Thu, 29 Jan 2004

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iBook logic board repair extension program

for all you unfortunate folk who purchased an iBook between May 2002 and April 2003, this program is for you.

while my old iBook 14.1" 700MHz certainly falls under this category, and I shelled out $300 to try and get my iBook fixed, I'm not sure I want to go through the trouble of recovering my $300 since Apple decided to just give me an iBook G4 14.1" 933MHz. For $300, that's a pretty sweet upgrade. Of course, I had to get new RAM, and an Airport Extreme card, but I was able to pawn off my old RAM and Airport card to my sister, whom I convinced to purchase one of these afflicted iBooks (14.1" 933MHz with the old G3 processor) for around $900, a sweet deal given that this logic board repair program is in effect.

as a side note, my iBook G4 did break down already, quite possibly because I may have electrocuted it, although I still believe that I was properly grounded and I was careful not to touch any of my iBook's innards that shouldn't be touched, and I've been screwing around with the insides of computers since the early 1990s with few (although spectacular) mishaps. I would've probably shelled out another $300, but luckily it was Christmas time, and the guy at the genius bar wanted to give me a break, additionally considering my long, sordid history with the Apple repair depot (I haven't had a functioning iBook for 2 months even after three trips to the depot, and each time my iBook became less and less functional, such that by the end, I was reduced to booting it in console mode, and running only the command line. Even in this sorry state, I was still impressed, because the Darwin core properly initialized the Airport card, so I still had net access, and I could run X and hence GNOME. Not very pretty when compared to Quartz and Aqua, but functional. The anti-Microsoft bigot that I am, I would say it was still superior to a Win XP machine.)

08:48:53 29 Jan 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 4 comments

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the unix-haters handbook

I am reminded of something that Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote in his epilogue to The Scarlet Letter. To paraphrase: love and hate are not very different emotions. (A more diametric opposite to love would be apathy and indifference.) Both require intimate knowledge of one's object of desire/derision. Both seem to exhibit characteristics that our modern age has deemed to name co-dependent behavior. Just as it is seemly to care about what one's beloved thinks of them when one is in love, in parallel, one who exhibits hatred often does so because they care too much about what the other person thinks of him/her. To rephrase it in pseudo-psychiatric lingo, the other person starts becoming an obsession, an idee fixee, that impinges upon one's own personal identity (as much as I think Freud was a quack, I will use his term ego.)

Or, in observance of what happens in prepubescent crushes, little boys make fun of and are cruel to little girls because, deep down, they like them, and they wish they didn't.

Hence, The Unix-Haters Handbook.

These people do not hate UNIX the way people hate Windows XP. These are people deeply committed (however involuntarily) to UNIX, who live and breathe the command-line, compile all their programs from source, and disdain GUIs. These are people who would be as incapacitated without a computer as some people are who develop serious brain disorders. The reason they hate UNIX so much is because of their deep intimacy with it. UNIX is that ex-girlfriend that you almost married, except that she keeps breaking your heart, and every time you try to get her out of your life, she finds her way back in. In contrast, Windows XP is a lot like a prostitute. You can't really hate her. After all, it is essentially a professional relationship. Obviously, you can't really love her either. There are no deep attachments here, just a fear of sexually transmitted disease (appropriate, given the amount of viral cross-contamination that occurs in the Windows world.)

OK, I obviously need to get a life.

07:48:58 29 Jan 2004 > /computers > permalink > 0 comments

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cradle to grave

now I know I promised to stop being so pessimistic, but this sig I stole from someone made me laugh:

We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.

07:15:01 29 Jan 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 7 comments

Wed, 28 Jan 2004

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wtf

I have no idea what I'm doing. The world just swirls and loops all around me, and I stand mesmerized, mouth agape, drool oozing from the corner of my mouth, all sense gone.

N would laugh at my ridiculous attempt to analyze the situation(s). B would argue that I have little sense as it is in the first place.

We all know that thinking too hard about something is a good way to make things even more complicated than they already are.

All of this could mean nothing.

Then again, perhaps I am purposefully turning a blind eye, in hopes of avoiding peril. (Although, again, we all know that the best way to get something to attack you full-on in the face is to ignore it. What you don't know only gets bigger—and stronger, with sharper claws. Man, I'm a paranoid bastard.)

The truth, most undoubtedly, lies somewhere in between.

Damn.

Sorry for being painfully cryptic. It is, unfortunately, my nature.

P.S. It is fucking cold in Chicago right now. Maybe I really am a masochist. I'm actually starting to like it. Not that I'm really willing to endure four more years of seasonal affective disorder, but, well, as I've said time and time again, these things are quite out of my hands.

