This will be a short one... mostly just a notice. I'm going to be gone for the next week. Absoferkinglutely no email access will I have, whilst I am hopefully relaxing on a beach in Kauai. I shall read roleplaying books in the shade and sleep twelve hours a night and throw sand at my brother if he deserves it, and not see hide nor hair of a personal computer for 175 hours or so. Perhaps when I come back I will temporarily not be so stressed out. That'd be kinda slick.
I'm tired of my computer not being my own. I'm tired of my room not being my own. I'm tired of too long a commute with too little reward for the effort, and I'm tired of the floor and I want to be away from this house. I want to feel like I understand how to use a local editor to work on my pages, and I want my burner to work. I want to know why I can't seem to copy anything from an xterm to any other program, even though I can copy and paste between terminals just fine. I want to sit down and spend hours with the Gimp, and I want to figure out how to dual-boot my machine so I could play games and use Pshop. I want to tilt back in a chair and put my feet on my desk and see a stereo next to them. Have I mentioned I want to be out of this house? I want to leave my room and go around the corner to watch TV. In my mind's eye the scenes are all dim, lit by low lamps while headlights from the freeway cross the ceiling and stars twinkle out the windows. Funny how the imagination works. In a time when very little is certain, and that which is is uncomfortable, I long for a routine and a home. One lit by Christmas lights and defined by the patter of rain on a roof.
Pain. I breathe deeply and it shoots through my ribs and down my arm. I sit and it pulses through me. I crane my shoulder and arm into impossible kung-fu poses to try to stop it, and it slows to a dull ache. I laugh and my knees want to crumble as the action causes the pain to stab through me and tears squeeze from my eyes. Okay... five days of this crap is enough. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.
It shouldn't be this goddamned hard. I just want a black, boxy, simple shelf stereo. Is that really too much to ask? Apparently so... anything that wasn't pulsingly, brushed-aluminum, incredibly ugly or 1000+ dollars appears to be a discontinued item. And I will not pay two thirds of what I paid for my complete stereo system (it was at a massive discount, but still) for a freaking shelf stereo for my bedroom. I suppose I should be going by sound quality and features and all that... but the only things that have what I want feature-wise are either cheap and both UGLY UGLY UGLY and bigger than I want, or 999.95+ dollars. FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! Pioneer's website appears to have vaguely what I want (for about 80 dollars more than I wanted to spend, but at this point I'd consider it just to save my eyes from having to look at most of the products out on the market)... of course, it appears that the item was discontinued in January 1999, replaced by an oversized, brushed-metal, blinking displayed monstrosity. I'm getting all sorts of flak about how I shouldn't care what it looks like; well, honestly, screw that. I'm not going to spend over a hundred dollars on something I'm not COMPLETELY comfortable with. And that damn well includes how it looks. ARGH.
Time gets sucked up into a hole when you go blackberry picking. Fingers settling into a rythym of pushing vines away, hooking brambles on others to clear space, and dropping warm berries into a metal bowl. I helped pick a whole bunch today... that and helped can them too. I ground berries into a mash and put up with inane comments about how citified I am, and smelled the berry scent rising up into my face, and smiled.
I was going to write something yesterday, but a combination of the computer being taken up by the Sims and twisting my ankle (that was truly ignomious and I don't want to talk about it) prevented me from doing so. I probably would have said something about my ankle anyway, and as per my previous statement, I'd feel stupid about it today. All for the best, in the end.
A longing for the out-of-the-ordinary... searches through the Stranger, imagined chance encounters with people on the street... I think I need more mental stimulation than I've been getting. My brain feels simultaneously stagnant and overactive... but I had a great day at work, so life isn't terrible.
Good luck at Wazoo, Chris. I'll miss you more than I can really describe, and hope that everything goes well. I know you're doing the right thing, and all your friends back here will be praying (or whatever the local equivilent is) for you. Thanks for all the talks.
While I freely admit that I forgot to write anything two nights ago, I was forced against my will to not write anything last night. Not having stable DSL and not having computer hooked up to a phone line is really frustrating. Bleh. What an utterly demoralizing day. Though Justin and Ali did make me feel a lot better towards the end there.
The glories of falling asleep in front of the TV are numerous. I believe I shall go and... uh... glory in them now.
(laughing) Little mind blips... the realm of imagination makes me want to double up giggling while walking down the Ave sometimes.
Conversation... "Is your friend single?" "If she was, I'd be all over that." (pause) "Yeah, me too."
Conversation... "Just tell them that they get to work with me, and watch the shifts fill up!"
(hehe) I can be bad.
Two excerpts from a just-sent email :
"It feels like our staff gets not a fifth of the support and training that I feel that I got when I got hired, not even a year ago. The prevailing attitude is that nothing we do matters, and that it doesn't matter for us to learn anything we don't already know, except perhaps how to restart a Mac. Training shouldn't be left just for orientations or for people to scratch out for themselves by tooth or nail. I didn't mind the fact that I didn't get an orientation until the one at the beginning of winter quarter because Mark was readily available to answer questions, Karalee had me terrified that if I didn't push in chairs and log out machines when I had free time that she'd hang me from the roof of the CRC, and my co-workers laughingly helped me with my checklists instead of snidely telling me that it didn't matter or blindly checking things off just to get me to leave them alone to their surfing."
"I know this is coming off as pretty rude, and I apologize. I know it's stupid to care this much about a stupid student crap-wage job. But it offends my work ethic and my very nature to see this stuff going on, and I can't go without a token sound-off any longer. Chris tells me I'll get used to it, but I don't want to. It's just damn ridiculous."
