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Vacation = good.


As I've said before, it's hard to get this updated from Winlock. Jim's dad is often on the computer playing casino games past when I want to go to bed, so I just don't get around to checking my mail and doing an update at night.... and I usually forget in the morning (but not today!). Things have been laid-back—I got a digital camera for Christmas from Jim, which was about the coolest possible thing. I had NO idea he was getting it. It's nice to be surprised. Other than that, nothing really to say. I've been reading and eating and playing pinochle and sleeping. w00t.


Cool presents have been promised, obligatory time has been spent with the family, and a nice week down in Winlock to look forward to... thank god. Aight. So now on to the guest entry I promised out to Brian a couple days ago. In my friends' defenses : I don't let most of them see me every day and I don't let on how shitty I feel to them, so lack of knowledge about my well-being isn't really their fault. But I promised Brian the space, so here goes...

Greetings. My name is Brian, and I'm the first guest journal writer ever in the 4+ years of the bible that is Jen's journal. <applause> Refer to December 18th for a small recap of who I am, don't mistake me for freaky Japan Brian K-THANKS. If you are not Jennifer then I suggest you skip down to the bottom because there will be some words for you fine people, but this paragraph is for her. Just popping my head in to give great thanks for everything you've done, and how much you've helped me in the last 5 years of life. I know we don't talk all the time, but I'll constantly be trying to change that. You seem to sneak up whenever I need you though, and I appreciate it more then you'll ever realize. Now you have it in writing that you can secretly peek at anytime you need it, that you're important, that other people (me!) depend on you greatly, and that there's a whole lot of caring going on here. In short, I can never thank you enough.

And now to all of Jen's friends reading this page, heads up because this is at you. If you could, everyone go read Jen's entry for 12/13/02. Hurry back now. If you don't see a problem here, then I'm truly speechless. About 5 years ago, me and Jen talked on the phone almost daily, through one of the worst times of her life, and this was never a problem. You people who see her every day in person, should be working miracles. You just don't seem to understand what a precious gift you have in front of you, and frankly you should all be ashamed. How much effort would it take to avoid this, I have to imagine not too much =/ I'm just asking to take a step back and think about human life, and think about how much you all care for each other. This probably should be aimed at the guy who won't ever get a chance to read this, so if someone wants to pass this on to her boyfriend, please feel free. If I hear of anymore death voyages by this young lady, I'm driving my beat up Corsica across the country and beating all of your asses for being so stupid. Thanks! Glad we had this talk :o

I think I've done enough damage... thanks to the hostess and happy holidays from the East Coast.


A nice Christmas Eve service, complete with visiting old friends not seen in a year, two years, four years... ten... Funny to talk to people I used to be so close to and have them be such strangers.


Man, Brian was supposed to give me a special guest entry, but he forgot (as did I). Spent a while catching up on the phone today... (heh) He just called back to tell me he hadn't forgot. Anyway. Spent most of today either shopping or entertaining the Brian (who stayed up all night to catch a flight in the morning, East Coast time... I told him to go to bed, but noooooo). Theoretically, I went to work, but not a lot got done. I hope Ian calls or emails tomorrow so I can set up Jim's gift properly... stupid people in Seattle who won't copy their damn apartment keys, making me rely on a notoriously unstable intermediary for my Christmas plots. Bah. Two days with the family on the horizon... Joy. Here's to it not sucking.


It's hard to get myself to write stuff from Winlock... silly modem and all that jazz. Bah. Had a "talk" with Jim on Saturday night, which was less cathartic than it would have been if I weren't such an emotional retard that I can't bear to risk things resembling a fight. We'll see how things go... I pointed out several things he'd been blissfully unaware of. Though it did lead me to some depressing pondering in the car on the way back up. From an ethical standpoint, I shouldn't allow anyone to date me. No one should have to put up with my shit. But if I remain alone, I'm not happy, and the hedonist starts bitching at the altruist. And if the hedonist ain't happy....