P.P.S. @!#$&!!! I just don't know anymore. Although, most likely, I never did know in the first place. Bleh.

21:42:45 28 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 1 comments

Tue, 27 Jan 2004

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fire and ice

flat lands, icy waste curling smoke, steam rising the city breathes in, breathes out like a sleeping dragon

there is a fire burning inside of me drear, dull fever snowflakes melt upon my skin heart filled, like bursting flames in my chest through gritted teeth in the bitter frost in silence, I scream

restless, a tiger pacing in its cage ready to tear limb from limb

I want to burn burst of fire like a roman candle flaming wreckage crashing down in re-entry a shooting star bright flash of starfire flaring flaming out in the cold, blue, winter sky poof clouds of steam, the forest heaves and puffs trees flattened, splintered, shattered, fallen the cratered ground, smooth and shiny and not of this world nothing else remains

the snowflakes come drifting, one by one and the wind blows fitfully in gusts and blasts the silence broken only by the echos, the memories, like thunder, like the tides crashing on high cliff walls gone

21:54:28 27 Jan 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments

Sat, 24 Jan 2004

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to grok

clearly, I have too much time on my hands. or, more tragically, instead of doing things I need to do, I sit her mentally masturbating as usual. (notice the word mental.)

anyway, I was thinking of the word "grok" for some reason. for those who aren't into science fiction and therefore have never read the book Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, well, that's where it comes from. in the story, it's of Martian etymology, meaning literally, "to drink," and figuratively, "to understand deeply." well, of course, the latter connotation inevitably seeped into geekspeak, but the crazy thing is that I think it is beginning to spread into the mainstream. of course, this might just be a reflection on how much more technological our world is (read as: how much more acceptable—nay, perhaps necessary—it is to be a geek—I have to say it: it has become chic to be a geek—OK, well, maybe not....), and, of course, I was in Silicon Valley when I heard a non-computer science person use it, so maybe it was a meaningless occurance. nonetheless, it is in some general dictionaries (post-Y2K, granted.) and, I might add, it is quite a useful word.

I then turned my thoughts to the word "savvy," not in its adjective form, but in its verb form. I'm not sure if it really is standard pirate argot, but Johnny Depp certainly used it a lot in "Pirates of the Caribbean", and even at least once in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico". What I figured out, then forgot, then looked up is that it is derived from the Spanish word "sabe," which means to know.

anyway, back to "grok." there are a few related geekspeak terms (which, by the way, I've never really heard before) such as "glark","glork", and "zen," again, not as an adjective, but as a verb.

well, enough of that for now.

19:32:29 24 Jan 2004 > /language > permalink > 0 comments

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wInter-im

I have been telling people how soft I'm getting with respect to the weather. Given that it has been roughly 70-75°F in L.A. for the past couple of weeks or so, I woke up Friday morning at the crack of dawn. Going outside, I felt the "cold" seep into me, and I was abashed when I discovered that the ambient temperature was actually 50°.

So it was with quite a bit of apprehension that I flew out to Chicago today, especially since I couldn't find my beanie, my scarf, or my gloves. I thought I would die on the walk from the L station to my apartment. Ironically, it was lucky that it was snowing, 'cause otherwise it would've been way too cold.

So I am quite cozily ensconced in my apartment right now, with the heat blaring at 73°, and procrastinating about packing for my flight to Miami tomorrow. (I will, again, have to trudge through the snow to get to the L, but hopefully no more will accumulate overnight. Fingers crossed.)

I am quite convinced that I need to get away from here and leave cold winters behind. How fate feels about this, though, is anyone's guess.

17:16:49 24 Jan 2004 > > permalink > 1 comments

Thu, 22 Jan 2004

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spirit

ever burning flame searing rays of light eastern sky afire I turn and turn and turn only the sun tells me where I stand casting my shadow hither and thither

in this land of no mountains in this bleak and empty space silence and the dry, raspy wind of an old, dying world

cold iron the smell of blood proof against magic and the spells of elves hopefully a ward against gremlins and whatever ancient power guards this alien landscape hostile against my kind

blood, red sand spilled from the years of sacrifices to the God of War and the tang of iron, of steel imagine that these mysterious rivulets carved by flowing water into wine wine into blood

cold wind, aching bones still the sun burns relentlessly my heart still blazes but I know the warmth seeps out by quantum grains of sand I leak time upon the ground each step, marching towards oblivion

millions of miles from home I could wander around this world a million times and be no closer

knowing the moment you begin is the moment you begin to die

the end, we already know what it's going to be like to die, still and forgotten last messages fluttering into the empty void acknowledge, never received, signal lost when the heart has grown cold the fires at last quenched in the end, we are all alone

11:29:59 22 Jan 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments

Tue, 20 Jan 2004

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letting go

interestingly, though in various shapes and forms, some of the bloggers that I read almost daily have been discussing letting go. so whether it is material objects, relationships and situations in general, or specific self-destructive behaviors, well, I generally do the opposite.

