4.

How many widgets can we make with these widget parts? How much will it cost to ship 30,000 widgets to Chicago? How much should we sell the widgets for if we want to make a profit. Profit.

We don't do that. I open the door to the office place. Three best places to look first, in order of avoidance of the third. To the right, to see if there are people in the conference room. To the left, my boss' door inches above the cubicles so I can see if the door is closed. Even if it is, he might still be there. Then straight ahead, there is a picture on the wall encased in clear plastic so I can see my reflection. Here I hit one of those thoughts.

A mind twist, the ghosts are here. Who is that in the mirror? Who peers at me and knows me, again and again. He who grows with me and wears my clothes. In Pittsburgh, at school, before I moved back, I took psychedelic mushrooms for an entire week in a row. They said to not look in the mirror. He was pale, with a streaky cat-like face. Feline recognition of stripes with meanings, the jaguar has "go away" tattooed all over in Cat. I hissed at him and imagined being older. I saw an ancient me, an aged body and mind. The mirror consumed me, I fixated on the eyes.

Ever connect a video camera to a television and then focus the camera on the television? Empty images fall into a newer middle until the group of pixels can no longer represent the entire screen.

No one is in my dorm room, Ian is away. My eyes look into my eyes, there's no soul, yet. I can see myself over and over inside, my mind knows how to deal with it, that's the problem. How many times looped? What is the smallest center thought, like on the television? My face excretes onto the other side of the mirror, I continue staring. The last day of a week of tripping on mushrooms and I have run out, no desire for more. I imagine an older me, I extrapolate incorrectly as I know now. It isn't magic, you know, just tripping.

My bed is broken and it effects me. Hissing isn't helping anymore. Throw something. I lay crooked on the bed, fallen into the floor at an angle, yet rigidly concentrated on sleep's impossible boon. My mind is crooked, looking now at a non-mirror ceiling. It reflects me anyway, I can feel myself in it now. An illusion? This all comes to me in any mirror, even in Suite 4.

I continue walking to my cubicle. A brief left look to my mailbox, shrooming incident just leaving the front burner as I slide past eyes on either side. Two computers in my cubicle, three if you count me; it's a joke. Knock.

"Hey, I'm here."

He's an Arab, I'm not racist. Verbal miscommunication is the name of the game here, like it or not. Hard enough for me, dodging the twists like quicksand pits, never mind a language barrier. The project, that's all I do, really. Just that one project, a little other stuff on the side, there's no college degree, yet.

Back to the cubicle across the path, look to the right then left very quickly, no reason really. The computer asks me for my name and password. As far as they can tell, I'm glassb if and only if ataribg .

A message from my boss flickers on the screen. Didn't I just talk to him a few seconds ago? Update the opiates section. Opium runs the veins of quite a few. In the lungs of many more. A distinct first taste, sharp and sweet, with a lingering desire not to move. Depending on quality, a small headache in the frontal lobe and a squeeze on the stomach follow an initial rush of painlessness. Drug pain is different, since the mind is eased alongside. Available in a rainbow of synthesized flavors, much easier to obtain than the plant.

Update the opiates section. The code must be changed. Writing instructions to a computer is not like submitting an essay to a teacher, each word must be correct or the machine won't let you proceed. There is a language barrier here, too.

Our product, at one point, will ask which opiates you have used. It has been misinterpreting the response. Today I must change this. Scroll down, scroll down. Here is the opiates' code, I can tell because I speak a bit of this language. I follow the excerpt of instruction code in my mind, step by step. Don't see a problem, regardless I run the program to make sure. Turns out the program will allow the user to enter a selection of one or more opiates as well as the selection of "None." I change the code, it will no longer do this. That is my week's work.

Sometimes I start wondering whether I have a mild form of dyslexia.

Say it with me now: huh?

Yeah, well, sometimes I end up reversing letters, both in individual words and between other words. "Reversing" as in "switching one letter out for another", not as in "writing my Rs backward". As in, I'm sitting here ordering titles like I do every single day and I type "Asiam anerican li--" oh, wait. This happens pretty often, where "pretty often" = "multiple times a day". I always catch it right away, and I always go back and change it to what I know is right, but still.

I run one word into another, too. I'll be writing so fast that everything blurs and I find myself writing or typing the first half of one word and second half of another. This might just be a case of thinking faster than I can write. That seems pretty obvious; it's been my theory for a long time. This happens much more often when I'm just writing than typing, too. I don't know what to do with that information, but it's there.

In contrast, most of the switching letters out thing happens when I'm typing. So that could just be a case of typos, especially with letters as close to each other as m and n. But I know, when I make the typo of s for a, or vice versa, that it's a typo. There is nothing to switch out if I only type one letter wrong. And just jumbling letters is different from switching two letters that belonged in very different places within the word, and getting the rest of the word right.