All in all, a decent day, even if I chose to forego a shower in favor of an extra two hours of sleep. Heh. That's Jen, the cleanliness queen. Roleplayed, and saw Star Trek : Nemesis. I liked it. Didn't love it, but I liked it. Troi finally didsomething useful! I wish to rant about the ending, but I know a few of my friends haven't seen it yet. It shall be ranted about... oh yes, it shall. They have struck a blow against my fourteen year old self.


Treat of treats, my old friend Brian Dammen messaged me today. I'm terrible at keeping up friendships when I don't see people in person, and there aren't very many people from my past who I let message me, anyway. But I care about Brian a lot more than I'll admit to most people, so it's always nice when he takes up my slack and gets ahold of me. He even called me and said mawm (hehe).


Oh my god. The Two Towers was cool, and by cool, I mean totally sweet. And by sweet, I mean totally awesome. Totally fucking awesome. Don't tell the elf. But it's 4:09 am now, and I'm very cold and want to go to bed. Because it's warm there, not because I'm particularly tired. Stupid insomnia.


More on the ongoing saga... he snuck into my house last night and left me a rose and a really sweet card. It's tempting to dismiss this as trite, but it was a very sweet thing to do. Given that he's never really done something like this before, it gives me hope. Heh.

In completely not relationship-related news, I'm completely bummed that I can't go to see Peter Gabriel tomorrow night. I just found out on Friday that he was coming to town... Jim and I already have tickets for the Two Towers at midnight that night and he has to work all the way up until we go. Sob. It probably would have been too late to get tickets, anyway, and I wouldn't want to go by myself (no one else understands my Peter Gabriel obsession... Jim doesn't even really, but he's a good sport). I just wish... well, that I could go. Maybe he'll come back into town next year sometime. Sigh.


Well, after a perfectly good weekend during which Jim made a great effort to keep me from being depressed, he had to go and spoil it by ditching me in favor of work again tonight. And now I'm back exactly where I was last week. I guess I'll just go to bed and be miserable, seeing it's too late to call Kate, and I don't know what I'd say if I did, and Robin and Susan are over so even if Brandon was available to talk I wouldn't want to. Of course, I don't know what I'd say to him either. I'd probably just protest to both of them that I was fine. Bother.

My back has gotten so unbelievably tight over the last week or two. Sigh.


I got out of bed last night at about 1:30 in the morning and got dressed. I was too upset to sleep. I drove out to school; finished the last install I needed to have done for today, which took about an hour. Finding myself still uncalmed, I drove out to Bothell, crying the whole way. I was tempted to just keep going, but the logical part of my brain stepped in and informed me, rightfully, that I was so tired and distraught I was likely to end up going off the road. Not that it would have been an entirely unwelcome incident, considering my frame of mind. So I drove to my parents place, walked past my oblivious brother and his friends, and slept in my "own" bed for the first time since, oh, Christmas last year. I slept for something like twelve hours, dragging myself out of bed at 2:30 in the afternoon, still depressed. I'm not sure why I'd thought that sleeping at home was going to make anything better. I swung by my apartment to get some CDs, filled up the tank, and drove to Canada.

It's been a long time since I made one of my depression drives. Perhaps not for four years or so... whenever it was that I drove to Portland and back one night. I cried most of the way north tonight... my music choice didn't really help, believe me. I was childishly convinced that I'd just keep on going until I ran out of gas, and who knows what I thought I'd do then. The rain pouring down seemed so suitable as I roared along at eighty miles an hour. Some ways south of the border, though, I finally cried myself out. The horrible pit inside seemed as if it'd been filled up, albeit with exhaustion more than anything else. So I turned around, and drove back. I hadn't eaten in about 24 hours, was worn out from crying, and my eyes were all bleary. I wove in and out of cars, fought buffeting winds, and managed to stay on the road, somewhat to my surprise. I got back into Seattle at about 8:30 pm. I thought up until I drove up my street that perhaps I'd just go read in a parking lot, maybe sleep in my car... I wondered how long it'd be until anyone noticed I was even gone.