I admit it. I am a resolute pack-rat. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to get rid of all this stuff I've managed to accumulate since 8th grade. I have the Leaning Tower of Crap against the wall in my room (which was previously my sister's room, but she usurped my room while I was away in Chicago): fifteen boxes filled with papers, books, useless gewgaws and doodads with sentimental value, and worthless ancient computer equipment. I have already gone through one cycle of purging (eliminating three boxes) but do not have the wherewithal to go for another.

Damn it. I need a system.

For me, organization is an ambiguous term. Now, I consider myself a high-functioning individual, so, clearly, I've got to be somewhat organized to some degree. Still, I realize I don't really approach the social norm. (Not that I've ever really approached the social norm on a lot of levels, but that's something else entirely.)

There was a time I believed in organized chaos. While my environs might look like a miniature landfill, at least I knew where everything was. Whenever my mom would take the initiative to organize my room, my system would break, and I'd never be able to find anything, much less do anything productive. Typically it takes about a week for me to degenerate into this state after cleaning up. It's just how my mind works, I think. (Again, I find a quote from Charles Bukowski about kitchens very apt and sympathetic to my woes. There is also a Slashdot article regarding the same phenomenon somewhere, but, naturally, I can't find it.)

The problem is that I keep accumulating more and more crap, and I am deathly afraid of tossing something out that hasn't been properly regarded. I think it's because my ass have been saved on too many occasions where any sane person would've thrown something out 11 years ago, but I was able to dig it out of my closet in an hour or so just in time to save the day. For all those people who keep nagging me: "Are really going to use that again?" Well, you never know.

But, yeah, I appreciate being able to travel light. I was pretty happy when I was able to reduce my indispensable worldly possessions to one carload (not to say that I threw away the rest, I just, well, stored it.) So of course now that I'm back home (at least for now), I have about 14 years of crap to sift through. Lord.

But I've been interrupted too many times writing this entry, and I no longer know what I'm saying or doing, so I'll cut my losses, and stop here.

14:17:11 20 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

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unrelenting massive cock destroys innocent pussies

while postmodern literary critics (like critics of all media, genre, and timeperiod) can be full of shit, I really dig the creation of postmodern art (or is this post-post modern art? hey, art critics, I'm sorry for saying you're full of shit! can you please think of a proper name for this time period?)

for example, take this illustrations of a deliberate misinterpretation of a common spam subject.

11:47:36 20 Jan 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 4 comments

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words like fallen leaves

now is the depth of winter when the heart mourns for warmer days when the sun hides behind the swirling clouds and light plays games with the fog and the shadows teasing with the bone-chilling brightness and the darkness comes before you expect it gaping like the black abyss and the neverending fall

and the words do not come quick-frozen, stillborn in my soul not so much as a whisper escapes between my cold-cracked lips

dry, listless wind spinning the dead and fallen leaves raspy sussurations against the frozen ground reach out to catch one slips away

like snowflakes grasp out, they melt into raindrops mingled with sea-brine tears

creeping dread upon my soul lost in the fog and the shadows not knowing which way lies the rising sun I reach for the words like rough-hewn handholds in the dark, bitter night failing, crumbling in my hands as I touch them I am afraid to climb, yet fearing to fall

struggle to draw forth the words (like living water, turned to slush in the copper pipes) the shape and form of warmth and brightness the flickering flames of life's sweet bliss crackling embers in the hearth and even the memory seeps away cold and hollow

to not know the name of things to lose, each one, bit by bit, drop by drop, to the endless howling wind of winter's dearth desperately digging through the drifts and banks seeking warm loamy ground

perhaps we must just wait for the ground to thaw

11:37:16 20 Jan 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 3 comments

Mon, 19 Jan 2004

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reflection: forwards and backwards

true to form, I have procrastinated thinking about the past year. I have also procrastinated thinking about the upcoming year. in short, I am, once again, ill-prepared for life.

without resorting to 5-minute psychiatric consults, or blaming various parts of my neuroanatomy for the state I'm in, I can't help but wonder what it is I should be doing with this space. Not just, literally, this webspace that I am profusely cluttering up with my endless blather, but the space around me. the world I inhabit, in both the personal and universal realms.