But here there is something to switch out. It's not that n and m are typical letters for me to switch out, either. It happens with lots of letters, none of which are necessarily right next to each other on the keyboard. I would have to type for a while to see what else I came up with--I just made the Asian American lit mistake now, so it was the convenient and accurate example available. But I don't think it's just a case of simple typos.

It's also possible that I just think faster than I'm typing, the same way I do when I'm writing. I know I type faster than OCLC online registers information, for instance, because it doesn't clear the screen fast enough and then I get error messages. It makes sense that I have all the letters (for the words in the phrase that fit my idea) in my head, and my fingers want to get them out as quickly as possible, so as to keep up. this makes sense. But why would I be switching specific letters, then?

I don't know. My handwriting is hard to read, but not anything like the example pages you see for dyslexia. I don't have a hard time reading at all. But I don't know anything about this type of diagnosis (or, you know, any diagnosis). It seems pretty unlikely that I would have gotten this far in the vast world of professional English without anyone noticing, or at least having some comprehension problems or something. So I don't actually think I have a learning disorder, no. It's just the only clinical explanation that comes to mind. And it's very weird to see myself making these mistakes when I know perfectly well that I meant to type something else.

Here's a little something from the Unfair Department...

Next weekend I'll be flying to Maine to give the keynote speech at a chronic illness conference. This has been in the works for over a year now, and next weekend it will finally all come together. I leave next Friday and fly back on Sunday.

In addition to being a motivational speaker I'm also a college student. Today my Spanish professor announces a quiz for next Friday - the day I'll be flying to Maine, and therefore won't be in class. After class I explain the situation and the professor tells me there's no make-ups on quizzes. This is not her policy, but that of the Spanish Department and she has to enforce it.

While I understand and agree with the policy, I strongly believe that the rule is designed to keep students from cutting class to go to the beach or staying home to sleep. Shouldn't there be an exception for those of us with legitimate absences, such as being on the lecture circuit?

Maybe I should bring in the poster for the conference with my picture on it as proof that I'm really going to Maine and not planning a drinking binge for that day.


My first daylog - be kind

The past 48 hours or so of my life have probably been just about the most eventful I've ever had. My life generally isn't that interesting, each day just goes on and on, without much change. In fact several of my friends have pointed out that I am the one constant in their lives. Today things started to change and look up. Most of the issues that I have stem from a problem I have with anxiety, which causes me to have a great deal of difficulty with any sort of change.

After muddling through life for 10+ years, things are moving forward. One thing after another has been going my way, and for the first time I can actually see a glimpse of a future that I'm might be very happy in.

It all started simply enough - I got Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD, as well as the soundtrack to "Once More, With Feeling". Yes, that's not a big deal, but I am a fan, and sometimes really simple things can perk up a bad day. Then I made an offer on a house. After over an hour of negotiation, we finally got to an agreement. So in the somewhat near future, I am going to be a home owner. The house even has a tennis court - which would be great, if I played tennis. There are so many things that can be done there to make the house more "me."

I'm not exactly thrilled with my current working situation. We're reminded that "There are 7 days in a week, and 24 hours in a day" whenever we need to make schedules. The domain of the company is not something that I find particularly interesting (though it is cool when I see a truck that I might have had something to do with). But now they're working on moving more and more positions offshore, and having the currently employees basically work to make their own jobs obsolete. Not exactly good for company morale.

Somehow I've gotten the courage to actually start pursuing something else. I have gone through a couple rounds of interviews with a company near Boston, and they seem to be going well. I'm expecting a chance for a face to face meeting sometime in the next week. The company looks good, and happens to be right near where my sister works. Things would be very convenient if that worked out.

I'm still shocked about everything that's happened. I've been trying to deal with my anxiety for so long, and now that I've gotten a handle on some of the roots of the problem, I'm able to start working on the symptoms as well as the cause. Each day I'm getting closer to figuring out what I want and what I want/need to be. The next stages of the home buying process do not seem like they will be as nerve wracking as the first few. I'm not terrified by each new step in finding a new job. I've got a long way to go until I'm really happy, but at least I'm starting to feel good and look forward to each each additional day. I'll be honest, and say I'm a little scared of who I'm going to become, but we'll see what that is.

So the summary has been:

  • Got Buffy soundtrack and DVDs.
  • Interviewed for a new job.
  • Moving down the process of buying a house.
  • Started dealing with some of my problems.
  • Begun to open up about some of the more root causes of my problems.
Not a bad couple of days for a less than interesting protist.

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