Self disgust trumps all, in the end, though, so now it's a little after 9 and I'm sitting in my room, typing this. I don't really feel any better than I did last night, or earlier today... just more tired. I just want him to call; I'm sure if I tell him about this, he'll get all huffy and tell me I should have called him last night... he never seems to get the point. I'm so tired of the burden of reaching out, of making sure that I'm all right. I know he's busy at work, but I wish he could work in a little bit of effort towards taking care of me, childish though that is. Maybe I should have kept going tonight... it probably would have been the whole weekend before he even started to wonder where I was. He could have called this week, at least. He only came by on Tuesday because I was so feverish and depressed that I called and begged him to come over. That's unfair, I suppose... I know he didn't begrudge the coming over, but I so wish he'd fucking initiate.

I'm so tired.


Sigh. I am sitting all alone in a windowless room, listening to a Russian station that has, coincidentally, been playing more depressing music the more depressed I get. Sometimes things just go like that. The source of my depression today is something that's been plaguing me for the entire quarter, though I've not admitted it to nearly anyone. If anyone at all other than Kate, and then only briefly.


Try as I might to be unaffected by his presence in my life every morning, I just can't help but watch him as he speaks his fantastic Japanese and makes his funny jokes and smiles his crooked smile and gives his well-informed, intelligent opinion, and is generally his awesome, incredibly attractive self. (I hope he never reads this, heh... his ego is probably inflated enough already from being around all the doofuses in our class). On drizzly days I've been walking to work or class a block or two behind him (not intentionally), and as I watch him advance farther with each of his longer strides, melancholy just hits. It's not that I'm unhappy with Jim, or that I'd break up with him in exchange for Brian back, of course (goodness knows, anyone who talks to me about Jim should know that). It's just that Brian was the first boy I really, truly, gave my heart to, and that just doesn't go away. I loved him more passionately than I have any man since, though perhaps not more deeply (methinks Jim gets that honor). It's the ghost of that love that mists my eyes over when I see him around campus, when I watch him joking with Erin and Steve in class, when I exchange a quick laugh over mispassed papers.

I guess it hurts the most when I actually examine the fact that he probably doesn't give more than a second of thought my way every couple weeks. I never meant quite as much to him as he did to me, and I was never anything that he thought was "perfect." Yes, I know that he's immature and that I've done well for myself, and that he should be wishing every moment that he'd not screwed it up with me, but the fact is that there's a part of me that still loves him, and that part hurts when I think about the fact that he no longer loves me back, if he ever did, and beyond that, that I no longer impinge on his life in anything more than the very slightest respect.

Of course, someone reading this may be wondering what brings this up at all. During the last day of class, yesterday, Katou-sensei bid farewell to those in our class who are moving on, and Brian's name came up among them. I had just sort of assumed that he'd be around all year... that perhaps at some point I'd work up the courage to talk to him more than for a moment... to have some sort of meaningful exchange. Not that such an exchange would necessarily be a good thing, but that's beside the point. But no, he'll be gone after this quarter, in the biggest of ways—he got a full-time position at Sony, in Tokyo. It's the same place he interned at last year, and I'm so painfully proud of him that he won a position. Painful because I recognize that it's the ghost that pumps up the pride... my chest wrenches with guilt when I think about how proud I am of him—I have no right to be that happy about his successes. Jim would probably be furious, or at least sulky, if he knew, and how can I explain to him that it doesn't in any way impact the love I have for him?

Anyway, yesterday, I waited until everyone had filled out reviews and wandered out of class, and went up to that oh-so-familiar-after-all-these-years body and took a deep breath, and I smiled. I asked him about what department he'll be working with (Clie development), about when he'll start, about where he'll live, wished him luck. We chatted for a while; he walked me to Mary Gates. It was all so achingly right... but not. My voice broke slightly as I bid goodbye to him, and though I prefer to blame it on the cold and sore throat I've had all week, I'm not sure I really can. I just still can't get quite over him—I still need, after all these years, to hear something that makes up for all the pain he caused back in 1999. Certain things he said about me in certain emails still ring through my head every time I get depressed (like now... bother), and more than anything else in the world I just want to hear him say something good about me. Who knows if it'd heal anything... but that doesn't reduce my desire to hear it any less. Just one good thing... to somehow try to equalize this ridiculous disparity in my head, where I look at our relationship and see me idolizing him and me being nothing to him. I know (hope) that that can't be a true representation of how things were, but I'm left with it all the same, and at times it just destroys me.