(iTunes just spun up some Sigur Rós. thoughts of Iceland come unbidden, despite the fact that I've never even come within a thousand miles of Reykjavik. God. I am so random.)

I just can't keep things in order. the room I am staying in in my parent's house is an absolute disaster area, like someone had decided to take a leafblower and wave it around to see where everything would fly off to. (oooh. I think I hurt myself trying to think of a simile and coming up short.) I can't keep my mind clear, my thoughts neatly arrayed. meta-discourse and prose fiction mingle freely, undistinguishable. despite the fact that I'm baring my psychological profile for all the world to see, I have no idea what I'm doing or what I'm about.

I don't know why I keep writing this drek, only knowing that I must.

I suppose that's a good enough reason as any.

God save me from getting caught in the recursive loop of endless navel-gazing.

14:24:01 19 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 1 comments

Thu, 15 Jan 2004

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you betta recognize

because I'm such a depressive motherfucker, I really need to keep track of these rare moments. let it be known, at this particular, specific moment, I am happy. (surely this is one of the signs of the apocalypse.)

one of the things I learned from The Lord of the Rings is that (to paraphrase Gandalf the Grey) to break something in order to find out what it is is, well, stupid. so it is with some trepidation that I meditate upon what it is that makes me happy at this particular point in time.

one: the end of the tunnel nears. at some point this year (crossing fingers, barring complete and utter catastrophe) I will at last attain the pay-off of my five year self-imposed exile to the frozen wastelands of the midwest. it's so close I can fucking taste it. goddamn!

two: I think I know where I want to go. regardless of whether I make it there or not (because these things are entirely out of my hands), at least I feel I have very well-thought-out reasons for wanting this, which jive very well with my gut feelings.

three: I feel OK by myself. I mean, yeah, it's great to have other people around. It's really nice to have someone to talk to once in a while, but, well, this is my personal sophistry philosophy: we are all journeying on this road of life, each with his or her own special destination. whether or not we share the road with another at some point is not entirely of our choosing, and ultimately, at some point, your road will always diverge. so the most you can hope to do is stay true to your companions while they are with you, hurry along to your destination when they are not, and not to waylay anybody as they, too, try to make it home. hmmm. the end of the journey is always home, whether you know it or not. (as I am wont to say, this is what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.)

four: sunlight. need I say more?

five: the art of not wanting. maybe it's just the happy pills completely killing my sex drive, but, hey, I'll take what I can get (or more accurately what I'm not getting.)

six: I think E (my friend, not the drug) really helped me get to the heart of why I am alone. nothing is going to change until I go for it, and I can't go for it until I'm ready. and I'm not ready. but I'm learning to trust myself. In slow, measured steps. and someday, I will trust my own judgement about how I'm feeling, and someday, I will know that I am ready. until then, all I can do, all I should do is go with the flow. the current has gotten me this far, after all.

seven: music. no further comment.

cheesy songs as I drove up the I-5 that put a smile on my face:

"The First Cut Is the Deepest" by Sheryl Crow [iTMS][lyrics]

"The Flying Song" by Colin Hay [iTMS][lyrics]

"Love's Divine" by Seal [iTMS][lyrics]

23:46:04 15 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

Wed, 14 Jan 2004

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names (why i probably shouldn't be a father)

i can't help myself. whenever i get bored, my mind wanders. very far. so sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic (is there any other kind in SoCal?) where the 91 and the 5 intersect (before i had to dodge some rocks some punk kids were hurling from a pedestrian bridge before the imperial hwy exit), i looked up at the freeway signage and, unbidden, i thought that "artesia" would make a pretty name. while perhaps a little bizarre and unwieldy, it could easily be shortened to "tesia" (pronounced "tisha," i supposed.)

of course, my mind wanders even farther, and i start to wonder if i could get away with naming a kid "california," (shortened to "cali.") man, i am just increasing the number of arguments as to why i should not be allowed to reproduce.

some other names that my friends say violate the 8th amendment:

being a big lord of the rings geek, i have always been obsessed with the names galadriel and arwen. i read a young adult book about a girl named galadriel (except everyone called her "gilly") and i actually know someone named arwen.

when i was in a relationship, we actually thought about baby names. for fun really, considering that we were still quite young at the time, but nonetheless, there were some howlers.

sampaguita (tagalog for jasmine, the national flower) which would be paige for short.

naitadhanan (tagalog for fated) which would be shortened to nai

clearly, there is something wrong with me.