I miss my old Stabbing Westward tshirt. Who knows where it is; it was either lost on Whidbey Island last summer or somehow made it into Brian's stuff before he left. It had the funky angel-owl broken statue from the Darkest Days album art on it, and I think it may have had lyrics on the back? I don't remember. But I do miss it. Even if it was Scott who gave it to me. I wonder what he's doing these days. There's not enough of a desire to actually email and ask; there's too much fear for that, and I don't think it'll ever subside. Knowing him was one of the most disturbing experiences of my sophomore year, one that I try not to think about most of the time. But sometimes it comes creeping in, memories of fights in stairwells and tantrums in my room whispering through the corners of my mind. Wherever he is, whatever he is doing... I hope he finds some peace someday, having learned to get it without it being at the expense of others.
At the strangest times, I miss talking to Saul Van Hougen (or however his last name is spelled). Other times, I can't help but think of Mark, as Sean Connery's voice and James Earl Jones' delivery in Hunt for Red October make it feel as if he must still be around. (Grumble) I feel bad for writing down that last line. Damnit. It's not fair.
It works. It works a little better if A) you're trying to mount the correct device in the correct location and B) you know that it doesn't get automatically remounted when you reboot. Chalk it up to a learning experience, I suppose. Learning is exactly what I didn't do today; despite the fact that I know I have a test tomorrow, I barely looked at the material today. And that's not because I know it so well or anything. Sigh.
Well, the good news is that my drive seems to be okay. The bad news is that Linux doesn't seem to think so. As to why it suddenly stopped seeing my second hard drive, and now tells me that there's one of about six problems wrong with it, but I pulled it out and it worked fine in Jeff's Windows box, I have no idea. I want Richard back in town (sulk). I would sorta know what I was doing if I was just having to USE stuff. Having to fiddle too much with mounting drives and things is a little over my current level of experience. And no amount of reading stuff helps, when the operating system either tells you that special device hdb doesn't exist, or has no valid MS-DOS filesystem on it, or has a bad superblock. Or whatever the other error messages were that I don't remember.
Every week, I pick up a Stranger. Mood and weather dependent, I sprawl on the grass of campus or settle into a seat at the Roma, and begin reading. I roll my eyes at the letters to the editor, read most of the articles, invariably smile at Last Days, Savage Love, and It's All True, scratch my head at the horoscopes, scan the I Saw U's for things that sound like Richard, and alternately laugh and wince at the Alternatives. I'm extremely jealous of that hour of my week; I get annoyed at distractions and want nothing more than to be left alone to observe my silly little weekly ritual that has no more meaning that that it gains by being done every week. I can't wait for the rain this year; I crave sitting in the Roma, dressed darkly with a trenchoat folded over next to me, and boots tapping the floor in an unnoticed, coffee-induced rythym. I know it for the cliche that it is, but something about that image of self, as I flip pages and grope for my coffee and rain washes the streets outside, calls out to me this summer. Perhaps it's the melancholy that so often hits me when I'm done reading; a mood that seems out of place when the sun is beating down on the pavement. Perhaps it's a longing for the idealized memory of last fall and winter, when a tall, slender boy dressed all in black threw bits of paper at his best friend and she laughed. And perhaps I just hate the sun (it makes me want to DIE...).
I've had this open for the last several hours, simply wondering what I would write. I read through old archives today; looked back at when I would ramble for a good long time, ranting on this, musing on that, and generally being half-assedly eloquent. I don't do that much these days; perhaps it's a phase, or perhaps I've finally run out of things to say (HAH). I'm inclined to think it's the former... if I got hunting through, I'm sure I can find some sort of cyclical thing where I find that any sort of intelligence I possess seems to lapse for a period of a few weeks. I was caused to wonder today as to why I started doing this. Why Chris, John, Jeff, Kyle, Brian, Zach, and Monica have all at various points been inspired to do the same. Some of it has to do with a innate human quality of enjoying the knowing that something I have said will be read by someone else, and be processed by their mind. A lot of it has to do with airing complaints in a way that seems more private and safe, but still allowing the conceit of being heard by other people (with the added ego bonus of knowing that if someone reads it, it must be because they wanted to, because otherwise they wouldn't have come here to read it...). And some of it had to do with walking down a rainy, dark alley across Roosevelt from Terry, wiping rain out of my eyes and wondering if Brian would call me the next day and listening to cars whish by behind me and running my fingers along a brick wall and trying to decide what movie I want to watch tonight with Jase and Seth and blinking another drop and looking up into orange-tinted clouds and wanting to write down the moment so that I'd remember it.
Well, Windows went away today. Red Hat seems to be working out okay, but that could be due to the fact that I haven't messed around with it much yet. Richard's going to get real tired of me asking him questions, real quick (sigh). I still want to know why x won't keep my settings when I close it down, even though so far as both of us can tell, it should be. Go figure. I played with the Gimp a little; I'm confused as to why the "Fill" option seems to fill with the background color... but hey, it did what I wanted it to. Now just to start playing with it and see what can be learned.... eep.
I have rid myself of the "z," I should flip over the page but I'm not going to, and I could have killed myself today randomly walking across 15th against the light without even looking to see if there was traffic. I'm not certain why I did it; I was halfway across before I even noticed that I was in the street. Funny how my consciousness does not seem bounded by my brain; I feel as if the I extends out beyond the physical location of me, similar to a large house with only one small window into the outside world. And in my dreams last night, my soul was a shredded silver pathetic thing, dragging from my footsteps and in dreadful need of repair.