Sigh. That's not at all where I thought I'd go with this... ah well. Such is the way of things. Perhaps I'll blame it on the loneliness and the lowering blood sugar level and the rain outside. I really am proud of him, and so very happy for him that he's moving into such a fantastic part of his life. I try to hold on to that piece, and take simple pleasure in it, when I get this down.

A couple hours later, I have some mixed feelings on the above. On the one hand, it is how I feel. On the other hand, there's only a certain point up to which I can blame other people (like Brian) for my psychological problems. And given the extent of shit in my mind, there's really no way anyone can be more responsible for it than I am.

Sigh. I shouldn't be allowed to drive when I'm depressed. There should be some sort of short in my car that's tripped by negative emotional energy.


(deep breath) This is one of those things that I get an urge to not write about, but I think I will anyway. Partially to try to keep a record somewhere to, I don't know, shame myself out of the behavior or something, and partially because what the hell is a page like this for if not for recording various bits of personally embarrassing information? So I was studying tonight, writing down many a phrase to remember for my oral final tomorrow... and pulling at my hair. I've been pulling at my hair for years (I think I started in high school), but it's gotten worse in the past couple months. Relationship stress, graduate school stres, uncertainty about the future and all that. Well, I say it's gotten worse in the past couple months, but perhaps I should clarify that this is just the most recent "flare-up." Sigh. Anyway, I was studying and I looked over at my desk and there's a fucking PILE of hair sitting there. Usually when I pull at my hair, I don't let it lie in a place I can see—I play with it for a minute or two and then drop it on the floor, or in the trash, or whatever. But tonight, I saw, and I saw about thirty hairs lying on my desk. It had been about twenty minutes. ARGH. I put my hand up to my head... in the back, at that one spot... and I could actually feel how the hair was thinner around there. I always go after the nasty coarse hairs (and incidental collateral damage), and as I sat and looked at those hairs, I got to wondering why I'd been finding more lately... particularly in that one area of my head. Well, turns out, basically, all the pulling I've done has damaged a bunch of my hair follicles, causing the new hair to grow back in with a different texture. JOY. So I do a lot of looking around online, and find out that there's an actual disorder that I match up to. I can't go around claiming that I've got it, of course—hypochondriac that I am, I'd claim I had just about anything if I put my mind to it. But let's say that I find in myself a suspicious correlation to trichotillomania. ARGH I just caught myself trying to go for my hair again. I know I do it when I get stressed out—there's a little psychological? physiological? rush I get that relaxes me when I pull... well, even the word "pull" isn't quite right. I don't feel about it like it's "pulling a hair out," but more like it's "removing" something that "shouldn't be there." Yeah. Because I'm real normal. Anyway. The whole stress thing means that in stressful situations like tests, or writing embarrassing things here, a lot of hair can end up on the floor. I hate the playing with it part the most... I won't go into which particular behaviors I indulge in; suffice to say that most of them are common trichotillomania behaviors and I'd be mildly (okay, quite) embarrassed should anyone catch me at it. So the question pops up again, why write this at all, if I'm so embarrassed? Well... I don't know, really. It's just that I hate it so much. I lie in bed some nights and can't go to sleep because I'm obsessively rifling through my hair, yanking some out. I promise myself that I'll stop after one more... one more... okay, just when I get that gross coarse one out... just one more... That's just not fucking normal. And as long as I hide it from the world, I'll keep on doing it. There's something to be said for public humiliation.


You know, taking a final at 8 am with a fever is just the best. Ever.