23:13:03 14 Jan 2004 > > permalink > 6 comments

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quizilla, quizilla, quizilla

You are Dylan Thomas - a poet who lives to spite the banal continuity of modern life.  You are the new word, the new voice.  You will trample on tradition, and breed a new school%
You are Dylan Thomas - a poet who lives to spite
the banal continuity of modern life. You are
the new word, the new voice. You will trample
on tradition, and breed a new school of poetry.

Which Dead Poet Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(sighted on barbara jane's new blog)

21:14:24 14 Jan 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 0 comments

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the otso-otso revisited

this meme just won't die, will it? as Ernie first pointed out, it seems to have been inspired by Beyonce Knowlés. there is a description by Manuel (as well as a stick-figure instructional animation), and political commentary on last days of the republic. and, incidentally, Angie unwittingly provides more evidence that the otso-otso was created by Beyoncé (watch the white guy carefully, and listen to Steve Harvey's commentary) and that the anti-copyright infringement ads they have on TFC are therefore ironic and a tad hypocritical. (P.S. copyright infringement is not stealing! Exaggerating only makes you lose credibility. I'm pretty sure no Filipino recording artist is living in a nipa hut or in a shanty on top of Smoky Mountain, or in Olongapo next to the toxic waste the U.S. left there.)

20:59:45 14 Jan 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 5 comments

Sun, 11 Jan 2004

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grease the wheels

"gotta grease the wheels of the economy to keep it running" my communist sister declaimed sarcastically as she bought that new outfit with money that she didn't have earned from the job that she hadn't been offerred the paycheck that she wasn't given for the 4 hours of work she did each day putting it on in full view of the banner of che guevarra hanging on her bedroom wall

still, sunlight streams through the windowpanes through the muck and the grime smeared upon the glass I cast an eye out to the freeway traffic down below yup, the machine's still running

bought the uniform of the Establishment today not one, but two straight-jackets to put on so I can dance for the Man in hilarious hopes of dancing my debt away

I admit it I do not understand the Man Why is it that they scream bloody murder when we give an extra million to the teachers and a million to the healers to help them do their work another million to the poor and the old, to those who cannot help themselves even when the coffers are full, the treasury is overflowing

but when we lay mired in ruinous debt we borrow billions upon billions to give to the butchers, the rapists, and the thieves call slaughter liberation holocaust victory and fear courage and security say that fences lining the borders, our "land of the free" say that those armed with AKs and 9-millimeters facing a horde of hungry, desperate, unarmed people "we are the home of the brave"

I am the prophet of a new religion give thanks to the Reagan, for he is good and the Nixon who came before him who proclaimed "I am not a crook" For only the wealthy are righteous and the poor should be swept from the earth this Bush is idiotic, but he is not consumed And as it was to the father, so is to the son and so in every church sanctuary, let there be a missile to commemorate the sacrifice of Lockheed and McDonnel-Douglas let the holy sacrament be bullets and a gun not my body and blood but yours he who is persecuted because he believes in the 2nd amendment be blessed

blessed are you who are mean in spirit your kingdom shall be better than God's blessed are you who rejoice in massacring the weak for the dead are not vengeful, and your sins will remain unpaid blessed are you who are arrogant and ignorant you shall usurp the whole earth blessed are you who despise those who hunger and thirst handouts are for the weak and lazy blessed are you who show no mercy for it is the merciful who are slaughtered, the just who are slain blessed are you who are purely greedy the wheels of the economy must remain greased blessed are the warmakers the armsdealers, the bombmakers the murderers and sadists for you shall be called the sons of the Dollar blessed are you who are persecuted because of your selfish beliefs oh, blessed, blessed, are you

America, America, where art thou, country that I once loved? To your shores of opportunity came my ancestors with hope and faith that you were just and true I remember Lady Liberty, standing alone upon that isle "give me your tired and your poor" embracing the huddled masses yearning to be free I used to Dream of you, America I used to believe now that dream has left me I wake to the bitter dawn unveiling human nature so help me, God

14:22:27 11 Jan 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments

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I am become Death

not blame nor recompense no assuagement, no consolation, nor your brutal pity just a fair retelling of this grievious tale

the words are all that are left the tainted residue charred ash upon bone white scrawl, sprawl, scritch-scratch breaks the silence

los alamos

the consuming blight of the land and of the fisherking's body and my heart, my soul leaking out in fitful coughs blood flecks upon my lips still i stand wasted upon the hallowed hearth wastelands all around

waiting for the light to shine furtive rasp of flint on steel the wind steals the last bits of tinder

the gray is worse than the darkness and still the sky bleeds white, then whiter the sun only rises in my memory but i do not feel her comforting warmth upon my skin

trod the empty plain cattle long gone to slaughter ice in my breath blood freezing i sneeze still-frame, silence death delivered in a million tiny droplets even death dies in the void oh God, the hills are no nearer

i heeded the siren's song fled wildly into the barren desert (and though barren, the hardy grasses cling jealously to the ground steal every tiny sip of water--in this empty place it is kill or be killed they cannot hear you scream) saw visions, knowing only that i am sunstruck my empty gaze reaching into the cosmos and all the stars are burning at once until all i see is light

the treacherous ground finally betrays me stone against skull (crashing together like flint and steel) my heart, my soul, seeps onto the earth

though sightless, my eyes still harbor embers fading as the starlight burns away everything

14:16:19 11 Jan 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments

Sat, 10 Jan 2004

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compiling gaim with ssl

in order for gaim to connect to MSN, you need to have some form of SSL compiled in. I hear that mozilla's headers contain what you need, but the instructions to compile gaim with ssl by mike styne (as recommended by the gaim maintainers) describe compiling it on OS X with gnutls. good luck, and may the source be with you. (sorry, I couldn't resist.)

21:09:22 10 Jan 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 1 comments

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more personality tests



What Classic Movie Are You?


What Famous Leader Are You?

How disturbing. This only further corroborates the notion that I am doomed. (It doesn't help than an ex-girlfriend once compared me to Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights)

13:43:07 10 Jan 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 0 comments

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plodding onward

This entry was, for better or worse, inspired by today's entry on Incidental Findings (scroll down or browse the archives, as there are no permalinks.)

On one hand, I am somewhat disturbed that my thoughts don't ever reach this level of discourse. I am not thinking of relationships not because I've reached some sort of spiritual peace, but because there are even more basic issues to consider. (Bear with me.)

Now everyone should now that health care professionals are the worst patients to take care of, the least compliant, the most recalcitrant, the unhealthiest, etc., etc. So it should be no surprise that I left the house without taking my meds today. (Of course, there was that unmarked white van that seemed to be observing me as I left the house today, making me want to get away from the house as quickly as possible, but we will get into my paranoid delusions later.)

I was OK for maybe a couple of hours. I had a bizarre craving for Chicken McNuggets. Instead of going to the MickeyDs (Hmmm. How do you transliterate that properly?) that I usually go to, I spaced out and completely overshot it. So instead I decided to go to the one in downtown Glendale. After getting my grease fix, I went over to the Marketplace, and had what I considered an out-of-the-ordinary exchange with the barista at the Starbucks (Have mercy on me! I'm just a fallible human, after all!)

Barista: Do you want room for cream? Me: Nah, it's OK. Barista (incredulously): You drink your coffee black? Me: (for some reason, reticent) Err, yeah. [Usually, I do take cream, but for some reason I didn't want to argue about it] Barista: All right. You want anything to eat with that? Me: Nah, I'm good. Barista: Are you sure? Me: Yeah. Barista: Maybe next time? Me: Sure. Barista: Promise? Me: Um. (amused uncertainty) Promise.

In any case, I left the Starbucks and sat down at a table outside. (Again, note the unhealthiness.) I then proceeded to have a cigarette, except my lighter wouldn't work, so I had to borrow a light. One cigarette turned to two, and I sat staring, thinking. About what, I can't exactly remember, but at some point I realized how extraordinarily tired I am. Not necessarily physically tired or drowsy, but psychically weary. The kind of soul-weariness usually reserved for survivors of horrific tragedy. The kind of inability to rest and heal that Frodo Baggins experienced (for those people familiar with The Return of the King, book or movie.) After thinking to myself, I'm so tired, I immediately also thought, I'm never going to find anywhere to rest.

Now granted, I've been through a lot in the past year. Or two. Or three. Or four. (I mean, if you had the wherewithal to read through this blog from the very beginning, you'd see what I mean. Now my writing style is not necessarily the most lucid, and I have this annoying habit of refusing to give names to people, even imaginary names, so that I tend to begin stories with pronouns without ever giving an antecedent, and I also have this annoying habit of getting sidetracked by irrelevant details, so that I ramble on and on until most people wonder what the point is, and I tend to talk about sensitive issues rather obliquely, but, yeah, read my blog. Hehe.) But I mean, realistically, I really shouldn't feel like this. Like Sisyphus, with no joy in whatever I do, just rolling that stone up that hill, only to watch it roll down again. At that juncture today, if you asked me what made me happy in the past four years, what made it worth enduring the rigors and sometimes outright torture of medical school, I would've been at a loss. Nothing would've come to mind. All I would've been able to remember is the intense, often self-inflicted, mental anguish, the bonecrushing loneliness, and the bitter, bitter cold, both literally and spiritually. Only the darkness, the emptiness.