One final down, three to go, and I'm sick. Sore throat, apathetic, headachy sick. Damnit. I just can't concentrate on my studying tonight, which sucks, seeing as the test tomorrow is the one most in need of studying. I am far too stressed out too really do anything, so I suppose I shall end with a picture of my super smart always squinting kitty and my adorable fat teddy-bear kitty and go to bed. I shall think happy thoughts...


Sigh. Y'know, I was supposed to be be sleeping two hours ago, but noooo. You got me out here draggin' your heavy ass to completion with your images taking fucking forever. You gotta come down here with effort required, takin' all of my time... and what the hell is that SMELL?? I could've been asleep! But I ain't mad.


Had to flee my overrun house again tonight. Bah.


Stupid stupid tangential Blaine. I mean, it's fun to spend four hours laughing and joking with buds, but not when those four hours were supposed to be spent gaming, and 9 out of 10 tangents were initiated by a certain pizza delivery boy. Argh.


I was about to say "Another ho-hum day, nothing really to say" when I suddenly remembered that I had written down something in my notebook today for just this sort of instance! I forget what it was, but I wrote it down. (checking) Ah yes. We were talking about primacy/recency effects in my technical communication class (basically, given a string of words, or a sentence, whatever, you tend to remember the first and last pieces the most). I started a thought offshoot about whether the same thing applies to paragraphs, and went from there to the idea that people subconsciously read as if the first sentence of a paragraph is the topic sentence and the last sentence is the introduction to the next sentence. It's this second piece that I use when I read; I think when I start reading quickly, I start leaping over the center part of paragraphs. Not the entire center of all paragraphs, of course, but enough to get me through books quickly enough to make Jim mad at me (heh). And then I come back and read the book a year or two later, skipping entirely different parts, and I run into paragraphs I have absolutely no memory of reading. Blah, I totally lost the train of that thought due to turning on Loveline. For years, I've eschewed talk radio, and I still can't stand other programs, but I've been catching Loveline accidentally at night in the care lately. It's actually... entertaining. And I actually... intentionally... turned it on tonight. Boggle.


A three day switch over isn't bad in the grand scheme of things. I just wasted a couple hours playing Age of Empires again. See, there's a reason why I don't normally do a whole lot on my Windows machine : it tends to get... subverted. I feel like a complete and total slacker. This is not helped by the fact that I went to class today, came home immediately after, and went back to sleep until nearly one. This implies not going to work. I did warn Karalee, but I'll still have to go in all afternoon tomorrow to make up. I got so incredibly demotivated over Thanksgiving that it's ridiculous.


I still haven't been brave enough to try anything with that cursed drive. Sigh. Did a lot of busywork work today, which wasn't too pleasing. I'm going to have to sit down and think up some projects to occupy my time over the next two quarters if I want to maintain a twenty-hour-a-week load. Serves me right for getting all of Brandon's crap fixed up too quickly. Heh. I just spent the last several seconds trying to decide where to place my glass on my desk... completely forgetting that I have, you know, a coaster for that express purpose. It smells like cookies and pancakes in my apartment, thanks to Greg. Goodness. Even more goodness : no more Japanese quizzes this quarter! HOORAY!


Not dead, just been gone all weekend. Highlights only, because I'm tired : Mom and Dad only started bickering two or three times on Thanksgiving, a new record. Played Shadowrun for the first (serious) time and it was fun, suprisingly, despite Eric predictably driving me up the wall. Saw Harry Potter, wasn't particularly impressed, but I don't begrudge it my six dollars (my ass kind of does, but only because it fell asleep). Very bizarre dreams last night, with high points of a Cabaret boi in leather singing Ondine lyrics to me and a huge gun battle in the Quad with Alex Tomita as the central crackpot. Lots of time spent in Jim's new car (very much not minded). A half-memory of thinking of something I really wanted to write down (hah). Oh yeah—I remember, senior year of high school, looking forward to college for several reasons. One of these reasons was that I was looking forward to having such huge classes that no one would ever get to know me... then I would never have to worry about what I was wearing, because no one would care. Rather ironic, really.