Oh, it gets better.

I finish my second cigarette, and hoof it over to the Borders, whereupon I get enthralled by all sorts of linguistic books that I can't afford and will never have the time to even open the covers of, much less read. Nonetheless, after a couple of hours of aimlessly wandering the shelves and a lot of zoning out, I ended up buying them. Then I headed out to Fry's in Burbank. Right about now, you might discern that I have some sort of penchant for punishment.

Nothing is worse than trying to stave off a mental breakdown at an electronics store. For starters, there are a lot of weird people there. The last thing you want to do, particularly if your self-esteem is flagging, is to be the weirdest one there. I make it through the returns line OK, despite some inexplainable self-consciousness. I start browsing through the networking section, looking for a PCI wireless card. And then it hits me. The tears start welling up, and if I weren't so morbidly depressed, I might have laughed at how ludicrous I was being. Objectively, I could tell that there was no reason for me to be sad at this point, but nonetheless, I felt like the weight of the world was collapsing upon my back. My inner self-dialog (no, I was not having auditory hallicinations) started to tell me that I wasn't going to make it.

I ended up wandering through almost every square inch of that godforsaken place, in search of what, I don't know. Maybe salvation. Heh. Unlikely. At the end, I started feeling a touch of agoraphobia, and for some reason, I kept running into some serious weirdos, so it was a good time to make my exit.

Needless to say, I felt rather ragged, like I had been dragged across an asphalt-covered parking lot strewn with broken glass. And of course, all I could think of were negative thoughts. For example, like, my god, the day isn't even close to being over.

The waning sunlight did nothing to ease my cares.

Still, I made it home without mishap. The white van wasn't waiting for me. I hurriedly took my pills, and decided to go for a walk around my neighborhood until they kicked in. By the time I got back, I was feeling decidedly better. Not happy, to be sure, but at least not suicidally depressed. I suppose the state that I'm in when I do manage to take my meds is what they call "serotonin fatigue." I find myself somewhat apathetic and unable to efficiently organize my time, but there is no emotional component to it. I'm just numb, really. Which is, sad to say, preferrable to what happened today.

(I figure I should get to the white van before you think I'm a stark raving loony. Let's just say that I posted something on the Internet that wasn't exactly complimentary to our reigning commander-in-chief, and I started having paranoid vibes that They were coming to get me. Seriously, if people are being visited by state troopers for inquiring about the availability of Microsoft Flight Simulator at their local Staples, and people are being treated as social lepers and evoking the mistrust of their fellow citizens by the simple act of reading an almanac, I don't think it's completely paranoid to worry about getting carted off for bad-mouthing the president, U.S. Constitution notwithstanding. The verb to disappear, in its transitive form, comes to mind. Of course, I suppose they could've been just robbers, or, wonder of wonders, legitimate repair workers. The latter being doubtful since I drove off away from them, circled around, and tried to catch them from behind. Needless to say, by the time I had gotten back to my house, they were gone. I know they were there, though, because my dogs started barking like maniacs. I suppose I could've hallucinated the entire episode, but, despite everything, I'm not that crazy, at least not yet, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)

Anyway, back to my depressive episode. I remember being appalled at how much it hurt. If that's how I've been feeling for all this time before I started taking the happy pills, no wonder it's been a long and arduous climb. I mean, seriously, it would be the psychic equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest with shackles and weights attached to your ankles, and no supplemental oxygen to boot. And I remember thinking that, if I have to live with that horrific pain and sorrow again, I am clearly not going to make it.

Ah, me. Better living through chemistry.

I wish I knew what the hell is wrong with me, but knowing the cause is not going to help. I've just got to keep believing that some day, it will all be OK. Not perfect, but at least better than this.

So, yeah, this is the reason why I can't even seriously consider getting involved with anyone, because I am such an emotional and psychiatric train wreck at this point. There's no need to drag anyone under the water with me.

Still, I've got to say, I'm so much better at giving advice than taking it. For some reason, I can give hope to other people (yes, really, I can, I've been told so, so don't worry, I'm not going to be a hazard to the people I treat) yet I can't take any for myself. I don't understand it.

Jesus sweet Christ. Things have to get better. I am seriously feeling stretched out and worn down.

00:50:48 10 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

Fri, 09 Jan 2004

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what is macosx?

A good overview of Mac OS X intended to dispel certain misconceptions. The author assumes you have a good grounding in various operating systems, particularly UNIX or UNIX-like OSes.

20:23:20 9 Jan 2004 > /computers/macosx > permalink > 0 comments

Wed, 07 Jan 2004

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words

eventually, it's all a game shuffling numbers through gates and pulses of lightning through arborized tangles

just for the sound of it the way the tongue slides, curves and flexes the throat rattles, hums, thrums

sing a song of sixpence, pocket full of rye

this dizzy dance of meaning and sound separating then in close embrace meaning flirts with the silly sing-song noises teases, leaving to the imagination escapes the ballroom at midnight, leaving behind only a glass slipper an idea the words crowd around, trying to see if it fits barely avoiding shattering it in tiny sharp shards meaning's fragrance lingers, the memories fading only the transient joy, when I held you in my arms takes root in the mind idee fixee

like a stray electric current causing an errant magnetic field everything swirls and spins around it circling the drain toilet bowl flushing vital fluids fleeing the body prepare to evacuate the light at the end of the tunnel beckons

sometimes all it takes is an electric shock a veritable bolt of lightning to realize that it's all in your mind to realize that no matter what you do in the world or what it does to you everything that is, as far as you're concerned lies painted in impressionistic strokes across a canvas of convoluted, grey goo lurking somewhere behind your eyes

11:36:09 7 Jan 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments

Tue, 06 Jan 2004

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science, the first amendment, the simpsons, and stupidity

23:14:42 6 Jan 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 0 comments

Sun, 04 Jan 2004

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hitchhiker's guide quotes collection

Incidentally, I found the HHGttG quote on this site.

20:50:20 4 Jan 2004 > /quotes > permalink > 1 comments

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chasing my tail

Random thoughts on this Feast of the Epiphany:

It's not that I'm not over you. It's that I'm not over being betrayed. —hypothetical response to an ex-girlfriend, regarding the question as to why I haven't hooked up with anyone in a long time

Here I am, thinking that I've made some progress, but perusing some old entries in my blog, I realize that I am still a nut case. I think the only real improvement is that I'm more amusing at parties. Though, usually at the expense of my dignity.

Crazy wild things are afoot. Only, if things follow the traditional pattern of my life, these things will remain tramelled only in my mind, and everyone will—rightly so—think I'm crazy.

Times like this make me think of Arthur Dent from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Arthur felt happy. He was terribly pleased that the day was for once working out so much according to plan. Only twenty minutes ago he had decided he would go mad, and now here he was already chasing a Chesterfield sofa across the fields of prehistoric Earth. —from Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams

Stark raving insanity is oh-so-very tempting at this juncture.

18:56:24 4 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 1 comments

Sat, 03 Jan 2004

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a good day

(Title courtesy of Ice Cube)

So, despite accomplishing almost nothing of what I needed to accomplish today, despite spending money that I do not have, despite flaking on two of the three people I tried to meet up with today, I must say, today (or, more accurately, yesterday) was a good day (I'm pretty sure I've miscounted, because I've only mentioned two other good days in my blog [1][2]. At least, I hope I've miscounted, otherwise that would be very, very sad.)

There is something wrong with me. I have to stop believing this. Even if it's true. (OK, B? Hehe.)

My God. I can't even write proper sentences. I've had to make a correction for every paragraph I've typed.

Anyway, I've got to remember that nothing is ever completely futile, and that nothing is ever wasted. There is a reason for everything, even if it's not a really good or even logical reason. (Because I do not believe that electrons have feelings or free-will, and yet they are perhaps the most important determinants of what is going to happen next. But I blather nonsensically.)

This was supposed to be a short entry, but I am rambling on and on and on....

OK, I'll stop now.

21:48:18 3 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

Thu, 01 Jan 2004

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hope springs eternal

small victories, like firefly sparks like flickering embers smouldering sunlight is not so easily extinguished

treading upon that ancient path (there and back again) dimly lit, the corridors of memory and time ascending and descending those rotting stairs of the ivory tower clarity like lightning flashes than sightless stillness groping in the dark for the way forward the doorways and passages still faintly familiar

the abyss looms ahead but we knew that ere we started this journey the abyss is the end of all journeys but, as the Sages say, the journey is not about the end

in the quiet darkness, my soul unmoving like a baby stillborn in the womb the words are all there is the words are all that matter

no, not dead, just sleeping slow, frozen sleep dreaming of nameless horrors and hopeless doom imprisoned in this chrysalis of life-stealing ice

like a seed sown into the ground ere winter frost

i must wait for the thaw

14:50:21 1 Jan 2004 > /poetry > permalink > 0 comments